Music and Me Tag: My (Probably Trash Taste) Edition

Thanks Rose @ Wretched and Divine for tagging me! 🖤

Rules

  1. Link back to the original (Sophie @ Me and Ink) so she can see your answers and listen to the tunes.
  2. For every prompt you choose name 1-5 songs (you can use Sophie’s graphics)
  3. Have fun and play your music LOUD!

Home Town Glory // Songs that remind you of home // Midnight Sky by Miley Cyrus

“But it’s been a long time since I felt this good on my own.”

I don’t think this song reminds me of home physically as much as it reminds me of the vibe that we’re all small specks of dust in such a vast universe. I just feel like it would be a great song to have someone dancing to with a brightly star-light night background in a dimly light city or in a landscape like what Ymir was in in Attack on Titan. Someone make this happen for me please. My soul needs it.


It’s a Love Story // Your favourite songs about love // All of Me by John Legend

“What would I do without your smart mouth?”

I just really like this as a love song since it’s sung to the person he loves and includes things typically portrayed as ‘negative’ in a wonderful light. He just sounds so in love.


Shut Up and Dance // Songs you have to dance to // Dancin (KRONO Remix) by Aaron Smith

“Yeah but the feeling is fine.”

This song is such a bop. It’s got such solid beats against the vocals and the little odd sounding runs/trills just helps add to it.


If this was a Movie // Songs from Movies/TV/Broadway // The Plagues from Prince of Egypt

“Serving as your foe on his behalf is the last thing that I wanted.”

This is such a chilling song. The chorus’ harmonies and articulation, the instrumental sections, the lyrics, it’s all so creepy and powerful. The part where they make Moses sing against Rameses too is just perfection.


Comfort Crowd // Songs that make you feel calm // Frozen by Sheldon Riley

“You’re frozen when your heart’s not open.”

In what is probably a rather controversial opinion, I much prefer this cover to the original. The lyrics are so perfect for a ballad and I think the fact he’s projection is so open voweled and warm sounding adds to a sense of longing.


Always Remember Us this Way // Songs that remind you of your childhood // Asereje by Las Ketchup

“Y la baila y la goza y la canta.”

This song purely reminds me of my childhood because my dad sung it so much with us and played it so much. He helped me with my pronunciation too since I always butchered it. Plus, my siblings loved this song when it was on Just Dance.


Let’s Get Down to Business // Songs that motivate you // Son of Man by Phil Collins   

“Oh, the power to be strong and the wisdom to be wise.”

I don’t think this song motivates me as much as I just want to say I appreciate Phil Collins absolutely going above and beyond in Tarzan. I don’t even care about his tax evasion this song makes me feel things and stay focused on studying (I don’t do well with upbeat songs while studying, I need songs more in the same vibe as Son of Man to focus).


Old Town Road // Songs from the past that you like // Can’t Help Falling in Love by Elvis Presley

“Would it be a sin if I can’t help falling in love with you?”

This is such a romantic song. No more needs to be said.


Cry with You // Songs that make you cry and cry // Call of Silence by Hiroyuki Sawano

“Even if my body’s bleached to the bones I don’t want to go through that ever again.”

I can’t say anything about this song. I’ll just cry. Please listen to it.


I Think I’m in Love // Your latest music obsessions // Far Beyond by Dexter French

“Through ourselves we send a sign but the message is our breaking.”

I couldn’t think of a latest obsession so I just decided to put what’s probably my favourite song in.


Writer in the Dark // Favourite lyrics from songs // The Loneliest Girl from Carole and Tuesday and TheDOGS by Hiroyuki Sawano

“Do you really want to set the night on fire?”

Lyrically this is just one of my favourite songs from this series. It’s got such a clear story, emotion and message told.

“Were we born to lose and let goliath win?’

You have to listen to this song the lyrics are so good.


Sign of the Times // Songs in the charts that you love // Call out my Name by The Weeknd

“I said I didn’t feel nothing baby, but I lied.”

