Thoughts from a Sixth Grader

So this weekend, because I’m such an awesome sister, I’m letting my little brother spend the night at my place. For those who don’t actually know me in real life, this is Hunter:

"What do you mean, 'Take a goofy picture'?"- Hunter

“What do you mean, ‘Take a goofy picture’?”- Hunter

He’s in sixth grade and he’s pretty cool. I thought it might be interesting to ask his opinions on various important – and some not-so-important – questions.

Here’s how it all went down:

Awkward Redhead: How are you liking sixth grade so far? 

Hunter: It’s pretty good. There’s more freedom compared to elementary school.

tumblr_inline_mw6j2t5ncJ1rdggth

AR: Favorite subject in school?

H: Mmmm… probably World Cultures. The teacher, Mrs. Stevens is cool because she’s funny. It makes the class feel like it’s only five minutes.

tumblr_mnlad2qmdv1s7zsado1_500

AR: Favorite Restaurant?

H: I’d probably have to say Johnny Carinos. Their Bowtie Festival is probably my favorite food. And they have bread there! haha

AR: What do you like to do in your free time? 

H: Probably watch sports or play the PS3

tumblr_n7rdd4BDs41rynqu9o3_500

AR: Beyonce or Lady Gaga? 

H: uhh… I don’t know… maybe Beyonce because I know more of her songs?

clothes

AR: What movie do you think everyone needs to see?

H: Captain America: The Winter Soldier. That movie was so good, my favorite of Marvel’s so far. It’s action-packed, I guess you would say, and because I said so.

captain_america_the_winter_soldier_ver20

AR: What’s your favorite TV show right now? 

H: The Amazing World of Gumball. It’s very funny, in my opinion. Gumball, himself, is the person I like the best. He kind of acts like me, he likes to do funny things- but in a better way. I probably wouldn’t want to have blue skin like him though, I’d look like a smurf.

Gumball_gwgifs_pencilinnose

AR: What is the funniest thing you’ve ever seen on TV or in the movies?

H: In Kung Pow, the voice-over things making fun of the movie. I don’t even get what the movie was supposed to be like, but it was funny.

tumblr_m9t1ki9N9q1qfkhhfo1_500

AR: Do you have a special memory that involves a movie or TV show? 

H: I like when dad, you, and I have seen a movie more than once and we can make fun of it, Like Mystery Science Theater 3000. It kind of makes the movie into something new and different.

Mystery-Science-Theater-3000-silhouette

AR: Is there a TV show or movie coming out soon that you’re excited about? 

H: Probably the new Star Wars movie. Oh, and apparently Full House is coming back, that’s going to be cool. Let’s look that up- “Full House is returning…”

110413_fullhousereboot

AR: If you could make a movie or TV show, what would it be about? 

H: Umm… a documentary about the 2004- 2005 Astros. There are about 4 of the best players of MLB history on that team that year- Craig Biggio (who set a record), Lance Berkman, Roy Oswalt, Jeff Bagwell. They even made the World Series that year, but they lost to the White Sox, unfortunately. And all after that season, all of the players either retired or moved. All 4 players left the Astros and then they were stuck in a sinkhole… and now we’re stuck in it.

NLCS ASTROS CARDS GAME6

If I could make another documentary, it’d be about the 1994-1995 Rockets. Rudy T., Hakeem Olajuwon, so many great players. Hakeem could finish it! Both of those years they won the championship. The Rockets were the only Houston team to win a final title in their sport. None of our teams have done it except for them.

hakeem-olajuwon-10

AR: Is there a book that you’ve read that would make a good movie? 

H: Probably the one I’m reading now. It’s called Zoo Break, by Gordon Korman, it’s these three kids, this girl, Savannah, who loves animals. She has monkey that she loves so much. Her two friends notice one day that her monkey isn’t there and she freaks out. The next day they go on a field trip to a stinky, run-down zoo, and they find a monkey that looks exactly like her monkey, though the zoo owner says that it’s not. And whenever she goes back home, she finds a banana peel that says something like “kidnapped,” so now she’s mad at all of these people and she can’t get the monkey back. So her and her to friends, Ben and Griffin, gather a team of people to try to break in to the zoo and get the monkey back. It’s pretty good, so far in my opinion. I’m not finished with it yet, I’ve still probably got 120 pages to read, but I like it.

Zoobreak

That would be a job that would be cool to do- if I don’t get a job in sports- to maybe go and make some of my favorite books into movies. That’d be cool.

AR: Tell me a joke:

H: So I stepped on a cornflake, does that count me as a cereal killer?cereal

or maybe-

Knock knock.

Who’s there? 

Ya

Ya Who? 

Actually I prefer Google…

dwight-hahaha-o

AR: Any parting words of advice? 

H: I like the quote that Ellen makes at the end of her Friday shows, “Have a good weekend, be kind to one another.” I just like that phrase, “be kind to one another,” it’s nice. You can do it, like, dash Ellen DeGeneres…

bekindgif

 

Well there you have it, folks. If you were curious what a sixth grader thought about, now you know. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m showing him the pop culture gem that is National Treasure. He’s never seen it before, and I’ve got a DC trip to plan.

My to-do list is getting pretty full...

My to-do list is getting pretty full…

Like Hunter and Ellen say- be kind to one another! ‘Til next time!

Advertisements

I Miss My Weekend

7JYwQ29778

I am Kevin. Kevin is me.

It’s always weird coming back to work on Monday and having people ask me what I did over the weekend. I’m never sure if I should lie and sound like a productive adult, or come clean about catching up on Gossip Girl. For the record, even my most TV-filled weekends include the obligatory apartment cleaning, laundry, and grocery run, so I’m not some lame-o. My weekends just tend to include marathons of the TV variety.

 

This weekend’s theme: Guilty Pleasures.

aww yiss

aww yiss

Thanks, ABC Family, for playing  Step Up 1, 2, and 3(D) back-to-back on Saturday. I don’t know what sweet Siren song Channing Tatum’s hips are playing, but every time I see those movies on, I’m sucked it like a weak sailor.

Those hips don't lie

Those hips don’t lie

Also in true guilty pleasure fashion, Titanic was on all weekend. Of course I had to watch it. When I lived in Florida, it was probably on at least once a month. It was ridiculous. Between that and the constant reruns of Extreme Home Makeover, television was a roller-coaster of emotions.

She'll never let go!!

She’ll never let go!!

This weekend also marked the season-end of my summer hate-watch/guilty pleasure show- AMC’s Halt and Catch Fire. I talked about this a bit way back when on my family’s podcast thing, but after completing the season, I’m still not completely sure how I feel about it.

