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RPW Can’t Miss This List 2014 – Movies

Ready for 2014 Rock Paper Watchers? To celebrate the new year, we are releasing our “Can’t Miss This List” so you know our picks for upcoming shows, movies, albums, and books.  Check back Monday for our top 2014 book picks!

Labor Day

January 30, 2014

“A story of love, passion, and betrayal as seen through the eyes of a teenage boy and the man he later becomes. Henry looks back on his fateful 13th year, when he lived with his reclusive divorced mother. At the start of Labor Day weekend, while on a rare excursion to town, Henry and his mother encounter an injured man who asks for refuge in their home. Over the course of the next four days, they’re taken ‘hostage’ by a man who ultimately captures them, body and soul.” Source: Google

Reasons to Watch: Sometimes there is something so right about something being so wrong. And can we talk about that chemistry? It’s just oozing between Winslet and Brolin. The scene with the peach pie? Every southern girls dream…..

The Normal Heart

May 2014 on HBO

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Based on the Tony award-winning 1985 play, The Normal Heart details the spread of HIV/AIDS among a group of gay men living in 1980s New York City. The film adaptation, airing on HBO in the spring, was directed by American Horror Story and Glee co-creator Ryan Murphy.  Murphy describes the film as his “biggest labor of love,” and it features a star-studded cast including Mark Ruffalo, Julia Roberts, Matt Bomer, Jim Parsons, Taylor Kitsch (be still my heart), and Jonathan Groff.

Reasons to Watch: That cast. The Normal Heart includes some of the finest men Hollywood has to offer all in one movie and under the direction of Ryan Murphy, who is known for pushing his actors out of their comfort zone. The film promises to be powerful, and the performances promise to be spectacular.

X-Men: Days of Future Past

May 23, 2014

Calling all X-Men!

X-Men: Days of Future Past features both the original cast of X-Men and the younger versions of themselves from the X-Men: First Class film.  In the latest installment, Wolverine is sent back in time to help the younger mutants prevent an event from occurring, which will ultimately change the future and save mutants and humans alike from war and destruction.

Reasons to Watch:  With an ensemble cast that features fan-favorites Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Jennifer Lawrence, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, and Halle Berry (just to name a few!), this movie is bound to be an unforgettable adventure.  And if that wasn’t reason enough for you, in addition to the phenomenal cast of good guys, Peter Dinklage stars in the film as villain, Bolivar Trask.  That’s right people.  Tyrion Lannister in X-Men.  I couldn’t be more thrilled to see my favorite Game of Thrones star on the big screen [no pun intended].

Maleficent

May 30, 2014

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You guys, I’m not going to lie, I am so so excited for this Disney movie!!   Angelina Jolie stars as the evil Maleficent in this modern remake of Sleeping Beauty.  The story we have come to know and love from the 1959 classic is retold from Maleficent’s perspective.  We learn about her past and the things that happened to her that drove her to become the evil villain that bewitches Princess Aurora (Elle Fanning).

Reasons to Watch:  As if Angelina Jolie as Maleficent isn’t enough for you…  Seriously though, the trailer for the film looks fantastic.  And I’m excited about the fact that Jolie is not only starring in the movie, but served as executive producer.  She played a major role in designing her character’s costume and, despite execs pushing back who wanted to take advantage of her beauty, created a menacing and frightening look for Maleficent.  In fact, Jolie in costume was so scary on set that the only child who could play toddler Princess Aurora was her own daughter, Vivienne Jolie-Pitt.

The Maze Runner

September 19, 2014

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Based on James Dashner’s 2009 novel, The Maze Runner begins when Thomas, our narrator, wakes up trapped in “the Glade” with no memories other than his first name.  He is surrounded by a group of boys who live inside a seemingly unsolvable maze that is beyond the Glade.  Every 30 days another boy is delivered but things change dramatically when a girl, Teresa, is delivered with the message that she’s the last one.  From there, the book moves quickly as the boys try to figure out why they’re there and more importantly, how do they get out?

Reasons to watch:  Personally, I can’t wait to see the Maze depicted on screen.  As a reader, you have an idea of how something might look in your head.  When it actually comes to life, that changes everything.  Also, the cast features some of the greatest young actors in Hollywood today like Dylan O’Brien, Will Poulter, and Thomas Brodie-Sangster.

