SusanMcMovies 5 Year Anniversary

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Me after 5 Years

This is the longest commitment in my life to date.  I never thought I would beat one year let alone five.  Over the years, especially this last year I have been more sporadic in my posting, and I thought about retiring.  However, I have persevered.  I realized that I could take as long of a break as I wanted in between posts and no one would hold it against me.  Even if I quit I would not have deleted the  blog because of how much work I put into it.  So, I would always be able to go back.

Over the years I have set many standards and requirements for myself.  I have worked very hard to keep up my organization.  Yet there have been times where I wished I was more free form with my style.  It took me an embarrassingly long time to realize that only I set these standards and thus I did not have to follow them, I could change them.  But apparently identifying the problem doesn’t solve it because I am still quite meticulous.  It doesn’t seem like my readership is far too casual to notice if I change something.  But I cannot allow anarchy to take over my blog.  I worked hard to make my blog the way it is and I should hold to it, that is part of the commitment, not just how long I have maintained the blog.

I have had several personal blogs that did not even make it to a year.  I didn’t like writing about myself as much as I thought I would.  So those did not last.  I figure I refer to myself enough on this blog in relation to my topic, that is enough.  No one needs to know everything about me.  If I become a successful professional author I may write a auto biography one day, that is where I can write completely about myself.

I was hoping to be at my 500th article by the 5 year anniversary, but I fell short.  I have not had a lot to write about, I have been busy, and thus I have not been motivated to write.  One of my many standards I can’t help but follow is that I want to limit articles that are entirely about me to roughly two a year: an anniversary article and a landmark article (ie: 500th).  But there are enough slots to fill between now and 500 that at least the posts will not be close.

Regardless of how often I write, and even if I need a lot of breaks, this blog will continue.  I thank you for your loyalty over the years no matter how long you have read.  This is a great outlet for me.

“Underworld 4: Awakening” Movie Review

Underworld Awakening (4)

Courtesy of Google Images

Humans learn the existence of Vampires and Lycans and work to exterminate and cleanse the world.  When Selene and Michael try to escape they are caught.  Next thing Selene knows is she awakes in a cryo-chamber and Michael is no where to be found.  She escapes to learn 12 years have passed, vampires and werewolves are near extinct, and she and Michael are parents to a even more powerful hybrid who has been raised by scientists to create antidotes.

I am a fan of the earlier films, 1 and 2 (3 can kiss my ass).  I had been putting off the 4th because I did not  think it was necessary.  However there will be a 5th and I figure its time to see what it was about the 4th that budgeted a 5th to be made.  The good thing is this film was made by the same people, so they understand the series.

Michael has next to no screen time so it looks like he was re-cast by a double.  But it doesn’t hurt the film much as he is hardly seen.  It kind of feels necessary to spoil some major points, to my recollection the original trailers may have left little mystery so what am I hurting (sorry anyway).   While the humans fought in droves to purge the world of vampires and lycans, it really is only the vampires who struggle.  A quiet power in the new world is a lab that is working on the vaccine.  The lab is actually run by lycans who want to become stronger, larger, and immune to silver, and they need Selene’s daughter to do so.  I will leave out what the ultimate thing they need the girl for is, but let’s just say its not pretty.

Selene is herself plus the sunlight immunity she gained from Alexander Corvinus.  Michael is not there enough to comment.  The daughter character (nameless even till the end of the film), is supposedly 12, but looks closer to 18.  Regardless she is a force to be reckoned with.  Finally after all the films the lycans really are a true enemy.  The humans are simply pawns, used for their ample supply of fear and lack of understanding.

As the 5th upcoming film is about the “next” generation fighting back, I did prior to watching the 4th roll my eyes at what was clearly a very sequel-ish sequel and a vehicle for money grubbing.  While that may still be true regardless, it won’t hurt the series.  The only reason we cannot pretend the 4th and 5th films never happened is because 1 and 2 have  the habit of ending on cliff-hangers.  The 3rd is obviously the only one that doesn’t as its a prequel, which really was the most selfish and money grubbing of all as it wasted time detailing a story-line we already completely understood from the first two films.

