Movies

Movie Depth: Solo: A Star Wars Story

One of my intentions with this blog was to do movie reviews, among a myriad of other things that I’ve been neglecting. Lauren is slowly coming back into herself and I’m working on writing more on a little of everything. I thank my dedicated, patient followers. Anyway, this seemed like a good one to start the reviews back up with…


So, I decided on a quiet Saturday. I was going to continue watching Season 3 of The Original Series of Star Trek, but then thought, hey… Avengers: Endgame comes out and I have Thursday night tickets so, let me do an Marvel Cinematic Universe marathon. Went on Netflix and saw that Solo: A Star Wars Story was on and that whole plan went to hell.

I’m glad I didn’t see this one in the theaters. It wasn’t a bad film, but it was deeply underwhelming. It seemed like one of those prequels made solely to throw out Easter eggs for the fan base. My list of thoughts are below.

SPOILERS AHEAD:

  1. Ok, the backstory was decent. An orphan turned smuggler – I buy that. Not as grandiose a background as I might’ve hoped for, but I’ll take it.
  2. So, his name is “Solo” because an Imperial Officer that he was being clever? Come on… That’s on the level of “it takes Juan to know Juan.”
  3. Given how arrogant Han initially was about his relationship with Leia and how he was portrayed about only caring about himself, I found it difficult to believe that he cared so deeply for someone before that, i.e. Qi’ra. But again, I can go with it.
  4. Thandie Newton killed that ish. Girl went out like a soldier.
  5. Han disobeys orders which leads the crew to losing the shipment of coaxium in their fight against Enfys Nest. Beckett’s wife Val has literally just died for the cause. If you were Beckett, wouldn’t you have killed Han instead of apologizing for punching him in the face? Yeah, me too.
  6. Wait, wait, wait!! Qi’ra is just conveniently with Dryden Vos who Beckett is working for???? Shenanigans. (Nice cameo by Paul Bettany, by the way. In fact, the whole cast was quite superb despite the garbage pile of a script.)
  7. Ill-placed, somewhat cute emphasis on what a “good guy” Solo is. He isn’t, though. He’s not a bad guy, but he isn’t good. Again, given what we’ve seen him, I don’t believe that he would be so willing to help Enfys Nest’s cause except as anything, but an afterthought.
  8. Don’t trust anyone. True.
  9. Lando wears capes. Also, he apparently used to wear his hair natural? I wonder at what point int he Rebellion he decided he needed to change it up? (Kind of like Black Widow being blonde in Infinity War – did that piss anyone else off?)
  10. I wonder if, when the original story was written in the 70s, anyone really thought about what the Kessel Run was supposed to be…
  11. I think I would’ve shown significantly more devastation if the love I’d been chasing after for three years abandoned me for the Sith for her own survival. I mean, how can you misjudge someone so egregiously? Also, where was she in The Phantom Menace?
  12. Anyone else feel like Han and Lando ended this movie with no foundation of a relationship whatsoever? Maybe a casual, cordial tolerance at best. Not enough for Lando to later welcome Han to Cloud City. Of course, he betrayed him, but than he helped save him afterwards and I’m just not buying that Lando would even remotely care for anyone’s cause but his own. Lando literally said, “I hate you” and bounced. Speaking of Lando, was he in love with L3 or what was the deal there?
  13. I did like that they threw in a throwback to Lando (or rather Billy Dee Williams) mispronouncing Han. That always bothered me in the original films.
  14. Anyone else notice Ron Howard’s little brother? Again? (Dude’s in everything.)
  15. Han shot first. You saw it. I saw it. That was a nice throw-in for the fans of the original cut in A New Hope that shows Han shooting Greedo first. See… he’s not a good guy. He’s a survivor, too…

All in all, I didn’t feel like this movie really set one up for A New Hope even though the events are supposed to be about ten years prior. The pieces were there. Obviously, Han and Chewy were leaving to find Jabba on Tatooine. But, after doing a little for the cause, why go to the smuggler life? To prove he’s not a good guy? He didn’t convince me either way. And Disney is not convincing me that they can handle any of this.

Overall rating: Meh.


I can do a review for Us (which I saw Sunday), Avengers: Endgame (which I will see Thursday night), or The Last Jedi (because it relates to this and I have a full-blown rant). What do you like?