Scoot McNairy as Gordon Clark, Mackenzie Davis as Cameron Howe and Lee Pace as Joe MacMillan

Scoot McNairy as Gordon Clark, Mackenzie Davis as Cameron Howe and Lee Pace as Joe MacMillan

For those who aren’t in the know about Halt and Catch Fire, it’s set in the 1980’s in Texas’ Silicon Prairie. The show focuses on a fictional computer company building a faster, lighter, fiction-ier version of an IBM computer. The show stars Lee Pace, who some may remember as the Pie Maker, Ned, from Pushing Daisies (others may recognize him as the fabulous Thranduil in the Hobbit Trilogy, but whatever). Joining Pace’s Joe MacMillan on his technically-illegal quest are Gordon (Scoot McNairy), a face-in-the-crowd computer engineer, and Cameron (Mackenzie Davis), a young, female?!, computer prodigy.

In theory, this show sounds good, and for the most part it is. I’ve said it before, new shows have a lot they have to throw at you in the first few episodes to develop characters and plot lines, so it’s a lot for viewers to process all at once. Add to that the fact that this show has to live up to the precedents set by Breaking Bad, the Walking Dead, and Mad Men, and the pressure to possibly become the new “it” show.  I have no problem with any of that, though. The problem seems to be, like my aforementioned Black Box, that they have a prime opportunity to develop some butt-kicking females- who build computers – but they mainly just deal with stupid boys. For example, the first four episodes mainly consist of Cameron trying to get the guys on board with true-to-life graphics and interactive interfacing, to which Gordon replies “It’ll never be done!” (I say as I look for a moving image of a cat booping a dog on the nose.)

What a time to be alive.

What a time to be alive.

But I will give the show credit for getting better throughout the season and ending well. Cameron and Gordon’s wife Donna (Kerry Bishé) actually end up with better season 2 set-ups than their fellas. I guess my hate-watch show has started to grow on me, and I’m kind of looking forward to what the future holds, especially for Joe (because we all need more Lee Pace in our lives, IMO). In some of the final scenes of the finale, we see him hike off into the wooded sunset,

Joe hikes off towards the woods, into the sunset

And we all know what happens to him next:

#fabulous

#fabulous

Side note: In the finale, they reference the MacIntosh “1984” commercial that aired during the Superbowl, which you can watch here. Another interesting video I found was the footage of Steve Jobs unveiling the MacIntosh for the first time. Watch people lose their minds over paint and text-to-voice capabilities. Meanwhile, I yelled at my tablet for taking five seconds to load my Pinterest app. Watch this show and appreciate the fact that we are no longer in the technological dark-ages.

 

Other than that… have you seen Guardians of the Galaxy?????

BYkPcAJ

Marvel expands its universe (literally) with this new film that of five misfit heroes as they try to make some money, exact revenge, and save the galaxy- all in that order. Parks and Rec‘s Chris Pratt leads this group both in missions and comedy. This movie was very funny, in my opinion. I knew what I was getting myself into with Marvel’s typical cheekiness, but this on point and borderline parodical. Vin Diesel’s scene stealing Groot, a tree humanoid, was probably one of my favorites.

Who wouldn't love this little guy?!

Who wouldn’t love this little guy?!

As far as whether this movie is appropriate family-fare for all ages, I guess that would depend on your family. Just like its predecessors, the characters don’t shy away from the occasional choice phrases and innuendos, but that’ll fly past most kids’ heads. I will warn you, though, that any kid under the age of 12 will probably be parroting the phase “I am Groot” for the rest of the summer. The movie sports amazing visual and make-up effects, smart writing, and a solid soundtrack. It’s a summer blockbuster, do I really even need to make a case for it? Side note: Lee Pace (you know, from like ten seconds ago?) plays the weird bad guy. See also: Lee Pace + more + our lives, above.

 

During the previews they previewed Interstellar, Matthew McConaughey’s newest film about interstellar space exploration that was one of the “cool kids” of Comic-Con. It looks good, but my weird fear of space has me kind of saying “Oh no, oh no, oh no….” (hah, McConaughey reference)

But really, I'll probably pass

But really, I’ll probably pass

 

Ugh, my weekend already seems like it’s a year away. Let’s go back to those simpler times, where real pants weren’t required and no one request read receipts on their emails.

Seriously- don't request them. You're not the president.

Seriously- don’t request them. You’re not the president.

 

It’s been 4 months since my last post??!

Oops… But I can explain:

The past few months, for anyone reading this and curious, have been very interesting for me. I recently moved out of my parents’ house and into my own apartment (FINALLY!!). You guys, if you haven’t lived on your own, I totally recommend it. Everything is just way better, especially having my own DVR and high-speed internet. Now I don’t have to worry about my shows being bumped off for a rerun of Storage Wars, and 10 gigs of internet to use all on your own is like having the Autobahn all to yourself. I’m sure 10 out of 10 doctors would recommend.

I also recently got a promotion and a raise at work, which is going to make my previously mentioned apartment very happy. (Author’s note: I should probably go on record, for my mom’s sake, and inform any readers that my apartment could be called “The Place that Clearance Built,” because I don’t mess with that full price stuff).

But all of this change and growing up has left little time for me to do any writing. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been watching things, A LOT of things, it’s just that I was having a minor existential crisis about writing a blog and who would even want to read it (*womp womp*).  However, just when I felt like giving up, life’s perfect little timings slapped me with this nugget of wisdom:

“Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.” – Cyril Connolly.

Thanks, Mr. Connolly, and thanks, life. There’s just one main problem:

You said, Chuck.

You said it, Chuck.

 

To that I say, oh well! I’m just going to not look back at those unwritten four months and move forward. So while I shove those lost months, thoughts, shows, and movies, into a too-small closet and struggle to shut the door, I’ll talk about the present. Apologies, in advance, if that strained closet door opens back up momentarily in the future. Just ignore it…

 

Have y’all seen The Grand Budapest Hotel yet?? If not, you need to get on that.

It's like Wes Anderson Guess Who

It’s like Wes Anderson Guess Who

Set in the fictional mountainous town of Zubrowska, The Grand Budapest Hotel is a flashback within a flashback, within a book enactment (“whaaaa?” I know ), and follows the interesting and suave M. Gustave H (Ralph Fiennes) and his new Lobby Boy, Zero (newcomer Tony Revolori). The movie seems to have everything you want in a movie night: a bit of humor, a bit of romance, some mystery and suspense, and a star-studded cast. I have a coworker who regularly asks me for movie recommendations, and I’ll tell you what I told him: “It’s basically just a bunch of big stars in small parts, and it’s almost a quirky ‘Murder on the Orient Express.'” If none of that makes you want to see it, I’m not sure what will.

the_grand_budapest_hotel1-620x413

What I would give to be part of this conversation…

Critics seem to all agree that this is Wes Anderson’s best film of his career, so far. Receiving 91% from critics and 88% from viewers on Rotten Tomatoes, praising the eccentricity and stylish way that Anderson presents this story. If you liked Wes Anderson’s other films, or want to have some more Lord Voldemort in your life, then grab some macaroons and enjoy!

