Thursday, August 6, 2015


Before I say anything further, I'd just like to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart for the amazing feedback I received from "Million Dollar Baby." It's one thing to fill your own head with talk about that Oscar, but to have other people, even strangers, tell you the same thing...there really aren't any words. I'll be sure to mention all of this in my speech until they try to play me off.

So many people have reached out to me and told me about their own issues, and those they know who have suffered diseases similar to EDS. Some have even pointed me in various directions as to other possible factors that could have contributed to my debilitating health over the years. Believe me, every word sent my way has been read, researched, and discussed in-depth. I appreciate any feedback that comes my way, so if you have anything you'd like to discuss with me, don't hesitate to ask. 

Despite all of the positivity, I've been subconsciously putting off writing this post, because I almost always cry when I talk about my EDS. It's not something I've been able to talk about without shedding lots of tears over the past few months, and I don't see that changing anytime soon. I started seeing a pain psychologist last week and I think my near-immediate plunge into hysteria took him entirely by surprise.

The majority of these days have been hellacious, but that's not anything new. I try to think about it like this: Satan and I are old friends now, and we like to make each others lives a living you-know-what just to fuck with each other. He's going to regret the day I get down there!

Monday through Friday on the last week of July was particularly awful, as I had three health-related appointments every day. EVERY DAMN DAY. It was a circus of doctors, IVs, physical therapists, exercises, psychologists, medications, and rushing to make sure I was home in time for dinner every night. While I do indeed have a driver's license, it's incredibly painful to operate a vehicle when you've just subluxated your kneecap for the umpteenth time and can't feel your ring and pinky fingers in your right hand because some nerve has decided to be pinched that day. So, shout out to the parentals, especially Mom, for Driving Miss Lucy around everywhere. I love you so very much.

I don't know what it is about me and late nights, but that's typically when the words decide to come. After I watch a film or two, I always get this profound urge to write, primarily because of the impact of the story I've just invested myself in. Tonight's film is Shame (2011), Steve McQueen's pre-12 Years a Slave masterpiece starring Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan. Now, this picture and I have hardly anything in common, as it's about Brandon (Fassbender), a New York businessman who's addicted to sex. He's incapable of having a real relationship with anyone, especially his sister - ironically named Sissy (Mulligan).

What really struck me about Shame was this dysfunctional dynamic. Brandon and Sissy acted like they got along in the light of day, but behind closed doors they each had their own issues, much of which they refused to acknowledge. He can't go a day, let alone a few hours, without sleeping with someone, and she is incapable of taking care of herself. It's obvious by the slits on her wrist and the way she longingly looks at the oncoming train that haunted me to the very end; she's in such a bad place, despite the act she puts on for others, that she'd rather end it all.

While I've never tried to commit suicide, I've honestly thought long and hard about it several times, mostly within the last few months. Some days, when you can't get on top of the pain, and you can't even sit down at the table to eat breakfast, and you feel as though God has decided to continuously beat you while you're down, ending it all is an enticing option. Because if you can't do what you love anyway, then what's the point? I can't even read this without tearing up. It's a horrific place to continuously find yourself in.

But then, the little things that matter show up. A friend who comes over because she knows you're not feeling good and brings you a wooden "L" she painted, complete with LMU colors and stickers of Captain America and Thor. Finding an old Imagine Dragons shirt you forgot you had. Seeing one of the people you idolize the most in the film industry, Megan Ellison (JOY, Her, American Hustle,) pop up on your Facebook's "People You May Know" list.

And then you think, No. Not yet. Because I have so much I need to do before I can even think about calling it quits. I have so many people I've yet to meet, so many films I've yet to see, and an industry I can't wait to be part of. I need to be around for Imagine Dragons next tour, and the one after. I need to write a letter to Megan and tell her how much her films have changed my life. I need Harrison Ford to call me and tell me he loves me so I can say "I know" and hang up.

So, for now, I'm still here. And while it sucks, I know I just need to give it time. I've got too many plans. As Butch Cassidy said to the Sundance Kid, "Boy, I got a vision, and the rest of the world wears bifocals."

