In defense of the Alex Tizon article 

*I tweeted this discreetly after a blow up on social media from various parts of the world about the controversial long read. I noted there: article, because I intend to defend the article, not the things that happened in Alex Tizon’s piece for The Atlantic about his family’s secret

People demand truth but they blow up when it’s not to their liking, failing to recognize that the work was not a lie, in fact, a brave truth. It’s naive and idealistic to demand stories to paint black and white portraits of explicitly good and bad characters and behavior. Real life is a web of intersecting good and bad, where people, customs, mindsets, and the ways of the world, are allowed to change and grow. Scrutinizing and nitpicking issues from the place of privilege where one “knows better” is self righteousness guised as righteousness. People wanna intellectual-speak instead of opening up their hearts to a writer who poured his into this. Their bond, in spite of all that was wrong in their circumstance is more genuine than how subordinates anywhere in the world get treated. Note that you can hurt and walk all over people without having to break any laws or violate any basic rights. This was a lovingly written memoir of a family that captures the ff. very crucial phenomena in the human experience:

(1) There are remnants of servitude that haunt us as revamped forms of it still exist today.

(2) There is love in dark and difficult places.

We are all Alex Tizon when we are silent, but we can also be Alex Tizon when we choose to be kinder and softer.

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Adventures of a scaredy cat

Disclaimer: I’m one of those scaredy cats that enjoy the thrill of being scared but I’m still a scaredy cat.

I just wanna share that during the last two weeks, I spent most of my days gathering true accounts of paranormal experiences in my school and writing these down at night. Most of the time I’m completely fine or even excited, but other times… Just no.

Sometimes I’d get really hungry but the trip down to the kitchen just doesn’t seem so worth it anymore thinking about the hallways, stairs, glass doors, and windows I’d have to pass. Like a true survivor, I feasted on a tiny piece of stale cracker, those dried seed-based ones. I’ve gone to the extent of messaging random friends to “let me know when you’re going to bed. I won’t bug you, I just need to know.” Silly me, of course I’d end up writing past midnight until it hits 3am and my paranoia’s gone wild. I would then have to wait till that god forsaken hour is over so I finally get to sleep but wake up two hours later to go to school. I also had an episode of sleep paralysis or bangungot a few nights ago but I didn’t wanna make anything of it since it’s probably just fatigue induced. That’s what I tell myself anyway. Rewriting and reediting the same spooky stories for an article for some nights in a row, the images of the accounts are so etched in my memory, I’ve gotten kinda numb to it all.

It’s a beautiful gloomy day and I’m at home catching up on more writing. Remembering I had to do a little blurb on another scary thing, lo and behold I choose to write about The Exorcist (I’d link the trailer but that would mean actually searching and opening the video but I’m too chicken for it right now so be my guest). I’m trying to remember parts of the movie and its entirety and it already gives me ze shivers. I Google’d the film’s details just to confirm and opened a few review tabs which unfortunately have gifs, pictures, and videos spread out on their pages. Thanks a lot, I am now officially shaken up. Mini heart-attacking as I’m holding out my hand to cover the screen, obviously failing. I think I’ll just rely on memory, rushing to finish this before sundown. Wish me luck! 👻

*Just to look for a cover image for this post I had to go on Tumblr and type scary… bad idea. Using a friendly photo instead weeee

AIDEE HD DB_0909

Here’s the second edition of Aidee’s High Definition (Movie) Database. These are just half of the movies I caught over the month of August. Fortunately, I was able to watch a lot a lot of movies, so much that I’m going to have to make a separate post for the rest. It was a great way to kick back.

Featured image: Strand by hyperrealist artist © Davis Cone (1994)


sweeney

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007)
★★★★☆
care for a shave?

Tim Burton’s on screen adaptation of urban legend and beloved Broadway musical, Sweeney Todd, tells the tale of a barber who was banished for 15 years. Back to avenge the loss of his wife and daughter to the cunning Judge Turpin, as he waits for his vip customer, his victims’ throats are slashed as they fall into a trapdoor that leads into a basement. Where their corpse are ground into the fillings for his landlady Mrs. Lovett’s pie shop where business has never been better.

I used to know all the words to the songs and my dad and I would watch this over chicken curry pies and lose our appetites while watching. It’s dark and it’s got Burton written all over it, but I’m particularly sympathetic to the story and I really do like the set and all the performances. 

mightyducks

The Mighty Ducks (1992)
★★★☆☆
quack quack quack quack quack quack

After a DUI sentence, Gordon Bombay was sentenced to community service—coaching District 5’s hockey team of perennial losers. They later find out that Gordon used to play for the Hawks but quit after an embarrassing loss. He christens the team, now the Ducks; and with a new set of gear and reborn team spirit, he leads them into the finals where they face the Hawks and his old coach, out to prove and play, “the ducks way”, clean, fair, and fun.