Movies

Movie Depth: Her (2013)

I’ve been wanting to watch this movie ever since it came out, but never got around to it. Today, I discovered it is now on Netflix, so I sat down to watch it.

I will attempt to avoid spoilers, but no promises.

This movie broke me. I was in and out of tears. I could lie and say it was hormones, but it was not. It reminded me of my own fleetingly plesant, but ultimately short-lived experiences with love, like, or the other, particularly with the last guy that I dated.

My favorite thing about this movie was the concept that love transcends all things – emotions (good or bad), physical form, artificial intelligence, etc. It’s is always possible to love someone and love them deeply, whether you are in the honeymoon phase, the thick of the relationship, or saying goodbye.

This was my favorite quote: “Tonight, after you were gone, I thought a lot. About you and how you’ve been treating me and I thought, “Why do I love you?” And then, I felt everything in me just go of everything I was holding onto so tightly. And it hit me that I don’t have an intellectual reason. I don’t need one. I trust myself, I trust my feelings. I’m not going to try to be anything other than who I am anymore and I hope you can accept that.”

This was a good quote: “Sometimes I think I have felt everything I’m ever going to feel. And f rom here on out, I’m not going to feel anything new. Just lesser versions of what I’ve already felt.” I must admit, that I’ve been feeling like this myself lately.

Is that not so inherently beautiful? But isn’t it the opposite of what we tend to do. Sometimes, the recognition that we’re in love with someone makes no sense. It’s not who we expect to love. It’s not who we want to love? But, who are we to say who we should love and who we shouldn’t? How much love do we miss out on, given or received, because we’re looking for a reason behind it, because we’re looking to far into the future? If more often, we could just let it be… oh, how much of life we could experience and enjoy without all the voices in our head telling us it’s not right.

If you haven’t seen this movie, I recommend it. If you have, please tell me what you thought of it.

Movies

Movie Depth: Mission Impossible: Fallout (2018)

First movie review for a “now playing” film! I’ll try to refrain from any spoilers.

Ok, so I don’t know why, but I really wanted to see this movie for some reason. Maybe it’s because the trailer featured the awesome Imagine Dragons track, Friction. Maybe it’s because Alec Baldwin and Angela Bassett make appearances. Maybe it’s because it was nice to see Henry Cavill not be Superman because DC is disappointing all of us. In any case, it was on my to-do list and the film I chose to reinvigorate my movie going.

Here’s my take on the previous M:I movies.

  1. Decent spy film, reasonable stunts, great cast, memorable score/theme, that “I didn’t see that coming” moment. Probably could’ve stopped here. (Remember Emilio Estevez?)
  2.  Aside from a beautiful Hans Zimmer/Lisa Gerard collaboration (such as those in Gladiator), we should all try to forget this one happened. It was a self-indulgent conglomeration of stunts and strange facial expressions made at the wrong time.
  3. Redeeming and set the precedent for a few more recurring characters, making it seem like more of a franchise. But after this lengthy film, why couldn’t anyone tell us what the hell the Rabbit’s Foot was?
  4. Ghost Protocol: Ehh…
  5. Rogue Nation: Seemed like someone put some thought into this one. I actually enjoyed it.
  6. Fallout: See below:

Overall, not a bad film, but maintain standard expectations. First of all, I was happy that there was no shirtless Tom Cruise scene, though we couldn’t get away from a gratuitous motorcycle chase and a long-distance run through yet another foreign city. I was happy to see that the plot of this film built on that of Rogue Nation. Rebecca Ferguson and Sean Harris reprised their roles as MI-6 agent Isla Faust and Syndicate Leader Solomon Lane, respectively. Fallout took on kind of a Watchmen sort of theme. The sentiment throughout the film to justify the actions of the villains, if you will, is that there must be suffering before there can be peace. Read: People die. Survivors come together. Everybody kind of happy. So, halfway through, I’m waiting for The Comedian to fall out of a window or Dr. Manhattan’s cold, unfeeling, narcissism to make its way onscreen. Oh wait, wrong movie. Suffice it to say, this notion has been done before and done again, but this took a somewhat modernized take on its execution. I would say it was successfully done. Other than that, it was pretty much your standard Mission:Impossible film. Or Tom Cruise film. The two have become somewhat synonymous.

Also, Henry Cavill, despite the mustache and the fact that he was kind of an a**hole throughout the film, looked beautifully, muscularly spectacular. But, I’m a sucker for a blue-eyed boy.

