Reading List: The Martian

I just finished reading The Martian by Andy Weir. It's a book about an astronaut, Mark Watney, who gets stranded on Mars after a storm forces the rest of his team to evacuate. They, and everyone on Earth, believes he died in the storm. But he didn't. Watney goes through enormous trials to survive and to contact NASA; we're shown his ingenuity and creativity in his fight for survival. He's a botanist and a mechanical engineer, so his skills are fairly well suited to his predicament.

The book is heavy on science, but it's not a hard read. And Watney has a sense of humor that helps him stay sane through his ordeal, so the reader is entertained by little comments Warney has about his situation and how he reacts to things. I loved reading about Watney, and I wish that there was more to the book. I didn't want it to end!

The book has been made into a movie, currently in theaters. I've heard good things about the movie, though I have not been to see it yet.

The movie trailer is below.


Have you read the book? What did you think?

A Fun Thing for Long Distance Relationships

My best friend E. moved across the country for grad school. I'm immensely proud of her but I miss her and it's only been a week. However, a couple of months ago I heard about, a website where you can video chat and watch movies or television with friends online. You can chat with up to 15 people and can watch Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, and more! It's great for long-distance relationships or even collaborating for work.

So after she moved away, we tried it.

Rabbit is still in beta mode, and we had about half-an-hour's worth of trouble getting it started, but once we had everything working, it was great! We watched Zoolander on Netflix and I got to see her face and hear her voice while we were watching it together 2,500 miles apart.

We ended up getting it to work when we were both in the chat/video room in Google Chrome. I had trouble with my mic at first, but the mic worked in Skype. Then I couldn't see her, but eventually we both ended up in Chrome and everything was working. I don't know if you'll also have to be in Chrome to make it work for you or if that's just how it happened to work for us, but if you use it, you may have to play around with it.

The only thing I wish I could do would be to make the video full screen and still be able to see the person or people I'm chatting with as a little bubble in the corner, but I couldn't find a way to make that work. It's a minor thing but I'd rather her bubble block part of the screen than have both be pretty small.

She and I have plans to watch a television show later this week. I'm excited to do this with her; it's a fun way to stay in contact and keep ourselves watching our favorite shows and movies together. It's the next best thing to watching something together in the same room and this way, we don't have to click play or pause at the same time, the website takes care of that for us.

Have you tried Rabbit or a similar service? What have you thought?

Movie Review: Furious Seven

A tradition that my best friend and I have is seeing the Fast and Furious movies in theaters. So the day after it came out we went to an early showing. Now, if you've seen the last couple of movies, you know to expect outrageous stunts that may or may not make you laugh. But they are entertaining. This one was no exception. The trailer shows the team parachuting themselves in their cars out of an airplane and onto a mountain road.


The movie is entertaining and worth seeing.

Spoilers Ahead:

The movie is filled with over-the-top moments like that, fast cars, and action scenes. The main theme of the movie seemed to be to prove wrong the fact that "cars don't fly." Which they showed in numerous, ridiculous, ways.

Some of the camera-work was pretty cool such as when Hobbs flipped Shaw onto a table and the camera flipped/rotated around with the action. (If you see it, you'll know what I'm trying to describe.)

I didn't follow who all the minor characters were, though that may be attributed to going to get popcorn at the wrong moment. And Dom's friends/family only seemed to care about the technology that the terrorists were attempting to get ahold of because of themselves, not because having terrorists in control of that sort of technology could potentially harm innocent people across the globe. I would do anything for my family too, but it seems like they should care about humanity as well.

The movie was a little long at two hours and seventeen minutes, Dom could have taken out the bad guy but instead chose to prolong it for a good fight sequence. (Why do people always do that in movies!?) It seems like something was lacking in the movie, whether that was confusion over the plot or something else I'm not sure. But as far as it being an entertaining way to spend a couple of hours, it was pretty good. I would have never come up with that many outrageous stunts for cars in my wildest dreams, but that's pretty standard for the franchise.

Have you seen the movie? What did you think?

Movie Review: Cinderella

[youtube] We went to see the new Cinderella this week. It was so good. If you like happy, magical fairytales, you should go see it.

