Kathleen
22 May 2016 @ 11:08 am
All my fanfics.

Days turned into weeks, weeks turned into months. And then, one not so very special day, I went to my typewriter, I sat down, and I wrote our story. A story about a time, a story about a place, a story about the people. But above all things, a story about love. )
 
 
calliope tune: "The Gallant Shearers"-Tannahill Weavers
feeling: working
 
 
Kathleen
26 March 2014 @ 12:10 pm
I just got back from seeing Captain America: The Winter Soldier and it was brilliant, a perfect meshing of spy games and history which catered to every one of my favorite things. The technology was more amazing than ever with the holograms, the face change, the "living" computer, and the spooky ways of Hydra. Steve, happily, was his usual noble, good self, and my heart broke for him as he struggles to come to terms with the current world, his disillusionment with SHIELD, the betrayals all around him,and the loss of Bucky. I loved the subtle touches to his character: the 40s music on record in his apartment, the fact that he carries Peggy's picture, and more, and his gymnastics and shield-flinging were even more awesome than in earlier films. I sobbed when he visits the now elderly Peggy and she finally recognizes him. Natasha was wonderful, a flawless contrast and comparison to Steve and I loved their friendship and her constant match-making. I grew to love Sam almost instantly, both for his kind heart as well as his fantastic suit and wings, and I love that Steve now has a friend and ally. The curly-haired Shield agent was also wonderful; I wish he'd had a larger part because I loved how heroic and ordinary he was. Bucky destroyed me. I loved him in the first film and seeing what became of him, and how mutely accepting he was of the cruelty from the people who brainwashed him hurt horribly. Steve and his fight was brutal but showed the best of them - Steve going down, even badly wounded to unpin Bucky from the beam, and the poignant moment when Bucky dragged Steve out of the lake. I adored the final sequence of him seeing his old photo, giving me some glimmer of hope for his future.

I went to see X Men: Days Of Future Past in theatres and it was flawless, exceeding all of my hopes and expectations. Quicksilver was wonderful, hilarious and perfect in every way, and I loved the new characters, especially Warpath. Charles completely broke my heart, as did his lost friendship with Magneto. I loved seeing Magneto waver between hero and bad guy, and seeing Mystique get a second chance. The time travel was done surprisingly well, with the past and present aligned in a poignant, non-intrusive way. The ending made me tear up, especially seeing Scott alive again, and I was so happy that everything was fixed and made hopeful from the darkness of the prior films.

I also saw Maleficent in theatres and it was gorgeous, a lovely reimagining of the fairytale. I was surprised to find how much I could sympathize with and like Maleficent, both as a hero and as a bad character, and I adored her slow-growing love and caring as she watches over little Aurora. Calling her "beastie" was precious, too. Aurora was a darling, and Elle Fanning did a perfect job portraying her sweetness and innocence. Phillip, too, was quite adorable despite his small role, and I loved the hopeful ending for both of them. The Moor creatures were fabulous, all very imaginative and beautiful. I loved Diaval who infused both humor and sympathy into the role, and I ended up shipping him with Maleficent by the ending which was flawless as both of them flew off together.

I finally got to see The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug and, while still nothing compared to Lord Of The Rings it seems to have found it's footing after the last film, thankfully dropping the annoying comedy and weak characterizations in favor of solid drama and a broader focus. Kili remains the brightest spot, a sweet and brave little dwarf I can't help adoring, and his crush on Tauriel was precious and bittersweet. Despite my reservations at adding a new character, Tauriel proved to be quite fascinating, both for her care for Kili, as well as her backstory with Legolas. Legolas was fabulous, using his super-human fighting skills to full advantage. I loved the subtle moment where he's injured in battle - probably for the first time in his long life - and stares at the blood on his fingers. Bard and his family were lovely, showing the heroism and life of the humans in Middle Earth, and I enjoyed the brief bit of the skinwalker. The threads to LOTRs were better connected this time, too, with the ring's evil grip already starting to show, and the Necromancer being Sauron amassing his army of orcs. Sadly, Thorin, the heroic and admirable king of the first film, has changed completely, with poor explanation for the sudden change, and the respect he had for Bilbo in the first film is completely lost, as is most of his caring for his company.

I'm working my way through the '90s show Young Hercules and it's flawless, with hilarious moments, a wonderful friendship trio, and old effects against a mythological background. Hercules, despite looking nothing like how I imagine - more muscles would be nice - is growing on me, and Iolaus is adorable; I'm completely in love with his hair and sass.

I've started watching the fascinating new series Dominion, and I love the plot and world so far. The wings are impressive, Michael is an intriguing character, and I adore Alex and Bixby's relationship.

