Paper Towns in Paper and Film

It’s been a couple of years since I reviewed a book or books to be exact. I read way too little these days, I’ve only managed to read eight books this year. Wohoo. But one of them is another John Green novel (the last year I read Fault in Our Stars that I enjoyed a lot), called Paper Towns.papertowns2

Paper Towns (2008)
written by John Green

Synopsis (IMDb): “After an all night adventure, Quentin’s life-long crush, Margo, disappears, leaving behind clues that Quentin and his friends follow on the journey of a lifetime.”

John Green might be becoming one of my favourite writers alive. If he continues writing (Fault in Our Stars was released already three years ago and it’s the latest of his novels) and also develop in the way that difference between Paper Town and Fault in Our Starts shows, then he really might become my favourite. To me he is writing actual literature. The writing is beautiful even though it’s contemporary. When reading Fault, I read passages of it aloud because I thought those words were worth of hearing. Paper Towns is not that good and at the beginning it feels like that its just one of those “whatever”-kind of teen wannabe-romances but towards the end Green shows why we call him author.

What I especially like in Green’s books is the amount of quotable lines. The understanding of complexity of life and being able to put down it in words. That is something I really admire in writers. I even took photos of some of the quotes while reading. And that is a sign of a good book. That you need to capture something and think about it later. One of my favourites from Paper Towns:

ptquote1

What is the main problem in Paper Towns to me is the main character’s, Quentin, crush on the next-door neighbour, Margo, who is the one that puts everything in the motion. She’s obviously needed for the story but gosh, she’s annoying and it is really hard to understand Quentin’s obsession towards her. But then again, I’m not a teenager anymore, maybe it is not my place to understand. But because of her, Q as Quentin is referred, is an asshole. So she makes our protagonist effing annoying. And I hate books when I feel so turned off by the main character that I want to throw the book on the wall. Guess that is also a good sign? The character is living when I have strong emotions while reading. But it is still annoying.

ptquote2

Anyway. Paper Towns is average. It is much better towards the end, I even liked both, Margo and Q in the end thanks to John Green who made them realise something. I don’t know what I should say more? What should a person in general write about books? Books feel so much more personal than watching films and reviewing them. Or maybe I’m just used to do that? Let’s see:

papertowns1

PAPER TOWNS (2015)

Directed by Jake Schreier

Written by Michael H. Weber & John Green (author)

Starring Nat Wolff, Cara Delevingne, Austin Abrams, Justice Smith, Halston Sage & Jaz Sinclair

Synopsis: see book review

Well. What I liked about the film Paper Towns is the use of unfamiliar names except Cara Delevingne and she’s not really known for her acting. It makes this little film a bit more real. What else did I like..? Can’t remember. It wasn’t bad. It was just totally “whatever” and definitely worse compared to the book.

What I remember is that the music was so off. Or maybe that was the point; they wanted to make the film feel different from the book? Because the music didn’t suit the mood of the book at all. It bothered me thorough the whole film. Cinematography was kind of nice, sunny and a little pastel coloured. It looks the same like the poster of the film. So, that’s in line. Oh, the character of Ben (Austin Abrams) was so much more in the film! I didn’t find him very funny in the book but in here he is kind of perfect. Yeah, he is probably the best thing in the film.

PAPER TOWNS

Script of the film is different from the book in reasoning. I don’t want to give out anything but that is kind of story-ruiner as the reasons of doing things in the film are just plain stupid. Plus they’re much funnier and relatable in the book. And Q’s actor or how he portraits Q is off. He’s way too lazy to be properly obsessed what he really is. Doesn’t work. And Margo is not really annoying he, so it’s hard to see why Q is. Cara Delevingne is nice, she seems cool as Margo. In a good way.

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Verdict: Read the book if you feel like it. If you don’t, read Fault In Our Stars because you should, it’s very good. Watch the film if you have some spare time but I’m sure you’ll have better things to do.

