Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017): This IS The Star Wars I’m Looking For (Non-Spoiler Review)

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[Credit: Lucasfilm/Disney]
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Star Wars: The Last Jedi is the eighth installment of the Star Wars franchise and follows Rey (Daisy Ridley) as she develops her newly discovered powers of the Force while the First Order does battle with the Resistance. The film stars Adam Driver, Mark Hamill, Oscar Isaac, John Boyega, Carrie Fisher, Andy Serkis, Kelly Marie Tran, Laura Dern and Benicio del Toro and is directed by Rian Johnson (Brick, Looper).

My Thoughts On The Characters And Story

When it was initially announced that director Rian Johnson would helm a new Star Wars trilogy before Episode VIII released, excitement and hesitation simultaneously settled in for me. Clearly, Lucasfilm and Kathleen Kennedy herself adored what Johnson did with The Last Jedi which translated to them entrusting a brand new trilogy to him, however the uncertainty arose because I thought, “man what if I hate what he does with Last Jedi?!” I’m in the camp that firmly believes the more, the merrier – If I hear they want to release 3 new Star Wars flicks a year I say hey, that’s great! Would we possibly get some films set during the KOTOR era? The one goddamn era every single fan has been pining for since the release of those legendary video games….

Coming out of my screening of The Last Jedi, I am ecstatic to say I officially cannot wait to see what Johnson brings to a new trilogy because I absolutely adored Star Wars: The Last Jedi

[Credit: Lucasfilm/Disney] | Tenor.com
As someone who liked The Force Awakens very much, there was something lacking within it. Last year’s Rogue One was actually my favourite recent SW installment of the two because it felt like a Star Wars film that I’ve never seen before. It pushed buttons that have never really been pushed before and, after watching it twice in theatres and once at home since, I wondered whether another Star Wars film would have a similar effect on me. I still need a few watches of Last Jedi to see whether it definitively surpasses Rogue One in my rankings but one of the first things I said when I exited the theatre was “… I think I liked that more than Rogue One.” 

From its stellar opening sequence to its final moments, I was hooked throughout. I appreciated the fact that there were actual space battles occurring utilizing some of the best digital effects the industry has to offer. Although the usage of the beloved lightsaber is used sparingly, it is depicted effectively. When the humming of the saber penetrated my ear holes, I felt it. I savoured it. There are certain instances where characters are using the sabers and I wanted to slow down time to properly ingest everything I was witnessing. It’s one of those instances where, as you’re watching it, you make an addition to your internal checklist saying “remember to check YouTube every single day to see if someone upload this scene on there.”

The implementation of the humour was actually one of my favourite aspects of the film. What is commonly seen in the additions to the MCU (Thor: Ragnarok being the latest), many of the jokes featured in their superhero story fall flat during the more dramatic moments of the films which undercut the emotional impact certain scenes have. The Last Jedi features a number of comedic beats inserted throughout that I felt worked effectively in the scene. I found there being a perfect balance (wink, balance) between the humour and dramatic moments particularly during one instance where we’re introduced to a crew of Judgmental Fish Nuns who are basically the embodiment of myself. 

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[Credit: Lucasfilm/Disney]
I thoroughly enjoyed watching the arcs of all the main crew progress and I absolutely adore the route they went with the iconic Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill). Learning more about why he became the person he is in Episode VIII, 30+ years following Episode VI and the effect the Jedi/Force had on him was spectacular to see. He is an embattled, melancholic and agonized individual who has experienced some major shit throughout his journey that started him out as a simple farm boy destined for greatness. How he chooses to “train” Rey (Daisy Ridley) only furthers my excitement for seeing how the next generation of Star Wars characters handles their respective responsibilities within the galaxy. Rey is easily my favourite character of this new trilogy and I love how Ridley embodies her vigor and spirit. Of course, it’s always an emotional roller coaster seeing anything related to the late, great Carrie Fisher and I thoroughly enjoyed the decisions made for her legendary character, Princess Leia.

