Are We Even Watching The Same Thing?

Do you ever have those moments where you have to ask yourself and maybe even double check that you were in fact watching the same media as everyone else despite having such a differing opinion of it? It’s kind of interesting when that happens, as it makes me question myself and my taste. How can everyone seemingly love something that I found nearly unwatchable? Am I the problem?

What Is Wrong With Me GIF.

This recently happened with the spinoff show Peacemaker. The first three episodes came out at once, and there were a lot of positive sentiments online about the show from fans and even other celebrities. Based on the character from The Suicide Squad, I went into the episodes with medium expectations and found myself pretty let down. I watched it all with my boyfriend, and he shared my sentiments (which I was very glad for). We actually double-checked that it was in fact only three episodes that came out and we didn’t miss some spectacular fourth one. Even now, with the first season complete, we both thought the show to be mediocre at best. But okay, there were rumours that DC/HBO really put a lot of money into promoting the show on social media and may have artificially inflated the hype machine a bit. That’s just one example.

Peacemaker opening gif.

The other example that bamboozled me more than Peacemaker (which wasn’t awful, it just wasn’t as funny as I expected or as good as people said) is the 2020 movie Barb And Star Go To Vista Del Mar. Movies starring Kristin Wiig are hit or miss for me, but when this movie came out, I saw so much hype on social media for this. I made my parents watch it with me because surely a movie so hailed would be of interest to them too. But I cannot begin to explain how much we disliked this movie. My parents, particularly my father, already don’t have a high tolerance for goofy comedy, so I expected to like it more than them, but even I hated it. It was silly and boring and nonsensical and just weird. I couldn’t believe it. I remember a week later I went through that hashtag on Twitter thinking that surely some people agreed with me, but I kid you not, I could barely find any negative opinions of the movie. It seemed like I was the biggest hater. It still shocked me months later when I saw people online mention it as being a possible Oscar nominee. The movie I watched was so bad. There’s no way it’s Oscar material. Did we all watch the same thing? For the life of me, I don’t know.

Concerned GIF.

It’s one thing to not like a piece of media that others do (example: I don’t like the musical Book Of Mormon, though I understand why people enjoy it and think it’s funny), but it’s another to not even understand how anyone can perceive it in such a way.

When it comes to movies and TV, I don’t think of myself as a snob. But it’s instances like the above that have me gaslighting myself somewhat (in an amusing way). Though aside from maybe a Tweet about how I disliked something or a rant amongst friends, I’m not out here spending my time being mad or angry that people have different tastes. I stand by my opinions, and maybe a little part of me does think that anyone who genuinely finds Barb And Star to be a quality film is in need of medical attention, but at the end of the day, this is all meaningless, and as I said, it’s interesting when it does happen.

Are we all looking at the same thing? gif.

What movies or TV shows (or even music) have had you questioning if you were even watching the same thing?

 

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My Favourite Fictional Cats

I watched The Mummy trilogy for the first time recently, and that scene in the first movie where they use a cat to scare off the Mummy had me thinking about how Carol did the same thing in Captain Marvel, and that got me thinking about Goose and other great cats from media. So here we are. I love cats and there have been some great ones in movies and TV, so here’s me talking about ones I like because I want to.

  • Goose (from Captain Marvel) – Goose makes this list even though he is not technically a cat. He was just a fun addition to the movie. Using him to ward off the Skrull, his relationship with Fury, and the eventual reveal of his species was just plain fun. I had this picture as my phone lock screen for over a year.
    Captain Marvel Goose poster.
  • Salem (from Sabrina The Teenage Witch) – Salem from the Melissa Joan Hart TV show was great. Sassy, chatty, funny, and just a great character, despite looking very much like a fake cat on a TV show that did not have a budget to do better. They did not do the legacy of this cat justice in the gritty Netflix version.
    Salem the cat gif.
  • Hobbes (from Calvin And Hobbes) – I grew up reading these comics before I even had the brain to comprehend most of what I was reading. Hobbes is a genuine ride or die friend, and his adventures with Calvin were and still are always a delight to read. He’s also wonderfully complex, sometimes being wise and thoughtful while also sometimes being just a furry goofball with a one-track mind.
    A Calvin and Hobbes comic.
  • Lord Tubbington (from Glee) – Brittany’s fat cat started as just a funny gag that I adored when it was sprinkled in. I wish the show kept it as just a mild gag rather than leaning into the absurdity of him a little too much in later seasons, but goodness knows there were bigger issues plaguing Glee. Anyway, I think fondly about Lord Tubbington and the Fondue For Two theme plays in my head often.
    Lord Tubbington being kissed gif.
  • Cheshire Cat (from Alice In Wonderland) – I never really watch the animated version of the story, but I really liked the live-action movie, and in particular, I really liked Chesh. The animated cat was creepy, but this live-action cat was a perfect mix of cute and creepy and worked so well with the slightly cyberpunk world of the movie.
    Cheshire Cat GIF.
  • Mooch (from Mutts) – Mutts is an adorable comic that I enjoy reading in the newspaper. One main character, Mooch, is a cute, adventurous cat with a slight speech impediment that makes him even more adorable. His favourite toy is a pink sock, and I love when that sock appears in the comics.
    Mooch and the Little Pink Sock comic.
  • Puss In Boots (from Shrek 2) – I was a kid when Shrek was in its heyday. I remember when Puss was introduced in the second movie, perfectly appealing to kids and adults watching. Those big, cute cat eyes contrasting the sword and fighting words made for a hilarious character that remains iconic even years later.
    Puss in boots gif.
  • Skitty (from Pokemon) – There are many cat Pokemon, and Skitty isn’t even the most known one (that’s Meowth), but look at this thing!!! Adorable!!! I would die for it!!!
    Skitty Pokemon Gif.

