thirteen fantastic movies & what i thought of them.

I did a post like this last year, so I decided to do it again!

Now, before you start saying, “Thirteen movies?!  Well, GOSH, Ashley – you spend so much money on movie tickets!”

  1. I wasn’t allowed to go to the theater much when I was little because (a) there wasn’t much I could see and (b) because my parents always had to pay for my ticket and, because of that, (c) they always had to be slightly interested in the movies as well, so now I go fairly often because I have a car and money to pay for myself.
  2. I never get popcorn or drinks.  (However, I did manage to sneak in a Starbucks frappucino this year.  #win)
  3. I didn’t pay for some of these tickets.  (PRAISE THE LORD FOR PARENTS & PARENTS OF KIDS I NANNY.)
  4. I go at the cheap times.  Every day from 4 to 5:30 at my theater is $6.  BOOM.
  5. I like movies.

Let’s do this thing.  (Links to the trailers are in the movie titles.)

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God’s Not Dead 2 | 1/21

Well.  This one was a colossal flop.  I didn’t even want to talk about it at all when I saw it, and did an April Fools post mainly consisting of Kevin McCreary’s review of it.  I can’t even remember most of what I thought about it, but I know I didn’t like it.  My dad got tickets to a super early screening because he’s a pastor (#perks) and we talked about it on the way there, basically laying out our (super low) expectations and what we wanted it to ultimately do.  It barely met my expectations, and, well, let’s just say that I got more out of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World than this movie.  Not only were there some issues with the court sequence (you cannot have surprise witnesses.  the end.  go home.), there were major issues with the basic story as well.  The one thing I did like, however, was that the hot lawyer (whose face almost made driving 45 minutes to go see this movie worth it) didn’t become a Christian at the end.  I know that may sound awful of me, as a Christian, to say that I’m glad someone didn’t become a Christian.  But think about it – how many movies have you seen where the meek, submissive, Christian main character influences his/her non-Christian rivals so much that they radically turn from their heathen ways and go to church, ending up raising their hands with tears streaming down their faces?  TOO MANY.  And that’s all I’ll say.  For more, watch Kevin’s actual review.  It’s totally worth an hour of your time.  (And this is the longest paragraph.  Obviously.)

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Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens | 1/28

HECKLES YES.  Back to the good stuff.  So, I had already watched this movie a month before with my relatives, but my friend Katelyn and I wanted to see it again.  So we did.  Four girls (including us and my two sisters) going to a Star Wars movie sounds pretty awesome to me, especially since we spent half of it whispering about how hot Oscar Isaac and Adam Driver are.  (“You know… I can take anything I want.”  *entire row bursts out laughing*)  And there were only like ten people in the theater, including us, so it worked out marvelously.

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Captain America: Civil War | 5/5 & 5/15

SWEET. BUTTERED. CRUMPETS.  What a masterpiece.  What an absolute cinematic masterpiece.  I saw it the first time with my siblings and a friend, and then again with my siblings, my dad’s intern, and Morgan and her sisters.  (This is when we sneaked in our frappucinos.)  Such a good movie.  I loved it so very much.  See my actual, non-fangirly review here.

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Finding Dory | 6/18

I saw this one with friends after exploring World of Coke in Atlanta, and it was super fun!  Our group totally symbolized the majority of the movie’s audience, since our group consisted of six people with ages ranging from sixteen to twenty-five.  We fell in love with Finding Nemo when we were little and gosh darn it we were absolutely gonna see Finding Dory as soon as possible.  I loved it so much.  It actually made half of us cry – that one scene with all the shells, guys.  I’ve heard people say that it’s not as good as the first, but I don’t think they can be compared.  They’re both fantastic movies.  I watched it again on Christmas Day and remembered how much I liked it.  It’s about family and persistence and bravery and it’s just so good.

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The Secret Life of Pets | 7/8

I took my little twins I nanny to see this one, and I think someone went with us (their grandma, I think?), but I can’t remember.  (Stupid brain, lol.)  I thought this movie was cute!  A little confusing, but still adorable.  I wasn’t planning on watching it, but I couldn’t pass up free tickets to see an animated movie that may or may not be good.  I’d watch it again with my younger siblings, if only for Kevin Hart’s adorably hilarious bunny character.

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Star Trek Beyond | 7/24

Goodness gracious.  This has to be one of my favorite movies of the entire year.  I’m not a huge Star Trek fan, but I’ve really enjoyed the reboots.  (Call me what you will, but the original show is so cheesy!)  Even though it was tainted in my mind because of Anton Yelchin’s tragic death the month before, it still made me laugh, sit on the edge of my seat, and even tear up a little.  From what I’ve seen of the show, Beyond was more in the vein of the classic episodes, and contained significantly less objectionable content than the other movies.  Because of that, it just worked.

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Pete’s Dragon | 9/2

I took the twins and my younger sister to see this one, and I knew it would be good, but it absolutely exceeded my expectations.  I’ve always been a Karl Urban fan, but Slightly Evil Lumberjack Karl Urban?  Um, YES PLEASE.  (The first time he came onscreen, my sister and I reached across the two kids between us and waved fingers at one another with excited looks on our faces.)  That, combined with Seneca Crane and Opie’s daughter… yep.  Fangirling about actors aside, it was just beautiful in a cinematographic sense as well.  I loved how they altered the story slightly, and I didn’t miss the songs ’til the credits started rolling.  It’s like the classic, but it’s a little more green and focused on slightly different aspects of the story.  And I was crying in the first scene, if that says anything.  (They showed Pete’s parents dying.  Like, heck no.  Why, Disney.  Why.)  Definitely would’ve liked to see this one in the theater again, but at home will have to do.

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Doctor Strange | 11/8

YIIIIIISSSSSSSSSSS.  Honestly, this is one of the cleanest Marvel movies ever, and I have no idea why.  There’s not much language, no sensual stuff, and very little blood.  And when you add BennyC into the mix… wow.  I really enjoyed this one – so much, in fact, that I wrote a critical thinking journal entry on it (a school project, which I got a great grade on).  I haven’t done research to see if the director is a Christian, but there are definite allusions to the Bible and Christian themes.  The only thing I didn’t like was the lack of females in it.  The Ancient One is, I think, female (played by Tilda Swinton {aka the White Witch}), but the character might’ve been ambiguous, and the only other girl is Christine Palmer, played by Rachel McAdams.  McAdams did well in the role, but the role itself isn’t that great.  Christine saves his life once with medical assistance, but she’s barely in fifteen minutes of the movie.  I like my female characters to be kick-butt and awesome.  Besides that, I really liked this one.  Not my favorite Marvel, but not my least favorite either.

