Live Commentary: Moana

As some of you know, I make a habit of commenting on stuff as I watch it. Sometimes I do this over chat, sometimes I make my own notes and shove them in peoples faces, and sometimes I keep the dialog entirely internal. Some people, probably the ones tired of me giving them a billion chat notifications, have suggested I publish these, not in chat form. Since Murdoch Mysteries was mean to me and I am too offended to continue watching it at this moment, I decided to watch Moana, since it is finally out and about. Mild spoiler warning: I just write my reactions and thoughts as the movie happens, and sometimes that includes quotes and plot points.

Ok, baby by water. Maybe not the best thing.
What are ya gonna do, ocean? Send the two year old to save the world?
And daddy to the rescue.
MONTAGE TIME. Hurry up and grow up, Moana, so we can actually tell the story, now that we gave everyone that little teaser.
“Why are you acting crazy?”
“I’m the village crazy lady. It’s my job.”
New life goal: I’m growing up to be Moana’s Gramma.
The drum is gonna wake Maui, isn’t it.
Ayyy, houseboat!
Ok but these people were legit good sailors. It wasn’t until very recently that we had good enough sailing tools to navigate better than Pacific Islanders.
Gramma better not fall over dead after delivering this news.
No, no, this is Disney. That would never happen. Too much Murdoch Mysteries.
Damn it, I hate when I’m right.
Like, what sort of clamp does that necklace have to hold that rock so well?
OK thank you for mom being supportive and awesome for the whole beginning.
Oh hey, I’ve heard How Far I’ll Go now. That means I can go ahead and watch the I Can Go The Distance/How Far I’ll Go mashup.
Ok the chicken is great
Is he gonna faint?
Nope, just drown.
HeiHei reminds me of my cat.
Well, so much for that boat.
…and that’s my hair after the beach.
How’d her hair become pristine again?
Ok he literally acts like the Rock. This is perfect. As are his pecs.
Maui. Seriously. RUDE.
His tattoo is rebuking him. I love it.
Ok, Moana has awesome upper body strength.
You go water. You are awesome.
“Stay out of it or you’re sleeping in my armpit.”
Seriously, did they just shove a microphone at the Rock and say “you’re now a demigod. Be yourself, a demigod.”
They’re gonna end up being helpful aren’t they.
Moana is bad ass, folks.
She is gonna play him like a fiddle.
She has a killer death stare.
How is Maui not like flashing everyone?
“If you wear a dress and have an animal sidekick, you’re a princess.” KITTIES WE HAVE A CHANCE.
The ocean just stuck him in the butt, didn’t it?
Yup. It did. It totally did.
This is a dream sequence. I’m pretty sure. Oh, yup.
I’m so proud of the tattoo guys.
She’s gonna pass him up, isn’t she?
Death glare again.
She’s more than 8. She has boobs.
“If you start singing, I’m gonna throw up.”
Awesome tongue there, dude.
And there’s the hook.
He’s in the middle of a jukebox. He lives in a jukebox. He is the jukebox.
…where’s the blacklight coming from?
Good luck Maui. You need to get that one looked at.
He looks even more like the Rock as the shark. Must be the lack of hair.
“What can I say except, we’re dead soon?”
OK why does the boobie band look like soda tabs instead of shells now?
Yeah, makes sense why he’s such a meanie people pleaser.
His tattoo just gave him a hug.
Also, the tattoo is way over-optimistic.
…he just tapped his tattoo’s butt.
And the water got tired of rescuing Heihei. that’s perfect.
How does that old mast manage to support Maui’s weight?
Te Ka is pretty awesome.
Maui’s identity isn’t in himself. Interesting.
So Maui got mad and left. So she’s gonna try to do it by herself, nearly fail, and he’s gonna come in at the last minute to help her, isn’t he.
Nope. Well, that’s not usual for Disney.
Gramma’s the best combination of Grandmother Willow and a Jedi Ghost that I’ve found yet.
And the bun is back. Buns mean business, people. Fear the bun.
Oh, wait. I was right. Welcome back, Maui.
Good job, ocean. Just throw Moana back onto land one more time.
Wait…so…without her heart, Te Fiti became Te Ka.
That is the perfect shot.
“The chicken lives!”
Te Fiti has the same death stare as Moana. It’s perfect.
Doesn’t Pua mean pig?
The shell was her addition! That is perfect.
Actually it’s a two piece.
Best two piece I’ve seen in a long time.
Ok, I’m happy with this movie.
Wait. Why did the little coconut people never come back? They were only there for that? That was it?
But don’t give them their own spin-off. We don’t need coconut minions. *shudder*
Also, thank you Lin-Manuel Miranda for doing more music. I’m not a fan of rap so I’ve missed out on Hamilton, but I’ll take this as a good replacement.
I like how the starter credits look like they’re glamour shots from the Museum of Samoa.
And now, for the final question: Will they have a list of production babies????
Still waiting….
Huh, Skywalker sound was involved.
42 babies. Actually not that long of a list.
Why does baby Cooper have a star next to his name? ūüôĀ
Oh, look, Wreck-It Ralph.
Ha, the crab dude got stuck.
This is why it always pays to stay to the end of movies, kids. Count the babies, and enjoy the final clip.

