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

Friday, May 31, 2019

Movie Review: Zootopia (2016)

Welcome back!

For my last movie review this May (I don't know why I have suddenly wanted to review mysteries), I am going to do another of Disney's recent films, and by recent I mean in the 2000's. I was very skeptical about this one when it came out, but when I finally watched it I loved it. Enjoy reading my review!

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

Zootopia (2016):
(aka Zootropolis in some places)
"No one tells me what I can or can't be."
Judy Hopps has always wanted to be a police officer. When she finally joins the Zootopia Police Department, she is disappointed because no one will take her seriously because she is bunny! She knows that she can be helpful if they will only let her. She volunteers to take a missing mammal case that the ZPD hasn't solved in weeks. After convincing sly fox Nick Wilde to help her, they go all over Zootopia following leads. Will they find the missing otter, or will this case turn out to be much bigger than they could have imagined?
"Ma'am, I have a fake badge, I would never impede your pretend investigation."
Genre: Comedy, Mystery.
Length: approx. 106 minutes.
Costumes: 7, I mean, it is animated and they are animals, so nothing fantastic. There are a few scenes where some of the animals aren't wearing clothing.
Script: 8, they do take the name of the Lord in vain once or twice. They put a really hilarious joke in there with this line: "Life isn't some cartoon musical where you sing a song and all your insipid dreams magically come true, so let it go."
As you probably all know, "Let it Go" is the name of a song in the movie Frozen.
Directed by: Byron Howard & Rich Moore.
Written by: Jared Bush, Jim Reardon, Josie Trinidad, Phil Johnston, & Jennifer Lee.
Starring (the voices of):
Ginnifer Goodwin as Officer Judy Hopps. "I'm not going to write 100 tickets...I'm going to write 200 tickets! Before noon!"
Jason Bateman as Nick Wilde.
Idris Elba as Chief Bogo.
Nate Torrence as Officer Benjamin Clawhauser.
Jenny Slate as Dawn Bellwether. "And I sent it, and it is done so I did do that."
Shakira as Gazelle.
Bonnie Hunt as Bonnie Hopps.
Don Lake as Stu Hopps.
J. K. Simmons as Leodore Lionheart.
Octavia Spencer as Mrs. Otterton.
Tommy Chong as Yax.
Alan Tudyk as Duke Weaselton.
Raymond S. Persi as Flash.
Maurice LaMarche as Mr. Big.
Phil Johnston as Gideon Grey.
Jesse Corti as Manchas.
Leah Latham as Fru Fru.
Della Saba voices a younger Judy Hopps.
Rich Moore as Doug. "Doug is the opposite of friendly...he's unfriendly." (Sorry, I just really wanted to say that.)
Animation: 8, (here comes the rant) you all know that I'm not a fan of digital animation, but it is okay.
Music: 8, the song "Try Everything" is great!
Music by: Michael Giacchino.
Quotes: 9:
"Real life is messy. We all have limitations. We all make mistakes. Which means, hey, glass half-full, we all have a lot in common."
Oscars won: Best Animated Feature Film.
At one point, there is a moose news reporter on the ZNN (Zootopia New Network). They used this in versions for the United States, Italy, France, Canada, Russia, the UK, and Mexico. But, in other countries they used local animals. For example, there is a koala (Australia and New Zealand), a jaguar (Brazil), a tanuki (Japan), and a giant panda (China). Pretty cool, right?
Easter eggs: I'm not the best at spotting them, but I definitely saw one pointing to The Hunchback of Notre Dame. There are also references to other movies, like The Godfather.
Storyline: 9, there is some crude humor, but that's it!
"It's called a hustle, sweetheart."
Good For: Any mystery lover, any Disney fan.
Age Range: Disney movies are for everyone! There are some intense moments, but I can't imagine that it would be too much for anyone.
Overall Score: 8!
Bonus thoughts:
Now, to follow some advice:
"You wanna look smart, answer their question with your own question, then answer that question."
Do I like this movie? Yes, yes I do.
But, why?
I love the different messages of unity ("We cannot let fear divide us."), humility ("I'm not a hero."), and perseverance ("I like trying, actually."). Judy is so optimistic, it is catching! It also encourages each and everyone of us to: "Try to make the world a better place."