There isn’t really anything critical I can say about the rest of the stellar cast – Oscar Isaac as Poe DAMNeron will forever be my favourite thing ever. John Boyega‘s Finn matures exponentially in Last Jedi and I just love seeing it. An issue I originally had with The Force Awakens was Adam Driver as Kylo Ren and I wondered how he would do as he grew more comfortable in the role 2 years later. He is definitely better in Last Jedi particularly toward the beginning of the third act but, again, I wasn’t too much of a fan of his portrayal during the first two acts. Domhnall Gleeson AKA The-Guy-Who-Is-Starring-In-Everything returns as the ambitious General Hux and I very much enjoyed watching him gleefully express both his joyful moments and immense frustrations when dealing with the Resistance. Kelly Marie Tran makes her debut as Rose Tico who was a charming addition although certain components of her relationship with a character felt a bit forced. Laura Dern also made a fantastic addition to the Star Wars crew as Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo. She can honestly have amazing chemistry with a potted plant so I thoroughly enjoyed every time she was on screen and I adored the lore of her character. I took issue with a particular decision Holdo makes that could’ve easily been avoided, although I understand why she felt the need to make it. Overall I felt the relationships developed between certain characters were executed well.

[Credit: Lucasfilm/Disney]

How Were The Other Aspects Of The Last Jedi?

Johnson knows how to film the sweeping, epic shots that make an impact watching it on the big screen. The Snoke room and everything that happens in that red room of terror is absolutely marvelous. I enjoyed the inclusion of the music much more in Last Jedi than I did Force Awakens; a brief, fleeting moment involving just Rey as her Theme plays in the background is one of my absolute favourite moments of the entire film. There’s also a fantastically killer sequence involving her and another character toward the end of the film that I cannot say more about for fear of spoiling! There is also a disgustingly wonderful tracking shot inspired by the very first Academy Award winner for Best Picture, Wings (1927) that made me way too giddy when I initially noticed it. 

As we all know, The Last Jedi‘s divisive has been known in the online world and I am in the camp who thoroughly enjoyed where the story went and how they chose to develop these characters. While it isn’t without flaws, the ultimate enjoyment and pure satisfaction I felt coming out of the theatre and writing about it now makes me ecstatic for Episode IX and the Johnson-helmed trilogy.

Side note that doesn’t really pertain to the filmCan we PLEASE though, real talk, f’real be blessed with a “Duel Of The Fates“-esque pulsating, orgasmic-inducing song for at least one of the upcoming Star Wars? While I hold a genuine disdain for a number of components of the Prequels, every human on Earth can agree that that song is one of the best things to have come out of it. You’re welcome for my great suggestion, Disney.


Star Wars: The Last Jedi receives 4.5/5 Matt Damon heads.

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featured image source: Lucasfilm/Disney

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The Disaster Artist (2017): I Cannot Tell You My Thoughts, They’re Confidential (Review)

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[Credit: Warner Bros.]

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The Disaster Artist tells the true story of a man with a dream named Tommy Wiseau (James Franco) who enlists the help of his friend Greg Sestero (Dave Franco) to create real, Hollywood non-Mickey Mouse movie called The Room. The film also stars Alison Brie, Seth Rogen, Ari Graynor, Josh Hutcherson, Jacki Weaver, Hannibal Buress, Jason Mantzoukas, Nathan Fielder, Paul Scheer and Zac Efron and is directed by James Franco (In Dubious Battle, The Sound and the Fury).

My Thoughts On The Characters And Story

As someone who has seen The Room a shockingly disgusting number of times, it’s a truly terrible movie. I’m not sure why I have seen it as much as I have, it’s mostly wanting to show my friends and family a movie that is so undeniably horrendous & incoherent because ‘masochist’ is my middle name. It’s also insanely quotable, I probably say “don’t tahch me motherfahker” on a daily basis. After watching the film for the first time a few years ago, I learned that Greg Sestero AKA a beautiful specimen of a human wrote a book detailing the behind-the-scenes experience of filming this strange picture and providing insight as much as he could into the mind of Tommy Wiseau, a guy I don’t think of as a visionary or a misunderstood soul. He’s kind of an asshole and is probably an alien who’s traveled back in time to deliver a movie he thought humans would enjoy. 

