Sorting Woes: A Step-by-Step Guide to Embracing Your Ilvermorny House

(Image Credit: Pottermore)
(Image Credit: Pottermore)

Like the rest of the Harry Potter generation, I spent my 11th birthday hoping for a Hogwarts letter that never came. I contented myself with the fact that Hogwarts is in the United Kingdom and I’m not, so maybe I was just too far away for them. But now, J.K. Rowling has ruined my life by releasing Pottermore information on a North American school.

Regardless of how upset I am (hint: very) that I didn’t get to go to a wizarding school for middle and high school, I am determined to embrace Ilvermorny just like eight-year-old me first embraced Hogwarts. But so far, it’s been hard to do that.

Continue reading “Sorting Woes: A Step-by-Step Guide to Embracing Your Ilvermorny House”

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Our Top 5 Things to See at SDCC ’16

SDCC16_FT
Cara Delevingne at San Diego Comic-Con on July 21, 2016. (Image Credit: Blair Raughley)

Brace yourself, it’s July. You probably already knew that since hello, we’re halfway through July. Let me rephrase. Brace yourself, it’s July, AKA San Diego Comic-Con International is here. Can you believe it’s already that time of the year? Best believe So Fetch Daily will be on the floor reporting you all the latest news. Well, as much as we can, anyways. There’s always so much going on!

And with that said, here are five (Five! I know, it was hard to choose) things that we’re looking forward to seeing during this year’s Comic-Con!

Continue reading “Our Top 5 Things to See at SDCC ’16”

Everything I Ever Needed to Know I learned from… ‘Clueless’

CLUELESS (Image Credit: Paramount)
CLUELESS (Image Credit: Paramount)

All my ‘90s girls out there know that, before the Mean Girls wave crashed in, there came Clueless, brought to you by the most loveable fictional character of all time, Cher Horowitz (Alicia Silverstone), duh. Continue reading “Everything I Ever Needed to Know I learned from… ‘Clueless’”

5 Things People Do in Movies, But NEVER in Real Life

Ryan Gosling as Noah and Rachel McAdams as Allie in THE NOTEBOOK (Image Credit: New Line Cinema)
Ryan Gosling as Noah and Rachel McAdams as Allie in THE NOTEBOOK (Image Credit: New Line Cinema)

Movies are often meant to suspend our disbelief. As moviegoers, we cry over impossible love stories, cheer for men fighting crime in spandex, and find ourselves emotionally attached to robots and aliens. This is the magic of film, and it is greatly welcomed when in need of an escape. But movies also have a habit of making the mundane a bit, well, ridiculous. There are certain things that characters who are supposed to be “everyday people” do in films that simply never occur in the real world.

Continue reading “5 Things People Do in Movies, But NEVER in Real Life”

Your Official Summer 2016 Movie Preview

SUICIDE SQUAD (Image Credit: Warner Bros.)
SUICIDE SQUAD (Image Credit: Warner Bros.)

Every summer, there are tons and tons of blockbuster movies to see in theaters, and this summer is no different. Need some hints about what to check out? We’ve got you covered! Look below to see what you should make sure to watch this summer. Continue reading “Your Official Summer 2016 Movie Preview”

The 5 Best Graduation Scenes of All Time

Freddie Prinze Jr. as Zack Siler in SHE'S ALL THAT (Image Credit: Miramax)
Freddie Prinze Jr. as Zack Siler in SHE’S ALL THAT (Image Credit: Miramax)

Uncomfortable robes, less-than-stable hats and tassels that appear to want to be consumed by the way they swing into the mouths of almost alumni are common during the months of May and June. Hundreds of pictures will be taken, thousands of envelopes will be thoroughly destroyed and many a distant relative will groan at the sight of another party invitation.

That’s right, ladies and gentlemen. Graduation season is among us, and no one has managed to capture the essence of such a milestone in life quite like that of the entertainment industry. We all want our graduations to be like the movies, with grand proclamations of love and inspiring speeches to motivate us into high-end careers while still capturing the innocence that is youth.

Boy Meets World

Topanga proposes to Corey instead of following her dreams to Yale! Shaun delivers an amazing “Ode to Feeny” speech! The excitement of the Boy Meets World graduation still captures the attention of many, even 15 years after its original air date. There’s just something about the Corey/Topanga love that will always get to an audience, but where they were the golden couple that every class seems to have, Shaun was the outsider that every high school student feels like at some point.