Thank you so much for reading! I hope that you all had a fantastic May, and that your June is just as wonderful! Have you seen this movie? Tell me what you think!


Sunday, May 26, 2019

Movie Review: Sherlock Holmes (2009)

Hello all!

Today, I am going to review for you another one of my favorites! I just watched it a year and a half ago for the first time, but since then I have watched it at least thirty times.

Am I being mysterious? Good, because it's a mystery.

Are you curious to what it is? No, because you already read the title of the post.


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

Sherlock Holmes (2009):
(Loosely) Based on: the Sherlock Holmes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
"There is nothing more elusive than an obvious fact."
Sherlock Holmes and his retiring partner John Watson have solved a mystery where Lord Blackwood was arrested and hanged for murder. They think that it is now in the past, but when Blackwood supposedly 'rises from the dead', they reopen the case. With criminal Irene Adler seeking Sherlock's help as well, will they find out how Blackwood survived and stop him before it is too late?
"Watson, what have you done?"
Genre: Mystery, Action.
Length: approx. 128 minutes.
Costumes: 6, there is a scene where someone is wearing no clothing, and a few low costumes, but good besides that!
Script: 9, I think that they use a name in vain once or twice.
'"I've been reviewing my notes, of our exploits over the last seven months. Would you like to know my conclusion? I am psychologically disturbed."
"How so?" 
"Why else would I be continually led into situations where you deliberately, withhold your plans from me?"'
Directed by: Guy Ritchie.
Written by: Michael Robert Johnson, Anthony Peckham, Simon Kinberg, & Lionel Wigram.
Robert Downey Jr. as Sherlock Holmes.
Jude Law as John Watson. "Relax, I'm a doctor."
I know that this is the typical picture but I love it so I'm putting it here anyway.
Rachel McAdams as Irene Adler.
Mark Strong as Lord Blackwood.
Kelly Reilly as Mary Morstan.
Eddie Marsan as Inspector Lestrade.
James Fox as Sir Thomas Rotheram.
Hans Matheson as Lord Coward. (Great name, right?)
Robert Maillet as Dredger.
William Hope as American Ambassador Standish.
William Houston as Constable Clark.
Geraldine James as Mrs. Hudson.
Cinematography: 10! The aesthetic of this movie is grungy, dirty, dark and light at the same time, with random blotches of color, but I totally dig it. 100%. It is awesome.
Cinematography by: Philippe Rousselot.
Music: 10! Oh, this music fits this movie perfectly! I can't imagine any other to replace it.
Music by: Hans Zimmer.
Quotes: 10! So, the reason that I don't have that many scattered through out this post is because they are so weird out of context. It is so quotable for anyone who has watched it, pretty much everyday my sister and I use a line from it, and whenever we watch it we are just saying the lines along with the actors. But, if you haven't seen it, it seems like we are all crazy.
'"More coal, doctor!"
"I see that you two are working hard."'
Notes: I'm not the ultimate Sherlock Holmes fan, but I did read the stories a few years ago, so I do notice a few things pointing directly to them:
The initials V. R..
In this movie Watson says to Mary, "Count those steps.", which is referring to one time in the stories (A Study in Scarlet?) Sherlock criticizes Watson for not noticing things, like how many steps there are.
Storyline: 6, there is a very suggestive thing where we see someone with no clothes on, drinking, smoking, use of drugs, murder, hanging, fighting, intense action, and general gruesome images. See more below!
Good For: Mystery lovers, Sherlock Holmes fans.
Age Range: My older sister, dad, and I love it. We watch it all the time. We convinced my little sister to watch it, and she hates it. She claims that it is super scary (see more below), and runs from the room anytime we watch it (when she saw me reviewing it right now she said "That's the scariest movie there ever was."). It is rated PG-13, so I'd go with that (my little sister is over 13, but still doesn't like it.) Just a heads up.
"How terrible is wisdom, when it brings no profit to the wise."
Overall Score: 8.5!
Bonus thoughts:
Now for all of that "see more below". This review is so hard to write without giving anything away! I'll try.
The reason that people fear Blackwood is because of his use of black magic. Don't run away! As a Catholic, I definitely do not like things that involve it, but remember, I love this movie. Watching it you will probably get freaked out a few times (I certainly did), but I cannot stress one thing enough: Watch it all the way to the end. I'm serious. This mystery is so awesome, you need to see everything to understand it. Some of Blackwood's ideas are Christian ideas twisted in a really bad way, so it shows that there are good ways to think about things, and bad ways.
Don't worry, just watch it and see what I'm talking about.

