Pride & Prejudice: A Latter Day Comedy

Pride & Prejudice: A Latter-Day Comedy

So you know how I want to review everything Pride & Prejudice or has a connection to Jane Austen.

I watched this the other day with my boyfriend and I felt it was:

So the story is a modern day version of Pride and Prejudice set in 2000’s Utah. And yes the characters are Morman. Get it, a Latter-Day comedy, as in Latter-Day saints?

There isn’t too much Mormon stuff in it though, just that they go to church and the way they dress-little things like that. There had been more, but they cut it to make it open to more people.

The ladies of Pride & Prejudice are not all related in this version, but they all are roommates in a home owned by Lydia’s father. Jane Vasquez is from Argentina and a beautiful, wild free-spirit–who I don’t know what she does, they never say. Elizabeth Bennet is studious, smart, and a feminist. She is in graduate school (studying Jane Austen), writing novels and submitting them, and working at the local bookstore. Mary is nerdy, socially awkward, and trying to snag William Collins-but failing. Lydia and Kitty Meryton are sisters who only care about their appearance and trying to catch a wealthy man.

Jane, Elizabeth, Lydia, and Kitty. Mary is not pictured.

I didn’t really care for any of the girls depictions as they just seemed so fake and unreal. The only one who seemed to be anything like the original character was Lydia.

So Elizabeth meets Darcy at her job, and is is a total jerk. He makes fun of her and complains about her to her boss.

What a jerk

Charles Bingley is a complete moron. Like how has he even managed to live this far in his life?

I mean he has a line of classical music for dogs to help train them.

Wow

His sister Caroline is a total drama queen, who is trying to do all she can to catch Will Darcy. She does not like Elizabeth or Jane.

Everything is pretty similar to the novel, William Collins tries to get with Elizabeth, but she turns him down.

In this though he gives a super embarrassing sermon about how awful Elizabeth is for rejecting him on the pulpit.

One major change is that happens in this film is that Jack Wickham and Elizabeth used to date.

He keeps trying to get with her but she is on-the-fence about whether or not she wants to go down that road. He can be sweet and romantic, but it is clear that his real interest is sex, something Elizabeth is not interested in until marriage.

He does offer to take her to Vegas so they can marry, but Elizabeth is not interested.

So conflict arises when Charles takes off on Jane breaking her heart.

Elizabeth has a company interested in one of her novels but it turns out to be Will Darcy!

Yep, obvious. He likes her novel but thinks she needs to change a lot of stuff. This of course upsets Elizabeth.

She accuses Darcy of lots of things and takes off. She of course gets a letter which reveals that Collins was seen proposing to Jane by Charles, so he thought they were together. Darcy apoligizes for his behavior and then explains what Jack did to his sister-running off with her and getting married in Vegas when he still married to someone else.

Elizabeth and Jane both feel bad and they just munch their feelings away.

I’m going to hide under the covers with my ice cream

This upsets Lydia and Kitty who decide it is time to take matters into his own hands and get the girls up and at the market. But things don’t go as planned.

Lydia Merylon: Oh, this is just great girls. Here we’ve just spent 20 minutes picking out the perfect array of romantic items, and what do we come back to find? Two kegs of ice cream, pills for cramping, pills for bloating, and six super size boxes of Tampax? Why don’t we just put up a big neon sign that says, “Men, run for your lives! Menstruating monsters approaching!”

Jane and Elizabeth decide they are going to head out to the woods to clear their heads.

On the way they run into Charles, and Jane takes off. Elizabeth continues, gets lost and ends up in Darcy’s cabin. They talk and Elizabeth meets Georgina and Caroline tricks Elizabeth into thinking that Darcy and her are engaged to be married.

Then things get worse with Lydia running off to marry Wickham and everyone hurries to fine her with Darcy doing the one thing we all want.

So yeah, not that good. It had all these weird dream sequences/imagination thing that made no sense and was super confusing.

Help me! I’m confused!

 I didn’t like the actors chosen or the direction the film went in.

It was boring and I do not recommend it.

For more on Pride & Prejudice, go to Prude & Prejudice

For more Pride & Prejudice variations, go to Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife: Pride and Prejudice Continues

For more films based on Jane Austen, go to TO the Person Who Hated My Review of Emma (1996) AKA the Kate Beckinsale Version

For more Jane Austen variations, go to A Long Fatal Love Chase

For more Jane Austen quotes, go to You Can’t Hurry Love

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Bridget Jones’ Diary (2001)

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So this film is supposed to be a modern day retelling of Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice.

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Strangely enough it stars two people who had been in films based on Jane Austen’s work. Hugh Grant plays Daniel Cleaver, our George Wickham, when he was in the 1995 Sense and Sensibility as Edward Ferras.

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And then we have Colin Firth as Mark Darcy, having played Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice (1995).

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Now I understand why Colin Firth decided to be in the film, I read online that he thought it would distance him from the 1995 miniseries, along with killing the wet shirt.

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But oh Colin Firth, you were so wrong.

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That will never die

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So let’s look at the film:

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So prior to this viewing, I had seen the part where the mom has left the dad for another guy, the “vicars and tarts party”, and the very end in the snow.

Why?

Why?

From what I had seen I wasn’t really interested as I didn’t think it looked that good at all.

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However, lots of people love it. Everyone says they are funny and it was just given a third installment.

Truth be told I don't

Truth be told I don’t

 My friend is one of those who loves this film and she convinced me to watch it with her.

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I did and I really didn’t like it.

I don't like it 11

I just don’t get the love for this film!

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It mean doesn’t really follow Pride & Prejudice, the characters aren’t that likable, the situations silly ands not really making sense.

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I think this movie is horrible, and I’ll tell you why.

Let'sdothis

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Mark & Bridget Falling in Love

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Mark (Mr. Darcy) and Bridget (Elizabeth) barely have any screen time together, so they don’t really have the opportunity to grow in a relationship. This is a problem with modern adaptations as in the original tale (and in history), when people visited they didn’t stay a few days, they stayed weeks or months. Darcy spent a long time with Bingley, encountering Elizabeth when she came to assist in her sister’s recuperating. And then again when Elizabeth stayed with Charlotte, but here they meet up at a family party her parents are throwing, a dinner party, accidentally while she is on vacation with Daniel (Wickham), and they fall for each other?

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It doesn’t really work. They should have had them spend more time together. I mean he decides to forgo a new career in New York, throws himself at her feet, etc. We should see why he would.

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Bridget is an Empowering Character. Or is She?

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Bridget is constantly being sexually harassed but does nothing about it.

What?!

What?!

I know! Look at the little tagline there, it says

“For anyone who’s ever been set up, stood up, or felt up”

And it acts like it is going to be real empowering or something. And is it? No!

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Bridget never stands up for herself or does anything about; choosing to just suffer through it. We have her creepy uncle who every time he sees her grabs her butt. Does she tell him off or her parents so they stop inviting him? No. Instead she just lets him continue.

I don't think so

And then when Daniel gropes her in the elevator and says inappropriate comments, does she do anything? No She just lets him do whatever.

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And then there is the way that her new job treats her, as breasts and a butt.

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What kind of message is that saying, especially since it is “based” on a character who is renowned for the beauty of her wit?

I don't like it 11

I mean I’m not asking her to go all out like this:

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I’m just asking for her to stand up for herself.

No thank youhowaboutno

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Where Oh Where is the Witticism?

Where is the wit? Elizabeth was a great character who always put her two cents in.

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In this Bridget is made to be more of not a bimbo, but one who never thinks but just spouts off the first thing that pops in her head.

If only people followed this advice.

If only people followed this advice.

She is nothing like who she is based on at all.

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Why Does Bridget Continue to Believe Daniel?

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Why does Bridget go on believing Daniel after she finds out that he is a big fat liar?

