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

 

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!

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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

War Room Review

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***Warning: Spoilers Ahead***

“And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him,” says 1 John 5:14-15 (ESV).

Prayer is extremely powerful but often times we forget how truly versatile a weapon it is. This, in essence, is what the new film – War Room, is about.

Directed by Alex Kendrick and produced by Stephen Kendrick, this movie follows a family where the mother and father are struggling in their marriage. Tony Jordan, the husband, has an occupation that takes him away on trips often. This ends up putting a strain on his relationship with his wife Elizabeth who has festered frustration and exasperation towards him.

With their disagreements becoming more common and an inward struggle growing in Tony’s heart, a certain spunky character makes an appearance. Miss Clara. An older woman with wisdom to spare, meets Elizabeth, who is a relator, when she puts her house up for sale. As they tour her home, they come across a certain room – err, closet. Miss Clara informs her that this is her prayer closet where she undergoes her most strenuous battles. Needless to say, Elizabeth is surprised by this interesting notion.

Ever the chatterbox, Miss Clara senses an unrest in the younger woman and begins to prod. A bit wary at first, Elizabeth tells Miss Clara she will consider her offer of meeting the consecutive morning. She meets her. And such starts a lovely mentor-student relationship where Miss Clara teaches Elizabeth the fine art of fighting everything through prayer.

Danielle, the daughter of the Jordan’s, and Jennifer, her good friend, find her mother in her clothes closet. Or what used to be her clothes closet. Elizabeth has begun to follow in Miss Clara’s footsteps and transform her own closet into one of prayer. Sticky notes and colorful paper are tapped onto the wall with scrawling’s of prayer letters along with several photos reminding her of those she is praying for.

Meanwhile, Tony is battling himself with the desire to cheat on his wife over a co-worker. As the movie progresses forward, he begins to notice a change in Elizabeth’s attitude towards him. Unlike before, now she tries her best to offer him grace as Jesus does. This in turn ends up having a great effect on Tony as he marvels at this.

With the discovery of Elizabeth’s prayer closet, he is humbled by how she has been praying for him and realizes he needs to get right with God and his family. Asking for forgiveness and confessing his wrong-doing, tears fall as the full extent of his actions is understood.

However, the strife is not yet overcome with their marriage slowly being restored. Tony has a secret to confess – one that could have disastrous consequences. He has been sneaking one bottle of pills for himself to sell after each business trip. It amounts to over five thousand dollars in all.

Fearful, yet knowing that this is the right course to take, Tony returns the pills to his previous boss and prepares to take whatever decision they make. The two men in charge have completely different reactions. One desires to prosecute him immediately while the other, Coleman, decides to have two days to think it over. And so the prayer waiting begins.

Amazingly, Coleman comes to the choice of not prosecuting Tony Jordan and offers an overwhelming gift of grace. The couple celebrates and praises God as the goodness of His mercy falls on them.

This film, however, is not without its humor. Elizabeth, has particularly pungent smell in all of her shoes (likely from her feet 😉 ) and they portray this in a relatable, funny way throughout. Additionally, several innocent comments made by Jennifer and Danielle cause amusing grins to appear on one’s face. Such as when they discover Elizabeth eating chips in her clothes-turned-prayer-closet. Jennifer remarks curiously, ‘Is she not allowed to eat chips?’

I would recommend War Room to people of all ages and diversity. It is in theatres now and I encourage you to go see it!

~ Southern Dreamer