A Beginner’s Guide To Moana

Everything you need to know before Moana comes out tomorrow.

What is it?
Moana is the latest animated Disney feature film and more specifically it is their latest Disney princess film.

So, like Sleeping Beauty?
Technically the same family but it’s more Tangled than Sleeping Beauty. Disney has been really good at updating their princess narratives so that women aren’t just waiting to be saved by a man and then married off. Just look at Brave: the Disney princess series has become about empowerment.

Female empowerment sounds great and all but… are there still songs?
Totally. In fact, the music in this movie has been getting more attention than is normal for an animated feature because one of the composer’s happens to be Hamilton‘s Lin-Manuel Miranda.

What’s the film about?
The official synopsis is as follows:

The film tells the story of Moana, the strong-willed daughter of the chief of a Polynesian tribe, who is chosen by the ocean itself to reunite a mystical relic with a goddess. When a blight strikes her island, Moana sets sail in search of Maui, a legendary demigod, in hopes to save her people.

This movie has gods?
You’d think it would have been a controversial topic but everybody seems really calm about it – I’m assuming because it’s all been handled respectfully and sensitively but that’s not even the best part. The demigod, Maui? Voiced by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

Nice. Who else is in it?
Moana herself is voiced by newcomer, and Hawaiian native, Auli’i Cravalho. Other cast members include  Rachel House, Temuera Morrison, Jemaine Clement, Nicole Scherzingerand Alan Tudyk.

Is it any good?
According to the critics, and the people that have watched it, and my instincts about this film. Yup. It actually seems amazing. People are saying that it marks a new, better, course for Disney.

Wait, What Happened? || Geek News

It’s the final day of November which means tomorrow is Christmas. That’s right, the entire month of December is Christmas but if a day is just too long to wait, then I have a couple of early presents for you in the form of some news. A lot has been going on so you might find yourself feeling lost and asking: wait, what happened? if that’s the case, I’ve got you covered.

DC Crossover Week

Image result for dc crossover cwThe CW’s DC Crossover Week is well underway  but if you haven’t already been watching, it is a week-long event in which The CW’s DC hero shows crossover. So from Monday to Thursday night, Supergirl, The Flash, Arrow, and Legends of Tomorrow are all following one storyline that sees them all jumping into each other’s shows. The event is now halfway through and it’s amazing. If you weren’t watching it already, you are in the fortunate situation of being able to watch the first two episodes right now without having to wait a whole day in between.

Riverdale Trailer

The first trailer for The CW’s upcoming series, Riverdale, was released this week. The series is a teen drama based on the characters from Archie Comics. I am not familiar with Archie Comics so I didn’t know what to make of this series: to be perfectly honest, the trailer doesn’t tell you very much except for the fact that they have a very pretty cast (but it’s The CW so what else were you expecting?). If you want to have a look, you can check that out below:

H&M Christmas Advert

The Christmas adverts are one of my favourite parts of the festive season and every year they just seem to get better. H&M took it to a whole new level this year by hiring Wes Anderson to direct a short film and it’s beautiful. It’s Wes Anderson so every shot is gorgeous but the story itself is very sweet. It’s less than four minutes long so check it out:

Have you been watching crossover week? Will you be watching Riverdale in the new year? What’s your favourite seasonal advert currently on air? Let me know in the comments.

A Beginner’s Guide To The Edge of Seventeen

Everything you need to know before Edge of Seventeen hits cinemas tomorrow.

What is The Edge of Seventeen?
The Edge of Seventeen is a coming-of-age comedy drama movie.

So a little bit like Sixteen Candles or The Breakfast Club?
Funny you should say that – the writer-director-producer of the film, Kelly Fremon Craig, said that John Hughes was one of the film-makers that she took inspiration from in the making of this film.

What’s it about?
Well, if you’re looking for an official synopsis then:

A precocious, narcissistic high-schooler named Nadine (Hailee Steinfeld) is horrified when her best friend (Haley Lu Richardson) starts dating her impossibly perfect brother (Blake Jenner). Soon, she falls into a downward spiral that forces her to reflect on her cruel, self-centered behavior.

