I Rewatched 'Ocean’s 8' And I Have Some THOUGHTS

I Rewatched 'Ocean’s 8' And I Have Some THOUGHTS

“A 'him' gets noticed, a 'her' gets ignored. And for once, we'd like to be ignored."

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"Oceans 8" debuted back in the summer of 2018. I saw it in theaters and I only had good things to say about it. It's got a phenomenal, almost entirely female, badass cast.

I rewatched this film the other day and noticed a few things that really stuck with me. Here are a few.

Sandra Bullock, who plays Debbie Ocean, was in prison for over 5 years only to be released and take her $45 dollars to a mall. Are you following? Okay, so get this.

I don't condone shoplifting, but seeing the work of art that IS Debbie Ocean saunter into several stores and walk out with bags of things she didn't pay for was a highlight. What all women can take from this particular moment is not how to shoplift, but instead how to be confident. She carried herself with just purpose and looked phenomenal whilst doing so.

Another scene that I loved was when Debbie and Lou, Cate Blanchett's character, were reunited. The two used to work on a team together, and seeing their first few interactions on the screen made me so happy. They reminded me of me and my best friends. We tease each other, we go out to eat, we rob the MET Gala — no wait, not that last one. But you get my point.

As I previously mentioned, this cast is amazing. From Mindy Kaling, who plays Amita, to my girl Rihanna, Nine Ball, the whole film is filled with great one-liners and interactions between women from all walks of life who work together to get. ish. done.

When we're first introduced to Amita, she is working and living with her mother. Debbie finds her and asks how long it would take her to make seven pieces of jewelry if the stones were already cut to which Amita responds, "Probably five or six hours." Debbie, knowing Amita's situation, then poses the follow-up question, "How long if I told you you didn't have to live with your mother anymore?" Amita's response is priceless. "Less."

One minor problem Debbie and her right-hand lady Lou run into is right at the beginning of the film. They need a designer to demand that Daphne Kluger (Anne Hathaway), the host of the MET Gala this year, wears a very famous, very expensive heirloom diamond necklace, the Toussaint with her outfit. The whole plot of the film is the intricate planning and execution of the heist. Rose Weis, played by Helena Bonham Carter, is a rather tragic and "iconic" designer is in deep with the IRS. She needs a lot of money to pay off all of her debts. Debbie and Lou find her. She was perfect. It only takes a staged photo in the tabloids and a very jealous Daphne Kluger to see it, and the team is in.

Because the diamond is literally 6 lbs of pure gem, another essential member of the team was needed to find equipment to create a replica necklace. Who better than a suburban mom running an illegal operation out of her garage? Sarah Paulson's character, Tammy, was one of my favorite members of the squad. She loved her home life and kids, but something was missing, and she was desperate to "get back in the game."

Debbie seeks her out and Tammy is back in action. She works her way into a job as one of the coordinators for the MET Gala, being the team's eyes and ears on the inside. It is with her insight that Nine Ball can get into the system and begin to make changes to the security for the event.

The final(ish) and most #relatable member of the team is Constance, played by the talented and equally as #relatable Awkwafina. Constance is a 20-something pick-pocketer and street entertainer who has the smoothest hands like, ever. She is the one who slyly removes the necklace from Daphne's neck and plants in a mule. All of the women evade the police and are in the clear.

At the end of the film, Debbie reveals that Daphne was looped in on the rouse later on in the planning. So instead of 7 criminal ladies, there are 8, who work together and steal not only one necklace, but an entire room full of crown jewels as people run around looking for one necklace. A really complex, genius plan that all eight women needed to be a part of in order to succeed.

This film is beautiful, funny, suspenseful, and makes you feel empowered. A hacker, an ex-con, a motorcyclist, a pick-pocketer, a mom, a celebrity, a jeweler, and a designer all work together and end up millionaires.

10/10 would definitely recommend.

