Review: BELIEVER – A Documentary From Dan Reynolds (Imagine Dragons) on HBO

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I had the chance to sit down and watch BELIEVER on HBO this weekend and it was so good!

SYNOPSIS: Believer follows Mormon Dan Reynolds, frontman for the Grammy Award-winning band Imagine Dragons, as he takes on a new mission to explore how the Mormon Church treats its LGBTQ members.

Dan Reynolds (Imagine Dragons) grew up in the Mormon faith alongside his family and friends in Utah. The Mormon doctrine believes that homosexuality is a sin, and they’ve even been known to remove allies from their church. There have been some amendments to their policies over the years, but the astounding number of suicides among teenagers in the Mormon community is still rising.

This prompted Dan to team up with Tyler Glenn (Neon Trees lead singer & fellow Mormon) to look for ways to bring awareness to these situations within the Mormon community. They formed the LoveLoud Festival and this documentary follows their journey in getting the festival organized. One of my favorite parts in the documentary is when Dan’s wife, Aja, is explaining to their young daughter what it means to be gay/transgender. I explained it to my niece the exact same way when she was around the same age and I don’t regret it one bit. Because I did that when she was young, my niece has always been inclusive towards all human beings. Seeing a similar experience documented with their adorable daughter was very special.

It’s an interesting documentary, to say the least. With the help of Tyler, Aja, and several people who are a part of the Mormon community, they shed light on the things that need to change, and continue to fight for the rights of the LGBTQ community.

I recommend watching it, without a doubt. As an ally to the LGBTQ community myself, I think it’s important to see how shunning a person due to their sexual orientation/preference can cause so much harm to that individual and their family. If we want to keep our brothers and sisters safe, we need to be inclusive and supportive. This documentary does a fantastic job of that.

 

I’ll leave you with this incredible tweet from Dan Reynolds via Twitter:

Movie Review by Kristin: LOVE, SIMON | #LoveSimon

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Hey there, movie lovers!

I had the chance to catch a special screening of LOVE, SIMON last night with the niece and we absolutely loved it! We’d been looking forward to this movie since the trailer was first released and it definitely did not disappoint.

SYNOPSIS: Everyone deserves a great love story. But for seventeen-year old Simon Spier it’s a little more complicated: he’s yet to tell his family or friends he’s gay and he doesn’t actually know the identity of the anonymous classmate he’s fallen for online. Resolving both issues proves hilarious, terrifying and life-changing. Directed by Greg Berlanti (Dawson’s Creek, Brothers & Sisters), written by Isaac Aptaker & Elizabeth Berger (This is Us), and based on Becky Albertalli’s acclaimed novel, LOVE, SIMON is a funny and heartfelt coming-of-age story about the thrilling ride of finding yourself and falling in love.

To start off, the cast in LOVE, SIMON was absolutely phenomenal. It was diverse, it was incredibly talented and every single person made you feel connected to their character in some way. You’re able to place yourself in each character’s shoes to try and imagine what they might have been feeling in that moment and how you would react, in your own life, to certain situations that presented themselves throughout the movie.

Nick Robinson (Everything, Everything) shines as Simon Spier. You can actually feel his anxiety about coming out to his friends and family and being so desperate to do it on his own terms. For those in the LGBTQ community, their coming out story is such a powerful moment in their life and having that moment forced upon them the way it was forced upon Simon in the movie was heartbreaking. As someone who is straight, but very much connected to members of the LGBTQ community, these moments in LOVE, SIMON actually made me cry a bit. Yes, I admit it. My niece and I were wiping away tears that never stopped flowing. It was sad, it was uplifting, it was triumphant, it was lovely and it was inspiring all rolled into one hour and 50 minutes.

I would love to read the novel “Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda” by Becky Albertalli to see if we get a bit more of a backstory for Simon. When the movie begins, we’re thrust into his present day struggle with being gay and no one having a clue. We get a quick little glimpse of when he sort of realized when he was gay, but I would’ve liked to see that explained just a little more. Its absence doesn’t take away from the film at all though.

Both my niece and I highly recommend seeing LOVE, SIMON. It’s such an important message for those struggling with their own sexuality, for parents who are oblivious to how their children might be feeling, for friends to learn how to be accepting and supportive towards each other, for classmates to see how bullying and social media could really affect a person’s life. It touches on so many important topics for young adults. Some of the characters are flawed in their own way–some more than others–and that really contributes to the realistic feel to the entire movie.

It will make you laugh, cry and cheer for these characters and it will most definitely make you LOVE SIMON!

You can catch LOVE, SIMON in theaters March 16, 2018!

LOVE, SIMON Official Channels:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | #LoveSimon

 

LOVE, SIMON | Teaser-Trailer Released!

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His story must come out.

This looks so good! After watching Katherine Langford and Miles Heizer in 13 REASONS WHY and Nick Robinson in EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING this movie has incredible young talent attached to it. Not to even mention the rest of the cast! I think this is a story that so many young kids and teens can relate to, so I’m curious to see how it does. As I mentioned, if the cast is any indication . . . I’m sure it will do well!

SYNOPSIS: Everyone deserves a great love story. But for seventeen-year old Simon Spier it’s a little more complicated: he’s yet to tell his family or friends he’s gay and he doesn’t actually know the identity of the anonymous classmate he’s fallen for online. Resolving both issues proves hilarious, terrifying and life-changing. Directed by Greg Berlanti (Dawson’s Creek, Brothers & Sisters), written by Isaac Aptaker & Elizabeth Berger (This is Us), and based on Becky Albertalli’s acclaimed novel, LOVE, SIMON is a funny and heartfelt coming-of-age story about the thrilling ride of finding yourself and falling in love.

LOVE, SIMON will hit theaters everywhere on March 16, 2018!

LOVE, SIMON
Release: March 16, 2018
Director: Greg Berlanti
Screenplay by: Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger
Producers: Wyck Godfrey and Marty Bowen
Cast: Nick Robinson, Katherine Langford, Alexandra Shipp, Jorge Lendeborg Jr., Miles Heizer, Keiynan Lonsdale, Logan Miller, Jennifer Garner, Josh Duhamel, Tony Hale

Official Channels:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | #LoveSimon

@Thisfunktional Talks with Isabella Gomez ONE DAY AT A TIME

@Thisfunktional Talks with Isabella Gomez ONE DAY AT A TIME

Written by Jesus Figueroa (@Thisfunktional)

Actress Isabella Gomez talks to Jesus Figueroa, @Thisfunktional of Thisfunktional.com, about Netflix’ “One Day at a Time.”

Gomez talks about being caught off-guard by the response to her character because she was raised knowing that everyone is equal regardless of their sexuality/sexual preference, the way she prepared and how she spoke with people involved with the project to prepare as well as she could for this role and about where she hopes season 2 will take her character Elena Alvarez.

Netflix’ “One Day at a Time” is available now on Netflix.

Netflix has renewed “One Day at a Time” for season 2.

Check out more interviews and subscribe to YouTube.com/Thisfunktional.