A Flying Umbrella? Yes Please, I’ll Take Ten

My sincerest of apologies to you, my dear angel faces (those crazy enough to actually read this blog) for my sub-par post on Christmas day. This week has been tragic as well as glorious at the same time and has kept me very busy. But, never fear, this post will not be crappy, I promise(-ish)! On Christmas day, my family and I went to go see Saving Mr. Banks. From the trailers I’d seen of this movie I assumed the film would be about how Walt Disney convinced Pamela Travers (the author of Mary Poppins) to sign over the rights of her book to him to make a movie, and the difficulties she presented in signing over the rights. Although this is partly true, it is so much more meaningful and better than just that.

Saving Mr. Banks: –
This movie tells two stories simultaneously about events that occurred in Pamela Travers’ life. The first, as is shown in the movie trailers, is about Walt Disney’s attempt to convince Mrs. Travers to sign over the movie rights to him, while the other, unanticipated story-line, is about a young Pamela Travers’ and her trials as a young child that inspired her novel “Mary Poppins.”  

The story of the young Pamela is far more important than the story with Disney. “IMPOSSIBLE” you say, “the story with Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson has to be the more important story. Those are big name actors and they always produce a top notch performance.” If this is what you are thinking, then you would be right, of course. But we know already that she does eventually sign over the rights to Walt Disney to make the movie, what we don’t know is why she was so difficult about every single specific detail. This is the story that Emma Thompsons’ (Pamela Travers’) flashbacks to when she was a little girl tells the audience. Mary Poppins was a real person, yes, we see this from the preview. But the story “Mary Poppins” isn’t about what the real life Mary Poppins did, it is what she promised young Pamela she would do, and failed. Therefore the story that Mrs. Travers writes is an (albeit fantasized version) of how she wished things could have happened.

So What?!
 This movie is far more substantive than the audience is led to believe initially. The film is very funny, charming, clever, with plenty of snark and at moments hits close to home about the realities in every fairy story. Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks, Colin Ferrell, Paul Giamatti and the little girl that plays young Pamlea Travers (Annie Buckley) reminds us yet again what great actors like them can do. In delivering pitch perfect characters, they make us forget that what we are watching, isn’t actually real (and Annie Buckley reminds us that not all child actors suck these days). If you have a moment, I would definitely recommend this movie! It is worth your time.

—- Side note: If you wait into the credits at the end of the movie they will show the actual pictures of these people, which is kinda cool. Also they will play a legit recording of Pamela Travers listing her demands for the film. (The recording comes after the old photographs.)

Awkward? Celebrities Do it Best

Happy Holidays boys and  girls, regardless of whichever one you celebrate. I have a new movie review blog post to do, but as it is Christmas day and am busy with family, I will have to wait to write that post for when I have more time. In the meantime here are some funny celebrity Christmas pictures to take a gander at.

Scientists working on immortality better hurry up because Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart are both 73. Such cute old men in their bowler hats!

The only thing all these kids have in common is their stiff posture…oh yeah and their dad.
(Sean Combs)

Always such a classy twit. Yes, he is peeing in a mop bucket.
(Justin Beiber)

If this card doesn’t scream “I love my dog more than the old man touching me” I don’t know what does.
(Hugh Hefner)

They both had long days.

Snooki’s son has issues with people who aren’t as tan as he is used to

Keeping the Lights on at Night: Baddies We Can’t Forget

Tis the season to completely ignore stereotype. So, since it is the holidays, I figured I would do a nice holiday themed post. Then thought, to hell with that. So, during this time of gift giving and merriment, I am doing a post on some of the all time great movie villains. These are not going to be listed in any specific order because they are all different types of “baddies” but I picked a few that I thought stole the show and far surpassed the protagonist.

Darth Vader – James Earl Jones: (Star Wars Trilogy)

      One of the most recognizable voices in American cinematic history lent his deep baritone to bring to life one of the most notorious villains on-screen – and he didn’t even have to physically play him to accomplish this feat. Jones was not the man in the suit, but he gave an eerily calm, yet menacing and dangerous, vocal quality to bring to life the man dressed in black. It is impressive that only ones voice can accomplish all these nefarious implications which is why Darth Vader makes the list.  

