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how i got into classic films

After a bad take regarding classic films surfaced on the internet the other day, I was thinking about how I got into watching these movies. I personally think my method was great and opened my eyes to so many different actors, directors, genres, what have you.

Here goes: When I was 14, I decided I wanted to watch Audrey Hepburn movies. I don’t really know how I found her or what truly prompted this, but that was my goal. And in 2002, this goal was made easy by the fact that AMC, formerly known as American Movie Classics (AMC used to show old movies! Without commercials at one point too!), was showing her movies once a week that summer. My first classic film (that I can officially track) was Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

Now, I know the film is problematic with its use of yellowface. It’s not my favorite Audrey movie either. It’s fine. The clothes and “Moon River” really do me in. And Holly Golightly is an interesting character. But what really got me was Audrey. She was stunning and showed such vulnerability in the role.

A great way to start with classic films is to pick one actor and branch out from there. That’s exactly what I did with Audrey. It helped that she worked with some of the greatest actors from that time period: Gregory Peck, William Holden, Humphrey Bogart, Cary Grant, Gary Cooper, Albert Finney, and Peter O’Toole to name a few.

I honestly tried to make a flow chart of how this happened for me, but ultimately it got too messy. I will say that I think my method works really well, but I did have a lot of help because my parents encouraged me to seek out more films.

Like Billy Wilder had passed away around the time this happened, so they brought me Some Like It Hot and Sunset Boulevard. Because I liked Gregory Peck and Cary Grant, my mom took out the movies they did with Alfred Hitchcock. Katharine Hepburn passed away a year later and again, thank you Cary Grant, that’s how I watched her films. With each new film, I found yet another actor or actress to follow. It’s a neverending cycle and I’m still surprised when I find something I’ve never seen before.

Please don’t ignore classic films because you think they’re boring or not relevant. It is important to see how this industry started and I have never regretted doing this as a teenager. I have my blindspots (I don’t watch westerns; I really need to start watching silent films; my noir knowledge is poor) but because I love movies so much, I don’t mind taking the time to seek out whatever I can. And if you love movies too, you should want to do the same.

journey to episode ix

journey to episode ix: revenge of the sith (2005)

I figured out that I might be able to at least watch the remaining films (again) before The Rise of Skywalker so stay tuned!

Below a dark metal mask, a young man with long hair is front and center, with a woman at his left and a bearded man at his right. Two warriers hold lightsabers on either side, and below them in the middle, two men clash in a lightsaber duel. Starfighters fly towards us on the lower left, and a sinister hooded man sneers at the lower right.

Thoughts: I always declared this movie the best of the prequels. Now, I’m not so sure. Maybe it’s because I wasn’t in the right headspace for watching (I was tired), but I did not have a pleasant experience with this one! (God, this whole post is a mess, I’m so sorry.)

Let’s just get it out of the way: the pacing in this film? It’s absolutely terrible for the first 80 minutes. It whips back and forth between battles and then the stuff with Anakin (Hayden Christensen) and Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) or Anakin and Padme (Natalie Portman). It’s insane. I kind of can’t believe I blacked some of that stuff out. I remembered all of it, but I guess I thought that there was a better way of laying everything out than what he did. It was jarring, especially because I was like, “Wait, *THIS* is the movie I liked best out of the prequels?!”

But once Order 66 is set in motion, that’s when the movie actually gets somewhat good. I can no longer endorse this movie as the best of the prequels, I’m sorry. The pacing finally works and I’m shocked that I never realized this as an issue before. The dialogue is still abysmal though prequel MVP Ewan McGregor tries so hard! I will never forgive them for doing Padme so dirty in this movie either. She didn’t have to die!

I really am amazed that my opinions on this movie changed so much. Like is Attack of the Clones better than this? It might be. I had way more fun watching that movie as a whole. Here, only the last hour is good. What happened.

Villain: Well, this is going to be long.

First up, we have Count Dooku (Christopher Lee), you know, Palpatine’s apprentice. Palpatine is done with him, so he has Anakin kill him. This was a test for Anakin and he totally passed! Stupid Anakin. Next, we have General Grievous (Matthew Wood), who, thanks to Clone Wars, I now feel sorry for! Both of these characters aren’t the real villains, but are working for him and so they get caught in the crossfire. Again, I feel more sympathy for Grievous now but including these two characters in this film kind of feels like an afterthought.

