Movie Reviews

Movie Review: The Breadwinner

Director: Nora Twomey

Starring: Saara Chaudry, Soma Chhaya, Ali Badshah

Parvana is a girl growing up in Afghanistan under the Taliban. Her father (Nurullah) is arrested one day and unless there is a boy or man present to escort them outside, Parvana, her older sister (Soraya) and her mother cannot go outside. Parvana does have a younger brother (Zaki) but he is too small to be an escort (this is my conclusion, not something that the movie stated). Parvana’s mother (Fattema) goes with Parvana to make the long trip to the prison in hopes to find news on the condition of Parvana’s father; they figure if they do not draw attention to themselves then hopefully they can make it to the prison.

Unfortunately they are caught and Fattema is beaten. They go back home and Fattema is utterly defeated. It seems that they are to stay home and slowly starve to death. Parvana decides to cut off her hair, wear boy’s clothing and provide for her family. This is dangerous because if she is caught she will be killed but there is freedom in being a boy. Parvana is able to work, buy food, get water, etc without major issues. Parvana meets Shauzia who is a girl who also dresses up like a boy; they become friends and work jobs to make money. Throughout the story, Parvana continues telling the tale her father had started about a boy who goes into the mountains to face the elephant king and get the seeds that were stolen from his village (seeds the village needs to plant in order to have food).

I cried while watching this movie. I cried as Fattema was beaten, I cried when Parvana and her friend were getting shot at and I cried near the end when Parvana is at the prison begging to see her father.

I want to be as brave as Parvana one day, to find a way to accomplish my goals even when everything is going against me. Parvana touched the little girl in me, who climbed trees, questioned the mailman until he was scared and never wanted to have children. The little girl I was before I was weighed down by fear and others’ expectations of how I must act because I am a girl. That little girl in me is awake once again and together we will find our path.

My hope is that one day we as women can live in a world that we can reach our fullest potential and everyone is fine with that!

Movie Reviews

Movie Review: Mute

Directed by Duncan Jones

Starring Alexander Skarsgard

The main character is Leo (actor Alexander Skarsgard who also played Eric in True Blood)

Here we see Alexander Skarsgard in a different light than his True Blood character. As Leo, he is innocent, sweet and loves his girlfriend, Naadirah (played by Sayneb Saleh). Leo had an accident, when he was young, that messed up his vocal cords leaving him unable to talk. Anytime a character does not speak, it means the actor has to really sell the character’s emotions through their facial expressions and body movements, of which Alexander Skarsgard really did well!

My favorite scene is when Naadirah starts to tell Leo a secret that she has been keeping from him. Leo at first starts to panic thinking that she is breaking up with him, he tears up and after she reassures him that she is not breaking up with him. He writes “then nothing else is important”. I was so touched, that’s how real love is supposed to be, if you really love your person, accept your person with all of their flaws.

Naadirah disappears and Leo sets out to find her. He does not stop until he figures out the mystery. Along the way he discovers some bad things about Naadirah’s life but Leo gets it – don’t judge the person you said you love! Leo setting out to find Naadirah was harder for him because he doesn’t talk and through the film you saw how he communicated to strangers when asking about Naadirah. Leo did not let his non talking get in the way, he kept asking with a picture, pointing, beating people, drawing, writing, following, whatever it took to find his Naadirah.

The movie is set in Berlin, Germany, in the near future where cars fly. The main theme was love – mainly the love Leo has for Naadirah and secondly the love between two besties – Cactus (played by Paul Rudd) and Duck (played by Justin Theroux) – they drink together, do surgeries together (they are doctors), and were soldiers together in the past. Cactus is focused on getting forged documents for himself and his young daughter so that they can get out of Berlin while Duck is content with his life. Cactus discovers something really messed up about Duck which could potentially end their friendship but he decides to rough Duck up a bit and make Duck promise never to act on it, hence the love between to besties.

All in all, I liked this movie, it gave me hope that there are still some good men (like Leo) out in the world!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Movie Reviews

Secret (2007) directed by Jay Chou: Movie Review

This is a Taiwanese movie in MANDARIN CHINESE with ENGLISH SUBTITLES. You will have to read the subtitles the whole movie if you don’t speak Mandarin.

I’m usually never in the mood for subtitles no matter how good the movie looks but full disclosure I’m attempting to learn Mandarin so I was fine with the subtitles this go around. It’s actually a really beautiful movie with great music and subtle, modest romance.

I don’t remember anyone’s name and I’m not looking their names up because it really doesn’t matter to the story.  I am writing about this **WITH SPOILERS*** so if you are one of the many “SHHHH no spoilers!!! why oh why God?! You ruined my life by discussing a movie in its entirety” people….then this is not for you.

