Wednesday, July 19, 2017

At the Movies: 3 Lessons from "Apes"

Alright, I'm totally not going to lie - I originally, when I saw the trailer for the first time, thought "there is no way I'm seeing that! Monkeys..really?!" And I've thought that every single time they've created a new reboot of the Ape movies.

BUT GUYS - I was wrong. 

"War for the Planet of the Apes" was fantastic. It was action packed, endearing, heartfelt, crazy, and just about exactly what you want to see in a movie. I was pleasantly the best way.


Sitting in the theater though, I had a few thoughts. I'm sure I'm the only one who listens to dialogue and goes "oh man..that's good..I need to apply that in my own life." Yup, I'm well aware it's a movie. It's not real. BUT - I've always felt, fairly strongly, that the Lord comes to me through my favorite things. He's met me on runs, he plays my favorite songs on the radio when I'm sad, and I've felt him through actors portraying all kinds of things. That may just be me - but here's a few things I gathered from "War" that I think you need to hear too.

1. So there's this darling little monkey that the main characters (main apes?) come across hiding in the middle of nowhere. He came, not from the virus (y'all, there's a lot of backstory that I'm not even going to touch..), but from a zoo. You figure out that while he was at the zoo, his trainer (or keeper) called him a "bad ape". He introduced himself as "Bad Ape". It got me thinking about how, in my own life, and in others, we're told something. Most of the time it's bad..but it doesn't really have a hold on you until you start believing it. Until you start introducing yourself as it. My friend has a quote on a sticky note in her car that says something along the lines of "things don't have significance until you give them significance". You can (and probably will) be told many things in your life, but they don't get a hold of you unless you let them. (Don't let them..) 

This is "Bad Ape". He wears a puffer vest and beanie most of the movie. 
And he was hilarious. Best part of the movie.

2. Woody Harrelson (who is a treasure and a treat to watch, always) plays the bad guy (which he and his biceps do so well..seriously, you should see his biceps in this one!) Come to find out, the virus that originally killed all the humans is dormant in the rest that are still alive, and once activated, brings you back to a more primitive state. Anything that separates us from the beasts (mainly the power of speech) is taken away. I kept thinking that sometimes, if we live in darkness too long (be the bad guy), the thing we're afraid of (and they're always afraid of something) usually overtakes us in the end. There's always consequences to actions. You can't run from things. You're responsible. And there's always light to overcome the dark. Always.

OH HAY Woody's biceps..

3. And lastly - there's something the Apes all do (that felt a little like the three fingers that the Districts held up in "Hunger Games" - saying they believed in you..) The apes said: "Apes together are strong" with a little hand signal. Not only did I think about how I'm always trying to solo EVERYTHING (I'm working on it), but as a country, right now, we're trying to figure out ways to push each other away. We're picking sides instead of choosing each other. The only way that we're going to make a difference in our daily lives is to stick together. That's the only way we'll be strong. We always think we can do it by ourselves, but, until we figure out "together", we'll never be as strong as we could be.

See this movie if:
1. You enjoyed the other ones. I'm sure they're comparable.
I'll have to rent them to find out.
2. You want to see Andy Serkis and Woody Harrelson absolutely blow you away.
Cuz they will. Even as a monkey Andy will rock your face off.
3. You're a fan of FANTASTIC special effects! 

Have you guys seen it yet? Let me know your thoughts!

Monday, July 3, 2017

Book Reviews: June 2017

June's books were a mixed bag with mixed reviews. One I really liked, one I totally disliked (that EVERYONE least the tv version of it) and a few meh's. Let's get down to business then, huh?

1// November 9th by Colleen Hoover

This was one of my meh's. The story is boy meets girl the day before she moves cross country - they spend the entire day together - and then plan on seeing each other (because someone..ahem, the girl) doesn't want to commit after 24 hours (and I agree..but, long distance does work for some people!) and they decide to meet on the same day the following few years. The story itself was semi-interesting, but it felt entirely too much like I had read it before. It was too "One Day" by David Nichols for me.

3 out of 5 stars. 
Would recommend for fans of Hoover, but maybe not to everyone.

2// The Girl Before by J.P. Delaney

This one was billed for fans of "The Girl on the Train" and "Gone Girl"..and sure, I guess so, but it just felt like a cheap knock off. It really was as if one of those (WAY BETTER) books mated with "50 Shades of Grey". Yup, I did say that. And I definitely wasn't a fan. I really just tried to rush through it because it was our book club's book for next month, and I had to know the ending - or I wouldn't have finished it. Yawn.

2 stars out of 5.
Would recommend one. I don't want to be responsible for that.

3// Always a Bridesmaid (For Hire): Stories on Growing Up, Looking for Love, and Walking Down the Aisle for Complete Strangers by Jen Glantz

I felt like Jen was someone you could hang out with and brunch (brunch with?) while reading. She was fairly witty, not self conscious and full of Jewish jokes. Her book wasn't terrible, but it isn't for the self proclaimed book snob. It's definitely a light beach read type of book. And I actually found what she does for a living super interesting.

3 out of 5 stars.
Would recommend for romantic comedy fans of "27 Dresses" or "My Best Friend's Wedding".

4// Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

After the utter hysteria of the Netflix series, I told myself I would read the book first - to see if I would like it, and then proceed with the tv show. Needless to say, I haven't seen the tv show.

I actually could spend an amount of time writing my thoughts about this book, but I'll try to limit myself here. 

Self harm, depression and suicide are not to be messed with. The pain is so different for different people. And..that being said, what happened to Hannah..I don't believe it to be reasons to kill herself. I believe her to be selfish and uncaring to the ramifications if she did cease to exist. And then she tried to pin everything on everyone else - especially the main character - which, I didn't understand at all. "I love you..but your totally a reason too.." 

2 out of 5 stars.
Wouldn't recommend. It wasn't even that sad.

5// Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley

"Words" wins the medal of best book I read in June! It's about book lovers (YES..UNITE!), lover lovers and the messes we get ourselves into because of love. I'm not even going to write anymore about it because 1) I loved it and 2) I don't want to give anything away.

4 out of 5 stars.
Would recommend: to fellow lovers and fellow book lovers. (do you think I said lovers enough in the post? Probs not.)

And there you have it! 5 for the month of June - and 29 for the year. (Actually, I just finished one like 5 minutes, 30.)

Any books I should add to my list? Let me know.