A Book Only a Reader Could Write

So I wanted to publish this post yesterday, but my computer and I weren’t on the best speaking terms. We have since resolved that issue.

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And the computer has since then come along to my way of thinking. So sorry if I’m a day behind, but better late than never!

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Some books you read and you just know that there was no way this book could ever exist unless the author grew up as a huge fan of reading.

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Such as Matilda by Roald Dahl. Only someone who grew up reading could create a character that gave a voice to all us bibliophiles out there.

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Or Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. Only someone who truly loved to read could create the most dismal future, a time when books are outlawed and destroyed. The book is full of glimpses into what might actually happen, unless we take the time to read and value the thoughts and creations found between the pages.

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Well The Neverending Story, by Michael Ende, is definitely one of those books.

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The book was first published in 1979 and then translated into English in 1983. As this is it anniversary, thankfully pointed out by Google, I thought it deserved no less than a post by me.

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The story was such a big part of my childhood, with book and film.

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So the book begins with young Bastian Balthazar Bux; a shy, awkward, introvert:

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Who has been grieving over the loss of his mother and feels disconnected from his father.

Aw, man.

Aw.

He doesn’t really have any friends and is bullied at school. The one thing that Bastian does have is his books.

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With their help he is able to escape reality:

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And here is reason number one why this book is awesome and proof, author Ende must have been a reader; he just understands us so well. I mean even today I still like to escape my reality with a good book:

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Anyways, so Bastian is being chased by bullies when he runs into a bookstore owned by Carl Conrad Coreander. While hiding out, he spots the book The Neverending Story.

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Bastian just has to have the book, but the ornery shop owner doesn’t seem interested in the idea of selling, and such a book that would be far too expensive. So Bastian does something he has never done before, he steals it.

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He runs up to school, deciding to hide away in the attic, reading the story and being thrust into the world of Fantastica (Fantasia in the film).

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Fantastica is falling apart. The dark nothing is destroying it, piece by piece until it will fade away and there will be nothing left. Only one thing can save them; the childlike empress has chosen Atreyu, a native of the plains, to search throughout Fantastica to discover what can be done. As Bastian reads, he becomes more and more involved with the characters. So wrapped up in the book he stays throughout all his periods, in the cold, all the while starving.

Or class. Or lunch. Or anything!

Or class. Or lunch. Or anything!

But that’s silly. They aren’t real people.

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But yet, the characters do seem real. And it almost seems as if they know he exists and is part of the journey with them.

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When Atreyu is traveling he hears what the salvation of Fantastica is:

Born of the Word, the children of man,

Or humans, as they’re sometimes called,

Have had the gift of giving names

Ever since the worlds began,

In every age it’s they who gave

The Childlike Empress life,

For wondrous new names have the power to save.

But now for many and many a day,

No human has visited Fantastica,

For they no longer know the way.

They have forgotten how real we are,

They don’t believe in us anymore.

Oh, if only one child of man would come,

Oh, then at last the thing would be done.”

But where to find such a human child?

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Atreyu continues on his journeys, getting help from Falkor, the luck dragon.

One of the best parts of the book, at least I think so, is when Atreyu faces Gmork, the werewolf. Gmork has become an agent of the Nothing, trying to destroy Fantastica and along with it the human world. Without Fantastica, the world is filled with lies instead of truth, despair instead of hope, destruction instead of creation; pretty much containing nothing.

I love this part as it shows why stories and books are so important. They help us create, they give us hope, dreams, ideas, etc. We need stories, we need hope, we need it as much as we need life.

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And we need to start reading at a young age; so we can have the foundations to fight against all the darkness we will face as we grew older.

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So Atreyu returns to the Empress, defeated. He has no way to stop the nothing. He has failed.

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But the empress is not upset at all. In fact, she says that Atreyu has fulfilled his mission. He has brought a human child here through all his adventures. And she is talking about Bastian!

Mal_huh Whoa Wow what

The reader has been called into the story? And not just called, but the hero! How cool is that! And how awesome if that could happen. Can you just imagine if the characters started talking to you in the middle of your favorite story?

So cool, I want it to be true.

So cool, I want it to be true.

This is my favorite part of the book, the second half isn’t as strong (in my opinion) as the first half. But still one great book.

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The movie was just as amazing. Now they did make changes, but I thought it kept the soul and heart of the book. I used to watch it over and over.

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Even now I cannot think or say the words “Neverending Story” without singing them like in the film’s song.

I recently showed the film to my niece and realized I am not only like Bastian, but Coreander. Yes, I have the soul of an old curmudgeon who doesn’t like the youth’s fascination with technology rather than books.

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The rest of the story is just as beautiful, fascinating, adventurous, and powerful. And don’t forget the end of the film when the childlike Empress is talking right to you.  Shivers run up and down my spine, it is so good.

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I mean I feel like she is talking right to me!

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The other movies I didn’t really enjoy, but that first one was a true winner.

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So there you have it. One amazing book that I am glad existed to become a part of my childhood, in both print and on the screen.

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And you can bet your boots I will most definitely be checking out the film Sunday when they rerelease it in theaters. Don’t worry childlike Empress, Fantastic/Fantasia will always exist as long as I am alive!

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For more on The Neverending Story, go to The Neverending Story

For more anniversary posts, go to Here’s to Another Year

For more book-filled posts, go to A World of Teas

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For more Roald Dahl, go to We Shall Rule the World!

For more Ray Bradbury, go to Baby Jane Austen

For more Ernest Hemingway, go to Fiction or Reality? I Choose Fiction

For more Markus Zusak, go to Portrait of a Fangirl

For more Richard Marek, go to Crazy Book Lady

It’s a Way of Life

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Day 4) A Quote You Try to Live By

This quote is from the western film The Shootist, the last film John Wayne ever made. In it a dying gunslinger, Wayne, is looking for a way to spend his last days in the most dignified and the least painful way. He stars opposite Lauren Bacall, boarding house owner, and Ron Howard, her son. John Wayne also chose Jimmy Stewart to star opposite of him in this film as the doctor. It’s an awesome film, check it out!

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Anyways, the motto of John Wayne’s character is:

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And I quickly adopted it myself.

As a kid I was bullied a lot, and when I was able to overcome that I swore I would never let anyone make me feel horrible again. I won’t be wronged, I won’t be insulted, and I won’t be laid a hand on. I don’t treat others that way and I expect the same from all.

I know this was probably not what you were expecting at all. I bet you all where expecting Eleanor Roosevelt or Dr. Seuss; but no. When I saw this film, those lines just resonated in me. After all, no one says it better than the Duke.

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To start the 30 Day Challenge from the beginning, go to Musical Madness

For the previous post, go to Make My Day

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For more on westerns, go to A FANtastic Voyage

For more quotes, go to What a Girl Wants

Simply Fantastic

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So here we are with post two on my fandoms. As I mentioned in Fanning All Over the Place there was just too, too many to include in one post so I split them up into a series. Here we go again! 🙂

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Archie Comics

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I first got into Archie Comics through my parents. They had grown up with the comics as kids, and bought my sister and I our first comic books for Christmas one year. We quickly grew to love them.

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So the comics came out in the 1940s, and are about a clumsy, accident-prone, redhead, Archie Andrews; who moves to Riverdale meeting a blonde, girl-next-door, Betty Cooper and a food-consuming, girl hater Forsythe “Jughead” Jones. As the series progressed they added more characters, and changed the history to being everyone grew up in Riverdale together. I love the comics from the 1940s-90s. The ones that have been written in the last ten years are not really my favorites as these newer ones seeming to have something missing. So here are the fun characters:

Archie Andrews is the sweet, all around “good guy”. He’s your average male, but has a heart of gold. He is always having issues in his classes, and constantly going to summer school, but is still a pretty clever guy as on more than one occasion he manages to outwit Reggie. He does every sport known to man and also is the school’s newspaper editor. His biggest flaw is that he is girl crazy. Not only does he form a triangle with Betty and Veronica, but he will run after any pretty girl he sees. Add to this a habit of attracting disasters, and he is one funny guy.

Betty Cooper is the girl-next-door. Blonde, sweet, a great cook, and always lends a hand when one is needed. She is not only pretty, but brainy to boot.

Big brain small boobs

She also is a mechanic, school newspaper reporter, sews her own clothes, and a budding writer.

That's a lot!

That’s a lot!

Betty is the best. She was always my favorite character and I felt bad about her constant competition with Veronica over Archie. Betty has loved Archie since the first time she saw him, and will wait around, anytime for him. I know they need her to be one of the points in the love triangle, but I aways wanted Betty to say love me or leave me; no more in-between. In one issue she did dump Archie and started dating this guy Adam, but the fans didn’t like it and she and Archie got back together. Betty and Veronica may compete over Archie, but they are also the best of friends. Veronica is the total opposite of Betty, and Betty often uses her morals and kindness to show Veronica a better way to be. Betty is one of the few characters with siblings; having an older brother that works for the FBI, Chip Cooper; and an older sister who is an investigative reporter, Polly Cooper.

