Death By Persuasion: Midsomer Murders (2017)

Do you love Jane Austen and Halloween? Do you feel like this?

Well then, we have a post for you!

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So after DCI Barnaby (John Nettles) left I really stopped watching the new Midsomer Murders, and instead just rewatched the old ones. Every time I watched I got to where they made the switch, I would get a little farther, but then stop as it just wasn’t the same.

I hate when the person you love leaves.

I’m not happy…

However, my interest was sparked when my mother, who continued watching, told me about this episode and someone who follows me on instragam mentioned it too. I tried to find the comment, but no luck-I knew I needed to review it for Horrorfest.

You know me:

Or book lovers

So here we are:

So to begin with, such a beautiful house. So lovely. Every one is in Austen Regency wear. It is like Austenland. I wish I could go.

Or something that somewhat resembles it.

Gorgeous…but wait a second. A young girl receives a note and goes running off. That’s not unusual, but a drone overhead is watching her. Creepy.

Spooky…

A person in  blue coat and black gloves grabs her and carries her off, the drone missing everything but the dead body.

John Barnaby (Neil Dudgeon) is at home when he gets called in by Detective Sergeant Jamie Winter, who I don’t care for. None of the DS were as good as Ben, he was he best!

The dream team!

Anywho, Jamie talks to Mrs. Barnaby who’s woking on a Georgian historical novel. Wow what a coincidence!

Surprise, surprise

So moving along we are in the village Doctor’s office where a lady, Mary Osgood, is upset that her boss and secretary have “taken time off”-just so you know, yes, they are in Austenland.

Ronin Chow has the Mary load the drone as they are testing healthcare by air. It goes by where the police are investigating. So the victim is female and was found stabbed in the countryside. Bonnet askew. It appears the girl was stabbed in the neck with a feather? Interesting.

They have found no ID, wallet, etc. Makes sense as she is in full Austen gear. They do find a remnant of a note on her hand. It looks as if someone tried to rip it out.

They discover a syringe and Winter makes a dumb joke. I just don’t like him!

Meanwhile, there are a group of ladies and gents enjoying Jane Austen. Katherine (Claire Skinner) and James Osgood (Samuel West) are the owners who recreate Austen, their teenage daughter Polly isn’t into it and upset about being in that “world”.

The murdered woman turns out to be Samantha Berry from London. She was a single journalist, out on vacarion to “Austenland”.

They question the owners, but they aren’t very helpful. They describe their vacation as “gorgeous Georgians” in an attempt to make money to continue to care for their home.

Polly, however, has information as she shares that Samantha was super nosy-asking a lot of questions-even sneaking out.

Hmm…

It turns out the “missing” receptionist Jane Everard and Dr. Solomon Franks are at the event. The doctor being the one people are after as he’s the “resident Mr. Darcy.” Although we never spend anytime with him or really see him again in this episode. WOW, you think that an episode that is supposed to be Jane Austen themed, spends hardly any time on Mr. Darcy.

So John (I can’t call him Barnaby) and Winters find out that the head of the Jane Austen Friendship Circle is not a fan of the “Gorgeous Georgians” and decide to question her.

They go through Samantha’s things and find a lot of news articles about the drone delivery! Ah, so the Dr. and his secretary just happen to be at this event and Samantha is investigating them. Interesting, obviously the doctor and receptionists will play big parts in this as Austen will be a major theme, right?

Majorly

Yes, they are supposed to be Darcy and Elizabeth, but we NEVER see them!

I’m not happy

Katherine’s sister comes and to be honest I can see why Polly is not into it. They treat her like crap making her do everything. They should have hired at least one footman.

James looks at Katherine’s sister in a strange way and could they be involved? I wouldn’t put it past this show. Remember how the uncle in Candlestick says that everyone is also messing around with each other on Midsomer Murders. 

This was a good film.

James receives a suspicious phone call. Hmm…

Hmmm…

They go to speak to Ronin and Doug Vaughan, the Drone people about the drones to see if they have anything. They don’t recognize her picture and Winter asks about cameras, but they say they don’t have any on the droids.

They are lying!

Gemma, leader of the Jane Austen Friendship Circle, hates the Gorgeous Georgians. She owns the tearoom  where Jane Austen “visited” and talks about how she knows the history-although it sounds like she may be making up her intellectual background.

Hmm…

He asks what Jane would have written with and she says a goose feather quill pen. She goes to show him but it is missing, and it turns out to be the one used to murder Samantha.

Hmm…

They go to the pub and question Katherine’s sister, Nell. Nell’s husband Ray is an ex-cop who owns the only other key to the case that held the the quill pen.

Well we know its not him, too obvious and unfortunately we have a lot more to this episode to go.

That night someone breaks into the lab and they destroy Ronin’s laptop.

Hmmm

John’s wife is headed to the Grange, Gorgeous Georgians, to the dance being held there and is excited about her husband coming. He is less enthused.

It turns out that she was poisoned by the pen and asphyxiated. Someone did a poison pen-obviously supposed to be a metaphor.

They head over to the lab and find it odd that nothing was taken just the laptop being destroyed. There is nothing to be had on it…or is there?

Hmmm?

The pharmacist is pleased that someone broke in and she is planning something with Gemma the teashop owner.

They question the pharmacist and it turns out that Samantha was investigating James and Katherine. She wasn’t any help as they got together in London, but they never seemed to match up to her. She mentions about his “private life is his private life.” Sounds like he is probably into guys. That’s the way they tend to lead with these shows when they say “private life.”

He questions about  the drug SUX, what was used to kill Samantha and she or the Dr. could have done it.

Hmm…

Back with the Austenites. They are writing, while the Doctor. puts the moves on his secretary. We see an Austen scene in an Austen-themed episode for like 5 MINS!!! 5 MINS!!!!!!!!!

This is why most if us are watching!

Why would you only have a smidge of Austen and be going into drones and such???!!!

How does this make any sense?!!

So they look at where the drone delivered, but none went near where she was killed. But they aren’t the only one with drones. Hint hint…

They go to speak to Walter Osgood the last person Berry spoke to and former headmaster at the school who lost his job for capital punishment. He was caught on camera by a drone filmed by Doug Vaughn. Hmm, I thought Doug said that his drones had no cameras on it.

Walter shares that Doug hated James as they’ve been fighting a loooong time. They ask about Samantha, but Walter never met her. She called about when James and Katherine met.

At the time of the murder he said he was fishing and saw the Dr. over by the river. Ah…interesting! Polly said that he was seen sweaty and late to the picnic.

Hmmm…I don’t know it seems to easy…

They question the Doctor and he says they must be mistaken. They question about him getting medicine and he reveals that he takes the medicine. He was in a car accident and basically is like House but nicer.

He said he didn’t hear anyone, bur he did hear a drone.

Hmm, …

James meets with his brother-in-law. A drone watches them, filming. But before we cann see them doing anything, there is a commercial break of course.

We then see the beautiful house and James at the computer being emailed a threatening note “I SAW YOU”  “DON”T IGNORE ME” and a picture of Samantha dead. A drone then flies up to the house carrying something. Weeeeell…I think it is obvious who is blackmailing James. Who else has drones and hates him.

And more importantly where is the Jane Austen!! Why are so focused on drones?

Hmm…

James goes to Doug thinking that he sent the emails. He wants James to invest in his drone company. Doug says he doesn’t know who sent the emails, but tries to blackmail him. Doug says that he will tell Kitty all about it.

Yep, he is cheating on his wife, most likely with a guy. I can already tell. There is no other it than a secret child. Maybe Samantha is his secret child-Nah it is an affair.

