Simply Fantastic

fangirl

So here we are with post two on my fandoms. As I mentioned in Fanning All Over the Place there was just too, too many to include in one post so I split them up into a series. Here we go again! 🙂

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Archie Comics

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I first got into Archie Comics through my parents. They had grown up with the comics as kids, and bought my sister and I our first comic books for Christmas one year. We quickly grew to love them.

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So the comics came out in the 1940s, and are about a clumsy, accident-prone, redhead, Archie Andrews; who moves to Riverdale meeting a blonde, girl-next-door, Betty Cooper and a food-consuming, girl hater Forsythe “Jughead” Jones. As the series progressed they added more characters, and changed the history to being everyone grew up in Riverdale together. I love the comics from the 1940s-90s. The ones that have been written in the last ten years are not really my favorites as these newer ones seeming to have something missing. So here are the fun characters:

Archie Andrews is the sweet, all around “good guy”. He’s your average male, but has a heart of gold. He is always having issues in his classes, and constantly going to summer school, but is still a pretty clever guy as on more than one occasion he manages to outwit Reggie. He does every sport known to man and also is the school’s newspaper editor. His biggest flaw is that he is girl crazy. Not only does he form a triangle with Betty and Veronica, but he will run after any pretty girl he sees. Add to this a habit of attracting disasters, and he is one funny guy.

Betty Cooper is the girl-next-door. Blonde, sweet, a great cook, and always lends a hand when one is needed. She is not only pretty, but brainy to boot.

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She also is a mechanic, school newspaper reporter, sews her own clothes, and a budding writer.

That's a lot!

That’s a lot!

Betty is the best. She was always my favorite character and I felt bad about her constant competition with Veronica over Archie. Betty has loved Archie since the first time she saw him, and will wait around, anytime for him. I know they need her to be one of the points in the love triangle, but I aways wanted Betty to say love me or leave me; no more in-between. In one issue she did dump Archie and started dating this guy Adam, but the fans didn’t like it and she and Archie got back together. Betty and Veronica may compete over Archie, but they are also the best of friends. Veronica is the total opposite of Betty, and Betty often uses her morals and kindness to show Veronica a better way to be. Betty is one of the few characters with siblings; having an older brother that works for the FBI, Chip Cooper; and an older sister who is an investigative reporter, Polly Cooper.

Veronica Lodge the final point in the love triangle. Veronica is the only daughter of gazillionaire Hiram Lodge. Mr. Lodge worked up from nothing and now has not only billions, but his fingers in every financial pot. Him and his wife were unable to have children for a while and had her in their old age. Veronica can be nice but is mostly spoiled, conniving, materialistic, and devoid of any skills besides ordering people and looking nice. Unlike Betty who has eyes only for Archie, Veronica flits about with any guy she finds attractive. She is also highly temperamental  and can be a major ice queen if one little thing upsets her. Of course this is somehow irresistible to Archie (as with most guys). Her constant scheming to get Archie away from Betty, while dating more wealthier and cuter guys, always brings laughs.

Triangles are not for me:

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Forsythe “Jughead” Jones is an interesting character. Jughead pretty much marches to the beat of his own drum. He wears a crown instead of a hat, shirts with the letter “S” on them, is a girl-hater, and an immense lover of food. Yep, he eats nonstop. But hey:

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Jughead doesn’t always do well in school, but is one of the cleverest guys out there. I believe that he just has his own way of learning that hasn’t been discovered. He loves to always pull one over on Reggie. Besides eating, his hobbies are sleeping, video games, and almost every sport. Ethel Muggs has the hots for him, and is always trying to get him to date her but Jughead is not interested. Usually if Jughead is “dating”, the girl’s parents own some restaurant he wants free food from. He and Archie have been best buds since day one, and will stay that way until the end.

Reggie Mantle is one of those jerk characters I love anyway. Think Gaston. He’s completely superficial, narcissistic, a prankster, and all around jerk. But all Reggie sees in himself is perfection.

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Reggie is also spoiled as he is an only child and also comes from a very wealthy family. He, like Archie and Jughead, doesn’t do the best in school and plays every sport offered. He is an amazing athelete, as he always manages to outscore Archie. He mainly dates Veronica, but also chases any girl he thinks is hot. The other girl he is interested in is Midge Klump, something her boyfriend doesn’t appreciate. What’s interesting about Reggie is that he and Archie have what I call a “Bert and Ernie” relationship. At times they seem to be each other’s enemies and can’t stand one another, but other times they are best buds.

Ethel Muggs is a tall, gangly, girl who has the hots for Jughead. If Betty is a doormat, then Ethel is even lower than that. She doesn’t have too much more of a personality other than her comedy of trying to win Jughead’s heart. She is nice, an athlete, and does well in school.

Dilton Doiley is a genius. Besides being great in school, he is an all around nice guy. He is picked on by Reggie, and finds it hard to get a date. Mostly Dilton comes in the story with some kind of invention he’s made. Sometimes they are great improvements, other times they create big messes, but they always produce something hilarious.

Chuck Clayton is African-American and was introduced into the series with his girlfriend Nancy Wood. Chuck is a great student, one of the best athletes in Riverdale, and a terrific artist (his favorite media is cartooning). His father is the assistant coach at Riverdale High and is always encouraging Chuck and his friends to do well and go to college. While Archie is goofy, Jughead unique, and Reggie deeply into himself; Chuck is more level-headed and less likely to get into crazy scrapes. In fact, he often tries to talk Archie out of them.

Nancy Wood is also African-American and was introduced the same time as Chuck. Like Ethel, she doesn’t have a lot of interaction in the comics besides being Chuck’s girlfriend and a friend of Betty. She is a tremendous athlete and student.

Moose Mason is the brawn to Dilton’s brains. Moose is tall, muscular, and loves sports excelling in everthing. School, however, gives him a lot of trouble. He’s a real nice guy always eager to help out, although he becomes insanely jealous if anyone even looks at his girlfriend Midge.

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He and Dilton are best friends.

Midge Klump is Moose’s girlfriend and friend of Betty and Veronica. She is a great student & athlete; although a bit of a gossip. She wavers between liking Moose’s jealousy and constant attention to feeling stifled by how much he “cares”. This is a continuos issue for her, which causes her to time and time again date Reggie to “test” her feelings. This of course hardly ever turns out well for Reggie.

Cheryl Blossom is a redhead, snob, gazillionaire, conniver, and the archenemy of Betty & Veronica. She somehow is irresistible to all the guys in town and is constantly cooking up some strategy to steal them away from their girlfriends. At one point in the story she moved away and the writers introduced her replacement, Ginger, but fortunately they realized that Cheryl was too good to leave her out for long. With Cheryl around, humor abounds.

Besides almost every character having their own actual comic book, there is also Archie’s Weird Mysteries. These stories involved Archie investigating into some strange occurrence in Riverdale. This eventually became a TV series, and I would watch it every Saturday morning.

For more on Archie Comics, go to When Potatoes Go Bad: Attack of the Killer Spuds (1999)

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Boy Meets World

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Yes, this show. I love it so much!

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I used to watch this show everyday. My friends and I were huge fans and fangirls over it!

So the story is about Cory Matthews, a middle son in a five person family. It covers them and their friends, all living in a suburb not too far from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was funny, sweet, and even hit the really hard issues.

Cory Matthews is our main character and he starts out your average preteen boy. He only cares about sports, food, etc. As he got older he fell for Topanga Lawrence, and the two became inseparable.

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Cory is an all around sweet guy. His best friend is Shawn Hunter, and the two were living a bromance before the word was ever invented. Shawn grew up on the “wrong side of the tracks”, but Cory never let that come between them or saw it as a bad thing. The two remain best buds until the end of the series.

