A Moment of Silence

So today marks the 15th anniversary of September 11th. Unlike most anniversaries mentioned on my blog, this is one I was actually alive for and had strongly impacted me and my family.

I would just like to dedicate this blog to all those who were first responders, tried to assist in any way, and to all our military. Thank you for all you do. Your sacrifices can never be repaid, all I can do is honor you and let you know how grateful I am.

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The Cambridge Companion to Jane Austen

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The Cambridge Companion to Jane Austen compiled by editors Edward Copeland and Juliet McMaster. 2003 (originally printed in 1997).

So I read this book I think about five years ago. There is a brief biography of Austen’s life: her as a writer; a work on Northanger Abbey, Sense & Sensibility, and Pride & Prejudice; Mansfield Park, Emma, and Persuasion; her short stories; the Austen letters; class-consciousness; economy of the culture; religion and politics; style in the novels; the significance of her juvenile works; and Austen cults/cultures.

The Lovely Jane

The Lovely Jane

I thought this book was…okay.

Not always the best idea

Meh.

Some of the essays had some very interesting points

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While others were boring or just rehashed old ideas that you already knew.

Bones David Bored I;m bored boring

Now in this book’s defense it was published almost twenty years ago, so the ideas in were most likely new at the time. However, some of those writers are just so dusty. You don’t have to write about the past and make it so stifling.

Really?

Come on now. You can be historical and interesting.

The essay that I recall the most, was the one about Northanger Abbey. It was written by Rachel M. Brownstein and I hated it.

Something is not right!

Something is not right!

In her essay she writes about how Northanger Abbey  is a parody of the romantic genre that was popular at the time. I was okay with that.

okay...

Alright…

Northanger Abbey in a way is a rewrite of The Female Quixote or The Adventures of Arabella by Charlotte Lennox. In fact I agreed with a lot of what she said. How Austen made fun of the romantic tropes, actually quite snarkly. In fact she would have fit in today, on Youtube right next to Nostalgia Critic or something.

Here's to another 200 years!

The part I didn’t like was when she started talking smack about Mr. Tilney.

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In her essay she discusses how Mr. Tilney is the most “feminine” of the Austen heroes and that he is dominated by his father; never really making a move or taking any action toward Catherine; everything being done by General Tilney.

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So as you can tell I had major issues with that.

I don't think so

So she concludes that he is “feminine” rather than “masculine” because he is interested in muslin (something only for a woman), is dominated by his father, and reads novels. I however, feel he is no less masculine than any other Austen man.

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1)Interest in Muslin

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So Catherine has just met Mr. Henry Tilney who is unlike any man she has met or read in books. Instead of being tall, dark, and brooding; he is jovial, saracastic, witty, hilarious, etc. No reserve for him.

They begin on the subject of muslin by Mrs. Allen who is speaking on her muslin dress and how she would hate for it to be torn. It is a favorite of hers and cost but nine shillings a yard. Henry shares that he would have guessed that as he is a great judge of muslin. He buys his own cravats and sometimes his sister’s gowns.

Now there are many ways to look at this:

1. Henry is a Down to Earth Man

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So Henry Tilney is a middle son. He knows that like most middle children, he will not inherit much but instead has to make his own fortune.

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Military is out as his older brother is in it already, (who wants to be compared to him?), and it doesn’t suit his temperament. He choose the church as a profession, and while he will live comfortably he won’t be a millionaire, unless he marries up. And until he finds this rich heiress to marry, he most likely won’t have servants doing the shopping for him, so he’ll  probably have to go out and do it himself.

He knows his fabric, most likely because he is getting used to living within a means.

2. Henry is a Good Brother

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Eleanor Tilney is the youngest of the Tilney clan. She is very reserved and quiet; due to her father General Tilney’s tyrannical ways. We know that the father emotionally abused the mother with his attitude and temperament, being a vampire of spirit, and it is easily concluded that he did the same with his daughter. Because of this, Eleanor doesn’t have many friends, the only one being her brother Henry, and then later Catherine.

The eldest Tilney, Captain Fredrick Tilney, is a lot like his father. He is no friend of Eleanor; leaving Henry to shoulder the big brother responsibilities and to be the protector of his sister. Like Mr. Darcy, there are probably a ton of different things he does for his sister, buying her clothing the least of it.

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3. Henry is Being Sarcastic

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We know that Mr. Tilney has a wicked sense of humor. He is sarcastic, funny, and likes going against society (not 100% but a mini rebellion).

Right before this exchange he and Catherine are discussing her time in Bath, with Mr. Tilney sassily and snarkily making fun of how society expects such bland converstion (much of how Elizabeth does when she and Darcy dance in Pride & Prejudice).

“[Mr. Tilney] I have hitherto been very remiss, madam, in the proper attentions of a partner here; I have not yet asked you how long you have been in Bath; whether you were ever here before; whether you have been at the Upper Rooms, the theatre, and the concert; and how you like the place altogether. I have been very negligent-but are you now at leisure to satisfy me in these particulars? If you are I will begin directly.’

[Catherine Moreland] ‘You need not give yourself that trouble sir.’

[Mr. Tilney] ‘No trouble I assure you, madam.’ Then forming his features in a set smile, and affectedly softening his voice, he added, with a simpering air, ‘Have you been long in Bath, madam?’

‘About a week, sir. ‘ replied Catherine, trying not to laugh.

Really!’ [said Mr. Tilney] with affected astonishment.

Why should you be surprised. sir?’ [asked Catherine]

Why, indeed!’ said he, in his natural tone. ‘But some emotion must appear to be raised by your reply, and surprise is more easily assumed…

This teasing continues for a while, with Catherine trying her best to withold her laughter.

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So we know that Mr. Tilney is a kidder. He likes to joke around, and he likes to be sassy; it is easy to believe that his remarks on muslin are all just one big joke. That he knows nothing about muslin, but is just being sarcastic again.

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Maybe he decides to play along with what Mrs. Allen is saying as he is in a silly/sarcastic mood, trying to make Catherine laugh once again. We know he likes to tease, and make fun of other’s foibles (eccentricities) so it is easy to conclude that.