I grew up watching this with my brothers, and I especially loved D3 on VHS. I think my first impression of skating on ice was hockey and not figure skating thanks to these movies. I haven’t played hockey though, so that’s definitely on my bucket list. I also want a hockey jersey just because. 

Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994)
★★★★☆
can’t find peanut butter in Normandy

In an interview with a reporter, Louis de Pointe du Lac (Louis) claims to be a vampire in modern day San Francisco. He sets his story in late 18th century Spanish Louisiana where Lestat de Lioncourt had just taken the life of his wife and child. Louis begs to live and Lestat willingly gives him the curse. While Lestat attempts to bestow on him the ways of the vampire—feeding on human blood—set in his morals, Louis stubbornly lives off the blood of animals. Until one starved night in New Orleans, he stumbles into a plague-ridden village, where he feeds on a sick child. Lestat later transforms her into their vampire daughter to latch on to Louis. Claudia, on the other hand, had no difficulty picking up the sadistic ways of the cursed thanks to Lestat’s teachings but as thirty years pass, Claudia, always a child on the outside but aging within, begins to realize that she will never grow old and threatens to leave. She and Louis spend years running away from Louis and sail the world in search of others of their kind.

This came before the time of Vampire Diaries and Twilight, when Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt were the sadistically handsome looking vampires on screen and well they really did look like how you’d imagine 17th century vampires would look like. This interested me way more than your hunky boy next door-lab partner-vampire that glows under sunlight and wears leather jackets, which series are built around nowadays. Well other than being extremely lucky to star alongside these guys, I thought young Kirsten Dunst’s performance was wise beyond her years. You can also find a very long haired Antonio Banderas here. I think overall it’s an entertaining movie. I also think the reasons for our fascinations with vampires is linked to the pangs of humanity that crack between their long long long lives. Vampires are capable of love but are bound to watch their loved ones die. Vampires are attached to one another too or spend years searching for more of their kind because they’re not solitary creatures. I guess hunting at night when the world’s asleep gets pretty lonely. Food for thought. 

DSCF9550.RAF

Magic in the Moonlight (2014)
★★★☆☆
her smile is rather winning

Set in the 1920s where magic shows and tarot readings have peaked around the world, Stanley Crawford is the acclaimed Chinese conjurer, Wei Ling Soo on stage. However, in reality, Stanley despises and criticizes spiritualists that claim to perform real magic. In a mission to debunk another medium and clairvoyant, Sophie, he spends time in the Côte d’Azur villa of the Catledge where she contacts Aunt Grace’s dead husband. After witnessing these ‘magical’ events and as a romance buds between the two opposites, the skeptic Stanley is forced to almost step down his high horse and give up practicality and logic. 

This is a Woody Allen movie and although charming and witty, perhaps I got a little too excited and my expectations flew off the roof. I was a bit bored. 

bringing down the house

Bringing Down the House (2003)
★★★☆☆
mm mm mama is masa gonna sell us to-mo-rrow

After a recent divorce, extremely dedicated lawyer Peter Sanderson, signs up for a date from an online dating site and instead of meeting his soul mate, he meets a soul sister. escape convict Charlene who seeks his help to prove her innocence. As they try to work on her case around the clock, she ends up staying in their house, bonding with his children, and reminding him of the things that truly matter in life.

Like most Steve Martin family-oriented comedies, it’s a fun and light watch. I think the Queen Latifah and Steve Martin tandem works well too. My favorite scene was the dinner she had to pretend to be a maid and listen to all the racist remarks of their neighbor. 

withoutapaddle

Without A Paddle (2004) 
★★☆☆☆
yes we really wanna hurt youuuu

Three friends go on a camping trip after the death of Billy, their friend to honor his memory. Billy always believed that the campsite was where a famous airplane hijacker D.B. Cooper had buried money or treasure which they set out to find. Along the way, the city boys in the unfamiliar wild, encounter a series of antics, obstacles, naked women, and some crazy corrupt hillbillies.

Also another movie I remember watching with my brothers. Before there was Hangover and Grown Ups, there were movies like these and they’re pretty fun.

getaway

Getaway (2013)
☆☆☆☆☆
Selena Gomez is pretty even in a car chase 

This movie is so terrible that I refuse to spend time writing up a summary for it. This is by far one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen. If you wanna waste your time, please check it out. I pray HBO stops running it and gives me something else to watch on a Friday night in. Although I don’t always agree with Rotten Tomatoes ratings cause to each his own, they gave this one a whopping 2%! Makes sense to me. 

madeline

Madeline (1998) 
★★★☆☆
we love our bread, we love our butter

This is the live adaptation of the beloved children’s book from 1939 about a stubborn little orphan girl who’s very good at getting into trouble among the class of Ms. Clavell who gets her daily dose of mini heart attacks from Madeline. They live in a boarding house in the heart of Paris and although she may be small, she goes on big adventures thanks to her big heart.

