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Again and Again!

I’m sitting here trying to figure out what to write for today’s post and The Fellowship of The Ring is on tv. I’m not sure if it’s because of Christopher Lee passing away or because the network is about to start playing The Hobbit. Anywho, I’m rewatching it because it’s fantastic and the LOTR trilogy is one of my favorite movie series ever.

I’ve written before about not having a problem with rereading or rewatching TV/movies. Today I’m going to tell you exactly what series I can rewatch over and over again. In fact I’m severely tempted to drop everything that I’m doing right now and start binge watching/reading these.

Books –

Harry Potter


The Chronicles of Narnia

Anne of Green Gables

Little House on the Prairie

Movies –

Lord of the Rings trilogy (sorry Hobbit, you weren’t as good)

Star Wars (I personally can watch all 6, but 4-6 are very good on their own as well)

Indiana Jones (Let’s be honest, we’ll just forget Crystal Skull happened)

James Bond

TV shows –

Doctor Who

Breaking Bad

Lost

Maybe I will again one day. How about you?

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I can enjoy a good chick flick….from time to time

In the past few years I’ve become known for being a big fan watching all those geek, adventure, superhero, sci fi blockbuster movies where about 80% of the time I’m watching it with my guy friends vs my girl friends. And I completely enjoy them 100%. Enough to the point where I’ll see them multiple times in theaters….

But every now and then I do like to kick back and watch a chick flick. Granted, my type of chick flicks tend to veer in the historical costume drama type and skew towards the British end of things. Hey I can’t help it if Brits do it best and that bringing a book to life can be the best way to tell a story. Anywho though, I like having an emotional side too where I can swoon over a good love story or cry my eyes out and just enjoy being a girl.

So here today are some of my favorites:

The Young Victoria (2006) is one of my all time favorite movies ever. It’s British, it’s historical, it deals with British royalty and it stars Emily Blunt who I adore. It’s so wonderful and this scene where Victoria and Albert both sort of propose to each other makes me swoon.

And speaking of swooning, every time I watch this scene from Pride & Prejudice (2005) – be still my heart. I’m sorry to all the 1995 purists but this version of this scene is WAY more romantic. Seriously – dawn, mist, fog, sunrise, long flowy coat.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m #TeamJoLaurie all the way but since we can’t have that, this ending from Little Women (1994) is just lovely. The music swells, Jo is so excited to see the Professor and the look in his face when he realizes she’s still single. My heart is still swooning.

On the complete end of things, Bright Star is such a bittersweet love story of the relationship between John Keats and Fanny Brawne. It is so sad and beautiful. This scene here, I am still sobbing as I write this. It’s so emotionally raw and maybe it won’t for you, but I really can’t see how you watch it without feeling any sort of moisture coming from your eyes.

Now lest you think, I ONLY watch historicals, here’s a clip from my favorite chick flick of all time, Love Actually. Really it’s best scene out of the whole movie because it’s so freakin romantic. Anyone who thinks this scene is stupid, I don’t get you. I really don’t. Please tell me why or how you think it’s stupid. And then tell me how you got your current signficant other.

And to cap it off for today, He’s Just Not That Into You as a whole isn’t the best movie, but all the Gigi scenes are highly relatable to pretty much everyone so that is what makes it a good chick flick. Also this scene….sigh.

So who’s up for girls’ night?

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The 4th will be with you. Always.

Today is Star Wars Day.

For those of you not into geek culture, today is May 4th. May the 4th. May the force…..get it? So if you’re running around today and see stormtroopers or Jedi running around the streets and you’re supremely confused, this is why.

After those of you who don’t care stop shaking your heads, as one of my friends said the other day “It’s a glorious time to be alive!” We have a new Star Wars movie coming out later this year. Sure it’s not directed by Lucas but then again after the prequels (which I still will watch and defend though they aren’t my favorite) maybe that is for the best?

