I Feel A Great Disturbance in the Force: Star Wars, The Force Awakens

I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened

So I have been postponing this post as I wanted to give people plenty of time to watch the film. But just in case…

***Contains Spoilers***

So a lot of people have been asking me what I think about the new Star Wars film. And why not? After all you know how much I love Star Wars.

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So let me say right away:

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Yes, I did not like it.

Something is not right!

It wasn’t absolutely horrible but I felt that it was far from the great raves everyone gave it. I was greatly disappointed.

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So let’s count down my issues with the film. And remember, this is just my opinion: you can take it or leave it; read it or skip it; love it or hate it; etc.

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1) Who Are You?

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So one of my biggest issues with this film is that we were given hardly any backstory on these characters. We don’t know Rey, Finn, or Poe’s hopes, dreams, goals, histories, etc.

Now some of you are probably saying that J.J. Abrams just wants to surprise us, well there is a HUGE difference between surprise and no information.

Think about Episode IV: A New Hope; we knew that Luke wanted to get off the desert planet,; that he wanted to fight in the rebellion against the Empire; that he was “too much like his father” which was a bad thing; that he had a crush on Princess Leia; and that he was well versed in fixing mechanical things.

In the revamped Star Trek that Abrams did we get to see Spock and Kirk at different parts in their lives. We see Kirk’s father sacrifice his life to save all the others, we see Kirk getting into trouble with pranks as he is acting out against his stepdad, and we see him at the Academy getting on track. We also see Spock as a young boy trying to figure out who he is with being biracial, along with him as an adult and instructor at the Academy. So Abrams can do it, and so it well. So why didn’t he?

In my opinion I think he was afraid.

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I think after Star Trek: Into Darkness‘ villain was leaked and we all knew that it was Khan; Abrams overcorrected to protect the “secrets” and “surprises” by giving us nothing. And I hated it. In order for us to care for a character we need to know something about them. Otherwise they are just strangers and we don’t care if they live or die. When Poe was “killed” I was like oh that’s sad but not devastated or anything, because I had no idea what his role was in the grand scheme or if I was supposed to be devastated. Instead I was just like whatever.

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As for Finn; I guess with his brainwashing he doesn’t know that much of anything so I’ll give him a half pass. As for Rey, I know that Abrams wants to surprise us with her being Luke’s daughter but still give us something. I mean you could have had her talk about wishing the Jedis were still alive, or how she always heard stories of them, or even who or why she was left on the planet. What happened to the person she was supposed to be taking care of? Who is she waiting for? Come on give us something!!

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Take your cues from George Lucas, he knew how to film one heck of a reveal. Still can’t get over how amazing this scene was built up in Episode IV and V.

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2) Boom! We Here!

My second issue with the film was the pacing. It was way, way, too fast.

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With the original we have substance. It takes time for Luke to find Obi-Wan, get a plan together, get a ship, create a plan to save the princess, find the princess, escape, help destroy the Death Star; etc.

This same thing was continued in the rest of the series and prequels. It took time to get from one planet to another aspect of the universe. And the directors used this time. We were able to really get to know the characters and have some of the best scenes.

In The Force Awakens it too fast, completely losing the journey aspect. In this it was like bam we are there, bam next planet, bam bam bam. Everything was too quickly reached, found, etc. I didn’t like that at all.

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There is a certain style to these films. Star Wars essentially is a Western film set in space, building off those components. And what are Westerns based on? Knight stories. And Knight stories are based on Greek mythological tales. The reason why the original films did so well was that they stayed true to the type of tale they are based on; following the elements of a journey tale. There was no weight to the film in the same sense the other films had in unfolding the tale. There was no journey, making this a weaker film and not as long lasting.

In a few months/years everyone will be over the hype and realize this new film just doesn't measure up.

In a few months/years I believe that everyone will be over the hype and realize this new film just doesn’t measure up.

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3) Finn Wields a Lightsaber

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I also didn’t care for how quickly the characters seemed to adapt to the situations. Really a stormtrooper who has never even fought in real life before and only used a blaster has the ability to wield a lightsaber, something he knows literary nothing about, not even how to turn on, and be able to not only do it, but hold his own in not one but two fights; and one being against a person who has been training on how to fight with a lightsaber for at least ten years.

