Thursday, March 29, 2018

The Wonder of Menopause

Greetings one and all. The following post you are about to read was conceived from a draft I had started in the year 2011. A whopping six seven years later, I decided to actually finish this post to fruition, for no particular reason other than I had a lot already written. Also, six seven years has really altered my perspective on Sex and the City, as well as the characters in the show. Their actions now have a remarkable truth to them that my friends and I can all relate to. To differentiate my present thoughts from my past thoughts, I will apply the Helvetica font to the past. Here we go.

Let me stop you there. No, this is not literally a post about the wonder of menopause. It is simply a title to refer to the utter genius of the Sex and the City movies. Clever, ain't it? No it ain't, you self-absorbed cunt. Well, they are really old women. Actually, not quite; they just act as if they're still in their twenties, which make them appear to be a lot older than they really are. Late forties. Yes, ladies. You are all in your late forties. Take a deep breath and accept it. Allow me to introduce you to the women I'm talking about here.

Carrie Bradshaw is a quasi-fashion/television icon. In the eyes of millions of women (relax), she is their idol: a beautiful, smart, witty, stylish woman. More importantly, Carrie views herself as a beautiful, smart, witty, stylish woman. And so we begin my undying criticism. Unlike the general population of women, I view Carrie Bradshaw as an awful person. Yes, awful, in every single way. Not only is she not beautiful, but she is very fake. How astute. She treats those around her like they are beneath her. Not in a nasty way, oh no, our Carrie would never. She treats them with excessive kindness and coos over those who buy their clothes at non-designer stores. "Aww! You buy off the rack! How adorable!" (That's just an example of her patronizing personality.) In this way, and so many others that I will get into, she is a bad person. No need to put the sugar coat on, she's a conceited bitch. But she wears some interesting clothing. Not stylish, interesting.

Seven years later... It's amazing how time can change a person's inclinations. If you refer to a previous post I made, I recanted my hatred for Carrie Bradshaw in exchange for a sober self-awareness. I realized that I identify with Carrie on numerous levels, including our shared aspirations to write and find love among the growing list of male encounters. Watching Sex and the City (the show) as I enter my twenties offers me an enlightening look into life as a young woman. Granted, I am not living in New York City and do not come into contact with men as diverse and adult. However, the behavior of these four characters rings so true to the actions of my friends and myself. Carrie and Co. have defined the single life, providing spot-on examples and rules to the dating scene. Just now I am understanding the landmark these ladies have established, and, in a way, it gives me solace in this endlessly frustrating society of pseudo-relationships and hook-ups.

Charlotte York is the prettiest of the group, as well as the least annoying. In fact, I have absolutely no problem with her; in fact, I actually like her! Wow, really?! A little bit. In the second movie, she became a tad irritating. She is centered around her husband and daughters, as well as the cliched delusion that her husband might be sleeping with the hot Irish nanny. I mean, have you met Harry? He's obsessed with Charlotte and they're actually married for crying out loud. I love how you used the status of marriage as an explanation for his fidelity, how cute. Anyway, Charlotte is the most proper, prim lady of the group. Actually, she is the only lady of the group. All the others just love talking about penises and sperm. Jesus christ, did you hit your head on your way from heaven, you sanctimonious prude? If only you could see yourself now. (Expect that kind of vulgar chatter in this post, as there is a lot of it in the movie. Makes sense. No shit.)

Hahahahaha. You have to laugh at prude observations of a sixteen-year-old, you really do. Don't get me wrong, I still love Charlotte. Although, I don't identify with her as much anymore. I admit, I can be as naive and hopeful as her, especially considering that I intend to meet my future husband in my twenties and here I am twenty-two years old already. Time is ticking and sometimes I feel like Charlotte: I, too, am exhausted of looking around and wasting time with randoms. I just want to meet my ideal man with flaws and have a fairytale wedding in Disney World. As for that comment I made about penises and sperm? Sex is probably what my friends and I discuss most and I'm not complaining. That's what losing your virginity and nearly four years of experience will do for your priorities I guess.

Miranda Hobbes is a career-driven woman, wife to a whiny E (as in Eric Murphy-lookalike from Entourage) and mother to a strange-looking little boy. Tight pop culture reference, loser. Miranda reminds me very much of Lynette from Desperate Housewives. (Is there any other Lynette? Sure there are, take it easy.) The only difference is that I can tolerate Miranda, and she does not strive to destroy the lives of others. In the movies, she's more family-oriented, and since that's how I know her, that's the one I'll be referring to. Disregard, motion to strike. She reminds me, appearance-wise, of Tilda Swinton. Okay? That's all I have to say on the matter.

This was a really boring description of Miranda. I have to apologize. While Miranda is much less aggravating than Lynette, I do have my disagreements with her. First of all, she's a livid, die-hard feminist. I've said this before: I am not a feminist. The modern-day kind, that is. In the past, when women had practically zero rights and authority in America, feminism was needed. In 2018, however, it's a moot point. I mean, we're about to have a woman president--let's face it, we are HAHA--and I bet feminists will still have their complaints. Modern-day feminist theory focuses on the idea that women are controlled by the domineering patriarchy; in other words, women are mindless drones who bend at the will of men? I'm not about to get into an argument with the feminists. I don't have to worry anyway, since no one reads this. Back to Miranda, what I admire about her is the advice and collected criticisms of Carrie. She reminds me of my one good friend who calls me out on mistakes I've made, in a way that allows me to recognize my errors and change for the better. She, like Miranda, also encourages me/Carrie to go through with decisions that may be considered controversial or wrong because it will make me/Carrie happy in the end. I'm being very vague, I want to clarify that these "wrong things" are not criminal or harmful to others. They mostly have to do with relationships and everyday choices. Moving on.

Samantha Jones. Ugh. That was a long, exaggerated ugh, by the way. I am forever amused by the sexual antics of this large lioness of a woman. She is such a big woman (not fat, big) it's almost frightening. Irrelevant, NEXT. When she acts seductive (which is pretty much all the time), it's quite funny to see such a woman succeed in her encounters with men. And, really, she's like sixty: what the fuck is she doing sleeping around with all these guys who are a quarter of her age? She's fucking killing it, that's what. Good for her. I understand why she's doing it, but why do the writers allow her to? It's almost sickening to watch. Whoa whoa, have you heard of female empowerment and confidence, you heathenous sexist? Let Samantha be her, geez. And her socialite-accent is beyond ridiculous. I'll give you that. Oh, I am going to have fun with this post.

That was actually pretty accurate. For movie Samantha, at least. I'm pretty proud of my young self for making such a good description. Pat on the back. Now, TV show Samantha is a different story. First off, she is far more attractive in the television series, obviously because she's younger. Not that that's relevant really, to each his/her own am I right? I understand that the writers wanted to send the message that, no matter the age, Samantha will be Samantha and that's what we got in the films. I notice I use movies and films interchangeably. Probably because they're practically the same thing. Unnecessary comment. TV Samantha was actually quite profound and insightful. The advice and humor she contributed were perhaps the most helpful and reflective of reality. She was cynical and relationship-phobic, though she comprehended love and applied that wisdom to her conversations with Carrie and friends. Of course, she tended to feel the need to sprinkle in some juicy sexual innuendo, and I'm not complaining. That is, if she doesn't overdo it.

Again, before you feel duped for having your time wasted (oh, just you wait), this post has nothing to do with the television series of Sex and the City. This post will contain elements of the two movies only, what happens in the films and all. If you're looking for criticism on the television show, look elsewhere. Don't you love when I take ages to get to the main point of a post? Don't you simply adore it? Fuck off already. Okay, let the fun begin.

Just kidding! I will be discussing both the movies and the show. I'd like to show a striking contrast between the two. While I still believe that the movies are just really long episodes of Sex and the City, I recognize the sage brilliance of the show as a hilarious and accurate look into the lives of women who have been on every spectrum of the dating scale. Whatever that means. Every woman has been single once in their life though. Obviously. What a stupid fucking comment, I am so sorry. Of course every woman has been single. Come on, V, do better. This post is probably going to be of considerable length. You've been warned.

