"The book is a film that takes place in the mind of the reader." ~ Paulo Coelho

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Movie Review: STAR WARS I: The Phantom Menace (1999)

Hello, everybody!
I am so sorry that I have been so absent. I had a lot of posts planned for last week, but I had to suddenly go out of town and am finally back.

Anyway, as this is a movie review blog, I should review at least once movie a month, eh? (My minimum is supposed to be three, but that didn't happen). As you can see from the post title, I'm doing a STAR WARS review, and since I only do those on rare occasions, today, March 31st, must be a special day! You are correct in thinking that: it is Ewan McGregor's birthday! He plays Obi-Wan Kenobi in the prequels. Also, for some reason a lot of the reviews I've done this year have included him. Huh.
I am reviewing the STAR WARS movies in the way that they are made. If you haven't seen them, I cannot stress enough how important it is to watch them this way!! If you don't, some of the best moments in movies are spoiled. If you are to watch them, do it in this order: IV: A New Hope (1977), V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980), VI: Return of the Jedi (1983), I: The Phantom Menace (1999), II: Attack of the Clones (2002), III: Revenge of the Sith (2005), VII: The Force Awakens (2015), & VIII: The Last Jedi (2017). You don't have to watch I, II, & III, because they are not the best, but it is interesting to know the back story.

Enough blabber, I'll get to it! This review today will be a bit longer because I have a lot to say.

My guarantee: On ALL of my reviews there are NO spoilers unless I give you warning.

STAR WARS I: The Phantom Menace (1999):
"A long time ago in a galaxy far, far, away..."
With trouble on Naboo, two Jedi Knights take Queen Amidala away from there to plead the Senate to help her. Their ship being damaged, they land on Tatooine to get supplies. There Qui-Gon Jinn meets Anakin Skywalker, a nine year old slave who is great with mechanics and offers his friendship to the Jedi. Qui-Gon gets himself into a trading agreement that all depends on whether or not Anakin can win a pod race. All the while there is a mysterious figure that seems to be controlling the Senate, who are they?
"You Jedi are too reckless."
Genre: Sci-Fi, Fantasy.
Length: approx. 136 minutes.
Costumes: 8, there is nothing bad, but (and I think this is the first time that this has happened on this blog), they are a little over the top, but in the wrong places! I would love to see less CGI, but Amidala doesn't need fifteen different crazy outfits, see?
Script: 9,
'"Do you hear that?"
"That is the sound of a thousand terrible things coming this way."'
Directed by: George Lucas.
"There's always a bigger fish."
Written by: George Lucas.
Liam Neeson as Qui-Gon Jinn.

'"I have a bad feeling about this."
"I don't feel anything."'

Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Natalie Portman as Padmé.
Jake Lloyd as Anakin Skywalker.
Ahmed Best as Jar Jar Binks.
Hugh Quarshie as Captain Panaka.
Ian McDiarmid as Senator Palpatine.
Pernilla August as Shmi Skywalker.
Anthony Daniels as (the voice of) C-3PO.
Kenny Baker as R2-D2.
Frank Oz as (the voice of) Yoda.
Oliver Ford Davies as Sio Bibble.
Samuel L. Jackson as Mace Windu.
Ray Park as Darth Maul.
Peter Serafinowicz as Darth Maul (voice).
Terence Stamp as Supreme Chancellor Finis Valorum.
Silas Carson as Nute Gunray, the Viceroy.
Keira Knightley as Sabé.
Richard Armitage as a Naboo pilot. (He isn't credited, but he's there!).
I was reading the credits and it said: "Jabba the Hutt as Himself". What does this mean?
Cinematography: 6, ugh, there is so much CGI! And it really isn't that good. I get so tired of it. The race is fun, though.
Cinematography by: David Tattersall.
Music: 10!! Oh, I love it!!
Music by: John Williams.
Quotes: 7, "What, do you think you're some kind of Jedi, waving your hand around like that?"
Storyline: 8, there is fighting, and death.
"Greed can be a powerful ally."
Age Range: A 6 year old boy that I babysit loves this movie. Seriously, he watches it all the time. So, he is fine with the violence.
Overall Score: 7.5.
Bonus thoughts:
"Are you brain dead? I'm not going in there with two Jedi." (This cracked me up!)
First off, I want to talk about Jar Jar Binks. I know that a lot of people really criticize him, and I understand that, but it is not Ahmed Best. He does a great job, the best he could have done with Jar Jar (I actually talk in his way a lot, mostly when I'm tired). I don't like Jar Jar Binks, because of the way George Lucas wrote him.
I usually like back story, but these prequels make me so sad! I just know all of what is coming. Speaking of, I hadn't seen this all the way through since the first time, which was in 2015 (and I was sick so I didn't remember a lot). When you rewatch it you cringe because you can see everything that is going to happen, it is so obvious! I know that I couldn't believe that I didn't see it the first time (but, as I said, I was sick, so I was a little foggy).
All in all, there are parts that I like, but I could just cut a lot out because it takes too long. And, I love seeing Ewan McGregor as a young Obi-Wan! He does such a good job.

