Posted in Reviews

Unleashed Review

This review of “Unleashed” contains mild spoilers, but nothing you wouldn’t find out by reading the movie synopsis on IMDB.

I was sick over the weekend, and we spent the day watching the new season of “Arrested Development” and when that was over, I was grumpy and frazzled.  When my depression (grumpy) and anxiety (frazzled) kick into high gear, I prefer to rewatch something familiar.  Familiar is soothing.  However, my husband was home and likes to watch new things.  I decide what we watch most of the time because I’m very much a “mood” viewer and have to be in a certain mood to watch some things.

Rather than tell Will I was frazzled and needed something soothing, I just let him pick something because he doesn’t get a lot TV time and when I’m awake he gets to watch what he wants 80% of the time.  I figure I’ll handle my mood and just suffer through whatever horror movie he picks (he likes horror movies and his queue is just full of them.)

To my surprise he picks “Unleashed” a movie he’s been waiting to watch with me.  This movie was soothing and delightful and funny and sweet.  It was a balm to my frazzled soul – Will couldn’t have picked a better movie for my mood.  I told him after we finished watching it that I don’t expect him to read my mind, so it’s always a pleasant surprise when he does.

Enough about me, let’s talk about the movie!  First of all, the premise of the movie is a woman’s dog and cat turn human.  Kate Mucucci portrays Emma, an orphan with trust issues.  One night her door is left open and the dog and cat run away.  While they are gone they turn human.  Hilarity ensues.

The worst thing to happen in this movie happens in the very beginning.  Emma tells her rat fink, live-in boyfriend about this night sky app she’s made.  He steals the app and deletes her iCloud (I hissed, “Oh, you bastard!” when this happened, because he didn’t just steal her app, but erased her life, too) before leaving with a suitcase.  Emma copes by getting a cat and a dog and moving to California.

Sean Astin plays the cuddly and friendly love interest.  He helps her put up fliers.  Meanwhile, her dog and cat have decided to compete for Emma’s affection, because they both want to be back inside her home, especially one piece of furniture that is very soft  that they like to nap on.  The cat tells the dog that they can’t both be with Emma because humans don’t do that for some reason, so they must compete for her.

Justin Chatwin portrays the cat, and he was the highlight of the movie.  He gets picked up by a modeling agency, because who better to strut down a cat walk than a cat?  He becomes a big deal in a short time in part because he has the haughty and arrogant mannerisms of a cat.  Whenever the dog wants to get the cat’s attention away from Emma, he uses a cat toy to distract him.

The dog, portrayed by Steve Howey, is fun and likable and also provides a lot of funny moments.  The scenes where he and Chatwin interact alone are some of the best in the movie for many reasons.  Both actors really commit to being their animal selves and this works really well for the movie.  At one point they gang up on a bully and it’s a lot of fun watching them work together with their very different dog and cat styles.

The entire cast is likable and fun.  I won’t go on a rave about how great Sean Astin is in everything all the time, but needless to say I loved him in this.  My love for Sean Astin started in childhood and adulthood hasn’t diminished that love one iota.  Kate Mucucci is great as Emma because she has an appealing awkwardness that makes you instantly root for her.  She’s a great character to watch deal with this craziness and you really want her to succeed.  And she does succeed because it is a kind-hearted and lovely movie.

This is a movie I will watch again.  It will join my list of rewatchables because I know if I’m depressed, it will cheer me up.  I’ve read other reviews that complain that there isn’t enough tension in the movie, but that is exactly what I like about it.  This isn’t a tense movie and this isn’t a movie that will exacerbate anxiety.  This is a fun, funny little romantic comedy that focuses more on Emma’s life and pets than on the romance.

I give this movie an A and I deeply wish there were more lighthearted, funny movies like this out there.

Posted in Crossfit, Depression, Yoga

Fun and Anxiety

Today at Crossfit was a lot of fun.  It was a WoD that mostly played to my strengths and I beat Will’s time by 3 minutes-ish, so I was pretty pleased with myself on that front.  I really like weights, so most of the WoDs involving weights are going to be ones I like, as was the case today.  After last week being difficult, it was nice to know I hadn’t lost my Crossfit mojo.

Mondays are my day off.  I have a pretty flexible schedule as a freelance writer and as a tarot reader (I have like 50 jobs currently).  I realized early on that I needed to set aside one day for myself where I didn’t deal with work.  I still sometimes end up conducting interviews, checking emails, making appointments and other things here and there on a Monday, but fundamentally it is my day off.  Downtime.

Sometimes I deal well with downtime, and sometimes my free floating anxiety attaches to whatever it can and makes for a miserable day.  Today has been when one of those days where my brain is spinning out on me, worried about things that either do not matter or are out of my control.  I’ve meditated, I’ve tried reading, and I’ve tried a few other tricks I know, but to no avail.  The worst thing for me is having to wait to move on things.  There are a lot of things I could do, but most of them have to be done tomorrow.  I need to have something to think about, something to do.  I finally decided to bug Will with it – his own fault, he asked me what I was up to and I was currently up to making myself anxious over trifles.  He suggested we go for a run.

Well, yeah.  Duh.  I think this is part of why I need him around (don’t tell him that, though, it will merely feed his rather large ego).  He thinks of things that are obvious and good solutions, but that I would not come up with myself as I am sitting in the throes of anxious-over-nothing.  Do I know that doing something physical will help me?  Yes.  Is it one of the things I try to do when I am dealing with a misbehaving brain?  No.  The exercise thing is still too new a concept for me to apply it to my daily life readily.

That is going to change.

We didn’t run far.  Basically we did a loop around the half block here, so not very far at all, however the anxiety is gone.  Will kept pace with me, walked when I walked (although I did run over half of it), and generally had me laughing by the time we got back home.   Running around the block has been his go-to exercise for a few weeks now for when he is sleepy, bored, annoyed, or whatever other unpleasant emotion is plaguing him.  I think that I am done talking about maybe joining sometime (I could make that vaguer, right?) and at the point where I am just going to go with him when he goes.  It does not take long to run (or run/walk) around the block.  Also, I will be able to chart my progress as I know our block very well.  If I do this often enough, maybe running won’t be such a huge ordeal.  Today it was kind of fun.  First the half block, then the whole block, and as I get one section down to running nonstop, I can add more.

Depression and anxiety are two things I am very familiar with dealing with as I have had both since high school, maybe longer.  I have a made the conscious effort to do Crossfit three times a week and yoga twice a week because that is a good pre-emptive strike at depression and anxiety.  On days where I do physical activity that is strenuous, I tend to be happy and less prone to anxiety.  Considering today was a Crossfit day, I should not technically even be having the anxiety issues, but there are always exceptions.  I have a whole bag of tricks that I use to nullify their influence in my life, but I just realized that most of those tricks are sedentary in nature.  Exercise is a new trick that works really well and almost instantaneously.  I just need to remember exercise and use it more often.