Logan Lucky: A Review

Movie Reviews

It’s been described as a redneck Ocean’s Eleven or “Ocean’s 7/11”, but as catchy as those names are, they don’t measure up to the subtle genius that is Logan Lucky.

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Logan Lucky is Steven Soderbergh’s latest film starring Channing Tatum and Adam Driver as brothers who, with the help of a motley group of characters, decide to rob the Charlotte Motor Speedway. I have been following this film from almost the beginning. And by beginning, I mean ever since I found out Adam Driver was going to be in it (because I am low-key high-key obsessed with him and keep up with all of his projects). Also, it was filmed in Atlanta, so I had some personal ties to it.

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Anyway, for those who are not obsessed with Adam Driver and therefore know little to nothing about this movie, it was made very differently from other popular heist films. First of all, it was not made under the heavy influence of a major Hollywood studio. Soderbergh financed the film himself so that he had full creative freedom over the entirety of the project. He is a director who wears many hats, according to Tatum, who has worked with the director many times in the past. I’m sure you’ve heard of Magic Mike. Soderbergh does everything from directing to making sure he gets the exact shot he needs, and he is even the one at the end to tie it all together in the editing room. To ensure there wasn’t unnecessary spending, he cut most of the marketing and press expenses, which meant there was not a huge press junket for the film and there was minimal marketing aside from social media.

The economics surrounding the film were enough to lure me in, aside from seeing Adam Driver on the big screen again. And if that wasn’t enough, Soderbergh threw in the hat from directing in 2013, so I knew it had to be pretty good if it pulled him from retirement.

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Now on to the film itself, I absolutely loved it. However, I went into the theater knowing that it was going to have an “indie” feel to it since it wasn’t going to have that overpowering Hollywood studio touch. For me, that made it better. There was an actual story that was being told. It wasn’t just a spectacle for the sake of being a spectacle where laughs are forced down your throat. It was subtle in its humor, deadpan sarcasm from my favorite actor.

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The actors were incredible. The West Virginian accents threw me for a loop but became endearing as the film progressed. Adam as the one-handed Clyde Logan was amazing, as always, but I doubt I would ever find a performance of his less than phenomenal. I am not as well versed with Channing Tatum’s repertoire as I am with Adam’s, but I was pleasantly surprised to see such a real character portrayal from him. He was a delight on screen and deserving of the heart strings that he pulled. Daniel Craig was a fire-cracker. Even as someone who is not familiar with his role as James Bond, I was still amazed at the reckless energy he exuded as Joe Bang. He stole every scene he was in, which is a lot for me to say considering that meant I wasn’t looking at Adam Driver. Riley Keough played the Logan brothers’ sister, and she was just as fierce with her spit-fire knowledge of muscle cars and highways.

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The only performance that irked me was Seth McFarlane’s. It just felt like Seth McFarlane pretending to be an annoying man with a fake British accent and a bad wig. I feel like there are two types of actors: the ones who pretend to be someone else and those who become someone else. And surrounded by actors who so flawlessly became their characters, McFarlane stuck out like a sore thumb.

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Despite it feeling like an Indie film, it still was just a damn good heist movie. Even though as an audience member, I knew the premise of the film, I was still surprised with how it unraveled. As a viewer, you think you know exactly what is happening until you realize that you don’t. It was unsettling at the end, like clashing notes on a piano, but then once I got my bearings on what was actually happening, it left me with an excitement that carried me through the rest of the evening. I walked out that theater wanting nothing more than to turn around and see it again, to find the things I might have missed, to stare at Adam Driver’s beautiful hair once more (Ok, I’ll lay off the Adam Driver love).

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For those who may be expecting a plot-driven Hollywood blockbuster, it might have a slow buildup. The storytelling of the film is truly beautiful. As I’ve said a million times by now, it is subtle, but utterly engaging. When films try and force a reaction out of me, it yanks me right out of the narrative. It truly was beautifully written. In fact this is the writer, Rebecca Blunt’s, first script to be made into a movie. There were some theories that she is perhaps a ghost writer or doesn’t exist at all, but I like to believe that female screenwriters can write a kick-ass script right out of the gate without being accused a fraud.