Miss Agatha Trunchbull- Pam Ferris: (Matilda)
     Where the previous entry on this list was fantastic because of its understated quality, this female baddie is exactly the opposite. Loud, brash, violent, obnoxious, dangerous and disgusting, Pam Ferris’ portrayal of “The Trunchbull” is hideously perfect. As a brawny, muscular middle-aged woman serving as the remorseless headmistress of an elementary school, infamous for her amazingly foul acts of abuse against pupils as punishment for the most insignificant of misdeeds- “The Trunchbull” takes all the exaggerated infractions ever told by a child to their parent in the history of the world and combines them into one hell of a frightening woman whom Ferris seems to embrace with panache. This is why she makes the the list as well.
The Joker- Heath Ledger: (The Dark Knight)
     While Batman is supposed to be the obvious focus of this movie, it was Heath Ledger as “The Joker” that made this film worth watching. The brilliant portrayal of this psychotic character whose only objective is to create mayhem was perfectly achieved by Ledger whose scarily jovial Joker’s next action was anyone’s guess. Tragically this was Ledgers last completed film, but his terrifyingly fascinating character ensures his immortality.
Annie Wilkes- Kathy Bates: (Misery)
     I am not going to lie to you boys and girls, I am admitting my extreme wimpy nature at this moment, but it took me three tries to completely finish this movie. I just could not handle the unbelievable amount of tension that this film creates. Kathy Bates plays a seemingly normal character who turns out to be- straight jacket crazy. Bates portrayed this to perfection, creating a woman who, on the outset, seems totally sane, goes on to do terrible things. Although, as she says in the film, she truly regrets having to cause bodily harm it is what she truly believes has to be done.
Hans Landa- Christoph Waltz: (Inglorious Basterds)

     In this role, Christoph Waltz taught the world that a good villain is never in a hurry. In this film Waltz plays the ruthless and cunning German Nazi Col. Hans Landa in the Quinton Tarantino film “Inglorious Basterds.” Tarantino is known for his strong villains and Landa is no exception. Known as “The Jew Hunter,” Landa is responsible for the capture and execution of countless Jews and captivated audiences with his ability to match pure evil with charm and poise. A combination not often seen in such a movie role.  
Miranda Priestly- Meryl Streep: (The Devil Wears Prada)
     You might be thinking to yourself at this moment that this entry is a strange one amongst all of these other outright murderous villains. But this is my list, so I can do what I want. I admit, that it is a bit strange, but in the opinion of this humble blogger, this is one of the better female villains to be seen in a long while! Meryl Streep plays this fashonista in a way that I do not think anyone else could have done. She is meant to be the “dragon lady” boss, so naturally I thought she would be loud and bitchy. Streep takes this powerful woman and never speaks above a soft tone, but somehow, this makes her character absolutely terrifying. Her soft tone, withering looks and the slight inflection in her voice, somehow makes this immaculate woman a force that cannot be challenged and even made me feel uncomfortable watching it. However, the true mark of greatness of this performance is the fact that I could not remember for the life of me who the main character was in this movie. The one who has the story we are supposed to care about. I asked all my friends in the room and all of them remembered Meryl Streep as the scary boss, but drew a blank on “that annoying girl.” Therefore, I add Mrs. Streep to the list.
Loki-Tom Hiddleston: (Thor 1 & 2, Avengers)

     The initial success of Thor was likely due, in part, to Tom Hiddleston’s portrayal of “Loki.” Hiddleston did an excellent job of bringing “Loki” to life, so much so that his character quickly became the fan favorite, even above the film’s actual super hero -Thor. His portrayal was so good that the rest of the actors were criticized by audiences for being lackluster. Hiddleston’s sarcastic, slippery, slightly crazy and surprisingly (at times) vulnerable portrayal of this villain in 3 movies is what pulls him up onto this list.

Hannibal Lecter- Anthony Hopkins: (The Silence of the Lambs)
     Based on a real serial killer, (that’s right people, I said REAL) Hannibal Lecter was an entirely mesmerizing character. Hopkins’ portrayal of the murderous cannibal doctor is beyond unsettling. His soft spoken elegance, manners and charm while discussing and committing heinous acts make him sickeningly fascinating to watch. This performance is widely considered to be one of the best performances, villain or otherwise, of all time. Because of his fantastic performance I decided to use Hopkins to round out the list.

Caffeine is Going to be the Death of Me- Dragon Fire and Ruin, The Desolation of Smaug

I drank so much caffeine today in my preparation for the midnight premiere of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, that it is now 4:40 in the morning after the movie and I am still wired. So I figured that while I am still up and have the movie fresh in my mind, I might as well write about it. 
 I would like to take a second to voice a quick warning. These movies are based on a very short book, meant for children, written by J.R.R Tolkien as somewhat of a prequel to The Lord of the Rings. Because of the brevity of the actual book, Peter Jackson has added material into these movies that are not found in the book itself, The Hobbit. So if you are a Hobbit purist, brace yourself.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug:
As most of you know this movie is part 2 of a three part movie series which covers (the very short book) The Hobbit. The first movie ended with the company of dwarves, a hobbit and a wizard getting near their end destination which is the Lonely Mountain where King Thorin hopes to take back his homeland from the dragon Smaug. It is at this point that the film picks up to start part 2. The movie begins fast, and keeps that same quick storytelling pace, pretty much, throughout the entire thing. 

