Sunday, January 31, 2016

Femnista: Classic Hollywood (Jan/Feb 2016)



What you have here is a superb collection of articles revolving around the films and actors of classic Hollywood, mainly the period of time between the 1930s and the 1950s, although there are plenty of 1960s films that I consider top notch classic Hollywood fare.

While I haven't fully read through the issue yet, I can already recommend the articles on Audrey Hepburn and Sherlock Holmes, which at this point is as far as I've gotten. Both of those articles struck a chord in me, and the one about Audrey reminded me how very much I love and admire her, both as an actress and as a woman.

My articles this time around are on James Cagney and the film East of Eden starring James Dean. Yes, I know two articles, but Charity was kind enough to let me write more than one since she knows how much I adore the classics.

I hope you enjoy this issue as much as the countless authors enjoyed writing it!

In this issue: James Cagney, The Philadelphia Story, Audrey Hepburn, Sherlock Holmes, Mae West, Sorry Wrong Number, John Wayne & Maureen O’Hara, The Honeymooners, Judy Garland, East of Eden, Norma Shearer.

Next issue: Keeping the Faith (March/April). See upcoming issues.

Period Film Challenge - Beyond the Mask (2015)


Written for the Period Drama Challenge hosted by Laurie over at Old-Fashioned Charm. ❤

Beyond the Mask (2015, PG, 105 minutes)
written by Paul McCusker and starring John Rhys Davies


Let's be perfectly honest. Christians movies get a bum rap. Sometimes it's a well-deserved razzing. Just because you have an idea for a Christian movie doesn't mean you're qualified to make it. Badly done Christian films are out there and I avoid them whenever possible. Which means I can tell the difference between a good Christian movie and a bad one.

Sometimes, though, Christian films are better than I ever anticipated. Such is the case with Beyond the Mask. This film's production budget was roughly $2 million dollars which is microscopically tiny when compared to all the superhero films being dished out today that somehow require at least $250 million in order to function. And yet Beyond the Mask manages to be a cohesive, enjoyable, family-friendly, not-overly-preachy Christian film that also fits itself into the genre of a period film. Sort of like Amazing Grace.

The razzing Beyond the Mask has received, the low ratings on IMDB by reviewers, etc. is unjustified. I actually had a much longer rant written here, but decided against posting it. Just know that if you watch this movie with an open mind then it will enchant you. Don't be close-minded.


And now on to the movie itself!


❤ The Plot ❤

The leading mercenary for the British East India Company, Will Reynolds has just been double-crossed and now is on the run in the American Colonies. Working to redeem his name and win back the affections of the woman with whom he's never been fully truthful, Will now hides behind a new mask in hopes of thwarting his former employer (John Rhys Davies). As his past life closes in on him, Will must somehow gain the trust and the help of his beloved Charlotte - as well as Ben Franklin - while he races against time to defuse a plot of historical proportions. As Will Reynolds discovers, if we let true freedom ring, history can be redeemed! 

(Note, I borrowed this synopsis from the film website


❤ The Good Bits ❤

Because you know, every movie, Christian or not, has good bits and not so good bits. I fully acknowledge that fact, and so I'm happy to cover both.

Really, the best thing is how I never felt that this movie was low budget. The scenery was stunning as were the special effects. The soundtrack was nice and subtle, there, but not overpowering. Guiding the story in ways that evoked images of National Treasure or Pirates of the Caribbean. In good ways, mind you.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Movie Review: Jack Frost (1998)



 Jack Frost (1998, PG)
starring Michael Keaton and Kelly Preston

The basics are these. Jack Frost is the character's name, and he heads up a fairly groovy musical band. He lives in Denver, which is somewhat hilarious because it doesn't look like Denver and I should know, has a wife and a son who he doesn't give nearly enough time to although he tries. Jack gets a big break with his band literally right before he and his family were headed up to their lodge for Christmas. He cancels on the family to do this gig, then decides his family is more important, heads up the mountain to join them and whamo, gets into an accident and no more Jack Frost.