Shawn Hunter is Cory’s best bud. He also is the bad boy with the heart of gold that all us ladies love!

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Now he was the stereotype of the hot guy who does okay in school and gets all the ladies, but he was also much more than that. His mom and dad ran off and he had to deal with that abandonment along surviving without them. He was afraid to get close to any girl, as he was afraid they would leave him, but at the same time recognized what Topanga and Cory had was really special. He did everything he could to get them together, and keep them together. Eventually he fell for Angela, but they had some problems as he had to once again deal with those issues brought on by his parents’ abandonment. It’s the same reason he had so much trouble letting Cory go when he and Topanga married. He was afraid of losing another person he loved.

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Later on in the series he finds out that he has a half-brother Jack (played by Matthew Lawrence). That brings more issues for him as the two try to figure out what it meant to be brothers and how to deal with not having had each other in their lives.

Topanga Lawrence is one of the most unique characters on TV.

Boy Meets World

She is the youngest daughter in a hippie family that owns a health food store. She wore what she wanted, and just ultimately was herself. However weird it was at times.

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As the series progressed her unquie qualities dimmed down, but she always remained the powerhouse she was.

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So later on in the series they actually changed her family. Her father was played by three different characters, of which the second and third were high ranking businessmen that only seemed to care about money. At one point her family moves away, but Cory and her are able to convince her aunt to let her finish up high school with him.

Then as the two are planning to get married, Topanga finds out that her parents are getting divorced and she stops believing in love as she saw her parents as an ideal. To make matters worse, the divorce is because of her father’s infidelity. Cory fights hard to win her back, as nothing will stop him from loving Topanga.

Eric Matthews is Cory’s brother and he was played by Will Friedle. He was Cory’s hot older brother.

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He wasn’t book smart, as he didn’t do well in school, but was full of  brotherly wisdom. He loved the ladies and was a girl chaser, but when he had a women he focused solely on her. He was hilarious, sensitive, and had some great moments. He and Jack become friends, and he helps the socially awkward guy meet the ladies. He and Mr. Feeny have a really great relationship as well. Mr. Feeny mentors all, but he and Eric are even closer than that.

Fee-hee-nay Call Boy Meets World Eric Matthews

Near the end of the series they made Eric really dumb, which I always hated as I loved the old Eric.

Mr. Feeny, you just can’t have a Boy Meets World post without him. Mr. Feeny lived next door to the Matthews and was the kids’ teacher in middle school. When Cory and Shawn move up to high school, they are thrilled to be done with him, only to find him becoming the principal and teacher at their high school. The year Cory, Shawn, and Topanga graduate, he decides to retires. Luckily the writers decided that was a bad idea and brought him back. He first attends college as a student, and later becomes a professor there.

Besides school teachings, Mr. Feeny was always a great mentor, friend, and grandfather to the kids. He could be hard and strict.

Boy Meets World Mr. Feeny I have a megaphone

But always encouraged them

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and tried to teach them life lessons.

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Sarcastic, sweet and ultimately lovable. This series really won a place in everyone’s heart! So much that Disney decided to bring it back (sort-of) with a series chronicling Cory and Topanga’s daughter Girl Meets World. Power of the fans! We rock!

For more on Boy Meets World, go to Who’s Afraid of Cory Wolf

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer

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When you become friends with someone one of the first things you do is try and brainwash them into liking everything you like.

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It’s not like you are trying to make them into something else, change them, or anything like that. It’s just you love something so much you want to share it with the world. You want everyone to love it as much as you.

When someone likes the show I love Spongebob Squarepants

This is what happened with my friend Elaine and the show Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

I had heard of Buffy the Vampire Slayer as I like Sarah Michelle Geller, but I was never really into the show. I did see the 1992 film and loved it. It was more of a horror-parody than scary film, and Joss Wheedon decided that with the TV show he wanted to take it to a deeper level.

So in the show we have a blonde, sweet, “damsel in distress like character” be the Slayer. That is the woman who is going to save the world slaying demons, monsters, vampires, aliens, bug creatures, etc.

BoyMeetsWorld Topanga Damsel in distress not distress

Buffy is a strong, independent woman that totally kicks butt and goes against every female stereotype. The only thing that I wonder is if you know you are going to be hunting vampires, why not invest in heavy duty turtlenecks?

She is lead by Giles her Watcher or mentor. He’s the type of guy you’d want as a dad or uncle.

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One if her best friends is Willow (played by Alison Hannigan) a shy, insecure, brilliant girl. Later she takes care of spells and reversing curses.

We have Xander who is a total goofball. He is the comic relief and has some hilarious moments. He also has some really stupid ones. But that’s to be expected.

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Cheating on his girlfriend with his best friend. Going off with Faith and sleeping with her.

But he does have his moments. Like the Halloween episode when everyone turns into their costumes, and he becomes this intense military guy.

Then we have Cordelia, the snooty, rich girl. At first she is Buffy’s nemesis, but she actually ends helping the group out. The more you see her the more you love her. She and Xander date for a while, until Xander screws it up.

And then you have Angel (played by the sexy David Boreanaz).

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Oh yeah, one of the best characters in the series.

Angel

Angel was a guy living in Ireland in the 19th century. He was turned into a vampire and wrecked havoc on the world. He was cursed by a group of witches in getting his soul back, forcing him to have feelings and a conscious. He turns from his life of killing, to protecting; attempting to atone for his mistakes. He’s just the way I love them:

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He’s just one of the most romantic characters ever!

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To read more about him, come back next March and check out my Saint Patrick’s Day post.

Besides a great show, great actors, great characters, and great lines; it has one amazing theme song.

Yep, thanks to Elaine this is now my show. 🙂

Go here to see which you belong in

Go here to see which you belong in

For more on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, go to Every Time I Bring A Girl Over, You Try to Eat Her!: Vampires Suck (2010)

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 Captain America

Captain America

I love Captain America. I just think he is one of the best superheros ever. He is so earnest, sweet, perfect!

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I mean he is just everything you want in a guy. 🙂 I loved the film Captain America: The First Avenger. At first I wasn’t going to see it because of Chris Evans. I mean I never hated the actor, it’s just he did a horrible job in the Fantastic Four films, and let’s be honest. Practically every film he’s ever been in he plays an egotistical jerk. Not Another Teen Movie, Cellular, Fantastic Four, The Nanny Diaries, etc. But when I watched the film it was perfect, PERFECT!

Finally something GOOD!

I think that prior to The Avengers, it was the best superhero created yet. I completely forgot that it was Chris Evans and instead just saw the Captain America I love!

Perfect!

Perfect!

This past spring break I went to Disneyland as my graduation present to myself. One of the recent changes they have made is that in Tomorrowland you can see the Iron Man suits, Thor props and meet him and MEET CAPTAIN AMERICA! I was thrilled and fangirled out!

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I couldn’t wait to meet him. I mean I was like Phil Coulson. Anyways, when we found out, my friend Elaine and I made plans to go asap and get our pictures with him. As we waited in line, I was joking around that I wasn’t sure what I would do. I might even totally fangirl over him and throw myself at him. LOL I’m not that crazy, lol.

Yeah right.

Yeah right.

So once we reached the second floor that housed the superheros, even though Captain America was to the right they forced you to go all the way around through the Iron Man and Thor exhibits. Elaine and I had already checked those out, so we took off running past Iron Man, Thor, playstation etc. We reached Captain America and were like third in line, excited although really tired.

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When we got to Captain America, I totally lost it. Even though I knew that the guy wasn’t the real Captain America he just seemed so real! I threw myself at him and hugged him like five times. I babbled on that he was one of my favorites and how happy I was to see him.

