Princess Diaries (2001)

I have watched this movie more than thirty times. When asked what my favorite movie is I usually say Good Will Hunting, but in all honesty, it’s probably Princess Diaries. It brings me back to my childhood and is centered around a goofy girl that I can relate to deeply. I have always liked how Mia (Anne Hathaway) evolves throughout the story and goes from being shy and quiet, to being brave and using her voice for good.

from Movieclips Classic Trailers on YouTube

As I have grown older, I do have some issues with the movie. I do not like how Mia goes from having poofy, voluminous hair, to having straight hair. And how she goes from having glasses, to wearing contacts. While I like the internal transformation she goes through in the movie, the physical one is something I have a slight issue with.

Someone with glasses can still be a princess. Someone with voluminous hair that is not stick straight can still be a princess. I do not like the precedent that is being set with these transformations, as if the Mia ‘before’ was not good enough for the crown.

However, in a way I do understand the physical transformations. As a writer, I can understand that they help convey the changes Mia is going through internally. They also help show the rigorous standards there are for people in the spotlight, especially royalty. I especially like how her best friend, Lilly (Heather Matarazzo), points out these changes and voices her disproval. If Lilly did not voice her thoughts, I imagine this movie would have been very different. It’s always great to have a best friend that keeps you on track.

Overall, I love this movie for all it’s funny moments and the life Anne Hathaway brings to Mia. She has these mannerisms that add to the character and truly make the character come to life. Hathaway was only eighteen when this movie was filmed and her acting talent is already very tangible.

Rating: 9 out of 10.

9/10

*Disclaimer: Making a movie is hard. Sometimes you have an idea and it is not interpreted how you intended it to be. All directors, producers, writers, and everyone on set should be proud at what they created and I do not want to diminish that. I just want to share my opinions so we can learn from movies and see what works and what didn’t.

Ford v Ferrari (2019)

I have to admit that some of the car talk in Ford v Ferrari went right over my head. I do not know the names of old style cars, the owners of the main car companies, or famous race car drivers. But nonetheless, the film was more than enjoyable and I felt like it was a great use of my time, even though it is nearly three hours long.

The film is directed by James Mangold and stars Matt Damon (Carroll Shelby), Christian Bale (Ken Miles), Jon Bernthal (Lee Iacocca), and Noah Jupe (Peter Miles), among others. The accents stole my attention right away. I thought that Ken Miles was supposed to be Australian, but it turns out that he is actually British. It was also interesting to hear Damon speak with a country accent when I am used to his normal Boston vernacular. A country, race car driving Will Hunting? Yes please.

from 20th Century Studios on YouTube

I watched this film with my mother who usually falls asleep during every movie, even Harry Potter. However, I am proud to report that she did not fall asleep during this movie. She watched the entire thing in one go. That says something in itself.

Jupe steals the show! He competes head on with Damon and Bale to make this film a sort of masterclass in acting. I am not surprised because Jupe dominates films like Honey Boy (2019), A Quiet Place (2018 & 2020), and Suburbicon (2017). All of the scenes he is in are powerful and the relationships between the characters feel tangible. He had great comedic and dramatic timing.

Overall, the dialogue is so well written that it feels conversational. There is a sort of tune to the conversations that make them feel like music. The words sound like art. The words showcase banter, humility, arrogance, and the stark differences between each of the characters. To keep it short, I recommend watching this movie. It’s full of life lessons, encouragement, friendly jokes, and the most important part of life: our relationships with the people around us.

I think it only makes sense to acknowledge the writers of the film for their fantastic work in storytelling: Jez Butterworth, John-Henry Butterworth, and Jason Keller.

Favorite Quote

“There’s a point – 7000 RPM – where everything fades. When your seeing becomes weightless, just disappears. And all that’s left is a body moving through space and time. 7000 RPM that’s where you meet it. Can I ask you a question? The only question that matters. Who are you?

Rating: 9 out of 10.

