Movie Thoughts: Star Trek Beyond & Jason Bourne

Hey, everyone! I’m not dead and I promised Charlene I would try to get around to reviewing Star Trek Beyond, so here I am coming back from my unintentional absence to talk about two summer flicks.

I went into these two different movies with different expectations, and they may surprise you. Despite my love for Star Trek, my enthusiasm for Star Trek Beyond waned before I saw the movie because, of all things, my rewatch of the two previous reboot films. I really enjoyed Star Trek 2009 and Into Darkness the first few times, but the more I watch the show and the more I watch these movies the less I care for the latter. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy them enough to rewatch them, but I definitely have problems with their respective stories.

On the other hand, I was really excited about Jason Bourne. It just looked spot-on and I could not wait.

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Ultimately, when I went into Star Trek Beyond, I went in a little warily but also hopeful that I could enjoy it based on everyone else’s reviews that it was fun. And fun is a very good word to describe it. Not that there aren’t any serious moments or stakes, but it felt like TOS to me, in the best way. (Well, not the literal best, like The Trouble With Tribbles, but another solid and fun episode like A Piece of the Action or something.) Chris Pine actually for real felt like Kirk to me, but not in some rip-off-of-Shatner way at all. I believed that this alternate Kirk was actually a viable Kirk. Really, the entire cast of the Enterprise crew were great, and I loved how they spent part of the movie separated but paired off, giving us a taste of some different interactions we don’t normally get.

Jaylah was a great new character too, though I’m still annoyed that there are like zero aliens from the prime Star Trek universe other than Vulcans and a couple others, and that almost every alien is something brand new. I appreciate the creativity of it, but it just feels disproportionate. And I feel that leads me to my main quibble with this movie, the villain.

Before we see Krall or even know he’s the big bad, he seems pretty vicious the way he attacks the Enterprise. When we actually meet him and see him on the planet he doesn’t seem quite as bad until we see how he attacks one of the crew members. Then we get a big reveal about him (that I guessed beforehand) that is pretty significant but we get so little development that it ultimately falls flat, and we end up with someone who was just a hair better than Nero in 2009.

Overall, I enjoyed all the great character interactions that felt so genuine, the fun lines, and I really appreciated the tribute to Leonard Nimoy (and there’s just a tiny bit there for Anton as well). I was absolutely against more of the reboot films before seeing this film, but now I’m more open to it if they stay more true to the feel of this film.

Left to right: Simon Pegg plays Scotty, Sofia Boutella plays Jaylah and Chris Pine plays Kirk in Star Trek Beyond from Paramount Pictures, Skydance, Bad Robot, Sneaky Shark and Perfect Storm Entertainment

The new Jason Bourne feels pretty much just like the first three Bourne films, just more modern. If you enjoyed those, you’re probably going to enjoy this one as well. I had some problems with it… mass amounts of unnecessary destruction, the death of a certain character that felt meaningless, and perhaps a slightly shallow/flimsy storyline… but overall I was entertained. I think my favorite part of the movie was Alicia Vikander’s character, Heather Lee. I love how there was more to her than met the eye, and if the story continues, I definitely want more of her. There was also a little bit of a subplot that I felt was sadly too underdeveloped that I want more of, involving a social media company called Deep Dream and its mogul.

And since I’m like the only person who prefers the Aaron Cross/Jeremy Renner movie to the Matt Damon ones, I would be super intrigued if we could see these two intersect in the future as well. But please don’t fridge Rachel Weiss.

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Have you seen either of these? What are your thoughts?

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One Paragraph Reviews: The Books & Movies Edition

The Shadow Queen by CJ Redwine

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While I saw there were mixed reviews of The Shadow Queen, I really wanted to check it out, and was thankfully able to do so through my library rather than having to commit to buying it. Now that I’ve read it I am left to wonder why any YA fantasy fan wouldn’t enjoy it! I really enjoyed the characters, the pacing was mostly good, and while it was a retelling there were some pretty interesting and unique concepts. It’s not my new favorite ever, but I did really like it and look forward to the next book in this series!

