Movie Review: The Sun Is Also A Star (2019)

THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR
Summary: A hopeless romantic ambivalent about his future in medical school falls for a hard-luck young woman who doesn’t believe in love.
I was excited for this movie because I love love love the book. I feel kind of let down lol.
Read the book review here.
Pros:
Cast and Characters. We meet some other characters just barely, like Natasha’s family (though her brother never talks) and Daniel’s family. Also, a friend of Daniel’s and a lawyer but as they’re not really that important in the movie I’m not going to go into them.
  • Charles Melton as Daniel Bae.Daniel is preparing for his interview with Dartmouth as his parents want him to become a doctor as he is first generation in America and a lot is expected of him. However, he wants to be a poet because he’s a hopeless romantic and puts his feelings out through his words. He feels an enormous amount of pressure but when he sees Natasha in the train station, he is immediately taken and believes in destiny. Once they meet, he works to prove to her that love exists and that she could fall in love with him in that one day. I like Daniel a lot, he’s just a kind person who is trying to figure out what he wants but he also thinks of his family because he knows what his choices means for them. Charles Melton is too old to play Daniel, I thought so when he was cast and I thought so while watching the movie, however, I actually liked him. I clearly loved this girl from the moment he laid eyes on her and I truly believed that throughout the film. If there’s anything he can do well, is be in love lol. He also has a natural charisma that works for the character but he just registers too old for the part.
  • Yara Shahidi as Natasha Kingsley.I will have some other things to say about her later, but Yara Shahidi has an uneven performance. I know she was the first choice but she was also miscast but sure. Natasha is desperate to stay in America as she has spent most of her life here and she doesn’t want to get deported for something they can’t control. ICE did a random check and all that. So, she’s really stressed out, desperate and emotional but when she meets Daniel, she manages to find some break from all that. When they’re playing off each other, she does well. All the scientific stuff that Natasha talks about and when she’s sharing her thoughts on those things, it works for her. She’s also so beautiful. They zoom in on her face a lot and I’m just like “This girl is gorgeous” lol.
Beautiful Cinematography. Autumn Durald does the cinematography and I think the movie has a very nice look to it. It has this dreamy quality to it which fits for the nature of the story. There a LOT of shots of New York and it’s beautiful to look at while the movie was basically transitioning.
Character Chemistry. I could tell from the trailers that Shahidi and Melton had nice chemistry and I think that’s one of the highlights of the movie is that while I have issue with the acting and other things, they managed to make me believe they were really falling for each other.
Idea of the Story. As I love the book, I love the story and I do not normally like romance novels. In the movie, Natasha has a day to try and prevent her family from being deported while Daniel is supposed to going to his interview for college. He ends up saving her from being hit by a car (*rolls eyes*) and they go sit down and they talk about love once she finds out he’s a poet. He declares he can get her to fall in love with him and he has a scientific way to prove it, since she’s very much into science and facts and love cannot be proven. I like the idea of their separate stories as they both have the future to think about, albeit different futures, but the future nonetheless and I like the idea of it stressing them both out but they have found a moment to be free from that worry. All of that is nice.
The Karaoke Sequence. One of my favorite sequences from the movie is the karaoke scene. Daniel takes Natasha to this Asian karaoke bar and he sings for her and we get a flash forward of Natasha thinking of what their life could be like if she gives in to this feeling. I thought it was really sweet, especially with the music choice.
Cons:
Inconsistent Acting. I was already skeptical because I wasn’t really into this casting for either of the lead characters. Natasha is Jamaican and Yara Shahidi does not even look like the rest of her family. I thought it was a bit weird and a missed opportunity to cast a darker skinned actress in a leading role, especially for a YA movie. As for Charles Melton, I’d only see him in Riverdale and he’s fine as Reggie (he doesn’t get much to do anyway) but I just thought he was too old and seemed to physically fit Daniel’s brother more than Daniel. Sorry, I got off topic lol, but I think the acting isn’t that great mostly from Shahidi. I don’t watch either of the shows she’s been on so this was my first time seeing her act and I don’t think she’s that great, particularly at the emotional scenes. Natasha has a lot going on in this one day, a lot of emotions she’s going through and I don’t think they hit the way they should have due to her not seeming to make it convincing.