Well, whether he knows his muslin, is a good brother, or just making fun. Mrs. Allen believes he knows his stuff, and that is good enough for me.

tilney on muslin

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2) Dominated by His Father

How do I describe General Tilney?

Jerk

He pretended to be sweet, charming, and kind to win the heart of a wealthy woman, but later revealed his true colors. He was tyrannical and his way always the right one or else. He held all the power and expected his children to bow to his will or find themselves with nothing.

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How is this less than other Austen characters? Mr. Darcy isn’t dominated by a person, per say, but by society. He knows himself to be attracted to Elizabeth, but feels he cannot marry her as she isn’t in his class, nor does he want to be chained to her family. He does all he can to not want to be with her, but ultimately succumbs.

Mr.Darcy Pride&Prejudice

Edward Ferrars is just as dominated by the head of his family, although in this case it is his mother. Just like in the Tilney clan, you must do what she says or risk losing it all. Edward’s mother wants him to follow a more elite career, while Edward wants to be a minister. He almost gives into his mother’s wishes; but luckily stays true to who he is.

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And this was something that happened a lot back then. With inheritance being the key to living comfortably, and rich relatives holding the power, more often than not people always had to bend to their will.

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3) Reading Novels

Stupid Not to Read Jane Austen Quote

So in the 18th century there was what historians call the “reading revolution”. With the printing press improvements that occured then and in the early 19th century, books could be printed more easily and cheaply. Reading and owning books became a huge phenomenon as almost everyone had the ability to purchase them.

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Everything from science, to books we now call classics, novels, romance, history, to cheap thrills, etc. Such romances like The Mysteries of Udolpho and The Monk were popular, but thought to be purposely explicit and exploiting, “women’s cheap novels” but read by all.

So while it would be unusual for Mr. Tilney to admit to reading them, it is not unusual for him to actually read them as most men do. But this admittance goes with his character as we have already seen that Tilney doesn’t feel the need to be reserved but is more open in his demeanor.

Besides as this is still a romance, whether parody or remake, and as Catherine is an avid book reader, her hero has to be as much a reader as her. After all, there is nothing sexier then meeting a man who loves to read.

guysread

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4) Never Makes a Move or Takes any Action Toward Catherine

Really?

Really?

Did you not read the end of the book? Yes, Mr. Tilney does not invite Catherine to his house, his dad does as he is trying to hook them up, but what about that final scene? You know the one where he goes after Catherine and asks her to marry him risking everything for her?

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He is gone from the family home when Catherine was given the boot. When he returns and finds out what happened, he could have just let it go. Or he could have gone and apologized to Catherine, returning home and continuing the search for a wealthy bride. But does he do that? NO! He goes after her, having more balls than Mr. Darcy and Edward Ferrars.

Yes I went there.

Yes I went there.

He not only goes to her house and humbles himself in front of her and her family, but is willing to throw his entire fortune away for her, not even knowing if she feels the same way about him. She could tell him no and then he would end up with nothing, having turned on his father.

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Mr. Darcy never went to Elizabeth in such a way, begging her forgiveness. He worked on himself and helped the family, by saving Lydia, but never threw himself at Elizabeth’s feet. Edward comes to Elinor to share his feelings, but he never apologizes for leading her on while engaged or tried to apologize for his behavior, (except for that one time he was interrupted by Lucy before he could say anything). Only Mr. Tilney throws all caution to the wind, and gives up everything for the woman he loves.

-prince-charming mr. tilney

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Mr. Tilney…what else can I say about you?

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You are definitely hero material

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For more on Mr. Tilney, go to God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

For more on Northanger Abbey, go to Waiter, There’s Some Disney in My Jane Austen 

For more on Jane Austen, go to Jane, Jane, Jane: A Jane Austen Biography

Unsung Austen Men: Mr. Weston

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Mr. Weston is shown in the Emma films, but kind of passed over to be only a minor character. We see him as the one who takes Miss Taylor away, as she becomes Mrs. Weston, an act that encourages Emma to believe she can control others lives and make them fall in love.

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We see him again as the father of Frank, encouraging him to visit and (pair up with Emma), but that’s really all.

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Not Important

However, Jane Austen never goes halfway on a project and devoted much more time and a whole chapter on his sad back story. Mr. Weston is an incredibly dear man, who’s story is actually pretty heartbreaking. So grab your tissues and get ready for it.

Noo!

So Mr Weston was born into a pretty well off family, that with every generation rose higher in respectability and gentility. He received a good education, and instead of pursuing business like his brothers, he decided to join the military.

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As Captain Weston he was invited into many homes, meeting a wealthy, beautiful woman, Miss Churchill.

It was love at first sight. Everyone approved except Mrs. Churchill (mother) and Mr. Churchill (brother). You see the Churchills were of a higher stock and thought that marrying into military was so far below them.

Mehsleepyhollownotimportant

It didn’t matter to Miss Churchill and she refused to listen to her relatives, only having eyes for Mr. Weston. She married Mr. Weston anyways, and because she disobeyed her family (and wasn’t in total control of her wealth) her relatives disowned her and refused to give her a single penny.

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Even though Mr. Weston was an incredibly kind and sweet man, the marriage was unhappy. Now as Mrs. Weston, she found herself unhappy as they couldn’t afford the lifestyle she was used to. They lived beyond there income and nothing was as great as when she was Miss Churchill.

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Three years after they were married, Mrs. Weston died leaving Mr. Weston in great debt and with a baby to take care of.

Sadface Batman

So this is the extreme low point for Mr. Weston. He has done everything in his power to take care of his wife and make her happy, but nothing is good enough. Then she becomes sick and dies and now he has incredible debt, horrible grief, and a baby to take care of.

