I thought this wasn’t coming till Friday! | The Jurassic World Trailer Is Here

Even with my bias against Bryce Dallas Howard (how does she show up in every franchise I love?), this looks AWESOME.

Jurassic World, the park envisioned long ago by Mr. John Hammond, is now open. It is filled with guests enjoying state of the art shows and tours that show them an ancient, long-dead world of dinosaurs both friendly (ok, ambivalent) and straight up terrifying. (Great white shark? Meh. Meet … a sea-dwelling giant with 6 foot teeth.) They spared no expense!

And, it would appear, thanks to technology the scientists at Jurassic Park have engineered their own dinosaur. As Chris Pratt says in a weird accent or something that made me laugh (I hope I can like him in this role!) “that’s probably not a good idea.”

Anyway, enough from me. Watch the darn thing why don’t ya:

That ending scene of the raptors being so preoccupied with running away (from the new dino I assume) that they don’t even snap at Chris Pratt will haunt my nightmares from now until June 12, 2015.

As a person whose favorite movie of all time is Jurassic Park, this trailer has really gotten me excited. I can’t wait to see new and old favorites (gala … gala … gallimimus!) as well as experience the sheer terror of enormous prehistoric beasts hunting people. Here’s hoping for some cameos, especially of the lovely Dr. Ian Malcom.

I thought this wasn’t coming till Friday! | The Jurassic World Trailer Is Here

Happy 25th Birthday To The Little Mermaid

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Today Ariel’s life story turned 25. She herself was 16 in the story, so she’d be 36, which is nothing to celebrate. Call me when you’re 50, Ariel.

Anyway, this movie meant so much to me as a child I could not breeze past this momentous occasion without acknowledging the lasting legacy of The Little Mermaid herself.

Much has been said about the “ranking” of the Disney princess. E! News ranked her as the second best (Belle got the top spot). Their reasoning:

“Ariel was naive, a quality we have faulted other princesses for—trading your voice for a pair of legs? You got a raw deal, babe. But she was half-fish, so what do you expect? Also, Ariel didn’t settle for her ignorance, this little mermaid wanted to learn. She had dreams and goals and other whozits and whatchamacallits. Mostly though, Ariel had the best songs.”

I believe they perfectly touched on what made me such a fan of Ariel when I was a mere 1 year old. She was a go-getter. She saw something she wanted and she took some drastic steps to get it. I have always admired Ariel’s style, and I’m 100% certain it has influenced the way I approach dating, and life as a whole. You gotta wheel and deal a bit to get what your heart desires! Ariel is not above the system. I like that about her. She works it to her advantage.

Another thing I loved about Ariel was her curiosity. She was always wanting to learn, explore and engage with new things and people. Future journalist? Probably.

Ariel’s friends also love her. They want to see her succeed, because she is beautiful and talented and also a kind and generous friend. They’ve been lucky to know her. So they pitch in to stall the wedding to “Vanessa” so Ariel can change her fate. What a sweet gesture!

Kids these days still love Ariel. My two Princess-obsessed neighbors love Elsa, Rapunzel, Aurora and Cinderella. But their eyes absolutely light up when they see anything Ariel-related. I’ve watched “The Little Mermaid” with them a hundred times. Ranked only fifth on this “princess popularity according to revenue” chart, I believe Ariel hasn’t sold as much stuff, but holds a special place in every little girl’s heart. She’s a mermaid for heaven’s sake!

Happy Birthday, “The Little Mermaid.”

Happy 25th Birthday To The Little Mermaid

The Unfortunate Runaway Train of Fans

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Today I saw some tweets from Alfie Deyes apologizing to a Girl Gaggle who wanted to snap a selfie with the YouTube star.

Earlier this week, One Direction (yes, those guys again, leave me alone) hosted a Google hangout where they answered questions posed by Ben Winston about their fans.

“I think it’s utterly bizarre. Some are a nice little story, but some go very deep and are very weird.”
—Louis on fanfic

“We’ve got a structure and a way we think it’s going to be received best for a fan, and when that’s taken away from us, it’s annoying.”
— Louis on album leaks

“It’s two ways because obviously it’s something we’ve worked very hard on. When it leaks, its a bit anti-climatic for us. When you’ve worked so hard on something, you want to enjoy it at the same time – look for comments.”
— Liam on album leaks

“You forget that it’s a person on the other side of the computer.”
— Liam Payne, who takes shit from no one on Twitter

Events of late, like fans literally selling Harry Style’s vomit on eBay, have made fangirls and boys look a bit like lunatics. The unfortunate nature of being a crazed fan is that you are, by definition, crazed.