(Image Credit: Disney)
(Image Credit: Disney)

Which is why his speech gained the scene, and episode, so much respect. He spoke to everyone, especially with lines like “I was thinking about how much this place has been my home, and how many times I screwed up while I was here. I was thinking about how I could have done better. I could have done better.” Well, Shaun, we think you did pretty great.

 

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

(Image Credit: Warner Bros.)
(Image Credit: Warner Bros.)

A mayor-tunred-giant worm demon and his trust hoard of vampires attacks the unsuspecting group of Sunnydale High graduates during an eclipse, naturally, and you can’t help but think, “Oh no. It’s snack time.” Then, BAM! Those graduates throw off their crimson robes to reveal stockpiles of weaponry, ammunition and enough time for the Buffy to lure the mayor away from the graduates and into the booby trapped high school library. This graduation came complete with action, explosions and military battle tactics, enough to make any fan of a little adventure jealous.

She’s All That

(Image Credit: Miramax)
(Image Credit: Miramax)

We all wanted to be Rachel Leigh Cook in this 1999 classic about the nerdy-art girl who manages to snag the misunderstood Prom King Zach, played by the ever-adorable Freddie Prinze Jr. But one of the most memorable scenes from this movie, besides the after-prom pool scene (swoon) was graduation, where Zach strips down to nothing but a soccer ball and marches towards the stage, tossing the piece of sporting equipment back to his now girlfriend, Laney (Cook). Forget the inspirational speeches. This is the childish way of viewing the world that every graduate wants to experience in his or her last high school moment.

High School Musical 3: Senior Year

(Image Credit: Disney)
(Image Credit: Disney)

It’s cheesy and laughable, but you know you loved it. This graduation scene was filled with references to previous movie themes, like breaking the status quo and being who you want to be. And Troy Bolton being his typical wonder boy self. But let’s be honest. The real reason we wanted to be in the class of East High 2009 was because we wanted to sing and dance our way through the ceremony.

It sure beats listening to another motivational speaker, right?

And for the college graduates out there…

Legally Blonde

(Image Credit: MGM)
(Image Credit: MGM)

Elle Woods gets the law degree, the guy and the vindication in the final moments of this hit comedy. We love Elle, and this graduation, because Elle achieves her dreams and still manages to remain uncomfortably upbeat and perfect. She even looked amazing under that horribly unflattering cap and gown. This graduation goes into the record books because Elle is how we all imagine ourselves looking and acting on our graduation days.

Warning to all recent college graduates, do not watch this scene if unemployed and in debt. It’ll make you feel like four years of undergrad was all for naught.

Originally posted May 28, 2013.

The 2016 Almost-Summer Movie Preview

(Image Credit: Universal)
(Image Credit: Universal)

Now that it’s officially spring, it’s time to start looking forward to all the movies that are coming out. Contrary to popular belief, every month is a great month for movies, and the almost-summer months of April and May are definitely not exceptions. Check out what’s coming out this year below!

April

The Boss – April 8

In order to start your April off right, go see Melissa McCarthy’s newest movie, The Boss. McCarthy stars as a woman convicted of insider trading who is released from jail and ready to resume her high-status place in the business world. But not everyone is willing to forgive and forget, so she decides to start a brownie empire with the help of Kristen Bell and the Girl Scouts. The Boss is sure to be hilarious and a great beginning to the almost-summer movie season.

The Jungle Book – April 15

The first of two upcoming Jungle Book movies, The Jungle Book is the Disney version, a reimagining of the animated classic. The movie will be live-action with CGI animals, and if you have any problems with snakes or tigers, it might be too realistic for you. The Jungle Book features a stellar voice cast, including Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba, Lupita Nyong’o, Scarlett Johansson and Christopher Walken. Fans of Oz the Great and Powerful and Maleficent, this one’s for you.

Criminal – April 15

In a movie that sounds reminiscent of Face/Off and Source Code, Kevin Costner stars as a former death row inmate who gets a CIA operative’s memories implanted in his head. The CIA operative is played by Ryan Reynolds, so we hope he gets plenty of screen time as well, even if he’s dead. But it’s likely we’ll see more of Gary Oldman and Tommy Lee Jones than Reynolds. If you love Gal Gadot in Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice and can’t wait for the Wonder Woman movie, it looks she’ll have a pretty significant role in Criminal as the operative’s wife.

The Huntsman: Winter’s War – April 22

A spinoff of 2012’s Snow White and the Huntsman, The Huntsman: Winter’s War focuses on Eric, the Huntsman, played in both movies by Chris Hemsworth. The movie tells the story of how Eric came to fight by Snow White’s side, but it also features a new threat in the form of the Ice Queen (Emily Blunt), the Evil Queen’s (Charlize Theron) younger sister. The Ice Queen’s story will bring in elements of Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Snow Queen,” also the basis for Disney’s Frozen. In addition to Hemsworth and Theron, Sam Claflin will reprise his role as William in The Huntsman: Winter’s War.