Too Long. This movie is 100 minutes long, which isn’t really that long but this movie felt so long which is a problem. I think I read the book in a day, so I would imagine that with this movie being about an hour and some change would be fine, but it felt like nothing was really happening for the movie to be taking as long as it was. I checked my watch a few times. It has a lot of shots of New York and people doing New York things while some kind of pop song is playing and it just felt like padding.
Movie Flow. I was trying to think of why I found myself not liking the movie the way I wanted to. The movie has a lot of padding and it seems like there isn’t really a story with how they shoot it. It’s like we have moments of them separately, then a lot of shots of New York and music, then they meet and some dialogue then again, more shots of New York and its people and the music. The movie just feels like they didn’t have enough plot to show so they filled it in with transitional shots and music.
Overall, I wanted to like The Sun is Also a Star more than I did as I loved the book. I think it starts off really slow and it’s really only when Natasha and Daniel meet that it gets better, but not by that much. There are some positive things, like the characters are generally fine and the acting is okay, mostly with Charles Melton being the better out of the two leads. I really liked the karaoke scene and I think the two leads had great chemistry. Also, the idea of the story is fine. With that said, the acting is inconsistent throughout the film from almost everyone who gets to really talk but mostly from Shahidi. It’s too long, or it feels like it’s too long and the flow of the movie doesn’t work as it feels like it’s taking forever with NOTHING happening.
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen The Sun is Also a Star? Did you read the book? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!
Thanks for reading!
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Anticipated Movies of 2019

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2019 is going to be an amazing year, that’s what they all say. I’m interested in seeing the number of movies that come out this year. 2018 was a great year for movies but it was a weird year for ME seeing them lol. I hope I can do even better this year and see the ones that I really want to see.
I’m sure there is also going to be a lot of movies that pop up during the year that won’t be on this list but that’s fine because this list contains the movies that I know about.
So, just like last year, I’m going to do my most anticipated movies by month.
January
Glass- January 18: Security guard David Dunn uses his supernatural abilities to track Kevin Wendell Crumb, a disturbed man who has twenty-four personalities. I still have to watch Unbreakable, but Split was legit so I’m down for this movie.
February
What Men Want- Feb 8: A woman is boxed out by the male sports agents in her profession but gains an unexpected edge over them when she develops the ability to hear their thoughts. This has Taraji P. Henson in it, and it’s like What Women Want, which I really enjoy lol. I hope it’s good since 2018 wasn’t very nice to Taraji with those other two movies.
Happy Death Day 2U- Feb 14: Tree Gelbman discovers that dying over and over was surprisingly easier than the dangers that lie ahead. I thoroughly enjoyed the first one so I’m down for this one.
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World- Feb 22: When Hiccup discovers Toothless isn’t the only Night Fury, he must seek “The Hidden World”, a secret Dragon Utopia before a hired tyrant named Grimmel finds it first. The first two are fantastic movies, so I would imagine that this would be the same. The animation looks better than ever and I’m excited!
March
Chaos Walking- March 1: A dystopian world where there are no women and all living creatures can hear each other’s thoughts in a stream of images, words, and sounds called Noise. Apparently, it’s based on a YA novel, these don’t usually do well when they’re “dystopian” at least not consistently, but Tom Holland is in it sooo I’m there.
Greta- March 1: A young woman befriends a lonely widow. I saw this trailer on YouTube and it looks bonkers! I’m down.
Captain Marvel- March 8: Carol Danvers becomes one of the universe’s most powerful heroes when Earth is caught in the middle of a galactic war between two alien races. Need I say anything more? I’m excited. I just hope Brie Larson kicks butt in the role because I love her, and I think she’s a great actress, but the trailers don’t do anything for her acting ability.
