Saturday, July 30, 2016

Sing Street - Music Movie Review

Greetings Pups,

Anyone who knows my taste in movie endings knows that I am open to anything. Happy endings, sad endings, ambiguous ending, occasionally 'What in the heck was that?' endings, I've enjoyed them all. As long as they also feel real. And I've found a writer/director who seems to have mastered making real, true to life endings. His name is John Carney, and I will talk more about him specifically later. I have seen three of his films, and, if you count what I will be doing now, I have reviewed all three of them as well. First, Once, then Begin Again and now Sing Street. So, let's get started.

Sing Street is 2016 film which takes place in 1985 in Dublin, and it's the story of U2. Wait, no. That last part is not true, but I couldn't stop the obvious momentum of that sentence. In all seriousness, though, it is actually about music. No surprise if you've seen the aforementioned films from this writer/director. He may love music even more than I do. Now that is an accomplishment.

The story follows a young man named Conor, played by Ferdia Walsh-Peelo, and yes, that is a contender for greatest name ever. He's a teenager who decides to start a band. Why? Well, he meets a girl named, Raphina, played by Lucy Boynton, and asks her to be in the video for his band. So, he has to form one. Yes, he did it all for a girl, which is fine, as long as things don't get creepy. And they don't. In fact, Conor discovers that he has quite a talent for this songwriting thing, and his time with the new band takes his mind off his troubles at school and troubles at home. Still, he does find support from Raphina, his band members, and his older brother Brendan, played by Jack Reynor. In fact, I think what I like most about this film is the relationship that Conor has with all of these people. There's something very genuine about it, and it gives the story so much heart. Especially at the end, which I am NOT spoiling, so leave me alone!

Like with many good films I review, I prefer not to give away too much of the plot, and with films like Sing Street, which can be put in the "coming of age" genre, I certainly don't want to do that. It's a "follow along with the journey of our protagonist and see where it takes you" kind of movie. In other words, it is reminiscent of some of the greats.

So, as this is a Music Movie, let's talk about the music. As I said, this takes place in the mid-80's, so you can imagine. Look, I am not the biggest fan of this era of music, but I know it when I hear it. Now, a lot of people get writing credits for the songs, including Adam Levine, Glen Hansard and even Carney himself, but according to my info, a guy named Gary Clark, who was quite prolific in the chosen decade, is responsible for most of it. And I must say, while it is difficult to sound "inspired by" without sounding "carbon copy" of a certain artist, it was done quite brilliantly here. All the songs from the band are unique to it, but you can also tell very easily what their influences were, just by listening. So, they're more like Bruno Mars and company being influenced by late 70's and early 80's funk and dance music, rather than Taylor Swift straight up stealing riffs from Kesha. No, I'm kidding about that. Point being, they managed to capture the essence of the time, whilst giving this fictional band its own sound. Good times, indeed.

Okay, let's talk about that cast. I'd say that, for the most part, everyone in this is relatively unknown, at least in this country, but there is the occasional instance of "Oh, it's that guy from that movie". And I think someone from Game of Thrones got in there as well. I don't know. I don't watch it. But everyone is actually very good, particularly our young leading man. This kid has a lot of quiet charisma, and he is extremely likable, which is important when you've practically got an entire film on your shoulders. And, as I mentioned his relationships with other characters before, much of that relied on the chemistry he had with them. He and Lucy Boynton, who was also exceptionally good in this, worked so well together and were so believable in these roles they were playing and the relationship that they were purporting to have. And Jack Reynor and he did an amazing job at playing these brothers, where there were a few rough edges due to their family's current situation, but you could still see and feel such a sincere love between them. And let me finish by saying I hope Ferdia Walsh-Peelo (still a great name) continues on to do more great things, because I'm pretty sure this kid has it.

I would say that the best thing about Sing Street is the overall feel to it, and how it seems to bring John Carney back to what he does best. What I mean by that is, as much as I liked Begin Again, despite a few casting flaws, it did feel a bit big and Hollywood-ized, if you will. It was such a departure from Once, which people loved because it was just so simple and charming and good. Then, all of a sudden, we've got huge stars and a much bigger budget, but, and again I can't stress enough how much I liked it, it may have lost a bit of the heart. Just a bit. Well, Sing Street has brought that all back. Whilst there is nothing inherently wrong with big budgets and big stars, I think, perhaps, that John Carney thrives so much more when all of that is stripped away so we can just concentrate on an excellent story with wonderful characters played by great actors who are given superb direction. That is all one needs to have a successful film, and he certainly achieves that here.

Oh, and what I said before about this writer/director giving us good endings? Let me expand. Out of the three films I've seen from him, they all have endings that aren't exactly what you might want for these characters, or what they may have wanted for themselves, but there's always a glimmer of hope. And hope and possibilities often lie right in the middle of the unknown. It's okay to be walking ahead in life into something you may be totally unprepared for, because, at the very least, you're trying something that's not the same thing you've always done. At least, you won't be stuck. And those endings just make me smile and hope for the best, because 'the best' can be an extremely attainable goal. Even if you don't come by it exactly as you had planned.

So, in closing, I highly recommend Sing Street. It's charming and fun and poignant and even heartbreaking at times, but it takes you through those emotions with an amazing authenticity. The story is great, the characters are great and it is just plain good. I don't think you could possibly be disappointed in this one.

Love and full moons,
Becky the Writer

Monday, July 25, 2016

Straight From The Theater Review - Planet of the Apes

Greetings Pups,

Well, after the heavy subject I discussed in my last post, it will be nice to talk about something a little more lighthearted. Sort of. I'm not sure I would describe this movie as such, but I still had a great time. Anyway, for the second time this year, I went to a Fathom Event done by TCM, the first being The Ten Commandments. And I continue my cinematic stalking of a young, hot Charlton Heston by seeing his other signature work, Planet of the Apes. What? You thought I was talking about the Marky Mark version in the post title. Oh, you!

So, I cannot imagine that there are many people who haven't seen the 1968 film, Planet of the Apes, but if you haven't, shame on you or your parents, first, and here is a quick synopsis. Four astronauts are heading home after being in space for six months. Well, six months their time, but 700 years have passed on Earth. As they sleep, some crazy shenanigans happen, which I don't think are ever explained, and they crash land on an unfamiliar planet. They lose one crew member through strange means, which leaves us with only Dodge, played by Jeff Burton, Landon, played by Robert Gunner and Taylor, played by the aforementioned Charlton Heston. They begin to explore and discover that this planet has what appear to be humans, though not as advance or civilized, and they all seem to be mute. Unfortunately, they also find out that the ones running this planet are not the humans, but - you'll never guess - apes! Riding on horses and shooting guns and everything.

Several humans are captured, as Taylor is separated from his crew members and introduced to Dr. Zira, played by Kim Hunter, a psychologist who believes that humans might be able to communicate with them somehow, though everyone thinks she's crazy to believe that. Yes, even in the future, women be crazy. What the crap? Anyway, she is the one who first shows some kind of kindness to Taylor, even donning him with the nickname "Bright Eyes". Aw! Just like Shirley Temple. Eventually, Taylor also meets her fiance, Cornelius, played by Roddy McDowall, who is skeptical but has some faith in what Zira believes, the sinister Dr. Zaius, played by Maurice Evans, who clearly is hiding some things and the fear of their discovery is what influences his decision making, and another human woman whom Taylor christens Nova, played by Linda Harrison. She has no words. She's just there to look pretty in her strategically ripped dress/bathing suit and do whatever Taylor tells her. Look, I'm not one to point out sexism everywhere, even in places it doesn't exist, but...yeah, this film may be just that. Just a skosh.

Soon, they all begin to realize that Taylor is very different from the other humans, which means he could be dangerous to them and their way of life. As they try to figure out more about him, he is struggling to figure out the story behind this strange world in which he has been placed. The inhabitants of the planet learn more than they ever thought possible from Taylor, and he learns more than he ever wanted about his new home. And all of that leads to one of the best endings in cinematic history. You probably already know what I'm talking about, but in case you don't, I will not spoil it. Just watch.

I must say, and I may have mentioned this when I spoke of The Ten Commandments, there is a certain magic to seeing these old films again on the big screen. It's like getting to see it through the eyes of those who saw it for the first time the same way. And, no surprise, you can see the things you never noticed when you have a TV viewing. At least, now I know that the idea I once had for opening a theater that only showed older movies may have worked, but let's not think about what might have been.

Speaking of which, if you think I have not done enough to make you want to spend money to see something you can watch on a DVD, there is a little something special with this screening. These ones that TCM release have an introduction by Ben Mankiewicz. Now, I am not exactly a fan of this man, due to...reasons, but this time around, what they have him do is very entertaining. Before the film begins, he sits down for an interview with Dr. Zaius. The real life Dr. Zaius...such as he is. It was actually really amusing, and well worth it to see. So, if you get a chance to see the other showing of this Fathom Event, I say go for it. Although, heed this warning. I think this thing is still technically rated G, but might not want to take the four-year-olds. This ain't Disney. Just sayin'.

Back to the actual movie, I have an affinity for films with great stories that really make you think about something. This film fulfills that for me. No surprise, since the original writer was Rod Serling, of Twilight Zone fame. Now eventually, Michael Wilson, who wrote The Bridge on the River Kwai, took over and made changes to the screenplay, leading to what the film became. But as far as I know, the heart and the message came from Serling. Yes, this film has many quotes that can be turned into memes or jokes, but if you really pay close attention to what is being said, to the story being told, it might just have a great effect on you. I know it certainly did for me. I also know that we throw the word "classic" around a lot, rather haphazardly these days, but no doubt, Planet of the Apes does, indeed, live up to that label.

Love and full moons,
Becky the Writer

Friday, July 22, 2016

When Someone Saves Your Life

Greetings Pups,

I've never been shy when it comes to exposing things about myself and my personal struggles on this blog. I've dealt with depression, suicide attempts and so much more, and I'm not ashamed to admit that, mostly because, by doing so, I might be able to help someone else. Seeing that I've been able to survive some difficult times might make someone else realize that it is possible to survive these times of their own and come out better in the end. The main reason why I love sharing these stories so they can encourage people is because there have been a few people who have done that for me. None of them are people that I know, interestingly enough, but that doesn't matter. They were there with something I needed just when I needed it, and I am so grateful for them. So, I want to help, because I know how good it feels to be helped.

Having said that, I wanted to get personal again, and talk about something that I had to deal with fairly recently that I haven't told anyone about yet. I was bombarded with a whole lot of crap in my life all at the same time, and it was some serious stuff happening. It kept piling on and piling on and I was put, yet again, into that state of not knowing how to handle it. So much so, that I was at the point where I just didn't want to keep going. Like I said, I've been in this position before, and it's not a good place to be. However, and obviously, each time I've had to go through something like this, I've been pulled out by something. Or, more accurately, someone. And while I credit God above all, I know He is the one who has sent certain people into my life, even in unconventional ways, to make me see that the life I'm living is worth being lived.

I was sitting in my house, alone, as usual, and so much was being put on my shoulders. I was trying to figure out how to fix all of these things that were broken, and then, I was trying to make myself feel just a little better. So, I tried to write, because that's what I can do. It's the one thing that most makes me believe I can contribute something to the world. It's one thing that makes me feel like I have some kind of purpose. Well, I tried and I tried, sitting at my computer, that bright light shining on my face almost in a shaming way, and nothing happened. No words came to help me dig myself out of this hole as they had often done in the past. So, I put my head down, not knowing what to do next. I sat a while longer, my computer still alive and running in front of me, and all of a sudden I decided to go to the one place you probably shouldn't go when you're in the grips of severe depression - social media. Specifically, Twitter. Even as I typed in my username and password, I thought 'Self, what in the world are you doing? No way is THIS going to make you feel better. It will probably make you feel worse!'" But I went there anyway, almost not making the decision myself, and that's when something special happened.

I started to scroll down the feed, seeing the names of the same people I had been seeing there for days, weeks, months, even years, all saying the same things that they usually do. But then I stopped. I stopped, and I read some words that someone had typed and posted from their account, as you do. Then, I read them again, then again, then again. Then...I smiled. And it wasn't just a smile that grazed my lips; it was a smile that ran deep into my heart. Not many people have had the ability to do that for me, but this person did. He said something that I needed to hear right then, and in that moment, he gave me the one thing that I needed more than anything - hope. To put it as honestly as I can, this man saved my life. Because he chose to type in those exact words at that exact time exactly when I was aching for something to tell me not to give up on this world, it heightened my faith that God knows what He's doing and that He will send whoever He has to so that His children will survive.

Now, even though I love sharing this story, I must admit there is one not so great thing that comes to mind along with it. It terrifies when I think of what would have happened had that one person not been there for God to use. What if his words hadn't been able to reach me and help pull me from the brink of self destruction? What if he had been silenced in some way? And, because I try not to be selfish or narcissistic, it terrifies me even more to know that there may be other people in the future who will need his words to give them some hope, and he might not be there. Still, like I said before, I have hope. I have hope that God will find other ways to use this very special man and let his words reach anyone who needs them. I cherish this man, I treasure him and I will do so for the rest of my life, because he played a very big part in why I still have this life at all.

There are so many things I am grateful for everyday, but more than most, I am grateful for these amazing people who changed my life for the better, by helping me continue with it. I always say that words have power, but all the power they have are what we give to them. I let the words of these people have power in my life, and God used them to, in a way, save my life. So, remember, you never know the incredible and everlasting things that people can do just through their words, if you let them. I pray that none of these voices will ever be silenced.

Love and full moons,
Becky the Writer

Sunday, July 17, 2016

I Saw The Light - Music Movie Review

Greetings Pups,

Anyone who follows me on social media probably knows that I was very much anticipating the release of a movie called I Saw the Light, and also how disappointed I was when it did not come to a theater near me, as movies are wont to do. Well, now that the DVD has been released, I see now that I needn't have bothered hitting either one of those emotional extremes. And, speaking of which, the one reaction I did not anticipate was, in a word, meh. Because, honestly, that's kind of the best this movie gave me. But let's get into some deeper discussion of I Saw the Light.

I Saw the Light was released earlier this year and the hype on this thing was pretty big, probably because of its star. There were a lot of strong feelings coming from every angle about Tom Hiddleston, a British guy in his mid thirties, playing Hank Williams, a Southern, country music icon who died at the age of 29 (more on that later). Still, when all was said and done, he did look the part a bit and he certainly tried his little heart out to sound the part, but I'm not sure how convincing he was. Not to say he's a bad actor. I think I've made it clear that I don't feel that way at all. It's just that when you're playing a real person, you have to push through even harder to hide any trace of yourself. And this is not about looks. I mean, Vincent D'Onofrio was brilliant playing Abbie Hoffman, and he looks nothing like that guy, but he captured the essence. I can't honestly say that Hiddleston did the same. I have to be able to suspend my belief a little, and, back to the age thing, when he had to say his age at a certain point in the film, he had to answer..."23". I actually laughed out loud. Look, I know that ageism is a thing in Hollywood, usually more with women than men, but come on. He didn't look 23 when he was 23. No, he isn't exactly 43-year-old Kris Kristofferson trying to pass for a recent Harvard grad in Heaven's Gate, but he's also not exactly Reese Witherspoon who can be nearly 40 and pass for a 20-year-old college student in Wild. Forget Forever 21. She is Forever 16. Tom Hiddleston is not. Okay, I know I'm being harsh, and I think I've name dropped enough people who aren't even in this movie, so let's move on to something else.

I would say that this film is what I call a "List Biopic". By that, I mean it feels like someone made a list of everything that happened in Hank Williams' life, and then just crossed things off as they were added to the script. The flow of this movie was nonexistent. All the scenes were presented in this very disjointed way, almost with a staccato type rhythm. There were practically no moments that slowed things down to let us reflect on anything that was going on. It was just "This happened and then this happened and then this and this and this and then he died". What is even the heck? Calm down, mate, and give me a second to dwell on this. Oh, and about how they portrayed his death, they didn't. Of course, I didn't expect an actual death scene, and of course, they acknowledged it by making an announcement and singing the titular song, but it kind of came out of nowhere. I was hoping that they would have done something to build up the moment with some change in mood or tone or atmosphere. The only reason I knew he was going to die at the end was because I knew outside of the film. Not good. I should have gotten so lost in the film that I forgot about his dying so that I would have to be reminded by said film.

Anyway, is there anything I did like about this movie? Well, the supporting cast was pretty good. You had Bradley Whitford and Cherry Jones being their usual impressive selves, but I think Elizabeth Olsen actually did the best job of anyone. Yet again, she is showing that she is one of the stars of young Hollywood who has the most potential for a long career. Still, I don't think even she was enough to save the movie.

Look, I love a good biopic, and the best ones have heart to them. You should feel like you're getting to know the subject on a more personal level than ever before. Here, I just felt like I took a class on Hank Williams, presided over by a mediocre teacher. And while I enjoy any actor trying to spread his wings and step out of his comfort zone, I don't think this was the right way for Tom Hiddleston to do it. As I've stated, I am an admirer of his work as an actor, though I'm not at "Hiddlestoner" status. By that, I mean I have never and would never ambush him in a parking garage. That's a thing that happened. I'm sure you can still find video evidence on the YouTubes. However, if you want to watch something with him, check out The Night Manager miniseries or even Crimson Peak, two things that were much more in his wheelhouse. Heck, if you want to see Nice Guy Hiddleston go against that persona, check out some old episodes of Wallander on Netflix. He plays a guy who is a cop and kind of a jackass. There you go. Range.

