Wednesday, July 17, 2019

What's Next On My List? Teen Wolf

We had a VHS tape of this movie and growing up I think I watched it at least once a month. I just want to be writing about things that I love lately, even if others do not agree. Maybe this will change your mind!

Scott is in a hard place, he is not excelling at school and his basketball team keeps losing. After a series of weird incidents, Scott goes home to find out that he is going through a lot more than just puberty. He turns into a werewolf, and his father greets him as one as well, telling him that this curse has been in their family for generations. Scott breaks out in one of his basketball games and he is first received with fear by many, but with admiration by some others. The fame of the wolf changes him, but his closest friends remind him that he does not need the wolf to be more, he already is.

Years later the CW remade it into a TV show  with the same title, Teen Wolf (2011), that I have never seen. I was told it was good, but the reason I never got around to it, is because this movie now has a reputation for being cheesy and stupid and I am not really on board with that... first of all, yes, I might have nostalgia goggles on, but if the concept of a movie was able to yield 6 seasons of one of the most watched shows after 2010, then maybe it isn't that stupid... Second, this movie might have the best soundtrack of any 80's  movie ever made. I waited for years, and it actually wasn't until Youtube that I finally got around to finding all the songs. And I will share the best one with you! Finally, I just love the casting in this movie. They cast the nerd, the cool one, the cheerleader, the jock, everyone so perfectly, the onscreen chemistry was off the hook; and Michael J. Fox was such a good actor, that when it came around to Back To The Future, they re-started shooting with him and worked around his schedule to make sure he could be the lead. There is a lot of trivia around this movie that is fun to investigate, I would invite everyone to do so!

Watch it? I do think people don't understand the underlying message: it is a coming of age story. It is based in fantasy, but most movies are. To me the fact that the TV show was such a success shows that this movie was ahead of its time. We now love vampires and werewolves and all kinds of monsters that appear in our otherwise very boring reality. I still adore this movie, the soundtrack will stay with me forever. I do recommend it if you wish to know what kind of awesome movies give inspiration to Hollywood producers today.


Until the next item on my list!
_ _ _ _ _

Scott Howard - Michael J. Fox
Harold Howard - James Hampton
Stiles - Jerry Levine
Lewis - Matt Adler
Pamela - Lorie Griffin

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

What's Next On My List? The Wedding Date

When this movie came out in 2005 I watched it twice in the theatre: I was looking forward to it since the first trailer came out and I was not let down. It just came up in a conversation with my sister and I decided to write down a couple of thoughts and the reason why I find this to be one of the best romantic comedies out there.


Kat goes back to England for the wedding of her little half-sister, but her ex-fiancée is the best man and she has not moved on as much as she wishes she had. She decides to hire an escort for the weekend, Nick, in order not to appear hung up on her ex. The two spend hours talking about relationships and the future, which brings them closer together. Finally, Kat learns why her ex left her, but just in time to realize that she is ready to move on from that relationship.

This was one of those few movies that gave me even more than I expected. For the first time in my life, I watched a movie two times at the theater and wished to own it on DVD as fast as I possibly could. The reason I decided to talk about it, is because it came back up in a conversation with my sister and I had to admit that this is probably one of the only romantic comedies that taught me something. Our main character cannot move on from her her ex and their engagement, because she does not want to. Nick tells her, that every woman has the love life she wants, and it took me years to learn that, but it is true: the moment you learn to care about yourself and to love yourself, the only person you are going to share your heart with will share that same respect for you. Our main character decides, that her narrative isn't that of the bride left at the alter, but that of the woman who seeks happiness in life. And she isn't the only one that learns a valuable lesson. Her sister Amy evaded the truth at the risk of losing the love of her life, but not only does it catch up to her, but she realizes that living in a lie is tearing her apart inside. Sometimes you need to trust the people in your life to love you, even if you are not perfect. And what I actually like the most in the movie, is that one person, the one whose presence almost ruined the life of two smart women, as he learns absolutely nothing. Now, I do believe that people can change, but they do only when they want to. The lead women in this story wished to wake up to a better day and as such they have taken command. Now, you cannot change those who don't want to, but they also create their own misery, it is nobody's job to save them.

Watch it? I think it is going to be an eternal favorite of mine. There is this infinite number of romantic comedies out there that have absolute no value other than entertainment. And that is fine, but that is also the reason why we do not re-watch them anymore, just once. That is why this one stands out, the story does hold incredible moral lessons that have, truly helped me for one in learning to love and care for myself. No other romantic comedy ever held such an important role.

