REVIEW: 8th Annual Yule Ball

What a fantastic night!

University of Michigan’s quidditch team surely put on a show. The Rogel ballroom looked positively gorgeous in it’s Harry Potter attire, transforming into something almost as magical as the great hall itself. Quidditch hoops lined each opposing end of the room, decorated in twinkling lights, serving as a popular spot to to take pictures. A banquet table full of appetizing delights, tempted witches as wizards alike with different cheeses, fruits, cakes, and bread, as well as water and lemonade. A playlist of catchy dance music was constantly playing throughout the night encouraging guests to strut their stuff out on the dance floor, and of course being the enthusiastic dancer that I am, I complied, much to the despair of the dancers around me. I’ll tell you, dancing in full robes and high heels is harder than I thought it would be.

Although I enjoyed the Yule Ball very much, it did have it’s shortcomings. One of which is that the entertainment that was provided was a bit of a hit or miss. Of course, I have to take into consideration that this is an event put on by a student organization, hence budgets are always limited. However, when you see a sorting hat hanging from a string off a sagging wall-like structure that is  falling over at times…you start to wonder how much was left until the last minute. Of course, I would never claim that that was the case and I’m sure they worked hard on all their props, but if a prop is every failing, it’s better to just cut it out entirely. Another problem with the sorting hat was the performance itself. As my friend sat down to be sorted, it seemed as though the quidditch team had a series of sorting questions that were printed out a sheet of paper. However, the person in charge of the sorting hat only asked my friend two of them before abruptly sorting her into Gryffindor, a rather disappointing turn of events. As well as the sorting hat, there was also a divination booth which produced a better experience overall. The person in charge seemed very willing to put on the best performance possible and gave both my friend and I a very enthusiastic prediction of our futures.

Overall, I’d say it was a successful night in the long run. It was fun to see fellow fans of the wizarding world of Harry Potter enjoying time together under the same roof. No duels broke out and no one got turned into a ferret. I would have liked Dumbledore to make an appearance, but I guess that was too much to hope for.

Oh well, there’s always next year!

PREVIEW: 8th Annual Yule Ball

This esteemed, Harry Potter themed event is put on by our very own Quidditch team!

As you can probably surmise from the title, this event has become a beloved tradition that grows bigger and better every year. Harry Potter fans throughout campus flock to the Yule Ball to enjoy dancing, performances, and all other sorts of magical festivities that are part of the wizarding world; the most important, being fantastic food.

I for one, am absolutely ecstatic to be able to break out my dress robes and high heels to dance the night away with my fellow J.K Rowling fans!!

For just $12 in advance or $15 at the door, you can be a part of this magical night, February 1, starting at 7:15 at the Michigan Union Rogel Ballroom.

Bring friends, bring family! Just be sure to remember your Umich ID and wear something worthy of a ballroom. (This is a formal event)


REVIEW: Weathering With You

I have to say, Weathering With You is the best anime I have seen  thus far. I absolutely loved this film. Makoto Shinkai has a way of writing truly original stories that take hold of a viewer’s imagination and immerses them so fully into the film that by the time the credits start to roll, you’re already making plans to see the film as many times as you can while it’s still on the big screen.

You may be rolling your eyes right now, but what I’ve just said isn’t an exaggeration. Makoto Shinkai is a genius and his work is so precious. There was a line out the door of the Michigan Theater an hour before the show started; a massive crowd of college kids huddling together in the cold, eyes shining, so excited to be there and I was obviously one of them. When we finally were able to shuffle our way inside, we were greeted by a slightly frazzled theater employee who announced that over a hundred tickets had been sold for the show.

The excitement for this film was a palpable thing that cruised throughout the theater as we all scrambled to get the best seats. The room was a roaring frenzy of voices and then, like magic, everyone fell silent as the screen came to life.

Weathering With You is at it’s heart, a love story. However, Makoto Shinkai is not one for cliches. So when I say ‘love story’, I don’t mean the various love triangles, hexagons, and octagons that you would normally think of. Weathering With You is something pure. It’s about a growing relationship between two young people, the love of father and daughter, the bond of a sister and brother, and the love for people who’ve been lost. All of these relationships are woven together throughout the movie, each one connecting and affecting the other. There is just a beauty to what Shinkai is able to do through anime.


