The Cambridge Companion to Jane Austen compiled by editors Edward Copeland and Juliet McMaster. 2003 (originally printed in 1997).
I read this book a while back, but am only now able to write a review of it. This volume contains a brief biography of Austen’s life: her as a writer; essays on Northanger Abbey, Sense & Sensibility, and Pride & Prejudice; Mansfield Park, Emma, and Persuasion; Austen’s short stories; the Austen letters; class-consciousness in her works; economy of the culture; religion and politics; her style in the novels; the significance of her juvenile works; and Austen cults/cultures.
The Lovely Jane
I thought this book was…okay. Some of the essays had really interesting points about Jane Austen or her work.
While others seemed to rehashed old concepts that you already knew. Although, in this book’s defense I think that was mostly due to age as it was published almost twenty years ago. At the time of publication I’m sure all the ideas in were new concepts at the time and just have now just seeped into the general knowledge. I do think it is worth a read if you are looking for more information on Jane Austen or a deeper look into her works.
However, the essay that I did not care for was the one on Northanger Abbey, by Rachel M. Brownstein.
In Brownstein‘s essay she writes about how Northanger Abbey is a parody of the romantic genre that was popular at Austen’s time, that I agreed with.
Northanger Abbey in a way is a rewrite of The Female Quixote or The Adventures of Arabella by Charlotte Lennox. In fact, I agreed with a lot of what Browenstein wrote in her essay, such as how Austen made fun of the romantic tropes, and was quite snarky in her writing. Today she would have fit in on Youtube, right next to Nostalgia Critic or someone of a similar tone.
The part I disagreed with was what she wrote about Mr. Tilney.
In her essay she details that how Mr. Tilney is the most “feminine” of the Austen heroes because he is interested in muslin (something only for a woman), novels, and is dominated and intimidated by his manly father. I however, feel he is no less masculine than any other Austen man.
1)Interest in Muslin
Catherine has just met Mr. Henry Tilney who is unlike any man she has met or read in books. Instead of being tall, dark, and brooding; he is jovial, saracastic, witty, hilarious, etc. No reserve for him.
They begin on the subject of muslin by Mrs. Allen who is speaking on her muslin dress and how she would hate for it to be torn. It is a favorite of hers and cost but nine shillings a yard. Henry shares that he would have guessed that as he is a great judge of muslin, as he buys his own cravats and sometimes his sister’s gowns.
Now there are many ways to look at this conversation:
1. Henry is a Down to Earth Man
Henry Tilney is a middle son. He knows that like most middle children, he will not inherit as much as her older brother but instead is expected to make his own fortune or marry rich.
He chose the church as a profession, and while he will live comfortably he won’t be a millionaire, unless he marries a wealthy person. Depending on what living he is granted and who his patron is, he could have several servants or he might have to take care of a few duties himself. Also before he is married and has a wife to run the house, he will need to be in charge and know how best to budget and stay within his means.
He also might want to purchase the time of cravats he likes. Sometimes you can ask another to pick up a specific material or item, but that doesn’t always mean your servants will follow through. Maybe he likes a particular type and would rather pick it up himself?
2. Henry is a Good Brother
Eleanor Tilney is the youngest of the Tilney clan. She is very reserved and quiet; due to her father General Tilney’s tyrannical ways. We know that the father emotionally abused the mother with his attitude and temperament, being a vampire of spirit, and it is easily concluded that he did the same with his daughter. Because of this, Eleanor doesn’t have many friends, the only ones seeming to be her brother Henry, and then later Catherine.
The eldest Tilney, Captain Fredrick Tilney, is a lot like his father. He is no friend of Eleanor; leaving Henry to shoulder the big brother responsibilities and to be the protector of his sister. Like Mr. Darcy, there are probably a ton of different things he does for his sister, buying her clothing the least of it.
3. Henry is Being Sarcastic
This is most likely the real reasoning behind the conversation with Mrs. Allen. We know that Mr. Tilney has a wicked sense of humor. He is sarcastic, funny, and likes going against society (not 100% but a mini rebellion).
Right before this exchange he and Catherine are discussing her time in Bath, with Mr. Tilney sassily and snarkily making fun of how society expects such bland converstion (much of how Elizabeth does when she and Darcy dance in Pride & Prejudice).
“I [Mr. Tilney] have hitherto been very remiss, madam, in the proper attentions of a partner here; I have not yet asked you how long you have been in Bath; whether you were ever here before; whether you have been at the Upper Rooms, the theatre, and the concert; and how you like the place altogether. I have been very negligent-but are you now at leisure to satisfy me in these particulars? If you are I will begin directly.’
[Catherine Moreland] ‘You need not give yourself that trouble sir.’
[Mr. Tilney] ‘No trouble I assure you, madam.’ Then forming his features in a set smile, and affectedly softening his voice, he added, with a simpering air, ‘Have you been long in Bath, madam?’
‘About a week, sir. ‘ replied Catherine, trying not to laugh.
