Author Archives: Genevieve Cheng

Let’s Talk About: Ranking the Hunger Games Movies

I started 2021 re-watching the entire Hunger Games series, and now I want to talk about it. 

Let’s just jump in because we have lots to cover…

1 Catching Fire (The 2nd Movie) 

What I Liked

The Quarter Quell 

I mean it’s pretty simple, without the fuel of the Quarter Quell (pulling victors back into the games) proving that the Capitol will never fully let anyone from the districts win the Hunger Games, the revolution probably wouldn’t have happened in the way that it did. Or at all. Not only does this twist for the 75th Games add fire to the revolution and a wrench in the plan that was Katniss and Peeta’s “happy ending”, but for many other reasons this becomes my favourite film of the series and possibly one of my favourite movies to re-watch of all time. 

The Arena 

The arena is a no brainer as one of the reasons why the Quarter Quell is so compelling. It’s so savvy, creative, and down-right terrifying. This gave the director (Frances Lawrence) so much to work with, and took the second games that we were seeing to another level. Bringing in previous victors is fascinating enough, making the combat and forming of alliances way more complex and mature, but adding that to the brilliance of the arena made these games so much more fascinating. 


The 3rd point I’ll make about why I love Catching Fire the way I do is just the pure existence of Finnick as a character. He (and the actor Sam Claflin) was my first movie-star crush and I’ll always hold a special place in my heart for him. Plus the casting of Sam for Finnick was so unbelievably spot on for how many of book readers envisioned him. The only negative I can think of about Catching Fire is literally that I would’ve liked more of Finnick’s back-story, but that’s just me being greedy. 

2 The Hunger Games (The First Movie) 

What I Liked

Sets the Stage 

It’s hard to not rank the first movie of any series high. It’s kind of like not recognizing the importance of the first Iron Man movie in the MCU. The Hunger Games movie really does a great job at setting the scene, establishing the universe and all of it’s conflicts and issues without too straight up dialogue-heavy expplanation scenes. With a few short explanations at the beginning of the film, the rest of the universe is laid out well through the narrative plot.

In terms of relationships, the Capitol-District dichotomy and relationship is developed well, and so are the personal ones between Katniss and her family, and between her and Gale, and even her and the Capitol as a whole. 


Although out of the 24 tributes we really only get to hear around 8 of them actually have any lines, I think they still manage to add a lot of levity to the story and made me itch for wanting to know more about them. 

What I Didn’t Like

Lack of Tribute Development 

While the tributes are one of the positives in this film, they always happen to be one of the negatives. The lack of their character development was a slight issue for me, but not a major one. Either way, most audiences will still feel immense remorse for most of their deaths given that they’re children and all. But knowing (and having seen) the deleted scenes where they showed several other tributes being interviewed by Casesar Flickerman (Stanley Tucci) was definitely a poor choice in my opinion (even if it was a justified one for production reasons). Those scenes alone really showed another side to the characters (or any side at all) that we otherwise didn’t see at all. 

Shakey Camera 

The second and only other negative to this first film that I will be addressing is the shaky camera. While most prominent in the exposition scenes of District 12, the camera remains with a slight tremor for a lot of the games and it really bothered me throughout the most recent time I saw this film. But by far the shaky camera in the first exposition shots bothers me way more. I understand the artistic choice but dang, it’s a lot. 

3 Mockingjay Part 2 (The Fourth Movie) 

What I Liked


I mean, it’s the finale, it’s gotta be good. It can’t be ranked fourth of four. 

Action Packed “76th Hunger Games” 

One of my favourite lines in this film, said by my favourite character (Finnick, of course) is “ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the 76th Hunger Games”. It truly speaks to how impressive the Capitol is at innovation and technology in terms of protecting itself, by constructing these deadly and creative pods all around the city as if it was an arena itself. This makes for a very deadly, high-paced storming of the capitol that I appreciated after the ‘breather’ that is the third film. 