The Weeknd has such a great voice with so much emotion behind it. This song is feeling.


More Than a Memory // Songs you have specific memories attached to // Right Here, Right Now by Fat Boy Slim

I was deathly afraid of this music video growing up. It got to the stage that just the music would make me physically nauseous. If you made me watch any part of the video I would cry. And if you made me sit through the whole thing it would sometimes get to the point where I was sweating and my hands were minutely shaking.


Sing to Me Instead // Those songs you have to sing to // Take me to Church by Hozier

“I’ll tell you my sins and you can sharpen your knife.”

I seriously considered putting this song under the ‘lyrics’ question for this tag but I just love singing along to it so I had to keep it here.


I Wasn’t Expecting That // Songs that you didn’t expect to love, but you do // Glassy Sky by Yutaka Yamada

“The moments we spent have passed and gone away.”

I was crying too much the first time I heard the song so I knew I liked it but on a second listen I remembering not liking it as much? But I listened to it later thinking I still wouldn’t like it that much and did a total 180. I love this beautiful song.


Favourite Record // Albums you can’t live without // Merry-Go-Round-of-Life by Joe Hisaishi

I actually don’t listen to albums so I wasn’t sure to to put it. However, I will listen to this song for the length of an album. Someone please make a note that I want this song played at every major life event I have and if it’s not I will be upset. Someone better play this behind me while I dance through the street one night after a fantastic day where a wizard walks me through the air.


Video Games // Name your favourite music videos // The Trail We Blaze from The Road to El Dorado

“Changing legend into fact we shall ride into history.”

Okay so I also don’t really watch music videos. However, I have watched the Road to El Dorado many times and its entire soundtrack goes so hard in the movie which is a video. So, on that note I’m putting this song in.


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Uncredited Disney Roles?

Okay so. There’s something I’ve always wondered.

Why aren’t the Disney singing voices credits alongside the actors in the ending credits?

The voice actors for characters’ speaking voices are always credited under ‘characters’ and really early on in end credits, but why aren’t their singing voices shown when the voice actor’s name is? Honestly when I was younger I thought that the person who voiced a character speaking would always also be their singing voice because I was little and thought TV was magic, but still didn’t catch on until a while after I realised that different people can voice a character for different things because at the end of a movie with the credits – again, I was young and didn’t watch all the way until the end and just figured it was the same person. I also still to this day didn’t know if they credited singing voices, since I found out through Spotify for the most part.

The More It Snows (Tiddely-Pom) | Winniepedia | Fandom
Live footage of me thinking about this topic

Because a lot of the time, people who provide only a character’s singing voice are closer to the end of the credits. I’ve done some research why and turns out the answer to all my questions is fairly simple for the most part.

(I’ll have the links to a couple articles I had a look through for anyone interesting to finding out more about movie credits or finding a template on how to structure movie credits too down at the bottom of this post).

any one else think Milo Thatch from Atlantis was based off of ...
Buckle in for a wild time because this is one of my longer posts

Singers are credited down the end with the music section where before their name it’ll say, ‘performed by’ under which songs they sung for. But I found that odd because honestly, for characters who only voice their actors – I remember their singing over anything else because their animated musicals. Their singing is a part of them, and often more iconic. I can tell you Judi Kun sung for Pocahontas off the top of my head but I need to research that Irene Bedard was her speaking voice. And that’s not to discredit the hard word and talent of the VAs. Honestly, they’re all so talented. Usually the reason for the difference actors are varied anyway – it could be budget constraints, an actor isn’t a singer, a singer’s tone is better suited to the character, if there’s a younger actor he’s voice might not be consistent enough during puberty to sing a song needed, timing constraints, really there’s so many valid reasons. I was just kind of confused why they aren’t together in the credits.