The Long Game by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

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Oh Jennifer Lynn Barnes, why do you torture me so?! So I loved this book just as much as its predecessor The Long Game, and it was filled with just as many twists and turns that really floored me. And though I did like Tess, Asher, and Henry in the first book, I grew even more fond of them in this book. And then… ugh, I won’t go there! Major spoiler! Let’s just say I simply need another book for more resolution, yet I don’t see one listed on Goodreads?! I NEED MORE.

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Finding Dory

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I love the way Honest Trailers said it best when referring to this movie: the sequel you hope will be more like Toy Story 3 and less like Cars 2. Finding Dory was cute, fun, and yes, emotional. It didn’t have the same magic for me as Finding Nemo, but it was still a good, solid story about Dory where we learn a lot about her and meet a few more fun characters. I will say that there were moments of this movie that felt a little outrageous for Pixar fare and almost more in Dreamworks’ territory (which is not a dis on Dreamworks, they just have a different philosophy for their animated movies), but again, these were minor quibbles I can forgive for the overall enjoyment of the movie.

Independence Day: Resurgence

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I didn’t watch Independence Day in 1996, but at the point where enough years had passed where it seemed more cheesy in our modern age of movies. I have seen it again a few more times since then, and in that time, and especially in this last time I saw it in preparation for the sequel, I have grown fonder of it. In Resurgence, we see Earth has progressed in the 20 years since the aliens attacked, and we get to see many of the same characters and/or their children. There were a few different storylines that were eventually intertwined, much like its predecessor, and several new characters introduced, but I feel this was all well-developed. I especially enjoyed the President’s daughter and her fiance’s good friend Charlie (her fiance was Liam Hemsworth so he was… OK, actually, considering my natural prejudice towards Liam), and the other young, new characters. Overall, it’s not going to win Oscars and I did have a few issues with it, but it was a fun summer flick, and ultimately that was all I wanted from it.

If you’ve read either of these books or seen either of these movies, let me know what you thought of them! What’s been your favorite summer movie so far?

Movie Review: The Martian

Despite my bookish nature, I decided to watch the movie The Martian without having read the book. Thus, this review will be about the movie as a movie, not as an adaptation of the book.

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After a mission goes south and it’s believed he’s been impaled to death, Mark Watney is left behind by his crew – on Mars. Once the reality of the situation sinks in for Mark, he puts his mind to work. How can he contact Earth? How long would it take for a rescue mission to reach him? How can he make his food supply last that long?

I really liked Mark’s character. He’s extremely competent, but he does have to try things by trial and error at times. He’s also very funny, which helps him get through and is entertaining for the movie as well, especially since there’s also a lot of science and math babble.

In addition to Mark being stranded on the planet, we get to see some of his mission crew, making the long journey back home, as well as that of several NASA employees on Earth. I really liked seeing all these different facets of the situation. When NASA finds out Mark’s alive, we see them struggle with the PR situation, if and when to tell the rest of his crew, how they are going to attempt a rescue, etc.

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I really enjoyed every aspect of the movie, from the writing to the acting to the directing. Since I didn’t know the story and how everything would play out, I was intrigued the whole time and on the edge of my seat towards the end. The only complaint I have is small, and that is I wish I could have gotten to know some of the other astronauts a little better, but I know that wouldn’t have been feasible in the movie’s time length, and it didn’t need to be any longer.

The Martian isn’t a new favorite, but it was definitely very enjoyable. If funny, realistic sci-fi appeals to you, I’d definitely recommend The Martian.

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Have you seen The Martian? What are your thoughts? Have you read the book?

Ranking of 2015 Released Movies I Saw

I only saw nine 2015-released movies last year, but I’m sure I’ll pick up a few more along the way. I wanted to rank the ones I saw and share a few sentences about my thoughts on them. The rankings are based on an unscientific mix between the movie’s subjective likability for me personally, and my as-objective-as-possible feelings on the strength of the story.

