February favourites

I am not feeling a book review today. I’m in a bit of a reading slump to be honest. I thought I’d just wrap the month up early but I haven’t read that much, so instead I am going to do a beauty vlogger-style monthly favourites post.

Because why not?*

*Note: This post does not include even a single beauty product.

TV: Riverdale

riverdale
Netflix.com

I started watching Riverdale about a week ago, and it has since completely taken over my brain. Everyone in that show is so good looking. At 25 I have come to realise I will likely never grow out of enjoying a good teen show. However, it does come with some pitfalls. Like googling Cole Sprouse with one hand over my eyes to check his age to find out whether or not my GINORMOUS HUGE crush was inappropriate.

Finding out he was 25 may have been the best part of my week.

Being an adult is the worst. I can’t tell you the trauma of Googling a famous crush only to find they are significantly younger than you. It’s real. These are the things no one tells you about getting older. You turn into kiiiind of a creep.

Instagram: @tamanegi.qoo.riku

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. . ✳︎大きなボク小さなわたしプレゼント企画✳︎. . 絶賛集計中(≧∇≦). 抽選結果は、明日19日に、ブログやインスタにて、ハンドルネームでお知らせします。時間は未定です( ̄▽ ̄;). また、当選者には直接メッセージもお送りいたします。. メッセージをお出しして3日以内にお返事がない場合は、当選無効とさせていただき、補欠抽選をさせていただきます。. . 誰が当たるのかなぁ(๑>◡<๑). ワクワクドキドキ(≧∇≦). . . #standardpoodle #poodlesofinstagram #スタンダードプードル #whitepoodle #大型犬と子供 #poodle #dogstagram #east_dog_japan #いぬのいる生活 #もふもふ部 #わんこ部 #赤ちゃんと犬 #baby #babyanddog #adorablebaby #kawaii #1歳6ヶ月 #コドモノ #ママリ #ベビフル #キズナ #書籍化 #12月8日発売 #大きなボク小さなわたし #大きなボク小さなわたしプレゼント #プレゼント企画 #集計中

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I don’t think this requires any explanation.

Movies: Black Panther

black panther

I mean obviously. I loved everything about this movie. Shuri is my favourite. I love her.

Podcast: Thirst Aid Kit

thirst aid kit
buzzfeed.com

On hiatus currently, but they are back in March. Bim Adewunmi and Nichole Perkins host a podcast all about: thirst. You know, that feeling you get about hot people on TV. If you have ever needed somewhere to go to talk about your pervy feelings (I know I did!), this is the podcast for you. I recommend it to everyone: it is pure joy.  If you’re looking for a starting point but not sure if you want to commit, try the John Cho episode.

Yes, you read that right. They dedicated an entire episode to him.

Bookish thing: Before The Devil Breaks You by Libba Bray

Last week I gushed about how much I loved Before The Devil Breaks You, the third book in Libba Bray’s Diviners series. After I wrote that review, I read the afterword of the book (like a pro, I know #facepalm) and it gave me CHILLS.

Anyway. I have to go watch Riverdale now. I am on season two and no spoilers, but my heart is broken by a certain situation and I don’t think I can resume my normal life until it is resolved.

What are some of your favourites this month? I hate spending time with my thoughts! Tell me what they are so I can avoid my feelings! Also, if I did this again next month would you read it? I enjoyed writing it – as you can see I consume a lot of media.

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5 Things I Loved About Ghostbusters

I went to see Ghostbusters this weekend and put all my anxieties to rest: It’s great, you guys. I can’t believe I let all the negativity around it make me doubt.

Now I think about it, gender-swap Ghostbusters was really the only way to take the franchise forward. Casting four women allowed it to break free from its previous form. Remaking the film with four new guys would have been a pointless endeavour. Four poor, overwhelmed actors would have been forced to try and imitate the magic that Harold Ramis, Bill Murray, Dan Ackroyd and Ernie Hudson created.

No one wants to try and be the new Bill Murray.

Nope. The only way forward was the do something completely new.

There is so much to say about this movie. But for now, here’s a brief overview of the five things I liked the most:

Ghostbusters

Lady scientists taking on the (ghost) world

I’m pretty sure by now everyone has seen the picture of Kristen Wiig and the grinning little girls at the Ghostbusters premiere. If not, Google it. That shit will make you emotional.

The fact is having four women take on a paranormal threat and save an entire city is not something we have seen before. And it’s so awesome to watch.

