Sunday, August 30, 2015

So endeth NBC's Hannibal . . . and not a moment too soon!!!!!!

How is it possible for me to start out really liking a show, its psychological facets, its cleverness, its intellectual dialogue, only to reach the very last episode, the final moment of the entire series, willing it to JUST END ALREADY. That is the culmination of my relationship with NBC's Hannibal.

And why, might you ask?

Because all of the characters, bar none, became Hannibal in the end. Did you catch what I just said? THEY BECAME HANNIBAL. We're talking Will Graham, the supposed hero of Red Dragon. We're talking Jack Crawford and Alana Bloom, who were once the good guys. Every single one of them became dead inside. Hannibal literally killed them, not physically, but morally, mentally, and spiritually, they are dead. I mean, in this last episode, they let COPS DIE so their little plan to catch the freakin' Red Dragon would come to fruition! EFFIN' HEROES DON'T DO THAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

artwork by Loakenshield (Girl of Gisborne)
The only one who wasn't a dead man walking was Francis Dollarhyde, the Red Dragon, played, if I may say, brilliantly by Richard Armitage. Or maybe I was just so starved for SOMEBODY to show some EMOTION that anyone would have worked in that role. No, I'm not going with that angle because I know Armitage can act. I've been watching him act for years, have loved him for years, and so he alone impressed me in this 3rd and THANK GOD final season.

Okay, so now you know one reason for my sudden and very effective loathing for this once great series.

Now on to the 2nd reason. I thought, back at the beginning, that all of the little Hannigraham fans were sick and twisted and that it would lead to a big fat nowhere. Not so. Okay, so there were no sexual scenes of a homosexual nature between Will and Hannibal (not counting, of course, the ones between Alana and Margot Verger). But you know what? There didn't have to be! The insinuation was enough all on its own, especially in this last season, especially in this last episode.


Not that I want to be nice and warn you of spoilers, but I will because, after all, it is the accepted thing to do. 

Spare Parts (2015)

This is probably one of those movies you've never heard of, or if you did, it was only in passing. I saw the movie trailer for it once, and was just dying to see it when it hit the theaters, but never made the time. Yes, I do feel guilty about that, but I put it on hold at the library as soon as I learned it was coming out on DVD.

The story is simple. We have Carl Hayden High School in a poor community in Phoenix, AZ. Within this high school are a lot of teens who are not legal US citizens, if you get my drift. Their parents are illegal immigrants to this country, and by default, so are they, even though they've lived the majority of their lives on US soil. Spare Parts covers the true story of 4 teenage boys from this high school, all without legal documentation, who enter and win a major robotics competition, going up against prestigious tech schools like M.I.T.

It's a pretty simple story. Four illegals enter a robotics competition and win it.

When I first heard of this film, I wasn't aware that these kids were undocumented. It wasn't until I started watching Spare Parts that the light bulb flickered. And it really got me to thinking. Now, I consider myself conservative, both moral and fiscal. Whatever that even means anymore. This does not mean that I am 100% against raising taxes all of the time. Nor, as I discovered watching this movie, does it mean that I want to ship illegal immigrants back to Mexico.

The boys in this story are real. They were real young men, with real hopes and real dreams and real fears. They were brought here as children. They had no say in the matter. Oscar Vasquez wanted to serve in our military, but couldn't for years because of his undocumented status.

What is America? Aren't we the place of dreams and freedom and liberty? Why wouldn't people want to move here? And if you live in a country where your financial circumstances are so dire that you would risk your very life to sneak across the border, then maybe that's something America should be addressing. I still hate that we have so many illegals in this country. But I understand why they've come, most of them, to create a better life.

And for kids like Luis, Oscar, Lorenzo, and Cristian, there has to be a solution to get them legalized. They're practically US citizens already, but with none of the benefits. Yes, I understand Spare Parts is probably a politicized version of the truth. I am well aware. But I also know that I don't want to see young people suffer because of circumstances outside of their control.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Bride and Prejudice (2004)

Oh my gosh, there are times when I absolutely LOVE Bollywood! It's bright and cheerful and so many gorgeous colors all in one fantastic kaleidoscope!

I would like to make some grand statement that I'm watching every single adaptation ever made of Pride and Prejudice, but no, I just wanted to watch a Bollywood film and I hadn't seen Bride and Prejudice yet.

Let's start with what I loved!

Aishwarya Rai! She is one truly stunning woman, and not just stunning, but talented too. I've seen her in Jodha Akbar, a movie I will undoubtedly save for another post because I love it so much, so she really was the clincher in me wanting to watch this movie. And she did not disappoint!

The musical numbers! Yes, literally, I love musicals, and so that very first musical number at the wedding when the guys are dancing to the girls . . . it just won my heart. Plus, I kind of have a teeny crush on Naveen Andrews even though he played Jafar on Once Upon a Time in Wonderland. Or maybe because he played Jafar. So that dance he did at the beginning, wooing his version of Jane Bennett, was just adorable!

If only all Mr. Bingleys were like Balraj!
I mean, come on, now. He had so much personality in the small amount of screen time they gave him. I'm really starting to appreciate Naveen and wishing he had more roles in movies I would actually want to watch. But such is the hand of fate, and so I must be satisfied with the few things he's done that I care to watch. Ahhhh, how I must suffer!

Okay, okay, you knew it had to happen. I had to move on to what I wasn't 100% sold on.

