First Man (2018)

Photo by malith dk on Unsplash

Starring: Ryan Gosling, Claire Foy, Jason Clarke, Kyle Chandler and more.

I have been intrigued by outer space for a while now. I even wanted to be a planetary scientist because I find the planets and astronomy so interesting and extraordinary. That being said, I did not know that much about Neil Armstrong before watching this film. I knew about his achievements, but I knew less about his life and the sacrifices he made for his job and his country. This film taught me a lot, even if some of the story is not 100% true, it introduced me to a new side of Neil Armstrong: the family man, not just the astronaut.

from Universal Pictures on YouTube

Movie Talk

This film chronicles some of the dangerous missions the astronauts encountered on their journey to the moon. There was so much danger, so much risk that landed Americans on the moon that many people might not know about. I know that this film opened my eyes to a whole new perspective of the moon landing. Now, the achievement seems even more magnificent in my mind, if that was even possible.

If you like space, or even if you do not, I think you would enjoy watching this film. It is full of emotion, great stories and focuses on family and the power of it on a person’s personality, determination, and courage. Neil Armstrong had to deal with the loss of some of his teammates and his daughter. He went through a lot in his life, but he also accomplished enormous deeds. I tend to believe that to the depth someone experiences sadness, is also the depth in which they experience success. This may not apply to everyone, but I think it might apply to Neil.

What to think about:

There was so much that was going through my mind as I watched this film. Neil sacrificed a lot for his family. Some of this film is fictional, but much of the core of the film is true to my knowledge. However, in this post, I am focusing on what happens in the movie. Neil hit hurdles, overcame them and kept running ahead. Nothing stopped Neil, nothing held him back, he knew his goal and he would accomplish it. Yes, he sacrificed his time with his family so he could make his goal a reality, but he also cared about them deeply. It was almost as if he wanted to accomplish this for his family.

When you watch this, think about what is preventing you from reaching your goals. Be honest with yourself. Could you work harder? Be more determined to make your dreams a reality? Are you like Neil, how or how not? What are you willing to sacrifice for your dreams, and what are you not? Are you your biggest hurdle?

I was inspired by this film and when I get inspired or feel strong emotions, I tend to grab a pencil and write. So, I wrote this original poem and made a short video on it. I read the poem and added pictures to follow with the words and music. Here is the video:

from Aloha Arianna on YouTube

Check out this film: 8.8/10

I recommend watching this film. I really enjoyed it. The film can be sad in many ways and also shocking. The film left me happy, but also upset. I think it does a good job of having the audience connect to the characters and to care about them. So much so that it was hard watching what Neil had to go through, the many ups and downs. He had a hard life, but he also accomplished so much for himself, his family and his country. Give this film a watch if you want a new perspective on the moon landing, on people, in general, and the country as a whole.

You can watch this film on Amazon, check out the film on IMDb or watch some interviews and trailers on YouTube.

Sentence Summary

When a man is faced against the odds and has to deal with immense family hardship, he embarks on a journey that changes the world forever.

Thank you for reading. This film changed my perspective and made me want to learn more about Armstrong, his team and their incredibly unique and admirable story.

To working hard and always trying our absolute best,

Arianna

P.S. Some links are affiliate, so I make a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting my creative work.

For Gifs and Giggles ft. Stranger Things

Photo by Clément Falize on Unsplash

I had the idea for this type of post while I was in self-quarantine in my house. I realized how important it was to take some time to laugh every once in a while. When you are caught up in the busy moments of life, sometimes we can forget to take a moment to smile. The last post of gifs I did included gifs from the show Barry (2018- ) on HBO. This post I wanted to focus on a more light-hearted show, so let’s begin with some Stranger Things (2016- ) (available on Netflix) gifs that I found here!

1. When you realize someone just ate garlic.

2. When someone only talks about themself.

3. When you’re only 5’2″.

4. When you realize you have a math test, but you didn’t study.

5. When there is only 1 slice of pizza left.

6. When you think you are Thor, God of Thunder.

7. When you step on a lego.

8. After you play Just Dance one time.

9. When you drink soy milk by accident.

10. When you see your friends for the first time after summer vacation.

Thank you for reading and I hope that you smiled, even if just a little bit. If you have not watched Stranger Things, check it out here!

I watched all of the seasons within a week, and that says a lot.

Until next time,

Arianna

My Watercolor Designs

I have always loved art and creating my own drawings and paintings. Until recently, I kept my work to myself, but I decided to put some of my creations for sale. I am an amateur, I focus on simple designs and have fun with it. But I thought it would be fun to document my journey here and see where it takes me.