9. Tomorrowland

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I really wanted to like this one more. First the good: the concept is interesting, and I really loved the main character. I would read a book series that followed her for sure. But the story fell flat and this movie had no clear target audience. Sometimes it felt like a kid’s movie, sometimes it felt a little older, but it certainly never felt consistent. I expected more of Brad Bird with The Incredibles and Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol under his belt, but I guess they can’t all be hits. 3 stars

8. The Peanuts Movie

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I am a big fan of The Peanuts, so I wanted to be sure to catch the new movie. My husband and I went and saw it in theater I believe the second weekend, and we were the only people in there who neither a child nor had a child. Not the target audience, I guess. However, it was very cute, and felt very true to the original content while still feeling fresh. It didn’t change my life but I enjoyed it. 3.5 stars

7. Star Wars: The Force Awakens

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Even though I think I enjoyed Peanuts more, I decided to rank this one higher because I think in the grand scheme of things this will be more enduring both for me and in general. At least I hope one day I will look back at this and see why everything happened the way it did. The first 2/3 of this movie was great for me, so solid; I was really into. The only thing I felt a little meh about during this part was when Kylo Ren took off his mask because (1) mystery gone and (2) hello you do not look like Han or Leia at all. But in the last third it just fell so flat for me. There are various reasons and I got into some in my post about hype, but let’s hope this is a set-up for something greater, because considering how much time and money was devoted to this movie it could have been more epic. And I love BB-8 forever. 3.5 or 4 stars? Time will tell.

6. Cinderella

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Unlike Star Wars, I probably won’t rewatch this movie until if and when I have a daughter, but I thought it was very well-done, especially for its genre. It’s definitely very fairy-tale; this isn’t some gritty, more realistic version, but I think there needs to be a place for this sort of story, especially for young girls. And Cinderella isn’t helpless; she is courageous and just as beautiful on the inside as she is outside, and ultimately that’s why the prince falls for her. I was very pleased with this adaptation. 4 stars/My review

5. Avengers: The Age of Ultron

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It’s the Avengers back together again, and with that comes quips and action and yeah, I liked it. But it did have its flaws and it’s not my favorite. 4 stars/My review

4. Ant-Man

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Ant-Man was so fun, and it really pleasantly surprised me. It’s not perfect either but I really enjoyed it. 4 stars/My review

3. Inside Out

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Pixar, you’ve finally done it again: making me laugh and cry and feel things and be amazed at your original ideas. 4 stars/My review

2. Mockingjay: Part Two

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I don’t understand the hate that some of the Mockingjay movies have gotten. They are not easy movies to watch, they’re not as exciting as the previous two, but they are SO IMPORTANT. The themes of war and PTSD and all that are so prevalent. I think I like Part One a little better, but I’ll have to rewatch them back to back to know for certain. I just wished the ending of Part Two had played out slightly differently (not changed the story, just been shown differently, if that makes sense). But overall, I thought it was really good. 4.5 stars/My review

1. Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation

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I rewatched this one recently and even though it didn’t have near the suspense of the first watch, I still loved it so much. I don’t know what it is about these newer MI movies but I am just all about them. They’re interesting action movies with very likable characters. 4.5 stars/My review

What was your favorite movie that was released in 2015? Do you have any recommendations for ones that I missed? 

My Top 10 Anticipated Films of 2016

I was considering whether or not to create this list since I rarely actually watch all the movies on these lists, but my husband made this just about one of the easiest posts for me to write by providing me with his list. I literally changed one movie, rearranged the order, and presto, my list was born. Plus, I think I actually will watch all these movies unless they are universally panned.

1o. The 5th Wave

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I probably won’t see this in the theater, but I’m hoping it’ll be good enough for a Redbox rental. The thing I’m most excited about with this adapatation is seeing Liev Schreiber because that casting was perfect.

