Kathleen
Summer tv has started and I've been finding some new series to fill the gap left by all the cancelled ones. The first is The Whispers, which I figured I'd like since I love Ray Bradbury and Zero Hour was one of the first stories I read by him. It's not quite what I expected - less creepy for one - but I enjoy the '90s sci-fi feel, the premise, and the characters, especially Sean. I'm hoping the writers are borrowing a bit from Ray Bradbury's other stories, too, like Sean's tattoos. The children, especially Henry, are adorable, and I'm looking forward to seeing where the plot will go.

Also new is Humans and it's amazing although complicated so far. I love how many storylines it has going - Niska's and Leo's are my favorites, I adore the relationships - especially Leo and Max, and fascinating characters, as well as the incredible world building and realism.

Dominion has begun season two, which was an incredible surprise since it just barely got renewed. Because of that I'm viewing every episode as a bonus gift, just because I love this show so very much. It's amazing so far, even more impressive than last season. The shift in characters has streamlined the show nicely, and having Alex spending most of his screentime with Noma instead of Claire - I'm starting to ship them since I never did like Alex/Claire - is a welcome and refreshing change. There's also the interesting addition of Pete, an 8ball Alex turns back into a human. He gets some hilarious lines, and he seems like a sweetheart so far. Michael, much to my relief, hasn't changed completely, even if he seems lost and anchorless without Alex and Vega. I am a little worried about the weird cult he's been sucked into, though, and I don't trust Laurel at all. But once it moves past that, there's some amazing new characters, including the evil and demented Julian who makes Gabriel look safe by comparison, and Gates, who is so fabulous he makes the tedious second storyline in Vega interesting. I adore the flashbacks this season, including little Alex with Michael, and the twins, all of which make me emotional. Gabriel and Michael finally get some screentime together and it's beautiful. Best of all, Gabriel gets some layers and explanation for his hatred of humanity with a compelling and heart-breaking series of flashbacks showing him with little David - an absolutely adorable child with those wild curls!. Carl Beukes's acting has improved so much this season, and he's pulling off the mix of emotional, caring past Gabriel and hopeless, lost current day Gabriel beautifully. The writers continue to amaze me by making me learn to love characters I hated last season, mainly Gabriel who seems so broken I just want to protect him, as well as fleshing out characters I was lukewarm on before - Noma, William, and the General, and introducing new, instantly fascinating characters including Gates. Claire's trajectory toward evil might surprisingly turn out for the best as her character has been the weakest and most dismally dull since the beginning, and a dark side could give her the interesting edge she lacks. "House of Sacrifice" was a poignant episode all around with Noma still struggling over the loss of her wings - I'm grateful her relationship with Alex seems in tact at least - Michael playing cards for his life, Vega on the edge of collapse, Clementine killed again, and even David, spiraled into madness, rejected by his son, and awaiting execution, tugged on my emotions. Most heart-breaking was Gates's death. I loved him, and hoped he'd become one of the main characters, but I'm glad he got a hero's death and a final goodbye with Claire at least. Gabriel, taken over by the darkness, has me worried.

The fifth and final season of Hell On Wheels has first half and starts by breaking my heart with Cullen's daydream of his still missing wife and son. But after that it kicks up the pace by moving onto my favorite part of railroad history: the Chinese workers. The new characters are fascinating so far, especially Mei whose odd friendship with Cullen is already my favorite, and I love the change of scenery and focus on the Central Pacific. I was so happy to see Naomi and the baby again, even if only for a few seconds, at the end, and hope, if nothing else, that Cullen finally gets a happy ending with them.

Teen Wolf season five has started and despite how much I miss Derek, I'm loving the plot and how suspenseful and spooky it is, especially with the steampunk doctors and everything being told in flashbacks, even if it makes me very worried for most of the characters. Malia remains adorable; she and Stiles are quite cute together, Kira is awesome with her added powers this season, and Liam, not one of my favorites last season, has grown on me a lot. It also is giving me a new ship in Liam/Hayden, who are adorable and precious. I was a bit disappointed that I guessed wrong on what Parrish was, but excited by hellhound over phoenix which I'd doubted from the beginning.

I've started watching the new series Zoo and I'm enjoying it so far. It's quite different from the usual "end of the world as we know it" storylines most shows are doing, and the characters, especially Jackson, are likeable.

I've finished the fourth and final season of Nikita and it was a delight to see the show return to the feel of the first two seasons. I loved seeing all the sides of Nikita, from fugitive to dark assassin to happily married and freed. Michael and her scenes were beautiful as always, and I was so happy to see them grow close again. As much as I wanted to see their wedding, eloping seemed more their style, and I'm just glad they finally ended up alive and together at last. Birkhoff was as precious as usual, and it was nice to learn his backstory, as well as see a couple lovely moments with Nikita and he. Owen's story arc was beautiful, and I was so happy how he tried to become better again, even if I'll forever miss who he used to be. I was surprisingly okay with him being paired up with Alex in the end, because even if I don't ship it I just wanted him alive and happy which I got. Ryan wasn't one of my favorites but I teared up when Nikita called him family - I do so love their makeshift, thrown-together family - and the final scene of him, as a vision in Nikita's mind, was poignant.