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The 9 Eras Of Disney Animation

The evolution of Disney animation over the years
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As a kid I always loved movies, and no movies did it quite for me like Disney movies did. Whether they were old or new, there was something about Disney movies that just spoke to me. The music the characters, the stories-- they all helped to shape some of my fondest childhood memories and are responsible for many of my interests and beliefs today. But what I always found most interesting is the history behind these films, how the time they came out influenced their themes and meanings. So today I’ll be exploring just that-- the nine eras of Disney animations.

1923-1928: The Silent Era and the Origins of Disney

The history of Disney begins with the Silent Era. In 1923, Walt Disney, working for Laugh-O-Gram studios out of Kansas City, Missouri, created a short film called Alice’s Wonderland, which would serve as the first of the Alice Comedies. After the company declared bankruptcy, Walt moved to Hollywood, where he and his brother Roy formed Disney Brothers Cartoon Studios. They worked out a deal with Winkler Productions to produce the Alice Comedies and eventually, in 1926, moved their company to Hyperion Street, where it was renamed Walt Disney Studios. After the decline of the Alice Comedies, Walt created his first ever original character, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, and produced 26 short comedies starring the character before a falling out with Charles Mintz, who had by 1928 taken over Winkler Productions. Legally, Oswald belonged to Mintz and his company, so he took the character and four of Disney’s animators and started a new animation company, Snappy Comedies.

1928-1937: Pre-Golden Age and Mickey Mouse

The Pre-Golden Age saw Walt recovering from the loss of Oswald and also set the stage for Disney as we know it today. In 1928, Walt, in collaboration with Ub Iwerks, created a new character that he originally named Mortimer Mouse. However, his wife didn’t like the name, so he renamed him Mickey (I think we can all agree this name is much better). Mickey made his first appearance in 1928 in a test screening of the short film called Plane Crazy. However, the film failed to pick up a distributor, so Walt went back to the drawing board and created Steamboat Willie, which was released in 1928. The film was an immediate success due to the fact that it was the first cartoon to feature synchronized sound and established Mickey as the mascot of Disney. After this, a series of Mickey Mouse cartoons were released. This series also saw the introduction of many Disney staple characters, such as Minnie Mouse, Pluto, and Goofy. Donald Duck, another iconic Disney character, first appeared in Disney’s Silly Symphonies, a series of animated short films that were popular for their innovative use of Technicolor. With this, Walt had successfully bounced back from the hardships of the Silent Era and set the stage for the Golden Age of Disney.

1937-1942: The Golden Age

The Golden Age of Disney began in 1937 with the release of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The film was the first full-length feature film to use traditional animation and was an immediate commercial success, establishing Disney as one of the leaders of animated filmmaking. Other films that were released during this time include Pinocchio, Fantasia, Dumbo, and Bambi. Although all of these films would go on to become considered classics, at the time of their release only Snow White and Dumbo were commercially successful. What made this time considered the Golden Age wasn’t the commercial success of these films though, but rather the trends they created in terms of Disney filmmaking. Snow White was the first of the fairytale-based movies that Disney is known for and established the “Disney Princesses,” Pinocchio started the concept of taking well-known literature and turning it into a child-friendly film and Bambi explored the possibilities of making a movie through the eyes of a non-human character. Other Disney staples such as exaggerated villains, the use of music and prominent, comedic sidekicks were first introduced during this time as well. Another key characteristic of the films of this time was the inclusion of many dark scenes, which were usually sandwiched between upbeat and light scenes in order to create a mood shift. A similar, toned down version of this techniques would also be used in later films.

1943-1949: The Wartime Era

With the U.S.’s entry into World War II, Disney Studios faced lower budgets and a smaller team of animators as it entered the Wartime Era. Also known as the Package Era, the films of this time included Saludos Amigos, The Three Caballeros, Make Mine Music, Fun and Fancy Free, Melody Time, and The Adventures of Icabod and Mr. Toad. What made these films distinct from the Golden Age films is that instead of telling a single, continuous story, these films consisted of multiple short films within each. These films are largely ignored and widely unpopular, with fans criticizing them due to their lack of consistency and tone in each short. The Wartime Era also Disney Studios producing wartime propaganda, which included anti-Nazi commercials and flyers encouraging Americans to support the war.

