Friday, July 31, 2009

Zombie Challenge!

vvb32 reads is hosting a Zombie Challenge on her blog in honor of the book Never Slow Dance With Zombies by E. Van Lowe, which comes out August 18th. And because I love challenges and zombies so I've decided to accept!

All I need to do is post an acceptance post, put this pic and challenge on my side bar and do two posts related to zombies during zombie week (Aug. 29-Sept.5) and then I will be eligible to win the aforesaid book! Woot, I love free things!

This challenge is open to all so check it out at her website!

My Top 100 Movies

This will probably change as I see movies I haven't seen before and as new ones come out, but as of right now here it is! And these are in no particular order...just naming them off the top of my head. And I'll be doing posts on and off about these movies (reviews and why I love them).

  1. 12 Angry Men (Henry Fonda version)
  2. To Kill A Mockingbird
  3. Toy Story 1 and 2
  4. The Incredibles
  5. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
  6. Life is Beautiful
  7. Pride and Prejudice (2005)
  8. While You Were Sleeping
  9. IQ
  10. Return to Me
  11. Groundhog Day
  12. Kung Fu Panda
  13. Sabrina (Harrison Ford version)
  14. An Affair to Remember
  15. Gone With the Wind
  16. The Sound of Music
  17. Sense and Sensibility (Emma Thompson)
  18. The Bourne Trilogy
  19. The Italian Job (newest version)
  20. Casino Royale (2006)
  21. Grease
  22. Hairspray (newest version)
  23. Labyrinth
  24. It's a Wonderful Life
  25. Arsenic and Old Lace
  26. Cars
  27. Tremors
  28. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
  29. Star Trek (newest movie)
  30. Iron Man
  31. Jurassic Park
  32. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
  33. Braveheart
  34. The Last of the Mohicans
  35. Gladiator
  36. The Matrix
  37. Clue
  38. The 'Burbs
  39. Juno
  40. Baby Mama
  41. Shrek I, II, III
  42. Galaxy Quest
  43. That Thing You Do!
  44. Sleepless in Seattle
  45. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Johny Depp)
  46. Corrina, Corrina
  47. Tommy Boy
  48. Finding Neverland
  49. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
  50. Batman Returns and the Dark Knight
  51. X-Men Trilogy
  52. Spiderman Trilogy
  53. Stargate
  54. Charade (Cary Grant)
  55. Chicken Run
  56. Jane Eyre (most recent Masterpiece Theatre)
  57. Ratatouille
  58. Up
  59. Wall-E
  60. Anna and the King (Jodie Foster)
  61. Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon
  62. Pretty in Pink
  63. Better Off Dead
  64. Some Kind of Wonderful
  65. The Man Who Knew Too Little
  66. The Pursuit of Happyness
  67. Blood Diamond
  68. Star Trek Into Darkness
  69. The Princess Bride
  70. Napoleon Dynamite
  71. Nacho Libre
  72. School of Rock
  73. Meet the Parents
  74. Disney's the Kid
  75. Stranger Than Fiction
  76. Three Amigos
  77. Ferris Beuller's Day Off
  78. Footloose
  79. Fried Green Tomatoes
  80. Remember the Titans
  81. Hoosiers
  82. Dirty Dancing
  83. French Kiss
  84. Hitch
  85. The Holiday
  86. Just Like Heaven
  87. My Big Fat Greek Wedding
  88. Music and Lyrics
  89. Regarding Henry
  90. The Sixth Sense
  91. Signs
  92. Shawshank Redemption
  93. Enchanted
  94. Ella Enchanted
  95. Sahara
  96. The Fugitive
  97. A Walk to Remember
  98. Strictly Ballroom
  99. Newsies
  100. The Wedding Singer
Hope you enjoyed my list!

Movie Review: Pride and Prejudice (2005)

Pride and Prejudice (2005), Grade: A+

I absolutely love this version of Pride and Prejudice! I enjoyed all the actors' representations of the characters in the novel as well.