Thank you so much for reading! If you have seen this movie let me know so we can chat!


Monday, May 20, 2019

Why Jimmy Stewart Is My Favorite Actor

Hello, all!

Today would have been James Stewart's 111th birthday! Because of that I have been hosting a blogathon in honor of him. Make sure to check out all of the other posts HERE.
I am really picky about choosing my favorite actors and actresses. But for the last year, anytime anyone asks me who my favorite actor is I have immediately said: "Jimmy Stewart!" But, why?

For someone to be one of my favorite actors/actresses, I need to have seen them as at least five different characters. Or as my sister likes to put it, a variety of roles. I mean, I love to see Emma Watson in movies, but she has admitted that she is very similar to the characters of Hermione Granger and Belle. She is just enjoying being herself, which I do love to see! But, acting is, well, acting.

I think that Jimmy Stewart is the actor who I have seen in the most movies. I have seen him in eleven films: You Can't Take It with You (1938), It's a Wonderful World (1939), Destry Rides Again (1939), The Shop Around the Corner (1940), The Philadelphia Story (1940), It's a Wonderful Life (1946), Harvey (1950), Bend of the River (1952), The Man from Laramie (1955), The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956), & The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962).

My sister says that he plays the same person every time. But that's not true! In each movie he puts himself in a different role:

The person who learns that the friend whom he is sure is "the one" if he could only meet her, turns out to be his irritating co-worker.

Someone who wants nothing more than to travel the world, but keeps sacrificing his dreams to help others, and when his world comes crashing down, the only way he can see to help is to end it.

The sweetest character you will ever come across, who has a best friend who know one can see, and will do anything to make his sister happy.

A man who learns something that he wasn't supposed to which he knows he should tell someone, but if he does, his son's life is in danger.

A former criminal who is trying to do everything to get away from his past, but it keeps chasing him.

A lawyer who wants everything to be civilized and there to be justice, but keeps being told that the only justice in the West is with a gun in your hand.

Now, for those of you who have seen those movies, I hope that you can tell which ones I am talking about. Of all of his movies, those are the characters who impacted me: they made me laugh, cry, and sit on the edge of my seat.

He made so many movies, this is just a small portion. I look forward for many years to come, watching new ones.

He also is a very big inspiration to me! He had a hard time talking because he stuttered. He worked so hard to control it, and it comes out sometimes during his roles, but it only makes them more powerful. As someone who has had trouble stuttering, for me it is amazing to watch him.

Thank you for the memories, Jimmy. Happy birthday.


Sunday, May 19, 2019

Movie Review: It's a Wonderful World (1939)

Hello, everybody!

Welcome to the second day of my Jimmy Stewart blogathon!! Be sure to check out the main post and every one's entries!
For today, I'll be reviewing a movie that I recently had the pleasure of seeing for the first time. I really enjoyed seeing Jimmy portraying a little bit of a different character than I am used to seeing him play. The movie is...