Us- March 15: A mother and father take their kids to their beach house, expecting to enjoy time with friends, but their serenity turns to tension and chaos when some visitors arrive uninvited. But Alyx, I thought you didn’t like scary movies… I don’t know. However, I want to support the culture lol and it looks interesting. Sooooo I’ll be there… scared, watching through my fingers.
Dumbo- March 29: A young elephant, whose oversized ears enable him to fly, helps save a struggling circus, but when the circus plans a new venture, Dumbo and his friends discover dark secrets beneath its shiny veneer. I know people don’t like these “live action” Disney remakes but I’m optimistic and open to them. I have always loved Dumbo the animation movie so I’m excited about this one! Dumbo is so precious!
April
Avengers: Endgame-April 26: The Plot is unknown. Listen, Infinity War kicked me in the stomach so I’m ready. I don’t even care if they have the Care Bears come down and do a Care Bear stare, I’m there.
May
John Wick: Chapter 3- May 17: Plot Unknown but it’s the third installment in the series. John Wick kicks ass and I’m there.
The Sun is Also a Star- May 17: A teenager finds love at a difficult time in her family’s life. I really loved the book so I’m looking forward to the film. I wasn’t too impressed with the casting (I like Yara Shahidi but Natasha is Jamaican and described as having darker skin). Plus, Everything, Everything the film was okay so I’m like hmmm but I am optimistic.
Aladdin- May 24, 2019: A live-action retelling of the 1992 Disney film of the same name. I AM SO OPTIMISTIC! I’m curious because Guy Ritchie has a certain style and I wonder if it’ll fit this kind of movie. I really hope it’s good and I’m there.
June
Dark Phoenix-  June 7: Jean Grey begins to develop incredible powers that corrupt and turn her into a Dark Phoenix. Now the X-Men will have to decide if the life of a team member is worth more than all the people living in the world. I’m optimistic lol, I don’t think X-men Apocalypse was that great but there were parts of it I liked. The last time dark phoenix was done it wasn’t very good, so we’ll see how this turns out. I mean, the promo photos were pretty great so… optimistic.
Toy Story 4-June 21, 2019. When a new toy called “Forky” joins Woody and the gang, a road trip alongside old and new friends reveals how big the world can be for a toy. Do we really need another Toy Story film? Not really… but will I be watching it? Most definitely.
July
Spider-Man: Far from Home-July 5, 2019: Peter Parker and his friends go on summer vacation to Europe, where Peter finds himself trying to save his friends against a villain known as Mysterio. I AM SO EXCITED! I really enjoyed Tom Holland in Civil War and I thought Homecoming was great, so I hope they keep that vibe they had in the first movie and make the sequel even better.
The Lion King- July 19, 2019: CGI re-imagining of the 1994 Disney classic. I wouldn’t call it “live action” it’s a CGI remake and I’m there. I thought the teaser was lovely, Simba was so precious and I’m curious to see how they’ve updated it. I’m into it.
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood-July 26, 2019: A faded TV actor and his stunt double embark on an odyssey to make a name for themselves in the film industry during the Helter Skelter reign of terror in 1969 Los Angeles. This has a great cast.
August
The New Mutants-August 2, 2019: Five young mutants, just discovering their abilities while held in a secret facility against their will, fight to escape their past sins and save themselves. Another year and no movie, so I’m still waiting to see it!
September
It: Chapter Two-September 6, 2019: Twenty-seven years later, the Losers Club have grown up and moved away, until a devastating phone call brings them back. I loved the first one…. another horror lol I know, I might even go past my “3 a year” quota if there are some I want to see, and I want to see this one. Great cast (though I still don’t like Chastain as older Beverly) and I’m interested to see how our adult Losers Club takes down Pennywise.
October
Zombieland 2- October 2019: Columbus, Tallahassee, Wichita, and Little Rock move to the American heartland as they face off against evolved zombies, fellow survivors, and the growing pains of the snarky makeshift family. I LOOVE the first one and it seems like the original actors are back so I’m there!
November
Kingsman 3-November 8. Plot unknown. I loved the first one, the second one was just okay, so I hope this one brings the trilogy back to being solid.
Frozen 2-November 27. Elsa, Anna, Kristoff and Olaf are going far in the forest to know the truth about an ancient mystery of their kingdom. I don’t even care, I love the first one. It doesn’t bother me at all nor is it annoying so I’m ready to see what happens next. The only thing that annoyed me was them playing that super long Olaf Christmas short in front of Coco. That was uncalled for.
December
Jumanji 2- December 13. Plot unknown. I really liked the first one to my surprise so I’m curious to see what they do for the sequel.
Little Women-December 25: Four sisters come of age in America in the aftermath of the Civil War. I LOVE Little Women and I’m excited for this adaptation. I love Emma Watson, Saoirse Ronan and the other great acting talents in this film. It’s also being directed by Greta Gerwig who did Lady Bird which I loved so yeah, exciting.
Star Wars: Episode IX-December 20. Plot unknown. I have come to terms that I am not a big Star Wars fan. I enjoy the movies and I have enjoyed the new trilogy, so I’m interested in seeing the last one.
Not really Anticipating but want to see: 
January
The Kid Who Would Be King- Jan 25: Looks like it’s about King Arthur. I mean, it might be terrible, but the trailers seem fun.
Serenity- Jan 25: I have no idea what this movie is about, but I like Anne Hathaway and Matthew McConaughey.
February
Miss. Bala- Feb 1: Gloria finds a power she never knew she had when she is drawn into a dangerous world of cross-border crime. Surviving will require all of her cunning, inventiveness, and strength. Based on the Spanish-language film. It reminds me of all the other films that are similar to this but it looks nice and I enjoy Gina Rodriguez.
The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part- Feb 8: No idea what this movie is about but the first one is cute so why not.
Alita: Battle Angel- Feb 14: The trailer seems interesting, it reminds me of Astroboy… I mean if anything the graphics look good.
March
Five Feet Apart-Mar 22: A pair of teenagers with life-threatening illnesses meet in a hospital and fall in love. I’m not to sure if I think it’ll be any good, but I want to see Cole Sprouse not in Riverdale and I wonder if it’ll make me cry.
April
Shazam! – April 5: We all have a superhero inside us, it just takes a bit of magic to bring it out. In Billy Batson’s case, by shouting out one word – SHAZAM! – this streetwise 14-year-old foster kid can turn into the adult superhero Shazam. I’m not really anticipating this one, I’m just interested in seeing it because it looks fun.
The Best of Enemies- April 5: Civil rights activist Ann Atwater faces off against C.P. Ellis, Exalted Cyclops of the Ku Klux Klan, in 1971 Durham, North Carolina over the issue of school integration. I saw this trailer when I saw The Hate U Give and it looks good and Taraji P. Henson is in it so even more reason to see it.
Little- April 12: A woman is transformed into her younger self at a point in her life when the pressures of adulthood become too much to bear. I’m definitely going to see it to support! Plus it looks like it’ll be a good time.
May
Pokémon Detective Pikachu- May 10: In a world where people collect Pokémon to do battle, a boy comes across an intelligent talking Pikachu who seeks to be a detective. I just want to see what happens, plus I think the Pokémon designs are pretty dope.
Rocketman- May 17: The story of Elton John’s life, from his years as a prodigy at the Royal Academy of Music through his influential and enduring musical partnership with Bernie Taupin. Taron Egerton is playing Elton John… sure lol. I like Taron, so why not.