9/10

Fresh (2022)

Shocking, full of plot twists, and deeper meanings, Fresh (2022), starring Daisy Edgar-Jones (Noa) and the Winter Soldier himself, Sebastian Stan (Steve), has a unique story line that I have not seen before. This film is so original and I think that is what makes me love it so much, even when some parts are hard to watch. (I have to admit that I did have to pause sometimes and fast forward a second or two.) When you watch this film, you might realize how weird it might be to say that I love this movie, but I do. I truly do.

First, the soundtrack is impeccable. It does a beautiful job of setting the tone. If you pay close attention, you can see that although the characters may seem comfortable in the beginning, the close up shots of food and the directing err in the direction of something being off. Soon, it is clear that something very much so is off. Incredibly off.

from Hulu on YouTube

I love the ending of this film and the moments of girl power throughout. Without ruining the ending, because it is one to remember (hint: epic fight scene), it shows how powerful friendship is. I also enjoyed how the movie touched on the various kinds of female relationships and confrontation methods: the telepathic girl, the jealous girl, and the mean girl.

Mimi Cave is a fabulous director and this film made me want to venture out and see more of her work. I wonder whose idea it was for the very specific soundtrack of the film: was it written into the script or was it a directing choice? I also cannot forget to talk about Lauryn Kahn, who is the writer behind the script. While this could have easily been just another bad guy, good girl, typical horror-violence movie, this film is so much more. It makes statements that are long overdue and maybe will give men a glimpse at the worries that regularly go through a woman’s mind.

After watching this movie, I am going to watch Edgar-Jones in Normal People because she was so convincing in this movie! Her character has nuance and did not feel flat. I believed her from the start! I felt like I knew Noa, which makes the plot even more scary. Also, I cannot not mention how Stan’s character’s name is Steve. What a coincidence, or was it? I hope it was because that could make the story even more scary.

9/10

Rating: 9 out of 10.

P.S. I also want to mention the incredible actor, Jojo T. Gibbs (Mollie) who played Noa’s friend in the movie. What a legend!

*Disclaimer: Making a movie is hard. Sometimes you have an idea and it is not interpreted how you intended it to be. All directors, producers, writers, and everyone on set should be proud at what they created and I do not want to diminish that. I just want to share my opinions so we can learn from movies and see what works and what didn’t.

It’s my last semester at college!

I am graduating college in May (hopefully)! As long as I pass all of my classes this semester, I will be graduating before the summertime. To celebrate, and to help get myself through the heavy school work, I decided to turn to gifs to create memes that help communicate how I am feeling.

1. When the professor changes the due date last minute.

2. Watching a movie to distract myself from the stress.

3. When I forget to eat.

5. When I remember I have a whole lab to do before bed.

Can you relate? After I graduate, I will be free! Free from the school system! Free! Please wish me luck.

Crimson Peak (2015)

Staring Tom Hiddleston (Thomas Sharpe), Mia Wasikowska (Edith), Jessica Chastain (Lucille Sharpe), and Charlie Hunnam (Dr. Alan), this film tells a story that is brilliantly directed by Guillermo del Toro. It’s also perfect for the week of Valentine’s Day because of its twisted love story that lies at the center of the plot.

Crimson Peak (2015) has been on my radar since I watched clips of a few scenes during my phase of being mesmerized by Tom Hiddleston. I think it was around the time I was taking a Shakespeare class in college. I watched one of his performances and that led me to diving deeper into his acting history. That deep dive led me to watching some interesting clips of this film. It seemed weird to me so I did not decide to watch it then. But I was feeling adventurous this week and decided it was time to sit down and watch this film.

from Universal Pictures UK on YouTube

Crimson Peak is a horror and historical piece. The clothing and sets are incredible and help tell the story in itself. This dramatic, horrific mystery is captivating and pulls you in with the characters right away. The ghosts are some of the scariest I have seen, the death scenes are bloody, and the characters’ relationships with one another evolve and become more apparent as the audience is let in closer to the depths of their hearts.

