recent-watch-history

Recent Watch History

From about Thanksgiving to Valentine’s Day, I go through a period where I binge-watch shows like crazy. I’ve compiled a list of what I’ve enjoyed so far in no particular order. One of my weird habits is that I’ll watch a few different shows at the same time. This happens because I’ll start a show and get bored of it, then end up coming back to it later. This isn’t even close to everything I’ve streamed, but on average, about half of the things I watch ends up being utter garbage.

 

What I’m watching now
The Magicians- Netflix ( Currently on Episode 6)

Harry Potter meets Percy Jackson in this Sci-Fi channel original television show.

Conspiracy- Netflix ( Currently on Episode 2)

Your paranoid uncle’s favorite theories about Nazis and the Royal Family, all wrapped up in 12 hour-long episodes.

Luke Cage- Netflix ( Currently on Episode 3)

This third Marvel Netflix series revolves around a man with extraordinary powers who is trying to restore his quiet life by taking down the New York underground.

 

 

Series of Unfortunate Events- Netflix

The acclaimed children’s book series by Lemony Snicket finally gets the adaptation it deserves. The first season revolves around the Baudelaire orphans jumping from guardian to guardian and the mystery behind their parents’ deaths.

The Crown- Netflix

A young Queen Elizabeth struggles between balancing being Queen and a wife. I wouldn’t be surprised if Matt Smith and Claire Foy both won Emmys for their roles in the show.

Yoga Hosers- Netflix

Kevin Smith’s attempt at making a teen film based in Canada. (That’s all you need to know.)

Barry- Netflix

A biopic that explores Barack Obama’s time at Columbia University in the early 1980s.

Degrassi Next Class- Netflix

A guilty pleasure of mine that’s the newest version of the Degree series. It goes through the everyday lives of students at Degrassi Community School.

Red Oaks- Amazon

This was hands down my most favorite new show of 2016. Red Oaks centers around a young man who works as a tennis pro at an exclusive country club during the summer.

Buffy The Vampire Slayer – Netflix

Buffy Summer hunts and kills supernatural creatures.

Supernatural- Netflix

Sam and Dan Winchester hunts and kills supernatural creatures.

The Man in the High Castle- Amazon
Set in an alternate timeline where the Allies never won WW2 and the Nazi party and Japan control the United States. In this world, a series of short films depict the Axis losing the war, causing a young women to try to figure out where the films came from.

Fuller House- Netflix

The Tanner family is back in the follow-up series to Full House, featuring the same catchphrases and wacky scenarios they’ve been using since the 1990s.

no-fav-2016

November Favorites

THE HOLIDAY SEASON IS HERE! (Cue All I Want For Christmas) It’s the time of gift giving, family arguments, and overpriced ugly sweaters. This year couldn’t be over fast enough because a lot of amazing things are happening in 2017. Not to name everything, but I have graduation, my Chicago trip, my sister’s wedding, my moving out, and gtolley.com launching on January 1st. You heard it first; I’m changing up my blog and getting my own domain name. It’s going to be a busy year, but I still have one month left. So let’s get right into my monthly favorites!

What to listen to…
DNCE
I’m a child of the 00s, so of course I grew up on Disney Channel. Unlike my older sister, I wasn’t in distress when the Jonas Brothers called it quits in 2013. Under recommendation from a Snapchat story, I listened to the whole DNCE album in one sitting. Nothing this year compared to this. Joe Jonas’s R&B vocals mixed with the bubblegum pop and funk indie vibe the band gives off makes it the best album of the year.

What to wear…

UA Blitzing II Stretch Fit- Under Armour Hat

https://www.underarmour.com/en-us/mens-ua-blitzing-ii-stretch-fit-cap/pid1254123-001

I’m always trying new fashion trends, and one I’ve been loving is the sporty/athleisure look. (It gives me an excuse to wear workout pants at school.) During my trip to Indianapolis this month, I was dragged into an Under Armour store and found the perfect hat. Sure, I look like a 34 year old soccer mom or Luke from Gilmore Girls, but I’ve embraced it.

