Archive for the ‘Movie Madness Mondays’ Category

Movie Madness Mondays: Coming Soon

January 13, 2009

Ahoy GBD!  I just wanted to let you know which movies will be reviewed in the next few weeks.  The movie for this coming Monday will be The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, which is still playing in theaters.  This review will be brought to you courtesy of the dynamic duo that is Taylor Nikole and Binks.

Next will be a review of Gone with the Wind.  I’m not sure who’s doing this review because I am on a “need to know” basis.  lol.  My suggestion is that you start watching this movie now if you want to be finished by the time the review goes up because my understanding is that it’s, like, 17 hours long.  I kid, I kid.  It’s not really 17 hours long.  More like 10.  Ok, ok…no really…it’s almost 4.  It’s one of those classic movies that is highly rated by people who have watched it.  And it won like 10 Oscars or something ridiculous like that.  So give it a watch, yah?

Then to start February off right, we’ve got the one and only Jessica F giving us her take on Bride Wars.  This one opened this past weekend, so y’all can go out and bond with your friends watching this movie.

This brings us to The Tale of Despereaux.  I’m rethinking whether or not to review this movie because it’s not playing in theaters anymore, and hasn’t come out on DVD yet.  Plus, it’s not really a movie that the GBD demographic would be clamoring to see.  So I dunno.  I’ll think about it.

Which leaves us with Doubt.  Now, I know that I said I would review Doubt, but it turns out that I’m having a tough time with the review because I’m drawing a blank.  There isn’t really anything to make fun of, so I have no inspiration.  *sigh*  BUT, Binks also watched this movie and agrees that it is, indeed, awesome.  It really is.  Y’all should go and watch it while it’s still playing in theaters.  Anyway, while pondering what to do about my writer’s block, I remembered what a terrific job Binks did with her review of The Duchess in the newsletter some time ago.  Remember how she made all these insightful analyses about women and self-expression?  Don’t you feel like Binks would do a similarly terrific job with Doubt?  I think we should all peer pressure Binks into writing the review for Doubt so that I can chillax to the max.

Please please please Binks write the review for Doubt!

While Binks contemplates whether she should strangle me now or later, I’d like to invite anyone else interested in reviewing a movie to please send your ideas along.  Any movie is okay as long as it’s not rated R. Or NC-17. Or pornographic. Don’t complain to me, I didn’t make the laws.  Also, it would ideally be a movie that most GBD peepz can access – either by going to the theater or by renting, borrowing from a library, etc.

In exchange for writing a review, you will have my eternal gratitude.  If that’s not enough, I’m willing to negotiate the rights to my first-born.

And here are the trailers!

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button trailer

Gone with the Wind trailer

Bride Wars trailer

Doubt trailer

And yes…I know. Today is Tuesday. “Where’s News Day Tuesday?” you ask. Swishing around my brain somewhere. Once I fish it out, I’ll post it. 😉


Movie Madness Monday: Mamma Mia!

