Casting Closed

Finally. Finally, the cast for Star Wars Episode VII has been announced and the thing actually feels REAL. Honestly, this movie was the last thing in the world I wanted when I heard it was announced...but now the more news I hear about it, the more excited I get!  JJ Abrams, Lawrence Kasdan and now this cast? Crazy nerdy Star Wars fanatic Emily might be making a reappearance in the very distant future, and for that I apologize. But.....is it December 2015 yet?!? To ease my crazy mind until the more news I get, I decided to share my thoughts on the cast and tell you what movies to see if you want to get more acquainted with them.

DOMHNALL GLEESON - Where you've seen him: About Time, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I & II. This is the casting choice I'm probably the most excited about. Gleeson was just fantastically real and solid in About Time. He had such a great earnestness and likeability that I can't wait to see what he'll do in this role. My guess? I'm betting he's Luke's son. Plus hey, any link between Star Wars and Harry Potter I'm okay with!

OSCAR ISAAC - Where you've seen him: Inside Llewyn Davis, Robin Hood. This choice excites me for two reasons. First and foremost, his performance in Inside Llewyn Davis is fantastic. The guy has some range and is a pretty talented, solid choice. But he's also beautiful to look upon. Will he be a brash hero like Han Solo? Maybe even offspring of Han and Leia? Time will tell. Just don't make this beautiful man be a villain.

ADAM DRIVER - Where you've seen him: Girls, Frances Ha, Inside Llewyn Davis, Lincoln. I still feel as though I haven't seen enough of Adam Driver to have much of an opinion on him beyond his physical traits.. I've never watched Girls, but eventually I'll get to Frances Ha. But he was pleasant enough in Inside Llewyn 

MAX VON SYDOW - Where you've seen him: Minority Report, Shutter Island. This guy is boss. I'm really excited about this choice. He is so solid in all of his appearances, no matter the size of the role; duplicitous characters especially he manages to play to perfection. My hope is that he'll be on the dark side of the force.

DAISY RIDLEY - Where you've seen her: Nowhere! Is it just me or is this girl a complete unknown? She must have beaten out quite the competition, so hopefully she's got the chops for this role. She's certainly got the look. I could see her being related to Natalie Portman and Carrie Fisher of her prime, so I'm gonna guess she's Han & Leia's daughter?

JOHN BOYEGA - Where you've seen him: Attack the Block. I have not seen this movie, but I have been assured by fellow film friends that it is good, and he is good in it. I'll edit this post later this week when I've seen it for myself and can confirm that. As for the character.... I'm guessing Daisy's love interest and/or Lando's son?

ANDY SERKIS - Where you've seen him: as a CGI character in the Lord of the Rings series, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and King Kong... and actually as a human in 13 Going on 30 and The Prestige.  What a pleasant surprise this one was. Andy Serkis is an incredible performer and always does amazing work. He's definitely the wild card here. Could his character be villainous? Will it most likely be some sort of CGI creation? (I'm guessing yes.) But on the light side or the dark side is it? Mmmm. (hopefully you read that in a Yoda-esque voice...)


Blocking the block

Well, it happened again. Once more I found myself fresh out of topics to write about, as the most feared and dreaded ailment to all writers returned: writer's block. So how can one overcome the block? You write about it!! (Which is actually what at least a few of the filmmakers on this list did with fascinating results.) Surprisingly I found this topic to be one of the most enjoyable to research in some time. Weirdly the topic of writers block has its own little niche genre that churns out some pretty creative offerings. Inspiration doesn't always come easily or naturally, but sometimes the unexpected inspiration that occurs because of that frustration is far more fascinating. Below are ten movies about creative block and the characters who suffered it.

