Showing posts with label Cinema. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cinema. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

{Now Playing} Is @JoyMangano a Cicada? I ended my year with JOY, @JoyTheMovie that is! #JoyMovie #Movies #Cinema

The last movie I got to see in 2015 was a SAG Screening for JOY The Movie, so I like to say I ended my year with JOY!

Happy New Year Butterflies! While I did post to social over New Year's Eve, this is my first official Blog Post of 2016. And being the Ascending Butterfly that I am, I wanted to start with something inspirational that focuses on an Entrepreneur whose products are probably already in your home.

Joy (the Movie) which was released on Christmas day, is based on the true story of Joy Mangano, the Miracle Mop Inventor and entrepreneur.

The weird question I open this post with - Is Joy Mangano a Cicada? - is actually based on one of the most poignant moments in the movie. In the scene, Joy is reading to her daughter about Cicada's, which live and mature underground anywhere from 13 - 17 years in total before they emerge. - She painfully realizes that is exactly how she feels and where her life is at. (This butterfly can certainly relate to sometimes feeling like I am still very much trapped in the cocoon and ready to bust out!)

At this point in her life, her ex-husband is still living in her home, her mother who was an almost recluse hiding from life in her bedroom since her husband left her, Joy's children and then her philandering Father who comes back to home to live with her (brought to her door by the mistress he left his wife/her mother for by the way) and her job opts to change her shift to nights as they are making 'cut backs' - needless to say at this point she is under a tremendous amount of pressure. That kind of intense pressure and *ish* that makes you re-think every choice you've ever made, wonder where are you going and how much longer you can go on with circumstances the way they are. You know, 'the little stuff''.


JOY is the wild story of a family across four generations centered on the girl who becomes the woman who founds a business dynasty and becomes a matriarch in her own right. Betrayal, treachery, the loss of innocence and the scars of love, pave the road in this intense emotional and human comedy about becoming a true boss of family and enterprise facing a world of unforgiving commerce. Allies become adversaries and adversaries become allies, both inside and outside the family, as Joy's inner life and fierce imagination carry her through the storm she faces. Jennifer Lawrence stars, with Robert De Niro, Bradley Cooper, Edgar Ramirez, Isabella Rossellini, Diane Ladd, Virginia Madsen, Elisabeth Rohm and Dascha Palanco. Like David O. Russell's previous films, JOY defies genre to tell a story of family, loyalty and love.

"I want you to remember something, because a lot of times people get nice things and they start to think differently, we got here from hard work, patience and humility, so I want to tell you, Don't ever think that the world owes you anything, because it doesn't. The world doesn't owe you a thing." ~ Joy Mangano, JOY The Movie



I am curious as to why this bio-pic was released while the real subject is still very much alive and well. Bio-pics are tricky enough when the subject has passed, nevertheless when they are still alive.

It is not the most flattering depiction of her family that's for sure with a few exceptions - her grandmother (played by Diane Ladd), and surprisingly her ex-husband (played by Edgar Ramirez) prove to be her truest allies as well as Neil Walker of QVC who gave Joy her first shot in the home shopping television retail experience (played by Bradley Cooper) . But her mom (played by Virginia Madsen), dad (played by Robert De Niro), half sister (played by Elizabeth Rohm) and Dad's Girlfriend (played by Isabella Rossellini) were more of a hindrance than a help and there is one scene in particular that made me want to smack her Dad AND his girlfriend;s teeth out their face! (So I guess they were playing the part quite well! LOL)

A surprise stand-out was Melissa Rivers who played her mom Joan in the QVC scenes, it was so spot on it was almost eerie! And I have no doubt her mom would be proud.

But while the story was compelling, I am sad to say that I don't feel this was Jennifer Lawrence's best work. You would think 'Katniss' could pull off playing a strong woman who overcomes the odds against her to build her own empire (I mean really right, sound familiar?), but she doesn't. Jennifer didn't do the role any justice in my opinion. It felt like she was 'walking through it' and I wasn't quite sure if it just didn't resonate with her, but she kind of has this vapid, valley of the dolls type of expression on her face most of the movie that didn't really fit what was happening to the character. Joy went through some deep lows to get to her ultimate high, a high that from what we see at the end is a bit bittersweet, and Jennifer just didn't convey what was happening in a way that hit home.

As this is a bio-pic, even in my 'pro film critic' days (have I mentioned how that was one of my favorite times ever as a professional writer?), I can't comfortably give a review on this movie - this isn't a ticket or skip it type of movie - this is a true story that is still un-folding, I can only comment on the acting and how the family on the whole is portrayed in the film. I wish Jennifer would have put the life she puts into her performances in the Hunger Games movie franchise into this movie. Katniss isn't real, Joy Mangano is - and in many ways she is just as tough as Katniss - but Jennifer just doesn't give you that.