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 You have to remember this is a weapon that hasn’t been used for over sixty years except by three people; Anakin, Luke, and Kylo Ren. Do you think that someone who hardly knows anything besides what he has been brainwashed could use technology from sixty years ago when he doesn’t even know what Jedi are or have ever seen a Jedi? He didn’t even see Kylo Ren open his lightsaber.

And yes, he did lose both fights, but he did lot of attacking that I thought was way to advance for someone who has never even fought in a battle with a blaster. For someone who was so traumatized by war he had to run away, he got over that PTSD rather quickly.

Some of you might argue say that he just “picked it up” or has “jedi blood.” But even if you argue that he has Jedi abilities inherited from his family, whoever they are, it takes training to know how to wield one. When you are trained in using swords you practice first with fake ones as one of the first things you usually do is hit yourself with it. This is a much stronger weapon than a swords, and multi-edged. It is not something you just pick up and can do.

After all idea of using a sword is different than using one in battle. Yeah you point it toward the other person but it is more complicated when actually attacking another person, especially when your weapon can slice through almost any material, and all sides can injure you.

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4. Rey Masters the Force

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Rey also too quickly managed the force, especially for one who thought it was a myth. One of the reasons why the original series was so amazing was that it had weight and a feeling of reality. Luke has to train to use his natural abilities, to build up his faith in the force.

And even though he has so much untapped reserves,he had trouble controlling the force when he was in stressful situations, like wanting to help his friends. I thought her telling the stormtrooper to leave was good, but her other uses were just too fast. Let’s remember she has no clue what a Jedi is and has zero training. At least Luke had dreams and believed in it. He just had to believe in himself.

And even though I believe she is Luke’s daughter and therefore has an extremely strong connection to the force; but if Luke, Anakin’s son and therefore one with an even stronger connection, has trouble picking up things and concentrating on the force, and also had a stronger belief, Rey shouldn’t have picked up on as easily as she did.

I will say that at least her fighting was defensive and involved more running away than anything else. I thought that was more realistic for someone who has never used a lightsaber before.

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5) It’s All About Looking Great

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I felt this film also ran into the same mistakes as the new Avengers film were they concentrated on constant action every where, not always completing the move.

For instance Kylo Ren kills his father and is below on a bridge. Rey and Finn are above, with at least a 20 mins headstart and Kylo manages to not only reach them, but be in front of them? Can he teleport now? Even if he had a secret passageway or path known to him, how did he get there? And so quickly?

Or their giant death star/planet thing. How can it take power from the sun to decimate planets on the other side of the galaxy (as the guy says they will destroy a planet far, far, away) and be able to hit with such precision, not destroying all the many things in the pathway that exist in outer space? How could they have such precision in such distance? How can they manage to take the sun completely to destroy everything, but not destroy the planets around them as they have removed the sun?

I mean it is science fiction and they are going to push the boundaries of your beliefs, while creating new technology; but I felt the other films (the original Star Wars, Star Wars prequels, and Star Trek remakes) while not explaining everything had stronger ties to what could be happening in reality. In this they seemed to focus on let’s “look good” or have “great action” rather than make sense to what was going on.

I didn’t like the action as it wasn’t as choreographed but more messy and at times hard to follow. It was like The Avengers: Age of Ultron in which some parts resembled a video game rather than a film.

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6) Han Solo’s Death is a Crime

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

So I knew going in that they were going to kill an important character and famous actor. I mean we have Alec Guinness as Obi-Wan Kenobi in A New Hope; Liam Neeson as Qui Gon Jinn in The Phantom Menace; I knew it was going to be one of the dream team; most likely Harrison Ford.

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

So the fact that they killed Han Solo is a completely horrible thing to do, but the fact that they killed him before he and Luke had a reunion and forgave each other was inexcusable. He should have been involved in the journey to find Luke.

A journey that in my opinion should have been saved until the second film as if he was hiding somewhere impossible for all these people to find, even with a map it has got to take time; and I am sure they are to encounter storms, asteroids, obstacles along the way. It shouldn’t be instantaneous.

I just don’t know if I can watch a Star Wars film with no Han Solo.

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I need him in my life

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7) Story Has to Be Surprises Not Substance

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Wow

I thought that the story/dialogue was okay but felt that they focused way too much time on trying to outwit you and surprise you then writing a cohesive whole. I wish the people who wrote Jurassic World wrote the new Star Wars movie as they were able to capture aspects of the past and place it in a new storyline; one that pleased fans and new viewers.

Take note, rest of Hollywood.

Take note, rest of Hollywood.

