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Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter weekend! Something that I was lucky enough to get in my Easter basket was the DVD of an old movie that I used to love catching on television when I was a kid: Cats Don’t Dance.

It’s this cute animated movie about a cat, and his other animal friends, who want to make it big in Hollywood. However, the people of Hollywood only give cats scripts with the line, “Meow,” on it. Therefore, the animals will just have to change the minds of the people of Hollywood and show them just how much talent and hard-work these animals really have. It’s all about following your dreams and never giving up. A bit cliche, yes, but sweet and totally relevant to anyone trying to make it big, especially in his or her creative pursuits.

Back as a kid, I never really understood the main meaning. I just thought it was a fun movie about singing and dancing animals. Now, though, it totally resonates with me. The last song, Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us, was one of my favorite parts of the entire movie. While it’s not as big as I remember, it still invokes that sense of nostalgia and the meaning is right there.

Remember to always remain positive and to keep heading towards your goals, no matter what the naysayers say!

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Posted by on April 17, 2017 in Home

 

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Beauty and the Beast

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Have you seen this movie yet? If you haven’t, please go and see it! It’s marvelously done what with giving it a few fresh takes while also staying true to the original animated film. Below are a few of my favorite aspects about the movie itself (warning — there may be spoilers!):

  • Emma Watson’s Belle was badass. Watson’s Belle, despite the movie’s time period, was a modern woman. Instead of crying on her bed like the animated Belle when she got to her castle bedroom, Watson’s Belle was immediately devising a plan to escape. She was as much of a hero as the beast was in the final fight against Gaston and the angry villagers.
  • Josh Gad’s Le Fou had a fantastic story arc of his own. There was tons of controversy surrounding his character when it was announced that he was to be Disney’s first openly gay character. However, it was a beautifully done arc, with it being subtle enough in the beginning and giving him a fitting ending.
  • I could go on all day about the rest of the casting — honestly, the cast was superb! Ian McKellen, Luke Evans, Dan Stevens, Kevin Kline, Emma Thompson… Every actor was believable in his or her role and they did so well!
  • The music! The choreography! The singing and dancing numbers were just as magical as the animated movie, especially Gaston and Be Our Guest. There was even music that reminded me of the animated movie, giving an old Disney fan like me a nice throwback. Even the new songs were woven in beautifully.
  • Just everything about the scenery and the story itself… There were definitely questionable moments about the story in the original movie (such as the villagers not caring that their prince is, more or less, a beast for a decade or so and Belle’s mother), but this movie explained it all well. The scenery was gorgeous, both with the settings and the costumes (did you see Belle’s golden ballgown?!).
  • The script itself was very close to the animated movie, but it was updated enough to keep the story fresh. There were plenty of snappy quips between characters, too!

Despite how expensive movie tickets are nowadays, I would totally go and see this movie again in the theaters!

 
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Posted by on March 27, 2017 in Home

 

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Marathoning

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This past Saturday into Sunday morning, Rachel and I went over to a friend’s house and marathoned all eight of the Harry Potter movies.

It was marvelous!

We had done this before last summer, except we started the movies later in the evening and ended up sleeping through most of them. This time we were better prepared, starting early in the morning with some coffee and doughnuts. We spent part of the movies with our coloring books (mine was actually a Harry Potter one) and playing Harry Potter Clue, aside from eating.

Rachel and I actually stayed awake throughout the 19-ish hours it took to watch every movie (our friend took a couple of naps), and we ended up making our way back home about quarter to four in the morning.

While it was odd not to work on writing or anything blog-related throughout Saturday, it was nice to have that downtime. We compared the movies to the books multiple times, and it was great reminiscing about and discussing the magic and the feelings we have for the series, from favorite parts and characters to aspects we’d tweak and make a bit different.

Despite how long it’s been since this series has been first written, it still captures our hearts and imaginations, welcoming us home.

 
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Posted by on February 20, 2017 in Home

 

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Book to Movie Adaptations

What’s your opinion on book-to-movie adaptations?

While I can’t speak for all writers, I think there’s always that little spark of hope and wonder marveling at the possibility of seeing his/her/their written work up on the big screen one day. A writing tip that I’ve seen floating around suggests that writers “cast” actors as their characters, to get a solid image of a person in their mind as they write. Imagine if that actor was actually playing your character in a movie of their story, the script carefully scrutinized by you, the author, to be sure it was as close to the novel as possible.

Of course, there are those who believe the book always prevails over the movie, but we’re always just as excited to see the movies. Look at the Harry Potter franchise. It’s a delight to watch whenever they’re playing despite us readers who know that it was really Ron who said, “If you kill Harry, you’ll have to kill us too,” in Prisoner of Azkaban rather than Hermione in the movie.