Snow vs. Katniss vs. Coin 

This trio dynamic, although only seen all together in person once, was such an interesting pinnacle moment in Katniss’ character development. The actors are absolutely phenomenal and carry on the tradition of the series of just absolutely spot-on, brilliant casting, pulling the characters right out of the pages of the books. 

What I Didn’t Like

Finnick’s Death 

He didn’t need to die. Straight up. The only reasoning is the demonstrate, yet again, the tragedies and sacrifices of war and of a revolution. But, c’mon… Just wound him or something.

Okay, fine, if you’re going to kill him for drama and heartbreak (that you most certainly caused considering how beloved he was by not only just me) at least make his death better than just fall into a pit of zombie-mutts. Really? He deserved more, enough said. 

Prim’s Death 

As much as this is a negative, since that’s super (super) sad. Her death had so much meaning to it and truly represents a death that was all of the “good” things a movie-death can be in my eyes: 

– Meaningful to the Narrative (the entire story begins with her being saved and ends with her being un-saveable) 

– Develops characters around her (Effectively ends the relationships between Katniss and Gale, drives her to do the right thing in the end which was to kill Coin, etc.) 

– Truly tragic in how did they die (Prim’s death may have been somewhat unnecessary but at the same time it effectively ended the war immediately, giving it meaning to the story and driving the story forward. She also died doing something meaningful in an epic sort of way). 

To loop back around, I personally don’t see Finnick’s death and fully qualifying to any of these points. 

4 Mockingjay Part 1 (The Third Movie) 

What I Liked

Character Development 

I love a good calm before the storm movie where we can take a step back and assess where we are. Many might say this film was ‘boring’ or even unnecessary. I’ll explain why it’s not to me using another film as an analogy. In terms of their positions in their respective series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 (which I also love) is the same as Mockingjay Part 1 to me. Why? 

– The simplest explanation is they are both the second to last films of a series.

– They are both in between a period in the universe where everything is “seemingly normal” (Harry’s at Hogwarts and the Hunger Games are still running/the districts aren’t in full rebellion). 

– They both allow for the main characters and their counter-parts to become adults, learn about the past and drive the future of the rebellion/war forward (Harry, Ron and Hermione’s relationship develops while they hunt Horcruxes and learn about how to defeat Voldemort, while Katniss and Gales relationship plummets as she realizes her love for Peeta as she also becomes the driving force behind the rebellion). 

I could go on about their similarities, but no matter what I really appreciate these movies for what they are and the important places they hold in their respective series’. 

Tribute Rescue from the Capitol 

This is one of the only bits of “action” or suspense we get in this film (besides the very end) and I think this was done so interestingly. Getting to hear more of Finnick’s story and seeing a cumulative act come together where the sacrifices of individual districts has actually provoked real change was a great climax to this particular film. 

What I Didn’t Like

Not Enough Finnick 

This, alongside Joanna, can qualify for the 4th film as well. Of course not every side-plot in the books can be told in the movies, but I sure wish it was possible. 

Development and Explanation of 13 

Same goes for the development of 13. This is first time we as viewers (and from the perspective of Katniss) are seeing anything from 13 and I think it’s a shame that there wasn’t more space for the questions about it and monumentality of the fact that a whole society of people survived and are living underground when the Capitol thought they were long gone. That’s crazy and I would have loved to see more of their backstory.

Let’s Talk About: Tenet

Where do I even start? 

As much as I would love to try to set this movie up for those who haven’t seen it and see it to you, I really honestly have no idea what it’s about, even after watching the whole thing. 

With a running time of just over two and a half hours, Tenet will surely throw your mind for a twist and somehow make Interstellar look super straightforward. To add onto it’s run-time, the fact that the plot is beyond baffling makes it feel even longer. At just half way through I remember thinking “wow, I really have no idea what’s going on and the movie’s probably almost done!” It wasn’t. And I continue to have no idea what was going on for nearly another hour. 

And this isn’t trying to say the movie felt too long. For reasons I’ll soon discuss, this was still a visually fantastic film and I never found myself bored. Just super confused.

Now let’s talk about a few aspects of the movie that I can actually discuss because they have nothing to do with the plot. 