I think on a whole the film would have better if they went off the canon that Lucas had made, that was ghostwritten/published.

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But J.J. Abrams wanted to surprise people with his own thing.

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So that’s my opinion. You can agree with me and think I am a genius in my critique:

And I truly mean it

Or that I am completely unenlightened and crazy:

Guy you suck!

Guy you suck!

Either way it is just my personal opinion and you are free to share yours as well if you want.

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One thing still remains. The original Star Wars is still extremely amazing and because of this new movie there have been tons of Star Wars products that I can buy and add to my collection.

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What can I say? I’m just a Jedi girl.

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For more on Star Wars, go to You Don’t Have to Say the Words, I Already Know: Episode V, The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

For more on Episode VII: The Force Awakens, go to A Very Merry Star Wars Christmas

For more Han Solo, go to Be Like Han

 

A FANtastic Voyage

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Yes…

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My Fangirl posts are back! You see I had to take a break from them for my Romance is in the Air: Part III posts as I counted down to Valentines Day with my favorite romantic moments from films. I would have started again on the 15th, but I realized that was the 30th anniversary of The Breakfast Club, and decided that I had to do a post on that.

So here we are once again going through some of the things that I hardcore fangirl over.

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Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman

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I haven’t seen this show in a long time but it used to be a real favorite of mine. When I was growing up, my mom loved this show and we would watch it together. I had a huge thing for Byron Sully (Joe Lando).

So Dr. Michaela “Mike” Quinn (Jane Seymour) is a wealthy, Bostonian, physician. In the series start (1867), Dr. Quinn is tired of the way people treat a “woman doctor”, and decides to leave for the West. She settles in Colorado Springs, Colorado; and finds life much tougher then she realized. Byron Sully, rugged outdoorsman and friend to the Cheyenne, helps her settle in and the two end up falling for each other. She also receives help from a midwife, but when she is bitten by a rattlesnake and dies; Dr. Quinn finds herself taking on the role as mother as she raises the midwife’s children; Matthew, Colleen, and Brian. Now Dr. Quinn is trying to adjust to the West, figure out how to take care of three children who just lost their mother, and prove to the world that a “woman doctor” is a real doctor.

I loved this as I loved Westerns, and Dr. Quinn becoming a doctor in a world that didn’t really wish to accept it was empowering.

For more Westerns, go to Fandom Love

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Gargoyles

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Gargoyles was a TV show I grew up watching as a kid and was super into. My friends and I would go around reenacting the show and creating our own stories.

It’s a little hard to give a synopsis of the show, but I’ll give it my best shot. In 10th century Scotland, Gargoyles work to defend their castle. They are statues during the day, but as soon as night falls they are able to roam about. They saved Prince Malcolm, who in turn built them a castle where they could rest in the day promising to protect them. Years later his daughter Princess Katherine is in control and she hates the gargoyles. She is betrayed by someone she trusts to the Vikings, who attack in the day and destroy all the gargoyles…or at least the think they do. Unknown to them, Goliath, the leader, survived along with a few of his friends. They return to kill the Vikings and the betrayer, discovering it was a close friend. Their arrival causes the Viking leader to take away Princess Katherine, intent on killing her. Believing Princess Katherine dead, her advisor curses them, turning all but Goliath into stone. He returns with the Princess, who demands the advisor change them back. He can’t, but turns Goliath into stone, so he can be reunited with his friends.

A hundred years later, a wealthy businessman, Xanatos, finds the castle and has it transported to New York City, building it on top of his skyscraper and  causing it to rise above the clouds, breaking the spell. The Gargoyles try to adapt to this new world, eventually teaming up with the biracial (Nigerian and Native American) NYPD detective. They also discover there is more to Xantos then they thought, that more of their kind exist then thought before, and a huge melding of mythology, Shakespeare, magic, sorcery, etc.

My favorite characters of the series was Goliath and he was just so awesome, brave, stoic, brooding, bold, etc. I also loved his daughter Angela, who was sweet and nice.

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Hercules: The Legendary Journeys 

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When I was a child I loved reading mythology and fairy tales. One that I was really into was the Greek myths and reading the stories of the gods and goddess. As one of my favorite characters was Hercules, this show was perfect for me.

The show was based on the Greek myths, but also borrowed stories and features from Egyptians, Middle Easterns, Asians, and Medieval Europe. I used to watch this every day after school and I just thought it was amazing.