The movie is an inspiration to all entrepreneurs, Joy overcomes tremendous odds - both from the outside world and her inner own circle and fights hard to achieve her success. And even in the face of financial ruin, picks herself up and goes to bat again, while the movie was released over Christmas it is such an empowering story that it's perfect to catch this first week of the New Year when you are pumped up, armed with your list of goals and resolutions and raring to go! (I may be singing along to Mary Mary's Go Get Your Blessing Right Now!)

What female entrepreneur do you most admire and why? Do you own a Joy Mangano Product? (I love her huggable hangers and I haven't yet tried the Miracle Mop but I would like to!)

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FTC Disclosure:  This is NOT a compensated/sponsored Post, All opinions are 100% my own! Advanced/Press Screening Passes Provided for Editorial Consideration. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 16 CFR, Part 255 - Guides Concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising, you may check our Giveaway and Disclosure Page for additional information regarding Ascending Butterfly Disclosure.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Top 3 lessons I took away from @DeliverFromEvil #SinisterSunday #HorrorMovie #CableTVCouchCritic

"Deliver Us from Evil (2014 film) poster" distributed by Screen Gems
"Deliver Us from Evil (2014 film) poster" distributed by Screen Gems

I am a horror movie buff. I have been since I was a kid. I would slip Fangoria Magazine into my text books when classes weren't challenging me enough. And about the only thing I ever really got into trouble for as a kid was watching The Exorcist when I wasn't supposed to.

For those of you on Optimum, the Starz Channel switched their new movies to Friday Nights, and this Friday they were giving a movie I really wanted to see in the theaters but missed, Deliver Us From Evil. The movie is supposed to be based on the book 'Beware the Night' by Ralph Sarchie and Lisa Collier Cool. The movie is marketed as being based on the book, but it turns out that it actually features a completely original plot and is not based on the cases recounted in the book by New York cop, Ralph Sarchie - portrayed by Eric Bana in the movie.

My Top Three Takeaways from this Movie are:

(1) It's hard enough for single ladies as it is, but ladies we now need to add this question to the list we ask prospects "Do you (or anyone in your bloodline) have any supernatural gifts I should be aware of?" - If you see the movie you will understand exactly why I am adding this list to my questions I ask prospects.....And Guys, yes you should ask this question too! - Sometimes people carry 'spiritual' baggage they aren't even aware about. SCARY SHIT!!!!

(2) I need to leave the Bronx as soon as possible. Just saying. (I may also be avoiding the Bronx Zoo from now on because of this flick!)

(3) Do not buy children stuffed toys. They end up being creepy and scary - and if you hear something under the bed, never investigate, RUN!

Below is the Official Trailer: (Flip the lights on if you need to while watching the trailer!)

My Take:

Now that I know that the movie created an original script and did not really base itself off the book I want to read the book and find out just how much creepier the real life cases that were investigated really were.  Although maybe I don't want to hear about all the supernatural shit that Detective Sarchie and the Castillan Priest encountered in the Bronx until I move away from here!

The lead role was actually supposed to be played by Mark Wahlburg, no offense Mark but I am glad it went to Eric instead!

Are you a horror fan butterfly? Did you see Deliver Us From Evil? If so what did YOU think about it?

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FTC Disclosure: This is NOT a sponsored post, all opinions are 100% my own!  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 16 CFR, Part 255 - Guides Concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising, you may check our Giveaway and Disclosure Page for additional information regarding Ascending Butterfly Disclosure.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Wanna wish Stephen Hawking a Happy Birthday? Then Go See @FocusFeatures #TheTheoryOfEverything

The Theory of Everything Theatrical Movie Poster

On January 8, 1942 (73 years ago) Stephen Hawking was born, and with it being the famed physicist's birthday, I thought it would be the perfect day to post about Focus Feature's The Theory of Everything which is a British Biographical Romantic Drama directed by James Marsh and adapted by Anthony McCarten from the memoir Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen by Jane Wilde Hawking.

The movie stars Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones (who portray Stephen and Jane), the movie outlines how the two met at Cambridge University in the 60's and chronicles their relationship and lives.

Eddie and Felicity offer a spot on performance and it is uncanny just how much they resemble the real Stephen and Jane, take a look at this photo:

Stephen and Jane Hawking, Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones
Left: The Real Stephen and Jane Hawking, Right: Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones!
I got to attend a fun Advanced Screening with Q&A that was hosted by The Moms that was followed by a question and answer with Felicity Jones!

Now I am the first to tell you guys that I am normally not a big romance movie person, but this one is compelling, well cast, and the performances couldn't have been more spot on! I understand that it took almost 3 years to convince Jane Hawking to agree to a film adaptation, and I hope she agrees that the performances did her memoir justice. The sheer difficulty of the physicality of the role should certainly win Redmayne some kind of award in my book! The voice you hear in the latter part of the movie is Stephen's real voice.