The score is amazing. Composed by Ludwig Goransson, the guy who brought you the music behind Black Panther and The Mandalorian, the Tenet score works so unbelievably well with the action-packed scenes and mind-bending cinematography. For lack of a better description, the score has tech-y futuristic undertones (which fits well with the technology-from-the-future-plus-time-travelling plot-line) and works the entire time to build tension, even when the audience might not really understand what is truly happening. 

Speaking of cinematography, Hoyte van Hoytema does not mess around. Hoytema, known for his work on Spectre, Interstellar and Dunkirk (not exactly films you don’t want your name on), made the movie what it was, which the plot couldn’t do for me throughout most of the film. Usually, with tense, mind-bending plots like these where most of the time I sit there confused, there has to be a pull that keeps me hooked until I can figure out the story. For example, with Interstellar, I had no idea (have* no idea, sadly if I’m being honest) what the bookshelf scene was and why it was necessary but the entire movie was visually so eye-catching and fascinating that in the end I was hooked in enough to see it three times and kind of figure it out. Same goes for Tenet. While I truly had no idea what was even happening at all until the last 45 minutes (and that’s being generous), I had no intention to stop watching because the half-backwards, half-forwards action scenes tied together with some unbelievably cool shots made it all worth it. 

Now I don’t want to drone on about how confusing the film was for too long, so I will keep this conclusion short and sweet. While it wasn’t Nolan’s best film, it sure as heck was a Nolan film, and one with fantastic performances from John David Washington, Elizabeth Debicki and Robert Pattinson at that.

And as one of the only big blockbuster, not-made-or-released-by-a-streaming-service films to be released in 2020, Tenet does double-duty, not only with it’s length but the fact that I’m pretty sure to understand it all you have to watch it twice.

Finding Creative Courage Online

At the beginning of this semester I was pretty set in my mind of two things. That coming up with content to blog weekly and building an entire website in a matter of weeks would both be very difficult. I was wrong on both counts. 

Building a website can be intimidating. WordPress itself is especially intimidating to me, personally, but blogging through these past few months has certainly changed that. Gaining experience in the WordPress back-end and website construction has ended up being a very beneficial skill that I’ll take forward with me into the future. In terms of weekly content, I surprised myself with how much I had to say. Sure some posts were harder than others to churn out, but overall my creative side was thoroughly, and joyfully, exercised. 

My Online Voice 

Although blogging is very intimidating, being able to test the waters and find your voice, per se, online has been an intriguing journey. As I take my newfound wordpress skills with me, I’ll also take this blog. Being able to exercise my creativity in a space where I have ultimate control and creative direction has been energizing. 

Future Plans for My Publication 

Let’s Talk What I Watch will continue to be an online space where I can take the time to write 3-5 minute reads about anything I watch, from binging TV shows to any genre of movie. Eventually I definitely want to incorporate more consistent themes into my posts, like highlighting certain aspects in all of my posts, rating the content, and giving recommendations in relation to other content. This could eventually evolve the blog into a place where new or less popular films/shows can be recommended for or against and be more informative. However, I’m also a big fan of re-watching or discovering older content, so I still want to maintain my natural voice that I’ve found throughout this semester which is that I enjoy ranting about whatever I find interesting in the content.

What My Publication Offers 

Streaming content, whether it be documentaries, films or television shows, has taken over as one of the primary activities many people are turning to as the pandemic continues. While it has long been a popular activity, as even before streaming at the conception of the cinema and TV’s watching content has been a central activity in the lives of people around the world. Given this popularity and presence in our lives, hearing other film-lovers opinions, getting recommendations, and being able to relate to how other’s interpret content is a very valuable aspect to the online experience. As mentioned by Boyd (2014), engaging in online spaces, like social media, individuals are able to access greater publics and networks that otherwise wouldn’t be available to them. Although my blog is currently isolated and not on social media yet, it is still possible relate the words of Boyd as opinions and discussions that someone may relate to can one day be seen as the construction of a public While I’m a stubborn person in the way that I don’t often follow content recommendations from others (whether it be books, movies or even songs), I think being able to find an online space where you relate to others opinions, views, and feelings about a shared piece of content can be very soothing and a great use of the Internet. Likeable to various communities on TikTok, finding others who you can relate to can be very meaningful. This ability to find a community and relate to others relates to a conclusion from the Why We Post research project (2016) that reads “social media is not making us more individualistic.” While we can continue to support and strive for individualism and uniqueness, ultimately there is comfort in finding people like yourself online. 

