What Movies Are Coming to Season 2 of “The Movies That Made Us”?

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When we’re not watching movies, we’re usually finding a way to learn about the history of the classics and the ones that really hold a special place in our hearts. The second season of “The Movies That Made Us” is here and set to hit our Netflix screens on July 23. The series is directed Brian Volk-Weiss and written by Benjamin J. Frost and Volk-Weiss.

This season the movies that will be featured are Jurassic Park, Back to the Future, Pretty Woman, and Forrest Gump.

Directed by Steven Spielberg, Jurassic Park was released in 1993, and features Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, and Sam Neill. Back to the Future features Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, and Lea Thompson. It was directed by Robert Zemeckis and released in 1985.

Pretty Woman was released in 1990 and directed by Garry Marshall and stars Julia Roberts, Richard Gere, and Jason Alexander. Directed by Robert Zemeckis, Forrest Gump opened in 1994 and stars Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, and Gary Sinise.

Stemming from the Netflix show, “The Toys That Made Us,” season two of “The Movies That Made Us” will focus in depth on four movies from our childhood, each with their own episode.

The episodes will dive into each movie and have interviews with crew members who talk about the production and the lasting legacy each one of these films has left on society. Each episode is estimated to be between forty-five and fifty minutes long.

The first season and a special holiday season has featured Home Alone, Ghostbusters, Dirty Dancing, Die Hard, Elf, and Nightmare Before Christmas.

The new season features four more films that have become part of the zeitgeist and continue to live on and among the classic films of our era.

Taylor Swift’s Rerecorded Album “RED” Coming This Fall

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There are many reasons to love autumn. The leaves change, you can bundle up in your sherpa jacket, and Starbucks mochas can help keep you extra cozy. But this fall, Taylor Swift has given us another reason to look forward to the season.

Many fans thought that the country gone pop singer was hinting at a release of a new version of her ‘1989’ album, but Taylor Swift took to Instagram to announce that the next rerecorded album she will be releasing is Red (Taylor’s Version). Of course, she shared what we all hope is the album’s new cover and a very Taylor message along with it.

Taylor Swift

She writes, “I’ve always said that the world is a different place for the heartbroken…The heartbroken might go through thousands of micro-emotions a day trying to figure out how to get through it without picking up the phone to hear that old familiar voice.”

The first release of the album was in 2012. This version will include all 30 tracks that she originally wanted to release the first time around. One track will be ten minutes long! The album will include hits such as, ‘I Knew You Were Trouble,’ and ‘We Are Never Getting Back Together.’

She goes on to write that “musically and lyrically, Red resembled a heartbroken person. It was all over the place, a fractured mosaic of feelings that somehow all fit together in the end. Happy, free, confused, lonely, devastated, euphoric, wild, and tortured by memories past.”

This fall can’t come fast enough. Swifties will be counting the days to the album’s release on November 19th.

The Jake Ryan Complex by Bethany Crandell – Book Review

Book Review

I think I’ve read almost every book with Jake Ryan in the title and this one is one of my favorites. If you don’t know by now, I’m well aware of my own Jake Ryan complex – which is evident in previous posts.

The tagline of the book is what drew me in. “A teenage movie crush set her standards high. Now a real man needs to meet them. Fast.” I thought that this was going to be a predictable read, but I was wrong! I couldn’t put it down. It was very refreshing actually.

Ever since Mac Huntress watched Sixteen Candles as a teenager, she’s had high standards for her future boyfriend. She’s compared all of her potential love interests to a fictional character from her favorite movie.

When her nagging mother isn’t happy that she hasn’t found a significant other, Mac lies and tells her she’s dating someone named Michael. The only problem is Mac’s sister announces her engagement and now Mac has to bring the elusive Michael to her sister’s wedding.

Even though Mac thinks she’s found Mr. Right, she knows he’ll never measure up to her mother’s standards. “Mac’s not the only one bringing secrets to the wedding. With expectations high, and shocking truths to be revealed, Mac’s left to find her own happy ending, which isn’t as simple as in the movies…though it’s definitely worth waiting for” (“The Jake Ryan Complex”).