IMG_5990.JPGWhat to stream…
The Crown

The Crown covers Queen Elizabeth following her marriage to Prince Philip and taking on the throne. Claire Foy and Matt Smith are the perfect castings for the royal couple, and their chemistry is phenomenal. Just a heads up: the first episode has more drama in it than every episode of Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars combined.

img_3471What to see in theaters….
Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them

Fantastic Beasts is a different perspective into the world of witches and wizards, taking place in 1920’s New York. We are no longer stuck behind a desk for seven years, as we are apparated straight into the action. I wasn’t old enough to understand the awe and wonder Harry Potter had on its viewers when it was first released. The breathtaking visuals and brilliant screenplay, written by J.K. Rowling, caused me to have this feeling for the first time in many years. 2016 was filled with many rehashes of films we’ve already seen. Even being a reboot/ spin-off of the Potter franchise, Beasts is equally unique and brilliant as its predecessors. Although the Goldstein sisters stole the show for me, Newt Scamander played by Eddie Redmayne is an interesting enough lead to carry the inevitable following sequels.

img_3467

What to eat…

Pecan Pie

http://houseofyumm.com/pecan-pie/

‘Tis the season of eating endless amounts of leftovers from your holiday meal. As always for Thanksgiving, I was in charge of bringing dessert. This year I spiced the typical pies by making them miniature. My favorite of the three types I made was the pecan, hands down. The recipe I used liked to stick to the pan, so I would recommend making this in a normal sized pie crust.

IMG_5884.JPG

What to buy for the house…

Little Christmas Tree- Target

My favorite place in the world is Target’s Dollar Spot. You never know what junk you might find there. Of course during my weekly trip there, I found this cute little tree for $3. It’s the perfect size for a dining room table or in an office.

IMG_5988.JPG

cheffinal

Chef Review 

Due to Netflix constantly being updated, finding a new show on it can be hard. Hidden gems are buried between straight-to-DVD releases and Syfy original movies.
Chef was the indie darling that opened South by Southwest film festival in 2014. Last spring, Chef was picked up for distribution by Netflix.

Once an up-and-coming chef, Carl Casper, quits his jobs at a popular Los Angeles restaurant when the owner tells Carl to stick to the classics rather than make innovative dishes. Left to figure out what’s next, he ends up in Miami with his son and ex-wife. There, he is persuaded by his family and friends to launch a food truck, serving classic Cuban cuisine. The trip back to L.A. helps him repair his relationship with his preteen son, rediscovering his love for cooking along the way.
The film parallels the director, Jon Favreau, who wanted to go “back to basics” after directing multiple big budget movies back to back. Also standing in as the writer, Favreau embedded parts of his life into the main character. Both Favreau and the main character struggled between being a father and having a busy career.

Unlike Favreau’s past few films, Iron Man 1 & 2 and Cowboys vs. Aliens, Chef doesn’t rely on spectacle and action to fill in the runtime. The cast is what brings the movie to life.

In the movie, only three main characters are seen throughout the film. It seems like Favreau called a couple of his celebrity friends to fill the supporting cast, such as Scarlett Johansson, Robert Downey Jr., Dustin Hoffman, and Bobby Cannavale. Favreau does another self-insert in this production by playing the main character. Modern Family’s Sofia Vergara is Inez, Casper’s ex-wife. This isn’t your normal over the top Vergara; here she is compelling and doesn’t scream into the camera. Percy, Casper’s son, is played by Emjay Anthony. Percy helps run his father’s social media for the truck and brings his parents back together.

Chef brings life back to the dying genre of the road trip film. The scenes that took place on the movie’s road trip were actually filmed in their designated locations. While in Miami, the crew filmed at the Versailles restaurant, the Fontainebleau Hotel, and the famous Cuban restaurant, Hoy Como Ayer, in Little Havana.

In past years, Indie films have been more accessible to the general audience. Nowadays, creators have the tools to make quality content with almost nothing. All you need for a good movie are well-thought-out characters and a camera.