If you grew up watching the animation, then you’ll enjoy the movie because it’s like watching all the characters you’ve come to know come to life. Also reminds me of growing back in an all-girls school which I miss every now and then. 

water horse

The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep (2007)
★★☆☆☆
lochs are lakes

Ever heard of the Loch Ness monster? But there’s no monster, or at least Crusoe never used to be one. When Agnus was a little boy in the brink of the Second World War, he lived in a manor by the shores of Loch Ness. He finds a rather unusually large egg and when it hatches, something like a water horse, he had only heard about in local myth, lay within. He tries to keep Crusoe, his pet and new friend, away from his mother, with the help of Lewis, their handyman. As each day passes, Crusoe grows incredibly large, so large that he has to be kept in the Lake. Although they’ve become inseparable, Agnus learns he has to let go of Crusoe to keep him safe from the Air Force and civilians that want to destroy the monster.

I enjoyed this mostly because it was set in Scotland.

magicinthewater

Magic in the Water (1995)
★★☆☆☆
so much Oreos 

Ashley goes on a vacation by a lake in British Columbia with her workaholic father and older brother Josh. Although always dismissed and called delusional by her family, Ashley befriends a sea monster by the dock and names him Orky whom she would share Oreos with. This sea monster is the fuss of the town, some even trying to capture phony photographs of the monster, while others believing its sacredness. With the help of an elderly Native American next door, the kids try to save Orky from the illegal wasted being dumped in the lake.

It’s one of those movies I just happen to catch on Fox Family Movies and while it’s not great, it’s not so bad either. 

contagion

Contagion (2011)
★★★★★
disease is the war of the 21st century 

Somewhere in the jungle, the wrong bat and the wrong pig got together. Beth returns from a business trip to Hong Kong and brings along a virus that kills her within two days. In the days to follow, others around Minnesota begin to exhibit the same simple symptoms of a burning fever and a painful throat, then the death toll rises. There follows the rapid outbreak of a lethal airborne virus that explodes into a global pandemic explodes. Lives are altered until the World Health Organization comes up with a vaccine. 

If you’re afraid of AH1N1, the bird flu, SARS, and the idea of losing your loved ones in a matter of days or losing your own life from just an exchange on the street, a simple handshake, or someone coughing in an elevator, then this movie is the stuff of real life nightmares. My favorite part though is when Matt Damon tries to give his daughter the prom she wants but couldn’t attend in his living room and they play U2’s All I Want Is You on an iPod in the background. It added the subtle brink of hope the movie needed. We all need. 

theprincessandthefrog

The Princess and the Frog (2009)
★★★☆☆
two frogs in a pod

In this animation, Tiana is no princess, but a hardworking waiter dreaming of opening her own restaurant in New Orleans. But a prince is in town. Prince Navine is a spoiled heir who had just been cut off from his parents’ support and in attempt to relieve his financial situation, he plans on marrying a rich southern belle, Tiana’s best friend, Charlotte. However, Naveen and his valet run into the infamous voo doo man and while he promises to make their dreams come true, Naveen is then transformed into a frog and his valet is disguised in Naveen’s body. Hoping to be turned back into himself once again, he mistakes a dressed up Tiana for a Princess and asks for a kiss, thus turning her into another frog as well. They meet an alligator named Louis and a cajun firefly named Ray who agree to take them to Mama Odie in the Bayou who can help undo the curse.

I think it’s cool that Disney decided to set this in the colorful world of New Orleans in the 1920s. I’m really creeped out by voo doo things too so it was pretty cool seeing it all animated and Disney-fied. 

3daystokill

3 Days to Kill (2014)
★★★★☆
but it’s purple

As he lives out the last months of a terminal disease, international spy Ethan hopes to rebuild his relationship with his estranged wife and teenage daughter. He left years before in order to keep them away from danger, and now that he’s returned to mend bonds, he promises to give up his lifestyle. However, he’s been blackmailed to assassinate a terrorist within three days in exchange for a potential antidote that may give him another shot at life. As he carries out his mission, he struggles to keep the peace and calm, also trying to remember that his pubescent daughter is no longer eight years old.