I don't know what to do

He is completely unsure of what to do, when Mr. and Mrs. Churchill come snaking in and ask for the child. Poor Mr. Weston, how he must have felt being asked to give up his child. But he does as he knows it is the best thing for him. The Churchills (his late wife’s brother’s family) have no children of their own and are quite wealthy. They could give his son Frank everything, stability, two parents, education, toys, horses, etc. So he does it. It makes sense, but it still breaks his heart.

right in the feels broken heart

This always reminds me of Vanity Fair, by William Makepeace Thackery, when widowed Amelia holds onto her son as long as she can, but when she realizes that she won’t be able to truly care for his needs she gives him to his rich relatives to rear instead. It is such a heartbreaking scene.

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Mr. Weston decides to start over, moving to Highbury and working with his brothers. He begans to build everything up again, but he doesn’t send for his child as he knows the other family is more stable and he wants Frank to grow up with every advantage.

you deserve better

Meanwhile as Frank is reared by his uncle and is set to inherit everything, he wants to be adopted by him and go by Churchill instead of Weston. How much that must of hurt to not only lost your son’s childhood, but adulthood as well to another person.

Sadface Batman

Mr. Weston does see his son every year, and the two have a relationship. But poor Mr. Weston, to lose the role of father, and instead be more of an uncle.

But even with all these hardships, Mr. Weston has such a positive outlook on life and believes that he will build his life up, and marry again one day.

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And so his tale does have a happy ending, as this poor, broken, lonely man is able to find true love once again; in Miss Taylor. A woman who doesn’t need fancy trappings or riches, but just a home and Mr. Weston.

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For more on Emma, go to Credit Where Credit is Due

Do the Right Thing

DoWhatsRight

That’s the truth!

RealHeroRightThing

Truer words have never been spoken! This is the sort of person you should try to be.

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In fact I would like to dedicate this post to all those who have served and are currently serving in the military. Thank you for being true heroes and protecting all us back here in the U.S.

freedomlibertyneverforgetMrSmithgoestowashington

Happy Memorial Day!!!

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For more on Memorial Day, go to True Success

For more holiday posts, go to Resurrection Sunday

For more Boy Meets World, go to Be Who You Are

For more Captain America, go to Avengers Assemble

For more quotes, go to Mere Stupidity

Please Excuse My Dear Fan Lady

LifeofaFangirl

Yep another Fangirl post, chock full of all the things I love. Be sure to check out a few of these as they are awesome and you are sure to enjoy them almost as much as me.

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Eureka

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Eureka is a show that is The Twilight Zone merged with Twin Peaks. Now I know most of you are probably scratching your heads at those references, but I will be talking about them later in a future post.

I remember when SciFi, or SyFy as it is now called, first brought this show on TV. I thought it was an interesting idea and happy that they set it in Northern California as people always forget that there is a lot more in California than just San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego. I wasn’t into it, but my sister would watch it. It wasn’t until Amazon put it up on Prime that I started watching it and getting into the series.

So U.S. Marshal, Jack Carter, is bringing his daughter home to Los Angeles from who knows where she had run away to. It is late and raining and the two get lost, crashing the car. They walk into the nearby town of Eureka, Oregon (I don’t know why they didn’t just use Eureka, California). With their car messed up, they have to stay in the town a few days and discover that it isn’t any regular area. It is a town full of scientists, giving them a place where they can work and create in privacy. Nearby is the company Global Dynamics that employees most of the scientists, contracting to the military. While they are there, one of the townspeople are creating a time machine that causes a huge rift in time and almost destroys the town. Jack Carter is able to come up with a plan to help over come it, and due to his efforts is promoted from U.S. Marshal to Sheriff of Eureka.

What I like about Eureka is that the Sheriff is very smart but also very much a regular guy. This makes him extremely relatable and also allows him to solve the hard cases, with help, in that he has a different way of viewing things than anyone else. Each episode revolves around a crisis involving an invention, along with giving us clues to a mystery that runs the whole season. It is a very fun and good show and I highly recommend it to anyone into science and mysteries.

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Make It or Break It

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I started watching this show because I loved the film Stick It and had wished, too late, to be a gymnast. If I could go back in time I think I would try it, whether or not I would compete and try for the Olympics. Anyways, this show is about four girls trying to achieve the dream of Olympic gold, while at the same time dealing with family, friends, and regular teenage girl stuff.

First we have Kaylie Cruz (Josie Loren), who is rich as both her parents used to be famous and are rich. She is secretly dating fellow gymnast Carter, which has to be a secret as dating is not allowed in the gym or by her parents. Carter ends up sleeping with Kaylie’s best friend Lauren, as Kaylie wouldn’t sleep with him. Most of the first season is Carter trying to keep it a secret, Lauren trying to win him, and Kaylie being oblivious. When she finds out she is pissed, but eventually forgives Lauren. Kaylie goes on to win the National Chap and has a better chance at getting the gold. Afterwards, Kaylie feels a lot of pressure as everyone had expected Payson to win, and feel as if Kaylie didn’t deserve her title as Payson was out with a back injury. She constantly feels as if she has to defend herself and her talents. The gym brings on Austin Tucker (Zane Holtz), who I really liked, but Kaylie dislikes. Kaylie also becomes anorexic as the pressures from the gym, her father and mother, her parent’s divorce, and a need to be in control. Now a lot of people made fun of this as abcfamily was trying too hard or something, but I thought this was done very realistically and well in regarding what it is like to be anorexic and how other issues can compound into it. Austin sees what is going on and helps her come to terms with it and seek help. While Kaylie is recuperating, she starts singing and hanging out with Damon. She eventually is ready for worlds, bringing in the gold. The third season sees Kaylie on the team in London, getting ready for the gold and Austin’s girlfriend.

Payson Keeler (Ayla Kell) is from a middle class family that is always struggling to get the money to support their daughter’s dream. Payson is extremely focused on her goals, being the best of all the girls on the team. In the first season Lauren‘s father blackmails their coach, getting rid of him. Sasha Belov is brought in, and Payson is ecstatic as he is one of her idols. When they hear of a party in the area, Payson does not want to go, but ends up coming too as she wants to make sure the other girls stay out of trouble. She has some back problems, but conceals it from everyone. She ends up damaging herself and loses her chance at worlds and messes up her back completely. In the second season she starts a relationship with Nicky Russo, played by Cody Longo. This didn’t go far as he ended up leaving the series. I was sad about this as I LOVED him. I was also sad as every guy Payson started to get with, ended up disappearing shortly after they proclaimed their feelings. Payson was the best as she worked through her trauma and disappointment to try other things, and was brave enough to try an experimental project, restoring her. When she comes back, her body isn’t exactly the same and she finds herself not being able to do the same things, changing to be one on grace. She gets involved with Max, Austin’s friend, and they start dating, but then he left to be the lead guy on Revenge. She goes on making it to London, and meeting a guy there.

