Movie Moment: Huh? Processing in progress

Have you ever watched a movie where you were thinking, through the entire movie, “okay, this is pretty good,” “not bad,” “I’m liking it” and then in the last fifteen minutes or so you’re like “what the heck?”

And then you’re thinking “no, but I liked it” and you have another part of your mind going “did you? did you really?” and you answer back “I did. Seriously. Well, I think I did?”

This. All of this. Like, an hour ago. 

I’m still not feeling well. My mind is still in static mode (remember the snowing TV? Yep, still there). Still tangled and, therefore, a lingering mild headache is still present. So I decided to journal a bit. Which helped. But now and then the slight pounding takes precedence so I stop. I decided to watch a movie while dozing in and out of consciences.

Sliding Doors starring Gwyneth Paltrow (remember her?), written and directed by Peter Howitt. Like I mentioned earlier, I was looking for a distraction, but it started to get a bit interesting. Especially dealing with themes that portray the “what ifs?” and “by chance?” story lines. I’m a sucker for that only because, really, all it takes is a moment to change the course of life. But I won’t get into it just now. So, back to the point of this post.

So, like an hour ago I was really getting into this movie. I like the story it was telling (and I’m not going to go into it because that will be like movie reviewing, which really should be its own post). And then we get to the last fifteen to thirty minutes and I’m thinking “what just happened?” when the credits start to roll.

Reflecting upon this, it could be one of two things. Either a major plot twist through you off-balance, changed the atmosphere so to speak, or a plot point just didn’t make sense and it ended too abruptly for your mind to process it naturally. I’m sure I’m missing other possibilities, but these are the two I could think of with a mild headache and a major “what just happened?” 

I’m still trying to figure out which one is it, but wow. I mean, wow. One moment I’m watching the movie and cautiously enjoying it and then BOOM! “huh?” I did feel that’s the direction the movie was taking so I wasn’t surprised, but I was. Surprised and not surprise. At the same time. It’s an interesting and puzzling feeling, but there it is. 

And if I decide to review this one . . . well, hopefully, I’ll figure it out by then.

Here’s to “huh?” moments!

Random 411: Blah blah buzzzzz buzzzz 

Boy is my head … buzzing. I’m posting to say that I’m not going to post because I’ve tried to write my intro list for Timeless but if I do it’s going to be blah blah blah buzzz buzzz buzzz.

You remember cable television? The kind where if the TV couldn’t catch the channel there would be static? Or what some call “snow.” That’s what I’m seeing in my head. Kshhhhhh static static static.

Head’s pounding a bit as well so that may be why, or at least contributing to it, but until my brain can snag its usual channels kshshshsh blah blah blah it is!

Have a happy Thursday!

Book Moment: Getting things right versus the experience

So, it’s almost midnight and again I find myself in that world between the real world and dreamland, dozing off while trying to read my new read when I come across this scene that wakes me up. I go from minutes away from dreamland and now I’m . . . not wide-awake per se, but it has my brain in overdrive.

He chews his slice halfway through before saying, “Maybe the point is to just sit and be still and not fight it so much.” At my blank look, he says, “Don’t try to be good at it.”

I shut the binder. “What’s the point of doing something if you’re not trying to get good at it?”

He gives me a funny look. “To just experience it.”

They Possibility of Now by Kim Culberton

It struck a chord with me. Getting it right or experiencing it? And I understand the point of the quote is “getting good at it” but I thinking getting it right can apply to this too. I think there are exceptions to everything but it feels like the standard focuses more on the first. Getting it right. It reminds me of a conversation I recently had. We were talking about shame and what a powerful emotion it is. It was mentioned that it often comes from wanting to fit in or to be “normal” or to not make any waves, so to speak. We want to be accepted so we develop behaviors accordingly. I had it confused with guilt. However, it was clarified the difference that guilt is when we have injured someone else while shame is how we feel about ourselves.

And what do guilt and shame have to do with getting it right and experience? — you might ask. 

Excellent question. No idea, except that need, perhaps that want, to get it right. From this perspective, getting it right means doing what everyone else is doing. Getting it right means acceptance. In this case, you’re overlooking experience.  

And I think this scene struck a chord with me because the main character was trying to meditate, which she sucked at because she couldn’t quiet her mind. The how-to articles on meditation didn’t tell her how she could quiet her mind so she insists that it missed a step. I can relate. I have the darndest time trying to quiet my mind all. the. time. And that includes meditation because I’ve tried that. I couldn’t help but laugh reading this part because that’s exactly what I would think. Not out loud or even be aware that I’m thinking it. I would (coughs have) googled “meditation” and “clear your mind” and even “mindfulness” because I’ve recently been told that I have a hard time staying in the present (which didn’t exactly come as a surprise to me but it was nice to have confirmation that I am, indeed, “checking out” from time to time).

