Time is the Most Important Thing

Time is the greatest gift you can give another person.

Truly Important

After all everything else fades away, breaks, wears out; but those memories and times you spent together will live on forever. Passed from memory to memory, person to person.

Not only is this the most important thing in any relationship, but romantic ones espechially.

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After all, that is really what we girls want.

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Of course, this additional perk would be nice.

Man

A girl can dream!

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For more bookish posts, go to Speed Racer

You Think You Know Something, Don’t You?: Shadow of a Doubt (1943)

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“You think you know something, don’t you? You think you’re the clever little girl who knows something. There’s so much you don’t know, so much. What do you know, really? You’re just an ordinary little girl, living in an ordinary little town. You wake up every morning of your life and you know perfectly well that there’s nothing in the world to trouble you. You go through your ordinary little day, and at night you sleep your untroubled ordinary little sleep, filled with peaceful stupid dreams. And I brought you nightmares.”

So for my first Alfred Hitchcock film, I am going to review Shadow of a Doubt. This really surprised me as I never thought this would have been the first, (I was sure it would be Psycho). But I had such an urge to talk about it, that I had to follow it. Now this has never been considered one of Hitchcock’s greats, in fact it bombed at the office, but it was both Alfred Hitchcock’s and Teresa Wright’s favorite film.

I actually have a personal connection to this film myself. I used to go to college near Santa Rosa and one day for film class we were going to watch a psychological film. The one we chose wouldn’t work and I suggested that we had to watch an Alfred Hitchcock film, specifically Shadow of a Doubt. I had this urge and was pushing the film so hard, even though it is not one of my favorite Hitchcock films. It was only when we watched it, that I remembered that it was set and filmed in Santa Rosa. In fact, I have been to all the areas the film was set in.

So the film is supposed to be about a happy town, full of normal American people, but underneath this lies something horrible. This kind of thing was what David Lynch ended up doing and becoming famous for in his film Blue Velvet and TV series Twin Peaks.

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So the film starts off with the extremely handsome Joseph Cotten, lying on a bed. His name is Charlie Oakley.

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His landlady knocks on the door and tells him that there are two men looking for him. Charlie quickly packs some things up, gathers his money, and takes off. He makes plans to get out of the East coast, going heading to California to visit his sister Emma in Santa Rosa.

In Santa Rosa, we meet Charlie 2 (Teresa Wright), named after her Uncle Charlie. (From now on I’m going to say Charlie for Teresa Wright and Uncle Charlie for Joseph Cotten as otherwise it will be too confusing.) Anyways, Charlie has been complaining that life is boring. Nothing interesting ever happens in life.

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She finds out that her Uncle Charlie is coming and is ecstatic. The two of them have always shared a special bond. Out of everyone in their family, she feels that Charlie is the only one who really gets her.

he gets me

Uncle Charlie greets the family and not only bring life into the house but gifts. Charlie gets the most special gift of all, an emerald ring. Charlie notices an engraving of initials on the inside and asks Uncle Charlie what they stand for. He doesn’t know and blames the jeweler for selling him an old ring instead of a new one.

Sound suspicious

Sound suspicious

He keeps trying to push Charlie to let him get it re-engraved, but she refuses. At dinner, Emma is humming this song. It has been stuck in her head all day and she can’t remember what it is called. She asks around to everyone else, and her husband Joseph says that it is The Merry Widow Waltz. When Uncle Charlie hears this, he is startled and spills his wine.

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After dinner, Joseph’s friend comes over. Now this is an interesting subplot. The two of them are huge mystery fans and are constantly trying to create the perfect murder. This subplot always makes me laugh and it reminds me of a friend and I. We are always talking about the best way to kill someone and get away with it. I always go with the Secret Window way.

“Joseph Newton: We’re not talking about killing people. Herb’s talking about killing me and I’m talking about killing him.”

In fact, they remind me of Randy from Scream except with actual murders, than horror films.