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A total fangirl.

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He was cool with it. In fact he was perfect. He took the whole thing in stride.

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After we took like ten photos (me & Elaine), we were heading out when this happened:

“Captain America: Hey, Moreland.

Me: Yeah?

Captain America: Maybe I’ll see you around.

Me: Okay!”

I was like:

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Even though I knew the odds were zilch and not going to happen, there was still a small fraction of me that was hoping maybe, just maybe we would run into each other again.

Yep, the mentality of a fangirl. This is why we have places like tumblr where we can be understood for our irrationalities.

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Thank goodness it was Elaine who was with me and understood.

The next day we were heading back to our apartment and stopped off to see Elaine’s parents. We showed her mom all our pictures. She was looking at the Captain America one, and wondered out loud what kind of padding he was wearing. I told her that there wasn’t any padding. Those muscles were real.

If you love Captain America as much as I do, come back in March and check out my St. Patrick’s Day post to hear more on him.

Otherwise: For more Captain America, go to Fanning All Over the Place

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Chronicles of Narnia

Narnia

So while other kids grew up waiting for a letter to Hogwarts, or Camp Half-Blood, or any of those other places I was like whatever. I wanted to go to Narnia. Narnia prepare yourself spider-man memeI read the books and watched all the BBC films. I was so disappointed that I could never find a wardrobe to take me there (no matter how hard I tried).

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It was the first fandom I have ever been in and the one I’ll be in until I die. I will never grow tired of C.S. Lewis’ books. You’re never too old for them.

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The first book in the series is The Magician’s Nephew (1). It was actually the sixth book, but he wrote it as a prequel to the rest of the series. I thought it was okay, but he introduces a backstory that gives me more questions for the whole series. It’s not bad, but not one of my favorites. In it Digory and a Polly find themselves being sent to multiple worlds, having some of those enter their own world, and even witnessing the creation of Narnia.

The actual book that started it all was The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe (2)This is my favorite as it is the first and AWESOME!

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The time is the 1940s and four siblings, Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy,  are sent to the country to get away from the bombs of London. While staying at the house they go through a wardrobe into a magical world. The four find themselves caught in a battle between the evil White Witch and the Godly Lion, Aslan.

It is an amazing adventure story with magic, animals, swordfighting, everything you love and want! I always wanted to be Peter the High King and Lord of Narnia. I thought that he was just amazing as he fights the White Queen, werewolves, etc. One Christmas my mother bought me a bible cover that had images from the books and one was Peter with his sword held high. I used to joke that the guy I ended up with had to have the inner soul of that. Yeah-not a joke.

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The “next book” is A Horse and His Boy (3). I don’t really like this book as it was written fifth and doesn’t fit in the timeline right. In The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe it ends with the kids having lived far into their lives and returning home to discover they are back to their orginal ages and had only been gone a few hours. This book takes place in the middle of that time of them ruling. It bugs me as it just doesn’t go. I could have lived without it.

The next book Prince Caspian (4) was another of my all-time favorites and was orginally the sequel to the first. Time between Narnia and our world is much different. In the first book 40 years passed and it was only a few hours. In this one, hundreds of years have passed in Narnia. The land is ruled by men and talking animals, dwarfs, etc.; no longer roam the area. Prince Caspian is a young prince, about 10-12, who has grown up hearing the stories of King Peter, Queen Susan, King Edmund, and Queen Lucy. His uncle is ruling the land until he comes of age. One night he has to flee for his life as his uncle is set on killing him and making his newborn son the next in line for the throne. He rallies the rest of the magical creatures and calls on the help of the four from the first book.

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This was another of my favs as it had the same kind of action and magic of the first one.

Then comes Voyage of the Dawn Treader (5)In this one Peter and Susan are no longer allowed back into Narnia as they are too old. Lucy and Edmond go back, and take along their horrible, annoying cousin Eustace (on accident). They find themselves on the Dawn Treader a boat built by King Caspian, now in his 20s. I loved this book as they are traveling through the lone islands and searching for the lost Lords exiled under his uncle. This has amazing adventures, swordfights, magic, dragons, etc.

In The Silver Chair (6) Lucy and Edmond are also too old to return to Narnia. Instead a bullied Eustace and Jill Pole find there way there. It has been many years in Narnia, as Caspian is now an old man. His son was lost to him years ago, just up and vanished, and Aslan sends Eustace and Jill to find him. They meet up with a Marshwiggle named Puddleglum, who is so negative it is hilarious. In here they continue their adventuring coming upon giants, black knights, underground men, etc.

The last book is The Last Battle (7). This book is the end of the series. It has been hundreds and hundreds of years since Caspian and his son. One day a monkey finds a lion skin, clothes a donkey with it, and proclaims him Aslan. There like in Animal Farm, he begins to use his newly gained power to turn the animals into slaves. Eustace and Jill use the magic rings from the first book to help Narnia, and are soon followed by everyone. Endings are always sad, but this one goes out with a bang.

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The BBC films are amazing as they copy the books to a T. The actors are also fantastic. The special effects are so-so, but that was the technology they had and you got to give them props for that. The Disney versions are horrible. HORRIBLE! Trust me, don’t watch them at all. Read instead.

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For more on The Chronicles of Narnia, go to 25 Films of Christmas

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Copper

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Copper is one of those shows that was amazing and got canceled far too early (only two seasons). I’m still upset over that.

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So I wanted to watch Copper when it first came out as it intrguied me. It was a historical drama and plus it had him:

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Let me back, up I’m getting too far ahead of myself. So Copper takes place during the mid 19th century in New York City. New York has a lot of tension not only between the Southerners and Northerners; but the racial clashes between “Americans”, “White” Europeans, Irish, and African-Americans. The main character, Kevin “Corky” Corcoran is an Irish immigrant, who has become a “copper”. He tries to keep the notorious Five Points in line with its murders, thievery, prostitution, opium trade, etc.

During the war, Corky worked with the wealthy Robert Morehouse (played by the hot guy from Alley Cats Strike). Morehouse used his influence to get Corky that job. Matthew Freeman, a freed slave who fought with them during the Civil War, acts as Corky’s pathologist and coroner.

They had the first season free on Amazon Instant Watch and I breezed through it and the second one as well.

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The main character is amazing as he is just what I like:

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And Irish. 🙂

He also really cares about the people in his neighborhood and protecting him. He not only a honorable man, but one of action who goes out and takes care of things. Super attractive!

Besides all those wonderful things, Copper also has a great intro.

For more on Copper, go to At the End of the Rainbow: 17 More Irish Heros

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Loving Everything

If people don’t like it, well:

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The ones who do understand you, you will have awesome times with.

For Part 1 go to Fanning All Over the Place

And Stay Tuned for Part 3

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For more book filled posts, go to Peeta Please!

For more of my favorite quotes, go to I Before E, Especially After P

For more quizzes, go to That Girl is Poison

For more Disney, go to The Little Moreland

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The Perfect Murder: Dial “M” for Murder (1954)

Dial M For Murder

Do you really believe in the perfect murder? Mmm, yes, absolutely.

So after years of his absence from my Horrorfest countdowns, I have finally included Alfred Hitchcock in not one, not two, but three posts.

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Alfred Hitchcock is my favorite director. He was influential in creating new ways of filming psychological thrillers, he is often credited for creating the true horror genre/slasher film with Psycho (1960), and was just a pure cinematic genius. He is just amazing.

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Dial “M” For Murder is one of his highly known films (although not as known as Vertigo or Psycho). It has been referenced or parodied in countless films and TV shows. In the ’90s they even remade the film under the title A Perfect Murder. It starred Michael Douglas, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Viggo Mortenson; but it wasn’t nearly as good.