My favorite parts:

  1. I loved how real the costumes were and how the people looked. Most of the women weren't wearing a lot of makeup and they sweated when they danced. It didn't feel stagey to me.
  2. Bingley was awesome in this. Just very fun and happy and loving like I always had pictured him. And Jane was actually a beauty in this one. Sorry but I didn't get that sense of her beauty in the P&P 1995 miniseries version (Lizzie was way better looking, IMO).
  3. I just loved the chemistry between Matthew McFadyen and Keira Knightley. I felt their passions and prejudices and all of that. I loved the depiction of the first proposal, in the rain with the music and the passion! Love it!
  4. Mr. Collins and Lizzie when he's proposing to her at the breakfast table; Lizzie at first is sitting behind the huge ham like she's the meat to be had by Mr. Collins! And the longing that Mary has on her face when Mr. Collins leaves after being refused by Lizzie!
  5. Darcy and Lizzie's dance scene, just awesome. I love how everyone else dancing falls away at the end and they're the only two in the whole world!
  6. I also love the scene where Lizzie, Jane, and Mr. Collins are dancing...so hilarious, Jane and Lizzie speaking to each other and Mr. Collins trying to dance (not doing very well) and talk to Lizzie! Hilarious!
  7. The scene where Lizzie is with her aunt and uncle and they visit Pemberley and she sees the statues. They're beautiful and most of them are naked and it's just a great scene.
  8. The scene where Darcy comes walking across the field at the break of dawn with that music after he finds out what his evil aunt did...!!! So amazing and beautiful and romantic!
My favorite version ever! Loved it!

Part of the Everything Austen Challenge.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Book Review: Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict

Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler, Grade: C+

The story starts out with Courtney Stone waking up two hundred years in the past and in a new body, that of Jane Mansfield. She's trying desperately to figure out how to get back to her own time and yet not screw up Jane's life too much in the process. She can't stand Jane's mother and isn't sure about Jane's suitor Mr. Edgefield either. Does she get back and can she assimilate while she's here in Jane's time? Her only comfort is the two published books of Jane Austen Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice.

SPOILER ALERT

I really wanted to like this book since I'd heard a lot of great things about it, but I hated the ending, absolutely hated it. Does Courtney get back to her life, does she get together with the person she should be with in her own time? NO! Basically, once she lets go of her individuality then she forgets really who she is and she falls in love with Edgeworth and gets married and then says that she has a vague dream of being somebody else, but she's not sure what it means or what it was. Sorry, but gag. I don't like the idea of us all being one and our individual lives are nothing. I assume it's the same way in her sequel Rude Awakenings..., but with Jane Mansfield in Courtney's body and life. I'll still be reading it, however grating it'll be...

I like being me and I would be devastated to have to be someone I'm not. I know it's just a novel, but I hate the idea of her philosophy...grrrr....

END SPOILER ALERT

But on a good note, it was still fun to see her reactions as a modern woman in a society where women don't have a lot of real power.

Part of the Everything Austen Challenge.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Let's Be Friends Blogger Award!

I am definitely feeling the love! Blogging has opened me up to wonderful new friendships and with it wonderful new ideas. Miss Remmers' Review has given me a Let's Be Friends Award! Thank you so much!

In order to share the love I will be passing the award onto eight other blogs that are also fun, friendly, and informative!

  1. Snapshots From Hale: I met Nancy in my prenatal class back in January. She's one of my dear friends now! And she's an amazing photographer!
  2. The Inner-workings of a Not So Genius Mind: I also met Amanda in my prenatal class. She has such a wonderful way with writing!
  3. Emi and Gianina: I met Jeanene since we're in church together and we also were/are both studying to be medical transcriptionists (she just graduated). She has a wonderful cooking blog and she even sleep walks so her blog is always fun!
  4. 3 Fruitloops: This blog is run by Trisha and I met her and her husband when I lived in Gresham, OR. Their daughter is super cute and I just love them to death!
So I'm giving these awards out to some great people because we're friends and I love them to death!

Monday, July 27, 2009

By The Villages

By the villages: If you come home by the villages you are drunk, whereas if you come home by the fields you have no opportunity to drink.
-Albert Hyamson's Dictionary of English Phrases, 1922

Benjamin Franklin printed two hundred euphemisms for being drunk in 1736 in the Pennsylvania Gazette. Here are a few of them:
  • pidgeon-ey'd
  • moon-ey'd
  • drunk as a wheelbarrow
  • half-way to Concord
  • crump-footed
  • double-tongu'd
  • dizzy as a goose
  • jambled
  • going to Jerusalem
  • contending with Pharoah
  • had been to free with Sir John Strawberry
Pretty funny that none of these are still around today!

Friday, July 24, 2009

That Darn Possessive S

I'm definitely more of a descriptivist when it comes to language. I don't like the idea that there are higher forms of speaking any certain language. But there are some general rules that we all follow in our language, kind of a universal grammar that we intuitively know as native speakers or rules we learn in a second language. And especially in writing, there are forms that we use, thus why we have editors!

I'm in the process of reading Woe Is I by Patricia T. O'Conner. She gives some of the basic rules of grammar and kind of an easy way we can remember them. To me it's a pretty fascinating read. One of the things I've struggled with is that possessive S and the apostrophe!

