I love documentaries. So much. I have always been the kid in school who’s overly excited to watch a history documentary in class. Everyone else is just happy to not have to do the usual work, but I’m excited to learn something from the movie. So, I thought I’d share four of my favorite documentaries to watch. Although, be warned: they are all semi to extremely depressing. But they’re all fantastic.
“The True Cost”
It has been a while since I’ve watched this one, and I think I need to watch it again. This doc does a great job explaining where your clothes come from, who makes those clothes, and the affect those clothes have on the environment. It’s very eye-opening. As someone who loves fashion, this documentary opened my eyes to something that I had never given much thought to.
“Before The Flood”
I have now watched this twice – once when it came out for free a while ago, and once a couple weeks ago for a class. This is such fantastic documentary. I love Leo a bit too much, and he does a great job narrating this doc. The one critique I have is that it is quite depressing, and does not offer a ton of hope, but it is still a very important watch. I also may have started crying when Obama came on screen. I miss him so much. And I love the Bosch painting that gets referenced throughout the film. It’s one of my favorite paintings ever.
Watch this doc if you want to know why being a vegan/vegetarian is good for the environment. It is also eye-opening and a bit disturbing and depressing. I think animal agriculture is the least-known cause of climate change in the public, and it’s incredibly important for people to realize the negative impact that their burger is having on the planet.
Lastly, there’s Blackfish. This documentary focuses on the orcas in captivity in SeaWorld, and how they have been treated poorly and inhumanely from the get-go, and still are not treated as orcas should be. After watching this film, I realized just how terrible SeaWorld is, and why it is so important that they no longer have orcas in their care.
What are your favorite documentaries? Let me know down in the comments or over on Twitter!
Yesterday I went to see the new Beauty and The Beast movie, and I thought I’d write up a little review. I also want to discuss that “exclusively gay” moment with LeFou, as well as his storyline in general. Let’s go!
Beauty and The Beast in General
Overall, this was a good movie. Sure, it didn’t stray from the animated movie’s plot at all, but it was still a solid movie. The visuals are absolutely stunning, but I feel like there was something lacking. I can’t help but compare this movie to the remade Cinderella from a couple years ago, and Cinderella was definitely better. I think the acting in Cinderella and the chemistry between Kit and Cinderella made all of the difference. Emma Watson is an incredible actress, but I don’t think she had enough chemistry with Dan Stevens, particularly as the beast. Emma’s singing is also a bit autotuned. I read a review that said something about all of the songs sounding like decent covers of the originals, and I agree. While most of the singing was good, it didn’t have that same Disney-magic quality.
The gem of the movie was 100% Gaston. Luke Evans captured his personality to a tee. Everything about his performance was excellent. I also thought that Josh Gad as LeFou was an excellent casting choice. The two work well together as a bro-team (for lack of a better word). But, his gay storyline was a bit of a mess. Which brings me to…
First of all, great job Disney at including a gay character *cue applause* *pats Disney on the back* blah blah blah, etc.
Really, LeFou’s sexuality seemed nothing more than some serious pandering. All of LeFou’s coded gay dialogue seemed more like he just really wanted to be Gaston rather than any real feelings. Granted, I know that he does low-key wish that he could be Gaston, but if I didn’t know that LeFou was supposed to be gay, I would say he just wished he could be as “cool” as Gaston. There is also zero chemistry between LeFou and Gaston in a sexual way. They have chemistry as a bro-team, as previously stated. But, there is none when LeFou looks at Gaston. There was more sexual tension between a CGI clock and candlestick, for crying out loud!
Exclusively Gay Moment
As for that *exclusively gay* moment that has everyone in a tizzy – it was even more disappointing than I expected. And my expectations were already pretty close to rock-bottom. To me, an exclusively gay moment is having LeFou and a guy dancing happily in the background. Even if it’s for half a second, that’s an exclusively gay moment. What we got was an OMG-a-guy-accidentally-fell-into-my-arms-what-do-I-do moment. All the audience gets to see is a woman spinning out of LeFou’s arms when suddenly a man spins into them, and LeFou’s look of surprise. Maybe if the camera had stayed on his face for longer than a millisecond to actually process that he’s okay with it, then maybe it could be an exclusively gay moment. But I have seen one too many movies where a guy accidentally dancing with another guy is nothing more than a gag.
That’s a whole heteronormative/toxic masculinity package to unpack, but I’m very curious if the writers actually wrote LeFou to be gay. The movie felt more like that’s just how they wrote it, realized LeFou *could* be gay, and then decided to go with it. This is not representation. Representation would be a character who:
is not an idiot.
is not randomly following around someone like a lost puppy.
falls in (real) love (not infatuation) with someone who isn’t possibly the biggest jackass of all time.
ACTUALLY, y’know, says they’re gay.