9. Independence Day: Resurgence

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When I heard this was happening I groaned, but then I saw the trailer and thought, wow, this looks legit…

8. X-Men: Apocalypse

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I mean, it’s X-Men, so I’ll watch it.

7. Untitled Next Bourne Chapter

This is another Matt Damon Bourne film as opposed to Jeremy Renner, and that’s about all we know. I love the Jeremy Renner one most, but I’ll still excited about this one.

6. Star Trek Beyond

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I’m really hoping this will be OK since this movie’s gone through about 10 directors.

5. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

I don’t know what this is about except Star Wars, obviously. And not to be confused with Episode VIII. Felicity Jones is also starring and I really liked her in The Theory of Everything.

4. Doctor Strange

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Benedict Cumberbatch + Marvel = winning.

3. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

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Eddie Redmayne + J.K. Rowling = also winning.

2. Finding Dory

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Because how can I resist this?

1. Captain America: Civil War

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Even though I found the first trailer wanting, I know I’m going to eat this up.

What movies are you looking forward to in 2016?

Don’t Let the Hype Get to You

I’ve been meaning to review Winter and Six of Crows, and then I watched the new Star Wars movie, The Force Awakens, and I noticed I had a theme with all three of these stories: hype.

Let me go ahead and clarify: I ENJOYED ALL THREE OF THESE THINGS. This will not be about big disappointments. But there were some minor problems I had with all three.

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First, Winter. Though there was a lot of hype surrounding this one, it was just from everyone who loves The Lunar Chronicles, which includes myself, so a lot of the hype I had put on myself. Cress was hands-down, my favorite read last year. Every page was just like YES, this book is PERFECT. So I thought with 800+ page Winter, it could only get BETTER, right?! OK, maybe not.

Again, I REALLY liked this book. I gave it 4.5 stars and put it in my top 10 faves of the year. But I can’t lie, that book dragged for me a bit. I think Meyer could have cut at least 100 pages, possibly more. Before Winter, I thought I could have read a 400-book all about the Lunar Chronicles gang playing Scrabble and been thoroughly entertained, but maybe I was wrong. When the characters were just waiting for things to happen, I got restless. I wanted things to move forward, not stand still. And in case you think I’m ALL about the action, that’s not true either. I actually got confused quite a few times during the action sequences. Though I will admit, that’s the case with almost every action sequence in almost every book. And while everyone went through something in this book before they could get to their happy ending, I just didn’t feel quite as much emotional resonance as I wanted. Maybe that was my own fault. Brittany talked about how she possibly created distance between herself and this finale, and I think I might have done that too.

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Then Six of Crows. Again, there was hype, but a lot of it self-made because I LOVED the Grisha trilogy and I love Leigh Bardugo. I figured that Six of Crows had to be even better than the previous books, because that’s how it works, right? Writers only get better? I enjoyed the book. I gave it 4 stars. But it did not feel tight to me. Like Winter (though shorter), I felt there were pacing issues. I didn’t feel it was a very good set-up for the actual “heist,” and then the whole “heist” (honestly, it doesn’t feel like a real heist) itself felt kind of weak to me. Not gonna lie. This didn’t feel anything like Ocean’s Eleven to me. I mean, I have no problem with things not going perfectly, but everything felt way more half-hazard than I think it was supposed to.

And then there were 6 main characters, and I actually liked about 3 of them. The other 3 were fine, but I could have lived without them. Really, the book could have been all about Inej and Kaz and that would have been good for me. They were the only ship that even made sense to me. And speaking of things not making sense, I could not keep any of the nationalities or any other cultural details straight, which seemed strange since I have read the other books and I don’t recall being confused with them.

