Dangerous to Know, Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues: MATURE

 

Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues edited by Christina Boyd

So here we are with the final post, the conclusion to Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues. It is always nice to finish something you start, but at the same time sad that it is ending.

Aw…

So quick review. For those of you who missed posts 1, 2, & 3Dangerous to Know is a compilation novel of the bad boys of Jane Austen-Mr. Willoughby, Mr. Wickham, Captain Tilney, General Tilney, Mr. Elliot, Mr. Thorpe, and more.

A great thing about this book is that with these men, besides Wickham, we don’t know that much about their past or who they are. Most only play a small role-but have a big impact. This allows the authors a ton of wiggle room and almost anything can happen.

As these are rakes, rogues, & villians-they aren’t the best of men. Their stories being sexy

And I just want to say thank you to Christina Boyd for including this little chart to help you:

Mature Content Guidelines:

  1. None: Possible kissing and affection.
  2. Mild: Kissing.
  3. Moderate: Some sexual references but not explicit.
  4. Mature: Some nudity and some provocative sex.
  5. Erotic: Explicit, abundance of sex.

Because not everyone is interested in books like this:

It’s nice giving us a head’s up, so those that aren’t interested know to skip or skim, or those that do-can enjoy.

Something for everyone

So first we had the none posts, which had stories on Captain Fredrick Tilney, General Tilney and John Thorpe from Northanger Abbey; along with Sir Walter Elliot from Persuasion. I loved these stories as some of these men I love to hate and it made me hate them ever more: And some men I have hated and actually began to like them:

What! It did all that? Wow!

Then came the mild posts. I was really surprised with these stories as they were on Tom Bertram from Mansfield Park and Colonel Fitzwilliam Darcy from Pride and Prejudice. I had never thought of these two as rogues, mostly because they have two of the biggest, baddest Austen rogues-Henry Crawford and George Wickham. The stories were really good and sucked me in, making it very hard to stop reading.

Then came the moderate. These had stories on Frank Churchill from Emma, Mr. Elliot from Persuasion, and Mr. Willoughby from Sense and Sensibility. I really enjoyed them as each author gave us a fresh view into the characters-before they enter the Austen novels. They really fleshed those men out while making me still hate those guys.

This last one will be Mature-Some nudity and some provocative sex. So with out further ado-bring on the bad boys!

A Wicked Game by Katie Oliver

So we start off with George Wickham, Austen’s most notorious bad boy. Reams upon reams have been written about him.

 George Wickham was raised with Mr. Darcy and frittered away the money the elder Mr. Darcy left for his education; later tried to take off with Darcy’s sister; ran up debts all over town while smearing Darcy’s name; and runs of with Lydia Bennet. He’s one really bad boy.

This story begins in 1812, with Wickham fighting for the British army and is struck by the enemy. As he is injured, his life flashes before him and he finds himself wanting. He thinks back to where he all started on this profligate path:

We travel back to Derbyshire 1800. Wickham is heading to church with Mr. Darcy Sr and Jr. It is the summer before he is to start his first year at Cambridge and he is a restless young man.

Especially today as he finds church dull. (And this guy seriously thinks he is going to be a minister?) But then he spots her, a vision-Lady Clémence Harlow, widow and sister-in-law to Mrs. Fanshaw. He gets to meet the beautiful and stylish woman and is smitten.

The Fanshaws join the Darcy’s for dinner and Wickham sits across from Lady Harlow so he can spend the whole night looking at her.

While at the table-Wickham realizes how dissatisfied he is with his life. Everything is plotted and planned by Mr. Darcy Sr., he has no say. He would love anything out of this blueprint-such as the lovely Lady Harlow, which the Darcy’s can’t stand. He’s at a crossroads and leaning toward the crazy path, more than the steady one.

Which way should I choose?

That night a big storms comes up, so the Fanshaw party has to remain at Pemberley. Wickham approaches Lady Harlow for a bit of flirting and she plans to meet him later-in his room.

He waits for her to come, but she never does. At one point he thinks he hears angry voices and a door closing-but Lady Harlow never appears-except in his dreams.

The next day he is grumpy and mad at Lady Harlow for standing him up. She conspires to get them alone and apologizes, blaming it on the brandy they drank. She invites him to walk with her and they take off into he woods. They can’t stay too long and return to the house. Lady Harlow promising that they will have a chance in the future.

Wickham is grim until a ball at cousin Fitzwilliam’s house occurs. The Fanshaw family is going too, this could be his night. Mr. Darcy Sr, doesn’t like Lady Harlow and cautions Wickham against her, but he doesn’t care.

Or what I’m doing!

He finally gets a chance to dance with Lady Harlow that night and the two make plans to run off to a hotel and France together.

He makes his way out there, pretending to be traveling with a friend, but using him as a cover. His friend tries to warn him that things won’t go well-Lady Harlow is not the woman for him, but he won’t listen.

He gets in the room and the two:

But in the morning there is no Lady Harlow…just Darcy!

What?

Okay, not like that-they aren’t in bed together or anything. Wickham wakes up to Darcy in the room. Lady Harlow never intended to take him with her, she used him to get what she wanted and for Darcy to pay her off, £500.

What?

It turns out the lady is a gold digger. First she tried to seduce Darcy, when that failed to be “compromised” into marriage, and lastly use Wickham to wrangle some cash.

Wickham continued down his path, but as his life is saved in Spain he looks at life with new eyes-seeing that he should change the person he is and become better.

Hmmm….I need to rethink my life’s choices

Thoughts After Reading:

I thought it was an interesting view into Wickham, a softer side if you will. I liked seeing Wickham made a fool of, he angers me down to my core so I took great pleasure in it. But then you realize that he pulls the same scam on Georgina, what scum.

Forget you!

Last Letter to Mansfield by Brooke West

Oh Henry Crawford, one of the biggest rakes and rogues in all of Austen’s work. He is taken charge of his sister, Mary,  when his Uncle scandalously moves the mistress into the house. He and his sister visit the Bertram family where he flirts with the engaged elder sister Maria and the younger sister, Julia. Later, he decides to bring their cousin Fanny into his web, but ends up falling for her.

That wasn’t part of the plan…

Fanny seeing that Henry is no good, sidesteps him. Later, he and married Maria take off together. He and his sister try to get him back in Fanny’s good graces, but no dice with Fanny.

I was really interested in this as I have always wondered what the heck was going through Henry’s mind? Why run off with a married woman?