So while this is an okay mystery, I wish there was MORE Jane Austen in a Jane Austen themed episode. This mystery has nothing to do with it. When the older episodes did a theme, they really went all out. Like the magician episode, the movie one, etc. This kind of feels like they are just pandering to people to get them to watch it, but it has nothing to do with Jane Austen herself or the books. All we’ve had so far is one cameo by the guy who played Mr. Elliot in Persuasion (1995) and one Mr. Darcy reference. Like this episode could be switched out with anything else and would be exactly he same. I am not happy.

So back to this James is angry and shouts at Doug, Doug tells him you can’t bully me anymore. And I’m pretty bored.

Blah, blah

James storms out and Doug is mad his plan didn’t work. He threatens him not to ignore him. Walter heads out to the ball. James is preoccupied with what’s going on and wonders if they should have returned to the Grange. Kitty is in her own make believe world all is okay when it isn’t. Kitty is upset and talks to her sister who isn’t thinking her marriage is going all that well, either.

John and Winters dress up and they look sharp. John’s wife and the fill0in ME Petra arrive. Polly is serving all, the only one, and very unhappy-storms off. Nell tries to talk to James but he’s not having it and he storms off (must be where she learned it from).

Polly speaks on the phone to someone about having enough to get to Ibiza and mentions it takes two to get corsets off so she is romantically involved with someone.

So I’m watching this, and I realize that so far there has only been one death. That’s really odd. There is typically at least three.

They travel to where Polly was calling as they spotted her from the window and discover Samantha’s phone and a change of clothing.

The Doctor is trying to romance his secretary but she is unsure if he means it or play acting. Wow it is like that awesome movie, except a suckier version.

And just because we all need a little Austenland in our lives:

Barnaby’s wife talks about how Petra pointed out that there was a fire in the house, as the sides buckle from where there was intense heat. Gee amazing how that just happened to be this fill-in ME’s hobby. Now why this is relevant I don’t know but I do know it sure will be important later.

So who will die next Polly or James. I’m thinking Polly since she’s involved in some double dealing money scheme. At the party Ronin comes and kisses Polly, meanwhile a person in black and gloves steals a shotgun and shells.

John hears them and sees them through the mirror. Winters runs but doesn’t catch them, he gets hit by a car instead.

Huh?

The car stops and when they open it they find Gemma. Interesting…

They question Gemma who says she wanted to see the dresses and dancing, heard the shot and tried to takeoff before anyone spotted her. They take her down to be processed.

Polly checks on her dad who is drinking and down in the dumps. He apologizes for coming back and hugs her. HMMMM?

Hmm…

Barnaby decides that the shot was a warning and the fire is a new lead he needs to look into. Why? Why would he care about a fire? What does this have anything to do with Samantha Berry? Why would any cop decide to do this?? THIS EPISODE MAKES ZERO SENSE!!!!!!!!!! ZERO!!!!!!! ZERO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I’m not happy

AND WHY IS THERE HARDLY ANY JANE AUSTEN!!! He hasn’t even read the books or watched the movies!!! Barnaby, the real one would have! Or he would have had Joyce do it and then summarize it for him!!!!

IT’S NOT WHAT I WANT!

A drone flies overhead and the pharmacist sends something off with Gemma. What are these ladies up to? Do I really care?

They got into Samantha’s phone which has an old picture 28 years ago of James, Kitty, and  a guy named Fullerton who went to jail for arson 12 years ago and manslaughter as he killed a maid on accident. They can’t question him as he died a few months ago. Big shocker there, NOT!

John thinks the her in the note’s “Meet me I’ll tell you all about…her” might be something like brother? Maybe father?

Hmmm…

John and Winter go to question Kitty about the fire and Jamie Fullerton. Kitty doesn’t give that much info-a stone. A drone flies overhead and the coppers are off. Polly got a package. James goes to see Doug with a duffel bag-payoff. Doug needles him, and James storms off.

The cops head over to the lab just as James is leaving. They come to speak to Ronin about his “unofficial” business-using the drone for other deliveries

They question about Ronin lending Ray the drone, Ray who was the arresting officer, which is weird as why would they be friends. Ronin insists they were as Ray saved him from doing hard time.

To be honest I REALLY don’t care This episode is boring.

BORED!!

Ronin shares that he was flying the drone as he was filming for James, you know Austen footage to put on the website. He shares how he followed her and lost her in the woods, but found her dead. So why didn’t he share it with the officers?

The evidence was stolen in the lab break in, but he does remember seeing that the guy wore a blue jacket with a unicorn on it. But a ton of people have them as they gave them away for a walk for charity.

Hmm…

He asks Ray and Kitty’s sis about Johnny Fullerton. but no info.

Doug is angry that Ronin would betray him, and Ronin says he’s not long for here. He’ll be taking off with Polly. As soon as Doug is gone, Ronin goes upstairs and on his laptop. He looks into James’ file and sees that Doug has been spying on him and has a lot of pics. Then he sees something very important and dials someone. He sees who was wearing the coat!

Winters and John go to talk to Gemma. She lied about going to Oxford University, called it.

Ronin tells Polly he missed something and as he walks out he is followed by a drone. Ronin’s going to die. Ronin is telling someone he knows who killed Samantha when the drone drops a knife on him and he dies.

What’s going on?

John comes to check out Ray’s drone, but it is gone and Ray is “out”.

Winters goes to talk to the pharmacist and finds Gemma and the pharmacist. It turns out that they have been undermining the drone trial as Gemma and the pharmacist had their own side business of delivering.

So John questions Polly. Kitty interrupts saying she wants to help as she knows how complicated first love can be. I bet she was involved with James Fullerton.

They question Walter and James about Doug. The two don’t like him so why would James invest.

So after that we get hit with three important clues-1) Doug’s fingerprint was found on the shotgun, 2) the photo albums belonged to Kitty (where Samantha git the pics), and 3) James Fullerton Grange firebug was Samantha’s father. I think we can all see what the conclusion is, but let’s continue.

Ugh!

Samantha only met her father once-what did he say that brought her to the village.

Meanwhile, Doug has been following James-pretty obsessed with him.

Ry goes to see him and shows his video-them making out is my guess. Ray and Doug fight while the video plays, Doug manages to send it to Ray’s wife Nell and yep-the guys were making out.

I hope they lock Doug up-he’s a total creep. Stalking, harassment, blackmail,etc He tries to play it off that James deserved it but I don’t like him.

I don’t care for anyone on this episode.

Poor Nell. Why get married if you were into guys? Really? Seriously, why mess up her life and make her think something was wrong with her.

Back at the Grange nothing is quite right. The Dr. and Jane are trying to get together, he proposing to her. I DON’T CARE! Neither one acted like an “Austen” character and we spend zero time with them. Who cares?

James tells Kitty they HAVE TO TALK. Meanwhile they question Ray, but he lied about his whereabouts earlier. Both times of the deaths he went to see James

After the fire Ray and James were together, but when Kitty became pregnant from James he and Kitty went to London and Ray married Nell . Everything was fine until they came back, was it really though? I mean both men were living a lie and married a girls and ruined their lives.

Nell goes off to be with her sister who just found out the truth about her husband.

They question Ray about Johnny Fullerton and he tells them that Johnny loved Kitty, they were together until the fire. Johnny came to see Kitty after he was out of jail but she had left by then.

Meanwhile, Winters is going through the computer and finds a pic of the killer. We don’t get to see it though. All converge to the Grange so we can have a reveal.

Finally! This is almost over!

Kitty is heartbroken that he never loved her, that he married her even though he cared naught for her. Poor Kitty.

She grabs a torch and lights it going toward James. Is she going to set him on fire?

She puts the fire in his face to try and get the truth out of him .

Johnny Fullerton was Kitty’s first love.

Knew it. Johnny went to prison because Kitty started the fire. Knew that to, sooo obvious. Kitty got drunk, was crying, and knocked over an electric heater. It caught the curtains and the maid died. Why didn’t she say it was an accident? She would have easily gotten off. Dumb!