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And lastly, Star Wars. Most of the movie was pretty solid. I loved how it felt like the original series, except updated, and it was going really well. I liked the characters, the pacing was good, etc. Then at some point kind of close to the end, it’s like… I don’t know. I can’t pinpoint the moment it stopped working for me. But by the end of the movie, I realize that I had a pretty good time but nothing impacted me the way I thought it should have. I’ll talk spoilers in white in the next couple paragraphs; highlight to see…

One thing that took me out of the movie relatively early on was when Han & Leia’s kid who’s the bad guy (I honestly don’t remember his name) took off his mask the first time. I was immediately like you are not their kid, I don’t believe it. He just didn’t look like their kid to me or feel like him to me. And he seemed to behave completely differently without his mask. The character in general felt a little inconsistent. And we never really get to know him, so when we get to that moment between him and Han, I don’t care if he wants to go home with Han and be redeemed (of course, it was pretty obvious to me that he didn’t). I don’t feel betrayed when he kills his dad. It just doesn’t click for me.

And then the “climax” happened, and I put it in quotes because it wasn’t all that exciting. Han and Chewie getting on the Millennium Falcon? That was exciting! Blowing up this massively destructive weapon planet? Eh, who cares? I mean, you know the good guys are going to win and they didn’t even bother to make you feel tense about it ever at any point. I guess Han’s death was supposed to make things feel hopeless but it didn’t. And after the “climax,” Rey goes off to find Luke (no explanation why it’s her), and they just stand there and stare at each other as she holds out his lightsaber and… the end. That’s the end of the freaking movie. I was waiting for the big reveal that Rey is Luke’s daughter (she has to be, right? Is anyone with me on this?) or at least something and I mean, Luke doesn’t utter one single syllable in this movie. It just ends, period. (Actually, if this was going to be the way it ended, it didn’t cut soon enough. My husband and I had the conversation that it would have been better if we see Luke, and then cut, as opposed to the ten seconds of him and Rey staring at each other that we get.)

Look, I know no story can actually be perfect. But I also look for emotional resonance, for great character growth, and I look at story pacing. All three of these stories are part of larger stories that I adore, and when I don’t get all three of those things lined up the way I expect them to, I can’t help but be a little disappointed.

Moral of the story? Have lower expectations, I guess. Though I think that’s nearly impossible when you’re dealing with franchises you already love. But it’s not always going to bigger and better the next time. Professional storytellers are not flawless storytellers, and I know this. At the end of Winter, the characters were where I wanted them to be. At the end of Six of Crows, I can tell that Kaz’s upcoming arc is one I’m going to want to stay tuned for. At the end of Episode VI, I saw my old “friends” and am hopeful of what is to come with the new ones. I may want a little more, but what I got was still good.

How do you deal with hype? Were you mildly (or maybe even majorly) disappointed in anything you were highly anticipated lately?

My Feels for The Hunger Games Are REAL: My THG Reread & Mockingjay Part 2 Review

*Warning: Spoilers!*

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I’m really glad I decided to pick up this series again in preparation for the last movie (so sad!). When I read the trilogy for the first time in 2012, none of the movies had come out yet (though they had been cast). My only spoiler was that I had heard one of the male characters died, and I was so worried the whole time it was going to be Peeta (I realized later the reference was to Finnick). I adored him and wanted what was best for him, so I spent all of Mockingjay SO STRESSED. But this time, I was able to appreciate Katniss’ journey even more (though I liked her a lot in my first read too, obviously, since I named my blog after her)..

The first read of the series, for me, was all about the characters. This second time around, it was about the overall story, particularly its themes of war and PTSD.

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In my initial read, The Hunger Games was my favorite read of the trilogy. After rereading, I think Catching Fire might actually be my new favorite, but I will not deny that this is most likely influenced by the movie, as it is also my favorite of the movies (which I can say for certain now that I have seen Mockingjay Part Two). The nice thing about Catching Fire is that we already know the main characters and the world, but we get some new secondary characters and we delve deeper into what leads to the rebellion. Also, Katniss’s interactions with Peeta are more genuine.