Veronica Lodge the final point in the love triangle. Veronica is the only daughter of gazillionaire Hiram Lodge. Mr. Lodge worked up from nothing and now has not only billions, but his fingers in every financial pot. Him and his wife were unable to have children for a while and had her in their old age. Veronica can be nice but is mostly spoiled, conniving, materialistic, and devoid of any skills besides ordering people and looking nice. Unlike Betty who has eyes only for Archie, Veronica flits about with any guy she finds attractive. She is also highly temperamental  and can be a major ice queen if one little thing upsets her. Of course this is somehow irresistible to Archie (as with most guys). Her constant scheming to get Archie away from Betty, while dating more wealthier and cuter guys, always brings laughs.

Triangles are not for me:

Love triangle pizza

Forsythe “Jughead” Jones is an interesting character. Jughead pretty much marches to the beat of his own drum. He wears a crown instead of a hat, shirts with the letter “S” on them, is a girl-hater, and an immense lover of food. Yep, he eats nonstop. But hey:

julia child

Jughead doesn’t always do well in school, but is one of the cleverest guys out there. I believe that he just has his own way of learning that hasn’t been discovered. He loves to always pull one over on Reggie. Besides eating, his hobbies are sleeping, video games, and almost every sport. Ethel Muggs has the hots for him, and is always trying to get him to date her but Jughead is not interested. Usually if Jughead is “dating”, the girl’s parents own some restaurant he wants free food from. He and Archie have been best buds since day one, and will stay that way until the end.

Reggie Mantle is one of those jerk characters I love anyway. Think Gaston. He’s completely superficial, narcissistic, a prankster, and all around jerk. But all Reggie sees in himself is perfection.

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Reggie is also spoiled as he is an only child and also comes from a very wealthy family. He, like Archie and Jughead, doesn’t do the best in school and plays every sport offered. He is an amazing athelete, as he always manages to outscore Archie. He mainly dates Veronica, but also chases any girl he thinks is hot. The other girl he is interested in is Midge Klump, something her boyfriend doesn’t appreciate. What’s interesting about Reggie is that he and Archie have what I call a “Bert and Ernie” relationship. At times they seem to be each other’s enemies and can’t stand one another, but other times they are best buds.

Ethel Muggs is a tall, gangly, girl who has the hots for Jughead. If Betty is a doormat, then Ethel is even lower than that. She doesn’t have too much more of a personality other than her comedy of trying to win Jughead’s heart. She is nice, an athlete, and does well in school.

Dilton Doiley is a genius. Besides being great in school, he is an all around nice guy. He is picked on by Reggie, and finds it hard to get a date. Mostly Dilton comes in the story with some kind of invention he’s made. Sometimes they are great improvements, other times they create big messes, but they always produce something hilarious.

Chuck Clayton is African-American and was introduced into the series with his girlfriend Nancy Wood. Chuck is a great student, one of the best athletes in Riverdale, and a terrific artist (his favorite media is cartooning). His father is the assistant coach at Riverdale High and is always encouraging Chuck and his friends to do well and go to college. While Archie is goofy, Jughead unique, and Reggie deeply into himself; Chuck is more level-headed and less likely to get into crazy scrapes. In fact, he often tries to talk Archie out of them.

Nancy Wood is also African-American and was introduced the same time as Chuck. Like Ethel, she doesn’t have a lot of interaction in the comics besides being Chuck’s girlfriend and a friend of Betty. She is a tremendous athlete and student.

Moose Mason is the brawn to Dilton’s brains. Moose is tall, muscular, and loves sports excelling in everthing. School, however, gives him a lot of trouble. He’s a real nice guy always eager to help out, although he becomes insanely jealous if anyone even looks at his girlfriend Midge.

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He and Dilton are best friends.

Midge Klump is Moose’s girlfriend and friend of Betty and Veronica. She is a great student & athlete; although a bit of a gossip. She wavers between liking Moose’s jealousy and constant attention to feeling stifled by how much he “cares”. This is a continuos issue for her, which causes her to time and time again date Reggie to “test” her feelings. This of course hardly ever turns out well for Reggie.

Cheryl Blossom is a redhead, snob, gazillionaire, conniver, and the archenemy of Betty & Veronica. She somehow is irresistible to all the guys in town and is constantly cooking up some strategy to steal them away from their girlfriends. At one point in the story she moved away and the writers introduced her replacement, Ginger, but fortunately they realized that Cheryl was too good to leave her out for long. With Cheryl around, humor abounds.

Besides almost every character having their own actual comic book, there is also Archie’s Weird Mysteries. These stories involved Archie investigating into some strange occurrence in Riverdale. This eventually became a TV series, and I would watch it every Saturday morning.

For more on Archie Comics, go to When Potatoes Go Bad: Attack of the Killer Spuds (1999)

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Boy Meets World

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Yes, this show. I love it so much!

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I used to watch this show everyday. My friends and I were huge fans and fangirls over it!

So the story is about Cory Matthews, a middle son in a five person family. It covers them and their friends, all living in a suburb not too far from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was funny, sweet, and even hit the really hard issues.

Cory Matthews is our main character and he starts out your average preteen boy. He only cares about sports, food, etc. As he got older he fell for Topanga Lawrence, and the two became inseparable.

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Cory is an all around sweet guy. His best friend is Shawn Hunter, and the two were living a bromance before the word was ever invented. Shawn grew up on the “wrong side of the tracks”, but Cory never let that come between them or saw it as a bad thing. The two remain best buds until the end of the series.

Shawn Hunter is Cory’s best bud. He also is the bad boy with the heart of gold that all us ladies love!

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Now he was the stereotype of the hot guy who does okay in school and gets all the ladies, but he was also much more than that. His mom and dad ran off and he had to deal with that abandonment along surviving without them. He was afraid to get close to any girl, as he was afraid they would leave him, but at the same time recognized what Topanga and Cory had was really special. He did everything he could to get them together, and keep them together. Eventually he fell for Angela, but they had some problems as he had to once again deal with those issues brought on by his parents’ abandonment. It’s the same reason he had so much trouble letting Cory go when he and Topanga married. He was afraid of losing another person he loved.

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Later on in the series he finds out that he has a half-brother Jack (played by Matthew Lawrence). That brings more issues for him as the two try to figure out what it meant to be brothers and how to deal with not having had each other in their lives.

Topanga Lawrence is one of the most unique characters on TV.

Boy Meets World

She is the youngest daughter in a hippie family that owns a health food store. She wore what she wanted, and just ultimately was herself. However weird it was at times.

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As the series progressed her unquie qualities dimmed down, but she always remained the powerhouse she was.

BoyMeetsWorld Topanga Damsel in distress not distress

So later on in the series they actually changed her family. Her father was played by three different characters, of which the second and third were high ranking businessmen that only seemed to care about money. At one point her family moves away, but Cory and her are able to convince her aunt to let her finish up high school with him.

Then as the two are planning to get married, Topanga finds out that her parents are getting divorced and she stops believing in love as she saw her parents as an ideal. To make matters worse, the divorce is because of her father’s infidelity. Cory fights hard to win her back, as nothing will stop him from loving Topanga.

Eric Matthews is Cory’s brother and he was played by Will Friedle. He was Cory’s hot older brother.

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He wasn’t book smart, as he didn’t do well in school, but was full of  brotherly wisdom. He loved the ladies and was a girl chaser, but when he had a women he focused solely on her. He was hilarious, sensitive, and had some great moments. He and Jack become friends, and he helps the socially awkward guy meet the ladies. He and Mr. Feeny have a really great relationship as well. Mr. Feeny mentors all, but he and Eric are even closer than that.

Fee-hee-nay Call Boy Meets World Eric Matthews

Near the end of the series they made Eric really dumb, which I always hated as I loved the old Eric.

Mr. Feeny, you just can’t have a Boy Meets World post without him. Mr. Feeny lived next door to the Matthews and was the kids’ teacher in middle school. When Cory and Shawn move up to high school, they are thrilled to be done with him, only to find him becoming the principal and teacher at their high school. The year Cory, Shawn, and Topanga graduate, he decides to retires. Luckily the writers decided that was a bad idea and brought him back. He first attends college as a student, and later becomes a professor there.

Besides school teachings, Mr. Feeny was always a great mentor, friend, and grandfather to the kids. He could be hard and strict.

Boy Meets World Mr. Feeny I have a megaphone

But always encouraged them

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and tried to teach them life lessons.

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Sarcastic, sweet and ultimately lovable. This series really won a place in everyone’s heart! So much that Disney decided to bring it back (sort-of) with a series chronicling Cory and Topanga’s daughter Girl Meets World. Power of the fans! We rock!

For more on Boy Meets World, go to Who’s Afraid of Cory Wolf

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer

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When you become friends with someone one of the first things you do is try and brainwash them into liking everything you like.

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It’s not like you are trying to make them into something else, change them, or anything like that. It’s just you love something so much you want to share it with the world. You want everyone to love it as much as you.

When someone likes the show I love Spongebob Squarepants

This is what happened with my friend Elaine and the show Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

I had heard of Buffy the Vampire Slayer as I like Sarah Michelle Geller, but I was never really into the show. I did see the 1992 film and loved it. It was more of a horror-parody than scary film, and Joss Wheedon decided that with the TV show he wanted to take it to a deeper level.

So in the show we have a blonde, sweet, “damsel in distress like character” be the Slayer. That is the woman who is going to save the world slaying demons, monsters, vampires, aliens, bug creatures, etc.

