Monday, May 20

Reels, Notes & Takes: Week 7



There’s no better place to keep a finger on the pulse of arts and entertainment happenings than Los Angeles. The A&E world is alive – it’s always buzzing, sometimes ready to implode with a hint of a surprise album or a celebrity’s controversial statement. Each week, the Daily Bruin A&E editors will discuss their views on recent topics and trends in pop culture.



‘An adventure she probably won’t remember’

I was browsing through my Facebook feed Tuesday morning, trying to put off studying for one of my midterms when I stumbled across a post from Ellen DeGeneres.

“I’ve been waiting 10 years to show you this,” the text read, followed by a trailer for none other than “Finding Dory.” Needless to say, I can’t even begin to describe how excited I am for this movie.

“Finding Nemo,” released in 2003, defined my childhood. Of course, my favorite character was Dory, the forgetful but cheery Regal Tang fish who always put a smile on my face as I rewatched the movie every day after I came home from elementary school.

Some of my fondest childhood memories revolve around Dory, like my little sisters and I racing to say “P. Sherman, 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney” as fast as we possibly could and laughing at whoever slipped up.

Now, to finally see the trailer in which Marlin, Nemo and Dory hang out in their anemone homes is an insanely nostalgic feeling.

It’s been 12 years since “Finding Nemo” was released. A generation of third-graders who waited excitedly in the theaters to watch the premiere of the first movie can finally see their childhoods come full circle.

– Shreya Aiyar



At the movies with Shia LaBeouf

It’s fair to say that Shia LaBeouf’s career has taken some pretty weird turns since he burst onto the scene with “Transformers” in 2007.

Whether he’s running around a cage semi-naked with a small girl in music videos or being arrested for trespassing and disorderly conduct at a New York theater, it seems that acting is no longer what he is most famous for.

LaBeouf’s latest “inspiration” is a so-called art performance called #ALLMYMOVIES, in which he livestreams himself sitting in a theater, watching every single one of his own movies in reverse chronological order. Viewers could follow it live on the NewHive website beginning Tuesday at 12 p.m. He has also invited anyone who’s nearby to come inside and join him in New York City’s Angelika Film Center, to watch the movies with him.

According to the schedule, he’ll be finished with his first ever film “Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind” by around 6:53 p.m. tonight, having watched 29 movies in three days.

I’ve checked out the livestream, and it’s just as dull and uninteresting as it sounds. The idea is vaguely amusing, but it doesn’t take long for boredom to settle in when you’re watching LaBeouf sit in a chair, occasionally scratch his beard and munch on some popcorn.

It’s still more entertaining than “Transformers” though.

– William Thorne



Donald Trump draws high ratings, few laughs on ‘SNL’

“I have nothing better to do,” Donald Trump said in his opening as “Saturday Night Live” host.

I found Trump’s sketches to be lackluster, so I’m confused as to why Saturday’s episode boasted the highest ratings of “SNL” since 2012. He played a lame laser harp musician in a band, mean tweeted the “SNL” cast members during a planned skit and was depicted as president of the United States in 2018.

The latter sketch predicted a surprisingly un-radical version of the U.S., which would have been funnier if “SNL” continued its typical jabs at presidential candidates. The sketch did reference new hotels and new laws Trump tweeted, but seemed more like an opportunity for Trump to preach a platform.

The most hilarious skits of the evening excluded Trump. In “Bad Girls,” female cast members sing about how tough and cool they are as they fill their free water cups with lemonade and take the elevator to the second floor. This was fresh and funny, while Trump’s skits were dull since he, as the host, was not the butt of the jokes.

While I remain unimpressed by Trump’s performance, the only moment that could possibly validate the ratings was a mockery of Drake’s “Hotline Bling.” Featuring cast member Jay Pharaoh dancing awkwardly, the song compared Drake’s meme-able moves to those of a dad or teacher. Trump sparked more memes when he made a cameo as a dorky tax man – his shining moment on “SNL.”

Based on humorous content or lack thereof, I’m shocked “SNL” garnered so many viewers, but apparently the lure of an entertaining politician was irresistible. Whether making a splash on “SNL” is impactful enough to get Trump elected is another matter altogether.

– Lindsay Weinberg


Survival of ‘Survivor’

When I tell people I watch “Survivor,” their immediate response is almost always either “Why?” or “You still watch ‘Survivor’?”

The 31st season, called “Survivor: Cambodia,” has seen ratings not at its peak. However, its man versus nature and man versus man conflicts remain engrossingly fun and mentally stimulating to watch. I like to think of it as a “House of Cards” game show: strategy conspiring, backstabbing and devious alliances, all in the quest for greatness.

The show’s creators and producers have kept “Survivor: Cambodia” relatively fresh. The castaways, who have all played the game once, are kept on their toes. They’re forced to adapt to not only unpredictable weather and lack of food but also the game’s new twists and turns every episode. I, too, have been on my toes, oftentimes feeling flabbergasted after the tribal council voting like last week.

Last week’s episode saw yet another twist: an early merge. Unexpectedly, the game prompted the three tribes to merged into one, making it the largest tribe in Survivor history. With such a large tribe, I’m excited to see how alliances pan out for the rest of the season, and I hope the alliances are in favor of my favorites, underdog Stephen Fishbach and topdog Tasha Fox.

So, yes, I still watch “Survivor,” the greatest – and most substantial – reality television game show in history.

– Gail Acosta

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someoneShare on Google+Share on Reddit

Thorne is the prime director. He was previously the assistant A&E editor for the Theater | Film | Television beat.

prime content editor

Weinberg is the prime content editor. She was previously the A&E editor and the assistant A&E editor for the lifestyle beat.

Comments are supposed to create a forum for thoughtful, respectful community discussion. Please be nice. View our full comments policy here.