‘Really!’ [said Mr. Tilney] with affected astonishment.
‘Why should you be surprised. sir?’ [asked Catherine]
‘Why, indeed!’ said he, in his natural tone. ‘But some emotion must appear to be raised by your reply, and surprise is more easily assumed…
This teasing continues for a while, with Catherine trying her best to withold her laughter.
So we know that Mr. Tilney is a kidder. He likes to joke around, and he likes to be sassy; it is easy to believe that his remarks on muslin are all just one big joke. That he actually knows nothing at all, but is just being sarcastic again.
Maybe he decided to play along with what Mrs. Allen is saying as he is in a silly/sarcastic mood, trying to make Catherine laugh once again. We know he likes to tease, and make fun of other’s foibles (eccentricities) so it is easy to conclude that.
Well, whether he knows his muslin, is a good brother, or just making fun. Mrs. Allen believes he knows his stuff, and that is good enough for me.
2) Dominated by His Father
How do I describe General Tilney?
He pretended to be sweet, charming, and kind to win the heart of a wealthy woman, but later revealed his true colors. He was tyrannical and insisted his way was always the right one or else. He held all the power and expected his children to bow to his will or find themselves with nothing.
How is this less than other Austen characters? Mr. Darcy isn’t dominated by a person, per say, but by society. He knows himself to be attracted to Elizabeth, but feels he cannot marry her as she isn’t in his class, nor does he want to be chained to her family. He does all he can to not want to be with her, but ultimately succumbs.
Edward Ferrars is just as dominated by the head of his family, although in this case it is his mother. Just like in the Tilney clan, you must do what Mrs. Ferrars says or risk losing it all. Edward’s mother wants him to follow a more elite career, while Edward wants to be a minister. He almost gives into his mother’s wishes; but luckily stays true to who he is.
And this was something that happened a lot back then. With inheritance being the key to living comfortably, and rich relatives holding the power, more often than not people always had to bend to their will.
3) Reading Novels
In the 18th century there was what historians call the “reading revolution”. With the printing press improvements that occured then and in the early 19th century, books could be printed more easily and cheaply. Reading and owning books became a huge phenomenon as more people had the ability to purchase them.
Everything from science, to books we now call classics, novels, romance, history, to cheap thrills, etc. Such romances like The Mysteries of Udolpho and The Monk were popular, but thought to be purposely explicit and exploiting, “women’s cheap novels” but were read by all.
While it would be unusual for Mr. Tilney to admit to reading them, it is not unusual for him to actually read them as most men did. But this admittance goes with his character as we have already seen that Tilney doesn’t feel the need to be reserved, or be constructed by societal norms, but is more open in his demeanor.
Besides as this is still a romance, whether parody or remake, and as Catherine is an avid book reader, her hero has to be as much a reader as herself. After all, there is nothing sexier then meeting a man who loves to read.
4) Never Makes a Move or Takes any Action Toward Catherine
In the essay, Brownstein declares that Mr. Tilney never had any romantic interest with Catherine, his relationship with her was all constructed or forced by his father, General Tilney. Yes, while Mr. Tilney is passive in the beginning of the novel and not the one to invite Catherine to his house (his dad does as he is trying to hook her) but what about that final scene? You know the one where he goes after Catherine and asks her to marry him risking everything for her?
Mr. Tilney is gone from the family home when Catherine is given the boot. When he returns and finds out what happened, he could have just let it go. Or he could have gone and apologized to Catherine, returning home and continuing the search for a wealthy bride. But does he do that? NO! He chooses to not only go after her, apologize for his family, but to also propose.
He is willing to throw his entire fortune away for her, not even knowing if she feels the same way about him. Unlike Edward Ferrars who is in a similar situation, Mr. Tilney doesn’t have an understanding with Catherine. He doesn’t even know if she will accept him, but he’s prepared to give it all up for her and even to to end up with nothing, having turned on his father who is not a forgiving man.
Mr. Tilney is the only Austen hero who throws all caution to the wind, and risks everything for the woman he loves.
Right. I’m the chosen one. And I choose to be shopping.
So I’m sure a lot of you are surprised. What Buffy the Vampire Slayer is this? Well before we had this:
We had this:
In 1992, Joss Whedon’s idea of a Californian cheerleader finding out she was actually the vampire slayer of her generation, came to theaters. Only one problem, Whedon HATED it.
In fact he hated it so much, that he was reported to walk off set one day and never come back.
Five years later, Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV series came out, one that stayed true to his “vision”.
So What Went Wrong?
Apparently the screenwriters felt that Whedon’s story was too dark and depressing. They wanted it to be more of a horror-parody comedy, kind of like Heathers with vampires instead of a homicidal maniac. Whedon wasn’t interested in that, as you can tell with his much darker TV series.
Joss Whedon to a T
So Is this Film Bad?
Let’s get down to the review and find out:
The film starts out with a historical piece. A medieval woman who has the birthmark (a mole), proving she is the Vampire Slayer of this generation. We switch from a very serious moment of her asking to “become the blade”.