This was a reality check for me. That maybe the point of meditation or quieting your mind doesn’t mean void of thought. Maybe the point is to experience it. To let your body go with it. Work your way to a quiet mind, you know? And I think I heard somewhere (oh! I remember. It was at a workshop for work. On mindfulness, now that I think about it) that that’s exactly right. That mindfulness doesn’t necessarily mean “no thoughts” but an awareness of what’s going on in the here and now. 

Needless to say, I’m enjoying this book and I’m looking forward to finishing it. 

W-o-o-sha. W-o-o-sha. 

Wise Words: The Silent Chapter

Everyone has a chapter they don’t read out loud.  Unknown

Seriously. Everyone. And it doesn’t have to be dark or negative or something ghastly or shocking. Sometimes there are things that are private. Things that you only tell people who have earned your trust. And sometimes not even then.

Silent doesn’t mean bad either. You’re just a bit more selective. You hand your book to that someone and have that someone read it to themselves.

So, hats off to your own thoughts, to your moments, to your silent chapter!

Movie 411: Beauty and the Beast (2017)


Directed by:
Bill Candon (Mr. Holmes)
Screenplay by:
Stephen Chbosky (Perks of Being a Wallflower

and

Evan Spiliotopoulis (The Huntsman: Winter’s War)
*based on Disney’s 1991 ‘Beauty and the Beast’ Animation
Rated: 
PG
Release Date: 
March 2017
Genre: 
Musical, Fantasy
The Hook:
Nope. No hook. I went with my mom 😊

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Review

A few random thoughts

I will be straight forward and say I did not want to watch this version. 

What?! You’re kidding me!

Nope. Not kidding. I love the animated one and I think it’s safe to say out of all the Disney animations, Beauty and the Beast was my favorite until The Princess and the Frog. But when I heard they were going to do a live action I was so apprehensive about it. 

Will it be as good as the animation?

Are they going to do all the singing?

Will this one have “Human Again?”

Who’s going to do Lumiere? They cannot get my favorite Disney character wrong!

Emma Watson? As Belle? Are we sure?

There was just too many reservations for me so I decided to skip it for as long as I could. Which wasn’t long, laughs. My mom really wanted to see it and we had an afternoon free of obligations so to the theater, we went.

Now, do you really need a summary? For the newer generations, one should be written.

So, there once lived an arrogant boy who was too much into looking good. When an old, ragged woman knocked on his door one rainy, stormy, wintery kind of night he balked at her and shooed her away. Turns out she was a witch! Or at the very least a magic-wielding woman. She cast a spell on this arrogant boy, turning him into a beast and his entire household into household objects. The only way the spell can be broken is for someone to fall in love with the beast, despite his monster-like appearance. 

Enter Belle.

The Plot . . .

 

What can I say about the plot? It’s a classic. At least, I think of it as a classic. Disney’s Beauty and the Beast came out in 1991 and even before that you had the French film La belle et la bete directed by Jean Cocteau (which I’ve never seen and didn’t know of its existence until this. post.). And with further research (because it wasn’t until I decided to write this when I thought “Hm, where did Disney pick up this French tale) I found this fascinating article, “The History of Beauty and the Beast”, posted by Pook Press that gives an overview of the history of the story and it’s possible origins (and I’m not using “fascinating” in the sarcastic sense. Historian wanna be, remember?) and it has a relatively short history when compared to other fairy tales. The article mentions that the first appearance of the tale was in the 1700s.

So, I didn’t mean to turn this plot-review into a history lesson, but since this plot is a classic fairy tale all I can really comment on is the theme. As most fairy tales go, there is usually a lesson to be heard and in this case, it’s to not judge outward appearances. It’s a good lesson to learn. And while we cannot always stop our minds from being biased at first glance, we can push those thoughts to the side after those first few seconds. 

. . . and Presentation

“Oh, you’re a villain, all right? You’re just not a super villain.”

“Oh yeah, what’s the difference?”

“Presentation!”

Sorry, sorry. This movie has been on my mind and I watched parts of it the other day. Couldn’t resist putting this in  😛 .

The live action adaptation, together with good directing and good acting, was done well. The pace moved along nicely and almost matched the animation scene for scene. It was interesting to see how some animated parts would translate to live action, like the scene where LeFou hides as a snowman while spying on Belle’s father. I’d say the spirit of the animation was captured in this live action which is always a plus. There are just some things that you just can’t translate into live action, but Candon and his team done good.

