The Holiday

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So, I used to love this movie when I was a teenager. It’s double the romance, double the story and its Christmas; what could be better? Watching it now, it’s dropped down a few pegs on my awesome scale. The story is a bit corny and the dialogue a little too scripted. It also doesn’t completely match the characters to the actors. With that being said, it’s a cute movie. It has great actors and actresses (Jack Black, Jude Law, Kate Winslet, Cameron Diaz) and the story, itself, is fun and interesting.

Iris is a journalist who has spent the last three years in an one-sided relationship; Amanda is a L.A. movie big wig who’s boyfriend just cheated on her. The two women discover one another on a sort of AirBnB site and decide to switch homes. Iris travels to the states and Amanda travels to England near Surrey. The two aim to get away from their pain and men, but instead discover new beginnings that may lead them to a spark of new love.

It sounds like a Hallmark movie, but it’s very well done. The movie has a lot of side plots and character development that really helps it stand out. It’s helpful when you have an all-star cast that can make any role seem amazing. The two stories of Iris and Amanda also really help keep the story interesting.

Penny Pinchers

 

This Korean movie was a fun comedy about two people at the bottom of the bottom. It could maybe considered a romcom, but it was really more comedy and reality than anything else. The tone of the movie was just so fun and it kept my interest from the beginning to the end. It had such a light plot line that was so unique that I couldn’t help but love it. It also had Song Joong Ki as the male lead who was also leading man in Descendants of the Sun; but I guess it shows how diverse his acting skills are because I also almost didn’t realize that it was him.
The plot is fairly simple. Two young people are virtually penniless and through a series of events end up working together to survive. The strong, resilient Hong Sil has always had to live as a penny pincher, but her creative methods to live and survive have made her an unsung champion of the poor. Ji Woong is a carefree young man trying to live in the big city, but failing miserably. Together they form an unstoppable duo.

You’re the Worst

 

Okay, so this satirical romantic comedy television show is a fresh view. It takes the fantasy out of romance (and life) and bites back with stark sarcastic realism in a completely hilarious way. Certainly the characters are somewhat out of this world, but they are probably more realistic then most, if not all, other characters in romance stories. The moral of the story: people are f-ed up, messy, complicated and completely imperfect. Sometimes, they’re the worst.

The show features two of these imperfect individuals who may just be the worst people on the planet. Jimmy is a writer who is determined that love does not exist and generally thinks people are flawed individuals. Gretchen is an agent for a musical company who lives life on a carefree whim. When they meet at a wedding that neither one of them wants to be at they become unconventional romantic partners. Together they have to find out if they are match made in heaven or if they are the worst.

The sarcasm and cynicism in this show is done perfectly. The characters are so well done with smart dialogue. The show progresses and shifts. It may not be like a top favorite but in terms of like sitcoms it’s definitely at the top of the list. A lot of shows like this usually are aimless, but while every episode has its own stand-alone story, the plot continues to enfold throughout. If you want something that is out of the ordinary and is really like an anti-every-romance watch this.

Nerve (2016)

 

So, I’m not going to lie, I became a little obsessed with this movie. I don’t know if it just hit a particular nerve for me (no pun intended), but I really thought this movie was fantastic. I read one review where someone said the characters were stereotypical and flat, but I agree only as far as they are the everyman. The characters were people we know all too well: the smart girl who gets overshadowed by the more flamboyant friend, the flamboyant friend who pushes to be liked too hard, people like that. The story was a large, progressing journey that kept the watcher (again no pun intended) interested and engrossed as it shifted and changed into different dynamics.

The story is about Vee, a senior in high school who has lived a reserved and safe life thus far. With her adult life at her doorstep she finds her teetering on the edge of what she wants to do and what is expected by her mom, but finds herself lacking in the courage to face her fears and tell the truth about her dreams. A new game online called Nerve (a Truth and Dare – high risk game – without the truth) is the furthest thing from her mind, but one last push from an embaressing encounter in front of her friends and her crush sends her headlong into the questionable game. Her first dare to kiss a stranger lets her meet Ian, another player. The Watchers push them to team up and, at first, Vee starts seeing a different side of herself. But things start shifting in the game and it soon becomes clear that this game has a much darker side to it.

So, for most people the first thing that comes to mind is the comparison to the new Pokemon Go app. It’s not hard to see how a game like this could actually happen; in fact, many of the responses I saw in the theatre were the same as the Watchers in the movie. The message is clear and laid-out: be careful of getting obsessed with the digital world and the dangers it can pose. Besides that I thought that the chemistry between the two leads was exemplary. The film itself was pure art; the play between camera shifts (from ‘hand-held’ first person to normal) and then the interactive graphics that let the audience feel like they were one of the Watchers in the movie at times. It really made for a fun film. I’d highly suggest this movie.

Love On-Air

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So, this Korean movie was just a very sweet story about love and music. Shin Jin Ah who used to be a part of a girls group is now a host of a failing radio station. Her strong personality and inability to not say exactly what she means has caused her many problems. When her show gets a new producer, together they have to figure out what they can do to increase the ratings without killing each other.

Love On-Air is about looking past stereotypes and seeing the person behind the persona. It’s about how everyone has a story to tell. It may have been a simple story, but I think it had a lot of heart. People were more then what they seemed and they all felt so real.

10 Cloverfield Lane

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Wow, this movie is amazing. So, take everything that is awesome about horror and psychological thrillers and add a touch of the post-apocalyptic feeling and you have 10 Cloverfield Lane. It’s one of those movies that makes the mind think and work through so many possibilities but still leaves you guessing.

There’s not a lot that I can really say about this movie, but it’s one of those movies that being obscure is best. In essence, the movie is about a young woman who has a car accident and wakes up in a bomb shelter. The man, John Goodman, tells her that the world has ended and because of the deadly atmosphere she is not allowed outside.

There are so many aspects to this movie. It’s everything that you expect and nothing that you expect. It’s one of those movies that the thrill and excitement are only comparable to the mystery. The broad range just takes the audience on such a broad journey and it’s many levels just make the movie so multi-faceted.

Cheese in the Trap

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So, I just finished this drama that has been causing such raves on Dramafever. I do see why, I actually really enjoyed it until the last couple episodes. The show was about people who don’t exactly fit in the ‘normal’ box of characters that people are used to. The dialogue and story were all so fun to watch that I really spent quite a bit of time with it. Towards the end though it focused too heavily on a set of sub characters and the main pair got a little lost in it. Then the ending felt ‘blah’. I was really disappointed to say the least.

The story is about Hong Seol, a hard-working college student, who has lived her life doing everything herself. Raised by parents who can’t afford to send her to college, she’s had to balance schoolwork and part-time jobs. After taking another break from school to pay for tuition she meets Yoo Jung at the start of the semester; everyone likes him, but Hong can immediately sense something darker about him. Thus starts a relationship about two people who not only come from ‘different sides of the track’, but also about how first impressions can define a relationship for better or worse.

This story was really fun. From the first episode it really started strong. It was funny with a creative film technique that really drew me into it. Cheese in the Trap was really about the complexity in relationships. Not only ones involving romance, but friendships and other relationships as well. It was also about the definition of normal and strange. As well as how people are affected by those biases.