My Sundance 2017 Preview

It might seem crazy but this year is my first time attending in mass the Sundance Film Festival! Last year I went as a guest of rotoscopers.com to review the film Snowtime and interview the creators but I didn’t really attend the festival. This will be my first time really attending every day and I’m very excited!

The reason I have been reticent to attend in the past is the lack of ratings for the films. Sundance films are more artistic in nature and so I worried I would be wasting my money on films I wouldn’t want to see content-wise. Well, this year I figured I’d give it a shot and if a film is super bad I can always leave. Nothing ventured, nothing gained right? 🙂

Make sure you follow me on snapcat @smilingldsgirl and on other social media because I will update throughout the days on how my experience is going and what I think about the films I see. But I thought it would be fun to give you a preview of what I am seeing.

My Life as a Zucchini-

The first and probably most highly anticipated is the animated film My Life as a Zucchini. This is a stop motion animated Swiss film about a little boy who deals with his grief while becoming a part of a new group home.

Lady Macbeth-

I’m a little nervous about this one because it looks pretty steamy but I love Macbeth so much and I thought it looked like a good film. The tagline is “Alfred Hitchcock meets Wuthering Heights” caught my interest. I would share the trailer but it is very spoilery and so I’d rather you not see it. The movie is about a shut in in 1865 who is basically kept inside by her husband. She meets and falls in love with a servant and the story goes from there.

lady-macbethSTEP-

This is a documentary about a group of high school seniors from Baltimore who are part of a step dance team and their struggles to get into college and compete.

stepRISE-

Billed as a docuseries, RISE is 3 episodes about the struggle of Native Americans and indigenous citizens.  There is a Q and A after so I hope it is good! I see both RISE and Step on my birthday so another reason to hope they are good.

riseAnimation Spotlight-

Of course I had to see this. It is 10 shorts in a variety of styles and subject matter. I think they will be pretty great!

animation-spotlight

The Good Postman-

A documentary about a Bulgarian man who helps the Syrian refugees who are coming into his town.

Band Aid-

This has an engaging cast and it looks like it could be a fun dramedy. It is described as about “a couple who can’t stop fighting embark on a last-ditch effort to save their marriage: turning their fights into songs and starting a band”. I hope it will be good! Could it be 2017’s Sing Street?

Band Aid - Still 1The Hero-

This film is about an aging western movie star played by Sam Eliot who gets a cancer diagnosis and has to face his life. It looks like it could be very sweet.

heroThe Yellow Birds-

This Iraq war story was mostly sold to me on the people behind it. It is written by David Lowery who did Pete’s Dragon, which I loved and stars Alden Ehrenreich and Tye Sheridan who I also love. Jennifer Aniston plays Sheridan’s Mom which I can’t really imagine but I’m looking forward to it.

yellow-birdsRebel in the Rye-

I don’t know much about this one but it stars Nicholas Holt and is about JD Salinger before he wrote Catcher in the Rye.

rebel-in-the-rye-movieI had a ticket for Wilson staring Woody Harrelson but after seeing the trailer it really doesn’t look like my thing, so I think I will try and exchange it.

So there you have it! Do any of my selections intrigue you? I wanted to see A Ghost Story which is directed by David Lowery but it is at the same time as Yellow Birds so I picked the latter.

I’m definitely the most excited for My Life as a Zucchini and the animation spotlight! I hope they are great!

Cheers to Indy filmmakers!

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Upcoming Trip

mickey travelingHey guys! I just wanted to give you all a quick update on what is going to be happening the next 3 weeks.  Tomorrow I will see the new Tarzan movie and post a review. Then on Wednesday I am going to Spain to visit my sister.  I will be in Spain until the 11th! If you want to find updates on the trip follow my social media @smilingldsgirl (facebook, snapchat, twitter, instagram) and my personal blog http://smilingldsgirl.com. I should post at least a couple of times on that blog of my adventures (it’s going to be a lot of beaches).