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Hamlet {National Theatre Live} | 11/15

I saw this with two friends when I was in Florida for a week.  It was actually perfect timing because I already had to read Hamlet and then watch a production of it, and it was so much fun to go to a coffee shop, read the play, then go see the movie (and be able to say “Yeah, I read the play this morning; no biggie.  Now I’m going to see the version with Benedict Cumberbatch.  Again, no biggie.” when, in fact, it was a biggie).  This is, by far, the most expensive movie ticket I purchased this year ($20), but it was oh. so. worth. it.  The show itself was almost four hours long, and I can’t remember if that included the intermission or not.  I did a three-page review of this for school, and I could ramble almost that much just about Ben’s performance.  (It’ll be the basis on which I judge all other Hamlets.)  The sound production alone had me and my friend fangirling.  Every time he’d soliloquize, the sound would go “FubwubwubwUBWUBWUBWUBWUB” and everybody would slow down and the spotlight would be on Ben and it was just absolutely amazing.  And if anyone has a bootleg, I will send you both of my novels right now in return for it.

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Fantastic Beasts | 11/17

To be completely honest, I didn’t initially like this one when I left it, but I’ve since realized that it’s still pretty good, regardless of the issues I had with the story.  (Spoiler-free, I feel like it was two different stories that met together in the last ten minutes of the movie.)  I still loved Newt, though.  He’s the best thing to happen to Harry Potter since Deathly Hallows Part 2.  So good.  I’ll probably go watch it again and see if my opinion’s changed.  My favorite part of the movie, however, was the fact that I went with a big group of friends, and half of us dressed up in 20’s costumes.  So. Much. Fun.

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Moana | 11/27

OKAY SO I LOVED THIS ONE.  I knew I’d love it ever since I heard about it last year – and, um, hello, it’s LIN, so what’s not to love?!  The music was, obviously, phenomenal.  Loved the cast, loved the story, loved the animation (so beautiful).  I didn’t feel like I was watching a kids movie, which is exactly what I was hoping.  The story was so precious and so relatable – and I LOVED the fact that Moana’s story isn’t centered around a guy.  She’s a princess, but she’s not looking for a prince, and I think that puts her a cut above all of the other princesses.  I mean, I love all of the Disney princesses, but her story seems so much more pure because her story has to do with doing something meaningful to benefit her people, not sleeping while waiting for true love’s kiss or waiting for a prince to find her or falling in love with the guy who keeps her imprisoned in a castle.  (Yes, this is my feminist side coming out.  #dealwithit)

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Hacksaw Ridge | 12/10

This was the first R-rated movie I’ve seen in the theater.  I went with my dad for my birthday and he loved it almost as much as I did.  Truth be told, I knew very little about the story when I saw it (I saw the trailer when it first came out, but by the time I saw it, I’d forgotten what was in it), and that makes me even more glad that I watched it because it was amazing and so inspirational!  It’s based on a true story about a guy who saved dozens upon dozens of soldiers during WWII.  I loved the fact that they portrayed his faith and his stance against violence and war without demeaning him for it or making him look stupid.  And it stars Andrew Garfield, so obviously it was amazing.

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Rogue One | 12/28

I went into this one with pretty low expectations – not because I didn’t think it would be good (I knew it would be), but because I’m still not much of a Star Wars fan.  But hooooooo boy.  SO GOOD.  I adored it, actually.  By the end, I was shipping characters so hard that the only thing keeping me from yelling “JUST KISS HER ALREADY!!!” was the fact that my fourteen-year-old cousin was sitting a few seats over and I didn’t want to set a bad example.  For real, though, it blew almost every other movie I’ve seen this year (in the theater at least) out of the water.  The story was so unique and the characters were all so wonderful.  GAH.  I loved it.

What do you think of my list?  Have you seen any of these?  Want to fangirl with me?!

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you, sir, are wrong. {a response to “an open letter to rey”}

you, sir, are wrong.

I made the mistake of reading Nathan Alberson’s article, “An Open Letter to Rey” at Starbucks, around other people.  To say I was livid would be an understatement.  I wanted to punch something.  Thankfully, I read two responses to the article (Mirriam’s and Jennifer’s), and my anger calmed a little.

HOWEVER.  Because I can’t keep my opinions to myself… I’ve decided to write my own response.  Read it or don’t read it, but this is my personal opinion.  If it offends anyone, I’m sorry, but I’m not backing down.

OKAY.

First of all, I completely agree that men and women have different roles, both in society and in God’s eyes.  Usually, the men are the breadwinners and the women are the… oh, I don’t know, helpmeet-stay-at-home moms.  That’s how it was in my homeschool circles, and I thought it was completely right.  (I still kind of do, even though I’ve learned that there are ALWAYS exceptions to the “rule” or stereotype or whatever.)

NEVERTHELESS.  To put men and women in a box like Mr. Alberson did is a travesty and it’s completely and totally wrong.  Like Jennifer said, the lines between masculinity and femininity are rarely black and white.  I know plenty of girls (including myself) who would rather shoot a gun or get their hands dirty than sew anything, just like I know plenty of guys who like to bake and paint and – GASP – dance.

Sure, there are God-ordained roles for men and women to play, but to say that women are the weaker sex and therefore only suitable for the kitchen or taking care of the kids?

UM, HOW ABOUT NO.

The way I see it, men and women are equal.  Because of verses in the Bible that talk about submission, I totally agree that women should submit to their husbands (not all men, though).  But men have to submit to God’s authority, too, or else they’re abusing their God-given right to have authority (but not total authority) over women (which is why so. many. marriages – especially where both husband and wife are Christians – end up in the gutter).  (See Phylicia Masonheimer’s post on why Biblical submission is dangerous.)

Women aren’t meant to be only there for men to save and defer to their much smarter male lead.  Women aren’t meant to be “protection objects” or “damsels in distress.”  Women aren’t put on earth solely to be a man’s wife or have kids.  Women are not less.  A woman’s worth is NOT defined by men.

And if a woman’s worth is wrapped up in what a man thinks about her, she’s got some work to do.

Women are loved by God just as much as men, and designed by Him for specific purposes in mind – yes, for helping their husbands to raise godly children and being keepers at home, but if we’re going to tout the Proverbs 31 woman, we also need to acknowledge that she’s able to earn money and buy things that will further her income and be hospitable to people other than her husband and family.

And another thing.  These three paragraphs were especially incorrect.

Men lie to themselves and women about the sort of women they want. Women are gullible and believe the lie and become the women they think men want. Then men reject them because men never wanted those sorts of women in the first place.

How is this the woman’s fault?  I. Don’t. Understand.  Women shouldn’t change themselves for a man (because men aren’t worth it) and men shouldn’t reject women because they’re not “their type.”

And men do reject them. Look at the divorce statistics, look at the TV shows and books and articles by women desperately wondering why it’s so hard to hold on to a man. That’s a bigger problem than the purview of this letter, but you fictional female warriors are part of it.

