Join The Online Movie Swap

Last week, I got an idea while talking with fellow blogger and friend Matt @ The Album. He’s always suggesting movies for me to watch, especially since I haven’t seen a lot of classics, so I had told him that the next time I had time to watch a movie, he could pick it. After asking Twitter for help and debating it for a while, he told me to watch Big. And I did. It was a pretty good movie. And then I got the idea.

You know how there’s these blind book swaps where people send their favourite book to someone random and they in turn get a book? Why isn’t that done with movies? We all have that one movie we just want to make everyone in the world watch, and with Netflix and all, you wouldn’t even need to send a physical DVD or give out your address or anything. And then I thought, I should try to organize one. In fact, I thought, this would be a great blogging thing because after you watch the movie, you can blog about it! I took the idea back to Matt and he loved it, so he’s going to help me out with this project. We worked on it all week and are really excited about it.

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So what do ya say? Does this sound like something you’d be interested in? I hope you’re thinking yes because we already have a submission form down below!

Here’s how it’d work. The form consists of a few questions like your name, email (so I can contact you), and url (if you’re a blogger), and then it asks for three movie suggestions. The reason we ask for three is so there’s back ups in case your recipient has already seen your first suggestion. As much as I want you all to share your favourite movies, chances are, most people have already seen Avengers, so that wouldn’t be a good suggestion. Try suggesting smaller, lesser-known, or older movies. If you don’t have Netflix or a library where you can borrow a DVD, don’t worry, I can hook you up with a movie streaming site.

If you’re not a blogger and still want to join, that’s great! One of the questions asks if you blog and if you click No, then your recipient will be someone who also doesn’t blog. We want to keep bloggers together because bloggers like making connections and most of this blog’s readers are other bloggers.

All the submissions will be randomly assigned to someone else. You’ll get sent someone’s movies but they probably won’t get yours.

Ready to participate? Here’s the link to the form:

http://tinyurl.com/OMSsub/

The submission form will be open until April 9th, so there’s plenty of time to share and get as many people to join. After that, I will email you with someone’s movie suggestions within a few days (hopefully) and you can get watching! The fun thing about this is there’s no obligation to watch anything. But I gotta say, there’s something fun about blindly watching some suggested movie, and even more so when you know that the suggested movie is someone’s favourite.

We’re really excited about this and I hope you guys all join in! If you have questions or concerns, feel free to ask!

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Fantastic Beasts Review (Spoiler Free!)

Fantastic Beasts was really fantastic. Everyone’s going to say that but it’s true! I saw it last night. My Quidditch team got advance passes and since we got there super early we got to see it in IMAX (thanks Warner Bros!!!). I was so excited.

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I was also a bit nervous. I trust JK Rowling, but there was a split in the fandom when The Cursed Child came out (though I liked it) and I know people were apprehensive about a promise of five Beasts movies based off a book that didn’t even have a plot.

But it really delivered. Obviously I’m not going to spoil anything but a general plot is that Newt Scamander, a British wizard, accidentally loses control of a bunch of magical creatures in New York sometime in the 1920’s. I like the 20’s and the fun, classy vibe so I was happy with this.

The really cool thing is that it could have been a standalone movie. There were, of course, many fun references to Harry Potter and the magical world we know, but it really didn’t rely on it too much. And I liked that. It made it feel new and fresh. The new setting and the different kind of magic and terms removed the familiar Harry Potter aspect enough to rejuvenate the wonder. Harry Potter was largely about Harry and his life. Fantastic Beasts was about the magical world that we all want to know more about.

The movie was really fun overall. That also made it stand out from the other Potter films (especially the last few as they were really dark the whole time). Fantastic Beasts had so many jokes and fun moments and cool visual effects all the way through and it was really enjoyable. The beasts themselves were really neat! The niffler was adorable and Picket the bowtruckle is the new baby Groot (can someone please draw me a picture of baby Groot and Picket dancing or something???) but I think there should have been at least one dragon. The more dragons the better.

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I want one!

As for the cast they were superb. Eddie Redmayne was amazing. He’s so likeable and adorable and that really carried over to Newt. The two girls in the movie were also great but Katherine Waterston (who played Tina) stood out. I really liked her and hope we see a lot more of her. As for the no-maj (or muggle) played by Dan Fogler, his role was very interesting. There wasn’t really a magic-less main character in the Potter movies, so I think us viewers really connected to Jacob. We want to be a part of the magic just like he was.