If you’ve been living in a cave and have NOT seen the new teaser trailer yet, here you go:

What does it all mean? Will Han and Chewie live for the entire movie? Will Luke and Leia? Seriously that’s the most important question for myself. I’m excited to learn about all the new characters and see if any of them are related to our beloved original characters but if JJ Abrams kills off all the old ones, we will not be happy people. Especially after they already deemed all the people I loved in the expanded universe as non canon. Sigh.

I’m really glad that this is my kind of thing because I can see how for some people who are not, everyone talking about all this could be extremely boring or not being able to understand the excitement. At some point I’ll do a proper geekness post about my love for this franchise.

Until then…may the 4th be with you!

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Go see Avengers: Age of Ultron

Really, there’s not much to be said today. I saw the movie last night and I can’t talk to a lot of people about it because pretty much everyone else hasn’t seen it yet. So I’m left in a state of shut down because I can’t spoil things.

But I will say BEST MOVIE OF THE SUMMER?! BETTER THAN FIRST AVENGERS? HAWKEYE! (yes I did cheer for him as soon as he appeared on screen)

It’s glorious. And everything about it is why I love the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

This was basically me.

Need to plan the next time I’ll be seeing it again……

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I Should Listen to You More Often

I have a bad habit of being recommended things by friends and not immediately following up on them only to find out later, they were right. You see, it’s not that I don’t trust my friends. It’s more to do with TIME. There are so many things that I’m discovering on my own that when a friends lends you a book or movie, you’re like….oh thanks, I’ll get to this later. And sometimes later never happens. But then there are times when you just suck it up, make the time and you actually give in to the recommendation. That’s when you find out…HOLY CRAP. YOU WERE SO RIGHT ABOUT THIS. I SHOULD LISTEN TO YOU ALL THE TIME!

The thing with being public about your interests is that your friends who know you well have pretty much figured out what you like and what you don’t. I have gotten the reputation of liking a lot of geek things that most girls I hang around with refuse to touch or if they do, don’t understand it. That being said, a lot of my guy friends have constantly given me tips on things they liked that they think I would enjoy. This ranges from books to TV shows to tabletop games to video games to food and beer. Sometimes I don’t take the advice because I’m a bit wary of it. And then they prove me wrong.

I’ll give three examples of recommendations from friends.

Friend #1 recommended me to read the book Ready Player One insisting that I would enjoy it very much.

Well, have you seen my TBR pile? Plus I work in a library! There are so many books I’m trying to read already that to add another book that I wasn’t intentionally going to read and that I didn’t discover myself seems a bit daunting. I’m ashamed to say that I accepted the book, kept it for a few weeks (months?) and returned it without reading it. I just didn’t have the time or interest at the moment. I felt like a horrible friend but….so many books so little time? But then several months later, I heard news that Steven Spielberg would be directing the movie. And my “book club” decided to read it. So I finally gave in. And guess what? I loved it. One of the most fun books ever. Seriously it was so awesome I didn’t want to stop reading.

I should have listened to Friend #1. Their next recommendation I should take: to read Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell.

Friend #2 told me I needed to watch Pacific Rim.

I was told that I would enjoy this movie a lot and it was not like Transformers meets Battleship at all which is what the trailers made it look to be. They had claimed it to be one of their favorite movies ever and I needed to go see it. I was like….um no? It looks stupid. Plus no one in the cast I’m a fan of and I’ve never seen any of the director’s other movies. *Yawn*. But then I kept getting ragged on so I finally gave in.

This is the post on Facebook I wrote the day after I saw it.

So to everyone who said to me “Deborah, why aren’t you seeing Pacific Rim? It has everything you like in a movie! And you just lost your awesome, geek and Asian cards with your lame excuses!”, I am officially eating a big fat crow right now. Pacific Rim was quite awesome.

