I Watched It (Maid, Chuckie, Really Love, Sankofa, Candyman, & Shang-Chi)

The following shows and movies are some of the things I’ve been watching since August 2021 until now (mid October 2021). Let me know in the comments if you’ve watched these shows and movies too.

Maid (2021) on Netflix has me hooked. I’ve only watched 3 episodes so far, but I feel connected to these characters. In this story, based on Stephanie Land’s memoir Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive, Alex leaves her boyfriend Sean, with their child Maddy sleeping in the backseat. The emotional abuse from Sean has become too much, and his alcohol addiction is getting worse. Or maybe Alex just finally sees how bad it is. At one point Alex goes with Maddy to a DV shelter, and a friend she makes there named Danielle returns to an abusive boyfriend. Denise, the woman in charge tells Alex it takes most women 7 times to leave, and Denise says that it took her 5 times. While Danielle has entered the cycle of abuse again, Denise shows us that breaking free is possible. Hopefully Alex is headed down that path.

As we meet different characters we see that Alex’s Mom is mentally ill, refuses to get help, and cares more about her art than her daughter. Alex’s boyfriend Sean doesn’t come from a much better background. Alex reconnects with a former coworker Nate, who has recently went through a divorce. Nate becomes her saving grace, providing a car and car seat, since Alex lost hers in a car accident. Sparks are there, but Alex cuts things off quickly. I’m excited to see if Alex will give Nate another chance, if Nate is even still single. He’s an attractive man with a good job and a big heart. While Alex appears to throw away a good thing, she might also be guarded because of her ex, and also that her Mom appears to go from man to man.

If you’re a fan of Shameless (2011-2021) this show is for you. It’s a white trash bash, a label Alex can’t seem to get out of her head as she applies for any type of assistance. The bash part comes from how low Alex feels, and how her lack of self esteem bashes her spirit down. The shows somber tone leads us through a painful story of the grittier parts of poverty. It covers parenting a kid and reparenting yourself, addiction, and the system overall.

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Chuckie (2021) on USA and SYFY is a mix between a terrifying doll and campy storytelling. An extension of Chuckie’s tale, the tv series appears to show his new adventures as well as his background story. It’s not scary to any serious horror fans, but it’s what any fan of the original movie Child’s Play (1988) would want to see. Episode 1 just dropped on October 12, 2021.

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Really Love (2020) premiered at AFI’s virtual film festival in October 2020, but dropped on Netflix in late August 2021. A painter named Isaiah with a working class background, becomes the desire of a law student named Stevie, who comes from a wealthy background. Her parents work even took them abroad, and Stevie was born in Rotterdam, but then her family returned to D.C. when she was 16. Despite her past life in the Netherlands, it’s clear Washington D.C. is a character in the film and the human characters’ lives too. Restaurants, parks, and music are portrayed strongly on screen. Filmed beautifully, almost like it’s one of Isaiah’s paintings, the movie has the audience rooting for Isaiah and Stevie’s relationship. Despite the obvious obstacles that surround their love, their passion is captivating. Stevie appears to be very naïve about men, as noted when she brings Isaiah to her parents house. They aren’t too happy about their successful daughter bringing a struggling painter into her apartment, and it takes a toll on Isaiah’s pride. Stevie gets advice from her friend and cousin, and they know a lot more about a man’s feelings than she does. This leads me to believe this is her first serious relationship. As a teenager being the girl from the family that loved D.C., but lived in Rotterdam probably made it hard to to connect to boys abroad. Then when Stevie moved to D.C. she might have struggled to date as a young woman. Besides being busy with her law books she will be caught between the culture of D.C. and Rotterdam.