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Daniel tells Bridget this story about how Mark Darcy slept with his fiancé, being the nail in the coffin of hate. But then we find out that Daniel is a a liar and was not only cheating on Bridget, but she is the other woman.

What jerks

What jerks

Yes, he was in a relationship the whole time and leading Bridget on with no intention of ever having it be more. Then when Bridget quits, we discover that Daniel had been keeping Bridget from moving ahead as he wanted to keep her to dabble in.

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Why does she think anything he said is the truth? When I found out my ex cheated in me I was really angry:

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But it also made me question everything he did and said. Why wasn’t it the same for her? I mean in the book Elizabeth doesn’t find out that Wickham is a liar until Darcy reveals what he did. And as soon as she sees him again, she lets him know that his drivel isn’t welcome here.

You-serious?-Not-happening-babe!

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Why Did They Have Her Parents Separate?

Over You

I really don’t understand why the film has the mother and father split up. It doesn’t really enhance the plot or create growth for the characters. I mean the only thing it “adds” is that with the mom out of the way the truth about Daniel’s lie isn’t given until the end. I don’t know why they did but I sure didn’t like that she comes home on Christmas and everything is okay, they are back together. There isn’t even an emotional payoff in that.

Those guys

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Why Would Darcy Read Bridget’s Diary?

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So Bridget leaves Mark downstairs while she changes out of her embarrassing underwear. She tells him to make himself comfortable and read some magazines and he reads her diary.

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Really? I do not see Mark ever doing something like that when he has other options. He’s just not that type of guy at all.

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And her running after him in the snow with no pants or coat. Yeah right, she would freeze before she met up with him.

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Bridget’s Friends are Atrocious

See Hook agrees with me.

See Hook agrees with me.

Bridget’s friends are awful.

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All they do is give horrible advice or make the situation worse.

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Where is level-headed and realistic Charlotte?

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Where is the kind, caring, always seeing the good Jane?

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We have Tom who makes the situation worse, bringing the fight into the restaurant and the wait staff out; Shazzer who just complains and places all kinds of doubts in Bridget’s mind; and the other friend who just cries all the time.

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No thank you.

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So I haven’t read the book, (maybe I will like that better), but as for this film, except for a few good moments, I see it as a dud.

Ew Yuck Gross

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For more on Pride & Prejudice, go to Pride & Prejudice & Zombies

For more Pride & Prejudice adaptations, go to Austenland

For more Jane Austen films, go to Is Love at the Thanksgiving Parade Really Just Pride & Prejudice?

For more Jane Austen adaptations, go to Midnight in Austenland

For more Colin Firth, go to When I Get Into a Novel

For more Hugh Grant, go to The Eye of the Storm

She Struck Him as a Fixer-Upper, a Block of Clay Ready for Pygmalion’s Chisel: The Overnight Socialite

Day 18) R is for Remake: Choose a Book that is a Retelling of a Classic

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The Overnight Socialite by Bridie Clark

I was in the college campus bookstore because I needed to buy some scantrons and decided to look around as my friend’s birthday was coming up. She is really into being environmentally friendly, so I was looking at the recycled products when I spotted one of my favorite things: Clearance Books. You know how I feel about that.

Books not shoes

I didn’t really see anything that I was interested in or would be a good gift for my friend. As I pushed the books around I spotted this one.

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The first thing that intrigued me was the cover and how the hair is butterflies. I flipped the back over and read that it was a retelling of Pygmalion, the story most would recognize as its musical form My Fair Lady.

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I thought it sounded interesting and was reduced to a good price, but I felt like I couldn’t buy it as I didn’t have the extra money for myself and was supposed to be shopping for my friend. So I left it behind.

I don't need it.

I don’t need it.

Later I began thinking about it.

Good job screenwriters.

I just couldn’t get it off my mind so I ended up looking for it in the library.

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But they didn’t have it!

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But I was able to ILL (Inter Library Loan) it and I got it from another place.

Double double yay

I then read the story and quickly loved it, finding it hard to put down.

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Now you know how I feel about remakes and sequels:

Bad Sequels psycho-1960-alfred-hitchcock-janet-leigh-pic-21

But this was nothing like that. I thought this book was absolutely amazingly written and was incredible in retelling the story.

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Background:

So the original play Pygmalion takes place during Victorian Era England. Eliza Doolittle is a woman from the lower classes who sells flowers to survive. She comes upon an angry Professor Henry Higgins, an aristocrat, who is appalled at how her cockney butches the English language. He makes a bet with his friend Colonel Pickering that he could take Eliza, teach her how to talk eloquently, and she would be able to pass off as a wealthy woman. He never imagined that Eliza would take up his offer, but she does and Col. Pickering insists on them continuing the bet.

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Plot Synopsis:

In this version, we are in modern day Manhattan. Wyatt Hayes IV is from an old family stock, high in the community, and biological anthropologist with his doctoral degree from Harvard. He is bored with his life and stalled career, and disgusted with the way that these modern Manhattanites conduct themselves. More like the Kardashians, taking every bit of limelight they can, rather than being the Jackie Onassis.

Tom-Hanks-Saying-Really

He breaks up with his longtime girlfriend, Cornelia, as all she cares about is becoming a “brand” and working on her “career” as a socialite.

That guy!

He heads over to his favorite bar to hang out with his friend Trip Peters, fellow Gothamite and complains that these women today, are just like the animals he’s studied.

Or them

Or them

Meanwhile, Lucy Jo Ellis is the daughter of a manicurist in Milwaukee. She came to New York in the hopes of becoming a fashion designer; but has barely been able to scrape by on her pay as an assistant seamstress for a designer. She believes she is given her dream when she is gifted an invitation at the designer’s fashion show, but that turns out to be a call for assisting in catering and does not go well.

ouch Hermione

Fired, and with zero options and no money; it looks like Lucy is headed back to Milwaukee.

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Wyatt muses on this thought of society women like the animal kingdom, and as he drinks decides it is the perfect project for him…for a book! He could take any average woman and using his knowledge of the animal kingdom and New York socialites; he could change her into the top debutante.

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A chance meeting with Lucy, as she is trying to make her way home, he bets he can turn her into the top socialite.

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Lucy reacts like any normal girl would, and freaks out thinking that he is crazy or trying to pick her up. She takes off.

I'm getting out of here

I’m getting out of here

However, with no possibilities coming her way and living on her last dollar she decides to take Wyatt up on his crazy experiment. Wyatt is eager for this to work as he has his book deal, which he has not told Lucy anything about (bad idea)

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And Lucy believes that when she becomes a socialite she can use that to create bonds with the right people, finding a new designer to work with or possibly even start out on her own.

Double double yay

Will Wyatt be able to make due on his bet and turn her into a real lady?

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Or will the whole plan flop?

Not good

Not good

Will Lucy be able to score her dream job?

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Or will she become the laughingstock of the upper crust and be kicked out of New York City?

And run fast

And run fast

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How Does It Compare?:

I thought the characters were amazingly well done and I loved how the book was able to follow the map of the original story; but at the same time infuse it with their own style and create a new-old tale.

Some changes that the author, Clark, made , I felt enhanced the story. She added a girlfriend for Wyatt’s Professor Higgen’s character, being the catalyst for his bet. She is shallow, vain, and only cares about her image; being the foil for Lucy.

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We also have a girlfriend for Trip (the Col. Pickering character), being Eloise. Eloise is a personal shopper/stylist ad gets recruited to assist in dress and makeup for Lucy. The two become fast friends and we become invested in her and her distress over Trip’s lack of commitment.

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Clark also extends the characters of the Eynsford-Hill family; the mother, daughter Clara, and son Freddy (Max in the book). Mrs. Eynsford-Hill is a social climber; trying to overcome her family’s downfall by trying to marry her children up. Her daughter is closer to the mother while Freddy is ruled by both women in his life. In the play, they treat Eliza poorly when they see her as a peasant, Freddy later becoming one of her biggest admirers, falling in love with her. In a way they are seen as Eliza’s accomplishments; so well trained in being a lady they don’t even realize she is the same women from before.

