It’s a Weird Case from the Start. A Case With a Hole in the Center: Knives Out (2019)

Hey everybody, for this year we are doing something special: Sleuthing Sundays. Each Sunday I’ll post a film with a super sleuth! Our third film is:

It’s a weird case from the start. A case with a hole in the center. A doughnut.

So this was the first post I wrote for Horrorfest IX. I wrote it waaay back in January 2020, ah a more simpler time, when I was trying to get ahead. I usually try to do at list one post a month so I have nine ready when October rolls around to give me a little extra time in the month.

So back in January 2020, my friend called me up about wanting to hang out and I agreed. Last time we went to her place so I wanted to reciprocate with mine, but I had been working on Valentine’s Cards and had paper everywhere and a mess.

I’m a mess

To hide this I suggested going to the movies, (remember when we could do that?), and she agreed saying she had wanted to see Knives Out.

I heartily agreed as I love mysteries and the trailer made me think of those old Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple films from the ’70s.

Mystery, you say?

We went and saw it and I really enjoyed it, although there was one thing I did not like. The whole film from the text, color choices, decor, costumes, hairstyles (talking about you detectives with those sideburns) etc-evoked a late 1970s vibe to it, but it was set in modern times. It was extremely jarring to be watching and having all your senses set you in 1970 and then someone whips out an iPhone or talks about instagram. I think it would have been a bit better if they had just set it in the 1970s, but that’s just me.

I also didn’t like the vomit parts, but other than that I really enjoyed this film and have already seen it three times this year.

I also like how his had no romantic pair or love angle. It was refreshing to have the main characters just be about something else, than to have them get together in the end.

So the film starts off with a big birthday party for the family patriarch, Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer). He invited his whole family and his nurse, but the next day is found dead-throat slashed.

Lt. Elliot (Lakeith Stanfield) and Trooper Wagner (Noah Segan) are called on the scene and believe it to be suicide, (the Trooper is one of my favorite characters as he fanboys over all the Thrombey books), but then world renowned private investigator, Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) appears saying that he was delivered a note and cash, so he is here to investigate.

Time to get on the case!

Each person is taken aside and questioned, all having a motive-but which one did it?

Hmmm…

Linda Drysdale (Jamie Lee Curtis) is the eldest daughter and built a real estate company from the ground up (not really as she got the money from her dad). She was told that she would no longer receive any money and neither would her spendthrift son, Ransom (Chris Evans). She says she doesn’t care about herself or her son being cutoff, but is she lying? Could she kill him to protect her young?

Hmm…?

Richard Drysdale (Don Johnson), Linda’s husband is cheating on her and Harlan caught him. If Linda divorces him, he’ll have nothing (he signed a prenup). Could he have killed him to keep it a secret?

Hmm…

Hugh Ransom Drysdale (Chris Evans) was told by his grandfather that night that he was to be written out of th will. The two argued and he didn’t return until the will was read. Did he secretly return and kill him to protect his inheritance?

Hmm…from Saboteur

Joni Thrombey (Toni Collette) is the widow of Harlan’s middle son. She is famous on instagram and is a lifestyle guru. She has the followers, but still relies on Harlan to meet the cost of bills and day to day living. She’s been cheating him by getting twice as much money having the accountants give her her daughter’s college fees, while Harlan also pays straight to the school. He told Joni he was cutting her and Meg off. Did Joni kill him to keep the money?

Hmm…

Megan “Meg” Thrombey (Katherine Langford) found out about hr college fund being cut off. She also left and when she returned was seen to go straight to her bedroom. Could she had killed him so she could continue her schooling?

Hmmm…

Walter “Walt” Thrombey (Michael Shannon) is the youngest brother and in charge of his father’s publishing company. He is fired from the company as Harlan wants his son to be free to be his own person. Did he kill him to keep control and have the money? (This out of all the people I actually feel bad for. Where is he going to get a job now? How is he going to start over at his age?)

But P.I. Benoit Blanc believes that something is missing. He continues to search and forces nurse, Marta Cabrera, to join him on his investigations…but Marta ended up killing him when she switched his accidentally gave him the wrong medication. Harlan kills himself to protect her. So she is helping Blanc solve the murder she committed…oh no.

That’s not good.

I also love the white sweater that Ransom wears. It makes me think of the one Rod Taylor wears in The Birds.

 

The best part of the film, besides Trooper Wagner, was Craig’s character-Private Detective Benoit Blanc.

I could happily watch film after film of his character. I hope they make a sequel with him.

I liked the plot-but I did figure out the ending. Things just didn’t sit right with me of what they showed. I was whispering to me friend, when Blanc said the doughnut line and I was like, yes! That’s what I was thinking!!

Benoit Blanc: I spoke in the car about the hole at the center of this doughnut. And yes, what you and Harlan did that fateful night seems at first glance to fill that hole perfectly. A doughnut hole in the doughnut’s hole. But we must look a little closer. And when we do, we see that the doughnut hole has a hole in its center – it is not a doughnut hole at all but a smaller doughnut with its own hole, and our doughnut is not whole at all!

But it was great, and every time you watch it there is more that you pick up on. Like the symbolism of Go and the way Marta plays it becoming important later. There is more, so if you haven’t watched it yet-you should.

For more detectives, go to This Village is Full of Strange People: Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple, Endless Night (2013)

For more Chris Evans, go to We’re Mad Scientists. We’re Monsters: Avengers, Age of Ultron (2015)

For more Jamie Lee Curtis, go to There’s Something in the Fog!: The Fog (1980)

For more Michael Shannon, go to Do You Ever Feel Like Your Life Has Turned into Something You Never Intended?: Nocturnal Animals (2016)

For more Christopher Plummer, go to Dracula. Not Myth, Nor Ravings of a Mad Irish Novelist, Oh No, He’s Real: Dracula 2000 (2000)

This Village is Full of Strange People: Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple, Endless Night (2013)

Hey everybody, for this year we are doing something special: Sleuthing Sundays. Each Sunday I’ll post a film with a super sleuth! Our second film is:

So technically this is an episode, but as it is the same length as an actual film-I’m including it with the films. I did the same thing my first year with Agatha Christe’s Poirot: Halloween Party.

So I am a huge fan of Victoria (when will the next season be coming?) and reading through rticles about the show and the actors, one thing that was recommended was Tom Hughes’ (Prince Albert in Victoria), portrayal of Michael Rogers in Miss Marple’s Endless Night.

So when I had my free trial of AcornTV to watch the Miss Fisher movie, it included the Miss Marple TV Show. I had seen it before when it was included in Netflix and Amazon, and while I love Miss Marple I noticed that the show took more liberties with the stories than they did with the Poirot TV show. I think it is because there are less stories and she’s a different type of sleuth as she is an elderly lady who isn’t as active in her sleuthing as Poirot.

Even though I haven’t really liked the recent adaptions, I decided to check it out.

This is one of the weirdest portrayals of an Agatha Christie novel I have ever seen.

from Jamaica Inn

Like, what is THIS?

