• Culture and Entertainment

    What I Watched: December 2020

    This is very ’90’s early ‘0’s and Star Wars heavy. I of course watched plenty of Hallmark, but it peters out towards Christmas when one has been overdosing since November. I started using my Disney+ more this month than I did in November.

    Friends. I think I was still rewatching bits of Friends during my week long HBO trial.

    I’ll Be Home for Christmas. I think I saw the last bit of this movie years ago. I think I was surrounded by Jonathan Taylor Thomas growing up without having seen any live action movie he was in. Its been so long since I’ve seen The Lion King (need to rewatch that while I still have Disney+), that his voice didn’t trigger memories, he just looked familiar in that 90’s ’00’s way.

    10 Things I Hate About You. Rewatch. Again, ’90’s vibes and nostalgia, I was too young to have watched this anyway when it came out. But all the teens and tween around me growing up would have dressed like this. There is just familiarity in movies of this period even though I only have seen them recently.

    Solo: A Star Wars Story. This is NOT Han Solo. Also, way to make Lando look like an sulky idiot . . . that droid part, what the freaking what?! Han and Lando were both supposed to be that jaunty, bad boy, devil may care types. And sorry those types don’t spring from the non-entity (in the former case) and goof (in the latter case) types. Besides the script, I don’t like the casting for Han, but they could have given Glover a far better chance to shine, he had some good parts, it’s just the whole movie was so, well, blah (and that robot part, what the f people?!).

    The Mandalorian season two, I’d dragged my feet on watching The Clone Wars and Rebels and just went ahead and finished the Mandalorian. Luke’s appearance signified that they are dropping the non-canon absolutely absurd newest films. Glory hallelujah, I enjoyed aspects of them, but sorry, they ain’t Star Wars or rather they are Star Wars lazily and terribly repackaged.

    The Clone Wars. I love these, I love these, I love these! THIS is Star Wars at it’s full potential, this is the real, true stuff. I officially fell into true Star Wars fan with these, and it makes me understand the fury of the original og people at the absurdly lazily written new movies. I turned to these as something to watch while I worked on last minutes presents, and then I was sucked in and watched them on Christmas Eve and Christmas.

    I wish I’d watched the Clone Wars and Rebels before I finished The Mandalorian, it would have made the appearance of Bo Katan (presumably, I haven’t yet watched Rebels) and Asoka Tano SO much more significant, especially the latter, I saw she was in Clones, but that was just a slight thing, I knew nothing of the series, she could have been one of many random characters . . . then I actually watched it, and she’s Anakin’s padawan! I didn’t like her for the first few episodes but then it got better, so much better, I love the older brother/younger sister dynamic.3

    This show, oh, my stars, its SO cool, it so much better than the movies. And guys, Anakin is COOL in this, so cool. Not the whiny pretty boy he is in the movies. And oh, oh, it makes me so much more upset that he becomes Vader, I relate to his attitude so much.

    Also, his back and forth with Obi Wan is great. I remember I wanted to punch Obi Wan for his pompous legalistic rule following attitude and total lack of empathy for Anakin in the live action, I felt that he was partially responsible for driving Anakin away, that he wasn’t being a good mentor at all.

    Also, you want strong female Jedi, look to The Clone Wars. These are talented, TRAINED Jedi, same as the men, not Mary Sue’s like Rey was, sorry, you don’t just hope in, no training required.

    However, it bothers me that the “good” guys are producing clone armies of living humans while the “bad” guys are producing non-living drones. So who is getting more killed really? Lambs to be slaughtered is what it feels like the Republic is doing.

    The ’90’s and early ’00’s nostalgia is strong for me right now. I wasn’t allowed to watch anything I’m watching now or I freaked out (in the case of the Star Wars prequels), but I was surrounded by merchandise and advertisements and little bits of shows and previews and the styles, so a lot of things I don’t “know” have that vibe which I recognize.

    I was 8 when the first and 14 when the last prequel came out, so I was surrounded by prequels stuff. I feel like there is just so much vying for attention now, I don’t think the dominance of the prequels then can be compared to anything now. I think this is part of why I SO love The Clone Wars, it takes me back to what I was surrounded by growing up without the disappointment those movies actually turned out to be watching as an adult.

