Do you roll your eyes at true love’s kiss? Do Nicholas Sparks adaptations make you cringe? Refuse to watch The Titanic? Or refuse to admit that you have?
If you answered yes to any of the above…these short films are for you:
APRICOT by Ben Briand.
What does it feel like to be in love? It feels like a dimly lit coffee shop. Shadows and sunspots. Magic tricks. Birthday parties. Tinsel. It makes you scribble notes from conversations so you don’t forget. It tastes like apricots. It turns you into an obsessive creeper.
CASINO MOON by Gia Coppola
Love makes wild and reckless bandits of us all. Premiering at the Shanghai Film Festival in 2012, this short film captures the chaos of love and Las Vegas.
“When you fall in love you kind of build your own little world together and lose touch of the other world,” says Robert Schwartzman, who plays the protagonist. Robert just so happens to be related to the director Gia Coppola, one of my favorite actors Jason Schwartzman, and most notably, the devilishly dashing Nicolas Cage.
Back in the early 2000’s Robert played Anne Hathaway’s lover boy, Michael, in ThePrincess Diaries. Mia fantasized about sitting in his garage, crashing his band practice. In real life, Robert fronts the band Rooney. The dreamy background song in Casino Moon is actually from his solo album Double Capricorn. If you don’t have 14 minutes to spare, check out the 3 minute music video, which uses splices of the Coppola film.
As some of you might already know, the IV (that’s roman numeral for FOUR, get it?) TV girls went to see Avengers: Age of Ultron opening night. Midnight release. With all the crazies.
In case you who missed it, it looked something like this:
and some awkward (fantastic) dancing in celebration of you, our fans.
If you’re one of the 3 people who didn’t see it opening weekend (it found it’s way nicely to the number 2 slot of biggest box office openings with a cool $187.7 million dollars), you should go see it. And whether you’ve seen it or not, you should read on to see what we thought about it:
Savannah: I don’t have to tell you to go see The Avengers: Age of Ultron. If you’re going to like it, you’ve probably already seen it. And if you haven’t already seen it, then you probably haven’t seen The Avengers. And if you haven’t seen The Avengers, then you maybe haven’t seen any of the Iron Man, Thor or Captain America movies (no love for The Hulk). And if you haven’t seen any of these Marvel movies, seeing The Avengers: Age of Ultron might be super confusing for you.
I highly recommend taking a cold, hard look at your life and what you’re doing with it if you haven’t seen any of the movies in this franchise. Do you want to be happy?
My favorite thing about The Avengers: Age of Ultron is that it felt just as much like a comedy as it did an action flick. There was a laugh around every corner and at the end of every punch (line, get it?). But it wasn’t campy and it wasn’t cheap. These jokes, crafted by genius Joss Whedon and carried out by an amazingly talented ensemble, were smart, quick, witty and unique to each character.
I love the relationships among all the characters and the character development felt really strong. (No spoilers, but I’ve always had a soft spot for Jarvis and this movie really messed with my emotions, Jarvis-wise.) Bruce Banner and Tony Stark are adorable mad scientists together while Captain and Thor are busy drinking Stan Lee under the table.
Basically, I’m ready for a Hulk movie. Mark Ruffalo can carry a film, guys. You know who else can? Scarlett Johansson. Give them their own damn movies. Or as Thor would say, ANOTHA.
Gwen: Agreed. Hulk is the best Avenger, he definitely deserves another go.
Gwen: My theory is that Disney bought out Marvel specifically so that they could use the Pinocchio song, “I’ve Got No Strings” for the scary robot’s creepy theme music in Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Yes, Ultron and his theme song was THE BEST part of the whole film.His face was beautiful, his wit beyond compare, and his voice? Let’s just say that James Spader did a marvelous job.
Savannah: Quick, someone photoshop Ultron’s face into a glitter heart for Gwen.
Gwen: Yes! I would definitely tape that to my binder.
Angel: Idk Gwen. Ultron’s face <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< Your face in that Hulk mask.
Gwen: He looks good, I look better… it’s obviously a match made in heaven.
Kaili: I always appreciate attractive men in movies, and I’m still interested in all of them even after a second movie. Oh yes, so much attractiveness.
Onto the actual plot of the movie…
I appreciated that they gave some more information on Black Widow and Hawkeye, even if it didn’t align with the comics. Anyone who ever expects movies to do justice to written works is out of their mind though. Can we all just accept that movies and books/comics are good in their own unique ways? No? That’s fine. Do you.
