Loving

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3/5 Stars

Summary: “The story of Richard and Mildred Loving, an interracial couple, whose challenge of their anti-miscegenation arrest for their marriage in Virginia led to a legal battle that would end at the US Supreme Court.”

I really wanted to love this movie (no pun intended), but to be honest it was a bit of a let down.  I only learned about the couple recently and thought that a story like theirs would have made a great, interesting movie.  But I’m not really sure what aspect of their lives the movie was trying to focus on.

It would have been great if it was trying to be a romance story.  To show how the two met and to get us invested in their relationship instead of just dropping us in it just before they get married.  I never really felt that their relationship was that strong, which I’m sure in real life it was.

Focusing more on the case and the legality of their whole situation would have also made the movie better.  The couple had to deal with the police in the beginning, but for the most part the movie didn’t show them struggling with the racism and segregation.  And then when the Lovings are finally doing something about the laws keeping them apart, we don’t get to see what happens!  There’s very little in the court rooms, nothing about other interracial couples looking to them and hoping that they win, and they didn’t really seem to be fighting against that much.

Because I know so much more must have gone on in real life, I just wish it had been shown in the movie because it is a big deal.

I’d kind of say this is a take it or leave it movie.  Maybe if you’re in an interracial relationship, it might mean a little more to you than me, but it’s still kind of middle of the road.

 

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Yes Please – Amy Poehler

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3.5/5 Stars

Summary: “In Amy Poehler’s highly anticipated first book, Yes Please, she offers up a big juicy stew of personal stories, funny bits on sex and love and friendship and parenthood and real life advice (some useful, some not so much), like when to be funny and when to be serious. Powered by Amy’s charming and hilarious, biting yet wise voice, Yes Please is a book full of words to live by.”

I kept forgetting to write my post on this book, so it’s actually been a while since I finished listening to it…oops.

I picked up Yes Please as something to listen to while at work instead of listening to the same songs over and over again.  It’s a good listen with chapters that will make you laugh out loud—even if you aren’t technically a fan of Amy Poehler.

There are chapters about her life, kids, relationships, and of course Parks and Rec and SNL.  I don’t think I would have actually sat down and read through the entire book, but as something to listen to casually I really enjoyed it.  There are little asides strictly in the audiobook and hearing it in her own voice makes it a little more interesting to someone who hasn’t really followed her career or know much about her, like me.

Pick up the book (audio or not) if you’re a fan of Parks and Rec or if you’ve just seen and liked the comedy movies Amy is known for.

Race

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3.5/5 Stars

Summary: “Jesse Owens’ quest to become the greatest track and field athlete in history thrusts him onto the world stage of the 1936 Olympics, where he faces off against Adolf Hitler’s vision of Aryan supremacy.”

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, it should be obvious that I like watching movies based on true stories—except for horror; that I will avoid like the plague.

Race is the story of Jesse Owens, who I had never heard of before the movie.  It’s really an incredible story considering everything that was going on in the world at the time of these Olympic games.  The movie was entertaining to watch and moving at times.

However, I wouldn’t say it is the best movie of this kind to be made.  The movie shifts between Jesse’s personal life, his racing life, and the politics of the 1936 Olympic games.  I felt like the only part to get a satisfying amount of time was the racing.  Which, I get is the point of the movie, but I would have liked either more of the political aspect or for the personal side to Jesse to have had more meaning.

Overall, good movie but not something that special.

Available on HBO Go.

Binge – Tyler Oakley

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3.5/5 Stars

Summary: “Pop culture phenomenon, social rights advocate, and the most prominent LGBTQ+ voice on YouTube, Tyler Oakley brings you his first collection of witty, personal, and hilarious essays written in the voice that’s earned him more than 10 million followers across social media.”

So that summary didn’t exactly give anything about the book away…

I had heard good things about this book online, and I thought I’d give it a listen while at work—even though I only occasionally watch Tyler’s videos on Youtube.  It was entertaining, and I found myself laughing at some of the parts.  I loved that it was read by him as well.  I knew I wanted to listen to the book instead of reading the hard copy because it makes it feel more personal.  It was kind of like watching a Youtube video in itself.

The only reason I didn’t give it a higher score is because it wasn’t really about topics that I would usually pick up to read.  I mean, I probably wouldn’t have gotten the book if it had been written by anyone other than Tyler.

If you are a fan of him on Youtube, I’d definitely say you should check this one out (audiobook especially).

Snowden

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4.5/5 Stars

Summary: “Disillusioned with the intelligence community, top contractor Edward Snowden leaves his job at the National Security Agency. He now knows that a virtual mountain of data is being assembled to track all forms of digital communication — not just from foreign governments and terrorist groups, but from ordinary Americans. When Snowden decides to leak this classified information, he becomes a traitor to some, a hero to others and a fugitive from the law.”

Before seeing this movie, I had heard of Edward Snowden and had kind of a general idea of who he was, but not really.  I don’t know how much of the movie was 100% truth, but I can tell you it was great to watch.

For the whole 2+ hours, it had me hooked, wanting to see what was going to happen next.  Even though most people watching probably already know how it is going to end, seeing all the behind the scenes info will still be interesting.  True story aside, it’s a well made movie with great acting and an awesome storyline.

It’s the type of movie that is going to make you think about the government and how we handle different things as a country. If you’re someone who is totally against what Snowden did, chances are you’re not going to like this movie because it shows him as a person trying to do the right thing.  Because he isn’t depicted as this big bad villain, its crazy when you think about everything that happens at the end of the movie.

Make sure you watch this movie if you’re into political thrillers and if you’re okay with forever looking at the camera on your laptop differently…I may or may not be thinking about covering it with a piece of tape.

Let me know what you thought if you’ve been to see it yet!

 

The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo – Amy Schumer

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4/5 Stars

Summary: “In The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo, Amy mines her past for stories about her teenage years, her family, relationships, and sex and shares the experiences that have shaped who she is – a woman with the courage to bare her soul to stand up for what she believes in, all while making us laugh.”

I am new to the Amy Schumer bandwagon.  After watching (and loving) Trainwreck, I wanted to check out some of her other stuff.

I’ve never done the whole audiobook thing before, but I figured a book like this would be the perfect thing to listen to while at work—I was right.  While not as laugh-out-loud funny as I was expecting it to be, it was a great read.

It had so many personal stories ranging from the ridiculous to the heartbreaking.  There were many chapters that had a real meaning behind them with lessons about life from dealing with her father’s MS to domestic abuse.  The chapter about the shooting at the screening of Trainwreck actually had me choking up.

I had expected the book to be light and funny and really just there to entertain, but it ended up being so much more, it surpassed my expectations.  The book felt honest and it’s entertaining all the way through.

Plus, I loved listening to it in her voice.

Eddie the Eagle

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3.5/5 Stars

Summary: “Cut from the Olympic ski team, British athlete Michael “Eddie” Edwards travels to Germany to test his skills at ski jumping. Fate leads him to Bronson Peary, a former ski jumper who now works as a snowplow driver. Impressed by Edwards’ spirit and determination, Peary agrees to train the young underdog. Despite an entire nation counting him out, Eddie’s never-say-die attitude takes him all the way to a historic and improbable showing at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, Alberta.”

Not really sure what to say about this one.  While worth watching, this isn’t a movie that will keep you talking about it for days afterwards.  And don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy it.  It’s lighthearted and funny with the good message of “never give up.”  I can’t place my finger on what it is that is missing from the movie, though.  I guess it was what I expected it to be.  Maybe it’s the fact that there wasn’t exactly a side plot, and the story felt kind of thin.  I don’t know.

Some more backstory on Eddie would’ve also been nice.  We get a bit of when he was a kid, growing up and dreaming of being in the olympics, but not enough that it made sense that he would do these things that were obviously SO dangerous.