I grew up watching films that were mostly about boys, rewriting them in my head so that there was a girl involved. It makes me so happy that girls now don’t need to do that, because this movie exists. They can see that women can kick butt, improvise under extreme circumstances and be freaking hilarious ghost busting scientists!

The secretary

I don’t like the Thor movies, so I’ve never thought much of Chris Hemsworth. As Kevin, the guy is hilarious. Like tears-running-down-my-face funny. What they are doing with his character is obvious as hell, but worth mentioning. In having a male clueless receptionist, Feig and co. are turning years of gender stereotypes upside down. Placing a man in the Stupid But Funny role usually played by a woman emphasises the work that McCarthy, Wiig, Mckinnon and Jones are doing.

The cameos

I had read nothing about the film going in, because the amount of hate it received online made me depressed, so I had no clue these were going to happen until Bill Murray rocked up. I thought having the guys, Annie Potts and Sigourney Weaver make brief appearances was the best way to reference the fact of the remake.

The squad

The movie starts with Dr Erin Gilbert (Kristen Wiig) getting back in touch with her high school bestie Dr Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy) because Abby has put a book she and Erin wrote together on Amazon. The book is about ghosts and how to find them, and the sort of thing Erin really doesn’t want the higher ups at the university she now lectures at to see. When Erin arrives at Abby’s lab she is pulled back into the world of the paranormal and finds the part of her that believed never really went away. Abby is clearly one of those friends with zero tolerance for bullshit, and watching her drag Erin out from under her rock and into the life she is supposed to be living is fun.

Dr Jillian Holztmann (Kate Mckinnon) is the wonderfully weird Spengler equivalent. She builds all the gadgets (and the occasional nutcracker). Throughout you get the distinct sense she would sleep with any Ghostbuster who was up for it. She’s one of those characters living on another plane of strange I only wish I could access. Last week I had no idea who Kate Mckinnon was, and now she’s my favourite Ghostbuster.

Patty Tolan (Leslie Jones) joins the group after being chased by a ghost at work. She is a New York history buff, and her know-how completes the team. What happens to Patty is pretty much what I dream of happening to me every day. She sees an extraordinary situation, decides she wants a piece of it and dives right in.

Sidenote: I really liked that there wasn’t a romance in the movie. Lately I’ve started to feel that Love Interest is the only role available to women, so seeing a movie without that was refreshing. In the end what was most important to the Ghostbusters was ghost busting.

The fight scene

There is an epic fight scene at the end of this movie. The ladies kick some serious ghost butt. They are fierce, resourceful and effective, mowing down ghosts using a combination of improvisation and gadgets created by Holtzmann. Who, incidentally, has my favourite moment in the entire battle. There is this incredible slow motion clip where she takes down a bunch of ghosts, cow boy style. Again, watching women be the aggressors rather than the victims is SO important.

Special recognition: Kate McKinnon

The whole internet is going on about it because it’s true: Kate McKinnon makes this movie. Her performance is weirdly mesmerising. Something about the combination of her frenetic facial expressions and general unpredictability make a character so bizarre you can’t help but fall in love with her.

 

Zootropolis

At this point in time, I don’t think there are many people left who are too cool to admit that Disney movies are freaking great now. Films like Tangled and Frozen finally have female protagonists with some much needed agency. Frozen even subverted the idea of ‘an act of true love’ from romantic to something women could do for themselves. They are unrecognisable compared to the movies I was watching when I was a kid, the ones where the vast majority of heroes were boys.

In Zootropolis (or Zootopia, as I believe it’s called in some countries), Disney march on, continuing the good work. I actually think Zootropolis is a pretty massive step up from even the works of the past few years.

The movie is basically about anthropomorphised animals. They have evolved into something human-like. The most important aspect of this evolution is that animals never, ever hunt each other. Predator and prey are meaningless categories now. Supposedly.

(more on that later)

Zootropolis is Judy Hopps’ story. Judy is a bunny rabbit who dreams of being a police officer. When she tells her parents they are… less than supportive. Terrified, actually. No bunny has ever been a police officer before. When Judy’s parents tell her this she is unfazed: I guess I’ll be the first one then, she replies.

And she is. Obviously it goes without saying that I fell in love with this girl right away.

Becoming a police officer doesn’t come easy for Judy. Because of her being a bunny (and a girl), nobody believes she is up to the task. People around her try and push her back into the category they have placed her in but Judy refuses to be pushed. We see her deal with disrespectful colleagues and her boss putting her on parking duty because he doesn’t believe she can be a real cop. But Judy doesn’t give up. She knows that she is just as good as the boys and is willing to fight for her seat at the table.