Lauren Tanner (Cassie Scerbo) is the rich, spoiled, princess as she is the apple of her dad’s eye and used to getting anything she wants. She wants Carter, and his constant denying her for Kaylie makes her incredibly angry and want him more. Kaylie finds out and is angry, but the two work through their issues and become friends again. A new guy, Max, comes into the gym and is into Payson, but Lauren wants him and bad. She constantly tries to seduce him, not always getting the responses she desires. On one of their dates she gets in a car accident, she’s okay but Max is out of the competition. She eventually focuses on her gymnastics and sees herself setting off for London.

Emily Kmetko (Chelsea Hobbes) is a girl from the wrong side of the tracks. She has a single mother who does nails, and later works as a waitress at a strip club to make ends meet. She also has a younger brother in a wheelchair. She has been trying for years to get into a gym, and eventually scores a scholarship. She faces the most issues out of the girls as she has money she is trying to earn to stay afloat, trying to take care of her brother, and trying to befriend girls who have been friends for years and hate her. Eventually, they all become friends, but it takes quite a while. She meets this guy, Razor at work and kind of likes him; but when he goes out of town, his best friend Damon fills in for him. Damon was the best character, and when the series got weird and too silly, he was the anchor I loved, the reason I watched.

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Yep, he was awesome. He was always there for her, he helped her practice, he got her family to Nationals, he brought Radiohead, when she wanted to wait to have sex he was all for it, when she decided she wanted to be with him and ended up pregnant (the actress was pregnant in real life) he went after to her to help raise the baby. He was awesome and hot…and I love him. 🙂

swoon dreamy

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Michael Crichton

History

For me the love of this author began with one book Jurassic Park. You see I have always loved the series, it is one of my all-time favorites, (and you can read a review here). After one of my constant viewings, my mother mentioned it was based on the novel. I decided to start reading his book, buying every one I would find in a book sale. I still have one to go, The Andromeda Strain, but besides that I have read everything he has ever written. I love all his writings as the characters are great, the plot always suspenseful, and I love the melding of science-fiction and technology with horror, history, etc. Almost every book has been turned into a film, but sadly I have yet to view how they all were done. Each one is amazing and I recommend them all.

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Jurassic Park

Jurassic Park- In this book, a genetic company has decided to try to bring back dinosaurs. By using frog DNA to fill in the gaps, they have created new versions of the creatures. John Hammond, the head of the company, has asked a group of people to visit and review his island. Ready to review is paleontologist Dr. Alan Grant; paleobotanist, Dr. Ellie Slatter; Ian Malcolm; and Hammond’s two grandchildren. Of course, “life can find a way”, and these creatures do what they want to; causing havoc on the island. This has quite a few differences then the film, with the dinosaurs escaping the island; a pterodactyl fight, more deaths of the group, and no relationship between Dr. Grant and Dr. Slatter. However, I think both are done very well and could watch the movie or read the book again and again.

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The Lost World- Now when I first watched the movie, I thought it was okay and denoted it as my least fav in the series. However, after I read the book,  I had to agree that the movie was better. This book was okay, it moves much slower than the original and doesn’t have as many lovable characters. In this book, Hammond reveals that there is a second island of creatures that survived from the previous book. He sends in Malcolm with a crew of people, and two stowaway kids. This isn’t a horrible book, but just pales in comparison to the original.

Timeline- This is one of my mother’s absolute favorite books, and she would constantly talk about how great it was. I decided that this would be the next book that I would read of Crichton, and it was AMAZING! I love this book so much. We have group of graduate students and archeologists, all working in Medieval history. One is focused on architecture, one on technology, one on fighting, etc. They find an amazing discovery, and are immediately swept off to a secret organization that has produced a technology allowing traveling through time, right back to medieval times. The group goes to find a friend sent before, and find that living history is fun, but also incredibly dangerous. The film was also really good, starring Paul Walker and Gerard Butler, the only thing I disliked about it was that in the book each person encountered what they were studying, helping them further their research. In the movie they cut that out, sadly.

Airframe- Just an ordinary day and an ordinary flight from Hong Kong to Denver. That all changes when it crashes with a hundred injured and three killed. What happened to the flight? It’s up to investigators to discover who was at fault; the plane, the airport, or the pilot?

A Case of Need- This was Crichton’s first novel and utilizes his medical training. The book is set in a Boston Medical Center, where a patient receiving surgery is killed. Is it just an accident or murder?

Congo- Deep in the Congo, near the ancient city of Zinj, eight American geologists are brutally and mysteriously murdered. Karen Ross, the project supervisor back in America, watches video feed of the massacre. In San Francisco, primatologist Peter Elliot has been able to teach a gorilla named Amy over 600 signs, finger painting, etc. Lately, Amy has been acting strangely and painting horrible things, that Peter thinks maybe it is time to take her home. A map from the 17th century supposedly leading to Zinj matches up with Amy’s finger paintings exactly. When all three parties intersect, a strange expedition sets out to discover what holds Zinj. This was made into a less than stellar film, of which I will review in Horrorfest IV.

Disclosure- This is an interesting book, although it doesn’t seem like it in the beginning. Thomas Sander has had a bad day. He is passed over for a promotion by an old flame, and his new tech is having some glitches. When his boss asks him over for drinks, she immediately comes on to him. He refuses, and leaves. The next day she is charging him with sexual harassment and Sanders is fired. Luckily for Sanders, he accidentally recorded what happened and tries to turn the case around and sue his boss. But Sanders start wondering, why would his boss do that? Was she so upset that he turned her down? Or is there more to this case then meets the eye?

Eaters of the Dead- This is a retelling of Beowulf told from the point of an Arab courtier, who finds himself unwilling dragged along a quest to destroy the monster, Grendal. This too was turned into a film I have yet to watch, but starring Antonio Banderas.

Five Patients- This is a non-fiction volume that tells of Crichton’s experiences as an intern at the Massachusetts General Hospital.

The Great Train Robbery- This is another novel that I love. Based on the historical event, Crichton once again is able to meld the account with amazing characters. In this, the charming and persuasive Edward Pierce easily moves through society in Victorian London, all the while plotting the crime of the century…The Great Train Robbery.

Prey- This one of my all-time favorite books. The way Crichton writes it, it is so haunting and amazing. I don’t want to give too much away as you REALLY should read it.

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Jack Forman lost his job and took on being the one taking care of his daughter and the home. His wife works at Xymos Corporation and has been acting weird. Other things start to seem strange, but Jack thinks it is nothing but his imagination. When his wife hires him on, he discovers that the mirco-bots that Xymos produces are not as benign as he was told. In fact, there is much more horrifying things happening than Forman could ever imagine.

Rising Sun-During the grand opening celebration of the new American headquarters of a Japanese company, the dead body of a beautiful woman is found. The investigation begins, and immediately becomes a headlong chase through a twisting maze of industrial intrigue and a violent business battle that takes no prisoners. This two was turned into a film I have yet to view.

Sphere- This book always makes me think of the film Forbidden Planet. In this a spaceship on the floor of the ocean is discovered. Scientists prepare an expedition and head down to the ship, discovering a ship over 300 years old and holding a power much stronger than any could imagine. This power gives them increased abilities and paranoia. One scientists starts using his power to attack the ship and people, but which one? I really, really loved the book and couldn’t stop reading it the first time I had it. They turned this also into a film, of which I have had problems getting my hands on it. When I do see it, you can bet it will be a part of a future Horrorfest.

State of Fear- In this book Crichton spins a tale of political conspiracy. As eco-terrorists and global warming are the biggest issues ands causing all kinds of destruction, one investigator starts wondering if whether this is just a smokescreen for something far more sinister.

The Terminal Man- Harry Benson suffers from horrible seizures that cause violent outbursts. He is experimented on and has electrodes placed deep in his brain’s pleasure centers, effectively short-circuiting Harry’s seizures with pulses of bliss. The surgery is successful, but while Benson is in recovery, he escapes and his violent impulses have grown; leaving a horror in his wake.

Travels- An account of Michael Crichton’s travels abroad and all over the world.

Next- This is his last complete novel and is an amazing story. In a world where we focus on our genes, what diseases we might carry, taking apart our genome; Crichton speaks on how such technology can get out of hand. A man going in for tests ends up having his blood and genes patented and in a sense sells his children into slavery of a company. A man who wins custody from his wife on the basis of her high possibility of becoming afflicted with deadly diseases; and an ape human born of gene splicing.

Pirate Latitudes- This was Crichton’s last book, but was unfinished. It was a “complete” manuscript, but was missing the special Crichton charm that each story has. Jamaica in 1665 is the home of people willing to go after gold and riches of the Spanish and Portuguese. If caught they are pirates, if they make it out with the wealth then England gets a cut and everyone is happy. Captain Edward Hunter is one such type and decides to go after the dangerous island of El Trinidad. A crazy scheme that will have enormous bounty if it succeeds, or incredible death if it fails; leads Captain Hunter and his team on a a swashbuckling adventure.

For more on Michael Crichton, go to Just Follow the Screams: The Lost World (1997)

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The Mentalist

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So I started watching this show on accident. The episode “Red Handed” came on after something else I was watching. In the episode “Red Handed” the CBI (California Bureau of Investigations) team discovers a right hand straddling the California and Nevada state lines. After measuring it, they discover that it is inside the California boundary, and therefore the CBI’s responsibility. After that I was hooked. I caught up on the previous episodes and became a big fan.

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So the series is about Patrick Jane, played by the incredibly handsome Simon Baker, who is a “psychic” consultant to the CBI.

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Patrick Jane has such style. He only drinks tea, he has an Aston Martin, and always dresses amazingly sharp. Anyways, Patrick Jane isn’t really a psychic. He is extremely intelligent and observant, a sort of kind, sweet, and charming Sherlock Holmes. He never went to school, but was raised by his swindler father who touted him a psychic in his carnival show. He married a woman from a similar background and the tweo had a daughter, Charlotte. He went on to make millions off his “psychic ability”. It gained the attention of Red John, a serial killer, who murders his wife and child. This brings Jane to consulting with CBI as he does it from his guilt and in order to get a view of the official files. Red John becomes Jane’s Moriarity as in each season Jane continuously searches for him.

The team is lead by Teresa Lisbon (Robin Tunney), who is a no-nonsense cop. She is the perfect foil for Jane as Lisbon is tough and serious; while Jane is comedic and more fanciful. They have a platonic relationship, but like Bones and other cop shows there is something simmering under the surface.

Then we have Kimball Cho, who second to Jane is my favorite character. Cho is always reserved and speaks in a monotone.

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But he is very intense as well. He is honest, straightfoward, observant, and altogeether awesome. We later find out that there is a lot more to him than meets the eye. He used to be a baseball player, gang member, and Special Forces.

Then we have Wayne Rigsby who is absolutely adorable, sweet, and charming. He was raised by a dad in motorcycle gangs and coming in and out of prison. He’s more relaxed than Cho, but more serious than Jane. He is also in love with fellow team member Grace Van Pelt. Grace Van Pelt is tough, but sweeter than Lisbon. She has a famous father, and tries to live up to his name. She is always focused on the job, but Rigsby constant infatuation starts her thinking of maybe more with him.

I used to watch this every Thursday without fail, but school got in the way and I am way behind in desperate need of catching up. The show just ended this last February, which saddens me as it was an awesome piece of TV.

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Midsomer Murders

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So I love the library.