 

Keeping with the star-studded cast theme, but heading back to 2001, let me take a second to talk about Gosford Park.

Look at all the British people! and Ryan Phillpe...

All the British people! and Ryan Phillpe…

I’ll admit this first off- I’ve known about this movie since it’s premier, but it took me 13 years and 4 seasons of Downton Abbey to truly appreciate (and honestly get through) this movie. I include the 4 seasons of Downton because Gosford Park was written by Downton‘s creator, Julian Fellowes. It’s got all of the things Downton fans love, the Upstairs/Downstairs dichotomy, Maggie Smith, the dressing gong…. it’s all there. It’s the perfect movie for anyone needing a Fellowes fix, or a Clive Owen fix (you’re welcome). It won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay and loaded up on nominations for supporting roles, costume design, and best picture (it was beat out by Russell Crowe and A Beautiful Mind). Like I said, if you’re missing Carson and the rest of the Downton crew, or need sassy Maggie Smith to join you on your summer vacation, then watch this. Go! Do! Watch!

USA Films is actually one-third of what is presently known as Focus Features. The more you know!

 

It’s summertime, and for this pale-skinned TV lover, it mainly just means hiding from my natural enemy- the sun- and watching second string TV shows. There aren’t really too many to write home about, but let me quickly talk about one I’ve been watching:

Black Box is ABC’s attempt at drawing in Scandal‘s Gladiators during its summer hiatus.

x

 

It follows Dr. Catherine Black, a famous neuroscientist at the Center for Neurological Research and Treatment, as she tries to balance her job, personal life, and the secret that she has bipolar disorder. Sounds interesting, right? Unfortunately it starts to get uninteresting pretty quickly. Dr. Black’s fiance, Chef Will Van Renseller, and her have very little chemistry to the point that I’m rooting for them to break up. If that’s the master plan, then kudos to the writers, because I want more than anything for them to break up. The show is procedural, each week dealing with a new disease or disorder, but none of them every get too interesting; and even though they have a prime opportunity to feature a smart and strong female lead, she just gets defined by her disorder.

Now, I’ve mentioned most of these things on my family’s podcast (oh yeah, my family is trying out a podcast), but I’ll mention it here too: the show makes me want a bread bowl. They’ve set the whole show underneath some overpowering jazz saxophone. I feel like I’m back in college, sitting in my neighborhood Panera studying and jamming out to some smooth sax. I keep coming back to it every week though, probably because of fellow redhead Kelly Reilly, and I’ll definitely finish the season since I’ve made it this far. It’s a new show, so I understand it has a tall order to establish a cast of characters and an overall plot, and while each week has it getting better than the last, I have a feeling it might not be back next season. Sad too, because I really want it to stay on the air, at least to keep that street saxophone player working.

C'mon, let him keep his job.

C’mon, let him keep his job.

 

Other than that, it’s mainly just been me watching the Cooking Network, making pies, and watching Jeopardy. I’ve basically spent the early days of summer turning into my grandmother, now I just need to be retired to complete the transformation. My neighbors probably think I’m weird. Oh, and in case you missed it, this was an actual Final Jeopardy response last week:

For the record I knew the real answer- Alfred Nobel

For the record I knew the real answer- Alfred Nobel

Well, maybe with my new outlook on writing, and with a better grasp on my changing work life, I’ll actually start doing some more regular writing.

Yeah I'll probably see you in another four months...

Yeah I’ll probably see you in another four months…

What’s a girl got to do to get some working WiFi??

No seriously. My WiFi hasn’t been picking up at my house for about a week now. Add to that the fact that I was out of town last week, and the week before that packing for said trip, and that all equals a neglected blog and a lot to talk about.

That’s right- last week I went on a vacation. “But we don’t care!” says the one reader in Vermont. OH WELL. I’m going to tell you about it anyway, so… there.

I made a pilgrimage back to Walt Disney World. I had not been back since I left in 2011 at the end of my stint working for the Mouse. I missed that place so much! I’m a huge Disney fan, obviously, and a lot of my friends still work there, so it was great to catch up with old friends and have fun. What was probably the weirdest thing was trying to explain to my friends my new grown-up job, which sounds really boring when you just lay it all out.

This was basically me all weekend.

This was basically me all weekend.

I really want to write more about the Disney thing in a separate post, so I’m going to do that.

How about we do a “Watch This, Not That” sort of thing.

The Monuments Men and The Lego Movie: both are movies about groups of people searching for hidden relics, both have many notable actors and actresses, but probably only one of them is supposed to be funny. Watch The Lego Movie, not The Monuments Men, in my opinion.

Robert Crowley creepin in the back

Robert Crowley creepin in the back

While The Monuments Men, George Clooney’s film based on the true story of a team of past-their-prime soldiers searching for stolen art seems good in theory, it kind of fell flat. It felt like they were trying a little too hard. It was made with the Oscar formula. Take some big named actors, add a great leading lady, make it a period piece with bonus true event points, and finally bring Bill Murray in on the project and you’ve got an Oscar contender. But something went a little off with the formula for this film. Don’t get me wrong, the movie was good, and I didn’t regret seeing it, but there wasn’t that Oscar buzz around it like the nominated films have. Critics tended to feel worse than I did about the film, having it average a sad 34% on Rotten Tomatoes. Many critics noted it’s slack narrative and over-use of nostalgia. Since this is largely based on real events and real people’s lives, I don’t want to be too harsh on the actual story, but it does seem a little self-important in some parts. Clooney pushed the film’s release from it’s originally slated December to February, causing it to miss this year’s award contentions, which probably turned out to be a good thing.

so much art jealousy...

so much art jealousy…

The Lego Movie was hilarious, though. I saw this with one of my best friends and we were laughing the whole time. I saw it again later with my little brother and it was still funny. If you’ve been living under a rock, this movie, about Legos and made of Legos, uses the voice talents of Chris Pratt (Park and Rec), Elizabeth Banks (The Hunger Games), Will Ferrell, and Morgan Freeman. And when I say “made of Legos”, I really mean made of Legos. It was a mix of stop-motion animation and computer animation, with everything, from water to lasers, being made out of Legos. Seeing all the creations the artists made for this film made me a little ashamed that all I could ever make was a stack of Legos (“It’s a… tower thing….”). The film was great for everyone, parents and kids alike, and never took itself too seriously. Rotten Tomatoes critics gave it a fresh 96%, and many are calling it one of their favorite animated films — one of those being my 11-year-old brother.

Lego gif

Without making this post too long- I do have about three weeks of stuff to possibly talk about- let’s talk real quickly about TV.

Starz started its newest series, Black Sails, a few weeks ago.