Sex and the City (the movie) starts off as a continuation from whatever was going on in the television series. Apparently, Charlotte and her second husband, Harry, both Jews whether by birth or converting, had just adopted a Chinese girl named Lily. You see, they have issues with their reproductive they can't make their own baby...yeah. Oh my god, it's not that awkward. You're making it awkward, you tactless idiot. Miranda married Steve and had a baby with him. Scratch that, they had a bastard baby and then they got married and moved to Brooklyn to live happily ever after. Yeah, that should be a safe and nurturing environment to raise a child and avoid getting raped. Good lord. Samantha, after numerous sexual conquests, settled down with Smitt Jared, one of her celebrity clients. Oh, did I mention that Samantha has her own publicity firm, and that Smitt is her only client? Because all you see in her office are posters of him. That's pretty funny. Well, the two are shacking up in L.A., where Samantha has problems adjusting away from her home of New York City. Carrie and her long-time on-off boyfriend, whom she and her girlfriends so obnoxiously refer to as Mr. Big (or Big...I wonder where they got that name from OH look at you with the knowing, tongue-in-cheek innuendo you dog), are finally in her dream-scenario: they are ridiculously in love and buying an expensive penthouse. Welcome home, baby.

Jesus, I was way more insulting before than I am now. Or at least I've matured enough to refine my insults with a bit more tact. I just shot out expletives all over the place, bastard baby and all. I mean, my god. Here is another instance to show the passing of time, for I clearly do not express myself as crudely as I did back then. I am not one to apologize for my actions, past present or future, but good god I need to apologize for whoever that cringey bitch was. Sheesh. Beyond that, I have moved away from petty playground insults. You remember the days when you just spouted out "rape" and "bastard baby" in the schoolyard? Far too well.

Like Depserate Housewives, money is an utterly irrelevant factor. Either that or the girls are tastelessly showing off how much money they have. Shoes that cost over five-hundred dollars? Really? Now, before I get carried away (get it? Carrie-d away? Oh, puns. Or limericks? HAHAHA wow!) and give you the entire synopsis of the movie, let me just stop and take a breath. Because I believe I am going to just do this all point-by-point, analyzing every detail. Are you ready for another Desperate Housewives-like juggernaut? Absolutely not.

Boy, was that a tough read. Talk about insufferable cringe. As much as I despise my writing style circa-2011, it can be nice to walk down memory lane and realize how much my talent has developed over the years. Sure, it's presumptuous and pompous to call whatever this is "talent," but you have to pat yourself on the back now and then. I mean, admit it, I've definitely honed this so-called craft of mine since the early days of petty nit-picking and out-of-place profanity. Ah, high school.
Alrighty, down to business. Now that I am faced with the task of writing a previously-deemed "juggernaut," I find myself at a loss for words. Not due to the poignancy of Sex and the City, but wondering where the hell do I begin? The Desperate Housewives post--which I keep referring back to as though that was my opus--was just a dragged-out synopsis of a wonderful show written by that bitter, bigoted bitch from 2011. She wrote the synopsis, not the wonderful show. In case that needed clarifying. Ugh. Granted, I had oodles of fun writing praise and seething criticism for the show simultaneously, but the post as a whole is sort of vapid in its content. You can read a synopsis anywhere, and while I did provide some insight minced with gratuitous swearing, I think I can do better. Remember Stepford Wives when Nicole Kidman produced a show called "I Can Do Better," which essentially emasculated men by breaking up their marriages and ruining their lives? Boy, was she a raging feminist, and that was back in 2004! Yet there's still talk of inequality? Ladies and gentlemen, times up. Rant over.

As divergent thoughts of early female-empowered films and financial management roamed my mind, I realize that this post is already becoming an undesirable juggernaut of lofty verbiage interspersed with tangents. True, that characterizes most of my posts, but for something like this where I want to really dissect and analyze a significant element of pop culture (you guessed it, Sex and the City) I would prefer to gather my thoughts and cut right to the chase. As I stated above, I do not want an insipid synopsis muddled with zingers and directionless slop. That being said, I will wrap up this post from here. "Are you fucking kidding me, V? All that fanfare and memory-lane bullshit, and you're just going to wrap things up? No, you know what, go fuck yourself, you goddamn wench." Or something along those lines. I know, this was all a tease and I promise I did not realize it until the beginning of this paragraph. The reason I'm going on and on right now is to bulk up the conclusion. I know, insufferable wench that's me. I love how I talk as though I have a substantial audience. Alrighty kids, I'm signing off. Again, this is not the entire post. I am not finished in regards to the Sex and the City saga. Consider this entire tease of a post a lengthy introduction, but also prepare for another introduction to the subsequent menopause analysis. Farewell, cunts.

I'm a meme whore.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

O Oscar, My Oscar

Greetings and salutations. I don't know why I went for the Dead Poets Society reference, which references Walt Whitman's poem "O Captain, My Captain," after looking that up. This morning--I started this on Tuesday--the Oscar nominations were announced. I voraciously watched the live stream on my phone during my 8 a.m. class because I was just that eager. This year, contrasting previous years of awards season fever, I find myself in a different state of mind. Prior to the political and social uproars that now characterize these Hollywood events, the Oscars and accompanying awards ceremonies were joyous occasions celebrating the absolute best in cinema. Now, we live in an era of fear and quotas, sorry to say. This year is profound in its transition into a social-issue battle of oppression with a massive movement that has swallowed Hollywood whole: the #TimesUp trend. I call it a trend for the time being because, like #OscarsSoWhite, this too will fade away. Yet I'm about to contradict myself as I say this movement of brave women is consuming the fabric of Hollywood and spitting out what seems to be a new landscape. Men are no longer men, says the bigoted female writer. The moment a man is accused and bombarded with allegations--yes just allegations--they are seemingly jettisoned from the Hollywood arena. Take a look at James Franco, a Best Actor frontrunner who was a shoo-in for an Oscar nod. Alas, he was absent from the final rendering of Best Actor potentials. All because a galley of ladies launched accusations against him...immediately after he won a Golden Globe mind you. I hate to express disbelief in my tone, but what are the odds? All this time, women in the entertainment industry have been pointing fingers and condemning actors ranging from irrelevant (Steven Siegal? Really, who cares?) to a monolith of influence (Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Dustin Hoffman, Louis C.K. don't even get me started on Louis C.K.). These women, I'm sorry, but they could have exposed James Franco at any damn time. The sheer coincidence of timing comes off as conspiratorial. I'm a conspiracy theorist at heart, don't ya know, so this endless stream of accusations just scream witch hunt to me. Yes, I said it: this whole thing is a goddamn witch hunt. But I digress. There will be plenty more conspiracy psycho-babble coming as I go down my list of grievances at this year's Oscar Nomination line-up.