And fighting Vampires.
And then we switch to Los Angeles and a group of cheerleaders chanting.
And Miss Buffy Summers, cheerleader extraordinaire, fashionista, and a total valley girl.
Yeah, that is pretty much the essence of the movie. They try to pin together opposites. And is it horrible? No. I love it. It is so quirky and funny. And come on, a cheerleader by day and vampire slayer ay night? That’s awesome.
So as I’m reading the credits and as I have seen this movie before I didn’t think think I would see anything important, but then Paul Reubens…wait, what?!
Pee-Wee is in a teen film? Pee-Wee Herman is in a vampire film? PEE-WEE?!!! PEE-WEE??!!! PEE-WEE HERMAN is in a TEEN VAMPIRE FILM?
How could I have missed that? Huh. And Hilary Swank? Ugh! I hate her. Ever since she ruined the Karate Kid series.
This was supposed to be her first film, so maybe she won’t be too bad. So Buffy and the gang go to the mall, shopping!
And there is something you might notice in this scene. While this movie came out in 1992, we hadn’t completely crossed over from the ’80s. You can kind of see it in the stonewash, abundance of leather, and in the “gothic” clothes of the vampire and “uncool” crowd, but most of it looks like this:
And I LOVE IT!
Anyways, so at the mall the girls are shopping when Buffy spots this totally rad jacket. And let me tell you, Buffy has a great sense of style
Her friend Kimberly (Hilary Swank), and let me just stop her and say that unless you are a pink ranger, having the name Kimberly means you are EVIL. I don’t know why, it just seems to be a trait that carries on with a name.
Anyways, she convinces her that the jacket is ugly and so yesterday.
When she is not shopping, she spends her time out with her jocky boyfriend, Jeffrey.
Jeffery is on the basketball team and one day after practice, his group splits up. Jeffery is heading over to hang out with Buffy, while two of the other guys go about town, and the last one, Robert heads home. And the route he chooses goes right through an abandoned amusement park.
Come on dude! You are going to go through an abandoned AMUSEMENT PARK????!!!!!! You are just asking to be killed.
And of course, he gets attacked by a Vampire and turned. Good-bye Robert.
So Jeffery is alright, but not altogether that interesting and handsome. Sorry dude, Luke Perry of the “uncoolness squad” is much better looking.
Luke Perry plays Pike, a leather wearing, motorcycle driving, mechanic. He lies above the garage that he works at. He is very dissatisfied with life him, only having one friend, Bennie (wonder if it is a nickname after the drugs, wouldn’t be surprised if it was), played by David Arquette (aw David, just can’t keep you out of Horrorfest). The boys spend most of their time drinking and making fun of those richer than them.
We then jump back to historical times so that we can get more of a background of Lothos. Lothos is the head Vampire that has destroyed every prior slayer. He is over 800 years old and has the power to hypnotize his enemies.
So for Buffy everything is going as usual. The only thing she has to worry about is the senior dance.
Buffy: [Trying to come up with an issues-related theme for their school dance] The environment.
Nicole: The homelesses?
Kimberly: [to Nicole] Oh, please.
Jennifer: Are there any good sicknesses that aren’t too depressing?
Buffy: Guys. The environment. I’m telling you, it’s totally key. The earth is in terrible shape, we could all die, and besides, Sting’s doing it.
You know that actually sounds difficult. From being on my high school’s prom comittee, I know that it is already hard enough trying to get the committee to come up with a theme and work on decorations and such. I can’t imagine how difficult it would be to throw a “socially conscious” dance.
Buffy & co run into the uncoolness squad and there is definitely one thing this movie did wrong, they made the “undesirable” guys, undesirable. I mean come on, there is a formula to this thing! They are supposed to be secretly charming and adorable. Not pigs and boring because they have zero character development!
Both Pike and Bennie are super drunk and start hitting on the girls, incredibly gross style. Bennie even acts as if he is going to whip out his junk, and Buffy slices it.
Turns out it was just a hotdog, but it just goes to show you that Buffy is intense. I would not want to mess with her.
So one night as Benny is going home, he gets attacked by a vampire and turned. He goes to the window and tries to get Pike to come out and join him, but even in his alcohol induced state, Pike can tell something is not right.
Benny: Let me in, Pike. I’m *hungry*!
Pike: Go home, Ben.
Benny: [whining] C’mon I’m hungry.
Pike: You’re floating! C’mon, man, get away from here!
Pike can tell that things aren’t right and tries to leave the city, thinking anywhere is better than here. As he is fleeing town, he luckily is saved by a creepy dude.
You look like a pervert but I guess thank you?
So life is going good for Buffy, until the same perverted-looking, old, creep comes to kidnap her.
Nah, it’s actually Donald Sutherland who is Buffy’s watcher, Merrick. But he looks like a pervert and sounds UBER CREEPY. He tells her that he can show her “the birthmark mole of slayer, if he can look on her body”, and “Come with me to the graveyard”.