Ratings: Book: ***½ (out of 5) Film: **½ (out of 5)

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The Martian Preview (Toronto Update #1)

The_Martian_2014I had a though of doing three posts of Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) premieres but I have to admit, I don’t know where to start because there are so many films getting their first showings there… So I ended up writing a piece of The Martian, upcoming Ridley Scott blockbuster. At the moment, after 20 reviews, it still has 96 fresh percentage at Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb ca is 8.8 (only 605 votes, though). Critics are loving it and the trailer makes it look like a good ride. And funny one, I might add.

The Martian synopsis goes (IMDb): “During a manned mission to Mars, Astronaut Mark Watney is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. But Watney has survived and finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet. With only meager supplies, he must draw upon his ingenuity, wit and spirit to subsist and find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive.”

It stars Matt Damon in the lead role and names like Jessica Chastain, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Kristen Wiig, Jeff Daniels, Kate Mara, Michael Peña and Sean Bean in supporting roles. It’s, like said, directed by Ridley Scott and shot by very talented Dariusz Wolski, who has shot films like The Crow, Alice in Wonderland, Sweeney Todd and Pirates of the Caribbean films (and I would guess knows Johnny Depp quite well…). It’s based on the bestseller (which is apparently really good) by Andy Weir and adapted skillfully by Drew Goddard. The editor, Pietro Scalia, has four noms, two wins in the Oscars. Set decoration is basically NASA or Mars/space and guys responsible of that also have done previously nominations worthy work. It sounds like a winner now when I take a deeper look. Then again, in my opinion, Scott hasn’t done anything good since Gladiator (then again; it was amazing film!) and I’m accustomed not to wait anything from him anymore. Seems like he’s back.

I’m not a big fan of Matt Damon or Ridley Scott. Not even sci-fi films but this one looks very good, I’m excited now! Take a look at the trailer and tell me what you think?

Oh, and when it comes to the Oscars, anything’s possible. It can score big but I’m quite sure it will score at least in some technical ones like sounds (both; mixing and editing especially), visual effects (I’m sure of that) and probably cinematography. At least. But at the moment I think Matt Damon will be there with Scott and the best picture too. They need one blockbuster there, you know?

Premieres around the world in the end of Sep or at the beginning of Oct.

Back on the Saddle!

I thought about this a lot. If I have an interest to write this blog. And if I can find time. But as long as I have time to binge-watch Netflix, I also have time to write my blog.

Let’s take an update.

I live in Amsterdam now. I’m in exchange. For my studies that I started two years ago. If you’re interested in reading more about me and my actual life, not just about movies, feel free to browse “The List Lover” posts that you can find from the left side menu.

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I’m still pursuing my dreams. One way or another. I will be studying Business of Sports and Events during my time in Amsterdam. That will start on Monday. And after that I will have my practical training aka Internship time. I have quite big dreams concerning that but I will talk about it later.

So, how about my lists. Well, as you, who have read my blog earlier, know I love the Oscars. And I already made my early (very long lists of) predictions for next February. Check them here. And please feel free to tell me if I’ve forgotten something. Or make suggestions for the best documentary category, I’m so lost with that one. Thankfully, I will be here in Amsterdam when they are having IDFA, International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam in November, the mother of documentary film festivals.

Then, IMDB top-250. Yeah, I haven’t watched any since January. Yay for me… Tomorrow I’ll be seeing Manhattan though. I’m going to visit the Eye that is contemporary movie culture centre in here Amsterdam and they are showing the film.

Ok. 50/50. I haven’t watched that many films this year to be honest. But I did see 15/64 in cinemas. That’s not bad, I think. I listed the series, just to explain to myself why there aren’t more films in the list.

Well, my Bucket List. I’ve started number 56. Hah, I actually had my IQ tested (66). It’s normal. I never thought it would be very high but at least a bt. To be honest. It’s not. Wow. I’ve been too honest there… Well, what’s written it’s written… I guess. Number 90. is thankfully getting closer everyday.

And lastly, my list of 101 things in 1001 days. The deadline is gone. I managed to do quite many things from the list:

1. Get into some school to study something you really want to study and stay there. 

Still there.