It would be tragically sad if that was all, but no, of course not. Instead a year later his son, Charlie, is mournfully playing his father's old harmonica after having just built a snowman in the likeness of the late Jack Frost. And poof! Jack's spirit spirals into the snowman and insanity ensues.

There's some good bits and some bad bits and some just plain crazy bits. This is a movie about a living snowman. What else were you expecting?



❤ The Good Bits ❤

Michael Keaton. I don't really watch the old Batman movies anymore, but I did enjoy them for quite a few years, mostly because Michael Keaton solidly fit the role of Bruce Wayne. He just has one of those nice faces, if you know what I mean. Kind of warm and comfortable and welcoming, like a fireplace after being out in the cold all day. If they'd had Keaton in the film more than just 30 minutes, I would have LOVED it, but as you can tell, the snowman is still a snowman and even though Keaton voices him, it's not enough.

There's some really endearing moments of father/son relational development. Jack Frost is getting a second chance to be a good father to Charlie and he's taking. That's really the only reason he came back since he was pretty much always a good husband to his wife. But with Charlie, he just wasn't always there, like promising to teach his son a hockey move and then not being able to work it into his schedule. Those types of moments build up over time and create a sense of abandonment, so it was nice to see Jack and Charlie mend bridges, as it were, and for their relationship to develop. Even though it was as son and snowman.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Have you heard about Risen (2016) starring Joseph Fiennes?



Contrary to the poster itself, Risen releases in theaters, probably limited release, on February 18th, 2016.

Okay, so backstory.

I was in the theater last year with my Hearties group (When Calls the Heart fans) waiting for Captive to start. Btw, that's a movie you definitely need to see if you haven't already, but I'll post a full review for it at some point. Back on point, while waiting we were bombarded with trailers, some good, some not so good, and then there was RISEN.

Literal tears fell down my cheeks before I even realized that I was crying. That almost never happens!

The story is simple, but the implications are not so simple. You have a Roman Tribune who is set with the task to solve the mystery of Jesus' body's disappearance. This is the Resurrection story from the perspective of a non-believer. Oh MY GOSH. I have never seen anything like this or even really imagined that anyone would make such a movie!

Can you tell I'm excited?

Plus, and this is a big plus, we have BIG NAME ACTORS in Risen!

We're talking JOSEPH FIENNES, TOM FELTON, and PETER FIRTH. You know these actors. I know these actors. This movie promises to be one of the most impactful films that has been released in the last decade.

So, what do we need to do? Plan to see it if it's in a theater near you. Try it. Take a friend. Take your family. Make a note of the release date. I know where I'm going to be on Feb 18th, and even though I will undoubtedly be a sobbing mess by the end, it will have been worth it. Because this story needs to be told.

Go. And remember why He came.





Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Thoughts on Mockingjay: Part 2 (2015)


This movie has only been in theaters for what . . . 2 months and 6 days, give or take? And I finally made it to the theater today to see it. Sort of a birthday gift to myself, you might say, since I took the day off from work and spent most of it with my sister. Or she spent it with me. Hard to say which way that coin fell. Regardless, I made it to the theater after months of trying.

I intend to review the franchise in-depth and in order someday so I won't go into much detail just yet. But a few things, naturally, stood out to me which I just had to share.


An Overview

Mockingjay Part 2 is a solid and stable ending to a superb book-to-film adaptation series. It's so easy to muck up stories when they're adapted from films, and there's nothing worse really then when the adaptation sucks. Even though it's been quite a few years since I last read the series, I think the movies captured the feel very well, and that includes the darkness of the final installment.

There's a reason so many dystopian series aspire to be The Hunger Games and just as many reasons why most of them will never achieve the same level of excellence.

This series is the inception of teen dystopian fiction. Everything else in the same genre will inevitably be compared to The Hunger Games. I do it, you probably do it, we all do it, and for me, most of the other dystopian stories fall short of the emotional impact that The Hunger Games possesses.