I was wondering why Disney had to go and come out with Guardians of the Galaxy right after they acquired Marvel (the Guardians of the Galaxy are an original Marvel team, but none of those characters exist on it). I accepted it though since it was still a Stan Lee creation and he’s a comic book genius.
Anyway, everyone knows that when you stay until the end of a Marvel movie, you get another video clip, which usually hints at the next movie. Well, the clip at the end of Age of Ultron suggested that the Guardians of the Galaxy will likely be in Avengers: Infinity War Part 1.
I’m very excited about that, because I love Groot and also… this beautiful piece o’ man.
Essentially, the movie left me wanting more… so see it. If you liked the first one, you’ll like the second, and be ready for the third come 2018.
Gwen: The real question is: will baby Groot make an appearance in the next film?
Savannah: That is the real question. End spoilers!
Angel: This post would have too many red glitter hearts for our readers to handle.
Gwen: Glittery hearts are ALWAYS the answer.
Kaili: I don’t think they’re a bad answer though. If any of these actors favorited and/or shared a glitter heart tweet, I could die happy.
Angel: I’m really bad at watching super-hero action movies. Like, really bad. Too many explosions make me feel epileptic and I giggle at grown ups in latex suits shooting lasers and beating each other up. But let me tell you that Robert Downey Jr. and Mark Ruffalo have the superpowers to change my aversion in a heartbeat. Age of Ultron has made me disloyal to my beloved indie genre, but there are just so many amazing biceps in this movie, can you blame me?
Savannah: I love this and I got them all right. NBD, but I could pick out RDJ’s biceps from any lineup.
Angel: What I’m about to say might lose me some friends but…
I haven’t seen the first Avengers.
I’ll admit that I can’t get intellectual about the plot lines or deviations from the comics, but what I can tell you is this: If you must see Age of Ultron because you are a little fish in a big Marvel pond, do not panic. Wear a Captain America mask, enjoy the witty banter between extremely charismatic cast members, and at the end of the movie when everyone is deconstructing why it was such an awesome adaptation, just smile and nod and talk about how Robert Downey Jr. and Tony Stark are actually the same person.
Savannah: ANGEL. YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THE AVENGERS?????
Angel: I didn’t want to get kicked out of IV TV Girls…… Can I still sit with you guys?
Gwen: Yes, Angel. IV TV Girls wouldn’t be the same without you…
And, to tell the truth, I have to say I doze off during those fight scenes myself. These movies take some energy to watch! (Not to mention awesome friends to bring along.)
Kaili: No shame guys. I hadn’t seen many Marvel movies before the first Avengers… (I was more of a DC gal) but now I’m a die hard fan. Those biceps, punch lines, mutants, and robots will keep you coming back for more every time.
Savannah: Oh my god, you guys. It’s so much more than just biceps.
“Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” is a children’s book from the 1970’s that my parents read when they were children, and a book that, in turn, was read to me and my siblings. If you were familiar with the book before the movie, you should watch the movie simply for the ability to see a childhood favorite come to life. For those of you who haven’t read it, the basic outline is that it’s a darling book written from the perspective of a boy named Alexander who has all these seemingly minor things go wrong during his day. All of these things, in the eyes of a child who has yet to experience anything too terrible, added together essentially create the worst day ever. In the end, Alexander’s mom gives him some perspective and all is right with the world again. So that’s nice and all, but why would you want to watch that movie?
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2. The Disney Magic
Disney actually took the ideas in this book and ran as far as it possibly could with them. The jest of the book is there, Alexander has a terrible, horrible, no good, really bad day featuring hints at or shots of each terrible event mentioned in the book (aside from the fact that characters were added and changed to give the story some more filling); but the entirety of the book is merely the first few minutes of the movie. The difference in the movie is that no one really understands Alexander’s plight of having terrible days. So the poor wishes that his family would all experience terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days so they would know what it was like. I’m sure we can all figure out where the movie goes from there… Disney magic tends to be slightly predictable along with the majority of the film industry, but the fun is always in the journey.
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3. The Cast
• Alexander’s parents are played by the always entertaining Steve Carell and the ever lovable Jennifer Garner.
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• Special appearances by
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• The child actors totally rocked their roles
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• Plus, who doesn’t like an adorable baby? Well, babies… since twin girls played the part.
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If you like Disney Family movies, or movies that throw you back to your childhood, this is a good flick for you!
I want to start out by saying, Shonda, that it has been a privilege. The time we’ve spent together over the years have been some of the best of my life. You made me feel things I didn’t know I was capable of feeling.