Men rejecting women because there’s more to a woman than the pleasures of her body or her willingness to submit to his whims is wrong – and it certainly isn’t the woman’s fault.  “Fictional female warriors” are definitely part of it, but certainly not for the reason you imply.  (More on that later.)

So stop it. I’m nobody’s idea of Prince Charming, but let me do my little part to rescue you from yourselves.

SHOCKINGLY ENOUGH, MR. ALBERSON… NOT ALL WOMEN WANT TO BE RESCUED.  Rescued by God, sure, but by a fallen, sinning man?  No thank you.

(And I’m going to stop responding to specific phrases because it’s making me too mad.  I need to take a break.  Brb.)

So what’s Mr. Alberson’s point?  Why does he think that Rey and Katniss and Leia and Black Widow and River Tam have no destiny other than… what???  He doesn’t even give his readers the courtesy to explain what he thinks women in these movies should be doing instead of being the strong heroines that they are.

(The only thing he says is that women are put on earth to be rescued by men and that women having the indecency to be anything more than that “robs men of their dignity.”  How egotistical is that?!  Men and women were put on earth for many more reasons than to simply fulfill one another.  If a man or woman’s identity is wrapped up in what the opposite sex – or anyone else – thinks of them, they have some serious work to do on their true identity.  REVELATION: Maybe – just maybe – that’s why people are so unfulfilled???  Shocking, I know.)

Every. Single. One. of the women were pulled out of their comfortable environments by outside circumstances and into something greater.  Rey wanted to wait for her family to return for her.  Katniss didn’t want to be Reaped.  Leia didn’t want her planet to blow up.  Natasha didn’t want to work for the Soviet Intelligence.  River Tam wanted an education so she could help people.

These women were made stronger because of the complex circumstances they were pulled into.  They weren’t destined for what they wanted – they were destined for making their world a better place, even though they went through struggles and incredibly hard trials.

If Rey hadn’t been pulled into helping Finn escape the Alliance,  she wouldn’t have discovered the truth about her family or saved Finn’s life and helped the Resistance fight against Kylo Ren.  If Katniss hadn’t been Reaped, Panem wouldn’t have escaped the tyrannical rule of President Snow.  If Leia hadn’t been kidnapped by Darth Vader, she wouldn’t have known the truth about her family or met Han Solo or {eventually} become chief commander of the Resistance.  If Natasha hadn’t been tracked down by Clint because of her status as an assassin, the aliens would have overtaken earth and Tony probably would’ve died and so would Steve and Bucky and SHIELD/Hydra’s information would still be secret.  And don’t even get me started on River.

It’s so ironic that Mr. Alberson would pick all of these characters because the stories that they’re involved in would be so different if they were doing what they’d originally wanted to do.  (See the previous paragraph.)  They all pass the Blechdel and Sexy Lamp tests.  They’re strong, well-rounded, and important to the plot.

MUCH LIKE REAL-LIFE WOMEN.

In my opinion, the world needs more characters like this – characters that prove to women that they’re needed, wanted, and important.  This is why I write books with strong female leads.  Too many female characters in books and movies are whiny, one-dimensional, flimsy girls whose only purpose is to further the male lead’s storyline.  (See almost every action film ever, especially the highly-irritating Mission Impossible II.)

That’s what movies are telling girls, Mr. Alberson – that they’re unimportant and only suitable as pretty companions for the uber-ripped male lead.  And when directors make movies that tell girls anything other than that, they should be applauded, not condemned.

So, ladies, keep watching movies with strong female characters.  You weren’t put on earth to define a man’s dignity or satisfy him.  Guys, you could definitely benefit from it, too.  Women aren’t your playthings – they’re precious individuals made by a God who loves them dearly.  JUST LIKE YOU.

Ladies and gentlemen, your worth is found in Christ alone, and not what anyone else thinks about you.  You will never be satisfied until you discover that.

lit’rally just some tumblr laughs for you.

I’m about to leave for an out-of-state wedding and don’t want to leave you guys with nothing for a few days, so here’s literally just some of the funniest things that have come across my Tumblr feed over the past few days.  (Sue me.)

(Sorry about the wonky formatting.  I’m too tired to fix it, lol.)

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this is the best thing that’s come out of the civil war premiere and if you don’t think so well fiGHT ME.

kanjiclub

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this isn’t funny or anything i just love these two men so much

ggf

in the midst of all the SADNESS that happened this past week on GGF, THIS GEM HAPPENED.  mandy is a treasure.

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look at these two derps.

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srsly tho

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yes i made this.  i’ve suddenly become downton abbey trash and idk what to do with my life anymore. (except watch more downton abbey.  duh.)  (NO SPOILERS, GUYS.  I WILL SUE.)

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srsly tho.

gen hux

domhnall gleeson as general hux is my one weakness.

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Finally… this isn’t funny, but it’s two of my favorite things and just… G A H.

Okay, this was literally the easiest blog post I’ve ever done because it was just stealing other people’s stuff.  lolz.  Your regular posting will resume next week, including a GUEST POST!!!

movies i don’t like.

Since I hit a wall in my studying (they literally just told me to write a completed manuscript – aka an entire novel – for this course. shoot me now.), I’ve decided to write about movies I don’t like.  Because procrastination is what I do best.

My friend Haley tells me that I always say movies are “SO GOOD” and whenever we’re talking about movies that I inevitably say “OH MY GOSH I LOVED THAT MOVIE.”  So like a year or two ago, she asked me, “Are there any movies you don’t like?”  And I was like, “As a matter of fact, yes.”  And this post has been in drafts in my mind ever since.

In case you guys didn’t notice already, I really like movies.  I mean, I really like movies.  Quite a few of my birthdays involve going to see movies, and I also love to just randomly watch movies with my friends.  I’ll basically watch anything.  I’ve tried all different genres, ratings, actors, etc, and I have quite a few favorites.  (Favorite genre is probably rom-com, favorite actor is Stanley Tucci {oh gosh and Domhnall Gleeson}, and favorite actress is probably Emma Stone.  Which means one of my favorite-favorite-favorite movies is Easy A, because it’s ALL OF THE ABOVE, but I can’t recommend it without a disclaimer because of Content.)  Anyway.

HOWEVER.

I only love good movies.  If I think a movie is plotless or has zero character development or has too much objectionable content or just if I’m not in the mood when I watch it the first time, I’ll avoid it like the plague and basically hate it for the rest of my life.  (And trust me, I’m good at hating/avoiding movies.  See my first Harry Potter post.)

Don’t be offended if you love these movies.  I love movies that my siblings really hate (like Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit and various indie Christian films), so I get it.  It’s okay to have different preferences.  It’s what makes people unique.

But this is my blog, so I’m going to rant for the next three thousand words about different movies I really don’t like.  *puts on sunglasses*

So here’s a long overdue list of movies I don’t like, in no particular order.  Feel free to rant back at me in the comments.