Then there’s the Percy Jackson fandom… While I’ve never read the books nor seen the movies, I’ve heard quite a bit from my Tumblr lurking that the movies weren’t quite that faithful to the books.

For the most part, though, I love seeing fantasy worlds open up on the big screen, like The Lord of the Rings franchise. If you’ll allow me to gush once more about The Night Circus, I would be ecstatic to see all of that magic come to life.

What are your favorite book-to-movie adaptions? Any you would like to see in the future?

 
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Posted by on February 17, 2017 in Home

 

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Fantastic Beasts

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I finally saw “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” over the weekend and holy sugar it was amazing!

Seeing magic happening again on the big screen made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Considering it’s been six years since we saw a Harry Potter film in theaters, hearing the opening notes of Hedwig’s theme playing with the Warner Bros. logo at the beginning nearly made me tear up.

The setting was perfect, the characters were brilliant, and just seeing magic and fantasy creatures come alive in the movie was wonderful. If I were a witch in the Harry Potter world, I would be down with having a suitcase that opens up into a magical zoo.

Magical zookeeper. Yes, that would be my job in the wizarding world. As a  Hogwarts student, Care of Magical Creatures would have been my favorite class, and I would have loved to help Hagrid and/or Newt smuggle and keep creatures like dragons and thunderbirds.

Besides the imaginative creatures, the characters were my favorite part of the film. Rachel (and her co-workers), being a special education teacher for preschoolers, almost immediately determined that Newt was somehow on the spectrum from the trailers, someone you don’t see on the screen or in books everyday. The best part was that there was nothing said about it, either — no one had treated Newt differently (well, not in that aspect, anyway).

Tina was a hard working career woman in the 1920s, definitely insecure about herself but totally diving in to do the right thing when the time called for it. The relationship between her sister Queenie and Jacob the muggle (or No-Maj, I suppose we Americans call them) was adorable without being forced.

Jacob was, honestly, all of us in the theaters. He was introduced to magic by mistake and his portrayal of wonder and excitement at seeing spells and fantastic creatures echoed with us all. He got his happy, if bittersweet, ending, just as Tina and Queenie did, and I’m curious if any of them will return for some of the Fantastic Beasts sequels.

I certainly hope those of you who did go and see the movie enjoyed it as much as I did!

 
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Posted by on January 9, 2017 in Home

 

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Books, Movies, Fanfiction

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Posted by on May 27, 2016 in Home

 

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Strong People

I saw the new Fantastic Four movie the other night. I know, I know, the reviews and ratings are atrocious, but I didn’t think it was that bad overall. I’ll admit, I’m not as knowledgeable of the Fantastic Four than I am, say, the X-Men, so my ignorance may have saved the movie for me. On that note, there may be some spoilers in this post for a movie that’s been out for a month already.

One of my favorite parts regarding the movie was Sue Storm’s character played by Kate Mara. Unlike the original Fantastic Four movies, Mara’s Sue was shown to be an intelligent scientist. Her character was a computer whiz, helping to create a teleporter and later shown to be tracking down Reed when he all but disappeared from the face of the Earth into an itty-bitty remote corner of the world.

One of the biggest praises I’ve seen around for Disney’s Big Hero 6 was that Honey Lemon and GoGo were positive role models showing girls that science it awesome and it’s certainly okay to be geeky. Sue Storm emulates that and it was beautiful. Her character has more important things on her mind than romance, such as saving her brother’s and friends’ lives with her skills and smarts when they decided to teleport to a strange dimension while drunk.

In the original Fantastic Four movie, one of Jessica Alba’s big scenes as Sue Storm was to slowly walk toward the male characters in her wetsuit-like skintight uniform that wasn’t too subtle in playing up her assets. She explained that the suits “acted as a second skin, adapting to your individual body’s needs,” and she hoped Reed would notice it working for her. Yes, Alba’s Sue was a scientist as well, but to the movie, she was Reed’s love interest first.

This reboot of Fantastic Four showcased Sue Storm as a more career-driven, independent woman, one who was as active on the battlefield as she was off it. Of course she still flirted with Reed (they’re a canon couple, after all!) once in a while, but she had her own agenda as well. She was a well-rounded person, having her own interests and goals that didn’t revolve around One Guy, and it was as refreshing as iced water on a summer day to see it.

Mara’s Sue reminds me of a particular piece of writing advice. As a writer, I see so many articles about having “Strong Female Characters.” This thinking indicates that, by default, a male character is strong because he’s a guy. By default, a female character is a prop for said guy. It’s still baffling to some that, hey, men and women are both people with a helluva range of emotions.

Forget about writing “strong, female characters.” Write about “strong people.”

 
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Posted by on September 2, 2015 in Home

 

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