Gone Girl

October 3, 2014

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It’s hard to write this summary without giving too much away, so I’m not going to. If you haven’t read Gillian Flynn’s runaway hit by the same name, stop whatever you’re doing right now and go read. Early into the book’s release, Reese Witherspoon bought the film rights and is putting it to use with David Fincher directing.  When Amy Dunne (Rosamund Pike) goes missing on her fifth wedding anniversary, it’s her husband Nick (Ben Affleck) who becomes the prime suspect.

Reason’s to Watch: The novel itself was full of twists and turns, and in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, David Fincher promises readers of the book will still be even more surprised by the movie’s curve balls.  If it is anything as shocking as the book I can’t wait.  Go read.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt. 1

November 21, 2014

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Everyone LOVED Catching Fire,  and after the cliffhanger, where do we go next?  Without giving too many spoilers away, much of the first part of the book is about Katniss. Our Girl on Fire is pretty much a space case, lost in her own thoughts, scared for her family and Peeta, as well as getting use to a more contained life in District 13. However, during these first nine chapters, she agrees to become the Mockingjay, a symbol of rebellion for the districts which leads up into the rest of story, the Districts rising up in a rebellion.

At this point, here is what we know:

Hunger Games: People Die
Catching Fire: More people die
Mockingjay: A lot more people die.

Its safe to say, no one is safe. So get your tissues ready, its going to be a bumpy ride.

Reasons to Watch: It’s probably the most anticipated movie of 2014 and of course, we are all on the edge our seats wondering what the Girl on Fire will do next. Finally, we get outside of the arena and our characters begin to focus on the rebellion against the capital, not to mention we will get our first look at District 13, a District once thought to be destroyed. One of the big questions still looming is: Where are they going to split the book at? Mockingjay is divided into the three parts, The Ashes, The Assault and The Assassin. My bets are somewhere within The Assault. (Obviously)

Did I also mention one of our favorite girl crushes, Julianne Moore, is joining the cast as President Coin? *Squeals*

The Hobbit: There and Back Again

December 17, 2014

The third and final installment of Peter Jackson’s Hobbit prequel/trilogy is set to hit theaters at the end of 2014.  Great, we only have to wait one year to find out the fate of Bilbo and the dwarves, the elves, and Lake-town.  (Even though, let’s face it, we all know what’s going to happen).  The film is the final in Jackson’s Tolkien films and fans of the Lord of the Rings will have to say their final goodbyes to the series.  Let’s just hope that the last Hobbit movie doesn’t have as many endings as LOTR Return of the King.  I swear, I thought that movie ended 4 times before it actually did.

Reasons to Watch:  The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug was a fantastic cinematic thrill ride (those spiders gave me nightmares!) and I’m excited to see what Jackson has in store for his final Tolkien-based film. It also ended on a MAJOR, major cliffhanger.  Seriously, major!!  The third movie promises to be a wild and insane adventure as the battle with Smaug comes to a conclusion, the love triangle between Tauriel, Legolas, and Kili is decided, and the Necromancer comes into power as the evil Sauron.

Honorable Mentions

The Lone Survivor, January 10

That Awkward Moment, January 31

The Monuments Men, February 7

Godzilla, May 16

A Million Ways to Die in the West, May 30

The Fault in our Stars, June 6

Interstellar, November 7

Horrible Bosses 2, November 26

Into the Woods, December 25

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Glee “Love Love Love” The Morning After

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Did anyone else feel really uncomfortable during this episode last night?

Last night, ‘Glee’ began its fifth season with the first half of a two-episode Beatles tribute that fell pretty flat.  The episode overall was very happy and bright and colorful, and I’m not just talking about Blaine’s proposal to Kurt.  I’m talking about the efforts to mask the big ol’ elephant in the choir room:  Cory Monteith is dead.  We will never see Finn Hudson again.  It felt weird.

I couldn’t enjoy the Beatles’ songs because when Rachel sang ‘Yesterday’ at the start of the hour all I could think about was Lea Michele missing Cory.  I couldn’t be happy during the proposal because I was too distracted thinking Finn should be there, next to Mercedes.  I don’t care about the high schoolers going to a carnival and being all happy-go-lucky in their bumper cars because, in reality, the actors are probably really sad and it just seemed kind of cruel.

And I wasn’t the only one, ‘Glee’ delivered a 2.0 adults 18-49 rating, which represents a significant decline from the 3.3 preliminary (and 3.1 final) rating for last season’s premiere. The hourlong telecast averaged 5.17 million viewers.

Next week, ‘Glee’ wraps up the Beatles tribute.  The third episode of the season will be about saying goodbye to Cory/Finn.  Ryan Murphy released the following photo via Twitter last night.

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That means we have to sit through another episode filled with tensions and unease.  The third episode airing October 10th is titled ‘The Quarterback’ and will address the death of Finn Hudson.  The episode will not focus on the exact details of Finn’s death, but instead of how his sudden departure affects the other characters through varying perspectives. “We’ve mourned Cory, but now we’re mourning Finn. So it’s kind of like two people in that one person,” says Matthew Morrison.  A series of public service announcements dealing with the topic of drug addiction will air during the episode.  Several recurring cast members will return to say goodbye to Finn Hudson including Mercedes Jones (Amber Riley), Noah “Puck” Puckerman (Mark Salling) and Mike Chang (Harry Shum, Jr.), Finn’s mother Carole Hudson-Hummel (Romy Rosemont) and stepfather Burt Hummel (Mike O’Malley), McKinley guidance counselor Emma Pillsbury (Jayma Mays), and football coach Shannon Beiste (Dot-Marie Jones).

Other plot notes from ‘Love Love Love’

  • Artie and Kitty are a couple and it’s actually kind of sweet.  They also had my favorite performance of the night, a very literal “You’ve Got To Hide Your Life Away” duet.
  • Rachel hasn’t gotten the ‘Funny Girl’ role yet but Peter Facinelli plays the director.
  • Rachel and Santana now work at the Spotlight Diner (clearly an homage to Ellen’s Stardust Diner and their singing waitstaff).  To impress the director they performed a rendition of ‘Hard Day’s Night’ while he was dining with the male star.  For a second, I thought they might go for Santana instead of Rachel.  That would be awkward.
  • Kurt said ‘yes’ to Blaine.
  • Burt Hummel, you give the best advice.  Even though Finn hasn’t been addressed, his speech about not wasting a moment and spending every second with the one you love made me very emotional.
  • Blaine’s proposal:  “My soul knew something that my body and my mind didn’t know. It knew that our hands were meant to hold each other fearlessly and forever. Which is why it’s never really felt like I was getting to know you, it’s always felt like I was remembering you from something. As if in every lifetime you and I have ever lived we’ve chosen to come back and find each other and fall in love all over again, over and over again for all eternity. And I just feel so lucky that I’ve found you so soon in this lifetime because all I want to do, all I’ve ever wanted to do, is spend my life loving you. So, Kurt Hummel, my amazing friend, my one true love, Will you marry me?”  God, kill me now.
  • Best homage to the Beatles:  ‘I Saw Her Standing There’ performed by Ryder, Sam, Jake, and Blaine in black and white and fake British accents.
  • Worst performance:  ‘Drive My Car’ too awkward, no thanks.


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Remembering Cory Monteith

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I’m a Glee fan.  It took me a while to admit that.  At first, I just tuned in for the music but as the show progressed I found myself smitten with Finn and Rachel, crying when Kurt was bullied, and cheering when Burt and Carole got married.  Today, I’m crying for another reason.  Cory Monteith was the heart and soul of Glee.  The “was” in that sentence feels very strange.  As Finn Hudson, he was the show’s leading man, the troubled hero, and the lost boy.  His character captured our hearts and that would not have been possible without the earnest performance by Cory Monteith.  He will be missed.  The world has lost a great young talent.  Our thoughts are with the members of the Glee cast, Lea Michele, and Monteith’s family and friends.  In celebration of his life, we are counting down our favorite Finn Hudson performances.

1.  Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

2.  Just the Way You Are

3.  I’ll Stand By You

4.  I Just Can’t Stop Loving You

5.  Scientist

6.  Faithfully (Journey Medley)

7.  Paradise by the Dashboard Light (Nationals Medley)

8.  We’ve Got Tonight

9. Glory Days

10.  Somebody to Love


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Monday Man Candy – Catching up with the Spring Awakening Cast

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Spring Awakening is best known as the musical that kick-started the career of Lea Michele.  It is a rock musical with music by Duncan Sheik and is based on the controversial German play Spring Awakening (1891) by Frank Wedekind.  The play is set in 19th century Germany and follows a group of teenagers discovering their inner and outer sexuality.  The original broadway cast included several young actors that are currently taking Hollywood by storm.  See the delicious list below–

Jonathan Groff

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Mostly recognized for his portrayal of Jesse St. James on Glee, Groff will be a voice in the upcoming Pixar film Frozen.  It’s a shame that beautiful face isn’t going to be on the screen, but I guess we’ll settle for his mesmerizing voice.  Did we mention that he also dates past-Monday Man Candy participant Zachary Quinto?  Adorable!