Apparently Sutherland thought decided to rewrite his dialogue, I’m not sure which lines but I’m guessing these ones as they suck. He’s creepier than Nicholas Cage in The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.
I mean did he not hear himself? Did he not hear how creepy he SOUNDS?!!!!!!!
The idea to update to a kindly, well-dressed, English, librarian was just perfect.
Buffy still doesn’t believe him. To prove it, Merrick tosses a knife at her and Buffy catches it.
Buffy: You threw a knife at my head!
Merrick: Yes, I had to show you.
Buffy: But… you *threw* a *knife* at my *head.*
Merrick: And you caught it. Only the chosen one could have caught it.
This scene is amazing. This is some Aragorn-awesomness right here.
So Buffy agrees to go down to the graveyard and wait for Robert to come out so she can kill him. Say what you want about this movie, but you have to admit this Buffy is pretty awesome. She’s tough, intense, and extremely brave.
While they are waiting, Buffy gets bored and asks him for gum.I don’t know why, but that line just cracks me up.
I think it is because Merrick is all super serious and trying to get Buffy to understand what’s happening, but Buffy is just bored.
Robert awakes and Buffy has to fight and take him down.
Buffy may come off as a a stupid, silly cheerleader, but she can seriously kick butt. When Merrick gets attacked, Buffy takes out, not one but two Vampires.
Afterwards, Buffy heads home for some serious relaxing with her boyfriend Jeffrey. There we meet her parents who are so out of it. Like in the film, Heathers, they are just selfish and only into themselves.
Buffy’s Mom: Bye-Bye Bobby!
Jeffrey: Bye! She thinks my name is Bobby?
Buffy: It’s possible she thinks *my* name’s Bobby.
I’m not sure which is worse, to have parents who completely ignore you and don’t seem to care a whit, OR a parent that ignores you most of the time, while punishing you the rest (Joyce Summers from Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV series).
So her parents go on their merry way, an Buffy + Jeffery spend the night together.
We know what they’re doing
Later that night Buffy awakes to a strange man in her bed.
As Lothos is wakening, the past lives of Slayers are flooding into her and crossing over to her world. It is a very weird scene and for a while keeps you guessing as to what is real and what is all in her head.
So Buffy and Merrick begin her training. Merrick is really hard on her as they have to make up their years of training. I just wonder who’s fault is that?
They never explain why Merrick is just approaching Buffy now either. And since we are on the topic, Merrick sucks! He’s creepy, rude, and mean. He keeps pushing Buffy and blaming her, when she’s still trying to get her head around the fact that her life is completely different.
Buffy: All I want to do is graduate from high school, go to Europe, marry Christian Slater, and die. Now it may not sound too great to a sconehead like you, but I think it’s swell. And you come along and tell me I’m a member of the hairy mole club so you can *throw* things at me?
Oh ’90s. When everyone was in love with Christian Slater. I know I was.
Sorry for that, moving back on track.
So Buffy is upset with Merrick as he is pushing her too hard and punches him out.
Buffy is a total knockout, literally as it only took one punch to take Merrick down.
Buffy: Oh, wow. I-I never hit anybody before.
Merrick: Really? Well you did it perfectly.
Buffy: I didn’t even break a nail.
Yep, Buffy is awesome!
Merrick gives her some background information on Slayers and Watchers. A slayer is born every generation, being reincarnated when killed (so if you watch the beginning again you’ll notice that Kristy Swanson plays the historical slayer). Merrick trains the girls, watches them die, and then when his life is up he is reincarnated into Merrick the watcher again. A very sad existence if you ask me.
After this we get a training montage, Rocky style.
Buffy has accepted everything and gets super into her training. You know it’s actually not that far-fetched that a cheerleader could be this totally awesome fighter. To be a cheerleader you have to do gymnastics, lift weights; it can be INTENSE. And with Buffy, she works hard.
She’s also been hunting at night with Merrick, and one night runs into Pike.
So because of all her training, she’s been missing practices and dance committee meetings. As always in a teen movie, the principal assumes it’s drugs.
Gary: [Thinking Buffy is doing drugs] Hey, there’s nothing to be afraid of! I know where you’re coming from. Believe me. I’ll tell you the truth. I’ve had my drug experiences, too. I did a lot – I did some acid in the Sixties. Well, the late Seventies, actually. It was at a Doobie Brother’s concert… and I could see the music flowing into me, it was bright red and electric, and I felt like a big toaster, and I thought, maybe I am a toaster, we’re all molecules, and my friend Melissa, her head looked like a big party balloon, and that scared me, I started to freak out…
The sad thing is that this is probably the only thing in a teen film that actually resembles reality. When people in power act as if they are a “pal”. Ugh.
So Buffy is really starting to feel the pressure of everything. She has Merrick constantly pushing her to do more and more; otherwise she won’t be ready and die. She has her boyfriend tired of the fact that she can’t spend her time with him, constantly getting mad at her. And she has her friends who don’t understand at all.
