Saturday, August 31, 2013

Elegant Blogger Award I know I'm suppose to be all modest and humble when I'm given an award, but...this is too awesome! After 2 1/2 years of blogging and my hard work on my blog and my writing is FINALLY getting some recognition and appreciation! (I mean I've been on Tumblr for 6 months and I almost have 100 followers). I love every single aspect of my blog, and award or not I always know that my hard work is not wasted : ) Thank you so much Hamlette for your kind consideration! (Interesting news to find out when you're watching the ending battle scene of "The Avengers.")

The Rules:
  • Display the award button on your blog
  • Answer all twelve questions given in this post (do not make your own questions
  • Nominate 8 bloggers (see below)
  • Notify them that they have been awarded

The Questions

1.) What made you start blogging?

     My love of writing. It actually started back in 2006 on Xanga with a fanfiction that I wanted to write and after that, I was just completely in the world of blogging. I had a couple more Xangas, but I was becoming dissatisfied with the content and so I switched to Blogger instead and I've loved it ever since. Writing has always been my outlet and that's why I have a blog. I can write whenever I want and about whatever I want. I also tend to be very competitive with my writing and seeing as doing movie reviews are very popular with young Bloggers, I get very competitive with my own movie reviews. I always want to have the best and most well written movie review and from what people have told, I'm doing very well. I also love changing my layout and having different themes for my blog, so expect a new layout theme about every month or so.

(BTW, do you like the Arthur and Gwen theme I have for the September layout?)

2.) What is your fashion style?

     Whatever is comfy and affordable. I'm not a big a matter of fact, I despise clothes shopping. So unless it's something that I've been wanting, don't expect me to make a day of shopping for clothes. My clothing staples are jeans and camisole tops, usually paired with ballet flats and a sweater or light jacket. Because Virginia weather is fairly mild, both staples work all year around. 

You can have a look of my favorite styles here.

3.) What is something your followers don't know about you?

     In 2007, I wrote a letter to Crown Princess Mary of Denmark congratulating her and husband, Crown Prince Frederik on the announcement of Mary's second pregnancy (Princess Isabella). Several months later, I actually received a reply back from the royal court of Denmark! It was a definite shock for my family and me when I got the letter in the mail! I still have the letter and will try and get some pictures.

TRH Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark

L-R (Crown Prince Frederik holding Prince Vincent, Prince Christian, Princess Isabella
 and Crown Princess Mary holding Princess Josephine)
4.) What are some of your blogging goals?

     I normally try not to make goals while I blog, because for me it's all about having fun and being creative, but to meet more people and improve my writing would probably be my top priorities.

5.) Where are your favorite places to shop?

     Like I said in question 2 I hate clothes shopping, but I love book and movie shopping. So Barnes & Noble and F.Y.E. is where I am most likely to blow all my money.

6.) What would ideal amount of blog followers be?

    I don't have a specific number, but enough to have comments on my posts and that I can comment back and meet new people.

7.) What are your talents?

     Writing basically and I'm fairly good at cross-stitch, but that's about it.

8.) Are you a leader or a follower?

     I've been raised to believe that you should always be a leader and if you can't, than you're better off alone. So, I try to be a leader when a leader is needed, but to be a follower to a good leader is a way to learn as well.

9.) What is one of your favorite quotes?

    That's so hard because I'm such a quote lover!
     "But this much I know. When the storm breaks, each man acts in accordance to his own nature. Some are dumb with terror. Some flee. Some hide. And some...spread their wings like eagles and soar on the wind." 
~Dr. Dee; "Elizabeth: The Golden Age

10.) Do you have a favorite book or series? 

I love book series! My favorite book series are (and always will be) Harry Potter : ). Followed by The Chronicles of Narnia, A Series of Unfortunate Events and The Hunger Games.

11.) Out of all the synonyms for elegant, what would you describe yourself with? (Smart--Stylish--Dressy--Graceful--Dainty--Fine)

    Well, dainty and fine are out of the running and gracefulness has always been hard to attain. I would be more stylish if I had the money for it, so smart is the only reasonable description.

12.) What is your favorite flower?

     Yellow roses!

Now, I nominate eight bloggers, but I'll do just two.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Loki In HQ

  Remember that video I posted last month of Tom Hiddleston dressed up as Loki for Comic Con 2013? Well, I managed to find a better high quality video that has the entire performance!

Tom talking about the fan's reactions to his cosplay character : )

(Can you tell I'm a big fan...)