The Moms and Felicity Jones, #JonesMamarazzi

Here is a video of the Q&A:

My Take:

This is as real life as it gets, life gets messy, it has it's ups and downs and this is a romantic drama that really hit the mark for me.

Have you already seen The Theory of Everything? What did you think of it?

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FTC Disclosure: This is NOT a compensated post, it is an event recap. This is NOT a sponsored post and all opinions are 100% my own!  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 16 CFR, Part 255 - Guides Concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising, you may check our Giveaway and Disclosure Page for additional information regarding Ascending Butterfly Disclosure.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Check out @CantinflasMovie - in theaters NOW! #Cantinflas


If the name Mario Fortino Alfonso Moreno Reyes doesn't ring a bell perhaps Cantinflas does? The Mexican comic film actor, producer and screenwriter was best known for his portrayal of Cantinflas part campesino (peasant), with a quick tongue that poked fun at the pretentious and powerful and a wicked sense of comedic timing. Dubbed as the "Charlie Chaplin of Mexico", his claim to fame in the US Market came when he co-starred with David Niven in the 1956 film Around the World in 80 Days which garnered him a Golden Globe.

While the role of Cantinflas became intrinsically enmeshed with his own identity, Mario Moreno was also a business leader who became involved in Mexico's labor politics, and was known for his work in the early struggle against the one-party government's practice of controlling unions. He was also a philantropist who was said to have donated half of his earnings to charity.

First and foremost I have to share that Óscar Jaenada does an amazing and incredibly respectful job in his portrayal of both Cantinflas the character and Mario the man. Despite how inseparable they may have been to others, there are so many nuances to playing someone so dynamic and Óscar really does do an amazing job.

Real Cantiflas vs Oscar Jaenada Collage

As you can see from the collage above, he truly nails the look! And when you see the movie it's a pleasant surprise just how well he nails the man and the character that is Cantinflas.


Cantinflas is the untold story of Mexico's greatest and most beloved comedy film star of all time. From his humble origins on the small stage to the bright light of Hollywood. Mexican icon, Mario Moreno, "Cantinflas" as seen through producer Michael Todd's (played by Michael Imperioli) eyes, getting a glimpse of their collaboration on the 1957 film, "Around the World in 80 Days", winning 5 Oscars and 2 Golden Globes, and turning into the top grossing film of their time. Cantinflas tells the story of a man who got his start in Mexico's equivalent of the Vaudeville theater, his talent and humor traveling the world over.

En Español: La vida de Mario Moreno "Cantinflas" se presenta bajo la mirada del productor Michael Todd con quién colabora en el filme "La vuelta al mundo en 80 días" en 1957 ganando el Globo de Oro y el Oscar respectivamente, además de covertirla en la pelicula mas taquillera de su época. CANTINFLAS cuenta la historia de un mexicano que comenzando su carrrera en una pequeña carpa arrabal, logra llevar su talento cultura y sentido del humor al mundo entero.


The movie represents the timeless struggle for authenticity and success which makes it relatable to today's audience who may not necessarily understand the character of Cantinflas or his body of work. As a Latina I personally want to see this film succeed. I want our Latino Youth to see more than Hollywood's typical Drug Dealer offering, I want our Youth to know that you can be authentic and pursue your dreams. I want young Latinos to be able to see a face they relate to on the big screen. One that is taking those ganas, and doing something positive to better both himself and society at large.

I just wish that the real Mario had fallen in love with a Latina, I am tired of our men's idea of success being a white woman on their arm. You can't tell me that that one sassy, confident and beautiful Latina didn't cross his path? But I digress. In life Mario Moreno fell in love with a Russian Woman, and their love story is also played out in the film. And I just have to say it but I hated the casting albeit for the brief moment he appeared of Yul Brynner for the Golden Globes scene, again, that is just my personal choice and opinion (and a total aside)! On another aside I wish they had left out the scene that alluded to an affair/transgression, it didn't add anything in my opinion and as someone who is familiar with the character of Cantinflas I thought it totally un-necessary. (Perhaps I will have to tap into my inner screenwriter and bring a Latino Character to the screen who isn't selling drugs, having affairs and actually falls in love with a Latina!)

Get social with Cantinflas on both Facebook and Twitter, and be sure to use the hashtag #Cantinflas so we can all follow in the conversation. If you are looking for a way to beat the heat this last weekend of summer and take in a movie, you know which one I am recommending!

Butterflies once you have seen the movie, come back here and let us know what you think of it. Happy Labor Day Weekend to all!

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FTC DisclosureThis is NOT a sponsored post, no monetary compensation has been received. Screening Passes were provided to Ascending Butterfly for Editorial Consideration. As always, all opinions are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 16 CFR, Part 255 - Guides Concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising, you may check our Giveaway and Disclosure Page for additional information regarding Ascending Butterfly Disclosure.