The Hunger Games franchise takes a very real and possible concept and visualizes it for you. We like to think that we would never sink to the level of putting children in an arena to fight to death until there is only a single survivor. But we would. We already have. It's called gladiatorial fights in ancient Rome. And sacrificing Christians. It's happened, it could happen again.

So for me, The Hunger Games has always been less about entertainment and more about realizing the danger. Stay sensitive to the needs of others. Don't become like Gale and Presidents Coin and Snow who somehow think that winning the game justifies sacrificing innocent lives. Or holding a "symbolic" Hunger Games with the children of Panem. It's a crucial moment when Katniss realizes that she is about to trade one tyrant (Snow) for another (Coin). We cannot do the same things as our enemies or we are no better than them.

Mild soapbox, I know, but I'm not sorry for it.


The Actors

You don't get a better cast than Jennifer Lawrence, Woody Harrelson, Julianne Moore, Donald Sutherland, and Natalie Dormer. I have never been a Natalie Dormer fan, but I just love her in this franchise. She adds a depth to the films that you wouldn't expect, just as Jennifer Lawrence provides a depth and authenticity to Katniss that you would never find with a different actress. Each character came to vivid life by the actor or actress who portrayed them. I can't name them all, but I wouldn't replace a single one, not Finnick or Prim or Gale or Peeta or Effie or any of them. They all fully embody the character they portray, making me believe they are who they say they are, and the world they live in is real.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

The Blogging About Blogs Tag



So, my dear friend Hamlette from Hamlette's Soliloquy started this fun little tag about blogs. And I love the idea, a way to praise and encourage your fellow bloggers, plus I made it to her list, for which I'm extremely touched.

Then, a newer blog I'm following, Heidi over at Along the Brandywine, tagged me, so that's 2 reasons for me to fill this out!

Thanks to both of you!

The Rules
Thank the person who tagged you
Answer the questions
Tag some blogging friends

Blog that makes me laugh
I'd say that the one that makes me laugh the most is probably Olivia's blog, Meanwhile, in Rivendell.

Blog that makes me think
Definitely Charity at History!Chick since she is always able to find deep meanings in whatever fandom she's currently interested in.

Blog that teaches me things
Ooh, I love Olivia's blog (a different Olivia) called Hopeful Honey. I love to crochet and she has such gorgeous patterns and tips on new stitches!

Blog with beautiful headers
Okay, so I'm pretty much assured that Natalie's blog, Raindrops on Roses and Whiskers on Kittens will always have a lovely header.

Blogger who takes great pictures
Sadly, I don't follow a lot of blogs that take their own photos, so I'm going to tout Kirsty Mitchell's collection called Wonderland. The woman is gifted beyond belief. Photos range between G and PG13, all fantasy and fairy tale themed. GORGEOUS!

Blogger whose recommendations I trust
I definitely trust the book recommendations by Birdie at Lady of the Manor and Hamlette at The Edge of the Precipice.

New blog I'm enjoying
I like literally JUST started following Jayne's blog, Adventures at Tiny Toadstool Cottage, but I love her reviews and thoughts already! I anticipate this will be the start of a long blogging friendship!

Blog I've followed the longest
I've been following Charity at History!Chick for as long as I've been blogging, even since before I was on blogger but on Livejournal.

Blog I've started following the most recently
I just started following Heidi at Along the Brandywine and am enjoying getting to know her interests and opinions.

And I'm going to tag just a few people:
Lady of the Manor
Adventures at Tiny Toadstool Cottage
Sidewalk Crossings

If anyone else wants to fill out the tag, you most certainly may!