ADAPTATION - So....if you've never seen this movie, you should know up front that it's straight up bizarre. But it's also pretty much brilliant. In real life, the movie was supposed to be an adaptation of a book called The Orchid Thief, but what it turned out to be instead was the story of screenwriter Charlie Kaufman who was hired to adapt it into a movie, and his struggles adapting an unadaptable book. It's the hipster meta. Meta before it was cool. Honestly, this movie kinda blows my mind. It's incredibly layered and clever. But it's certainly not for everyone. An acquired taste if ever there was one, and a great amount of patience and understanding is required for pay off. If you're willing to put that into it, you might just be able to love it. The dialogue alone had me. Also, it's noteworthy to mention that this is one of the incredibly few ACTUALLY good Nicolas Cage performances of all time (and he even plays two characters!) So that's kinda a big deal.

BARTON FINK - This, like Adaptation, is another real life result of writers' block. But this time it's from a different pair of intellectually unique minds: the Coen brothers. I had amazingly never even heard of this before researching possibilities to include on this list, and I can't understand how! To be honest I thought this was far superior to the somewhat overrated Fargo, and definitely feel it should be celebrated more among the Coens' filmography. Barton Fink is the story of an intellectually proud playwright who is lured to Hollywood to become a screenwriter. When he's commissioned to write a wrestling picture, something he deems below his artistic integrity writers block hits him hard. And a jovial neighboring John Goodman only seems to distract him even more every time he comes to visit. This movie perhaps more than any other showed how hard it is to muster creativity when it just won't come and honestly the results were fascinating. The less said about this film if you haven't seen it, the better so I won't say much more. But definitely a very interesting and complex film.


THE MUSE - While we're on the topic of screenwriters, we'll add this silly comedy from Albert Brooks to the list. Albert Brooks is a love him or hate him kinda guy (right Academy?), but if you love him and his movies in general...you'll enjoy this enough. An added bonus comes if you're a movie buff and enjoy the process of filmmaking because it's definitely a love letter to the creative process. This movie, in which Brooks, a screenwriter who has seemingly lost his edge and inspiration until he meets a real-life muse, is full of director cameos and general winks to film fans. It's fluff, but being that it's Albert Brooks fluff it's a little more fun/memorable than it could have been.

Apologies for the flash frames and the creepy child's laughter at the end. That is not a part of the movie, but for some reason the youtube user felt to upload that as "credits"

MIDNIGHT IN PARIS - Unlike Barton Fink, Owen Wilson's Gil in Midnight in Paris has yet to be converted to the idea of becoming a screenwriter, even though, his nagging girlfriend insists it's the right career move. He'd rather keep working on his novel...but the only problem is he can't get it quite right. Lucky for him, he's in Paris and the city serves as a muse for him. Doubly lucky is that somehow he also finds a way to transport himself into 1920's Paris and meets various prominent literary and culture figures to help him. I mean if you can't be inspired by THAT to write something, what would work for you??

ALEX & EMMA - If you can't find a makeshift portal to the 1920's as in Midnight in Paris, you'll just have to make do and imagine your own poor man's Gatsbyesque plot...and Alex & Emma does just that. The movie begins with the age-old cliche of a man owing gambling debts, that then of course has his life threatened by some thugs wanting him to pay up. The threat on his life inspires him to...finish his novel? By doing so, he can pay everything back of course. The only problem is, he's got writers block! Since the thugs smashed his computer he, of course, has no choice but to spend even more money and hire a stenographer (how that thought ever crossed his mind I'll never know since he could have, you know... just written it down on paper...) But oh no! The stenographer has an opinion about everything, and they're at each other's throats so much that clearly there must be something under the surface right??? And that something may be just what the writer needs to be inspired to where the story needs to go. This movie is pretty average, but you could do worse... Or have nothing at all. Because in this decade this genre seems pretty much extinct. So stupid fluff yes, but since rom-com fluff is a rare commodity these days, by all means..enjoy.

MOULIN ROUGE/SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE - These two movies have almost the same delightful plot if you really think about it. Both protagonists are hot, young, idealistic writers who don't know what to do with the stories they've been commissioned to write until the right woman comes along and inspires them. They must keep their love a secret, but luckily their lady love is performing in the lead part in the play they wrote which brings them closer together (and gives them plenty of time to fool around behind the scenes). As the lead writer, they're always around to give out pointers to their secret lovers' performances, often to the chagrin of everyone around them...and in turn from their respective love stories, they receive more and more inspiration for where the story will go next. But hey, uh at least the endings are different!

