Kathleen
I discovered the amazing 1994 miniseries The Stand and have slowly been working my way through it. I love the slow pace, the dystopian yet hopeful world, the themes of good vs. evil, and the wonderfully diverse characters, especially Nick - I'm still broken over his death and Tom. Stu is my favorite, and I love how he's just an ordinary man, nothing special or chosen like the worn out trope nowadays, and yet such a good, decent guy you can't help loving him. He had me worried quite a bit near the end but I'm so happy he pulled through and got his happy ending with Frannie and the baby.

I also saw the Polish miniseries version of Quo Vadis and while the start took me a bit to catch my interest I grew to love it. The characters were all intriguing and the film had a realistic edge to the historical details. I loved how Marcus changed over the story and grew into a kind, decent person, and I was happy to see Lygia and he get their happy ending.

I went to see the new Cinderella in theatres and it was absolutely beautiful. As much as I enjoy re-imagined fairytales, there's nothing as flawless as the true story told faithfully. The actors were all perfect, and I adored Cinderella, Kit, the Captain, and all the wonderful animals, especially the dear little mice. The Fairy Godmother was delightful, and the special effects were stunning, the perfect balance of real and CGI, and the costumes, especially the dress for the ball were breathtaking. I loved the gentle added touches like Kit and his father and the Stepmother discovering the glass slipper, and the ending was beyond wonderful.

I've heard about The Matrix since it was popular when I was a kid so I finally caved in and watched it. It took a few minutes to grab me but once I did I fell in love with it. As much as I get tired of the main character being "the One", I adored Neo, for his skills, confusion, and incredible fashion sense - I seriously want to steal those coats. I loved his relationship with Trinity, too, and Morpheus with his unwavering faith in him. The action scenes were amazing; I loved the slow motion photography of the bullets and the awesome fight scenes, and I couldn't stop laughing during the scene when Neo goes through the metal detector and shows how many guns he has. Next was The Matrix Reloaded which I enjoyed as much as the first one. I loved the parallels with Neo saving Trinity's life to when she saved his, and Neo's new skills, especially his ability to see all the coding and to fly, were awesome. Last was The Matrix Revolutions, a flawed but poignant finale to the trilogy. I was saddened by Trinity's senseless death, and Neo's ambiguous fate but I loved how the story was tied up in a bittersweet ending, and the last scene, with the Oracle and other characters, was beautiful.

The next Flowers In the Attic movie, If There Be Thorns, aired, and I loved it, far more than the last and a little bit more than the first. I liked seeing Cathy and Chris as adults, hiding their secrets while still deeply in love, even as the tragedy of their pasts continues to impact their children. I liked some resolution and even redemption for their mother in the end, and how Jory accepted and defended his parents after all. The little girl was precious, too. Next was the final movie, Seeds Of Yesterday which crushed me. I liked that the second generation was finally able to break free of the past and find their happy endings, especially Jory who more than deserved it, but I secretly wanted Bart to get what he deserved. Cathy and Chris made my heart ache, and it broke me that they weren't able to be happy in the end, with Chris's death, and Cathy never free of the shadow of the attic. The comments about yellow and the flowers were poignant, and the ending with Cathy finally seeing the paper flowers made me tear up.

Out of curiosity I gave a try to one of the older Anne Of Green Gables movies, starting with the sequel 1940's Anne Of Windy Poplars and was delighted by it. While it took me a bit to adjust to the new cast, I grew to love the sweet yet spunky version of Anne, the gentle, steady Gilbert, and dear little Betty. I adored that Gilbert and Anne took her in at the ending, and the setting, especially the picnic was beautifully idyllic. I also loved the side characters, like Jabez, and Matey, as well as Katherine and Tony's romance. The story was perfectly done, too, and I loved every minute. After that I went back and watched the 1934 Anne Of Green Gables and while it wasn't as good as the sequel it had some intriguing twists on the story that I enjoyed. I was a bit puzzled by how they switched the backstory and had Gilbert's mother jilt Matthew instead of his father jilting Marilla, but I liked the forbidden romance Anne and Gilbert had, especially the adorable scene where he gives her a locket. Likewise it was strange to have Diana be Rachel's daughter - I suppose the movie, being short, felt it easier to simply combine the characters of Mrs. Berry and Rachel. Gilbert was super adorable, though, even as different as he was, and Anne was even more overly imaginative than usual. I loved the ending, too, especially since they had Matthew live and Marilla accept Gilbert.

