Kathleen
Supernatural is back for season 12, and while I'm a bit weary of the constant chasing Lucifer plot, Rick Springfield is surprisingly fun in the role, infusing a bit of life back into it. It's both wonderful and not what I expected to have Mary back, and while I enjoy seeing her with the boys, and relate a lot to her feeling lost in the current era, it broke my heart to see her walk out of the bunker, especially without hugging Dean; it's just like the early eps and my pain over the way John treated Dean, all over again. I do adore how Mary just accepted Castiel, and the scenes they shared, and it's such a delight to have Cas in the bunker, being offered coffee, and giving hugs. "American Nightmare" was excellent, even if the heartbreaking ending seemed like a cruel twist, but it was great to see old elements return, and Sam use his past to help people. "The One You've Been Waiting For" is something of a letdown after several good episodes - a ludicrous and somewhat annoying plot, that manages to pack in a few cute brother moments. "Celebrating the Life of Asa Fox" was a fun, old-style episode, bringing back the always fabulous Billie, as well as Jody whose relationship with the boys is lovely. I liked the reunion with Mary at the end, too. "Rock Never Dies" was a quite fun, although predictable episode. I loved the boys' reactions to everything, and there were some fun, as well as touching moments. And Castiel saving the day with his memorable line was a great bonus. "LOTUS" was entirely over the top but weirdly enjoyable, with some evocative imagery from the scene of the priest possessed by Lucifer causing all the crosses in the church to spin, to the Bible burning his hands. I'm intrigued by the Nephilim child and where that storyline will go, and as crazy as the Winchesters being arrested is, I'm looking forward to Cas finding and saving them, as well as how they handle it. I also loved Sam being the one to send Lucifer back to the cage. "First Blood" was a gripping character study, with the imprisonment wearing on the Winchesters, and Castiel and Mary getting more scenes together, which I always enjoy. I teared up over Castiel saving everyone by killing Billie she was an intriguing villain, but I'm glad she's gone, and his speech right after. "Lily Sunder Has Some Regrets" was a superb episode where all of Team Free Will got to shine. I adored the boys' determination to protect and save Castiel - especially Dean calling him family and refusing to risk him getting killed by blasting the evil angel away. Castiel completely broke my heart all episode, especially his mute acceptance of the angels mocking him - the line about his "ragged, old coat" was like a punch in the stomach - or Lily needing to take his life for revenge, and still being so determined to protect the other angels, all who seem to have rejected him. I was very intrigued by his comment that Benjamin was friends with his vessel - I've always assumed the human all but vanishes but this seemed to indicate that both could share a body and communicate somehow. On the same note, it was fun to see Castiel in a different, female vessel, and the backstory with the child who they believed was a Nephilim was completely heartbreaking. I found Lily and the concept of angel magic fascinating and hope both come up again in a future episode. I loved the boys reassuring Castiel, and telling him that he was strong for how he's chosen. "Regarding Dean" was a flawless mix of comedy and drama, offering a glimpse at a once more carefree Dean - I adored the closing montage and his response to being hunters being "awesome" when he loses his memory during a curse. I loved how, even having forgotten his own name he somehow remembers Sam's when he hears him cry out in pain, as well as Dean's interactions with Rowena who gets a surprising amount of depth and is the most likable she's ever been. Sam's no note on the grenade launcher was hilarious, and the scene in the mirror of Dean trying to hold onto his memories was heartbreaking and a stunning acting job. "Stuck in the Middle (With You)" was a stunning episode - one of my top five ever, definitely - with lots of Team Free Will feelings. I'm so happy with how far they've all come, finally telling Castiel how much he means to them and he telling them they're his family, and I got emotional when he teared up over their refusal to leave him. I adored Mary calling Castiel one of her boys, even if I'm slightly annoyed at her for not telling any of them about the Colt - which incidentally I'm absolutely thrilled to see again. I also liked the new mythos of the lance of Michael and the Princes of Hell, and loved Crowley saving the day. "Family Feud" was sort of a meh episode, but ties up the loose end of Crowley's son in a sad way. I did enjoy Rowena's comment about the boy being "not like" Crowley and she. "The Raid" is good, dangling the elusive regular life in front of the Winchesters again. I'm sad over Sam joining the British Men of Letters, but get why he did it, and I did love seeing him use the Colt. "Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell" was satisfying. I loved seeing the boys being honest with each other, and Dean's character growth in accepting and respecting Sam's decision, as well as Dean knowing something is wrong with Castiel, even over the phone. I liked seeing hellhounds again, even if they felt a bit underused, and especially the glasses! It was also a delight to see the boys thank Crowley, and see him one step ahead of Lucifer. Castiel broke my heart, even if I loved the moment of him still holding his FBI badge upside down, and I'm so worried, now that he's returned to heaven. "Ladies Drink Free" has some lovely moments with the boys and Claire, as well as allowing them to see the darker side of the BMOL and a cure for werewolves. "The British Invasion" is emotionally devastating, making me like Mick just before his sudden and brutal death. But I did enjoy some things, especially Dean getting the colt back. I loved seeing Eileen again - she and Sam are precious - but am worried about her. The Mary and Ketch relationship, on the other hand, is repulsive. "The Memory Remains" was an excellent, early season in feel ep, highlighted by the gorgeous scene of the boys "leaving their mark" by carving their initials into the bunker. "The Future" was a sad ep, with Castiel taking an opposing side yet again. While his scenes with Kelly were cute - and I loved seeing him all powerful again, I'm not sure its for the best. Still there were some lovely moments, like the revelation that Dean made Castiel a music tape. "Twigs & Twine & Tasha Banes" brings back the witch/hunter twins, paralleling them tragically against Sam and Dean's past. I was saddened but intrigued by the ending, and hope the twins appear again. It was extremely satisfying to see Mary punch Ketch - although I'm upset she didn't win the fight - and I'm glad she finally knows the truth about the BMOL now.

