How It Works

I love movies, but I hate most movie reviews. I hate them for two reasons: First, they always begin with a 3-5 paragraph in-depth description of the film. I don't want to know the entire plot, I want to know if it's good! I may say generally what the movie involves but that's it. Second, most movie reviews are unclear. I've read countless reviews that left me with absolutely no indication as to whether or not I should even see the film. Not here. I developed three methods to rate television and movies:

1. Just your average 10 point scale.
10 is obviously the best and 1 is the worst. Although, Something Borrowed might make below a 1 if I ever get around to reviewing it. I consider myself quite harsh, so if you see anything above a 9, it's probably in my top ten of all time.

2. What's it Worth?
I will tell you if I think it's worth paying for and worth the 2 (and ever more increasingly 3) hours of your time. I also make an educated guess as to whether or not you can multitask during the film.

3. The (not-yet) Patented Clairometer
In honor of my college friend Claire, I developed this rating system in order to display how "appropriate" the film is. It is designed to tell you a more detailed rating system. I find this helpful. Sometimes you want to know ahead of time so you're not stuck watching Black Swan in an empty theater with your mom. The range between PG-13 and R is more vast than the plot holes in a Michael Bay movie. I hope to combat this. The scale shows photos and descriptions of a few well-known women in film and television. The rating is the farthest woman to the left of the scale who would approve of the film. For example, June Cleaver would not approve of
Tequila Sunrise. The woman who would is probably Mathilda.





With this blog, I write as though someone will read it and enjoy what I have to say. I am under no false pretense that I have a wide readership. It is mostly for me and for the one other person who accidentally stumbled across this blog. If that is you, I'm glad you are here. With this blog, I send my thoughts about what I watch on a black box into the abyss of the world wide web. I hope you enjoy reading these thoughts as much as I enjoy writing them.

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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

My Top 10 Gilmore Girls Episodes to Re-Watch

 ©Warner Bros. 2003
Gilmore Girls is probably my favorite television show of all time. Some times I watch it too much and The Office or Arrested Development kicks it out of first place. I have been re-watching Gilmore Girls since the show ended in 2007. In honor of the new Netflix show premiere in November, here is a list of my most re-watched episodes. These are the episodes that make me happy. Rory and Lorelai aren't fighting (cough cough, the first half of season six), and most of the town is usually involved. That is what this post is about... re-watching great episodes to uplift your mood. Spoilers will follow, obviously. Also, as a side note, there is nothing I hate more than blog posts that "sum up" an entire show in 10 episodes. Just watch the whole series. This post is for the loyal re-watchers!

1. "Nick & Nora/Sid & Nancy" - Season 2 Episode 5
The one where Jess arrives to Stars Hallow. We get one of my favorite Luke scenes. Two words: "Jam Hands."

2. "The Bracebridge Dinner" - Season 2 Episode 10 
The one where Lorelai and Sookie throw a Renaissance-themed dinner for the town at the inn. This one is particularly great because Jess and Rory emotionally connect on a sleigh ride and Richard and Emily interact with members of the town. 

3. "There's the Rub" Season 2 Episode 16  
The one where Lorelai and Emily go to a spa, and Rory, Jess and Paris eat takeout and talk books. Yes, Rory and Dean have a spat, as do Lorelai and Emily. But they are lighthearted spats that resolve quickly. Also, Jess has read Jane Austen... swoon. 

4. "The Fundamental Things Apply" - Season 4 Episode 5 
The one where Rory goes on a date with water bottle boy, and Luke and Lorelai have a movie night. How much I relate to Lorelai's movie night rules is startling. This episode may give you "a nice musk." 

5. "Dead Uncles and Vegetables" - Season 2 Episode 17 
The one where Luke's uncle Louis dies. Rory and Lorelai help him at the diner. I love this episode because we get to see Lorelai help Luke. He's always helping her, and finally the tables are turned. 

6. "Written in the Stars" - Season 5 Episode 3 
The one where Paris throws a wake attended by Emily. Rory meets Logan for the first time. This one is for all you Logan lovers out there. We get one of my favorite Paris Geller lines: "No Rory, this great man was not brought down by my vagina." 

7. "Take the Deviled Eggs" - Season 3 Episode 6  
The one where Lorelai and Rory go to Sherry's baby shower. This episode is worth enduring the cheesy baby shower dialogue (e.g. "What are we waiting for? Let the games begin!") entirely for the last five minutes. The town gathers to watch a protest. 

