movies, watch

watch: labyrinth

Labyrinth ver2.jpg

I know, I know. It’s very bizarre as a person who grew up with Jim Henson and had parents who were massive David Bowie fans. It’s been on my list for ages and a local movie theatre does “Flashback Tuesdays” so I decided to see it on the big screen. (For reference, I have also not seen The Dark Crystal)

Sarah Williams (Jennifer Connelly) is a teenage girl with a wild imagination. Stuck babysitting her baby brother Toby and frustrated by his crying, she wishes that goblins would take him away. This leads her on a mission through a labyrinth with all sorts of creatures to get him back from the Goblin King, Jareth (Bowie).

As with most kids movies from the ’80s, it was silly fun. Since I didn’t grow up with it, I feel like it’s hard to imagine how I would have felt about it as a young girl. Sarah, while slightly annoying, was pretty similar to how I acted when I was younger. I had such a crazy imagination (still do?) so that aspect connected with me more than I expected it to. But the overall plot is weird. Like Jareth just wants to steal babies, okay. Sure.

Bowie is fabulous and his costumes were to die for. The blue sequin number! Guh. But sometimes it got a teeny bit uncomfortable that he was essentially coming on to a teenage girl. Still, I get the sexual awakening he brought on to so many members of my generation. He was always very sexy. And the songs were okay.

Since this was a Henson production, there were lots of puppets and fun creatures! Even if the effects were a little cheesy, you can never go wrong with the intricacy of the designs and how they move. While not all of them are cute like the Muppets, I still enjoyed watching them. My favorite was probably Sir Didymus.

I’m glad I finally got to see this film. I’ve been in a very fantasy mood lately so it definitely hit the spot. And I really miss David Bowie.


albums i want to see performed live

Music is an important part of my life. There is no way around this. Yes, I love reading and watching TV and movies but honestly, I would not be able to survive without music. (I even mourned my 9-year-old iPod Classic when it died in March 2018)

I have declared several albums “perfect”. Meaning I can listen to them from beginning to end and be in absolute awe of what I’ve listened to and not skip any song. And what could be cooler than hearing these “perfect” albums live?

The idea for this blog was sparked by the fact that a few weeks ago, John Mayer performed his masterpiece “Continuum” in its entirety at his Madison Square Garden show. And I wasn’t there. This has devastated me to no end because that is one of the albums I would kill to see live.

I’ve actually been to two concerts like this. The Juliana Theory, my favorite band, reunited in 2010 to perform their album “Emotion is Dead”. It was such a fun night and thinking back on it brings me joy. And then, in 2014, Jimmy Eat World did a tour where they played “Futures”. That album came out when I was in high school and it meant so much to me. Hearing it live was an incredible experience.

Here are other albums that I want to hear performed live in their entirety:

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watch: four weddings and a funeral (hulu)

Four Weddings and a Funeral (miniseries) Title Card.jpg

Not news: I love romantic comedies. And I love Mindy Kaling. While I’ve never seen Four Weddings and A Funeral (it came out when I was six and I know it’s popular, but not as popular as other Hugh Grant rom coms), I was psyched to see that she was involved in a reboot for Hulu.

Basically, we have four friends from America who studied abroad in London in college and three moved over there. Maya (Nathalie Emmanuel) stayed in the US where she was working (and dating) a married congressman. During a visit for Ainsley’s (Rebecca Rittenhouse) 30th birthday, she meets Ainsley’s boyfriend, Kash (Nikesh Patel), and sparks unfortunately fly.

That’s kind of the gist so far. There is a lot going on. I was laughing within the first five minutes though. Such solid writing there. You immediately know these characters and love them. It was exactly what I needed to see today. There is obviously drama coming (especially at the end of the first episode) and I cannot wait to watch more. There are so many romantic comedy references too! I loved looking at all the costumes at Ainsley’s party (I am always here for The Princess Bride costumes! One of my ultimate couples costumes!)

The cast is perfect! Emmanuel’s American accent could be better but she’s so adorable (and props to that Love & Basketball costume!). She and Patel have incredible chemistry. Patel is a dream, to be honest. I was swooning from the get-go. I’ve enjoyed Rittenhouse in her previous performances and really hope they don’t turn her into a villain (Zoe Boyle’s Gemma, on the other hand, is truly heinous). I’m not super into the character of Duffy (John Reynolds) at the moment aside from the scenes of him teaching. He might be the weak link but I don’t think we learned enough about him besides pining for Maya. And I love Craig (Brandon Mychal Smith)! This is probably because I’ve loved his characters on You’re the Worst and Sweet/Vicious (STILL UNJUSTLY CANCELLED), but I’m looking forward to see him play less of a loud mouth to prove that he can do more than just those type of roles.

