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Liz Tells Frank Why “Catching Fire” Was Better Than “The Hunger Games”

Dear Frank,

jennifer-lawrence-catching-fire-poster-610x903Are you sitting down? You’re not walking anywhere, right, setting yourself up for some amazing pratfall once I conclude this vaguely cliche beginning and tell you something utterly ridiculous? Maybe take a seat, relax, though not too much. BE ON YOUR GUARD, Frank, because I have SHOCKING NEWS…

…We now live in a world where the man who directed Constantine made a better Hunger Games movie than the man who directed Pleasantville. Yes, I’m saying that the man who thought Shia LaBeouf would be a believable street tough has out-performed the man who gave us one of the more unappreciated and beautiful films of the 1990s.

(I mean, sure, Gary Ross’s use of the word “colored” ends up being pretty heavy-handed, but I adore the scene where Reese Witherspoon learns to love books, so shut up, Pleasantville haters.)

(And yes, also, sure, Francis Lawrence did make one of the best casting moves ever by signing up Tilda Swinton as the angel Gabriel but WHATEVER.)

Anyways, Frank, the point is that Catching Fire? It is really good! It is, in fact, arguably better than the film which came before it! I was told this in advance, but was very doubtful (see above). And yet, totally true.

The reasons for why, though, are pretty simple… Read the rest of this entry

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Liz Tells Frank What Happened In “Gone Girl”

Dear Frank,

gone girl coverThere’s nothing like a good thrilling yarn, is there? So rarely, it seems, do I have time to curl up on the couch with a book that just grabs me by the neck and demands my attention — even if I know that I’m never going to read the book again, even if I don’t think the book is all that good, I still find that getting sucked into a story is one of modern life’s most potent pleasures.

Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, the hot book everyone was talking about a few months ago, was like that for me. I’m not genuinely sure I LOVED it (except for a few bits, which we’ll get to) but it was compelling as fuck, using its first-person POV narrative to carefully dole out secrets and surprises to the audience. And as news continues regarding the upcoming film adaptation, I find myself getting more and more excited to see it on the big screen.

What is it about the mysteries of Gone Girl that makes it work so well? I’ll tell you, Frank, but with this caveat — it really is a great read, especially if you like taudry scandals and gender roles commentary. If you (or anyone reading this) ain’t in the mood, I totally don’t blame you. If only because that validates the entire existence of this blog!

So, Gone Girl starts… Read the rest of this entry

Liz Tells Frank What Happened In “The Lizzie Bennet Diaries”

Dear Frank,

Today is a first: I’m telling you about a web series, which I’m fairly sure has never happened before (on this blog, anyway — I’m pretty sure I’ve told you about stuff in person, but of course that doesn’t count because it didn’t happen on the internet).

But Frank, as you are a man who appreciates transmedia narratives and Jane Austen (at least, I think you appreciate Jane Austen), you’ll be glad to know about this.

There are more adaptations of Pride and Prejudice than there are stars in the sky, but The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, which premiered on YouTube last April, is the only one that updates the characters as young, Internet-savvy vloggers, and uses multiple social media accounts to offer multiple perspectives on the classic tale of gossip, misunderstandings, stubbornness and (eventually) makeouts. Read the rest of this entry

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