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.


Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Letters to "Riverdale": Season 1

So, friends, my recent Netflix binge was a teen drama (I LOVE TEEN DRAMAS) called "Riverdale". It's based on the Archie comics from years ago - and I'd say "loosely based" - and I thought I'd write my thoughts out in letter form (just to mix things up!) And as always, *spoilers ahead*.

Dear "Riverdale", 
I was pleasantly surprised. Thank you.

Dear Archie,
I had a hard time with your character at times. You indecisiveness drove me bananas. You're allowed to like both sports and music - let Troy Bolton be your spirit animal in season 2 please. #wereallinthistogether

Dear Betty,
Besides the minor slip up with the jerky football player (what was his name anyway?), I thought your character grew the most during the season. You grew a bit of a backbone and went after what you wanted. But, I also think you have hardcore anxiety and should see a counselor..but that's just me.

P.S. I'm a HUGE fan of you and Jughead. HUGE.

Dear Veronica,
I'm thoroughly glad we moved on from you trying to be the ultimate vixen/mean girl/kissing girls for fun situation that was at the start of the season. You tried (and failed at times) to become a better person, and I liked that. 

Dear Jughead,
I LOVE YOU. That's all. I totally look forward to season 2. I can't wait for you to start your life into the Serpents..or your struggle with it. Whatevs, I look forward to it anyway.

P.S. What kind of name is Jughead?

(also, SAME)

Dear parents of Riverdale children,
You're way more bananas than you have the right to be. That's the crappy part of growing up somewhere and then staying - you're the same person your entire life. You never, EVER get to grow up and move on, because there's always going to be someone who remembers high school. That really sucks for you. But you crazy. Every. Single. One. Of. You.

P.S. I did not expect you Mr. Blossom, at all. You're a good actor, pal.

Dear Miss Grunky,
Or whatever the hell your name is. The "hot for teacher"/"you being a pedophile for a 16 year old" is done, done and overdone. Glad you left. Girl bye.

Dear Cheryl,
Besides being a clone of Lydia from "Teen Wolf" (another teen drama worth watching y'all), I kind of loved watching you be a train wreck. I hope season 2 brings more craziness and you rocking the red lip. Thanks girl.

Dear Josie (and the Pussycats),
Girl you entitled and mean. I don't know what to do with it. 

P.S. Valerie should sing lead.

Dear Kevin,
You get a gold star for being the token gay with the witty comments! Gold stars all around!

and Dear writers/producers of the show:
Some thoughts:
1. The characters need a little more oomph next season. 
A little more substance, a little less crazy.
2. Molly Ringwald as Archie's mom totally threw me off. 
I wouldn't mind if she wasn't in the show again.
3. I approve of any and all sartorial choices. Knocked it out of the park!
4. Please keep Betty and Jughead together. I ship it. I need it.
5. I'm totally digging the 1950's meets Stranger Things meets the Breakfast Club vibe.


Sunday, May 21, 2017

5 Thoughts on "Everything, Everything"

Last nights solo movie date was to "Everything, Everything". It is based on a YA novel by Nicola Yoon. It follows the story of Maddy (who has a rare immune disease) as she falls for Olly. There's a few other things that happen, but I definitely don't feel like spoiling that tonight.

BUT - I do have some thoughts, so let's do that instead.

1. Amandla Stenberg (Maddy) and Nick Robinson (Olly) were great choices. Both are cute kiddos who were equal parts good looking and awkward. I mean wasn't that everyone's high school experience - being both good looking AND awkward? 

I was just awkward.

2. It had a great soundtrack. Which, if you've read this blog long enough is 100% how I judge any movie - ever. My favorites from this movie?

"Howling" by Ry Cumming

"Heartbeats" by Jose Gonzales

"Stay" by Zedd ft Alessia Cara

3. I actually super enjoyed the styling in the movie - from Amandla's outfits 

to the set-ups with the astronaut (which, is something you only truly understand if you've read the book..and I can't find a picture! Sad.)

to Hawaii

everything was styled beautifully and almost flawlessly. 


4. It did a decent job of sticking to the original story. There were a few things that I noticed (which is both a blessing and a curse of reading a book before seeing the movie), but I think, for a movie that gets a B (maybe a B+) from did a good job.

5. You should see it if: you enjoy a teen romance movie, a coming of age story, or just want to see something that has no blood, guts, or cursing in it. It really was just two kids who fall in love through an interesting circumstance. Positive, sweet and awkward.

Have a great evening!


Monday, April 24, 2017

Monday's Mixtape 4.23.17

Sup dudes?

Today's mix is just a few things I've picked up over the last few days that I can't stop listening to, so let's listen - yeah?! 

1// "Sooner or Later" by Aaron Carter

Now, before you get all judge-y..give it a listen. When I listened to it at first I was pleasantly surprised! It's on repeat during my workouts. I kinda love it.

2// "Humble & Kind" by Lori McKenna

Now, I know it's not the original (and hey Tim McGraw, I do like your version) but Lori's (much) slower version is soothing.

3// "Legend" by The Score

They sound a LOT like Imagine Dragons. It'll be another frequent of my running playlists - it just gets you pumped up!

4// "Somebody Else" by The 1975

This is easily one of my favorite songs right now. It was featured on "The Edge of Seventeen" soundtrack (which was SO DISAPPOINTING - I need to blog about it, but haven't..because it was crap) and it was definitely the bright spot in the soundtrack. It's a bummer lyrically, but, I just kind of dig it.

5// "Broken Halos" by Chris Stapleton

I just really want to be best friends with Chris. And to see him live. 
I'd take either. Just saying.

So, whatcha listening to this week?! Leave me a comment and let me know what you think I should be listening to!