Until the next item on my list!
_ _ _ _ _ _

Kat Ellis - Debra Messing
Nick Mercer - Dermot Mulroney
Amy - Amy Adams
Edward Fletcher-Wooten - Jack Davenport
Jeffrey - Jeremy Sheffield
Victor Ellis - Peter Egan

Thursday, July 4, 2019

What's Next On My List? The Emperor's New Groove

Probably the best Disney animated cartoon ever made in the history of time. Seeing that this year I have already started reviewing animation that was highly underrated, I thought it would be stupid to leave this one out.


Kuzko, the emperor, is in danger, as his second in command Yzma wishes to get rid of him for good. By accident, instead of the poison meant for him, he is administered a potion that turns him into a llama. Kronk, Yzma's right hand, after a series of mistakes, does not end Kuzko, but leads him onto the path of Pacha, a good hearted man who decides to help him get back home.

I remember when my brother got me this on DVD, and I had no idea what to expect. Despite the fact that I think it is one of those cartoons that was meant for a more mature audience, I know that I loved it as a kid. Somehow the jokes of Kuzko breaking the fourth wall resonated with me very well at that age, and I think it might have been the first time I saw that and couldn't help but laugh. So as far as the storytelling it concerned, to me it was revolutionary. Coming back to the characters themselves: We have seen other instances of villains being blinded by power, so that alone is nothing new, but the overall moral message was delivered well: all the money in the world cannot bring happiness.
The tale of the prince/princess/emperor getting stranded with the common folk and learning humility is one of the most reused stories of all time. However, none of those stories have these villains. Yzma might be the funniest character to ever appear on the TV screen. I get her motivation and I get her fuel for power, and I don't necessary want her to win, I just love how she just plays with the audience the same way Kuzko does. Her interactions with everyone, from Kronk, to Pacha's children was very well made. And of course I enjoyed how her attitude changed toward Kuzko from the beginning to the end of the movie. Voiced by the wonderful Eartha Kitt, she was simply the greatest villain ever made, and she was most certainly my favorite over the years.

Watch it? I think this movie got a bigger following in the years coming after its release. And I am always happy to hear how many of my friends also loved it. It is actually my sister's favorite too, and how can you not want to adopt llamas after this? I want one JUST so I can name it Kuzko. So go watch, watch and watch! And keep asking yourself, why do they even have that lever?

Until the next item on my list!
_ _ _ _

Kuzko David Spade
Pacha John Goodman
Yzma Eartha Kitt
Chicha Wendie Malick

Friday, June 28, 2019

10+ Movies That Will Take You To Paradise

During the summer time I tend to rely on movies that have been shot in literal paradise, like Hawaii or the Bahamas. I decided to gather together all those movies that, either because of the story, or the setting just simply take me with them and I feel like that for a couple of hours I am able to leave this concrete jungle behind. The movies listed here are not all Academy Award nominees, but they are great for guilty pleasures for sure. Good or bad, visually, they are all stunning. The list is at random, so do not think of it from best to worst or the other way around. If you wish to be transported away, any and all of these are perfect. I decided to give you a rating at the bottom, on a scale of 5, just so you know what to expect.

I was very young when this movie came out, but we watched it every summer because it was always on TV. Back then I did not like the story a lot, at first, but it is somewhat harmless overall. Our main character acts her age, which means, irrational, lies, and lashes out at her dad. She also uses manipulation, which, for a child of divorce, is not that strange. I also understand how a young girl, with all of her life ahead of her, does not realize yet the luck she says traveling around the world and with a father that does love her so much. This is just a family movie, as good as any other from the 90s, and it is fun to see young Katherine Heigl. Re-watching it now is kind of surreal, a lot of old emotions and also new ones came out, because with the years we tend to forget those movies that paved our childhood. But it is good to go back to them every once in a while!
Fun: 5/5
Romantic: 4/5
Adventurous: 2/5
Visually: Stunning!

A couple of years back I wrote a review on this movie, as it is a remake of one of my mom's favorites. I really liked this version, fortunately for a Sandler movie, the toilet humor was reduced to a minimum, almost none, and it was just plain funny. It is of course a romantic comedy, so you might expect the ending from the first scene, but every time I watch it I just laugh my ass off. Because of its predictability, the movie added a lot of jokes that made it simply delightful. In the second half of the movie they travel to Hawaii and it is simply visually stunning. If one is looking for an evening of loud laughter I do suggest watching this - especially because Sandler and Aniston have great on-screen chemistry. (Click here to read my review!)
Fun: 5/5
Romantic: 4/5
Adventurous: 1/5
Visually: Breathtaking!