Sleepy Hollow has returned for an unexpected season four, and despite my reservations, I've completely fallen back in love with it. I miss Abbie - Joe, too, I'll never get over the senseless death of his character - but I adore Ichabod and the writing feels much tighter and more creative than it has, back to season one quality, if not better. Jenny is more enjoyable - I love her friendship with Ichabod - and Jake and Alex are far more likeable side characters than the bulk of any prior. I enjoy Diana and how she and Ichabod are quickly becoming friends. Molly is a delight (I adore that the new Witness is a child and not Diana as I'd originally thought!) and its a complete joy to see her scenes with Ichabod - I loved him coaching her soccer team and her bringing him back to this world by telling him to never give up hope. It warms my heart to see Ichabod getting to sort of be a parent, especially after the episode that seemed to give him a bit of closure, at least personally, with Jeremy. The villains are also quite intriguing this season.

Once Upon A Time is back with season 6 and its a complete delight, a return to the small town feel of season one. I adore Charming and Snow White being more like their original selves, and Snow even wanting to start up the school again. It's a delight to see how far their relationship with Regina has come, and despite my annoyance at the Evil Queen still being around - although thankfully split from Regina - I'm loving how they've made her family. Killian and Emma's relationship is a constant delight - with so many domestic moments! - and I adored seeing them getting to be normal - Killian teaching Henry to sword fight, Killian playing with Cinderella's adorable little girl, and Emma and Killian having a picnic. It's also wonderful to see Killian and Henry holding Emma together and believing in her magic, inspiring her to have the strength to overcome her fears. I love seeing old characters again - Archie, Whale, Cinderella, Thomas - and new ones like the adorable Gus Gus (although I wish the Count hadn't been killed off). I sad by what's become of Rumplestiltskin and Belle's relationship - although the oh so Scottish lullaby scene was beautiful, as was the flashback in Belle's dream state - but I'm so happy that Killian and Belle had a real forgiveness scene. Compared to the near perfection of episode 3, "Strange Case" is something of a let down. There are some lovely moments - Charming making Emma pancakes and then telling her how to make them for Killian, and the poignancy of Killian packing everything he owns into a single trunk - but the rest is a mediocre conclusion to the Jekyll/Hyde story, leaving all the potential wasted on Jekyll suddenly turning evil - and revealing he killed someone in his past. While I am intrigued by the storyline it sets up - of the only way to kill a double being killing the original - it feels as rushed as Snow's first day at school, something I enjoyed but felt less than satisfied with. Worse of all is the utter horror and manipulation Belle and Rumplestiltskin's once gorgeous romance has degraded into, leaving me uncomfortable with their scenes, even as I adore Belle and Killian's friendship. "Street Rats" brings me what I've always wanted - Aladdin - and while there isn't as much of their story as I would have wanted, I adored what there was - perfect casting, Aladdin rolling the apple off his arm, "open sesame", Aladdin saving Jasmine from the hourglass, him having magic, and the flying carpet. Aladdin and Jasmine were adorable together and I teared up at their reunion. I loved Emma calling Henry her magic, and although I know it will lead to problems, I loved Killian secretly keeping the shears of Fate. "Dark Waters" is an absolute delight, even with my high hopes - Killian-centric episodes are always a treasure - giving me what I've longed for for so long: a Henry and Killian episode. The steampunk/20000 Leagues Under the Sea storyline was fabulous, complete with a kind!Nemo, and I adored Killian meeting and reuniting with young Liam. It was wonderful to see some domestic moments - I giggled at Killian making Henry a "pirate" breakfast to prevent scurvy, and Killian's attempts to understand the modern world, but I teared up at Henry's initial rejection of Killian. I loved seeing their relationship grow over the course of the episode, from Killian being willing to sacrifice his life to save Henry, to Henry coming back for him. And I was so incredibly happy that Killian told Emma about the shears, and she accepted it - it's such a rare gem to see a stable, healthy, and mature relationship onscreen, and it warmed my heart. Despite missing Rumplestiltskin/Belle, and being happy Belle gave him the sonogram after all, I also secretly shrieked at the Evil Queen/Rumpelstiltskin kiss; it's been my crackship since season one, and I never imagined it would come to anything. "Heartless" was a fabulous Charming/Snow White episode with a distinctively season one feel, making me realize how much I've missed the two of them. Charming's dog was adorable, the parallels were gorgeous - particularly the true love's kiss. There was also a lovely scene of reassurance between Killian and Emma. "I'll Be Your Mirror" had a touching scene with the Genie's bottle, and