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to watch Paul Newman and Robert Redford kick some ass for the umpteenth time.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Million Dollar Baby

For those of you who think you know me, I'm generally a bubbly person. I tell a lot of jokes, watch a lot of movies, and post about every major pop culture phenomena of the moment. And when this blog used to dominate a large part of my life, I wrote my opinions on every film I saw. It was not an easy task, but one I delighted in, often buying various notebooks with the intention of covering them in Avengers stickers and filling the pages with reviews of the latest thing to hit the big screen. But, a lot of things have changed since then, and in incredibly drastic ways.
First of all, I was fortunate enough to be accepted into Loyola Marymount University's School of Film & Television; one of the Top Five film schools in the country. I worked so very hard for this, so I'm not about to quit bragging that I go to one of the greatest colleges in this nation. Moving to Los Angeles was one of the most difficult and rewarding things I've ever done; in the last nine months alone, I've met everyone from Lena Dunham to Ethan Hawke, directed for the first time, and saw Interstellar on the biggest IMAX screen in the world. It's been one of the best experiences of my life, if not THE best, and I can't wait to return to school next month for my sophomore year.

But, that's not what this post is really about.
This post is about my life, and the incredibly difficult turn it's taken over the last couple of months.
In the Fall of 2013 I was diagnosed with Ehler-Danlos syndrome, Hypermobility, or Type III EDS. The best way to describe this is listed on the Ehlers-Danlos National Foundation website, which states:
"Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) is an inherited connective tissue disorder ... The underlying features of all forms of EDS is a genetic alteration at the molecular level which causes abnormalities and (weakened) defective connective tissue within the collagen itself ... Collagen is a protein that acts like 'glue', which holds the body together, and makes the connective tissue strong and provides elasticity. Each type of EDS has a different collagen abnormality, but all share, in varying degrees certain manifestations. This faulty collagen causes structural changes to the skin, ligaments, tendons, bone, fascia and eyes. Some types of EDS are characterized by weaknesses in the walls of the hollow organs of the gastrointestinal tract, in the esophagus, the cardiovascular system, uterus, bladder, blood vessels and the arteries."

In more relatable terms, this means that for the last several years, everything in my body has been falling apart. While it was amazing to finally have an answer after all those years of unexplainable injuries and illness, that relief only lasted so long. Most would be hard-pressed to find a physician that actually knows what EDS is, and we are nowhere close to finding a cure. This is something that I have to live with for the rest of my life. And here I always thought that being sixteen going on seventeen meant all I had to worry about were the "fellas [who'll] fall in line / eager young lads and rogues and young cads / [who'll] offer you food and wine."

There are good, normal amounts of time where I can live my life without too much interference from my EDS; but for the last few months I've hit my lowest low with this disease. I wake up every morning in a tremendous amount of pain, my gastrointestinal track doesn't agree with me, and I'm so frail that it's difficult for me to leave the house. This last week has been especially brutal; with the ongoing threat of a possible hospitalization looming over my head, it's hard to find joy in the things that I normally do - reading, hanging out with friends, and most importantly: FILM. The fact that I haven't yet seen Ant Man should be a testament alone to how shitty I feel. 
However, the one thing all of my half-a-dozen doctors tells me is that I need to try and stay positive. To know in my heart of hearts that I'm not going to always feel this way, and that this whole situation is temporary. And while I do agree with them, I have to say the obvious: it is incredibly difficult. It's incredibly difficult to stay positive when you can't ride your horse because of the price your body pays afterwards. It's incredibly difficult to stay smiling when you've just thrown up on a tour bus in Paris in front of your friends and peers because your new medication doesn't agree with you. It's incredibly difficult to stay sane when you can't even hang out with your friends because just existing is so damn hard.

I'm at that point in life where I'm desperately clinging on to the things that once brought me so much joy, and finding that it's not leading me out of this tunnel. I literally just ran from my computer as I was typing that last line to throw up the Advil I've taken in the hopes of calming this raging fever I've had for days. I didn't even want to take it in the first place, as I know I've damaged my liver with the amount of Ibuprofen I've taken over the last too many years. But as I've said, I've become desperate.

Normally, I don't like to tell people too much about my personal life. I don't want anyone to know what I consider any private information about me because my ability to trust anyone has been tested to the point of it just being easier to build a very gigantic wall. So why am I suddenly diverging all of this personal information, you ask? Because I need to do SOMETHING. Something that makes me feel like I'm still a functioning member of society, even if the only way that I can presently do that is from the recliner in the family room.
I think of myself first and foremost as a writer. That's all I've done my whole life, and that's all I will continue to do. It's powerfully therapeutic to put yourself out there when you feel as though life has taken all it can from you.