The ending might have you torn, depending on how you see the potential outcome for this relationship. SPOILERS START HERE Stevie and Isaiah break up, but they reunite first in Chicago where Isaiah has an art show, and then again in D.C. at another one of his shows. Isaiah invited Stevie to come when they reunited in Chicago. Stevie walks up to a painting and finds that Her, as it is titled, is her. To me this means that they will always love each other, but this passionate painting is also goodbye. Stevie is a lawyer in Chicago now and will probably need a husband to come home to at the end of her stressful days. Isaiah is finally a successful painter, and even if he left D.C. his work will have him traveling the country, and possibly abroad. I could see the two trying to make things work, and maybe having a few more passionate nights of sex, but they have a lot pulling them apart. There’s a theme that comes from Stevie’s Mom about people being in your life for a season, and that you should enjoy that moment, and that no one can take it from you. Isaiah’s painting of Stevie is stunning, and while it is from his private collection, it’s not his only work of art. It’s heartbreaking to think true love isn’t enough but the film is still worth watching. SPOILERS END

If you liked the following this film is for you. The Photograph (2020), a movie about two black Millennials searching through the woman’s Mom’s past, and also dealing with career issues that strain their relationship. Love Jones (1997), a movie about two black Gen Xer’s falling in love, dealing with friends and everyday moments, and then dealing with a possible career move that threatens how far the couple can go. Normal People (2020), a Hulu series where a couple in Ireland from different economic backgrounds has a passionate on again off again relationship, only to find that their last reconciliation moment is complicated by an opportunity for one of them to go abroad.

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Sankofa (1993) is from the year I was born, but I just saw it for the first time when it dropped on Netflix. An American model named Mona is doing a shoot in Ghana in Cape Coast Castle, which she doesn’t know was historically used for the Atlantic slave trade. She’s sent back in time to a plantation in the southern United States, and lives as a slave named Shola now. The lives of the slaves are brutal, but most of the graphic things they experience take place off camera. Through the amazing performances of the cast we can still feel their heartache.

Sankofa deals with the bond between a mother and son, and how being slaves destroys their relationship. Nunu, one of the field slaves, was raped and had a child named Joe. The now adult Joe is a head slave and is forced to whip other slaves. Joe also doesn’t get to be as close to his Mom as he could if they were free. Joe is mentored by a priest, which is really just him being brainwashed. The priest convinces Joe that the other people on the plantation, including his own mother, are devil worshippers. This leads to a violent act against his own mother. The other man in Nunu’s life, Noble Ali, is also a headman, and despite the guilt he carries for whipping other slaves, and the love he has for her, she must disconnect from his because of his position. One of the many unfair things Nunu goes through.

SPOILERS HERE: At the end when Shola is Mona again, Mona joins other enlightened people and it’s clear she will always remember her ancestors now. I’m white, but anyone can appreciate how beautiful this moment is. It’s especially passionate when the spirit of Nunu joins Mona and the other people. Spoilers End.

If you liked the following movies this film is for you. Antebellum (2020), a movie about a modern day black woman who must escape the plantation she is somehow transported to, with a twist that I can’t explain without spoiling the movie. The Devil’s Arithmetic (1999), a TV movie about a Jewish girl learning to appreciate her ancestors struggle through the Holocaust. Sankofa definitely pulls at your heart since it covers the harsh topic of slavery. The script is well written, and the actors all gave extremely moving performances.

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Candyman (2021) is the perfect sequel for Millennials, and Gen Z’ers, and the original fans. We follow the baby Anthony McCoy from the 1992 film as an adult, with a girlfriend named Brianna Cartwright who supports his art career. We learn she’s the bread-winner from a comment made by her brother Troy. Anthony can’t run from his destiny as the legend of Candyman takes over his thoughts, his art, and his life. As much as we feel bad for how trapped Anthony is, we can also sympathize with Brianna and the ghosts of her past. Through a dream flashback to Brianna’s childhood we see her Dad was also a painter, but he needed more help than a creative outlet. Her Dad is in a bad place mentally and jumps out of a window. In the dream she sees Candyman, but then she wakes up, and she sees Anthony. I took this as a message to the audience of what can happen to a mans mental health when darkness lingers instead of dying on a therapists floor. The character of William Burke represented this to me as well. As a child a mentally disabled man named Sherman Fields passes out candy to the neighborhood kids, which leads to him being blamed for candy that had razors in it. Fields is brutally killed by the police, but the razor blades kept coming. William is at the top of the stairs as this happens, and he obviously never got help for that moment. He still lives in Cabrini-Green, which is where he meets Anthony. At first he seems like a helpful friend, but his anger and trauma from Sherman’s death grows inside him, and creates a very desperate and delusional state. The film deals with systematic racism, police brutality, mental health, couple dynamics, and gentrification.

