I Was Forced To Go To The Cinema – aka The Birthday Privileges

Happy Sunday! I’m actually really excited to write this post and even more excited to have completed my first week with the new posting schedule I told you about on my post about Blog Updates. As I had imagined it was a bit of a push for me to write three posts this week, but I’m sure I’ll warm up to it. I’m just excited to bring you more and more content now!

So for this Sunday’s Movie Talk there were a few things I considered writing about, including my favorite movies of all time, most anticipated upcoming releases and my guilty pleasures. Those posts are all, most likely, still going to happen but this time I decided to write about all the times I was “forced” into watching a movie and if it ended up being worth it in the end.

Now, obviously no one can force me to pay for a ticket and go to the cinema but all the movies included on this list were not films I have planned on watching, but – for a different number of reasons – I ended up having to sit down and pay to watch them. So let’s take a look at all of the reasons why I did not stay home these days.

The Birthday Privileges

I don’t know about you but me and a lot of my friends always had this unspoken rule that,, if it was your birthday, you had the right to choose what we would do. Going to the cinema always ended up being one of the planned activities and – of course – the decision of which movie to watch was also given to the person that was getting older that day.

Twilight mOVIES.jpgThanks to this rule, however, I had to watch the first and the two final Twilight movies. All of them for a different persons birthday I believe. Now, not to be a hater because Twilight was huge at the time, but the series was just not my thing. At all. Somehow I still had to watch three of those movies with my own money. I got to witness that stupid final when that one girl, whose name I won’t search just for the purpose of this sentence, had the vision of that somewhat cool fight but it turns out that’s all that it was: a freaking vision. Not only that but during Breaking Dawn Part 1 there’s the wedding and that silly montage of all of their happy moments on the honeymoon, because why the hell not. During that part of the film the long-awaited – for the fans – bedroom scene between Bella and Edward happened and I had to witness a 16-year-old sitting behind me yell “hell yeah, he could break my bed” and I haven’t been the same since.

Alright, I’m exaggerating. Those movies were silly but at least somewhat fun. That baseball scene is a classic.

The birthday rule is also the one to blame for me having to pay to watch such masterpieces as The Secret Life Of Pets, a few Adam Sandler movies and Annabelle or any other basic horror movie whose definition of horror is a cat jumping out of nowhere or some other silly jump scare.

To be fair, not all of them were awful. I also ended up watching both Conjuring movies at the cinema thanks to this rule and I really enjoyed them – specially the second one.

I also watched the last movie from the Hobbit trilogy at the cinema for a friend’s birthday. However, that one gave me a little more of work. In 2014, when the last came out, I had never watched a single Lord Of The Rings movie, let alone the first two films from the Hobbit. I still accept to go with my friend and see The Battle Of The Five Armies but she insisted that I should only go if I watched the other five movies, otherwise she wouldn’t mind going by herself. Image result for lord of the rings movies in order

Now, I’m actually a bit stupid. We planned this 2 weeks or so in advance but instead of watching one movie a day with no rush – since they are all more than two hours long – I kept postponing watching the five films on my free time. That decision lead the to have to spend an all day – the day before we were going to the cinema – watching the five movies in one sitting. That amounts to a little less than 13 hours and a half of movies.

I am glad I watched all of them because I obviously was able to understand the events of the last a lot better and I did enjoy all of them. I have re-watched the two trilogies since then however and I did like them a lot more the second viewing because I did not rush myself to see all of them in one day.

Also, the Lord Of The Rings trilogy is definitely superior to the Hobbit trilogy. Thank you.

Mia Wasikowska in Crimson Peak (2015)
Still From Crimson Peak

I also remember watching Crimson Peak at the cinema with some friends, but to be completely honest I’m not 100% sure if that was for someone’s birthday. What I do remember from that day is me sitting next to one of the girls in the group and having whine that the movie sucked the all time. She kept saying that the movie was not scary enough – probably waiting for that cat I told you about – ever though we told her the movie was not really horror but more of a thriller. Don’t get me wrong, the movie is not the greatest and it’s definitely not Guillermo Del Toro’s best work but it’s still really enjoyable and I did not get the chance to enjoy it as much as I could the first time I watched it.

What was the worst movie you had to watch because your friends wanted to? And what movie did you make your friends watch that ended up being awful?


My Undying Love For ‘Me and Earl and The Dying Girl’

Official Poster for Me and Earl and The Dying Girl

I just read my title again and wow.

I think we all can agree that most coming of age movies can fall into many clichés of the genera and we can easily tell that, although the story is about teenagers, it was probably written by a 40 something year old man. The problem is not in who wrote it, but in the fact that you can tell. This film succeeded in surpassing my expectations for a movie whose synopsis is “High schooler Greg, who spends most of his time making parodies of classic movies with his co-worker Earl, finds his outlook forever altered after befriending a classmate who has just been diagnosed with cancer.”

I decided to take a look at some interviews of the press tour of this movie, when it came out in the summer of 2015. One of the stars of the movie said something that I found quite interesting, a couple of times during interviews. Olivia Cooke played the titular Dying Girl and while praising the screenwriter Jesse Andrews – who also wrote the book of the same name that the movie is based on – the actress said that the author and screenwriter writes in a way that is “clumsy” because that’s how teenagers speak. She added that “no one says this poetic thing in the moment” and after hearing that comment I started to think about the movie I had seen again and it all made perfect sense. It is true. Teenagers usually don’t express themselves with deep and inspirational phrases, in fact some of us say things without really thinking beforehand.

