Archives for category: DVDs

It’s been a while since I’ve seen this romantic comedy of a lovestruck high school girl who learns that she is a witch. Two weekends ago, I was visiting my best friend for the day and we’re always having girl talk and watching a movie or two. “Teen Witch” is one of those movies both of us can relate to from the high school crush aspect. So, I was hoping to find a copy of it on DVD on one store or another. Yet it was coming up out of stock at all locations in my area. I stopped by the f.y.e. at a local mall and ordered it, since they also didn’t have it available at the time. The DVD arrived yesterday evening for me to pick up. Now, I’m just holding off watching it until visiting my best friend again. I can’t wait to watch it with her, for some lighthearted movie-watching among upcoming horror marathons for Halloween. She hadn’t seen it in a long time either, but I know we’ll have some of the same favorite parts throughout the story. We’ll surely find ways in which it reminds us of our high school moments and I can recall a few parts of this movie that are like that for me.

Louise (Robyn Lively), is basically a wallflower with her shy and introverted personality. Yet she’s head over heels in love with gorgeous and popular top athlete Brad (Dan Gauthier). It’s one of element I enjoyed about the story. Well, I felt for Louise, since I was on the shy side around my crush; he could be described in the same way as the movie heartthrob. There’s also a moment in which she is embarrassed by a teacher, although I only remember her reaction. Whatever happened, many can easily connect with that feeling from similar incidents, when a teacher says or does something that humiliates a student. In my high school days, we’d sneak passing notes and one day, my best friend was close to being caught passing one to me about my crush. I don’t know if that guy knew or at least sensed my feelings. But if my best friend had been caught and the teacher did the feared note-reading to the whole class…no words! While that didn’t happen, another teacher almost revealed my feelings in front of my crush. So, in that sense, I can relate to such moments when Louise is totally embarrassed in class or when lead girls in other teen romance comedies feel the same in their particular situations.

The length to which Louise will go to catch Brad’s eye shows how she’s at such a loss for making him notice her. Because of the spell involved, she has insecurity about what’s real. Is he only driven by some unseen power? Or has he truly fallen for her in return? It’s another aspect of this movie that anyone with a crush could understand. I remember a lot of moments that made me question why my crush did this or that, especially since guys I liked as friends (and vice versa) didn’t do what that special guy did back then. I’d wonder if he knew my feelings and was playing off of that…or if he didn’t know and his actions were genuine. In either case, he always had a way of melting my heart.

In attempting to change her life, Louise makes use of a special necklace. Until I see “Teen Witch” again, I can’t remember if she owned it beforehand or if it was a gift from her sorceress / mentor (Zelda Rubinstein). Because of how that piece of jewelry represents her powers and is connected to her love interest, she carries sentimental feelings for it. I love that part of the story as well, because one necklaces I own holds a lot of sentimental value for me. It wasn’t due to being a gift from someone special; a memory involving that necklace gave it so much meaning to me.

The outcome for Louise and Brad is one more reason why I’m looking forward to watching this movie again, especially with my best friend. But I’ll write a follow-up blog post about it afterward.

Every so often, I visit my best friend and bring over a few DVDs to watch between laughter-filled girl talk. Some of our favorite picks in past movie nights have included a mix of ‘80s / ‘90s flicks (“Cry-Baby,” “Sixteen Candles,” “The Breakfast Club”) and new ones, such as “Bad Moms.” This past weekend I brought over “Why Him,” which we missed during its recent run in theaters. We could relate to the comedy’s dad character, Ned Fleming (Bryan Cranston), disapproving of his daughter Stephanie’s (Zoey Deutch) love interest. Both of us have either had crushes on or dated someone our dads absolutely did not like one bit.

Right away, Laird Mayhew (James Franco) had us in hysterics over his wild and free-spirited personality. How would this clash between two opposites play out and what would happen along the way? Ned is the odd man out as the mom, Barb (Megan Mullaly) and brother, Scotty (Griffin Gluck) see more of Laird’s cool side. The party scene hinted at the dad having a not-so-rigid past in his own younger days. Unfortunately, we didn’t get too far into the movie before skip…skip…skip went the disc in my best friend’s portable DVD player. Stopping the movie and ejecting it, I noticed a two-inch scratch on the disc. Having never played this particular DVD before, as well as handling it properly, we were disappointed to miss the rest of the comedy for the time being. Cedric the Entertainer, Keegan-Michael Key and the voice of Kaley Cuoco add more laughs to this father-vs-boyfriend tale. By the next time I’m visiting my best friend, I’ll have a new DVD of “Why Him” for us to watch.