January 12, 2009
Ok, so…based on the responses from last week’s post, it seems that y’all really like Mamma Mia!, and that is totally cool.  But just so you know, I probably won’t be inspired to review a movie unless I can poke fun at it.  So if you, like, really REALLY love Mamma Mia! and can’t stand to see other people criticize it in any way, then I think this post might make you want to throw a shoe at me.  😉
End of Warning.
First, let me say that me and musicals?  Not so much.  Never really was.  My brain hasn’t yet evolved to the degree necessary to appreciate musicals.  I can either dig the music, or understand the words, but if I try to do both on the first listen, my brain gets scrambled and I lose interest.
Also, the other thing?  People going about their day-to-day, then randomly breaking out into song and dance is kind of, um, awkward.  I mean, if I walk into a Starbucks and order a coffee, and the Starbucks person suddenly belts out in a soprano voice, “Whaaaaaat siiiiiiiize would you liiiiiiike?”, and, after taking a few seconds to get over my initial shock, I reply, “Large” (because I refuse, REFUSE, to say “Venti”), to which the Starbucks person responds by doing a double-twirl, followed by a leap and a high-kick, then belts out again in the soprano, “Wooooooould you liiiiiiiiike a receeeeeeeeeipt?”…I mean, c’mon…that’s awkward.  How am I supposed to react to that?
Despite all that, I will grudgingly admit that I was entertained by Mamma Mia! All I knew about the story came from the trailer.  The only reason I went to go watch it in the first place was that Meryl Streep was in it.  That woman could do an ad for partially digested dog food and I’d probably buy it.  And I don’t even have a dog.
Anyway, it turns out that those ABBA songs are pretty catchy.  Lots of people singing and dancing.  I may have nodded off a bit during the ballads.  But whatever.  Still good fun.
For those wondering what the story is about…there’s this girl who’s about to get married, and she wants her father to be at her wedding.  Except she’s never met her father.  But luckily for her, she is nosy and her mom kept a diary.  So the girl finds out that she has three potential daddies, and secretly invites all three men to this Greek island, where her mom runs an inn and where the wedding will be held.  All three men show up, thinking their former flame (the mom) invited them.  Drama and hijinks ensue.
And I’d like to clarify that by “drama,” I’m referring to the kind that is maybe a notch or two above the death of your pet rock, maybe on par with breaking a nail, definitely below the heart-crushing realization that some soulless demon ate the last piece of cake that you TOTALLY spent the past half-hour daydreaming about.  Because the two main sources of drama in this movie come from 1) the mom, who is going through some sort of mid-life crisis, complaining that her life has been spent working in a place that looks like this:
…and that she’s being wooed by a man who looks like this:
(Pierce Brosnan)
…and 2) from the daughter, who, on top of dealing with three potential fathers as opposed to, say, none, also has to decide whether she should marry the man she loves – a guy who is head-over-heels in love with her and looks like this:
dominic-cooper (Dominic Cooper)
…OR not marry the guy and STILL BE WITH HIM.  The hardship this girl is faced with.  It’s enough to make you forget about world hunger.
But you know what?  All kidding aside, I totally understand where these women are coming from.  It just so happens that right now, I’m having a really tough time deciding whether I should buy a black Bentley,…
…to match my hair, or a white one,…
…to match my smile.
Life’s a struggle, but we shall overcome.
Oh!  I almost forgot.  The reason I wrote this review in the first place.  I read a blurb recently about how Mamma Mia! is now the top grossing film of all time in Britain, beating even Titanic and other major blockbusters.  It’s on track to earning $600 billion worldwide.  When Meryl Streep was asked about that, she said:
No one writes about the fact this movie was bigger than the Quantum of Solace.  It doesn’t get the press, partly because it is perceived as a woman’s movie, but Mamma Mia! has buried, and I mean buried, all the conventional blockbusters.
Whaddya think about that, eh?
So that’s my two cents.  And what about your two cents ladies?  Who’s gonna write the next movie review?  In the meantime, I’ll work on reviews for The Tale of Despereaux and Doubt, both of which are still playing in theaters.  I think.  I will not make fun of Doubt.  In fact, if you haven’t yet seen Doubt, I really REALLY think you should go see it.  It’s really REALLY good.  I will, however, make fun of The Tale of Despereaux.  I know it’s a rated G kids’ movie, but I have no mercy.  Mwahahaha!
I can’t promise that the reviews will be up next week.  I’m actually hoping that one of you exceedingly wonderful examples of humanity will review something so that I can be off the hook.
I suppose I should include the trailers.  Fine.  But before I do, in case any of you were wondering where that island pictured above is…it is the Greek island of Skopelos, where Mamma Mia! was filmed.  And henceforth will probably get many, many curious tourists flocking to see how on earth Meryl Streep’s character could have endured such a hellhole.

The Tale of Despereaux trailer

Doubt trailer

Movie Madness Monday: Mamma Mia!

January 6, 2009

I’ll be reviewing “Mamma Mia!” next week.  I’ll post the trailer later.  Gotta run!

Monday Madness Mondays “Becoming Jane”

January 5, 2009

Hello all JessicaF here! I am really new at this, so forgive me for being a bit nervous. One of my New Years resolutions was to be brave and put myself out there. So, here I am! The movie we’ll be reviewing tonight is Becoming Jane, which is a biographical snapshot of the early years of Jane Austen’s life.

