Oscar Sunday and Regal Theaters

Sunday, February 26 2017 or also known as Oscar Sunday, wraps up the Regal Best Picture Film Festival.  The festival began February 17th and each day pass holders were able to gain access to select showtimes in the festival schedule.  The festival played four different movies a day – one at  1pm, 4pm, 7pm and 10pm- rotating between the 9 nominations.  The pass (an actual pass) was only $35 and came with a special offer for a $5 medium popcorn and soft drink combo (one per transaction with your Regal Crown Club card).  Pretty good deal, right?  It was and it was worth every penny.

Having already seen Arrival and Hidden Figures, I used my pass to see Moonlight, La La Land, Lion, and Hell or High Water.  I used Redbox to see Manchester By the Sea and Hacksaw Ridge.  Due to some of my scheduling conflicts I was unfortunately unable to see Fences.

If it wasn’t for Regal I probably would have never seen at least 4 of the nominations and actually I had never even heard of Lion before the festival began.

I enjoyed all the movies and recommend all the movies to see (not just because they were nominated).

Lion – I cried the entire movie.  It is based on the true story an man who had been lost for 25 years.  The first half of the movie takes place in India and is all in subtitles.  At age 5, Saroo gets separated from his brother and wakes up on a train taking him miles from his home.  Stranded where no one speaks his lauanage and no one to help him, Saroo spent years living on the street until sent to a facility equlivent to a orphanage.  While there he was adopted by a white Australian family and was raised in Australia.  It wasn’t until his late 20’s that Saroo started looking for his home.  The search took him years and consumed him but eventually he made it back to his birth home where his mother had waited in hopes of his return.  Truly a beautiful story.

Moonlight – I cried in a couple of parts throughout this movie.  The movie, based off a play, is broken into three parts and each part is based on a distinct character.  In part 1 we meet Little, part 2 Black and part 3 Chiron.  Little, Black and Chiron are all the same person and each part represents a significant chapter in Chiron’s life while growing up a gay black male in Liberty City, Miami.  The movie is deep and groundbreaking and beautiful and saturated in so much truth.

Hacksaw Ridge – Another movie based on a true story.  The movie retells the heroic story of Desmond Doss who saved 75 men during WWII on Hacksaw Ridge.  Desmond joined the war as a conscientious objector and became a field medic.  Though he was met with a lot of disdain, he never waived in his beliefs and managed to not only keep himself alive but the lives of others (both American and Japanese) while never picking up a gun.  I doubt the actual War was anything like movie but it did the job.  Worth a watch check the movie out its at Redbox.

La La Land –  Usually I don’t like musicals but the music in this movie is amazing.  I could’ve done without the signing by Emma Stone but the music and most of the scenes are just beautiful.  The movie takes place in Hollywood and is about making it in Hollywood.  I wasn’t too hooked on the story but Ryan Gosling kept me watching and the movie is beautiful to watch and listen to.  The movie is still in theaters so check it out.

Arrival – I really enjoyed this movie. Numerous spacecraft’s land throughout the world.  The United States enlist a renowned linguist (played by Amy Adams) to help decipher, understand and eventually communicate with the beings.  In doing this, she begins having dreams and memories of experiences that she has yet to experience.  The movie is very good and I really love a movie that makes you think and pay attention.  If you haven’t seen it yet, Arrival is at Redbox.

Hell or High Water – I actually fell asleep through part of this movie.  It is one of the movies that had it not been for the festival I would not have seen the movie.  Two brothers living in a very rural part of Texas go on a bank robbing spree in order to raise enough money to buy back their mothers property from the bank.  Essentially they get away with it.

Hidden Figures – see my post on the movie Hidden Figures…Giving overdo credit to women I’m ashamed to have never learned of.  Still in theaters!

Manchester By the Sea – I purposely didn’t see this movie in theaters when it was released because it just looked liked a tear jerker.  I was right, it is.  I mean the movie surrounds death and tragedy but it is also about family, forgiveness and starting over.  It is a nice movie and I find the New England accents quite entertaining. Check it out on Redbox.

Fences – I’m going to have to wait until it is on Redbox to give the movie the respect it deserves.

Well those are the 9 nominations for Best Picture 2017 and the Oscar goes to… MOONLIGHT! After watching 8/9 movies I was leaning toward Moonlight and I’m glad it got the recognition it deserves even if they first gave the award to La La Land by mistake.

The Regal Best Picture Film Festival is something I recommend all to do next year and especially if all the nominations are as good as this year.

My pass from the festivalimg_0224-edited



The Perfect Weekend to Binge

This past weekend in New York City it snowed and it snowed enough for anyone to have the excuse to stay inside all weekend.  Most people don’t need an excuse to stay inside (such as myself) however this opportunity was granted for those who do need an excuse and I do hope the advantage was taken.

This time could have been spent on catching up on shows recorded on your DVR or on your watchlist on Hulu.  Maybe there was a season of a TV show you wanted to watch on Netflix.  Something on Amazon Prime catch you eye?  Or you could have did what I did and binge movies.  Yes, you can binge movies.

My last binge on movies, I based the movies on an actor – Eddie Murphy.  I started with the Beverly Hills Cop series and moved on from there.  Other binges have been on movies with multiple sequels such as the SAW movies or Die Hard.  I’ve even based a binge on a cartoon character such as Tinkerbell and watched all the various Tinkerbell movies on Netflix.   This weekend I had no such method for my binge and used Redbox and Hulu as my bingeing method. 

