One Year In

It has been one year since I began posting blogs. I have over sixty posts (I’ve managed that despite taking a month off here and there due to often posting twice a week). That number staggers me at times, because I have barely scratched the surface of my eclectic love of movies. Yes, we’ve done Disney. But I love musicals as well. And action movies. And movie series. I’ve planned out the next couple of months, about until I may break for the holiday season. And I’ve only gotten two categories laid out and doing some rough math…oh boy, there’s still more coming! I originally thought this would be a project for a year. Nope, gonna be more like three. Wow!

After Eragon, we will continue with historic movies, then historic-set romances. Some more modern romances or rom coms (not a long category). Musicals (that’s gonna be a big group). Action/adventure, always fun. The superheroes, including the Marvel cinematic universe. And the pieces that I really want to discuss: Star Wars, Lord of the Rings/Hobbit, Chronicles of Narnia, How to Train Your Dragon, Harry Potter; those expansive series.

In the meantime, enjoy a quick update on some other movies I fit into my life.

Since I got into Game of Thrones and came to love the character Jon Snow the best, I decided to try some of Kit Harington’s other movies. So far, I’ve seen Testament of Youth and Pompeii. Both of which I want to own. I don’t want to give too much away and I know they may not be widely liked films, but I enjoyed them. Well, the second half of Testament of Youth not too much; it made me cry. But it takes place during the First World War, so you can guess why. But Kit’s character is a dashing, charming young man who likes literature and poetry and my heart melts. I’d love a happier tale, of a young lady falling in love with her brother’s friend; that doesn’t end in heartbreak. I should see if more exist. That part reminded me a bit of Jane Austen. And the lead female character is at Oxford. Me being the nerd that I am, was fairly drooling looking at the library. And realizing this takes place at the same time as Tolkien (brilliant movie, I want it as soon as it’s available. We’ll cover it once we get to the two trilogies).

I was surprised I liked Pompeii; as disaster movies are not my cup of tea. The storyline is not the most original, but it was well done. The action is stupendous and Kiefer Sutherland is surprisingly in it; they timed the opening credits well so his name comes up just as he turns around and you realize, oh, that’s him. This made me want to watch Gladiator. And I was disappointed. I dozed off half an hour into the movie and towards the end, I was fast forwarding, begging it to get to the point. What is a bit frustrating is that I like other Ridley Scott films. And I deeply enjoyed his film starring Russell Crowe again in Robin Hood.

If anyone has any suggestions or recommendations on movies or shows to watch, I will consider. I am in no way promising to watch, partly due to, as I’ve stated previously, I am into enough shows and movies and fandoms as it is. My bookshelves plead with me to return to my first love.

And a thank you to all the followers and all the people who have read this blog! I didn’t realize I would enjoy it the way that I do. It combines my love of movies (and talking about movies, because I find them fascinating) and writing. Happy movie watching and happy reading!

fun movies
Look what was waiting for me when I got home! (The first movie will be covered during the “historic” segment)

There’s Always a Twist

I wrote this originally directly after the episode aired, but held off posting due to spoilers.  Read now at your own peril:

 

Because I need to work through my feelings on the finale of Season 14…

I’d say three words, but I shouldn’t swear online.  Though now I’m debating, who was the bigger dick?  Metatron or God/Chuck?  We thought God was cute; we thought God was our friend.  Nope.  I mean, it sets up the last season well.  My feeling is he’s unleased a whole bunch of the monsters Sam and Dean got rid of (Bloody Mary, that freaking creepy clown).  They’re surrounded by zombies or something, fighting, which is what they excel at.

Episode turned out completely different than I thought it would.  Jack has never been my favorite character.  I was sad when he died originally, but he just fits an awkward spot.  The last half of the season has been Jack-centric and how many ways can we twist this around.  But when it came time to get rid of him; him talking to Cas made me sympathetic.  Yeah, when Dean was holding the gun, I was more concerned with “don’t hurt Dean.”  ‘Cause he can’t die yet, but that means nothing.  I literally sat up on the couch the scene before the commercial when Sam grabbed the gun.  And now I want to punch God in the face.

So, I feel bad for Jack, though I don’t think we’ve seen the last of him.  He looks to be in the Empty, with Billie.  Not sure what that exactly means.  God is a dick.  And I worry about my boys.  And as always with Hellatus…we have to wait like six months!!!  (Gives me plenty of time to finish re-watching The Road So Far, and read a couple books)

 

Always willing for a Supernatural discussion

Spots, Spots, and More Spots

101 Dalmatians

The movie is based on a book, which I had forgotten, but that’s on par for most of Disney’s first movies. I am not a pet person in general and not a dog fan (I like the bunnies that visit my backyard; they’re cute, but I don’t have to take care of them), yet I like this movie. The dogs act so much like humans and are far kinder than half of the humans. As a child, I found it particularly amusing that the dogs often resembled their owners. It’s adorable that they refer to their human owners as “pets” and Pongo is incredibly self-aware to realize that the bachelor life is not all it’s cracked up to be. He’s smarter than most humans and manages to successfully pair his pet Roger up with Anita, and gaining her Dalmatian Perdita as his mate.