October 1809

So the story starts off after all that happened. Henry is trying to write a letter to Fanny to beg her back. He’s been with Maria for months, but wishes it was Fanny. He is dying to go back, but…can’t. He tells her that he din’t want to seduce Maria, had no plans to…

We go back…

September 1809

Henry and Maria have been together for a while. Maria is angry and getting ready to leave as nothing turned out how she wished. Maria loved being in charge at Mansfield Park as the eldest woman, then as Mrs. Rushworth, but now she is a scandal and staying at an inn in the middle of nowhere. Henry keeps trying to get rid of her-but she doesn’t want to leave-she has nowhere to go.

So what happens now?
So what happens now?
Where am I going to?
[Peron:] You’ll get by, you always have before
[Mistress:] Where am I going to?
[Eva:] Don’t ask anymore -Hello and Goodbye from Evita

Maria hoped to be with the sexy, charming man rather than her simple husband and is angry that nothing has come from it. Henry blames Maria for seducing him-and causing him to lose his love.

Wow, real mature. You need to take responsibility for YOUR actions.

Henry spends as much time away from Maria but returns every night and uses her for sex-wanting to hurt her, making her cry every night.

Eventually, Maria gives up and leaves with her Aunt Norris, the only one who doesn’t hold her responsible for her sins.

Henry goes home to his sister, Mary. Poor Mary, I actually feel sorry for her. She went from the scandal of her uncle to the scandal of her brother. Unfortunately, the men will go on but what about her? She’s too sullied by them.

Five Months Earlier

Henry and Maria  met up again and they had a night of fun together. Henry hopes to walk it off, no needs to know-but Maria craves it. She hopes to run off with him and have him marry her-even going as far as to follow him when he leaves for home. She had planned to trap him, and Henry in his vanity fell right in it.

Oh no!

London 1799

18-year old Henry and his uncle are out together, his uncle deciding it is time for his nephew to become a “man”. His uncle buys him his first, Arabella- beautiful young woman. She teaches him how to make love

He loves being with her and seeks her again and again, something his uncle notices and does not care for, as women are nothing but tools to be used.

This dude

One day he goes to be with her and finds his uncle on top of her.

After that, they were all the same to him-somethig to have his needs met, nothing more. Basically the Joe of Say Anything:

Corey Flood: Hi Joe, How are you? I love you.

Joe: I love you too.

Corey Flood: You invade my soul

Joe: I want to get back together, Mimi is gonna go to college and I’m gonna be alone and I’m gonna break up with her before she leaves, have sex with me.

Until Fanny, but that’s over.

He finishes his letter to Fanny, pouring everything out into it…and then throwing it on the fire. The rakish roguish Crawford must live on.

Devilish grin must stay grinning…

Thoughts After Reading:

Like Wickham we regress into boyhood, get a very different view of the character than seen before.  Although I still didn’t feel bad for him, no one made you do it and you can’t keep blaming women, “Fanny of only you had loved me”, “Maria, if only you hadn’t seduced me.” What about what you did, punk? Hmm…

This did make me view Mary in a completely different way. Poor girl, she has the worst guardians, and she will be forever tainted by their shame. What will be come of her?

So now that we have reviewed the stories let’s talk about the other question on people’s minds: How sexy was the sexy parts?

Hmm…?

The sexy parts were pretty sexy. If that is what you enjoy, than you will definitely like it. If it isn’t something you like reading, than like I’ve said before, they don’t make up the entire story so you can skim/skip it. There is something for everyone.

So my final conclusion:

I LOVED It! I thought it was an amazing addition to any Jane Austen fan’s bookshelf. Each author was able to write a wonderful story that took the few scenes we had of each character and really flesh them out to a complete story. One thing I really enjoyed was that in doing so, each author kept true to Jane Austen’s story. True, they are creating their own tale but none of these men seemed too out of character or so radically different that it causes Jane Austen to roll over in her grave. You can tell that each story was lovingly written, in honor of Jane, but still allowed each author their own individual style. I highly recommend it. You should read it now!

Yes! If interested, here is the Amazon link

But this book did leave me with one question: Christina Boyd will you be editing a book on the bad girls of Jane Austen?

Can you see it? Lucy Steele and Mrs. Fanny Dashwood from Sense and Sensibility; Lydia Bennet and Caroline Bingley from Pride and Prejudice; Maria Bertram, Julia Bertram, and Mary Crawford from Mansfield Park; Mrs. Elton from Emma; Isabella Thorpe from Northanger Abbey; Mrs. Clay from Persuasion. Think about it…

For more reviews of Dangerous to Know, go to Dangerous to Know, Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues: MODERATE

For more by Christina Boyd, go to Dangerous to Know, Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues: MILD

For more Mansfield Park, go to Read Jane Austen, Wear Jane Austen

For more Pride and Prejudice, go to The Retellings Strike Back: Pride & Prejudice, cont.

Is Christine the Ultimate Femme Fatale?

As this is Noir November #Noirvember, I thought it was no better time to talk about one of the top classic femme fatale.

I hate Christine, I think she was a horrid little urgh.

wordICan't say Toy Story

And I don’t use that lightly. First we see her all upset at Raul for being rude and condemning Erik

“Why do you condemn a man who you have never seen, whom no one knows about and whom you yourself know nothing?” (pg. 104)

But then she’s like I’m so scared of him. Aaah! She makes him sound evil, even though the story is hardly anything.

She heard this wonderful voice and begs him to teach her.

“From that time onward, the voice and I became great friends.” (pg. 116)

They spend years together as the phantom puts his all into teaching her and helping her. Then one day Christine spots Raoul and tells the phantom all about seeing him. And the voice disappears, Christine is anxious and scared. She knows she is nothing without him, she will shrivel up into a has-been.

The next day the Phantom comes and tells her he has to leave her.

“The voice was there, spoke to me with great sadness and told me plainly that, if I must bestow my heart on earth, there was nothing for the voice to do but go back to heaven.” (pg. 117)

You see, no threats. No harsh words. The Phantom would have simply backed off if she loved another. He would be heartbroken, but that would be the end of it. Except…

“I swore to the voice that you were no more than a brother to me nor ever would be and that my heart was incapable of any earthly love.” (pg. 117)

You see that!!!! You see that!!!

What???!!!

She purposely leads on the Phantom because she just wants to use him. She doesn’t love him, she doesn’t care for him, as she has stated before:

“[to Raoul] And that, dear, first revealed to me that I loved you.”