So with this review/history of Logan Lucky, I urge anyone who reads this to go see it. If you get nothing at all from the film, well, at least you get to stare at Channing Tatum for 2+ hours.

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What I Learned by Traveling Alone

lifestyle

Recently, I went to Denver, CO to visit one of my best friends who moved there for work. Not only had I never been there before, but I also had never traveled by myself before. I’d only flown twice before in my life and both times I was surrounded by my family. It’s pretty hard to get lost when you travel with a small army of 9 people (including the in-laws) everywhere you go.

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Before I left, my mom drew me a map of the airport, explaining exactly where I should go and where to find my gate. It was helpful in theory, but as soon as I entered the airport all of her well-intended advice flew out the window, and I practically threw my boarding pass at a very kind employee who pointed me in the right direction. Security was pretty quick, but I did have to get patted down because I stupidly wore bobby pins and pants with an excessive amount of zippers.

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So I guess Lesson #1 is when in doubt, ask someone for help and Lesson #2 is don’t wear pants that have zippered pockets because then a lady will rub your crotch with the back of her gloved hands and test your fingertips for explosives.

Once I made it through security, my next stop was finding my gate. I got distracted by the bar on the way there, but then decided that maybe a cocktail at 11 A.M. wasn’t a good idea especially since I already felt like I was going to vomit with the anticipation of boarding by myself.

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Lesson #3 is to never turn down the bar. It’s been a week and I am still regretting not grabbing a drink to make flying more enjoyable. Instead of a nice cold rum and Coke, I got an iced coffee and a muffin that I couldn’t finish because my stomach was in knots. Again, a quick shot of something would have fixed that rather quickly. Don’t make the same mistakes I did.

Since I am a freak, I got to the airport super early and ended up sitting at my gate for almost 2 hours. But honestly, it was probably for the better since my gate changed. I had to go in the complete opposite direction of where I was, which brought me past the bar yet again, and yet again, I turned it down. Please refer to Lesson #3, NEVER TURN DOWN THE BAR.

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Lesson #4 is to always check the screens around you to make sure you are at the right gate in case it does change. When my mom was prepping me, she said that gate changes rarely happen, so of course when I am flying alone for the first time, my gate changes. Lesson #5 is to wear comfortable shoes because whether or not your gate gets changed, you will be doing a lot of walking around the airport. And maybe wearing those flats that are cute but give you horrible blisters is not the best thing to wear.

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Lesson #6 is to try and be the first group that boards the plane. My mom told me I would be Zone 1, but I was not. So Lesson #7 is don’t listen to your mother. Just kidding, moms notoriously have pretty great advice; mine just happened to be striking out that day. If you board first, you have the luxury of having your baggage in the compartment above your seat, and you get to get all situated before everyone else boards. I was not that lucky. Both times, to and from Denver, I had to have my luggage put somewhere random on the plane and people were already seated in my row. Lesson #8, if the compartment above your seat it full, try to put your luggage in front of where you are seated because otherwise you will have to wait for the people behind you to get off the plane when it lands before you can get your bag.

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Once I landed in Denver, it was just a matter of following signs. I thought I was doing so well. Since my friend was still at work when I arrived, I had to take an Uber to her apartment. It seemed easy enough, so once I was outside I ordered my ride. And right when the car was a minute away, I realized that I was at the wrong exit on the wrong floor. Lesson #9 is to make sure that the dot that represents your location is near the pick-up location. Seems self-explanatory, but you’d be surprised. Luckily, I had a nice driver who waited for me to find him.

Finally, Lesson #10 is to have a good time. Once you’ve made it to your destination, don’t let the little things get to you. Take advantage of the fact that you’re in a new place and just enjoy yourself.

Who do I think I am? I traveled once by myself and I suddenly think I’m Dora the Explorer. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed these off-kilter lessons I learned about traveling.

