Tag Archives: movie

Bride For Rent (2014)

I am on a role with finding good movies on Netflix! 

Image result for bride for rent

Bride For Rent is a Filipino movie about a guy who hires a fake bride in order to inherit his trust fund early. Of course, predictable hijinks and miscommunications occur. What I liked about this movie was that it did not follow all the usual cliches. Oh sure, it followed some, but it broke from the usual tropes in interesting ways and produced a romance that actually came across quite believable. Don’t get me wrong – some terrible acting at times. But fun despite it all. 

Either I’m seeing more Filipino options because I am in Thailand or Netflix just downloaded a bunch of Filipino movies. In either case, I’m looking forward to further exploring! 

Advertisements

Isn’t It Romantic (2019)

As soon as I saw the trailer for the new romantic comedy Isn’t It Romantic, I knew I needed to see it.

AND IT IS NOW ON NETFLIX. 

Even better, it lived up to my high hopes. I mean, it is still Hollywood so it is still occasionally vulgar and certainly does not share my worldview on relationships. But compared to the usual fare, I found it hilarious and I appreciated the message. 

This is exactly what I hoped I Feel Pretty (2018) would be. 

Image result for I feel pretty

But where that movie eventually embraced the cliches and fell short, Isn’t It Romantic contains a consistent message that both subverts and adds to the romantic comedy genre. 

The movie totally embraces being both campy and corny, but if you are a sucker for a good rom com, I think you will enjoy this one. Also, Liam Hemsworth CRACKED ME UP.

Image result for isn't it romantic


Lampang: Day 1

As I said in my previous post, I spent the weekend in Lampang.

On Friday, we toured Thammasat University’s Lampang campus. It is a striking, open school that feels rural and empty after the bustle of the Bangkok campus. 

Image result for lampang thailand thammasat university

No photo description available.

The “tour” of the school mostly involved a stroll to the new library. 

Image may contain: people sitting and indoor

Besides the gorgeous mural of books, the place resembled McDonalds with the bright red and yellow everywhere. (Another student more graciously compared the colors to Gryffindor) 

Our new Thai friends shuffled us in, snapped a few group photos, and shuffled us towards the former library, now picnic/banquet/empty rooms area. They then fed us an amazing Thai lunch where the dishes just kept coming.

Image may contain: people sitting, table and food

Following lunch, we went to a local school to “teach English” and paint fences. “Teaching English” involved mostly playing games like red light green light, hangman, and rock paper scissors. The Thai university students with us explained everything in Thai so we did not actually use much English. But I had an absolute blast. I met lots of cute middle schoolers and shared lots of laughter and smiles. I felt like I was back being a camp counselor. Except perhaps a singularly inefficient camp counselor since I could not for the life of me remember any of the games or songs we used to keep students engaged. 

Following our “community service,” we got a tour of Lampang. 

Image may contain: tree, plant and outdoor

We visited two temples and a historically important house.

No photo description available.

Image may contain: 1 person, outdoor

Image may contain: 1 person, standing, sky and outdoor

Image may contain: outdoor

Image may contain: sky, house and outdoor

Image may contain: outdoor

Image may contain: Amy Buchmeyer, smiling

No photo description available.

You know the movie The King and I?

Image may contain: house, tree, sky and outdoor

If I understood correctly, this was the home Anna’s son owned later in life. He ran a successful lumber business from Lampang. 

Image may contain: tree, sky and outdoor

After our tour, we went back to campus for another amazing, traditional Thai meal (I was apparently too busy eating to take picture) and some fun entertainment. We watched traditional Thai dancers, officially “met” our Thai buddies (they’d been instructed not to tell us who they were so we would have to guess), and a few people sang karaoke. (Well, 3 people did and then they sent us home.)

No photo description available.

It was very fun! 

Image may contain: 2 people, including Amy Buchmeyer, people smiling, people standing


Be Like Jack: Thoughts on Mary Poppins Returns

I saw the movie “Mary Poppins Returns” today with a friend. 

Mary Poppins Returns (2018 film poster).png

Plot synopsis from IMDB: “Decades after her original visit, the magical nanny returns to help the Banks siblings and Michael’s children through a difficult time in their lives.”