BoyMeetsWorld Topanga Damsel in distress not distress

Buffy is a strong, independent woman that totally kicks butt and goes against every female stereotype. The only thing that I wonder is if you know you are going to be hunting vampires, why not invest in heavy duty turtlenecks?

She is lead by Giles her Watcher or mentor. He’s the type of guy you’d want as a dad or uncle.

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One if her best friends is Willow (played by Alison Hannigan) a shy, insecure, brilliant girl. Later she takes care of spells and reversing curses.

We have Xander who is a total goofball. He is the comic relief and has some hilarious moments. He also has some really stupid ones. But that’s to be expected.

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Cheating on his girlfriend with his best friend. Going off with Faith and sleeping with her.

But he does have his moments. Like the Halloween episode when everyone turns into their costumes, and he becomes this intense military guy.

Then we have Cordelia, the snooty, rich girl. At first she is Buffy’s nemesis, but she actually ends helping the group out. The more you see her the more you love her. She and Xander date for a while, until Xander screws it up.

And then you have Angel (played by the sexy David Boreanaz).

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Oh yeah, one of the best characters in the series.

Angel

Angel was a guy living in Ireland in the 19th century. He was turned into a vampire and wrecked havoc on the world. He was cursed by a group of witches in getting his soul back, forcing him to have feelings and a conscious. He turns from his life of killing, to protecting; attempting to atone for his mistakes. He’s just the way I love them:

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He’s just one of the most romantic characters ever!

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To read more about him, come back next March and check out my Saint Patrick’s Day post.

Besides a great show, great actors, great characters, and great lines; it has one amazing theme song.

Yep, thanks to Elaine this is now my show. 🙂

Go here to see which you belong in

Go here to see which you belong in

For more on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, go to Every Time I Bring A Girl Over, You Try to Eat Her!: Vampires Suck (2010)

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 Captain America

Captain America

I love Captain America. I just think he is one of the best superheros ever. He is so earnest, sweet, perfect!

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I mean he is just everything you want in a guy. 🙂 I loved the film Captain America: The First Avenger. At first I wasn’t going to see it because of Chris Evans. I mean I never hated the actor, it’s just he did a horrible job in the Fantastic Four films, and let’s be honest. Practically every film he’s ever been in he plays an egotistical jerk. Not Another Teen Movie, Cellular, Fantastic Four, The Nanny Diaries, etc. But when I watched the film it was perfect, PERFECT!

Finally something GOOD!

I think that prior to The Avengers, it was the best superhero created yet. I completely forgot that it was Chris Evans and instead just saw the Captain America I love!

Perfect!

Perfect!

This past spring break I went to Disneyland as my graduation present to myself. One of the recent changes they have made is that in Tomorrowland you can see the Iron Man suits, Thor props and meet him and MEET CAPTAIN AMERICA! I was thrilled and fangirled out!

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I couldn’t wait to meet him. I mean I was like Phil Coulson. Anyways, when we found out, my friend Elaine and I made plans to go asap and get our pictures with him. As we waited in line, I was joking around that I wasn’t sure what I would do. I might even totally fangirl over him and throw myself at him. LOL I’m not that crazy, lol.

Yeah right.

Yeah right.

So once we reached the second floor that housed the superheros, even though Captain America was to the right they forced you to go all the way around through the Iron Man and Thor exhibits. Elaine and I had already checked those out, so we took off running past Iron Man, Thor, playstation etc. We reached Captain America and were like third in line, excited although really tired.

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When we got to Captain America, I totally lost it. Even though I knew that the guy wasn’t the real Captain America he just seemed so real! I threw myself at him and hugged him like five times. I babbled on that he was one of my favorites and how happy I was to see him.

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A total fangirl.

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He was cool with it. In fact he was perfect. He took the whole thing in stride.

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After we took like ten photos (me & Elaine), we were heading out when this happened:

“Captain America: Hey, Moreland.

Me: Yeah?

Captain America: Maybe I’ll see you around.

Me: Okay!”

I was like:

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Even though I knew the odds were zilch and not going to happen, there was still a small fraction of me that was hoping maybe, just maybe we would run into each other again.

Yep, the mentality of a fangirl. This is why we have places like tumblr where we can be understood for our irrationalities.

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Thank goodness it was Elaine who was with me and understood.

The next day we were heading back to our apartment and stopped off to see Elaine’s parents. We showed her mom all our pictures. She was looking at the Captain America one, and wondered out loud what kind of padding he was wearing. I told her that there wasn’t any padding. Those muscles were real.

If you love Captain America as much as I do, come back in March and check out my St. Patrick’s Day post to hear more on him.

Otherwise: For more Captain America, go to Fanning All Over the Place

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Chronicles of Narnia

Narnia

So while other kids grew up waiting for a letter to Hogwarts, or Camp Half-Blood, or any of those other places I was like whatever. I wanted to go to Narnia. Narnia prepare yourself spider-man memeI read the books and watched all the BBC films. I was so disappointed that I could never find a wardrobe to take me there (no matter how hard I tried).

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It was the first fandom I have ever been in and the one I’ll be in until I die. I will never grow tired of C.S. Lewis’ books. You’re never too old for them.

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The first book in the series is The Magician’s Nephew (1). It was actually the sixth book, but he wrote it as a prequel to the rest of the series. I thought it was okay, but he introduces a backstory that gives me more questions for the whole series. It’s not bad, but not one of my favorites. In it Digory and a Polly find themselves being sent to multiple worlds, having some of those enter their own world, and even witnessing the creation of Narnia.

The actual book that started it all was The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe (2)This is my favorite as it is the first and AWESOME!

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The time is the 1940s and four siblings, Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy,  are sent to the country to get away from the bombs of London. While staying at the house they go through a wardrobe into a magical world. The four find themselves caught in a battle between the evil White Witch and the Godly Lion, Aslan.

It is an amazing adventure story with magic, animals, swordfighting, everything you love and want! I always wanted to be Peter the High King and Lord of Narnia. I thought that he was just amazing as he fights the White Queen, werewolves, etc. One Christmas my mother bought me a bible cover that had images from the books and one was Peter with his sword held high. I used to joke that the guy I ended up with had to have the inner soul of that. Yeah-not a joke.

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The “next book” is A Horse and His Boy (3). I don’t really like this book as it was written fifth and doesn’t fit in the timeline right. In The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe it ends with the kids having lived far into their lives and returning home to discover they are back to their orginal ages and had only been gone a few hours. This book takes place in the middle of that time of them ruling. It bugs me as it just doesn’t go. I could have lived without it.

The next book Prince Caspian (4) was another of my all-time favorites and was orginally the sequel to the first. Time between Narnia and our world is much different. In the first book 40 years passed and it was only a few hours. In this one, hundreds of years have passed in Narnia. The land is ruled by men and talking animals, dwarfs, etc.; no longer roam the area. Prince Caspian is a young prince, about 10-12, who has grown up hearing the stories of King Peter, Queen Susan, King Edmund, and Queen Lucy. His uncle is ruling the land until he comes of age. One night he has to flee for his life as his uncle is set on killing him and making his newborn son the next in line for the throne. He rallies the rest of the magical creatures and calls on the help of the four from the first book.

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This was another of my favs as it had the same kind of action and magic of the first one.

Then comes Voyage of the Dawn Treader (5)In this one Peter and Susan are no longer allowed back into Narnia as they are too old. Lucy and Edmond go back, and take along their horrible, annoying cousin Eustace (on accident). They find themselves on the Dawn Treader a boat built by King Caspian, now in his 20s. I loved this book as they are traveling through the lone islands and searching for the lost Lords exiled under his uncle. This has amazing adventures, swordfights, magic, dragons, etc.

In The Silver Chair (6) Lucy and Edmond are also too old to return to Narnia. Instead a bullied Eustace and Jill Pole find there way there. It has been many years in Narnia, as Caspian is now an old man. His son was lost to him years ago, just up and vanished, and Aslan sends Eustace and Jill to find him. They meet up with a Marshwiggle named Puddleglum, who is so negative it is hilarious. In here they continue their adventuring coming upon giants, black knights, underground men, etc.

The last book is The Last Battle (7). This book is the end of the series. It has been hundreds and hundreds of years since Caspian and his son. One day a monkey finds a lion skin, clothes a donkey with it, and proclaims him Aslan. There like in Animal Farm, he begins to use his newly gained power to turn the animals into slaves. Eustace and Jill use the magic rings from the first book to help Narnia, and are soon followed by everyone. Endings are always sad, but this one goes out with a bang.

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The BBC films are amazing as they copy the books to a T. The actors are also fantastic. The special effects are so-so, but that was the technology they had and you got to give them props for that. The Disney versions are horrible. HORRIBLE! Trust me, don’t watch them at all. Read instead.

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For more on The Chronicles of Narnia, go to 25 Films of Christmas

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Copper

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Copper is one of those shows that was amazing and got canceled far too early (only two seasons). I’m still upset over that.

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So I wanted to watch Copper when it first came out as it intrguied me. It was a historical drama and plus it had him:

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Let me back, up I’m getting too far ahead of myself. So Copper takes place during the mid 19th century in New York City. New York has a lot of tension not only between the Southerners and Northerners; but the racial clashes between “Americans”, “White” Europeans, Irish, and African-Americans. The main character, Kevin “Corky” Corcoran is an Irish immigrant, who has become a “copper”. He tries to keep the notorious Five Points in line with its murders, thievery, prostitution, opium trade, etc.