Then I volunteered at film festivals (though I still want to go to Sundance or Toronto), joined Pinterest and Twitter (still using both) and started a blog (actually two but other one is in Finnish). I unpacked and then packed again as I don’t have home in Finland anymore. I saw new artists and tried new foods and restaurants and shot more people with my camera. I got new haircuts and new glasses as well. I made a short film, I used earrings and started to use more feminine clothes altogether. I saw Wicked and Supernatural season 6 (it was a drag…). I visit Lapland and Louvre. I got a bicycle(s, actually). And I got a pasta machine from my friends for my birthday (didn’t by it myself but who cares!). I managed to do 36/101. Not bad. And I will continue it. From now on it’ll be list of 55 things in 555 days.

@Satumaah

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The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Review

bilboTHE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF FIVE ARMIES (2014)

Directed by Peter Jackson
Screenplay by Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson & Guillermo del Toro. Novel by J.R.R. Tolkien
Starring Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, Aidan Turner, Evangelina Lilly, Orlando Bloom, Luke Evans, Cate Blanchett & Lee Pace

I was so disappointed with The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. And quite bored to be honest. There are quite a lot of people who seem to like it but I don’t know why? It’s badly bloated without pulling any heartstrings and it looks just a horrible CGI mess. I do admire Peter Jackson just because of LotR trilogy but this time he messed up. Maybe he tried to make it the way that it would top the last installment of Lord of the Rings but he failed. The last Hobbit has no soul. At all.

azog1 There is this Finnish article of why Jackson failed and it brings up very good points (Helsingin Sanomat). The article points out that Jackson didn’t want to direct the Hobbits in the beginning because he was afraid that he would try to compete with LotR trilogy. Jackson only took the job after Guillermo del Toro retreated. The article argues that there were three reasons why Jackson failed with Hobbit trilogy (to me he only failed with the last part). Firstly he wanted to make it like one film and lost the spirit of the original novel. He wanted to make it like Lord of the Rings even though Hobbit is a children’s book instead of this massive fantasy tale that Lord of the Rings is. The tone is totally different in the book but not in the films. Secondly, he made way too many references to his original trilogy, unnecessarily in many cases. And lastly and to me most importantly, he repeated LotR. In The Battle of Five Armies the fishermen flee like the good folk of Rohan did in Two Towers. Caladriel repeats herself from The Fellowship and Galdalf rides to the rescue like in Two Towers. Even the battles look like they did in the last two parts of Lord of the Rings. Only just more made with digital imagenary. Sad stuff.

Hobbits are like new installments of Star Wars. And I will try to forget them as I have tried to forget those episodes I to III. I can’t really point out anything good in The Battle of Five Armies. Everything looks like wax. Not real. Especially watched in HFR where you can point out all mistakes visible to human eye. HFR is still a bit too much for me, especially in this kind of product where there have been a lot of use of CGI and miniature models. They actually look like it. You can even spot the make up marks on characters faces or photo editing when it comes to elves, the glow on their face is so unnatural.

thandruil_leepaceWriting this makes me sad. And it’s not a very good review. I think all actors and actresses are trying to do their best but because most of the times they are acting in front of a green screen and quite many times alone, I think, it must be difficult to get to the mood. And besides, the whole film is about battles anyway. No need to do actual acting. I used to like Legolas do his thing but in this one he is just annoying. And that “love story”… It was more embarrassing than endearing. Luke Evans was quite alright. And Richard Armitage did his best with that sad script he had to work with. And obviously, CGI looks ok. I just hoped there would have been a lot less of it.

I don’t have anything else to say. Two and a half stars come from technological achievements, the one scene that made me a bit sad for right reason and from the cast that tries its best.

Rating: **½ (out of 5) 

100th Post – Are dreams still alive?

