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

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Movie Review: Casper (1995)

Hello, world!

Happy Halloween to all of you who participate in it! I've been wanting to do a post for a few days now and couldn't decide what to do. Finally, I realized that today is Halloween so I thought that I'd review the first Halloween movie I ever saw. Happy haunting!

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

Casper (1995):
Based on: Casper the Friendly Ghost - by Seymour Reit & Joe Oriolo.
Kat has moved a lot because of her dad's work. He talks to ghosts and helps them to find their unfinished business so they can pass on; he does this because he is always looking for his late wife. A lady named Carrigan hires him to get rid of ghosts and they move into Whipstaff Manor. Carrigan wants the ghosts gone because she has heard of a treasure is somewhere in the manor. Kat tries to make friends at school, but she finds one in a place she didn't expect, a ghost named Casper. Dr. Harvey has a lot more trouble with Casper's three ghost uncles who make all the mischief that they can. Will Dr. Harvey find what is bothering the ghosts, and will Carrigan find the treasure hidden inside?
Genre: Comedy, Halloween.
Length: approx. 101 minutes.
Costumes: 7, nothing exciting.
Script: 8, I think there are one or two times of a name in vain.
Directed by: Brad Silberling.
Written by: Sherri Stoner, Deanna Oliver, Seymour Reit, & Joe Oriolo.
Malachi Pearson as the voice of Casper McFadden.
Christina Ricci as Kathleen "Kat" Harvey.
Bill Pullman as Dr. James Harvey.
Joe Nipote as the voice of Stretch.
Joe Alaskey as the voice of Stinkie.
Brad Garrett as the voice of Fatso.
Cathy Moriarty as Catherine "Carrigan" Crittenden.
Eric Idle as Paul "Dibs" Plutzker.
Garette Ratliff Henson as Vic DePhillippi.
Jessica Wesson as Amber Whitmire.
Amy Brenneman as Amelia Harvey.
Ben Stein as Rugg.
Devon Sawa as Casper McFadden.
Cinematography: 7, I know that it must be hard to do ghosts, but the CGI looked a little fake, just a little bit. Otherwise I really like the expressions that they gave each of the ghosts.
Cinematography by: Dean Cundey.
Music: 8, not 100% memorable, but nice.
Music by: James Horner.
Quotes: 7, "All I want 's a friend."
Content: 7, there are a few suggestive things, gross things, drinking, smoking, death, and crude humor. Of course, it deals with ghosts, so if you aren't comfortable with them I wouldn't recommend this.
Originality: 8, I like the idea of a ghost looking for a friend and a lady looking for a treasure.
Good For: people who like Halloween movies, families, people who are looking for friends, someone who has moved a lot.
Age Range: This is definitely a family movie, so any age, but there are a few scary things with the ghosts and some crude humor.
Overall Score: 7.5.
Bonus thoughts:
This is a fun movie to watch each year with my sisters. We also have been reading the picture book from it as long as I can remember.

Happy Halloween everyone! Thanks for reading!!


Friday, October 25, 2019

Christy Read-Along: Chapters 12-25

Hello, everyone!

It is time again that I join in Amber's, who blogs at Seasons of Humility, Christy Read-Along!
I missed last week because I was traveling and away from my computer, so once again I'm putting two of the discussions together to keep up. Check out Amber's thoughts on chapters 12-18 HERE, and chapters 19-25 HERE.

SPOILER ALERT! If you haven't read Chrisy - by Catherine Marshall, don't read any more because this post is a mine field of spoilers.

Christy: Chapters 12-25
Discussion format: your favorite quotes, general impressions, and three questions to answer for each week's reading (six questions for two weeks of discussion)

Favorite Quotes:
'It was rather that as I came to know the children and to think of them as persons rather than names in my grade book, I forgot my reactions and began to love them.'

'Here with the silent gaze of the mountains upon us, trivialities and pettiness and meanness faded and dropped out of sight.'

'And her stance toward life seemed to say: God is -- and that is enough.'

"Christianity is a life and contains the germ of life in itself."

General Impressions:
Chapters 12-18:
 I loved chapter 12! Being able to see more in the classroom was so great. Mountie is adorable, and the way Christy talked to Creed about his dog was so sweet! Oh, and of course, Little Burl. His little bit made me SO HAPPY! I can be very grumpy and tired of people and the world, but I am always trying to look for the good in everyone. When Christy was thinking how she didn't have to like everyone I thought: "No! Don't do that!". Little Burl put it better then I could have:

'It was Little Burl, of all people, who helped me to understand that rather it was my privilege to try to like everyone, at least to make an effort to see the good in each individual.'....
...."Teacher, Teacher, hain't it true, Teacher, that if God loves ever'body, then we'uns got to love ever'body too?"