 

May

Captain America: Civil War – May 6

It wouldn’t be the beginning of May without a movie from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and this year, we’ve got Captain America: Civil War. Set one year after Avengers: Age of Ultron, the movie will see the Avengers split into two factions, one side supporting superhuman regulation, led by Tony Stark/Iron Man, and the other against it, led by Steve Rogers/Captain America. Practically every actor in Hollywood is in this movie, with Chris Evans, Robert Downey, Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Renner, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Rudd all returningCaptain America: Civil War will also introduce Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) and the latest version of Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Tom Holland) to the MCU.

The Nice Guys – May 20

A mystery comedy, The Nice Guys looks like a buddy-cop film, which makes sense given director Shane Black’s previous work. The titular “nice guys” are a down-on-his-luck private detective (Ryan Gosling) and an enforcer (Russell Crowe). Set in 1970s Los Angeles, the two must team-up to solve the mystery of a missing girl and the death of a porn star. If you liked Kiss Kiss Bang Bang or Iron Man 3, you should give this one a try.

X-Men: Apocalypse – May 27

The latest X-Men movie, X-Men: Apocalypse, made itself buzzworthy by casting younger versions of several members of the X-Men team we already know and love, including Game of Thrones’s Sophie Turner as Jean Grey. A sequel to X-Men: Days of Future Past, the movie will be set in the 1980s with Raven/Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence), finally-bald Professor X (James McAvoy) and the young team going up against Magneto (Michael Fassbender) and new villain Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac). Mutants on the good side will include Cyclops, Beast, Havok, Nightcrawler and Jubilee while mutants on the villains’ side will include Storm, Psylocke and Archangel.

Alice Through the Looking Glass – May 27

In this sequel to 2010’s Alice in Wonderland, Alice (Mia Wasikowska) returns to Wonderland where things are not as she left them. With the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp) growing “darker,” Alice travels back in time to save him. Other actors reprising their roles will be Helena Bonham Carter as the Red Queen, Anne Hathaway as the White Queen, Matt Lucas as Tweedledum and Tweedledee and the voice talents of Alan Rickman, Stephen Fry, Michael Sheen and Timothy Spall as Absolem the Caterpillar, the Cheshire Cat, the White Rabbit and Bayard the Bloodhound. Sacha Baron Cohen joins the cast as the part-human, part-clock character Time while Rhys Ifans will play the Mad Hatter’s father.

 

Almost-summer movies  pave the way for summer movie season, and every year, they are some of the most popular ones. Don’t miss out on the April and May movies, especially with all these sequels! You might still be busy with school, but these movies will definitely be worth your time.

5 Live-Action Disney Movies We’re Looking Forward To

(Image Credit: Disney)
(Image Credit: Disney)

When you think Disney, is the first thing that comes to mind animation? Well, you’re not alone, but don’t forget Disney has done some amazing live-action movies over the years. From Mary Poppins and The Love Bug to Honey, I Shrunk the Kids and Hocus Pocus, live-action Disney movies were just as much a part of my childhood as their animated counterparts. So, I’m excited that Disney has a lot of live-action in the works.

Not only are we getting Pirates of the Caribbean and Maleficent sequels, but Disney is returning to the classics with live versions of Dumbo and Pinocchio also announced. Those all sound good, but they aren’t even the best parts. Read on to find out which five live-action Disney movies we’re looking forward to the most.

The Jungle Book – April 15, 2016

Coming pretty soon to a theater near you, The Jungle Book is a live-action/CGI remake of the animated classic. The trailer was intense, pitting Mowgli against tiger Shere Khan and python Kaa. But it also made sure we saw plenty of good times with Mowgli and his friends, black panther Bagheera and, of course, Baloo the bear. The cast is full of all-stars like Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba, Lupita Nyong’o, Scarlett Johannson and Christopher Walken, but the real highlight is the debut of Neel Sethi, who has already won over hearts as Mowgli.

Pete’s Dragon – August 12, 2016

I’m not entirely sure that I saw the original Pete’s Dragon, but after watching the just-released trailer for the live-action remake, you can bet I’m going to see the new one. The movie is a reimagining, and judging by the trailer, the tone has chanegd, which is probably appropriate for the story of an orphan living alone in a forest. Sadly, the movie is no longer a musical, but the dragon looks pretty darn cool.