Redbox is the new Blockbuster or Hollywood Video.  Remember those places?  However unlike what Blockbuster and Hollywood Video use to be, Redbox is not a store.  Redbox is an actual giant red box that dispenses DVDs and video games.  Each Redbox has a variety of different movies, usually new releases that aren’t yet streaming on Netflix or Hulu or airing on any premium channels (HBO, Showtime etc).  You might be able to find the movies On Demand but Redbox is your cheaper option.  Movies are $1.50 a day and are due by 9 pm the following day.  Redbox also gives the option for Blu-Ray version of every movie offered, however that is more expensive.

I love the option of Redbox but I only rent when I have a coupon.  This weekend I was able to use a coupon for $1.25 off the first night, then one for .50 cent off my second pick the first night  and then one for 1 free movie for the first night.  Even though Redbox is relatively cheap, the price adds up when renting more than one movie.  Plus only one coupon code can be used at a time, so unless the code saves you enough money, I suggest two non Blu-Ray movies at a time.  Also make sure to return the movie by 9pm the next day to avoid paying for another day.  Most if not all the coupon codes are only good for one night and if trying to keep the cost wallet friendly be ready to watch the movie the same night rented. 

For my snow induced binge weekend, I rented: Alice Through The Looking Glass, The Shallows, The Legend of Tarzan (2016), Independence Day: Resurgence and The Magnificent Seven (2016) and  I used Hulu to watch Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.  No specific reason for the movies, although all were movies I wanted to see but not enough to see in theaters or didn’t get a chance to see in theaters. Either way the movies provided another successful binge session. 

I’m no meteorologist but I believe that it might snow again and If it does and you find yourself home then now know what to do.  Binge watch and give binge watching movies a try.  To find a local Redbox near you, visit this site and hopefully there is something (there will be) you want to watch.

Hidden Figures…Giving overdo credit to women I’m ashamed to have never learned of.

Hidden Figures the movie is based on the true story of Black Girl Magic.  Rated PG and starring Tarji P Henson as Katherine Johnson, Janelle Monae as Mary Jackson and Octavia Spencer as Dorothy Vaughan, the movie shines light on the integral and invaluable part that these three women played in making American history.  Mrs. Katherine Johnson, Mrs. Mary Jackson and Mrs. Dorothy Vaughan, broke stereotypes, changed the rules and defied the standards within NASA.

The movie is about three genius, beautiful, hardworking and determined black women who despite living in a segregated state, made a way for themselves and other women, Black or otherwise, to excel within NASA.  Mrs. Jackson, Mrs. Dorothy and Mrs. Johnson were the brains of NASA, literally.  Considered “computers”, they did the math, ALL the calculations needed to send an astronaut successfully into space and all while only using rulers, very big calculators and most importantly their beautiful minds.

The movie is awe inspiring.  Even though I don’t have that type of mind for math, it was much more than that.  Katherine Johnson trusted in herself and what she knew she could do to prove that she was beyond able but necessary to the team and success of the work.  Dorothy Vaughan saw that there wasn’t a position for her so she made her own position and left no women behind when she moved on. Mrs. Mary Jackson saw that the “qualifications” didn’t apply to her or anyone like her so she fought the law so that she could become “qualified” and started a route that other women would be able to follow.  You don’t need to have their mathematic aptitude to have the courage, determination, and spirit that they possessed.  It is something that I wish all my young Blacks girls to have and to let nothing and no one stand in the way.

Tarji P Henson and Octavia Spencer shined (as usual) and I am so happy to see Janelle Monae on the big screen so soon again.  She is a talented musician and I am glad that the world gets to see that talent transfer on the screen.  Ms. Monae might actually be a robot named Cindi … hmmm?  

And that’s all I’m giving you.  The movie is worth seeing in theaters, worth the price tag of an adult ticket. It was worth me seeing on a Thursday and worth you seeing ASAP.  Also make sure to download the soundtrack.  Musical genius Pharrell Williams outdoes himself yet again.   

Hi! My name is Anani and I am a binge watcher.

If you have ever sat and watched back to back episodes of a television show you have binged watched.  I welcome you to my blog!  Binge watching is no easy task.  It takes hours of time out of your day and for those extreme binge watches like myself hours of your sleep.

Yes, I have gone a weekend or two on no sleep and binge watched some random television show either on Hulu or Netflix.  I usually watch on my phone so if for any reason, I need to move or do something that isn’t near my television I can still watch the show.  If I am currently on a binge I will watch while eating while getting dressed while in shower while driving while on break at work while cooking while shopping – basically while doing anything that gives me an opportunity to be watching.

This talent I have for binge watching was cultivated in college.  I worked the overnight shift for campus safety and needed a way to stay awake.  I know you are thinking why not study or do homework?  If only it were that easy but I needed to stay awake.  I would borrow movies from the campus library but eventually I had watched most of them either at work or back in my dorm room.

It really all started with Buffy – Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  I had already watched the series when it was on the WB on channel 11 (now the CW) and loved everything about it so re-watching the entire series didn’t seem farfetched at all.  Of course, this was all before Netflix (I know I am giving away my age) and so I relied on the campus library to have all the seasons in stock.  I watched all 7 seasons in no time and moved on to Charmed a television show that also aired on the WB.

And thus, a binge watcher was born.

Follow me as I explore more the idea of binge watching and all the various ways you can do it.  Along the way, I will share what I’m currently binge watching any movies I’ve seen either in theaters or otherwise and anything Disney related.

I will also be transcribing my Tuesdays mornings at work where I do Tune in Tuesdays.  During Tune in Tuesdays I share with my team all the movie and televisions shows that have just been released on DVD.  My mini synopsis of each new relelase is either usually full of spoilers inaccurate because I haven’t seen the movie or flat out ridiculous but always entertaining to hear.