If you're still reading this, THANK YOU. Thank you for investing your time to understand my story; for even caring the tiniest bit about what I have to say. This blog is going to be about more than film from now on - I mean, it's called "Life" of a Future Oscar Winner, isn't it? Doesn't that mean it shouldn't only be about the films and filmmakers that impact me, but EVERYTHING that does? How are people going to know about my life before I've won my Oscar if I don't even talk about it?

Well, for the time being, that's what I'm going to do. I'm giving myself a new purpose, a new challenge; a new reason to fight this fucking syndrome that never quits. I'm going to write my ass off, because I know this is where I shine the most. While I might be the sickest nineteen year old I know, I am also one of the strongest, and I'm going to tell my story whether you like it or not. Because this is my life, and if I want that Oscar, I need to take the reins away from my EDS and into my own hands. 
As Morgan Freeman said in Million Dollar Baby, "Sometimes the best way to throw a punch is to take a step back." So life, if this is the next challenge, if this is my "step back," then you better be ready. Because I'm about to throw my punch.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Being Black in Hollywood

Last week, I opened the newest Hollywood Reporter as I waited for my flight to takeoff. On the cover was Chris Rock, discussing race in the industry.

The Hollywood Reporter, December 12

At first, I was excited to read the article, because the topic hits close to home. Being an aspiring screenwriter is about as difficult as it gets for a young woman in Los Angeles; let alone one who isn't solely white. But the more I read, the angrier I became.

For years, we have been taught by our public schools that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 effectively solved all of our problems. That black people instantly became accepted into society, and the United States has since become a more welcoming place. We just reelected the first black president, for god's sake.

However, America has truly reared its ugly head these past few months. The deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, the protests (both violent and nonviolent) throughout the nation, and social media has given each individual the opportunity to voice their opinions. Opinions that are often ignorant, and horrifically offensive.

Chris Rock's point in this article is that black people are not afforded the same rights in this industry. Someone is going to give that young white man a chance, while an equally (if not overly) qualified black man stands waiting in the wings. And it's wrong. So wrong.

Look at Ridley Scott's Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014). Scott openly admitted that the reason he cast Christian Bale and Joel Edgerton as Moses and Ramses is because he wouldn't be able to make the big-budget film he wanted without white actors:

Ridley Scott

"I can't mount a film of this budget, where I have to rely on tax rebates in Spain, and say that my lead actor is Mohammad so-and-so from such-and-such," Scott says. "I'm just not going to get it financed. (Hollywood Reporter)

The sad thing about this? It's true. The film industry can't even make an accurate depiction of a biblical epic because it "won't make any money."

But this isn't why I'm angry.

While the media has been focusing solely on North Korea's involvement in the massive Sony hack in recent weeks, a great deal of racist comments have been leaked from the emails of Sony executives. Executives that have the power to influence this nation by what pictures they choose to put on the screen.

Sony Pictures Entertainment chief Amy Pascal and producer Scott Rudin exchanged a series of emails insinuating that the only films President Obama would have enjoyed last year were ones about and/or involving black people and their history:

Amy Pascal

"Pascal replied, 'I doubt it. Should I ask him if he liked DJANGO?' Rudin responded: '12 YEARS.' Pascal quickly continued down the path of guessing Obama preferred movies by or starring African Americans. 'Or the butler. Or think like a man?'' (BuzzFeed)

Why on earth was no one screaming from the rooftops for their resignation?! Why do we ignore the damning statements these powerful people say, but we jump all over others like Donald Sterling, or Paula Deen?! It's hypocrisy on a dangerous level.

Yes, there was some backlash, but nothing more than a slap on the wrist. Both issued apologies, vowing that this was a stupid mistake, BLAH BLAH BLAH. No one learned ANYTHING from this. Rudin's apology speaks volumes about how much of a shit he really gives:

Scott Rudin

"Private emails between friends and colleagues written in haste and without much thought or sensitivity, even when the content of them is meant to be in jest, can result in offense where none was intended," (Deadline)

WRITTEN IN HASTE WITHOUT MUCH THOUGHT OR SENSITIVITY. So, does this mean I'm allowed to send jokes about Jews back and forth around my workplace? Because, you know, "the content of them is meant to be in jest," and may or may not "result in offense where none was intended."

