non-book posts

Elise Reviews Television // I Watched Buzzfeed Unsolved and Had Thoughts

Guys, I love Buzzfeed Unsolved. And for some reason, during the last season of true crime, I decided to write about it. This is the unfortunate result.

Obviously, these are all just theories and thoughts!! The whole point of Buzzfeed Unsolved is that no one knows who did it. But without further ado: let’s get into the theories.

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non-book posts

This Is Me, Trying To Review My Favorite Movie [A Review of Moonlight]

So I rewatched Moonlight two weeks ago. I know, self-sabotage at its finest, right?

So many movies chosen for best picture are clear oscar-baits; long shots of acting that arouse no genuine emotion. Moonlight manages to escape the chasm of boredom and pretension and become a genuinely transformative movie. Let’s not ignore the cinematography and score though, because this movie nails every second. The blue and yellow color pallet reflects the thematics and emotion in each scene, leading to some truly gorgeous shots. And the score is flawless, tying into the scenes seamlessly.

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non-book posts

Elise Reviews Television? // Black Mirror: Season Four

So as some of you might know, I really like Black Mirror. Adore it, actually. But it also follows a standalone episode format [great] and therefore ranges in quality. So here I am, reviewing each episode of season four, and begging you all to watch a few of these.

If you’re considering starting Black Mirror: first of all, do. Second of all, know that you can and should watch it out of order [the first episode turns a lot of people off. I promise you will regret watching it first.]. I’d recommend: the episodes USS Callister, Black Museum, and Nosedive for some emotional catharsis, San Junipero and Hang the DJ for some hope, and White Christmas and Hated in the Nation for some horror.

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non-book posts

Ya Girl’s Favorite Movies

Random post topic, I know, but I’d love to talk a bit about my top ten favorite movies today. These are in no particular order, but they’re all movies that have personally touched me.

The saga of me and movies is one that did not start until very recently. Most of the movies I enjoy are ones I’ve only seen in the past few years because I honestly was only into about two movies as a kid. (Please don’t judge me!!) Also, I think I’m not really all that nostalgic a person? Maybe?

So without further ado, here are my favorite movies of the last couple years!

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non-book posts

Hamlet @ ACT San Francisco – theater review

Some of you may know my English literature class (feat. our unimaginably good teacher) has been working on the play Hamlet for the last few weeks. As a reward for working so hard, we all took a trip up to the city via Caltrain and saw ACT SF’s production of Hamlet. And I had… some thoughts. Let’s talk.

Hamlet’s dad is creepy, Hamlet is angsty, and that’s their entire depth of characterization. save three hours of your life.

Here’s the thing about this show: if you see it and you hate it, you saw a terrible Hamlet. I don’t care if it’s given critical acclaim – fuck off, Kenneth Branagh – Hamlet is supposed to be compelling, and if you didn’t find the character compelling, that actor didn’t do their job. You need a Hamlet who knows the character, not a Hamlet who wants to do grace to the character or some shit.

Hamlet shouldn’t be an asshole. Hamlet is a very complex character, and yeah, he does a lot of screwing around with people. But his interactions with Horatio, all his interactions excluding Claudius in 1.2, his love letter to Ophelia, and other’s descriptions of his newfound madness as being out of character paint a very different picture. It is not compelling to watch an asshole be an asshole for four hours. You know what’s far more compelling? A kind young man struggling with grief and anger, informed suddenly that he must become cruel and unkind.

You know, when I typed this rant, I meant it to be mostly about Kenneth Branagh. But while we’re at it, why not just send it to John Douglas Thompson as well?

It makes me sad, because Douglas Thompson is clearly quite talented. But he is not performing this role because he loves it. He is performing to perform rather than performing to connect.

Actors for other roles were a mixed bag. I mostly just felt the other character were underused. In this play especially, every character’s pain should matter. Every character needs to matter, every character needs to make you feel. Gertrude ( was terrible. She did not make a single face the entire night that wasn’t “vaguely confused and distraught.”

the face she’s making here? she didn’t make a different face the whole damn night. this is her whole range of emotion.

The Laertes (Teagle F. Bougere) and Ophelia (Rivka Borek) were each clearly talented, but the show did not give them the time of day. Neither were given the depth they deserve at ALL. While Borek absolutely nailed Ophelia’s mad scene, her character arc felt very weak because it was tailored exclusively around Hamlet’s.

they didn’t deserve their fates and they also didn’t deserve to be in this derivative ass show

This just felt like a Hamlet that had been done before. While the main actor was undeniably talented, and I’d love to see him – or Borek and Bougere, for that matter – perform in other things, the derivative nature of the production was just too much in the end.