I'm onto the second half of season three of Once Upon A Time with "New York City Serenade", an episode that focuses entirely too much on Emma but manages to redeem itself by the seemingly unintentionally hilarious plotpoint of having her dating a flying monkey. But Killian is fabulous as usual; I giggled like mad at the "bologna" comment, and Belle and Robin's reunion scene and hug was so beautiful. I was a little sad that Storybrooke came back so quickly, though, since, although I knew eventually the writers would bring it back, I was hoping for more time than just flashbacks in the Enchanted Forest, since it and the Land Without Color are my favorite locations in the series. "Witch Hunt", despite my continuing annoyance by the writers making Regina so utterly dependent upon Henry for happiness, was an excellent episode, recapturing much of the first season feel that's been lacking. Dr. Whale is back and I'm thrilled to see both him and Storybrooke's hospital again. Robin Hood and his men have made it to modern Storybrooke, and, at least in the past, he and Regina have bonded, a pairing I find surprisingly appealing despite my early reservations. Little Roland is as adorable as ever, and Regina is quite cute with him. Henry, unsurprisingly, is even more of a pain without his memories and optimism to give him some appeal, but Snow White reading about baby care was hilariously adorable. I'm not the least bit shocked by the revelation that the Wicked Witch is Regina's half sister, even if I rolled my eyes at the writers's fondness for making everyone related or married to everyone else. Happiest of all, Rumplestiltskin is alive, although held prisoner by the Witch and acting like the crazy past version of himself which worries me. But still I couldn't stop smiling the instant I heard his voice. "The Tower" was frustrating and largely disappointing, seeming like a feeble excuse to cast Charming as the Cowardly Lion. Rapunzel was pretty and sweet but horribly underused, serving little purpose but to encourage Charming to face his fear, and not even getting a proper story or prince of her own. Likewise the creepy ghost witch was much of a letdown. On the bright side Rumplestiltskin continues to make my heart hurt, with Robert Carlyle bringing the much needed acting talented to the series even in such a limited role. "Quiet Minds", the best episode so far, was a fascinating step forward in the series as much is revealed and explained. Belle finally got center stage and a chance to shine in the flashbacks as she attempts to bring back Rumplestiltskin. I loved that, realizing the price and what the Witch wanted, she was willing to let things stand as they were and not bring him back. Lumiere was a treat; I'd love to see more of him and the tale of his past, and I enjoyed seeing Belle's library again, as well as the moment that Rumplestiltskin comes back to life and sees Belle. Finally Rumplestiltskin's madness is explained as it's revealed that he took Bae into his own mind and body to save his life. As much as I've always disliked Bae due to his selfishness and unwillingness to forgive Rumplestiltskin - after all the only reason he even wants to bring him back is to get to Emma, and not because he loves him unlike Belle - he was much better than usual in the episode. I enjoyed the closure to Killian and his story, and their hug was poignant. His death hurt, more so for Rumplestiltskin who has finally and truly lost his son, than for Bae himself, since it makes sense to write him out by now. Robert Carlyle broke my heart as usual as he's forced back to his cage by the Witch, looking worn and helpless and broken. On the brighter side, Regina finally learned Robin Hood's identity as her perfect match, and I loved seeing little Roland again, even briefly, as Robin played with him. "It's Not Easy Being Green" finally shows Oz, and I adored the way the wizard was shown, as well as the slippers being silver, even if I was a little disappointed by the fake look of the Emerald City. Rumplestiltskin broke my heart again as we see the extent of Zelena's hold over him, and his fear of hurting Belle. I was thrilled he and Belle shared at least one scene together, and when he reaches for her hand I couldn't help tearing up. Also his face as he felt Bae's funeral was poignant. Despite my dislike for Henry, I loved seeing Killian teaching him and spending time with him, mostly for the wistfulness on Killian's face as he remembers Bae. I've always adored Killian-centric episodes and "The Jolly Roger" is a treat, even if slightly marred by the appearance of poorly cast Ariel and Eric, the most underused and pointless inclusion of fairytale characters in the series. I loved seeing the series take on Blackbeard, especially with Killian getting to battle him, and Killian's guilt over his choice shows even more how much he's changed, even if him being cursed seems overly cruel. "Bleeding Through" is the misery of a Cora episode, and even an intriguing ghostly encounter and the final mending of Regina and Snow's relationship did little to make it bearable. Roland was precious as ever, though - I love his little hat. But the ever-twisting family tree has reached disturbing heights now as it's revealed Cora was originally engaged to Snow's father/Regina's husband. Still I was grateful Zelena wasn't Rumplestiltskin's daughter as I'd feared. "A Curious Thing" was a weaker episode, with far too many loose threads tied up much too quickly. I can't say I'm happy with Henry getting his memories back, since he was more out of the way and bearable without them, but I'm glad Killian came clean about the curse, even if it caused everyone to turn on him. The Charmings, once enjoyable, have become insufferable, and Snow willingly crushing Charming's heart just to get to Emma only sealed my disgust. The heart shared between them was annoyingly trite, and I'm tired of the baby drama. The one bright spot was Rumplestiltskin and Belle's brief interaction and the fabulous scene that revealed Killian was telling the truth as Bae splits himself from his father just long enough to send him the memory potion. "Kansas" felt a bit rushed and packed but was overall quite good and their Dorothy was thankfully quite cute and non-annoying, even if, as usual, the actress was too old for the part. It was quite epic to see everyone united around protecting the baby - who turned out to be adorable and I was so happy that my guess of it being a boy was correct - even if I couldn't stop laughing at Dr. Whale's dramatic faint. It was wonderful to see him again, though. Charming was precious with the baby. As much as I dislike Emma I was thrilled that she gave up her magic to save Killian; and his heartbroken smile and eyes completely destroyed me. I teared up when Rumplestiltskin, finally free, asked Belle to marry him, even if I'm a little sad that he lied to her about the dagger. Still I'm grateful to see Zelena gone after all she'd done. The season's finale "Snow Drifts"/"There's No Place Like Home" was happily quite good for a Emma-centric episode. I loved the playing with history and the way the book became rewritten. Rumplestiltskin was hilarious and very much his old self, and I loved his interactions with Belle and Killian. Except for Rumplestiltskin's reaction I didn't like that the Charmings named their baby Neal since it seemed strange and a little awkward. Rumplestiltskin and Belle's long-awaited wedding was beautiful, with their vows deeply moving; I couldn't hold back the tears to see them together at all. Little Roland and his ice cream was precious. I loved seeing Marion return and be reunited with Robin and Roland, but was disappointed by Elsa being next season's villain.

Onto season seven of Rawhide now and much to my delight Pete is back in the second half. While there's little to no meaning to his random reappearance I'm so happy to see that familiar checked shirt again and hear that beautiful accent, even if only for a few episodes. Rowdy has grown up so much, even from last season, and I miss the awkward, gentle cowhand, even if he's still twice the trail boss Gil is in the episodes where he takes over. Still flashes of his old personality shine through when he's teasing Wishbone or romancing a girl, and it's as lovely as always.

I gave a try to Girl Meets World, the second generation spin-off from Boy Meets World and it was a mix of the cringe-worthy modern and the warmly nostalgic. It was wonderful seeing Cory and Topanga again, grown up and parents themselves, and even Mr. Feeny if only for a moment. The sets reminded me so much of the orginal series. Auggie is quite cute so far, and Farkle is amusing. The kids channel their parents to the extent that I'm torn between being impressed at how well they're pulling off the mannerisms of the original actors to being frustrated that the writers didn't just create all new characters since not every child is a copycat of their parents.

I'm working my way through season one of Sugarfoot now that it's finally on DVD, and it's a treat. Tom is an endearing character, one of the sweetest in westerns, and I love the contrasts of his character - the gentle boy who seems to know nothing about the west and yet has such keen insight, as well as the man who doesn't believe in guns and yet is a superb shot. He's also one of the characters who make my heart hurt when he's forced to kill someone, since it seems such a horrible contrast to his sunny personality. One of my favorite things is all the WB westerns take place in the same universe so there's always crossover potential - Bronco and Sugarfoot teamed up was always my favorite - and in this case there was a hilarious and adorable cameo by Bret Maverick at the end of an episode.

There's also some new episodes of 77 Sunset Strip and Surfside 6 up and I'm falling in love with both series all over again. I adore Van Williams's accent, and just seeing Rex again puts a smile on my face.

I finally managed to view an episode of the Civil War era series The Americans and it was quite good, presenting a refreshingly unbiased view of the war with corrupt Northern soldiers and an honorable Confederate. Robert Culp, always at his best when playing the emotionally tortured, wounded character, was superb as a soldier panged by conscience.

I also got to see some of the sadly short-lived but wonderful The Phoenix. Bennu was a lovely and sweet character, completely stealing my heart in his interactions with children and animals, and the actor was incredibly convincing as the gentle alien.

I've been casually watching the new version of The Tomorrow People and while I haven't exactly bonded with it I do completely adore John who makes my heart ache with every sad look and the way he tries to get himself hurt to atone for the past.

I've started watching the new series Believe and it's beautiful and touching and nothing like any other show currently on which makes me adore it. Despite the prickly edges I like Tate, and Bo is intriguing, as is the mystery of her gifts and why people want to kill her. I loved the twists and turns in the plot, especially the Senga bit, as well as Bo's bringing hope to everyone she meets. The plot was a perfect blend of humor and sadness, and there's been very few pilots I've loved so much.

