Alejandro González Iñárritu: A Role Model for the Hispanic Community

Iñárritu

Feature Image Credit: Emmanuel Lubezki/Fox Searchlight Pictures (Source: The New York Times)
Headshot Image Credit and Source: IMD

For those who don’t know, Alejandro González Iñárritu is a director that won Academy Awards for his work on Birdman (2014) and The Reverent (2015). Both films staring A-list actors and nominated for best film of the year. I won’t be discussing about his cinematographic style but rather his accomplishment as a native Mexican director finding success in the United States, which is a very difficult barrier to overcome, and his philosophy. I consider these factors, along with his excellent directing style, to be reasons behind why I consider Iñárritu to be one of my role models.

Iñárritu has co-written and directed various other successful films before the two I perviously mention. He is responsible for films like, Amores Perros (2002), Babel (2006), and Biutiful (2010), which was a film previously nominated for an Oscar under the Foreign Film category. All of these film covering emotional or controversial topics that opens the viewers eyes to new concepts in film. I don’t want to spoil the plot of these films, but I highly recommend these films although I would advise not watching these films with children and to prepare emotionally for some dark moments.

Today, Iñárritu continues his pattern of emotional films with his 2014 work, Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance. I have yet to see this film but I know it stars Michael Keaton as a washed up actor that formally portrait a superhero. Emma Stone, who I believe is his drug addicted daughter; Edward Norton and Naomi Watts. I suggest watching the trailer below to gain a better understanding of the film.

Video Credit: FoxSearchlight

At the Academy Awards, Iñárritu gave an amazing speech when this film won Best Picture. It was at this moment that Iñárritu successfully overcame the barrier that Mexican directors struggle to overcome. The moment his film beat other amazing  made films, including, American Sniper, Boyhood, The Grand Budapest Hotel (my pick), The Imitation Game (phenomenal film), Selma, The Theory of Everything, and Whiplash. All are films, I’ve seen. At this moment in time, I was crossing my figures for The Grand Budapest Hotel without realizing that history was being made. Alejandro González Iñárritu was the first Mexican director and screenwriter to be in the long list of Academy Award winning directors.

A prominent reason why I consider him to be a role model, is dedication to the community of Mexican living in the United States. Below is a clip from the moment his film won Best Picture. There is a moment where Sean Penn makes a controversial comment that viewers deemed to be “racist,” but I see it as humorous because a film made entirely by a Mexican crew, just won the highest honor of the night.

Video Credit: The Oscars

At the end of this video, he states that he hopes for a better Mexican government, in respect to the lack of representation and the use of corruption. Iñárritu also gives word to the Mexican immigrants living in the United States in hope that this community will be treated with respect instead of the hostility brought on by politics. I strongly admire Iñárritu humble action of remembering this voice-less community. My parents migrated to the United States from Mexico and were immigrants for 20 years before finally receiving the proper documentation. Conservatives always suggest immigrants to “get in line” instead of migrating illegally to the United States, without realizing that the line moves extremely slow. My parents applied for documentation as soon as they reach the United States but had to wait 20 years for results. Immigrants are hardworking individuals that migrate to the States for a better opportunity and escape crime or poverty. It is important to remember that all our ancestors were immigrants once and no immigrant sacrifices their life to cause destruction abroad.

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ATL (2006) Film Review

Feature Image Source: Alchetron

From the outset, ATL seems like another adolescent film that examines the African-American experience in a lower-class neighborhood of Atlanta; however, this is not necessary the case with this film, it is so much more than that.

ATL is a beautiful film written by Antwone Fisher and directed by Chris Robinson, which if I ever write a film, I will make sure Robinson directs it. It stars rapper T.I Harris, Lauren London, Evan Ross and Outkast rapper Big Boi. The film primarily focuses on four working-class teenagers who, throughout the film, are pure at heart and have goals to grow and strongly distinguish themselves from crime and negative influences in their community. As the friends look forward to new horizons after high school, they face challenges on and off the rink that bring about turning points in their lives. 

Robinson is not a known film cinematographer as he only directs rapper T.I’s music videos. This is the first time Robinson has directed a film and did a phenomenal job at it. He is the only amateur director that I have and will praised in this blog. One of my favorite scenes is the intro of the film where T.I characters narrates the location of his home. He refers to it as “middle of the city, center of the universe,” at this moment Robison zooms in the characters home and and quickly switches over to a shot of the blue sky as soon as T.I says “center of our universe.” An element that I praise Robinson for is the use of text. There is a montage scene where all the skate teams are being introduced and Robinson creatively designs a text to compliment each groups individual aesthetic.