Some most noticeable cases to me, and this obviously isn’t an extensive list, are:

Aladdin, Mulan, The Lion King (1 and 2), Pocahontas and The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

In these movies, the people who gave characters their speaking and singing voices are as follows:

Character Speaking Voice Actor/Actress Singing Voice Actor/Actress
Jasmine (Aladdin) Linda Larkin Lea Salonga
Aladdin (Aladdin) Scott Weinger Brad Kane
Mulan (Mulan) Ming-Na Wen Lea Salonga
Shang (Mulan) B. D. Wong Donny Osmond
Simba (The Lion King) Matthew Broderick Joseph Williams
Simba (The Lion King 2: Simba’s Pride) Matthew Broderick Cam Clarke
Pocahontas (Pocahontas) Irene Bedard Judy Kuhn
Esmeralda (The Hunchback of Notre Dame) Demi Moore Heidi Mollenhauer

I’m not part of the industry so I don’t know, but I thought I’d do some research. Obviously tell me if there’s something I’ve missed in this video that’s imperative or any ideas or experience you have – it’s much appreciated! This video is pretty much me just questioning why this happens. And if you think the answers to my questions should have been obvious to me, I maintain my right to be a dumb bitch who can’t connect the dots.

Singers are usually credited down near the end of credits because of how closing credits are structured. Opening credits are the obviously the credits seen at the start of a film or show and list the “most important members of production,” while the closing credits contains pretty much a full list of everyone who worked on the film or show episode.

Usually opening credits follow the order:
1. Major companies involved such as production company and distributor
2. The film title
3. Those who you are contractually obligated to credit before anyone else (often the lead cast/stars of a movie)
4. Credits follow a list of the “lead important” contributors through to the “most important” contributors. This often looks something like casting director, music composer, costume designer, associate producers, editors, production designers, directors of photography, executive producers, producers, writers, directors.

A big part of this last part is that between film-to-film, genre-to-genre, the “importance” of a role can vary – so you’ll see different contributors credited in different orders. For example, in a musical the musical composer might and choreographer might have a different placement in opening credits. Or in an animated film, supervising animators might get put into opening credits and put in a more “important” role. I feel like a good example of this is how is in the 2011 Tin Tin movie they follow this order fairly to a T – as the structure after the cast the order as: ‘casting by,’ ‘music by,’ ‘senior visual effects supervisor,’ ‘visual effects supervisor,’ ‘animation supervisor,’ ‘co-producers,’ ‘edited by,’ ‘executive producers,’ ‘produced by’ and finally ‘based on’ then ‘screenplay by’ and ‘directed by.’

Les Misérables though puts the production major companies first, then the ‘stars,’ then the screen play by, and then what it’s based on, then the director.

Obviously not all opening credits even have all these elements, as a lot just put in the major companies and film title then go for it.

But I’ve been waffling for too long now. Closing credits are quite different to ending credits. *ahem* I wonder why definitely could never guess *ahem* It’s because they credit the entire cast and crew!

I ended up looking up then how to compile film credits and confirmed that singing voices should go under ‘performance’ with the song closer to the of the credits while the speaking voice should be credited as the character because the standard closing credit order is:

  • Director
  • Writers
  • Producer
  • Executive Producer
  • Lead Cast
  • Supporting Cast
  • Director of Photography
  • Production Designer
  • Editor
  • Associate Producers
  • Costume Designer
  • Music Composer
  • Casting Director

HOWEVER!

As you can see from these also incredibly blurry 1990s screenshots (screenshots shown in order of Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Mulan) – sometimes the voice actors and singers are credit next to each other, which is what started this entire research escapade to start with!

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Because some of them though do credit together I figured it might just be like a directional thing? Or a time thing? Couldn’t really find a link due to some never directing another musical, another animation really, only doing shorts, or just yeah too many variables.