Of course, that all had to do with Hercules. Not only did I think Hercules was extremely attractive (I had a real thing for guys with long hair for a while), but stoic, brave, kind, and altogether one amazing guy. I was really sad when it ended, but as we all know the good shows don’t last forever.

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Lord of the Rings

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So I LOVE Lord of the Rings!

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Yep, I’m a hardcore Lord of the Rings fangirl.

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Thank you Ed

It’s funny, but in the beginning I was set against it. My mom had been reading in the newspaper about Peter Jackson’s upcoming film and wanted to see it. My sister agreed as she was like free ticket, but I was not so sure. Some guy with a ring that only he could control and destroy (that’s what the synopsis sounded like) in a three hour film? It seemed done before, boring, and long. So they went and I stayed home. When they came back they were ecstatic about the film and said my dad and I would have to come with. I wasn’t interested, but forced. When we got to the theater and started watching it, I LOVED IT!!! From that moment on Lord of the Rings had entered my fandom.

My parents read the books right away but I just enjoyed the films for awhile. In The Fellowship of the Ring, Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit, has been holding onto a ring for many, many years. Bilbo is planning on going on a trip, taking the ring along, when his friend Gandalf the Grey (a wizard), visited for his birthday and spotted it with him. He convinces him to leave it behind with everything for his nephew Frodo Baggins, and Bilbo is on his way. Gandalf feels unease about the ring and leaves it with Frodo, while he goes off to investigate. Gandalf returns after he has discovered that ring belonged to the dark lord Sauron. It was supposed to be destroyed, but when he was defeated the king took the ring instead. It was moved about as every where it went it’s owner was killed or murdered. Eventually Gollum found it, and it was then stolen by Bilbo who has been sitting on it for years. Gandalf quickly moves Frodo out, unwillingly taking along Bilbo’s gardener, Samwise Gamgee, and Frodo’s relatives Peregrin Took (Pipin), and Meriadoc Brandybuck (Merry). The group splits off from Gandalf and are set to meet up with him, after Gandalf questions his old teacher Saruman, who unbeknownst to Gandalf has become evil. Frodo is anxious that they still haven’t seen Gandalf, and end up receiving help from Strider (Viggo Mortenson) a ranger. I loved Viggo Mortenson so much in this film. I thought he was amazing, brave, bold, and utterly handsome.

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He turns out to be Aragorn, the true king of Gondor who was sent to live with the elves for his safety. He sets them off for Lothlórien to the elves. While the head out they are attacked by the Nazgul. They run away to Lothlórien where Frodo is saved by the elves. There they form a fellowship to protect Frodo and the ring, making sure they get it to Mount Doom, the only place it can be destroyed. The group is the hobbits: Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pipin; the wizard Gandalf; Gimli the dwarf; Legolas the elf; Aragorn; and the steward of Gondor’s son Boromir. They head out facing many challenges along the way.

The Two Towers is the next part of the tale. In this the fellowship has been split up. Frodo took off on his own, but not quite as Sam won’t let him. They journey on to Mordor guided by Golem, who wants his ring back. Gandalf sacrificed himself for the group when they were in the Mines of Moria, but turns out is not dead. He has been returned as Gandalf the White, the highest form a wizard can be. Merry and Pipin were taken by Orcs in the last film, and they are being carried to Mordor. When the Orcs fight between the old creations and newer ones, they manage to escape and go into Fangorn Forest. There they meet up with the Ents, the tree shepherds. Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli have been tracking Merry and Pipin to save them and run into Gandalf. He tells them to not worry about Pipin and Merry they will be safe with the Ents, but takes them onto Rohan to help protect the country and save their king in a battle against Saruman.

Return of the King is the last in the series and my favorite. In fact I waited for when this film was released on DVD and bought it immediately. In this we have the final battle between good and evil. Frodo and Sam have been split up, as Golem and the ring have poisoned his mind. He ends up being attacked by a giant creature and captured, taken to Mordor. Gandalf and Pipin have gone to Gondor, as it is being attacked by Sauron’s forces. Rohan is going to send their aid, being led by Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli. But there is a surprise, the elf Elrond has come to the battle, bringing the Andúril, the sword from the first fight, that was broken and then reforged. He sends Aragorn into the mountains to bring in an army of the dead. This movie was awesome and it is one that I can watch over and over again.

Now I love to do marathons

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So my sister and I have done Lord of the Rings quite a few times. One time though, we decided we were going to do all the extended versions. It was an intense, all-day thing. It was a whole lot of fun.