And as apprehensive as I was about casting, it was . . . pretty good. I was going to write decent, but I think that’s too light of a word. I was unsure of Emma Watson as Belle. For whatever reason, she did not seem quite like a Belle to me but it worked. Watson always does a good job and she didn’t disappoint in this one. Whether she matches as Belle is another argument, but that doesn’t mean she didn’t pull off the character. And I have to say Matth–I mean Dan Stevens did a good job as Beast (because he is still Matthew to me–Downton Abbey, if you’re wondering) 

They were the leading actor and actress, but really, the cast did an amazing job. Luke Evans was hilarious as Gaston. It really was hard to picture him like that since he’ll always be Aramis (Three Musketeers [2011], just in case) to me. And Josh Gad did well as LeFou. It was good to see Kevin Kline (Maurice) as well. Everyone did an amazing job.

While we’re on presentation, the storyboard layout was good as well. I’m not really that techie, but I like the shooting sequence (does that make any sense?) of the scenes. I know they had a blue print, but I cannot help but think that it the camera work and editing could have gone wrong and they didn’t in this case. 

The Verdict

Ah, the verdict. Well, let’s start with this:

Will it be as good as the animation?

As with most comparisons, I don’t think it’s fair to compare the two. While telling the same story and almost matching the animation, it’s live action. I mean, animation you draw the smiles, the laughs, the anger. Live action it falls upon the actors. It falls upon the backdrops, the set design, the right camera angles. It just wouldn’t be fair.

So to say that it was as good as the animation? No. They are both good in their own right.

Are they going to do all the singing?

They sing. You are warned. It was so much fun to hear this soundtrack again and seeing it on the big screen (since I didn’t watch the animation in theaters). Needless to say I was singing softly to myself during the movie. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one. 

Will this one have “Human Again?”

No. They did not  😥 . 

Who’s going to do Lumiere? They cannot get my favorite Disney character wrong!

Ewan McGregor. And as far as voice overs go, he did do live-action Lumiere justice. And of course, you have his partner in crime, Cogsworth, who was done by Magne–I mean, Ian McKellan. They had the right chemistry for partners-in-crime.

Emma Watson? As Belle? Are we sure?

Yeah, I answered this one. But to the point, not too sure, but she did well. She always does a good job with the roles she plays and this one was no different. And just think, to one generation she’ll always be Hermoine and to the other she’ll always be Belle. #mindblown

As for the verdict, to add or to pass. It’s a good movie to watch, but I don’t think I would add it to my library. But it’s not my kind of movie, I don’t think. I mean, for me, I don’t think I would ever say “Ah, let’s watch Beauty and the Beast!” For me it would be like, “you didn’t watch Beauty and the Beast? Oh, you have to. At least once.”

Photo Credit: Amazon.com

A New Look and Blog Updates

As you might have noticed, I’ve updated the look to 411 Junkie. Not by choice, mind you. I loved the look I had before, but for whatever reason, my menu bar just stopped working with that layout. No clue why. 

This was the next best thing. Yes, it’s a WordPress theme, one of the Twenty-somethings. I’ve used it before so if it looks familiar that’s why (and I’m going to say that you’ve noticed because that means you visit my blog often enough to notice and pretending that you’ve noticed will make me happy and you know, what? It’s kinda of my blog so . . . yep). 

I am also giving the 411 Toolbox a makeover (scheduled to be done within these next fourteen days–days because it sounds longer than two weeks. Trying to psych me out!). I stumbled on the coolest thing this past weekend when insomnia hit. Now, I’m always looking for ways to improve my blog (just because it’s my belief that you can never not improve, you know? That there is always something new to learn). So, if you’re a blogger or if you’re learning about blogging . . .  actually, if you’re looking for ideas, advice, or just tips and tricks on finding a way to get passive income, you really need to check out Pat Flynn’s website, Smart Passive Income

So I subscribe to his emails and in one of his emails (is SPI Weekend Digest) he mentions ways to improve your blog with his post “10 Things You Can Do RIGHT NOW to Improve Your Online Business or Blog.” This lead to a website grader which lead to another great website! John Saddington’s website john.do. And I liked his Colophon. I’ve thought of doing something similar for a while now and two things stopped me. One, time. And two, I didn’t know how to start other than “About me.” And I love how inclusive he is and so that was my inspiration.

There will be a few more changes (hopefully) by the end of this month. There are things I really want to get done, that it’s about time they get done, and I’m picking this month to get them done. I’ve said I’d get things done before and never did (and hopefully this time will be different, you know? With me being more focused and stuff), but for some reason or other I feel motivated to do so. And I never ignore my instincts so . . . this month. May. Some changes. For the better. Hopefully. Most likely.

And I never ignore my instincts so . . . this month. May. Some changes. For the better. Hopefully. Most likely.