During the war, Corky worked with the wealthy Robert Morehouse (played by the hot guy from Alley Cats Strike). Morehouse used his influence to get Corky that job. Matthew Freeman, a freed slave who fought with them during the Civil War, acts as Corky’s pathologist and coroner.

They had the first season free on Amazon Instant Watch and I breezed through it and the second one as well.

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The main character is amazing as he is just what I like:

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And Irish. 🙂

He also really cares about the people in his neighborhood and protecting him. He not only a honorable man, but one of action who goes out and takes care of things. Super attractive!

Besides all those wonderful things, Copper also has a great intro.

For more on Copper, go to At the End of the Rainbow: 17 More Irish Heros

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Loving Everything

If people don’t like it, well:

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The ones who do understand you, you will have awesome times with.

For Part 1 go to Fanning All Over the Place

And Stay Tuned for Part 3

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For more book filled posts, go to Peeta Please!

For more of my favorite quotes, go to I Before E, Especially After P

For more quizzes, go to That Girl is Poison

For more Disney, go to The Little Moreland

At the End of the Rainbow: 17 More Irish Heroes

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

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“Those Irish men and women…[who’s] rich vitality and culture they brought with them. Britain, the U.S. and many commonwealth countries are richer for their presence.”   –Tony Blair

So I picked seventeen of my favorite Irish characters from film, TV, and books. I had to get a little more creative as I used up a lot of my all time favs last year. Next year I might have to do only seven. So they mostly turned out to be cops, but I swear I didn’t plan that, it just kinda happened. Hope you enjoy! 🙂

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17) Irish National Quidditch Team from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Harry Potter is about to start his fourth year at Hogwarts, but before the term starts he will be joining the Weasleys and Hermione Granger at the Quidditch World Cup to see Ireland vs. Bulgaria. While there, Voldemort’s followers come and fire the Dark Mark into the sky, signaling that Voldemort will return soon. At Hogwarts, they are hosting the Triwizard Tournament, however, only those over 17 will be allowed to enter. The Goblet of Fire ends up choosing  Fleur DelacourViktor Krum, and Cedric Diggory to compete in the tournament. But to everyone’s surprise, the cup chooses a fourth name, Harry Potter. The four compete in many tasks, surmounting in the final course, conquering a maze. There they discover that the Champion cup is a Portkey that takes them to Voldemort and allows him to begin his evil plan.

Why they are awesome:

First of all, let me just say that I LOVED this book. The movie was so-so, but the book was amazing. Anyways, so the Irish Quidditch team is super cool. They were up against Krum, who is pretty tough, the Bulgarian Veela and still managed to make it out on top. They didn’t catch the snitch but were able to still win with a score of  170-160. Pretty sweet.

For more on Harry Potter check out Even After All This Time

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16) Greta Conroy from  The Dead

The Dead is by James Joyce and about an Irish family and friends celebrating Epiphany. Three spinsters, Aunt Julia, Aunt Kate, and Mary Jane are hosting a party. Gabriel, the nephew and one of the main characters, attends the party with his wife Greta but rejects his Irishness, wanting to be more British and his ideas clash with the others at the party.

Why Greta is Awesome:

Greta is awesome because she has to put up with a lot having a husband like Gabriel. He doesn’t want to visit West Ireland were she is from, tries to force all these modern ideas upon her and the family; etc. But Greta, while she compromises at times, as that is crucial to every relationship, she doesn’t always give in. She sticks to her guns if it is something she really cares about. Greta also lost the boy she loved when she was young, and has persevered through that pain all the years. She married and move on with her life, no one ever knowing about the travesty in her past. A real warrior, she is.

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15) Freddy Malins from  The Dead

The Dead is by James Joyce and about an Irish family and friends celebrating Epiphany. Three spinsters, Aunt Julia, Aunt Kate, and Mary Jane are hosting a party. Gabriel, the nephew and one of the main character, attends the party with his wife Greta but rejects his Irishness, wanting to be more British and his ideas clash with the others at the party.

Why Freddy is Awesome:

Now when we are first presented Freddy, he seems like the fullfillment of the Irish stereotype. He is slovenly and drunk, but as we see more of him, you find out that there is much more to him then meets the eye. (Plus his mom is always ragging on him and saying he is a horrible, stupid person. I think she would drive anyone to drink.) Joyce purposely had Freddy be the stereotype, so that when he revealed more of who he was it would make you refrain from making rash judgements and make his character of being kind and caring even more surprising. When Aunt Julia, retired singer, performs and doesn’t do that well, he immediately jumps up and compliments her. When everyone is saying bad things about the Irish opera singers and such, he pips up and not only praises them but the African-American singer. Kudos to Freddy always speaking his mind and being adorable.

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14) Gerald O’Hara from Gone With the Wind

Gone With the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell, is the story of a Southern family that goes through some radical changes from the Antebellum period, to the Civil War, and the Reconstruction era. At the heart of all this chaos is the story of the beautiful, ruthless Scarlett ‘O’ Hara and the dashing soldier of fortune, Rhett Butler.

Why Mr. O’Hara is awesome:

Now I know a lot of people hate this movie, but trust me the book is much better. You really get a better sense of the characters and really understand their motivations and what in the past made them who they are.

So in the movie we don’t get much of the dad. We see a bit of him in the beginning and then when he goes crazy from grief and loss of his wife. But in the book he was pretty cool. Back in Ireland he was a part of a Catholic Emancipation group, like the Ribbonmen or such. He has to flee Ireland because of his illegal activities. He comes over to America who works with his brother in his store, but decides that he wants to have more. He wants to be one of higher position and actually does it. Pretty sweet for any immigrant. He wins the plantation in a poker game and builds it up, creating a vast fortune. He tries to marry, but isn’t completely ingrained in Southern society. They like him but don’t “know his family”, you know how people were. So he goes back to his brother so that he can find someone, and falls for the beautiful Ellen, from a very old, established family. Everyone tells him he’s stupid for thinking that he could ever win her heart, but he does. (Her heart being broken from her cousin does help the situation). O’Hara is pretty cool; political activist sticking it to the man, self-made millionaire, and won the heart of the prom queen equivalent; daddy O’Hara is one amazing guy.

For more on Gone With the Wind, go to My Favorite Movie Lines

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13) Michael Hagarty from “Widow, Weep for Me” Murder She Wrote

Jessica Fletcher goes undercover at a Caribbean resort to discover who murdered her friend. When she gets there she finds sand, sun, and plenty of suspects.

Why Michael is Awesome:

Michael is an ex-MI5 agent and has a colorful past. He is debonair, great in a crisis, handsome, and has an amazing accent. 🙂 He is a great character that helps Jessica catch the real killer. He’s the type of guy you’d always want on your side (crack shot, safe cracker, etc) and to date. It’s the accent and lethal skills. 😉

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12) Lily the maid from The Dead

The Dead is by James Joyce and about an Irish family and friends celebrating Epiphany. Three spinsters, Aunt Julia, Aunt Kate, and Mary Jane are hosting the party. Gabriel, the nephew and one of the main character, rejects his Irishness and clashes with others at the party.

Why Lily is Awesome:

We only get a small glimpse of Lily in the book and film, but what we see of her is awesome. Lily is a modern woman, not one to be subservient in spirit. The aunts are starting to dislike her as she is no longer as malleable as she was, but more opinionated. Besides, I love her snarky remark when Gabriel suggests that she will be marrying soon; “the men that is now is only all palaver and what they can get out of you.” Gabriel is shocked at her for saying such things, but Lily just tells it like it is.

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11) Connor McGuire from A Passion Most Pure

Connor McGuire is a total bad boy. After his father died, Connor turned away from the life he was living only focusing on himself and pleasure. He goes after Charity O’ Connor, but finds himself falling for her older sister Faith, even though he doesn’t agree with her faith. Connor finds his life being changed by the O’Connor clan, Faith and WWI.

Why Connor is awesome:

While originally Connor was a class A jerk, (on par with Glenn from The Wedding Singer) later on he changes his life and becomes an extremely endearing man. Faith and his war buddy Brady’s faith really infect Connor and makes him reevaluate his life. He becomes a better person, adding to his attractiveness. When he reenters Faith’s life, instead of trying to freak her out or hurt her, like before, he only cares about making her happy. He knows that she is getting married, and keeps his distance from her, only caring for her happiness. Of course, in the end, the two get together as they are perfect for each other.

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Shawn Spencer

10)Shawn Spencer from Psych

Shawn Spencer has been trained by his dad to cultivate his photographic memory to become super observant, analytical, etc; all in his efforts to create the perfect cop. However, Shawn  resists his father and rebels against him. Eventually to escape being imprisoned for knowing too much about recent crimes and figuring out who the perpetrator’s are, he lies to the Santa Barbara Police Department, saying he is a psychic. He then finds himself working alongside the cops; particularly head detective, Carlton Lassitar, and his partner Juliet O’Hara.