Anyway, I give Underworld 4 Awakening a B-.

“You Don’t Own Me” Grace feat. G-Eazy

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Courtesy of Google Images

This is actually a cover mixed with the male perspective of G-Eazy.  Grace sings the female part, which as far as I know is the only original part.  Lesley Gore originated the song in 1963.  And prior to Grace I heard it performed in a sappy chick flick called The First Wives Club sang by Bette Midler, Goldie Hawn, and Diane Keaton.  All great versions really, with one distinction with this original.  G-Eazy makes an utter ass out of himself in this song.  Let me tell you why.

Grace sings this song with all the  girl power of the original, and is joined by G-Eazy who sings about how she is different from other girls, thus is the one, but he also depicts the kind of guy he is, which proves to just be like all the other guys (if you are one to generalize).  It has been coming out in popular media lately that the men who tell certain women that they are different than other girls is not a compliment but actually proof that they hate women really, if their idea of other girls is vapid, superficial, obsessed with their looks, and completely girly.  There is not just one definition of man or woman, we are all different.  You cannot categorize us, and that really is what Grace sings the whole time.

The man G-Eazy portrays is not worthy of the woman Grace portrays, or really any woman.  I hadn’t even heard of G-Eazy before this and I’ve been broadening my rap knowledge lately.  Who honestly likes this guy?  Was he proud of the man he portrayed in his rap?  Or was he proving Grace’s lyrics correct?  I don’t think satire is lost on me, it usually isn’t.  I think this song did not need G-Eazy’s interjections, that is why I would like this song much more without him.

I give You Don’t Own Me sang by Grace and featuring G-Eazy a B-.  If this was a partnership, one of them was slacking.  Wild guess who?

 

My 30 Books to Read by Age 30

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Courtesy of Google Images

I am currently reading Game of Thrones book 1 and re-reading the Harry Potter series, but I have a desire to make a goal and achieve it.  I have a small collection of books.  30 of which I have not read (so most of the collection).  I have since donated the books I completed or thought I would never read.  A little background on me is that I do like books, but I am a slow reader and I get easily distracted meaning I can’t read it in one fell swoop I need many breaks of all different types of time duration.  Well, I plan to complete these 30 books by my 30th birthday which is a little more than 5 years from now.  My original plan was one book a month, but its too ambitious for someone like me.  This list ranges from beach reads to classics.  Anyway, here is the list of 30 books to read by the time I am 30.

  1. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
  2. Beloved by Toni Morrison
  3. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D Salinger
  4. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
  5. Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D James
  6. The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger
  7. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  8. Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
  9. Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg
  10. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
  11. Harry Potter and Philosophy: If Aristotle Ran Hogwarts by Various Authors
  12. The Hours by Michael Cunningham
  13. Let’s Just Say it Wasn’t Pretty by Diane Keaton
  14. The Making of African Queen, Or How I Went to Africa with Bogart, Bacall, and Huston and Almost Lost my Mind by Katharine Hepburn
  15. Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
  16. Notorious 19 by Janet Evanovich
  17. A Once Upon a Time Tale Reawakened by Odette Beane
  18. Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen
  19. Persuasion by Jane Austen
  20. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
  21. Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman
  22. Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs
  23. Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin
  24. The Stepford Wives by Ira Levin
  25. Takedown 20 by Janet Evanovich
  26. Tough without a Gun: The Life and Extraordinary Afterlife of Humphrey Bogart by Stefan Kanfer
  27. Wild by Cheryl Strayed
  28. Wicked Appetite by Janet Evanovich
  29. Wicked Business by Janet Evanovich
  30. 4,000 Years of Uppity Women by Vicki Leone

There you have it, 30 books by age 30.  I’m really rooting for this project to last.

