Tag Archives: movies

Snow White and the Seven Dwarves

Monica and I are working on a goal of reading/watching all of the Disney princess movies. Our first movie was Cinderella. Monica’s next pick was Snow White.

The Book(called Snowdrop)

My Review– It’s difficult to review Grimm’s fairy tales as they’re completely different in writing style and genre from my usual reading selections. Snowdrop is no exception. The characters were weak(besides, perhaps the queen), the writing quality hard to critique since it’s translated from German, and the setting vague. But, as a fun, simple fairy tale, I found it entertaining.

Rating: 3 stars

Favorite Character: The Wicked Queen

Monica’s Review(in interview form): 

Q. Did you like the book? A. No

Q. Why not? A. It was kind of kiddish.

Q. Is there anything you did like? A. Snow White was my favorite character.

Q. Which was your favorite part? A. Probably when the first dwarf said, “Who stole my bed?”

Q. Would you recommend this book? A. I would, to some of my friends who like fairy tales.

Rating: 2 stars

Favorite Character: Snow White

The Movie

My Thoughts:

Favorite Character: The Queen

Rating: 2.5 stars

Favorite Scene: “High, ho! High, ho! . . .”(whatever that scene is called)

Monica’s Thoughts:

Favorite Character: Grumpy

Favorite Scene: The scene in which the dwarves wash off Grumpy.

Rating: 4 stars


And, some lines we enjoyed:

“High, ho! High, ho! It’s home from work we go!” -The Dwarves

“Mark my words, there’s trouble a’brewing!” -Grumpy

“He says it’s a monster, sleeping in our beds!” -Dock

Snow White: “I said, ‘How do you do?'”   Grumpy: “How do you do what?”

Thanks for reading! What do you think of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves?

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~Why I Read Reason #1~

Happy Wednesday, everyone! I’ve been gone fishin’ and a little busy with life in general lately, so I let my new blog idea go for a bit. But, I’m back now and ready with–

#1- Books Are Deeper Than Movies

There are those occasional exceptions, but you’d be surprised how often this principle is really true.

I don’t just mean movies which don’t always follow the book. I mean (almost)any film adaption of any book, regardless of how faithful or unfaithful.

This may just be me, but I feel that movies are much more entertainment-centered, whereas books focus less on keeping you on the edge of your seat and more on telling a thought-provoking story which will linger after you’ve closed the book and picked up another.

Why do you think books are better? Or would you like to argue that movies beat books? I’m interested in what other readers have to say. 🙂


“I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.”–Groucho Marx

A Long-Expected Movie: A Review of the Hobbit Trilogy

So, I finally got around to re-watching it. Here’s what was running through my head, and please excuse the length. 🙂

Elements of the Film Which Didn’t Bother Me

Legolas’ presence

Bringing Legolas into the film held potential. We know from LotR, Legolas is the Elf King’s son, so it stands to reason he’d be there and witness or even potentially assist in the dwarves’ capture. In the Hobbit, The Elf King is almost presented as a villain, and his son(in LotR) a hero. This clash raises questions: Would Legolas approve of the dwarves’ captivity? Would he feel any guilt later toward Gloin’s son-Gimli? All that to say, I wasn’t opposed to Legolas in the Desolation of Smaug at. It was with Tauriel they went wrong. Without Tauriel, Legolas never would’ve ventured to Laketown and without Kili, she probably wouldn’t have, either(a detail I’ll discuss later). Without Tauriel, he would’ve stayed happily in Mirkwood where he belonged.

Trilogy

Some people held second thoughts on Peter Jackson’s motives for stretching the movie into thirds rather than keeping it whole. Maybe he did do it for the money, but does that really matter? It just means more room to include all the good parts from the book, right? Except, not. Instead, the extra film time was filled with completely made up scenes.

Lord of the Rings Characters who weren’t in The Hobbit(book), but still showed up in the movie

Galadriel. Saruman. Lobelia(if only briefly). Frodo. Bilbo(the older). Legolas. I didn’t mind so long as they didn’t awkwardly disrupt the main plot movie, or change the Middle Earth history Tolkien created. Unfortunately, some did both.

Problems I Did Have with the Series

Tauriel and Kili’s Relationship– We don’t need romance to enjoy a story(which is why there wasn’t any in the book!), particularly between a dwarf and an elf. Quite unrealistic, actually.

The excessive orc appearances– Just because the orcs proved popular villains from Lord of the Rings doesn’t mean they have to show up in each Hobbit movie.

Disturbing Middle Earth’s History

The pale orc was a great bad guy and all that, but technically he died long before the dwarves’ quest.

The absence of funny scenes…and addition of others

The parts Peter Jackson cut out where…

  • Gandalf adds dwarves in twos as he speaks to Beorn.
  • Gandalf keeps the trolls up till dawn by imitating their voices/arguing with them.
  • Bombour falls unconscious for much of the Mirkwood journey, and can only think of food once he wakes.

 And I could go on… Now, it’s not that the funny bits they added weren’t funny, it’s just that the time could’ve been used to include the pieces from the book which I thought funnier anyways.

Alfred

Was he really necessary to the movie??