It’s all very #feminism. And it makes me so god damn happy. I hope all parents take their young daughters to see this movie.

Overall Zootropolis is a very political film. It is the anti-Trump. Soon after Judy starts work, animals in the city start to ‘go savage’ and attack the citizens of Zootropolis. All of the animals to go savage are predators. Even though most predators aren’t savage, this fact causes the prey majority to see all of them as potentially so. Judy herself worsens the situation by insinuating during a press conference that the savage behaviour could be related to ‘something biological.’ After this, the community of Zootropolis disintegrates. A small minority of dangerous predators’ actions are attributed to the entire predator community.

It sounds familiar, right?

They take it even further by studying the effects that the discriminatory ideas about predators have on the predators themselves. Take for example a fox who, simply by being a fox is designated by the rest of the world as sneaky. Say the fox doesn’t want to be that, and instead joins the scouts. Say the scouts reject him and beat him up. Maybe after a while he starts to feel like sneaky is his only option, if that’s how everyone sees him anyway.

This movie is about the politics of fear that keep us forever stuck.

But not hopeless.

What I loved so much in this movie is that Judy wasn’t innocent in all of it. She contributed to the problem. It wasn’t until her thoughtless words wrought havoc on the city that she was forced to examine her own perceptions and prejudices. It wasn’t until then she realised that her preconceptions weren’t true, that if her time in Zootropolis had taught her anything, it’s that life is always more complicated than that.

And that realisation was the start of everything getting better.

What made this movie so wonderful is that it presented us with a community that was deeply flawed but not irredeemable. It had a lot of work to do and people who were willing to do it, to fight for the rights of everybody. It makes me so happy to think of kids seeing this film and perhaps realising that fear and prejudice are options rather than a realities. Like Judy says: change starts with you.

Also, I really haven’t focussed on how funny this movie is. I giggled the whole way through.

BONUS MOMENTS OF LOVE

  • When Judy moves into her shitty apartment. She has rude neighbours she can always hear through her walls and barely enough room to swing a cat (a move that would be, I’m sure, frowned upon in Zootropolis). Her response? I LOVE IT. I love her.
  • Cheesy girl power ballads. I downloaded the music as soon as I got home.
  • All the Frozen references. My favourite was Alan Tudyk showing up as an entirely different sort of Duke Weaselton.

Netflix Top 5 Teen Movies

I so often have conversations with other Netflix users (particularly in the UK) who are frustrated by the service. They argue that whenever they think of something that they actually want to watch, Netflix inevitably doesn’t have it.

I think that’s the wrong attitude. Netflix isn’t about what you want to watch. It’s about gaining an encyclopaedic knowledge of movies from the eighties and nineties in addition to total flops from the last five years.

In other words, it’s awesome.

Particularly, I think, where teen movies are concerned. Here are my top five:

1. Clueless

clueless

Emma has been my favourite Jane Austen book since forever, so a movie adaptation of it featuring Paul Rudd? My idea of heaven. I have watched this movie so many times. Sher, our Emma-equivalent, knows how to play the system. It isn’t about getting good grades, it’s about your ability to argue up the bad ones. She has an opinion on everything and she isn’t afraid to share it. Think Blair off Gossip Girl, but less insane.

2. Say Anything

say anything

(Me too, Lloyd).

I have had a deep and lasting love for John Cusack ever since I first saw Gross Pointe Blank when I was thirteen. It was obvious before I even saw this movie that I would love Lloyd Dobler. He’s like Martin from Grosse Pointe Blank except he doesn’t murder people for a living.

In this movie he works hard to date Diane, the school brain with big life plans. Her dad doesn’t approve. But then he goes to jail, therefore solving the issue. The main lesson to be learned here is to be less of a criminal than your girlfriend’s dad.

3. Charlie Bartlett

charlie bartlett gif

I watched this movie because Robert Downey Jr is in it. It turned out to be pretty great.

4. Vampire Academy

vampire-academy-ohmytauriel-

Everything about this movie is utterly ridiculous. When I was a student I volunteer for my university’s helpline. A couple times a month I sat in a small office all night while students called to talk about their problems. The other volunteer and I watched this on a quiet night. Trashy movies are my favourite way to bond.

There are good vampires and evil vampires, psychic connections, dead cats and that thing where people stop to have sex despite the fact that are really urgent matters to be dealt with elsewhere.

5. Whip It

large2

This is one of those movies where a girl who has been pushed into an uncomfortable box by her mother finds what she’s actually passionate about. It is a movie about women and their relationships. I liked it a lot.