For a long time, films about the African-American experience have been documented on film through white screenwriters and directors. I praise this film for providing an accurate representation of the African-American community. I especially enjoy the pure protrayl of the main group of friends. Whenever these four men hang out, it’s filled with laughter and loyalty, a unique element that is not always found in such films. The surround themselves in their humble community and give each other a hard time, an element that all can relate to regardless of race or social economic class.

What I especially enjoy from this film is the narration. We received insight of Rashad’s (T.I.) character. Some of the script beautiful narrated, such as Rashad describing skating as a prominent activity by stating, “sometimes I feel like out there all by myself, floatin’ above it all, no lies, no pain, and no worries what tomorrow might bring.” This is a significant statement coming from a character living with resentment in a troubled community. He mentions, “Inside here, it’s like all our problems don’t exsist. Its the only place where we all felt like we could be free.” The reality being, “school sucks, rent past due, your girl left.”

atl

Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures (Source: 2020)

What is most prominent about the film is its ability to also demonstrate the lifestyle of the wealthy, white Americans. One of the characters, Esquire, goes to school with the children of the wealthy 1 % that resides in Atlanta. At the verge of graduating, he seeks a letter of recommendation to received financial aid to pay for the ivy league school he just got accepted to. The film pans through a affluent neighborhood as we learn that Esquire desire to leave “the ghetto” and rise to a higher social economical class. This transition of poverty to wealth can also be seen in the films intro. I provided the clip below. Be cautious of the images.

Video Provided by YouTuber syndromestudio

This film not focus on all pure and humble characteristics in the community, it also demonstrates the dangerous influences that lurk beneath it all. T.I character’s brother Ant, played by Evan Ross, is taken under the wing of a local drug dealer that leads him to a dangerous path of life or death. After the climax of the film is reached, the rising action is granted with a gorgeous poem from Big Cube, Love’s Deceit. I provided a clip of the scene below, it makes me cry every time I listen to it (which is every time I run).

Video Provided by YouTuber ZAI ENT

I hope you enjoy these clips and hopeful take an interest in the film.

Wes Anderson: Quirky Hipster

Featured Image Source: Pinterest

wes anderson.jpeg

Image Source: IMDb

How much do I love Wes Anderson, let’s put it this way; I am getting a tattoo this summer on my wrist that reads: Directed by Wes Anderson. 

Wes Anderson is responsible for masterpieces, such as Bottle Rocket (1996), Rushmore (1998), The Life Aquatic of Steve Zissou (2004), The Darjeeling Limited (2007), Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009), Moonrise Kingdom (2012), Grand Budapest Hotel (2014), and The Royal Tenenbaums (2001). With my top three personal favorites being,

  1. The Royal Tenenabaums- love the dialogue (humor and the use swear words) and characters
  2. Moonrise Kingdom– love the aesthetics and the romance
  3. Grand Budapest Hotel– absolutely love Monsieur Gustave H!

Wes Anderson is the first director that made me passionate about cinema. The ending of Moonrise Kingdom makes me cry every time I see his dedication to his girlfriend Juman Malouf. Like the various directors that I mention throughout this blog, Wes Anderson has unique elements to his films that I can immediately notice.

Anderson tends to use the same line of actors, a warm color palette, cinematic references to the French New wave and older Hollywood films, the use of antique wardrobe and set, and my favorite quality of them all; quirky dialogue and eccentric characters. However, I will only mention a few elements that I seen as a pattern in all his films.

Camera shots:

  • High shots
  • Wide (landscape) angle shots
  • Tracking shots
  • Zooms

Cinematic Influences and References:

Anderson has taken cinematic influences from many different places, but most prominently the cinema of the French New Wave, films directed by Francois Truffaut, or by Indian-British filmmaker, Waris Hussein and his 1971 film Melody, as that one especially has a lot of influence on his early works. But it is not limited to European cinema, Anderson also makes references to American films, such as The Graduate (1967), The French Connection (1971), Citizen Kane (1941), and even the animated film series Peanuts. Anderson does not limited to one style of cinema. It is the combination of many styles that form his own.