Since I miss the show so much now that it's over I gave a try to the original show, La Femme Nikita, and while it took me a bit to transition to the differences in cast and characterizations, I was suprised how quickly I fell in love with it. Michael is delightfully French, Nikita has an Aussie accent, and Birkhoff is nothing like Birkhoff, and it's wonderful, mostly due to Michael and Nikita's relationship. I adored them from the start in Nikita but they're even better here, since I get to see them from their first meeting.

I discovered the short lived but fabulous show Moonlight and completely fell in love with it. I have a soft spot for "good" vampires and Mick is a sweetheart. My favorite part of the show is his relationship with Beth, though, and their backstory - with Mick saving Beth when she was a small child and then watching over her like a guardian angel as she grows up - instantly made me ship them. The mythology of the vampires is fairly unique, especially regarding how they can be harmed, which keeps it intriguing, and it has almost a retro, late'80s/early'90s feel which I love.

Since I loved Alex O'Loughlin in that show, I gave a try to his medical drama Three Rivers and quite enjoyed it, definitely enough to add it to my list for future watching. His doctor is sweet and appealing, I loved the guest characters, and it's an enjoyable show with a nice blend of touching and poignant.

I finally managed to find Odysseus with English subtitles and I've completely fallen in love with it. It's delightfully French in the best ways, and simply gorgeous and haunting. I love it's unique, poignant take on the characters, and especially how quickly and deeply it makes me grow to care about it's characters: Helen reduced to me to tears in only three short scenes, and Orion fascinates me. The character growth is excellent, too, especially Télémaque who comes so far in just a few episodes. On a shallow note, the scenery, especially the seascapes and beautiful palace, is stunning.

I've fallen in love with Ghost Whisperer. It's poignant hauntings and easy to love characters are right up my alley and all the different ghosts keep the plot fresh. The best thing about it is Jim and Melinda's relationship. I adore them both, and how they support each other, and I love that the show starts right out with them married, avoiding the tangled love triangles that usually doom a show.

I also started Twisted, an offbeat but intriguing mystery series, and while it has it's flaws - Danny is a bit too nice and well-adjusted for a boy who lost his childhood in prison - I can overlook it because it's so unique, and enjoyable. I'm both fond and slightly unnerved by Danny - I still think he's innocent despite the way it's being set up - and I like Jo and her relationship with Danny.

I gave a try to Baby Daddy and despite not being a big fan of comedy I loved it and laughed through most of it. Ben is precious with baby Emma, and I love the quirky other characters.

Also new to me is Haven. I'd been meaning to try it for ages and I loved it instantly. The theme and old style intro, as well as the intriguing "Troubles" grabbed me, and I adore how sweet Nathan is even if he makes my heart hurt and I want to give him a hug. I also ship Nathan/Audrey hard, and love how she's the only one he can feel.

Extant is back with season two, and a bittersweet mix of good and bad ideas. As much as I love seeing Ethan again, much of the character growth and slow-building suspense from season one has been replaced with action and convenient plot twists, as well as a disturbingly alerted cast, leaving the show not even feeling like the same series. First of all I may be one of the few people who actually shipped John/Molly. I liked the glimmer of hope at the season finale that the two were growing closer and working out their problems. And John was such a sweetheart, trying to keep his family together against all odds. For reasons unknown the writers decided to throw a not even hinted at affair into the works - with Julie, the one character the show would have greatly benefited from to kill off - and then turned Julie evil; as if she wasn't grating enough already. Then, in the show's greatest tragedy, after a fight, the loss of Ethan, and Molly refusing to answer his call to hear his final apology, John gets violently and horribly killed off, and not even the show runner's vague comments about whether or not he's truly dead can make me feel better. In other character changes, Sean, who I liked, is inexplicably dead for seemingly no reason, and half of the other characters are not even mentioned. And I'm probably against him from the start since I dislike the actor, but I don't like the new guy at all, even if he becomes more tolerable after episode one. However, there are a few good points left. Ethan remains as precious as always, and the details, such as the self-driving cars and police tape, are as delightful as last season, while the ethical dilemmas regarding the humanoids become more troubling. I'm most intrigued by Molly's strange new powers, though, and how she'll use them. The finale was stunning, bringing out the best in all the characters and folding everything up enough that whether or not it continues, I'm content. I grew to love JD across the season, and even enjoy him with Molly, quite a surprise considering how much I hated him at the start, and I was relieved that he survived his wound, and loved Molly saving him. Charlie who I enjoyed last season and came to adore this one, turned out to be quite the hero, and I loved that he and Julie survived and seem to have found each other. Ethan was precious as usual, and I was so happy John's firewall saved him. Lucy's change of heart was a poignant surprise, as was the kindness of JD's ex-wife. Most intriguing was the "TAALOR" figure at the end who, from the back at least, strongly resembles John.

I started watching and love The Wonder Years, a show I've meant to check out for a while. The nostalgic '60s setting and realistic characters sucked me in instantly, and I adore Kevin's often hilarious and relatable narration.