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i love this fan art, though.  *thumbs up emoji*

Big Hero 6

No joke, the first thing I thought when I heard about this movie was “Where are the first five movies???”  And it’s confused me ever since.

*sigh*  I know a lot of you guys like this movie.  I really do.  And I liked it when I first saw it.  But the second and third time (and fourth and fifth – the kids I nanny used to watch it once or twice a week with me), it just wasn’t that great.  And I love a movie that I can watch over and over and over and get more out of every time.  But… I honestly can’t say why I don’t like this movie.  It just seemed like the premise was so great, but executed so terribly.

The beginning with the bot fight was awesome, but everything seemed to go downhill from there.  The only character I cared about died in the first fifteen minutes of the film in a super-cliche way (*shakes fist*), and I wasn’t able to connect to anybody after that.  (Plus, the whole becoming-superheroes montage seemed a little contrived.)  And then the bad guy wasn‘t really dead?  He survived the fire?  Never seen that one before.

I don’t like movies about prodigies, so that’s probably why I was unable to suspend my disbelief so often in this movie.  Hiro’s, what, twelve?  And he’s in life-and-death situations with a super-scary bad guy?  Where’s his aunt when all of this is going on?  Wouldn’t she know where her nephew is, especially after he’s the only living one?  Wouldn’t he be on SUCH a short leash?  I don’t get it.

Overall, I think the movie is funny and some parts even moved me to tears (Tadashi’s “I’m not giving up on you” sequence kills me every single time), but it just seemed “meh.”

Man of Steel

Man of Steel (and Superman {1978})

Proof that I’m right by disliking this franchise is evidenced in the fact that whenever I tell people I don’t like it, they usually say something along the lines of, “But it’s so good!  AND HENRY CAVILL IS SO HOT.”

*rolling eyes emoji*

Allow me to tell you a thing.  Contrary to popular thought, I don’t watch shows/movies/whatever based solely on the hotness of the actors.  (Shocking, I know.)  It’s not a bad reason to watch a show, it’s just not one of MY reasons.  (It’s definitely a plus, though – don’t get me wrong.  I love me some hot actors.)

SO, when people watch Man of Steel or Superman and shun me for not watching it just because he’s hot… well, that turns me off it even more.

Anyway, tbh, I just thought Superman was lame.  The ending was just plain stupid.  One does not simply fly around the earth and reverse its orbit to make time go backwards.  NOPE.  *flips a table*

And in Man of Steel, when Clark had the big fight with Zod… gosh, seriously?  They leveled HALF of Metropolis just for Clark to snap his neck in a train station (or whatever it was)?  NOPE.  *flips another table*

Also, I think Batman v Superman is going to be lame.  I’ll probably go see it, but I don’t think I’ll enjoy it.  Superman would totally crush Batman in like five seconds, but all Batman needs to do is whip out some kryptonite and Superman’s done.  The battle would last five minutes.  (Unless there’s a secret plot having to do with the so very cute Jesse Eisenberg that they’re not telling us about…)

(But Henry Cavill is super cute.  I will give you guys that.)

home aloneHome Alone

Okay, so the premise of this movie is what I don’t like.  I don’t think they could’ve made it ALL the way to… well, wherever they were going, without Kevin.  I have friends with twelve siblings.  They don’t just “lose a kid.”  (Although my friend with eight siblings got left at church after our choir concert once because they had three cars there and the three drivers all thought somebody else had him…  We had to take him home, with a stop at Dairy Queen.)

Also, I was just never able to watch those robbers get hurt.  It’s scary and painful and it physically hurts me to watch.  THE FRIED HAND ON THE DOORKNOB.  HOWWWWW?!

The Hobbit

The Hobbit {1,2,&3}

Honestly, all I have to say about this one is that it isn’t as good as the Lord of the Rings trilogy.  Not nearly as good.  I understood why Peter Jackson wanted to expand the book, and where he got the information from, and I defended him to my friends who thought it was stupid and that he was just trying to get more money.  BUT.  You can’t just change stuff that’s crucial to the plot.  AND MAY I JUST SAY THAT CGI DOES NOT MAKE A MOVIE.

I still love my Martin Freeman and Benadryl Cucumberpatch.  (And Aidan Turner!)  Don’t get me wrong – it had some amazing parts in it.  (I’m a firm believer that Tauriel should’ve been in the movies.  They needed more estrogen.)  And I’ll definitely watch them again (probably the extended editions, because I’ve heard those are better).

But the fact that even Peter didn’t know what he was doing sometimes shows that the trilogy was basically a waste of time for all of those amazing actors.  They should’ve taken a step back, planned the films for a few more years, and then shot it.

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The Dark Knight Trilogy

First of all, this series was hard to watch because, hello, it’s LAURIE.  Not to mention JACK KELLY.  (Teehee.)  IN A BATMAN SUIT.

Anyway, the first movie bored me, the second one was too dark, and the third one was my favorite simply because I liked the story and my precious bean Joseph Gordon-Levitt was in it.  I wrote an entire blog post about the last movie (or the trilogy; I can’t remember) after I watched it for the first time, but it got stuck in drafts.

I think I just didn’t like the overall storyline.  Bruce Wayne seemed too much like a rich-guy-turned-rich-thug, and there wasn’t any character development with him ’til he got beat up and fell in love with Selena What’sherface in Dark Knight Rises.

It just seemed like the whole thing dragged until the third movie.  I like me some character development, people.  And it just felt like Bruce Wayne was running around and doing nothing except basically destroying Gotham from the inside.  And that’s not very heroic.

So I guess I’m just missing out on some huge factor.  Would someone like to explain to me why Batman is a hero?  Why should look up to him?  Why should any of the citizens of Gotham put him on a pedestal?  WHY?!

Plus, I know that line in the end of The Dark Knight is iconic, but… seriously?

“Why’s he running, Dad?”
“Because we have to chase him.”

Um… excuse me?  (But, hey, it’s adorable Nathan Gamble, so I’ll allow it.)

Basically, I’m on John’s side of the great Hank and John Batman Debate.  “Batman’s just a rich guy with an affinity for bats, who’s playing out his insane fantasy – HOW IS THAT HEROIC?!”  (That song is now stuck in my head.  Thank you.)

{Note: I do love the soundtrack on this one.  Unashamed to admit that I know every single note in The Dark Knight Rises soundtrack.}

{Note The Second: Also, this is the third movie in the “superhero” genre that I’ve bashed.  HMM.  I do love superhero movies, but mainly just Marvel movies.  However, there’s one Marvel franchise that I really can’t stand, which is…}

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{when he said this, the first thing that came to my mind was: what kind of stupid, egocentric maniac would tell people his real identity???}

Iron Man {1,2,&3}

M’KAY.  My first Marvel movie was Spider-Man, back in the late 2000’s.  (And I didn’t see the other movies ’til like last year.  Thought they were kind of atrocious.  Huge Amazing Spider-Man fan right here.)  Then I saw Captain America: The First Avenger, then I saw Avengers.  So Iron Man wasn’t my first Marvel movie, unlike a lot of people.  (It came out in 2008, so if you’ve been a fan of Marvel for a loooong time, you probably saw that one {lolz, or The Incredible Hulk} first.)

