Lego Movie (2014)
Starring: Chris Pratt, Morgan Freeman, Will Arnett, Elizabeth Banks, Will Ferrell
Directed by: Phil Lord
Some people might think that this is a kids movie and they would be very wrong. Don’t get me wrong this movie is for kids but I like to think that it brings out the kid in all of us. I grew up with Legos, acting out crazy scenes, basically making movies in my head. The Lego movie is that brought to life. The plot is a little out there but it all comes together in the end. In fact this movie will even appeal to older kids by the end. At the start of the movie I found it hard to laugh at the jokes but I lost myself in the wonder that is Legos. The voice acting is amazing in this film and casted perfectly. Each character brings Legos to life in way that I thought was impossible. It is like watching your imagination played out on the big screen. Obviously the special effects in the film are out of this world. I would love to see how this film was made. I have heard that it took over 3 billion bricks to make this movie. This movie was all unexpected for me. I thought I was just going to watch a kids movie but instead I found myself truly enjoying this movie. I highly recommend seeing this movie. It will make everything awesome.
Starring: Joaquin Phoenix & Scarlett Johansson
Directed by: Spike Jonze
Her is a very interesting movie. It has a lot to say about technology and where it is going without being too heavy handed. The movie definitely has its moments that really make you think but it does also have some moments that are incredibly awkward. The idea of a man falling in love with a robot is not new it is however framed in such a way that it resonates much more with the audience. I do not think we are too far away from artificially intelligent or semi-intelligent operating systems and, if so, it is just a short jump until someone falls in love with them. Her relies heavily on the acting ability of Joaquin Phoenix and his on screen compatibility with Scarlett Johansson and it is definitely there. The two truly feel like a real couple. Their conversations have an element of truth to them, they sound like conversations that two people would have. It seems so real that for moments you forget that one of them is a computer. The secondary characters do a good job but do not add much to the film and could be cut without losing much, if any of the story. Her utilizes a lot of interesting camera angles and color schemes to play with the emotional level of the film. It really adds another layer to the film and is brilliantly done. I would say that it is not at all what I expected when I walked into the theater. It took what I thought was an interesting, albeit odd concept and really gave it a backbone. I definitely recommend seeing this movie although I don’t know if it is deserving of all this best picture buzz surrounding it.
That’s all folks. The BCS era has ended and with it, maybe SEC dominance. The ACC has asserted itself as a true power conference through its strongest member, Florida State. Not only did the SEC fail to win another National Championship but its flagship program, Alabama, also failed to win their BCS bowl game. It is possible that the end of the BCS era may usher in more parity for college football as a whole. It is also possible we, the fans, have created a new problem.
Do not get me wrong, I am very excited for the playoff system now, but I have a feeling that it is not going to actually solve any problems. This year the argument was there were plenty of one loss teams that deserved a shot at a National Championship. Why was Alabama punished for losing late in the season while Auburn was given time to recover from losing early? Why do Michigan State and Stanford not deserve a shot at the title, are their conferences really that much worse than the SEC? A huge complaint of the BCS system was that it left out too many teams and favored the SEC over other conferences. Who is to say that this committee of people will not suffer the same fate? Sure, there might be four teams in the playoffs now but, that is not a solution. I think that the top 6 teams this year deserve a shot at the National Championship. We know now that FSU is a force to reckoned with. But before the title game FSU, Auburn, Stanford, Michigan State, Alabama, and Baylor all deserved a shot. Even a team like Ohio State was right on the outside looking in. Why is a committee any more equipped than some odd system of humans and computers? If anything we have only added in more human error.
Did the BCS need to go? Yes, without a doubt. Is the new playoff committee a better solution? We will see, but college football is moving on and I cannot wait to see what happens.
American Hustle (2013)
Starring: Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams, Jennifer Lawrence and Jeremy Renner
Directed by: David Russell
American Hustle is one of those films for which I had high hopes for. It has an amazing cast and a very interesting concept. I was worried that it would suffer from too many good actors, each one trying to get the most spotlight. That is not the case here, each character builds brilliantly off the others; even the point of view of the film changes throughout, leading to better character development. The film is very light hearted and whimsical, which is good for a movie that is technically not a comedy. While the film is definitely worth seeing, I am not sure that it is worth all the Oscar buzz it has been receiving. I definitely recommend seeing this movie if you are looking for a good time but want something a little more substantial than a broad comedy.
I am at an interesting point in my life. In a few short months I will be leaving college and entering, what I like to call, the real world. I feel like right now is a limbo of sorts. I am not yet done with college but feel done. I am also not in the real world yet but I feel as if I am. I am constantly asking myself and being asked by others what do I want to do with my life. I have some grand ideas that are more like 10 year goals than true ideas of what I want to do. I am in fact quite jealous of my friends who want to be doctors or teachers or lawyers or engineers. They know exactly what they want to do and how to get there. My path is much less clear but that does make it much more open to change. Anything and everything is possible.
The real answer to the question what do I want to do with my life is do something that makes me happy. My father always said that he never felt like he was going to work because he loved what he did. Well that is what I want to do with my life. I want to find something in which everyday is something I look forward to, instead of something to dread. I want a job in which the worst day of the week is Friday because it will be a whole weekend before I can get back to doing what I love. I think the more important question is not what do you want to do, but instead what makes you happy?
Below is a video with Alan Watts narrating this very concept. People often decide to do things they don’t want to, be it for financial, personal or any other multitude of reasons. However he says, act as if you have no inhibitions, nothing holding you back and only then will you end up doing what you truly love. So as I move forward in this very critical point in my life, I will remind myself to always consider what is going to make me happy.
*Sorry for the different kind of post. But after hearing the video I felt motivated to write this down. Anyone out there with any advice, it would be greatly appreciated.*
Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Donald Sutherland, Elizabeth Banks, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson
Directed by: Francis Lawrence
The second installment in the Hunger Games is out and it is a good one. I am sure at this point most people have read the books and know the story. That means that the success of the film comes from bringing the characters we know so much about to life. Francis Lawrence does an amazing job in his imagining of not just the games, which were incredible, but also the rest of the districts and the capital. Similar to the books I found myself disliking Katniss but not because of her acting more just because of how the character’s story develops. There are some brilliant performances by the supporting cast and the movie is just as visually stunning as the first one. I definitely recommend seeing this film if you liked the first movie or the books.
Thor: The Dark World (2013)
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Anthony Hopkins
Directed by: Alan Taylor, James Gunn
After a much too long absence I finally made it back to the movies. I decided upon seeing the next installment in the incredibly popular Marvel universe. Thor, the first one, was one of my favorite Marvel films because of how much explaining they had to do without coming across as boring. This time around everyone is familiar with the characters which allows for much more development. The story is nothing to get too excited about. An other-worldy force once again threatens humanity and it is up to Thor and co. to save the universe as we know it. The acting is decent with a spectacular performance by Tom Hiddleston as Loki. In fact, I wouldn’t mind seeing a Loki movie. We all see the Marvel movies for their action and Thor: The Dark World does not disappoint. Overall I would recommend seeing this film. While this is not as outstanding as its predecessor, it is still a good movie.