Baby Driver - Funny story about this one. I've watched it twice, with intentions to watch it several more times in the future, and I even started a whole post back in July about how extraordinary this film was. I love this movie so much that I have overhyped it to everyone I know. Though I'm afraid that post will not come to fruition the way I'd like it to. However, I don't want to just toss what I already have written for the movie. That being said, without further ado, allow me to express my sincere adoration for Edgar Wright's brilliant, exhilarating masterpiece, Baby Driver:
At this point, everyone who has been a breathing part of society has heard of Baby Driver and how amazing it is. Such lofty praise is sure to breed skepticism, particularly with me because I'm a cynical bastard like that, so I entered the theater with moderate hopes and an objective mindset. I will not be swayed by word-of-mouth as I nearly was with La La Land. Now there is some widely undeserved praise that rises well above lofty and into pretentious adulation. Anyway. Baby Driver. This film certainly delivered in regards to how amazing it was because it was amazing. In the following post, there will be some spoilers. Each individual scene exhibits master filmmaking, so I have to describe what exactly is so fantastic beyond just saying it was fantastic. Catch my drift? Each screenshot from Baby Driver is an upbringing of unique cinema from the innovative mind of Edgar Wright, and each shot is assembled into one coherent and, most importantly, breathtaking piece. That's the perfect word to describe this film: breathtaking. In the sense that it can be suspenseful and literally take your breath away for a few tense moments. In the sense that the music of the film is its own entity, one that can lift the film into a lively crescendo and take your breath away from how impressive this feat truly is. In the sense that the entire production works and flows in such balanced harmony. Isn't harmony always balanced? Isn't that the meaning of the word? Each aspect of the movie meshes perfectly that you find yourself in the presence of outstanding filmmaking that is, dare I say it, breathtaking. That whole bit sounded a little like slam poetry and for that I extend my sincerest apologies. This also feels like the ideal way to end this post rather than start it...but what's done is done. What's that? I could just move that chunk to the end and find an alternate way to write an intro? W-well y-you know what, I'm not going to do that. Moving on.
Baby Driver begins somewhat uniquely. Right away, you can see that this movie is of the crime variety. I could have just said this was a crime film, but I just can't make things that simple, can I? Our title character, Baby (played impressively by Ansel Elgort, so impressively that he garnered a Golden Globe nod to my hysterical delight), is sitting in the driver's seat of what appears to be a getaway car. The three passengers dressed in all black exit the car, place masks over their mouths, and walk toward a bank with the intention to rob it. I've seen movies before, don't ya know. Rather than pan in to the actual robbery where the excitement is surely unfolding, Wright hones in on the getaway driver, Baby. Cue "Bellbottoms" by The Jon Spencer Blue Explosion and Baby breaks into a carefree lip-sync rendition that gets the movie rolling. Here, you can see Baby's personality as well as Elgort's interpretation of this mellow character. Here he is, just about to escape the crime scene, and he is blithely mouthing the words to "Bellbottoms," a song which fits seamlessly along with the subsequent car chase mind you. In fact, Wright himself (or was it Elgort?) said that each scene is like a music video that goes along with the song in the background. This suggests that the film was fit around the soundtrack rather than the soundtrack complementing the film. It is such a refreshing, unique concept to orchestrate a movie like this, at least in my eyes, that immediately cements Baby Driver into the category of modern-day classic. To end this tangent, I will say that Baby Driver has the distinct feeling of a cult classic yet thus far has received praise that is present day and not ahead of its time. No, the time for exceptional films like Baby Driver is now, and I hope Hollywood follows suit to churn out such ingenuity like this in the future. I repeat movies like Baby Driver are creative relics, not Get Out; for god's sake listen up. Again, that felt like a concluding statement, but I'm keeping it right here in this paragraph. Moving on. The opening sequence demonstrates Baby's unreal driving skills. This entire scene is full of such a frenetic energy that immediately after leaving the theater you just want to shift gears and drift all across the roads at 80+ miles per hour. But you don't do that because, let's be realistic here, you probably don't have the edge and talent to execute that successfully. Me especially, considering I am car illiterate and deem shifting gears to be a wild thing to do on the road. The manner in which Wright filmed the car chase, as well as every driving scene, is as effortless as Baby's driving, which is a mighty fine compliment for the directing and cinematography. Once this car chase slides to a smooth close, the title card appears. The next scene is a one-take shot of Baby going to get his heist crew some coffee. As mundane as this scene sounds, the music set to this scene--"Harlem Shuffle" by Earl, Bob--is seen in the backdrop as the lyrics of the song appear as graffiti behind Baby as he strolls along. That sentence was choppily phrased, I realize, but you get the gist and may I say that is some damn clever filmmaking right there. I'm going to say filmmaking a lot, aren't I? From here on, I am relying solely my recollections of the film. For potential future reference, I may refer to this for future writing reference. That was quite a bit of writing influence in one sentence that encapsulates one paragraph. I'm done now, maybe. What the hell did I even say just then?
I just did some perusing on the dark channels of the Internet (i.e. critics' reviews) and found a disturbing pattern in regards to labelling this film. Many have called Baby Driver a "summer action comedy." I disagree wholeheartedly with this label because it diminishes the profound excellence of the film. The Other Guys is an action comedy. Rush Hour is an action comedy. Beverly Hills Cop is an action comedy. I can go on and you notice a trend, yes? The aforementioned films are funny movies with strong elements of action. Baby Driver, on the other hand, is a crime film with very strong elements of action and merely hints of quality comedy. The various outcomes of the film, including several gruesome deaths, dispel any suggestion of this movie being a full-on action comedy. Granted, every critic's interpretation is different, but to filter such an exceptional film like Baby Driver under the not-to-be-taken-seriously category of action comedy is erroneous. Why I care so much about the wording here is because action comedies do not receive golden praise during awards season. Maybe an obligatory Best Comedy/Musical nod at the Golden Globes, but nothing more. However, Baby Driver is worthy of far more praise, as it is the one of the most acclaimed films of the year and by far the most refreshing in terms of novelty. That's my two cents right there, take it or leave it. On that note, I believe I made a damn decent conclusion, wouldn't you say? Until I said that last bit anyway.
What a sad last paragraph that was. How hopeful, how naive I once was. Believe me, I did not expect Baby Driver to get a Best Picture or Best Director nod, I merely hoped with all hope that the Academy would recognize a masterful piece of cinema since, ya know, that's what the Oscars are supposed to do. No, instead let's nominate a film that is not only overhyped but wildly mediocre in quality. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Get Out.

Get Out - One of the most extolled films of the year is undoubtedly Jordon Peele's directorial debut, Get Out. With the massive yet surprising amount of hype for what is essentially a horror film, I entered the theater (that is, my home theater) with skepticism. With my newfound love for the horror genre, I embraced the opportunity to add another horror film, especially one so universally appreciated, to my list of great horror films. I don't have an actual list like that written anywhere, it's all up here. I pointed to my head. Anyway, Get Out started as any horror movie does, with trepidation and false-hope that this is actually a sweet Meet the Parents-esque comedy. Of course, there is a twist that almost guarantees this movie won't be as light-hearted as Ben Stiller milking cats. Daniel Kaluuya drifts rather emotionlessly throughout the film as Chris Washington, the black man in the equation, while Alison Williams plays his white girlfriend Rose Armitage. I said twist earlier but this interracial couple isn't the twist of the film. That so-called twist comes later and I say so-called because of recycled material. I'll explain later. Writing all this out, I don't want to do a synopsis because (1) you've probably seen Get Out and you probably loved it, and (2) synopses are boring and readily available on more reputable sources than my blog. Daniel Kaluuya's performance in the film is average at best. It's certainly not terrible and he portrays a very likable protagonist, one you root for without question. Though this can be credited to the dexterity of the film's villains; in fact, most cases I've seen in my movie-watching experience demonstrates the villain as a superior actor. In Get Out, since we're being specific, I give the most credit to Alison Williams's performance because--spoiler alert--she was in on her family's sick, generational game all along. Now we approach the twist, after skipping past the minor details of the plot. Why I used the term "recycled material" is because the twist in Get Out is remarkably similar to the memorable twist in Skeleton Key. That's right, the twists are nearly identical. In Skeleton Key, the spirits of Cecile and Justify, two black servants, conduct a "transference of souls" whenever their white host bodies start getting old. I would watch the entire movie to get a better idea of what I'm trying to say--even though I essentially just spoiled it for you--because the film itself is a wonderful gothic mystery that is absolutely without question superior to Get Out. Enter Jordon Peele's social commentary that sneaks past viewers as a rendition/remake of Skeleton Key. I'm not chastising Peele for copying the 2005 horror film per say, I just don't see how audiences and critics alike are calling this film innovative. Please.
Let me get into exactly what it is about Get Out that I'm just not crawling up the walls in admiration like everyone else. Did that sentence make sense? Sure. The film started very promising--I repeat, I was very impressed with the first half of the movie. It is for this reason that I was so dissatisfied by the overall product. The film pulled me in as a viewer, forming tangible tension and intrigue. I wondered what really was going on at this mysterious Armitage residence. The black servants in the film delivered excellent suspense and an element of creepiness that characterizes quality horror. Listen to me, I was flat-out interested in what this movie was about and curious to see the climax and conclusion. Alas, this excitement was thwarted by an uneventful twist. I guess I am a bit miffed that Jordon Peele borrowed the twist from Skeleton Key. I just really liked Skeleton Key, and for this movie to garner so much success and praise, and for Skeleton Key to be just another horror is a slap in the face. There are comma splices somewhere around here, I apologize. With horror movies especially the ending is key. Oftentimes, an unhappy ending is a great ending for a horror film, as with Sinister and Skeleton Key. The fact that Get Out ended with the protagonist surviving and even escaping the authorities is disappointing. Imagine a perfect end to this so-called satire: After all that bloodshed and trauma, Chris is foiled by the police and arrested for the murder of the Armitage family. Now that would be the ideal conclusion to the social commentary this film claims to be.
UPDATE: After some lazy research, I discovered that a version of this ending was Jordon Peele's original intention. Here's a soundbite: “The idea here is… the house and all the evidence has burned down, and this is a system that values the rich white people and takes their side,” he says. “So my feeling is what would happen in this movie is Chris would end up in jail, just because of how it looks. [But] by the time I was shooting this, it was clear the world had shifted.” Are you kidding me? Horror movies generally have not-so-cheerful, depressing endings! For Peele to censor his initial creative vision due to the political climate is outrageous. In fact, that better ending would have contributed to the "conversation" even more, showing how law enforcement is biased against black people. Down right aggravating. Back to the show.
Some kudos I will give this movie is for Alison Williams, who is by far the most interesting character in a film that is otherwise lackluster. She was the creepiest character in the movie and we barely got any insight into her psychotic side, as we were exposed to the innocent girlfriend throughout the film. I believe Cinemasins expressed interest in a spin-off prequel that shows Rose's origins. Now that sounds like a genuine horror. Here is a snippet of a review published in Variety: "Blending race-savvy satire with horror to especially potent effect, this bombshell social critique from first-time director Jordan Peele proves positively fearless — which is not at all the same thing as scareless." I haven't felt such cringe from pretentious, lofty writing since I read the praise for Birdman. Speaking of that god-awful film that previously snagged the Best Picture title, I would say Get Out is not as infuriating, but damn near close. Get Out was definitely a better film though that isn't saying much. Have you heard just how much I hate Birdman lately? What is frustrating about Get Out is the universal praise that goes beyond admiration and into labelling the thing as a modern-day classic. No, Baby Driver is the modern-day classic of 2017, goddamn it. I really liked Baby Driver.
Regarding the position of Get Out in this year's awards season, I'm sure you can discern my irritation. Aside from the fact that Get Out is a mediocre horror-drama-social commentary-whatever, it has no place at the Academy Awards. Horror films just are not recognized, and if you dare defy me fine. How about nominating IT, a film that surpasses Get Out in quality, cinematography, and general horror elements? I have already seen IT three times and intend to watch it again when I feel for watching a superb horror future-classic. And talk about sheer cinematic excellence! Get Out is positively inferior to several films this year that have been snubbed, including Baby Driver, The Disaster Artist, I Love You, Daddy (yes, I saw the forbidden film, and yes it was outstanding), IT, and even Wonder Woman and I do not condone superhero nominees at the Oscars. Get Out is just such a bland, massively overhyped nominee. Feel free to disagree, nearly everyone does.