The intro credits are really cool too

The intro credits are really cool too

Seemingly shot in the Pirates of the Caribbean section of Disney World, this show is a prequel to Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island. It follows a young Long John Silver, all limbs still intact, as he joins Captain Flint’s crew. All sorts of other famous pirates are there and piracy ensues. If you’re a fan of Pirates but hate the sailing aspect of it, then this show is for you! No seriously, the show was four episodes in and they’ve been on their little Pirate Island the whole time. This past Saturday’s episode finally had some sailing, and the whole episode was pretty good. It was definitely an episode that brought a lot to the table story-wise. The gore-factor of this newest episode made it seem like they were trying to have it compete with Game of Thrones (could you blame them, though? That’s the show to beat on the premium channels right now). Muscular plus: Tom Hopper, formerly Percival in Merlin, brings his muscular arms to the role of Billy Bones and he does not disappoint.  (Black Sails airs Saturdays at 9e on Starz)

Those arms.

Those arms.

These past couple weekends were also great because House of Cards blessed us with its newest season. Holy gravy.

I can't handle it.

I can’t handle it.

They shot out of the season 2 gate and just stormed along with where they left off with last season. I was lucky enough (unlucky enough?) to be sick all weekend with a stomach flu, which meant all the time for me to watch the whole season. If you haven’t seen any of House of Cards, you really need to get on that. I would probably say that it’s the best Netflix original they have to offer right now. Kevin Spacey is great, as always, and Robin Wright, who won a Golden Globe for her role as Claire Underwood, is just as flawless. So manipulative, so calculating, so good! If you’re a fan of Scandal because it has the political drama factor, then you need to get to watching this show. You can watch both seasons over the next few days while we’re in the last stretch of Scandal hiatus (Thursday’s so far away!!!). If you like the American Beauty or The Usual Suspects (which is also now on Netflix) versions of Kevin Spacey, then you’ll like this show too. Seriously though- go watch it. Side note- is there a Team Meacham? If so, where do I join?

I volunteer.

I volunteer.

Ok, this post is getting long. I’ll quickly say how bummed I am that I missed out on the Olympics, especially Curling.

These guys know how to party.

These guys know how to party.

I also want to acknowledge Johnny Weir taking the Gold Medal in Accessorizing. Congrats to him!

Seriously. Share your necklace collection with me!

Seriously. Share your necklace collection with me!

And The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and Late Night with Seth Myers have both officially started.

rs_1024x759-140129063749-1024-Seth-Meyers-Jimmy-Fallon-JR-12914

The Pickle has been passed down

I’m such a fan of both of these guys, and I’m excited to see how their shows progress.

coffee_talk_linda_richman_meyers

Oi. Lots of pictures in this post.

Thanks for putting up with my ramblings, did I miss anything? Anything you think I should be watching? Talk amongst yourselves!

It’s Awards Season, y’all!

golden-globes-logo

I cannot confirm or deny that I was drifting off at my desk because I stayed up way too late last night catching up on my Golden Globes and my stories. Today is definitely one of those days that I wish I didn’t give up caffeine cold turkey, but super glad I’m keeping up with movies and TV. I tell you what, last night did not disappoint!

Before I get too far down the Globes rabbit hole, let me quickly break to say this- DOWNTON!!!!!!! I’ll do a different post about that, because this episode had some very polarizing opinions about the storyline, but I, personally, thought it was one of the best episodes of the show. It’s about time Julian Fellowes shook that house up with things besides first world, who’s-going-to-dress-me-now? problems. Again, my opinion, but whatever.

Now- back to the task at hand. The Golden Globes were so glamorous! Well, mostly glamorous (I’m throwing shade at you, Paula Patton). The night was so glamorous, a pipe literally exploded with anticipation. Yes, there was actually a pipe that burst and flooded the red carpet, causing some brawny firemen to work to quickly clean up. But everything worked out, and luckily no gorgeous dresses were harmed in the process, though some dresses probably SHOULD have been harmed… (see: Paula Patton, shade)

mmm... gross.

mmm… gross.

The night got off to a great start with the beautiful Tina Fey and Amy Poehler’s opening remarks. I liked the now much quoted explanation of Gravity as “a story where George Clooney would rather float of into space and die, than spend another minute with a woman his own age…” *cut to Sandra Bullock laughing her butt off*. For some reason though I loved the joke “American Hustle, or as it was known by it’s working title: Explosion at a Wig Factory.” Also, Amy Poehler poked fun at herself a bit with the help of Jennifer Lawrence, and everyone knows that a celebrity making fun of themselves is never not funny.

enhanced-buzz-30213-1389589776-6

The night got off to a sweet start with Jennifer Lawrence winning Best Supporting Actress- Comedy/Musical. Hooray! And Nicholas Hoult was there to give her a congratulatory smooch- adorbs!

Be still, my X-Men loving heart

Be still, my X-Men loving heart

She didn’t even fall on her way up to receive her award this time, even though she looked like she was doing a glamorous cosplay of New Legs Ariel. Everyone is hating on her dress, though! Oh well. I thought it was simple and pretty. She’s a young girl who is known for doing what she wants, and I think she probably loved the dress. There were plenty of other young actresses who made worse dress choices than her (Emma Stone and Zooey Deschanel). Congrats to Jennifer Lawrence on her win, her on-again man, and for doing what she wants and not giving a hoot. You go girl.

lawrence14f-3-web

Where’s her dinglehopper?

Congrats to Jacqueline Bisset on her overdue win with Best Supporting Actress- TV/Mini Series, but what was going on? I’m in agreement with everyone’s confusion on her long and drawn out acceptance speech and will admit I got up to grab some more wine only to make it back in time for her to power through the walk off music and continue going. I can only imagine the poor souls in the control room trying to figure out what’s going on: “Okay, play the music. Alright, lady, wrap it up… she’s not going anywhere… she beat the music? Play it again, louder.” Awkward….

Behind the Candelabra wins for both the lead actor and best miniseries. No surprise there. While I wanted American Horror Story: Coven to win, I knew they could not beat the taught-faced, piano phenom and his boy toy. It was a good movie though, so I was excited to see them win, even if Michael Douglas’s win was overshadowed in my mind with his throat cancer deal late last year *shudders*.

ugh... throat cancer

ugh… throat cancer

Elisabeth Moss came out of nowhere with her win for Best Actress in a TV/Mini Series. Another you go girl goes out to her. I love her on Mad Men, and even though I have not seen Top of the Lake, I’m sure she’s great in that too, obviously. Jessica Lange did not look happy to be beaten by the underdog this year, but oh well. Shout out for Moss’s dress- so beautiful- and her sassy little cut. Long side glance at Lange’s dress though for looking like a carpet bag… (just saying)

rs_634x1024-140112180607-634.elisabeth-moss-golden-globes-2014

Sad dress :(

She had an uncredited role as the carpet bag in Saving Mr. Banks

Margot Robbie truly did have a breakout performance in The Wolf of Wall Street this year. It was kind of weird to think back to her shy little character on the short-lived Pan Am and see her show-stopping look last night. Poor girl got hazed though when the teleprompter apparently cued the wrong presenter’s part. Nice to see that Jonah Hill can’t even be spontaneously funny in times like that. Oh wait, not funny… what’s the word… oh yeah- sad.

