The world has been rocked by the coronavirus pandemic, yet some people still refuse to wear masks because ‘they are uncomfortable’ or ‘they look weird’ or they ‘don’t match my outfit’. Today, MTV is allowing you and everyone you know to view their film, 76 Days, for free and they will even donate $5 per viewing to a local theater of your choice. You can check that outhere.
The film is a documentary on Wuhan as they battled the pandemic. I am sending this documentary to everyone I know who does not feel the need to wear a mask and anyone who thinks that the coronavirus is nothing more than the common cold. This film proves them wrong. Very wrong. Very quickly. Very efficiently. This film shows an intimate look at how the virus affects the sick and the hospital staff.
It can be easy to think that the virus is not bad if you have not seen its effects on people, but this film makes it very clear that this virus is not something to ignore, it needs to be taken seriously. Yes, everyone is so tired of wearing a mask, taking precautions, my family even wipes off every food item when we get back from the store, but the pandemic is not over just because we have grown tired.
It is important to still take precautions and try to be as safe as possible to protect ourselves and everyone we come in contact with. If you have lost someone to the virus, or for any other reason, I am thinking about you. It is hard not being able to see the people we love, but this will end eventually and we will appreciate each moment with loved ones even more. Keep going. Keep fighting. This will end soon. Don’t give up.
Once again, click hereif you want to watch 76 Daysfor free. Please keep in mind that this is for today only. The film is very emotional and some parts are graphic, so keep that in mind when you decide to watch it. In my opinion, it is not suitable for younger kids.
Wow, I have not wrote a movie review in what feels like a long time. In reality, it has been around 2 months. During those absent months, I have been working on promoting my poem book and working as a screenwriter on several films. I have also been watching a lot of T.V. shows and movies because this world is so crazy and I have been staying home as much as possible to help stop the spread of COVID.
My next semester of school starts soon, but I plan on reviewing some of the films and shows I have watched. Among those movies is Tenet. Get ready for my very honest review. As a reminder, if you want a review with fancy words, this is not for you. I hate reading reviews that are very technical, I think they take the fun out of the work of art that is a film. Sooo, let’s get into it before I am another year older.
Tenet was hyped up.
Tenet was one of the first movies to appear in the theaters once they started to reopen after being closed due to COVID. Although my local theaters did eventually open, I did not see this movie in the theater, I waited for the DVD. I wanted to see this movie so bad that one of my goals for 2020 was to watch this movie. Yes, I am serious. Christopher Nolan makes great films and they are usually well thought out, so I wanted to see this movie as soon as I could. Also, the trailers for this film did not give away too much, so much of the plot remained a mystery.
Should I watch it?
I read movie reviews when I am trying to decide if I should buy a film or not, so let me be very blunt. I do not think that you need to watch this film. It wasn’t great. It left me unfulfilled and wishing that I did not buy the DVD. I could have waited until it eventually is available for free on some type of streaming network. I do not feel that this movie brought me anything. It did not make me emotional. It did not surprise me in a good way. It did not intrigue me. This movie fell flat on it’s face and broke it’s nose. (Sorry, Nolan. I still love your other films.)
What is it even about?
The film focuses around time: the past, present, and the future, and what that means in the world of the characters: protagonists, antagonists, inverted people, are some concepts that are hard to grasp because they are never really explained in depth. If you get confused easily, this movie is not for you. I am someone who catches on small clues and is a very avid and involved movie watcher, and this film was still very confusing for me. And I was trying very hard to understand. I wanted to like this film so bad.
If you have watched some of Nolan’s other films, like Interstellar (2014) and Inception (2010), you know that he is famous for making movies that deal with time and make you think profoundly about reality. But I do not think that this film was successful in its attempt to do that.
In my opinion, a film should be like a suitcase. Everything needed to understand the film should be in the film (suitcase) somewhere. A director should not be able to say, “Oh yeah, I made that character eat a banana because he is low in potassium and therefore my audience should know that just because I showed him eating a banana this one time.” Ok, maybe that is not a good example, but what I am trying to say is that part of the job of being the director is to carefully place clues throughout the film so the audience can figure out the plot without the writer explaining what happened after the film is over.