So we start off with Mike (Tom Hughes) talking abut his life. The first important memory is when he tried to save his friend, Rudolf Santonix’s, brother who fell through the ice. He didn’t save him, but as his Rudolf was unable to do anything he vows to do anything for Mike if he asks it. Mike does’t take him too seriously. The boys grow up and go on separate paths. Mike ultimately becomes a chauffeur, but dreams of more. He wants a big piece of land with woods, a house, etc. There is a spot he dreams of, Gipsy’s Acres, but he doesn’t have the money for it. There he meets Miss Marple and they talk about the land, and that it has a “curse” on it.

Dark forest, from Death Comes to Pemberley.

Mike runs into Rudolf who is now an architect. He’s suffering from tuberculosis and wants to pay Mike back for trying to save his brother. He designs him a beautiful house, as he knows Mike better than anyone else. Mike loves it, but has no money to buy land or build the house.

He goes now and then to Gipsey’s Acres to dream, running into Miss Marple again.

This, this was pretty weird. Miss Marple keeps wanting to see him, searching him out, she’s like obsessed with him. There is no other reason why she keeps randomly popping up.

It is such a weird direction to go in.

One day at the Gipsey’s Acres he runs into Fenella “Ellie” Guteman. Ellie is an heiress who is lonely and not normal. She just acts weird.

You know what, EVERYBODY in this is weird. They act completly strange and not normal, it’s pretty creepy. In fact Mike is the only one who is normal. He and Ellie are going to get married and she wants to bring her companion to live with them as she can’t live without her.

What??

Mike is like no he dosen’t want the companion to live with them when they get married and Ellie gets really upset about it. Why would you want your friend to live with you when you just got married? Espechially, as you go on and on about how beautiful she is…it almost seems as if there is something between them, but if that’s the case why marry Mike?

They decide to get married and Mike tells his mom who freaks out. They fight and she screeches at him that she is the only one who knows who he really is.

They then meet up with Ellie’s family who are strange, dysfunctional, and don’t want to lose control of her or her money. And they all go on about her companion Greta. Like why is everyone is obsessed about her?

They then meet Rudolf to tell him and he’s furious. He wanted Mike to make money not marry it. Nevertheless he agrees to build the house and starts acting strange too. He goes on about how he is very sick, in fact he is terminal. He talks about what power his impeding death gives him-he could go anywhere he wants to and kill anyone he wanted to.

SUPER creeped

Weird. Really weird. Everyone is just so strange and creepy and weird except Mike. Mike is the only normal one. You know what that means, he must be the bad guy.

So Mike and Ellie go to Italy for their honeymoon and guess who they run into: Miss Marple.

Where is everyone?

Okay, NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO!

I have read almost every single Miss Marple book and short story. She is on a fixed income, and the only times she goes anywhere is in England is to visit or help friends, and or once to Bertram’s Hotel when her nephew gave her money to go on a trip. There is no way she is going on holiday to Italy, she only knows people who don’t have a lot of money.

Miss Marple is soooo obsessed with Mike that she went all the way to Italy to casually bump into him? I think she is the killer. I mean we all know the rich heiress is going to be murdered. Its obvious. I think she killed his wife to make room for her.

Just kidding, I know that isn’t the answer. Anyways, Greta comes and they move into the house Mike and Greta just can’t stand each other.

An old woman is harassing them for taking the Gipsey Wood away from the gypsies, etc. Ellie has been suffering from the damp air and starts taking pills which she shares with a fellow equestrian rider.

Hmm…

One day Ellie never comes home, and they look for her and, surprise surprise-she is found dead, fallen off her horse. Her horse riding friend dies too. They think the old lady harassing them did it, but they find her dead too.

SPLAT!

Mike and Greta grow close together, while Miss Marple is on the case.

So it is obvious that the only “normal” character turns out to be the “psycho” and all the “psycho” characters are “normal”. I don’t know what they were doing with this episode, it’s a mess.

Ugh…

This actually legit sets up Jane Maple to be a potential killer. I mean she is always “happening” to come across Mike. If Miss Marple was a boy and Mike was a girl-this would be a Lifetime movie.

Seriously!

So this is obviously not like how it was in the novel, I’m sure. In fact…I don’t recall Miss Marple ever being in anything called Endless Night now that I think about it.

Hmmm…

So I googled it and it turns out this was just a mystery novel by her, not a Miss Marple mystery, they decided to rewrite it as a vehicle for her, probably because there aren’t as may Miss Marple stories as there are Poirot, and let me say it DID NOT work!

HARD PASS!!!

For more Agatha Christie, go to Miss Marple and Jane Austen: You Can See Human Nature From Anywhere in a Small Village

For more Miss Marple, go to A Whole Lot of Fanfare

For more detectives, go to The Adventure of the Sinister Scenario: Ellery Queen (1976)

For more female detectives, go to Why Miss Fisher the Movie Flopped for Me: Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears (2020)

Miss Marple and Jane Austen: You Can See Human Nature From Anywhere in a Small Village

So today marks the birthday of a very important writer:

I first was introduced to Agatha Christie when my nana noticed me reading Sherlock Holmes. As she was a lover of mysteries herself, she gave me a few Agatha Christie novels and then that was it, I was an utter fangirl.

Agatha Christie is one of my favorite authors. She revolutionized the way mysteries are written, and created a wonderful collection of characters. Not only are her plots amazing, but I like how she presents all the information to you that she gives her detective characters, putting the two of you on equal footing, although, Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot tend to always be smarter.

This year I have been honoring her and her first book, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, turning 100-by reviewing a mystery every month. But as I was rereading The Tuesday Club Murders AKA The Thirteen Problems and it got me thinking about some similarities to Jane Austen.

What??

I know you are probably confused, but hear me out.

Mystery, you say?

So one of Agatha Christie’s detectives is Miss Marple. Miss Marple is an elderly spinster aunt, always watching and observing. People overlook her because of her age, her inexperience (she has lived in a small village), but she is extremely intelligent and has amazing powers of deductions.

When asked how she knows and can figure these things out, she always remarks it is because of her village life. She shares that being in the village she has learned a lot about human nature, and as people are alike all over there is always someone from “back home” that reminds her of others and the clue that reveals the ending-the solution.

In a lot of her books, not just Miss Marple, we see how the characters, their motives, their reasons for why they do what they do are relatable-often many characters you find yourself sympathetic. Agatha Christie knew how to write people so that you connect to them.

Reading that made me think of Jane Austen immediately. Here is a woman who spent a majority of her life in a small village, but yet with what most people would say are limited experiences and a lack of human knowledge-she was still able to write characters that are relatable to people all over the world, 200 years later.

I mean that is one thing I love about her books, how the stories and characters transcend Regency England so that the motifs, personalities, and points raised in her books are still relevant today. Who hasn’t meet a social climber like Caroline Bingley? A schemer like Lucy Steele?  Manipulators like Isabella and John Thorpe? Had a regret like Anne Elliot? Met a flirt like Henry Crawford? Known a person who wanted so badly to have a friend they did whatever someone asked of them like Harriet Smith? Haven’t we all been accused of being an ice queen like Elinor Dashwood? Let our heart rule our actions like Marianne Dashwood? Misjudged someone and actively disliked a person when they insulted you like Elizabeth Bennet? Had to make a choice whether to stick to what we believe in, even if it meant losing something you hold dear like Fanny Price? Disliked someone because they were better than you at some things like Emma Woodhouse? Let our imagination run away with us like Catherine Morland? Lost someone we love like Anne Elliot?