John Gallagher, Jr.

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This guy is tearing it up on HBO’s The Newsroom.  He plays the eternally loyal, Jim Harper who falls in love with bumbling coworker Maggie.  The problem?  He dates her roommate and she’s dates their other coworker, Don.  Wah wahhhh.  That’s okay Jim, ditch the roommate.  I’m available!

Skylar Astin

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Um, did you see Pitch Perfect?

Bonus! London’s Spring Awakening cast member Iwan Rheon

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He’s currently kicking ass and taking body parts on Game of Thrones.  I don’t think anyone else could have delivered the line “If you think this has a happy ending, you haven’t been paying attention,” so creepily but still, so sexy.  Iwan recently dropped a new album, listen to his acoustic sound on Spotify here.

To see a clip of the guys during their Spring Awakening days, check out the video below:


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Weekly Rock! – June 6

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Ever find a song you absolutely, cannot stop listening to?  The Weekly Rock is a list of tunes we can’t get out of our head.  Check out the playlist on Spotify and be sure to subscribe!

Ashley’s Picks

  1. 6am – Fitz and the Tantrums
  2. I Could’ve Been Your Girl – She & Him
  3. Out of My League – Fitz and the Tantrums
  4. On the Attack – Langhorne Slim, The Law
  5. Let’s Stay Together – Al Green
  6. Against the Grain – City and Colour
  7. Futures – Jimmy Eat World
  8. Unbelievers – Vampire Weekend
  9. Fools Gold – Fitz and the Tantrums
  10. The Way We Move – Langhorne Slim, The Law
  11. Need Your Live (Acoustic) – The Temper Trap
  12. Blurred Lines – Robin Thicke ft. T.I. and Pharrell

Elizabeth’s Picks

  1. Give Me Love – Ed Sheeran
  2. Sky High Honey – Matt Nathanson
    New Matt Nathanson!
  3. Distance – Christina Perri ft. Jason Mraz
    This is my favorite Jason Mraz duet since Details in the Fabric with James Morrison.  The lyrics are beautiful, the harmonies are perfect, and um, it’s Jason.
  4. You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling – Glee Cast (Chord Overstreet and Blake Jenner)
    Yes, I still watch Glee.  Why haven’t Sam and Ryder had more duets?
  5. Ho Hey – Nashville Cast (Lennon & Maisy)
    Excellent cover.
  6. Girls Just Want to Have Fun – The Maine ft. Adam Lazzara
    Again, excellent cover (this was not intentional)
  7. Love Letter – Clairy Browne & the Bangin’ Rackettes
  8. No Sugar in My Coffee – Caught a Ghost
  9. Ball and Biscuit – The White Stripes
  10. Sex – The 1975
  11. Shake It – Metro Station
    When I was moving in, my family and I had a 30-second dance break to this song.  It’s so good!
  12. Alone Together – Fall Out Boy

Jenn’s Picks

  1. You Are The Only One I Love by Jaymay
  2. Santeria by Sublime
    Something about this song just makes me feel summer.
  3. Welcome to the Black Parade by My Chemical Romance
    I noticed that some of my music choices are heavily influenced by my grief over the Red Wedding..
  4. Coffee by Copeland
  5. Tragic Kingdom by No Doubt
    Tragic Westerosi Kingdom…
  6. How Low by Ludacris
  7. Moment 4 Life by Nicki Minaj with Drake*
  8. She Will by Lil Wayne with Drake*
  9. Make Me Proud by Drake with Nicki Minaj*
  10. Swimming Pools (Drank) by Kendrick Lamar
  11. I’m on One by DJ Khaled with Drake, Rick Ross, and Lil Wayne*
  12. Wasting All These Tears by Cassadee Pope
    This is Cassadee’s much-anticipated brand new single and I have to admit, I’m in love. Can’t wait for the album.

My song choices for #6-11 were all produced by our most recent Monday Man Candy , T-Minus. Four of those songs topped the U.S. Hip-Hop/R&B Charts. They are marked with an asterisk.