Johnny told Samantha about the fire and she started investigating. Nell killed Samantha, she used to be a nurse and wore her husband’s jacket.

Kitty finds out that Johnny came back to see her but Nell didn’t tell her to protect her. Kitty says why not and Nell said it was because she was married. Kitty says again why not as “I wasn’t happy” and it pans to James who his all offended. Really James, really?

You lied to her as you never loved her, was cheating on her, and is offended that she was unhappy in your marriage?

Both sisters go off to prison. Ugh.

Winter said he never read any Jane Austen and I think the writers of this episode didn’t either.

Did you even read the books! Or watch a movie?!!

It end with the Dr and Jane together-who cares we know zilch about them.

I didn’t like it.

I mean in the other Barnaby episodes you have ones that focused on archaeologist, writers, musicians, and they really concentrated on the theme this did not.

We knew hardly anything about these characters so I didn’t care who lived or died, the older episodes did far better. And there were only two deaths, usually there are three.

To start Horrorfest VIII from the beginning, go to Count Dracula the Propagator of This Unspeakable Evil Has Disappeared. He Must Be Found and Destroyed!: Horror of Dracula (1958)

For more on Midsomer Murders, go to A Book Considered Too Dangerous to Keep: The Magician’s Nephew, Midsomer Murders (2008)

For more Jane Austen, go to Rational Creatures: Catherine Morland, Eleanor Tilney, & Lady Susan

Fall For You

FallForYOuJaneAustenAcademyCecilia Gray

Fall for You (Jane Austen Academy #1) by Cecilia Gray

*Warning: Contains Spoilers*

So in this Jane Austen inspired work, Cecilia Gray takes the characters of Jane Austen’s novels and puts them in high school together, pairing up who would be friends and having them live in modern times. She chose the characters Elizabeth Bennet, Elinor Dashwood, Emma Woodhouse, Catherine Moreland, and Anne Elliot.

Now this is something I have thought of too. Now I consider the main characters of the novels to be Elizabeth Bennet, Elinor Dashwood, Marianne Dashwood, Fanny Price, Emma Woodhouse, Catherine Moreland, and Anne Elliot. For me, I would have pegged Emma and Anne as best friends as both were raised in the same manner with money. Anne is also more passive and listens to advice given by friends, the qualities that Emma enjoys in others. Catherine and Marianne always seemed a great match to me, as both love reading and have overactive imaginations. I could see Elizabeth and Elinor as well as Elinor has a level-headed, cool, calm, and collected personality that Charlotte, Elizabeth’s best friend, also had.

AustenHeros

So the girls all go to an all girls’ boarding school in Merryton, CA. The founders of the school were the Elliots, in this book called the Escobars, Anne’s family, and named it the Jane Austen Academy. However this year is different, as the Elliot family have lost a lot of money and had to sell the school. The new owners want to remain anonymous, and have opened the doors to boys.

This gets Lizzy Egmont (I don’t know why she didn’t just use Bennet as she is Elizabeth Bennet) very upset as she feels it is going against the values of the school and that boys will ruin everything. This is something I didn’t like as the author made Lizzy like some man-hater and against all boys in general.

HateYou

Lizzie is an only child from Chicago, where her parents are doctors, poor, and too busy for her. Now this is something that I didn’t really like either. Lizzie needs the interactions of her other siblings, as that helps make up her character. And Lizzie isn’t the only one who loses her siblings, every character in this (besides Darcy) is an only child. Really, I mean for Elinor this is horrible as she and Marianne are yin and yang. Elinor sense and Marianne sensibility. Without each other, who are they?

Weird

Weird

And if her parents are doctors and poor (which could happen) how can they afford to send her every year to a boarding school? That makes no sense. And her parents ignore her? One of the cutest things in Pride & Prejudice is the relationship between Lizzie and her father.

Pride&PrejudiceMrBennetandElizabethBennet

Yeah that is majorly upsetting and… wait I shouldn’t rant. Moving on.

So Lizzie is excited to live with her best friend Ellie Dvorak (Elinor Dashwood). Ellie is the child of yoga instructors and very zen “whatever happens will work out” type of person. She’s the complete opposite of the actual Elinor Dashwood character. And I didn’t like that at all.

NotLiketheBook

However, Lizzie discovers that not only did she have to share a ride with her, but Lizzie is also having to room with her nemesis…Anne Escobar (Anne Elliot). Lizzie hates Anne because everything was just given to her as her parents owned the school. Ellie is rooming with Emma, a rich girl more interested in clothes and having fun. Everything Lizzie is not.

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Lizzie and Anne don’t agree on being roommates and the two go to see the headmistress, Katherine Berg (Catherine de Berg). As they are waiting they overhear the headmistress talking with someone else and saying how she wants to destroy everything the Academy was and make it something new. Change the name, change the curriculum, etc.

OMG

When they speak to the headmistress, she won’t let them switch. And to make it worse she promises them that if they room together, she’ll give Lizzie the job of managing editor (perfect blackmail as she wants to be a journalist and has been coveting that spot) and Anne will be in charge of the “Welcome Back Dance”, (what she has been in charge of since the beginning of time). At first both balk at this, but decide it’s best to team up in order to take Ms. Berg down and stop the changes she is trying to make.

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Part of this deal is that they have to do in depth profiles of certain new guys brought into the school. New students such as Dante Braxton (Fitzwilliam Darcy). However, to get back at Headmistress Berg, Lizzie and Anne decide to make the “Welcome Back Dance” a Regency inspired ball.

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Anne and Lizzie start bonding and discovering more about each other. Lizzie starts understanding Anne’s pain of losing everything, and Anne understands Lizzie’s drive for truth and justice.

The next day the two are in the “newsroom”, in which Lizzie thrives in her role as editor and meets the very thing she doesn’t like, boys.

ew! Gross Yuck

Dante enters with the other two guys that Lizzie and Anne have to interview, Rick Wright (Fredrick Wentworth from Persuasion) and actor Josh Wickham (George Wickham from Pride & Prejudice).

Now this is something else Cecilia Gray changes. Wickham has no role in this book at all. He’s there for the interview and that’s it. He’s not the guy Lizzie crushes on for a while, he’s not evil as he was in the book, he’s nothing. I don’t know whether she is going to change his whole role (as she already did with his backstory) or save his destructive side for later books. All I can say, it’s not Pride & Prejudice with Wickham being a nice guy.

Get it right

Get it right

Besides the guys, Dante also brings his little sister Georgiana. He is extremely overprotective of her, and his protectiveness is misconstrued by Lizzie to be super controlling of his sister.  Lizzie is trying to take down Dante’s “control” by assigning Georgiana to interviewing Josh. She also assigns Anne to interview Rick as they seem to know each other. Lizzie gives herself Dante.

She starts questioning him and notices his attractiveness:

Pick whichever look you prefer

Pick whichever look you prefer the most

She starts questioning him and gets on the scent that he knows more about the new owners of the school then he is trying to let on. Georgiana interrupts them; with her, Dante, Rick, and Josh all leaving abruptly. Lizzie finds it strange and starts to discuss it with Anne, seeing that her interview was pretty stilted and just plain bad. Lizzie starts to push Anne to find out what her past was with Rick, but stops and instead is just a friend, joining her for dinner.

Friendjustbethere

While Lizzie and Anne’s friendship is growing, Lizzie and Ellie’s relationship is going through some rough times. Lizzie is jealous with how close Ellie and Emma are getting and vows to get everything back to “normal”.

Soon it is time for the dance and the ladies look lovely.

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Lizzie is ready to head to the dance, but Emma got them dates. Edward (Edward Ferras from Sense & Sensibility) is Ellie’s date, Emma got Dante, and Lizzie is teamed up with Rick. Lizzie leaves the group to hang out with Anne, and both are thrilled that the dance was a success and everything is beautiful.