101 dalmatians title
The cover I remember as a child

As dogs are prone to, Pongo and Perdita are due to have a litter of puppies an indeterminable amount of time later. Anita’s “devoted schoolmate” Cruella de Vil stops by demanding to see the puppies, for some reason. Once again proving that animals are smarter than humans (hmm, sounds like Snow White), Perdita is far more fearful of Cruella than her owners. Cruella stops by again once the puppies are born and offers to pay for them, but Roger smartly refuses, causing Cruella to vow to get even. (Again, not entirely sure why; obviously once one is familiar with the story, we understand, but it’s not explained within the timeline. Her true desire is hinted with her comment that she “lives for furs,” but that tends to go over children’s heads).

The next scene is a parent’s nightmare; men break into the house, distract Nanny, and kidnap all the puppies while the two couples are out for a walk. Pongo and Perdy take matters into their own…paws when the human avenues are getting nowhere. They send a message out through the dog chain in London, finally reaching a farm in the country where Captain (a horse), Sergeant Tibbs (a cat), and Colonel (a dog) reside. The trio had noticed activity at Hell Hall, the old De Vil place and decide to investigate. Sergeant infiltrates and discovers not only the fifteen missing London puppies, but an additional 84 Dalmatian puppies. They send word back to Pongo and Perdy who immediately head off to rescue their offspring.

Again, as a child, I didn’t fully grasp what skinning puppies meant, aside from bad. Most of the time, Cruella simply refers to it as “the job.” Sergeant Tibbs knows he must get the puppies out, the sooner, the better. Pongo and Perdy arrive just in time to turn the tide and they begin their trek back to London. (There’s a memorable scene where Captain kicks Horace and Jasper into the hay – I cheer). At one point, they take shelter in an old dairy barn where the maternal cows coo over the puppies. Their next stop the following day is a village where they hope to hop a ride back on a truck, but Cruella, Horace, and Jasper are hot on their trail. The puppies give them the idea to disguise themselves as black labs by rolling in the soot. It works, until melting snow reveals their true coloring. Cruella drives like a maniac, attempting to knock an innocent man off the road (I will agree in this case with the truck driver’s derision of female drivers); all for a fur coat. She eventually collides with Horace and Jasper and the Dalmatians safely return home. Roger’s big hit; the only song of the movie really, “Cruella de Vil” will allow them to move to a “Dalmatian plantation” so they can take care of all 101 Dalmatians.

The late nineties had a brief animated series based on the movie, that I don’t think I ever watched, and an animated sequel in 2003 (I will save my rant on Disney sequels for later; my bare memory of the movie is that it did not live up to the original). There was a live-action remake of the movie in 1996 with Glenn Close as Cruella de Vil. That version explained that Anita worked for Cruella as a fashion designer, clearing up Cruella’s interest early on in the puppies. Roger was a video game designer instead of a musician and I clearly recall Cruella caught by the police, covered in molasses. There was a follow-up to that movie, 102 Dalmatians, that included Ioan Gruffud (Mr. Fantasic, or Horatio Hornblower, depending on your taste) and her final result was being baked into a cake.

Overall, an enjoyable film; I’d watch it if it was on television and it’s a welcome break from fairy tales and princesses. It’s a good mix of action and adventure and family for kids. My heart races a little when Cruella is searching for the puppies and they’re loading onto the truck. This movie and Mary Poppins gave me my first taste of London (though I haven’t been yet). The remakes are…alright; I enjoy the hijinks.

Questions? Comments? Are you a dog person?  Cat person?  Bird person?

Next Time: The Sword in the Stone

Off to Never Land

Peter Pan

Based on J.M. Barrie’s play, it does have a sequel: Return to Never Land and Tinker Bell has a whole slew of movies. And today’s little ones can meet some of the characters in Jake and the Never Land Pirates. The writing of the play is the basis of the Johnny Depp film Finding Neverland, and Steven Spielberg directed Robin Williams, Julie Andrews, Maggie Smith, and Dustin Hoffman in Hook, which takes place decades after the original tale (and fun fact: Dante Basco, who voiced Zuko in Avatar: the Last Airbender, was Rufio, a peer of Peter Pan). As a child, I liked the animated movie for the adventure and variety of characters. Re-watching it as an adult, I get a different view.

