Crazy Rich Asians

Whether or not you discovered Crazy Rich Asians years ago when the first book released or more recently when the movie hit theaters, one thing is for sure, it’s a lot of fun. I’ve seen the movie twice now and each time I’ve walked out of the theater completely satisfied. It worked as a standalone, though I’m thrilled they’re making the second one.

This movie was the perfect blend of humor (thank you Awkwafina & fam), romance, and touching family drama. An added bonus was the chance to see Singapore in a way I’m sure I never will–seeing as how my family does not in fact own a chain of hotels. The wedding was also a far cry and unique experience to anything I’ve ever witnessed.crazyrich

Take your friends or take your man and go see this movie! You won’t be disappointed.

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Some Characters Stick

As we approach the return of Fall TV (praise the Lord), we also get to enjoy the return of some of our favorite characters all while hopefully finding a few new ones to love. Unfortunately, Riggs played by Clayne Crawford won’t be among those returning.

While I know it’s crappy of him to have acted the way he did on set, I wish his public apology had been enough to save his job. No one deserves to work in a toxic environment, but his onscreen chemistry with Damon Wayans was on point and will be tricky to replace though FOX is going to try in Seann Willian Scott.

I am a fan of the Lethal Weapon movies and always have been that’s why when I heard FOX was making a reboot in the form of a television show I was skeptical. Who could possibly portray Murtaugh and Riggs as well as Danny Glover and Mel Gibson had? Before I watched the show I was sure it was impossible, but my opinion changed in episode one.

Take a minute to appreciate what a great job he did and then join me in lamenting over our loss.

 

Fingers crossed we can find some new characters to love this fall–A Million Little Things has potential and I’ll be sure to weigh in after it airs.

#lethalweapon #teamclayne #fallTV

Book Review: A Handmaid’s Tale

I’m late to the party.

Margaret Atwood’s A Handmaid’s Tale was released back in the 80’s, but thanks to the television adaptation currently running on Hulu, a new generation has been introduced into the fascinating and equally terrifying world Atwood has created. My feelings after reading this book aren’t as simple to digest or explain as is the case with most of the books I read.

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Did I enjoy it? Somewhat. At times. Different parts. Yes. No. Like I said, it’s complicated.

The truth is, Atwood is an exceptional author. Her words flow and the picture she paints is vivid, but it wasn’t a book that I couldn’t put down. In fact, I had to force myself at times to dive back in due to the dark nature of the content. Reading about a society where women lose their rights and dignity isn’t exactly an uplifting journey and on top of the nature of the story, I was frustrated by the ending.

I thought more would happen. I thought there would be some sort of resolution. I wanted there to be a revolution. I wanted an uprising, change, blood in the streets, but not the kind that flowed throughout the story. All of my negative feelings aside though, I think the way Atwood told the story was more realistic which made it all the more horrifying.

Now that I’m finished with the book I’m looking forward to the show. The show runners have taken liberties as show runners do, but in the case of Offred, Moira, Nick and the rest of the handmaids that may not be such a bad thing. Maybe we’ll finally get the closure we all need. handmaidstaleshow

Review: Anne with an “E”

I’ve been a fan of Lucy Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables for over twenty years. Anne Shirley, the heroine of her novels, has long entertained me with her mischief, overabundant imagination, and mishaps. That being said, there’s only ever been one adaptation I’ve ever truly loved and that was the one starring Megan Follows.

Does that mean I’m not open to another version? No, but it’s going to be hard to top it.

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Color me surprised last summer when I stumbled upon Anne with an “E” on Netflix. It was similar in many ways, though it strayed slightly from the book, but that’s okay. The heart of the story was there and intact. Now, let’s fast forward to season two. . .

Season two was a very different animal. At first, I wasn’t sure what to make of it because it didn’t simply stray from the book, it was a completely different story with characters of the same name. There are new characters, con artists, a side to Aunt Josephine Barry that was never explored and Gilbert isn’t around for most of the season. It took me a couple of episodes to adjust my thinking, after all, Game of Thrones has long since left the books behind, but the show is better than ever, so it’s important to keep an open mind–which seems to be the theme in season two.

This is a progressive Anne of Green Gables; one that seeks to be inclusive, but in the most tasteful and touching of ways. Much like Anne herself who is determined to live life her way and not how everyone thinks she should, it seems to me like this is what an updated Anne should be.

Bottom line: Take a chance and let yourself fall in love with Anne and her friends all over again even if it’s not exactly what you remember.

 

 

Summer Shows: The Good and The Bad

Are you having hiatus-itis like me? (You know that thing where all of your favorite shows are on a break?) If you are, then look no further than the recommendations I have for you.

Summer is great for a lot of things: the beach, the pool, catching up on my TBR pile, but it is definitely not great when it comes to television. By this point in the summer I’ve hit a sort of television purgatory. I’ve cleaned up my DVR and binged a show or two on Netflix (Glow season 2 = awesome) and now I’m counting the days until Outlander, Grey’s, and TWD return.

But, before you find yourself spiraling into the abyss that is channel surfing, let me offer some direction. As I’ve recommended to my newsletter recipients before, everyone should be watching The Bold Type on Freeform. It tackles important issues, has an awesome trio of friends and is a lot of fun, which makes it an excellent choice for summer. It’s currently in its second season, but you should watch it from the beginning. It was my fun find last summer and it’s holding up again this year.

As of late, I’ve tried two new shows, Yellowstone on Paramount and Take Two on ABC, yellowstone

and of those two shows I’d like to highly recommend Yellowstone. Kevin Costner is the patriarch of a family who owns what feels like half of Montana and he’s dealing with developers on one side, a new Chief on another and each of his children have their own demons we’ve yet to see all of. Think Dynasty, but higher quality, excellent acting and rated for mature audiences.

 

As for Take Two… Listen, I wanted to like it. I really did. It stars Rachel Bilson and Eddie Cibrian and it’s obviously the network’s attempt to recapture a Castle-like will they or won’t they vibe, but where Castle had heart and certain amount of depth, Take Two is lacking. My take? If you’re craving a little Rachel Bilson in your life, find Heart of Dixie on Netflix where she shines.  taketwo

Find me on Twitter @CKirbyWriter and let me know what else I should check out.

Review: Incredibles 2

Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of taking my little guys to see Incredibles 2. In the usual Disney/Pixar fashion, there were heartwarming moments, humor, and a story line capable of resonating with families everywhere. The film also touched on relevant topics such as mom guilt and how hard raising kids can be—but of course it was all done through humor.

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In one particular scene involving a raccoon, I found myself laughing as hard if not harder than my kids, which is refreshing since so many movies geared toward the younger audience can’t seem to do better than the ever tired fart jokes. High-fives all around to the team behind the movie and for making it one that wasn’t painful to sit through. To the parents who suffer through a lot of kid movies, know what I mean.

 

 

Bottom line: Go for the air conditioning. Stay for Jack-Jack. You won’t be disappointed.

Bring On the Joy

After what can only be described has a hellacious weekAug 2017 038, I found myself stuck in Debbie Downer mode. Sure, everyone has bad days, but as a writer my mood can make or break my daily writing. And, while the angst can work in my favor if the scene of the day is steering that way, it’s not exactly helpful when I’m working on a big romantic moment.

So, how do you break out of the blues bubble? How do you shake the outside demands and write about love when your heart is full of sadness and doubt?

Well, for me, it starts with a call to my mom. She’s one of the few people I can sit and spew all the crazy on who will listen without complaint. So, step one, rant, re-hash, complain and then it’s time for step two: find some quiet. Now this doesn’t have to be literal quiet. For instance, I need to turn off the television and stay off of social media, (those aren’t exactly unicorn and rainbow filled places). And, I find that it’s much easier to hear my muse when I embrace the silence.

After the first two steps it’s time for the final and most important: search out the joy. Where do I find it? Well, that all depends on the person. I find it in the simplest of ways; putting a record on (I have a rather awesome vinyl collection), talking a walk outside and a tour around my ever evolving garden (it’s almost blueberry time), and two of my most favorites, hugging my little dudes and snuggling with my cat. It’s the simplest things that bring me the greatest joy.

It may seem silly to put so much emphasis on something that seems simple, but lightening your heart and taking a deep breath on occasion are necessary steps to help you stay centered. Don’t lose sight of yourself or your goals when life starts closing in around you. Instead, try your own version of ‘steps’ and surround yourself with what makes you happy.

What about you? What do you do to break out of the cycle and find your joy?