Jessica Chastain (Lucille) does a great job at stealing every scene. She tells the complex past of her character with the emotion in her eyes and her careful body movements. Tom Hiddleston and Mia Wasikowska are no different. The casting is impeccable and this film would certainly not be the same with different actors that did not have the ability to encapsulate del Toro’s script.

Overall, I did not expect to like this film enough to watch it for entirety because after all, it is two hours long. Because of the abundance of films available to watch online, I have become more specific with the ones I choose to watch. I have been getting in the habit of putting on films, getting disappointed, and turning them for something else. I usually give a movie fifteen minutes, or thirty if I am feeling patient, before I decide that it is not something I want to dedicate my time to. But with Crimson Peak, I was hooked all the way through. From the beginning scene to the very end. I even wanted it to continue on longer than it did, but I have to admit that the ending was the perfect seal to end the story.

Rating: 7.5 out of 10.

7.5/10

*Disclaimer: Making a movie is hard. Sometimes you have an idea and it is not interpreted how you intended it to be. All directors, producers, writers, and everyone on set should be proud at what they created and I do not want to diminish that. I just want to share my opinions so we can learn from movies and see what works and what didn’t.

I Love You, Man (2009)

I consider this film a romantic comedy. While Paul Rudd’s character, Peter, does get engaged to Rashida Jones’ character, Zooey, that is not the main love story of this movie. The main love story is between Peter and Sydney (Jason Segel). It’s a broship. A bromance. Like Ryan Reynolds and Jake Gyllenhaal, or Ryan Reynolds and Hugh Jackman, or Matt Damon and Ben Affleck.

Perfect for the Valentine’s Day season, this film is lighthearted and delivers exactly what you want it to. Paul Rudd never disappoints, and his chemistry with Jason Segel is fun to watch. Rudd plays Peter, a serial monogamist with no male friends. He focuses on one girl, gives her all his love and attention, and is not used to nurturing male friendships. But when his fiancé points this out to him and encourages him to explore friendships of his own, he goes on a journey of finding his own friends. First, he goes to his brother (Andy Samberg) for help, but that does not lead him anywhere good.

from Movieclips Classic Trailers on YouTube

Eventually, he finds Sydney (Jason Segel) and the sparks start to fly. Sydney brings out Peter’s fun side and encourages him to stand up for himself at work. Sydney even punches a huge, built guy because he thinks he is defending Peter and helping him in the long run. He is truly a good friend and cares about Peter’s best interest. After a few ups and downs, it’s clear that Peter and Sydney’s friendship is true and not just something that is surface level and going to disintegrate easily. After Sydney makes a risky business venture, their friendship is cemented forever.

Overall, this film is pretty good. It is not something extraordinary that takes the audience to a new realm or exciting perspective, but it is what I expected it to be. It is funny, goofy, and easy to watch. It’s a chill night film that delivers some laughs and it looks like the cast had fun making this movie. It’s a rom com with a twist. J.K. Simmons even plays Peter’s dad, Nick Kroll and Nelson Franklin (Robby from New Girl) even make an appearance. It was funny to think of Paul Rudd having Andy Samberg as his brother and J.K. Simmons as his father. That would be a family to remember. Imagine the summer barbecues and the Christmas party jokes.

Rating: 6.5 out of 10.

6.5/10

*Disclaimer: Making a movie is hard. Sometimes you have an idea and it is not interpreted how you intended it to be. All directors, producers, writers, and everyone on set should be proud at what they created and I do not want to diminish that. I just want to share my opinions so we can learn from movies and see what works and what didn’t.

Freaky (2020)

The comedy horror film that I didn’t know I needed. Staring Vince Vaughn (Butcher), Kathryn Newton (Millie), Celeste O’Connor (Nyla), Misha Osherovich (Josh), and Uriah Shelton (Booker) this movie surprised me in the best ways.

