Tuesday, September 25, 2018

What's Next On My List? Twister

My fascination with movies from the 90's comes from the fact, that I grew up in the 90's! I kept seeing parts and halves of these movies in TV and later on, like today, I wanted to recall what they were about, what the story was, who were the actors, if I remembered correctly that I liked them or if simply they stood the trial of time. One of my favorites of this kind was this very movie, which I think I have seen a hundred times, and even today, when I feel strong winds coming, I feel the need to re-watch it!

A young group of scientists wishes to find out more about the structure of hurricanes in order to help those who live in areas where tornadoes are frequent. One of the leaders of the research is divorcing her husband, who is stuck following them around to make sure she signs the papers.

I don't even remember the first time I saw this movie, my brother cared for it and we recorded it on VHS back when we lived in Rome. I think I saw it in Italian more times than in English. Something drew me to this movie, it might be just the fact that I care for the little towns in America. All my life, it has never been the big cities that attracted me, for one exception, Chicago, but I think that was more due to my favorite shows being set there, rather than wanting to live in a big city myself. Getting back to the point, I am fascinated with this movie, it is one of those that I could watch back and forth over and over again. I love the actors, I love the story, the colors, the songs, the small jokes, but the seriousness of it all as well. The movie works on several levels, on the whole it is about a divorce, and there is this great metaphor for the hurricane being their relationship too, at least in my opinion. The individual characters too develop as they face off the natural monster in front of them, and it isn't only the main characters who learn their lesson the losses they have to endure because of the life they chose to lead. I know that my review is a bit all over the place, but what you all need to understand, is that the longer you keep thinking about this movie, the more aspects of it you get to understand, and each opens another door. Oh, and there was a book, of course, this is an adaptation, but still, the glimpse that we are given into the life of these people makes me want to go back on this adventure with them every single time.

Watch it? Definitely. I think most people my age have their favorites from the 90's and I personally keep going back to it because the way movies were made, the way stories were told, was simply different. There is a simplicity to this movie, it doesn't want to be more than it is, it does not want to teach you the ultimate lesson on life or relationships, and yet, somehow, it still does. If none of this makes sense, just go watch it!

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

Dr. Jo Harding - Helen Hunt
Bill Harding - Bill Paxton
Dr. Jonas Miller - Cary Elwes
Dr. Melissa Reeves - Jami Gertz

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

What's Next On My List? Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan's Hope

I have grown to have a special appreciation for documentaries, because they not only show us a special story, but also open up whole new worlds. If by any chance you were already interested in that world, then it gives you an insight and moreover, in this case, it makes you wish to make your own comic dreams come true even more.

This is the story of the artists, cosplayers, lovers and collectors who keep roaming the floors of comic-con every single year. The documentary deals with the emotions of the first people who ever attended all the way down to those who simply shiver from the the chance to be able to go to Comic-Con for the first time ever.

My brother, my comic book dealer, is the one who showed me this movie and we sat down, the three siblings, and watched what would become one of my favorite documentaries of all time. I rewatched it recently with a loved one, because I wanted to see if that magic is still there, and let me tell you: it is. The reason why I love this movie so much is that it showed me people who are just like me. You know that feeling, of being picked on and despised because of the books and the shows you watch? You are lucky if you are not, but I remember several occasions when I felt the need to keep to myself if I loved something. The people who are introduced to us, no matter how big or small their dreams are, they have an unspoken acceptance and care for everyone around them just because they belong to the same community. As some of the people in the interviews mention it too, there is no judgment over what you like. This is the community that I always felt I was a part of. And the movie does not even have to try to make me care, the stories that are told are on their own so compelling and interesting that you sit in front of the documentary and you are glued to the screen and want to make sure all of these people get their dreams come true.

"I got here today to go to a Batman panel. We step into the back. As soon as we get in back, I hear, 'Hey, spider friend.' And I was like, 'It was Stan Lee!' If I could go back in time and tell, like, the 11-year-old me, like, 'One day, not only do you go to Comic-Con, [but] you go to Comic-Con every year, so much so that, like, you get greeted by Stan Lee when you show up.' Y'know? And the 11-year-old me would be, like, 'How did we get so fat? What the happened? Stop eating. Obviously something went wrong. Never mind Stan Lee. Look at your diet. It's horrible. Coming from the past to show me this from the future?' And then, boom, he tries to kill me and I die. And then, the young 11-year-old me progresses and shit [and] as a thin Kevin Smith, becomes president."
- Kevin Smith

Morgan Spurlock knows how to tell a story, and documentaries have been much better in past couple of years, because it is no longer camera on, and talk! But instead, there is a narrative that is followed and I can tell you honestly, that some documentaries beat action movies, as I get far more invested than I did before. This movie makes me want to do documentaries, and I generally only care about writing fiction, that's how good it is. And more importantly, it talks about how the world of comic-con has changed as the geek revolution took over and it is no longer embarrassing, to be into comics, cosplay, video games, superheroes, toys or simply be interested in something other than the mainstream. But, the movie points out, that this is the mainstream today.