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Some Thoughts on Hotel Beau Séjour

I would say things have been busy (and, I mean, they have), but they haven’t been so busy that I haven’t been able to procrastinate away ten hours worth of time, during which I watched the entirety of Hotel Beau S√©jour. This was, in my defense, done over a number of days, and not all in one sitting. I just finished the series, and…well…I have many thoughts. Like, why? Just…why? What just happened?

Let me back up a bit, and start from the beginning.

Hotel Beau S√©jour (henceforth HBS) is a ten-episode series recently loaded on Netflix. The story follows a Belgian teen, Kato, who wakes up to discover she has been murdered. As she tries to figure out what happened, she discovers that only five people can see her (give or take a few at various moments) and that she is, in fact, a ghost. In this one-foot-in-this-world-one-foot-in-the-next state, she works to unravel what happened to lead to her death, as she has absolutely no recollection of her last day alive. Of course, the five people (or six or seven or maybe even eight) who can see her all have reasons why they can see her, but are loathe to admit their part in the matter. Their seeing her eventually comes down to the fact that if any one of the six had done something differently, the seventh would not have been able to kill her (the eighth person only sees her for about 30 seconds, and only sees her in the next-to-last or last episode, when she realizes she was partly responsible for Kato’s death, so I’m kind of ruling her out here).

This paragraph contains spoilers. If you wish to know the spoilers, start highlighting here. ¬†The ending, of course, has a twist, which I’m not going to tell you, and a red herring, of which I’m still unsure of the importance. Like, there was absolutely no reason to suspect that character prior to the ending, especially when we’ve known since episode one that he can’t see her, and then suddenly it’s all “Look at him! He did it!” But, anyway, that’s not what I wanted to talk about. What I wanted to talk about is that, at the very end, after you find out who did it, everyone who can see her stops being able to see her. Ok, great, so she went into the great beyond, story resolved, wish like we’d seen her turn into an angel or something, but I can deal. Then it goes into this whole montage that shows what exactly happened the night she was murdered and how each of those individuals was tied to the murder (which ranges in severity–don’t think of it as a group murder thing), and then…boom. There’s Kato and there’s Charlie, and they’re having a conversation, and she basically tells him “Yeah, I’m still here, but nobody else can see me anymore” and then…the next morning he can’t see her anymore. So, like, what happened? Is Kato still walking amongst us, frustrated by the fact that she’s essentially in a parallel universe? Is she finally at peace? Or is she going to start randomly killing middle aged balding men in ten years, causing an international incident that requires the attention of the Winchesters? I almost feel as if it would have been a lot better if, say, that last bit wasn’t in there, or something like she told Charlie that she was waiting to say goodbye to him before she went. Instead, I’m left imagining that a very frustrated Kato is standing behind me, reading what I type, and going “no, you idiot! Don’t write that! That’s all wrong! GAH!” and then stress eating all my hard baked cookies. (You can stop highlighting here. FYI.)

All of this, then, leaves me with mixed feelings about the series. On the one hand, I think it is brilliantly done in the cinematography sense, and I feel like it is a unique take on ghosts, the afterlife, and justice. There’s also some straight up weird stuff going on in that village, but the weirdness lead to very complex characters who made the story interesting. I never would have guessed the conclusion (which is why I loved Sherlock Holmes as a kid, and being able to guess the conclusion in the show Sherlock is why I have never been big on watching it), but I knew the red herring was invalid because of certain events in the beginning. So I guess that’s a bit of a tie.