She knew, but she had a good thing and didn’t want to see it disappear. Now she tells Raoul that she “lied only because she thought she had no chance with Raoul.” But is that even the truth? She already admitted to playing the Phantom, she’s probably playing Raoul too. He’s rich and interested, and now she’s going to play the little helpless victim to catch him.

you're evil

So you know what, I never feel sorry for her. She created this whole mess as she only cared about herself and not what her false declarations did to people. She almost kills hundreds because of her selfishness. I feel bad for the Phantom. Poor guy, who is completely crushed by her. He picked the wrong woman.

Poor guy

And she goes on about being captured by a madman and held prisoner, BUT he treats her well. He respects her as a thing of beauty and doesn’t harm her or touch her. And when she is upset and wants to leave?

“And, when I stood up, Raoul, and told him that I could only despise him if he did not, then and there, give me my liberty…he offered it…” (pg. 125)

See he isn’t a crazy killer or psychotic (yet). He loves her and respects her wishes. She’s the viper, she’s evil as she chooses to stay there.

“For he sang. And I listened…and stayed!” (pg. 125)

Seriously?

So she falls asleep and then wakes up in a whole different room, properly freaked. BUT then spots a note left to her by the Phantom.

“My dear Christine, you need have no concern as to your fate. You have no better nor more respectful friend in the world than myself.” (pg. 126)

Wow

He just let her alone, as he sees her as the kindest and most divine woman; respecting her. He also purchases tons of things for her in order to make the place truly home.

But Christine is not happy. She wants out. She is angry with the Phantom, even though she is packed with beautiful gifts. All she wants is to see his face as “no honest man would wear a mask.” But that is the one place Erik won’t give.

Then Erik mentions how most of her time with him will be musical practice. She is angry as he wants her to stay five days, then he will let her go again as she will either love him (hope) or pity him. But Christine is now upset that he won’t let her go now, but hey he offered you before.

Seriously

The real issue Christine has with the Phantom is his skull-like face. This is what breaks her and makes her horrified and disgusted.She can’t live well enough alone, and asks him to play for her, plotting her deception. When he is too worked up in the music she snatches the mask off. 

She tells Raoul this as each visit “increased her horror.”

Now what’s really interesting is after Christine has told her tale, Raoul asks her:

“You are frightened…but do you love me? If Erik were good-looking, would you love me, Christine?” (pg. 132)

Hmm…

And what does Christine say? Does she say NEVER, I don’t love him I LOVE YOU? No. Does she say that Erik is a horrible person, and she could never love him? No. Now what does she say?

“She rose in her turn, and put her two trembling arms round the young man’s neck and said: ‘Oh my betrothed of a day, if I did not love you, I would not give you my lips! Take them, for the first time and the last.” (pg. 132)

You see that!!! You see that!!! SHE NEVER ANSWERS THE QUESTION!!!! And you know why???!!! Because the answer is NO! She don’t love you Raoul, she’s using you just as she used Erik. She could have easily answered she loved you, but instead she deflected the question and gave you a kiss. I hate when people do that, urgh!

Let me tell you something, if you ever are having a serious and deep conversation with someone and they deflect you with a kiss, hug, sex, whatever, you need to get out of that relationship because they are not serious about you. Should’ve seen it Raoul, except you were to busy focusing on that kiss that you missed it.

Meanwhile, Christine, the little actress starts playing Erik to the areas he has been insecure. She tells him that he is genius, his music causes her to forget his looks. She even burns his mask to symbolize that she is “above” such things. In reality she is playing him  from every angle, earning his trust so that he is willing to believe she actually loves him and won’t harm him. Letting her go.

Christine acts as if he is a true monster, but the Phantom has a compassionate heart. She asks if she can pretend to “be engaged”, playacting, with Raoul and the Phantom agrees.

“He said, ‘I trust you, Christine. M. de Chagny [Raoul] is in love with you and going abraod. Before he goes, I want him to be as happy as I am.” (pg. 134)

How can someone be unfeeling and a loser when they consider what their arch rival’s is feeling?

See Erik isn’t the monster, Christine is! She just goes and destroys two men’s lives-never thinking about them or how it affect them; all she cares is about her self.

Yeah, that’s why I hate Christine Daaé.

For more on The Phantom of the Opera, go to President of the “I Don’t Like Raoul Fanclub”

For more on Christine Daaé, go to Le Fantôme de l’Opéra

For more femme fatales, go to That Girl is Poison

People Have to Snatch at Happiness When They Can in This World. It is Always Easier to Lose Than to Find: O Pioneers!

Day 21): U is for Unhappy: Choose a book with an Unhappy ending

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O Pioneers! (Great Plains Trilogy #1) by Willa Cather

I was first introduced to the work of Willa Cather when one summer I was trying to read through a list of classics provided by Barnes and Noble. (The same list that lead me to read Uncle Tom’s Cabin.) Of course I never finished it:

6notenoughtimetoreadeverythingIwant

However, two of the book I read during that time were My Antonia and O Pioneers!. I read O Pioneers! second, not knowing it was the first book and while I enjoyed My Antonia I loved O Pioneers! more.

ReadBookCarryWithYou

And it makes me really upset that no one knows about this book.

Say What

I KNOW! It is a fantastic book but no one knows about it. It is hard to even purchase as I wanted to buy a copy for my friend, but amazon didn’t have it or Barnes & Nobles. Crazy! So why is this book fantastic? Let’s take a look.

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So the book is just under 200 pages and divided into three parts.

PART I: THE WILD LAND

The story takes place in Nebraska, the Bergsons are a Swedish family of six who immigrated to America for a better life, but found the prairie not as promised. The father, John, went into serious debt, but was finally able to pay it off. He owns six hundred and forty acres of the original homestead, and three hundred and twenty acres given to him by his brother when he pulled out. Just as it seemed he might be able to tame the land, he becomes ill and at age 46, is going to die.

Why?

Why?

For weeks he has been thinking what to do next, when he decides that everything must be left to his daughter Alexandra to control.

Whattheheck

This book was published in 1913, but takes place in 1883. And even though he has two sons who come before Alexandra he recognizes in her his own spirit. While his sons Lou and Oscar are hardworking they just don’t have the business acumen.

“It was Alexandra who read the papers and followed the markets, and who learned by the mistakes of their neighbors. It was Alexandra who could always tell about what it cost to fatten each steer, and who could guess the weight of a hog before it went on the scales closer than John Bergson himself. Lou and Oscar were industrious, but he could never teach them to use their heads about their work.” pg. 15

On his deathbed, John calls all the kids together and makes them promise to keep the land and listen to Alexandra, there will be no quarreling. When each wishes to marry they can divide the land, but until then they must follow Alexandra.