  • Culture and Entertainment

    Attitudes Toward War Exemplified in Friendly Persuasion

    Earlier this years, something in the Speaking with Joy Chesterton episode with Boze Herrington triggered me to think about the topics pacifism/just war/protection in Friendly Persuasion (I love this film, it is so sweet and homey and unexpectedly deep) with actors Gary Cooper, Dorothy McGuire, and Anthony Perkins. It centers around a Quaker family in Southern Indiana during the Civil War. It is not mainly a war film, but the war is significant because of the call of volunteers and the ravaging Rebels coming over from Kentucky combined with the Quaker stance of pacifism. In thinking over this issue, I realized you could really see many different views towards war in the film.

    • Militant pacifism in the mother. She is self-righteous and unrelenting in her total pacifism and her judgement towards those who think differently, even in the face of her son trying to fit his conscience to a nation at odds with itself and his conscience. She doesn’t exactly relent, but I think she soften towards others some.

    • Gracious pacifism in the father. He is steadfast in her total pacifism but understands that others do not feel the same, like his farm laborer who is a former slave, and his son, who he understands is wrestling with various commands in the Bible and his conscience and the state of his nation.

    • Conflicted pacifism in Josh (I’m started to sometimes swing closer towards here, not here, but close; however, like with many things I’m a pendulum) (also, I looooove Josh). He knows and respects his parents beliefs and has made some of them his own, he seems to definitely prefer pacifism and peace, and he doesn’t want to kill or have hate in his heart, but he doesn’t think that watching innocent people get killed is right either.

    • Traditional honorable just war view held graciously by Guard (where I traditionally fall) (also, I looooove Guard). To Guard, it is simple the war is just, the Rebels are wrong, he sees it as his duty to fight and lead and does so honorably. He goes away to war, he leads the ragtaggle group of farmers protecting the farms against raiders, he swiftly calls to order the person who gives out the Rebel yell who is spoiling for war and who jeopardizes their position by the noise and scaring the other volunteers with the yell. He doesn’t shame the Quakers for thinking differently from him. I don’t feel he pushes Josh anymore than Josh’s father does, and certainly less than Josh’s mother.

    • Selfish Hypocrite in the Quaker Purdy who claims pacifism when it benefits him and revengeful violence when it benefits him.

    • Warmonger in the Rebs ravaging the country-side as well as the farmer volunteer who gave out Rebel yell.

    All of this is portrayed so well. Any preaching is real preaching in the story, not preaching from the script to the film watchers. The thoughts and discussions and dilemmas feel real and intense. And this isn’t even the only theme of the story. Oh, this is SUCH a good movie.

  • Culture and Entertainment

    Laughter: Screen Rant Pitch Meetings

    Y’all, after I schedule this, I will have under 30 drafts! I started out with over 80!

    So, this channel has over 7 million, but I only this year discovered this hilarious series.

    Mulan. The part about “removing all the fun stuff,” yeah, that was basically my view of Mulan. I thought it at least was supposed to based on history, and more culturally accurate, HA, apparently there are also videos critiquing that. Yeah, I decided not to waste my time, I don’t like the animated except for the fun stuff which they disappeared, I saw bit while I was eating and my sisters were watching, but yeah, I’ll pass.

    Hunger Games.

    “Well there is not really any food in the district, so by the way the actors are gonna have to look skinny and malnourished, and well, hungry.”
    “Okay, would you settle for having beautiful, well-fed actors that are in terrific shape?”

    Harry Potter.

    “Voldemort’s going to plan something evil every year, in the spring.”
    “Nice of him to keep the school schedule like that.”

    “I’ll be honest, that plan sounds super inconvenient  . . . seems like there would be an easier way to get that done especially with magic being a thing.”
    “Yeah, well that’s going to kind of be a theme in these movies . . . well, we’re gonna establish some magical things that would solve a lot of problems but then the character aren’t going to use them.” Bahahahaha!