It’s been almost two years since I posted for the first time. That makes it one post per week. And almost a year since I’ve posted something about my personal life if you don’t count those mentions in other posts. The last time I wrote about my life was in Spring Rambling in April 2014. It’s been a while. I’ll try to collect some thoughts and happenings in this post. As the readers who have visited my About page or read my first “List Lover” (that’s me) -post, know that I’d like to work in movie industry and I have big plans for me. More about my plans and how I’ve managed to gain them so far, you can read by choosing The List Lover off the menu on left. If you’re interested. 🙂

So, what’s been going on since last April. I was quite tired back then because I was working approximately 25 hours per week plus all that school work. But thankfully during the summer I managed to take it easy. I had just the perfect balance between work and play. And the summer all together was very nice, the weather was warm, even hot and I spend a lot of time at parks and beaches. Or at the sea, my favourite place during a summer. Here’s me enjoying it.

meandsea

Otherwise the last year was not the easiest one. The summer was good but the rest of the year was quite a struggle. Emotionally and physically in that way that I’ve been sick quite a lot and because I tend to stress about things my whole body gets stressed and my muscles are killing me that badly that I can’t sleep. And when I can’t sleep, I get irritated and restless. And that leads to drinking and so on. You get the picture. When it comes to my dreams; are they still alive? To be honest, I don’t know anymore what I really want and I need to figure that out. Following wise words have been my guide during the last couple of months:

And now when the new year has started, it feels like it’s a bit easier to breath again.

How is it going on with my lists? Well, not so good. I’ve been really lazy with all the stuff aapofrom 101 Things. And that’s kinda sad as those things are not that hard to achieve. I only managed to do few things. I unpacked (28.) finally when my nowadays roommate moved here and I changed to the different room in the apartment. I kind of achieved number 39 as my friend moved back from Minsk… 48) I am nice these days most of the time, so that’s not a problem anymore (quite weird to notice that there has been this kind of huge change… Wow.). I did use earrings for a day (59) and several actually. 85) I got a bicycle last summer and I’ve been using it from time to time. My roommate has been using it a lot more though. 😀 And I just decided that my favourite quotes are safe enough in Pinterest where that pic above will lead you (100.) And the last thing that I did was to shoot (read: photograph) at least five different people for practise. That’s one photo of those sessions. I really like taking portraits.

The Bucket List I’ll just leave alone for now.

That leaves us 50/50 that looks like this: 50/50 Challenge where I managed to read four (how sad is that!!!) books and watched only 105 films. But I did watch quite a lot of series. And thankfully, out of those 105 I did watch 26 of them in cinema.

I don’t know if this is any interest of yours but I kind of like to keep this as a part-time diary too. Reminds me of things. In a good way. But I’d like to get your opinions too, what do you, my dear readers and fellow bloggers, find the most interesting to read, so please choose. You can choose more than one. Thanks! And if you have any suggestions please feel free to comment. 🙂

I’ll be back soon with the review of the latest Hobbit (which I didn’t like that much) and my new TV series challenge that I gave to myself. See ya soon!

 

 

The List Lover Updates (50/50, The Oscars and 101 Things)

aphorism1I did check my Bucket List too but I haven’t done any of them. To explain a little to all of you who haven’t noticed my pages on the top of this, is that I love lists and challenges, so I’m basically all the time trying to achieve something. That’s in my nature. I’ve posted few List Lover’s (read: me) posts previously, they can be found by clicking the link of The List Lover on Themes (right hand side on the Home page). I mentioned I will be updating how I’m doing but guess movies have just taken me so thoroughly that I really haven’t paid that much attention to my personal life here in the blogverse. But let’s take a look.

The first, 50/50 Challenge. This is the third year I’m participating. And I never manage to read 50 books. But I’ll try again. I just updated the page so you can see I’ve watched 16 movies this year so far and read one lousy (well, to be honest, it’s almost 800 pages, but still…) book. Movie-wise I try to watch 200 films this year, let’s see how it goes. Here is how I did last year.

Pulp_Fiction_coverIMDb-250. I think I’ve tried to watch those films forever. And I’ve only managed to watch three more since last time I updated. Quite sad. But I’ve seen Pulp Fiction, Casablanca and Big Lebowski that I only watched yesterday. Only the middle one lived up to its hype. But because I own quite many of 250, I promise I’ll watch the following during the next two months:

  • The Shawshank Redemption
  • Goodfellas
  • Cidade de Deus
  • Vertigo
  • The Green Mile
  • Intouchables
  • Reservoir Dogs
  • Amadeus
  • All About Eve
  • Jodaeiye Nader az Simin
  • El laberinto del fauno
  • The Kid
  • No Country for Old Men
  • Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
  • Trainspotting
  • Annie Hall
  • Warrior
  • Into the Wild
  • The Graduate
  • Roman Holiday