And I just… no.

I talked about Tony Stark a little in my post about how the presidential election is like Captain America: Civil War.”I’ve always disliked him.  In my opinion, he’s too prideful and his “redemption” never lasts.”  Which is true.  Every single one of the Iron Man movies have the same plot – jerky rich dude Tony Stark has a personal crisis and defeats the bad guy while finding redemption.

AND THEN HE’S BACK TO HIS JERKY SELF IN THE NEXT MOVIE.  INCLUDING THE AVENGERS MOVIES.  WHYYYYYY.  *flips a table*

I don’t know about you guys, but when a character changes in a movie, I’d like to see them stay changed.  I greatly appreciate – and even encourage – some back-sliding, because that shows that they’re human.  (I’m even doing it in my novel, The Art of Letting Go.)  The character needs to keep learning from their mistakes and continue to progress in their overall storyline that spans their entire life.

But you can’t just use the same storyline over and over again and expect nobody to notice.

I get that a lot of people like Tony because he’s funny.  I think he’s hilarious at times.  But having one positive attribute doesn’t make a well-rounded character.

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How To Train Your Dragon {1&2}

(I’m bashing another favorite and you all hate me, I can just feel it.  Great.)

This one I just… meh.  I really understand why people like it.  It’s a great story.  Hiccup is hilarious.  Astrid is great.  All the other vikings and dragons are fine.  And the plot is pretty decent.

But it just wasn’t for me.

I liked the first one, but I could barely pay attention the second time.  (Here we are again, going back to watching movies several times.)  I could hardly watch the second one because it just felt boring.  The plot of the first one was fine, but the second one just felt contrived.  Plus, you can’t just kill off a main character for no reason.  It’s been ages since I watched it, but I remember being pretty ticked that that character had gotten killed off because of a lame reason.  (Was the big bad dragon already killed?  Was it for Evil Toothless?  I can’t remember.)

It just seemed… fine.  It’s just not my thing.  I loved the soundtrack, though.  John Powell is pretty amazing.

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Doctor Who

Don’t kill me, Morgan.

I may not have seen enough of this to know that it’s amazing, but I’ve seen my fair share of episodes, and it’s just… okay.  When I first discovered it in like 2010, I was totally obsessed with it.  And I’d only seen two episodes!  However, my dad didn’t like it, so we didn’t watch any more.  (But I still harbored a love for it and saved pictures on my computer and memorized entire scenes.  “Question: Who’s got the Pandorica?  Answer: I do.  NEXT QUESTION.”)

I can’t say I’ve never really been “into” the sci-fi genre, because I have, but Doctor Who just never did it for me.  I think I made up what I thought it was in my mind, and then when I watched more than those two episodes it wasn’t as good as I’d made it out to be.  The Doctor is great (Ten’s my favorite), the companions are okay, but the storylines are just… boring.  I can never get through a whole episode without checking my phone or pulling out my laptop to do something while I watch it.  Plus, some of the episodes are just downright creepy, and ever-so-slightly demonic.  (And those are always the episodes my dad walks in on.  *facepalm*)

I still like the show, though, and I even have Doctor Who-inspired things (like a notebook and even the fourth doctor’s scarf), but it’s not something I’d get as insanely into as other TV shows.  I’ll probably still watch it, it’s just not my favorite.

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Love Actually

This one I don’t actually hate.  I just dislike it.  I have a lame memory of watching it (we watched it the night my dad resigned his position as elder and told the church we’d be leaving), so that might add to it.  It’s a decent movie, but some of the storylines are just absolute rubbish.  It’s R, so it’s got some issues.  My precious child Martin Freeman had the worst plotline (I could only watch one of his scenes because the rest were SO BAD), and Hugh Grant (my mom’s long actor crush and basically the reason we watched the movie) probably had the best one.  Plus, there’s this guy who likes his best friend’s wife and filmed their wedding for totally selfish reasons and that’s just not okay.

The only thing that saved it (and the only reason I’d watch it again) was the fabulous cast.  Hugh Grant, Colin Firth, Alan Rickman, Emma Thompson, Liam Neeson, Laura Linney, Kiera Knightley, THE ABSOLUTELY ADORABLE THOMAS BRODIE-SANGSTER…

This movie can be summed up in four words: Incredible cast, horrible plot.  I don’t understand why people love it so much.

{Note: I freely admit that I just told my sister that she needed to watch it with ClearPlay, though.  Because the actors, man.  And the plots are all stupid, but it’s almost that good kind of fluff that’s so stupid that it’s actually enjoyable.  So basically, out of all of the movies in this list, this is the one I dislike the least.}

Honorable Mentions (movies I hated and now I kinda like)

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The Princess Bride

Give me a minute here, guys.  I know this is a classic (and insanely popular in the homeschool circles, for whatever reason), but I just didn’t get the humor the first time I saw it.  I “liked” it, but I wasn’t immediately in love with it like some of my siblings were.  It wasn’t until my second viewing that I really got why it’s so popular (because it’s ironic and outrageous and hilarious).

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Indiana Jones

I can hear you now.  “ANOTHER CLASSIC?!  ASHLEY, STOP BASHING THE CLASSICS.”

Heh.

My first introduction to Indiana Jones was waaaaayyyyy back in like 2005, when my dad found Temple of Doom on TV.  He was like, “Oh, this is such a good movie!  Let’s watch it!” And then proceeded to turn off the screen during half of it because of the language and the totally scary scenes.  (It’s got some freaky voodoo stuff, too.)  I was completely freaked out, and I hated the language, but my siblings loved it (despite the fact that all we really saw was the minecar scene in the end).  So we eventually watched the other three, and I was the only one in my family who didn’t like them.  I thought the first one was okay, thought the third one was boring, and the fourth one was stupid.  (He survives an atomic bomb because he’s hiding in a fridge?  WHAT?!)

However, after I really fell in love with Harrison Ford (thank you, Jack Ryan films *swoons*), I decided to go back and watch them.  I’ve been watching them with the kid I babysit (he’s four so maaaaybe he’s a little young, but his parents let him, so that’s good enough for me), and I actually liked the first one.  The jury’s still out on whether I think they’re too content-y (or pass The Sexy Lamp Test – the first one totally failed it and my inner feminist RIOTED), but I think I’ll like them.

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Star Wars

If my followers count goes way down after this post, I’ll know it’s because of this.