I mean, look at this very intelligent table I did up:

Movie Director(s) Year Together/Separate
Aladdin Ron Clements and John Musker 1992 Separate
The Lion King Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff 1994 Separate
Pocahontas Eric Goldberg and Mike Gabriel 1995 Together
The Hunchback of Notre Dame Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise 1996 Together
The Lion King 2: Simba’s Pride Darrell Rooney 1998 Separate
Mulan Tony Bancroft and Barry Cook 1998 Together

So, I’ve just determined that closing credits do sometimes move some things around. A good example of this in how in The Lion King Tim, Rice, Elton John and Hans Zimmer are credited pretty early on in the closing credits. (Most likely because the movie is an animated musical after all.)

That’s why for The Lion King 1 and 2 and Aladdin (shown below) the singers and voice actors are separate, but for Pocahontas, Mulan and The Hunchback of Notre Dame they are together.

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I also found that in other animated, princess-based films from the 1990s that Anastasia credits the voice actress at the start of the end credits, but the singer only during the full cast list, while in The Swan Princess they credit the voice actress and directly after credit the singer. So really that just further supports that closing credits order isn’t set in stone.

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Links:

The Ultimate Guide to Film Credits Order Hierarchy with Free Film Credits Template, by Arnon Shorr: https://www.studiobinder.com/blog/where-credit-is-due-film-credits-order-hierarchy-with-free-film-credits-template/

Opening and Closing Credits, provided by the BBC: https://downloads.bbc.co.uk/commissioning/site/Opening_and_closing_Credits.pdf

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The Art of Pitching Shows to Friends

I, for one, find that I am incredibly hard to pitch a show to. I like what I like and if you’re not pitching something to me correctly, I most likely will only get a bit turned off of it. (I’ll have you know that I’m incredibly stubborn.)

I’ve found the best way to make me watch something I’m not showing an interest in, if your desperate attempts at persuading me that I’ll like a show are failing, is to make a deal. Telling me you’ll drop nagging me multiple times a week about how I need to watch a show if I watch the first two episodes with you? Pretty much a sure-fire way to make me watch.

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Also compromise. If I watch the first 6 episodes of something you want to watch, then you’ll watch that movie with me that I want to watch.

Or make a rule of ‘You’ll watch an episode with me whenever I want, but I’ll make sure to have a snack supply for you during it.’ Works a charm.

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I find these can often be the best way to get me into a show that you want me to watch, especially since between university, a part-time job, a casual job, trying to maintain a social life and attempting to not spiral into even more terrible mental health I find the time I do dedicate to leisure activities are things I love and get invested in (at least before the coronavirus…). So, when I’m already ready to read for the next 8 hours overnight that 110k+ fanfiction piece I’ve been waiting to get to, I might not be so ready to just give up that time to try a new suggested show that just hasn’t clicked with me upon first glance.

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I feel like one of the best examples I can provide is this:

I have been told to watch Mob Pyscho 100 for what’s probably over a year now. I’d been shown pictures by one person trying to convince me to, and the character designs were fine but not that appealing to me as a first impression. And so, it was put into the back of my mind and labelled as a ‘maybe.’

Someone tried to explain the plot to me without giving anything away, and whatever impression was left from that conversation was so bland that I don’t even recall anything they said expect for that the main character is super powerful.

Others tried by pitching that it’s in the top 25 of the 2010s – again not super helpful.

mob psycho 100

Finally, someone made me watch the first two episodes with them and I loved it. After watching I asked, “So it’s like Saiki K but a bit darker?” and I said that’s all they needed to tell me to get me to watch it. They hadn’t watched The Disastrous Life of Saiki K so they weren’t sure, but I said it also has a super OP main character. I explained that while it seemed while Mob was more insecure and not great socially, Saiki has no interest in being anything but average but keeps getting dragged into situations by those around him. I also mentioned that Saiki K was more light-hearted than Mob Psycho 100. And they seemed interested in watching Saiki K after too!

saiki k

They managed to watch the first 2 seasons within a day too. Thanks, Australian lockdown. I’m definitely not intimidated by how they managed to do that. The best I can do is one season of 12 episodes, 20 minutes long each for anime within 2 days, and for something like Umbrella Academy with 10 episodes all 1 hour long, a week…

But anyway, relating a show back to something I love gets me easily hooked. And even if I don’t, I’ll at least keep it in my memory.

