thoughts on pretty little liars first three seasons

Fool me once? Shame on you. Fool my best friend? You’re dead meat.
-Hanna Marin

The fact that I jumped off the Pretty Little Liars train back in high school has never escaped me. I had to live with it for years as my friends gushed about the newest clue they were being fed. After being a fan for the first two seasons, watching religiously every week, I just got tired of nothing ever adding up. Mid season three I decided I was done with it and joked with my friends that they would be watching it till they were thirty.

Occasionally, I would hear a tidbit about the show and wonder if I should have stuck it out, but quickly squashed it. About a year ago, I was scrolling through Netflix looking for something new to binge watch and came across the show. I didn’t start it then, but I added it to my list and made a deal with myself: I would watch it when it had ended. I felt this way, I would know it had a definite end to the story and I wouldn’t have to be bothered by feelings of it never going anywhere.

Well if you aren’t a fan of the show then let me fill you in – the show ended, finally!

Now that the show is over, I decided it was time. I needed a good guilty pleasure show to watch and this one was a prime candidate. I began all the way back in season one a couple weeks ago and I just started season four yesterday. It turns out that although the story is totally and completely far fetched and dramatically cheesy, I am really enjoying it! I have come up with two reasons why this could be:

  1. I am not watching it with my mom, so I don’t have to hear her commentary about how that girl shouldn’t be sleeping with her teacher and blah blah blah, but instead I can swoon and watch in pure bliss.
  2. I no longer have to wait a week between episodes. With binge-watching and accessibility (thanks Netflix!) comes better understanding – the clues make more sense, because they are fresh in my mind. I’m able to speculate more on who I think is “A” and try to piece together my own theories in peace and generally enjoy the show more.

I will admit that the show still makes me think WTF!? like every episode, but I can’t help it and I definitely can’t quit watching!


movie review: home alone 2

They’re kind of the same thing. If you won’t use your heart, who cares if it gets broken? If you just keep it to yourself, maybe it’ll be like my rollerblades. When you do decide to try it, it won’t be any good. You should take a chance. Got nothing to lose.
-Kevin McCallister

Home Alone is a classic holiday movie; I would even go as far as to say it is on majority of people’s top five holiday film lists. I can honestly say that I watch it at least twice a year and get a genuine laugh everytime! The story never gets old.

Well, I always knew that Home Alone had sequels, but had never given them a watch until last night. Last night I watched Home Alone 2: Lost in New York for the first time… and while watching I had many comments, concerns, and questions.

How Do You Forget Your Kid Twice?
Not just twice – TWO YEARS IN A ROW!! I feel like Kate McCallister is the most irresponsible mother on the planet! If I was in her shoes and I had left my kid at home the year before while taking a major trip, I would be physically making sure I see all of my kids in the car before I left the house, then physically gripping his hand as I ran to the terminal, and then physically checking to make sure he was in his seat before that plane took off… Like how does she not check?? I hope she got some questions from CPS on why she can’t keep up with her kid.

How Can You Be So Naive?
I am specifically referring to the conflict between Buzz and Kevin. I understand it to a point, because I have an older brother, but this is just ridiculous! We see it in the first movie with Buzz eating the cheese pizza he knew was for Kevin and then making a tacky remark to get a rise out of Kevin; obviously Kevin shouldn’t have retaliated, but really is no one going to punish Buzz for causing the conflict to begin with? Then we have the same kind of thing at the church concert. Kevin has a solo and Buzz starts doing dumb things behind Kevin getting the audience to laugh [which by the way in what world are people so cruel/stupid that they would laugh at that] then Kevin realizes what is happening and pushes Buzz causing all of the other students to fall; once back home Buzz says the most pathetic, fake apology and his mom buys it and gets mad at Kevin. Woman are you blind??

How Can You Let Your Family Speak To Your Kid Like That?
It has always bothered me about how Kevin’s family speaks to him in the first movie… they make fun of him, call him names, and really demean him (you’re a little jerk, you’re a disease, you’re incompetent). If my family treated me like that, I would want them to disappear too! Nobody listens to him and they blame him for everything – real talk: the kid is nine/ten! I understand that kids can be annoying or inconvenient, but that is no reason to bully him. I mean his grown uncle joins in; why are his parents not putting a stop to this familial bullying?? Then to think that after he gets left behind and almost dies, they still don’t put a stop to their rudeness? Unbelievable!

How Are They Not In A Rehabilitation Center?
I know it’s a movie and I’m all for the good fun and unrealisticness of the first movie, but, seriously, how are the bandits not in some kind of rehabilitation center? They would have had wounds and scars and broken bones from the beating they took robbing the McCallister home, yet they weren’t even hurting when they got arrested and they looked good as new when they broke out of prison… ya I’m not buying it.

How Was The Airline Not Sued?
Again, I know it’s a movie, but how does this family not sue the airlines for letting their kid on a flight without checking for his boarding pass or make sure he finds his seat and/or family? He’s obviously a kid, maybe not an unaccompanied minor, but he does get on without a parent. I know the lady drops the boarding passes, but for a ten year old you don’t double check to make sure and then you don’t physically take him to his family after the pilot tells you to make sure? Really? Although the McCallister’s don’t need the money, I would definitely be talking to someone!!

Okay, so I have an obvious disgust for the McCallister family and I think his parent’s need to take a course on how to be responsible parents, but I think my biggest issue with the film was the fact that it is completely unoriginal and uncreative. It’s basically the same storyline from the first movie just not in New York… I just feel like they could have gotten a bit more creative with the story.

Although I didn’t think it was a fantastic story, I still think Macauley did a wonderful job and I got some good laughs in when the bandits were be tortured again! Overall, not the best sequel, but not a complete bust either!

| Lauren Grey

Originally posted here.