Why Shawn is awesome:

Shawn can be a jerk, childish, selfish, and a bit whiney at times; but all in all he is one pretty cool guy. He may be a goofball, but he is also highly intelligent, passing the detective test 100% at age 15, often feeling that things are too easy for him. He has great taste in films and music, making all these references that I absolutely adore. While he often uses Gus; his money, car, etc; he cares for his friend and would do anything for him. He cares for all his friends helping Lassiter when he was in a crime-solving slump and thought to have committed murder, Chief Vick from being fired, etc.  As the series progresses, Shawn matures; refraining from his previous extreme narcissistic tendencies. He and Juliet start dating in the last few seasons, this relationship really changing his childish ways, but not too much, as Juliet’s level-head and stable life works really well with Shawn.

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9) Billy Costigan from The Departed

The Departed is a great film that gives a dual view of one main event. Colin Sullivan has been raised by mobster Frank Costello, and is a mole for him in the Massachusetts State Police’s organized crime unit. Billy Costigan comes from a criminal background, but instead of graduating from the academy and going into law enforcement he gets placed undercover to figure out who is the rat is and bring him down. The two start living similar lives as they both start a relationship with the same psychiatrist and both become heavily stressed as they get closer to finding out who the rats are.

Why Billy is awesome:

Billy sacrifices himself as a mole for the department. That’s a huge risk to take, working for the underlords, having to play a role 24/7, no one ever knowing who you are or the good you are doing, etc. Plus he really kicks butt when he takes out guys as his cover. I mean imagine the pressure he is under and how awful it would be. And he is so patriotic, how he gave his life over because he believed it was better to do it this way. Plus he tries to kill Matt Damon, and anyone who does that is AWESOME! I hate Matt Damon, go to number 3 to read why.

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8) Scarlett O’Hara from Gone With the Wind

Gone With the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell, is the story of a Southern family that goes through some radical changes from the Antebelluem period, to the Civil War, and the Reconstruction era. At the heart of all this chaos is the story of the beautiful, ruthless Scarlett ‘O’ Hara and the dashing soldier of fortune, Rhett Butler.

Why Scarlett is awesome:

Okay so I know, I know people really hate her. She is horrible and does some horrifying things in the film, but the book is much, much, much, much, better. Trust me the book was awesome I recommend reading it. (Just FYI there will be posts on some of my favorite quotes from this book. I don’t know when, but they will be a-coming.)

So Scarlett has a bunch of bad qualities, yes its true. She is selfish, a man stealer, a horrible mother, cruel, and stuck in the past. She does ruin her relationship with Rhett because she is so hung up on stupid Ashley. I thoroughly recommend this book for anyone who just ended a relationship, as it shows you why you must move on!

However, she is a pretty cool character with a lot of good qualities. Okay so Scarlett is a Southern women in the Antebellum period and has very little schooling. In fact she has very little worth or path in life other than to marry and have children. But Scarlett doesn’t follow that path. She lives her own life and does her own thing, not because she wants to, but because there is no one else to; so takes it upon her self to get things done. She works the land, runs the plantation, pretty much becomes the head of the household. It’s all on her to make sure everyone has food. Then a Union deserter comes around and she takes him out. She uses the gun that Rhett gave her and makes sure that her family and womanhood is safe. She does steal her sister’s passive and simple beau, but whips him into shape, making him and her family sucessful. She also operates a lumber mill, while not being the most highly educated, still having a brain for numbers. Now everyone tells  her she isn’t being a lady, running businesses and doing better than her husband. Everyone tries to convince her to stop, but she keeps on doing it. Power to you!!! Here is a woman who is doing whatever she wants, what makes her feel strong; even it it means going against society. She continues to be this strong, forceful woman throughout the rest of the novel; even though she does make a lot of bad decisions. Still, for a woman in the 1800s to have her own business, earn her own money, choose who she will marry (several times), is pretty awesome!

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Seamus McFly

7) Seamus McFly from Back to the Future: Part III

So 1985 Doc has been sent back to the Wild West, and its up to 1955 Doc to send Marty back so that he can save him. While there, Marty meets his newly immigrated family and discovers that Doc doesn’t want to return to the ’80s but enjoys living in the West. However, after discovering that Mad Dog Tannen (Biff’s grandfather) is out to kill him Doc agrees to return with Marty, that is until a pretty young teacher catches his eye. Then Mad Dog decides that he will switch his vendetta to Marty. Now both are in a dilemma.

 Why Seamus is awesome:

So this is the second year in which a Back to the Future character and a Michael J. Fox character has made it onto the Saint Patrick’s Day countdown. Let’s given them a big round of applause! Now back to business.

First of all he is played by Michael J. Fox. Instant Win. Anyways, Seamus is Marty’s great-great grandfather, newly Irish immigrants. He discovers Marty, after  he was chased by Native Americans and fell. Even though he doesn’t know him, and his wife says that he should’ve left him, Seamus helps him because he believes it is the right thing to do. Seamus is awesome, because even though he is bullied and harrassed by the Tannen’s he ignores it. Now that takes a lot of self-control and patience and fortitude to just ignore it and keep going. To be able to walk away from a fight because you know the issue is not that big a deal, that’d you’d rather not die over a silly argument. He became this way after his brother Martin, Marty’s namesake, was provoked and killed in a knife fight. His wisdom and positivity teaches Msarty to control himself as well, and helps make his future better.

For more on Back to the Future, go to The Clock is Ticking

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6) Maggie McKendrick from The Parent Trap (1961)

Sharon is traveling to camp from California. She meets Susan from Boston. This wouldn’t be unusual except for the fact that they look exactly alike. That’s right, Sharon and Susan are twins, separated after their parents divorced, each getting one to take home with them. The two become friends and decide to switch places in order to get to know the other parent and reunite their parents. Unfortunately, a lot has changed while Sharon was away. Her father met someone and is engaged! Now the girls are trying to reformulate their plan to break up her dad and his fiancé, and get the mom to CA and back with the dad.

Why Maggie is awesome:

So if you haven’t guessed this is the original, and while I like the remake, this one is just so amazing. First of all it has Maureen O’Hara. I just love her!

Anyways, Maggie is super cool. When Sharon (pretending to be Susan) comes home with pieced ears and short hair, she doesn’t freak out, or get angry, but instead praises her daughter and supports her decisions. Not only does she approve, but tells her she looks wonderful.  When she discovers that her ex-husband, and love, is going to throw his life away on a vapid, horrible, cruel gold-digger; she goes out there and fights for her daughters and her  man. And instead of being mean or bitter; she just acts her beautiful nice self; winning everyone over. The fam is going to go on a camping trip and Vicky gets jealous about Mitch and Maggie spending time together, Maggie steps aside; not only because she knows Vicky will reveal her true colors, but because she is the bigger person. She’s just a sweet, considerate, kind, and a bit edgy person; someone you can’t help but love.

For more on Maureen O”Hara, check out the 25 Films of Christmas

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5)Faith O’Connor from A Passion Most Pure (Different Synopsis from the one before)

Faith O’Connor has only ever loved one man, Connor McGuire, who after his father’s death drastically changed and is no longer the man he once was. Faith finds comfort in her faith, and keeps praying and loving him silently. Faith and her sister Charity have always been rivals and now Connor is courting her sister while at the same time making a play for Faith. This story spans from Boston to Europe as the beginning of WWI changes everything.

Why Faith is awesome:

Faith is amazing. She recovered from polio and her twin sister’s death. She has to contend with her younger sister being prettier and attracting all the beaus, with little Faithy always bullied and left in the dust. But even through all this she continues to pray and show her love for others. She is never mean, bitter, harsh, or cruel to anyone; even to her sister, who steals both of the men she loves; Conner and her fiancé, Mitch. Instead Faith just tries to be kind and care for everyone.

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4) Juliet “Jules” O’Hara from Psych

Psych is about a super observant man, Shawn Spencer, who pretends to be a psychic for the Santa Barbara Police Department. His pharmacist friend, Burton Guster, assists him and the two work with head detective Carlton Lassiter and his partner Juliet O’Hara.

Why Jules is awesome:

You might recognize her from the DCOM Model Behavior (one of two people on this list who have been in DCOMs). Jules is the young police officer who moves from Miami to Santa Barbara when Carlton Lassitar’s old partner is transferred. Jules may be a very pretty, bubbly, sweet, rainbow-sunshine kind of girl; but she is not just bubbles and fizz, but is a very deep and intelligent person. She has scored the highest on the detective test (second to photographic memory Shawn), beating Carlton Lassitar. She also is fluent in Spanish, due to her time in Miami. While she is gentle and sweet, she can be gruff and unmoving when she needs to be; holding her own and not allowing anyone to walk over her. She and Shawn Spencer end up getting together and her stability and his goofiness work well together.

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3) Staff Sergeant Dignam from The Departed

Mark Wahlberg is the second person on this list to make a return from last year, read it to see my thoughts on The Fighter.

The Departed is a great film that gives a dual view of one main event. Colin Sullivan has been raised by mobster Frank Costello, and is a mole for him in the Massachusetts State Police’s  organized crime unit. Billy Costigan comes from a criminal background, but instead of graduating from the academy and going into law enforcement, he gets placed undercover to figure out who is the rat is and bring him down. The two start living similar lives as they both start a relationship with the same psychiatrist and both become heavily stressed as they get closer to finding out who the rats are.