1950-1967: The Silver Age and the Death of Walt Disney

Disney’s Silver Age, also known as the Restoration Age saw the return of many of the trends set forth by the Golden Age of Disney. Films released during this time include Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, Lady and the Tramp, Sleeping Beauty, One Hundred and One Dalmatians, The Sword in the Stone, and The Jungle Book. What made these films distinct from its predecessors was the use of more ornate backgrounds and softer colors. Furthermore, the Silver Age also saw the use of lighter themes balanced with more complex characters, creating many of the well-known characters that are still considered fan-favorites today. The Jungle Book was the last film that Walt himself worked on before his death in 1966, and the movie’s release marked the end of the Silver Age

1970-1988: The Dark Age and the Decline of Disney

Hope you guys have a flashlight ‘cos we’re about to enter a dark place, or rather a dark age (see what I did there?). The Dark Age of Disney, also known as the Bronze Age, saw Disney Studios struggle to find their footing without Walt there to hold the reins. This was a time of trial-and-error in which the animators shied away from traditional storytelling tropes seen in the Golden and Silver Ages and instead shifted toward darker and more secular stories. Films released during this time include The Aristocats, Robin Hood, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, The Rescuers, The Fox and the Hound, The Black Cauldron, The Great Mouse Detective, and Oliver and Company. With the exception of The Great Mouse Detective, which was both critically and commercially successful, most of these films only received little success, with The Black Cauldron being a box office flop. These films lacked Walt’s imagination and were criticized for only being intended to bring in money. The greatest criticism of these films was their departure from traditional animation and their use xerography. This saved both time and money, allowing animators to directly print their drawings onto cells. However, this process did have its limits and initially only black lines were possible using this method. As a result, films during this era are known as “Scratchy Films” because of the heavy black lines in their animation. While these films weren’t initially successful upon release, many have gone on to become cult classics. Also, the Disney Dark Age helped set the foundation for the pinnacle of Disney animation

1989-199: The Disney Renaissance and Birth of the Millennials

If you’re a millennial like me, then most of your favorite Disney moments and films likely come from the Disney Renaissance. The Disney Renaissance saw a return to the musical fairy-tale storytelling seen in the Golden and Silver Age while at the same time expanding on many of the themes and techniques introduced in the Bronze Age. Films released during this time include The Little Mermaid, The Rescuers Down Under, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Lion King, Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Hercules, Mulan, and Tarzan. These films were also the first films that Howard Ashman and Alan Menken worked on, both of whom are key elements to Disney’s musical success. The films during this time also had many important themes that would influence the current views of millennials; Beauty and the Beast and The Hunchback of Notre Dame taught us not to judge people by their appearances; Mulan and Hercules taught us the importance of making sacrifices; and Aladdin taught us that there’s nothing wrong with being ourselves and that the circumstances of our birth don’t have to dictate who we grow up to be.

2000-2009: Post-Renaissance Era

Also known as the Second Dark Age, the Post-Renaissance Era was unique in that whereas previous eras were marked with having a common theme about them, this era was defined as a time in which Disney tried their hands at new methods in storytelling, similar to the Bronze Age. Films from this time include Fantasia 2000, Dinosaur, The Emperor's New Groove, Atlantis: The Lost Empire, Lilo and Stitch, Treasure Planet, Brother Bear, Home on the Range, Chicken Little, Meet the Robinsons, and Bolt. These films explored new storytelling elements marketed towards kids and more mature themes marketed towards the kids that had grown up during the Disney Renaissance that were now teenagers and young adults. While Lilo and Stitch was a commercial success, spawning several sequels and a T.V. show, most of the other films released during this time only received moderate success. This was in part due to the fact that they also had to contend with huge movie franchises like Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings. Despite not doing as well as their predecessors, the films released during the Second Dark Age are well known for their innovation. Dinosaur was the first Disney film that used CGI animation, which would become a popular element of this era’s successor.

