- Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation. I don’t have much history with the Mission: Impossible franchise, and maybe that’s why this movie didn’t charm me. It looked like a mildly overdone action plot with boring white male heroes. I probably would have snoozed in the theater if I wasn’t regretting my movie ticket so much.
- Spirited Away + Howl’s Moving Castle + My Neighbor Totoro. I rewatched my two favorite Miyazaki films with the boyfriend, who hadn’t seen them yet. It’s always refreshing to watch them again and again in different times of my life and still feel the same way. I actually appreciate it a bit more each time. It was both our first time watching Totoro and, while it was cute, it was also kind of weird.
- What If? I played this movie at random one of our movie nights, and it is now one of our favorite rom-coms. As he put it, “This movie needs soap in its mouth.” True, the dialogue was snappy and funny and smart, and Zoe Kazan is always a beauty. She’s the main reason I wanted to watch the movie, anyway.
- Inside Out. Instant classic in my book. Any story that expertly deals with feelings, specifically sadness, is a story for me. The writing was smart and compassionate but subtle, and the animation was perfect. I’m curious how the movie appeals to kids who haven’t wrestled with their feelings as extensively yet.
TV Series lately:
- Sense8 (S01). As soon as I learned this show was about empaths (in a way), I was set on watching it. The first half of the season was confusing and draggy — which is expected when you have eight very diverse main characters — but when it got better it really got better. There’s a different kind of attachment for each character, but my absolute favorite must be Sun Bak (played by Doona Bae). They seem to be confirmed for a second season, which is the best news to reach me all weekend.
- The 100 (S01). I heard of this show from Tumblr and decided to give it a shot one night; so far it’s just above average for me. The plot keeps up with the action pretty well, and the characters are interesting enough. I’m one episode into the second season, and I’m starting to dislike Clarke (played by Eliza Taylor) and her Princess-Savior complex nonsense.
- On The Wings Of Love. Stop judging meee. #JaDine
Books lately (huhu!):
Sad confession: the last time I finished a book was in July. Colleen Hoover’s Hopeless on July 28 and Hannah Brencher’s If You Find This Letter on July 29. Besides August being a pretty unmotivated month, I seemed to be picking the wrong books to start.
- Queen of Tearling, Erika Johansen. Better known in media as a soon-to-be-film starring Emma Watson (though there have been no developments after that), and sometimes described as “Game of Thrones for girls!” (which is stupid because GOT for girls is GOT. Tsk). It’s not working for me because the writing is drab and seems to be struggling with itself. The protagonist is also incredibly boring, and I cannot see Emma Watson portraying her at all. Cannot finish.
- Empath, H. K. Savage. I found this one because of its very obvious theme: empathy as a gift or ability. It was promising too. It talked about different types of empathy, and will probably discuss coping methods later on in the story. There are just a few things I can’t stand. The protagonist is annoying, and has very confused judgment. How did she get through her whole life until college without knowing how to control her empathy? She knows what makes it stronger, but she never figured out how to block it out? I’m not sure if it’s just my copy but this book also needs some five rounds of editing. Cannot finish. I cannot.
September welcomes the return of two things: my TV shows, and my annual trip to the Manila International Book Fair. Attending the MIBF is a personal tradition I’ve kept for 5 years straight, with the dates booked in my calendars as soon as they’re announced. It’s enough to make September 10x happier than August in my planner.
Events to look forward to:
- Tagaytay Art Beat. Sat, September 19, 4PM. Museo Orlina, Tagaytay. Event page.
- Manila International Book Fair. Wed-Sun, September 16-20. SMX Convention Center, Pasay. Event page.
Films to look forward to:
- Trainwreck. I want to watch this so I can figure out my relationship with Amy Schumer once and for all. I couldn’t bite down the humor of Inside Amy’s pilot, but I think I love Amy Schumer in real life.
- Princess Mononoke. This is next on our Miyazaki to-watch list, but for some reason I keep postponing it. What other Miyazaki films are good for movie nights?
TV series to look forward to:
- The 100 (S02). Like I said, Clarke’s starting to really annoy me so I hope she doesn’t take up all the space in Season 2. I would rather see more of anyone else — Octavia, Raven, Bellamy, Jasper — than Clarke. Even Anya of the grounders seems more interesting than Clarke.
- HTGAWM (S02). Returns September 24 and I am excited to see Annalise kick ass again. I haven’t decided how I feel about Rebecca’s death in the last episode, or about how it potentially drives the next season’s plot. I really want to see more of Laurel explored, while I want a lot less of Asher until he disappears.
- OUAT (S05). The Dark Swan is the biggest plot twist ever somehow, but it’s cool how it still sticks to the main philosophical question “What is good and evil?” Okay that’s borderline reading-too-much-into-it, but with all the story-flipping they do it’s kind of hard to ignore! Villains regularly try to “become good,” and after watching their sob stories, we believe they all have it in them. And that the heroes have it in them to become evil too. (I’m looking at you, Snow and Charming.) I hope the new season doesn’t lose its sense to its story again. Returns September 27! More Captain Swan please.
Books to buy at MIBF:
- Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki & His Years of Pilgrimage, Haruki Murakami*
- Better Than Before, Gretchen Rubin*
- The Empathy Exams, Leslie Jamison*
- Go Set A Watchman, Harper Lee
- My Heart & Other Black Holes, Jasmine Warga
- The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake, Aimee Bender