Fall 2015 Mini Movie Reviews

I go to the movies pretty often, usually once a weekend unless there’s absolutely nothing I want to see or I have other plans. I’ve had this habit for the past few years now, always asking around for friends to join me, but it’s rare that people want to spend the money anymore as ticket prices climb ever higher. Or they only want to go when it’s raining. Or only when there’s something mind-blowingly awesome out, worthy of a big screen night out. Not me. I’ll see anything. With anyone. Or with no one. Hell, I go alone more often than not these days.

You can find me strolling the halls of my local theater on a Sunday afternoon during their discount hours (tickets drop to just $6!) … it doesn’t bother me, in fact, it’s become my me time: I plop down in a practically empty theater, stretch my legs, enjoy my snack, and toss a sheepish grin over to the other people who are there by themselves, as if to say, I get it. We’re the film nuts. The ones who avoid the date nights, the late nights, the crowds, the kids, the squealing teens. We just want to enjoy a good movie. Or a not-so-good movie. We’re there for the experience of it. (Or because we have no social lives, but whatever, who’s judging.)

So, with all that movie-going, I can usually tell you what’s good and what to avoid. I get texts from my long-distance friends asking for my opinions and suggestions. And I’ve got ‘em. So I figured it was time to put that to good use and give you all a run-down of what I’ve seen over the past couple of months, in order of release date …

EVEREST | 9/25/15

Key Players: Jason Clarke, Josh Brolin, Sam Worthington

EverestI saw this one with my mom. (It was either this or The Walk starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and she’s afraid of heights—this movie didn’t really do anything to help that either.) It’s the harrowing story of a group of climbers caught in one of the worst storms Nepal had ever seen back in 1996. I’m trying to remain spoiler-free this issue, so if you’re unfamiliar with the tale, just consider this: If you’re afraid of heights, frostbite, freezing to death, or suffocation, maybe skip it. Looking for a triumphant survival story? Wellllll … the cinematography was beautiful and the film had the added bonus (for me) of Jake Gyllenhaal in a minor role. Keira Knightley delivered a couple gut-punches with her tearful phone calls and by the end, I was just grateful I’d never had the urge to climb a mountain. But it was still worth seeing.

See it? If you’re a hiker, thrill-seeker, or into unflinching biopics, sure. Continue reading

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Journos on Film

IMG_3478Photo by Danielle S. Tepper

I spent this past weekend in a state of geeked-out bliss; both days were spent touring the Newseum in Washington D.C. I met the friend who accompanied me in 2008; we worked together on our university newspaper and she’s my go-to girlfriend for nerdy journalism stuff. We drove down bright and early Saturday morning and couldn’t wait to explore six floors of journalistic history. It was interesting and engaging and enlightening and inspiring; the Pulitzer Prize-winning photo gallery was humbling and the 9/11 Memorial gallery was heart-breaking. I came away from the experience just being proud to be included, in any small fraction, in the company of the amazing men and women who have come before me and paved the way for me to sit here and write about how awesome it is to be a journalist. One exhibit that I particularly enjoyed was a video loop of clips from movies throughout the years that depicted reporters and photographers both fictional and historical and it got me thinking about some of my favorite silver (and small) screen characters who struck a chord with me. In no particular order, here’s a handful of the women I’ve watched and thought, “I wish that was me.” Continue reading