So when I heard about James Franco taking the reins of filming an adaptation of Sestero’s informative book, I was ridiculously excited and this film really delivers on the humour component – I found myself laughing horrendously throughout the film which is certainly a testament to the screenwriters because I thought I would only laugh at the sequences involving the actual filming of The Room. James’ portrayal of Wiseau is fantastically brilliant, I appreciated wholeheartedly that he wasn’t doing a Wiseau impression because any exaggerated Wiseau diction would’ve gotten old real quick. It was funny initially hearing him when he arrives on screen and as the film progressed, I grew more used to it. The depiction of Wiseau is mostly surface level which isn’t inherently a bad thing, however with how rich the source material is (seriously, everyone should read The Disaster Artist) and, not to mention, how ridiculous the actual man is, it would’ve been nice to see more of a deeper dive into the psyche of Wiseau. 

[Credit: Warner Bros.] | Tenor.com
Younger Franco as Greg Sestero, he was enjoyable to watch on screen however he kind of had a burrowed frow expression for essentially the whole movie. If you watch any interview with Sestero, he speaks in a very calm… soothing… manner that Dave simply doesn’t showcase. In terms of his relationship with Wiseau on-screen, both Francos unsurprisingly have great chemistry together. I enjoyed the various callbacks sprinkled throughout the film, particularly involving the seriousness of the pinky swear. 

The secondary cast is brilliant; Zac Efron is easily the standout for me. He appears in only one or two scenes but he absolutely NAILS his performance as Chris R. (Not just “Chris”… Chris R. This is real Hollywood movie). It’s always nice watching Trudy Campbell AKA Alison Brie appear in anything and watching her act alongside her husband and brother-in-law made me happy. The Great Jacki Weaver‘s portrayal of Claudette is fantastic and reading about how serious the real-life Carolyn Minnott took her role in The Room was simply heartbreaking for me (she actually fainted of heat stroke during filming and took it all in stride. This woman is a national treasure). 

[Credit: Warner Bros.] | Tenor
As the film progressed toward the end of the second act and more conflict was needed to be inserted, this was where it kind of fizzled out for me. It seemed like an argument had to be had at this particular moment to begin the conventional sad montage. While I enjoyed watching the film, my excitement dwindled a bit following that however the final few moments where side-by-sides were shown were a fantastic way to end it. 

Prepare For Some Serious Night At The Roxbury-Esque Head Bobs

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‘A Night At The Roxbury’ | Paramount Pictures

The soundtrack is one of my favourite aspects of the film, kudos goes out to the ones responsible for choosing the quintessential late ’90s/early 2000s tunes that had me politely stomping my foot and nodding my head along in pure jubilation. 

‘The Disaster Artist’ | Warner Bros.

I’d recommend checking out The Room first or at least being familiar with it prior to watching The Disaster Artist (but seriously, just watch it) and then you may bask in the glory of seeing the characters re-enacted by some of Hollywood’s best.

The Disaster Artist receives 3.5/5 Matt Damon heads. 

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featured image source: Warner Bros.

Anomalisa (2015)

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Michael Stone: I think you’re extraordinary.
Lisa: Why?
Michael: I don’t know yet. It’s just obvious to me that you are.


Starring: David Thewlis, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Tom Noonan, dirs. Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson.

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Cinematographer: Joe Passarelli (Dirty Little Tricks, Marrying God, To Kill a Killer)
cinemagraph source: tech noir
Anomalisa distributor: Paramount Pictures

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REBLOG: MovieRob’s Genre Grandeur – Spaceballs (1987) – Ghezal Plus Movies

For MovieRob’s Genre Grandeur this month, we’re taking a look at our favourite spoof/parody movies.

Read my thoughts on the brilliantly spectacular film that your father’s brother’s nephew’s cousin’s former roommate probably loves as well, Spaceballs!

MovieRob

For this month’s next review for Genre Grandeur – Spoof/ParodyMovies, here’s a review of Spaceballs (1987) by Ghezal of Ghezal Plus Movies

Thanks again to  Ashleigh of The Movie Oracle  for choosing this month’s genre.

Next month’s Genre has been chosen by Simon of Moustache Movie News and it is Road TripMovies.

Please get me your submissions by the 25th of December by sending them to roadtripsimon@movierob.net

Try to think out of the box! Great choice Simon!

