Black Panther ~ Movie Review

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Over spring break, my dad and I went to see Black Panther. It was my second time seeing it, and his first. With the upcoming Infinity War, I thought I would hurry on up and get in my review of this movie first! 🙂

Black Panther takes place after Civil War, with T’Challa, played by Chadwick Boseman, returning to Wakanda, after the death of his father, to take his place as king. Wakanda is a nation in Africa, however, its actual country is concealed from the world. Most people believe that it is a poor nation, that happens to have a small amount of the strongest metal on earth – vibranium.

The truth, though, is that Wakanda is one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world and is far from being helpless.

During the course of the movie, T’Challa’s reign gets challenged by a foe that is surprisingly connected to Wakanda, and he is forced into a difficult position of what to do when your entire worldview and belief about your country and family is rocked on its axis.

His family is there to support him each step of the way however, with his sister, Shuri, played by Letitia Wright (I did a post on her here), and his mother, Queen Romanda, played by Angela Bassett. With their help, T’Challa strives to do the right thing, while having the weight of Wakanda on his shoulders in the process.

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Black Panther is an amazing movie that combines action, humor, and culture into a two hour and fourteen minute film, and if you haven’t seen it, you definitely need to.

Alright, as per usual, there’s the spoiler-free version 😉

SPOILERS AHEAD.

WARNING Y’ALL.

ANYTHING BELOW WILL HAVE SPOILERS.

YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

With that out of the way, full-speed ahead into spoiler territory!

There’s so much to unpack in this movie, that I’m just going to jump right in and ask that y’all bear with me.

 First of all, can I just say that Marvel does sibling relationships fabulously??? I love Shuri and T’Challa’s relationship. There’s Shuri, who at sixteen, gets a huge kick out of the fact that her brother is being made king. This is never more apparent than at the ceremony, when she asks, “can we get on with it already?” and mentions that the corset is really killing her.

And T’Challa, who bless his soul, finds himself continually roasted by his little sis. I saw something on Tumblr that I just have to restate here – “being a good older brother: reassuring your sister after she unknowingly ran over someone in the street.” xD

So funny.

One of my favorite scenes in the movie, is at the very end, when the antagonist of the movie, Erik Killmonger (also I LOVE NAMES WITH PUNS, and like the fact that his last name has the world “kill” in it is hilariously ironic considering his reputation), is about to attack Shuri. At this point, Shuri has used all the firepower in her weapons and stumbles to the ground.

In the distance, T’Challa is taking some serious hits from basically the entire tribe under W’Kabi. You can see him getting tired and becoming weary, when all of a sudden, in his line of sight, he catches view of Erik about to attack Shuri.

Pretty sure you can guess what happens. T’Challa ain’t having NONE of that dude hurting his little sister, and instantly, you can physically see him becoming reinvigorated as he races toward them and knocks Erik away from Shuri.

It reminded me so much of in Star Wars, when Vader is taunting Luke. And Luke is doing an awesome job of keeping his cool, until Vader mentions Leia…starts threatening her. Farewell calm persona, hello protective anger.

Lesson of the day, ladies and gentlemen, don’t mess with someone’s siblings. Just. Don’t. Seriously, you will live a much longer life if you listen to this piece of advice xD

On the mention of Star Wars, I can’t help but also notice that there were some other elements that echoed the space series. For one, did anyone else get Padme Amidala vibes from Queen Romanda’s outfit, when she greets T’Challa upon him arriving home? Cause I totally did. The more obvious touch, I think, were Shuri’s buns – reminiscing of Princess Leia.

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I thought Black Panther also did a great job of showcasing the culture of Africa. You can tell they really put a lot of thought and effort into the research for the different tribes and such.

Additionally, they did a great job of showing so many different type of women. There’s not just one stereotype. You have Nakia, who has a compassionate spirit, desire to help others, and is a spy for Wakanda. You have Okoye, who has strong leadership qualities, not very emotional, and is the general of the Dora Milaje, an elite female special force that protects the king. You have Queen Romanda, who is wise, more traditionally feminine (if that makes sense), and an advisor to T’Challa. You have Shuri, a light-hearted teen, who has one of the most brilliant minds in the world.

In terms of the villain, I did not see Erik Killmonger being related to T’Challa coming at all! So, I think they set that up very well to be a surprise. I liked how they tied in the storyline of helping others with the villain, without making what Erik did right.

#blackpanther #erikkillmonger #tchalla #marvel #mcu #michaelbjordan #chadwickboseman

And Everett Ross was such a great addition. I felt like he was pretty much everyone in the audience if we were in the movie: “Hey, don’t know what I’m doing, or what’s going on, but I’ll totally help with anything.”

Personally, Shuri was one of my favorite characters in the movie. I loved her humor and the light-heartedness she brought to the film, which was much needed with some of the seriousness.

If you’ve seen Black Panther, what did you think about it? Favorite scenes, characters? If you haven’t, I encourage you to go watch it! And definitely see it before Infinity War!

~ Southern Dreamer

Midnight Sun ~ Movie Review

Recently, I went to see Midnight Sun with one of my friend’s. I had seen the trailer and was really excited to see the movie. For one, there was going to be a romance, and anyone who knows me, knows that Hallmark Channel-like movies are my cup of tea. And besides that, I was super happy that another film about someone with an illness other than cancer was being showcased.

The National Institute of Health says that 23.5 million Americans suffer from auto-immune diseases (https://www.aarda.org/news-information/statistics/#1488234345468-3bf2d325-1052). I do think that it is important to look at other types of illnesses and have more light shed on them. My entire point with the statistic was to show that many people would relate to a character in a film who has another type of disorder/illness. I believe that Hollywood should branch out a little more and make more movies about people with other unseen illnesses like diabetes, lupus, narcolepsy, etc…

ANYWHO.