We got to see more of Fairlight! She is so kind and lovely and sweet, definitely one of my favorites. I love her how she wanted to learn, and how she sees beauty in everything.

Aunt Polly's story was really beautiful, I really am glad that it is in the book.

We saw Ben Pentland again! He was only there for about two pages, but I'm keeping track of my favorites.

I both admire and am annoyed by the way Christy went to see Mr. Smith. I didn't know it was possible to be both. I'm not really sure what to say about it except that I agree with Miss Alice, because everything Miss Alice says is the best.

A quick note, based on the way we have known David so far, I cannot picture him playing a ukulele! I'm familiar with how it sounds because my sister plays it, so that's nice because all of the other instruments mentioned so far I've had a hard time imagining how they sound. But I just can't picture David playing! It's funny.

I was so happy when they got the new books! Then I was so sad when Christy found that they had been slashed and destroyed! I hope that she can find out who did it and get an explanation of why.

Chapters 19-25:
Wow! Up to now we've been seeing life at the mission, but in these chapters there is some action! Finding whiskey under the school, having the people turn against David, an operation, sabotage, and someone being shot! These chapters really have me worried about what is going to happen next.

Ruby Mae describing Bird's-Eye as "He be fractious." made me laugh. At first I thought that he was going to be actually nice and that gossip had just taken wing. Well, I was wrong. I couldn't believe the situation with the still! And bringing kids into it, too! I can see Tom McHone's reason, and while I don't support it or think that it is a good reason, I feel sorry for him.

I feel that all around the world when there are problems and we are given a chance to ask for forgiveness we ask:
"Why me? He's the one who went wrong."
Having sisters I know how this is. We tend to blame problems on other people and think that we were just victims. Sometimes that's true, but sometimes even if it isn't it is good to say sorry. Even if it doesn't solve things, it makes you feel better because you had the courage to acknowledge your wrong doing. I love how they said "strength of forgiveness."

Miss Alice once again has the wise words of the day:
'"It's our place to demonstrate reconciliation -- not judgment or revenge or retaliation. That's God's business, not ours." Her voice grew softer. "Beware the chasms in thy life, David. Sooner or later thee will fall down in the chasm thyself."'
So often people think that Christians are so judging and won't accept people. That isn't true, or if it is in some places it shouldn't. Church is a place of healing for everyone.

David is a little impulsive, but I was disgusted at all of the people being mean or rude to him. He is trying to help even if he's doing it in the wrong way.

Through these chapters I have really come to like Christy! She is becoming really relatable. I absolutely loved her preparation to helping Little Burl's surgery by thinking about God and her thought of how he is: "I am greater than any problem."
I also found her relatable in the last chapter when talking to Doc. The way she was struggling with words to convey her feeling without using someone else's words was just like me sometimes.

One last thing, I feel so sorry for Prince! I'm glad that they didn't hurt him, though, and it's neat that they were able to profit from it to get a new saddle.

Discussion Questions:
Chapters 12-18:
1. Of Christy's students, which one has left the biggest impression on you so far, whether positive or negative?

Mountie O'Teale. I've had the same problem as her with talking and stuttering, so seeing her go through that was relatable, and I was so happy to see her grow. Her reaction to the buttons was priceless!

2. What are your thoughts on the Sewing Circle? If you were in attendance, how might you contribute to the gathering (hosting, providing snacks, reading Scripture, sharing ideas)? How might you interact with the women of the Cove?

Okay, so I am bad at all of those things. I love to read, but with what I mentioned above, I will not read out loud. I would try to step out of my introverted self and maybe host? That means that I would get the pick all of the readings but not have to do it myself. Heehee.

3. Which character's attitude and perspective has inspired you the most so far in the book?

Miss Alice, Fairlight, and Little Burl. I loved reading their positive thoughts!

Chapters 19-25:
1. Did this section make you want to read faster (because of the suspense) or slow down (because of the heavy topics)?

Definitely read faster!

2. Imagine yourself in one of these tense situations: hearing Uncle Bogg's story at the working, listening to David's sermon, or coming upon Prince in his sad condition. How would you respond?

