Hello, everyone! Sorry for the month long delay between posts. If you couldn’t guess, it’s because my spring semester has been as chaotic as Donald Trump’s presidency and I’ve only just found my footing. Last Friday I saw Rings, the third installment in the American adaptation of the Japanese Ringu. A completely mediocre movie through and through, Rings adds nothing to the franchise but derivative storytelling, lousy acting, and a serving of warmed-over creepiness. By updating the premise for the digital age, the film draws attention to its own fading relevance.
A continuing segment in which Lily, intrepid blogger, goes head to head with the most dastardly of foes: Rotten Tomatoes. Group-think be damned! In this segment, we look at the panned Morten Tyldum movie Passengers starring Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt. Who will win? Hint: it’s Lily.
Rotten Tomatoes Consensus: Passengers proves Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence work well together — and that even their chemistry isn’t enough to overcome a fatally flawed story.
Hello, everyone! A few days ago I watched The Dressmaker, which is a perfect example of a movie ruined by a single scene. Apart from that single scene, the movie is eccentric and unwieldy, but still a jaunty story to follow. A story of fashion and fiery revenge, Jocelyn Moorhouse’s film is beautiful, but marred by mistakes.
Hello, everyone! Today the somber task falls upon me to write a review about a movie that I wanted to love, but couldn’t. That movie is La La Land, a musical drama that is neither wholly musical nor wholly drama. Damien Chazelle’s sophomore feature is not a bad movie in any way, but it doesn’t have the passion or originality of its predecessor Whiplash. Its homages to iconic musicals like Singin’ in the Rain and The Umbrellas of Cherbourg show the film’s adoration for the magic of Old Hollywood, but they also prove that loving references can show how a movie like La La Land pales in comparison to the fantastic originals. The film is beautiful, fun, and witty, with powerful performances from both leads, but unlike other musical classics, it doesn’t transcend.
Hello, everyone! Let me start this post by saying I have a bone to pick with critics. Why can’t everyone like what I like? But seriously, sometimes I watch a movie, mostly in the horror genre, and I’m bewildered by the critical reviews. They watch It Follows and say it’s one of the best horror movies of the decade, I say it’s a pretty yawnfest. They watch The Visit and praise the film for its “satisfying blend of thrills and laughs” (Rotten Tomatoes) and I collapse to the ground, decrying a world that deems a lukewarm found footage movie with a stupid twist to be acceptable, or even worse, scary. What confuses me the most, however, is the reaction from critics to a movie like Don’t Breathe. How can a group who can find the sudden appearance of a tall man terrifying somehow stomach a movie as disturbing and morally ambiguous as this one? Spoilers Ahead (you’ve been warned!)
Hello, everyone! For my 100th blog post, I’m reviewing Revolutionary Road, a phenomenal book and a keystone in the suburban disillusionment genre, which includes icons like American Beauty and Mad Men. Chances are, if you’ve viewed either of these works, the fundamental themes and character beats in Richard Yate’s Revolutionary Road won’t be, well, revolutionary, but their timeliness and sincerity is what makes the novel a must-read. Looking back on the Fifties from our lofty pedestals, it’s clear to see the stifling role that traditional society played in the lives of young Americans, but writing this novel in the wave of traditionalism, Yates’ novel was an urgent voice against the dangers of complacency.
Hello, everyone! I want to start by apologizing for the massive screw up with gifs on my blog over the past 2 weeks. I didn’t realize that if I deleted gifs from my media library, they would also be deleted from the posts. That seems like something that shouldn’t need to happen, but anyway, PSA: do not delete images from your media library! Don’t do it! It took me five hours to fix everything. Again, I repeat, don’t do it! This has been a PSA.