Anne sees Rick dancing with other girls and is heartbroken. She runs outside and Lizzie follows her, to comfort her. While they are talking, Dante and Rick come outside discussing things, not realizing that the girls are there.

OhNOthisisgonnabebad

 They overhear the boys talking and find out more than they wish.

  • “Edward will be in the middle of a catfight if he keeps acting this way”- Is there another girl besides Ellie that he is with? Is he cheating on his girlfriend? (Those who have read Sense & Sensibility know the answer to that.
  • Darcy excuse me Dante, wants to get a scholarship to Georgetown, the same school that Lizzy wants to go. (This makes me wonder why uber rich Dante needs a scholarship to Georgetown? His family has gazillions so can’t they use some of that to pay for his education? Whatever.)

So yeah, instead of outright dissing Lizzie like in the book, Dante just states he’s not interested in any girl and wants to go to Georgetown. Now I thought it was a huge faux pas on the writer’s behalf. Dante did nothing to outright insult Lizzie. In the book Pride and Prejudice he does and you agree with Lizzie’s anger as you see it as justified. He was a total jerk, and because of her hurt of pride at that remark she readily believes Wickham’s lies about the rest of Darcy’s character. In this, Lizzie has no reason to be mad at him, making any anger unjustifiable, and instead of a sympathetic character she looks like a brat.

See Hook agrees with me.

See Hook agrees with me.

Lizzie and Anne go back to the dance, having a great time. They run into Georgiana and convince her to come back to journalism. She worries about what her brother might say, but ends up agreeing to join. Dante approaches Lizzie to ask her to dance, but Lizzie immediately pounces on him, calling him a jerk because he is trying to control his sister. I thought once again this made Lizzie seem rude and not as likeable as she doesn’t even know the family dynamics but is yelling at him, and also because Lizzie would never discuss this in a public forum, but would wait to have a more private conversation.

she'sallthatembarrassmefreddyprincejr

After Lizzie rails on him, Dante apologizes for being a bit overprotective and agrees that maybe Lizzie was right in his being a bit too controlling. Instead of graciously accepting, she throws in another dig and storms off.

How rude

I mean:

Girl Please

He just admitted he was wrong! Give the guy a bit of slack. Especially since he hasn’t really been a jerk, in fact you are the one acting jerky!

They continue dancing, but then Headmistress Berg drops the mother of all bombs, she announces that the Jane Austen Academy is no longer going to exist, the next year will show a massive overhaul of everything and a new name.

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

But Lizzie will not be deterred. She is determined to save the academy.

AvengedTheAvengers

The next day in Journalism, Lizzie sends everyone sccurying to cover the bomb Headmistress Berg so delightfully dropped.

ThewomenBadnameBitch

Curse you Headmistress Berg!

When they are surprised by Rick’s mother. Lizzie had contacted her for background information, but Mrs. Wright decided to come in person to answer any questions and bring photos for the spread.

There is also this weird subplot where Lizzie keeps thinking of Dante and finds herself disgusted at being so focused on him, as yuck a boy. All I can say is:

Tom-Hanks-Saying-Really

I mean you seem to be going out a little far there with the “I Hate Boys”. I mean it’s not like she is 10 or 12, she is a teenager, and most teens are interested in the opposite sex. Maybe they all don’t want a girlfriend or boyfriend, but they are interested. I mean I could buy the disgusted that she could be like one of those girls who is always giggling at boys or one of those girls who changes everything about themselves for a boy. But really? Being disgusted at the thought of being interested in a boy? That’s really strange.

Mmhm great gatsby

Anyways, back to the book. Dante and Lizzie discuss Georgiana. Dante acceding once again that he was wrong in thinking newspaper wasn’t for Georgiana. Lizzie also discovers that he has parent issues, of which she can relate. (Although in P&P both Lizzie and Darcy had close relationships with their dads. It seems to me you could have the whole bonding over parents done the same way with them keeping those special links to their dads. But that’s just me I guess.)

We learn more about Rick’s character from his mom. He was doing so well at the Naval Academy, but transferred home because his mother became sick. Now this also doesn’t make sense to me. Dante and Edward were born rich, going to the best schools. It makes sense that in some point in time their histories linked up and they became best buds. But Rick was poor, and then become rich AND was at a Naval Academy. How did he meet up with the other boys to become best buddies? I don’t know. I guess when you try and meld different people from different backgrounds, histories, and events you are going to get weird holes like this. I’ll just move on.

dean whinchester shrug smile oh well

So Lizzie and Anne are invited to spend the weekend at the Wright household, where Edward, Dante, and Rick (of course) will also be staying. At first the girls don’t want to, but when Lizzie hears a snippet about Mrs. Wright being one of the new buyers of the Academy, she sees it as he perfect time to snoop.

perfect plan

Lizzie heads out to eat with Ellie, when she is stopped by Dante. Dante questions if she is coming over this weekend to the Wrights. She gets all offended, why? IDK. Then she heads over to Ellie and to her chagrin, Emma.

Ellie is hurt when she finds out that Lizzie is going to a guy’s house with Anne, instead of hanging out with her. Lizzie assures her that things aren’t changing, she just wants to find out who the new owners are. Besides the “awful” Dante will be there. (He’s not even awful!) Ellie is all hurt about what Dante said about Elizabeth, but he wasn’t even that horrible. I mean…I already talked about that. I better move on.

Emma and Ellie make plans for the weekend which upsets Lizzie. Now I totally get this, it’s hard when your best friend is spending so much time with someone else.

bestfriendmakes plans with someone else

So that weekend they head out to the Wright’s place, er amazing mansion. Anne and Georgina feel at home, as they are from wealthy families, or in Anne’s case used to be wealthy. Lizzie is starting to feel uncomfortable.

They go to their rooms and Lizzie is floored with the beauty of the place.

That's a lot!

So everyone heads down to the pool and dinner, while Lizzy stays behind to “groom”. In reality, she is investigating the house. She starts to psych out a bit, but if she is going to be an investigative reporter, then she has to go for it.

KeepCalmSleuthOn

She finds herself in the office, with lots of photographs. She starts trying to memorize them, when she is interrupted by a voice.

OhNOthisisgonnabebad

And it’s Dante!

Crap

It just had to be him, huh.

Lizzie tries to explain that she got lost on the way to the lake. Dante doesn’t say anything. When they get down there, Lizzie talks to Anne. She finds out that Anne really wants Rick back, but is scared. And you can’t blame her, relationships are scary.

truthaboutdatingTogetherForeverorbreakup

While everything is fun, Lizzie still has her eyes on the prize. She fakes a cramp to get back in the house, BUT by doing so she inadvertently causes Dante to dive in and save her. He goes and carries her put of the water.

Col. Brandon carrying Marianne

Lizzie tries to assure everyone that she is fine, but a part of her is pleased to have been in Mr. Darcy’s, I mean Dante’s arms. And who can blame her?

Mr.DarcySexyPridePrej

Lizzie is able to reassure everyone that she is okay, and takes off upstairs to change and get ready for dinner. She hurriedly changes her clothes and runs back to the office.

She begins taking pics with her phone, spotting a younger image of Rick and Dante. In it Dante looks incredibly happy.

Then she hears a creak behind her, and “That was taken three years ago.”

Busted!

Oops!

Crap

And it is Dante! Uh, oh.

Dante asks her what she is doing, as he knows it is more than just “lost”. Lizzie has nothing else to do but come clean. Dante questions her about researching those in the photo when there is over 50 people in them. Just a part of the biz, Lizzie replies.

Darcy, Dante then goes on to tell her not only an incredibly charming memory of him and his sister. He then, to Lizzie’s surprise, begins to tell her who each person in the photos are. When Lizzie asks him why, he says because he wants to.