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Hotlanta Summertime Favorites

lifestyle

There’s nothing like summer in the city!

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As someone who loathes the sun and all things scorching, it is important for me to find some fun distractions to get me through until fall. Since my summer classes ended (finished with all A’s!!!), I have tried to jam-pack these next three weeks before fall classes start up with fun summery things. So, I thought I would share a few things I’ve done here in Atlanta, and what is coming up next for me this summer.

The Georgia Aquarium

This past week, some of my siblings and I took my cousin to aquarium. I was probably definitely more excited than him, because I had not been in about 4 years. My personal favorite exhibit is the Beluga whale tank. I could literally stand and watch them for hours. They are just to graceful and beautiful, and I love them! We also got to see the sea lion show and the dolphin show, both of which were incredible.

One of the best things about being an adult and doing fun “kid” things is that there isn’t someone telling you that you can’t have or do something. I don’t know about you, but me and my siblings were never allowed to get anything from the gift shops of the places we went, which is understandable because if you bought one kid something, you’d have to buy the other four something as well. So, it was just an understood no. However, as a grown ass 22 year-old woman, I found myself standing in the gift shop of the Georgia Aquarium staring up at a display of plush beluga whales, and suddenly I was overwhelmed with the notion that there was no one there to tell me no. And I couldn’t possibly deny the little girl in me, so I bought one and we couldn’t be happier.

I absolutely LOVE the aquarium here in Atlanta, and it is something that is perfect for people of all ages. As a bonus, it also provides a nice escape from the persistent heat that we have been subjected to this summer.

Chick-fil-A Corporate

One of my siblings works at the Chick-fil-A corporate office here in Atlanta, so we made a trip to the Chick-fil-A campus to visit him for lunch. If you’ve never been to the corporate office, it is pretty amazing. They have a small museum about the history of the company, as well as an impressive collection of vintage cars, including the Batmobile.

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Right now, there aren’t any tours open to the public, but coming in 2018, Chick-fil-A will be opening the Backstage Home Office Tour. I think this would be a great addition to the list of awesome things to do in Atlanta, especially if you have kids or an understandable obsession with Chick-fil-A. In the meantime, you can have an equally amazing experience at a Chick-fil-A near you. I mean, their Frosted Lemonade is pretty killer. I’m not being paid to say this; I just really love their stuff.

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Special Events

Another great thing to do in the summer is to see what kind of special events your city is offering throughout the summer. This past weekend, my friend, Cassandra, and I went to TCF Style Exposition. Basically, it is a fashion expo for plus size women. It was mostly catered towards women, but there were a few men’s plus size clothing vendors there. It was amazing to see such amazing women of all sizes come together to share beauty and love and fashion. It felt so empowering to watch a fashion show complied of all plus size women. It was truly beautiful.



So, go out and see what interests you. Especially in larger cities like Atlanta, it feels like they have special events happening every weekend, so it’s just a matter of keeping yourself informed of what is happening around you.

Gigi’s Cupcakes

Treat yo self! I’ve never been to Gigi’s Cupcakes before, so after the fashion expo, Cassandra and I went there to celebrate female empowerment and body positivity. I tried the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough cupcake, and it was pretty remarkable. Sometimes the best thing to do on a hot afternoon in Georgia is to reward yourself with a sweet treat. So go out and try that bakery or ice cream parlor that you’ve passed a million times and always promised yourself that you’d go to one day, and just do it! You can sweat off the added calories in the scorching heat.

Atlanta Braves Game

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So, this is a future event, but it is also an Atlanta staple for summertime. The new Sun Trust park is open, and this Friday, I will be there. I’m not really a huge baseball fan, but every summer for the past seven years, my older brother has sung the national anthem for the Braves, so we all get together to watch him sing and then stick around for the game. I’m really excited to see the new field, so look out for a blog post next week about our fun night. And if you’re in Atlanta, come to the Braves game on August 4th to see my brother sing the national anthem!

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Summer is almost over, so make these next couple of weeks count!