MeanGirls I know right!

This film also started Hitchcock’s filming relationship with Grace Kelly. This film was crucial in her career as it made her stand out not only to Alfred Hitchcock but other directors as well, a huge step to becoming a permanent leading lady. After this film she starred in Hitchcock’s Rear Window and To Catch a Thief. Hitchcock was impressed with her ideas and thoughts on the script in how a woman would act (especially regarding clothing), that after this film he allowed her to make all her own wardrobe decisions. She, like Audrey Hepburn,  quickly became known for her style and class. But that wasn’t the only thing that Hitchcock found attractive, he really liked her and fell for her; but she wouldn’t give him the time of day, (romantically that is). (For more information on Hitchcock and his leading ladies, I strongly suggest the book Spellbound by Beauty by Donald Spoto. It’s an amazing read!) And sadly she had to retire from acting at an early age as she married the Prince of Monaco. However short a career, it was an amazing one.

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This film also reunited Hitchcock and Robert Cummings, who had starred in an earlier film, Saboteur (1942).  In this film Cummings plays an important role, but a smaller one than his earlier collaboration.

This film is also the only Hitchcock film to ever be shot in 3-D. In the 1950s, 3-D was super popular, so popular that some people came up with the idea of Smell-O-Vision to beat it (I’m serious!). Hitchcock didn’t want to shoot in 3-D, but until the late 1960s, studios had a lot more pull and Warner Bros. wanted it. Hitchcock obliged, although it did cause a few issues for him as he had to rework his known style to incorporate what 3-D was able to accomplish at the time.

So the film is based on the play of the same name Frederick Knott, and he also helped write the screenplay. It is set in England and as  you can guess from the poster, the phone plays a huge role in this film as well. That really seems to be a theme this month. I swear that wasn’t planned.

Oops!

Oops!

Well here we go!

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So before I start the film, let me give you the background on the characters. Now as you watch the film things are revealed to you, but it’s easier for me to give them at the start.

So we have a couple, Tony Wendice (Ray Milland) and his wife Margot (Grace Kelly). Tony was a huge tennis star and met Margot when he was competing. She comes from a very wealthy family. The two were married and Margot convinced him to give up competing as she didn’t like him being away. He complied and now sells sports equipment. However, as he no longer is the dashing tennis star, she lost interest in him and had an affair with Mark Halliday (Robert Cummings) an American Crime writer.

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As the film starts out we have Margot and Mark in a very cozy embrace.

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“Margot Mary Wendice: Let me get you another drink. Mark, before Tony comes I ought to explain something.

Mark Halliday: Yes, I’ve been waiting for that.

Margot Mary Wendice: I haven’t told him anything about us.”

Margot tells Mark that she burned all his letters, except one. That one was stolen by a blackmailer who demanded payment, but he never picked up the money or returned the letter. She is worried that her husband will find out.

Mark has a completely different reaction to the news.

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He wants them to tell Tony all about the affair so that Margot can get a divorce and the two can marry. Margot doesn’t want to as “she feels bad” about hurting “Tony’s feelings”.

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Now I’m no expert, but if the person doesn’t want to break up the relationship, it seems to me that they want, to quote an old cliché, “have their cake and eat it too.” I think Margot likes the respectability of her marriage and doesn’t want the divorce scandel, but at the same time is heavily intrigued by Mark. And who can blame her? Robert Cummings is a looker.

Saboteur

Photo from Saboteur

That night Tony is introduced to Mark, him being Margot’s “friend”. The two discuss Mark’s profession.

Tony Wendice: How do you go about writing a detective story?

Mark Halliday: Well, you forget detection and concentrate on crime. Crime’s the thing. And then you imagine you’re going to steal something or murder somebody.

Tony Wendice: Oh, is that how you do it? It’s interesting.

Mark Halliday: Yes, I usually put myself in the criminal’s shoes and then I keep asking myself, uh, what do I do next?

Margot Mary Wendice: Do you really believe in the perfect murder?

Mark Halliday: Mmm, yes, absolutely. On paper, that is. And I think I could, uh, plan one better than most people; but I doubt if I could carry it out.

Tony Wendice: Oh? Why not?

Mark Halliday: Well, because in stories things usually turn out the way the author wants them to; and in real life they don’t… always.

Tony Wendice: Hmm.

Mark Halliday: No, I’m afraid my murders would be something like my bridge: I’d make some stupid mistake and never realize it until I found everybody was looking at me.”

Tony invites Mark to join him for a tennis party, and Mark agrees. Its all men, so Margot will be staying home. After a bit more pleasantries Margot and Mark leave to go out “as friends” to a theatre show that Tony didn’t want to see, while Tony stays home to “work” on some stuff.

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After they leave, he calls up an old friend. Swann (going by the name Captain Lesgate) from his old Cambridge days. He brings him there under false pretenses of wanting to purchase a vehicle from him. He then tells Swann that he wants him to murder his wife.

Say What

“Tony Wendice: One thousand pounds in cash.

C.A. Swann: For a murder?

Tony Wendice: For a few minutes work, that’s all it is. And no risk, I guarantee.”

Tony then goes on to tell Swann a story.

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Tony only married Margot for her money, and it really injures his pride to see her cheating on him and tossing him over like an old shoe. He followed her one day and discovered the affair.

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He wanted to kill Mark.

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He then moved to the idea of murdering his wife. But things changed…

“Tony Wendice: It’s funny to think that just a year ago, I sat in that Knightsbridge Pub actually planning to murder her. And I might have done it, if I hadn’t seen something that changed my mind.

C.A. Swann: Well? What did you see?

Tony Wendice: I saw you.”

Back in the day, Swann was always getting into trouble for all kinds of stuff, and it struck Tony that he could commit the perfect murder. He then began extensive planning. He has been collecting £1000 over the year, under the guise of racetrack betting, etc.; compiling the money for such a purpose.

He even went to great lengths to get one of the letters from Mark and pretended to blackmail her. With Mark back in town he has set up the whole scenario on how to murder her even planning to use Mark as an alibi, as being the husband he will be the first suspect. All he needs is someone to do it for him. He has a lot of information on Swann’s background (as he has been tracking him) and uses it to blackmail him into completing his murderous plot. And he has to do it tomorrow.

He reveals his perfect plan.

“Tony Wendice: At exactly three minutes to eleven, you’ll enter the house through the street door. You’ll find the key to this door under the stair carpet here.

C.A. Swann: The fifth step?

Tony Wendice: That’s the one. Go straight to the window, and hide behind the curtains. At exactly eleven o’clock, I shall go to the telephone in the hotel to call my boss. I shall dial the wrong number. This number. That’s all I shall do.”

His wife will answer the phone, and then Swann can strangle her and leave through the french windows.

perfect plan

Swann agrees to the plot as he feels he has no other choice in the matter. Tony is estatic as everything seems to be going along perfectly.

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But then things start falling apart. Margot doesn’t want to stay home. She is thinking of going out to dinner and seeing a movie. Mark thinks it’s a great idea but Tony convinces her to stay home.

“Margot Mary Wendice: Don’t make me stay home. You know how I hate doing nothing.

Tony Wendice: Doing nothing? Why there are hundreds of things you can do. Have you written to Peggy, thanking her for the weekend? And what about those clippings? It’s an ideal opportunity.

Margot Mary Wendice: Well I like that. You two go gallivanting while I stay home and do those boring clippings.”

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Before Tony leaves, he stills Margot’s key from her bag and puts it in the marked hiding place. Keeping his key in his pocket, he and Mark leave for the party.

Back at the home, Margot has been working hard on her scrapbooking. She eventually goes to bed, putting everything away…at least almost everything. She actually forgets the scissors and leaves them by the phone.

That night everything starts being put into motion. Swann enters the place the same way that Tony planned it out. He leaves the key under the stair and hides behind the curtains waiting for the phone.

However, back at the party, things aren’t quite going as planned.

Stupid, stupid

Stupid, stupid

Tony’s watch stops and he has to ask for the time, finding out that it is actually past 11:00.

What!

He hurries to the pay phone and makes the call, hoping that everything else goes accordingly. Margot gets up to answer the phone. As she is talking, Swann reaches out to strangle her.

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But instead of overpowering her like he’s supposed to, Margot ends up getting him. As the two are struggling, she reaches for something…anything to stop him. She ends up grabbing the scissors and stabbing him with them, completely killing him.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow

Margot is a mess and is freakin’ out. I can’t blame her, someone is trying to murder you and you kill them.

I don't know what to do

Tony tells her to touch nothing and wait for him. He’s on his way over.

As he heads over Tony freaks out. His plans have failed. But then something comes to him. A new plan, a way to fix things.

Its-so-crazy it just mightwork

He decides to make it look like Swann was blackmailing Margot and that she murdered him rather than self-defense. He calls the police and sends Margot to bed. He then plants Mark’s letter in Swann’s coat, takes the key and puts it back in Margot’s handbag, and burns the scarf that Swann was going to use, replacing it with Margot’s stocking. He then tells Margot to make sure she doesn’t tell the police that he told her not to call the police. He’s worried how it might make her look. However, Tony is plotting very well, and the police begin to strongly suspect her.

Everyone's a suspect!

Hmm…

The police figure out that Swann did not come through the French Windows. He must have come through the hall, as it rained the night before. If he had come through the garden there would be muddy footprints. Inspector Hubbard (John Williams) strongly suspects Margot and believes her to be the killer. We cut to a scene showing Margot on trial amd sentenced to be hanged.

perfect plan

Except thing are not quite perfect.  There are quite a few things Tony didn’t plan. One of which was getting rid of the money. As Tony mentioned, he’s been drawing a lot of money out of his bank every week, pretending to spend it on racehorses. He had planned to give it to Swann, but now is at a loss. He can’t put it back in the bank as there would be too many questions. He can’t keep it, if the police find it, it’s all over for him.

I don't know what to do

So he tries to spend it all. Unbeknowest to him, the police are watching him very carefully. And they notice this.

Months later, on the night before Margot’s execution,  Mark comes to speak to Tony. He tells him that instead of letting Margot die, he should say that he tried to murder her. That he hired Swann. This will give him some jail time but save Margot’s life. Tony does not want to do that.

Dial M for murder mark, tony, inspector hubble

Inspector Hubbard comes back to the flat to question Tony some more about the money he’s been spending. Mark hears this and starts searching, finding the briefcase full of money.

What!

Tony thinks of a lie quickly and says that this was the money Margot had to give to Swann, but then changed her mind and killed him. The Inspector listens and takes his comment as fact…or does he?

Everyone's a suspect!

Hmm…

Now, if Tony was really smart he would have made up a different lie. I would have said that I realized there was nothing between me and Margot and was planning on leaving her. However, I knew that I wouldn’t get much money in the divorce (he signed a prenup), so I’ve been taking some money out, bit by bit. When the murder happened, I knew it would come to light and was afraid that it might put me in a bad light or under suspicion. I mean its not the perfect excuse, but at least it shows he wasn’t going to kill her as why remove money when he was planning on getting it all. But he doesn’t think that way.

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This makes the inspector highly suspicious of Tony and he steals the key from Margot’s purse, intent on sneaking in and investigating.

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Hold on, that is illegal. He doesn’t have a search warrant or permission to be searching the house. Anything he finds will be immaterial and thrown out of court. I looked it up and  this is what it said:

By the laws of England, every invasion of private property, be it ever so minute, is a trespass.No man can set his foot upon my ground without my license, but he is liable to an action, though the damage be nothing; which is proved by every declaration in trespass, where the defendant is called upon to answer for bruising the grass and even treading upon the soil. If he admits the fact, he is bound to show by way of justification, that some positive law has empowered or excused him. The justification is submitted to the judges, who are to look into the books; and if such a justification can be maintained by the text of the statute law, or by the principles of common law. If no excuse can be found or produced, the silence of the books is an authority against the defendant, and the plaintiff must have judgment.

So technically, anything he finds can not be used in a court of law. That’s it, Tony is allowed to go free.

TheEnd_Title_2

But of course this is a movie, and things go differently. Inspector Hubble discovers that the key in the purse does not work on the front door. He instead finds it under the stair carpet. This gives him the great idea of creating a little trick to discover if Tony is the true killer.

John Williams (Chief Inspector Hubbard) Dial M for Murder (1954)

The Inspector visits Tony and steals his raincoat, leaving his own, therefore taking Tony’s key. He calls the station and asks them to release Margot. She immediately returns home, but finds out that her key won’t work. Hubbard watches her and discovers that she does not know the key is under the stairs. The Inspector let’s her in and gets a policeman to take the bag back to the station. They then begin to wait for Tony.

perfect plan

Tony comes home from his errands and finds that he can’t get inside. His coat belongs to Inspector Hubble and he has the wrong key. When Tony discovers his key doesn’t fit, he goes down to the station to get Margot’s bag. When that key doesn’t fit, he looks under under the stairs and finds the key, giving himself away.

dun-dun-duuuun

Tony enters and figures out they caught him. Being the gentleman he is, he doesn’t fight them. He knows when he has been defeated.

Tony Wendice: [pouring a drink] As you said Mark, it might work out on paper, but congratulations, Inspector. Oh, by the way… How about you, Margot?

Margot Mary Wendice: Yes, I could do with something.

Tony Wendice: Mark?

Mark Halliday: So could I.

Tony Wendice: I suppose you’re still on duty, Inspector.

TheEnd_Title_2

It;s a great movie, despite the small legality issue, but otherwise an amazing film. I definitely recommend it.

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

For the previous post, go to What Have We Done to Each Other?

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For more on Dial “M” for Murder, go to Part X: The Movie List That Would Not Die

For more on Alfred Hitchcock, go to The Past of a Man

For more on blackmail, go to Secrets are Great, Unless You Get Caught

For more films based on a play, go to Murder is My Favorite Crime

The Two Times to be Over

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Now there may come times when ones extensive wardrobe or education will be a tad out of place, but on a whole, one can never be overdressed or overeducated. Bettering oneself is never a bad thing, no matter what some may say.

And never forget the best thing you can carry on you:

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For more on Oscar Wilde, go to If Only It Was the Picture Who was to Grow Old, and I Remain Young

For more of my favorite quotes go to Chin Up Kid

For more bookish posts, go to Second Star to the Right

For more on fashion, go to Fashion Show

25 Films of Christmas

So last year I tried to do 12 Posts of Christmas, unfortunately that didn’t work out as I got sick and involved in Christmas-y activities. However, this year I decided to do some thing in the vein of the Chinese New Year and Saint Patrick’s Day posts. Instead of posting everyday, a countdown of 25 of my fav Christmas Films. Now these aren’t my top 25, but I randomly picked them and then rearranged them in the order of how I love them.

Holly

25) Love, Actually (2003)

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This has a complex storyline as the film has multiple paths. There is Billy Mack, aging rock star trying to get back in the limelight, redoing Christmas songs.  Mark is secretly in love with his best friend’s girl Juliet but says nothing to honor his friend. Jamie flees to France after his last girlfriend cheats on him with his brother, there  he falls in love with his Portuguese housekeeper. Harry, the direcctor of a design studio, contemplates having an affair with his assistant Mia. David has just become Prime Minister and develops feelings for a girl who works for him, Natalie. Daniel has just lost his wife and is raising his stepson.  Sarah has feelings for Karl but her mentally ill brother, Michael, seems to throw a wrench in her plans. Colin is tired of striking out with English women and journeys to America. John and Judy are body doubles for actors who meet at work.

Why it’s Great: It has Colin Firth, Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson, Martin Freeman , etc; need I say more? The Colin Firth storyline is really good, in fact keep an eye open for it’s reappearance this Feb.

Holly

24) Twas’ the Night Before Christmas (1974)

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Santa isn’t coming this year as he has received an hurtful letter. A mouse and the clockmaker try and figure out what is wrong and fix it. The mouse’s son is the one that caused the issue and they are trying to get him to say he is sorry so that all can have Christmas.

Why it’s Great: They used to show this every year on the 25 Days of Christmas on abcFamily. It’s a great spin on a classic tale.

Holly

23) Catch Me If You Can (2002)

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Leonardo DiCaprio stars in the film based on the true story of Frank Abagnale, Jr. Frank is a conman who pretends to be a teacher, pilot, doctor, and lawyer all before his 21st birthday. He steals millions of dollars in forged checks. Tom Hanks is the FBI Agent, Carl, that tracks him through the years, finally  catching up with him.

Why it’s Great: While this isn’t your typical Christmas film, Christmas plays a significant part as it is the time that the two intersect throughout the years in the film. DiCaprio and Hanks are amazing in this film as they are such subperb actors. It’s a great thing to watch.

Holly

22) Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas (1997)

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This film takes place in the midst of Beauty and the BeastThe Beast hates Christmas, because in this version that’s when the Enchantress came and turned him into a Beast. Belle is trying to bring back Christmas to the castle and help heal the Beast’s soul, but has to contend with an evil organ played by Tim Curry. For more Beauty and the Beast posts go here.

Why it’s Great: While the song “As Long As There’s Christmas” is no “Be Our Guest” or “Tale as Old as Time“, it is extremely adorable. Plus Tim Curry as the villian? You just know its going to be awesome. 😀

Holly

22) Frosty the Snowman (1969)

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Short film based on the song about the magic hat that brings a snowman to life and his adventures with the town’s kids.

Why it’s Great: Its Frosty! How can you not love him?

Holly

21) Babes in Toyland (1986)

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Drew Barrymore is a young girl who is not quite in the Christmas’ spirit. There is a huge storm and she gets into an accident waking up in Toyland. Mary Contrary (who looks just like her sis in ‘real life’) is being forced to marry the evil Barnaby Barnacle. She really loves Jack Be Nimble (played by Keanu Reeves and looks like her sis’ bf in ‘real life’.) Barrymore tries to stop the wedding and Barnaby’s atempt to conquer Toyland. They have to find the toymaker and get his help in saving the land.

Why it’s Great: This Wizard of Oz-esque film is adorable as it brings all the nursery rhymes you learned as a child to life.

Holly

20) Edward Scissorhands (1990)

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A young creation, Edward Scissorhands, is discovered by an Avon saleslady, Peg. His creator was going to give him actual hands, but was not able to finish Edward before he died. The Avon saleslady takes him home to her place and has him join the family. Edward falls for the daughter Kim, played by Winona Ryder. Edward quickly becomes liked by all as he uses his scissors to create lawn art and cute hairstyles. After he is caught burglarizing a house, for Kim and her jerk boyfriend, he finds himself ostracized. In the end Edward is able to find love, his place, create more art, and make it snow.

Why it’s Great: First of all it has Vincent Price, in fact this was his last film before he died. It also is a super cute story, even though it has its sad moments. The last section of the film deals with Christmas, as Peg and her family throw a huge Christmas party that no one comes to as they are shunning the fam. I love Winona Ryder’s white dress in this film, I really want one for myself. It’s also really cute at the end when Edward makes the ice sculptures, and snow.

Holly

19) The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

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Our second Tim Burton film on our list. Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King, and the most popular guy in Halloweentown is disatisfied with his life. He journeys out of town and discovers doors to other holiday towns. When he goes into Christmasland he decides that he will take over Christmas and improve it. Of course nothing turns out quite as he plans.

Why it’s Great: Its an amazing film, the music, characters, etc. Of course best lines, “why does nothing turn out as I plan“. My favorites are “What’s This?” and “Sally’s Song“.

Holly

18) While You Were Sleeping (1995)

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Sandra Bullock works at a toll booth and everyday she watches the distinguished (and my opinion ugly) Peter Gallagher and has developed a crush on him. One day he is attacked and injured and she saves his life. At the hospital she is mistaken for his fiancé and soon brought into the family. She falls in love with them, along with Gallagher’s brother, played by Bill Pullman. Gallagher wakes up to find himself massively confused, and Bullock finds herself engaged to the wrong brother. Everything works out on the end as all is righted.

Why it’s Great: Well first of all it has Bill Pullman :D. Secondly it is a hilarious film, just like all of Bullock’s comedys. I mean the amnesia scene is to die for. The proposal scene with Bill Pullman is so an adorable and romantic!

Holly

17) The Holiday (2006)

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Two women who have  suffered horrible breakups switch homes for the Christmas holiday. Iris, Kate Winslet, in England goes to California, and befriends an elderly neighbor and falls in love with a Hollywood movie theme writer (played by Jack Black). Amanda, Cameron Diaz, in California, moves to England and falls for Iris’ brother, Jude Law, widower with two kids.

Why it’s Great: Its an absolutely adorable idea and the couples match up are perfect. Of course the most points go to the sexy dad, Jude Law. 😀

Holly

16) Nestor: The Long- Eared Donkey  (1977)

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Nestor is a donkey born with extremely long ears. In the vein of Dumbo, Nestor is constantly picked on and bullied for being so different. An angel encourages him that he was born that way for a reason and has a special purpose in life. Eventually, Nestor finds himself being the donkey that Mary rides in to Bethlehem, protecting her and the unborn Baby Jesus.

Why it’s Great: It is such a cute movie!!!

Holly

15) The Little Drummer Boy (1968)

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This film is based on the song, “Carol of the Drum” or “The Little Drummer Boy“. A little boy and his animals end up becoming slaves to a circus, being treated cruelly by all. He escapes and one of his animals is injured. He meets up with the Three Magi’s caravan and goes with them to see Baby Jesus. His animal is healed and he plays his drum as thank you to Jesus.

Why it’s Great: It is one of the most adorable classic cartoons that they used to show every year on abcFam.

Holly

14) Jack Frost (1979)

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Jack Frost has fallen for a human girl and makes a deal that will allow him be human. He is until Spring to win her over and must also gain a horse and bag of gold in order to remain human. Being a human is harder than he thought as he has no idea the social niceties and has to contend with Kubla Khan, the evil dictator.

Why it’s Great: Jack is amazing, much better than the gold knight the girl end sup with ;(. Makes you knida wish he was real. This cartoon also has great musical numbers as “Jack Frost” and “Just What I Always Wanted“. I also loves Kubla Khan’s little dummy that he talks to.

Holly

13) The Godfather (1972)

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Such an awesome film! The Godfather is a story about the Italian mafia in the 1940s. This specific sect is overseen by Don Corleone. He has three sons; Alfredo (played by John Cazale), Santino (James Caan), and Michael (Al Pacino); and one daughter, Connie (Talia Shire). Santino is next in line to be godfather, skipping over his brother Fredo. Unlike his siblings, Michael wants nothing to do with his father’s  business, instead wanting to live a “legal” life. When Don Corleone is shot by a rival, it changes everyone’s plans as they are all spiraled down a new path.

Why it’s Great: Two words, The Godfather. There is no way to describe how amazing this film is, well actually You’ve Got Mail does a pretty good job.  You just have to check it out for yourself. This film isn’t a Christmas movie really, but does have a Christmas scene, so it counts. It’s funny, but even though this doesn’t have Thanksgiving, we usually watch it then in my family.

Holly

12) The Nativity Story (2006)

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A retelling of the birth of Christ from Mary and Joseph’s point of view. It shows the struggle that Joseph goes through, contemplating what to do about pregnant Mary. Then the two have to travel far and long to Bethlehem.

Why it’s Great: They tried to keep the story as historical accurate as possible and do such a great job. It really tries to bring the biblical text to life and get you to empathize with the two and the situations they are going through.

Holly

11) The Chronicles of Narnia: the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (1988)

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A mini-series based on C.S. Lewis’ beloved books. Four siblings, Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy, enter a wardrobe and a magical world. The four find themselves caught in a battle between the evil White Witch and the Godly Lion, Aslan.

Why it’s Great: C.S. Lewis’ great book = Great movie. Enough said! While Christmas isn’t the biggest part of the plot, the group do run into Father Christmas who gives them gifts they need to win the fight against the White Witch. Peter gets a sword and shield, Susan a bow and horn that will always bring help, and Lucy a dagger and a healing substance to help the wounded. While this movie was remade by Disney, it doesn’t hold a candle to this mini-series, as the series while not having the great special effects, is almost exactly the book.

Holly

10) White Christmas (1954)

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Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye are WWII veterans who became a song and dance duo. The two meet up with a pair of singing sisters and both head off to the same ski lodge. There they discover their old general is the owner, and may lose the place from lack of buisness and snow. The two come up with an idea to house a show there with the sisters. Bing Crosby starts a romance but the two break it off due to some misunderstandings. In the end they are all reunited and have a great number honoring the General and singing the title, White Christmas.

Why it’s Great: First of all Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye! Secondly this has some truly great musical numbers; such as “Gee, I Wish I Was Back in the Army“, “Sisters“, along with the title song. It’s a silly and zany film, you’ll love it.

Holly

8) A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)

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The Peanut gang try to figure out the true meaning of Christmas amid all the insanities of the holiday.

Why it’s Great: It’s Peanuts! Snoopy is adorable as ever and Linus gives a great true meaning of Christmas speech.

Holly

9) A Garfield Christmas (1987)

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Garfield and the gang head out to the Arbuckle farm for some old fashioned country Christmas

Why it’s Great: Its from the good Garfield cartoons I grew up watching as a kid. That hilarious fat cat always makes the season brighter. Go here to watch.

Holly

7) A Christmas Story (1983)

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Adult Ralphie narrates the time when his nine-year-old self desired a Red Ryder BB Gun for Christmas and all the trouble he went through to try and get it. Throughout the time leading up to Christmas, he, his family, and friends are involved in all kinds of crazy antics. The father wins a female leg lamp, Ralphie’s friend Flick gets his tongue stuck to a pole, his brother won’t eat unless pretending to be a pig, Ralphie gets a pink-footed bunny pajamas, etc. It all leads up to one crazy Christmas.

Why it’s Great: This movie is extremely hilarious. Pretty much every scene I mentioned there and more. It is  is truly a classic piece. You gotta add it to your Christmas countdown. 😀

Holly

6) The Bishop’s Wife (1947)

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The Bishop is trying to get a new cathedral built along with all his other duities. Feeling stressed out, he calls out to God for help, and is answered by angel Dudley, Cary Grant. Dudley helps out, that is by spending all his time with the Bishop’s wife. Through this the Bishop is finally able to see what really matters in his life and the true meaning of Christmas.

Why it’s Great: Uh…Cary Grant! It also has such funny actics as when we see Grant’s angel powers. I mean I wish I had his tree decorating skills. This film also proves the old adage, “be careful what you wish for” is something that one should think on. 😀 For more thoughts on this film go here.

Holly

5) How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966)

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The Grinch hates Christmas and decides to destroy and end the holiday, ruining the holiday for all the Whos. However, the Grinch finds out what the true spirit of christmas is, whether he wants to or not.

Why it’s Great: The Grinch was always my fav Dr. Seuss book. I just love the story so much! I remember that one year I ate a ton of a certain type of cereal and sent away for a special Grinch keychain. I lost it though in one of our moves.  This film is also awesome because it has the amazing Boris Karloff narrating, and has one of the all-time best songs, You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch.

Holly

4) Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

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A Macy’s department store Santa believes himself to be the “real” Santa Claus. His insistence lands him in jail and then in a huge court case to determine whether or not Santa is real

Why it’s Great: It’s an amazing film about faith, believing in the intangible, and the true meaning of Christmas.  Edmund Gwenn is a perfect Santa, Maureen O’Hara is lovely as always, and it stars a young Natalie Wood.  It has amazing scenes as Santa turns Macy’s into a store of goodwill, taking down the psychologist, and pretty much just being adorable. Best scene ever is the court scenes when they prove Santa’s real. 😀

Holly

3) Holiday Inn (1942)

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Bing Crosby plays a burnt out singer and moves to Connecticut to buy a country home and live a simple life. It soon becomes too much for him and he turns it into a hotel, open only on holidays. (Sounds like my type of place) Wannabe star Linda Mason starts to work for him and the two fall in love. Unfortunately, Crosby’s old partner and womanizer, played by Fred Astaire, comes back into the picture and tries to break up the two. It involves a lot of zany romance and comical moments.

Why it’s Great: The holiday songs are amazing; White Christmas, Happy Holidays, (Come to) Holiday Inn, Be Careful It’s My Heart, I Can’t Tell a Lie, etc. The wonderful partnership of Bing and Fred make this movie really great! 😀 A great watch. Now for some fun facts. This is the first time “White Christmas” was performed in a film.  The same set was used for the film White Christmas which also stars Bing. The hotel chain Holiday Inn got their name from this movie.

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2) The Shop Around the Corner (1940)

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Jimmy Stewart and Margaret Sullivan work together in a shop in Budapest and can’t stand each other. Unbeknownst to them they are actually the pen pals that they are falling in love with. Stewart realizes this and does everything he can to show Sullivan that he is the man she loves and the two end up happily ever after. It was later remade as You’ve Got Mail.

Why it’s Great: JIMMY STEWART! That pretty much says it all. I love this film so, so, so, much, there are no words to describe how great it is. So romantic! ❤

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1) It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

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Jimmy Stewart plays George Bailey, a troubled man. An angel, Clarence, is given the story of George’s life and sent down from heaven to help him. George has always dreamed of leaving his hometown and traveling the world. Unfortunately, no matter what he does he continues to be stuck there. He marries and helps the town in many ways, but doesn’t realize all the good he does. However, when a large sum of money goes missing and everything in his life seems to be going wrong he wishes he was never born at all. Clarence helps him by granting his wish and showing him how ugly Bedford Falls would be without him.

Why it’s Great: This is one of my favorite Jimmy Stewart films. There’s a reason why this film is played every year, besides the fact that it is JIMMY STEWART! It is a great movie that really shows you how even the smallest acts can make a difference in people’s life. If you’d like to read more of my thoughts on this film go here. This film always makes me think of my dad. He has done so much for people and can get frustrated as he doesn’t feel like his has accomplished much. “Clarence: Strange, isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?”

So Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you all have a great day full of family, friends, and fun. 😀

On the 9th Day ‘Til Christmas: Borrowed Hearts (1997)

On the 9th day ’til Christmas my blogger gave to me

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Borrowed Hearts (1997)

This movie is one of my all-time favorite romance films. I remember every Valentine’s Day they used to show this on WE or Lifetime, even though it is a Christmas movie. I was in love with Eric McCormack, thought Roma Downey was extremely pretty, and envied the little girl’s room and toys.

So the film is about businessman Sam Field, Eric McCormack, who is trying to negotiate the biggest deal of his life. Javier Del Campo, played by the wonderful Hector Elizondo, is fully prepared to sign the papers after he spends some time with Sam and his family. The only problem is Sam doesn’t have any family. He is a confirmed bachelor and hates the idea of becoming a father or having children. His friend and spokesperson lied to Del Campo, and now Sam is stuck trying to find someone to pretend to be his family.

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Enter Kathleen, Roma Downey,  a single mom who works in Sam’s plant. She has been trying to save up money for a house for her and her rambunctious daughter Zooey. Zooey is a real handful as she doesn’t like to listen and has a habit of running away and climbing trees when she hears something she doesn’t like. Zooey’s dad left a while ago, because he didn’t want to deal with his responsibilities of being a father. However, Zooey is hoping and praying that he comes back. She wishes to have her dad for Christmas along with getting a house just like her dollhouse. I was very jealous of this dollhouse when I was young. I loved it and wanted it sooo badly. She prays that an angel will come down from heaven and make this happen for her and her mom.

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(Sorry for all the random cat pics, it appears the internet is lacking in Borrowed Heart pics. I will try my best though)

So one day as the two are driving and looking at Christmas lights on the big mansions in town, Zooey spots one that looks exactly like her dollhouse.

Sorry its the only pic of the house I could find

Sorry its the only pic of the house I could find

Zooey yells at her mom to stop and runs into the house, claiming that it is hers because she asked the angel for it. Now this kid needs some discipline. She should not think it is okay to run into a stranger’s house.

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Anyways, Sam was just discussing the problem of his “missing family” with his friend Dave. Did Dave think that the perfect people would just walk right through the door? Enter Zooey and Kathleen.

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So Kathleen and Sam strike up a deal for three days of services. To Sam’s dislike Kathleen gives the house a complete make-over adding all these homey touches. She also is given a wardrobe to die for, and Zooey has a room filled with toys. You totally start coveting their stuff.

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Javier Del Campo arrives on the scene and whenever he is around Zooey hears music although none is playing. This was something she was told that happens whenever an angel is around. She starts to suspect Del Campo of being more than what he seems.

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Everything seems to be running just fine. They had a few glitches, but they’ve managed to pass over every one swimmingly. They do run into a problem when Del Campo asks for the story of how they met. As they both haven’t planned out a story, neither wants to say.

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Everyone is saved when Zooey speaks up. She tells a cute story of an angel bringing the two together (*wink, wink foreshadowing). Afterwards everyone is off to bed but Sam and Kathleen realize that they have to share a room or raise Del Campo’s suspicions. They both sleep in Sam’s room, with Sam being sent to the closet, while Kathleen gets the bed. I always thought that was mean as Sam doesn’t even get a real blanket, instead he has to use one of his coats. 😦 This is a scenario that is played out in many films, but all stemming from the film It Happened One Night.

While Sam  was originally seen cold-hearted jerk, we get to see a softer side of him as he is around Kathleen and Zooey. He starts talking to the two and building a meaningful relationship. He and Kathleen start to heat up as a Twister game brings them much closer together.

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Del Campo decides to stay longer, causing the marriage to continue. While things go well not everything is perfect, as Zooey’s lack of discipline causes her to mess up Sam’s office and Sam to lose his temper. While Kathleen hates to hear any criticism, she grabs Zooey and walks out. After a heart-to-heart and two apologies, Sam is able to convince the two to return to his home.

The next day they all go ice-skating and Sam and Zooey have the cutest bonding moment. Sam is afraid he will fall, and Zooey promises that everything will be okay because she is there to catch him.

So sweet!

So sweet!

Afterwards, Zooey skates off and Sam gets hit on by a blonde bimbo. He quickly takes off his glove to show he is a “married man”, but Kathleen is comes over to talk to him and makes him feel very awkward.

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We also learn more about Kathleen’s issues and how she doesn’t trust anyone after what her husband did. Although, it appears some walls seem to be breaking down.

Just as things are getting good again, the bad also rises. Kathleen’s ex comes into to town and threatens to tell Del Campo everything, unless Sam ponies up and pays him. Sam agrees to the blackmail, only if the ex promises not to contact Kathleen or Zooey until after Christmas. Kathleen also finds out that this “great deal” that Sam is trying to do, will cause a lot of employees to lose their jobs. She decides to ambush Sam with a Christmas party at work, having all the employees share how thankful they are to Sam for the job he has given them. The whole party is extremely awkward for Sam.

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However the bonds between Sam and Zooey are growing even stronger. As Zooey tells Sam of her father issues, Sam begins to open up with all the issues he has with his father. He tells her of a time that the two were supposed to play catch, but Sam kept failing to get the ball because his glove was too big. The way his father treats him, just brings tears to your eyes. Sam never felt as if he measured up or was the son his father wanted. He always felt worthless.

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As things with Zooey are going great, Kathleen and Sam are building a better understanding and growing closer than ever. While Kathleen and him are wrapping presents, they have a moment where they might kiss, but are interrupted by Zooey having a nightmare.

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It is Christmas! And the gift giving brings many precious moments. Del Campo signs the papers as his gift, but Sam declines his signature saying he never does business at Christmas. At first Zooey is sad that her real father isn’t there, but quickly perks up as she gives Sam his gift. Zooey has given Sam a baseball glove. She borrowed one of his regular gloves to make sure it fit perfectly. This scene is so aw-worthy as Sam declares it the nicest gift he was ever given.

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Sam has another aw-worthy moment when Kathleen opens her present from him. It is a set of brushes and paints. Sam got it for her after hearing her old dream of becoming an artist in Paris. Sam encourages her to not give up on the dream, but to keep trying. As the two finish talking, Del Campo makes them aware of the fact that they are under a rather large thing of mistletoe.

I found this a little odd that no one has managed to come under it until this moment? Sounds like the angel made it grow out of the ceiling. After all how many people in that house were expected to fall under it? Anyways the two share their first kiss, both enjoying it.

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Zooey however, is not happy. She is still hoping for the chance that her parents will get back together. Sam realizes this and goes to get her father, bringing him to his home. The ruse falls apart, and Sam explains everything to Del Campo. Del Campo is a little miffed, but concludes that Sam already has his signature and he intends to not fight it. Sam decides to not go through with the merger, sacrificing his “big deal” for Kathleen. Kathleen’s ex-husband leaves, and Zooey becomes heartbroken at being abanded that she runs outside and climbs a tree. However, as these are not her usual trees, the branches don’t support her. They sap under her weight, and she finds herself hanging high up.

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Kathleen and Sam are freaking out. Sam calls up to her and tells her to jump into his arms, that he promises to catch her. Zooey is too scared that he won’t and she’ll fall, that she continues to cling to the tree. Sam echos what she said at the skating rink, promising that he will catch her, that he won’t let her fall. Zooey lets go, and Sam catches her. He holds her and promises that everything will be ok.

The film ends with us knowing for sure Del Campo is an angel, with his wings worn “on the inside” to give the appearance of being a human. Sam, Kathleen, and Zooey are all becoming a family; everything ending happily for all!

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Merry Christmas!

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To start the 12 Posts of Christmas from the beginning, go to On the 12th Day ’til Christmas: The 12 Men of Christmas

To go to the previous post, go to On the 10th Day ’til Christmas: Merry Christmas from the Austen Novels

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For more on pretending to be married, go to Being Friends is Good Enough

For more on two who hate each other falling in love, go to I Don’t Want the Money