Monday, March 10, 2014
Sunday, March 9, 2014
Monday, March 3, 2014
“ I'm not invisible. I'm the fucking lifeguard, mother fucker”
Ever get the feeling your life is not going the way you want it? Ever feel trapped in the way your life is going and just want to run away? How bad does that feeling suck?! I went through a rough patch mentally and emotionally last year. I had no clue what I wanted to do with my life. I wanted to either be home all the time or I wanted to run away and be alone. I just hated being me. I was in a crisis. Fortunately I was able to get out of my rut and I feel a lot better. In The Lifeguard the main character is going through a turning-30-crisis and realizes that her life is not how she thought it would go.
Leigh (Kristen Bell) is twenty-nine years old, she lives in New York City, and works as a journalist. Her boyfriend is her boss and that relationship does not end well. She was given a story that was really tragic and combined with everything else going on in her life the story just pushes her over the edge.
Leigh decides to head back home to Connecticut with her cat Moose. Her mom is not too thrilled to see her but her dad is. She reconnects with her old friends Todd and Mel (Mamie Gummer). Todd has never had a desire to move out of town and Mel is married and trying to having a baby.
In high school Leigh was a lifeguard and takes it on again since she has no plans on going back to the city. At the pool she meets a high school kid named Jason. One night Todd takes Leigh and Mel out to get some pot and they buy it from Jason and his friends. Mel is not too happy because she works at the local high school and has seen Jason around. They all hang out with the high schoolers. Jason starts coming around and hanging out at the pool where Leigh works.
Things begin to spiral out of control for Leigh when she starts seeing Jason and having sex with him. She sees him as broken and vulnerable and she tries to tell lead him in what she thinks is the right direction. Mel gets mad with Leigh for sleeping with Jason. Her mother flips out at her for being home and taking up the father’s attention so she kicks Leigh out of the house.
Eventually Leigh heads back to the city along with Todd.
The Lifeguard was not too bad. I did not give that great of a summary there are some details in the movie that would have helped explain more but I do not want to give too much of the story away. Some parts were boring some parts were good. I kind of liked how once Leigh got back into town Mel and Todd kind of reverted back to their old ways but then they picked themselves out of it. Kristen Bell was excellent she is a very good actress who should get more attention. Bell can do anything she is given be it snarky teen, really bad horror movie, or dramas like this she is brilliant. Mamie Gummer was good too. I would like to see her in more movies. David Lambert who played Jason was also excellent because he looked like a mature older kid yet at the same time you could see he was a vulnerable kid trying to do what he wanted. I liked The Lifeguard I liked the character of Leigh even though she did screw things up for herself and others. I can relate to her being lost and just wanting to get out of her rut once she found that her life and plans have not gone the way she wanted. As much I liked The Lifeguard I will say that the story and the characters are not for everyone so unless you really like Kristen Bell or can relate to her character, skip it.
Sunday, March 2, 2014
Saturday, March 1, 2014
“But you know, you know, the most scary bit for me?”
“When the water hit?”
“No. After that, when I came up, I was on my own. That was the scariest part. And when I saw the two of you clinging to the tree, I didn't feel so scared anymore. I knew I wasn't on my own. You see?”
Natural disasters are terrifying to me. Just the thought of one alone gives me shivers. I cannot even imagine living in an area where things like tornadoes, mud slides, tsunamis, volcanoes, or earthquakes happen. I guess I can say I lived through one with Hurricane Sandy but where I live in Ocean County, New Jersey I am more inland and the only thing that happens fortunately was that my house had no power for the day. I live, without traffic, about twenty-five minutes away from Seaside where all the notable destruction hit. It was devastating to see somewhere I know and was just at the summer before was horrible to witness first hand.