The more personal one, 101 Things in 1001 Days. I have about 18,5 months left. Not that much then. And I just calculated that means doing one thing in a week. That’s a lot… Since last update, I have managed to get into school that I enjoy and have stayed there (1). Even have done quite well, so that area is nicely covered. I’m still studying International Business but I’m basically minoring in Media Studies and the combination is perfect. I’ll write more about it later. I also managed to throw the clothes that were broken away (30). And got some much closer to unpack my stuff that has been sitting in the boxes forever (28). I’ll probably manage to finish that in this month and same goes for filing the papers (29). I also saw a play when my friend had a part in one. And I visited to Paris and also Louvre (93). I really should edit those photos from there and make a photo post here! Here’s one:

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And the last but not least, the Oscar winners predictions. I just updated it today. Took the lists straight from IMDb. I still have about 30 of the features to see and 13 of the shorts, so I can’t have a proper opinion yet. Only thing that is clear to me, I really think 12 Years a Slave should win the Best Picture just because how it handles the subject. And I thought Leo was better than Ejiofor but I haven’t seen Dallas Buyers Club yet, so let’s see if it changes my mind about my favourite. The ones in italics are my favourites, the ones in bold are the ones I’m predicting. What are your favourites?

Alphabetic Movie Meme

It’s Sunday and I have nothing mandatory to do, so let’s list some movie related things for a change.

I ran into this at Elina’s Films and Coke blog that I enjoy to read and I just need to answer those questions myself. You can find the original Alphabetic Movie Meme at The Drama Llama blog of Katy’s. I think I need to follow her too from now on. Btw, I just realised, everyone is introducing themselves by their first names. So, hi, I’m Satu.

Anticipating Movie of 2014

Interstellar. Well, Christopher Nolan. Do I need to say more?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABook Adaptation I’d Like to See

I’d like to see live action version of Dragons of Autumn Twilight by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. The series were one of my favourites when I was a teenager and I remember trying to cast a movie based on the first novel. There is an animated feature and a lot of Dungeons & Dragons stuff or something like it already existing but I’d like to see a proper film now when there actually are great fantasy films existing.

milaCelebrity I’d Most Like to Meet

This is hard… I’d like to choose someone that’s not too intimidating and by that I mean, no one too charming because it would be hard not to blush all the time (that leaves out Clooney, Hiddleston, Law, Downey Jr. etc.). So, I’m gonna go with Mila Kunis. She would probably be a blast to hang out with and wouldn’t mind to have a beer or two at local sports bar.

Dream Director/Actor Pairing

David Fincher and Christian Bale. That would be some chillingly dark stuff. christianfincher

Essential Classic Film

I need to agree with Elina here and choose Gone with the Wind. I’ve seen the film at least ten times if not more and I love it. Scarlett is my ultimate heroine. Sometimes you just need to sacrifice things for the greater good. Although it would be better to understand a bit earlier what a blind cow you’re being.

Watching that trailer made me want to watch that again. I love that film!

Favourite Film Franchise

Lord of the Rings is the reason why I want to pursue a career in the film industry.

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Genre I Watch the Most

Skeleton in my closet; I watch romantic comedies. I love them. I mean the ones that are actually good. That’s probably 10 films or so. But I still watch them, even the really bad ones.

10-Romantic-Comedy[1]

Hidden GemIn_America_movie

In America. There are more of them, actually a lot of them but this one was the one that came to my mind instantly. It’s kind of funny that it’s “hidden gem” because it did get three Oscar nominations back in 2002. It is wonderfully written and acted. A real tearjerker but the one that leaves you uplifted anyway. I truly recommend it.