SPOILERS HERE: Anthony taken over by Candyman, who takes on the form of Sherman. Original fans should know that they will get a cameo appearance from Tony Todd at the end. If we get a direct sequel to this new film I hope we follow Brianna trying to navigate a very complicated aftermath of the spirits latest form. It’s been almost 30 years since the 1992 film, so we can’t have everything we would like to see in a direct sequel, but the filmmakers gave us as much as they could. Helen and Jake weren’t in this movie, unless you count recordings of Helen’s voice, so I hope they return in a later film. Spoilers End.

If you liked the first Candyman from 1992, this sequel is for you. If you’re a new fan they fill in the blanks enough for you to know what’s going on.

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Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021) is action packed, but the character building and storytelling also make the movie fun to watch. I’m only a casual Marvel fan, but I just know this film is a great addition to the universe. We get to explore father and son moments, a mother’s love, when platonic friends are fighting their obvious romantic feelings, grief and moving on, girl power moments, and as always witty Marvel humor. If you are a Marvel fan you won’t be disappointed. I didn’t say too much because I know how hardcore Marvel fans get if they haven’t seen the movie yet and something is spoiled. So, just go watch this epic film.

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Halloween Movies: Anything From Scary To Fun For the Whole Family

Halloween’s almost here, and that means it’s time to watch movies. I’m a little late, but I’ve listed 31 movies you can watch to celebrate the season. I don’t have Hocus Pocus on the list, because that’s a given. Sequels and prequels are also lumped together since they take place in the same world. The films range anywhere from thrillers that have you on the edge of your chair to adorable family friendly films.

1 The Shining (1980)

2 Halloween (1978), Halloween II (1981), Halloween (2018), and Halloween Kills (2021)

3 Thriller (2018)

4 Candyman (1992), and Candyman (2021)

5 Trick ‘r Treat (2007)

6 Friday the 13th (1980)

7 What Keeps You Alive (2018)

8 The Curse of La Llorona (2019)

9 Under Wraps (1997)

10 Casper (1995), Casper: A Spirited Beginning (1997); Casper Meets Wendy (1998).

11 Stay Alive (2006)

12 Bloody Birthday (1981)

13 Sleepaway Camp (1983)

14 Us (2019)

15 We Summon the Darkness (2019)

16 The People Under the Stairs (1991)

17 Don’t Look Under the Bed (1999)

18 The Faculty (1998)

19 Scream (1996) (The sequels too.)

20 I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997)

21 Fatal Affair (2020)

22 The House of the Devil (2009)

23 The Brood (1979)

24. The Car (1977)

25 Vampires vs The Bronx (2020)

26 When Good Ghouls Go Bad (2001)

27 The Scream Team (2002)

28 The Thing (1982)

29 The Good Son (1993)

30 Beetlejuice (1988)

31 Poltergeist (1982), Poltergeist II (1986)

Yay! You’ve finished the list. Please remember I said Hocus Pocus isn’t on here because it’s a given. Let me know your favorite films to watch during Halloween in the comments below.

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Top 10 Movies of 2021 (so far)

Whether it be on a streaming service or in the theaters, if your local ones are open, 2021 has brought us some gems so far. There may be a few months to go, but I already have my favorite films of the year. Let me know in the comments which films made your list.

1. Judas and the Black Messiah

For any millennial history buffs this isn’t the type of story they teach us in school, or even in college. Older generations may have possibly missed learning about it as well. It’s definitely a must see for all Americans, since this is our history.

2. The Little Things

Denzel Washington will always be the man of the hour. The rest of the cast is great as well. A thriller with so many twists that you’re constantly changing your assumptions on who really is evil.

3. Skater Girl

As a teenager I was a skater girl here in America. I wasn’t very good, but skateboarding changes you for the better. It was nice to see a film about kids in India falling in love with skating as well. I struggled with the gender issues of skateboarding too, but not to the extent of the main character. I truly think everyone should have access to skateboards and an awesome skate park.