STRANGER THAN FICTION - If you're having writers block, take a minute to consider that there might possibly be a very good reason. Like say maybe that the characters you're writing about somehow might not be fictional... and perhaps methods of killing them aren't coming to you for your own eventual peace of mind. I mean I don't know about you, but I wouldn't really want to be responsible for killing a real human being, who I thought was my own creation. Such is the story of Harold Crick in Stranger Than Fiction. I really like this movie, it's a fantastical idea and a fun one. Though I do have a little trouble swallowing some of the motivations by Dustin Hoffman's character near the end of the movie, it's hardly a dealbreaker.

RUBY SPARKS - Sometimes you create characters and you're unaware of their existence until you're about to kill them (see previous..) and SOMETIMES you create characters for the sole purpose of serving YOU. In each case, both characters magically do exist but both serve very different purposes to their creators. Ruby Sparks began merely as an exercise and soon became a person the author God could control if he wished to abuse that power. She started as the ultimate cure to a decade long writers block, but then literally came to life and fulfilled every need he had. The dilemma soon comes in letting her be her own person at the expense of her starting to have a mind of her own that might lead her to make the same decision all ex-girlfriends made when being in a relationship too long with our protagonist.

THE SHINING - So far we've seen a lot of the creatively wonderful ways writers block can eventually help a writer come up with something fantastical, something inspiring or just plainly lead the writer into fall in love with his muse. But now.... we get to the "writers block makes you go murderously crazy section!" Don't worry, there's only two entries for that (and though they definitely range in quality, both are ultimately fun.) Sometimes you're given MONTHS to come up with something...and you're even in an isolated place with no distractions to keep you from inspiration. And yet all your brain can manage is one measly sentence. An iconic sentence to be sure, but merely a sentence worth of substance typed over and over and OVER again until your brain melts into mush and you want to kill anybody you see. Aka the standard definition of writers block.

SECRET WINDOW - See previous entry. Haha just kidding, I'll go into a bit more depth than just that. Yes there's a lot of similarities to The Shining and with good reason. Both this and The Shining came from author Stephen King...so I'd say it's a safe bet to guess that the man suffered from the block a time or two. But what's worse than just writers block? Maybe someone accusing you of plagiarism in the middle of said writers block. This is what happens to poor ol' Johnny Depp soon after his wife Maria Bello cheated on him (!?) making him even more emotionally vulnerable. Luckily the accusation and all the terror that follows it of course only lends itself to the perfect type of material one blocked writer could use in his next book or his next [SPOILER highlight to read ]murder. [/end spoiler.]

BONUS: THE LOST WEEKEND -I saw this elsewhere on movies about writers block, and though it is....I don't think the block was ever the problem. This movie is pure and simply about alcoholism. In my opinion, writers block was only ever the excuse. But very well done for the subject it is about!


Top Ten(ish) of 2013: Always Late, But Worth the Wait

Well, friends. It took 3 whole months (and some change..) to compile, but once again I present you my annual Top Ten (eh....more or less) of the year. 2013 actually had a lot of good movies to offer.....just not a lot of great ones. There were so many I liked that were about the same level that I felt I couldn't keep them off the list. I never saw Her, so hey maybe later this will just become an (un)even 15. So take a gander and agree or disagree, but these are the movies that earned my affection last year. We'll start with the bottom up.

12. AMERICAN HUSTLE - I finally got around to seeing this, and I liked it a lot....but not entirely for the reasons I was expecting. This movie is far more about the characters and performances than the actual story. The main con itself never drew me in, as much as the emotional cons the characters pulled on each other. Fantastic performances from everyone involved (Amy Adams, in particular, has never been better, and Bradley Cooper nearly rivals his work in his previous collaboration with David O Russell.) But yeah, for me it was all about the character interactions...not the overall story. Besides characters though it's got some great dialogue, a pretty fun soundtrack, and some awesome production design too.