A Series of Unfortunate Snubs - When I say "a series," I really only mean one major focus and a few other mentions. (Try zero other mentions.) I just rallied around that play on words. It's like the book series, get it? Get out. Perhaps the most shocking snub, certainly the most upsetting for me, was James Franco for his fantastic turn as Tommy Wiseau in The Disaster Artist. Now, I have to be solemn for a second and make a sincere confession: I absolutely love The Room. It is Tommy Wiseau's masterpiece of bad movie-making ingenuity. I have seen The Room three times at this point with intentions to watch it as often as I can without becoming Tommy Wiseau incarnate. I've already breached the point of obsession, I can admit that. I went to a limited screening of The Room where I gathered with fellow fanatics who brought spoons and footballs to the showing. It was by far the greatest movie-going experience I've ever had. I absolutely love The Room, and I do not hesitate in telling anyone who cares how much I love this movie. I am strongly considering writing a thesis on this movie, and, who knows, I might actually do that. Back to James Franco. First off, he gave a brilliant performance as Tommy Wiseau himself, capturing his eccentric persona down to that infectious laugh. Franco was so good, in fact, that he won a Golden Globe for his magical performance, beating Daniel Kaluuya for Get Out. I know, right?! Franco's win at the Golden Globes was definitely the highlight of the evening, and not just because he pulled off a surprise victory against Get Out. What made this moment supremely great was when James Franco called Tommy Wiseau up to the stage with him. I do not exaggerate when I say I screamed, chanting "YES TOMMY!" over and over again while squeezing my dad's equally giddy hand. His hand was giddy, you heard me. What I love just as much as Tommy, Franco, and both their movies is their genuine friendship. Franco actually likes Tommy--because who wouldn't?--without treating him like a freak à la Dinner with Schmucks. I absolutely love the reprised adoration The Room is getting, thanks to Greg "Oh Hai Mark" Sestero's novel and Franco's amazing film adaptation. Unfortunately, it looks like a 15th Anniversary homage to The Room is not in the cards for this year's Oscar ceremony because James Franco failed to receive a well-deserved nomination. Bastards.
Again, I find this very frustrating because Franco's performance was sincerely good and it's always a shame when the Academy snubs excellence in any category, especially acting in my opinion. For the Academy to snub solely based on the actor's personal life and politics du jour is all the more infuriating. Art should absolutely be separated from the artist. I mean, Roman Polanski has been lauded plenty of times after he evaded American authorities for drugging and raping a twelve year old girl. Oh yeah, I brought that up because Hollywood has seemingly forgotten the incident altogether. How can people like Louis C.K., who merely masturbated in front of consenting female friends, be ostracized and have his career effectively destroyed? Meanwhile, Polanski, who has been denounced guilty in a court of law, receives a Best Directing Oscar after the fact? I say Louis C.K. merely masturbated because (1) I truly do not see how this classifies as assault or traumatic for the women, he refers to his depraved sexual behavior in stand-up constantly and he asked the women for god's sake, (1a) for these women to say Louis jerking off in front of them served as an obstacle to their careers is ludicrous, I'm sorry but if your male friend starts masturbating in front of you it's an awkward yet hilarious incident, I mean come on, (1b) I took that point from Dave Chappelle's recent stand-up routine that is streaming on Netflix, highly recommend, (2) most importantly, for Louis C.K. to see his career in shambles while Polanski gets Oscars and excuses from his esteemed colleagues is the most hypocritical spit in the face to connoisseurs of Hollywood culture. Yes, I referred to myself as that word. I hate to go off on this tangent because this Hollywood witch hunt is simply ridiculous and rage-inducing.
To bring it back to the topic of unfortunate snubs, let me talk a little about a movie called I Love You Daddy, directed by the now-exiled Louis C.K. I would dedicate an entire post to this film because it is one of the greatest movies of the year without question. Alas, the controversy is a wet blanket in discussing the issue; it's just too sensitive a topic and I fear I may come off victim-blaming solely because I believe in viewing all evidence objectively. In any case, the controversy and theme behind the film is remarkably relevant to the conversation festering in Hollywood. The film covers topics such as disturbing age differences and how they are perceived in society, the power dynamic present in relationships particularly sexual ones, and Hollywood hierarchy in general. There is one profound argument proposed by John Malkovich's character, who is meant to be a stand-in for Woody Allen or Roman Polanski. Talking to Chloe's character about feminism--some would call this mansplaining, I would call them morons--and he explains the motives of traditional feminists and their desire to overthrow the patriarchy. Chloe asks if this would mean women rising to power would be better, to which Malkovich replies, "Who knows?" Because nobody can really know, yet feminists and alt-liberals alike are under the impression that matriarchy is the be-all-end-all answer to life as we know it. I love the impartial tone of this film, how there is no virtue-signalling and no definitive declarations of opinion as fact. This film is open to interpretation, as it has already been dissected by the few who watched it. From what I can gather, many critics agree that this film is a significant part of the conversation, whether they liked the movie or not. Personally, I thought this movie was borderline extraordinary relative to the pseudo-intellectual slop I've seen in recent years. From the beautiful homage to Woody Allen films (believe it or not I still consider him to be a fine director because his personal life is meaningless to me) to the impressive dramatic performances of actors like Louis C.K., Rose Byrne, and Charlie Day to the crisp, interesting dialogue that stirs up real conversation--this film was a triumph.
I Love You Daddy could really present an alternate voice to this topic of sexual harassment and gender dynamics in Hollywood. Instead, the film's release is delayed indefinitely, which basically means banned, because of the allegations against Louis C.K. and his subsequent attesting to and apology for said allegations. Does atonement mean nothing anymore in this business? Did it ever mean anything? In C.K.'s case, no amount of regret or sincere apologies could rectify the situation. Even the people in the movie like Charlie Day and Chloe Grace-Moretz (no shock there, I'm actually surprised she agreed to this film to begin with) condemn Louis C.K. and express regret for doing this movie. See, this massive paranoia and puritanical blacklisting is tainting the quality of Hollywood cinema as well as corrupting the minds of talented individuals to the point of brain-washing. Sexual assault and harassment is absolutely reprehensible and those accused of it deserve a fair trial, allowing victims to receive some form of vindication and prosecuting the vagrants appropriately. In Hollywood, however, sexual harassment isn't as black and white as it should be, and allegations and hearsay are all that's needed to ruin an actor's career in the entertainment industry. I talked about this plenty enough for how delicate the topic is. Some final thoughts are, once again, indignation at Franco's Oscar snub due to hearsay lacking legal proceedings, and sincere mourning for the impressive career in filmmaking Louis C.K. could have had.