Resurrection is new and incredibly fascinating so far taking a nearly disturbing premise and managing to craft an often deeply touching series. I have so many questions and theories but for now I'm just enjoying the beauty of the show, it's music, and the potential.

There's also The 100 which seems promising so far. I adore Finn and his acrobatics and '80s hair, and he and Clarke seem potentially cute together. "Earth Skills" continues to world build, revealing only a glimpse of the Grounders. Jasper is, happily, alive and rescued, and Finn continues to be sweet and wonderful, protecting Clarke from having her bracelet removed, and ensuring she has food. Octavia is fascinating so far, and I loved the scene of her with the glowing butterflies. I adored that Clarke's mother figured out what was happening with the kids on earth, and has bought a little more time for everyone.

I've started watching Turn and it's amazing so far. I'd never even dreamed of getting a Revolutionary War series and I'm beyond happy with how it's set up, with the spy intrigue and appealing characters, beautiful scenery and a talented cast.

I'm also watching Salem which veers between the disturbingly strange and utterly fascinating fast enough to give me whiplash. John Alden is an intriguing character, and despite my reservations about using the Salem Witch Trials as the setting for a show abut real witches its all handled in a creepy, quite interesting manner.

I discovered the hilarious '90s short-lived series You Wish and completely fell in love with it. I have a soft spot for genies, and this one is sweet and completely random. I love the premise and characters and the events never fail to make me laugh.

I'm working my way through the adorable The Second Hundred Years and Monte Markham is a completely underrated gift, both hilarious and heartwarming as Luke. He even, to my delight, got to sing in a few episodes.

In new films I saw the intriguing I Am Number Four, and adored the premise as well as how it was portrayed. John/Four was a likeable protagonist, and I liked his romance with Sarah and friendship with Sam who was endearing. His gifts, especially the light-up hands were fabulous. I was saddened that Henri died, since I loved John and his relationship, but glad Bernie survived, even if the ending left so much open for a sequel. Next was the 1998 version of The Man In The Iron Mask, always my favorite of the Three Musketeers series, and it was the best adaptation I've seen yet, despite a slow start. Leonardo DiCaprio was wonderful at the dual role, and I adored and ached for Philippe. The scene where they put him back in the mask hurt, but I loved that he didn't let it destroy him and clung to the hope that the others would rescue him. Also, on a shallow note c.1998 Leonardo DiCaprio was absurdly beautiful. I loved the ending especially. After that was the beautiful and poignant Copperhead. I adored the focus on the Civil War homefront and little known elements of history, as well as the amazing detail to authenticity, and gorgeous, old-fashioned filming, acting, scenery, and music. Next was The Redemption Of Henry Myers, a surprisingly good and heart-warming western with easy to love characters and an unexpected happy ending. Then was the stunning World War Z which I adored, despite it making me jump multiple times. Brad Pitt was superb as Gerry, and I loved his devotion to his family, and friendship with Segen. After that was the lovely April Love, a gorgeously 1950s period drama. Pat Boone was wonderful, the storyline was sweet, and I adored the scenery, especially the country fair, and the music. Next was Prom. I watched it mainly for the cast but it won me over in moments with it's sweetness. Thomas McDonell was absolutely lovely as Jesse - I have even more appreciation for his hair now - and I loved how my first impressions of him were wrong. His scenes with his little brother were very cute, and I loved that Nova learned to see through the bad boy shell to his gentle heart. Next was the poignant but beautifully filmed Pompeii. I loved the characters and wished there had been more before the disaster, and the ending was haunting and deeply moving. Next was the strangely good Interview With the Vampire. The plot was unusually poignant, and I couldn't help but feel sympathy for the characters: tormented Louis, monster child Claudia, and even Lestat to see what he became, shrinking from Louis beneath the graveyard. The ending was a little strange, but I loved the feel of the film, the music, and the passage of time with the characters. After loving the classic radio drama for years I finally got to see the film version of The Night Has A Thousand Eyes and it was lovely and moody, a perfect and haunting story. I finally watched the 1997 Titanic and while it could never compare to my beloved 1996 miniseries, I enjoyed quite a bit of the film. The more modern feel was a little off-putting, but I adored Jack's free spirit and devotion to Rose, giving everything, and ultimately his life to ensure her survival and happiness. Leonardo DiCaprio was, as usual, painfully beautiful and perfectly cast. There was the unexpected treat of a very excellent, although minor, performance by Ioan Gruffudd, too, and the ship itself was gorgeous. Next was Push, a surprisingly good superhero film with a twisting plot. I loved the characters, especially Nick and Cassie, and the fabulous world-building. After that was the heartbreaking and touching Flowers In The Attic, the more modern version. Chris and Cathy's relationship was beautiful, as was their caring for the little twins, and Cory's death as well as the children's loss of innocence was wrenchingly painful. I loved that the husband let them go at the end, and the sense of hope that they'd make it on their own. Next was the hauntingly poignant Rabbit Proof Fence. I find the Stolen Generations a fascinating and tragic part of history, and the film told a true story in a moving, almost documentary style with stunning acting, especially from the children.

I finally found more Mary Pickford films I hadn't yet seen, and I started with some versions of books/films I love. The first was A Little Princess, a unique version, and while not my favorite by any means - that will forever be the brilliant 1986 version - I enjoyed some moments very much such as Sara's stories coming to life, and the vision of her parents at the end. Next was the gorgeous Pollyanna which ended up tying my beloved 1960 Disney as my favorite version. Mary Pickford was adorable as Pollyanna, and while the story was short it rarely felt rushed. Jimmy was wonderful, and I was happily surprised to find him closer to Pollyanna's age, a romantic interest for her, and the cute glimpse of their future and many children together. Aunt Polly was quite good, as was Nancy, despite having a smaller part, and I loved how faithful to the book it was. it's now tied with Amarilly Of Clothes-Line Alley as my favorite Mary Pickford film, and ahead of my second favorite My Best Girl.

In new animated films I watched the adorable and clever Monsters Inc. and Monsters University. I loved the characters, especially Sulley with little Boo, and the hilarious moments. In theatres I saw How To Train Your Dragon 2 and while it felt somewhat crammed and overwhelming it was a lovely step forward in the world-building with some very funny and extremely touching moments. I loved seeing the kids growing up but still retaining what made them loveable. Hiccup and Astrid were sweet together, and Snotlout and Fishlegs fighting over Ruffnut kept me giggling. I adored Ruffnut's crush on Eret who was a fabulous new addition, growing on me throughout the movie, especially when Stormfly saved him and he freed her in return. Hiccup and Toothless's relationship was beautiful, and I loved how Hiccup won him back and forgave him. Despite the oddity of her backstory I liked Hiccup's mother and only wish there'd been more sweet family scenes before Stoic's death. I hadn't expected that and even though he wasn't one of my favorite characters I was saddened to have him die, even more so that Toothless was the one who caused it, even without meaning to, and I wish the writers hadn't gone that route. The scenery and animation was as detailed and gorgeous as always, the dragons were all unique and amazing, and I loved the recap of the games at the ending and Hiccup becoming the new chief.
 
