Tag Archives: Movies

Morals in Movies: Battle of the Year

The movie “Battle of the Year: Dream Team” has some very good lessons in it.

1) Change the way you think, change your life.

Act like champions, be champions. If you wanna be a better person or change your lot it life, it can literally be as simple as changing the way you think. Be positive and the world will look more positive. Be negative and you will only always see the negative. Believe you can do something and you have a much greater chance at succeeding.

2) There is no “I” in “Team”. We must become “We” or this will never work.

Especially in today’s society – we must become “we”. We can’t divide ourselves. We must come together. There is no “us” vs “them” except for what we create. As a country, we must become “we” or we’ll destroy ourselves. As a planet, as a world, we must become “we” or we’ll fall into war forever and never find peace. We must become “we” or we’ll never really succeed.

3) The right kind of pressure builds a team.

You don’t have to get along with everyone all the time. Some types of pressure are good pressures. They pushes you to do better, to be better. You can disagree with others, so long as you channel it to be constructive to your personal growth.

4) I am ___-American.

In one of their dances, there’s a voice over by each member of the group stating what kind of American they are. “I am African-American.” “I am Korean-American.” “I am French-American.” “I am Italian-American.” etc etc. Remember that America is not made up of American-Americans. The only ones who were “original” Americans were the Indians and even they originated somewhere else. We all come from somewhere, even if we were born here in the States, but we can forget all of that and come together as a family, as a team, and accomplish great things. It doesn’t matter where you come from or what you are or who you love. We’re all in this together.

There’s more, but these were the big four in my mind.

Ciao tutti,

RM

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Kids Movies Shouldn’t Be Just for Kids

The idea in popular thinking that children’s movies have to be light and fluffy and safe and not have too many crude jokes in them the only adults will get is really kind of bs.

I mean, I think people are forgetting how tragic some of the best children’s movies are.

I mean just with Disney:

Beauty and the Beast is about a man cursed to be a beast and a woman he basically kidnaps, and it has near continuous mentions of death.

Cinderella opens with the story of a young girl losing her father. She is then abused by her family, no matter how well she takes it.

In The Lion King, Scar literally throws his brother off a cliff. He is trampled to death and young Simba witnesses the tragedy and is then convinced he is a murderer and exiled from his own kingdom. The entire pride lands turns into a nightmare, complete with never sunny skies and near cannibalistic monsters.

The Little Mermaid has Ursula basically telling Ariel to use sex appeal to win a guy, and she kinda does. Ursula also has a host of shriveled people trapped in her home.

Lady and the Tramp has a terrifying, evil rat trying to kill/steal/eat a baby and several dark scenes – including Lady in the pound.

Have you watched The Rescuers lately? Or it’s sequel? Kidnapping. Attempted murder. Thievery. Traumatic hospital experiences. Bad guys being eaten by wild animals. I mean, seriously.

Treasure Planet is about a broken family. The main character has a history of arrests. Over half the cast is evil. That movie is a bucket of angst.

Lilo and Stitch is another broken family. I mean I could dedicate this whole post to the not-happy and sunshine things in Lilo and Stitch.

Same goes for Oliver and Company – a kitten no one wanted is left to drown in a cardboard box until it breaks and he’s left on the streets. He’s then subjected to a number of scary experiences. There’s a child being kidnapped and held for ransom. Those evil dogs are scary as hell. The bad guy is terrifying. Even one of the heroes could be scary to a little kid – he’s a dirty looking hobo selling fake watches.

Outside of Disney you have movies like The Land Before Time, where Littlefoot watches his mother die and must then travel across the world to find the rest of his family. He meets other kids but even then he’s battered over and over with self-doubt, loneliness, and depression.

An American Tale is a cute movie but when you get older you see it’s a anecdote about immigration and children’s work houses and orphanages and living on the streets of 1870’s America.

Balto is about an outcast half-wolf dog that no one wants to associate with. Other dogs and all humans avoid him. Even when he starts to have good experiences, the other dogs ruin it for him. He nearly dies a few times. The plot of the movie is that a sickness is killing children.

A Little Princess sounds like a cute movie, but I always hated it because it scared me and made me cry. A girl is orphaned while at boarding school, then she’s turned into a servant. Every time she starts to enjoy herself, the headmistress ruins it and threatens her. Her best friend is the victim of racism. Her father was in a war and got amnesia and almost doesn’t recognize his own daughter in the end.

The creator of Rise of the Guardians made a statement when asked about how dark his movie was. He said he wanted to prove kids movies could be dark. Good on him, because a kid’s movie without darkness is a movie without true conflict and thus boring to anyone above the third grade. Anyone younger just likes it because it moves.