I think there are two things that I can say to best sum up how I feel about the series. Here goes.

Number 1: I initially though HBS was in French, which is why I decided to start it, as I haven’t watched French TV in a long time. The moment I realized it wasn’t in French, I normally would have quit, but I was intrigued enough to keep watching…through ten 55 minute long episodes. I quite shows in¬†English after two or three episodes because they’re too meh for me. This held my interest.

Number 2: If they made a second series, I would totally watch it. For the record, I didn’t care enough to watch the second season of¬†Daredevil, which was everyone else’s darling. I just didn’t care enough to. I’d be fine wandering around with Kato for another series or two.

But then again, now I’m feeling more okay with the ending.

Never mind, now I’m not. Or am I? I don’t know, and it bugs me that I don’t know, because I should have solid opinions about these things. I mean, I’ve spent enough of my life analyzing books, films, and TV shows. It should have paid off by now. Then again, perhaps the reason why I like it so much is that I don’t know how to feel about it, and it is very strange for me to finish something and not have a solid opinion on it, and feel like I need to sit and think about it.

I rated it four stars on Netflix. I honestly don’t know why. Maybe it should have gotten five. Maybe three. Maybe I’ll wake up tomorrow morning going “yeah, the cinematography was great, but what a stupid story arc”, but probably not. I did, after all, watch all of it, and have enough left to chew on that I actually sat down and wrote a blog post on it (and a rather lengthy one at that). Thumbs up, Netflix. I gave up on your original content a long time ago, but this just might have restored my faith that you can actually produce decent new content. Now upload a few more seasons of¬†The Great British Bake Off. I know more of them are out there and you’re keeping them from me, and now I need to unearth my mind from wherever Kato buried it, so cough it up.

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In Defense of Rory Gilmore (Generic Spoiler Warning)

Having landed in Paris, we…got sick. Very sick. So we spent the morning sleeping and moving slowly, although we did slip down and get some pastries from the bakery down the street. Our window opens nearly all the way, and although it’s freezing, we popped open the window to de-stuff once our roommates headed out.

And now I’m done with sleeping but still sick, so some commentary on the Gilmore Girls revival with no Paris commentary (since, well, the best we’ve gotten is down two doors and that we can see the very top of the Eiffel Tower from our room). So¬†I’m taking a break from writing about Paris (which is beautiful) because someone out there needs to defend Rory (and we’re sick. In Paris.). What has prompted this is a string of articles which have magically appeared on my Facebook. If you haven’t bothered to read them, the basic idea is Rory is a whining malcontent who isn’t willing to work her way up the ladder and wants everything handed to her on a silver platter and then cries when it isn’t. And I suppose that is true. But get this: that’s why we love her.¬†

Gilmore Girls is, surprisingly enough, fiction. Fiction does not thrive without conflict, and I’d much rather have the conflict of Rory than the main conflict in the current book I’m reading, which is a Kathy Reichs novel, and which I keep wanting to throw across the wall because EVEN AN IDIOT KNOWS IF AN EVIL SERIAL KILLER IS STALKING YOU AND HAS ENTERED YOUR HOUSE AND MADE THREATS AGAINST YOU YOU TALK TO THE COPS (who you also happen to work with) INSTEAD OF GOING OUT AND TRYING TO STALK HIS MAYBE PSEUDO GIRLFRIEND TO FIND HIM.¬† It was cute when Nancy Drew did it at sixteen. It’s not cute when a woman with a doctorate who is old enough to be my mother does it. But back to Rory.¬†

Yes, Rory makes a lot of bad decisions. But that is why we love her. 40% of the time spent watching Gilmore Girls is spent identifying with Lorelei, 40% identifying with Rory, and the remaining 20% is the time spent being Luke’s facial expressions (often coinciding with an intense hatred of Taylor Doese). Either we have made Rory’s mistakes, or we have had that friend that accidentally hooked up with a Wookiee and refuses to tell us if the costume was involved or not. We’ve had the mother that reacted irrationally just as much as we’ve guilt tripped someone in an attempt to avoid admitting we’re wrong. We’ve told the bad story at the funeral and regretted it for the rest of our days. We look down on the local 30somethings gang all while moving back home.¬†

