Author Archives: Emma

quality tunes: movies with A+ soundtracks

If there’s one thing I have always loved about movies, it’s the integration of music. Sometimes it’s something that you don’t even notice in a scene, or it will be the main focal point and everything in the scene will revolve around it. Today I am going to be talking about some of my favourite movie soundtracks. Although, just to keep this list as concise as possible, I am going to exclude movie scores as well as musicals and focus on movie soundtracks. The score of a film is the background music (usually instrumental) that is composed specifically for that film. While the soundtrack is typically a compilation of songs (usually including lyrics) that are chosen to be included in the film, and are sometimes even written specifically for the movie — I’m not going to be including scores & musicals because if I did that this list would be about 50 movies long, and I don’t really think any of us really want that — do we?

The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2013, dir. Stephen Chbosky)

the soundtrack is sadly not on Spotify, so here is a youtube playlist of the songs

I have talked about this movie a lot on my blog — probably because it is one of my favourites. And one of the main reasons I love this movie so much, is the soundtrack. And not only that, but in the book the protagonist Charlie creates a mixtape to give to his friend Patrick for Christmas — and I myself recreated that exact mixtape to give to my friend for Christmas one year! All the songs in the soundtrack (and even the mixtape, titled one winter) are 80’s and 90’s songs that were compiled by the author/director of the book/movie, so it’s introduced me to a lot of awesome songs and artists, and I actually still listen to the soundtrack on a regular basis because I love so many of the songs. (and here is the one winter mix tape as well!)

The Guardians of the Galaxy (vol. 1 & vol. 2) (2014-2017, dir. James Gunn)

this playlist consists of both Vol. 1 & Vol. 2 soundtracks!

If there’s one thing these movies are most well known for, it’s their extensive and excellent soundtracks. Comprised of mostly old school songs (all being ones the protagonist Peter (Starlord) Quill’s mother made into “Awesome Mix” mixtapes). I personally think the first one is a liiiiitle bit better, mainly because I enjoyed the 1st movie a bit more, but the second volume did include some Fleetwood Mac — so who can complain. And much like the Perks soundtrack, this one also introduced me to so many awesome old songs as well as artists.

Baby Driver (2017, dir. Edgar Wright)

I don’t think I have talked about this movie on my blog yet, and if I’m being honest I don’t think people talk about it enough in general. This was one of my favourite movies in 2017, one of the main reasons being the integration of music at almost every moment of the film. The main character, Baby, has tinnitus and so he listens to music through his earphones for pretty much the entire movie. And with different songs playing throughout most of the film, everything goes to the beat of the music (!!!) every little gun shot, head turn, foot tap, and punch. As someone who did dance for most of my life, it is incredibly satisfying when things go to the music and so this movie was no exception. Not to mention the actual soundtrack itself is so good and full of so many different songs. The summer this was released I was listening to the soundtrack at literally any moment I could have headphones in. (also if you don’t believe me watch the opening sequence of the film here on youtube)

Lady Bird (2017, dir. Greta Gerwig)

Now this movie is definitely not one where immediately after watching it I wanted to listen to the soundtrack. Although there is something very cool that they have done with the soundtrack that I very much enjoy. They integrated short little snippets of dialogue from the film, and placed them in-between some of the songs. I really like this (and have even see them do this with other soundtracks like the one for A Star is Born (2018)) That being said if you haven’t seen this movie there is a chance you may not love the soundtrack, because many of the songs are very relevant to the film and seem odd out of context. (they also included a HAIM song which is not in the movie so I usually skip that but whatever…)

Call Me by Your Name (2017, dir. Luca Guadagnino)

now I know I said I would not be talking about the scores of films, which are primarily instrumental songs that play throughout the movie. but I would say that the Call me by Your Name soundtrack doesn’t count because not only were the songs not composed for the movie — but there are several songs with lyrics and so on (and two original songs by Sufjan Stephens). This soundtrack is beAuTiFuL, and I love listening to it because it makes me feel like I’m on vacation somewhere in Northern Italy, while i’m actually stuck at home doing school work. The original songs are also beautiful and high-key make me want to cry. While there are also some very fun 80’s classics in there as well.

The Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009, dir. Chris Weitz)

No, this is not a belated April fool’s day joke. All of the soundtracks for the twilight movies are actually really good — although my favourite is New Moon (which is funny cause it is most definitely my least favourite movie/book of the saga, but that’s not the point right now). I find it very funny that these movies, which are not very good if we are being honest with ourselves, have some of the best soundtracks. Pretty much all of the songs were written specifically for these movies, many being written by very well known artists. To me, I think it is because the artists knew how much money these movies made and how popular they were — so this would then result in publicity for them and their music. That being said, this soundtrack in particular contains one of my favourite songs of all time (“Roslyn” by Bon Iver & St. Vincent) and the other movies had many other classics like “Flightless Bird, American Mouth” by Iron & Wine (both of which are songs I have done lyrical solos to when I was in dance). So yeah, while you may hate the twilight movies with a burning passion — there’s a very good chance that you will enjoy the soundtracks.

So there ya have it! some of my favourite movie soundtracks. Like I said, I decided to not include movie scores as well as musicals, because then this list would be very long. That being said, since there are many other movies I love for their integration of music, I may make another list — and possibly one specifically for scores and musicals!

a two for one deal: emma’s recommendations

did ya here that? a two for one deal! if you’re confused, on this episode of emma’s recommendations I’m going to be not only recommending some movies… but books as well! I’m going to be recommending some of my favourite books that also come with some fabulous movies (and vice versa!)

although, I will start this will a couple ~disclaimers~ I have not seen nor read every single one of these movies or books. for some of these recommendations I have only read the book and some I have only seen the movie (although most are ones I have only seen the movie, lets be real). I will also say that I am trying to focus on standalone books, as well as ones with adaptations that I myself enjoy (*cough* no Percy Jackson on here *cough*) but all in all the goal of this blog post is to introduce people to some fabulous books as well as movies, especially seeing as many tend to prefer one over the other. so here we go !

book: The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

movie: The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012, dir. Stephen Chbosky)

alright if you know me (which you probably don’t, let’s face it) you will have almost certainly heard me talk about this book as well as the movie. I remember reading this book in grade 9, around the time many of my friends were reading it. And while looking back on the film, and seeing that it definitely ha sit’s cringe-y moments and screams “music just sounds so much better on vinyl *cigarette drag*” (yeah the cigarette is a crucial part to that for some reason), This book had a strange and weird but also impactful influence on my “teen years”. I’m not exactly sure why, because I really have no ways to relate to Charlie as a character, but at the time I read this I was in the same grade as Charlie and I too was getting used to high school and making friends. And while it took me a couple years to really enjoy high school, I think this book/movie really helped me. It also introduced me to pretty much my entire music library, and I literally still listen to the soundtrack regularly. This is also one of the super rare and cool occurrences where the movie is written (AND DIRECTED) by the author of the book, which is why I think it translated to the screen so well (especially to 9th grade Emma). In fact, in my last couple weeks of high school I think I watched this movie about 6 times because I was sad and nostalgic — but every time I watch either re-watch this movie or re-read the book, I notice new little things I didn’t the first (or 2nd or 3rd or 4th) time around and end up loving it even more.

book: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

movie: Love, Simon (2018, dir. Greg Berlanti)

I talked about this movie a bit in my 2018 movies post, but I still want to try and persuade people to not only watch it but read it! I’m not sure what else I have to say besides the fact that it is just a super cute book, and a super cute movie. It’s your typical high school teenage rom-com but it’s a specific story that we don’t see told in a lot of mainstream or higher budget movies. There are also slight differences between the book and movie — so why not read and watch both to get the whole story! (also read Becky Albertalli’s other books because they are all equally funny and cute).

book: The Martian by Andy Weir

movie: The Martian (2015, dir. Ridley Scott)

Now this is a movie that I have not read the original book version of! although when talking to my sister in law, who has read the book, she told me that it is just as witty and clever as the movie — so what more could you ask for? While I really love this movie (& think it’s kind of under appreciated) I will unfortunately never forget the first 5 minutes where he (Matt Damon, to give a visual) gets stabbed by a metal rod thing (I don’t know science objects) and has to extract it from his abdomen— ANY WAYS, While I know many people were annoyed but this being in the comedy category at the Golden Globes, I think it’s a really clever and entertaining film. What I’m trying to say is this movie is good, and I have heard nothing by good things about the book as well.

book: If Beale Street Could Talk by James Baldwin

movie: If Beale Street Could Talk (2018, dir. Barry Jenkins)

(yet another movie that I have not read the book of) You know Barry Jenkins right? director of Moonlight? the academy award winner for best picture in 2016– after the whole La La Land fiasco? well just this last year he came out with another film, one that was not on many people’s radars. Beale Street is such a beautiful film, and the original book is also a well loved novel by the well loved author James Baldwin (how many times can I fit loved into one run on sentence???). And while I myself have not read it, the reviews I hear say nothing but praise. It’s a beautiful story, and while as I said I have not read the book, having read some of Baldwin’s other writing I can imagine the book itself is just a beautiful.

book: Fantastic Mr. Foxby Roald Dahl

movie: Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009, dir. Wes Anderson)

