Spoiler Alert

Here’s something new to recognise:

Much to my detriment, I have always been the type of person who feels a bit too much. It is a gift and a curse to empathise too quickly, to feel emotions too deeply, to wear your heart on your sleeve.

It borders on ridiculous when I feel too much about fictional characters that are.. fictional. They are not real but to my mind’s eye, they’re flesh and blood.

All my favourite characters die.

Yes, that is an overstatement. But a good many die and I feel way too much over them. I cannot separate fact from fiction when I immerse myself in an art-form, be it books or stage or TV or movies. I feel for the characters a bit too much. It’s unhealthy, that’s for sure.

The Fox and the Hound was particularly scarring. Matthew Cuthbert dying on paper made me cry for a good hour. I actually use his death as a ‘tool for crying’ when I needed to be devastated on stage- which works because I do get teary. Dobby died. Fred Weasley died. Tibby Rollins died. Alternate Timeline Lincoln Lee died. Allison Argent died. Michael Cordero died.

And it’s not like I cry only when I watch the show. There’s a mourning period I go through, much like if I lost someone I loved in real life. I take it to the extreme.

While being part of a fandom on Tumblr does exacerbate this ‘condition’, it’s something I’ve ‘gone through’ even before I joined the damn site.

I hate that I cry so much over people who are not real. If I should psychoanalyse myself, maybe it does stem from something a vocal teacher told my mom once- that I could not sing with emotion because I was too young and I did not know how to feel the same sadness, or longing, or joy that the song required. So, maybe, to make up for my own lack of experience, I live vicariously through characters that are not real. I make their pain, the joy, their anger.. I make them all mine.

And that is very screwed up.

I don’t know where I’m going with this. Why can’t I just have ‘regular’ emotional ranges and not feel as much?

My Funsolution

I wrote about this in my Resolutions post last week:  to watch 100 movies that I haven’t seen where there has to be an actor in common between movies.

 

I watched La La Land with a friend on Thursday, so that was my kicking-off point.

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I have raved about that movie on Tumblr and Twitter. I do recommend it if you like movies, and how movies were back in 1920 something, and if you like music. If you like Ryan Gosling or Emma Stone, then you have to watch it. I have never been a Gaga for Gosling girl, but I can totally see the appeal after this movie. It has the feel of Hail Caesar, which I enjoyed last year. It’s a movie about movies and about Hollywood, and how life is hard but beautiful. Go watch it. It won a bunch of Golden Globes last Sunday/Monday, so there’s that too.

La La Land had Ryan Gosling which led me to the next movie: Half Nelson.

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I did not watch the trailer for it, but I did see the IMDB blurb which was quite intriguing. Completely worth the watch. Ryan Gosling plays a teacher with a drug habit who ‘befriends’ a student of his with her own battles. No romantic Pretty Little Liars-esque nonsense, so don’t worry about impropriety. Though of course, drugs are improper. It’s a movie that I won’t rewatch, but it was worth a watch, if that makes sense.

Half Nelson had Anthony Mackie of Captain America fame, so my next movie was Million Dollar Baby.

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I know, it came out many years ago and won Oscars, so I should have seen it. But I didn’t and now I am very glad that I did. Clint Eastwood plays a boxing coach/manager and Hilary Swank’s character is the ‘tough kid’ who basically hangs around so much, she gets him to train her. I did not see the end coming, which was just.. I won’t spoil it. Beautifully played. Whether or not you like boxing, I think the performances are fantastic, so you should watch it.

The talented Morgan Freeman was in Million Dollar Baby, so I finally got to watch The Shawshank Redemption.

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I know! It’s a classic ‘always on the top 100 movies of all time’ list on any site, and often quoted to be someone’s favourite movie ever. But I have never seen it and again, I’m so glad I did. It was great and deserves it’s place in a Top Movies list. Morgan Freeman is in it as a con-man who’s in jail where he meets new convict, Andy (played by Tim Robbins) accused of murdering his wife and her boyfriend. It’s a story of the harsh reality of prison, the crap prisoners are dealt with by the system and by the other people stuck in the system, and how hard it can be when they do finish their time. I flinched at some moments of abuse and again, I didn’t predict the ending. I’m glad I was never spoiled for how it went, though I do enjoy spoilers. It made it quite worthwhile. It is mostly about hope and friendship, which is something we all need.