The run time is 1 hour and 55 minutes and rated R for language. Chef is a feel-good comedy that’s perfect for a night in.

escape

36 thoughts I had while watching Escape from L.A. for the first time

As I go back into the hustle and bustle of the school year, I’m going to try to not procrastinate on my posts for my editor’s and my own sake. I really enjoyed doing my June story, 35 thoughts I had while watching the Princess Bride for the first time, and so I’m here to do it again with Escape from L.A. It’s a lot more fun than some other post, and I actually might try to do this once a month.

  1. John Carpenter directed this? This is going to be messed up. Let’s hope in a good way.
  2. Narration by Jamie Lee Curtis.
  3. Is this presidential candidate named Al Gore?
  4. Who would want to be president for the rest of their life?
  5. Did Batman: Arkham City steal this plot?
  6. If the CGI was any worse, this would be a Syfy channel original movie.
  7. That’s kind of a small wall for a maximum security prison.
  8. Why would he water his plants during a time like this?
  9. Who names their kid Snake?
  10. Electric chair or L.A.? I would pick the chair.
  11. Kurt Russell used to be a babe.
  12. How does a 20-something-year-old hijack Air Force One?
  13. Damn millennial and their video games..
  14. Wow! So many movies nowadays have ripped this off. Or did this rip off other movies that came out before it?
  15. The CGI is bad. Batman and Robin is better. It still triumphs over Spy Kids though.
  16. When you have worse effects than Sharkboy and Lavagirl, you have an issue. You might argue that it was the 90’s and that they didn’t start getting good until ten years age, but two words: Jurassic Park.
  17. How do they still have gas and bullets?
  18. STEVE BUSCEMI!
  19. I’ve never seen a net launcher, but I don’t think they work like that.
  20. How does everyone know his name?
  21. Unnecessary love interest.
  22. Steve Buscemi ex machina.
  23. 666 is their password.
  24. Snake is better at basketball than most of the Lakers.
  25. I’ve never been to L.A. or the east coast. Do they experience aftershock this much?
  26. What’s up with this music?
  27. NO SURFING IN ACTION FLICKS!
  28. Shouldn’t he be foaming at the mouth by now?
  29. Jackie Brown!
  30. Who carries red nail polish on them?
  31. Don’t waste your bullets.
  32. When did he get his jacket back?
  33. No red meat! Well, I’m screwed.
  34. Why would you want to shut down the whole planet? That’s a dick move.
  35. Happy Hunger Games!
  36. This is a sequel? Guess I need to do my research prior to watching next time.

 

Jaymantri
jaymantri.com
from pexels
Via Creative Commons
https://www.pexels.com/photo/black-couch-furniture-living-room-2812/

Summer Streaming Recommendations + Dark Chocolate Bark

Streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime are the future of entertainment. The problem is that there are millions of shows and movies, and 70% of them are straight to DVD horror movies. So what should you spend your hours binge-watching?

 

Arrested Development

This genius comedy is basically a half hour running gag. The six Emmy and Golden Globe Award winner is the only show I can think of that features cousins falling in love and a banana stand. In one way or another, everyone can relate to this show because we all have that one member of our family that we just don’t talk about. I need to get someone addicted to this show so we can make George Michael and Cornballer references to each other.

Best Episode: Pier Pressure

 

From Dusk till Dawn

Quentin Tarantino. Who doesn’t love Quentin Tarantino? Maybe my grandma because she thinks he’s part of a cult. I think From Dusk till Dawn is his most underrated film, and it’s my favorite out of all the movies he’s written or directed. If you want to see Salma Hayek as a vampire stripper or Tarantino playing George Clooney’s brother, go ahead and stop everything to watch this film.

 

Stranger Things

I decided to jump on the bandwagon and watch Netflix’s Stranger Things. Fast forward eight intense episodes later, and I’m dead. Why did they leave so many questions unanswered? (Well, I suppose they want to make a season two.) However, I don’t want to wait a year or two – I need new episodes now!  If you’re a fan of ET or Super 8, you’re going to love it. It doesn’t waste your time with filler episodes and subplots, and it’s cut to perfection. I smell an Emmy in its future.  