This afternoon, I discovered an article that summarized my frustrations with these two exactly:

"If nothing else, the Pascal-Rudin email exchange came as a stark reminder that the boxing-in of black male achievers has no limits. The two producers may have been joking, but apparently even being a two-term president with far-reaching and well-documented intellectual interests and accomplishments was not enough for them to imagine President Obama's film tastes encompassing more than black-themed movies." (Orr, The Hollywood Reporter)


An unnamed producer emailed Sony chairman Michael Lynton and said that films like The Equalizer (2014) would be more successful if a black actor wasn't the lead. (BuzzFeed)

Although, he/she hopes the statement wasn't "inappropriate or provocative." Haven't we all realized by now that by starting a sentence with "I'm not racist, but" inevitably means you're about to say something racist?!

I don't want to believe this is happening at other production studios, but I wasn't born yesterday. This industry is by and for white people, and it's not going to change unless we decide to change it.

Every week, I observe my peers in our film classes-the "next generation of filmmakers" that everyone is so excited for. I, however, don't understand the enthusiasm at all, because the majority of the students in these classrooms are white men. We are not bettering our industry-we are living in La La Land.

Rock is absolutely right in saying that no one will give the black man a chance. No one has given the black man OR woman a chance in Hollywood since it all began. Of the 2,809 Oscars that have been awarded since 1929, only 31 black people have won. THIRTY-FUCKING ONE.

Hattie McDaniel (above) was the first black woman to win the Oscar in for her performance in Gone With the Wind (1939) but was segregated from her peers at the ceremony

At a time when I should feel grateful to be doing what I love in a city that I love, I am ashamed to be a filmmaker. I am ashamed to be part of an industry that obviously doesn't want me or people like me. And I'm terrified that this will never change.

As if they needed to prove my point any further, this is the photograph and article that immediately followed Rock's cover story:

Look at all of those white men.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Despicable Me 2

AUDIENCE: All ages
RATED: PG for rude humor and mild action.
"It is I, Gruzinkerbell, the most magical fairy princess of all!"
"How come you're so fat?"
"Because my house is made out of candy, and sometimes, I eat instead of facing my problems!"
Gruzinkerbell, also known as Gru, may have a few problems to face in this highly anticipated sequel, but the audience will have nothing but an absolute blast. Returning with old and new cast members alike and yet another enticing script, 'Despicable Me 2' is anything but despicable-'despicably delicious' would be more like it.
Now that Gru (Steve Carell) has decided to live a life without crime, he has a lot of free time on his hands. Between throwing a huge birthday party for Agnes and creating his own line of jams, even the minions are growing bored with the same old routines. It's not until Lucy (the fantastic Kristen Wiig) kidnaps Gru and convinces him to join the Anti-Villain League that things start to pick up speed in his life-romance included.
Just as much fun as the first time around, 'Despicable Me 2' keeps its viewers enthralled throughout the entire animated feature. From exciting fiestas to classic songs performed by our little yellow friends, this is not a motion picture to miss. Whether you are 5 or 85, you will enjoy yourself from beginning to end, and leave the theatre with a warmer heart.
The tagline could not be truer: 'More minions. More despicable.' Yet, I think a 'more fabulous' is needed as well.
'Despicable Me 2' Trailer:
Want another review? Check out the phenomenal Peter Travers of Rolling Stone