Movie Review: The Prestige

the prestigeThe Prestige is an oldie, but a goody from 2006. It is one of the best suspenseful thrillers that I have seen lately. I have been meaning to watch it for awhile now, but finally made time last night, because it is one of my fiance’s favorites.

I knew it was about rival magicians, but that is all I knew when the movie began. Christopher Nolan did a wonderful job transporting you to a whole other place and time. The costumes and sets were beautiful and Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale were fantastic!

Basically, two up-and-coming magicians start out as friends, but after a deadly turn become obsessive enemies always trying to one up the other. There is this air of mystery throughout the entire movie and in their relationship. I feel like there is always this unknown yet understood notion moving them forward and fueling their obsession.

I won’t lie, towards the end there are multiple twists and turns that keep you either on the edge of your seat or more confused than ever. The last twist is the one that I didn’t see coming at all. After seeing the end, I want to go back and watch the movie again to see if it is at all noticeable. Very well done!

I would give it an 8 out of 10. It was very good, but I didn’t find it to be easy to follow the whole time, but the ending was well worth the watch. I would recommend to anyone who likes movies with major twists at the end, suspenseful or thriller movies, or just magic in general.

Show Review: Thirteen Reasons Why

Thirteen Reasons Why





T-minus twelve hours since I finished the first season of Thirteen Reasons Why and I am still reeling from the emotional aftermath.

Thirteen Reasons Why is a Netflix Original Series based off of the 2007 young adult novel by the same title by Jay Asher. The show is the story about why a high school junior took her life. Instead of leaving a single suicide note, she records thirteen cassette tapes explaining the events that led up to her decision. Each tape is dedicated to a different person who she feels is partly responsible for her decision due to their actions or inactions. These tapes are left with strict instructions for the person to listen to all the tapes and then pass them onto the next person responsible.

I won’t lie. This story is a powerful one if you give it a chance. With its Pretty Little Liars meets Degrassi feel, some viewers may waive it off as another melodramatic teenage story that tries to deal with tough issues, but fails. I think Thirteen Reasons Why is a beautifully horrific embodiment of the worst-case teenage suicide scenario.

Certain topics are just difficult to talk about and/or portray, but Thirteen Reasons Why dives right into the heart of suicide, sex, rape, bullying, and teen culture including drinking and partying. Having only been out of high school for four years, the behaviors I witnessed and experienced are still fairly fresh and so far this show is the truest depiction of how high school actually functions; the so-called popular kids aren’t all perfect nor were they always popular, friendships suddenly end with no warning, the social groups interlace, and the school staff brushes off opportunities to engage in students’ real lives.

I love how Tony, the “keeper” of the tapes, keeps telling Clay that the tapes are Hannah’s truth. I think that one phrase is so important to situations like these, because how actions are perceived by another person are a complete mystery and we never really know how someone will react to them. The events leading up to Hannah’s suicide are brutal, sometimes hard to watch and sometimes hard to hear, but the events are brutal and hurtful enough to push Hannah over the edge. Some of the events might seem harmless or stupid or petty, but when these events are all stacking up on one person it makes a difference.

Thirteen Reasons Why makes you sick. You feel sick because you want to binge-watch it, but then feel guilty for feeling entertained by a real problem. You feel sick because some of the images and events will haunt you to your core. You feel sick because once it is over, you will be begging for another season.

For Book Readers:

It was very creative the way they incorporated this book into a television show. The original book probably could have successfully been made into a movie, but to make into multiple episodes and possibly other seasons, the writers had to do something to draw it out. I was pleasantly surprised by what they came up with. Instead of leaving it from only Hannah and Clay’s perspectives, you get to see what happened from multiple point of views as well as get background information on the supporting characters.

I read Thirteen Reasons Why probably seven or eight years ago during my first year of high school. Back then I had not experienced much involving the tough topics explored in the text, so I read it in one sitting and raved about it. It made me think twice about how I treated people for awhile, but the effects didn’t last as long as they should have. Now, having watched the show, I felt it not only did the book justice, but it was incredibly impactful!

The ending was remarkable. It was tragic yet had an air of lightness. The setup of the story was that you get to experience the aftermath of Hannah’s suicide through the different supporting characters’ lives. More death. More lies. More drugs. More drinking. More hurt. More depression. There was a lot of spiraling out of control that is easy to miss while you are watching the first twelve episodes, because you are so focused on Hannah, but the season finale brings to light how everyone else is reacting and coping to the tragedy. It was provoking and brilliant.

If you choose to watch Thirteen Reasons Why, I hope the story stays with you for a long time and I hope it changes the way you see the people around you and the way to treat others. Let this story change you!


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Movie Review: Two Weeks Notice

I was hoping to indulge in a good romantic comedy, but sadly Two Weeks Notice did not do the job. I had high hopes with Hugh Grant and Sandra Bullock and since it was an early 2000s film, but I just did not enjoy it. Honestly, it wasn’t very funny or swoony.

Sandra Bullock is one of my favorite actresses. This role seemed quirky and cute like her usual picks, but then the story just got worse and worse. There was no build-up as to why they “fell in love.” It just seemed very forced and a bit stupid. Why was she so jealous of the girl she hired to take her job? What about him was she attracted to?

I just didn’t understand the flow of events. It had a story with good potential, but the execution didn’t do it justice. It made it supremely cheesy (which I am okay with) and it just didn’t provide any sort of magic that a romantic comedy should produce.

Bottom Line: Two Weeks Notice was a huge let-down. It didn’t provide any magic that is expected of a romantic comedy. It wasn’t a bore or anything, I just felt the story didn’t have good flow and didn’t really give you enough information to believe their feelings for each other.