A Quick Check-In

Hello everyone.  It’s been awhile, eh?  I’ve been pretty busy this month with field work.  This week I will be puppy-free due to an impending field trip; but instead of spending the suddenly enormous amount of free time I have on something useful, I’ve reverted to old habits and have spent my evening on the internet.


I leave you with a picture:

Happy Little Bug*

A song:


And a suggestion:

If you want to see a good movie that will make you laugh and tug on your heart strings just a lil’, go see Wreck It Ralph.  It was an adorable little movie and very funny.

*Apollo already has a myriad of nicknames, but his main one is “Snuggle Bug,” since for a very brief period of his puppyhood, he loved to curl up on my chest and snuggle.  I often call him “Bug” for short.


Iconic Movie Ignorance – Dirty Dancing

I am currently watching Dirty Dancing.

For the first time.

Don’t be surprised; there are so many movies I haven’t seen yet, mainly because A. I’m not a big movie person and B. I don’t really care.  I used to blog about the movies I hadn’t seen back in my old Vox blog, but then I just gave up.

Yes, I was alive when this movie came out, but I was pretty small. I was three.  The only viewing experience I had of this movie can be described succinctly – all I remember is walking in on a scene of people dancing and hearing my my dad saying, “Jennifer, go play.  You can’t watch this.”  I had to make do with the soundtrack, which my parents played many times.  Hearing those songs to this day makes me nostalgic.

As I watch this movie now, I can kind of understand why I wasn’t allowed to watch it; I mean, there are some pretty up-close and personal dancing scenes, a plot about abortion, and (the tamest) sex scenes (ever).  I guess this would all be very inappropriate for a toddler.  Even though the abortion plot would have gone straight over my head and they could have covered my eyes during all the kissing GEEZ.

What I’m saying is I’m still bitter that I wasn’t allowed to watch this movie.

So far it’s a decent movie, but I can’t help laughing at how 80’s it all is, a magical time when all movies had a Theme Song.  I know it’s supposed to take place in the 60’s, but if you compare the costumes and makeup from something like, Mad Men, to this, the costumes and makeup in this film come off as kind of lazy.  I’m not supposed to be watching a movie set in the 60s and getting nostalgic about how my mother used to wear her hair and makeup back in the 80s.  Would Jennifer Grey really been able to pull off that 80s perm in 1963? I’m just saying.

Regardless, it’s still a good movie so far.  I was never into Patrick Swayze, mainly because he was so much older than me, but after watching this movie, I get it.

And they just got to the “Nobody puts Baby in a corner” scene.  Awwww yeah!

Time for some nostalgia/80s cheese:


This song is so 80s.  ANACHRONISM, PRODUCERS.

Ok, I seriously need to watch this.

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

So I saw The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.

Just a note – in my hometown, there’s not a whole lot to do, so my friends, brother, and I either end up driving aimlessly or see a lot of movies.  I’ve seen more movies this week than I can remember.  I’m usually not a movie person. I mean, I enjoy them every so often, but I don’t really have the attention span for them.  I can watch episodes of favorite shows back to back or stay on the internet for hours, but watching a two-hour movie?  Not so much.

Anyway, I really enjoyed this movie.  It started off a bit slowly, but once it got moving, it quickly became absorbing.  It wasn’t a perfect film – I feel like Lisbeth Salander was a little underdeveloped, but these are minor quibbles.  The acting is really good – Rooney Mara, in particular, does an excellent job.  I’m so glad someone like Natalie Portman wasn’t cast, because then the viewing experience would have consisted solely of, “Hey, there’s Natalie Portman with a bad accent and stupid haircut” rather than getting invested into the character.

Stupid haircuts aside, I was really fascinated by the punk aesthetic Lisbeth sported in the film.

I’d like to find some (less extreme) way of incorporating that aesthetic into my own sense of style.

Finally, the opening credit visuals were among the most intriguing I’ve seen – and I’m really digging the song that accompanied them.

(These aren’t the opening visuals, just the music video.)  I’m usually really wary of covers, especially those from my favorite bands…but this one is badass.

I’m really looking forward to reading the series now, and to checking out the Swedish version of the films.

Honestly, even though this film was pretty emotionally taxing (there’s a rather brutal rape scene), I’d much rather see this movie again than Mission Impossible: Whatever.

A Mise En Scene Analysis of any Tom Cruise Action Film

I saw Mission Impossible: Resurrecting Tom Cruise’s Career last night.

Oh, is that not what it's called?

Everyone is raving about it. It’s pretty good. It’s a lot funnier than the previous installments and luckily lacked any romance scenes (as a woman, I say – screenwriters, chicks don’t want an action movie bogged down by sappy romantic scenes).

I have a hard time completely buying into Tom Cruise action movies, though. I know, most action movies are not believable. I mean, the last Fast and Furious film had the two main characters driving off a cliff, jumping out of their car mid-air, and landing in the water after a 200-foot drop unscathed. Yet I remain cynical of Tom Cruise action films because I have spotted a fairly consistent formula.  It’s hard to be impressed when each of his films are the SAME.  (Well, almost the same – I think few films can reach the level of suckitude that MI:2 did).