I mean it is just so easy to connect to her work.

If you haven’t read Agatha Christie, I definitely recommend checking her works out, and of course:

For more Agatha Christie, go to I Won the Cederberg Tea Giveaway + Book Club Picks: The Insanity of God

For more Jane Austen, go to The History of England By a Partial Prejudiced and Ignorant Historian or is Jane Austen a Precursor to Drunk History?

For more comparison posts, go to You Ever Notice That The Gossip Girl TV Show is a Lot Like Persuasion?

For more mysteries, go to Catherine Morland’s Reading List: Cat Burglar Black

I Won the Cederberg Tea Giveaway + Book Club Picks: The Insanity of God

So a while back Cederberg Tea Company was doing a giveaway-you know me and free, I just can’t resist.

As I always say:

“Free is always good unless it is diseases.”

Anytime I see a giveaway I have to enter it.

So I commented I wanted Chai tea (as my entry) and won this package of Classic Red, Green Rooibos, Rooibos + Bourbon Vanilla, Rooibos + Chai, and Rooibos + Ginger.

Now I didn’t pay close attention when I entered the giveaway and didn’t realize it contained Rooibos in it. I avoid Rooibos after I had the one by Tea Forté, and it did not agree with me. I resolved to not drink any again, until I saw that this was Rooibos.

That’s not good.

Well I won it and needed to review it, so I decided to stop wasting time and start drinking some tea.

I drank some…and loved it!

The other one I had must have had something wrong with it or something, because these were fantastic. I expected to like the Chai, but was just blown away by the Rooibos + Bourbon Vanilla. I drank it and drank it, until I realized I only had one teabag left.

I mean you know how I feel about Earl Grey Tea:

But I was just drinking Rooibos + Bourbon Vanilla, at least until it was all gone.

The others were good too, but that one was the best!

Delicious!!!! I know I will definitely be ordering from them in the future.

For more giveaway posts, go to I Won the Madsen Creations Giveaway

For more tea posts, go to Iced Blackberry Infused Earl Grey Tea

So a few years back I was given a collection of five teas, A World of Teas. As I was about to try them out, I started thinking, which books would best suit the teas? After all nothing goes together better than a good book and a delicious tea.

And eat scones!

Since then I try my best to repeat it whenever I try out new teas. 🙂 As this is Chai teas and Rooibos, I tried to do my best to connect it with books that are set in Africa or India.

Tea #1: Classic Red

This Classic Red was a wonderful tea. It had everything you wanted in it and I enjoyed it so much I finished it before I realized it-picking up the cup to drink some more and finding it empty.

You can tell at first sip why it is a “classic”.

Around the World in 80 Days is one of my favorite books and an amazing classic. It is the story of mysterious, wealthy Phileas Fogg being bet to travel around the world in 80 days. It was to be an interesting challenge-made more so when he is mistaken to be a bank robber and followed by a detective; along with having some people try to sabotage him from winning. It has action, adventure, romance-everything you could want and more! It is a real page turner and keeps you on the edge of your seat to see if Phileas is going to make it or not!

One of my favorite parts is when they go to India and the group rescue Aouda, an Indian princess, from her dead husband’s evil relatives trying to sacrifice her so they can inherit everything. This is a great scene because in it we see Phileas change from his “mechanical” way of being (everything planned and thought out) as he steps out to help, becoming a “classic” hero. I love him and Aouda together-you know me and biracial relationships. A great book and great tea.

For more on Around the World in 80 Days, go to Happiness is Having a Library Card: Another 13 of the Best Fictional Libraries

Tea #2: Green Rooibos

This tea was exactly how I expected green tea to taste, no surprises-but I mean that in a good way. It’s nice to have something and know you are going to get exactly what you want to get.

This tea made me think of Death on the Nile. Death on the Nile isn’t my favorite Agatha Christie novel as to me there wasn’t any big surprises or truly innovative or amazing characters (except Cornelia Ruth Robson). But like this tea, sometimes you want the predictable, to get exactly as you expect.

The story is of Linnet, a wealthy woman, who marries her best friend’s boyfriend, Simon Doyle. For their honeymoon they go on a trip through the Nile, and of course run into Hercule Poirot (he never gets a vacation). He sees the former best friend, Jacqueline, threaten them and they ask Poirot for help. He declines, but warns Jacqueline to stop or else she will open herself to evil. She refuses and follows the Doyles on their boat trip on the Nile, joined by 11 other interesting characters. Linnet is found dead (of course), and everything points to the two characters who could not have done it. Who could the murderer be? Poirot is on the case.

For more on Agatha Christie, go to Shame Book Tag

Tea #3: Rooibos + Bourbon Vanilla

So I thought I would like this tea, as who doesn’t love vanilla? But OMGoodness I was not prepared for how amazing this tea was. It was so delicious I just drank it and drank it and before I knew it, I had drank it all up. It was sweet, wonderful, and smelled so good.

What I felt for the tea, I felt the same way about this book. When I saw the art deco style cover, I thought I would enjoy this mystery, but I didn’t realize how much I would love it. The story is of Perveen Mistry, female Indian lawyer, in the 1920s. She is sent out to a small princely state to speak to the Dowager Maharani (grandmother) and Maharani (mother) about the young Maharaja’s schooling. She is the only one who can as the ladies are observing purdah (and cannot speak to any men not related to them). Preveen travels out there and finds things are not well in the palace. The Dowager Maharani and the Maharani are both fighting for control, the circumstances of the older brother’s death are very suspicious, and Perveen believes the young prince might be next-especially after a monkey eats her bread and dies. Will Perveen be able to figure out who is responsible in time to save the prince, or will she be next?

Not only is this an intriguing mystery, but Perveen has an interesting and heartbreaking backstory. It was fantastic and so easy to have your attention captured-and keep flipping pages to find out what happens next.

Tea #4: Rooibos + Chai

This was absolutely delicious and just what I wanted in my chai tea-spicy but not too much, sweet but the right amount-i.e everything I wanted. It was so good that after I finished the bourbon one, the chai was gone just like that “snap”.

Like the tea, The Sign of the Four has everything you could want in a Sherlock Holmes mystery. You have a beautiful woman in need (Watson notes she is very attractive [he’s in love with her]), a disappeared father, jewels, a mysterious note, a secret treasure, a peculiar mansion, a villain with a wooden leg, a puzzling death, a bloodhound, and the sign of the four.

It is an amazing mystery, Holmes and Doyle at their finest, and like I said gives you everything your could want. It also is what I believe The Great Mouse Detective was based on, so if you love that movie-you’ll love this book.

For more on Sherlock Holmes, go to Your Cases Have Indeed Been of the Greatest Interest to Me: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

Tea #5: Rooibos + Ginger

So I didn’t think I would like this tea as ginger tea is often too strong, but this was not overpowering but the right amount. It was enjoyable but still had a bit of a kick to it. It’s not something that I would drink all the time, but is perfect for every now and then or if I have a stomachache.

I felt this book was perfect to pair with it as it is a good story but the sam time has a “kick” to it that gets you thinking…I will actually discuss the book fully below.

