Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, snooze

29 Sep

I might be picky with my animated films.  Okay, I loved loved loved the first “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.”  For me, it was right up there with “Wreck it Ralph”  and  “Wall-E”.

I first noticed it when it was playing in the background and actually found myself chuckling.  So I stopped and then I started paying attention.  Then I rewound it and found more to laugh at.

The original had witty writing, subtle jokes and loads of heart.  The trailer for the sequel looked promising….

**** Spoilers ahead*****

The trailer was in all honesty, the best parts of the entire movie.  In the same way that “Community” was somehow just less funny without Dan Harmon, this movie is obviously missing Phil Lord and Chris Miller (21 Jump Street).  Mr. T had it right when he turned this one down!

Visually, it was stunning and there were some cute characters but ultimately, it wasn’t enough to save the movie.

The movie begins with a rehash of the entire last movie and then enters a never before seen flashback, incorporating a new hero of child Flint who as far as it seemed never practiced science but peddled food products.  (Screw you, Tesla!)

After this introduction to a new “very important” character, the movie proceeds to negate the entire last movie’s ending (where he starts a business with his father) but instead picking up just minutes after the last movie ended.  He is busy kissing Sam and making plans with all his new BFF’s.

The new very important character shows up to give him an alternative life plan (I’m still not sure how the ending of the last movie fits in) and all his new BFF’s wholeheartedly endorse anything Flint wants to do because he is no longer awkward but awesome and their hero and they will follow him… follow him wherever he may go…

oops

SIX MONTHS LATER…..

Well, nothing funny has happened yet.  In fact I haven’t even cracked a smile once and on top of that I was curious if I was in fact missing some strange in-joke involving over caffeinated hive workers.  If I did, it didn’t matter because the joke just disappeared moments later.

Flint works hard for something he really really wants… we don’t really see this,  outside of little montages that are similar to ones we saw in the first movie.  Instead, he ends up being laughed at by his entire company reminiscent of when he was young.  (they show this at the beginning in case anyone forgot).  He complains he was “humiliated” but I couldn’t see what was so bad about what happened?  Suddenly, he came across as whiny, which is awful considering how charming his awkwardness was handled in the first movie.

From here on, I can’t understand anything else he does.  He takes a job to go back and get the same machine that caused the problems before.   He makes promises he immediately breaks, berates his father for no other reason than because “it’s dangerous! stay here! GOD DAD! you never let me do anything!!” stomp stomp slams door

Meanwhile,  we finally get to the meat of the story, which is handled beautifully when it comes to visuals.  On the other hand, there are a lot of jokes that are meant to pander to the adults, I’m guessing in the mid to late 3o’s range.  (Butter? Parkay…  it wasn’t even funny the first time!)

Flint’s naivety is played up in full force as he must choose between his childhood hero and his new BFF’s… including a new girlfriend??  Except after the kiss at the beginning, this isn’t addressed again until the ending credits.  (it’s okay, they were kissing then too)

In the midst of this is an introduction to loads of sentient food and they conveniently manage to name them on the spot just for the viewer.  Watermelephants, Bananostriches (that sound like dolphins), Shrimpanzees.  Meanwhile, all the jokes during this time boil down to food related puns.

There is even a sequence where, no lie, a food/animal hybrid is translating and sounds exactly like Eric Cartman when he is whining.

Ugh, and musical sequences… wait, did I say musical sequences… yep.  Including 2Unlimited’s Get Ready for This… Will.I Am and Britney Spears… ugh ugh ugh.

Needless to say, I spent a lot of time during this movie making grumpy cat faces and being utterly confused as to what was going on.

It’s really a shame, since the writing was what captivated so many in the first film.  It was surprising, charming and just a little bit quirky enough to take it to another level.  This one, well, it was just there to bring in cash from the people who loved the first one and play out as a vehicle for families to go see together.  It never gets past being mediocre and at times is just out right boring.

Which made me sad.

Wuthering Heights

18 Jun

I finally got around to seeing the 2011 version of Wuthering Heights.

Yes, I know I’m behind.  Anyone following the Twitter feed can see that all I watch are old movies.

This movie was darker than any other version I had seen, but it kind of made sense.  While I am not sure if I liked the film, I can say I was struck by it.  It immediately made me want to go back and read the book.