And as I conclude this post, I feel like my main take away from writing this is that I seem super fussy. Oh well, it’s probably true.

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An Updated Pop Vinyl Collection

I have somehow managed to amass even more pop vinyls since last time. I often wonder how, but then remember that the vast majority were gifts or arcade prizes (along with some really cute plushies…) and I am grateful for all of them! Especially since I love decorating my room with things that I love, and merchandise is a big part of that for me.

It’s so hard to pick favourites, but this corner has to have some of them…

Fun fact about the Eeyore: it was a present ordered online for the diamond edition (which is usually glittery black). So when it arrived blue, the person who bought it for me was very confused and about to call the supplier to ask why it was the wrong colour. They then looked it up online, and realised that this was the ‘chase’ version and that the supplier did a thing where you could win it if you ordered online

I’ve had to start budgeting when I go to the second-hand book festival run each year in my city

It’s a bit of a Kingdom Hearts shrine area…

I just really love the Halloween Town designs!

I’m not going to think about Voltron Season 8

I have wayyyyyy too many favourite MHA characters

The collection has grown…

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Cats: What a Cat-Astrophe

I love musical theatre. Not in the intense, passionate way that theatre students do – but as much as you’d expect from a person who spent most of their high school lunch breaks in a music classroom for lessons, practise and band.

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Cats doesn’t work as a movie though. It never was going to. It doesn’t have a good plot. The musical’s based upon T.S. Eliot’s 1939 collection of feline poems – and I haven’t talked to anyone ever who thought of it as a masterpiece of storytelling. It’s more of an experience… Watching a bunch of actors prowl around on a stage and never talk, only sing and dance, is a surreal and odd thing to sit through.

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And as I write this, Universal is to lose $70 million minimum from this movie. With a budget of $95 million, not factoring in marketing and production costs, it only grossed $74 million worldwide. Apparently, Cats was initially projected to gross $15-20 million in its opening weekend but only made $2.6 million too. But then what makes it worse is that they lowered the estimation to $7 million and the film didn’t even make that.

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The Wikipedia page of Cats (2019 film) too for some reason under ‘Box Office’ mentions that Taylor Swift was “emphasised… in marketing,” but that she didn’t heavily promote the film to her fans. Was she meant to? I mean, why is she the only one being mentioned to not have heavily promoted the film? Isn’t the whole cast… I don’t know… Incredibly famous celebrities?

But moving on!

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I would love to watch Cats drunk or on mind-alternating substances. Okay so maybe the drugs I might not be able to do so much in Australia, but the drunk viewing is DEFINITELY something I plan on doing as soon as I live in an apartment and can get wine drunk with someone and fall asleep on the couch watching this film.

CATS

The character design was really odd too. I didn’t care so much about the CGI or anything, but the actual character design was just really weird to look at. Seemed too much like a furry-frenzied dream with the A-lister cast to it too.

I did find a great video though from LavenderTowne about the character designs! In it she explains why the designs are bad and suggests some ways to fix them. I’d definitely give it a watch, as it’s really interesting:

My absolute favourite part about this film though is the reviews. It’s got a 1 star rating online, with a 20% audience rating. And the brutal reviews are far better and more entertaining than the movie itself.

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And so, with that, I shall leave you today with one of the best lines I’ve come across in a review so far from Alison Willmore’s review ‘Cats Is Good. Cats Is Bad. Cats Is Cats’ for Vulture:

“To assess Cats as good or bad feels like the entirely wrong axis on which to see it. It is, with all affection, a monstrosity.”