Reasons why it was awesome

10) There was an Asian girl with blue hair! And the young version of herself looked like me growing up.
9) Lack of a romance was a major plus. And no forced kissing that comes out of nowhere. WOOT.
8) While the trailers didn’t do anything for me, I bought the storyline. And got quite invested in the actual story.
7) Humor from scientists. Very welcome. The scene where they shake hands (you know the one) brought well written comic relief.
6) Idris Elba is the mother effin man.
5) Awesome special effects and sound. Much better than Man of Steel.
4) Fight scenes were quite good. Again better than Man of Steel. Heck everything about this movie was better than Man of Steel.
3) There’s a dog!
2) Nothing to do with the movie, but the Alamo Drafthouse in Ashburn is effing awesome. BEST place to see a movie. Best popcorn ever. Unless I absolutely have to, I am never seeing going to another movie theater again.

And the top reason for why I liked this movie?

1) When Gipsy is falling from a fight in space, they pull out a sword!!!!!!!!! I literally turned to (Friend #2) with a huge grin of glee on my face. That was the turning point for me. (It’s because I like swords) The rest of the movie, I was on the edge of my seat.

Well done del Toro. Well done. I would like to see more of the story fleshed out. Prequels would be most appreciated.

I now reclaim back all my cards. And if you want to talk about it with me in person or online, I will gladly share in fanboy/fangirl appreciation.

Yep I should have listened to Friend #2. Their next recommendation for me: to read Slaughterhouse Five.

Now Friend #3, I’ve actually been pretty good about taking their recommendations. And I’ve actually talked about some of them on this blog like Lizzie Bennet Diaries or (500) Days of Summer. However the one recommendation I was slowest to take was to watch Doctor Who.

Why would I want to watch a silly show about a guy played by different actors that travels through time and space? It looks dumb. And cheesy. And confusing. There are too many episodes. I can’t get invested in this right now.

Hah. hahahahahaa. Yeah these were all my lame excuses. We all know how much I love the show now. Like freakishly addicted to the show and the universe and everything. I binged watched all the episodes that were on Netflix and Amazon Prime in a few months like WHOA.

Yep, I should have listened to Friend #3 right from the beginning. Their next recommendation: to watch What If.

The moral of this long story is that my friends obviously know my tastes. And I should listen to them more.

Feel smug my friends. Know that you were right.

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The Year of Enjoying What I Like

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This week, my posts will be taking a look back at 2014 and looking forward to 2015.

This was a rather good year geeky wise for me.

Movie wise: I saw 18 new movies in theaters (plus a few older ones thanks to the Alamo Drafthouse) including Guardians of the Galaxy five times. Yes this ties the record with The Avengers for most time seen in theaters. No I did not spend a ton of money doing this. One highlight was seeing Interstellar in real IMAX at the Smithsonian. Definitely worth it.

TV wise: All my shows I watched were great. Gracepoint was good enough for me that I want to switch to Broadchurch (this is a compliment). Peter Capaldi was wonderful on Doctor Who. The Walking Dead was gross and wonderful and will the next half please get here soon?

The shows I watched for Entertainment Weekly were quite good (ok, Metal Hurlant Chronicles wasn’t a fave). It’s a crime Selfie was canceled (it really was) but The Musketeers will be returning later this month. I’ll also be recapping Veronica Mars from the beginning as I watch it for the first time.

Book wise: I read a lot this year. I surpassed my goal and read 229 books in 2014. Here’s a breakdown of what I read.

(Numbers are a bit off because I kept losing track when counting repeatedly)

Christian Fiction 135

General Fiction 17

YA 37

Graphic Novel 19

Picture Book 1

Non Fiction 10

Diversity – 34 books written by males (All White Males)

3 books written by POC authors

Diversity wise I failed horribly. Most of those 34 books books were graphic novels so a lot were by the same authors. Also this just shows that Christian fiction is written almost exclusively by white females because that is their target audience.

But graphic novels in general are outside of my normal reading habits so I’m hoping to read more in the future.

Goals for next year?

Reading wise: I’m going to read a lot again next year. I still have a goal to read at least 200 books but I’d like to go outside of my normal reading for a change. I want to read more non fiction and I want to read out of my normal reads. This doesn’t mean less Christian fiction but more intentionally finding books outside of that genre. My “what books have you been reading” posts are quite popular so be sure to keep an eye out for those.