    Beauty and the Beast. The servants getting a worse punishment than the prince . . . Also. This:

    “This all takes place in provincial France, so you’re going to have to find a bunch of you know British actors.”
    “Don’t you need them to French accents, cause I can get French actors?”
    “No, they should be British and speak with British accents. They can also be American, but they have to speak with British accents.”

    This logic brings the Scarlet Pimpernel to mind . . .

  • Culture and Entertainment

    What I Watched: November 2020

    Edited 12/27/20. Um, so I left off several things I watched because I didn’t look at the list I was keeping.

    An Inspecter Calls. I can’t recommend this to everyone, its very dark, very dark and hopeless, doesn’t end well. I don’t really agree with the social portrayal, its far too simplistic and takes agency away from one character. However, I did tell one of my sisters that it seemed to be quite her style, she likes depressing stories. She said she was a first offended that I said she’d like it, and then by the end realized, yes this is her type of thing.

    The Lady Vanishes, the newest version. I greatly enjoyed this. Why I like a certain level of scary mystery and dislike much else dark, I have no idea, perhaps because vintage style mysteries often don’t have sympathetic victims and the bad guys are always caught and dealt with?

    Gosforth Park. Don’t recommend, nasty is the best way to describe it, like a sort of less nasty, less dark version of that abomination Penhallow I read earlier this year. I should have stopped watching it. I discovered later that Julian Fellows made this, and Downton Abbey was supposed to be the follow up to this. That enlightened me a bit, DA made be feel a bit nasty, it has nothing on this.

    I watched Clueless again I think.

    The Final Fix. This is a hard watch (also, warning, someone dies, I’m not sure exactly why I was shocked considering the subject matter, I guess I was shocked because it was included, like this is real people, not a movie, although it’s not like they had control over that), but it is very important. It deals with an potentially life altering and societal altering treatment for opioid addiction that mainstream medicine has been ignoring for decades (per the film).

    The Mandalorian. I’m behind now (so no spoilers!) because I really need to watch Rebels and Clone Wars, because characters from there are starting to be introduced. So, baby Yoda isn’t so cute now. I could barely watch that episode. We were talking about it, and my brother was like, “yeah, we knew you’d hate that episode.” I think I’m behind two episodes now, I think I need to watch Rebels and Clone Wars first.

    Lots of Hallmark (both channels, some new, some old). Christmas in Vienna (the best?!), On the 12th Date of Christmas, The Perfect Christmas Gift, Five Star Christmas, Timeless ChristmasGood Morning Christmas, A Nashville Christmas Carol, The Angel TreeWe watched more, but these were the best, not sure how to rank, tried to rank in order. I would watch the first view again (I have watched Christmas in Vienna again). None of them have the same sparkle, quality, depth of the older and up to maybe 2016 group. I’d dropped off keeping track, but I don’t think there really have been any that would make my list recently.

    Rewatched The Princess Diaries again. Oh, that is SUCH a comfort film. One of the few live action films that I have nostalgia for (because we didn’t watch much until we were older). I think I saw this at 10 or 11.

    Rewatched lots of Friends sections, someday I will make myself sit through every minute of every episode.

  • Culture and Entertainment

    Endgame

    I wrote this after watching Endgame what was, it a year, two years ago? I have a problem with delayed responses to movies, I wrote this list out and then delayed writing it out into a real review, but since I’ve already done this, and I don’t like deleting things, I’ll try to brush it up a bit.

    • Brought back all the Clintasha chemistry, since there are so many iterations in the comics this is cannon as is Cap Am romance, not sure on that weird Hulk bit, ( but neither of those other flings felt like this), I mean I don’t love the characters, but I love them together. I love Katie’s theory about how he was married before he met her, because y’all, no WAY would he have married anyone else after meeting her.
    • Honorable hero duo Thor/Cap and the long-forgotten movement of the hammer. I knew it would be Thor!
    • Thor, oh, my stars. A scream. Definitely rounded out the movie. However, I do prefer handsome Thor (he looks his best in Ragnarok).
    • Rodey’s lines.
    • Cap and Peggy
    • Nat and Tony’s character arcs, two characters that can really get under my skin
    • Not too much of Cap M
    • Scott Lang’s arrival back: I think the fact that I didn’t know his story made this part even more poignant than it already was. I greatly disliked him in Civil War, but in this movie he intrigued me enough to watch his movies, which I greatly enjoyed.
    • So many awesome entrances
    • Hilarious music
    • Perfectly timed humor
    • The whole plan
    • Peter’s preciousness
    • I love almost every major character, even the ones who’ve previously and still annoyed me
    • I did wish there was more Bucky
  • Culture and Entertainment