11. BEFORE MIDNIGHT - Original review HERE. I really almost didn't put this on here, and then I rewatched it last night (I must stress that THIS time, as opposed to the first, I watched it with language and other things edited out..) and was just blown away. I loved the first two entries so much that I think the first time I saw it, I wasn't sure if it lived up to them. The tone and feel of it is so unlike the others, that it almost didn't feel like a member of the same family (and if it was, it was a little more of an older, more depressed distant relative.) But watching it again, even though it wasn't where I expected the story to go, after all, these years of waiting for a sequel to this story of star-crossed lovers, I must appreciate the beauty of the realism here (THAT HIMYM writers is realism in case you were wondering btw.) As always, the conversations had in these films are absolutely fascinating and I just love all the concepts being discussed....even when it leads into a huge fight. Whenever I watch these I almost want to just jump into the conversation with them and honestly, what more can you ask for in a movie?

10. ENOUGH SAID - If you know me and my taste in movies at all, you know I just love a good "relationship examination" movie. Last year that movie was without a doubt Enough Said. Ever since I saw the trailer I thought the concept was great; the idea of trying to find out everything you can about a potential love interest is certainly something anyone can relate with. But how far do you go in order to protect yourself at the expense of giving the other person a fair chance? In our social media saturated age of stalking people and learning EVERYTHING we can, coupled with the overall self-preservation we humans sometimes selfishly possess, I thought the message this movie offers was really poignant. If you enjoy someone's company, why not pursue it? Or more importantly, why not allow yourself to naturally feel it instead of overthinking everything.

9. STAR TREK: INTO DARKNESS - Original review HERE. Look. I had to put one blockbuster on here, and this one was absolutely my favorite of not only the summer, but the year as well. JJ, you have my heart. I fully trust that Star Wars is in your capable hands. Just don't go crazy with the lens flares. I jest. But back to Trek. This movie just was a ride. It breezed by and I enjoyed every second (well...maybe I could have done without the gratuitous/unnecessary shot of Alice Eve...) The characters are coming into their own and their chemistry with one another is delightful.

8. TIE: MUD, THE KINGS OF SUMMER - Original review of Mud HERE. If we can take one thing away from 2013 it's that it was a dang fine year for the "teenage boy summer coming of age" film. I loved both Mud and Kings of Summer equally in their execution, so I chose to have them appear side by side on this list. Mud had more going on than just that, namely Matthew McConaughey's solid performance about an escaped convict who befriends two teenage boys. The humor in both films was impeccable, but I might say that the friendship between the boys in The Kings of Summer resonated with me by the slightest bit more.

7. STOKER - Okay let's get something straight here. This movie is MESSED UP. I feel somewhat embarrassed in my admiration of it in some ways (and honestly would recommend it to very few people..) but my goodness, it was captivating. The cinematography was gorgeousness defined, as my jaw dropped a couple times to be sure. This was like a modern day Hitchcock film, but made by someone who was way more into incest and other inappropriate things. Haha ringing endorsement right? But really, it was such a mystery and watching it all unfold was pretty dang cool. Plus it's the most interesting thing Nicole Kidman has done in some time.

6. SAVING MR. BANKS - Original review HERE. It takes a really good movie to trick me into watching Mary Poppins again. Haha just kidding. But I really enjoyed this movie for a myriad of reasons, starting with: it was whimsical, emotional and beautiful. The performances were all great, especially from Emma Thompson who was seriously overlooked by the Academy. And I must admit, I just really enjoy movies about filmmaking. This one in particular...I just completely got it. Plus it's just such a fun story and time period to visit. In such a cynical time for filmmaking, it's nice to find movies that have some heart.

