Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Hobbit

I cannot wait for The Hobbit to come out!!!! I'm so excited, I even have a Pinterest board dedicated to the upcoming movie as well as the LOTR series!

Here are some of my favorites I have so far.

(Click on the images to get a larger and clearer view)

The Hobbit promotional poster
Bilbo Baggins and Sting
A collage of promotional pics.
The company of dwarves
The barrel scene
Thorin Oakenshield
Thorin's nephews, Fili (left) and Kili (right; and who is becoming known as the 'hot dwarf')
Rivendell


That's all I have for now, but I'll post more later!!!

~Ivy

Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Bourne Legacy


When I found out that a new Bourne movie was being made...without Matt Damon, I was a little nervous. I loved the first movie and I knew enough of the storyline from Wikipedia to be able to understand the politics that were in the other two.

The world has a fascination with Jason Bourne. A man, a genius, who is lost and can't decipher what is truth and what is a lie. Ok, and he has some mad fighting skills and he can be semi-romantic, and...he's played by Matt Damon, so really, where can you go wrong with a wonderful movie trilogy??

When I saw this new one, well...all I can say is that Jeremy Renner can save my life any day.

~ ~ ~

Jeremy Renner as Aaron Cross
The FBI is still reeling from the discovery of Treadstone and it's ruthless leader Pamela Landry. Jason Bourne is still on the run and the last thing the government needs is another underground operative. Well, once again, they end up making their own worst enemy, in a very unlikely person.

We first meet Aaron Cross during a training assignment for Operation Outcome in the brutal Alaska wilderness. Although Aaron is well aware of who he is, he seems rather unsure of where he's going in his personal life. He is focused on his assignment and getting his mission completed, as well as taking two small pills, one blue and one green, everyday.

As a matter of fact, the whole storyline could probably be based on the two pills that Aaron religiously takes. Everything he is and how he is able to operate in is his work comes from the daily medicine. So when he runs out, he could be rendered pretty much useless. When chaos ensues after a bombing in Alaska, Aaron becomes a refugee fighting for his life. 

We only see flashbacks of Aaron's former life before he came into Operation Outcome. A former U.S. Army soldier who is thought to be dead, but is brought back to life as another person. A fact he only confides to Marta about.

The one thing I enjoyed most out of Aaron Cross was his pure and genuine compassion. He clearly cares about other people and wants to right what has been wronged in his warped assignment. In spite of his often times hardened and reserved demeanor, there is a tender and gentle side to him that is probably a resurgence of his former life in the army.

~ ~ ~

Rachel Weisz as Dr. Marta Shearing
Have you ever seen a character in a movie where anything bad that could happen to them ends up happening? That happens to be the case for Dr. Marta Shearing. A brilliant doctor who finds herself in unimaginable circumstances.

She survives a shooting at her work, an attempted murder from the FBI, and her house being set on fire. Then she ends up running for her life with Aaron Cross who sees her as the only person that can help him. I'm amazed at how sane she was through most of it.

Aaron and Marta have met each other thirteen times in a space of four years. Marta tested Aaron's blood and assigned him his medicine, but didn't even know his name. She just knew him as 5. Aaron remembers Marta because of his consistent flirting with her.

On their way to figure out what the hell they're actually going to do, Dr. Shearing gives a good explanation as to why the pills are necessary. One is for physical enhancement, one for mental enhancement. Aaron needs Marta to get him medicine as soon as possible and she aids him in the process. Overtime, she grows stronger and is able to accomplish what needs to be done regardless of what the outcome might be for for Aaron or for her.

I loved seeing Marta's character development in the story. From sheer terror and insecurity to a courageous and confident woman. By the end she no longer cares about running from the government. As long as she's with Aaron, then she really doesn't have a reason to be afraid.

Rachel Weisz and Jeremy Renner in "The Bourne Legacy"
 Aaron and Marta truly bring out the best in one another. While Marta is helping Aaron to survive, Aaron is teaching Marta how to survive.

The was hardly a romantic plot at all. There wasn't even a kiss (sadly). You can probably say that the relationship is purely professional. Two people who need each other by trying to do their jobs the best that they can. 

Over the course of the movie, you can begin to see them change toward one another. Aaron becomes very protective of Marta and she in return is desperate to help him. If that's not love, then tell me, what is?

~ ~ ~

Jeremy Renner and Edward Norton in "The Bourne Legacy"
There's a whole other load of characters in the movie, but the political aspect of all of it can make it very confusing sometimes. That being said everything it was very well done. There's an explosion about every 15 min. a man against nature moment, an intense airport scene, and the ever epic car/motorcycle chase.

