Thursday, August 24, 2017

It Happened One Night

The Cinemark Classic Series this go-around includes the classic rom-com (or screwball comedy) It Happened One Night, starring Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert. I went to see it last night so I could cross off one more Best Pic Winner from my 35 by 35 list.

Colbert is the rich, pampered socialite Ellie Andrews, a woman so controlled by her father that she married a man just because he didn't want her to. When she jumps off the yacht (?) her father owns at the beginning of the film, she ends up meeting newspaper man Peter Warne (Gable) on the bus at the depot in Miami. She's trying to make her way to New York to her husband without getting caught by the press (apparently nothing else of newsworthy note is occurring in the world). He's trying to get the scoop on her to save his career and together the two make a deal - he'll get unlimited access and the story, she'll get to New York unnoticed.

This is what is called the meet-cute in movie parlance.

And their meeting on the bus is pretty cute. Along with their interactions throughout the film, most memorably the way they play off each other in their hotel room when being interrogated by detectives sent by her father. They just click, and they both realize it.

There are of course some miscommunications, but all ends well with the "walls of Jericho" finally coming down. Being the first rom-com, it set the stage for what all of them contain - opposites attract, initial dislike of each other, the falling in love over a very short period of time. As the first, It Happened One Night is quite charming (just overlook some of the dated gender stereotypes about men and women).

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Bonnie and Clyde

I hit up my local Cinemark for their showing of Bonnie and Clyde, a classic from 1967 celebrating its 40th anniversary. I've always been curious about this film, as it gets name-checked a lot in film circles.

I didn't particularly care for the film. It was oddly shot and oddly edited. The music was odd. I didn't believe any of the motivations for the characters (Bonnie and Clyde and the Barrow gang must have been more interesting in real life, right?). I couldn't stop thinking about how Bonnie always looked so fabulous when she left with Clyde on a whim one day with nothing.

The film is fun just for seeing a very young and very handsome Warren Beatty. Other than that, I'd likely skip it.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Off Facebook

Back in January I said I was going to Facebook less and blog more. I'm not sure the blogging more has actually happened (I seem to rarely blog about anything other than movies I've seen), but I am Facebooking less. Like a lot less - I deactivated my account in March.

Honestly, I didn't think I would be off this long.

And honestly, I don't really miss it all that much. Sure I miss the invites to events, the cute photos of friends' and family's babies/pets. I miss feeling connected to a large group of people.

But I don't miss the time it took up in my life. I don't miss the angst and frustration and anger I got from it. I don't miss the war of words.

I still have Instagram, so I still see pictures. Just a much smaller crowd and less angry commenting. I check out Twitter to get my fix for in-the-moment commentary on pop culture.

I listen to the news in the morning and the evening. Then I turn it off and live life instead of constantly reading opinion pieces, rebuttal pieces, and everyone's thoughts on current issues. Don't get me wrong, a part of me really likes those discussions and, generally, the part I played in bringing issues I care about to people who might not hear a differing opinion. But for sanity and well-being, it wasn't worth it.

I will try blog about more than just movies!

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Spider-man: Homecoming

Thursday afternoon I was looking for an escape after receiving semi-bad news. Nothing makes me feel better and forget my worries than the smell of popcorn and a darkened movie theater. There's not a whole lot playing right now that I am interested in seeing (it's the doldrums of late-summer), so I decided to catch up on a mid-summer release that I never saw, Spider-man: Homecoming.

Spider-man is now officially part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, having been let go from his contract with Sony that had relegated him to his own movies (five over twelve years with two actors). He debuted in Captain America: Civil War, and followed it up with his own solo outing this summer.

What Homecoming has going for it is its star, Tom Holland. As much as I liked Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield in the role in their respective films (except for Spider-man 3 and The Amazing Spider-man 2), they were both in their late 20s in their first outing. Because of that, they couldn't quite capture the young, high-school aspect of Peter Parker. Holland nails it.

While Holland is a great Spider-man, and I generally liked Michael Keaton as the villain, the film didn't quite come together for me. It felt oddly paced, and the actions sequences weren't all that spectacular (I actually fell asleep for a quick second during the  Staten Island Ferry sequence. The CGI was obvious, especially with Spider-man himself.