Now this is an odd occurrence where I read this book, and have a pretty good recollection of reading it. Although I remember doing so in order to watch the movie (even though I was like 10) because my brother really liked the movie and so I wanted to watch it etc etc… That being said I have literally no recollection of watching the movie, even though I’m almost 100% sure I did. Although despite all that I remember 10 year old me liking the book (and that says something because all I read at the age of ten was rainbow fairy magic books so it took a lot in me to branch out). AND I have a slight memory of liking the film, and I know it is well loved by many others– So read the book, watch the movie, do both!!

book: The Sisters Brothers by Patrick DeWitt

movie: The Sisters Brothers (2018, dir. Jacques Audiard)

Now while I will be honest and say that I do not love this movie (mainly because I am not a fan of westerns), after I saw this with my brother and a couple of his friends I was told that the book is much much better. And while I have yet to get around to reading it (probably because I didn’t like the movie) seeing as I have heard that the book is far more entertaining, witty, and fun when compared to the movie — I am indeed interested. That big said, this is definitely an instance where the movie is not bad — just not my personal preference. The highlight is most definitely the brilliant acting (and Jake Gyllenhaal despite his weird accent) but other than that if you like westerns and blood and stuff — you’ll like this movie! (and the book probably)

book: Call Me By Your Name by Andre Acimen

movie: Call Me By Your Name (dir. Luca Gaudanigno)

now I myself I have not read the book, but I have heard a variety of reviews for it. My mum DNF’d (did not finish for newbs) this bad boy after deciding to read it on the plane ride back from our (sort of) yearly girl’s trip to NYC. She told me it was good but got really repetitive and was sometimes just a bit too much (ya feel?). Although, I have of course heard other people say it is a beautiful novel through and through and I know some people that simply ADORE IT. That being said, I’ve seen the movie, and the film is exceptionally beautiful for may reasons – the story – the acting – the cinematography – the cOloOuRs – the speech from his dad — I could go on. That being said I think one can easy enjoy both the book AND the movie — or one or the other! which I think is a really cool thing about stories and storytelling. (also there’s a sequel to the book coming out this fall ???????)

book: Wonder by R.J Palacio

movie: Wonder (2017, dir. Stephen Chbosky)

Now this is just a super sweet story that I think is really well told in both the book and the movie! One of my favourite things about this is that when the movie came out, some of the kids I teach dance kept telling me how they read the book at school and then went to see the movie, and told how much they loved the book & the movie! This is definitely a story that was aimed more towards kids (and middle aged moms), but it tells a really important story that I think everyone and anyone should hear and can learn from.

book: Emma by Jane Austen

movie: Clueless (1995, dir. Amy Heckerling)

Now, I bet you didn’t know that Clueless was loosely (very loosely) based on Jane Austen’s well loved novel Emma (wonderful title) but it is! like I said, it is a loose adaptation, so you could really read the book and watch the movie and get completely different messages (but I mean who doesn’t want an excuse to watch a Paul Rudd movie so that him never aging can be the topic of every conversation you have for the next week?) that being said both the book Emma and the movie Clueless are wonderful and I really do recommend them both.

So there ya have it! I hope this inspired you to read some more book, or watch some new movies, or do both! (although I would not suggest doing both at the same time, it can get quite confusing).

the good, the bad, and the ugly: my favourite & least favourite movies of 2018

boy oh boy is this a long time coming! the reason it has taken oh so very long for me to finally come up with a top 10 2018 movie list, is because I had to watch about 8 2018 movies in 2019. I also felt inspired to make a 2018 in movies/top 10 video compilation video after seeing so many on twitter… and that took a long time to edit.

so, first here is the video I have spent at least 20 hours editing. I saw this video and this video when on twitter, and I was immediately inspired to make a video of my own! that being said, is it good? definitely not! I am by no means an editor, but it was so much fun to make! and I hope to make more videos like it in the future!

none of the movie clips or music used belong to me — all rights belong to their respective owners
Black PantherBohemian Rhapsody 
Love, SimonThe Crimes of Grindelwald 
Isle of DogsGreen Book
Infinity WarSpiderman into the spider-verse
Deadpool 2Vice
SoloShoplifters
Oceans 8If Beale Street Could Talk 
Ant Man 2The Favourite 
Jurassic World : Fallen KingdomA Star Is Born
Mission: Impossible – Fallout Cold War
The Spy Who Dumped meBalckkklansman 
Eighth GradeFirst Reformed 
Dog Days Can You Ever forgive Me?
A Simple Favor First Man
The Sisters Brothers Roma

And now, after watching that bad boy I’m going to go a little more in depth, and talk specifically about my top 5 favourite movies. As well as my top 5 least favourite movies. in order to make my top 10 list, I went through every movie I watched and started from the bottom. Luckily I only watched 30 movies (all 2018 releases, not including rewatches). my full list of 2018 movies is to the right with links.

So first, we will start with the least favourites. (told from least-least favourite, to most-least favourite by the way… if that makes sense) I am definitely not saying that these following movies are the scum of the earth, they were just not my favourites. I will also note that in the last few years I have gotten really good at not seeing bad movies. So that is why the bottom 5 movies, are not really that bad. Although, I have gotten roped into seeing movies i would not usually be interested in from time to time…

26.) Oceans 8 (dir. Gary Ross)

this movie is definitely not bad, but it just wasn’t as amazing as I was hoping it to be. the cast is s t e l l a r but it just wasn’t as epic (apologies for using that word un-ironically) as I had hoped it to be. It also felt quite slow for the first part of the film, and then it was very fast in the last 10 minutes.

27.) A Simple Favor (dir. Paul Feig)

now, this movie (as well as the next 2) are ones I would usually have NO interest in seeing. Although, I saw A Simple Favour not once… but TWICE. this is because I was asked by two different friends to see it — and I am nice, so I said yes. although I definitely wish I hadn’t. the beginning of this movie is good and Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively are both amazing in it. although about halfway through, and definitely in the last 10 minutes, it. gets. crazy. there was just way too much happening that I couldn’t quite get on board with it.

28.) The Spy Who Dumped Me (dir. Susanne Fogel)

now with this movie, it all started when my friend texted me with, “hey we’re going to see the spy who dumped me wanna come?” and I was like “yeah sure!” and then I googled what on earth the spy who dumped me was. did I really want to see this movie? no. do I crave validation from others and sometimes unfortunately need social interaction? yes. Kate McKinnon pretty much steals this entire movie because she is HILARIOUS (although I already knew that because I watch her pretty much every weekend on SNL) but other than that, there are some moments that make me laugh (although that is not such a difficult task if we are being honest) but in the end the movie is kind of boring — which a movie about SPIES should not be!!!

29.) Dog Days (dir. Ken Marino)

now this movie, oh this movie, I had absolutely no interest in seeing this movie, and yet I did. like I said, I am the nicest person ever and agreed to see it with my friend. this movie is pretty much exactly what I was expecting it to be — so if you’re looking for a movie that is so cheesy you need to pay an extra dollar (for extra cheese, get it?) and with dogs that will make your 10 year old laugh — I recommend this! but other than that, it wasn’t my cup of tea.

and here we are! my least favourite movie I saw this year *drum rolllllllll*

30.) Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (dir. J.A Bayona)

now this movie, i really didn’t know what to expect after seeing the trailer because the trailer pretty much told me everything! that being said my brother, sister-in-law, and I all trekked to the movie theatre one night to see it — because it’s Jurassic Park and dinosaurs are awesome. that being said, I have got to say… this movie is BAD. not even just unenjoyable (to me), it’s just bad. it’s almost like there are two movies? and the first one ends in the first 8 minutes of the film, and then they just slapped the sequel on for another 2 and half hours? there was just too much in here, and not in a good way, and poor Jeff goldblum had to make a cameo– I’m sorry Jeff.

okay now that we have gotten over our BOTTOM 5, I am going to talk about my TOP five. My video did highlight my top 10, which is the system my brothers and I do every year, but I feel this blog post already growing to the length of the nile river, so I’m instead going to talk about just the top five. but first two honourable mentions.

as I said, honourable mentions. there are a couple movies that didn’t make my top 10 list, but I still loved them and want to bring them to people’s attention! — those movies are

13.) Love, Simon (dir. Greg Berlanti)

! this ! movie ! makes ! me ! so ! happy !! it’s nothing too special, nothing artsy, or fresh out of the new wave cinema, but it is sweet and honest and just so nice to watch. this film is based on the well known YA book called Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli — which I read all the way back in 2015, so I’m a big of an OG fan ;). it follows high school student Simon who starts emailing an anonymous boy by the name of Blue. the two slowly but surely fall for one another, which sends Simon on a bit of a journey to figure out who Blue is. Although when his emails are discovered by one of his school mates, he is black mailed into being a wingman in order for his secret to stay safe. This is one of the best book to movie adaptations I have seen in quite a while, and it’s also just a good movie! there are some things (like Simon’s friends being stupid) but other than that it tells an incredibly honest story that we don’t see in a lot of mainstream, higher budget films!

12.) Shoplifters (dir. Hirokazu Koreeda)

this movie is quite sad at times (90% of the movie really) but in the end it tells one of the most beautiful stories about family that I have seen in a long time. it is a stunning story of a family who (in their own way) adopt a little girl who they have found alone in the cold whether. they bring her under their wing, and make her feel as one of their own. that being said, it’s not all sunshines and rainbows and things go wrong. but in the end it makes us think about what justifies a family, and how the people around us impact our lives.

now my top 5! these are all movies that I not only thought were excellently made films, but ones that I genuinely like.

5.) First Man (dir.Damien Chazelle)

one of my most recent watches, but a 2018 film I wish I had seen in the theatres. Damien Chazelle really is an amazing director, and it’s quite a pity this movie was completely overlooked during this years awards season. if you don’t know, this films tells the story of Neil Armstrong who was the first man on the moon. that may sound boring, but the way the whole story comes together is very much the opposite. I also shed some fat tears while watching this, and I barely cry during movies so that’s how you know it’s good.

4.) First Reformed (dir. Paul Schrader)

this movie is almost too weird for it’s own good, but for some reason that just made me like it more. Ethan Hawke was so good in this movie, and was completely snubbed in pretty much every major awards show this year. this movie follows a reverend of a small church as he helps a pregnant woman who’s husband thinks their child should not be born because of the condition of our earth. while the reverend himself is also dealing with his own health issues. yeah, some pretty deep and dark stuff. it’s hard to watch at times, yet also hard not to watch. there is one scene in particular that I think about a lot… and if you’ve seen this movies you probably know what it is. all in all… so good (although if you aren’t a fan of very weird movies you probably won’t like it)

3.) Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (dirs. Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman)

ugh, this movie is just so good. it’s enjoyable, funny, heart warming, all while having a really unique and beautiful art style. this movie follows Miles Morales, one of the many different spider-men — or spider-things — that exists over the many “spider verses”. I saw this movies with my 3 (fully grown and adult) brothers and all three of us enjoyed every moment of it! (it made all of our top 10 movies lists!)

2.) The Favourite (dir. Yorgos Lanthimos)

this movie is weird, funny, and more weird. I’m going to be honest and say I have no idea how to describe what this film is about, without giving away too many details. For the most part it is about Queen Anne of 18th century England and her close companion Sarah. But then when Sarah’s cousin Abigail comes to the castle in search of employment, the two fight to be the queen’s favourite (get it?). this movie is so so funny in a weird a roundabout way, as well as an all up in your face way. Olivia Coleman is also amazing in it, and I am beyond pleased that she won the Oscar for this role!

1.) Eighth Grade (dir. Bo Burnham)

it seems that every year a heart felt coming of age film with a debut director and writer comes to theatres, and I always love them. Last year Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird was my favourite movie of the year, as well as one of my favourite movies of all time. this year we have Bo Burnahm’s Eighth Grade. This movie ripped my insides out and then put them back, all in the span of 94 minutes. I have never related to a character more in my life, and want to give Bo Burnham the biggest hug ever. I already knew who Bo was from his comedy work (you can watch both his speciasl what. and make happy on Netflix right now!) and so the second I found out he was writing and directing a movie I was instantly interested. this movie follows eighth grader Kayla as she finishes up her last year of middle school and begins to think of the impending doom of high school. it deals with the anxieties of growing up in the age of technology and with just growing up in general! it is so funny but also so heartbreaking at times. it is expertly written and I can’t believe Bo wasn’t nominated for an Oscar (he did win pretty much every other award though..). I think this movie is one of the best combinations of an actor and director/writer. Elsie fisher, who plays Kayla, is amazing and it almost feels like Bo wrote the script for her. I am just now realizing that I have written way too much for this movie, but I can’t help it! I love it! anyways though, moral of the story: I think everyone should watch this movie — and it is actually on Netflix so you can do so very easily!!!

so there we have it! my favourite and least favourite movies of 2018. I have been working on this for the past 3 months so I hope you enjoyed.

what took so long?: Captain Marvel movie review

the time has finally come! three nights ago (Saturday, March 10th) I was able to finally see one of my most anticipated 2019 films… *drum roll*… CAPTAIN MARVEL! I have been looking forward to this movie since the second it was announced, especially with Brie Larson attached as the title role.

This review will start with some vague opinions in order to prevent spoilers for those who have not yet seen the film. I’m then going to go into the idea of why on earth it took so long for marvel to release a female led film, and then I will then go through some specific aspects of the movie — so if you don’t want spoilers I would suggest keeping to the top half of this post! (I will also put a disclaimer before I start talking about spoiler-y stuff)

First things first, I actually really enjoyed this movie. It’s funny at times, as well as heart warming and empowering. I would definitely be lying if I said I didn’t feel like I could literally do anything after walking out of the theatre. There are definitely times with slow pacing, cheesy writing, and pretty bad CGI — but there were so many things I loved, that I feel like they overshadowed those flaws from time to time. If you are a Marvel movie fan this is pretty essential to see, especially when gearing up for Avengers: Endgame this April. It actually makes me much happier knowing that butt-hurt dude bros will be forced to watch this movie because of a certain end-credits scene…….. I won’t say much more because ~spoilers~

It also helps that you don’t really need to see the other MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe for newbs) movies prior to watching this because it takes place before all of them (in 1995 to be exact). Although, there are little Easter eggs and characters that are cool to see if you have seen the other movies! If anyone needs more convincing to see this movie: there’s a sick soundtrack with a collection of awesome 90’s music and an adorable kitty with a little bit of a bite — what more do you need?

overall rating: ✰✰✰✰/5

Captain Marvel is about Carol Danvers, the most powerful Marvel superhero that you’ve probably never heard of. While I myself had never really heard of Captain Marvel before this film had been announced, she’s been in the comics since around 1967. And while I unfortunately don’t have the time (or money! comics are expensive!) to read all the comics having to do with her, I tried to do as much research on her as possible through the internet (one of the most helpful sites being the marvel fandom-wiki site) And after reading up on her character and multiple (much needed) costume changes — I can’t help but wonder what took marvel so long to include her in the MCU.

Not only is Captain Marvel seen as the most powerful hero in the MCU (as said by the producers) being 20 movies into the MCU she is making history as the first female MCU character to have a solo movie. Her first comic appearance was in December of 1967, so she’s definitely not new in town — but it’s taken 10+ years for her to be introduced on screen. So that begs the question — what took so long?

In all honesty I see it as them preparing for Avengers: Infinity War/ Endgame and wanting Captain Marvel to be part of the “new avengers” that will be running the show after that last movie. We obviously don’t know what is going to happen in the final avengers film — but I think a lot of us have an idea of how things are going to end for some of the old school characters. So in a way, I do understand their decision to introduce her later in the game —

That being said.. I am frustrated that they didn’t make a Black Widow movie sooner (as some of you may know, there is one now in the works). Why wait 10 years to have movie centred around a kick-ass female superhero, especially when you have many that are already in your films? Now while I don’t really think the two (Black Widow & Captain Marvel) are very comparable characters, with having very different capabilities as well as backgrounds. From what we know about Black Widow’s back story, I think a solo movie would be really interesting. But when it all comes down to it — I think it’s based on numbers and through the years people care more about Iron Man and Thor than they do about Black Widow. She isn’t a God, and she doesn’t have super powers, alien blood, or even a fancy suit — although, with Captain Marvel finally coming out as well as the making of a Black Widow led film, I’m hoping that more and more movies like this will be made. And I hope that it soon won’t be such a big deal for the main character in a superhero movie to be a female.

**beware spoilers up ahead**

okay, now lets get to the nitty gritty.

before I get to things that actually happened in the movie, I just want to say that the Stan Lee montage at the beginning was beautiful, and literally made my sister-in-law cry (we we’re about 40 seconds into the movie). That along with his (possibly last) cameo part way into the film were perfect ways to honour him.

  • Firstly, Goose is my favourite thing ever. I had read up on Goose (in the comic, Chewie) so I wasn’t surprised when it was revealed to be a bit more than a cat. That being said, I am a total cat person and therefore loved every moment that cat was on the screen — AS WELL as the reveal of how exactly Fury lost his eye.
  • Next, my sister-in-law and I basically almost started applauding when “I’m Just a Girl” by No Doubt started playing during that final battle sequence. Probably one of the best song choices since Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song” In Thor: Ragnarok (at least in my opinion) That scene was also SO well done, and a very good turn round from the first battle scene which I found to be very dark, and hard to follow along with. Although, with her full powers finally being “activated” this is definitely where some of the odd looking CGI came into play, so some things looked a little weird. but in the end it was …….. ~marvellous~
her first “suit”

  • I then loved the fact that a.) her costume is very practical & honestly looks comfy and b.) they didn’t try to push a love-interest. I am by no means saying that it’s bad that they had Wonder Woman in a skirt, or that it’s impossible for a female character to be strong as well as in love. But I really liked what they did here. There is a lot going on with Carol in this movie, she’s trying to figure out who she is as well as come to terms with her powers — I think it would have been really messy had they tried to interweave a romance. This is also definitely a change for MCU female characters, as pretty much all of them have a love interest (or it is at least heavily implied) in the films (the only exception I can think of is valkyrie in Thor: Ragnarok). And with her costume, I am very glad they went with inspiration from her more recent suits from the comics, rather than some of her earlier “suits” (if you can even call them that) because they just don’t look comfortable or practical to be fighting in! (her costumes have definitely evolved since she was first introduced in the comics, and this article takes a good look at the evolution of what she’s worn)

here are some of her more recent looks from the comics — which definitely contrast her first costume.

source/source/source/source

  • And finally…. I mean that end credits scene, what more could we want? It definitely raised a lot of questions, at least for me, because in the Endgame trailer and tv spot Captain America has short hair, and a clean shaven face — but in the end credits scene he has his longer Infinity War hair and a beard. curious… very curious… anyways, long story short not only did this 100% confirm that Captain Marvel will be in the 4th avengers movie, but it definitely got me even more pumped for when the movie finally comes out in April!

so all in all while I will fully admit that this movie has flaws, and I am by no means saying it’s perfect because it has a female lead. I honestly really enjoyed it and am hoping to see it again soon. And I am also hoping that no one reading this chooses NOT to see it just because there is a female lead. No matter who the main character is, there are good movies and there are bad movies. There are also enjoyable movie and not-so enjoyable movies. This one just happens to be both!

image sources are either embedded or linked — click images for more details


like speedy gonzales: february wrap up & march madness

holy cannoli, I can hardly believe February is over. that month went by like speedy gonzales! I’ll be honest and say that is partly why this wrap up is a few days late — along with the fact that I am a chronic procrastinator.

February was a pretty crazy month, and it felt even more crazy because of it’s short length. I did have the wonderful and beautiful thing that is reading break, although I definitly did not get very much work done (that being work I was supposed to do as well as wanted to do). February was the month of not only my mother’s birthday and my sister-in-law’s (the same day nonetheless) but also Harry Styles’ birthday — so that was nice. I watched quite a few movies (5 to be exact) and only 3 of them were really any good. I also watched a plethora of television, but only one show, and it even kept me up until 6 am one night! how swell.

While I might’ve let myself watch a lot of movies this month, I unfortunately only got around to 2 books (although if I am being completely honest 1 and 1/4 books because I finished the second one of march 2nd… but who cares right?) These books that I read though….. amazing…. although I have also already read them.

As I said, I already read these books back in high school. Although the author announced the release date for the first book of a companion series a couple weeks ago, so I instantly had the urge to re-read the whole series — naturally. Being in university though, I unfortunately find myself with little to no time to read for fun. Although, one of the many ways I am able to do so is by listening to audio books. My commute to school is anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour and so each time I’m sitting on the train or bus — I listen to a book! And pro-tip for audio books! — I listen to them on either 1.5x or 2x speed (depending on the narrator) and it helps them go by a lot faster (especially being a fast reader myself). I’ve started to re-read the Harry Potter books by doing this (currently on the 5th book), and am now doing it with The Raven Cycle. Although, I listen to the audio books through my public library so I have to put holds on the books before I can loan them (this because the ones I want to read are apparently ones everyone wants to read) — so I’m currently patiently waiting to get be able to loan the 3rd book in TRC (it’s supposed to take about 3 weeks :/ )

Having read The Raven Cycle back in high school I honestly think I skim read 50% of it because I comepletly forgot half of the things that happened. That being said by re reading these books I am also being reminded of how stinking good they are! If you don’t know what these books are about — and to be honest you probably don’t — they are about a girl who lives in a house full of physics, who starts hanging out with a group of ‘raven boys’ (boys who attend a very pretentious private school) as they all search to find the body of a dead welsh king but the name of Glendower. It’s got magic, latin, birds, and even a bit of romance here and there. It’s actually supposed to become a television show on the syfy network, although it is still very much “in production.” All in all while it definitley sounds very weird, and yes it is, I highly recommend everyone reads this series! (in physical or audio format)

For movies this month I saw a total of 5. None in the theatre sadly, but all from the comfort of my own home. Most of these are also 2018 movies because I had been catching myself up for the oscars, and I think it’s safe to say that a.) I didn’t really need to watch all the movies I watched, and b.) I can almost make my 2018 top ten movie list!

okay Fyre, I honestly don’t really know why I decided to watch this movie, especially seeing as I don’t really like documentaries all that much. I was mainly interested in what actually happened with the infamous fyre festival — and was intrigued by all the memes circulating. It was meh but all in all interesting because I didn’t know that it was actually that crazy. 3.5/5✰

I honestly don’t know what came over me (on Valentines day of all days too) that made me decide to watch Velvet Buzzsaw… maybe it was the fact that I knew Jake Gyllenhall’s tushy was in it? I don’t know. This movie is… weird… and I don’t really think in a good way? it’s hard to say, but if you need to know one thing: a character wears Air Pods in literally every scene except for his death, and I just want to know what on earth he was listening to??? 2.5/5✰

Okay, now we’re at the good stuff. Can You Ever Forgive Me? was a movie I saw trailers for earlier last year and thought meh looks boring. But then everyone was saying it was super good and I was like huh, okay. And let me just say… yes, it’s good. it’s really cool to see Melissa McCarthy in a serious role, especially because it shows how talented she truly is. Both her and Richard E. Grant we’re phenomenal in this movie (and I really think he should have gotten the Oscar! especially for his final scene in the movie). I will also say that this movie has a lot of great content for people like me who LoVe bookstores. (there are a lot of bookstores and they’re all so pretty) 4/5✰

right after watching Can You Ever Forgive Me? I decided to watch a very similar film, First Man. that was a joke, ha ha. I really really wish I saw this movie in theatres because like Damien Chazelle’s other films it’s very ~cinematic~ I also think is was very much snubbed at the oscars, and 100% should have been nominated in categories other than the technical side of things. With that being said I actually really liked this movies, and believe it or not… I cried. yes, I cried in a movie about n e i l a r m s t r o n g. 4/5✰

the final movie I watched, and definitely the best of them all was Roma. If you do not know what Roma is you most definitely have been living under a rock. The should have been best picture movie that was written, shot, and directed by Alfonso Cuarón (yes, the director of Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban!). This movie is exquisite! and for all those who are now immediately interested because I said he’s the director of one of the best Harry Potter movies (yes, that’s why) lucky for you it is available to watch right now on Netflix. 5/5✰


While pretty much all through January I was listening to one band and one band only, in February I was able to branch out a bit and compile a playlist. It’s a mix of quite a few random songs, but they were pretty much what I was feeling this month

I don’t really know what to say about this playlist, other than it really shows how odd my taste in music is. we have chill songs like “Harvest Moon” and “Morning Has Broken” which make me feel like running through a field of daisies. Then songs like “Psycho Killer” which I mainly listening to because I can see a really sick jazz dance choreographed to it (but that’s the dance teacher in me talking). Then there’s an angsty 2000’s classic with “Say It Ain’t So,” and a cameo of Greta Van Fleet with a cover of an Adele song. We then have “Bad Habit” by Ben Platt. Now, Ben Platt is probably best known for his small role in Pitch Perfect, and for originating the titular role of the critically acclaimed musical Dear Evan Hansen, but on the 29th of March he’s releasing his own album (!!!) He’s released 3 songs so far, and while I love them all his first single Bad Habit is my favourite. He has a beautiful voice (definitely thanks to his theatre background) And his songs also have really beautiful music videos that tell a story so I would suggest checking those out as well!

Okay! as a University student I unfortunately don’t find that I have enough free time to commit to watching t.v shows. This is especially true with shows that have 45min to 1hr long episodes! it’s like watching 10 separate movies! That being said, I was luckily able to watch a bit of tv this month — that being a couple seasons on one show, and like 2 episodes of another.

I finally got Amazon Prime this past month which means I can finally watch Parks and Recreation! The Office is one of my favourite shows, as well as similar shows like Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Seinfeld, Community etc etc… These shows are all very similar and very similar sense of humour! and B99, The Office, and Parks and Rec are actually all made by the same creator so that makes sense. The great thing about Parks and Rec, as well as the most dangerous thing about it, is that the episodes are only 20-30 minutes long! so I can watch 2-3 episodes within an hour. While the other show I started to get into this month was one everybody and their mothers were talking about on twitter: The Umbrella Academy. This show it really weird, and the episodes are quite bit longer so I have only seen the first two episodes. That being said the show is weird, but a good weird, and I hope to finish the series this upcoming month!

So now, March. March is looking to be a pretty good month if I am being honest! My brother and his wife are due to have their first baby around the 10th (update: they had a baby girl on the 5th and I am beyond excited I litterally cannot contain it!!!!!!) and this is my last full month of school! There are also some exciting movies coming out, as well as books.

In March I’m hoping to read 4 books

The first two being the continuation of my Raven Cycle series re-read, and the second being new books being released in March! my fingers are crossed I am able to get to all 4 of these things month.

While for movies I’m hoping to watch at least 3

Captain Marvel is a movie I have been anticipating since the second it was announced Brie Larson would be playing the main character, and I can’t believe I will be able to watch it in just a few days from now! Having Jordan Peele’s Us on here is just optimism in it’s greatest form, because while I really want to see it– I doubt I will because I’m a scaredy cat. And the last movie, You were Never Really Here, is one of the last 2018 movies I really really want to watch before I make my final favourites list.

For t.v I actually have a super anticipated show coming back which is

If you have not heard of The OA, it is a Netlfix show that came out a couple years ago and the second season is finally coming out later this month. There is pretty much no way I can explain it because it’s really weird. But it’s kinds of like Stranger Things mixed with Maniac? Don’t know if that sold anyone on the show — but everyone should watch it!! (part II comes March 22nd on Netflix btw)

So there we have it, my collection from February and aspirations for the month ahead. Not sure I will get to everything I want to watch and read — especially seeing as it’s already well into the month and I almost started rewatching LaLa Land on Netflix (which I never realized was on Netflix til now !!!?!?!??!?) instead of doing homework.

So dear March, please be nice. Let the warm weather come soon please and let my school work be finished quickly.

black & white movies: emma’s recommendations

A new addition to my blog is something that I do on pretty much a daily basis — recommendations! (recoemmadations???)

I am constantly trying to get my friends to watch my favourite movies, and read my favourite books — so, I decided to start doing something along those lines here! For my first recommendation list I am going to be talking about some films, but to be more specific, films in black and white.

To most, a B&W film means an old film, which is partially right because most b&w films are old ( The Wizard of Oz was one of the first films presented in technicolour! do you know that?) Although, there are actually many modern films that are in black and white. I personally love the use of black and white in movies, I find that it adds another layer to the overall story and how it is thus conveyed. So in this list I will be recommending a combination of old & new films that utilize the absence of colour.

first — we’ll start with the older films:

Citizen Kane (1941)

this first film is one many people have claimed to be the best film of all time. Now, I’m not exactly sure if that is true, but this is most definitely one of the best movies I have ever seen. It was one of the films we watched in my cinema class last semester, and while I’m sure it won’t be of interest to many people, I really think it is a movie everyone should watch at least once in their life. It tells the life of a recently deceased ‘newspaper tycoon’ — and is the basis for a lot of modern storytelling we see these days.

Cléo de 5 à 7 (1961)

Another film deemed as a classic to many is Cléo de 5 à 7. Much like Citizen Kane, this was a movie I had to watch in my cinema class last semester. It is a very beautiful as well as ~artsy~ film, following a famous singer as she “lives her life” in the hours before she finds out out whether or not she has cancer. There are also some very cute kittens!!!

Alright, now that those oldies (but goldies) are out of the way — here are some more recent black and white films. As well as some ‘wildcards’ that I have added at the end.

Frances Ha (2013)

While this is not only a wonderful film in black & white, it is also a wonderful film. Starring none other then national treasure (& academy award nominated director!!) Greta Gerwig — it follows (you guessed it) Frances — an apprentice of a dance company, despite her not really being a dancer, while she lives in New York City. A seemingly beautiful film, which contains one of my favourite movie scenes of all time (Greta Gerwig dancing and twirling through the streets of NYC to a soundtrack of David Bowie).

Roma (2018)

Another more recent movie, as well as probably more well known. This bad boy was one of the most nominated films at this past year’s Academy Awards (10 nominations!) — and took home 3 golden statues. In my opinion this movie deserved to win best picture — being incredibly beautiful for so many reasons, one of those being the b&w colour palette. Following the life of Cleo, a young domestic worker for a family in middle-class Mexico, as they all struggle and stride in their own ways. This one is also very easily accessible as it is on Netflix — so please (I’m begging you!) watch it

Cold War(2018)

Another recently Oscar nominated film is Cold War. This is one of the most beautiful movies I watched in this past year. Following a man and a woman in post-war Poland as they tread their way through the trails and tribulations of love. Like I said, this film is very beautiful, and while I thought wow i wish this was in colour, I actually realized that I didn’t want that & that the black and white ‘colour’ was one of the most beautiful aspects of the whole film. This one is also slightly more accessible, as it will be available on Amazon Prime Video very soon!


The Shape of Water (2017)

Okay, I know what you’re thinking… Emma! The Shape of Water isn’t in black and white! and yes, you are correct. This film is NOT in black and white, but, I decided to throw it in here (a bit of a wildcard if you will) because technically there is a short scene in black and white!!! And Guillermo del Toro (the director), even said that there was plans to have the entire film in black and white. This is more of a popular film, especially seeing as it won best picture at last year’s academy awards.

Another not really black and white film is Logan (2017) it’s not actually in black and white, although there was a semi wide-released black & white version (Logan Noir) and all in all it is a very good film…

So there you have it! a good mix of some very beautiful films all being void of colour. Along with some that aren’t technically black and white — but I mean I always love a loophole that gives me a chance to recommend my favourite movies! I really hope this encouraged some people to step out of their comfort zones and watch some new and different movies.

image sources imbedded – select each photo for more info

oh so excited: my most anticipated books & movies for 2019

While I’m still getting through books and movies that I was excited for in 2018, There are already so many books and movies I can’t wait to see in 2019.

A couple weeks ago was Sundance 2019, which if you don’t know is a pretty big film festival that takes place every year. It was started by none other than Robert Redford in 1978, and is a great insight into what the coming year will look like for movies (or at least a lot of ~indie~ movies). When I looked at a bunch of recaps from the festival, I started adding a lot of films to my “mental” 2019 movie list. So I then decided to create an entire list of movies I’m pumped to see in 2019 (going beyond those that screened at Sundance), as well as the books that I’m looking forward to reading. Although, these lists will probably be changing constantly throughout the year as I find out about new projects, and some might end up getting pushed back to 2020. Although, while we’re here — these are my most anticipated books and books for 2019

Something I’ve noticed with books is I only ever find out about them through people I know, the authors I already read, or random lists on the internet. So my list of anticipated books is kind of small, but that is because there are so many books that might be released this year that I don’t even know about yet

1.) Chain of Gold (The Last Hours, #1) by Cassandra Clare

Release date: November 20th, 2019

Alright, in my defence, Cassandra Clare’s books are definitely my guilty pleasure reads. Although, after binging her Dark Artifices series last fall, I have fallen back into her Shadowhunter world. I am STOKED for this book, mainly because I want Will Herondale, and the only thing better than that is DAD Will Herondale. So Cassandra, you’d better deliver.

2.) Wayward Son (Simon Snow #2) by Rainbow Rowell

Release date: unknown

I have a very distinct memory of this book being announced through Rainbow Rowell’s instagram last year. The initial release date was in 2020, but it’s now 2019, and I don’t know who I am meant to thank or that — but THANK YOU. This is the sequel to Rowell’s book titled Carry On which is about the character of a book that the character in her other book Fangirl writes fanfiction about — yeah it’s pretty meta. It’s about wizards and stuff and it’s amazing and that’s really all you need to know.

3.) Too Much Is Not Enough by Andrew Rannells

Release date: March 12th, 2019 

Now, I am not a huge fan of non-fiction, and I don’t read a whole lot of memoirs. The only exception is when people I actually really like or look up to release them. So that being said, the second Andrew Rannells announced he was writing a memoir I was PUMPED. For those of you who don’t know who Andrew Rannells is (and there’s probably a lot of you) — he’s a Broadway (& screen!) actor, who’s probably best known for originating the role of Elder Price in the original Broadway cast of The Book of Mormon. He has also been seen in the recent revivals of Falsettos and The Boys In The Band….But it all really started with Pokémon Live! He’s just a kid from Omaha, Nebraska who was lucky enough to make it in “the big city” so I’m excited to hear more of his story to stardom.

4.) The Red Scrolls of Magic (The Eldest Curses #1) by Cassandra Clare & Wesley Chu

Release date: April 2nd, 2019

wowzer another Cassie Clare book on here. This one, I’m very much looking forward to. Cassandra Clare is definitely one of the hardest working authors out there as she keeps putting out these (MASSIVE) books each year. And this one is going to be about one of the best couples ever, Magnus and Alec. I honestly don’t know what to say other than GIVE IT TO ME NOW.

5.) Again, but Better by Christine Riccio

Release date: May 7th, 2019

Okay another very exciting book being released this year. Christine Riccio, PolandbananasBOOKS on youtube, is coming out with her debut novel this year. It follows the main character Shane as she navigates her life while studying abroad. I mean coming of age? England? what more could I want!? Christine was actually the first ‘booktuber’ I ever watched back In 8th grade when I was trying to find stuff about the book Graceling and I stumbled upon her booktalk. I was introduced to the online presence of books and people who talk about books, so It’s pretty cool for me to see her writing and publishing her first book!

6.) The Fever King (Feverwake #1) by Victoria Lee

Release date: March 1st, 2019

Okay this is now where we come to the books that I have randomly found out about through the internet, but I’m VERY excited about. The Fever King was on a 2019 YA book release list, and I was immediately drawn to amazing cover. I then read the synopsis and was really interested in it, read reviews and became even MORE interested, and I then discovered it wasn’t coming out until March and was very sad. This book is sci-fi, but not really sci-fi — with politics and intersectional issues. I haven’t read it yet obviously so I don’t really at all know what it will entail — but I’m SURE it’ll be great.

7.) The Truth About Keeping Secrets by Savannah Brown

Release date: March 7th, 2019

Yet another book I stumbled upon in a list of 2019 releases. This one immediately drew me in with the title because it made me think it would be a mystery, and I was right. This kind of reminds me of John Green’s Turtles All The Way Down in the sense that someone who is not at all qualified to investigate something is investigating something — and that’s what makes me want to read it!!! The reviews that are coming in are also super positive and praising it for being beautiful and treating grief in such a beautiful way so yeah — me reading this book?? you can count on THAT

8.) Loki: Where Mischief Lies by Mackenzie Lee

Release date: September 3rd, 2019

The next book on my list is EXCITING, which is amazing seeing as I only found out it was a thing about 30 minutes ago. I’ve seen these Marvel and DC hero YA books around for a while now, but I have yet to have a whole lot of interest in them. That is before I saw THIS ONE. for one, Loki, probably one of my favourite anti-heros ever (DON’T talk to me about infinity war, thanks) and two, Mackenzie Lee. I’ve read her debut The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue which is a wonderful adventure story that twists and turns but at the base is SO witty and charming. You put those two things together and you’ve got an AWESOME book that I am dYinG to read. (and we don’t even have a cover… and it doesn’t come out for 7 months…)

9.) Call Down the Hawk (Dreamer Trilogy, #1) by Maggie Stiefvater

Release date: November 5th, 2019

Alright, 100% my most anticipated book of 2019, and it was only announced a couple days ago. Pretty much, this is the first book in a companion series to Maggie Stiefvater’s other series The Raven Cycle, and it’s going to be centred around one of her best and most interesting characters Ronan Lynch. I am……… very excited to say the least, and I recommend that literally everyone reads The Raven Cycle (the first book is The Raven Boys) because it is amazing and I could probably do an ENTIRE blog post on these books 🙂

Alright, buckle your seatbelts we’ve got another long list coming at ya. I won’t go too in-depth with these to save your the time, so I’d recommend clicking the links to read more about each film. I will also say that this is not in order, because I’m wEaK and hate choosing favourites (especially because some of these could definitly be very disappointing, lets face it) So this is in chronological order of when they are (meant to/rumoured) to be released

1.) Captain Marvel dir. Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck

In Theatres: March 8th, 2019 — Trailer

Not much to say other than I am ready for Brie Larson to singlehandedly save the Avengers, and have her pet cat steal the show the whole time, while simultaneously showing me 90’s culture with a sick soundtrack. (I’m begging you marvel)

2.) Us dir. Jordan Peele

In Theatres: March 22nd — Trailer

There is a VERY good chance that won’t see this movie in theatres because I’m WEAK and hate horror movies. Although, it’s on this list because Jordan Peele is a gEniUs and it’s going to be amazing. So, I can’t wait to live vicariously through everyone’s reviews until I probably watch it 6 months later on my computer screen in broad daylight.

3.) Avengers: Endgame dir. Anthony & Joe Russo

In Theatres: April 26th, 2019 — Trailer

Infinity War punched me in the face, called me ugly, and then punched me in the gut for good measure. I have my theories for this, and I simultaneously want all of them and NONE of them to come true.

4.) Ad Astra dir. James Gray

In Theatres: May 24th, 2019 — no trailer

What can I say, I love me some space?

5.) Rocketman dir. Dexter Fletcher

In Theatres: May 31st, 2019 — Trailer

Okay this one, pretty dicey. Bohemian Rhapsody was a little bit of a mess, but Elton John has had a HUGE part in the making of this film so tHeRe’S hOpE. Taron Egerton also looks INSANE as Elton John, AND actually sings in it. Also, Richard Madden… dare I say more?

6.) Men In Black International dir. F. Gary Gray

In Theatres: June 14th, 2019 — Trailer

Um, best casting choice ever. Not much else to say other than I love it already.

7.) Spider-man: Far From Home dir. John Watts

In Theatres: July 5th, 2019 — Trailer

8 words and 8 words only: Keep That Bowl Off Of Jake Gyllenhall’s Head

8.) The Lion King dir. Jon Favreau

In Theatres: July 19th, 2019 — Trailer

Less excited, more interested in how this is actually going to turn out, but Donald Glover as Simba… yes please.

9.) Once Upon A Time In Hollywood dir. Quentin Tarantino

In Theatres: July 26th, 2019 — No trailer yet

Not to sound like that annoying pretentious cinephile girl — but with a cast like that and a director like that, there’s almost no way you’re getting me to NOT watch this movie.

10.) It: Chapter Two dir. Andy Muschietti

In Theatres: September 6th, 2019 — Not trailer yet

I know I said earlier I don’t like horror movies but this is an exception because I loved It so much. Very scared to see this movie, but there’s almost nothing stopping me from seeing Bill Hader play Richer Tozier.

In Theatres: October 4th, 2019 — No trailer, just this sick makeup test

okay, very random because if you know me you know I don’t like DC… But I have hope in Joaquin Pheonix. I think he’s a really good Joker and could bring some Heath Ledger level stuff to the table.

11.) Star Wars: Episode IX dir. J.J. Abrams

In Theatres: December 20th, 2019 — No trailer

The previous movie was one of the weirdest reviewed movies I’ve ever seen. All in all I want to J.J Abramms to take BACK the reigns of this trilogy and give me a conclusion that I KNOW is coming. Also Kylo Ren. that is all (also please give us a title, trailer, and poster asap…)

*the next movies were ones that premiered at Sundance and don’t have release dates or even trailers yet !*

12.) Honey Boy dir. Alma Har’el

Honey Boy? more like OH BOY. Shai Lebeouf wrote this (semi) autobiographical script about his relationship with his dad — where he PLAYS HIS DAD. We also have Noah Jupe playing young him, and none other than Lucas Hedges playing not as young him. It was also the best-reviewed Sundance film on rotten tomatoes, and it’s 100% my most anticipated film of 2019 — I’m pumped give me the tissues Shai.

13.) The Farewell dir. Lulu Wang

Awkwafina looks sad in that promo picture, and that made me sad. Then I read the synopsis and I got even MORE sad. Then I read that A24 bought it and boy oh boy did I get excited.

14.) The Report dir. Scott Z. Burns

This may turn out to be just another Spotlight or The Post, but it’s getting some pretty rave reviews. also… John Hamm AND Adam Driver?!??! thank you casting director.

15.) The Last Black Man in San Fransisco dir. Joe Talbot

A24 is D E L I V E R I N G this year

16.) Big Time Adolescence dir. Jason Orley

I loved Pete Davidson pre Ariana drama, okay? also we’ve got Griffen Gluck from American Vandal... and Machine Gun Kelly apparently?? even if they weren’t a part of it I’ll watch any coming of age film okay?

OKAy that’s a long list and I apologize. Although, I’m hoping you saw something that maybe tickled your fancy! watched some trailers maybe? bought advances tickets for Captain Marvel? I hope so.

Anyways, 2019 is looking to be a Pretty good year for books and movies, and I’m really looking forward to delving into these worlds soon!

*BOOK COVER IMAGES SOURCE

*MOVIE IMAGES SOURCE

[not so] eloquent emma 2019-02-03 03:37:35

to me, January is one of the most slow and painful months. Even though we’ve only been in 2019 for 31 days, it feels like it’s been 90 days! it’s especially frustrating because we just started a new year, and in the new year we make new goals and ‘New Years resolutions’ — but (at least to me) it definitely feels like all of those have already failed.

This January was quite a jam packed month for me. I went back to school for my second semester of University! which is both exciting, and stressful. I was stupid and decided to take 4 classes this term, one of those classes being a math class… yeah, my little fine arts brain is dying. I am also managing 3 part-time jobs at one time… yeah 3 jobs. I pretty much have no free time, but I was still able to read a couple books and watch a couple movies this month.

Each month in my journal I do a little wrap up of the books I read, movies I watched, and music I was into — so I thought I would also do here on the blog! Along with that I do a little thing for the upcoming month I call a ‘TBR & TBW’ (to be read and to be watched) which are some books I really want to read, and movies I really want to see! 

so first, the books. I was luckily able to TWO whole books this month. Although, in terms of my classes this semester, I should’ve read 2 more… but that’s alright. Seeing how busy and stressed I was this month this is a quite a good amount. I was even ahead on my Goodreads 2019 reading challenge for a couple days — but I think I’m behind now. The books I was able to read were:

Two VERY different books, especially because one is YA and the other is adult. I also picked the first one up on my own, and Exit West was for a class. I gave TIKOAELS 3.5/5 because while it was an incredibly diverse and sweet story, I found it to be lacking in a lot of places and i just didn’t end up loving it as much as I wanted to. I then gave Exit West a 4.5/5, and if you want to know more about that book I’d read the review I posted for it last week.

For movies this month I was also able to see a whopping 4! 2 of those films were in the theatres, and 2 were in the comfort of my own home. I’ll be honest and say there will definitely be more movies than books for me in the coming months, and that is because awards season is among us! I watched the first two movies in preparation for the Golden Globes, and I am slowly but surely knocking unwatched Oscar nom movies off my list.

So, these are all 2018 movies, and that is mainly because pretty much no good movies come out in the first few months of the year. The first movie I saw as A Star Is Born, which some of you may know — came out in OCTOBER. I was very behind on this train because I didn’t have anyone to see it with at the time, but I finally dragged my dad to the theatre when the golden globes were coming up. I gave this bad boy a 3.5-4/5 stars, it’s a very good movie, especially for Bradley Cooper’s directorial debut — but it’s literally a remake of a remake of a remake. I also don’t personally think Lady Gaga was as amazing as everyone is making her out to be! but that’s just my personal opinion…

I then watched BlacKkKlansman the night before the Golden Globes on the couch. This was a movie I wanted to see when it actually came out, but I just never found the time. This movie was a lot of fun! and was definitley entertaining. Although, it also deals with a lot of important things. I googled about halfway through “is blackkklansman a comedy?” because I wasn’t sure if I should be laughing the amount that I was. I gave it 4.5/5 stars because there were a few aspects I didn’t love, but all in all I think it was a solid film.

I then watched one of the most underrated and under appreciated movies of 2018! Paul Schrader’s First Reformed. I heard about this bad boy back in the summer, because it’s an A24 film and I love A24 films. Although, this movie was sadly quite indie so I don’t even think it came to any theatres near me. Luckily it is now available on DVD and digital download — which is how I watched it. This movie is CRAZY. but like good crazy, obviously. Ethan Hawke is crazy good in it as well and I wish it got a lot more recognition this awards season. I gave this one 4.5/5 stars because there were some moments that left me a little too confused, but other than that it’s an amazing film that I think everyone who likes movies should see.

Okay last on the list of movies I saw is one I saw just 3 days ago, and that is Cold War. This is a foreign language film, Polish to be exact. I used to not like watching foreign language movies, but after I took an intro to cinema class last semester, and we watched about 5 movies that were not in English — I’m now a lot more open to them. This film is beautiful to say the least. It’s nominated in the foreign language category at the oscars as well as best director and cinematography, which I most definitely think it deserves. I also just love black & white movies, even without colour it’s so full of depth and I wish more movies were shot in B&W these days (GOD I sound pretentious). I gave it 5/5 stars because I mean… what else would I give it?

Alrighty, usually I make up a monthly playlist of the songs I enjoy listening to — But this month I didn’t do that. That is because this month the only thing I have been listening to is Greta Van Fleet‘s two albums top to bottom, back to back, and on repeat. If you don’t know this band they’re made up of 3 brothers (1 set of identical twins) and a long time family friend. They’re also from a very small town in Michigan called Frankenmuth, they’re all under the age of 25, and they’re all self taught. This band has only been around for a couple years, but I just recently discovered them earlier this month, and to say I like them is an understatement. These guys are SO talented and SO young. They’re already making pretty big moves as they were nominated for 4 Grammys this year (!!!), and they’re currently on a pretty much sold out world tour. I may not look like a rock & roll kind of person, but it’s probably my favourite genre of music. I don’t listen to a lot of current music, the exceptions being Harry Styles and Bon Iver (who I know, is definitely rock & roll), so when I heard these guys give a modern twist on the classic music I listen to all the time, I was hooked! If I have my ear buds in I’m definitley listening to either there double EP From The Fires, or their debut full length album Anthem of the Peaceful Army (heck! I’m literally listening to them right now) Some of my favourite songs are “You’re the One”, “Age of Man”, “Anthem”, “Highway Tune”, and “Lover, Leaver (Taker, Believer)” (just to name a few), but I would definitely recommend listening to this the way it is meant to be — top to bottom and really loud.

and yes I know they sound like Led Zeppelin, but is that really such a bad thing???

Okay, there we have it, my January wrap up! not too much this month because as I said — I’m VERY busy. Although, I did purchase a planner the other day, so hopefully I will get a bit more organized. For February, I’m hoping to get my crap together. I’m definitely looking forwards to our upcoming reading break, but also know that that mean I have 3+ papers to write before then.

In February I’m hoping to read 3 books

this is definitely a BIG goal seeing as there is a lot of work that I need to do in February — but these are all books I’ve been meaning to read so my fingers are crossed I get to them.

For movies I’ve got 5 on here, all 2018 movies because I am sadly still catching up and not many new ones are coming in February.

I’m really hoping I get to watch these all because The Oscars are this month! and I need to be caught up!!!

I also finally got a Amazon Prime membership, and therefore a Prime Video membership. So, I’m hoping to watch some shows I have been missing out on. I’ve already started watching Parks and Recreation  (which is an oldie, but I haven’t seen all the episodes so I’m hoping to get myself all caught up) as well as  The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and Homecoming. They’re both quite ‘talked about’ shows — and my brothers won’t shut UP about them — so I’m looking forward to finally understand all the hype.

So, dear February, please be good to me! I’m really banking on reading break completely taking away all my stress and immense lack of sleep — but I think we all know that won’t happen. Here’s to the second month of 2019! *clinks glass*

so many snubs: my thoughts & predictions for the 2019 Oscars

To many avid movie goers, the Oscars are somewhat of a second Christmas. People throw extravagant Oscar viewing parties, and place hefty bets on who they think will win. Although, for the past few years the Oscars have been changing. Ever since #OscarsSoWhite in 2015, the academy has definitely begun to take a different approach to the films they consider — and the ones that ultimately win.

While this year’s Oscars are already shaping up to be a very interesting one, with the whole debacle of Kevin Hart. The nominations officially came out this past Tuesday, January 22nd (at 5:30 am nonetheless!) and I have some feelings. This past year for movies was definitely a mixed batch, especially when we had movies like Black Panther — which came out almost a whole year ago. we also had a very odd Golden Globes this year, with a lot of surprises, so honestly I think we can expect almost anything at this year’s Oscars.

There were so many snubs in this years nominations. From Ethan Hawke in First Reformed, to ANYTHING for Eighth Grade. Many were also hoping Toni Colette would get a nomination for her role in Hereditary. After this years Golden Globes I was really hoping the Oscars would turn everything around, yet they ended up being very similar in a lot of ways.

So I’m going to go over some of the main Oscar categories, express my very mixed feelings on the nominations and include what I think should win, as well as what I think will win.

*disclaimer: I will admit and say there are a couple films that I have yet to catch up on… that being said I will proabably post another more concise version once I am (hopefully) more caught up!*

Original Screenplay:

“The Favourite,” Deborah Davis, Tony McNamara
“First Reformed,” Paul Schrader
“Green Book,” Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie, Peter Farrelly
“Roma,” Alfonso Cuarón
“Vice,” Adam McKay

This category gives me mixed feelings of disappointment AND excitement. I’m disappointed because I was really hoping Bo Burnham would get a nomination for his debut film Eighth Grade. But on the bright side it’s great to see Paul Schrader on this list, even if it is (unfortunately) the only nomination for First Reformed.

should win: Paul Schrader, First Reformed  (OR BO BURNHAM, EIGHTH GRADE!! *not nominated*)

will win: Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie, Peter Farrelly; Green Book

Adapted Screenplay:

“The Ballad of Buster Scruggs,” Joel Coen , Ethan Coen
“BlacKkKlansman,” Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz, Kevin Willmott, Spike Lee
“Can You Ever Forgive Me?,” Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty
“If Beale Street Could Talk,” Barry Jenkins
“A Star Is Born,” Eric Roth, Bradley Cooper, Will Fetters

Seeing as this is one of the very few nominations given to If Beale Street Could Talk, I’m rooting for Barry Jenkins to get his second Oscar in this category. Although, I also think BlacKkKlansman is a contender — and after reading up on the true story I think it was translated to screen quite well.

should win: Barry Jenkins, If Beale Street Could Talk

will win: Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz, Kevin Willmott, Spike Lee; BlacKkKlansman

Animated Feature:

“Incredibles 2,” Brad Bird
“Isle of Dogs,” Wes Anderson
“Mirai,” Mamoru Hosoda
“Ralph Breaks the Internet,” Rich Moore, Phil Johnston
“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman

First of all, I unfortunately have only seen 2 out of the 5 nominees in this category So I can’t speak TOO MUCH on the topic. That being said Spider-Verse was honestly one of my favourite movies in 2018, so I’m definitely rooting for it.

should win: Spider man: into the spider-verse

will win: Spider-man: into the spider verse

Director:

Spike Lee, “BlacKkKlansman”
Pawel Pawlikowski, “Cold War”
Yorgos Lanthimos, “The Favourite”
Alfonso Cuarón, “Roma”
Adam McKay, “Vice”

This is a pretty good (and *cough* male *cough*) line up for directors this year. A lot of people think Bradley Cooper was snubbed for his work on A Star is Born, but I think everyone on this list is deserving of their nomination. Not to mention we have Spike Lee’s FIRST best director nomination, which he is definitely overdue for and deserving of.

should win: Spike Lee, BlackKklansman (or) Alfonso Cuarón, Roma.

will win: Alfonso Cuarón, Roma

Supporting Actress:

Amy Adams, “Vice”
Marina de Tavira, “Roma”
Regina King, “If Beale Street Could Talk”
Emma Stone, “The Favourite”
Rachel Weisz, “The Favourite”

This category is jam packed with super deserving and talented women. Although, in my opinion, we don’t need Rachel Weisz AND Emma Stone there… I think Claire Foy in First Man could’ve replaced Emma. Amy Adam’s performance in Vice was also really good, and I’m glad to see Marina de Tavira for her work in Roma.