Lastly, here are some honourable mentions to cats I never really connected with in a meaningful way but I respect: Tigger, Pink Panther, Garfield, the Cowardly Lion, and Sylvester.

I know there are some other great fictional felines out there, so let me know which ones you enjoy!

 

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Thanks For The Movie Musicals, But I Want Proshots

As you should have read in my Monthly Look Ahead, September brought unto me a lot of musicals, which is wonderful, and honestly, all the other months should step up their game and do the same. Now, I’m not someone who’s great at critiques, but I wanted to talk about some of the content we’ve gotten this month and why some of it hasn’t been as great as I wanted it to be.

This is not your best work gif.

Dear Evan Hansen is a good musical. I’ve seen it on stage and I do love it. The music is great, the story is interesting, and I think Ben Platt was great in the role…six years ago. Ben Platt reprised the awkward teenage role at age 27 for the movie version of the musical that came out this month, and it was not stellar. Even from the trailer, it was clear that this movie was not capturing the magic of the Broadway version. One tweet I think about a lot said it looked like a low-budget Christian movie, and that’s very accurate, despite big names in the cast. Maybe it was poor direction or maybe it was just that such a heavy show couldn’t translate to a movie as well, but the movie was lackluster. From cutting out the opening song to Evan’s constant whispering to the slight plot change at the end, I have some qualms. I’d see the show live again in a heartbeat, but I’m certainly not itching to see the movie anytime soon.

Ben Platt in the Dear Evan Hansen movie gif.

Everybody’s Talking About Jamie is a story similar to Dear Evan Hansen in many ways, but its movie was a lot better. I still missed some of the cut songs, but I think the changes they made to adapt it to a film were mostly well done. Why did Jamie succeed when Evan failed? I can’t say for certain, as again, I am not a critic.

What I do know, though, was a proshot of Everybody’s Talking About Jamie already existed. The movie was good and all, but if you want to see the musical in the way it was intended to be seen (without actually seeing it live), go watch that. Proshots are underrated forms of consuming theater, and I’m mad they’re not more available. The Come From Away proshot came out this month and it’s wonderful. The show is wonderful, and seeing it in HD is great because you still see the magic of the production but close up and without losing aspects to a movie format. The stage allows for a big performance, so it can get more dramatic or silly when it needs to be because we expect and enjoy it on stage.

Show me the good stuff gif.

There’s this big argument that’s often thrown around when talking about the b-word (bootlegs) and it’s that the reason why proshots aren’t too common is because of all the licensing fees and contracts and stuff that’d be needed for proshots to exist. And I’m sure that’s all true, but—and people are welcome to correct me here—it seems like a more cost-effective way of getting musicals into the world than making a full movie musical. No expensive actors, no building full sets, no rewrites, just filming/editing a show people already love and want to see in the way people already love and want to see it. And it can still be shown in theaters like Newsies was years ago.

At the end of the day, as much as there are some great movie versions of musicals in existence (I will defend Mamma Mia until the day I die), something is always lost in translation, and it’s unfortunate that in some cases, like Dear Evan Hansen‘s, it will ruin the reputation, no matter how good elements may be. Movie musicals should be for the fans and while I can’t speak for all of them, I feel like most of the fans just want to see the musical, not the artsy, stunt-casted watered-down version that we often get from these things. Case in point: Cats.

Cats Movie GIF.
Zero people asked for this. Zero.

What are your thoughts? Are you running to theaters to see Dear Evan Hansen? Are you disappointed with the quality of some movie musicals? Do you not care as long as we’re getting some musical content? Comment below your opinions!

 

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Soap Opera Actors: Why Are You The Way That You Are?

My mom watches Young And The Restless. I remember doing homework at the kitchen table and listening to Victor and Nikki break up for the 500th time or something like that. It’s wild that now, all these years later, I’ll go downstairs to get a snack during work and there’s Mom watching the show still. Victor and Nikki are on their 800th breakup now, I think.