How romantic

How sweet!

He gives her everything, completely open. In fact, if Lizzie wanted to ask him who the owners are he probably would have said right away. But, she doesn’t want to be a reporter around him. Instead she wants to know all about him.

Grease Tell Me more

They get called down for dinner, and go on.

That night Lizzie is trying to figure out which of them are the owners, why she is feelings this way about Dante…that is until Anne comes in. Anne stays the night in her room as Anne’s is freezing cold. Lizzie quizzes her about the *real story* behind her and Rick. But Anne still won’t give her much about it. Lizzie convinces her to try again for Rick.

The next day the group is playing pool, when Anne smokes them all. Lizzie tries to use this opportunity to match up Anne and Rick, but it doesn’t work out.

nightmare before christmas nothing turn out like it should

But she and Darcy team up to learn more about the owners. Lizzie also asks him about Georgiana, and how she suspects there is something she is hiding. Darcy, I mean Dante (I am so bad at this, tell me why did she change his name again?), Dante says nothing, but Lizzie knows there is more. She cares about Georgina though, so she lets it go as is.

They talk more and Lizzie concludes that she was wrong about Dante, that there was more. Darcy, Dante, says that he is very guarded.

Pride&PrejudiceDarcydon'ttalktostrangerseasily

And that he has trusted people before, and is very careful about who he trusts from now on.

Trust

The two have a big moment alone in the stairs.

swoon dreamy

And Lizzie is hooked.

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Lizzie goes up to the room to change and her mind is reeling over what happened. Anne comes in excited as she and Rick had a great time as well.

That night at dinner Rick is acting weird again and is all cold to Anne.

VeronicaMarsBrokenUpbutNot

Lizzie goes to her room and packs everything up, ready to return to school. She Is looking for Anne, when she finds out that she has already left. Dante, Georgiana, and Rick are also off horseback riding. Lizzie is completely confused.

What! Mark Wahlberg that's weird

What is up with everyone?

She and Edward ride back to school together and Lizzie uses this time to grill Edward on the Anne/Rick drama. He tells him that back in the day, Rick lost his head over Anne and she broke his heart before he left for the Naval Academy. Dante saw that Rick was starting to fall for Anne again, and cautioned him to not give her a second chance. When Rick left for the Naval Acdemy, he wanted to continue dating Anne, but Anne’s mother convinced her to dump him. And who wants a women who can be easily swayed?

OhNOthisisgonnabebad

Then Edward asks her why she and Darcy kept ducking out. Lizzie knows she has to give some back, so she tells them they were looking into who the owners are. This confuses Edward as he knows…or thought the owners were Dante’s parents.

There is always a but

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Crap

HE PLAYED HER!

Ryan-Gosling-Oh-No-You-Didnt-Half-Nelson

And that means one thing and one thing only, revenge!

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Lizzie is hurt and upset over this. How could she trust him? How was she was so stupid?

what-not-to-say-to-broken-hearted-girl-3what went wrong holiday

She is by herself when the door is thrust open, and there is Dante. He tells her that he had a ton of fun that weekend, that he loved how she defended Georgiana, and that he couldn’t stop thinking of her, hoping she would go out with him.

Mr.Darcy Pride&Prejudice

And Lizzie is like

IDon'tevenknowhowtorespondGilmoreGirls

How could he be so cruel to play her and then try to ask her out? She turns him down cold.

HearthasNoRoom

Lizzie rips him a new one. She is furious that he destroyed Anne’s new chance at happiness (I have to admit I did think that was a clever way to do the Charles & Jane story arc). But even more that he helped her “investigate” when his parents are the ones who own the school!

Jerk

Darcy says it’s true, but Georgiana knows nothing about it. He asks if Lizzie will publish anything. She tells him he will just have to wait and see.

Ellie and Emma come back from their trip, and Ellie sees something is wrong but Lizzie doesn’t want to talk in front of Emma. They tell her about their weekend and give her a surprise. A book that has articles from the West coast newspapers through the years.

lovebooks

Lizzie is estatic, and when she discovers that Emma was the one who decided to get it for her, it makes her realize that she may have judged Emma too harshly.

Lizzie is extremely upset and wants her best friend to spill to, but Ellie was going to have lunch with Edward. She doesn’t want to be around Edward as she feels stupid, and she gets horribly upset saying things she doesn’t mean. They both start yelling, and Lizzie leaves.

She heads down to the microfiche, as she has an idea on how to save the school. When she gets there she runs into Anne. Anne was hiding out as she is heartbroken over Rick. She decides to hitch on to Lizzie’s plan to save the school.

The next day at lunch, Lizzie stands up and gets everyone’s attention. Anne hands out pamphlets while Lizzie talks about her idea. She tells them how the school started when Anne’s great-great-great-great-great-grandmother couldn’t find a school that would allow her daughter on the premises. She goes on in her speech that change is good, letting boys in was a good change, BUT it would be bad to change the name and the morals and values that the school stands for. She then sends a petition around hoping for signatures.

We can do it

That day at the newsroom they dole out assignments and Georgiana asks her some questions. Georgiana’s “something secret” is really bothering Lizzie, so she takes her aside and asks her about it. Georgiana fell for a bad boy that was an old friend with Dante. He was really bad news. Dante got in some fights protecting the reputation of Georgiana. Long story short, Georgiana’s boyfriend cheated on her and dumped her, with Georgiana becoming depressed and throwing a hissy fit. They sent her to California, but Dante said that he had to go to. He didn’t want his sister to be without him, as he wanted to protect her.

What! Mark Wahlberg that's weird

Everything suddenly falls into place for Lizzie…why they bought the school…why he came. Dante’s parents did it so that Dante could go and protect his sister.

aw cry

Lizzie goes to work on her petition, asking Emma and Ellie for help. Lizzie and Ellie make up, with Lizzie no longer hating on Emma but including her in the group.

Friends-Best-Friends

They head out to their special tree; grabbing Anne along the way. The twosome is now a foursome.

The next day Lizzie is tooling about in the newspaper room and upset that there aren’t more interested in signing the petition. She decided to not print the owners names as she wants to respect Dante and Georgiana’s privacy, but that doesn’t mean she won’t send their parents special copies of the Gazette with hopes it will sway them.

She goes to see Bergie who tries to tempt her like Crowley into taking a deal that will seal her fate with Georgetown. Lizzie turns her done and heads off to her room.

No thank you

As she is heading back she runs into Dante, who asks her for a few minutes. He gives her a huge stack of papers with tons of signatures. He got everybody he knows to sign it, getting tons of signatures. He can’t guarantee that it will change his parents’ minds, but he wants to help. He also talked to Rick and told him he was wrong, but Rick is not ready to try again. Lizzie is shocked.

IDon'tevenknowhowtorespondGilmoreGirls

Why did you do this?

Pride&PrejudiceDarcy

And the two’s fighting is over.

Pride and prejudice kiss darcy elizabeth

The end does leave me with a few questions. If we had the Georgiana drama done before she came to the school why include a Josh Wickham? Is she going to have a repeat? Is Josh just a red herring? Why?

Now I know I had a few issues with the book, but on a whole it was actually very cute and I loved the idea of putting them all together as friends. I am looking forward to the rest of the series to see how she tells the other stories of the Jane Austen novels. I would recommend reading it at least once.

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For more retellings of Pride and Prejudice, go to An Assembly Such as This

For more modern retellings of Austen’s novels, go to Definitely Not Mr. Darcy

For more on Pride and Prejudice, go to The Ugly Truth

I Don’t Want the Money: It Happened One Night (1934)

Romantic Moment #7

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It Happened One Night (1934)

This is one of my all-time favorite romantic films. First of all it is by one of my favorite directors, Frank Capra, and fav actors; Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert. I just love this trio, especially when they are all in one film.

