After unsuccessfully trying to see Logan three times, at long last the fourth try worked out. The persistence was worth it. Besides the bloodiness and the swearing (a lot of it), I loved the movie.

Here are my thoughts on the story (from irritating to good):

Plot: the plot was pretty predictable, but met my expectations of a good and entertaining story. I wasn’t wild about the idea of the artificially created mutant kids, but the concept did the trick as a set up for the rest of the story, and it made for good tension and action scenes.

Pacing: The pacing bothered me with the 2nd pinch point, 2nd plot point and climax really close together – in contrast with a lengthy first half. This seems to be pretty normal for movies though – but it would be hard to get away with that in a book (I think).

Characters (besides the antagonists): This is what I loved. (SPOILER ALERT) People always say that you can’t change people, and while that’s true, this movie was a testament to how love can change and steady people – that was beautiful. I loved the emphasis on relationships and people sticking together despite terrible circumstances, especially family.

  • Caliban, the albino character: Though weak on the outside, he was so strong. He was the home maker with the favorite mug; he was the one who cared for Professor X and made sure their household functioned; he’s the one that gave Logan reality checks. And, when faced with pain and fear, he proved the steady, self-sacrificial person.
  • Professor X was beautiful: The loss of freedom. Dealing with condescension. The loss of control. Believing in people when they no longer believe themselves. The sweet, over-indulgent grandfather figure. Reminders of what matters.
  • Laura: I had such a hard time with her, the hysterical, weirdo kid whose been through a ton. The one who longs for a dad. The one who had to take care of her parent.
  • Logan: First off, his acting was awesome, but anyone who reads this blog already knows how I feel about Hugh Jackman (does anyone not love him?). But back to the story…I loved how Logan started as a drunk, bitter loner. The taking care of older family situation so relatable. Sacrificing everything for your kids. Totally failing your kids. Totally failing. Life found in love.

Other details I liked:

  • The Lord’s prayer, the prayer around the dinner table, the cross.
  • Helping the horses
  • The kindness of the farmer family, especially the older boy
  • The crazy corn syrup machines
  • The broken coffee cup
  • Logan’s limo
  • Eden – the wooden bunks and the camp fire
  • the resourcefulness of the kids
  • Professor X’s plants

Okay, I’m late so I have to go…but that was a good story – conclusion: characters made the plot.

BTW did you cry at the end?

Belle’s yellow gown

belle's yellow dress

This afternoon, my kids, their friends and I watched the movie Beauty and the Beast, starring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens. There is much I could say about the movie, but what I want to focus on is Belle’s yellow gown. In light of the inner-beauty theme of the story, I realize this question may seem rather superficial, but please bear with me: one of the main aspects I enjoy about movies and theater are the costumes.

Why is the yellow dress important?

When Belle comes out in the dress, I think it’s symbolic of her inner beauty, just as when Beast comes out, his clothes are, in my opinion, symbolic of his newly found inner beauty. I may have just made that theory up, but that’s how I see it.

Beauty’s dress is not only iconic in and of itself, but, as I see it, it is an iconic outward expression of inner beauty: as such I wanted the dress to capture my imagination, to combine simplicity and intricacy, elegance and strength, joy and intelligence.

Background info:

Oscar winning costume designer, Jacqueline Durran, explained that “Emma was quite categorical that she didn’t want a big princess dress […]. She wanted to have something she could move in and she definitely, adamantly would not be wearing a corset.” That fits with both Emma and Belle’s character, as well as the empowered role model we want for girls: “working with Watson to design a feminist version of that iconic yellow ball gown.”

Perceptions of beauty:

Since beauty lies in the eye of the beholder, finding the dress that would please everyone is impossible. Emma and Jacqueline’s stories are different than my story and your story. Each woman’s expression of inner beauty differs. I enjoy that tension. I enjoy seeing different expressions of beauty. If you watch the movie, would love to hear what you think of her dress.

Why Ryan Gosling makes me mad!

ryan gosling on piano

Could Ryan Gosling play piano before La La Land? I guess not. Supposedly, he learned how to play his movie pieces in three months. That feels so unfair…and I’m not even a musician.

You may ask… is it really true? One of my dearest friends, a Ryan expert and piano expert, has convinced me that it is.

Don’t get me wrong, I loved the music and his playing ….Did anyone not like it?

But who cares, the bottom line is that it makes me mad that all he had to do was play for three months. So what if he practiced for several hours a day; it still only took him three months.

It makes you feel like all that growth mind set is a bunch of hog wash and that some people can just do anything…and the rest of us mortals…well, we just gotta keep working hard, put in Malcom Gladwell’s 10,000 hours, and then hope for the best.

I can’t help but wonder…if Ryan Gosling were writing my novel, how long would it take him? By now, he probably would have published eight novels…

I like the idea of 10,000 hours – it feels like a great equalizer; it seems fair. If you have what it takes to practice for 10,000 hours, then yes – you deserve the spot light….but three months…that makes me mad.

But I should have a better attitude.