Baby Driver

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Phenomenal.

There is literally nothing about this movie that I didn’t love. I saw it three times in the space of four days and cannot wait to own it so I can watch it again whenever I want. If you have not seen it, you should do that right now. Run, don’t walk. And when you do watch it, pay close attention to the music—it is so much more than a soundtrack. In fact, my wonderful friend Cailey, who is incredibly intelligent and well versed in all things Hollywood, told me that she would classify this as a modern musical . . . one where musical numbers are abandoned in favour of a score that is integral to the pacing, the choreography (not the dancing), the gunfire, and even the love story.

The Jungle Book

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Bill Murray as Baloo is my life:

“Come on, Mowgli. Let’s be on our way.” —Bagheera
“But I’m helping Baloo get ready for hibernation.” —Mowgli
“Bears don’t hibernate in the jungle.” —Bagheera
“Not full hibernation, but I nap. A lot.” —Baloo

In addition, I applaud Jon Favreau for taking this on and thank him for recreating a childhood favourite so wonderfully well. I was skeptical from the beginning. I wondered how and why he could possibly make a live-action movie about talking animals that wasn’t Air-Bud-terrible, but my worries were completely unfounded. He cast some absolutely incredible voice talent (Scarlett Johansson was brilliant as Kaa, and Christopher Walken as King Louie?! Genius!), introduced a child actor who is more than capable of holding his own against a bunch of CGI-d pros, AND included a smashing remix of the original soundtrack. So yeah, he nailed it.

William Shakespeare’s Star Wars by Ian Doescher

shakespearesstarwars_doescherWhen you’re a fan of the Bard and a fan of the Wars, there’s nothing to do but to read this book. Peppered with insightful asides, well-crafted Shakespearean insults, and elaborate illustrations (see below), this book/play/novelization, written in perfect iambic pentameter (the English major in me is whooping appreciatively), actually gave me a better understanding of the movie. Not to mention a few good laughs. This one gets a huge recommendation from me. READ IT. Readitreaditreadit.

No. 23 on my challenge. Though I don’t remember this particular scene from the movie. Mayhap it occurred behind closed doors.

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Illustrations masterfully done by Nicolas Delort.

Imperium

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I may have just read the Harry Potter books last year, but I grew up watching the movies. For me, Daniel Radcliffe has always been the Boy Who Lived. And maybe I’ve been holding on to my youth, or maybe I haven’t seen enough of his recent work, but since the last HP movie was released in 2011 (holy Toledo, has it been that long!?), I’ve found it difficult to fully separate DRad from HPot. This movie changed that.

Imperium features a whole new Danielle Radcliffe, and he is one talented mother clucker. With his shaved head, militant attire, and all around don’t-mess-with-me attitude, Radcliffe convincingly, and chillingly, portrays a young FBI agent who goes undercover to infiltrate a neo-Nazi organization that his supervisor (and no one else) believes may be graduating from hate speech and generally horrible yet ultimately un-actionable offences to a large-scale bomb attack in DC. So yeah, a little different than good old HP.

While the movie itself had some downfalls—it was almost too easy for Nate to gain the trust of not one, but four high-ranking white supremacists in their respective organizations—Radcliffe’s performance was skillful, focussed, and riveting.

Squeeeeeee

Brie Larson, Naomi Watts are radiant in exclusive first look at The Glass Castle

Woody Harrelson also stars in the dysfunctional family drama, slated for release in 2017

After helping to shatter a glass ceiling as the star of Marvel’s first major movie with a female lead, Oscar-winner Brie Larson is stepping into The Glass Castle, a coming-of-age drama revolving around a young woman who grows up amid a poverty-stricken family, and EW has an exclusive first look at two images from the upcoming film.

Adapted from the New York Times best-seller of the same name, the film version of the 2005 autobiography stars Larson as the memoir’s author, Jeannette Walls, who, along with several siblings, was born into a clan of dysfunctional nomads fronted by Rex, an alcoholic, and Rose Mary, an artist.

Though Rex’s addiction often imposes upon the family’s well-being, he sparks his children’s imagination with feelings of hope to distract them from their daily struggles. According to the film’s official synopsis, the family’s nonconforming lifestyle serves as both “their curse and their salvation.”

Continue reading on Entertainment Weekly. Includes photos!

 

I am so! very! excited! for this movie.

Blue Water, White Death

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An article in my August issue of National Geographic opens as such:

“When the documentary Blue Water, White Death hit US theaters in 1971, its footage of great white sharks crashing into diving cages became instantly iconic. But the footage that stands out 45 years later is a long scene showing oceanic whitetip sharks swarming a whale carcass a hundred miles off the coast of South Africa.

“It is an amazing  scene for two reasons: first, because the divers leave the safety of their cages to film the sharks, believed to be the first time anyone had ever tried the technique among feeding sharks [reaction: HOLD UP. WHAT NOW!?]. And second, because it’s a scene that might never be replicated—a marine version of the last photograph of endless bison herds roaming the North American plains [WELL NOW I GOTTA WATCH THIS].”

So obviously I dug it up. Thank you, internets. Not only is this documentary a gold mine in ’70s fashion, hairstyles, and lingo, but it’s also pretty cool to watch four absolutely insane people with underwater cameras swim freely with literally hundreds of feeding sharks. And that’s not the only time they left the cage. Oh, no. First they listened to a diver tell his story about getting attacked by a great white, checked out the guy’s scars, hung dead fish from their boat to attract a 16-footer, and then, when the shark was gnawing on dinner right beside their cage, they decided to OPEN THE DOORS to get closer. Because they’re crazy, obviously.

Now, I don’t recommend this documentary if you watch Shark Week every year, because it’s pretty low-budget (I have to assume they spent all of their money on charting a boat that chased around sharks for five months, cans of blood, and oxygen tanks), and the film quality is that special ’70s-era bad. But for me Blue Water, White DeathThe Most Frightening and Fascinating Sea Adventure Ever was totally worth it.