8. "But Not as Cute as Pushkin" - Season 5 Episode 10
The one where Rory has a Chilton student stay with her at Yale. The best part of this episode is Paris attending a speed dating session.

9. "Those Are Strings, Pinocchio" - Season 3 Episode 22
 The one where Rory graduates from Chilton. I usually don't like to re-watch season finales because Amy Sherman-Palladino is the queen of cliff hangers. Actually, that's probably Shonda Rhimes. But it usually leads me to start watching the next season, and some times, you just don't have time for that. But this one beautifully closes a chapter of both Rory and Lorelai's life.

10. "A Deep-Fried Korean Thanksgiving" - Season 3 Episode 9 
The one where Lorelai and Rory go to four Thanksgiving dinners. Lane and Dave have a great time. Lorelai, Luke, Jess and Rory have a Thanksgiving dinner together. All is right with the world. Also, probably a top three Sookie scene. Melissa McCarthy showing off her Groundlings background.

Honorable Mentions, Because I Can't Decide

"A-Tisket, A-Tasket" - Season 2 Episode 13 - The one where Luke and Lorelai go on a "date," as do Jess and Rory. All is right with the world.
"You've Been Gilmored" - Season 6 Episode 14 - The one where Luke and Lorelai have dinner with Richard and Emily. We see Richard and Emily finally accept Luke as a match for Lorelai. Rory gives Christopher a tour of Yale and Paris accuses Rory of putsch-ing.
"Friday Night's Alright for Fighting" - Season 6 Episode 13 - The one where all the Gilmores fight at a Friday night dinner. Seemingly an odd choice, but seeing each one air grievances against the others is cathartic as an audience member. And its shot to perfection; well done Kenny Ortega. Also, we get to see Logan be charming for a reason other than his wealth.
"Christopher Returns" - Season 1 Episode 15 - The one where we meet Christopher for the first time. His past with Lorelai is so believable: acting at its finest.
"Lorelai? Lorelai?" - Season 7 Episode 20 - The one where the town sings Karaoke. We see that Rory isn't perfect. I watch this one when I feel bad and I need Lorelai to cheer me up. It does have a cliff hanger though...

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

A Perfect Plane Movie (In the Best Way)

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (2016)
©Paramount Pictures 2015
Starring: Tina Fey, Martin Freeman, Margot Robbie
Written By: Robert Carlock, Kim Barker
Directed by: Glenn Ficarra, John Requa

My Rating: 7.0
Clairometer: Mathilda
Worth: Time, no money to rent, and you can multitask

Disclaimer: I watched this movie on a plane. As Toby Flenderson says, "Michael is like a movie on a plane. You know, it's not great, but it's something to watch. And when it's over you're like, how much time is left on this flight?" Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is by no means as entertaining as Michael Scott, but I enjoyed it. It's nice to see Tina Fey stretch her acting chops, and Martin Freeman is great as a romantic lead. It brought me back to his days as Tim Canterbury. Wow, two The Office references in one paragraph.

There seems to be a growing trend of films and television depicting journalists who "still care." As John Oliver recently showed us, traditional journalism is a dying art form. But films like Whiskey Tango Foxtrot and Spotlight as well as television shows like The Newsroom show journalists doing their job well in a changing environment. I realize the situation is very complex, more complex than a silly girl's movie blog can articulate. But it was nice to see journalists working incredibly hard and even putting their lives in danger to get to the bottom of a story.
© MCMLXXXVII Touchstone Pictures 1987

Tina Fey and Martin Freeman have great chemistry, and Margot Robbie is fierce. The screenplay is witty and the plot is interesting. If you've read other posts you know how emotional I am when I watch films; but to be repetitive and cheesy, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot made me laugh and cry. It is difficult to make a film surrounding the intensity of war "fun," especially without Robin Williams. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is a valiant attempt.
Photo by K.C. Bailey ©Netflix 2015

Alfred Molina's character was a bit odd, although I haven't read Kim Barker's book on which the film is based. Perhaps his character is accurate. Although, they could have probably cast an Afghan actor, but Aziz Ansari does need material for his second season.  Overall, the film is good and worth watching. But keep in mind, I watched it on a plane and plane recommendations are always slightly tainted. Not to mention, my flight was over eight hours.