Apologies for the semi-rabbit trail xD

See the source imageMidnight Sun is a movie about Katie Price, played by Bella Thorne, who has a rare disorder: a life-threatening sensitivity to the sun. Because of her disease, she can never go outside during the day, and has been homeschooled her entire life. During the first few minutes, a flashback details how she met her bestfriend – Morgan, played by Quinn Shephard, and shows the most important person in her life – her father, played by Rob Riggle.

The premise of the movie is that she is faced with the decision to tell her long-time crush, Charlie – played by Patrick Schwarzenegger, about her illness…or keep it a secret and play normal for a while, risking her life in the process.

WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD

TURN BACK NOW IF YOU DON’T WANT SPOILERS.

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LAST WARNING.

YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

Now that that’s out of the way! 😉 Onto the spoiler part of the movie review.

One of my favorite things about the movie was Katie’s relationship with her father. For reasons I will never understand, many times Hollywood seems to enjoy giving dads and men in general a bad rap, so it was really refreshing to see this close, healthy relationship.

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I loved the genuine honesty in their relationship. There was no lying or tricking the other person. The one time that Katie tries to lie; she doesn’t even make it half a day before telling her dad.

I absolutely love that.

Katie is genuinely a good teenager. She’s not perfect by any means, but she doesn’t lie to her dad or sneak behind his back. Her heart is in the right place, and I really love how they portrayed her character.

On that note, I seriously adored her entire interactions with Charlie. For one, maybe it’s just me, but like so relatable??? I feel like a lot of times in movies people are all smooth and not-awkward when it comes to crushes and dating. I’m sure that definitely applies to some people – like Morgan, but for the rest of us out there aka Katie, well, it doesn’t come quite as easily.

I thought Charlie was a great character. The twist of popular guy, who does something stupid, gets injured in the process, and pretty much loses everything he had been working towards, making him wiser and put a stop to getting wasted/drunk was a refreshing change. Not to mention, that he was really sweet to Katie. Even after he learned about her disease – knowing that she would likely die, Charlie did not leave her.

See the source imageHe could have and I don’t think anyone would have blamed him if he did, after all, pure logic says that what would be the point if the end is inevitable anyway? But he didn’t, and that entire scene and monologue is wonderful.

The movie also has some funny moments. Like when Katie is amazed at the “party,” and Morgan heaves a sigh, mumbling that no this is not a real party, and no Garver do not listen to her – she has never been to a party before and has no idea what she’s talking about. I also loved the Taylor Swift comment, relating to Katie’s boy troubles xD

Unfortunately, I now must discuss the ending. Grab your tissues, go ahead. I promise I won’t judge. Alright, tissues at the ready? Here we go.

Not going to lie, I was in complete denial that the movie was going to end the way it started to look like it would. I kept telling myself, ‘nope. they’re going to find some miraculous cure and everything’s going to be a happily ever after.’

Yeah, that did not happen.

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But gosh y’all, the way the constructed the ending was so like heart-wrenching??? In terms of storytelling, they did a great job of tying everything together and giving the viewer a punch to the heart. Of course, as a viewer, I also did not want it to end that way, so, take that with what you will.

The song Katie recorded as she started to decline – “Charlie’s Song.” How Charlie used the money he had been saving for his truck, to rent out a real recording studio so she could record her song.

How her song stared playing on the radio as Charlie was driving, after she had died. How it had gone viral. How her dad turned on his radio and started to shout, “That’s my girl! That’s my girl!”

Yep, both horrible and beautiful at the same time.

If you haven’t seen Midnight Sun, I would encourage you to go see it! But be warned, you should probably bring tissues. If you have seen the movie, what did you think? Did the ending leave you satisfied?

~ Southern Dreamer

 

Thor: Ragnarok ~ Movie Review

*cue music*

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With the third installation of the “Thor” movies, Thor: Ragnarok comes on the heels of the first two films – Thor and Thor: The Dark World respectively. The entire aesthetic in this one is very different from the others, but different in the best way. Personally, I feel that Thor: Ragnarok was the most well-made and enjoyable out of all the “Thor” movies.

Returning actors, Chris Hemsworth as Thor and Tom Hiddleston as Loki, join the newcomers to Marvel: Cate Blanchett as Hela, Tessa Thompson as Valkryie, and Jeff Goldblum as the Grandmaster. Director Taika Waititi also plays a more minor character, Korg.

If my estimations are correct, the movie spans a little less than a week’s time, and boy, oh boy does a lot happen!

*Warning: spoilers below*

**Spoilers Coming Soon*

***WARNING: SPOILERS***

**LAST WARNING**

*YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED*

Between realizing that the brother he thought was dead, is actually alive (surprise!), all the way to getting his hair chopped off, Thor has had a pretty rough week. Not to mention that he apparently has an older sister who wants to take over Asgard???

Cue Hela.

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Firstborn of Odin, who their father did not find relevant to mention, until literally seconds before he died. Conflict avoidance much?!

Instead of guiding his sons on how to deal with their psychotic sis – which is saying a lot, considering Loki, Odin decides to check out and hightail it to the afterlife. Thor and Loki are then left to deal with the repercussions of their older sibling being the goddess of death – something that is not an exaggeration in the least. She literally adores dying and war and bloodshed.

In fact, with one of the Asgardians working in the palace – Skurge, Hela thinks that it is actually an honor for her to offer him the job to be the executioner.

On another note, I was glad to see in this movie that Thor did not fall for Loki’s tricks again. Being someone who almost always believes-the-best in other people, for a long time, Thor seemed surprised by Loki betraying him. In Ragnarok, then, I was glad that he realized that Loki could change, yes, but might not and he should be prepared if that were the case.

I also appreciated the history that was revealed in this film. As the viewers, we get to learn more about the royal family – hello Hela – and that Odin used to be pretty ruthless as a king and conqueror. In addition, we are exposed to one of the elite warriors in Asgard – a Valkryie. With Loki’s powers, a scene from one of the Valkryie battles is shown and the reason behind the last Valkryie being so reluctant to return to Asgard starts to take on a more definite shape.