I could go on and on.

So all the articles I see lately about how children’s movies are too dark and they need to be fun and friendly and whatever… I mean, stop it. Your kids need more than candy.

Kid’s movies shouldn’t just be for kids. They should be movies you can watch again and again and get something new each time because you’re learning about the world and realizing that was in your favorite movie the whole time.

Ciao tutti,

RM

Movie Review Blog

I feel like I’m just full of promoting things lately. Last week I promoted Samuel “Sam” Tsui, one of my favorite singers. This week I’m promoting… well I’m promoting myself, but not via my books. This blog is for me to speak on the idea of creativity and my own book attempts, but I have another blog where I am known by another name.

On that blog I am known as Cinespector – Media Checker.

That link takes you to the Review List page, where you can see any review I’ve done to date.

I started the blog early this year and hope to fill it up with many more films – not just new ones. As an avid movie watcher, I thought it was time I added my voice to the many critics out on the internet. I found myself disagreeing with most of them on how good movies were and thus wanted to correct them.

I am a friendly voice; a viewer who steps into every movie with an optimistic mindset and waits to be impressed. I am a hopeless romantic, so I also go into every movie prepared to completely accept whatever relationship happens on-screen whether it be romantic, friendly, brotherly, or enemy.

I judge movies based mostly on acting skill, cinematography,  plot, music, pacing and character development. I like movies to be believable, but not in a ‘this can happen in real life’ sort of believable. I mean believable as far as the movie’s world and parameters set. I don’t care if aliens are feeding humans pills to create fat babies or vikings fight dragons, or Mars has life and culture and ships that fly on air. If the movie makes me believe it, I accept it.

I try to be as unbiased as possible and give good, factual reasons for why I like or dislike a movie. I haven’t done Twilight, but if I were to do it I would not simply say ‘This movie sucks because the vampires sparkle and Bella’s a bitch.” I would say the movie gets a 3 on my 1-10 scale because the acting is stiff and emotionless, the characters are hard to empathize with, the pacing is too fast and sketchy, the music is average and sub-par-ly edited into the scenes, and the cinematography looks about one level above being shot as a home movie.  And while that may sound harsh, I would devote a section of the review to each element so I can fully develop my argument.

To date, I’ve rarely gone to a movie theater and left it disliking the movie. I just tend to know what movies I’ll enjoy and which I won’t. For instance, I loved The Three Musketeers and The Avengers, but I wont even consider going to see The Dictator or Chernobyl Diaries. I’m not in for scary movies or… almost any Sacha Baron Cohen movie.

I’m working to build up the list of movies I’ve reviewed at the moment. I go see new movies and try to get my reviews of them up as soon as I can to be useful, but then I try to also write reviews for older movies I watch. Usually it is other movies my boyfriend or friends bring over to have me watch. However, I also have an extensive list of movies I can start working through to give my opinions on when I have a chance – and I’m always open to requests!

In the future, I hope to also review tv shows or episodes. I’ll analyze specific characters and relationships if someone requests that. I’m open to suggestions, and I hope to expand my readers enough to receive not only comments but also questions. There are always going to be aspects of a movie I didn’t consider or notice or comment on, and feedback will be how I try to grow as a reviewer in the future.

So if you have a chance, and you’re interested, check out my movie review blog over at Cinespector.Wordpress.Com.

Ciao Tutti!

RM

The Coming of Emotional Death

I was planning on updating with something mildly literary again this week, but it turns out my mind is elsewhere – mainly on how much it hurts >.o Darn headaches.

This week has been quite eventful. Yesterday, my co-worker brought in his newborn son for us all to coo over in the office and distracted us from ‘work’ for a good 2 hours. We weren’t doing much anyway. Maddox is perhaps the most adorable baby I have ever seen – so tiny and cute. I can see in his facial structure and his eyes that he has the potential to be a very attractive man when he grows up.

I met with someone about graduating this coming spring. Let me tell you, school planning is a nightmare. I met with my adviser three weeks ago where we decided I was golden to graduate. The next week, I got an email saying one of my Spring classes has been cancelled. Shit. So I scheduled another advising meeting, enrolled in a new class to cover the new vacancy and we decided I was all good again. Now I meet with the Intent to Graduate people and find out I need to make another advising appointment just so my adviser can sign a paper that substitutes this new class in for the old class, because my degree audit isn’t registering that it counts. Also, my minor isn’t showing up properly, but based on the 2009 catalog, I’ve fulfilled all requirements. They think I must have completed everything for the 2010/2011 catalog because that’t the minor I signed up for, and I didn’t even start going to this school until 2010, and I didn’t apply to that minor until August of this year. So that has to be sorted out as well. Silly programs. Silly school. Golly!