Randy

They determine one of the best ways to kill someone is to disguise the murder as a suicide.

The next day, Uncle Charlie is reading the paper, when he sees a story that upsets him. He rips the page with the story on it, and turns it into a house for the kids, hiding the ripped story in his pocket. Ann and Roger think it’s are cool, but they have to dismantle it as their father hasn’t had a chance to look at the paper.

Charlie saw him hiding the torn pages and starts teasing her Uncle. She grabs them out of his pocket and tries to put them together. But before she can, Uncle Charlie gets angry and pushes her away. She becomes frightened, but Uncle Charlie consoles her,  telling her that it was a bad story about a friend.

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Soon after, two men approach the family and let them know they have been chosen to be the feature family for a census agency on “typical American family-ness”. They will be coming to interview them and photograph their average lives.

BMW Average

Emma is really excited as Uncle Charlie will now be a part of the featured story. She tells Charlie about how she only has one photo of him. It was when he was a little boy, before he got in a horrible accident. After he recovered from the accident he never was the same again. Often getting into trouble.

Uncle Charlie says he will be staying in town for a while, and then begins acting strangely. At the bank he deposits forty thousand dollars in cash and makes all these jokes about the bank and Joseph (Charlie’s dad) embezzling funds. He also extremely avoids the census takers. He thinks they are up to something. Whenever they come to the house, he always leaves and won’t answer any questions.

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When his picture gets taken, he becomes extremely angry and demands for the negative roll.

The younger of the two census workers, (Macdonald Carey), asks Charlie to be his guide of the town, and she agrees only to please her mother. When he gets her alone he tells her that he isn’t a census taker, but that instead he is Detective Jack Graham and that he is with the FBI. They are investigating “The Merry Widow Murderer”, a man who romances widows and murders them taking their money. He tells her that that they have two suspects. One of which is her Uncle Charlie.

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

The next day Charlie is still reeling from the news and sleeps all day. She doesn’t want to believe her Uncle Charlie is capable of murder. However, she can’t help thinking about his suspicious behavior.

Sound suspicious

Sound suspicious

Charlie gets even more freaked out when Uncle Charlie gives a rant on widows.

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“Uncle Charlie: The cities are full of women, middle-aged widows, husbands, dead, husbands who’ve spent their lives making fortunes, working and working. And then they die and leave their money to their wives, their silly wives. And what do the wives do, these useless women? You see them in the hotels, the best hotels, every day by the thousands, drinking the money, eating the money, losing the money at bridge, playing all day and all night, smelling of money, proud of their jewelry but of nothing else, horrible, faded, fat, greedy women… Are they human or are they fat, wheezing animals, hmm? And what happens to animals when they get too fat and too old?”

Charlie suffers a breakdown as she can’t handle the thought that her Uncle is a murderer. That coupled with her father and Herb’s constant murder talk, ugh she just needs to get away. Uncle Charlie follows her and takes her to a bar to talk.

At the bar, he confronts her suspicions and tells her that he is considered for The Merry Widow Murderer”, but it isn’t him. It is just a coincidence.

Yes I am

Yes I am

Charlie listens, but something doesn’t sit right with her. She still feels suspicious. She sneaks into Uncle Charlie’s room to try and figure out what article he had ripped up.

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She can’t put the pieces back together, and instead heads to the library. She convinces the librarian to let her search the papers and discovers that “The Merry Widow Murderer” killed a famous entertainer. She notices that the initials of the woman match the ring Uncle Charlie gave her.

OMG

She goes to her uncle to confront him, and he asks her not to say anything. She agrees to wait as she knows it will hurt her mother.

Meanwhile, Jack is pushing Charlie to give him info on her Uncle, but she won’t say a thing. They sent the photo of Uncle Charlie back East but haven’t heard whether or not he is the guy the are actually after. The other suspect they were considering was killed fleeing from the police and many believe he is the murderer.

