Kimberly C's blog

Fall Into Television

tvFall is my absolute favorite time of year. When fall blows in, it brings cool, crisp air, sidewalks strewn with crunchy leaves, more pumpkin-flavored foods than any one person could possibly eat, sweater weather, and Thanksgiving turkey. Fall also means the return of some of my favorite television shows after the summer hiatus.

I will be the first person to admit I like the short break from new TV over the summer. It means I finally have time to marathon the shows I’ve been meaning to watch, or rewatch old favorites. In fact, I spent part of this summer rewatching all of Criminal Minds, one of my favorite TV shows. But after a few weeks, I start to miss watching new episodes of favorite shows every week. The cliffhangers from the previous season start to get to me, and I find myself wanting answers immediately.  Most of all, I find myself missing the characters who, after watching them week after week for so many seasons, I feel connected to and who feel like a part of my own life.

66th Primetime Emmy Awards

Emmy StatueLast night, the winners of the Primetime Emmy Awards were announced in a live telecast. Usually held on a Sunday night, this was the first time the Emmys had been moved to a Monday since 1976. This year’s ceremony, like any awards show, had its ups and downs.

After last year’s bizarre Emmys, where half of the winners were a complete surprise to everyone, this year the Academy chose to, for the most part, play it safe. Continuing its streak, Modern Family took home the award for outstanding comedy for the fifth year in a row, while Breaking Bad won outstanding drama for the second year in a row. Three of this year’s acting winners in drama and comedy (Jim Parsons, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Anna Gunn) had won the Emmy last year, and seven of the eight winners in comedy and drama had previously won at least once in the last five years for their performances in the same role.

Moves Like Jagger

twirlingIt’s no secret that I have a fondness for dance movies. I own a good number of them and have been known to watch the best dance scenes from each movie, one after the other. So when I stumbled across the book Mambo in Chinatown, the newest novel by author Jean Kwok, I knew it was meant to be. Mambo in Chinatown is about Charlie Wong, a Chinese American girl in her twenties who is struggling between respecting her family and her heritage, and following her dream to become a ballroom dancer. It’s a beautifully written novel that has quite a bit in common with some of my favorite dance movies.

A Musician's Life

street musicianWhether it’s a beautifully composed score supporting the emotionally tenor of a movie, or a carefully selected song overlaying the action, music has always been an important component in movies. It is not surprising that many filmmakers have chosen to bring that music to the forefront with biopics on famous musicians and composers and stories about fictional musicians. Unlike musicals, which tell stories through music and dancing, these movies focus on the lives and passions of the people who create the music.

This season alone, three different films focusing on musicians have opened in theaters, adding variety to the typical summer movie fare. One, Begin Again, is the fictional story of a producer and a musician as they make their own album in the streets of New York City. The other two are more traditional biopics. Jersey Boys, based on the hit Broadway musical, tells the tumultuous history of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, while Get On Up follows the life of the Godfather of Soul, James Brown. All three movies aim to seamlessly blend movies and music and uncover what it is that drives musicians to perform.

2014 Primetime Emmy Nominations: Comedy

emmyOne of the distinct advantages of the Primetime Emmy Awards is that nominated television series are divided into two categories:  drama and comedy. This same divide is fairly common in television awards shows, but only exists for movies at the Golden Globes. I have often wondered how the Academy Awards would differ if they followed suit and awarded Oscars for best comedy and best drama.

2014 Primetime Emmy Nominations: Drama

emmy Yesterday, the nominations for the 66th Primetime Emmys were announced. It should come as no surprise that I love television and watch an embarrassing number of TV shows every week. I also love the glitz and glam of a televised awards show. So an awards show honoring the best in primetime television seems tailor made for my interests.

A Different Kind of Fairy Tale

wizard of ozIn a blog post a few weeks ago, I waxed eloquent (I might actually have rambled) about my intense love for live-action fairy tales, Disney’s Sleeping Beauty, and Maleficent, the greatest of the fairy tale villains. There are so many fairy tales brought to screen every year, both through animation and live-action filmmaking, and each takes a unique approach to retelling the classic story.

As I was putting that list together, I noticed another trend: movies with fairy tale qualities based on stand-alone or series novels. These novels aren’t generally considered fairy tales, and they certainly don’t appear in any Grimm’s collection, but they do have many similar qualities. While some of these books, like The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and Peter Pan, are considered classics, many, like Ella Enchanted, are modern reinventions of the fairy tale genre. The movies based on these books generally rely on a sense of whimsy and a bit of magic to enchant viewers and move the plot forward. And, although it is almost never stated, there is always the all-important “happily ever after.”

Once Upon a Time…

maleficent dragonWhen I saw Disney’s Sleeping Beauty for the first time as a little girl, I was completely captivated. I loved watching the fairies muddle through baking a cake and sewing a dress, Briar Rose and Prince Phillip’s first encounter in the forest, and the epic fight at the end of the film. But, most of all, I loved Maleficent. She could curse a person sixteen years in advance and turn into a dragon! In my mind, that made her the best fairy tale villain.

I was obviously not alone in that way of thinking, because 55 years later, Disney released a live action retelling of the fairy tale. But this time, they focused on Maleficent, one of the most beloved fairy tale villains. Maleficent strives to do what Wicked, the best-selling novel and the hit Broadway musical, did for the Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz: tell the villain’s story, shed light on their motivations, and bring compassion to an otherwise evil character. Critical reviews so far have been mixed, but audiences seem united in finding Maleficent’s story, and Angelina Jolie’s performance as her, mesmerizing.

As You Wish!

princess brideIn 1987 The Princess Bride, one of my favorite movies, opened in theaters to moderate success. Equal parts romance, comedy, adventure and fantasy, it offered something for everyone. Since its release on VHS and DVD, The Princess Bride has steadily become a cult classic based on its imminently quotable dialogue, quirky characters and charmingly bizarre plot.

The Princess Bride is just one of many iconic movies to come out of the 1980s, a prolific and varied decade that brought viewers a fantastic mix of award-winning classics and cult classics worth watching for nostalgia’s sake. It produced heroes like John McClane and Indiana Jones, and villains like Darth Vader, and it saw the start of some franchises that still continue today and the end of others. For many people, the movies of the ‘80s showed how to do everything, from skipping school to saving the world, with style.

Below I have listed a few of my favorite movies from the ‘80s. Let me know your favorites!

Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month

ang leeEach May, we honor the men and women of Asian and Pacific Islander descent who have contributed to America’s rich historical and cultural heritage. First conceived as a week-long event in the late 1970’s, the celebration was extended in 1992 and is now commemorated each year in May as Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month.

There are many people of Asian-Pacific descent working in the American film and television industry and I wanted to take a moment this month to recognize their contributions. Whether working behind the scenes as writers and directors, or lighting up film and television screens as actors and actresses, their talents have helped shape Hollywood into a creative and innovative force. The following list is by no means complete, but does highlight a few of these talented individuals and their contributions.

Syndicate content