Kevin Costner as a dad is always a treat because there’s something so masculine and he’s always come off as a sort of protective father figure, haha. I think it’s more of a comedy than it is a thriller or anything. It’s also set in Paris which is pretty cool and the father-teenage daughter interaction is touching to me. There’s one scene wherein they argue and he remarks, “what kinda kid doesn’t know how to ride a bike?” And she replies, “the kind that never had a father to teach her” really broke my heart. I’m especially thankful my dad taught me and I recall it was something he was really determined to teach me as early as four. 

The Da Vinci Code (2006)
★★★★☆
maybe I’ll do better with the wine 

Following the murder of one of the world’s oldest and most secret societies’ leaders, are a trail of cryptic clues and puzzles left behind across Paris to be solved by his grand daughter and the acclaimed symbolist, Professor Robert Langdon. The two strive to solve the mystery and secret thousands have died trying to reveal and protect, the secret that could shake the faith of billions.

I never read the books so I wasn’t disappointed unlike Dan Brown followers. I also never truly understood what all the fuss was because I recall there being an outburst of negativity from all over the world especially of course from the Church. Is it controversial because of the claims and the ideas in the story? But if you listen to Tom Hanks’ final lines closely, you’ll see there’s nothing all to terrible about any of it. It doesn’t preach horrible things. I think it’s beautiful because the story was built on years of research and facts, and a whole lot of creativity. The genre is alternate history which is always cool. Four stars just because I have the sequel to compare it with, and that one’s my favorite. 

harrypotter1

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001)
★★★★★
it’s not leveee-ohhhhhh-sah; it’s levi-o-sah

This is the first of eight Harry Potter movies from the best selling books by J.K. Rowling and it set the stage for a world of magic. Orphaned when he was just a baby, Harry had been living under intolerable circumstances with his snotty aunt, uncle, and spoiled cousin. Much to his surprise on the night of his 11th birthday, he meets Hagrid the giant who tells him he’s the son of two powerful wizards. He is then offered a place at Hogwarts, the prestigious boarding school for wizards in a magical realm away from humans or what they called, “Muggles”. As he settles in Hogwarts, he oddly discovers that others have known more about him than he has his entire life. Harry makes friends, discovers more about the infamous scar on his forehead and his parents’ death, and learns about the magical world of wizards. And by the end of the term at Hogwarts, he’s gone on more adventures than he would have ever expected before blowing out his candles on his 11th birthday.

I’ll admit that I was scared out of my wits at the sight of that two-faced Voldemort when I watched this in theaters back during its release in 2001, but other than that, what’s not to love? Out of the eight Harry Potter movies, this is definitely up in the ranks. It’s become kind of like a classic for followers since it was the pioneer. Make or break. It definitely made a mark. It sets the stage for the whole magical world that comes to life on screen that so many have come to grow and love including myself. Weeee. And even if they’ve come up with pretty good ones after this, with better CGI and whatnot, nothing can compare. But then again, every Harry Potter movie is good. I haven’t gone on a Harry Potter marathon, but it’s definitely a plan on the bucket list. 

neighbors

Neighbors (2014)
★★★★☆
abercrombie and fitch yo

Like hundreds of couples that settle in the suburbs to raise their first born child, brand new parents Mac and Kelly hope to find peace away from the bustle of the city. To their dismay, the Delta Psi Beta fraternity moves in as their next door neighbors. After a failed and ignored attempt at being their friendly, nice, neighborly, cool bunch of next-door-neighbors, a series of harmless pranks erupt into a war involving wild nightly parties and even cops. Will president Teddy ever face the coming reality of graduation as the real world pressures him into holding on even tighter into the whole frat boy illusion? And will the trying to be cool couple ever come to terms with their fear of living boring lives as they enter parenthood?

It’s very very very entertaining. It’s funny and goofy, but all of a sudden it pokes at becoming way too real, then again it becomes really light and funny. 

princessdiaries

The Princess Diaries (2001)
★★★★★
you broke my glasses… you broke my brush 

Mia Thermopolis was nothing but an average fifteen year old living in San Francisco. She barely has a license, has a bad case of stage fright during class debates, wall climbs, and on occasion water balloon paints with her single mom. She has a crush on backstreet bad boy Josh Bryant, deals with a clone of annoying perky cheerleaders Anna-Banna-Bandana-Fontana-nana(?), has an activist of a best friend named Lilie, and a cat named Fat Louie. “This is as good as it’s gonna get,” until a grandmother she’s never really met decides to have tea with her one afternoon and spill the beans about her actually being a princess all along in a the charming little land of Genovia, off the coast of Spain. Her life is then quickly turned around, from makeovers to princess lessons. And soon after the secret is all out, Mia struggles to find her footing and is left to decide whether the life of royalty and responsibility is truly meant for her.