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Bride & Prejudice

Bride & Prejudice (2004)
     Combining East and West cultures can be a difficult and even an impossible task, but in the world of Bollywood nothing seems too hard or impossible. Which is probably why Gurinder Chadra's musical comedy adaption of Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice" was so successful. Bride & Prejudice had all the beloved elements of the original novel, but the Indian twist of culture, dance and music took the story to a completely fresh new level.

~ ~ ~

Will Darcy and Lalita Bashki

Martin Henderson as Will Darcy and Aishwarya Rai as Lalita Bashki in
Bride & Prejudice (2004)
     East meets West when lovely Lalita Bashki meets workaholic, Will Darcy at an engagement party for her best friend. Actually, Will doesn't want to be there; he's only dragged along by his own best friend Mr. Balraj, a wealthy and successful English barrister (lawyer in England) who is pursued by every mother in the small town as a potential husband for their single daughters. Within in the first few minutes of their meeting, Lalita sees Will as rude and aloof, and Will himself wants nothing to do with India at all, except buy the towns best hotel and use it as tourism for money and benefit (much to Lalita's dismay).

~ ~ ~

Aishwarya Rai as Lalita Bashki
     Beautiful and independent Lalita Bashki has had an idyllic life in the small poor town of Amritsar, India with her three lively sisters, loving father and overbearing mother who spends every moment trying to get her daughters married off. Unlike most of the girls in India who spend their days dreaming and preparing for marriage and family, Lalita is off on her father's farm helping him to pay the family's endless bills.

     Often seen as too intelligent for an Indian woman, Lalita isn't afraid to speak her mind to her mother, her friends or even strangers that insult her beloved town. She cares deeply for Amritsar and its people and the idea of leaving the small city as well her doting father is unimaginable. After she meets handsome, but opinionated Will Darcy at an engagement party, she tries to give him the benefit of the doubt, but soon comes to the belief that he is rude, arrogant, and full of prejudice against her and the rest of India.

The Bashki Family
     Lalita loves her family fiercely, especially her older sister Jaya (jay-uh) whom she confides in about everything. When Jaya finds herself falling for charming and handsome Mr. Balraj of England, Lalita is excited for her as well as for the future prospects for her struggling family. Except Mr. Balraj insists on taking his overbearing best friend with him, therefore Lalita must put up with insufferable Mr. Darcy.

    While accompanying Jaya on a trip to the beach resort in Goa, with Balraj, Darcy and Balraj's snotty sister Kiran, Lalita meets an eye-candy surfer, Johnny Wickham, who reveals to her some past secrets of his association with Will Darcy and how Will ruined his life. Outraged by this new information, Lalita writes Darcy off and will have nothing to do with him. Meanwhile, she invites Johnny to stay with her family to see Amritsar, much to the delight of her younger sister Lakhi who develops an immediate crush on Wickham. When Lalita's idiotic cousin, Mr Kholi from America comes to India for a prospective traditional bride, Mama pushes him into Lalita's direction only to have an already outraged Lalita turn him down. 

Namrata Shirodkar as Jaya Bashki and Aishwarya Rai as Lalita Bashki
     Shortly afterwards, Mr. Kholi has asked Lalita's best friend, Chandra to marry him, Johnny leaves for another part of India and Mr. Balraj makes an unexpected trip back to London. Both Jaya and Lalita are confused and saddened at the fact that their only chances of love and marriage are gone. Then an interesting twist of fate intervenes when the Bashki family are invited to Mr. Kholi and Chandra's wedding in LA. Coincidentally enough, the wedding is being held at Mr. Darcy's family hotel. 

     While in Las Angeles, Lalita sees a completely different Mr. Darcy. The man she once thought was arrogant and rude, turns out to be a kind and protective older brother who shows Lalita the beauty and splendor of California and even gets an unexpected marriage proposal from him. Only Will's mother has other plans when she brings, who she considers Will girlfriend Anne de Bourgh to the wedding, setting Lolita's original feeling toward Will back into place.

Martin Henderson as Will Darcy
    Will goes after Lalita and reveals Wickham's identity to her and why he has hated the man for so long. He comes back in enough time to save Lalita's younger sister Lakhi from running off with Wickham. Afterwards Lalita realizes that she loves Will and her prejudice towards him dissolves even more when he brings Balraj around to propose to Jaya. Soon Lalita and Will find themselves throwing away their former past feelings of one another and accept that in spite of their differing cultures and social status, their unlikely love was meant to be.

