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

Saturday, November 30, 2019

My 300th Post: My Ten Favorite Movie Scores

Hello, movie fans!

The day has come. This is my 300th post. I have no clue where the time goes (apparently into writing all of these posts). As I have been hitting these milestones I like to do something special. For My 100th Post I said my top 100 favorite movies (where I just typed anything that came into my head. I have a more accurate list on my page My Favorites) and for My 200th Post I listed all of the movies that I had seen in the theater up to that point (now I have a lot more to add). The question was, what was I going to do for my 300th?

As you all know I love to watch movies. But, so many different elements make up films. For today, I will be listing my top 10 favorite movie scores! I will put a video for each one so you can listen and see why I love it. I promise, none of these will be over 10 minutes.

For clarification:
I'm counting movies, so no TV shows (i.e. Robin Hood BBC, Sherlock, Pride & Prejudice) that would be a separate post.
No movies that I just like the music to but technically haven't seen the movie (The Great Escape) and no movies where I just love the score but don't the movie (The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly). I mean, some times the only things I like about movies is the music, but what I'm thinking of for this list are movies that are amazing and perfect, but wouldn't be complete without the soundtrack.
And, these are scores, not soundtracks. I get the two confused all the time. Apparently, score is just instrumental, while a soundtrack can include songs with words from the film. None of these are musicals because that is impossible to pick.

Honorable mentions:
The Magnificent Seven (1960 version), Indiana Jones, Howl's Moving Castle, Kung Fu Panda.

Starting at 10 and going down to 1...

10. The Princess Diaries (2001)
So many movies were vying for this spot, trying to be here. Finally, I had to go with this one. The score is light and airy and makes me so happy because I have watched this so many times (Also, I love the soundtrack, too!). If you haven't ever seen this, you are missing out on a really sweet movie. (I noticed that this video is the one of the shortest. As I go on they keep getting longer.)

Besides Indiana Jones, this was the first movie that I realized had music playing through out the whole thing. This is so epic and "piraty"! I like to listen to it while I write. And, though I only put the main one here, there are so many different parts to listen to!

8. Chariots of Fire (1981)
This is so cool! I had heard it a lot before actually watching the movie, and though it seems like the wrong genre of music, it captures the fight to win the races perfectly. And it shows the joy of running. It just makes me so happy. I first heard it when I was watching the London 2012 Olympics. This score won Best Original Score 1981 at the Oscars!

7. Up (2009)
I dare you to listen to this and not cry. Pixar makes music such an important part of their films, and in my opinion, this is where they did it the best. The music tugs at your emotions, making you laugh and cry with just a few simple notes. Ugh, I love it so much! Excuse me while I go cry.
The violins pierce through and strike me of being so much like Sherlock himself. The score goes with the whole movie, and it was actually because I thought that it sounded so cool (from when my mom was watching) that convinced me to watch it. (Sorry, this video is giving me a little bit of trouble, but I think that I have it fixed now.)

5. Sense and Sensibility (1995)
It was hard to pick the top 5. This one is here because I have so much nostalgia for it. The score is not epic or loud, it is soft and quiet and pretty. The one that I have above is called "My Father's Favourite". This movie is one of my favorite Jane Austen adaptations, and this music fits it so well!

4. Harry Potter
John Williams is a master of composing music. He makes it sound so magical and intriguing and he pulls you into the world right away. Love it! As soon as you hear this you think of wizards, magic, spells, and Harry Potter.

THE NOSTALGIA. It is kind of long, but if nothing else listen to the second half of this. It is so beautiful! "I can't take it in..." (that's from a song from the credits, so I love the soundtrack, too). The way the instruments blend is breathtaking! Ack!

2. How to Train Your Dragon
I love this score so much! What I have above is called "Test Drive" and is one of the best pieces of music of all time, in my opinion. In the third movie they were messing with me because they kept starting to play it and I would squeal with delight, but then they would go into something else. When they finally did I bawled and cried because I love it so much.

What could my top favorite of all time be?









Did you expect anything else? Star Wars has such an epic and iconic score, it has to be number 1. I wouldn't be my grandpa's granddaughter if it wasn't! I just put the main theme, because otherwise we would be sitting here all day, but I absolutely love the score for the binary sunsets scene and the ending ceremony, and the Catina, Darth Vader's is the ultimate villain one and adds so much to his character, and the ending Ewok score for Return of the Jedi! And that's not even going into the new ones!

One of my favorite stories (and I'm not sure that it's true, but either way it is awesome), is from when they were making A New Hope. The story goes that George Lucas was directing them and saying, "We'll do this and Leia's theme will be playing."
Just joking, Mark Hamill says, "Leia gets a theme but Luke doesn't?"
George Lucas looks him directly in the eye and says, "Luke's theme is the main theme."
It is said that up until that moment Mark Hamill hadn't realized that he was the main star!

I know you are all wondering, "Where is The Lord of the Rings?" Well, my sister loves the score for that, but I've only seen the first movie (I'm going to fix that, soon), and after I've watched the other two I'll be more attached to it.

Thank you so much for reading/listening! Let me know if you like these, and tell me what your favorites are!


Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Book vs. Movie Review: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Hello, everyone!

A while back I did a mini review of the book The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society - by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. It was only a mini review then because I was hoping to watch the movie and compare the two sometime. Well, I had that chance a few months ago and here we are! Enjoy!