Ellen “Ellie” Andrews (Colbert) is a spoiled heiress who is tired of living under her father’s restrictions. She married the first guy she could, fortune-hunting “King” Westley. Her father has sequestered Ellie until her can get her an annulment. She only has so long to get to New York  and reunite with King before the annulment is finalized. She escapes from the yacht that has been her prison and takes off, boarding a bus.

Peter Warne (Gable) is a journalist and on the outs with his boss. He needs a really great story, an exclusive, in order to make things right. He and Ellie end up sitting next to each other and Peter figures out who she is. He makes a bet with his editor (sound familiar?) that he has a great story, the best ever; and goes on to talk to Ellie. He gives her the option of him 1) going along with her and writing a heartfelt story about the power of love, etc or 2) he will turn her in and collect all the reward money. Needless to say Ellie chooses the first option.

Soon the two are partners in this endeavor. Ellie’s money and luggage are stolen and she has to rely on Peter to help her, since she has no clue what she’s doing. Later, Ellie gives a poor family  the rest of Peter’s money, leaving them completely broke until they can get to New York. They soon have to leave the bus as one of the other passengers recognizes her and they have to walk through the forest. Later they have to hitchhike, Colbert doing the famous “leg scene“. They get picked up, but then the guy tries to steal their luggage and Peter has to go after him. He comes back with their stuff and the guys, finding a place to stay. Throughout this adventure the two start to fall in love (the first film to do the “two who hate each other love each other in the end after being stuck with each other”). That night, Ellie tells Peter she loves him, but Peter doesn’t say anything. Instead, he waits until Ellie is asleep and takes off. He gets all the way to his editor in New York and sells him the story; wanting to tell Ellie how he feels but not wanting to do that with nothing to his name. He wants offer Ellie more than himself (although all Ellie wants is him not money or anything more.) Peter and the editor spend the night working on the story of his and Ellie’s adventures and their love. Meanwhile, Ellie wakes up to find Peter and the stuff gone. Thinking he walked out on her she calls her dad, who at this point is so happy to see her that he doesn’t care of she wants to marry the mimbo King, but will even throw her a new wedding, since he is so happy to have her back. Peter and Ellie pass each other, Peter on his way to see Ellie, and Ellie on her way off with King. Peter thinks Ellie didn’t want him and both are mad and hurt at the other. Ellie is about to have her wedding, but her father (who had met Peter) convinces Ellie that Peter loves her. He tells Ellie that he has everything ready for if she wants to take off. Ellie does and is reunited/married to Peter.

Favorite Romantic Moment:

Now this film has quite a few, but this is one of my favs. Ellie’s father is so thankful to have her safe and back in his life he decides that Peter should get the reward money. After all, if Ellie hadn’t had Peter she would have been molested by men on the bus (Peter saved her from them), starved (Peter gets her food, even digging up carrots when they had nothing), etc. Peter comes but instead he refuses. He doesn’t want a single thing, other than what he spent on Ellie.

crazy

Now I know that this is a movie cliché we see in lots of films, Pretty Woman, Anastasia, etc. (this was actually the first film to do this); but let’s think about the time this film takes place. 1934. That’s right, smack-dab in the middle of the Great Depression. I mean think about how bad the unemployment is right now. Imagining it? Well it is, at the worst as it depends by state, is 4.8%. In 1934, it was 21.7%. That’s really bad. So here is a guy who has no job as he not only was on the outs and fired in the first place, but then his exclusive story turned out to be naught. So here he is with no job, no money, and no options. But instead of taking the reward, thousands of dollars, he takes nothing. Only $39.60 as reimbursement.

So romantic!

So romantic!

He loves her so much that he can’t have their time and memories tainted. Instead he’d rather be poor. How romantic! He has honor, morals, and principles! ❤

Alexander Andrews: Oh, er, do you mind if I ask you a question, frankly? Do you love my daughter?

Peter Warne: Any guy that’d fall in love with your daughter ought to have his head examined.

Alexander Andrews: Now that’s an evasion!…Do you love her?

Peter Warne: A normal human being couldn’t live under the same roof with her without going nutty! She’s my idea of nothing!

Alexander Andrews: I asked you a simple question! Do you love her?

Peter Warne: YES! But don’t hold that against me, I’m a little screwy myself!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

[as he walks Ellie down the aisle, Mr. Andrews talks to her]

Alexander Andrews: You’re a sucker to go through with this. That guy Warne is OK. He didn’t want the reward. All he asked for was $39.60, what he spent on you. Said it was a matter of principle. You took him for a ride. He loves you, Ellie. He told me so. You don’t want to be married to a mug like Westley; I can buy him off for a pot of gold. And you can make an old man happy and you won’t do so bad for yourself. If you change your mind, your car’s waiting at the back gate.

I LOVE this film!

For more on It Happened One Night check out My Favorite Movie Lines

For more on Frank Capra go to Bringing the World to Your Backyard

If you liked this post, check out On the 8th ‘Til of Christmas  and the 9th Day ‘Til Christmas

Your Secret is Safe With Me: Roman Holiday (1953)

Romantic Moment #5

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Roman Holiday (1953)

This film stars Audrey Hepburn (I looooooooooove her!) and gorgeous Gregory Peck. Roman Holiday is Audrey’s first film, and it is such an amazing one! Here we go.

Princess Ann (Audrey Hepburn) is visiting Rome on her tour of European capitals to spread goodwill. While in Rome, she has a nervous breakdown; she can’t continue appointment after appointment after appointment. She is given a sedative, but before she knocks out she escapes, in hopes of having a fun night out.

Meanwhile, American journalist (and gambler) Joe Bradley (Gregory Peck) is looking for a break, anything to get out of Rome and back to the U.S.

The two cross paths when Ann’s sedative knocks her out on a bench and Joe discovers her while walking to get a cab. He tries to send her off in a cab, just thinking she is drunk but she says she lives in the Colosseum so he feels he can’t just leave her (besides the cabbie wants nothing to do with her). He brings her home where he puts her on his couch and he gets on the bed. The next day, Ann’s advisors put out a story about her being “sick” to the papers and cancel all appointments while they are looking for her. Bradley overslept, but hurries over to the newspaper office and realizes that the girl in his apartment is Princess Ann. He decides that he is going to get an exclusive interview and his one way ticket back to NY. He makes a bet with his boss that he will get the exclusive. He and Ann spend the day together, with Joe’s friend and photographer Irving Radovich. Irving takes tons of photographs, most of them of Ann not depicting the most princess-y behavior, such as getting in a fight at a dance. Its one great holiday and the two fall in love; but both realize that it could never work out, and Ann returns to the embassy.

Most Romantic Moment:

So Irving and Joe get all kinds of footage of Ann doing stuff. Her new haircut, at the Mouth of Truth, and the crazy, memorable fight at the dance. Even more than that, Ann tells him she wishes she could have a normal life. This is some good stuff, probably worth a LOOOT of money. I mean an EXCLUSIVE interview with a royal that has just been out of her country for the first time and never been interviewed by anyone. But instead of keeping it and selling it, making a bunch of money he refuses.

crazy

That’s right! Joe waves good-bye to the chance of a lifetime! To the big bucks!

Goodbye now!

Goodbye now!

Irving thinks he’s stupid to even consider not taking this chance:

Irving Radovich: She’s fair game, Joe. It’s always open season on princesses.

But because he loves her, he decides that he will throw the chance out the window. He will lose his bet and be in further debt to not only his boss but landlord. He will stay in Rome, the city that he has grown to despise.

Ann doesn’t know this decision, she doesn’t even know that Joe was a photogrspher, he had lied so she would be real with him. When she sees him at the press conference she is upset, but covers, and Joe makes sure that she knows that he will keep her secret.