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In this book we spend a lot of time in their head and learn that Clara wishes to have wealth and fortune, but is willing to put that aside for love and true happiness. Freddy, Max in this book, isn’t interested in continuing “wall street business” but is more comfortable creating things and doing capentry. He has a lot more to him, and eventually strikes out on his own. He later becomes a love interest for Eloise, who is tired of Trip’s stalling.

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I thought this was a fantastic read and highly recommend it.

Iloveit love

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

For the previous post, go to A Quest of Swords and Wizards: The Crown Conspiracy

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For more retelling classic literature, go to Midnight in Austenland

For more modern remakes, go to Is Love at the Thanksgiving Parade Really Just Pride & Prejudice?

For more on Oprah Winfrey, go to I Have A Problem

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Today’s Christmas carol is Silver Bells. It was written in 1950 and composed by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans. At first it was called Tinkle Bells, until Livingston pointed out the other meaning of tinkle.

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There is a big conflict as to where the idea came from. Livingston was quoted saying the idea came from hearing the Salvation army bells, while Evans said it was a bell on their desk. Oh well, it doesn’t really matter as a great song came out of either source.

The song was orginally sung by Bob Hope and Marilyn Maxwell in The Lemon Drop Kid, but the first official release of the song was done Bing Crosby and Carol Richards.

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For more Bing Crosby, go to I’m the Happiest Girl on Prince Edward Island: Anne of Green Gables

For more Christmas Carols, go to So You’re the Little Woman Who Wrote the Book that Made this Great War: Uncle Tom’s Cabin

 

Dracula. Not Myth, Nor Ravings of a Mad Irish Novelist, Oh No, He’s Real: Dracula 2000 (2000)

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Dracula. Dracula: not myth, nor ravings of a mad Irish novelist, oh no. He’s real, I assure you.

A long time ago, AMC used to do Fear Fridays. Every friday night at 8 they would show a horror film, and not stop until early Saturday morning. But then they pushed it back to 9, then 10, then 11, then 12, then 1 am, then 2 am; still calling it Fear Friday although it was actually Saturday morning. And then they just stopped doing it, which deeply saddened me as I saw many a good, creepy film those Friday nights.

Why did it end?

Why did it end?

This however, wasn’t one of those good movies.

Hate YOu

My sister and I saw this on one of those Friday nights and I hated this film. I thought it was dumb, stupid, boring, made no sense and couldn’t hold a candle to Bela Lugosi in Dracula (1931). And I vowed to never see it ever again.

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Last week, my friend and I were having a horror film marathon. We saw Once Bitten and then were in the mood for a more serious film. She was going through the list and wanted to see Dracula 2000 as she has never seen it before. I was like

No thank youhowaboutno

She then asked me what the film was about, if I could give her a summary, and I tried to tell her…

Uhhhhhhh

Uhhhhhhh

But I couldn’t remember. The only thing I could think of was that it had Johnny Lee Miller (who played Mr. Knightley in Emma (2009) and Edmund Bertram in Mansfield Park (1999) as the regular person thrust in the adventure (the only character I liked); Gerald Butler as Dracula (the reason I watched it the first time) but he was so young that it didn’t even look like him and I hated his character; a weird scene in the record store; and that I hated it. Why did I hate it, I couldn’t remember. The movie must have been so horrible I just wiped it from my memory banks.

Where

Since I couldn’t remember it, and thought maybe I was too harsh a judge, we decided to watch it and see if it was different this go round.

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I HATED IT!

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I thought it was horrible and stupid. So you know what that means! A countdown!!! Yes, let’s go over everything I liked (barely anything) to everything I hated (practically everything!)

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Synopsis:

The film is supposed to be Dracula set in modern times rather than 1831, so the year is 2000. In London, Matthew Van Helsing (Abraham’s descendent) has an antique store in which he is training Simon (Johnny Lee Miller). That night everyone but Matthew goes home, and unbeknownst to him his secretary Solina is part of a ring of thieves that breaks into his vault. They find nothing in there but crosses and a coffin, taking it as it must be valuable.

But something terrible lurks inside.

But something terrible lurks inside.

When Matthew discovers the theft, he goes after them, leaving Simon to watch over the business. However, Simon is worried about his mentor and follows him instead.

The thieves open the coffin and reveal that it is Dracula (Gerald Butler) who turns them all into vampires.

Renfield: He came and stood below my window in the moonlight. And he promised me things, not in words, but by doing them. Van Helsing: Doing them? Renfield: By making them happen. A red mist spread over the lawn, coming on like a flame of fire! And then he parted it, and I could see that there were thousands of rats, with their eyes blazing red,l ike his, only smaller. Then he held up his hand, and they all stopped, and I thought he seemed to be saying: "Rats! Rats! Rats! Thousands! Millions of them! All red-blood! All these will I give you! If you will obey me!" Van Helsing: What did he want you to do? Renfield: That which has already been done! [giggles sinisterly]

Renfield: He came and stood below my window in the moonlight. And he promised me things, not in words, but by doing them.
Van Helsing: Doing them?
Renfield: By making them happen. A red mist spread over the lawn, coming on like a flame of fire! And then he parted it, and I could see that there were thousands of rats, with their eyes blazing red,l ike his, only smaller. Then he held up his hand, and they all stopped, and I thought he seemed to be saying: “Rats! Rats! Rats! Thousands! Millions of them! All red-blood! All these will I give you! If you will obey me!”
Van Helsing: What did he want you to do?
Renfield: That which has already been done!
[giggles sinisterly]

He then heads to New Orleans, LA. There lives Mary Heller, a devout Catholic, who has had strange dreams/visions her whole life but they seem worse now than ever before. She keeps seeing this man, unsure of who he is, but us viewers know him as Dracula.

Dracula

Simon and Matthew team up and try to destroy the new vampires, Simon originally shocked but after being attacked admits they are real. Matthew then reveals his secret, he is really Abraham Van Helsing, the Van Helsing.

Count Dracula: Van Helsing. [Van Helsing turns to face Count Dracula] Count Dracula: Now that you have learned what you have learned, it would be well for you to return to your own country. Van Helsing: I prefer to remain and protect those whom you would destroy. Count Dracula: You are too late. My blood now flows through her veins. She will live through the centuries to come, as I have lived. Van Helsing: Should you escape us, Dracula. We know how to save Miss Mina's soul if not her life. Count Dracula: If she dies by day. But I shall see that she dies by night. Van Helsing: And I will have Carfax Abbey torn down, stone by stone, excavated a mile around. I will find your earth-box and drive that stake through your heart. Count Dracula: Come here. [Dracula raises his hand to hypnotise Van Helsing] Count Dracula: Come here...Your will is strong, Van Helsing. [Van Helsing reaches out for his crucifix as Dracula looms toward him] Count Dracula: More wolfbane? Van Helsing: More effective than wolfbane, Count. Count Dracula: Indeed. [Dracula lunges towards Van Helsing. Van Helsing holds up the crucifix. Dracula snarls and turns away. Van Helsing, in triumph, puts away the crucifix]

[Dracula lunges towards Van Helsing. Van Helsing holds up the crucifix. Dracula snarls and turns away. Van Helsing, in triumph, puts away the crucifix]

When he discovered nothing worked to kill Dracula, he imprisoned him in a coffin and took his blood to keep him young as he continued to try to find a way to destroy him. He was married and they had a daughter Mary, and in her blood is Dracula’s blood. When he told his wife the whole story, she left him and took his daughter to America.

And run fast

Dracula has lost his male vampires, but has three wives: Solina, the secretary; Valerie, a news reporter; and Lucy, Mary’s best friend. Simon and Helsing split up to look for Mary, Helsing being killed by Dracula and the wives at Mary’s house. Simon finds Mary and they escape, only for Mary to be captured later. Simon tries to help her; but is no match for all the vampires.

