Ding Dong Merrily

January 6th, 2017

On this, the last day of Christmastide, a quick note on my 2016 Christmas music standouts.

1. I gained appreciation this year for The Huron Carol, also called Gabriel’s Message or In the Moon of Wintertime. I’ve had many versions in the mix(es) for years, but its brooding character really charmed me this winter. Here’s a nice live version by Sting.

2. Gobbled up as many versions as I could of Táladh Chriosda (also called Christ Child’s Lullaby), wonderful in Gaelic or English. Again, a song that I’ve had in numerous instrumental forms for quite a while, but only really dug into sung versions this year. Perhaps a way to deal with leaving Scotland? Here’s a lovely version by the Scottish trio Shine (whose albums I now need to add in for next year).

3. On the pop side, Leoni Jansen & Annie Grace’s cover of Slade’s “Merry Christmas Everybody” is a new favorite. Until living in Scotland, I didn’t comprehend the cultural significance of Slade’s song for most of the British population. Americans may hear it pop up in British Christmas films, but until you live there, you just don’t know. On the flip side, it can be hard as an American living in the UK at Christmas to deal with the fact that no coffee shops will be playing Charlie Brown Christmas tracks. Be warned.

(and Slade’s, for good measure)

4. Before the song took on eternally deeper signficance this Dec 25, I fell in love this season with the Puppini Sisters’ cover of George Michael’s “Last Christmas.” Now I love it even more.

5. And to round things off, thanks to Maryann, I added over 13 hours of music to my Christmas holdings (she may still be figuing out what to do with the day and a half’s worth I gave her). The first annual Christmas Summit music share brought more warm celtic/acoustic music and Elizabethan drinking songs to my Christmas playlists than I could have hoped for, plus some Johnny Cash and John Denver that somehow hadn’t found their way to the playlists yet.

Ding Dong Merrily!

Posted in Lists, Music, Scotland

EuroSlayage or “Sometimes Being a Nerd With Your Friend Results in a PhD”

July 18th, 2016

In 2009 I attended and presented at my first ever academic conference. My very good friend and co-bartender Ian Klein had suggested we co-write a paper about Firefly’s Shepherd Book and issues of fundamentalism, atonement and atheism for an academic conference on popular culture. When I said yes, I had no idea it would become a tradition for Ian and I to travel down to Alburqueque for the next few years to present papers on topics ranging from Joss Whedon to Walt Disney, Harry Potter to Toni Morrison. Nor did I know that it would launch me into doctoral research or eventually reunite the two of us in London 7 years later.

PresentationThat first conference, as I listened to professors, graduate students, and authors critique pop culture texts and artefacts, engaging what they love through analysis, I looked around and thought, “I think I’ve found my people.” It wasn’t just a venue for my favorite kinds of conversations, it was the moment I decided that academia was where I could be most creative, the moment I chose to pursue a doctoral degree and a careeer teaching in higher education. Coming from a journeywoman, interdisciplinary bartender, pastor, theatre dramaturg, that was a massive paradigm shift. Three years later, it was with Ian in Alburqueque that I opened the email telling me I’d been accepted as a doctoral student at the University of St Andrews. Ian was the first to know and the first to celebrate with me.

Therefore, last year, when Ian and I began discussing whether it was feasible to meet up in London 2016 for the very first European Slayage conference on the Whedonverses, I was profoundly aware of what a signficant bookend the experience would be, taking place in the last months of my doctoral research, reuniting with the friend whose invitiation to collaborate had opened doors he had no idea would have such an impact.

Clv1Ni6WAAAwuU6And last week, we did it! After spending a few days with me in Edinburgh, and scooting around London a bit, Ian and I attended “Euroslayage,” four days of reunions with buddies and scholars we’ve met through various conferences over the years, new friends made, and panel after panel engaging the works of Joss Whedon through endlessly diverse theoretical, educational and interpretive perspectives.

I was thrilled, and not surprised in the least, that Ian’s conference paper was voted best in the conference, meaning he’ll be back as a featured speaker at the next biennial conference. And I was humbled and very grateful to be one of three student award recipients, especially as this was my first Slayage conference and I wasn’t entirely sure how my theological and comparative film reading would fit within wider Whedon scholarship. But of course, Whedon scholars are nothing if not welcoming, collaborative and creative, and I was fortunate to present my work on a panel with Dr. Rhonda V. Wilcox, co-founder and editor of the Journal of Whedon Studies, and Dr. Brenna Wardell from the University of Northern Alabama. All three of our papers considered Whedon’s second MCU film “Avengers: Age of Ultron” through issues of hero archetypes, nationalism, and violence in ways that intersected and paralleled in surprising and informative ways. It was unquestionably, the best conference panel I’ve ever particiapted in.

So here’s a few slides from my paper presentation. I will definitely be back at the 2018 conference. Maybe it will be time to go full circle and talk Firefly once again.

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Posted in Film, intertextuality, Pop Culture, St Andrews, theology

Forest of Arden? Forest of Arduous

February 25th, 2016

qt7v4o-TMoving to Edinburgh from St Andrews last fall has brought live theatre back into my life, and hence, air back to my lungs. I’ve seen more stage performances in these first 8 weeks of 2016 than in all of 2013 & 2014. But since moving to the UK, I have benefitted massively by getting to see live theatre broadcasts to movie screens from The National Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Comapny, Donmar Warehouse, and others. It’s an outstanding option for those who can’t travel to London or Stratford on a regular basis. That said, I have also been able to see two shows in person at The National, and by this July, three at Shakespeare’s Globe. I am a happy, grateful girl.

And I haven’t really written any reviews of anything I’ve seen because frankly, every review would just say “O wonderful, wonderful, and most wonderful and yet again wonderful.” Seriously, of the 30-plus professional productions I’ve seen since moving to Scotland, only one has been anything less than incandescantly wondrous, visceral, and human.

Until tonight.

Why is it that I’m fated to sit through every production of ‘As You Like It’ with an angry grimmace and incredulously raised eyebrow? Isn’t this Shakespeare’s ultimate pastoral romping romance? Granted, there are some melancholy clowns and wistful songs sung under tree boughs, but this is a play where a forest boasts love poems on its bark. So why am I continually sitting through productions determined to deconstruct it? I mean, I like irony and juxtaposition just as much as the next postmodern audience member, but Polly Findlay’s production for The National Theatre had me wondering if I accidentally wandered into Timon of Athens—The National’s 2012 production of Timon of Athens, to be specific. Got the modern office buidlings, technocrats in suits, and homeless people huddling amidst the detritus of civilization. Hey nonny no thanks.

Despite ‘As You Like It’ being the play that actually contains that wonderful quadruple wonderful-ed line, of the three productions I’ve seen I honestly don’t think I’ve made it through a single one in its entirety. It was relief tonight to be seeing the play broadcast to a cinema, as leaving at intermission was that much easier.