Reporter: And what, in the opinion of Your Highness, is the outlook for friendship among nations?

Princess Ann: I have every faith in it… as I have faith in relations between people.

Joe Bradley: May I say, speaking for my own… press service: we believe Your Highness’s faith will not be unjustified.

Princess Ann: I am so glad to hear you say it.

 In the end, even Irving comes around and gives her the photographs, intending on destroying the negatives and being done.

He's so romantic

He’s so romantic

It is just so sweet and romantic!

Awwwwwww!!!!

Awwwwwww!!!!

That Video…is Not of This World: Ringu (1998)

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This kind of thing… it doesn’t start by one person telling a story. It’s more like everyone’s fear just takes on a life of its own

On April 13, 2011; I was chilling with my friends when I suddenly recalled it is Friday, April 13th!

Fridaythe13th

It’s Friday the 13th! We must watch a scary movie! We weren’t satisfied with what we had in the dorm so we headed out to the library and checked out what they had. We were looking out the horror section, when my friend Freda saw Ringu and said that we should watch it since she had heard it was really creepy. I was totally down for that, and I have to agree that it was pretty creepy, but did have some dull moments.

So the film starts out with two girls hanging out one night.

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One starts joking with the other, telling her about a story she heard about these people checking out a strange video, and later they recieved a call saying they would die in seven days. It quickly goes from funny too serious when the other girl, Tomoko, tells her friend that she saw the video and got the call. Her seventh day is tonight. She then says she was just kidding, and that it’s no big deal, she’s going to be fine. However the two go downstairs, Tomoko is killed by some unseen force. Her friend then goes into shock and has to be put in a mental institution. This scene is pretty creepy.

Tomoko’s aunt Reiko Asakawa is a journalist and comes over for the memorial, bringing her son.

reikoyoichi

She feels that something is not right, as there has to be more to the story. She starts going through some of Tomoko’s stuff and finds a strange picture of Tomoko and her and friends at a cabin in Izu. In the photo all the kids’ faces are blurred out. All the kids in the photo are also dead.

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 Reiko  goes down to the cabin in Izu and finds a strange tape, intrestingly it is not the orginal piece but a copy.  Reiko watches it and it is full of strange images that don’t seem to make any sense. At the end the image cuts off and snow flurries take over the screen.

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Immediately after, the phone rings and the voice on the phone says she only has seven days to live.

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The rest of the film is now counted in days as  Reiko’s time is limited.

Reiko goes to see her ex-husband, Ryūji Takayama. One thing they never explain is that Ryūji is a psychic. This is part of the reason why the two broke up as Reiko couldn’t deal with it. Reiko goes to him to tell him he might have to care for their son if she should die. Ryūji doesn’t believe her, so she forces him to take a picture of her. In the pic her face is blurred.

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Ryūji works with media and asks to see the video hoping to figure something out. Reiko doesn’t want to show it to him but gives in. He gets a call too. She also makes him a copy to study.

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Ryūji  is able to discover a phrase “frolic in brine, goblins be thine” hidden in the video, a saying that came from Izu Ōshima Island. That night, Reiko catches her son watching the tape and is now more than ever determined to discover how to defeat the thing that is killing people. Reiko and Ryūji team up and travel to the island to find out more.

On the island they discover that there used to be a great psychic Shizuko Yamamura. A doctor was working with her, showcasing her powers, but she was denounced a fake and disappered from sight.

The two find the doctor that was working with Shizuko and discover that the doctor had a deeper relationship with Shizuko than just studying her. He was her lover. Shizuko and him sired a child, Sadako, who was uncontrollable. She killed all the horses because they were disturbing her, killed people, etc. The father couldn’t handle her after the mom died and killed her by throwing her down a well. However, that didn’t completely kill Sadako as she psionically put her  vengeful spirit into the tape. This spirit or Onryō killed the teenagers.

The two go back to the Cabin because that is where the videotape surfaced. They uncover a well and try to empty it to appease her spirit. Minutes before the seven days are up, Reiko finally finds Sadako’s corpse at the bottom. She hugs her and kisses her forehead, giving her “a mother’s love”. When nothing happens to Reiko, they believe that the curse is broken.

All seems fine until the next day. Ryūji is at his home and his TV switches on by itself showing the image of a well. The ghost of Sadako crawls out of the well and out of Ryūji’s TV set.

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This wasn’t very creepy which disappointed me. I mean that was the whole buildup right? Well it just seemed very fake to me as she takes FOREVER to crawl across the floor.

So as Ryūji is dying he manages to dial Reiko’s number. She realizes the curse wasn’t broken and tries to figure out wat she did differently. She goes over everything she’s did in the past seven days and realizes what she did that Ryūji didn’t–copying the tape and showing it to Ryuji.  Reiko figures out that by having her son make a copy and give it to someone is the only way to save her son. The last shot is her driving to her father’s and talking to him on the phone letting him know that her son has a video to show him. (I know HORRIBLE BETRAYAL)

It was pretty creepy and compelling, but the last part when Sadako comes was just not creepy. But this film is worth a watch. What’s interesting is that the director Kôji Suzuki got his inspiration for the Ringu novel, which the film is based on, from his favorite horror movie Poltergeist.

Here is a cover page/poster for facebook I made as part of my countdown to Halloween.

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Secrets are Great, Unless You Get Caught: Perfect Stranger (2007)

Secrets are great. Unless you get caught.

So a week ago I had some free time and was flipping through channels, planning on just zoning out in front of the TV until my next class. I landed on FX and started watching this movie with Halle Berry and Bruce Willis. It seemed really good, but I couldn’t finish it as I had to run off to my next class. I decided to rent it  and finish watching it as the plot really intrigued me. Unfortunately; it wasn’t very good. I thought it had too many sexual scenes that were just awkward and painful to get through, I ended up having to fast forward through them all. I also thought they dropped the F-bomb too many times. I’m not one who curses at all, but I think everyone who does will agree with me that there are times when the F-Bomb is said too many times that it loses its meaning and makes the person just look stupid.

I also didn’t like Halle Berry’s character Ro. I thought that she was a mean, selfish jerk. Her friend Miles is head over heels crazy for her, and Ro knows this and instead of letting him off gently; she is totally rude to him, just using him for all the information he can get. Now I know I have been a total witch to guys (check out the Elton Saga: 1,2,& 3 plus lame lines  and flirting post), but at least I never toyed with a guys affections to get him to retrieve information for me.

The only really good part about this film is the end. It was amazing! I wish there was a way one could just watch it and understand the rest of the film.

Here are the links if you want to check it out yourself.

FYI Spolier Alert

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

So the movie starts out with Halle Berry’s character Ro, a journalist,  tricking a senator into revealing all of his dirty secrets.

Ro is pretty high on her recent sucess and goes out to celebrate with her best friend/computer whiz/guy madly in love with her that she doesn’t care for, Miles. After she becomes extrremely drunk, she ends up being told by her boss that they are burying the story. Extremely angry that her freedom of press is being stomped on, she quits.

She starts on home feeling angry and crappy. She’about to board the subway and head home, when her old school friend she hasn’t spoken to in years; and is really mad at, because she slept with her boyfriend, Grace approaches her.

Hey girl, what up?

Turns out Grace met this guy, ADEX, online and had cybersex with him, later meeting up with him in real life. It turns out that “ADEX” was really the rich and famous Harrison Hill. She and him had a big fling and now she is threatening to blackmail him. She also wants Ro to write this up for the paper and completely embarass Hill. Ro blows her off and continues on home.

A week later, Ro gets a call from Grace’s mom telling her Grace is thought to be dead. Ro goes and identifies the drowned body, confirming that it is Grace. From here Ro decides she is going to take on Hill, and get him for what he did. She enlists Miles who has all the knowledge and contacts to pull off a caper like this.