One example of a film that does this is, Enemy (2013). The film is not truly about anything. It is about a lot of different pieces that are not molded cohesively together in the end. Yet the person behind this film explains how profound the film is and how much is going on in it. However, none of this is explained in the film, so I think that is just a cop out. For instance, I could draw a draw a red circle and say that it symbolizes my love for Robert Pattinson, but in reality it is just a red circle and it means nothing. In other words, anything could be made to sound like a masterpiece if you dive in deep enough, but the best films are the ones that lay out the clues and let the audience put them together, and do not require 30 minutes of explaining after the film is over.
Rating: 4 out of 10.
It physically hurts me to rate this movie so low, but I have to be honest. I did not like this film and I am not sure if I will ever watch it again. Maybe. Maybe I will get over how hard Nolan made it to understand his movie. He is usually a great director, so I think he could have done better and made this film more engaging and enjoyable to watch. I kept waiting for the movie to get better, but it didn’t. I kept waiting for the underlying message to be revealed, but by the time it was revealed it was already near the end of the film. The ‘why’ of the movie is not revealed soon enough. The backbone is invisible. I wanted more!
What did you think about this movie? Did you enjoy it? Did you want it at the movie theaters? Did you buy it on DVD? Were you so confused that you came to read my review just to make sure that you were not the only one who had no idea what was going on? Well, you are not the only one. I can confirm that, my friend.
Before watching this film, I watched an interview where Robert Pattinson said that he had no idea what the movie was about even while he was filming it. I thought that he was just trying to be funny, but now I understand that he was serious. He was very serious.
When a protagonist in a twilight world (whatever that means, because it was never truly explained) is tasked with saving the world by his future self, will he be able to survive inverted reality, or will he destroy it all? Dun dun dun….
Wow, that was a mouthful. I am glad I got all of that off of my chest. I feel better now. Sorry, Nolan.
A few days ago, I published my first book and it is available on Amazon worldwide! I know that my posts are usually centered around movies, but this book is very similar to movies in many ways. First, there are doodles inside that correspond to the poems. Second, the poems chronicle my journey with a concussion and how it took me over 5 years to recover. Third, this book took over 4 years to make, which is similar to how long many movies take from idea to completion.
Today I will talk about my experience with my concussion, it was lonely and educational in so many ways. I would appreciate it so much if you check out the book here, or visit the book’s Instagram here, or share the book’s link on your social media to help spread the word. Thank you so much for supporting me, it means more than you will ever know.
What is a concussion?
There are so many fancy definitions, but a concussion is a type of head injury. There are varying degrees of concussions and some are more severe than others, but so much is still unknown about the length of recovery required. Different people are affected with different concussion symptoms and it is not uncommon for a person to take years to recover. Sometimes people never make a full recovery. This is a very serious injury that needs to be treated with respect.
I have been to countless doctors and none of them helped me. Yes, you read that right. No doctor significantly helped me during my concussion journey. So little is still known about concussions and I saw that firsthand. I can confidently say that I know more about how a concussion affects the body than any doctor that I have come in contact with.
A concussion not only affects your brain, but your social life, your eating habits, your ability to go to school and leave the house. A concussion has the ability to effect every single aspect of a person’s life. I wish doctors knew more about concussions, so they could have helped me and other concussion warriors recover faster. And if you are reading this and have suffered a concussion yourself, or know someone who has, I am apart of a Facebook Group that shares their concussion journeys. I would highly recommend finding a support group if you feel like you need to find people who you can relate with (because I know that it is extremely hard to go through this alone).
Why did you write a book?
Well, I did not go into this thinking that I was going to write a book. While I was healing from my concussion, I began to write because I was having a hard time expressing my emotions verbally. I did not think that anyone would ever read my writing but me. I had no intention of creating a book. But once I recovered more, I realized that I had so many poems that I had to find something to do with them.
I decided to try to compile a book and eventually that journey led me here: finally publishing the book and sharing it with all of you. I know that many of you are subscribed to this blog for the movie reviews and indie filmmaker interviews, but I think that it is also cool for you to know a little more about me and what led me to this career path. (FYI: There are quite a few poems about films.)