I chose this movie because I felt that it really relates to all of us in some aspects, and it also relates to many of the positive things that Girls By Design encourages us to do- to be inspired, to be creative and artistic, and to follow our dreams/passions. Plus, the love story of Ms. Austen is the center of the entire film! (Yay, love story!) Most importantly though, Jane Austen is one the most influential female writers in history, publishing world renown books like “Pride and Prejudice” and “Sense and Sensibility”. *WOOT* Talk about some girl power! In fact, some of you lucky GBD members may be currently reading her novels in your high school English classes. So let’s get out our feather pens, ink wells, and old English dictionaries, as we take it back a few centuries!

This movie focuses solely on Jane as the main character. It starts off in the late 1700s where we find Jane writing away, of course. She is living with her parents and elder siblings Cassandra and Henry. Upon Henry’s return from school, a huge party is thrown at the Austen residence in honor of his graduation. During the party, the family requests that Jane reads a piece of her work.

In walks Mr. Tom Lefroy, who is the nephew of an invited guest. Tom enters upon Jane’s reading, making a scene and unintentionally catching Jane’s attention. He then has the nerve to fall asleep by the end of her reading! Jane is furious and its love at first sight (although they aren’t aware of it yet, and figure out as the movie goes on)!

It takes some time before Tom successfully courts Jane. They start off with the type of love/hate relationships you find in middle school classrooms. When they finally get together, it makes your heart melt. (gush alert!) But, the journey of their relationship is neither easy nor perfect one. Twists and turns lurk at every corner. Different factors and people in their lives try to tear them apart. Jane even gives up an arranged marriage with a wealthy suitor for her love for Tom. When Jane finally decides to do what makes her happy, she is forced to make an adult decision that will tremendously affect her future. She must choose between what she wants vs. what is right.

It is because of her own love story that Jane was able to write and publish such memorable novels. In an era where obedience is valued over independent thought, where arranged marriages are the norm vs. marrying for love, she defies all the rules. Jane Austen took the all of the realities of her life, whether pleasant or destructive, and used everything as inspiration for her pieces. After seeing this movie, I am truly inspired to pursue more hobbies in my life!

I wanted to end with a few questions to think about or to discuss on this blog:

–    What are some hobbies or activities you are extremely passionate about?
–    What activities do you use as a creative outlet for your emotions, whether good or bad?
–    How far would you be willing to follow your dreams/passions in life?
–    What would you be willing to give up love or your own happiness for?

Thanks so much for reading this! I hope it was enjoyable! Have a great 2009 people!


Movie Madness Mondays “MARLEY & ME”

December 29, 2008

Yo Yo Ladies!

Here is a Movie Review from the fabulous Taylor Nikole!

Heck ya! I am so pulling this review out spur of the moment! Although I will admit that writing it is totally worth it because this movie was soooo awesome… not to mention ninety-five percent of the people in the theatre were sobbing by the end of the movie. Usually I would laugh at this, but… uhh I was actually part of that ninety five percent. Yes, this movie was an absolute tear jerker. Lets just say, after this movie I went home and gave my doggies a big hug and lots of kisses.

Some people would say “gag me now” at the though of a ‘gushy’ movie, but dudes go see it! Like NOW! Okay thanks! I mean how often do you get a two love stories in one movie? Most of the time when there are two love stories… the story doesn’t end too well in one persons favor. You have the love story of a couple and the ‘love story’ that is ultimately created when the couple adopts their first puppy, Marley. In this movie everyone wins… yet at the same time loses, which may not sound exactly appealing to some, but it’s ultimately a story about learning (all about learning) to love, adjust, and give up what you love for the people/pets you care most about More than anything I thought this movie taught important life lessons (to me) and how each viewer interpreted this varies (although I still hope everyone who sees this movie takes something out of it).