Themes:

Father and Son relationships and Romance.

Protagonist: 

With few exceptions, they are mainly male charismatic characters. It’s their charisma and confidence that allows them to overcome their faults, which in turn attracts a group of people to follow and support their antics. Something I notice is Anderson struggle to write interesting roles for female characters. With few exception, the female characters are only their to save the men from themselves, or as a prize or motivation for the male characters.

Composure of Shots:

Unlike other film directors, Anderson’s composes his shots flat and symmetrical whenever possible. He gives the impression that his films are like a storybook and shots this way makes the characters feel more drawn and captured, while also allowing shot to shot scene to be easily followed. Most directors want their audience to forget that they are watching a movie, but that is not the case with Wes Anderson. This method effectively present serious scenarios with laughs.

Actors that are constantly used in Wes Anderson films: 

  • Bill Murray
  • Jason Schwartzman
  • Edward Norton
  • Tilda Swinton
  • William Dafoe
  • The Owen Brothers

Wes Anderson is one of the few directors today, that still make great, low-budget films. He knows exactly the film he wants to make and knows the proper method of executing it. He ultimately makes hilarious, aesthetically pleasing films.

Martin Scorsese: New York and Power

Feature Image Source: Hollywood Reporter

One my favorite directors of all time, Martin Scorsese demonstrates unique elements to all his films, such as; hiring Leonardo DiCaprio or Robert De Niro, if DiCaprio is not available, use Italian stereotypes, a script directly from a book, glorifying crime, wealth, food (my favorite element), freeze frames, voice-overs, and an absurd amount of swear words. For this post, I will only mention a few items that make each Scorsese film, a Rolling Stone filled classic.

Scorsese pictures are not simply films, each is a visual work of art. I am not referring to a student art house piece. I’m talking about something artistic enough to be intelligent, but also mainstream. The first element of a Scorsese film is the cast. Scorsese always uses the same two actors: Leonardo DiCaprio or Robert De Niro.

Scorsese films starting DiCaprio

  • Gangs of New York (2002)
  • The Aviator (2004)
  • The Departed (2006)
  • Shutter Island (2010)
  • The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)  
  • The Audition (2015)

Scorsese films staring De Niro

  • Mean Streets (1973)
  • Taxi Driver (1976)
  • New York, New York (1977)
  • Raging Bull (1980)
  • The King of Comedy (1982)
  • Goodfellas (1900) (My absolute favorite Scorsese film.)
  • Cape Fear (1991)
  • Casino (1995)
  • The Audition (2015) 

Both actors can look and act like anyone. Scorsese almost always uses actor Joe Pesci as supporting actor or, in other words, an “Italian regular.”

pesci.jpg

Image Source: acmi

Scorsese films also typically use a female, blonde leading character, which are interchangeable, so I won’t name them individually. But what I adore most about a Scorsese film is his parents. Scorsese always tries to incorporate his parents whenever he can. I especially love his mother’s role in Goodfellas (1990), because she reminds me so much of my mom.

 Image Credit and Source: USA Today and NY Daily News

When it comes to the script, the ambiguous term “original content” is an gets thrown around a lot these days. The plot of a lot of Scorsese films derives directly from the pages from various narratives.

Screenplay based from books

(Scorsese film = Book)

  • The Wolf Of Wall Street (2013) =  The Wolf of Wall Street: How Money Destroyed A Wall Street Superman by Jordan Belfort
  • Goodfellas (1990) = Wise Guy by Nicholas Pileggi
  • Casino (1995) = Casino by Nicholas Pileggi
  • The Aviator (2004)Howard Hughes: The Secret Life by Charles Higham

Two major components in every Martin Scorsese film (which he is notorious known for) is the glorification of crime and the use of controversial Italian stereotypes.

Lastly, some Scorsese stereotypes that can be found in every film: characters that posse hot tempers, renown culinary skills, kisses “Godfather” style, and religious. Implements domestic violence, drug use, people being shot at point blank range, and the constant use of the F word. All reasons I love Martin Scorsese films and make him one of my favorite directors of all time.