Why Staff Sgt. Dignam is awesome:

Like I mentioned in A Horse’s Tale, I can tolerate very few Matt Damon films. However, I absolutely love Mark Wahlberg, he’s just so attractive! Anyways, Mark Dignam is the one in charge of the undercover unit, and one of two who knows that Billy is the department’s rat. He is a great cop who really cares about ending the crime in the area, and about the people in his unit. When Colin starts messing with his investigation and wants names, instead of giving in Dignam just takes a leave of absence, disappearing rather than reveal who his person is. However, the best thing about Dignam, besides the fact that he is Mark Wahlberg, he takes out Matt Damon! 😀

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2)Kevin “Corky” Corcoran from Copper

Copper is about the NYPD in the mid 19th century. New York is a crazy place with the Civil War  going on bringing tension between Southerners and Northerners; the racial clashes between “Americans”, “White” Europeans, Irish, and African-Americans. Corky is one of the “coppers” trying to keep the notorious Five Points in line with its murders, thievery, prostitution, opium trade, etc.

Why Corky is awesome:

Now Corky isn’t perfect, but he is one pretty awesome (and Hot!) guy. Corky, while having faults and vices, is one pretty honorable person who tries to be just and fair, caring for all in his community. He tries to save a child prostitute from her slavery; love and be true to his wife, even when she cheated on him and killed their child; one of the few men who is not a racist, not only respecting Dr. Freeman, but becoming really good friends with him. He makes sure prostitutes are not mistreated, people are not unjustly thrown in prison, women are not accosted by their landlords, and those that break the law, hurt others, molest/rape children get what’s coming to them. That’s another thing that makes Corky so amazing (and sexy!) is that he not only a honorable man, but one of action who goes out and takes care of things.

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1) Carlton “Lassie” Lassiter from Psych

Psych is about a super observant man, Shawn Spencer, who pretends to be a psychic for the Santa Barbara Police Department. His pharmacist friend, Burton Guster, assists him and the two work with head detective Carlton Lassiter and his partner Juliet O’Hara.

Why Lassie is awesome:

Now I have a huge TV crush on Carlton Lassiter, its a little hard not to. He is pretty awesome (although tightly wound). Now some of you may recognize him as the evil leprechaun from the DCOM Luck of the Irish, for more on that check out last year’s post. However, as Lassie, Carlton is far from evil. Carlton is a strictly by the book kind of guy; SB law, the Constitution, NRA, etc. He is a great cop, a bit old fashioned, but stubborn, persistent, etc. While he can be pigheaded, truth be told it would be hard dealing with Shawn all the time. He is a huge Clint Eastwood fan, wishing he could be Dirty Harry or Tom Highway. He also loves Westerns and wants to be a modern day cowboy. He is a huge Civil War history buff and takes part in reenactments. He knows how to shot like every type of gun and has built up a immunity to chloroform. However, the best thing about him is how strongly he throws himself into relationships. He does everything he can to try and work things out with his ex-wife (really not wanting to get a divorce). True he did cheat on her with his old partner, but they had been separated for quite some time and she was porking around with someone else. (Doesn’t make it right but it is understandable). However, the best thing was when his gf was arrested and imprisoned (she stole blood from a blood bank for her sick brother), he went and visited her every time he was allowed to. Nothing kept him from being there or true to her. He also did everything he could to free her from the jail. So sweet! 🙂

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So Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! I know I’ll be wearing green, just so no stupid  kids try and pinch me. And watching this movie like I do every year.

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But I hope you all have a wonderful day in however you celebrate it.

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Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

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25 Films of Christmas

So last year I tried to do 12 Posts of Christmas, unfortunately that didn’t work out as I got sick and involved in Christmas-y activities. However, this year I decided to do some thing in the vein of the Chinese New Year and Saint Patrick’s Day posts. Instead of posting everyday, a countdown of 25 of my fav Christmas Films. Now these aren’t my top 25, but I randomly picked them and then rearranged them in the order of how I love them.

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25) Love, Actually (2003)

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This has a complex storyline as the film has multiple paths. There is Billy Mack, aging rock star trying to get back in the limelight, redoing Christmas songs.  Mark is secretly in love with his best friend’s girl Juliet but says nothing to honor his friend. Jamie flees to France after his last girlfriend cheats on him with his brother, there  he falls in love with his Portuguese housekeeper. Harry, the direcctor of a design studio, contemplates having an affair with his assistant Mia. David has just become Prime Minister and develops feelings for a girl who works for him, Natalie. Daniel has just lost his wife and is raising his stepson.  Sarah has feelings for Karl but her mentally ill brother, Michael, seems to throw a wrench in her plans. Colin is tired of striking out with English women and journeys to America. John and Judy are body doubles for actors who meet at work.

Why it’s Great: It has Colin Firth, Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson, Martin Freeman , etc; need I say more? The Colin Firth storyline is really good, in fact keep an eye open for it’s reappearance this Feb.

Holly

24) Twas’ the Night Before Christmas (1974)

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Santa isn’t coming this year as he has received an hurtful letter. A mouse and the clockmaker try and figure out what is wrong and fix it. The mouse’s son is the one that caused the issue and they are trying to get him to say he is sorry so that all can have Christmas.

Why it’s Great: They used to show this every year on the 25 Days of Christmas on abcFamily. It’s a great spin on a classic tale.

Holly

23) Catch Me If You Can (2002)

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Leonardo DiCaprio stars in the film based on the true story of Frank Abagnale, Jr. Frank is a conman who pretends to be a teacher, pilot, doctor, and lawyer all before his 21st birthday. He steals millions of dollars in forged checks. Tom Hanks is the FBI Agent, Carl, that tracks him through the years, finally  catching up with him.

Why it’s Great: While this isn’t your typical Christmas film, Christmas plays a significant part as it is the time that the two intersect throughout the years in the film. DiCaprio and Hanks are amazing in this film as they are such subperb actors. It’s a great thing to watch.

Holly

22) Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas (1997)

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This film takes place in the midst of Beauty and the BeastThe Beast hates Christmas, because in this version that’s when the Enchantress came and turned him into a Beast. Belle is trying to bring back Christmas to the castle and help heal the Beast’s soul, but has to contend with an evil organ played by Tim Curry. For more Beauty and the Beast posts go here.

Why it’s Great: While the song “As Long As There’s Christmas” is no “Be Our Guest” or “Tale as Old as Time“, it is extremely adorable. Plus Tim Curry as the villian? You just know its going to be awesome. 😀

Holly

22) Frosty the Snowman (1969)

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Short film based on the song about the magic hat that brings a snowman to life and his adventures with the town’s kids.

Why it’s Great: Its Frosty! How can you not love him?

Holly

21) Babes in Toyland (1986)

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Drew Barrymore is a young girl who is not quite in the Christmas’ spirit. There is a huge storm and she gets into an accident waking up in Toyland. Mary Contrary (who looks just like her sis in ‘real life’) is being forced to marry the evil Barnaby Barnacle. She really loves Jack Be Nimble (played by Keanu Reeves and looks like her sis’ bf in ‘real life’.) Barrymore tries to stop the wedding and Barnaby’s atempt to conquer Toyland. They have to find the toymaker and get his help in saving the land.

Why it’s Great: This Wizard of Oz-esque film is adorable as it brings all the nursery rhymes you learned as a child to life.

Holly

20) Edward Scissorhands (1990)

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A young creation, Edward Scissorhands, is discovered by an Avon saleslady, Peg. His creator was going to give him actual hands, but was not able to finish Edward before he died. The Avon saleslady takes him home to her place and has him join the family. Edward falls for the daughter Kim, played by Winona Ryder. Edward quickly becomes liked by all as he uses his scissors to create lawn art and cute hairstyles. After he is caught burglarizing a house, for Kim and her jerk boyfriend, he finds himself ostracized. In the end Edward is able to find love, his place, create more art, and make it snow.

Why it’s Great: First of all it has Vincent Price, in fact this was his last film before he died. It also is a super cute story, even though it has its sad moments. The last section of the film deals with Christmas, as Peg and her family throw a huge Christmas party that no one comes to as they are shunning the fam. I love Winona Ryder’s white dress in this film, I really want one for myself. It’s also really cute at the end when Edward makes the ice sculptures, and snow.

Holly

19) The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

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Our second Tim Burton film on our list. Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King, and the most popular guy in Halloweentown is disatisfied with his life. He journeys out of town and discovers doors to other holiday towns. When he goes into Christmasland he decides that he will take over Christmas and improve it. Of course nothing turns out quite as he plans.

Why it’s Great: Its an amazing film, the music, characters, etc. Of course best lines, “why does nothing turn out as I plan“. My favorites are “What’s This?” and “Sally’s Song“.

Holly

18) While You Were Sleeping (1995)

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Sandra Bullock works at a toll booth and everyday she watches the distinguished (and my opinion ugly) Peter Gallagher and has developed a crush on him. One day he is attacked and injured and she saves his life. At the hospital she is mistaken for his fiancé and soon brought into the family. She falls in love with them, along with Gallagher’s brother, played by Bill Pullman. Gallagher wakes up to find himself massively confused, and Bullock finds herself engaged to the wrong brother. Everything works out on the end as all is righted.

Why it’s Great: Well first of all it has Bill Pullman :D. Secondly it is a hilarious film, just like all of Bullock’s comedys. I mean the amnesia scene is to die for. The proposal scene with Bill Pullman is so an adorable and romantic!