My Favorite Elements

  • Richard Armitage’s acting as Thorin who falls progressively deeper into his gold-obsession.
  • The music. Howard Shore is incredible. The Desolation of Smaug was a bit of a disappointment(in more ways than one!), but the soundtrack for The Battle of Five Armies and A Long Expected was awesome.
  • The scenery. *adds visiting New Zealand to bucket list* 😀
  • Martin Freeman as Bilbo. He’s absolutely perfect for that role.
  • “The Last Goodbye” it’s so, so, sad, beautiful, and a good way to include Billy Boyd without giving him an acting role and thus again changing the book. 🙂 I always liked his song from RotK.

  • The bittersweetness. Even the winter colors seem bittersweet somehow…

Well, I better cut off this review now before it grows any longer. Thanks for bearing with my ramblings! I’m still taking in the fact that this is goodbye to Peter Jackson’s Tolkien movies. No more countdowns, midnight showings(;D) or trailers. But there’s always re-watchings, movie marathons, and extended editions, right?

Rating: 3 stars

What are your thoughts?? How would you rate the trilogy?


“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”-Dr. Seuss        An oddly appropriate quote. (:

Cinderella: The Cartoon

A few weeks ago, while browsing a Disney section at Fred Meyer, Monica and I resolved to read the original stories for and watch all the Disney princess movies based on Grimm’s/Hans Christian Andersen stories. Hopefully, we’ll also get around to reviewing them all here.

Monica chose to do Cinderella first, so, after some difficulties finding it at the library, we settled on an online version of the original story.

The Book

Monica’s Review of the Book

“The part where the stepsisters cut off half of their foot was funny, and also kind of weird. And the stepmother told them to do that! The birds were kind of funny when the Prince went with the wrong sister. My favorite character was Cinderella.”

My Review

Weird. Chances are, you won’t find me saying this about just any book you pull off the shelf, but when it comes to Cinderella, the movie turned out far better than the book.

I’m glad the Disney makers left out the stepsisters who employed rather violent methods to squeeze the glass slipper on, the birds who viciously attack characters, and the prince who mistook Cinderella for someone else(twice!). I’m glad we tried the original story if only for the sake of comparison, but, honestly, weird is the best word I can find to describe it.

The Cartoon Movie

Monica’s Review of the Cartoon Movie

“It was good, and I think the mice were really funny(the way they talked). Gus was being loud, so the mouse with the red shirt had to calm him down all the time. Gus was, I think, in a mousetrap, but it was weird, because it didn’t have any peanut butter in it. I did not know that Cinderella said goodbye when she left. When the prince and Cinderella were dancing, I was surprised that they were singing. I’m giving Cinderella 4 and a half stars.”

Favorite Character: Cinderella

My Review of the Movie-

I agreed to watching the Cinderella cartoon, but didn’t expect much. “How could it even compare to the movie?” I thought. I even told Monica, “The newer one isn’t one isn’t on DVD yet, so we’ll have to watch this one, but the new one is really more exciting.” And, although I began it feeling skeptical, the cartoon surprised me. I laughed at the mice, thoroughly enjoyed the songs, and didn’t yawn throughout the whole thing. 

One complaint– The prince. I prefer movies like Tangled or Beauty and the Beast where the man is developed throughout the film. All this prince did here was bow a handful of times, yawn, dance a few steps, sing a couple lines, call back the fleeing Cinderella, and marry her right before the story ended. I’m giving Cinderella three out of five stars.

Favorite Character(s): The mice.

Also, for my thoughts on the newer Cinderella film(which I loved!), click here:

10 Favorite Screen Characters

Yes, I’m doing another list(sorry!), one I happened to steal borrow from another blogger. But, in my defense I did ask for permission first. (:

10. Amos and Theodore from The Apple Dumpling Gang

For anyone wanting perfect stars for a clean, cheesy, hilarious western, Amos and Theodore won’t disappoint.

9. Loki from various Marvel movies

Great villain. I honestly didn’t love The Avengers that much, but Loki beats any bad guy I’ve ever encountered in a book or movie, the closest being Count Olaf from A Series of Unfortunate Events(not to be confused with everyone’s favorite snowman) or the wicked stepmother from Cinderella.

8. Edmund Pevensie from The Chronicles of Narnia

The actor, Skander Keynes, transitions nicely between the Edmund nobody liked from the beginning of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe to the kind(yet not without a few character flaws)brother from The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

7. Lydia Bennet from Pride and Prejudice(2005)

Loved her actor’s(too lazy to look it up) portrayal of the funniest Bennet sister.

6. The Huxtable Family from The Cosby Show

I realize this may be cheating, but my list is too short for all of them. (:

5. Eowyn from The Lord of the Rings 

Probably my favorite character from the books, minus Sam, speaking of whom…

4. Samwise Gamgee (a.k.a. Sam) from The Lord of the Rings 

Do I need to explain? (: Apparently, Tolkien considered him the true hero of LotR. And, why not? Sam carried more than his fair share of packs, accompanied Frodo through the thick and thin, wrote his own song, *Spoilers* killed Shelob, rescued Frodo after he’d been kidnapped, and then proceeded to carry him up Mount Doom. Oh, and most people may not think of it this way, but he was also a ring-bearer, if only briefly.*End of spoilers*

3. Cinderella from the 2015 film

Best Disney princess since Belle. Better, actually.