So it has been over three months since I did a book club book review, I was only a few behind but then things happened and I fell behind.

 

I am 13 books behind…

I know, I know-stop looking at me like that. I just will have to try harder to catch up.

Hmmm…

Anyways…so quick recap for those who haven’t heard of my book club.

So as you all know I started a book club a few years ago, because you know me and books…

Every month we read a book and I do a little post on the book we read and discussed. What can I say, I just love books and need to be around others who feel the same.

There is no theme, other than with each month, a different member gets to pick a book, whichever one they want. This time our member chose:

The Insanity of God: A True Story of Faith Resurrected by Nik Ripken

So as I read this book 13 months ago, I was hoping to reread it as it had been a while and I wanted to make sure I got the timeline right. So I went to the book from the library…but it turns out the person who checked it out never returned it. Called (I work in the library) and sent notices but the book has not been returned.

Seriously??????!!!!!!!!!!!

I HATE when people do that!!!!!!

I then thought I would ask the other book club member, (one member had borrowed my library book) but she lent it to a friend who never gave it back.

So I’m doing this all based on what I remember from reading this 13 months ago, hopefully this go well. Right now I apologize for anything I write that is wrong.

So the first thing that struck me about this book, was the title. “Insanity of God”? What does that mean? Why did he choose that title?

The story starts off with Nik Ripken (a pseudonym) sharing how he came to know Christ. He was a kid that loved baseball, but God took a hold of his life and set him out on a new path.

He ends up going to a Christian college and meets and marries a pastor’s daughter. After both graduate, they both feel the strong call of the mission field and when they ask to be sent out, they are asked for their qualifications. For Nik, he quotes the Great Commission.

Matthew 28:19-20

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”

That part made me laugh so hard.

As Nik hadn’t been raised in church he didn’t know what exactly was being asked. They want to know his education, spiritual journey, youth mission trips, background, etc-but Nik is confident in that the Great Commission tells you to go all throughout the world and he wants to answer the call.

If he was on his own he would have been denied, but his wife knows the lingo and what is being said so they are able to be sent out. They both have a heart for Africa and get sent to Somalia in 1992.

Nik and his wife aren’t able to have a “church” but are sent with an aid group, of which they try and preach to people but find it extremely difficult. Christianity is illegal and having a church is illegal, and anyone who becomes a Christian is often taken away and never seen again. Nik and his wife really struggle with questioning what they are they doing there, is it right being here? Are they helping people?

Things get more unsettled in the country, and the Somali Civil War breaks out. His charity group requests the UN to come take action, and when they do send help, he is one of the people that helps map out the unknown areas of Somalia. I remember him describing the villages and the horror-but one really sticks in my mind. There was a village that was full of kids and had no parents and one of parents with no children, so they went and took the kids to the adults.

Also it was really hard to get the people in need the supplies as the leaders and soldiers would steal them and sell them or use them, and the people would continue to go hungry and without. War is sad and hard.

Ripken’s father didn’t care for him becoming a minister, but when Black Hawk Down came out, he was suddenly proud of his son telling all his friends that Ripken made that happen-the military going in.

The first part of the book was on his mission trip and they later were moved out of Somalia into South Africa, but were moved again. A big milestone in their life and faith was when their son grew ill and because the conditions of their home they lived in aggravated it, their son died. After this, they became heartbroken and returned to the states.

They return to the United States and teach at a bible college to young adults going out into the missions but feel really mixed up. Did they help anyone? Going through trials and tribulations every day was hard and wore them out-how do they keep people going? How do they bloom, survive, and keep going when everything is bleak, when it would be easier to give up and go home?

Ripken then goes on a quest to get this information, to speak to people who have had to go to trials and survived still praising God.

There were two incidents in the quest that really struck me, and I can’t remember their names exactly-but I remember pieces.

The first one took place in Russia. This man was jailed during the communist reign, when Christianity was outlawed and the only religion allowed was the worship of the state. He was thrown in jail-often in isolation, but the thing that kept him going was writing down the word of God. He wrote verse after verse that he remembers, helping to lock it in his brain. The beatings, isolation, lack of food, cold, etc-it was all bearable when he could get a scrap and write something down. That is what got him through.

Ripken later goes to China and their he mets several secret churches, as the church is illegal there. These Christians actually delight in getting thrown in jail or having tribulations, as they feel that is a real marker of being a Christian and consider that is when they go to “school” and recieve their “theological education”. Before anyone can be a pastor they have to have been thrown in prison.

When Ripken leaves he asks what they need and all they want is bibles, a bible. He gives them his and they take the pieces apart and hand them off to different people so they have a book to memorize, and it reminded of how they memorized books in Fahrenheit 451.

It also makes me think of how lucky we are in the United States, how many bibles are available in my home, in my parent’s home, for free, online, in a phone app, etc-and here are people begging for a page.

Wow!

The rest of the book has different stories-and I enjoyed it. It defintely made you realize how lucky you are to be in the United States and how grateful we should be for everything we have, even in the midst of COVID-19.

At the end of the book, I concluded that the insanity was not in reference to God, him being insane, but how we feel as humans. We can only comprehend so much of what God’s plan is with our tiny human brain-it seems insane, but God has a plan for us-a bigger picture.

Hmmm…

For more Book Club Picks, go to Book Club Picks: Chasing the Wind

For more Christian novels, go to Praying With Jane: 31 Days Through the Prayers of Jane Austen

For more nonfiction, go to The History of England By a Partial Prejudiced and Ignorant Historian or is Jane Austen a Precursor to Drunk History?

For more bible verses, go to Literary Tea Parties

The Mysterious Affair at Jane Austen Runs My Life

Happy New Year!

It’s 2020, you know what that means! 1920s style is coming back!

So throw on your glad rags and let’s go putting on the ritz!

Love Me or Leave Me

So the past few years, I have done “theme” years. 2015 was Back to the Future, 2016 Star Trek: The Original Series, 2017 Star Wars: A New Hope, 2018 Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, and 2019 Dystopian future with The Running Man and Blade Runner. This year I’m all about the 1920s, especially one particular thing that came out:

For those of you who don’t know, 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of The Mysterious Affair at Styles, the first mystery that Agatha Christie wrote and introduced one of the greatest detectives: Hercule Poirot.

So that is where this post’s title comes from, I will be reviewing a Poirot or other Agatha Christie movie for Horrorfest IX, and will attempt to work in mysteries somehow and sometime throughout the year.

You know how I love mysteries!

Mystery, you say?

But enough of that. Let’s move on to the year in review!

Let’s get started!

The Views

 

This year I had over 74.700 views!

Wow!

The most viewed day of the year was August 12th with 752 views! That was the day I posted I Wrote Mr. Darcy a Letter

 

Although the number one post viewed that day was from Horrorfest VII Which Husband Ran Off With Addie Ross?: A Letter to Three Wives (1949)

The Top Five Posts

Here are the top five most viewed posts of the year, although strangely none were posted this year-and amazingly my number one post for the past six years was knocked down to number 2. I know why too, the number one post is a confusing movie that I and my friend googled to figure it out-so I’m sure that’s what bumped the numbers.