4. North Hollywood

Also a movie about skaters, we follow 3 friends as senior year is coming to close. They are so close to freedom, but this is bringing more pressure than joy. The main character is better at skateboarding than me, but the film goes beyond skateboarding. It’s a great coming of age story, and anyone can relate to it, even if they’ve never touched a board.

5. One Night in Miami…

The film is a fictionalized account of Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali, Jim Brown, and Sam Cooke meeting for one night in February 1964. Everything these men did lives on all around us. Even as a millennial, that came way after some of these men’s time, I just know they paved the way for all of us. The film is epic with it’s portrayal of 4 legends.

6. In the Heights

The film will grab you by the heart and have you experience everything from sadness to joy. Since I’m from Connecticut I frequent NYC a lot. You can’t help but feel sad to know the city is changing. Most people near a big city, or living in one, understand. The musical numbers are great, and if you didn’t get to see this on Broadway like me, this is the next best thing.

7. Minari

The hope for the American dream will always be beautiful even if it seems unattainable. The family dynamic are the best part, especially between the grandma and grandson.

8. Fatherhood

Based on the true story of Matthew Logelin, the film captures the worst time in a persons life, but also shows us how strong the fatherhood bond can be. It’s emotional and uplifting at the same time.

9. Candyman

A sequel to the 1992 film the story follows a now grown up Anthony McCoy preparing to meet the local monster. As he dives deeper into the man Helen originally saved him from things get more complicated with racism, gentrification, violence, and scapegoats.

10. Really Love

A passionate love story set in Washington D.C., this film is for anyone who liked Normal People, The Photograph, or Love Jones. Once you start the film you become addicted to the characters, and you don’t want the story to end.

Honorable Mention: Resort to Love

If you need a romance film to watch with your Mom or Grandma this film is for you. That’s code for no sex scenes. It’s quirky and fun, but also has heart.

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Words Unsaid: 10 Years Since High School

In less than a week it will be 10 years since I graduated from my suburban Connecticut high school. 10 years since we threw our caps in the air. No shade, but I don’t miss it. I flew off that football field like an eagle after the ceremony. Adulthood’s fun. I’m not a millionaire, and bills suck, but I’m still enjoying adulthood way more than teenhood. I think that means I did this growing up thing right. Anyways, here’s my letter of words unsaid. Oh the memories, and lack of proper punctuation because things are more raw that way.


To that couple who took away the shortcut to my 11th grade science class, because they chose to make out in it. I really think we could have worked something out. I didn’t mind that you were slammed up against the lockers in an empty side hallway. I just wanted a shorter route to class. There were over 2000 kids moving around the halls and I was so excited to find a vacant place where I wasn’t smushed. The private air was nice too. I wasn’t judging you guys, but I could tell you were nervous about people coming, mostly because one of you said “Someone’s coming.” I stayed on the main path to class after that day. I missed my shortcut for weeks after that. Also, I bet you guys broke up. It’s the teenage thing to do.


To anyone who ever hosted an assembly at my school. I love you. Because of you we got out of class and I learned not to do drugs. Thanks.


To the kids that randomly did a flash mob one day in the cafeteria. That was awesome and I wish that happened like once a week.


To the building itself. Why did some of the classrooms not have windows?


To the cafeteria food. I miss the quesidillas. I actually found where to order them and considered buying a case. Then some schools donated them to the homeless shelter I work at, so we were reunited there during meals and snack time.


To my math and science classes. Not the teachers, the actual subject. I still hate you, and after college I never needed you.


To the items in the lost and found bin. Did you miss the teenagers you belonged to? Did you feel put in the corner? Did anyone ask you to dance? Did they claim you as their belongings? Or did you just get dumped into the dumpster?


To the senior lounge. You were a glorified cafeteria and nothing more.


To the old auditorium that was there for most of my high school years. You had a lot of heart and ugly orange chairs.


To the new auditorium that was finished during my senior year. Well, at least I got to meet you. It would have been nice if you were around during my freshman year.


To the printer I almost killed because I was printing invitations that were very busy. Sorry! I didn’t think about how much ink would be needed per page.