Sunday, April 16, 2017

Thoughts On: "The Office"

I know what your first thought is - it's 2017, why are you talking about a show that ended 4 years ago?! Well, my friends..I actually am just now getting around to seeing it.

Go ahead, be shocked.

Honestly though, I don't really have a reason. I've seen a ton of episodes over the years, but this was the first time I sat down and watched them in order. 

Let's get started then, hmm?

My Favorite Episode(s):
1. The Christmas ones. Every. Single. One. 

2. The first Dundie's when Pam says "I feel God in this Chilis." It's so classic.

3. And Jim and Pam's wedding. That whole speech where Jim talks about the church being Plan A and all that..I swoon every single time.

My Favorite Relationships:
1. Pam and Dwight: 
Yup, you read that right. I love that by the end, she is the one he trusts so much - and she has such a soft spot for him. I felt like they needed each other.

2. Pam and Jim: 
OBVIOUSLY. It's like blasphemy if you watch the show and you don't root for them.

3. Phyllis and Bob Vance:
 Even when they're weirdly doing it in the bathroom at the restaurant. 
They look at each other like you want to be looked at by someone you love.

4. Oscar and Angela:
I guess this is mostly because of the end. They were everything the other didn't love (or didn't understand), but they needed each other and they never questioned it. They just jumped with both feet.

Characters I Didn't Like:
1. Meredith: everything about her is so sloppy.

 2. Jan: PSYCHO. And she cared SO little about Michael. If I said the B word on my blog, I'd say it about her.

3. Gabe: What an absolute CREEPER.

4. Ryan: Everything about him is pretentious. And he was never funny to me. I think if I met BJ Novak on the street, I'd probably trip him. I think that little of him.

5. Karen: she's the other woman. Why would I like her? (I also don't like her in Parks and Rec. She just isn't my favorite in general.)

6. Robert California: EW. Ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ew.

7. Todd Packer: but I feel like that goes without saying.

My Favorite Characters (that aren't Jim and Pam):

2. Stanley: His grumpy little self is my spirit animal.

3. Darryl: He just gets better and better as the episodes go by. And that final episode where he dances with everyone? LOVE.

Story Lines I Loved:
1. The lead up until Jim finally makes a move. YES. #praisehands
And then I'm glad for Jim and Pam's story after that too. How they continued to fight for each other - instead of giving up when it got hard.

2. Jim and Dwight at the end. Just becoming BFFS - like you knew they would.

3. Erin. I was super surprised at this one - I thought I was going to get annoyed with her after 10 minutes - but I'm so glad they kept her. She became her own person, she loved everyone so fiercely, and then she finally got to meet her parents at the end. That made me cry as well. So sweet.

4. Angela and Dwight - well, mostly just the end. His deceleration that he would love any child from anyone of her lovers (ha!). I cried. It was ridiculous. They belong together.

5. "Threat Level Midnight"..because, obviously. 

Story Line I Didn't Love:
1. Anything to do with Jan or Robert California. GO AWAY.

2. Andy acting like a jerk when Nellie came around and he was named manager. I And then promptly left for 3 months. I WAS ROOTING FOR YOU.

3. The cheating: Ryan and Kelly, Stanley and his wife, the Senator and Angela. It was just too much, and it wasn't funny.

Final Thoughts:

I'm actually a little upset that I'm sitting here wondering what I'm going to do now that I'm finished. I'm still pretty much #TeamParksAndRec - but..I kind of loved "The Office" as well. The characters fleshed out in such a real way. I felt like (most of the time) they had real problems with real struggles and solutions. And it wasn't this big group of conventionally beautiful or talented people. They were just a crew that really just loved each other. Maybe not always, but they were each other's biggest support systems at times. I liked that.

I'm glad I gave "The Office" the time of day, and I totally understand why it's so iconic and loved by so many people.

And fine..

I loved it. I did.

- C

Friday, March 31, 2017

At The Movies: 5 Thoughts On "Life"

I know, I know - it's been a minute since I last was here, right? Well..I'm baAAACK!

Let's talk "LIFE" shall we? If you aren't familiar with the newest Ryan Reynolds flick (because, let's be honest - that's the only reason I went to see it..) here is the trailer:

And if you still aren't sure what it's about, here's a synopsis:

"A team of scientist aboard the International Space Station discover a rapidly evolving life form, that caused extinction on Mars, and now threatens the crew and all life on Earth." 
(via IMDB)

I KNOW, right?

So I've got a few things to say about it (and I'm going to be honest and they aren't all diamonds) so let's get started! As usual, **SPOILERS AHEAD**

1// I have a hard time believing Ryan would be the first one to die in any situation. I really, really do. He plays the smart ass (because, what other character does he know?) with a savior complex, and he ends up dying first. It's really ridiculous.

2// I would never EVER go to space. I know some kids have that at the top of their list, but I definitely don't. Being sucked out into the universe, space rocks, TERRIFYING ALIENS, no oxygen..I mean, WHO WANTS THAT?!

3// The movie is slow. Even with all the build up and the scary creature - it's slow. It felt like it took an eternity to even GET to the scary alien, so I sort of lost interest in the middle. (until the alien sucked all the muscle and bone off some guys leg..YES)

4// One astronaut DROWNS..because that's a THING in SPACE. Something happens with her suit (while outside the space station) and her suit fills up with water. Who even knew that was possible? I sure didn't.


5// I GUESSED THE ENDING. I'm really quite proud of myself, because most movies are totally able to stump me..and this one didn't. And let's just say the sucks.

Now, the real question is: should you see it? 

While I thoroughly enjoy Ryan Reynolds in all his forms, he wasn't 100% able to save this one for me. It's slow, and while the premise is really cool - they don't quite pull it off. AND it has a predictable ending. So, all in all, I'd wait til the DVD comes out.

Have a great weekend!