I first read Wuthering Heights in high school.  I’m not sure why, but I distinctly remember thinking I was going in for a gothic romantic supernatural love story.

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While I guess it was a story about two people in love with each other, it was also a story about two people who were also incredibly mean to each other.  They hurt each other time and again and it didn’t matter if they could justify their actions.

how misleading is this cover?!

They were selfish and destructive and yet could not tear themselves away from each other.  Even when they tried, it made it worse for those around them and themselves.

While I’m guessing I have a soft spot for this type of story since a mutually assured destructive love story was also the basis for “Jeux D’enfant (Love Me If You Dare), one of the first things I’d seen with Marianne Cotillard.

Differences, yes.  But sometimes, despite love, people can bring out the worse in each other.  Both explore the darker side of being together and how trying to move on with a “normal” relationship does not work for them.  It is too boring, too common, too tame, too civilized.

My favorite part of the novel is the second half, the half generally ignored in movies.  I always felt this part brought everything back around full circle.  There was hope and redemption in the second half, while the first part ends so hopelessly.

Healthcliff begs Cathy to haunt him.

In this version, I did think that the children actors, Shannon Beers and Solomon Glave were very good.

These two were amazing.

I felt that the intensity was lost slightly when they were adults.   I can not tell if this makes the abuse more horrifying or less since the attitude is so cavalier, but it does not feel as though they are compelled by their obsession.

As children, Healthcliff is horrifically abused; emotionally, mentally and physically, no matter how he tries to be accepted.   He spends much of his time with Cathy, who defines the relationship between them.  When he grows older and she leaves, he doesn’t know what to do without her.  Of course, as is often the case, he becomes abusive as he is now able to assert some power where he has been previously powerless.  Oh, there a lot of themes in this novel but (courtly) love is not one of them.

So while I have read reviews where people outright hated the 2011 version, I personally felt that it captured the destructive nature of the novel.  Also, how could people not feel bad towards Heathcliff?  It almost seems obvious that he is so mean as an adult after all he had to deal with when younger.  (though there is one scene that creeped me out  a bit)

I’m also glad that the age is where it should be.  Doesn’t it make more sense that their love is so intense if they are younger in age?  It’s a driving theme behind Romeo and Juliet.  Has society changed the connotations of  this novel by using older actors?

Also, as a matter of comparison, when Cathy (in the 2011 movie) is licking his wounds and sucking on her scratches, I was reminded of “The Thirteenth Tale” by Diane Setterfield.

I will not give out spoilers, but just know there is a tale of two lovers that seems very similar to the 2011 movie version of Wuthering Heights.

Let’s see how much is kept in for the BBC movie adaptation that will be out in Christmas of 2013.  It will star Vanessa Redgrave and Sansa Stark.

Interracial Commercials? BFD

11 Jun

So, while I do not tend to follow the news, it was brought to my attention that the following Cheerios commercial managed to piss off people:

 

I'm not really sure why this upsets people? The comments are disabled, which THANK YOU because comments just make me sad for humanity.

Why were people up in arms about that commercial and not this one?

Both feature interracial couples but one was offensive enough to land on the "news" and one was overlooked? Hey people are marrying outside of their immediate race. This is a fact of life which kudos to commercials for getting with the times.

Since everyone who contributes here is at least mixed race, considered a "minority" race, or lived some place where people can do this an no one bats an eye; this is not something mind blowing.

Meanwhile, this lady is allowed to walk around and give her opinion?

Leaving Books Around the House

7 Jun

With summer here and my recent move, my house has been volunteered for revolving door service. This is fine, stressful, but not in a bad way. Having family and friends choose to visit while I am a bit in the midst of nowhere is nice.

a little isolated

Other than furious cleaning, because… maybe I still had boxes just lying around unpacked.   Please though, a little slack.  Remember when other people packed the boxes?   Some boxes, I would open up and just wonder at the clusterf*ck that ended up in there.

Kind of like this

Miscellaneous things were shoved into boxes, which made them such chores.  The house is also lacking in storage spots as well.  This means that anything I kept ends up a lot of times in totes in the bottom of closets or on shelves.   Some boxes just get frowned at and the lid put back on until I can figure out what to do with them.   And then hidden in my room.