Wecandoit

Even though the boys do not like being put under their sister, they agree to their father’s wishes.

Mehsleepyhollownotimportant

Six months later, the Bergsons invite their friend and neighbor Carl Linstrum to visit “Crazy” Ivar. Lou and Oscar make fun of him,

I'm crazy

He’s crazy

But Alexandra values his advice and knowledge of animals.

Topthorn War HOrse

Ivar suffers from some kind of mental affliction, one not stated as most likely at that time they had no name for it. Sometimes he spouts wisdom, other days nonsense. He likes to live as far away from people as he can. While he suffers from these eccentricities his knowledge of animals is without competition. He has a pond where all kinds of birds come to visit, as they know he will not shoot them, as he has an aversion to guns.

Now one of the reasons this book is so good is the character of Alexandra. While others see the craziness of Ivan and brush him off, she listens to his advice and follows it, it turning out very well. What a person looks like, or acts like doesn’t matter to her; she values their hard work, their wisdom, and their heart. And she doesn’t care what others think of her.

value:Worth

After their father’s death, the Bergsons clan did well.

Double double yay

But then the drought came, an with it three years of nothing but failure.

1Star-Wars-Luke-NOOO-Not-my-father

It is at this time we see a divided family as to what to do next. Many people have left the “promises” of the prairie to follow the “promises” of St. Louis, Chicago, San Francisco, Alaska, etc.

Good-bye

Good-bye

Carl Limstrom comes to tell Alexandra that his family is leaving to St. Louis. This is heartbreaking, as Alexandra and him have fallen in love. Alexandra doesn’t want him to go, but Carl won’t have him and his family be a drag on their finances, after all, Carl is no farmer. But Carl promises that he won’t forget her but will work hard for her.

“I’ll write as long as I live…And I’ll be working for you as much as for myself, Alexandra. I want to do something you’ll like and be proud of. I’m a fool here, but I know I can do something!” pg. 34

you deserve better

This is the first part of what makes this book so sad. Alexandra doesn’t care about that Carl, she just wants you! But Alexandra understands how you feel and how you don’t want to enter a marriage being a drain on your wife, you want to be equal.

And even though you really want Carl to stay with Alexandra, you respect him for not wanting to use her inheritance and enter the relationship having her take care of him. He knows Alexandra is the greatest thing in the world and wants to show her he is worthy of her love.

Fredrick Wentworth

But poor Alexandra

[To Carl’s retreating form] Since you have been here, ten years now, I have never really been lonely.” pg 35

HeartbreakBuffy the Vampire slayer heartbroken Sad

The boys are worried about what will happen next with the sweet potatoes seeming to be the only thing really living on. They want to sell out and move to the cities, where opportunity really is. Or trade their land for the river as that land is much better than the kind they have.

We need to get out of here

We need to get out of here

Alexandra of course doesn’t go on feelings, whispers, or what others tell her to do. She thinks on it long and hard, researching into what would be the best decision.

Thinking Hmm

She and her younger brother Emil travel to the river to examine the land. After reviewing everything and thinking on it; she decides that the thing to do is to mortgage their land with the bank and buy up as much land as they can. The boys of course are skeptical of this plan. Six more years of working off a loan? And what if the land prices don’t soar, what if the drought continues on, what if, what if?

smalmindslashoutnotunderstand

But Alexandra sees the way to go:

“The men in town who are buying up other people’s land don’t try to farm it. They are the men to watch, in a new country. Let’s try to do it like the shrewd ones and not like the stupid fellows.” pg. 43

The boys know this will be going against all the others and they don’t want to be viewed by others as crazy.

But Alexandra is certain, and they follow her. Alexandra is pleased as she watches the land knowing that the future is stirring.

sleepyhollowadventuresofIchabodumbrellasmellflowerkatrina

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PART II: NEIGHBORING FIELDS

It has been sixteen years since the death of John Bergson, now being 1899. In the years that have passed, his wife has passed on as well. The land is producing much, telephone wires zig zag the prairie, and the area is thickly populated as more have arrived to stake their home there too.

Emil has achieved Alexandra’s dream and gone on to attending the university and doing well in sports. He is tall, handsome, charming and all the girls in the area wish for a moment with him, as brief as it could be.

swoon dreamy

But he isn’t interested in any of them.

uh-no-gifuhno

Their old friend Marie Tovesky, now Mrs. Shabata, a Bohemian, has moved back to the prairie she used to visit as a young girl now a neighbor to the Bergsons.

And how are the Bergson’s doing? Any one could tell you that they have the richest farm on the Divide, and that was all due to the woman farmer, Alexandra.

Alexandra

Alexandra, that is.

One of the things I like about Alexandra is that Cather created a character that is intelligent, strategical, yet still feminine. With today’s modern works it always feels like an either/or situation. Either they are pretty or smart. They are intelligent and masculine or an airhead and feminine. Alexandra has extreme intelligence but also enjoys doing housework, baking, and as beautiful as she is brainy.

Psmartorprettyeitherorsarahdessenmorethanthat

The older brothers are married and have their own sections of land as they began families, but Alexandra has the most of land and wealth. Emil comes back and forth between Alexandra’s home and school; and there is one more addition.

Carl and her married!!!

Carl and her married!!!

No not Carl.

Oh darn!

Oh darn!

He is still out trying to make his fortune. No, when Ivar lost his land, Alexandra opened her home to him. Such a compassionate person, not caring what others think of him or her for having him live in the home; all that matters that there is a soul in need.

bekindBeright

Ivar comes to Alexandra one day, afraid that people will send him to the asylum for being different, but Alexandra doesn’t care. She knows what it is like to be talked about because you do things differently.

“Don’t come to me again telling me what people say. Let people go on talking as they like, and we will go on living as we think best. ” pg. 60

A lot has changed in the sixteen years with modernity. A lot of the old ways of living and being are no longer accepted. In the family, Oscar’s wife will not allow any Swedish to be spoken in the house, so when they visit the relatives only English can be spoken.

Tom-Hanks-Saying-Really

Alexandra has not married, her heart still pining after the only one who ever truly understood her, but enjoys being an aunt and looking after her brother’s children. But as she is the wealthiest of the whole clan, she often becomes caught in a game between her scheming brothers and sister-in-laws, as they all desire different things.

One day she is with her nieces in the flower garden when a tall, handsome stranger comes on the prairie. It is Carl!

