TV Raised Me, and I Feel Fine

I saw my brother for the first time in months this last weekend. As insufferable as we are as individual units, we’re exponentially worse when we get together. Every other word is an inside joke (Sleepy Richard, earning your lunch meat, Pretzel Boy, moving about the house), and all the words in between are movie and TV quotes. This earns us little respect from the people around us. But this sibling shorthand we’ve developed comes from a shared childhood experience: we were raised by TV.

To be clear, we had great parents. We were always clean (ish), well-fed, and adequately loved. But when both of your parents work full time, TV is often used to fill the gaps. And when you come from a family of renowned movie buffs, a certain level of cultural literacy is expected. The problem is, when people learn this about you, you get a very specific look. It’s a look that says, “I’m so sorry for your unfulfilled life”. My response usually reflects my impeccable upbringing and unimpeachable manners.

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I appreciate your thinly veiled shade, but it is unnecessary. TV made me who I am, for better or worse. From a early age, I was exposed to movies and shows written by some of the cleverest people in the world.

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I learned social graces.

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I learned how to carefully formulate a snappy comeback.

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I realized that not everyone can be trusted.

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Sometimes these stories reflected my own experience.

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And sometimes they didn’t.

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But without them, I’d never be able to feel another person’s crushing disappointment.

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Or mortal terror.

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I wouldn’t know how it feels to watch someone you love die.

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I’d never understand how it feels to lose everything you have.

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Good TV, like a good book, gives us a window into another person’s experience,

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and explore realities that otherwise wouldn’t exist.

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TV made me empathetic, and forced me to experience emotions other than my own.

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So don’t be worried that your kids watch TV. Worry about what they watch on TV. Make sure that what they watch reflects the kind of person you want them to be. If it doesn’t…

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Make sure their shows are funny and smart.

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Make sure that they are gaining experiences beyond their own.

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And remind yourself to thank me later. I’ll wait.

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Whitney Weldon

Whitney’s Official 2016 Oscar Snubs

There are plenty to choose from, right? Ridley Scott, Star Wars, Michael B. Jordan, Idris Elba. The list of Oscar snubs, as it does every year, goes on. My diplomatic response would be that the Academy simply can’t accommodate and acknowledge all the great work that was churned out this year. My unfiltered Fangirl answer would be, did The Revenant and Fury Road really, really deserve 12 and 10 nominations, respectively? It’s a subject that’s certainly up for debate. But I’m not here to talk about the Academy’s apparent inability to spread the love. No, I would instead like to focus on the few specific snubs that really bring out the Troll in me.

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3) Crimson Peak for Best Cinematography

It’s pretty obvious that this movie wasn’t for everyone. But no matter what you thought about this Guillermo Del Toro horror set in a repressive, Victorian hell-scape, you must admit that it was beautiful to look at. As a genre, though, horror rarely gets any props at the Oscars, mad or otherwise, so this snub wasn’t at all surprising.  I had hoped, however, for some kind of honorable mention. Something like “Best Use of Tom Hiddleston’s Shapely Hind-Parts in a Drama”. Just a suggestion.

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2) JJ Abrams for Best Director

This is mostly wishful thinking. I just hoped that after all  the garbage that has been slung at this genuinely wonderful movie, it might have been recognized with a nom somewhat more meaningful than “Best Film Editing”. JJ Abrams gave us a Star Wars that was steeped in action and humor and nostalgia and feminism, and in return received a whole lot of internet bitching and a truck-load of broken box office records. We audiences are nothing if not inconsistent.

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1) Charlize Theron for Best Actress 

You would think that at least one of the ten nominations doled out to Fury Road would have gone to the performance that made the movie what it was. Theron’s Furiosa was easily the most moving and complex performance in an action movie, well, ever. I bet this pointed snub has left her pretty inconsolable right now.

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See what I mean?

Whitney Weldon

Cinema Chutes and Ladders: Summer 2015

It’s August and that means that the summer box office has begun it’s inevitable cool-down. We’re here to give you our take on a few of this summer’s biggest releases and speculate on a few late season stragglers. It’s time for another edition of Cinema Chutes and Ladders!

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Avengers: Age of Ultron (May 1)

There’s been a lot of talk lately about Marvel Fatigue and the over-saturation of comic book movies. In response I’d like to say, um, boo hoo? What a bummer for audiences that this production studio is churning out these pretty consistently good films that make people excited to go to the movies. The nerve. I, for one, really enjoyed Age of Ultron.  It gave me everything I needed from an Avenger movie, like good character moments, and solid performances, and…

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Chris Evans chopping wood. Can’t forget about that.