 

Pokémon

Team Instinct for life!  I grew up in a weird era where I’m not really a 90’s child, but I was born in the 90’s. What made me connect to Pokémon was my older sister, who was obsessed with all things Pokémon. I just wanted to be “cool” like my big sis and play it. Nintendo marketed the heck out of the game overseas, luring you in with the Saturday morning cartoon, which persuaded you to buy the games, cards, and other merch. It worked! The show is classic and still continues on today. Back in the day, Cartoon Network would play Pokémon on repeat every day.

Best Episode: Here Comes the Squirtle Squad

 

Kung Fury

I couldn’t think of why you needed to watch Kung Fury, but I can tell you why I love it.

  • It’s an independent crowd-funded short film
  • It has a Dinosaur Cop
  • There is 1980’s era computer hacking
  • Kung Fu
  • WWII
  • Thor
  • Laser Raptors
  • The hero gains his powers when he is struck by lightning and bitten by a cobra
  • Hitler does kung fu and is called the Kung Führe
  • David Hasselhoff voices a talking car and sings an original song for the film
  • All the glorious puns

 

I hope this list is helpful and finds you a new show or movie to binge your day away. This week’s recipe can be as healthy as you want it, and the batch I made lasted me all day.

 

IMG_2597

Dark Chocolate Bark

Ingredients

  • One package of dark chocolate chips
  • Whatever you want to put into it ( In mine, I used ⅓ of unsweetened coconut and pecans)

Directions

  1. Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave, stirring every 20 seconds until smooth.
  2. Pour chocolate onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
  3. Add on toppings of choice.
  4. Let it harden in the fridge for an hour.
  5. Break into small pieces.
img_3424

10 Top Cult Classics 

cult clas·sic

noun

  1. something, typically a movie or book, that is popular or fashionable among a particular group or section of society.

Cult movies are a hard thing to pin down since everyone has a different definition of them. Personally, I see them as films that gained popularity after their initial release. My top ten changes from time to time because I’m always discovering new ones. Below are my current favorites and a little insight on why I picked them.

P.S. Rocky Horror Picture Show will never be on my list.
10.) Night of the Living Dead – The OG zombie movie

9.) Big Trouble in Little China – John Carpenter’s it’s so bad, it’s good action comedy

8.) Mamma Mia! – Meryl Streep singing ABBA

7.) Mad Max – Kickstarted the cult classic franchise

6.)Reservoir Dogs – The movie that started Quentin Tarantino’s career

5.)Monty Python and the Holy Grail – British humor at its best

4.) Clerks – A look into the life of working at a convenience store

3.) Scott Pilgrim vs. the World– It perfectly sums up what it’s like being in love + visual gags for days

2.) HeathersMean Girls with murder

1.) The Big Lebowski – Severed toes, bowling, and German nihilists

img_3423

35 thoughts I had while watching The Princess Bride for the first time

Everyone tells me that The Princess Bride is one of those movies you have to watch before you die. I’m not really a fantasy movie fan, but I have been putting it off for too long.

  1. This screams 1987.
  2. Is this based on a book?
  3. Were there pirates in the Renaissance?
  4. Buttercup reminds me of Bella from Twilight for some reason.
  5. Is that Lord Farquaad?
  6. Never trust men you find in the woods.
  7. I guess she had that coming.
  8. So they took her to start a war?
  9. Who fishes at night?
  10. That’s a big eel.
  11. Who climbs a rope like that?
  12. Is it supposed to be a surprise that Westley is the guy in black?
  13. If you’re going to kill someone, kill them.
  14. Why would you use your left hand if you’re right handed?
  15. How would Vizzini know that Westley knocked out Inigo?
  16. Why is she blindfolded?
  17. Are there criminals in Australia?
  18. If I was him I would have put poison in both cups.
  19. Wow, I was right! That never happens.
  20. Did he jump onto that horse?
  21. Why doesn’t Westley tell Buttercup that he’s alive?  
  22. Which set did they reuse? The Bog of Eternal Stench or Dagobah?
  23. Stop, drop, and roll!
  24. His arm healed fast.
  25. That crown seems too large for her head.
  26. Plan a party, murder your wife, and frame someone for a crime. #firstworldproblems
  27. Wouldn’t it be easier to stab him?
  28. Why would Buttercup trust him for a second?
  29. Billy Crystal ex machina?
  30. Worst guards ever.
  31. This better not end like Romeo and Juliet.
  32. How did she not notice that he was on the bed?
  33. Did he kill the six fingered man?
  34. Couldn’t they have just walked down the stairs?
  35. That’s 98 minutes I will never get back.
img_3422