5. BLUE JASMINE - This certainly wasn't the easiest film to watch on this list (or actually the hardest...that one is yet to come...) but it was absolutely captivating from start to finish. The story structure is definitely part of the reason for that as little by little, more and more is revealed about the former life of our protagonist Jasmine....but the biggest reason? Cate Blanchett's powerhouse performance which is (from what I've seen of her body of work anyway...) the highlight of her career. Every inch of her face is involved in the performance of a woman who is coming apart at the seams. She was just fascinating to watch. Sally Hawkins turns in an amazing performance as Jasmine's sister as well. This was an amazing year for performances, but this one might just boast some of the strongest.

4. ABOUT TIME - I had such high expectations the first time I saw this, and I really wasn't quite sold at all by the time it was finished. And then....it just grew on me more and more over time and I truly understood the beauty of it. It may look like a cute, quirky, and eventually predictable romance (and in fact even starts out that way,) but by the end it grows into this beautiful examination on life and how we ought to be spending our time while living it. I think a great key to this movie's success is the likability of its lead, Domhnall Gleeson who makes the character's journey relatable and one you want to end well. The end in particular is just perfect.

3. PRISONERS - Okay THIS was the hardest movie to watch on the list. Yet...I couldn't stop watching and was completely glued to my seat from start to finish. Hugh Jackman just blows you away as a man who begins to rationalize violence more and more in the name of justice. And Paul Dano was born to play a mental creep. Haha! The tension never lets up and the movie never makes you stop guessing.

2. 12 YEARS A SLAVE - Original review HERE. This movie was heartbreakingly brutal. The acting all across the board was phenomenal and knowing this was based on a true story makes it all the more powerful. Honestly, all the elements of filmmaking were firing on all cylinders in the production of this movie; every aspect from acting, music, cinematography...you name it is top notch. This certainly isn't the type of movie that I'll be eager to revisit over and over (especially any time soon,) but it's kind of like to slavery what Schindler's List was to the holocaust. Told with poeticism and reverence but not neglecting to show the brutality that happened.

And my #1 movie of 2013 was..... drumroll....

1. THE WAY WAY BACK - Original review HERE. One of the first movies I saw last year remained my favorite all year long, and nothing really managed to top it for me. And it's not like it was some amazing new feat of filmmaking. In fact, it was a lot of the familiar; but executed in such a delightful and meaningful way that I just adored it right when I saw it at Sundance. Like I said, teenage boy coming of age summer films were on trend for 2013, and this one was my favorite of them all. The story though not anything new, was welcome in its familiarity because the characters felt so lived in and important. It didn't matter if I'd seen the story before, because I loved and cared for the characters right from the get-go and the writing was absolutely key in that. Right from the opening lines of Steve Carell telling our young protagonist he thought of him as "a 3,"they had my attention and never let it go.

BONUS FAVORITE: AUSTENLAND. Original review HERE. Surprise! Another addition, but this time to keep my street cred I will not assign it a number (even though it mayyyy have been my heart's true favorite.) I loved this movie for the following reasons 1) My poor heart was starved for a rom-com 2) I love Jane Austen 3) I have to give it props for honestly keeping me guessing til the end. It's rare to find that in a rom-com. 4) It made me laugh. Even if guiltily so...I laughed a lot. So yeah. I love it. Haters gonna hate.

HONORABLE MENTIONS: Captain Phillips, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, The Conjuring, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, The Spectacular Now, The Great Gatsby, Frozen, All Is Lost, August Osage County, Inside Llewyn Davis


Captain Not So Obvious

It's been about six months since Thor's sequel hit theaters, which means it's time for another Marvel movie obviously. Today's Marvel movie du jour? The second installment in Captain America's story: Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Is it worth your time? No. Not really at all. Will you watch it and likely love it anyway? Probably. Everyone in my theater seemed to be eating it up, but I have to say as far as I'm concerned, it may be the weakest of the Avenger affiliated Marvel movies yet (I can't decide which is worse between it and Iron Man 2) and through the majority of it I found myself extremelllly bored. So.....prepare yourself for a rant fest below.

