Sunday, July 6, 2014

Pop Culture Playlist: For When You're Feeling Brave

2:53 AM

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Making your debut into the world is a lot about the changes that come your way and the changes you make along the way. Life’s a pretty daunting thing in itself but when you throw in massive changes and raging hormones, it can be pretty damn scary.  BUT that shouldn’t ever stop you from living the life you want to live, right? So what do you do when life gets tough? Well, I say watch a movie! Here are a few favorites of some of The Thing’s contributors for you to watch when you need a push that gets you on your feet and make some changes. Enjoy!

Bakit Hindi Ka Crush ng Crush Mo? (2013)
Based on Ramon Bautista’s book of the same name, the movie is the typical ugly duckling story. It revolves around Sandy Veloso who, with the help of her boss Alex Prieto, transforms into a confident and strong woman. The story along with the hilarious commentaries by Ramon Bautista definitely makes it a must-see.

It makes me feel brave because it shows that confidence is a choice. No matter how much you change your physical appearance, if you still rely on other people’s opinions then you still are not a strong and confident person. At the end of the day, you have to be brave enough to believe in yourself.
- Paula

Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)
Fantastic Mr. Fox comes to mind when I think of bravery because the movie portrays bravery in such a whimsical yet realistic way. Mr. Fox, the titular character, has always been spunky and energetic, but what makes him a hero is what he does when he has to face the fact that he has to let go of the things he loves doing - stealing food - in order to take care of the people he loves. His son, Ash, is brave in his own nerdy way as he comes to terms with his insecurities and puts his selfishness aside to save the life of someone he is jealous of. Mrs. Fox is brave because she trusts her husband and stands by him as he tries to get his family and friends out of the trouble he's brought them all into. Every single character clearly has a struggle, and by the end of the movie, every single character has bravely and heroically come to terms with their struggles. This movie portrays courage at its finest and most real, as the most pathetic, flawed, distracted, selfish characters become the best heroes they can be in the face of disaster. -Niki

Summer Wars (2009)
In a world where the human race completely relies on an online network (OZ) to get by, an artificial intelligence, Love Machine, interferes with the system and creates havoc across the globe. A math genius and part-time moderator of OZ, Kenji Koiso, teams up with the Jinnouchi family in an effort to stop Love Machine from tearing down OZ and save the world.
The movie holds viewers’ attention through its vibrant and extremely entertaining characters – including a sassy great-grandmother—who work together with unimaginable optimism and determination. Past fears and doubts were forgotten as they fought Love Machine, video game-style. Bravery is definitely an element that drove the family to defeat Love Machine, especially after they faced life-changing events while OZ was breaking down. - Andie

Hairspray (2007)
Tracy Turnblad is super-sized in more ways than one -- not only is she a big girl, but she's a superstar when she dances. But when she lands a spot on her favorite television show, the Corny Collins show, with the help of her friend Seaweed, not everyone is happy that she's there -- especially when she decides to stand up and fight to integrate white and black performers in the show!

Tracy herself is inspiring, accepting and loving herself all the way, and the self-love is strong throughout the entire movie -- and if that isn't brave, I don't know what is. And beyond that, everyone gets their chance to shine and tell their own story, and that's what's so empowering about it: no matter what shape, size, or color you are, it tells you that you get your chance to shine, you get a chance to tell people what you care about, and you get to stand up and do something about it.

(And it definitely doesn't hurt that it's a musical with really catchy songs – even if you can't start a social movement in your city, you can always just belt out the songs at the top of your lungs around the house! Sometimes, that's enough.) - PaCho

Short Term 12 (2013)
The following is a summary from IMDB: A 20-something supervising staff member of a residential treatment facility navigates the troubled waters of that world alongside her co-worker and longtime boyfriend.

Short term 12 is something to watch when you want to feel brave. All the actors deliver such a stunning, moving performances that can bring you to tears (i'm sure you can relate to at least one of the characters to some extent). Watching what the main character goes through makes you wonder about how strong a person can actually be, how strong *you* can actually be, because if she can go through tough things, YOU CAN, TOO! - Arianna

Shaun of the Dead (2004)
It’s innate – some people just aren’t cut out for the scarier things in life. No, I don’t mean hideous holiday sweaters or disastrous first dates – I mean horror movies! If you want to face your fear, but don’t want to go cold turkey by diving into seriously scary movies as dictated by horror buffs, then I have the perfect compromise for you! Check out Shaun of the Dead a film with the self-explanatory tagline: “A romantic comedy. With zombies” You’ll laugh and smile despite the presence of flesh-eating beings! If you find yourself taking a liking to this British film, then check out the rest of the Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy (aren’t you intrigued?) as thought up by the very funny creators/actors Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg. – Sammi

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
For me there is nothing that makes me feel more brave and noble than the Shire theme on the Lord of the Rings soundtrack. There is just something about it that takes me back to warm summer days long gone, childhood days as light as a feather but distinctly grounded. Even just hearing the first few notes of it reminds me of home, especially when I feel like Frodo climbing up Mt. Doom, the weight of the world on his shoulders. There isn't anything quite like it. - Chili

Ordinary People (1980)

Ordinary People is not exactly an inspirational film. It’s a very sad movie and feeling sad doesn’t usually mean in the mood for change. So why this choice? You’ll see. If you haven’t watched it, I strongly suggest having a handkerchief (let’s not waste tissues, shall we?) because you will ugly cry. Many times. The protagonist, Conrad is going through some major changes and depression due to the death of his brother followed by his attempt at suicide. Throughout the story, Conrad is stuck in between dealing with his pain and being okay for the sake of his family.

Let’s face the ugly truth: we all go through changes that aren’t always for the better, and these are the hardest to face. Watching Ordinary People makes me feel two things: the first is being brave enough to try and be okay, and the second is to be a hand to hold to anyone who ever needs it. It’s not inspirational in the sense that it will show you how to live life or go on crazy adventures but what it does is make you feel more human, for your sake and for those around you.  – Livi

Movie posters taken from IMDB (Internet Movie Database) and Wikipedia

Compiled by Livi
Art by Camille

Livi has an uncanny talent of understanding everyone but herself. She’s not really sure what she is, but she thinks she’s pretty cool so I guess that’s fine. She’s really into TV, movies, chicken, skirts, nail polish and talking (usually about herself to herself). She’s loud and crazy but you wouldn’t really describe her as happy. If asked to describe herself in a word it would have to be either strange, weird or complicated; or some word for I have no effing clue. She has inside jokes with herself, stalks her own twitter, forever game to have a 5-hour phone call about life and gives pretty good hugs. And yes, she often refers to herself in the third person HINT HINT.

Cam Cervantes is a self-proclaimed rockstar, who dabbles in anything and EVERYTHING that is art, except for dance. She is currently taking up Landscape Architecture and juggling all her organizations in UPD, all while posting foodporn and pictures of her kittens on Instagram, and catching up on one TV series or another -- such a busy bee.


  1. I love that Short Term 12 is on this list. I think it's the only movie that I adore that I want to shove down people's throat. Haha. The storytelling is very subtle but it cuts deep. An underrated gem, definitely.