5) A Real Man from 2014

4) Tea Time from 2015

 

3)Which Husband Ran Off With Addie Ross?: A Letter to Three Wives (1949) from Horrorfest VII, 31 Days of Horror Films from Halloween 2018

I don’t know who to trust!

2) Fulfilling the List: A Walk to Remember (2002), from Romance is in the Air14 days of my favorite romantic moments (2013)

1)What Happened to Ally Palmer?: The Good Student (2006)from Horrorfest VII, 31 Days of Horror Films from Halloween 2018

The Followers!

So this community has really grown in numbers and I can not describe how pleased I am about that. We have gone from 14 followers in 2012, to 439 in 2015, to 1021 in 2017, and now 1,647 in 2019.

Book Club Picks

My book club read:

I am actually 11 books behind, but I will catch up in this new year…at least I hope!

Non-Austen Reads for Austen Readers

So in 2018 I started a series on books to read after you have read all the Jane Austen novels and want elements of Jane Austen, but something fresher than another adaption or retelling. The following books I recommended for Austen fans last year are:

Dangerous to Know

So I was given the book Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues edited by Christina Boyd, in exchange for an honest review, and started reviewing it in 2018-but as I broke it up into multiple posts I didn’t finish it until 2019. We had:

Jane Austen

So of course there will be Jane Austen posts, that’s the name of the blog! I reviewed the following:

On Jane Austen & her works:

Sense and Sensibility:

 

Pride and Prejudice:

 

Mansfield Park:

 

Emma:

 

Northanger Abbey:

 

Persuasion:

 

Lady Susan:

Recipes

As C.S. Lewis says

Eating and reading are two pleasures that combine admirably.”

And sometimes you want something to nibble on when you read Jane Austen or watch the films. This year we had the following recipes:

Books, Books, Books!

I love books and reading:

Holiday, Celebrate, Holiday, Celebrate…

I LOVE holidays, and love to celebrate. Here are the holiday posts:

Tea Time

What goes better with Jane Austen than tea? I love tea and we have the following posts on it:

Non-Austen Films for Austen Fans

So as I enjoyed doing the Non-Austen Reads for Austen Readers, that I decided to expand to another series- Non-Austen Films for Austen Fans. This has films that are not based on Jane Austen, but have elements we love from the films in a fresher source. I recommend Austen fans to watch:

Desire & Decorum 

So Jane Austen has entered the 21st Century with Pixelberry creating a video game based on Jane Austen’s works and set in the Regency time period. I started playing in 2018 year and continued last year:

Catherine Morland’s Reading List

Another series? Yes…I know, I just can’t help it. Yes, this series will be on gothic novels that Catherine Morland would totally love to read, if she existed:

Painted Portrayals of Christ

For Easter I discussed different artworks of Christ, (have to put that Art History degree to work). Last year I chose:

Jane Austen Stuff

Last year I reviewed a few companies’ Jane Austen stuff:

Austentatious (2015)

Last year I decided to review one episode from Austentatious (2015) every monthAfter I finish it, I’ll be picking another one to do this to. I really, really, really hate this show-so be prepared for the sarcasm and the hate.

Giveaways!

Last year I won five giveaways. The ones I have reviewed:

Rational Creatures

So like Dangerous to Know, this book was given to me by Christina Boyd in exchange for a honest review. Rational Creatures has stories by Elizabeth Adams, Nicole Clarkston, Karen M. Cox, J. Marie Croft, Amy D’Orazio, Jenetta James, Jessie Lewis, KaraLynne Mackrory, Lona Manning, Christina Morland, Beau North, Sophia Rose, Anngela Schroeder, Joana Starnes, Brooke West, and Caitlin Williams-all on the women of Jane Austen:

 

Horrorfest VIII

25 Films of Christmas

Christmas is hard to do posts on as it is so busy! However, in 2018 I watched a Christmas film every day and posted it on Instagram. Last year I decided to do it again (and ended up watching 29 films). Here are the 25:

The Thin Man (1934)

Somewhere in Dreamland (1936)

The Shop Around the Corner (1940)

It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966)

Frosty the Snowman (1969)

Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town (1970)

Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (1977) (In my family it counts as a Christmas movie)

Jack Frost (1979)

Babes in Toyland (1986)

A Garfield Christmas (1987)

Die Hard (1988)

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (1988)

Die Hard II (1990)

Home Alone (1990) I watched it twice!

Batman Returns (1992) It was my Friday the 13th pick

Jumanji (1995)

Jingle All the Way (1996)

The Christmas Card (2006)

The Christmas Candle (2013) I watched it twice!

Christmas in the City (2013)

Dashing Through the Snow (2015)

The Mistletoe Promise (2016)

Once Upon a Christmas Miracle (2018) Recommended to me by martha.leith on instagram

Klaus (2019)

Other Posts:

Other posts that don’t fit a theme:

For 2018 in review, go to The Future is Bulletproof

For 2017 in review, go to Life Seems But a Quick Succession of Busy Nothings

For 2016 in review, go to A New Hope

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

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

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

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

Did the Niece Poison Mrs. Harlowe?: The House of the Arrow (1953)

Did the niece poison Mrs. Harlowe?

So I have been wanting to watch this movie Gosford Park for a while and when I saw it was returned to the library-I was so excited! Unfortunately, it was dirty and would not play for me.

I didn’t have any other movie planned and decided to fill the place I would choose something that was on my Amazon Prime queue suggested list.

So this movie is based off a book and is the second remake, (3rd version of the story) filmed in and by a production crew in England.

On with the review!

The story takes place in France, the old stately Lady Harlowe, has just died. Her brother-in-law, Boris Waberski, thinks that he will inherit everything- he has even borrowed against his future gains-but to everyone’s surprise-the money is left to her adopted niece-Betty Harlowe!

Boris becomes so angry he accuses Betty of murdering his sister-in-law. They have the body exhumed and it turns out that she was poisoned.

Uh oh

Betty’s friend, Ann Upcott, is worried and sends to England for help. Jim Frobisher arrives to investigate, aiding the very intelligent and top french detective, Inspector Hanaud.

I found the story very boring

Meh.

And the inspector a complete rip off Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot in The Mysterious Affair at Styles. You have the accented inspector-“the greatest mind in the world” and an old manor house with a “locked room mystery” and puzzles. Except Poirot was much better.

I think it was incredibly boring and that the characters were just too bland. Skip the film if I were you.

To start Horrorfest VII from the beginning, go to It’s the End of the World: The Birds (1963)

For the previous post, go to Did the Niece Poison Mrs. Harlowe?: The House of the Arrow (1953)

For more private investigators, go to The Murderer is Never the One You Initially Suspect: Crooked House (2017)

For more remakes, go to Welcome to a New World of Gods and Monsters: The Mummy (2017)

A Whole Lot of Fanfare

Benedict-Cumberbatch-people-obsessedFandom

So here we are in part four of my fandom posts. You know, I originally planned this as one post and now I am laughing at myself for even thinking that. I guess I didn’t realize how many things I loved. It seems that every time I start on another post, I add like three more things to the list. Well I hope you all are enjoying these and that it sparks your interest in checking these things out.