Thank you so much for reading! Do you have a favorite of the prequels?


Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Emily of New Moon Read-Along: Chapters 11-17

Hello, again!
Sorry that I have been really absent this month, I have some things planned to make up for it. Anyway. it's time for the second discussion in Amber at Seasons of Humility's Emily of New Moon Read-Along!!
It has been so much fun to read this, I hope you all enjoy my thoughts on this next part! For Amber's thoughts this week, click HERE. And, for more thoughts, click HERE for Julie's post!

Spoiler alert! If you haven't read Emily of New Moon, don't read any more of this post! It is a really sweet book and I don't want to spoil it for you.

Emily of New Moon ~ Chapters 11-17
Discussion Format: your favorite quotes, general impressions, and five questions to answer for each week's reading

Favorite Quotes:

"The little clap-boarded house topped a small hill, over which tansy grew in a hard, flaunting, aromatic luxuriance, rising steeply and abruptly from a main road."

"Life tasted good to her again---'Tasted like more,' as Cousin Jimmie said."

"It is raining tonight and it sounds like fairies feet dancing over the garret roof."
(Emily's spelling, not mine.)

"I think God is just like my flash, only it lasts only a second and He lasts always."
(Oh, this is so beautiful!!)

General Impressions:

I love reading Emily's letters to her father, they are so sweet and innocent. I love how everything flows for her and how she is so happy when she is writing. She has such lovely, beautiful thoughts, it is a delight to read, even if her spelling is a little off sometimes. Hey, I struggle with that, too (Spell check is really helpful).

She does get a little over dramatic about some things, but I can understand that being that way myself. I hope that with all of her little adventures and "tragedies" she will learn some things, but that she will always stay true to herself.
"...but I am sorry---or ought to be---to have to state that Emily's conscience never worried her about the matter at all."
(See what I mean...)

It has almost been a year since she has been at New Moon! I'm glad that she finally has found some real friends in Ilse, Teddy, Perry, and even Jennie. I love how she is helping Ilse to grow in her faith and Perry in his manners. They are such a fun "rag tag band".

Cousin Jimmy continues to be my favorite! He reminds me a lot of some people I know. I love this quote about him:
"For a little while he was strong and young and splendid and beautiful, accredited master of song to a listening, enraptured world."
Aunt Laura is such a dear, and she really is trying to understand Emily that even at times when she doesn't I love the effort that she puts in. Aunt Elizabeth... I feel like she is coming around. She is so proud of being a Murray, sometimes I wish she could just forget about that for a moment. Emily claims that Elizabeth doesn't love her, but I think deep down she does.

Oh, what is the matter with Miss Brownell!? She is a horrible person. Why does she pick favorites? Why does she hold grudges over tiny things? I do not understand her. I was hoping that in these chapters she would redeem herself, but my new hope is that they just get a new teacher.

Discussion Questions:

1. If you could have Ilse, Teddy, or Perry as your friend, which one do you think you would get along with the best? Which one do you think would help you grow the most?

Wow, this is a really hard question! I feel like Teddy would help me the most. I often fell really insecure about anything that I do, that I am not good at it a therefore shouldn't be doing it, where Teddy loves to draw and it makes him happy so he does it. I feel like that could rub off on me.

2. What did you think of Emily's response when Lofty John suggests she's eaten poison? How might you have reacted similarly or differently?

To be truthful I would probably have thrown up, even though it wasn't poison my mind would tell my stomach to get rid of it ASAP.

3. Which scene did you find the most humorous in these chapters? What part particularly made you laugh or smile?

Aunt Elizabeth telling Perry to come down right away when he said he couldn't. I don't know why, but it surprised me into laughing out loud!

4. Imagine yourself as a student in the classroom when Miss Brownell is reading Emily's poetry—or in the house when Miss Brownell comes to speak with Aunt Elizabeth. How would you feel, and what might you do to come to Emily's aid during or after the incident?

Being home schooled I haven't ever been in many classes, but in the few I have been in (even though I am an introvert) I find myself very talkative. In this class I might be nervous because of Miss Brownell (who wouldn't be?), but I would have done something to help. Either help Perry throw things at Rhoda or distract Miss Brownell in someway (I am very good at this.)

I always want to hear both sides to the story, so at New Moon I feel like I could have gotten Aunt Elizabeth to listen to Emily.