Carl and her married!!!

Carl is on his way to Seattle and then to Alaska to go gold prospecting. He stopped by to say hi and Alexandra is thrilled as she has missed him so much. The brothers aren’t as they are worried that instead of a gold prospector he might be a gold digger and after Alexandra’s wealth.

money money money

Carl admits that he had hoped to present himself as better, worthy of Alexandra, but he has nothing.

“You see…measured by your standards I’m a failure. I couldn’t buy even one of your cornfields. I’ve enjoyed a great many things, but I’ve nothing to show for it all.” pg. 77

That doesn’t matter to Alexandra of course, but Carl must prove himself.

I think Carl and Alexandra are just the cutest couple. Carl is so sweet to her and pretty much understands her (except for the having to prove himself thing because she does not care) and doesn’t find any measure of her odd or not right.

“I wonder whether I should ever be able to tell you all that I was thinking up there. It’s a strange thing, Alexandra; I find it easy to be frank with you about everything under the sun-except yourself!’

‘You are afraid of hurting my feelings, perhaps.’ Alexandra looked at him thoughtfully.

‘No, I’m afraid it would give you a shock. You’ve seen yourself for so long in the dull minds of the people around you, that if I were to tell you how you seem to me, it would startle you. But you must see that you astonish me.” pg. 83

How sweet!

How sweet!

Carl and Alexandra are just perfect:

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I want them to get together!!!!!

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Carl and Alexandra go to Marie’s and spend time with her being interrupted by her husband. No two people could be more horribly matched.  Marie is light and fun, while her husband Frank is jealous, depressing, and unfriendly.

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They meet when Marie was at school and she thought Frank was handsome, brooding, and romantic. Her father did not want them to marry, and nothing makes two people “fall in love” faster than when they are forbidden to.

Not good

Not good

She was sent to a convent, but as soon as she turned 18 left it and married Frank. Her father bought them the farm and they’ve been unhappy ever since. Marie realized that the Frank she thought she loved was one that was not real, but created in her mind.

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Emil and Marie spend lots of time together, as he often helps out with the farm, taking care of things that Frank is too lazy to. But that friendship must end. Emil can’t pretend anymore. He is in love with Marie and wants to be with her, but of course she is married.

Darcy P&P OMG Can't Even

Carl and Emil head off to a Catholic fair, where Emil runs into his newly married friend, Amédéé. While they are gone the brothers come to talk to Alexandra about Carl. They wanted Alexandra’s land to be willed to their children when she dies, but Alexandra will not be bullied and will do what she wants with her land.

I don't think so

You have to read what they try and use to talk her out of it. They tell her things like she’s just a woman, she didn’t really do the work “even though she had the ideas”, the property always belongs too the men, she is too old at 40 to think of marrying, Carl is four years younger than her too young.

Those guys

Those guys

But Alexandra holds her ground. She tells them that she owns her land and, she was the driving force that created their wealth, and they can stuff it or go to their lawyers but nothing will come of it.

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Alexandra tries to talk to Emil about it, but he is too heartsick he begs her to send home far away, to Mexico.

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She agrees and is sad that no one really understands her. She has no one, Marie and Carl being her only friends.

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Meanwhile Lou and Oscar go to talk to Carl and convince him he is worthless.

“What a hopeless position you are in, Alexandra!’ [Carl] exclaimed feverishly. ‘It is your fate to be always surrounded by little men. And I am no better than the rest. I am too little to face the criticism of even such men as Lou and Oscar. Yes, I am going away; to-morrow. I cannot even ask you to give me a promise until I have something to offer you. I thought, perhaps, I could do that; but I find I can’t.’

‘What good comes of offering people things they don’t need?’ Alexandra asked sadly. ‘I don’t need money. But I have needed you for a great many years. I wonder why I have been permitted to prosper, if only to take my friends away from me.

‘I don’t deceive myself,’ Carl said frankly. ‘I know that I am going away on my own account. I must make the usual effort. I must have something to show for myself. To take what you would give me, I should have to be a very large man or a very small one, and I am only in the middle class.’

Alexandra sighed. ‘I have a feeling that if you go away, you will not come back. Something will happen to one of us, or to both. People have to snatch at happiness when they can in this world. It is always easier to lose than to find.” pg. 114-115

In one day she loses all the men she cares about.

right in the feels broken heart

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PART III: WINTER MEMORIES

Winter never feels as cold as when you no longer have those you care about. No longer will Alexandra see Oscar or Lou because of how they treated Carl. She gets letters from Emil and Carl, but it is not the same as having them near.

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Mrs. Lee, Lou’s mother-in-law and one of the old timers, loves to visit Alexandra where she can follow in the old ways of living and not be judged. Even though the brothers are no longer welcome, Alexandra still opens her home to the rest of the relatives.

Alexandra brings Emil’s letter for Marie to read, never knowing what interest lies in Marie’s light and happy heart. Marie also gifts Alexandra with a scarf she made for Emil. Little does Alexandra know how Marie really feels on the inside.

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Marie’s life has grown exceedingly unhappy. She realizes that she and Frank are not suited for each other at all. She becomes more and more unhappy and folds into herself.

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PART IV: THE WHITE MULBERRY TREE

Emil has returned from Mexico at last, and just in time for a big carnival at the Catholic church. Emil runs into his old friend Amédéé, now a father. All the girls flutter around Emil, and when he gives one of his turquoise stones to auctioned it starts an even greater flummox.

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Marie is just as crazy about Emil, but he smartly keeps his distance from her.

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Frank is angry as he is jealous and wants someone to blame for Marie not caring for him any longer. But the only one who drove the wedge was him and his cruel nature.

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When the lights go out, every girl is kissed by their sweetheart and Emil does the one thing he has wished for so long, kisses Marie.

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Emil is heartsick  and finally asks Marie what has been on his mind for so long, why would you marry Frank? Marie tells him she loved him. Frank was the same now as then, but as a young girl she saw him differently. And now she pays for her heedlessness, stubbornness, and naivety.  She begs Emil to leave as she doesn’t want them to sin and she can’t go.

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Emil is preparing to leave for Omaha to train as a lawyer, then going on to Ann Arbor, Michigan. Before he departs, he stops by to see his friend Amédéé. Amédéé. is in awful pain, completely sick with appendicitis. The doctor tries to take care of him, but it is to late, Amédéé is gone.

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Emil stays on for the service and is to set off, but goes back to Marie’s to get one thing of hers to hold on to. When he gets there he discovers her lying in the grass.