Dracula

Before Dracula turns Mary into a vampire, he reveals that he is Judas Iscariot and that is why he hates silver and crosses. He tried to hang himself, but the “rope broke” and God turned him into a vampire.

SayWhat?BuffyVampireSlayernosense

I know. He turns Mary into a vampire, but I guess her already vampire blood counteracts it as she is not his slave.

You-serious?-Not-happening-babe!

She saves Simon, kills Dracula, and decides to continue the family business (although if she killed Dracula it is over) turning into a female Blade, kinda-sorta.

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So What Was Good?

There was only one thing I liked in this entire film, and that was Johnny Lee Miller’s character, Simon.

dracula20009

Simon was extremely likable because he was just a regular person thrown into this situation and trying to make sense of it. All his reactions are spot on to when he thinks people are crazy to finally becoming a butt-kicking vampire hunter. He is kind, compassionate, caring, intelligent, and extremely witty.

Marcus: [Simon produces a cross] Sorry sport. I’m an atheist.

Simon Sheppard: [a dagger pops out of the cross’ base] God loves you anyway.

The other thing I like about him was how he represented the everyman or everywoman. Here is a guy who has read old inscriptions, heard stories, studied antique weaponry, etc; but studying and hearing it is much different than having to use it, have the myths be real, and be expected to hunt down vampires. He tries his best as he discovers this new reality, and even though he makes mistakes, all is forgiven as he is us, the viewer, in a sense. I thought he was fun and the best thought out thing in the film.

I like it!

I like it!

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So What Was Bad?

Everything else. Seriously, I mean it. The rest of the film was absolutely horrid.

1) Too Many Stars

Beaucrazyeyesmonstercreature

Like Scre4m it is hard to focus on a plot of a film when you are being hit right and left with people who are really famous. In every scene it felt more like a game of “Which Star Will Pop Up Next” rather than watching a film about Dracula. I mean we have Shane West, Christopher Plummer, Johnny Lee Miller, Omar Epps, Nathan Fillion, Vitamin C, etc. When casting you really have to be careful and not have too many recognizable people, or else your audience will be going bug-eyed.

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2) For a Dracula film there isn’t a lot of Dracula in it.

Dracula

Dracula is supposed to be about Dracula; but Dracula actually has a small role in this film. And unlike previous films, Dracula wasn’t even played by a big star with top billing; instead they choose Gerald Butler who had very little on his acting resume at the time this film was made. To me that is incredibly strange as he is the main character, THE TITLE CHARACTER. He should be the star, the biggest personality. Instead Dracula has very little dialogue and spends most of his time just creepily staring at people.

He's creepin' in your windows. He's starin' at your people.

He’s creepin’ in your windows. He’s starin’ at your people.

I didn’t like that, not one bit. As much as I disliked Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and I did a lot, at least that one knew what to focus on, DRACULA! It was a weird decision made by the writers, and a bad one.

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3) Mary, Mary Quite Boring

Bones David Bored I;m bored boring

Mary was so boring! I mean it what a yawnfest. All she did was cower, snivel, and act as if she was going to have a breakdown. Her character was bland and completely underdeveloped other than “good”, “Catholic”, and “British”. Now don’t get me wrong, the breakdown character can work but only in films where it is about psychological damage, like Rebecca, Gaslight or Under Capricorn, not a monster movie. In this type of film that kind of behavior is boring!

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4) Taking Blood to Live Longer, Yet He Doesn’t Become a Vampire

Dean-Dracula-The-Delusional-Shapeshifter-in-Monster-Movie-supernatural-24166990-700-300

In the book Dracula, the way to have someone become a vampire is to give them vampire blood. In this film Van Helsing keeps transfusing vampire blood into his body to live longer, but doesn’t become a vampire. That makes zero sense! If you ingest vampire blood you are a vampire. Pure and simple.

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5) Dracula is Judas

The Last Supper - Da Vinci 1495-98

Yes. It turns out the reason Dracula hates silver, crosses, bibles, Christianity, etc…is because he is Judas.

stupidestThingeverheard

Why would God turn him into a vampire? Why would God create a being that cannot be killed but kill his people making their souls unable to move on? That is just unbelievably dumb.

I mean if the devil was the one who did it, it would still be really dumb, but make a lil’ more sense.

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So yes it was dumb, incredibly dumb. Just stupid and horribly boring. My advice? Just skip it.

And after we finished the film, I asked my friend “What do you think of it?” Her response:

You as in the film

You as in the film

So there you go, not just me.

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dracula2024

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To start Horrorfest V from the beginning, go to Who You Gonna Call?: Ghostbusters (1984)

For the previous post, go to I’m…a Werewolf: Teen Wolf (1985)

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For more Dracula, go to We’ve Seen Dracula, the Wolf Man, and Frankenstein’s Monster: Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)

For more vampire films, go to I Don’t Want to Be a Vampire. I’m a Day Person: Once Bitten (1985)

For more on Judas Iscariot, go to The Arrest

For more modern remakes, go to Heroes are Not Born, They’re Created: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)

For more sucky remakes, go to Every Three Thousand Years, the Stars Align. Unleashing an Army of Monsters: TMNT (2007)

For more Gerald Butler, go to Pot o’ Gold: 17 Irish Heroes

Heroes are Not Born, They’re Created: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)

Teenage_Mutant_Ninja_Turtles_film_July_2014_poster

People want heroes…but heroes are not born, they’re created.

So this is our first installment of four reviews of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle films.

So I know those of you who haven’t been following me, and have stumbled upon this post are probably really confused. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? As a horror film? NO WAY.

crazy

I know you are all saying to yourselves, hey this is a superhero movie, not a horror film. Au contraire, you see the turtles are radioactively enhanced to be larger; agile, smarter, etc. In fact the only thing that separates them from other radioactively changed creatures: such as the ants in Them, the giant spider in the Tarantula, or even Godzilla. They choosing to use their abilities for good and be superheroes doesn’t change the fact of how they were made.

So there! tongue sticking out pug

You also might be wondering why am I starting with the 2014 film instead of the 1990 one? Well I decided that I would review the one with the closest horror film components, as these turtles are engineered in a lab instead of accidentally created, just like Frankenstein.

Clive, Colin (Frankenstein)_02

It might be a little confusing working backwards, but fun all the same. So here we go.

DeanSupernaturalLetsGetStarted

The Review

So as you know I hate remakes and sequels.

Bad Sequels psycho-1960-alfred-hitchcock-janet-leigh-pic-21

I was not excited about this film coming out at all. And when I heard that Michael Bay was directing?

ugh

It’s going to suck. I just knew I would hate it.

DislikeYOuScream2

But then, I had some friends tell me they liked it and really enjoyed it. I thought, okay. I’ll watch it, I’ll see how it is.

Hmm...

Hmm…

So I went to the movies and I sat through it. And I really tried to be objective, I really tried to be open and like the film. The only problem was that it sucked.

I don't like it 11

It had some good things, but on a whole it was boring, ugly, the same-old-same-old, and stupid. I hated it. I hated everything they did. They ruined the turtles!

michaelBayruinchildhood

So let’s get started on the actual review.

Teenage_Mutant_Ninja_Turtles_film_July_2014_poster

So I liked the beginning comic book look for the credits, that was okay although I didn’t like the backstory. I mean it makes no sense that Splinter would want to prepare the turtles to fight Shredder and the Foot clan, unless they had a backstory and prior knowledge of each other, like in the original. This made no sense whatsoever. It was just so stupid!

stupidestThingeverheard

So Megan Fox as April O’Neal. Why, why would you do that? She is a horrible actress because she doesn’t act. If you put her, Kristen Stewart, and Channing Tatum in a room with a pile of wood, you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between any of them.

This film suck!

This film sucks!

