How “Trainwreck” Was a Trainwreck, But Amy Schumer’s Still Got It

No one cares about my review of comedian Amy Schumer’s big screen debut.

The real reason Schumer deserves our attention right now is due to her immediate reaction and response to the horrific shooting that occurred in a screening of her movie “Trainwreck”. On July 23, about 20 minutes into a showing of the romantic comedy, John Russell Houser opened fire in a Lafayette, LA movie theater, killing two and injuring nine before turning the gun on himself. In response to an open letter written by Sarah Clements, the daughter of a Sandy Hook shooting survivor, Amy Schumer, with a simple tweet, assured everyone that she plans to do more than just offer her condolences. She plans to incite change.

schumer tweet

Today, Schumer joined her cousin, New York Senator Chuck Schumer, in a call to action to change gun control laws. Specifically, she called for the toughening of background checks and the stop of firearm sales to individuals with a violent history or a history of mental illness.

“The critics scoff and say, ‘Well, there’s no way to stop crazy people from doing crazy things,’ but they’re wrong. There is a way to stop them. Preventing dangerous people from getting guns is very possible.”

Senator Schumer then proposed an incentive program that rewards states that submit extensive information to the federal databases that are used to prevent those with a history of violence or mental illness from purchasing guns, while penalizing those states that don’t. Overall, his plan aims, not to put new restrictions on gun purchases, but rather improve the system of background checks one needs to pass to buy a gun.

While it’s impossible to say if Houser selected Schumer’s movie as a target due to its feminist ideals (something he was adamantly against), the choice struck a chord with Amy Schumer. She has never been one to shy away from using her comedy as a means of social commentary about today’s world. I can only hope that she continues to use her platform to help right some of the many wrongs we’re facing these days. Someone’s got to.

Another comedian, Rebel Wilson who is from Australia, summed it up perfectly in a tweet following the shooting:

rebel wilson tweet

Lives were lost in this disgusting act of hatred. The least we can do is hope it was not in vain.

Thoughts and prayers with the families of the victims. Let’s make a change.

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The Veronica Mars Movie: A Dream Fulfilled?

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Just call me a ‘Marshmallow.’

From Nancy Drew and Shelby Woo to Veronica Mars and Isabel Spellman, I’ve never met a snarky female mystery solver I didn’t like. (I assume I was one in a previous life–a less clumsy life.) But Veronica Mars has always topped the list. I mean, she got me through my awkward years. Therefore, you can only imagine my happiness when it was announced that Kristen Bell and Veronica Mars writer/creator Rob Thomas had launched a Kickstarter campaign in March 2013 to fund a Veronica Mars movie to finally tie up some loose ends. (If you want to read more about that, click here.)

The show was canceled in the middle of the 3rd season, leaving many character story lines open or just plain wrong…(did anyone actually like Veronica with Piz?) Anyway, the movie *finally* came out this past weekend in select cities and also OnDemand and digital download. I was ecstatic to finally (after 7 years) be able to jump back into a story with characters I knew and a place I had grown to love–good ‘ole Neptune.

Overall, I give it 3 stars.

Here’s why:

It’s clear that Veronica had grown up and even has a big girl job, but she still has that classic snark, and it had matured along with her. It’s fun to see her interact with her dad and her friends, and it feels real. Speaking of her friends, it fun to get to see all of the old characters we’ve grown to love (or hate) over the years. There’s, of course, Mac and Wallace, but we also get to see bitchy Madison Sinclair, detective Leo (Schmidt from ‘New Girl’, anyone?!), crazy party girl Gia, and of course, lovelorn Logan.

This brings me to a problem I had with the movie. Can anyone, at all, believe the far-fetched idea pitched to us that Logan somehow managed to clean up his life, and is now a member of the Navy? And he also happens to be such a good person that he is only dating his superstar girlfriend to be a sort of sponsor to her and keep her from her partying ways? I’ll answer that with a big fat no. It was ridiculous.