Kimberly: Buffy? What’s your sitch? You’re acting like the thing from another tax bracket. It’s too weird.
Buffy: Listen, a lot’s been going on you guys, okay? And I really wanted to talk to you guys about it. See, um, a couple of weeks ago, I met this guy-…
Kimberly: Oh my god, you’re having an affair?
Jennifer: Does Jeffrey know?
Buffy: It’s not about that. He’s, like, old. He’s fifty.
Kimberly, Nicole, Jennifer: Ewwwww!
Buffy: Haven’t you guys noticed what’s been going on here? The strange things? Have you noticed people disappearing, turning up dead?
Nicole: What are you talking about?
Kimberly: Weird? You mean like hanging around with that homeless Poke?
Nicole: [gasp] Eww, you’re having an affair with him?
Jennifer: He doesn’t look fifty.
Buffy: Guys, I think reality stepped out of here about five minutes ago.
Yep, the pressure is mounting and to combat it, she goes Shawn Spencer on Merrick, quipping right and left.
Buffy: Does the word “duh” mean anything to you?
I love how sassy she is.
To make everything worse, it looks like Buffy’s period has come.
Yep, that pretty much sums it up.
but it turns out that it is just her Slayer sense.
Man that would suck.
Merrick: And you’re going to be able to use that to track them.
Buffy: Great. My secret weapon is PMS. That’s just terrific. Thanks for telling me.
Merrick: It’s not a weapon. It’s an alert system.
Buffy: Well, aren’t we kung fu? I don’t see you out there killing any vampires.
Merrick: I play my part.
Buffy: You can play with your part all you want, but it’s my neck on the block.
That night Pike is wandering around inebriated. And let me tell you I am totally not digging Luke Perry. He’s cute but that’s not enough. All we’ve seen so far is him getting high, drunk, and be nasty.
Now this is where the TV did a better job. Every person had a backstory. I mean when they brought Angel on to the show, they started him mysterious and cool, and then revealed his tragic backstory. We need MORE! We NEED a backstory! We NEED development!
One night Pike is drunk, AGAIN, and gets attacked by vampires. Luckily Merrick and Buffy are there. They save his life, AGAIN. As you have probably figured out, with Buffy being the totally awesome Slayer, Pike is her damsel in distress. I mean it’s not like he doesn’t do anything, he helps Buffy fight, becoming her partner, but still gets into trouble a lot. He’s the Sam Winchester to her Dean.
After the help him, they defeat Lothos’ right hand man Amilyn, by pulling a Star Wars and cutting off his arm. Amilyn returns to the vampire lair, with the knowledge of Buffy being the Slayer.
Meanwhile, Buffy takes Pike to her home. Pike is homeless (hence the fact that he was working as a mechanic for a home). The thing that really bothers me is that we never find out why. Were his parents horrible and he emancipated himself? Did they die? Is he an orphan? WHAT IS HIS BACKSTORY!!!!!!!!
Sorry about that. Back to the film.
So at Buffy’s home, Pike starts going on how awesome she is, but Buffy is having a hard time keeping it together. She breaks down on and lets out all her feelings.
And while we haven’t had too much development other than he’s from “the wrong side of town” and a drunk, he just listens to everything she has to say. He doesn’t try to take advantage of her, put the moves on her-nope. All he does is listen.
So the next day, Buffy is back to doing what she normally does. She is trying to hang out with her friends but the spawn of Satan, Kimberly (I’m telling you, don’t name your children that.)
Has turned them agaist her. Her boyfriend is also mad and avoiding her.
And some football player grabs her for fun.
But Buffy is not having any of that. She totally takes him down, making him learn his lesson.
Don’t mess with me!
Not kidding, after doing that this is what he says with a straight face: “I see the errors of my ways.” Hilarious & awesome!!!!
So something you might have noticed, is that there a quite a few people who have been turned into vampires. It is mostly those on the low side of the totem pole, you know the unpopulars. But there are a few popular kids too. I just wonder how no one has noticed. Well…I guess they do look pretty normal most of the time.
So Buffy is going back to her regular schedule as there is a basketball game.
They do the cheer “how funky is your chicken, how loose is your goose”. Now years back when I was in middle school and only a select few had cellphones that could not get on the internet, and you couldn’t get on the school computers unless for schoolwork, people came to me with their movie questions. Now I know what you’re thinking:
But it wasn’t like that. Although how AWESOME would that be?????!!!! SUPER AWESOME!!!!!
Anyways you all know how much I love film,
Well everyone at school did too. So one of the girls was a cheerleader and they were bringing back the “how funky is your chicken, how loose is your goose” cheer. She knew it was a famous cheer and came to to find out which film it was from. I couldn’t remember the film it was first in, and when I saw this film years later i was like “of course, duh.” Oh well.
Anyways, back to the game. So Buffy is cheerleading when she notices something weird. One of the players looks completely different. It turns out that one of the guys has been turned, and as the adreneline starts pumping he starts vamping out.