When I look back on my life, I know that I will always think of our time together fondly. You made me into the person I am today. I am a better person because of you.
But Shonda, I was so young when this all started. I didn’t know who I was back then and I didn’t know what I wanted. I wish I had known then what I know now.
This hasn’t been easy. We haven’t always had good times. In fact, we’ve seen a lot of heartache. And sometimes, even when two people love each other the way we do, sometimes love just isn’t enough.
For so long, I’ve tried to deny it, but we’ve been growing apart for some time now. And as hard as it is to admit, we’re going down different paths.
I wish it was different. I wish we could have made this work. But I just don’t have it in me.
I have to focus on me right now. You’ll be fine without me. You’re so strong.
What I’m trying to say, Shonda, is that you don’t make me happy anymore and I think this relationship, this relationship that used to be so beautiful, has become unhealthy.
Maybe it’s my fault because I didn’t end things when I found out Derek had a wife. That was such a red flag. But I was in too deep and I needed to believe it would work out.
My friends thought I was crazy for staying after Cristina was left at the altar. But I knew we would get through it together.
When Denny died, I thought that would be our lowest point and if I could just drag myself off the bathroom floor, it would be okay.
Sometimes, I felt like I was drowning and couldn’t go on. But I knew giving up wasn’t the answer.
Maybe, by the time George died, I was just too damaged to walk away. I couldn’t imagine life without you.
When the shooter walked into the hospital, I think I mostly stuck around to see how far you would go. I dared you to pull that trigger. It was like you wanted to hurt me.
But then things got better again and I could pretend that I was happy. I pretended we still were those bright-eyed interns who were so in love.
I thought you were going to take Callie or Arizona from me in that accident – but what you did was so much worse. You put Arizona on that plane and you saved her, only to rip her best qualities from her.
And how dare you kill Lexi right after she and Mark were finally going to work out? We could’ve been together forever.
This is what you do, Shonda. And I can’t deal with it anymore.
Killing. Isn’t. Always. The answer. It’s the easy way out. It’s murder. But you know all about getting away with murder, don’t you?
And this… this thing I can’t even talk about… this Derek business…. this was the last straw.
I don’t even know the person you are. Because the person I fell in love with would never have done what you have. But then, maybe I never really knew you.
Please don’t try to stop me. I’ve made up my mind. I want off the carousel. It’s for the best.
If you need a pick me up, it should be the 20 minute series Short Poppies. Seriously. I was in some sort of mood and feeling all sorts of ways, so I streamed an episode (or four) on Netflix, and had my woes banished by Rhys Darby’s sexy suncreeny lifeguard legs, Rhys Darby in normcore drag, Rhys Darby as a very professional UFOlogist.
The series is a mockumentary that follows filmmaker and journalist David Farrier as he interviews extraordinary residents of a beachy town in New Zealand. Each episode focuses on an oddball character, all of which are played by the talented Rhys Darby. If you’ve ever watched Flight of the Concords, you’ll maybe recognize Darby as the band manager, Murray Hewitt.
In the first episode, Darby plays Terry Pole, an optimistic lifeguard, whose catchphrase is “only the pos!” (as in positive). You just really cannot be anything but smiley when there is a sexy legs competition happening before your very eyes.
One episode will have you reevaluating your relationship goals. Like… is your significant other someone you can be your oddest possible self with? Do you support each others’ passions? Would you overcome your greatest phobias for your special friend? Could you see yourself blissfuly starting a support group together for survivors of alien abductions that meets at the local library weekly? Because really, a successful relationship is overcoming your agoraphobia to tell your UFOlogist boyfriend that you love him before he sacrifices himself for an alien abduction.
But the real reason I enjoy Short Poppies is David Farrier, the journalist who plays himself. He’s the quietest character, but his facial expressions speak volumes. AND HE IS SUCH A GEEKY DREAMBOAT.
And also Karl Urban as the sassiest, gayest hairdresser there ever was.
So by this point in life everyone in the U.S. has probably heard of “Frozen” enough times to want to rip their ears off. Even Idina Menzel has been known to say that every parent of a young child probably hates her. As if that wasn’t enough, Disney is already getting us pumped up for “Frozen 2” even though we haven’t been given an approximate date for its release. Not that I have anything against “Frozen.” I will gladly admit that I saw it in theaters and sang the songs for weeks and months afterwards until I was able to purchase the movie. However, that movie came out in 2013… 2013, and we’re STILL stuck on it! I’ve yet to live a day since its release where “Frozen” isn’t in my life in some way. To be fair, I work in retail… where there’s everything from Frozen toilet wipes to three foot tall Ana and Elsa dolls, but still. That movie exploded, and the point I’m trying to make with all of this is that this explosion may have cast some smoke over a movie that could have exploded much larger than it did if “Frozen” fans had just decided to… What is it that I’m so bent out of shape over? “Big Hero Six,” which was released almost a year after “Frozen.” I truly believe this movie was intended to blow up pretty big, maybe not as big as “Frozen” (as princess movies are known historically to bring in the most profit for Disney), but still relatively large. “Big Hero 6” just did not get the attention it needed to successfully launch as a huge hit. I’ll skip going into the statistics of how much “Big Hero 6” made compared with “Frozen,” but let’s just say, with a superhero line-up, “Big Hero 6” had the potential to make some serious money off of relative merchandise and it just didn’t seem to hit the mark. Of course, “Frozen” limiting the capabilities of “Big Hero 6” is just a theory I have. Maybe the movie just didn’t do too well all on its own. Either way, the movie is spectacular. If you like Disney, or comics, or superheroes, or downright lovable characters, you should most definitely check it out. This movie obviously came about after Disney acquired Marvel. “Big Hero 6″ was actually a marvel comic before it hit the big screen. Had that been played up more, the movie may have attracted a larger audience, but I’ll refrain from commenting too much on that. As with most Marvel movies, there were significant differences between the movie and the comics, so if you’re one of those people who’s easily offended by screenwriters veering off course, maybe you shouldn’t actually check this out… For those of you who didn’t leave with this last revelation, let me walk you through this movie… First off, I have to mention that brother’s Hiro and Tadashi Hamada, two of the main characters, live with their aunt. Another Disney movie where a parent or two are dead… classic. Fortunately we don’t have to hear the horrific backstory as to why they aren’t around. (SPOILER: Well, kind of… some of the trailers hinted at this.) Not so fortunately, we get good and attached to Tadashi, and BOOM! They kill him off. Thanks Disney… I waited the whole movie for him to come back, but no. He was really dead.
The jest of the movie is that Hiro, a young inventor, and his friends need to track down an evil man, who inexplicably stole an invention from Hiro and goes around destroying things and wreaking havoc with it. The movie has humor, tear jerk moments, killer music, and plot twists like you wouldn’t believe. Not to mention, an extremely lovable robot, Baymax. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll be on the edge of your seat… you’ll wonder why you hadn’t watched it sooner. It’s fun for the whole family, and the best part? It’s a nice break from the world of musicals where your kids sing the same songs over and over again for three years straight.
As a college student about to graduate, I am constantly searching for inspiration. Motivation to continue working on long projects and believing that someday I might actually graduate is hard sometimes. Kimmy Schmidt was a breath of fresh motivation for me.
Most of the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is centered around using positivity and believing in one’s own ability to move on and be successful to get through really tough situations. Having survived living in a bunker for many years, Kimmy has developed this skill beautifully and teaches the people around her to do the same.
Some advice she gives includes:
Sometimes I feel pretty bogged down by little things. I tend to stress about various papers and people. Having experienced real difficulty, Kimmy has helped me realize that most of my own obstacles are fairly small and totally beatable.
2. Having no idea what you are doing is not the end of the world.
As an almost-graduate, it is really scary stopping to realize that in just a few months I will be entering the “grown-up” world. I will probably have to wear “business casual” every day and be trusted to actually know what I am talking about. Kimmy helped me to understand that it is okay to admit that I have no idea what I am doing. I have dreams. I want to look like a real grown-up one day, but it’s okay if I don’t get there for a few months after graduation.
3. Weird is the new “cool”
Another reason why I don’t have to act like I have it altogether? Because crazy pink shoes and messing up every so often in front of everyone is HOT… and probably something I will continue to do for the rest of my life. Thank you Kimmy for making me slightly more comfortable for being myself.
Thank you Buzzfeed, Giphy, and Netflix Life for the media in this post.
Chico & Rita (2010) is a subtitled Spanish love story set in Cuba, New York, Hollywood, and Paris in the swanky 1940’s and early 50’s, and it is probably the most sensual animated film I’ve ever watched. It’s a bit sentimental because of the whole unrequited love plot line BUT between all that mushy stuff (be warned of a short and steamy scene with animated nudity) there is an ace soundtrack of Cuban jazz, New York be bop, and sultry blues. Watch for appearances from Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, and Chano Pozo. Watch this because it will break your heart but make your soul happy.