In other new films I saw The Lovely Bones which was beautiful and haunting. I adore odd, poignant films and it put a lump in my throat as well as dazzling me with some gorgeous scenery and nostalgia for the '70s. Every character was fascinating and I wanted to spend more time with all of them, but I loved the way the story tied up with a bittersweet, perfect ending. Next was The Kingdom Of Heaven, a gorgeous and often poignant epic. I loved the characters, especially King Baldwin and Balian, and was fascinated by the history I knew very little about. The filming was stunning, and so many scenes made me cry, especially Saladin letting everyone go and then even pausing to right the cross on the altar. Next was Dorian Gray and despite a slow start and straying from the book it ended up being an incredible adaptation. Ben Barnes was stunning as Dorian, capturing the grief, wildness, and insanity of the character while still making me feel sorry for him. I loved the style and effects of the painting, and the filming and scenery was gorgeous. Next was Lorenzo's Oil, a heartbreaking but inspiring story that brought tears to my eyes. I loved the slow pace, gentle, but amazing acting, especially from the little child who played Lorenzo, and the couple's devotion and dedication to trying to save their son. The end was deeply poignant but beautiful. Next was the heartbreaking and thought-provoking My Sister's Keeper which explored a difficult concept and featured stunning acting and realistic characters. I cried so much throughout but the ending was beautifully poignant and moving. Next was the strange and gorgeous La Jetée. I could clearly see the inspiration for my beloved 12 Monkeys, and the style, all in still photographs, was surprisingly non-off-putting, with the narration and images drawing me in instantly and keeping me fascinated to the end. I loved the stark feel of the story, the commentary on small details and sensations, and the poignant ending. After that I saw the beautiful and poignant I Am Sam. The actors, especially little Dakota Fanning, were amazing, and the characters stole my heart. It made me cry and laugh throughout and I loved the ending. Next was the beautiful and heartbreaking La Rafle. I sobbed at the ending and throughout, and was deeply moved by the story.

I'd always meant to see a Rudolph Valentino movie and I finally watched a few of his films this week, starting with The Sheik. While it was a bit over the top I loved the adventure of the plot, and the setting, as well as the characters. He isn't the best silent film actor but he's likeable and his films are very enjoyable.

In new animated films I saw The Lego Movie which was surprisingly good and hilarious, especially Batman's song and line about "only working in black". I loved how it didn't take itself seriously, and the concept was creative and a lot of fun.

I've spent the past week watching the new series Daredevil and it's been a treat, to finally have my superhero get such a good adaptation. I adore the characters, especially Matt, Foggy, and Claire, and Ben and Elena's deaths broke my heart. The writing was amazing, reminded me of all that's missing in most shows of the genre, and I loved that Matt never killed anyone. There were so many beautiful touches: the theme and intro, Matt's Catholic past and conversations with his priest, Karen's realistic reaction to killing someone, and Matt's fiery image of the world.

I've started watching the new Poldark show and it's lovely so far. Aidan Turner pulls off the broody, gothic antihero type nicely, and Demelza is adorable. I'm intrigued by the rivalry and fortunes within the family, as well as the social classes.

Along the same lines, I discovered the glorious Italian romance Elisa Di Rivombrosa and despite my pickiness of period drama I was instantly captivated. The actors and characters grabbed me right away, and the gorgeous setting and lyrical Italian just adds to the feel. Elisa is likeable, and Fabrizio, while not always likeable, is compelling - and on a shallow note has mesmerizing blue eyes - and it's easy to see why they would be drawn to each other and swept off their feet and out of their worlds. The parallels between them and the tragedy of the doctor and his wife make me worried, but I'm intrigued. I also like the other characters, like Fabrizio's mother and dear little neice.

I'm on season two of The Musketeers and despite a bit of a shaky start to the season compared to last, it seems to be finding it's feet. Aramis is taking center stage for the most part, which I don't mind, and I love how he tries to be there for his son, even if he can't be a real father to him. I'm relieved that the Cardinal is gone, but detest his replacement even more than I hated the Cardinal. "Through a Glass Darkly", the best so far, does a perfect job of giving scenes to all the characters, backed against a compelling, nail-biting plot. I'm thrilled D'Artagnan and Constance are back together, and intrigued by the twist in Athos and Milady's relationship. The two part finale, especially "Trial and Punishment" was stunning and the season's best, restoring much of what's been missing since season one. I loved the character growth in the episode, especially Milady saving Aramis and offering to have Athos leave with her, and I liked how their relationship changed even if they're now separated. D'Artagnan saving and marrying Constance made me incredibly happy, even if I'm sad Aramis didn't attend the wedding. I also wish LeMay had survived, since I liked him, and he was so kind to Constance. As sad as it was, I'm grateful the story arc of Aramis and Anne and their son is now resolved, and I'm looking forward to seeing them as the child grows up. Ryan Gage's acting was amazing, as the King is usually a difficult role, and in this episode more than usual. I also liked that they went with the route of Aramis becoming a monk, even though I know it won't last. I'm very intrigued by the war storyline for next season, too.