 
feeling: listless
calliope tune: "26 Miles"-Four Preps
 
 
Kathleen
I went to see Oz the Great and Powerful and it was amazing, the perfect Oz film I've always hoped for. James Franco was absolutely wonderful at the role and I fangirled so much over the 1904 carnival opening, both in awe over the sight of it as well as having it in black and white. The themesong was gorgeous and the opening and closing credits were lovely and old-fashioned. Oz was incredible, with just the right balance of CGI and real things, and I adored the music of the various plants and animals as Oscar sailed down the river as well as the butterfly trees, yellow brick road, and Emerald City. I wish the film had shown something of China Town before it was destroyed since it looked like such a sweet, fairytale place, but China Girl was the cutest thing ever! I loved her father-daughter-like relationship with Oscar and how gentle he was with her, and Finley was hilarious. I suppose I should have picked up on the clues but I was completely surprised when Theodora turned into the Wicked Witch. It seemed incredibly tragic, and I've never thought of the Witch that way before. The battle against the witches was amazing, with steampunk and carnival tricks, and I couldn't stop grinning ear to ear at the ending. I also saw Return To Oz and was pleasantly surprised to find it more sweet than scary, and very much capturing the feel of the books. Dorothy, a child as she should be, has an adorable innocence while still having a lot of spunk, and is quite the good little actress for a first role, and her wonderfully fairytale-like companions, especially the cute Jack Pumpkinhead, my favorite in the books, are fantastic and fit perfectly with Dorothy. Ozma is sweet and lovely, exactly as I imagined, and the special effect of her stepping through the mirror was my favorite among the rest, all very well done. While the Emerald City lies in ruins for much of the film, there's still plenty of magic and wonder in Oz, and I loved the creative and whimsical lunchpail tree as well as the glowing effect of the ruby slippers. Then I watched all of the silent Oz films and His Majesty The Scarecrow of Oz, actually written and directed by L. Frank Baum, was my favorite. Tiny and adorable Violet MacMillan was the perfect Dorothy and despite the film pairing up Pon with the Princess who does nothing except be bewitched and have characters fall in love with her, Dorothy and Pon were too cute together, making me want to rewrite the ending and have Pon/Dorothy be canon. Refreshingly, the Wizard wasn't just a "man behind the curtain" and truly had magic, helping the characters, restoring Pon from his enchantment, and making "preserved witch". There was also a quirky and adorable scene which I loved that had a mermaid swimming with an parasol in her hand.

Despite being the last person on earth to do so, I've finally seen Harry Potter, starting with the first Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. I instantly fell in love with the world and the characters and the richness of imagination of it all, especially the living paintings and talking telegrams. Everyone and everything is fairytale-like and perfectly fantasy-like, and all fabulous. Then Harry Potter and the Chamber Of Secrets, which while not quite as good as the first, was still fun and clever, even with a somewhat darker feel. I love the friendship between Harry, Ron, and Hermione and it was even more evident in the second film. Then Harry Potter and the Prisoner Of Azkaban and I adored Sirius, definitely my favorite minor character so far, such a wonderful and unusual character, and kind, too. My favorite part was the time travel, always fun and even more so here, and the happy ending for everyone. Next was Harry Potter and the Goblet Of Fire, probably my favorite plot so far, and I loved the concept of the contests, especially the one in the water. Cedric's death was shocking and horrible, and I was actually surprised by how much I loved his character considering I'm not a fan of the actor. Daniel Radcliffe, as well as the others, keeps getting better and better at his role, and even the tiny parts are brilliantly cast. I especially am learning to adore Fred and George, and David Tennant was deliciously wicked as Barty Crouch Jr. Next was Harry Potter and the Order Of The Phoenix, and while loving the character development, I was saddened by the gloomy tone. I hated the new professor, but loved the students forming their own school with Harry as the teacher. Severus Snape became more interesting to me with the glimpses into his past, as well as a surprising look at Harry's father when he was young. I adored the new character, Luna, a lovely mix of sadness and sweetness, as well as her touching friendship with Harry. I sobbed over Sirius's death which felt completely unnecessary and horribly tragic, but cheered when Harry was able to overcome Voldemort's possession. Still there was a lot of fun such as Christmas with the Weasleys, and Fred and George - growing more beloved to me by the film - gleefully destroying the school exams with fireworks and flying broomsticks. Next was Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and the children are growing up so much, falling in love and everything! While I would have preferred Harry/Hermione or even Harry/Luna, Harry and Ginny are quite cute together, and Hermione and Ron seem sweet enough for now. The Weasleys are as wonderful as ever - I especially love Fred and George's shop - and I was sad when their lovely little house got destroyed. Ron scared to me death in the scene where he nearly gets killed, which made me realize how much I love his character. I was saddened by Dumbledore's death, as much as I half expected it, but I found the concept of the horcruxes fascinating. Then was Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 1 and I loved Bill and Fleur, so sweet and wonderful together. Harry's owl getting killed was too sad, as was George's ear, but I loved the way everyone rallied around to defeat Voldemort and protect Harry from him. I sobbed over poor Dobby, such a wonderful and brave little elf and one of favorite side characters, and it felt like one loss too many. On the fun side of things I loved Hermione's bottomless bag, and Ron/Hermione is growing more on me..they're actually quite adorable together. Last was Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2, an incredible and powerful finale. The destroying of his horcrux was powerful, showing the emotional effect upon not only Voldemort but Harry as well, and I loved the bits of mercy and closure such as Harry saving Draco from the fire after all he'd done. Snape's death was haunting and deeply sad, even if I could never quite grasp whose side he was on until the end, and I teared up over Lupin and Tonks lying dead side by side with their hands almost touching. Fred's death was the worst, though, since I adored the twins, and I couldn't stop sobbing with Ron when the scene showed him lying there. The flashback of Snape and Lily as children was poignant and deeply sad, but lovely in a bittersweet way, and finally made me understand Snape as well as providing insight into Harry's mother. Snape emerged as a deeply tragic hero, surprising me by how much I grew to love his character in those few short minutes. Harry being the last horcrux was stunning and haunting, as well as neatly tying everything together, and I could feel the weight on him having to go to his death. The epilogue was beautiful, though, very much what I'd hoped for and happily adorable. I loved their children and was impressed by how much older they made everyone look, very believable. All in all I adored the series and am very sad to be finished with it, even if I have rewatches to look forward to. The world was magical, the characters dearly beloved, and the cast were all amazing. Daniel Radcliffe impressed me the most - I was familiar with him and impressed by his performance in the incredible The Woman In Black but otherwise didn't know him - growing from adorable and innocent little boy to amazing young man.