For your convenience, here are the tag questions for you to copy:

Blog that makes me laugh
Blog that makes me think
Blog that teaches me things
Blog with beautiful headers
Blogger who takes great pictures
Blogger whose recommendations I trust
New blog I'm enjoying
Blog I've followed the longest
Blog I've started following the most recently

Friday, January 22, 2016

Period Drama Challenge - Oliver Twist (1997)


Written for the Period Drama Challenge hosted by Laurie over at Old-Fashioned Charm. ❤ 

Oliver Twist . . . The Disney Version
starring Richard Dreyfuss and Elijah Wood
1997, PG, 90 minutes

When I was a wee nipper my exposure to "period films" was limited to big production company releases that had been solidly Americanized and, how do you call it . . . abridged. But that's okay because I was just a kid myself. In 1997, I was only 13-years-old and I really didn't have all that much interest in period dramas that were hours and hours long. For one thing, I didn't have the patience for it. And for another, classics were boring. What can I say? I was 13.

I have since widened my classic literature and film horizons by leaps and bounds, mostly thanks to college courses with a strong focus on British lit. And although I have yet to actually read Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens, I have watched many different film adaptations of the story that are far more comprehensive and, shall we say, dark than this one.

However, this Disney version of Oliver Twist will always be near and dear to my heart. Why?

Frodo Baggins is just around the bend!

Because I first saw Elijah Wood in Huckleberry Finn and Flipper and developed a solid and healthy crush on him from a young age. So to cast him as the Artful Dodger seemed brilliant to me at the time. Never mind that he wasn't British. Nor, come to think of it, is Richard Dreyfuss. But that did not seem to matter to 13-year-old me who simply thought Elijah Wood was the best thing since Luke Skywalker.

Re-watching it as an adult, and having not seen it for at least a decade, well, my views have changed somewhat. But I am still firmly convinced that this version if a great introductory version of Oliver Twist. Have you ever noticed how easy it is to be intimidated by period dramas? If you have little to no experience with them, the last thing you're ready for is a foray into a complicated drama of thick accents and dark scenery.


Be kind to your friends and family who might be interested in dipping a toe in the enormous lake that is Dickens film adaptations. Show them this 1997 version of Oliver Twist. It takes a complex and long-winded story and whittles it comprehensively down to 90 minutes, palatable to even the most restless spirit.

Strong British accents are noticeably absent, with the lead actors doing an admirable job of faking them. Which I honestly don't mind, even though that probably makes me less of a purist. Hey, if the Brits can fake American accents and get away with it (BADLY, I might add), then we should be given a free pass to do the same. What goes around comes around, I always say.


As for the adaptation itself, I'm pretty sure a lot of the dialogue is not out of the book, but I couldn't say for sure since, like I said, I've never read it. But I seriously doubt that Dodger refers to prison as "That great institution of higher learning" just as I also know he was certainly not a teenager. That is another change I don't mind, simply because it's Elijah Wood and I'll take him when and where I can get him, which nowadays is few and far between.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Agent Carter 2-Hour Season Premier (2016)


Agent Peggy Carter is back in the 2nd super awesome season of her show! ❤ 

Any self-respecting Marvel superhero fan absolutely must know who Peggy Carter is . . . Captain America's girl from the 1940s who is now a top notch secret agent and will eventually be a member of Shield (errr, before it went bad that is). The 1st season of a mere 8 episodes was such a rousing success with Marvel fans that Peggy is back, and even better than ever!

Played by Haley Atwell, Peggy Carter is reunited with James D'Arcy's portrayal of Edwin Jarvis, Howard Stark's faithful butler who now has a taste for subterfuge due to his excursions with Peggy in the 1st season. As for Howard (Dominic Cooper), he hasn't put in an appearance yet this season, but I'm expecting him at any turn. Howard is one of those characters you resent liking because he is suuuuuuuuuch a dreadful playboy! But I miss not having him.


❤  In Episodes 1 & 2 w/ SPOILERS

This seasons starts off with a bang where Peggy finally catches Dottie (Bridget Regan), that horrendous Russian assassin who escapes at the finale of the 1st season. My gosh, I loathe that woman, especially now that's dressed like Peggy! But a hefty bag of coins to the head does wonders and she's now in custody. With a mysterious pin that Peggy feels she should know and is important, but she's not sure how or why. I suspect she'll be a crucial player throughout the season considering she's credited with 15 total episodes for the series. Bleh. Oh well, I need someone other than Howard to grind my teeth at.

