Two Jungle Book Movies to Be Released At the Same Time…Oops!

   Whoever plans films should be fired because things are going to get really confusing really fast. Two movies based on the same story, The Jungle Book, are going to be released less than a year apart from each other. This occasional occurrence is not unheard of to happen in Hollywood. The two separate instances that come to mind are- White House Down/ Olympus Has Fallen (both movies about terrorists taking over the White House. Both released at the same time). The second one- I distinctly remember that myself, along with friends and family were very confused by this one- The Prestige/ The Illusionist (both movies about magicians in the early 1900’s).
     These Jungle Book films are going to be far worse because it is the exact same story. The other movies I mentioned were distinctly similar- same plots-ish but at least they had different titles and had different characters. These Jungle Book films will have the exact same main characters and very similar stories no doubt. Imagine someone trying to talk about these movies…
 
     Person 1: Hey, do you want to go see the new Jungle Book movie?
     Person 2: Wait, which one?
     Person 1: Ya, know. The new one.
     Person 2: Which new one? Because I want to see the Warner Brothers one… Not the Disney one.
     Person 1: Wait… What?! Which one is that?

See how that could get confusing?
Apparently they are planning on clearing this up by naming the films completely different things. One is going to be called “The Jungle Book” and the other “The Jungle Book: Origins.” Aaaah, yes. That is all cleared up now. So instead what appears to be happening is that each movie is trying to “out star” the other one. It seems each film is trying to collect the biggest names in the business to distinguish their movie.

Disney:

Director: Jon Favreau, best known for the Iron Man films.
Mowgli: Neel Sethi, an adorable newbie.
Shere Khan: Idris Elba, best known for his roles in Thor and Pacific Rim.
Baloo: Bill Murray, best known for Ghostbusters, Ground Hog Day and crashing parties in Brooklyn (also if you don’t know who he is, we cannot be friends).
King Louie: Christopher Walken, best known for Deer Hunter, Catch Me if You Can and “more cowbell.”
Kaa: Scarlett Johansson, best known for kicking ass as Black Widow in various different Marvel films and We Bought a Zoo.
Bagheer: Ben Kingsley, who’s best known for being Gandhi in Gandhi, Enders Game and Iron Man3.
Raksha: Lupita Nyong’o, best known for 12 Years a Slave.

———————————————————————————————————
Warner Bros.
Director: Andy Serkis, best known for being Gollum in The Lord of the Rings and the new Planet of the Apes films, is making his directorial debut.
Mowgli: Rohan Chand, best known for his role in Bad Words.
Shere Khan: Benedict Cumberbatch, best known for playing Sherlock and making the internet go freaking crazy (including me, I feel not shame over this).
Baloo: Serkis, again.
Begheera: Christian Bale, best known for playing Batman.
Kaa: Cate Blanchett, best known for playing Galadriel in The Lord of the Rings and Elizabeth in Elizabeth.
Nisha: Naomie Harris, best known for playing Moneypenny in Skyfall and Winnie Mandela in Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom.

So with all the big names both studios have collected it looks like a good ole fashioned show down between Disney and Warner Brothers. I guess we will just have to wait and see who comes out on top.

At Least It Doesn’t Suck: Taylor Swifts New Single

 

For a young teenage girl who started out as a country singer, Taylor Swift has done a whole lot of moves outside the “genre box”. She started out country and has slowly moved over to being a purely pop artist. The new album Taylor Swift will be releasing “1989” is due to premier October 27th, has been officially declared her first 100% pop album. 

     A solo track from the “1989” album was released today and has already hit at #1 on the iTunes chart. The song is called “Shake it Off.” Even for a person like me, who doesn’t actually listen to the lyrics in songs very well even when I am singing them, could not miss the point of this song. It was like with the song “Happy” by Pharrell Williams, you say the exact same 3 words the entire 4  minutes of the song, and even I am going to get the point.