Top Ten Most Relatable Characters 2016

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Courtesy of Google Images

So it has been a long time since I had another top list of characters I relate to.  This list does not replace the past two, it is an addition.  The first two came out relatively close together though.  Anyway, here are ten characters I strongly relate to at all in no particular order.

  1. Ana from Frozen: Shocking I know, I hate Frozen and I think Ana is annoying.  Also, most people relate to Elsa more, and you’d think I would considering how long I hid in my own prison (the closet), but I am more like Ana because I am awkward, I’m rash, and earnest.  Still hate her though.
  2. Luke Danes from Gilmore Girls: My former list had Lorelai, but I think I have some Luke in me too.  I’m grumpy, a realist, I over analyze things most people do not worry about, and I help people who do not always take it, but I keep doing it.
  3. Merriweather from Sleeping Beauty: She is the smaller, dumpy, fairy, I’m all those but the fairy part.  She is sarcastic and hates big headed people.  And her short stature and plumpness make her adorable and hard to take seriously, self-loathing I do.
  4. Lalita Bakshi from Bride and Prejudice: I have Elizabeth Bennet who Lalita is based on on a past list, but the deviation is that Lalita is more a charicature of the composed Lizzie Bennet.  So that is more me.
  5. Andy Sachs from the Devil Wears Prada: I do not care about fashion and I am a fly in the conforming and trendy milk.  I also feel like people do not appreciate what I do, yet I do surprise people sometimes.
  6. Olive Penderghast from Easy A: I did not start a rumor of her proportion, but I have been just as invisible, awkward, and we have similar ways of talking.
  7. Frank Chambers from The Postman Always Rings Twice: A more controversial choice.  I do not like staying in one place and although I have never been in a murder rap, my ex was a lot like Cora and I got fooled by her and screwed over.  This is a pretty personal one.
  8. Stephanie Plum from Janet Evanovich Books: I am sassy and have had a lot of failures, but I persevere.  A sassy screwball with a love of New Jersey.
  9. Allison Reynolds from Breakfast Club: People find me off putting and I am very strange.  If I were less inhibited I may be like her outside of my head.
  10. Seeley Booth from Bones: One would think it would be Bones herself.  But as much as I love anthropology, I am not her otherwise.  I am a gut person who speaks from the heart.  What I am not is religious.

There you have it.

Then and Now: Antz (1998)

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Courtesy of Google Images

Z, is a undervalued worker ant in a colony of ants and wishes he mattered more.  The colony is split into the two factions of worker and soldier and governed by the Queen ant who is often a puppet to the General ant.  Bala is the beautiful princess betrothed to the General who wishes she not so much mattered the way Z doesn’t, but that it mattered what she wanted.  The two are brought together by fate one night and then torn apart.  That sends Z on a journey to be worthy of Bala.  Meanwhile the General has a secret plan for a mass ant extermination.

See what I did there, I could have said genocide but they are bugs so I used Orkin Man parlance!  Yea I know you didn’t need me to explain but I am a reveler.  This film despite being animated, is not really for children or family viewing.  It’s not up there with South Park or Family Guy, but its not all audiences.  My parents got me this movie when I was young under the assumption that it was kid friendly for its format.  Luckily I was young enough that I didn’t even notice it wasn’t and I liked it regardless.  My first Woody Allen movie technically.  It has to be animated because how else do you make a film entirely populated with insects who talk.  They even walk only on their back legs.

This film is about a totalitarian society that muses about Utopia.  What kid would get that?  I knew something was wrong with how the colony worked, regardless of the fact that they were insects and in my world (especially mine because I lived in “Bug Heaven” Mississippi), ants were not worth much and I did not want them around.  I knew the Orkin Man by first name there.  However, this film was still too subtle for children, yet I loved it.