Now the whole April O’Neal being a young, fluff reporter trying to make it as a serious journalist, at first put me off…but afterwards I didn’t mind it so much.

It works

It works

I prefer the established April, but I didn’t mind that change. I know they wanted to make her young, “hot”, and more relatable to the viewers.

really? I can't stand this movie.

really? I can’t stand this movie.

So this is the first film to have Vernon, a character from the original cartoon TV show. Instead of being an egotistical jerk, he’s one of those “ugh guys”. You know the type that tries to be Fonzie, but isn’t anywhere as cool as him.

This is you fault!

 So April is looking for a way to break into the serious news scene. She has been hearing rumors of these vigilantes fighting back. She knows there is more but no one will talk to her. One dock hand says he knows a guy that will talk to her later, at night.

What?

What?

That night April heads to the docks to get answers.

hold-up-wait-a-minute-let-me-put-some-pimpin-in-it

Excuse me? At night? What person in their right mind would head down to the docks in the middle of the night?

stupidmoranhmm_yes_i_see_youre_a_moron_trollcat

That seriously has to be the stupidest thing anyone could do.

So April spots a group of people breaking into the storage containers at the docks and of course calls the police.

do-you-think-im-stupid-do-you-not-see-the-glasses

Oh wait, I’m sorry. That would have been the smart thing to do. Instead she goes to record it, but her phone starts dying. Her phone can’t record anymore, as the battery is too low, but instead of making a phone call to the police and reporting it, she gets closer!

doyouwanttodie

April in the other film was much better as she made smarter decisions.

So this April witnesses the Turtles fighting, sort of. It’s too dark to make it out what is actually happening. She sees the graffiti mark they leave behind and photographs it.

The next day she goes to speak to her supervisor, Whoopi Goldberg. Now this is a big problem with this film. In the original, the actors became the characters. They were all well-known people before the film, but they were just so awesome they became them. In this the stars don’t make you forget, they constantly push it into your face that they are Megan Fox and Whoopi. It would have been better of they had picked different people.

Bad. Very bad.

Bad. Very bad.

Whoopi is especially distracting as I don’t even know what her character name is.

Truth be told I don't

Truth be told I don’t

I also think it is so stupid that she would throw her idea out there in front of everyone instead of going to speak to her editor one-on-one. She should have waited until later.

Seriously

Seriously

So then we switch to our first introduction of Shredder. I thought this was okay. We watch Shredder blindfolded in the shadows, masking his face and fighting the Foot clan. I like that they all speak in Japanese. That was pretty cool.

loveitSupernatural

Now the thing I hate, is they make a big deal on keeping Shredder in the shadows and masking his face, just like in the original, only to show his face and then go back to the shadows. WHY WOULD YOU BOTHER TO KEEP HIM IN THE SHADOWS AND THEN SHOW HIM WHEN IT’S SUPPOSED TO BE A BIG REVEAL.

really? I can't stand this movie.

really? I can’t stand this movie.

And as we are sidenoting, have you noticed how every single person has green eyes in this film? Do you know how rare that is? I have natural green eyes and hardly run into anyone who has them (naturally). In fact let’s get the statistics.

“Green eye color is the rarest color found around the world, and it is estimated that only around 2% of the world’s population has green colored eyes.”

But yet every single person in this film has been given the green contacts. Seriously, Michael Bay back down.

Look at your life, look at your choices. You are making some really bad ones.

That night April heads down to a big event in which Eric Sacks, gazillionaire, is teaming up with the NYPD to fight crime. And of course, obvious bad guy is obvious.

  1. Owns a huge corporation? ✓
  2. Has gazillions of dollars? ✓
  3. Talks in a creepy voice oozing with evil intentions so that all know he is evil ✓

you're evil

And of course he’s connected to April.

Come on!

Come on!

Yep, as I said this films is full of boring film cliches. He and April’s father used to work together, until a fire destroyed the whole lab, April’s father having died in the process. Same old, same old.

Blah, blah

Blah, blah

Later that night, Megan oops, I mean April, comes across the Foot clan taking hostages in the subway. Instead of calling the police or the paper, she runs toward the action and gets herself taken a hostage.

stupidmoranhmm_yes_i_see_youre_a_moron_trollcat

 Then she takes footage with her iPhone. Hello, you are taken hostage by people who have no qualms about killing, and while in plain sight you are going to film them?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

doyouwanttodie

She has no common sense at all.

The Turtles come and knock out all the lights, and defeat the Foot clan. Instead of calling the paper and sharing her story, a real story in which could actually help her break into serious reporting, she takes off after the Turtles trying to get a picture of them. She gets one from far away and of poor quality.

Can't see anything

Can’t see anything

To be honest it is their own faults. Why would they hang around the area after fighting of they don’t want to get caught.

meettheRobinsonsPlannotthoughtthrough

So the Turtles grab her and take her phone. Now why would you do that. Okay in the original April is knocked out and Raphael has no idea what to do. He’s not sure if she is seriously hurt and can’t drop her off at a hospital, so he takes her home. In this the girl is far away, taking a photo at night. The best you are going to get is light flashes, black, and blur. Let it go. Who’s going to believe the story of giant turtles anyway?

Get it together!

Get it together!

But NOOO, they decide, let’s reaffirm her ideas we exist by showing ourselves to her and that they we ARE real.

Can't see anything

Can’t see anything

And I hate the way they made the Turtles. They don’t look real and in the picture. You can tell they are CGI, they just feel fake. And don’t tell me that “that’s the way CGI works”, we had CGI in 2001 with Lord of the Rings, and the stuff in there looks way better than some of the stuff we have today.

This movie

This movie

They also say their “real names” in front of her. Come on, these are teenagers who love pop culture and have never read/seen any superhero thing and realized they need to protect their “secret identity.”

Get it together!

Get it together!

After this whole thing, April runs home trying to figure out where she heard those names before. Excuses me? What happened to the hostage story? That’s a good story. She needs to pitch it to her bosses while she works on the other one. This is why an older, established April works. In the other movies, April played up pieces while continuing to research into the complete story.

You suck!

You suck!

She goes home and finds her old home videos she made of her dad’s lab before he died. Now let me ask you one question. What are the odds that she would have brought those old tapes with her? More likely they would be home and she would have to ask her mom to check the attic or her room for her old stuff.

And to ease the suckage of this film

And to ease the suckage of this film

Anyways, in the videos she named the four turtles that her father is experimenting on. First of all, how would a six-year old even know the names of four great famous artists like Michaelangelo, Donatello, Raphael, and Leonardo? I mean I knew them because I watched the Ninja Turtles. It makes more sense to have Splinter choose those names out of a book he found.

Yeah-Dean-dean-winchester-33251540-500-300

It turns out that April spent lots of time there, feeding the turtles pizza. Excuse me, would scientists conducting an experiment and heavily monitoring everything, allow the turtles to be feed pizza and possibly skew the results? And why do they only eat cheese pizza in this, turtles eat meat more than dairy?(My niece has a turtle, so I know.)

“Never feed a turtle dairy products, as their stomach cannot properly digest lactose.”

So if they are radioactively changed to eat dairy, why not let them eat everything else on the pizza like in the original, TV show, and comics?

April decides that this is her in with a story.

Come on!

Come on!

Meanwhile, in the sewer the turtles try to sneak in, but Splinter catches them. Now Splinter freaks me out.

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

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

I can’t look at him. You guys might not have realized this, but rats are creepy looking. And this version of Splinter is the creepiest. At least in the original he was older, cuddly, cute, and pulled on your heartstrings. You know, an animal version of Mr. Miyagi. This one is a more active rat; mean and more of an instructor than a father. Yes in the original, Splinter was their Ninja instructor/master, but he was also their father and moved between both roles, knowing when to discipline and when to love. In this, Splinter was just cruel and cold, no Fatherly twinges at all. They tell Splinter the truth, and he warns them that April will be in danger, they must go save her.