    Disney Live Action Opinions

    I’m going to try to see if I can really clear out my drafts. I have 40+ I think, plus all my random word documents with opinions and Evernote notes. I think I’d like to post more because I clearly have a lot to say, albeit possibly lots of repetitive things, not super immediately, because I’ll always regret my hastiness, but on the weekend, when I have time to think things through. I also don’t think everything has to be super polished, and I think that often when I try anyway I get tangled up in my words, so it ends up making less sense anyway.

    Anyway, this draft is composed of two long comments in response to Disney posts.

    This post by Eva.

    I think fairytales/Disney and remakes involve, to say the least (not in order of importance)
    1) Nostalgia or lack
    2) The major fairytale plotline (or lack) and Whether the person prefers one plotline before another
    3) The quality of the remake in several areas, song/sound/music quality, plot quality (improving or flattening, adding or distracting) plus the person’s personal preference in that area
    4) Whether the promotion of the remake had an effect.

    This is going to be a huge comment (probably will make it into a post). I love discussions like this, that promote analysis of movies, books, etc.

    For reference I grew up watching Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast a lot. Aladdin a few times. I adored the Cinderella remake, one of my favorite movies of all time. Beauty and the the Beast was a let-down. Aladdin was a surprise like.

    I think nostalgia can play a part in how much you like childhood favorites, like some movies (or books) seem to almost “need” to be watched in childhood to understand all the love. But I don’t think this necessarily means one will always love the film as an adult or will never love the film as an adult. I don’t think I LOVE my childhood favorites in the same way or rather am not obsessed (sometimes it might have been obsession not love, I was one for constantly rewatching). I haven’t seen some in years. I saw Tangled (came out during my adulthood) as an adult and loved it. I saw Tarzan (came out during my childhood) as an adult and loved it.

    A lot of the “original” films were based on (highly romanticized) fairytales or literature in the case of Lion King, Hamlet, and Aladdin Arabian Nights e.g. they already had time-tested plots. Some people may just prefer (stripping away all other elements for the moment) some plots to others. For example, I for one, think I just really love a Cinderella plot line over Beauty and the Beast. In other cases, the outworking of the plot may affect the preference of the movie, perhaps in cases where the person doesn’t have strong feelings for the original fairytale plotline.

    I grew up on Beauty and the Beast. But I think that maybe my love was childish/nostalgic mainly, i.e. I don’t overall love the plotline as much and don’t love it quite as much now? I don’t know, I just felt my much younger sisters loved it so much more than me. So, I don’t think I had the “oh, no, my favorite must be perfect.” I just am a stickler for excellent adaptations. And here is where things really mess with me.

    Plot-line wise, I have an innate preference for Cinderella over Beauty and the Beast period. Then the filmmakers in adding changing to the plot-line in Beauty and the Beast remake, took it in directions I didn’t care for both in preference and in quality.

    The promotion. I am FAR better off, having low-zero expectations. Cinderella was not over-hyped. Beauty and the Beast was. That is NOT the only reason, I loved the first and didn’t care overmuch for the second. I think the promotion was in direct opposite proportion to the quality.

    Those who produced Cinderella seemed to not focus on fanfare to the detriment of the quality while those who produced Beauty and the Beast did. And um, Kenneth Brannagh produced Cinderella and that shows to me, and the Twilight producer did Beauty and the Beast, and I think that shows. For me, it’s not a nostalgia thing, it’s both my plot preference and what I consider quality.

    For Aladdin, I don’t care for the original one much, and I thought I wouldn’t care for this, but I was surprised and liked it. And the same time, I still thought that it had some quality issues. But because I didn’t love it and wasn’t tied to loving it, I think my expectations played a far larger factor in my overall liking for it?