I loved Henry figuring everything out and saving the day without blackening his heart, but I was saddened by Rumplestiltskin's imprisonment of Belle. "Changelings" confirmed my long held headcanon of Rumplestiltskin's mother being a fairy, but completely broke my heart otherwise as Belle sends Blue away with Belle and Rumplestiltskin's newborn son - the fractured mess of their relationship makes me both mad and incredibly sad - and Aladdin becomes a genie to help Jasmine. I did like Regina saving Zelena from her evil half, though. "Wish You Were Here" was a somewhat disappointing episode with a wonderful premise - I adored the AU world and hope to see more of it - and some excellent moments. Genie!Aladdin is wonderfully sassy and his interactions with the other characters were delightful. I also loved seeing Henry as a knight - even if his existence in the world made little sense - and Emma was adorable as the princess. I loved seeing Rumplestiltskin's manic persona return, and Regina's reactions were perfect. Best of all I teared up at seeing Robin again, and Regina's heartbreaking reaction. In the Storybrooke storyline, it was wonderful to see a glimmer of hope for Rumplestiltskin and Belle's relationship as she seems to realize she's been partly responsible for destroying them, too, and seems to believe Rumplestiltskin about the magic. I'd suspected from the beginning that their grown up son was evil - something about his interactions seemed awfully manipulative - and I'm eager to see where the story goes with him, even as sad as I am for his parents - and I wanted to see a baby!Gold growing up! "Tougher Than the Rest" was an excellent ep, revealing the sweet origins behind Emma's last name, and showing her lovely friendship with August. I adored their scenes - from the childhood meeting, to the hug, the wooden swan to the last scene - and I've missed August's smiling face to brighten up the show so much. I enjoyed Robin and Regina's scenes, too, despite the poignancy of him not really being Robin, and old!Hook was hilarious - I lost it at Emma's comments about switching him from rum to water and keeping him away from desserts. Rumplestiltskin and Belle's discussion was the most hopeful thing I've seen from their relationship in ages, too. "Murder Most Foul" gave me a Charming and Killian focused ep, something I've wanted for ages, and I loved seeing them being both hilarious - turning the potion - and heartbreaking - Killian comforting Charming. I loved Charming in it, and his breakdown toward the end was realistic and poignant. Killian asking Charming for permission to marry Emma was a delight, and I'm incredibly sad about the ending twist, even as much as I suspected it. I loved seeing Pleasure Island and puppet!August, as well as grown up!August. "Page 23" was cheesy but very touching, providing a lovely happy ending for the Evil Queen and Robin that made me tear up. It was wonderful to see Tinkerbell again, as well as Regina finally accepting her herself, and I loved Killian and Snow White's hug. "A Wondrous Place" was a frustrating mix of good - Aladdin free and happy with Jasmine who saved her city, Ariel friendly with Killian, Liam and Killian's hug - and bad - Emma so quick to give up and everyone thinking the worst of Killian, but Killian's beautiful "shell phone" message to Emma nearly makes up for it. "Mother's Little Helper", an ominous story foreshadowing the end of the book, adds depth to Gideon, revealing the Black Fairy has his heart, leaving me hope for his redemption. It was also a delight to see Killian slipping into a bit of his pirate ways, and meeting up again with Blackbeard, with their banter a highlight. "Awake" was a gorgeous episode, revealing a layer to the pre-Emma days in Storybrooke, an era I've long hoped they'd explore more, and spending a bit of time in Neverland, which I was surprisingly happy to see again. I loved Tiger Lily, and it was wonderful to see Killian and Emma reunited and re-engaged, as well as Killian and Charming make their peace, and the sleeping curse finally be broken. It was a beautifully filmed episode, too, with my favorite moment when Killian's shadow touches Emma's cheek. "Where Bluebirds Fly" was surprising lovely, giving insight into Zelena's background, and removing her magic in a heroic moment. "The Black Fairy" was stunning, revealing Rumplestiltskin was born the Savior, and his mother changed his fate. I also adored Killian asking Henry to be his best man. "The Song in Your Heart" was an absolute delight, the long awaited musical episode - I was surprised by the talent of the cast and how perfect the songs were - along with a gorgeous and perfect wedding for Killian and Emma. "The Final Battle" was a gorgeous and flawless season finale (really, should have ended the series) with happy endings all around, most surprisingly for Rumplestiltskin and Belle (with de-aged baby Gideon!) in a beautiful ending that made me cry. I loved Killian and Emma together (with Killian a deputy!), and the whole family together at Granny's. It was also lovely to see all of the relationships get a turn to shine, from Charming and Killian's adventure on the beanstalk, to the Charmings's true love's kiss paralleling the first episode, to the Evil Queen's proposal from Robin.

