The Darcy Monologues: Part II, Other Eras

The Darcy Monologues edited by Christina Boyd and written by Various

So first of all, I’m so sorry to have taken so long to post this. I first planned to have it up by the 20th, but then I got busy and I pushed it back to the 21st. Then other things occurred which took me away from home all day so I had to push it back to the 22nd. And then I am sure you can guess that once again my attention was diverted.

After all you know my motto:

But never fear, my other motto has this covered.

The Darcy Monologues was brought to my attention when Christina Boyd gave me a free copy in exchange for an honest review. I readily agreed and began reading:

What the novel consists of is several monologues, or short stories, retelling Pride and Prejudice from Mr. Darcy’s point of view.

Some stories take place during the novel, some change things, some ask questions of “what if this happened…?”, etc.

Hmm…

The first half of the novel’s collection all take place in the Regency Era; and I loved it!

To read more about those stories, click on this link. The second half involves different decades.

Now let me clear one thing up. It was said anywhere, but for some reason I assumed that every story would take place in a different decade and involve Darcy and Elizabeth throughout time.

However, that assumption was false. When they say “Other Eras”, they mean “not Regency”. Yes, there is no great time traveling like I thought.

And let me be clear that this assumption wasn’t anyone’s fault but mine. The writers and marketing team did not lead me astray. made the mistake.

So I’m going to do things a little different then in the previous review. Last time I went through the stories by the way they are set out in the novel. This time I am going to review the stories by their times-starting with the ones in the past and ending with those that are set in modern times.

Pemberley By Stage by Natalie Richards

Circa 1860

Thoughts Before Reading:

When I heard that there was going to be a Western version of Pride and Prejudice I couldn’t wait to read it.

If you have been following me, then you know how much I was obsessed with the Old West, cowboys, and Clint Eastwood as a child.

ME!!!

So will this story be all I dreamed it to be?

Hmm…

Plot Synopsis:

After having his name sullied by his associate, George Wickham, lawyer Darcy has been convinced by his friend, Charles Bingley, to move to San Francisco and start over. He is journeying with Bingley and Bingley’s sister Louisa; no Caroline as she “would not leave civilization.” Darcy brought his sister Georgiana with him, but is worried that maybe it would have been best to leave her in the East. Also in their stagecoach is a Mr. Hurst, a man Louisa has become interested in.

As they are journeying, the stage is overtaken by bandits. Darcy is knocked out and when he comes to he discovers that the thieves not only stole everything of value, but kidnapped Georgiana as well, and will only release her for $10,000.

Darcy wants to travel after her, but many are wounded and need assistance. Luckily, two siblings-Jane Bennet and her brother Elias, arrive on the scene. They have been after the gang and the leader, George “Smiling George” Wickham” (the same ex-partner of Darcy), ever since he convinced their sister Lydia to run off with him. The two know of a healer, so Darcy and Elias head off to fetch her while Jane and Louisa tend to the wounded.

As the two travel they talk about their families and instantly form a friendship. After bringing back the healer, who is also a prostitute favored by Wickham, Darcy pays not only for her to aid his friends but for the information of Wickham’s hideout. Elias wants to join him, as Darcy needs an extra hand, and Elias is an excellent shot.

However, it turns out that Jane does not want Elias to help, as she can’t stand to lose another sister.

Yes, Elizabeth had been traveling as “Elias” to protect herself and her sister. Darcy is at first upset at Elizabeth, as he shared personal information but Elizabeth withheld hers. As they ride, the two patch up, as each understands the other hurt.

When they arrive at the camp they find Georgiana tied up, Lydia pregnant, and a camp of thieves bickering between themselves as what to do next. As this gang begins to turn on each other, Darcy and Elizabeth must think fast and bold in order to save their siblings.

Things I Pondered: How awesome this was.

Things I Liked: How amazing this was!

The action was fantastic, the pacing was great, and once I got started I just had to keep reading to find out what was going to happen next.

Or class. Or lunch. Or anything!

I think it was absolutely one of the best in this section. Just amazing from beginning to end and with every character. I know this will be one I will read over and over.

For more Westerns, go to People Have to Snatch at Happiness When They Can in This World. It is Always Easier to Lose Than to Find: O Pioneers!

Reason to Hope by Jenetta James

Circa 1939-1941

Thoughts Before Reading:

I love history and had just finished reading The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History, so I was primed for a World War II-themed Pride and Prejudice.

Plot Synopsis:

Darcy and Bingley are soldiers in the British army. They knew each other back in school and have struck up their friendship again. Bingley’s sister Caroline is after Darcy, but he has been free from her clutches as she has evacuated London and went to a country estate, Netherfield

Yep!

One night when Darcy has time off, he comes across a light shining during a mandatory blackout. When he drives up to yell at the person with the torch (flashlight), he finds his words being thrown back as Elizabeth Bennet will not take any of his gruff, especially as he is on her land.

In this tale there are only three Bennet sister- Jane, Elizabeth, and Mary. However, the household is harboring two girls from the city, Lydia and Kitty Potter.

Darcy tries to talk to Elizabeth at a USO dance but she is angry for the things Caroline said about her family previously, the Potter girls, mother, etc.; and that Darcy listened to it all in agreement.

Jerk

When Lydia and Kitty return to London to visit their parents, a bombing is done by the Nazis. Darcy goes with Elizabeth to track down the missing girls and try to make amends for his earlier behavior. But will he succeed or fail in both ventures?

Hmm…

Things I Pondered: I didn’t really see where this level of anger was coming from in Elizabeth as there is a difference between voicing an opinion and listening/agreeing to one. I felt that she released her anger at Caroline at Darcy, instead of being given a reason to dislike him.

It also felt weird without Mr. Wickham. As much as we hate him, he does play a very important role in the story.

What I Like: I liked the introspection Darcy goes through as he realizes not saying anything can be just as bad as being the one saying it; when you give the impression that you agree with the speaker instead of being polite. I think it was paired very well with the fact that this was a war in which some citizens didn’t agree with what the Nazi party believed, but also didn’t say anything about what they were doing.

I liked the second part of the story when they search for the girls as it just grabs you and makes you read faster to see if they discover them alive…or dead.

The secondary characters were also fun as I like what the author did with Kitty, Lydia, Denny, and the like. 

You Don’t Know Me by Beau North

Circa 1961-64

Thoughts Before Reading:

This whole time I have been reading this title as You Don’t Own Me, thinking it was named after the Lesley Gore song.

Having it in the sixties intrigued me as I wondered if the author was going to go in the direction of Mad Men or Do Not Disturb with marketing or fashion (as that is how I saw Darcy) or the overused “hippie” route.

I was pleasantly surprised to find this to be about music and a radio station.

Plot Synopsis:

Darcy inherited half his father’s company when he passed, the rest being controlled by his aunt Catherine. He doesn’t really care for it, as the company always held all of his father’s attention, but does like the money he gets from it. After he is caught with a client’s wife, as he did not know she was married, his aunt banishes him from Manhattan to Buffalo for a year.

If he does well with the newly acquired station, WPNP, then he can come back after the year. Otherwise he stuck there.

The interim station manager and sales manager is Charles Bingley, who later becomes a good friend, and his secretary is Jane [Bennet]. One of the radio shows is run by an Eliza Bennet, who has the top stats with her music. The only problem, she is playing African-American music which is not what Aunt Catherine or Regina Caroline Bliss, leader of the Mother’s Morality League, want. Finding himself pressured from all sides he tries to strike a compromise which doesn’t work well with Eliza, them often going head to head.

After a heated argument, Darcy goes to speak to Eliza at home and meets her father, Tomas Benowitz. It turns out that Elizabeth Bennet is actually Benowitz and that she is Jewish. There are more discoveries to be made as Tomas was the star violinist of the Royal Orchestra of Prague, before the war changed everything and he came to America. Darcy also meets Eliza’s aunt and uncle; and enjoys everyone’s company.

In fact, he starts falling for Eliza but she refuses him as she doesn’t want to be seen as securing her job by sleeping with the boss; plus Darcy is only staying for a year. Darcy doesn’t like, but agrees to just be her friend.

Not what I want, but what can I do?

Darcy leaves, with Bingley in charge (he is also now dating Jane). He returns to Manhattan and repairs the relationship with his aunt. When Eliza’s father dies, he returns, but she still refuses him. There is nothing he can do but return home.

His Aunt Catherine discovers that he is in love and encourages Darcy to go back and try again. Will he fight for the woman he loves? Or will he give in and marry some high society girl from Vassar?

Things I Pondered: I didn’t care for this story as much as I didn’t like the depiction of Elizabeth. She always seems to be just rude and yelling at Darcy. I understand her wanting to be sassy and standing up for the rights of others, but still Darcy is her boss. I don’t care how good you are, I think most bosses would fire you for screaming at them and saying the things she says about their character.

I don’t know the background of North but I thought the Jewish ancestry wasn’t dealt with as well at it should have been. Yes Eliza talks about the fact that she had to change her name to not offend people, but they characters act as if it isn’t a big deal when many Jewish people still faced racism and scrutiny. It also seems to not impact their lives or anything as it is introduced and never featured in the story again. True, it is not about her but Darcy, but I felt like it could have been fleshed out (maybe in a future novel?). I also thought they were too cavalier with Darcy converting. I mean changing religions is a big deal, it isn’t like changing a shirt. There are lots of steps he has to go through and it is taking everything he has known and celebrated and throwing it out, having to adjust to new life.

Things I Liked: really like that North decides to make this a bicultural relationship. This is something not really seen, other than  the film Bride & Prejudice. I liked the idea of having Pride and Prejudice with people of different cultures or races as you aren’t as separated as one was in Regency England. I would definitely read an interpretation of Pride and Prejudice that went along those lines.

I also like how the author tied in Eliza’s background to her musical choices. Being a person who is discriminated against as to her gender and religion, it made sense that she would campaign so hard for others who face prejudices. 

Plus *SPOILER ALERT* I love how he tells her on air, not caring who hears him, that he loves her and wants to marry her.

Hot for Teacher by Sara Angelini

Circa 1999-2005

Thoughts Before Reading:

So at first I thought this was set in the 1980s as the title comes from the Van Halen song, Hot for Teacher (1984) and they name a section after AC/DC‘s Back in Black.  But then they reference  Creep by Radiohead (1992), Dazed and Confused (1993), She’s So High by Tai Bachman (1999), and then Paradise which I am not sure is referring to the ’80s film or the Coldplay song that came out in 2011.

Hmm…

There are no cellphones really in use, but then Darcy does mention Google. I think the author set it in modern times, but it still has an older vibe to it. I may be wrong, but I’m going with early 21st century.

Plot Synopsis:

Darcy’s parents were the CEOs of the FitzCo company, his father having passed on, but instead of being a part of the corporation Darcy has chosen a career in education.

Yes, Darcy is the principal of the prestigious Pemberley Academy. A new year is about to start, but Darcy is less then pleased with Vice-Principal Charles Bingley’s choices in two new teachers. For art we have Ms. Elizabeth Bennet, who dresses in eccentric clothes and does not carry the look Darcy expects his staff to project.

That sweater and hairstyle?

But Ms. Brunhilda (his nickname for Elizabeth) is nowhere near as disastrous as the new English teacher, a Mr. George Wickham.

George Wickham is the half-brother of Darcy, having been born from a liaison between Darcy’s father and his secretary, George’s mother. The two have never gotten along and Darcy dislikes him with every fiber of his being. George has never done anything to warrant this dislike but Darcy just has a “feeling”.

One night when Darcy is attending the FitzCo art benefit, he makes a disparaging comment about one of the artists, Frances Gardiner, to his cousin Anne (mix of Anne and sister Georgiana). Elizabeth overhears it and is extremely displeased as that is her mother.

Darcy soon grows to like Elizabeth but finds himself challenged in that arena with his half brother. However, after a few conversations and flirting, he believes Elizabeth is in to him, and goes for it at a the Homecoming dance.

Elizabeth turns him down and yells at him. She finds his behavior with George and the other teachers to just be atrocious. She dresses him down for all kinds of things he was unaware that were occurring in the school, and with a few lies that George has told her.

After that embarrassing moment,

Darcy decides that he will try and improve himself and the relationships at school. Will it work? Or will George and Elizabeth have the happily ever after?

Things I Pondered: I didn’t care for this depiction as much as I felt there were quite a lot missing. First Darcy’s relationships are horrible, I mean he had friends in the original book. And he wasn’t as mean or temperamental as depicted here as all his servants loved him and could only speak kindly of him. I mean that is something that validates the Darcy in the letter, when Elizabeth visits his home and hears what the people who work for him say.

Having George Wickham not be evil, also didn’t work. In fact, you rooted more for him as he missed out on all kinds of things Darcy had, while Darcy hates him for being born. I mean it isn’t his fault your dad cheated on your mom. They should have made him far more nefarious than stealing money at the end of the book.

Elizabeth is really mean to Darcy and he is her boss. I don’t mind her being sassy, but the way she talks to him, I’m surprised she didn’t get fired. If I yelled at any boss I’ve ever had this way, I don’t think I would have stayed on. They would have let me go. 