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And guys, like the humor??? A+++

SO GOOD. I absolutely loved all the funny moments, quirks, and hilarious quips.

From Thor’s interior design remarks, to the entirety of the fighting scene with Hulk, all the way to the little moments like Mjolnir pretty much wrecking Doctor Strange’s house, fireworks shooting out of the aircraft during the chase on Sakaar, and Korg’s silly statements, there was some great and clean humor.

Further, there were definitely some moments where I was like ohmyword WHAT just happened?!

Exhibit A – Hela destroying Mjolnir as if it were made of glass (as Loki so poetically put it)early in the film. Yep, basically in the span of less than ten minutes, Thor has lost both his father and his prized possession, while also learning that he has an older sister who apparently wants to take over Asgard.

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Thor: Ragnarok, otherwise known as, Thor: And the Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week

Exhibit B – While Thor is fighting the Hulk, the green guy just starts smashing him into the ground and during this incidence…his eyes start to turn a blinding white. Cue lightening, flying, and all around awesomeness.

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On another note, I could be wrong, but I sense a future romance between Thor and the Valkryie being hinted at? Anyone else?

Anyway, overall I loved Thor: Ragnarok and thought it led to a great set-up for Avengers: Infinity War, along with the amazing humor and fun, new characters that were introduced.

What did y’all think of this third film? Like it, love it? Favorite parts? Let me know in the comments below!

~ Southern Dreamer

 

 

The Greatest Showman ~ Movie Review

Dim the lights.

The theater goes dark.

Anticipation rises…

The Greatest Showman is seconds away from beginning!

~~~

Y’all, I have already seen this amazing movie three times. The first time was with one of my friends at Alabama, the second was with my dad, and the third with my entire family and Nana. Each viewing, I noticed something new about the movie and still enjoyed it immensely even after seeing it three times in such a short time frame!

There are so many components to love about this movie. The historical time frame, which is always a favorite of mine –  I love seeing all the beautiful costumes, how people lived back then. And of course, it is a musical!

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Musicals are pretty much the best. You have dancing, singing, acting – and a story being told through all of those different, moving parts.

For this film, Hugh Jackman – aka Wolverine aka Jean Valjean – stars as the leading character, P.T. Barnum. Other names you might recognize are Zendaya from Spider-Man Homecoming (M.J.) and Disney Channel (K.C. Undercover, Shake It Up), as well as, Zac Efron (!!!) from High School Musical 1/2/3 (Troy Bolton), among other work.

Additionally, there are several stars from Broadway, such as Keala Settle (Hairspray, Waitress, Les Mis, etc…) and Michelle Williams (Cabaret and Blackbird). 

The movie is loosely based around the real life person of P.T. Barnum, who started the Barnum and Bailey circus, which closed on May 21, 2017, after having been opened for 146 years. Like I said, it is loosely based, so please don’t watch the movie and take it for 100% historical accuracy.

With that said, onto the spoiler part of the review!

WARNING: Spoilers ahead

SEE ABOVE NOTICE.

SERIOUSLY Y’ALL.

LAST WARNING. SPOILERS AHEAD.

~~~

Alright! Now that that’s out of the way, let’s delve into the movie-musical!

The way this musical was constructed was so smartly done. A lot of times, when a musical has many reprises of the same song, it can be boring and feel redundant. I’m not entirely sure what the formula was for how they managed to create such an emotionally jarring reprise each time, but they succeeded fabulously.

My favorite part of the entire musical is the first fifteen minutes. Seriously, PERFECTION. The introduction – SO GOOD. Like such a smart move. I adore how they did these sharp clips of Hugh Jackman with his cane, and then flashed to some of the script.

THE ASESTHETIC.

Absolutely awesome.

The kids they chose to play a younger P.T. and Charity, his wife, were adorable. Their scenes were so cute, and the fact that they sing the first “A Million Dreams” version, in this house that (SPOILER ALERT) is later the one they buy???

❤ ❤ ❤

Fast forward, and the next reprise is when P.T. and Charity are now adults, and they are starting their lives together. Charity, who grew up in a wealthy family, is leaving all of that behind to go and be with him. As they walk through the town, you see him wishing that he could offer her everything the world has, and with this, Charity pulls him away and the dance, the reprise begins.

Again, AESTHETIC.

My favorite reprise however, is the last one. Y’all, when it started, I literally looked over at my friend, Ashleigh, and was like what even. FIFTEEN MINUTES into the movie and I’m already getting serious feels???

You know. The scene where it’s his daughter’s birthday, and he has to put SOMETHING together because she’s his little girl…but he kind of got fired, and they don’t have much anyway, so he spins this tale of wishes and firelight and danger, all the while putting together this rag-tag gift that’s basically a candle holder, but SHE LOVES IT (help me now), and then he says that you tell it your wishes and it keeps them safe AND THEN THEY START SINGING THE SONG OK. IN THEIR BABY CHILDREN VOICES.

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ADORABLE. INNOCENT. TEN OUT OF TEN.

It’s funny, cause most of the time in movies, my favorite scene is the romantic one, but for this film, the entire way they orchestrated the “A Million Dreams” numbers, and how the emotional gravity kept increasing with each rendition, just got me.

Love.

Another one of my favorite components of the movie was Phillip Carlyle, played by Zac Efron, and Anne Wheeler, played by Zendaya. The progression of their relationship is really told through the music – even if neither one is the main singer in a particular song.

For instance, in “Never Enough,” Jenny Lind sings:

I’m trying to hold my breath
Let it stay this way
Can’t let this moment end
You set off a dream with me
Getting louder now
Can you hear it echoing?
Take my hand
Will you share this with me?
‘Cause darling without you

Cue Phillip taking Anne’s hand – so adorable.

All the shine of a thousand spotlights
All the stars we steal from the night sky
Will never be enough
Never be enough
Towers of gold are still too little
These hands could hold the world but it’ll
Never be enough
Never be enough

Then, as the song continues, Phillip looks up and sees his parents watching him.