The system in the colony of designating worker or solider jobs based on alternating between the two with each ant that came up for inspection was very unfair.  They were freshly born larvae!  You can’t tell what they are meant for then!  But actual worth was not the point, they just used it to easily organize the split society and went on their merry way.  Z and Bala are clearly proof that the colony was organized wrong.  Z was brought up to be lesser as a worker but he had big dreams.  Bala had no interest being queen or marrying a man she did not love yet would not  last a day as either of the two factions’ many automotons because she was sheltered.  Only the General really was in the right place, however not in his right mind.

This film is full of puns and satire.  The ants and other insects aside from the termites were anthropomorphic more so than any family film talking non-human.  I still like the animation, film, and story as I did before.  I’m a bit ambivalent considering I disapprove of the colony’s thesis though.  So like the film my paradigm has shifted.  This film is not for kids really and I think today’s kids would not like it anyway.  Or maybe my generation did not either (I’m just special maybe).  Then again we love Dystopia/Utopia books and films these days in YA culture.  Anyway back to the point, I recommend the film to anyone else.

“Star Trek Beyond” Movie Review

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Courtesy of Google Images

Deep into their five year mission in deep space, the crew of the Starship Enterprise have gotten into routines and have forgotten what it was like not with constant momentum without feeling like they have gone anywhere.  After landing at a new space station they get a distress call to save a abandoned ship in a nebula.  The attempted rescue mission lands then on an unknown planet with some trapped by and the others at war with an federation enemy named Krall.  Kirk and his crew need to stop him from attacking the federation and ending countless lives.

I have to admit, I almost skipped this one.  I do like the new take on Star Trek, I have no qualms with it.  Yet the trailers and coverage did not really excite me.  All I could tell was that the Enterprise would be destroyed, again, the federation would be in danger, again, people would fall from many high heights, again.  And lastly, the same Beastie Boys song would be used as a theme, again!  I thought it would not be as good as the first reboot film or any better than the lackluster second film of the reboot. Well, I really need to not assume, because I was wrong.  This new Star Trek film was very good.

The humor was back to its original charm, the acting was up to par, the writing was decent enough, and the view was splendid.  This new series has have some derision, with re-doing Khan and the death by radiation to save the crew plot point (all that was just the second reboot film). This new film did not try to re-do an old plot or character, the things that it did do the same are main themes to the Star Trek series, the whole point to it really.  So you cannot judge that.  If that bothers you than you might want to reconsider your Trekkie status (a scary thought for me).  My worry about this film’s lackluster-ness was all the blame of the trailers.  I think Justin Lin (a Fast and Furious director) did a very good job, that was an improvement all on its own, not having JJ Abrams behind the camera.  That guy is a hack, I’m sorry.  I haven’t forgiven him for calling Star Trek “too intellectual” (what should it be? dumb?).

This was a very good last film for Anton Yelchin, they gave tribute to him at the end.  I was glad to see a new main character introduced who was not from the original series.  After they bastardized my beloved Khan I did not want to see them bring anyone else back.  One spoiler I must let loose is that the two main characters to get kidnapped were the two minority characters, Sulu and Uhura. Leaving the away team completely Caucasian except for the new alien good guy.  Honestly, I’d rather any two of the other main crew members captured, or at least not both minorities.  Because clearly the choice in kidnap victims had nothing to do with what they offered, since they are all exemplary.  But if only misc. crew had been kidnapped we A). wouldn’t care that much and B) that would be too easy for the main crew.

There is too many other spoilers crucial to my critique that I will leave out, but I will say this much, Krall makes no sense.  Basically his motive is entirely illogical and dumb, and if I were him I would have gone a completely different way.  The rest of the film makes up for him though, if it weren’t for all the really great parts of the film I would say Krall ruins it.  Little Mr. Khanberbatch was worse though, his film could not save him.

It occurred to me that this film had the potential to be a Kobyashi Maru type mission, but the neutral or not zone aspect is not accurate.  And the 2nd film had a more impossible scenario than this new film. But I’d like to forget the 2nd film exists because aside from the really well represented good for the many versus the one plot, it wasn’t very good.

I give Star Trek Beyond an A-.