I've got the basics down on when to use it, such as: This is Jake's book. The book belongs to Jake so we add on that apostrophe s. But what happens when a word ends in an s? My maiden name is Stokes. When I want to talk about my whole family how do I pluralize it? I learned it's Stokeses! Jones pluralized is Joneses, Sanchez is Sanchezes! No apostrophe needed. If it ends in a an s or z we just tack on another -es to make it plural.

So now we've got to decide what to do when Stokes is not plural but needs that possessive. Well, we just add on that apostrophe S. So it's the Stokes's blog, the Jones's book (think Bridget Jones's Diary), the Sanchez's dog. Now if it's plural you use just the apostrophe. So it's the Stokeses' blog, the Joneses' book, and the Sanchezes' dog.

What about the word it? When it is used as a possessive it does not carry an apostrophe. So the cat licked its foot not it's foot. The only time we use it's is when it's a contraction of it is or it has. It's been a long day or it's so nice to be home.

This has been a struggle for me and ever since I've been reading this book it's been so much clearer! I hope this has helped you as well!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Movie Review: Lost in Austen

Lost in Austen (2008) (UK TV miniseries), Grade: A-

I loved this miniseries! I've always wondered what it would be like to go back in time to the land of Austen having all my modern ideas and manners. What fun!

Amanda Price is obsessed with Jane Austen and specifically her book Pride and Prejudice. She wishes she could find her own Darcy (her boyfriend proposes to her drunk and with a bottle cap)! Finally one night Elizabeth Bennett shows up in her bathroom claiming that there is a door from her home in Longbourne that has led to Amanda's bathroom and as such they trade places. Amanda assumes she'll be able to get back through the same door...nope!

She arrives in Longbourne at the beginning of the novel! She tries to do everything she can to make sure the novel proceeds as it is written, but alas, all heck breaks loose!

It's fun to see how things turn out differently with Amanda in the picture and Lizzy gone! I don't want to give anything away, but there are surprises for all of Austen's beloved characters! And the wet scene with Darcy is just, well, yummy!!!! Plus plenty of good kissing in the end and I'm happy!

This movie actually isn't on my original list, but it looked too good to pass up so I think I'm up to 13 or 14 now on my challenge. So enjoy!

Part of the Everything Austen Challenge.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Movie Review: Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, Grade: C and B+

I am giving it two grades because I feel that it merits a C in how it was adapted from the book and a B+ if you haven't read the book and are watching it for how it fits in with the other movies and for sheer entertainment.

Number six is a very long book and so I know they needed to cut certain things out, etc., but I feel they left out some crucial information that is basic to the whole Harry Potter storyline.

But as a movie it was fun and entertaining; it felt a little rushed, but I think that's because I read the book and knew all that was cut out and spliced and such. My hubby hasn't read it and he felt it was spliced just fine! So overall I enjoyed the movie (it'll be added to our collection of DVDs), but I was a bit disappointed with how they changed so many things I felt were important.

SPOILER ALERT

1. They changed the focus of the lessons with Dumbledore and Harry. In the book Dumbledore shows Harry Voldemort's history ie. his family tree, he shows him the importance of the objects that V used as his horcruxes. The movie does not show the importance...Dumbledore says the horcruxes could be anything...no, not really. In the book we learn by the end that the four horcruxes left are Hufflepuffs cup, Slytherin's locket, Nagini the snake, and possibly something from Ravenclaw.

2. The relationship between Hermione and Ron was a little more subtle in the book. We (as the readers) and Harry know that they're in love, but they don't really realize it! But Hermione, in the movie, is mooning over him the whole time. Not a big deal, just a difference I thought was a bit annoying.

3. The ending was changed!!! The ending in the book is sooo awesome. All the old D.A. are fighting the Death Eaters with Felix Felicis! It's great! And Snape was a bit too nice there in the end. In the book I was still wondering if he was evil or not, but the movie I felt it was pretty obvious that he was doing it cuz Dumbledore told him to. Plus in the movie if you haven't read the book you have no clue why Snape called him the Half Blood Prince in the first place.

These are just a few of the changes that bugged me. I wonder how they are going to address the rest of the horcruxes in the next movie??? Only time will tell...

Friday, July 17, 2009

Movie Review: Knowing

Knowing: Grade: D

I have no idea why a fine actor like Nicholas Cage would be interested in slop like this movie. Is he really hurting for money or work? I doubt it. So why would he star in such a waste of time and money is beyond my comprehension.

Fifty years ago a little girl named Lucinda writes a whole bunch of numbers on a sheet of paper and is put into a time capsule to be opened present day.