    This post by Katie.

    I don’t know about bitter, I think it might be high expectations or unmet expectations or complete changes of “remakes” or things that don’t work well.

    I grew up on Disney, I don’t see live-action as true remakes, but sort of a companion version. But I do expect them to be good movies, and live-action entails some different artistic standards, I think.

    Also, Hollywood is really not using originality for a LOT of movies lately, and I think remakes are an example, the amount is excessive. When a couple movies are remade or when one creative decision is chosen, the all other movies follow suit whether or not it makes creative sense and without tailoring to the specific movie, like when the Deathly Hallows was split into 2 (an excellent choice for movie, the books had so much) every other major series did even the ones with little enough material for one movie. I just feel like $$$$$ is the motivation rather than inspiration and art for too high a proportion of movies . . . like with all this extra Harry Potter stuff.

    I ADORED the Cinderella 2015, I felt that it ticked every fairytale romance box and fit in well in with the original animated and Ever After, all versions of the same story, all artistically good/excellent in different ways. I didn’t adore Beauty and the Beast, I enjoyed parts and while that isn’t my favorite fairytale for one thing, I still think it fell short, as a movie, as a musical, and as a remake.

    As for Frozen, I think I loved Tangled so much it just felt flat (the hype hadn’t hit yet). I don’t dislike it (the hype that caused me to shudder every time it was mentioned), I just don’t find much joy in watching it, its missing the salt for me. Similar with Moana. Those three I watched as an adult, as a kid, I would imagine I would’ve liked them all.

  • Culture and Entertainment

    What I Watched: September and October 2020

    I forgot to do a movie round up for September and since I’ve not really been watching much I thought I put September and October together.

    September

    What a Girl Wants. I needed a nice, fluffy funny film, and this delivered, especially a certain hilarious scene with Colin Firth dancing in front of the mirror, especially since Colin Firth always plays a variation of the same character: an emotionally constipated somewhat priggish Brit.

    “No hugs dear, I’m British, we only show affection to dogs and horses.”

    I believe I also started Oh My Venus, my first K-drama, I didn’t realize it is more like a series not a movie, so I didn’t get very far, and I’ve restarted my Hulu subscription, so I’m watching it again this month, and I’m halfway through now I think. I at first thought it dragged and was rather bewildered, but then the super funny stuff started happening.

    October

    Jumanjii 2. I haven’t seen any Jumanjii’s until we watched this on a sibling movie night. I was screaming with laughter, I will definitely have to watch the first one. Kevin Hart was a scream, my sister said she thought he was best in this one and that Jack Black was the best in the first remake. I need to watch the first one soon.

    Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Eh, after Some Like it Hot, this is really tame.

    Twelve Angry Men. Wow. wow. wow. Everyone, and I mean everyone should watch this. If you don’t know much about it, don’t learn anything, just go into it without learning, it packs its punch stronger that way.

    Youtube

    I learned about Darling Desi on Youtube from this post by Hannah of Literary Morning, but I really started watching the videos when she started doing her fall videos, talk of atmospheric, they are SO fun and inspiring! This channel is so unique. I’ve already watched two of the movies she mentioned on her mysteries video.

    Lauren Johnson has lots of fall sewing and craft videos, and I just love her aesthetic. I first found out about the glorious Rifle Paper company through her.

  • Culture and Entertainment

    What I Watched August 2020

    In July I forgot to include Miss Marple: The Moving Finger. The modern one, with James D’Arcy, which is why I watched it. It was one of my favorite Agatha Christie books, and when I randomly saw a bit with him in it, I knew I had to find it. The series is on Hulu. I loved James D’Arcy, but I think overall it was silly and the flippant comment at the end was in bad taste. I also think things were changed to give a different feel, but I usually forget most of each Agatha Christie books beyond my either negative or positive reaction almost instantaneously upon finishing them.