Oh, those are all tough scenes. Uncle Bogg's story reminded me of an Arabian Nights story, so maybe I would mention that? I usually like him, but I was frustrated with everyone treated David like that. I think if I had seen Prince I would have run up to him and gotten him to calm down, but wouldn't have been sure what to do next.

3. If you could help the McHones in even a small way, what would you do?

Yes, but I'm not sure how I could help. Maybe get the little ones to eat more food while at school, or just spent time with Opal just so she wouldn't be lonely.

Thank you so much Amber for hosting this!

Have any of you read this? What do you think? Thanks for reading!


Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Movie Review: The Monuments Men (2014)

Hello, all!

Today I am going to be reviewing a star-studded movie. I'm always super interested in books and movies that give you a different look at a war, or show you an element that you never thought of, and today's movie is about war and art!

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

The Monuments Men (2014):
Based on: the true story, and loosely based on a non fiction book by Robert M. Edsel and Bret Witter.
With World War II raging, the Nazis are trying to eliminate different cultures. A group is formed to find lost pieces of art and return them to their original owners. They call themselves the Monuments Men and are specialists in art, architecture, and sculptures. There are only a few of them and there are thousands of artworks and it is a dangerous job, can they ever find them?
"This mission was never designed to succeed."
Genre: Drama, War.
Length: approx. 118 minutes.
Costumes: 7, the uniforms are very official, but nothing special.
Script: 8, there are only one or two bad words.
"'Why don't we keep this to ourselves.'
'I think that's best.'"
Directed by: George Clooney.
Written by: George Clooney, Grant Heslov, Robert M. Edsel, and Bret Witter.
George Clooney as Lt. Frank Stokes (loosely based on George L. Stout).
Hugh Bonneville as 2nd Lt. Donald Jeffries (loosely based on Ronald E. Balfour).
Bill Murray as Sgt. Richard Campbell (loosely based on Ralph Warner Hammett and Robert K. Posey).
Matt Damon as Lt. James Granger (loosely based on James Rorimer).
John Goodman as Sgt. Walter Garfield (loosely based on Walker Hancock).
Bob Balaban as Pvt. Preston Savitz (loosely based on Lincoln Kirstein).
Jean Dujardin as 2nd Lt. Jean-Claude Clermont.
Dimitri Leonidas as Pvt. Sam Epstein (loosely based on Harry L. Ettlinger).
Serge Hazanavicius as René Armand (loosely based on Jacques Jaujard).
Cate Blanchett as Claire Simone (loosely based on Rose Valland).
Sam Hazeldine as Colonel Langton.
Miles Jupp as Major Fielding.
Justus von Dohnányi as Viktor Stahl.
Zahari Baharov as Commander Elya.
(Source for who's based on whom).
Cinematography: 7.
Cinematography by: Phedon Papamichael.
Music: 8, not a really memorable score (to me), but I love the choice of song (I think there's only one) that they put in there.
Music by: Alexandre Desplat.
Quotes: 7, "Fortunately I'm fluent in French."
Storyline: 6, there is death, a suggestive thing (which is handled really well), drinking, and a lot of smoking. I am some one who is really bothered by smoking, and this is one of the movies that has the most of it that I've seen. I know that it is going for accuracy because most people did it at the time, but I still don't like it. A few times people say "I don't smoke!" but then do it anyone which makes a little sick to think about. Just a warning for anyone who is like me.
Good For: Anyone who is interested in art, anyone who has a tough job to do, fans of any of the stars.
Age Range: It is a war movie. It isn't gory, but there are a few deaths. It is also rated PG-13, but I didn't understand it even when I watched it for the first time, so I would even recommend a little older. It is perfectly clean besides the things I mentioned, so it depends on the person.
Overall Score: 7.5.
Bonus thoughts:
I thought that this was a really good movie. Some times when you have a lot of really famous actors together the movie is mediocre, but they all did great jobs in this! As I said, it is a part of World War II that I hadn't thought about, but a really interesting one. Art is an important part of cultures because it is a way of expressing our feelings and brining people together. If you haven't seen this, I would really recommend it!

Thank you so much for reading! Have you seen this? How do you think the actors did?


Saturday, October 19, 2019

Movie Review: Napoleon Dynamite (2004)

Hello, everyone!

Time for another movie review! This is a movie that I have been wanting to review for a very long time. This is also one of the weirdest movies I've seen, but it is hilarious. It just takes time to get used to it.

