‘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.

What To See During The Mill Valley Film Festival!

(Image Credit: Mill Valley Film Festival)

(Image Credit: Mill Valley Film Festival)

The Mill Valley Film Festival is gearing up for its 38th year! The event will run Thursday, October 8 to Sunday, October 18, 2015 to recognize the best in independent and world cinema. We’re talking about an outstanding list of movies that feature films that are already stirring some Oscar buzz for next year. Attendees will be making their way to Marin County in California for movie premieres, panel discussions and musical performances. Continue reading

Cast Catch-Up: ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’

THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE LION THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE (Image Credit: Walt Disney Pictures)

THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE LION THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE (Image Credit: Walt Disney Pictures)

10 years ago, The Chronicles of Narnia: the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe premiered in theaters. Disney’s adaptation of the classic children’s book by C.S. Lewis starred four unknown young actors as the Pevensie children, a wondrous young family that discovers the magical world of Narnia in an enchanted wardrobe. The film’s release in 2005 spawned two sequels and made the young cast household names. Since leaving their Narnia roles behind, William Moseley, Anna Popplewell, Skandar Keynes and Georgie Henley have moved on to prestigious educations, starring roles in TV and independent films and charity work. Continue reading

‘Sleeping With Other People’ – a comedy that balances romance and cynicism

SLEEPING WITH OTHER PEOPLE (Image Credit: Linda Källérus / IFC Films)

SLEEPING WITH OTHER PEOPLE (Image Credit: Linda Källérus / IFC Films)

The Daily Quirk caught up with the stars of Sleeping with Other People at Tribeca Film Festival. The movie tells the story of Lainey (Alison Brie) and Jake (Jason Sudeikis) who are both giant failures when it comes to romantic relationships. As young adults, they lost their virginity to each other. Then in an odd twist of fate, they’re brought back together through a counseling group. Together they set out to be just friends, without the romantic stuff, to help each other. Continue reading

‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail’ Celebrates Its 40th Anniversary at Tribeca Film Festival

MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL (Image Credit: Sony Pictures)

MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL (Image Credit: Sony Pictures)

One of the greatest comedies ever made will be honored at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival in New York City. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the release of Monty Python and the Holy Grail. In addition to hosting a special screening of the cult classic comedy, Tribeca Film Festival will feature the international premiere of the documentary Monty Python – The Meaning of Live. Continue reading

Are you excited for ‘Zoolander 2’?

ZOOLANDER (Image Credit: Paramount Pictures)

ZOOLANDER (Image Credit: Paramount Pictures)

Paris Fashion Week resurrected two of the most iconic male models of our time in the most noticeable and very marketable way – Derek Zoolander (Ben Stiller) and Hansel (Owen Wilson) took to the runway and closed out the Valentino show. To say I was excited to read that headline would be an understatement. Continue reading

VIDEO: An Exclusive Interview with the Producers of ‘Miss India America’ at Cinequest

Saurabh Kikani and Megha Kadakia (Image Credit: Allison Anilao / The Daily Quirk)

Saurabh Kikani and Megha Kadakia (Image Credit: Allison Anilao / The Daily Quirk)

The Daily Quirk talked with Saurabh Kikani and Megha Kadakia, the producers of Miss India America, on the red carpet of the Cinequest Film Festival. The comedy, which made its world premiere at the festival, is about Lily’s attempt to win the beauty pageant “Miss India America” in order to try to win her boyfriend back. Watch the full interview below to hear Kadakia’s history with the screenwriter Meera Simha and why Kikani said the film “represents pure American independent filmmaking but also new South Asian American voices.”

Continue reading

What we know from the ‘Crimson Peak’ trailer!

(Image Credit: Universal Pictures)

(Image Credit: Universal Pictures)

The recently released Crimson Peak trailer doesn’t give us much story context, but boy, does it do a good job of selling the movie. Atmospheric and haunting like the titular house in which the movie is set, the trailer sets up a lot of weird stuff, some of it ghostly. Considering what little we know of the film makes it out to be a haunted house movie, that’s definitely a good thing. Continue reading

VIDEO: A Red Carpet Interview with the Actors of ‘Forever Into Space’ at Cinequest

(Image Credit: Allison Anilao / The Daily Quirk)

(Image Credit: Allison Anilao / The Daily Quirk)

The Daily Quirk talked with the actors of Forever Into Space on the red carpet of the Cinequest Film Festival. Kelly Sebastian stars in the black-and-white drama as Audrey Harrington, a 20-something film blogger trying to make sense of her life in today’s world. Watch our full interview below with Harrington, James Anthony Tropeano III, who played Henry Vittelli, and George Nicolaidis who played the apartment broker shark, to hear them all rave about the director Greg Locke and to know why Tropeano III said he felt like he was 5-years-old at the festival.

Continue reading

VIDEO: A Red Carpet Interview with the Actors of ‘Astraea’ at Cinequest

(Image Credit: Allison Anilao / The Daily Quirk)

(Image Credit: Allison Anilao / The Daily Quirk)

The Daily Quirk caught up with actors Jessica Cummings, Dan O’Brien and Nerea Duhart of Astraea, which made its world premiere at the Cinequest Film Festival. The post-apocalyptic science fiction film follows Astraea, played by Duhart, and her brother Matthew as they traverse a lifeless continent after a plagued has wiped out humanity. But everything changes when they encounter another couple Callie, played by Cummings, and James, played by O’Brien. Watch the full interview below hear about the actors’ favorite moments from filming, why Duhart related to her character and more!

Continue reading

VIDEO: An Exclusive Interview with Niko Parras of ‘Fortune Telling’ at Cinequest

Niko Parras (Image Credit: Allison Anilao / The Daily Quirk)

Niko Parras (Image Credit: Allison Anilao / The Daily Quirk)

The Daily Quirk caught up with Niko Parras who stars in Fortune Telling, which was screened at the Cinequest Film Festival. The film follows four friends who unsuccessfully pursued acting. The group decides to play a game of poker, and the winner has to follow his or her dream and get out of his or her rut. Watch the full video below hear why Parras, who plays Leo, enjoyed playing his single father role and why the film’s set was such a great environment.

Continue reading

VIDEO: An Exclusive Interview with ‘5 to 7’ Star Anton Yelchin and Writer/Director Victor Levin

Victor Levin and Anton Yelchin (Image Credit: Franko-Niko Valencia/The Daily Quirk)

Victor Levin and Anton Yelchin (Image Credit: Franko-Niko Valencia/The Daily Quirk)

Writer/Director Victor Levin’s film 5 to 7 tells the story of a secret love affair between a young writer (Anton Yelchin) and the wife of a French Diplomat (Bérénice Marlohe). Limited to the few hours when her husband is away, Brian soon wants more from the relationship and the lovers are forced to face the reality that they can not continue on in secret forever.

Watch the Cinequest Film Festival red carpet interview below to find out what inspired Levin to make the film, what attracted Yelchin to the role, and more!

Continue reading

VIDEO: An Exclusive Interview with ‘In the Company of Women’ Director Kahlil Silver

Kahlil Silver (Image Credit: Joachim Custodio / The Daily Quirk)

Kahlil Silver (Image Credit: Joachim Custodio / The Daily Quirk)

On opening night of the Cinequest Film Festival, The Daily Quirk spoke with Kahlil Silver, director of In The Company of Women, in which a college professor hires a male escort to take him out on the town to meet women. Silver discusses working with his brother Shogi Silver, writer and star of the film, and how the story’s heavier themes relate to his own life. Check out the interview below!

Continue reading