Beauty and the Beast – March 17, 2017

Even more star-studded than The Jungle Book, Beauty and the Beast will feature Emma Watson and Downton Abbey’s Dan Stevens in the title roles. Then, we’ll all be the guests of Ian McKellen, Ewan McGregor, Emma Thompson, Stanley Tucci, Audra McDonald and Gugu Mbatha-Raw – which is just about the coolest dinner party I could ever dream up. Even better, the movie will feature classic songs we all love as well as new material with Alan Menken returning to do the music with Tim Rice, whose work includes Aladdin and The Lion King, joining him.

Mary Poppins Sequel – TBA

People began buzzing about this movie recently when it was announced that Emily Blunt was in talks to play the title role. The sequel is said to be set in London 20 years after the first movie with the now grown-up Banks kids needing help with children of their own. If you’re still kind of leery about a Mary Poppins sequel – and trust me, I understand – maybe the news that Lin Manuel-Miranda of Hamilton fame is in talks to play Mary Poppins’s friend, the lamplighter Jack, similar to the role played by Dick Van Dyke in the original. Manuel-Miranda is supposed to also help develop new songs for the musical sequel.

A Wrinkle in Time – TBA

It’s still early days for the A Wrinkle in Time movie with director Ava DuVernay (Selma) only just announced, but my expectations are already very high. The movie will, of course, be based on the classic novel by Madeleine L’Engle, a book that I devoured in elementary school. Frozen’s writer and director Jennifer Lee will pen the script, which is not an enviable task, because the book focuses a lot on math and science and has been called unfilmable. But no matter what happens, it has to be better than the 2003 television adaptation.

Whether you want to see all of these movies or just some of them, keep them in mind, because if I know Disney, there’ll be more greatness where that came from. See you in the theater, reliving our childhoods!

Oscars 2016: 5 Things We’re Most Looking Forward To

Oscars 2016: 5 Things We’re Most Looking Forward ToMy husband has the Super Bowl, and I have Oscar Sunday. It is my favorite television event of the year, and it’s coming up soon! This Sunday, I’ll be parked in front of my TV for hours on end, watching endless red carpet and a show about movies, and it will be glorious.

 

And because I love to make lists, I’m sharing the five things I’m most looking forward to this Sunday.

 

  1. KATE AND LEO. This has been the best awards season in years. And I will 100% admit it’s because of Kate and Leo. I was thirteen when Titanic came out and my heart will always go on, and I will never ever let go. I’ve endlessly cheered on Kate and Leo over the years and always root for them to be together again. And this is the year, the awards season where they’ve both been winners, and they’ve been cheering each other on and having adorable on-screen reunions and hugs and ah, I could go on forever. Basically, if Kate and Leo aren’t sitting near each other on Sunday, I will be writing a strongly worded letter to the seat designator.

 

So, did I mention that I want Kate and Leo to win? And that I will no doubt cheer loudly if they do? Because I do, and I will.

 

  1. The fashion. Oscar Sunday always brings out Hollywood’s best, and I’m praying that this year won’t disappoint. I expect dapper gentlemen, glamorous women and a few show-stoppers. And then, of course, the disasters that didn’t even bother to brush their hair. Either way, I can’t wait to watch.

 

  1. The red carpet. On that same note, I love watching the red carpet. Seriously, it’s hours long, and if I have my way, I’ll be watching all of it and switching between E! and ABC to get the best shots and interviews. Over the years, the interviewers have gotten progressively worse, but I live for the candid shots. And the star spotting. And the crazy things that happen with the fans in the stands.

 

  1. Chris Rock. I wasn’t totally on board with him at first. He hasn’t been the best in the past, but he definitely hasn’t been the worst either (that honor goes to Anne Hathaway and James Franco, ugh). And in a year where #OscarsSoWhite is dominating the conversation, I’m quite curious to see how he’ll be handling things.

 

  1. The OMG moment. I feel like every year there is one. The water cooler moment you want to talk about the next day. The crazy outfit someone wore, the amazing acceptance speech, the phenomenal musical performance, anything.I’m ready to be awed, Oscars, please do not disappoint.

Oscar Sunday can’t get here soon enough.

Beginning to Make Toys Right with #WheresRey

(Image Credit: LucasFilm)
(Image Credit: LucasFilm)

When Star Wars fans headed to stores for memorabilia, many of us couldn’t find the character we were looking for. Like Marvel’s Gamora and Black Widow before her, new heroine Rey had been left out of too many toy sets. Most egregious were a set of action figures that featured male leads Finn, Poe Dameron and Kylo Ren, along with Chewbacca and a generic pilot and Stormtrooper and the Millennium Falcon playset that featured Finn, Chewbacca and BB-8, even though Rey is the one to fly the ship in The Force Awakens.