The Heat

AUDIENCE: No one under 14
RATED: R for pervasive language, strong crude content and some violence.
"I'll shut the door on you. Will you lay down here and put your head in the door and I'll slam it about 157 thousand times?"
While no one has their head slammed by a door, everyone who views this film should expect to laugh about 157 thousand times. With a witty script written by the up-and-coming Katie Dippold, Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy bring almost 2 hours of entertainment in their latest smash. A simple storyline leaves plenty of room for memorable moments, especially those involving an angry Albino and Pumpkin, the cat. In what will inevitably go down as one of the best comedies of the summer, 'The Heat' demands nothing more than a good time.
Bullock, in her first film in 2 years, is Asburn, a F.B.I. agent determined to get the job done precisely by the book. Despite the fact that she has closed more cases than anyone in her department, Asburn's off-putting demeanor and total lack of friendliness make her unbearable in the eyes of her coworkers, as well as her boss. In an attempt to garner a promotion, Asburn is assigned to go after a known drug lord in Boston. Enter McCarthy as the frighteningly hilarious Mullins, and we've got a winner.
Yes, we all know that Bullock is a good, make that great actress. Her Oscar winning performance in 'The Blind Side' is living, breathing proof. Yes, she is her usual, well-acted self in 'The Heat', but unfortunately she does not add much to this film. While she is a necessary character that we ultimately learn a valuable lesson from in the end, Bullock is only there as the beta to McCarthy's alpha. McCarthy IS this film, from her ridiculously lazy wardrobe to her fabulous snarky comments. One of the many highlights from the film would have to be when Mullins is searching throughout her boss' office during a meeting with him and Asburn. While I don't want to spoil just what she is looking for, I will say; it is most noteworthy. Although McCarthy steals the show, her partnership with Bullock is quite commendable, with the audience rooting for a lasting friendship from beginning to end.
All movies have their flaws, and 'The Heat' is no exception. Despite its many successes, there are a few missteps that could have been avoidable. Towards the end, one almost wishes Mullins would stop making wise-cracks, as you just want to find out 'who dunnit'. Personally, as an avid 'Saturday Night Live' viewer, I was thrilled to find out one of its cast members, Taran Killam, had a role in this film. Sadly, I was only left disappointed, as the extent of Killam's character is the fact that he works with the Albino. He is an absolute rock star every Saturday night at 11:35, but not here. His character is given his 15 minutes in the spotlight, but nothing more. 'Tis a shame, but a small one when all other factors are considered.
With a respectable cast and more one-liners than you could imagine, 'The Heat' stays true to its title. While the film is enjoyable, it begins to fizzle towards the end, needing a microwave boost. I'm not saying that you won't have a good time; what I am saying is that I hope Bullock doesn't sign on for a sequel.
'The Heat' Trailer:
Want another review? Check out the phenomenal Peter Travers of Rolling Stone

Thursday, July 11, 2013

White House Down

AUDIENCE: No one under 12
RATED: PG-13 for prolonged sequences of action and violence including intense gunfire and explosions, some language and a brief sexual image.
"So, you want to make history?" "No, I don't want to make history, I want to make a difference."
Roland Emmerich's latest effort is definitely not a history maker, (being the third film in which he blows up the white house) yet it does make a difference when it comes to the current trend of political thrillers. 'White House Down' is filled with more action than the Playboy mansion; men hotter than the current sexiest man alive; and a plot that is practically the same as every other. Still-grab your popcorn and sit back for one of the biggest adventures of the summer.
Channing Tatum is John Cale, a former U.S. soldier who is desperately attempting to form a relationship with his daughter, white house-obsessed Emily (the loveable Joey King). Cale manages to secure an interview for a position with the Secret Service, but the process goes awry once he realizes that an old college acquaintance, Carol Finnerty (a typical Maggie Gyllenhaal) is the deciding force. Finnerty knows of Cale's resistance to commitment, therefore he leaves the office empty-handed. However, all is not lost, as Cale and his daughter decide to go on an inevitable tour of the white house, where the terrorist attacks take over the rest of the screen time.
The cast is well versed, with actors old and new involved in every aspect of saving the president. Tatum is just as entertaining and gorgeous as always, although he manages to keep his shirt on throughout the film. Jamie Foxx, while hilarious, is nowhere near believable as President James Sawyer, instead returning as a better dressed Django, truly unchained. Despite this, Tatum and Foxx are a good combination. Completing the trio is King, who is great when it comes to catching the bad guys. She continuously surprises the audience, always keeping them on their toes.
Obviously, 'White House Down' has to be compared to the other political thriller of the year, 'Olympus Has Fallen', as the 2 films were only released 3 months apart. While Antoine Fuqua's attempt garnered more fans at the box office, Emmerich deserves just as much kudos when it comes to the action. This film never fades, and slowly chips away at the truth-enough that the answer everyone is looking for is not revealed until the very end. Overall, it is Tatum that is the deciding factor, as he is a more relatable leading man than Gerard Butler. Most should find Emmerich's film more fun.
Afflicted with bad reviews and heavy competition, 'White House Down' has become labeled as yet another 'box office blunder' of the summer. To that, I say: don't judge a book by its cover. Especially if that cover includes Channing Tatum.
'White House Down' Trailer:
Want another review? Check out the phenomenal Peter Travers of Rolling Stone