This was just going to be a Facebook post before it got too verbose. All that to say, hey “As You Like It,” where’s the love?

Posted in Anglophilia, Cultural Shifts, Scotland, theatre

Of Polar Bears, Subtle Blades, and Bared Souls

February 14th, 2016

His Dark Materials (His Dark Materials, #1-3)His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I read this series (or novel in 3 parts) for the first time when I was 30. Six years later, it is just as atom-splittingly astounding. I don’t know how anyone under the age of 25 can read this series and not become incapacitated with wonder. I’m just barely holding on. The warning CS Lewis rebuffs in his essay ‘On Fairy Stories,’ that children who read fantasy stories may come to resent the real world for not being magical, could possibly be true in the case of reading his Dark Materials. If you don’t finish it longing to know the shape, name and voice of your daemon, then you may have read the wrong book. What’s more likely is that by the last page, you DO know the shape of your daemon, and a great deal more.

“His Dark Materials” is both ethically disruptive and profoundly moral, fanciful and incisive. For a novel that has accurately been called atheistic, no book may be as concerned with or attuned to the human soul: what it means to have one and what it would mean to lose it. The same can be said for what it means to have a body. It affirms body AND soul, matter AND spirit, doing so with deep reverence, awe and again, wonder.

Take for given that the story holds all the adventure, imagination, and color you would expect to find in the best-told children’s stories, and still, the story goes deeper and farther into the complexity of human ambition, bravery, and desire than any book you’d typically find for readers under 18. It is, unequivolocally, an adult book. And because it respects its characters’ frailities, longings and fears, whether they are 12 years old or 76, the book bestows that same respect on its readers, whatever their age. Which is why I know I’ll be reading it many more times throughout the years to see if it will shatter me again with its hopeful envisionsings of connection, the valor of vulnerability, and our endless capactity to love more than we think we can- ourselves, our fellow persons, and our universe.

Seriously. How do adolescents survive the blinding glory of this book?

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Posted in Books, Psychology/Being Human, The Universe

Because Redesigning Album Art Is About More Than Procrastination

February 6th, 2016

It’s about productivity.

I have a strange relationship with the music I play and store in iTunes. Working on a PhD has only increased this. What I haven’t mentioned yet, though, is the important role album art plays in my computer deskscape. Yes ‘deskscape’ because I spend more time in this screen environment than anywhere else at present. And you see I’ve got this whole sidebar hobby of editing screenshots from all eight Harry Potter films so they look like my own personal photo album of my years as a Hogwarts student for use as desktop backgrounds and screensavers (that naturally, must match the season). And I also always have iTunes on my desktop as a small square of album art so I can easily see what track is playing (which also means that my desktop images need to accomodate album art placement).

Screen Shot 2016-02-06 at 4.50.54 PM

Hence, bad album art or album art that doesn’t jive with the musical season or Harry Potter desktop imagery it particiaptes in, negatively affects my workspace. I often replace bad or boring (or wrong-color-scheme) album art with visuals that look more to me like what the music sounds like. In those many many cases, however, I never add text; I just let a new image speak for the album content.

HG coversBut James Newton Howard’s Hunger Games score albums disrupted this habit of mine. All four albums are in my Winter Study playlist, and there are 2 reasons they really started to grate on my winter work aesthetic. 1. Too much black, orange and red. If it was fall, we’d be all good, but it’s winter, people. That means cold colors. 2. Except for the first album, the artwork doesn’t really the fit story as it’s told. Instead of the intimacy of Katniss’s experiences–how the books and films are mostly expressed–the album art better fits the propoganda of the Capitol or District 13. That’s not the story, and its definitely not the music, most of which expresses trauma and loss.

Screen Shot 2016-02-06 at 4.30.34 PMSo it started by my changing Catching Fire’s score album, mostly because it looked way too similar to Mockingay Part 1’s album art- all wings and flame and black background. But I stayed simple and just used an image from the album’s ditigal booklet.

But with that image still being too red and non-wintry, it was a slippery slope to me redesigning covers for all four albums. Mockingjay Part 1 was the first time I decided to put text into the new album art- keeping the credits but not trying to recreate the film title. Then I just did them all.**

Design: Yes, it was procrastination/distraction, but I still tried to spend as little time as possible, so all four are just cropped images from screencaps or promotional images. I kept the Mockingjay symbol as the throughline, but chose images that reflect Katniss’s journey and the story’s development, and as a result, the evolving meaning of the Mockingjay symbol.

The Hunger Games_ Original Motion Picture Score

The Hunger Games: The story is about Katniss in the arena for the first time. She’s not a revolutionary or even very conscious of the system she’s stuck in. She’s just trying to stay alive and return to her family. So we see the pin as she wears it into the first Games.

The Hunger Games_ Catching Fire (Original Motion Picture Score)

Catching Fire: The story moves into other Districts as rebellion foments and Katniss begins to understand what is really at stake. So we see the Mockingjay spraypainted in a District 11 train tunnel.

The Hunger Games_ Mockingjay, Pt. 1 (Original Motion Picture Score)

Mockingjay Part 1: Katniss is a refugee, uncomfortable with the militarism of District 13 but willing to be their tool if it means she can help her family and Peeta. So we the Mockingjay in a bleak Distrcit 13 bunker.

The Hunger Games_ Mockingjay, Pt. 2 (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

Mockingjay Part 2: The Capitol has become as war zone, and Katniss is no longer a cog, a refugee, or a tool, but is on her own mission to end it all- including herslef if neccesary. So we see a blood-bright dripping Mockingjay emblazoned over destruction.

Aesthetics, narrative, and sound: the better they align the better I write.

**The last album is subtitled “Original Motion Picture Soundtrack” rather than “Score.” Curious? See my upcoming article in the Journal of Relgion and Popular Culture, “Sinners, Saints and Angels on Fire: The Curiously Religious Soundtrack Of The Hunger Games’ Secular Dystopia” 🙂

Posted in Art, Books, Film, intertextuality, Lists, Music, Pop Culture

Rowling as Storyteller-Not Novelist

January 9th, 2016

The Tales of Beedle the BardThe Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was surprised, finally sitting down with Rowling’s extra-textual contrbution to the Wizarding World (before Pottermore, that is), to discover an absolute gem. Though very short, just 5 tales plus notes, as an offering of wizarding world folktales ostensibly documented by a 17th century wizard, then translated by Hermione Granger and annotated with exegetical notes by Albus Dumbledore, ‘Tales from Beedle the Bard’ is Rowling’s commentary on a midrash of her own scripture. And this concise wizarding midrash confirms what I’ve long felt–that it is character and world-building, rather than narrative, which Rowling does best. In five short tales, Rowling introduces and expands new wizarding histories, philosophies, and personalities with precision and simplicity– qualities often lost in the inflated latter texts of the Harry Potter series. But just as compelling and enjoyable are the way she employs Dumbledore as interpeter and apologist for the origins and meanings of how these (fictional) stories of communal memory have formed wizarding identity. (I was also very appreciative to finally receive an explanation of what the term ‘warlock’ means in a reality where ‘witch’ and ‘wizard’ appear to denote gender rather than craft). If the creativity, ambiguity, and organic quality of these tales and their imagined commentary are any indication of what Rowling’s non-Potter/Hogwarts wizarding world narratives such as the upcoming ‘Fantastic Beasts’ film and ‘Cursed Child’ stage drama will be like, then I am ready to be impressed.