But in spite of the growing hashtag campaign #WheresRey, the lack of Rey went largely unnoticed by the general public until recently when a tweet, featuring a letter from an 8-year-old who wanted toy manufacturer Hasbro to know “girls matter,” went viral. The letter was in response to Rey’s absence from the company’s Star Wars Monopoly game, where you can play as Finn, Kylo Ren, Darth Vader or Luke Skywalker (the latter two of whom either don’t or barely appear in the new movie).

Finally, Hasbro was forced to address the issue, but their official statement raised more questions than it answered. They told Entertainment Weekly: “The Star Wars: Monopoly game was released in September, months before the movie’s release, and Rey was not included to avoid revealing a key plot line that she takes on Kylo Ren and joins the Rebel Alliance.”

Admittedly, spoilers for The Force Awakens were a BIG DEAL in the days leading up to and directly following the film’s December release, and Disney even claims they planned this lack of Rey toys to avoid spoilers. In an interview, Paul Southern, head of licensing for Lucasfilm, said, “The fact that she was the ultimate heroine of the film was one of the significant plot points we did want to protect.” This makes a kind of sense, except apparently, the fact that Finn is also a hero of the movie wasn’t considered too spoiler-y.

As many fans have pointed out, including Rey in her scavenger outfit (which she wears almost all of the movie) shouldn’t have been considered a spoiler. Rey was a key figure in The Force Awakens’s trailer, and it only made sense that she was an important part of the movie. If this was solely related to the fact that Rey ends up with Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber and it awakens the force within her, the lightsaber didn’t have to be included in early-release toys.

Southern admits that the passion for Rey toys – which are selling “exceptionally well” at Target – caught Disney by surprise, saying, “The excitement around her is a lot more than we were expecting it to be.” Admitting there’s a problem is a good first step, and with Disney now releasing more Star Wars toys that feature Rey because The Force Awakens spoilers are less of a problem, it may seem like our worries over the missing Rey were unfounded.

But #WheresRey proved a point that fans have been making for years: we want female characters in our merchandise. If Disney – and by extension, Marvel – can finally see that in profit, the language they speak best, maybe we won’t need any more hashtag campaigns. Although I’ve got a bad feeling about leaving it up to the companies, we have made our voices heard. Disney and Hasbro have commented on this issue, so they have no more excuses.

While we wait to see if anything has been learned, rejoice in the Rey merch (new and old)! I picked out a few things that I need to run out to the store and get ASAP, so take a look at my list or check out Entertainment Weekly’s full rundown to figure out what you want.

Rey’s Speeder – Lego

Released prior to The Force Awakens, this Lego set helps you recreate Rey’s speeder from her time on Jakku. It comes with extra studs for you to shoot – although it’s probably not recommend you do what I would do and shoot them at people – and an adorable Rey Lego figure. Plus, the price isn’t half-bad for a Lego kit.

Bladebuilders: Rey’s Lightsaber – Hasbro

When I was kid (and honestly, also now), the number one thing I wanted was a lightsaber, and this one lights up and makes noises! This toy may just be a dream come true, as long as the price is right.

Itty Bittys: Rey – Hallmark

I already have several of these itty bitty stuffed animals, so I may be a little biased on this one. But take one look at Rey’s super cute face and tell me you don’t want one. Just go ahead and try.

Rey 3.75-inch Action Figure – Hasbro

The new Rey action figure features her in her “Resistance outfit” that she wears at the end of the movie, and it comes with a lightsaber for her to hold. Whether you end up getting this one or the scavenger version released in September, it’s a win for you either way.

Rey and BB-8 Elite Series Die Cast Action Figure – Disney

The latest version of Disney’s Rey action figure has her lightsaber, but it’s extra cool that you get her staff too. Besides, BB-8 comes along too, and how can you not want a tiny, adorable droid?

In all the controversy surrounding #WheresRey, perhaps TIME contributor Darlena Cunha said it best when she wrote:

“Little girls need to see themselves as heroes. Little girls need to see that they can grow up to be powerful and good. Little girls deserve a chance to imagine strength and perseverance in their own gender. They deserve someone to look up to.

Just as important, so do little boys. Little boys need to see that women are strong and fierce, and that women characters are just as magnetic as men characters. And they need confirmation of their inner monologue when they see a movie that shows just that. The merchandise should match that experience.”