After this news, Jack goes to Charlie and tells her that he likes her. And that he would like to date her, maybe even marry her one day.

Say What

I know. He has been nice, but he never even seemed to show that he was that interested in her. He totally pulls a Mr. Darcy, completely dropping that bomb out of the blue.

mr darcy

Uncle Charlie is all smiles and it seems like everything is fine, but Charlie can’t shake an uneasy feeling.

This doesn't feel right.

This doesn’t feel right.

Soon Charlie suffers from an accident. As she is coming down the stairs one of the steps falls through causing her to fall. She checks later but can’t tell of any tampering.

Oh what a horrible accident.

Oh what a horrible accident.

Now these are some of the best scenes in the film. In the beginning you aren’t sure if Uncle Charlie is doing anything, whether they are accidents or not. I mean could he really be so cold-blooded as to kill his own niece?

Gilmore girls creep

Uncle Charlie is asked to give a public lecture and the whole family is going to go hear him speak. There isn’t enough room for them to go in one car, so they decide to send most in a taxi, with the Charlies going in the car. Charlie gets trapped in her garage with the car going. She calls for help, but the music Uncle Charlie is playing overpowers her screams.

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Luckily, Herb is coming by as he does everyday and hears her, freeing her.

The next day, Uncle Charlie decides that he is leaving. Everyone but Charlie is sad to see him go. As he gets on the train we see that he won’t be traveling alone, but a rich widow from the town. Every one comes on board to check out the train, with Uncle Charlie gets Charlie to stay longer to talk. The train starts going while she is on it. She tries to run off, but Uncle Charlie tries to push her off the train onto the track of an oncoming one.

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The two struggle and Charlie manages to overpower him, knocking him off the train.

There is a funeral for Uncle Charlie and Jack comes back. Charlie tells him the truth and why she kept it hidden from him. Together they resolve to keep Uncle Charlie’s crimes a secret.

You have to see this film. The story is great, the acting amazing, and the cinematography is just beautiful.

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To start Horrorfest III from the beginning, go to Even a Man Pure of Heart

For the previous post, go to It’s Happening Again, Isn’t It?

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For more on Alfred Hitchcock, go to Horrorfest III: The Revenge

For more classic cinema, go to Feast Your Eyes On My Accursed Ugliness

For more serial killers, go to What’s Your Favorite Scary Movie?

For more psychological thrillers, go to A Deliciously Creepy Tale

For more of my favorite quotes, go to Happily Ever Aftermath

For more on Twin Peaks, go to Food, Food, Food!

On the 8th Day ‘Til Christmas: Holiday in Handcuffs (2007)

On the 8th day ’til Christmas  my blogger gave to me

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Holiday in Handcuffs (2007)

This film is another one of those that goes under the cliché of two people who can’t stand each other being stuck together for a period of time; and then end up falling in love. This copies the film, It Happened One NightThat is such an influential film that I promise you I will do a review on it.

So this film was made by abc family, a part of their 25 Days of Christmas. It stars the amazing Melissa Joan Hart; sparking her return to acting; along with the very handsome Mario Lopez. I had the biggest crush on Mario Lopez when he was A.C. Slater on Saved by the Bell. (Although he was my second, my heart first belonged to Mark-Paul Gosselaar).

So the film starts out with Trudy, (MJH), being ragged on by her parents. In everything she’s been in lately, she always has mean parents, it makes you wonder if they are really like that.

Hmm

Hmm

Anyways, her mom is complaining about Trudy. Everything about her and she does is wrong. In fact, one thing her mother always complains about is Trudy’s hair, so she decided she would get a perm “to fix” it. It doesn’t turn out as planned as she completely wrecks her hair.

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Because she was distracted by her hair and a phone call from her mother she also misses a job interview.

What else could go wrong?

What else could go wrong?