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At a book sale I bought all the three books. The Fellowship of the Ring and The Return of the King were both the movie editions, but my copy of Two Towers is from the ’70s. Anyways I read the books and I think they did a great job bringing the characters to life in the film. Here are my only issues with the books and film, now after reading them.

The Fellowship of the Ring-I thought the film version did the best with this book. The book spans a lot more time, for instance Frodo has the ring for years before Gandalf returns, which they cut out. There also is a lot of extra stuff I am glad they cut, such as when Frodo spends years in Tom Bombadil’s perfect paradise of a forest. I would have cut that from the whole book as it was SUPER boring. The only thing I wish they included was the part when the elf Galadriel gives each member of the fellowship a gift.

The Two Towers-I thought this was good too, film and movie. In the movie the elves come to fight like in the original battle, but they weren’t supposed to come until the last book. I think it would have been better symmetry if they had, but no big qualms with book or film.

The Return of the King– In the book J.R.R. Tolkien goes through each person’s story all the way to the end, and then moves onto the next character. I liked in the movie how they switch back and forth, as when you read you are really curious what happens to this specific character, but also want to know what happened to everyone else. Like Sir Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe. In that he had so many characters involved and in their many adventures, but switches between them all so we get a better picture as to what is occurring at the same time. The effects, set up, and whole film was amazing! The only thing I might have added was more depth to Faramir and Eowyn’s romance, as we only get a few glimpses. Also Saruman has had his fingers all over Middle Earth causing destruction. When Merry, Pipin, Frodo, and Sam return, they have to battle for the Shire to save it from Saruman. That was cut from the film, but it would have been cool to have it in.

On a whole they did an amazing job! J.R.R. Tolkien in his writing and Peter Jackson with his films.

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For more on Lord of the Rings, go to Food, Food, Food!

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Madeleine L’Engle

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Madeleine L’Engle is one of my favorite writers. I started reading her books when I was a kid, and have loved them ever since. Even though the ones below are considered Children’s Fiction or Teen Fiction; I still read them over and over and over again.  HowABookTouchesYou

So Madeleine L’Engle is a Christian writer, but she likes to cover lots of other things in her books as well: science, philosophy, politics, music, poetry, literature, ethics, etc. All of her books carry really heavy subjects that just make them even more enjoyable. Below I have listed all the books of hers that I have read, in the order I think is the best to read them in.

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A Wrinkle in Time– This is the book that started the whole time quartet series. In this book the Murry family has moved to New England in recent times. Many people are wary of them as both Mr. and Mrs. Murry are scientists. Mr. Murry is often called upon to go to Washington D.C for the President or Pentagon. He left for a trip about a year ago, and has yet to return. Many think he abandoned the family, but his wife and children have faith that he will return. Meg is the eldest, she wears glasses and braces and thinks herself unattractive.

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She has a lot of problems making friends as she has a temper, she also has issues in school as the math is too far below her. After Meg are the twins, Alexander (Sandy) and Dionysus (Dennys). Both the twins excel in sports, school, and friendship. Last is Charles Wallace, only five years old and a genius. He tries to hide it, but still can’t pass off being “normal.”

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One dark and stormy night; three women come in with the wind and set Meg, Charles Wallace, and a popular boy from school, Calvin O’Keefe on quite the adventure. Mrs. Which, Mrs. Who, and Mrs,Whatsit tells the trio that they need them in order to save Mr. Murry who is caught in the 5th dimension. This adventure takes them on a ride through psychics, time travel, tessering, and other planets.

This book was also turned into a film that was pretty good and had the cute guy from Everwood playing Calvin O’Keefe.

A Wind in the Door– This is a sequel to A Wrinkle in Time. Calvin and Meg are friends and romantically interested in each. Things aren’t perfect; their father is still called away on long trips, Meg still gets into trouble at school, and Charles is still picked on; but they seem to be better. That is until they notice that something is going wrong with Charles Wallace. He seems paler, more tired, and just not himself. When Charles Wallace tells Meg he has seen dragons in the garden, she really becomes worried. But these dragons are actually a Cherubim sent there to help Meg defeat the Echthroi who are trying to erase the universe. Meg, Calvin, the cherubim, and her principal Mr. Jenkins find themselves on an adventure through the town, plants, and into Charles’ mitochondria.