Welcome to the world, Rey. Sadly, because of the current lack of diversity in toys, you may be our only hope at changing things around. But with any luck, in the future, you won’t be alone. May the Force be with us all.

‘The Bronze Horseman:’ The Dream Cast We’re Rooting For

‘The Bronze Horseman:’ The Dream Cast We’re Rooting ForThe Bronze Horseman is a novel by Paullina Simons that I devoured around last Christmas. As a History major, I have a really odd soft spot for the Soviets and their history with us. I can’t really explain it, but if you get it, or at least like romance novels, then give this book a chance. It follows the story of Tatiana Metanova and opens on the day Russia declares war on Germany after an invasion. She meets a Russian soldier named Alexander and their story blooms from there. It’s captivating and just an all around amazing story. And this past October, Simons announced that the novel has a confirmed movie deal. And this book has a very special place in my heart and here are just a few people I hope may be included among the cast.

  1. Chloë Grace Moretz as Tatiana

Chloë has gotten very popular lately having been picked as the lead in The Fifth Wave movie adaption. I feel like she’d be a great Tatiana because she’s young and really fits the description of the young Russian girl.

(Image Credit: Sony)
(Image Credit: Sony)
  1. Henry Cavill as Alexander

The Internet has been vying for Henry Cavill to play Alexander so hard and for so long now, I’m honestly scared to suggest anyone else.

(Image Credit: WB)
(Image Credit: WB)
  1. Nina Dobrev as Dasha

Dasha is Tatiana’s older sister and I feel like Nina is such a beautiful and great actress that she could convey the sultry and sometimes kind-of-bitchy Dasha very well. There is a chance she’s much too tan to play the part of a Russian girl, but I’m in love with Nina and just want her to be in everything.

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  1. Ed Westwick as Dimitri

Dimitri is the friend of Alexander and shows some interest in Tatiana. However, there’s something about him Tatiana doesn’t like. I think Ed Westwick would be able to give Dimitri his untrustworthy air.

//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js

These are just a few suggestions of some of the people I’d like to envision playing the roles of some of my favorite characters. I know casting is a hard and difficult process and I think all fans will understand if our top picks don’t get cast. Let’s all just be thankful that such a wonderful novel is getting turned into a movie that we can share and enjoy with everyone.

‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ is a “Rey” of Hope for Girls

(Image Credit: Lucasfilm)
(Image Credit: Lucasfilm)

I waited a while to write this article to make sure at least a majority of our readers watched Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens… If not, you still have time but major props to you for going this long without seeing the movie. Whether or not you’ve seen all of Star Wars or absolutely avoided getting into the Star Wars world, the time is now to get into it. And here’s why. One word: Rey.

Yeah, there’s no last name. It’s just Rey. We’ll get more into that in a bit but let’s just start from the beginning. When we got a sneak peek of the very next chapter of this franchise, we just saw the face of this mysterious girl. I don’t know about you but I knew NOTHING about this movie. Well then again, I don’t think anyone knew about it. Anyways, just about ten to twenty minutes into the film, I fell in love with this fictional character.

Rey is the absolute role model I wish I had when I was a little girl. Looking back to my childhood, what “superhero” or woman role model did I have in my life (besides my mom)? No one. I had Melanie’s Mall — a doll who loved shopping — and I didn’t get into Supergirl or Wonder Woman until my early 20s. I had no real badass person to look up to! I’m jealous yet so incredibly happy for younger girls all over the world to have this type of person to look up to.

If you haven’t seen the movie at all, you’re probably really confused. Look, here’s the thing. Rey is the lead character that defies all the odds. She isn’t the normal damsel in distress. She’s the one who manages to get herself out of those situations and ends up being the savior for the boys. She’s not the average bystander and isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty when needed. Speaking of hands, she definitely never needs to be guided by a boy — ahem, Finn — so don’t even try to lead the way. She’ll figure things out herself.

Rey made a subtle but huge statement that mechanical engineering can be a boy AND girl thing. Did you notice Finn didn’t know what certain tools were? We’ve come a long way when the girls were seen as the “confused sidekick.” She even surprised Han with her knowledge of the makeup of a spacecraft or, in this case, his baby, Millennium Falcon. It was refreshing to see Finn burned to the side while Rey lead the way. Sorry, Finn. I still appreciate you.

We still don’t know Rey’s story. Who is she? Why is the Force so strong with her? There are so many theories that she’s somehow the daughter of Han Solo, Luke Skywalker or even Obi-Wan Kenobi! Her life is a mystery. All we know is that she was torn apart from someone or something very close to her at an early age. Damn it, I can’t wait much longer to know her story!