Let’s see what Ghezal thought of this movie:

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Genre Grandeur: Spaceballs (1987)

Starring: Bill Pullman, John Candy, Rick Moranis, Daphne Zuniga, Dick Van Patten, Mel Brooks and Joan Rivers.

Directed by: Mel Brooks.

When I think of some of my favourite spoof/parody movies, a handful of films immediately pop into my mind: the Austin Powers trilogy for one, the disgustingly brilliant Airplane! for another and the 1987 flawless…

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Lady Bird (2017): This Remarkably Witty Coming-Of-Age Story Will Have You Fill The Six Inches Left Open For The Holy Spirit With Laughs And Tears (Review)

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Lady Bird | A24
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Lady Bird tells the story of Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson (Saoirse Ronan) as she maneuvers her way through the beloved high school experience and explores her various personal relationships with family, friends and college. The film also stars Laurie Metcalf, Tracy Letts, Lucas Hedges, Timothée Chalamet, Beanie Feldstein, Stephen McKinley Henderson, and Lois Smith and is the directorial debut of Greta Gerwig.

My Thoughts On The Characters And Story

There are certain films where you find yourself immersed entirely with everything occurring on screen and when it concludes, you’re left genuinely disappointed because you enjoyed it that much and are craving for more – Lady Bird is one of those movies. 

From the talented mind of actress and screenwriter Greta GerwigLady Bird starts at a high and continues through its 94 minute run time, providing witty quip after another and depicting compelling characters who are delightfully fleshed out. With a coming-of-age story set in a high school, filmmakers always run the risk of featuring tropey teen after stereotypical mean girl in a universe of perpetual eye-rolling courtesy of the out-of-touch adults who are dopey because the script calls for it. This film encompasses what I love about certain films of the genre (particularly Mean GirlsNapoleon Dynamite and The Edge Of Seventeen) and adds a new perspective through the eyes of Lady Bird (the name was given to her by her, in case you were wondering). 

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Lady Bird | A24

Referring to Lady Bird as simply “enjoyable” is doing it a major disservice. It encompasses virtually everything I want to see in this kind of movie: compelling characters, a simple story, witty dialogue, killer soundtrack/score and an overall feeling of… just… somethingSaoirse Ronan is perfect in this role. She works so unbelievably well with every single person in the film whether they are a vital component of it or the extraest of extras. Her camaraderie with Beanie Feldstein’s “Julie” and Feldstein’s incredible delivery of her sharp dialogue was delightful to watch. Laurie Metcalf gives a heartbreakingly spectacular performance as the matriarch of the McPherson household. There were a number of mother/daughter instances that resonated with me so hard. Lest we forget Tracy Letts’ portrayal of the remarkably sweet Larry McPherson. Lucas Hedges and this year’s breakout star of Call Me By Your Name, Timothée Chalamet, provided some stellar performances as well.

I also thoroughly appreciated the lack of monstrously exaggerated sequences that aren’t within the realm of belief. The moments of conflict feel real because these characters are so well written, you genuinely believe and sympathize with what has transpired. One particular moment actually had me cover my eyes because I was terrified at what was going to happen (it involved a friend telling someone they were coming over).

“Thank you, Greta Gerwig, for terrifying me more than many horror films can accomplish.”

I placed myself in the respective person’s shoes and wanted to shove my head into a computer because the embarrassment was overwhelming and it honestly wasn’t that big of a deal – That is what teenagehood is. Man, that’s what being a human is but particularly when you’re on the cusp of adulthood and want nothing more than to be accepted amongst your peers so the little white lies come out. Thank you, Greta Gerwig, for terrifying me more than many horror films can accomplish. 

How Were The Other Aspects Of Lady Bird?

Lady Bird‘s 2002 setting provides an interesting backdrop as there is a sense of simplicity to it since we’re still a few years away from total technological control, however this is a post-9/11 world. Like, a few months post. The societal innocence we became accustomed to was shattered with heightened security beginning to be implemented and the barrage of bombings occurring in the Middle East. The insanity the world was experiencing at the time is referenced in the quiet, sereneness that is Lady Bird.

Lady Bird | A24

For every threat of mind controlling chips in cell phones, there is a pool party where former *NSYNC member, Justin Timberlake’s modern classic “Cry Me A River” plays in the background. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. There isn’t anyone I’d want to experience it with (again) than Lady Bird. 

