Monday Movie Meme: Show Tunes

Singing in the Rain

Thanks to Molly from the wonderful Bumbles Blog for creating this meme! This week’s theme is: Show Tunes. Warm up your voice and dust off your dancing shoes, this one’s all about musicals. Make sure you check to what the upcoming Monday Movie Memes are!

If you respond to the meme on your blog, make sure you link back here and add your post to the Inlinkz widget below.
Monday Movie MemeWhat’s your favorite musical movie?
This is a tough one. Aside from the Disney musical movies, I really love RentChicagoSweeney Todd and Rocky Horror Picture Show. But my all time favorite is probably Grease.
GreaseI’m never not in the mood to watch Grease. I love a lot of movies, but none might be as fun as Grease. Whenever this movie is on my body reacts pavlovianly with song and choreographed dance. It’s campy, it’s catchy, high schoolers are played by 30-year-olds and it’s all wonderful. I am convinced there is no way anyone with a soul can watch Grease and not thoroughly enjoy themselves. Not only is it laugh out loud funny (the literal laugh out loud, not the straight faced “lol” text laugh out loud), but the songs are great too. I listen to belt out “Summer Nights,” “Grease Lightnin”, “We Go Together” and “You Are The One That I Want” (and pretty much the whole soundtrack) on a regular basis. IT’S SO FUN.

What’s the best musical number in a movie?
I’ll give you a hint: Pop. Six. Squish. Uh uh. Cicero. Lipschitz.Cell Block Tango
You guessed it: “Cell Block Tango” from Chicago. It’s hot, it’s passionate, it’s led by Catherine Zeta-Jones and it’s impossible not to be infatuated by the six merry murderesses of to Crookem Country Jail. These ladies are fierce and sexy and I love every second of this number.

What musical was really meant for the stage and shouldn’t have been made into a movie?
Les MiserablesI haven’t seen any movie musicals that really disappointed me in comparison to the stage production, but (sadly) I haven’t seen too many Broadway shows. I saw the Les Miserables movie and wasn’t a fan, but I’ve been told by many people that I shouldn’t judge the show based on the movie. I can’t really saw from my own experience, but I’m hoping the Les Mis movie didn’t do it justice and that it’s really meant for the stage.

What Broadway production are you still waiting to see on the silver screen?
Wicked posterI can’t wait to see Wicked as a movie! I’ve seen it three times and it’s easily my second favorite musical production (beaten only by The Lion King and it’s a close call). The music is fantastic, the story is genius and the whole production is just…wow. There is very little known about the Wicked movie but it is finally going to happen. I just hope that they get Idina Menzel and Kristen Chenoweth to star in it because anyone else playing Elphaba and G(a)linda would feel wrong. Even though I’m very excited for this to be a movie, I’m trying to keep my expectations low because I know there is no way the movie will be able to touch the stage production. It will be impossible to capture the drama and intensity of “Defying Gravity” on a screen. But it still should be good movie.

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Paper Towns: Book Review

Paper Towns stamped Looking For Alaska 2?

paper towns book coverBook: Paper Towns by John Green

Publisher: Dutton Books

Year: 2008

Genre: YA, Mystery

Pages: 305

Rating: ☆☆☆ – Above average

Who’s going to be in the movie?
Nat Wolff (the blind kid in The Fault In Our Stars)
Cara Delevingne (model for Burberry, Mulberry, Dolce & Gabbana and Jason Wu, and Mother Chucker in Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood”)

When can I watch?
July 24

What’s it about?
Quentin “Q” Jacobsen has been in love with his neighbor, Margo Roth Spiegelman, since their childhood. Margo is more beautiful, more carefree, more funny, more popular and just more than anyone else Q has ever met. But despite being next door neighbors, Q and Margo haven’t been friends since they were kids.

That is until one night Margo sneaks out and asks for Q’s help for a night of pranks, mayhem and revenge. Margo pushes Q way outside his comfort zone (and into a moat…). After their adventurous all-nighter Q goes to school wondering how that night might change his relationship with Margo. But much to his disappointment, Margo has run away (again). At first no one is concerned – it’s not the first time Margo has left town for a few days without telling anyone. But as the days go by Q’s concern grows and he begins to find clues Margo left for him.

With the help of his best friends, Ben and Radar, Q is on a mission to solve this riddle and starts looking for Alaska Margo.