~ ~ ~

     This is considered pure Bollywood because of its incredible dance numbers, beautiful music and the rich colors of India are infused in every part of the movie. Romantic and funny, but with the same universal themes of class division and wrong first impressions that has kept the world entertained for 200 years (yeah it has been that long since the novel was published).

     The acting on all fronts was wonderful with a superb international cast list. India's top leading lady Aishwarya Rai as Lalita was elegant and perfect in her interpretation of Lizzie Bennett. She had a wonderful personable quality and fieriness that really made her Bollywood portrayal of the beloved character a great watch. New Zealand actor, Martin Henderson, gave the role of an American Darcy a great amount of justice. He played the ignorant all working American jerk to romantic love interest with absolute charm. 

     It was also great to see LOST's Naveen Andrews as the usually clueless in love Mr. Balraj. At first it's almost difficult to believe that the same actor who plays the calculating and secretive Sayid Jarrah as a hopeless romantic (although anyone who has seen LOST will know that Sayid could be romantic too, which is why he's my favorite character), but it just gave props to his wonderful acting. 

Naveen Andrews as Mr. Balraj
     Whether you're a lover of Jane Austen or Bollywood or both, this is just a fun movie to watch. I laugh and cry and I'm still amazed by the extraordinary dance scenes and have even developed an obsession with Punjabi music because of this movie! A great combination of Indian culture and modern America that brings East and West together in a perfect match. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Soul Surfer Walks Down The Aisle

(Thanks to Celeste for the link!)

Soul Surfer Bethany Hamilton Gets Married to Christian Youth Minister Adam Dirks

Bethany Hamilton Dirks
Bethany Hamilton, whose story of resilience and faith after losing her left arm to a shark attack in 2003 that inspired the film Soul Surfer, got married to her fiancĂ© Adam Dirks, a Christian youth minister, on Aug. 17 in Kauai, Hawaii, the pro-surfer announced on Twitter.

“Today was the most beautiful, wonderful best day of my life! God is more than good(: Excited to live life with my husband Adam Dirks!” she wrote. 

The 23-year-old athlete, who was born in Hawaii, won an ESPY Award in 2004 and wrote the autobiography called “Soul Surfer: A True Story of Faith, Family, and Fighting to Get Back on the Board” that was turned into a movie in 2011. After the shark attack, it took her just a month to get back out on the waves on the board. 

Hamilton, who credited her rapid recovery and perseverance despite a tremendous loss to her Christian faith in God, held her marriage ceremony in Kauai, Hawaii, in an intimate, but not too small crowd, according to US Magazine. 

“I’m born and raised there and still live there, so getting married where I’m from,” she told Us Weekly at an event in Santa Monica, Calif. earlier this month. 

The couple met on the beach in spring 2012 and Dirks, 25, proposed on April 13th. Hamilton has said earlier this year that since they've met, Dirks has just swept her off her feet. 

“I just had to trust in God and know that He had someone special for me.”

As for their honeymoon, “we’re doing a non-tropical honeymoon,” she said. “We’re gonna get a cabin. It’s going to be cute.” 

Fans poured congratulatory comments on Hamilton’s Facebook and Twitter page, reminding her of the importance of God in marriage as well as thanking her for being an inspiration to them and their loved ones. 

“’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’ Jeremiah 29:11,” wrote Sebastiao Ribeiro. 

“Congrats Bethany. You are such an inspiration to my daughter. She has major hearing loss in both ears and is an all star cheerleader. For try outs she wrote on her arm “I don’t need easy I just need possible” she told her coaches if Bethany can surf with one arm I can cheer with a hearing loss,” said Barbara Andrews-Carlson. 

“’The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you! The Lord make His Face shine upon you, And give you peace.’ Marriage takes Three… you know this, but many do not these days! May yours be a light shining in the darkness, as a Witness to the Praise of Glory!” wrote Bree A. Dail.

Source: Gospel Herald

Congratulations Adam and Bethany!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Mourning In the Netherlands

Prince Friso and his wife Princess Mabel

Dutch Prince Dies After 2012 Avalanche

Johan Friso, the bespectacled Dutch prince who avoided the limelight and gave up his position in line to the throne after getting entangled in a scandal with his bride-to-be, died Monday — 18 months after a skiing accident that left his brain gravely injured. He was 44.

The royal house said the prince, known as Friso, died of complications from the accident, without giving more details. It said he had never regained more than "minimal consciousness."