    I watched part of Oh, My Venus on Hulu as well. It was my first K-drama, and I didn’t realize they were so long. I assumed the English subtitles would immediately be on, but I had to turn them on, and then I still feel like I was so confused about a lot, and I don’t know where the cultural confusion started and the style of the drama confusion ended. I almost permanently quit, but then the funny parts started happening. There is one scene that was absolutely killer. Also, unlike Hallmark friends her ex was SUPER attractive, and while they weirdly feature his cheating affair, I was loving his smirking smile. And this is why women get in trouble with guys because of the “bad boy” trope. Anyway. I still have to finish this one. I’ve got a focus issue.

    Quibi the Fugitive. I’d been getting Quibi ads on Youtube videos, but since the two shows were scary or gross, I didn’t even pay attention to what Quibi was, I only figured it out later. However, The Fugitive caught my interest right away, that kind of thing is right up my alley, and I loved watching it during my breaks at work, it was a nice treat. HOWEVER, the pizzaz couldn’t cover the absolutely atrocious acting, writing, and oh, the SO many layers of ethical issues, as in, there would be no plot with everyone doing wrong.

    He’s Not That Into You. So I’ve not been into movies and television lately and when I have I’ve come up with some really pathetic ones, maybe so I wouldn’t have to think/pay attention much? Yeah, by watch, I mean skim, there was quite a been of sliding through stuff I didn’t want to watch (like you know, the cheaters, “what if he is the the ONE” see what that stupid pie in the sky fantasy concept gets you). It was boring, and for the most part too excruciatingly real to stuff I hear. You know, if you don’t want a jack***, don’t be one or don’t chase them. And when you find out that you are with one, don’t try for win that loser back, dump his/her *** the first time!!!! Also, Justin Long was super attractive . . . yet don’t date bad boys, sorry. I mean, if you are expecting a good one or to change him. If you are both openly bad to each other, have fun.

    The IT Crowd. So my IT brother-in-law introduced some of my sisters to this show. I’d seen Plant Based Bride do her husband’s bullet journal for one month with the theme of this show (although I can’t find the video, I’m starting to feel crazy but I’m sure she did one, edit, I finally found it after I commented on her Instagram asking about it, I’d looked and searched and thought I was crazy), and I may have heard of it another place. I needed something funny, I assumed I’d get lots of sarcasm as its British. I failed to account for a few things, I’d forgotten my brother-in-law’s family taste (Napoleon Dynamite and Elf both of which my sisters have informed me I’d hate) in humor, and I’d also ignored the fact that I don’t find most modern British shows/humor I’ve tried or tried to try all that funny. Actually, I also forgot to account for a type of British humor that I don’t even know how to define and which I forget about. I know if from Princess Bride but I think it also applies to Monty Python (and perhaps to Mr. Bean which my siblings love but which I’ve yet to force myself to watch more than like 30 seconds of). It is not at all dry. I don’t only like dry humor, but I like a particular kind of goofy, like Monkey Business (which also has sarcasm). This kind of humor is like intentionally bad parody. I like sharp poking fun or witty banter or real parody, but not goofy absurdism. The first episode featured more the style I liked, and Moss is darling, but I quickly got bored when goofy stuff unrelated to IT characterization dominated. Edit: also scatological humor which I HATE with a passion).

    New Girl, “We’re reverse Mormons.” There was a lot of cheap hilarity at first and then it devolved to being all about sex (or was revealed to be) and everyone and everything was boring, no one had any interests. The main girl who was supposed to be awkward and quirky just became basic. And I think Nick was supposed to be the chill, cool guy, not the needy, daddy, issues loser. Should be titled, “Trying to be Friends.” Yeah, failed at that.

    Rewatched both Apple Dumpling Gang movies and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. Where is this wit now?! Psych, That 70’s Show, and Friends have it, but is that all that is witty in modern stuff?! I’m going to make myself hate those shows if I keep rewatching them.

    I rewatched Clueless twice, I needed to hear some clever burns and to see young Paul Rudd.

     

  • Reading

    Inklings August 2020: The Apple Dumpling Gang

    I’m linking up with Heidi’s Inkling prompt series here.

    The prompt for this one was a bar scene. I haven’t seen too many Westerns, and it would have to take a super fantastic bar scene to wipe out the first one that came to mind which was one from The Apple Dumpling Gang.