Many Waters– This is actually the fourth book in the series, but reads better as the third book. In this Sandy and Dennys, who had heard of their siblings crazy adventures, find themselves going on their own trip through time! When the boys accidentally mess with their father’s experiment in the lab, they find themselves sent back to the time of Noah, right before he builds his ark for the coming flood. There they encounter the biblical figures along with manticores, unicorns, Nephilum, and Seraphim.

A Swiftly Tilting Planet– In this book Meg is grown up, married to Calvin, and pregnant with their first child. The twins are now a lawyer and a doctor. Charles Wallace is a teenager, but still as advanced as ever. They are celebrating Thanksgiving, (minus Calvin as he got held up in conference in England), with Calvin’s mother Mrs. O’Keefe. That night there are threats of Vespugia’s leader, Mad Dog Branzillo, starting nuclear warfare and WWIII. As Charles Wallace goes to the garden, he meets up with the unicorn Gaudior. Gaudior was sent to help Charles travel through time and meld with different historical figures in order to change the past, so that they might change the future. This is one of my all-time favorites of her series.

Meet the Austins– This is a different series, but as all of hers connect and crossover, it makes a lot of sense to start reading it now. Mr. Austin is a country doctor in New England. He and his wife have four kids: John, Vicky, Susie, and Rob and an assortment of animals. They live a contented life, but that all changes when a family friend dies. The Austins quickly welcome the orphaned daughter, Maggy, into their home and she causes all kinds of chaos and uproar. Will their lives ever be the same again?

The Moon By Night– Book two brings radical changes for the Austin family. Maggy, who has become a daughter and sister, is leaving them to be with her legal guardian. John is heading off to college, and the Austins are moving to New York for a year. Before the move, they head out for a cross-country trip of the United States. Vicky should be happy and having fun, but instead finds the changes unsettling, along with trying to figure out who she is. She meets a boy named Zachary Gray, who is so unlike her, and confuses her on what friendship and love are.

The Arm of the Starfish- Adam Eddington III has wanted to be a marine biologists for a very long time. Every summer he has interned with a doctor that lives near his grandma’s home, but this year he has received a much different post. This year he will be interning in Portugal, under the guidance of Dr. O’Keefe (Calvin O’Keefe from the A Wrinkle in Time series). On his way there, he meets a beautiful girl at the airport, Kali, who warns him that Dr. O’Keefe is not as nice as he seems, but working against his government. She asks him to spy on Dr. O’Keefe for her father. Adam is unsure of what to do, and when he boards his plane, ends up running into Polly O’Keefe, Dr. O’Keefe’s daughter, and her godfather Canon Tallis. Adam quickly finds this summer being more than he bargained for as he is caught up in a world of science, espionage, and double agents. Adam doesn’t know who to trust as the more time he spends with the O’Keefe’s the more he likes them, while at the same time every moment he spends with Kali is better than the one before.

The Young Unicorns- The Austins have moved to New York and encounter a much different world. They rent the top part of an old Victorian house. Below them lives Emily, the daughter of a Greek professor, and recently blinded in a robbery gone wrong. They also have befriended Dave, an ex-gang member and now Emily’s tutor; along with Mr. Theotocopoulos, Emily’s piano teacher. The Austins find themselves caught in a horrible plot as people are after the invention that Dr. Austin is working on and are not afraid to use any means necessary to obtain it. Someone is trying to control the city as they have orginized the gang, the Alpha-Bats (Dave’s old group) and preparing them for a battle. Canon Tallis is called in by his old friend to discover who could be the head of the group, and whether it could be coming from one of the leaders of the Catholic Church.

A Ring of Endless Light- The year in New York has ended and the Austin’s will be returning home after one more stop. Vicky’s grandfather is very sick, so the Austins plan on staying that summer on the small island he resides on. John also happens to be interning there for the summer, introducing the Austins to his newest friend, Adam Eddington III. Vicky and Adam become very close, with Vicky helping assist him in his project with dolphins. However, Adam is still reeling from the betrayal that occurred in Portugal and isn’t getting as close to her as Vicky would like. Also, Zachary Gray returns on the scene, once again bringing trouble, confusion, and questions in Vicky’s life.

This was also turned into a movie: starring Mischa Barton as Vicky, Ryan Merriman as Adam, and Jared Padalecki as Zachary. It was a DCOM so sadly it is hard to find a copy of this film.

