Run-On Sentence Review: Spy

spyWith Bridesmaids, The Heat, and now Spy, the collaboration of Paul Feig and Melissa McCarthy is gaining a pretty great track record because in the same way that The Heat was a spin on buddy cop comedies, Spy is a spin on, you guessed it, spy movies and it spins in a pretty fun way, mostly due to McCarthy who takes a nice journey from drab to fab and she gets some pretty fun moments of bad-assery but lending a helping hand, Jason Statham and Rose Byrne are great choices for, respectively, the blowhard tough guy and the ice cold “Bond villain” but I think what I really liked about this movie is that it always seems to be laughing with McCarthy and never at her because she is the heroine of the movie and I know that other films would still go there, this instead gives her a lot of smarts to show off while still being hilarious.

Verdict:  Definitely a good candidate if you want a laugh.

Ellen

A Birthday Tribute for Whitney: Queen Whitney and the Parade of Chrises

Once upon a time, there was a fair maiden named Whitney.  She was queen over all the land of Vernalia.  She was a fair, but vigilant leader.  eating junkHer subjects worshiped at her beautiful feet.  On the eve of her 23rd, her loyal subjects sought to honor her in a way befitting her status as the most benevolent and beautiful maiden in the land, so they brought her an array of Chrises.  “O, incandescent Queen Whitney, we present to you these men,” said her lady in waiting, Ellen. “So that you may pick one of your choosing to do with what you will.”surprise face  “Marry him or… do what you will. Will that you suit you on this the day of your glorious birth?” I'd love it First down the great hall, came Chris Hemsworth and he knelt before her throne.Hemsworth wink  “He is quite the hunk of man, ” said Whitney, the fair, with an approving eye.I would have his babies  “He can be saved for further consideration.” And down the hall they came, dozens of Chrises.   Dozens of usChris Evans, Captain of… America…Evansheating upOne after the other they came.  Chris, the Earl of Pine…

pineChris O’Dowd, the charming Prince of Ireland…odowd

Chris of Messina…messina

 

Chris of the Hardwicks (he brought props to demonstrate how he would treat the queen)…hardwickChris the Duke of Parnell (how did he get in there?)…parnell

 

Chris of the Topher Melonis…meloni

Down the aisle they came. “And to top us all off,” said Lady Ellen with a flourish, “Chris of Kingdom Pratt.”prat manso-cuteWith that final option, Whitney was left with quite the dilemma.

tina 25 guysDifficult lifeDont pretend to know my painEllen tried to console her during this trying time.I acknowledge your pain“But my queen, who said anything about choosing?”  This had Whitney’s attention.ReallyUntil she was quite overjoyed.jane-dance“I have made my decision,” she exclaimed.  “I will not choose one and instead I shall keep you all to do my bidding.  I am after all the queen and always strive to live my family’s motto:”

shark weekHer declaration was met with thunderous applause by all of the men named Chris, as they all had hoped to serve her.  And Whitney was quite pleased with her decision, as well. anigif_enhanced-buzz-24304-1419268580-4And Whitney and her Chrises lived happily on this the day of her birth and all the days after.

Happy Birthday, Whit!  Love ya!

Ellen

 

 

 

The Reviews are In: Jurassic World

My personal history with the Jurassic Park franchise goes as follows: saw the first movie WAY too young (two, guys, two years old), missed the second movie completely, and spent the third film trying to figure out how Jeff Goldblum wasn’t dinosaur poop. So why then was I full-tilt giddy for the Jurassic World reboot? Come on, guys, think real hard…

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My level of indifference toward dinosaurs is directly proportional to my devastating Chris Pratt thirst. But while I went to the theater for the Pratt-nip, I stayed for what actually turned out to be a very good movie.

hinh_anh_the_gioi_khung_long_jurassic_world__22Chris Pratt plays Owen Grady, a professional dinosaur wrangler who is called in when a new attraction at the new and improved Jurassic World theme park goes haywire. He, along with straight-laced park executive Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) must find a way to avert disaster AND contain the raging sexual tension between them. A tall order for anyone.

Just to be clear, Universal did not reinvent the wheel here. It’s a Jurassic Park movie. There are dinosaurs. But what Jurassic World manages to do very well is combine all the best elements of the franchise so far into one film. It’s scary, and sweet, and has an infectious sense of wonder that I haven’t gotten since the first Jurassic Park.  How infectious, you ask? I think my birthday cake this year speaks for itself.

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Verdict: Go see it. If you’re already a fan of the movies, then you’ll most likely love it. If not, see it anyway. If Chris Pratt on a motorcycle doesn’t make a believer out of you, nothing will.