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The 2020 Releases I’m Most Excited For

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

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I love, and will forever love, Animal Crossing. I can’t wait to start playing on it the Switch and be given that golden ticket to a deserted island by the racoon I will forever be indebted to.

Ori and the Will of the Wisps

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This is such a gorgeous series, so I can’t wait to stand around for hours just looking at everything.

Attack on Titan Final Season

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I love AOT. And watching the anime’s final season is going to ruin me.

Yuri!!! On Ice Movie

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Although there is no confirmed date yet for the movie, one can dream that it will be out 2020. BECAUSE I LOVE THIS SERIES WITH ALL MY HEART AND MY LEVEL OF EXCITEMENT FOR IT HAS NOT BEEN DAMPENED SINCE ITS ANNOUCEMENT.

My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising

mha heroes rising

I love MHA. I know the movie is already out but I haven’t watched it yet so I’m including it in this list. Can’t wait to cry over it, and then read non-stop fanfiction and go on a following fan artists spree these next few weeks.

She-Ra Season 5

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Even though nothing is confirmed yet, I am putting it on this list because She-Ra: The Princesses of Power is one of my favourite Netflix series. Everything about it is so good, and I need more in my life.

Dragon Prince Season 4

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This is another one of my favourite things I’ve watched on Netflix (and featured on the list despite that the next season has not yet been confirmed). Each season just keeps getting better, and that just makes me hyped for the next!

Umbrella Academy Season 2

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Umbrella Academy was sooooooo good! I’m so keen for the next season! It can’t arrive fast enough!

All the Bright Places

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This Netflix movie coming out is based upon Jennifer Niven’s book of the same name. I love her YA novels, so I’m interested to see what the movie will be like.

Brooklyn 99 Season 7

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Any Brooklyn 99 is good.

Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)

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The Harley Quinn animated series has made it up into my top 3 DC Universe TV series, which makes me excited to then go see Birds of Prey. Plus, Margot Robbie! Harley Quinn!

Wonder Woman 1984

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IT’S GOING TO BE AMAZINGGGGGGG.

SCOOB!

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It’s Scooby-Doo! Need anything else be told to me to make me more excited?

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ALWAYS BE MY MAYBE: DEFINITELY WILL BE RE-WATCHING

I didn’t know about this movie until the memes started rolling in. I saw Keanu Reeves walking on Twitter and was confused. I dug further into Twitter and found lots of videos of Keanu Reeves walking to different songs and was confused. I deep dove into Twitter and then finally, finally found the Twitter page created solely to post Keanu Reeves walking to different songs.

This led me to the discovery that the clip was from Always be my Maybe. A Netflix original film featuring and written by Ali Wong and Randall Park. I was immediately sold on the idea. (Michael Golamco also helped to write the film!).

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Turns out that this film had been in development for a while now, when in 2016 Ali mentioned in a New Yorker interview that her and Randall had been working for years to develop their, “own version of When Harry Met Sally.”  Further research then showed that Ali and Randal met in the late 1990s during a fried-rice cooking competition that was being hosted by a mutual friend from the LCC Theatre Company (which is an Asian-American performance group that Randall co-founded). And Ali and Randall have remained friends ever since!

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So, by now I’d seen Keanu Reeves, a Netflix meme-able rom-com written and starring Ali Wong and Randall Park, and I learnt that they’d actually been working on this for years and have been friends even longer. I was so ready to watch this movie.

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And so, begun my quest! Sitting on the couch at 7pm eating a too big plate of nachos all by myself with way too strong cordial in my favourite mug, I began to watch Always be my Maybe.

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It is a funny film. It’s an all-round enjoyable watch and is in its own way unique too. All the characters are lively, entertaining and equally interesting. I also thought it was great to watch the two main characters try to figure out what they want in life and see how their life circumstances and people around them influenced them.

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Always be my Maybe is its own film. It has clever humour constantly trickled throughout the show, an exploration of Asian-American culture and fairly relatable characters in their struggles. 10/10 would recommend.