I also started Rookie Blue and it's fantastic so far, very much like the '70s police dramas I grew up with and love. The characters are very likeable, especially Dov, and I can relate quite a bit to Andy. I've also found an otp in Sam/Andy. I adore Sam, and the way they met, with her tackling him and arresting him while he's undercover, was right up my shipping alley. I teared up when he's shot and she's trying to keep him alive in the ambulance, especially with the forehead kiss - my ultimate shipping weakness. And I love Boo. It's definitely a show I want to watch from start to finish at some point.

I gave a try to Da Vinci's Demons and was quite impressed. It's a gorgeously filmed series with just enough fantasy to enhance the already interesting history, and the actors seem well cast, with intriguing characters and fantastic world building and details.

The new season of Dragons: Race To The Edge is on and happily it seems to be set before the second movie, so Stoick is still alive. As usual the kids antics are my favorites and I adore the twins (with their pet chicken now!), and Fishlegs's episodes best, while Toothless remains adorable. The new dragons are a lot of fun, and I like the new islands, especially the one the kids have claimed as their own.

I found a few more Sechs auf einen Streich with subtitles and I've been working my way though them. They're all lovely, even the slower ones, and one of my favorites so far is Sechse Kommen Durch Die Ganze Welt, a fairytale I'm not familiar with. It was adorable and very entertaining, though, and I've loved the characters, their relationships with each other, and how they managed to constantly fool the king and win in the end. My absolute favorite, though, is Die Kleine Meerjungfrau, which manages to make an unusually happy ending for everyone without changing much of the original story. I loved the Prince, and even Anneline was an uniquely sympathetic character for a change. I also loved Jorinde und Joringel, a sweet love story with likeable characters, and adored the final twist when Joringel gave up his youth for Jorinde, and then she, giving up her's, made them both young again. Next was the lovely Die Prinzessin auf der Erbse. I adored the clever take on the fairytale, and the characters, especially the Prince, were adorable. Next was Die Zertanzten Schuhe, a flawless adaptation of my very favorite fairytale. I adored the main character and his quiet attempts to make the Princess love him, and the magic world was depicted exactly as I'd imagined. I also loved that the other sisters got their princes and happiness in the end, too. Next was Vom Fischer Und Seiner Frau, based on one of my favorite fairytales, and I adored it, so much so it might be my new favorite of the series. I loved how kind Hein remained, and how through it all he only wanted his wife and old life back. The happier than the original tale ending was delightful, too. Next was Dornröschen. I loved Fynn - possibly the most adorable prince of any version - and was intrigued by the story making him the third in a line that had tried and failed to rescue the princess.

I've also gotten to see a couple more of the Märchenperlen series, including their version of Aschenputtel, and it was both lovely and very unique. As taken aback as I originally was by the fact that Marie's father not only doesn't die but participates in the way she's treated, it ultimately made the story more poignant, and added a new explanation as to why she fell for the prince so quickly, as he would have been the first person who'd showed her kindness since her mother died. I loved how much the film had them interacting before the ball, Leonhard's friendship with Peter and his cousins, and how he wasn't a wealthy, powerful prince like most versions. I also adored the scene where he saves Marie from the fire and carries her off on his horse, and having her family become servants was the most fitting ending I've seen yet. My favorite so far, though, is the gorgeous Die Schöne Und Das Biest, a beautiful and unusual version of the story. I love watching the Beast change - his song with Elsa is lovely - and Elsa is a likeable Beauty, escaping the more annoying aspects of the way the character is portrayed. The dialogue is stunning, including a poignant scene where the Beast and Elsa talk about her mother, and the scene where the Beast turns into the Prince. I loved the servants, too, and stripping away the more magical elements while changing the rose into a whole bush of roses enhanced the story greatly.

In other fairytale films, I saw the stunning miniseries La Bella e la Bestia, the oddest and most beautiful version of the story I've seen. Leon, despite being fully human, was the most Beast-like of any character I've seen, a tormented and deeply troubled man with a flicker of goodness still inside. The backstory of his wife, and the new character of his scheming cousin were fascinating additions, and I loved the side characters, especially the kindly Armand, and the servants. Next was Descendants and despite my early reservations about the somewhat silly premise, it was completely delightful and creative. I loved the main four - their personalities and costumes were spot on - as well as the "good" characters, and their parents were hilariously over the top and fabulous. I didn't even mind the singing and loved a couple of the songs, and the conclusion was adorable. I also saw the Asylum's Sleeping Beauty - as corny as their films are their unusual, strange takes on stories give me so many plotbunnies - and I loved so many of the ideas of it, from the zombies guarding the castle to the Phillip being a brave whipping boy instead of the prince, a cowardly prince siding with Maleficent, his kiss waking her after others fail because they weren't pure of heart, and Aurora kissing him back to life after Maleficent kills him.

I've been working my way through Charlie Chaplin's filmography so far, finding some treasures along the way such as the hilarious and creative One A. M.. I couldn't stop laughing through the bed scene, but there were so many funny moments packed into such a short show. It's also been interesting to watch his character of the Little Tramp slowly evolve from the start when he was a more violent, mean-spirited character to growing into a kinder, gentler, and usually heart-broken hobo. My favorite so far is the adorable The Vagabond, a unique story in which he plays violin, falls in love with a girl, and unusually actually gets her and a happy ending. I loved every minute, especially it's blend of comedy and sadness.