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Posted in Books, intertextuality, Pop Culture

The List 2015

January 9th, 2016

The Tenth List

2015 marks the 10th year I’ve kept a viewing list. It’s expanded over the years (2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006), but for some reason, I still get immense pleasure being able to look back at the year via titles I’ve watched. Names of the films I saw with people or saw on my own, the shows I dove into or kept on in the background immediately bring to mind what was happening for me during each—a far more effective diary for me than any other method I’ve tried.

The stats: Moving to Edinburgh this autumn increased what was already a massive boom in cinema viewings since moving away from big city commuter life in 2012. Living a 15-minute walk from at least four movie theatres is, well, as great as I’ve ever dreamed. This year’s list also reflects a return to research-themed movies for various projects I took on (hence the high fairy tale presence). This is also the second year of tracking with whom I watched movies, and along with my regular movie buddies, two visitors definitely won the prize for highest viewing ratio. My brother visited in the summer and between scaling the Scottish Highlands and Icelandic waterfalls, we made up for 3 years apart by watching a ton of movies. Jonathan’s end of the year visit also resumed our film-watching habits and part 2 of his list will show up next year. As far as the continuing high TV series numbers, since doing a PhD is basically being a self-employed writer who works from home, yeah, lots of TV.

mad-max-fury-road-poster2Favorites of 2015:
Mad Max: Fury Road
Straight Outta Compton
Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens
Steve Jobs
Inside Out

Most Disappointing of 2015:
Tomorrowland: A World Beyond
A Little Chaos
Jurassic World
Avengers: Age of Ultron

On Faves and Disses:
Well, Mad Max. After I saw it the second time I knew I wanted to see it on the big screen as much as humanly possible before it left forever. So I did that. And Mad Max pretty much outshines everything this year for me, but the others on the list were the ones that hit me most emotionally, intellectually, or were just outstandingly well-told stories.

For the Disses, usually I wouldn’t include something like Jurassic World, that looked like it was going to be terrible, but it exceeded terrible by such jaw-dropping levels that it would be a travesty to ignore its crimes against filmmaking. Age of Ultron was ‘fine’, not terrible, but it should have been awesome, so its on the Disappointment list. Brooklyn’s here because it’s received such critical hype, but despite decent performances by actors I like, there’s no ‘there’ there. The horribleness of Tomorrowland was the subject of one of my 3 blog posts last year, and A Little Chaos committed so many wrongs its hard to narrow down, but by somehow making Kate Winslett look ugly and pathetic, it certainly earns its place on the list.

Total Films: 163

Straight_Outta_Compton_poster[ ] Big Screen Viewings: 58

Most Watched Film of 2015: 9 Times
Mad Max: Fury Road (8 Cinema Viewings)

Films Viewed 3 Times:
Star Wars VII: The Force Awakes
Into the Woods
Warm Bodies
Thor 2: The Dark World
Snow White & the Huntsman

Films Viewed Twice:
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2
Back to the Future
Back to the Future 2
Back to the Future 3
Avengers: Age of Ultron
Wreck-It Ralph

Running Tally of Most Watched Films Since 2007: *New Total
19 The Young Victoria (2010)
17 *Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)
14 *Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)
13 *LOTR Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
13 *Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 (2010)
11 The Hunger Games (2012)
11 *Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)
11 *Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009)
10 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (2011)
10 Marie Antoinette (2006)
10 Twilight (2008)
10 *Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001)
10 *A Christmas Story (1983)

star-wars-force-awakens-official-posterTV Series Completed: 104

Favorite First-View Series:
Turn: Washington’s Spies
Jane the Virgin
Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries

Most Frequent Film Companions:
Francois: 10 films
Matt: 9 films over 13 days
Ellen: 8 films
George: 7 films
Rosie: 7 films
Jonathan: 6 films over 5 days

The List 2015: Films
LOTR: The Fellowship of the Ring
LOTR: The Two Towers
LOTR: The Return of the King
[ ] Paddington
Star Wars IV: A New Hope
Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back
Snow White and the Huntsman
[ ] Into the Woods
Mirror Mirror
[ ] Into the Woods
[ ] Wild
[ ] Into the Woods
[ ] Birdman
[ ] Big Hero 6
The Matrix
Office Space
Lady Jane
steve-jobs-movie-poster-800px-800x1259[ ] RSC Live: Love’s Labours Lost
Thor 2: The Dark World
Lost in Translation
Snow White (1937)
Princess Mononoke
Sleeping Beauty (1959)
Thor 2: The Dark World
Alice in Wonderland (1951)
Alice in Wonderland (2010)
A Casual Vacancy
Tess of the D’urbervilles (2008)
Snow White and the Huntsman
Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters
Guardians of the Galaxy
[ ] Cinderella (2015)
The Blue Lagoon
The Eagle
The Sound of Music
[ ] A Little Chaos
[ ] Avengers: Age of Ultron
Ever After
10 Things I Hate About You
[ ] Far From the Madding Crowd
[ ] NT Live: Man and Superman
[ ] Mad Max: Fury Road
[ ] Tomorrowland: A World Beyond
Tea With Mussolini
What We Do In The Shadows
[ ] Mad Max: Fury Road
[ ] Mad Max: Fury Road
[ ] Mad Max: Fury Road 3D
[ ] Mad Max: Fury Road
[ ] Mad Max: Fury Road
[ ] Mad Max: Fury Road
X-Men: First Class
Warm Bodies
[ ] Spy
Star Trek (2009)
WILD_movie_posterX-Men: Days of Future Past
[ ] Mad Max: Fury Road
[ ] Jurassic World
Warm Bodies
Mad Max 2 (The Road Warrior)
Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome
Warm Bodies
Begin Again
[ ] Mr. Holmes
Wet, Hot American Summer
Obvious Child
The Runaways
[ ] NT Live: Everyman
[ ] Ant-Man
Snow White and the Huntsman
Whip It
Thor 2: The Dark World
[ ] Inside Out
The Avengers
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay: Part 1
[ ] Ant-Man
Harry Potter 3: Prisoner of Azkaban
Iron Man 3
Captain America: The First Avenger
Iron Man 2
I Am Number Four
Hurricane of Fun: The Making of Wet Hot
[ ] Inside Out
Mad Max: Fury Road
What We Did On Our Holiday
[ ] The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
Back to the Future
Back to the Future 2
Back to the Future 3
[ ] RSC Live: Othello
Wreck-It Ralph
L.A. Story
Stacey-Aoyama-Eric-Tan-Inside-Out-Movie-Poster-Disney-2015Harry Potter 5: Order of the Phoenix
[ ] NT Live: The Beaux’ Stratagem
[ ] Straight Outta Compton
Step Brothers
Mr & Mrs Smith
Hello I Must Be Going
[ ] Legend
[ ] Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
A Mighty Wind
[ ] ROH Live: Le Nozze di Figaro
[ ] Macbeth (2015)
Romancing the Stone
[ ] NT Live: Hamlet
[ ] The Martian
[ ] Back to the Future
[ ] Back to the Future 2
[ ] Back to the Future 3
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay: Part 1
[ ] Suffragette
[ ] The Program
Walk the Line
It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
Coal Miner’s Daughter
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
The Good Girl
[ ] Brooklyn
[ ] Steve Jobs
About Time
mockingjaypostersmall_0[ ] The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2
[ ] KBCT Live: A Winter’s Tale
[ ] The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2
Jingle Bell Rocks!
[ ] The Good Dinosaur
[ ] Victor Frankenstein
[ ] Carol
Back in Time
Gosford Park
[ ] NT Live: Jane Eyre
[ ] Spectre
[ ] Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens 3D
Ex Machina
[ ] Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens
Avengers: Age of Ultron
[ ] Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens
A Christmas Story
Bridget Jones’ Diary
Harry Potter 1: Philosopher’s Stone
Harry Potter 2: Chamber of Secrets
Wreck-It Ralph
21 Jump Street
Harry Potter 6: Half-Blood Prince
Harry Potter 7: Deathly Hallows Pt 1