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THE RISK OF WATCHING NOT THE FIRST MOVIE, FIRST

WARNING: This post is useless and dumb

I have a bit of a bad habit of sometimes seeing a sequel movie before actually seeing the first. (Specifically, watching the third movie in a series…)

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My friends when I show up to the cinema and mention I haven’t seen the first movie

And while sometimes this works out well and I get hooked upon the entire series, other times it turns me off the series totally. Why? It probably comes down to how much of the prior movies I need to have seen and remember to appreciate the sequel movies.

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Keanu Reeves deserves all the happiness

I had never watched a John Wick film before seeing  John Wick 3. Yes, I know that’s shameful. But it’s because I’m not a big action fan. Don’t get me wrong. I do love some good action scenes. I just prefer other genres to action when given the choice.

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Mark me down as an official fan of John Wick now though!

So, when going in to watch this movie I was briefed quickly about John Wick 1 and 2 to make sure that I could understand most things going on in number 3 because apparently I can’t be trusted to read plot synopses. And I loved it. I didn’t understand everything fully, but I felt like I really didn’t need to enjoy it. If anything, it just made me want to go watch the first two films so I could better understand, and I’ll definitely be watching the rest of the John Wick films as more come out.

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I liked the concept of the series though

Glass, however, had the opposite effect on me. I didn’t even know that it was a trilogy and thought it was a stand-alone movie. I wasn’t briefed on it and ended up not liking it much. I understood mostly what was going on, but I feel like I really needed to have watched the other movies to appreciate it. The film itself wasn’t that great anyway (although the acting was amazing!).

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I did quite like Spider-Man: Far From Home

Some series though I just end up kind of impartial to. I watched Spider-Man: Far from Home with my cousin. I liked it, but it doesn’t make me want to watch the first one. I know the characters and the entire plot from social media and End Game (and have seen so many screenshots at this point I feel like I have actually sat down and watched the entire movie) so I feel like I haven’t missed out on anything.

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We persevere with our stubborn ways

I feel like what I’ve learnt from this ramble is that I should probably just watch the first movie in a series before leaping into agreeing to watch sequels when they come out. But then that’ll also take away from the fun of the confusion when trying to figure out an entire plot without any contextual or background knowledge!

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YESTERDAY: CHARMING, JUST LACKING THAT SPECIAL SOMETHING

I never expected to see a film which featured a world without The Beatles. In what is a fairly quirky concept, one mediocre guy named Jack who dreams of doing more with his music gets hit by a bus during an international blackout. He wakes up to find that no-one else can remember The Beatles and decides that the world still needs to hear their music.

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The characters were pretty fun. Jack’s friend Rocky definitely had to be my favourite (in terms of sitting there in the cinema going ‘oh no, I know someone exactly like that but a bit more functional thank god’) and Jack’s manager just wants to purchase her second beach house with the profits she’ll make off of Jack – so I appreciate her and her pushiness.

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The other characters’ support of Jack’s music career varied too, which added a sense of realism to an otherwise peculiar storyline. Jack’s parents didn’t really appreciate his music that much while his friends were continuously supportive, with Ellie being overly so. How blind Jack had to be to not realise Ellie just might have been interested in him, or for her to make a move for 10+ years is beyond me. I get the whole ‘childhood friends crushing on each other later in life are too scared to tell each other how they feel,’ but this was definitely a stretch. Luckily, how likeable the characters are does help make up for this.

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I like the general aesthetic too of the film. Or maybe I just have a bias for England. Who knows?

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“And how was Ed Sheeran in Yesterday?” I hear you ask.
“He’s great,” I respond, glaring at you. “How dare you assume he isn’t great at anything he does.”
“Oh okay, great to know,” You gulp, feeling just slightly threatened by the fact that you’re standing closer to the cliff edge than me.