And as he does so, he also starts becoming an awesome basketball player. I guess like in Teen Wolf, becoming something not human increases basketball skills?
Buffy is the only one to realize that he’s a vampire and ends up chasing him down. She finds herself in some weird place which is Lothos hideout. This is the worse place for a lair. I’m not kidding. Like there is a giant horse plant structure, and the whole place is just too obvious to be a secret hideout. Then again this is the most flamboyant Vampire I have ever seen, and he doesn’t care what others think of him.
Buffy meets Lothos and begins fighting with him, when he puts her in a trance and is about to kill her.
Merrick can’t stand that and interferes. A big watcher NO-NO. Watchers are supposed to train and then watch, no interfering.
And Lothos can’t have that. So he kills him.
WHAAAAAAAAAAAAT?????????!!!!!!!!! THEY JUST KILLED THE WATCHER!!!!! CAN THEY DO THAT???
He’s not really dead is he? Is he? He is! He is DEAD???!!! WHAT??!!! WHAT JUST HAPPENED???!!!
Lothos and his horde leave, while Buffy hears Merrick’s dying words. He tells her she’s special and to d things HER way.
Buffy is shocked at the death and completely heartbroken.
She sufferes from shock of everything and wants to be done slaying. It scares her and hurts her and she just wants out.
She tries to hang out with her friends, but just finds them shallow and vapid. They are also selfish as they don’t want to invite every senior to the dance. Just the cool ones. She yells at them and takes off.
Her boyfriend is still ignoring her as well. She decides she is just going to be a “normal” girl and goes shopping for a dress. While she is searching for the perfect gown, she runs into Pike. The two have a huge fight as Pike can’t believe she is backing out and letting the world down.
Pike: Buffy, you’re the guy. You are the chosen guy.
Buffy: Right. I’m the chosen one. And I choose to be shopping.
Buffy just wants to be in denial as she is too scared. If she fights she will get hypnotized and die, maybe causing the death of others. If she doesn’t fight then Lothos and his group might kill a ton of people. What’s a girl to do.
After the two storm off, we discover that Benny has been hiding in the phone booth. He overheard everything and returns to the master to tell him all about it. When the master hears, he is estatic about the party and chooses it to be the best final moment of Buffy’s life.
So while Buffy is getting ready for the dance, Pike has decided to step up to the plate. He returns to his home above the mechanic shop, and grabs every bit of wood he can find, turning them into stakes.
Get ready for this!
So while I have complained about his lack of background (and it still bothers me) every scene after the one when he listened to Buffy he has risen up and up in my esteem.
So Buffy goes to the dance and I absolutely love her outfit. She has her hair back in a no-nonsense bun, a beautiful puffy white dress, and boots. Yes boots.
It’s as if she subconsciously wanted to be ready in case something should happen. Her boots are actually white boxing boots
I can look pretty and feminine and kick butt.
It’s awesome how hardcore she is.
Take note Hollywood
So she goes over to her boyfriend, to ask why he didn’t pick her up for the dance. And it turns out that since she wasn’t around to give him what he wanted, he broke up with her on her machine and started dating her friend.
Buffy: You left me a message?
Jeffrey: You weren’t home! Like always.
Buffy: You broke up with my machine?
What a loser.
Come on, really? That’s so wrong. He’s a loser to the max. And how could her friend date him? That’s breaking the code!
The two leave to have sex in the parking lot and Buffy is left all alone. But not for long as Pike comes to the dance, dressed up in a button up shirt, slacks, and his leather jacket.
He brings Buffy flowers and asks her to dance with him.
Okay, just gained 10000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 points! That was so sweet of him coming to the dance, especially since he’s not into that sort of thing but did it because he knew it would make her happy!
The Vampires come to the dance. Pike gives Buffy all his stakes and his jacket, while she rips her dress so it is shorter and doesn’t constrict movement. She runs to warn everyone to close the doors, as if we don’t invite them in they are unable to come. One problem, she forgot about an earlier conversation.
Buffy: Don’t worry. They can’t come in unless they’re invited.
Kimberly: I already invited ’em. [Buffy looks at her] They’re seniors!
Yes, Buffy was being a good person telling her friends to invite all seniors, and unknowingly just caused one huge problem.
Now when the Vampires come in we really reach a horror/comedy pinnacle. A Com-Ror as I like to say. It’s cheesy, but fun.
Except for the Vampire DJ, that was dumb.
So the fight begins. Some parts are silly, others creepy. I still haven’t gotten over seeing Pee-Wee Herman as a vicious vampire. It’s just does not compute that this is the same guy.
Benny tries to convince Pike to turn vampire, and in a bizarre way, channels Christian Slater’s character J.D from Heathers. Talking about people being sheep and this chaos is better, etc. That makes Pike his Winona/Veronica. The only problem is that Benny is nowhere near as hot.
So they kids inside are following Pike and Buffy’s lead trying to take down the vampires, while Buffy heads out to do a throwdown with Lothos.
