Sunday, July 26, 2015

Discussion: Night on the Towns

June 2014, three WLABBers and some extras went to a movie premiere + livecast event for The Fault in our Stars. A few nights ago, on July 23rd, 2015, just over a full year later, three cooler WLABBers (plus Kiersten's mom and boyfriend shoutout to y'all) went to the same event for Paper Towns, another book by author John Green adapted into a film.


For Paper Towns, the event was in Westfield, NJ, a very cute, very photogenic area which was made for walking around (and taking pictures in my opinion) although it was on the hotter side when we arrived so indoors was nice. We had dinner (I ended up getting Qdoba for the first time and it was not nearly as good as Chipotle -- 0/10 would not do again) and headed to the movie theater, where we then spent an hour taking pictures before the movie actually started. 

Here, we can see two nicely posed pictures in our nicely designed spirit jerseys, and if you look in the corner, you can see me taking my shirt off like a hooligan because I was wearing an almost-knee length dress and with the shirt over it for pictures I looked like I should be churning butter on a farm somewhere so I was trying to take it off ASAP. 

We took so many fun poses and I debated posting all of them but I settled on posting three (if Kiersten or Amrutha want to do more it's up to them) but here's one of me being ridiculous while Kiersten inwardly judges me and Amrutha stares into the camera oblivious, and then there's my personal favorite picture where I think we look pretty fierce, and then I thought I'd throw in a cute one so you'd know we're not actually ugly. 

After our photoshoot, where you can see we all channeled our inner Cara Delevingne modeling skills, we headed in for the actual movie. Before the movie, we got to see weird commercials where they superimposed the faces of Cara and Nat onto the unrelated commercials????? That was a little weird, but not relevant to the movie. Anyway, as someone who is a huge fan of the book, like someone who holds this book in High Regard with capital regards, who thinks it's Very Important, I really really liked the movie! 

I liked it more than The Fault in Our Stars but I also liked the book more so for me, I think it stems from entertainment value of the story and the character more than its construction as a movie so if you're looking for a really super analytical movie review don't blame me if you think it wasn't as good in that regard although I think they were both equal in the objective "movie" aspect (does this make sense?????). 

Anyway, I think the actors did a phenomenal job. They really brought the characters to life. Special shoutouts to Radar and Ben, because they were just great and hilarious and their delivery was fantastic. Cara did a great job as Margo too -- I was apprehensive about this because while I didn't doubt her abilities, I just had such a specific idea of Margo in my head I was afraid that because I knew I wouldn't be seeing that on the screen I wouldn't like it, but she definitely portrayed her well and I didn't feel that at all. 

While they did change a few things around, I think the movie as a whole was very well done. The plot was followed more closely than a lot of book-to-movie adaptations and I'm not going to nitpick on things like the fact that Angela came on the road trip in the movie and not in the book because it didn't take away from the movie and in fact added to it and to the closeness and the bonds formed by the character so I was cool with it. The real big changes were at the end, with what happened once they got to New York, but the end result was generally the same and had the same feel to it so I still liked it and I loved the way it highlighted the way Q's obsession with Margo was just that -- an obsession, and an unhealthy one. So I was pleasantly surprised by how much I ended up liking this movie and I'd definitely watch it again (and by "I would" I mean "I will"). 

After the movie was the Q+A (and the performances) and that was great too. The questions were taken from Twitter and most of them were asking about experiences on set and filming and things like that but the answers were just so cute because you could tell the cast got really close and became friends with each other during this whole process. Halston Sage, who played Lacey mentioned how she loved the prom scene at the end because she didn't get her own prom and it was just such a sweet comment and an adorable thought to think about her getting to get dressed up and go to this prom in this movie. Another comment was made about how Justice Smith (Radar) was the funniest person on set, not only in what he said but in who he was -- he just had this aura about him. I loved the way they were so comfortable with one another and they had such a nice dynamic and could understand so easily exactly who they all were. Also, my favorite story about everyone was about Justice Smith and how he just had an argument with Austin Abrams (Ben) about whether aglets (the plastic tips on shoelaces) were important and if the world would be a significantly worse place without them and he just refuse to accept that it wouldn't. 

Also, the Naked Brothers Band made a comeback and Alex Wolff looked so sad up there but kind adorable at the same time it was a strange image. 