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

Napoleon Dynamite (2004):
"'You gonna eat your tots?' 
'Can I have them?'"
Napoleon lives with his grandma and his older brother Kip. When his grandma gets hurt, his uncle Rico comes to stay with them. Uncle Rico has plans to make money, but Napoleon thinks everything he does is ruining his life. Napoleon befriends a new student, Pedro, and a girl named Deb. Pedro wants to run for class president, but does he have what it takes to beat Summer, the most popular girl in the school?
"'Napoleon, give me some of your tots!' 
'No, find your own.'"
Genre: Comedy.
Length: approx. 95 minutes.
Costumes: 7, nothing bad, but just regular clothing.
"I like your sleeves."
Script: 8, there are a few bad words, but that's it.
"Girls only want boyfriends who have great skills."
Directed by: Jared Hess.
Written by: Jared Hess & Jerusha Hess.
Jon Heder as Napoleon Dynamite. "Lucky!"
Efren Ramirez as Pedro Sánchez.
Aaron Ruell as Kip Dynamite.
Jon Gries as Uncle Rico Dynamite.
Tina Majorino as Deb Bradshaw.
Haylie Duff as Summer Wheatley.
Shondrella Avery as LaFawnduh Lucas.
Emily Kennard as Trisha Stevens.
Sandy Martin as Grandma.
Diedrich Bader as Rex.
Trevor Snarr as Don.
Cinematography: 7.
Cinematography by: Munn Powell.
Music: 8.
Music by: John Swihart.
Quotes: 10! This movie is ssssooo quotable! My family and I quote this at least once a day. Because of that, I put all of my favorites in this review, but most of them are out of context so don't make any sense. Sorry about that!
"I see you're drinking 1%, is that because you think you're fat? 'Cause you're not. You could be drinking whole if you wanted to."
Storyline: 7, there are some gross things, and a few suggestive things. Mention of body parts, as Uncle Rico has an idea of how to make money which is selling "herbal enhancers".
Good For: People who think that they are weird (that's me), anyone who likes comedy.
"Tina, come get some ham!"
Age Range: Any age can watch this. I have known some little kids who don't get it and think that it is just weird, but others who love it.
Overall Score: 8!
Bonus thoughts:
"Well, that place was a rip off."
Okay, so the thing is, this movie is really, really, weird. The first time you watch it you just think, "What in the world was that?" Then, a few months later, for some reason, even though you didn't like it, you feel like you should watch it again. After that you see how hilarious it is and you love it. That is how it has worked with everyone I have know who has watched this movie. It is hilarious, relateable, and inspiring in its own way. If you watch it and don't like it, then give it a second chance, then we'll talk.

Have any of you seen this? What are your favorite quotes? Thanks for reading!
"Peace out."


Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Christy Read-Along: Chapters 1-11


Right now, Amber who blogs at Seasons of Humility is hosting a Christy Read-Along! I had only heard of it once before, and I didn't know anything about it so I decided this would be the opportunity to do just that!
She is having a discussion every Friday, but as you can see I'm a little late. I had to place a hold at our library and I only just got it the other day, therefore I am combining two of the posts into one! Check out Amber's discussions for Chapters 1-4 HERE, and 5-11 HERE.

Also, I will be saying everything that comes into my mind, so SPOILER ALERT! Please don't read any further unless you have read this book.

Christy: Chapters 1-11
Discussion format: your favorite quotes, general impressions, and three questions to answer for each week's reading (so six questions for two weeks)

Favorite Quotes:

'But there was something different about this sound. It was not a single note, but many notes playing up and down the scale harmonizing at one moment, discord at the next, retreating, advancing.'

'Then the sun was sinking and every prismatic color was reflecting back from this ice-encased world. The valley had become like Ali Baba's Treasure Cove that I had read about as a child. I found my eyes and throat aching with the beauty that blazed ouside the train windows."

"One of our tasks here is to show folks a God who wants to give them joy."

General Impressions:
Chapters 1-4:
I can tell you this right out, so far Ben Pentland is my favorite character. I love how he was described as looking like one of Robin Hood's yeomen (because, as you all know, that is one of my obsessions). He seems like someone who is gruff on the outside, but really loveable on the inside.
'There was a natural dignity and an innate courtesy about this man that I instictively liked.'

Other characters:
I love the name Fairlight and I can't wait to read more about her!