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When I was in college I would spend hours in the library; working, reading, watching movies or TV shows. The library had a great selection of movies and TV shows that I really utilized. But that library wasn’t enough for me. I also went to the city library for books and films. Every time I went there I would see the DVDs for the show Midsomer Murders and wanted to check them out, but never felt I had the time. This summer as I would write my blog posts on my computer, I would also watch movies and TV shows on my phone. Or at least try to as I had a little screen. One day Midsomer Murders popped up in related videos and I was estatic watching them. Now youtube doesn’t have every episode and I watched them out of order, but I really, really enjoyed the show. When I got another free month on Netflix I started rewatching the episodes and loved it all over again!

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This series is based off a book series and set in England. How their Department of Criminal Investigations (DCI) teams works is that they have a county in which they travel all over investigating, sort of like the Sheriff’s department. Tom Barnaby (John Nettles) is head of the Midsomer unit and is extremely intelligent and excellent at his job. Unfortunately for his wife, a murder tends to occur whenever she wants to do something, causing Barnaby to miss it. He also has a daughter,  Gillie, who is in college and studying to be an actress. He starts out with his assistant being Sgt. Gavin Troy, who I didn’t like as he wasn’t that bright, and same for his second assistant Sgt. Dan Scott. I really liked his third assistant Ben Jones, because he was very smart and actually helped solve the mysteries. The series is ongoing, but I don’t really like the newer episodes as Tom Barnaby retired and his nephew, John Barnaby, took over. He was good, but Tom was way better. Tom had a way of gathering information that made you not realize how intelligent he was until the end when he is the only one who has put the whole picture together. The mysteries were amazing, and often times really puzzling. The only thing that I kept questioning was, how do these small country towns survive with so many deaths? I highly recommend this for any mystery fan.

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Murder She WroteMurderSheWrote

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this show. I grew up watching it and wish they had still played it on TV as I got older as I truly love this show.

Angela Lansbury plays J.B. Fletcher, former high school teacher and now famous mystery author. Every episode Jessica (the J in J.B.) will be minding her own business working on something or visiting a friend and get caught up in a mystery. Usually she can either get someone to share info with her, or is able to have some kind of insight that solves the case. If you love mysteries, then this is a show for you!

For more Murder She Wrote, go to At the End of the Rainbow: 17 More Irish Heros

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w:outFandoms

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For the previous fangirl post, go to A FANtastic Voyage

Stay tuned for part 11

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A Fantabulous Post

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Yep you got it! It’s another post full of all the things I fangirl over! Hope it sparks your interest into checking this stuff out! 🙂

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Cinemasins

Cinemasins is a youtube video group in which they have a guy narrate everything that’s wrong in films. Except for the times he is making fun of your favorite films, they are absolutely hilarious. In the newer ones if you watch all the way to the very end, he puts in audio from other films that have similar scenes. I never miss a posting.

For more on Cinemasins, go to Let Them Fight: Godzilla (2014)

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Clint Eastwood

I mean look at this man! Can you blame me for being crazy about him?

I mean look at this man! Can you blame me for being crazy about him?

I am a huge Clint Eastwood fan. I fell in love with him when I was like seven and had to watch everything he was in (with parental supervision of course). And from then on I was obsessed.

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Everyone told me it would never happen as I was far, far too young for him. I mean he was 62 when I was born. But I didn’t care.

oldattracted to actors twice my age

Eventually I realized it wasn’t meant to be as he was married (although now divorced and single!) and the realistic chances of me meeting him are nil. But no matter what he will be my first crush and the first guy to ever have his picture on my wall. Yep, I had a huge poster of The Outlaw Josey Wales.

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He’s my dream man.

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And one totally awesome actor.

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Yep I love Clint so much that I even spent $15 on a magazine because it was full of photos of him and all about his life. 🙂 I’m obsessed. Was and always will be. 😀

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Now I won’t go on about my fav films, as that could go on forever! Even Amazon knows how much I love his work:

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I will instead just mention my all-time favorite film of his: Bronco Billy.

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This film was directed and starred Clint Eastwood. In this film Clint plays Bronco Billy, an ex-shoe salesman. Bronco Billy had always loved Westerns, Buffalo Bill, and other stories of the West. And he decided to start his own Wild West show, just like the ones Buffalo Bill and Pawnee Bill had. A heiress who married in order to inherit her father’s fortune, finds herself stranded by her husband, and joins up with the show until she can get home. This film is fun, adorable, American, dramatic, i.e. everything you could want in a film.

Anyways, the reason that I love this film is the message of it. Here we have a man who doesn’t feel the need to be confined by his time in life or what people think he can be. Nope, if he wants to do something he’s going to. Even though he might be 100 years too late to be a part of “the West”, it doesn’t matter to him. He is going to achieve his dreams, no matter what.

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OMG I fangirled over this movie so hard. In fact I wanted to be in the show. I wanted to be Clint’s assistant and on the wheel that turns and he throughs knives at. I wanted to be in a Wild West Show. In fact, I used to wear Western types clothe and would only wear cowgirl boots.

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Yep this is my film.

So while I wil most likely never marry the man or meet him, at least I did get something special from him that I’ll keep forever. I sent him a fan letter and a picture and asked him to autograph it and HE DID!!! YAY!!! I just Love that man!

For more on Clint Eastwood, go to Here I Go

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How It Should Have Ended

How It Should Have Ended is another one of those really fun internet video series. They review different films giving them their own twist. These are absolutely hilarious and I never miss a post of these either.

For more on How It Should Have Ended, go to I’ll Be Back: The Terminator (1984)

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Las Vegas

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So I started watching this show on accident. I think it started the summer between 9th and 10th grade, but it might have been a year later. I’m not sure. Anyways, I was just flipping channels during summer break while I ate my lunch (really breakfast as I didn’t get up until noon) and stopped at this show. I watched an episode and was hooked, watching the 12-2pm block it had on TNT. I continued this every summer, and when I was in college if I and the TV was free at that time. I LOVED this show.