Daniel Sousa (Enver Gjokaj) was one of Peggy's sole supporters in Agent Carter's 1st season, although still a bit flawed in places, but I still like him. He's been stationed in Hollywood, CA to start up an office for SSR (Strategic Scientific Reserve) for about 6 months and then comes across a strange case of a woman's body being frozen in the middle of a lake . . . in California . . . in SUMMER. In other words, an impossibility and he needs help. And because Jack Thompson (Chad Michael Murray) is now in charge of the New York branch and has too much power and doesn't think Peggy is capable of getting information out of Dottie, he sends Peggy to help Daniel. No, Jack hasn't really changed and I'm about as fond of him as I am a tub of tepid dishwater.

Peggy arrives in Hollywood to find Jarvis waiting for her, eager to assist as always. Howard has offered the use of his Hollywood abode to her while she's there, including the charming flamingo below that Howard has added to his menagerie and which Jarvis has nick-named the "THE DEVIL IN PINK."

Period Drama Challenge Film Choices!


I'm participating in a Period Drama Challenge hosted by Laurie over at Old-Fashioned Charm. ❤

This is a really good thing for me since I haven't been watching a lot of period dramas lately and I really do want to get back into the habit. I miss period dramas! They consumed so much of my interest for so long and somewhere along the way, with life and work and school, I just ran out of time and energy for them and that sucks. So I'm going to take this opportunity and run with it and maybe try a couple of new dramas along the way, but especially rediscover my favorites and share them with all of you!

Visit Laurie's blog at the above link if you have any interest in joining the challenge, all her guidelines are listed there.

I've chosen to be a Period Film Devotee which means I will watch and review a total of 10 period dramas or films between now and July 2nd of this year. And here's my list, although it could change!

I'll be adding review links to this list as I complete the films/dramas.

2015
I've been intending to watch this film for months and only just got around to it. And because it fits into the period film challenge criteria, I figured I might just as well add it to my list!

1997
This is the Oliver Twist of my childhood! Elijah Wood and Richard Dreyfuss, what's not to love?! Of course, I've never read the book so have no idea how accurate it is, but I don't care and love it anyway. It's been years since I've seen it so I wonder if my love of it will have dimmed or not!

1983
So, Timothy Dalton is my Mr. Rochester. I also love Toby Stephens, but I suspect a lot of people will write for Toby's version so I'm deliberately going with Timothy's. He's such a delight!
1999
I have never watched a film version of David Copperfield other than a cartoon where all of the characters were animals of one sort or another dressed in period clothing. I still love that version, but I figured it was time to graduate and I've heard great things about this version.

1940
I do love other versions of Pride & Prejudice, many of them actually, but Greer and Larry were it for me for so long that I must share the love!
1976
I watched this version of The Picture of Dorian Gray because I'm a Jeremy Brett fan (not quite rabid, but close), and discovered that this verison is superbly rendered. And all without being too . . . sensual. I deeply appreciate their restraint!

2014
My Jamaica Inn experience is solely limited to the 1939 Hitchock version that I LOVE. I've never read the book or watched any other version, so I figured I should give this one a try.

2000
No one should ever go without seeing this version of Lorna Doone. The movie is my heart's delight starring Aidan Gillen and Richard Coyle as the villain and the hero. It is pure brilliance and romance from start to finish. I must and will share it with all of you!

2015
I'm a huge Holmes fan, but never got around to watching Arthur & George with my family like I'd planned. It's about Arthur Conan Doyle in case you hadn't guessed and I am curious to see how it stacks up with other Doyle-related programs I've watched.

2001
Murder Rooms is another series about Doyle, only this time you throw in Dr. Joseph Bell, the inspiration for Sherlock Holmes. It's brilliant, one of my absolute favorite series and my heart aches to think it only lasted 4 episodes. This will only cover the miniseries, not the pilot film.