Onto part two of season four of Once Upon A Time and as much as I miss the last story arc I'm slowly starting to appreciate this one. I love Ursula, especially her backstory, and I loved that she was the first to get her happy ending. My favorite thing is August being back, though, and even if it isn't forever I'm just so happy to have him brightening my screen again, since he was one of the first characters I adored in the show and the one I missed the most. Killian's storyline continues to make me smile and cry, and I've fallen in love with shipping Emma and he - how can I resist when he views her as his happy ending? I'm bitter over what the writers have done to Belle, though, since she seems so OOC, and I hate how they've paired her up with the Knave and destroyed two of my OTPs at once. Rumplestiltskin, even evil, still never fails to break my heart, and I can't help hoping for Belle and he to reunite. "Best Laid Plans" finally reveals the Author, and despite my sadness at it not being August - or even a character we knew - I love the concept of it being a title that passes down (as well as the cute little nod to Walt Disney). August continues to be a treasure, even though his illness worried me, and I love his friendship with Emma. The revelation of Maleficent's daughter wasn't a surprise but it was heartbreaking to see her lose her due to a horrible choice made by Snow and Charming, who continue to corrupt themselves. Rumplestiltskin finally got a scene with Belle, even if she was asleep, and managed to reduce me to tears in only a few lines (I'm still bitter over what she did to him since, even if he was doing something wrong his intentions made sense after all he'd suffered being controlled and losing his son). Onto "Heart Of Gold", and I don't think I've been so disappointed by an ep since the Neverland arc. As much as I loved the glimpse of Oz, there was no need to bring Zelena back. I hated her, hated her storyline, and it was long resolved. She serves no point other than to bring Rumplestiltskin more pain, and provide the writers with the laziest way ever of bringing Robin and Regina back together. Marion deserved better, certainly in regards to the original story, and definitely in regards to Robin himself who the show continues to ruin for me, even if his giving Knave the bottle and deleting Regina from his phone shows that he's improving and slowly becoming a better person. Still Roland remains adorable, and Rumplestiltskin's storyline regarding the damage to his heart from all the evil he's done is intriguing. While "Sympathy for the De Vil" failed to make me feel anything for Cruella and I disliked most of the plot, I liked seeing a better side of the Author and a fascinating 1920s world. Rumplestiltskin and Belle's scene together was heartbreaking, even as wonderful as it was to see them together again, and I'm fascinated by the storyline of Rumplestiltskin's blackening heart. "Lily" was an odd but enjoyable ep, showing Emma's continuing journey to darkness, but it's best scene was Rumplestiltskin and the Knave working together to restore Belle's heart, and Rumplestiltskin giving up Belle to keep her safe and happy. I still hope they can find a way back to each other, but I love that he was willing to leave her alone, instead of harming the Knave. "Operation Mongoose", one of the very best episodes of the series so far, was stunning, giving me what I've longed for but had never hoped would happen: a glimpse into an upside down version of fairytale land. I adored the subtle twists on the characters: Charming's "I'll always find you" even as Snow controls his heart, Snow and Regina's storylines flipped and twisted, and especially Killian, even as a coward with no fighting skills or memory of Emma, dying to save her. I cried when they finally reunited with an adorable hug, and I was so happy Emma finally told him she loved him. I was sad there wasn't a true love's kiss between Belle and Rumplestiltskin, but it thrilled me to hear Belle say she still loves him, and to finally have Rumplestiltskin free of the darkness and the dagger.

I'm on season five of Hercules: the Legendary Journeys and Hercules being separated from Iolaus is killing me. I'm intrigued and heart-broken by the glimpses we get of who Hercules could become without Iolaus - bitter, violent, and dangerous, and even when he starts to care about and help people again, he still seems so different and sad. I enjoy Iolaus II, but he makes me miss Iolaus terribly. But he's very sweet, and I love that he got his happy ending and even found true love. Still the plots are superb this season, and it's great fun to see the show expand it's mythology into other countries, including Celtic and Norse. I especially loved seeing the myth of Baldr come to life. The final episode was beautiful, and I even cried a little when Iolaus learns he can stay alive with Hercules.

I gave a try to Nikita and am quite enjoying it so far. Aaron Stanford is wonderful as Birkhoff, and his friendship with Nikita is adorable. Michael is my favorite, and I ship Nikita and he. I love the gradual growth of his character across season one until he breaks away from Division and joins with Nikita. I'm up to the end of season three now and saddened by the direction the show took. Without the plot of taking down Division the story fails to find its footing and I think it would have been so much better if they'd kept the original storyline all the way to the end since Percy's death would have been the perfect finale. I much preferred Percy as the bad guy with his subtle and creepy manipulation instead of Amanda who comes across as showy, annoying, and over-acting instead of frightening. The worst changes are to the characters, though. Gone is the united, makeshift family of the first two seasons as even the relationships are affected: Nikita and Alex are at each others' throats, and Michael and Nikita have half the scenes together they used to. Michael seems cold and distant, unable to come to terms with the loss of his hand, Sonya, forever annoying, gets far too much screentime, Ryan has gone from a sweetheart to hardened boss, and Nikita is violent, harsh, and much like the people she once fought. Only Birkhoff, the sunshine of the show, seems himself. Sean was never one of my favorites but his death seemed cruel and only to cause Alex, who's already lost too much, more pain. And while the characters come back together by season's end, Owen's storyarc ends tragically when he becomes who he used to be, a hardened killer. I adored Owen, and while it helped that he retains the slightest glimmer of Owen, it's horrible to see him disappear into Sam. Still I'm glad he got so much screentime this season and his snark was the highlight of the episodes.

In other new shows I finally got a chance to see the '60s series It's A Man's World with it's fabulous cast (Randy! Michael Burns! Glenn Corbett! and more), and it was lovely, a gentle and often poignant story.

Also new is The Messengers, and while it's a bit cheesy at times and some of the characters (Vera and Rose) have yet to grow on me, I'm enjoying it. I love Joshua, so far, who seems like a decent, nice guy trying to do the right thing, and Erin and Amy are adorable. Raul is my absolute favorite, and I love his interactions with Erin and Amy. I'm curious as to why only Joshua and Raul's gifts hurt them when the other's, not even Erin's healing, seems to affect her, and looking forward to seeing who the seventh angel will be.