If you’ve seen it or plan to go see it, let me know what you think!

Love, Mental Health, Movies, Relationships

Movie Depth: Moonrise Kingdom (2012)

This will be the first movie review that I blog. So far, the blog has focused mostly on mental health, but my intent is for it to be a little of everything going forward. My movie reviews will not be traditional ones, in the sense that I am not going to do a rundown of the plot and how well the aspects of the film did or did not fit together cohesively. I simply just want to share my thoughts and feelings from the film. Here goes…

*****

I watched Moonrise Kingdom for the first time a couple years ago. I remember being excited at the prospect of it when it first came out. With Bill Murray, Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Frances McDormand, and appearances by Tilda Swinton and Harvey Keitel, it boasts one hell of a cast. Alas, I procrastinated.

When I finally did see it, I was so overwhelmed by its simplistic beauty that I could not fully process it. I just knew that I needed to watch it again.

I finally watched it again last night. I still find the film absolutely beautiful to the point that I teared up slightly when it was over. Plus, the combination of classical music, country songs by Hank Williams, and original score by Alexandre Desplat (he did Harry Potter!) made for an amazing soundtrack that rustles the soul.

Moonrise Kingdom is a coming-of-age romantic comedy/drama that follows Sam Shakusky and Suzy Bishop, twelve-year old children living on the 16-mile long island of New Penzance in 1965. Sam and Suzy are both friendless and outcast among family, but immediately connect when they meet each other at a play. They become pen pals, writing letters that span a year. They decide to run away together for ten days, to discover the island and each other. In that span of time, they’re deep friendship blossoms into love and they desire to be together forever. There are several other aspects surrounding their lives and family that are important to the film, but I choose to focus on Sam and Suzy’s deep-seated love for each other.

Do you remember or have you ever known a time when love was that easy? Sam and Suzy met, stayed in touch via written communication (a lost art), and finally and simply decide to be together. At one point in the movie, they decide to get married. They are urged and begged by another one of the khaki scouts to take time to think about whether they should get married, as it’s not a decision to be taken lightly. Sam and Suzy take less than five minutes to decide, with no regrets.

Now, obviously, we cannot let 12-years old get married because they truly don’t understand the gravity it or have the means to care for each other without help. But, it’s interesting to think on how much more complicated we make these decisions as adults… Is it the right time to date? Am I really in love? I’ve only known this person for aa few days, but I’m already wondering if I can be with them for the rest of my life and scaring myself away. Should I even be thinking about that so soon? Should I wait years to admit my feelings? Who should say I love you first? Does everything change after marriage? Should I even bother with getting married? Who needs a piece of paper? Blah blah… blah blah blah. Before we know it, we’ve ruined a perfectly good thing before we even get the chance to have it.

If this movie taught me anything, it’s to seize the moment. Sam and Suzy may not end up together forever. They might grow up and grow apart. But, in that moment on Moonrise Kingdom, they were happy together and love with each other. They cared for each other, wanted to do anything to be together, and were ready to die for each other. They lived the moment, without dwelling in the past or worrying about the future. The anxious adult that I have become is jealous of this and wonders if I’ve ever had a moment that I could describe as encompassing such simplicity and clarity.

On a more personal note, Sam and Suzy are both described as being “emotionally disturbed” children. Their parents did not know how to deal with them. Other children chose (yes, chose) not to like them because they did not understand them. In my battles with depression and anxiety, I’ve looked back and realized that this was often the case in my own life. I chose to retreat with myself more often than not. I know I gave my parents a hell of time and probably, still do. We all have problems, some of us more than others. But, that doesn’t mean, as dismal as the prospect sometimes seems, that there isn’t someone out there for us. We all deserve to be happy. Sam and Suzy eventually gain the respect and favor of other khaki troop members, who ultimately help them stay together out of remorse for their previous behavior. Their parents might never approve of their relationship but THEY do, and they are beautifully ecstatic in it.

Simplify your mind. You might find love where you weren’t looking for it or where it’s always been.

Random

Sunshine Blogger Award Nomination

A huge thank you to DM (@dkmr20), author of Pointless Overthinking, for the nomination! It is certainly an honor.