During the hangout, I was struck by the horrible irony that One Direction, and everyone who obtains any level of fame in our fame-hungry, Internet-obsessed culture (hi), has to develop a sense of Stockholm Syndrome. While this Walking-Dead-like hoard of girls is pounding the glass outside the store you’ve hidden in, you have to turn around the very same moment and thank them for buying your album. They write dirty, creepy fanfic about you, but you can’t express that you find that completely horrifying because … they’re your meal ticket. Or your … jet around the world on sold-out stadium tours ticket.

When they steal and share your music before you intended them to hear it, you can’t even be annoyed because your fans will take to the Internet to disparage your good name. They want what they want when they want it!

The endless debate of “what do artists owe their fans” takes almost a scary turn when it is a real-life interaction with stalkers (yes, girls outside waiting for Alfie, you are stalkers) and the artists they love. In a way, we have all become paparazzi, dying to get a snap to share on our own social channels, and stopping at nothing to get it. Harassment, behavior you would never consider all right if the person weren’t famous, becomes the key. It’s the goal.

This kind of behavior is dangerous, frightening and should probably be illegal. Sometime soon, I hope, our culture can catch up with itself by being content with the near-constant nature of the internet connecting us to our favorites. That is on their terms, and lets them live their lives.

The Unfortunate Runaway Train of Fans

Divergent: Insurgent Teaser Trailer | A second by second reaction

Follow along with me as I watch the new teaser trailer for the second installment in the Divergent series. Let’s keep these things in mind: I didn’t see Divergent. I dislike Shailene Woodley. And I don’t really remember this book, which I did read.

0:09 Summit just equals Twilight to me, always, and I love Twilight. Sadly, this movie not Twilight.

0:14 Let’s pretend that’s real.

0:15 HAIR! HAIR! Her wig!! Or real hair? Don’t care. Hate it. I got the idea she had a bob or something, in the book. Not … that.

0:20 What is Ashley Judd doing in this movie.

0:23 CATCHING FIRE! Oh, nope. Wrong franchise.

0:26 C’mon, this is a teaser trailer. We don’t have time for DARKNESS.

0:33 Spider-Tris! I don’t remember this. Why is the house flying.

0:41 It’s still happening.

0:48 I do remember a birds motif. Maybe because of her tattoos?

0:54 Is this a dream sequence? Does she have crazy upper body strength?

0:57 I’ll never know, because TITLE CARD bwaaaaa

I have literally no desire to see this movie. Maybe next time, Divergent: Insurgent. (Great title, BTW.) Stay tuned for more 1-minute clips of dramatics and acrobatics.

Divergent: Insurgent Teaser Trailer | A second by second reaction

New group of wildly talented musicians team up for “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”

Bono, Sam Smith, Ellie Goulding, Sinead O’Connor, Bastille, Ed Sheeran, Chris Martin, Elbow and One Direction have all signed on to re-record the famous charity Christmas single, “Do They Know It’s Christmas.”

This year’s single will be raising money for the Ebola crisis in Africa. Past versions have been massively successful, and with the current lineup (and more to be announced), this one looks to be the best yet. Personally I’d like to see a total re-creation of the “God Only Knows” phenomenon done for BBC1, with appearances by Lorde and Florence Welch. Just for good measure, Katy Perry should also step in.

Bob Geldof (formerly of the Boomtown Rats) organized the first Band-Aid group in 1984 to raise money and awareness for the Ethiopian famine. With U2, Duran Duran, Spandaux Ballet Bananarama and Wham! on board, it was an eighties supergroup – and unlike anything ever done before. It sold more than two million copies worldwide, and raised over 24 million dollars.

In 1989, another group – this time with artists like Kylie Minogue recorded a version of the song that became the final number one single of the 1980’s.

Chris Martin suggested another re-recording of the song in 2004, joined by artist such as Radiohead, Busted, the Bedingfield siblings, Estelle, Joss Stone and Robbie Williams. The single had some issues with the new structure of iTunes fixed pricing and digital downloads, resulting in Apple’s donating to the Band-Aid Trust to make up the difference. The single sold 72,000 copies in the first 24 hours.

