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

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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?

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Review: Monsters University

I’ve been a little upset with Pixar lately, between their run of sequels and the strange movie Brave, and have been impressed while their competition Dreamworks really stepped up their game with How To Train Your Dragon. Well, I finally saw Monsters  University over the weekend, and while a prequel, it finally felt like a step in the right direction – back to Pixar’s glory days.

I plan to keep this review short. The movie is a prequel to my personal favorite Pixar movie, Monsters, Inc., which I loved so much because of its unique story and fun characters. So for me, the idea of giving this movie its own prequel could either be a total disaster or a fun ride, and thankfully it was the latter! As usual, Pixar payed close attention to every detail, and you can see it in every scene of the movie. The various monster characters are all one of a kind, each complete with their own personality. And not only did we get to see how much Mike and Sully did not get along when they first met, but we also learn that Randall was actually a nice guy at one time! Before Nathan Fillion Johnny Worthington’s fraternity Roar Omega Roar got the better of him.

I also loved the messages in the movie. Mike works extremely hard to be the best scarer ever, as it’s all he’s wanted since he was a little monster. But he learns that he’s actually not all that scary. However, that doesn’t mean he’s worthless. He’s great at training others how to scare, and is hard worker, and these things will help him in his future career. But of course, while in the middle of everything he is going through, it’s hard for him to see.

Working hard pays off, and so does pursuing your dream, but sadly, we all cannot do exactly as we dream to do, but we can do something else, something we may realize is even better for us.

I give Monsters University four stars for delivering a fun time, a good message, great characters new and old, and for not ruining Monsters, Inc. It’s not quite among my elite favorites, but I’ll definitely be adding the movie to my Pixar film collection.

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Have you seen Monsters University? What were your thoughts? And what’s your favorite Pixar film?

Wednesday Round-Up: The Elite, DS9, Dory, Castle, & Whedon

I have no idea how often this “Wednesday Round-Up” feature will happen or if it will ever happen again, but I felt possessed to share a few things and just decided to put it all in one round-up-style post.

Waiting On Wednesday: The Elite by Kiera Cass

WoW

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There is a weekly blog event hosted by Breaking the Spine called Waiting on Wednesday, where book bloggers share upcoming book releases that they are anticipating. Well, I have been looking forward to The Elite since I finished The Selection, but now that we’re in its release month, it’s starting to feel real! I’m super nervous about the book, as I have heard there are so many twists and turns that makes everything frustrating, but I know I won’t be able to put off reading it for too long. And then I’ll have to wait until NEXT YEAR for the last book! Ack! Note to self: don’t get into anymore series when only the first book is released. Also, Team Maxon, for anyone who cares. I plan to review The Selection on here before too long. Anyone else looking forward to The Elite?

Why You Should Watch My Fave TV Show, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

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If you want to know why I love Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, read this. Even if you haven’t heard of it, read it, because then you will know of it, and then you should promptly watch all seven seasons of it. Amazing story arcs, character arcs, great stories of science fiction that mirror modern times and have great social commentary… there is just so much goodness in the show! Yes, it’s 10+ years old, but good storytelling knows no age, and that is certainly true of DS9. Any other Trekkies out there?

Finding Dory: Couldn’t Pixar Find New Stories?

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This article about Finding Dory, the sequel to Finding Nemo, is very timely. My husband and I have spent the past couple of weekends going through the Pixar movies we own, and we have been complaining about how Pixar just doesn’t produce as good of movies as they once did. We were also pointing out all the great details in the movie. In fact, we watched the mini-documentary on the making of Finding Nemo that was on the bonus disc, and everyone who was involved with the look of the film was required to become scuba diving certified and go scuba diving! And then they actually went to Australia to check out the Great Barrier Reef! How awesome is that? And such amazing attention to detail! So even though I think Disney has ruined Pixar a little and made them do these silly sequels, I will forgive if finding Dory is anywhere near as well-done as Finding Nemo. What do you think of a Nemo sequel?

Castle’s 100th Episode

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Monday was the 100th episode of my favorite currently-running show on TV (AKA, the only one I actually watch on a consistent basis), Castle. For those who are unfamiliar with it, it stars Nathan Fillion as writer Richard Castle, who shadows a homicide detective for writing inspiration. At least, that’s how it began. Now, he pretty much works at the precinct (unpaid) and is dating detective Kate Beckett. The 100th episode was a nod to the Alfred Hitchcock movie Rear Window. In the episode, Castle finds himself injured much like Jimmy Stewart’s character is in the movie, and he too spies on his neighbors, and his imagination runs wild with what he sees. It was a great episode, and one that I think would be fun to check out even if you haven’t watched the show before. Any other Castle fans out there?

Great Quote About Writing from Joss Whedon

Lastly, I just wanted to share this quote. I think it is a perfect description of why I write.

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