I love and consider M. Night Shyamalan a genius with story and direction and I always adore his films, especially the ones I watched recently. The first was Lady In The Water, a lovely, unusual, and visually gorgeous fairytale with easy to love characters. I loved the mermaid-like air about Story as well as the world within the Cove with all the people's lives. The film was also refreshingly slow-moving and I adored how all the people banded together to help Story return home. I followed that with another one of his films, the unusual and creative Unbreakable. I loved the contrasts between Elijah and David, as well as the fascinating illusions to superheroes and comic books in plot and style. The twists in the plot were quite incredible, too, and the stunning final revelation took my breath away. Next was his chilling but amazing The Sixth Sense. Haley Joel Osment was stunning as the troubled yet deeply insightful little Cole, and my heart bled for him and all he could see and hear when no one else could. The final twist was jaw-dropping and deeply poignant. Last was the spooky but beautiful Signs which gave me everything I love in a sci-fi: aliens, family togetherness, stunning acting, and an amazing string of coincidences that added up in the finale.

I discovered the lovely pairing of Bobby Darin and Sandra Dee who were perfect together with That Funny Feeling, an adorable and gently humorously silly romance. I loved the zaniness of the premise, as well as the happy ending. Then I had to see another film of their's, which turned out to be the cute and in many ways even more adorable If A Man Answers. They were fabulous together, and even played husband and wife instead of love interests, and the plot was just as zany and loveable as the first film.

In other new films I watched the 1980s gorgeous fantasy Starman, mostly because of my love for the spin-off tv series, and was impressed by the beauty of it, such a lovely, moving fairytale. Jeff Bridges was wonderfully sweet and innocent as the alien, and I loved his slow-growing and perfect romance with Jenny. Their moments were the best even as much as I loved the story, and I adored when he showed her the star that was his world and told her what their son will be like, definitely my favorite scene. The theme was lovely, too, very fitting. Then I saw the adorable The Water Horse, an incredibly cute and poignant fantasy. Crusoe was precious, and Angus was a wonderful character, as were all the others, especially Mobley, each richly detailed and easy to love or dislike. I had tears in my eyes by the ending but I loved it dearly. Next was Far and Away, a surprisingly lovely historical romance. Despite the slow-moving opening and originally somewhat unlikeable characters, I quickly fell in love with Shannon and Joseph and their story as they struggled in America and grew to care about each other. The scene where they pretend to be a married couple in a beautiful abandoned house was touching and the turning point in their building relationship. I loved the fascinating ending, like Joseph looking down on himself and then coming back through Shannon's love, and the beautiful way they claimed their land together. Following that I saw Beastly, the updated and changed version of Beauty and the Beast that still manages to capture the beauty and magic of the fairytale. Alex Pettyfer was superb as egotistical Kyle who is transformed by a witch into a scarred and disfigured man with one year to find someone to love him. I loved his slow internal transformation as well as his sweet romance with Lindy. The mixture of modern and faithfulness to the tale such as the roses and Kyle's fascinating and ever-changing tattoo was beautifully done, and as a big fan of the book I was thrilled with it's adaptation. Next was A Knight's Tale, an entertaining and curious mix of the Middle Ages and modern day that managed to fulfill my void of jousting, one of my favorite "knightly" things and so often overlooked or underappreciated in films. William was easy to love and root for, Chauncer was hilarious, and I loved all the other characters, too. Then was the beautiful Soul Surfer which I found deeply moving and inspiring. AnnaSophia Robb, always excellent, was superb as Bethany, and knowing it was a true story made it all the more powerful. Next was the '90s version of The Borrowers which, while not faithful to the books, was quite cute and fun. I loved the addition of a little brother, Peagreen, to the Clock family, and Spinner and Arrietty's friendship - I even found myself shipping them when they grow up - as well as the magical glimpses into the world of the borrowers. After that was the fun Van Helsing. I adored Hugh Jackman as the title character - and he looked very swoon-worthy with that long hair - and his high-speed adventures battling monsters. The finale, with Anna dying to save him and Frankenstein's Monster sailing out to sea, was poignant, and I wish there'd be more about Van Helsing's past as I was hoping for some flashbacks, but I enjoyed it, especially the steampunk feel and the amusing Carl. Next was the unusual The Others. The concept was fascinating right from the beginning, with the light sensitive children and moody, foggy English manor house, and I loved the inclusion of mourning photography as part of the themes, a rare thing I've always had something of an interest in. The ending twists were shocking but fascinating, and despite a few chills up my spine I liked the conclusion. After that was the gorgeous and heartwrenching Doctor Zhivago, 2002 remake, which I loved, surprisingly so since I've always disliked the original. Hans Matheson was stunning and shattered my heart as Yuri, the idealistic poet-doctor, and his poignant romances with both Tonya and Lara were heartbreaking. I loved the scenes with Yuri and the children, though, which were adorable, and I sobbed at the ending with little Yuri running, even with the voice-over telling me their child at least survived. The history, especially the newsreel footage, was fascinating, too, and I learned a lot from this beautiful, deeply moving film. I followed that with another Hans Matheson film, the somewhat fictional but stunningly beautiful Imperium: Nero with him as the title character, a sensitive, slowly twisting young man driven to madness. His relationships were poignant and tragic, and the ending made me tear up a little, mostly due to his powerful acting in managing to make Nero pitiable.

In new animated films I found How To Train Your Dragon and promptly fell in love with it. Hiccup was quirky and perfect, Toothless was adorable, and I loved the imagination of the story, as well as the setting. Next was the Arthurian adventure Quest For Camelot which, while far from perfect, was entertaining. I loved Garrett, a uniquely blind knight, and the hilarious chicken, and the ending was lovely. After that was the precious, heartwarming, and utterly adorable Arthur Christmas. I loved James McAvoy's voice work as the sweet and clumsy Arthur, and I laughed through all of the hilarious moments as everyone scrambled to deliver Gwen's gift. I loved how clever and imaginative everything was, as well as the touching, beautiful finale. Then was the humorous spoof of horror films Hotel Transylvania, and I loved Johnny and Mavis, their relationship, the amusing other characters, and the perfect ending. Next I saw The Prince Of Egypt, a stunningly animated film with gorgeous music, especially the beautiful "When You Believe", and a lovely, unusual take on the story with the focus on the tragedy of Moses and Ramses's journey from brothers to enemies, and an incredible nightmare scene in which hieroglyphics came to life.

I'm watching the eighth season of The Virginian and there's few changes this season with the exception of seven's David vanishing, and a new ranch hand, Jim Horn, played by an impossibly young and always completely wonderful Tim Matheson who brings some much-needed prettiness to the cast. He gets to shine in "Family Man", and he's incredibly sweet, especially with the baby. He even gets to sing later in the season! "A Flash Of Darkness" is an unusual episode, despite using the tired trope of blinding a character, if for nothing else than the Virginian finally expressing emotion, even fear, when he calls for Trampas after his injury, and suffers nightmares, cowering in terror from shots. I jolted and got a lump in my throat when he grabbed and hugged Trampas with a quiver in his voice, so unlike him and yet highlighting the friendship between the two that's so often hinted at and spoken of and rarely overtly seen. The season's best is the beautifully poignant "A Woman Of Stone" which takes the usual "white woman returns from Indians" plotline, and makes it believable, acknowledging the span of time and how the characters have changed while still presenting a hopeful, although not idyllic ending.