The costumes were amazing. They were still spectacular. Don't get me started on her blue ball gown. I'm sure you've seen it and can imagine what I'd rave about. The dress is a beautiful silhouette, it's off-the-shoulder with so many sparkles. There are sparkles everywhere. And her glass slippers are so pretty.

There are spoilers below if you have never seen any Cinderella or do not know the storyline.

The scenes between Ella and her mother and father were so sweet. Ella's kindness and ability to turn the other cheek are to be commended. The writers added a bit more conniving to the step-mother compared to the original Disney animated Cinderella. Also, the ball scene? Oh how I'd love to go to something like that. It was so magical. The whole movie was magical!

There could have been more character development and less of the "we just met but we're already in love," but hey it's Cinderella. It's a magical fairytale so I'm willing to excuse two people getting engaged after hanging out twice.

The movie was a magical delight, something that'll inspire daydreams to get us through the week, and if you're looking for something to smile at, you should take some time to watch it.

The Chrises: Evans and Pratt

I have a great love for Captain America; recently the actor who plays him, Chris Evans, and another actor Chris Pratt, had a wager on the Superbowl. If the Seahawks won, Evans would dress up as Captain America and visit Seattle Children's Hospital, and if the Patriots won, Pratt would dress up as Starlord from Guardians of the Galaxy and visit Christopher's Haven, a "nonprofit that provides supportive housing for families whose children are receiving outpatient pediatric cancer treatments in Boston." -quote from their Twitter bio. The Seahawks did not win but Pratt was gracious in his defeat:

And then to make a good thing great, Evans tweeted:

It makes me happy that these two men will be dressing up as their characters to visit both organizations. I love sweet stories like that.

If you want to follow them on Twitter, you can check out Pratt's Twitter and Evans' Twitter. And if you want to give Evans my number, you could do that too ;)

Movie Review: Into the Woods

I saw Into the Woods earlier this week. I was so excited. I had heard that it was awesome. I did not come to the same conclusion. The scenery was awesome. It was filled with amazing stars like Meryl Streep. The songs were great. But the story was lacking.

I'm not sure what it was about the story. It had a lot of characters and switched between them often. Maybe it was that I didn't have the time, or any reason, to care about any of them. I just didn't connect to the characters.

It was too bad because I was so exited to see it. I love fairytales. I love happy endings. But the writing and the story of the movie weren't what I was expecting.



Spoiler Alert Below for Into the Woods:

I was a little disappointed in the morals it portrayed. It's more accurate to how the world is, and often fairytales are filled with evil people. But it lacked that stereotypical happy ending that all fairytales have. People died and remained dead. (Maybe I watch too many Marvel movies, but when people die in movies, they're supposed to come back at some point.)

No one had the happy ending that they wanted. And I know that it's a "be careful what you wish for" thing, but still, it wasn't what I was expecting.

The prince was a jerk, which, while it was funny and refreshing, I was sad to see that he didn't change for Cinderella and they didn't live happy-ever-after.

Disney produces so many hits that I wasn't expecting this to disappoint me. But it did. The scenery, camerawork, and the songs were all fantastic, but what is a movie without characters you care about?

What did you think of the movie?

December 2014 Movies

I've been watching a few movie trailers for upcoming movies, and there are a few movies I'm excited for this month. The Hobbit:




Into the Woods: (I might be most excited for this one. I really love fairy tales. And it's got Meryl Streep!)


Unbroken: I read the book a couple of years ago. It was great. But it's hard and heart-wrenching. There were a few paragraphs and scenes I skipped because I didn't want to read them. I cry easily and I hate seeing people and animals in pain. The trailer's not too bad, I winced in a few parts. I may not see this one in theaters because I don't like to bawl my eyes out in public, but it is a movie I want to see. (You should read the book!)


Are you excited to see any upcoming movies?

The Minion Movie

One of my best friends and I may have a teeny tiny obsession with the Minions from Despicable Me. Just a little obsession. Well she just alerted me to the fact that there is a Minion movie next summer called Minions. Here's the trailer for it. [embed][/embed]

I'm so excited to see it! What do you think, are you going to see it?