And finally, not for charity, but for sentimental value (I dare you not to cry), the Glee kids covered the song in their episode “Extraordinary Merry Christmas.”

New group of wildly talented musicians team up for “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”

Don’t Need The Backstory To Enjoy The … Frontstory

biopics
I hate author biopics.

I do not want to know about the personal lives of authors who have written my favorite books. I love those books, and I want that to remain their legacy, without the tragedy of the creator’s artistic mind and difficult life weighing heavy on me the next time I grab my well loved copy of Peter Pan.

Becoming Jane

I kid you not, this movie put me in a funk for weeks. I have never been so destroyed. Jane Austen, who has written some of the sweetest romances of all time, ended up alone. Life was unkind to her, and that makes me really sad. I think she deserved to have her own Mr. Darcy. Or Knightley. Or Tilney. Or maybe even a Colonel Brandon if that was her style. (Yuck.) Jane Austen is a brilliant, saucy lady and I feel she was punished for her talents.

THAT SUCKS.

Finding Neverland

J.M. Barrie is s super sore subject for me. I love Peter Pan, and all its layers and nuances. I love what it means or doesn’t mean depending on what age you read it at, and the myriad interpretations of its characters. (Most recently on Once Upon A Time, with Pan as a vicious kidnapping sociopath.) But I don’t want to know about his somewhat creepy relationship with the Llewyn boys. I do not want to hear about his sad relationship with his mother, who mourned the death of his baby brother and never quite loved him.

THAT IS DEPRESSING.

I liked Midnight In Paris – just a big loud caricature of all those authors of the roaring twenties. Glorious! Tom Hiddleston as Scott Fitzgerald! OK, and Shakespeare in Love. But what’s accurate about that?

There are tons of these movies, here’s a lovely complete list of them: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls005777917/?start=101&view=detail&sort=listorian:asc

But don’t watch them if you love the stories.

Don’t Need The Backstory To Enjoy The … Frontstory

Halloween Movies: A story and a list

I propose we change that phrase “the struggle is real” to something more reflective of MY life: the fear is real.

This weekend, we took the neighbor girls (ages 3 and 4) to a “Once Upon A Time” themed event at a local conservatory. It was dark, there was spooooky lighting, and all the kids were in costume. (Also I got Magic Beans, but that is beside the point.) It was lovely! I enjoyed myself! (I got Magic Beans!) But poor little Aurora (her costume, not her actual name) was stricken. She was absolutely terrified.

I looked at her, with her hands clasped near her face – prime position for eye covering, and safety (swinging arms could brush up against something scary) – and I was like “that was me.” All the little boys with their ghostface masks (Seriously? You’re 8. I hope to hell you haven’t seen “Scream,” which is not a movie for kids. WHERE ARE YOUR PARENTS?) and grotesque inside out face masks trying to scare the little princesses because they’re horrible people … I was blocking her view like crazy so Aurora could try to enjoy her evening without her heart pounding out of her chest. Every now and then she would get these surges of confidence and have some fun, but then her eyes would get wide at the sight of skeletons or something and she’d be crying for her father.

Here’s the thing: I didn’t see The Nightmare Before Christmas until I was 16. I didn’t watch Supernatural until last summer. The only reason I loved vampires starting junior year of high school is because I read Dracula and discovered Gothic horror. (You thought I was going to say Twilight.) Nothing jumps out at you, it’s just dreadful and dreary. My friends somehow convinced me to go to a haunted house in junior high after 7 consecutive years of skipping out on my best friend’s birthday party directly after cake so as to avoid trips to Frightmares at Lagoon. I hated it. To me, Halloween was for gowns, glitter and C-A-N-D-Y!

Now, since I no longer sleep with a night light and can be considered brave, I have a very cultivated and precise version of “scary.” I like funny zombie movies, Tim Burton, and monsters. Now that I’ve sufficiently food-blogged you (you know, a 30 page novella before the recipe), here is my list of spooky-not-scary Halloween movies, carefully created by trial and error. If it gave me nightmares, it got eliminated. (Looking at you, “Signs” and “Scream.” Aliens and sociopaths are never, ever gonna be okay.)

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Halloween Movies: A story and a list