That… actually sounds kind of dark.
No, no, no. It’s like normal teen angst – as long as you’re personally not sixteen, it should be pretty funny. Plus Woody Harrelson’s in it so I’m sure it’s laughs all around.

I do like Woody… Who else is in it?
This film has a pretty fresh, young cast: Hailee Steinfeld, Haley Lu Richardson, Hayden Szeto, Blake Jenner, and Kyra Sedgwick amongst others.

Is it any good?
Based on the trailer and reviews? Absolutely – it closed the Toronto International Film Festival this year. Based on the box office? Not at all. The film had the misfortune of coming up against giant movies like Fantastic Beasts & Where To Find Them and Bleed for This so its success in the US was limited.

Would you recommend it?
Whole-heartedly. Although if you want to see it, the distribution in the UK is limited and it is only showing at big cinemas.

The Book of Love || Trailer Review

Where to start with The Book of Love? I don’t want to keep you in suspense so straight away I’ll just say that this is a terrible trailer. Like, I’m 80% sure that the film is better than the trailer and I can say that pretty confidently because the trailer gives away the entire film.

Sorry, did you want to watch the movie and not know who lives and who dies? What the kid is trying to build? How she ends up working with Jason Sudeikis? Well, sorry. The trailer tells you all of that. In truth it doesn’t seem like a bad film: it has a decent cast and we get to see Sudeikis dive into dramatic territory again. Maisie Williams is a talented, young actress but that isn’t what you think about when you see her in this trailer because where there is Maisie, there is also The Accent.

The Accent is really the star of this trailer. It’s maybe Southern? Probably in the continent of North America? That is one secret that the trailer holds onto, possibly because the filmmakers couldn’t place it either. I know that accents are difficult but… wow.

I wouldn’t see this film: mainly because I already know the majority of the plot and I would be paying just to marvel at how The Accent develops throughout the film.

What did you think of The Book of Love? Will you be watching it in theatres? Where is that accent from? Let me know in the comments.

The Best Of This Week’s TV

Happy Thanksgiving weekend to all of the people out there who celebrate the holiday. If you’re in a country like mine where we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, this holiday just meant that there was very little television and lots of online sales. Anyway, back to the topic at hand: let’s talk about what showed this week. Before we get to the best, we have to talk honourable mentions.

Honourable Mentions

  • No Tomorrow.pngJane the Virgin – for Bruno Mars karaoke.
  • Gotham – for confirming that it gets a hundred times better when watched as a comedy rather than a drama.
  • Supergirl – for Alex: she’s quickly becoming the best part of the show.
  • No Tomorrow – for fuchsia houses and party crashers.
  • Scorpion – for farting superheroes that save California.

Show of the Week: The Flash

Image result for the flash season 3 episode 7

I didn’t like Caitlin last season: she was boring and superfluous and I didn’t really understand what she added to the show. The only time that that changed was when we saw her Earth-2 doppelganger, Killer Frost. The people over at The Flash have clearly taken that to heart and this season we’re seeing Caitlin wrestle against her inner Killer Frost.

The Flash is good at heroes but their villains are often just a little bit too campy to be taken seriously or seen as genuinely threatening. With Killer Frost, Alchemy, and Savitar, the villains in this series have reached a new level of awesome.

Also in this episode, we were able to see Wally finally get his powers and all the Kid Flash fans rejoiced. They have been teasing this story-line for the longest time and we finally get to see it play out – in my opinion, just in the nick of time, because Wally was beginning to come across more like a whiny kid than a young hero.

Finally, dues must be paid to Grant Gustin and Carlos Valdes who are two fantastic actors that are able to bring real emotion to what can sometimes be a light show.