The film’s gorgeous-looking aesthetic is also positively wondrous. There truly isn’t a dull scene throughout its entire duration, I was genuinely enthralled with not only what the characters were saying but the mesmerizing cinematography that accompanied what was on screen. I had no idea what I was expecting with Lady Bird and what I got out of it was a phenomenally entertaining film that spoke to me entirely. 

Lady Bird | A24

If you’re looking for a sharply written coming-of-age film with characters you actually care about, check out Lady Bird.

Lady Bird receives a coveted 5/5 Matt Damon heads.

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featured image credit: a24

Justice League (2017): An Enjoyable Addition To The DCEU That Really Makes Me Crave More Wonder Woman (Review)

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[Credit: Warner Bros.[
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The League Of Extraordinary Justice follows a changed and inspired Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) as he enlists the help of Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) and three other powerful beings to face Steppenwolf (Ciaran Hinds), a great enemy looking for his Mother… Boxes. The film also stars Ezra Miller, Ray Fisher, Jason Momoa, Henry Cavill and Amy Adams and is directed by Zack Snyder

My Thoughts On The Characters And Story

In a universe filled with flying robotic insects and costumed vigilantes,  I think the most unbelievable part of it is that the Kents still haven’t fully paid off that farm. It’s been in their family for like, a millennia. Did Pa Kent’s life insurance not cover intentional death by hurricane? 

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[Credit: Warner Bros.] | Tenor
Another day, another superhero film arrives that divides fan bases when all I ask is, can’t we all just get along? As I’ve mentioned throughout my various comic book film reviews, I am neither a Marvel or DC-stan. I like when an MCU installment showcases the muscly Thor utilizing his God-like powers set to “Immigrant Song”, I like when a DC movie illustrates the insane ass kicking abilities of Wonder Woman. I will say for Justice League, it is my second favourite DCEU movie behind this year’s unbelievably phenomenal Patty Jenkins’-directed Wonder Woman. Gal Gadot has grown on me throughout her 3 appearances as the Princess of Themyscira (Batman V Superman and WW being the other two) and I honestly found myself waiting for the next scene featuring her or some other Amazonian entity. I enjoyed Gadot’s performance in Justice League despite there being certain moments where she had a frozen stern look on her face or the instances where an atrociously obvious CG green screen is featured in the background. 

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[Credit: WB] | Tenor
Battfleck was around as the spearheader of the Justice League. Affleck read his lines accordingly and had a few quick quips, he really gave the embodiment of a serviceable performance. The new members of the League, Barry Allen/Flash (Miller), Victor Stone/Cyborg (Fisher) and Arthur Curry/Aquaman (Momoa) were welcome additions. The Flash’s frequent hesitation to enter battle was hysterical, Miller absolutely crushed it in the role. Fisher portrayed the Cyborg with a chip on his shoulder effectively; I don’t want to say it was a “robotic” performance because that’d be too easy but it was relatively robotic.

Jason Momoa + his gorgeous locks appear as Aquaman and while I enjoyed him as the character, there was one specific sequence involving his underwater world of Atlantis wherein he spoke with a fellow Aquaperson that was just… Not very good. Momoa is clearly a powerful presence on screen (as seen during his run on Game Of Thrones) so hopefully his performance is a bit more endearing in his James Wan-directed standalone set for release next December. 

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[Credit: WB] | Tenor
Steppenwolf, portrayed by the fantastically brilliant Julius Caesar Ciaran Hinds, uttered as many generic villainous catchphrases as possible, it became thoroughly entertaining after awhile. I do like how they connected S-Wolf to the other Leaguers(?) Is that the proper terminology? However, the visually muddled vomit that were he and his cronies every time they appeared on screen became a bit tiresome. 

As far as the actual getting together of the crew, I thought it was executed effectively. My favourite getting-a-crew-together sequence hails from the 2001 Steven Soderbergh masterwork, Ocean’s Eleven so when these kinds of plot devices come about, I usually wonder how it would hypothetically stack up against Ocean’s. Of course, I wouldn’t dismiss another film because it doesn’t exactly fit the brilliant mold of what Ocean’s did, I’m not a cinephilic psychopath. Batfleck did his thing, trying his best to monotonously convince other people to save the world (a common occurrence seen in many modern superhero films… JUST HOW OFTEN IS THE WORLD IN IMMINENT DOOM FROM OTHERWORLDLY CREATURES?!) Every character had their respective reservations (or not) and it was satisfying seeing them all ultimately come together. 