If nothing else, I am curious to meet Alice Henderson. Everything that anybody says about her seems to be contradicting, so I wonder if that is her character: contradicting.

I've been really observant of how authors describe characters lately, so far I am enjoying the descriptions for the most part.

I am some one who is lucky enough to have never been afraid of heights, but both my sisters are. Because of that the whole log bridge scene seemed too dramatic, but I'm trying to be empathetic.

The writing has been a little hard to get into, but I hope it will get easier as we go along.

Chapters 5-11:
I was right, Miss Alice is one of my favorites. I'm still confused about a few things concerning her, but she is so nice and has the best advice!

I'm sad that I we didn't see anything of Ben Pentland in these chapters because, as I said, he was my favorite, but I hope to see more of him in the future.

Ruby Mae is hilarious! I love this bit:
'It was delightful to see Miss Alice through Ruby Mae's eyes.'
I cannot say it enough, but perspective is one of my favorite things! Christy is a little annoying and "stuck up", but I love seeing her grow by knowing other people's thoughts.

Why am I reading this book if I am tired of Christy? There are things I like about her and I am looking forward to seeing how she grows. One of her struggles is really relateable to pretty much everyone, it is:
"What was I born for, after all? I have to know."
We all want to know that we have a purpose, and we want to find it. I know that I struggle with this, so it is inspiring to see Christy having the courage to try to find her place in the world.

I have taught or babysat kids before, so I liked reading the bits where Christy had been teaching! Kids are so cute, but they also can be a lot of trouble! I'm interested in picking up tips on how Christy will straighted out the most obnoxious ones.

Discussion Questions:
Chapters 1-4:
1. What do you think of the narrator/perspective for the prologue? Would you prefer to jump right into the story, or do you think the prologue is effective in piquing your interest?

To tell the truth, I almost skipped the prologue! Which is weird because I never do that, and I reminded myself of that. As I was going along I was a little worried that it might contain a spoiler, but I liked the way of introducing the story.

2. What are your first impressions of Christy and her goals?

It takes a lot of courage to leave your comfort zone and volunteer to go teach in the wilderness, so I am impressed with that. And especially to walk a distance in the snow that you have never done before.

Though, I did give her a look when she asked Mr. Pentland if David Grantland was married.

3. If you were in the cabin when Bob Allen is brought in, how would you react? Would you lend the doctor a hand? Watch the surgery in fascination? Step out the door as fast as you could?

If I was just someone who happened to be there I would try to help in someway and if I couldn't then I would watch. Health and Medice are subjects that are very interesting to me.

If I was in Christy's position where he had been hurt trying to meet me, I would feel absolutely terrible and after trying to help I would probably go outside and cry. I am not good at being calm in difficult situations, but I'm getting better.

Chapters 5-11:
1. Despite all the sad revelations in this section, what moment or scene stood out to you as either really funny or really uplifting?

The beginning of chapter 7 really frustrated me, because of Christy's reaction to the O'Teale's. I mean, I understand being surprised at the way of life, but her response seemed extreme. But, the second half of that chapter had some really inspiring things (pages 104-105 in my book). I could just type up all of those pages, but I'll just say this bit. In response to Christy's question of why God lets people do bad things, Miss Alive said:
"He would have to, if He'd given us men and women a genuine choice of freedom."

2. Now that we've gotten to know David and Dr. MacNeill a bit better, what are your impressions of them? How do you feel about their characters, their attitudes, and their interactions with others?

I still feel like I don't know them? Uh, I do like David. He's nice and funny. I don't understand why Christy doesn't like Dr. MacNeill, because he does so much and is such a good doctor.

3. What are your thoughts about Christy's requests for donations from friends and various companies? Do you think she was foisting a cause upon others inappropriately? (To reference a conversation in chapter 11.) Or do you think such letters could be a blessing to both giver and receiver? Would you have approached things differently?

*groans* It was a nice idea, it did seem a little like begging, but Christy's letters were very well worded, and I'm glad that they got things that they needed. A few things like the wagon seemed a little much, but then the piano?? What?? It was so completely useless! I was so frustrated with Christy, why would she even ask for that? And telephone wire? Ugh, why didn't she consult anyone first? She over did it.

Thank you to Amber for hosting this! Even though my complaining sounds otherwise, I'm enjoying it so far!

Thanks to all of you for reading! Do you agree with my thoughts?


Monday, October 14, 2019

Movie Review: Gosford Park (2001)

Hello, everyone!

