Cinema Saturday: Cinderella

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Based on: Charles Perrault’s Cinderella, or The Little Glass Slipper
Released (in theatres): March 13th 2015
(on DVD): October 2015
Directed by: Kenneth Branagh
Screenplay written by: Chris Weitz
Starring: Lily James, Richard Madden, Cate Blanchett, and Helena Bonham Carter

Film Trailer

Have courage and be kind.

Where there is kindness, there is goodness.  When there is goodness, there is magic.

What I loved

  • Patrick Doyle has a brilliantly composed score, very classic and magical. Also, take it from experience that when you walk away, you’ll be humming “Lavender’s Blue,” the old folk song.
  • It has these witty moments, like with the artist painting a portrait of the prince, that catch you off guard.
  • The transformation scene is something truly magical.  cinderella-dress-1425409064-1442354862
  • The acting was delightful, the costuming was phenomenal, and the set design was perfect.

Adaptation

  • It was delightful to see Cinderella’s mother as a legitimate character that we could get to know.
  • Helena Bonham Carter’s version of the Fairy Godmother was something to behold.   She provided comic relief and a new twist on a very classic scene.  Plus, her dress changed colors whenever she did magic. Can you say extraordinary?
  • The Prince, Kit, became more than just charming.  He became a character to fall in love with.
  • I loved the mix of elements from a couple different Cinderella tales.  I liked that we could see the iconic moments from the Disney animated film come to life and as well certain elements reminiscent of Ever After, in particular.

Lily James is Cinderella and Helena Bonham Carter is the Fairy Godmother in Disney's live-action CINDERELLA, directed by Kenneth Branagh.

Ehh Moments

  • There were none.  It was more than I could have hoped for.  The magic was palpable.

Would I Recommend?
Oh for sure.  I had previously stated I would buy this as soon as it was out and I did during Black Friday when I could get a good deal on the Blu Ray.  It’s now my second favorite version of Cinderella, the first being a tie of Roger & Hammerstein’s with Brandy and Ever After. The cinematography is brilliant and beautiful.  It’s an enjoyable rendition with a few surprises that make it seem like you’re watching it for the first time.  The entire film was a delight and I couldn’t stop smiling.  This will be a movie that I know I’ll watch over and over (especially when I’m feeling sad).

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I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! Tell me if you’ve seen this beautiful version.  Did you love it like I did? Or do you prefer the older versions more? 

Cinema Saturday: Mockingjay Part 2

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Based on: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
Released: November 20, 2015
Directed by: Francis Lawrence
Screenplay Written by: Peter Craig and Danny Strong
Starring Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Elizabeth Banks, Woody Harrelson, Donald Sutherland, and Julianne Moore

Film Trailer

Our lives were never ours.  They belong to Snow and our deaths do, too.  But if you kill him, Katniss, if you end all of this, all those deaths they mean something.

What I liked

  • Seriously, all of it.  Every. Single. Moment. (Even those that made me cry)
  • This was very much Katniss’ journey and I was happy to see that come to life in this film.  You can see how she struggles with the deaths of those she cares about and coming to terms with President Snow.
  • The FEEEEEELS.
  • Jennifer Lawrence sings another song for this part but it’s far less of a big deal since it’s played right before/ during the credits.  I almost didn’t realize it was her at first, but of course it had to be.

Prim-and-Katniss-Dance-Mockingjay-Part-2-Trailer-1433897148Adaptation

  • I have a friend from college that writes movie reviews as his job (I wish I had that job but I digress).  I read his review on Mockingjay and I couldn’t stop shaking my head and yelling at the article.  That’s not to say he’s a bad reviewer, because he’s pretty good but I think you have to judge this film in particular with different standards.  First of all, it’s the last in a series and a part 2 of the last book and that’s important to note.  It’s a part of a whole and should be judged as such.  There’s a seamless transition between the first and second part.
  • I know there are differences from the books to the movies but honestly, they’re hardly noticeable, especially in this last installment.  When adapting a book to a movie, there will inevitably be some changes.  They cut characters with minor parts, they add more scenes for a familiar character, they cut scenes for time, and they consolidate events.  But it makes for a better, stronger film (usually but definitely for this).
  • For those that are interested in a breakdown of some of the differences, you can check out this article.
  • Since Mockingjay Part 1 & 2 were filmed at the same time, Philip Seymour Hoffman had one scene left before he died.  I had heard they had thought of many different ways to make the scene work but was curious as to what scene it was & how they would do it.  And while it wasn’t perfect, because it would have been better with him, the method they ended up using was good. (You’ll know what I’m talking about when you see it)HT_jennifer_lawrence_hunger_games_jt_150609_16x9_992

Would I recommend?
YES. A thousand time yes. I think this is the best YA adaptation that has been made in recent years. I cannot wait to marathon these films together as a whole.   This movie gave me so many feels.  Between what happens with the characters, seeing Philip Seymour Hoffman on his last film, Finnick, happy feels, sad feels, just ALL the damn feels.