Godzilla: King of the Monsters-May 31: The crypto-zoological agency Monarch faces off against a battery of god-sized monsters, including the mighty Godzilla, who collides with Mothra, Rodan, and his ultimate nemesis, the three-headed King Ghidorah. I enjoyed the first one minus the boring human stuff but this one seems interesting.
June
The Secret Life of Pets 2-June 7: Plot unknown. The first one is cute so I’m into seeing the second one.
July
August
Hobbs And Shaw- August 2, 2019: A spinoff of The Fate of the Furious, focusing on Johnson’s US Diplomatic Security Agent Luke Hobbs forming an unlikely alliance with Statham’s Deckard Shaw. I like both characters in the franchise, they were both fun in The Fate of the Furious, so this should be fun to watch.
Artemis Fowl- August 9, 2019: Artemis Fowl II, a young Irish criminal mastermind, kidnaps the fairy LEPrecon officer Holly Short for ransom to fund the search for his missing father to restore the family fortune. I read the book in middle school and I remember liking it, so I’m curious to see how the movie holds up. I will read the book again to truly compare but I can’t help but think this will be another A Wrinkle in Time mess.
September
Spies in Disguise- Sept 13: When the world’s best spy is turned into a pigeon, he must rely on his nerdy tech officer to save the world. Voice talents of Will Smith and Tom Holland, and the trailer was charming so sure, I’ll watch it.
October
Gemini Man- Oct 4: An over-the-hill hitman faces off against a younger clone of himself. It’s basically like Looper with Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon Levitt it seems like, but I’m interested in seeing it.
Joker- October 4. A failed stand-up comedian is driven insane and becomes a psychopathic murderer. lol sure, why not.
The Addams Family-October 11. An animated version of Charles Addams’ series of cartoons about a peculiar, ghoulish family. It has a great cast being led by Oscar Isaac who is always a win in my book… but I’m not like off my seat for it even though I really enjoy The Addams Family. I’ve always thought that if they ever did anymore live action films Oscar Isaac should play Gomez Addams.
November
Charlie’s Angels- November 1. Plot Unknown. LOL sure. I’m curious.
Sonic the Hedgehog-November 15. A cop in rural town of Green Hills will help Sonic escape from the government who is looking to capture him. lol I’ve always liked Sonic… I think he looks a little weird on the poster, but I will wait to pass judgement when it’s released.
December
I’m sure there are movies that will pop up throughout the year that won’t be on this list but I’ll probably add more as I discover more.
What movies are you anticipating this year? Let me know in the comments below!
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Book Review: The Sun Is Also a Star

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Summary:
Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.
Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.
The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?
Pros:
The Characters. The way this book is written, we get to meet and learn about a lot of characters, including the supporting ones. But I’m not going to really get into all of that here, just a few, mostly the two lead characters.
  • Natasha Kingsley. She is Jamaican-American, and her family is being deported for being illegal immigrants. She is trying to figure out how to stop that from happening.  She ends up meeting Daniel by chance. Natasha comes off as cynical, she really loves science and believes everything should be able to be explained by science. She is a bit brash, likes honesty and says what she wants when she thinks it. She has a determined personality and doesn’t believe in fate.
    • I quite liked Natasha. I thought she was a very realistic teenager in how she thinks, how she reacts to things considering how she’s grown up. I loved the fact that she was black with a large afro and that she carried herself confidently and that she was extremely smart and interested in science. There were times when I wish she wasn’t so… cynical about life and hope etc but I thought that was kind of realistic for what was happening and how her life had been.
  • Daniel Jae Ho Bae. He was my favorite. Korean-American, he and his older brother were born in America but his parents are immigrants from South Korea and his father especially is steeped in doing what’s best, not doing what they want. He wants to be a poet but his parents want him to go to Yale, become a doctor, marry a Korean girl and all of that. While he wants to do his own thing, he doesn’t know what that is. He happens to meet Natasha by seeing her dancing across the street in New York City and a series of events allows him to actually meet her.