Important Moment in My Film Life

(includes a minor spoiler in case you haven’t seen Return of the King)

This is not really important to my life but it’s the most memorable moment that I’ve had within the movies. I went to see Return of the King second time on a Christmas Day and the cinema was full. All of those people who attended were actually there to see the film, not to chat or having a snack. And at that moment when Aragorn and company are at the Black Gates and Sauron speaks to Aragorn, the big movie hall was entirely silent, you couldn’t even hear people breathe. And when Aragorn whispers “for Frodo”, it was like sudden relief and people started to sob at the same time, you could hear everyone inhaling loudly. It was the best movie moment ever:

Legally_blondeJust the Right for a Rainy-Day

Legally Blonde. I think this one is still the best role of Reese Witherspoon and the movie gives you such a push, like you could achieve anything. This is my “theme movie” like Ally McBeal had a theme song in the series.

Kiddie Movie I still Shamelessly Enjoy

To me couple of first Harry Potters are actually kiddie movies and all those great animated features are for both, adults and kids alike. But because those great Disney animations are counted as kids’ films, I’ll go with Lion King as well. It’s superb.

Location I’d Most Like to Visit

Again, I need to steal. I also want to go to Hogwarts. There is no place like it.

hogwarts

Marathon I Watched

I don’t believe I’ve watched any movies in a row. I have, of course, watched six films in a day but they didn’t have anything in common. Well, the best I can say is that I watched the first two parts of Lord of the Rings trilogy when I was spending the night at the cinema to get the ticket to the midnight screening of the third one.

Netflix Movie I Actually Watchededwestwick

Let’s see if I’ve watched any of them. I usually only watch television series on Netflix… Yay, I found one! Chalet Girl. I’m quite a fan girl of Ed Westwick (or probably more like a fan girl of Jack Bass) and I wanted to see that. It was ok. I gave it 2,5 stars or five (that’s good for romantic comedy).

One Movie I Saw in Theatres More Than Once

The best I’ve done is with the first part of Lord of the Rings; The Fellowship of the Ring. I’ve seen it seven times in the theatre. I told you, that trilogy changed my career plans.

Preferred Place to Watch a Movie

Obviously in a cinema. There is no other answer except if you’re afraid of other people.

Quote that Inspires Me

“He save me in every way a person can be saved.”  -Rose from Titanic

I like the idea that a random meeting of another person can thoroughly change your life. Yes, in Titanic huge things happens, emotionally and around, but in the end, this quote is about it that a person needs to live a life that he/she finds fulfilling and never mind what others think what he/she should do.

titanic

Remakes – Friend or Foe?

Usually foe but it is also a good thing to introduce some classics to new audience in a form of a remake and perhaps they will end up watching the original one that is usually superior to the remake.

missäxSnack I Enjoy Most

I’m not a fan of people eating in cinemas. I tolerate it, if they keep the noise in minimum. But I do get snacks when watching some action-adventure flicks like Pirates of the Caribbean or Marvel movies. My favourite is this candy called Missä X. They’re Finnish marmalade (I think?) with this sour sprinkling… Kind a hard to explain but here’s a picture:

Thrilling Movie that Blows My Mind

Argo. It was total “edge-of-your-seat” ride from the beginning until the end.

jakeUnapologetic Fan person for

This varies, I get overly excited about different persons from time to time but if I’d needed to pick one, I’d guess it would be Jake Gyllenhaal. I just love him. He can even do really lousy films but it’s ok.

Very Excited for Award Show Season?

Well, check some other posts in this blog and guess.

Wish I Never Watched

Shallow Hal. I’m still offended by that film.  I truly hate it.

XXX Movie I First Watched at Young Age

I saw this film when I was about six or seven. My father was renovating my room upstairs quite late at the evening and I was alone in the living/bedroom and I think he didn’t know I was awake watching this film:

Btw, you can find the entire film on YouTube. I wouldn’t recommend except if you like bad horror movies.

cumberbatch1Your Latest Movie Related Obsession

Benedict Cumberbatch. I’m a bit sorry that I got hooked on him as well like hundreds of thousands of other women around the world. But what can you do, he is the hottest star in Hollywood, at least according to Critics’ Choice Awards.

ZZZ-Catchers

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. I really had to fight with myself to stay awake. This is a pity because the franchise began really promising way, I love the first part and the second is also hilarious. I’m sorry they are still continuing to make them.