I've started watching IZombie and while it's not perfect I love it's quirky, offbeat humor and loveable characters. Ravi is adorable, Liv is so easy to relate to, and Lowell is a gift that keeps on giving - plus it's wonderful to see Bradley James on my screen again.

Season two of Turn has started and as much as I enjoyed the first season, I'm delighted to see they've fixed the problems that annoyed me before and made it 100% better. Ben is still his adorable, lovely self (and there was even a few scenes of him with his hair down!), Caleb remains flawless, and Abe, free of the dreadful Anna/Abe romance, has finally settled into a somewhat likeable character. I love the greater emphasis on spying, along with some 1700s gadgets, and the interaction between the spies, things that were all very lacking before. Andre's character growth is a treat, and I've learned to enjoy him, and feel deeply for him - his reaction after realizing he's lost Peggy made me tear up. The new character, Benedict Arnold and Peggy, especially, are interesting, and I love how the personal drama has taken a backseat to the war. I'm fascinated and heartbroken by Hewlett's journey from a dreamer to a broken fugitive, and surprised by how much I've grown to love and root for him.

When Calls the Heart has also begun season two, and as happy as I am to see Jack again, I'm a little disappointed by the many changes, especially the costume and hairstyle updates that give a strangely modern feel. I do like seeing more of Elizabeth and Jack's families, though, as well as the effect that the changes, including the new name, will have on the town. I loved DeWitt and Mary's wedding, but miss the other characters, and am sad by how much Elizabeth has changed and become less likeable. The new characters are a mixed bag as well: I despise Charles, and Elizabeth's other sister, am ambivalent toward Julie, enjoy Tom but only when he's with Jack - the brothers give me so many feels - and surprisingly adore Rosemary whose hilarious antics cheer me up. I'm also rooting for her love story, and I hope Abigail ends up with the pastor and ditches her current, dreadful love interest.

I've been keeping up with Olympus and it's promising so far, growing slowly into the type of mythological drama tv hasn't had in many years, a little cheesy, a little dark, and a lot of fun. I like the main character and the mystery regarding the curse on his name, as well as his relationship with the Oracle. I like it's different approach to the myths, as well as the riddle inside the mercenary.

While I'm far from a fan of Agents Of SHIELD, I've been keeping up with it in case there are tie-ins with the rest of MCU, and it's given me at least one treat in the form of Luke Mitchell. It's so lovely to see him again and his character, Lincoln, is great fun with his electric powers.

Officially the last person to do so, I've fallen in love with the short-lived series Firefly and it's brilliant, a perfect fusion of thrown together family, fantastic one-liners, and flawless blend of sci-fi spaceships and western music and gun-twirling. I adore the characters, especially Mal, Simon, and River, and all the relationships are heart-warming, especially Simon and River's.

I finally finished watching the complete series of Tour Of Duty and I'd forgotten how much I loved the show and how it handled complex issues, as well as how human it made it's characters. Anderson remains a sweetheart, Goldman never fails to make me cry - especially the episodes with his father, and Purcell breaks my heart time and again. But in watching the last two seasons for the first time I discovered an unexpected treat in Johnny McKay. He's the sort of character I seem to fall for instantly - cocky, brash, always smiling, and a heart of gold, and I knew I'd adore him the instant he blasted rock and roll out of the speakers of his chopper. He's a delight and has quickly become my favorite character.

The second season of Girl Meets World has started and it's brought with it even more old faces from Boy Meets World, the best of which is Eric. Eric was always my favorite and he's as hilarious and loveable as ever, and it make me so nostalgic and happy to see him again.

I'm working my way through season three of Teen Wolf and it's my favorite so far. The show has finally found it's feet with it's division of screentime between characters, and, as is the case with every supernatural show I enjoy, the more characters who know, the better the show is. Without having to waste time hiding the truth the characters get to work together and the plot flows so much better. I also love the bits of humor this season, and the writing has improved so much. Scott continues to be a sweetheart, Derek is still wonderful and makes me cry (I sobbed at his backstory episode), the adults are fabulous, and I'm learning to love Stiles. Also there's Kira, one of my favorite characters in the show, and after two and a half seasons of annoying Allison drama I love that Scott finally has a sweet, kind girlfriend. I'm also glad it's Allison's final season, but I'm sad it's also Isaac's, since I like him. Braeden is awesome, and I actually like Malia and find her backstory fascinating.

I've started watching the later seasons of ER and completely fallen in love with Luka. It's wonderful to see Goran Visnjic in something else, and I adore Luka's relationship with Abby, and watching as he slowly finds happiness. His backstory breaks my heart, and I sobbed my way through the stunning episode "The Lost", especially when he starts praying.