Best Movie Dishes and Recipes

Feature Image Source: Leite’s Culinaria

Have ever watch a film that displays a dish and you find yourself drooling over the television screen? I do. All at the time. I may be a cinephile, but I also a massive foodie! I recently discovered a “Youtube-r” that creates some iconic dishes as seen on film and I couldn’t control my excitement. Thanks to Andrew Rea and his series: “Binging with Babish,” I am finally able to share the recipe of each dish without having to create it myself; which is good news for everyone because I can’t cook. So Skip the T.V Dinners (do people still eat those?) and check out some of my favorite dishes as seen on my favorite films.

Lets start with a cliche dishes from one of the most popular Disney/Pixar films: Ratatouille from Ratatouille (2007)

 

I initially saw this film thinking Ratatouille was the name of the rodent character, completely unaware of french cuisine. Ten years later and I have yet to prepare the dish (out of fear I would ruin it), however, I have tasted the dish and it just tastes like roasted tomatoes and peppers. I was imagining a flavor explosion of some kind, instead I was greeted with a bland taste. If you want to try and impress your significant other with plating skills, I recommend this recipe, although it may seem a bit complicated.

Julia Child Beef Bourguignon from Julie and Julia (2009)

 

I consider this to be my favorite dish of all time. In a way, this dish describes me as a simple girl with a hearty personality. I find any dish made from a dutch oven absolutely delicious. I previous tried to make this stew, but fail miserably; I guess because I used applewood smoked bacon and it gave the dish a different taste. I have yet to try Julia Child’s recipe and am very curious to taste it. If you grave something simple and scrumptious, try Julia Child’s Beef Bourguignon. In the film, this dish launched the publication of Child’s cookbook. If I tried this dish, I would have published her cookbook too.

World’s Greatest Sandwich from Spanglish (2004)

 

One of the greatest bilingual films of all time, it demonstrates the plight of migrant women as she tries to acclimate into American society and prevent her daughter from being absorb by it. During the course of the film, she works for a Michelin star chef that creates the “world’s greatest sandwich,” which is a simple BLT with cheese and an egg, but it looks absolutely appetizing in the film. Although it is not the only dish created by the chef, it is the most simple and desirable meal to make.

Prison Sauce from Goodfellas (1990)

 

My favorite Martin Scorsese film of all time, Goodfellas focuses on Henry Hill, played by Ray Liotta and his association to a mob in New York. This film feature various meals through out the film, but the one that is most prominent is sauce created in prison. Henry and other mobsters are briefly in jail where they enjoy a privilege lifestyle compare to the other inmates. They are able to gather together at a dinner table and prepare their own meals. The scene breaks down everyone’s role in preparing dinner, from cooking the meat to slicing the garlic really thin in order to dissolve in the pan. In the end, we have one character yell at another to not put too many onions in the sauce. A simple recipe that every cinephile drools over.

I recommend trying Andrew Rea’s take on each dish and experiencing it yourself.

What’s your favorite movie dish?

Sausage Party: An Existential Crisis

Feature Image Credit: Columbia Pictures (Source: IMDb)

I want to start of by saying that I will be mentioning certain elements from the film that may deemed to be controversial. I respect all point of views and this is simply an observation for entertainment purposes.

I am aware of the reputation Sausage Party (2016) has created for it self. Its offensive and explicit humor resinates with its audience in a negative way and it universally bashed by many critiques. However, many are too focused on the uncensored ending, that lack to understand the underlining meaning behind the plot as a metaphor for mortality.

Created by candid actor Seth Rogan, the film focuses grocery store items (mostly food) as they seek to “chosen” by the “gods” (humans) to be bought and expect a better life in the “great beyond” unknown of what lies ahead. Soon the sausage, Frank (Rogan) learns the horrifying truth that he will eventually become a meal. After warning his pals about their similar fate, the panicked perishables devise a plan to escape from their human enemies and embark on a search for meaning. Through out this journey, they witness massive deaths that make these characters question the very foundations of their life, including their beliefs.

They begin each morning with a song appreciating the gods for everything that they will do for these items once they reach the great beyond. A concept we conduct in a religion over the course of our life. Once the grocery items are picked, they learn the horrible truth about the great beyond: it is not what its projected to be. Since actors Seth Rogan and James Franco are outspoken atheist, I presume the film to be an alloy on religion.