Darcy was a bit of a dork in this. I thought he had more in common with the original Mr. Collins. The way he acts around others, his flirting, his assumptions, etc.

Elizabeth yells at Darcy for being cruel and insensitive, but while in the original novel she had a valid concern, the others being misinformation supplied by Wickham; in this she has no justification. Mrs. Crane has been late multiple times and isn’t keeping up with her work so the rules say she has to receive a warning. Elizabeth yells at him that the only reason she has ben doing that is because her husband was in a car accident and is going through physical therapy, meaning she has become the sole caregiver for her husband and boys. Darcy didn’t know as Mrs. Crane never told him. It isn’t his fault, she should have talked to him, after all she could have received emergency family leave. The same goes for the other teachers, they never give a reason why they can’t do something, so what is Darcy supposed to think?

What I Liked: I actually liked that Darcy wasn’t carrying on the family business but doing his own thing. In today’s world you don’t have families being forced to carry on the professions their ancestors did but have the freedom to do what they want. I thought that was a very new twist in the story, and something no other Austen retelling that I have read has ever tried doing.

Also Angelini finally does the one thing Austen fans have been BEGGING someone to do. 

Yes we finally have Darcy do that. Thank you very much Angelini.

And something even more surprising, Angelini does something I never thought possible-she makes Mr. Collins likable.

Yes I know, I never, ever imagined finding myself liking Mr. Collins. Angelini you must be a magician or something.

Or something…

I, Darcy by Karen M. Cox

William Darcy has hated his name for as long as he could remember. His mother choose it after the hero in one of her favorite novels, but he just can’t wrap his head around why woman like him so. Ten years ago he read the book and hated it-

I know-

So the worst place for him to be would be a convention center full of Austenites.

Yes, he is bemoaning this to his friend and business colleague, Charles Bingley, when he is interrupted by two lovely ladies who defend Austen. Jane and Lynley Bennet walk in and out of his life, but remain memorable as the two gentlemen head on to discuss opening a chain of locally sourced restaurants with their board of directors. It passes and Charles it out to start up the trial place-with Darcy joining him later.

When Darcy comes driving up to the house Bingley rented in the country, he has car trouble but manages to get help-from Lynley. Not only is that a coincidence, but Charles is dating her sister Jane.

Darcy waits for Charles as he is out on a date and starts reading a copy of Pride and Prejudice he finds on the table (probably given to Bingley from Jane), surprising himself with falling in love with the book.

Later the two men discuss the farms they want to use for the restaurant, seeing the Bennet farm as the perfect place to get their supplies from. Darcy makes them a generous offer, one they need as if they don’t get a good contract they may lose it; but Lynley refuses, angry at Darcy. What could he have done to upset her? I smell a nefarious plot, but who would want to ruin Darcy’s name?

Things I Pondered: I liked it. I thought it was funny how she went with this theme of “real” Mr. Darcy as I was just talking about that earlier this year.

Things I LikedI thought the characters were very well written and easy to connect to. I liked how the story flowed and enjoyed it from start to finish.

The Ride Home by Ruth Phillips Oakland

Circa: Present

Plot Synopsis:

This story takes place after Darcy proposed to Elizabeth and was rejected. Darcy is owner of the company, Pemberley Media, and is in the States to launch PM’s channel here, then planning on returning to England. His best friend got his happy ending when Jane said yes to his proposal.

Soon to be!

The happy couple have been celebrating with champagne when they receive a call from Elizabeth asking for a ride. Neither can take her, so they wake Darcy and ask him to do it.

Darcy picks Elizabeth up from her disastrous date (with Mr. Collins) and she really lets herself go- drunkenly praising Darcy’s personality to body- ranging in too much information to nonsensical. She does apologize for being upset over Lydia, saying Darcy was right to be angry at Lydia spilling secrets to rival George Wickham. The two patch things up and everything looks great for Darcy, that is if Elizabeth remembers the conversation tomorrow. Will this drunken release be the beginning of something new, or the last shred of the old?

Hmm…

Things I Pondered: I didn’t care for this as much as I missed Elizabeth’s witty repartee with Darcy-something drunken speech can’t really do. 

I also found myself distracted with trying to figure out if she would be well enough to talk. I mean she was average height, thin and consumed a gin and tonic along with four or five martinis (she lost count) but hardly ate anything as her date said no butter, salt, carbohydrates, meat, etc. I’m not a drinker but gin, dry vermouth, and more gin with no butter or carbs to counteract it seems to be like she would be passed out. I mean I calculated it and she has an estimated BAL of 0.235-that’s nausea, vomiting, blackouts, etc. How was she able to make him breakfast the next day? She should have a massive hangover.

Things I LikedI liked having Darcy be introspective as he drives into town. Something about him just thinking over everything and himself as he drives resonated with me. 

Darcy Strikes Out by Sophia Rose

Circa: Present Time

Thoughts Before Reading:

I love puns, jokes, and when authors are smart enough to use language that implies two meanings that fit perfect with the situation. In this case Darcy strikes out in the game of love and:

I’m also a big baseball fan so I was very interested in reading this.

Plot Synopsis:

Darcy is a top baseball player, known as “Dandy Darcy” after he and his father posed in top hats and tails with the bats as canes for a photo shoot. After his father passed away, and his sister was in her horrible accident that left her in a wheelchair; he pulled away from life and others. The only one who he remained close to (besides his teammates) was his good friend and old roommate, Charles Bingley, who he saved from a gold digger.

He meets Elizabeth Bennet, sports reporter, and starts to fall for her.

But when he asks her out, he strikes out. Yep, it turns out that he really dropped the ball as that “gold digger” was Elizabeth’s sister; she thinks he is a snob for being camera shy and refusing interviews (especially with that horrible nosy Collins), and sees him as a giant jerk for blackballing fellow baseball player George Wickham.

Darcy is still thinking over the refusal as he visits his sister. Yes, Elizabeth was right about Jane; but after checking her out Darcy did discover he was wrong about her and encouraged Bingley to try again. However, being camera shy and Wickham all have to do with Georgiana as he tries to protect her.

When he gets to his sister’s apartment, he discovers her hanging out with a friend who participates in the Paralympics, and their new friend; Elizabeth Bennet.

Elizabeth meet the girls when she was writing a story on upcoming athletes, and she has realized that she was prejudiced against Darcy. They later meet for breakfast, and Darcy reveals what happened to Georgiana. Wickham was trying to use Darcy to get ahead, but was lacking in discipline and focus; being cut from the team. Later at a high school party, Wickham being over eighteen, roofied Georgiana’s beer with the intent to rape her. However, she left early and ended up crashing the car not from drinking (which she did) but from being drugged. They knew it was him, but couldn’t prove enough to put him away. The famous Darcy name, underage drinking, a beautiful girl with a tragic story all made for excellent newspaper fodder, especially for a TMZ like reporter (Collins).

Things are going well, until Elizabeth hears from Jane that their sister Lydia is missing! It appears this underage girl was last seen with baseball player George Wickham.

Darcy calls in his private detective, Jack Austen, who has been keeping an eye on Wickham. Will they be able to find Lydia and Wickham in time? Or will this be another strike out for Darcy?

Things I Pondered: Wow this was awesome!

Things I Liked: First of all if there was a “Dandy” baseball player I would totally be out there cheering for him whether or not he was on my team (the As, Cali all the way). I also would purchase a “Dandy Darcy” clothing line for my friends and relatives if such a thing existed. 

I thought this book was amazingly well done in taking the story and setting it in modern times. I loved what Rose did with all the characters, and I really enjoyed how she set us in the middle of the story with flashbacks as to what came before. 

I also applaud you for doing something I haven’t really seen anyone else do- show how Wickham was not only a jerk but a child predator. Yes, contrary to popular belief, most people weren’t married until they were 21-24 during the Regency period. Most modern updates keep Wickham close in age the other characters and make him seem like just a fiend. In this we realize just how evil Wickham is, in the orginal and this version, as Rose unveils him as the pedophile he is.

Jack Austen, P.I.- I like the sound of that. I don’t know if there are any film-noir, 1940s, Humphrey Bogart-ish Austen retellings, but now you make me wish for one. Can’t you just see Darcy?

Or what if Elizabeth was the detective and Darcy the client?

So Rose names a few of Darcy’s teammates and their wives, I’m not sure but I believe they stand for other characters from Austen novels. There is a Cathy and Hank Denny, maybe Catherine and Henry “Hank” Tilney from Northanger Abbey?

And then there is an Esme and Jose Carreaga. Could it be Emma and Mr. Knightley?

I think it would be wonderful if Rose would develop this into a full novel with all the Austen characters. 

But seriously, I thought this was just as fantastic as To Pemberley By Stage and just as hard to put down.

So what did I think of it as a whole?

Well, I….

I really loved it, even the stories I didn’t like as much. It was just so refreshing to see a point of view that is often overlooked or not done well.  I enjoyed every version of Darcy as each had the things we loved most about him but at the same time were all so different.

I thought that was fantastic as it made a Darcy for everyone. I mean some might be into a baseball playing Darcy or Western Darcy, while others want something different-such as a teacher or man born with a silver spoon who needs to see how others live.

Just like the movies you have your pick of Darcy, being sure to find one, two, or more to love/

In conclusion I think The Darcy Monologues, Part I and II, are just fantastic.

Amazing!

If you are an Austen, Pride and Prejudice, or Mr. Darcy fan you need to check this book out TODAY!

In fact, not only is this something I know I will read over and over again:

Or 10th, 50th, 100th….

But I can already think of several people who will be receiving it as a birthday or Christmas present.

Thank you authors. You all did a wonderful job.

For more on The Darcy Monologues, go to The Darcy Monologues: Part I, The Regency

For more Mr. Darcy, go to Whether Presentable or Not, I Love Spending Time With You: Episode Four, Pride and Prejudice (1995)

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

For more Pride & Prejudice variations, go to Brought Shame and Scandal to Pemberley: Death Comes to Pemberley, Episode Two (2013)

For more books based on Jane Austen, go to Suspense & Sensibility (Or First Impressions Revisited

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People Have to Snatch at Happiness When They Can in This World. It is Always Easier to Lose Than to Find: O Pioneers!

Day 21): U is for Unhappy: Choose a book with an Unhappy ending

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O Pioneers! (Great Plains Trilogy #1) by Willa Cather

I was first introduced to the work of Willa Cather when one summer I was trying to read through a list of classics provided by Barnes and Noble. (The same list that lead me to read Uncle Tom’s Cabin.) Of course I never finished it:

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However, two of the book I read during that time were My Antonia and O Pioneers!. I read O Pioneers! second, not knowing it was the first book and while I enjoyed My Antonia I loved O Pioneers! more.

ReadBookCarryWithYou

And it makes me really upset that no one knows about this book.

Say What

I KNOW! It is a fantastic book but no one knows about it. It is hard to even purchase as I wanted to buy a copy for my friend, but amazon didn’t have it or Barnes & Nobles. Crazy! So why is this book fantastic? Let’s take a look.

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So the book is just under 200 pages and divided into three parts.

PART I: THE WILD LAND

The story takes place in Nebraska, the Bergsons are a Swedish family of six who immigrated to America for a better life, but found the prairie not as promised. The father, John, went into serious debt, but was finally able to pay it off. He owns six hundred and forty acres of the original homestead, and three hundred and twenty acres given to him by his brother when he pulled out. Just as it seemed he might be able to tame the land, he becomes ill and at age 46, is going to die.

Why?

Why?

For weeks he has been thinking what to do next, when he decides that everything must be left to his daughter Alexandra to control.

Whattheheck

This book was published in 1913, but takes place in 1883. And even though he has two sons who come before Alexandra he recognizes in her his own spirit. While his sons Lou and Oscar are hardworking they just don’t have the business acumen.

“It was Alexandra who read the papers and followed the markets, and who learned by the mistakes of their neighbors. It was Alexandra who could always tell about what it cost to fatten each steer, and who could guess the weight of a hog before it went on the scales closer than John Bergson himself. Lou and Oscar were industrious, but he could never teach them to use their heads about their work.” pg. 15

On his deathbed, John calls all the kids together and makes them promise to keep the land and listen to Alexandra, there will be no quarreling. When each wishes to marry they can divide the land, but until then they must follow Alexandra.

Wecandoit

Even though the boys do not like being put under their sister, they agree to their father’s wishes.

Mehsleepyhollownotimportant

Six months later, the Bergsons invite their friend and neighbor Carl Linstrum to visit “Crazy” Ivar. Lou and Oscar make fun of him,

I'm crazy

He’s crazy

But Alexandra values his advice and knowledge of animals.

Topthorn War HOrse

Ivar suffers from some kind of mental affliction, one not stated as most likely at that time they had no name for it. Sometimes he spouts wisdom, other days nonsense. He likes to live as far away from people as he can. While he suffers from these eccentricities his knowledge of animals is without competition. He has a pond where all kinds of birds come to visit, as they know he will not shoot them, as he has an aversion to guns.

Now one of the reasons this book is so good is the character of Alexandra. While others see the craziness of Ivan and brush him off, she listens to his advice and follows it, it turning out very well. What a person looks like, or acts like doesn’t matter to her; she values their hard work, their wisdom, and their heart. And she doesn’t care what others think of her.

value:Worth

After their father’s death, the Bergsons clan did well.