So, back to I Saw the Light. No, I don't think I will be giving this a hearty recommendation. Again, if you're one of those aforementioned "Hiddlestoners" who only care about seeing the object of you adulation, go for it, if you haven't already. For everyone else, this won't be the worst movie you've ever seen if you choose to do so, but it will be far from the best.

Love and full moons,
Becky the Writer

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Response to Kim Chance's Writer Life Tag Video

Greetings Pups,

As you all know, I love finding good writing & reading videos on the YouTube, and I just found a great channel from a fellow writer named Kim Chance. About a week or so ago, she did the Writer Life Tag video. While she didn't come up with it, she's the person I found out about it from. So, like I did with my other tag response blog posts, I'm giving her some credit. Also, I'm happy to give her some exposure for her channel, which she should appreciate while she can, because once my own channel gets going, it's all about me! No, I'm not that mean.

Now I've already done an Author Tag and a NaNoWriMo Tag, and I think there may be some overlap in the questions. It's okay, though. I'll try to give similar answers in a different way. Because I am super creative like that. Anyway, let's do this thing. And I hope copied these questions correctly.

#1. "What do you eat or drink when writing?" - I don't usually eat when I write. I think of eating time as break time. But I usually go for coffee, since I am currently doing a lot of writing at night and I need to stay awake. Is this a healthy thing that I'm doing? Probably not, but I can worry about being healthy when I'm dead. Wait, no.

#2. "What do you listen to when writing?" - I do enjoy things like the Coffitivity app/website or anything that gives me some "white noise" like rain sounds. I like rain. It's practically my BFF. What? I was born in the rainy season. I also sometimes put on one of my many, MANY Law & Order DVD's and let that play quietly in the background, or even some lyrically rich music, like Tori Amos, Leonard Cohen or Rich Mullins (bet you never head of him!). I just like any sound that is there but that I can mostly ignore. I actually find it necessary. Silence is not always golden.

#3. "What is your biggest distractions?" - I don't know what you're talking about! I never let myself get distracted by any- Ooh, is that a butterfly over there!? Just kidding. I guess I'm like anyone these days who gets distracted by the Interwebs and anything on it that can divert my attention away from my work. It's tough to fight it, but not impossible. Just like most things in life.

#4. "What is the worst thing that has happened while writing?" - Years ago, before I learned the importance of perpetually saving everything you write on a computer on some external source, the monster crashed, and I lost a good 90% of one of my novels. My heart was sad.

#5. "What is the best thing that has happened while writing?" - Right after #4 happened, I remembered how smart I am that I write everything longhand first. I mean, I hate typing, and having to do it all over again was a drag. But still, I count my blessings. My heart was full.

#6. "Who do you communicate with while writing?" - The only ones who talk to me are the muses, and the only time I talk back to them is when I have to say, "Shut the heck up! I'm trying to sleep!" Besides that, no one really. I prefer to communicate with people through my writing after I'm done with it.

#7. "What is your secret to success or your biggest flaw?" - The way anyone gets to success is to keep doing what you're doing. If you're using your gift, the thing that is your calling, you keep at it. No matter the obstacles, no matter the struggles, you keep going. My biggest flaw is that I don't always follow that advice. I often get discouraged by outside sources, but even though those attacks are many, I have managed to learn to shoo them away quickly. It's gets tiring to do, but that only makes the feeling of success that much better.

#8. "What's your inspiration?" - Warning! Incoming cliche! Everything is inspiration. Are you going to write about everything you see or hear or feel? Probably not. I don't even do that, and I'm hypergraphic. But when you are truly tapped in to the world around you as an artist, everything will inspire you. Now you may just be inspired to turn away or ignore something, but that still counts. Recognizing things that can make you want to create is as important as recognizing what won't make you want to create. Sorry to bring up Leonard Cohen again, but I believe it was he who said that you have to see the good things you write next to the bad things you write in order to tell them apart. Well, you also have to know what will inspire you and what won't. Otherwise, you might get a really boring book.

#9. "What is something that you do or other writers do that is annoying?" - Well, some people say I'm annoying, because I refer to being a writer as my job, but they're awful. One thing I find annoying that a few writers do is that they don't use "I'm a good writer" as the Number One reason to read their book. Sure, you can subsequently use other things, but when someone asks why they should read something you've written, the very first thing you should say is "I'm a good writer". That's not arrogance; it's confidence. There is nothing wrong with thinking you're good if you're good.

#10. "Are you willing to share something you've written?" - Yes, but not here. If you follow me on the Twitter, you will find that I posted some picture poems of things that I've already published. BTW, thanks MicroSoft Paint. You are awesome. Well, you were free, so...yeah, totes awesome!

So, there you have it. My answers to the questions about the Writer's Life. As if I don't talk about that enough. Honestly, this was fun, and I like sharing things about my passion for what I do. Hopefully, it's encouraging to others. Again, you should check out Kim Chance's YouTube channel, especially if you're a writer. Or if you just want to hear the lovely woman's soothing voice. Either way, she posts some good videos, including the one for this tag. Take a look, and maybe you'll want to answer these questions for yourself.

Love and full moons,
Becky the Writer

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Straight From the Theater Review - The Shallows

Greetings Pups,

Well, it's kind of hot and humid where I live, and I'm suffering from Shark Week withdrawals. What better way to remedy that than by going to an air conditioned movie theater to see The Shallows!

I must say, I have been interested in seeing this film since I saw the first trailer. Oh, and by the way, if you've only seen the first trailer, keep it that way. The subsequent one gave away a bit too much of the plot. But I'm not here to review the trailer, just the movie. And, frankly, it was pretty great.

The film centers around a young woman named Nancy who is dealing with the death of her mother and heading off to a not very well known beach in Mexico. She's going there because it was a place her mom told her about. After a day of surfing alongside some friendly locals that she meets, Nancy is attacked by a shark and finds herself alone and injured badly, clinging to life on something that can barely be called a tiny island. Well, alone, save a wounded seagull that she befriends...and names Steven. I know that sounds sappy, but trust me, it's one of the best things about the movie. Anyway, we follow her as she tries to brave the elements, stay alive and save herself, all while being stalked by the shark. No, really. This shark is a super jerk. You will hate him. Seriously, though, this is just a great story of survival and the human spirit done in an excellent way, and I really enjoyed it.

So, let's get even more specific about the things I liked, starting with the cast. It's Blake Lively. That's about it. She plays Nancy, and aside from a few other characters showing up briefly, she is the only person we really get to know, because she is carrying this whole film. And did she succeed? Well, I have only one thing to say about it - this chick is AWESOME! I have to admit, at the beginning of her career, I was never too sure about Blake Lively. I certainly never disliked her, but it's like I was waiting for her to really go Ka-Boom as an actress. Well, over the years, she has been getting better and better, and finally, with this movie...Ka-Boom!

No lie. She thoroughly impressed me here. To say nothing of how physically grueling this job must have been, her expressions and the way she shows emotions of fear and horror and hope just overwhelmed me. I was totally with her the whole time, completely rooting for her to make it. And that is such a nice thing to experience since so many of these movies where people are trying to survive are full of unlikable characters who you almost want to die. Not here, though. She is just amazing, and you're cheering her on the whole way.

What else is good? Well, holy crap, this movie is absolutely gorgeous. The cinematography is beautifully shot, really embracing the fantastic place in which they were filming. It's so bright and colorful, almost visually contrasting the dire situation taking place. And the underwater scenes are amazing. Hey, Jaws: The Revenge, why don't you watch this movie and see how you're supposed to do a shark P.O.V. shot? Of course, the best shot is probably the one where you see Nancy surfing on a huge wave and you also see the shark. And when I say "see", I mean "SEE". It's hard to explain, but you'll know what I'm talking about when you watch it.

If I was forced to make any complaint, I guess it would be about a scene near the end. No spoilers, but it seems a bit outlandish, even for a shark movie. Again, you'll know it when you see it. However, since the rest of the movie was so believable and exciting, I'm going to let this go. It kind of earned a moment of craziness after all the awesomeness.

Lastly, I have to say hats off to the director, Jaume Collet-Serra. I'd say he is best known for doing the House of Wax remake, which didn't do so well as a whole, but he was the best thing about it. Of course, now I hope that this is the film that people will think of when they think of him. It has to be tough to direct something that barely has a script as far as dialogue and exposition go, but he did it masterfully. I hope he continues on with this and just keeps getting better.

In conclusion, I say that you should definitely see The Shallows, and you should see it in the theater if you can. It's worth it. Heck, if it's playing on an IMAX somewhere, I say go for that. It's a visual experience that is greatly helped by the big screen. Still, as I said before, this film is really about a person fighting to survive and finding out just how strong she truly is. Yes, the look of it leaves you awestruck, but if you pay close attention to the quieter moments, you'll find something even more powerful.

Love and full moons,
Becky the Writer.