My younger sister and I watched the series Downton Abbey (we started it in 2016 and just finished a few weeks ago. It takes us a long time.), which was written by Julian Fellows. Back in August my older sister and I decided to watch one of his first movies, which we've owned for a while. Definitely not one of my favorites, but it was fun to see so, so, so many actors that I recognized!

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

Gosford Park (2001):
When a man invites family and friends over to go hunting, it seems to be a fun thing, but we find that everyone has a secret. Upstairs and downstairs clash and through it all we see all classes. The last night of the visit ends with an even bigger surprise: murder. Few people liked the murdered person, but did anyone have a strong enough motive?
Genre: Mystery, Period Drama.
Length: approx. 138 minutes.
Costumes: 6, there are some good outfits, but there are low things or people aren't wearing anything.
Script: 5, quite a few bad words.
'"You'll be providing a lot of entertainment for nothing."
"Morris, I'm used to it."'
Directed by: Robert Altman.
Written by: Julian Fellows.
Starring: (Remember that I mentioned a lot of actors? Well, here comes the list.)
Maggie Smith as Constance, Countess of Trentham.
Michael Gambon as Sir William McCordle.
Kristin Scott Thomas as Lady Sylvia McCordle.
Camilla Rutherford as Isobel McCordle.
Charles Dance as Raymond, Lord Stockbridge.
Geraldine Somerville as Louisa, Lady Stockbridge.
Tom Hollander as Lt. Commander Anthony Meredith.
Natasha Wightman as Lady Lavinia Meredith.
James Wilby as Freddie Nesbitt.
Claudie Blakley as Mabel Nesbitt.
Jeremy Northam as Ivor Novello.
Bob Balaban as Morris Weissman.
Laurence Fox as Lord Rupert Standish.
Trent Ford as Jeremy Blond.
Kelly Macdonald as Mary Maceachran.
Clive Owen as Robert Parks.
Helen Mirren as Mrs Wilson.
Eileen Atkins as Mrs Croft.
Alan Bates as Mr Jennings.
Emily Watson as Elsie.
Derek Jacobi as Probert.
Ryan Phillippe as Henry Denton.
Richard E. Grant as George.
Jeremy Swift as Arthur.
Sophie Thompson as Dorothy.
Meg Wynn Owen as Lewis.
Adrian Scarborough as Barnes.
Stephen Fry as Inspector Thompson.
Ron Webster as Constable Dexter.
Cinematography: 7, there is a dark feel, but nothing really spectacular.
Cinematography by: Andrew Dunn.
Music: 8, I can't remember anything special for the score, so a neutral. BUT, the singing made me happy.
Music by: Patrick Doyle.
Quotes: 6, "I haven't a snobbish bone in my body."
Oscars won: 1: Best Original Screenplay. (It was nominated for Best Picture).
Storyline: 2, yikes. I believe this is the worst score I have given so far. There is a lot of smoking, drinking, and a lot of suggestive things, and that aren't just suggestive. If you are looking for a clean and fun mystery, don't watch this. (More later.)
Good For: Downton Abbey fans, mystery lovers.
Age Range: This movie is rated R. Definitely not for anyone under 16. 
Overall Score: 4.5.
Bonus thoughts:
I know that this movie won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay (good for them!), but if you watch enough of one person's films or read enough of their books, you start to understand how their mind works. Some people like Agatha Christie, you think that you understand her system, but then she completely surprises you! As I said, I have watched all of Downton Abbey (well, not the new movie), and because of that I completely guessed the mystery. Sometimes I can guess the correct person but not the motive, but I had both this time. My older sister hasn't watched Downton Abbey and she was thoroughly surprised, though. It was fun to watch it with her and to see all of the famous people in it. The absolute best thing about this movie was hearing Jeremy Northam sing, it was worth watching it just for that!

I watched this back in August for Pure Entertainment Preservation Society's (PEPS) #AMonthWithoutTheCode65!. This weekend they have been hosting their Third Annual Great Breening Blogathon, and I thought this would be the perfect time to review it! I have seen them host this the last two years, but I couldn't come up with anything to do, so I am very excited to participate in this for the first time.
I actually reviewed this for their last blogathon!
PEPS specializes in all things about the Motion Picture Production Code that was in place from 1934-1954. The purpose of the Code was to make decent movies that anyone could watch. To learn more about the Code, click HERE! But, what is "Breening"? Joseph Breen was the man who put the Code into place, and PEPS will "breen" movies, which means that they will take a movie and say what would have needed to be taken out to have it acceptable under Mr. Breen's admistration. (Here is a list of movies that the writers at PEPS have "breened").