I also wanted to mention Ezra Miller. I don’t want to give away anything but I’ve really only seen him in The Perks Of Being A Wallflower, and his character in Fantastic Beasts, Credence, was very, very different from the hilarious Patrick. I enjoyed his performance a lot though (despite the horrible haircut he was plagued with). I can’t wait to see him as the Flash!

The plot was definitely interesting enough to make four more movies out of. I must say, I was a bit confused in the first half of the movie as to how the subplot with Credence tied to Newt’s story, but it was all revealed in the end and the set up for the future was captivating.

I always appreciate movies that cover all ranges of emotion and Fantastic Beasts really did. The rule of thumb for this movie: when Eddie Redmayne cries, I cry.

I also cried when it ended. I don’t know why. Well, I kind of do. I was just really feeling the magic, I think. Harry Potter has shaped so much of my life and I’m glad that this new series is reinstating a new feeling of awe and excitement and happiness that I didn’t really feel as a kid because I missed a lot of the movies in theaters. I don’t care that I’ll be thirty-something when the last Fantastic Beasts movie comes out. I’ll be packing up my future kid(s) and my future attractive husband and hitting up the nearest theater.

It doesn’t matter what you may have thought about The Cursed Child, go see Fantastic Beasts if you want to experience the magic that we all fell in love with. It’s so good. Too good. I loved it.

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Actual footage of me at the end of the movie

P.S. I was kind of sad my favourite fantastic beast from the book, the Chizpurfle, wasn’t in the movie. Next time, please!

P.P.S. Last week a few Quidditch players and I went to the red carpet for this movie and though only the girls signed my poster (because we were unfortunately behind a pole! #bitter), it was still really cool to be within meters of the stars!

 

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Sing Street Movie Review

Do you like 80’s music? Do you like feel good movies?

Y’all. Sing Street. It’s my new movie obsession, so of course I have to write about it. And since it’s not a very big name movie, I wanted to take this chance to tell you guys about it if you don’t know.

Sing Street is about a 15 year old Irish boy named Conor who starts a band with some new pals to impress a girl, an older and pretty model-wannabe. It’s set in the 80’s so the music has that distinct 80’s vibe, and like with any musical/musical movie, the music really makes or breaks it. In this case, it makes it. Big time. But you don’t even need to really know or love 80’s music to enjoy this. I however do like 80’s music (my boss and I listen to it at work all the time), so this appealed to me.

This movie is written and directed by John Carney, who’s best known credits are for writing and directing the movies Once and Begin Again. Begin Again is my favourite movie, and if you want to know more about that, read my old post here. While I found Once to be a little boring, I loved Begin Again and its music, so of course I was super excited when I saw that Carney had another music-centric movie coming out. It was a film festival movie and never came to local Canadian theaters, so I had to wait for the DVD, but it was worth the wait.

This movie was inspiring, magical, beautiful, funny, sweet and had a great soundtrack. I literally can’t ask for more in a movie.

The cast were all no-name European actors, but they were so talented! All the band members were such adorable, likeable characters and it was so satisfying to see them all jamming together and making such great music. They had each other’s backs and even when I expected there to be average band conflict, there never was. The other characters were great too. They added just the right amount of conflict, parallels and drama.

The original music was amazing. I’ve been listening to the songs on repeat. Even my father said he could definitely hear most of the songs on mainstream radio. There were some great fast songs as well as a few slower songs. The soundtrack also includes actual 80’s songs that were either included in the movie or just inspired the writers, so that’s cool.

I don’t really have many complaints about this movie. I did find the ending a little too artsy and open for my tastes, but when set to a really gorgeous Adam Levine song, I can tolerate it. Raphina, the girl Conor is trying to impress, sometimes seemed to embody that manic-pixie trope too much so I really didn’t love her, but she was a decent character. And I do wish the DVD had a subtitles option because there were a few occasions that I couldn’t understand the boys’ thick Irish accents.

And now for some bullet thoughts because I need to say things:

  • ‘Drive Like You Stole It’ is my favourite song.
  • I loved Eamon, the kid with glasses and the rabbits.
  • Conor’s older brother looked SO MUCH like Chris Pratt.
  • Conor could do better eyeliner than me.
  • Was that other girl Conor’s sister or what?
  • I love Irish accents.
  • Who wants to start a band with me?
  • John Carney better be started on his next musical film project because I’m so ready.

If you want to see a fun and charming, music-filled movie that’s light but not too artsy, then watch Sing Street. You won’t regret it!

That’s all for now!

 

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Why I Hope The Wicked Movie Is More Like The Book Than The Musical

Unpopular opinions alert, amiright?

Look, I love Wicked. It’s probably my second favourite musical ever and I listen to its songs all the time. I love it. I saw it live two years ago and it was glorious.