When I was in college as an undergrad I had to take a natural disasters class (why I had to when I was going for my degree in Art History I cannot tell you). That class freaked me the hell out. The three natural disasters we learned about that made me nervous were tsunamis, tornadoes, and earthquakes especially tsunamis. That being said I cannot believe I even sat through a movie that dealt with a family surviving a tsunami. There was something about The Impossible that made me watch it and I have to say I am glad I did because it was very good.
The Bennetts, an English family, are on vacation in Thailand. The family consists of Maria (Naomi Watts) and Henry (Ewan McGregor) and their three young sons Lucas, Thomas, and Simon. As they are playing by the pool one sunny day a huge wave comes out of nowhere and washes the entire hotel and family away.
Maria and Lucas managed to be carried away near each other. They were trying to get a hold of each other when a surge comes and carries them away yet again. Fortunately for a second time they are able to find each other. Maria and Lucas are able to swim to a point where they can walk. They are all cut and bruised. Lucas notices that his mother has a large chunk of skin and muscle hanging from her calf exposing a gaping hole. Maria, a doctor, finds leaves and pieces of cloth to try to close the wound. While walking they find a little boy named Daniel and take them with him up a tree. In the tree they see some locals and call out to them for help. The locals take Maria, Lucas, and Daniel back to their village. Lucas is given a shirt and they place Maria on a door and take her in a truck to a hospital.
At the hospital it is found that along with damage to her leg Maria has damage in her chest that needs to be operated on first. While waiting for surgery Maria tells Lucas to go find something to do to try to find people to help. He goes on a bit of a mission to try to reunite lost families. He is successful with one and realizes that he needs to be back with his mother. When Lucas gets back to his mother’s bed he sees she is not there and panics. Authorities have Lucas placed in a tent with other lost children. Someone comes to him later on and shows Lucas some jewelry that belongs to Maria. Lucas is so bewildered that he does not recognize the pieces. A nurse takes Lucas back into the hospital and he is reunited with his mother.
Henry in the meantime is at the hotel. He walks around looking for Maria and Lucas. He found Thomas and Simon clinging to a tree and are at the hotel with him. The three boys have a chance to get to somewhere safe. Henry makes Thomas and Simon go he wants to stay behind to look for his wife and son. Wandering the torn streets Henry is picked up and brought to a refugee spot at a bus depot. Now he is truly separated from all his family. Thomas and Simon are taken away from the camp in a bus with other children who have been separated from their families.
Henry is traveling in a truck with other survivors traveling from one hospital to another. He tells the truck to wait five minutes while he looks for Maria and Lucas. He and Lucas pass within seconds of each other in the hospital hallway and he stands right beside Maria on the other side of a curtain. Fortunately Lucas sees his father in the hallway and runs for him outside. the bus with Thomas and Lucas pulled up outside the hospital. Simon hears Lucas calling out for Henry and he and Thomas run for Lucas. Henry sees his sons together and runs to them. Lucas tells his father that Maria is in the hospital she needs surgery.
Maria survives her surgery on her leg. A man from their insurance company finds them and tells the family that the company is sending them home.
The story was incredibly intense. It was incredibly powerful as well. I could not help thinking what if the Bennetts had been my family. I was thinking that what happened to Maria would most likely have happened to my mom because if something bad happens it usually happens to my mom (our dog accidentally broke her nose a few months ago, she is always the one to get hurt in some weird way or get the sickest when some kind of virus goes around). I was thinking about my brothers and however much we fight we would be lost without each other and how nervous I would be about finding them. Also I was thinking about literally walking around with just the clothes on my back which like most people would have been a just a bathing suit. It is amazing to think that people survived at all after such a thing like that it is truly a miracle. I liked how the family never gave up on finding each other.
All the actors were fantastic. Naomi Watts deserves a lot of credit. Ewan McGregor I thought was great after seeing some of his earlier roles and some of his characters I never would have thought he could pull of playing this type of character. Geraldine Chaplin is in one scene as an older woman who speaks to Thomas and Simon at a camp. Three boys who played the sons were wonderful they deserve a lot of credit as well.