The tagline of the movie is There was never just one. Easily explanatory by the fact that there are other agents similar to Bourne, what makes Aaron different is that he survives all of them. Mostly through his intense fighting and battle skills, but more importantly through a quiet courage and a spirit that, like the legendary Jason Bourne, refuses to surrender.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Stream of Consciousness Sunday #1

I discovered this over NoteBookSisters and found it really interesting. So...here's my first attempt : ) Click on the link below to learn more about it.

 
 ~ ~ ~

So my first week of college started this week and I am completely worn out. Well not really, more stressed than anything. I've never experienced classroom life before and it was all a very scary and new experience for me.

The strangest thing was actually going shopping for school supplies! Like shopping for notebooks and pencils and I even bought a backpack! It's new, but very fun too.

My classes are interesting. I'm only taking two right now. English and Math. English is fairly easy, but math, like always, has been difficult. All my work is done on the computer. So I thought I had all this crazy amount of homework to do and I was getting super stressed and everything, worried that I wasn't going to get it all done.

Then I called my teacher about it and she told me that I had gone far ahead of everyone else! Like four or five classes ahead of everyone else! So, as you can imagine, the stress level went from 100 to about 75. Utter relief has never felt so good.

Stop 5 min.

I hope that was good for my first time : )

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Cuteness Overload

Heath Ledger and Skye McCole Bartusiak on the set of "The Patriot"
You can tell how dated that movie is by the GameBoy Skye is playing.

~ ~ ~

So college math class started today and I already have a raging headache from homework...dear God don't let this be a mistake!!!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Where The Sun and Stars Meet (Pt. 2)




Frigga knocked softly on Sif's door; she thought she heard her crying.

"Come in," came an unsteady answer.

Frigga walked in and to her surprise, Sif was crying. Her head was in her hands and she was breathing heavily.

"Oh my dear," said Frigga as she hurried and kneeled in front of her, "What is it? Is your head still aching?"

"No," said Sif, "I only wish it was though. It's my heart. It aches for Thor and for Kass. I feel like it shall break soon, knowing that Thor has still not loved his own daughter as he should."

Frigga sighed. She took Sif's head into her arms and stroked her long dark hair. Sif had been the closest thing to a daughter she had ever had, at least since losing her own so many years before.

"I don't know what to do," said Sif, "Please, what am I doing wrong? What must I do right to make Thor see the error of his actions?"

"There is nothing you can do," said Frigga softly, "This is something only Thor can do."

Sif wiped her face. Her husband had been through a great deal in the last several years, with Loki being banished to an unknown terrain in the cosmos, and the sudden death of the mortal woman...Jane. Yes, Thor had a lot to grieve over, but shouldn't a child bring him joy? Or peace? Or something? Rather than this constant rage he lived in toward his own daughter.

Thor loved Sif and she knew that, but Jane...his love for her was different and that love for her was still there. Sif couldn't feel any resentment toward the mortal for that. It was her that saved Thor from himself and brought him back to Asgard a better god.

Maybe Thor did just marry her out of obligation and just to produce heirs for the throne, but then there were those times when he looked at her in a certain way, or smiled at her, or speak soft words of tenderness to her, that Sif knew fully in her heart that Thor did love her.

Like he did earlier when he gently took her hand and asked how she was feeling. Couldn't some of that love for her be spared for his child? If not love Kass for himself, couldn't he just show her affection for her mother's sake?
~  ~ ~

The thunderstorm continued to rage on and on. Lightning striking every few seconds and thunder rumbling louder and louder in the distance. Thor’s anger toward his wife and resentment toward that brat of a daughter was rumbling even louder.

“Why? Why does it matter what I care about that little girl?

Because she is your daughter

Thor’s head shot up.

“Heimdall, stop.”

No. This must stop.

Well, this does not concern you or anyone else!”

Really?

Thor had enough of it. If Heimdall was going to play with his mind from across the Bifrost, he may as well go out and talk to him himself.

 
~ ~ ~

Heimdall, all seeing, all knowing god and gatekeeper of the Bifrost saw the mighty Thor riding across the bridge through the stormy weather. His blue eyes were as dark as the night sky and his face was as hard as stone. Thor stopped his horse and dismounted.

"If you have something to say to me, you can say it to my face," he demanded as he walked up to him.

The gatekeeper's golden eyes softened and said simply, "Come out of the rain."

Thor took his horse and followed Heimdall into his golden conservatory. Very rarely did the gatekeeper speak to someone's mind, but somehow Thor was always the exception.