In other new films I watched The Scorpion King 4: Quest for Power and loved it. I adore this goofy set of movies so much, and this was my favorite so far, a perfect blend of humor and zany adventure like they used to make and I've missed so much. I enjoyed the new cast a lot, even the bad guys, and the steampunk and science instead of so much supernatural was delightful. I'm slowly trying to watch more '80s movies and tonight was The Terminator which I surprisingly loved. The premise was both fun and poignant, and the bittersweetness of Kyle and Sarah's relationship broke my heart, as much as loved the twist of Kyle being John's father. The special effects were quite impressive, and I loved Kyle, such a sad yet sweet character, and wished he'd gotten to live. Next was the beautiful Charlie St. Cloud which I cried through most of, but adored completely. Charlie was a loveable character, and his ability to see ghosts as well as his striving to find the reason for his survival was poignant. I loved the bittersweet conclusion. Next was Dragonheart 3: The Sorcerer's Curse, my favorite film of the series so far. I loved Gareth and Drago, especially his snark, and their scenes together were adorable, especially when Drago teaches him to jump in and out of shadows. I liked the happier ending of this film, with the dragon living, better, too. Next was the surprisingly excellent Outlander. I adored the reimagining of Beowolf using my ultimate weakness: a mingling of historical fiction and sci-fi with a sympathetic alien protagonist. I loved the characters, the Viking world, and the fascinating glimpses of the other worlds in space. The ending was beautiful and perfect. Next was The Jacket, a haunting, sometimes difficult to watch, and yet strangely beautiful movie. Jack and his relationship with Jackie broke my heart, and I loved the strange twists and turns of their meetings, as well as the somewhat cryptic ending (I like to think Jack survived in that time and stayed with her). That he was able to truly strange time was a fascinating, rare twist for a time travel film, and I loved the fitting theme at the end.

In new animated films I saw Minions and I loved every minute of it. The Minions are some of my favorite characters to emerge from recent animation, and the trio, especially dear little Bob and his teddy bear, were precious. Scarlet Overkill and her boyfriend were over the top and hilarious, and the opening sequence was flawless. I loved how the ending tied everything together with little Gru meeting the Minions.

I stumbled across the lovely miniseries The 10th Kingdom and fell in love with it's combination of zany twists on fairytales and cheesy, adorable romance. I miss that silliness and light-hearted touch shows had up until the past decade or so, and it's always a treat to revisit that era through something I've never seen. Wolf was flawless - the actor outdid himself - and I could relate a great deal to Virginia, even if I wanted to shake her a few times. But I loved their romance and how they ended up finding their own happily ever after. I also loved the non-traditional but beautiful portrayal of Snow White, and the fantastic world-building.

I also saw the miniseries Tut and while it didn't quite measure up to my expectations, I still loved it and I'm just so thrilled to finally have a drama about one of my favorite historical loves. Avan Jogia was perfect as Tut, slowly growing into the role and getting better by each part. His growth from sheltered boy to flawed king was fascinating to watch, and I grew very attached to him, so much so that even though I knew it was coming, I still teared up at the ending. The General and Ay were complex villains, Ka was deeply tragic - it was nice to see Peter Gadiot's pretty face again - and I was saddened by how the film destroyed the relationship between Tut and Ankhe in favor of more drama, but I loved their reconciliation at the ending. I seem to be in the minority on Suhad, though, who found her character overwhelmingly naive to the point of annoying, and couldn't see what Tut saw in her. But the filming was gorgeous, and several scenes deeply poignant, especially the haunting ending.
 
 
feeling: devious
calliope tune: "Even The Nights Are Better"-Air Supply
 
 
Kathleen
I'm on the eighth and final season of Rawhide and as expected so much has changed. The intro is odd, and I miss the "head 'em up, move 'em out" endings, but the plots are as good as ever. Rowdy is finally trail boss with Gil gone, and despite my reservations and his somewhat less carefree, more "grown up" personality, I'm adoring both the change and the chance to see Rowdy finally step into the role properly. Unlike Gil's hostile, often cruel attitude, Rowdy makes for a warmer, kinder boss who, unlike Gil, values the men more than the herd, and the entire feel of the series as well as the trail boss to drovers relationship seems more relaxed without Gil's abrasiveness. His selflessness is obvious throughout the season, with countless contrasts to Gil, especially when he lets another drover, falsely accused of murder, escape, and gets himself arrested in his place to investigate the brutality of the lawman. Also, while he puts the herd before himself, he's instantly willing to risk the herd and time for the men, something Gil would never have considered. Of the original cast only Wishbone and Jim Quince, now serving as ramrod, remain, and despite my happiness in still having them I miss the others, especially Mushy, terribly. The always solid John Ireland steps in as drover Jed Colby, and the sweet, British-accented greenhorn Ian stole my heart from his intro. I love Rowdy's protectiveness of him unlike the more equal relationship he shares with the others. Simon Blake fills the position of trusted drover and he's fabulous, fitting perfectly with the cast and having a simple yet lovely friendship with Rowdy and the other men.