The movie was fun, though. Peter Parker is just a high school kid, trying his darndest to convince Tony Stark to let him be a part of The Avengers. His friend Ned was the perfect "sidekick", providing plenty of laughs. His other friends are okay, and his love interest barely registers; no chemistry and no understanding of why they like each other.

Even though I am over superhero movies, Spider-man: Homecoming wasn't a bad way to spend a night. And it (and the popcorn) made me feel a little bit better.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

The Bachelorette: Settling??

The Bachelorette finale aired Monday, and since I don't have cable and ABC is practically impossible to get on antenna (and through streaming unless you live in one of eight markets), I had to wait until Tuesday night to watch it (thanks to the login of my friend's brother-in-law! Seriously none of my friends have cable anymore). I like being part of the public conversation of live events, so it was really hard to avoid social media and websites so I wouldn't be spoiled.

I was sure bachelorette Rachel would pick Peter. Both gap-toothed, they had great chemistry and seemed to really talk when they were together. Obviously, there is a lot of editing done on the show so we are only seeing what producers intend to make a good story. But really, they just seemed so right together. Also, the other front-runner, Bryan, I have disliked from the start - aggressive, sloppy kisser; charmer; just..ugh.

Only problem with Peter, though (at least according to what we were shown), was that he didn't feel ready to be engaged at the end. The premise of the show is to find love and get engaged. But that's the problem - it assumes getting engaged is the only logical step after deciding you are in love with someone. When, in reality, people who had been on three or four dates and weren't dating twenty other people simultaneously would decide to get to know each other more before getting engaged.

Rachel wanted a fiance, not a boyfriend. A fact she made clear multiple times. However, Peter also made it clear he wasn't ready to propose, and yet she continue to give him roses until he was one of the last two remaining. When they had their final night together, they had a brutal ending that felt entirely too real to anyone who has experienced a break up.

I've only felt real emotions twice before while watching The Bachelor/Bachelorette - when Jason broke up with Molly during the After the Final Rose, and when Brooks ended things with Desiree during his hometown. This break up between Rachel and Peter was devastating to watch, and I didn't want to believe it was the end. But then Chris Harrison, live in studio, said that that was the last time Rachel saw Peter.

NOOOOOOOO. I for real kept waiting for some twist to happen. Nothing. The show went on, with absolutely no suspense or intrigue and, honestly, no passion in Bryan's proposal to Rachel.

Only Rachel really knows why she made the choices she did. Based on what was broadcast, it looks like she was settling. The breakup with passionate, the proposal was not. It seemed she had to go with Bryan because he was the only one left out of default. It didn't help that Rachel insisted on getting a ring at the end, not a boyfriend. But having a ring is no guarantee that you will get married. It reminds of the movie He's Just Not That Into You. Ben Affleck is dating Jennifer Aniston. She wants to get married, but he doesn't see the need; he loves her and wants to be with just her - why do they have to get married? She realizes that being committed and in love is what is important (he ends up proposing anyway, which I was okay with because they had been dating seven years, living together, and he saw that it was important to her after they both compromised).

I have to completely agree with Peter on his thinking about engagement. It's not something done when still getting to know each other; it's done when you know for sure that is the person you want to be with forever. I believe in long courtships and short engagements, because once a couple is engaged it's just one short step to getting married.

Now Rachel is talking about her and Bryan getting to know one another, not sure where they will live, taking it slow. But they're engaged. So apparently that's better??

I still struggle with many gender roles and tropes that the franchise embraces. Why must Rachel wait for one of the men to propose to her? It's her show, why can't she?! Why must we still have the men asking the dad's permission to marry their daughter?! This is 2017! Why are we still so fixated on worth tied to being engaged/married and using it as a barometer of success? Rachel is already successful in life.

It was a pretty good season, and I was incredibly disappointed in the finale. We'll see what happens with the relationship, but the franchise does not have a great track record (although better with Bachelorettes than Bachelors).

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