I always like to put a little about the movie for the people who have heard nothing about the movie (yes there are people like that)… so here it goes:

Marley & Me follows the story of a married couple John Grogan and Jenny Vogt (Grogan) who move to South Florida after their wedding. Jenny has a plan set out, which she describes to John on their wedding night (mind you he is a man… therefore he freaks out, although for some reason I don’t blame him)… first there is finding the right guy, then there is getting married, after that there is moving to a warmer place (aka the reason why they moved to South Florida), next there is getting a job in the city, then find a house and last but not least pop out a couple kids and live happily ever after. Of course John is the good husband and wants to make his wife happy therefore he decides he might as wel try out the fathering business… but his best guy friend intervenes telling him that he should get her a puppy instead. He tells John that he won’t have to take care of it, Jenny will end up doing so and instead of becoming a lifeless family man he will become a master. John decides its better to go with the puppy idea (duh) and they get a puppy whom they nickname ‘clearance puppy’ since they got him for a flat rate of two hundred dollars opposed to his brothers and sisters who were about three hundred. Soon after they find out why he was the ‘clearance puppy’. Marley is the worst dog in the world and seemingly not trainable, which leads John to have great writing material for a ‘twice a week column’ which he inherits from a writer at his work.

I’ve said enough and you will have to go see it to hear the rest, because I am evil like that. Okay, and my life lesson(s) I took from the movie are ones that you could take from any story that involves a compassionate and caring relationship between family. First, I learned that although you may want to kill your family they are the best things that will ever happen to you… and will always be the ones staying by you through everything (cliché I know, but so true).Second, (and this is more personal) the most stupid and frustrating situations you come across with your family will always be the ones that you grow the most from… and will always be the ones laughed about and

remembered for years to come. And last but not least, always value what you have. This movie taught all of those lessons, it was about learning what you appreciate and valuing the relationships you have while you still have them (Aka value the present).

So here is my question to you guys (yes a question is necessary and a perfect spark for conversation):

Who/what do you value the most in life and what would you do and how would you feel if you knew before hand you were going to lose it/them?

(I feel a lot of the tears from the viewers had come from personal experience)

By the way guis… this book was based on a book written by the actual John Grogan (and not Owen Wilson). I’m definitely going to check that out on my next visit to the book store.


Taylor Nikole

Movie Madness Monday: Wall-E

December 16, 2008

When this movie first came out, Kristin went to see it and IMd me after it was over, totally awe-inspired by the movie. In fact, she said “wall-e is sooooo good!” I didn’t see it until recently after it came out on DVD and I have to say that I wholeheartedly agree!

The movie was amazing considering there was probably like 20 lines of dialogue in the whole movie mostly consisting of “Wall-E” and “Eve.” The graphics work felt perfectly fit for the sci-fi nature of the film and “Eve’s” design felt like a real possibility. I’m such a geek!

More so than the cinemetography of the film, it’s also packed with a punch that’s easy to swallow. Okay, so it’s packed with multiple punches, starting with a love story reaching beyond differences, to environmental protection, to our ever-increasing ideology of a fast-food society and what that could mean when taken to an extreme. For me, one of the more poignant points was, indeed, the latter. It feels like citizens are always always looking for the absolutely most easiest route to take, and with the building of our technology, many are choosing to let technology do things that they could easily do. I’m totally guilty of this too. I’ve been in fast-food mode for the last couple of years and even on my diet my food has been what I consider “healthy” fast-food (hellllloooo Subway!). So now I’m thinking… what’s so bad about taking initiative and cooking, grocery shopping, and enjoying the fruits of my efforts in that way rather than running out to the nearest “healthy” fast-food place? I wonder if I’ll enjoy it more.

So, what stuck out for you?