Plus we have the same old plot of Raphael fighting with Leonardo to be the leader. Blah! Boring!

Bones David Bored I;m bored boring

It was great in the first film, and worked for the second, but again? Jeez, guys. DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT!!! It’s boring to repeat the same thing over and over again.

Blah, blah

Blah, blah

Back on the surface, April has decided that she will give her story of giant Mutant turtles fighting evil and leaving graffiti to her editor in front of everyone. Like that is the stupidest thing I have ever seen. Did she not hear how crazy she sounds? Would she really bring all this with zero proof? Like why? This is dumber than dumb.

simpsons d'oh duh

And of course she gets fired, like no duh. What were you expecting?

Come on!

Come on!

She then she heads over to see Eric Sacks to tell him the turtles exist, and we have that old cliché of going to see someone for help and they are actually evil.

So obs

So obs

There Eric shares his back story (Why?) and we find out he grew up in Japan where he was abandoned by his father. He was reared by his mentor/martial arts instructor. This instructor told him an ancient story of Japan and a warlord that took over when crime was running rampant or something. I don’t know. He hands her his card in case she needs anything, and April leaves. Obvious tracker is obvious.

Just stop with these stupid clichés!

Just stop with these stupid clichés!

After April leaves, Eric talk to Shredder who is his mentor that raised him. Now the Shredder in here is boring.

Bones David Bored I;m bored boring

Originally Eric Sacks was supposed to be the Shredder, but they changed that because fans were upset that the Shredder wasn’t going to be Japanese. They then gave both zero character. Shredder has no real motive, reason, or any development.

meettheRobinsonsPlannotthoughtthrough

The original was AWESOME!!! Why? Well we don’t see the Shredder for most of the figure, just his assistant Tatsu. Then when we are introduced to the Shredder, he is awesome. Taking down people, being scary, evil, all-around awesome bad guy. Then we hear Splinter’s tale of his master being killed by Oroku Saki, and how horrible he was. Only in the end to have it revealed that Oroku Saki and the Shredder are the same person.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow what

So April starts looking online to get more information when Donatello hacks into her computer and tells her to meet them at a certain address. Let me tell you that is the creepiest thing I have ever heard. They sound as if they are going to murder her!!

Gilmore girls creep

And she actually goes there alone, without telling anybody, the middle of nowhere. Man this girl is just asking to die.

Just do it already, end here.

Just do it already, end here.

They take April to the sewers and it is the first film to bridge the actual distance of the fact that they are in a sewer, you know a place where poop is.

Ew Yuck Gross

So here we have the Bay version of the back story. In the original Splinter’s master, Hamata Yoshi and Oroku Saki were rivals in martial arts and in love. They were supposed to fight to the death for the hand of Tang Shen, but as she loved Yoshi and didn’t want to risk his death, they ran off together to America. Oroku Saki doesn’t give up and years later, he tracks them down and murders them. Splinter becomes incensed and attacks Oroku, disfiguring his face. He gets thrown out and winds up in the sewer coming upon four turtles and radioactive ooze. This mutates them and makes them bigger, smarter, stronger, etc. Splinter changes to, and can read, finding a book on painters, naming his adopted turtle children after the people in the book. They find a home in the sewer where he teaches them the secret art of ninja he witnessed his master doing, now not only remembering but able to teach them.

I-got-this-reaction-gif

In Bay’s version, April’s father and Eric Sacks were working on some kind of mutagen that will increase immunity, make you stronger, and the rest unsure of what exactly. They experimented on four turtles and a rat. April’s father was a good scientist only wanting to increase knowledge, while Eric Sacks is evil after money. Same old, same old.

Bones David Bored I;m bored boring

When April’s father figures this out, he tries to destroy everything, by burning down the lab. It’s kind of his fault he died. April somehow was there and rescued the turtles and Splinter releasing them into the sewer. Okay, if April’s father was to destroy a lab with fire, why would he bring his six year old along?

That makes no sense

That makes no sense

And why do they always have a bad scientist and a good scientist. It’s boring and been in everything from The Amazing Spider-man to The Fantastic Four. And you notice the father that died is always morally upright. I was thinking that is one of the things that makes Star Wars so awesome. They aren’t afraid to go there, they aren’t afraid to have their hero deal with a moral issue of what is right, should I follow in my father’s footsteps, etc.

StarWarsDarker

So in this after being in the sewer, Splinter just happened to come upon a book on Ninjitsu, teaching himself and then the kids. That’s as stupid as when Danny is trying to teach himself karate in The Karate Kid. You can’t learn martial arts from a book. Especially Ninjitsu. Ninjitsu isn’t a real martial art, the Ninjas were assassins, the only way to learn is to be taught. It is the dumbest thing I have ever heard and the dumbest backstory ever!

stupidestThingeverheard

And if the rat is from America and grew up in a lab how does he know so much about Japan? The culture, the essence, etc? If the film took place earlier, it might work as the ’90s were a plethora of ninja things. But in this version, the film takes place in 2014, the turtles are 15-16, which means that the kids and Splinter start their “mutant” life in 1998-1999, meaning they grew up in the 2000s. That means that Splinter should know nothing about Ninjas, Japan, etc. If anything, they should be obsessed with cops and CSI.

CSI-NY-CSI-CSI-Miami-csi-ny-1323819-1004-800

So back on Shredder, Eric Sacks has given him an ugly robotic suit. Just no, no, no, no.

metropolis-Robot

And with Shredder, why do you keep putting his face in shadow? You already showed us his face, why bother?

Get it together!

Get it together!

So the Shredder comes with the Foot to take down the Turtles and kidnap them for their blood. They trip the alarm. And booby traps. Wait no, no, no that is not what happens. In a world where the Turtles have every kind of tech in the world that exists and more that Donatello made, they have nothing whatsoever to protect their hideout?

really? I can't stand this movie.

really? I can’t stand this movie.

In the original it made sense, the only tech they had was cable. They lived off what they scrounged. So they don’t have any booby traps or worries about people finding them. In this, they have a gargantuan amount of tech, but no security system? These boys read superhero comics and watch TV, they should have thought to have something.

This is what I would like to do to the stupid in this film.

This is what I would like to do to the stupid in this film.

So Shredder and Splinter fight. I do like how Splinter is younger and can fight, using his tail to as a weapon. But it was kind of sad too, as Splinter is no longer Mr. Miyagi, but now Jackie Chan. However, there is a weird dynamic between the two. Shredder and Splinter act as if they are mortal enemies, but why?

That makes no sense

That makes no sense

In this film they have no connection to each other. They know nothing of each other, really. In the original they fight because Splinter ruined his face, and when Shredder sees him, he becomes enraged. In this Shredder even calls Splinter a “father”. How would he know that?

It is so stupid! It makes no sense!!!!

It is so stupid! It makes no sense!!!!

I hate the Shredder’s fighting style too. In the original he was a master martial artist and we see him actually fight. In this one, it’s more the tech on his suit. BORING!!!

Bones David Bored I;m bored boring

They knock Splinter out (dropping a wall on him), and Raphael. They steal the other three.

As April only has a bike, she calls up Vernon to help them. When he gets there she tells him she needs a ride to the Sacks estate as they need to save the TMNT.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow what

Jeez April, Vernon hasn’t been spending every moment with her, he doesn’t know what’s what. You need to give it to him a bit slower. You sound like a psycho.

Victor Moritz: You're crazy! Henry Frankenstein: Crazy, am I? We'll see whether I'm crazy or not.

She’s crazy!

Raphael reveals himself, and they all head off to the Sacks estate.

At the Sacks estate, Eric reveals his evil plans. They want their blood to make an antidote for a virus they created and will be releasing onto the world. The reason? MONEY!!! People dying will pay through the nose for it. Even though Eric is a gazillionare, he wants more. Like world domination would make way more sense than money?

really? I can't stand this movie.

really? I can’t stand this movie.