Outlander has just started and it's gorgeous so far with a flawless intro/theme and the very beautiful Jamie Fraser whose face keeps looking like a young Jamie Bamber so much i just want to cuddle and protect him from harm. I finally have all the kilts and Scottish accents my heart could desire. The show continues to get better with twists and turns, gorgeous scenery, including an ancient castle, a beautifully interwoven fairytales, and Jamie's sweetness. I can't say how many years I've longed to hear "Dinna fash" come out of a tv character's mouth. Dougal bothers me, though, between his treatment of Claire and his eyes on his brother's position, even at the cost of killing Jamie. Geillis annoys me dreadfully, and I'm completely convinced she's going to turn evil, if she isn't already. I do adore Mrs. Fitz, though, and the Laird, despite my first impressions, is proving to be intriguing character.

Way late but I've just discovered the fabulous Hell On Wheels and I'm rolling in the gorgeous intro, authenticity, classic western feel, and excellent writing. It's a real treat, and I already love Bohannon, Naomi, and their little baby. Doc and Eva's relationship is sad and touching, and I quite like Psalms.

I've been enjoying Extant, and despite a slow start it has my full interest now, thanks to a likeable protagonist, and a genuinely creepy, without being gruesome alien being. The idea of it being able to create the image of a lost loved one is superbly disturbing, even if I'd yet to completely figure out the plots. Harmon is an intriguing character, and I love little Ethan, the so very human robot child, and only hope he stays good.

I've finally started sticking with a season of Teen Wolf and genuinely enjoyed season four, despite some plot holes, due to an intriguing storyline. I loved the concept and mystery of the Deadpool list - and was completely shocked at who the Benefactor turned out to be, and loved seeing each character come into their own. Malia was a pleasant surprise, proving to be pretty cute and adorable, and I giggled through her scene of being so proud over her low grade at school. Braeden was another surprise, as I assumed the character would either die or turn evil, and instead found myself enjoying her story arc and romance with Derek which I'd never guessed I'd end up shipping. I loved how Argent came to terms with Allison's death as well as the Pack, and was okay with Peter's fitting fate. Kate's open ending was frustrating, though, and I can't help wishing they'd just killed her off. Derek was the best part, as usual. I loved seeing him come full circle and to terms with his heart and past, smiling more and forming relationships. While he had me terrified much of the season, I enjoyed seeing both child and human sides of him, but especially the beautiful transition into full and gorgeous wolf, my favorite twist of the season.

I finished season three of The Mod Squad and it was fabulous. I shriek a little inwardly every time Pete calls Julie "angel" and the two kissed in an episode - although sadly just as part of their cover. The trio's friendship is beautiful, as is their relationship with Captain Greer; I loved when he called Pete and Linc "his boys".

I discovered the amusing '80s sitcom Bosom Buddies and am loving it so far. The premise is outrageous but the guys's friendship and colorful side characters make it all works, and I love the theme and situations they manage to get themselves into.

I finished season two of Maverick and am still loving Bart best, as well as lamenting the fact that I seem to be the only one who prefers him to Bret. Bart, always the more serious and warmer in personality, gets all the best episodes, including the stunning "Prey Of The Cat" in which Bart gets put through the mental and physical wringer when a conniving woman falls for him, kills her own husband, and eventually winds up getting Bart nearly lynched for two murders. I found Raquel a fascinating, although tragic character in it, and Jack Kelly did an incredible job on the role, especially with Bart's tangible fear in the scene where he's locked in the cell as the mob comes into the jail. On a happier note, there's a new recurring character this season: the adorable scoundrel 'Gentleman' Jack Darby played by the always fabulous Richard Long, and he's both hilarious and completely perfect, gleefully playing off Bart with every quip.

I'm watching season two of The Courtship Of Eddie's Father now and it's every bit as adorable as last season. Tom and Eddie have the sweetest, most realistic father-son relationship ever, and I love all the other characters and the way they all relate.

I got a chance to watch the pilot of Young Hercules and loved it. As much as I love Ryan Gosling's Hercules Ian Bohen was even better, a perfect mixture of uncertainty and skill. Iolaus was flawless as usual, and I loved Jason's role. The plot was fun and unexpectedly poignant in places, especially due to a couple character deaths and Jason's fatal injury and healing with the golden fleece.

In new miniseries I watched Empire which for whatever historical embellishment more than makes up for it in beautiful scenes, intriguing people, and the stunning good looks of a super young and dark-eyed Santiago Cabrera. I was fascinated by Shakespeare's Julius Caesar so I got a little thrill during the Ides Of March prophesies near the beginning, then haunted by the tragedy of Caesar's death in the senate which plunged Rome into chaos. The only one to hear Caesar's dying wish, freed gladiator Tyrannus flees Rome with Octavius, Caesar's heir over the assumed successor Marc Antony. Hunted by assassins and betrayed by friends, Tyrannus attempts to teach Octavius all he knows in order to keep him alive and mold him into a great ruler, protecting him at the risk of his own life. I'm always drawn to the gladiators so it was no surprise that I loved Tyrannus, and the actor underplays the role wonderfully with most of his acting coming from his eyes and movements. Octavius is young and flawed but spirited and troubled enough that I cared about his journey, believable as the uncertain boy who suddenly finds himself growing up overnight. Brutus is a intriguing and conflicted traitor, and Julius Caesar, a deeply kind leader, has far too short a role.