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

It's a Wonderful World (1939):
"I'm glad. It's not fair to have all of the fun and non of the danger."
Willie Heyward has been framed for a murder which he did not commit. Detective Guy Johnson is positive that Vivian, Willie's wife, is the one behind it all, so while he is investigating, he keeps Willie hidden. The police find them, and arrest them both. Guy learns of a vital clue and escapes. Problem: he was seen. Frustrated, he kidnaps the person who saw him, a 'ditzy' poetess named Edwina, and the two set off, avoiding the police to try to get to the clue before it is too late.
"For a hundred bucks, nothing is undignified. That's my theory."
Genre: Comedy, Mystery.
"You're just money hungry."
Length: approx. 85 minutes.
Costumes: 8, nothing bad, nothing great.
Script: 10, no bad words!
'"You're the most loathsome human being I've ever met!"
"Same to you!"
Directed by: W. S. Van Dyke.
Written by: Ben Hecht & Herman J. Mankiewicz.
James Stewart as Guy Johnson. "Too manly for poetry, eh?"
Claudette Colbert as Edwina Corday. "Lady, you're full of prunes."
Guy Kibbee as Fred 'Cap' Streeter.
Nat Pendleton as Sergeant Fred Koretz.
Edgar Kennedy as Lieutenant Miller.
Ernest Truex as Willie Heyward.
Frances Drake as Vivian Tarbel.
Richard Carle as Major I. E. Willoughby.
Cecilia Callejo as Dolores Gonzales.
Sidney Blackmer as Al Mallon.
Andy Clyde as 'Gimpy' Wilson.
Cliff Clark as Captain Haggerty.
Cecil Cunningham as Madame J. L. Chambers.
Leonard Kibrick as Herman Plotka.
Grady Sutton as Lupton Peabody.
Cinematography: 8.
Cinematography by: Oliver T. Marsh.
Music: 6?, I find that when I watch old movies, I'm so into the plot that I don't even pay any attention to the music. I really cannot remember what it was.
Music by: Edward Ward.
Quotes: 8,
"They're tame apples, you don't have to shoot 'em."
Storyline: 7, there is smoking, drinking, murder (shown as bad), a suggestive thing, and fighting.
Good For: Jimmy Stewart fans, classic movie fans.
'"You can tell that just by looking at me, can't you?"
"Yeah, you've got a 'pretty' face, but I'm prejudiced."'
Age Range: This is a fun movie. It is perfectly family friendly, and I think that anyone would enjoy it.
Overall Score: 8.
Bonus thoughts:
The title of this movie is a line of a poem that Edwina writes.
I had never seen anything with Claudette Colbert before, but now I really want to see more of her! She was so great in this, she almost out shined Jimmy! Being such a fan of Jimmy as I am, to me he is the star in every movie, but she did a great job! Seeing him as such a "tough guy" was really fun, but you also get to find a little of his sweet side here. Very fun, and I definitely recommend!
(I'm really sorry that there aren't the best photos, it would only really give me pics from It's A Wonderful Life!)

Thank you so much for reading! Have you seen this? I hope that you are all enjoying my blogathon so far, make sure to check out everyone else's posts!


Saturday, May 18, 2019

The Jimmy Stewart Blogathon is Here!

Hello, fellow movie fans!

The day that you have all been waiting for has come. Today, May 18th, is the first day of my Jimmy Stewart Blogathon!
If you have a post to share, you can post it either today, on the 19th or the 20th. When you do post it, please leave me a comment on this post with the link to yours so I can put it in this post and read it!

I am so excited to read all of your thoughts on my favorite actor! My other posts will be going up tomorrow and on the 20th.

The entries:

Tiffany Brannan writes about how we usually see him as the hero, but he makes a fabulous villian, too, in her post An Unlikely Murderer: Jimmy Stewart in “Rose Marie” from 1936.

Megan Chappie wrote a stunning post, A TRIBUTE TO GEORGE BAILEY. He is one of the best fictional characters of all time, and my favorite role for Jimmy Stewart, too!
I join the party with a review of the 1939 movie, It's a Wonderful World.