2. Lizzy Bennet from Pride and Prejudice(again)

Yup.

1. Bilbo Baggins from The Hobbit

Love his quirks, his mannerisms, and the way he walks. I’ve tried to imitate his nose-twitch on several occasions, but can’t seem to get the hang of it.  


“The test of any good fiction is that you should care something for the characters; the good to succeed, the bad to fail.”-Mark Twain

Cinderella: Unique in Simplicity

You know the movie you follow on social media months before it comes out? You watch every trailer, and already begin to tuck the lines into your memory? Back in December, that movie was The Hobbit:The Battle of Five Armies(which as a side note, I do plan to publish a blog post on after it’s released to DVD), a few weeks ago, however, this movie was Cinderella. 

At first, I honestly didn’t feel overly excited about Cinderella. I had only heard of it briefly, and I was imagining yet another fairy tale twist. Whoever first thought up a fairy tale twist was a genius, but you’d think after awhile the idea should get old. Strangely, for me personally, the concept hasn’t worn off, and I have enjoyed most that I read/saw, but never having been a huge Cinderella fan anyways, I didn’t feel too intrigued with this one.

My thoughts changed when I heard about it again early January and a friend informed me that Cate Blanchett played the wicked stepmother. In addition to “liking” the Facebook page to subscribe for more trailers and news, I hunted down a trailer and actually began planning to see it.  Once I start following a movie on Facebook, I’m automatically hooked.

So there I stood, March 14th, in the movie theater line, far more excited than should be rational considering I hadn’t sat down to watch the Cinderella cartoon in a long time. And the result? I loved it! Disney managed to pull off a sweet, touching movie that took me back to the days of my four year-old Disney Princesses love. With the big lovely dresses, adorable mice, and nasty villain’s nasty laugh(simply nasty :D), it displayed a magic like the cartoon’s, but added a new dimension to the story that only “real” people could.

Also, despite my first idea that the movie was a twist on the original story, it really wasn’t. Sure, they added some parts(i.e. scenes from Cinderella’s early childhood, scenes of the prince and his dying father), but Disney didn’t twist the ending and followed the original movie neatly. Cinderella followed two other fairy tale movies released in the last year, called Maleficent, and Into the Woods. Both had changed from the first fairy tale stories, perhaps trying to be more original, but Cinderella stood out with no surprises. It proved original in its familiarness; unique in its simplicity.

Lastly, maybe the best part for me was Cinderella’s motto: “Have courage and be kind,” far better than “Follow your dreams,” as so many other princess movies have taught us. Rating: 4.4 stars

Favorite Character: Cinderella

Lord of the Rings Movie Series- Pros and Cons

Elijah Wood as Frodo in Peter Jackson's live-a...
Elijah Wood as Frodo in Peter Jackson’s live-action version of The Lord of the Rings. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WARNING: Major spoilers.

Note: I wrote this review as a fresh Lord of the Rings nerd a few years ago, so please excuse any consequential grammatical mistakes or the such. 🙂

Last night my dad and I finished watching the Lord of the Rings movie series(a feat which took nights to accomplish, ;D). Some people find this series better than the books. One the other hand, some people dislike the fact that it is not quite loyal to the books in certain respects. Here I have organized my thoughts into a list of pros and cons:

Pros:

1. Sam(my favorite character!) remains still loyal to Frodo, for the most part. And like Pippin said “he would be willing to jump down a dragon’s throat” , for Frodo.

2. Pippin and Merry entertain us just as much(and perhaps more) as they do in the book.

3. Ian McKellen portrays Gandalf excellently.

4. They included one of my many favorite quotes from the book,”I am glad that you are here with me. Here at the end of all things.”

Cons:

1.They left out many people, events and places from the book: Tom Bombadil, Goldberry, Farmer Maggot(except for very briefly where he is chasing away the hobbits, instead of helping them), The Scouring of The Shire, the conspiracy of Pippin, Merry, Sam, and Fatty who helped Frodo, and finding the troll who had turned to stone.

2. They added many events to the movie: Pippin and Merry accidentally coming along with Sam and Frodo to Rivendell, not because they had been planning to help him, Gollum convincing Frodo that Sam had eaten the last lembas bread, and the whole love thing with Arwen and Aragorn in the first and second movie.

3. On the topic of love, In the first and second movies there was too much romance between Aragorn and Arwen. The part where the vision of Arwen gives Aragon new strength after the Warg attack is quite “made up”. But, then in the third movie Sam and Aragorn marry their wives, yet I don’t remember Eowyn and Faramir marrying.  unnecessary romance in the first and second movies, how couldn’t they add the marriage of Eowyn and Faramir? As you can relate(if you’ve seen it), the movie series did a pretty good job overall, but added/left out too many things. All in all, I think that the Lord of the Rings movie series are worth my time. But, I certainly wouldn’t go so far as to say that the movie series are better than the books.