I'm on season six of Rawhide now, and after seasons of changing and worsening shows it's like finding an old friend back. Except for Clay's disappearance - no great loss - nothing has changed, giving the season a comfortable yet still fresh feel as the good stories keep coming. I like the new theme's look with the silhouettes, giving the show an even older feel. Excellent episodes include the spooky twist ending of "Incident Of The Prophecy", the haunting and poignant episode "Incident At Two Graves", the tragic and unusual "Incident Of The Peyote Cup", and the delightfully light-hearted "Incident Of The Pied Piper" which gives Wishbone a chance to shine as well as providing some adorable moments.

I've discovered the delightful Pushing Daisies, an utterly hilarious and completely adorable show. Ned is cute and precious, and I love his relationship with Chuck, and Emerson and his knitting never fails to make me giggle. Everything is so bright and colorful it looks like something out of the 1970s, and the sets, especially the Pie Hole, are lovely. Plus the narrator is just perfect. In the second season Ned's magician twin half-brothers get introduced and they're wonderful. I've been working through the whole series and have fallen entirely in love with it and it's characters.

I learned of and watched The Lone Gunmen this week, the fabulous spin-off series from The X-Files. Byers, Frohike, and Langly are wonderful as usual, and they're joined by a fourth member, the overly-eager and somewhat dorky but loveable Jimmy Bond. He quickly shot to my favorite as the heart of the group, even as much as I adore the trio. Yves, the other new character, is fascinating, a mix of friend and foe. My favorite episode was the powerful and unusually poignant "Maximum Byers" in which Byers and Jimmy go undercover at a prison to free an innocent man. The surprise twists and bittersweet ending made it just perfect. Other great episode include "Three Men and a Smoking Diaper" is a fun episode that let's the guys show their softer sides while taking care of an infant. Langly especially was adorable with the baby. Also "The Cap'n Tobey Show" which is equal parts who done it and humor with Langly the focal point. I loved the plot, the hilarious ending, and Jimmy and Yves's relationship in it.

In new shows I've discovered the fantastic Primeval and am loving the imagination and glorious fun of it all, as well as it's wonderfully geeky characters and adorable Rex. Cutter and Connor are my favorites, but I have a soft spot for Abby (all these characters and their dimples!) since I ship Connor and her. The whole team works beautifully together, though, and I'm loving the flavor of the series. I finished up season two now and am slowly learning to enjoy the new format, with the help of fun episodes that include raptors in a shopping mall. Claudia has turned into Jenny which is something of a slight improvement, but the annoying Leek and Caroline aren't welcome additions by any means. Still the team is wonderful and Connor and Abby get a beautiful and extremely shippy set of scenes in the episode with the merpeople. Stephen's death was completely horrible and heartbreaking, though, and I wish the writers had killed Helen off instead, since I can't stand her and I liked Stephen. Then season three, off to a great start with a spooky old house and decade old mystery, and Connor imitating Cutter's Scottish accent is the most adorable thing ever. New character Becker doesn't fill Stephen's shoes by any means but he's different and he grows on me more with each episode. But Cutter's death..I'm never getting over that. Stephen's hurt horribly. Cutter's completely shattered me. He was my tied second favorite with Connor and I loved him so much. I can't seem to warm to Danny, either, he's got a cold edge Cutter never had and for all his heroics something just rubs me the wrong way. Sarah, so far, is a lot of fun, though, and I'm grateful to see her replace Jenny. But Abby kissing Connor and their beautiful moment there more than makes up for everything else, and best of all Helen finally gets what she deserved - I've never been so grateful to see a character killed off! Onto season four then, with many format changes. New character Matt is the first intriguing leader since Cutter's death, and Jess is sweet enough, even if she'll never replace Sarah. Still Becker is there and Connor and Abby are back and shippier than ever. Season five was fantastic with an amazing storyline that kept me excited as well as sad that it was the last season. I grew to love Matt, especially when he returned to 1860s London in a steampunk explanation for Spring Heeled Jack, and he made a wonderful leader. Emily made for an interesting character, and I loved her romance with Matt and it having a happy ending against all odds. I grew to adore Lester, always a character I disliked, and he was awesome in the finale, finally leaving his office and standing up to the creatures. He almost never shows it but he loves his team, and I kept grinning ear to ear when he came back to work in the end. Despite the attempt to redeem him at the end, I just couldn't make myself feel anything for Phillip after the way he used and abandoned Connor. Connor broke my heart all season long with his naivety and doubting Abby, but he turned out to be the real hero at last. I loved watching his character grow across the seasons and see Cutter's faith in him rewarded, even if Connor always doubted it himself. His relationship with Abby became so beautiful. I loved how she pulled him back emotionally when he was ready to give up in the finale, and the fabulous proposal scene. Abby was wonderful all season, but especially so in the finale, saving Connor over and over. The ending was perfect except for the hanging thread of a storyline that never got resolved, but I felt happy with it overall, since otherwise it was a fitting last story for everyone.

I discovered and watched the odd and short-lived series Harsh Realm this week. It's an underrated little gem from the creator of The X-Files with a richly detailed, darkly dystopian virtual world that threatens to destroy the real world due to the plans of an evil dictator. The protagonist is Tom, a soldier forced into and trapped inside the world who has to stay alive and take out the corrupt leader to save everyone. I love his little team, and the unusual characters, some good, some bad, who surround him, and the episodes are often intriguing and always fun. "Reunion" is a fascinating and touching story with the focus on Tom and Pinocchio's friendship as well as Tom's with his mother. The scene with Sophie and Tom seeing each other through her eyes was amazing. The series' best is the stunning "Manus Domini", a breathtaking and haunting portrayal of faith and loss which made Pinocchio my favorite character. The ending is deeply moving and tragic, and Tom's voiceovers are especially poignant. While waiting for season nine of The X-Files I watched I Want To Believe. While I didn't enjoy it as much as the first film I still liked the secondary storyline, much better, in fact, than the main one which was a little too gruesome and disturbing for my taste. Scully's attempts to save little Christian were a poignant parallel with William. Mulder seemed a little off at first but fell back into character fairly quickly, and I adored that Scully finally said she loved him and that they kissed. His final line was beautiful and made me grin ear to ear. Also I liked the little bit of Mulder and Skinner friendship included, even if Skinner had a strangely small part.

Feeling nostalgic I watched an episode of Boy Meets World, the wonderful "Can I Help to Cheer You" which was a perfect mix of zany and hilarious humor and poignant sadness. I loved the storyline with Eric, since he was always my favorite - I loved his sweetness and quite amazing hair - and he was adorable with little Tommy. I wish he'd adopted him, but I loved that the two remained friends at the end, such a cute and perfect episode. In new tv series I discovered the Ray Bradbury Theater, adaptations of his stories that I've always loved. My favorite so far is the hauntingly beautiful "The Lake" about a man drawn back to the summer place where a tragedy happened when he was ten. The conclusion was poignant, and the episode was perfectly underplayed and acted, giving it a dream-like quality. I also found the '90s series Roswell this week, a fun story of aliens who survived the 1949 crash and pass themselves off as humans, undiscovered until one of them, teenager Max, heals the human girl, Liz, he has a crush on, when she's shot in the restaurant where she works. Max is a sweet character, with just a dash of mystery to make him seem alien, and I was shipping Max/Liz before the end of the pilot. Then, feeling nostalgic, I started watching season one of Highlander and found it as awesome as I remembered. It's quite a fascinating and often poignant series, and I love Duncan MacLeod and the glimpses that are given of his mostly tragic past.