Any Tom Cruise action film must have the following elements:

1. Obligatory Tom Cruise Colgate smile scene
2. Obligatory Tom Cruise dramatic yell scene
3. Obligatory Tom Cruise action-sequence-that-defies-all-human-logic scene
4. Obligatory Tom Cruise shirtless scene
5. Obligatory Tom Cruise kissing scene
6. Obligatory Tom Cruise choked up in emotion from love/sadness scene
7. Obligatory Tom Cruise motorcycle scene
8. Obligatory Tom Cruise quiet whisper calming scene
9. Obligatory Tom Cruise Forrest Gump running scene
10. Obligatory Tom Cruise intense stare scene

This Mise En Scene analysis also doubles as a drinking game. You’re welcome.

A Baby Bird Post

I don’t think you guys know how much I love baby birds.

I think it all started when I was ten. My dad used to volunteer at a bird shop, and one night brought home a little baby Quaker parrot.  I named her Fluffy.  We had to feed her with a syringe because she was so little. If you’re wondering what baby Quaker parrots look like, see below:

I got this off the internet, but you get the idea.  Basically the cutest thing ever. (My parents gave Fluffy away after we got a dog, and I was NOT A FAN OF THAT DECISION).

Ever since then, I basically squee every time I see a baby bird.  For instance, while walking downtown this summer, I spotted this:








Then this weekend, I watched Rio with my family.  It was not a perfect movie – I’m sure the depictions of Brazil were very stereotypical, Autotuned music from will.i.am does not belong on any soundtrack, and all the villains either had a Portuguese or British accent, prompting my brother to say, “They’re just teaching kids that xenophobia is okay!” But I was squeeing from the first two seconds of the movie, which depicted a baby blue macaw:

I mean, seriously.  Is this not the cutest thing ever?  At the beginning, the little baby bird gets kidnapped from Brazil and sent to America, and is shown in various states of sadness and looking impossibly adorable in the process. I was all, “Please, stupid kid’s movie, do not make me sad over a fictional, anthropomorphic character.”

This reminds me of the baby penguin from The Chipmunk Adventure.  Have you all seen it?  It was required viewing for anyone born between 1982 – 1990.  There is this one scene where a baby penguin is separated from its mother, and the Chipettes sing it the SADDEST SONG IN MOVIE HISTORY.

The last time I saw this movie was in 2007, and tears may or may not have been shed during this song.  Seriously, I dare you to watch that shit without a tear welling in your eye. If you can, then you have no soul.  Period.

In this post, I have revealed that I am highly susceptible to cute and adorable things, and that makes me a very stereotypical girl in that regard.

Movies That Make Me Cry

Entertainment Weekly had an online feature that listed 25 Tearjerker Scenes from films. After reading the list, I was inspired to do my own list.  Here are five scenes that have made me cry, in no particular order.

WARNING – Spoilers and all that jazz.

1.  Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey

At the end of Homeward Bound, Chance, Shadow, and Sassy are just about home when Shadow falls into a pit.  Since he is old, he orders the others to go home to their humans and leave him there.  Chance and Sassy have a happy reunion with their respective humans, but Shadow’s human, Peter, is left looking over the hills, waiting for Shadow.  “He was just too old,” he says sorrowfully.

And just when Peter dejectedly starts walking away from his family, Shadow starts limping over the hill.  As the music swells, Peter shouts, “SHADOW!” and they run to each other joyfully.

Basically, if you don’t cry at this scene, then you have no soul.

Damn it, I still can’t watch this scene without tearing up.

2.  Million Dollar Baby

I don’t want to give away the ending to this movie, because it’s a emotional punch to the gut if you haven’t seen it (boxing pun completely unintentional).

I went into this movie completely unsuspecting, thinking that it was simply a boxing movie.  WRONG. I don’t think I’ve ever cried so hard during a movie as I did with this one.

3.  Up!

Pixar makes some beautiful films that can make the viewer quite emotional – I’m not going to lie, tears were shed when I saw Toy Story 3 in the theaters last year.  But that ending was nowhere near as depressing as the beginning of Up! was.

If you haven’t seen it, the scene depicts Carl and his wife, Ellie, throughout their marriage – from the wedding to the end of Ellie’s life.  Ellie’s death is depressing enough, but I think what really got me is she had all these dreams when she was young and was never able to live them. I watched this movie with my family, so I was trying really hard not to cry.  But then I gave up.

4.  The Sixth Sense

The part that always gets me emotional is not the famous ending, but rather the scene where Cole finally reveals to his mother that he can communicate with the dead.  His mother, skeptical at first, finally believes him when he talks about his encounter with her mother’s ghost.  It’s a powerfully acted scene.  Toni Collette is so devastating in this scene, especially when she says, “Do I make her proud?” Gah, gets me every time.

5.  Love, Actually

I was fully expecting to hate this movie the first time I saw it back in 2008, but it’s one of my favorite movies now.  There are so many good stories in it that entire film can move me to tears of sadness and joy alternatively.


What movies have made you cry?