All in all I survived high school. It was just a phase in my life. It’s not even weird that it’s been 10 years. Because of all the time that’s past I even got to make this post! I’m like old now, but honestly being 28 is great. To all my high school memories. I’m glad you are just memories now.

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Galentine’s/Bromance-tine’s Movies

It’s a little late to post this as I type away in a small Connecticut city, but it is still Galentine’s Day. You might already have plans, since it the night of Galentine’s Day, like right now. So a movie recommendation might have to wait. You can watch these movies anytime though. It doesn’t matter if you’re single or not, friendships matter. Here’s my list of movies covering friendship that can be watched on Galentine’s Day. I couldn’t find a guy equivalent of this girls day, but obviously guy friendships matter too. So Bromance-tine’s are a thing. This list included movies that somehow cover friendship dynamics. Sequels are listed together since they are part of the same movie world.

1 Waiting to Exhale (1995)
Just a classic feel good friendship story about women who support each other.


2 The Brothers (2001)
While the movie is from 2001, it still holds up as a very modern look at male friendships.

3 Now and Then (1995)
This movie is a strong girlhood film, and it would be great if there were more like it. It’s our version of the many guy films where boys grow into men that still have each other’s backs. Set mostly during childhood the girls deal with everything from red rover to romance, death and grieving, and life.

4 The Sandlot (1993)
This movie is just a childhood staple. I think we all wanted to find our own sandlot.

5 The Wood (1999)
Three friends go from middle school to adulthood, and deal with everything from crime to romance to getting your suit cleaned before the wedding.

6 Dope (2015)
If your friend is in trouble you stand by them, even if it means going up against drug dealers.

7 Stand by Me (1986)
Four boys with very different backgrounds are somehow friends. The film deals with coming of age, thinking about how friendships will go in the future, abuse, bullies, and staying by our friends side.

8 Boyz n the Hood (1991)
The film covers multiple topics. The friendship between our main character and his childhood friends is one of them. We see how different moments effect children’s lives as they grow up, and how friendships change from childhood to the teen years.

9 Rookie of the Year (1993)
During this film where a boy becomes pro baseball player we see a riff between him and his friends as they feel he is forgetting about them. Now the kid prodigy has to learn how to balance it all.

10 Throw Momma From the Train (1987)
A writing teacher finds himself becoming friends with one of his students. The two men then have more on their plates than the teacher bargained for.

11 Charlie’s Angels films
Whether its the one from 2000 or the one from 2019, the story is about three girls getting into action packed adventures. What more could you need? I’m not getting into a debate about which one is better, which is why I just wrote Charlie’s Angels films.

12 Set it Off (1996)
Four women who decide to rob banks, but find themselves questioning how far they can go. An action packed strong female movie.

13 D3: The Mighty Ducks (1996)
In the third installment of the franchise we see the team is split up at an elite prep school. Most of the Ducks are placed on the JV team, while Adam Banks is put on the Varsity team. Now the friendships are strained as the teams have a rivalry.

14 Heavy Weights (1995)
Our main character never fit in because of his weight. At fat camp he finally finds friends, but a crazy new camp owner is destroying everything, so the kids have to work together to stop him.

15 Rounding First (2005)
Three boys in the 80’s who are best friends go on a crazy road trip, only to find that their friendship is more complicated than they thought. Now a secret connection two of the boys didn’t know they had could destroy everything.

16 Gold Diggers: The Secret of Bear Mountain (1995)
Two girls become friends and deal with issues as childlike as a hunting for treasure to harsher ones like abuse. The film is good for kids, as it teaches them not to believe everything you hear, and you don’t always know what someone’s going through.

17 Dude, Where’s My Car? (2000)
Two friends have to find one guys car, so they backtrack through a crazy night. Just one friend helping the other since no one wants to lose things.

18 Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle (2004)
Friend roadtrips are fun, even if they are based around fastfood.

19 Mean Girls (2004)
Girls need to stop creating cliques. Plain and simple. We can choose to stick together.

20 Clueless (1995)
Old friends, new friends, frenemies, and Beverly Hills.

21 Mid90s (2018)
A young boy dealing with a tough homelife meets some older kids who teach him how to skate past life’s struggles.