2005
It's been years since I've watched The Greatest Game Ever Played, but I love it still. It's the story of a monumentally astounding game of golf at the US Open in 1913 against nobody Frances Ouimet and renowned golfer Harry Varden. It's a truly incredible film about an incredible story!

Monday, January 18, 2016

Lovin' Those Musicals! - The Music Man (2003)


I honestly thought that nothing could ever make me like The Music Man. I'm sure you know the musical I mean. Fast-talking conman rolls into small town, gets townsfolk to give up money they don't have for a Boys Band that he can't form because he doesn't even know how to read music, all while he attempts to romance the town's staid and tight-laced librarian. I did try about 12 years ago, I really did since so many people I knew loved the version from 1962 and I really had no interest to seek out another version to take its place. That 1962 version just . . . didn't work for me. The actors, the setting, the whole shebang really. And I really, really did not like Harold Hill. And I couldn't believe that Marian would fall for such an obvious player and con artist.

Then they made a version of The Music Man for tv back in 2003.

And Heidi from Along the Brandywine just mentioned it to me during her Cinderella blogathon a few weeks ago that was so much fun!

And I rented it from Amazon, fell head over heels in love, and my own personal copy is now on its way to me.

Life's a funny thing.

Thanks, Heidi!


One thing I've discovered is that musicals really don't like to be challenged by newer versions. But I've always been prone to liking musical remakes since they generally breathe a bit of new life into the story. Like my loving the 1962 version of State Fair with Bobby Darin, Pamela Tiffin, Pat Boone, and Ann-Margret over the 1945 version with, well, I'm not sure who's in that version. Or Hugh Jackman's version of Oklahoma! over the one from 1955 that I simply couldn't stand. Oh, except for the new Annie. You can't remake perfection. So, yes, overall I have a penchant for musical remakes. You simply replace the original cast of The Music Man with Matthew Broderick, Kristin Chenoweth, and Victor Garber and I'm instantly in love! Which kind of makes me 1 of exactly 26 people in the entire world who loves the 2003 version over the 1962. Which is kind of sad, but I guess to be expected.


Why do I love the 2003 version? Two words . . . MATTHEW BRODERICK. Yes, I love Kristin too, but from the very first time I saw Broderick as Cinderella's prince over 20 years ago, I loved him. From what I understand about people's reticence to like this version, he downplays the role of Harold Hill. Okay, so, I kind of like con artists. I couldn't enjoy the tv shows Leverage or The Mentalist if I didn't, but they play it more subtle, and let's be honest, Patrick Jane in The Mentalist got out of the business and the characters in Leverage are out to take down the bad guys. So I like con artists to a point, if I have a reason to like them, which the original cast of The Music Man never gave me. He was obnoxious and loud and I never got the feeling that he cared about anyone. People say that the original was "masculine." Well, if that's masculine than please give me a softy any day because at least then I can see why Marian might choose him. At least Broderick plays Hill with some sympathy, like he's trying to make a difference and give people a little hope and enthusiasm, even while he's planning to rip them off. It's a weird, complicated characterization to watch but Broderick pulls it off without a hitch and a lot of people's lives are improved for having known him. I could buy him turning good in the end because I saw the good in him too. Plus, I'm a Broderick fan, in case you missed that fact. He makes everything better.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Faerie Tale Theatre's Cinderella (1985)


Written for Cinderella Week hosted by Heidi at Along the Brandywine. ❤

As a homeschooler with parents who weren't wholeheartedly involved in the Disney boycott thing in the 90s, I was solidly exposed to fantasy and fairy tales as a child. So of course I watched Shelley Duvall's Faerie Tale Theatre. Oh my, I look back on that series with so much fondness and love, but, out of all the episodes, only a few really stood out as my favorites, and one of them happens to be Cinderella.