I've completely fallen in love with the soundtrack of La Légende du Roi Arthur, especially the gorgeous "Auprès d'un Autre" and it's music video.
 
 
calliope tune: "Do You Believe In Magic"-Lovin Spoonful
feeling: ditzy
 
 
Kathleen
14 November 2014 @ 03:02 pm
I watched The Hobbit: Batlle Of the Five Armies and on the last film of the series, the director finally gets it right, finding the perfect balance between nostalgia and a compelling new story. While there are still a few flaws - Tauriel remains unnecessary, Fili gets far too little screentime, Kili is obviously pushed to the viewers as the favorite, and we still never get to "know" many of the characters like in LOTRs, the good points far outweigh the bad. Most notably, unlike the others, this film never feels padded or stretched, the pace remains steady, and the removal of comedy elements give it a good solid feel the other films lacked. Bilbo, more likeable now that his acting is toned down, shows the noble heart that's always endeared me to the hobbits, and the highly likeable Bard gets to be the hero in taking down the dragon and leading the army of men. His moments with his children are beautiful, and I was grateful they all got their happy ending. Thorin's tragic spiral into madness is brilliantly acted and compelling, and his, Fili, and Kili's deaths reduced me to tears, even though I was saddened that Kili and Fili didn't get to die side by side as in the book. Legolas, the one addition to the trilogy I've loved since the beginning, was at his very best, showing off his fighting skills as well as hinting at his past - his strained relationship with his father, unrequited love for Tauriel, and, most intriguingly, the loss of his mother. The scene where his father finally tells him that his mother loved him made me sob, and I teared up at the mention of Aragorn as Legolas sets off to find him in the end. The links to LOTRs were skillfully done and never forced as before, and I loved how the ending drifted seamlessly into the first LOTRs. The closing theme was gorgeous - I'm so happy they used Billy Boyd's lovely voice again - and the credits were beautiful.

I went to see Night At The Museum 3: Secret Of the Tomb in theatres, and it was wonderful, a poignant, touching, and funny finale to a wonderful trilogy. Larry was perfect as always, and his friendship with the museum characters never fails to warm my heart. Teddy remains my favorite of the characters, and it made me tear up a little to see his last scenes. Jed and Octavius were hilarious as usual, and I couldn't stop laughing at them watching videos, taking selfies, and using a computer. The new characters, especially Lancelot, were treats, and I loved how many of the old characters they packed in, as well as Ahkmenrah having so much more screentime than in the other films, and even getting a backstory and happy ending after all the nights he spent locked in the coffin. Hugh Jackman's cameo was an unexpected delight, and I couldn't stop laughing all through his scene.

I also saw Mockingjay in theatres and it was painfully excellent, a more grim film than the others but so faithful to the books I couldn't help be delighted. My heart broke for Finnick, a character I never bonded with in the books but have learned to love in the movies, and my favorite part was his speech, including the creepy but fascinating aspect of Snow's poison and roses. His scene with Annie was beautiful and I only wish they shared more, especially flashbacks. While I was disappointed by the Hanging Tree's melody, and didn't care for her voice at all, I loved the other music as well as the beautiful direction style. Peeta was excellent, shattering my heart, especially when enough breaks through the brain-washing that he's able to warn Katniss, and the ending left me broken. Prim was a sweetheart as always, and I loved actually seeing more of Buttercup.