    Oh, how we love this movie in our family! This movie has adventure, stellar slapstick humor, tons of sarcasm with killer delivery, genius timing, romance. It is just about perfect for a de-stressing fun movie night. Lots of quoting done by the people who can remember the exact quotes, bless Imdb for their quote section.

    Here is a taste of a few:

    Theodore: “You know something, Amos? The Lord poured your brains in with a teaspoon, and somebody joggled His arm.” 

    Frank Stillwell: “If I ever get within shootin’ distance of that doggone Amos Tucker, he’s gonna have winders where his ears was.”

    Sheriff McCoy: “You two couldn’t steal candy from a baby without coming out on the short end.”

    John Wintle: “I’m leaving for San Francisco tonight.”
    Sheriff McCoy: “San Francisco’s loss is Quake City’s gain.”

    The bar scene.

    So it really starts with the rather slick, sleek Donovan getting married to Dusty (her nickname for a reason), a no-touch, for the children’s sake marriage (see this romantic photo). Then Donovan gets right back to his gambling addiction and saddles Dusty with babysitting the kids. She takes the kids to the general store for candy and discovers (so she thinks) that Donovan bought the bed she was admiring for the two of them.

    She marches right to the saloon where Donovan is peaceably playing cards:

    “DONOVAN!”

    He looks shocked, “Who me?”

    “Yes you, you snake oil salesman! Are you coming out here or am I coming in there?

    “What’s the matter, Dusty? Is there some trouble?”

    “Yes, there’s trouble all right! And you’re in it!”

    She then proceeds to chase him around the saloon flinging epithets (among other things) at him while he tries to simultaneously get away from her and inquire why she is angry. Everyone else tries to get away from both of them while the poker and billiard area is being destroyed. One flabbergasted townsperson asked, “What happened with them two?” to which the the Sheriff replies in a deadpan manner, “They got married.”

    Finally Donovan manages to get an answer as to what the whole fiasco is about: “That’s it? The bed?” and then it’s his turn to get angry. A very quiet anger at first, “The bed happens to be for the kids, Dusty. When the nights are getting colder, they’ll need a warmer place to sleep. So the brass bed is for the boys, and the smaller bed is for CELIA!!!

    I cannot explain the hilarious way this line is delivered, but the crescendo is just absolutely killer.

    After which Dusty meekly and daintily insinuates it’s all his fault for not explaining and sweeps grandly out of the wrecked bar with Celia in tow leaving everyone in stunned silence.

    There are so many details of hilarity, sarcasm, contrast etc. This scene just perfect in conception and delivery and while this movie has tons of excellent scenes, I think this has to be the best.

    Go watch this movie.

    Also, for extra credit. Apparently a great-great-great uncle went to prison for killing a man in a bar brawl over a woman. In the great Wild West state of . . . Illinois.

  • Daily Life

    Liebster Award

    Catherine at Based on the Book tagged me with the Liebster Award. I always love any sort of tag, it means someone else did part of the brainwork for a blog post, lol. And continuing with my laziness, I’m not going to think of questions or tag people, but if you want to answer her questions, she included anyone who wanted in her tag.

    1. Which book have you re-read the most and why?

    I wish I’d kept better track of my rereads. I know I’ve read Pride and Prejudice at least 3 times I think. And HP too. But I’ve also read North and South three times, at least. And that is definitely more of an accomplishment I think. I want to read that one again, it is just so rich and ripe for analysis (I’ve written pages of my impressions of it). Plus its alway interesting to compare books with period drama adaptations (the reward of watching North and South was the catalyst of my first reading and rewatching inspired at least one if not both rereads).

    2. Which Hogwarts house would you put yourself in?

    Ravenclaw all the way. I’d be wishing for Ravenclaw like Harry wished against Slytherin. But I’d also have to wish against Slytherin as well. I’m not sneaky, but I’m not . . . well nice, good, whatever. I consider it a great accomplishment if I ever attain a neutral, bare minimum level of civility that would probably only be considered so in another unfriendly country.

    3. What is your favourite fictional friendship?

    I’m sure I have more but Sarah Jane and Mabel from Grandma’s Attic popped into mind, since their friendship was the main focus of those stories. Childhood best friends who get into scrapes together from tiny children to adults is always a fun plot.