Hamlette reviews one of her favorites, Harvey (1950), which shows how Jimmy could be sweet without being ridiculous.

I contribute my last post, about Why Jimmy Stewart is My Favorite Actor.

Tiffany at Pure Entertainment Preservation Society has her second post about how Jimmy was 'born to act' in the movie Born to Dance (1936).

Thank you all for participating! I had a blast, and I hope that you did too!


Wednesday, May 15, 2019

What the Code Means to Me ~ Thoughts On Why I Appreciate It

Hello, film lovers!

Back in November, I was tagged for the Liebster Award by Tiffany Brannan, who is one of the writers at Pure Entertainment Preservation Society (PEPS). Along with the tag, she invited me to participate in her series What the Code Means to Me. I agreed and chose May for my month, and here we are! For more information on the series, click HERE.

The Code that we are talking about is the Motion Picture Production Code that was in place from 1934-1954 with Joseph Breen in charge. The Code regulated those movies to make sure that there was nothing that offended anyone.

What the Code Means to Me:
I love watching movies, that's why I blog! And I've always loved to. At first I was only interested in musicals or animated movies. I couldn't care less about the storyline.

For as long as I can remember I've been watching PG-13 movies. My mom always said that we (my sisters and I) could watch anything, as long as she had seen it. Most PG-13 movies are rated that way for crude humor, which we were too little to understand (which is a very good thing), or action, which we didn't really mind.

In spite of that (or because of that, I don't know) I am really sensitive to certain things. That is actually the reason that I review movies, I am very picky and I want other people who are picky like me to have some recommendations for good movies.

Now, I'm not saying that every movie should be carefree, not have any bad things, and everyone lives happily ever after. There would be nothing to write about. When I was little I thought movies would be better that way, but now I prefer dramas over comedies or musicals! I'm completely fine with bad things in movies as long as there are consequences for the people. It also irritates me when there is something there that isn't needed, that the storyline was perfectly wonderful without, but the film makers were too lazy. My family always say "Look past it!" but it is hard with all of those distractions.

Last July, I learned about the Code through PEPS. Thinking about it, my favorite movie of all time, Singin' in the Rain (1952) was made in the Code era!
That movie is so wonderful, I truly think that everyone should see it at some point. It is because of the Code that there is nothing wrong with it. Also, my third favorite movie, The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) was made in the Code era, too!

I enjoy the Code because I can watch a decent movie of whatever genre that I'm in the mood for: a musical (The Wizard of Oz [1939]), a Disney animated film (Cinderella [1950]), a drama (Casablanca [1942]), or a comedy (Bringing Up Baby [1938]).

Whenever someone recommends a movie to me, I look at the year it was made and when it is between 1934-1954 I want to watch it ASAP because I know that it will be good. I recently watched The Philadelphia Story (1941) and I was worried about what it might have in there. I shouldn't have been, it was perfectly okay! Why? Because it is a Code film!

I like movies from other years too, some newer movies are some of my favorites, but I now know that because so much care was put into making Code films, they are going to be enjoyable.

For Code movie recommendations check out the Pure Entertainment Preservation Society website.

What do you think of Code movies? Do you have a favorite? Thanks for reading!


Sunday, May 12, 2019

Movie Review: Amazing Grace (2006)

Hello, everyone!!

For my movie review today, I am going to review one of my favorite movies of all time! This movie has everything, it is inspirational, hopeful, beautiful, and it has an all star cast. If you haven't seen this movie, you really need to!

This review is spoiler free, because: My guarantee: On ALL of my reviews there are NO spoilers unless I give you warning.