Expanding My Online Presence 

While I will hopefully continue to post on Let’s Talk What I Watch frequently, I have recently discovered other avenues of online life I want to pursue. Throughout these “unprecedented” past nine or so months, I have been in search of a new challenge to undertake and I’ve settled on an Etsy shop. Ever since I bought my iPad and began drawing digitally I’ve found an interest in designing little stickers about various things I enjoy, whether it be Harry Styles or an inside joke from a TV show. 

One of the main issues with this idea was that there are already so many sticker shops on Etsy. However, I did notice several holes in the market. As Thorn stated, “there are a thousand podcasts for 25-year-old white geeks, but very few for 18-year-old hip-hop fans” (2012, para. 15). I’m not about to invent something new to sell, so I figured if I want to design stickers I just have to be as original as I can. 

While I was still teetering on the edge of undertaking this new past-time in the new year, several sentiments from guest speaker Trevor Battye and the following Thorn quote pushed me over the edge. “Plans are great, but making stuff is how you build an audience, get better, and most importantly, get closer to making a living” (2012, para. 18). Just like throughout this semester where we were encouraged to write at least two posts every week, ultimately just getting something creative out online,  just sitting down and actually starting to do something is the best way to move yourself closer to your goals. 


Ultimately, my personal online presence, such as my personal Instagram and Twitter, seem to come naturally. As if they are second nature. Developing other presences like my Etsy shop are much bolder steps that I look forward to taking. Furthermore, I surprised myself substantially with my adaptability to the backend of WordPress and my ability to create weekly content. I also look forward to continuing this blog and seeing where it can lead me.


Boyd, D. (2014). “Searching for a public of their own.” It’s Complicated (pp. 213-227). Wattpad. 

Thorn, J. (2012). Make Your Thing. Transom.

University College London. (2016). Why We Post: Social media through the eyes of the world.

Let’s Talk About: Athlete A

2020 Netflix documentary Athlete A is a must watch. It’s one thing for a documentary to re-tell the story of a serial criminal, but Athlete A goes beyond this. 

Athlete A looks past what was essentially the “main story” of the arrest, trial, and conviction of Larry Nassar. Instead it digs into the systems and people that allowed for such a criminal to abuse young girls for nearly 20 years (at minimum).  

Ever since I started watching the Olympics back in 2010, I became fascinated with certain sports. Gymnastics was the first that I began to follow consistently, starting with the London ggames in 2012. Canada, at the time, was not really a medal contender at the Olympics for women’s team gymnastics, so I was neutral at the start, but it didn’t take long for me to become a true ‘fierce five fan’ (the women’s gymnastics team from the USA). 

I basically immersed myself in the ‘fandom’, if you were to call it that. From following the girls social medias to live streaming or finding each event on youtube, I was fully invested in the gold medal run that the USA made that year. 

Looking back on that time now isn’t how I always thought it’d be. 

In 2017, I first heard about the sexual abuse scandal. I think I found out through social media, as I follow Aly Raisman (Olympian from 2012 and 2016) who was and has remained a vocal leader in both the testimonies and the aftermath of the conviction. I can’t really remember what I thought about it, or how I came to fully understand the situation, but I eventually stumbled upon several videos of victim impact statements from the trial on Youtube. Beyond moving, heart-breaking, and anger-inducing, just a few words to summarize it. If you have the time, I recommend listening to a few. 