Where can I find the book?
The book follows my journey through the worst days, to the best days. From the horrible pain, to finding a passion in film and allowing it to help me get back into the world.
The book is available online on Amazonhere. It is available worldwide and has free Prime shipping in most places! I am so happy to finally share this book with you and I thank you so much for supporting me on this journey. If you share the book on your Facebook or Instagram, that would mean so much to me and would help me so much. I want to help raise awareness for concussions and how they can indefinitely effect a person’s life. My concussion prevented me from going to high school junior and senior year, made me miss prom and graduation, and led me to loose many friends because I was left behind. I hope this book raises awareness and I thank you so much for taking the time to learn more about concussions.
*Some links in this post may be affiliate, which means that I make a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting my creative work! The support never goes unnoticed.
I have been working on so many exciting projects! I have a poem book coming out very soon and have been working hard on my YouTube channel. I found my love for editing videos again and have been spending any free time I have editing and filming videos. Slowly but surely, I am getting better and I definitely see an improvement in my editing. In case you need some creative ideas or motivation, here are some of my recent videos. All of the time I spent at home this year has started to weigh on me, but I am lucky to have a hobby and passion that allows me to express myself and meet others with the same interests. Thanks for being here.
1. Film Festival Internship
I had the opportunity to interview for a competitive internship position at a film festival and I ended up getting it. I went to work one day, went to the internship party, and then the internship was paused because of the pandemic. I was not sure if I would be able to do the internship, but I ended up being lucky and was able to still participate from the comfort of my home. It was a great experience and I learned a lot.
2. Reacting to Robert Pattinson as Batman
PATTINSON IS MY MAN! He is weird and I like that. He is awkward and I like that. His acting abilities are endless and I am so excited to see what he does with the character of Batman. He is insanely talented, modest, and just a funny guy. I personally would love to see this man in a comedy ASAP. If you are not familiar with Mr. Pattinson, I would suggest watching: Good Time (2017), Lighthouse (2019), Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005), Water for Elephants (2011), Remember Me (2010), The King (2019), and Cosmopolis (2012). After you watch those films, you should see how versatile he is as an actor. Additionally, if you watch some of his interviews, you will quickly see how likable and relatable he is for any fellow sensitive introverts like myself.
3. Halloween/Spooky Movies
I don’t normally gravitate towards scary movies, but when I do, I have some favorites. I have some childhood favorites that are great for children and I also have some creepy favorites that would have scarred me if I watched them when I was a child. Are my top spooky picks great choices? Or should I find some new favorites to add to my scary movies rotation? Let me know in the comments of the video so I can add your favorites to my list for the next spooky season.
4. Witches Movie Trailer Reaction
I saw an ad for this movie and it intrigued me. I have been a fan of Anne Hathaway’s since Princess Diaries, so I wanted to check out this new movie of her’s. Was I disappointed? Or do I want to watch it on HBO? I have been reacting to trailers of new, highly anticipated movies and it has been pretty fun. I also find the videos fun to edit. What trailer should I react to next?
5. How to Reverse Tie Dye
Need a fun activity to do while stuck at home? I was really happy with the result of this DIY even though it was my first time using bleach on a shirt. I have been tie-dying shirts, socks, and pants for as long as I can remember and it was fun to add in an extra step to add something special to an all black shirt of mine. If you try this out, send me a photo of your final result! I love a good DIY. LaurDIY who? (jk I love her and her dog Moosie)
If you have a video recommendation that you want to see me do in the future, leave it in the comments in one of my videos! I always read my comments and I respond 90% of the time. I am having so much fun doing YouTube and I plan on continuing to upload as much as possible. Currently I upload multiple times a week and make a variety of content, so there is probably something that you will enjoy!
In the future, I plan on uploading at least once a week, but until then, I will continue to make as much content as I can. I would appreciate it so much if you take the time to watch any of my videos, like them, or subscribe. That truly means the world to me. Hope you have a fantastic day and rest of the week!
Starring Aubrey Plaza, Christopher Abbott, Sarah Gadon, Alexander Koch and written and directed by Lawrence Michael Levine, Black Bear (2020) had its world premiere at Sundance Film Festival back in January 2020. This brilliant piece of work is set to be released to the general public on December 4, 2020, but that date could change because of the extenuating circumstances of the current world. Today, let’s get into the incredible story woven into this film and why you should watch it if you get the chance.
Let’s get into the story.
When a young, artistic couple invite a filmmaker friend to their isolated lake house, they engage in a complicated series of mind games that challenge their relationships and creativity, and call into question the barriers they have constructed between their art and their lives. Lawrence Michael Levine’s Black Bear is a thriller, a comedy, and a meta-commentary on filmmaking and desire. Levine’s film is a swirling showcase for his actors, who fully inhabit their characters in surprising ways, constantly shifting the ground beneath the viewer’s feet. (Montclair Film)
This film took me on a rollercoaster of emotions. In the beginning, I felt that I could easily relate to Allison (Aubrey Plaza) because I am also a creative that can feel lost. But by the end of the film, Allison is someone completely different. As a viewer you question: What is real? What is a lie? What should I believe and who should I trust?
The many long shots make the story seem even more realistic, almost as if you are watching a real conversation between three people and you are just the outsider looking in. The dialogue is well-thought out and profoundly interesting. The music dramatically adds to the tone of a scene and can make an interaction lean towards being more suspenseful or comedic.
My opinions on Blair (Sarah Gadon) and Gabe (Christopher Abbott) shifted dramatically through the film. In the first half of the movie, Blair annoyed me, but then I started to become more empathetic towards her. As for Gabe, I understood his feelings, but that does not mean that they justify his actions.
However, the second half of this film throws all of those judgements to the corner and made me have an underlying dislike for Blair and Gabe. Near the ending, I thought that Gabe redeemed himself, but I was proven wrong. Without giving away spoilers, character traits change drastically throughout this film and it is interesting how you can empathize for a character in one scene and despise the character the next. That being said, these extreme emotions can only be felt with incredible acting and writing. Everyone working on this film did such a great job.
One comment that I do have to make is about a scene toward the end of the film. There are a few cuts in the edit that took me out of the story. I am not sure if they were done purposefully to make the audience feel what the characters were feeling, or if they were done to comment on the intersection of film and real life, but they could also be a glitch in the editing.
Once again, well done to all the actors for making me believe in their completely different characters, the underlying manipulation, the genre-defying suspense, the repeating scenes of reality, and the dialogue that seemed so real and improvised that I cried because I felt so deeply for the characters. I also really like the title of the film. When I choose titles for my films, I like to choose words that draw attention to the overall meaning of the work and I think that is what “Black Bear” does for this film. The words “Black Bear” point the viewer in the right direction when they start to ponder the meaning of the film, and I really enjoy that aspect.
When art mimics life, where is the line drawn between the two?
I have not watched a film that was this great in a long time. If I was in film school, I could easily write an essay about this film and still have more I would want to talk about. The acting and direction is great. The story kept me interested and kept me guessing at what would happen next. The reason I gave this film a 9 and not a 10 is the ending and the somewhat slow beginning, but both can be expected for more indie film like this one.
Although I found the ending creative and open-ended, it left me wanting more. Maybe that is a good thing and compliments the director, actors, and everyone involved, but I felt like I needed some type of closure. Many indie films have open-ended endings like this one and I guess that I just need to learn to live with not having the answers to all of my questions. Maybe I should have given this film a 10/10, or a 9.5/10. Watch the film and let me know what you think!
Check out Black Bear:
Read more about the movie on IMDb or keep an eye out for when it is available for viewing online. Currently this movie is available to view online (for NJ and NY only) through Montclair Film Festival, but that is just for a limited time until October 25, 2020. If you watch the film through Montclair Film, there is also a Q&A after the movie with the director and writer Lawrence Michael Levine and the star Aubrey Plaza.
*Also, thanks to Montclair Film for allowing me to use their brilliant summary of this film. They are great at briefly describing a film without giving away important spoilers.
During this questionable time, I have found comfort in watching classic films that bring me back to happier times. The last time I watched What a Girl Wants (2003), I was probably in 2nd grade. So, I decided it was time that I watch it again. I just barely remembered the plot. But after rewatching the movie, I instantly remembered all of the music, characters, and the funny jokes. I definitely do not regret giving this movie a watch. It is available on Netflix as of right now!
Let’s talk about it.
First, I need to start off by talking about Colin Firth. One word. Wow. Now onto the story. Daphne (Amanda Bynes) is a normal American teenager. She lives with her mom in New York, but always dreamt of meeting her father. One day, she decides to buy a plane ticket to go and visit him. Things do not go as planned, there are ups and downs, but in the end Daphne is left fulfilled and whole.
Part of the reason I like this story so much is because I always dreamt of traveling. Going to London and exploring sounded incredible when I watched this as a child. Daphne is fearless and fun, and part of me wanted to be like her. I like the message behind this film that encourages the audience to be themselves, regardless of what others think. The story emphasizes that giving up part of yourself to be with someone else is not worth it. I think that is a good lesson to learn.
Although this film is not on the caliber of a James Cameron movie, there is a lot of heart intertwined with the story. Watching this as an adult, I see some of the sweet moments that I missed as a child. I know the significance of being with the people you love and getting to know them on a deep level. Thus, I think this film aged well. The themes are still relevant, the story is still light-hearted and moving, and Colin Firth aged like fine wine. The story focuses on the amazing reunion of a father and daughter, and how their family is forever changed.
When a high school graduate yearns to meet her father, she does whatever she needs to do to make that happen, even if that includes boarding a flight to London and disobeying her mother’s wishes.
Rating: 8 out of 10.
I rated this film so high because I rated it from my perspective as a child. When I watched this for the first time in childhood, I loved it. Thus, I thought it was only fair to rate it from my childhood mind. You cannot compare this film to a Chris Nolan film, you can only compare this film to stories that you find so nostalgic and memorable that you cannot think about them objectively because they are so entangled in your memories. This is one of those movies.
I like getting sentimental and nostalgic. I am that friend that always brings up stories from 10 years ago and recites them like they happened yesterday. What can I say? I value my memories dearly.
What is your favorite film from your childhood? I would love to watch it and potentially review it. 90’s and 00’s films are far different than the films that are made today. Now, there are more special effects, but less heart. Which is saddening.
Thanks for reading,
P.S. You can get the DVD here if you do not have Netflix. (This is an affiliate link. Thanks for supporting my channel at no extra cost to you.)
This year I am an intern at the Montclair Film Festival. The festival was originally scheduled to take place in May, but was postponed until October because of the pandemic. The festival has a selection of online screenings and drive-in cinema experiences. There are panels, Q&A’s, and special guests. Today I want to share with you some of the films/panels I am most excited for. Let’s begin!
A documentary film with a pre-recorded Q&A that is available for online viewing from Saturday, October 17 to Sunday, October 25.
Hannah Rosenzweig and Wendy Sachs are the directors and producers of this documentary about the record number of first-time female candidates who ran, won and upended politics in the historic 2018 midterm elections. Following three candidates in Texas, Indiana and Illinois who each were looking to flip their red district to blue (including Lauren Underwood, the youngest black woman to ever be elected to Congress), Surge explores the dynamic campaigns of this new generation of politician, driven to service and representation as a way of counteracting the historical underrepresentation of women in the American political landscape, while inspiring hope for enduring change.
A documentary on Greta Thunberg available for virtual screenings in CT, NY, and NJ only from Friday, October 23 to Sunday, October 25, including a Q&A with the producer, Cecilia Nessen.
In August 2018, Greta Thunberg began a “school strike for climate,” sitting in front of the Swedish Parliament in Stockholm to draw attention to her concern about the government’s inaction on the urgent issue of climate change. I AM GRETA follows her story from its origins, creating a powerful portrait of a committed thinker and advocate whose decision to speak up in the face of indifference continues to shape our world.
This panel is part of the Storyteller Series and is presented in partnership with Audible. It’s available for virtual screening from Saturday, October 17 to Sunday, October 25.
2020 has been a watershed moment in the documentary filmmaking community, as organizations like Brown Girls Doc Mafia build community, develop resources and networks, and engage in an organized effort to create opportunities and representation for women of color in all areas of non-fiction filmmaking. The panel of women in non-fiction film explore the impact of their work on the field of documentary films, the challenges ahead, and the solutions and resources being developed that are creating systemic change in the documentary film community.