Darcy. So, undoubtedly Martin Henderson would have worked as Darcy if not for one thing.

Does anyone have an idea what it is?

It involves a massive miscasting that occurred and one that I looked not for until a certain actor rose up out of the sea and approached Lalita (Elizabeth) because he was transfixed by her musical prowess. Who is it, you ask?

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Completing the Walk for Life in Colorado Springs!

For the unaware, this is a pro-life event I participate in every year as a way of raising money for the local pregnancy center called Life Network. Hundreds of lives are impacted and changed for the better every year and I am so blessed to be a part of it.

Yes, this happened back in June, but I'm actually getting the photos up, so go me! This is of me, on the left obviously, and my dear friend, Lynn. We've done this Walk for Life together for last 5 years or so and it's always such a great experience. In other news, I've dropped about 8 pounds since that photo so the shirt will fit much better now!

Needless to say, we were not alone. This isn't even a smattering of the people on this walk. There were at least 1,000 people there, possibly more, all walking around the lake in Memorial Park in Colorado Springs. It was a bit of a nippy day for it, but such a worthwhile event.

My heart literally floated out of my chest and hugged this dad and his son. What an incredible testimony he's living with his son right here, right now. These two were my favorite moment in the entire walk.

Woohoo, Lynn and I made it to the finish line! And then we headed off for lunch together. It was such an awesome day, even with the overcast sky. It's always a huge blessing when we're given an opportunity to make a difference in Jesus' name!

Rachel, my dear, thank you for giving to this worthy cause! *hugs*

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Living Behind the Veil with Hannibal

Despite almost my better judgement, I've continued watching NBC's Hannibal. Now in its 3rd and final season, it's grown more trippy and disconnected as time progresses, which is undoubtedly part of what has lead to its inevitable downfall. The 1st season was inspired, awash with metaphor and allegorical conclusions. Each individual character was unique, and now they feel like cookie-cutter mock-ups of Hannibal himself. The original vision of originality has dissipated until there is very little left of it. At least, until the episode And the Woman Clothed in Sun.

I'll be honest, most of this season has been ho-hum for me, at least until now. Bedelia had the best moments in the entirety of this episode. She began the series cold, impersonal, and somewhat afraid of human touch. The audience felt something of a disconnect from her because they didn't know what she was really thinking or feeling. She was void. Now, at long last, she's given voice to how she views the world around her and how she views herself. It's fascinating to encounter someone so entirely devoid of conscience, but not devoid of empathy. She opens herself up to Will in this episode, finally showing her true colors. It is both a chilling and intriguing moment of clarity and truth, the very first moment of truth Bedelia has shared with anyone.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Deconstructing an ENTJ

One of the problems with personality typing is that we try and put people into boxes.

But you can't say than an ISFJ will do "this" particular thing every single time because that's what ISFJs do. Why? Because an ISFJ's actions are based off tradition and past experiences. Any tradition. Any past experience. My past experiences are different from every other ISFJ's experiences out there. Our brain patterns may work in similar ways, but my values do not have to be another ISFJ's values. It's the same with any personality type.

Take my newish friend, an ENTJ. I'll call him D to protect his identity just in case he ever finds the time and the motivation to read my blog. Up until meeting D my experience with ENTJs was limited to television and film where they are always the masterminds who usually take over the world irregardless of body count. They're scary. They're single-minded. And they don't give a damn about humanity. But D is not Raymond Reddington from The Blacklist, and I can honestly say, THANK GOODNESS! Because as much as I love Red, he's scary as hell and I would never want to personally make his acquaintance.

If there's one thing I've learned during my developing friendship with D, it's that he does not fit a weird stereotypical mold of how ENTJs should behave. He's not some crazed power-hungry lunatic out to take over the world. Don't get me wrong, he is driven. Almost insatiable in his need for success, so much so that he works 3 jobs in order to buy the camera equipment he needs to be the best professional photographer he can be. If that means he gets 3 hours of sleep a night, so be it.

Did you hear that? That's me screaming in the background.

Yes, his desperation to succeed drives me crazy because it's like I'm watching him kill himself. And I HATE that. If there is one thing I, as an ISFJ, cannot stand it's watching a friend overwork themselves to the brink of destruction and poor health. D has stomach ulcers for goodness' sake, and he's not yet THIRTY.

Ahem, now that I've ranted (and he already knows how I feel about his crammed schedule so he won't be surprised if he reads this), we can move on.

So, yes he has the undeniable drive of an ENTJ.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Happy Birthday, John Stamos!

Lori posted this pic and wished him a Happy Bday on her Facebook and I couldn't resist sharing! They're still such good friends all these years later, love it!
So, Happy Birthday, John!
Love ya, Uncle Jesse!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Femnista Jul/Aug 2015 - The Middle Ages

Within this issue of Femnista, you will find articles on Robin Hood, on the epic Kingdom of Heaven, on Sir Brian de Bois-Guilbert from Ivanhoe, on Tristan and Isolde, even on The Princess Bride, and more!

It's a delightful collection of musings and ponderings on anything from The Middle Ages, and I thoroughly enjoyed delving into the life choices of Brian de Bois-Guilbert, who happens to be one of my favorite literary anti-heroes.

May you enjoy this issue of Femnista!

FREE. Download it here. Or view it online here.

Product of Charity’s Place. (Click to read back issues, movie reviews, etc.)
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