2010-present: Marvel, Star Wars, and the Second Disney Renaissance

Just as a Renaissance followed the first Disney Dark Age, a Second Disney Renaissance followed this Second Dark Age. Also known as the Revival Era, this era marked a return to the fairy-tale storytelling seen in the Gold and Silver Ages as well as the first Disney Renaissance. During this time, Disney bought the rights to Marvel and Lucasfilm, meaning they no longer had to worry about trying to market their films toward older audiences since the MCU and Star Wars did that for them. Films released during this time include Princess and the Frog, Tangled, Winnie the Pooh, Wreck it Ralph, Frozen, and Big Hero 6. Like the first Disney Renaissance, the Second Disney Renaissance built off several things introduced by its predecessor. Tangled, for example, used the CGI techniques first used by Dinosaur. Most of the films of this era have been met with great popularity, with Frozen being the highest grossing animated film of all time and Big Hero 6 being the highest audience-rated film of this time period.

And there you have it, the nine eras of Disney animations. I hope you guys enjoyed reading about the history of Disney and its growth through the years. I personally loved writing this article and look forward to writing more like this one.

Cover Image Credit: Travel and Leisure

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'The Favourite' Is As Good As They Come

"The Favourite" features some beautiful camerawork and cinematography, superb costumes, excellent acting, and a top-notch script.

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One of my favorite films of last year was "Phantom Thread" which was an illustration of a manic dressmaker's love in post-war London. While "The Favourite" occurs much earlier and around much different circumstances, the film brings about a similar essence that is in a word, superb.

THE FAVOURITE Official Trailer #2 (2018) Emma Stone, Rachel Weisz Movie HD YouTube

"The Favourite" is incredibly hard to explain without giving away major plot details, so I'll only give a brief explanation of what surrounds the film. After a poor and distraught Abigail (Emma Stone) seeks refuge in the kingdom of the current Queen of England Anne, a lot ends up coming her way including politics, war, love triangles, and a violent fight for power.

Emma Stone gives one of her best performances of her career, proving that she can act not just as a sweet and endearing lady, but also as a stone cold viper. It's definitely a new kind of acting for Stone, and she just nailed it as usual.

Rachel Weisz is also quite excellent, doing the exact same things Emma Stone does in her acting. Almost every character in this film is two-faced and it's portrayed with unexpected ease that makes the film entirely more interesting to watch.

With that being said, one of the most noticeable parts of "The Favourite" is how each character changes so drastically in a matter of minutes. Minor characters change rather quickly while the more major characters use the entire film to take a much different persona than we are introduced to. I for one love when we see huge changes in characters over the course of any art because I feel it more teaches us about the different personalities and feelings people can develop over time, or that they held them initially, to begin with, and I find that to be a huge theme of "The Favourite."

Another aspect of the film that I adore is that of the soundtrack. There's not really an original score to this film, but rather a collection of classical songs that fit the scene beautiful. I can't get Vivaldi's Viola d'amore Concerto out of my head, as it rings through the film from start to finish. It's tone and emotion fit the film perfectly, and the choice to include it was genius.

My only reservation is that I wish the film were longer! It was so excellent that I wanted more from this world, and I specifically wanted more closure on the ending that was truly shocking and unbelievable. I simply just wanted more closure.

With that being set aside, "The Favourite" is as complete a film as it can get. It features some beautiful camerawork and cinematography, superb costumes, excellent acting, and a top-notch script. This film is shocking and engaging from start to finish and you won't regret giving it a watch on your next theatre visit.

Final Score: 9.9/10

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