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Agatha Christie

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Agatha Christie is one of my favorite authors. She revolutionized the way mysteries are written, and created a wonderful collection of characters. Not only are her plots amazing, but I like how she presents all the information to you that she gives her detective characters, putting the two of you on equal footing. Although, Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot tend to always be smarter. She also does not shy away from doing extremely radical ideas, such as having a child be the killer or having a part of the narration be through the killer (although at the time you don’t realize that person is the killer.) Her work is so great that every time I am in a bookstore I hunt down her books as I hope to one day own them all. I strongly recommend reading any of her novels. When you start one, you just can’t stop.

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I’m such a fan that I have not only read her mysteries (and watched the films and TV series) but I have read her biography and romance novels that she wrote prior to the mysteries.

Here are a few that I absolutely love: The Mysterious Affair at Styles, The Secret Adversary, The Secret of  Chimneys, Murder on the Links, The Murder at the Vicarage, The Sittaford Mystery aka Murder at Hazelmoor, Peril at End House, Murder on the Orient Express, Why Didn’t They Ask Evans aka The Boomerang ClueDumb Witness, Death on the Nile, Appointment With Death, Hercule Poirot’s Christmas aka A Holiday for Murder aka Murder for ChristmasAnd Then There Were None aka Ten Little Indians, One Two Buckle My Shoe aka Patriotic Murders aka An Overdose of DeathThe Body in the Library, Murder in Retrospect aka Five Little PigsThe Moving Finger, Murder After Hours aka The HollowCrooked House, Murder is Announced, They Came to Baghdad, Funerals Are Fatal aka After the FuneralWhat Mrs. McGillicudy Saw aka 4:50 from PaddingtonThird Girl, Nemesis, Curtain, and Sleeping Murder. I know that seems like a lot, but there is so much more of her books I could have also included.

For more on Agatha Christie, go to Quite a Horror Story: Agatha Christie’s Poirot Hallowe’en Party (2011)

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Awkward

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So I was a huge fan and fangirled over the first season of this show. After that, it kinda went downhill for me and I stopped watching it, so I have no idea how it is now. But that first season, that first season is gold.

So I was flipping channels one day and just happened upon Awkward. As I was watching the episode I decided that I would watch the first one to see what’s what, and that’s it. I was hooked.

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I watched all the episodes I could to catch up, and then reached the point where I had to be like all the other fans and watch one by one.

come on

And I was a mega-fan. I actually went on the message boards.

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I would write constantly my thoughts on the episodes, how I felt about the whole love triangle, who I wanted her to end up with, and promoting the J-train all the way (will explain in a minute).

So what is the show about? Well, Awkward is about Jenna Hamilton, nerd girl, who hopes this year will be different. Jenna has had a crush on this guy Matty McKibbon, forever.

Bruce-Almighty-Love-Me

She is surprised when at summer camp he wants to have sex with her. She thinks that maybe this could work out, this could happen, but nope. After Matty gets what he wants he ignores her.

Jerk

She gets home and gets this horrible letter stating everything wrong with her. She is reading it in the bathroom when she accidentally slips and falls. The big prob, her blow dryer fell in the tub, she spilled all her razors and asprins, etc. It looks like she was trying to commit suicide.

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Everyone thinks she was trying to commit suicide, even though she keeps telling them she wasn’t. Now she has to go to counseling sessions all the time.

Not only that, but she constantly picked on by the most popular girl in school, Sadie, who is jealous of how pretty Jenna is. Now this was one of the reasons why I liked this show. Jenna reminded me of a more sexually active (as I abstain) and more passive version of myself. As I was bullied too by other girls. Of course, I would have reacted differently.

PassaFist

Now to further the drama of the year she has the guy issues. First there is Matty who only uses her for sex.

Funny-how-you call when need something cable guy

He never wants to publicly be seen with her, never acknowledges her, and puts her down in front of everyone.

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Then you have Jake. The two start of as friends, then Jake realizes he has feelings for her.

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He breaks up with his girlfriend and tries to date her, never pressuring her for anything, not caring who knows he likes her, etc.

Perfect Boyfriend

And now Matty gets mad. As soon as Jake mentions he’s into Jenna, now Matty is into Jenna. Eventually it all comes down to Jenna having to make a decision as to which boy to pick. And I of course was all about Jenna and Jake, the J-train as us fans called it. Jake was just so perfect!

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Sweet, sensitive, funny, and completely secure in himself that he didn’t care what anyone said about him dating Jenna. Plus, the best thing ever: he showed Jenna that a relationship is more than sex. Sure that’s what he wants, but he can wait a long time, making sure he got to know the person, before he did anything.

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So season one was great, and ended perfectly.

Season two was where I had issues. Matty purposely tries to do stuff to break the two up as he wants to be with Jenna. That whole, you have it I want it.

And not only that, the kept writing it so Jenna was unsure if maybe Matty really loved her and that’s the guy she should be with.

Girl Please

This dude only wanted you for sex! Only sex. He never wanted to have a conversation. He didn’t care how you felt. He paraded other girls in front of you. He treated you horribly! Horribly! And you think that’s love?

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Plus he was too ashamed to even be seen with you.

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And, and he made fun of you in front of the whole school!

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He is a horrible human being.

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So like I said, I stopped watching it. First season is golden! And that is where it ends for me in my mind. So defintely check out the first season, the rest of it depends really whether you are a Matty or a Jake fan. J-train all the way!

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Deadwood

Deadwood

Deadwood was one of those series that ended too soon. It lasted only a season, but was so cool. It tells the history of Deadwood, South Dakota; one of the most famous Western towns.They combine a lot of historical figures; such as Seth Bullock, Al Swearengen, Wild Bill Hickok, Sol Star, Calamity Jane, Wyatt Earp,George Crook, E. B. Farnum, Charlie Utter, Jack McCall, and George Hearst; along with blending it with fictional people. It’s not 100% accurate, but is really awesome! I loved this show as I love practically anything Western. Plus it has the handsome Timothy Olyphant.

This doesn't feel right.

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Diagnosis Murder

Diagnosis Murder

Diagnosis Murder was one of my absolute favorite TV shows growing up. It came on every Thursday night on PAX, now ION, and it was the only time that my parents would let us stay up past our bedtimes on a school night.

Dr. Mark Sloane (Dick Van Dyke) is the super intelligent doctor at Community General Hospital in Los Angeles, CA. He always loved mysteries and wanted to be a detective, achieving this dream by helping his police detective son, Steve (played by his real son Barry Van Dyke). The two are rounded out by Dr. Amanda Bentley (Victoria Rowell), the medical examiner; and Jack Stewart (Scott Baio); guy from a crime family turning on that life and making something of himself. Jack ended up leaving to go to Denver, and they brought on Jesse Travis(played by Charlie Schlatter), my second favorite character. Jesse is the sweet, handsome, and adorable resident at Community General, and later head of the Emergency Room.

It was one awesome show that balanced mystery, medicine, and crime. You used to be able to watch them all on Youtube, but for some strange reason they took them down. 😦

But if you can get a chance, you should definitely check it out.

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Frank Peretti

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Frank Peretti is one of my favorite authors. In fact I was able to meet him once and totally fangirled over him. But he was super nice as he autographed my books and actually spent a long time talking to me. It made the other people in line mad, and I can’t blame them, but I didn’t care as I had just met FRANK PERETTI!