The Rules:
1. Thank the blogger who nominated you in your blog post and a link back to the blog.
2. Answering 11 questions that the Blogger asked you.
3. Nominate 11 new bloggers to receive the awards and write them 11 questions.
4. List the rules and display the Sunshine blogger award logo in your post on your blog.

My Answers:

  1. What phrase would you use to describe your future?

A Hopeful Outlook. I was just recently discharged from a behavioral health facility after six weeks of intensive outpatient therapy. I’ve done therapy for depression and anxiety of and on for about 12 years. While I will continue individual therapy on an as-needed basis, this was the first time I had completed therapy feeling like I had accomplished something and that I had made actual progress in my thoughts and coping skills. For the first time, I am really understanding myself and those around me and look at the future positively. I am hopeful that good things will come.

2. Which movie had the biggest impact on you?

Interstellar, directed by the incomparable Christopher Nolan. I love all of his movies, in general, because they delve past the action and into the human psyche. I am a bit of a sc-fi nerd – love Star Trek. Interstellar combined sci-fi and human psyche to teach lessons about human relationships, thinking, and actions. It teaches us that no matter what the world is like, love transcends everything. I was very emotional at the end. Plus, it brought us another great soundtrack from Hans Zimmer.

3. From all the things you do on a daily basis, which ones do you love the most and why?

Listening to music. I’m listening to it as I type. It’s great as background noise while working or driving. It helps me focus. It  helps me wake up. It helps me sleep. Or, sometimes, it’s useful to fit individual moods. There is music for every feeling, with or without words. It is a secondary form of expression.

4. What are you addicted of?

I’d have to go with music again. My mom says I would move in the womb when music was played, which was probably prophetic of my love for it. Music is a constant and I love all varieties. If someone told me I couldn’t have it, I do not know how I would function on a daily basis. My playlist is a surprise; I have everything from Enya to Eminem.

5. What would you change about yourself?

I went through a weight loss effort where I managed to shed 93 of 130 pounds that I had gained after college. Then, the scale started going in the wrong direction. I’d like to reach my weight loss goal.

6. What do you do to relax?

You guessed it! I listen to music! I also will read a book or watch a movie. Typically, my movie selection for relaxing will be something DC/Marvel/Star Trek/sci-fi related, but I love movies in general.

7. If you have unlimited money, what would you buy and why?

A small, but tasteful home in a semi-secluded area, with a vintage/antique decor. In it, I would also buy devices that could hold my large collection of music because I am constantly running out of space/memory. Then, I would buy every song I’ve ever heard and loved and/or that has touched my soul.

8. If you could make a movie about anything, what would that movie be about and why?

I enjoy movies that get into the mind. Likely, I’d like to do something semi-autobiographical about how debilitating mental illness can be and what the internal and external contributing factors can be. I would also get into how recovery is possible. Might be a tear-jerker.

9. What’s your biggest fear?

Failure.

10. What’s your biggest wish?

That I continue on the journey to self-acceptance and recognition of my own self-worth. This would help me understand that failure IS an option; mistakes are inevitable. But, we learn from our failures and mistakes and become better people for them.

11. What word would you use to describe yourself?

Sunshine. In part, it is because a lot of people call me that, both strangers and friends, because they say that’s what they feel and see in my aura. I also love the color yellow, which is pure sunshine in of itself. My nickname is Summer, so maybe I was fated to be  sunshine in people’s eyes. I also just feel better, physically and mentally, when the sun is out. I feel excited about the day.

My Nominations:

  1. Dread Poets Sobriety
  2. Caliath
  3. Almandyne
  4. alygeorges
  5. The Bipolar Writer
  6. joypassiondesire
  7. Utsav Raj
  8. Frank Solanki
  9. Hemendra Dibaakor
  10. Shiny Objects
  11. At the Intersection

My Questions:

  1. What is your favorite song and why?
  2. What made you start blogging?
  3. What emotions fuel your writing?
  4. What was an instance in which writing was therapeutic for you?
  5. If you had one wish, what would it be?
  6. What is your favorite movie and why?
  7. Star Trek or Star Wars and why?
  8. What are your hobbies/interests?
  9. What makes you tic, lights a fire under you?
  10. What is one thing you could not live without?
  11. Who makes up your support system?
Mental Health

