Tag Archives: movie

The Trouble with Trainwreck

Trainwreck_posterTrainwreck got a lot of acclaim from people and was even being talked about before its release since it was expected to be a unique take on romantic comedies that was written by a woman. People that had seen it before me lauded it for being a feminist masterpiece, saying that Amy Schumer’s film was shaping the romcom genre in a big way. Yet I left the theater feeling more than a little bit dismayed.

I’m not going to say that I didn’t laugh, and despite not being over the moon about Trainwreck, I enjoy Schumer’s standup for the most part. (I think sometimes her jokes are a bit too crude for my personal tastes, and she tends to put her foot in her mouth with racist jokes or jokes that are in poor taste, though.) Bottom line: I don’t hate her, and I don’t even necessarily hate Trainwreck. It was good for some laughs, I enjoy Judd Apatow’s movies, I was thrilled to see Bill Hader in a larger role, and it is refreshing to see a movie written by a woman.

Now here is my biggest issue with it: Once again, we have a romantic comedy where a woman prospers with the introduction of a male character to her life, as if she needed saving or redirecting. It seems like the places where Schumer deviated from the norm were when she made her female protagonist into a woman that likes to drink, smoke weed, and sleep around. This is fine and all, but it wasn’t consistent—as soon as Schumer meets Bill Hader’s character, she changes anyway and stops drinking, smoking, and meeting up with other men to enter into a committed relationship, something she previously scoffed at. Schumer had dated other men and never gave into their pressures of monogamy, yet she does immediately for Hader. (In fact, I’m pretty sure she told him no multiple times and he was just like, “No, you like me and we’re dating now” to which she complied.) Are we supposed to walk away from this thinking that the influence of true love is able to transform us into the “right” kind of person and that all of our questionable actions are fine and dandy until we decide it’s time to settle down? Hell in the end of it, she’s dancing with professional basketball dancers, something she previously rolled her eyes at, because she knows he likes basketball! And of course there’s the typical trope of working as a journalist and writing an article to win back the affections of your estranged lover. This INFURIATES me. When does this happen?! I’m glad I’ve never seen it because that means I must be reading the right editorials and not the kind of magazines that every movie star bases journalism off of where they’re able to post this “I love you, I screwed up, please come back” garbage.

Schumer had a platform where she could have done anything, but she basically rewrote How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days with a Kate Hudson character that doesn’t [initially] give a shit what anyone has to say. From the way people were discussing Trainwreck, I was expecting to walk away having seen a movie that might set romantic comedies on a new course, but I feel like she fell into predictable patterns and ultimately didn’t do anything special. She had a unique character for a little while, but she let it succumb to the influence of a man. Schumer could have written it so the character stayed the same throughout the film and found a partner that accepted her as is, and that alone would have been drastically different from other romantic comedies.

Honestly I love romcoms. They’re cheesy and I don’t have to think a lot while watching them—and sometimes that’s all I’m looking for in a movie. I’ll keep Trainwreck on my shelf as a comfort movie to watch when I’m sick, unable to process complicated scenarios, and all I need is a cheap laugh.

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Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Between_a_Rock_and_a_Hard_Place_CoverAron Ralston’s Between a Rock and a Hard Place was something that I honestly never wanted to read, mostly because I’m a baby and just the thought of gore makes my head spin. I knew where it was headed–the cover gives away the ending in just one picture–and I’ve also heard of James Franco’s role in 127 Hours. I immediately put it on my “Never Going to Watch This Movie” list (this list also includes all the Saw movies and anything with Adam Sandler in it), but here I was reading the book. So I knew that Ralston cut his arm off with a dull pocket knife blade after suffering through a complete and total canyoneering accident. Even thinking of it made me feel like I was losing my balance. But I’m also a compulsive garbage digger and I happened upon this book. Call it fate, call it disgusting, but now the rest is simply history.

After sitting on my shelf for close to six months, I finally read this book because I had nothing else to read. The experience overall was fine, I guess. It was over 300 pages and moved very slowly. It took me months to read because I found myself utterly bored and distracted quite frequently throughout it. He also has more of a scientific mind and focuses on the most minute details to his situation and the story. The way he describes the situation he found himself in wasn’t very interesting and was hard to picture, and that’s even using the pictures that were included throughout the book as reference. He uses terminology that you won’t understand if you’re not experienced with climbing or outdoor adventure. I’ve been climbing and hiking plenty and I still barely had any idea of what he was talking about at certain points. I honestly think this story could have been summed up in 120 pages, if that, but there was an immense amount of backstory.