That is all I really had to say about the Oscar nominations, for the time being anyway. I intend on watching as many nominees as I can before the ceremony so I can watch the Academy Awards with as little angry subjectivity as I can. Then again, watching these potentially pretentious and/or horrible films may worsen my bitter perspective. Movies I absolutely plan on watching include Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri; Lady Bird; I, Tonya; and The Florida Project. Maybes include The Shape of Water, The Post, Call Me By Your Name, Darkest Hour. I'm just listing off the nominees, it seems like. Anywho, I thank you for getting through this incredibly hostile and hateful post. You know how anger and a sense of wrongful doing are more powerful motivators than, say, happiness. I never write when I'm happy, to tell the truth, which sounds awfully depressing. On the bright side, I rarely ever write on this blog so I must be positively giddy all the time. Enter sarcasm because I have been writing quite a bit lately, just on my more personal channels (i.e. Tumblr, yes I've gone to the dark side). Acrimony aside, let's have a riotous, jolly good time with the remainder of awards season. My money's on Get Out for the win because fuck the Oscars. Cheers everybody.

P.S. Here's a clip from The Room that I absolutely had to include in this post.

Monday, May 8, 2017

American Beauty, etc.

          Greetings one and all. I know it's been quite some time since my last post, and I blame the majority of that on the Disney College Program. Granted, I've had some downtime where I could have written up a storm, not about movies but about the incredible time I'm having down here in Orlando, FL. Not only am I surrounded by pixie dust and the magic that define Disney, but I find myself growing into an entirely different person. Different in the sense that I am growing out of my insecurities and into an independent and confident persona. Am I making sense? Probably not, that's something I'll never grow out of. My intentions with this post do not involve extrapolating about my time here in Disney. I have a purpose in this post and--believe it or not--it involves an actual film. At last, on a sole day off I have amidst my busy schedule of working six days a week, I have the urge to write. Perhaps it sparked from my dad's inspiration to paint a remarkable painting? Perhaps it was provoked by a phenomenal film called American Beauty? Perhaps it was the three drinks I had with dinner? Who can ever be sure? Anyway, I plan on writing as much as I can before this choo choo train runs out. Bear with me with the various tangents and eccentricities that characterize my writing. Here we go.
          As I said, American Beauty is a truly phenomenal film, one I'm surprised I have yet to write about. In the past, I've said that it is easier to criticize--or in my case, brutally admonish--movies. Writing a post that extols a film's virtues (?) and good qualities is rather trite. The positive comments come off as repetitive, sounding as though they were generated by a thesaurus of compliments. Also, a scathing post is just so much more entertaining. American Beauty, however, is far from horrible. In fact, I consider it to be one of the greatest contemporary dramas of all time. Fun fact: I work at Disney's Contemporary Resort as a seater at both The Wave and The California Grill. I don't know why I capitalized the word "the." 
          Directed masterfully by Sam Mendes, the film follows Lester Burnham, a beyond average man who suffers through the monotony of suburbia. He laments over the loss of his life, the essence of happiness that should fill every person's day. He notes how his family despises him, how pathetic they think he is. The film documents (?) his desire and sudden action to take control of his life and improve it for himself and only himself. As simplified as that description sounds, the movie is orchestrated flawlessly and enraptures the audience into submission. Not in a sexual way or anything, why would you even think that? Submissive. The score, composed by Thomas Newman, is ideal as it envelopes the film in a quiet, curious ambience that asks viewers to "look closer," as the tagline reads. That was a pretentious way of saying that the musical score of American Beauty fits perfectly and sounded very good. The acting by Kevin Spacey is spectacular, the perfect combination of cynical and hopeful. I was really hoping for a better set of traits to come to mind but I have nothing. Lester has a wicked and dark sense of humor that I think any person can appreciate, particularly his outlook on the workplace, how the higher ups really do not care about their employees and how they treat them like less than human. I can appreciate that observation very much. I love my job, I promise. With that being said, I think there is a bit of Lester Burnham in all of us. Yet another cheesy statement, but what I mean is that each one of us has a moment, or ten, where we look blankly on events in life, commenting in our heads how absurd life can be. In one scene, Spacey even breaks the fourth wall when he tells his wife that he will act however she wants him to act in order to uphold a facade for everyone else. Then he proceeds to drink heavily at a social gathering as his wife puts on a fake smile and mills her way through a crowd of people she doesn't really like. It's as if his portrayal of Lester is asking, "Why do we as people have to subject ourselves to these asinine moments, essentially waste our lives, when we don't have to?" I feel I'm getting a little too philosophical. I think I just want to make this post as long as possible. Yes that's it. 
The film is essentially just a progression of Lester giving less fucks in his life and that is something I think all of us strive to do. Every time the new Lester stands up to someone, whether it's his wife or (even better) his boss, you can't help but find yourself grinning super wide because you have those fantasies of telling people off too. Lester himself smiles when he finds himself with the upper hand in a confrontation and his giddiness must feel glorious. He says in the movie, "It's a great thing when you realize you have the ability to surprise yourself," and us the audience can only imagine how great that must feel. I digress. Kevin Spacey is a first-class actor, without a doubt, and he deserved the Oscar for his humorous, real portrayal of a man who finds himself at the end--a spiritual awakening in a sense. As cheesy as that sounds, the movie is anything but. It's just my mediocre choice of words. Annette Being gives an amazing performance as his wife, Carolyn, a woman who transformed to fit the mold of a perfect housewife. Yet the shiny veneer that is her pleasant demeanor covers a desperate woman who struggles to keep up appearances. The scene where Carolyn preps the house she is determined to sell (spoiler: she's a real estate agent) captures this as she vigorously cleans a house only to find herself alone and a failure. That scene alone should have given her an Oscar, but no. Hillary Swank had to get it for Boys Don't Cry. As if anyone even remembers that movie, please. Not that I'm bitter still. 1999 was a long time ago, I get it. I don't actually. Supporting players include Thora Birch, who plays Jane Burham, their daughter. As I watch the movie, she reminds me of a 90s Jennifer Lawrence, only more depressed and less lucky with an agent in Hollywood. Because she never made it, that's the joke. As Jane, she is, as Lester puts it, a typical teenager: angry, insecure, and confused. She gets romantically involved with her new neighbor, Ricky Fitts (spoilers, spoilers everywhere), after she becomes flattered when he records her from his front porch. Hard to resist romance like that, I agree. Their relationship, in my opinion, stems out of their isolation from "normal" society as well as their individual loneliness. I'm no psych major or anything, but that's how I see it. One scene that has cemented itself in film history is the "most beautiful thing I've ever seen" clip where Ricky shows Janie a video of a cellophane shopping bag moving in the wind. Captivating stuff.
          Another character is Angela Hayes, the iconic girl covered in rose petals that the movie is recognized for. I promise I won't go into the symbolism of roses in this movie because I know that's taking it beyond pretentious into realms I don't want to tread. The focal point of her purpose here is Lester's obsession with her. Obsession may be a strong word, but he does envision her wearing nothing but rose petals throughout the movie. His attraction to her essentially inspires him to better himself to the point where he snaps out of the dullness of his domestic existence, becoming a whole new man. Although it is a tad creepy that his lust after a teenage girl motivated him to change into a "new man," it's not far from realistic. Middle-aged men thirst after some drive that will snap them out of monotony. Or so I assume based on this movie and stereotypes. Sure, she's underage and he's literally old enough to be her father, but whatever gets him going am I right? I hate that I used the word literally. And that I made that god-awful justification for Lester lusting after a high schooler. Lester lusting, that's funny. See, I told you to prepare yourself for just how weird I can get. I realize I'm giving a character-by-character analysis but I'd rather do that than give a full plot synopsis. It's not as if I'm giving away massive spoilers either, this is all basically from the trailer and word of mouth. Moving on.
          American Beauty is such a poignant portrait of the twentieth century American family. And yes, I acknowledge the pretentious loftiness of that statement. I talk as if I'm some film major who writes screenplays in hipster coffee shops, but I can assure you that I'm just your ordinary movie buff with a tendency embellishing my language. There I go again, talking like a hipster. I'm going to just ignore it and keep going, sound good? Wonderful. Beyond the Burnham family and their domestic dysfunctions, we have Ricky Fitts and his equally (if not more) dysfunctional family dynamic. His father, played magnificently by Chris Cooper, is military--he is the military, that's what I said--so of course he has a strict paternal role to play in the household. It goes further (farther?) than that as his wife/Ricky's mother is basically catatonic, milling through her role as caretaker for her boys without a shred of emotion. This can suggest that Ricky's father abused her. Actually, I can say that is a certainty based on his brute character. Now, your modern gender-studies-major feminist will have plenty to say about how much of a bigot he is, and he really is. Though I could care less about that. What disturbs me is the menacing hold he has over his family, how he has reduced his wife to a shell of a person. What's more disturbing is that, despite this persona, there is a sliver of heart in this man. There are scenes where I can sense him struggling with his dominant brute personality, how he strives for an affectionate relationship with Ricky. In the end, the brute wins and he is forced to live up to this manly man standard. Chris Cooper's performance was outstanding, worthy of more recognition, I reckon, as he portrayed a man struggling with his persona as a man's man. There is a questionable scene at the end, which to this day I still cannot comprehend. Those who have seen this movie know what scene I'm referring to. Moving on, Ricky chooses to play along in this stern setting and live his life behind a locked door of his room where he conducts drug deals and records mundane events and calls it art. True, there is an artistic aspect to the little things in life, but calm down. A plastic bag and a dead bird are not that fascinating. But I digress. More on Ricky, he exudes such a level of confidence to a point that is both impressive and intimidating. In all honesty, I can understand why Jane is drawn to him. Wes Bentley here sort of resembles Jake Gyllenhaal as well, so that might have something to do with how attractive he is. Sure, his videos of dead birds are creepy and so is the fact that he finds them to be "beautiful," but you can't judge someone over frivolous things like that. This is me commenting on Wes Bentley's solid performance, not how I'm in love with Ricky Fitts. Just clarifying.
          With that, that is all I have to say about the matter that is American Beauty. I am actually right in the middle of watching it, this massive spurt of writing just came to me. I'm incredibly talented, I know. I'm really not. Before I wrap this up, I would like to talk about my time here in Florida thus far. As of now, I have been living it up in Disney for about three months and it feels like I've been here for years. I found myself here, as annoyingly cheesy as that sounds, and I feel myself becoming a happier person because of it. The interesting thing is that nothing about me as a person has really changed. I may have said something earlier about Disney changing me as a person, which I would like to take back now if that is what I said. "Why not just scroll up to see if you actually did say it?" Because I don't really feel like it, Cheryl, relax. Anyway. The single thing that has changed about me is how I view and carry myself in life. I can finally start a conversation with someone I don't know without thinking that I come across as some weird, random person. I can stand up for myself and not give a damn about what people think. Now I only care a tiny bit about what other people think, and that's okay because you can't go through life being a complete bitch, right? I can finally talk to a guy without the thought in the back of my head that I am unattractive or uninteresting. That is not to say that I consider myself a flawless, extraordinary person because I definitely do not. What I can say is that the insecurities that have restrained me from enjoying life before have disintegrated slightly. I say slightly because there will always be that cunt in the back of my mind telling me how unworthy I am of happiness. What is different now that I've been living here is that I can tell that mind cunt to fuck off from time to time. I say cunt a lot, that hasn't changed. I'm going to stop before this becomes some off-beat slam poetry set about how I've changed because I'm starting to irritate even myself.
          Well, that's all I have to put on the record for now. I hope I'll get more of these bursts of inspiration to write because I truly love writing. I know only a handful of people actually take the time to read this, and that the majority of them is people I know in real life, but I write because I love it. While I appreciate the flattery from those who read it--I'm looking at you Paul S.--I don't seek out recognition. As if that was ever a question. I think I'm just writing a bunch of nonsense to make this post a bigger chunk than it already is. So long for now and see ya real soon.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Golden Globe Predictions 2017