I just realized she looks a lot like Nicole Kidman in this picture…Freaky

In this song she departs from the usual love song or break up song… shocking.
     But the message of “Shake it Off” is that people are going to love or hate you. They are going to say
whatever they want, but you just have to let it fall behind you as you keep going. You have no control over what they say, but that doesn’t make it true, just be you. She gets this point across with deep lyrics such as “Playa’s gonna play, haters gonna hate- but i’m just gonna shake it off.” –deep stuff. But at least this hip hop song is not like a lot of them, about smacking ass, making “bitches” crawl for your money or “getting with” strippers.
     A lot of people are going to like this song. It is catchy, upbeat and easy to sing. The message is good, the song is peppy and it is Taylor Swift so she already has a built in and loyal fan base. It is going to be one of those songs that the radio will play to death.
     I am feeling a little bit of the growing pains here with this full transition into hip hop and pop. In the music video there is a little bit of a disjointed quality to it. The song was a little off for me, but I did not think it was necessarily bad by any means. But feel free to judge for yourself.

I’m Oddly Chipper For Being Broke


 It is my one year anniversary, and if I drank, i’d be getting plastered right now to drown my sorrows. Anniversary’s are usually supposed to be joyous occasions, and this one is… kinda. Today is the day, one year ago, in which I graduated college. I had a great time in college. It was a lot of fun and I got my degree in something completely worthless. Everyone told me not to get my degree in the social sciences but I ignored all the warnings. No, I didn’t know what I wanted to do after graduation, but I loved studying history so that should be good enough. Right? If I could go back in time and punch myself right in the face, I would (but for a number of reasons, not just this one).
     It has been a year since getting my college degree and I am still unemployed. Welcome to the life of someone who majored in the social sciences. Although this is somewhat of a bitter diatribe, there was a good result. I started this blog a few months later because I needed something to be responsible for, when everything else was so out of my control.
     One good thing about being a successful student of history is that you are essentially trained and groomed to have a huge capacity for recalling too many facts and having a lot of knowledge about completely worthless things. This, I think, is why I gravitate to writing about things like movies, music and sports. They all have their own purpose and history to each one of them, both as a singular movie or album and also in the greater scheme of things. Apart from any legitimate reasons however, I just love the entertainment industry… probably too much. So it is nice having this blog as an outlet so that my friends and family don’t have to hear about it constantly.
So, in honor of this, my one year anniversary of unemployment I am going to tell y’all some super deep and meaningful facts about life that I have learned in the past year. Ready? Here ya go….. – don’t eat Taco Bell after 2am. I promise that any and everything that results from that will be negative. Thus ends my pearls of wisdom.

You’re Only Given One Little Spark of Madness. You Mustn’t Lose It: My Memory of Robin Williams

     For this weeks post I had planned on going to see the new film “The Hundred Foot Journey” with Helen Mirren and doing a review of that movie. Though it appeared to be a completely predictable “feel good” flick, I like movies like that. Sometimes that is just what the doctor ordered to end a tough week on a high note. However, apparently movie theaters in Arizona hate the French and French food because there was only a small hand full showing the movie and all the showtimes were over. Lame! Get it together Arizona!
     So, since my plan was thwarted by my desert rat friends, instead I had planned on writing a silly, comical post. I had it all typed out, until I heard the news. Once the headline broke, I couldn’t bring myself to post a stupid and ridiculous blog for this week.
     The news broke that one of the worlds most beloved comedians, Robin Williams, died from apparent suicide. My heart broke when I heard this news. I am not going to pretend I had any type of real encounter with this man to recount, but in some ways we allow actors, musicians ect. to be apart of our lives everyday, to influence and change us. They mean something to us. We laugh, cry and are jubilant with them, they share a part in our daily activities.
     When I was a 7th grader in middle school, I was often teased and bullied by the popular girls in my class (I do not tell you this to get sympathy, but it is an unfortunate thing that happens sometimes). It was an extremely difficult time and I often came home from school feeling sad and lonely. Back then, I had a tiny tv, with its screen about the size of an average book cover. On these tough days I would pop in my “Mrs. Doubtfire” VHS tape and let it run on a loop in the background as I went about my chores. Without fail this always worked in cheering me up. It was comforting, funny, heartwarming and a little sad but with a hopeful ending. During this time Robin Williams was literally a saving grace for a sad 12-year-old girl. We have truly lost one of the all time great comedians, as well as a damn good man. I know though, that somewhere angels are busting a gut listening to him do his impressions.