My sister got me this movie, and it is just one of the silliest stories out there. It was specifically made for anyone who wants to believe that younger guys can be mature adults. It is a fantasy, in my opinion, and the movie also points out that indeed a mother of two should not be running away to Hawaii every chance she gets. But, I agree with her, I want to go to Hawaii every chance I get as well... especially for that hot stud of a surfer instructor. This movie is perfect for a summer evening, if you just want to lay back and not worry about the story that unfolds in front of you. It isn't going to win any awards, but I don't think it was meant for that. You have a talented actress from the 90s being courted by a young stud... This movie is for guilty pleasure and for that it is perfect.
Fun: 1/5
Romantic: 5/5
Adventurous: 2/5
Visually: Impressive!

This is the single worst movie I have ever seen in my life. I just have no f*cking idea what it was about, still. Like... there is this army guy and he screws over some locals, and hangs out with Emma Stone, who is supposed to be a local, but we can all clearly tell that was a terrible miscast... or just altogether racially insensitive. And then there is this scene where one of the guys doesn't talk and it is with subtitles and just like WHAT AM I WATCHING? That having been said, out of all the movies listed here, visually, this showed us a side of Hawaii that not many movies do. Main reason for that of course being that most movies give us the tourist side, while here we approach the locals and their view of their home. If you want, I do recommend it, and go and rate it for yourself online. And, as I said, when it comes to the islands themselves, this movie gives us a lot more. Even if the story is hardly compelling, it does still take you away to paradise.
Fun: 1/5
Romantic: 1/5
Adventurous: 3/5
Visually: Remarkable!

Growing up this was one of my favorites. Admittedly, watching it now, it is a little bit weird, but I still award the plot for its originality. That is, until I noticed the similarities with Dracula... I mean really, on older man sees a woman who looks just like the love of his life, and he decides to steal her from the young man who is about to marry her. But this one has a happy ending, and our main character defeats Dracula. In order to do that, however, he has to get back to Vegas, after being shipped quite far, precisely Hawaii. Paradise is just a small part of the story, but a significant and entertaining one. I think this is just a wonderful example of great 90s romantic comedies, with leading actors that have not since been in similar movies. I recommend it to anyone.
Fun: 5/5
Romantic: 4/5
Adventurous: 3/5
Visually: Splendid!

Okay, I think I have seen this movie a hundred times. This is where little me fell in love with Harrison Ford, and he was simply to die for. Honestly, I am not surprised Anne Heche fell in love with him, even if they shared an otherwise horrific adventure that set them on the course to find each other. In the story, Robin and her fiancée Frank travel to paradise to get away from the busy days in the city, however, due to a work emergency Robin has to fly back home. On her way, she and her pilot get in a crash on a deserted island after ending up in a huge storm. For a whole week they try to survive, and when they finally get back to reality, it is just not the same anymore. If you have not seen it yet, I highly recommend it.
Fun: 5/5
Romantic: 3/5
Adventurous: 5/5
Visually: Remarkable!

So far we had mostly romantic comedies, but that is not the only genre that loves to pack its bags and travel to paradise. A few years back a thriller with my beloved Paul Walker and Jessica Alba in the lead came out, where good people ended up being in the wrong place at the wrong time. After discovering a plane wreck with highly valuable cargo, our main protagonists have to run away from harm and try to survive. Every year I write about a movie that Walker stars in on his birthday, to remember him after his passing. I also wrote about this one, and you can read it here. I do recommend it if you are looking for something more than just a romantic comedy.
Fun: 2/5
Romantic: 4/5
Adventurous: 5/5
Visually: Astonishing!

Both movies made about the Brady family poke fun at the original series and I have to say... they are hilarious. This was unconventional family and the movies enhance that the best they can. In the sequel, the presumed deceased first husband of Carol returns to get something of his, and it puts the whole family out of sync. However, when it turns out that he is an impostor, they band together to save the day. I was quite young when I saw this for the first time and I already laughed out loud a lot, then, as an adult, I could appreciate far more the parody and the foolishness of it all. The actors are wonderful in it and it is where I met and fell in love with the great Gary Cole, who has been one of my favorite actors ever since. In the second half of the movie, they travel to Hawaii and well... just watch it. It is an outstanding silly movie, you'll find yourself yelling out "Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!" in no time.
Fun: 5/5
Romantic: 1/5
Adventurous: 3/5
Visually: Beautiful!

A friend of mine had a copy of this movie and I loved it. This is a more typical Sandler movie, as in, there is some completely unnecessary toilet humor or characters that just make you feel uncomfortable... that having been said, it was still, overall a wonderful story, that really moved me. The main character had a head injury, but the protagonist loves her so much that even if he has to remind her every single day of their life about their love, it is worth it. And unlike any other romantic story that wishes to enforce in my head how they are unique and exceptional... this one really felt like it too. I still do not think that I have seen any other movie with a story that moved me so much, whilst trying to be funny. It is a very original concept, and I do not think enough people appreciated it for what it was. And, as a bonus, it is also filmed in Hawaii, so if this does not convince you to give it a shot, I don't know what will.
Fun: 5/5
Romantic: 4/5
Adventurous: 2/5
Visually: Extraordinary!

