Checking In: “Two Night Stand”

After months of waiting, I was able to catch a sneak preview of “Two Night Stand” last Wednesday. The theater had a healthy turnout of mostly college-aged kids and post-grads waiting to see Miles Teller and Analeigh Tiption’s characters meditate on love gained and lost. Judging from any movie’s trailer, a crucial part of entertainment marketing, it’s exciting to see bodies in motion and thoughts laid bare. In the case of “Two Night Stand”, I was immediately struck by how funny Scott Mescudi aka Kid Cudi came across and wanted to see how Miles and Analeigh would get on, as I am a fan of both actors. Analeigh, to me, is one of the new faces of the “romantic comedy”, a film genre that I was never a huge fan of but in the past five years have started to appreciate thanks to TBS and E! “Movies We Love” weekend programming. Miles Teller is one of the best young actors of my generation, in my opinion. Knocking out roles in diverse fare such as “The Spectacular Now”, “Divergent”, “That Awkward Moment”, “Footloose”, and “Rabbit Hole”, Teller and his team are very adept at choosing film projects to showcase his enviable acting range.

With Tipton and Teller together, I was fully engrossed in their online “meet cute”, which was nicely done courtesy of the film’s director, Max Nichols. As a first time feature film director, Nichols knew his audience before they even were aware of him. In my experience, the audience were physically engaged with this movie through raucous laughter and during the most heartfelt of moments, you could hear whispers, gasps, and other sounds of agreement in knowing what it is like to be a millenial dating in OUR Tinder/Grindr free world.

One of the most tender, thought-prodding  parts of the movie that put all of my feels in a chokehold was when Teller’s Alec tells Tipton’s Megan about our generation’s need to think that we are supposed to love our jobs is all wrong. He then goes into talking more about work and gratification and I felt like things got REAL. His monologue was that conversation you have in your head… on a late Monday night… after a crappy day because everyone seemed to have the Monday blues and they were contagious. After having been knocked down a few pegs earlier in the day, doubt has crept in and you wonder if you will ever be truly happy, or if you, along with every other human you come into contact with on a daily basis, are doomed to a life of dissatisfaction to some degree.

Beneath all of the glaring examples of failed marriages and sometimes endless dating rituals, we are all just trying to connect. “Two Night Stand” shows us not only how some young adults have approached one-night stands for a while now, but how a hookup can turn into a come up and  a connection has the potential to deepen into something more.

The Leads For The “Fantastic Four” Reboot Are Set!

Before I get into the casting decisions of the upcoming Fantastic Four movie, let me just first state that it is going to be directed by Josh Trank, who directed 2012’s Chronicle. I have no qualms, nor will I ever have in the future, in saying that Chronicle is one of my favorite movies EVER. It was brilliantly cast, written, produced and directed. Having said that, I’m also not a comic book purist. I love comic books, but I’m not going to sit here and denounce the actors that have been chosen for the Fantastic Four reboot. What I am going to say is that it is 2014 and being creative means thinking outside of the box and getting messy. If Johnny Storm/The Human Torch is going to be represented by a Black man, then let’s go for it, shall we? If Sue Storm is going to continue to be portrayed by a White woman with a Black brother by her side, let’s see this played out on the big screen. Have we forgotten about a well-known process called adoption?

By the way, the lead actors cast as  in The Fantastic Four reboot are as follows:

Jamie Bell as Ben Grimm/The Thing

Jamie Bell as Ben Grimm/The Thing

Michael B. Jordan as Johnny Storm/The Human Torch

Michael B. Jordan as Johnny Storm/The Human Torch

Miles Teller as Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic

Miles Teller as Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic

Kate Mara as Sue Storm/The Invisible Woman

Kate Mara as Sue Storm/The Invisible Woman

Folks are going CRAZY over these four saying that they’re too young, too hipster, not right. Even Michael B. Jordan had something to say about all of the recent backlash- “They’ll See It Anyway”. He’s right- people are going to go see it anyway. Honestly, from my perspective, I remember the Fantastic Four movies of the mid-aughts and my mind wasn’t blown. Having a reboot of them seems so early, but with these young actors who continue to engage me with their art coupled with the possibility of Josh Trank’s vision, I’m in for the ride. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. I’m just trying to understand how now people’s dislike for Michael B. Jordan and Miles Teller are coming out of the woodwork. I haven’t heard nor read nary a peep of hate for both actors, EVER, until this past weekend. Their respective work in Fruitvale Station, The Wire, Friday Night Lights, The Spectacular Now, and Whiplash means nothing now? Wow.

I’m neutral on Kate Mara and Jamie Bell, in terms of their acting work. As people, from interviews, they seem like solid people. In the meantime, I can only wait like everyone else for 2015. But I won’t talk trash because my gut instinct is telling me that this movie could end up being a sleeper hit like Chronicle was. But shoot, give some things a chance. I don’t want to see a reboot of The Neverending Story, but you won’t see me pouting and raising hell in a corner if Kodi Smit-McPhee were cast as Bastian Bux!

UPDATE: My “That Awkward Moment” Movie Review Is Active!

As promised, my That Awkward Moment movie review is active and ready for viewing! Curl up, read on, and comment if you like:

Candi’s Corner: “That Awkward Moment” Movie Review

Also, please support my friend LeAnn and read more of her great blog, Tinsel & Tine. If you’re a fan of food and film, you’ll love what she has to offer for your eyes.

Must See Movie- “That Awkward Moment”

So, I saw That Awkward Moment in all of its comedic glory earlier this week and I must say that I laughed even more than I thought I would. The trailer hooked me at first but now I can officially say that this movie is a must-see. If you need a respite from all of the serious dramas you’re trying to catch up on before The Oscars, go see That Awkward Moment!  Look out for my review on Tinsel and Tine coming soon- the link will be posted!

p.s. Zac Efron, Imogen Poots, and Michael B. Jordan some serious fashion game moments throughout…goodness gracious!

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The Next List: A 2014 Megapost (Part 1)

WHEW…it’s been three weeks since I’ve written to you all with newly curated bits and bobs for your everyday life. New, exciting gigs and opportunities have sprouted up and I’m dedicated to seeing that 2014 is even brighter than 2013.

Having said that, so much has happened in the past three weeks leading up to the new year. From Paul Walker’s unfortunate death to Obamacare, we will go forth into 2014 with the same hopes and dreams for a better life, not only for ourselves but for others, and a greater understanding about this mad, mad, mad world we live in.

So here I am looking towards the future with Part One of my 2013 end-of-year mega list. From entertainment to social issues, here is where I am putting forth my predictions of who and what you should look out for and get riled up about in 2014:

Visual Albums and Interactive Music Videos 

Granted, music videos have been around for a few decades and Michael Jackson was the first artist to make the music video as a short film into an event (“Thriller”, “Moonwalker”, “Remember the Time”), but it was only inevitable that the visual album would be the next step for a generation who doesn’t know a lick about pay-per-music video view TV (The Box channel anyone?). Music artists are experimenting more with their music videos, which are becoming epic short films that could premiere at Sundance or Tribeca Film Fest. Lana Del Rey’s NSFW “Tropico” is one of this year’s leaders in the hybrid genre and is a music video which I highly recommend for viewing pleasure.

Then Beyonce came out with her visual album and killed whatever chance any other recording artist had for saying goodbye to 2013 with an effervescent bang. Hailed as a “full-blown work of art“, this secret album came out of nowhere and raised the music video game bar for next year.

There goes Yonce, killing it yet again

There goes Yonce, killing it yet again

Bob Dylan also came out with an interactive video this year for his song “Like A Rolling Stone”, which will blow your mind. You can legitimately spend hours playing around with the features, as it offers a musical version of “Choose Your Own Adventure”. This video is the future.