The List 2015: Series: (In Alphabetical & Numerical Order)
3rd Rock from the Sun: 1
3rd Rock from the Sun: 2
3rd Rock from the Sun: 3
3rd Rock from the Sun: 4
3rd Rock from the Sun: 5
3rd Rock from the Sun: 6
TURNS2-400x600A-Z: 1
A Different World: 1
A Different World: 2
A Different World: 3
A Different World: 4
A Different World: 5
A Different World: 6
Agent Carter: 1
Black-ish: 1
Black Mirror: 1
Bob’s Burgers: 5
Brooklyn Nine-Nine: 2
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: 6
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: 7
Catastrophe: 1
Chuck: 1
Chuck: 2
Chuck: 3
Community: 4
Community: 5
955053b611e99b5acd8380137cf96536Continuum: 1
Continuum: 2
Continuum: 3
Dead Like Me: 1
Dead Like Me: 2
Delivery Man: 1
Doctor Who: Series 1
Doctor Who: Series 2
Doctor Who: Series 3
Doctor Who: Series 4
Doctor Who: Series 5
Doctor Who: Series 6
Doctor Who: Series 8
Doctor Who: Series 7
Don’t Trust the B#% in Apartment 23: 1
Don’t Trust the B#% in Apartment 23: 2
Episodes: 4
Firefly: 1
Friends: 1
Friends: 2
Black-ish-ABC-poster-season-1-2014Friends: 3
Friends: 4
Friends: 5
Friends: 6
Friends: 7
Friends: 8
Friends: 9
Friends: 10
Game of Thrones: 5
The Goldbergs: 2
Grace & Frankie: 1
Hjørdis: 1
Inside Amy Schumer: 1
Inside Amy Schumer: 2
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia: 10
Jane the Virgin: 1
Maron: 1
Maron: 2
Maron: 3
Marvel Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 2
Master of None: 1
maron-550b5b9bf1ff3Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries: 1
Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries: 2
Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries: 3
Modern Family: 6
My Little Pony-Friendship Is Magic: 4
The Office (US): 1
Once Upon A Time: 2
Once Upon A Time: 3
Once Upon a Time: 4
Parks & Recreation: 7
Playing House: 2
Portlandia: 3
Pushing Daisies: 1
Pushing Daisies: 2
Silicon Valley: 1
Slings & Arrows: 1
Slings & Arrows: 2
Slings & Arrows: 3
Star Trek Deep Space Nine: 2
Star Trek Deep Space Nine: 3
11590969Star Trek Deep Space Nine: 4
Star Trek Deep Space Nine: 5
Star Trek Deep Space Nine: 6
Star Trek Deep Space Nine: 7
Summer Heights High: 1
That 70’s Show: 1
Turn: Washington’s Spies: 1
Turn: Washington’s Spies: 2
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: 1
Vexed: 1
Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp
Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp
Who Do You Think You Are USA (BBC): 2
Who Do You Think You Are USA (BBC): 3
Wilfred (US): 3
Wilfred (US): 4
Wolf Hall: 1

Posted in Film, Lists, Pop Culture, Television

Tommorrowland: How A Film About The Future Rockets Us Back To Where We Should Not Go

May 23rd, 2015

First, a bit on what I expected, followed by a whole lot on what I got.

tumblr_nd7g4aFeRy1rf73xqo1_500Beyond seeing the first teaser trailer probably a year ago, I avoided all “Tomorrowland: A World Byeond” content before seeing it tonight. I had very high hopes, and wanted to walk in with nothing but wonder.

And for the first seven minutes or so, the film took me where I hoped it would—to a creative re-engagement with early 1960s’ imagined version of what “tomorrow” would be. I assumed (and hoped) the film would be a kind of pre-reboot/resurrection of the Disney Parks’ Tomorrowlands, which, since the dawn of the computer age, have ceased to play a World’s Fair looking-to-the-future role, and have instead been at best, quaintly nostalgic, or worse, a confusing and outdated bricolage of anything in the Disney cannon/shareholdings that is vaguely ‘space’y. That and Autopia.

So I figured building a film narrative around a fictional “Tomorrowland” was a great opportunity to mine what is dynamic about the retro-future look of the parks’ Tomorrowlands while introducing new story and imagery that would begin to manifest in those parks and unify what has come to be the least-cohesive of the parks’ lands. Frontierland and Adventureland have both managed to survive and adapt to political correctness, post-colonialism, and most of the other ‘post’s we’ve got.

tomorrowland-viral-marketing-campaign-map-1959But Disney parks’ Tomorrowland ceased to have a world or story to invite guests into long ago. That is, until Disneyland Paris took Tomorrowland in an ingeniously different direction. Built in the early 90s, when home computers were drawing nigh, and the internet was about to take its first baby steps, designers did something intuitively brilliant. Instead of re-imagining a future, they took Tomorrowland’s retro-future even farther back—to the 19th century. Inspired and infused with incarnations from Jules Verne’s literary imagination, Discoveryland, as opposed to Tomorrowland, offers what is essentially a steam punk guide to travel: space and elsewhere. Discoveryland’s version of Space Mountain shoots out of a giant bronze rifle raised above a lagoon where the Nautilus from “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” floats in view of a food court styled as a hot air balloon-ship launching depot. And though its clear that budget cuts streamlined a bit too much of what was intended for Discoveryland, it still a tells a story and invites guests to imagine the past’s version of the future, on purpose.

