I was in definite need of a pick-me-up after these last couple of weeks. As someone that struggles with seasonal depression, the constant buildup of snow and ice combined with intense negative temperatures really started to bring me down. It’s difficult to want to do anything when you’re stuck in weather like that, so I found myself curling up and perusing through streaming services. There’s always a wide array of things to choose from, but when I’m feeling down I always find myself re-watching personal favorites that I can rely on. One movie in particular that I ADORE and always manages to lift my spirits is Kay Cannon’s Blockers, which you can watch right now on HBO! It warmed my heart right up when it was -50 degrees outside, and I’m SURE it’ll have the same effect on you.Read more
Nicole Kidman has been, and always will be, one of my favorite actors. She’s constantly testing her limits and defying audience expectations by showing just how far she’s willing to go when it comes to a role. In Destroyer, she plays a reckless, angry, alcoholic detective with a callous attitude alike to that of a male in a similar role – which is what makes this film stand out. In an interview with The Verge, director Karyn Kusama stated, “to me, the story came alive not because she’s a woman in a man’s role, but because she’s a woman in a very unusual woman’s role. It excites me that she gets under people’s skin, that she rankles people, because we need that.” I couldn’t agree more.Read more
I thought about a lot of things while watching The Kindergarten Teacher. One being; “wow… I can't believe I actually feel sympathy towards this woman,” and the second being; “how in the WORLD has Maggie Gyllenhaal never won an Oscar?” The latter is something I could rattle on for hours about in regards to both of the Gyllenhaal siblings (IT’S CRIMINAL, RIGHT?), but I’ll save that rant for another day.Read more
Barry Jenkins is a filmmaker with a compassionate eye. He doesn’t just tell a story, he immerses you with the utmost care into a delicate tale that requires love and patience from its audience. You feel every emotion that befalls the characters as the camera occasionally, and with grace, focuses on their face and takes a brief moment to allow the viewer to put themselves in their shoes. It's a powerful moment of intimacy that’s guaranteed to leave an impression. You fall in love with the poetic atmosphere, the music, the characters… it's a beautiful experience. His previous Oscar-winning movie Moonlight was a true testament to the tones that he values in his narratives and his third feature-length film, If Beale Street Could Talk, is a follow-up that sweeps you off your feet while simultaneously breaking your heart in an eloquent adaptation of James Baldwin’s acclaimed novel.Read more
The year is 2011, a young 15-year-old Hannah has just entered into a pop-punk phase filled with over-the-top side-swept bangs, bright pink hair dye, bracelets up to her elbows, and a stick-it-to-the-man attitude. Hot Topic was the go-to shopping spot and Warped Tour became a frequent Summer festivity. Looking back on my younger self, you’d think I’d be embarrassed – on the contrary, I loved that phase. It was the first time that I had used artistic mediums to cope with my anxieties and depression – two things that became all-too-familiar at that age. Movies had always held a very special place in my heart, and obviously still do, but this was a time when music took a more prominent seat in my life. Back in the day, I used to sing with a program called School of Rock (yes, JUST like the movie), that took place after school a few times a week. I had always loved to sing but hated being in the choir, so this place was just what I needed to let out all of that teenage angst. It was the perfect opportunity for me to sing the classic rock songs, and even the current pop-punk jams, that I adored and would later perform with an insanely talented group of people in various dive bars around the Twin Cities. It was my safe haven to explore my personality, embrace my weird quirks, and be around people who shared similar interests.Read more
It's officially a new year, and with that comes new ventures. One thing I had on my 2019 to-do list was to spend time adding additional content on here to give readers more to explore. So welcome to a brand new year, dear reader, there’s plenty of great projects coming your way! Some of which now include a little something that I’ve always wanted to do – participate in Women in Film’s #52FilmsByWomen campaign. The pledge, which you can access here, encourages people to watch a film a week made by a woman for one year. I’ve signed it, and I’m more than ready to tackle it. Supporting women in film is very close to my heart, and I can’t wait to embark on this exciting journey through the female gaze.Read more
“That person who helps others simply because it should or must be done, and because it is the right thing to do, is indeed without a doubt, a real superhero.” This quote, featured at the end of this film from the late, great Stan Lee, perfectly encompasses the beautiful message within Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse…
Anyone can wear the mask.Read more
Wreck-It Ralph is easily one of my favorite animated movies. At the time of its release, back in 2012, I was a 16-year-old that tore tickets, cleaned theaters, and filled concessions at AMC. On the day it premiered, I remember cleaning theaters and waiting for children, teens, and adults alike to exit the screening. I could hear everyone’s reactions as they strolled out -- It immediately piqued my interest. Honestly, I probably wouldn’t have checked it out if it hadn’t been for everyone and their mother saying how much they loved it, and I’m SO glad that I did!Read more
The mystical world of Harry Potter is one that I’ve grown up admiring and adoring. I remember getting the first movie on VHS and watching it over and over again until the cassette wound up breaking. Man, that's an old sentence. Every couple of years, we’d get a sequel that would feel even more exciting than the last. When it all came to a close, I was satisfied -- until Fantastic Beasts came around and immersed us into a whole new aspect of the wizarding world.
When Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was first announced, I was skeptical as to how much more they could really add into this universe. It was a movie that dared to be different and introduced us to a character that, if you're a Potterhead, you may be familiar with from the Harry Potter books. If you don't know, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" was a standard textbook written by Newt Scamander, a magizoologist, that Harry was required to purchase upon his arrival at Hogwarts. The book is actually available for all of us muggles to check out as well! Newt was a small part of Harry’s universe, but an intriguing one to explore. His story brought us further into the magical world that J.K. Rowling created.Read more
J.J. Abrams, zombies, and killin’ Nazis. Heck yeah. Overlord.
That's all, that's the review... KIDDING.
Let's talk a little more about zombies, shall we? They're a dependable horror trope that’s used quite often in movies, books, and television shows. Nazi zombies, in particular, are another widely used horror theme -- especially recently if you’ve played Call of Duty: WWII Nazi Zombies. This isn't an ad for Call of Duty either, that's just a perfect example. See? Always dependable. I wasn’t crazy about this flick upon the first viewing of its trailer. Nothing about it really blew me out of the water. The excitement began to set in once I started hearing numerous good things about it after its premiere at Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas. A lot of people were expecting it to be a sequel to the sci-fi/horror hit Cloverfield, but Abrams was quick to shut down that rumor. He made it clear that Overlord is its own thing, and after seeing it I can honestly say that this J.J. Abrams-produced Nazi zombie gore-fest is actually a ton of fun!Read more