Movie Madness: The Fundamentals of Caring

The Fundamentals of Caring premiered on Netflix June 24, 2016, and is based off of the novel of the same name by Jonathan Evison. The story follows Ben (Paul Rudd), an out of work guy that is postponing signing his divorce papers, and Trevor (Craig Roberts), who has Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

Trevor and his mother have just recently moved from the UK to the US, and Trevor has never been far from his home outside of the plane trip over. Ben gets his certificate in caregiving, and his first client becomes Trevor, much to his mother’s disbelief. Trevor spends his days watching TV, eating waffles, and labeling a map with the US’s roadside attractions (such as largest Bovine and deepest pit). Ben and Trevor easily fall into a rapport with each other, and Ben helps Trevor and his mom agree to a road trip to see a good portion of the attractions while his mom is on a work trip.

Along the way, Ben avoids being served with a court order, they pick up hitchhiker Dot (Selena Gomez), Trevor goes on his first date, they confront Trevor’s father, and they help a woman give birth. Not only do they discover what America has to offer in the way of roadside attractions, they also discover how to cope with what has happened in their life: Trevor being abandoned by his father soon after his diagnosis, the death of Ben’s son, and Dot’s issues with her father.

This movie has solid performances from all of the actors, and shows the acting range far beyond Disney that Selena has. At its heart, the movie is about learning to cope with your past and how to move on towards your future. If it wasn’t for the R-rated language, this movie would be a staple in any family’s movie collection.

Where to Watch: Netflix (Watch the Trailer)

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Movie Madness: Band of Robbers

This 2016 Indie movie reimagines Mark Twain’s Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer as adults in modern day time. Huck has just got out of prison and wants to lead a normal life, while Tom is now a corrupt cop who has not let go of his childhood schemes. Both have not been able to forget their dreams of finding treasure, and so they form a “Band of Robbers” with two other friends and begin the hunt.

The movie follows the plot of Tom Sawyer pretty well* and has plenty of call backs to the original story/time period. For instance, at the beginning of the movie Huck is seen smoking a corn cob pipe and he is staying in a house that is from the correct time period (with matching furniture). The major changes include having the movie narrated by Huck, the cave with the treasure is turned into an old hotel that was once called “The Cavern”, and Becky meets Tom for the first time as an adult.

It is this last change that drew me into the movie. What is Tom like with no Becky? What role does Becky play in Tom’s growth? Turns out, Tom without Becky is a grade A asshole. He leaves Huck behind to get caught, uses his power as a cop to get away with crimes, and has no care in the world for anything not related to him. Becky is the reason why book Tom was able to grow as a person. Not having Becky around not only changed Tom, but also changed Huck. If Tom wasn’t reigned in by wanting to be good for Becky, that leaves Huck not having what little guiding influence Tom provided.

Overall, this movie was able to take the original themes of the book and give a more sinister take on them. There were times when I thought that Huck or Tom could actually be killed off, while the book never had me fear that. There was also a pretty interesting discussion on whether or not Injun Joe was racist (the answer was never agreed upon).

*If you never read it, or only read the Spark Notes in order to pass your HS English class, don’t worry. No prior knowledge of the book is needed to enjoy this movie.

Harry Potter is a Bad Boy

Harry Potter is a bad boy. In fact, he is a textbook definition of a bad boy. If you haven’t read my previous article about how bad boy’s are actually good guys, or if you just want to refresh your memories, you can find it here.

TL;DR

What makes a bad boy:

  • They do what they want, when they want
  • They don’t pretend to be somebody they are not
  • They have confidence in themselves
  • Everything they do has a purpose
  • They think for themselves
  • They call it like it is

What bad boys are not:

  • Thugs
  • Criminals
  • Abusers

Their ‘criminal’ activities are done in order to protect or defend themselves or somebody they love.

Calling it like it is: Harry has a tendency to point out the obvious, and call a spade a spade. He doesn’t care who hears his opinions, or what they think about his opinions. He also doesn’t say something he doesn’t mean.

Thinks for himself: Harry puts his trust in his gut feeling above all else. Even when Hermione is 100% right, if Harry feels like she isn’t, he will go with his gut feeling. If his gut feeling knows that Hermione is right, he will admit it.

Confidence in himself: Once Harry knows he can do something, his confidence never waivers.

Doesn’t pretend to be somebody else: Harry could have easily played up “the boy who lived”, but he doesn’t because that is simply not who he is. He would rather be liked for himself, then have friends who only want the status of being his friend.

Everything has a purpose/does what he wants: Harry doesn’t do anything without a purpose, and everything he does is in the name of upholding his moral guidelines. He believes in protecting everybody, especially those he loves. If Harry believes that he can save somebody, he will break any rule/law and die trying. In fact, he does die (jury is still out on whether he actually died or just Voldemort’s soul in him died) in order to give protection to his friends and schoolmates. He’s also probably set the school record for how many school rules he’s broken.

It is only because he is the main character that we don’t view him as a bad boy. Instead, we view him solely as a hero. By seeing what he sees, knowing what he knows, and feeling what he feels we can root for him as a hero. If any other character would have told the story, Harry would not be seen in the same light; he would have been seen as ‘dangerous’, ‘mysterious’, and ‘mischievous’.  We wouldn’t know that he is trying to save the school when he breaks 100 school rules on his quest to finding the Chamber of Secrets entrance. We would just see him breaking the rules and then later (at the very end of the book) finding out that there was a purpose to it all.

If other bad boy characters had a chance to be the main character, they too would be seen as a hero and not as a bad boy. Bellamy Blake from The 100, for instance, would be seen as a hero who has to make tough choices in order to protect his friends and family. We would be captivated by his backstory of being forced to hide his sister and would base all of his current actions/behaviors/tendencies off of the emotional trauma that arose from it, much like how we analyze Harry Potter’s abusive background to explain his current actions/behaviors/tendencies.

A simple shift of POV changes how we see characters, and Harry Potter will always be a bad boy that we love as the hero he is.

*photo credit

Movie Madness: Coming Soon!

Anyone excited for Suicide Squad…?
So excited.
Two words: Harley. Quinn.
Two words: Moral. Ambiguity. 
(Discussion)
Abby: So excited for Harley Quinn. It’s insane. 
Erica: Saaaame.
Abby: I’m also very very very much looking forward to Civil War.
Erica: I haven’t decided on that one. I’m not big on Captain America.
Abby: Steve Rogers is one of my favorite superheroes ever.
Erica: Tony Stark here. Well, that was before Deadpool. And Barry Allen.
Abby: Cool.
Erica: And Super Girl. (laughs) I like my small screen heroes way more than my big screen ones.
Abby: Honestly, other than Captain America, Falcon, and Black Widow, I completely agree.
Readers and Fans, are you looking forward to Suicide Squad as much as we are? Who are your favorite super heroes? And…do you prefer your super heroes on the small screen or the big screen? 
Let us know in the comments below!