So the show is about a group of people running the fictional Montecito Hotel & Casino Resort in Las Vegas. They deal with the usual issues: staff problems, card counters, performers, chefs, etc; along with helping each other in personal problems. The one thing that made the show lovable, although completely unrealistic, is that all the people enjoyed helping others and would go the extra mile. Because it is Las Vegas, we also get amazing cameos: Wayne Newton, Jean-Claude Van Damm, Sylvester Stallone, etc.

So the crew:

First we have Ed Deline (James Caan). Ed used to be director of the CIA, but has moved on to being in charge of Security and Operations of the Montecito Casino. He later is promoted to President of Operations and is in charge of everything that goes on in the Casino. He is a major tough guy and not afraid to take anyone out. But on the flipside of that he is a loving father to his daughter Delinda as well as a surrogate father to Nessa and Danny. It’s James Caan just how you like him, barking orders and smashing heads.

 Then we have Danny McCoy (Josh Duhamel)

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Isn’t this man a dream? Anyways, Danny was simply amazing and the type of guy you want. So Danny was born and raised in Las Vegas, but left to join the Marines. He returns and works for Ed in security, being promoted when Ed is promoted. Danny is sweet, adorable, protective, loving, etc. He does have issues in the relationship department though. He has been in love with his good childhood friend Mary, but she never wanted to have a serious relationship with him. He also dates Delinda, Nessa, and Sam throughout the series. Most of all Danny has a huge heart and is always willing to help others out, something that makes him almost fall for a scheme to take his father’s inheritance. But even though he is sweet, you don’t want to mess with him as he can just as easily take you out. After Ed leaves the Montecito, he is promoted to President of Operations. In the last two seasons, Delinda and him have a committed relationship and are having a child.

Mike Cannon (James Lesure) is an engineer from MIT. Why he works at a casino, I’m not sure. Anyways, he starts out as head valet, but moves on to security, eventually becoming the head when Danny is promoted to president of operations. He’s smart and silly, that perfect combination. When Piper Niekson (the concierge) tries to recruit a Cocktail Tom Cruise type bartender, Mike goes with her. The two get incredibly drunk, and married, of which they tell everyone they annulled, but didn’t really.

Samantha Jane “Sam” Marquez (Vanessa Marcil) is the host of the Casino and it is her job to bring in the whales, i.e. the big gamblers. She is poached from another hotel, but soon fits in with the Montecito family. She is cold and motivated by money, but she also has a soft side, being a “Big Sister”. It turns out she is married to billionaire Casey Manning, but ran away from him as she has issues with commitment. When he dies, she inherits almost everything. She later marries Casey’s brother.

Delinda Deline (Molly Sims) is a genius; although more interested in fashion, makeup, etc. She is not all fluff as she is fluent in French, a graduate of Cordon Bleu, and in charge of entertainment, plus the Food and Beverage Manager. She flits around from guy to guy as she likes to have a good time. In one season her old boyfriend Derek, a doctor, comes back and the two almost get married, but she realizes she is in love with Danny. The two move in together and she gets pregnant. In the last episode they are planning to get married.

Mary Connell (Nikki Cox) is the special events coordinator. She grew up next door to Danny and the two were childhood friends. Mary had a hard life as she was sexually abused by her father, Danny being the one who came to her rescue. He loved her and tried to marry her, but Mary still has a lot of issues regarding love to work out. At one point she meets a rich, nice lawyer and moves in with him, but for reasons unknown, and hinted at being very bad, she leaves him and returns to work at the Montecito. When her stepmother and stepsisters tried to press charges against her father, she helps testify. When he got off,Mary bought a gun, shot him, and took off.

Nessa Holt is from England and was raised by the Deline family. She was the pit boss and worked in the hotel until she discovered her father wasn’t dead, but working for the CIA. She leaves the Montecito to live with him in season 3.

Now their intro is amazing as it is Elvis’ A Little Less Conversation, one of my favorite songs.

But it also got me wondering. I’ve noticed that a lot of movies that take place in Las Vegas, instead of using Elvis’ song Las Vegas, they use A Little Less Conversation. Isn’t that weird? I mean Ocean’s Eleven, 21, and Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief did it.

It was a very fun show that I highly recommend!

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Leverage

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I started watching Leverage because my sister Jessica really liked it. We both became so into it that we watched it ever Wednesday, and even watched the first 15 mins of the show that came on afterwards in order to see the next week’s preview. When it was cancelled I was heartbroken as it was such a great show, it should have gone on for 10 more seasons.

So the story is Nate Ford, the mastermind, putting together this crew in order to help out an airplane designer who’s plans were stolen by his rival. When it turns out that guy lied to him and had them steal his rival’s plans, they team up to get his money and revenge. They end up liking it so much, that the team stays together and helps people out who have been treated wrongly.

First we have the Mastermind, Nate Ford.

Nate Ford Leverage

He started out as an insurance claims investigator, being the one who tracked down the very people he now works with. He was an amazing investigator, and saved the company millions. That all changed when his son became sick and the company he worked for refused to pay for his treatments. After his son died, he turned to alcohol and lost his job and wife. He is extremely talented in creating these schemes, along with seeing each person’s skills.  Fans of Supernatural will spot the same actor who plays Crowley, in this as Sterling, Nate’s nemesis. He and Sophie start dating as the series goes on.

Then we have the Hitter, Eliot Spencer

Eliot is from a small town in the South and left to join the military when he was eighteen. After he got out he couldn’t find work besides a “retrievalist”, that is going in to get objects by taking others out. Besides being extremely strong, he’s quite the hunk (and my favorite character), and incredibly sweet with kids. Eliot is also an amazing singer, as we find out when the team goes in to take out an evil country music record company. He also is an amazing cook, the one thing that kept him from going over completely to the dark side.

The Hacker, Alec Hardisan

Alec was raised in a foster home and is a complete computer and science fiction geek. He does all the hacking, creating false internet information, and in charge of all the groups gadgets. He’s wise-cracking and hilarious. As the series progresses, he and Parker start dating; making one of the cutest TV relationships.

The grifter is Sophie Devereaux

Sophie is an art and antiquities thief, using her skills at acting and manipulation to the highest degree. Now Sophie really wants to be an actress, but while awesome on the job, is horrible when on stage as she is too over the top. At one point in the series she left because she was mad at Nate and sent her friend Tara to take her place, but Tara was horrible. Luckily, Sophie came back and as the series progressed she and Nate started dating.