Teen Wolf is back with season six, its final season, sadly, and it's a complete delight with a fantastic new intro - I love the carousel and that the adults are finally getting their credits - and plot - I adore the creepy concept of the Wild Hunt, as well as the pack hunting for Stiles who they're not even sure truly exists. The baby pack is wonderful - Liam turning into an alpha in his own right, Hayden and Mason being pure sweethearts, and Corey finally getting an awesome role with his ability to render the Riders and objects left behind by those taken visible. Most surprisingly, villainous characters, especially Peter and Theo, who I've never cared for, got depth, and emotional redemption moments this season that made me love them.

I've rediscovered an old favorite in Charmed and am happily binge-watching my way through the seasons. Piper is my favorite and I adore Leo and their love story, but Prue is slowly growing on me, and Phoebe is a complete delight. I also love Cole - even if I recall getting my heart broken over his story arc - and his and Phoebe's romance hits so many of my favorite tropes. Also that late '90s/early 2000s feel is making me so nostalgic.

I have a renewed sense of love for Tarzan, one of my favorite childhood characters, lately, and I recently stumbled across the early 2000s short-lived Tarzan. Despite being an AU, shifted to the modern era, and combining elements of romance and police shows, the format works surprisingly well, thanks to the wonderful love story between John and Jane. Some of the characters, like Jane's sister, are woefully under-used, but others, like John's aunt, are fabulous, even in their little screentime. I love the other worldliness of John's behavior, such as being completely unaware of proper social behavior, and his constant touching of Jane's face and hair. I also love the delightful gymnastics he does.