Why did you start drawing?

I would not say that I draw, I think I mostly focus on painting right now. I have the most fun with that, and I have the least amount of pressure that way. I just paint what I want, when I want and it is a great hobby. It relaxes me and acts as a kind of meditation.

Where can I find your drawings?

I put a few of my designs up on Redbubble, you can check them out here. My designs vary, but most of them have to do with nature or the ocean. You can also find my designs by going on the Redbubble website and typing in: Made by Arianna.

I have my designs separated by Collections, so feel free to check them out by category. I add new designs weekly, and sometimes daily. I am always creating and sharing. I also uploaded some of my photographs from my trips to Hawaii and Italy. The photographs are available on some clothing and also on prints.

So..

If you decide to check out my designs, let me know what you think! You can leave it in a comments below, email me or contact me through the contact page on this website. You could also let me know on my instagram or follow my art’s instagram.

Calling all filmmakers!

Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

I enjoy writing and learning more about filmmakers. If you are a filmmaker yourself, or you know someone who is, keep reading!

I am an aspiring filmmaker, actor, and writer. I know how it feels to just be starting out and wanting people to watch your films, but not knowing how to get them out there and seen. That is why I enjoy writing about filmmakers. I wrote a few posts about upcoming filmmakers to help get the word out about their new films, projects, and contests they were in. They were successful, so I am looking for more creatives to write about. If you know a filmmaker that would want me to do a post on them, or review their film, let me know in the comments, or send me an email.

I do these posts to support creators because I think supporting one another is important. I also know firsthand that this can be a very hard time for creatives, so I want to do what I can to help. Here are some posts that I have written so far:

  1. Jes Vasquez a.k.a. ThisJes Films
  2. Brandon Rhiness from Hot Box (2019)
  3. Cosmin Zaharia from The Music Island (2020)
  4. Michael LiCastri from The Best Laid Plans (2019)

To learn more about me and my place in the film industry, feel free to check out the about me page on my blog.

I hope you have a great day.

Arianna 🙂

10 Gifs and Giggles ft. Barry

At a time like this, I think it is important to remember to smile. For your entertaining pleasure, I have put together 10 gifs from one of my favorite tv shows Barry. Although I did not make the gifs (I found them here), I did come up with the witty captions seen above the gifs. I hope you laugh and enjoy these gifs and giggles. Did you catch that pun? Let’s begin.

1. Me after I watch a terrible film.

2. How I feel after not leaving my house for 15 days.

3. When people say, “You could use this time to do something you have always wanted to do.”

4. On the first day of quarantine:

vs. on Day 14

5. Spending all day every day with the same people.

6. Me when I wake up and remember I cannot leave my house.

7. Me every 10 minutes.

8. My worst nightmare.

9. When you run out of toilet paper.

10. Me when someone asks how I am doing.

And finally, the funniest scene in ALL OF TELEVISION that will make absolutely no sense unless you have watched the show. (Watch it on HBO or Hulu)

Thank you for being here. I hope you stay healthy and safe.

-Arianna

P.S. Let me know if you liked this post. It is not something I usually do, but if you like them I will do them more often. They are fun and everyone needs a little reminder to laugh sometimes.

Timeline of Robert Pattinson

Edward from Twilight (2008), Cedric Diggory from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005) and now Batman. Pattinson has also been in smaller films that have strange characters that are just as intriguing and weird as they are thought-provoking. Today, let’s talk about Robert Pattinson and some films he has made during his career thus far.

Brilliant Actor

I want to start by saying that I think Pattinson is an incredible actor. There are not many actors that I watch and completely see them disappear in their roles. But Pattinson is one of them. He can do any accent, he changes his posture, his tone of voice, his facial movements, and it seems so natural. I think he is a cool dude with bountiful amounts of raw talent. On top of that, in interviews he is modest and rarely says anything nice about himself. Maybe that is the British in him, but his talent is hard to ignore. He even has a hard time explaining how exactly he acts, he just does it.

He has been in so many films, played so many diverse characters, that I think it is hard for him to be type-cast now. Pattinson worked hard for that. After Twilight it would have been easy for him to take up roles in the newest blockbuster, but he went on his own route, and I admire that.

Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire (2005)

As someone who grew up watching the Harry Potter films, I remember Cedric Diggory as someone who thought he was too cool for Potter. But, Harry always responded to Diggory’s comments by being mature and taking the upper hand. The world of Hogwarts seems like its own entity in itself, which is why when I think of Cedric, I think of Cedric and I do not even think of Pattinson. But I think Robert played this role well. His unfortunate ending was indeed very sad and heart-breaking.