Speaking of his girlfriend whose murder serves as the basis for the overall mystery…

It’s a good idea for a mystery, but given that the time-frame was only an hour and a halfish versus an entire season, there were just too many coincidences and not enough details. Obviously it was a little hard to believe that everything coincided with the 10 year reunion and that it would happen to have involved everyone in Neptune.

But I can forgive the plot holes and all-too-coincidental coincidences because I love the franchise and I will support it as long as it continues. I would be SO down for them relaunching the show. But I want the old Logan back.

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Spoiler Alert

“I can’t believe ______ got eliminated! I’m so mad!”

“_______ dies?! Why am I even watching?”

“______ killed _______ and I never even saw it coming!”

“Oh my god, it was _______ the whole time! MIND BLOWN.”

Alright folks, it’s time we had a come-to-Jesus meeting.

As social media becomes a more prominent and integral part of everyone’s day to day life, we need to remember the age-old rules of courtesy when it comes to spoiling shows, games, or movies for our friends and followers. Through trial and error (I once read a spoiler for Harry Potter and it was the worst day of my life), most of us have gotten good at knowing to avoid certain people’s tweets or our Twitter feeds entirely during awards shows, sporting events, or television episodes that we can’t watch until later or the next day. However, I don’t feel we should have to avoid all contact with the outer world in order to keep simple plot secrets intact. I don’t search for spoilers on other websites or in magazines, so I don’t want to read them on my Facebook timeline while I’m mindlessly scrolling. Sometimes people just can’t watch the show/game/etc. during it’s original airing whether due to work or another prior engagement. WHY MUST THESE PEOPLE SUFFER?!?!?!!?!?*~*~*!&!

Just in the last week I’ve accidentally seen spoilers for ‘Breaking Bad’, ‘Project Runway’, and ‘Modern Family’, all on my newsfeed. I CAN’T UNSEE THESE. I don’t even watch ‘Breaking Bad’ (I know, I know…) but when I saw the spoilers I was angry for everyone who I knew did watch it and would see the statuses. I even saw someone’s status that was complaining about reading a spoiler on Facebook, and she spoiled it herself in her complaint status. Very meta.

Now, I understand it might seem like I’m being a liiiittle crazy, but my love for tv is a little crazy. Don’t get me wrong, I love to read what people think about what they’re watching, but it’s not necessary to give away the major plotlines in doing so. Stick with a nice “I can’t believe what just happened!!” and a good hashtag that you can follow, or at least preface your comment with a “SPOILER” warning. That way, everyone can be happy.

So please, for the love of entertainment, I beg you, no more spoilers.

xoxo,

Gossip Girl

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The Spectacular Now

shailene-woodley-spectacular-now-poster

A few weeks ago, I finally got to see a movie I had been waiting months to see. ‘The Spectacular Now’, a film starring Shailene Woodley and Miles Teller, did not disappoint, even given my high expectations. I’m a sucker for a trailer with good music and a realistic storyline (mostly just the good music), so when I first saw the sneak-peek before the hour-and-a-half waste of my life known as ‘The Bling Ring’, I knew I would soon be venturing back out to the Downtown West–the only theater in Knoxville that shows independent or less widely released movies.

The movie was an incredibly acted, beautiful story that follows Sutter (Teller), a cool kid who prefers to live life in the moment, and his unlikely romance with a studious, naive girl (Woodley) after he gets his heart broken by his girlfriend, played by the up-and-coming Brie Larson (who was in ‘Hoot’ alongside Logan Lerman, star of ‘Perks of Being a Wallflower’. Just wait–this post is about to come full circle!)

As cliche as my description sounds, this was the realest film I have seen in a long time. It sent me through all waves of emotion, and left me just feeling utterly content. The last movie that truly made me feel a part of it was ‘Perks of Being a Wallflower’. (See, I told you!) The dialogue, settings, and happenings in both of these films are so believable, because they don’t try too hard to be what they’re not– specifically with ‘The Spectacular Now.’ The producers chose two somewhat unknown actors, and no characters wore any makeup throughout the filming process. This allowed the viewer to truly place themselves in the scene. It honestly felt like I, myself, was falling in love. This is where ‘Perks’ strayed a bit. Emma Watson and her “American accent” were distracting, and some of the dialogue was just the slightest bit kitschy. (However, these issue did’t affect the movie to an irrevocable degree, and are simply the only faults I can find in a movie I could watch countless times.)

Shailene Woodley has come a long way since her days of ‘The Secret Life of the American Teenager’. With an award-nominating role in ‘The Descendants’ and a turn as the heroine in the new ‘Divergent’ series, she has begun to make impressive decisions when it comes to what roles she chooses, and I’m looking forward to seeing her star rise. Miles Teller was equally impressive. Throughout the entire movie he reminded me of someone, but I could never place who. Now I’m beginning to think he just reminded me of every guy I’ve ever had a crush on, because his acting was so spot on. (I will say though, he looks a heck of a lot like Cory Matthews, of ‘Boy Meets World’ fame…)

With the exception of the final scene being unecessary–it kind of cheapened the beauty that was the scene before–‘The Spectacular Now’ is perfect. If I could recommend any film that I’ve seen in the last few months, (and there have been quite a few…), this would be the one.

Granted, I’m telling you this while watching ‘Something Borrowed’ on FX. So do with that what you will…

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I’m Feeling 22, Too…

I don’t know about you, but I’m feelin’ 22 and it feels a hella bit different than Taylor Swift described it.

If you didn’t watch the video that I so conveniently provided for you, basically she notes how fun and carefree being 22 is. It’s a perfect time to party! Wear sparkly clothes! Go swimming! Dress like hipsters. (Period because hipsters don’t do exclamation points.) And SO.MUCH.MORE!!!

My perspective is a bit different. While I’ve loved being 22 so far, it is much more stressful than our girl Swifty would like you to know. For one, it’s the age most of us are when we graduate college. “That’s great,” you say, “No more school!” True, but for the majority of us that don’t get our “dream job” or even an entry-level position that can be worked into our “dream job” right after graduation, it feels like we’ve failed. It also feels like the time that we have to make a lot of hard decisions about where we want to go next, while also being a time that we have steadily increasing debt with rapidly decreasing bank accounts. (Granted, I probably should’ve made fewer trips to Moe’s…but a gal needs her comfort food in times of uncertainty!) Finally, it feels like a time that we need to truly become adults though we might not be ready.

We’ve never had this much freedom to do whatever we want and to make some big decisions, and it’s scary. We’ve always had another year of school to look forward to, to put off the inevitable “real world” of 9-5’s, cubicles, and ugly business attire. But we’re told 22 is the time to hop in, full force, and I just seem to be flailing around.

I’m discovering, however, that it’s ok to not know exactly what is going to happen next, just as long as I keep looking forward. I’m trying to learn to embrace change (I won’t say with open arms though, because we all know I’m not a hugger.) So I guess, in a way, Taylor is right. (UGHHHHHHHHH.) Twenty-two is a time to do what we want to do and work on becoming who we want to be without being so damn stressed out. It’s not going to happen overnight for most of us, and that’s ok.

Mostly though, 22 just feels like a time that everyone who’s anyone is getting engaged, my air conditioning is broken, and I watch a lot of MTV’s “Girl Code.”

The only human interaction I've had today was the people that made my burrito at Moe's. #SOS

The only human interaction I’ve had today was the people that made my burrito at Moe’s. #SOS

 

 

 

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The Kickstarter Comedown

Over the last few months, we’ve all heard about the wonder that is Kickstarter. I even blogged about it (because I’m super on-trend always!) Anyway, the Veronica Mars movie is what really catapulted Kickstarter to the household name that it is now. (For those of you that don’t know about the Veronica Mars situation, a. why haven’t you been reading my blog and b. read my older post here). That movie had a $2 million goal, but far surpassed it, making more than $5 million in a few short weeks.

People saw this and wanted to get in on the fun. Zach Braff, star of the ever-funny “Scrubs” as well as indie-cult-classic “Garden State,” saw the success of Veronica Mars and thought he could utilize a similar approach. He had been wanting for years to make a follow-up to “Garden State,” but was concerned that financing it through a typical deal would force unwanted changes to the script, cast, and ultimate direction of the film. By using Kickstarter, Braff would be able to retain all creative control.

He too, was successful in reaching and exceeding his $2 million goal (he’s currently at $2.7 million, roughly). His entire page is dedicated to his ideas and goals for the project, and just how using Kickstarter to fund it will help it to be the best it can be.

Of course, there was some backlash from his use of the Kickstarter platform, as many thought, why couldn’t he use his own money? He’s a rich movie star, afterall. To this he said, yes, he has been a successful actor in the business but that doesn’t mean he has $2 million sitting around gathering dust. He recognized that, if his fans didn’t care enough to fund the project, it wasn’t worth making anyway.

So now, enter Melissa Joan Hart aka Sabrina aka Clarissa Explains It All aka a washed-up has-been (no offense). In an article I read on Mashable, I discovered that she too, had tried to hop on the Kickstarter bandwagon. But boy, did she fail. Basically, the article mentions how she was neither famous enough nor passionate enough about the project for there to be any chance of it succeeding. She gained only $51,605 from just 315 backers for her project entitled “Darci’s Walk of Shame.” awkwarrrrrrd.

This fact leads me to believe that Kickstarter might’ve had its 15 minutes of fame. Sure, it will still work for smaller, much more independent and artistic projects, but it will not continue to work for these huge A-list projects any longer. The newness has worn off. Kudos to Kristen Bell and Zach Braff for being sincere enough and fast enough to delve into the uncharted territory, but everyone else, take a hint from our girl MJH.

If you can bear to watch it knowing the project failed, here is MJH explaining it all (get it?!)

Also note how eerily similar the music in that is to the song in this:

I will say though, that a wise ole pal suggested that I use Kickstarter to fund the kickass bar I have designed. So you can look out for that.

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Vol For Life

Well, my time at UT is officially over. (*Cue waterworks*)

I have spent the last four years laughing, crying, stressing, going to class, skipping class, going to football games, learning, teaching, and most importantly, growing to love orange more and more. I could not have asked for a better college experience, and there is not one thing I would take back if I could. The people I’ve met along the way are some of the greatest people I’ve ever known, and I look forward to keeping in touch with them as we go our separate ways and follow our individual paths.

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This past week has been crazy. For starters, about 30 of my closest friends saw me bawl my eyes out for the first time. I had successfully made it four years with probably only three of them having ever seen me cry. Not a big crier. Sentimental thoughts and fears of the unknown drove me to tears, though. I even allowed people to hug me. #SHUDDER. Then, the next day I got to see one of my very best friends graduate. Valedictorian of the Nursing program. NBD. Not like that’s hard or anything…she was the one who introduced me to Ultimate Frisbee, some of my very favorite people, and being weird as hell. Oh, and Menchies. God love her. She also got her dream job so snaps to her. #Attaguuuurl. (I really think hashtagging within conversations is gonna catch on so I’m going with it.) My family also came in town that night and I got to show them my Knoxville stompin’ grounds. (Shoutout to them for supporting me throughout my college career!) It was a delight to spend time with them and I got to take my brother to The Library, a classy speakeasy with drinks to die fo’. Aaaaand for once I was getting to introduce him to something rather than the other way around. He’s always ahead of the curve. (Except for that one time he asked me if I had heard “that song ‘Umbrella’ by Rihanna…five years after it came out.) Thursday was the big day. I graduated wearing the following mortarboard:

mortarboard

People didn’t want to sit by me…awkwaaaaaaaaaaard.

But whateva. I didn’t fall when I walked across the stage which was my primary concern so all’s well that ends well. That night, another one of my bestiezzz had a graduation party that was a delightful send off to those who I won’t see again for awhile (tear). And finally, on Friday, me and the friend I’m living with in Nashville decided on an apartment and got the paperwork started to move in the first weekend in June! WHEW! (Still debatable whether or not I’ll crash and burn in Nashville, but I’m optimistic.)

Overall, UT was perfect. When applying to colleges, I didn’t ever think I would actually go there, and after my traumatic orientation (blasting “Rocky Top” at 7am in the jail-cell-like Clement Hall (Long live Massey!) with no friends to talk to and a more-awkward-less-outgoing-than-I-am-now personality), I didn’t think I’d survive college. I’m pretty sure I spent about 95% of that weekend pretending to be talking on my phone. Now I only do that in the UTMOST of awkward situations! Like say, 85% of the time. LOLZ JAYKAY NOT THAT OFTEN.

At UT, I got to experience my first time living with a roommate, which truly could not have turned out better, (also my first time living with three roommates, and….seven roommates…and a dog), my first apartment, my first time doing my own laundry (don’t judge…), my first time ruining my own laundry, my first time getting to eat whatever I wanted (CURSE YOU SOPHIES AND PCB FOR ONLY HAVING DELICIOUS PIZZA AND BAGELS! AND PROBABLY PIZZA BAGELS! #Freshman5000), and even my first time having friends of the male species (all-girls middle and high school education REPRESENT!). I did manage to survive without pulling one all-nighter. Came pretttttty close this last semester, though.

As cheesy as this is, we all now know I’m secretly sentimental. So I just wanted to say, I will never forget the teachers, classes, teammates, and friends that made my journey the best it could be. Shoutout to y’all. Love you guise foreva and always.

#VFL

manicure

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*~*~*~*Group Projects <3*~*~*~*

If I had to pick my favorite thing about school, it would be, without a doubt, group projects. Everything about them is great. Great, great, great! The following is a list of the best things group projects have to offer:

1) Late nights! –Who wants to leave the library at a reasonable time? The fun happens when everyone leaves and you’re the only one there downing energy drinks until 3:45am on a Thursday night finishing your project that’s due at 12 the next day! Added bonus: If you were to leave at a normal time, more people would see you when you wipeout in the middle of the hallway and your books fly everywhere! Talk about perks.

2) Differing personalities! –Where’s the fun in working with people that you get along with well and creatively mesh with? I prefer a challenge. Let’s see who can get more people on their side of the debate! YEAHHHH!

3) Long hours!–I love spending 8 hours at the library only to get 2 pages worth of work done. It really gives me a feeling of accomplishment. I bet if I were working alone from home I would only get like…a paragraph done. Tops.

4) Peer Evaluations!–These are fun. Who did all the work? Who didn’t do any? Who’s feeling nice? Who’s feeling mean? Who’s gonna be honest? So many questions! Dun dun DUNNNNNNN!

5) Presentations!–I love public speaking! If anyone can BS a BS’er, it’s me! I can talk for days! My favorite thing is when I get stuck and am not allowed to have notecards to look at. Or when someone else gets stuck and there’s just dead silence for an extended period of time. Man, those times are great.

Being an advertising student, pretty much every semester is dedicated to group projects. I’ve been in some good groups, some bad groups, and some downright crazy groups. While this post is clearly satirical, I do appreciate everything I’ve learned from each group. I’ve been beyond stressed, angry, and sad at times, but also, happy, competitive, and proud at others. Advertising is an industry that I’m excited to get into and I know working in groups can often bring out the best and most creative work I have to offer.

But I’m seriously tired of spending my nights in the library.

Here’s my Campaigns group. If we don’t win, I will cry.

Dang, guuurl. Where'd you get dem shoes?!

Dang, guuurl. Where’d you get dem shoes?!

How we feel 2 days before our final presentation...

How we feel 2 days before our final presentation…

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#BostonStrong

On Monday morning, in my social media class, we had a lecture about “Crisis Communications.” On Monday afternoon, the Boston bombing happened.

Talk about eerie timing. I was at work when the actual event occurred, and was therefore able to follow it online in real-time through news outlets and on Twitter. Especially on Twitter. It is insane how much social media has changed the way news is reported. In the days following the bombing when the 2nd suspect was still on the run, people were tweeting pictures from their homes in Watertown like this one:

tweet

Seeing pictures like this on my newsfeed makes everything seem so much more real. I wasn’t just hearing about it from news anchors or newspapers the next day–I was hearing about it from people just like me WHILE it was happening.

Here’s a picture that went viral on Facebook:

bostonbombing

A story about the man in the cowboy hat ran alongside the picture as it made its rounds on Facebook. He had lost two children in recent years and decided to become a peace activist to help spread the word. When the bomb went off, he rushed to the aid of a severely wounded victim (who was running in memory of the kids from Newton, CT) and did everything he could to help. He is a hero.

As horrific as the bombings were, social media allowed people to see the heroes that arose during such a tragic time. It provided an opportunity to come together as a country. It even helped the police to discover the suspects, as people were able to post personal photos online from the event and draw connections using others’ photos to compare.

I’m proud of these heroic people and wish I could thank each and every one of them. In a time when such atrocities can happen, it’s nice to be reminded that there are still genuinely good people out there.

#BostonStrong

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Ultimate Frisbee…What’s That?

About an hour ago I got home from my final Ultimate Frisbee tournament of my college career. We went to Statesboro, GA, where we competed against teams like Georgia, Georgia Tech, Georgia State, and apparently every other college in Georgia. (Why there were no other Tennessee teams in our ‘Sectionals’ tournament is striking me as odd as this moment but I’ll just go with it..) But back to the point. We had a team of 10 make the 7 hour trip, making use of the school’s minivan rental policy. (Side note: I have decided that minivans are, in fact, amazing. Stow-&-Go seating! Smooth ride! So roomy! Now I see why all the cool moms have one.) While we didn’t do as well as we could’ve, it was an incredibly fun tournament. My teammates are my best friends, and the people who probably know me the best at school.

Muh team minus a few

Muh team minus a few

As unknown as the sport is currently, it’s about to become much more widespread. USA Ultimate just reached a deal with ESPN to cover the most important championship tournaments and games. Pretty exciting stuff for the Ultimate world.

For those of you who have no idea what Ultimate Frisbee is, it can kind of be described as a cross between soccer, football, and basketball in terms of rules. Basically you have two endzones that you try to score in and you are not allowed to run with the disc. (I just got really distracted trying to find a decent video on Youtube that could show kind of the basics but they all had horrific soundtracks and weren’t very visually appealing…so just try to picture it.) You have a designated position on the field and different offensive and defensive strategies.

Our team has designated on-field personality traits, too. We have the Positive Pollys, who are just excited to be playing and rarely get frustrated. They increase morale and make it fun for everyone. We also have the strategists, (generally our two captains), who call the plays, the emotional players who get mad at themselves anytime something goes wrong, and finally, we have the vocal players. Who can guess what I fall into?

Positive Polly!

Haaaaaaaaaaaaa jaykay. I am by far the most vocal player on our team. I will call travels and fouls until the cows (see what I did there?) come home and argue pretty much anything called against me that I feel is incorrect. I like to win… “Second is first loser,” amiright?!

Anyway, this post isn’t really social media-related, but it is a glimpse into my “personal brand” which, as I learned at Social Slam is important to define and retain. Mostly, I just want to give a shout-out to my team for putting up with me for 3 years. I’ve loved being El Presidente and can’t wait to see what y’all do next year! I’m officially passing the baton.

Time to hang these puppies up.

Time to hang these puppies up.

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