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The first time I read Mockingjay, I pretty much hated it until the last page before the epilogue. The pacing seemed off and I was so concerned about poor Peeta’s state. This time, I was more relaxed and able to appreciate the book more, but at the end I was amazed that despite the fact that Katniss and Peeta end up together and even have a family, the whole thing still feels downright tragic. Not in a hopeless way, otherwise I wouldn’t care for these books the same way, but she loses her sister, her mother, her best friend, basically loses her mentor, and several others in her life – some through death and some due to purposeful distance (or in the case of Haymitch, he continues to lose himself to the bottle). No one comes out of this in good shape, and that’s scary. But sometimes, that’s real life. But we see that good can still come out of it.

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I know not everyone loved the first Mockingjay movie, but I have a deep appreciation for it, and my feelings are the same for the second one. They’re hard movies because we see Katniss struggling so much, see the dirty underbelly of war, see the horrors of manipulation and PTSD. And I appreciated some of the changes they made in the films, few as they were.

In the final Mockingjay installment, we get a little more closure with Effie. Haymitch seems to be in at least a slighter better state than he did in the book. And in the scene where Katniss asks Gale about the bombs, you know with certainty when she says, “Goodbye Gale,” she means goodbye forever. That hit me much harder than his sudden disappearance in the book.

And after everything has gone down and she returns to Twelve, we get the scene with Buttercup and then we see little flashes of her starting her life over again. I actually would have liked more of this, but the movie was already bordering on too long of an ending (due to staying faithful to the book in so many ways, I might add) so I forgive it. Katniss hunts, Peeta returns, and they start to spend time together. And at the very end they have apparently ended up in the same house, because she leaves her bed to come into his room to crawl into bed with him. I was a little sad we didn’t get one more kiss when she finally admits she loves him, but it was sweet nonetheless.

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Neither the books nor the movies pulled any punches, but I think that is a large reason why this is a story that will continue to endure. It carries themes and warnings that we can all take to heart.

What are your thoughts on the last Hunger Games movie, or the books and movies in general?

Top 10 Non-Scary Movies for Halloween

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is a Halloween freebie, so I decided on the Top 10 Non-Scary Movies for Halloween, because I’m not big on scary myself. I know the focus of Top Ten Tuesday is supposed to be books, but this is my blog and I do what I want to, so there you go. This week’s list is in no particular order.

1. Clue

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I’ve watched this movie more than once for Halloween. It’s about a murder, but it’s such a farce. If you’d rather laugh about a murder mystery than be spooked by it, this is definitely your movie.

2. The Nightmare Before Christmas

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This is the only real Halloween themed movie on the list, but it’s not scary, and it’s also kind of a Christmas movie? I’m really vexed as to when you’re actually supposed to watch it other than sometime between October and December. Believe it or not, I’ve only seen this movie once, and it was when I was in COLLEGE, but I think it’s pretty good and would recommend it if you haven’t seen it before.

3. Monsters, Inc.

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They may be monsters, but they’re more cuddly than scary. Don’t let James P. Sullivan fool you. 😉

4. Psycho

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This movie is suspenseful, but I would not classify it as scary, and I’m a bit of a scaredy-cat. I’ve also only seen this one once as well (in college… do we see a pattern here? My major was so worthless…), but I was definitely impressed with this Hitchcock film.

5. Rear Window

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This is another good suspenseful but not scary Hitchcock film.

6. Any and all Harry Potter films

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I think this is pretty obvious, unless you aren’t familiar with Harry Potter. In which case you should be.

7. The Prestige

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While not scary, this movie is definitely twisty and fascinating and I think suitable for a Halloween evening.

8. October Sky

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This movie is not even in the realm of scary, but it just seems appropriate with the word October in the title.

9. Remember the Titans

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If you care more about football season than Halloween season, this one’s for you.

10. Star Wars (whichever is your fave)

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Because Halloween is a perfect time to dress as your favorite Star Wars character, or just to get ready for the upcoming installment!