The Impossible is a very good movie. To me it was not about white privileged tourists who had their vacation ruined by a natural disaster this was about a family and other families either Westerners or native Thai surviving and helping each other get through the worst days of their lives. There is not too much of a story but what there is it is very emotional and really tugs at your heart for every single person that the tsunami affected. I am ever more terrified of tsunamis than I was before after this movie but it was very good and I am glad I gave The Impossible a watch.
Friday, February 28, 2014
“You all want to know the secret formula for getting in. To do your job well, an admissions officer must be on the receiving end of an entire nation's application panic, endure the frustration of all the parents who just realized there isn't room for every organically-fed, well-tutored offspring. Of course everyone thinks we're sadists, that we like saying no. We are in this job for one reason, to say yes.”
When I was applying for college nine years ago (damn I just made myself feel really old!) I did not go into panic mode like some of my friends. I wanted go my community college (which was voted one of the top five community colleges in the country) for two years then transfer to a university. I mostly wanted to go to community college first because I could have cared less about scoring high on the SATs. Plus, I was not ready to leave home. Then seven years ago I applied for Montclair State University and fortunately without a problem I got into that school. Even graduate school I got into the school I wanted without issue. I never went nuts applying for schools. Well, I will say I was little nervous that my application was light because I was bum I did not do any extracurricular activities or any sports but apparently that does not matter to any of the schools I went/go to.
In the movie Admission thousands of students apply to get into Princeton University. Princeton is an Ivy League school and all the smartest kids in the nation apply every year. It is up to the admissions office to go through every application and choose exceptional students that will add to Princeton’s legacy and reputation. Working in the admissions office is Portia Nathan (Tina Fey). She has been at Princeton as an employee for sixteen years. She does her job well and seems to enjoy it. She even has a boyfriend who is a professor on campus.
One day the Dean of Admissions announces that he is retiring and that Portia is one of the people in the running for his job. In order to get more admissions applications Portia travels to a new school called Quest that is run by a man named John Pressman (Paul Rudd). The school is like an alternative high school where the students are not kept in an actual classroom and are encouraged to think and speak freely. After her presentation John tells Portia he knows her from when they were at Dartmouth together and needs to talk to her about something but she keeps brushing him off.
The visit to the school and meeting John and his brightest and unconventional student Jeremiah, Portia’s life is thrown for a complete loop both personally and professionally. John tells her he thinks that Jeremiah is her son she had in college and gave up. Portia does everything she can to make sure that Jeremiah gets into Princeton like he wants even though he was not a stellar student.
I loved Tina Fey and Paul Rudd in this movie together. They made an interesting couple. When I think of them I think of their comedies, I think of Liz Lemon and I think of Rudd being in Our Idiot Brother as a stoner. I believe that their comedy helped them to be somewhat serious in this movie because you can see they are both a bit awkward being dramatic (or at least it looked like they were awkward to me). I give Tina Fey a lot of credit because she always does silly comedies and then to do a somewhat serious role where she has to show emotion she did fantastic. I wish she would make more movies like this. Paul Rudd is just awesome he gets better and better every movie I see him in.
Lily Tomlin plays Portia’s feminist mother. She is hilarious from her first scene to the last. I would not mind seeing her play Fey’s mother in something else.
One of my grad school teachers works at Princeton in the archives. He told the class that when Admission was filming on the campus Tina Fey would take a break from filming and say hello to the people waiting and sign some autographs. One of his friends brought his young son and the son met Tina Fey. After that the son said he wants to go to Princeton and the father told him “You know Tina Fey isn’t always here” and the son paused then said again “I want to go to Princeton”. Ha ha.
Admission is a very good movie. The story is sort of predictable and sort of not. You think you know where some of the plot is going and then it goes somewhere else. The acting is very good and the story is different. Highly suggest seeing Admission, especially if you are currently applying to colleges.