Not All Famous People Are Scum: Awesome Things Celebrities Have Done


     As much as I wish that this blog could mostly be movie reviews, or something along those lines, I am not Diamond-Jim-Brady (where the hell does that saying come from anyway), in fact, I am not employed. So this week I decided to, perhaps, restore a little faith in the image of celebrities. I saw recently in a news story that Amy Adams discretely gave up her first class plane ticket to a soldier on his way home from the Middle East. The only reason the news story broke was because of fellow passengers on the plane who heard Adams speaking to the Airlines worker trying to get the seat change. When I heard this story, I was very impressed and thought perhaps there were other good Samaritan celebrities out there who were doing little acts of good deeds behind the scenes. So I decided to look into it.

       I am as critical as anyone when it comes to these Millionaires. Bottom line I suppose that I am jealous of their capabilities. What they could do with that money, while instead we see them being selfish, indulgent, and indifferent. However, as is often the case, we lump all celebrities in one group, classifying them as selfish bitches because of the bad apples out there who are pretty obnoxious and terrible people *cough* Justin Bieber *cough.* But today I wanted to take the focus off of these “douche canoe” celebrities, and look at some of the good they do.

     1. Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp always travels with his Captain Jack Sparrow costume to make impromptu visits to sick kids in hospitals, or children at schools abroad who have written him fan mail. Depp also often goes to Disneyland dressed up as Captain Jack, without giving notice before hand, and takes over for signature time with the kids.
                       
                            2. Tupac
Regardless of the singers less than stellar history, Tupac was never too busy for his fans. At the height of his fame Tupac received a letter from the parents of a terminally ill boy named Joshua, saying it was Joshua’s dying wish to meet Tupac. Tupac then flew out to Maryland to meet the boy. When Joshua passed away, Tupac changed the name of his publishing company to “Joshua’s Dream.”

   3. Dave Grohl
The famous writer, singer and musician in Nirvana and Foo Fighters  Dave Grohl is said to be one of the coolest guys you could ever meet. This image of him can be verified by two Australian miners who found themselves in a terrible situation, with an awesome result. Two trapped Australian miners asked only for an iPod with Foo Fighters to be sent down to them. When Dave heard about this, he personally included a note saying “I want you to know that when you come home, there’s two tickets to any Foo’s show, anywhere, and two cold beers there waiting for you. Deal?” Apparently they took him up on that offer.
     4. Emma Watson

The brilliant and successful Watson also appears to be quite the charitable humanitarian as well. But while she is not trying to do her part to make a difference in the world, she takes the time to make a little boys day. A 5 year old boy was out in NYC treak-or-treating on Halloween dressed as Harry Potter- the outfit, wand, glasses, the whole 9 yards. It was towards the end of his candy hunt when he was approached by a young woman. She came up to him and said “excuse me, are you Harry Potter?” After he mumbled out a, yes, she said “that’s great, because I’m Hermione Granger and we’re best of friends.” and she gave him a big hug. Of course the boy didn’t really understand that this was indeed the real Herminoe Granger.

                                                  5. J.K. Rowling

Before the official release of the 4th Harry Potter book in the series, J.K. Rowling wrote the books ending a year in advance for Natalie McDonald, a little girl diagnosed with leukemia. Natalie died before she received Rowling’s email, so J.K. named a character after Natalie. That character was sorted into Gryffindor in order to commemorate such a brave little girl.
     6. John Cena
Generally I am not a fan of the WWF… wait is it called the WWE now? I don’t know, fake wrestling, lets just call it that. But this story was just too sweet to pass up. John Cena reaches a major milestone with the Make-A-Wish Foundation… 400 wishes granted!