Twilight (2008)

I know I could not write this post without discussing Twilight. I was a fan of this genre: the whole vampire, werewolf world. But I have to say, I was Team Jacob. Yeah, I was not Team Edward. This was a big thing back when those films came out. I remember getting into debates about this with my friends. Who should Bella end up with? Jacob, of course. I even had a Jacob bookmark with a wolf charm on it and a poster and I drew a picture of Taylor Launter for my art project in the 7th grade. Yes, that was me. Also, please appreciate how I made the picture for this post an apple because of the apple scene in the Twilight. Now, we can move on, just as Pattinson did.

Remember Me (2010)

I have not watched this film in a long time, but Pattinson’s performance holds its own. Every film I have seen Pattinson in, somehow he always steals the scenes. He does not need to be a lead actor, yet somehow his performance always drives me to stare in his direction. He is a natural actor and tells stories in ways that engage the audience and make them stay invigorated with his character.

This is one of the intense scenes from the film that I remember vividly:

from MovieClips, YouTube

Water for Elephants (2011)

This brilliant film stars Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon, as well as Christoph Waltz. This is one of my favorite films of Pattinson’s. I like the character he plays, he is very likable. But I also enjoy the story as a whole and how it is predictable, yet unpredictable. If I were to summarize this film, it would sound cliche, yet somehow watching it, it does not seem cliche at all. The acting is captivating and you just get immersed in the story, more specifically, in the world of the circus.

from 20th Century Studios, YouTube

Cosmopolis (2012) and Map to the Stars (2014)

I lumped these films together because they both gave me similar feelings: feelings of unease. I could not finish watching Map to the Stars because it made me uncomfortable and made my stomach feel sick. This may sound dramatic, but if you have seen these films, you might understand what I am talking about.

Both of these films are by the same director, so I think my feeling has to do with his directing style, as well as the focus topics of his films. They make me feel uncomfortable and weird, they make me not feel right. But maybe that is the purpose of them. This opinion has little to do with the acting and most to do with the topics and the way emotions are dealt with in the films.

The Rover (2014)

I just watched this film the other day and I did not enjoy it. For the majority of the film, the audience is left in the dark on the major plot point. Then in the end, when the audience learns this hidden plot point, there is not much excitement and not much happens.

I think this film could have been shorter and included a turning event that could have excited the story mid-film to get the audience more engaged. These changes would have made the viewers care more about the characters and would have added some much needed suspense. None of this is Pattinson’s fault. He plays his character well, I just wish the story was more eventful and had more meaning for the audience to identify.

Good Time (2017)

from the Late Late Show with Stephen Colbert, YouTube

Crazy, crazy, crazy. So much happening all of the time, from start to finish. Watch the trailer and you might understand what I mean. Pattinson is nearly unrecognizable in this role. The directors, the Safdie brothers (Josh and Benny) make this film intense and a constant juggling of emotions, action and movement.

At first I could not watch this film because it made me feel so nervous just watching it. Eventually I worked up the courage to watch it all the way through, and I loved it. So good, such good acting. I do not want to say too much or give too much away, but you should watch this film. You may see a side of Pattinson that you have not seen before. And his hair is brilliant. And blonde. Very blonde.

Pattinson in Interviews:

I could not finish this post without urging you to watch an interview of Pattinson. You can read about him, but I think you need to see him talk to fully grasp his ability to act. Here are some interviews you might enjoy giving a watch:

from Elisabetta B, YouTube
from Vogue, YouTube

Summary

Dear Mr. Robert Pattinson,

Dude, you are awesome and weird, but in the best way possible. I think the films you do show your acting talent and allow you to explore your imagination and creativity. I think you took a unique path, instead of following the footsteps of someone else. And I think that is very noble. Maybe I am as weird as you, considering I am writing this as if you will ever read it.

Arianna

P.S. Let me know in the comments what you think of Pattinson being cast as the next Batman. I would love to read your thoughts! What is your favorite Pattinson film?

The Film that Changed my Life

I think it is common for filmmakers, directors and actors to have some films that are the inspiration for them to take up their careers in the industry. The film industry is a tough place, so it is unlikely you will end up here by accident. It will likely take years of hard, consistent work, so motivation is always appreciated.