Movie Madness Mondays – Cleopatra

December 1, 2008
At a most critical time in history, a young woman uses her brains and beauty to save her country from ruins. She is Cleopatra, the rightful heir to Egypt’s throne. Though history portrays Cleopatra as a manipulative ambitious woman who schemed her way to rule Egypt, as well as the Roman Empire, Cleopatra, the 1963 movie starring Elizabeth Taylor as the historical Queen of Egypt, gives heart and soul to the misunderstood ruler who wanted what was best for her country. Cleopatra, a lush epic movie, takes place right at the point where Caesar storms into Egypt and ends at her tragic death years later by a serpent’s poisonous bite. A classic “big” movie by all means, the movie is a scrumptious feast for the eyes in colors of gold, purple, and turquoise…colors known to be worn by royalty. Detailed ornate sets, elaborate costumes, and rich dialogue gives the film the feel of a well-acted stage play. A sympathetic portrayal of the doomed Queen, Taylor played Cleopatra as a level-headed intelligent young woman, wise beyond her years, and a capable leader equal to the greatest of men. She was noble, respected among world leaders, well-loved by her people, and was a full-bodied woman who made no apologies for being a woman. In other words, she was a woman’s woman and also a man’s woman…the original bombshell, who spoke 7 languages, was schooled in science and math, and “if she was not a woman, she would be considered an intellectual.”
I always felt Cleopatra was misunderstood. She was a strong woman born into royalty at a time when women were thought of as inferior to men. Because I wanted to show the vulnerable human side to the greatest woman leader in history, I portrayed a young innocent Cleopatra at age 17 in my tween fiction book, Lucy and the Beauty Queen. The book provided a slice of life view of a girl being transformed into the ruler of a powerful country immediately following the death of her father, the pharaoh. Despite a few critics telling me I’ve got Cleopatra all wrong…she was an evil wicked ambitious woman, I’m proud of sticking to my guns in portraying Cleopatra sympathetically, despite the critics and their view of Cleopatra. Although I didn’t go into as much detail as the movie, I did show how she was like any teenage girl her age out to experience adventure and love, but bonded by royal blood to do what is best for her people. Do you think if Cleopatra wasn’t born a girl, but a boy, she would have been written into history books as a brilliant political strategist and great ruler, rather than a manipulative woman who was more known for her remarkable allure and tragic love affairs with men? Do you think it is necessary and fair to see Cleopatra in a different perspective other than our world history books? If you were suddenly challenged to run your country at a time of civil unrest and possible war, would you and could you set aside your own dreams to do what is best for your people? Is it acceptable for women to be ambitious? Your thoughts?
Kailin (aka Victoria London)
This is a long movie at 4 hours so get a big bag of popcorn, or rather, a barrel lol!

Movie Madness Monday: Twilight

November 24, 2008
While watching this movie, I had a huge moment of satisfaction when I finally recognized who the vampire guy was.  He was the popular dude in one of the “Harry Potter” movies…the one who was going out with the Asian chick, then ended up dying.  I mean…he died, but not because he was dating an Asian chick.  Cuz, dude, that would’ve been awkward.
Anyway, I think it took me a while to recognize who he was because he was very pale in this movie.  Very pale.  And it looked like he was wearing lipstick the whole time.  Not that there’s anything wrong with guys wearing lipstick.  I live in New York for cryin’ out loud.  But I was wondering whether that was the “look” they were going for in the movie, or if he actually wears lipstick in the story.  You know…to maybe compensate for his paleness.  Or the fact that his skin, um, sparkles.  In the sunlight.  I think I must’ve missed that news bulletin on vampire skin.  Anyway, I can see how both of these dermatologic conditions could make someone feel self-conscious about his appearance.  But I have a single solution to both of these problems:  Spray. On. Tan.  Am I right, or am I right?  Maybe he’ll realize this in the sequel?  Poor guy.  I mean, the solution is so simple.
I also had another realization.  Young people nowadays have very different courting rituals from the ones I’m familiar with.  Apparently, nowadays, if you like a girl, you’re supposed to almost vomit in her presence, storm out of the room for fear of blowing chunks, cut class repeatedly to avoid her, then follow up that impressive display with sneaking into her bedroom at night to watch her sleep…not once, not twice, but for a couple months.  And if you’re the object of these affections, then these romantic overtures aren’t quite enough to make you swoon.  But hey…find out that the dude is actually a vampire and that it requires enormous willpower and every fiber of his being to resist eating you for dinner like a gigantic, rabid mosquito?  Whoooowhee!  THAT, my friends, is loooooooove with a capital L.
I gotta give the girl credit though…she meant it when she said that she was “irrevocably in love” with the vampire dude.  How else can you explain her giving up a perfectly good, NON-REFUNDABLE round-trip plane ticket to visit her mom just so she could go to prom with the guy?  Despite being coordinatorily-challenged when it comes to really complicated maneuvers, like walking?  And the fact that she had a cast on her leg?  To an event in which the primary activity is dancing?  Which normally requires two good legs?  Unless she can pop and lock like nobody’s business, but I didn’t see her do any popping or locking.  NON-REFUNDABLE ticket people!  Do you have any idea how much serious coin you need to drop to fly round-trip from Washington to Florida??
But you know what?  Who am I to judge?  Because in the end…what’s non-refundable airfare to a girl when she’s got non-refundable love?  😉