But since the rest of the house is immaculate at this moment, I’m okay with the maze I have to navigate to make it to my bed each night.

cleaning is endless

While most of my books are stacked on shelves and bookcases in one room, I do like to strategically leave books sitting out in the hopes that someone visiting will pick it up with curiosity.

This of course means also tailoring the books to tastes of the people in their proximity.  Also, not choosing something too long perhaps?  Does anyone else agonize over this?

Currently, these are the small piles I have around my home.

Fairytales from Ireland

Folk Tales of Ireland and A Light in the Attic

photo (2)

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, What the Dickens and Grimm’s Fairytales

photo (3)

Shakespeare’s Sonnets, Anne of Green Gables and The Screwtape Letters

Right now it’s just family coming by but I know the books will change once it comes time for friends instead.

Does anyone else do this?

Cosplayers Unite!

1 Jun

Everyone should watch this awesome cosplay video!

 

Community, Attack the Block: Destiny and Origins

7 May

 

I may have to eat my words.  Right after I posted that I was ready to give up on Community, it came back with some pleasant surprises that are making me reconsider our break up status.   As of now, I will hold off on judgement a little longer.  Let’s just say that for right now, it’s my favorite sitcom boasting a licensed doctor and an Oscar winner as part of the cast.

So the last two episodes (Basic Human Anatomy and Heroic Origins) actually made me happy.  The first is about a “ Freak Friday”  scenario which is actually handled quite well with some good laughs.  The second is Abed trying to show that they were all always destined to meet and be together, hence their origin story.

 It is really obvious that Chevy Chase is on his way out.

That’s okay though, it seems like there has been a ton of negativity on that set.  There are some very talented people working and I’m sure it doesn’t make their job easy.

So in honor of hopeful feels some Community Appreciation:

Also, I couldn’t help looking at the flashback into high school and realize I look like Annie from them.  Unfortunately I look like that now.

On another note, I really like Origin stories when they are done correctly.

Let me explain.

I do not mean, following the story/comic/graphic novel exactly.  They are different mediums and therefore can not be addressed the same way.

Sometimes, trying to be TOO faithful to a story will cause a lot of weird down time, pacing issues, missed opportunities because too much is trying to be fit in… or the worst offender ever:

THE INFODUMP

I don’t need or want a twenty second exposition about something because someone is too lazy or thinks the audience is too stupid to follow something.

The best entertainment does not infodump and instead allows the story to unfold organically and slowly, like a journey.

So when Abed brought up Unbreakable, I was surprised.   I actually enjoyed Unbreakable (no hate please) BUT it was marketed in the wrong way.  As a story on its own, I appreciated its merits.

I thought it did what it set out to do well, an origin story.

(And no, we will not bring up X-Men: Origins or any of the Wolverine movies.  We can however bring up X-Men: First Class)

But I still want to throw up an Origin story that was one of the best put on film but was only ever made for film:  Attack the Block

If you haven’t seen it (and I seem to run into more that have not), please, go, do, support.  It gave me chills at the end.  This is movie with one foot in comic and it makes it very enjoyable and re-watchable.

New YA Title, Eyre House by Caitlin Greer

2 May

We are always looking for new things to read here … though really there needs to be more hours in the day to just read.

Since we are fans of YA, sci-fi and fantasy (all this authors categories), we were intrigued by the upcoming novel.

Cait writes YA and NA stories that range from sci-fi and fantasy (because she loves making worlds and things up), to contemporary (because she kind of sort of fell into it and discovered she’s not half bad). (from GoodReads)

When eighteen-year-old orphan Evan Richardson signed up to work at Eyre House, on the sleepy tourist getaway of Edisto Island, SC, he never expected to find himself dodging ghosts. But Eyre House seems to have more than its fair share of things that go bump in the night, and most of them seem to surround his employer’s daughter.

Back from her freshman year of college, Ginny Eyre is dangerous from word one. She’s a bad girl with ghosts of her own, and trouble seems to follow her everywhere she goes. But living or dead, trouble isn’t just stalking Ginny. When her ex-boyfriend is found murdered in the pool, Evan knows he’s got two choices – figure out what’s going on, or become the next ghost to haunt Ginny Eyre.

Mark it to read on the below link!

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17694883-eyre-house

We will have more information as it gets closer to the release date. 
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