What did you think?
Didn’t I already read Looking For Alaska? Q and Margo are pretty much the same as Miles AKA Pudge and Alaska. Margo/Alaska is the girl you want to be (although I personally don’t care to be either) and Q/Pudge is the boy you want to give a big bear hug to and feed cookies. Q/Pudge is the sweet, shy, thoughtful, lovable, wide-eyed boy that is hopelessly in love with beautiful, wild, charismatic, brilliant and unattainable Margo/Alaska. So since I’ve already read Looking for Alaska, a lot of it felt kind of repetitive. They’re good and interesting characters, but nothing felt new about Q or Margo. But I kind of hate Margo…this might be an unpopular opinion but I think she’s a b!tch.

I get that some people run away or harm themselves or do a multitude of self destructing things as a cry for help, but that does not seem to be Margo’s MO. She just seems flaky, foolish and selfish. She doesn’t even make it clear as to whether Q will find her alive or dead at the end of her little game. Instead of leaving cryptic messages and clues for Q, she could have just left him a note explaining herself. But no, the world had to revolve around the mystery of Margo and she couldn’t make it easy for anyone. But if she did leave a note for Q that would make a very short and very boring book. So literarily, I know Margo has to leave clues for him. But it doesn’t mean I have to like it.

I might have shot myself in the foot by reading The Fault In Our Stars before reading any other John Green books. So far I’ve red three of his books and TFIOS is by far the best one. I keep holding his other books to that standard and keep being disappointed. Not that I didn’t like Paper Towns, I actually really enjoyed it. It’s like wanting a home cooked meal but getting Chicken McNuggets; both are great and delicious, but Chicken McNuggets just weren’t what you were looking for.

Now that I’ve talked about what I didn’t like about Paper Towns I can start praising the good stuff. Yay! I can’t talk about a John Green book without applauding his writing. His writing is equally beautiful and witty. Even during parts when I wasn’t loving the story or characters I still loved reading Paper Towns simply because of the way John Green writes. I want to live in a world where people think and talk like John Green characters – that is, if there were more Qs, Radars, Bens, Pudges, Colonels, Hazels, Gus’s and Isaacs than there were Margos.

Another thing that I love about Paper Towns is the theme of perceptions and expectations vs. reality. There’s a reoccurring idea that people may not actually be how you see them to be, and about not holding who someone is against themselves. My favorite passage from Paper Towns is about that theme, my man Radar summed it up well:

“You keep expecting people not to be themselves. I mean, I could hate you for being massively unpunctual and for never being interested in anything other than Margo Roth Spiegelman, and for, like, never asking me about how it’s going with my girlfriend – but I don’t give a shit, man, because you’re you… I’m too obsessed with a reference website to answer my phone sometimes when my friends call, or my girlfriend. That’s okay, too. That’s me. You like me anyway. And I like you. You’re funny, and you’re smart, and you may show up late, but you always show up eventually.”

Should I read it?
If you like John Green books then you’ll probably like this. If you haven’t read John Green then this isn’t a bad place to start. You can buy Paper Towns at Barnes & Noble for pretty cheap.

Here’s the Paper Towns trailer:

Monday Movie Meme: Déjà Vu

This week’s theme is: Déjà Vu. It’s all about the best and worst of movie remakes. Make sure you check to what the upcoming Monday Movie Memes are!

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Monday Movie Meme

What are some re-makes that are better than the original?
OThe Parent Trap Sisters? Hallie, we're like twins! gif LIndsay Lohanne of my favorites is definitely The Parent Trap. To be honest, I haven’t seen the original in its entirety but I’ve seen enough to know that the Lindsay Lohan version is far superior IMHO. However, I did see the remake first and grew up with it, which no doubt affects my strong preference for it. But I don’t know how anyone can dislike this fun family flick. It’s got Oreos with peanut butter, Leonardo DiCaprio, wine and the most iconic handshake.

Arthur-doesn't-trust-horsesUnpopular opinion: I like the Arthur re-make more than the original. It’s hilarious. It probably has a lot to do with my age and different generations, but I loved the Russell Brand version of Arthur. I did watch the original first, but I wasn’t wowed by it. On the other hand, the re-make made me laugh out loud and I could watch it again and again. I love the freak show that is Russell Brand and I don’t think I’ve seen him in anything I didn’t like.