Monday, July 8, 2013

World War Z

AUDIENCE: No one under 12
RATED: PG-13 for intense frightening zombie sequences, violence and disturbing images.
"Most people don't believe something can happen until it already has. That's not stupidity or weakness, that's just human nature."
Hollywood and zombie fiends alike were of the same mindset when it came to 'World War Z'. After countless reshoots, additional millions of dollars spent, and screenwriter after screenwriter, many did not believe that another film about fighting the undead could survive its own 'apocalypse'. Fortunately for Brad Pitt and Paramount Pictures, 'World War Z' manages to discover a silver lining amidst all of the turmoil.
This latest flick about the rise of the supposedly undead starts off as a normal day in Gerry Lane's (Pitt, with his ridiculously long locks) life, cooking breakfast for his wife and kids. A local newscast airs on a nearby television, vaguely warning the audience that something is seriously wrong in our world. However, the Lane family is more concerned with getting the young ones to school on time. It is here where the first glimpse of the zombie attack appears; one that all fans of the film have seen in the epic, but not-too-revealing preview. And suddenly, exactly like it is portrayed in the trailer, all hell begins to break loose.
Pitt is nothing special, playing a stereotypical dad who insists a little too often on protecting his family. Yet, he is convincing when it comes to finding a 'distraction' for the undead, but not until he is assisted by a female soldier, Segen (the lovely Daniella Kertesz), whom Lane first encounters in Jerusalem. It is the teamwork between these two that adds a necessary source of hope back into the film.
Major props go out to director Marc Forster and screenwriter Damon Lindelof. Forster does an excellent job of giving his audience enough zombie screen-time without going overboard, as well as placing the element of surprise in unexpected places. The aerial shot of the thousands of undead bodies climbing the wall surrounding Jerusalem is outstanding, as is the plane crash scene. Lindelof also deserves a pat on the back; if not for him, the ending would have been nowhere near as satisfying. While Pitt's financial aid was not without gratitude, Forster and Lindelof were the film's true saving grace.
Despite being plagued by every obstacle known to man, 'World War Z' defies the odds, taking the audience for a ride worthy of the entrance fee. With a pre-planned trilogy on the way, this newfound franchise is likely to stick around longer than the current fascination with zombies in popular culture.
'World War Z' Trailer:

Want another review? Check out the phenomenal Peter Travers of Rolling Stone

Friday, July 5, 2013

This Is The End

AUDIENCE: No one under 15
RATED: R for crude and sexual content throughout, brief graphic nudity, pervasive language, drug use and some violence.
"The power of Christ compels you!" "Guess what? It's not that compelling."

While 'The Exorcism of Jonah Hill' may not have been successful, 'This Is The End' hits every high note. With one of the most creative plot-lines in recent history, Seth Rogan and friends play hysterical versions of themselves as Judgment Day comes crashing down.

After a bit of lollygagging, the film kicks off with a star-studded party at James Franco's house. Actors, singers, and Michael Cera's alike have gathered to party, smoke pot, drink, and hook up. Rihanna makes a brief appearance, serenading Craig Robinson with the sad truth that they will never sleep together. All is well until the Earth opens up, swallowing Aziz Ansari and most of the guests along with him. This is where the apocalyptic-comedy takes a turn for the best.

While the script is as witty as they come, and the humor is raunchier than 'The Hangover' trilogy, it is the cast that makes this comedy one of the best of the year. James Franco steals the show, portraying a much more likable version of himself than the stoned host millions witnessed at the 2011 Academy Awards. A memorable scene involves Franco distracting an entertaining Danny McBride in an effort to save Rogan and Jay Baruchel, which will send your stomach into severe laughing spasms.

Jonah Hill gets an honorable mention for being the sweetheart of the film. His borderline obsession with Baruchel is always a source of comedic relief, and his impression of the devil puts others to shame. Despite only having one earring the entire film, Hill proves to non-believers why he is one of the current Kings of Comedy.

While there are a few flaws, they are so minor that most won't cringe but laugh at the surprise 'package' on the devil. 'This Is The End' is a true triumph, leaving its audience greatly satisfied once the credits begin to roll. From being robbed by Emma Watson to a fantastic appearance by one of America's favorite boy bands, no one should miss this soon to be cult-classic. This is definitely not the end.

This Is The End Trailer:
Want another review? Check out the phenomenal Peter Travers of Rolling Stone

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Man of Steel

AUDIENCE: No small children
RATED: PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence, action and destruction, and for some language.

"It's not an 'S'; on my world it means 'Hope'."
Hope is exactly what most fans of this classic franchise had walking into 'Man of Steel'. An excellent cast, a classic story, and the producing-genius that is Christopher Nolan should've added up to a blockbuster the likes of Spider Man or Batman. Although 'Man of Steel' had the potential of being one of the summer's best, it fell quite short.