Holly

17) The Holiday (2006)

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Two women who have  suffered horrible breakups switch homes for the Christmas holiday. Iris, Kate Winslet, in England goes to California, and befriends an elderly neighbor and falls in love with a Hollywood movie theme writer (played by Jack Black). Amanda, Cameron Diaz, in California, moves to England and falls for Iris’ brother, Jude Law, widower with two kids.

Why it’s Great: Its an absolutely adorable idea and the couples match up are perfect. Of course the most points go to the sexy dad, Jude Law. 😀

Holly

16) Nestor: The Long- Eared Donkey  (1977)

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Nestor is a donkey born with extremely long ears. In the vein of Dumbo, Nestor is constantly picked on and bullied for being so different. An angel encourages him that he was born that way for a reason and has a special purpose in life. Eventually, Nestor finds himself being the donkey that Mary rides in to Bethlehem, protecting her and the unborn Baby Jesus.

Why it’s Great: It is such a cute movie!!!

Holly

15) The Little Drummer Boy (1968)

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This film is based on the song, “Carol of the Drum” or “The Little Drummer Boy“. A little boy and his animals end up becoming slaves to a circus, being treated cruelly by all. He escapes and one of his animals is injured. He meets up with the Three Magi’s caravan and goes with them to see Baby Jesus. His animal is healed and he plays his drum as thank you to Jesus.

Why it’s Great: It is one of the most adorable classic cartoons that they used to show every year on abcFam.

Holly

14) Jack Frost (1979)

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Jack Frost has fallen for a human girl and makes a deal that will allow him be human. He is until Spring to win her over and must also gain a horse and bag of gold in order to remain human. Being a human is harder than he thought as he has no idea the social niceties and has to contend with Kubla Khan, the evil dictator.

Why it’s Great: Jack is amazing, much better than the gold knight the girl end sup with ;(. Makes you knida wish he was real. This cartoon also has great musical numbers as “Jack Frost” and “Just What I Always Wanted“. I also loves Kubla Khan’s little dummy that he talks to.

Holly

13) The Godfather (1972)

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Such an awesome film! The Godfather is a story about the Italian mafia in the 1940s. This specific sect is overseen by Don Corleone. He has three sons; Alfredo (played by John Cazale), Santino (James Caan), and Michael (Al Pacino); and one daughter, Connie (Talia Shire). Santino is next in line to be godfather, skipping over his brother Fredo. Unlike his siblings, Michael wants nothing to do with his father’s  business, instead wanting to live a “legal” life. When Don Corleone is shot by a rival, it changes everyone’s plans as they are all spiraled down a new path.

Why it’s Great: Two words, The Godfather. There is no way to describe how amazing this film is, well actually You’ve Got Mail does a pretty good job.  You just have to check it out for yourself. This film isn’t a Christmas movie really, but does have a Christmas scene, so it counts. It’s funny, but even though this doesn’t have Thanksgiving, we usually watch it then in my family.

Holly

12) The Nativity Story (2006)

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A retelling of the birth of Christ from Mary and Joseph’s point of view. It shows the struggle that Joseph goes through, contemplating what to do about pregnant Mary. Then the two have to travel far and long to Bethlehem.

Why it’s Great: They tried to keep the story as historical accurate as possible and do such a great job. It really tries to bring the biblical text to life and get you to empathize with the two and the situations they are going through.

Holly

11) The Chronicles of Narnia: the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (1988)

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A mini-series based on C.S. Lewis’ beloved books. Four siblings, Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy, enter a wardrobe and a magical world. The four find themselves caught in a battle between the evil White Witch and the Godly Lion, Aslan.

Why it’s Great: C.S. Lewis’ great book = Great movie. Enough said! While Christmas isn’t the biggest part of the plot, the group do run into Father Christmas who gives them gifts they need to win the fight against the White Witch. Peter gets a sword and shield, Susan a bow and horn that will always bring help, and Lucy a dagger and a healing substance to help the wounded. While this movie was remade by Disney, it doesn’t hold a candle to this mini-series, as the series while not having the great special effects, is almost exactly the book.

Holly

10) White Christmas (1954)

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Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye are WWII veterans who became a song and dance duo. The two meet up with a pair of singing sisters and both head off to the same ski lodge. There they discover their old general is the owner, and may lose the place from lack of buisness and snow. The two come up with an idea to house a show there with the sisters. Bing Crosby starts a romance but the two break it off due to some misunderstandings. In the end they are all reunited and have a great number honoring the General and singing the title, White Christmas.

Why it’s Great: First of all Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye! Secondly this has some truly great musical numbers; such as “Gee, I Wish I Was Back in the Army“, “Sisters“, along with the title song. It’s a silly and zany film, you’ll love it.

Holly

8) A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)

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The Peanut gang try to figure out the true meaning of Christmas amid all the insanities of the holiday.

Why it’s Great: It’s Peanuts! Snoopy is adorable as ever and Linus gives a great true meaning of Christmas speech.

Holly

9) A Garfield Christmas (1987)

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Garfield and the gang head out to the Arbuckle farm for some old fashioned country Christmas

Why it’s Great: Its from the good Garfield cartoons I grew up watching as a kid. That hilarious fat cat always makes the season brighter. Go here to watch.

Holly

7) A Christmas Story (1983)

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Adult Ralphie narrates the time when his nine-year-old self desired a Red Ryder BB Gun for Christmas and all the trouble he went through to try and get it. Throughout the time leading up to Christmas, he, his family, and friends are involved in all kinds of crazy antics. The father wins a female leg lamp, Ralphie’s friend Flick gets his tongue stuck to a pole, his brother won’t eat unless pretending to be a pig, Ralphie gets a pink-footed bunny pajamas, etc. It all leads up to one crazy Christmas.

Why it’s Great: This movie is extremely hilarious. Pretty much every scene I mentioned there and more. It is  is truly a classic piece. You gotta add it to your Christmas countdown. 😀

Holly

6) The Bishop’s Wife (1947)

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The Bishop is trying to get a new cathedral built along with all his other duities. Feeling stressed out, he calls out to God for help, and is answered by angel Dudley, Cary Grant. Dudley helps out, that is by spending all his time with the Bishop’s wife. Through this the Bishop is finally able to see what really matters in his life and the true meaning of Christmas.

Why it’s Great: Uh…Cary Grant! It also has such funny actics as when we see Grant’s angel powers. I mean I wish I had his tree decorating skills. This film also proves the old adage, “be careful what you wish for” is something that one should think on. 😀 For more thoughts on this film go here.

Holly

5) How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966)

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The Grinch hates Christmas and decides to destroy and end the holiday, ruining the holiday for all the Whos. However, the Grinch finds out what the true spirit of christmas is, whether he wants to or not.

Why it’s Great: The Grinch was always my fav Dr. Seuss book. I just love the story so much! I remember that one year I ate a ton of a certain type of cereal and sent away for a special Grinch keychain. I lost it though in one of our moves.  This film is also awesome because it has the amazing Boris Karloff narrating, and has one of the all-time best songs, You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch.

Holly

4) Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

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A Macy’s department store Santa believes himself to be the “real” Santa Claus. His insistence lands him in jail and then in a huge court case to determine whether or not Santa is real

Why it’s Great: It’s an amazing film about faith, believing in the intangible, and the true meaning of Christmas.  Edmund Gwenn is a perfect Santa, Maureen O’Hara is lovely as always, and it stars a young Natalie Wood.  It has amazing scenes as Santa turns Macy’s into a store of goodwill, taking down the psychologist, and pretty much just being adorable. Best scene ever is the court scenes when they prove Santa’s real. 😀

Holly

3) Holiday Inn (1942)

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Bing Crosby plays a burnt out singer and moves to Connecticut to buy a country home and live a simple life. It soon becomes too much for him and he turns it into a hotel, open only on holidays. (Sounds like my type of place) Wannabe star Linda Mason starts to work for him and the two fall in love. Unfortunately, Crosby’s old partner and womanizer, played by Fred Astaire, comes back into the picture and tries to break up the two. It involves a lot of zany romance and comical moments.

Why it’s Great: The holiday songs are amazing; White Christmas, Happy Holidays, (Come to) Holiday Inn, Be Careful It’s My Heart, I Can’t Tell a Lie, etc. The wonderful partnership of Bing and Fred make this movie really great! 😀 A great watch. Now for some fun facts. This is the first time “White Christmas” was performed in a film.  The same set was used for the film White Christmas which also stars Bing. The hotel chain Holiday Inn got their name from this movie.

Holly

2) The Shop Around the Corner (1940)

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Jimmy Stewart and Margaret Sullivan work together in a shop in Budapest and can’t stand each other. Unbeknownst to them they are actually the pen pals that they are falling in love with. Stewart realizes this and does everything he can to show Sullivan that he is the man she loves and the two end up happily ever after. It was later remade as You’ve Got Mail.

Why it’s Great: JIMMY STEWART! That pretty much says it all. I love this film so, so, so, much, there are no words to describe how great it is. So romantic! ❤

Holly

1) It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

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Jimmy Stewart plays George Bailey, a troubled man. An angel, Clarence, is given the story of George’s life and sent down from heaven to help him. George has always dreamed of leaving his hometown and traveling the world. Unfortunately, no matter what he does he continues to be stuck there. He marries and helps the town in many ways, but doesn’t realize all the good he does. However, when a large sum of money goes missing and everything in his life seems to be going wrong he wishes he was never born at all. Clarence helps him by granting his wish and showing him how ugly Bedford Falls would be without him.