Jonah you were no help.

Jonah, you were no help.

And now I can finally talk about shade-worthy Paula Patton’s dress. It reminded me of a Georgia O’Keefe painting, to the point where, when I first saw it, I thought, “I haven’t been to the Fine Arts Museum in a while…”

Seriously, what is happening here?

Seriously, what is happening here?

100_1464-copy

Which is the painting and which is the dress??

Shade was thrown at that weird shoulder vagina thing and I only broke it to laugh at her oddly ironic joke. Did you miss it? Aaron Eckhart, who joined her in presenting, said something along the lines of “A drug dealer, a psychopath, and a sex addict…” and Paula chimes in with, “Sounds like my kind of man!” Yeah, Mrs. Robin Thicke, we all are reminded that any time “Blurred Lines” comes on the radio. I wonder how much the writers enjoyed writing that joke, I’m sure I’d put that one on my résumé. Anyways, Bryan Cranston won the well-deserved title of Best Actor in a TV Series- Drama for final season as Walter White. And he got to stick around as Breaking Bad won it for Best TV Series- Drama. I especially liked them thanking the fans for sticking with them during their less-formidable seasons in the show’s beginnings, that was very nice to say.

download

Alex Ebert and his hipster ‘do won for Best Original Film Score. And Bono and crew won for Best Original Song. I thought that was pretty special because they did work with Mandela for many years, so, as they said, they were writing from the heart. *small feels*

But the highlight of all of that was P. Diddy (Sean Combs? I’m not cool enough to know what name he goes by now) being more awkward than I have ever been in my lifetime. I write a blog called “The Awkward Redhead,” so I know I’m awkward, but I have never been on that Bono-Diddy hug level. Those awkward hug moments make my night. Honestly, you can catch up on all of the acceptance speeches and winners any time following the awards, but what you’re really missing are the candid moments with the awkward hugs and unanswered high-fives. Truly the most magical moment of award shows…

I live for these moments

I live for these moments

Jon Voight looked like the old man at the beginning of Phantom of the Opera as he robbed Aaron Paul of the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor- TV/Mini Series.

jon-voight-05

Christine…. Christine….

Aaron Paul was robbed, I say! And so does, like, all of the internet honestly. But as upset as I was about it, when they showed Liev Shreiber looking so proud of his TV dad, I quickly stopped yelling at my TV. (Just in time to riff on that scarf!) Side note- Amber Heard had a lot going on with herself last night. She’s such a pretty woman, but that eye makeup aged her and that weird pompadour was just… weird… I could have done with just my favorite TV firefighters, Taylor Kinney and Jesse Spencer. Fun Fact: Taylor Kinney is dating Lady Gaga and Jesse Spencer is actually Australian, as evident by his wonderful accent. Both of these are facts my mom did not know, so that could also be a fun fact for you.

Spencer, left, Kinney, right

Spencer, left, Kinney, right

I’m really glad Amy Adams chose a deep plunge dress for the evening, or else people might not have recognized her as she accepted her award for Best Actress in a Movie- Comedy or Musical. But all kidding aside, she was wonderful in American Hustle, deep plunges and all. She was also great in Spike Jonze’s Her, so this award only helped reassure her that she is doing amazing work and to just continue doing what she’s doing. She looked, as always, and was just as equally charming. I want to meet her and just talk about the shared plights of redheads everywhere. Congrats to Robert Downey Jr. too, I guess, for apparently getting to keep his tux. At least that’s what he said, in his weird intro, would happen if Amy Adams won.

a-mah-zing

a-mah-zing

ROBIN WRIGHT WON BEST ACTRESS! Well, in a TV series- Drama, at least. I’m so happy for this one because she was on my wish list of winners for the evening. Granted, on my wish list she shared the win with the amazing Tatiana Maslany of Orphan Black (more on that show in blog posts to come), but win nonetheless. She looked adorable as she ran up to the stage and stunning as she said her thank yous. House of Cards is such a great show (more on that in other posts, as well). If you have not seen it yet, you have plenty of time to watch the first season on Netflix before it’s Season 2 premiere on Valentine’s Day. Hop to it!

rs_634x1024-140112190125-634.Robin-Wright-Golden-Globe-Awards-Stage.ms.011214

Of course Jared Leto won the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor- Motion Picture. Of course I thought Bradley Cooper was amazing in American Hustle, and I would never turn down a moment to see more of Michael Fassbender, but Jared Leto was apparently amazing in Dallas Buyers Club. I say “apparently,” because it’s next on my must watch list, but I have not see it yet. Still, based on his other stuff, I’m sure it truly is amazing. I’m excited to watch it.

rs_634x1024-140112185322-634.jared-leto-winner-golden-globes-2014

You win the Man Scarf Awards, too

I now take this moment to pause and recognize my love for Emma Thompson. I mean, seriously, she looked so beautiful, just like she has for all of the Saving Mr. Banks press tour. It’s always a treasure to see her do anything, so I was happy to see her tonight, too. She came on stage, heels in one hand, martini in the other, and reminded us of the incredible task writers have to bring our beloved stories to life. She threw her shoes over her shoulder, exchanged her martini for the envelope, and congratulated Spike Jonze on his win for Best Screenplay-Motion Picture.

anigif_enhanced-buzz-9002-1389635259-5  anigif_original-grid-image-9338-1389635331-5

I was so excited to see Jonze’s newest film, Her, win this award. I loved this movie, probably my favorite out of the award season. I’ll have more on the movie soon, until then, trust me on my word that it’s good. Go see it.

rs_634x1024-140112192101-634.spike-jonze.cm.11214

You are as beautiful as your films, sir

On the tails of my excitement came Andy Samberg’s win for Best Actor in a TV Series- Comedy. I am so happy to see this new show become so successful. I felt like there was a looming cloud over the Fox show, since the network doesn’t have a great track record for their live-action comedies (pour one out for Breaking In, The Loop, and even Arrested Development). But this show is doing great! What made Samberg’s unexpected win even better was the bromance between his former SNL costar and him. So adorable.

enhanced-buzz-10503-1389587562-4

Poor Despicable Me 2 and The Croods didn’t even stand a chance against Frozen. While all three movies were very enjoyable, and great for audiences, Disney and Pixar usually have this category locked. Congrats on the Best Animated Feature Film, Frozen! Let’s go build a snowman! Side note: Captain Kirk is always a welcomed sight, and Emma Watson’s dress/pantsuit was beautiful. The gown version of a snuggie, but beautiful.

It's like a little baby unicorn

It’s like a little baby unicorn

As much as I love Woody Allen and his films, and I truly do, his lifetime achievement award portion was kind of weird, as most of the typically are. Emma Stone looked like she was channeling someone in between Annie Hall and Woody Allen in that weird outfit, but I liked it from the top up, if that makes any difference… And Diane Keaton was her usual self, so no surprise when she started to sing the Girl Scouts song. I actually thought her part was kind of sweet, due to the fact the two have been friends longer than I have been alive. So moving on…

Best Motion Picture Comedy went to American Hustle, like I thought it would, though I was hoping Her would win. Either way, I enjoyed them both.

rs_560x415-140112201022-1024.american-hustle-golden-globes-2014

Alfonso Cuaron rightfully won Best Director for Gravity. I haven’t had the chance to see it, partly because I’m still recovering from my terrible Astronomy class last semester, but I also have not had the chance. Still, well deserved win for him.

rs_1024x759-140112194048-1024.alfonso-winner-golden-globes-2014

Now the important part- Leonardo DiCaprio FINALLY WON Best Actor in a Motion Picture- Comedy or Musical. Took them long enough. He even took time to honor Bruce Dern’s body of work in his speech and thank Martin Scorscese for the influence he’s had on Leo’s career. Wonderfully done, Leo. While The Wolf of Wall Street is a little too much for me, it was excellently made and led by an amazing actor. Another well deserved, if not long overdue, win. Odds are in your favor for Oscar, Leo!

anigif_enhanced-buzz-32313-1389585440-26

About dang time

Another great, and overdue, win for Best Actor in a Motion Pricture- Drama for Matthew McConaughey. I especially liked the “Alright, alright, alright…” as he walked up to the mic, throwing it back to his role on Dazed and Confused. (Geez, the amount of movie trivia I know off the top of my head… someone pay me for it, please).

rs_560x415-140112201157-1024.matthew-mcconaughey-golden-globes-2014

Shortly following his win, Cate Blanchett looked stunning, as usual, as she won the award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture- Drama. I’m excited to see Blue Jasmine, I’ve heard so many great things about it. I just wish Woody Allen was there to actually get all the recognition coming his way.

My underdog, Brooklyn Nine-Nine won Best TV Series- Comedy or Musical (hooray!) and the always lovely Amy Poehler won Best Actress in a TV Series- Comedy or Musical, finally. A lot of finally’s tonight HFA, great job! Amy even made out with Bono before heading up to accept her award- bucket list check and check…

anigif_enhanced-buzz-26428-1389588250-5

I’m very happy to see her win. She was great on SNL and she’s great on Parks and Rec. Another deserved win for the evening.

Last, but certainly not least, the Best Motion Picture- Drama was awarded to 12 Years a Slave. A surprised Steve McQueen made his way up to the stage to say his sweet thank yous to all who helped him. His sweet reaction to his win was a pleasant way to end the evening.

Thanks, Sarah Paulson, for making sure he thanked everyone

Thanks, Sarah Paulson, for making sure he thanked everyone

Phew! What a night. Not that anyone will care that this is so late after the awards, but I did have a real person job I had to do today. What did y’all think of the awards and the movies honored? Give me your thoughts! 🙂

Oh- and I cannot talk about the Globes without mention this lovely pic:

All the yes's

All the yes’s

That’s right, internet, that is Michael Fassbender and Benedict Cumberbatch dancing to Notorious B.I.G. at an after party.

Emma Thompson approves

Emma Thompson approves

Let’s get this year started!

Unfortunately, it’s still the one of the sadder parts of the year where all of my shows are on their midseason break. I’ve discovered some new shows- Broadchurch and Orphan Black, and I plan on writing about those, but I’m still finishing up Orphan Black and want to wait a bit to write about them. Stay tuned for that. (Slight spoiler alert: I love them! They’re amazing!)

MV_SavingMrBanks11

I did get to see Saving Mr. Banks on New Year’s Eve. That was amazing, in my opinion. I have been a fan of Mary Poppins and vintage Disney my whole life. In fact, I was so much a fan of Walt Disney and his dream for a more magical tomorrow, that I spent 3 wonderful years working for the Mouse at Walt Disney World, in Florida. Le sigh…. The memories… but I digress. What I am trying to say is that this emotional look at the leaps and bounds Walt Disney had to go through, and the equal effort P.L. Travers took to try to stop the production, of the beloved classic was both well written and well acted. It averaged 81% on Rotten Tomatoes, where many critics agree that while, yes, it is sappy, it’s charming and even delightful. Tom Hanks is great, as always, as Walt Disney, and Emma Thomas has garnered a Golden Globe nomination for her portrayal of author P.L. Travers, and I’m sure it’s not her last nomination for the role. I saw it with my mom and my siblings, the youngest of which is 11, and we all really liked it. I would definitely recommend this for any Disney-philes like myself, who want another dose of nostalgia and a hearty helping of feels. Added plus: Jason Shwartzman and B.J. Novak play the Sherman Brothers, who wrote the songs for Mary Poppins and many other Disney films and TV specials. They tone down the sarcasm and turn up the optimism as they wade through all of Mrs. Travers’s requests.

Sorry for the language, mom!

Sorry for the language, mom!

Downton Abbey started Sunday! *throws confetti* Now, I didn’t finish watching last night’s episode, I was watching more of Orphan Black, but I will say that I’ve already seen the whole season. I won’t go into specifics on how I’ve already seen the whole season, being American and all, but I have. I know that this two-hour premiere did seem to drag a little bit. We kick everything off with O’Brien stealing off into the night and continue the fun with the vampire of Downton, Lady Mary. I know, I know, she’s still grieving over her lost husband Matthew, but it has apparently been six months.  Notable mentions include Lady Grantham apparently not being able to dress herself, and Lord Grantham not wanting to bother Mary with money issues because she’s, *gasp*, a lady. Creepy honorable mention goes to Nanny West for looking like the grandmother of Kathy Bates’ character in Misery. I know this episode was a slow start for the season, but let me tell you something, one reader from Vermont, this season is great! The best season so far, in my opinion (though I’ve read others’ saying otherwise). There is scandal, class issues, race issues, Lady Violet at her best, and even some Mary hating Edith action. Poor Edith…. Anyways, I am planning on finishing the DVR’d version of the Masterpiece Classic and will probably do a DVR round up next weekend. I’m still working out most of the blog post ideas, so hang in there with me.

Side note: my new favorite things are the various pics of Edith with googly eyes. This Tumblr is hilarious. I have no way of explaining why I find these so funny:

Seriously, why can't I stop laughing?

Seriously, why can’t I stop laughing?

I also watch the premiere of the new ABC event, The Assets, this past weekend. The new 8-week miniseries follows the dramatic events of the search for the CIA mole during the Cold War.

assets

It was based on the book that was co-written by Sandy Grimes, the real-life agent who helped lead the search. Jodie Whittaker, who played the grieving mother of the victim in one of my new favorites, Broadchurch, plays Sandy Grimes. So far, I’m enjoying her performance, and I’m looking forward to seeing the journey her character has to go on. Technically, if you know the history of the CIA mole scandal, then you’ll know who the mole was from the beginning. If you’re like me, however, and seemed to delete that information for more pressing things, don’t worry- they actually show the mole from the very beginning of the show. That’s not even a spoiler, because the cold open involves the mole going to the Russian embassy to trade information. They then proceed with a time jump that isn’t really labelled, and it can leave you confused for a little bit, but you get the hang of the show’s rhythm after a while. If you like FX’s similar venture, The Americans, then you’d like this for sure. With this show taking Scandal‘s time slot on Thursday nights, you Gladiators out there might be out of a show until February 27th, so why not take a chance on this to fill the void. Hey, we might even learn a bit of history in the process.

I’ve got some more stuff in the works for this thing, I just have to find time to write it. In the meantime, it the People’s Choice Awards are tonight, and it looks like Masterpiece Classic is re-airing the older Sherlock episodes in preparation for the January 19th Series 3 premiere (so excited!), so you can catch up on those with me. So many shows, so little time!

Happy watching, friends! 🙂

It’s time to say goodbye to 2013…

Believe it or not, there are only about 4 days left in the year 2013. How messed up is that, huh? For some people, they hear their year is quickly coming to an end and it makes them get their butts into gear with that New Year’s resolution they abandoned on January 5th. (If you’re doing it when the year ends, it still counts, right??) But some people, like me, tend to hear that number and think “Man, I could go for a nap.” All the impending activities make me tired just thinking about them. Plus, so many movies came out this year. Some were really good, others were really bad, while even more probably slipped by under your radar.

So in the spirit of not doing things, and getting some 2013 movies off of your watch list before the year closes, I have compiled a list for you of some movies that might have slipped past you unnoticed. Here they are, in no particular order. Enjoy!

1.  Frances Ha.

frances_ha_xlg

This black-and-white indie was written and stars Greta Gerwig (Greenburg, Arthur), as the titular character who is trying to find her way in New York City. The 27-year-old spends most of the film struggling to make ends meet while working as a dance apprentice, and tries to keep a best friendship with her roommate Sophie (played by Mickey Sumner, Sting’s daughter). The movie was well-received by critics, scoring a 93% on Rotten Tomatoes. I agree with critics that the movie, overall, was good, but as a 23-year-old woman trying to balance work, art, and a living wage, an hour and a half of someone just a few years older than me “doing her best” seemed to hit too close to home sometimes. Despite this, there were small moments sprinkled throughout the movie that kept me onboard. I recommend this for anyone who is missing Lena Dunham and her Girls crew. One, because Adam Driver has a supporting role, and because Frances is very “Hannah-esque.” Another plus, it’s on Netflix streaming.

2. Parkland.

download

This movie has everyone in it. Not, like, Crash, everyone, but it has a lot of familiar faces. Marcia Gay Harden (Mona Lisa Smile, Whip It, etc.), Zac Efron, Colin Hanks (Tom Hanks’s son), and the noted return of Tom Welling (Smallville). The film follows some of the doctors, Secret Service agents, and the Oswald family at the time of John F. Kennedy’s assassination. Some notable featured characters include Paul Giamatti’s Anthony Zapruder, who was the man behind the lens of the Zapruder film, the only known footage of the shooting. Efron and Hanks play the doctors at Parkland Hospital (hence, the title) who worked on Kennedy. Rotten Tomatoes compiled their score at a low 43%, citing incoherent  narratives that don’t live up to their potential for such a weighty subject. While I agree with the general thoughts behind most of the critiques, I think Parkland has to offer. The overall concept of retelling that sad day’s events from the perspective of others involved is intriguing enough to keep people watching to see how the events unfold for them. I would recommend this movie for history buffs, like myself. The well-known historic events make the plot obvious, of course, but like I said you’ll be more curious to the individuals lives following the event once the movie starts. Another, albeit shallow, plus: Tom Welling is back, and he’s looking good.

3. Pacific Rim.

pacific_rim_ver3

This might be a very mainstream movie to add to a list of movies you might have missed in 2013, but Pacific Rim actually was not as popular domestically as it was internationally. In efforts of diversifying the list, there might be a high chance you haven’t seen Pacific Rim yet. It didn’t do remarkably great in ratings, receiving only 72% freshness on Rotten Tomatoes, but it has the same kind of drawing power that movies like Transformers and Marvel franchise movies do (think, big fights, muscle-y men, tight pants). Set in the future, it revolves around pilots of giant-scale robots that fight off aliens that emerge from rifts in the ocean floors. It stars the Christian Grey that could have been, Charlie Hunnam (Sons of Anarchy) as a former robot pilot who is convinced to come back to the life by Idris Elba (Luther, Thor) and help save the day. It has the action side for the guys and the sexiness of all sorts of men for the ladies. Find it on Redbox for a nice night in with your guy. Added points for Charlie Day as Dr. Newton Geiszler, half of the science duo in the film who kind of saves the day.

4. The Internship.

internship_ver5_xlg

This is a buddy comedy that’s a little different than some we’re probably used to. Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson reunite as two aging salesmen who get thrown back into the changing landscape of the workforce after being laid off. They become interns at Google, where they begin to see the difference between their generation and the next. Mix in a competition element and a love interest for Wilson, cook for two hours, and you get this kind of heart warming movie. I’ll just be honest and say it only averaged 35% on Rotten Tomatoes, with one critic relating Vaughn and Wilson’s soft sided comedy to Eddie Murphy’s turn towards family oriented comedies. I’ll just say that I do agree that this is pretty soft compared to their other films. If you’re looking for a semi-sequel to Wedding Crashers, look somewhere else, but if you want to watch two middle-age men lead a group of socially awkward programmers through an underdog story, then watch it. If you liked Old School, but want a break from some of the crassness, then you’d like this movie. Oh, I forgot to mention that Dylan O’Brien, the sarcastically loveable Stiles from Teen Wolf, is one of the said socially awkward programmers, so lots of screen time for him. If your life has been lacking some Stiles lately, then let this be your fix. Frugal plus: it’s available at Redbox now, so if you have a promo code then use it on this and you won’t be mad if you don’t end up liking it.

5. The Way Way Back.

download (4)

This coming of age story was written and directed by the same duo who brought us The Descendants, for which they won an Oscar. This film has a star-studded cast that includes Steve Carrell (The Office), Toni Collette (Little Miss Sunshine), and Allison Janney (Juno), and the writers know how to use every single one of their collective talents. While the general story has been told many times under different titles, this cast keeps you from really noticing or caring. Each one knows how to work off of the other’s energy to create a great dynamic all around. Rotten Tomatoes gave this one a solid 89% with critics noting the same cast dynamic and the quick-wit of the writers that kept this oft-told tale going. I recommend this for those who liked The Descendants, of course, or anyone who enjoyed the indie ease of Away We Go and movies of the like. Honorable mention: Liam James, who fans of Psych will recognize as young Shawn, gets his first main role, and he plays the part of awkward teen pretty well. You go, Liam. There’s also this deleted scene featuring the gem that is Maya Rudolph:

6. The World’s End.

the_worlds_end_poster-5

If you’re a fan of Simon Pegg (Star Trek) and his band of merry men, then chances are you’ve probably seen this movie. If that’s the case, then move along, nothing to see here. But if you haven’t seen this movie yet, then stick around, I’ll tell you about it. This buddy comedy centers around Gary and his old friends reuniting in their hometown to finish a famous, and incomplete, pub crawl. Now, this movie is by the same crew that brought us Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, so there’s a sci-fi twist element to the whole story, so keep that in mind. That, of course, makes sense, because this is the third installment of the “Cornetto Trilogy,” which includes those other two movies. This third Cornetto film received a promising 89% on Rotten Tomatoes (Shaun and Hot Fuzz both scored 91%) and was well-received by critics who especially enjoyed Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, and the rest of the supporting cast- like Bilbo Baggins, himself, Martin Freeman. Obviously, if you were a fan of the other two Cornetto movies, then you’ll like this movie. I would also recommend this for any anglophiles out there and anyone who can’t get enough Scotty or Watson in their lives. If you don’t know who those two people are, then you probably don’t want more of them in your lives and might not enjoy this movie. If that’s the case, then continue on, nothing more to see here….

7. The To Do List.

download (3)

You might have seen this one, especially if you’re a fan of Aubrey Plaza of Parks and Rec. This throwback comedy has Plaza playing Brandy, the do-good high school valedictorian spending her summer, um, expanding her sexual horizons (I guess that’s a tactful way to describe it). She makes a list of sexual experiences she needs to have before her freshman year of college. Comedy, of course, ensues as she tries to maneuver through her sexual journey in 1993 Boise, Idaho. Yes, that’s correct, it’s set in the 90s and there are throwback references galore. Honorable mentions to the Avengers‘ Clark Gregg and Nashville’s Connie Britton playing Brandy’s tight-laced father and the more open-minded mother, respectively. It scored just 52% on Rotten Tomatoes, but even a majority of the critics say Plaza’s usual dead-pan helped this get somewhere. While I tend to agree with their general opinions, I’d consider myself open-minded enough to give this movie a shot, especially if you’re in your early twenties, like me. This movie is good if you liked the female-driven comedy of Bridesmaids and the sexual coming-of-age tale brought to you by movies like Sex Drive and American Pie. It’s also fun for anyone missing 90s music: think, Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch and the Cranberries.

8. What Maisie Knew.

What-Maisie-Knew_poster

This movie is based on the Henry James novel of the same name and centers around young Maisie who is innocently in the center of her parents’ rough custody battle. Featuring a cast that includes Julianne Moore (The Kids Are All Right), Steve Coogan (Tropic Thunder), and Aleksander Skarsgard (True Blood) all of whom play their characters amazingly. Critics agree with their skills and the movie averaged a fresh 88% on Rotten Tomatoes. Sometimes the film’s deft storytelling of a modern broken family gets a little too real, but that only attests to the abilities of said cast. Anyone who enjoyed Moore’s job in The Kids are All Right, Coogan’s performance in Our Idiot Brother, or is just completely in love with Aleksander Skarsgard, should see this movie. Extra points: Alexander Skarsgard’s dynamic with young Onata Aprile will make your ovaries explode. See here: Oh, and it’s on Netflix streaming, so it’s not too difficult to get

9. The East.

download (2)

This film was co-written by the lead actress Brit Marling, who has written other lesser-known films. I can’t speak for the other films, but this one was an impressive introduction. The film is a corporate espionage film, and while that sort of film has been done a few times too many, I think they save it a little bit with some of the main characters. Marling stars as Sarah, and undercover intelligence worker who is assigned to infiltrate an eco-terrorist/anarchist group who is seeking justice for wrongs done by corporations worldwide (think, Exxon Valdez injustice). They’re eye-for-an-eye law is followed throughout the film as you watch Marling struggle between the job and the social injustices she witnesses. Overall, it’s a good, current film that can, at times, challenge you to be a better person. Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 75%, with many critics giving Marling kudos for both her acting and her writing. I recommend this for anyone who enjoyed The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and those sort of movies- it has the same sort of cinematography and harshness of the story. It’s available on Redbox, so have yourself a suspenseful movie night. Added plus: Alexander Skarsgard is the leader of the titular group.

10. Disconnect.

download (1)

This is probably the lowest flying movie on the 2013 radar. I had the opportunity to see a screening of this movie, and I’m glad that I did, or else I probably would have missed it myself. The story follows four different story-lines that all connect with each other (think Crash or, on the opposite end of the spectrum, Love Actually). Arrested Development‘s Jason Bateman has a serious role as a lawyer and father whose son is cyberbullied by classmates. When the son attempts suicide, Bateman goes on a journey to understand his son’s life and what led him to it. Alexander Skarsgard (see also: numbers eight and nine) plays husband to Mrs. Robin Thicke, Paula Patton, who have their identity stolen and are trying to pick up those pieces. The four story-lines emotionally show us how connected and disconnected society has become thanks to technology. While it only averaged 68% on Rotten Tomatoes, but the cast’s performaces keep it moving when the story gets too melodramatic. I personally enjoy seeing funny guys play more serious roles- Will Ferrell in Stranger than Fiction and Steve Carrell in Dan in Real Life, for example- so seeing Bateman play this more serious part was right up my alley. If you liked Crash then I would recommend this movie. I’m sure it’s at Redbox now, and it’s probably on track for joining Netflix soon, too. It’s good enough to take the time to watch, and it might make you want to take a technology break even for just an evening. Added plus: How weird would it be for me to include Alexander Skarsgard as an added plus again? Don’t fight it, just have an Alexander Skarsgard-themed movie night. You know you want to.

Well, there you go, guys. You have about four days to catch up on these movies before we wrap up the year. Of course, you can always watch these after the new year, but where’s the fun in that? I resolve to watch more movies and TV in the coming year and write more posts that I’m sure my mom will enjoy.

Have fun and happy New Year, everyone!  🙂