I've discovered and fallen in love with The Originals which pulled me in with it's fabulous setting - I've long been interested in New Orleans - and made me stay with its surprising amount of emotion and interesting characters. I love Elijah and his constant attempts to save his brother, as well as his good heart, and baby Hope is too precious for words. I adore Klaus, such a complex and evolving character, and how, even when he's evil, there's still a glimmer of redemption beneath it all. I loved his romance with Camille - I have a soft spot for redeemed by love plots - and am so sad over her being killed off. Similarly, Davina annoyed me often - I'm not fond of teenage characters that try to become powerful - but I did love her relationship with Marcel and am sad to lose it. I'm not fond of Hayley, but I adore her romance with Elijah, and I'm so happy it's starting to creep back. I didn't mind Jackson, but was disappointed how he ended up nothing but an obstacle for Hayley and Elijah's relationship, only to be brutally killed off. Elijah, a perfect struggle between brutality and nobility, is such a fascinating and easy to adore character, and I love his and Klaus's ever-shifting, yet strong relationship. I'm fascinated by the fact that these vampires have beating hearts, compared to most vampire characters, and I teared up over the scene where Elijah gets shot and Klaus hears his heart start beating again.

I've started watching Bones, and despite being a bit put off by its daunting length (I wish I'd discovered it seasons ago!) I fell in love with it instantly. Booth and Brennan have a wonderful Mulder/Scully still partnership, and the setting and stories are entertaining. I also love the balance between tragedy/darker themes and humor.

Z Nation is back with season three, and it's a breath of fresh air after the somewhat disappointing and often depressing last season. With the cast much altered and the tone shifted from the mission of two years, there's new life in it, and the split stories of Roberta, Doc, Escorpion, and Addy - along with a new face in Sun Mei who's fine so far - continuing on the journey paralleled with Murphy's new role, is surprisingly effective and entertaining. Without the others holding him prisoner, or even their frienemies dynamic, it's a delight to see Murphy go entirely over the edge, setting up a kingdom of followers, even as he continues to edge ever closer to a zombie himself. And 10K, bitten by him but retaining some free will, gets a chance to shine, running off with Murphy's "cure" for humanity. "Doc Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" was an absolute treasure - a super fun episode showcasing the sometimes missing offbeat charm of season one, while giving Doc and 10K's beautiful friendship a chance to shine. "Election Day" is a hilarious delight - Doc episodes seem to be my favorite - packed with clever jokes and quite a bit of emotion. "Heart of Darkness" broke me with its senseless deaths of Escorpion who was finally starting to grow on me, and Vasquez. I despise storylines where amnesiac/crazy characters are killed by their love interests - whatever happened to saving someone? - and it broke my heart to see Vasquez's story arc end that way, after all he suffered. "The Siege of Murphytown" is a dark and disturbing episode chronicling Warren's spiral into "ends justifies the means" that results in her beating 10K and brutally murdering a woman, only for the mood to swing entirely at the end of the episode. I did love seeing everyone meet Citizen Z face to face, and I was delighted to see both Red and 5K alive and reunited with 10K. "Duel" was an unusual, and dark episode, with Addy getting to be both a hero and antihero as she resorts to some dark things to try to save Lucy - I was saddened by her stealing the car from the lady, but I did love her returning the child. The scene where she and Doc reunite warmed my heart - the relief on both their faces! - and I loved both Lucy's innocent and slowly growing cleverness in trying to outsmart The Man. I was also very intrigued by Lucy's claims that the zombies can actually speak to her - I've wondered since the beginning if the zombies retain any awareness - and I loved Addy and her discussion about Serena. "Everybody Dies in the End" was, in many ways, a less nerve wracking season finale than prior ones, while still quite suspenseful. I love that Lucy can give zombies the ability to speak, as well as the revelation that Murphy is undead. 10K being saved was nail-biting but excellent. The ending was poignant, leaving me wondering whether Roberta will end up a blend next season.

Also new is Emerald City, a delightfully creative and unique reimagining of the Oz books, filled with whump and offbeat characters. I adore Lucas, and his relationship with Dorothy - I got so attached to them in the pilot alone that I teared up a little at his desperate "knock knock" at the ending.

Despite being the last person to discover American Horror Story, I plunged into season four, and am completely in love with it. The 1950s carnival setting, offbeat characters, and pretty cinematography hit so many of my tropes and favorite things, and I have a soft spot for creepy anthologies. Jimmy is my favorite character, sad but layered, but I love the complexity of the characters, even most of the villains.