I finally saw the 2013 miniseries of Anna Karenina and it was gorgeous, by far the best version over the other two I've tried. Everyone was perfectly cast, and the haunting feel of desperation over-shadowing Anna finally came out on the screen. Santiago Cabrera was gorgeous as usual, and I was very impressed by the actress who played Anna. I also loved that the film used the other characters more, and the setting and tone was beautiful. Also I gave a try to the '48 film and it was quite lovely, a well done version with beautiful, misty photography, and while I don't usually care for Vivien Leigh, her fragile looks and helpless style captured Anna well. I got chills when she describes her dream of how she'll die, and the recurring image of the old man by the train was incredibly powerful. The children were very believable, too, and little Sergei was adorable.

I finally saw Legion, which I'd been meaning to watch since I started Dominion, and while it initially took me a bit to warm up, I grew to love it. Paul Bettany was a wonderful Michael, very much like Tom Wisdom's portrayal, but with a bit less of a hardened edge, which is logical since he hasn't yet seen so much horror. The scene where he fights Gabriel and dies by his hand was haunting, and I loved his resurrection and beautiful, restored wings. Audrey was a sweet character, and I was saddened that she didn't survive the film, and I loved Jeep's quiet love for Charlie. Baby Alex was absolutely adorable, too.

I tried two Charles Dickens starting with the complex and lovely 1998 miniseries Our Mutual Friend. I've completely fallen in love with the wonderful Eugene Wrayburn who alternately made me smile, put stars in my eyes when he kissed Lizzie's hand, broke my heart, and put it back together again. He and Lizzie were beautiful together and while I loved the whole film their story was my favorite. The historical accuracy of BBC films never fails to impress me, and it felt like a time capsule of the 1860s, gorgeously filmed and acted. I also saw the lovely Martin Chuzzlewit which has some of my favorite Dickens characters including optimistic and cheerful Mark, sweet and caring Tom, kind-hearted and gentlemanly John, and impish waif Bailey. It was a perfect blend of hilarious comedy with Augustus's scenes and darker moments with Jonas, one of the few Dickens villains who makes my skin crawl. Everything had the wonderful, period feel; the only things I wish is that there was more of John and Ruth's and Mark and Mrs. Lupin's romances, as well as scenes instead of just a letter describing Martin's change of heart when he's ill in America and later has to care for Mark when he, too, becomes sick. But the actors were all perfect for their roles, and I adored seeing Peter Wingfield as John...such a different but just as heart-tugging role as the Sin Eater.

In theatres I saw The Giver and it far exceeded my expectations, making me both smile and cry several times. The world-building was fantastic, especially the unique choice of having the world and part of the film without color. The actors were all fabulous, and several scenes deeply moving, especially Giver's poignant speech toward the end, and Jonas's interactions with little Gabriel. I loved the gentle, slow-moving feel of the plot, even during action scenes, and the contrast of emotions Jonas learned to feel.

I discovered one more Charles Farrell film, the talkie After Tomorrow which impressed me a lot more than I'd been expecting. The story was realistic, brushed with a mix of adorable and tragic moments, and topped off with a very happy and unexpected ending. Charles Farrell was, as usual, wonderfully sweet, playing the innocent, faithful character he was so good and loveable as, and the whole cast was quite talented. Lacking more of his films I'm now watching the adorable series My Little Margie and loving it. Charles Farrell is wonderful as Margie's father, and Gale Storm is perfect as the ever mischievous Margie. In other new silent films I've discovered a love for Charlie Chaplin. I watched The Kid which was adorable, and fell in love with his character as well as his adorable father-son relationship with little John. Their scenes together were wonderful, and I loved the happy ending. After that was the flawless City Lights, a perfect mesh of hilarious comedy and bittersweet romance which made me completely adore Charlie Chaplin. The story was poignant and deeply touching and I wished it'd been a bit longer to ensure a completely happy ending.