Movie Monday Madness ‘Twilight”

November 24, 2008

by: Taylor Kagy

Let me just start off by telling all you gals that when I was waiting in the HUGE line outside the movie theatre Friday night (which required us present two hours before the actual show, in hopes of getting okay seats) I had the biggest adrenaline rush and my tummy felt like a butterfly garden. This might have been due to the fact that I absolutely adore the Twilight series, and also people at school who went to the midnight showing saying it absolutely… uhh sucked. Yep, I am a Twilight fan, but not quite Twihard or ‘obsessive twilight fan’ (which Mari and Chris recently educated me on).

For all of those newbies out there who are unaware of the Twilight… let me just fill you in a little. The lovely main character (of the epic saga, written by Stephanie Meyer) is Bella Swan who moves from Phoenix, Arizona, where she lived with her mom and her moms new husband to live with her father Charlie in Forks, Washington, the rainiest, gloomiest town with a population of about 3,000 people. The reason for her move was solely based on her feeling that she was ‘cramping’ her mother’s new life with her new husband and, in a way, feeling that she was being a nuisance. Lucky for Bella, despite Forks tiny population, she meets the beautiful, gorgeous and chiseled seventeen year old Edward Cullen (If you couldn’t tell… I’m team Edward) and finds herself instantly fascinated and drawn to him. The problem is, the first few days of school it seems Edward is repulsed by her and even tries to change his schedule around to avoid her. Edward is gone for a few days following and when he returns he pulls a sudden Jekyll and Hyde by introducing himself to Bella which leads to the wonderful Bella and Edward friendship/relationship. In the movie an almost tragic incident occurs, (which I won’t spoil) making Bella question Edwards being, his real truth and his motives. When Bella finally finds out what Edward is hiding, their relationship benefits from the truth by bringing them closer and making them inseparable, but at the same time suffers… sending their relationship on a wild rollercoaster ride. So, if you want to know what happens, let’s just say you will have to go see the movie, because I refuse to spoil it and all of its twisted plot goodness.

Personally, I thought the movie was okay, but I also found myself comparing the movie to the book the whole entire time (and comparing how I envisioned the characters myself, and who they had chosen). Soooo lets just say the movie would have been ten times better (or fantabulous) if I hadn’t read the books and based my opinion solely on the movies content compared to the books. That doesn’t necessarily mean that everything else was ‘disappointing’, since director, Catherine Hardwicke ultimately did an amazing job bringing Twilight to life and to the big screen. The acting was also, in my opinion phenomenal, with a few exceptions (but who am I to judge). I must also give props to Kristin Stewart (Bella) and Robert Pattinson (Edward) for not failing to bring forth the corny hormonal teenage romance that Stephanie Meyer intended.

So if you haven’t seen it… go see it! I’m guessing most of the Twihard’s on the site have seen it, so even if you haven’t read the books go see it anyways!

Taylor Nikole

Hey Taylor Nikole!

November 21, 2008

Tag!  You’re it!  On behalf of the entire GBD community, I’d like to thank you for volunteering to write the review for “Twilight.”  I suppose I could’ve announced this in a more subtle fashion.  Maybe next time.

Also, apparently, I’m supposed to write a “Twilight” review as well.  Yup.  Tabby volunteered me.  So for those of you who were thinking that I was just kidding about the whole Tabby-world-domination thing…no, that’s really happening.  I don’t mind though.  As long as I get first dibs on North America.

So tune in this Monday, when you will get TWO movie reviews for the price of one!  Whoohoo!

Have a great weekend everybody!  🙂