Uh oh. What’s going to happen?

He drops Anne’s hand instantly, and at this, she leaves Jenny Lind’s performance. It really is so heartbreaking, because they both care about each other, but all these things and pressures of the world just keep getting in their way.

There’s also a scene between them during the song “This Is Me,” where Anne stares up at Phillip from the circus floor, while he is in the office, and just gives him this look. 

Sometime after this, Anne goes to the theatre because P.T. said he “left” her a ticket. Sneaky man! Because, as you continue watching, you realize that it was in fact Phillip – with the help of Lettie and P.T. – who orchestrated this, all for desiring to go on a date with Anne Wheeler.

PRECIOUS.

They start to go up the steps; Anne whispering that she always wanted to go to the theatre, when suddenly, something happens that crashes their happiness.

Guess who?

Phillip’s parents.

Being the gentleman he is, Phillip introduces Anne to them, however, the situation only goes downhill from there. Mr. and Mrs. Carlyle treat Anne rudely, making their racism apparent and Phillip is having NONE OF THAT. 

Long story short, he basically says he wants no part in their world or in his inheritance if this is how they’re going to act. He leaves the theater, rushing after Anne who darted out at the comments from his parents.

Cue “Rewrite the Stars.” Honestly, every single song and musical number in this film was A++, but this was another of my favorites.

You have Phillip, who tries to tell Anne that they can be together – they can change their fate; they can do what they want no matter what anyone else says. You have Anne, who despite wanting to be with him, doesn’t think that’s possible, says it could never work in the world they live in.

The entire number is heart-wrenchingly beautiful.

There are honestly so many parts of this musical I could go on and on about. I love the scene between Anne and Phillip in the hospital, where Anne is finally willing to risk it all, after almost losing him. I love the entire “This Is Me” number, where they are not shying away despite what society has labeled as useless – and the choreography for that is really awesome too, it shows the exact emotion coming through in the lyrics and matches them word for word. I love the part at the end where the birth of the entire circus tent came to be, how P.T. hands the baton over to Phillip, and goes to be with his family.

I love how P.T. wears his father’s hat for the rest of the film, and how in the song, “Tightrope” you can see the wish holder sitting on the little girls’ bedside table. I love the attention to detail, especially with the costumes – personally, I believe that P.T. sewed the costumes for the circus, seeing as how he was broke when it first started, and his dad was a tailor. Which, makes it entirely plausible.

I love that this was a family film – that it was clean, decent, and filled with everything that made people want to go watch movies and musicals in the first place. We don’t need all this inappropriate stuff, foul language, or vulgar meanings. What people need, and want, whether they realize it or not, is hope, love, something that actually has depth and meaning. Something where commitment is honored, and traditional, good values are kept. 

I’m so happy that Hugh Jackman decided to make this, despite it taking seven years. I wish that it had gotten all the recognition it deserved in awards, but I hope he and everyone that helped make it, knows that the audience and the people loved it, and were it up to us, it would have received more awards.

If you haven’t seen it yet, go watch The Greatest Showman! You will not regret it, and will likely find yourself going back to watch it again and again. If you have seen it, what did you think? Did you have any favorite songs or scenes? Let me know in the comments!

~ Southern Dreamer

 

 

The Last Jedi ~ Movie Review

*Cue drumroll*

Pause. Ok, announcement: I AM LATE WITH THIS REVIEW. MY APOLOGIES Y’ALL. Alright, continuing!

*Drumroll resumes*

….

The Last Jedi came out December 15, 2017. I was totally not counting down the days, and absolutely did not look at any Star Wars related content up to its release. Nothing. Nope. Nadaaaaa.

Fine. Y’all caught me. I was 100% counting down the days until it came out, and browsed Star Wars content albeit religiously on social media (read: Instagram). I’m going to be honest here; I have a terrible weakness for spoilers. It’s a bit of a problem. And I was doing so good! I was so proud of myself the week that it was going to be released, because I had resisted the urge to read any spoilers! But the day before I went to go see it, something in my brain *ahem* snapped.

Read it. 

No. Nope! I am going to wait til the movie.

But, IT’S RIGHT THERE. 

I can do this. I have gone almost the entire week without reading spoilers. 

Click. The. Link. 

Well. As I’m sure you can tell, I did not make it without getting some spoilers. Whoops. But hey, I made progress! The next movie I’ll definitely make it the whole way without looking at spoilers.

Anyway, onto the review!

blog16

This review is going to have spoilers in it, so to those who have not seen it – DO NOT SCROLL ANY FARTHER. Be strong (though I’m totally not blaming you if you can’t resist. The struggle is real y’all!).

WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD.

TURN BACK NOW.

SERIOUSLY.

LAST WARNING.

Well, that’s as many warnings as a person can give, so here we go! Gosh, where do I start? So much happened! I will attempt to contain my enthusiasm and – eh, who am I kidding. What fun is a review without some excitement?

Let’s start with a breakdown of how the movie begins.

The Resistance is fleeing the First Order, who is tracking them ruthlessly and not giving them a moment of peace. On the other side of the galaxy, Rey and Chewie have gone to Ahch-To in search of Luke Skywalker, who they feel certain will return with them and help defeat the First Order.

Now that we have the background set, I’m going to dive in to my random thoughts of the movie. First of all, I love love love the character development arcs. My favorite one, in terms of just the over all beginning and ending, would have to be Poe’s.

blog6The way Rian Johnson, the director/writer, constructed it was awesome. We see Poe, who is the best pilot in the Resistance, get some reprimanding from his leader and idol – Leia. When the film first starts, Poe takes some reckless risks and because of them, lives are lost. He ignored Leia’s instruction to turn back, and kept fighting. It becomes clear that Poe is zealous for the Resistance and its cause, and while passion is a key component when battling obstacles, unbridled passion can lead to causalities and ignoring leadership.

blog5Further, when Leia puts someone in charge; Poe completely disobeys Vice Admiral Holdo. To be fair, until we learned the reason behind Holdo’s statements, I was actually on Poe’s side in this instance. It seemed like she was giving up, but as we learn, Holdo actually had good reasons for what she was saying.