She takes down Pee-Wee, his right hand man (horrible death scene) and heads down to Lothos. The two fight, with Buffy surprising him with a flame torch made out of hairspray and a cross.
She then stakes him! BUFFY ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
She and Pike ride off on his motorcycle, as the dumb principal hands out detention slips to the dead vampires:
Gary: [Throwing detention slips on the dead vampires] Detention [Walks to another body]… detention [Walks to another body]… detention. [Throws 2 more slips on the same body. Says quickly]Detention, detention.
And the rest of the group is interviewed about what happened.
So How Does It Hold Up?
Some parts of it seem a bit underdeveloped, mainly backstories of the characters. And at times it can be cheesy or silly, but on a whole I loved it.
Yes, I LOVED IT!!!!! The series on a whole is better, as it has more time to devote to the characters, but this movie was awesome. Buffy is incredible.
It’s a great film if you are looking for something funny and silly, but with a horror twist.
“My name is Salmon, like the fish. First name: Susie. I was 14 years old, when I was murdered, on December 6, 1973. I was here for a moment. And then I was gone.”
So when this film came out in 2009, I really wanted to see but couldn’t find anyone to come with. Nobody seemed interested, and those that were had already seen it. I decided that I would wait to watch it until after I had read the book it was based on.
So that happened much later than I thought it would. At first everyone wanted to read it so it was hard to get a copy, and then I got busy reading other things.
Anyways, so last month I went to a library book sale and discovered The Lovely Bones on sale for 50¢. Never being one to turn down a deal I bought it and immediately read it. It was different than I thought it would be as we learn the identity of the murder immediately. It was still a suspenseful book and interesting as we see how Susie Salmon’s disappearance affects her and the rest of her family. The other really interesting thing about this book is it really shows the changes that have come along since the ’70s regarding how police work and the forensics that we have. Not to mention criminal profiling.
So, back to the film. While the book is more of a suspense/horror/drama; but the film is mostly a drama with veins of suspense. The film was pretty good although they had to make a lot of changes. Mostly it had to do with cutting as the book is really long and spans about 10 years. The film only covers about a year-18 months. But the film was pretty good otherwise, and I recommend it.
So as mentioned earlier, Susie Salmon is a fourteen year old girl who gets murdered. At first she is presumed missing, and the police begin to investigate. The film details how her disappearance and lack of closure affect her family-father, mother, sister, brother, and grandma; along with friends and the community.
So this is what made the film great.
1. The Artistry/Cinematography
The film is mostly in wide angle shots and they are set up beautifully. As the film is told in flashbacks or from the viewpoint of the spirit of Susie; it works really well. Not only are the regular shots extremely beautiful; but the scenes of heaven/limbo are extremely amazing and artistic. You really get the feeling that you are in a a place created by a child’s mind (as it is supposed to be what Susie wants).
Susie is played by Saoirse Ronan and does a really great job at being a fourteen year old kid. She really makes you believe it as she is shy when a boy likes her, sassy and trying to “rebel” against parents, showing she is moving toward becoming more adult, while at the same time still being very much a kid. You really feel for her as she wants to move on to heaven and a better life, but doesn’t want to leave her family or the boy she cared for.
3. Mark Wahlberg as Jack Salmon
Mark Wahlberg plays Jack Salmon the father who we adore and wouldn’t mind having. Jack is a caring father that has a really close bond to his children, often being the one they go to as their mother (Rachel Weisz) resents the life she lives. He has an incredibly close bond with Susie, not only because she is the oldest, but they have a lot in common. In fact, she is the only one who enjoys the model ship building he does. When he loses her, he falls apart trying to discover who the murderer is. He also works overtime trying to be there for his other kids. He never gives up, as he can’t just have his daughter disappear. Even when his wife leaves, he continues trying to care for his family and preserve his daughter’s memory. He faces the issue and problems straight on, while his wife runs away. When his wife comes back, he welcomes her back with open arms as he never stopped loving her. He is an amazing father, and you really feel for him and everything he goes through. What makes this performance even more amazing was that Wahlberg only joined the crew a day before filming actually started, knowing next to nothing about the story.
4. Stanley Tucci as Mr. Harvey
Stanley Tucci deserved his oscar nomination and should have won for his performance.I mean anyone who could go from this
definitely deserves an Oscar.
Every time we see him chills run up and down my spine, he is soooooooooo creepy.
So I haven’t really talked a lot about my family on here. I tend to try and stay away from making posts about people I know as if they ever read this I don’t want them getting upset with me. So I have two older siblings, Paige and Holly. Now I love Sleeping Beauty a lot, in fact Aurora is my favorite princess (second to Princess Leia). I wanted to be her (and was for two Halloweens) and used to act it out every year. Now I don’t know if my sister Paige was trying to be mean to me or create a bond between the three of us girls (when I was a little girl I always thought it was the first one), but she would tell me that I couldn’t be Aurora I had to be Merryweather. Paige was to be the leader Flora, Holly Fauna, and I had to be Merryweather. Now as a kid I hadn’t having to be be her, but you know what, the older I get the more I realize what an awesome character she is. She is smart, caring, sassy, and just plain hilarious. And she sounds just like me.