That being said, like anyone who reads a book first and then sees an adaptation, I had some concerns afterward. I know people really don’t like the book, but I actually didn’t hate it. Yes, I found it a little dry and sometimes confusing, but overall, I thought it to be quite brilliant.

So with the recent news that there is a Wicked movie finally in progress and set to be released in 2019 (so far away!) I’ve been thinking about how it’ll turn out. While I would in the end be totally fine if the movie was just like the musical, I am hoping that the writers take the chance to change it up slightly and add in some of the book’s features that got cut.

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WARNING: from here on, there will be spoilers for the musical and book, so read on with caution!

I am a sucker for teams, and one thing I really liked in the book was the partnership at Shiz between Elphaba, Glinda, Boq, Fiyero, Avaric and a few others as they worked to research Animal rights and whatnot. It was a time of peace. Elphaba had friends and a purpose and there was no drama. The Shiz parts of the book were my favourite, and I’m a little sad that the musical glossed over it to some extent. I understand that time is a factor, but I’d really love more Shiz scenes. In the musical, Elphaba was always seen as an awkward solo act, and it wasn’t until Glinda did she have someone else, so to see that portrayed differently would be nice. Think of these extra characters as the Seamus and Dean of Harry Potter: there and accounted for, but not crucial to the plot.

I also didn’t love how the musical erased all ties to the rest of the books. Yes, books…plural. I don’t know how commonly known that is, but Gregory Maguire wrote three other Oz books. Wicked could stand alone, but I really like the idea of there being even more to the famous story. While I can’t say I adored the other three books, and I did have to force myself to finish them, they were kind of interesting. I mean, those books covered three generations of a family and managed to seamlessly tie old and new characters together in a world that was largely unexplored. Even though there is never going to be a musical sequel, it still would have been cool to pay homage to the book/s by at least having an open ending that could have hinted to a future. Perhaps the movie will allow for such artistic choices…?

The musical really only covered about 40% of the book, and as far as adaptations go, that’s pretty bad, even if the result was a stunning musical that I love. The whole plot at Kiamo Ko was really interesting but completely cut out. Again, I understand the time constraint, I do, but I’m hoping the movie will be able to use some movie magic and tell more of such a rich story.

However, there is one thing from the book and musical that I could do without, and that is the concept of the Wizard being Elphaba’s father. The musical made it a lot more obvious than the book did. I seriously forgot that it was even in the book until I was doing research for this post. I just think that it’s a really cheesy and cliché thing, and overall, it doesn’t affect the plot too much so it could easily be removed for the movie.

The last reason I’m hoping the movie is more like the book is because the musical was essentially Glinda’s telling of the story. The musical starts with her telling the Munchkins that she and Elphaba used to be friends. And while it wasn’t really biased or anything, I just think that having a more neutral and open telling through the movie medium would allow for more character development that the musical didn’t really touch on. I’m realizing as I write that the book was more Elphaba’s story while the musical was more of everyone’s story as they exist around Elphaba.

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Honestly, I’m so excited for the movie. 2019 can’t come any sooner. There’s no casting news yet, but I’d love to see Lea Michele or Anna Kendrick as Elphaba and I’d also quite enjoy Darren Criss as Fiyero. And then put the original cast in as other characters…Like have Norbert Leo Butz play the Wizard and Idina Menzel play Madame Morrible! I’m also hoping they keep the steampunk-esque costumes from the musical because those are so funky and fun. In terms of Fiyero, I’m praying they use the blue diamonds, because I feel like that should have been in the musical. But all in all, I’m just excited to see such a cool story immortalized on film. Movies can show so much in a minute that isn’t possible on a stage, so I feel like Wicked is a brilliant thing to film.

What are your thoughts on the matter? Did you like aspects of the book/s?

 

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Why I’m #TeamIronMan

(Very minor Civil War spoilers. I’ll be cryptic, don’t worry)

So Captain America: Civil War came out last week (on the 6th for little old Canadian me) and it was spectacular, so if your eyes have not yet been graced by this film, then do yourself a favour and get your butt to the nearest movie theater.

Civil War was highly anticipated for several reasons. One, it was a big comic story (or so I’ve heard). Two, it was a chance to prove that Marvel’s battle movies are waaaaaaay better than DC’s battle movies (sorry not sorry, Batman Versus Superman was super lame). And three, it allowed fans to pick sides on a very interesting and fairly even argument while still enjoying the third Captain America movie.