She starts working at Hill’s Ad agency and quickly makes friends with the biggest gossip there; thus learning all the dirty secrets on everyone. Apparently Hill has had many affairs, all of which his wife is tired of. In fact, if he does it one more time, she’s leaving him. Now you might think, so what? He can get along without her. Wrong-o! Turns out Hill has nothing, nada, zip! His wife has the money, the company, EVERYTHING! He wouldn’t dare let her know that he was having another affair or else he would be kicked to the curb. He pretends to be the dutiful husband, going along with her to fertility tanks, because his wife is infertile. Sounds like a motive to me.

Then Ro witnesses what Hill does to people he thinks are betraying him. He beats up on one of his employees that he thinks is spilling secrets to their competitor.

Don’t make me angry

So more and more he is looking like the villain. But is it ever that easy?

Now there are a lot of web chatting, and online sex, and gross things…between her, TruBlue (random guy she meets online), and ADEX.

Oh and Ro has these weird flashbacks throughout the film that involve her father. They don’t outright say it, but strongly hint that he was molesting/raping her as a child. At times they become a mishmash of flashback/present day dream/nightmarelike things. They get very confusing at times.

Then the movie gets intense again. Ro has pretty much confirmed that ADEX is Hill. And she starts talking to him online AT WORK! I mean COME ON! HOW STUPID CAN YOU BE?

I mean the stupidity level is on par with taking a shower when there are monsters running about. Just saying.

So of course she has stuff on her screen that she doesn’t want Hill to see, and he just HAS to come over to talk to her. The scene is actually pretty intense ands set up very well.

So Ro is able to get out of that tight spot, and turns down her boss’ offer to go out with him, wanting instead to keep things “professional”.

That night she meets up with Miles, once again being  complete dermo (a word I created for loser/jerk who uses someone. I actually found out the definition for the “true” word isn’t that far off. Cool, huh?) to him. Miles brings a friend who works with the coroner. Apparently Grace was not just drowned but drugged with Belladonna and had some put in her eyes. Hill’s wife’s family has donated a ton of money to medical research, a majority of that which used Belladonna. Hmm…suspicious. Also, after she was poisoned, Grace was drowned. She was also pregnant. Things are looking worse and worse for Hill.

*At this point in the film I have already decided that it is not Hill. It is way too obvious and I think that there is another character who has a stronger motive, Hill’s wife. What if Grace approached the wife right after talking to Ro. Maybe the wife was one of those women who couldn’t stand to lose her man and would take out any woman who dared try to take him from her. What if all those past affairs have just been compounding on her brain all these years, and she just snaps hearing about this one. But the most likely motive; she couldn’t bear to hear that after trying so long to be pregnant and being infertile, that this little tramp got pregnant by her husband. The one thing she could not do, being done by some harlot? That’s enough to drive any woman to the brink of insanity. It would be easy, all she would have to do is meet up with Grace to see the proof, give her a drink laced with the Belladonna, which of course would be easy for her to get, and kill her. If she didn’t want to do it herself she has plenty of money to hire someone to do it for her.

Anyways, so Ro goes out with Hill after all to try and probe his mind a little. She ends up being slightly charmed by him instead.

The next day he comes to pick her up and we see his wife is creepin’ on them from a taxi. Makes her look totally suspicious.

Ro is trying to get into Hill’s computer to get a look at his emails. Miles give her a spyware program on a flashdrive, but it tkes some time so she has to do it when Hill won’t be around. She waits until after work, when everyone is gone and sticks it in. Only prob is, Hill hasn’t left yet. She’s caught red-handed.

She ends up making up a dumb story involving a private joke the two shared the night they went out.

For some strange reason he buys her answer and takes her out to dinner. They are having fun, making out, etc; and Ro leaves to go to the bathroom. And she leaves her purse and phone behind.

Okay, hold up now, what woman does that? What woman would leave to go to the bathroom and not take her purse and phone. Bad call writers, bad call.

So while she is gone her phone goes off, and Hill decides that he’s gonna read her text message. Seriously, who does that? Does he not understand the word “privacy”?

She comes back, and Hill starts driving her home. He stops in a random place and then starts yelling at her. Telling her he knows her secrets, that she is a spy from their rival competitors. Ro, trying to save herself, admits to it. Hill becomes so angry that he almost hits her.

Let’s rewind and back that up. Almost hits her. At this point in the film I knew it wasn’t him. He just had the sense that he would never hurt a woman. And I found it odd that the only thing he thought Ro was trying to discover about him was spying for another company? It just seemed off to me. I mean if he had killed Grace, Miles message would have made him think that Ro was onto him about that, yet the only thing that comes to mind is a rival company spy? Hmm….

So Ro is fired. Now this is where the story gets weird.

Miles decided to go in and save the day. The next day he pretends to be an IT guy for Hill, ready to do a complete inspection on Hill’s computer. Hill tells him to wait a bit and check out the office. He looks at these photographs done by Mrs. Hill of eyes dilluted with Belladonna.

At this point I’m completely sold on the fact that Mrs. H is the murderer.

Meanwhile, Ro goes to Miles house to make him dinner and discovers that he has some freaky, jacking-off, man-cave, room thing. Really gross and freaky. She also sees that Miles was TruBlue and had been sleeping with Grace.

ew! Gross Yuck

He also channeled Helga from Hey Arnold with a super creepy Ro shrine. Its actually talks and says “Miles is sexy” in Ro’s actual voice. Very sick.

Yeah, pretty freaky!

Miles comes home and Ro starts yelling at him, and accusing him of being the murderer. Miles admits he’s a freak but shows her Hill’s company’s website with the Belladonna pics. He is now absolutely convinced that Hill or his wife killed Grace. Ro still won’t listen and walks out, never wanting to speak to Miles again.

The next day she takes all her info to the police and they set up a sting to catch Hill. Everything pretty much falls apart as the evidence is so high against him. His wife gives some pretty damaging evidence against him. Hill is convicted and sent to jail.

Ro goes back to work and starts writing an article on everything that went on. She has a really great opening:

Ro: It’s a world where you *think* actions have no consequence, where guilt is cloaked by anonymity, where there are no fingerprints. An invisible universe filled with strangers, interconnected online and disconnected in life. It will steal your secrets, corrupt your dreams, and co-opt your identity. Because in this world, where you can be anything you want, any *one* you want, you just might lose sight of who you are.

So here, the movie seems pretty wrapped up, but you just know there has to be one last twist. I’m waiting for the wife to go crazy or be discovered or something.

So then we have this great shot of Mrs. Hill going to the medicine cabinet (where she kept the Belladonna) and opening it. Then we see gloved hands pull out some hair spray, unscew the bottom (like in Jurassic Park) and pull out Belladonna. The person is………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Ro.

Yes Ro. Ro is trying to dump out her secret Belladonna down the drain. Ro then has a flashback and we get the whole story. Her father was going to molest her, when her mom stepped in and beat her dad with the fireplace poker. Instead of calling the cops they buried him in the backyard, and Grace saw the whole thing and has been blackmailing her for years. Watch the video:

Great ending. Only great part of the film.

I especially love how they review the scene between her and Grace. You know get the full meaning of the words that she used when talking to Ro.

The only thing I didn’t like was the moving around of Miles and Ro when he is telling her he had it all figured out. I thought it was just weird. Ugh, and Miles was so gross trying to blackmail her into sleeping with him, yuck!

I love how in the end Hill wasn’t the “perfect stranger”, but they all were. Each character had secrets and things about them they were hiding; in the end being someone completely different than you expected.

So that’s today’s freaky tale. More are on the way.

PerfectStranger

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

For the previous post, go to Universal’s Classic Monster Movies

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For more on unrequited love, go to Feast Your Eyes On My Accursed Ugliness