Both Chico and Rita are jazz artists trying to create better lives for themselves through their music. This complicates things for them because, as we’ve learned from numerous movies, fame is not always fun and glamorous– especially if you are a person of color and treated mostly as an investment. The strongest scenes in the movie involve Rita openly addressing issues of race, class, and gender divides. Historically, we know that things usually don’t go well for vocal females so there’s also that complication.
The animation alone is one reason to watch the movie. Spanish artist Javier Mariscal took a research trip to Cuba and dug up city government archives of pre-revolutionary Havana. The cityscapes in the film are detailed down to the words of store signs. Marsical creates a vision of historical moments and deep emotions that are more sparkling and colorful than a live action film would have been.
Listen to the Chico & Rita Soundtrack on Spotify by clicking hereor on youtube by clickinghere. DO IT. Then stream the film instantly on Netflix.
If jazz makes your soul happy, so will these three documentaries.
1. Calle 54 (2000) is made by the same director as Chico & Rita and celebrates Latin Jazz with minimal voiceovers and mostly studio performances. Watch instantly on Netflix. Listen to the soundtrack here.
2. Icons Among Us (2009) features interviews and performances by 75 jazz artists in the here and now. Divided into four sections, the film challenges perceptions of what jazz is, explores the social aspects of the jazz community, and showcases jazz from around the world. Watch instantly on Hulu here.
3. Jazz: A film by Ken Burns (2001) is a PBS series revisiting the history of jazz over 10 episodes. Watch instantly on Netflix. Listen to the soundtrack here.
Into the Woods is a combination of multiple Brothers Grimm fairy tales including “Little Red Ridding Hood,” “Jack and the Beanstalk,” “Cinderella,” and “Rapunzel.” The stories all overlap in the midst of a dark and mysterious woods where a humble baker and his wife search for items that will help break a curse put on their family by a witch. The film is an adaptation of a broadway musical by the same title.
First of all, I have to take a moment to discuss the casting of this movie, because it was beautiful. Many famous actors and actresses were considered for the various roles, but I personally think it could not have gone better with any other actors. The always incredible Meryl Streep had me so lost in the witch character that I had to convince myself it was her underneath all of that make-up. Emily Blunt spent the entire film pregnant while portraying a woman who couldn’t have children, Lilla Crawford as “Little Red Riding Hood” and Daniel Huttlestone blew me away with their voices and acting, and Chris Pine as a singing Prince? Stop my beating heart, I didn’t think he could get any more beautiful. Not to mention the ever intriguing Johnny Depp as the big bad wolf. How that man can take on so many freaky and weird characters and still be so lovable is completely beyond me. I personally wasn’t so sure I could take Anna Kendrick seriously as Cinderella, but she did justice to the role. James Corden played the cutest baker, Tracey Ullman was a lovely bedraggled mother for Jack, Mackenzie Mauzy was not on my radar prior to this film, but I loved her as Rapunzel, and of course, her prince Billy Magnussen another unfamiliar but pleasing face. The last cast member I’d like to tip my hat to would be Lucy Punch, because that girl is so good at being an evil stepsister, she had to do it twice.
Since the script is based on the original Brothers Grimm tales… the whole thing was a little less than Disney. Johnny Depp’s wolf song is extremely pedophiliac but the director thought that if they glazed over the creepy connotations children would miss the creepiness completely. Sounds to me like Disney is setting up to be accused some more of teaching inappropriate things to children.
Although I did appreciate (SPOILER ALERT) that when Prince Charming was cheating on Cinderella he said, “I was taught to be charming, not sincere.” Proving again that marrying someone you just met might not be the greatest choice a person could make. After all the “Happily Ever After’s” were realized, things fell apart, which is sad… but much more realistic. Things ended up just how they were meant to, horrifically. That’s what Brothers Grimm stories are, and I personally am glad Disney finally stuck to that even though the whole thing was basically word for word exactly the same as the original play.
Overall it was a pretty great movie, I would definitely recommend it, especially if you’re someone who is into musical plays. I could see it all happening onstage even though it wasn’t which could be a pro or a con depending on your taste. The biggest complaint I’ve heard of this movie was from people who did not know of the play previously. They were disappointed in the film, simply for the aforementioned “unDisneyness” of it, but now you know and won’t have those kinds of expectations going in… Into the woods. 😉