April and Vernon crash into the estate and go in to save the turtles. As they are fighting, they manage to release the turtles giving them shots of adrenaline. Now I tried to discover of this would really help, and it seems adrenaline can reduce blood loss, but there was nothing there on bringing people back after massive blood loss. I’m saying, they died. The end.

TheEnd_Title_2

The group hijacks a truck and makes there way down to save the day. Now this scene has some stupid parts, but it was pretty cool. The only thing I hate, they made Donatello more than the nerdy one, they downright Urkeled him. I hate that.

really? I can't stand this movie.

really? I can’t stand this movie.

The elevator scene, probably the best part in the whole series. Cute and funny.

They go to do the final fight with Shredder and I hated it. It was boring, cliche, and there is no way they would have survived.

Mysteryofthe13thguestdead

April manages to secure the mutagen. She later attacks Shredder trying to channel Indigo Montoya but failing.

inigo montoya PrincessBride kill my father prepare to die

The Turtles then band together with a maneuver that allows them to push Shredder off the roof. Donnie goes to stop the toxin’s release as Shredder pulls himself back up. Leo, Raph, and Mikey continue to hold him off, and Donnie is able to stop the release with a second to spare. Shredder then tries to knock the top of the tower down, and the Turtles try holding it back as April gets to the roof and shows off the mutagen to Shredder to distract him. The top of the tower comes crashing down as Shredder lunges at April and throws them both off.

What was the Shredder’s plan here? Run toward crumbling architecture?

meettheRobinsonsPlannotthoughtthrough

They hang on for dear life, and the Turtles try to save April. Shredder tries to finish them off, but Leo throws his katana at him, causing Shredder to lose balance and fall to the ground.

We know he doesn’t die as you can’t really kill the Shredder. He’s always needed for the sequel.

Get it together!

Get it together!

The top of the tower comes loose, taking April and the Turtles with it. Then we hear this really boring thing from Raphael, blah blah blah. I’ve already checked out.

Blah, blah

Blah, blah

And when everything is done, EVERYONE HAS SEEN THE TURTLES!!! WORST NINJAS EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

2013-11-27-bradpitt friends ugh slap face stupid

In the end Vernon still trying to put the moves on April, and failing. We end with Happy Together a sad song about hoping you aren’t dumped instead of the awesome and pumping turtle power or Go Ninja or anything.

It pretty much it sucked and was absolutely horrible. Once again, Michael Bay trying to destroy everything I love.

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Why did they ever have to remake it?

And to ease the suckage of this film

And to ease the suckage of this film

But there is one good thing to come out of this: How It Should Have Ended

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To start Horrorfest V from the beginning, go to Who You Gonna Call?: Ghostbusters (1984)

For the previous post, go to A Matter of Loaf and Death: Wallace and Gromit (2008)

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For more on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, go to Return of the Fandom

For more How It Should Have Ended, go to We’re Mad Scientists. We’re Monsters: Avengers, Age of Ultron (2015)

For more sucky remakes, go to Don’t F*** With the Original: Scre4m (2011)

The Austen Series: Amanda

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Amanda (The Austen Series) by Debra White Smith

So this book is a retelling of Jane Austen’s Emma, set in modern times Australia

Under Capricorn

I know, Australia was an odd choice for a retelling of Jane Austen. I mean most people in Austen’s time wouldn’t really like Australians as they would see them as robbers, thieves, criminals, etc.

I also had a few issues with it being Australian as I am not scholled in Australian. Sometimes they way they talked I had no idea what it was about.

What! Mark Wahlberg that's weird

But moving on…

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Amanda Wood Priebe (Emma Woodhouse) is a successful owner of a travel agency. She lives with her father and takes care of him as he is aging. Even though he doesn’t really need additional care.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow what

This was one of the problems I had with the book. In Emma, her father was destroyed with the death of his wife and became the biggest hypochondriac and worrywart you could ever imagine. He ages exponentially and this is why Emma want to stay and take care of him. She knows that he needs her or will fall apart, and that factors into her decision to never leave or ever marry.

Emma

In this he is confident, lucid, and perfectly al;e to take care of himself with maybe a little extra help. There is no reason why she feels the need to stay with him. In fact it is kinda weird…

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So Amanda’s best friend is her secretary Haley Schmitz (Harriet Smith). She is currently dating Roger a farmer, who Amanda feels isn’t right for her. Instead she wants to set her up with the new music minister, Mason Eldridge.

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Her other best friend is Nathan Knighton (Mr. Knightley) owner of a well to do department store. He is also the younger brother of the man that Emma’s sister married.

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So the book mostly follows the story of Emma with a few differences.  Instead of a ball, Emma throws a yearly party at her agency. You know, small things like that.

No big deal

No big deal

So let’s go over first what I liked in this adaption.

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Nate Knitghton/Mr. Knightley

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I really liked the way that Smith wrote the Mr. Knightley character.

Say What

Yes. Unlike other adaptions, she really got into his head and showed aspects of the story from his point of view. Often authors only go so far, but I enjoyed how he interacted with Amanda/Emma and the other characters, how they built up his attraction, and his qualms about having a relationship with a friend, what if she doesn’t reciprocate? What if it goes bad?

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Haley/Harriet

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The Harriet character was also done well. Giving her a background of foster care and being moved from place to place established the perfect level of insecurity to blindly follow all Amanda’s plans with matchmaking.

It makes sense why she would act this way.

It makes sense why she would act this way.

I also like how you see her love for Roger has a few insecurities with him going away and focusing on the business, coupled with her own insecurities and Emma’s manipulations; all creating the perfect breeding ground for her to be swayed to another. But at the same time we see how she is able to quickly move past that heartbreak of Mr. Elton (as she didn’t really like him), and return to her real love of Roger.

HIMYM TedLove you and not tolerate quirks

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Now what I didn’t like:

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Colonel Wood Priebe/Mr. Woodhouse

I already talked about the Mr. Woodhouse-Emma relationship, so let me move on.

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Christian but Not Really

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Another thing I didn’t like about this book was that it marketed itself as Christian but isn’t really.

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In reality the the praying or  when they talk about their “relationship” with God is just a footnote or an afterthought.

Blah, blah

I mean write if you want to write a non-Christian retelling of Emma then write it. If you want it to be Christian then write that. Just don’t give me this lukewarm mess that is “Christian” but only a smatter. I mean go big or not at all, no in between.

No thank youhowaboutno

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 Amanda/Emma

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So to our final piece, the one that carries it all…how did she do?

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I did not like the character of Amanda.

Something is not right!

Mostly because Emma just didn’t work in this modern setting.

No thank youhowaboutno

In Jane Austen’s work, Emma is from a wealthy class and doesn’t really have any friends her equal to spend her time with; especially with her sister and governess married. She is extremely lonely and bored.

Bones David Bored I;m bored boring

She begins manipulating, not out of spite, but because it is far interesting than another night alone with her dad, reading, just doing the same old thing. It doesn’t fit with Amanda having this other outlet, as she is great at her job and her work is something she loves. Australia is not as constrained by “social standing” so there isn’t the same level of alienation either. Instead of being bored and turning to matchmaking, she just comes off a controlling manipulator who only cares about herself.

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It just didn’t work; instead of the character being lovable or enjoyable she just seemed cold and cruel. A real “Mean Girl”, if you know what I mean.

MeanGirls I know right!

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So in conclusion? I didn’t like it.

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I mean some parts were good like Harriet and Mr. Knightley’s modern counterparts, but on a whole the book was kinda boring and just didn’t work without a fantastic main character, Emma/Amanda.

No thank youhowaboutno

If I were you, I would just pass this one by.