The concept of a teenage girl and a grown, 6-foot man switching bodies seems strange, but this movie makes it hilarious in the best ways. The jokes are about the right things in the right places and they do not take it too far. The goriness of the movie is extreme (for comedic effect), but that is to be expected from a horror movie. There will be blood, there will be chopped up body parts, there will be terror inducing images that make you want to look away but somehow you can’t.

from Universal Pictures from YouTube

While the story is somewhat predictable, I did not go into this movie thinking it would be nominated for an Oscar. It’s good for what it is. It’s funny, it’s scary and has suspense built in, but mostly it’s funny. It’s not groundbreaking, or something that has never been done before, but the movie is done well, has great actors, a good pace, and is just the right length without dragging on and on.

I think most people have thought about what it would be like to switch bodies with a person of a different height, gender, or with someone from a different time period. Thinking about how life would change just from switching bodies was always a conversation that came up in study hall during high school. This movie brought back those immature, but hilarious memories. I really like to imagine that the writers had a fun time writing this script.

Overall, horror movies are not my thing, but I think that is why I enjoyed this film. While Vince Vaughn’s character, the Butcher, was creepy and gave me chills, the film is mostly comedy. The gory kills are shocking, but the rest of the film is humorous and has some heart sprinkled into it. I also have to say that I enjoyed watching Vince act like he was a teenage girl. From a viewers perspective, it was funny knowing that the younger actors had to act with Vince like he was their age, when he clearly is not (Sorry, Vince). That adds another undertone of comedy to the film. I wonder what set life was like and if Vince assimilated well with his younger costars. I bet he did because the friendships on screen look pretty real. All of them.

Rating: 7 out of 10.

7/10

*Disclaimer: Making a movie is hard. Sometimes you have an idea and it is not interpreted how you intended it to be. All directors, producers, writers, and everyone on set should be proud at what they created and I do not want to diminish that. I just want to share my opinions so we can learn from movies and see what works and what didn’t.

Class Action Park (2020)

As someone who has been to Action Park, now known as Mountain Creek, I thought I should take some time to watch this documentary. I have heard stories from my parents about how different the park used to be, but I did not know a lot about its overall history. While I did not go to the park before the early 2000s, I have been there enough to know that some parts of the park still have not changed. And I do not mean that as a complement.

If you are not familiar with Action Park, it was an amusement park that was known for not being safe or family friendly per say. Many people got injured at the park and some even died. It was not well regulated and was a safe haven for dare devils. The “rides” were not even designed by engineers. Jimmy Kimmel once said that every person in his family got injured at the park. I do not think that was an exaggeration. I think that sums it up: an amusement park designed by people who were not qualified.

from HBO on YouTube

It was interesting to watch this documentary and learn how up-and-coming Vernon, New Jersey once was. I always thought of it as a quiet, peaceful nature town and never as a competitor to Orlando, Florida or Atlantic City, New Jersey. It’s crazy how much it has changed over the years and how much I did not know about this town that I have been to so many times.

Overall, as someone who has endured a concussion and has been dealing with the repercussions for more than 6 years, I am not a fan of Action Park and its history. After watching the documentary, I do not see myself going to Mountain Creek again. I know that Action Park was alive during a different time, but it was never right to have a park with attractions that were known not to be safe. Going on a ride that was not designed by an engineer, but a random guy that had no idea how safe it would be? No thanks. But the crazy part is that the people going to the park likely knew all of this and they still wanted to go for the thrill of it.

Even Donald Trump thought that the park was too “unhinged” when he visited it. After his visit, he decided that it was not the right fit to invest in.

I can acknowledge that if I was alive when Action Park was at its peak, I might have a very different perspective. I appreciate how honest this documentary was but when some of the people spoke, I felt so nervous and anxious about the stories they were telling. It was hard to listen to. A park run by teenagers. Oh god. I think this film told a story that definitely needed to be told.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

7/10

*Disclaimer: Making a movie/tv show is hard. Sometimes you have an idea and it is not interpreted how you intended it to be. All directors, producers, writers, and everyone on set should be proud at what they created and I do not want to diminish that. I just want to share my opinions so we can learn from movies and see what works and what didn’t.

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