Because it’s Palpatine. Who finally reveals his true self to everyone. That he’s a Sith Lord and wants Anakin to be his apprentice. He was shady the whole time and the Jedi Council was right to try to arrest him. I think because of all the pacing whiplash, it actually made me mad that Anakin so willingly goes with him. And if we’re to go off the new discussion of how long this movie actually takes place during, Anakin changes his mind so quickly. Yes, he was always impulsive and such, but there were so many warning signs for Palpatine!

Final villain: ANAKIN. What’s funny is that the reason Padme died is because of him. She would have been fine if he hadn’t been his overdramatic ass self and strangled her. Actually, though, the damage was done before then. She only went to Mustafar to see if Obi-Wan was right and OF COURSE OBI-WAN WAS RIGHT. I just wish Padme had been stronger to realize that she didn’t need Anakin. But I digress.

They laid the turn to the Dark Side very thick early on (and I mean, in the other movies too), but I do appreciate that he was able to recognize that killing Dooku was not right and he did feel bad about it. This is why I wish I had been able to finish Clone Wars because these two Anakins are not meshing for me. Then, he becomes so consumed with saving Padme (NOT HIS CHILD BY THE WAY!) that he jumps at Palpatine’s offer. Killing the younglings was very bad, as was what he did to Mace (Samuel L. Jackson). I’ve come to realize that I haven’t really forgiven Anakin for his actions and that his later redemption is kind of moot for me. *shrugs*

Best Character: You know, I was going to say Obi-Wan. Or Yoda (Frank Oz). But really, let’s go wild. Best character in Revenge of the Sith is…Bail Organa (Jimmy Smits). He’s not in it much but when he is, he’s always doing the right thing and looking out for the Jedi. Bail is a character that deserves more respect and more screentime! Let’s get him a Disney+ show or something!

My Rating: 3 1/2 stars

television, the true love rewatch

the true love rewatch: 3×03 “none of the above”

Synopsis: Our crew of teenagers are freaking out about the PSAT. Things get difficult when Eve (Brittany Daniel) hands Dawson (James Van Der Beek) a copy of the exam and he offers to share it with his friends. Also, Jack (Kerr Smith) is nervous about football practice.

Thoughts: We started this episode getting pretty meta with Dawson critiquing Felicity and being a general film bro and maybe that’s why I hate him so much? Hmm…

Anyway, the whole PSAT thing just makes me glad I am no longer in high school. And the “Who took the test?” nonsense was a little much but I did remember who the culprit was and it makes sense but is still a little odd. Frankly, that kind of drama is always welcome in this show because it draws the lines of friendship and actually is fun to explore.

The Jack stuff was silly but I still adore his and Jen’s (Michelle Williams) friendship! And how he laughed at poor little Henry (Michael Pitt) about his crush.

I was surprised by some of the episode that I didn’t remember much of but also that they used The Juliana Theory’s “We’re At the Top of the World” at the end! My favorite band! One of their best songs! MY HEART!

Pacey/Joey Moments: I couldn’t remember if we’d get a single Pacey (Joshua Jackson)/Joey (Katie Holmes) moment in this episode since they were both dealing with their own stuff (Pacey still reeling from his breakup with Andie (Meredith Monroe); Joey needing to do well on the PSAT to get a scholarship). When Joey called out Dawson after the test was stolen, they shoot to Pacey and the LOOK he gives. I thought that would be it and my heart exploded.

But then! We got two heart-to-heartish moments! Ah, bless. First, after Andie returns the stuff Pacey gave her, Pacey gets drunk and decides to visit Joey at work. She consoles him briefly and gives him a place to hang for the night. But it’s after Dawson comes by and accuses him of taking the test that things got really good. Joey took Pacey’s side in the fight because Dawson was completely out of line (as Pacey didn’t take the test and it was a low blow to bring Andie into this) and this is when their relationship becomes more interesting.

Pacey/Joey Quote:

Pacey: I thought if I’d earned anyone’s respect, it was his. I mean, if the guy who knows you better than anybody on earth thinks you’re a loser, then maybe…

Joey: Then maybe you are one? Come on, I mean I thought you were a loser for years but you never believed me.

Pacey: It’s just…you know when does a person start believing the general consensus about themselves?

Joey: When it’s right.

television, watch

watch: new cw fall shows

Since the CW staggers their premieres from the other networks, they get a separate post.

