Megan's Movies

Guys? I only saw a single movie this past week. Along with my computer turning into a heavy white screen, I’m clearly failing as a blogger.

(It turns out, when you get those pop-ups saying “your memory is pretty much full, are you sure you want to upload more photos?” you should pay attention to that.)

(Don’t worry, it’s almost entirely fixed, thanks to hours of watching a rainbow swirl, a loan of an external hard-drive, and ignoring why my dock is now in a different location and has different icons.)

(Tl;dr: technology isn’t my strong suit.)

But, fingers crossed, I will return next week with ALL THE PHOTOS YOU CAN HANDLE.

(It’ll be intense.)

Now, onto Million Dollar Arm.

Fanning Out!

I really like Suraj Sharma who plays Rinku Singh and Madhur Mittal who plays Dinesh Patel.

But even more I love the woman who plays Rinku’s mom. The scenes with her are the emotional heart of the entire film. Though they’re a comparably small part of the overall movie, during each moment she was on screen I was imagining what it would be like to have your child taken to a foreign country by a man who didn’t speak your language to play a game you’ve never seen.

Basically, though I can’t find that actor’s name, she’s my new favorite. 

Deep(Ish) Insights!

If you stay for the credits, the real two boys who won the contest are shown through photos and videos and you realize that a shocking amount of the movie is taken directly from real life. Like, almost every throw-away scene is based in a real-life, recorded moment. Even Jon Hamm’s love interest is a real woman that existed. This seems unique for a “based on a real story” movie, especially an inspirational sports movie, and it blows my mind.

(Guys, if Mighty Ducks is real, I need to know about this.)

Look Over There!

Favorite review: Indian Expat Parent: ‘Million Dollar Arm’ and Thoughts of Home

Weirdest fact: As is often the case, truth is kookier than dramatization; it was Chang who came up with the idea, because he wanted to prove his hypothesis that great baseball players were like X-Men mutants, with a certain percentage born into every population.

What movies are you watching?

Megan

What’s This Whole Megan’s Movies Thing?

Megan’s Movies: Million Dollar Arm

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 4 Funny Laurie Notaro Books For When You Need A Laugh

Anna gave me a book by Laurie Notaro during sophomore year of college, probably as a gift for birthday or Christmas.

(All I can remember is the book, Anna, and my sophomore dorm room.)

(I assume it was a gift.)

(Anna, if you loaned me a book ten years ago that I then stole, feel free to see me about that.)

Like most books I’ve been given as gifts, I took forever getting around to reading it and then loved it and bought everything else from that author I could find.

All of Laurie Notaro’s books are collections of humorous essays.

(Well, she has a couple of novels, but I’m not recommending them because I’ve never read them because I really prefer my favorite authors to stay in their assigned niches.)

(I’m fairly demanding of those I love.)

4 Funny Laurie Notaro Books For When You Need A Laugh

Notaro’s I Love Everybody (and Other Atrocious Lies): True Tales of a Loudmouth Girl is the book about her 30s and job interviews and Halloween parties and her mom’s love of QVC.

4 Funny Laurie Notaro Books For When You Need A Laugh

We Thought You Would Be Prettier: True Tales of the Dorkiest Girl Alive  is the first Laurie Notaro book I read and while Anna told me it wasn’t as good as her others (Anna isn’t the best at selling gifts), it’s always been my favorite.

(Maybe because it was my first.)

(That’s always a special book bond.)

This book was published in 2005, so a lot of the essay subjects are, perhaps, a bit dated, but they still make me laugh.

4 Funny Laurie Notaro Books For When You Need A Laugh

I have legitimately used parts of Autobiography of a Fat Bride: True Tales of a Pretend Adulthood to give life advice to my friends.

This is the book where her essays deal with meeting her husband and their love story.

(I’m a huge sucker for humorous, real-life love stories.)

4 Funny Laurie Notaro Books For When You Need A Laugh

The Idiot Girls’ Action-Adventure Club: True Tales from a Magnificent and Clumsy Life is Notaro’s first book, the one that established her tone and subject matter and hilarity.

It is also the last one I read, because I enjoy being contrary.

But it’s totally deserving of its hype and if you want to see where the humor started, it’s highly recommended.

What are you reading?

Megan

{All links are Amazon affiliate.}
4 Funny Laurie Notaro Books For When You Need A Laugh

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Megan's Movies

Godzilla

Fanning Out!

Seeing a lot of movies = seeing a lot of movie trailers. Which equals seeing the end of most movies before you get to watch the first hour. This is not a trend with which I am a fan. Having seen both trailers already for Edge of Tomorrow and How to Train Your Dragon 2, I am now 90% certain I could tell you the entire plot of both movies.