22 Skate Kitchen (2018)
Girls on skateboards who deal with everything from trust, to skating, to romance, to betrayal. This movie was long overdue for anyone who ever picked up a skateboard.

23 It (2017) and It Chapter II (2019)
Some friends fight a monster, then they grow up and fight the monster again. As it should be.

24 The Babysitters Club (1995)
Another childhood girl friendship movie. I hold Now and Then in higher regard, but this film is definitely worth sitting through.

25 The Outsiders (1983)
An intimate look at how young men can care about each other. The teens and young adults deal with class, family, friendship, and grief.

26 Superbad (2007)
The end of high school is bittersweet as two of the three friends find their lives going in different directions.

27 Booksmart (2019)
Two smart teens realize they missed out on partying and try to make up for it in one night.

28 Thirteen (2003)
Every teenage girl who watches this film believes it is her life. Some of the themes will touch every girls adolescence. The in crowd has it’s own problems as we see in this film about two girls learning about what it is to be a teenager.

29 Friday (1995)….and the sequels
In the first film of this classic franchise we follow two young men dealing with life in their neighborhood. At this point everyone has seen this movie, so everyone knows the story and that it is epic. The sequels are hilarious as well.

30 The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (2005)
Who knew jeans could be so magical? Four girls deal with summer, jeans, and life.

31 The Craft (1996) and The Craft: Legacy (2020)

The Craft is just one of those films every girl has to see, especially if she doesn’t fit the ideal woman mold. As for the sequel it was actually better than expected.

I really could keep going, but I’d rather stop here and read what films you guys would add to the list. Let me know in the comments below.

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Valentine’s Day Movies

Valentine’s Day is around the corner. Everyone’s thinking about romance and candy that tastes like chalk. As you find something to snack on you’ll probably want a movie to watch too. Here’s my list of 27 films to watch during this lovely time.

  1. Love & Basketball (2000)

A classic hoops and hearts movie for any age. Monica and Quincy go from childhood sweethearts to adults with an on again, off again, relationship. The audience is left hoping that home court points will be scored before it’s too late.

2. About a Boy (2002)

This film is perfect for anyone who loves British stories. Will is a mentor to a kid named Marcus, and Marcus helps Will connect with a single mother.

3. Little Manhattan (2005)

Two kids go to elementary school together in Manhattan, allowing the audience to remember a simpler time. Back when relationships were based on karate kicks and exploring local parks.

4. The Photograph (2019)

Two millennials start a relationship as the woman, Mae looks into her mother’s past. The guy, Michael find himself interested too, as he covers a story for work that intertwines with Mae’s world. Will the past repeat itself? Or will the next generation keep a good thing going? This film moves well between NYC and New Orleans, the present, and the past. It’s a beautiful film for a calm night.

5. Crazy Rich Asians (2018)

Rachel’s life is flipped upside down when she finds out her boyfriend Nick is actually from a rich family in Singapore. There’s trouble in paradise though, as she now has to win over his mother.

6. Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist (2008)

If you were an alternative kid in high school this one’s for you.

7. She’s All That (1999)

One superficial bet changes two teenagers lives forever. Well, at least until the end of high school. This film screams late 90’s, and inspired most of the plot of Not Another Teen Movie (2001), so it’s a must watch.

8. Poetic Justice (1993)

Your postal clerk isn’t Tupac, but you wish he was. This film features a small road trip via postal van. So this movie is definitely for anyone who likes quirky moments that are part of a serious love story.

9. Spiderman (2002)

We all know about the kiss by this point, and we will never get tired of it. The rest of the story is good too.

10. Ghost (1990)

If you want to do ceramics after this movie just say dido.

11. Clueless (1995)

You’re totally buggin’ if you don’t want to follow the lives of some kids in Beverly Hills.

12. American Pie (1999).….and the many sequels and spin offs.

I would recommend serving cake during this showing. Just to keep things a little classy.

13. Say Anything (1989)

Size matters. A boom box is much better than a phone or an iPod.

