Quickie Reviews


So remember when I was all pumped about the Oscar nominations? Well, the Academy Awards are just a few days away, and I’ve barely been talking about movies here (or blogging for that matter)! I have caught up on a few movies, including two Best Picture nominees and… one romantic-comedy starring a future Best Actress winner.

Inception (2010)

Quick Stats: Written and directed by Christopher Nolan. Nominated for 8 Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay.

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, and Marion Cotillard.

Plot: A group of corporate spies, led by DiCaprio, attempt an almost impossible task: planting an idea into a target’s subconscious, or “inception”.

Verdict: I actually liked this movie a lot more than I expected to. Even though Inception was one of this summer’s biggest blockbusters, I put off seeing it, partly because I am not a fan of Nolan’s work (and yes, including his Batman films). I’m also not really a fan of sci-fi and whatnot, but the story is really interesting, so it captured my attention. Luckily, I watched it on DVD who had already seen the movie multiple times, so I was able to ask lots of questions when I got confused. It didn’t “blow my mind” like I expected, but it’s a “must-watch” based on technical and visual achievement alone.

The Social Network (2010)

Quick Stats: Written by Aaron Sorkin, directed by David Fincher, based on the book The Accidental Billionaires. Nominated for 8 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay.

Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake, and Armie Hammer.

Plot: The Social Network tells the inside story behind the founding of Facebook, and its aftermath.

Verdict: This movie is very well-done, but I didn’t necessarily find it enjoyable, yet I don’t have anything bad to say about it. The script is smart and fast-paced, and the acting is generally solid. I guess there was something about the editing and pacing (I found it to drag at times) that turned me off from it. Now that I think about it though, it was hard to connect with the characters – all them were really unlikable, except maybe Esteban (Garfield). A little disappointing overall, but it’s not a bad movie.

No Strings Attached (2011)

Starring: Ashton Kutcher, Natalie Portman

Plot: Um, it’s a romantic comedy… about two friends having casual sex… who fall for each other. Yeah, none of this has to be explained.

Verdict: This movie was actually really entertaining, though I think it’s mostly because of the charm of the two leads, and their supporting cast. I never have anything bad to say about Natalie Portman, and it was fun seeing her play such a mainstream role. She was pretty convincing. My main criticism, besides the typical rom-com predictability, was the uneven tone. No Strings Attached was trying too hard to be both raunchy and sweet, and it was a weird combo. It’s a fun movie to see with your girlfriends though.

Have you seen any of these movies? What did you think?

~ Sarah

“I’m Pro-Honesty Here”

Tumblr_ladyqolwky1qcgdc1o1_400_largePhoto Credit

It’s a new year and all, and I for one am having trouble getting back into the swing of things. Not just in terms of blogging (at least my Google Reader is under control), but I’m just feeling a general sense of… dishevelment. Yes, I guess that’s a fitting word. Part of this is that I’m still home on break- not that I’m complaining, but it just doesn’t feel like 2011 hasn’t started because the semester hasn’t. And then I suppose the fact that I’ve been all over the state of Florida this break, but not “home” home, has contributed to my unsettled feelings. Boo.

Then, there’s the added pressure of figuring out my summer plans. Yes, it’s only January, but I know a handful of people who already have their plans all sorted out. Ideally, I’ll be staying in New York and possibly interning. Now here’s the dilemma (aside from whole budgeting a summer away from home, but that’s an entirely different story); what sort of internship should I pursue? I’ve only known I wanted pursue journalism since… well, I guess this is actually the first time I’m publicly stating it. And while my mother always told me I should be a writer, that never became a remote possibility until my junior year of high school. Even now, I’m not sure I should aim for straight up journalism (whatever that entails nowadays) or broadcast, but I’m working on my skills for both. Okay, those rambles may have been irrelevant.

So, dear readers, if you’re still with me, the point is that I don’t know if I would like to be involved with lifestyle/fashion journalism or sports journalism? The last few weeks or so, I feel like this blog has leaned towards the former. And I guess I have somewhat more experience writing about those topics. Starting this semester, I’m going to be an assistant editor for my college paper’s Culture section (an Arts & Entertainment/Features hybrid) and I’m going to be one of the campus correspondents for Her Campus Fordham, which is relaunching next month. I’m really excited about all these new opportunities! Still, I’m really passionate about sports. If you follow me on Twitter, you know half of what I tweet is sports-related. But I’ve only dipped my toes in the field. I’m psyching myself out because I keep thinking that if I choose one over the other this summer, only to change my mind, l’ll be at a disadvantage in the future.

In a perfect word, my career trajectory would be remarkably similar to Robin Roberts‘. Dream big, right?

Anyway, you’re probably wondering where that leaves me and why I’m even blogging about this. Well this tug-o-war in my head has left me at a loss as to what to blog about! I know I’m lacking inspiration, but in general I just don’t know what direction to take here. I know it’s up to me, but I want to create content that you, my readers (whoever you are), enjoy reading. Isn’t that part of the point? So I would really appreciate if you guys answered my poll and gave me just a bit of insight!

Also, if you have any advice at all as to what I should do with myself, please share!! You can also e-mail me at shades.of.sarah.blog@gmail.com. Thanks, readers!

~ Sarah

Strawberry Fields Forever

Strawberry Fields, Central Park | Shades of Sarah
Strawberry Fields, Central Park | Shades of Sarah
Strawberry Fields, Central Park | Shades of Sarah
Strawberry Fields, Central Park | Shades of Sarah
Strawberry Fields, Central Park | Shades of Sarah
Strawberry Fields, Central Park | Shades of Sarah
Strawberry Fields, Central Park | Shades of Sarah

I circled December 8, 2010 on my calendar back this summer. The day marked the 30th anniversary of the death of Beatles’ great John Lennon, and I was going to make sure to visit the Strawberry Fields Memorial in Central Park that day. Thirty years ago, my dad went to the park with my grandfather, along with countless others, to honor. There was a nice symmetry to that, knowing I would be there this year.

That Wednesday, a day most Fordham students don’t have classes, my friend and I headed to Central Park West. We’re both huge Beatles fans, and I was really excited to see the memorial for the first time. There must have been hundreds of people surrounding the “Imagine” mosaic, including plenty of journalists. After patiently waiting, we finally got close enough to see it. It was around noon, and mementos already covered the memorial: flowers, candles, apples, bracelets, a shirt, and yes, a Yankees cap. It showed how much the city embraced John Lennon: this Englishman became a New Yorker.

There were people from all walks of life at the park. The crowd was melancholy, but there was also something celebratory about the day. Lennon would have turned 70 this year, and the older people were happy to reminisce about the time when the Beatles ruled the world. Young children were there with parents and grandparents. There were guitar players in the crowd too, and people sang along with some popular songs. Not only did we not do the songs justice, but we weren’t even able to agree on songs — groups of people would start singing “Imagine” and then another group would start “Come Together.” We did sing “Happy Christmas,” which was very fitting. It was imperfectly perfect.

~ Sarah