GUYS DON’T UNFOLLOW ME.  I HAVE SEEN THE LIGHT.  I NO LONGER HATE THIS SERIES.

used to hate it, though.  I hated the costumes, hated the insanely 70’s-looking everything, and I hated the plot.  The characters had no backbone, and although there were moments that I enjoyed, they were few and far between.  I saw all of the original trilogy before Phantom Menace came out (I can’t even remember the first time I saw them), and my siblings have always been obsessed with them.  (We even had to take a break from them for like a year because they wouldn’t stop quoting and/or referencing them.  Needless to say, I was insanely happy.)

Then Phantom Menace came out, and it was okay.  I saw Attack of the Clones in the theater (yes, I’m old), and my dad saw Revenge of the Sith in the theater and decided it was too PG-13 for us (I was only ten at the time, so it’s completely understandable).  We saw an edited version about a year later, and I thought it was okay.

Fast-forward to last year, when I was just “meh” about the whole series.  My siblings wanted to watch all of them again before Force Awakens, and I made it through most of them.  (I was so proud of myself!)  Get this: I cared about it so little that when I accidentally saw a spoiler on Instagram the day before it came out, I didn’t close my app and cry – I went looking for more spoilers.  And then taunted my siblings with them.  (Yes, I’m mean; I thought we established that earlier.)

We planned on seeing Force Awakens with my cousins, aunt, uncle, and grandparents the Monday after it came out.  That day, some of my cousins still hadn’t seen one of them yet, so they watched it and I took a nap because I really didn’t care.  I thought it was going to be lame.  While we were in the (insanely long) line to see it, I kept asking questions like, “This is the one about Captain Kirk, right?  The space one?” and “Oh this one’s got Eomer in it?!  YASSSSS.”  And I relished the weird looks I got from the fifty people in line around me.

But then I saw it and really really really got blown away.  And now I’ve seen the error of my ways and am watching them again with the aforementioned four-year-old.  And I actually like them (even though I’ll probably never love the new{er} trilogy).  So you can re-follow me.

Okay, this is long enough.  : P

Feel free to rant at me in the comments, or list some movies that people usually love but that you despise!  (And if you’re gonna rant… know that I have my CAPS LOCK ON.)

ten short movie reviews.

While cleaning out my purse (lolz, what a joke) I looked through all of the ticket stubs from the movies I went to see last year.  I keep them because (in case you didn’t know) I’m a huge bit of a movie geek.  And because I’m a movie geek, I decided to do a short review of all of the movies I saw last year.  Enjoy.

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Unbroken | 12/26/14

I didn’t “technically” see this one in 2015, but it was close enough.  I loved this movie so much.  It had a zillion of my favorite actors in it, and it introduced me to a few new actors (including Domhnall Gleeson, my current film crush, who is gracing the forefront of the gif above the title of this movie – yes, you’re welcome).  In fact, I loved it so much that I wrote a review of it.  And if you haven’t seen it yet, seriously, what are you waiting for?!

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The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies | 1/31/15

This movie was just a big meh for me.  I know people who loved it, but most of my friends came back from it very disappointed (as we all were with the second one – minus Ben *wink*).  I didn’t even go see it ’til more than a month after it came out because I was so afraid of being disappointed.  The movie was okay.  I mean, it wrapped everything up, but it just felt like a mess.  And the CGI for all of the action scenes?  No.  The only thing that redeemed it was because it had some of my favorite actors in it (and the fact that Martin Freeman is just the perfect Bilbo) and it was decent enough to watch.  I don’t know how many times I’ll be watching it in the future, though.  IMHO, the Lord of the Rings trilogy was MUCH better, and I’ll be watching that over the Hobbit trilogy in the future.  (Extended, of course.)

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The Drop Box | 3/3/15

This was probably the only documentary I watched in 2015.  (That just goes to show how much interest I have in them.  #whoops)  It was still fantastic.  If you don’t know about it, click here to go to the website.  Watch the trailer.  It’ll make you cry.  I watched the film with some friends (including friends who were adopted), and it made all of us cry because we had such a connection with unwanted children.  It was beautiful.

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The Avengers: Age of Ultron | 5/7/15

YEAHHHH, BABY.  Even though I loved this movie, there were some things in it that I’m still mad about.  For instance (and spoiler alert if you haven’t seen it yet), the fact that Joss shot Clintasha out of the water was just unforgiveable.  Now Natasha’s with Banner, who totally freaked her out in the first film?  Nope.  It’s canon, yeah, but I’m not accepting it.  Let’s hope the Russo brothers dismiss the whole Brutasha thing in Civil War.  (“That was just a phase, Steve.  How stupid do you think I am?!”)  Also, did Pietro have to die???  He can zip around super fast but not fast enough to evade a series of bullets?  SERIOUSLY?!  *sigh*  I still loved the movie, though.

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Tomorrowland | 5/23/15

This one got a bad rap by the critics – but, honestly, never listen to them.  They’re the ones who decided that Star Wars was too mainstream to give it many Academy Award Nominations.  (Speaking of, who else is mildly perturbed about the all-white Oscar Nominations?)  Anyway, I actually really liked this movie.  It started out explaining that everyone thinks the world is destined for destruction.  And then the bad guy has a super-unsettling speech about how everyone embraces all of the dystopia-craze because they feel like it’s unavoidable.  (“You resign yourself to a terrible future because that future doesn’t ask anything of you today.”  Gosh, it just gets better.  Watch it.)  All in all, it’s a little “green,” but it’s definitely worth watching, if only once.  (I’ve seen it twice since I saw it in the theater and it impacted me all three times.)

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Paper Towns | 7/23/15

Katie and I saw this the night before it officially came out at the special Night on the Towns event (which included a preview of a trailer for another movie, and then a Q&A session with a lot of the actors, cast, and John Green).  I really enjoyed that one, probably because it was so close to the book (which I really loved).  It was one of those young adult movies you can watch with your girlfriends and feel all warm and fuzzy inside afterwards.  (Also, it was totally fun to see it with a bunch of other fangirls.  When Ansel Elgort made a cameo appearance, everyone screamed.  Including me.)

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Ant-Man | 9/7/15

This is another one that I loved, despite what the critics said.  I thought it was going to be totally stupid, but it ended up being one of my favorite Marvel movies!  So hilarious and so all-around fantastic.  Plus, hello, it’s (a slightly older) Paul Rudd from Clueless!!!  The girl character (played by Evangeline Lilly, aka Tauriel) was kind of one-dimensional (my pet peeve in movies – girls who are only there because there has to be a girl for the guy protagonist to fall in love with), but she was fine.  My favorite character, though (besides Paul Rudd’s Scott Lang), was Luis, played to comedic perfection by Michael Peña.  For months afterwards, my siblings and I would refer to something as being “crazy stupid fine.”  And it worked.  For everything.  (Here’s the link to his scenes.)  (Fun fact: I still haven’t seen War Room yet because my parents saw that while we watched Ant-Man.  Guess that makes me a bad Christian, huh?  XD)

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The Peanuts Movie | 11/7/15

Oh my gosh, this movieeeee.  It was like nostalgia from my childhood coming back and slamming me in the chest.  Yes, I cried because, yes, it was beautiful.  The movie spanned an entire year, so that gave the filmmakers plenty of time to do nods to the old movies – skating on the lake, Christmas, Schroeder and his piano, Thanksgiving, the Red Baron (IN WWII!), Valentine’s Day.  And there was a dance and I was shipping characters all over the place, and it was literally one of the cutest things I watched last year.  I saw it with my younger brother and sister, so it was kind of weird that two teenagers and one young adult were sitting in an animated kids’ movie, bawling our eyes out… but we loved it.  (And the gif is of Pigpen because he literally cannot be cuter.)