The icing on the cake of course is the aspects of magic that Shinkai brought to Weathering With You, highlighting Japanese legends surrounding weather maidens, women who have the ability control the world of weather. Shinkai brought this magic to life with meadows that floated on the tops of rain clouds, fish made of raindrops and a girl who prayed for sunshine.

I’ve been careful not to give any spoilers because I really believe you should take a moment to watch this film, even if you aren’t the least bit interested in anime.

You won’t regret it!


PREVIEW: Weathering With You

If you are fan of the famous film director Makoto Shinkai and his much beloved and critically acclaimed anime film, Your Name, I”m sure you’ve already heard of his new project, Weathering With You.

Weathering With You focuses on two young individuals: Hodaka, a boy who has run away to Tokyo to start a new life, and Hina, a mysterious, magical girl who is able to control the weather. Hodaka’s life quickly becomes bright and full of wonder due to Hina and her ability to chase away the rain and the two quickly fall in love. However, they must fight to stay together.

Michigan Theater is providing a fan preview screening of the film this Thursday, January 16th, at 8pm.

If you do not yet have tickets, now’s your chance!

There will even be an exclusive interview with the Makoto Shinkai along with the film.

I am very excited to experience Weathering With You. Makoto  Shinkai has such a unique imagination and an impressive ability to merge the mundane day to day of human life with magic in such a way that you could almost believe the events actually happened.


Review: Frozen 2

Those of us Disney fans have waited six long years for the sequel to the epic cinematic experience that was Frozen….After all that time Disney creators spent working, you’d think they would have come up with a better title than Frozen 2. However, that’s a moot point (and somewhat of a Disney tradition).

I was finally able to see Frozen 2 in theaters over Thanksgiving break. Perhaps I over hyped the film for myself, thinking that somehow Disney would surpass Frozen. I was expecting a extraordinary soundtrack, relationship development between Anna and Kristoff, and hilarious antics and humor from the much adored Olaf. Unfortunately, Frozen 2 only delivered on one of those expectations.

Unlike the music in Frozen, which flows seamlessly in and out of dialogue, Frozen 2 seems to stop and start in abrupt fits as if the musical sequences are plugged into the film in a haphazard fashion. As for as the music itself, it’s mediocre at best, at least for the most part. From my experience, the best film music, whether it be an instrumental piece or a musical number are the songs that you can’t help but have stuck in your head for weeks after seeing the film. They are the songs that are constantly on repeat on your playlists and the ones that you belt out at the top of your lungs. The only song that had that effect on me was “Into the Unknown”. I can honestly say that as soon as my family left the theater, I was trying to see if I could hit those high notes, much to my brother’s dismay.

Here’s what it sounded like (try to imagine a dying seagull): “Into the unknoooooooown! Into the unknooooooooown! Into the unKNOOOOOOOOWWWAAAWOOOOOOOOOOOOON!!!!!!!!!!!

As far as my expectations for Anna and Kristoff’s relationship development, I was sorely disappointed. For as little time as Kristoff had on screen, I have to wonder why Disney put him in the movie at all. I understand that Disney wanted to continue to make the film with Elsa and Anna’s relationship at the forefront of the Frozen world and I wholeheartedly approve. However, I don’t approve of Kristoff disappearing halfway through the film because he’s lost in the woods. Lost in the woods? For half the film? So Disney can focus on Elsa and Anna? As Deadpool (A.K.A Ryan Reynolds) would say: “That’s just lazy writing.”

There IS a silver lining to Frozen 2 however, and that is Olaf. I didn’t think it was possible, but Olaf’s wit and humor rose exponentially throughout the film. The entire audience was in fits of laughter almost every time he spoke. If nothing else, see the film for Olaf’s sake. It’s worth it.

Preview: Frozen 2

If you haven’t had the time  to see Frozen 2, now’s your chance! With  Thanksgiving  just barely over, it’s the perfect time to grab some friends and family and enjoy the next adventure of the frozen cast as they plunge into a magical forest on a quest to find the source of a mysterious voice that has been calling Elsa towards the northern reaches of the land. Filled with magic, reindeer, and frozen fun, it’s the perfect movie to celebrate the coming winter.

I’m sure you’ve all seen the trailer by now, but just in case you haven’t, check it out below and purchase tickets at a theater near you.