14. Lucas (1986)

One teens quest to win over the girl, and just about everyone else as well. It’s the 80’s so spoiler warning, that epic slow clap.

15. Fever Pitch (2005)

Ben needs to hit a homerun with his new girlfriend Lindsey, but he’s more focused on Red Sox games. I’m a Yankees fan myself, but this movie is great regardless of who you root for.

16. The Love Birds (2020)

We follow the main characters Jibran and Leilani through an extremely quirky love story. This film is a funny adventure with well delivered over the top moments.

17. Love, Guaranteed (2020)

While this film is a little dry at times the plot is extremely modern. Nick is dissatisfied with a dating site so he wants to sue them. This is how he meets Susan, and while feelings are there, everyone’s avoiding the elephant in the room. In an era where human interaction is less common it’s nice to remember how important a physical presence is. As I write this list we are still in a pandemic, so please don’t misunderstand me. Once the pandemic is over we can all go out more. For now stay safe and wear a mask.

18. Juwanna Mann (2002)

In this love triangle, or possibly a love quartet, we see Jamal fall for Michelle. The problem is that Michelle only knows Jamal as Juwanna. This movie is a hilarious mix of basketball, second chances, and love.

19. Career Opportunities (1991)

Who knew Target could be so romantic?

20. Aaron Loves Angela (1975)

Two teenagers fall in love in New York City. The kids have to deal with prejudice, parents, and some dangerous characters.

21. Always Be My Maybe (2019)

Sasha and Marcus were childhood friends, but now that they’re adults they might want something more. This film is an adorable boy next door, girl next door story.

22. East Side Sushi (2014)

Juana starts a new job at a sushi restaurant where she meets Aki. Juana deals with being an outsider in the sushi world, and the feelings she and Aki are developing for each other.

23. What Dreams May Come (1998)

The main character Chris really goes through fire and back for his wife Annie.

24. When Harry Met Sally (1989)

It’s a classic, and almost everyone has seen it at least once, but it never gets old.

25. Continental Divide is a (1981)

A journalist falls in love. It’s much better than how I just described it.

26. Grease (1978)

A high school love story with great musical numbers.

27. Sleepless in Seattle (1993)

Another classic everyone has seen, but can always watch again.

I’ll end my list here, even though I could definitely keep going. Let me know if you watch any of these during the Valentine’s Day season. Which movies would you add to the list?

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My Top 25 Christmas Movies, for Now

It’s Christmas Eve, Christmas Eve!
So here’s my top 25 Christmas movies. At least for now, since my list always changes. It might even change after I post this to my blog. I don’t even know how I limited myself to 25 films. There’s just too many to fit on one list. This list includes made for TV specials, theatrical releases, and TV movies. Sequels and remakes have been listed together since they are part of a franchise.

1 Home Alone (1990) & Home Alone 2 (1992)


2 The Night They Saved Christmas (1984)


3 It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)


4 Ernest Saves Christmas (1988)


5 Jingle Jangle (2020)


6 The Santa Clause (1994) & The Santa Clause 2 (2002)


7 The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)


8 Christmas with the Kranks (2004)


9 Prancer (1989)


10 Office Christmas Party (2016)


11 A Bad Moms Christmas (2017)


12 Friday After Next (2002)


13 Black Christmas (1974) & (2019)


14 This Christmas (2007)


15 Die Hard (1988)


16 The Ghost Who Walks (2019) (Netflix 2020)


17 Rudolf (1964) (Honestly anything with Rudolf counts though)


18 The Grinch (1966) & (2000) & (2018)


19 Annabelle’s Wish (1997)


20 Must Be Santa (1999)


21 Babes in Toyland (1986)


22 Little Drummer Boy (1968)


23 The Christmas Chronicles (2018)


24 Miracle on 34th Street (1947) & (1994)


25 A Christmas Story (1983)

Tell me in the comments if you’ve watched any of these films. Which ones would make your list? At least at this moment.

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That Kind of Misty Green

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Shelton, CT. May 2020.

As a kid our imaginations let us slip into places so far away, that it’s odd that we’d even dream to go there. Parts of the earth farther than a train ride away. However, when we conduct our brains a certain way, the possibilities of where we can go seem endless.