Though out their existence, they were made to believe that the great beyond was a “magical” place were all fantasies and desires come true, instead of what it actually is, horror. Later on in the film, the sausage Frank learns that this myth was created to remove the fear of death and create desire to be chosen to pass on. This scene reminds me of Ricky Gervais’s 2009 film The Invention of Lying, about a man who develops the ability to lie in a universe that prides its self on honesty. His mother is on the verge of death and confesses to Gervais character that she is afraid of dying because of the unknown. He comforts her by creating a fantasy of life after death; telling her that she will be young once again and all her dreams would come true. This is exactly what occur in Sausage Party, the grocery items were told this lie to make death less horrific and implement the idea that there is something better waiting us.

Towards the ends with all the characters living life to the fullest as they wait their impending death, this made me think: metaphorically, aren’t we all grocery items unknowing waiting to be devoured?

The film ends with the character realizing they are not real and that their world is fabricated, which in turn reminds me of Descartes famous line: “I think there for I am.” Shouldn’t this concept apply to these characters?

Never be afraid to over analyze a film; it all part of being a cinephile!

 

The Room (2003)

Characterized as the Citizen Kane of bad films, this indie-cult sensation will remain as one of the most humorous films of all time.

Directed, written, produced, and staring aspiring actor, Tommy Wiseau, it’s centered on a melodramatic love triangle among amiable banker Johnny (Wiseau), his deceptive fiancée Lisa (Juliette Danielle), and his conflicted best friend Mark (Greg Sestero).

What is so significant about this film is its lack of plot, climax, character development, consistency, and pretty much everything a film needs to be successful. Because of its flaws and over dramatic performance, The Room instantly became ridiculed and a cult classic.

The film consist of: humorous characters, including Denny, whose relationship to the protagonist remains unclear but somehow keeps showing up in every scene; humorous lines, like “You are tearing me apart, Lisa;” humorous sets and humorous acting. 

After reading Greg Sestero memoir, The Disaster Artist: My life inside The Room, I learn that it wasn’t Wiseau’s intention to make a bad film although he claims the opposite. After not being able to obtain any acting gig in Hollywood and on the verge of self-destruction, Wiseau decided to take matters into his own hands and write a film to star in. Thinking it would demonstrate his talent to Hollywoods casting agents, Wiseau created a dramatic story about betrayal, which I assume was a reflection of Hollywood giving Wiseau the “cold shoulder.”

Unfortunately, like many other amateur projects, the film bombed and destroyed the little credibility Wiseau established in Hollywood. Today, Wiseau is remembered as heavy accent man that lives a secret life and wrote the “greatest” terrible film that is enjoyed all over the world.

My favorite pastime is attending a showing of The Room because it is the most fun I will ever have. Once there, the audience yells vulgar comments at the screen, mocks the characters by reciting their infamous lines, throws plastic spoons whenever a framed picture of a spoon appears, counts the times Wiseau’s character says hello, and claps along with the terrible soundtrack, among other things. Here is a clip of a screening just to give you a taste of the crowed that shares my outspoken personality (WARNING: YOU MAY WANT TO TURN DOWN YOUR VOLUME):

Video Credit: antisocialxgrl

There are even Youtubers like Pewdiepie who demonstrated his love for the film. But my favorite Youtube video criticizing this film was made by CinemaSins. For those of you who are not familiar, CinemaSins is a Youtube channel that has a series called “Everything Wrong With…” where they point out flaws and make humorous comments about it. My favorite comment in this video is narrator pointing out a character’s lack of compassion and not remembering that she has breast cancer. I seen this video at least a hundred times.

 

If you are looking for a laugh and a good time, I highly recommend attending a screening or at least watching the film on your time. It definitely satisfies the relief theory of humor.

Feud: Bette and Joan Review

Image Source and Credit: E! Online 

(Warning: Spoiler Alert!)

I remember flipping through channels and coming across this FX series, Feud: Bette and Joan. Initially, I had no interest in watching this program, but quickly changed my mind once I saw my favorite actor, Stanley Tucci, playing the role of Jack Warner. Afterwards, I became hooked and applauded the ending of this short season.

Feud is a program generated by Glee’s creator Ryan Murphy. Each season focuses on a real-life feuds that occurred through out history. Season one focuses on the rivalry between aging celebrities: Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, during and after the production of their 1962 film What Ever Happened to Baby Jane. 