In other new movies I watched What's Eating Gilbert Grape, and despite my dislike of Johnny Depp, I surprisingly loved it. The story was beautiful, moving, and very realistic, and the small town setting gave it a vintage feel decades older than the movie. The acting was amazing, especially Leonardo DiCaprio who did a stunningly convincing job portraying Arnie. Next was the new miniseries Houdini, a uniquely filmed and incredibly entertaining account of Houdini's life and career. Adrien Brody was wonderful as Harry, and I adored Bess and his relationship, as well as his friendship with Jim. The tricks were fabulous to watch, and I liked the voice-overs looking into his thoughts as well as the bits of old footage toward the end. I saw the miniseries The Pillars Of the Earth and completely fell in love with it. The history, a time period I knew little about, was intriguing, the plot twists were fascinating, and I loved the characters, especially Jack and his relationship with Aliena. Many of the other characters, like Prior Phillip, Ellen, and Martha, were all interesting to see their stories, and I loved the happy endings for most of the good characters, and just desserts for the evil. The scenery and cinematography was lovely. I also watched the sequel miniseries World Without End, and it was fascinating, both for the history as well as the personal stories. I liked both of the romances, and was happy to see them both end up together and safe. The plot twists, especially with the Sir Thomas being the king were jaw-dropping, and the entire series was beautifully filmed and made. Then was If I Stay, a lovely and unusual film. I loved Adam and his relationship with Mia, and the ending was gorgeous. Next was L'Homme Qui Rit, a stunningly beautiful version of Victor's Hugo's heartbreaking book, and it was amazing, both for sets and filming as for the talented cast and intriguing characters. Next was Dracula Untold, a beautiful and heartwrenching version of the vampire's origins. I loved how he was shown as a good man who made a terrible choice to save his son, and his relationship with his little family was wonderful. After that was The Maze Runner. I adored the unique freshness of the plot, the oppressive setting, and mood, as well as how character driven it was. Dylan O'Brien was surprisingly good as Thomas - I never thought much of his acting before - and I felt for all the characters, which left me very intrigued for the next film. Next was the fascinating The Rite which I watched solely for Colin O'Donoghue - who was amazing - but ended up loving. The plot was straightforward but affective, and I liked how the story acknowledged true evil and true goodness. The scene where Michael remembers his mother giving him the card and finds the strength to defeat the demon was beautiful, and I felt the ending was largely satisfying. Next was the precious Christmas With Holly which was, like most Hallmarks, beautifully heartwarming and fun. I adored Mark and Holly's relationship, and all the characters were loveable in their own way. I teared up and laughed throughout and loved every moment. Next was the gorgeous miniseries The Red Tent. Dinah has long been one of the most fascinating Biblical characters to me, and I loved seeing her story come to life. Shalem and Benia were both wonderfully kind men, and I was glad Dinah found happiness a second time. I loved how her son came to love her and see her as his mother, and Joseph and Dinah's relationship was beautifully portrayed. Next was the intriguing and oddly beautiful Solomon Kane. I loved the title character - James Purefoy was fabulous and I completely adore his accent - both for his redemption arc as well as his friendship with Meredith. The scene where he pulls himself off the cross to save her was stunning, and I loved their beautiful reunion toward the end. I'm slowly growing to love zombie films and the latest was 28 Days Later. I loved seeing the genre from the British point of view, and the characters, especially the well-intentioned Jim, despite how little is revealed about their pasts, were all intriguing. I enjoyed Jim's relationship with Selena, and was extremely grateful that they went with the ending where Jim survived and the three were rescued. Next was the hilarious short film Incest!: The Musical which was adorable and needed to be so much longer. I couldn't stop laughing, and I loved Alex and Katie's determination to be together. Next was the hauntingly poignant I Am Dina. The story was intriguing, but it was the unusual characters, amazing acting, especially from the child who played little Dina, and stunning scenery that captivated me, along with the beautiful theme. The original version's ending was somehow more fitting, and I teared up at Dina trying to comfort her childish self. Hans Matheson was lovely as Tomas, and I wish he'd had a larger role, but I'm happy he at least got a happy ending, and - I assume - got to still be part of little Benjamin's life. Next was the adorable Sky High which made me laugh and love superheroes a little more than I already do. Will was loveably able to be related to, Layla was sweet, and I adored Warren and his fabulous hair. There were so many flawless in-jokes, too, and the gentle spoofing of the genre was perfect. Next was Mama, an effectively creepy story. The children, both the young actresses and the little girls who played the older versions, were incredible, and I loved Lucas and Annabelle and how they grew to love them. I was saddened by the ending, but it seemed fitting and was bittersweet. Next was the adorable Change Of Heart, the first talkie I'd seen Charles Farrell and Janet Gaynor in together, and the first time I'd gotten to hear her voice. Despite the somewhat rushed end (and Madge getting a happy ending which I didn't want) I loved the story, especially the characters and warmly vintage feel I get from old movies. After that was After, an unusual and interesting story. I loved seeing Freddy and Ana's intertwined stories from childhood to present day, and how their escape required both of them. The ending was perfect. Next was the surprisingly beautiful Elizabethtown which had some wonderful messages along with some whimsical and loveable characters. Orlando Bloom and Kirsten Dunst were both wonderful, and I adored their characters and relationship. The plot was a perfect blend of tears and laughter and I loved every minute. Then I saw the gorgeous Italian miniseries Romeo E Giulietta which has quickly become my favorite version. I fell in love with the characters and broke for them, especially Romeo and Mercutio, and I loved the small enhancements to the plot while remaining faithful, such as giving the nurse something of a backstory and more depth. The scenery and score was stunning, too, and I loved the wintery feel of the film. Then was Pearl Harbor, a gorgeous and beautifully moving movie. I loved the vintage feel, and surprisingly didn't mind the love triangle, probably because I loved all three characters. I was sad that Danny died, but I loved that he did so saving Rafe's life, and the ending, with Rafe and Evelyn together and raising Danny and Evelyn's little boy, made me tear up.

In new fairytale films I saw La Belle Et La Bete, and it was a beautiful and unique version of the fairytale. I would have liked more scenes between Belle and the Beast, as her sudden love for him didn't make much sense other than pity once learning his backstory, and Belle often came across as somewhat spoiled and childish, but the film was gorgeous, especially the details such as the weeping statue, the photography, and the costumes - Belle's green dress was stunning. I loved the unusual origin story of the curse, as well as the adorable dogs, and having the film be a story Belle told her children was an adorable touch. After that was another of the gorgeous Sechs auf einen Streich series, Aschenputtel, and it was beautiful. I loved that the version spent more time showing Viktor, the Prince, as well as the fact that he got to meet Cinderella twice before the ball, making his love for her more logical. Both Viktor and Cinderella were sweet characters and it was easy to root for their happiness, as it was to despise the stepmother and sister, who instead of the cartoonish characters they usually are, were despicable and cruel. I loved the birds helping Cinderella, and the magical tree, and Viktor's relationship with his father was adorable. I also discovered the Märchenperlen series and saw my first, the stunning Die sechs Schwäne. It's long been one of my favorite fairytales and it was adapted beautifully and faithfully, with just a few twists to the plot to make it unique and exciting. I loved the characters and the happy ending.