I borrowed one of the early film "Treasures" from the library, too, and there was an amazing documentary on San Pietro, filmed during WWII with all the battle explained clearly. I've been fascinated by that battle since my obsession with The Gallant Men began, and now I finally understand it. I loved seeing so much of the once beautiful village, too, and the children who could still smile and laugh despite all they'd suffered.
 
 
calliope tune: "Here Comes The Star"-Herman's Hermits
feeling: nostalgic
 
 
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.
 
 
feeling: mischievous
calliope tune: "Lover's Cross"-Jim Croce
 
 
Kathleen
I'm finished with season nine of Smallville and it was the best ever. I'm growing to like Lois, even if she isn't how I imagine her, and she's at least more observant and curious than Adventures Of Superman's Lois who couldn't figure out who Clark was even when the proof was right in front of her. On the flip side I adore Adventures Of Superman's Jimmy while Smallville's didn't catch my interest, even if he wasn't really the Jimmy. Clark isn't quite Superman but he's well on his way and I love the little hints the series keeps dropping, especially the boy with the cartoon of how he imagines the Blur's costume, not to mention in-jokes for other series including The X-Files when Lois calls an alien hunter "Mulder". Chloe as usual has a hard road but she has Oliver to fall back on and their relationship is gorgeous, two broken people who make each other whole. Oliver is as sweet and wonderful as always with more melancholy this season before Chloe snaps him out of his downward spiral. I love his musings on inward and outward scars in "Escape", a delightfully fun episode featuring a good old-fashioned ghost story involving a banshee, a bit of Oliver whump, and a hilarious scene where Clark and Oliver exchange small talk about saving the citizens of Metropolis. "Echo" was stunning, with some incredible acting from Justin Hartley, especially in the scene where Oliver is standing on the landmine, forced to read the words on the screen, and when he stepped off my heart broke for him. The scene where Oliver looks at his reflection and sees Lex was chilling and fascinating to think of what Oliver could become if he didn't have people who cared about him and his own good heart. Clark was blind to how much pain he was in, but I was glad he seemed to finally realize what he was going through in the end, even if he didn't seem to do much to help him. I love that it's Chloe who saves him "myth and man", she's perfect for him and he for her. Zod is fascinating, violence tempered by strangely caring moments that make him almost tragic, and an intricate backstory. Clark struggles with his promise to keep Zod alive while protecting the world from his plans, and eventually gives his own blood to bring Zod back to life after he's shot and killed, a selfless act that seems to change Zod for the better, only to be crushed when his blood gives Zod back his powers. The scene where he leaps off the roof and then up into flight partway to the ground took my breath away, and I can't help wishing that Clark could manage to redeem him; the two of them would make an incredible superhero team, and Clark doesn't seem to appreciate Oliver's backing him up nearly as much as he should. "Pandora" is a poignant episode where in another future everything changes: Zod and his people have all the power, Clark is mortal, Lois has vanished for a year, and Chloe and Oliver lead a ragtag rebellion that ends with both their deaths. I couldn't help but feel sorry for Oliver when he cries over Tess, I don't feel pity for her but Oliver keeps being hurt by her and all she does, and cold-blooded Chloe is creepy. I found human Clark intriguing, and would love to have seen several episodes in this world. "Absolute Justice" was breathtaking, and I got chills when I saw the painting of the Justice Society. I love when superheroes team up to defeat a villain, and I liked Hawkman, a sad and very different sort of hero. He and Oliver worked well together when they weren't fighting, and his living over and over and losing his wife each time is deeply haunting. I wish the Star-Spangled Kid hadn't died, since I liked what little I saw of him. Last was season ten and it was incredible. I sobbed through most of "Lazarus", such a haunting, breathtaking episode, picking up the day after last season's finale with Clark's death at the hands of Zod and Oliver in the clutches of an unknown madman. Lois discovers Clark's secret after she pulls the krytonite dagger out of him, bringing him back to life, but leaves to protect him, heading on assignment to Africa. Warned of a coming threat, Clark allows his pride to get in the way of his fate, is told he may become earth's most dangerous enemy, and still isn't worthy of changing his colors to red and blue, even as the costume lies folded up in a box in his barn. He does get an amazing scene where he flies for a few seconds, carrying the globe of the Daily Planet back into place after it falls, though. Jonathan Kent appeared in a dream/vision at the very end and made my eyes all misty; I love him so much and he's such a wonderful father to Clark, gently encouraging and supporting him instead of Jor-El who only seems to use him for his own purposes. Clark was a much better hero when Jonathan was alive, and I hope his getting to talk to him and hug him again will help him return to who he once was. I miss that sweet farmboy who cared deeply about his friends and saved the world on a small scale. While everything is going on, Chloe, desperate to not lose Oliver, puts on Fate's Helmet which reveals the future to her, as well as where Oliver, being tortured by the newly formed Suicide Squad, is. And then the ending: Chloe trades herself for Oliver, saving his life and leaving him a beautiful, heartwrenching note about him being her "knight in shining leather", which combined with "One More Day" broke my heart into tiny pieces. I don't think I've ever loved a pairing so much as Oliver/Chloe, there's something deeply gorgeous about their relationship, how they save each other in body and spirit. Oliver instantly starts falling apart in the next episode and I'm not sure I can stand watching it; last time made me want to jump through the tv screen, protect him from himself, and hug him until he was better. After going to church and speaking to the photograph of his parents, Oliver decides that his secret caused him to lose Chloe and reveals his identity to the press, but it doesn't help his pain, and his advice about love to Clark brought tears to my eyes. "Homecoming" was a heart-tugging episode as Clark's High School reunion turns into a trip into past, present, and future as he's forced to come to terms with his guilt over Jonathan's death, losing his childhood friends, and his fear of telling Lois his secret. Finding himself in the future Clark discovers Lois knows all about him and is helping him, with hilarious scenes where she punches out a guy who nearly sees him without his costume, and Clark wonders how he got so "nerdy" when he sees his glasses-wearing, mild-mannered disguise, echoed in a thought-provoking later scene where Clark talks about having to give up his true self to become Superman, the way I've always seen it; he's truly Clark not Superman instead of the other way around. In the present Clark sees Oliver, sitting alone and hoping for a call from him after he's revealed his identity. Clark is so blind to Oliver's suffering and it drives me crazy how he thinks of no one but Lois. He could care about all his friends, and now that Chloe isn't there Oliver needs someone. Still Oliver's interview and comments about being a hero is beautiful and inspiring, I adore him. Tess is given charge of Watchtower, which doesn't seem right, and Oliver is forced to deal with someone else in Chloe's role, patching him up and keeping an eye on him. Tess is becoming more tragic this season, and the root of her problems, the lack of love given her, comes to light as she finds a chance for redemption when she cares for little Alexander, the only surviving clone of Lex. But her hopes that she can save the child from becoming like Lex are dashed when he grows far too fast and soon takes on Lex's memories and hatred of Clark. Tess's decision to destroy the medicine that could save him is heartbreaking, followed by the shocking twist when the needle to kill him breaks against his skin. In "Icarus" the darkness and the VRA become more powerful causing the people to turn against the heroes and beat Oliver. Hawkman is killed saving Lois in a haunting scene where he covers her with his wings and falls burning from the top of the building. I like the idea that he'll be with the woman he loves again in his next life but I wish he hadn't had to die in the series because he was my second favorite of the heroes next to Oliver. "Collateral" was amazing as the heroes find themselves waking after Hawkman's funeral with memories of being tortured by Chloe. While most of them think she's a traitor, Oliver, believing it's in his mind, is locked in a straightjacket in a hospital where he sees Chloe walk through the wall and set him free. She tells him all the heroes are in a virtual world, bodies plugged into a mainframe, and the only way out is through a portal only reached by jumping off the top of the Daily Planet building. Oliver is the only one who trusts Chloe - his "with my life" comment brought back all the happiness I've missed this season - and jumps, finding himself back in the real world and awakening to a kiss from Chloe. I'm thrilled Chloe is back, and I got tears in my eyes at the ending when Oliver tells Chloe how much he's missed her, searching for her face, listening to her voice on his answering machine, and then quietly asks her if she's going to stay before she kisses him again. I've missed Green Team so badly! Finally things are looking brighter again as a small group of people begin to stand up for the heroes, everyone is working together again, and there's cute moments like Clark going to England and back to the Daily Planet in a split second. "Masquerade" was perfect with Clark stepping into his mild-mannered disguise and glasses which I've always loved, as well as a cute scene where Oliver calls Chloe and he "adorable blondes", and brushes her hair off her forehead, but it hurt when the Omega symbol appears on Oliver's forehead. "Fortune" was the most hilarious and fun episode I've seen, and I couldn't stop laughing through Lois chasing her engagement ring, Oliver dressed as a showgirl, Clark stealing an armored car, Oliver's green suit, and Chloe thinking she married Clark. I loved that Emil had a larger role than usual and even got to be an Elvis impersonator in Las Vegas! But best of all Oliver and Chloe are married and living in Star City; I wanted to hug them both in their last scene, they're so wonderful together. "Booster" was a surprisingly excellent episode; I loved Booster Gold and wish he'd been in the series again. "Dominion" was fantastic; Justin Hartley did a gorgeous directing job on it. I loved Oliver jumping in after Clark into the Phantom Zone, and how creepy everything was in there. Zod wasn't nearly the multi-faceted villain of last season, but his conversation with Oliver was still enough to send chills up my spine. I liked how Lois waited three weeks for Clark and wouldn't let the Zone be destroyed, but I wish Chloe had been shown the same way waiting for Oliver. Oliver keeps breaking my heart this season, and I couldn't help aching for him when he looks up at the angel statue after discovering he has the Omega on his forehead. "Prophecy" has treasure-hunting!Oliver after the bow of Orion in an attempt to save himself from the darkness, and I only wish there was more of that than the other storyline, even as quirky as it is to see Lois with Clark's powers. The finale was amazing, I was left with so many emotions. Clark finally completes his journey into Superman as he flies, ending with him pulling his shirt open to reveal the costume beneath, and there's a cute scene showing the Superman comics. Lois and Clark never seem to manage to find the time to marry, but she's sticking with him. I teared up through all the moments with Jonathan and Martha, and Tess's tragic death as she finally found her redemption. Oliver and Chloe had the happiest ending of all, with the Omega removed from Oliver's forehead, Clark finally believing in him enough to give him the strength to overcome the darkness, and best of all, Oliver and Chloe's adorable son! Awesome casting for the child, he looks so much like both of them, and I loved when he looks at his little bow and arrows set. Then at the ending Jimmy was at the Daily Planet!