So yes, I’ve gone through four movies so far and there are 96 to go. I’ve not hated it yet, but that’s probably because I’ve simply seen good movies so far. I will not be surprised if I hit a crappy movie slump down the line.

Right now I’m debating which Tim Robbins movie to watch next. We’ll see. I hope 2017 has not been too bad for you so far. x

2015 Screen Time

We did books two days, and now it’s time for the movies.
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The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

I have never felt more attracted to Armie Hammer than I was watching this movie. So this is based off the old series Man from U.N.C.L.E. that was around when my parents were young. It used to be David McCallum and Robert Vaughn as Ilya and Napoleon, and really good. My dad never ceases to call David McCallum ‘Ilya Kuryakin’ when we watch NCIS. Anyway, this movie was directed by Guy Ritchie, so you can expect great angles, and the writing is smart. It’s basically a spy movie with lots of charm.

Ant-Man

I’m a fan of heist movies, and this one was exactly that with Marvel charm. Paul Rudd is always charming and having him in this just added to it. This has to be my favourite Marvel movie of all time (i KNOW RIGHT?!) because the script is good, the humour is spot on, the supporting characters are well done, and HOPE. VAN. DYNE. Enough said.

The Good Dinosaur

I did not expect to be floored by this as much as I was. I cried a few times watching this, and I did know how it would end because there weren’t many ways around it. But it still squeezed my heart and my tear ducts. The trailer is straightforward: a dinosaur trying to get home and the unlikely friendship with a child. It was built on simple themes, but those hit home.

Inside Out

I think we can all agree that if you have feelings, you would have had a lot of them about this movie. It was perfect for anyone who had battled mental health issues, it was perfect for families who had their ups and downs, it was visually beautiful, and it tugged at the heartstrings of anyone who grew up with a great imagination. No wonder it’s up for an Oscar!

Cinderella

This was perfect for the little girl in me that I forgot existed. Disney shocked me by taking this old story and breathing new life into it. The GRAPHICS, that DRESS! The eyes of Richard Madden! This movie can make you want to be a princess. I kid you not, it was so well done.

The Force Awakens

I have to mention this because this was the perfect beginning to bringing this franchise back. Watching this felt like watching A New Hope all over again. J.J. Abrams brought back a lot of the old characters, brought in great new ones, and I think he did it justice. While some may complain that it was pandering to the fans, as a fan who has grown up with watching the movies, reading books, and having merchandise, I was quite happy with it. I look forward to what’s to come!

and the big miss 😕

Pan 

This was a massive disappointment for me. The hype was huge because we were supposed to get some good back story. I have to say that the background in ABC’s Once Upon A Time for Peter Pan was far more intriguing. This had the potential to be better, and I wish it was better. A lot of ‘touch and go’ in terms of Disney references, I just wish it had delved deeper. I get that it was a children’s movie, but much like the other ‘children’s movies’ on this list, this one could have lived up more to the general expectations.

Cheese-tastic movies

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Image from here

Look how happy the Cheese Dude is. Is he not convincing you?

If you remember correctly, I’m all about watching Hallmark movies during Christmas (or in general, really) because some are genuinely good, and some are hilariously cheesy that it lightens your day.

So here are a few that I highly recommend, high on the cheese factor but sometimes you just need something so ridiculously corny to take your mind off your day. The titles are all linked to YouTube trailers.

The Christmas Detour (not a YouTube link because somehow that one isn’t available)
The cheesiest movie I have ever watched. I think most Christmas/romcom tropes are in this. If you’re into drinking games (which I’m not, but hey, do this with water and you’ll be super hydrated), this is one you can do it with. Every time there’s a trope, take a shot of water/alcoholic beverage/non-alcoholic beverage of your choice. I like Candace Cameron Bure, and the male lead and her had great chemistry. But this movie was so trope-y I basically ranted on Snapchat about it. Cheesiest movie on this list.

