Read Before You Watch

No matter how hard Hollywood tries, movies will never live up to the books. I have never liked a movie version more than a book of anything that I have read. That does not mean that all books turned into movies are bad. In fact, many movies of my favorite books are still great, but they are just not as good as the book.

For example, “My Sister’s Keeper” by Jodi Picoult is one of my all-time favorite books. The movie did not convey half the emotion that the book did. They completely changed the ending of the book, which changed the entire meaning of the story. In the book, the ending is such a surprise and was so upsetting. The end of the book is what made it so iconic. However, in the movie they changed the thrilling ending to the cookie-cutter predictable ending. This movie was by far worse than the book.

However, I do not think that all movies are terrible. For example, I read “The Hunger Games” trilogy before seeing any of the books and I really enjoyed the movie still. The acting was good and the movie script followed closely to that of the book. I really enjoyed both Hunger Games movies that have been made, but that does not make them better than the book.

I think what makes books so much better is the imagination involved and the time invested. A movie only takes a few hours. Books can take weeks depending on how dedicated you are to  reading it. When reading, you are left in suspense so much longer. There is a game about wanting to know more and needing to keep reading. A good book can keep you up all night wanting to know more, but a movie would already be over. Also with a book, you are left to picture everything on your own. You get to take the author’s description of people and places and picture it however you want in your mind. By doing so it almost makes the book yours. It’s like you helped create this world that the author depicted.

With that being said, I am going to read Divergent over the summer before I see the movie. Nothing is worse than picturing a certain character in your head while reading a book because you have already seen the movie version.

How I Met Your Mother Finale: A Good Idea with Poor Execution

Although the “How I Met Your Mother” series finale was a while ago, I just got around to watching it, so I apologize for the late review.

I would like to note that this post will have spoilers in it, so if you are planning on watching the finale at any point, do not read on.

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The first thing that I would like to say about “How I Met Your Mother” is that the whole show follows Ted’s journey to find love. No matter how many people he dated, his feelings for Robin were always there and that was made clear throughout the entirety of the show. I would also like to note that the whole Robin and Barney relationship was never going to work out from the beginning. It felt like the writers randomly threw them together, and I never felt as though they should get married or be together. Also, even though the show is called “How I Met Your Mother”, we didn’t even know the mother until the last season, so the majority of the show had nothing to do with the mother.

While most people were furiously disappointed with the series finale of HIMYM, I was not. The finale made me happy, it made me laugh, it made me cry, and it had an incredibly unpredictable ending.

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Obviously that is not what I wanted to happen, but life doesn’t always go the way you plan it. I would have been more disappointed if the finale had been some cookie-cutter happy ending because that just isn’t how life works.

It is not necessarily how the show ended that made me upset, it was how they went about it. I think that someone’s death is something to take a lot of time on. It is something that they should have introduced earlier in the series of the show. I would have liked to see Ted and the kid’s grieving process because the way it was presented made it seems as though he never grieved over his wife’s death. They said it was six years later, but it didn’t feel like it was six years later.

I, personally, don’t think that the problem is that they killed off the mom or that Ted ended up with Robin, but how they went about it. I think it was a really good idea for an ending, but it was conducted so poorly.

No matter what your thoughts on the finale are, HIMYM was a great show and it will surely be missed. May the reruns continue playing for years to come!

“About Last Night”- One of the Funniest Movies this Year

“About Last Night”, a comedy starring comedian Kevin Hart, was the perfect mix of cheesy romance and raunchy comedy. This mixture of chick-flick and “Hangover”-like comedy was a great compromise for its Valentine’s Day premiere. What initially drew my attention to the movie was that it was starring Kevin Hart. However, after seeing the movie, I was surprised by the interesting storyline.

A couple was dating and brought their “boring” friends along with them. As it turns out, the “boring” friends were not so boring after all, just hurt by past loves to the point where they had stopped trying. The film chronicled the relationship of the two couples. One couple was more serious and mature, while the other was filled with spunky and unpredictable passion.

Although the storyline was serious, the characters were full on non-stop jokes which kept the audience laughing the whole movie.

If you are a fan of raunchy comedy or romance, this is the perfect flick for you. I would definitely say that “About Last Night” is one of the funniest movies I have seen in a long time.