The backstory was probably his most incriminating information and just proved how reckless and immature Ralston could be, making it so that this accident didn’t come as a total and utter surprise to me. He constantly tempted fate throughout his life, doing solo winter fourteener hikes through avalanche-prone areas as well as plenty of other acts where it seemed like he thought about the consequences of his actions long after he had already committed to them. Then he kind of tried to laugh it off like, “Oh boy, isn’t adventure FUN?” while everyone around him was left cleaning up his mess and rolling their eyes. There are multiple times where he talks about how he doesn’t just do these sorts of adventures for bragworthy purposes while coming across as if he’s bragging. I got to a certain point in the book where I felt annoyed by him.

Overall I thought the book was pretty lackluster and simply a story about a somewhat spoiled guy who got INSANELY lucky. It got interesting for me once he finally started talking about his friends beginning the search for him, although that whole thing seemed very privileged and fortunate as well. His parents were able to pull enough strings so that a helicopter was flown out to search for him the day after they reported him missing, but it was all done in a polite way full of plenty of luck and smiles and “please and thank you’s.” It feels like something is just missing from that part of the story.

So yeah, it’s great and frankly miraculous that he even survived that long. Very impressive, but also…eh. Not my kind of story. Oh, and I definitely skipped over every gory, overly-detailed scene of him sawing his arm off and I don’t regret it even a little bit. Gross, gross, no thanks.

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Into the Wild

Jon Krakauer took on the arduous task of covering the death of Chris McCandless, and I for one couldn’t be happier about that. To say that I loved the movie and the book is an understatement.

I watched the movie first, and usually I’m a strict “the book is better than the movie” kinda gal. But in this instance, I loved them both equally. I’m a pretty harsh judge of films (READ AS: I have little interest in viewing upcoming movies or flat-out dislike a lot of movies that my friends love), but I can honestly say this is in my top favorite movies of all-time. Stranger than Fiction, City of God, When Harry Met Sally, and now, Into the Wild. I know, it’s a weird list—let’s just move on.

Multiple times while reading the book, I had to put it down and redirect my eyes and mind to something else. It was THAT intense that I was on the verge of sobbing in public. I don’t condone judging people for breaking down in front of strangers, but looking at myself from someone else’s perspective as I marched along on the elliptical in a huge sweaty t-shirt made me feel like the crying wasn’t a good idea.

There were so many moments where I could easily put myself in his shoes. I HATE commercialism, big business, and what greed does to some people. When I graduated college, I told my father that I could easily live a minimalistic lifestyle and that I wished money didn’t matter so much. He shook his head as if to say, “You have so much to learn.” I stand by that statement and hope I never change, yet my mind is still blown at what McCandless did. Because although I say I hate these things, I have my bank accounts and credit cards.

He overcame so much, and he represents a part of human nature that I think exists in even people who abhor the great outdoors (if that’s a thing). McCandless stands for the the things we say we want to do, those unattainable dreams that are oh so impossible. Because honestly, what makes them impossible? We make them unreachable to ourselves. We can do whatever we want, but we hold ourselves back with fear or lack of confidence or insert reason why you can’t do what you really want. There’s almost always a reason to stop ourselves from doing what we say we’d love to do, when in actuality all we have to do is do what we love. It might be scary and it might end up being the wrong decision in the end, but if it’s something that we’d supposedly love to do then it should be worth it.

Maybe the reason this spoke to me so much is because lately I’m trying to do just this. Not in a selfish way, but my goal is to make my life the most ideal it can be and to live happily. Or maybe it’s because I can picture my boyfriend running off into the woods for a long period of time to find himself. Whatever the reason, I love Into the Wild, and I feel like Chris McCandless is my best friend.

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LOTR: The Fellowship of the Ring

fellowship

Yaaaaaay I read it! And I’m actually halfway through the second book but I’m bad at posting lately.

Mostly it’s very disappointing to read this series since I already know how it all ends. I keep reading things and when I start to recognize things, I’m basically thinking two steps ahead and waiting for the next character to die (or resurrect). And if I don’t recognize something, my immediate thought is “I don’t remember that from the movie, THEY LEFT IT OUT!” Or I just think that I need to re-watch the series…Which I probably do.

It’s seriously such a bad feeling to have watched the movie first. Luckily this is an awesome movie series, but still. It’s kind of ruining the series for me.

Besides that, it is still interesting to be inside Tolkien’s warped and intricate mind. Someone was telling me the other day that they thought that Tolkien was a terrible writer, but had great and profound ideas. I don’t even think he’s necessarily a bad writer, though. Sure there’s some things that happen grammatically that make me grit my teeth, but I also think that maybe there were some different rules in that time (maybe? hopefully?). Such as not putting punctuation inside quotation marks. It’s terrible, but I’m assuming (and I don’t want to know if I’m wrong honestly) that this was somehow right.

I also still have yet to see The Hobbit MOVIE! I have to get on that, I know. Maybe tonight. Maybe not though.

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