Two of my favorite movies that I didn’t know where re-makes are The Departed and Homeward Bound. Apparently these gems aren’t totally original, Homeward Bound was even a children’s book before there was any movie. Now I need to look into these and see what the originals are like.

What re-makes are just the worst?
The only re-make I’ve seen that was truly horrible is Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Charlie and the Chocolate FactoryI hated this movie; it was weird and made me really uncomfortable. Johnny Depp’s Willy Wonka was too bizarre, the oompa loopas were too creepy, the children were too annoying…even though I love Johnny Depp, this movie was just too much for me. You can’t do better than the original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

Side Note: I am very excited for the all-female Ghostbusters re-make! The cast looks phenomenal and I predict a huge success, hopefully one of the best in 2016.

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The Fault In Our Stars: Movie Review

TFIOS stamped

The Fault in Our Stars movie posterMovie: The Fault In Our Stars

Director: Josh Boone

Writers: Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber (The Spectacular Now(500) Days of Summer)

Length: 2 hours, 6 minutes

Rating: ☆☆☆☆ ½ – Great

Stars:
Shailene Woodley
Shailene Woodley
as Hazel Grace Lancaster

 


Ansel Elgort

Ansel Elgort
as Agustus Waters

 

 

Read the The Fault In Our Stars book review!

Remind me what it’s about…
Young love, life and the Literal Heart of Jesus. Hazel is terminally ill with lung cancer is content to live out the rest of her days reading and binge watching America’s Next Top Model reruns on Lifetime. That is, until she meets Augustus “Gus” Waters in the Literal Heart of Jesus. ~*~babe alert~*~ After meeting the dazzlingly charming Gus, Hazel is conflicted between getting to know him better and limiting the people she hurts in her inevitable death.

What did you think?
Hold on while I dry my tears. *grabs mop*

I love this movie and I love Shailene Woodley and I love Ansel Elgorgeous and I hate John Green for writing such beautiful characters I can’t befriend and date in real life. It’s engaging, it’s funny, it’s painful, it’s smart, it’s beautiful, it’s real and it gives a new meaning to “okay.”

But I will say The Fault In Our Stars isn’t for everyone. This is a great movie if you are a (probably female) tween/teen/young adult. It’s definitely a girl’s night/chick flick kind of movie (sorry for being horribly sexist). But if that’s what floats your boat, then this is the movie for you. TFIOS made me laugh, cry, contemplate life, laugh again, then cry a lot. I went through an infinite amount of emotions in a limited time.

Was it a good adaptation?
Definitely; it’s one of my favorite adaptations. Woodley and Elgorgeous bring Hazel and Augustus to life in the most (emotionally and physically) beautiful way imaginable. When John Green writes unrealistically perfect characters (like Hazel and Gus), it’s no small task to fill that role. Fortunately for us, Woodley and Elgorgeous were actually born from the heavens to be Hazel Grace Lancaster and Augustus Waters. They’re charming, captivating, they’re chemistry is enviable and I can’t imagine anyone else playing these parts.

There’s always some differences but they were pretty minor and I don’t think they affected the story/themes at all. The main advantage the book had over the movie was the cheese factor. Augustus’ spiel about his cigarette metaphor and his declaration of love (and half the things from Augustus Waters’ mouth) read better than they were heard. It’s easier to get away with cheese and drama in written word than it is in spoken word. Some things just sound a little too much when said out loud.

But I don’t think the movie as a whole was cheesy, just that it is TFIOS‘ one minor flaw. Overall, it was great movie and a nearly perfect adaptation.

Should I watch?
Yes, with a box of tissues on standby.

Here’s The Fault In Our Stars trailer:

Top Ten Books On My TBR For Summer 2015

top ten tuesday

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday from The Broke and the Bookish is Top Ten Books On My TBR For Summer 2015. This needs no explanation, so let’s get right to the books.

top ten tuesday

1. Heist Society by Ally Carter
Heist Society by Ally CarterI’ve actually read this one before, but when I was looking up a synopsis (I forgot what happened but I wanted to read the second one) I found that it might become a movie. So I decided I need to reread it so I can properly review it in case it does get made into a movie.

2. The Body by Stephen King
The Body Stephen King
This is actually a novella from Stephen King’s collection Different Seasons that was later adapted into the movie Stand By Me. I love Stand By Me but didn’t know it was based on a book until after I read. After a little digging I found this novella and now I just have to actually get myself a copy and finally read it.