Peter-pan-disney-poster

The movie opens on a night in London and introduces us to the Darling family; Mrs. Darling who believes that Peter Pan is the spirit of youth, sons John and Michael who act out stories starring their hero, eldest daughter Wendy who is the “supreme authority” on stories of Peter Pan, and their father, Mr. Darling, who prefers to be practical and believes that stories of Peter Pan are poppycock. Because he’s tired of the nonsense, he informs Wendy that it is high time she grows up and it will be her last night in the nursery. When the parents leave for their function, Peter sneaks into the house to retrieve his shadow (which is apparently its own free entity and somehow became separated from Peter). He makes a racket, waking Wendy who starts babbling. Peter reveals that he enjoys visiting the Darling house because he likes to hear the stories about himself that Wendy tells the boys. And making perfect sense to a child, Peter decides that Wendy should come back to Never Land with him so she can share her stories with the Lost Boys, which also prevents her from growing up and ending the stories. Michael and John wake up and want to join in; then they’re off, exclaiming “We Can Fly!” with the help of “faith, trust, and a little pixie dust” to “the second star to the right and straight on till morning” (because that’s an accurate way to travel).

The first denizens of Never Land we are introduced to are the pirates, under the command of Captain Hook. Except they’re disgruntled by the lack of traditional pirating, instead stuck in Never Land pursuing Peter. The boy that thought it was a fun prank to cut off Hook’s hand and feed it to a crocodile. Their fearless leader isn’t so fearless; he becomes a quivering mess when he hears the tick-tock from the crocodile. Yet he also shoots one of his crew and fires a cannon at Peter and the Darling children. Tink, jealous of the attention Peter is giving Wendy, flies ahead to his hide-out to warn the Lost Boys of an approaching enemy, a giant “Wendy bird.” They attempt to shoot her down, but Peter manages to rescue her at the last minute and banishes Tink for a week for “high treason.”

Peter takes Wendy to visit the mermaids and the boys “Follow the Leader” to fight “Injuns” (this movie is also filled with horrible racial stereotypes). It’s usually a game of the Injuns and Lost Boys capturing and letting the other group go, however, the chief’s daughter, Tiger Lily is missing. Captain Hook and Smee have Tiger Lily and are willing to drown her in an attempt to get the location of Peter’s hideout. Peter does rescue the maid, after he’s reminded; he’s too busy having fun and showing off. Yet he’s honored by the chief and we sit through the degrading “What Makes the Redman Red” song.

Captain Hook has a new plan; use Tink’s jealousy of Wendy and persuade her that he is leaving the island and will take Wendy with him to “save the lad from himself.” He’s of course, lying, and gets around his promise to not “lay a finger, or hook,” on Peter, by lowering a bomb wrapped as a present into the hideout. Wendy has figured out what sort of boy her idol is and wants to return home. She reminds her brothers of their mother and the sentimental song causes the other Lost Boys to want to return with her, so they too can have a mother. Peter refuses to grow up and lets them leave. They’re captured by the pirate crew and offered the chance to join, or else walk the plank. Wendy still believes that Peter will save them, even after the Captain reveals his actions. (Tink saved Peter, racing back to knock the bomb away. Peter’s forced to face the fact that he had ignored her and declares “you mean more to me than anything in the whole world”) He does fly to the rescue and duels Captain Hook, even promising to not fly away. He manages to outsmart and trap the Captain, forcing him to mock himself as a codfish. The crew escaped, but now have to out row the crocodile who once again is chasing Captain Hook. The Lost Boys take over the ship and with a lot of pixie dust, they take off for London.

The Darling parents return home to find that Wendy has agreed to grow up, while her father has changed his mind to let her stay in the nursery. She begins to tell them about her newest adventure and they catch sight of a cloud, shaped as a pirate ship. It’s familiar to Mr. Darling; something he saw when he was very young.

As an adult, I have to realize that this movie is a representation on how children think (well, I had a little help; a friend pointed out the idea to me, but watching the film now, it makes sense). They are playing; in play, pirates are fun. Danger is not real; those who die can simply come back to life the next time they start up. Hands aren’t really cut off, but if it was, wouldn’t it be funny to feed it to a crocodile? Peter is the essence of a young boy; girls are silly and his interests flits between whoever can stroke his ego and gain his attention. He leaves Wendy alone more than once (and she is a typical girl with a crush, simpering for his attention) and seemingly tosses aside his oldest companion, Tinker Bell aside because someone new and shiny has come into the picture. Funny, as a child, I thought she was mean, but as an adult, totally get it!

I realized that this was the first time I have watched the original animated film since I’ve watched Once Upon a Time. Vastly different characterization [Warning: Spoilers Ahead!] Pan is an evil…I don’t know what to call him, but I want to wipe that smirk off his face; Tiger Lily was once a fairy as well, Tink retains her spunk, and Captain Hook is devilishly handsome. Totally prefer Colin O’Donoghue as Hook dressed in black leather to crying codfish Captain Hook.

ouat capt hook

As always, questions? Comments? Do you view Peter as a hero?  What’s your view of Captain Hook; diabolical villain, or a codfish?

Next Time: Sleeping Beauty