!!!! This past Thursday, us peeps - Marlon went to go watch Paper Towns during the Night On The Towns early premiere which was super fun. As you might remember, WLABB - me went to see The Fault in Our Stars last year, but unluckily for me I was sadly doing very high schooly things and therefore could not go. So, continuing the tradition, next year when John Green inevitably comes out with another movie, we will have to leave a member behind for the night. 

The night was awesome (other than that I drove and that Noor is no longer going to be allowed to GPS anywhere in my car) and we ate at Qdoba (which I am not usually a huge fan of but had a good experience with this time) and then we got to the movie theatre. Westfield has this really small movie theatre with tickets sold at the concession stand and no one watching the signed posters and lockets. It's so cute and lo and behold, having gotten there an hour and a half early, we were the first ones there. So naturally, we had a photoshoot.

First of all, turns out our pal Joe is pretty good at taking pictures because I don't hate all of them and that is very surprising as I am very picky about my aesthetic. But also turns out neither me nor Kiersten can hold straight faces/angry faces during pictures because literally only Noor had her shit together during most of these. All in all, I thought the pictures turned out real cute and also very representative of WLABB-Marlon. (Note from Kiersten: In that first photo, we were posing for a serious photo, but someone in a car yelled something like, "Awh, yea!" at us out their window and we all started laughing as this picture was taken. While I don't approve of catcalling people out of your car window, it was pretty funny.)

As for the movie: They held pretty true to the plot (except for some of the end but it winding up ending relatively the same way) and the tone of the story, which I expected after seeing TFIOS. Nat Wolf's casting was impeccable, I don't think I could see anyone else as Q, and literally the entire friend group killed it, Radar and Ben were hilarious and honestly were just so real and just ugh they were all casted so well. Could not have done it better. Cara was okay as Margo, to be quite honest I didn't think she was the right choice before the movie began and I didn't think she was the right choice after watching it. I like her a lot, I think her personality is awesome and she's beautiful and her eyebrows are absolutely insane, but I just don't think she captured Margo completely. I just loved how they didn't end up framing it as a romance when it's really a coming of age story where the main character understands that other people are complex and other people are not to be obsessed over and lauded and made to be something they are not. The movie did a really good job of conveying that theme, and if I had just a little something extra from the character of Margo, I would really be in love with it. 

That being said, it was a good movie, and I'd watch it again just for Q and Radar and Ben. They were flawless. 

The Q&A was cute and I think really reinforced the idea that the cast members were all actually good friends (which I think showed a bit during the movie too). Also, Alex and Nat preformed a song during which Alex's face was very sad and I'm not really sure if he did much preforming at all, so that was a fun way to end the night. 

But hey, it was a really good night and I got to hang with some of my WLABB crew so definitely would do again. 



So, I think pretty much everything relevant has been said. We went to the thing, we took pictures, we watched the movie, and we watched the livecast. I'll have to side with Amrutha about my opinion of Cara as Margo - I'm not sure if it was her acting or the direction, but I didn't feel like the character was well portrayed. She kind of spoke in a monotone and made a serious face the whole time - she seemed more like the hipster chick loner rather than queen bee of the school. For the movie as a whole, my only complaint is that they removed the scene where Q's mom gives him the car as a gift and never mention when he acquires the car - he just switches from saying that it's his mom's car in the beginning to his car near the middle. Not a big deal, but it bugged me. Also, while I think the movie did capture the essence of the book, I found it less entertaining. It was fun to watch, but I don't think I'll be rushing to the store to buy this on Blu-ray to watch again and again. 

Oh, and even though it's not related to the movie, I disagree with Noor - I am a strong Qdoba over Chipotle fan. To be honest, they're basically the same thing, so it comes down to the seasonings, and I prefer the chicken at Qdoba because I find the Chipotle chicken too spicy for my delicate taste buds.

Anyway, the main reason I'm here is to include more pictures of Sloth. Sloth attended the event with us because, as his Twitter handle implies, he likes to go places, but also because he likes to be included in WLABB outings since he is the most prominent honorary WLABBer. Amrutha already included our super cute forward photo with Sloth, but here are a few others.

Also, I'm kind of mad that Amrutha put the version of this first photo where I was laughing, so I'm including the serious one here. The second is the same one as in Noor's section, but I thought it was a shame that she cropped it in and I really liked it. We are WLABB's Angels.

- Kiersten

Have you seen Paper Towns yet?
Let us know in the comments!

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