Batwoman (Sundays): The latest in the DCTV universe (aka the only DC content I really like lately). Anyway, we briefly met Kate Kane (Ruby Rose) during the last Arrowverse crossover, “Elseworlds”, and this is kind of a prequel to that. She is Bruce Wayne’s cousin but Bruce/Batman has disappeared so Gotham is a bit of a mess (when is it not though?). Kate is an out lesbian who just wants to be loved by her dad. Ah, daddy issues. It was a bit of a wonky pilot, to be honest. But if I remember correctly, Arrow also had a bad pilot and it’s lasted eight seasons so *shrug*. I like Rose, but she’s a little stiff. Would love to see more action scenes, especially in the suit. And there were enough threads for future storylines that are interesting, especially involving Alice (Rachel Skarsten), but I kind of picked up on that twist. Mostly, I got distracted early on because Dougray Scott plays her dad! I’ve loved him since Ever After! Yay!

Nancy Drew (Wednesdays): The CW is trying to take all classic characters and make them gritty and edgy! Not sure how I feel about it. Nancy Drew (Kennedy McMann) has remained in her hometown of Horseshoe Bay instead of going to college after the death of her mother. When the wife of a wealthy socialite is found murdered outside the restaurant she works at, she becomes a suspect along with her four friends and she takes it upon herself to solve the case. It’s okay. I actually really liked the characters and their respective backgrounds but the mystery is very lame. Like, come on. You can do better than this. And the town gave me a lot of I Know What You Did Last Summer vibes, which was interesting and could lead to some fun adventures later. There’s potential but overall, I’m kind of meh.

television, the true love rewatch

the true love rewatch: 3×02 “homecoming”

There was almost technical difficulties to thwart my watching this episode and I was not here for it.

Synopsis: Dawson (James Van Der Beek) is asked to make a football film for the pep rally. Pacey (Joshua Jackson) and Joey (Katie Holmes) bring Andie (Meredith Monroe) back to Capeside but she’s acting weird. And Jack (Kerr Smith) joins the football team!

Thoughts: An episode that does not mostly focus on Dawson, phew. But oh my God, as the episode started, I remembered what happens at the end of the episode with him and Eve (Brittany Daniel) and the cringe could be felt immediately. And it never went away in any of his scenes, especially when that one happened. Nope, nope, nope.

We got to see how Jen (Michelle Williams) is taking over the cheerleading squad and making them more fun. We met Henry (Michael Pitt), a freshman who impresses Coach Leery (John Wesley Shipp) with his leadership skills and how he works with Jack. Oh Henry, you are also going to be fun to follow this season even though Pitt bugs the hell out of me (more for Boardwalk Empire than here but still).

The Andie stuff kind of ties into the Pacey/Joey stuff but I’ll mention it a little here. Backstory: Andie was sent to a mental health facility to deal with some issues but she and Pacey were still together. She’s an interesting character and I don’t agree with what she does but it leads Pacey to do some soul-searching and change himself for Joey so it kind of works out.

Pacey/Joey Moments: Speaking of, let’s get this out of the way. They both begin the season still in love with other people: Joey with Dawson and Pacey with Andie. And they do tend to deal with the fallout when it comes to it. However, we’re not there yet.

There were three scenes involving the two of them. First, Joey agrees to accompany Pacey when he picks up Andie. Dawson seems surprised, but I get it. She just needs to get out of town and wants to see Andie. It’s cute. And when Pacey is denied access to even see Andie, she helps him out by regaling the front desk nurse with all her troubles. It is the cutest little scene!

When they finally get Andie, they have a short exchange about music to play while driving back to Capeside. *swoon* Andie drags them both to the pep rally and the two of them are so not here for it. Pacey just wants Andie to spend some alone time with him and Joey just can’t be bothered to do school spirit (I mean, none of them did prior to this season anyway…)

Finally, after Andie reveals her secret and Pacey is rightfully pissed, Joey is the one who talks him down and tries to convince him to forgive her. Even though they were always “friends”, I think this is the first time they’ve really gotten under each other’s skin in this way and it’s what makes their impending relationship all the more better. They know each other in such intimate ways without actually being together. God, I love them.

Pacey/Joey Quote:

Joey: Pacey, you probably don’t want to hear this right now, and I’m sure you don’t want to hear it from me, but you have to talk to her.

Pacey: No, not right now. I couldn’t even look at her right now.