So I hoped the “Tomorrowland: A World Beyond” would launch a new era for the American Tomorrowlands, while also just being an exciting and imaginatively engaging film experience.

So here’s why it wasn’t. SPOILERS from here onward.

There are so many problems with “Tomorrowland: A World Beyond” that its difficult to know where to start, or even what to include, as this post is already longer than internet reading merits. So before moving on to the main ideological issues of the film, here’s what I won’t discuss in detail:

The smaller problems:

tomorrowland-newton-front1a. Some of the worst American child/young actors I’ve seen since, well, the Disney Channel. We’re talking worse acting than what’s required from an episode of “The Suite Life of Zack & Cody.”

b. For a film that is supposed to inspire the youth of the world, the amount and types of violence in the film seemed both flippant and celebratory. Perhaps because the perpetrators and most of the victims are robots, this seemed okay to the filmmakers. But the shocking amount of wounding, beating, and casual killing that take place actually made me gasp. And I just saw “Mad Max: Fury Road” on Wednesday.

c. Most of the digital effects, particularly anything to do with flight, were worthy of the first “Harry Potter “film and 2002’s “Spiderman.” Rubbery flubbery nonsense.

d. There are clues and artifacts throughout of what were clearly various versions of script and storyline. Whether it’s the THREE different opening scenes, the unnecessary reveal shot of a character we’d already met twice, or the fact that Judy Greer only appears for 2 seconds, it’s obvious that the final edit is a compendium of more than one intended narrative. “Maleficent” suffered similar issues, but managed to find a consistent story with its leftover parts. “Tomorrowland”, not so much.

e. The above problem led to the fact that the film’s dramatic question was not introduced until an HOUR AND A HALF into the film. I checked my phone when it finally came out. The first hour and a half is a rolling snowball of accumulating exposition that is simultaneously imploding on itself as it rolls.

f. And point d. also leads to character problems, to the extent that anything we know about a character is based on someone telling us, not us seeing it for ourselves. And most problematically, we never learn how old the main female protagonist is or how the hell she’s able to get from Cape Canaveral, FL to Houston, TX by bus in less than a day. In all the ways the film asks us to stretch our imagination, some of the basic things are the biggest stretches.

g. The expected, but still disappointing way the film felt like a two-hour promotion for Disney pin trading. And Coca-Cola.

The good stuff I won’t discuss in depth:

a. The large amount of non-traditional casting in gender, age and ethnicity. The main protagonists are still all white, but at least the rest of the people populating the screen world are representative of reality.

b. The actual design of Tomorrowland as 1960’s Space Age/World’s Fair/Disneyland extrapolated into a habitable world. Or at least, the bit we get to see. Which isn’t as much as it should be, given the title of the film.

c. The first 7 minutes and the final minute of the film plus the closing credits. They were something new, good, and what I hoped the whole film would be.

d. I’m ambivalent about how they nodded to/incorporated Paris’ Discoveryland. Not pleased about the execution or the fact that it ultimately just feels cross-promotional, but I at least appreciate that they addressed my unasked question about whether or not the film would account for Discoveryland being different than Tomorrowland.

e. Introducing kids to the loss that is the discontinuation of NASA’s space shuttle program.


The real problem with the film:

Now, anyone who goes to see this film is not going to deny that it is preachy and heavy-handed—as in actual speeches from characters about what is wrong with the world. But any film can make the mistake of not trusting its audience to understand without being given a PowerPoint of the film’s message. (Disney’s “Maleficent” succeeded at this; Disney’s 2015 “Cinderella” did not). But the real problem here is the message that Disney chose to brand (double meaning intended) us with.

Within moments of young protagonist Casey’s transportation to Tomorrowland, we see a wall in the background that reads, “Imagination is More Important than Knowledge.” Our viewing of this message follows short on a comic portrayal of Casey being bombarded at school with doom-filled messages about wars, global warming, and dystopian literature. To which she asks a teacher “so how do we fix the problem?,” indicating that none of the people talking about these negative things were interested in solutions.

“Imagination is More Important Than Knowledge”

But the film does not stop at what is actually a wise observation, that imagination plays a significant role in countering destructive patterns and hopelessness. Instead, the film focuses on optimism as a requisite category of being a “dreamer” who wants to make things better. And by not just naming optimism as a virtue, but raising it to a salvific status, the film seeks to negate the role of informed criticism and critical thinking in the process of bringing about transformation.

Tomorrowland-0485And this is where the most disturbing aspect of 1960s era Disney attempts to thaw its frozen head; escapist optimism is portrayed as the needed countermeasure to society’s addiction to depressing news. Furthermore, the escapist optimism advertised by Tomorrowland (both the film and world within the film) is not apolitical, but anti-political. We are told that Tomorrowland was created by/for (its never made clear) dreamers who could be free to work unencumbered by laws, governments and other similar “distractions.” The highly technologized futuristic playland of Tomorrowland is offered as a utopia of dreams made real, without any responsibility to or accountability from anyone but the dreamers themselves.

Which takes us right back to Walt Disney’s own view of human progress as salvation through climate controlled, entirely contained, technologically-advanced community living (See E.P.C.O.T.). Which makes sense in the context of the 1960s, but even then there were problematic issues with equating technological progress as a good in and of itself, ignoring the question of whether gadgets for the sake of gadgets are really the epitome of human creative potential.

Yet that is precisely what the realm of Tomorrowland is defined as. It’s where you have (apparently) limitless resources to make whatever you want without having to consider the impact of your creation, or more specifically, having to consider the problems of the other ‘real’ world at all.

imagesThe film fails to give any substantial origin story for Tomorrowland, or explain if or how what its people create is returned to Earth (or past Earth? The temporal location of Tomorrowland is never actually explained) to help “make the world a better place.” Tomorrowland’s main advertising point to the people of Earth is that it’s a place where anything is possible. But anything is possible because all the realities and complexities of human existance have been removed (or abandoned).

And the final point of the movie, that the world can only be saved by empowering dreamers to imagine the impossible, shows all those diverse dreamers literally exiting the world they are meant to change, escaping instead to a fertile, clean, technologized utopia where their imaginations can serve…their imaginations? It’s not clear.

Nor is it clear what it was that made Tomorrowland a barren land before it is somehow magically saved again by the end of the film (which we don’t see happen exactly). The significant Manhattan-project-esque issue is raised that the people of Tomorrowland “built something they shouldn’t have,” which resulted in some people being banished. But whether the banished people were the problematic creators or those who objected to what was being created, is not explained. Nor do I recall finding out what it was that was made that shouldn’t have been made. Or if it was the Monitor thing they end up destroying, I don’t understand at what point it was deemed ‘bad’ as that point seemed only to come out when our protagonists showed up 25 years after the bannishings.