“42” Fell Short of Expectations

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The story of Jackie Robinson is arguably the most compelling sports inspiration of all times.  It was no surprise that Hollywood tried to turn this into a major motion picture because Robinson made history and served as a hero to many.
Robinson broke the segregation barrier in Major League Baseball.  By common sense and reading biographies about Robinson, it is safe to say that this did not go over well with many Americans at the time.  He had to deal with racism on a daily basis and stand up to so much hatred.
“42” was a great movie that entertained audiences and captured the essence of the time period.  However, I walked away from the film feeling as though something was missing.
This was a good movie, but it fell short of the legendary sport films.  “42” can be compared to “Remember the Titans” because both movies revolve around the themes of segregation and racism.
“Remember the Titans” is so well known, because the film took the audience through a journey where they got to know the characters on a personal level.  In “Remember the Titans,” the viewer is brought on the emotional voyage, which allows for greater sympathy and understanding of what they went through.  However, “42” does not relate Robinson’s struggle to the viewers as much as it could have.
I felt a deeper sympathy and understanding of Robinson’s fight by reading about him growing up, so I was expecting to gain more knowledge and personal connection with Robinson through “42,” but that did not happen as much as it could have.
“42” is definitely a movie worth seeing, but do not go into the movie expecting to see “Field of Dreams”, “The Blind Side”, “Remember the Titans” or any of the other classics.

Skyfall Movie Review

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Oscar-winning film “Skyfall,” the newest Bond movie, was shown at Jesse Wrench Auditorium this weekend.

This film includes all of the classic elements of a Bond movie such as the high-speed chases, the women, the villains and the heart-pounding soundtrack.  However, this story line takes a deeper look into James Bond’s  inner workings as he struggles with the negative consequences that come along with aging in a field that relies so heavily on physical abilities.

During an action-packed train scene, Bond takes a tumble in which he was believed to have passed away.  Bond uses this to his advantage while he enjoys his time detached from 007 and the high-stress activities that come along with working for Britain’s foreign intelligence agency, M16.

Not only does M have to deal with the supposed death of her most beloved agent, 007, but M16 lost control of information about England’s agents.  Both of these occurrences, along with M’s growing age have her new boss trying to get her terminated.

After returning to M16 in their greatest hour of need, Bond’s physical and mental state are nowhere near ready for the great task at hand, but M knows deep down that 007 was the man for the job.

While “Skyfall” contained all of the action elements that come along with Bond films, this movie took a deeper look into the history, character, and motives of the classic characters, particularly Bond and M.

 

 

85th Annual Academy Awards Recap

Celebrities gathered at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on Feb. 24 for the 85th Academy Awards hosted by “Family Guy” creator and “Ted” star Seth MacFarlane.

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This was the first time in history that Academy Awards have had a theme and that theme was “Music in Film”. This was demonstrated throughout the night beginning with MacFarlane’s opening act.

In the opening, William Shatner channeled his role from “Star Trek” by telling MacFarlane what the 2013 Oscars headlines were in the future.  MacFarlane did a number of musical acts trying to redeem him for future Oscar headlines. MacFarlane tried many different things in his opening monologue. He sang a song about seeing actresses’ breasts in films, which struck many critics the wrong way. Then he did a dance with Charlize Theron and Channing Tatum, followed by a dance number with Daniel Radcliffe and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. The opening ended with an extravagant performance to the song “Be Our Guest”.

While the opening ends with great reviews, headlines about MacFarlane’s performance have been rather unfavorable.

Christoph Waltz took home the Oscar for Actor in a Supporting Role for his performance in “Django Unchained.” This film also awarded Quentin Tarantino an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay.

The cast of “The Avengers”, the most successful film of 2012, took the stage to present the Achievement in Cinematography award to Claudio Miranda for “Life of Pi”. “Life of Pi” won the most Oscars of the night. In addition to Achievement in Cinematography, the film won for Best Director, Best Original Score, and Best Visual Effects.

Halle Berry hosted a tribute to the 50th Anniversary of the legendary “James Bond” films. Tying this tribute back to the theme of the event, “Music in Film”, they took a look at the thrilling and heart pounding music of past “James Bond” films including a live performance by Shirley Bassey.

Jennifer Lawrence, who was voted best dressed by ABCs twitter vote, graced the stage to present “Amour” with the Oscar for Foreign Language Film. This was the second movie from Austria to win an Oscar under this category.

John Travolta began the tribute to the best musical movies of all times. The tribute began with Catherine Zeta-Jones performing a song from the hit movie “Chicago” and was followed by Jennifer Hudson performing a song from “Dreamgirls.” Perhaps one of the most memorable moments of the night was when the cast of “Les Miserables,” including Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway and Amanda Seyfried, dazzled the audience with a live performance.

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One of the funniest moments of the night was when Mark Wahlberg and America’s favorite teddy bear, Ted, graced the stage.  They presented “Les Miserables” with an Oscar for Sound Mixing. “Les Miserables” received two other Oscars including Best Makeup and Best Supporting Actress for Anne Hathaway.

Wahlberg and Ted also announced a tie for Sound Editing, which went to “Zero Dark Thirty” and “Skyfall”. It was the only win for “Zero Dark Thirty” of the evening, however Adele Adkins and Paul Epworth won Best Original Song from “Skyfall”. Adele not only won Best Original Song for “Skyfall”, but she captivated the audience by singing it live.