Since there are more genres that have indeed traveled the miles - either with a camera crew or on a paper - I wanted to talk about those as well. My childhood favorite is Lilo & Stitch, which I think is where my love of Hawaiian culture begun. First, the music. This has my favorite Disney soundtrack of all time, and I am including the MCU in that! Second, the story: this movie has more heroes than some other Disney movies I know. The motivations of the heroes and the villains is more than clear, and the lesson in the end is that not everything is black or white. It is funny and moving and had wonderful lessons for children. Not to mention that this little monster is the cutest thing ever drawn on paper! Three, most important, the characters: I love everyone in this story. The typical 'orphan' gimmick of Disney cartoons is made fun of and the idea of 'family' is re-written to teach us that families come in all shapes and sizes. I can't think of a better children's movie.
Fun: 5/5
Romantic: 1/5
Adventurous: 5/5
Visually: Extremely well done!

And last but not least...

This movie enchants me still. Moana is destined to become the new chief of her tribe, but she is drawn to the sea instead of the land. She discovers that her tribe is descended from travelers, but the sea was no longer their friend. The people of Moana will be forced to leave the island, but not being able to navigate the sea, they are afraid of what lies over the reef. I just adored every single second of this movie. And I tell you why... yes, it is true that we don't need princesses who have to be rescued because girls can do it alone! This has quickly become one of my top 5 favorite Disney movies. The characters are lovable, the songs are wonderful, not to mention that culturally the Polynesian heritage had to be showcased. I have been studying it in my free time because I am somehow drawn to them, thinking of Hawaii for example, the history, they myths, the language... really I want to learn more and more. This movie just made me want to continue my little research. (You can read my review here!)
Fun: 5/5
Romantic: 4/5
Adventurous: 2/5
Visually: Animation was superb!

I hope some of these were new to you, or at least a blast from the past that is worth investigating again! I just love to be taken away from my bedroom to sunny beaches with beautiful white sand and the shade of palm trees. If you are like me, I'm sure this list is for you!

Until the next item on my list!

Saturday, June 22, 2019

What's Next On My List? We Are Marshall

I have been thinking about writing about this movie for a while now. I finally decided to cover it because I see a resurgence of movies and TV shows based on real life events in the streaming era of Netflix and Hulu, and they seem to be getting more popularity than ever before. And as such it is a good idea to go back to this gem.


The winning football team of Marshall University suffers a terrible plane accident and all the players die in the crash. Only the assisting coach and some of the players currently on the bench remain, but one outsider, one coach, still sees the chance to make this school great again. He sees that this university still encompasses the spirit of that team, and football Sundays are the only way for people to respectfully move forward with their lives: by honoring that team every chance they get.

I got a hold of this movie because of Matthew Fox, and quite frankly, I would have given him a lot more screen time, as his scenes with actual dialogues were not in majority. Which was a shame, because he had wonderful interactions with McConaughey, and their on-screen chemistry was spot-on. Turning over, the lead himself was outstanding: before this I had seen several movies of McConaughey, but up to today this is my favorite. The movie encompasses a very important lesson: grief has no expiration date and nobody faces it the same way. This outsider, this coach comes in, and the way he forces football onto some makes those still in pain seem like he is disrespecting them. But actually, I do believe he teaches them that for some life has to go on. Nobody holding onto a ledge can make it long without falling. What this coach's approach has taught me is that there are more ways to respect those who passed than just sitting in silence. Some might have disagreed, but the love he brought to his job was simply indisputable.

Watch it? I find that this movie somehow fell between the cracks and many did not see it. This tragedy was one of the worst things that ever happened, and yet it is not the only one.This movie wished to tell this story to showcase how some are never forgotten, and that we all deal with grief differently. Because this tragedy is not unique - we have had more bush crashes, plane crashes and deaths of young hopeful people than I would like to admit. But as such, we have to go on... some things in life we will never get over, but there is hope in helping each other through it. And this movie in particular tries to convey that important message.

Until the next item on my list!
_ _ _ _ _

Jack Lengyel - Matthew McConaughey
Red Dawson - Matthew Fox
Nate Ruffin - Anthony Mackie
President Dedmon - David Strathairn
Paul Griffen - Ian McShane
Annie Cantrell - Kate Mara