Cut to fifty years later our present day. Nicholas Cage's little boy's school is opening up the time capsule to read what their progenitors had to say about the future...his little boy Caleb ends up getting Lucinda's weird number prediction sheet. Cage is a professor of mathematics or physics or something and sees a bunch of patterns in the numbers and realizes that they have predictions of horrible catastrophes over the last fifty years with three remaining that have yet to happen. So they're all struggling over the death of his wife/Caleb's mother and wondering how they're going to save the world from utter destruction.

It's a big mess and tries to cram in aliens and religion all into one with horrible results. There were a few good scenes but that's about it. Spend your dime and time on something else.

Movie Review: Ice Age 3

Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaur: Grade A-

Oh, how I love animation! My hubby and I go to almost all of the animation films as they come out. They are so funny and family-friendly, especially compared to a lot of what comes out nowadays.

I really have enjoyed the Ice Age movies. They all follow Manny the woolly mammoth, Sid the sloth, and Diego the saber-toothed tiger and in numbers two and three Ellie a female woolly mammoth.

In this one Ellie and Manny are about to have their first baby and Diego and Sid are wondering where they fit in now as part of the herd. Diego decides to go his own way and Sid ends up kidnapping three dinosaur eggs in order to be their mommy! And thus heck ensues and they all must band together to save Sid and get Ellie back home to have the baby! It teaches how those we love whether they're related or not are our family!

The animation was also very excellent with digital 3-D; it was amazing! So enjoy a wonderful movie with the family.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

I'm A Kreativ Blogger=My First Blogging Award!

Wow! Let's just say I'm totally astounded and amazed! Reagan from Miss Remmers' Review just gave me my first ever blogging award! The Kreativ Blogger Award! I honestly didn't think anyone found my blog all that interesting but me!
As part of the award I must live seven of my favorite things:
  1. Ice cream and peanut butter!
  2. My family aka my hubby and my baby boy and my two kitties Frodo and Wolfy
  3. Books and my all-time favorite is Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  4. Basketball, volleyball, and softball
  5. Watching movies and my favorite TV shows
  6. Studying anything and everything about languages and language in general
  7. Karaoke, it is sooo much fun!
And I must also list a few other blogs that I think are awesomely Kreativ in their day to day postings and layouts!

Musty Meanderings of the Middle Ages


Keeping up with the Jones'

(Very Brief) Book Reports

In Restaurantul Gianinei

These are very fun and interesting blogs that you should check out! And a big thanks to Miss Remmers' Review for nominating me with this award! Check out her blog as well; it's also full of fun and interesting ideas too!

I was also nominated by Laura's Reviews! So a big thanks to her. Check out her blog when you get a chance!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Mr. Darcy, Vampyre, Free Signed Book Giveaway!

The author Amanda Grange of Mr. Darcy, Vampyre is giving away a free, signed copy of her upcoming book! All you have to do is post about it on your blog, website, or on Twitter! Actually, you only have to talk about the book, not the giveaway! For information click here.

I will be reading this book for the Everything Austen Challenge I'm doing and am hoping to win this free signed copy just for this purpose!!!! Yeah!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Movie Review: Persuasion

Persuasion, Grade B+:

It's been awhile since I've seen the earlier version of Persuasion, so I can't really compare it to that one other than I remember loving it as well! I really enjoyed this version too. It's one of my favorite Jane Austen books. The story of Anne Elliott who eight years previously had broken off an engagement with her true love Frederick Wentworth due to the persuasion of her godmother and father. I enjoy this book because Austen shows us what happens when the upper class choose to marry "beneath" themselves. She was young at the time and thus easily persuaded and has regretted her decision ever since. She is soon thrust back into Captain Wentworth's society and thus face her feelings for him once again and her decision to not marry him.

I love Anne's character. She has to put up with such a horrible family! I think all of Austen's heroine's must do that, but she's able to bear the burden with grace and style!

I didn't enjoy the lack of passionate kissing at the end from Wentworth. But other than that I think it was a great adaptation and I highly recommend it!

Part of the Everything Austen Challenge.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Quackered

Quackered: Almost choked or stifled. -T. Ellwood Zell's Popular Encyclopedia, 1871

June 23, is the Feast Day of St. Audrey, 7th century Kentish protector of throat disorders. Many thought that chewing gum was a way of prevention against these disorders of the throat and the chin.

According to Margery Wilison in New Etiquette (1937):
...(chewing gum)...since it is offensive to most people, it should never be used in public. A foreigner seeing Americans chewing fum for the first time couldn't imagine what caused them to make those strange movements with their faces, and concluded that there was a general facial affliction over here. 'I thought it was a sickness of the face...'