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

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society - by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows:
"I think you learn more if you're laughing at the same time."
Now that the war is over, there are no more worries. When writer Juliet Ashton receives a book that used to belong to her and a letter from a man on Guernsey island, her curiosity is aroused. She learns that the man, Dawsey Adams, is part of a literary society that was started during the occupation of Guernsey during World War II. She writes letters with other members of the book club, trying to know everything that she can. Without realizing it she finds herself living their lives, as they recall the occupation. She wants to be part of Guernsey, too, but with pulls in London, will she ever know where she belongs?
"Didn't matter then who started in it the first place. Not to me, anyway."
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance, epistolary novel.
Characters: 7. My only complaint is that two characters are mentioned as being homosexual. I don't think that anyone who identifies with that is a bad person, definitely not, but I just don't support their way of living. In this book I was really frustrated with it because it seemed like such a convenient thing. Instead of developing and making other plot points stronger, they went for the easy way out. It isn't a big deal, they are just side characters, and after mentioning it once it never does again.
My favorites:
Juliet: I love her passion for living and her curiosity to always know more.
Isola: She is such a sweetheart!
Amelia: She went through a lot, but is still strong and helps so many people.
Dawsey: I'll admit, I didn't like him at first, but he is quiet and patient and lovable!
Kit & Eli: They are adorable!! I love Eben, too.
"Our faces are always a dead giveaway. A lifted brow or curled lip reveals that it's a poor excuse for a book, and the clever customers ask for a recommendation instead, whereupon we frog-march them over to a particular volume and command them to read it."
Words: 6, there is some swearing and name calling. But, can we talk about how cool it is that it is an epistolary novel? It is completely written in letters! Sometimes that can be a little hard to read, but all the effort into writing it makes up for it. And personally, I had a hard time putting this one down.
"When I got up this morning, the sea was full of sun pennies--and now it all seems to be covered in lemon scrim."
Quotes: 9, there are so many great quotes about literature and reading!
"That's what I love about reading: one tiny thing will interest you in a book, and that tiny thing will lead you onto another book, and another bit there will lead you onto a third book. It's geometrically progressive--all with no end in sight, and for no other reason than sheer enjoyment."
Content: 6, there are mentions of drinking, crude humor about bathrooms, descriptions of violence, death, and a suggestive thing involving a character that happened. On the notes that I took I wrote down, "Some of the discussion not pleasing" but I don't recall what that was.
"Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad books."
Originality: 10! This was a very educational book for me because I had no idea about the occupation of Guernsey, and I would never have thought of writing a book about it! The story is so good. I didn't like it at first, but after thinking about it for two years, I have decided that I do!
"At the start, we tried to be calm and objective, but that soon fell away, and the purpose of the speakers was to goad the listeners into wanting to read the book themselves."
Good For: fans of historical fiction, for people who are looking for a different perspective, anyone who has lost people who mean a lot to them.
Age Range: I would say anyone over 13, because otherwise the story wouldn't be interesting to them. To most people older than that I would day it is very fascinating!
Overall Score: 7.5!
"You write charming little notes."


The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (2018):
Based on: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society - by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows.
"Yes, yes, we are book lovers."
After the writer Juliet Ashton receives a letter from a man who is returning a book that used to belong to her, she becomes fascinated with his literary society that he tells her about. He lives on the island of Guernsey, and was there during the occupation, when they formed the society. Juliet visits the island and never wants to leave. She decides to write a book about it, but there is some kind of secret involving one of the founders. Where is Elizabeth McKenna and what was her part in the occupation?
"But I don't need to tell you this, you already know what books can do. That is something we share, different as our lives may be."
Genres: Historical Fiction, Period Drama, Romance.
Length: approx. 124 minutes.
Costumes: 9, they did a great job with setting them all for the time period!
Script: 8, we hear God's name in vain a few times, but that's it.
"I'm older than time and I understand nothing."
Directed by: Mike Newell.
Written by: Kevin Hood, Don Roos, Tom Bezucha, Mary Ann Shaffer, and Annie Barrows.
Lily James as Juliet Ashton.
Michiel Huisman as Dawsey Adams.
Penelope Wilton as Amelia Maugery.
Jessica Brown Findlay as Elizabeth McKenna.
Katherine Parkinson as Isola Pribby.
Glen Powell as Mark Reynolds.
Matthew Goode as Sidney Stark.
Tom Courtenay as Eben Ramsey.
Kit Connor as Eli Ramsey.
Florence Keen as Kit McKenna.
Nicolo Pasetti as Christian Hellmann.
Bronagh Gallagher as Charlotte Stimple.
Cinematography: 10! Ah, Guernsey is so gorgeous!!!
Cinematography by: Zac Nicholson.
Music: 7, um, I was so wrapped up in the story that I didn't notice it? I remember that it was good, but I couldn't tell you what it was.
Music by: Alexandra Harwood.
Notes: There are a lot of differences from the book, like scenes got cut, fewer characters, and a few things tweaked to fit in, but I loved all of the changes that they made! It was so good. Bravo!
Quotes: 8, "I don't care for everyone to see me cry. I will later."
Content: 7, there is drinking, violence, death, images of blood, gross things, smoking, mild kissing, and then the suggestive thing that I talked about as well as several other suggestive comments. I knew that the writers couldn't take out the homosexual mention, but it was only one person, and very, very, very, brief. It wasn't a big deal, and I appreciated that.
Originality: 10! Once again, this is such a creative idea! Both inspiring and informational.
Good For: anyone who is a fan of the actors, people who have been through hard times, anyone interested in history.
Age Range: This is pretty open to any age. Once again, kids under 13 might find it boring, but it totally depends on the individual.
Overall Score: 8.5!
Bonus thoughts:
Alright, so I thought that the book was okay, but I loved this movie! So good! When I heard that they were making a movie I thought, "How can you make a movie of a story told in letters?" The answer: they didn't use the letter format and it worked out anyway. I was so excited to hear that Lily James, Penelope Wilton, and Jessica Brown Findlay were all in it (I told my sister, "Downton Abbey reunion"!)! They all did amazing jobs! The story really gripped me even though I already knew it, the scenes were gorgeous, Kit and Eli were so adorable, Dawsey was precious, and just everything about it was so good. It even gave me a better appreciation for the book. If you have read it, then I definitely suggest that you watch this, too!!
Sadly, I couldn't find photos of my favorites, so you'll have to watch yourself to see what they look like!