ATTENTION SCREENWRITERS: Just because a character has appeared in previous movies doesn't mean you get a free pass for the audience to care about them (though I guess mind boggingly it works for some people, though it shouldn't.) These characters are all so two-dimensional it's ridiculous. We are simply supposed to care for these people just because they're familiar faces and "good." I like staring at Chris Evans' body  face as much as the next girl, but come ON. Can't the Cap'n at least have a tiny semblance of a personality? Dullsville, USA I tell ya. And the female supporting cast fares no better. Scar-Jo half-heartedly spits out one-liners and somehow has weapons or trinkets coming out of her sleeves whenever convenient. And Cobie Smulders? It's too soon. Every time I saw her on screen I clenched my fists and growled "ROBINNNNNNN" Emily VanCamp shows up at one point as well, but I honestly can't even recall whether or not she had a point. Did any of it? Oh and Samuel L. Jackson and Robert Redford (!?) show up to collect a paycheck as well. Oh, ANNNND Anthony Mackie as.... uh some guy the Cap'n befriends that also likes to make mechanical wings in his spare time (he gave me some uncomfortable and unwelcome X-Men 3 reminders.)

Half of the problem is you never really know what the heck is going on (though I caught something about a Jedi Council at one point...) The action is just totally mindless and my brain might have shut off definitely more than just a couple of times. The first 30 minutes at least, in particular, seemed completely pointless. Here's the thing. What made the first movie stand out (somewhat anyway..) was having a superhero movie simultaneously being a period piece. It had style, it was fun, it was a little bit different. Put Captain America in modern times and take the Avengers away from him? Wake me when it's over. To be blunt, the whole movie is basically a two hour commercial for the t.v. series Agents of Shield. Either that or a toxically dangerous drinking game that could put someone into a coma every time someone mentions the organization. They're basically saying "Please. Please. PLEASE watch SHIELD."Don't listen to them though...It's a trappppp! So um on the positive side though it has a couple nice action scenes, maybe a couple nice character moments between the Cap'n and Scar-Jo. And like I said Chris Evans' beautiful face. That's about it. EMILY RATING 5/10.


How They Ruined a Great TV Series

Yes. I'm still reeling from that terrible, horrible, no good, miserable How I Met Your Mother finale and I've been urged by others to get my feelings out about it. I never knew that one episode could manage the ruin of an entire series I once adored. (The t.v. show version of (500) Days of Summer if you will..) A series that taught you to hope that eventually even through all the hardships and waiting, true happiness with the right one would come at last; that really, it would all work out in the end. Sure the writers still gloat and think that's still true with what they gave us....but truly and honestly, they got it all wrong....and in the process ruined many of the characters I came to love. Below be SPOILERS.

I could go on and on about the mistakes that were made in this finale. From spending 3 seasons shoving the Barney and Robin relationship down our throats only to dissolve it within 10 minutes (and for the record, I never bought the relationship....but I guess now it's clear I was never supposed to,) or worse: tantalizing the audience with the idea of what the reward of the show was. They made us believe that after suffering through years of emotional anguish and unrequited love our leading man would find happiness with a woman who loved and deserved him; instead that so-called reward was revealed to be merely a footnote. The absolute worst part had to be the scene where the kids reveal the big twist. What would have worked as a series finale from Season 5 and earlier feels completely out of place and disrespectful now. Over the course of this season, we came to love the mother but in a matter of seconds we are informed she's dead and who even cares because he's been in love with Robin all along. The stubbornness of these writers to stick to an ending that no longer benefitted any of its characters was kind of appalling and seems like they had something to prove with their arc for Ted as a reflection of themselves. He has his cake and eats it too. The woman of his affection for years goes after the bad boy but in the end flies back to him. It strikes me as Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network and his secret desire to build this whole thing to prove a point in the end that the nice guy doesn't finish last, even though it appears that for a time Barney won the battle. The only problem is you no longer made your nice guy nice and the love of his life turns into a casualty for a pointless and childish point.

I love you, but it's kind of convenient for me that you're dying now that Robin is single.