As a gregarious and sometimes overbearing young child, Heimdall was the only person who could ever get him under control. Odin was always turning his sons over to him when he had had enough of their constant trouble making.

Thor ran his hands through his wet messy hair and sat down on the steps. To Heimdall it all seemed too familiar, like a memory from yesterday...

"Hiemdall, you must believe me!" pleaded ten year old Thor.

 "Why should I believe you?"

"Because I really am telling the truth this time! I didn't mean to push Sif down the well, it was an accident!"

"According to Loki, you seemed to get much enjoyment from this...accident," Heimdall said.

Thor's face reddened. True, he had laughed, but he didn't laugh after Sif came back up and decked him in the face. Which caused him to push her back, but this time she pulled him in with her. At the end, Loki was the only one laughing...and the only one who wasn't in trouble, either.

"I just get so mad when Sif thinks she knows everything," Thor grumbled, sitting down on the steps and looking up at the gatekeeper, "and if I tell her she might be wrong...well...I just won't tell her she's wrong anymore. That's the safest thing to do."

"That is not a wise decision," Heimdall said, "you must never lie to keep yourself safe."

"Why?" asked Thor

"Because the truth, no matter how painful it might seem at the time, is always the right thing to say."

"Well...then I...I just won't talk to Sif anymore," Thor said, but his face was still bright red.

Heimdall smiled, "You have a long way to go"...

"There was a point in time when you always came to me with your problems," Heimdall said.

"That's when I was a child," said Thor

"And shouldn't your child be able to go to you for her problems?"

"Heimdall, I did not ride all the way out here to have you lecture me about being a parent, which is something I don't think you've ever been. So don't impart wisdom to me on a subject you know nothing about!"

Thor was about to walk out when Heimdall said, "You are the closest thing to a son I have ever had. And if it was only you, then so be it. I have been with you in every stage of your life, the good and the bad. Through love and through loss."

“Loss,” thought Thor, “Loki, Jane…Netta.”

“All that I have lost has been my fault,” said Thor in a choked voice.

“That’s not true,” Heimdall said.

“Isn’t it?” asked Thor looking up at him, “I could have saved them.”

“No, you couldn’t and you have nothing to feel guilty about and no right to blame yourself.”

“Netta is dead because of me!” Thor shouted, “and I know my parents blame me every single day for it!”

“Have you asked them?”

“I don’t need too,” Thor growled.

“I saw what happened,” Heimdall said, “those many years ago.”

“Well, you don’t have to remind me of it!” shouted Thor, “I can’t sleep at night without hearing her screams! Her screams for me to rescue her! And I didn’t come! I didn’t save her!”

“You were a little boy, an eleven year old boy, who was just as scared as she was. No one would expect you to be able to save her.”

“I could have at least tried,” said Thor.

Heimdall was silent for a second and then he said, “Guilt can do much damage to our souls. It holds us back and separates us from others. It is a constant reminder of our past that imprisons any hope of a future. You can’t live like this.”

Thor looked up at him, his eyes filled with tears.

The gatekeeper knelt down in front of him and looked him straight in the eyes, “Kass is not Netta. Your sister was your father’s daughter and was his responsibility alone. Not the responsibility of his eleven year old son. Kass is not Loki. Loki was not, and still is not, your responsibility. You did everything you could to save him, but in the end he destroyed himself.”

Tears began to fall down Thor’s face. Heimdall went on.

“Jane…was the victim of a terrible accident that was in no relation to you. Just because you were not there, does not mean you are to blame.”

Thor thought about what Heimdall had said.

You are not to blame.

Netta was only a baby. She was three when she…when she had followed him and Loki to the stables.

Guilt keeps you in the past.

It seemed only yesterday…

End of Pt. 2

Thursday, August 16, 2012

London 2012 Summer Olympic Games


We had a great Olympic year : ) And though I'm sad that they're over, I'm counting down the days (not literally) to the Sochi, Russia 2014 Winter Olympic Games

Even though my family has never been crazy about sports, we're die-hard Olympic fans! I mean we get crazy in the living room during the competitions. For two weeks the television was on all day from morning to midnight with never-ending reports and updates.

Here are some of my favorite Olympic moments.

~ ~ ~

Swimming

Michael Phelps awarded "Greatest Olympian of All Time" from FINA with a total of 22 medals, 18 of them gold.

U.S. swimmers Missy Franklin, Rebecca Soni, Dana Vollmer and Allison Schmitt pose on the podium with the gold medal after winning the women's 4x100 medley relay final.
Missy Franklin, Rebecca Soni, Dana Vollmer, and Allison Schmitt
My favorite Olympian, 2 gold medal and silver medal swimmer Nathan Adrian. 
God Bless America.

 ~ ~ ~

Gymnastics

US Men's Olympic Gymnastics Teams. I was disappointed that they lost, but they gave it their best.

(Great Britain) Bronze medalists Sam Oldham, Kristian Thomas, Max Whitlock, Louis Smith and Daniel Purvis after the medal ceremony in the Artistic Gymnastics Men's Team final. 
These guys were AMAZING and I was so happy that they won the bronze.
US Gold Medal Woman's Gymnastics team. Jordan Wieber, Gabby Douglas, McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman, and Kyla Ross.
Russia's Aliya Mustafina and Victoria Komova

Two time gold medal winner Gabby Douglas from Virgina Beach, VA!!

McKayla Maroney
 ~ ~ ~

Track and Field

South Africa's Oscar Pistorius

Usain Bolt
~ ~ ~

Great year, great athletes, great victories! 

Can't wait for Sochi 2014 and Rio 2016!



Monday, August 13, 2012

Downton Abbey Confession #8



 A Picture is worth a thousand words...

Downton Abbey: Season 3 Promotional poster 
 L-R: Jim Carter (Mr. Carson), Phyllis Logan (Mrs. Hughes), Rob James-Collier (Thomas Barrow), Lesley Nicol (Mrs. Patmore), Sophie McShera (Daisy Robinson Mason), Siobhan Finneran (Sarah O'Brian), Joanne Froggatt (Anna Smith Bates), Brendan Coyle (John Bates), Allen Leech (Tom Branson), Jessica Brown-Findley (Sybil Crawley Branson), Shirley MacLaine (Martha Levinson), Maggie Smith (Grand Dowager Violet Crawley), Hugh Bonneville (Lord Grantham-Robert Crawley), Elizabeth McGovern (Lady Grantham-Cora Crawley), Dan Stevens (Matthew Crawley), Michelle Dockery (Lady Mary Crawley), Laura Carmichael (Lady Edith Crawley), Penelope Wilton (Isobel Crawley)

Friday, August 10, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises


  I've always liked Batman. Well actually, I've always liked Christian Bale. So he was really the only reason I went in to see the first two movies.

   The first one was exceptionally well done with a strong storyline.

   The second one was nothing short of creepy and it was more or less about Heath Ledger's performance as the joker than anything else (don't get me wrong, he did a great job, but so did a lot of other people in the movie.)

   This one blew me away. Almost three solid hrs. of not moving from my seat and afraid of blinking for fear I would miss something. Most of the storyline develops around the falling government of Gotham and its usually corrupt society. The poor are fed up with having to give over to the rich, revolution is in the air (and smoke) and everyone is caught between believing what is right for themselves and what is right for others around them.

~ ~ ~

Bruce Wayne/Batman
Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne/Batman
   Now Batman has been portrayed by many different actors over the years. From Adam West to Michael Keaton. Like James Bond, every generation is going to remember their own Batman. And I'm glad to say that Christian Bale will always be Batman to me.

  Eight years after his battle with the Joker and his defeat of Harvey Dent/Two Face, Bruce Wayne has become a recluse in his parent's rebuilt home. Having hung up the batsuit, he has completely given up on Batman and has let the rest of Gotham turn their backs on the Dark Knight.

   Instead they worship the memory of Harvey Dent, Gothem's 'White Knight' never knowing the truth to who he really became in the end.

  When corruption begins to take over the city, Bruce takes one last chance and puts on the suit, only to realize that he is up against the greatest adversary he has ever had to face. For the first time, Bruce is beaten and left to die in a pit of hell. 

  And yet...there is hope; like that of a child waiting for his father to return to him. 

  Hope turns to courage and courage fuels Bruce to return to his home, knowing that it may be his last time, but not without the consistent hope that his city is safe from any evil that may dare threaten it again.

~ ~ ~

Selina Kyle/Catwoman
Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle/Catwoman

   Anne Hathaway did a wonderful job as Catwoman. Beautiful, witty, charming, and ever so sultry, but at the same time she also portrayed a hurting and broken young woman who is caught between victim and villain. 

  Selina is a master thief who does what she must (not what she wants) to survive. Yet, she has a strong sense of justice and will protect the helpless to whatever end it might take her.

  Like her mask disguises her face, Selina tries to disguise her true character as a woman desperate for love and respect. My heart broke for her several times when I was able to see that there was a good heart and soul in her, and that she wanted redemption and a new life.

  Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle were totally made for one another and their on/off flirtatious affair quickly turns to deep respect for each other, despite what side they might be on.

~ ~ ~

Bane
Tom Hardy as Bane

  This guy scared the everliving hell out of me just about everytime he appeared on the screen. He also has that annoying habit of just showing up out of nowhere, like Batman does, and that got really annoying.

  Anyway, Bane's character was more political than criminal (did that make sense?). Born and raised in prison, he sees himself as a savior for the corrupt society of Gotham. His sense of justice comes in the forms of violence, lawlessness, and terror.

  After his defeat of Batman, Bane takes over the city and the world of Gotham changes almost overnight. Innocent people are made to suffer and the law enforcement is imprisoned while former prisoners take over the city. Gotham really becomes a city of hell thanks to Bane and his 'justice.'

~ ~ ~

Commissioner Jim Gordon
Gary Oldman as Commissioner Jim Gordon
  Gotham's top cop and ever stalwart warrior is, as always, on the case.

  Well, not so in this one, for a while at least. A pretty bad shooting leaves him confined to a hospital bed and so he gives instructions to an up and coming detective. Yet, convalescence doesn't last long and pretty soon he's back to work, and at a time when the city needs him the most.

  Gordon is the typical, run of the mill, everyday man, who has moral beliefs and is not afraid to carry them out. His ever calm reassurance and unwavering belief in Batman (as well as Bruce Wayne) is a bind for everyone who doubts the hope of Gotham and its people.

~ ~ ~

Alfred Pennyworth
Michael Caine as Alfred Pennyworth


  Bruce's childhood guardian, best friend, counselor, disciplinarian, and voice of reason, who occasionally answers the door and serves him breakfast. Alfred has been Bruce's only father figure since his own father died when he was a little boy. And like most father/son relationships, they have their breaking points.

  Alfred doesn't just respect Bruce, he loves him unconditionally. He wants to protect him and let him live a normal average life. A life that doesn't have Batman on the edge of all things. For Bruce though, it's either he is Batman or he is not.

  An act that was made out of protection in the sequel ends up causing a detrimental effect on Alfred and Bruce's relationship. Now alone, Bruce has only his memories and Alfred's words of wisdom to carry him through Gotham's darkest hours.

~ ~ ~

Lucius Foxx
Morgan Freeman as Lucius Foxx
  The weapons, machines and gadgets manufacturer for Wayne Enterprises doesn't fail to impress the audience with more incredible weapons, machines and gadgets. Although, as the CEO of Wayne Enterprises, Lucius also has his hands full trying to keep the company alive.

  As impressive as his machines are, if fallen into the wrong hands, they become weapons of destruction. Lucius is on the the fragile line between his moral beliefs and Bane's political agenda of violence that might cost him his life.

~ ~ ~

Officer John Blake
Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Officer John Blake

  This guy was awesome and it seems like every girl in America has fallen in love with him. Well, seems I have too and for obvious reasons. John, like Gordon, has almost a childlike trust and faith in Batman. It's constant and unwavering. John's own confidence, not necessarily in himself, is scarily similar to Jim Gordon's.

  Orphaned as a child, he understands the pain and agony that Bruce went through. The difference was, John was able to overcome his anger and fuel it into becoming an officer and eventually a detective. 

  The first time Bruce and John meet, John tells him his life story and his first time seeing him in the boys orphanage where he grew up (a place he fights to protect). Bruce is overcome with emotion and it ends up being the first step in bringing the Dark Knight out of the shadows.

  When Gotham goes under, John is one of a handful of cops who isn't imprisoned. He fights endlessly to stop Bane and believes unconditionally that Batman will return.

~ ~ ~

Miranda Tate
Marion Cottilard as Miranda Tate
  A lovely and feisty socialite who keeps Wayne Enterprises from falling and has Bruce Wayne falling for her. Miranda is charming and lively, and her own personal past and secrets have defined her and made her the woman that she is.

  Of course...I don't want to say too much.

~ ~ ~

The Dark Knight Rises
  No surprise that this movie was definitely the most violent out of all of them. There were times when even I was shocked by some of the extremities of it. 

  In spite of that, the movie was great and well worth the three hours. The story becomes so dark and tense that you really begin to wonder if there really is any hope in saving Gotham at all. 

  Seeing this franchise end is somewhat saddening though. I mean in terms that Christian Bale is no longer Batman, but the story did end on a somewhat...lets say hopeful note. 

  A new story, a new day, a (possibly) new hero...maybe it doesn't really end at all.

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