🎶 You showed me faith is not blind, I don’t need wings to help me fly. Miracles happen once in a while when you believe. You showed me dreams come to life, that taking a chance on us was right. All things will come, with a little time when you believe. 🎶 Oh gosh this song.. *breaks into semi-cool-looking dance with best friend*

I don’t wanna say every girl but I think almost every single girl I know (well at least my friends) has seen this a bazhillion times to the point of quoting it. This has seriously set up my crazy weird fantasies in life and though I’m no longer in high school and I haven’t had my “you’re a princess/ you’re related to Brad Pitt” moment (haha it’s not coming), I just think this movie’s the definition of a modern day fairy tale. When people ask me about my favorite Disney Princess, I always couldn’t say Mulan cause she wasn’t a princess and I never really liked the uber girly ones growing up, though now I absolutely love love love Cinderella, I always answered, “is Mia included?” Hooray for my girly-princess-confessions. The term “good vibes” isn’t really in my vocabulary but I’m gonna pull it out for this occasion just to say, The Princess Diaries is good vibes all throughout. Watching it caters to the forever awkward, dorky, and odd parts of the thirteen year old in me.

More than words on a wall

*I felt I just had to share this.

Last night Dana Goodyear wrote a beautiful feature published by the New Yorker. It’s one of the best articles I’ve ever read.

This kind of writing reminds me of why I wanted to be a journalist in the first place, which is really what I’ve been needing for a while. I someday wish to dig out stories like this. I want to meet people who are unafraid to share their brave, beautiful lives no matter how messy and risky. The article is about three artists, much of their art, and a whole lot about their story through the years.

“Like children playing away from the adults, Kilgallen and McGee occupied a world of their own invention. They lived cheaply and resourcefully, scavenging art supplies and furniture. Pack rats, they filled their home—first a warehouse building and then a two-story row house in the Mission—with skateboards, surfboards, paintings, thrift-store clothes, and other useful junk. At night, dressed identically in pegged work pants and Adidas shoes, they went on graffiti-writing adventures. She was daring, scaling buildings and sneaking into forbidden sites. He once painted the inside of a tunnel with a series of faces so that, like a flip book, it animated as you drove past.

In the studio they shared, Kilgallen and McGee worked side by side. He showed her how to make her own panels, and she brought home from the library the yellowing endpapers of old books, which they started painting on. She worked on her women; he painted and repainted the sad, sagging faces of the outcast men he saw around the city. They worked obsessively, perfecting their lettering, their cursives, and their lines. “Barry is busy downstairs making stickers,” Kilgallen wrote to a friend. “I hear the squeak of his pen—chisel tipped permanent black—I have been drawing pretty much every day, mostly, silly things; and when I feel brave I have been trying to teach myself how to paint.” When he needed an idea, he’d go over to her space and lift one. Deitch likens them to Picasso and Braque. From a distance, Rojas, too, idealized them. “That was a perfect union, Barry and Margaret,” she says. “You couldn’t get more parallel than the feminine and the masculine communing together.”

As recognition of Kilgallen’s and McGee’s work grew, they tried to retain the ephemeral, pure quality of paintings made on the street. Little pieces they recycled or reworked, sold for a pittance, or let be stolen from the galleries. Wall paintings were whited out when shows closed. When Kilgallen became fascinated by hobo culture, she and McGee started travelling up and down the West Coast to tag train cars with their secret nicknames: B. Vernon, after one of McGee’s uncles, and Matokie Slaughter, a nineteen-forties banjo player Kilgallen revered. The cars marked “B.V. + M.S.” are still out there.”

“He didn’t want to own it; he didn’t want to own anything precious, sentimental, or nice. He’d be afraid of losing it somehow.”

—Dana Goodyear

I guess it’s true that while some people spend their whole lives trying to make art, others really make an art out of living. 

Featured image: © Clare Rojas’ Horse Walks Into Field print

Barry McGee’s 99 Bottles installation, Art Basel, 2009

Installation by Margaret Kilgallen

Decks designed by Margaret Kilgallen 

Barry & Margaret working together

Graffiti by Carrie Marill who pays homage to Margaret Kilgallen

© Clare Rojas, who references native American, American, and Russian folklore in her prints

AIDEE HD DB_0731

Welcome to my first ever edition of AIDEE HD DB! Aidee’s High Definition (Movie) Database: where IMDB meets my name and usual username for everything, haha!

I figured I wanted to just make a very random, no fuss, database of all the movies I watch as of recent (and some shows if any), which I hope to update regularly via my blog. It’s cause I always look back and wonder about all the movies I’ve ever watched and it’s just cool to be able to look back at a list, don’t you think?

