• Culture and Entertainment

    Jane Austen Enamel Pins by Amanda Kastner

    Ages back I learned of Amanda Kastner’s work through Sense and Sensibility patterns who produced a historical pattern of hers. Her sister’s blog (it’s been made private) featured a lovely piece of stylized artwork by her of her sister (that was where the idea I wanted artwork of my on my blog).

    Anyhow, more recently I’ve been following her artwork, she’s done some coloring books (I want to get the Jane Austen one) and graphic novels (I have the Illusionarium, but I’d like the others as well). Visit her shop here.

    Most recently she’s been making enamel pins for classic story characters. I know I have no use for these, and I always find something to buy, but they are so lovely, I have Anne and Diana, and I’m participating in the current Kickstarter for the Jane Austen ones here. My favorite is yet to be unlocked (and I’m assuming there might be more stretch goals), but by the time this is published it probably will. I’m assuming some of these pins will be available in her shop, but not the Lizzie one or not for long?

    Now I will just have to find a way to display them. My sister-in-law’s sister made a silver corkboard Disney castle for all my sister-in-law’s Disney pins, and it’s on my niece’s nursery wall. And I thought I’d taken a photo of that but can’t find it.

  • Culture and Entertainment

    Little Women 2019 and Why I’ll Never Love a Little Women Adaptation

    ***Spoilers and a VERY Critical Review***

    ***************************************

    I was not originally going to see this. I don’t usually see movies in theatres, and I didn’t even really want to try this one at all. I was horrified by the non-American and otherwise poor casting. Laurie is not a frail, delicate French-American boy. He was a big, bonny Italian-American boy. I get frustrated with Little Women adaptations because of the inaccuracy of the rendering and because I HATE a part of the book’s plot. I hate Laurie and Amy together at a soul level so I will never love an adaptation.* However, I went to see Star Wars in theatre, I kept seeing Little Women everywhere, and I always want to like a Little Women retelling, I was feeling too optimistic, and I thought I could be okay if the professor was young and Laurie wasn’t Laure (like in that cute, shallow, quick little modern retelling), I thought I could suspend my infuriation at the Laurie-Amy thing. Well, one can only do that if Laurie and Jo is minimized and Laurie and Amy is minimized, it wasn’t.

    • Not great acting, so many things felt forced, and I could hear the accents
    • It overall felt slick and flippant. The choice to cut back and forth in time was terrible, it wasn’t flashbacks, it was every scene. It hurts my brain. It ruined the pathos of Beth’s story, made everything feel rushed and shallow. I think it rather disguised the other flaws by flicking you away before you could digest the ineptitude of the scene. As did wasting time on dramatic scenes, feminist sermons, slow motion parts, etc. when two hours isn’t really enough to do the book justice and other episodes from the book could have been included.
    • Why do Meg and John get cut out so much? I adore that proposal scene and a couple other of their scenes? Its Little Women, not Jo March or  The Jo and Amy and Laurie Triangle. Not that I really wanted to see more of this John, I think his accent and his acting was the worst. And why in heaven’s name does almost every version feel the need to make John a needy, creepy sort of person. Quietly liking someone doesn’t mean creepy. I think he was WAY more subtle than that. It was only brought out by Laurie’s (awesome) mischievousness, another thing lacking in the movie.
    • Laurie was more Laurie in behavior than I expected despite his looks, but he didn’t feel genuine.
    • Why are almost all the girl blonde or red-head? I think they were all brunettes, possibly dark brunettes, definitely Alcott herself was, except for the golden girl, Amy (that heightens the contrast of Amy and the others). They all look too small except for Amy who looked and sounded coarse (the exact opposite of book Amy). Emma Watson is overacting as useful. Beth was okay. Saoirse Ronan wasn’t bad acted, she just was the least Jo of any Jo I’ve seen.
    • Stupid additions of modern thought that are historically inaccurate, I mean some people think incorrectly about history and so they put incorrect and modern historical opinions on these characters. Also reflected in the slovenly, unlady-like dressing and behavior (the hair, oh, my stars, put up their hair, Meg would never have been so sloppy). In the book Jo was rude, brusque but she still followed some manners of then, like being decently dressed and not putting her skirts up to her waist or dancing in a weird, wild bar scene (the Marches were teetotalers and very sheltered, that is mentioned in the book).The Marches were unconventional, not inappropriate and not modernly conventional, sorry. If you want a modern retelling, do a MODERN version. Granted there has been one done (very indie and quick), but there have been so multiple period ones done as well.
    • So much second hand embarrassment, so little of the books genuine humor. I chose to go to the bathroom around the part Jo was writing Laurie a desperate letter, I couldn’t bear it. I missed when he and Amy came back. Actually I was getting ready for it to be over well before then, but I seriously considered just leaving then and several times after that, but I was sure it was almost done. And then it got really just plain goofy when the professor comes back. Any sweetness in that was sapped right out but the silliness, shallowness, and insincerity of that scene, why couldn’t they have had a quiet moment and more time together overall. If you are going to change the plot, change that part, give them a real spark. They just emphasized him as being an afterthought.
    • Also, I recognized Marmee from somewhere (note: I feel like they didn’t call her Marmee enough and Teddy was only used like once). And I knew I hadn’t liked her at.all and thought her poorly acted. Later that evening I remembered, she was the idiot, terribly acted purple haired catastrophe from the NOT REAL parts of Stars Wars Episode VIII. Figures.
    • As much as things in the 94 version of Little Women irritate me (Laurie and Amy, John and Meg being too old and shunted to the side, and John being a creepo), that is still the best we have. Everything is just way more iconic, the music, the acting, the script, the clothing. Amy’s European wardrobe is just stunning. And everything about the overall feel and look of the setting, houses, clothing, etc. felt more historically accurate.
    • Did I like anything? Well, I liked that Professor Bhaer was young and handsome and not poorly acted. Too bad he was given hardly any time. I loved the knitted sontags the girls were wearing. I’d first seen them/noticed them on A Bluestocking Dressmakers instagram. As a knitter, it’s always cool to see handknits, especially since I don’t feel like they show up much in period pieces, and I don’t know much about that aspect of historical costuming. The scenes were pretty. I liked Meg’s purple dress. I do want to go and look at photos of the clothes more particularly.

    *I swear I hate the Laurie and Amy thing all the way to the very atoms of my being. I’ll never in anyway be okay with it. It is just fundamentally wrong.

    Nobody cheers when the stereotypical jock and the perfect cheerleader get together. The basic rich boy and basic middle-class girl. And that is all Laurie and Amy end up being once they get married, before he was something special, although she was never super unique.

    I just can’t like Amy. I wouldn’t like her much without Laurie, but the Laurie thing drives everything home. She’s one of the lucky ones who get everything without effort without depth. She’s blessed and boring. And charming, witty Laurie gets flattened, faded out, out to be her “perfect” match. He loses every part of his “Laurie-ness,” his “Teddy-ness.” Look, Teddy was Jo’s pet name for him . . . she has a pet name for him. Amy calls him my lord (ick), isn’t that evidence enough?

    Jo and Laurie are so close, I think that Laurie could’ve waited. I think the concept of love as a pie in the sky stars above thing is untrue. Love is made up of attraction/passion, affection, trust, friendship, and CHOICE. If Jo didn’t have the first, or didn’t think she did (they were SO close, it seems like it could only have been blindness), she would’ve learned later. And why must Laurie fit society’s mold? Rich man, rich wife, blah, blah. Suited to each other? They brought out each others shallowness. Bhaer and Amy got leavings, sorry. And someone mentioned thinking Amy would’ve turned Laurie down had he not been rich. I think it’s too convenient that Amy gets everything she wants. Its too unbelievable how easily Laurie gives up. And there is the sister code. Doesn’t matter if Jo rejected him. Hands off, period.

    All the rationalizations, are rationalizations. Jo and Laurie were too similar? Um, “similar” people (and I don’t think they were all that similar, and better to be like either of them than a milksop like Amy). Jo and Laurie had a spark, John and Meg had a spark (in the books, the movies seem to manage to ruin this). No one else did.

  • Culture and Entertainment

    Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and Am I a Star Wars Fan Now?

    **************Spoilers**************

    I need to just get out my rambling thoughts, few though they are (my Star Wars history is going to be most of this post), on this film because I waited too long for Engame (I’m going to post them now anyway).

    I’m not an official Star Wars fan. I do seem to be getting more and more interested as the new stuff comes out, so I think I may be heading there since I really, really started wanting to see this one and at the spur of the moment (planned the night before, that is my spur of the moment) went this morning with my sister (Flowerchild) (so this is the 2nd of them I’ve seen in theaters). Of course I don’t have all the names in my head, I was just thinking the newest Star Wars.

    Let me look up all the names of the films:

    Episode IV – A New Hope (1977)
    Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
    Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983)
    Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999)
    Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002)
    Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005)
    Episode VII – The Force Awakens (2015)
    Episode VIII – The Last Jedi (2017)
    Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker (2019)

    I watched IV and V growing up (tween) but was grounded I believe (lol) and couldn’t watch VI with everyone else. As a young teen I saw parts of II (but that freaked me out) and as later teen (I think) I watched VI (also freaked me out). So I was rather burned (gross alien stuff not my thing).

    VII came out in my mid-twenties, and I think we watched it not long after it came out on DVD. I think I was a gentle Fey or Rinn shipper or whatever that ship name was called in the first, because well, they were together all the time. I thought Kylo was a whiny baby, expected to see more than 2 seconds of Poe, thought Han being killed off was lame.

    Then I watched Rogue One on dvd and enjoyed it. Then Flowerchild and I decided to watch episodes I-VI. IV-VI have to be the worst mainstream movies ever made quality and acting-wise, the plot was okay-ish.

    Then the second movie happened and spur of the moment the day after Christmas the year it came out Dad, Flowerchild, and I went and saw, and wow, definitely starting being Reylo but not really sure if that was a thing (told you, not really a Star Wars person). Hello Kylo Ren. And besides those two and their mind games, everything else was about the dumbest thing on cinema. Ya know, good leaders don’t act like the dictators they claim to hate. The Lea fan/worship was weird. And Finn was made to be a doofus and Poe a fool, and yeah, pretty sure we came for them along with Rey so um WHY? And everything everyone did was pointless. Anything besides Kylo and Rey in the second movie is. not. real.

    I started Mandalorian. Then I started seeing and hearing more (that it was the best of the three newest) about IX, and I was getting SPOILED (why people?! Put a warning in your posts that aren’t reviews?!!!), so I wanted to see it soon. Definitely Reylo in going into see this movie. But knew that there was a sad part. Also confused thinking maybe Finn and Rey were going to end up (which was hinted at but thankfully they left that to the future in fans minds, a bit more naturally considering everything that happened in this movie).

    Anyhow, I was glad the real Finn and Poe were back and in focus like they always should’ve been. Also, sick of the Lea worship. I liked the “core” group of the droids, Finn, Poe, and Rey like old times/episodes. The Kylo-Rey scenes were awesome. I thought almost everything was done well. Except at the last, Ben and Rey should’ve always been together, should’ve killed Palpatine together, the strength of their power as a pair was so important and special and it didn’t make either of them less but them both MORE. They were always together, they were connected, we didn’t need the Mary Sue moment. I also think Ben’s death was good plot wise. And the ending was excellent. BUT I DIDN’T WANT BEN TO DIE! I know the plot is great (except for that separation in the dueling), BUT!!!!

     

     

  • Culture and Entertainment,  Reading

    What I Read and Watched: October 2019

    I’m rather burned out and unmotivated. I barely read, watched a few Hallmarks (not really in the mood for many of these this year thankfully, but really read for old favorites for Christmas).

    Books

    The Dream Stealer by Sid Fleischman. Uninspiring kids’ book.

    The Queen’s Secret by Jessica Day George. A middle-grade book that as I was reading caused me to feel like I picked up a middle book . . . I had. I’m interested to a least skim the next whenever it comes out, but not really super inspired to read the first one though.

    From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg. Middle-grade, okay, reminded me of the much more interesting How to Steal a Million.

    Movies

    Clueless. So, way raunchier than I was expecting (I guess I didn’t realize it was 90’s or think much further about that). I could have done without that. All the 90’s Valley Girl talk was hilarious though, at least I assume that is what some of it was anyway. Everyone’s accent sounded Northeastern though. The driving part is funny. Cher is funny. Cher’s friend’s boyfriend who is trying to be all ganster but has braces, that was a hilarious. The “Mr. Martin” and “Harriet” are adorbs. I generally find the modern version cuter, apparently since I loved Martin and Harriet in Emma Approved, better even than Knightley and Emma.

    I wanted to like it, but between skipping because of the scratches on the dvd and my boredom, my trying to do a million things at the same time and finish the movie before family and guests got home from church (Sunday, what a great day to watch a movie like this . . .) and the changes in the plot and far too fast plot, I was disappointed. I will try it again, but yeah. Not near as much “Mr. Knightley” as there was in the book, plus making “Frank” gay completely changed the plot. In Emma, Mr. Knightley is jealous of Frank before anyone meet him, Emma is building him up as the perfect man, there is tons of flirtation, and he generally is the cause of Mr. Knightley realizing he loves Emma, going away to try to get over it, the ultimate avowal of love etc. Yeah, that falls terrible flat in the movie. The “Mr. Elton” guy has more of a point than the “Frank” while I think that Frank holds a slightly bigger role in the book. All that contributed to the flat, rushed ending.

     

  • Culture and Entertainment

    The Book Spooktacular Autumn Favorites Tag

    I’m doing the tag that Ashley from the Mad Dragon Hatter created which I found on Ink Castles blog (my lucidity right now is STELLAR as you can see). Well, I do like fall/autumn because I love pumpkin, ginger and spice, molasses-y goodies, but um, all the sad, scary, and sinister is usually what I avoid, except curiously, in murder mystery novels (but those can freak me out don’t get me wrong). I also HATE skulls (like I don’t even like reading/typing that word) and bones born of my life-long phobia (I wouldn’t call it a phobia now, I feared them so when I was younger, that my mood was affected if I saw animal bones y’all). I do sparkles, princesses, and glamor for dressing up for Halloween; it’s clearly not really my holiday. So, bear that in mind.
    1) movie with all the autumn vibes
    Any vintage murder mystery, actually many vintage movies seem to fit autumn period. Let’s go with Laura though.
    2) song that you associate with autumn
    Oh, and I’m also not the biggest music person. I do think any minor-key or sentimental or folk-songs type music fits fall.
    3) book with ghosts
    The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing. Not really a fall book, and the ghosts were NOT my favorite thing, not the kind of magical realism I like, I’d prefer them more in actual fantasy.
    4) scariest movie you’ve seen
    I’m going to go with the 2015 BBC And Then There Were None. It has to be the most disturbing thing I’ve every finished, I’m usually long gone before then.
    5) the best autumn quote

    “I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”

    ― L. M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

    6) book cover with all the autumn vibes
    7) your favorite candy of the season
    Um, all of them with chocolate in them? I like Milky Way, I also love the Midnight Milky Way (is that special for Halloween maybe, don’t know).
    8) movie or book with themes on death and rebirth
    Ah, this is too philosophical for me. And probably also scary, unless you want to count Fawkes the Phoenix in Harry Potter.
    9) Youtube channel you associate with autumn
    Well, I’ll just put Shipwrecked because they produced the Poe webseries, I’m planning on watching.
    10) your favorite fall beverage
    Another of my made for Spring-ness, but I don’t really like hot beverages except for hot chocolate which is obviously Christmas and winter. So whole milk for my gingersnaps.
  • Culture and Entertainment

    What I Watched: September 2019

    Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse. I was over-stimulated by all the comic sound effects and colors although I greatly appreciated the artistry of it, quite fun. I also found it quite hilarious in the beginning, but then I got bored half-way through, just wasn’t impressed by the plot.

    Suspicion. Eh, rather boring.

    And Then There were None. SPOILERS! Short version: sensitive people, beware. This is the BBC/Acorn Media 2015 miniseries version. Ok. Um, so many actors I recognized. And oh, my stars Aiden Turner! Let’s be real, this is the real reason I was watching, and he was SO much more handsome than I’ve ever seen him in the Hobbit films or photos (I haven’t watched Poldark nor will I). Plus his attitude, plus his Irish accent. But he was a serial killer! So, clearly, this contains spoilers people.

    I didn’t remember the book beyond the killing everyone off part. This might have been the first Christie I ever read, although looking at Goodreads it isn’t on my shelf. Maybe this is the one I tried to read in play form, maybe I really didn’t read it?! Anyway, yeah, I was shocked by the fact that everyone (well, almost everyone) killed people, usually murdered. From what I looked up later on Goodreads, it looks like a couple characters were made worse (particularly the policeman) or technically worse (Turner’s character, apparently it was negligence not the mass murder the film implies, but I can’t say that the death meted out in the book sounds like a better way to go, so I don’t know that he really is worse or not). Anyway. I was more and more disturbed as I went on.

    First, any murder mystery even if followed word for word with nothing added for effect, exaggerated, etc. is going to be harder to watch than read. Second, this was SO atmospheric with the music, setting, and the constant switching to the kitchen and the cutting, storing, etc. of seafish, meat, and entrails REALLY freaked and grossed me out. Third, then of course the worsening (?) of the crimes and the flashbacks to the crimes and just the overall portrayal of the people. Most of them didn’t seem only like murderers, but crazy people or psychopaths, including of course, the orchestrator. Fourth, the absolute goriness of the the deaths are shown, not in broad daylight, mostly of the film is gloomy, but you really get a view. Also, after the beginning of the film, you see NO ONE else. Not, apparently like the book, in which these crimes are discovered.

    All this to say, watch with caution or not at all depending on your temperament. I had (combined with other factors) two nightmares from it. I had been recommending it to my sisters, and then I had to go back and give a warning. I don’t think they are as easily spooked as me. And this what this is. I don’t like violent films, but you can look away in fight scenes and all that. This eeriness, this mesmerizing suspense, plus gore, that really gets me. Okay. I think everyone has been warned sufficiently.

  • Culture and Entertainment

    What I Watched: July 2019 (Mainly That 70’s Show Ramblings)

    Because of Endgame, I was inspired to watch Ant-Man and Ant-Man and the Wasp. I preferred the first. I was annoyed by Ant-Man when I was first introduced to him in Civil War, and so I wasn’t inspired to watch his movies, but like almost everyone, he was amazing in Endgame, so I was intrigued and went back and watched his movies. They were quite fun, especially the first.

    Now, if you don’t care about fan-girling, you can skip this (I usually find it annoying too, but, well here we are), but really, watch That 70’s Show.

    I was still watching That 70’s Show well into August. I pretty much ended watching at the 6th season but skimmed for Jackie and Hyde parts in the 7th. I’d been skipping more and more starting with season 5. Then I turned around and started over skipping in all the seasons but increasing to end somewhere in 6. Man, I love all the good stuff in the show and am so disappointed that it could have been so much better. TV people have got to stop being so greedy and trying to add ridiculous plot-lines and heart-wrenching and/or petty drama that ruins characters simply to extend seasons.

    This doesn’t matter nears as much for a mainly episode based show like Psych (although it’s still annoying), but this show need more continuity. And everyone was SO old. Extending the show 5 seasons was quite enough of a stretch between age and plot-line.

    Jackie and Hyde should’ve gotten together in season 3, Eric and Donna should’ve gotten back together in season 4, Kelso should’ve kept goofing around and maybe gotten a job (he clearly wasn’t meant to pair off or grow up as fast as the others), and they should’ve let Fez keep his sweetness and sass instead stripping it from him and ramping up his pervy-ness and also, not made Caroline crazy, they were so cute originally. They should’ve rounded out everyone’s growth and set them on their first year out of high-school with happy hints for the future in season 5.

    I have so many words I wrote on Jackie and Hyde (and the whole show), but I’m going to keep it short since I will have to gather and collect them (and maybe next re-watch I’ll have a post including why I just love Hyde and their relationship), and because other people have already written some awesome posts such as this one on their relationship and all the depth (a must read). This one is good too.

    Here’s a light one from Playbuzz.

    Here is why we love Hyde.

    For any other heart-broken Jackie and Hyde shippers (Zenmasters), here are some playlists

    This one is on all their background sweet moments, like I mean, this was one of my favorite things, so natural and sweet, I’ve never seen anything like this in film or tv. I mean that sets the tone for everything.

    Here and here are compilations of them with music. I didn’t save this one, but there is also a video someone did using show clips to portray their ending as it should have been.

    Here and here are video lists of why they are an awesome couple.

     

  • Culture and Entertainment

    Personality Links: Personality Types as Students, Retail Workers, Etc.

    Frank James has this hilarious series in which he portrays each Myers-Briggs type in a particular situation. The most recent one is students and I think that is my favorite (works for college too), but retail workers is close too.

    Another YouTuber Bogdan Yakubets (he doesn’t have a playlist) also does these type of videos. He has different ones from Frank James, I think the 16 personalities in a Fight is the funniest, but then I tend to be combative type.

    I have this folder full of links for link posts, and I feel like I’ve used these before, but I didn’t see the posts, so oh, well.

    Personality Geography of the United States. This is so interesting. Kentucky is one of the most introverted and turbulent. Um, yeah.

    World Personality test. This categorizes some major countries by personality (each country has one), and then matches you to your country personality match. You then can see which country you got, which countries would also work for you, which countries wouldn’t work for you, and then the stereotype map (how others view the countries) and the introspection map (how countries view themselves). I guess the most accurate place would be when the view of others matches the view of themselves (biases cancel out).

    I got Germany, I think the first time a few years back, which is VERY rules based, so NO. This time I got Argentina, but I thought they were supposed to be the snobbier country of South America(?), so I don’t think that would work either. I’m not a chill person, but I only want to be around chill people (those are the only people who could handle me, lol). What is the most laid-back country?

     

  • Culture and Entertainment,  Reading

    What I Read and What I Watched: July 2019

    I didn’t read much in July. I brought several books on vacation and barely read at all. I was not in the mood, but my younger sisters started watching Psych and got me hooked again. I’d meant to rewatch those at some point. I remember one blogger recently asking if people preferred Monk or Psych. Since at that point I’d watched Psych 7 years ago and Monk recently, I wasn’t sure. Oh, it’s Psych all the way. I was SO thrilled that this show stood the test of time for me. The first time I watched it the 7th season was still airing, and between waiting for episodes and not likening the feel anymore, I quit in the early episodes of that season. This time, I quit sooner. I actually feel the show falls in quality in season 6. But before that, yes, just my thing.

    It’s also the first real adult U.S. television show I watched. I think Castle was next, but I didn’t really watch that in order, not sure that will have the same appeal either. Any show needs to end many seasons sooner than it does. Even ones I enjoy. The other shows I’ve watched in more recent years like Parks and Rec and Friends, well, I don’t think those will stand the test of time. I didn’t enjoy them near as much as expected. Television shows are such a “commitment” to me, that I usually (now anyway) see things on Pinterest or clips on YouTube and watch, then I have to feel like starting them.

    I’d seen clips and quotes from That 70’s Show years ago, but I wasn’t ready to commit, nor I think able to handle that humor then, don’t get me wrong, Fez almost always crosses the line so far he isn’t even in sight (why couldn’t they have focused more on his naivety and sweetness?!), and there are things the other characters say that bother me too, but oh, my, now, I LOVE this show. And by this I mean the early seasons plus Jackie and Hyde, there are only 6 (5 and 6 are a joke for most characters as they are overused, flattened, or made out of character and their plot-lines are mostly soap operatic) seasons, 7 is a joke (as Jackie and Hyde join the character and plot devolution and soap opera drama) and some stupid fanfic got made into a season unwatched, unmentionable, nightmarish. I think the show should’ve stopped at 4 or 5 after putting Jackie and Hyde together in 3. I don’t like everything in Jackie and Hyde’s relationship (all the drama which is such lazy writing, plus so out of character for Hyde), but wow, overall one of my (if not my) favorite couples ever, I knew they were going to be together before starting the show, and I was shipping them so hard. Of course the writing fell short of this couple’s potential starting at the end of 5 and reappearing again in 6 and then ruining everything later. All this sounds like I hated the show, but I loved the beginning plus Jackie and Hyde so much that the disappointment in the later seasons hurt. So much potential wasted.

    Dad bought Avengers: Endgame the day it came out on digital and we watched it that day. I hadn’t cared for Infinity War, I was barely paying attention by the end (probably shouldn’t watch dramatic/action films on my laptop), but I greatly enjoyed this one. And Thor, oh, my. The I got up the next day and watched Spider-Man: Far from Home which was the main reason I’d wanted to watch Engame, while I enjoyed it (although I got there 10-15″ after it started), it didn’t live up to my expectations (this is why I just CAN’T be allowed to look forward to movies!!!). I didn’t care for the plot, it felt kind of “filler.” Plus a bit disappointed in Peter and M.J.’s romance, it felt rushed and not as cute as it should’ve been, perhaps it should’ve been slower and resolved in the next movie.

    Now for the books.

    Then There Were Five and The Four-Story Mistake by Elizabeth Enright. #2 and #3 of the Melendy family, very charming, possibly a bit lower than middle-grade? Except something sad/scary in #3, so parents should preview first.

    The Chief’s Daughter by Rosemary Sutcliff. Another short story, probably the shortest of hers yet.

    Ordeal by Innocence by Agatha Christie. Not my fav.

    Thornyhold by Mary Stewart. Enjoyable, a bit different than her usual.

  • Culture and Entertainment

    YouTube Comedy Favorites

    I know I’ve mentioned John B. Crist before, his latest collaboration with Trey Kennedy is Honest Wedding Thoughts and it is spot on.

    I guess I hadn’t realized Trey Kennedy was another YouTuber (shows how disconnected I can be, apparently he was a fairly popular Viner?) until now, um, guys, he’s hysterical, he’s funnier than Crist, I think. Here is the spot on Real Life Translations. What people say, or rather I should say Americans, maybe more specifically, Midwesterners and Southerners, and what they actually mean. I’m not great at either lying or being polite, so I’ve probably said or implied some of the actual thoughts, and sometimes certainly expressed them on my face if I was silent. I’m sure there is a middle ground somewhere. I’m trying to reach it.

    Also, he does a lot of basic people stuff like Crist, like this one with the mom and technology part. I was at work watching this in the break room on lunch with a cold, and the moms and technology part, oh.my.stars; I was cry-laughing hysterically, and I do mean hysterically, and I was a disgusting mess, luckily nobody came in. His facial expressions are absolutely killer. I think that is an essential part of humor for me (and why I think he’s funnier that Crist, although Crist’s vidoe concepts are more often funnier?). I prefer Tim Hawkins to Brian Regan (many if not most of my siblings prefer Regan), and that is part of why.

    And his basic white people song (you know, Starbucks, Target, terrible dancing, pumpkin spice lattes). Hysterical, of course, I don’t think I’m “that” basic which is probably why I find it so funny, but then I am a basic homeschooler, and I love all Blimey Cow’s essentially basic homeschooler stuff.

    YouTwoTV. These two are just hilarious. The channel is more PG-PG13 btw. I think I start first watching the ones like this about strict parents or Indian vs. white parents, etc. They are hilarious as are the more mature girlfriend/boyfriend ones. Although, my parents were/are (that distinction comes between the older children vs. the younger children, I tell my much younger siblings they have a totally different set of parents) waaaay more like the strict ones.

    Also, all the videos, posts, etc. in general I’ve seen about strict parents feature sneaky kids, yeah, I was too afraid, not even capable of that, wouldn’t have wanted to do that. Y’all, there is only so much strictness possible if you go to public school, I mean your parents can’t watch you at school.

    Anyway, I binge watched them awhile back, and now I’m binge watching them again (they have a TON of videos). Their annoying/types of people series are hilarious too, like annoying people on Instagram or annoying people on social media. Everything is basically.

    Personalities at job interviews. And this other guy’s various different personalities in love, at school, etc. These are funny, but I think if I knew all the Myers-Brigs personalities better and had one that really was “me,” I’d find it even funnier.

  • Culture and Entertainment

    What I Watched: April and May 2019

    The Perfect Date. This was so awful I’m ashamed I finished it. The lines were like stereotypes of cliches of stereotypes. Just absolutely mind-numbingly stupid.

    Little Women (modern). This was adorable. I loved the switching between past and current times. I liked the professor and didn’t like Laurie, so I wasn’t near as mad about how things ended up. The portrayal of the March family and their uniqueness was just so stinking cute (also, love the homeschooling). All the individual girls portrayals were great, everyone a good age. The acting wasn’t great, I obviously think Laurie is a character worth doing well, and I wish John and Meg had more time, but since I frequently get so frustrated at how Little Women is portrayed plus the actual story, and this was quite a refreshing little movie.

    Khoobsurat. So, shallow points here, I think my sister and I were talking over attractive actors, and she told me I had to watch this. I’ve never watched a Hindi-language film, so that in itself is interesting. And then the setting, the clothing. The switching between English and Hindi and the switching between the speaking of actual thoughts and speaking was awesome (although confusing at first as I didn’t realize at first some things WERE just thoughts). The main actor is sooo handsome, also the serious type, so super attractive, and the film is just overall hilarious.

    The Proud Rebel. Hamlette mentions Alan Ladd all the time, so I decided to watch some Alan Ladd movies. This was not a hit, I was so bored, not sure why I made myself finish it. I’m still going to watch more of his movies, I’m particularly interested in This Gun for Hire.

    The Matchbreaker. An indie film from my list, I think I skipped a lot, I was mostly into the film for the friend (who was hilarious) and sister romance.

    Avengers: Infinity War. Eh. Mostly explosions and boring fight scenes. I was watching this online and was definitely on other browsers and tabs for much of it.

    The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer. Cary Grant, Myrna Loy (two of my favorite classics actors but didn’t love them together), and Shirley Temple (what little I saw as a child of her child-acting annoyed me, and she’s still annoying as a teenager, her facial expressions heighten the annoyance, especially as she’s too old for that here). An uncomfortable premise to modern audiences, not any chemistry between leads, not hilarious enough for me.

    The Amazing Adventure. Cute glimpse of a young Cary Grant. His romantic counterpart was boring, but overall the plot was interesting, could be seriously improved upon though.

    Operation Petticoat. Tony Curtis and older Cary Grant (this is the Cary Grant* I saw too much of when I said I didn’t “get” his appeal; he’s good here as like a foil or something to Curtis). Hilarious screwball. Screwball is quite my cup of tea right now.

    When You’re In Love. I need to not watch blah movies just because Cary Grant is in them.

    Talk of the Town. I’m more for Cary Grant screwball comedies, but another person might enjoy this better. I think it’s worth watching for the last scene which I rewatched at least twice more.

    Holiday. I think Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn have great chemistry. This wasn’t my favorite movie, not quite hysterical enough for me, but I liked it. I’d also have liked it better if I wasn’t fighting with the absolutely awful itunes. Seriously, it was awful. I’m not buying anything on itunes again. The lag is so bad its unwatchable, and they have such stupid protections, so I can’t move the files easily.

    Royal Wedding. I just don’t care for Fred Astaire nor dancing movies too much really, I do admire the talent, but I get bored. I also didn’t find it overall that funny.

    Aladdin. I’m just going to copy paste my comment from Hamlette’s blog. “I didn’t love the animated Aladdin. I know I saw it a couple times growing up, but I’m not sure we owned it, so I didn’t watch it as much. It doesn’t have quite the nostalgia, I guess? Anyway, I didn’t care for it much rewatching it as an adult; the story overall, Jasmine’s brattiness, the Genie’s jarring modernity, Jafar was too much. I love the music though, and I think I’d forgotten about all the songs except “A Whole New World.”

    So, I didn’t thinking I’d see it in theaters. Some of my siblings went (they like the original). Then I heard a clip of Jasmine’s song, and was like,”No, I really need to see this in theaters.” So I did. And I greatly enjoyed it. A lot of what I didn’t like in the original was changed enough plus the overall costuming, setting, etc. is just gorgeous in live-action. Jasmine is SO much better. I loved Will Smith’s Genie and how they blended him into the story both in terms of his actual story and the lessening of the weirdly modern aspect that threw me off in the original. I liked that there was enough change to make the story richer (similar to the ever-perfect similar Cinderella) but not to distract from the story (like in Beauty and the Beast, also, that one was spoiled with star-struckness, too many stars)

    Because I’m me, and because this isn’t Cinderella 2015 (which is the most perfect movie ever made, I kid, maybe) I did have some quibbles, Aladdin’s jarringly modern North American accent. I guess I didn’t realize he grew up in Canada, I feel like his accent stood out more than anyone else’s?

    I think the music and vocals could’ve been better. Except for Jasmine’s song, that blew everything else away.

    …And then there is Jafar’s pipsqueak voice.”

    From Friend to Fiancé. A Hallmark, fun, but not a fav. I feel like a watched or rewatched another Hallmark with Mom, but maybe that was just when we attempted to find one, and I just didn’t care to see any we had. I have one more I want to watch from the Spring, but I’m doing pretty good and not relying on them. However, now I need to nip my mediocre oldies and regular moderns in the bud.

    *I’ve decided there are three Cary Grant “types.” His younger roles are the aware, slightly sarcastic, sweet-idealist types. His middle roles are the more cynical, sometimes oblivious, highly sarcastic types (the more screwball roles, my absolute favorite), and his older roles are the often humorless/not very funny, grouchy types (seriously, he seems like he’s always frowning in many of his older roles).

    Westside Story. Clearly didn’t make too much of an impression on me seeing as how I only remembered I’d watched it after I saw Studio C’s Bollyside Story. Like I said before, not overly crazy about too much dance stuff. Tony, well also Maria in theory, but Natalie Wood is annoying (also NOT Hispanic, neither was Bernard either, which made the love story drama just ridiculous, yeah, I know it was the 60’s but seriously?) were the only people I cared much about. Tony was too pure for that world, didn’t make sense that he’d be best friends with that other dude (who by the way played the precious Gideon in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, talk about opposite roles).

  • Culture and Entertainment

    What I Watched: March 2019

    I didn’t watch many movies this month, more television mysteries. We geniuses just realized (actually we had to be told), that since my dad has Amazon Prime (for how long I don’t know, probably years including ones when I paid for my own, ouch), we can watch his Prime video. Duh. I don’t love Prime, it’s not worth it to me to pay for it, but since now it’s free, I want to make more of an effort to find things to watch, so I’ve been going through my movie list. Of all the 153 movies I’ve currently checked, about 26 are on Netflix. I discovered Big Country (which I’d not heard of and which I greatly enjoyed) by searching Gregory Peck in the search bar, so I think I should try that option to find more movies/shows not on my list.

    Hallmark

    A couple movie mysteries. I’m happy to state that I’ve not watched Hallmark in weeks though.

    Classics

    Platinum Blonde. Eh, some funny lines, but overall, eh.

    Period Drama

    Middlemarch. Interesting (and awkward, I skimmed parts, intentionally awkward, British authors do know how to write some awkward situations, they just happen to be excruciating to watch). A couple of recognized actors or siblings of actors (of course, I feel like I’ve seen every not-super-famous British actor/actress multiple times, it can be interesting, it can be annoying if you know, Fudge is in everything, that actor IS Fudge in everything). I don’t feel it does the book justice AT ALL. I’m now wanting to reread it again.

    Television

    Monk. I’ve been hearing about this show/meaning to watch it for ages, and I’ve been going through it with my grandparents. It’s so funny and cute, despite being murder mysteries. Thus far, the mystery element hasn’t been great (and that’s saying a lot, I’ve watched Hallmark mysteries), but at least it hasn’t scared me too much. It’s the characters who are interesting. We started at the beginning which was made in 2002, but which if I didn’t know it, I would have said the 90’s since apparently 90’s styles extended into the early 2000’s (ugh). Apparently, 90’s is resurfacing too, but in cuter ways (scrunchies, I still cringe a little though).