"- But he sold his entire collection a few years back when the lady that he was hanging out with told him to grow up. Like, as if he ever could.
- Oh... Bad idea. 
- When a woman tells you to grow up, that's God's way of telling you to get a new woman.
- Right'?
- Yeah. Especially if she says, 'Get rid of your comics.' Just a load of crap. There's three billion women on the planet and not a lot of great comics, so it's an easy choice."

Watch it? Most definitely. If you are, like me, a little geek in your heart, then you are bound to fall in love with this movie too. The people who are portrayed in them are still around, I follow many of them on social media sites, and I was happy that I got introduced to them here. This movie is a love letter in a sense, but also a bit of criticism, as to show, that when money is involved things change a great deal.

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

Directed by Morgan Spurlock

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

What's Next On My List? Pleasantville

As always, I like to post a review in memory of the actor who meant the world to me, Paul Walker, on his birthday. I still have a good amount of movies to go through, and until I do, his memory will remain strong with me. I miss him a lot.

It is the story of how two modern siblings are transported into the fictional family of a 1950's sitcom, where they result to cause enough damage to change that and their world back home forever.

I loved this movie a lot when I first saw it, but I had to grow up to really appreciate it. We had to watch it for one of my classes, and I put it aside then so I could write about it now. Back when, this was the first movie in which I saw Walker for the first time and I immediately fell in love with his Skip Martin character. He is this adorable innocent guy that every girl likes because of his basketball skills, and he ends up being the tool that causes the change in this small town. He is, however, of the old world, the world that believes that just by ignoring a problem it'll go away. The movie's story plays on multiple levels. The main one is of course that simply by turning a blind eye, our problems will still follows and will bite us even harder each time.
The second and most obvious moral lesson of the movie is the racial implications and how simple it is to treat someone unfairly just because of the color of their skin. To me this movie shows even how whites can turn on whites when fear is properly fueled. And I don't have to tell you, that keeping people under fear is the simplest of things: scaring someone is surprisingly easy. Most people forget that they have a choice, they can choose to not be scared of the unknown, to not label the possible as impossible, to look ahead and not just at the present. Sadly, almost nobody does.

Watch it? Unfortunately, this movie is still relevant, which showcases that the issues raised have not been dealt with. And I don't mean that as a criticism just on America's part, unfortunately, the kind of hatred that is shown in this story is alive in a lot of parts of the world right now, in Europe more than ever since World War II. However, because of the message of the movie I do recommend it to everyone who hasn't seen it.

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

David - Tobey Maguire
Jennifer - Reese Whiterspoon
George Parker - William H. Macy
Betty Parker - Joan Allen
Bill Johnson - Jeff Daniels
Skip Martin - Paul Walker

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

FRESH FROM THE THEATER: Ant-Man and the Wasp

Alright, it is not that fresh, but only because I didn't get around to posting it, but technically it was a summer movie and the weather confuses everyone anyway, so stop complaining and enjoy the review, here we go!

Scott has been under house arrest ever since his little mission in Germany where he helped fight along side Captain America. Now, despite being mad at him, the Pym family needs his help as he has shrunk before to atomic levels, and they need his guidance to save someone who has been stuck there for most of her life. Meanwhile, of course, someone else requires the assistance of the Pyms and they are willing to use any and all means to get them.

Gotta be honest, I still haven't seen the first Ant-Man movie, and I am not likely too. You need to know, that one of my favorite stories of all time was that of Hank Pym in the Ultimates universe, where he was a total asshole who beat his wife. You might wonder why, well, the thing is that I too don't believe that heroes are these wonderful creatures who cannot do wrong and are omnipotent in their own way. I think that just because some of us do good, we still have issues, we still drink, we still resort to substances, we go to bed with our nightmares and so on. Marvel has not been shy on showing to the world this part of some heroes, if only you recall the darkness that looms in every Iron Man movie, and I can even understand why this variation of Pym was a bit too much, as clearly they wanted a more comedic approach - nonetheless, Pym himself, even the good version of him, is close to my heart, and when I realized that it will not really be about him, I just stopped caring. I loved Paul Rudd, and based on the reviews I knew it wasn't a bad movie, I just knew that I was not the audience for it. I did, however, take someone to see the second movie and I am glad I did.
This has become my favorite movie of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as of right now and for one particular reason [spoiler]: there is no villain. You can argue with that, but see, as there are two sides to every hero, there are also two sides to every villain. Some hurt us because of their nature, some see the money in everything, and others are forced to do harm to ensure their own survival. We can argue about the moral implications, but at the end of the day, I am much more attracted to a story that is not about an obvious two-dimensional superhero defeating a two-dimensional antagonist. This movie gave me just that, joke on top of joke, with the intent of driving home a very important message: our will to survive may overcome moral decisions.

Watch it? Definitely. I think it was incredibly well done and every character advanced in their own stories as well as adding another gem to the MCU, showing that there are several untold stories out there still! I personally look forward to the next adventures of this Ant-man!

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

Scott Lang / Ant-Man - Paul Rudd
Hope Van Dyne / Wasp - Evangeline Lilly
Sonny Burch - Walton Goggins
Janet Van Dyne / Wasp - Michelle Pfeiffer
Dr. Bill Foster - Laurence Fishburne
Dr. Hank Pym - Michael Douglas
Ava / Ghost - Hannah John-Kamen