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[Credit: WB] | Tenor
I do wish there was more of a dynamic between the crew. Every cast member seems to have a smashing good time together during interviews and such (Sadfleck moments not including) that didn’t really translated within the film. Their chemistry fell sort of flat for the most part. There were definitely sequences, however, where I felt the genuine chemistry/camaraderie building between them – A specific one involving the Lasso Of Truth was frigging brilliant

How Were The Other Aspects Of Justice League

The technical components of the film are where it gets kind of hairy. It’s definitely more aesthetically pleasing than what was seen in previous DC incarnations like Suicide Squad or BvS, however there were glaringly obvious moments where you knew the cast was wandering around a sound stage a la the Prequels. Also… That Henry Cavill upper lip/mustache work. Yowza.

It was nice seeing Cavill’s Superman smile and throw the charm on for just a split second, something I hope we see more of as the DCEU trudges along, ie. Henry Cavill’s Superman actually enjoying where he’s at for a moment or two. It’s been said ad nauseam but Cavill is a remarkably charismatic human being (see: 2015’s The Man From UNCLE) so witnessing the few quips he makes in Justice League was a breath of fresh air in this predominately grim and brooding cinematic universe.

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[Credit: WB] | Tenor
If this film is any indication, future DCEU additions may veer away from its typical darker tone and strive to create a balance between the bleak/dreary and light/humourous. Justice League isn’t as “ha ha!” as something like Thor: Ragnarok but it does know when to hit you with certain quips and when to just let the scene play out. As with any CBM, there are certain jokes you can spot coming a parsec away, not to mention predicting some of the regular dialogue as well.

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[Credit: WB]

If you’ve generally been a bit “meh” when it comes to watching DCEU properties (except for Wonder Woman ofc), you may be in for a pleasant surprise with Justice League 

Justice League receives 3.5/5 Matt Damon heads.

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featured image credit: WB

Tenor Has All You Need To Satisfy Your Gif Cravings

Like every other real human bean on the planet, I love me a good gif. Tenor.com has virtually any gif you desire at the simple click of a mouse or the touch of your finger on a mobile device.

I was recently contacted by them to utilize some of their killer Justice League gifs for this review and I’m now officially obsessed with perusing through its vast catalo–

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[Credit: WB] | Tenor

Alrighty then!

As I always occasionally say, why communicate with words when a trusty gif will do the job with pizzazz?! Make sure to check out Tenor for all your gif needs. 


What are your thoughts on Justice League?

Are you intrigued to see more from the DCEU or are you essentially over it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

 

“We’re Not In This Life For Peace”: How An Episode Of ‘The Golden Girls’ Encouraged Me To Hold On When I Needed It Most

“You wanted me to be here for your death, how about letting me be here for your life?”

Sitcom classic The Golden Girls aired on NBC during the height of the sitcom boom from 1985-1992 and featured the hysterical musings of four stellar women: Dorothy (Bea Arthur), Blanche (Rue McClanahan), Rose (Betty White) and Sophia (Estelle Getty). These fictional characters felt like real, complex individuals with their own distinct personalities, providing frequent bouts of hilarity that kept fans entertained for 180 episodes.

While there are many examples of TV shows that would fall into the discussion of greatest sitcom properties, I would place The Golden Girls in the top-tier realm and personally refer to it as my No. 1 favorite sitcom of all time. Besides the obvious comedic aspects, there were occasional episodes that dealt with the more taboo subjects of the time (and some that are even considered taboo today). From adultery to homosexuality to deportation, The Golden Girls never shied away from focusing on these issues – One particular episode stands out to me the most from its fifth season.

The One Where Sophia’s Friend Wants Her There When She Commits Suicide

Season 5, Episode 7, titled “Not Another Monday” tackled the issue of suicide and what choice one has when a friend wants you there when they take their life. This episode focused on Sophia’s friend, Martha Lamont, a woman who believes that she can no longer stand the pain and loneliness of her physical world, choosing to end her life by her own hand rather than waiting for any more sicknesses to afflict her. In her own words, she doesn’t “want to see another Monday.”