For this blogathon, they invited anyone to join them by "breening" a movie. With that all explained, I will now attempt to breen Gosford Park! One observation first: As I said, the Code was in place from 1934-1954, and Hollywood is infamous for the fact that the movies before the Code were scandalous and risque. This film is set in 1932, so in that time period. Would things have been better if it was set in a different year, or in was filmed in the Code Era? Let's find out!

SPOILER ALERT! From now on I will be going into a lot of details from the movie, so if you want to watch this movie and be surprised by the mystery, don't read any further!

I did a bit of research on this movie to see what the main theme/point of this movie is (it wasn't obvious to me!) to make sure that I kept that intact. What I found was how dependant the upper classes were on servants.

A big thing is consequences. A crime was committed, but what are the consequences? Through out the movie we see different things taking place. At first I thought that there were no consequences, but while  I was writing this, my older sister and I talked about it and I actually realized that there are some.
The mystery is this: Sir William McCordle was stabbed by Mr. Parks, who was his illegitimate son that he didn't know he had. It is found out later that by lack of blood, Sir William was already dead when he was stabbed. It turns out that Mrs. Wilson, who was Mr. Park's mother that he didn't know, realizing that he was her son and knowing his motive, she poisoned Sir William.
In this movie the case goes unsolved and no one is ever arrested for murder.

Doesn't sound like there are consequences, right? But, through out the film we see Mr. Parks growing to love Mary, maid to Countess of Trentham, and then she was the one who found out that he was the murderer. Mr. Parks, as a consequence, never gets to be with her. Well, this isn't really touched upon in the movie, but I think that for breening purposes we would highlight it more.

What about Mrs. Wilson? She poisoned Sir William to save Mr. Parks from being arrested, but she also saved Sir William from being brutally and painfully killed by his son. I think that in our breened version Mrs. Wilson would turn herself in with a feeling of remorse. When Mr. Parks learns this, he vows to make his life better.

As I said in my review there are a ton of suggestive, and more than suggestive things. In order for this to have been a Code movie, we are going to have to take out most of this. Sadly, most of it is related to the storyline.
The easiest one to take out is an affair between a maid and one of the guests. No need for it at all.
The biggest thing that needs to be removed is the interaction between Lady Sylvia and Henry Denton. Mr. Denton is valet to Morris Weissman, and is (as I say) a horrible person and (as my sister says) an ectothermal invertebrate [cold blooded and spineless]. We learn at the end of the movie that he is really an actor who was doing what he calls "research" for a movie, which is probably the most vulgar thing I've ever heard. He tries to get every girl in the house to love him and even forcibly tries to kiss some of them. This is part of the story to show that some like Lady Sylvia are easily fooled and taken advantage of, while others, like Mary and Elsie, are smart and have nothing to do with him. To breen this, I would say that it would be better to just mildly suggest these things, instead of showing us. I know that people usually say "Show, don't tell", but in these cases we would all be much happier if they would just tell, not show.
One of the guests is trying to get Lady Isobel to give him money, and threatens to blackmail her. It is very suggestive and could be taken out.
Sir William's past is more than suggestive. The consequence was that he was murdered, but we understand that that is wrong because no one deserves to die. Besides the basic storyline (which is kind of impossible to breen) anything else suggestive should be removed.

There are also a lot of bad words, and some low costumes.

This is my first time trying this, so I am sure that I have missed a lot of the smaller details, but I have covered all of the important plot lines. Breening is really hard. I am very impressed by the Brannans who do this almost every week!

Sorry for the lack of photos, I am exhausted from typing, but I'll put some in when I have the time.

Thank you so much for reading! Let me know what you like about this movie if you've seen it.


Friday, October 11, 2019

Movie Review: The Philadelphia Story (1940)

Hello, once again, readers!

I know that my posts have been a little sparse lately, but I am going to make up for it this week, because I will be having a post every other day! Why? Because I am participating in a lot of blog parties, it's going to be a lot of fun!

For today I will be reviewing a movie with my favorite actor, Jimmy Stewart. It was actually the movie that earned him an Academy Award! At the beginning of this movie I was a little concerned with what was going to happen, but I was loving it by the end! I feel like this is a movie that the more you watch, the more you like!