Anyway, as the movie continues to progress, Poe starts learning that fighting is not always the answer. You can’t rush into the thick of the battle every single time. When they’re on Crait, we really start to see his growth in becoming a better leader and shaping his passion into something that also takes into account consequences.

Now, onto Luke. There have been mixed reactions about his character in The Last Jedi, and I think I fall somewhere in the middle. I don’t think it’s unrealistic to think that Luke is suffering from depression, and if you think about everything he’s been through, it would be ridiculous to assume that he could come out on the other side, the same boy that left Tattoine. So, I’m not upset that they didn’t portray him as untainted or as enthusiastic as he was in the original trilogy.

On the other hand, I do wish that Rian would have made there be a better reason for Luke to be on the island for so long. Personally, through reading meta and different theories, I always thought that he went to Ahch-To to seek out the first Jedi Temple – to find answers through the Force. In my own mind, I’m still going with that as I think it makes more sense than just saying he isolated himself. Though. To be fair, his two previous mentors exiled themselves to planets, and Yoda going to one without any companions. Who knows! It’s plausible, I suppose, if you look at Yoda and Obi-Wan’s exile choices.

Speaking of Yoda, we got a Force Ghost! I was actually surprised that it was Yoda, not that I’m complaining of course! I thought it was neat that Yoda was the one who was basically saying that it’s time for the past Jedi order to die out (he did burn the whole tree down after all), seeing as how he was a stickler for the Jedi rulebook in the prequel trilogy. I was a little bit disappointed that we did not get Force ghost Anakin though. Here’s to hoping that happens in episode nine! Pretty please Lucasfilm.

I cannot go this far without mentioning my favorite part of the film.

Reylo. Yep. IT HAPPENED PEOPLE. Also, disclaimer here, you’re free to disagree with me, BUT NO HATER COMMENTS. Or they will be deleted. Anyway.

Two years, and people said reylo shippers were crazy (unfortunately, including my own dad and brother *sigh*). Thank you Rian Johnson for doing what we all had theorized and actually making it come to life!

blog9The Force bond is real y’all. And yes, I know Snoke said he created it, but honestly that’s the stupidest statement I’ve ever heard. And I’m not just saying that because I ship reylo. For one, why should we trust anything Snoke says? He is a manipulator, and so of course, he would want to take credit for something that has formed between his apprentice and Rey. Secondly, the major indication that he did not form it, to me, is that after his death, the Force bond did not disappear. It was still there. With that said, I do not think it is too far-fetched to think that Snoke manipulated Kylo’s end of the bond. After all, it is canon that Snoke has been “whispering” and basically in Kylo’s head since he was a child. With his dark knowledge of the Force, he could have manipulated it to suit his own objectives.

Personally, I believe the Force bond was created when Kylo and Rey were in each other’s minds during the interrogation in The Force Awakens. Another theory, that I have seen is that the Force itself bonded them.

blog12With that out of the way, onto the actual Force bond scenes! They were so awesome. Better than I could have ever imagined! It definitely left me wanting more! For starters, I think it was really neat that not only could they see each other’s surroundings, but they could actually feel them (rain with Kylo) and touch. 

Yep. The hand scene. Y’all, like where do I start??? I love it so much. The simplicity and innocence of the entire interaction – how they are both so lonely and desperate for affection and validation, and yet, like the INTIMACY of such a pure, childlike action was crazy!

LOVED. IT.

I can’t even imagine how amazing it is going to be when they finally kiss! And for those of you who doubt that it will happen, I’m just going to point you to something the late Carrie Fischer (RIP) said to Daisy Ridley: “I’m looking forward to your space kiss” (just search Carrie’s name and space kiss and the quote will come up).

Also. THE SCENE IN SNOKE’S CHAMBERS. Ya know, where they are fighting back to back and in complete sync with each other. Where they LET THE OTHER ONE USE THEIR LIGHTSABER (the amount of trust???). Absolutely beautiful. Honestly, it’s the first time since the prequels that I can remember seeing two Force users fighting together – and who doesn’t love that?!

Pure awesomeness.

blog13Alas, with mentioning the throne room scene, I would be a terrible movie reviewer if I skipped over the final moment. The one where the lightsaber breaks in half, and our poor characters hearts shatter. I saw something on Pinterest or Tumblr that really explains this better than I can.

Other moments I loved were where Luke is trying to teach Rey to reach out with the Force. He uses a plant leaf/stem to touch her, and she excitedly thinks that this is the Force! Y’all – SO HILARIOUS. Literally one of the best parts of the movie xD

Being the animal lover that I am, I cannot finish this review without referring to the new creatures! Porgs – ADORABLE FLUFF BALLS, so cute! Ice crystal foxes – visually, completely stunning! Fathier – seriously, do they not have the sweetest face ever??

blog15On the whole, I loved The Last Jedi. There were some parts that I did not like – I thought Luke drinking milk from that creature on the island was super weird, and I also wasn’t completely satisfied with his death. I loved the whole interaction with Leia, that he finally came to his senses and did what needed to be done. However, I’m still not fully convinced that projecting an image like that could drain you enough to kill you. But who knows, maybe I just want to think that because Luke is one of my favorite characters.

I thought Rose’s addition was great. It really gave a perspective of someone who is in the background, and who is dealing with real losses – her sister dying. Up until now, other than Han, our characters haven’t really lost someone close to them, and I think this was a good, grounding addition. War has consequences.

Also, I think she really helped Finn achieve some character growth. He was confronted with someone who looked at him like a hero. Would he rise up to the challenge of being part of the Resistance? Or was he going to run away and save his own skin? Great stuff.