I gave a try to the BBC miniseries of Ben-Hur, and as I expected, there were quite a few changes from my beloved '50s version, but definitely not all of them bad. Being so much longer, this version had the ability to include things I've always wanted to see, like Judah and Messala's childhood friendship and the beginning of Esther and Judah's love story. Joseph Morgan, despite being a little young for the role, made a good Judah, especially the angry, almost unhinged version that returns for revenge. Messala, intriguingly, was more layered than the '50s pure evil version, and the tragedy of his father's disinterest in him was contrasted against the Ben-Hur's family's original love for him that he betrayed. I loved that the film had him survive the race long enough for Judah and he to make their peace. Esther was somewhat disappointing, coming across as immature and too quick to think badly of Judah, and I didn't warm to her, even by the ending. I loved the new character of Athene, though, and her last scene was fascinating.

In new animated films I saw the adorable Bolt. I loved the title character, Mittens, and Rhino, and the adventure and happy ending for all the characters was wonderful.

I also saw Exodus: Gods and Kings, and as I expected I couldn't help doing a compare and contrast to The Ten Commandments which has been one of my favorite movies since I was in preschool. On the good side I liked how the film portrayed Moses as more warrior and hot-tempered, and the sword's inclusion throughout was a nice touch, especially at the Red Sea scene. In both movies I love the elder Pharaoh's relationship with Moses and he was lovely here. Ramses had more of an edge than Yul Brynner's version, and yet a tenderness with his little son that brought tears to my eyes during the funeral scene. I appreciated the over-whelming feel of the plagues, and the larger scale of the swarms of insects and frogs. Zipporah was beautiful portrayed, with her and Moses's love a highlight of the film, and I adored Moses's scenes with his son. Joshua, despite much less screentime, was just as wonderful, and the actor's beautiful eyes were so expressive and fitting for the character. On the downside the film felt rushed, with not enough needed time spent on Moses's days at the palace, and the focus on war and violence sadly limited the character study which would have smoothed out the plot. It was a fine action movie, but not a powerful and inspiration epic like The Ten Commandments, and in the end I think a combination of the two would result in perfection.

I saw the trailer/spoof "Dr. Quinn Morphine Woman" and it was hilarious, spot on to the original show while poking fun at what it would be like today. I loved seeing nearly everyone again, however briefly, and Sully's horrible wig and hair flipping had me howling with laughter. His and Michaela's kiss, complete with over-dramatic Indian music and heartbeating and breathing, was an absolute treasure. The concept of Michaela as a druglord and the town as addicts was brilliant, and everyone was so perfectly in character I only wish it had been far longer. I also got to see a bit of the pilot California, which sadly never became a series. It was wonderful to see Hank get a chance to shine, and I adored his interactions with Zack. It was quite a sweet and touching episode, and I only wish it had been given a real chance.

I discovered the show The Legend Of William Tell by accident and watched the episode "The Tomb Of the Unknown Warrior". The series is unusual, with great world-building, and I love the clever twist on the original legend. The episode used one of my favorite tropes of body-swapping with a fascinating twist, of enemies exchanging bodies by accident, only to have one die, and the injured survivor on trial for killing himself. Dean O'Gorman was excellent at the role and I loved that it turned out so well.

I finally broke down and watched Dean O'Gorman's episodes of Xena Warrior Princess, and despite not being very fond of the show I really enjoyed "Athen's Academy Of the Performing Bards". He played Homer, and I loved the way the historical people were portrayed, as well as the old movie clips.

I've started watching Copper, a heart-breaking yet incredible series. I appreciate the often painfully accurate history, from the filth of Five Points to the past of little Annie, one of the most tragic characters I've seen on a tv show. I love how the show doesn't flinch from portraying difficult elements, and isn't afraid to make its characters morally complex. Corky is a fascinating, haunting character, and I love his friendship with Annie and how he treats her like his own daughter.

Season two of Resurrection is on now and it's even more jaw-dropping than season one, with twist upon twist against an intriguing story arc. The plot took a very different path than I'd expected but for the most part I'm glad. The concept of this being the second time the Returned came back and the storyline of the 1930s flashbacks and discovered bones are both chilling and fascinating, especially the "demon" story of episode four. Margaret is a disturbing character but I'm intrigued to see where her motives lie. I like seeing some character growth of Janine's part, as well as Fred, and it's lovely to see a bit more of Barbara, especially when she gets to share a scene with Maggie. On the reverse side I'm saddened by Marty betraying Maggie by reporting the bones as well as Lucille's troubling down-spiral and Jacob's oddly defiant behavior which seems so out of character for the sweet boy of last season. The mysterious virus is intriguing, sadly taking Marty's parents and my hope of their having a reunion, but thankfully sparing little Jenny, and Marty finally gets a scene with her. Janine's obsession with Rachael's baby, and apparent kidnapping of Rachael has me terrified, and I'm stunned by Tom's death. The finale was nicely done, even if so many questions were left unanswered - I'll forever be saddened the Government Lady's backstory wasn't explored and Tom never came back - it felt overall largely satisfying. Strangely enough I'm content with not knowing how and why the Returned came back, as across the series I've seen that the point was more focused on how they lived life to the fullest with their second chance. I was happy Rachael chose to stay, and her baby was precious - I'm presuming he's okay and Preacher James was just crazy - and I'm incredibly happy Marty got to keep Jenny. Best of all was Fred's character growth when he stops Henry from wanting to give up Rachael. Another happy treat was Marty and Maggie's relationship; I've shipped them from the start and I'm thrilled they ended up together.