Movie wise: Oh 2015 is the year of two Marvel Cinematic Universe movies (including new Avengers?), Hunger Games, James Bond, and a new Star Wars movie you say? Well you know where I’ll be.

Blog wise: I want to do something different on my blog this year. While I still want to keep my schedule of what I post on MWF, I’d like to incorporate a new feature for Geekness Fridays. I don’t want to plan out a set schedule of what I’m going to post every Friday because I do enjoy spontaneity. But for this year, I’d like to try something new with my favorite band ever.

Once a month I’m going to listen to a Beatles album and spend a Friday talking about it. I’m not a music expert by any means, just a huge fan. There are twelve studio albums so I’ll be talking about one once a month. It’ll be fun to try something different and I’m looking forward to listening to all the albums in their entirety again.

So yeah. That was 2014 and those are goals for 2015.

2014 has been a good geeky year and I have no doubt that 2015 will be just the same if not better.

Because I do not need these to be a geek: 20140919_162811

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All the Christmas movies are already checked out

Christmas is next week and whether or not you celebrate it, it’s the time for all the holiday movies to show up. Sure there’s all those Hallmark holiday movies (that I refuse to watch) but I’m talking about the good stuff. Well at least the stuff that I like. Here are some of my favorites, you may agree to disagree.

While A Christmas Carol is just a darn good story no matter what, The Muppet Christmas Carol is hands down my favorite. The songs. The creepiness. The humor. Plus this is the movie that I was first introduced to Michael Caine and therefore the movie I always associate him with no matter what else he’s been in.

It’s a Wonderful Life is just a classic. My family watches it every year on Christmas Eve. To be honest, it’s really hard for me to watch sometimes because I hate how people treated George and I HATE Potter. But the ending makes me cry every time. Also the actor who played Harry was hot.

Home Alone is a modern classic that is still enjoyable. It’s just fun.

The Santa Clause is the same way. It’s one of the few Santa movies that I love to rewatch because it’s enjoyable every time.

nativity

There’s actually not too many movies based solely on the Nativity Story but I really do love this one though I feel like it didn’t get much fanfare. But then it’s a Bible movie and we all know how Christians and Hollywood feel about Bible movies…..
holiday

While it’s not perfect, The Holiday is still one of the most delightful chick flicks ever. Who would have ever thought Jack Black and Kate Winslet would pair up? Also Christmas in England seems delightful.

Hands down, Love Actually my favorite Christmas movie of all time. In fact this movie is one of my favorite of all time and is in my top ten list. I love this movie so much I watch it every year. So many reasons to love it. I just saw it in theaters at a quote along and that was just so much awesome.

BONUS: This is actually a TV movie but……A Very Brady Christmas is just darn good stuff. Enjoy!

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Books + Movie = Happiness

This week, one of my highly anticipated movies of the year comes out: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 comes out. (Don’t get me started on the fact that they broke up this book in half. It was my least favorite book of the series and it wasn’t even that long! $$$$$$$) Then next month The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies arrives in theaters. (OMG. Don’t even get me started on how there are THREE movies for one book) I’m super excited for both of them.

I don’t know the exact statistic but it’s safe to say that a lot of movies made are based on books.

I love when books I really enjoy turn into GOOD movies. There is something both very satisfying and slightly disappointing about seeing your favorite book turn into a movie. The thing is that reading a book is a very personal experience. Everyone has their own view of how they visualize the story, the characters, the settings, etc. Even how you would pronounce things and names can vary from person to person. So a movie basically takes the movie creators’ interpretation of how they viewed the book and puts it on the big screen. It doesn’t mean that what is shown is canon but it does become the main visual guide of how the story will be remembered.