So there is this guy (let’s call him main character boy) and he is starting as a new student in a music high school. This girl (let’s call her supporting character girl) is showing him around the school. He ditches her to go explore the music building and hears wonderful music playing. When he goes to the piano room he sees another girl (let’s call her main character girl) on a ladder far away from the piano. For whatever reason, she doesn’t own up to being the talented musician who was just playing the amazing music he just heard  (she was probably socialized to be humble at all costs…eye roll… because unfortunately this nonsense is pervasive in a lot of different cultures… and she’s also just shy…ugh…girls…. we have so far to go).

Main character boy and girl form a romantic friendship that includes bicycle rides home, trips to the record store, stolen glances in the classroom, and eventually the cutest kiss on a rooftop. I liked that the camera angle was from behind the two as they were seated for their kiss. It’s as if the audience should respect that this is a private moment between the 2 of them, which makes it that much more powerful. Aww to be young and in love… (distant stare into the unknown….. oh romance you are a powerful drug…. just when I think I have you outta my system, you snake your way back into my life vicariously through romantic movies, damn you romance…. fist shake…. damn you!).

There is a miscommunication that ends up in main character boy kissing supporting character girl instead of his main squeeze main character girl! So what does main character girl do? SHE GHOSTS THE HELL OUT OF HIM LIKE A BOSS!!!!! She straight up disappears which is concerning because she is in high school and education first, ladies! But as a response to a man’s foolishness, I was completely here for it! I would’ve been out too.

Main character boy: It was just a…

Me: …………… GHOSTED. GONE. BYE.

A lot more happens and the movie pivots to science fiction/fantasy but that’s all I feel like writing about. Awesome movie, thumbs up.

 

Film Life

Best Movie Soundtracks

A Lot Like Love

Love when a movie has pop music in it that fits and somehow doesn’t overpower the acting. It’s one of those creative decisions Hollywood gets to make but if an indie filmmaker did it they would be called amateur.


Noah’s Arc Jumping the Broom

I used to scavenge like a fiend for all the songs on YouTube because I was too cheap to buy it. An ex boyfriend bought it for me for my birthday and it is still to this day, one of the best birthday gifts I ever received. The boyfriend is gone, but the music is, as Cardi B says “forevvvvaaaaaa”.


Mamma Mia

Growing up with my mom’s love of ABBA, this was a delight to watch, listen to, and sing along with.

Lemonade Mouth

“Reach for my hand cuz it’s held out for you,

My shoulders are small but you can cry on them too.

Everything changes but one thing is true, understand,

We’ll always be more than a band”

For the rest of the song they sing “my shoulders are strong” instead of “my shoulders are small”.

“More Than a Band” I love this song. So sweet, innocent, and encouraging. The whole movie has great songs but this one is the best, according to me 🙂


Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan

To be fair…this is actually an audiobook I listened to, not a movie. Music is integral to the storytelling and I don’t know how one could just read this book, you must absolutely listen to it. It follows a harmonica that affects several different, and I mean DIFFERENT characters around the world. Fredrich is in Germany and his tendency to stand up and conduct the imaginary orchestra that he hears in his head catches the eyes of the Nazis. Mike and his brother are orphans trying to stay together in Pennsylvania. Ivy is a young Latina in California whose brother is off at war. Then there is Otto who meets 3 sisters forced to work for a witch in the forest. Amazing story…the music is beautiful.

Film Life

Cats in Movies and TV

In honor of our cats’ birthdays let’s check out some cool movie and TV cats.

Downton Abbey

catchicken1

One of the best moments of Downton Abbey is when this cat bites down and escapes with the chicken. This was the scene that made me call my sister and tell her to start watching Downton. Still one of my favorite moments of Downton!

A Girl Walks at Midnight
girlwalkshome15

This cat was totally with it the whole movie, multiple people held him/her and there was a car scene too. So lovable.

Doug

Doug's_Fat_Cat

Stinky made Doug’s life miserable while he took care of her for Roger. I think she and Pork Chop could have been friends but she had this whole villian persona going on.

Sabrina

salem

Diabolical. Sarcastic and a bit lazy. Salem gets it.

Bob’s Burgers

Business

Mr. Business.  I haven’t seen enough of Gayle’s cats to decide if Mr. Business is my favorite or not but I did enjoy the cat dragon episode.

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

Is+that+cat+agent+jack+bauer+or+is+it+a+_9c06995685040d6f5f5a679df7e8c10d

Originally the gang wanted a dog…Dennis saw the potential in this alley cat instead. Enough said.

Coraline

coraline15

For some reason they didn’t name this awesome black cat. He’s intelligent,  tenacious,  brave, and entertaining.