So though there are traces of questioning unregulated technological advancement without ethical consideration, it doesn’t get fleshed out, and ultimately gets zapped away by the conclusion, which whisks away a new think-tank of dreamers to Tomorrowland.

At the heart of this film’s message is the most problematic of all Disney messages (and not all Disney messages are problematic): an anti-intellectualism that praises escapism for being optimistic and denigrates any criticism as pessimistic. But optimism at the cost of knowledge or engagement with reality is empty and potentially dangerous. After all, choosing to ignore criticism is the favorite pastime of dictators, fascists, and authoritarians of all kinds.

What the film decries as a contemporary obsession with and apathy about our own destruction as exemplified by the rise in dystopian and apocalyptic (mass destruction) stories is, as any literary critic or film writer could tell you, a creative response to perceived cultural and ecological dangers, not acceptance of them. As Caesar Montevecchio, among others, has noted about dystopias,“in a similar way to how apocalyptic imagination gave early Christians a context for seeing what the salvation of the cross was salvation from, dystopian film helps accentuate specific patterns of contemporary experience from which salvation is needed.”* Dystopias are one of the primary ways that dangerous contemporary trajectories are imaginatively portrayed in order to reveal what must be repented of and transformed: dystopias show us what we need to save ourselves from doing to each other.

tomorrowland-d23-logo-title-treatment-walt-disney-appSo when one of the most powerful and influential voices in mass culture brings back a message from half a century ago, that imagination and optimism will save us from all this unproductive negative thinking, the real danger is that we might believe it, choosing to escape our problems by pretending they don’t exist. By telling us explicitly to stop looking at the bad things we’ve created and their resultant problems, “Tomorrowland” doesn’t just say “Don’t worry, be imaginative”; it says that your negative perspectives on life’s realities are THE CAUSE of the world’s problems. Ecological disasters, terrorism, starvation, inequity: those weren’t caused by people making bad choices—it was caused by people’s bad feelings. Bad feelings are dangerous, so escape them and stop thinking about what’s wrong with the world. Make something fun. Help people believe that anything is possible, and refugee camps and melting ice caps will cease to be a problem.

But optimism and hope are not the same thing. Neither are pessimism and criticism. Hope does not avoid the darkness; it bears its precarious light through the darkness. Optimism can be good. But optimism that will not listen to anything but itself is the opposite of hopeful. If anything it resembles stubbornness born out of fear.

Imagination is not a tool of escapism. Imagination is how we deeply engage possibility and employ wonder. And it is engaging reality with imagination that has helped fuel the most important revolutions and resistances in history. Acknowledging the darkness is not pessimism. It is part of recognizing the light.

By cheapening imagination to an optimism that is oppositional to knowledge and criticism, “Tomorrowland: A World Beyond” fails to revise the narrative landscape of its location in Disneyland and Disney World, and instead, advocates a utopian Disneyed-World for us to make manifest, wherein escapism is the best and only salvation from the negative feelings destroying the world.

Time to go see “Mad Max” a second time.

* Montevecchio, Caesar A. 2012. “Framing Salvation: Biblical Apocalyptic, Cinematic Dystopia, and Contextualizing the Narrative of Salvation.” Journal Of Religion & Film 16, no. 2, article 7. http://digitalcommons.unomaha.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1021&context=jrf

Posted in Cultural Shifts, Film, History, intertextuality, Pop Culture

My Most Watched Films: 2007-2014

January 7th, 2015

young victoriaIn my years of tracking every film I watch throughout the year and noting each year’s most watched films, it occured to me that as my data pool grew, there could be some films only watched once a year that never make the annual lists but are in fact, among my most watched films overall. So I went to the lists starting from 2007 when I tracked all films, not just cinema releases, and gathered the big repeaters for this truly thrilling… list.

I included the films’ release date because comparing viewing times with how recently the film was released reveals some interesting (disturbing?) percentages (if you can do them, which I can’t quite). I would love to be able to do some actual data analysis (and infographics) to compare how harry_potter_and_the_order_of_the_phoenix_poster2“watched’ each film is when compared to total films viewed, years of its availablity, and other patterns. THAT is definitiely what I should spend time figuring out how to do…

But until then, here is the Master List.

37 Most Watched Films 2007-2014

Views Film (Released)

19      The Young Victoria   (2010)

16      Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix  (2007)

13      Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban  (2004)

12      LOTR Fellowship of the Ring  (2001)

12      Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1  (2010)

11      The Hunger Games  (2012)

10      Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets  (2002)

10      Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince  (2009)

10      Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2  (2011)

azkaban10      Marie Antoinette  (2006)

10      Twilight  (2008)

9        Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone  (2001)

9        Jane Eyre   (2006)

9        A Christmas Story  (1983)

9        Rushmore  (1998)

8        LOTR The Two Towers  (2002)

8        LOTR The Return of the King  (2003)

8        Tangled  (2010)

lord_of_the_rings_the_fellowship_of_the_ring_ver48        Star Trek   (2009)

7        Little Women  (1994)

7        Serenity  (2005)

7        I Heart Huckabees  (2004)

6        Thor  (2011)

6        Elf  (2003)

6        National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation  (1989)

6        Say Anything  (1989)

6        The Royal Tenenmbaums  (2001)

5        Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl  (2003)

5        Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest  (2006)

Harry-Potter-and-the-Deathly-Hallows-Part-1-poster5        Star Wars IV: A New Hope  (1977)

5        Star Wars VI: The Return of the Jedi  (1983)

5        The Princess Bride  (1987)

5        Nanny McPhee  (2005)

5        2 Days in Paris  (2007)

5        Galaxy Quest  (1999)

5        Grosse Pointe Blank  (1997)

5        Tootsie  (1982)

the-hunger-games-character-poster-katniss1Interpreting the Data

A. Unsurprisingly, the two films that hold my “Seen Most In Cinemas” records are high on the list. I saw “The Hunger Games” 9 times in the theater and “The Young Victoria” may have an unbeatable lifetime record of 11 times in the theater. If you want to know why I saw both of those so many times, well, you had to be there.

B. Naturally the Potters are top scorers. “Goblet of Fire” of course is nowhere to be seen as I consider it apocryphal and only watch it when a full saga marathon requires it (and somtimes not even then). But what surprised me was how many times “Chamber of Secrets” gets watched, harry_potter_and_the_chamber_of_secretsconsidering it’s techincally my second-to-least favorite of the Potters, mostly because it just feels like Sorcerer’s Stone part 2. But I think it tends to be something I put on in the background when I’m organzing or cleaning, so that could explain its high score. Also interesting to see that “Deathly Hallows Part 1” is the third-most viewed HP film, as its only 4 years old. But it is tied for my second favorite HP, with “Order of the Phoenix” which suprised me by beating out “Prisoner of Azkaban”, my favorite HP and in my top 5 films of all time. I suppose it’s again the case of often having “Order of the Phoenix” on as atmostphere as opposed to when I sit and really watch Azkaban.