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Kristen Stewart limped onstage accompanied by Daniel Radcliffe making his first Academy Awards appearance. They presented Production Design to Jim Erickson of “Lincoln”. “Lincoln” received another big win when Daniel Day-Lewis won Best Actor.

George Clooney introduced the “In Memoriam” tribute to those who have passed away. The tribute included a performance from Barbra Streisand.

One of the most talked about stars of the night was Quvenzhané Wallis of “Beasts of the Southern Wild” for being the youngest actress nominated for an Oscar. However, to no surprise, Jennifer Lawrence won Best Actress. Although Lawrence tripped while making her way to the stage, she brushed it off jokingly in her acceptance speech.

Oscar 2013 Jennifer Lawrence accepts the award for best actress

The moment that everyone had been waiting for was the award for Best Picture.  Jack Nicholson took the stage to present the winner, a job that is usually done solo. However, he threw a curve ball at the audience when First Lady Michelle Obama popped on the screen from the White House. After a quick speech about the importance of the arts, Michelle opened the envelope and announced “Argo” as Best Picture.

Unlike the appearance of Michelle Obama, “Argo” winning Best Picture was no surprise because it won Best Drama at the Golden Globes.  “Argo” also won Oscars for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Film Editing.

Kristen Chenoweth, who hosted the pre-show on ABC, joined MacFarlane on stage to close the 2013 Academy Awards by singing an ode to all of the people who waited through the three and a half hour long event and walked away without an infamous Oscar.

Grammys Standouts: Best and Worst Performances

Best

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Justin Timberlake made his big comeback in the music scene!!!!  I went to the Bye Bye Bye N’Sync tour so I kind of feel like I discovered him and have been in love ever since.  Justin has no flaws.  Think about it, he is great at everything he does and his Grammy performance was amazing.  I love the song Suit and Tie because it incorporates some jazzy elements that I feel have been lost in todays culture.  The black and white effects for his act made this sexy song all the better and I could not be more impressed or excited to see what all he brings with this next album.

I was a big fan of Rihanna back in her innocent Pon de Replay days, but her songs got manipulated for the Top 40 music feel which I really am not a fan of.  She also went through a punk style after the incident with Chris Brown and I was not feeling her or her music.  I had actually forgotten that she is a talented singer because of the cookie cutter pop songs she has been doing recently. However, this performance was absolutely stunning.  I had the chills and it reminded me just how talented she really is and makes me hope that she comes out with some beautiful vocals soon.  Bravo Rihanna, you may take your well deserved bow after that performance.

I know Hunter Hayes’ time on the Grammy stage was short, but I loved it.  I am very biased because I love him to pieces and think he is so talented and has the cutest lyrics ever.  Wanted will always be one of my favorite songs and I think it was amazing that he got to perform although I was disappointed that he didn’t win anything that he was nominated for.  HUNTER I LOVE YOU!

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We could say Maroon 5 and Alicia Keys made it to my list of best performances, but really all I care about is Adam Levine.  I absolutely adore him.  I think that men got Beyonce during the Superbowl and women got JT and Adam Levine as their eye candy during the Grammys.  I thought that this performance was great and Alica Keys killed it.  Well done!

Worst

As big of a country fan that I am, it was just not the night for my blonde country superstars.

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I have no words about Taylor Swift from the Grammys last night except just sit down.  She was the epitome of trying too hard.  First off what the hell was up with the Alice and Wonderland themed costumes?  We Are Never Getting Back Together has literally nothing in common with Alice and Wonderland.  It looked to me like she was trying to channel her inner Gaga and create a theatric performance, but it does not and will never work for her.  Second, she sucks at choreography.  She was trying to look all seductive and stuff, but all she was really doing was walking and pointing.  She looked awkward with every step that she took.  I used to be a fan of Taylor and I still like some of her music, but she needs to chill out and go back to her country girl roots.  That’s what works for her.

Miranda Lambert was not terrible last night by any means, but I must say that I was very disappointed.  I am a huge fan, but I just felt like the band was too loud and she was too soft.  It is such a lyrical song, but we could hardly hear the words and it was by far not her best vocal performance because I have seen her live and know that she can do so much better.  I think many could agree with me when I say that I almost forgot that she even performed because it was very bland.

Carrie Underwood was absolutely amazing if you listened to her, but I think we were all distracted by the fact that they made her dress a Cinemax production.  I mean seriously what were they thinking?  I understand that they were trying to make some cool effects, but it didn’t look good and it totally distracted us from her performance.  Carrie was great, but that outfit and light show on her dress was terrible.

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The last performance was just stupid.  There were some fabulous acts during The Grammys but they chose LL Cool J to end the show?  Like who is that really?  I haven’t heard his name in years.  I honestly was so done by that point that I had to turn this act off and I am not sorry that I did.