Doomed to a death on the combusting planet of Krypton, Jor-El (the always incredible Russell Crow) decides to send his son Kal-El (aka Superman, the gorgeous Henry Cavill) to Earth in order to survive. However, General Zod (the constant sneerer, Michael Shannon) is determined to save Krypton and its race, therefore the only way he could do so is if he gets his hands on Kal-El. The plot is simple: find and ultimately, battle, Superman. But the film itself does not seem to understand that.

Zack Snyder, director of '300', shot what Kanye West would call a "dark twisted fantasy". Sadly, there is no beautiful involved. The number of flashbacks is ridiculous, as is the order in which they appear. Once the film seems to be reaching the end, Snyder decides that he cannot go out without a truly big bang. Taking a cue from the third Transformers film, the last half an hour is simply General Zod and Superman beating the crap out of each other. One spends this time praying that the outcome will be worth it, but said prayers are never answered.

Despite all of its faults, 'Man of Steel' does have one incredible Superman. Cavill, once labeled Hollywood's "unluckiest man", has shed that image and taken well to the iconic suit. He is believable, honest, and has the bone structure to match. Sparks fly when he and Lois Lane (the charming Amy Adams) are together, and one can't help but root for the dynamic duo as obstacle after obstacle gets in their way. Fortunately, Cavill makes the film more than bearable, as every woman (including Adams) impatiently waits for him to appear time after time.

Overall, 'Man of Steel' is not good, but it's not terrible either. There's enough of a story to keep the film going, but the actors are the ones who continue to draw the audience in. Snyder does well when it comes to getting this reboot to its feet, but can't seem to get it off the ground. Now that the sequel has been green-lit, perhaps Christopher Nolan will decide to take the camera into his own hands.

Man of Steel Trailer:

Want another review? Check out the phenomenal Peter Travers of Rolling Stone Magazine-

A Little More Personal

I'd really rather not write an about me. Actually, I'd prefer to start writing for this blog right away rather than have to explain myself to anyone. But what's the fun in reading something that someone else has written when you don't know anything about that person? I wouldn't want to spend time on Pride and Prejudice without knowing a tad-bit of information about Jane Austin. Well, I wouldn't want to spend ANY time on Pride and Prejudice in general, but that's besides the point.

My name is Lucy Shea, and I have a passion for film. As Steve Martin once said, "you know what your problem is? It's that you haven't seen enough movies". While most teenagers spend their time fawning over vampires and other pregnant teenagers, I spend my time in cinemas. Every week, I take a drive on down to the local theatre and spend $10 on a film that I haven't seen yet (which can be difficult at times as I see practically EVERYTHING!). It wasn't until 2 years ago that I discovered my love for the big screen, but I know that it will never cease to exist now that it's been found.

I am a movie-snob, and I accept that about myself. I not only have several "favorite" films, but favorite directors and screenwriters as well. The overall honor goes to Baz Luhrmann, who is just my favorite in general. "Romeo + Juliet" and "The Great Gatsby" are cinematic masterpieces in my eyes, and I can only aspire to one day make films that are just as wondrous.

Christopher Nolan, Terrence Malick, and Alfred Hitchcock are easily the ultimate directors/storytellers in my eyes. "The Prestige", "The Tree of Life", and "Psycho" are among many in my preferred collection. However, as writing is my second love in life, Damon Lindelof is THE MAN when it comes to screenwriting. Star Trek wouldn't be as incredible nor World War Z salvageable if he were not a part of the cinematic world.

Leonardo DiCaprio, Ryan Gosling, and Bradley Cooper are Oscar winners in my eyes, as are Jessica Chastain, Emily Blunt, and Jennifer Lawrence (who won this year! Congrats Jenn!). Yet, James Dean is my ultimate rebel without a cause, and I find an excuse to mention him or hang a poster of him in my room almost every day.

I decided to start writing this blog, Life of a Future Oscar Winner, as a way for me to express my love for movies in the best way I could think of: writing about them. Here you will find reviews of everything from the most recent blockbuster to that one indie from twenty years ago that everybody hated. My passion for movies is prevalent when I know someone personally, but online is a whole different ballgame. Hopefully I can share my adoration with others who feel the same way.

So, stay tuned for more blog posts involving anything and everything film! Until then, do as James Dean did; "Dream as if you'll live forever. Live as if you'll die today".