    4. If you could bring back one TV show/series what would it be?

    Well, I think most shows need to end well before they do. And I don’t mean just are long US shows, Sherlock crashed and burned after two seasons, imho. So I’d prefer to go back in time and redo That 70’s Show, putting Jackie and Hyde together sooner. Cutting out lazy shock plotlines. Keeping Eric and Donna as good characters and sucking all the creepyness out of Fez and working in the truly good bits from the older seasons (there were some good burns). And fitting everything in 4 or 5 seasons.

    5. Which historical figure would you like to read a book about?

    I’m FAR more interested in time periods than individual people. Probably someone who had a mysterious end, I’d want to know what actually happened?

    6. Who was the last fictional character you fell in love with?

    I was in a little in love with the leading men in my some of my favorite Mary Stewart and M.M. Kaye books, but I think Max from This Rough Magic was my favorite.

    7. What’s your go-to karaoke song?

    Can’t sing and have never done karaoke.

    8. Which Disney princess/character was your childhood favourite?

    I watched Lion King, Pocahontes, Jungle Book, and Cinderella, were I think major features in my childhood. I know we owned Beauty and the Beast, at least I think we did. But for some reason, I don’t remember that one being watched as much. Maybe it was. But I think the first three made a bigger impression, which is funny, since I was already afraid of my own shadow as a child, perhaps that was the fascination.

    9. Listening to any good podcasts lately?

    Yes, sort of, I’m picky and moody. I have a podcast post in the works.

    10. Have you read any Charles Dickens and do you have any recommendations? (I feel like it’s time I read one.)

    I’ve read most of them. They do feel like a lot of work because they were serials and you definitely feel it. They are also very glum in setting, tone, etc. And well, it’s hard to like/relate to a lot of the heroines (usually the love interests of the heroes), namby-pamby or goody-goody Victorian as portrayed by a Victorian man.

    I also feel like everyone is very opinionated about their individual favorites, I mean it’s highly individual. You could always start with the more famous. Tale of Two Cities is a fav for many (I haven’t read it in years) and it’s short. But I personally think Nicholas Nickleby is a more fun one plus it has at least two recent adaptations one of which features a baby Hiddleston as a minor character. I think that Little Dorrit is also a good one with a wonderful adaptation, and less stereotyped, more full whole person characters including the heroine.

    I feel like I’m due a reread. I’m more of a Trollope person myself since starting the Barchester chronicles. I wonder why he’s not as famous? He is definitely more, refined I guess? More dry sarcasm, more realism in the gentry and nobility in the country rather than lowerclasses in London Less caricature and more foible based.

    11. Any fun websites you like to waste time on?

    Besides Youtube (probably could make a favorite youtubes page and post) which is a weak substitute for good old-fashioned blogs and my few favorite blogs (I need to update my list), and Instagram which is an excellent substitute for facebook, Pinterest, and ah, the WHO and CDC for obvious reasons . . . I resorted to my history which gave me shopping sites (from crafts and historical fashion to shoes and Amazon), banking and cc sites, and following my random interests/trains of thoughts on Google, apparently nothing very interesting. Oh, wait, Spotify (for podcasts mostly at the moment) and Audible (I should do a post on that soon too), have saved my sanity at work for most of my time there although I can’t focus on much at the moment).

    I should (I get to, I was listening to a podcast that said to reframe in grateful terms, I get to work, I get to learn, etc., especially apropos now) use:

    Seterra (that excellent geography site I keep forgetting about even though I have it bookmarked)

    Bluprint (formerly Craftsy, I have tons of purchased classes)

    Creativebug (I have few purchased glasses)

    Duolingo (I’m currently making Duo very sad)

    CodeAcademy (no time like the present to learn to new tech skills).

    Any suggestions? I know lots of services/sites/apps are offering free trials during this social distancing/quarantine period (and oh, it WILL be much longer, my sister keeps saying, “when I graduate” and “when I go back to school” her senior year is ruined). I’d like to make a list of those too.

  • 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,  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.