Amazing Grace (2006):
Based on: The true story:
'"It will soon change."
"Only if we change it."'
When in Parliament, there are many different things to think about, and William Wilberforce has become aware of the slave trade. He knows that it is a terrible thing, but isn't sure if he can stop it. His heart sings the song that his old preacher, John Newton, wrote. John was the captain of slave ships for many years, but finally repented, turned to God, and wrote the song "Amazing Grace". It would be a lot of work, and William doesn't know if he is strong enough. With the sides of Parliament against him, will he persevere or will the fight be too much to bear?
"Do you intend to use your beautiful voice to praise the Lord, or change the world?"
Genre: Biography, Period Drama.
Length: approx. 116 minutes.
Costumes: 10! They are all perfect.
My favorite: I know that whenever you see pictures from this movie, this one is featured, but look at that hat! It is pretty impressive.
Script: 8, they use the Lord's name in vain a few times (but honestly, it's what they did in those days.) They also call people bad names, but it is seen in a bad light.
"The water has been here a thousand years, how can we be late?"
Directed by: Michael Apted.
Written by: Steven Knight.
Ioan Gruffudd as William Wilberforce. "You're waking me up to give me medicine, to help me sleep?"
Romola Garai as Barbara Spooner.
Benedict Cumberbatch as William Pitt the Younger.
Michael Gambon as Charles James Fox.
Rufus Sewell as Thomas Clarkson.
Youssou N'Dour as Olaudah Equiano. "Your life is a thread, either it breaks or it doesn't."
Albert Finney as John Newton. "I don't hear the nib scratching the paper."
Ciarán Hinds as Banastre Tarleton.
Toby Jones as William, Duke of Clarence.
Nicholas Farrell as Henry Thornton.
Sylvestra Le Touzel as Marianne Thornton.
Jeremy Swift as Richard the Butler.
Stephen Campbell Moore as James Stephen.
Bill Paterson as Henry Dundas.
Nicholas Day as Sir William Dolben.
Georgie Glen as Hannah More.
Cinematography: 10! Oh, I love it! I love the scenes in nature and how it focuses on different people.
Cinematography by: Remi Adefarasin.
Music: 10, it has a lovely score, and of course, the song "Amazing Grace".
Music by: David Arnold.
Quotes: 10! I seriously could just type out the whole movie, it is that quotable. The only reason I didn't is because I ran out of room.
"Why is it you only feel the thorns in your feet when you stop running?"
Oscars won: None! They weren't even nominated for anything, but I really think they should have won as many as possible.
Storyline: 10. I feel like I haven't been the best explaining the reasons for this category. One day I'll do a post on it. Anyway, there is slavery, drinking, suggestive things, taking drugs, BUT they are all shown as bad things and are trying to get rid of them. It also has someone who has lost fingers, but it's only me who gets freaked out by that.
"If you make the world better in one way, it becomes better in many ways."
Good For: Everyone!
Age Range: I watched it when I was really little, and I was very confused. I had a feeling that it was an amazing movie, but I just didn't understand. But, I'd say that anyone who is over 10 would understand.
"Remember that God made all men equal."
Overall Score: 9.5!!
Bonus thoughts:
Oh, what a wonderful film. The all-star cast is amazing. This is the only thing that I have seen Ioan Gruffudd and Romola Garai in, but they are wonderful. I have seen Michael Gambon, Albert Finney, and Benedict Cumberbatch in other things, but these are my favorite roles for all of them. I also have only ever seen Rufus Sewell as a villain, but he does such a good job here!
Now, this movie also has such powerful religious messages.
'"You found God, sir?"
"I think He found me."'
William Wilberforce is thinking about going into the church, but all of his friends are trying to convince him to stay in Parliament. This is actually something that has been on my mind recently, so it was wonderful to once again watch it play out.
This line that Albert Finney says as John Newton is so powerful (he should have won an Oscar), that I always cry:
"Although my memory's fading, I remember two things very clearly: 
I'm a great sinner and Christ is a great Savior."

I cannot tell you enough times to watch it if you haven't. Go! Now! You'll thank me!

Thanks for reading! Please tell me I'm not the only person who has seen this.

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