Friso was struck by an avalanche while skiing off-trail in Lech, Austria, Feb. 17, 2012, and was buried until rescuers pulled him from the snow, unconscious, 20 minutes later. He was resuscitated at the scene and flown to a hospital, but remained in a coma for months.

His death Monday, though not unexpected, "still comes as a shock," said Prime Minister Mark Rutte.

"Prince Friso was only 44 years old, and until the ski accident, in the prime of his life."

In addition to the royal family, Friso is survived by his wife, Princess Mabel, and two daughters, Luana and Zaria.

Before the dramatic incidents in Lech, Friso, the second of the former Queen Beatrix's three sons, had sometimes been known as "Prince Brilliant." He studied at UC Berkeley, the Technical University of Delft and Erasmus University at Rotterdam, graduating from the Dutch universities cum laude with degrees in engineering and economics. He later earned an MBA at France's prestigious INSEAD school of business.

Prince Friso and his new wife, Princess Mabel on their wedding day

But the central event of his life as a royal came when he gave up his claim to the throne in order to marry Dutchwoman Mabel Wisse Smit, in a wedding not sanctioned by the government.

The pair got engaged in 2003. Wisse Smit worked for George Soros' Open Society Institute and was seen by the queen as an ideal daughter-in-law. But during her vetting to join the royal house, she and Friso decided not to disclose the full extent of a friendship she had had while she was a college student.

The friend in question: drug baron Klaas Bruinsma, who later became one of the country's most infamous crime lords and was slain in a gangland killing.

Wisse Smit denies ever having had any romantic involvement with Bruinsma, and says she hadn't understood who he was at the time. But as details about their relationship emerged in the Dutch press, then-Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende said it was clear the pair had held back information, and he wouldn't propose the law needed for Parliament to approve Wisse Smit's entry to the royal house.

The couple acknowledged being "naive and incomplete" in what they told Balkenende.

Other spouses of Dutch royalty have endured controversy. Beatrix's own marriage was initially unpopular because of her husband's German nationality. King Willem-Alexander's Argentine wife, Queen Maxima, has been criticized over her father's ties to the former totalitarian regime.

Friso and Mabel decided to marry without seeking parliamentary approval. The decision meant Friso would be cut from the royal house and line of succession. They were still considered members of the royal family, and bore the honorific titles of Prince and Princess of Oranje-Nassau.

After the affair — dubbed "Mablegate" in the Dutch press, because the "cover-up" did most of the damage — Friso seemed relieved at the certainty he would never be called upon to assume the throne.

"I am planning to remain available for my mother or brother if it's needed, for supporting roles," he said in a televised statement.

Queen Beatrix and her son, Johan Friso

Johan Friso with his wife mabel and their daughters Luana and Zaria
Prince Johan Friso Bernhard Christiaan David

09.25.68 - 08.12.13

Source: ABC News

Monday, August 12, 2013

Favorite Movies Tag

 Maribeth at Formidable Courage has tagged me for J&Js Favorite Movies Tag!


1. List your favorite movies (in no particular order)

2. Post Jame's Movie Tribute Video somewhere on your blog

3. Tag other blogs (optional)

~ ~ ~

  Now on to my favorite movies!

  1. Ever After

Ever After (1998)

  Starring: Drew Barrymore, Angelica Houstan and Dougray Scott
Rated PG-13

     My absolute favorite movie! I first saw "Ever After" when I was eight and I've been in love with it since then. It's beautiful, romantic, funny and adventurous. Drew Barrymore was incredible as Danielle de Barbarac and an exceptional Cinderella and Angelica Houstan as the evil stepmother Baroness Rodmilla de Ghent was extraordinary in her role. Of course Dougray Scott as Prince Henry was lovable, charming and a very fitting prince and his parents were absolutely hysterical! The best part of the movie was how they were able to combine history with fiction, such as incorporating Leonardo De Vinci into the storyline. In many ways when you watch it, you begin to wonder, "Could this really have happened?" It was done so well that history wasn't boring and the romance wasn't sappy. Danielle was a women ahead of her time and her rise from a servant in her own home to crown princess of France (and eventually Queen) makes it all the more worthwhile.  A great movie for any romantic at heart, history geek or both. - Move Review

~ ~ ~

2. Legends of The Fall

Legends of The Fall (1994)

Starring: Brad Pitt, Anthony Hopkins, Aidan Quinn and Julia Ormond
Rated R

     This movie is an either you hate it or you love it mentality. My parents absolutely despise it because it had no happy ending, but not all movies end happily. The story, in its most basic form, is about three brother and their father living in the wild Montana territory at the beginning of WWI and how one woman almost destroyed everything they had, all because of love, lust and the inability to say goodbye to the past. All of the acting was exceptional, but it was Brad Pitt (who was a complete unknown at the time) who took my breath away as the wild and reckless Tristan Ludlow. This isn't what one would call a family movie, due to one sex scene and graphic violence. The ending may not be happy, but there is a sense of hope for the family and what the future held for them.