3. The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach
The Art of Fielding by Chad HarbachI love baseball and since my Red Sox are sucking big time this season, I need a positive release for all my built up baseball love. This is the story about a college baseball star who gets injured; and consequently five lives are are set off course. It sounds like The Five People You Meet in Heaven meets baseball so I’m into it.

4. A Whole New World by Liz Braswell
A Whole New World A Twisted Tale by Liz Braswell
This will be a late summer read since it’s not due to be published until September 1…but I will most definitely read it soon as I can get my hands on it. This is the first of a new Disney YA series (yes, a Disney YA series!) called Twisted Tales. Each book is going to be a different Disney story retold with one major change in the story. The first book is the story of Aladdin (ALADDIN!) if Jafar got the lamp first. I can barely contain my excitement.

5. The Knockoff: A Novel by Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza
The Knockoff: A Novel by Lucy Sykes and Jo PiazzaReading the synopsis of this screams summer read to me. It sounds like the chick lit version of the chick flick 13 Going on 30.

 


6. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony DoerrThis seems like it might be a little heavy for a “summer read” (it has to do with a blind child, Nazi-era Paris and the Hitler Youth) but I just got it as a birthday gift and it sounds really interesting. It won the Goodreads Choice Award for best Historical Fiction novel in 2014 so I’m hoping it’s as good as everyone says.

7. A Storm of Swords by George R. R. “I have no soul” Martin
A Storm of SwordsThis was my next book to read until I watched the Game of Thrones season 5 finale and George Remorselessly Ruthless Martin once again managed to ruin my life. That’s not me being dramatic, it’s just a testament to how much my TV shows, movies and books affect my wellbeing (and how mentally unbalanced I may be). Regardless, I cannot read this book knowing what deaths will happen not only in this book but in later books as well. If what happened at the end of season 5 is not rectified at the start of next season I might stop watching. Or, if the next book is published before the next season starts then I might read the next three books at lightning speed so I can see if Martin does as many predict and save one of the most beloved characters.

8. Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter…?
Uncommon Criminals by Ally CarterSo, apparently I read the second book in the Heist Society series. I thought I only read the first one, but one look at the synopsis and my Goodreads shelves reveal otherwise. I remember this one a lot better than I remember the first one, soon as I read what it was about it all came flooding back to me. Although I still want to read the third one (the only one I haven’t read, apparently) so I’ll probably reread this one too because something in my DNA won’t allow me to read them: 1, 2, 1, 3…I need to keep it chronological.

9. Perfect Scoundrels by Ally Carter
Perfect Scoundrels by Ally CarterWell I’ve got to read the third installment of Heist Society after I’ve reread the first two. Even though I really like the first two and will probably enjoy rereading them, it will be refreshing to read about a good heist when I don’t know how it ends. I love heists and dream about being a part in one. These teens were my heroes when I first read Heist Society because I felt like I could pull off a heist too. I want(ed) to be part of their society so badly. But now that I’m 23, my crush on 16-year-old Hale feels wildly inappropriate. *welp*

10. Live By Night by Dennis Lehane
Live By Night by Dennis LehaneThis is another book that’s going to be made into a movie, but not just any movie – a Ben Affleck movie (I love Benny Affleck). It’s about gangsters and corrupt cops facing prohibition in 1920s Boston (it’s Ben Affleck, of course it’s Boston). The only aspect that could make me want to read this story any more was if it had a good heist. But I won’t hold that against Live By Night, it sounds like a great story.

Monday Movie Meme: Memorable Endings

The Usual Suspects

Thanks to Molly from the wonderful Bumbles Blog for creating this meme! This week’s theme is: Memorable Endings. Make sure you check to what the upcoming Monday Movie Memes are!

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Monday Movie Meme

What movie has the best ending?
Toy Story 3Aside from movies with great plot twists (since that’s the next question), I’d have to go with Toy Story 3. When I started this meme I had no idea how many times at least one of the Toy Story‘s was going to be my answer. But you can’t deny how perfectly the Toy Story 3 ending wrapped up the series. ~*SPOILER ALERT*~ Everything about it was heartbreakingly beautiful; from the all references to the first movie, to the toys sticking together in the face of death and to Andy (and us, too) ultimately having to let go* of the toys and move on.
*Except, like Rose, I’ll never let go.