As Sophia struggles with the ethical and moral obligations of her dear friend’s request, the B plot centered around Dorothy, Blanche and Rose caring for a newborn while her parents were away. The episode contains one of the funniest moments of the entire series: the three women attempt to calm the baby down by performing “Mr. Sandman” totally a capella. Watch it below:

(It’s no coincidence the writers decided to place the paralleling story lines of birth and death in this one episode, and I love them for it.)


Let me give you some background of my relationship with the show and delve into some personal territory of where I was in my life a few years back:

For A Number Of Years, I Was Lost

In 2010, my dear grandma passed away after a long battle with breast cancer. Prior to her final night, we would visit her on a daily basis, and I would always arrive home just in time to catch a syndicated episode of The Golden Girls. It comforted me watching these older women in the prime of their lives. I needed some sort of escape for that half an hour.

My grandma’s death hit me hard and continued to stay with me even as I entered university – The years spent in post-secondary was one of the most difficult times of my entire life. For the first 4 years of attempting to get my Bachelor’s (I finally graduated in my fifth year with a BA in English) I struggled with virtually every aspect of what was going on in my life at the time:
  • The Financial (“Am I able to afford this class?” “God, I don’t want to look at my financial statement right now… Maybe if I ignore it, it’ll go away?”)
  • The Course Load (“When were we assigned this?” “Is this syllabus for this class or..?”)
  • The Future (“Why am I even in school right now?” “Maybe I can take a year or three off and everyone will forget I was enrolled in the first place…”)

A myriad of personal problems just hovered over me and made me sympathize with Sisyphus (that Greek figure you’ve heard of whose best friend is a boulder for all eternity). I would have honestly done whatever it took to be able to pick up the phone and call my grandmother. Just to hear her voice would calm me down when I needed it the most.

I refused to tell anybody about my struggles; I thought it would be better to keep it in and occasionally have a nice cry in bed at 2am when my hourly you-aren’t-going-anywhere-in-life thoughts popped into my head. While I never specifically had suicidal thoughts, I’d be lying if I said there weren’t sporadic instances where I briefly thought, “I mean, what if I just don’t wake up tomorrow morning? Like I want to wake up, obviously, but… just what would it be like to not have to deal with this anymore?”

Why This TV Episode Means So Much To Me

When I was home alone one night, I suddenly felt the urge to watch an episode of The Golden Girls. There were probably exams or something going on that had me at the peak of my anxiety.

The episode was “Not Another Monday” and my jaw dropped when I heard Martha ask Sophia to be present during her suicide. She seemed happy and so sure of herself that she didn’t want to live to see another day. Watching Sophia (who reminded me way too much of my grandma, by the way) reminisce with Martha by pleading for her to “remember life” stung me. Sophia reminded her (and, by extension, me) that “we’re not in this life for peace” when Martha reasons that their departed friend Lydia looked so peaceful at her funeral.

Hard-as-nails and badass Sophia Petrillo had tears in her eyes as she attempted to convince Martha that this wasn’t her time. An exasperated Martha reveals the loneliness she feels on a constant basis, and — after Sophia’s pleas and vow to invite her over to the bustling Golden Girl abode — Martha states, “I don’t know what to do.”

The following line is what stuck with me then, and continues to stick with me now:

“That’s the point, if you’re not sure, you can’t change your mind tomorrow.”

While the entire above sequence makes me tear up, that quote convinced me to keep a laser focus on the finish line regardless of how far away that damn, stupid line seemed to be – “School isn’t forever; these struggles I have aren’t forever; those who care about me would want me to hold on with everything I have because I will come out of the putrid funk I happen to be in at this moment.”

I’m now a university graduate, continuing my writing and gradually dabbling in Toronto real estate (because I just love having clients irritated with me). This is a story and an experience I have courtesy of a TV show from the 1980s.

To conclude in the most cheesy way possible: thank you for being a friend!

golden girls dorothy gif
[Credit: NBC]

What TV shows have meant the most to you? Share your thoughts in the comments below.