The Nine Lives of Christmas
I’m going to admit that this one wasn’t so bad. It was quite cheesy (but nothing beats no 1) but the actors did it well, so I actually liked it. It’s about cats and Christmas, he’s a fireman etc etc. I didn’t mind it, and of everything on this list, I recommend this the most.

12 Gifts of Christmas
I watched this because it came out this year, and Katrina Law is in it. She plays Nyssa on ‘Arrow’ and I like her in that. Here she plays an artist who has a knack for shopping who gets hired to be a personal shopper for some rich guy. Something something Christmas and it’s a cheesy combination. Just the reasonable amount of conflict with a simple resolution. Not that cheesy, but you’ll see the cliches a mile away.

A Princess for Christmas
THIS MOVIE. THIS FREAKING MOVIE. It’s always on TV, and called Christmas at Castlebury Hall, for some reason. If you’ve watched Merlin, you’d recognise the lead as Morgana. If you’ve watched Outlander, the male love interest in this is Jamie Fraser. And if you’ve watched any old Bond movies, the grandpa is Roger Moore. I don’t LOVE this, but I did watch it because I liked Katie McGrath in Merlin. She isn’t fantastic in this, but the whole premise is over the top. Sam Heughan is good though, and my dad would say the little girl is a ‘talented actress’. This movie will definitely have you cringing at parts. So cheesy guys, so very cheesy.

Christmas under Wraps
Candace Cameron Bure does a lot of Hallmark shows, guys. She has to be on this list twice. This movie is about a ‘big city doctor’ who moves to a tiny town, with a massive love for Christmas. The ending is pretty ‘what??’ but not a bad one.

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year
This movie is one of the older ones on this list. Single mother meets this guy that her uncle technically sets her up with. She’s uptight, he’s the ‘choice she never saw coming’. (hahahah, I am cackling while writing this). Guys, I said cheesy right? Here you go.

A Royal Christmas
Remember Gretchen from Mean Girls? so that actress has been in a lot of Hallmark movies and this is one of the newer ones. She plays this girl who gets engaged to a prince, but naturally, she didn’t know! So in true cheesy movie fashion, she has to learn how to be a princess and deal with a overbearing future mother-in-law, while at the same time “learn to be true to herself”. hahahhaha.

I cannot think of anymore. If you want links for any of those, I recommend trying to see if it’s on YouTube first because a lot of them are. But if you can’t find it, I’m happy to provide. 😂

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I hope you’re having a good week so far. x

A reflection on Monsters Inc.

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Most of you, most of the world has watched Monsters Inc. That movie came out in 2001. I believe I was 9 years old then. I was afraid of the dark, I had a hard time sleeping in a room alone, I sometimes left the light on. In some ways, that movie helped calm the fear of ‘creatures of the night’. It helped me deal with intangible things that frightened me.

Last year, Monsters University came out. It was set at the time when Sully and Mike went to university, didn’t get along, went for the same course, fought, became friends, and got kicked out. But at the same time, this movie helped me deal with another intangible fear.

That’s what I love about Pixar: they’re able to maintain their original audience.Take Toy Story for example; when the first movie came out, I was a kid. I played with toys, I talked to my toys, I dressed them up, I dressed them down. I was Andy. When Toy Story 3 came out, I was taking my A-levels, technically going to college, just like Andy. Like him, I set my toys aside a long time ago, I left parts of my childhood behind. I had to grow up. There is a reason a bunch of 20-something-year-olds were crying harder than any of the kids in the cinema during that movie.

With Monsters University, Pixar tackled the main fear my generation had (and are still having) at that point in our lives: the fear of failure. Like Sully and Mike, we are in university, we are in college. We are pursuing the education that will help us enter the career paths we’ve chosen.

James P. Sullivan represented those of us who had ‘a legacy’ to uphold, who had the talents but lacked the drive, or were crushed by external expectations. Mike Wazowski represented those of us who were dreamers, who had idealistic expectations of ourselves.

Both of them tried. Both of them worked. Both of them were expelled.