Good evening and welcome to another addition of movies and digressing on various tangents. This will not be a very long post, I've already come to peace with this conclusion. With the Golden Globes airing tomorrow night, I figured it would be nice for me to throw my hat in the ring. Not with a dark horse film nomination, obviously. Why would you even think that? The purpose of this post is as the title entails: I will share my predictions of who I think will win the Golden Globe for each film category. I will also include who I would like to win based on whether I've seen the movie or performance, obviously. Mostly based on how good a film or performance looks because, as of now, I have seen about four of the movies listed across all categories. Let us now jump right into this.

Best Motion Picture - Drama
Manchester by the Sea
Hell or High Water
Hacksaw Ridge

This category is practically a no-brainer. There are awards pundits who suggest that this is a race between Manchester by the Sea and Moonlight, but given the massive controversy at last year's Oscars, I'm going to have to go ahead and declare Moonlight's victory right now. Based on the high racial tensions spread throughout the country, giving this award to anyone but Moonlight would have murderous results. As if Hollywood is full of disenfranchised African-Americans, but I suppose that's neither here nor there. The only film I've seen in this category was Hell or High Water, which was an excellent film that may have had a chance in another year with less quotas. Ahem, pardon me, without such strong competition. Projected winner: Moonlight. Desired winner: Hell of High Water.

Best Motion Picture - Comedy/Musical
La La Land
20th Century Women
Sing Street
Florence Foster Jenkins

Not much to predict here, given the mass acclaim for La La Land, a film that is universally lauded as the greatest film of the year. (If you don't count Moonlight, of course.) La La Land is at the top of my list of films to watch this year in regards to awards season. Did I mention that this is my favorite time of the year? La La Land has such an old Hollywood feel about it, I absolutely love the premise of it. While many people believe this category to be a landslide victory for La La Land, I would not be surprised if the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) threw people a curveball and gave the award to Deadpool. This could be another Hangover situation where a crowd favorite takes home the Globe and stuns critics. We shall see. Projected winner and desired winner: La La Land.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama
Casey Affleck for Manchester by the Sea
Viggo Mortensen for Captain Fantastic
Denzel Washington for Fences
Joel Edgerton for Loving
Andrew Garfield for Hacksaw Ridge

Well well, Ben Affleck's little brother finds himself back in the awards circuit, this time in a leading performance in a film that seems totally uninteresting. Though it is one of the most acclaimed films of the year, both Manchester by the Sea and Casey Affleck's performance appear to be unimpressive. The film itself looks pretty boring, no sugarcoating it, but then again I have to see it before making any assumptions. That's never stopped me before, but hey it's a new year and a time for change. In any other year with no political overtures, I would say this award is a clinch for Casey Affleck. However, there indubitably are political overtures that could favor Denzel Washington. In my opinion, Denzel's performance, in the trailer at least for I have not seen Fences yet, looks much stronger than Casey's. Again, we shall see. Projected winner: Casey Affleck. Desired winner: Andrew Garfield, because I see potential in him as a young actor and hope he moves up in the movie world.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama
Amy Adams for Arrival
Natalie Portman for Jackie
Jessica Chastain for Miss Sloane
Isabelle Huppert for Elle
Ruth Negga for Loving