In new films this week I watched the wonderful Lemony Snicket's A Series Of Unfortunate Events which was a perfect blend of bittersweet and hilarious, all with a zany, quirky, turn of the century feel that instantly made me adore it. I loved how imaginative the story was, with dry humor, poignant and lovely moments, and loveable characters, such as little biting Sunny or the hilarious Aunt Josephine and her fears of everything. Violet and Klaus were easy to root for, and I loved the three children's relationship and how they looked after each other. Next I saw the gorgeous Bridge To Terabithia, a flawless, heartbreaking story with a very familiar cast: Josh Hutcherson as bullied little loner Jess, Annasophia Robb from Samantha as the imaginative Leslie, adorable little Bailee Madison from Saving Sarah Cain as Jess's darling sister May Belle, and Robert Patrick from The X-Files as Jess's strict yet not unloving father. The plot was beautifully sad, rich in imagination, and I loved the world Jess and Leslie created, even if I've never cried so hard during a film. The ending was poignant yet lovely, with May Belle entering Terabithia as their new princess, and I adored her relationship with Jess, as well as the twists and turns in the plot such as the bully finally standing up for Jess against the other bullies. Josh Hutcherson was wonderful as Jess, with just the right amount of childish awe and world-weary sadness to make me love him. Following that I watched the clever and imaginative Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, a modern twist on Greek mythology with a likeable bunch of heroes, especially the funny satyr Grover. I loved the way it tied the myths to what was happening in the teen's lives, and the unusual aspects such as Percy's dyslexia being the fact that he can read ancient Greek. Then I saw Becoming Jane, a gorgeous and poignant biography of Jane Austen's early years and her first and only love. Anne Hathaway was perfect as Jane, and James McAvoy was wonderful as Tom, a bit of a rogue but loveable. It was beautifully filmed and directed, and I teared up at the ending, so sad yet lovely. Next was The Spiderwick Chronicles, an enchantingly imaginative fantasy with fairies and an adorable little brownie that made me feel like a kid. The story was fun, I teared up at the bittersweet ending with Lucinda and her father, and I loved the talented cast, especially the children. Then I saw Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and loved how much it was like Alias Smith and Jones with their banter, the safecracking, Etta reminding me so much of Clementine, and just the feel of the film in general. Butch and Sundance had a wonderful close, yet easy friendship, and the humor is gently underplayed beneath a feel of dread; you can actually feel the time running out, driving them to toward the ending which gives the film a bittersweet feel. I loved the attention to detail and use of sepiatone filming and pictures within the film, as well as the theme, "Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head", which I've always loved. The ending completely broke me, though, not that I wasn't expecting it, but it was heartbreaking to actually see it, even though it was beautifully, poignantly filmed. Next was the gorgeous The Eagle, a flawless and beautiful film with loads of friendship, whump, and all other elements I love, as well as being set in the time period of Hadrian's Wall which made me giddy from the beginning. I loved Marcus saving Esca in the arena by yelling at the people to turn their thumbs down into thumbs up, a selfless act that turns into an enduring friendship of equals instead of simply master and slave. I loved how Esca saves him in the end, and him being set free yet still remaining with him in the end. It was a wonderful story, too, and I loved every moment of it. Following that was The Patriot, a guilty pleasure since I love the Revolutionary War, and it was both stunning and completely heartbreaking, with lovely photography and superb acting, making me cry and yet giving me moments that were heartwarming, such as little Susan speaking, or the soldier naming his son after Gabriel. The film reminded me a lot of Shenandoah though, which both made me happy and intrigued me. Then I saw the 2004 version of The Phantom Of The Opera, a utterly gorgeous and breathtakingly haunting film that made me cry. I loved both Raoul for his selflessness and determination to save Christine as well as the tragic Phantom for his deep love and sadness, and frankly would have been happy for Christine to end up with either. Still the ending made me burst into tears I'd been holding back the whole film. The music was glorious, especially "Music Of The Night", always my favorite, and the acting and direction were simply stunning. Next was the surprisingly excellent Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes, a stunningly poignant and thought-provoking film that was also deeply moving. I wasn't expecting much and was completely blown away by it. James Franco continues to impress me with the sensitivity of his acting, and his relationship with Caesar was beautifully done. The scenes where Caesar spoke were powerful and I loved the message of the film as well as all the nods to the original. Then I saw Tron: Legacy, an incredibly imaginative and fabulous sci-fi with a richly detailed cyborg world all inside a computer. I loved Sam - a perfectly cast Garrett Hedlund - and the jaw-dropping special effects. I discovered Heidi's wonderful sequel Courage Mountain and completely fell in love with it. While this Heidi took a while to grow on me I instantly took to Peter, mostly because he's quite close to what I imagine the child Peter looking like and acting like grown up. I loved the parallels between the films, such as Heidi having to save Peter from falling off the cliff, and the lovely new additions like Peter giving Heidi his panpipes to remember him while she's away. The best part of all, though, was seeing a pairing I've loved since I was seven truly and really become canon. Peter and Heidi were perfect together, even kissing, hugging, and promising to wait until Peter returns from the war, and I was melting with happiness through every moment. Next was The Last King Of Scotland, a gritty but fascinating historical drama. Nicholas was a very human protagonist, and the events surrounding and involving him were both disturbing and very interesting, opening my eyes to a part of history I'd never heard of. After that was Atonement, and while it didn't impress me as much as I'd hoped it was still a gorgeously filmed movie, especially the breathtaking and heartwrenching war scenes such as Dunkirk or Robbie discovering the dead girls. I never felt like I got to know the