Frank comes home and sees Emil’s horse in the barn. He then goes into the field and hears something. As he comes closer he sees two figures in the field and shoots. And then streaks off.

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Ivar finds Emil’s mare the next morning all worn out and not taken care of. He knows Emil would never do anything like that unless he was hurt or injured. He goes next door to get help and finds the bodies.

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PART V: ALEXANDRA

Alexandra has become so sick with grief she cannot do anything without being instructed. Her boy, her best friend…gone.

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She feels horrible for always throwing them together, never thinking what would happen. She feels so cold and alone.

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Alexandra goes to see Frank Shabata, but feels no anger at him. Only pity.

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But one bright spot arrives, as soon as Carl gets Alexandra’s note on the death he hurries over.

He isn’t as important as he would have wished, but he does have a good buisness starting in the West. The two plan to marry, going West but eventually returning home to the prairie. At last, Alexandra will no longer be alone. A bittersweet ending

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I love this book but it is sooo sad. Just full of feelings:

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But I love it anyway and read it over and over.

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To start the 30 Day Challenge from the beginning, go to It Was a Pleasure to Burn: Fahrenheit 451

For the previous post, go to Le Fantôme de l’Opéra

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For more on Sarah Dessen, go to I’d Spent Some Time As a Kid Wishing My Name Were Ashley or Katherine, if Only Because It Would Have Made Life Simpler, But My Mom Liked to Tell Me That My Name Was a Litmus Test: Along for the Ride

For more on An Affair to Remember, go to Anything Can Happen: An Affair to Remember (1957)

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For the Christmas Carol I choose Silent Night otherwise known in Bohemian as Tichá noc. This song was written in 1816 by Father Joseph Mohr when he was visiting Mariapfarr, Austria.

Two years later, Father Mohr approaches Franz Xaver Gruber, a schoolmaster and organist, and asked him to set it to music. Together they performed it during Christmas Eve’s mass.

In 1859, Pastor John Freeman Young translated the song from German to English. Since then the song has been translated into over 140 different languages.

I chose the version by Celtic Woman as I really enjoy that group.

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For more on Celtic Woman, go to I Finally Read Moby-Dick

For more Christmas Carols, go to Each Illustration is a Little Story. If You Watch Them, In a Few Minutes They Tell You a Tale: The Illustrated Man

It’s Mrs. Archer. She’s on a Rampage!: Attack of the 50 Foot Woman (1958)

It’s Mrs. Archer. She’s on a rampage. We’ve got to warn the town.”

Before Fatal Attraction came out in the ’80s, this was the film that taught you cheating on your wife was a bad idea. A really bad idea. Now this B horror film, really is a B film in my opinion. It’s worth a watch at least once in your lifetime, not something I’d want see again and again. In fact the 50 foot woman, Nancy Archer, doesn’t have much to say or any real character development besides revenge on her husband, but that is one of the reasons why you like it. Like I said, a good watch but probably not one that is marathon worthy.

So the film starts of with rich, socialite, Nancy Fowler Archer. Nancy is depressed and distraught. Her husband Harry is a no good, cheating, loser. But she loves him, so she took him back.

Laura what I want No good

She gets wasted and becomes depressed, deciding to search for Harry. As she is driving through the desert she overhears a radio broadcast about aliens. Just then a huge object drops down on the highway and causes her car to swerve. She gets out of the car, when a huge hand comes at her.

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AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

She escapes from the hand, running away.

Meanwhile, in Tony’s Bar & Grill, is her jerk of a husband with the gold digging…

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Honey Parker. Ugh.

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Harry had left his wife, but instead of working when he was strapped for cash, he went crawling back to be taken care of. Nancy Archer is worth over $50 million, but with divorce Harry won’t be able to get a thing. Honey tells him that he’d be able to get it all IF his wife dies.

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Harry is a bit perturbed by that suggestion, and decides to try to recommit Nancy.

Nancy has arrived in town, and is intercepted by Deputy Charlie. She is freaking out over the alien encounter, but everyone thinks she’s crazy. The Sheriff tries to clear the crowd, and protect Nancy from onlookers as she is a prominent figure in the community.

Get out

Nancy tries to tell everyone all that happened, but no one will listen.

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Deputy Charlie goes searching for Harry and finds him making out with Honey in a booth. Harry pays him to “not be found”. Charlie goes back to the deputy and they go looking for “the giant”.

Pretty much they think she is crazy and are just humoring her.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow

Of course, they find nothing. Nancy is furious and heads home. There she runs into Jess, the butler, and Harry. She sends Jess away and gets started on another drink. She and Harry start fighting about his cheating and her drinking.

Hate YOu

They fight and fight. But ultimately, Nancy can’t get rid of him. She’s crazy about him, no matter how bad he makes her feel.

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Nancy Archer: My husband!… My gigolo! That’s what you are. You’re a miserable parasite! You’re just after my money! I was rid of you once. Why did I take you back? Why? Why?

Harry Archer: Why did you, Nancy?

Nancy Archer: Why?… because I love you, Harry!

Poor Nancy. She is stuck in this horrible marriage because she can’t let go.

Laura what I want No good

She tells Harry about the spaceship, but surprise, surprise; he thinks she’s crazy too. He puts her to bed giving her a sedative to knock her out. He then steals her diamond pendant, Star of India, and head’s over to see Honey.

When he gets to the bar he finds Honey with deputy Charlie. She’s angry about having to wait around while he’s with his wife.

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He gives her the diamond to mollify her.

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Dr. Isaac Cushing makes a house call on Nancy, and confirms she is not well at all. When the doctor leaves, Harry and Nancy resume their fight. Harry gives her back the diamond and leaves her alone. And them to make matters worst, the radio makes fun of her “encounter”.

KRKR-TV Commentator: Ladies and gentlemen, this is KRKR-TV. And now, more news of high fliers. Nancy Archer, the former Nancy Fowler, heiress to the Fowler fortune and the fabulous Star of India diamond, has joined the ever expanding international society of satellite seers. From the Archer’s palatial home away from home comes word that Mrs. Archer claims not only to be seeing a sociable satellite, but its inhabitant as well, a 30-foot giant. Is he pink with big ears and tusks? It seems that Mrs. Archer, who has been feuding with her husband, Handsome Harry, has finally found a man from out of this world, someone who will love her for herself. Come, come, Mrs. Archer. Any man can ignore a million dollars, but fifty million? That’s too much to ask for, even from the man in the moon.