Troubling a Star- The last of the Austin series. The Austins (minus John) have returned home to New England countryside. Everyone has been able to bounce back but Vicky. She finds it hard to relate after all her adventures and changes. Adam introduces her to his Aunt Serena, who Vicky immediately becomes close to. Adam is planning on going to Antarctica for a semester, and for Vicky’s birthday, Serena plans on sending Vicky as well. Vicky is excited for her trip, but also worried as Adam’s letters become cold, closed off, and eventually stop altogether. Vicky is sad, but concentrates on her trip; finding herself caught in political intrigue and an age-old unsolved mystery.

Dragons in the Waters- When thirteen year-old Simon Renier boards the M.S. Orion with his cousin Forsyth Phair, he has no idea what he is getting himself into. A trip that is supposed to be easy and beautiful; taking a painting of Simon Bolivar back to its native land, turns out to be anything but; as murder, political intrigue, smuggling, and a century old secret turn this trip into one exciting adventure. Simon tries to solve the case with the help of Polly and Charles O’Keefe (who are traveling with their father), Mr. Theotocopoulos (who is traveling to see Emily perform) and Canon Tallis.

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For the previous fandom post, go to A Fantabulous Post

And stay tuned for part 10

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For more book filled posts, go to The Biggest Bill You Should Be Paying

For more on Disney, go to Well I Feel Sheepish: Chinese New Year

For more of my favorite quotes, go to Helping Hands

For more Pirates of the Caribbean, go to Push All the Buttons!

Love Makes You Do Crazy Things: Hercules (1997)

Romantic Moment #8

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Hercules (1997)

Hercules (1997) is based on the greek myths but given a Disneyian twist. This is one of my favorite Disney films as it is fun, hilarious, and has an awesome collection of songs.

In this story, Zeus and Hera are the parents of Hercules. When he is born they have a huge party, give him lots of gifts, like a pegasus, and have everyone come. Unbeknownst to the happy couple, Zeus’ brother Hades, lord of the Underworld, wants to dethrone him and take over Olympus and the world. He meets with the Fates and discovers that his plans will work out in 18 years as he will be able to release the titans. Only one problem…Hercules. If he fights, game over for Hades. So Hades hatches a plot to poison Hercules and make him mortal. Hades’ minions give Hercules the potion, but fail to give him every last drop, making him mortal but leaving him with super strength. Hercules is found by an old couple who were unable to have children. The couple see him as a gift from the gods and raise him.

Fast forward through the years and Hercules is a teenager. He doesn’t have very many friends and people don’t really like him as he doesn’t know how to control his strength and causes a lot of damage, all on accident. After a truly horrible mishap, Hercules’ parents tell him the truth about how they found him. Hercules travels to Zeus’ Temple in order to ask for guidance and discovers that Zeus is his father! Zeus tells him that he was stolen as a child, made mortal, and cannot return to Olympus until he becomes a “true hero”. Zeus sends him to Philoctetes, a satyr, to train him.

Hercules spends a long time training on Philoctetes’ island. As they are heading to Thebes, to put his training to good use, they make a stop to help out a damsel, Megra or Meg. Meg doesn’t want his help as she feels she isn’t really a damsel in distress.

BoyMeetsWorld Topanga Damsel in distress not distress

But Hercules helps her out anyway. After he leaves, we discover that Meg is working with Hades. When Hades finds out that Hercules is alive he makes it his mission to send every kind of creature he can to him in order to utterly destroy Hercules.

After Hades runs out of creatures and as the time is getting close, he decides to try something new. He promises to free Meg from her contract with him, IF she can discover Hercules’ weakness. So Meg goes out with Hercules. Through their time together she discovers that she is starting to have feelings for him, after she said she would never love again.

Hades figures out that Hercules feels the same way about Meg and uses it to his advantage. Hades chains Meg up in order to get Hercules to agree to give up his strength for 24 hours, all the time Hades needs to take over Olympus. Now it’s up to Hercules to figure out how to get his powers back and help save the world.

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********Most Romantic Moment********

For me the most romantic moment happens after Hercules has traded his powers. The trade was that as long as Meg is safe, Hercules is super strength free. So Hercules finds himself a mere man while the whole area is in peril from Titans. Hades especially sends a cyclops to ensure that Hercules is taken out. As Hercules trips the cyclops in order to destroy it, the cyclops accidentally knocks over some columns. As one is heading for him, Meg pushes him out of the way and gets hit with it; sacrificing herself for him and breaking his contract with Hades.

Perfect!

Perfect!