If you've never watched it, then you've missed so much! Matthew Broderick, who I happen to ADORE, plays Prince Henry, making himself one of my favorites of the Cinderella princes. He was just so . . . ideal. Naive perhaps, and very young, not unlike Cinderella herself, and I liked that, knowing they would grow to maturity together.


Three things stand out for me when I think about Faerie Tale Theatre's Cinderella: the casting, the humor, and the costuming.

I, mean, how do you go wrong casting Matthew Broderick as the Prince and Jean Stapleton as the fairy godmother?! I sort of grew up with Jean Stapleton, watching her be a semi-regular character on the spy show Scarecrow and Mrs. King in the 80s, so watching her don sparkles and the most GORGEOUS of all ball gowns to play Cinderella's fairy godmother, well, it was a sure thing I'd love her. As for Broderick, you already know I love him, but I also know Eve Arden as the wicked stepmother, who was quite the renowned actress herself in the days of classic cinema. Jane Alden and Edie McClurg play the stepsisters, Bertha and Arlene, and the insanely eccentric James Noble, known mainly for The Love Boat, is cast as the king.


But I also mentioned humor, and this version of Cinderella is shock full of it. Whether it's Bertha saying to a male visiter, "Would you like something to drink, perhaps some ham?" or the King remarking to his son, "Have you ever talked to that chef, Jacque? He is a heck of a nice guy!" the dialogue just flows so well. I love how the fairy godmother , just as she's about to turn the pumpkin into a coach, pauses and proclaims, "Hold on, pumpkins aren't hollow are they? Don't they have all that stringy stuff inside of 'em?" To which Cinderella responds, "Yes, and seeds." And the fairy godmother says, "Seeds! You don't want gigantic seeds inside of your coach do you? No, I should say not, we'll have to dig 'em out!" Which they then proceed to do, divesting the pumpkin of its seeds and "stringy stuff." The fairy godmother is a great kidder, the king strikes me as a laid back lounge singer from the 1960s, and Prince Henry spends a great deal of his time dodging Cinderella's stepsisters at the balls.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)



Welcome back after the holidays! I hope you all had a lovely time spent with friends and family. You'll be happy to know, I hope, that my holidays were happy in spite of the emotional turmoil I was experiencing at the start. Thanks for any and all prayers you may have sent my way during December, they were greatly appreciated and very much felt.

Now. STAR WARS.

Do you ever wake up to realize that you've had a void in your life for years only to find that it's been FINALLY filled? That's me and Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

I'm going to make a terrible confession to all of you. I don't like the prequels. I never have, never will. I tried to fool myself into tolerating them for a good many years, but, well, I might just as well admit my distaste for them. So my Star Wars life has been solely limited to the original trilogy for almost the entirety of my life. And it was chock FULL of unanswered questions. I mean, what happens after Vader dies and the new death star explodes and Luke is reunited with Leia and Han? I wanted, no, needed desperately to know more. True, I could have read some of the countless Star Wars novels that have been published over the years, but I never trusted them to be canon and it turns out that I was right. . . they're not canon. Big surprise there.

So I kept hoping and praying, impatiently I might add, that someday George Lucas would come to his senses and make movies about the story I wanted to know, what happened AFTER The Return of the Jedi. I'll admit, I didn't really hold out all that much hope he would do it justice if he ever decided to try sequels to his original trilogy, which is why when I heard he gave up the rights to the franchise and Disney took them, well, let's just say gleeful is a good word to describe my reaction. Because Disney doesn't just sit with a good idea, it runs with it. And I trusted that Disney would run with Star Wars before Mark Hamill got very much older. Because, let's be honest, Lucas was a fool to make prequels when his actors from the original trilogy were still young enough for him to make decent SEQUELS.

But, all Lucas bitterness aside, my dream was realized, Star Wars: The Force Awakens was born, and then came the mind-numbing panic that maybe I had built up my hopes for this movie too high. That NOTHING could be as good as the original trilogy and that I was setting myself up for stinging disappointment. NOT SO! 

The Force Awakens is hands-down my favorite movie of the last 5 years!

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