What did you think of the last part? Do you think it did the book justice?

Happy Saturday, y’all!

Cinema Saturday: Halloween Edition

002This week is going to be a little different, since it is Halloween.  At first, I was just going to do a review about one of them but I couldn’t decide which one.  Instead, I’m going to share all my favorite scary movies with you! (If you couldn’t tell, I’m not really a fan of horror so those will be pretty tame.)

Here are my perfect Halloween movies & two films I’m dying to see.  Get it? Dying. I slay myself.

Casper
Hotel Transylvania
The Nightmare Before Christmas
Hocus Pocus
Halloweentown
Young Frankenstein
The Addams Family
Practical Magic
Rocky Horror Picture Show
Scream
The Silence of the Lambs
Friday the 13th (old & new)
Interview with a Vampire
Horns
Cabin in the Woods
The Blair Witch Project
Psycho
Sleepy Hollow

Coming Soon: The Final Girls & Victor Frankenstein

Happy Halloween, foolish mortals!

Cinema Saturday: Vampire Academy

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This poster SUCKS. (No pun intended)


Details

Based On: Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
Released in Theaters: Feb. 7th, 2014
On DVD: May 20th, 2014
Directed by: Mark Waters
Screenplay written by: Daniel Waters
Starring: Zoey Deutch, Lucy Fry, Danila Kozlovsky, Gabriel Byrne, Sarah Hyland

Film Trailer

Better trailer that was only released at Regal Cinemas for some strange reason.

“Weird doesn’t begin to cover it.”

I’m mad at the marketing team for this movie.  They made it seem silly & stupid. Which is probably why it was a box office flop.  It doesn’t help that a lot of people just didn’t understand what it was.  The Wiki page for it calls it a satirical fantasy horror film.  That’s so not what this series should be categorized as.

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I know this is a little late on the uptake. This came out over a year ago. But I recently re-watched it.  I actually really liked this movie.  I know I’m in the minority there. But I think it’s solely because I didn’t read the series before I watched the film. I also knew to ignore the marketing campaign because of what I had read about the series before reading it.  I love the series wholeheartedly.  Of course, I think the book is better but I don’t think the movie was horrible. I think it got a lot of things right, actually.  It’s just one of those cheesy movies that you just have to love.

What I liked:

  • The script was a great adaptation of the book.  It was funny, fresh, and made sense.
  • Zoey Deutch is the perfect Rose.
  • Dimitri. My lovely hot Comrade. Don’t they make the perfect couple?
  • The casting in general was pretty spot on, I think.  Kinda. Mostly.

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Ehhh moments

  • The marketing campaign (duh)
  • The teaser trailer… and the regular trailer
  • The cheesy looking evil vampires
  • The semi-bad acting at the end.
  • The fact that they ruined what could have been an awesome 6 part series, then again, Hollywood ruined The Mortal Instruments (which I don’t mind that they did because I don’t like the series, but I feel for the people that love it.)

There was an Indiegogo campaign for the sequel that I had never heard of until it was too late. And that makes me mad.  I wish there was another campaign that was more publicized. This series does deserve a better film and more of them.  There’s so many books and a lot of us fans would like another shot at this series.

I think the problem lies with timing.  People were over vampires.  They marketed it as a Mean Girls + vampires and it’s just not that.  Why not market the action? The famous Rose sass? The mythology? I think that would have drawn a bigger audience than just trying to turn it into some cheesy high school movie.  They could make it a TV series like they’re doing with TMI or they could just try again.  I don’t know but I really want to see Rose again, please.  Make it happen.

Would I recommend this movie?
Yes! Just have an open mind.  It’s going to be a little chessy.  It’s going to be different from the books. But I hope, I HOPE, you’ll fall in love with Rose just like I did.  And if nothing else, there’s some good action scenes.

What do you think? Did you hate this movie? Or enjoy it like I did? 

Cinema Saturday: Descendants

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Last weekend, two days after the 6.6 million debut on The Disney Channel I watched Descendants, the new Disney Channel Original Movie.  I expected it to be cheesy and slightly dumb but I ultimately thought I would like it since I love most things Disney. My expectations were pretty spot on.