should win: Rachel Weisz, The Favourite (or) Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk  

will win: Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk

Supporting Actor:

Mahershala Ali, “Green Book”
Adam Driver, “BlacKkKlansman”
Sam Elliott, “A Star Is Born”
Richard E. Grant, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”
Sam Rockwell, “Vice”

I will admit that I am slightly disappointing to not see my boy Timmy (Timothée Chalemet) here for his work on Beautiful Boy, although I am glad to Adam Driver for BlacKkKlansman. All in all though, I think Mahershala Ali is in good hands to receive his second Oscar (In just 2 years!) because despite the messiness of Green Book as a movie, he is really the best part of the movie.

should win: Adam Driver, BlacKkKlansman 

will win: Mahershala Ali, Green Book

Lead Actress:

Yalitza Aparicio, “Roma”
Glenn Close, “The Wife”
Olivia Colman, “The Favourite”
Lady Gaga, “A Star Is Born”
Melissa McCarthy, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”

This category is, at least to me, one of the most talked about categories this year. From the second A Star Is Born was released people have been praising Lady Gaga’s performance and predicting her Oscar win. To be honest though, I didn’t love A Star Is Born as much as everyone else I know, and personally don’t think Lady Gaga was actually that amazing. This category is quite packed, much like supporting actress, and I’m glad to see Yalitza Aparicio for Roma, and Melissa McCarthy for Can You Ever Forgive Me? (funnily enough Melissa McCarthy was actually also nominated for worst actress at the Razzies for her work in The Happytime Murders & Life Of The Party, Meaning she was nominated for both best and worst actress this year!) ((also, I think it would have been so cool to see Elsie Fisher for Eighth Grade on here, but I know it was a bit of a long shot))

should win: Olivia Coleman, The Favourite 

will win: Glenn Close, The Wife

Lead Actor:

Christian Bale, “Vice”
Bradley Cooper, “A Star Is Born”
Willem Dafoe, “At Eternity’s Gate”
Rami Malek, “Bohemian Rhapsody”
Viggo Mortensen, “Green Book”

I was at first surprised to see William Dafoe on here, but it seems to me the academy has a soft spot for him as he was nominated for The Florida Project last year. Although, in my opinion, I think he could’ve been replaced by John David Washington for BlacKkKlansman. A lot like last year with Gary Oldman, we have the extreme transformation of Christian Bale into Dick Cheney for Vice (Which I think helped Gary Oldman win his Oscar last year for The Darkest Hour) That being said I think we also have to look at Rami Malek’s transformation into Freddie Mercury for Bohemian Rhapsody, and even Bradley Cooper in A Star Is Born.

should win: Christian Bale, Vice

will win: Christian Bale, Vice

Best Picture:

“Black Panther”
“BlacKkKlansman”
“Bohemian Rhapsody”
“The Favourite”
“Green Book”
“Roma”
“A Star Is Born”
“Vice”

Honestly, this list of best picture nominations is so weird and I think can only best described by this tweet. It’s pretty awesome to see Black Panther on here, being a superhero movie as well as a movie that broke a lot of boundaries in Hollywood. that being said… does it deserve a best picture nomination? in my opinion, no. In my opinion, Infinity War was a better film this year, and if any superhero movie should’ve been nominated for best picture it’s 2017’s Logan (but don’t get me started on that snub). The other movie I don’t think should be here is Bohemian Rhapsody. Not only does it have a 62% on RottenTomatoes, and has received is own spew of criticisms and controversies — to top it all off, it’s just not that great of a film! and I definitely think a movie like If Beale Street Could Talk (or even Eighth Grade!) should take it’s place. We also have another film jam packed with messiness & controversy — Green Book — but, for some reason it seems like people don’t care about all that, and therefore it could definitely take home the award.

should win: The Favourite

will win: Green Book

So there you have it! It think we’re gearing up for a very interesting academy awards this year… and as a I said above, since there are still a couple films I have to catch up on, I may do another list closer to the awards ceremony!

The Oscars this year are on Sunday February 24th at 5:00 pm (PST)

lyrical storytelling, magical realism & reading for academic purposes: Exit West review

While I am an avid book reader, something about being forced to read a book for school has always turned me away from my favourite past-time. Although, I unfortunately find that reading a book with an academic mindset is the way that I fully appreciate a novel, and in the end, end up loving it more. For my first review/discussion on this blog, I’m going to be talking about my second read of the year — Exit West by Hohsin Hamid.– which was also a required piece of text for my ’21st Century Literature’ class. So with the discussion, I’ll also be going into what I find to be the ~beauty~ of reading for academic purposes.

Exit West follows main characters Saeed and Nadia as they are forced to flee their home country and migrate all across the world. Although, in Hamid’s world, immigrants are able to migrate through magical doors that act like the wardrobe from The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe by C.S Lewis. Allowing people to enter one door in Tokyo, and exit another in San Fransisco (and that’s just an example!). This devices creates an aspect of magical realism, in a shockingly real and truthful story.

To start, this is the first ‘adult’ book I’ve read in quite a while. Seeing as I normally read YA (young adult) literature, this took me a little longer to read than normal. I gave myself about two weeks to read this bad boy, when I’d usually plough through a book this size (231 pages) in one night.

Although truthfully, the main reason it took me so long to read this, was because I was stopping every few minutes to write down notes (for my class), and underline quotes that I liked (for my own pleasure). The book as a whole is quite easy to read — even though it doesn’t contain ‘easy’ or ‘simple’ subject matter. The way Hamid writes is beautifully lyrical, and flows from sentence to sentence effortlessly. One of the ways Hamid does this is by having very long sentences, and when I say long sentences I mean half a page without a period. an example being:

“… When he prayed he touched his parents, who could not otherwise be touched, and he touched a feeling that we are all children who lose our parents, all of us, every man and woman and boy and girl, and we too will all be lost by those who come after us and love us, and this loss unites humanity, unites every human being, the temporary nature of our being-ness, and our shared sorrow, the heartache we each carry and yet too often refuse to acknowledge in one another, and out of this Saeed felt it might be possible, in the face of death, to believe in humanity’s potential for building a better world, so he prayed as a lament, as a consolation, and as a hope….” 
― Mohsin Hamid, Exit West

This style of writing makes everything smooth and in the end easier to read, even though a lot of the subject matter is very dark and hard to comprehend. For instance, a moment where I noticed this, is a scene where Saeed’s father watches a group of children playing. He at first sees the children kicking around a football, then he realizes it is a severed goat head, and then he finally realizes that it is the head of a human being. While this scene is in the end harrowing and quite disturbing, the way Hamid presents it makes it both more impactful, and easier to read.

So the fun thing about this book, which is mainly full of dark and saddening content, is it’s aspect of ‘magical realism’ — Magical realism being when magical elements are blended into realistic or mundane atmospheres. In Exit West migrants are able to migrate through magical doors that take you from one place to another almost instantly. The only ‘side effect’ being slight fatigue and disorientation for a short while. This is ultimately very interesting as well as convenient for Hamid’s story telling. seeing as It allows him to move his characters around the world very easily.

The only thing that bothered me with these doors (and to be honest the book in general) was the it left me wanting more. There is very little information on the doors — where they came from, how they form, how they work, if they stay forever, how long they’ve been around — long list short I had A LOT of questions once I flipped the last page. This is ultimately one of the very few critiques I have for this book. As I really loved the style of writing, the characters, and the story itself as a whole.

As I said a couple paragraphs up, this was required reading for my ’21st Century Literature’ class, and while I was forced to read it– it was one of the very few ‘school books’ that I’ve actually wanted to read. While in my spare time I would call myself a “bookworm” and have always loved reading — in high school when it came to reading the books for English class, I would pretty much never actually read them. Although, I’m ultimately sad I did this, and am making it a goal in university to ALWAYS read my required texts. The main reason being that I notice a huge difference when I read a book for academic purposes, rather than simply pleasure.

Of course, from time to time reading a book just to ‘read a book’ is fun — but I find the way that I fully appreciate a book inside and out, is when I read it with a ‘school’ mindset. When I take the time to annotate, underline quotes, or put sticky notes on ‘important’ sections, I find that I read a lot more in-depth. I’ll admit to the heinous crime of “skim reading” from time to time, when all I want is to get to the end of a book. This happens when I’m reading a book just to get what happens — as opposed to how it all happens, or why it happens. Although, when I do this I find myself missing out on 50% of the details, some of which being very important in the end.

Although, I find that when I read books for my English classes, I stray away from the skim reading habit. I do this because I know I’m going to have to look for a deeper meaning at one point, why not just do it now? In the end this has helped me really appreciate books for what they’re worth. For not only the story, but for the technical elements like writing. This has helped me discover and really love some amazing books — like for instance one of my all time favourites: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. So, I’d definitely suggest it to anyone — English major or not!

To conclude, Exit West is a beautifully thought out novel that is written smooth like butter, with quotes speckled in here and there that I’ll remember forever. The only problem being that I was left wanting for more than I was given, and wished to know more of these ‘magical doors’.

“We are all migrants through time.” 
― Mohsin Hamid, Exit West

My overall rating of Exit West by Mohsin Hamid is ★★★★☆ — 4/5