We're such an evil people, so ill-mannered and chewing that gum in public! Oh how times have changed!

Read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

Pride and Prejudice and Zombiesvvb32 reads is hosting a giveaway: To enter you must read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith by September 5, 2009. I just read this book about a month ago and found it very hilarious! I love pure Austen, but I adore Austen-inspired lit. as well! And this one was too good to pass up when I saw it sitting on the shelf at Target! For more info on what to do to enter the giveaway click here. I hope you enjoy!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Movie Review: Pride and Prejudice, A Latter-day Comedy


This is a very funny modern take on Austen's Pride and Prejudice. The writer thought the Utah Mormon culture for singles would be a funny modern update to Austen's world. And I would definitely have to agree since I'm a Utah Mormon who happened to be single at one time! So the jokes and references, I think, are a bit more funny if you know something of the culture, but I still say it's universal enough to watch for those who don't.

The story follows 26-year-old Elizabeth Bennett who is attending BYU and trying to get her first book published. Her roommates are Jane who's Argentinian, beautiful, and her best friend. The others include Lydia (the landlord of the home) and her sister Kitty (who's not so bright) and finally Mary (very religious, socially awkward and not much of a dater).

They end up at a ward dance hosted by the Bingleys where we are introduced to Darcy, a very snobbish Brit who thinks all the girls at the party are vapid and boring.

It's a very fun and interesting twist on this beloved tale! The acting can be a bit cheesy and the editing is a bit rough in a few spots, but overall I enjoyed this modern remake and I really enjoyed the fun music as well!

Part of the Everything Austen Challenge.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Movie Reviews: Sense and Sensibility, Emma

I just watched two of my movies for the Everything Austen Challenge! I've watched these movies many times before and so it was fun to watch them again!

Sense and Sensibility: I watched the one with Emma Thompson and Hugh Grant. This is my favorite rendition of Jane Austen's classic. The acting is superb and many at least four of the actors went on to play various characters in the Harry Potter movies! Woops, I mean five!Their mother Mrs. Dashwood is Madam Pomphrey in the movies!

I love the story how one sister Maryanne must learn what true love is and the other Elinor must learn to be patient and forbearing concerning the one she loves. To me it's a timeless tale that I can relate to in these modern times, which is why Austen's books and their movie continue to be so popular today.

Emma: I watched the one with Gwyneth Paltrow and Jeremy Northam. Definitely my favorite Emma rendition. I thought the one with Kate Beckinsale was a little dry and boring. I also really enjoy this book by Austen. Emma is so different than many of heroines. She's already rich and as such she doesn't need to get married if she so chooses. She's prideful and somewhat vain. Austen shows how it takes someone her equal to help her be her best self. Gwyneth and Jeremy do an excellent job of portraying these traits and their chemistry is amazing!

Part of the Everything Austen Challenge.

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Everything Austen Challenge Updated


Another lady has announced she's upping the ante to 12 things Austen and I've accepted the challenge! Here are my updated 12:

Pride and Prejudice (2005) movie

Sense and Sensibility (Emma Thompson)


Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler

Emma: (Gwyneth Paltrow)

Persuasion: The most recent BBC version

The Confession of Fitzwilliam Darcy by Mary Street

Pride and Prejudice: A Latter-day Comedy (Modern LDS version)

Mr. Darcy, Vampyre by Amanda Grange

Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler

Sense and Sensibility: The most recent BBC version

Intimations of Austen by Jane Greensmith

Pride and Prejudice (1995 version)


Wow, I have a lot of watching and reading to do before the year's over! Wish me luck again!

Everything Austen Challenge

I'm a huge Jane Austen fan and I heard about this Jane Austen challenge called The Everything Austen Challenge from Kim and her book blog The Queen Bees Book Club. If you would like to join the challenge click on The Everything Austen Challenge link.

I am very excited to start up! It was actually "Sense and Sensibility" that got me going on my love of Jane Austen. But my all-time favorite (no surprise here) is "Pride and Prejudice." I've read multiple sequels and Austen-inspired books on it through the years! For the challenge I'm to read six or watch six or a combination of them both Austen-inspired books, her actual novels, or movies by January 1, 2010. So here it goes:

Pride and Prejudice: The movie with Keira Knightley!

Sense and Sensibility: The movie with Emma Thompson

Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler

Emma: The movie with Gwyneth Paltrow

Persuasion: The most recent BBC version

The Confession of Fitzwilliam Darcy by Mary Street

Wish me luck on my Austen journey! Woot!

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