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tom-hardy-as-max-in-mad-max-fury-roadMad Max: Fury Road (May 15)

I wasn’t sold on Fury Road when it was announced last year; I prefer studios to spend their time developing something original rather than rebooting a franchise that flamed out thirty years ago. So you can imagine my surprise when this turned out to be not only one of the best, but in many way one of the most original, summer release. Fingers crossed for a Nux spin-off, am I right?

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Jurassic World (June 12)JURASSIC-WORLD-15-1940x1042

I gave Jurassic World an initial good review that I stand by. But when this movie is taken into context with all the other summer releases, it’s definitely one of the weaker links in the cinematic chain. It was fun, but not much more than that.

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Trainwreck (July 7)

The alternate title of this movie was How Whitney Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Amy Schumer.

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Marvel's Ant-Man..Scott Lang/Ant-Man (Paul Rudd)..Photo Credit: Zade Rosenthal..? Marvel 2014

Ant-Man (July 7)

I had one hope for this movie. I only asked that I could make it though Ant-Man‘s 117 minute run-time without hearing the phrase “why don’t you pick on somebody your own size”. I did not get that wish.

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Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (July 31)

It’s really easy for me to forget what an amazing franchise Mission Impossible has been, until I’m confronted with yet another off-the-chain installment of said franchise. In other news, Rebecca Ferguson is my official Girl Crush of 2015. Crossfit has clearly served her well.

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The Gift (August 8)

From watching the trailer of The Gift, starring Joel Edgerton, Jason Bateman, and Rebecca Hall, I catch whiffs of Single While Female and Fatal Attraction. Since we haven’t seen too many psychological thrillers this season, I’m interested to see how this one shakes out. For now, I’m calling it a ladder based on casting alone.

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Fantastic Four (August 8)first-fantastic-four-trailer-arrives-online_vbew.1920

So Twentieth Century Fox, your plan was to take a quartet of inherently ridiculous superheroes whose attempts at film success has nose-dived not once, but twice, and make them grittier? Good call. Hey, maybe next you could remake The King and I as a raunchy sex comedy.

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Dark-Places-Movie-2015-starring-Charlize-Theron-and-Nicholas-HoultDark Places (August 8)

Probably capitalizing on the success of Gillian Flynn’s last film adaptation, Gone Girl, is a movie that looks stylistically and thematically very similar. Hey, if it’s half a bananas the trailer implies, you can sign me up.

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Henry Cavill, why must we always do this? You insist on looking balls-to-the-wall sexy and I’m sent into a celebrity crush tailspin. Do you know how hard it is to live like this? DO YOU!?

Whitney

Fangirly Presents Who Wore it Better: Summer Reboots

This summer gave us more sequels and reboots than we knew what to do with. Scratch that, we know exactly what to do with them. The Fangirly Fashion Police are standing by to determine who’s hot and who’s not from some of the biggest summer blockbusters, then and now.

Mad Max:

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Tom Hardy v. Mel Gibson

I guess this one boils down to preference; do you want your Max dressed like A Guy on a Buffalo or  Dystopian Edward Scissorhands? Mel surely gets points for showing us that road warrior couture didn’t need to sacrifice form for function, but I think this one goes to Tom. At least Hardy Boy’s outfit didn’t make me wonder about the chaffing potential of a full leather jumpsuit in a post-apocalyptic desertscape.

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Fantastic Four:

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Michael B. Jordan v. Chris Evans

This was very close. I wasn’t a dyed in the wool fan of the original Fantastic Four franchise, and I’ve got some reservations about the upcoming reboot. Artistic merit aside, I think I’m going to give this one to Chris Evans’ Johnny Storm. My bias is well-documented, and I like my superhero costumes to look as flamboyant and impractical as can be; Michael B. Jordan’s look is a little too utilitarian for my taste. I mean, look at all that ventilation. A hero should be ready and willing to sweat it out for the sake of fashion. Score Evans!