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

The Philadelphia Story (1940):
Based on: The Philadelphia Story, a play by Philip Barry.
"Oh, I wish something would happen."
High society girl Tracy Lord is getting remarried. When her ex-husband, Dexter, shows up a few days early with reporters, she has no choice to let them stay because Dexter warns he that if they don't get coverage of this they will print a scandalous article about her father. Much to Tracy's annoyance, her sister and mother are very excited to see Dexter. As she gets to know Mike, one of the reporters, better, she begins to have confusing feelings about the three men in her life. She's always thought of herself as perfect, but she begins to doubt that, too. Who does she want to spend her life with?
"This is the voice of doom calling."
Genre: when I looked it up, it says that this is classified as Comedy, but I would also call it a Drama.
Length: approx. 112 minutes.
Costumes: 8, there were some nice ones.
Script: 10, I don't recall any bad words.
"I don't want to be worshiped, I want to be loved."
Directed by: George Cukor.
Written by: Donald Ogden Stewart, Waldo Salt, & Philip Barry.
Katharine Hepburn as Tracy Lord.
Cary Grant as C.K. Dexter Haven. "What kind of a name is C. K. Dexter Haven, anyway?"
James Stewart as Macaulay "Mike" Connor.
Ruth Hussey as Elizabeth Imbrie.
'"You're the darndest girl, Liz."
"I think I'm sweet."'
John Howard as George Kittredge.
Roland Young as William Q. Tracy.
Virginia Weidler as Dinah Lord. (She was a hoot!)
John Halliday as Seth Lord.
Mary Nash as Margaret Lord.
Henry Daniell as Sidney Kidd.
Lionel Pape as Edward.
Rex Evans as Thomas.
Cinematography: 9, besides the fact that I love black and white movies, there were a few cool things.
Cinematography by: Joseph Ruttenberg.
Music: 7, nothing special caught my attention.
Music by: Franz Waxman.
Quotes: 9, there were so many great lines! (Especially from Jimmy Stewart, but I might be biased.)
"What is thee wish?"
Oscars won: 2: Best Actor (Jimmy Stewart), Best Adapted Screenplay.
Storyline: 8, there is smoking, drinking (we see several people intoxicated), there are some suggestive things (but they turn out fine), and we deal with the subject of divorce.
Good For: Anyone who likes James Stewart, anyone who has a complicated family life, anyone who likes comedy or drama.
Age Range: It's comedy, so there are a plenty of funny bits for any age, but I have a feeling that younger viewers might get bored.
Overall Score: 8.5!
Bonus thoughts:
"You talk so big and tough, then you write like this."
I had heard so much about this movie that I couldn't wait to watch it! I even told a fellow blogger once there wasn't a movie that I wanted to watch more than this. I have this notebook that I write down any quotes that I like or take notes while I'm watching a movie, and I wrote this:
"Jimmy Stewart, Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn: YES!"
As I said in the beginning of this post, it started and I was really enjoying it, but I started to get nervous because I didn't know what was going to happen. I mean, obviously I didn't, I hadn't watched it before! And I usually don't feel this way, but I was so into the movie that I was kind of "stressed out" because I didn't know how it would end! I enjoyed it a lot. That is why I feel like this is one of those movies that you like the more you watch. I look forward to watching this for years to come!

Remember that blogathon I mentioned earlier? Well, what I was talking about is the Second Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn Blogathon, hosted by In the Good Old Days of Classic Hollywood and Love Letters to Old Hollywood! I had planned to participate the first time in 2017, but I had to pull out, so I was super excited to be able to join this year!
"Oh, we're going to talk about me, are we? Oh goody."
Katharine Hepburn was so great in this! I know a few people who are not a fan of hers (shocking, I know!), but I don't think that they've seen enough of her! She played Tracy perfectly (fun fact: the role was actually written for her), and I love how funny she is, and the way she played the character arc! I've only seen a few movies with her, which are: Bringing Up Baby (1938) [My favorite!], The Philadelphia Story (1940), part of The Lion in Winter (1968) [I do not recommend], Rooster Cogburn (1975), & one movie with her and Spencer Tracy that I saw a long time ago and I don't know what it was. She is so much fun to watch, I can't wait to see more films with her!
A big thank you to Crystal and Michaela for hosting this blogathon! Make sure to check out all of the other posts HERE and HERE.

Are you a fan of Katharine Hepburn? Why or why not? Thanks for reading!

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