Double double yay

Frank Peretti started out being a pastor, but discovered that it wasn’t the life for him. He drifted from job to job, and while working in a snowshoe factory he wrote his first novel, This Present Darkness. He has now written over 30 books for adults, teens, and children. His books are amazing as they always have great, realistic characters, action, adventure, suspense, and a moral message. Everytime I read his works I feel great! Although also like this:

Fangirlfinishedreadingwhattodonow

So I haven’t read everything, but I’ll tell you what I think about the things I have read.

Hangman’s Curse– This was the first of the Peretti novels I read, and when I read this one I was hooked. The Springfield family of four- mom, dad, teenage twins (boy and girl), work for the government as an undercover unit to infiltrate places the FBI, CIA, and Police departments can’t. A sort of 21 Jump Street. They are sent to a small town to investigate the mysterious deaths of students. Students who are bullying others, are being killed. How? By a ghost of a student who hung himself. Or at least that is what everyone is saying. When the team goes in, they discover that there is much more to this plot then they could ever have imagined.

It was an amazing book! Suspenseful, supernatural, action, etc. It had me on the edge of my seat furiously flipping pages to discover what happens next. And the ending is so unexpected and fantastic!

This book was turned into a movie, in which it was absolutely amazing. I’ve been meaning to do a post on it for Horrorfest, and will soon.

Nightmare Academy– A healthy, extremely intelligent boy runs away from home and is found a few months later naked, incoherent, and with the mental capacities of a one-year old. The only thing he seems to remember is two words-Nightmare Academy. The government calls upon the Springfield family, who once again go undercover. The twins pretend to be runaways and are approached by a woman from the Knight-Moore Academy. They agree to go, but this school is more sinister than they imagine. The two are drugged and wake up in a place where there are no morals, no truths, but a world where anything you believe is right is right, and absolutes are non-existent. Their parents had been keeping an eye on the twins, but find they’d been carried away right under their noses and there is no trace that they even existed. Who are these people? What are they doing to the kids?

This books was freakin’ amazing.

love it

It is suspenseful, it is mind-boggling, it is realistic, is crazy…I could go on. Let me just say that if any of you are a fan of Hunger Games, Maze Runner, or Divergent this will totally be something you’d love.

This Present Darkness– His first novel and a really amazing one. In this book a small town becomes the battleground in a war between the angels and demons. A collection of people want to take over the town and its college in order to indoctrinate the students into believing their untruths. On the other side of the battle is an agnostic editor, Marshall, and his star reporter, Bernice, trying to figure out what is going on in the town as nothing sits right with them. Fighting alongside, but unbeknowest to them, is Hank, the pastor of a little church and a true prayer warrior. It has action, comedy, suspense, drama, and the supernatural

Piercing the Darkness The sequel to This Present Darkness. In this novel, a group of people are set on closing down a Christian school, removing kids from a widowed Christian teacher, and causing their school material to be the only thing taught. Once again people find themselves fighting in the earthly and spiritual realm. This book is its own story with its own characters, but Peretti does bring back a few favorites such as Marshall, Hank, and Bernice. It was a great read, and almost as good as the original.

Prophet– John Barrett is the attractive and most popular news anchor on his station. He is estranged from his father and son, but in everything else doing absolutely splendid. Money, fame, adoring fans. Everything changes when his father dies, and no one seems to find the circumstances suspicious. Later he finds out that his news station is being selective in what has actually occurred and changing stories so they are sensational, instead of truthful. This causes John to start looking for the real truth and sets him down a path he never thought he would ever go down. It was a great book that sucks you in.

The Visitation– I have yet to read this, as you all know my to-read list is in the millions, but I have seen the film. In this a man comes to town who seems to have miraculous powers and claims to be the son of God, Jesus. Yet, there is more to this man than meets the eye. The film was amazingly good and you can all expect a review of it to be coming in some future Horrorfest.

House– House is actually a collabaration between Frank Peretti and Ted Dekker (the Christian version of Stephan King). This is not my all-time favorite books of his, mostly because Ted Dekkar style really doesn’t suit me. He’s just a bit too dark. I wouldn’t read this until I had finished all of Frank Peretti’s other books. They made a movie out of this and it was on Amazon Instant Watch, a while back, but I couldn’t watch it. I’ll get around to it eventually, and you’ll probably see it popping up on a future Horrorfest.

For more on Frank Peritti, go to A Little Bit of Love

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The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

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I can still sing the intro to this show 100% perfectly. Oh I loved this show growing up, and of course Will Smith. I think everyone was in love with him, I mean come on funny and attractive? Carlton was another of my favorites because he was so incredibly straightlaced. And don’t forget Geoffrey the sarcastic butler. But wait…I’m getting ahead of myself

So the story is about Will (played by Will Smith) who in West Philidelphia was born and raised. And on the playground is where he spent ost of his days. Chillin’ out, maxin’, relaxin’ all cool-shooting some b-ball outside of school. Then a couple of guys who were up to no good, started making trouble in the neighborhood. He got in one little fight and his mom got scared, and said your moving with your auntie and uncle in Bel-Air.

His uncle Phil and Aunt Viv grew up poor, but have moved up the social ladder-him a judge and her a professor, and are now rich. They at times seem to have forgotten their past, which Will reminds them of.

Their oldest daughter is Hilary, vapid, only cares about shopping, and for lack of a better word-bimbo. She is sweet and always providing comic relief.

Their second child is Carleton, who is about the same age as Will and always butting heads with him. Carlton is a super prep, nerd, ultra-conservative; but extremely hilarious. And a great dancer.

In fact “The Carlton” was so popular they reprised it on Dancing With the Stars.

Just Dance you guys need to add this to your repitoire.

The youngest child is Ashley. Ashley is still trying to figure out who she is and, as her siblings are older and in that phase where they want nothing to do with their younger sis, she gets really close to Will and bonds with him. She ends up with a singing career, encouraged by Will.

And rounding out the the household is the British, sarcastic butler. Hmm…I wonder who had it first? FPBA or The Nanny?

Anyways, it was a hilarious show and the essence of the ’90s.

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LifeasaFangirl

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For Part 3, go to Fantastic Fantasies

Stay tuned for Part 5

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For more posts on my love of books, go to A Sad and Lonely Place

For more of my favorite quotes, go to Over and Over Again

Looking Back, Moving Forward

Happy-New-Year

Happy New Year Everyone!

I hope you all had a fun new years eve and safely enjoyed yourself. I went to two parties; both of which bored me :(, oh well there’s always next year. 🙂

Anyways, I thought it might be fun to do a year in review type thing as I start out with the great things that happened this year and what I hope to bring in the future! 😀

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How could any guy hate this color?

1) The Views

So according to WordPress I received 2000 views on my blog this year. Wow, that is more than I thought I would get and I would like to thank all of you for being a part of this. It really makes me feel as if I am doing something special to see that.

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2) #1 Post

Also according to WordPress, my most popular day was October 31st . Surprisingly; instead of the number one post being Everyone’s Entitled to One Good Scare: Halloween (1978), which I posted that day; I Bid You Welcome: Dracula (1931) took the lead. It still remains the number one viewed post. #2 was A Fright on Halloween Night: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (1949), #3 Grimwood Ghouls’ Gym Teacher: Scooby-Doo and the Ghoul School (1988), #4 A Monster Race: Scooby-Doo and the Reluctant Werewolf (1988), #5 Quite A Horror Story: Agatha Christie’s Poirot Hallowe’en Party (2011), and #6 being By George He’s Perfect.