The reason why events like the 2012 and 2016 Olympics will never look or feel the same, is because as an innocent bystander you would never be able to tell what was happening behind the scenes. Re-watching the insane routines that lead to record-breaking scores and legendary dynasty team golds will never have the same awe. As instead of seeing these un-human-like athletes  complete tasks that are unfathomable to a regular human, you can for once think about them as real people that were put in harms way by the very institutions that were supposedly leading them to achieve their olympic dreams.

During the time of the testimonies, and eventually all the way through to the sentencing, I never really knew the full-scope of the situation, which is the story that Athlete A tells. 

The reason why this documentary hooked me in was simply because it wasn’t going to re-tell a story that has been told on Youtube, on Twitter, in Instagram posts and in news articles. It wasn’t going to dwell on the trial and conviction that happened years ago. Athlete A digs in and tells us why this was able to happen, who enabled it, and the leaps and bounds that systems and institutions need to take to ensure this never happens again. 

The story-line that the documentary centres itself on, is one that was never told until now. Athlete A, the first victim to come forward, wasn’t named to the public until recently (Maggie Nichols). By following this untold story, Athlete A is able to reveal so many other sides to the overall picture that were never examined during the trial. 

While many of the survivors remain active and vocal about the lack of accountability held by the systems and individuals who perpetuated this abuse, this documentary has definitely helped spread the facts that so many levels of power essentially let, and continue to let, children filter through a system that holds their ultimate olympic dream over their heads while letting them suffer unnecessarily.

Process Post #12: Today’s Cancel Culture

As we talked about in lecture and tutorials this week, we came to a consensus that the cancel culture of today is far different than it ever has been. Although the press, prior to social media, has long been full of gossip and rumours (see: The Crown on Netflix), social media has fuelled a whole new league of directed harassment, rumour feeding, disinformation spread, and more. 

The example brought up in class about the recent “cancelling” of Chris Pratt is telling of the situation. Chris was dutifully being held accountable for his partaking in a openly homophobic church and the fact he likely voted for Trump in 2016 and likely did so again in 2020. While at the same time, this discourse was met with the “you can only have 3 Hollywood Chrises tweet” where Pine, Hemsworth and Evans beat out Pratt (by a lot) in a series of threads and quote tweets. 

While this “battle of the Chrises” has long been a joke online and in the media and press junkets, many celebrities took this “cyberbullying” of Pratt to heart. 

Sure, I can get on board with the fact that pitting anyone against each other just because they have the same first name is a bit ridiculous and no one should get bullied for it; HOWEVER, when you’re also being held accountable for homophobic actions of your church and not actively not supporting a racist xenophobe, then the criticism you face might be a little more valid. 

I found it very disheartening and frustrating to see some of my favourite actors come out in droves to support Pratt. Robert Downey Junior and Mark Ruffalo being just two to name. I like to think that RDJ and Ruffalo simply didn’t know what Chris was actually being “cancelled” for, but we’ll never know. Either way, it doesn’t matter. When you have anything over a couple thousand followers, you have a platform. They very well know that their fanbase ranges from young children to full adults. Going online and making big shiny statements about a friend of yours when they’re in hot steaming water should be pre-empted with some good ol’ research. 

If Chris was being bullied for his name, sure you can call him a class act. But, should Chris be fairly called out for his church and political associations when it involves human rights? Yes. Should you defend him for that publicly when you have millions of followers criticizing Pratt for homophobia? Probably not.

Had people like RDJ and Ruffalo done their research prior to tweeting and instagramming, this situation would have likely just blown over and their public profiles not been harmed. There really was no need for them to publicly defend Pratt for a little Twitter joke and then get mistaken for being homophobe defenders. It’s times like these where I seriously question if those guys have anyone helping them with social media, because when you have nearly 50 million followers you really should have a second opinion on everything you post… 

Now let’s talk about why this was a short, 24 hour news cycle cancel event that will never provoke real change. 

Will Chris lose his millions of dollars being raked in every time he steps foot onto a Marvel set? No. Maybe one day but certainly not because of this cancel event. In fact, most influencers who actually should have their platforms taken away never do. I could list 10+ people who have more than 10 million followers or subscribers on various platforms who have done illegal and/or highly immoral things. Have they had their name thrown into a  #__isoverparty trend on Twitter? Yes. Did that change anything? Maybe a few people stopped supporting them but a few out of 10+ million only results in a few less pennies in their paycheque next month. 

Nearly everyday some celebrity or influencer is in hot water. In most situations, accountability is necessary and not something I think we should shy away from. However, at the same time, I believe the only thing social media cancel culture really does right now is severely cyberbully the individual being cancelled but never really takes away their platform, the thing that gives them the power and influence they have in the world. Which in some cases, is the thing they can do the most harm with.

Process Post #11: The Future of Let’s Talk What I Watch

We’re on the home stretch now for publishing 101 and I’ve been thinking lots about where this site is going to go afterwards. 

Before taking this class I had wanted to start writing more in my free time anyway, particularly about things I love like movies, so this class ultimately just kick-started that goal. In saying that, the last thing I want to do is fully abandon this site when the semester ends, but I might take a few weeks off after a continuous stream of 12 weeks of posting. 

Although I won’t be needing to run a PUB101 portion of this site anymore, I think re-jigging the site so I can have a space to post writing that doesn’t necessarily fall under the “Let’s Talk What I Watch” category will be good. For instance, there’s been many occasions where I got to write an academic research paper and I have more to say about it than I can fit into the paper or that should be in a university paper. So I want a place for those tangents. 

In terms of the Let’s Talk What I Watch portion, I also have recently started watching some new TV shows and documentaries and will probably finish them over my holiday break, afterwhich I’m sure I’ll have plenty to say. I don’t think I’ll ever run out of things to say abou the stuff I watch and I definitely don’t want to lose this domain name! 

Also as I work my way through the second half of my degree, I definitely want to find a place online to display some writing and design samples as a sort of portfolio. Three months ago I would’ve sworn against the complexity of wordpress and tell anyone that I’d never abandon squarespace. Although I never thought I’d say this, but, I might actually use wordpress as my personal site host too… After all, I don’t want to lose my domain! It’s far too perfect. 

That being said, I want to link my two sites together quite significantly, which is definitely why I have serious plans to revamp the home page and contact pages of this site while I’m also rebuilding my personal site from scratch. Just writing those words out makes me dread it but in the end I think the more practice I get with wordpress the easier it’ll get right? I sure hope it does. 

Although I never really thought of myself as a blogger, I think as someone with even the smallest interest in fields like journalism, starting an online presence as a writer is not something I should shy away from. Even if I don’t have a big audience for my blog, I’d like to continue to see it as a creative outlet where I can continue to work on my writing skills while talking about something I actually enjoy and am not being forced to write about.

All this being said, I’m very glad I took PUB101. Although I could have started a blog on my own time, actually taking the time each week to focus on it creatively and get other peers eyes on it was really enjoyable and motivational.

Let’s Talk What I Watch: The Morning Show and Euphoria

I’ve been talking about a lot of movies here so I thought it was time to switch it up a little. Today I wanted to touch on two really good, but really different TV shows; The Morning Show and Euphoria.

Both of these shows I’ve seen all the way through twice and I’m eagerly awaiting second seasons. They have lots in common in terms of quality of writing and acting, but they differ vastly in terms of tone and plots. Let’s talk about them in turn.

The Morning Show 

At first I wasn’t super interested in seeing The Morning Show. I wasn’t totally aware of the plot but I honestly did question “how dramatic could a show about a morning talk show be?” Well, I was wrong to ask. 

Not only does The Morning Show contain some high caliber acting from big names like Jennifer Aniston, Steve Carrell, Billy Crudup and Reese Witherspoon, but several key performances for me were from Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Bel Powley. On top of amazing performances, the show deals with the very current social issue of #MeToo. And, from my point of view, they portray it in the right way.

While the show works to unpack the public and private downfall of an accused sexual predator, they also tackle the power structures that often lead to the allowance of such actions. The show also doesn’t gloss over the complications on the private side, showing how long-time public friendships become inherently complicated and involve all aspects of their familial and professional lives. 