Why it’s Great: This is one of my favorite Jimmy Stewart films. There’s a reason why this film is played every year, besides the fact that it is JIMMY STEWART! It is a great movie that really shows you how even the smallest acts can make a difference in people’s life. If you’d like to read more of my thoughts on this film go here. This film always makes me think of my dad. He has done so much for people and can get frustrated as he doesn’t feel like his has accomplished much. “Clarence: Strange, isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?”

So Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you all have a great day full of family, friends, and fun. 😀

Feast Your Eyes On My Accursed Ugliness: The Phantom of the Opera (1925)

Feast your eyes! Glut your soul on my accursed ugliness

I love this movie so much that words fail to express how I feel. This movie was the one that not only was my gateway into horror films, but also caused a life-long love affair with classic cinema.

It all started one day at the library. I was about six years old and complaining to my mother that I couldn’t find any books to read. Nothing just felt right. You know what I mean, when a book synopsis just connects to you, and you know you need to take it home to read?

So my mother eager to get home, pulls a book off the shelf and suggests that I read it. Instead of paying attention to whatever novel she had in her hand, I saw the one behind it. It was The Phantom of the Opera; a slender, abriged, children’s version.

It became my new favorite book and I would check it out all the time, completely annoying my mother.

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Later on I read the original, whole  version; which I also love. It is written so well, if you haven’t read it yet I highly recommend it.

I just connected with this poor man. He was bullied and betrayed because he was disfigured. No one paid attention to his genius in building and composing. He was living a life alone in isolation. I wanted to go underground with him.

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I would have gone off with him and loved him unlike Christine Daaé, she’s a total jerk and loser.

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Anyways, not long after I was flipping the channels and stopped on TCM. I love TCM (Turner Classic Movies) with a passion. I wish I could watch it 24/7 as they show the most amazing films ever.

Anyways, so that day they were doing a biography on Lon Chaney, and mentioned that he played the Phantom. I was now sucked in and had to watch. The film was the biopic Man of a Thousand FacesLon Chaney quickly became my favorite actor as I just fell in love with what a genius he was. He used to wait outside the movie studio, using his make-up to change his apperance to better fit roles. His most famous one being of course, the Phantom.

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Afterwards, they held a marathon of his films, but I stopped watching as they didn’t show the one I wanted to see. I now had to watch the 1925 film! I did more research and found out that it is one of the first films to use color, only being able to for the Masque of Red Death scene. It was supposesed to be one of the most dramatic scenes in the film.

I now absolutely HAD to see that film. I went and rented it, hoping that it would be as good as it sounded. It was better than that! The film was not only horrtastic, but simply, and honestly amazing! It also stayed very close to the book, making only a few changes, and doing a much better job than some other versions (the 1943 one, so bad 😦 ).

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Now I know that silent film isn’t for everyone, but I suggest that you check it out.

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So we start off the film with someone lurking in the catacombs of the opera house. We don’t know who he is or what he is after. Then we switch to the opera house, and the creme de la creme of the elite milling about. Everyone is settling down as the show is about to start.

We see the ballerinas on stage dancing away.

Reminds me of Degas

Meanwhile in an office upstairs, the opera house is being turned over to new owners. Owners who know nothing of what lurks in the belly of the building.

For there lies the Phantom and a friend. A Persian man that had traveled with him since the Phantom has been abroad, but no one knows more than that.

So the new opera owners have gained a lot of problems with their purchase. Besides having to pay the phantom money, give him box 5, and a few other amenities; he is also demanding that they replace Carlotta with Christine, the girl he has been coaching. Needless to say, this is very upsetting for Carlotta.

I refuse to be treated in such a manner

In fact the Phantom has threatened Carlotta if she does not stay away. Carlotta is most unhappy; and leaves declaring she will not sing that night.

Instead Christine Daaé sings beautifully. She is also noticed by the stupid Vicomte de Chagny. I really dislike Raoul, Team Phantom all the way!

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In the book Raoul struck me as a real annoying guy. Like one who is always trying to do different things; but only does them halfheartedly, always expecting someone to bail them out of a jam. Then again I could be biased.

Anyways Stupid Raoul notices Christine and tries to get with her. But she is not as receptive, in fact telling him kindly to get lost as she has her career to think about.

Stupid Raoul goes to leave, but actually, is secretly waiting outside her door to spy on her.

Now for anyone out there; if you tell a person you want a relationship to end and they don’t listen and spy on you, you need to call the police and get rid of them. I can’t believe him. Raoul just went from stupid to stalker. I mean who listens outside their ex’s door like that? Who does that?

How rude

So Carlotta decides to sing anyway, even though she has been warned that bad things will happen. The Phantom makes sure that she will never want to sing again.

“Erik: Behold! She is singing to bring down the chandelier!”

So Christine goes to her room and Raoul being the creep he is  follows her. Erik, the Phantom, calls to her and tells her to go through her mirror; which is really a trapdoor. The Phantom built the Opera House, so built himself a home underneath the Opera House along with tons of secret passage ways and hideouts.

The Phantom takes her to his subterranean home, across a hidden lake.

Christine is amazed and kind of freaked out being there with him. All she can focus on is the fact that he is wearing a mask. Erik starts telling Christine his life story, and the sadness it has brought him. She ends up fainting, and he carries her to his guest room; beautiful and full of things she will love. It has a whole wall of shoes!

The next day everyone is in an uproar as Christine is missing! She wakes up to hearing the organ being played by the Phantom. He has been working on an opera for a long time.

Erik: Since I first saw your face, this music has been singing to me  of you and of –love triumphant!”

While he is romantically sharing his feelings, Christine is determined to rip off his mask.

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Lon Chaney is truly amazing! I mean look at him! He is so awesome looking! So creepy! He is such a genius, devising his own make-up. The Phantom’s makeup was designed to resemble a skull. Lon Chaney attached a strip of fish skin (a thin, translucent material) to his nostrils with spirit gum, pulled it back until he got the tilt he wanted, then attached the other end of the fish skin under his bald cap. For some shots, a wire-and-rubber device was used, and it cut into Chaney’s nose and caused a good deal of bleeding. Cheeks were built up using a combination of cotton and collodion. Ears were glued back and the rest was greasepaint shaded in the proper areas of the face. The sight was said to have caused some patrons at the premiere to faint.

Christine is completely shocked at his apperance. Mary Philbin, the actress who played Christine, reaction to the unmasked Phantom was real – she had no idea what he would look like until that exact moment.

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So the Phantom is upset, but Christine has to stay with him. He is not about to let her go. Now I know that is not appropriate behavior, but I feel so bad for him. She loved him until she saw his face, Now he has nobody. 😦

Then they have the most amazing scene ever! This was one of the first films to have color! They do this huge masquerade scene in color and he comes as the Red Death! It is too fantastic for words. I cannot describe it, you will have to watch it. His entrance, his outfit, etc.

Erik: Beneath your dancing feet are the tombs of tortured men! Thus does The Red Death rebuke your merriment!

Christine escapes from the Phantom and sneaks off with Raoul. They make plans to run away together, but little do they know that the Phantom has overheard everything.

Christine prepares to do her last performance, and as she is doing so, the Phantom comes and spirits her away. His only friend, a Persian courtier who has been with him through everything, goes to Raoul to lead him to Christine.

They go through the secret passage, but end up accidentally in the Phantom’s torture chamber.

The Phantom gives Christine two choices; she can choose to hit this ceramic scorpion,which means that she has chosen to marry the Phantom and be his forever, or the grasshopper which means death to Raoul and the opera house. The grasshopper if pressed will light a fuse of the gunpowder that is packed throughout the opera house and interconnected. Everything will blow! The scorpion is connected to a switch that will pump water into the bottom of the opera house and soak all the gunpowder and keep the opera house from blowing up.

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She chooses the scorpion, but as the water starts to come up and drown Raoul. Christine asks the Phantom to save his life, that she will do anything for him if he does. He pulls Raoul out and then takes off with Christine, as the Parisians are hunting him down.

Grab your torches and sharpen your pitchforks!

The villagers follow in pursuit. As they are running, Christine throws herself out of the carriage. The Phantom goes to her, but the villagers are too close and he takes off. Raoul goes to Christine, and the Phantom is “killed” by the people.

I’ve never been a fan of that idea, you can’t kill the phantom, he’s unbeatable!

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I love him! Is that sad and pathetic?

That’s the post for today. More to come! 4 days ’till Halloween!

Here’s poster I made for my cover page on facebook in honor or Halloween. Hope ya love it.

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To start Horrorfest from the beginning, go to I Don’t Belong in the World

For the previous post, go to They’re Coming to Get You Barbara 

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For more on The Phantom of the Opera, go to My Favorite Movie Lines

For more on classic horror films, go to I Want Friend Like Me

For more films based on books, go to Quite a Horror Story

For more films that spanned countless remakes, go to I Bid You Welcome

For more of my favorite quotes, go to I’m No Warrior, I’m an Assistant Pig-Keeper