    7. George Takei
George Takei showed up two hours early for a scheduled press conference just so that he could sign the doll of a young fan who was too sick to stick around for the scheduled time of the meet and greet.
     8. Russell Brand
Brand has been seen multiple times on the streets of LA hanging out with the homeless, taking them to breakfast, giving them new clothes, and even a ride to AA meetings that Brand himself attends.
                   9. Tom Cruise
Though I am not a fan of Cruise these days he was pretty heroic after he witnessed a hit-and-run accident. Cruise called the paramedics, stayed with the victim and followed them to the emergency room. During this process he found out that the victim was un-insured and he paid the 7,000 hospital bill himself.
     10. Zach Galifianakis

When Galifianakis was a struggling actor in Los Angeles 20 years ago, he made an unlikely friend at a laundromat. Now 87 year old Elizabeth “Mimi” Haist volunteered and lived at Fox laundry in Santa Monica living off tips from customers for 18 years. One of the customers was Zach, who after his career launching success of The Hangover, stopped going to the laundramat but continued checking on his friend Mimi. When Zack learned that Mimi had become homeless, he found her an apartment in Santa Monica and paid for her rent and utilities. Zach’s friend Renee Zelleweger helped him decorate the apartment and often brings her groceries to make sure Mimi is always fully stocked with food. Zach has taken Mimi to The Hangover 2 & 3 movie premiers, as well as the premier for his film with Will Ferrell, “The Campaign.”  

I’ve Been Waiting For A Raccoon Hero: Guardians of the Galaxy Review

      Does anyone else feel like Marvel is slowly taking over the world? No, just me? It is probably not the best idea to write this review right now as it is 3am after the midnight premier and I am about to crash from caffeine. But maybe my semi-hallucinogenic state will result in writing magic… probably not though. Anyway, tonight I went to see the new Marvel hero movie “Guardians of the Galaxy.” I was very unsure about this film, as I know many other people are about this unknown (very odd looking) story line. And by “I was unsure about this film” what I really mean is that it looked SUPER stupid. In a way though, that was such a refreshing aspect of this hero movie. This Marvel feature film is based off a comic book story that I know nothing about. This being the first time that has ever happened with a Marvel hero film, I was very interested to see how this story line would work, if it would work at all.
   
     If you had asked me several months ago who would be the least likely person to play your traditional “Superhero” in a movie, Chris Pratt might have legitimately made my list. For anyone who has ever seen “Parks and Rec” you know that Pratt is big, silly and over the top. These days he has become a fairly well known comedian, and would seemingly be a very unlikely candidate to be cast as a superhero. Even though he buffed up for this film, they still keep this very silly, lovable aspect of Pratt for his hero character which works out very well.
     As with all hero movies the hero’s do not start
out that way. In this case they are a murderous and un-unified group of criminals that find themselves in need of each other, that is if they can keep from killing each other along the way. This group includes a raccoon, two assassins, a tree and a thief.  This unusual group of misfits get embroiled in a scenario where they find themselves having to save the universe (surprise, surprise).
     Just FYI this movie starts off on a very sad note, so perhaps pack a single tissue, but after that, the movie is almost nothing but laughs. This Marvel film is by far the most overtly funny movie of its type. The theater was giggling almost the entire time. Now, I am not trying to take anything away from the always brilliantly funny performance of Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, but Guardians of the Galaxy is a more consistent and cast balanced funny throughout the film.
 
     Now, with movies like this there is always cause for founded
concern. I always wonder “how many cheesy lines and heroic speeches will I have to sit through in this one.” As good as all these movies are, there always seems to be at least one or two dumb lines, or overly dramatic moments that are unnecessary and annoying. Guardians of the Galaxy is no different, but the approach they take to these moments is brilliant. When one of these ridiculous moments happens, one of the characters in the movie directly makes fun of what is happening. This was a perfect way to handle these occurrences because now the audience knows the feeling, or motives, behind the ridiculous over-the top gesture but now the audience also knows that it is not to be taken seriously, even by people in the movie itself.
     
     However keep in mind what kind of movie this is. As an audience member you have to go in knowing that it is meant to be a fun, fast action movie. I promise this movie will get good reviews, it is one of the better Marvel movies recently and it is a little different so it stands out, but if you do not like action movies, it is not different enough for you to like it. It is a high action movie with a lot of laughs, keep that in your head going in because expectation is half the battle.

     This movie surprised me. I did not think I would like it nearly as much as I did. It was silly, it made fun of itself and it was different. This film is irreverent, absurd, seemingly ridiculous and in the wrong hands could have resulted in a complete disastor. However, all these things combine to make an absolutely sharp, thrilling and fun movie.