For those who don’t know (hi, mom!) Civil War is about a superhero registration act called the Sokovia Accords in which all people with powers or super abilities are to be registered and monitored to some degree by the government and used as an asset when deemed necessary. This arises after the deaths of many innocent civilians who just happen to be in the way of these superhumans. Damage has been done and now some people want the heroes (the Avengers specifically) in check. But not everyone agrees with the Accords, leading to a civil war. While the comics included many, many, many characters in the story to pick sides, in the movie it’s mostly just the Avengers,  with the two biggest Marvel superhero names (Captain America and Iron Man) at the forefront of the disagreement. Cap believes that people should not be monitored and by signing themselves over, they lose their freedom (typical American!) and the ability to help, where as Iron Man understands that their actions have caused irreparable damage and is willing to place control in the government.

Since this movie was a Captain America movie, it is understandable how a lot of people where proud #TeamCap supporters.

But not me.

Because I knew very little about the comic plot, I was able to go into the movie based on just what I knew from the trailer and discussion. And while I will happily admit to liking the character Iron Man more than Captain America, I’m telling you right now that that had no influence on my choice. I went into the movie loosely on #TeamIronMan and I was fully accepting of the possibility that I could leave on #TeamCap. That wasn’t the case, but I just want to make it clear that I am not biased or stubborn. I’m here to make my case, because as many internet users can tell you, Iron Man was put in a somewhat villainous light even before the movie came out.

But he’s not a villain. Stark knows what he’s doing. He knows that lives have been taken and he doesn’t want more of that responsibility. He didn’t actually kill anyone but he knows that because of The Avengers and his actions, innocent lives were taken. Even worse, he feels responsible for Ultron, and it was the events in Sokovia that was a tipping point for the government. So of course he wants to lessen his guilt and that of his friends.

See, the Accords don’t want superhumans and heroes to be killed or trained as a soldier/weapon. They don’t want to publicly exploit them or make them less of a hero. They just wanted to monitor and keep track of them and use them only when needed and only when there wasn’t as much as a risk to the public, as they can be very dangerous. Think of Kilgrave from Jessica Jones. He had a very extraordinary power and perhaps if the government knew of him and noticed what was happening in Hell’s Kitchen, they would have been able to prevent a lot of horrible things.

Stark has trust in the higher-ups, be it the literal US Government or SHIELD or the United Nations, and he knows that they have the best intentions. Cap should better understand that too, considering it was Peggy Carter and Howard Stark and the SSR that laid the foundations of SHIELD. And Captain America’s whole existence was based around the point of being the USA’s pawn in WWII, so it was silly for him to be so against this.

Of course main reason why Cap was against the Accords was because of Bucky (aka The Winter Soldier). His best friend from like 90 years ago was brainwashed by Hydra and did some bad things, and now he’s apparently a bomber on the run. Cap knows that should he be found, he’ll be killed, and he will not stand for it, considering he was brainwashed and therefore technically innocent. I think that had Bucky been granted immunity or wasn’t in pressing danger, Cap would be more willing to sign the Accords, even if he didn’t 100% believe in it. I think he was almost going to sign despite Bucky, but then Sharon gave that speech and he stuck to his guns.

Honestly, it’s kind of ignorant of Cap to reject this so strongly. No one else on his team was as against it. For the most part, they sided with him because of loyalty. But for Cap to put so much on the line just for Bucky (who, by the way, is trained and can kind of handle himself) is a little weird and unlike him. Even Iron Man, who is more than used to being the head honcho call maker, is willing to step aside and be the one taking orders in the name of public safety. If Tony Stark can do it, I think Cap can and should too. Cap could have even tried to negotiate on behalf of Bucky, but instead he decided to go rogue. This isn’t his fight.

I do understand Cap’s side. I do. It’s endearing that he’s so dedicated to his friend after so long, but resisting and putting so many people in danger was a mistake. There were many consequences. I did not enjoy seeing all these characters who I adore so much fighting so fiercely against each other (even if it was very, very cool!). I think the unity of the Avengers is damaged and could be a factor in the next movie.

So now, dear readers, take to the comments to argue or back me up. Let’s discuss because I do find it very interesting to hear people’s sides. I seriously hope everyone has taken a side based on what they believe and what is logical rather than just the character.

And like I said, if you haven’t seen Civil War then go do so right away because I loved it. I found the first third of the movie to be a little slow, but it picked up so hard and the addition of Spider-Man, Black Panther and Ant Man to the team was really cool. I felt every emotion on the spectrum in that 2.5 hours, which is proof that this movie deserves all the praise it’s getting. Do you think it’s Marvel’s best yet?

That’s all for now!