The movie wins!

If you have seen or read this, I would love to know your thoughts! Thanks for reading!


Saturday, November 23, 2019

Book vs. Movie Review: Babe

Hello, everyone!

This year is 2019 in our calender, but it is also the year of the pig in the Chinese and Japanese years. Because of this I am going to review a book and a movie about a pig! One of the sweetest pigs of all time, I might add.

I hope that you enjoy!

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

Babe the Gallant Pig - by Dick King-Smith:
Also known as: The Sheep-Pig.
'For some time now they had shown an instinctive interest in anything that moved, driving it away or bringing it back, turning it to the left or right, in fact herding it.'
A farmer wins a pig by guessing his weight. Babe, the pig, bonds with a collie who is a sheepdog, and the two become like mother and son. Soon Babe begins to learn how to herd ducks and chickens, and wants to do the same with sheep, but the farmer's wife is still thinking about how tasty pigs are. If he can't get the sheep to move in the usual dog techniques, what is he going to do?
Genre: Middle grade fiction.
Characters: 7, it's a short book so there isn't a lot of development, but all the characters are really sweet.
My favorites:
Babe: This little pig! He is so sweet and kind and adorable!
Farmer Hogget: He is a kindred spirit to me. 'I'm daft, he thought, grinning to himself.'
Words: 7, the b-word of a female dog is used five times, but never in an insulting way, just talking about Fly. It was cool that each chapter heading was a quote in that chapter.
'On the opposite side of the valley the trees and houses and haystacks stood out clearly against the background in that three-dimensional way that means rain later.'
Quotes: 6, not extremely quotable on a day to day basis, but there are some sweet lines.
"You've got to be a brave boy."
Awards: 1984 Guardian Children's Fiction Award.
Content: 9, there is death and descriptions of blood, but it is very short and not too gory.
Originality: 9, this is such a cute idea of having a pig try to be a sheep dog! I know that I would never have thought of it.
Good For: kids, animal lovers.
Age Range: This is a perfect book for little kids! It is very short (I read it in one sitting), but sweet and I know that I would have loved it when I was little. Even reading it now I appreciated the sweet message.
Overall Score: 7.5!
Bonus thoughts:
'"I suppose you'd say," she remarked now, "that those dogs just weren't polite enough?'"
This is such a sweet book that reminds us that when we get into a habit we can just do it and not think about how we are treating others. It shows us through the innocence of Babe, how to be polite and kind to everyone. I love it!


Babe (1995):
Based on: Babe, the Gallant Pig - by Dick King-Smith.
"This is a tale of an unprejudiced heart that changed the whole valley."
A pig is won by a farmer and goes to live on a sheep farm. He makes friends with all of the animals there and the farmer, Mr. Hoggett, finds himself growing fond of him. After watching the sheep dogs do their work he decides that he wants to try, but their rough method doesn't work. He thinks the best of each animal but one dog, Rex, thinks that he is trying to take his place. Mr. Hoggett comes up with a crazy idea. Can Babe be a great pig, or will he end up as dinner?
Genre: Comedy, Family.
Length: approx. 91 minutes.
Costumes: 7, just regular clothing.
Script: 10, no bad words! "He should accept what he is and be grateful for it. That goes for all of us."
Directed by: Chris Noonan.
Written by: George Miller, Chris Noonan, & Dick King-Smith.
Christine Cavanaugh as the voice of Babe.
James Cromwell as Arthur Hoggett.
Magda Szubanski as Esme Cordelia Hoggett.
Miriam Margolyes as the voice of Fly.
Hugo Weaving as the voice of Rex.
Danny Mann as the voice of Ferdinand.
Miriam Flynn as the voice of Maa.
Roscoe Lee Browne as the Narrator.
Russi Taylor as the voice of Duchess.
Brittany Byrnes as The Hoggetts' granddaughter.
Wade Hayward as The Hoggetts' grandson.
Paul Goddard as the Hoggetts' son-in-law.
Zoe Burton as the Hoggetts' daughter.
Cinematography: 10!!! Warning, rant ahead. This is a movie where we have animals that talk with each other, and therefore their mouths have to move. We also have them doing strange things. In today's world what would the animals be? CGI. Did they do that for this movie? No! There is mixture of real animals and animatronics. You heard that, robots! Watching this you would never guess! As I say later, it won Best Visual Effects! So, so, so, awesome. I love it!!!
Cinematography by: Andrew Lesnie.
Music: 9, the score is so good and the one song in here is so sweet! I feel like singing it as I write, "If I had words to make a day for you..."
Music by: Nigel Westlake.
Notes: Because the book is very short, they had to add in more parts and they did such a great job! I really like Rex and his whole story, and Ferdinand is a hoot! That duck gets into so much trouble. In my opinion they took an already sweet story, and made it even sweeter and deeper in meaning! Bravo! I also love the development they did on Mr. Hoggett. When I was younger I thought that he was grumpy, but watching it now I see that he is just introverted and a kindred spirit! Another cool thing was dividing it into "chapters" and having the three funny mice announce each one!
Quotes: 8, "That'll do pig, that'll do."
Oscars won: 1: Best Visual Effects, but it was nominated for 7, including Best Picture!
Content: 9, there is death, and we see a little bit of blood and animal fights, but there are not a lot and they are short. We also mention dogs as breeding animals, and same with chickens and roosters.
Originality: 9, same as the book! As I said above, I love the additions.
Good For: Everyone!
Age Range: All ages! It is rated G, so any kid can watch this, but all adults would learn some things about being kind.
Overall Score: 9!
Bonus thoughts:
"The pig promised himself that he would never think badly of another creature again."
Where do I start? When I was little I thought that this film was a little boring, but boy, was I wrong! Babe gets into so many adventures, and he is the sweetest pig ever! The way that he shows kindness to everyone, even those who have hurt him, is inspiring. You just want to be like him! The time that he is just singing because he is so happy melts my heart. This movie is amazing, and you should all watch it when you have the chance.