I've been watching The Collector, an angsty and surprisingly emotional '90s sci-fi. The main character, Morgan, breaks my heart every episode, and the storylines are always fascinating.

In new movies, I finally broke down and watched Mad Max: Fury Road, and surprisingly loved it. The world building was fantastic and complex, the cinematography stunning, and I adored the amount of positive disabilities and mental illness (even possibly autism?) representation, as well as the message. The characters completely broke my heart, especially Nux, but I loved every moment.

I went into the 2016 version of Ben-Hur with extremely low expectations, so I was pleasantly surprised to discover it wasn't nearly as bad as I'd assumed it would be. While Jack Huston doesn't embody the role as his predecessors did, and his model looks as distracting and ill-suited to the character, he did grow on me a bit throughout the film. Still he doesn't bring the simmering rage of Joseph Morgan or the brilliance of Charlton Heston, and utterly fails at the few emotional moments, lacking the range to pull of the desire for revenge that should drive the story. To me, the weakness of this version is it's desire to rush and combine elements, pumping action rather than emotion into every scene in order to appeal to today's audiences. There's no beautiful dialogue, no moments that tug the heart. Everything is straight forward, leaving it nearly impossible for me to care as much about the characters. While I've never been quite as impressed by the chariot race as most people seem to be, it fell incredibly short here, with the cgi and diminished length leaving it flat and even dull. Most curious were the deviations from the book/previous versions, such as Simonides not surviving. While I loved seeing Messala during the years he was away, as well as something of Judah and he when they were close - the opening scene of Judah's injury was beautifully framed with the blow Messala later deals him when he's accused - removing the entire Quintus Arrius storyline greatly weakened the script. Rescued instead by Sheik Ilderim - a grievously miscast Morgan Freeman - who is turned into a scheming, humorless and unlikable character, nothing like the amusing character of the original. Messala is given little to do except smirk, and his hatred for Judah comes so far out of left field that it made no sense whatsoever. Esther was complicated, more likeable than the miniseries's spoiled and somewhat bratty version, but lacking the warmth and sweetness of the '50s one. The scenes surrounding Jesus are also unusual, but I liked the human side portrayed. Tirzah and Judah's mother are given such a tiny role - and never released from prison - that I felt like I never knew their characters at all. The oddest choices start with having the attack on the Romans that leads to Judah's arrest being not an accident, but rather a deliberate assassination attempt by zealots, hiding in the house, that Judah had earlier aided. Perhaps the weirdest deviation is the complete AU turn of the ending, with Messala not only surviving the chariot race's aftermath - only losing a leg - but making amends with Judah and returning home to the family - along with a much implied nod to the idea that he'll end up with Tirzah. While I loved the "what if" exploration - and it was touching to see Messala and Judah hug again, alongside the flashbacks of their past, it completely wrecked the original ending in the strangest way imaginable. Still, it was enjoyable to see such an odd, and surprisingly happy version.

Fantastic Beasts came out and I went to see it in theatres and adored it. Newt was a delightfully sweet and atypical protagonist, and I loved his kindness and care for his creatures, as well as his adorable relationships with Tina and Jacob. Queenie was precious, and I loved Jacob and her - especially the hints that they'll get a happy ending after all. The details were fabulous, particularly the 1920s feel, costumes, and locations, but also the imaginative creatures, and little cute moments such as Queenie cooking or Jacob's creature inspired baked goods. I was sad about Creedence - although it appeared he might not be gone forever? - although the concept of his powers was fascinating.

In other new movies, I watched High Plains Invaders. Syfy movies are always a guilty pleasure, and I admit I checked it out solely for the actor, but it was a delightful fusion of westerns and science fiction, with a happy ending.

I finally got a chance to see La Légende du Roi Arthur with English subtitles and it was gorgeous, everything I'd hoped it would be! The visuals were breathtaking - I'm in love with the steampunk horse puppets especially, the costumes lovely, and the music perfect. The actors were all wonderful, and I loved the strangely happy resolution to the Arthur, Guinevere, and Lancelot love triangle. Even the villains were amazing, and I loved the unique portrayal of Morgan, as a traumatized woman haunted by what she witnessed as a child.
 
 
calliope tune: "Skin Divin'"-Avons
feeling: apathetic
 
 
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.
 
 
feeling: discontent
calliope tune: "You Belong To Me"-Duprees