And last but not least we have the Thief, Parker

Parker has a very sad childhood, moving from foster home to foster home, and encountering a lot of abuse. At 12 she was trained by Archie Leach to become the best thief, pickpocket, safecracker, etc. But due to this childhood she doesn’t know how to talk to people, and instead closes herself off.

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And has no clue on how to talk to others. As the series goes on she starts thinking of the Leverage crew as her family, and they try to help her as well. She starts to have feelings for Hardison, but is unable to express them well, which causes a very slooow courtship, but it is the cutest thing!

I love this show and think that any one out there who is a fan of sticking it to the man or just desserts, will love it as well.

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The Lizzie Bennet Diaries

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I’m going to do a whole separate post on this as part of my Happy Birthday Pride & Prejudice, so I don’t want to spend too much time on it here. I wasn’t even going to include it, but felt bad about leaving it out of my fandom list. It is a modern retelling of Pride & Prejudice set as webisodes. I LOVED it so much and will continue writing on it later.

For more on The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, go to It is a Truth Universally Acknowledged

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So I may be a nerd fanning out about this stuff, BUT…

Nerds

So this will be my last post for a while on fandoms. I have to take a break as my Romance is in the Air: Part III, 14 Days of My Favorite Romantic Film Moments countdown for Valentine’s Day is coming up. As soon as I’m through with that I’ll bring back these fandom posts.

hearts bannerFor the previous post, go to It’s Fantastico!

Stay tuned for part 9

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For more on Psych, go to In Love With the ’80s (Pink Tux to the Prom)

There’s Nothing Out There. Nothing in the Mist: The Mist (2007)

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David, there’s nothing out there. Nothing in the mist.

So The Mist was an okay movie. I thought it was doing really good and totally creepy until the end. The end was totally screwed up as the director had to go and change the story. What a loser!

Book Slappers

So this is based on a story by Stephen King. And I know y’all know that a Horrorfest would not be complete without one. It is also not a complete rip-off of The Fog (the new or old film), as everyone thinks it is. There are quite a lot similarities, but they are extremely different in the motive and what the “monster” that is attacking is. In the different versions of The Fog, the creatures are it is supernatural, while in The Mist…well, you’ll see.

So the film starts the day after a huge thunderstorm has hit a little town (of course) in Maine (the usual). A thick, unnatural mist starts to descend on the town, and at first they don’t realize that something far more sinister is lurking within it.

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So, that day David Drayton (Thomas Jane), a graphic artist, decides to go to the local grocery store to buy supplies, bringing his eight-year-old son, Billy (Nathan Gamble), and his neighbor, Brent Norton (Andre Braugher) along. You know, just a normal average day.

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So while they are at the store, another storm comes and hits the the town. This time it severely engulfs the area in a thick mist. (Whenever I bike to work early in the morning I always think about this movie and The Fog.)

They do notice something very strange. It seems as if there is a plethora of military roaming about the area.

That's strange

That’s strange

When they get to the supermarket, they find it packed with people stocking up. A military policeman, goes after the soldiers in the supermarket, telling them to pack it up as their leave is over and they need to head out. Everything is normal until a local townsperson runs into the store covered in blood.

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He begins screaming that there is something out there in the mist, killing and attacking people. People go to look out the windows to see what is out there, but the mist is so thick that they are unable to spot anything.

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Several people rush, out and everyone hears their screams…then nothing.

What!

Gilmore girls creep

The decide to seal the doors in order to keep “everything” out. One woman is worried about her children and decides to risk trying to go home. She asks for someone to accompany her, but no one volunteers.

How rude

She leaves and we never see her again.

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So as you can guess, just like Night of the Living Dead, this film becomes more of a survivor story/deconstruction of humanity than an actual monster movie. You have a group of people trying to survive in a confinied area and while some rise to the challenge, others do not. This film has all the usual Stephen King clichés, like an deeply religious psychotic person who wants to kill/punish all who tries to control every one.

Of course

Of course

It couldn’t be a Stephen King film without it.

At one point the group tries to go check on their clogged generator. A couple men go to open the loading dock door to see what the issue is when large tentacles come reaching out and kill them.

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This is just the beginning in monster attacks, as they face giant insect, pterodactyl -like creatures, and many more.

In a raid for medicine vis-à-vis The Day After Tomorrow, they run into the military supervisor from earlier hanging from a gigantic spider web. He tells them to question the men in the store for the true backstory of the mist.

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In the end it turns out that military are to blame as they opened a portal to another world.

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Yes. In an ending as disappointing as Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull aliens just leaving. (Although the worse is yet to come.)

Eventually the section of the group that is run by the psychotic women, has increased that it outnumbers the other group lead by David. As she tries to get Billy to be a sacrificed, David’s team decides to leave, risking the unknown.

They are able to score a car and the group drive as far as the SUV will take them. They take stock of their options and decide it is better to end their lives, rather than be torn apart by whatever the things are. David shoots everybody in the car, including his son. Right before he turns the gun on himself, a military tank comes charging through proclaiming that they have defeated the monsters.

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Yes. Yes. He has just killed his child and everyone when he didn’t need to.

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Now I could forgive everything else. The stupid plotholes, the crazy clichés, the other dimension monsters, ANYTHING; but that ending? Really? Really? It’s just dumb.

Duh!

Duh!

Did you guys have to that? It is so horrible! First of all as he murdered his child when he didn’t need to. And secondly, it is extremely anti-climatic! I mean come on, it would have been so much better if they just had them driving off, no one knowing what will happen to them or whether they will survive. You know, like how it ended in the book?!

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Yep you guys really messed up there.

See Hook agrees with me.

See Hook agrees with me.

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

For the previous post, go to The Past of a Man

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For more on Stephen King, go to He Who Walks Behind the Rows

For more films based on books, go to You’re Gonna Need a Bigger Boat

For more quotes, go to Part X: The Movie List That Would Not Die