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3) The Followers

I just found out that I know have fourteen followers! That’s amazing! I want to thank each of you that chooses to come back and check out my blog. It really puts a smile on my face to know that my thoughts and views interest others.

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Now that we have reviewed some stats lets move on to reviewing the highlights of the past posts!

The many handsome men who have played Mr. Darcy

The many handsome men who have played Mr. Darcy

4) Mr. Darcy

I also started the first of Mr. Darcy filled posts. There will be many, many more to come as there is just so much to say about him. My favorite Darcy filled posts were Darcy’s Dream Date and The Beauty of Darcy. I recommend reading both, but especially the second!

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4) The Verne Saga

In September, a guy named Verne tried to hit on me, but I brushed him off never thinking I would see him again. That was proved wrong as he kept popping up. To read the whole story check out Flirting With Disaster, Bowled Over, Bad Penny, and Return of the Verne.

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5) Character Sketches

I did two posts of literary/film characters I really like and admire. Forney Hull from Where the Heart Is, and George Knightly from Emma. I hope to do more later on, as it is something I enjoy doing.

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images-26)Embarrassing Moments

I always have embarrassing moments, and I did post a few. If you want a good laugh; check out Doors of Death, Walkin’ Round, Color Me Red, etc.

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7) Horrorfest

For the month of October, I posted a blog everyday that reviewed/had to do with a monster/horror/suspense movie. It was an enormous feat and took a lot of time to do. There were many days when I almost gave up, but I ended up completing my goal and posting all 31. This is something I plan to do again next October, along with possibly doing something in February for Valentine’s Day. The films I reviewed were The Phantom of the Opera (1925), Dracula (1931), Frankenstein (1931), The Bride of Frankenstein (1935), The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (1949), The Bad Seed (1956), The Giant Behemoth (1959), Carnival of Souls (1962), Night of the Living Dead (1968), Attack of the Killer Tomatoes (1978), Halloween (1978), Friday the 13th (1980), Poltergeist (1982), Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), The Black Cauldron (1985), Scooby-Doo and the Ghoul School (1988), Scooby-Doo and the Reluntant Werewolf (1988),  Arachnophobia (1990), The Addam’s Family Values (1993), The Cable Guy (1996), Phantom of the Megaplex (2000), The Secret Window (2004), The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (2005), Perfect Stranger (2007), Aliens in the Attic (2009), and Agatha Christe’s Poirot: Halloween Party (2011).

The days I didn’t review a film I talked about Universal’s classic monster films, the internet movie Butterfinger the 13th, the Even Stevens Halloween Special, Archie’s Weird Mysteries: Attack of the Killer Spuds, and the Austen men in Halloween costumes.

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8) Christmas Failure

I tried to do 12 posts of Christmas reviewing Christmas films, but I just became too sick to continue it. I was only able to do five posts about Christmas films-The 12 Men of Christmas, The Santa Clause, Borrowed Hearts, Holiday in Handcuffs, and The Bishop’s Wife. I did one Jane Austen birthday post that I tied into Christmas, a post I know you Austenites would love. And I did a final post listing off six of my favorite songs of Christmas to “equal” 12 “posts”. I’m sorry I had to disappoint you.

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Well I hope you’ve enjoyed the posts of this past year, I loved writing them. Here’s to a new year full of new surprises, ideas, and adventures. I wish you all the very best in the upcoming year; may it satisfy you all and me a memorable time. Happy New Year!

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I think it will be one lucky year, no matter what the superstitious say!

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For another holiday post go to It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Quite A Horror Story: Agatha Christie’s Poirot Hallowe’en Party (2011)

She is…a teller of the tall tales, a boaster, a little liar. So when she claims to have witnessed the murder, nobody believes her. And yet, she is… dead. 

So this was a film done by the BBC based on Agatha Christie’s novel, Hallowe’en Party. I think David Suchet is a perfect Poirot, as he looks just the way I always imagined Poirot to look like. However, something I don’t like about the modern retellings, is that  they tend to change a lot of the plot lines of the novel, and usually not for the better (Third Girl was awful. They didn’t use the best twist from the book). Rarely do I watch the film version before reading the book, which I did here, so I didn’t have the same unpleasantness as seeing them change plot lines that I thought were crucial in the book.

So the film starts out with Poirot’s friend, and mystery writer extraordinaire, Ariadne Oliver helping with a children’s Halloween party. All the kids are playing around, laughing, bobbing for apples, eating candy, etc. A little girl named Joyce starts talking to Oliver, telling her that she once witnessed a murder. Everyone makes fun of her, teasing and insulting her as she tends to always tell “tall tales”. No one believes her.

Later the children are all playing snapdragon, which they make sound so creepy. Instead of playing background music throughout the film, they play the children’s voices chanting the song in unison. It is as creepy as The Crucible scene when the girls are all “possessed”.

After the game is done, they are rounding up the children and discover Joyce missing. She is found drowned in a bucket that was used for bobbing for apples.

Oliver wastes no time at all, but immediately calls in Poirot to solve the case.

Poirot immediately looks into which murders in the town are unsolved, to see which ones have the potential to be the one Joyce saw. Many try to discourage him from doing so, telling him that Joyce was a liar and a storyteller. She did it to feel important and show off. Poirot is firmly decided that whether or not Joyce was telling the truth, someone out there is guilty of murder and thinks Joyce was a witness.

The possibilities of who Joyce might have seen are Mrs. Llewellyn-Smythe, the aunt of Rowena Drake’s late husband, apparently died of a heart attack. Her death is suspicious because of her will, it said that her au pair was to inherit everything over the family. Authorities believe that it was faked by the au pair, Olga Seminoff, who mysteriously disappeared after the forgery was discovered. Other candidates for murder involve Charlotte Benfield, a sixteen-year-old shop assistant found dead of multiple head injuries; Lesley Ferrier, a lawyer’s clerk who was stabbed in the back; and Janet White, a schoolteacher who was strangled.

Which one is the murder Joyce saw? Who committed it? Did Joyce even see a murder occur? Just like The Bad SeedThe Cabinet of Dr. Caligariand The Secret Window, this is one you have to check out for yourself and see where the truth lies.

The only thing I don’t like about this film, is the fact that Poirot disapproves of those who take enjoyment in such a holiday as Halloween. He thinks the macabre is not something you should be so joyous about. Well, I don’t; I love watching horror movies and getting into Halloween. That’s why I did my 31 Tales of Terror and Woe. In fact today marks 11 days left to Halloween! 😀

Here’s today’s scary post. More to come!

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

For the previous post, go to I’m No Warrior, I’m an Assistant Pig-Keeper

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For more on murder, go to Camp Blood

For more on Masterpiece Theater, go to A Hunky Helping of Manwich

For more on Halloween parties, go to A River of Candy Corn Runs Through It

For more film adaptions of books, go to I Bid You Welcome

For more on bobbing for apples, go to A Halloween Hello from the Austen Men