I think that’s about all I have to say. Let me know what you thought of the movie in the comments below or over on Twitter!
Here’s everything that happened on Thursday, the first day of VidCon! (I told you it’d be a while until I posted the next one!)
Day 3: VidCon
When we first got there, I was a bit overwhelmed. There’s just so much to look at and do! We decided to wander around the Expo Hall a bit before going to anything. The Expo Hall has tons of booths from various companies, with most of them giving away something free (which I didn’t get much because I will never use most free stuff I get). One of the first places we went was a Food Network booth where we got to decorate our own cupcakes, which was so much fun! We then figured we might as well eat our cupcakes, so we went off to the Marcus Butler Q and A. But before I talk about that, let me talk about this cupcake: OH. MY. GOD. Best cupcake I have ever had, hands-down. It was SO GOOD. The frosting was amazing, and I usually don’t like frosting. I was so impressed. I want another one.
Marcus Butler Q and A: This was the first real thing that we went to. It was about halfway over when we went to go sit down, so we were pretty far in the back, but it was still really cool. At this point, it still didn’t feel like we were really at VidCon, and seeing a YouTuber that I’ve watched for ages IRL in front of me made it seem a bit more real.
SourceFed and Philip DeFranco Q and A: This was my favorite panel of the day. I never really watched SourceFed on a regular basis before, but I was aware of who they were, but going to this really cemented my love of them. They are so funny and weird, and you can tell that they all really like each other. Philip DeFranco often acted like their parent, eye-rolling at their antics but still laughing along. All in all this was a fantastic panel that got me hooked on SourceFed.
We then went to lunch (cheese and veggie quesadilla), and seeing as there wasn’t much going on, decided to go to the Variety Show.
Variety Show (GloZell, Hank Green, John Green, Jacksfilms, Louis Cole, Ten Second Songs, Todrick Hall): Overall, I wasn’t terribly impressed. I don’t super love any of the YouTubers that were there, so it was alright. I did find out who Todrick Hall was, and I still need to listen to his new album. I enjoyed Ten Second Songs, and found out that I really do not like GloZell.
Gender in Gaming: Shake It Off (Aureylian, LDShadowLady, ihasCupquake, Jamin Warren, Neha Tiwari): I enjoyed this panel. There was no “wow” moment particularly, but I’m glad that VidCon wants to talk about women in gaming, which can definitely be a bit of a bumpy road. I’m not much of a gamer (What’s Pokemon? How do you even work an XBox? I have no idea) so I couldn’t relate as much when they talked about choosing women characters, etc. because I’ve never played 95% of the games they talked about, but I still liked it and felt like it was worth my time.
Be Yourself, Be Kind, Be Curious (Nabela Noor, Louis Cole, Rick Matthews, SprinkleofGlitter): I went to this panel mostly because of Louise. I wasn’t going to see her in anything else, and I really wanted to go to something she was in. I definitely think the moderator had done something to make her a little ticked because she seemed a bit short, but she’s seriously my favorite person ever. Louise is so funny and kind of snarky sarcastic, which is so my brand of humor, and I just love her. I also liked Nabela and Louis on the panel. I’ve never watched either of their videos, although I have heard of Louis and am somewhat familiar with him, but I thought they were funny and seemed very real.
We then went and had some grilled cheese for dinner (the true feat of walking with food at VidCon is paying attention to not dropping your food, not running into anyone, looking at everyone passing you to see if you know them, and looking for a place to sit down and eat at the same time. It’s rough.)
Spoken Word Open Mic (Savannah Brown and a bunch of other awesome people): This was definitely the highlight of the day. It was incredible to hear young people read the amazing poetry that they wrote. I was completely blown away (shoutout to Haley for killing it). This is one of those moments where I truly believe that my generation is awesome. Go young people. I highly suggest you check out the playlist of all the poems in the tweet below.
It’s been almost a week since I got back from California, and I have yet to write my blog posts about it. Bad Sarah. But, I’m finally doing it! To keep these from being one gigantic long post that has no end, I’ve broken it down by day…aka you may not get another one for a week. But I’ll try to get it done soon-ish. No promises, though.
Day 1: Driving
It was a long drive. We drove a lot. Really wasn’t that interesting. New Mexico is pretty, Arizona around Flagstaff is pretty, California closer to the coast is pretty. Otherwise, very ugly. And who actually wants to live in California super close to Arizona? If you’re going to live in the sweltering desert, you might as well just go to Arizona????
Day 2: Universal Studios and TATINOF
We (my best friend and I. That is “we” in case you didn’t know anytime I refer to “we”) got up bright and early and went to Universal Studios in order to get there to go to HarryPotterLand at 8 AM (you can get in an hour early and go to Harry Potter while the rest of the park opens at 9. I would highly recommend doing that).