We watch Gilmore Girls because we identify. But if Rory was not the mess she is, we couldn’t identify with aspects of her problems. If she wasn’t the mess she is, we couldn’t identify with her mother’s responses…or even wish our moms were like that. We love Rory because she’s more human than us, just like we can forgive her relationship with Logan because what’s her name never shows up and thus is entirely unhuman. If she did show up, then we would hate Logan and shake our heads at Rory (and if you don’t believe me I have one word for you: Dean). But that’s what (good) fiction does: it pokes fun at us in just the right ways so we see the point but aren’t offended, and we can learn from it.

So let up on Rory. She is, at times, a viewer control devise: either we identify with her, or we identify with dealing with someone like her–usually someone we care about (or at least tolerate). But we don’t hate her, not even in the weird way we love to hate Paris but still root for her anyway. And if you do hate her, you may need to look and find where that raw nerve is and get it treated.¬†

And with that, I’m out of coffee, so I’m going back to bed.¬†

(If you’re wondering which Reichs novel I’m reading, it’s D√©j√† Dead.)

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Bones and Bones

My main purpose in coming to this particular school (as mentioned previously) was to accomplish the part of my degree that I could not accomplish at my own university: study bones. This had been a predicament known to me (and the university) when I first transferred. They had elected to solve this by sending me abroad. The real rub, then, was insuring I got into the proper classes, as without those classes the point of my entire trip would be nil. My flatmates (at least, the ones who cared) had discovered this fairly early on, partly due to the drawings I had been working on in Galway. Cait, then, decided she must introduce me a TV show called Bones, about a forensic anthropologist who apparently was once-upon-a-time an osteoarchaeologist and now just does a bit of both, depending on what suits the plot.

Our conversation can be summed up very simply:giphy

(Just in case you can’t guess, I’m on the left. Cait’s on the right. It was this little hopping antic that got me to watch the first episode.)

It was horrid. Beside having questionable science and laughable mispronunciations, it strikes me as a cop show, and I generally don’t like cop shows: thus, when it finished, I went in to Cait’s room, sat on the floor, and proceeded to explain (and complain) about everything that was wrong with it for the next 45 minutes.

And then I watched the next episode, and the cycle of somewhat addicting complaining-watching-complaining-watching began.

But then, it seemed strangely satisfying: the idea of taking a break from studying bones to laugh at someone else’s “amazing” ability to deal with bones took on a great¬†flavor (maybe because I tended to consume Nutella on Digestives during that time). Plus, in those awful hours directly after bone exams (which fell on the last class day of each week) it became a strangely reassuring show to watch while one ate Nutella directly out of the jar with a soup spoon (because by that point, Digestives were too much work).

For the record, we are walking everywhere. Despite all of the seemingly unhealthy things I’m eating while living abroad, I’ve actually lost weight. Also for the record, after attending my first bones class here, I found out that we would be having an exam at the end of the first week–the day before registration.

As I began working my way through eight seasons of Bones (that was all Netflix had at the time), I realized the horrors of the show did have a half life; it was as if the show itself was beginning to learn more science, and as a result, to science better. It also had one very strange benefit for me; when I study, I build 3D models of bones in my brain. Prior to the show, I would find myself mentally thumbing through a series of pictures and drawings to find the correct angle to determine what something was. Thanks to the  Angelator (which, for reference, is basically like the weird 3D thingy Tony Stark has in Stark Towers), that series of pictures somehow translated into a fully rotatable and customizable mental mapping program, without which I doubt I could have gotten through all my exams. This was particularly helpful as, in the past, I had only been in labs that had one or two models of any given thing, so if the prof decided to test you on it, you knew they would be using the exact model you had been studying. In Ireland, with a lab that had some 3000 specimens in it, it was much more likely that the test sample would be a piece you had never seen before (especially since I think there were specific specimens that never saw the light of day outside of an exam). Thus I managed to articulate a weak defense for my TV watching and continued on, Nutella in hand.

The only downside of all this is I still haven’t figured out how to make the mental 3D models move without having to gesture wildly in the air directly in front of me.

I guess good enough will have to do.

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