I was walking home from work on one of those misty mornings. The kind where the rain just passed, and you’re left in a daze.  The green in the trees no longer resembled typical Connecticut trees, full of that Tri-State area vibrancy. The kind the movies make a point to capture every time they want to show how grand New England can be for nature watchers.

I could have been in a rain forest for all anyone knew. As long as I ignored the concrete I was walking on. As long as I kept looking up, and of course around in case a car came through from the main street, I was 7 again, dreaming I was somewhere else.

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Central Park Zoo. October 2018.

I’ve never been to anything close to a rain forest, unless you count that first indoor area at the Central Park Zoo. The one that’s hot with all the birds and other creatures. By the end you’re drenched in sweat, and you just want to go to the other indoor area that’s cool inside, and then you get to look through the glass and see where the penguins live.

At 27 I still only know as much as the internet can tell me about an actual rain forest, so it seems strange my imagination let me pretend I was in one. I’m not complaining though. I didn’t need to go there for real, I just needed to escape for a moment.

 

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The Small Things During Social Distance

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For years now I’ve passed the small Tide from the travel section. It’s better to buy the regular size, but it’s just so cute. I want one just because it’s adorable. That’s it. I know it’s a stereotype for girls to love cute things, but you only live once, so I carried that travel size bottle to the check out line with pride. I spent my money shamelessly, and made that  Tide bottle mine.

Every time my wallet told me not to buy this product I listened, but then this pandemic hit. I was traveling around the Connecticut valley. That part of Ansonia and Derby where you can’t remember which store is in which town, so you just call it Ansonia-Derby. At least that’s what I do as a Shelton resident. I was on the hunt for paper towel and a few other things. Target was out, and I was completely fine because I know there’s worse things in life. I continued to move through the aisles. This had been my biggest day out in awhile so I wanted to soak it all up. Eventually I landed in the travel section, with my eyes catching sight of that small Tide bottle, and all it’s 10 ounce glory. I made the decision then. I can’t spend my money on much else right now, so this Tide bottle had to be mine. I know I sound basic. I’m not fighting it. At least I feel fulfilled. That’s not even a joke. That’s a real social distancing life.

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My story borders the line between funny and poor taste. People are actually getting sick and dying, yet I have chosen to fill your time with the tale of an average woman seeking Tide. A snapshot from the crazy life of Katelyn, that is stuck between my need to be sarcastic, and a hard place. That hard place being the part where I know a lot of people are sick, running out of money, and feeling like they’re in a scary Sci-fy movie. Although that last part would be better, because at least you know when the scary part of the movie ends.

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Rereleases

As I settle into my seat, I’m as excited as I would be if this was my first time seeing the movie, but myself and the movie goers around me have all seen it a hundred times. Today’s feature presentation is a rerelease.

While I was born in 1993, rereleases have allowed me to see some of the top films of previous decades on the silver screen. ET: The Extra Terrestrial (1982), Halloween (1978), The Shining (1980), Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971), The Breakfast Club (1985), Easy Rider (1969), To Kill a Mockingbird (1962), and Jaws (1975), Sleepaway Camp (1983), and Friday the 13th (1980).
It’s fitting that I enjoy classic films reentering the big screen because my first movie was a rerelease. I was 5, and The Little Mermaid had been put back in theaters. Years later a middle school teacher told my class about seeing it as a young child. The math didn’t add up, and a conversation with my Mom lead to the shocking truth that The Little Mermaid is actually from 1989. It was a film older than myself, but in a theater it had seemed brand new.

At one showing of Willy Wonka the crowd was leaving the theater, and a little girl was telling her Mom she thought they would make a sequel. Her Mom seemed a little shocked for a moment, and then preceded to explain, “This is a very old movie.” It’s nice to see the next generation connects so much with the classics, despite everyone saying they can’t picture a world without the latest gadget.
I have my current favorites, as well as classics. I don’t wish us back into a different time, because it wasn’t even my time, and I know things have gotten a lot better for various groups of people. I do however think certain films hold up enough to be shown outside of the home, on the big screen, for future generations to fall in love with them again.

 

 

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