The season begins with Joan Crawford, played by the phenomenal Jessica Lange, wanting to get back into acting but struggles to find roles appropriate for her age. Since the opportunities are not coming in, she decides to create her own film and seeks the help of B-list director, Robert Aldrich, played by Alfred Molina, and fellow actress, Bette Davis, played by the amazing Susan Sarandon. Unfortunately, Bette’s stubborn personality clashes with Joan’s diva persona and a feud emerges between the two women. Through out the season, we witness these women engaging in a battles over attention, awards, and admiration. From Joan stealing the Academy Award for Best Actress from Bette, to Bette becoming executive producer and making Joan’s life a living hell on set.

I had a difficult time deciding who side I was on. Initially, I was #TeamBette when I learned about Joan’s plan to steal Bette’s Oscar. As the series progressed, I sympathize with Joan and became #TeamJoan. However, by the last episode, I was #TeamBestFriends:BetteandJoan. The last episode made me care about these actress and wonder why Hollywood has forgotten about them. As Bette said after the death of Joan, “50 years in the industry and they only give her 2 seconds [of recognition at the Oscars].” Both women on the list for “Best Actresses of all Time,” and are left to be forgotten. I am glad this series was able to remember these women as dedicating and fearless.

There are various laugh out loud moments over the course of the season, but no moment is more prominent than Joan last reflection before her death on the season finale.

Even after creating a successful film that placed both actress back on the map, the feud continue to even after Joan’s death. What absolutely BROKE my heart, was Joan’s secret desire to become friends with Bette and never revealing her true feelings to Bette. (I have a difficult time talking about this moment without bursting out into tears, but here I go anyway.) There infamous scene where Joan Crawford, who lost her spark and is facing certain death, hears laughter coming from her living area. She walks out to find Hedda Hopper (who at this point in time already died) and Jack Warner, enjoying each others company. A pale Joan with long, gray hair, walks towards them and is suddenly is transferred back into the glamorous Joan Crawford we knew. During this epiphany, Joan reveals her deepest secret of feeling lost in her diva person she created to uncover her true self: a loveless, financially poor, girl. Joan goes on to say that both Hedda and Jack made her life a living hell and a friendship with Bette impossible. Suddenly, they are greeted with Bette’s presence and forcefully joins the party. There is a moment when both Jack and Hedda leave and instead of tearing into each other, both women have a sensible discussion.

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Image Credit: Suzanne Tenner/FX (Source: Vulure)

Joan revels to Bette that she always wished for a friendship with Bette and fantasizes about having late night talks with Bette about their director, Robert Aldrich. A serious moment and revealing moment occur between these two woman, when suddenly the audience remembers, it’s just a illusion created by Joan’s deteriorating brain. As Joan’s servant, “Mamacita” (Jackie Hoffman) takes a disorientated Joan back to bed, the audience learns that Joan died five days later without the women amending their feud. This scene runs though my mind everyday and can’t stop thinking about it.

Oh, how I yearn for some closure between the women, but I never received any. Both women died and the audience is left with what could have been: a mutual understanding.

I want to end this post by admiring Jessica Lange’s performance as Joan Crawford and encouraging you to watch this series. It will make you cry and call your “frenemy.”

Netflix this May

It is the first of May and I am already excited to share what will be on Netflix this month. As you know, the following film suggestions are of films I have seen before its arrival to Netflix. I will also be mentioning two Netflix own material that I recommend to watch this month. Here are my picks:

Casting JonBenet (2017)

This is a Netflix documentary that I heard so much buzz about and was initially excited to watch once it premiered on April 28. After two decades of media speculation and public fascination, filmmakers explore the infamous legacy of the world’s most famous child-murder case. With a new film making direction, it focuses on a series locally known amatuer actors as they are being cast for the roles of JonBenet, Patsy (mother), John (father), and Burke (brother) who were there on the fateful day on December 25th and may hold the truth of what exactly happened to JonBenet. The documentary does not interview the family or witness, instead it ask these unknown actors about their take on the murder, who did and what happen. Honestly, I could care less about what these people think- I might as well asked my parents or other family members about their intake and it would be the same material. Nevertheless, the documentary provides interesting imagery.