Like wanting to turn the people you hate into a toad? I agree, let’s take them out.
She’s not afraid to speak her mind and give her opinion on things, although sometimes it bites her in the butt.
Plus you gotta love Merryweather for the fact that she’s the smartest of the three fairies. First of all she saves Aurora’s life.
And then saves it again
“Flora: I’ll turn her into a flower.
Flora: [chuckles] No, no, dear. The princess.
Fauna: Oh, she’d make a lovely flower.
Flora: Don’t you see? A flower can’t prick its finger.
Merryweather: It hasn’t any.
Fauna: That’s right.
Flora: She’ll be perfectly safe. Merryweather: Until Maleficent sends a frost.
Flora: [laughs, then stops abruptly] Yes… oh dear.”
Plus she is the only one who actually knows how to do any thing without her wand.
[preparing for Aurora’s birthday party]
Merryweather: But, I never baked a *fancy* cake.
Flora: Oh, you won’t have to, dear!
Fauna: *I’m* going to bake the cake!
Flora: Oh, she’s always wanted to, dear, and this is her last chance.
Merryweather: [doubtfully] Well…
Fauna: I’m going to make it 15 layers with pink and blue forget-me-nots.
Fauna: And *I’m* making the dress.
Merryweather: But you can’t sew! And she’s *never* cooked!”
Yep Merryweather’s been doing it all.
Plus Merryweather doesn’t care whether or not Aurora marries a prince, she just wants her to be happy.
“Merryweather: [irked] Ooh, I don’t see why she has to marry any old… prince!”
The Black Cauldron is highly underrated as it has a bunch of great characters and scenes. I know I talked about it during my first Horrorfest.
So I actually never saw this film as a kid. My mother thought it would scare me. It would come on TV and I remember it coming out of the vault and being on all kinds of commercials. I even had a toy Gurgi that I got in a McDonald’s happy meal.
So how did I finally stumble onto this work? Well, I really like the author Lloyd Alexander, as I have read his book Time Cat. Two years ago, I decided that I would read through the The Chronicles of Prydain series as it is his most famous work and what The Black Cauldron is a part of. The book series was really good except I wish the Horned King was in more of it and as the series wraps itself up, the last books are not as nearly good as the first ones. Anyways, so after I had read the series I checked out the film and of course did the I’m No Warrior, I’m an Assistant Pig-Keeperpost. But in that post I compared the film and the book as I had just finished reading the series.
So the film The Black Cauldron is a compilation of the first two books in the series; The Book of Three and The Black Cauldron. And I thought it was pretty good. I mean some parts were film corny, but I really liked it. In fact, I am appalled that more people have never heard of it or seen it. It really deserves more love.
“Legend has it, in the mystic land of Prydain, there was once a king so cruel and so evil, that even the Gods feared him. Since no prison could hold him, he was thrown alive into a crucible of molten iron. There his demonic spirit was captured in the form of a great, black cauldron. For uncounted centuries, the black cauldron lay hidden, waiting, while evil men searched for it, knowing whoever possessed it would have the power to resurrect an army of deathless warriors… and with them, rule the world.”
So the film is about Taran, an assistant pig-keeper, who dreams of becoming a great warrior. He finds out that the pig her cares for, Hen Wen, is in danger as she is an oracular pig and that the evil Horned King is after her. The Horned King needs her to find the Black Cauldron to bring to life the dead, creating a zombie army.
An actual army of the undead. That is much more creepy than this guy.
Taran accidentally allows Hen Wen to be captured and travels after her, saving and getting the creature Gurgi as a follower. He comes to the Horned King’s castle and there he finds a captured princess, Princess Eilonwy, a ministrel named Fflewddur Fflam, and a magic sword. The journey on to destroy the Black Cauldron, meeting up with fairies, witches, and battle the Horned King.
It’s funny, but now that I think about it, this film in a lot of ways reminds me of Star Wars.
Now it has a lot of great characters.
First we have Taran, a young boy who dreams of achieving something greater. Think Luke Skywalker, eager to leave what he feels is an inadequate existence. He wants more, he wants to fight the Dark Sith Lo…I mean Horned King. At times he is a bit silly, as every young boy who is trying to find his way is, but in all he’s a great character. You just love him.
Then we have Eilonwy. Now people always forget this princess, but she rocks.
She tooootally kicks butt. She is like the animated version of Princess Leia. She has been caught by the evil Horned King, but isn’t waiting around, she’s trying to get out of there. She never let’s anyone push her around because of her size or gender:
“Taran: What does a girl know about swords, anyway?
Eilonwy: “Girl”? “Girl”? If it wasn’t for this *girl*, you would still be in the Horned King’s dungeon.”
And this film has one of the all-time creepiest villains ever! The Horned King!
Oh man, he is a creep. Horrifying and Incredibly Horrible.
This is a great film, you should totally watch it!