She destroys her radio with an empty bottle. This brings Jess and Harry into the room. Nancy orders Harry to come with her to search the desert. They drive for hours and find nothing. That night, however, Nancy sees a flash of light and follows it. They spot the ship, with Nancy going up to it, estatic that she isn’t crazy. As she is looking at it, the Giant alien comes out again and reaches toward her.

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Harry fires at the giant with his gun, but it does nothing. Nancy screams for help from Harry, but he takes off in the car leaving her behind.

When he gets to the house, Jess asks him where Nancy is. He ignores him and continues packing things. The two start fighting, when Harry knocks him back with an empty bottle. He takes off to the hotel, where Honey is waiting.

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He pushes Honey to hurry up and get stuff together. While he ran to Honey, Jess called the sheriff with his suspicions about Nancy and Harry. When Honey and Harry are about to leave, they are stopped by Charlie. Charlie is offered a bribe again, but refuses, taking them down to the station.

While the two are stuck at the office, the sheriff and a posse start searching for Nancy. Eventually she is found at the pool house. Everyone is taken to the house, where Dr. Cushing attends Nancy. He is concerned about blue-green scratches on her neck, that they might have radiation. He asks Harry where they were, but he tells her that he doesn’t know where she was as he was with Honey the whole time. Honey confirms this, but the sheriff warns them not to leave town. He finds the whole thing very suspicious.

suspicious Hmm

As Harry takes Honey home, Honey tells him that she overheard the doctor say that an overdose would kill her. She pushes him, and Harry is planning on it.

perfect plan

Can we just pause and say that Honey is a regular psychopath. She’s got the touch of the crazy in her.

That night he waits until the nurse is asleep, and fills a syringe. As he goes to inject her, the nurse wakes up and catches him. But before they can address that, she screams for the doctor as something has happned to Nancy.

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

She is ginormous!!!!!!

What's going on?

What’s going on?

The next day, doctors come but no one can figure out what caused this growth!

At the hotel Honey is messing with records. She is not happy that Nancy is still alive, but there is nothing that he can do with all the doctors swarming.

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Back at the house, the police are searching for the reason why Nancy grew. They find a gigantic footprint. They find several more and follow it to the desert, concluding that the giant must have brought her back to the house. They find the spaceship and fight with the alien. He leaves in his ship, after having destroyed the car and causing the Sheriff and Jess to walk home.

At home Nancy wakes up, and is very unhappy that Harry is not there. Deputy Charlie tries to get Harry to come home, but he refuses. They try to keep Nancy doped up, but she breaks free, makes an outfit out of her bedsheets, and takes off searching for Harry.

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She knows he’s with Honey and takes off after them.

Nancy Archer: I know where my husband is! He’s with that woman!

The doctors and sheriff follow her trek and mass destruction. Just like every other giant being, Nancy takes out buildings, the electrical transmission tower, etc. She keeps yelling Harry! and looking for him.

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She eventually finds the two in the hotel.

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Harry tries to shoot Nancy, but it doesn’t stop her. Nancy knocks the roof off the building and kills Honey. She picks up Harry, crushing him in her grasp. The sheriff finally kills Nancy, by using a transformer which electrocutes the two. In an ending that is reminiscent of King Kong (1933), they crowd gathers around and end the film with, “

Dr. Isaac Cushing: She finally got Harry all to herself.

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And of course as always, the facebook cover page/mini poster

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To start Horrorfest IV from the beginning, go to You Cannot Conquer It. It Has Conquered You!: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931)

For the previous post, go to I Am the Chosen One. And I Choose to Be Shopping: Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992)

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For more on aliens, go to Only a Woman: Queen of Outer Space (1958)

For more B Horror films, go to Unleash the Savage Instincts That Lie Hidden Within: I Was a Teenage Werewolf (1957)

Redone Done Right

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Day 29) Best Disney Remake

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The Jungle Book (1994)

So I’m not a huge fan of the remake. You probably recall seeing this:

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But there are a few films that I truly enjoy that are not the orginal. Such as The Shop Around the Corner and You’ve Got Mail. But this is probably by far, my favorite disney remake ever.

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So this film came out in the ’90s and is based on The Jungle Book novel by Rudyard Kipling and the Disney film The Jungle Book (1967). It is similar to the cartoon except it is live action and tells the story of an older Mowgli. Actually, this is what Disney’s Tarzan was based on. While Tarzan is not an almost exact scene by scene ripoff,  like Atlantis is of the film Stargate, it is still extremely close.

Anyways, so the film starts off in the Victorian period with a group of English people going through India. They have many Indian guides helping them, one of which is Mowgli’s father Nathoo. Mowgli is one of the few children who is with the group, and his best friend is his wolf cub, Grey Brother. Mowgli soon meets one of the other kids there, Katherine “Kitty” Brydon, daughter of Colonel Geoffrey Brydon who is in charge of the trek and played by none other than the very handsome, Sam Neil.

Mowgli gives Kitty a flower to show his interest in her and Kitty gives him her mother’s bracelet. But the two’s friendship gets cut short as Shere Khan ramapages throughout the jungle. In this version of the film, Shere Khan is king of the jungle (as Khan means leader/king), and he watches the jungle for balance. When he finds somene killing for fun instead of food he takes them out. As he is going after one specific person, others get in the way and die. He kills Nathoo, and in the shuffle to escape Mowgli amd his wolf get left behind.

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Mowgli is befriended by the animals of the jungle as Bagheera, the panther, takes him to the wolves to be raised by them. He also befriends Baloo the bear and a variety of other animals.

Twenty years into the future, Mowgli is a man and runs with the different animals of the jungle. They are even able to comunicate with each other. In the story there are a group of monkeys, Rhesus macaque, who are the foot soldiers of the lord of all apes, King Louie (an orangutan). They are called the Bandar-log an they steal Kitty’s bracelet for King Louie’s treasury.  

Mowgli is enraged and follows them to get his bracelet back. He finds the city of the monkeys where King Louie rules. He goes in and demands his bracelet back. King Louie agrees to give him the bracelet back, if he can fight the snake Kaa and win. Mowgli pulls out a jeweled dagger and uses it to fight against Kaa. And wins the appreciation of all the apes

Meanwhile, Kitty is a woman now, back in India and engaged to Captain William Boone, played by the very sexy Cary Elwes.

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Unfortunately, Boone, while being hot, is a cruel, sadistic, gold-digging, ladder climbing, hunter. 😦 Oh well. One day Kitty and co. are out in the jungle painting and hanging out when she runs right into you-know-who…Mowgli.