Double double yay

But then the drought came, an with it three years of nothing but failure.

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It is at this time we see a divided family as to what to do next. Many people have left the “promises” of the prairie to follow the “promises” of St. Louis, Chicago, San Francisco, Alaska, etc.

Good-bye

Good-bye

Carl Limstrom comes to tell Alexandra that his family is leaving to St. Louis. This is heartbreaking, as Alexandra and him have fallen in love. Alexandra doesn’t want him to go, but Carl won’t have him and his family be a drag on their finances, after all, Carl is no farmer. But Carl promises that he won’t forget her but will work hard for her.

“I’ll write as long as I live…And I’ll be working for you as much as for myself, Alexandra. I want to do something you’ll like and be proud of. I’m a fool here, but I know I can do something!” pg. 34

you deserve better

This is the first part of what makes this book so sad. Alexandra doesn’t care about that Carl, she just wants you! But Alexandra understands how you feel and how you don’t want to enter a marriage being a drain on your wife, you want to be equal.

And even though you really want Carl to stay with Alexandra, you respect him for not wanting to use her inheritance and enter the relationship having her take care of him. He knows Alexandra is the greatest thing in the world and wants to show her he is worthy of her love.

Fredrick Wentworth

But poor Alexandra

[To Carl’s retreating form] Since you have been here, ten years now, I have never really been lonely.” pg 35

HeartbreakBuffy the Vampire slayer heartbroken Sad

The boys are worried about what will happen next with the sweet potatoes seeming to be the only thing really living on. They want to sell out and move to the cities, where opportunity really is. Or trade their land for the river as that land is much better than the kind they have.

We need to get out of here

We need to get out of here

Alexandra of course doesn’t go on feelings, whispers, or what others tell her to do. She thinks on it long and hard, researching into what would be the best decision.

Thinking Hmm

She and her younger brother Emil travel to the river to examine the land. After reviewing everything and thinking on it; she decides that the thing to do is to mortgage their land with the bank and buy up as much land as they can. The boys of course are skeptical of this plan. Six more years of working off a loan? And what if the land prices don’t soar, what if the drought continues on, what if, what if?

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But Alexandra sees the way to go:

“The men in town who are buying up other people’s land don’t try to farm it. They are the men to watch, in a new country. Let’s try to do it like the shrewd ones and not like the stupid fellows.” pg. 43

The boys know this will be going against all the others and they don’t want to be viewed by others as crazy.

But Alexandra is certain, and they follow her. Alexandra is pleased as she watches the land knowing that the future is stirring.

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PART II: NEIGHBORING FIELDS

It has been sixteen years since the death of John Bergson, now being 1899. In the years that have passed, his wife has passed on as well. The land is producing much, telephone wires zig zag the prairie, and the area is thickly populated as more have arrived to stake their home there too.

Emil has achieved Alexandra’s dream and gone on to attending the university and doing well in sports. He is tall, handsome, charming and all the girls in the area wish for a moment with him, as brief as it could be.

swoon dreamy

But he isn’t interested in any of them.

uh-no-gifuhno

Their old friend Marie Tovesky, now Mrs. Shabata, a Bohemian, has moved back to the prairie she used to visit as a young girl now a neighbor to the Bergsons.

And how are the Bergson’s doing? Any one could tell you that they have the richest farm on the Divide, and that was all due to the woman farmer, Alexandra.

Alexandra

Alexandra, that is.

One of the things I like about Alexandra is that Cather created a character that is intelligent, strategical, yet still feminine. With today’s modern works it always feels like an either/or situation. Either they are pretty or smart. They are intelligent and masculine or an airhead and feminine. Alexandra has extreme intelligence but also enjoys doing housework, baking, and as beautiful as she is brainy.

Psmartorprettyeitherorsarahdessenmorethanthat

The older brothers are married and have their own sections of land as they began families, but Alexandra has the most of land and wealth. Emil comes back and forth between Alexandra’s home and school; and there is one more addition.

Carl and her married!!!

Carl and her married!!!

No not Carl.

Oh darn!

Oh darn!

He is still out trying to make his fortune. No, when Ivar lost his land, Alexandra opened her home to him. Such a compassionate person, not caring what others think of him or her for having him live in the home; all that matters that there is a soul in need.

bekindBeright

Ivar comes to Alexandra one day, afraid that people will send him to the asylum for being different, but Alexandra doesn’t care. She knows what it is like to be talked about because you do things differently.

“Don’t come to me again telling me what people say. Let people go on talking as they like, and we will go on living as we think best. ” pg. 60

A lot has changed in the sixteen years with modernity. A lot of the old ways of living and being are no longer accepted. In the family, Oscar’s wife will not allow any Swedish to be spoken in the house, so when they visit the relatives only English can be spoken.

Tom-Hanks-Saying-Really

Alexandra has not married, her heart still pining after the only one who ever truly understood her, but enjoys being an aunt and looking after her brother’s children. But as she is the wealthiest of the whole clan, she often becomes caught in a game between her scheming brothers and sister-in-laws, as they all desire different things.

One day she is with her nieces in the flower garden when a tall, handsome stranger comes on the prairie. It is Carl!

Carl and her married!!!

Carl is on his way to Seattle and then to Alaska to go gold prospecting. He stopped by to say hi and Alexandra is thrilled as she has missed him so much. The brothers aren’t as they are worried that instead of a gold prospector he might be a gold digger and after Alexandra’s wealth.

money money money

Carl admits that he had hoped to present himself as better, worthy of Alexandra, but he has nothing.

“You see…measured by your standards I’m a failure. I couldn’t buy even one of your cornfields. I’ve enjoyed a great many things, but I’ve nothing to show for it all.” pg. 77

That doesn’t matter to Alexandra of course, but Carl must prove himself.

I think Carl and Alexandra are just the cutest couple. Carl is so sweet to her and pretty much understands her (except for the having to prove himself thing because she does not care) and doesn’t find any measure of her odd or not right.

“I wonder whether I should ever be able to tell you all that I was thinking up there. It’s a strange thing, Alexandra; I find it easy to be frank with you about everything under the sun-except yourself!’

‘You are afraid of hurting my feelings, perhaps.’ Alexandra looked at him thoughtfully.

‘No, I’m afraid it would give you a shock. You’ve seen yourself for so long in the dull minds of the people around you, that if I were to tell you how you seem to me, it would startle you. But you must see that you astonish me.” pg. 83

How sweet!

How sweet!

Carl and Alexandra are just perfect:

WeClickPerfectPerson

I want them to get together!!!!!

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Carl and Alexandra go to Marie’s and spend time with her being interrupted by her husband. No two people could be more horribly matched.  Marie is light and fun, while her husband Frank is jealous, depressing, and unfriendly.

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They meet when Marie was at school and she thought Frank was handsome, brooding, and romantic. Her father did not want them to marry, and nothing makes two people “fall in love” faster than when they are forbidden to.

Not good

Not good

She was sent to a convent, but as soon as she turned 18 left it and married Frank. Her father bought them the farm and they’ve been unhappy ever since. Marie realized that the Frank she thought she loved was one that was not real, but created in her mind.

rebeccaitwasallalie

Emil and Marie spend lots of time together, as he often helps out with the farm, taking care of things that Frank is too lazy to. But that friendship must end. Emil can’t pretend anymore. He is in love with Marie and wants to be with her, but of course she is married.

Darcy P&P OMG Can't Even

Carl and Emil head off to a Catholic fair, where Emil runs into his newly married friend, Amédéé. While they are gone the brothers come to talk to Alexandra about Carl. They wanted Alexandra’s land to be willed to their children when she dies, but Alexandra will not be bullied and will do what she wants with her land.

I don't think so

You have to read what they try and use to talk her out of it. They tell her things like she’s just a woman, she didn’t really do the work “even though she had the ideas”, the property always belongs too the men, she is too old at 40 to think of marrying, Carl is four years younger than her too young.

Those guys

Those guys

But Alexandra holds her ground. She tells them that she owns her land and, she was the driving force that created their wealth, and they can stuff it or go to their lawyers but nothing will come of it.

MysteryMenDon'tMessWithMe

Alexandra tries to talk to Emil about it, but he is too heartsick he begs her to send home far away, to Mexico.

gossipgirlcan'tstandhappycouplesy

She agrees and is sad that no one really understands her. She has no one, Marie and Carl being her only friends.

The_Wolf_Man_4Crying sad

Meanwhile Lou and Oscar go to talk to Carl and convince him he is worthless.

“What a hopeless position you are in, Alexandra!’ [Carl] exclaimed feverishly. ‘It is your fate to be always surrounded by little men. And I am no better than the rest. I am too little to face the criticism of even such men as Lou and Oscar. Yes, I am going away; to-morrow. I cannot even ask you to give me a promise until I have something to offer you. I thought, perhaps, I could do that; but I find I can’t.’

‘What good comes of offering people things they don’t need?’ Alexandra asked sadly. ‘I don’t need money. But I have needed you for a great many years. I wonder why I have been permitted to prosper, if only to take my friends away from me.

‘I don’t deceive myself,’ Carl said frankly. ‘I know that I am going away on my own account. I must make the usual effort. I must have something to show for myself. To take what you would give me, I should have to be a very large man or a very small one, and I am only in the middle class.’

Alexandra sighed. ‘I have a feeling that if you go away, you will not come back. Something will happen to one of us, or to both. People have to snatch at happiness when they can in this world. It is always easier to lose than to find.” pg. 114-115

In one day she loses all the men she cares about.

right in the feels broken heart

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PART III: WINTER MEMORIES

Winter never feels as cold as when you no longer have those you care about. No longer will Alexandra see Oscar or Lou because of how they treated Carl. She gets letters from Emil and Carl, but it is not the same as having them near.

The_Wolf_Man_4Crying sad

Mrs. Lee, Lou’s mother-in-law and one of the old timers, loves to visit Alexandra where she can follow in the old ways of living and not be judged. Even though the brothers are no longer welcome, Alexandra still opens her home to the rest of the relatives.

Alexandra brings Emil’s letter for Marie to read, never knowing what interest lies in Marie’s light and happy heart. Marie also gifts Alexandra with a scarf she made for Emil. Little does Alexandra know how Marie really feels on the inside.

HeartbreakBuffy the Vampire slayer heartbroken Sad

Marie’s life has grown exceedingly unhappy. She realizes that she and Frank are not suited for each other at all. She becomes more and more unhappy and folds into herself.

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PART IV: THE WHITE MULBERRY TREE

Emil has returned from Mexico at last, and just in time for a big carnival at the Catholic church. Emil runs into his old friend Amédéé, now a father. All the girls flutter around Emil, and when he gives one of his turquoise stones to auctioned it starts an even greater flummox.

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Marie is just as crazy about Emil, but he smartly keeps his distance from her.

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Frank is angry as he is jealous and wants someone to blame for Marie not caring for him any longer. But the only one who drove the wedge was him and his cruel nature.

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When the lights go out, every girl is kissed by their sweetheart and Emil does the one thing he has wished for so long, kisses Marie.

OMG gasp

Emil is heartsick  and finally asks Marie what has been on his mind for so long, why would you marry Frank? Marie tells him she loved him. Frank was the same now as then, but as a young girl she saw him differently. And now she pays for her heedlessness, stubbornness, and naivety.  She begs Emil to leave as she doesn’t want them to sin and she can’t go.

TimingWrong

Emil is preparing to leave for Omaha to train as a lawyer, then going on to Ann Arbor, Michigan. Before he departs, he stops by to see his friend Amédéé. Amédéé. is in awful pain, completely sick with appendicitis. The doctor tries to take care of him, but it is to late, Amédéé is gone.

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Emil stays on for the service and is to set off, but goes back to Marie’s to get one thing of hers to hold on to. When he gets there he discovers her lying in the grass.

Frank comes home and sees Emil’s horse in the barn. He then goes into the field and hears something. As he comes closer he sees two figures in the field and shoots. And then streaks off.

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Ivar finds Emil’s mare the next morning all worn out and not taken care of. He knows Emil would never do anything like that unless he was hurt or injured. He goes next door to get help and finds the bodies.

The_Wolf_Man_4Crying sad

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PART V: ALEXANDRA

Alexandra has become so sick with grief she cannot do anything without being instructed. Her boy, her best friend…gone.

HeartbreakBuffy the Vampire slayer heartbroken Sad

She feels horrible for always throwing them together, never thinking what would happen. She feels so cold and alone.

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

Alexandra goes to see Frank Shabata, but feels no anger at him. Only pity.

Strange Sad Have My Pity Toy Story

But one bright spot arrives, as soon as Carl gets Alexandra’s note on the death he hurries over.

He isn’t as important as he would have wished, but he does have a good buisness starting in the West. The two plan to marry, going West but eventually returning home to the prairie. At last, Alexandra will no longer be alone. A bittersweet ending

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I love this book but it is sooo sad. Just full of feelings:

CantWork_emotions

But I love it anyway and read it over and over.

bookhumor

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

For the previous post, go to Le Fantôme de l’Opéra

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For more on Sarah Dessen, go to I’d Spent Some Time As a Kid Wishing My Name Were Ashley or Katherine, if Only Because It Would Have Made Life Simpler, But My Mom Liked to Tell Me That My Name Was a Litmus Test: Along for the Ride

For more on An Affair to Remember, go to Anything Can Happen: An Affair to Remember (1957)

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For the Christmas Carol I choose Silent Night otherwise known in Bohemian as Tichá noc. This song was written in 1816 by Father Joseph Mohr when he was visiting Mariapfarr, Austria.

Two years later, Father Mohr approaches Franz Xaver Gruber, a schoolmaster and organist, and asked him to set it to music. Together they performed it during Christmas Eve’s mass.

In 1859, Pastor John Freeman Young translated the song from German to English. Since then the song has been translated into over 140 different languages.

I chose the version by Celtic Woman as I really enjoy that group.

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For more on Celtic Woman, go to I Finally Read Moby-Dick

For more Christmas Carols, go to Each Illustration is a Little Story. If You Watch Them, In a Few Minutes They Tell You a Tale: The Illustrated Man

What I Think You Will Think…You are Fully Under My Control: Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter (1966)

JesseJamesmeetsFrankenstein'sdaughter

“You are no longer Hank Tracey, you are Igor…I am Maria Frankenstein. What I think you will think…You are fully under my control…I created you…”

So I came across this movie at the library while I was searching for Fahrenheit 451. It was a double feature called Frankenstein Fest, and had The Monster Maker and Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter. 

Both intrigued me, especially Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter. I mean I love Frankenstein!

Clive, Colin (Frankenstein)_02

I love Westerns!

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And I love B horror films, they are so hilarious.

felix_the_cat_laughing

So I thought I would try it out.

This film was originally made to be a double feature paired with Billy the Kid vs. Dracula.

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JesseJamesmeetsFrankenstein'sdaughter

A big storm is occurring for this sleepy little town in the West and everyone has left except one family. Manuel and Nina are ready to leave the city, due to the cursed house on the hill, but Juanita, their daughter, is adamant that they wait for her brother Francisco.

They continue to talk about the cursed house and about the “sickness” that kids have been catching and died from. Juanita is furious with them. Because of them the kids have died.

you're evil

So who are the them they are talking about? The Frankensteins. And no these are not Frankenstein’s children but grandchildren.

What are you talking about?

What are you talking about?

I know, I didn’t get that either. Why call it Frankenstein’s Daughter if it is her granddaughter?

So obs

So it is Frankenstein’s grandson, Rudolph, and granddaughter Maria. The two were forced to leave Vienna as their experiments were too out there.

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Rudolph wants to stop the experiments, but Maria is forceful and desires to complete her grandpa’s work…even though her grandfather wanted to stop as it was not the best idea. Hmmm…..sound familiar?

Maria is so excited to be living in the West as there are so many lightening storms that help with the experiment.

So this is one of the reasons why the film was so bad! Maria is “recreating” her grandfather’s work, but not really. Instead of trying to create life, bringing the dead of many back, in this she is trying to put the brain her grandfather created or used into another person.

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She has been experimenting on children in the village, but none have worked. The latest, Francisco, seemed promising, but turned out to be another disappointment. Another experiment failed and another body to bury.

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Maria doesn’t care that she has killed three children already, all she wants is the power to control others!

Star Wars Dark side power Darth vader

So Maria’s a psychopath.

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

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

She kills children for fun and doesn’t feel bad about it at all.

you're evil

So Maria goes on about how she needs the “right” man, but who could it be?

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So we switch to a town where two muscly men are fighting in the street. Hank Tracy is one of them and the winner of the bout. At first the saloon owner doesn’t want to give them anything, but after Hank’s best friend Jesse James throws his name around, people back down.

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So this film takes place after Ford assassinated Jesse James. There were plenty of rumors that James survived, and this film goes off of that.

Anyways, Jesse meets up with Butch Corey and his brother Eli of the Wild Bunch. Eli starts trying to assert his leadership, and Jesse James shows him with his gun that that is a bad idea.

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So they make a plan to rob something but I don’t know the details. They talk so quiet and in monotone.

Eli acts as a double-cross to get Jesse James as he doesn’t like James trying to make a fool out of him. He gets the Sheriff to have a posse hiding to catch James.

I see more sequels and remakes coming in the future.

This film is sooooooooo bad and booooooooooring. It is The Beast of Yucca Flats bad.

really?

really?

I thought this had Frankenstein in it. I want to see some MONSTER MAKING!!!!

Except in this case monster!

Except in this case monster!

A wagon comes along and the team tries to steal the money, but the sheriff is there and stops them. Eli tries to shoot Jesse, but hits Hank instead and Jesse and him take off.

run-away

Marshall heads off to capture Jesse James, with Eli coming along for revenge. He’s the only one of the Wild Bunch left.

So Jesse’s man was shot in the shoulder not the side, but holds on to his side. Was he really so bad at acting, that he forgot to react for a long time when “shot.”

I don't like it 11

Jesse and his friend come upon the Mexican family from earlier. They are camped out eating.

We see Hank and now the wound has traveled from his side to his heart and just barely began bleeding. That is bad, really bad.

really?

really?

Juanita tries to help Jesse in doctoring his friend but knows she can’t do much. So she decides to do the one thing she would never want to do, take him to see the Frankensteins.

OhNOthisisgonnabebad

Juanita’s parents forbid her as they don’t want to ever return to that area so Juanita sneaks off that night with James and they take Hank.

The next morning the Sheriff comes across Juanita’s parents and questions them about James and his partner. They say they haven’t seen them. Eli doesn’t believe them, but the marshall tells him to quit and the two continue on their way.

Stop stop it now!

Juanita’s parents are furious about her going off, but her father is adamant that he will never go back.

Juanita is caring for Hank while James is doing something, she goes to get Hank more water when she is taken by a Native American. James notices her missing and tries to find her. He gets attacked by the same guy, having to kill him to get free. Juanita is so thankful, but their relief short lived as more of the tribe are on the way.

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

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

They manage  to hid out, and Juanita is in love with Jesse, thanking him for saving her life with a kiss.

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Jesse knocks on the door asking Dr. Rudolph for help. He gets his sister who is pleased with the size of Hank!

He's perfect!

He’s perfect!

Maria is even more thrilled when she realizes that it is Jesse James, as no one will ever find these men as they are running from the law.

Meanwhile the Marshall and Eli are still looking for the two. They stop in the town and knock on a door, Juanita’s old house. Juanita says there are no men here, and the Marshall does’t listen, choosing to stop and take a look around the area.

paris-whenitsizzlesaudreyhmmHepburn

Maria goes to see James and asks him in to her library, the house being very Austrian. Maria gives James a bit of a backstory about how they had to leave Europe but they are interrupted when the Sheriff and Eli stop by and question Maria, who tells them she has seen no one. The two just leave after that with no investigating. Why did they investigate Juanita’s house? eh? Rude of them.

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Juanita and Hank are talking, Hank wanting her to come along with them when he is better. Juanita heads out to speak to Jesse in the moonlight!

How cute

you know what that means

Jesse, however, doesn’t want Juanita to come along as he is Jesse James, outlaw. Life would not be pleasant. The two kiss, in love. How cute. Except for one thing….

Truth be told I don't

Truth be told I don’t

Where is the monster making? eh?

Jesse is angry as Juanita wants him to admit that he loves her, but she won’t agree to go with them. However she wants him and his friend Hank to leave before the Frankenstein’s do something to them.

Run Away

Maria sees them outside in the graveyard, kinda creepy place to have a smooch now that I think of it.

Steve? A murderer?

Weird…

She approaches Jesse, who wonders why everyone left as it seems strange. Maria laughs it off, as ignorant people afraid of advancements. Jesse then asks how soon they will be able to leave…

felix_the_cat_laughing

Never you can never leave!

Maria doesn’t want them to leave. In fact she tries to use her womanly wiles to keep him, as she needs him.

Whattheheck

Needs him? You just met him. Okay slow down Queen of Outer Space.

Queen of outer space

Maria is furious that Jesse would choose Juanita over her.  She must have him or no one can!

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Jesse tells Juanita how Maria gave him a note for medicine and that he has to ride into town for Hank. Juanita warms him that Maria is just trying to get him out of the way but he doesn’t want to take the risk that Juanita is wrong and have Hank killed.

Rudolph doesn’t want to operate. as Jesse James will kill them when he finds out. Maria doesn’t care, besides Jesse will be caught and hanged the minute he steps into a town.

I-got-this-reaction-gif

The storm rages on as Maria begins preparing the artificial braun she is planning to put in Hank’s head. Juanita sneaks over to see what they are doing and watches as they preform the experiment.

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Dr. Maria Frankenstein: You are no longer Hank Tracey, you are Igor…I am Maria Frankenstein. What I think you will think…You are fully under my control…I created you…

So this is nothing like Frankenstein. All this is is open brain surgery.

Maria tries to help him, and realizes that her brother has been sabotaging all the experiments by killing them with poison. She and her brother struggle and he is starting to strangle his sister. She calls out to Igor and then he helps save her.

Dr. Maria Frankenstein: Its alive! It’s alive! Get him Igor!”

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Igor attacks her brother and kills him.

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Juanita has seen all that has happened and flees in the night. Meanwhile Maria sends Igor after Juanita. When they check her room, she is gone.

Maria is furious, but ecstatic that she still has Igor.

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Meanwhile, Jesse has arrived in the town, and there are posters about him being wanted with a huge price on his head.

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He gets there super early in the morning waking the doctor up. He gives him the note but doesn’t know that it signs his death warrant instead of getting help for his friend.

I just think, man didn’t he look at the note? I mean how weird? Why wouldn’t he?And why would the guy think that it was real? i mean why would someone deliver their own death note?

weirdtwilightzone

The Sheriff is out of town, but Eli has stayed behind and wants to kill Jesse. He tells the doctor not to worry, but pretend everything is fine, and he will take care of him.

Eli tries to sneak in to kill Jesse, but Jesse spots him and shoots him. The doctor begs for mercy and reveals the note was a ploy.

OMG gasp

Jesse, angry, then takes off for the Frankensteins. Juanita is riding out to find him and the two run right into each other.. Juanita tries to keep him from going back. She warns him that Hank is no longer himself and it is horrible, if he goes back he will have the same fate.

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Juanita goes to the Sheriff and tries to get him to come with her. Surprisingly he believes her and doesn’t think she is looney or something. I would have.

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Jesse bangs on the door, while Maria hides Igor. She lets Jesse in and tries to blame the attempted murder on her brother. Maria just can’t resist Jesse.

Some people

She calls Igor who comes and knocks Jesse out.

Hank/Igor watches Maria tie Jesse to the bed and a funny look comes over his face. Is he breaking through her control? Does he remember Jesse and his past life?

What! Mark Wahlberg that's weird

Maria sends Igor to his room while Maria decides what to do with Jesse. She is angry with Jesse for refusing her and has decided that Jesse will be the perfect guinea pig for her next experiment.

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She shoots James up with something, while the Sheriff arrives at the door. Maria is starting to breakdown as things are going against her plans, it seems as everything is unraveling. The Sheriff goes to investigate, and Maria calls for Igor.

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Igor comes and attacks the Sheriff, knocking him out. All that is left is Juanita. She tries to wake up Jesse, but Maria locks them in and calls for Igor to take Juanita and kill her.

Igor/Hank looks at the two women and instead of taking Juanita, kills Maria. Jesse tries to talk to Hank/Igor but all he says is kill.., kill, kill

OMG gasp

Jesse doesn’t want to hurt his best friend Hank and doesn’t do anything as he attacks, instead Juanita steps up to the plate and shoots Hank.

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Wow. I did not see that coming. That is the second film to be resolved by an unlikely source. I mean having the women save people has never been super popular in horror films, although a but more common in Westerns.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow what

They bury Hank and Juanita is happy that the evil is over. Juanita says she will wait for Jesse there in the town but he says he is an outlaw. He can’t stay. Instead he goes off with the sheriff to be hanged.

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So usually B films can have something enjoyable about them, but this was horrible. Just horrible. Barely any monster making, mostly a love triangle and we all know how I feel about that:

OVERDONE

OVERDONE

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

For the previous post, go to Have You Seen Megan Hipwell?: The Girl On the Train (2016)

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For more Frankenstein, go to I Want Friend Like Me: The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

For more evil doctors, go to Unleash the Savage Instincts that Lie Hidden Within: I Was A Teenage Werewolf (1957)

For more B horror films, go to It’s Mrs. Archer. She’s on a Rampage!: Attack of the 50 Foot Woman (1958)

I Feel A Great Disturbance in the Force: Star Wars, The Force Awakens

I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened

So I have been postponing this post as I wanted to give people plenty of time to watch the film. But just in case…

***Contains Spoilers***

So a lot of people have been asking me what I think about the new Star Wars film. And why not? After all you know how much I love Star Wars.

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So let me say right away:

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Yes, I did not like it.

Something is not right!

It wasn’t absolutely horrible but I felt that it was far from the great raves everyone gave it. I was greatly disappointed.

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So let’s count down my issues with the film. And remember, this is just my opinion: you can take it or leave it; read it or skip it; love it or hate it; etc.

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1) Who Are You?

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So one of my biggest issues with this film is that we were given hardly any backstory on these characters. We don’t know Rey, Finn, or Poe’s hopes, dreams, goals, histories, etc.

Now some of you are probably saying that J.J. Abrams just wants to surprise us, well there is a HUGE difference between surprise and no information.

Think about Episode IV: A New Hope; we knew that Luke wanted to get off the desert planet,; that he wanted to fight in the rebellion against the Empire; that he was “too much like his father” which was a bad thing; that he had a crush on Princess Leia; and that he was well versed in fixing mechanical things.

In the revamped Star Trek that Abrams did we get to see Spock and Kirk at different parts in their lives. We see Kirk’s father sacrifice his life to save all the others, we see Kirk getting into trouble with pranks as he is acting out against his stepdad, and we see him at the Academy getting on track. We also see Spock as a young boy trying to figure out who he is with being biracial, along with him as an adult and instructor at the Academy. So Abrams can do it, and so it well. So why didn’t he?

In my opinion I think he was afraid.

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I think after Star Trek: Into Darkness‘ villain was leaked and we all knew that it was Khan; Abrams overcorrected to protect the “secrets” and “surprises” by giving us nothing. And I hated it. In order for us to care for a character we need to know something about them. Otherwise they are just strangers and we don’t care if they live or die. When Poe was “killed” I was like oh that’s sad but not devastated or anything, because I had no idea what his role was in the grand scheme or if I was supposed to be devastated. Instead I was just like whatever.

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As for Finn; I guess with his brainwashing he doesn’t know that much of anything so I’ll give him a half pass. As for Rey, I know that Abrams wants to surprise us with her being Luke’s daughter but still give us something. I mean you could have had her talk about wishing the Jedis were still alive, or how she always heard stories of them, or even who or why she was left on the planet. What happened to the person she was supposed to be taking care of? Who is she waiting for? Come on give us something!!

come on

Take your cues from George Lucas, he knew how to film one heck of a reveal. Still can’t get over how amazing this scene was built up in Episode IV and V.

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2) Boom! We Here!

My second issue with the film was the pacing. It was way, way, too fast.

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With the original we have substance. It takes time for Luke to find Obi-Wan, get a plan together, get a ship, create a plan to save the princess, find the princess, escape, help destroy the Death Star; etc.

This same thing was continued in the rest of the series and prequels. It took time to get from one planet to another aspect of the universe. And the directors used this time. We were able to really get to know the characters and have some of the best scenes.

In The Force Awakens it too fast, completely losing the journey aspect. In this it was like bam we are there, bam next planet, bam bam bam. Everything was too quickly reached, found, etc. I didn’t like that at all.

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There is a certain style to these films. Star Wars essentially is a Western film set in space, building off those components. And what are Westerns based on? Knight stories. And Knight stories are based on Greek mythological tales. The reason why the original films did so well was that they stayed true to the type of tale they are based on; following the elements of a journey tale. There was no weight to the film in the same sense the other films had in unfolding the tale. There was no journey, making this a weaker film and not as long lasting.

In a few months/years everyone will be over the hype and realize this new film just doesn't measure up.

In a few months/years I believe that everyone will be over the hype and realize this new film just doesn’t measure up.

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3) Finn Wields a Lightsaber

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I also didn’t care for how quickly the characters seemed to adapt to the situations. Really a stormtrooper who has never even fought in real life before and only used a blaster has the ability to wield a lightsaber, something he knows literary nothing about, not even how to turn on, and be able to not only do it, but hold his own in not one but two fights; and one being against a person who has been training on how to fight with a lightsaber for at least ten years.

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 You have to remember this is a weapon that hasn’t been used for over sixty years except by three people; Anakin, Luke, and Kylo Ren. Do you think that someone who hardly knows anything besides what he has been brainwashed could use technology from sixty years ago when he doesn’t even know what Jedi are or have ever seen a Jedi? He didn’t even see Kylo Ren open his lightsaber.

And yes, he did lose both fights, but he did lot of attacking that I thought was way to advance for someone who has never even fought in a battle with a blaster. For someone who was so traumatized by war he had to run away, he got over that PTSD rather quickly.

Some of you might argue say that he just “picked it up” or has “jedi blood.” But even if you argue that he has Jedi abilities inherited from his family, whoever they are, it takes training to know how to wield one. When you are trained in using swords you practice first with fake ones as one of the first things you usually do is hit yourself with it. This is a much stronger weapon than a swords, and multi-edged. It is not something you just pick up and can do.

After all idea of using a sword is different than using one in battle. Yeah you point it toward the other person but it is more complicated when actually attacking another person, especially when your weapon can slice through almost any material, and all sides can injure you.

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4. Rey Masters the Force

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Rey also too quickly managed the force, especially for one who thought it was a myth. One of the reasons why the original series was so amazing was that it had weight and a feeling of reality. Luke has to train to use his natural abilities, to build up his faith in the force.

And even though he has so much untapped reserves,he had trouble controlling the force when he was in stressful situations, like wanting to help his friends. I thought her telling the stormtrooper to leave was good, but her other uses were just too fast. Let’s remember she has no clue what a Jedi is and has zero training. At least Luke had dreams and believed in it. He just had to believe in himself.

And even though I believe she is Luke’s daughter and therefore has an extremely strong connection to the force; but if Luke, Anakin’s son and therefore one with an even stronger connection, has trouble picking up things and concentrating on the force, and also had a stronger belief, Rey shouldn’t have picked up on as easily as she did.

I will say that at least her fighting was defensive and involved more running away than anything else. I thought that was more realistic for someone who has never used a lightsaber before.

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5) It’s All About Looking Great

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I felt this film also ran into the same mistakes as the new Avengers film were they concentrated on constant action every where, not always completing the move.

For instance Kylo Ren kills his father and is below on a bridge. Rey and Finn are above, with at least a 20 mins headstart and Kylo manages to not only reach them, but be in front of them? Can he teleport now? Even if he had a secret passageway or path known to him, how did he get there? And so quickly?

Or their giant death star/planet thing. How can it take power from the sun to decimate planets on the other side of the galaxy (as the guy says they will destroy a planet far, far, away) and be able to hit with such precision, not destroying all the many things in the pathway that exist in outer space? How could they have such precision in such distance? How can they manage to take the sun completely to destroy everything, but not destroy the planets around them as they have removed the sun?

I mean it is science fiction and they are going to push the boundaries of your beliefs, while creating new technology; but I felt the other films (the original Star Wars, Star Wars prequels, and Star Trek remakes) while not explaining everything had stronger ties to what could be happening in reality. In this they seemed to focus on let’s “look good” or have “great action” rather than make sense to what was going on.

I didn’t like the action as it wasn’t as choreographed but more messy and at times hard to follow. It was like The Avengers: Age of Ultron in which some parts resembled a video game rather than a film.

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6) Han Solo’s Death is a Crime

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

So I knew going in that they were going to kill an important character and famous actor. I mean we have Alec Guinness as Obi-Wan Kenobi in A New Hope; Liam Neeson as Qui Gon Jinn in The Phantom Menace; I knew it was going to be one of the dream team; most likely Harrison Ford.

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

So the fact that they killed Han Solo is a completely horrible thing to do, but the fact that they killed him before he and Luke had a reunion and forgave each other was inexcusable. He should have been involved in the journey to find Luke.

A journey that in my opinion should have been saved until the second film as if he was hiding somewhere impossible for all these people to find, even with a map it has got to take time; and I am sure they are to encounter storms, asteroids, obstacles along the way. It shouldn’t be instantaneous.

I just don’t know if I can watch a Star Wars film with no Han Solo.

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I need him in my life

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7) Story Has to Be Surprises Not Substance

Wow

Wow

I thought that the story/dialogue was okay but felt that they focused way too much time on trying to outwit you and surprise you then writing a cohesive whole. I wish the people who wrote Jurassic World wrote the new Star Wars movie as they were able to capture aspects of the past and place it in a new storyline; one that pleased fans and new viewers.

Take note, rest of Hollywood.

Take note, rest of Hollywood.

I think on a whole the film would have better if they went off the canon that Lucas had made, that was ghostwritten/published.

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But J.J. Abrams wanted to surprise people with his own thing.

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So that’s my opinion. You can agree with me and think I am a genius in my critique:

And I truly mean it

Or that I am completely unenlightened and crazy:

Guy you suck!

Guy you suck!

Either way it is just my personal opinion and you are free to share yours as well if you want.

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One thing still remains. The original Star Wars is still extremely amazing and because of this new movie there have been tons of Star Wars products that I can buy and add to my collection.

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What can I say? I’m just a Jedi girl.

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For more on Star Wars, go to You Don’t Have to Say the Words, I Already Know: Episode V, The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

For more on Episode VII: The Force Awakens, go to A Very Merry Star Wars Christmas

For more Han Solo, go to Be Like Han

 

A Cowboy’s Christmas

So you might recall me mentioning before how much I love Western things, and how when I was a little girl I really wanted to grow up to be a cowgirl.

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I was obsessed with anything cowboy or cowgirl. And of course I wanted to marry the handsomest cowboy of them all, Clint Eastwood.

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

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

So when I heard this Christmas Carol, A Cowboy’s Christmas by Wayne Newton, it became an instant favorite.

It’s funny, but it was only recently that I realized Wayne Newton was the singer, I never thought of him as a Western type of guy.

I have the song on a Christmas Album, but I can’t seem to find it on the internet. If you happen to come across it, trust me it is worth a listen to.

And just cause I can’t leave you empty handed:

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Merry Christmas!

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For more on Clint Eastwood, go to Hunk-a-Thon

For more Christmas Carols, go to Keep Moving Forward

It’s A Fan World After All

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Yes the fangirl posts have returned!!!

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We had to take a break with the 30 Day Challenge of August, but now that it has ended, every Sunday with be a fangirl countdown post. At least for September, when October comes it is all about the Horror films, so we will have to take a break once again.

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Dr. Seuss

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Ah Dr. Seuss. There is so much to say, but no words exist to describe how much I love you Dr. Seuss and all your works. You were such an amazing writer and such a HUGE part of my childhood.

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I’m not going to write about every book, as that would be too much, but instead going to talk about my three favorite books.

The Cat in the Hat– Too iconic to pass by. Such a cute book about the consequences of our actions, and who can’t love that adorable Cat?

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Bartholomew and the Oobleck– In this book, the sequel to Bartholomew and His 500 Hats, Barthlomew is living in the castle and life is doing good. That is until the King wants something different from the sky. He’s tired of rain, snow, sunshine, etc. He gets his magic men to create something new, Oobleck. It is kind of a Frankenstein of the sky, a story on how you should never try to be “bigger than your britches”, and absolutely adorable.

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The Sneetches & Other Tales-Some of the Sneetches have stars on their bellies and some do not. Those with Stars think they are better than all the others. When a man comes to town who promises that for a great deal, he can give the starless Sneetches stars; they pay up. Now the orginals are upset and pay to get their’s removed. This becomes an endless cycle until all the Sneetches’ money is gone and no one knows who was orginally born first stars and who wasn’t. A great tale about being happy being you, and that no one is better than others because of their looks.

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And my all time favorite!!!! The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. I used to read this story over and over and over again, as I just loved that grumpy grinch. One year I ate a ton of a certain type of cereal just to send away for a special Grinch keychain. Sadly, I lost it though in one of my moves. 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.

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For more Dr. Seuss, go to Speed Racer

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James Bond

What can I say? I’m a Bond girl (fan not film star). Aw James Bond. Where to start?

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Whenever I think of Bond the first thing that comes to mind is my brother. He was a HUGE James Bond fan and we used to watch the movies together when I was younger. Of course I could only watch them on TV and had to leave at certain points, (when he began to get it on with a lady). I remain a fan today and have seen every single film with Bond, James Bond.

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My favorite Bonds are without a doubt Sean Connery (the first and the all-time best), Timothy Dalton (the handsomest of them all), and Pierce Brosnan (cool and elegant).

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Jimmy Stewart

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Aw James “Jimmy” Stewart. One of my all-time favorite actors. It started with a few movies, then I read a biography, and before you knew it: I WAS Obsessed.

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Let’s start with the fact that he is tall, dark, and handsome.

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The kindest and most adorable man ever!

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Not to mention being the first actor to sign up for WWII, choosing to fight for his country rather than live in privilege as other suffered.

He’s perfect!

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I love all his work, but if I talked about them all it would take way, way, way too long. Now which one should I pick? I mean he was in Westerns, Comedies, Drama, Alfred Hitchcock films, Mysteries: his screenography is a little bit of everything. How can I pick a favorite out of so many, many cinematic masterpieces? I can’t it’s too hard. So I’m going to pick a few, and I promise just a few.

After the Thin Man

This sequel to The Thin Man is the only film Jimmy Stewart was in that was radically different from any role he has ever played. After the Thin Man has Detective Nick Charles and his wealthy wife Nora, back in her home town of San Francisco. There they stumble onto a murder and try to save their friend from going to jail, believing in her innocence. Jimmy Stewart plays a secondary character, but steals the scene in one of his earliest roles

Mr Smith Goes to Washington
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This film was supposed to be a sequel to Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, but when Gary Cooper was unable to reprise his role; it became a film about an ordinary, sweet, guy being chosen as a senator and going to capital hill to shake up the greed and corruption. This film is the essence of Stewart’s own beliefs and one incredibly powerful film.

It’s A Wonderful Life

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I’ve already written on this film three times- twice for my Valentine’s Day posts and for one of my Christmas countdowns. This film is just amazing as it shows the complete stretch of Stewart’s talent. A man who has only ever wanted to leave his town, but finds himself constantly being stuck there. He goes through incredible obstacles, with one ultimately bad day causing him to wish he had never been born. When his wish is granted, he discovers that everyone’s life would be way worse without him. Let me tell you, there is a reason why this film has been parodied, remade, and referenced in film and television.

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

Probably one of the best Westerns of all time, it stars John Wayne and Jimmy Stewart. Jimmy Stewart is Ransom, a lawyer from the East intent on bringing justice and civility to the West. He encounters Liberty Valence, a horrible outlaw, and has to contend with his own morals on whether he should continue the lawful way, or follow the way of the territories, taking justice into his own hands. He is just amazing in it!

Those are all I’m going to pick as it was hard enough choosing those four, and I don’t want to be writing for the next year on why he is so amazing.

For more Jimmy Stewart, go to Hunk-a-Thon

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Psych

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I love, love love Psych, I am so sad it ended.

Why? Why!

Why? Why!

It was soooooo amazing!!! Why is it over?

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I remember the very first promo for this show.

I was watching Monk at the time and dabbled in a few The Dead Zone episodes, but this new show Psych? I just wasn’t sure. Then one day it was re-airing that week’s episode Shawn (and Gus) of the Dead (season 2 episode 16). In this a supposed Mummy comes back to life. I found the show absolutely hilarious and started watching it all the time. That is until they mentioned the last season. I stopped watching as I didn’t want it to end right away.

Last year, I decided it was time and completely went on a spree watching every episode ever, through my computer and Netflix.

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I just love this show so much. Why did it have to end? I mean it just gets me. From the love of ’80s, film references, music, comedy: ah I just adore it so, so, so darn much. *sigh* WHY, WHY, WHY did it have to go?

Why? Why!

Why? Why!

So the show is about Shawn Spencer (James Roday) who is just your average guy, except for one thing. He has a photographic memory. His father was a cop and honed a thousand such skills, like psychology of body language, how to detect liars, etc in him. He rebelled from his father and left his home of Santa Barbara, CA to travel all over. When he returns, he is able to solve tons of crimes just from watching the news reports. When the cops get suspicious on how he is doing it, thinking he is actually committing some of these crimes, he lies and says he is a psychic. Soon he has roped his best friend since childhood, Burton “Gus” Guster into being a part of his crime solving crew, and the duo become consultants for the SBPD (Santa Barbara Police Department). Now a lot of my favorite characters I have actually posted about in my 2014 Saint Patrick’s Day post, At the End of the Rainbow: 17 More Irish Heroesbut I’m still going over my favorite characters anyway.

Shawn Spencer

Shawn Spencer

Shawn can be a jerk, childish, selfish, and a bit whiney at times; but all in all he is one pretty cool guy. He may be a goofball, but he is also highly intelligent, passing the detective test 100% at age 15, often feeling that things are too easy for him. He has great taste in films and music, making all these references that I absolutely adore. While he often uses Gus; his money, car, etc; he cares for his friend and would do anything for him. As the series progresses, Shawn matures; refraining from his previous extreme narcissistic tendencies. He and Juliet start dating in the last few seasons, this relationship really changing his childish ways, but not too much, as Juliet’s level-head and stable life works really well with Shawn.

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Burton “Gus” Guster

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Gus and Shawn have been best friends forever. He is smart, intelligent, and typically the saneer one of the two. After high school he went to college and became a pharmaceuticals rep, doing quite well for himself. When Shawn returned from his adventures, Gus was quickly swept up into his quirky ways. Out of the two, Gus is the researcher, planner, bill payer: i.e. responsible. While Shawn solves the crimes, Gus is the one who typically comes up with the information that is key to solving it. He is hilarious and adorable, the perfect balance in all that is Shawn and Gus.

Juliet “Jules” O’Hara

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Jules is the young police officer who moves from Miami to Santa Barbara when Carlton Lassitar’s old partner is transferred. Jules may be a very pretty, bubbly, sweet, rainbow-sunshine kind of girl; but she is not just bubbles and fizz, but also a very deep and intelligent person.

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She has scored the highest on the detective test (second to photographic memory Shawn), beating Carlton Lassitar. She also is fluent in Spanish, due to her time in Miami. While she is gentle and sweet, she can be gruff and unmoving when she needs to be; holding her own and not allowing anyone to walk over her. She and Shawn Spencer end up getting together and her stability and his goofiness work well together.

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Carlton Lassiter

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Now I have a huge TV crush on Carlton Lassiter, its a little hard not to. He is pretty awesome and handsome (played by Timothy Omundson). Carlton is a strictly by the book kind of guy; SB law, the Constitution, NRA, etc. He is a great cop, a bit old fashioned, but stubborn, persistent, etc. He is a huge Clint Eastwood fan, wishing he could be Dirty Harry or Tom Highway. He also loves Westerns and wants to be a modern day cowboy. He is a huge Civil War history buff and takes part in reenactments. He knows how to shoot like every type of gun and has built up a immunity to chloroform.

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However, the best thing about him is how strongly he throws himself into relationships. He does everything he can to try and work things out with his ex-wife (really not wanting to get a divorce). True he did cheat on her with his old partner, but they had been separated for quite some time and she was porking around with someone else. (Doesn’t make it right but it is understandable). However, the best thing was when his girlfriend was arrested and imprisoned (she stole blood from a blood bank for her sick brother), he went and visited her every time he was allowed to. Nothing kept him from being there or true to her. He also did everything he could to free her from the jail. So sweet! 🙂

And who can forget the amazing singing done on this program?

Or this?

Or this?

Or this?

One absolutely awesome show.

For more on Psych, go to Tuesday the 17th: Psych (2009)

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Ray Bradbury

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I love Ray Bradbury. He is one of my all-time favorite writers. He is just so amazing and his work unbelievable.

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So I first was introduced to him through the film Fahrenheit 451, a dystopian future film.

It’s a powerful film and when my mother told me it was based on a book, I was like I HAVE to read that. I did, and I loved it!

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The story is set in the future. All people are really concentrated are on reality shows, entertainment that mean nothing, and no one reads (sound familiar?). In fact the firemen jobs are not to put out fires, but to burn books and libraries. Guy Montag is a fireman that has started to wonder about the books. He picks one and starts reading it.

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And before you know it he is hooked. Stealing books and hiding them all over his house.

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His neighbor also gets him interested in thinking outside the box and about real things. However, it’s not long before he is found out and has to go on the run, hoping to find the place where people become books. That is they have memorized one book completely and recite it, so that it may never be lost. Oh I love this book so much and read it over and over and over.

Or 10th, 50th, 100th....

Or 10th, 50th, 100th….

He wrote many other novels and short stories, some of which were turned into episodes for Alfred Hitchcock Presents and The Twilight Zone. Out of his other books, my favorites are The Illustrated Man, in which a man is covered in tattoos, each telling a story. They range from funny, thoughtful, and downright creepy. Children talking to aliens and planning on taking over the world, a man getting a copy of himself so he “can have fun” only for the marionette to want to completely take over his life, and more. The Machineries of Joy, mushrooms really being alien spores trying to take over you, priests going to space, etc. And The Martian Chronicles, a collection about the colonization of Mars. They are just amazing.

And these are just a few, there are a ton more of his stories and novels, I haven’t been able to even read them all yet.

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For more on Ray Bradbury, go to Heaven on Earth

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Fandom

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For the previous post, go to Fans and the Furious

And Stay tuned for part 17

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For more bookish posts, go to To Win a Part of My Heart

 

Where There’s A Will, There’s A Way

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13) Something That You’re Proud Of

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No it’s not any of those. Well the thing that I’m most proud of might sound silly or boring to you, but it was hard for me to accomplish.

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So let me back up. You recall from a previous post that I graduated last year from college?

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Well before I could do that, for my study I had to write an intense thesis paper. And I don’t know about other places out there but my university didn’t let you choose your own topic. Instead they gave you a large one and you were able to pick something underneath that umbrella.

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Yeah. Then the professor noticed my love of film, and recommended that I choose that for my project and I did. I choose to talk about the Civil Rights era and Western film.

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I know, it sounds weird, but it there were actually a lot of Western films that correlated with the changes occurring due to the Civil Rights Movement. It was different, it was ambitious, it would be a perfect change from anything anyone else had done.

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It also was the hardest thing I have EVER chosen to do.

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Yes, it turns out that people write about Westerns taking place in 1960s-70s, and they talk about films (specifically those relating to the movement) but NO one ever discusses this as a correlation. On one hand it’s good as it is new, on the other, how was I supposed to pull from resources so separated?

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I ended up reading Western History, Civil Rights History, Western Film History, and Film History of the Civil Rights Movement. It was hard and a loooot of work. I spent nearly every waking hour in the library.

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Then there was the problem of primary sources. The films I choose weren’t the really popular films and were also not available to borrow from the campus library, or purchase.

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I was able to rent one from Amazon Instant Watch, score another off of Youtube, and the remaining ones off some site that I’m sure had obtained the films illegally. But that wasn’t even the hardest thing, It was just so ,uch time and effort; all-the-while knowing that if you fail you are not graduating.

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Eventually, through the all-nighters, the crazy researching, the personal drama, work, and other school work: I finished it!

Finally something GOOD!

And it even went on to win a writing award.

Take note Hollywood

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To start the 30 Day Challenge from the beginning, go to Musical Madness

For the previous post, go to Number Two Look Just Like You

It’s a Way of Life

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Day 4) A Quote You Try to Live By

This quote is from the western film The Shootist, the last film John Wayne ever made. In it a dying gunslinger, Wayne, is looking for a way to spend his last days in the most dignified and the least painful way. He stars opposite Lauren Bacall, boarding house owner, and Ron Howard, her son. John Wayne also chose Jimmy Stewart to star opposite of him in this film as the doctor. It’s an awesome film, check it out!

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Anyways, the motto of John Wayne’s character is:

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And I quickly adopted it myself.

As a kid I was bullied a lot, and when I was able to overcome that I swore I would never let anyone make me feel horrible again. I won’t be wronged, I won’t be insulted, and I won’t be laid a hand on. I don’t treat others that way and I expect the same from all.

I know this was probably not what you were expecting at all. I bet you all where expecting Eleanor Roosevelt or Dr. Seuss; but no. When I saw this film, those lines just resonated in me. After all, no one says it better than the Duke.

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To start the 30 Day Challenge from the beginning, go to Musical Madness

For the previous post, go to Make My Day

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For more on westerns, go to A FANtastic Voyage

For more quotes, go to What a Girl Wants

A FANtastic Voyage

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Yes…

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My Fangirl posts are back! You see I had to take a break from them for my Romance is in the Air: Part III posts as I counted down to Valentines Day with my favorite romantic moments from films. I would have started again on the 15th, but I realized that was the 30th anniversary of The Breakfast Club, and decided that I had to do a post on that.

So here we are once again going through some of the things that I hardcore fangirl over.

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Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman

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I haven’t seen this show in a long time but it used to be a real favorite of mine. When I was growing up, my mom loved this show and we would watch it together. I had a huge thing for Byron Sully (Joe Lando).

So Dr. Michaela “Mike” Quinn (Jane Seymour) is a wealthy, Bostonian, physician. In the series start (1867), Dr. Quinn is tired of the way people treat a “woman doctor”, and decides to leave for the West. She settles in Colorado Springs, Colorado; and finds life much tougher then she realized. Byron Sully, rugged outdoorsman and friend to the Cheyenne, helps her settle in and the two end up falling for each other. She also receives help from a midwife, but when she is bitten by a rattlesnake and dies; Dr. Quinn finds herself taking on the role as mother as she raises the midwife’s children; Matthew, Colleen, and Brian. Now Dr. Quinn is trying to adjust to the West, figure out how to take care of three children who just lost their mother, and prove to the world that a “woman doctor” is a real doctor.

I loved this as I loved Westerns, and Dr. Quinn becoming a doctor in a world that didn’t really wish to accept it was empowering.

For more Westerns, go to Fandom Love

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Gargoyles

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Gargoyles was a TV show I grew up watching as a kid and was super into. My friends and I would go around reenacting the show and creating our own stories.

It’s a little hard to give a synopsis of the show, but I’ll give it my best shot. In 10th century Scotland, Gargoyles work to defend their castle. They are statues during the day, but as soon as night falls they are able to roam about. They saved Prince Malcolm, who in turn built them a castle where they could rest in the day promising to protect them. Years later his daughter Princess Katherine is in control and she hates the gargoyles. She is betrayed by someone she trusts to the Vikings, who attack in the day and destroy all the gargoyles…or at least the think they do. Unknown to them, Goliath, the leader, survived along with a few of his friends. They return to kill the Vikings and the betrayer, discovering it was a close friend. Their arrival causes the Viking leader to take away Princess Katherine, intent on killing her. Believing Princess Katherine dead, her advisor curses them, turning all but Goliath into stone. He returns with the Princess, who demands the advisor change them back. He can’t, but turns Goliath into stone, so he can be reunited with his friends.

A hundred years later, a wealthy businessman, Xanatos, finds the castle and has it transported to New York City, building it on top of his skyscraper and  causing it to rise above the clouds, breaking the spell. The Gargoyles try to adapt to this new world, eventually teaming up with the biracial (Nigerian and Native American) NYPD detective. They also discover there is more to Xantos then they thought, that more of their kind exist then thought before, and a huge melding of mythology, Shakespeare, magic, sorcery, etc.

My favorite characters of the series was Goliath and he was just so awesome, brave, stoic, brooding, bold, etc. I also loved his daughter Angela, who was sweet and nice.

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Hercules: The Legendary Journeys 

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When I was a child I loved reading mythology and fairy tales. One that I was really into was the Greek myths and reading the stories of the gods and goddess. As one of my favorite characters was Hercules, this show was perfect for me.

The show was based on the Greek myths, but also borrowed stories and features from Egyptians, Middle Easterns, Asians, and Medieval Europe. I used to watch this every day after school and I just thought it was amazing.

Of course, that all had to do with Hercules. Not only did I think Hercules was extremely attractive (I had a real thing for guys with long hair for a while), but stoic, brave, kind, and altogether one amazing guy. I was really sad when it ended, but as we all know the good shows don’t last forever.

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Lord of the Rings

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So I LOVE Lord of the Rings!

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Yep, I’m a hardcore Lord of the Rings fangirl.

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Thank you Ed

It’s funny, but in the beginning I was set against it. My mom had been reading in the newspaper about Peter Jackson’s upcoming film and wanted to see it. My sister agreed as she was like free ticket, but I was not so sure. Some guy with a ring that only he could control and destroy (that’s what the synopsis sounded like) in a three hour film? It seemed done before, boring, and long. So they went and I stayed home. When they came back they were ecstatic about the film and said my dad and I would have to come with. I wasn’t interested, but forced. When we got to the theater and started watching it, I LOVED IT!!! From that moment on Lord of the Rings had entered my fandom.

My parents read the books right away but I just enjoyed the films for awhile. In The Fellowship of the Ring, Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit, has been holding onto a ring for many, many years. Bilbo is planning on going on a trip, taking the ring along, when his friend Gandalf the Grey (a wizard), visited for his birthday and spotted it with him. He convinces him to leave it behind with everything for his nephew Frodo Baggins, and Bilbo is on his way. Gandalf feels unease about the ring and leaves it with Frodo, while he goes off to investigate. Gandalf returns after he has discovered that ring belonged to the dark lord Sauron. It was supposed to be destroyed, but when he was defeated the king took the ring instead. It was moved about as every where it went it’s owner was killed or murdered. Eventually Gollum found it, and it was then stolen by Bilbo who has been sitting on it for years. Gandalf quickly moves Frodo out, unwillingly taking along Bilbo’s gardener, Samwise Gamgee, and Frodo’s relatives Peregrin Took (Pipin), and Meriadoc Brandybuck (Merry). The group splits off from Gandalf and are set to meet up with him, after Gandalf questions his old teacher Saruman, who unbeknownst to Gandalf has become evil. Frodo is anxious that they still haven’t seen Gandalf, and end up receiving help from Strider (Viggo Mortenson) a ranger. I loved Viggo Mortenson so much in this film. I thought he was amazing, brave, bold, and utterly handsome.

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He turns out to be Aragorn, the true king of Gondor who was sent to live with the elves for his safety. He sets them off for Lothlórien to the elves. While the head out they are attacked by the Nazgul. They run away to Lothlórien where Frodo is saved by the elves. There they form a fellowship to protect Frodo and the ring, making sure they get it to Mount Doom, the only place it can be destroyed. The group is the hobbits: Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pipin; the wizard Gandalf; Gimli the dwarf; Legolas the elf; Aragorn; and the steward of Gondor’s son Boromir. They head out facing many challenges along the way.

The Two Towers is the next part of the tale. In this the fellowship has been split up. Frodo took off on his own, but not quite as Sam won’t let him. They journey on to Mordor guided by Golem, who wants his ring back. Gandalf sacrificed himself for the group when they were in the Mines of Moria, but turns out is not dead. He has been returned as Gandalf the White, the highest form a wizard can be. Merry and Pipin were taken by Orcs in the last film, and they are being carried to Mordor. When the Orcs fight between the old creations and newer ones, they manage to escape and go into Fangorn Forest. There they meet up with the Ents, the tree shepherds. Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli have been tracking Merry and Pipin to save them and run into Gandalf. He tells them to not worry about Pipin and Merry they will be safe with the Ents, but takes them onto Rohan to help protect the country and save their king in a battle against Saruman.

Return of the King is the last in the series and my favorite. In fact I waited for when this film was released on DVD and bought it immediately. In this we have the final battle between good and evil. Frodo and Sam have been split up, as Golem and the ring have poisoned his mind. He ends up being attacked by a giant creature and captured, taken to Mordor. Gandalf and Pipin have gone to Gondor, as it is being attacked by Sauron’s forces. Rohan is going to send their aid, being led by Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli. But there is a surprise, the elf Elrond has come to the battle, bringing the Andúril, the sword from the first fight, that was broken and then reforged. He sends Aragorn into the mountains to bring in an army of the dead. This movie was awesome and it is one that I can watch over and over again.

Now I love to do marathons

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So my sister and I have done Lord of the Rings quite a few times. One time though, we decided we were going to do all the extended versions. It was an intense, all-day thing. It was a whole lot of fun.

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At a book sale I bought all the three books. The Fellowship of the Ring and The Return of the King were both the movie editions, but my copy of Two Towers is from the ’70s. Anyways I read the books and I think they did a great job bringing the characters to life in the film. Here are my only issues with the books and film, now after reading them.

The Fellowship of the Ring-I thought the film version did the best with this book. The book spans a lot more time, for instance Frodo has the ring for years before Gandalf returns, which they cut out. There also is a lot of extra stuff I am glad they cut, such as when Frodo spends years in Tom Bombadil’s perfect paradise of a forest. I would have cut that from the whole book as it was SUPER boring. The only thing I wish they included was the part when the elf Galadriel gives each member of the fellowship a gift.

The Two Towers-I thought this was good too, film and movie. In the movie the elves come to fight like in the original battle, but they weren’t supposed to come until the last book. I think it would have been better symmetry if they had, but no big qualms with book or film.

The Return of the King– In the book J.R.R. Tolkien goes through each person’s story all the way to the end, and then moves onto the next character. I liked in the movie how they switch back and forth, as when you read you are really curious what happens to this specific character, but also want to know what happened to everyone else. Like Sir Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe. In that he had so many characters involved and in their many adventures, but switches between them all so we get a better picture as to what is occurring at the same time. The effects, set up, and whole film was amazing! The only thing I might have added was more depth to Faramir and Eowyn’s romance, as we only get a few glimpses. Also Saruman has had his fingers all over Middle Earth causing destruction. When Merry, Pipin, Frodo, and Sam return, they have to battle for the Shire to save it from Saruman. That was cut from the film, but it would have been cool to have it in.

On a whole they did an amazing job! J.R.R. Tolkien in his writing and Peter Jackson with his films.

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For more on Lord of the Rings, go to Food, Food, Food!

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Madeleine L’Engle

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Madeleine L’Engle is one of my favorite writers. I started reading her books when I was a kid, and have loved them ever since. Even though the ones below are considered Children’s Fiction or Teen Fiction; I still read them over and over and over again.  HowABookTouchesYou

So Madeleine L’Engle is a Christian writer, but she likes to cover lots of other things in her books as well: science, philosophy, politics, music, poetry, literature, ethics, etc. All of her books carry really heavy subjects that just make them even more enjoyable. Below I have listed all the books of hers that I have read, in the order I think is the best to read them in.

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A Wrinkle in Time– This is the book that started the whole time quartet series. In this book the Murry family has moved to New England in recent times. Many people are wary of them as both Mr. and Mrs. Murry are scientists. Mr. Murry is often called upon to go to Washington D.C for the President or Pentagon. He left for a trip about a year ago, and has yet to return. Many think he abandoned the family, but his wife and children have faith that he will return. Meg is the eldest, she wears glasses and braces and thinks herself unattractive.

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She has a lot of problems making friends as she has a temper, she also has issues in school as the math is too far below her. After Meg are the twins, Alexander (Sandy) and Dionysus (Dennys). Both the twins excel in sports, school, and friendship. Last is Charles Wallace, only five years old and a genius. He tries to hide it, but still can’t pass off being “normal.”

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One dark and stormy night; three women come in with the wind and set Meg, Charles Wallace, and a popular boy from school, Calvin O’Keefe on quite the adventure. Mrs. Which, Mrs. Who, and Mrs,Whatsit tells the trio that they need them in order to save Mr. Murry who is caught in the 5th dimension. This adventure takes them on a ride through psychics, time travel, tessering, and other planets.

This book was also turned into a film that was pretty good and had the cute guy from Everwood playing Calvin O’Keefe.

A Wind in the Door– This is a sequel to A Wrinkle in Time. Calvin and Meg are friends and romantically interested in each. Things aren’t perfect; their father is still called away on long trips, Meg still gets into trouble at school, and Charles is still picked on; but they seem to be better. That is until they notice that something is going wrong with Charles Wallace. He seems paler, more tired, and just not himself. When Charles Wallace tells Meg he has seen dragons in the garden, she really becomes worried. But these dragons are actually a Cherubim sent there to help Meg defeat the Echthroi who are trying to erase the universe. Meg, Calvin, the cherubim, and her principal Mr. Jenkins find themselves on an adventure through the town, plants, and into Charles’ mitochondria.

Many Waters– This is actually the fourth book in the series, but reads better as the third book. In this Sandy and Dennys, who had heard of their siblings crazy adventures, find themselves going on their own trip through time! When the boys accidentally mess with their father’s experiment in the lab, they find themselves sent back to the time of Noah, right before he builds his ark for the coming flood. There they encounter the biblical figures along with manticores, unicorns, Nephilum, and Seraphim.

A Swiftly Tilting Planet– In this book Meg is grown up, married to Calvin, and pregnant with their first child. The twins are now a lawyer and a doctor. Charles Wallace is a teenager, but still as advanced as ever. They are celebrating Thanksgiving, (minus Calvin as he got held up in conference in England), with Calvin’s mother Mrs. O’Keefe. That night there are threats of Vespugia’s leader, Mad Dog Branzillo, starting nuclear warfare and WWIII. As Charles Wallace goes to the garden, he meets up with the unicorn Gaudior. Gaudior was sent to help Charles travel through time and meld with different historical figures in order to change the past, so that they might change the future. This is one of my all-time favorites of her series.

Meet the Austins– This is a different series, but as all of hers connect and crossover, it makes a lot of sense to start reading it now. Mr. Austin is a country doctor in New England. He and his wife have four kids: John, Vicky, Susie, and Rob and an assortment of animals. They live a contented life, but that all changes when a family friend dies. The Austins quickly welcome the orphaned daughter, Maggy, into their home and she causes all kinds of chaos and uproar. Will their lives ever be the same again?

The Moon By Night– Book two brings radical changes for the Austin family. Maggy, who has become a daughter and sister, is leaving them to be with her legal guardian. John is heading off to college, and the Austins are moving to New York for a year. Before the move, they head out for a cross-country trip of the United States. Vicky should be happy and having fun, but instead finds the changes unsettling, along with trying to figure out who she is. She meets a boy named Zachary Gray, who is so unlike her, and confuses her on what friendship and love are.

The Arm of the Starfish- Adam Eddington III has wanted to be a marine biologists for a very long time. Every summer he has interned with a doctor that lives near his grandma’s home, but this year he has received a much different post. This year he will be interning in Portugal, under the guidance of Dr. O’Keefe (Calvin O’Keefe from the A Wrinkle in Time series). On his way there, he meets a beautiful girl at the airport, Kali, who warns him that Dr. O’Keefe is not as nice as he seems, but working against his government. She asks him to spy on Dr. O’Keefe for her father. Adam is unsure of what to do, and when he boards his plane, ends up running into Polly O’Keefe, Dr. O’Keefe’s daughter, and her godfather Canon Tallis. Adam quickly finds this summer being more than he bargained for as he is caught up in a world of science, espionage, and double agents. Adam doesn’t know who to trust as the more time he spends with the O’Keefe’s the more he likes them, while at the same time every moment he spends with Kali is better than the one before.

The Young Unicorns- The Austins have moved to New York and encounter a much different world. They rent the top part of an old Victorian house. Below them lives Emily, the daughter of a Greek professor, and recently blinded in a robbery gone wrong. They also have befriended Dave, an ex-gang member and now Emily’s tutor; along with Mr. Theotocopoulos, Emily’s piano teacher. The Austins find themselves caught in a horrible plot as people are after the invention that Dr. Austin is working on and are not afraid to use any means necessary to obtain it. Someone is trying to control the city as they have orginized the gang, the Alpha-Bats (Dave’s old group) and preparing them for a battle. Canon Tallis is called in by his old friend to discover who could be the head of the group, and whether it could be coming from one of the leaders of the Catholic Church.

A Ring of Endless Light- The year in New York has ended and the Austin’s will be returning home after one more stop. Vicky’s grandfather is very sick, so the Austins plan on staying that summer on the small island he resides on. John also happens to be interning there for the summer, introducing the Austins to his newest friend, Adam Eddington III. Vicky and Adam become very close, with Vicky helping assist him in his project with dolphins. However, Adam is still reeling from the betrayal that occurred in Portugal and isn’t getting as close to her as Vicky would like. Also, Zachary Gray returns on the scene, once again bringing trouble, confusion, and questions in Vicky’s life.

This was also turned into a movie: starring Mischa Barton as Vicky, Ryan Merriman as Adam, and Jared Padalecki as Zachary. It was a DCOM so sadly it is hard to find a copy of this film.

Troubling a Star- The last of the Austin series. The Austins (minus John) have returned home to New England countryside. Everyone has been able to bounce back but Vicky. She finds it hard to relate after all her adventures and changes. Adam introduces her to his Aunt Serena, who Vicky immediately becomes close to. Adam is planning on going to Antarctica for a semester, and for Vicky’s birthday, Serena plans on sending Vicky as well. Vicky is excited for her trip, but also worried as Adam’s letters become cold, closed off, and eventually stop altogether. Vicky is sad, but concentrates on her trip; finding herself caught in political intrigue and an age-old unsolved mystery.

Dragons in the Waters- When thirteen year-old Simon Renier boards the M.S. Orion with his cousin Forsyth Phair, he has no idea what he is getting himself into. A trip that is supposed to be easy and beautiful; taking a painting of Simon Bolivar back to its native land, turns out to be anything but; as murder, political intrigue, smuggling, and a century old secret turn this trip into one exciting adventure. Simon tries to solve the case with the help of Polly and Charles O’Keefe (who are traveling with their father), Mr. Theotocopoulos (who is traveling to see Emily perform) and Canon Tallis.

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For the previous fandom post, go to A Fantabulous Post

And stay tuned for part 10

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For more book filled posts, go to The Biggest Bill You Should Be Paying

For more on Disney, go to Well I Feel Sheepish: Chinese New Year

For more of my favorite quotes, go to Helping Hands

For more Pirates of the Caribbean, go to Push All the Buttons!

Fandom Love

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So I’m sure you can tell where this is going. Post six of my fandom love. Hope you enjoy it and get interested in checking these out. 🙂

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Elvis Presley

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The King of Rock ‘n Roll himself! Elvis!!! Yes I am a huge Elvis fan, in fact I don’t know anyone who loves Rock ‘n Roll, that doesn’t love the “father” of the genre. He’s awesome! Yes Elvis, the pandemonium that Elvis created was bigger than any artist before or after. His fandom is one of the earliest and strongest. Nothing can hold a candle to him.

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 So not only was Elvis a great musician, singer, dancer (signature style) but an actor as well. The big deal there!

So now onto my favs. For favorite songs I love them ALL.

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If I had to pick a favorite…I would have to go with A Little Less Conversation or Burnin’ Love. But then there is something to be said for Jailhouse Rock or Can’t Help Falling in Love or…I need to stop or this could take forever.

For films I like all his films, but I loved Jailhouse Rock. In that he choreographed the dance moves..well kind of. You see he couldn’t do the moves created by the choreographer. They were taking a break and his buddy Russ Tamblyn came by and checked out the issues he was having. He asked him what he could do, and the two created a dance number that incorporated it.

Then there is Spinout, which is hilarious. Elvis is a lead singer in a band and a racer. All he wants to do is race his car and sing, but finds himself in a love triangle. His bandmate Les and mechanic has fallen for him, a spoiled heiress who’s dad gets her anything she wants is trying to force him to date her, and then an author on Men has taken a liking to him. What’s Elvis to do?

And then A Change of Habit. This was the last film Elvis made and it is very different from his other works. In this one he is a young doctor working in the ghetto at a clinic for the underprivileged. There he meets three women who are evangelizing to the people. He and one of the women begin falling for each other. The only problem…she’s nun. She hasn’t yet taken her orders and finds herself faced with a huge decision. Take her orders, become a nun, and continue to serve and help the community. Or chose life as a wife and be unable to work with the Catholic church she has been building up. It was sweet, dramatic, and one of those films that confronts hard issues and decisions.

For more on Elvis Presley, go to Heartbreak Hotel

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Grimm

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So Grimm is a modern day telling of the Grimm Fairy Tales but with a twist. Creatures from the fairy tales live among us, appearing as human to all but a select few. Instead of being the “brothers Grimm”, the Grimm are certain people who have the ability to see those monsters, or Wesen as they are called, from the tales. They are kind of the police force of the “fairy tale world,”  as it is their job as Grimms to destroy all the Wesen. The Grimm ability is passed genetically, and sometimes it can miss a generation or skip a few, but all Grimms are related if you go back far enough on the family tree.

In the series the main character is a homicide detective named Nick Burkhardt, who is played by the very handsome David Giuntoli.

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OMG I just find him so attractive. He has these really intense green eyes that just bore into you. He also has an amazingly adorable little boy/mischievous smile. Sometimes I’ll be watching the show and lose track of what has been happening because I’m too caught up in staring at him.

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What can I say? He’s dreamy. Anyways let’s get back on track.

So the “Grimm sight” didn’t come to Nick until he was in his 30s. He discovers that it’s up to him to destroy all the creatures, but Nick actually does things much different. Because he is a cop, he likes to ask questions first before shooting, maiming, beheading, etc. Because of this he actually befriends a lot of Wesen.  He meets up with a vegetarian Blutbad (Werewolf) named Monroe, who helps him figure out what the monsters are and how to take them down.

Now I just love Monroe. He is so casual and normal and such a sweetheart.

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Later on they recruit a Fuschbau (Fox) named Rosalee. It’s really cool as they bring to life all those fairy tale stories you used to love as a kid, but at the same time they also use a lot of German and the culture; promoting the same thing the Brothers’ Grimm did. There is also a lot of mystery and intrigue with a story that spans over four seasons.

So in season one is Nick trying to figure things out, as everything is completely new and a little hard for him to understand. Season two he has a better handle on it, but also faces issues of trying to conceal or reveal to his close friends. He also gets involved more in the political intrigues and history of the Grimm. In the third season we have a guy who really has it together but faces a lot of issues as an enemy from the past is trying to kill him, a new Grimm comes to town, and much, much more. I highly recommend it!

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For more on Grimm, go to Happily Ever Aftermath: Grimm (2012)

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Growing Pains

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I loved this show so much as a kid. In fact I was in love with Kirk Cameron and wanted to marry him (after Clint Eastwood and Michael J. Fox).

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Growing Pains is about the Seaver family. The father Jason (Alan Thicke) is a psychiatrist and is doing very well. His wife, Maggie (Joanna Kern), is a reporter. They have three kids: Mike (Kirk Cameron) the cool kid who is only interested in girls and having a good time; Carol (Tracey Gold) who is the smart, studious, straight arrow; and Ben (Jeremy Miller) who is the adorable, rambunctious, boy.

The series is a normal show as it follows the group as they progress in age. It was absolutely adorable, funny, and awesome. Later on as Ben grew up, he developed similar to Mike, and the Seavers had another child, Chrissy (Ashley Johnson). As Mike grew up his character changed as well. He originally wanted to be an actor, but ends up becoming a teacher. As he is teaching low-income students, he notices one who is living in the school as he has no where to go. This boy is Luke, played by Leonardo DiCaprio (in one of his earliest roles), and Mike brings him home to his family.

I love this show and it was great watching.

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Guardians of the Galaxy

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So at first I wasn’t going to watch this movie. My ex-boyfriend had been really into it, and that is were I first heard about it. When it came out I wasn’t interested. That is until my friend saw it and said I had to as it was full of ’70s and ’80s references. She convinced me to check it out and I did. My reaction was:

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So the story is Peter Quill’s mother is dying of cancer. He runs outside as he is hurting, and gets abducted by aliens. Twenty years pass, and Peter Quill, aka Star-Lord, is a treasure hunter. He goes to a planet to steal an orb for a buyer, and finds himself caught in a huge adventure.

Guardians of the Galaxy Star Lord Chris PrattUnbeknownst to Star-Lord, others want that orb. Gamora (the green girl) is an assassin. Her species was exterminated and she was adopted by Thanos and trained to be an assassin after he rebuilt her cybernetically.

While the two fight over the orb, Rocket (a raccoon-type alien) and Groot (a tree-like alien) also attack trying to get the bounty on Star-Lord. They all get arrested and end up bonding in jail, adding to their group Drax the Destroyer.

It was a truly hilarious film. Almost a parody of superhero films, completely on par with Mystery Men. Check it out once, twice, or a hundred times.

And this is for anyone who has watched it already.

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Loved this film and now the comics.

My favorite characters were Rocket and Groot, of course, and Star-Lord. He is Star-Lord after all.

Go here to see who your match is.

Go here to see who your match is.

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Hell on Wheels

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Hell on Wheels is an amazing show that I just absolutely love. I am a huge fan of Westerns, so when this show came out I was all over it. Hell on Wheels takes place after the Civil War, in which railroad companies are trying to create raillines all over the United States. Thomas “Doc” Durant is the one who is in charge of the investors and building the railroad. Thor Gundreson is his security man, known as the Swede, even though he is Norwegian. They oversee a huge group of people: freed slaves, immigrants, and others leaving the South and North looking for jobs.

One of these freed slaves is Elam Fegursan, eager to prove his work and worth. He gets into some skirmishes with Cullen Bohannon, an ex-confederate soldier. As the two fight more and more, they end up becoming friends. But unbeknowest to anyone, Cullen has a secret vendetta, to kill the men who raped and murdered his wife and child.

Also in this group, is Joseph Black Moon, a Cheyenne who has converted to Christianity. He was the chief’s son, but because of his conversion he has been kicked out of the tribe and has joined up with the church following the railroad. He too becomes friends with Cullen, a very interesting trio in 1870s.

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Also on this group are two Irish immigrants, Seán and Micky McGinnes. These two get into lots of scrapes with the Swede as they don’t want to pay for his protection.

And last but not least we have Lily Belle, who’s husband was the surveyor for the railroad. He was killed by Native Americans while Lily Belle was saved by Joseph. She thinks about going back to England, but ends up staying in America continuing her husband’s work.

The first season was amazing. I have yet to finish it as I have no cable and need to catch up. I will say that I hope the rest is as good as the story was amazing and the characters so good.

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How I Met Your Mother

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How I Met Your Mother was such an amazing show and I am so sad that it has ended. It was hilarious, sweet, and just adorable. It covers five friends living in New York and their lives in trying to find love, work, etc.

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Ted Moseby

Ted is the architect that is the narrator of the show. He is looking back and telling his children the complete story of how he met their mother. He is undeniably sweet and dreams of finding the right woman to marry. He is so eager, that he is constantly getting with the wrong woman. He is the greatest best friend ever, and the guy any girl would be lucky to end up with.

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Marshall Erikson

Marshall is the all around perfect guy. Every girl dreams of having a Marshall in their life. Marshall is from Minnesota and he and Ted meet freshman year of college as they were placed together as roommates. He later met Lily who became the love of his life. He studies to be a lawyer and hopes to have a great future with Lily. Unfortunately, Lily dumps him, but comes to her senses and gets back together with him.

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Lily Aldrin

Lily is the smart and sassy member of the group. She meets Marshall and Ted, when she knocks on their door and asks Marshal to fix her radio. She and Ted is typically the center of the group, although she gives far better advice than Ted to everyone.

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 Barney Stintson

Barney meet Ted at the bar bathroom. He quickly roped Ted into one of his schemes to pick up chicks and quickly becomes a part of the group. He is hilarious, a magician, and loves to act. His biggest flaw is that he constantly creates these extremely funny scenarios to pick-up-chicks.

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Robin Scherbatsky

Robin has a very interesting background. Her parents got divorced when she was young and she started out being raised by her father who wanted a boy and treated her like one. When she becomes a woman she moves in with her mom, and starts a career as a pop singer, Robin Sparkles.

She wants to be a news anchor and meets Ted in a bar. They become friends and she is brought into the group, becoming Lily’s best friend and dating Ted and Barney off and on. Barney and her finally get together, and he proposes and they get married. And that’s the end of the series for me.

***Spoiler Alert***

I hated the last episode of the series. I never wanted Robin and Ted together as Robin never loved everything about Ted, she just put up with his quirks. I wanted Ted with someone who really loved him. I also hated how after all that time Ted spent in planning his wedding, they have a five-second one they fit in between everything else they do. I hated how Robin and Barney divorced as they were perfect for each other. And I hated after all that growth he did, after the divorce he was back to being the same person from before.

For more on How I Met Your Mother, go to I’ll Be Back: The Terminator (1984)

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For Part 5 go to What A Fanatic!

And Stay Tuned for Part 7

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For more on my favorite music and musicians, go to Dreaming of the Sandman

For more of my favorite quizzes, go to Where We’re Going, We Don’t Need Roads