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Poltergeist:

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Kennedi Clements v. Heather O’ Rourke

Uh, both? Neither? I’m not sure whether to judge based on respective cuteness or creepiness. Obviously, both of these women know how to work a look. Clements and O’Rourke successfully took these outfits from jammy to whammy, and never have banana bangs looked so on-point.  Unfortunately, Heather O’Rourke’s full-length sleepwear is nothing short of iconic, so this one goes to Carol Anne. It’s an ensamble that really says, “I’m hereeeeeeee”.giphy (3)Whitney 

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

Marry, Boff, Kill: The Boys of Summer!!! (Ellen’s CORRECT Answers)

Yesterday, you may have seen that Whitney played a round of MBK with some of the characters from some of our favorite movies this summer.  She predicted I would throw shade and she gives me no choice but to do be shady when she gets it so unequivocally wrong.  Once again, it falls to me to not totally disqualify us as experts in objectifying men.  Whitney, you are totally going to ruin our street cred.  If you feel like we are both getting it wrong, or if you feel like you need to tell Whitney how wrong she was, let us know on our Facebook page, our twitter@fangirly2, or at fangirlyfangirls@gmail.com.

Ellen’s Picks

Jurassic-World-Chris-PrattMarry: Owen Grady

First of all, he looks like Chris Pratt.  That should be enough, but I’ll go on.  Granted, this is the one movie I haven’t seen of the three, but just from the trailer I know that he has the gentle-yet-firm approach to train velociraptors that is sure to make him the perfect candidate with whom to make babies.  Doesn’t hurt that the process is sure to be quite…enjoyable.

avengers-age-of-ultron-scarlet-witch-quicksilver-marvelBoff: Quicksilver

I don’t know how to be delicate with my response to this one.  But…umm…he has super speed and I won’t lie and say that I am not curious as to how that would manifest itself in the boudoir.  Admittedly, “fast” is not always what one wants in that department, but I feel like it could also have…ahem…satisfactory results that I am not prepared to bypass for the purposes of this game.  Was that all vague enough to still be appropriate?

nicholas-hoult-in-mad-max-fury-road-movie-3Kill: Nux

It would a bit of “pot calling the kettle black” to reject him for skin tone alone, but I’ll start there.  Then I will move on to what Whitney referred to as his “cute little tumors” and the fact that he requires a human being to be chained to him as a blood bag.  Listen I am open to experimentation, but I am not quite prepared to have a voyeur joining us.  So, Nux, I send you off to that great Valhalla in the sky.

Ellen 

Marry, Boff, Kill: The Boys of Summer!!! (Whitney’s Answers)

I take an undue level of pleasure in bringing to you our latest round of Fangirly Marry, Boff, Kill. The competition is as tight as the contenders respective outfits and we’re hoping for a clean fight. However, if Ellen starts throwing shade again, I will in no way be responsible for my actions. Today’s contestants are Chris Pratt as Owen Grady (Jurassic World), Nicholas Hoult as Nux (Mad Max:Fury Road), and Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Quicksilver (Avengers: Age of Ultron). And since we know you’ve got opinions, go ahead and unleash them on our Facebook page, our twitter @fangirly2, or at fangirlyfangirls@gmail.com.

Whitney’s Picks

landscape-1430757391-frd-ds-00085Marry: Nux

I realize that the war-boy-turned-unlikely-hero is going to be a hard sell. I can’t imagine my parents being thrilled, especially when they learn that my other choices were a respected dinosaur wrangler and a superhero. To them I say, hey man, Nux might not have a job that pays well (unless he gets paid in raw, manic sex appeal), and our joy might any day be cut short by his cute little tumors, Barry and Larry. But they say the loves that burn brightest are also the most brief. At least I get to send that little psycho off to Walhalla with a smile on his face.

uncharted_fan_cast__chris_pratt_as_nathan_drake_by_imwithstoopid13-d7m49yrBoff: Owen Grady

I can’t help but think that when your job description involves keeping a bunch of genetically modified tooth-monsters in line, your time as a viable boff is pretty limited. How long until a raptor gnaws off your face, or heaven forbid, you become one of those jaded, Jurassic-World-weary, “I’m getting too old for this Stegosaurus” type dino-dudes. So Let’s do this.  You know, before the unthinkable happens and you start to look like Jeff Goldblum.

600full-quicksilver-(aaron-taylor--johnson)Kill: Quicksilver

Did you see this coming? I didn’t. Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s turn as Quicksilver was one of my favorite part of the latest Marvel summer screen buster. Not that it wasn’t problematic (‘nother time, ‘nother place), but I did love this character. I loved the hair (yeah, ya heard) and his unconvincing accent and his sexy blue and grey speed suit. It’s all good. But one must go, and by process of elimination, well, here we are. I’m so sorry. You’re great, but you gotsta go. I mean it. Go! Before I lose my nerve! Wait… come back. Ha! Just Kidding! Get out of here!

-Whitney