I’m already trying to prepare myself that this is only a miniseries and that there will be a legitimate ending because I’m already in such love that I want it in my eyeballs for years to come. That’s just how I get with rom coms, I guess.


my reading habits

I put a thread on my Twitter regarding my bizarre reading habits and I kind of wanted to write a bit more about this. And get into how I tackle my TBR.

Backstory: I taught myself how to read in pre-K. No, I don’t remember exactly how I did it. I have vague memories. My older sister struggled with reading and we shared a room when I was that age. I was fascinated by the books she was reading and to learn, she would read out loud. Somehow this led me to figure it out. I distinctly remember a class trip to the beach getting delayed, picking up a book, crawling into my mom’s lap, and reading it to her.

Since then, reading has been a major part of my life. I’m the weirdo who actually didn’t care about assigned reading in school. Just give me all the books (I will admit I liked probably less than half of the books assigned, but I still read them!).

What started my Twitter thread was an explanation of *how* I currently read. I think in college, I started reading a chapter of one new book and one reread before bed. And I continued that once I graduated. But then, at some point, I added a second new book to my routine.

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read: a court of thorns and roses by sarah j. maas

A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1)

I don’t know how this book got on my radar. It’s likely due to Kristin and the fact that it is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. I actually bought a copy during a pretty neat sale at Barnes & Noble and finally got around to reading it. Oh boy.

In the land of Prythian, faeries and humans are separated by a wall after a brutal war. A young hunter, Feyre, unwittingly kills a faerie disguised as a wolf and is taken to live in the Spring Court as retribution. At the Spring Court, Feyre begins to learn that things are not what she originally thought and feelings toward the High Lord, Tamlin, begin to grow.

It should be common knowledge that Beauty and the Beast is one of my all-time favorite stories. Yeah, yeah, Stockholm Syndrome, I know! But it’s a story that focuses on a person’s personality and how changes can lead to love. This was such an interesting retelling by incorporating faeries and even how the curse worked. Tamlin wasn’t stuck in his beast form; he could transform to look human but had his face obscured by a mask.

I was enjoying the book but then something just snapped and I became obsessed. I still don’t know what did it but I’ve had a really hard couple of months (years!) and for some reason, this story started really working for me.

Continue reading “read: a court of thorns and roses by sarah j. maas”

watch: the lion king (2019)

Disney The Lion King 2019.jpg

It’s been well established that I love Disney and will see pretty much everything they put out. And I’ve actually really enjoyed the trend of live-action remakes (though this one tends to get murky with that description). I saw the “Circle of Life” sequence at D23 Expo two years ago and it was absolutely gorgeous. Combined with my love of Favreau’s The Jungle Book, I was all in for this remake.

Simba (JD McCrary/Donald Glover) is the son of Mufasa (James Earl Jones), King of Pride Rock, and is ready to take over for his father. When tragedy strikes and he feels guilty, he escapes only to find out that things are not better without him there.

Yeah, sure. That’s the summary of The Lion King. Because you all don’t already know, right? I’m kind of at a loss for words about this remake, to be honest.

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listen: jamie cullum “taller”

Jamie Cullum - Taller.png

It’s been four years since his last album, “Interlude”. That was an album of all covers; this one all originals (except for one song on the deluxe edition I was lucky to pick up)! He’s such an interesting musician. He’s always had solid original songs but the arrangements for his covers have been incredible. I think the covers is more of what drew me to him. (He and Michael BublĂ© are kind of contemporaries in the remaking standards but Cullum plays the piano and has composed way more original songs than BublĂ©. I also found them around the same time)

Cullum is considered a British jazz musician and I’m not going to dispute that. What was interesting about this album is that he leaned more in R&B for a few songs. This doesn’t surprise me because he’s previously been drawn to contemporary R&B and reimagining them (“Frontin'” on “twentysomething” and his “Don’t Stop the Music” cover on “The Pursuit” is brilliant).

The lyrics this time around were extremely mature. It’s really something. Like he went through something pretty serious. All I can say is that I probably could have used songs like “Life is Grey”, “Monster”, “Endings Are Beginnings”, and “The Age of Anxiety” when I lost my job last summer. Absolutely perfect for melancholy! Still, I’m very happy to have this album now even if I’m trying to break into more positive moods.

Which is wonderful for the fact that his cover of The Killers’ “The Man” made the deluxe edition. What I wouldn’t give for him and Brandon Flowers to perform the song together with Cullum’s arrangement. He somehow injects the song with even more life and that is impressive.

2019 is shaping up to be a year where all of my favorite artists are releasing new albums. None of them have let me down yet.