Well I’m gonna be transparent. I’m not gonna pretend to be a film critic cause I’m not huuuhuu and I’m not gonna pretend I watch art house films and whatnot cause I really just watch literally almost anything. Almost. And I’m open to a lot of everything.

I watch even the most “badly rated” movies and more often than not, enjoy a lot of them so I give ’em a rating of my own in my head. So I’d like to share the dorkiest, cheesiest, weirdest, and even deeper parts of my inner workings.

Another fun fact is that I still watch TV. I heard a lot of people don’t anymore and I get made fun of for still having a TV in my room… I didn’t know it wasn’t normal? But I grew up in front of the TV and it’s my me-time, so I don’t think I’ll be giving it up anytime soon. I used to not be able to download any movies cause (don’t make fun of me) I didn’t know how to. I just banked on people giving me files of movies they’ve downloaded for me. In any case, I’d prefer to watch things on a big screen just because watching it from a laptop is a different experience. Being able to pause a movie means me getting really aideehd, so there’s nothing like watching it in front of a good ol’ television screen in what I call, “reeal time”.

So I hope you find something in my list that interests you and if you’ve already seen some, let me know what you think! Movies are one of my favorite topics! 😊

Featured image: York by hyperrealist artist © Davis Cone (1998)


malavitaMalavita (2013)
★★★☆☆
can’t find peanut butter in Normandy

Originally released as The Family, the story circles an ex Italian-American mafia’s family that entered the witness protection program and moves to a village in Normandy. As they try to keep a low profile and live a normal life, they’re nowhere near ordinary with a hormonal seventeen year old daughter, a swindler son, a fairly neurotic mother, and a father (ex mafia turned writer) well into his midlife crisis. Trouble is the one thing that runs in their genes. With violent tendencies spurring here and there, trouble finds them everywhere.

It’s more of a comedy despite how tragic the story seems. It’s quite satirical. 

Successful realtor Julie Sterling (Jessalyn Gilsig, center) reluctantly puts her promotion on hold as she uses her expert sales skills to help lead a group of Girl Scouts to compete in their annual cookie drive. .Photo: Copyright 2012 Crown Media Holdings, Inc./Photographer Chris Large

Smart Cookies (2012)
★★★☆☆
I probably would’ve been an awkward girl scout

A high maintenance realtor finds herself leading a group of girl scouts as a form of community service in her quest to bag the realtor-of-the-year award. Much to her surprise, she enjoys the company of her misfit team of 11 year olds. Together, they bring out the best in each other and strive to win the annual cookie drive.

It sounds cheesy but it’s actually ‘cookie’ (haha what does that even mean)… Suburban town, lots of marshmallows, universal themes, it’s one of my I’m-sleepy-but-not-sleepy-enough-let’s-watch-a-chill-movie-on-Fox-Fam-kind of movies. It honestly makes me feel like I’m 11 again which isn’t so bad. 

gone girlGone Girl (2014)
★★★★☆
do you really wanna get married?

Girl meets boy. Boy meets girl. Falls madly in love. Gets married. Falls out of love. Philandering, threats, violence, psycho, intelligence… I think everyone has a grasp of the story.

It’s disturbing. It’s incredibly well-written and well-played. I’ve seen it thrice and I try to forget I’ve ever watched it so I still get a little surprised whenever I do watch it haha. I’m all for empowered woman though. I just think it’s pretty nuts. 

little manLittle Man (2006)
★★☆☆☆
black Benjamin Button but funnier

Fugitive man-faced-baby poses as an abandoned baby and tricks a couple into taking him in and pampering him. He unintentionally builds a bond with his then dad who gives his best at fatherhood and finds it more difficult to leave once he’s recovered the diamond he’s been aiming to steal.

Well the story’s pretty irrelevant but it’s a dumb-funny-movie, purely for comedic purposes. It’s fun. I really like the Wayan brothers so that’s mainly why I watched it. 

enchantedEnchanted (2007)
★★★★☆
a good cliché

Soon to be princess, Giselle, jumps into a time warp that tosses her into another dimension and finds herself cold and helpless in the busy streets of New York City. She meets an even colder and unlikely modern day prince charming, a Manhattan based lawyer whose heart’s been toughened by the past, and his six year old daughter who is more than excited about this real life princess they’ve decided to house until she finds a way to get back home.

I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve seen this cause it’s always on TV. Personally I like it, especially in contrast to the recent wave of fairy tale spin-ups and remakes they’ve been making these last couple of years. Amy Adams sells the clueless Princess- thing and Patrick Dempsey delivers the detached single father. I think the idea’s pretty cool too. Brining a fairy tale to life right in the middle of modern day New York is catchy.

the recruitThe Recruit (2003)
★★★★☆
what if you can’t trust your boss? what if you can’t trust your lover? 