I had a few of our favorites to choose from in continuing our movie night and it came down to “Cry-Baby” or “The Breakfast Club.” We can’t resist the bad-boy characters to swoon over in either one. John Hughes’ detention-bound teens from drastically different backgrounds won out in the end. Molly Ringwald, Judd Nelson, Ally Sheedy, Emilio Estevez and Anthony Michael Hall made for the most memorable teen characters who clashed yet found common ground.

Watching Bender and his antics, it’s like being back in high school and trying to hide my good-girl giggling at my bad-boy crush. The guy who I couldn’t keep my eyes off of didn’t have that “criminal” label and he wasn’t known for having any illegal items on hand. He simply got on the nerves of several teachers, doing things that I couldn’t refrain from laughing at in class. To top it off, he was so gorgeous and had such a devilish expression playing on his face. Hey, didn’t many girls see that in Bender? Just as in the movie, when mean Principal Vernon (Paul Gleason) lectures the other four students about thinking the “criminal” is humorous, I had a similar experience. After laughing at my crush and his antics, one teacher called me out on how it was obvious that I had a huge crush and warned me that I’d get hurt. This happened right in front of him! Another teacher had me move to another seat, away from where I sat next to my crush as something else he did set off more lovestruck-induced giggles. In a new seat, he wasn’t even in my line of vision to further distract me. I didn’t have a Bender-and-Claire ending with my bad-boy crush, being too shy to get that close. Yet his wild demeanor and intense good looks drew me in and set my heart racing. That’s what I saw in Claire when it came to Bender in certain scenes.

“The Breakfast Club” came along before my time in high school. It doesn’t matter, though, what generation a viewer of this classic belongs to in life. Of course, that’s due to the overall struggles and drama of teen years. The ideas of acceptance, acting the way your friends act, family-initiated pressure and much more keep Hughes’ work relevant. For my best friend and I, we definitely love the bad-boy element and a totally opposite type of girl falling for him. We both also love Hughes’ “Sixteen Candles,” especially in the way that Samantha (Ringwald) can’t bring herself to talk to her heartthrob, Jake Ryan (Michael Schoeffling). If only we could all have the ending which those two shared. Another relatable element in that teen flick was how the geeky kid, known as Farmer Ted (Hall) would pester Samantha, while her heart was set on someone else. There were one or two guys at my high school who just didn’t seem able to take a girl’s hint of not being interested.

Even though we didn’t get around to watching “Cry-Baby” this time, my best friend and I relate to it with our crushes and how we felt. This is especially in the way that good-girl Allison gazes dreamily over at rebellious Cry-Baby. She longs to be closer to him and to rid herself of the contrasting square image in which she was raised.

All of these movies, at one point or another, bring about more girl talk of memorable high school days. We loved those times, even though neither of us dated our crushes. Of course, it’s just as Samantha’s dad in “Sixteen Candles” says to her about those feelings.

The world of Marvel has several nominations for People’s Choice awards, with contenders among my favorites. So I thought I’d revisit this blockbuster sequel and share my thoughts on it.

As I awaited the release of “Avengers: Age of Ultron” into theaters, its predecessor frequently aired on TV. The group of Marvel superheroes had combined their efforts to battle Loki and an evil army in hopes to save New York City. The sequel finds the Avengers already mid-fight, powering through a snowy, wooded area. Each one is shown doing a part in their surge, until they come together for an awesome team-effort shot. Along the way, humorous lingo back and forth adds another element drawing a wider audience – the action fans and comedy fans alike.

Their battle in the forest leads them toward an imposing fortress with a path snaking to the top. Once inside, Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) finds an all-too-familiar and unwelcome sight. He and his Avenger friends also encounter the powers of two new and mysterious siblings. Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), too fast for the eyes and Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), with her possessed expression.

A party scene hints at romance between Natasha, a.k.a. Black Widow, (Scarlett Johansson) and Bruce (Mark Ruffalo). More humor follows as several Avengers try lifting the hammer of a casually-dressed Thor (Chris Hemsworth). But the fun is interrupted and the team is back in action when Ultron (James Spader) shows up. This is a form of Stark’s technology, intended as global protection, becoming a menace.