The movie wins!

Well, there it is! I hope you all enjoyed my reviews of this sweet story. Have you read or seen this? What do you think of it?

Thanks for reading!


Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Book vs. Movie Review: To Kill A Mockingbird

Hello, everyone!

Today is a very big day. It is the day that I am doing a review with my older sister, Em.

"Why?" you might ask. I have wanted to review the Pulitzer prize winning novel To Kill a Mockingbird - by Harper Lee ever since I read it in December of 2016. 2016 was a while ago, and since Em just read it this year she will be helping me out with details that I don't remember.

"Why haven't you done it sooner?" you ask. I love to compare books to movies on this blog and I wasn't able to watch the movie until last year when I was in a blogging rut so that didn't happen. That is why today is a very big day! My comments will be in black like usual, and Em's will be in maroon. Say hello, Em!


Perfect! If you want to check out something that Em and I did in the past, click here. Let's get started!

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

To Kill a Mockingbird - by Harper Lee:
“Real courage is when you know you're licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.” 
This book starts in the summer of 1932, in the life of Scout Finch, a girl in a small southern town with a love for reading, even though she hasn't been to school yet. She and her big brother Jem have a lot to learn as big changes take place as they grow older, and especially when their father, Atticus (a lawyer), takes on a case defending Tom Robinson, a local worker. Will the people of their small town be able to overcome their prejudices and see what's right?
“You just hold your head high and keep those fists down. No matter what anybody says to you, don't you let 'em get your goat. Try fightin' with your head for a change."
Genre: Fiction.
Characters: 10! There is so much depth to each and every one of them!
Our favorites: 
Atticus Finch: He is like, the best character of all time. "Stand up, Scout, your father's passing."
Jean Louise "Scout" Finch: Her innocence is so sweet, and she is just amazing. That's all I can say.
Jem Finch: He gets into a lot of trouble, but he is such a good big brother to Scout.
Calpurnia: She's a good anchor throughout the book for the Finches.
Miss Maudie Atkinson: She is the best! She is solid and open minded. Also provides comic relief.
Words: 8, there is some mild swearing. Points for writing in dialect. As I point out later, there is some name calling in a bad word, but it's shown as bad and a character is told not to say that. It's what was said around that time. It's somewhat necessary for the setting.
“Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.” 
Quotes: 8, there are some really, really, really amazing lines in here, but we decided to rate it 8 because when I talk about quotes I mean things that you can just say on a regular basis, out of context. All of the quotes we have here are the really famous ones, but they're famous for a reason!
“Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corncribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.”
Awards: Won the Pulitzer prize in 1961. It also was voted the 2018 PBS "The Great American Read".
Content: 9, there is attempted murder, death, racism, drinking, mention of abuse, violence, and in the trial that we mentioned Atticus defends a man against accusations of rape.
Because of this you are wondering, "Why are you rating it 9, then?" Because all the things that I mentioned are shown as wrong. That's right, it is all shown that these are bad things that shouldn't happen. It is rare when you come across a book that shows them in a bad light. I have mentioned them for anyone who might be extremely disturbed by any of it.
“I think there's just one kind of folks. Folks.”
Originality: 10, It's really pretty original, but it's also realistic.
Good For: Everyone needs to read this!!
Age Range: Story time. My mom has never been one for "banning books". She always let my sisters and me read whatever books we wanted to. When I was eight we were in the library and I came up to her holding this book. I said, "I want to read this!"
She looked at me and said, "I definitely think that you should read that. It's an amazing book, but you should wait until you're older." That was the only she said that to me and I was offended. I thought, "Shouldn't people be able to read any books that they want?" when I finally did read it I didn't really understand it because I kept thinking, "Why couldn't I have read this earlier?"
But, do you know what? I wouldn't have appreciated it at all. This book goes through some heavy subjects, and I would've been bored because I wouldn't have understood what was going on. In fact, I want to reread it because I think that I'll be able to understand a lot more. Because of that, I would say that the age range is anyone 15 and up.
Overall Score: 9!
Bonus thoughts:
“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view... Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.”
This book has everything, it makes you laugh, cry, inspires you, and gives you something to think about. The details in it are amazing and how everything is woven in. It deals with my favorite subjects, having perspective and learning not to judge. Go read it right now if you haven't already.
This is a classic for a reason. Classics tend to pose the big questions, question the big questions, and put us on a path towards the answers. "What is the difference between right and wrong?" is something we often ask ourselves, and there are so many different ways to answer that. This book takes a good, long look at the human condition on an individual, and an overall level, and tells us that to understand it we have to look not only at ourselves and those we know, but look through other people's points of view, in circumstances we don't even know exist. What you don't know about someone can be the best thing you ever learn.


