Whatcha Watching: March 2016

To go along with “whatcha playing”, I figured I’d do one for things I’ve watched, as well. I’m usually not a big movie goer, but I’m making more of an effort. I am a big Netflix and Hulu person, though, along with random internet-based shows (although my favorites are between seasons right now).

The big release this month was, of course, Zootopia. I went to see it opening night – not on purpose, really. I hadn’t had a good week, and I thought “hey, cute Disney movie about animals, that looks good, let’s see it.” Nate and I went to Studio Movie Grill, and in a jam-packed theater full of children, watched the latest Disney feature. We loved it. We loved it so much that we saw it again two days later. And then saw it again the following week. And let’s face it, I’ll probably see it again. And again. And again. And…You get the point.

I’ll keep this spoiler-free. I’ll be honest, too – I was not expecting to like this movie as much as I do. The first teaser trailer, which told us nothing other than “hey, it’s a movie with a bunch of anthropomorphic animals”, didn’t appeal to me at all. It wasn’t until I saw the full trailer that I was even interested. The film centers around a cute little bunny named Judy Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin). She’s the first bunny cop in Zootopia – all of the rest of the officers are large animals, including Chief Bogo (Idris Elba), the water buffalo police chief. Judy has a really optimistic view of the world, and became a cop to make the world a better place – in fact, she greets a rhinoceros sitting next to her with “Ready to make the world a better place?”, complete with a fist bump that ends up with the rhino pushing her chair a couple of feet away. Bogo doesn’t exactly have a lot of faith in Judy, putting her on parking duty while all the other officers investigate fourteen missing predators (all the animals in Zootopia are mammals).

Spoiler-free, Judy teams up with Nick (Jason Bateman), a clever con fox, to help solve the mystery. It’s more than just a buddy cop movie, though. It’s a really interesting, well done statement on racism, sexism, and how fear can make things erupt into chaos. It’s different than a lot of Disney movies in that the message at the end isn’t sunshine and rainbows, but that the world can suck, and it’s important to keep trying to make it better. Goodwin and Bateman have such amazing chemistry as Judy and Nick. Their comic timing is impeccable, and emotional scenes really resonated with me. Zootopia really does have everything – a great story, wonderful acting, comedy, tears, the whole shebang. I really can’t recommend it enough.

As far as television goes, I admit it – I binge watched The 100 in four days. I had heard a lot about it, but hadn’t gotten around to watching it. Anyone who knows me knows that young adult dystopian future stuff is totally my aesthetic. I love The Hunger Games, read the entire Divergent series (I’ve only seen the first movie, the others looked kind of disappointing and I haven’t gotten around to them yet), read Legend, and I just read The 5th Wave and its sequel, The Infinite Sea. So yeah, young adult dystopian future? My thing.

The 100 was better than I expected, actually. After the first episode, I wasn’t quite hooked, but my rule is that unless it’s legitimately terrible to me, I’ll give it at least four episodes. By then, I was hooked. Sure, there’s some weird plot holes, and the science is, of course, totally unbelievable, and there’s a little bit of clunky dialogue, but that’s all forgivable to me if the premise is interesting enough. While watching season three, I actually screamed “Bellamy, you make it so hard for me to love you!” at the screen. I find myself alternately loving and hating these characters. They’re flawed, even the protagonist, Clarke Griffin (Eliza Taylor). I appreciate that there isn’t really any love triangle kind of stuff that happens so often in YA stuff (Hunger Games, I’m looking at you). Romance is a thing, sure, because hormonal teenagers, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t on the good ship Bellarke. Much more important than romance, though, are the themes of perseverance, loyalty, and humanity. It’s pretty easy to binge, because it’s paced pretty well.

So I guess this month is feel-good animation, and completely depressing dystopian future. I’m a complicated woman, what can I say.

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