Maybe I could have gotten behind it if the execution had been handled well, but the creators were more concerned with delivering a twist than telling the story right and respecting the show How I Met Your Mother turned into and not the one it was when it began. Yes it began as the Ted/Robin show and "aww too bad they already called her Aunt Robin and they can't end up together." It became a show about getting over a person you deeply wanted it to work out with, and finding hope that eventually you'll get over it and find the one who will truly get you and love you. Here are my favorite scenes about what I believe that show had become before retconning all the character growth and lessons we came to learn over the years (and instead leaving it at a very unhealthy lesson at that "don't worry kids, obsession pays off" or "just wait around and end up with someone that never really appreciated you!") These scenes convince me that the writers made a horrible mistake with their resolve to keep their precious ending. These ten scenes will remain the things I treasure about the show when all is said and done.

Ted: "I think you know how you feel about me now, and time isn't gonna change it. Do you love me?"
Robin: "No."

You can't feel bad for Robin EVER. She had her chance and she CHOSE Barney. Oh and she flat out told Ted she didn't love him. Ted deserves to be his dream woman's first choice. Ted was never Robin's first choice and she knew him long enough to be able to appreciate him....yet it's only when he's finally happy with someone else she begins her regrets. Only took her 10 years to realize it. Let's kill the mother now so Robin can find her happiness!

(Continuation of previous scene since it cuts off before the best part...)

 The imagery of Ted walking through the sea of yellow umbrellas that ANY ONE of them could be the one who he would share a "lifetime" of happiness was beautiful and full of hope. Now? ....

Robin: Shouldn't I be with the guy who finds me my locket? Shouldn't I be with the guy who STEALS the blue french horn?? Look me in the eye and tell me why shouldn't I be with THAT guy?
Ted: Because I'm not that guy anymore!

Yet merely an episode later and supposedly 17 years pass and SURPRISE: he's that guy again? Then who was he when he was ready to meet his future wife? Speaking OF his future wife, let's hear about all the setup about her that clearly didn't impress their snotty kids.

(Apologies for the sound quality)
"She's on her way Ted, and she's getting here as fast as she can." 

But don't anticipate it too much. She's just gonna die after a decade of all that WAITING.

Victoria's ex describes to Ted how he'll KNOW when he meets the love of his life.
Klaus: Have you ever felt this way about someone?
Ted: Yeah I think so.
Klaus: If you have to think about it, you have not felt it.

AKA no Robin shouldn't have been the only thing those dumb kids took away from that story as we see moments later it flashes to their meeting. It forever and always should have stayed with their mom.

I love you. I'm always going to love you. Til the end of my days and beyond. You'll see.

Sigh. This was where the death theories first began. But I still believe this is one of the most beautiful scenes to have ever aired on the show and I loved the idea of a future self-knowing just where to go to make the past version of themselves happy. And it is now our consolation prize in lieu of the finale to show, even though, that episode didn't fully, how much he truly loved her.

You picked a real winner Mosby. 
I did.

This juxtaposition of Ted at one of his lowest moments side by side with a blissfully happy and in love Ted is, in my opinion, the most rewarding scene of the entire series and probably my favorite. After everything he'd been through, we see a Ted who has his love fully and completely reciprocated; in short we'd never seen him happier on this series. This was the girl.

And that kids is the kind of stupid thing you say before you meet someone who hits the reset button on the world, who makes it seem ridiculous you ever considered settling.

Initially I felt this scene was introduced far too soon in the season, and do still stand by that. But now having seen the whole last season, it was one of the brightest and best spots. Plus Future Ted's narration once again is beautiful and again the lesson we want to be learning in reference to the woman who bore your children and not some dumb ex girlfriend who shares the same name as a bird.

Give your heart and soul to me and life will always be La Vie En Rose.

Seriously. You watch that back to back with that final scene of the kids and you just KNOW those writers are insane. Can't you see what's best for the show!???

Anyway. I'll end this retrospective once more with the video I posted yesterday and how the show SHOULD have ended.