As I’ve mentioned, the show doesn’t restrict itself to the complications of one person’s downfall as it takes into account the over-arching power structures and addresses the toll, mental health and otherwise, that actions and events like these can have on an individual, no matter the situation. 

Overall, while the show only had ten episodes in the debut season they didn’t hold back and took thorough advantage of every minute. I think the success of the performances, writing, and other technical details ultimately end up being the bow on top of an already great show. 


This show definitely won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s sure captivating and one of my personal favourites. 

While I would say The Morning Show deals with some pretty dark and complex social issues, Euphoria takes it another step forward exposing some very real and horrific issues that young adults can face. Each character is essentially battling their own demons to the fullest extent, stemming from hard drug abuse to intimate relationship abuse to pursuing sexual relationships online. 

On top of the darkness of the plot, the cinematographic choices, make-up, costuming, directing and scoring ultimately make Euphoria a really amazing art piece. In addition to all of that, the performances are on another level. Although nearly the entire cast are in their 20s (the main actors all being under 25) this ‘lack of experience’ that some may criticize prior to seeing the show sure doesn’t show up. Namely, having personally first seen Zendaya on the Disney channel show ‘Shake It Up’, seeing her brilliantly portray the complexities of hard drug abuse was quite the surprising and impressive switch up. Although she did manage to snatch an Emmy for the first season,I firmly believe she’ll win some more big awards for her performance following season 2, and it hasn’t even come out yet. 

While The Morning Show and Euphoria (both available on Apple TV, Euphoria also on HBO) are two very different shows at their core, they’re both great short choices to binge over this winter break if you’re looking for some social critique portrayed by some really, really amazing actors.

Let’s Talk About: 1917

This is going to be an atrociously long blog post, so let’s just get into it.

Awards: Academy Award for Best Cinematography 

2019-early 2020  was a fantastic year for movies. Just looking back on the 2020 Oscar nominees makes me remember why the fight for best picture was so rough. I don’t have any argument at all against Parasite winning best picture so  I’m really glad that 1917 got the recognition it deserves with best cinematography.

If you’ve read my post on Sicario, you’ll understand my recent adoration for Mr. Roger Deakins. Although I’m a firm believer, having only seen three of his movies (I know, I’m working on it) that he deserves more than two oscars, I’m thankful he at least got this one as his second. 

The thing about 1917, is it’s not a movie that should win just for being shot to appear as if it is all one take. It’s how Deakins and the entire movie team took that opportunity and then made every single shot and moment of this film amazing. 

If you’re the kind of person to see a movie shot in a unique way like this and then immediately be struck with interest and flooded with questions like how, what, who, why, and when, then here’s a great youtube video on how the entire movie appears to be a singular take.

Some of the Most Memorable Scenes 

I haven’t done this yet on this blog, where I directly talk about my three top scenes, but I’m excited to highlight a few scenes from this movie. It also helps that I could find and re-watch them on Youtube since it’s nearly been a year since I saw this movie. 

First up, the opening scene. 

I basically decided to see this movie for three reasons:

1- I love a good war movie, as typical as that is I think some of them can be so heart-wrenching and the storylines are always so far removed from my personal life. They really put things into perspective. On top of that, I genuinely haven’t seen that many of the ‘purely battlefield storylines’ besides Dunkirk. 

2- Roger Deakins’ name in the trailer.

3- The fact that I heard or read something about it being all in one shot.

Now the third point, I wasn’t sure if that was true, so going into the film I still managed to be surprised. I distinctly remember nudging my friend about five minutes in and whispering “holy cow, it’s actually.. one shot, like no joke”. 

Here’s the scene I’m talking about if you want to check it out: the first 9 minutes of the film

Second up, the flare scene. 

Now this scene is backed up with a breathtaking score behind it. The entire score is fantastic but this specific track is by far one of the best. If you want to check it out on it’s own, the track is called “The Night Window”. 