The woman who portrays Rey, Daisy Ridley, is just as cool as her character. (Side note: I did a quick search about her and noticed she’s the same exact age as me. We can basically be BFFs, right?) You’ve probably seen tons of Buzzfeed posts listing “27 ways Daisy Ridley stole our hearts” or something along those lines. I won’t list every single reason but just know, there are two types of people: the ones who intimidate the living hell out of you and the ones who’d be right next to you acting like a goofball. Daisy is the latter.

If Rey/Daisy existed during my days, I probably would have grown up differently. Back then, little boys had Luke Skywalker or Anakin Skywalker to look up to. Of course, we can’t deny that there’s also the badass Princess Leia who undoubtedly is not a princess but a QUEEN for independent women everywhere… However, Rey is the woman for our generation.

Movie Review: ‘Krampus’ Suffers from Lack of Direction

(Image Credit: Universal Pictures)
(Image Credit: Universal Pictures)

Take all the time needed to figure out what you want to be. This is good advice for the most part: try a bunch of different things in order to learn which are best for you. Krampus is like a person who heard this idea and really ran with it. Unfortunately, they ran right into the ground for it is Krampus’s inability to commit to a genre or tone that really hinders it from being even decent.

Max (Emjay Anthony) is dreading Christmas this year because his aunt’s family is coming over to celebrate which he knows will lead to hectic uncomfortableness and palpable familial tension. Because of this, Max writes a letter to Santa, asking for a happier family. Sadly, one of his cousins sees it, makes fun of him for still believing in the big guy from up north, and Max ends up ripping his letter. This, in turn, calls upon the evil spirit of Krampus – basically Saint Nick’s evil twin – because Max no longer believes.

The house becomes snowed in, the two families are forced to work together, the kid is responsible for the chaos because of his new disbelief – these are good ingredients for a nuanced horror movie. It’s not the same five-teenagers-go-into-the-woods story, that’s for sure.

However, it’s unclear as to whether Krampus thought of itself as a horror movie or a weird family/rom-com hybrid with some horror sprinkled in.

Perhaps this is because the movie was just not all that scary. Sure, there are monsters and some loud noises here and there, but the effects don’t do their job. Along with that, a couple of the monsters are just plain ridiculous, fitting better in a kids’ comedy.

For example, there are these gingerbread men that attack the uncle, Howard (David Koechner). Howard gives slight signs of fright, but the fight stays upbeat for the most part as the gingerbread men try to stab him and he shoots at them with a shotgun (Yes, you read that sentence correctly). While it’s great to have some comedy inside a horror movie, this scene, like most, fell flat on both fronts: the funny and the scary.

Though, this isn’t to say every scene was a bust. Interestingly enough, Krampus succeeds best with some of its heartwarming moments between the father, Tom (Adam Scott), his wife (Toni Collette) and Max. It made me wish I was watching a straight-up rom-com in which Tom and his wife make their marriage better through the hijinks of their loved son. But, alas, I was not. And oftentimes any sort of momentum the movie got going with the development of its characters was short changed by the unneeded “scary” sections.

Adam Scott and David Koechner both give valiant performances, as does most of the cast (notably Allison Tolmon and Conchata Ferrell). It was strange to be enjoying the casts’ chemistry and acting, but to be disliking the movie happening around it. Scott, like I’ve hinted, plays a really great dad and husband who’s trying his best – the guy is adorable. And Koechner plays a slightly altered version of Todd Packer, his character from The Office, and does it very well. Unsure whether it’s an insult or a compliment, but he has a knack for playing the ignorant bigot type.

Unfortunately, their performances are not strong enough to carry the movie, not even close. The whole thing was just a mess. A mess with some promise hidden beneath it all, but still a mess – like a person trying to discover herself.

Overall, Krampus was not a good movie. I’d like to see a similar cast in a completely different movie – preferably one that can encompass multiple genres more seamlessly, or one that can more clearly define itself.

Cast Catch-Up: ‘Home Alone’

(Image Credit: Fox)
(Image Credit: Fox)

Home Alone can be seen everywhere around Christmastime. Luckily, it happens to be one of my family’s favorite holiday movies. The movie came out right before I was born, and I wouldn’t be surprised if I’ve seen it almost every year since then. There’s just something about a little kid beating up two grown men that screams family time. Plus, a major part of Home Alone is the idea that family should be together on the holidays.

Since Home Alone came out 25 years ago, we at The Daily Quirk thought it would be fun to take a look at where the stars of the movie are today. Read on to get your answers!