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I’m not a massive Beatles fan either I must admit. I obviously like them. But I could only name probably five songs of theirs and just rely on everyone around me to tell me when I’m listening to a Beatles song the rest of the time. Yesterday definitely highlighted some amazing songs to me that The Beatles wrote that I was previously unaware of.

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The film is also continuously is exploring the idea of talent. Talent in singing, song-writing and the music industry. It really highlights the difference between talent singing their own songs that they have a deep emotional connection to, and a person singing other people’s songs and not having that talent in song-writing that they wish they could have.

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I thought it was interesting to end the film too on having the world stay as it is after the blackout. It saves the writers from explaining what exactly happened and leaves a bit of mystery to the world. If anything, I think it would have been worse to explain what happened. It would detract from the film’s concepts and characters and shift the focus to the believability behind the story world. I think it’s good to leave the blackout incident unexplained too, because there’s just some things in life that can’t be explained.

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Like Jack, the film is sweet and charming. It’s just lacking that something to make it really special.

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BOOKSMART: AN EXTREMELY FUN MOVIE

I’m a sucker for a coming of age story. Especially one that delivers on marvellous facial expressions, queer content and humorous writing. Though I’m unsure whether or not to pay attention to the fact too that there’s been quite a few good films and TV series I’ve watched recently that have Will Ferrell as a producer. Perhaps that’s just a coincidence…

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Booksmart sees academic overachievers Molly and Amy have their opinions turned upside down when on the eve of their high school graduation. Suddenly they realise that they may have missed out on many ‘special’ moments of their teenage years in favour of academic pursuits. While the best friends have been nose-deep in homework, many of their partying classmates have also been accepted into Ivy colleges for academic success or on sporting scholarships (except for that one guy who’s skipping straight to a six-figure salary at Google).

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What follows is a wild night for Amy and Molly as they try to jam pack all their crazy fun into a few hours. It’s a simple enough idea with a typical narrative structure but done in such a fun way. Amy and Molly decide to go to the biggest party (hosted by the school’s vice president) of the year, but after realising that they don’t know where it is, they have to ask their classmates. However, because they never talked to anyone outside of academia, they are just ignored. Each scenario that follows is fun to watch and fully develops the world and characters in the film.

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Molly and Amy are led along a kind of goose chase as they try to find the party location – ending up moving between multiple different parties held by a range of classmates and navigating strange encounters even with staff members from their high school. They all come together though in the end to Nick’s party, and then also their graduation. I think how well-rounded the characters are is great for the actors – with great facial expressions from Beanie playing Molly, and the rest developing their characters during the film. The characters reactions too are even relatable – with some very jerky behaviour in school, but also exciting, even fickle, reactions to see Molly and Amy coming out for a party. As Molly and Amy spend more time with each character too, they learn that they all have their own flaws but also have their hopes for the future and reflections upon high school.

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Booksmart doesn’t shy away from having diversity in the film too. Within the cast there is a range of ethnical backgrounds, and sexuality is brought to the forefront of the film with Amy’s character. I thought that the way sexuality was shown in the film was also pretty relatable with Amy struggling to find out whether or not her crush likes girls and with how Molly made scissoring jokes to Amy. What are friends for if not to embarrass you! I appreciated how Amy’s parents are presented as very religious but also accepting and very loving towards their daughter.

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Also, side note, put Lizzo into anything and it becomes ten times better. And this movie was right up my ally when it comes to humour.

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The twists were nice too in the film with the climax being enough of a surprise to be interesting, but not far-fetched either. The ending then had an undertone of bitter-sweetness with the girls going to part ways for the year, as people do after high school. But things look very promising that Amy and Molly will stay friends for long after their graduation. I liked the close-knit friendship Amy and Molly had – with compliments, affection and yet also varying opinions that can cause conflict.

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Olivia Wilde’s directorial debut, Booksmart, provides its audience with an extremely fun viewing and some insightful moments too in this original coming of age story.

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