Back to the Future Review

I was thinking the other day, most movies today try so hard to be grounded in reality. Sometimes I just want to sit down, and watch a movie that doesn’t take itself so seriously. Back to the Future doesn’t seem to give two hoots if it’s realistic or not. It’s just pure fun, and doesn’t care about the internet trolls.

Michael J. Fox was born to play Marty McFly. The best decision the movie made was firing Eric Stoltz, who was originally cast as McFly. Fox perfectly captures the quick-witted everyman, who is just trying to get his parents to fall in love. Who could forget Christopher Lloyd’s portrayal of Doc Brown, the mad scientist who stole Plutonium from Libyan Terrorists? Lloyd is brilliant as Doc, and it’s rightly so his most memorable role.

Let’s not forget the production hell Back to the Future had to go through. First, every major production company originally passed on the project. Then once they got started they had to recast the lead, and could only film at night due to Fox’s schedule with Family Ties. Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale are the real heroes behind the film, as they were the ones who didn’t take the production companies advice and change the script.  

After Zemeckis directed the financial success of Romancing the Stone, they approached  Steven Spielberg to be an executive producer. Spielberg agreed, and helped them find a production company and a distributor.

Name one other movie that has the lead’s mother flirt with him, and a time machine made out of a sports car. Back to the Future blends science fiction, adventure, and comedy into a screenplay that is pure gold.

What would a world without Back to the Future look like? The Delorean would just be an expensive car. The best animated show on T.V., Rick and Morty, arguably wouldn’t exist.

 

jaws

Jaws Review 

My summer vacations revolved around one thing: summer blockbusters. This year’s summer movie season is in full swing, and is filled with every kind of sequel, reboot, and spin-off imaginable. For my first review, I’m taking you back to the first summer blockbuster 1975’s, Jaws.

Based on Peter Benchley’s 1974 novel of the same name, the film follows the same plot of the book. According to Time magazine, the book was on the bestseller list for over 44 weeks and the film was already in pre-production when it was released. In my opinion, the movie is better than the book, because no one is very likable in the novel, which is probably why most of the side plots and characters are cut out.

Due to technological and budgetary reasons, Steven Spielberg (the director) had to compromise with the scenes that featured the shark. A good amount of these scenes only hinted at a shark being in the water by showing floating yellow barrels and people getting dragged in the water. My favorite of these scenes are the ones that just show the fin. This creative choice added a layer of eeriness and the film benefited from it as a whole.

One of the greatest things about Jaws is the spot-on acting from the leading men: Roy Scheider as Chief Martin Brody, Richard Dreyfuss as Hooper, and Robert Shaw as Quint. The three play off each other and capture their character’s essence. Robert Shaw’s portrayal of Quint was snubbed of an Oscar nomination, although he should have won Best Supporting Actor. One of the main differences between the book and movie is Quint’s back story. This change fleshes out the character, without it we wouldn’t have gotten his amazing speech.
Another reason why this film is so iconic is the musical score. The alternating of the legandary two notes signaled the viewer that danger was approaching.It also is the 35th quote on AFI’s top movies quotes for when Brody tells Quint “You’re gonna need a bigger boat” after seeing the massive size of the shark.

Without Jaws, we wouldn’t have other Spielberg classics such as ET, Jurassic Park {My favorite}, Indiana Jones , and Saving Private Ryan. Sure, there are better movies, but it’s the old school charm that makes Jaws what it is. It was made in a simpler time when they didn’t rely on CGI or special effects. With the combo of Star Wars and Jaws in the 1970’s, it laid the groundwork for Blockbusters today.