Now, I haven’t read The Isle of the Lost, which is the prequel, though I have heard good things about it. It’s the start to a middle grade series. I liked Melissa del la Cruz growing up.  I was obsessed the Blue Bloods series. But I didn’t really feel a pull to read this.

Details: 

Directed by: Kenny Ortega
Aired: 8pm on July 31, 2015
Starring: Kristin Chenoweth, Dove Cameron, Sophia Carson, Mitchell Hope, Melanie Paxson, Zachary Gibson, and many more.

Standout:

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Kristin Chenoweth stole the show a couple of times.  She was fantastically evil and very much the opposite of all her other bubbly characters (I’m looking at you, Galinda). Bow down.

What I liked:

  • I loved that King Adam & Queen Belle are the reigning monarchs and not Cindy & Prince Charming. That made me all kinds of happy.
  • It’s a musical! I love musicals.
  • Kristin singing. Yes please. More please.
  • There’s a character named Evie! I really liked her and The Evil Queen.
  • Dove Cameron (Mal) has a beautiful voice.  I loved her song, If Only.
  • So, the woman who plays The Evil Queen, is Kathy Najimy… you may know her as Mary from Hocus Pocus. That’s pretty awesome.  I’ve always loved her was the perfect pic for that character.
  • Actually, all of the casting was pretty great.  I mean, nothing tops Once Upon A Time casting but this was pretty good, too.
  • Maleficient has a pretty great evil laugh. I didn’t know Kristin had it in her.
  • The villains had the best lines, I think. I loved their bits, they were a nice break from everything else in Auradon.
  • The songs Evil Like Me and If Only were the best, hands down.

What I disliked:

  • They used an iPad instead of a storybook in the opening? Really? REALLY?
  • Who gets crowned king at 16 when the King still lives? In what place does that exist? Oh, right, the United States of Auradon.
  • Some of the songs were clearly very auto-tuned and incredibly cheesy. Le sigh.  I particularly disliked Rotten to the Core and the rest of the ensemble numbers.
  • Were the flashbacks in If Only really necessary? I mean, we just saw all those scenes.
  • Do we really need entire ensemble dancing & singing numbers? It’s very High School Musical.  (I know that’s the majority of the songs, but it could be better)
  • So, if everyone is good now, who’s going to evil? I’m sorry but there inherently needs to be some bad to balance out the good.  It would be far more interesting if one of the heroes’ kids was “evil”. Though, I did like how it was someone unexpected who stole the Fairy Godmother’s wand. That was nice.

The Ridiculous:

  • Has Disney heard of canon? because with OUAT and this, nothing makes sense. Especially since Keegan Conner Tracy plays the Blue Fairy/Mother Superior in OUAT and Queen Belle in this.
  • How’s this for suspension of disbelief…  how is it that the villains are all single parents and the heroes’ kids have both parents? And they all had kids around the same time?
  • Do all the children really have to have similar names to their parents? Isn’t it obvious enough who’s offspring they are without giving Maleficent’s daughter the name Mal, Evil Queen’s daughter the name Evie, Jafar’s son the name Jay, and of course, Cruella de Ville’s son is name Carlos. Like come on. *major eye roll*  It’s not that their clothes would have made it obvious (sarcasm). Their names just sound like they’re nicknames for their parents, which is dumb. And it’s not just the villains, but Lonnie for Mulan’s daughter? But the others, I’ll admit aren’t so much nicknames just really obvious choices.  Ben is Beast & Belle’s son, Audrey is Sleeping Beauty’s daughter, and Chad is Prince Charming & Cinderella’s son. I guess some people will think that it’s clever. But it just didn’t work for me.  It was too obvious.

Last thoughts:

Though I thought the premise, the names, and some of the scenes were pretty cheesy, I think it was a really cute film.  I’m glad it was a Disney Channel Original Movie instead of a Blockbuster film.  It didn’t wow me but I didn’t hate it.  I actually really enjoyed watching it but there a few cringe-worthy moments that made me wish for a better writer.  It’s a fun movie to watch for entertainment value only.  It doesn’t fit in Disney canon but it’s easily overlooked since Kristin and Dove SHINE.  The musical numbers could have been better but it’s very in the realm of other Disney Channel Original Movies so that can be dismissed, too.  The ending taunts at a sequel that I will probably watch.  I can only hope that since this one set everything up, the next one is bound to be better.