Soap operas fascinate me. They’re on the air for decades, with new episodes almost every single day, and the stories are so ridiculous, but people love them. Quality drama shows get axed after a season or two on primetime TV, but some evil twin coming back to life to marry the stepbrother you found out you had two weeks ago does numbers on daytime. Insane.

It's Crazy GIF.

They’ve got a cult following of sorts, but it’s an age group that overall isn’t exactly young anymore, so I can’t imagine that in twenty years, there will be many soaps on the air still. Also, the majority of the main actors are on the older side too…

Which brings me to the point of this post. What kind of fascinates me the most about soaps is that there are actors who essentially spend their whole career on that one show, just filming decades of episodes. The grind seems constant, but they stay. It seems so different from other non-soap actors who are constantly joining new projects and telling new stories. I imagine that all actors get into the biz because they love storytelling and playing a variety of characters, but some of these soap actors just seem to, like, stop wanting more after that early role. It goes against everything we seem to know about actors.

I think about all the primetime TV shows that have lost a beloved character late in the show because the actor/actress decided they wanted to do something different and couldn’t wait for the show to end. I feel like a bad person for thinking about it, but if some of these soap actors can play a role for 25 straight years, surely this other actor can stick around for this last and final season, right?

Disappointed Gif 0144 - PNGDir | PNG Image Directory

On the other hand, maybe acting is just a job like any other, and as long as you like your coworkers and make enough money and have a work/life balance, you’ll stay forever, so maybe soaps are just specially designed to be such good environments that people are willing to dedicate their entire career to it. If they’re happy, then good for them, I guess. Plus, it’s not like they don’t do any other acting. All of the main Young And The Restless cast do have many other credits, but usually for only one episode or in a movie no one’s heard of. Again, if they’re satisfied, then go for it, I guess.

Good For You GIF.

In the grand scheme of things, the mindsets of soap actors mean very little to me, but I do spend a lot of time pondering this every time I see my mom watching good ol’ Y&R, so now hopefully you get to think about it a bit too.

That’s all for now!

 

 

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Don’t Make Director’s Cuts A Thing

I was very surprised when a Synder cut of the 2018 DC movie Justice League was announced. While I didn’t hate the first version, I knew it could have been better, and this Snyder cut promised to do it all and more. But then I watched all four hours of it, and while it was more, I don’t think I can say it was all that. Between the weird colouring, the 20 minute dream sequence, the dumb timeline-messing save, and the random villagers singing, this version of the movie really made some wild choices that I’m glad the studio or apparent trash human Joss Whedon decided to remove years ago.

confused man gif.
Me watching that dream sequence

The Snyder cut obviously took advantage of the at-home delivery by making it six parts over four hours, which is fine, but I think that a) you therefore can’t compare it to other movies because you got two more hours to tell a more fleshed out story and b) even if you edited it down to a reasonable movie length, this version wasn’t that much better. Parts of it sure were, like the explanation of the cubes or Cyborg’s story, but as a whole, I was disappointed. I kind of expected this to be like The Best Movie because it was hyped up to be Authenticly Snyder’s Untold Story and Undoing How Awful Joss Was, but I guess that’s on me for having a high standard. It was better, but it wasn’t worth the years of campaigning.

And that’s why I’m very wary of this new hype train of other directors cuts that may or may not exist. I know some of it is just memeing like this TikTok, but still. I’ve seen far too many headlines saying that there are hours more footage of some movie no one wants to see more of or that studios are considering doing more director’s cuts of other things or that fans are campaigning for other ones. It’s probably not true, but just in case, here’s my official statement: no thanks.

that's a real quick no. gif.

I won’t pretend to know how much involvement movie studios have in final plot or editing, but based on my limited knowledge and my eyes during Snyder Cut, I can’t imagine that this is a useful direction (pun intended) for the film industry. If a studio can’t deliver me the absolute best version of a movie the first time, then they gotta live with that shame and possible financial loss. You can’t just keep pumping out different versions to appease people. As they say, that’s show biz. Justice League may have been a special case because of the crisis in Snyder’s life during original filming, forcing Whedon has to take over, but for other movies that didn’t have something similar going on, I just feel like there’s no excuse.

And who is this even for? The fans? I have trouble believing that, because I feel like if fan satisfaction were the ultimate goal, they wouldn’t have given us garbage to begin with. Is it for the directors? Giving them their moment to shine? Unlikely. So I guess this just smells like a big ol’ cash grab.

Am I Wrong GIF.

The only version of a director’s cut I’m not opposed to is what Lord Of The Rings did. They had the extra stuff as an optional bonus DVD feature that didn’t negate the regular normal-length theatrical release. If studios want to give us that (though without DVDs, it’s just bonus content on streaming services), then sure. Whatever.

Director’s cut? More like cut that nonsense out before it starts please.

Thoughts? Did you enjoy the Snyder cut of Justice League? Is there a movie you want a director’s cut of?

 

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