‘Smile, I’m an Angel in an Earth Suit’ T-Shirt Campaign!

Hey Film Buffs!

Snaggy Tees is running a brand new t-shirt campaign! Smile, I’m an Angel in Earth Suit!

We’re selling our ‘I’m An Angel in Earth Suit’ shirts, in order to support the charity of Smile Train.

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 Smile Train is a non-profit charity that specializes in cleft lip/palate surgeries. You know, the thing Joaquin Phoenix used to have?

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Every year, more than 170,000 children are born with a cleft lip or palate. They cannot eat or speak properly, and as they become older, they cannot attend school nor work due to speech problems and societal rejection.

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Yet, the surgery needed to fix this issue only costs $250 and is completed in 45 minutes. We support Smile Train as they provide speech therapy, orthodontic care, and most importantly, cover surgical costs for families who cannot afford the operation.

https://vimeo.com/49237829

With these t-shirts, we want to support this wonderful charity and show that every child deserves a beautiful smile. If not for yourself, consider buying one for a child in your life.

For every shirt purchased, portions of the proceeds will be donated to Smile Train. Shirts are offered from Kids to Adult Sizes, Small to 3X, $17.99 – $21.99. We also offer shirts in Spanish.

Remember, the campaign ends February 22nd! Get your shirt today!

SnaggyTees.com

Snaggy Tees!

Hey Film Buffs!

RandomFilmBuff has been M.I.A. for quite awhile, but we are not shut down!

We’ve been busy working on other cool projects (screenplays! books! ), but we have to update you guys on all the exciting action.

Other than the projects mentioned above, one of our biggest ventures has been launching a t-shirt company.

Yep, you read that right. A t-shirt company.

We would like to introduce, Snaggy Tees, the new t-shirt company that strives to give the coolest tees around to the world. Our products range from inspirational and motivational to straight-up funny and eye-catching.

It’s our dream one day to be as big as the Life is Good brothers, or even to overtake Snorg.com. And honestly, we plan on doing exactly such.

Of course, there’s much more to come. Our t-shirts are

BIGGER

BOLDER

AND BETTER THAN EVER…

(As you can tell, we’re still kind of “cinematic.”)

Come on over, take a look, snag a great deal! We’re happy to welcome you into the SnaggyTees family.

SnaggyTees.com

Young Adult

Mavis is screwed up. Like, seriously. But no more than the rest of us – and that’s where the beauty of Young Adult lies.

Young Adult was released in 2011, so I’m a bit late to the game, but its mixed reviews are highly confusing. Diablo Cody and Jason Reitman team up to create a, dare I say, powerhouse film; it’s just much more subtle than my realist faves, such as Revolutionary Road or other films that criticize and analyze the failure of any average American’s life.

But Young Adult is much more than a 30-ish woman failing to rise from her high school throne, plagued by fallen marriages and a fruitless womb. With absolute hilarity (thank you, Patton Oswalt for joining this movie), Young Adult flirts with the question, “Is anyone really happy?”

And the best thing is, Cody and Reitman never answer the question. It’s still in the air if whether Buddy is happy in his marriage; if Freehauf is a man who’s come to terms with his disability, or a man running away from real life to his action figures; if Mavis has truly found out that toying with booze and men is not a fulfilled life.

But the second to last scene is where the answer to these questions are hinted at. After Freehauf’s sister drowns Mavis in praise and belittles the “dumb and fat” town of Mercury (repeating the cafeteria cliques of decades past), and asks if she can partner up with Marvis to the grand ole’ city, Marvis shares that, well, “you’re good here.” Ouch. And once Marvis drives off in her beaten car to a life not changed, we can see that life must be something more than what these group of characters wrestle with.

Young Adult is now available on Netflix Instant, but its not a pretty Charlize Theron cracking the audience up with her antics. It’s an intimate viewing of everyone’s struggle to stretch beyond being a Young Adult.

☆☆☆☆ and 1/2 Stars

Why David Fincher (and the whole ‘Benjamin Button’ Crew) Deserves All the Awards

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is one of my favorite films in the entire universe. Period. It’s incredible in every facet possible.

But never mind the lovely and excellent story, the incredible direction, the phenomenal special effects, sound, editing, and music. The scene below shows how amazing filmmaking is and how touching it can be. All the elements of film are at their absolute best in this one scene, and it confirms why Fincher is one of my favorite directors, and why I have to be a filmmaker.

Lincoln

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Don’t you love it when you see a good film? I mean, a really good film? It’s as if you can almost forgive Hollywood’s slew of crap and truly appreciate a really great movie. Well, that’s just the case with Lincoln. If one can overlook the temporary injections of corniness, they can witness a beautiful, passionately and wonderfully acted, and an even charming film blossom before their very eyes.

Lincoln follows the 16th President and his cabinet’s journey to establish the 13th Amendment; you know, the one that gets rid of slavery? Obviously, it’s kind of a big deal, and some people don’t like it. Abraham Lincoln must convince his nation to ratify this measure, all while attempting to bring the Civil War to a close, grieve with his wife Mary over the death of his son Willy, raise and love his other two boys, and deal with a bunch of old, grumpy white guys.

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In short, Spielberg’s still got it. All of these topics are handled gracefully and flow smoothly with each other, also managing to paint a touching portrait of Lincoln. (Lincoln’s kind of like the Grandpa you wished you had, who would go off topic and tell funny stories, then somehow tie that story into his preceding point, and look really cool and wise.) While Spielberg’s direction is great (one is always aware of the camera, but it seems more like a warm invite than an irritating awareness), let’s give a round of applause for Tony Kushner, the screenwriter. It takes great skill to construct an accurate and pleasing portrait of Lincoln and his presidency. And the assassination: tactful, despite how weird that may sound. The death of America’s President is sad, yet bittersweet.

And wow, I forgot to mention the acting; that’s just how good it is. Everyone falls completely into their characters, and I bet you $100 Daniel Day-Lewis is winning that Oscar.*

Lincoln is one of the best films this year, no doubt about it.

☆☆☆☆

*I’m sorry, I actually can’t give you a $100. 

Shakespeare in Love

You know, being known as the “film girl” is not all that great. It’s a label, a mere tag that’s supposed to sum up your whole character. And it sucks, no matter the label people – or even yourself – try to slap upon your existence. So, though I’m in love with films, I’m not watching much movies lately. And I like it. If you rush it, watching films becomes an expected duty of some sort, and it definitely lessens the experience. I’ve been expanding my world into other artistic realms – slam poetry, great books, cool music, whatever. And I love it. But lately, I’ve started to get hungry. Hungry to see a movie. I think it’s time to go back, and it feels just right. I’m going back because I want to – not because it’s expected. (This long introductory paragraph is supposed to stand as a reason for my lack of blogging for the past few weeks. :))

Let’s continue…

Shakespeare is everywhere, unfortunately. It’s bad enough people are regularly indoctrinated at school, but his writing permeates modern literature, television, numerous plays, even video games. (OK. Maybe not video games.) This overindulgence leads to a watering down of his slicing prose, lending his works to infamy and therefore annoyance. Now, instead of focusing on other, more talented writers of the past, director Thomas Madden decides to weaken the name of Shakespeare even further with his Shakespeare in Love. It’s not a pretty sight.

Shakespeare in Love is one of the best reasons why the Academy Awards is a very bad joke played on the public for decades. Winner of Best Picture in 1998, Shakespeare attempts to fill in the spaces of William’s personal life while he wrote the illustrious Romeo and Juliet. What occurs is a cliche-ridden mess.

Common, yet still disappointing, Shakespeare in Love is brimming with historical inconsistencies. (Note to filmmakers: putting your actors in stuffy, fluffy costumes does not justify lazy writing regarding the accuracy of historical fact.) Shakespeare is a fictional tale, but from what history details: Shakespeare was not a dashing, charming young man who swooned rich men’s daughters; fat, broke, and brilliant would be more accurate. Queen Elizabeth, performed by Judi Dench, did not randomly show up to public playhouses. (Is it me, or is Dench somehow contractually required to show up in every English film ever?). And Romeo and Juliet wasn’t so popular at first.

But never mind that. The “love” story between Shakespeare (Joseph Fiennes) and Viola (Gwenyth Paltrow), a soon to be married daughter of a rich man, is problematic. For one, it’s all been done before. You know, the rich-daughter-wants-poor-man-but-has-to-marry-another-rich-guy-who-is-really-mean-and-old-so-she-runs-away-and-eventually-lives-happily-ever-after-with-poor-dude plot? Yeah, that one. In addition, the other boring, uninteresting, and meaningless subplots cloud an already stressed and overused love story. The only time the story gains strength is when it aligns with history. In the 1500’s, women weren’t allowed to perform on stage. A movie adaptation of the significantly important story of the fight of creative rights for women would be far more fascinating than this bloated, overrated film.

In one key scene, Viola defends the honesty and purity of plays and poetry to the Queen of England.

“Plays cannot show the very truth and nature of love,” Queen Elizabeth declares.

Viola is adamant. “Oh, but they can!”

I’m sorry, Viola. Others have succeeded, but Shakespeare in Love is not one of them.

Another Legendary Day.


Why hide it?

President Barack Obama has been re-elected for another four year term in America. The United States has made history again by giving the first African-American President two terms in office.

And for those who say Obama hasn’t fulfilled his 2008 promises (we’ll just ignore the messy presidency before he inherited the office), here’s a list of acts and actions accomplished from 2008-2012. (Hint: 5 million job growth, free healthcare [which most countries in Europe have handled with ease], and the death of Osama Bin Laden are some of them.)

Obama’s Top Fifty Accomplishments  – Washington Monthly

Angry Birds and Time Travel and Oh My!

As you know, I’m all about finding the greatest stuff on the Web and showing it with others. Too many times does great stuff go under the radar in the slew of Youtube vids, Tweets, and Facebook Statuses.

As you also know, I love movies and books that surround around time travel. The hilarious video below includes time travel and an amazing plot – exactly my cup of tea.

Check It Out Below:

 

Book Vs. Film: Jane Eyre

I hate the term “classic.” It’s insane for one group of people to declare that certain films and novels will forever be masterpieces. Why shove clunky books down poor schoolchildren’s throats and proclaim certain films are “must-sees” to any film buff? If a piece of art is so special and great, shouldn’t it be able to stand and thrive on its own without people constantly shoving it forward? Though critics, professors, and misguided viewers and readers like to toss around the word “classic” too, why is one major entity – schools – stating what should be classic for the entire world? You HAD to read To Kill a Mockingbird in 9th grade; any serious movie buff HAS to see Psycho or Taxi Driver or Citizen Kane, etc. Alice in Wonderland, Pride and Prejudice,The Great Gatsby, even children’s books are stamped as classics. Where the Wild Things Are is probably one of the worst kid’s books I’ve read – but since a bunch of people said, “CLASSIC!”, people go out in droves and buy the book or film or any piece of art declared as a beloved classic.

Perhaps these novels and movies were magnificent for a different era – the current generation is to produce new “classics”, not artistry that has died (or should have died) a long time ago. Because someone does something first does not make it wonderful, especially if a host of other people did it entirely better.

So why in the world did I read Jane Eyre?

Other than it was free on my Nook and, (listen here) REQUIRED reading for school, I didn’t want to.

“But Alley, was it good, overrated, masterful? Does it deserve to be called a “classic”?”

In short: Yes. And no.

But let’s take it slow: what does Jane Eyre do right? For one, the strong willed heroine Charlotte Bronte presents is a breath of fresh air – even for the 21st century. Jane does not  take any stuff – blunt honesty and strong spirits is the name of her game. It might be more normal to see the ‘strong woman’ type in entertainment today, but this well-rounded female character is essential for women for any era. The writing is absolutely enthralling – Bronte chooses words that zooms the reader right into the scene. The characterization and diction is wonderful, a symphony of gorgeous words.

Wow, that was quick. Now for the bad…

Honest to God, though the writing is pretty, at least half of this novel could have been chopped off, two-hundred pages at minimum. SO MUCH of it is unnecessary purple prose – grandiose descriptions already detailed in the before paragraph. This is not setting up a scene – this is overindulgence to the max. Bronte also gives a typical, ‘happily-ever after’ story in Jane Eyre. It’s not deserving of a detailed synopsis, so here’s the rundown: poor girl an orphan in a rich family; poor girl a governess to a rich master; poor girl wife to rich master; poor girl just poor and homeless; poor girl suddenly made rich girl; rich girl marries rich master.

Isn’t it wonderful?!

The relationship between Jane and Mr. Rochester is sweet, touching, then BAM!, almost verging on a saccharine mess. Throw in some contrived plot devices and you have a “classic.”

But perhaps we’ve learned a lesson here. What may be good for you, may be horrible for another. Only the person can decide what’s “classic” for themselves.

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My, oh my. Does this movie have it all… Rushed pace, unneeded scenes, important scenes given the ax, and since we’re in England…Judi Dench!

Pretty cinematography cannot save this movie. Is it a dark thriller, a romance, a character study, etc.? Because this film doesn’t balance the three elements well like it’s source novel does.

Just, no.

☆☆