Going to Harry Potter was INCREDIBLE. First turning the corner and seeing it, I got chills. You actually feel like you’re in Hogsmeade and seeing Hogwarts. If you’re a Harry Potter fan, you absolutely have to go. So cool.
Harry Potter and The Forbidden Journey: This is the first ride we went on. The line was about 40 minutes long. But it was awesome! The line winds through Hogwarts, so you got to wander around past the Fat Lady, through the Headmaster’s Office, the Defense Against The Dark Arts classroom, and some other cool places. For the actual ride itself, it was my favorite by far at Universal. You actually feel like you’re flying on a broom, which is sick! (You may actually get literally sick if 3-D bothers you a lot). 10/10 would recommend.
Flight of the Hippogriff: I was very underwhelmed with this ride. It was a baby rollercoaster that lasted for maybe 30 seconds? Anyway, it was not long at all, and not that exciting.
After going on these rides, we wandered around some shops in Hogsmeade, and since it was still very early, we decided to do the rest of Universal Studios. Since I didn’t actually write down exactly which rides we went to, I may miss a couple, but you get the gist.
We first went to the minion ride. Before we got in line, though, we ran into two minions outside. I’m still a little scared of people dressed up in costume, so when the purple minion kept getting in my face I got a little freaked out (I know I’m rolling my eyes too).
Despicable Me Minion Mayhem: This ride was really cute. It was kind of like the first Harry Potter one in that you are sitting in a seat and there’s 3-D effects on a screen in front of you and the seat moves so you feel like you are actually falling, etc. when you aren’t. I really like these types of rides, I’ve found out. It was pretty much like the Despicable Me movies. Really adorable and feel-good.
The Simpsons Ride: This was another ride of the 3-D glasses, sit-in-one-fairly-still-seat sort. I enjoyed it. I’m not personally a huge fan of The Simpsons, but I still thought the story of the ride was interesting,
Transformers Ride: I haven’t seen a single Transformers movie (shocking!), but I liked this ride too. It feels like you’re in an action movie, and it was very intense and cool. You get “thrown around” a lot (again with the 3-D and moving seats) by a Transformer, which is very neat visually.
Revenge of The Mummy Ride: I have also never seen The Mummy movie, so this was another ride where I was going in really not knowing what to expect. This one was more of a “normal” ride with no 3-D, and more like a rollercoaster kind of thing. I thought it was intense, but a good kind of intense.
At some point in there, we went to eat lunch at The Three Broomsticks, where I had a very good soup and salad. I also tried both cold butterbeer and frozen butterbeer. Personally, I preferred the frozen. The cold is very soda-like, and I’m not the biggest fan of carbonation, so it was a bit fizzy for me, although the taste was very good. The frozen butterbeer was the consistency of a frappuccino at Starbucks, and so tasty! I would recommend just trying both, because you might as well. They’re both delicious, and you can’t get them anywhere else (or at least official ones anywhere else).
After all that, it was only a little past lunchtime, and we didn’t have to be anywhere until the evening, so we went to register for VidCon. There was no line, so that didn’t take as long as we really wanted it to. We then drove to Costa Mesa (VidCon is in Anaheim) to try to find a beach. Unfortunately, we could not find a beach that either didn’t charge $15 for parking or a beach that had parking, so no beach for us. We did, however, find a park, and hang out there for a bit. I got to swing on the swingset, which I haven’t done in YEARS, so that was fun.
Then, before we went to The Amazing Tour Is Not On Fire (TATINOF), we went to go eat at Panera. I love Panera. Shout out to Panera and their bread bowls. We were also people-watching everyone coming in who was going to TATINOF across the street. Almost everyone who walked in had Dan and Phil merch on, and it was quite fun seeing some people who were going. I embarrassed a couple girls in the bathroom who were trying to draw on cat whiskers because I didn’t look particularly Dan-and-Phil-TATINOF-merched-out.
And then, we went to TATINOF, Dan and Phil’s live show (they’re YouTubers, in case you didn’t know). This was eerily similar to the One Direction concert experience of the previous roadtrip. We got there RIDICULOUSLY early even though we had reserved seats. There were tons of screaming young teenage girls and their bored parents. These girls ran screaming when they thought they saw Dan and Phil (this should not be construed to be criticizing the young screaming girls. Go run and scream your hearts out. I just wish I had that much energy).
When we got in, we were sat way up in the balcony with quite a few other older people, which was nice. Sometimes you feel a little awkward being the only person over 16 besides parents bringing their kids. The pre-show playlist was fantastic, especially considering that we had a song stuck in our heads for the entire day.
The show itself was insanely awesome. You can go read a review I wrote over on CelebMix. Anyway, it was fantastic. Granted, I’ve never been to a YouTuber live show before, but this one seemed incredible! There was so much detail, and an excellent plot, and I just can’t get over how much I enjoyed it. I was smiling, if not laughing, the entire time. Marvelous.