MIT graduate is tapped into joining the CIA. As he trains and learns the ropes of becoming an agent, he also discovers he cannot trust anyone—not his classmates and not his own boss. Under the impression he’s been given orders and mission, he is dragged into task after task to recover a code. But which side is he on?

Personally I liked suspense and action films from this time? Not really sure why but probably cause I started watching them at this age so this is how I remember them. I gave it a 4 because of the amount of suspense I felt, but sometimes I really am just gullible. I also liked the setting. 

the biggest fanThe Biggest Fan (2002)
★★☆☆☆
down on dream street 

An average teenage girl gets the chance of a lifetime as the boy of her dreams takes shelter in her home during his week away from the boy band life of fame and craziness. He falls in love with her, takes her to prom, and proves to everyone she’s not a loser as he proves his love for her.

Beyond cheesy and corny, but it’s something I just caught on TV late at night again just before getting sleepy enough. It’s got the 90s written all over it, especially during those boy band years and awkward outfits. The only bonus was a very young Jesse McCartney making a cameo. 

frozen

Frozen (2013)
★★★★☆
some people are worth melting for

Sisters Anna and Elsa were once very close until Elsa’s ice cold powers became difficult to control, she had to be kept from everyone. After being orphaned, the kingdom’s been left to the Princesses and on Elsa’s 18th birthday, she sets of a perpetual winter throughout the land, not unless Anna can find her and reach out to her. Along the way, she encounters charming young men, a reindeer, and a talking snowman as she hurdles through the snow.

The story’s pretty different from the usual animated fairytales. I also thought the characters were wonderfully thought of? A very awkward, bubbly, and free-spirited young girl and a very cold (literally and figuratively) and afraid young woman. I’m also pretty biased but very very very in awe of the SNOW. 

austelandAustenland (2013)
★★★★☆
pastel & lace land

Austenland is an interactive Jane Austen-themed resort in which guests are asked to join in and immerse themselves in activities of this picturesque period. From cross-stitching, to horse back riding, to playing instruments and acting in a play, they are given roles and names that follow. Modern American real-life-Jane blows her life savings to live out her dream as she’s had an endless fascination with literature for years. But great expectations usually lead to disappointment and even heartbreak.

When I was younger I used to also be fascinated with history and literature and I have always loved period films, so I sympathized with the story. I found the idea of a themed, interactive resort really fascinating on one hand and on the other, it was a cute romantic comedy. I also relate with the delusional-girl-meets-reality-dreams-crushed-thing about the movie. I also loved the Keri Russell, Jennifer Coolidge tandem. I wouldn’t mind watching it again. I wish I had read the book first though. 

dazed and confusedDazed and Confused (1993)
★★★★★
low rider

It’s the last day of school in Austin, Texas and a bunch of high school students find ways to kick off the summer. Set in 1976, in a time of bellbottoms, overalls, and weed, seniors looking to fit in or stand down, other seniors looking to torment freshmen, freshmen hoping to get lucky, and everyone just looking for a good time in a small town before big dreams and bigger responsibilities outside of scoring some Aerosmith tickets.

I thought it was a really fun movie with some underlying messages without having to be so serious or dramatic. I liked the clothes. I like the cars. I like the casting of all the characters. I liked the scenery and the style. I like the soundtrack. I like the whole Texas in the 70s thing because I had never really been able to picture what it was like there when it was a small town back then and what life was like for people.

exmachinaEx Machina (2015)
★★★☆ ☆
AI always wins

A young coder wins a contest to participate in an experiment in a private week-long retreat at the home and lab of the CEO of the world’s leading internet company. He is given the task to interact with the world’s first true artificial intelligence but he finds out his boss is a maniac and he falls in love with his beautiful, intelligent, and human-like subject. He plans to help the AI break free. Whose side is he on? Rather, whose side should he be on?

I watched this on the plane since I heard a lot of good stuff about it but I was really sleepy so I managed to fall asleep during some bits. Although there were twists here and there, I thought the plot was generally predictable. The cinematography was nice, however, I wasn’t too fond of the premise. It was disappointing and it was disturbing. Maybe AI presented this way just isn’t my cup of tea. It’s thought provoking and this story is a threat and possibility we must face in realistically in the near future, but it isn’t inspiring. The story was built on a billion questions on humanity and ethics. But I applaud it for leaning on ideas more than special effects. 

cinderella

Cinderella (2015)
★★★★★
Cinderella blueeeee

“Have courage and be kind,” is the guiding mantra sweet Ella has carried all her life. And even when life got tougher with the loss of her father and the abuse from her stepmother and stepsisters, she held her head up high and kept her heart solid gold. In time she meets Kit, a young Prince, whose fallen head over horse for her uncanny and rare pleasantness and attitude towards life. If only she can find a way to the ball to meet him again.

The story is a classic and the reason this movie hits the spot is that it sticks to the original premise. I’ve seen so many remakes of the classical fairytales that have been twisted, dragged, and stretched to a mediocre interpretation or worse, a failure. This one, on the other hand, was simple and well done, making its way in my list of all-time-favorites. It’s a delight to see all the colors, costumes, and the tale as old as time. If you grew up watching the animated fairy tales or reading it in books, watching this movie was like seeing the things you can only imagine come to life on the screen. Timeless, beautiful, and “a dream”. This tugs on my girly heartstrings. 

Teen building … the 1995 film of Ann M Martin's The Baby-Sitters Club seriesThe Baby-Sitters Club (1995)
★★★☆☆
ABC’s 123’s

Seven young girls operate a baby-sitting service in their neighborhood, however, for the summer they’ve decided to expand by starting a summer day camp for kids. While battling the unsupportive adults in the community who are trying to shut them down, the girls battle growing up—boys, biology, buillies, and family problems.

It’s a nice image of the suburban 90s. The group of all-girls-best friends reminds me of how it was like growing up for me too, and even now. My best friends are groups of girls too and we’re all different. Although it has its ups and downs, we’ve been close for what almost feels like a lifetime and we’ll remain close for another and another. 

tedtwoTed 2 (2015)
★★★ ☆ ☆
fresh cakes

After unsuccessful attempts at finding a sperm donor, even going through the lengths of stealing Tom Brady’s sperm, Ted’s “case” is addressed by the state of Massachusetts after trying to file for adoption. Ted is not considered a person and is labeled a property, thus revoking his license, firing him from his job, and annulling his marriage. Together with his best friend and a young lawyer who’s decided to fight their case Pro bono, they head on an adventure to New York City.

My dad really wanted to watch this and we did on a weeknight so the movie theater was really empty and it was just a whole lot of fun if you’re into this kind of stupid-fun-crass-comedies. All I have to say is, it’s not for everyone. But Ted is adorable. I want one. (I have a miniature one) But then again maybe it’s cause Seth MacFarlane is adorable too. 

the breakfast clubThe Breakfast Club (1985)
★★★★★
pixie stick sandwiches

March 24, 1984. A nerd, a princess, an athlete, a criminal, and a basket-case. Five of the most unlikely students are placed in one room during Saturday detention. But the assistant principal’s really had it with them, especially Bender, whom he threatens. Can the five of them survive the day without killing each other and settle their differences only to find that the enemy isn’t each other. It’s social pressure, today in the form of the assistant principal who’s out to get them.

Really, what’s not to like? They’re all ridiculously imperfect but somehow all of them are easily relatable. It’s the kind of movie that grows on you. 

something's gotta giveSomething’s Gotta Give (2003)
★★★★★
old people can find love too

Perrenial bachelor who only dates women twice his junior, finds himself falling for the mother of one of the women he’s meant to be dating and spending the weekend with. After suffering a heart attack, she looks after him in her beach house at the Hamptons. Short lived yet memorable, he eventually retreats back to his old habits and breaks her heart, thus becoming the hit story she writes into a play. 

There’s more to the rom com than just two (old huuhuu) people falling in love. Cause hey, old people can too. I think it’s charming story with an even more charming (dream) house where a lot of the story takes place. It’s about rediscovering love, rediscovering yourself, and stepping out of your comfort zone to open up to life even above the age of 50 or 60. 

braveBrave (2012)
★★★★★
celtic soul

Rebel without a cause, but Princess Merida is a rebel with a cause—to break tradition, to avoid arranged marriage, and to be free. She isn’t ready to be tied down and she certainly isn’t ready to marry just about any lord who wins in a bunch of games. In an attempt to change her fate and her strict mother, she consults a witch who cunningly then turns her mother into… A bear. By the second sunrise, the spell becomes eternal and she loses her mother forever.

This is an underrated Disney movie, but it doesn’t deserve to be. Not sure if I’m biased just cause I found myself resonating with the story and I like Scottish (and Irish) things, but it was really beautiful. I took some online test before and I was hoping to get Princess Aurora (haha) but I ended up getting Princess Merida but I wondered why. Now I kinda get why. The Scottish- Celtic soundtrack was a great touch. It made me wanna go back huuhuu. I especially liked that it focused on themes other than happily ever afters with handsome princes and whatnots. It was about family, understanding, and being open. 


Watching soon: