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What I Watched January 2019

Once again, Hallmark craze (or just laziness) takes over.

Hallmarks
Jingle Around the Clock. Cute except for a period of slanderous jumping to conclusions.
A Midnight Kiss. He acted, she was non-human. And the writing/plot was dull.
Winter Castle. Cute.
One Winter Proposal. Cute. This was a sequel and actually ended up good. It won’t beat the first, but it was decent (my only Hallmark sequels previously, that I can remember, were the awful All of My Heart ones)
A Winter Princess. Cute.
Winter Love Story. The girl who plays in this always plays whiny, selfish, bratty, petty idiots. This was no exception.
Snowcoming. The girl in here is an awful actress and the couple had NO chemistry which is too bad since this had the possibility to be good with better acting and writing, the concept was really sweet.

Classics
The Shop Around the Corner. I’d been meaning to watch this, but our library didn’t have it; I watched it on Google Play with a $0.99 deal (I watched You’ve Got Mail and now I need to watch In the Good Old Summertime). Um, I adore watching Jimmy Stuart, he is so handsome (until he aged to ancient in his 40’s!), but man, the girl is this is AWFUL. She’s shallow, petty, cruel, doesn’t look his age, she’s not pretty, yet she is absolutely cruel and snotty and bullying to him about his looks and mind and worth. And he still likes her and wants to be with her?! Definitely disappointing.

My Year in Movies: 2019

I don’t track my movies with near the precision of my books (I don’t bother with re-watches, I’d quickly lose track), but I have started tracking movies with Letterboxd. And a few days ago, I received an email with my movie year in review from Letterboxd which was a fun surprise. I think I didn’t put all my Hallmarks for this season in yet though, so its not totally accurate on the number of films and hours. I did some updating.

And then I realized that Letterboxd has a duplication problem; you can have multiple entries (and multiple counts) of the same movie, so that completely defeats the purpose. I then exported, deleted, updated, and edited my list of watched movies. So now I have an Excel list, but I’ll have to manually add the date of the movie, etc. However, it is easier to mass add the category tags in Excel. I wish there was a better site, but there doesn’t seem to be. Maybe I can somehow juggle both (clear out my account and import everything back in, and then add movies more carefully? And then export, cut the ones I’ve recently added and brush it up?).

I probably should track re-watches to track my overall movie watching habit, clearly the Hallmarks are waaaaay out of hand.

Per the email and my memory/Wikipedia. I think I watched some Hallmarks that were new to me but not new this year, I’d have to check. This is as accurate as its getting right now.

  • I watched 61 new-to-me films
  • My two biggest categories were Hallmark at 27 titles (I’ve watched 140 Hallmark movies out of 437 movies I’ve counted, this merits another post) and Classics at 16 titles
  • My most watched actor/actress was Lauren Bacall (6: Designing Woman, How to Marry a Millionaire, To Have and Have Not, The Big Sleep, Key Largo, and Dark Passage)
  • My most watched director was Howard Hawks
  • My 4 highest rated films were Spider Man: Homecoming, Testament of YouthI am Dragon, and Thor: Ragnarok

Movies I’ve Watched: November 2018

I’m going to leave off Hallmark so I can do a larger Christmas post of them

Vintage

The Philadelpia Story. My sister-in-law mentioned how funny this was, so I was rather disappointed. I didn’t find it all that funny. There were a few funny bits, but most of it was boring, and some parts made be angry (e.g. her absolutely horrid father who blames her for his immorality).

Breakfast at Tiffany’s. This was interesting and funny in parts a bit tedious in others. Paul is basically the Ken doll in human form. Okay, not that bad, I found him attractive. But yes, Ken. I think the movies should’ve ended before it did (a bit after her brother dies if not before); Holly ends up looking rather rotten at the end. Skipped Mickey Rooney’s racist  scenes.

Some Like it Hot. Funny, and oh, my word, uncomfortable. A couple of not-very-brave and possibly not very bright musicians (well, Joe’s not, Joe was quite clever when he wanted, the lies that boy told to get Sugar to chase him and to kiss him more . . . Jerry on the other hand, Jerry was demented) witness a mass gang machine gun murder (please, not this is NOT what I expected, I thought like one person was shot with like a pistol or something, so just FYI, and this happens twice!!). So these guys (and to heighten the ludicrousness of it, the filmmakers picked the most manly built guys ever, broad shoulders, muscular limbs) dress up like women to escape. And of course they both are interested in the same girl (Marilyn Monroe who is, another warning, dressed or rather undressed rather worse than a tramp . . . if you think modern movies are bad . . . ). . . and are rather creeps. I thought it funny, but not hysterical, not a favorite.

Animated

The Lego Batman Movie. Fairly funny (in a super goofy way) at first, then tedious and sanctimonious for the rest.

Movies I’ve Watched: October 2018

I’ve sure been hitting my vintage stride. Hallmark has bored me (which is good considering my embarrassing spree over the last years), and I’ve really been needing comfort movies and classic comedies have been hitting the spot, or rather classic movies period, I just prefer the comedies, so I’m going to try to load up on more.

Classics

Mr. Deeds Goes to Town. Both sad and boring, but oh, my, young Gary Cooper is stunning. Also, he looks like Jason Isaacs, so so much.

Monkey Business. Absolutely hysterical. Cary Grant is a comedy genius (definitely like him better now that I’ve seen and understood him in his best role type instead of comparing him to the dreamy  Gregory Peck or handsome sweetheart Jimmy Stuart or the appealing Peter O’Toole who are my romantic favorites). I definitely want to own this one.

How to Marry a Millionaire. Not as nearly as hilarious, but still fun.

To Have and Have Not. A sort of different version of Casablanca. I liked it slightly better, but rather boring still. Bacall and Bogart together, yes, definitely iconic.

The Big Sleep. This and Dark Passage were my favorites of the Bogart/Bacall pairing. I think that this was the better movie, but I actually think I liked the other better or at the least romance was better in Dark Passage. Bogart is better in this murder mystery stories. He’ll never be a crush or a favorite, but I understand better his iconic status

Key Largo. Boring and too many horrible death of innocents.

Dark Passage. See notes above.

Hallmark

Pearl in Paradise. Eh.

Falling for You. Cute.

Under the Autumn Moon. Eh.

 

Movies I’ve Watched: September 2018

Hallmark

Love in Design. Not one of the better Hallmarks.

Modern

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. I like some of it better than the book. Peter, for example, he seemed like a nice kid. In the book he seemed like a two-faced player who’d never really change). Laura Jean came across sweeter in the book; she seemed more selfish and mean in the movie. Of course, I’m not crazy about somewhat realistic high-school relationships. Super uncomfortable about some of the stuff that goes on there. And overall, the message/plot/movie is silly.

10 Things I Hate About You. Hilarious and yet so, so sweet in parts.

She’s the Man. We were screaming with laughter, and I was cringing and hiding my eyes at the unbelievable awkwardness. And young Channing Tatum playing soccer. Oh. my. stars.

You Again. This was so funny in parts. But I didn’t like the sappy ending (maybe sour grapes because I don’t like the people who seem to get everything their way, but seriously, it wasn’t satisfactory plot-wise).

Classics

Gaslight. Too scary and yet too boring for me.

Designing Woman. This was quite funny. I hadn’t seen Lauren Bacall before, and she looks way different than any pictures I’d seen. She and Gregory Peck don’t match at all in looks. He is fine featured, she is huge featured, and her deep voice takes away from him. Also, I think I prefer him, in shall we say, more gentlemanly roles. I’d still watch again though.

What I Read and Watched August

Scrolling through my Goodreads, looking at August books, why does the beginning of August feel so long ago (oh, because it’s close to October now).

August was NOT a good reading month.

I only re-read items. Books 3-7 of HP at the beginning of the month and Jane of Lantern Hill towards the middle.

I’m thinking I watched a lot of YouTube like I did this month. I miss good blogs. I started a month of Netflix in August too. VERY disappointing. I’m not sure what things I watched in August and what I watched in September. I think August was mostly “Friends” and rewatching “Parks and Recreation.”

Oh So Sheltered . . . and Clueless

I was watching Blimey Cow (first clue of being home-schooled which is the first clue of being sheltered). I watched their two sheltered videos and took the quiz in this video.

I gave myself a 22.5. But I think the quiz is a sheltered person’s sheltered quiz, meaning that it really should be higher, lol. Other things to add might be the news (we were never allowed to watch, didn’t watch into adulthood, tried, couldn’t sustain it) or electronic devices as a category (my first of my own was a flip-phone at 19, and we had no gaming devices besides the computer until the Wii a while back). Because there were six of us split into two categories, the older ones tended to be more sheltered (one of my sisters took the text, and she was a category down, not unexpectedly) and stay sheltered/ignorant?/naive? for longer.

Also,  mixed together for me (when I was younger, I’m not so clueless now). Some people are sheltered, but they can start to put the information together pretty quickly (all of my younger siblings). Other people aren’t sheltered, but they don’t connect all the dots on certain subjects. And there is obviously a variety of mixes of “sheltered” and “clueless.”

Of course in the Internet age, all that “innocence” is VERY fleeting; trust me, I wish I could have some of it back, I don’t want to understand dirty and words and innuendos jokes so quickly.

Let me give you a rather (in my opinion) hilarious example. The Bible doesn’t fit most of a sheltered person’s parental advisory standards (violence, sexual themes, etc.). I did understand the concept of rape and sex (mainly from the Bible) as a preteen, and those stories that spelled things out, I obviously understood after the age of knowledge, but it wasn’t until near adulthood that I understood some of the stories (although I might have if more obviously different and specific words, like say, “harem” or “concubine” had been used in this particular story).

I thought Esther and co. were being interviewed by the King (Veggie Tales and other childhood versions gave a me a solid background understanding that I didn’t think to question after the age of knowledge); I didn’t understand “women’s quarters” meant “harem” which might, although possibly not, have led me to understand what the “interview” actually was! Let’s be real, that story is pretty horrid; that also, probably assisted in keeping the veil over my eyes, I wouldn’t have dreamed of such a thing being possible.

 

 

Jane Austen Festival 2018: Part 2, Regency Food and Regency Beauty

Because of a goof on my part, I wasn’t able to sign up for the teas on the first day, and so they sold out, but I put our names on the waiting list as soon as I could and received a call about openings just a few days before, so I was thrilled.

We had four types of teas from Bingley’s teas. I am by no means a tea connoisseur; I don’t often like it, period (I prefer cold, rather plain beverages of the milk, water, and fruit juice/lemonade variety). I have Emma’s Perfect Match and Marianne’s Wild Abandon which I bought at one of the earlier events, and I don’t care for them much (although I think perhaps the blending of the teas has improved since the early days?). I also tend to “need” a lot of sugar to enjoy them which is off-putting; I’d rather have a less-sugary sweet treat I like better.

However, I did enjoy my syrups teas more this time. We tasted Captain Wentworth (least fav, too strong for me), The Dance of the Musgrove Sisters (second fav, I think), The Patience of Miss Price (my favorite and one I want to buy), and one other (a rose, cherry, and green tea blend, I believe). I don’t know if only two of the teas were Bingley’s and the other two were one of the other company’s (Hellinger Kurtz Kaffeehaus or The Blessed Bee Herbals) or if Bingley’s had new blends that aren’t on their site yet. While perusing their site just now, I realized, I found several more I want to try! Although, sacrilege of sacrilege, I’d probably prefer them iced.

On our early wanderings we discovered the Half-Crown Bakehouse (Mom went back later and bought some bread for Sunday) which featured foods with names that were a blast from my childhood past such as Sally Lunn bread and Queen’s Cakes (Felicity cookbook anyone?!). I’m in the mood to research about historical foods after discovering The Townsends, a historical food YouTube channel, via Brijee Pattern’s post.

I really appreciate the delving into historical aspects beyond fashion. My mother mentioned that this time it reminded her of Colonial Williamsburg (I adore that place, I’m wanting to go again, but I’d like to go for an event in historical dress now). The Living History feeling.

Another aspect to that was the beauty/apothecary place: LBCC Historical. Historical beauty recipes . . . sans heavy metals, lol.

Since I’m decidedly Marianne, I bought the Marianne set although I’d love the Jane one (rose!) as well; I hope they make the sets again, they were a special thing for the festival, I think.

Jane Austen Festival 2018: Part 1, My Festival Background

Because I apparently don’t document anything, I had to rely on a comment I left on another blog to determine my festival attendance. I attended 2010-2013 festivals.

Some aspects of the earliest festivals

  • Contained to the back yard (I think the porch is the back side of the house)
  • Only two days
  • Smaller (and it was more local/regional while now it is THE national JA event, I think; according to this year’s handout, the first year had 660 and last year over 2400, and I’m assuming this year was even larger?)
  • Fewer venders
  • Less serious costuming (I know some people dressed in regency at the earlier ones, but my grandmother says not the majority while in 2018 it was the opposite; and the quality of the “regency” outfits tended to be far lower earlier while now it seems to be far more accurate and detailed)
  • The majority of the activities were the teas and the talks in the big tent

I feel that around 2013 the size and attention started to explode, and I got overwhelmed plus rather done with the event (too often plus waning interest in the era and author).

Here are some posts from bloggers who attended some of the earlier festivals: 2012 (one and two) and 2013 (one, two, and three).

What I’ve Watched Recently

YouTube Highlights

The Bucket List Family on YouTube. Super cute family traveling the world. I also love their collaboration on the Home Love channel for their Hawaii house.

I was trying to find some goal and planning resources and happened across Lavendaire. I love her aesthetic, it is so feminine and soothing; sometimes planning resources can be more hardcore and masculine seeming with bold fonts and colors. I’m absolutely buying her Artist of Life book for next year.

Television

Clips from Friends. I’m not a television person, but since I have a huge diatribe below, I keep this short. I just wanted to watch the highlights after I started looking up Chandler who is definitely my soulmate. I remembered I’d got him when I took a Friends quiz ages back, and I think one my siblings said I was Monica. So I’m like him and should marry him?

Movies

The Greatest Showman. Fun for one watch, but the music and some scenes (belong to certain songs) are worth re-watching. But the sound seemed weird, reminiscent of La La Land; to me it sounded like some of the voices were suppressed in comparison to the music. I also didn’t feel that most of the singers were the best chosen (especially Hugh Jackman, ugh, although he wasn’t as bad as in Les Mis because Les Mis weirdly has everything sung/chanted), I want super strong voices, although with what seemed to me the technical suppression, it was hard to tell what full intensity could be. Also, I felt that when I listened to “Rewrite the Stars” Zendaya’s voice was more suppressed than Zach’s. I’ve only heard her in in Disney’s Shake It Up, but for some reason I had the impression her voice was stronger than that. I felt that the actress who played Jenny Lind had the best voice or at least wasn’t suppressed/auto-tuned to the same degree the others were. The inconsistency in voice quality, auto-tuning, and sound balance irritates me in modern musical film (e.g. the ludicrous difference between the soaring voices of Raoul and Christine in Phantom and Gerard Butler’s pitiful “singing” which I was totally judging against Ramin Karimloo, no one could win against him I know, but Butler’s singing was excruciating). I don’t like when huge stars are chosen for essential who cannot sing (Emma Watson, Gerard Butler), but the film-makers will. not. use voice-overs. You will shorten songs (in a iconic musical?!) and auto-tune (again, in an iconic musical?!), but using a real singer’s voice is just too, what? Good of an idea? End of musicals rant.

Black Panther. Rather boring.

27 Dresses. This was fun for one watch but quite shallow.

To Kill a Mockingbird. I missed a bit and as with many older or more serious movies, I need to watch again to soak in everything. I want to re-read the book too.

My sisters found a set of the first four Thin Man movies at Barnes and Noble, so we have been re-watching those and introduced my married sister and her husband to them. Nick and Nora are just a scream sometimes.

Art Fair Haul

For the past 4 or 5 years, I’ve attended a local arts festival with my grandparents (I don’t have a single photos of us there, hello, lady, document some memories). I do remember to take photos of what I get (so important) after though.

I bought a clutch from a refurbished leather jacket. A handwoven towel (I would probably use as table runner) from the historical part. Various bath and body goodies. Sterling silver necklace and earrings (peridot, my birthstone). Three beautiful mugs. A poppy bowl.

What I’ve Watched Recently

I have fallen off watching Hallmark mostly because Mom stopped, thank goodness. I would come home from work with no motivation and will-power and just agree every time she asked. I hope this lasts.

For my third free streaming trial recently, I tried Netflix again. When I had Amazon Prime and Netflix ages ago (maybe at the same time for a short period, I’m not sure), I always thought Netflix had more choices, but I don’t think they do anymore, maybe because they are focusing on their own films and shows. Anyway, definitely not for me either, most of what I would watch was stuff I’d already seen, and I didn’t try to look up old movies (my list is intimidatingly long). I did luck out on Thor.

New Watches

How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days. Rather like a dirtier Hallmark movie.

13 Going on 30. This was cute although I wish Mark Ruffalo’s (he was so adorkable) character was in it more and there were more romantic scenes.

Part of Doctor Srange. Cumberbatch drew me in, but then I got bored.

Part of Breakfast at Tiffany’s. I wasn’t super inspired to finish and Netflix shut down or shut down on me on my last day. I do want to finish, but I doubt it will be a favorite. Ken, I mean Paul while handsome, isn’t Peter O’Toole or Gregory Peck, and I prefer Hepburn’s more innocent characters.

Thor Ragnarok. I hated the preview. While by this time, I wasn’t expecting to hate it, I didn’t think I’d like it. These low expectations probably made way for me really enjoying it. I rewatched it in the same week.

Re-Watches

Leap Year. I love this movie, but I need to stop watching it for awhile. I’ve watched it three times in the last two years.

I re-watched Sherlock and then rage quite before the fourth season (which I’ve never seen). I’m not besotted with Benedict Cumberbatch like I was when I first watched the first two seasons. I don’t think they are near as clever nor as subtle and understated (yes, I thought they were subtle and understated and refined and all that jazz; I was early twenties and so very un-subtle and awkward myself, I think I can be excused). However, they ARE clever (the first two seasons) in such a quotable way.

Before the third season, I had fun re-watching them and looking at them through cooler adult eyes. I can also understand more (the first two seasons clearly weren’t marketed toward U.S. audiences and although I’d seen many period dramas, I had trouble understanding modern British speech as I suppose they weren’t making an effort to be understood). I understanding why I fell so hard for Sherlock/Cumberbatch (in Doctor Strange, he could draw me, the old magic was still there, but it didn’t last; partially probably because his horrible American accent (not his job at it, just the accent he had)

The third season is as bad as a remember although not quite the shock to my senses it was when I first watched it. Because I’m thoroughly over the lure of the series, and I’m not sure I was quite then or I hadn’t re-watched the first two seasons to awake a bit more to the reality of the drama, meaning the contrast between the first two and the third is not as great, unfortunately, as I thought then. The first and last episode of the third series are truly dreadful in the mediocre, melodramatic, abysmal ludicrousness. I remember reading a blogger describe how in the fourth Pirates Jack is a caricature of himself (how much more so in the fifth then?!), well that describes Sherlock in this season. The second episode has a good bit of a mystery, but not enough.

Despicable Me 2. We did a family pool night Saturday and watched a movie/by in the pool. We were going to watch Captain America: Civil War, but because we were impatient we wanted to start a movie before it was truly dark enough to see the screen properly and choose the animated movie to see better. This was a really fun experience. Then my youngest sisters and Dad almost immediately watched Thor: Ragnarok, inside though.