When she gets to work, Raj’s Diner, her boyfriend stops by. Instead of going with her to her Christmas Family Reunion, he dumps her.

mary_bennetCan't get a break

Trudy has a complete breakdown, kidnapping the next guy she sees, David (Mario Lopez), and takes him with her. She has a 19th century gun, but David manages to slip on some ice making it much easier for Trudy to lug him in her car.

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Trudy ties him up with pantyhose and her scarf. She explains the situation and starts to tell him a little bit about herself. She runs out of gas and has to go get some, but the attendant comes out to pump her gas and sees David tied up. Trudy hurriedly explains that he’s her bf and they are going away for a weekend of “fun”. He runs back to his store and Trudy hurries to pump the gas before he gets back, worried he is going to call the cops. As the attendant comes out, he gives her free furry handcuffs for her “weekend”.

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So every Christmas Trudy’s family rents out a place for Christmas where they can be away from the world. No cellphones, phones, or any electronics are allowed. This year they are going to a cabin far out in the middle of nowhere. She takes David there, but first goes into the cabin to tell her parents that “Nick”, (as she is pretending David is Nick ), likes to pretend that he is kidnapped and doesn’t want to be there. When she brings David in, he starts yelling about him being kidnapped but all Trudy’s parents do is laugh. When her brother and sister also come in, they have the same result. Trudy also becomes the key-master, in charge of  hiding the phones and keys from everyone.

Its-so-crazy

Trudy also keeps an eye on David, by having him share the room with her; telling her mom that she’s old enough to sleep in the same room as her bf. They end up sharing a room with bunk beds. That night David tries to escape, and Trudy catches him, bringing him back to the cabin.

I don't think so

The next day, David catches Trudy on the phone, and the two fight over it until Trudy crushes it with a meat mallet. The mom lends David some of the dad’s old clothes, which are too small, causing him to be the butt of everyone’s jokes. When the mom needs something from the store, he and Trudy’s dad go out to get it. Trudy tries to stop them, but everyone convinces her it will be great “bonding time”. While the guys are gone, Trudy’s sister helps her with her hair; straightening it out.

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David and the dad drive out to the closest store,  which happens to be the same gas station that Trudy had stopped at before. When David tries to convince him that he was kidnapped and needs help; the man brings out a shotgun and tells him to go back to the pretty lady. David complies. As he and the dad are driving back; David tries to take the wheel, almost crashing them. The dad puts David in a chokehold and calms them down. When they get back, David is so bummed that he is still stuck there he flings himself down upon a chair. When he does that, his too-tight pants rip, and Trudy’s older brother comes to his rescue by lending him some of his clothes.

When he goes to get the clothes, David discovers that Trudy’s brother Jake has a phone. He borrows it and runs into the bathroom to hurriedly call his girlfriend, Jessica. When he reaches her, he can say nothing; because she is too busy yelling at him for standing her up.

007HIS_Gabrielle_Miller_002 HOliday in handcuffs not happy

I am not pleased

David is finally able to explain by bursting out that he was going to propose. Now this part made no sense to me. Jessica is the daughter of David’s boss, and used to the high life. And he was going to propose to her in a diner?

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That makes no sense! You think he would pick something a little more classy than Raj’s Diner.

Anyways, he tells Jessica that he’s been kidnapped and to send help asap. Jessica promises to help, eagerly thinking of the ring she will be receiving.

By this time Trudy has figured out what is going on, and picks the lock on the door. She grabs the phone and tosses it in the toilet, but it’s too late by then. David laughs at her, and promises that he will be the best bf ever, just to make things worse when her family finds out what she did. He proves to be as her family tells him of all of Trudy’s secrets, has him put the angel on the top of the tree, make Trudy fetch David pie, and has him read Twas the Night Before Christmas. Trudy becomes extremely upset the way that her family seems to like David more than her.

After they read the book, the mom has them write out their Christmas lists and leaves Oreos and milk out for Santa. Here Trudy and David have a heart-to-heart. Trudy tells him that she is a disappointment to her parents and David tries to console her.