    • I like Daniel a lot, like I said he was my favorite. I like guys who are romantic without being “too much”. I like the fact that it was him who fell first and that he was intelligent enough to talk to her, to let her know he wanted to know what she knew. He was quite the charmer and he seemed like if he was real, he would be really interesting to talk to, I’d think I’d like him. Plus, the Noraebang (karaoke) scene was the best.
The relationships. A big part of this novel is how Daniel and Natasha interact with other people, as well as each other. Due to the way the novel is written, we are able to see a bit more into some of these character’s backstories, which helps humanize them in a way they might not be through what is thought and said by Daniel and Natasha. It’s great.
  • Daniel and Charlie. Charlie is Daniel’s older brother and he’s a major douche nozzle. We learn from Daniel the moment when they started to drift apart and they basically have an antagonistic relationship moving forward. Charlie seems to hate Daniel but I don’t think Daniel necessarily hates Charlie, it’s just that he doesn’t get why his brother seems to dislike him so much and Daniel had to learn how to stand up to him.
  • Daniel and his parents. Definitely an interesting dynamic. His mother is like a mother, a bit nagging but loving. The tone of Daniel’s day really starts because his mother tells him something about his brother than Charlie overhears, but we really don’t spend that much time with her. When we meet his father, it’s at their shop and his father discovers that Daniel is with a black girl and he basically tells him “no” and that he needs to stick to the plan. It’s quite interesting.
  • Natasha and her father. We do meet her mom and brother but it’s really the relationship with her father that is most prominent and interesting. She is upset with him, it’s his fault they’re being deported, she hates him because of something she overheard him say to his wife and she hasn’t said a word to him about it. But we learn a lot about him through her eyes, as well as from his backstory tidbits we learn throughout the novel
  • Natasha and Daniel. Obviously, being the main center of the story… they just work.
The Style of Writing. The way the novel is written is very different. The story is told in present tense in Daniel and Natasha’s point of view, it switches back and forth between the two. Sometimes it’s a few pages of a chapter and other times, it’s just a page or two. It also includes backstories of other characters they have come into contact with as well as minor histories of things such as: the Black Hair Care business, fate etc. I quite liked it. It makes for easy read and it helps to understand side characters because even if they are minor, they all have reasons to be involved with the story.
The Story/Romance. It’s a romance, but it’s a tentative one. The characters have to progress into it. Natasha is so cynical that she doesn’t believe in love the way that Daniel does, who is a romantic. They really do spend the day getting to know each other, learning about each other’s strengths and weaknesses and it was natural, the way young adults would. I thought Nicola Yoon handled their personal problems well, their inner voices, their struggles and all of that built into what they grow into.
Cons:
Starts off slow. It did take me a moment to get into this book. I normally don’t like reading books told from different points of views. Sometimes it’s not done well and it’s annoying. That didn’t bother me here, it was just that it took a moment to get started. Once the day actually begins with Daniel and Natasha being away from home… it starts to pick up.
Not for everyone. This is the kind of book I would think is not for everyone. I mean, no book is, but definitely noticeable here. I think if the characters and the writing didn’t sweep me up, I might have disliked it. If you’re not into romance, don’t read it. If you don’t like it when characters doubt where things could go… then don’t read it. Personally, I do think this book could change your perspective on that but just saying.
Overall, I loved this book. I don’t think I’ve loved a book like this in a long time. One that featured non-white leads, written by a black woman and that didn’t have some fantasy element to it. I like adventure/fantasy type books and I loved this book and it had none of that. I loved the characters, I loved the way they interacted with each other. Normally, I’m wary of young adult books because the dialogue could sound older than what it is but I didn’t think that here, and the times where I might have, it wasn’t jarring. I loved their romantic progression, it wasn’t forced. The ending tore me up inside and was filled with hope. I cried. If a book can make me cry and no one died… well done.
Rating: 4.7o out of 5 stars.
Also by Nicola Yoon: Everything, Everything.