-Whitney

Sweet Streams: Derek

derekOur category of “Sweet Streams” has never been more because this show is “sweet” both in the “sweet, brah” sense and in the “awww, how sweet”.  This show has been around on Netflix for a quite a while now and I am not sure how or why I went so long without watching, but in the course of two days, I recently watched both seasons.  When I told my mom that Ricky Gervais was in a show that was very sweet, she thought I was being sarcastic, but fans of Extras and The Office may not be as shocked.

Derek follows, you guessed it, Derek, played by Gervais, and his cohorts at the senior home where he works.  Derek is a little odd, but with a heart of gold, caring most for little animals and his friends.  Chief among those friends his Hannah, the manager of the home who has a lot on her hands trying to care for the residence, but more efforts seem to go towards wrangling Derek and his friend Kev.  Her big sisterly love for Derek is the real heart of the show.

If you, like me, sometimes crave a good cry, then this is the show for you.  Even if you ar not a crier, there is no way that this show won’t tug at your heart strings.  Its main message of surrounding yourself with good people who understand what is really important in life is touching.  Give it a watch.

Derek

Ellen

Fangirly Crush of the Week: Nicholas Hoult

NicholasHoult_620_012213Not all crushes are created equal. In fact, I’d say that 85% of our crushes are based on tepid admiration or a need to recognize male excellence when we see it. This week is not one of those crushes. Right now, we’re all about the star of Mad Max: Fury Road Nicholas Hoult. And I mean, all about. We consider it an egregious oversight that it’s taken so long for Hoult to be offered his rightful placed among our esteemed Fangirly Crush coterie. A surprise, given that his most recent roles have really displayed his beauty to best advantage… Be warned, the following images have reportedly caused spontaneous ovulation among susceptible individuals (ladies and inclined gentlemen)…

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Obviously, celebrity has treated him well but to us here at Fangirly, Hoult will always be the cute little baby-brit who made us laugh, cry, and sort of care about Hugh Grant in About a Boy.

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So we salute you, Nicholas Hoult. Rest assured that if yo shakin’ it, we’ll watch yourself.

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-Whitney

The Reviews Are In: Insidious Chapter 3

lead_960Horror is a weird genre. I don’t mean weird as in, “hey, look at that guy in the Bob Hope mask stabbing people to death.” I mean, it’s hard to get right, and it’s even harder to talk about. Because a good horror movie should be a little of everything; scary, obviously, but also a little funny and sweet and dramatic and suspenseful and sad, but not so sad you feel like you’re watching a Frederico Fellini movie. The tragedy of Insidious Chapter 3 is that, in a lot of ways, its a much stronger movie than the first two installments because it manages to hit all of these notes, but is forced to live in it’s predecessors culty shadow.

Quinn Brenner (Stephanie Scott) is a high school senior who, after the death of her mother, is left to take care of her family and try to face her looming post-graduation future. In a totally reasonable act of desperation, she reaches out to the spirit of her mom, but what she gets instead is a spectral stalker who wants her to join his harem of girl ghost groupies.  Dermot Mulroney is here doing what Dermot Mulroney does best: playing the hapless fish-out-of-water father who is torn between disbelief and desperation as he watches his daughter get physically and emotionally mangled by something he can’t see. (It’s a specific niche, but he totally owns it). Lin Shaye is back as Elise, the medium who must travel into “the Further” to save Quinn’s soul.

Doesn’t sound super ground-breaking, right? That’s because it isn’t. Making a horror movie is like competing in the Hollywood version of Iron Chef; you’ve got to work with the ingredients (tropes) you’re given, and what makes it good is how it all comes together. In this case, there are two things that make Insidious Chapter 3 particularly watchable. The first are the crazy strong performances from Scott and Shaye. Most female driven horror films tend to veer off into a disappointing direction (re: Hellraiser, Halloween, Prom Night, ect.). And while the two female leads are victimized and exploited, this movie is mostly about two women trying to save their souls. Shaye’s Elise kicks an absurd amount of ass, and Scott’s Quinn insidious-3-shadowy-620x400manages to hit that elusive Scream Queen sweet spot: vulnerable but feisty, angsty but likeable. The male characters are good too, but they are mostly there to fill the obligatory white male quota. There’s even a moment in the movie where Elise tells one of those white males, Quinn’s narratively irrelevant younger brother, that while his presence is appreciated, it’s unnecessary.

The other thing that saves Chapter 3 from horror movie mediocrity is that it’s genuinely scary. I don’t have any problem with pop-out cheap shots (which is good since this movie has several) but there’s also underlying tension in this Insidious  that I just didn’t feel in the other two. For reasons that can’t be explained, spoiler-free, Quinn spends most of the movie bedridden or in a wheelchair, and that sense of confinement and helplessness translates into a sort of Rear Window type suspense. The result is a movie that deserves way better than to be labeled as a prequel to movies that are, in some ways, inferior.

Verdict: If you like horror, go see it. It won’t rock your world, but there are more than enough good hand-wringing moments to make up for it.

Whitney