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Mowgli is all dressed up, part of his trophies from winning against Kaa, and play-attacks/play-saves Kitty from Baloo. But she takes off.

Mowgli follows the group into the city, sneaking into Kitty’s room. Her screams rouse her bf and the guards, but before they come after him, she recognizes the bracelet he’s wearing as her own.  The guards chase Mowgli throughout the town and he ends up getting thrown in jail

Kitty frees Mowgli and she and Dr. Julius Plumford (John Cleese) try to help re-civilize him. (This scene is just like Tarzan, especially  the projection of images).
Mowgli begins to be able to talk amd act like those around him, but does not feel at home with the aristocrats, that is except for Kitty. He starts falling for her again, even though she is already spoken for. Mowgli also tells Kitty how he survived all these years and introduces her to all of his animal friends and tells her of the rules of the jungle.
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Meanwhile Boone and his friends  are eager to find the famed City of Gold (Monkey city) but don’t know the way. Everyone who has ever tried to find it has never returned. Boone decides to get Mowgli to help him find it.
Boone convinces Kitty to give him a day to hang out with Mowgli, apologizing for having been so mean. He brings Mowgli to his hunting trophy room, but after Mowgli sees that he doesn’t keep the jungle law, he refuses to help him out at all.
There is a ball, and Mowgli is excited to be there with Kitty. Unfortunately, that is when he hears the announcement of their engagement and hears of the plans they have for India. Mowgli decides to leave the city as he could never belong there, and decides to spend the rest of his life in the jungle.
But unbeknowest to him, Boone has other plans for Mowgli. He and his minions try to capture him, but Mowgli is saved by Baloo. Unfortunately, Baloo’s intervention causes him to be shot. Mowgli rushes to the city to get Dr. Plumford, but finds out that he and recently unengaged Kitty are headed for England.
While Mowgli chases after them, Kitty, her father, and the doctor are ambushed by William’s men. Mowgli is able to save the Doctor and sends him to help Baloo, and continues after the Brydons. He agrees to help Boone if Boone will ensure the safety of the Brydons.
The next day, Mowgli is able to get rid of one henchman, by tricking him into some quicksand. He also sends Kitty’s dad to safety on an elephant.
The other henchman is disposed of by more of Mowgli’s knowledge of the jungle. Soon all that is left is Mowgli, Kitty, Boone, and Boone’s remaining minoin. However, as they have finally reached the Monkey City, his minoins accidentally sets off a booby trap and finds himself a goner.
Only Boone, Kitty, and Mowgli make it to the treasure. Boone and Mowgli fight, but Mowgli wins and takes off with Kitty. Boone starts filling his pockets and bags with gold, not realizing that he still has Kaa to deal with.

Shere Khan confronts Mowgli and Kitty as they exit. Khan still does not trust Mowgli, and the two stare at each other a long time before Khan is stared down and leaves in submission – the fulfillment of a dream Mowgli had where he, already a ‘half-tiger’ in spirit, would stare Shere Khan eye to eye and become a ‘whole tiger’.
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Shere Khan recognizes that Mowgli another creature of the jungle and allows him to live. Mowgli and Kitty reunite with their friends and family, including Geoffrey and Baloo, both cured by Plumford. Kitty and Mowgli are now together (just like Tarzan and Jane)
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I just love this movie and thought it was amazing. It is far better than the animated sequel as it doesn’t retell te orginal story too much, and still keeps all the elements of it when going in a new direction.
For more on both versions of The Jungle Book, go to Snakes on a Post
For more on Disney, go to Once upon a Dream
For more films based on books, go to Second Star to the Right
For more films based on cartoons, go to Disney Lesson

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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Freddy The Dead

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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Len Cariou 'Murder, She Wrote' (1985) 2.1

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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Staff Sergeant Dignam The Departed

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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Someone Very Special: The Addam’s Family Values (1993)

 

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You’ll meet someone. Someone very special. Someone who won’t press charges.

I love this movie soooooo, soooo, soooooo, sooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much!!!!

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I have to watch it every October and any other time it is on TV. I  have loved this movie since I was a kid as it is so hilarious and the dialogue is truly amazing.

I really don’t know where to start with this post as I love every part of this film. To be honest, you just need to watch it! It is that good. Much, much, much, better than the first film; don’t even watch it, enjoy this one. This is one of the few times where the sequel far surpasses the original.

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Yes you heard me. The sequel was better.

I just love Morticia and Gomez, they are an amazing couple.

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So yeah…

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The story is that Morticia and Gomez have had a new baby; which Wednesday and Pugsly hate and are trying to destroy.  Anyways, Morticia and Gomez attempt to hire a nanny because Morticia would like some time to herself.

“Morticia: [to Gomez] I’m just like any modern woman trying to have it all. Loving husband, a family. It’s just, I wish I had more time to seek out the dark forces and join their hellish crusade.”

After going through a slew of them, they finally get Debbie Jellinsky, played by the amazing Joan Cusack. Debbie seems really nice at first, but we find out that she is trying to get close to Uncle Fester, marry him, kill him, and getting all his money. In fact we find out that Debbie is no ordinary gold-digger, but a full on serial killer.

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And Murder?

Wednesday and Pugsly find out, so Debbie has them sent off to a summer camp which is hilarious. This has some of the best scenes in the film as the kids wreak Addams’ havoc.

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Debbie tries to complete her plot, but it takes a lot to kill an Addams! Just watch the film! You’ll love it!

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**** Contains Spoilers ****

So one of my favorite parts, is the play that they put on at the summer camp. In the film the camp counselors have broken Wednesday and Pugsly’s spirits, forcing them to watch Disney films which causes them to become perky. They and the other “losers” of the campers are playing the Native Americans in a Thanksgiving play that one of the counselors wrote. But nothing ever goes as planned when an Addams is involved!

Wednesday is AWESOME! I love her. Christina Ricci did an amazing job at being her. I couldn’t imagine a better person.

My other most absolute favorite part is when we get to hear Debbie’s backstory, and why she turned to a life of murder and thievery.

I LOVE this part so much! I have the whole thing memorized and love to recite it!

That’s today’s terrifying post! More to come! 8 Days ‘Till Halloween!

Here’s a cover page/poster I made for my facebook page as part of my countdown to Halloween last year.

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

To go to the previous post, go to I Can Be Your Best Friend Or Your Worst Enemy

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For more sequels, go to I Want Friend Like Me

For more on serial killers, go to Halloween

For more on summer camp, go to Camp Blood