Harry-Potter-and-the-Half-Blood-Prince-movie-posterC. Yeah. Twilight. It was research. Seriously.

D. The inspiration to do this list came last Christmas when I realized there were movies I watched at least once every Christmas season that never made it on my annual lists but were probably among my most watched films overall. And indeed, “A Christmas Story”, “Little Women”, “Elf” and “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” all have high scores. Safe to say that “A Christmas Story” holds my lifetime record of most watched film. I’ve seen it a minimum of every year since since at least 1985, and will continue to do so until I die. It will take the Potters quite a while to overtake, if ever.

harry_potter_and_the_deathly_hallows_part_twoE. Some of the high scorers belong to the ever-expanding category of movies I put on while I enter grades into Excel. Pirates of the Caribbean(s), Nanny McPhee, Galaxy Quest; all fun films whose colorful atmospheres I tend to enjoy when I’m working.

F. The Star Warses. Where is “Empire Stikes Back?” you ask accusingly? It’s at 4 views. My taking-down-Christmas tradition has recently become turning on whatever Star Wars film follows the Star Wars film I had on when taking down Christmas the previous year. Hence, sometimes only one Star War gets watched each year. This is mostly because in the past 5 years someone lost/stole my DVDs of the orginal theatrical versions and I marie_antoinette_ver3can only handle the George Lucasified travesties as background. It has been YEARS since I’ve sat down to watch the whole (true, original, only, 3-part) saga. So sad.

G. This seven year span covers most of my now established tradition of spending January 1st in a Lord of the Rings marathon, so they are essentially guaranteed at least one view a year. But I was still surprised to see how highly they scored, as, unlike the Potters, I NEVER put LOTR on as background. I cannot watch them casually. So I was surprised to see how much time I have spent going There and Back Again, considering it’s such a serious undertaking.

H. Here’s the most watched films per shortest period of circulation.

Annual Average 3.8     Total Views: 19   The Young Victoria (2010)

Annual Average: 3.6    Total Views: 11   The Hunger Games (2012)

Annual Average: 2.5    Total Views: 10   HP: Deathly Hallows Part 2 (2012)

Annual Average: 2.4    Total Views: 12   HP: Deathly Hallows Part 1 (2011)

Annual Average: 1.6    Total Views: 8     Tangled

Well, I sure enjoyed that.

Posted in Film, History, Lists, Pop Culture

The List 2014

January 2nd, 2015

I am rapidly approaching the 10 year anniversary of this List. It’s changed a bit over time (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013). I added television series a few years ago, but this year definitely set a record. Doing a PhD seems to have increased my series viewing (watchable in shorter increments) and cinema viewings (more free evenings) but decreased film viewings. And while this list-keeping has prompted other friends to start posting their lists over the years, I’ve been influenced by them as well. This year for the first time, inspired by Jonathan and Ian, I kept track of my film-viewing partners. I wish I’d started this long ago; it’s a fun way to remember a year with friends. But before that, here’s a reminder of what this list represents.

Favorite” does not mean “Best Film”, but rather, what cinema viewing experiences left long-lasting impressions, were most visceral, exciting, thought-provoking, fun, magical, gripping. This year I had a ton of runner-up to best film experiences, but I stuck with my rules and kept to the ones that had me most agog as I sat in my seat. (I counted live stage broadcasts as film viewings but not for film favorites).

Most Disappointing” doesn’t usually mean worst, such as seeing a film I knew would be bad and was, but this year, one film definitely earns “Worst” and “Most Disappointing”. Because I knew The Hobbit would be terrible, I carried no hope with me into the theatre. It transcended my worst expectation by leaps and bounds; it was worse than I thought disappointing could be. The other three were films I thought were fine, but had anticipated would be brilliant, hilarious, or thrilling, and instead just left me flat. This category could also be called “Could Have Stayed Home”.

legoFavorites of 2014:
The LEGO Movie
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

Most Disappointing of 2014:
The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies
The Amazing Spiderman 2
Mr Turner

Total Films: 192

[ ] Big Screen Viewings: 38

Most Watched Film of 2014: 4 Times
The LEGO Movie:

mockingjayWatched Thrice in 2014:
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1
Wreck-It Ralph
Harry Potter 1: Sorcerer’s Stone
Harry Potter 3: Prisoner of Azkaban
Harry Potter 7: Deathly Hallows Part 1
Harry Potter 8: Deathly Hallows Part 2

Watched Twice in 2014:
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Muppets: Most Wanted
How to Train Your Dragon 2
22 Jump Street
Edge of Tomorrow
Before Sunset
Marie Antoinette
herThe Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Finding Nemo
Warm Bodies
The Princess Bride
Harry Potter 2: Chamber of Secrets
Harry Potter 5: Order of the Phoenix
Harry Potter 6: Half-Blood Prince

Total Series: 105

Favorite First-View Series:
Brooklyn 99
The Goldbergs
The Cosmos
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Mr. Selfridge

Most Frequent Film Companion:
maleficentNoah 22 films; 1 cinema, 21 small screen.
This number could have been even higher but Noah departed Scotland in September. Still, with three extra months, Francois’s score of 19 films didn’t beat Noah. Fittingly, the last and 22nd movie Noah and I watched was “22 Jump Street”. Also point of interest, in our 3 years of watching movies, we only saw one in the theatre; a surprising amount of viewing happened in office spaces. In the Philosophical Research Centre for Logic, Language, Metaphysics and Epistemology, we were the ones eating Dominoes and watching “Old School”.