Joey: You have to, Pacey. You have to hear her out.

television, watch

watch: almost family (fox)

Since this didn’t premiere during the first week of the season (because we really needed a two-hour The Masked Singer…jk we did! I love that crazy ass show!), this is getting its own review!

Image result for almost family

Julia Bechley (Brittany Snow) has her life turned completely upside down when it’s revealed that her father, Leon (Timothy Hutton), used his own sperm to impregnate women while working as a fertility doctor.

It’s gotten absolutely terrible reviews and I don’t think they’re entirely fair. Is it great? No, but most pilots aren’t! And I’ve seen some criticism that they’re taking this issue lightly. I didn’t see that at all. Like at first Julia was very defensive of her dad but eventually, she realized what had happened and decided to help the cops.

Is it just because the commercials played it off as these three woman creating a new family due to the fact that they discovered they share a father? I feel like they’re going to go into how psychologically damaging this all can be, especially as the show continues. And if I’m wrong, fine. But I never felt like they were playing this a comedy or even a feel-good story. It’s very messed up.

I wanted to check this out more for the cast. Snow has been my girl since American Dreams (I miss the Pryors!). Julia is going to be a bit harder to like than Meg but I think she’ll come around. I’ve loved seeing Emily Osment grow since Hannah Montana (I’d much rather have more Young & Hungry but still!). Roxy is a spitfire and I love her but I hope they tone down some of her messiness. And Megalyn Echikunwoke’s character, Edie, is so far the most interesting. A lawyer who is married but also having an affair and dealing with all this fallout as someone who has been friends with Julia since childhood? Oh yes, her layers are going to be the best to follow.

Again, it’s not great. But I can see more potential and I’m willing to give it more of a shot.

television, the true love rewatch

the true love rewatch: 3×01 “like a virgin”

Here we gooooo!

Synopsis: Dawson (James Van Der Beek) meets a mysterious woman on the bus ride home from Philadelphia who wreaks havoc on his life. Junior year begins with Dawson trying to avoid Joey (Katie Holmes) and Jen (Michelle Williams) decides to try out for cheerleading.

Thoughts: It’s actually kind of funny because Dawson really isn’t bad in this episode. Like he knows he and Joey have run their course at this moment in time and he is okay with it. It’s going to be fun tracking this because of how loathsome he becomes once Pacey (Joshua Jackson) and Joey go public.

Not much else to say about the episode as it’s very inspired by Risky Business and all that nonsense. But I do wonder why I never really liked Jen, because she is awesome! And not just because Williams is awesome, I mean, her befriending Jack (Kerr Smith) the way she does and why she decides to become a cheerleader are two badass parts of her character. I really think it’s Dawson that ruins everyone…

(Oh! And Hulu does not have the proper theme song! I was all set to rock out to some Paula Cole but NOPE!)

Pacey/Joey Moments: Even before the end where they have their little heart-to-heart because Dawson tells Pacey that Joey shouldn’t be alone right now (after he rejects her invitation for sex), Pacey has a lot of thoughts about Miss Josephine Potter. Like yeah, he’s looking out for his friend and knows they’re better off not together, but he winds up complimenting her a lot to Dawson.

And yet, I know he doesn’t feel that way toward her because of his own situation with Andie (Meredith Monroe). And that he knows how much she truly loves Dawson. But still, the dock scene is the beginning of this beautiful relationship and I am just filled with such happiness watching.

Pacey/Joey Quote:

Pacey: Ahoy there, anyone ashore?

Joey: What are you doing here?

Pacey: It’s the damnedest thing, I just got into to Dawson’s row boat and it magically drifted toward your dock.

Joey: Yeah, well magically drift any closer and I’ll kill you.

Pacey: You know, I almost believed that.

television, watch

watch: new thursday night shows

The Unicorn (CBS): WALTON GOGGINS ROM-COM! I have been a fan of Goggins since Justified and get such a thrill watching him in anything. In this sitcom, he plays Wade, a recently widowed man with two daughters. His friends all encourage him to get back into the dating scene. I enjoyed this! Again, it’s a Walton Goggins rom-com! It struck the perfect tone and could be a lot of fun going forward. Especially with Michaela Watkins, Rob Corddry, Omar Benson Miller, and Maya Lynne Robinson as his friends. Even his daughters were adorable!