This Week’s Worst: Westworld

Image result for westworld episode 8

I have been praising Westworld since its first episode because it’s new and different and a very brave concept to invest so much money in, but as the plot unravels I am losing interest.

This is a show about robotics, artificial intelligence, morality, humanity, and so many other huge ideas. It does well exploring them but in the end I worry that it is more of a philosophical discussion than a compelling, narrative-driven show. Clearly there is a story, I’m just not sure that it’s as interesting as the concepts that it is trying to explore.

People were calling it HBO’s new Game of Thrones before it ever aired but by now I think that the world can agree that that simply isn’t true. Forgetting the completely different genres, Game of Thrones was always the sort of show that left you shocked and wanting more. Westworld is interesting and intelligent but it’s not addictive. I could stop watching it at any point and not care about what happens next.

Are you looking forward to next week’s four-way CW superhero crossover? Which of the shows is your favourite? What did you watch this week? Let me know in the comments.

Wait, What Happened? || Geek News

Happy Thanksgiving Eve to all of the Americans out there. Over the last few days we’ve had news ranging from castings to law suits and if you want to know more about that then you’ve come to the right place.

Angela Bassett Cast In Black Panther

Image result for angela bassettBlack Panther isn’t the next Marvel movie coming out, or the one after, or even the one after that, but it’s coming. I promise. It will be directed by Ryan Coogler and will star Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Danai Gurira and many other amazing people. If that were not enough to get you excited about the film, Angela Bassett has just been added to the cast. Look out for her in the role of Ramonda, Black Panther’s mother, when the film is released in February 2018.

Cars 3 Teaser

Pixar movies were all inarguably critical successes until Cars and even more so, Cars 2 (a lot of people would like to forget Cars 2). Personally, I enjoyed the first film but the second was truly a departure from true form for the animation studio. The teaser for the third installment, however, looks intense. Pixar movies get dark (see: first 5 minutes of Up, incinerator scene in Toy Story 3 etc.) but this teaser appears to show the film’s protagonist slowly and dramatically dying. If they were trying to catch people’s interest, Pixar have certainly done that. I’m actually excited about a Cars movie. Hopefully we’ll get a full length trailer soon but until then, here’s that amazing teaser again:

Amber Heard Sued For Undermining Film

Image result for amber heardAmber Heard is being sued by the producers behind one of her films, London Fields. You’ve either heard about the movie because of all the controversy that surrounded it last year, or more likely, you’ve never heard of it because some of that controversy included it not securing a distributor. The film was slated to premiere at the Toronto Film Festival last year and none of its cast arrived to promote it. There were so many issues (which you can read more about here) but the result is that producers have filed a $10 million lawsuit against Heard.

Which Marvel release after you most excited for? Will you be going to watch the next Cars movie? Are actors obligated to promote their films? Let me know in the comments.

 

Hidden Figures || Trailer Review

The “true story” genre has become increasingly popular in recent years and for some reason – possibly because the US are leading the film industry – a lot of these movies are about the American Civil Rights movement. Yet, I’m not bored of them.

Movies are fun, they’re a form of escapism, but before any of that they are a device to tell stories. Hidden Figures tells the untold story of the black women who helped NASA get astronauts into space.

When you have a film about such strong, inspirational characters, you need the female actors who are able to back that up and carry the weight of the people that they’re portraying. Taraji P. Henson and Octavia Spencer are the epitome of that. Janelle Monáe also stars and based on this trailer, she is another powerhouse to look out for.

There are light, funny moments in this trailer but then it covers deep and emotional subject matter. As a black, female, Engineering student, I can’t help but connect to this movie and I’m so happy that it’s being put out into the world. We’re at an age where girls are finally being told that their minds matter but there simply aren’t enough role models in the public eye for them to look at and think: I can be a scientist, I can be a mathematician.

Finally, Pharrell Williams is involved as a producer and song writer: this movie is going to be fantastic.

What do you think of Hidden Figures? Do you think that the film industry has reached a saturation point with Civil Rights’ movies? Let me know in the comments.