These 2 documentaries on the environmental concerns of Greenland and Japan are available from Saturday, October 17 to Sunday, October 25. There is a pre-recorded Q&A with director Dan McDougall (Open Water) and Otto Bell (The Toxic Pigs of Fukushima).
Open Water (2019) – 14 minutes (In English and Greenlandic with English subtitles)
A glimpse into the lives of three Greenlanders: a hunter, a ship’s captain and a fisherman, individuals whose very existence and heritage is intertwined with the Arctic Ocean.
The Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011 triggered a tsunami, nuclear meltdown and mass evacuations in Fukushima Prefecture. Today, as part of a Government push to encourage resettlement, local hunters have been enlisted to dispose of radiated Wild Boars that roam the abandoned streets and buildings.
Presented in partnership with Audible and part of the Storyteller Series, this conversation is available from Saturday, October 17 to Sunday, October 25.
One of the best comedies of the year, PALM SPRINGS was the breakout hit of the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Join star and producer, Andy Samberg, star Cristin Milioti, Director Max Barbakow, and writer Andy Siara as they discuss the creative process behind their hilarious mindbender of a film, and their experience with bringing the movie into the world in a year unlike any other.
Thank you for reading. Be sure to check outMontclair Film Festival‘s website if you are looking for some fun, new films to watch while you are at home. I find it so exciting to learn about new creatives and watch their work. Let me know if you check out any of these films! You can check out the festival on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter.
P.S. Shoutout Montclair Film Festival for all the information about the films that is provided in this post. They are great at writing concise, interesting summaries of a film, panel, or Q&A. Also, some of these films/panels have geographical limitations, you can learn more on the Montclair Film Festival website here.
I usually review feature films, but I thought that this short by Taika Waititi was worthy of its own post. Waititi is currently one of the most acclaimed directors and writers in Hollywood. He won an Oscar last year for his Best Adapted Screenplay for Jojo Rabbit (2019). He is well-known for his joyous and humorous tone, and his not-so-subtle accent. His films are full of heart and humor, and this short titled, Two Cars, One Night, is no different. Let’s dive in a bit and see what makes Waititi so special.
When two boys are left in a car one night, they rely on humor to occupy them while they wait for their parents to return. The two boys have contrasting personalities, one is a “book worm,” while the other is a “talker”. The outspoken boy is drawn to a girl in a nearby car. They share insults, expressive reactions, and mirrored behavior. In juxtaposition to the kids, flashes of nearby life are shown sped up to acknowledge the surroundings of the children.
Although this film is short, it provides an interesting glimpse into the lives of kids and exposes the lengths at which they will go to gain each other’s attention. While a typical movie-watcher could watch this short film and find it mediocre, I argue that anyone who appreciates movies will find this short intriguing and special.
Follow the tumultuous journey in two cars in one night. No pun intended. The New Zealand accents add even more humor to this story. The pop culture references of “Romeo and Juliet” and “Johnny Depp” make it relatable and add perspective. My favorite line is, “Shut up man, I’m reading.” Well said. Well said. Just watch this short, there is no way to describe it, it’s just something that needs to be watched to understand its full potential.
When children are left in the car one night, an unlikely friendship forms through humor and impatience.
Rating: 9 out of 10.
I have seen quite a lot of short films. I was on the reviewing committee for several film festivals. I have seen some great films and some shallow ones. This film has a perfect balance of humor and heart, the brilliant combination that Waititi is best known for. I also found this short compelling and thought-provoking. For those reasons, I think this short deserves 9 stars. The kids are the stars of this film and I am a fan of that. The directing is also incredible, so keep an eye out for that!
As you can see, Waititi’s first film was not Thor Ragnarok (2017). Some of this other films are Boy (2010) and Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016). Although these films are not as well-known as Thor or Jojo Rabbit (2019), they are worth a watch. I could talk about his films for days and why they are so brilliant, but I will leave the mystery up to you. Go watch them for yourself and you will see why I adore Waititi’s films so much.