The List 2014: Films

LOTR: The Two Towers
LOTR: Return of the King
Death Comes To Pemberley
noah_xlgHarry Potter 4: Goblet of Fire
Uncle Buck
Hot Tub Time Machine
[ ] American Hustle
The Bling Ring
Harry Potter 1: The Sorcerer’s Stone
21 Jump Street
High Fidelity
Our Idiot Brother
Harry Potter 7: Deathly Hallows Pt 1
Hearry Potter 8: Deathly Hallows Pt 2
Before Sunrise
Before Sunset
Harry Potter 3: Prisoner of Azkaban
Harry Potter 6: The Half-Blood Prince
The Piano
Hot Rod
[ ] 12 Years A Slave
[ ] National Theatre Live: Coriolanus from the Donmar Warehouse
Jesus Camp
How-to-Train-Your-Dragon-2-PosterHarry Potter 5: Order of the Phoenix
[ ] The Lego Movie 3D
Whale Rider
Wreck-It Ralph
Whisky Galore
Sense & Sensibility
The People vs. George Lucas
Broadcast News
[ ] The Lego Movie
[ ] National Theatre Live: War Horse
The Hunger Games
Role Models
[ ] her
Harry Potter 6: The Half-Blood Prince
[ ] The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Avengers
grand_budapest_hotel_ver2_xxlg[ ] The Grand Budapest Hotel
Thor: The Dark World
[ ] Muppets: Most Wanted
[ ] Noah
[ ] Muppets: Most Wanted
[ ] Noah
[ ] Amazing Spider-Man 2
Animal House
[ ] National Theatre Live: King Lear
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Rise of the Fellows Hip
[ ] X-Men: Days of Future Passed
Celestre & Jesse Forever
Finding Nemo
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest
Wreck-It Ralph
Nanny McPhee
Warm Bodies
Bronies: The Extremely Unexpected Adult Fans of My Little Pony
A Bug’s Life
When Harry Met Sally
twelve_years_a_slave_xlgConfessions of a Shopaholic
Tarzan (1999)
Toy Story 3
Monsters Inc.
How To Train Your Dragon
The LEGO Movie
The Mummy
Quantum of Solace
[ ] Neighbors
[ ] 22 Jump Street
[ ] Edge of Tomorrow
[ ] Godzilla (2014)
The Holiday
The Princess Diaries
[ ] Maleficent 3D
The LEGO Movie
The Railway Children
Brief Encounter
Sleeping Beauty
boyhood-teaser-posterThe Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Pride & Prejudice (1995)
Harry Potter 7: Deathly Hallows Pt 1
Harry Potter 8: Deathly Hallows Pt 2
How I Live Now
[ ] The Fault In Our Stars
[ ] How To Train Your Dragon 2 3D
Becoming Jane
Harry Potter 2: Chamber of Secrets
Harry Potter 5: Order of the Phoenix
Jane Eyre (1970)
Tron: Legacy
Shakespeare In Love
Jane Eyre (2006)
Star Trek III: The Search for Spock
Jane Eyre (2011)
A Royal Affair
The Young Victoria
guardiansStar Wars VI: The Return of the Jedi (Stupid Lucas Version)
Star Trek V: The Final Frontier
[ ] How To Train Your Dragon 2
Wide Sargasso Sea (2006)
Jane Eyre (1997)
Harry Potter 1: The Sorcerer’s Stone
[ ] Boyhood
Wreck-It Ralph
[ ] Le Planete des Singes: L’Affrontment
2 Days in Paris
The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)
[ ] Guardians of the Galaxy
Paris Je T’aime
Midnight in Paris
Marie Antoinette
Before Sunset
edge_of_tomorrow_ver4_xlgFrench Kiss
Finding Nemo
Marie Antoinette
Before Midnight
Old School
[ ] A Most Wanted Man
22 Jump Street
Warm Bodies
[ ] Magic in the Moonlight
Everyone Says I Love You
[ ] ROH Live: Manon
[ ] The Maze Runner
Walk the Line
Afternoon Delight
Harry Potter 3: Prisoner of Azkaban
Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs
The Addams Family
22-jump-street-2014-04Lilo & Stich
Kung Fu Panda
King Fu Panda 2
Harry Potter 1: The Sorcerer’s Stone
[ ] Interstellar
[ ] Mr Turner
[ ] The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1
[ ] The Imitation Game
[ ] The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1
Arthur Christmas
Christmas in Connecticut
While You Were Sleeping
[ ] The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1
Harry Potter 2: Chamber of Secrets
The Princess Bride
Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Trains, Planes and Automobiles
interstellar-poster-1National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
Funny Farm
Trading Places
Veronica Mars
Harry Potter 3: Prisoner of Azkaban
Santa Claus The Movie
[ ] The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies
Muppets Christmas Carol
The Santa Clause
Bad Santa
The Family Stone
Harry Potter 7: Deathly Hallows Pt 1
You’ve Got Mail
About A Boy
Jack the Giant Slayer
Rise of the Guardians
A Christmas Story
White Christmas
The Princess Bride
Little Women
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie
Murder By Death
Captain America: The First Avenger
Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs 2
Edge of Tomorrow
Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters
What If
Harry Potter 8: Deathly Hallows Pt 2

The List 2014: Series

MV5BNDkzNjkwMDk2Ml5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMDMyMDczMDE@._V1_SX640_SY720_Wilfred (USA): 1
Girls: 1
Girls: 2
Star Trek Enterprise: 4
Wilfred (USA): 2
Homeland: 1
Star Trek: 1
Homeland: 2
Star Trek: 2
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia: 7
Homeland: 3
30 Rock: 7
Star Trek: 3
Bob’s Burgers: 1
Episodes: 1
Black Books: 1
Quantum Leap: 1
Black Books: 2
Black Books: 3
goldbergs_xxlgGame of Thrones: 2
Castle: 1
Castle: 2
Castle: 3
Bob’s Burgers: 2
Castle: 4
Castle: 5
Game of Thrones: 3
Brooklyn 99: 1
Parks & Recreation: 6
Bob’s Burgers: 3
Warehouse 13: 4
Vikings: 1
Arrested Development: 1
Arrested Development: 2
Warehouse 13: 5
Castle: 6
Arrested Development: 3
66316238Arrested Development: 4
Modern Family: 5
Bob’s Burgers: 4
The Goldbergs: 1
Miss Spider’s Sunny Patch Friends: 1
Game of Thrones: 4
Scrubs: 1
Scrubs: 2
Scrubs: 3
Orange is the New Black: 2
Scrubs: 4
Scrubs: 5
My Little Pony—Friendship is Magic: 1
Trophy Wife: 1
Scrubs: 6
Episodes: 2
Episodes: 3
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia: 8
Playing House: 1
Agents-of-SHIELD-Season-2-posterIt’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia: 9
Pramface: 1
Eureka: 1
Eureka: 2
Happy Endings: 1
Eureka: 3
Masters of Sex: 1
Eureka: 4
My Little Pony—Friendship is Magic: 2
Eureka: 5
Star Trek Next Generation: 1
Northern Exposure: 1
Northern Exposure: 2
Star Trek Next Generation: 2
Northern Exposure: 3
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: 1
Star Trek Next Generation: 3
Star Trek Next Generation: 4
The Cosmos (2014)
MV5BMTY4NTMwNDYzNV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMjY1NzQxMTE@._V1_SY317_CR1,0,214,317_AL_Buffy The Vampire Slayer: 2
Star Trek Next Generation: 5
Masters of Sex: 2
The Cosmos (2014)
Girls: 3
Star Trek Next Generation: 6
Star Trek Next Generation: 7
Mr Selfridge: 1
Veronica Mars: 1
Star Trek Deep Space Nine: 1
Veronica Mars: 2
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 1
Burning Love: 1
Mr Selfridge: 2
Burning Love: 2
The Bletchley Circle: 1
Veronica Mars: 3
Burning Love: 3
The Bletchley Circle: 2
Call the Midwife: 2

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