Macaulay Culkin (Kevin McCallister)

Only ten when the movie premiered, Macaulay Culkin is now grown up. For several years after his star-making performance in Home Alone, he continued acting in some well-known movies, including the Home Alone sequel, My Girl, The Pagemaster and Richie Rich. Due to the latter two movies’ poor showings at the box office, as well as family issues, Culkin stayed away from acting for almost a decade.

When he finally returned to the profession, it was in mature roles in movies like Saved! and Party Monster. Unlike many child stars, he was able to shed his cutesy image and received critical acclaim, but Culkin has only worked sporadically in the years since. Of note, he had a recurring role on NBC’s Kings and did some voice work for Robot Chicken. Most recently, it appears he’s taken to doing cameos, as he appeared as himself on The Jim Gaffigan Show and will show up in the upcoming Zoolander No. 2.

Apart from acting, Culkin wrote a semi-autobiographical novel called Junior, which dealt with his child stardom and his relationship with his father, in 2006. He is also part of a band named The Pizza Underground that mostly parodies songs by The Velvet Underground.

Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern (The Wet Bandits)

After playing Harry, Joe Pesci only stayed an actor for nine more years. During those years, he appeared in the Home Alone sequel and two sequels to Lethal Weapon, but perhaps his most well-known role was as the title character in My Cousin Vinny. In 1999, Pesci announced his retirement from acting in order to get out of the spotlight. Since then he has only appeared in a few movies and might be best known as that angry guy in the Snickers commercial. Most recently, Pesci has been connected to yet another Martin Scorsese movie.

Although Daniel Stern continued acting after Home Alone and its sequel, Marv is still the role he’s best known for. He had roles in City Slickers, Bushwhacked, Whip It and The Next Three Days, as well as a guest spot on Monk. He’s had a full life outside of acting by writing and directing TV shows, movies and plays and working as a sculptor. Stern and his wife also received service awards for volunteerism from President Obama. Most recently, he’s appeared in several TV shows, including Workaholics and Manhattan.

Roberts Blossom (Old Man Marley)

Home Alone was one of Roberts Blossom’s last acting roles before his retirement, but before he quit show business, he appeared in Doc Hollywood and The Quick and the Dead and had guest spots on Northern Exposure and Chicago Hope. After acting, Blossom spent time writing poetry until he passed away in 2011 at the age of 87. If you’re interested in learning more about his life, you should check out the documentary Full Blossom: The Life of Poet/Actor Roberts Blossom.

John Heard and Catherine O’Hara (Kevin’s Parents)

After playing Kevin’s father, Peter, in Home Alone and its sequel, John Heard has done a ton of acting with roles in well-known movies like Gladiator, The Pelican Brief and White Chicks. In 2013, he appeared in one of the greatest films of our time, Sharknado. If possible, Heard’s television career is even more illustrious than his movie career. He has had guest spots on almost every crime show imaginable, including several versions of Law & Order and NCIS: Los Angeles. A recurring role on The Sopranos as Detective Vin Makazian earned Heard an Emmy nomination, but if you want to see him in something more recent, try The Lizzie Borden Chronicles.

Like her movie husband, Catherine O’Hara has appeared in a lot of movies and TV shows since Home Alone and its sequel came out. Many of these roles have been kid friendly voiceover work in movies such as The Nightmare Before Christmas, Where the Wild Things Are and Frankenweenie. When not doing voiceover, O’Hara often shows up in comedies like Away We Go and A.C.O.D., which is fitting since she started acting as a sketch comedienne. She had a recurring role on Six Feet Under and was nominated for an Emmy for her work in Temple Grandin. Most recently, she guest starred on Modern Family and can be seen in the upcoming second season of the Canadian comedy Schitt’s Creek.

Devin Ratray (Buzz McCallister)

Buzz was perhaps the best known of Kevin’s siblings because he was the biggest jerk, especially in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. After playing that role, actor Devin Ratray had sporadic roles throughout the late ‘90s and early ‘00s while he went to film school. But he returned to the acting business in 2009 and has had a slew of roles since then, including guest spots on Supernatural, Elementary and Marvel’s Agent Carter. He also appeared in movies such as Nebraska and R.I.P.D. In 2016, you can catch Ratray in the heist comedy Masterminds.

Since you probably can’t make your family disappear like Kevin’s, make sure you sit down and watch Home Alone with them this holiday season. And if you’re so inclined, you can update them on what all the actors are doing after the movies. That’s the best way to say “Merry Christmas.”

So, what are you waiting for? Find one of the ubiquitous showings of Home Alone and enjoy, ya filthy animals!