Now I know most people who have seen this movie would think that the scene when Hercules offers his life for Meg or refuses Olympus to be with Meg as more romantic, but I disagree. You see both of those actions were perfectly normal and ordinary for Hercules. He was a sweet and really nice guy. Everything he did, he always did for other people, hardly thinking of himself. That’s the type of person he is.

Now with Meg, her sacrifice is HUGE!!! First, we have to back up and tell her story. So she sold her soul to Hades in order to help her boyfriend. Now we don’t know exactly why, as the writers don’t go into it, but for her to sell her soul you know that her boyfriend has something really bad going down. Death, imprisonment, etc. Had to be some hardcore stuff.

So after she sells her soul to save him he dumps her for another woman!

Say What

I know what a jerk!

Jerk

She SOLD HER SOUL!!!!

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So after all that she decided she will never love again.

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Afterwards she became sarcastic, cold-hearted, and uncaring. Set on doing her own thing, no matter what situation she gets into. She thinks that’s the end of the story. No more love and no more heart, but she’s wrong.

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So meets Hercules and he is nothing like she has ever seen. At first she thinks it is all an act and doesn’t trust him, but after encountering him multiple times she starts to like him. And is actually pretty nice to him. She takes him out on Hades’ command and tries to get the dirt on him, but finds nothing. And by the end of it, if she had found out anything she  never would have told Hades anyway.

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By the time she realizes the mistake she made, it’s too late. Hades has used her in his plot. Meg tries to warn Hercules, but is unable to. When Hades reveals how she worked for him, Meg knows that it’s over and she has no hope of changing any of it. She could just leave, she could just walk away, but she stays with him because she loves him and cares for him. She willingly lays down her life to save him knowing they had zero future, but doing it anyway because she loves and cares for him.

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To start Romance is in the Air: Part III from the beginning, go to I Can See Your Beauty: The Breakfast Club (1985)

For the previous post, go to You Look Beautiful Just the Way You Are: How to Marry a Millionaire (1953)

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For more on Hercules, go to Snakes on a Post: Chinese New Year

For more Disney, go to Short But Sweet: Up (2009)

For more of my favorite quotes, go to Shall We Dance?: What Happens in Vegas (2008)

For more on the All-American Rejects, go to I Don’t Wanna Be in Love (Dance Floor Anthem)

For more Boy Meets World, go to Simply Fantastic

For more Home Alone 2, go to 25 More Films of Christmas

Dreaming of the Sandman

So I’ve developed a little crush on the Sandman

He’s awesome, but no not him.

Ew, no. Defintely NOT him.

No I’m talking about Neil Gaiman’s series The Sandman Chronicles.

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Yeah? Pretty good looking. So the series is really interesting. Gaiman actually melds together different things to create his stories. Christianity, Greek mythology, Shakespeare, fairy tales, Egyptian mythology, fantasy, science fiction, retelling of classic literature, etc. And what comes out of this is AMAZING.

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As my friend described it, you fall in love with Neil Gaiman’s brain, and his creation, Dream.

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So Dream is one of the Endless, those who were in the beginning and will last until the last human dies. First there was his older sister Death, then his brother Destruction, Dream, the twins Despair and Desire, and lastly Delight who became Delirium.

At the beginning of the series, Dream has been captured by a man. The man was afraid of dying and had attempted to capture Death, but accidentally captures Dream. He traps him for years and causes his son to as well. Eventually, Dream escapes and find his kingdom and all the the dreaming places in ruin. He has to repair it along with dealing with the issues that were caused by his imprisonment.

It is really interesting as Dream’s story and his siblings are told in present day, along with flashbacks. You see how he was, but then how he has changed due to his imprisonment. And that’s not the only thing that is attractive about him.

He’s so eloquent. How he speaks, sigh. It is beautiful.

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He himself is just so, sorry couldn’t help it, dreamy! He’s one of those tall, dark, handsome, broody types you all know I love and adore.

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Now let me warn you. I wouldn’t go farther than book 8. It just, well I don’t want to give anything away but his reigns ends.

Leave me alone so I can cry over the death of my fictional characters

Why! Why, Neil WHY!

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For more on Neil Gaiman, go to Love Stinks

For more on tall, dark, & brooding men; go to Simply Fantastic

For more of my favorite books, go to A Whole Lot of Fanfare

For more of my favorite quotes, go to A Sad and Lonely Place

For more of my favorite songs, go to O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree