12/14: Looking Back, Moving Forward

So here we are, December. Usually by this time I'd have some story to add around here, but December has been so so busy! While the holiday season is a lot of fun, it's also the time of the year where you're getting stressed because of the holidays. Everyone has different holiday traditions around the world, so maybe I'm only part of the population that gets stressed about it, but I do hope you had a great holiday! A friend who went as an exchange student in Japan years ago shared that Christmas is a holiday for lovers, and I've read that in Iceland, they exchange books on Christmas Eve and spend the evening reading. See, different traditions! My family usually have a feast during Christmas Eve while we wait for midnight to strike, then exchange presents, followed by more festivities that last until the next day. A smaller scale of this happens on New Year's Eve, but with fireworks. What are some of your holiday traditions?

A Long Way Down

Adapted from another one of Nick Hornby's novels, A Long Way Down depicts the lives of four different people and when their paths intertwine on one New Year's Eve. When the project was first announced, I was rather excited, primarily because Hornby is a prominent author, and his novel adaptations have been spurning out good material. I haven't seen High Fidelity yet, but I did enjoy About a Boy, so I was hoping that the movie would be good, at least. Well, it wasn't what I expected.

Favorite Movies Directed by Women (Part 2)

Last year I made a list of some of my favorite movies directed by women. As I was reading through the post (and the succeeding comments), it dawned on me that there were a lot more films I haven't seen, and this list might just be growing - in a good way. While I was doing preliminary research on the directors of some of my favorite movies, I stumbled upon a site that enumerates less than a thousand films made by female directors. To think that at least 3 thousand movies are being made a year worldwide, you would think a hefty chunk of that would be by female directors (sadly, it's not). Still, these women are making their name in the industry in their country and worldwide. I think I would be posting more of these later on, but for now, here are ten more movies to add to the roster.

Thursday Movie Picks: Conversation Movies

Merry Christmas, everyone! I hope you're having a wonderful time with your families and friends! This is the last theme of Wandering Through The Shelves' Movie Meme this year (and if you missed some of my entries, you can check them out at the links at the end of this post). I think conversation movies are not everyone's preferred movie choice, no matter how beautiful and powerful some of these movies are. There's very little action and a lot of talking involved, but when conversations can enhance a film to stand out, or be intriguing, or produce a beautiful work of art, it's saying something. So, my picks for the week are:

This is Where I Leave You

This was one of my awaited movies of the year simply because I loved the book (and anything Jonathan Tropper seems to write, but my favorites so far are the source novel and How to Talk to a Widower). From the books I’ve read, Tropper seems to enjoy writing about dysfunctional characters, focusing his woes on male characters and applying them in situations where they can grow out of it. This was one of them. With a good source novel and an amazing cast line up, you would think this movie would be a gem. Unfortunately, it was not, but it still didn’t damper my love for the book and this cast.

Women in Film Blogathon Part II: The Director's Chair

John from Hitchcock’s World is hosting a part two of his women in film blogathon! His first blogathon focused on the strong female characters in film, and in continuation, this blogathon now focuses on women behind the scenes - women who directed these films. To be honest, his blogathon came in at the right time, just when I was composing a part 2 of a women-directed list I wrote last year. The director I’ve chosen has been releasing critically acclaimed work, but has yet to have her ‘breakout film’, though with her recent film, I’d say she’s almost there. For this, I’m talking about Nicole Holofcener.

Thursday Movie Picks: Coming of Age Movies

It’s another Thursday, which means another entry to Wandering Through the Shelves’ Movie Meme! There’s still one theme left for the year so it’s never too late to head over her site and join in the fun! This week’s theme probably has the most choices in movies, and a topic that doesn’t seem to be getting old: coming of age movies. Here are my picks for this week:

Blind Spot: Memento

Memento concludes my blind spot list for the year. Unlike the others, I’ve attempted to watch this a couple of times but have failed to finish until now. I have since determined that Memento, while making Christopher Nolan’s name known to the world, is a work of his that could only be viewed with people who really like movies (and would go beyond blockbuster stuff), or at least people who want more pre-Batman Nolan. Told in a backward narrative, it shares the story of Leonard and his quest to find the man who raped and murdered his wife.

Magic in the Moonlight

In Woody Allen's recent years as a filmmaker, his works have been hits and misses, prompting the theory that he releases a good movie every other year. WIth the success of Blue Jasmine last year, it's in theory that his next venture, Magic in the Moonlight would be awful. Well, the cycle hasn't changed as I have never met a set of deplorable characters in one Woody Allen film as much as this one.

8 Movies to Watch this Holiday Season

The holiday season is among us! While we're all busy doing some shopping (and being broke for a few months afterwards), or preparing feasts, making plans to visit family and friends, there's also an influx of holiday movies invading our screens as we speak! While holiday movies are a year-round event for me, some flicks such as Home Alone and Love Actually are holiday staples at my house, here are some movies you might want to see this season.

Trailer: Home

I think it's safe to say that this is going to be one of my awaited animated movies for next year. Jim Parson's voice performance looks like it suits the character. I'm not certain of its awards potential (as I think the award would probably go to Pixar's Inside Out), but this looks good. Dreamworks Animation had some hits and misses, and hopefully this one doesn't disappoint. 

Jurassic Park

After the release of the trailer of Jurassic World, I decided to go and watch the first installment of the franchise just to see what I'm getting myself into when I watch the fourth installment. I did not imagine that I would spend the next two hours screaming at the characters to run or do something beside freeze in place to await for their death. The characters' personalities make you panic for their lives, and the same time wonder how on earth they survived.

Trailer: Pitch Perfect 2

While the first movie was adorable in its own way (and seemed to have some kind of heart in it), Pitch Perfect 2 seems to remove that emotional value, and instead focus on the accapella and the funny antics that accompanied the first movie. While I don't think the sequel was necessary, it'll be nice to see a familiar comedy to what will be a blockbuster-fest by next year. Even if the mechanics that made its predecessor charming was removed, I'm still hoping that this would be charming in its own way. 

Thursday Movie Picks: Movies Adapted From Plays

Another Thursday calls for a new entry to Wandering Through The Shelves' Movie Meme! There's still a couple of weeks left, so if you haven't joined in, go visit her site! This week's theme is movies adapted from plays. The week's theme limitation is that it can't be Shakespearean (or we'll be seeing a lot of Hamlets and Macbeths on the list) or based from a musical. Here are my choices for this week:

11/14: On the Day of the Apocalypse, Treat Yourself to a Popsicle*

November was a rather friendly month, blog wise. I managed to write actual things instead of just continuously burying myself in movies and TV series. A ton of shows also got axed this month, but none of what I currently follow (although I still would like to know what happens in A to Z). Fall shows also started their hiatus, so it's during this time that I'm supposed to catch up with whatever I missed, but who knows? Even my reading has begun to pile up; I'm not sure if this is a normal reading habit (but I know at least one more person with the same habit) but I tend to read a couple of books at the same time, thus the continuous pile on my desk/books unceremoniously shoved on top of other books for easy access. What have you been up to?

*title of this month's recap taken from a game I'm playing