Honestly, there is so much more that I could go on about, but I’m going to try and keep this review at a realistic length xD

If you haven’t seen The Last Jedi, go see it! It’s an amazing film. And if you have watched it, comment below and let me know what you thought! Did you love it? Hate it? Fall somewhere in the middle?

May the Force be with y’all!

~ Southern Dreamer

The Guardians of the Galaxy Movie Review

Image result for guardians of the galaxy movie posterRecently, I watched The Guardians of the Galaxy for the first time. This was definitely different than any Marvel movie I’ve seen before, with it being set in a much bigger universe than the others. Of course, Thor’s movies have also been set in space, with some Earth scenes; this, however, was different. It gave you a better idea of how wide the scoop of the Marvel universe is in terms of Earth not being the only world concerned.

There were some great fighting scenes, as with any Marvel film, complete with weaponry, space ships, and acrobatic/martial arts. The main character, Peter Quill – or Starlord as he calls himself, reminded me of Marvel’s version of Han Solo. He’s quirky, funny – gets himself into a slew of trouble, and despite everything, at the end of the day, he has a good heart. Like the famed Star Wars character, Peter is high on people’s list to capture, and is definitely not buddies with the majority of the star studded, space neighborhood. And so, when he gets captured after so long, he finds himself stuck in a high-security prison with several other beings that he managed to run into along the way.

You have the intelligent raccoon called Rocket, the living tree that is a mystery to everyone and only speaks three words – “I am Groot,” the green, Black-Widow of space named Gamora, and another guy who tries to kill Gamora early on, Drax. This rag-tag group of people, who really only cares for their own self and interests, comes together in a hilarious and intense way. Throughout most of the movie, conflict arises between one or more parties, and poor Peter Quill continually tries to step in and smooth things over. Or as he said, no one is getting killed on my ship! (Something like that XD)

If you like Marvel movies, or just movies with action and humor in general, then I think you will find The Guardians of the Galaxy very enjoyable! Alright, that was my spoiler free review! If you read on any farther, fair warning, there are going to be some spoilers – though, I will try to steer clear of major ones.

***WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD***

***LAST WARNING***

***TURN BACK NOW IF YOU DON’T WANT SPOILERS***

Ok, with that out of the way, here are some of my favorite things about this film (in no specific order).

1. Introduction of new species/beings Image result for corpsman dey guardians of the galaxy

I thought it was cool how they brought in different species and beings that have not been seen in the Marvel universe before. Some of them looked exactly like humans, except for the color of their skin. Others were not similar to humanity in any way, shape, or form. It would be great if we could ever get some of their specie names and see how they’re all related.

2. Star Wars similarities

I really could not go through this list, without bringing this up. I’ve already mentioned that Peter Quill reminded me a lot of Han Solo, being someone rough-around-the-edges, but at the end of the day, he makes the right choice and helps people. I noticed, additionally, that when Gamora, Peter, Rocket, Groot, and Drax are entering the planet/city/etc – I think it used to be a mining community if I’m remembering correctly? – to sell the orb and get the money, some similarities to the Star Wars planets and more dangerous cantinas.

Image result for yondu's arrow guardians of the galaxy3. That arrow weapon

Yondu’s arrow is freaking awesome XD How does that thing work??? It’s kind of eerie if you think about it. There’s this blue guy whistling some tune, and an arrow floating in the air. Then before you know it, everyone around him is dead! Crazy. I thought that was a really cool weapon addition though.

4. Earth references

It was hilarious how no one understood Peter’s references XD Especially, the one where he makes the cutting-the-head-off-motion and Drax, along with the others, is literally like, “WHAT IS THIS GUY DOING.” So funny. And when he calls Rocket a raccoon, and says there are a ton like him on Earth, Rocket goes off on a, “THERE IS NO ONE LIKE ME,” rant.

5. ThanosImage result for thanos guardians of the galaxy

Wow. Like…WHAT. First of all, the entire idea of Thanos having a family is weird. Galaxy murderers should not have children. Just say’in – life lesson there y’all. I thought both Nebula and Gamora were awesome, creatively done characters. I am curious, however, as to why Nebula is so hateful towards her sister, and why she stayed with Thanos. I mean, he’s not exactly in the running for “Father of the Year” award. And, apparently she can regrow lost body parts. Well, that’s certainly a unique ability.

Furthermore, did anyone else wonder why if Thanos is so powerful, he chooses to live on a rock? It’s not even a nice rock. Literally looks like he dropped a boulder on a boring ‘ol rocky planet and decided that was going to be his throne. Personally, I’m not really getting take-over-the-universe vibes from that. Anyone with me?

Overall, I really enjoyed watching The Guardians of the Galaxy. I appreciated the creative touches that the film’s team added to this, and can’t wait to see how they expand on that in the next one. I thought baby Groot was seriously so adorable, and as a romantic, enjoyed those moments between Gamora and Peter. To those of you who have seen it, what did y’all think of The Guardians of the Galaxy? Favorite moments? Loved it, hated it? Let me know in the comments below!

~ Southern Dreamer

Once Upon A Time Season 6 Finale

Wow.

Where do I even start?

There is literally so much to discuss and my brain is kind of exploding right now with #ONCERFEELS, so, I’m going to try and break down my review and thoughts on the finale.

***WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW, IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THE FINALE AND DO NOT WANT MAJOR SPOILERS ON THE FUTURE OF ONCE UPON A TIME DO NOT READ THIS***

Alright, with that out of the way, first things first.

  1. The Black Fairy

Seriously. Y’all. I cannot even EXPLAIN how much I despise and hate her. Watching her psychologically play Emma like a chess piece was just *screeches* absolutely horrible.

Kudos to the writers for coming up with such a terrible villain, but sheesh! I have a particular loathing for characters who twist others emotionally and psychologically (Palpatine aka Darth Sidious being another example).

My poor family had to endure me *ahem* yelling *ahem* at the TV XD

Seriously though, the Black Fairy is just wow…really hate her.