However, never fear! I am not leaving you or my youtube channel high and dry! I have worked really hard to have content ready while I’m gone on my youtube channel including my weekly family movie night and Disney Canon reviews on Wednesday. Here’s a little update!

And then for this blog I am really excited to be featuring a bunch of animation art book reviews!  This will be something different for my blog and I’m excited for you to read these.

OneDrive53Obviously I am going to be out of the country so if I don’t respond to comments as quickly as I normally do please don’t be offended.  I will do my best.

Also I will not be reviewing BFG and other films I would normally watch until well after I get back home.  I will do my best to play catch up when I get back.

Thanks so much and I hope you are having a great summer.  Are you taking any vacations this summer? Let me know what you are doing that is fun! Take care!

Star Wars Force Awakens Trailer Review

So I might have cried a bit at a movie trailer today.  Yep full on nerd tears.  Tonight the new Star Wars: Force Awakens trailer dropped during halftime at Monday Night Football and this trailer was epic in the truest sense of the word.  It did everything you want a trailer to do.  We got to see and hear from new characters.  We got little nibbles of stories but no major plot points.  We got to see the old and new school players (except for Luke!).  It had great music.  Showed the great cinematography and all the practical effects.  The battle sequences look awesome.

We know there are scenes with real heart where both Finn and Rey are learning from Han Solo (initially a doubter) about the force and the Jedi and we can assume the Jedi is stuff of legend and basically gone.  We see Leia and Han that seem to be embracing about something sad.  We see Kylo Ren take off his mask and wield his light saber at Finn in some kind of fight.  He is a disciple of Vader and has Vader’s mask- wants to be like Vader.

I was also thrilled to see Rey looking like a strong and lead character in the story.  As we discussed in my recent Phantom Menace review/discussion none of the Star Wars films have passed the Bechdel test but I feel this time with Rey, Lupita Nyongo’s character and Leia we might actually do it. I think Rey might be the Luke Skywalker of the this trilogy which would be amazing.

I can’t even tell you how excited I am to see this movie!  I already have my tickets purchased for Dec 17th and I will probably see it again Dec 18th in IMAX.   Even at the worst with the prequels Star Wars is a battle of good verses evil and an entire world to become absorbed in. It’s about harnessing a spiritual force greater than yourself and not allowing doubt or fear to enter your heart.  How many movies can say that? You have your Harry Potter or your Lord of the Rings but to me at least Star Wars trumps them all.

Here is my trailer reaction. It’s not that great but I was so excited my brain left me.  There’s a lot of squealing but some of you may find it fun.  Follow me on periscope by the way @smilingldsgirl (and on all other social media like snapchat, instagram etc).

My favorite of all the trailer reviews I saw was this one. It captured how I felt at least.

I was a little surprised we didn’t get the rating yet because I had heard we might but maybe the MPAA isn’t done with their review yet.  I figure it will be PG-13 but it would be fine at PG because then more kids could see it but I think with those battles it will be PG-13.

So what did you think of the trailer?  Are you excited and did you buy your tickets like so many of us did?  Is there a spot in the trailer that stood out to you more than others Let’s share and nerd out together! 🙂

The poster looks pretty awesome too! Counting down the days…

force awakens poster

Disney 2000-2009

2000sSo now we are starting the part of this project I am probably looking forward to the least- the Disney 2000s.  To be honest, if I could just watch 12 Pixar movies instead I would be a lot more pumped but I promised to go into the project open minded and I will do so with each of these films.

In fact, most of them aside from Emperor’s New Groove, I either haven’t seen or haven’t seen in a long time.  So I am hoping to be pleasantly surprised kind of like I was with Rescuers Down Under.  Hopefully I will find a hidden gem.

So, I am curious, my wonderful readers, which one (or more) out of these 12 do you like and why?  Get me pumped!  Which is your least favorite?  I promise I will not let your likes or dislikes affect my view of the films so don’t worry about that.  Just share in the comments or message me on facebook or twitter at @smilingldsgirl.

Thanks for reading!

Rachel