This becomes even more true in this movie. Greg, Earl and Rachel are all either going through something or seeing someone they care about be in a tough situation. We cannot really expect them to not make questionable decisions or say things they should have probably rethink-ed.

Still from the movie Me and Earl and The Dying Girl

The people behind this film, including director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, made what it was – in my opinion – one of the best coming of age movies we had recently. Somehow they found a way to tell the story of a guy forced into a friendship with a girl suffering from leukemia in a way that was honest and unpredictably funny. No one can really guess how we would act in real life in a situation like this but what this movie did was help the audience sympathize with Rachel’s situation without ever making her a victim or making us feel pity for her, because even with what she had going on she was probably the most strong-minded character in the film – not letting her diagnosis change who she was – and was able to be a rock for Greg, a guy with very little self-confidence – that does not even like to call someone his friend. 

Actors Olivia Cooke, Thomas Mann and Rj Cyler on set of Me and Earl and The Dying Girl

The three main actors – Olivia Cooke, Thomas Mann and RJ Cyler – all deliver incredible performances that show how much they truly cared about the project. You would have never guessed Cooke was the same actress that had the leading role in a not so acclaimed movie about a Ouija Board or that this was Cyler’s first acting role. They are that good. Since I watched the film back in 2016 I’ve been following all of their careers and I do believe they have a great future ahead. Molly Shannon and Nick Offerman also get some moments to shine in the movie.

The movie first premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2015 to rave reviews and it was expected to have a great theater run, but when it came out later in the summer not many people saw it. That was truly unfortunate but I am glad that it seems a lot of people have been finding out about Me and Earl and The Dying Girl now.


ps: Greg I will never forgive you for lying to us

Can You Actually Separate The Art From The Artist?

cover-1We are now more than halfway through 2018 and the #Metoo and #TimesUp movements have shown a change in the entertainment industry. At least that is what it looks like when you look at your Twitter feed, since you can somewhat control what shows up in it and possibly only follow people who you agree with.

In case you need a reminder, in October 2017 The New York Times and The New Yorker both reported stories of over a dozen women, who accused Harvey Weinstein – one of the most well-known and, at the time, acclaimed producers in the film industry – of sexual harassment, assault or even rape. After those cases were reported women in the film industry showed support for them and many came out with their own stories with the producer, from Salma Hayek to Mira Sorvino. As a result Weinstein was fired from his own production company, expelled from the Academy, divorced his now ex-wife Georgina Chapman and had some other consequences such as being suspended from the British Academy. More recently, in May 2018, the producer was charged with “rape, criminal sex act, sex abuse and sexual misconduct for incidents involving two separate women” by the NYC police. After being arrested he was released on a million dollars of bail.

After the Weinstein case became a “big deal” in Hollywood and it started being taken seriously, more and more people came forward with stories about different people in the industry but older stories were also brought back into the spotlight. Kevin Spacey was infamously cut from All The Money In The World, being latter substituted by Christopher Plummer who ended up being nominated for an Academy Award for his performance in the Ridley Scott film, after actor Anthony Rapp accused him of making a sexual advance toward him when Rapp was only 14. Afterwards other men accused Spacey of sexual harassment, resulting in him also being fired from his Netflix show House Of Cards. Besides other accusations towards people mainly in the film industry, people started bringing up other cases that were already known by the public, one of the most talked about being Woody Allen. This conversation also made stars like Rebecca Hall and Timothee Chalamet, who start in Allen’s more recent film, to apologize for taking the roles and donate their salaries to the Time’s Up legal fund.

This made many wonder: Can You Separate The Art From The Artist?

As viewers should we be able to renounce the artists actions while still enjoying their work? As performers, should actors be able to work with those artist even if they don’t defend them? In my opinion that’s impossible.

Although some people believe people like Kevin Spacey shouldn’t be fired from their jobs and actors shouldn’t stop working with directors like Woody Allen and Roman Polanski, I think by giving them those opportunities and notoriety you are already not renouncing their actions or at least you don’t look at them as important enough for them to face the consequences. Although I have watched Vicky Cristina Barcelona and Midnight in Paris, that was before I was aware of the case against the director and since then I was not able to watch his other films or re watch the ones I already saw. That is because for me, his actions are also reflected in his work. Many times, in his films, you see a “Lolita” falling in love with a men double or triple her age. Knowing the case with Dylan Farrow I cannot watch his movies without thinking of it.

But it’s more than just the art reflecting the artist that creates it. People have to face consequences for the bad things they do in life and it is unfair if they continue to work and we continue to create opportunities for them by supporting their work. Look at Roman Polanski, he pled guilty to the lesser offence of unlawful sex with a minor after being accused of drugging and rapping a 13-year-old. After he found out he was going to be arrested he fled to Paris, where he continued to direct films staring big names like Eva Green, Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz and Adrien Brody and his movies continued to win or be nominated for big awards such as Golden Globes and the Academy Awards, award shows he could not even attend because he cannot enter the US. He was finally expelled from the Academy on May of 2018, 40 years after he pled guilty and fled the country. It took four decades for him to face any type of consequences in the film industry.

Some might not care what these directors, actors and producers do in their personal life, but for me there is a difference between making a mistake – like maybe being an asshole to a PA once – and having accusations of this dimension against you. By working with them or spending money and time watching their work we are simply showing we do not care about the victims enough.