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The next day is Christmas, and in the morning Trudy and David spend the day out having fun. They play hockey and take a walk out in the snow. They both learn more about each other as David reveals that his parents died when he was about six, and was raised by his grandpa. He worked his way through college and studied architecture, becoming a developer only  because there was more money in it. Trudy realizes that while her family isn’t perfect there is plenty to be thankful for. She also tells David about the best Christmas she’s ever had. One year she was supposed to be in an ice-skating performance and it was canceled because of snow. She was so disappointed, that her father sprayed water over the patio, icing it up and decorated the whole area with lights so she could perform for them there.

Later, they go inside and play chess where they have some more heart-to-hearts and David realizes how sorry Trudy is for kidnapping him. They also just happen to walk under some mistletoe, causing the two to share a kiss and start up some feelings between the two.

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Later when David is cleaning up, he finds an album with photos of Trudy’s artwork. She does a lot of portraiture; very post-impressionism style. Trudy finds her mom, and discovers that not everything is perfect in her parent’s marriage.

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When present time comes around nobody gets what they want. Trudy receives a pink sweater, as her mom buys her one every year; Jake gets a tie; the Dad gets underwear; the mom a case of socket wrenches; and the grandma a mug that says “World’s Greatest Grandma”.  David got a backscratcher and Katie (Trudy’s sister) a book of all the law firms in the nation. Trudy is also given a briefcase, which starts another argument about Trudy’s need to get a “real job”. David can’t watch her parents be so cruel to Trudy, and interrupts telling them that her artwork is amazing. He also pulls out his ring for Jessica and proposes. It’s so sweet and romantic.

Double double yay

Meanwhile Jessica and the cops have tracked down Trudy’s friend and coworker to find out where Trudy is. They interrupt her and her boyfriend, and when the cops threaten her, she spills all.

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Back at the cabin, all are getting ready for Christmas dinner. In fact Trudy walks in on David getting ready, getting a great look at his bod. All I can say is I greatly appreciated the writers creating this scene.

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Right before dinner, David gets Trudy and tells her he has a Christmas surprise. He has recreated her prefect Christmas. He sprayed the patio so it was icy, and put lights up everywhere; and asks her to show him her ice-skating routine. She does and the two’s love for each other is cemented, but neither has realized it.

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You're_in_love_with_her

Christmas dinner arrives, and all hell breaks loose. Katie tells her parents that she dropped out of school and has used the tuition to start a pilates studio in CA. Jake reveals that he is gay and has been seeing a man for a long time. The parents tell all about their marital problems. Just as all is revealed, the cops break in arresting everyone and letting the cat out of the bag about the kidnapping.

ouch Hermione

Everyone spends the night in jail. The next day they are all released as David chooses to not press charges.

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Trudy realizes that she is in love with David, but puts herself into her painting, creating a piece about David’s Christmas surprise.

Meanwhile David is starting to see that Jessica isn’t the right person for him. He starts to reevaluate what his life is going to be like with her, and not quite pleased with what it will be like.

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As all this is happening, one of Trudy’s pieces is picked to be in a show. She invites her brother to come to it, and he brings along his boyfriend. At the show Trudy is surprised to see the rest of the family. The parents have been in counseling and all have promised to be more open with each other. Trudy’s piece also gets sold. However, her happiness is short-lived as she is heartbroken over David, he got married the Saturday before.

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Trudy leaves the show by herself, and is kidnapped. She is blindfolded and taken somewhere by………….David! David is the one who had purchased her picture and came to tell her he couldn’t marry Jessica. That not only is he in love with her, but she inspired him to create his own architectural firm. The film ends with the two being together; happily ever after!

Holiday in handcuffs kiss

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To start the 12 Posts of Christmas from the beginning, go to On the 12 Day ’til Christmas: The 12 Men of Christmas

For the previous post, go to On the 9th Day ’til Christmas: Borrowed Hearts

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For more on two who hate each other falling in love, go to I Don’t Want the Money