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For more books based on Jane Austen’s work, go to The Dashwood Sisters Tell All: A Modern Day Novel of Jane Austen

For more on Emmago to Is This Really Just the Same?: Daring Chloe

For more Emma variations, go to Emma (1996) AKA the Kate Beckinsale Version

For more on bible verses, go to I’d Lay Down My Life for You: Pocahontas (1995)

The Accidental Bride

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The Accidental Bride: A Romantic Comedy by Janice Harayda

This book was recommended to me by Goodreads, based on one of the books I have read in the past (I can’t quite remember which one). It sounded interesting: a woman is planning on getting married, but a month before her wedding she starts having second thoughts. Is this really what she wants? As her family and friends are all forcing her hand, she turns to her love of Jane Austen to pull her through. Sounds great right?

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I HATED IT!

Hate YOu

It just was so, urgh the main character was too annoying.

Person hate talking

But let’s wait a moment before we go there. So the book is a Bridget Jones’ Diary style adaption of Pride and Prejudice. The main character is Lily Blair (LB like Lizzie Bennet) who is from an upper class but not old money super wealthy family. Her mother is a meddler (like Mrs. Bennet) who has dreamed of the day her daughter is married off for years (just like Mrs. Bennet). Lily’s fiancé is from an old, established family with a ton of money (third wealthiest in Ohio), and a lawyer (just like in Bridget Jones’ Diary), named Mark (just like BJD) Danforth [M.D like Mr. Darcy].

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There is even a woman after Mark named Caroline, just like in Pride and Prejudice when Caroline Bingley uses every trick she can to get Darcy, but he’s not interested.

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So why did I dislike the book? Two words Lily Blair.

hate her

First of all she has no reason for breaking off the wedding. It’s not that she is unsure she wants to spend the rest of her life with Mark, or that she is unsure if she wants to stay in Ohio, or that she thinks her life is taking her in a new direction away from Mark, or that she has a great job offer, OR ANY OF THOSE THINGS! She just wakes up one morning and says she wants to cancel.

Say What

Yeah. With no thought to how this will affect her fiancé, family, or the fact that a ton of money has been spent. And the worst thing is that she doesn’t even feel remorse for this! She’s just like, “women don’t need to be married to be happy.” “Most marriages end in divorce anyway.” Where was this attitude months ago? How can you just do that to your fiancé without feeling bad or sorry or anything???!!!!!!!!!!!!

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I mean come on, that’s cruel, horrible, selfish, and immature.

And there is no reason to dump him. He’s kind, sweet, considerate, understanding, dependable, handsome…i.e:

Perfect Boyfriend

I mean it’s like when Meg Ryan dumped Bill Pullman in Sleepless in Seattle. Why would you? Bull Pullman’s such an amazingly sweet guy. It just makes no sense! And at least in Sleepless in Seattle, Meg Ryan felt bad about it. In here, Lily cares zip for how this affects anyone.

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And then Lily starts complaining about her life. Her newspaper in New York was being downsized so she moved home, got a job there, an apartment, but oh no woe is me! I had to move home! I have to live in a “small town”. I have a rich, perfect, boyfriend. I come from a family with money. Life is so hard.

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Come on,

Girl Please

Get over yourself. So what if New York didn’t turn out how you wanted it. Life is pretty amazing. I know plenty who would love that life. I would love that life.

So you see, she was just so darn annoying that I found the book a total dud.

Get it right

Ugh!

And Mark deserves way better than Lily.

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For more works based on Jane Austen, go to The Sense and Sensibility Screenplay & Diaries

For more on Pride & Prejudice, go to Fall For You

For more on Sleepless in Seattle, go to Part VIII: The Little Movie Line List

I’m Here for You: The Italian Job (2003)

Romantic Moment #6

Italian Job

The Italian Job (2003)

So many of you might find this a weird one to be on the list, but hey I have other films that are more action/adventure than chick flick/romance. Yeah, that’s right! I did Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II.

So there! tongue sticking out pug

So The Italian Job is a heist film and a good remake of the 1969 film. Charlie (Mark Wahlberg) heads up a group of thieves, as he recently took over the reins from his father figure, mentor, and safecracker;  John (Donald Sutherland). The rest of the group is the “transporter” Handsome Rob (Jason Statham)…I know I know…

Couldn't resist

Couldn’t resist

the computer wiz, Lyle (Seth Green); explosives guy, Left Ear (Mos Def), and Steve (Edward Norton), whoI don’t really know what his actual job is in the group. The team pulls off the heist of the century, millions of dollars in gold bricks.

The group then goes off to a random mountain top in Switzerland to celebrate. There they are betrayed by Steve. Now this was my first time watching this film, but I knew Steve was bad news. I mean its Edward Norton! When is he not some guy playing you? How can you trust him? I mean in Fight Club his other self is trying to blow up the world (and selling people soap bars made out of their own fat), The Illusionist, he’s trying to make everyone think he can communicate with the dead; The Hulk 2, he turns into the Hulk; I don’t think he plays anything that isn’t trying to pull one over on you. Well there is Frida, I mean in that he is just a Rockefeller.

Anyways, so Steve turns on them, takes the money and kills them all. Or so he thinks. He actually only kills John and the rest survive. Charlie tracks Steve down and finds him in Hollywood. The team are ready to go after him, but need one thing, a new safecracker. He approaches Stella (Charlize Theron), John’s daughter, and the best there is.

The team decide to take Steve down, (Is it sad that everytime I write that I think of this:

Anyways back to the plot. So Charlie is able to convince Stella to join in with his crew and the group begin making plans to get Steve. They do it similar to how they did the Italian job, hence the name, but with a twist. They are going to take ove L.A.’s traffic. It is an amazing film, and I strongly recommend it!

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

So the most romantic part of this film comes right after the team’s first plan has been found out. Their first plan to steal the gold was fouled because Steve’s neighbor was having a party. Stella had told Steve she would go out with him so that they would have an open window to get the gold, as she was planning on standing him up. She instead is forced to go on the date, where Steve figures out that she is John’s daughter. He insults her and and goes on about how he killed her father.

Stella gets mad and leaves, while Charlie remains with the two having a standoff as to who is the tougher guy. Charlie becomes so angry he punches Steve out. Knocked out in one hit, YES! (That’s not the romantic part)

So back in the hotel, Charlie comes to visit Stella. She cries about her dad’s death and how he never really cared about her. Charlie tells her that it is a lie, that her father loved her.

Charlie Croker: Just because he was around me more doesn’t mean he wasn’t thinking about you all the time.

Stella Bridger: [Sniffling] It would be nice if it was true.

Charlie Croker: It is true. He always regretted not having been a good enough father to you, Stella.

Stella Bridger: How do you know that?

Charlie Croker: Because he told me.

Stella cries some more and Charlie just holds her, kissing her forehead.

Italian job kiss

So romantic!

So romantic!

So why is this so romantic? Well throughout the whole movie when Charlie is planning and completing a heist he shows very little emotion. Not that he speaks in monotone, but he just is trying to stay focused on the task at hand, as any mistake he makes could mean the end for his team. In this moment he allows himself to go off that path as he cares more for Stella’s well-being than he does for revenge. It’s so cute that he goes in and makes sure that she is okay and reassured of her father’s love. To further the romance, he knows that she is extremely vulnerable and just kisses her on the forehead, not taking advantage of her like some other guys would have. Plus it makes the end scene when they are in Venice even cuter.

Italian Job

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

For the previous post, go to I’m Going Down the Tubes: Making the Grade (1984)

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For more on Mark Wahlberg, go to I Was Here for a Moment, And Then I Was Gone: The Lovely Bones (2009)

For more remakes, go to Beast or Man: The Wolfman (2010)

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.

Fangirl

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.

swoon dreamy

And one totally awesome actor.

MurderSheWroteClintEastwoodJackNicholsonStarsForever

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.

love it

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)

JOshDuhamelDanny-las-vegas-the-series-1295109-768-1024

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.

socialize

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)