But that wasn’t the end of the movie, was it? We were shown how Sully and Mike worked their way to the top. It was an unconventional route of sorts, but they started in the mail room and ended up on the scare floor. And we all know what happens after that.

I really like the ending to Monsters University. I like that they didn’t succeed in school. I like that they had to make their own way.

Life isn’t always so clear cut. Sometimes, we face terrible challenges, we face obstacles we don’t think we can get through. Life is not a straight path. We go through muddy fields, go spelunking though we’re terrified of darkness, we have to brace ourselves for the harsh weather. Sometimes, the paths we take are the ones we least expect. Sometimes, we realise the map we’ve been given doesn’t lead to where we truly want to go. Sometimes, taking a pit stop, clearing our minds.. that’s what helps us recalibrate ourselves.

I think I’ve mentioned a friend of mine before, the friend who left school, who went through a lot of personal struggles with self confidence, with the pressure her family was putting on her and ended up taking a few months off. It wasn’t easy for her, in fact, it was hell.

But she made it out of that miserable situation. She found her ‘unconventional path’, she is pursuing what she wants while finding a way to please her family. If you asked me ten years ago if she’d be where she is right now, I’d have been really, really, really shocked. Now, I’m so proud of my best friend, because she found a way. And she’s working at it, harder than I have ever since her work before.

The dates for my final exams were released a day ago, probably the impetus for this long post. I think we all need reminding that failure isn’t final.We need to remember that there is always something to learn from the mistakes we make.

And most of all, we need to remember to never give up. Sometimes, the monsters aren’t so bad.

5 More Movies

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The first Five Friday was about my 5 favourite movies to watch when I’m in a rut or feeling blue. Here are 5 more for this week’s Five Friday.

1. Julie & Julia

How can you not adore this story? If you have not watched this movie (Jessica, I’m looking at you), I highly recommend that you do. Julie and Julia is based on the true story of how Julia Childs inspired a woman from Queens, Julie Powell to discover herself, and more importantly, learn to cook. As a novice in the kitchen myself, I find this movie such a darling to watch, though of course, it makes you hungry almost instantly.

 

2. The Muppets

I like Amy Adams, so be it. If you are remotely familiar with The Muppets, I think you’ll like this movie. I remember watching this with my brother and being the only 2 who were truly excited about certain parts (the rest of the audience was mostly parents with their kids). It’s full of songs, cameos by a bunch of famous people and best of all, it has heart.

 

3. You’ve Got Mail

I can’t believe I forgot to put this one up there before. Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks falling love, ala Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy (though of course, not really) will always be a delight. The story of how the Internet brought two like-minded people together is something that’s still being told and retold till today. I don’t care if you’re a guy or a girl, you will enjoy this movie.

 

4. Bridget Jones’s Diary 

Remember when Renee Zellweger brought this movie to life with her charming, well rehearsed and quite convincing English accent? Remember when Colin Firth played Mr. Darcy all over again, except now he actually punches people? This movie is a classic. Again, surprising if you’ve not watched it. I can always relate to Bridget screwing up her life but the bits that she does do right end up inspiring me again and again.

 

5. Penelope

Put James McAvoy in a movie and I’m likely to watch it. Make the movie visually appealing and produced by Reese Witherspoon’s company, and I’m more likely to watch it. Penelope is about a young girl born the nose of a pig due to a curse cast by the town’s resident witch ages before, because the son of that family jilted her daughter. This movie is well made. The script is good, Christina Ricci and James McAvoy have wonderful chemistry and of course, there’s this scene:

Watch it. You will not be disappointed.

If you have not watched any or some of those movies, I hope you give them a try. They’re likely to brighten your day. 🙂

Pain demands to be felt

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The Fault in Our Stars is basically the worst movie to watch when you’re emotional about the downing of a flight. Especially since Amsterdam is highlighted in the movie.

But regardless of my emotional state, I really enjoyed the movie. I was right: I didn’t cry reading the book but I knew tears would flow when I watched the movie. This movie will make you cry, regardless if you think you have a heart of stone ala Rameses; everyone in the cinema cried, okay?

Do I recommend it? Of course. I’m all for tear-jerkers.