So is Boyhood (2014) as good as everyone is saying?

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Dear White People (2014) Trailer

In Theaters October 17th.

I feel like this movie is a decade too late. 

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A website that allows users to search for triggers in movies ]

Trigger warnings are something rapidly entering the mainstream. It’s fascinating that a database could be built through public information for this. It’s still fairly new right now and some of the organization may not be helpful to some individuals.

Hopefully this could be a useful resource to some of our readers.

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Jessie (Disney Channel)

I’m almost ashamed that I allowed children to watch this. The only thing I’m justifying is they all basically knew the episodes shown verbatim, so I probably didn’t do more damage. 

There is nothing good I have to say about this show. The production values are low (the green screen was obvious, as was that they used a set for central park), the acting is exaggerated at best, and the script is trite, uses stale jokes, and convenient coincidences to function. 

Jessie, played by a loud Debby Ryan, happens to be dumped out of a cab in front of a fancy apartment building exactly as a nanny runs away screaming from a a child. This child (who was the only one I kind of liked), played by a talented Skai Jackson, decided that Jessie should be their new nanny and it’s okay because her parents don’t notice anything anyway. Jessie gives up her dream to be an actress, or model, or some other unlikely stereotype, because she has the chance of being a babysitter for some famous model and a director, which is obviously close enough to real fame, and the parents manage to pay attention to their children for 10 whole minutes to decide this 16 / 23 year old is capable of managing their kids with a background check that makes no sense. 

Okay, now that you know the premise, I’m going to list all the things I have moral issues with from two episodes. 

1) Their view of distracted parenting also in essence ridicules the parents for having a physical relationship by opening with them making out, and having the children joke they do that instead of paying attention to their kids. Just why would you do that? Good for the parents. Is a seven year old interested in seeing that? I wasn’t. Unnecessary. 

2) People don’t just know how to drive helicopters and it cannot be likened to rattle snakes wrangling and a helicopter can’t sit atop an average NYC apartment building. 

3) Maybe there’s something about Ravi (one of the characters) that would make it okay to have an adopted child have an accent different than his entire family, and maybe there’s some reason he’s wearing traditional Bengali clothing while being raised in a western fashion, but the combination of a script that cuts to “oh I’m foreign, so American culture confuses me” as a good deal of his punchlines, and made his pet a giant menacing lizard that doesn’t like people, make this all seem very not okay. 

3a) The naming of this lizard as Mr. Kipling just needs a bullet point to itself. If the whole premise of creating Ravi as a character was to demonstrate “foreignness” and maybe even that we should accept it because the family does (even though it still feels more like ridicule to me), then why would you name the lizard off of a writer who lived in Colonial India and was the son of people who were some of the original colonizers and then was educated in England. Hmm what is being celebrated and honored right now because I’m thinking westernization, colonization, and suppression. 

*caveat* I’m looking at this from a position of white privilege not particularly informed on Bengali culture or wider culture effects of Colonization of India, so I’m probably not educated enough on the issues of this to properly mark the problems; however, I was watching it casually and noticed this, so they’re serious issues. 

4) Luke (another character)’s treatment of Jessie is so objectifying and disrespectful that I paused and told my campers how wrong his answer was. First of all, his first action was to try and come onto her. She pointed out he was a lot younger, and says no. He tries again. and again. and again. He even tries to trick her into going on a date, AND touch her butt. 

Why this is problematic should be pretty obvious, but I’m going to add the fact that the babysitter occupation is a particularly bizarre one because you are responsible for the kid and in charge, but they could probably get you fired if they really wanted, which makes this kid doing that an extra level of bad. It’s also a children’s show, and using an attempt to grope a woman as a casual funny thing is wrong because children copy, and it lightens a crime. That is illegal, it’s wrong, it’s not a joke, it’s demeaning and all of this perpetuates the idea that Jessie’s body is an object, and it’s acceptable to make her work to have rights, and we should laugh about it. 

tl;dr this show is both poorly done and morally wrong, so don’t watch it and please don’t show it to children 

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Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)


Marvel’s cinematic universe is pretty big. Big enough that you don’t question it when villains are once again attacking some part of New York and only a single Avenger is available to save the day. Big enough that the parts of Thor when he’s not on Earth just aren’t exciting enough. It was a sizable gamble, then, to expand the universe even further, introducing new worlds and unknown characters. With Guardians of the Galaxy, that gamble worked. Big time.

Guardians follows Peter Quill, a.k.a. Star-Lord, an orphaned Earthling who is abducted by a race of petty thieves and grows up to become a cocksure, shoot-from-the-hip outlaw. He comes into possession of an ancient, powerful artifact that is desperately wanted by Ronan, a compatriot of Marvel’s big baddie, Thanos. Star-Lord is ill-equipped to handle the threat on his own. Luckily, circumstance sticks him with a team of interstellar misfits: a genetically modified raccoon with a bad attitude named Rocket; a large talking tree named Groot; Drax, a vengeful muscle head who takes everything literally, and Gamora, the adopted daughter of Thanos with a grudge against her father. Together, the team must work together to keep Ronan from getting the artifact and destroying the galaxy. But the title told you that.

The movie’s true success is its pitch-perfect casting. James Gunn’s story calls for a quirky comedic tone, and Chris Pratt’s goofy persona is the perfect one to lead the way. He’s been a treasure as a secondary character on Parks and Recreation for years; after this, he’s a bonafide star. Also worth note is Bradley Cooper, who provides an incredible, irreverent voice for Rocket. To a man (or woman), the lead players deliver on all levels, hitting their marks on action, comedy and drama.

Gunn’s pacing is a bit frenetic, which can lead to minor confusion at times, but even among all the action, even in the vast reaches of space, even while the plot pushes Marvel’s huge arc a little more, the film feels small. The relationships between the crew members is what takes center stage here, and that’s a story worth following.

Enough good things can’t be said about this movie - the effects are wonderful, the soundtrack is amazing, the post-credits stinger is funny (if somewhat unnecessary) - so we’ll stop before we get too deep. Just know this: Marvel’s big gamble paid off, to the tune of $94 million on opening weekend alone. But the rewards are even greater: what the film has given us and Marvel is a fun, fresh angle on the genre that has been ruling theaters for years. When the credits roll and tell you that the Guardians of the Galaxy will return, you’ll be hoping it’s as soon as possible.

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I’m so glad this infographic exists.


I’m so glad this infographic exists.

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Paper Planes (Short Film)

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The Real Reason Why Joss Whedon Named His Space Western Show Firefly ]

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Girl Most Likely (2013)

I don’t know who thought putting of Kristen Wiig and Darren Criss together in a movie, but it was a great idea. Kristen Wiig plays a woman who is on top of her very pretentious Manhattan life, until her boyfriend breaks up with her. She then has a nervous breakdown and moves back in with her mother in Atlantic City. I don’t know how else to explain the rest of the movie other than that it’s bizarre and that having very nice casino singer Darren Criss in your apartment is a nice splash of semi-realism with childish optimism. 

Matt Dillon is a remarkably fantastic addition especially because of a plot-twist that I don’t want to spoil because it’s my favorite part of the movie. I expected a little more of Annette Bening, though she was generally good, but I think that was a side-effect of the script more than her acting. 

Girl Most Likely is a generally light, funny movie that you should definitely watch (especially since it’s on netflix)

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Hunger Games Mockingjay Pt. 1 (2014) Trailer

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Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) Trailer

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Jimi: All Is by My Side (2014) 

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20,000 Days on Earth (2014) trailer

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Magic In The Moonlight (2014) Trailer

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