5. If you lived at New Moon, which season would be your favorite to experience?

Winter!!! As I will never stop saying I love snow!!! This made me want to be there even more:
'To-day the sand-hills were softly rounded and gleaming white under the snow, but beyond them the gulf was darkly, deeply blue with dazzling white masses of snow like baby icebergs, floating about in it.'

But, that said, I would love to see Cousin Jimmy's garden.

Thank you to Amber for hosting this! Have any of you read this? If so, tell me your thoughts!

Thanks for reading!


Monday, March 11, 2019

Emily of New Moon Read-Along: Chapters 1-10

Hello, all!!
Today I am here with the first discussion of Amber at Seasons of Humility's Emily of New Moon Read-Along!
I have only read most of the Anne of Green Gables books (which are some of my favorites) by L. M. Montgomery, so I was really excited to join this! Go read Amber's thoughts HERE.

Oh, also I apparently thought that it was Emily of the New Moon. I don't know why, but I just typed that out everywhere. I've fixed it now.

Spoiler alert! If you haven't read Emily of New Moon read no further!!

Emily of New Moon ~ Chapters 1-10
Discussion Format: your favorite quotes, general impressions, and five questions to answer for each week's reading

Favorite Quotes:

1. "And for companions she had all the fairies of the countryside--for she could believe in them here--the fairies of the white clover and satin catkins, the little green folk of the grass, the elves of the young fir-trees, sprites of wind and wild fern and thistledown. Anything might happen there--everything might come true."

2. '"You could eat off her floor."
"I don't want to eat off the floor. I don't care if a floor is dirty as long as the tablecloth is clean."
"Well, her table clothes are clean too, I reckon."'

3. "I thought books belonged to everybody."

4. "This is one of the places where dreams grow."

All of L. M. Montgomery's descriptions are golden!

General Impressions:

I have never read about a character like Emily Byrd Starr! She loves to dream, but she is also proud, though she denies it sometimes. She isn't like me, but I feel like I can understand her (except I do think she could've been nicer to Ellen Greene).
'"Oh," cried Emily, dancing down the garret stairs, "I feel as if I were made out of star-dust."'

I love to write, so I really relate to her love of writing, though I'm not as eloquent.
"It would hurt her with its beauty until she wrote it down."
I  nearly cried when she burned her book! I was so shocked! That is just so sad to me.

My favorite character is Cousin Jimmy! He is so sweet! I feel that there is just a big misunderstanding between Aunt Elizabeth and Emily, and that it could all be worked out if they listened to each other and tried to understand. You have to love Aunt Laura because she is so nice to Emily, but I want to be able to know her more.

I love the idea of "the flash"! It is so beautiful, every time it has happened I have almost cried, even though I'm not seeing what Emily is seeing. Funnily enough, I used to be able to see "fairy paper in the air" like she does, but with me it was whenever I was looking at a ceiling. I could imagine (and it seemed so real!) that the ceiling wasn't that high and it was just floating in the air.

I don't know why, but the quote that really impacted me was:
"For the fairies dwell only in the kingdom of Happiness; having no souls they cannot enter the kingdom of Sorrow."
It is just so beautiful and sad.

Discussion Questions:

1. What did you think of Emily's life before her father passed away? What stood out to you as wonderful or sad?

I think that she didn't have a care in the world. She never had to worry or be afraid. The saddest thing to me is that we didn't get to know more about Douglas Starr! I feel like he was marvelous. The most wonderful thing that stood out to me was this thought of Emily's:

"One couldn't be afraid or bitter where love was--and love was everywhere."

2. Which of Emily's Murray relatives has made the greatest impression on you so far in either a positive or negative way? What is it that makes their character so striking?

Well, as I said above, Cousin Jimmy. He is so honest, sweet, and not strange at all to me. Every part with him so far has made me smile.

3. Are you a cat person? What did you think of Emily's choice between Saucy Sal and Mike?

I love all animals, but I'm more of a dog person. Her choice made sense to me, but I think I would have picked Mike if I was going to live in a strange place.
"'A living present is so nice,' she told Ellen, 'because it keeps on getting nicer all the time.'" 
(Talking about kittens)

4. Are you a fan of poetry like Emily? If you enjoy reading it, do you prefer blank-verse or rhyming poetry? What's your favorite poem you've read or written?

It seems like everyone in my family is a fan of poetry, but I'm not really. I would rather read a novel than poems. But, I love to listen to music and song lyrics are poetry, right?

5. What are your thoughts on Emily's school experience so far? If you could step in and make changes to the system, what might you do?

I don't see why her teacher didn't read that line of poetry again! It would have made Emily so happy. I can see how order is necessary, but the teacher shouldn't be mean.

Big thank you to Amber for hosting this!
Thanks for reading! What do you think of Emily of New Moon?

"If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, where you stop your story." -Orson Welles