A few things I liked:

  • It mirrored the original movie (and the books) quite well but doesn’t copy.  It is a continuation of the story. 
  • The music is fun and whimsical.
  • Emily Blunt’s Mary Poppins is more smiley than Julie Andrews’s. She seems to care more for the kids and have more fun with teaching them life lessons.
  • The new Banks kids look ready to stumble into Narnia.
  •  Lin-Manuel Miranda’s character, Jack, is joyful to watch and I dare you not to fall in love with his happy eyes and cheerful demeanor.
  • Dick Van Dyke is over 90 and he still dances the happiest little jig in his cameo. 

Dislikes:

  • Jane Banks’s clothing. Good colors but hideous patterns and combinations. 
  • …That might be it.
  • I did find the songs a little too on the nose for the storyline. Nothing existed just to exist, it all tied in somehow with a moral lesson. 

Final thoughts:

I was skeptical about the character of Jack – who is the Bert stand-in as companion in this movie. The genius of Lin-Manual Miranda aside, you cannot surpass Bert. Or perhaps you can. But Jack (who is connected to Bert, but you should watch the movie to find out how) does not try to surpass him. He develops a character all of his own. He is the rare adult character who recognizes what Mary Poppins can do and marvels at it but does not need to be taught by it. 

And that, I think, is why his character really is the best in the movie. He worked with Mary Poppins in the past. He knows Bert. He comfortably takes part in all the adventures as a matter of course. Yet he still marvels and laughs with joy at it all. He is not like Michael and Jane, who forgot about their adventures with Mary Poppins. Neither is he like the children, who need to learn some life lessons. He bridges the gap between childlike wonder and adult responsibility. In doing so, he shines as an example of what a good adult should/could be like. 

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this happy sequel.


The Nutcracker and the Four Realms

Short review: I’d much rather watch Barbie in the Nutcracker. 

Longer review: Disney takes one of the most classic ballet storylines, removes dancing and imagination from it, and returns with a generic tale of girl power and Newton’s Third Law of Motion. 

To be fair, The Nutcracker and the Four Realms contains beautiful costumes and lovely, lush scenery. Considering the amount of character depth she has to work with, Mackenzie Foy does a good job with Clara. Several other big names make an appearance, including Matthew Macfadyen, who either plays only one role or decided to approach “grieving Father” the same way he approached Mr. Darcy. Broody. Very broody. 

Related image

Unfortunately, those are the highlights. The plot gave off a Narnia-wannabe vibe, but it reminded me more of Disney’s live action Alice in Wonderland. And that is not a good thing. I did appreciate that costumes stayed fairly period-specific in Nutcracker, though. No trousers. (* cough, Alice, cough *)

The storyline contains several plot holes and inconsistencies that never get resolved — or even addressed. The lack of magic and emphasis on science might fit society’s interest in encouraging girls to go into the STEM fields, but it removes any sense of wonder or imagination from the plot. Finally, the story’s treatment of females and womanhood in general goes overboard trying to correct traditional female movie roles and as a result sidelines some of the most beautiful elements of the ballet and the movie, including the lush costumes.

Overall, I would say a movie that could have reached something great but gets sidelined and loses the point of the Nutcracker. 

 

 

SPOILER

I said the movie falls “trying to correct traditional female movie roles.” That is true…until it doesn’t. The villain in the movie, besides being utterly predictable, behaves like a typical femme fatale. She wants strong men around and vindictively targets the other female guardian. This isn’t a groundbreaking female character. This is an annoying stereotype. And further, she is the only character who appears to relish the fashion and beauty around her. She’s the most traditionally feminine…and so predictably the most evil character. I found the motivation here disappointing. 


Ever After

Image result for ever after

Me: “Why didn’t Mom let us watch this when we were little? I can’t remember anything inappropriate.”*

Sister: “It was probably all the tight pants.”

Image result for ever after tennis scene

Image result for ever after movie prince henry

Yeah, that look didn’t age well.

 

 

*Upon re-watching, I understand why. Lots of innuendo. And those tights are awful. Sorry for doubting, Mom 😉 


It Takes Two

“We’re watching It Takes Two,” said my housemates, all 8 crowded in the living room together. 

It sounded vaguely familiar – maybe a popular chick flick? – so I flopped down to join them. And then the movie began and my childhood came rushing back. 

Image result for It takes two movie

The movie was one long déjà vu. It also reminded me of a favorite series of mine growing up: 

Image result for mary kate and ashley olsen detectiveImage result for mary kate and ashley olsen detective bookImage result for mary kate and ashley olsen detective book

Their dog made the most lasting impression on me. Good times.