When I first saw the movie I honestly didn’t really take a lot away from this scene. Now, re-watching it almost a year later I’m a little embarrassed to admit that, but it’s just over the halfway point so my brain was definitely getting worn out from all of the action. But afterwards, when I did my post-movie research, I found out this scene was filmed using actual, real flares. Boom. Just another topping to the cake that is any Roger Deakins’ movie. 

Check the scene out here, and make sure you listen to it because the score just makes it even more impactful. 

Lastly, one of the last scenes of the movie and probably the most outstanding is “the explosion scene” (which, taken out of context doesn’t mean much considering the whole film is a series of explosions but it’s the running one at the end? You know? From the trailer? Okay).  

I remember reading somewhere that this scene was only shot four times, or only could be shot four times because they only had so many live explosives. Don’t quote me on that but either way this scene can’t really get any more impressive. 

Not only was this scene filmed in a way I have never seen done before, still manage to have a cool score, include hundreds of extras, (yes) still shot in one continuous take, include real, live explosives, but it also managed to give every single person chills that watches it. And I can only say that because I firmly believe that if you can watch this scene without either wanting to yell, cry, or pass out then I don’t know who you are. 

If you’re going to take anything away from this blog post, it’s that I want you to watch this scene. I’m not even going to suggest you watch it, just watch it! Just.. go watch it now.

Anyway, I’ve been droning on about how fabulous this movie, but I have one more word to fit into this post about it. 

When I first heard about it I definitely thought “another war movie?”. Fair criticism. There seems to be a saturated market for war movies. I’m a firm believer that diverse stories should be told with these kinds of big budgets and talented film-makers. However, this fact doesn’t take away from the brilliance of this film. To me, 1917 in the end really wasn’t “just another war movie” and more of a way to show off the amazing things creative people can do with technology, great actors, crazy impressive camera work and a lot of time. I think this is why, as much as I do believe 1917 is an amazing picture, Parasite was the best picture and deserved a spotlight moment.

Process Post #10: Reacting to My Third Peer Review

For this week’s process post I’ll be looking back on the helpful constructive criticism I got from Victoria over at The Procrastireader. She gave me some really helpful critiques that I’ll be working on incorporating into my site going forward! 

Let’s talk about a few. 


As far as running a new website goes, the technical issues are the hardest for me by far; however, this correction is going to be an easy fix going forward: making sure my links open in new tabs. 

We went over this a little bit in the past few weeks in lecture and now I’m definitely aware of the positive sides to making sure readers can easily navigate to and from your site. I honestly wasn’t really thinking about it too much as my mind was preoccupied with getting all of the links embedded into the post in the first place, but going forward I’ll defiitely be making the time! 

Design + Content

I always appreciate good comments about the ‘vibe’ or tone of my site! Hearing that the graphics and colours give off the impression I wanted them to is always lovely. 

One thing she pointed out was to add more pictures to my blog posts which I’ll definitely be doing! I might even go back to some of my old posts and add them when I have time near the end of the year after finals are over. After all, this is a film blog and not showing anything from the films is definitely a missing asset. 

In terms of content, I’m very glad to hear that my posts are an appropriate length that explain films without going into too much detailing and completely spoiling them! It’s a hard balance to strike. I also would love to respond to the comment about my media remix post where I combined Harry Styles with Harry Potter. Yes, I did see this tiktok, and I loved it. 

Another pointer she gave me about page design and content is directed at my About page. If I’m being honest, I basically made that page back in September and barely looked back, so I’m definitely open to critique on it. In the next few weeks I have plans to revamp it and going forward past PUB101 I think I’m going to continue to work on this site and make myself more of a “part of this blog”, if that makes sense. TLDR: I’ll work on my About page, I promise. 


As far as monetization goes we are definitely on the same page. My Youtube ads are lately almost 80% Netflix, which is weird considering I do have an account with them already but we all make mistakes. I think incorporating relevant ads into my site could definitely be an asset that I look into in the future for sure. 

Long story short, this third and final peer review was super beneficial and helpful! I want to give special thanks to Victoria for her tips and compliments. 
You can check out her full peer review on my site here!