Monday, December 21, 2015

A Gift Wrapped Christmas: a feel good flick

In the Lifetime TV movie A Gift Wrapped Christmas, playful personal shopper Gwen (Meredith Hagner) tries to soften the heart of her new client Charlie Baker (Travis Milne). He’s got a lot on his plate – he’s an ambitious businessman and single dad to 8-year-old son Owen. While Gwen does her best to get Charlie into the holiday spirit and to spend more time with Owen, she falls in love.

I like this movie merely for Gwen. She's a very likeable character that Charlie and Owen couldn't help but fall in love with her. Her bubbly self carries this movie forth despite Charlie being dour almost all the time. I wonder what is it that makes Gwen falls in love with Charlie because his non committal expression would have driven me mad so soon than you can spell Boo! All in all it's an enjoyable movie whenever Gwen was on. People responded to her warmth and genuine affection. I also adore the chemistry she shares with her married sister whom she's staying with. It seems so genuine. Such as Gwen's warmth towards Owen. She handles him oh easily, like and adult should do to young children.
I seem to notice that Meredith Hagler do look a lot like Kate Hudson especially when she's being all goofy and playful. Reminds me of KH in how To Lose a guy in 10 Days je.

Gwen easily clicks off with Owen
Gwen's family also warms up to Charlie and Owen

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Inside Out: emotionally gratifying


A girl named Riley (Kaitlyn Dias) is born in Minnesota. Within her mind's Headquarters, there live five personifications of her basic emotions: Joy (Amy Poehler), Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Fear (Bill Hader), Disgust (Mindy Kaling), and Anger (Lewis Black). The emotions influence Riley's actions via a control console. Riley's memories are stored in colored orbs, which are sent into long-term memory each night by a suction tube. Riley's most important memories, known as "core" memories, are housed in a hub in Headquarters and power five "islands", each of which reflects a different aspect of Riley's personality: Family, Friendship, Goofiness, Hockey and Honesty. Joy always tries to keep Riley happy, and she and the other emotions try to prevent Sadness from using the console, not understanding her purpose.

When Riley is 11, her family moves to San Francisco. Riley is disappointed by their lifeless new home, and the moving van with all their belongings gets lost. Sadness begins touching Riley's happy memories, causing them to become sad memories, so Joy tries to keep Sadness isolated. However, on Riley's first day at her new school, Sadness causes Riley to cry in front of her class, creating a sad core memory. Joy tries to dispose of the new core memory before it reaches the core memory hub, but she instead knocks the other core memories loose, destabilizing the personality islands. As Joy scrambles to collect the core memories, she is sucked out of Headquarters by the memory tube, along with the core memories and Sadness. They land in the maze-like storage area of long-term memory.

Fear, Disgust, and Anger try to keep Riley happy, but inadvertently distance her from her parents, friends, and hobbies, causing her personality islands to crumble into the Memory Dump, an abyss where fading memories are disposed of and forgotten. Anger believes that going back to Minnesota will make Riley happy again, so he inserts to the control console a light bulb, which gives Riley the idea to run away to Minnesota. Meanwhile, in long-term memory, Joy and Sadness find Bing Bong (Richard Kind), Riley's childhood imaginary friend. He tells them they can get to Headquarters by riding the train of thought. After exploring Imagination Land in Riley's mind, the three eventually catch the train, but it crashes when another personality island falls and destroys the rails.

As Riley prepares to board a bus bound for Minnesota, Joy attempts to abandon Sadness and use a "recall tube" to return to Headquarters. However, Riley's last personality island falls and breaks the tube, plunging Joy and Bing Bong into the Memory Dump. In the Dump, Joy discovers a sad memory of a hockey game that becomes happy when her parents and friends comfort her. Joy now realizes that Sadness's importance is to alert others when Riley needs help.

Joy and Bing Bong try to use Bing Bong's wagon rocket to escape the Memory Dump, but after several tries, Bing Bong realizes their combined weight is too much and jumps out, allowing Joy to escape. Bing Bong fades away, finally forgotten. Joy goes to Imagination Land and uses various tools to propel herself and Sadness through the air to Headquarters. They find that the idea to run away has disabled the control console, rendering Riley numb and apathetic. Joy encourages Sadness to control the console with Sadness successfully removing the idea, reactivating the console and prompting Riley to return home.

As Riley arrives home, Sadness reinstalls the core memories, which caused Riley to burst into tears, confessing to her parents that she misses her old life in Minnesota. Riley's parents comfort and reassure her, creating a new core memory, which is a combination of sad and happy. A year later, Riley has turned 12 and adapted to her new home, and her emotions now work together to help her lead a more emotionally complex life. She has become much happier with new friends and a new hockey team.

it is such a bittersweet story. about how we cope about our feelings. some people choose to be happy through and through no matter what. except that sometimes they must allow for sadness to set in.. by constantly denying a sad moment to coexist, sooner or later we'll be imbalanced, incomplete. a sane reasonably healthy person must recognise all the emotions and keep them in balance.

at first, i was so disgusted with Sadness, rasa nak cekik-cekik je. but as the story progressed, i realised, she was that way as the product of 11 years neglect and shun. Joy completely controls Riley and relegates Sadness into a forgotten corner, assigning her to reading mind manuals and such. that wasn't nice of Joy, you see. as she allows other emotions to have a role in Riley's day, the same courtesy should be extended to Sadness.

there was a few moment when i cried. this is really an emotional movie, you know. for example, when Riley cried at school, that was a touching moment.. then, Bing Bong, when he sacrificed himself to save Joy. it reminds me of forgotten old friends who used to make us happy when we were a child. then, when Riley confessed her sadness to her parents, that was also a tear jerker moment for me.

All in all, it was a flawless movie.. something that children might enjoy together with their parents for its very strong family values. though i wonder why Riley has a mixed gender emotions whilst Mom's emotions are all female and Dad's are all guys.. hahaha.

good memories...
life is always ok when you have laughter with your family