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The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 | 11/20/15

Saw this the day it came out because of obvious reasons and bawled my eyes out.  I was also pretty freaked out by the (many) jumpscares and kept accidentally flinging my arms into the empty seat beside me.  (When I saw it again this past Sunday with some friends, I almost jumped into my bff’s brother’s lap.  It was embarrassing.)  This movie was everything I thought it’d be, and I loved it.  Katie came with me, though, and hated it.  So that wasn’t fun.  : P  It wrapped up the series perfectly and I was a very content fangirl.  (Now I need to read the books again.)

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Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens | 12/21/15

SWEET BUTTERED CRUMPETS, THIS MOVIE WAS SO FANTASTIC.  I’ve already written a blog post kinda fangirling about, but I’ll do some more here.  I was totally blown away by how great it was.  I guess my standards were low enough for that to happen, but I honestly didn’t think I’d enjoy it enough once – let alone want to go see it again (which I’m doing later today *party emoji*).  It just… gah.  It had its faults, yes (like the fact that you lost all fear of Kylo Ren after he took off his helmet and the fact that it seemed like all of the good parts of the original trilogy and barely anything more), but it was still fantastic.  I’m really interested in seeing how the whole Kylo/Ren/Finn/Poe thing works out, especially since half the fandom insists that Finn/Poe is a thing.  (I ship Reylo, but I think they might end up being cousins… sigh.)  We saw this with my cousins, aunt, uncle, grandparents, dad, and my little brother (his first Star Wars movie), and that definitely added to my experience.

I also saw God’s Not Dead 2 last night (my dad got tickets through a pastor thing).  I can’t figure out how to share my thoughts on it without spoiling anything (HA), so I’ll wait to post my review (if you guys want it) ’til the day it comes out.

Thoughts?  Did you guys see any of these movies?  Do you agree or disagree with me?  (I typically only go see movies that I know I’m gonna like, which is why it seems like I like every movie I saw in the theater this year…  So, yeah.)

PS: My next post is (I think) going to be my big answers post, so make sure your questions are sent in before Sunday and I’ll post my answers sometime next week!

imho: my star wars rant.

The In My Honest Opinion Series (IMHO) is a series of posts for the purpose of declaring my opinion on certain subjects.  My honest opinion.  (Yes, thank you, Mary.)  These posts will be my totally unbiased, totally unaltered-on-any-grounds opinion.  Each and every one of my readers are entitled to the right to comment below with their own opinion and an argument, if they so desire.  Let us begin.

Sam kinda-sorta asked for this (not throwing you under the bus, buddy; it’s my excuse to do it).  So here it is.

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I grew up with Star Wars.  It was never banned in our house or anything like that because my dad liked it so much.  (My mom still doesn’t really get it.)  I don’t really know why, but I just never liked it.  I’d seen the old trilogy quite a few times, and I even saw Episode II in the theater.  For the longest time, I told everyone that Episode III was my favorite because it had the best computer animation – one of the only reasons I watched the movies in the first place.  Looking back, it really doesn’t.  I like the realness of the models of the old trilogy better.  But I always thought a lot of the actors in the old trilogy couldn’t act (which is the truth), and I didn’t really like any of the characters in the old trilogy (because honestly who wants to root for a 17-year-old whiny kid?!), so that evened out the movies for me.

Honestly, the whole series was just kind of lame and left me feeling… meh.  I’d seen them all at least three or four times each, so nobody can say that I didn’t watch them enough.  And I know a ton of the backstories and expanded universe stuff because my older sister and younger brother have read a lot of books about them.  SO I KNOW MY STUFF.

However.  Then I saw Force Awakens.

GOLLY PETE.

I don’t even know how to explain how much I loved it without spoiling literally everything, but I’ll try.

I didn’t know what to think going into it, but I knew it’d probably be pretty good.  I didn’t know it would nearly blow my mind.  I didn’t know I’d walk out obsessing over the main trio.

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Finn was hilarious, Poe was a super good pilot and super hot, and Rey… GOSH, THAT GIRL CAN KICK BUTT.

Not to mention this handsome dude.

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(I may or may not have an almost unhealthy love for Domhnall Gleeson.)

And then there were all of the characters who were brought back, like Han and Leia and Chewy… and a few others.  ; )

The story was fantastic.  I love how misleading the trailers were, and I can’t explain that without spoiling everything, but I’ll try to explain without referencing particulars.  Basically, they made you make unconscious assumptions about the characters and plot because of how the trailers were laid out and what clips they used.  And then you get into the movie and you’re like, “Wait, WHAT?!”  It was fantastic.

I loved all of the references to the old movies.  There were a few echoed lines and a few echoed shots that I loved simply for the familiarity everyone had with it.  And speaking of everyone, we saw it in a packed theater.  And everyone was a fan.  When the music started and the title came on the screen, everyone started applauding.  A few people in my group, namely my sister sitting beside me, even teared up a little.  (Including me, which was weird, LOL!)  And then we all clapped again a few times later, like when Han came onscreen for the first time.  The audience was fantastic.  Everybody cheered and laughed and gasped at the same time, and it was like watching your favorite movie with friends.  (And I keep resisting calling it stuff like that because I’ve never liked Star Wars in the past, but it was so good!!!)

It ended on a pretty cliffhangery note, and I can’t wait to see the next one.  My sister is going to watch Force Awakens as many times as possible in the theater, so I’ll probably join her for that.

Little things I liked included: All of Finn’s lines (“Why are you doing that?  Huh?  Why do you keep doing this?  I’m trying to come up with a plan here.”), POE DAMERON (*insert heart-eyed emoji*), Rey’s awesomeness (“Stop holding my hand!”), the sexual tension between some of the characters (heehee), and Kylo Ren.  GOLLY PETE, KYLO REN IS SO COOL.  When he tried to do The Thing with Rey and then she’s just like “Nah, son,” and then she did The Thing and we were all like, “Whaaaaaaaaat.”  Perfection.  Oh and his hair was pretty great, too.  It had a floofy-like quality that I adored.