I thought that the book flowed nicely. It wasn’t too long and it wasn’t too short. There was definitely a twist that I didn’t see coming and that was very welcome because many books like this can be considered fluff or predictable. The subtle nods to the movie were fun, except I felt that the derogatory term, chinaman, said by Mac’s older relative wasn’t necessary. The book could’ve done without that. Besides that, I enjoyed the characters and the overall theme.

This was the perfect book to read on vacation.

New Music from the Spice Girls and 25 Years of Wannabe!

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In 2004, I found a Spice Girls Spice CD in its original plastic for sale at the Universal Studios CityWalk CD store. It had originally been released in 1996 and the thought of unopened nostalgia sitting right in front of me felt like a sign that I should buy it.

But not even the new old stock could compare to my very much loved version of the album at home, complete with a scratched disc, rips on the CD jacket, and scuffs on the case.

Growing up, Wannabe was my jam. I did my fair share of singing it into my hairbrush and choreographed many dance routines to it in my childhood living room. I’ve listened to it many times over the years. When I was younger I wanted it to be the first song I’d listen to on the stereo when I got a car.

It’s been twenty-five years since the song Wannabe came out and it’s still my jam. When I heard that the Spice Girls were releasing new music, of course I had to do my research!

On July 9th, the Spice Girls will be releasing a digital version of a Wannabe EP, called Wannabe 25. It will include the original version of the song, a remix by Junior Vasquez, the original demo of the song, and a previously unreleased demo of a song called Feed Your Love. A limited-edition vinyl and cassette will be released July 23rd.

It’s safe to say Wannabe will be on repeat in the coming weeks.

The Mary Shelley Club by Goldy Moldavsky – Book Review

Book Review

“When it comes to horror movies, the rules are clear:

-Avoid abandoned buildings, warehouses, and cabins at all times.

-Stay together: don’t split up, not even just to ‘check something out.’

-If there’s a murderer on the loose, do not make out with anyone.

If only surviving in real life were this easy” (“The Mary Shelley Club”).

Goldy Moldavsky captures the perfect mix of Scream (the movie) meets Gossip Girl in her new YA book “The Mary Shelley Club.” Set in New York, the book tells the story of Rachel Chavez, who’s “eager to make a fresh start at Manchester Prep. But as one of the few scholarship kids, Rachel struggles to fit in, and when she gets caught up in a prank gone awry, she ends up with more enemies than friends,” writes Goodreads.

Rachel would rather watch horror movies than anything else and prefers “stabby serial killers and homicidal dolls to the bored rich kids of Manhattan Prep…and to certain memories she’d [prefer] to keep buried.”

“Then Rachel is recruited by the Mary Shelley Club, a mysterious society of students who orchestrate Fear Tests, elaborate pranks inspired by urban legends and movie tropes. At first, Rachel embraces the power that comes with reckless pranking. But as the Fear Tests escalate, the competition turns deadly, and it’s clear Rachel is playing a game she can’t afford to lose” (“The Mary Shelley Club”).

I had recently watched the movie, Mary Shelley, starring Elle Fanning, so I was familiar with who Mary Shelley was. I liked the concept of the book and immediately started to get Gossip Girl vibes because of the prep school. It wasn’t until midway through that I started to see how relatable the movie Scream was as well.

I liked the way that everything was presented and how it was wrapped up in the end. The horror references were fun and the pacing really propels the story and situations. I listened to the audiobook read by Carla Corvo and at first it was hard for me to get used to her voice. I think a reader’s voice can make or break an audiobook experience, but in the end, I think she really did help drive the story forward.

It wasn’t too scary, more of a thriller at times, but when the twist was presented, it was clear that Moldavsky was taking some cues from Scream and I’m totally okay with that! I’m here for it. Overall, the pacing really lets the story unfold reasonably and the surprises throughout kept me engaged.