A New Hope

40 years ago a film came out in May that changed the culture and the history of movie making. It had amazing characters and figures, and as I honored Star Trek last year, I decided this year will be all about that film. And what film?

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Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope

Yes I am a humongous fan and I could not let the year go by without talking about it.

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As we have also lost Carrie Fisher last year, I also want to honor her in this post. Her performance as Princess Leia impacted me in so many ways as I just wanted to be her.

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So this is a time to reflect on what the past year held for us, the big posts, what’s new, and what you all seemed to like the most.

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This post will only cover a few things, you really should check out the year for yourself. To start at the beginning go here.

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The Views

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This year I had over 52,000 views!

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The most viewed day of the year was October 24th, in which I posted We’ve Seen Dracula, the Wolf Man, and Frankenstein’s Monster: Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948).

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The Top Five Posts

Here are the top five most viewed posts of the year, although strangely non were posted this year.

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I mean you like what you like. I’m just happy people are reading my blog.

5) A Monster Race: Scooby-Doo and the Reluctant Werewolf (1988) part of Horrorfest’s 31 Days of Horror films (2012)

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4) Being Friends is Good Enough: Catching Fire (2013) from Romance is in the Air: Part II‘s 14 days of my favorite romantic moments (2014)

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3) A Real Man, quotable post on what it means to be a real man (2014)

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2) I Saw Goody Osburn With the Devil: The Crucible (1996), part of Horrorfest II’s 31 Days of Horror films (2013)

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1) Fulfilling the List: A Walk to Remember (2002), from Romance is in the Air‘s 14 days of my favorite romantic moments (2013)

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The Followers!

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So this community has really grown in numbers and I can not describe how pleased I am about that. We have gone from 14 followers in 2012 to 42 followers in 2013, 169 followers in 2014, to 439 in 2015, and now 616

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So enough about the statistics and numbers! Let’s move on to what was covered this year and what changes I have made to the blog

1) Star Trek

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So as Star Trek turned fifty last year I tried to have it influence the posts. I didn’t do as much as I did the year before with Back to the Future, but I tried.

For Star Trek we have my taste in fashion, A Fashion Statement; my Saint Patrick’s Day post, Wearing of the Green: 17 More Irish Heroes; my Horrorfest V post, “Charlie X” from Star Trek (1966); and ending with my Christmas post Trek the Halls with Bones and Scotty

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2) Story of My Life

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So every year I like to incorporate posts on just scenes or experiences from my everyday life. This year I shared how I hated traffic court in Runaround Suesanvillehow I almost killed myself with my alarm clock in Death By an Alarming Ratewhen I heard a strange bumping noise while being home alone in A Bump in the Nightmy totally awesome ’80s party in Back to the ’80sfleeing the stress of finals by my Escape to Alcatrazdying my hands green in My Favorite Martianrunning into the ex in When You Least Expect Itmy trip to Nerd Con in Revenge of the Nerdsmy bad eye-perience at the eye doctor in Eye Guess I Won’t Be Seeing You

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3) Honoring Special People

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So every year I try to honor special people who have made an impact in my life, passed away, or are celebrating a birthday. I never get to do everyone I care about, but here are the ones I did: David Bowie with Changes, Turn and Face the StrangeAlan Rickman with A Man of Great Worth and RespectabilityMichael Ende and his novel The Neverending Story in A Book Only a Reader Could WriteRoald Dahl’s 100th birthday in Come With Me and You’ll Be in a World of Pure Imagination;

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4) You Can’t Keep a Fangirl Down

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So these fangirl posts just keep coming. I’m trying to finish them, but we still have a few more things I’m obsessed with to finish.

Last year I reviewed the ABBA, Alias, Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons, Gossip Girl, Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers, Ned and Stacey, One Tree Hill, The Patridge Family, Queen, Ringer, The Rocky Series, Sarah Dessen, Saved by the Bell, Scooby-Doo, 7th Heaven, A Series of Unfortunate Events, Sherlock, Sherlock Holmes, Sleeping Beauty, Spider-man, Star Wars, Star Trek, Step by Step, Sweet Valley High, Supernatural, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Thorn Birds, Touched by an Angel, Twin Peaks, Xena: Warrior Princess

To read, go to Fan-do or Fan-don’t. There is No Fan-tryThe Fan, The GirlThe FANtom MenanceA Study in Fandoms, To Kill a Fangirl, Return of the Fandom, The Strange Case of a Fangirl and Her Fandoms, We Will Fandom You

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5) My Marvelous Music

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I reviewed less this year than the previous ones, but still took some time out to about some tunes I love. We had: Back in Black by AC/DC; Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen; Crocodile Rock by Elton John; December, 1963 (Oh What A Night) by Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons; Hail to the King by Avenged Sevenfold; Old Time Rock & Roll by Bob Seger; Summertime by My Chemical Romance;  T.N.T by AC/DC; You Shook Me All Night Long by AC/DC

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6) Jane, Jane, Jane, Janey, Janey, Janey, Janey, Janey Book Reviews

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I love Jane Austen, after all its is in the name! This year I reviewed a number of books that were related to or a retelling of her books.

I reviewed a collection of essays in The Cambridge Companion to Jane Austen compiled by editors Edward Copeland and Juliet McMaster; then the baby versions of Emma, Pride & Prejudice, and Sense and Sensibility by Jennifer Adams

I then went over the following retellings: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies #1) by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith, The Butterfly and the Violin by Kristy Cambron, Captain Wentworth’s Diary (Jane Austen’s Heroes #3) by Amanda Grange; Austenland and Midnight in Austenland (Austenland #2) by Shannon Hale, Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James; The Dashwood Sisters Tell All: A Modern Day Novel of Jane Austen by Beth Pattillo, Amanda (The Austen Series) by Debra White Smith Daring Chloe (Getaway Girls #1) by Laura Jensen Walker,

I also reviewed the Emma film starring Kate Beckinsale in Emma (1996) AKA the Kate Beckinsale VersionEpisode One” from Death Comes to Pemberley (2013), and Love at the Thanksgiving Day Parade (2012)

And of course continuing to talk about the book Emma; in When You Shockingly Relate to Mr. Woodhouse

And my Jane Austen mashup in Candy Girls

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7) Now Gimme That Good Good Lovin’

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So we brought back Romance is in the Air, the fourth countdown to Valentine’s Day I’ve done on this blog. Every day I posted a different romantic moment.

The moments I choose this year came from the films: Psycho (1960), How to Steal a Million (1966)Grease (1978), The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Casual Sex (1988)Pocahontas (1995), Sense and Sensibility (1995), Borrowed Hearts (1997), and War Room (2015).

I also added in TV show romantic moments this year with “Episode Four” from North & South (2004), “A Trip to the Dentist” from Veronica Mars (2005), “Fateful” from Awkward (2011)The Bikini in the Soup” from Bones (2011), and Playing Heart to Get” from Barbie Life in the Dreamhouse (2013).

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8) May the Calendar Keep Bringing Happy Holidays to You

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So I like holidays…I really, really do. But I can’t always do huge countdowns to honor them, sometimes I have to do one day posts. So here we go.

This year I celebrated Superbowl 50 with a mashup of what teams Jane Austen’s characters would be a fan of. To read, go to Clear Eyes. Full Hearts. Can’t Lose: Superbowl 50.

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I also celebrated the Chinese New Year’s Year of the Monkey by listing off nine of my favorite primates or primate moments from The Jungle Book, to Aladdin, to JumanjiThe Wizard of Oz, and more. To read, go to A Little Monkey Business: Chinese New Year.

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In honor of Saint Patrick’s Day I listed off 17 more Irish heroes in The Wearing of the Green

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For Easter I reviewed the following art featuring Jesus and his path to the cross; Entry into Jerusalem by Duccio di Buoninsegna or Duccio, The Last Supper by Freddy Fabris, The Betrayal of Jesus by Albrecht Dürer, and Pietá by Michelangelo.

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Honoring Star Wars on May the Fourth with This Day in History

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9) Happy Anniversary to You!

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This year I celebrated many anniversaries of films or books. This year my blog turned four in Here’s to Another Year; Star Trek turned 50 in Live Long and Prosper; the Grinch turned 60 in Maybe Christmas, He Thought, Doesn’t Come from a Store. Maybe Christmas…Perhaps…Means a Little Bit More: How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and The Ten Commandments turned 60 in Oh, Moses, Moses

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10) It’s Always Tea Time

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I love tea, I really, really, really do. I’ve talked about it in the past, but really focused on the topic this year. First my mistake in being extra-caffeinated tea in The Dark, Dark, Dark Side; how I can’t stop drinking in My Teaddiction (Tea Addiction); how tea always makes me feel better in Better Than Asprinwhere I became a loose-leaf tea drinker in My Trip to Teavanamy tea trip around the world in A World of Teas; and my tea party decorations in It’s Always Tea Time.

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11) Way to a Person’s Heart is Through their Stomach

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We all like to eat right? Well this year I partnered with my sister blog MysteriousEats.wordpress.com and shared some tea time treats, or ones best paired with Jane Austen’s work.

I included the recipe for Crasins SconesHarlem Tea Room Baking Powder SconesHarlem Tea Room Cheddar-Thyme SconesHarvest Pumpkin Scones, and Lemon Scones.

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12) Horrors of Horrors, Monsters and Ghouls

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This year’s Horrorfest covered movies, TV shows, and more.

I reviewed Blackmail (1929)White Zombie (1932)Night on Bald Mountain (1940)Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)Backfire (1950)Dial 1119 (1950)House on Haunted Hill (1959)Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter (1966)When a Stranger Calls (1979)Thriller (1983)Ghostbusters (1984)Clue (1985), Once Bitten (1985)Teen Wolf (1985)Cat’s Eye (1987)Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990)Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: Secret of the Ooze (1991)Let Me Call You Sweetheart (1997)Sleepy Hollow (1999)Dracula 2000 (2000)Jeepers Creepers (2001)Corpse Bride (2005)TMNT (2007)Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)The Cheerleader Murders (2016)The Girl On the Train (2016)

And the TV episodes: “Charlie X” from Star Trek (1966); “A Matter of Loaf and Death” from Wallace and Gromit (2008); “The Death of the Queen Bee” from Bones (2010); Episode One” from Death Comes to Pemberley (2013)

I also did 31 tips on how to survive a horror film.

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13) 30 Day Challenge: Literature Loves

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So let’s just get it out there, I failed.

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I didn’t finish the 30 day challenge. I only did 21 posts.

Aw, man.

Aw, man.

But I’m going to keep going until I do finish it. And until it is finished, I won’t be posting anything else on this blog.

But so far, I have reviewed the following books: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies #1) by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith, Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, O Pioneers! (Great Plains Trilogy #1) by Willa Cather, The Secret of Chimneys (Superindendent Battle#1) by Agatha Christie, The Overnight Socialite by Bridie Clark, Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen, A Christmas Carol: Being a Ghost Story of Christmas by Charles Dickens, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Five Were Missing by Lois Duncan, Beastly (Kendra Chronicles #1) by Alex Flinn, Book of a Thousand Days and Midnight in Austenland (Austenland #2) by Shannon Hale, Real Murders (Aurora Teagarden Mysteries #1) by Charlaine Harris, Faking Grace by Tamara Leigh, Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine, Moby-Dick by Herman Melville, Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell, Anne of Green Gables (Anne of Green Gables #1)  by L. M. Montgomery, Princess Nevermore by Dian Curtis Regan, How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss, Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne

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So what will this year hold? I don’t know. I guess you will have to join follow me to find out.

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And remember:

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For 2015 in review, go to To Boldy Go Where No Man Has Gone Before

For 2014 in review, go to Where We’re Going, We Don’t Need Roads

For 2013 in review, go to Looking at the Past, Focusing on the Future

For 2012 in review, go to Looking Back, Moving Forward

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For more on Star Wars, go to Black is Best

Fanning All Over the Place

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Yes, its true.

I am such a fangirl and have so many, many, many fandoms that I belong to. They take over my life! I mean if you think of all the hours that are put into being a massive fan, it’s astounding!

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Here is a list of  things (alphabetically) that constantly take over my life. I’m actually breaking this up into a series of posts, as just one was tooooo much.

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Anne of Green Gables Series

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I love Anne of Green Gables. It is one of my most favorite book series and books turned into films. The book takes place in Canada in the early 20th century. Marilla and Matthew Cuthburt, two elderly people, have decided to take in an orphan boy to help take care of their farm, Green Gables. When Matthew goes to pick the orphan up, he finds a girl instead of a boy! A redhead named Anne. Anne proves to be widely entertaining, spirited, imaginative and a whole lot of fun.

Anne is just so awesome how she is always trying to find a kindred spirit and using her optimism and sweetness in everyday life. She also has an overactive imagination and gets herself into the best scrapes.

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All my friends say that I am just like her, which I have to say is definitely true. While I’m missing the red hair; I most definitely have the same temper, imagination, and tendency to get into accidents/scrapes.

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Yep I totally would have whacked him too!

So the first book Anne of Green Gables, is about her life as she lives on Prince Edward Island. You get introduced to her character along with meeting the rest of the people who live on the island. She studies hard and ends up getting a scholarship to college, but things happen that makes her decide to wait and become a teacher for the present.

In its sequel Anne of Avonlea, it chronicles her time as a teacher on the island, and her desire to become a writer. She continues to get into scrapes, even though she that being older should make her wiser. Her family also takes in twins, Daisy and Davy, to raise.

In Anne of the Island, Anne goes to college and it chronicles her years there. She also gets six proposals.Yes, not one, not two, not even three, but six!

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In the end, she agrees to marry one of her suitors. I won’t tell you who, as you have to read!

Anne of Windy Poplars she can’t get married right away as her fiancé is still in school. She goes to Windy Poplars to teach and has to contend with the politics of the areas, as certain “old families” run the roost.

Anne’s House of Dreams Anne is married and has to deal with the issues of early marriage, running a home, and eventually kids. But that doesn’t stop her from her earlier imaginative games and friendmaking.

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Anne of Ingleside details her married life, spotlights her children, and visits old friends and flames.

Besides the wonderful, imaginative, and fun Anne; you also have one of the best romantic heros ever. Gilbert Blythe.

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Yep, I’m Anne. I know I say stuff like that all the time, but if I had to pick a fictional character I’m really like, it is her. We are the same although I live about a hundred years later than her. (Yeah an exact 100 years, spooky).

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Which means that Gilbert is absolutely perfect for me. Still looking for him. Someday I’ll find him.

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Definitely check out the books and the films. Just an FYI the films move away from the stories, and the first two are the only good ones.

For more on the Anne of Green Gables seriesgo to Part XI: A Movie Lines List’s Excellent Adventure

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Austenite/Janeite

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Do I really need to explain this? I mean look at the title of my blog and half the things I write about. I am a huge Austenite and love everything Jane Austen.

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Jane Austen was an amazing woman who faced all kinds of adversary. She grew up with money, but ended up living in poverty. She fell in love with a high class man, but his family intervened and sent him away. She was given another opportunity to marry a wealthy man that would have saved her and her family from destitution, but  she couldn’t marry him as she didn’t love him.

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She continued to wait for her true love; although he never walked back into her life. Her first book she ever wrote, Northanger Abbey (then called Lady Susan) was published post-mortem. Her second novel and the most famous, Pride and Prejudice, was turned down several times before being published. In fact, it was published after she wrote her third novel, Sense and Sensibility.

Austen wrote not only great stories that have stood the test of time, but wrote about real issues and her more radical thoughts/philosophies, that wouldn’t be as easily accepted if spoken in person.

There is so much more I could say, but that would take several posts to fill it up. I recommend reading On the 10th Day ‘Til Christmas: Merry Christnas from the Austen Novels to read more of my love for Jane Austen’s work and her characters.

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For more on Jane Austen, go to Opening With…

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The Avengers

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Now I may be one of the few that are far more interested  in The Avengers than Magic Mike but I see that as a good thing. The Avengers are another part of the Marvel (now Disney) family. The comic originated in the ’60s, with the team consisting of Iron Man, Ant Man, Wasp, Thor, Hulk, & Captain America. Superheros from all the Marvel comics have joined up as team members through the years, such as Kitty Pryde and Wolverine from the X-Men. Even solo acts like Spider-man, have joined up for a while.

Now the film was amazing. The Avengers is one of the best superhero films to come out.They did an outstanding job as the film gave each superhero its chance to shine and made it about them as a whole, instead of one individual (that’s how it’s done X-Men. Yeah I’m looking at your 2000 series that was really only about Wolverine). Plus you have some extremely hunky guys. There is Chris Evans as Captain America, Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, and Mark Ruffalo as the Hulk.

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LOVE IT!! Check it out!

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Back to the Future

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I LOVE Back to the Future. Words cannot describe what this film means to me.

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After the first time I saw this film, I immediately became obsessed with it. I memorized every single line in the films. I would comb through the TV listings, and watch it every, single time it came on. One time I even got up at 4:00 am! That’s commitment right there. And why not be obsessed with it? Duh, it’s AWESOME!

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The film is a combo of Science-fiction, historical fiction, the ’50s, and the ’80s. All things I love and hold dear. Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox), is the youngest of the McFly household and growing up in 1985. He wants to be a musician but is afraid of failing. He’s close friends with amateur scientist and millionare, Dr. Emmet Brown, Doc for short. Doc has finally created the time machine he’s been working on for 30 years. And put it in a Delorean.

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Before he can set out on his trip through time, Doc is killed by the terrorists he bamboozled for uranium. Marty jumps in the car and takes off, accidentally going back to 1955 and messing up his parent’s meetup. If he doesn’t get them back together, he’s history.

What’s not to love? Comedy, romance, science-fiction, great music, clothes, Michael J. Fox? Plus amazing gags!

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This film was a hit and followed by two more films. In Part II Marty goes to 2015 to fix something, but indadvertedly causes his present to be destroyed. When he goes back to 1985, he finds out his father is dead, mom is married to Biff, and the whole town is run by Biff and is a hell hole. He then has to go back to 1955 in order to refix the time stream. But, it won’t be as easy as before, he can’t run into himself or else the whole time-space continuum will be destroyed!

Part III, Marty discovers that the Doc from 1985 has gone back to 1885. He then has to get the 1955 Doc to help him out and send him to 1885. When he gets there, he discovers that Biff’s however many grand pappy, “Mad Dog” Tanner, is planning on killing Doc.

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They not only have to figure a way to get back without any modern convinces, but to make the issue even harder…Doc falls in love with a 1885 woman. Will they survive the Old West? Will Marty ever get back to 1985? Watch to find out!

Great mix of the ’80s & Western film

I visited Universal Studios in 2012 and was devastated to see that they had hardly anything from Back to the Future. The clock tower was destroyed in that big fire, the ride had been taken out for “newer” things, and you couldn’t find any cool souvenirs. When I went in 2013, things were different. Universal Studios has a studio museum that they constantly move props in and out and they had a whole Back to the Future collection. I was having a ball, in fact I wanted to climb over the plexiglass and sit in the Deloran.

Here are the clock tower building plans

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And the beautiful car

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For more on Back to the Future, go to Just a Friendly Reminderhearts banner

Batman

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So I love Batman. He will always be my favorite of the DC comics. And I like all the Batmans!

So here we have a man who’s parent’s die and cause him to become a vigilante; always hoping to finally destroy crime as that was the thing that killed his parents. He is a billionaire, but other than that a normal person. I mean, unlike Superman who has a gazillion powers, Batman relies on his mind, martial arts, and inventions.

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He also has his strain of the double life. Just like Sir Percy Blakeney aka The Scarlet Pimpernel, Don Diego de la Vega aka Zorro, and Francisco Domingo Carlos Andres Sebastián d’Anconia from Atlas Shrugged. Batman knows that this charade of a playboy not only hides his intelligence, but the fact that he is be a main piece in destroying the crime. It has to be hard to be thought of and treated “as the richest man and the most spectacularly worthless playboy on Earth” (pg. 56, Atlas Shrugged). But Batman knows that it is a must to continue his work.

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So there are many versions of Batman and I pretty much love them all.

So besides the comic books you have Batman (1966 – 1968), starring Adam West. This is a hilarious show as it just makes you giggle. It’s fantastically corny.

Then you have Batman (1989) starring the handsome and wonderful Michael Keaton. In this we have Batman taken to the big screen in a darker way, with none other than the Creeper McCreepy Creep Jack Nicholson as the Joker. He is one of the best as his uber creepiness in real life was magnified on the screen. A great film, you should check out.

In Batman Returns, Michael Keaton is back and facing up against Christopher Walken, the Penguin, and Catwoman. I never really liked the penguin’s part in this film, but Michelle Pfeiffer is the best Catwoman ever. Halle Berry and Anne Hathaway wish they could be as awesome as her. Definitely worth seeing for her and Michael Keaton.

Batman Forever totally sucked. Val Klimer is too stiff and monotone as Batman, Nicole Kidman the therapist is a sex-crazed woman who needs to help solve her own issues before getting into others, and Tommy Lee Jones as Two-Face is just…no wrong. Wrong. The only bright spot is Jim Carrey as the Riddler. He was absolutely perfect, and the only reason I watch this film.

That’s probably how most of us fans would act when we meet out idol.

Batman and Robin is…its a mess. I know it. It is full of puns, lots of stuff makes zero sense, but I LOVE IT! I can’t explain it. I find it absolutely hilarious. I love Arnold Schwarzenegger as Mr. Freeze. Its more of a parody, and I love it.

Besides that you have a some great cartoon series that came out. Such as Batman: The Animated Series. This has to be one of the best versions of Batman ever made. It really develops into the psyche and relationships of Bruce, Dick, Barbara, Comissioner Gordon, etc. Plus you have great villans like the Joker, Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn, etc. It is definitely worth a watch, and it is free on Amazon Instant Watch. I have my own favorite episodes, but Nostalgia Critic really hits on the best ones in the series (although I would add Harley & Ivy episode to that list).

Then we have Batman Beyond. In this they took the story to a different level. It was very dark and used the colors black and red only. It takes place in 2039, and Bruce is all alone. All his old friends have died or left him alone. Terry McGinnis gets involved with Bruce accidentally, and eventually Bruce trains him to become the new Batman and avenger of Gotham City.

Intense!

And then we have the new Batman films. Now I really liked Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. I didn’t like The Dark Knight Rises however, but I’m like the only one. I just couldn’t get into it and hate how they chose to end with Bane after the Joker. Come on now, seriously. But I thought the first film was great. The only issue I had with the second film was that they didn’t give Two-Face enough screentime, and that he didn’t argue with himself as much as he should have. He didn’t have the same rooted issues. But all in all they were really good.

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And I’m super pumped for Batman vs. Superman. Bring on the bat!

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For more on Batman, go to That Girl is Poison

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Bones

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I love Bones because of one reason really, FBI Special Agent Seeley Booth played by David Boreanaz.

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He is AMAZING!

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Bones is about forensic anthropologist Dr. Temperance “Bones” Brennan (Emily Deschanel) who gets hired by the FBI as a consultant to help them solve cases. There is also an amazing secondary cast: wild, artistic, Angela Montenegro who does facial reconstruction; Dr. Jack Hodgins, an entomologist who spurned his family’s wealth and “buisness” to study science; Dr. Zack Addy, genius graduate student who is unfamilar with “social norms”; and Dr. Lance Sweets, the young, handsome, FBI psychologist who helps them out.  It is a great show, that I highly recommend.

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Ah, the life of a fangirl

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Stay tuned for Part 2!

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For more on my fangirlness, go to How I Differ from Others

For more of my favorite quotes, go to Peeta Please!