(To clarify, I’m still excited to see How to Train Your Dragon 2, an excitement which wasn’t even diminished by them surprise showing the first five minutes before Rio 2.)

Yet, having watched the trailers, I was completely taken aback by all the plot twists of Godzilla. This is, in current times, a shocking success.

I also enjoyed the anticipation of waiting for the final battle scenes and every single scene with a monster in it.

Deep(Ish) Thoughts!

There’s a scene where a monster is sad and it was the only time during the film I shared in portrayed emotion.

From Bryan Cranston to Aaron Taylor-Johnson to Elizabeth Olson I did not care about any human character in this movie and the endless storylines of people moving from city to city to city, while seemingly  not that concerned about the human destruction surrounding them bored me.

(I did not even care about the kid. I half-cared about the bus driver.)

Gender Awareness!

I agree that most of these characters fit into pretty standard archetypes, but that was a blatant fridging. It was fucking textbook. She’s one out of only three named women in the film, by the way, and her sole role is to be immediately killed off to create 15 years of guilt and manpain for Bryan Cranston’s character and their son, Ford. I’m increasingly frustrated that big blockbuster films (and TV shows and comics and every other type of media) keep using this trope. It’s insulting, frankly, and it took me completely out of the movie. I actually flipped the screen off in the theater when it happened. By the forty-minute mark it doesn’t even have an impact on the film anymore. Cranston’s character is dead, and Ford could have become the man he is without it happening. His major drive is not revenge on these monsters for his mother’s death, but protecting his family. It was a lazy move by the film’s creative team, and is the best example of bad character writing that plagues this film.

Diversity!

Is it just me or was having the Japanese character have an emotional reaction to Hiroshima emotionally manipulative and awkward?

I love the watch idea and feel like it could have worked in a different scene, but to have Ken Watanabe be the main scientist and have him react to their nuclear decision with blanked-out horror and arguments about dropping atomic bombs having a bad history seemed inexplicable. You’re the scientist, have literally any helpful suggestion or thoughtful argument.

He spent the rest of the movie blankly staring around, as though traumatized.

And having him be the one with the knowledge that Godzilla is the Earth’s protector/nature’s balancing act felt a bit like the foreigner with the special connection to nature trope.

That said, it’s my hope that Godzilla 2 is just Watanabe and Godzilla, taking on the world.

Look Over There!

What Does Godzilla Mean? The Evolution of a Monster Metaphor

Megan's Movies

Belle

Fanning Out!

I almost never enjoy period pieces, especially when that period is fancy-dress England.

(Last week I said to my mom “I don’t really know the different periods in British history, like, when’s Victorian times, who knows?” and she said back “it was when Queen Victoria was in charge” and then I felt silly.)

(But I still don’t know when that was, so silly and still uninformed.)

But, whatever fancy-dress period Britain was going through in Belle, I loved it.

I loved the story and the insight into women’s societal positions of that time and the dresses.

Deep(Ish) Insights!

Gugu Mbatha-Raw, who plays the title character Dido, is actually British, so that accent is 100% real.

The main thread of this film is slavery and Dido’s uncle’s role as the Lord Chief Justice, which seems to be like the British Supreme Court but just one dude.

(You can tell those International Politics classes really paid off.)

He has to make a ruling over whether an insurance company must pay for slaves that died on route, with evidence showing they were murdered by the shipping company to make back their profit after having illness spread throughout the boat.

This movie is emotional and sappy and I enjoyed it all, but I seriously don’t understand how the legal ramifications of his ruling led to the end of slavery.

And I wasn’t smart enough, at the initial unveiling of the painting, to determine whether she was in awe or really upset, so was somewhat confused for a bit.

SPOILER: She was in awe, turns out that painting is one of the first to have a black subject on equal level with a white aristocrat. I thought it was weird she looks like an angel or mythical fairy or something not like a woman sitting on a bench next to another woman, so didn’t follow that plot point perfectly.

Gender Awareness!

This movie is all about gender awareness. LOVED IT.

Look Over There!

I feel a bit bad for poor typecast Tom Felton, who plays an overly racist jackass whose jackassery serves to illuminate the more subtle racism of another character. That dude’s never going to escape the dread spectre of Draco Malfoy, is he? I want him and Game of Thrones‘ Jack Gleeson to do a mockumentary reality show together.

&

Belle does have a clear moral compass, but it refuses easy answers and withholds easy judgments. As such, it feels profoundly human.

Have you seen any movies lately?

Megan

What’s This Whole Megan’s Movies Thing?

Megan’s Movies: Belle & Godzilla

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