Whether it is a specific actor’s performance, a story line or a directing style that introduces someone to their love of film, movies have the power to change the trajectory of lives. Today I talk about the film that changed my perspective on films and made me fall in love with movies, stories and see their incredible power to help.

The Story

I had to have this operation done on my toe, I won’t get into details because trust me, you don’t want to know. But little did I know this would change my life.

While I was recovering and had to lay down with my foot elevated, I had the chance to watch many, many films. Without this opportunity to watch so many films at once, I may have never realized the powerful ability to tell compelling, meaningful stories. Before this I was so used to watching the most recent blockbuster film and not much else. But now I had the chance to watch a lot of films, so I looked through my father’s collection of DVDs and took some that seemed interesting. One of those films was Defiance (2008). I can honestly say that this film was a clear turning point it my life.

Defiance (2008)

This story is about brotherhood, friendship and community. The movie follows three brothers as they try to escape the Nazi’s wrath on the Jews. Throughout the story, they meet so many people also trying to escape. Over time they meet more and more people and soon they have a small community that they are seemingly the leaders of.

After watching this film, I realized how powerful a movie’s message can be. Previously I had only watched happy films, that did not delve deep into emotion and hardship. But this film was something different, it made me think for myself, appreciate the life I have and evaluate how I go about my everyday life. It changed me. It encouraged me to watch more films that made me feel, instead of just films that made me watch, but not feel any true emotion.

On top of all of that, this film is based on a true story. Watch the film and realize how incredible that is. Here is the trailer.

Sum it up!

I have noticed that it is commonly the small things, the small choices, the small occurrences that change my life the most. I just decided to watch Defiance, probably because the cover of the DVD seemed interesting, or maybe because I thought one of the characters looked like someone I knew. But it turned out to be life-changing.

So many movies have changed my thought processes, changed the way I live my life, but I will get into that in another post. Today I just want to say not to underestimate the small decisions you make, they have the opportunity to make just as much a difference in your life as your big decisions.

Enjoy your day and maybe watch a film that you wouldn’t normally watch. You may be surprised. Or you just might turn to a whole new direction that you never thought of before. (One Direction? lol, I joke)

Arianna xx

Michael LiCastri, filmmaker

About Michael

Michael LiCastri is an actor, writer and director. He has created a wide variety of films that can be seen on his IMDb page. He also has his own production company called 1202 Productions and graduated from the University of Central Florida with a degree in Cinema Studies and a concentration in Screenwriting.

He founded his production company in 2012 and continues to build it to this day. Michael has held many hats, including producer, stand-up comedian and actor. He has worked in film, TV, and radio for over two decades.

LiCastri started acting at the age of 8 and has been working on the craft ever since. He has acted in plays across the Central Florida area and has directed and produced some as well. As a comedian, he has an album that was released last October 2019. He also regularly performs live around the Tampa Bay, Florida area.

Lastly, Michael was a host for a popular radio show in the Orlando, Florida area from 2007-2011. Currently, he is working on a podcast, with Ross Alagna, that should be out soon.

Movie Talk

Michael has been apart of several short films, some of which have appeared at film festivals across the country. His first feature, The Best Laid Plans (2019) was acquired for distribution and released globally last year. It is now available to watch on Amazon Prime for free.

I had a chance to ask Michael a few questions about his career and his feature ilm. He told me that he is a fan of films by Kevin Smith and John Hughes, especially their early works. His film, The Best Laid Plans is inspired by their films.

He grew up acting, so making the journey into filmmaking was natural for him. He found his love for comedy in his teen years, then went on to film school and made ten short films.

In regards to his first feature film, he wrote the script because he was having a hard time finding work after he graduated from college in 2011. Although the script was finished in 2012, the movie was filmed later in his career. He told me that this question inspired much of his film, “What makes good people do bad things?” He chose to explore this question comedically because most films that encounter this question tend to be dramatic.

The Best Laid Plans (2019)

I had the chance to watch this film and enjoyed it. It is a nice combination of humor and great directing. As someone who has watched hundreds of films submitted to film festivals, this film stands out. The production quality is great and the film is peppered with unique, thoughtful jokes. Also, the characters are each interesting in their own regard.

The Best Laid Plans tells the story of a group of friends who desperately need money. This desperation causes them to come up with a plan that may or may not go as expected. This light-hearted film keeps your attention and keeps you guessing.

Watch his films:

You can check him out on IMDb, his Production company’s website or check out the last film he was a part of on IMDb or Amazon Prime. Here is also a link to Michael’s comedy album.

Thanks for reading,

Arianna

*All photos are provided by Michael LiCastri.

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