What movie had the biggest plot twist/most shocking ending?
It’s so hard to pick one because there are so many movies with great plot twists; but one of the first movies that always comes to mind when talking about great endings is The Usual Suspects. 

The Usual SuspectsIt’s hard to talk about how great this ending is (or any ending, really) without giving anything away, so I won’t. Just trust me, if you haven’t seen The Usual Suspects then you need go watch it. Right now. I’ll wait here.

*1 hour and 46 minutes later*

So how great was that ending?!  I know. You can’t even put into words how good it was. So great.

But I can’t talk about great plot twists without mentioning Fight Club and Momento. I won’t say anything besides if you haven’t seen these movies you have to watch them too. Twice. They will blow your mind.

What’s the worst ending you’ve seen in a movie?
Two movies come to mind: The Prestige and Gone Girl. Both movies had me completely enthralled and on the edge of my seat…then let me down at the end.

The Prestige are you watching closelyI love Christopher Nolan movies. He is nothing short of brilliant. I also love Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman, so my expectations for The Prestige were so high. As with all of Nolan’s movies I’ve seen, I was holding my breath, trying to figure out what was going happen and just totally captivated by the story. Unfortunately, at the end of The Prestige I was left feeling underwhelmed. So I don’t give anything away, I’ll just say the end felt incongruous with the rest of the movie.

Gone GirlSimilarly with Gone Girl, the story was totally gripping, the plot twists were shocking, and the cast was wonderful…but the end left something to be desired (to put it gently). I read the book before so I knew how it ended, but interviews with Ben Affleck and author Gillian Flynn led me to believe the ending in the movie would be totally different. So imagine my surprise and disappointment when the credits roll and nothing had changed. Totally unfulfilling.

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Monday Movie Meme: Good Cop, Bad Cop…

Good Cop Bad Cop Lego movie

Thanks to Molly from the wonderful Bumbles Blog for creating this meme! This week’s theme is: Good Cop, Bad Cop. Make sure you check to what the upcoming Monday Movie Memes are!

If you respond to the meme on your blog, make sure you link back here and add your post to the Inlinkz widget below.
Monday Movie Meme

Do Good Cops or Bad Cops make for a better movie?
Good Cop Bad Cop Lego movieI love me a dirty cop. Even though it depends on the story and a lot of other things, overall I think I prefer a Bad Cop to a Good Cop. I’m a sucker for con men and thieves, and dirty cops are of the same breed so I’m all about it. It really comes down to my love for anti-heroes, they make such interesting characters that I can’t resist.

But I do like Good Cops! Especially if s/he is one of the lone Good Cops surrounded by Bad Cops and trying to clean up Gotham their city/district.  (Okay, so I love Jim Gordon. Especially portrayed by Ben McKenzie on Gotham.)

What’s the best buddy cop movie?
I know a lot of people love Lethal Weapon…but I haven’t actually seen that movie, so I’m going with 21 Jump Street.

21 Jump StreetI absolutely love 21 Jump Street. Between Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill and Dave Franco there was little doubt this movie would be anything short of amazing. One of the best parts about it is that they make fun of themselves (for their lack of originality) right in the movie. It’s laugh-out-loud funny and it’s still funny a second (or third, or fourth, or eighteenth…) time around.

What’s the best action or drama cop movie?
The Departed Matt and LeoWell it’s got to be The Departed. I love any movie that features Matt Damon and/or Leonardo DiCaprio and/or Boston accents and/or Boston at all and/or the mafia and/or killer suspense…this movie has all that and a bag of chips (that is, if Martin Scorsese were a bag of chips).

This movie is written, directed and acted to absolute perfection. The drama, the suspense, the thrill and the comedic relief are the core of what makes The Departed so damn good. When you garnish a great story with the brilliance of Matt Damon, Leonardo DiCaprio and Boston accents, there is no way anything can go wrong.

In short: I worship at the altar of Matt Damon, thirst for the water from the Fountain of Eternal Leonardo DiCaprio and I could watch The Departed every day.

Who’s the most kick-ass movie cop?
Die Hard John McClaneJohn McClane from the Die Hard series. I haven’t seen all the Die Hard movies, but from what I have seen it doesn’t get much more kick-ass than John McClane. Bruce Willis is pretty much synonymous with bad-ass due in large part to Die Hard. I mean [~*spoiler alert*~] the man shot himself in the shoulder to get the bad guy. I don’t know what’s more bad-ass than that.

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