Carol’s Second Act (CBS): I like Patricia Heaton as an actress (her political stances are not great) and she was one of my grandpa’s favorites so I wanted to give this a shot. She plays Carol Kenney, a woman who has gone through a divorce, raised two kids, and retired from teaching, but always wanted to be a doctor. She goes to med school and is now an intern at Loyola Memorial Hospital. I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t immediately love it either. Heaton is somewhat similar to Julia Louis-Dreyfuss where there are times they can go overboard and it becomes irritating. When she wasn’t being overeager to prove herself, I liked Carol more. Soft moments work better for her. Her fellow interns were a mixed bag too. Like Jean-Luc Bilodeau’s Daniel needs to be knocked down a few pegs, and the other two, Caleb (Lucas Neff) and Lexie (Sabrina Jalees), need to find a better groove. The actors are fine, but I think their characters need to be fine-tuned. And I feel like it might veer into some of the issues I have with The Rookie in regard to age discrimination.

Evil (CBS): Oh, I don’t know what I expected but this blew me away. Kristen Bouchard (Katja Herbers) is a psychologist who works with the Queens’ DA office. She is fired after trying to test someone claiming to be demonically possessed and approached by David Acosta (Mike Colter), who investigates miracles and demons. Kristen agrees to work with him, despite not truly believing and finds more than she ever thought possible. It was slow but the payoff was amazing. If they can manage to keep the tension that tight throughout every episode, we are in for a treat! I also really liked the character of Kristen, who is struggling with student loans, a crappy marriage, and raising four young daughters. But I won’t lie, I was waiting the whole episode for Michael Emerson to appear and when he did, damn. I didn’t realize how much I missed him playing creepy characters, like Benry on Lost, until now. Don’t get me wrong, I adored Harold on Person of Interest, but there’s something about him as a bad guy. He’s brilliant.

Perfect Harmony (NBC): Sometimes, too much is stuffed into a comedy pilot and it is a detriment to everything that could be great about the show. This pilot is a prime example. Arthur Cochran (Bradley Whitford) has been recently widowed and wanders into a small-town choir practice. With his expertise as a music professor, he decides to try to help them out and get some revenge on another pastor. The premise is very simple, and there is a way this could have worked differently. However, they felt it necessary to give everyone’s backstory upfront instead of easing into them. Like Ginny (Anna Camp)’s impending divorce could have been it, but no. They had to shove the new love interest instead of building up to that in a future episode. The characters are all fine and the cast is really good. It’s nice to see Whitford in a good guy role. But the individual stories would have been better digested had they been given more time to breathe! Still, I liked how the episode ended and there is a good show in here somewhere. But the script definitely needed some editing.

Sunnyside (NBC): I like Kal Penn. *shrugs* For some reason, I knew next to nothing about this show. One of my friends, Kim, mentioned it when we were talking one day and she said it kind of looked like Community. You know what? She was right. Penn plays a disgraced Queens councilman Garrett Modi, who somehow winds up teaching a group of people trying to become American citizens. While there is definitely things to work out, I really liked this. The humor was a bit off-color at times but there is a solid heart behind it and I can’t wait to see what’s next. I really hope we get to learn more about each member of the study group and that they’re not only stereotypes or anything. Penn is involved behind the scenes as well which makes me think this will happen sooner rather than later.

attend

attend: silent book club

I have a problem: I join too many Facebook groups. Most of them are book-related which also is a problem because I have over a thousand books on my Goodreads TBR. Anyway, one of them, Forever35 Book Club (from the excellent Forever35 podcast, check it out!), had a post about something called a Silent Book Club and I became very curious.

Upon investigation, I found out that it’s not your typical book club! Instead of picking one book for everyone to read and discuss, this book club lets you choose whatever book you want to read and picks a place for you to meet up and read it among other people! It’s an introvert’s dream!

Was it wise to bring this particular book to read in public? Jury’s still out.

I’ve kept this somewhat quiet on the blog but I did move to California earlier this year. And I have struggle mightily with meeting people. Finding out about Silent Book Club was a godsend. I kept track of when the LA meetup would be and counted down the days. It was such a lovely experience at a local coffee shop. Reading for an hour at a table with others doing the same and then talking about books, movies, and television afterward.

I can’t recommend this experience enough. If you feel like you don’t have time to read, this is a great way to take some time to do it for at least an hour. And you get to meet some really wonderful, fellow book lovers! Win win!