~ ~ ~

3. The Young Victoria

The Young Victoria (2009)

Starring: Emily Blunt, Rupert Friend, Miranda Richardson and Paul Bettany
Rated PG

     As an avid royalist for almost ten years, I was very excited to see this film. Often times when Hollywood releases a film based on the British Royalty, some people tend to get nervous. It's not just the British Royal Family you're dealing with, but history that changed the world, so they better get it right. And in this case, they really got it right. Rich in romance and history, The Young Victoria is beautiful and masterful in its storytelling of one young women, the country she led and the man she loved. Victoria's life was far from happy in the beginning, she was lonely, used and  abandoned by her own mother. After she became Queen, life only became harder; there were sides to choose and decisions to make, but her greatest decision was her marriage to her cousin Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg who became her rock and fortress for twenty years. Romantic, heartbreaking and an all around extraordinary retelling on one of the greatest monarchs in history - Movie Review.

~ ~ ~

4. Amazing Grace 

Amazing Grace (2006)

Starring: Ioan Gruffudd, Romala Garai and Benedict Cumberbatch
Rated PG

     I feel somewhat ashamed to admit that I had never heard of William Wilberforce before this movie came out. I only thought the movie would be about the John Newton and the creation of the song, but instead it was about the influence of John Newton and his beloved song. At the end of the 18th century in England, the English are still reeling from their defeat against the Colonists during the Revolutionary War. The last thing they want is revolution in England, but that is exactly what they receive when a young Member of Parliament, William Wilberforce starts to rally for the the ending of the European slave trade. The once young and reckless Wilberforce feels God's calling to free the enslaved people from the African and Caribbean nations, but even he knows that battle will be stressful and laborious. Through faith, courage, friendship and overwhelming love, William does the impossible and ends European slave trade (without war). This is without a doubt the most inspiring movie I have ever seen! - Movie Review

~ ~ ~

5. Invictus

Invictus (2009)

Starring: Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon
Rated PG-13

     "When the world needed a hero, he gave them a champion," is one of the taglines to this incredible true story of Nelson Mandela's unlikely attempt to end apartheid in South Africa and unite its divided people. After being released from thirty years of imprisonment, Nelson Mandela is now president of South Africa. The African's themselves are overjoyed and hope for a better way of life, but the Afrikaners (the Caucasian population of South Africa) feel that it's the end for them. Understanding both sides of the equation, Mandela turns to rugby captain Francois Pienaar to assist him in bringing their war torn country together. What does Mandela want? For Francois's team to win the 1995 World Cup, except Francois has the worst team in South Africa's rugby history. Yet, Francois's iron will, determination and desire to see change strengthens his team, unites the people and eventually gains the victory that Mandela had been dreaming of. Beautifully done with wonderful acting from both Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon, Invictus (based on William Ernest Henely's poem of the same name) is more than a sports movie, but a film that gives a look into the fortitude of two men who loved their country, their people and their desire to make them one.

~ ~ ~

6. First Knight

First Knight (1995)

Starring: Sean Connery, Richard Gere and Julia Ormond
Rated PG-13

     I love Arthurian legends, whatever the storyline may be. King Arthur is a part of our culture, a king who fought for the heart of his country and lived a life of courage and honor. Anyone can find admiration in such a leader. Many wars Arthur has fought and won, but his greatest would be for the heart of beloved Lady Guinevere who finds herself compromised between the great king and his first knight, the handsome and bold Lancelot. Love can literally be a two edged sword and in this case, Guinevere knows that one decision will wound the heart of both men. A family favorite that has been watched repeatedly in my household (my whole family loves Arthurian legends as much as I do), First Knight has every single element one may want in a film, history, drama, adventure and romance. Beautiful music and exquisite costumes complete the wonderful film. A movie that is irresistibly romantic and the stuff of any Arthurian story.

~ ~ ~

7. A Knight's Tale

A Knight's Tale (2001)

Starring: Heath Ledger, Rufus Sewell and Paul Bettany
Rated PG-13

     When my family decided to watch this movie for the first time, we asked my older sister (who had previously seen it in theaters) if it was a drama or a comedy. She simply replied "It has some funny parts in it." We were satisfied with that, but as soon as we heard Queen's We Will Rock You, we realized, this is no ordinary movie! Based on Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales A Knight's Tale tells the story of a young squire who defies the law and fulfills his dream of becoming a knight. A historical movie with a clever modern twist that is the ultimate favorite in my family (although we constantly get it mixed up with First Knight). The best part about this movie (beside Heath Ledger for two hours) is that there was some surprising historical accuracy regarding the jousting competition and festival. Funny and loud that has a hero worth rooting for, makes for a a feel good movie watch.

~ ~ ~

8. The Nanny Diaries 

The Nanny Diaries (2007)

Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Chris Evans, Laura Linney, Alicia Keys and Paul Giamatti
Rated PG-13

     As a former daycare worker and a nanny/babysitter, this movie intrigued me; especially when I found out that the book (of the same name) was written by two former nannies. Annie Braddock is a 21 year old undergrad who is trying to find herself, but seems stuck in finding any path that might lead her to self discovery. When fate intervenes in the form of a full time, live-in nanny, Annie takes a leap of faith and becomes Nanny for the Upper East Side. What she thought might be fun, becomes a literal nightmare, which isn't from her charming 5 1/2 year old charge, Grayer, but rather from his physically and emotionally absent socialite mother and workaholic father. Annie begins to see that life on the top makes for a hellish living of shallowness and self absorbency. Determined to stay and take care of Grayer, Annie has only her wits and the practical support of her best friend, Lynette and love interest, Harvard Hottie. I love, love, love this movie! A interesting portrayal inside the life of childcare providers who are more often than not treated as second class citizens and only stay for the love of the children they provide care for. Seriously funny, hopelessly romantic and a hard look at the not so perfect life of the wealthy - Movie Review.

~ ~ ~

9. Julie & Julia

Julie & Julia (2009)

Starring: Meryl Streep , Amy Adams and Stanley Tucci
Rated PG-13

     For someone who hates cooking and baking, I love this movie! The story of an aspiring author who is stuck in her life and the woman she looks up to, the renowned cook Julia Child. in 2002, Julie Powell is almost thirty and feels like an unaccomplished loser, even with a wonderful and supportive husband who tells her otherwise. In 1948, Julia Child is a vibrant and outgoing woman who travels with her loving diplomat husband to Paris, France. Both women feel lost, but find themselves through the love of cooking. As Julia attempts to write a cook book for American housewives to prepare French food, Julie attempts an online blog project labeled Julie/Julia which consists of her spending an entire year preparing food from Julia's famous cookbook. A funny, feel good movie (which you shouldn't watch on an empty stomach) that makes you laugh, cry and maybe even buy a copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking and attempt an insane cooking project of your own.

~ ~ ~

10. A Little Princess

A Little Princess (1995)

Starring: Liesel Matthews, Eleanor Brom and Liam Cunningham 
Rated G

     The movie of my childhood and a constant favorite of mine. This exquisite film has so much imagination and intrigue that even I still find myself mesmerized by it. Based of the beloved novel by Francis Hodgsen Burnett, A Little Princess takes you from the jungles of India to the streets of New York as Sara Crewe and her beloved father are separated by war. Before he leaves, Captain Crewe tells Sara that she will always be his little princess. With those words in her heart, Sara begins her new life at the strict boarding school that was once attended by her own mother. Sara becomes popular with most of the girls, through her kindness towards others, even the servant girl, Becky, and wins her the affections of her friends. When she receives the news that her father has been killed in war and the British government has seized control of his finances leaving her penniless, she is made to become a servant in the school. Frightened and alone, Sara must rely on her father's words that she will always be a princess. And a princess she remains through courage and determination to build a different life for herself. Even after almost 20 years, this movie is still a classic and remains a wonderful part if my childhood.

~ ~ ~

     Wow! That was harder than I thought it would be, but it was worthwhile. Here are my tags:

Saturday, August 10, 2013

The Portrayal of Jesus

Jim Caviezel as Jesus Christ in The Passion of The Christ (2004)
     I always love a good well written, well directed and above all, well acted Bible movie. From The Prince of Egypt to The Nativity and most recently The Bible mini-series that premiered in March and took the whole world (including my usually skeptical family) by storm.

     While I was watching the ending of The Bible I came upon the realization that in the last several years there have been several wonderful portrayals of Jesus Christ in recent films, The Passion of The Christ, The Gospel of John, and The Bible, all of which I love, but are very different and give a varying perspective the personality and character of Jesus Christ.

~ ~ ~

The Passion of The Christ (2004)

Played by Jim Caviezel

Jim Caviezel in The Passion of The Christ (2004)
Portrayal: Truly Passionate

     I'm just going to say it right now, I do not like this film. It was well done and wonderfully acted, but trying to get through this historical bloodbath can be difficult and hard to handle and if I'm a coward for saying so, then I'm not sorry. I remember vividly when this movie came out because of the controversy that is stirred throughout Hollywood (that didn't understand the story at all and painted it as anti-Semitic propaganda) and even through churches. 

     That being said, Mel Gibson's casting of Jim Caviezel (who is a rather extraordinary person to begin with) to take on the role of the crucified savior was nothing short of heaven sent. As a matter of fact the movie should have been dubbed "The Passion of Jim Caviezel's acting." Not only did he have to learn traditional Aramaic for the role, but was made to to take on the most crucial historical death in history, which he did in agonizing passion.

     The only downer in this part is that we only see Jesus in one part of his life, which would actually be his death. So it can be hard to compare Jim Caviezel's Jesus to other portrayal's when there wasn't much else of his life shown. Besides his death, we got glimpses of his life as a carpenter and then at the Last Supper, but that was it. Yet, if there was ever a time when Jesus needed to be portrayed at his most crucial, it would be his crucifixion.

~ ~ ~

The Gospel of John (2003)

Played by Henry Ian Cusick

Henry Ian Cusick as Jesus Christ in The Gospel of John (2003)
Portrayal: Fiery, Fierce and Unafraid

     This movie came out a few months before The Passion of The Christ so sadly it was overlooked in lieu of Mel Gibson's controversial blockbuster. The movie is exactly what the title indicates, the entire Gospel of John quoted word for word from either the narrator (Christopher Plummer) or the actors themselves. It's an interesting concept when you combine the actual words with acting and therefore you get a better understanding of the words themselves.

     Henry Ian Cusick (Desmond Hume from LOST) played a remarkable charismatic Jesus. Most of the time Jesus is seen as an ordinary everyday man, who could easily get lost in the crowd...that is until he opens his mouth. He turns from ordinary to strangely extraordinary with his powerful words and miracles. Some people are amazed while others are left in complete disgust. Jesus gives no regard to what people may or may not think about him, he's opinionated and out spoken, and even his own disciples and family don't know what to make of him sometimes.

     This was about the most fiery portrayal of Jesus I have ever seen. Usually Jesus is played as quiet and soft spoken, but Henry Ian Cusick's Jesus was hardly that.  Not to say that there weren't times when Jesus was generous and kind, most of the film he is that way toward his followers, but his anger comes out toward the pharisees and sadducees who seek to undermine everything he tries to teach. There was a wonderful fierceness about him that I had never seen before and it was great to actually see a Jesus as a lion and not always as a lamb.

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The Bible (2013 mini-series)

Played by Diogo Morgado

Portrayal: God Incarnate

      By the time we got to Jesus Christ in The Bible mini-series, we had already been introduced and entertained by a great list  Old Testament characters, from Abraham to Daniel (and some not so well loved characters). Of course anyone who knows their Bible knows that the whole Old Testament is the prologue for Jesus' arrival, so as you can imagine, he really is the most anticipated character in the whole series!

     When Diogo Morgado (a well known Portuguese actor) walked on to the screen, you had the immediate feeling that this man wasn't just playing Jesus. Any well brought up Christian will tell you that Jesus was the Son of God and Son of Man, he was God in human form and that is what Diogo Morgado played, complete God incarnate. When you looked at him you could tell that this was no ordinary man, that this man was different, that there was so much more to him. Diogo's portrayal as God on earth was beautiful and rich, from the way he moved, to the way he talked, even the way he seemed to be saying so much without saying a word.

     Diogo's role as Jesus is truly what made The Bible such a successful piece of work. One element that I was glad they added was the incorporation of Jesus in the Old Testament (which is recorded several times in the Bible) and if you look and listen close enough you can very well realize that it is the same actor in both the Old and New Testament segments playing the same role. A brilliant move on the filmmakers part as a way of telling the audience that Jesus has been here since the beginning and that he will always be here till the very end.

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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

In Defense of Jane Foster

Natalie Portman as Jane Foster in "Thor" (2011)
     After the new Thor trailer came out, I couldn't help but see several hate posts come out on Tumblr (where I found the trailer) regarding Jane Foster. I don't understand the hate for her. Or maybe it just comes down to general jealousy because she's in the position that girls and women all over the world want to be in. Well if that isn't immaturity toward a fictional character I don't know what is.

Natalie Portman as Jane Foster in Thor (2011)
     When I saw Thor for the first time, my favorite character was definitely Jane. She wasn't the typical romantic leading lady. As a matter of fact, Jane wasn't romantic at all. She's a brainy scientist, who has no time for relationships and is strictly devoted to her work. Then this stranger (literally) crash lands into her life and she's somewhat awestruck. 

     What I liked about Jane is that it wasn't immediate "love at first sight" which is what people tend to see it as. Actually, Jane couldn't have cared less about Thor when she hit him with the car and then tossed him into the hospital so she could get back to her scientific study. Jane only went back to Thor when she thought he could help her with her research and instead he ended up helping her get into trouble.

      Over the course of less than 24 hours Jane begins to understand that Thor is no ordinary person. He's different, he's mysterious, there's a whole other way about him, so of course she's going to be curious about him, but still her work comes first. When Thor is arrested by S.H.I.E.L.D. Jane realizes her detrimental mistake of going to the site and begs Erik to get Thor out.

Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Jane Foster (Natalie Portman)
 in Thor (2011)
       Jane is still confused by Thor, not understanding who or what he is, but is overwhelmed by his courage and fortitude to help her. When she felt like giving up on her research after S.H.I.E.L.D. took her material, Thor encouraged her to keep going, making her realize that at least one other person (besides Erik) believed in her. After that is when Jane realized she was in love with Thor. 

     People have often accused Jane of being to sappy or obsessively in love with Thor, but I didn't see that at all. Jane only fell in love with Thor in the last 25 min. of the movie. Before that he was just some crazy guy she hit twice with her car and that she thought could help her with her work. People wrote her off as annoying, but I thought it was great to see the romantic interest share the role as the comic relief.

     It we want to talk about sappy or obsessive love, why don't we talk about Peggy Carter and Steve Rogers from Captain America. Don't get me wrong, I love Peggy and I thought she was awesome, but she was definitely a women who was very madly in love too...and love and war don't go well together.

      Peggy thought Steve was a nice guy, but after his transformation she became a little obsessed; to the point where she shot at Steve just because she saw him kiss another girl! Which was a great scene, but still...let the man live his life! At the same time, like Jane, Peggy was strong, independent and work always come first, but when love unexpectedly walks in, you may never know what might happen.

Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Jane Foster in
Thor: The Dark World (2014)
     I think what I enjoy most about Jane is that she's just the ordinary girl next door. She was all work and no play and then the handsome stranger comes and her life changes completely. Jane fell in love with Thor because he helped with her work and risked getting arrested again just to get her journal. Jane fell in love with Thor, because even though he was mysterious and from a whole different world, he was still courageous and honorable. Thor fell in love with Jane because she saw the best in him and helped him understand that there was another person he could be.

     So stop the Jane hate. She's beautiful, she's intelligent and she's the girl that Thor is fighting for. Jane might be ditzy and a little reckless, but aren't most people when they're trying to accomplish their work? Jane was funny and by no means shallow or dull. Like I said, I believe it just all goes down to petty jealousy because of Jane's position as Thor's love interest. Get over yourselves, get a life and stop hating on a fictional, but well written, 3 dimensional character.

"Thor: The Dark World" trailer clip

Thor: The Dark World - Official Trailer (trailer 2)

Looks amazing!!!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Elsie Dinsmore Movie

     I have been a longtime fan of the Elsie Dinsmore series, mainly because they're just fun to read and it's nice to be able to loathe a terrible father and his equally terrible family (for about two books). I've read and own all of the updated/adapted versions as well as The Millie Keith Series and The Violet Travilla Series.

     I've wondered with all the Christian literature material that is being made into movies (Love Comes Softly, The Last Sin-Eater, The Shunning Series etc.) why Elsie Dinsmore has never been made into a movie. You can't really go wrong with an religious upstart and her inadequate father in the mid 1800s. Whether it becomes a movie or not, this is the cast list (maybe not the actual actors) that I have for the characters.

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Elsie Dinsmore Cast

Top: Left - Young Elsie (10-13), Right - Older Elsie
Middle: Left - Horace Dinsmore, Right - Edward Travilla
Bottom: Left - Rose Allison Dinsmore, Right - Lucy Carrington
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