And that’s basically all I can say without spoiling everything.  Based on the numbers the box office has been releasing, a good portion of you has probably gone to see it, but I’ll remain spoiler-free for those who haven’t seen it yet.  (Not really spoiler-free on my Tumblr, though, so stay away from that if you don’t want to see… stuff.)

For the record, this wasn’t as much a rant as I thought it’d be.  Basically because I thought I’d dislike the movie enough to bash it a little.  But, lol, I didn’t.  I actually liked it a lot.  There were a few plot holes and questions left unanswered, but it was a pretty solid movie overall.  Even though I got a lot of it spoiled (first The Big Thing, then That One Character’s lineage, then that thing about the Rey of Sunshine), it was still enjoyable.  And I was able to watch Katie react to hearing all of the above stuff.  So that was pretty neat.  : D

So… yeah.  That’s my Star Wars rant.  XD

Did you like Force Awakens?  Do you like the other movies?  Do you hate me now?  : P

currently… {cheeky li’l update}

Hello, my lovelies!  Haven’t given you an update on me in a while, so if you’re interested, read the following.  (And if you’re not interested, well, go away.)

I’m Currently…

Listening to:

  • ‘Hello’ by Adele.  INSERT ALL THE HEART-EYED EMOJIS.  Guys, this song is just so beautiful.
  • Hamilton: The Musical.  *sigh*  I love alternative music, and Hamilton’s blend of rap and classical music is just perfection.  I think I found this musical before it got popular (while it was still off-broadway), but the soundtrack wasn’t out yet, so I listened to the clips that were available, loved it, and then forgot about it.  However, since the soundtrack became free with Amazon Prime (aww yiss), I’ve been slowly working my way through it.  Guys, Lin-Manuel Miranda is a genius.  (Obligatory Disclaimer: This musical does have some language, so be advised.)
  • Sleeping at Last.  (Which, if you’ve read my past ten or so posts, you should know that already.)  It’s my study music because I can just get lost in the beauty of it and golly pete, is it beautiful.

Watching:

  • Lovely Little Losers (hence the title of this post).  I’m staying away from Love’s Labor’s Lost, just so I can keep the ending as spoiler-free as possible.  The last ten to fifteen episodes have been so feelsy and I had to take a break for a while because I couldn’t handle it (and, of course, the episodes I waited to watch were the re-introduction of MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE CHARACTER, JOHN, WHO I HAVE MANY FEELINGS ABOUT).  I have no idea how many episodes this series will be, but we’re already waiting for #69 and I can tell that the end is near.  *cries all the tears*  (Obligatory Disclaimer the Second: This also has a lot of language and a few homosexual characters.)
  • The Peanuts Movie.  This should be under “watched” because I’ve only seen it once, but whatever.  It was so cute, guys.  Like my childhood flying across the screen before my eyes.  (And I’m still in love with Linus, so that’s not weird at all.)
  • The clips from Mockingjay: Part Two.  I am not ready.
  • Star Wars.  My siblings want to watch all of them before Force Awakens comes out, so I’m “watching” it, too.  (From behind a book, mainly.)  But I’m definitely going to see Force Awakens because (1) It’s gonna be huge, (2), It’s got Domhnall Gleeson in it (who is Phil as in AWESOME PHIL FROM UNBROKEN and Bill Weasley as in AWESOME BILL FROM HARRY POTTER), and (3) Hello, duh, the Civil War trailer is going to be released before it.

Reading:

  • Harry Potter.  Lots and lots of Harry Potter headcanons, too.  The fandom’s nuts, guys.  Even more nuts than the Sherlock fandom, partially because the second series is going to premiere next year (!!!!!).  I just finished Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, which has been the longest one so far (nearly 900 pages).  I have so many feels about this series.  I think I nearly cried over something HP-related every day of last week.  (Yikes.)
  • Three books for a fiction course I’m taking from LSU: Great ExpectationsAll the King’s Men, and The Bean Trees.  Of the three, Great Expectations confused me the most, All the King’s Men was the most inappropriate (but I still enjoyed most of it), and The Bean Trees was my favorite.  Here’s a quote from it for you: “Mi’ija, in a world as wrong as this one, all we can do is to make things as right as we can.”  (Estevan said this and I think he’s one of my new literary crushes because he’s just awesome.)
  • The Girl on the Train.  Umm…?  Don’t know what to say about this one since I’ve never really read a thriller (although I’ve watched my share of Hitchcock films).  I read most of it yesterday and will probably finish it tonight, so look at my Goodreads page if you’re interested in my thoughts.
  • Other than that, I’m just trying to catch up on free reading because I’ve gotten like eight books from the library but have been reading so much for that course (and then slowly making my way through OotP) that I haven’t been able to read much.  I’ll get there.

Feeling thankful for:

  • Where God has my family right now.  It’s been a really hard few months (and this year has brought about the most change in my life since we moved to Georgia), but we’re almost on the other side of the hardest part, and we’re all really happy now.  Long story short, we were in a bad situation that we needed to get out of and, now that we’re out of it, we’re seeing just how bad it was and we’re really grateful that we got out when we did (although we should’ve gotten out like a year ago).
  • Where God has me right now.  I went through a few months of being really discontent with where I was earlier this year (especially with my lack of a love life), but I prayed through it and asked God to give me complete satisfaction in Him (which has been my prayer for a while now), and really I think He has.  For the first time in a while, I’m not really not looking forward to the holidays because of my lack of a significant other.  In the last few years, I felt sad that I couldn’t share all of the wonderful things about this time of year with someone, but I’m really, really happy to be single right now and I’m looking forward to Thanksgiving and my birthday and Christmas more than I usually do because I’m not worried about not having someone to share it with.  SO.  All that to say, I’m really content, which is a relatively new feeling for me, and I’m really enjoying it.  : )

Writing:

  • The re-writes of most of The Art.  I’m a little over halfway through, and it’s going really well.  I haven’t gone over (or even read) most of the earlier chapters since Camp NaNo of last year (because I never edit during NaNo and I was so caught up in publishing Nikki that I didn’t have time to work on it), so it’s really interesting to read it a little over a year after I wrote it.  And I think it’s safe to say that this is my best work yet, so YAY.
  • Some Christmas stuff for you guys, which include my second fanfic ever, so that’s exciting.  *wink*

And I guess that’s it.  I’ve been nannying a ton (like, a ton), and I took my first roadtrip by myself a few weeks ago (don’t think I’ve mentioned that), so I’m definitely starting to feel like an adult.  (YIKES.)

The next few weeks are going to be kind of crazy for me (on top of all of ^that^, I’ve got concerts, MOCKINGJAY2 {!!!!!!!}, Christmas concerts, my birthday, and a few other random things), but I’ll try to stay on top of posting.

What have you been doing lately?  If you’ve been reading or watching some of the same things I have, I’d love to hear your thoughts!