Season two of The 100 is on now and it's not quite as amazing as last season, with so many changes. To my gratitude, Finn is alive, and still the light of the show. The twist of Mt. Weather and it's eerily welcoming people who may or may not be what they seem already has my attention, and as much as I'm saddened by how feral Clarke has been forced to become, I love that she seems to be the only one with any sense. Jasper, such a fun character at the start, only annoys me now, and I miss who he used to be. Monty, as usual is flawless and given far too little screentime since the show pushed Raven into his shoes. I still can't make myself care much about Raven, especially after her cruelty to Murphy. As much as he's a bad guy I've loved him since the start and I'm incredibly excited for the hope of a redemption arc for him. I love Lincoln and Octavia as characters but definitely not as a pairing, and I'm not fond of how their relationship keeps being pushed to the point that they're now going to his village rather than Octavia trying to find her brother and even care if he's alive. Kane's storyline is troubling so far, and he seems to have lost much of the growth of character he showed throughout season one. Bellamy's decency and changed personality have finally made me grow to like him, and I enjoy his friendship with Finn. Finn is breaking my heart, especially when he killed the Grounder, and I'm worried as to what will become of him. I finally made it to "Spacewalker" and in many ways the show is over for me. The Grounders were never innocent with all the kids they killed from the start - their first act is to spear Jasper - and I've wanted them wiped out since the beginning so I felt no pity for their village, only anger that they demand retaliation when they've done more and worse. But to actually kill Finn, the one bright spot of the show, by Clarke's hands was too cruel for words.

Season two of Atlantis has begun, and it's somewhat darker while still, thankfully, retaining some more light-hearted moments. Minos has sadly died; I grew to enjoy his character so I'll miss him, and Ariadne is now queen. Ariadne has never been one of my favorites, and more screentime for her does nothing to make me happier, and she seems worryingly willing to tip into darkness if necessary, even if her intentions toward Atlantis seem good. Jason and the Oracle's relationship remains my favorite on the show, and I'm already concerned by her warning that Jason will turn evil if he learns the truth about his mother. As sad as the vision makes me, I was thrilled to see confirmation, through the glimpse of the Argo, that Jason is THE Jason of mythology. "Telemon" returns to my favorite setting, the arena, with a fascinating story that raises more questions than answers regarding Ariadne's new suitor. "The Marriage of True Minds", the season's best so far, is beautiful and touching, featuring a gorgeous score and some much missed banter between the main trio. "The Day of the Dead", an odd, and somewhat plotless zombie fest, nevertheless features the first intriguing meeting between Jason and Medea, who seems to care in the scene where she heals Jason's leg, and yet ends by stabbing Ariadne.

Onto season ten of Supernatural and the demon!Dean storyline I've dreaded since last season. While I'm so grateful to see the writers have finally put Sam back in the character he used to be, and it's wonderful to see his determination to find and save Dean, I'm saddened by the disconnect between the characters. Dean isn't the scary demon I assumed he'd become but rather a strange, jerk version of himself, chasing women, getting into fights, and singing, and apart from his coldness toward Sam he seems more bitter than non human. Castiel and his steadily declining health has me terrified, even as I'm saddened at yet another season's storyline that distances him from the brothers. I miss Team Free Will together, and I've grown tired of the constant angels storyline, as Castiel is the only one of the angels I've ever enjoyed watching. "Reichenbach"'s revelation that some of Castiel's grace still exists makes me happy, yet I'm proud of Cas for refusing; he's come such a long way and learned so much. Demon!Dean is progressively spookier, and the final scene made me shudder. "Soul Survivor" was superb, and I'm so grateful to have caring!Sam, human!Dean, and healthy!Castiel back again, the way it should be. The twist that Sam forced a man to sell his soul to find Crowley and Dean was fascinating, and I'm intrigued to see if there will be further fallout. I'm also shocked by Crowley saving Castiel. "Ask Jeeves" is a delight, much like an early seasons' ghost hunting episode while still with a glimmer of worry regarding Dean and the Mark. "The Executioner's Song" was stunning, driving Dean closer to a dark ending, while showcasing Team Free Will, a recipe that always forms the best episodes. I teared up when Cain tells Dean he'll kill Cas and Sam, and cheered when Dean was strong enough to give up the blade to Castiel.

I gave a try to the new series Galavant, and despite a shaky pilot, fell in love with it in the second episode. It's hilarious, outrageous, and the characters, even the bad guys, are all loveable. I already ship Isabella and Galavant, and I can't wait to see what happens.

In other new shows I started watching the intriguing Eye Candy and I'm already hooked. The premise is interesting, the acting and emotions are excellent, and I can feel for the main character. I was incredibly sad they killed off Ben, though, since he was so sweet and I loved Lindy and he together. But I'm starting to love Tommy and even ship Lindy and he.

I also discovered the new series 12 Monkeys and I'm in love with it: a sci-fi show with an actual science basis, bound by laws that make sense for a refreshing change. Cole is a likeable and tragic protagonist, with shades of grey - I teared up during the scene where he says how much he wants forgiveness - and I already ship him with Cassandra. My favorite character, however, is Ramse, whose goodness shines through the dark future and friendship with Cole keeps me interested in learning about their pasts. I love the concept, too, and the jumping between time periods.
 
 
calliope tune: "You Belong To Me"-Duprees
feeling: discontent