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Danny Brown, as featured in Bob Dylan’s “Like A Rolling Stone” Interactive Music Video

Awards Season 

In the past five years, American award shows have made me felt hollow and I found myself having more fun Tweeting and reading others’ tweets during the live affairs. I’ll still tweet and retweet during the Grammy’s and Oscars, but in 2014 things will be different because the nominees and potential nominees for the lot give me hope. I’ve never been more excited for a group of films, actors, actresses, singers, producers, albums, and directors as I am right now since the ’90s. There is a high potential for history to be made during the Oscars, because let’s face it, “12 Years A Slave” is going to reap at least one award that night. As for the Grammy’s, I tip my hat off to artists that I predict have nowhere else to go at this point, if they stay focused, but up such as Mack Wilds, Sara Bareilles, Kendrick Lamar, Lorde, and Kacey Musgraves. Then there are the Emmy Awards and the Golden Globes and People’s Choice Awards, both to be hosted by funny women I adore:

Actors and Actresses To Watch

Every year there are a handful of “I know them from somewhere” faces who are dubbed the next big things. Teen Vogue, Vanity Fair, Deadline, The Hollywood Reporter, i-D, and Nylon, in my opinion, are some of the leading publications and websites that are spot on when it comes to knowing the “ones to watch”. But I’ve compiled my own list, using my powers of comprehensive reading, obsessive IMDB stalking, diligent movie watching, and above all, instinct. The pictures and names you will find below represent those who I feel have worked immensely hard, are naturally gifted, enigmatic, and are capable of their stars rising to the next level. 2014 just may be their year of reckoning.

Dane DeHaan

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Adele Exarchopoulos

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Michael B. Jordan

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Imogen Poots

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Shailene Woodley

shailene woodley

Lupita Nyong’o

lupita

Fan Bingbing

fan bingbing

Brie Larson

brie-larson

Ansel Elgort

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Theo James

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Miles Teller

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Keke Palmer

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The Silver Screen and Boob Tube

2014 is bringing a lot of goodies, whether you want to believe it or not. Television fan favorites like Pretty Little Liars, Downton Abbey, and Girls are all coming back and if you haven’t fallen in love with My Mad Fat Diary, catch up on the first season on your computer before the second season premieres in February. I have a burning hunch that you will also hear more about sleeper hit shows such as Broadchurch, Rectify, Orphan Black, The Returned, and Top of the Lake before the start of 2015. Also on my radar lies HBO’s Looking, starring Jonathan Groff, Joseph Gordon Levitt’s hitRECord creative project to premiere on Pivot in January, Gogglebox, which is bloody addictive and being adapted for American television screens, Finding Carter, starring Skins UK’s Kathryn Prescott (“Emily F%$#ing Fitch!”), and Bravo’s Blood, Sweat and Heelswhich, judging from the trailer, reminds me of VH1’s cancelled The Gossip Game.

Looking

hitRECord on TV

Blood, Sweat and Heels

Gogglebox

As for the movies, there is SO much to look forward to and I know that the media has been proclaiming the death of film for some time now, but film will never die. A small shortlist of movies that I am highly anticipating are:

Neighbors

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fault in our stars movie poster

Divergent-2014-Movie-Poster1

The-Amazing-Spider-Man-2-2014-Movie-Poster

Lone-Survivor-poster

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Sin-City-A-Dame-to-Kill-For-2014-Movie-Poster

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x men days of future past

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"Big Eyes"

“It’s A Cocktail!” “That Awkward Moment” Red Band Trailer (NSFW!)

I’m in!

I predict that all three of the male leads are going to have MASSIVE acting careers (well Zac Efron already has a massive career, but he going to go above and beyond it). I’m super happy for my Friday Night Lights alum Michael B. Jordan and Miles Teller can get it with his Vince Vaughn/John Cusack self. I’m waiting for his “Serendipity” movie moment, because it’s going to happen.