I don't think there will be any surprises in this category. Natalie Portman has been the frontrunner not only for the Globe but also for the Oscar in recent weeks. Her turn as Jackie Kennedy, a mysterious figure who for some reason fascinates the American public, has been praised across the boards. Then again, with the past election results, perhaps the HFPA will throw another ridiculous curveball by awarding Chastain for her performance as some corrupt female political figure. Feminism is still needed according to everyone in Hollywood, but I still believe Natalie Portman has this in the bag. Whatever that saying means. Projected and desired winner: Natalie Portman.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Comedy/Musical
Ryan Gosling for La La Land
Ryan Reynolds for Deadpool
Jonah Hill for War Dogs
Colin Farrell for The Lobster
Hugh Grant for Florence Foster Jenkins

First, may I just say that I am happy to see Hugh Grant return to the spotlight as well as be recognized for a film that I haven't seen yet but want to see. Welcome back, you sexy British gent you. Now this is a surprisingly tricky category. On one hand, La La Land is among the most nominated films of the year as well as the most praised film of the year. However, most of the praise regarding performances has gone to Emma Stone. That being said, this award is open season for the Hugh Grant and Ryan Reynolds. Should it go to Hugh Grant, I will be pleasantly pleased. (Redundant adjective-verb phrasing, it was intentional.) Ryan Reynolds has a strong chance in this category because Deadpool was adored not only by critics by general audiences as well. Once again, a potential Hangover stunner. Projected winner: Ryan Reynolds, a high stakes and controversial wager. Desired winner: Hugh Grant.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Comedy/Musical
Emma Stone for La La Land
Annette Bening for 20th Century Women
Lily Colins for Rules Don't Apply
Meryl Streep for Florence Foster Jenkins
Hailee Steinfeld for The Edge of Seventeen

Here we arrive to the prospective darling of this year's awards season: Miss Emma Stone for her critically acclaimed role as an aspiring actress in Hollywood. A win for her would be such a beautiful ode to Hollywood tradition, a dedication to the ambitious hearts and souls that have roamed the streets of Hollywood for generations. Her win appears to be a certainty at this point, even up against the feminist performance of Annette Bening in the running. Again, this is an assumption based on the trailer. Sorry Meryl, but I'm going with lovely Emma on this one. Projected and desired winner: Emma Stone.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
Mahershala Ali for Moonlight
Jeff Bridges for Hell or High Water
Dev Patel for Lion
Simon Helberg for Florence Foster Jenkins
Aaron Taylor-Johnson for Nocturnal Animals

This one is probably the most easily predicted out of all categories, excluding Best Drama. Mahershala Ali will be handed this award on a pedestal because of course he will. Awards pundits are wavering between him and Jeff Bridges, but let's be real. It is undoubtedly going to the Moonlight actor. Detecting a hint of animosity, are you? I haven't seen Moonlight yet, true, but I have a strong inkling that suggests it is nominated solely based on the topic. Especially after last year's scandal at the Oscars regarding diversity, it just seems highly serendipitous that this film receive this much acclaim. Again, I have not seen the film, and I will gladly (albeit sorely) admit if I am wrong and that Moonlight is the greatest film of all time. Nevertheless, however, it is nominated and praised for the reason I suggested before. Projected winner: Mahershala Ali. Desired winner: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, I suppose because the film looks great. I genuinely do not care about this category.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
Octavia Spencer for Hidden Figures
Viola Davis for Fences
Naomie Harris for Moonlight
Michelle Williams for Manchester by the Sea
Nicole Kidman for Lion

You can just discard thoughts for Michelle Williams and Nicole Kidman to win because that is definitely not happening. I personally don't care for either of them, though I used to like Nicole Kidman before she started looking as though she's wearing a rubber mask of herself. Her talent has dwindled over the years as well, I'm not that shallow. In the three-way race between the other ladies, pundits have been divided over who will win. It seems to be mainly between Octavia Spencer and Viola Davis, who both starred in The Help back in 2011. Based on the amount of emotion and slobbering-crying Viola Davis exhibits in Fences, from what I've seen in clips and trailers, I think the Globe is going to go to her. That is all. Projected winner: Viola Davis. Desired winner: Octavia Spencer.

Best Director - Motion Picture
Damien Chazelle for La La Land
Tom Ford for Nocturnal Animals
Barry Jenkins for Moonlight
Kenneth Lonergan for Manchester by the Sea
Mel Gibson for Hacksaw Ridge

This will be quick. The award appears to be in favor of Damien Chazelle for his work on the cinematically aesthetic La La Land, and I have no objection. His previous film, Whiplash, was surprisingly exceptional in style and direction, so god speed Chazelle. However I'd like to take a moment and acknowledge Mel Gibson's nomination. I am beyond thrilled that he has returned to the spotlight of Hollywood, and from what I have seen he has been greeted with open arms. This welcoming embrace of the talented Mel Gibson is quite a drastic flip from his former banishment from Hollywood after some drunken and taboo behavior. I am so incredibly pleased to have him back in the stratosphere of movies, and I hope he graces our presence more often from here on. Projected winner: Damien Chazelle. Desired winner: Mel Gibson.
Welcome back, Mel.

Well, there you have it. Hopefully I will return with Oscar predictions, or just a general awards post or two in the foreseeable future. Then again, I will be employed at Walt Disney World at the time, so it all depends on how much free time I will have. Before I end this, I'd like to give a public service announcement regarding my tone and my phrasing. In other words, what I say and how I say it. I will no longer be afraid of expressing my opinion. I will not be harsh in conveying my ideas, I will remain as respectful and objective as I can, but I will not censor myself. To be fearful on the Internet and in everyday life is utterly preposterous and I will not bow down to the feet of political correctness and the leftist agenda. My opinion. My blog. Condemn me for what you like. I know who I am and what I believe deep down. It's not as if anyone reads this anyway though, right? Backpedaling from that pseudo-political stance, I will bid you all good night and a happy awards season. Cheers and sweet dreams, dearies.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

The Year That Was... 2016

Greetings one and all. There seems to be a consensus that 2016 was an enormously shitty year, an idea that started trending after the death of David Bowie in January. Personally, I thought 2016 was just like any other year. While the election consumed most topics of discussion and serves as a pretty monumental event, my life was essentially business as usual. In fact, I would say that 2016 was an above average year for me. Also, the fact that so many people hated this year, releasing memes upon memes to flesh out their dissatisfaction with 2016, makes me like this year even more. Because I'm a cunt who feeds off the whininess of my fellow humans. I often use the word cunt in my everyday speak, so no apologies if that offends anyone. I'm not here to caress your precious feelings. As before, I will list the events that impacted me most this year along with a paragraph or so of description. Enjoy.

1. Trump. Well well well. Isn't this the massive shock nearly everyone didn't think would happen? That is to say, this election victory was a big fucking surprise. If you are prone to being triggered or easily offended, please refrain from reading this segment. I am almost positive you will not like what I have to say, and I know how huffy and puffy certain people can get when reading an opinion they vehemently disagree with. And if you are a friend reading this and disagree with what I have to say,  please let's not allow politics to invade the sanctity of our friendship. True, what I have to say is shockingly anti-liberal and I stress my points rather aggressively, but I personally believe political opinions should have no place in friendships. Let's just stick to talking about sex and drinking copious amounts of alcohol shall we? Disclaimer over. Back to the meat of it. Trump actually won. As unprecedented as this result was for most people, it has happened. In all honesty, part of me is rather elated that Trump won. Why, you may ask, as you spit out water in comical shock? Because that means Hillary actually lost.

