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Monthly Archives: January 2015

You can find Part 1 and Part 2 of my “Movies of 2014” posts here and here.

Gone Girl
Full disclaimer: I read Gone Girl…and wasn’t much of a fan. Like everyone else in the world, I was taken aback by the ending even though I was completely entranced at the beginning. That aside, I actually enjoyed Gone Girl (the movie) which is surprising because I was absolutely convinced I hated it during the first 10 minutes. To be honest, I think I just realized its the characters – all of them drive me up the wall. Nick is a terrible self-centered husband, Margo gives me second-hand embarrassment because I just think she is so obnoxious, and Amy is (obviously) willing to kill to get her way (which I know is the point but it just irks me). But, somehow, David Fincher made me at least kind of enjoy it. I’m not even a massive Fincher fan, either, so I’m as surprised as anyone. I guess I’m just being “that guy” but yeah, I thought Rosamund Pike was great but everything else? I thought it was good but not knock-your-socks-off amazing.

Interstellar
I expected a lot from Interstellar. I’m not afraid to admit it, I tend to go into a Nolan film expecting something…mostly just that I won’t be let down. Unfortunately, I think I set my expectations a little too high with Interstellar. There was nothing inherently bad, but I also wasn’t wowed in the same sort of ways I was when I saw Inception for the first time. I know its just a movie but there were many parts of it that stood out to me that just played as distractions that I couldn’t shake. Like, for example, Matthew McConaughey’s character (Cooper) is piloting this ship…and he knows the plan is to travel through a wormhole. They say earlier in the film that this is the sort of thing he was “trained for” and that he was their only available pilot. Okay, fine. But then, right before they’re about to go through the wormhole, Romilly (played by David Gyasi) explains to Cooper how a wormhole works. I know I’m being nit-picky but that bugged me! I know its a movie for the masses that had to have “subtle” explanations for people who may not be familiar with wormholes and relativity but I just found it very distracting to have the pilot not understand the science. From then on, I hung onto his words constantly, waiting for the next time he’d have to have something explained to him. But, that aside, I did enjoy the last 20 minutes a lot (mostly). It was interesting/cool to see how all of his actions were making an impact from the beginning and, to be honest, that was the part I most enjoyed. I wasn’t much a fan of after he was saved and saw his daughter again (it felt lackluster to me…it would have been cool to see him interacting with her family though) and I felt weird about him completely not asking about his son. Anyway, I obviously didn’t hate the film, I actually liked it, but it just didn’t meet my expectations.

Frank
Frank was delightful. It was kooky and funny and even sad. It is the story of a man named Jon and what ensues after he accidentally joins a band called The Soronprfbs. Most of the film was hilarious. Michael Fassbender as the titular character was incredible. It just felt easy to watch in the sort of way I wish all movies felt. The only weird feeling I had about the film was the odd jump in tone. Everything goes from funny and light and only mildly aggressive to incredibly manic and somber. I had no problem with the actual shift, just how fast it happened. Obviously, the death of a main character can do that to ya, but it just took me off guard a bit. But, to be honest, I actually liked Frank more than I liked the other films I talked about here today – Gone Girl and Interstellar. Maybe its just the kind of film that calls more to me, I don’t know. If you’re interested, Frank is currently streaming on Netflix.

This week’s The Bachelor was filled with drama: from Kelsey hating a camping trip so much that she brought on a bad energy and got stung by a bee; to another week of “You’re a virgin? I’m so jealous of you!” ridiculousness; to Chris getting stumped by jealous girls playing a more and more political game (“Game on!” these girls continually say when they catch other girls making out with Chris). Every week I watch this show I am entertained, gripped, and confused by what it is I enjoy about it.

Screen Shot 2015-01-27 at 4.25.46 PMI thought it’d be fun to go through the week’s events by focusing on some of my favorite winner/loser moments.

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thegoods

Educational

  • Have I ever mentioned my undying interest in Coelacanths? No? It all started when I was a little girl playing Animal Crossing. My brother and I caught a Coelacanth and instantly wanted to know what made it worth 15,000 Bells…and the rest is history. I recently came across this amazing video about the research going into these fish and, trust me, even if you don’t care, this video is great. –Amanda

 

Television

  • I finally caught up with the first week of The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore! While I miss Colbert, I must say that Larry Wilmore’s show is fresh, funny, and something you should be watching. I especially love Wilmore’s “Keep It 100” segment, where he asks surprising questions to unsuspecting panel guests. Wilmore rewards those that answer quickly and honestly with stickers and throws tea bags at those that falter. People that have faltered so far? Politician Cory Booker, who sidestepped a question about his possible future presidential aspirations. -Vanessa

The Internet

  • I haven’t actually mentioned it on here yet but I’ve been taking Spanish “lessons” (kind of…not really) on duolingo.com! I would definitely recommend checking it out if you’re interested in learning or honing your skills. –Amanda

If you haven’t seen my first post about the movies of 2014, check it out here!

Birdman
Oh boy, Birdman. I went into this movie with virtually no outside information. I knew it was about a “washed-up” former superhero movie star but that’s it. Within 10 minutes, I knew I was gonna love Birdman. My favorite film “genre” is the Avant-Garde so I freak out when any film today does anything even slightly experimental…and I felt that this one was in many ways. I mean, that camerawork? Wow. Almost the entire film is shot in one (very long) shot. I’m a sucker for that sort of thing (see: me gushing over Russian Ark). I mean, even if the movie sucked, but still had that camerawork? I’m not gonna lie, I’d have still loved it. Luckily though, it didn’t suck – not even a little bit. The acting was phenomenal. Everyone was great but Michael Keaton definitely took the cake. Without a doubt, one of his best performances of all time. I don’t have one bad thing to say about Birdman, it was everything I could want in a film and I’ll be shocked if any of the other films from the past year could impress me more.

Guardians of the Galaxy
This movie was, without a doubt, the movie of the (late) summer. I, however, didn’t see it until October (of course). Didn’t matter though, cause Guardians of the Galaxy had the same impact on me that it had on the rest of the world: I loved it. It was goofy and funny! And had tough but lovable characters! And it had Lee Pace! That’s literally everything I wish for every superhero-ish movie (although I am equally happy when Tom Hiddleston is involved). It is, without a doubt, my favorite of all of the new wave of comic-inspired films. My favorite aspects were the Christ Pratt energy and the “nobody expects us to be heroes but, by GOD, we are!” It was a super cute movie, would definitely recommend.

Inherent Vice
I actually read Inherent Vice (the book) last week, so I was kind of at an advantage for this film. The biggest complaint I’ve heard about this film is that it is kind of hard to follow. I actually didn’t find it hard to follow (at least not if you were comparing it to the book) but I think I definitely would have been if I had not finished the book a few days ago. There are a lot of characters and a lot of weirdness happens – it’s a dense story! Anyway, I definitely enjoyed Inherent Vice. Paul Thomas Anderson is always A+ and Joaquin Phoenix is always A+ so its kind of hard to go wrong. But, then again, I could definitely see why so many people are feeling lukewarm about it. The story, in itself, is all over the place so I would really only recommend this to people who may not be watching a film with the absolute necessity of being able to piece together and follow the plot.