characters very well, but I still cared enough about them, especially the tragic Bryony, to be interested in their fate. The final twist stunned me, leaving the film with a bittersweet and haunting conclusion. Next was the 1990 version of Treasure Island, a remarkably faithful adaptation with the always wonderful Christian Bale as Jim. I liked that Jim was more of a fighter and saved everyone unlike the more childish Jim from the Disney version, but I missed the warm relationship between the Doctor and he which was considerably toned down. While I felt it needed a little more fun in the plot, it was still a well-done film, and I loved the period details and sea-faring adventure. Next was September Dawn, a heartbreaking and beautifully old-fashioned film about the Mountain Meadows Massacre. It's a historical event I've been interested in for a long time and I liked the feel and style of the film, capturing the tragedy in a star-crossed romance and a mixture of people I grew to love or hate. Jonathan was especially fascinating and played by a very talented actor, and the nearly black-and-white contrast between the two groups was refreshing and unusual, more like an old film. Then was Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time, a fantastic and ridiculously fun movie with shades of One Thousand and One Arabian Nights which I've loved all my life. I'm not familiar with the actor but he was amazing as Dastan, the street orphan turned prince, and both he and the boy who played him as a child would be perfect in a live-action version of Aladdin. I loved the concept of the time-turning-back dagger and sand, and there were more than enough acrobatics to keep me entertained. I was a little sad that Tamina didn't remember him in the end, but the fact that she was alive and that they were together made me too happy to worry about it. Next was Noah which was gorgeous, with a fascinating, fresh look at the story while sticking close enough for comfort. The scene of the animals coming to the ark was breath-taking, and the cinematography was stunning throughout. I loved the idea of the evil character being seen by Noah as the snake, and the flood's start was exactly as I imagine. I loved Shem and Ila's story, how they met, their love for each other and their children, and they being the ones to start the world over. Noah was quite different than I imagine, and there were times I didn't exactly like him, even if I understood his motives, but he was quite human and easy to relate to. Naamah was excellent, given the depth she always lacks, and little Japheth was precious. Only Ham felt miscast, despite Logan Lerman doing a good job at the role. After hearing about it for so many years I finally saw Kiss Of Death and surprisingly loved it. Film noir has never been my favorite genre but this film more than makes up for it by crafting an easy to follow plot with good characters that are easy to warm to. Victor Mature is excellent as always as the anti-hero, and I adored getting to see him play a husband and father with two adorable little girls, for a change. Richard Widmark was creepy and good as always, although I was expecting more from his role due to the hype I've always heard surrounding his performance. I loved the hopeful ending, and setting of the movie. After that was a rare Glenn Ford film I hadn't yet seen: A Stolen Life. Bette Davis was surprisingly excellent at the dual role, portraying both sisters as so unique she had me easily convinced she was two different people. Glenn Ford was lovely, even if his character was a bit naive, and it was a treat to see him so young. Next was Priest, a film of gorgeous cinematography and amazing world-building with a superb twist on vampires. I loved the gadget-filled, 1800s like world, the distinct cross markings on their faces, and the bikes. All the characters, from Priest himself, to Hicks, to Lucy were fabulous, and I was saddened to not find a sequel resolving Priest and Priestess's unrequited love, as well as seeing Priest getting to know his daughter. I'm starting to love Karl Urban's roles so I watched Pathfinder, a unique tale of a Viking child taken in by an Indian tribe who grows to be an adult to defend them against a second invasion. Karl Urban was wonderful as Ghost, and I loved his relationships with his adoptive mother and sister - their deaths broke me - as well as Starfire. The ending was lovely. After that was The Pianist, an utterly heartbreaking and gorgeous true story of a Holocaust survivor. Adrien Brody was absolutely stunning - he certainly deserved that oscar - and the story made me tear up so many times. Next was the delightful Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. I loved the world and visuals, as well as the romance. Next was the offbeat but intriguing Suddenly Last Summer. Next was I Confess, an excellent and interesting Hitchcock. Next was the delightfully shippy Children of Dune and its awesome world-building and glowy eyes. Next was On the Waterfront, always excellent, and the iconic The Wild One. Next was the visually lovely City of Ember. Next was the surprisingly enjoyable Alexander. Next was The Legend of Hercules, a flawed but highly enjoyable version of the myth. Next was the fun and random fairytale adventure Ella Enchanted. Next was the Pirates of the Caribbean which despite a slow start quickly won me over. Next was the enjoyable and lovely The Story of Alexander Graham Bell. Last was the Kiwi adventure Doom Runners which I enjoyed greatly, despite it definitely being a kids' movie, probably because of Dean O'Gorman.

In new superhero films I watched The Amazing Spiderman 2 but despite some excellent moments and early humor it seemed disconnected and over-filled. This Peter isn't easy for me to relate to but he seemed better last film, more human and awkward instead of annoying and never serious. Gwen and his breakup seemed random and simply to add more heartbreak, and Harry, the character I was most looking forward to was completely ruined, turned into a whining, strange kid whose transformation into the green Goblin made little sense, even if his appearance was creepy and fascinating. Gwen's death was tragic and completely heart-wrenching, making the best scene, sadly, in the entire film. The ending seemed abrupt and out of place, with Peter reverting too quickly to his joking persona without giving another thought to Gwen and too much was left hanging.

I finally saw Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog and surprisingly loved it, both for the music as well as the plot. The sadness of the ending was a shock but I liked the origin of the bad guy feel to the story, even if the last moments left it hanging for a sequel.
 
 
calliope tune: "Lover's Cross"-Jim Croce
feeling: mischievous