Assessing the damage and possible dangers ahead leads them to a shady character and, for me, a cool surprise to see (Andy Serkis)! Soon after, more battle action with amazing visuals, especially between Bruce-turned-Hulk and Iron Man. This element is fairly steady and well-paced throughout the movie between down-time scenes.

Chasing after Ultron through a city setting, Black Widow has an awesome sequence of motorcycle stunts! She doesn’t miss a beat as she’s coordinating with Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and Captain America (Chris Evans). As the action plays out, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch make use of their powers once more.

Another new superpower arises in the caped Vision (Paul Bettany), coming with a surprising ability. I’m already wondering where this will go as the Marvel franchise continues. The additional faces in “Avengers: Age of Ultron” make for another great element, with spectacular visuals to show what they can do.

My favorite among these characters is Scarlet Witch, especially when she finds the strength within her to fight evil. She has a rather dramatic look whenever she appears and conjures up her cool supernatural talents. This brings about a changing point for her, in a way, just as the battles against Ultron heats up for an exciting close.

Who is my overall favorite Avenger? Thor, hands down. So I’m looking forward to the next installment in the movies centered on the God of Thunder. Several cast members from that franchise also appear briefly in “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” including Idris Elba and Stellan Skarsgard. Samuel L. Jackson and Cobie Smulders return for this sequel, joined by Don Cheadle and Anthony Mackie as Marvel newcomers.

One more thing I like about this movie is the bonus content that comes with the DVD, covering the filming locations. I would especially love to visit the fortress that overlooked the Avengers’ opening battle scene!

My stack of still-to-be-watched DVDs has two additions after an evening out for dinner and running a few errands. A display near the front of a store advertised that “Wild Horses,” starring Robert Duvall, James Franco and Josh Hartnett was now available. New releases filled shelves near the entrance and although spots were labeled for the rancher-themed film, they were empty of copies.

I thought that was interesting because it happened to be the only title with empty shelf space after being in-store for several days; at least in that display. Also, I hadn’t heard of this particular one for very long and don’t know if it had any showtimes in local theaters. Without reading any reviews about it, I wanted to see it for the talented cast; the trailer hinted at a strong story as well. The store I was shopping in had a movie and electronics section in the back, where I did find more copies.

Before spotting “Wild Horses,” a copy of the cyber thriller “Blackhat,” starring Chris Hemsworth and Viola Davis, caught my attention. With the relevant topic, this looked edge-of-your-seat based on its trailer. However, I missed catching it in theaters earlier this year.

Now, I’m looking forward to watching them soon and sharing what I think about each one. Since buying those two DVDs, I also have to add several other movies of interest after watching their trailers:

  • “The Revenant” (2015)
  • “Irrational Man” (2015)
  • “The Intern” (2015)
  • “The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials” (2015)

Any thoughts on these movies?

 

My DVD collection has grown quite a bit, so I decided to store away most of those I’ve watched and leave out a few that I love. Because I enjoy a variety of genres, the favorites I kept on hand include action, thriller, romance, comedy, drama and feature great casts.

1 DVDs Watched

This rearrangement, of course, gives me room for many more movies I’m planning to buy. I sure have a great deal of cinematic work that I want to catch up on at some point. Before I shop for any more, I have a bundle of still-to-watch DVDs among those remaining on a shelf above my TV set.

2 DVDs Watch

I also still have a few 2014 Oscar movies to see, but that’s how it goes sometimes; it’s difficult to watch them all before the awards. In the meantime, though, here are some of this year’s movies that I want to see; a few of which I’m waiting for the DVD release:

  • “Blackhat” (2015)
  • “In the Heart of the Sea” (2015)
  • “The Finest Hours” (2015)
  • “True Story” (2015)
  • “San Andreas” (2015)
  • “Everest” (2015)
  • “The Martian” (2015)
  • “Terminator: Genisys” (2015)
  • “Cinderella” (2015)
  • “Tomorrowland” (2015)
  • “The Walk” (2015)
  • “MacBeth” (2015)
  • “Effie Gray” (2015)
  • “Far from the Madding Crowd” (2015)
  • “Listen to Me Marlon” (2015)
  • “Wild Horses” (2015)
  • “Paper Towns” (2015)
  • “Vacation” (2015)
  • “The Gallows” (2015)
  • “Crimson Peak” (2015)
  • “Ricki and the Flash” (2015)
  • “Minions” (2015)
  • “Ted 2” (2015)

So far, I went to see “Avengers: Age of Ultron” and “Jurassic World;” coming up, I’ll be writing posts about them.

What upcoming movies are you planning to see?

I have a few movies that I’ve been wanting to write about lately, not all the most recent, but loved each one.  With one from last fall, I figured on waiting until the DVD was out, which I bought a couple of weeks ago, along with another movie. However, I’ll be delaying these posts until I come back from a trip for which I’ve been preparing. In fact, I’ll be leaving later today for the airport to go to Dublin with a group from my grad school. So, I thought I’d write up a quick post as an update. Once I’m back, I want to write about these movies:

  • “Now You See Me”
  • “Rush”
  • “Godzilla”

Along with those, I hope to have something to write about that focuses on movie or tv filming locations. It depends on where I go during leisure days. But if I can, I’d love to go around and see of those places we see as the backdrop of our favorite stories on screen.

I’ll be posting about Ireland on my photo / travel blog, PhotoJourney; I have some posts already as part of a journaling assignment for the trip. Getting ready for it gave me a lot with which to start writing. This trip is a huge first for me and it’s been a learning experience as it came closer.

A trip to Italy is not yet in my future, yet taking in the sunny Tuscan scenes of “Letters to Juliet” (2010) definitely added to my summer wanderlust. Whenever I finally do travel to Italy, I’ll be sure to explore Verona, where Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) learns of people writing to Shakespeare’s famous and tragic character.

 

Besides the travel aspect, I also love that Sophie is a writer. Her instinct for a potential story kicks in when noticing a collection of letters. She soon finds a unique, romantic topic inspired by people writing to Juliet about love. Travel. Writing. Two activities that would make up my own dream job. From the start, this movie was right up my alley.

 

One letter by a woman named Claire (Vanessa Redgrave) is of particular interest to Sophie, as it reveals of a love story from decades before. Her response as Juliet quickly brings Claire’s grandson, Charlie (Christopher Egan) into the picture. This made me think that, in real life, what are the odds? However, I love that because it adds to Sophie’s first moment of amazement in Charlie finding her letter.

 

Of course, Charlie isn’t too thrilled and even seems to find Sophie not very bright, although not in those words. His retorts imply that impression of her. It is clear that she thinks him rude, as well as close-minded in regards to finding his grandmother’s lost love. Is it romantic and worth the pursuit? Is it completely ludicrous?

 

The odds of Sophie’s letter having been found so quickly seem to be a sign that searching for Claire’s lost love will work out. As the search begins, they find out something that backs up Charlie’s feelings on the matter. Adding to the romance is how Sophie decides to narrow down where they’ll go to find the elusive man from Claire’s past. It gives the sense that the couple are meant to reunite, something for which I feel any viewer would hope. In Shakespearean tradition, some of the men they question bring comedic moments into the adventure.

 

Sophie and Charlie’s relationship changes while still facing obstacles as the adventure continues. Not tragic themselves as Romeo and Juliet are, they each have dealt with sad situations in their families. So, in this movie, elements of Shakespeare’s work come alive. Comedy and Tragedy. Also, as there is Paris in “Romeo and Juliet,” Sophie has her fiance, Victor (Gael Garcia Bernal). He’s supportive of Sophie’s work and seems like a great guy, yet is increasingly busy with his career.

 

The conclusion brings about a Tuscan setting that I’d love to visit in any travels throughout Italy. It also includes a moment paralleling a famous one between Romeo and Juliet. If only I knew whether a real structure or a movie set used in that scene, because it was a perfect touch to the story!

 

Overall, I thought it was a clever storyline of Shakespearean theme and I’ll have to add this to my DVD collection. Until then, I’m glad to have finally caught it at the beginning just a couple of nights ago. I knew I’d love it! Several other movies I’ve enjoyed that have locations in Italy include:

 

  • “Roman Holiday” (1953)
  • “Casanova” (2005)
  • “Eat Pray Love” (2010)
  • “Under the Tuscan Sun” (2003)