BONUS: TV Show Episode: “Day of the Dead” from Season 5 of Babylon 5

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I wouldn’t really recommend watching Babylon 5 out of order or out or context, but I think this might be one of the times you might be OK (though it’s been a little while since I’ve seen it, so I can’t say that for certain). There might be some confusion with details, but it’s pretty episodic in an otherwise very serial show, and it’s co-written by Neil Gaiman. Penn & Teller also make an appearance. I’d be lying if I said it was my favorite episode of the show because it’s not, but if you like the spirit of Halloween and Neil Gaiman, you might enjoy it.

Do you have a favorite non-scary movie that you think would be great to watch on Halloween?

Have Courage and Be Kind: Thoughts on Cinderella

When the new live-action Cinderella movie released, I thought it looked sweet but I didn’t rush out to the theater to see it. I finally nabbed it from Redbox on my birthday to see just how much it made me feel like a little girl again. Even though I had heard such things from reviews, I was still kind of surprised by the meaningful message of the film, and that it went deeper than magical fluff. Don’t be mistaken, it is still very fairy tale, with love-at-first sight and all that, but the character of Ella developed here is an excellent role model for young girls (and older ones too, really).

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The (maybe just slightly heavy-handed, but still very nice) theme of the movie is summed up in the words of Ella’s mother to her: Have courage and be kind. This is Ella’s motivation as she endures the awful treatment of her stepsisters and stepmother, and while she fights against being a doormat, they certainly take advantage of her kindness. It’s also these very same qualities that she possesses that attract the prince to her when they first meet. And it’s this courageous kindness that gives Cinderella the ability to forgive her stepmother in the end – a strong, important message for us all.

Overall: Cinderalla didn’t become a new favorite for me, but I definitely enjoyed watching it, and it would be a film I would be happy to show any daughters I might have one day.

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Mini Movie Reviews: Inside Out, Ant-Man, and Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation

Inside Out

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I have not been happy with Pixar’s sudden shift from creating brand new, original stories to CRANKING OUT ALL THE SEQUELS, though admittedly, I had also not been happy with their last original offering, Brave. My expectations for Inside Out were cautiously optimistic. Thankfully, I really enjoyed it! The main character, Ryleigh, is about 11 or 12 when her family makes a big move from Minnesota to San Francisco, and I was really able to relate to it with the big moves I’ve made in my life. I really enjoyed all the characters and, as a movie about emotions should do, it gave me all the feels. Definitely recommended.

Ant-Man

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With Ant-Man, the latest offering of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe (note: do there is a difference between Marvel’s cinematic universe and other Marvel films that are being released like X-Men, the new Fantastic Four, etc.), I was again cautiously optimistic. The marketing department had not done much to convince me this would going to be better than an average superhero movie (because I expect better these days), but I also hoped it was probably going to be pretty good because, well, Marvel Cinematic Universe. Thankfully, it was quite enjoyable, maybe not profound or earth-shattering, but very funny. I think this movie for me is what Guardians of the Galaxy was for a lot of other people, with just a little twist in the typical superhero image and fun. Paul Rudd really sold the show for me. Recommended.

Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation

rogue-nation

I like the first MI movie. I kind of liked the second and third ones for a while… and I still think the third one is a pretty strong movie, but man does Phillip Seymour Hoffman chill freak me out in it… but recently I have grown a little less interested in them. Probably because they’re all overshadowed in my mind by the fourth one, Ghost Protocol. Brad Bird did an amazing job with the direction, I liked the addition of Jeremy Renner to the team… I don’t know, it just hit all the right notes for me. It’s got to be one of my favorite action movies. So my hopes were high for Rogue Nation and THEY WERE MET. This movie was twisty and left me guessing constantly. This is definitely going to be one I will want to watch over and over again like Ghost Protocol. Highly recommended!

Have you seen any of these movies yet? What are your thoughts?