I saw three movies over the weekend – Footloose (which is beyond epic and all the important scenes were just amazing adaptations of the old scenes, so none of the magic is lost. My mother, a die-hard fan of the old one, loves this new movie), The Three Musketeers (unlike Jeremy Jahns, I happen to love this movie too. I thought the graphics were awesome. The characters were hilarious and/or well acted. And the plot was well enough great.), and Real Steal (which was thiiiis close to being awesome). Today, my boyfriend has come over and invited me to Puss in Boots (which was witty and clever and would have been much more entertaining if all the 3 year olds had stopped talking for two minutes).  Those were all definite pluses to my week as well.

Now the downside – I’m making a costume for an anime convention on Nov 11. I found out I left the sewing pins at my mother’s house and my boyfriend was supposed to bring them with him this weekend, but my mother apparently couldn’t find them so now I have no pins. Since I just told my friend I would definitely have the costume done in time, this now puts me in the predicament of going out and finding where to buy more pins…. and shears, because I have none of those either. In the middle of this, I have a paper on Dante Rossetti due next week and I still haven’t finished my Grad school entrance paper to be edited by my professor. I also haven’t sent out my info to my other professor for a recommendation letter, I haven’t gotten my GRE test scores, I have that advising appointment to make, my neck is twinged so that I can’t fully turn it to the left, I’m supposed to send an email with a bunch of links and info to a girl who’s making The Rose Chateau bookmarks for me, and next Tuesday is the start of National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo.

In short – there is just too much too do and I’m going to commit accidental emotional suicide over it all. Wish me luck in living.

Ciao Tutti!

RM

In the Words of Jeremy Jahns

The last two Witty Wednesdays were inspirational words from two well known literary figures in the modern world: Neil Gaiman, known for his wide variety of stories and his original writing style, and Gail Carson Levine, known for her fairytale remakes and writing help books.

This time, however, I’m switching it up. This week I’m focusing on Youtube Movie and Game  Reviewer – Jeremy Jahns. I like Jeremy because he tells it how it is. If he straight up hated a movie, you’re going to know. If he thought a movie was amazing, you’ll definitely know. Jeremy also tends to like and love a lot of the movies that I enjoy watching that a lot of big wig critics didn’t. In this way, Jeremy is a real life, regular viewer who can recognize a movie for what makes a movie good. On that same note, however, he also knows what makes a movie good for ‘turning off your brain and just watching it for the mindless explosions.’

Jeremy is a witty source of reliable knowledge. He’s believable, trustworthy, and fun to listen to. If a new movie is coming out that you’re not entirely sure about, don’t see it opening weekend. Wait a day or so and see if Jeremy reviews it. Odds are that his review will give you a well rounded idea of whether the movie is worth the money or not.

And the best part? Jeremy hates spoilers, so he does his best to avoid them at all costs. This is part of why his reviews are so well done. He’s focusing on the aspects of the movie, not on the spoilers. He can tell you if a movie is good without needing to ruin it for you. Jeremy is officially one of my favorite people in the world of movies.

Jeremy’s movie reviews got a rating scale. From worst to best:

Dogshit

So BAD it might be FUN…. if you’re drunk.

You’d like it if you knew your friends would never find out.

It’s okay… but you’re not gonna remember it in T-Minus 13 hours.

Worth watching – no alcohol required.

I’d even buy this on Blu-ray.

Awesometacular

A lot of movies Jeremy reviews get the ‘no alcohol required’ or ‘even on blu-ray’ rating. A couple get Awesometacular or Dogshit. And a few dot the other three.

And one of the best things about Jeremy is that even if you disagree with him, he’s still entertaining and witty. He’s fun to watch, he’s logical, and he’s credible. Jeremy writes articles about movies and the entertainment world when he’s not reviewing. He also guest spots on Schmoesknow.com to do cross reviews of movies.  If youtube isn’t really your thing, so you don’t have an account and really can’t follow Jeremy there, I have possibly good news! You can also follow him on Twitter. I’m sure he keeps his fans updated there as well.

So this Witty Wednesday is dedicated to a man I hope continues to review movies for a long time. And if he ever starts getting paid for it, I hope he stays true to his style and his beliefs and never lies to us – the viewers. He’s awesometacular the way he is. Check him out. ❤

Ciao tutti,

RM