The hardest part with book to screen adaptations is how faithful the movie will be to the book. I understand that the two are completely separate entities. You will have people going to see the movies who have no interest in reading the book or have no clue that the movie they are watching is even based on the book. The movie makers have to make these people happy so they have to make the movie so that this audience is able to follow and enjoy the story without being lost. At the same time, the die-hard fans want to see EVERYTHING and they will know when you messed up something or included things that make no sense at all.

There are some movies where I was ok with the changes because it makes sense. Sometimes there are scenes that cannot be transferred from words to screen. This also helps when the actual author is either the screenplay writer or is consulted for help with the script. Then there are times when it makes absolute no sense at all why things were added or left out. It’s almost like the people making the movie forgot that it was a book that made it possible for them to do this and that fans of the book are the reason why it was popular in the first place.

I will say that I absolutely cannot stand when a film reviewer bashes a movie based on a book for doing a certain thing….and it happened EXACTLY like that in the book. Again, as I stated I realize that the book and movie are two different things. But if Harry Potter is annoying you because he’s all teen angsty and you give the movie low marks for it because it doesn’t fit with the other whimsical movies, then sorry for you. That’s what happened in the book! Read the book!

I’m not going to talk about the bad movies based on books I loved because it just makes me sad that they destroyed what could have been really good (Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader *cough cough*).

Instead I’m going to just give a very brief list of books that I have read and the movies (not TV miniseries or shows) based on them that I really enjoyed. (I’m sure I’m missing out on TONS but then this list would super-duper long considering how many books I’ve read.)

The Joy Luck Club

Both are equally moving and I tear up EVERY DAMN TIME I read or watch. There are some things changed but as Amy Tan was involved with the screenplay I am ok with this.

Pride & Prejudice (2005)

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Yes, I know that the 5 hour TV miniseries may be better. But MOVIE wise, I adore this version. Yes things are shortened but for me this is a beautiful adaptation. I love the scenery, the music, the camera work, and I ADORE Matthew MacFadyen’s Darcy.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Parts 1&2 

harry_potter_and_the_deathly_hallows_part_i

The first Harry Potter movie was great (I actually watched it BEFORE reading the book, I know I know) but the last two movies for me REALLY got to the heart and soul of movie. It is the only time I fully endorse splitting into two movies because there is so much they couldn’t leave out.

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

I adore everything about this movie. It is exactly how I wanted this movie to turn out (Sorry old BBC production). Sadly it went downhill afterwards but this one is just glorious.

The Great Gatsby (2013)

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Almost everyone had to read this book for high school. And this version does a sensational job of capturing the Roaring 20s. And who better to play Gatsby then Leo? The scene of him with the champagne/fireworks alone is worth it.

Little Women (1994)

little_women

Words cannot describe how much I love this movie. Everything about it is perfect (other than the fact that Jo rejects Christian Bale. WHO REJECTS CHRISTIAN BALE??) and it is one of my favorite adaptation of ALL TIME. I am looking forward if/when I have a daughter and we can read the book and then watch this together. SO GOOD.

What are some of your favorite book to movie adaptations? What’s a good book that should be turned into a movie?

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I don’t always watch scary movies but when I do….

So today’s Halloween. And I’ll let you in on a little secret.

My family didn’t celebrate Halloween growing up. Part of it was due to my parents being new immigrants to the country and not knowing the customs. The other part was that since we were Christians (and Southern Baptists to boot), it didn’t align with our beliefs. So I never got to go trick or treating and the only time I ever dressed up in costume for the day was the Halloween parade in kindergarten. My costume then was a white girl. I was actually supposed to be a princess but the mask literally was a blonde girl with a pale pink face so therefore I became a white girl for the day.

I am 99% positive this was that mask. Isn’t that terrifying?

My views on Halloween have changed since I’ve gotten older and if/when I have kids, we’ll probably take them out trick or treating (AS LONG AS KNOW THE REAL MEANING OF CHRISTMAS).

Keeping in with the theme of the holiday, it make come as quite a bit of a shock that…I actually do enjoy a good scary movie every now and then. I know, that’s a surprise isn’t it. We all know how much I love spoilers and I hate not knowing what’s going to happen. Scary, suspense movies are THE WORST at making me jump. But honestly? As long as I’m not by myself, I enjoy a good scare.

Now, gory movies are a different thing altogether. I cannot stand gore for pleasure. War movie gore is acceptable because I know that actually happened and as a historian I applaud authenticity. But movies where it’s just used for entertainment? No. You will never see me watching movies like Saw, Hostel, or anything like that. Seriously if you trick me into watching a gory movie, we will not stay friends very long.

I also know that I have not seen a lot of what is considered classic scary movies like Friday the 13th, Halloween, Nightmare on Elm Street, The Exorcist, etc. And I never will. And you know, that is ok. I like not having nightmares.

That being said, here are some scary movies that I have enjoyed over the years.

The Ring – I remember my friends and I had missed this in theaters and rented it during the summer. We knew it was going to be scary but had avoided all the spoilers. I still built a pillow fort around me to protect myself. I vividly remember one of my friends start cursing during that TV scene at the end. My least favorite part? Amber Tamblyn in the closet. Crap, is my nose bleeding?

28 Days Later – I was coerced into going to see this movie by my friends and I didn’t want to. I didn’t want to watch a zombie horror movie. I thought it was going to be all gory and jumpy and I hated that I had paid money to watch this. And then I saw the movie. AND LOVED IT. It’s probably my favorite horror movie of all time. If you still haven’t seen this movie yet, WHY  NOT?

Scream – This was a high school sleepover movie favorite. Confession: To this day, I still have not completely watched the opening scene with Drew’s character and her boyfriend. I always have and will continue to cover my eyes in this scene. The rest of the movie however is good to go.

The Birds – I preface this to say that I hate swarms of birds flying in the air. Migration season is the worse. SO MANY BIRDS IN THE AIR AND IT NEVER ENDS. So out of all the Hitchcock horror movies, this one is my favorite. Because it’s basically one of my nightmares come true.

The Haunting – This movie is surprisingly liked by my family as one of our favorite scary movies. (The rest of the family was scared to death by What Lies Beneath but I skipped out on that viewing.) I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea but we found it quite scary. Also, Owen Wilson’s head.

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Coming Soon to a Theater Near You

Summer is halfway over. The year is halfway over. And thus the number of movies coming out in theaters is not that many.

I’ve gone to the theater a lot less this year than previous years (for a number of reasons) but there are still a few movies that I’m planning on going to the theaters to see. Even if it means going by myself for these are such that they MUST be experienced at least the first time in the theater vs at home on my laptop.

So just in case you were wondering “What movies Deborah is looking forward to seeing in theaters the rest of the year?”

Guardians of the Galaxy (August 1)

I know nothing about this comic but it’s ok because no one else does! But that doesn’t really matter because the trailer just looks like so much FUN. Also I’m going to see every movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe anyways. And when did Chris Pratt get so hot?

———-

Interstellar (November 1)

It’s a Christopher Nolan movie. It’s sci fi. It has scenes filmed IN IMAX. Of course I’m going to see this.

———–

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1( November 21)

I’m not too pleased with the fact that they are splitting up this book (it wasn’t THAT long) but I’m not missing this especially since it’s Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s last movie.


———–

Exodus: Gods and Kings (December 12)

I missed Noah in theaters but Bible movies are making a comeback! And it’s Ridley Scott and Christian Bale! Though who knew that Moses visited stores like “The Art of Shaving” back in those days with that neatly trimmed facial hair.


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The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (December 17)

No poster or trailer out yet.

I actually don’t remember what happened in the last third of the book but it’s ok because anything I read is going to be a lot less interesting that what’s actually going to be in the movie. But still excited!

And that’s 2014. I realize these are all slanted in the action/adventure, bookish, fantasyish, geekish genres but then again those are my favorite genres. There’s a huge gap between Guardians and Interstellar because no movies during those three months look interesting to me at all. Any of these you’re also excited for?