To Kill a Mockingbird (1962):
Based on: To Kill a Mockingbird -by Harper Lee.
Scout and Jem think that their father is boring. When he is assigned to defend a man in a trial a lot of people in the town turn against him. The siblings learn about life and how to treat people as they go through school and witness the trials. They start to find that maybe their father is a man worth admiring. Will the rest of the town follow suit and do what is right?
"There are some men in this world who are born to do our unpleasant jobs for us. Your father's one of them."
Genre: Drama.
Length: approx. 129 minutes.
Costumes: 8. Nothing bad, nothing spectacular. Just accurate.
Script: 9, there is no swearing, but like we said above there is name calling using a certain bad word, but it's shown as something that you shouldn't use.
"There's a lot of ugly things in this world, son, and I wish that I could keep 'em all away from you."
Directed by: Robert Mulligan.
Written by: Horton Foote & Harper Lee.
Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch.
Mary Badham as Scout.
Phillip Alford as Jem.
John Megna as Charles Baker "Dill" Harris.
Brock Peters as Tom Robinson.
Frank Overton as Sheriff Heck Tate.
Rosemary Murphy as Miss Maudie Atkinson.
James Anderson as Bob Ewell.
Estelle Evans as Calpurnia.
Paul Fix as Judge Taylor.
Collin Wilcox as Mayella Ewell.
Robert Duvall as Arthur Radley.
Crahan Denton as Walter Cunningham.
Ruth White as Mrs. Dubose.
Kim Stanley as the narrator.
Kim Hamilton as Helen Robinson.
William Walker as Reverend Sykes.
Cinematography: 10, I love black and white movies! It was really interesting. The opening credits shot had an amazing feel, and shadows throughout were done really well in the suspenseful moments.
Cinematography by: Russell Harlan.
Music: 8, I thought it was good, I mean, sometimes it was a little over the top in moments where I would've liked quiet, but overall it matched the mood very well.
Music by: Elmer Bernstein.
My favorite part, now we compare! As I said above, this is spoiler free, but I am just going to point out some of the differences between the book.
1. In the book we see everything from Scout's point of view, and we do for the majority here, but in this we also see from Jem's eyes which I thought was a cool addition.
2. Many of the everyday aspects were cut from the movie for timing reasons as well as several special events and characters that I thought were important in the book.
3. Some of those are that in the book we go deeper into the characters of Miss Maudie Atkinson, Mrs. Dubose, and Calpurnia.
Anything else? Just little details that would be spoilers, so nope.
Quotes: 7, Less quotable than the book because there are fewer quotes! Some of the really great quotes from the book were cut because some of the elements were cut. As mentioned before. There still are some really great ones, but also as we said before not really ones that you can use on a day to day basis. More inspiring than anything else.
"'Do you know what a compromise is?'
'Breaking the law?'"
Oscars won: 3: Best Actor (Gregory Peck), Best Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium, & Best Art Direction, Black-and-White.
Content: 9, We've talked about this before, same deal as in the book. I don't want us to repeat ourselves too many times, so let me sum up. There is racism, attempted murder, death, and there is lawsuit that deals with a man accused of rape. With that comes descriptions of violence.
Originality: 10, same as the book.
Good For: People who are fans of black and white movies, everyone anywhere.
Age Range: Same as book (read the book review first and don't just skip to this one). 15 and up to be able to understand the depth of it.
"You never really understand a person unless you see from their point of view."
Overall Score: 8!
Bonus thoughts:
Oh man, this movie. Gregory Peck deserved his Oscar 100%. As much as I love the book, I feel like watching the movie helped me understand the whole idea better, I think that this is mostly because I was so young when I read the book and it was just last year that I saw this. The book is still my favorite, but this is the perfect film to accompany it. Even though some of the actors don't look exactly like I imagined them, they did brilliant jobs! If you have read the book and haven't seen this, go! And if you haven't read the book, then do that then see this!
The movie version of any book usually follows the same basic storyline, but loses the depth and meaning, replacing it with drama. This is a complete exception to that. It cuts much of the storyline from the book, focusing on one main element, but the meaning is amplified by the amazing performances of the actors and the cinematography. The book still has more depth, but the general feeling was captured very well in the movie. I agree, read the book, then watch this.

Em and I had a terrific time watching and reviewing this. Have you seen this? Do you agree with our thoughts? Well, thank you so much for reading!

Friday, November 15, 2019

Christy Read-Along: The End!

Hello, everybody!

Today is time for the last day in Amber's, who blogs at Seasons of Humility, Christy Read-Along!
I am excited because I am on schedule and caught up, just in time for it to be over. Oh well. I had a ton of fun reading this and discussing it with the other participants!

Check out Amber's thoughts HERE, Julie's HERE, and Carissa's HERE.

Spoiler Alert! I will be talking about the ending of the book Christy - by Catherine Marshall and there will be major spoilers, so don't read any further unless you want the ending completed ruined for you!

Christy - by Catherine Marshall: Chapters 40-36
Discussion format: your favorite quotes, general impressions, and three questions to answer for each week's reading

Favorite Quotes:

'Now circumstances were forcing knowledge on me.'

'She's learned the secret all the way, hasn't she? How to love other people.'

"I'd long since learned that no difference in viewpoint should ever be allowed to cause the least break in love. Indeed, it cannot it it's real love."

'Did people always have to wait for pestilence or war or tragedy to be shocked into forgetting about themselves?"

'The grass was dotted with flowers -- I spotted buttercups and the orchid of fairy fringe and the vermilion of fire pinks, and mountain bluets like patches of sky fallen into the grass -- all of such intense coloration that they were not like flowers at all: they were explosions of color.'

General Impressions:

It was scary that Typhoid fever came to Cutter Gap! Miss Alice and Christy were so caring as they helped Ruby Mae, Bessie's mother, Zady, and Lundy. They both went through such hard times, but they pulled through. It was so brave of them to do all they did and help in so many ways. They are truly great role models.

Lundy: man, I don't even know what to say. I guess, 'What goes around comes around'? I couldn't believe that it was him who shot Tom. I still feel bad that he died, if only he had listened to Dr. MacNeill! I'm glad that Bird's-Eye came back to be with him. When he got his nose bleed Christy told him to pinch it and tilt his head back, not forward. I have been around a lot of nose bleeds (rarely my own), and I have taken a basic first aid course and the most important thing is to always tip your head forward. Never back. It was showing the thoughts of the time because of the use of the opposite. I am proud of all that Dr. MacNeill did to emphasize sanitation.

It was interesting to hear Miss Alice tell Christy about Margaret her daughter and Dr. MacNeill's wife. She laughs at everything, like me.

Now, in this next bit I'm going to try to not sound victorious, but it probably won't work. We'll see.

I was glad that David and Christy got things sorted out. I had been wondering if he actually had any relationship with God. Miss Alice's comparison of him to Jonah was really accurate and I'm glad that he figured things out.

I was a little scared when Christy got sick and had bad dreams. We were so close to the end of the book that I thought she was going to die, but then I remembered the prologue and was fine. Her one dream of telling "I love you" to Little Burl made me so happy because it was so cute!!

The final chapter was amazing. The dreams and thoughts on life and death were so poignant. I am so victorious because I was right all along about Neil! I had a feeling in the last discussion chapters that he had feelings towards Christy and I love it when I'm right.

It's funny, I always think that I'm not going to think of anything to say for the general impressions, but I always have a long post!

Discussion Questions:

1. Which story of sickness, whether hopeful or heartbreaking, affected you the most?

I love that Christy went to help take care of Ruby Mae. She had always thought of her as a tag along, but she realized that she needed to help this girl who looks up to her. It made my heart warm and fuzzy.

2. Were you satisfied with the conclusion of the story? If so, what did you like most about these last chapters? If not, what do you wish might have been different?

I am pretty satisfied with the ending. The last chapter was really beautiful to me. I had no idea of where it was going, but it was done nicely. The ending seemed really sudden (I'm talking about Neil), but it was okay.

3. What was your favorite part about Christy? Do you plan to read other books by Catherine Marshall, either fiction or nonfiction?

My favorite part was probably seeing all of the interactions with the kids in the school room! So cute! Catherine Marshall also had some really lovely descriptions. This is the first book of hers that I've heard about, so I don't know. Maybe once I've done some more research on what her other books are about I'd be interested.

A huge, huge, huge thank you to Amber for hosting this! I had a good time reading this book!

Thanks to all of you for reading! If you've read this book, what do you think of it?


Monday, November 11, 2019

Christy Read-Along: Chapters 26-39

Hello, once again, my friends!

It is time for another post in Amber at Seasons of Humility's Christy Read-Along.
As it has become my custom with these posts, I am combining two into one. I didn't post on the 1st because of the start of NaNoWriMo and I was working on my Coco (2017) review, then I didn't post on the 8th because of my Blog Costume Party, so I have some catching up to do now.

Check out Amber's post for chapters 26-32 HERE, and chapters 33-39 HERE.

SPOILER ALERT! I will be talking about the book Christy without any hesitations, so there are a ton of spoilers. Don't read this post unless you've read this book.

Christy - by Catherine Marshall: Chapters 26-39
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 must have been like seeing through a peephole in his armor," I remarked, "seeing the man as he was meant to be."'

'I might have felt unimportant pitted against the awesome might of the mountains. I did not. Rather, on that mountain top I found something important that I had never known before: an awareness of a vital connection between me and the Authority behind all this beauty.'

"When your heart is ablaze with the love of God, when you love other people -- especially the rip-snorting sinners -- so much that you dare to tell them about Jesus with no apologies, then never fear, there will be results."

'Perhaps it is just that even a small city provides artificial distraction which separates us from the roots of our life; even a few bricks and a little macadam are a shield between us and the wisdom that nature has to give.'

'The sun sifting through moving branches would splinter the light into diamonds on the water tossing them back into my eyes with such magic that I would want to shout and dance, just for the joy of living -- and usually did. Fairlight understood. She always understood.'

General Impressions:
Chapters 26-32:
I know I talk about my favorite characters each time, and you are all probably tired of it, but they are my favorites and I have to keep you updated on why they are my favorites:

Miss Alice: She just has the best advice ever. No arguing about it. Something that she said that I found very relatable (I mean everything that she says is amazing, but one of my favorite bits) was:
"It's been the delight of my life to find God far more common sense and practical than any human I know. The only time I ever find my dealings with God less than clear cut is when I'm not being honest with Him. The fuzziness is always on my side, not His."
Whenever I set my mind to talk to God and open up my heart, I always feel such a sense of relief, but when I keep to myself then everything seems harder.

And something that another participant in the read-along, Julie, and I were talking about in the comments last time was mentioned by Miss Alice:
"So many people never pause long enough to make up their minds about basic issues of life and death. It's quite possible to go through your whole life, making the mechanical motions of living, adopting as your own sets of ideas you've picked up some place or other, and die--never having come to any conclusion for yourself as to what life is all about."

Opal: Can we talk about the fact that here are men standing around her cabin, waiting to kill her husband, and Opal has such a sweet heart that she feeds them because she doesn't want them to starve? She is so kind and thoughtful, definitely a new favorite through these chapters.

Fairlight: I absolutely loved reading about her and Christy's little adventures! The descriptions were gorgeous and so accurate, and her and Christy's friendship is so sweet, I love watching it grow.

Okay, now for parts that are not my favorite:
I was so sad when Tom was murdered! I just wanted to reach through the page and give everyone hugs. Especially Issak who was made to dig his grave. Ugh, is was just so sad! I liked Miss Alice's choice of the story of Lazarus and her thoughts on it. I hope that it gets some sense into them.
(Oh, and learning about Bird's-Eye's back story made me feel victorious because I knew that there is some good in him, and I can't wait to see it. I was so glad to hear that it wasn't him who killed Tom, but it makes me wonder who did...)

Um, this next part is probably controversial, but when David proposed to Christy then kissed her I threw my book (It landed on my bed and it was fine, just to let you all know). I know that this is something that happens in books a lot, and I even know several preachers who are married and have wonderful families, but...reading it is just weird to me. Being a Catholic I am raised with the tradition that all nuns and priests take a vow of celibacy, so my mind just can't comprehend it all. This is just me, I don't know anyone else who reacts to this like I do. I even had a feeling it was coming, because as soon as we met David I was like this:
I mean come on, why can't they just be friends?

Moving on.

I will end on a high note, the last day of school celebration was so sweet (sorry, sweet is one of my favorite words. How many times have I said it in this post?)! I will miss reading about Christy teaching them, but I'm glad that they were all so happy.
"You'd be surprised how much children can teach us ossified adults, if we'd only stoop to listen."

Chapters 33-39:
Oh boy. Where to begin?

Miss Alice's story was really sad. Whenever someone betrays our deep trust in them it is heartbreaking. That man was horrible and I'm glad that we never saw him again. What really sticks out to me is how brave it was of Miss Alice to tell Christy the story. I know that when people think well of me I like to keep it that way, and the fact that she thought Christy thought of her too well shows how wonderful she is.
'In the light of Miss Alice's story, I understood that the reason we have to accept other people is simply because God receives us just the way we are.'

I think that Christy did a very good job with the Ladies of the University Club speech. Based on her interaction I with Mr. Smith, I wasn't sure what to expect, but I think that she did a really nice job. It's exciting that they will now be taking boarders.

I absolutely couldn't believe that Ruby Mae got married. What??? I mean, I know that it was normal back then, but she is just so young! I agree with Christy that she could have waited longer. The whole chapter was rather disturbing for me. Let's think of a good part, ah! It was fun to read about the dancing because I love to dance and explore different kinds.
'The American frontier had its dangers and its hard work but it also had a rare talent for making its own fun.'

David and Christy... yeah, I talked about them enough in the last few chapters. My feelings haven't changed.

The discussing of fears was so important! We all are afraid of things, and we have to face them at some point.
"After a while the love of God was more real to me than any ghost."

I was so sad when Fairlight died! It seems like my favorite character in any book always dies. It was painful to read about how terrified she was, I mean, wouldn't we all be?

Asking the question of "Why?" is very relatable to many people. And I absolutely loved that the end of this chapter (39) was focusing on the feeling of being loved by God. It was really beautiful.

Discussion Questions:
Chapters 26-32:
1. What turn of events shocked or surprised you most in this section?

Besides everything else that I mentioned, it must have been really scary when Christy, Miss Ida, and Ruby Mae were alone and the men were trying to break in! I would have been terrified. I admire that Miss Ida was able to remain calm.

2. What do you think drove Christy to climb a mountain? Have you ever been driven to do something out of the ordinary or especially challenging for you? What was the experience like?

Christy's experience on the mountain was so vivid for me! I have had the same feeling go through me. I always think that people who said that they don't believe in God must never have felt this, because once you do you know and never forget.

I am very stubborn and determined, so once I start something I push through until the end. One time I did want to climb a hill, and I did it, but it was pretty much straight up and down and my side hurt for the rest of the day because I was breathing so heavily. So yeah. I would definitely encourage trying new things, but don't hurt yourself!

3. What was your favorite part or performance from the school's last-day festivities?

Creed showing off Scalawag II was so cute! The way that he was so proud of himself was adorable. I also loved how their different words spelled OUR SCHOOL.

Chapters 33-39:
1. What do you think of the Folk School idea that Mrs. Browning shared with Christy? Do you feel like it would be beneficial to the people of the Cove?

All of the talk and debates about the Folk School idea are really interesting to me. I'm not sure if it will work in the Cove because of the personalities of the people there, but if they could figure out how to make it work it would be beneficial, I think!

2. Do you find nighttime and darkness bothersome or appealing? Have your feelings changed since childhood?

This is really funny that this is one of the discussion questions because I absolutely love night and darkness. When I was little I was afraid of someone being in the dark and going to scare me (a realistic fear when you have sisters), but since I was about ten I've loved the dark. There is something so mysterious and thrilling about it. I love to challenge myself by walking around my house at night and trying not to run into anything. This isn't a really good idea because I am naturally clumsy, but I fall when there is already light, no difference when there isn't.

My favorite thing is that it is so much easier to see the light when you are surrounded by darkness. A good metaphor for life, right?

3. What are some of the things you hope will happen or be resolved in the last chapters? (Or, if you've already read the book, has anything stood out to you differently so far while reading the book this time around?)

I'm interested to see how Dr. MacNeil's and Christy's friendship will grow. Oh, and maybe getting to see the children in school again? And there is always the hope that Ben Pentland will show up.

Thanks to Amber for hosting, and to all of you for reading! What do you think of this book and my thoughts?


Saturday, November 9, 2019

Movie Review: Pride & Prejudice & Zombies (2016)

Hello, everyone!

Okay, I know what you are all wondering,
"Why in the world did she watch Pride & Prejudice & Zombies?"
But hear me out.

Other years when I have announced my Blog Costume Party I knew what I was going to be.
This year I was absolutely stumped! My sister and I stayed up so late just throwing ideas out, trying to come up with literary characters to be. Finally we decided on Jane Austen characters, but in my house the rule for dressing up was always that we had to be magical or scary. For nostalgia's sake I wanted to keep the tradition up. Therefore, I said,
"Hey, there is something called Pride & Prejudice & Zombies, why don't we be Jane Austen characters as zombies?" 
My sister thought that it sounded weird, but went with it even though neither of us had seen it.
It wasn't until after we had our costumes did I watch the movie.

I am now here to tell you my disclaimer:
If you do not like the idea of zombies or want to see anything with them, I totally respect that! I'd just mention that this movie is not for you. To me, the idea of zombies are okay in a fantasy setting.
Do I believe in winged horses, pegusai? No.
Do I like to read stories that include them? Yes.
Even famous authors like J. K. Rowling and J. R. R. Tolkien have had their own version of zombies in their fantasy worlds. When I think of zombies I think of this quote:

“Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”
― Neil Gaiman

Just something to think about. Now I'll finally get on to the actual review.