Now, I realize this tone I'm taking is drastically different than the sober, indifferent tone of the previous post I wrote right before the election. Back there, I experienced the fear of being ostracized for my soft take on Trump. Across the boards, so-called analysts and mass media conglomerates predicted the landslide win of Hillary Clinton. The fact that Trump miraculously defeated the she-heathen is astounding, it really is. I woke up the next morning with the definitive result of Trump's win on various news outlets, and the feeling I had was one of odd amusement. By that, I mean that I was not completely crushed by this win as many undoubtedly were. My friends were among the crestfallen individuals who mourned the victory of Trump. Personally, I had a general sentiment that can be summed up like, "Huh, Trump won. How about that." Even now, as protests unfold across cities that voted democrat, I feel unfazed by the future that is President Trump. Though I will say I am rather enjoying the hysterical backlash of the neoliberal regressive left. Their reactions to the election are laughable when you realize that they carried Trump into office.
The "silent majority" of this country grew sick of identity politics and PC thought policing, and the media only justified their support for a man whose platform defied political correctness. As for the electoral college v. popular vote debacle, I really cannot wrap my head around the discrepancy between the totals. If this were truly a democracy, where the people vote for their president, wouldn't the popular vote count for something? What is the point of having American citizens vote for their president if, ultimately, a group of electors make the decision? No wonder Hillary supporters are calling for the college's extinction. Then again, I cannot help but wonder what would happen if the situation was reversed. If Trump got the popular vote and Hillary won the electoral college, would there even be a fuss over the college's efficacy? Somehow I highly doubt it. Moving on. As of December 19, the election results are final: Trump is our president. However, there is still an overwhelming sense of denial among the masses who are anti-Trump. Beyond that, Clinton herself challenged the democratic system by suggesting a recount. And, to top it all off, let us all blame those goddamn Russians for hacking into our precious democratic election. Because America is clearly a third-world country that could easily be hacked into, right? As for the allegations that Russian hackers released those incriminating DNC emails, I cannot help but wonder why people do not focus on the contents of the emails rather than the source of so-called hacking... I did not mean to get this in-depth into politics, Jesus. That was me taking the Lord's name in vain, not addressing someone named Jesus. I'll wrap this up now. To me, Trump winning the election was like an underdog film winning Best Picture at the Oscars. Me and my movie references, I always have to sneak them in. Of course, the United States election is far more significant than the Oscars, objectively speaking anyway. My overall sentiment about future president Donald Trump is as follows: I am optimistic, particularly for improved relations between Russia and the United States. For those who are genuinely afraid of a country led by Trump, relax. Despite what the media propagates, Trump is not Hitler. He will not institute genocide of any sort because this is the twenty-first century and Trump has never promoted that. Rather than suffer from "literally shaking," take a deep breath and be hopeful that Trump will not be that bad. Keep in mind that he is not a dictator, that he has to go through Congress to pass bills and issue policies. Try to be optimistic, as incredibly difficult as that may seem, because this onslaught of protesting just produces resentment and anger. Those who are upset with the results, above all, should understand that now is a time to remain calm and keep peace in mind. What a sappy shift that was. Anyway, please feel free to call me a Nazi, an alt-righter, or a racistsexistbigotmisogynistantiwoman-type slur. Free speech and all that.

2. Dexter. Moving on to brighter pastures, we come to a show I now consider my all-time favorite show of all time. The second all time was redundant, it sure was. A while back, I discussed my intense admiration for this magnificent piece of television in a condensed paragraph. Moreover, I promised that I would write out a thorough, season-by-season analysis of the show (similar to my Desperate Housewives post) once I rewatch it in the near future. How likely it is that post will come to fruition is uncertain, as I am incredibly flaky when it comes to writing here. It's not like I'm especially busy either. Anyway. Dexter Morgan is a mesmerizing character with essentially one flaw: he has an urge to kill people. Fortunately, he is taught a code of ethics, known throughout the show as The Code no way, by his adoptive father where he only kills bad people. Dexter is a hero in television because he cleanses society of people far more horrible than himself. I mean, really, Dexter Morgan is a sweetheart minus his bloodlust. While he considers himself a danger to those he loves, I believe that he deserves happiness and that he would never truly harm his loved ones. What, Debra? That was hardly Dexter's fault, she chose to stand by him as he tends to his victims. Spoilers all over the place. That should have been expected. To wrap this segment up, I'll use a quote from my previous post expressing adoration for Dexter because this is a retrospective post after all: "In a word, Dexter is a masterpiece. I find myself tearing up just thinking about how incredible the show is in its entirety." That was a short quote. Again, I hope to write a post dedicated to Dexter. Of course, that precious hope means nothing considering my once-a-month track record. Nevertheless, here's hoping that I do indeed write a Dexter analysis and prove myself wrong. 2017 resolution #1.

3. First Celebrity Meet-and-Greet. Back to exciting material from the year! Back in June, I attended the Wizard World convention in Philadelphia, which is basically Philly's Comic-Con. This was a momentous gathering of nerds, for there were several famous actors in attendance including, drum roll please: Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Anthony Mackie, Dominic Cooper, Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, James Remar (he played Dexter's dad, fun fact), and Stanley Tucci. That last name may sound familiar. Cue facetiousness. Of course you know Stanley Tucci. What makes him such a special guest at this event is that I met this man face to face. Not only did I receive his autograph with a special message written just for me (it said "Best Wishes," he only wrote it on mine I'm sure of it), but I was honored to take a picture with Stanley Tucci. I feel like my grammar is all over the place and I apologize. I guess I'm still excited over the fact that I met Stanley Tucci. I keep repeating his name, too. Still can't believe it, in all honesty. One would think that a girl my age would be more excited over Captain America or Thor or Loki, but nope. I was enthused over Nigel from Devil Wears Prada. To end this segment full of sentence disorganization, I'll include one of the pictures as proof that I indeed met Stanley Tucci. It's not photoshopped either. Apologies for the cropping.

4. A Tragic In Memoriam. Not to say that all other in memoriam compilations are not tragic. I emphasize the devastating nature of this year's death toll of famous figures because it truly was one unlike any in recent memory. Every month this year, it seemed that we lost a notable person whose accomplishments precede their undeniable greatness. It's honestly difficult for me to write anything about this topic because it is incredibly sad. As a placeholder for a paragraph of inflated language and potentially embarrassing rhetoric on my part, I'll include a brief video showing the prominent individuals we lost in 2016. Rest in peace, each one of you.
["2016 Celebrity deaths: Remembering famous names lost this year," by MLive]

5. Graduated from (community) College. Not much to say, nor is there anything I want to say about this "accomplishment." To be fair, graduating from any college, even one of the community variety, is a victory of sorts. I now possess an associate's degree that opens me up to a myriad of job opportunities. Like McDonald's. In all seriousness, I am relieved to be done and excited for the future, which involves transferring to a real four-year university. But first...

6. Disney College Program. On January 20, 2017, I will embark on a journey that I was destined to take. Months after receiving that momentous acceptance email, I am still in shock over the fact that I will be a part of the Disney College Program. I will be working at the Most Magical Place on Earth, and yes I wrote that with caps because that is how genuine my belief in the magic of Disney World is. I sound like a naive child when I talk about anything Disney related because that is how sincere my passion for Disney is. Working there is a desire that has been festering within me since the moment I first laid eyes on Cinderella Castle. It wasn't until my senior year of high school that I discovered the Disney College Program and began striving towards that. For me, the Disney College Program is the first stepping stone on a career path that leads me higher up in the Disney hierarchy of magic making. Yes, magic making. I genuinely want to create magical experiences for guests, just as cast members have done for me every time I visited the wonderful world of Disney. In just twenty days, I will be departing for Walt Disney World on a road trip with one of my best friends; then on January 23, it begins. My Disney adventure will commence, and I am positive that I will be the happiest I've ever been, that I will discover a world where I truly belong.

Once again, I have been horrendous with my posting consistency. That's an annoying way of saying that I haven't been posting as often as I'd like. I know I repeatedly express how I wish I would post more. One would think that if I truly wanted to write more, I would sit down and fucking will myself to write. I curse for emphasis, you know this and I know this. After writing this all out, I realize how much of a contrast there is between the first and last segment of this retrospective. Let me be clear. My political views, and I would hardly call them views, in no way affect my enthusiasm and genuine delight for Disney and the Walt Disney Company. My personal opinions are separate from my ability and motivation to work for this magical company. I hope that didn't even require clarification. Then again, who the hell bothers to read the drivel I dish out once a month, if that? Anyway, enough with the toxic negativity. This marks the end of what has been for many a shitty year, which is good news, though I hope there was some light in your 2016. Here's hoping that 2017 will be far better on all counts. Cheers to you all and happy new year. See ya real soon!