The Second installment of Peter Jackson’s the Hobbit is long, over 2 1/2 hours, so if you are going to go see this movie, make sure you carve out the proper half day needed to do it. Though, as I mentioned earlier, there are changes in the movie, even the seemingly sacrilegious addition of the elf Legolas (Orlando Bloom) – a character from “The Lord of the Rings” – feels sinfully good. So does the outright invention of a female elf character named Tauriel. Though some may be upset with these additions, they certainly do not hurt and are actually pretty damn cool in the movie. I appreciate the She-Elf character addition by Peter Jackson, as a strong female character in this story was badly needed. Someone needed to break up this sausage fest a little!

This movie starts right off the bat with a pulse-pounding — and yes, always photogenic — chase scene. Mere seconds in, we watch a pack of bloodthirsty orcs pursue our hobbit hero and his dwarf companions over the Misty Mountains — where, as you will recall, we last left them. After that rousing curtain-raiser, the movie follows the protagonists through a number of obstacles standing between them and their assault on the Lonely Mountain, the dwarves’ ancestral home. First, the company must pass through the enchanted forest of Mirkwood, where they tussle with giant CGI spiders. Next, they’re imprisoned in the stronghold of the woodland elves before reaching the Lonely Mountain containing a surprisingly intelligent dragon. (Who know dragons were smart?) The voice (performed by Benedict Cumberbatch) and appearance of Smaug is very impressive. He looks and sounds pretty damn creepy, they did a great job on the dragon. Everyone prepare yourselves through, this movie ends on a MASSIVE cliffhanger.
SO WHAT?! — This film is far and away better than the first one, it is action packed, a little creepy at times, but also containing plenty of humor. The visual effects of this movie were very impressive and the actors in the film did an amazing job! If you like action movies (and you have seen the first installment of this series) I would definitely recommend this film as a must see!!

The Things I Do For You

Hello my beautiful angel faces! Because I just love you all so much and appreciate you reading this blog, I paid some bucks to enter this giveaway for you to enter for free and possibly earn some cash! Good luck!

Welcome to the $750 Let It Snow Cash Giveaway!

We’ve joined a great group of bloggers to bring you this awesome giveaway. One lucky person will win $500 cash and five others will win $50 cash!

Enter to win $500 or $50 cash via PayPal.

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There is no Evidence of Brain Damage. How is That Possible?

This time of year is not only glorious because of the many fantastic holidays that happen right in a row, but also because of all the big movies that start coming out all at once. As I posted earlier, around a week ago, I went and saw Catching Fire (one of these aforementioned big films), but the very next day I was blackmailed, and emotionally manipulated, into going to go see Frozen (I have the greatest friends). Now you might be thinking to yourself “self, why is she so against going to see this delightful children’s movie?” My response to that inquiry would be that I have nothing against Disney movies, but that I have not been overly impressed by them lately. I think they serve their purpose to entertain children, and give enough story so that the parents taking them don’t gouge their own eyes out when they have to watch that same movie 30 times, but as a non-parent, single, young adult I saw no merit in spending my few remaining cents on such a film. But, as I said earlier, my friends know how to make me do the things they want, and I went to see this movie.

     Frozen is the story of two young princesses. One has the power to create snow and ice, but she has yet to learn how to control her ability. At a young age she accidentally harmed her sister and after that her parents put her (a scared 8-ish year old girl) on lock-down, she wasn’t even allowed to play with her little sister anymore. Parenting at its finest, scare the shit out of an 8 year old, well done! Her parents die, she is crowned queen, but has a freak out and runs away. Her younger sister follows her in an attempt to calm her down, bring her back to the castle, and end the winter storm that she created, which froze the entire kingdom.
This film is still a typical Disney movie, it is light and fun for kids with the good guy winning in the end and the evil villain being vanquished. However, it did contain a few surprising elements regarding how these results came to pass, which I quite enjoyed. This film blatantly broke a few traditional Disney stereotypes and outright made fun of them in the process, which took me by surprise, and was accomplished in a clever and funny fashion. Also, Frozen was actually pretty funny all the way through, keeping all its funny moments and best scenes out of the movie trailer so that it would be a surprise for the audience. Overall Frozen is still your stereotypical Disney movie. Any audience member is going to know what they are in for, but I was pleasantly surprised with the humor of it, and the slight changes to the typical formula.  

This Week you Might Have Missed…
Earlier this week Kanye West was on a talk show with his fiance Kim Kardashian. During the interview he said that his and Kim’s romance was a great love story, just like that of Romeo and Juliet. In further news, Kanye West has not read all of Romeo and Juliet. Someone might want to clue him in on the ending, and the fact that it is considered one of the greatest tragedy’s in literature.