I Was Here For A Moment. And Then I Was Gone: The Lovely Bones (2009)

The Lovely Bones

“My name is Salmon, like the fish. First name: Susie. I was 14 years old, when I was murdered, on December 6, 1973. I was here for a moment. And then I was gone.”

So when this film came out in 2009, I really wanted to see but couldn’t find anyone to come with. Nobody seemed interested, and those that were had already seen it. I decided that I would wait to watch it until after I had read the book it was based on.

So that happened much later than I thought it would. At first everyone wanted to read it so it was hard to get a copy, and then I got busy reading other things.

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Anyways, so last month I went to a library book sale and discovered The Lovely Bones on sale for 50¢. Never being one to turn down a deal I bought it and immediately read it. It was different than I thought it would be as we learn the identity of the murder immediately. It was still a suspenseful book and interesting as we see how Susie Salmon’s disappearance affects her and the rest of her family. The other really interesting thing about this book is it really shows the changes that have come along since the ’70s regarding how police work and the forensics that we have. Not to mention criminal profiling.

So, back to the film. While the book is more of a suspense/horror/drama; but the film is mostly a drama with veins of suspense. The film was pretty good although they had to make a lot of changes. Mostly it had to do with cutting as the book is really long and spans about 10 years. The film only covers about a year-18 months. But the film was pretty good otherwise, and I recommend it.

So as mentioned earlier, Susie Salmon is a fourteen year old girl who gets murdered. At first she is presumed missing, and the police begin to investigate. The film details how her disappearance and lack of closure affect her family-father, mother, sister, brother, and grandma; along with friends and the community.

So this is what made the film great.

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Ready?

1. The Artistry/Cinematography

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The film is mostly in wide angle shots and they are set up beautifully. As the film is told in flashbacks or from the viewpoint of the spirit of Susie; it works really well. Not only are the regular shots extremely beautiful; but the scenes of heaven/limbo are extremely amazing and artistic. You really get the feeling that you are in a a place created by a child’s mind (as it is supposed to be what Susie wants).

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2. Susie

lovely bones Susie Don't look back

Susie is played by Saoirse Ronan and does a really great job at being a fourteen year old kid. She really makes you believe it as she is shy when a boy likes her, sassy and trying to “rebel” against parents, showing she is moving toward becoming more adult, while at the same time still being very much a kid. You really feel for her as she wants to move on to heaven and a better life, but doesn’t want to leave her family or the boy she cared for.

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3. Mark Wahlberg as Jack Salmon

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Mark Wahlberg plays Jack Salmon the father who we adore and wouldn’t mind having. Jack is a caring father that has a really close bond to his children, often being the one they go to as their mother (Rachel Weisz) resents the life she lives. He has an incredibly close bond with Susie, not only because she is the oldest, but they have a lot in common. In fact, she is the only one who enjoys the model ship building he does. When he loses her, he falls apart trying to discover who the murderer is. He also works overtime trying to be there for his other kids. He never gives up, as he can’t just have his daughter disappear. Even when his wife leaves, he continues trying to care for his family and preserve his daughter’s memory. He faces the issue and problems straight on, while his wife runs away. When his wife comes back, he welcomes her back with open arms as he never stopped loving her. He is an amazing father, and you really feel for him and everything he goes through. What makes this performance even more amazing was that Wahlberg only joined the crew a day before filming actually started, knowing next to nothing about the story.

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4. Stanley Tucci as Mr. Harvey

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Stanley Tucci deserved his oscar nomination and should have won for his performance.I mean anyone who could go from this

to this:

definitely deserves an Oscar.

Every time we see him chills run up and down my spine, he is soooooooooo creepy.

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You should definitely check this film out.

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

For the previous post, go to Keep Clear of the Moor. Beware the Moon

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For more film based on a book, go to What Is This Thing?

For more on Mark Wahlberg, go to At the End of the Rainbow

For more of my fav quotes, go to You Think You Know Something, Don’t You?

For more bookish posts, go to Opening With…

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You May Screw Up, but You’re Not a Screw Up: Mystic Pizza (1988)

Romantic Moment #2

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Mystic Pizza (1988)

Mystic Pizza is a coming of age film that tells the story of three girls, and coworkers at Mystic Pizza, as they set off on different paths. Jojo is supposed to be married, but at her wedding gets cold feet. She wants to stay with her boyfriend, but is afraid to lose herself. Her boyfriend, Bill, is understanding but at the same time doesn’t want to be strung around. He doesn’t just want sex, he wants more, he wants marriage. Beautuful Daisy, is always reckless and the life of the party. She clashes with her mother as she isn’t as sensible as her sister Kat. She gets involved with a rich guy, which her mom tells her won’t last. After he uses her to get back at his family, she breaks off the relationship. Kat was accepted to Yale and is eager to go and study astronomy. Although she is getting a scholarship, she is worried about finances and takes on a second job as a baby-sitter. The wife is out of town and the father starts giving Kat the attention she has never recieved, having been in the shadow of her sister. Kat eagerly spends a night with him only to have his wife return and him treat their “time together” as a buisness transaction, trying to pay her off to not say anything. In the end, Jojo and Bill get married; the only thing changing about her is her name. Daisy’s ex, Charles (the rich boy), listened to what she said about him and comes back to not only apologize but prove to her he’s changed and tries to win her heart back. Kat rejects the dad’s check and forms a better relationship with her sister. Leona, the owner of Mystic Pizza, gives her extra money as she is one of “her girls”.

Most Romantic Moment:

So the girls are going out to have a girl’s night. Kat has the night off, Jo is on the outs with Bill, and Charles has to visit his grandma. The girls get drunk (heavily, except Kat) and steal Bill’s truck that full of fish and fish guts. They decide to drive out to the country club as they like to watch the people dance. When they get there they are having fun, that is until they spot Charlie talking and dancing to a blond girl. It is clear to all that they know each other very well.

Uh. Oh not good, at all. Daisy gets so upset that she goes ballistic!

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She gets in Bill’s truck and dumps all the fish and fish guts in Charlies new red porsche. (Best payback for a cheater ever)

Imagine this full of fish guts! Yuck!

Imagine this full of fish guts! Yuck!

Now I know you are all probably thinking, what’s romantic about this? This guy is a total skeez for cheating on her. Now just wait, I’m getting there.

So Charlie comes out and sees her doing this and freaks. I mean who wouldn’t? I know I’d be royally pissed! Now Daisy is yelling and cussing him out for lying and cheating on her.

Then Charlie tells her he didn’t lie. He was going to his Grandma’s, but she went out of town. He called her house but she was out and her mom had no idea where she was or when she would be back. So he decided to take his little sister out.

That’s right. His sister.

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So Daisy feels super stupid. And you know what Charles does next? I’ll tell you, and let me say it is pretty romantic.

“Daisy: I f***** up. 

Charles Gordon Windsor, Jr.: Yeah… but you gave it a 100% effort!”

That’s right ladies and gentlemen, instead of being mad, yelling, screaming, or even lording over Daisy that she was wrong and did something stupid (a reaction that would have been understandable) he tries to make her feel better. His car has fish and fish guts everywhere, which you know will be an absolute PAIN to get clean and it will take forever to get rid of the smell, all he cares about in that moment is making Daisy feel better and make sure she knows that everything is ok. Now you might not agree with me, but I think that is a prime-A sighworthy moment.

So romantic

So romantic

I mean you know how guys get about their cars. Cars are like an extension of themselves, it’s their personal/sacred space. It is their provate domain, their man cave on wheels. And this wasn’t a trashy car, this was a new porsche convertible. And to not say anything, wow this guy is great. I mean its true he does have a few kinks to workout, he is a fixer-upper (who isn’t?),  but he’s worth having.

Here’s the scene for you guys. It’s great!

“Daisy: [After Charles tries to make her feel better] You’re weird

Charles Gordon Windsor, Jr.: I’m weird? [Looks at car, then at Daisy] I’m weird? [takes Daisy’s hand]

So adorable!

Tune in tomorrow for another romantic post!

To check out another Julia Robert’s post go here.

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.

Phantom of the Opera

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

From the Sea Burning Like Fire:The Giant Behemoth (1959)

From the sea… burning, like fire!…Behemoth!

I love this movie! This is actually what I call my stomach when I’ve eaten too much, “The Behemoth”, I cry out. “Behemoth!”

I was thinking of this movie the other day because I was wearing jeggings, an oversized sweater, and my rainboots. My hair was put up, and I thought to myself, “I look just like the Leigh Madison in The Giant Behemoth“!

I think she looks a little like Jane Powell. Don’t you?

This movie starts out with tons of fish washing up on the shores of England. They are all destroyed by some kind of radiation. A fisherman is also ravaged by it.

He also happen’s to be Leigh Madison’s character Jean Trevethan’s father. When they ask him what happened, he replies

“John: What happened, man? Can – Can you talk to us? Can you hear us, Tom?
Jean Trevethan: Dad? Dad?
Tom Trevethan: From the sea… burning, like fire!
John: What was it?
Tom Trevethan: Behemoth!”

A paleontologist is trying to figure out what the beast is and how it could have awakened. His ends up declaring it is a plesiosaurs, much like the Loch Ness Monster. Even though it looks more like a Brontosaurus.

So Dr. Sampson Karnes, the paleontologist, and his son Steve determine that the creature must have been awakened by all the atomic bombs and radiation (like Godzilla).

Everything they try to do to defeat him fails to work. He can’t be stopped! The Behemoth is destroying everything! Will he destroy the whole world?

You’ve got to check it out for yourself! I love this film!

That’s it for tonight! More to come! 6 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

To go to the previous film, go to I Want Friend Like Me

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For more on awakening a monster, go to Let Them Fight

For more on paleontologists, go to Life Finds A Way

For more monster movies, go to A Monster Race