2. The Black Fairy’s Curse

I really had no idea what this would look like, but honestly, I was not expecting for the townspeople to be affected in such a way!

AND BELLE. Y’all. Apologies if I rant, but…SHE DESERVES EVERYTHING GOOD IN THIS WORLD AND THE BLACK FAIRY IS A HORRIBLE MONSTER *cough* Anyway. I’ll leave you with that thought on what she did to Belle.

Brilliant move on the writers part, to have Emma’s belief be the key to winning the battle. So many battles we fight in our day-to-day lives are not against actual dragons or villains, but battling our own struggles, anxiety, whatever it may be. I thought it was appropriate, on a show centered around belief, that the secret to winning the final battle was in not losing faith.

Crazy how not believing can cause such horrible consequences – not believing in yourself, not believing that it can be overcome, not believing that you can get through it; but when you do believe, even a little, it can have dramatic, wonderful conclusion. That reminds me of when Jesus speaks about the mustard seed. How if you have faith even as small as a mustard seed (which is TINY), you can move mountains.

3. Son-in-law Hook

Some of the funniest lines came from the Hook-David and Hook-Snow interactions in this episode XD LOVED IT SO MUCH. Especially this one:

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Snow’s reaction XD PRICELESS.

I also adored Hook’s impassioned speech about Emma, when he and David were by the beanstalk. It was extremely sweet and showed how dedicated he is to her – if it wasn’t already apparent. To all my Oncer readers, did anyone one else squeal happily when Hook kept referring to Emma as his wife??? ❤

Captain Swan FOREVER.

4. Gideon

This line though…”I was hoping you could save both of us.”

OUCH. THERE GOES MY HEART. </3

Poor Gideon. He couldn’t even control his own actions (LOOKING AT YOU BLACK FAIRY), and was forced to do something he did not want to do. When he said that statement, I was just like ahhh small children getting caught up in a fight that is not theirs! (yes, I know in this instance he was an adult. that is beside the point) XD

5. Snowing, Rumbelle, basically all the characters and my ships

Snow waking Charming with a kiss…NEVER GETS OLD! Classic Once Upon A Time and I love it. I don’t think I could get tired of that scene even if I tried.

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Loved how Hook was so unconcerned, “She always finds him.” XD Truth though.

Gideon turning back into a baby = happiness. Belle above all deserves to have a happy life. She is the most forgiving, selfless, optimistic person ever and I was so thrilled that she got her happy ending and Rumple FINALLY decided to make the right decision.

Pretty, pretty please writers. Do not make Rumple betray her in Season 7. OR I WILL LOSE MY EVER-LIVING MIND *cough* #Belledeservesbetter

The image of Hook being a sheriff though is literally so hilarious to me XD I can’t really see him in that profession…Admittedly, it would make for some very humorous scenes.

The scene with them at Granny’s was SO PERFECT AND BEAUTIFUL. Finally, this messed up family came together. All of them. Snow and Charming Emma and Hook. Belle and Rumple. Regina, Zelena, Henry. The babies.

I can’t say that without referencing this though XD

[2x14] Throwback with this scene because it's Thanksgiving Hope you all ate a lot and had a great day! :

6. Season 7

Ok, so I know a lot of people are saying that aren’t going to watch season 7. I understand, but c’mon y’all! Give it a chance. At least watch the first few episodes before you judge it. Who knows, it could be really amazing! There is also this, which gives me hope that we have not seen the last of Snow, Charming, Belle, Zelena, and Emma!

 :

I loveeee the actor they got to play older Henry *cough* which has absolutely nothing to do with his looks XD And the little girl is super adorable!

I’m curious why he is in Seattle though, since that is on the opposite coast and really far from Storybrooke. I don’t mind them doing some of the same things in terms of similarities to Emma, however, I hope it won’t be exactly like it.

Our Once Upon A Time characters have gone through losing their memory too many times lol, so I hope that it at least won’t start out with Henry not remembering something. Even though, I know it’s likely that’s what they’ll do.

 :

Some people are speculating that Lucy’s mother is Moana, which honestly could be really cool and a nice tie in. Speaking of Lucy, I love that they added that reference to Narnia. The wardrobe that Emma was put in was also a reference to the C.S. Lewis stories, and I adore the fact that they named her Lucy. Since in the Narnia books, Lucy was always the one who believed in Aslan and Narnia the strongest, and seeing how this is a show about belief, I thought that was very appropriate.

It’ll be interesting to see how they’ll incorporate Neal, Robyn, and Gideon into the story. I hope they’ll include them! I think it would be really cute to have this little band of kids, children of fairytale characters, come together and fight against whatever it is.

I don’t know how I’m going to survive the hiatus!

What are y’all’s thoughts on the season finale? Do you have any theories for what season seven could be about? Let me know in the comments below!

~ Southern Dreamer

 

Queen of Katwe ~ Movie Review

A few weeks ago, my family and I watched Disney’s Queen of Katwe, which came out last year in September. I had been wanting to see it for a while, but had never gotten around to watching it in theater. If you are unfamiliar with it, Lupita Nyong’o (who has starred in The Force Awakens as Max Kanata, The Jungle Book as Raksha – the mother wolf, and other films) plays the main character’s mother, Nakku Harriet. Newcomer, Madina Nalwanga, plays Phiona Mutesi, the star of the film.

Image result for pictures from queen of katwe phionaWhen I finally watched it, I was happy that it did not disappoint! 🙂 The movie is based on a true story, that actually only took place a few years ago – so it’s very relative. Taking place in Africa, the tale follows a poor girl, Phiona, in Uganda, who learns to see life differently and overcome her circumstances through the game of chess.

Before watching and hearing about this movie, I did not realize that there are actual chess competitions at different levels – like any other sport. I also found it interesting that learning chess taught the children to think analytically and strategically, which in turn sharpens one’s mind. And because most if not all of these children had never attended school before, this benefit to learning chess was even more important.