Funny how sometimes you just find things.

RIP HIMYM. I wish the writers could have respected what you grew into and ended you properly.


Fool Me Once

Hello, readers! Happy "don't believe anything you read on the internet or that people tell you in person day!" Also known as APRIL FOOLS! Last night the world was treated with an early April Fools day present in the form of the How I Met Your Mother finale. Don't worry though everybody. Everything has been set right in the world because the real ending to the show is HERE Okay that's actually an April Fools too, but a far kinder one than the one pulled on us last night and REALLY how I wish the show would have gone. In fact....I'm just gonna pretend that's how it went and you can too. Anyway, the idea of cons and pranks, of course, gives way to a holiday themed post. Here are eight movies and two television shows you can gain inspiration from to fool people to your hearts content.

The Parent Trap - old movie or new, this one has got tons of ideas on how to mess with people. Whether it's your long lost twin or an unwanted suitor to your Dad, there's all kinds of things you can do to get REVENGE....okay maybe not revenge but to mark your territory/property I guess? The best tip is to know your surroundings. From the looks of it, the great outdoors is the best place for pranking. You can give someone anti-repellant for mosquitos, make them look like a fool for hitting sticks together and of course mess with people when they're asleep (whether it's covering them in honey or setting their mattress on the lake.)

Amelie - Yes this is a quirky adorable French movie and it's not really the first source you'd think of for finding practical jokes you can play on someone....but really this movie has some gems. Amelie is really good at making people think they're going crazy. If you want to play jokes on people like that, I suggest making friends with people who can give you access to their home so you can change things like door handles and shoe sizes. And if someone has made you really mad, wait until they're watching an important sports game to cut the power anytime someone is close to scoring. It'll drive them NUTS.

Dumb & Dumber - What's a good prank for someone that constantly has to be taking pills for his well-being? Sneaking extra spicy jalapeƱos on his burger of course. He'll never know what hit him. Also, another good one is telling the waitress to put all your food on another man's tab (a man who has threatened you is the best and most logical choice.) Works like a charm.

Billy Madison - Flaming bag of poo obviously! Don't watch the clip if you don't want to hear the language.

Matilda - Matilda's pranks are very similar to Amelie, harmless (like gluing someone's hat to their head)....but with a twist. The real key here is to make sure you figure out a way to use magic or voodoo or whatever powers Matilda has. They'll make it easier not to get caught.

Raising Arizona - Here's a fun prank, find a couple with quintuplets and kidnap one of them! Just make sure to give them back to the end and make them feel sorry enough for you that they won't press charges. But trust me. It will be a hoot.

No prank here. Just the trailer.

Groundhog Day - It's easy to mess with people when you've lived a day so many times that you become omniscient. From scoring girls to making people think you're a God, the possibilities are, in fact, endless. The tricks pulled on Ned Ryerson, in particular, are my favorite. Though below isn't my favorite trick, and would more likely be categorized under assault than a prank.

Home Alone - You might not have robbers invading your house, but maybe if you're bored today you could test out some of these traps on your roommate who is always stealing your food. Sure it may seem harsh to burn their hand or have them step on nails...or even have a flaming hot iron hit them in the head, but it will sure make them understand boundaries quick!

The Office - Plenty of pranks to choose from here! Some of the best parts of this series were the pranks Jim pulled on a usually oblivious Dwight. Faxes from the future, putting his desk in the bathroom or placing his wallet in the vending machine; the choices are endless and fabulous.

Impractical Jokers - Okay I usually never really write about "reality" shows or game type shows....but honestly this is one of the funniest shows on television right now. If you haven't seen it and you love harmless pranks or people saying and/or doing embarrassing things I urge you to check this show out NOW. It is the perfect way to celebrate this fine holiday.

BONUS: Back to the Future: Get a time machine and go to the past to prank your Dad! All you need is technology from the future and movie references he's not familiar with yet!

THE END! Happy April Fools everyone! Be on your guard!