Hello, everyone! Today I finally get around to writing a review about I Am The Pretty Thing That Lives in the House, a movie that is more or less a painting stretched out into 87 tedious minutes. With a title that unique and descriptive, I was expecting something a bit more interesting than the minimalist set of tableaux that director Oz Perkins believes makes a movie. Yes, Oz Perkins, as in the son of Anthony Perkins, the iconic actor who played Norman Bates in Psycho. The only thing that IATPTTLITH (even the acronym is too long!) has in common with the genius of Psycho is that they are both technically horror movies. I guess in this day and age with an orange buffoon as president-elect, anything can be anything.
Hello, everyone! This is a blog meant to be entertaining and fluffy, but unfortunately, in these dark times, it’s impossible to be apolitical. So before I write a post about I Am The Pretty Thing That Lives In The House, I want to take a brief moment to talk about the results of the election.
Whatever you may think of Donald Trump, the fact is that he is going to president. He won more electoral college votes than Hillary, which I guess means that the majority of American technically wanted this. This is my first election I’ve ever voted in and it honestly makes me never want to vote again. My friends and I spent the night alternately crying, shouting, pacing, and staring at disbelief at CNN. When I woke up, and saw that Obama had formally congratulated Trump on his “victory,” I started to cry again. My feelings were echoed by my teachers and almost every student in my classes. Red eyes and long silences abounded.
I don’t understand why a country like ours has repudiated its values in such an extreme manner. We’re so smug, so superior with our knight in shining armor American philosophy, yet our actions show that it’s nothing more than a facade. We claim to be progressive, a country of immigrants, of inclusion, of liberty and choice. We claim to value equality. Yet last night, 49 percent of the American electorate voted for a man who gleefully rejects all of those values. We rejected a supposedly “crooked” politician for a man who is literally embroiled in civil and criminal lawsuits. And in doing so, we showed the world that America may say that it cares about the rights of minorities, the dignity of women, and freedom of religion, but those words are worthless. As a women, I’m ashamed, but I’m also immensely hurt. I see how half the country views me. I, and every women like me, am nothing more than an object to be groped, to be shamed, to be insulted, and eventually, to be thrown away. The fact that 42 percent of American women, 42 PERCENT, voted for a man who views them as trash, is incomprehensible. It makes me sick.
I know that there are many people in America who voted for Trump because they were in pain, and he was the only one who was “listening.” I understand that, I empathize, and it’s clear that the result of this election shows a systemic problem in the way that political parties reach out to the impoverished and disillusioned white men in our country. But may I just say that for those other Trump supporters, the ones who voted merely because they would rather have Trump in the White House than Hillary, you should be ashamed. You may not agree with Trump’s beliefs, but you condone them nonetheless. If anything, that’s worse.
I guess the worst part of it is the embarrassment. I’m embarrassed for Clinton, who had to concede in a humiliating fashion to a man who didn’t deserve to be on the same stage as her, let alone beat her in the presidential election. I’m embarrassed for Obama, who had to congratulate Trump, even though everything Obama has said thus far in the campaign has displayed his belief in the former’s idiocy. I’m embarrassed for Romney, for Bush, for every Republican who justly opposed him and now has to reconcile. Most of all, I’m embarrassed for other countries and the fact that they have to embrace a president like Trump for the sake of alliances.
As a young voter, I wasn’t expecting a miracle in this election. I know that our country is deeply divided and that no democracy is perfect. I guess by expecting our country to elect a just, honest, ethical, inclusive president, I revealed my naivete. So I’ll be naive a little longer and hope, against all evidence, that everything will be okay.
Hello, everyone! It’s been almost a month since I’ve posted on this blog, but do not despair, for I’ve returned. Today I watched a uniquely chilly film called We Are What We Are, directed by Jim Mickle, who also directed Cold in July and Stakeland. We Are What We Are is a family psychological drama with horror elements that has the aesthetics of a refined backwoods western and the suspense of a thrilling mystery. A movie influenced by too many genres can turn out muddled, but Mickle’s clear, cold direction keeps the film focused and compelling from start to finish.