Though I don’t know much about Africa’s poverty, I thought the film did a good job of portrayingImage result for pictures from queen of katwe the different aspects that come with living at the bottom of the ladder. Not being able to pay rent for a home (what most of us would not even consider a house) and being kicked out, to not having enough money to stay in the hospital, and other such things.

Image result for queen of katwe At the end of the film, they show the actors beside the real-life people they played – which I thought was pretty cool. Additionally, Phiona’s mentor, who run the Christian and sports institute that first introduced her to chess, is shown to have had a tremendous impact not only on her life, but on multiple children growing up in poverty. It goes to show that one person can make a big difference in the world right where they are. Without him, it would be highly unlikely that these children would have attended school and gone on to pursue such careers as engineering.

The themes of broadening one’s mind, setting goals for yourself beyond your circumstances, and never giving up are scattered throughout this movie. This is a story of the impact one person can make, and how that can directly change one person’s life, and in turn, another generation.

If you haven’t seen it yet, I encourage you to go and watch Queen of Katwe. It’s an inspiring, true story that people of all ages can enjoy.

~ Southern Dreamer

My Thoughts

As some of you have likely heard, in the new live-action Beauty and the Beast, they are going to have a clearly gay character: Le Fou.

I had seen a link about it earlier, but did not think much of it. They would not do that to such a classic, well-loved story – and one for children no less. In my mind, I thought it was probably only some media station that was being overly dramatic and secular as usual.

Well, it was not. My dad showed me the article only moments ago, as I’m writing this.

I never cry, yet here I am shedding tears over it. Maybe it’s the feeling of betrayal – of someone taking something you have loved and turning it into the very opposite. Perhaps it is the fact that they have been entrusted with such a sacred character and film, and…done this – this with it? I know I should not be surprised. I know that Disney is a secular company. I know all these things; I even had figured that they would likely have a gay couple in Star Wars – however much I disagree with it. And still, I find myself feeling blindsided.

Maybe it is because everyone who has grown-up watching the animated version and identifying themselves with Belle, feels like in a way, this is their movie, their story. A classic. And you expect when someone undertakes a remaking, for them to do justice to the original, and to have them do this?

If you want to have a gay character in a children’s movie, that’s your choice. But to ruin a classic? To change what was already made? What people already loved? If they wanted to introduce a gay character, which I would prefer them not to of course, this was not the way to do it.

Perhaps it’s the sin of it all that grieves me. It angers me that sweet, innocent children may watch this new movie and see whatever scene this is, and become confused. Confused that if they have a friend of the same sex, does that mean they’re gay? If they think a person of the same gender is handsome/pretty, does that mean they’re gay? How saddening, for people to believe the answer to these questions is yes (Author note: These are my opinions and thoughts, you are welcome to disagree; I am not looking to debate anyone about this. Also, I am not going to get into the whole logistics/biblical context/etc of someone being gay right now).

Honestly, I am not even sure why I’m writing this. I guess I thought that if I wrote my thoughts down, maybe it would help me process them. Regarding the movie as a whole, I am truthfully not even sure I will be going to see it in theatre. This news has really depressed me. They have taken my favorite Disney princess – heroine, my favorite animated classic, and added something that is not in the original. And that I certainly do not agree with.

~ saddened, Southern Dreamer

Star Wars Stand-Alone Films

I saw an article a few days ago about which Star Wars characters should get stand-alone films, and so I thought I’d add my own tidbit on that 🙂

In no specific order, here are some characters that I think should get stand-alone films:

Obi Wan Kenobi, Ewan McGregor can turn anything horrible into something watchable. The Star Wars Prequels are no exception.: 1. Obi-Wan

And the stand-alone film that practically the entire fandom wants…one on Obi-Wan. Between the time of episode three and four, a lot could have occurred with him.

If you take into account the animated Clone Wars series, that makes it especially interesting. Could Rey possibly be the grandchild of Obi-Wan? And if so, was Santine her grandmother – and she only did not tell Obi-Wan about the child before she died? Or could it be a completely different female character?

There are so many options for this, and it would be really cool to see what kind of background information a stand-alone film for Obi-Wan would bring up.

2. Lyra ErsoImage result for lyra erso

So, I have a headcanon that Jyn has the Force – she just doesn’t know it yet. If you go with that theory, then that means that she probably got the Force from someone in her family (of course, that’s not always the case – but let’s go with it for now).

It would make Rogue One much more fascinating, if a stand-alone film was done on Lyra. Who in her family had the Force? How did she learn about it since the Emperor was ruling? When and in what manner did she meet Galen?

Considering that Galen had a past in working with the Empire, it would be interesting to see how they even met – since it’s clear that Lyra has a strong distaste for the Empire, and believes in the Force.

3. Image result for padme amidalaPadme Amidala

Alright, I’ll admit I’m a little biased with this one – since she’s one of my favorite female characters in the Star Wars universe. However, I still think it would be really neat to show her background. What caused a young thirteen-year-old to be elected as queen? Did she have any other political experience before this?

4. One of the handmaidens (ex: Corde)Image result for corde star wars

The handmaidens to the queen were not just women who helped her get dressed. They were her protectors and could potentially die for her, since they could act as her double as a safety measure.

It would be interesting to show the process of how the handmaidens were picked, what training they went through, and what sort of background gave them the desire to pursue such a career.

5. Image result for cassian andorCassian Andor

I think it would be really cool to have a stand-alone film about Cassian. What exactly happened to his family? How did he come to be such an important part of the Rebellion?

Also, I read a fanfiction  where Leia and Cassian were close friends. I think it would be cool to show their relationship as  BFFs – both joining the Rebellion at a young age, losing those they loved, etc…It would be really neat to see how they met and what their friendship looked like.

Those are some ideas for stand-alone films that I think would be really cool! What stand-alone Star Wars films do y’all want? Let me know in the comments below!

~ Southern Dreamer

P.S. Can we all agree that the stand-alone film of Han Solo without Harrison Ford is completely unnecessary?