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

Pride & Prejudice & Zombies (2016):
Based on: Pride & Prejudice - by Jane Austen, and Pride & Prejudice & Zombies - by Seth Grahame-Smith.
"Handsome is as handsome does."
In England the growing zombie population is getting worse. Having zombies in the country is rare, but just in case all of Mr. Bennet's daughters are trained in martial arts and weaponry to protect themselves if there is ever an attack. At a ball there are two new gentlemen, Mr. Bingley who is instantly attracted to Mr. Bennet's oldest daughter Jane, and Colonel Darcy who is a renowned zombie killer. When the attacks start happening more frequently there seems to be something deeper going on. Will everyone be able to put aside their dislike of each other to fight against this uprising?
"Keep your swords as sharp as your wits."
Genre: Horror, Romance, Fantasy.
Length: approx. 108 minutes.
Costumes: 7, there are a few that are a little low, and we see people in underclothing, but they are cool besides that. They did a good job of mixing regency style and a martial arts feel.
Script: 9, I don't recall any bad words. It is neat that they added lines that are references to other of Jane Austen's works.
"If adventures will not befall a young lady in her own village she must seek them abroad."
Directed by: Burr Steers.
Written by: Burr Steers, Seth Grahame-Smith, and Jane Austen.
Lily James as Elizabeth Bennet.
Sam Riley as Colonel Fitzwilliam Darcy.
Jack Huston as Mr. Wickham.
Bella Heathcote as Jane Bennet.
Douglas Booth as Mr. Bingley.
Lena Headey as Lady Catherine de Bourgh.
Ellie Bamber as Lydia Bennet.
Matt Smith as Parson Collins.
Charles Dance as Mr. Bennet.
Suki Waterhouse as Kitty Bennet.
Emma Greenwell as Caroline Bingley.
Millie Brady as Mary Bennet.
Sally Phillips as Mrs. Bennet.
Aisling Loftus as Charlotte Lucas.
Dolly Wells as Mrs. Featherstone.
Cinematography: 7.
Cinematography by: Remi Adefarasin.
Music: 7, I didn't notice it at all. Oops!
Music by: Fernando Velázquez.
Quotes: 8, "Of all the weapons in the world I now know love to be the most dangerous."
Content: 3. I was worried that there was going to be some suggestive things, but there was only some kissing. There is a lot of: violence, blood, killing, death, and fighting. I know from the photos I picked that it doesn't look like it has that, but it does. I personally am not really bothered by that because I have been watching movies with fighting for as long as I can remember, and when I was little I saw a documentary about make-up in movies and have always known that the blood is just fake, but I totally understand that other people don't like seeing these things (and it's not that watching movies like this is my favorite thing ever, I actually prefer it when there isn't as much violence, but I'm just used to it). All together my score for this would be about 5 or 6, so why is it lower? Well, I was just fine when this weird thing happened. I even wrote down "Okay, that just got weird." As I mentioned in my introduction, I am fine with the idea of zombies, but there was this scene with zombies in a church receiving communion, that wasn't communion, and then later relating the Bible with zombies. As a Catholic that was something that went too far. I was very confused about what was happening and rather uncomfortable. It wasn't necessary I thought, but it is there for a warning to any of you who are going to watch this.
"What's right to do cannot be done too soon."
Originality: 9, this had some really clever things! Remember how much I disliked the 2005 Pride & Prejudice because I love the 1995 version so much? With the 2005 I was frustrated with all of the differences in script, costumes, and the story. With this, I was totally fine with all of the changes they made! It isn't the exact same thing, it is a retelling, so it was a ton of fun to see one of my favorite stories in a different way. There is some debate about people thought that Elizabeth Bennet was boring until they added this element of her fighting skills. I never have found Lizzy to be boring in just her usual self, so I don't agree with that. I think that they did a good job with her character and adding the fighting except for the time that she was fighting Mr. Darcy, that was just weird.
"Is there some sort of trouble? Oh, I guess there is."
Good For: I would recommend it for anyone who is a fan of Pride & Prejudice just to be able to have a new look at it.
Age Range: I would say this is PG-13 for the violence, but even if you are older than that and if you are uncomfortable with any of the things that I mentioned then you could skip on this. You don't have to like this, how boring would life be if we all liked the same things?
"Laugh at me as much as you choose, but you shall not laugh me out of my opinion."
Overall Score: 7.
Bonus thoughts:
I had fun watching this! Of course the 1995 Pride & Prejudice will always be my favorite, but this was fun to see. All of the actors were really well cast and the story kept me interested. The ending felt a little rushed, while I knew what was happening, if they had just added a few minutes to explain things I think it could have been smoother.
This was fun to watch once, and I'll probably show it to my sister sometime, but then after that I might not watch it again.

For the blog party:
"You are as unfeeling as the undead."
This is always my favorite part of my blog party, talking about the costumes! So my sister and I decided to be Elizabeth and Jane Bennet as zombies. That isn't what it is in the movie, but it's what we thought, so we are now calling ourselves as Jane Austen characters as a zombie and a ghost (she backed out on me at the last second, can you believe it?).

These costumes came together thanks to my sister who had these awesome dresses from a thrift store.

I was going for a zombie look so I had a falling apart look and rubber flies pinned all over me (I know it sounds gross, but it looked really cool). My make up was just really dark around my eyes and a pale face. I also have an awesome pair of boots which you sadly can't really see in the photo.
My sister decided to go for more of a ghost look. "Making it look like I had come out of the attic" were her exact words. She has a shawl that up close looks like a spider web (another thrift store find!), a cameo necklace that I had, and she has rubber spiders pinned to her. For her make up I threw flour at her, which was really fun. Heehee. (Also, we both kind of look like ghosts in the picture because I blurred our faces a little too much).

I have the picture here for you to compare to Elizabeth and Jane in this movie, but as I said, when we came up with the costumes we were a little confused.

To check out what Kara and Anna had for their costumes for this blog party, click HERE.

Thank you so much for reading! Have you seen this movie? What are your thoughts on it? Oh, and how do my sister and I look?

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