The Beckett Sisters

Have you seen the movie The Beckett Sisters? It stars Diane Keaton, Kathy Bates, and Barbara Streisand as three, somewhat strange, women in a small village. They may or may not be related, but they all have the same last name and the same supernatural powers. They can visit other realms at the snap of a finger. They can pull red and people roses from another world into the dreary, clouded fall off their small village. Each of the ladies has one child, all of whom are attempting to find this gift within themselves while struggling to come of age. It is a tale of jealousy, resentment, age-old quarrels among adults, and new ones along teenagers. With appearances from Charlie Heaton and Natalia Dyer, of Stranger Things, this is a film that teaches us…

…nothing. Because it just ends very abruptly. After I awoke, it too me several minutes to understand that I had dreamed the whole thing. This is a battle I often have, distinguishing dream from reality when I’m awake. I have to have conversations with myself to determine what is true or false. Unfortunately, that was only one of several very vivid dreams I had this night. It’s 0425, and I’m afraid to go back to sleep. As the dream fades, I’m not sure Kathy Bates was one of the three actresses, but it was a definitely a hell of a cast.

Aren’t sleep aids/antidepressants/antipsychotics just great? On top of the words and the do-loop of rumination that can’t get out of your head? Sleep on that.

Books, Movies, Music, Poetry, Random

Life is Like a Tolkien Novel

I tried to save the Shire, and it has been saved, but not for me. It must often be so, Sam, when things are in danger: some one has to give them up, lose them, so that others may keep them.” – Frodo, The Return of the King, where he leaves Sam blubbering as Sam is so wont to do.

Change is needed.

I tried dying my hair blue, but that just made it look black. Needed more. So, I shaved off the sides and dyed the tips nutmeg.

I have several tattoos, three of them quotes:

1) “Not all those who wander are lost.” – J.R.R. Tolkien (Got it in Elvish, though, ’cause duh.)

2) “Oh, the places you’ll go!” – Dr. Seuss (Ever read that book as an adult? It’ll tear asunder your allusions and make you crawl into a corner in the fetal position while contemplating your life.)

3) “Where must we go, we who wander this wasteland in search of our better selves?” – The First History Man, who isn’t actually a real man, but he’s quoted in the end credits of Mad Max: Fury Road (Existential, nihilistic, deep.)

Today, I added three more…

4) “Why do we fall?” – Thomas Wayne, later quoted by Alfred J. Pennyworth (If you’re still confused, it’s from The Dark Knight Trilogy. Thank you, Mr. Nolan.)

5) “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” – Mary Oliver (To see grasshoppers like never before, read the full poem, “The Summer Day.”)

6) “May all that has been reduced to noise in you become music again.” – David Teems (I actually saw this quote left behind on a whiteboard when attending group therapy. I already have music on my ankle and it seemed like a sign from the universe.)

See the pattern? I refuse to get, “I refuse to sink,” inked on me, but I embrace the sentiment.

Life’s a journey. The winds are changing. It’s time for Mary Poppins to leave the Shire.

Go do something.

Books, Movies, Poetry

Love at First Sight?

Feedback welcome.

*****

I don’t believe in love at first sight
I might not even believe in true love
As Vulcan lore would tell you,
“It is not logical.”
Those butterflies I think I get when I see you
Are probably from that coffee I drank earlier
Or I might just be hungry
That wide eyed look?
I’m just trying to stay awake
Not trip on my own feet
Those times I hug you tight…
Well, who doesn’t like a good hug?
It’s actually a courtesy I do you
That moment I touched your face
I swear I saw some lint there
I only kept my hand on your thigh
To stop your nervous twitching
Let you know the night was going well
Our first kiss?
Ha, I maintain that you kissed me
I did not kiss you that time
Or the second…
Or the third…
That tingle I got after
Was just a chill from the night air
And who doesn’t feel giddy
After a few shots of good whiskey
In a nerd bar watching Jurassic Park
The day after First Contact Day.
We agreed to just be friends
I told myself not to let you under my skin
It’s not love I’m feeling in my bones
Just on An Unexpected Adventure
Like Bilbo or Frodo or Sam
I’ll return to the comfort of the Shire
Without you, of course
Because adventures have to end
I’ll be forever changed, though
I will think of you
Not because I could’ve loved you
But because on the day we met
I lost my yellow sunglasses
Not distracted holding your hand
Just careless
And you made a ridiculous joke
About being easy like Sunday morning
And I laughed
And that night, I smiled in sleep