Bridget Jones’s Baby (2016)

The first film I ever saw in London! I remember arriving and by the third day I went with some “mates” to the local movie theater, Genesis Cinema, and had a laugh out loud, fun experience. Watching this over again reminds me of my adventure in London. Oh, how I yearn to be back in London! Anyway, this is the third film of the Bridget Jones Diary series in which she was able to find happiness with Mark Darcy for a brief second before splitting and goes to a British version of Coachella, meets handsome American Jack, played by Patrick Dempsey, sleeps with him, sees Mark again, sleeps with him, gets pregnant and can’t recall who can potentially be the father of her child. It is a hilarious film with cameo from Ed Sheeran that makes me emotional whenever I see it, I think because I wish I would get to ride a human-sized hamster ball with him.

Malibu’s Most Wanted (2003)

I remember seeing this film when I was younger, (don’t tell my parents) it made me laugh out loud! It starts Jamie Kennedy as the son of a wealthy politician tries to emulate urban street culture and aspires to be a rapper, going by the name of “B-Rad.” In order to discourage Brad from pursuing his thug-inspired antics, his dad hires two African-American actors to to pose as gang members and introduce the naïve youth to real ghetto life. The plot may not seem flawed but the humor is authentic. I think this film is a parody of Eminem entering the rap industry, in a time when it was predominantly African-American.

Marvel’s Doctor Strange (2016)

Another film I watched in London, in fact I went to the red carpet event and followed the actors to the film premiere at Westminster Abbey. Dr. Strange would have to be one of my favorite Marvel films (coming from a girl that falls asleep during superhero films) I really enjoyed seeing Benedict Cumberbatch as a Marvel hero. The films focuses on the character Dr. Stephen Strange’s (Cumberbatch) life changes after a car accident robs him of the use of his hands. When traditional medicine fails him, he looks for healing, and hope, in a mysterious enclave. He quickly learns that the enclave is at the front line of a battle against unseen dark forces bent on destroying reality.The film kept me interested and I became jealous of Cumberbatch luxurious lifestyle. A film fit for all genre lovers.

Lastly, Don’t forget to check out Season 5 of House of Cards for those that have been keeping up with the series. The season will be available to stream May 30th.

Stay tuned for next month for my summer picks!

Netflix this April

This month has been filled with the release of films and Netflix programs. Here I am, once again, to give a short list of films and programs I seen and highly recommend if you ever find yourself overwhelmed by the infinite amount of content found on Netflix.

Something’s Gotta Give (2003)

I previously mention this film in a blog post where I talked about the amazing director, Nancy Meyers and her ability to project my interior decor fantasies. This is the first Nancy Meyers film that I ever saw that drew me to obsession. Staring Jack Nicholson and the gorgeous Diane Keaton, this film focuses on the aging womanizer, Harry Sanborn (Nicholson) and his compulsion dating younger women until he meets playwright, Erika Berry (Keaton) who makes him think twice about his lifestyle. It is a lovely story with humor with a beautiful Hampton- beach decor and french cultural influences or in other words my happy place.

The Imitation Game (2015)

I remember watching this film for the tenth time in London for a class. As a person that admires England’s history and culture, I absolutely love this film. But for those that are not too fond of historical films, trust me when I say, you will not be bored while watching this film. It focus on Cambridge mathematics alumni Alan Turing, played by Benedict Cumberbatch, to crack Nazi codes, including Enigma which at that time was thought to be unbreakable. The film follows Alan difficult upbringing as OCD homosexual to the aftermath of saving his country. I highly recommend this film!

Grace and Frankie Season 2

One of my favorite Netflix series premiers its second season with more laughs and heart as we continue to follow the adventures of Grace and Frankie. After dealing with the infidelity of their husbands and coming out as homosexual and in love with each other, Grace and Frankie now live under the same roof and lean to move on. The second season has both women starting a company together, but it is not your mama’s company. Want to know what their selling? you won’t believe your eyes. Check out both seasons and let me know what you think.

The Big Short (2015)

This one may be a film labeled by some as “funny but boring” with its educative purpose; however, I find it funny and informative without being too overwhelming. I am not a manger of a hedge fund nor will I ever be, but I am familiar with the stock market crash of 2008 as will many of you. This film tells the story of various financiers who benefited or were serious harm by the crash of ’08. Of course, there is a series of financial information and terms that will make an average viewer head spin. Nevertheless, if you are able to understand (as the filmmakers try to make the financial aspect appealing as possible thanks to celebrities making cameos and explaining in analogies) you will realize the damage of the destruction and the effect on the American population.

These were my pick for this month. Stay tune for May picks with a larger selection.