A MeTV Showcase was The Millionaire which I'd never seen before so I watched it all and promptly fell in love with it. It's a compelling 50s series about a wealthy man who gives a million dollars to complete strangers without them knowing who he is and with their promise that they never reveal how they got the money or how much they have, with each episode following one of the people who received his gift and how they use it. They were all excellent but I especially loved "Jerry Bell", a beautiful romance about a man who falls in love with a blind girl. When he is given the money he uses it for an operation to restore her sight but hides from her, afraid that if she sees him she'll no longer love him. Charles Bronson was wonderful at the role; I always love him and he was so very sweet here.

I finished The X-Files season seven and I liked how Scully has become more of a believer and also how close Mulder and Scully's relationship has become, starting with the season opener's romantic ending speech and all the kisses. "The Goldberg Variation" and "Hungry" were both unique and surprisingly good episodes; "Millenium" was nostalgic, and I teared up when I saw Dick Clark and the wonderful ball that year, combined with Mulder and Scully's kiss. "Sein Und Ziet"/"Closure" were deeply poignant, with Mulder finally discovering Samantha's fate and coming to terms with it. I loved the beautifully haunting scene where he sees all the children and she comes running to him and they stand hugging each other. "Requiem" left me with mixed feelings and a lot of sadness with Mulder taken by the aliens and Scully all alone just as they were finally truly together, even as relieved as I am to see Cigarette Smoking Man get his just deserts at Krycek's hand. But I loved Krycek's completely gratuitous shower scene, and the wonderful moment when the Lone Gunmen, Mulder, Scully, Krycek, and the others were all working together on the same side toward their goal.

I'm watching 12 O'Clock High season two now and I love how the guys are introduced and slowly grow over the episodes, Gallagher coming down a little too hard on the men as he struggles to fill Savage's shoes and Komansky being self-absorbed, back-talking and carrying a chip on his shoulder. The two bump heads through the first episode before Gallagher's bravery earns Komansky's grudging respect, and by the third episode Gallagher is comfortable calling him Sandy, even if the two don't have the close friendship they'll have in season three yet. Gallagher settles into the command enough to even defy General Britt's orders for the good of his men, while developing a leadership that's every bit as solid while being more compassionate and understanding than Savage's. Komansky comes along the farthest as Gallagher brings him out of himself and makes him start to care about others, beginning with a young, frightened gunner. There's a interesting bit of backstory on him, too, where he mentions lying about his age to join because he was running from school and the police, and Gallagher's talk of his family and old friend gives a glimpse of his past and what drives him. "Show Me A Hero, I'll Show You A Bum" was amazing, and I love how Gallagher is the only one who sees Komansky as he is and could be if he'd only allow himself to realize he cares. "Between The Lines" in which Komansky moves from respecting Gallagher to understanding him was a fascinating study as each person is confronted with their worst fear such as hunger or battle. Komansky's terror of rats because he grew up around them and Gallagher's fear of failing the mission, hinting that he's still striving to prove himself worthy of his father and brothers' honors, say a lot about what shapes both of them, and I liked how underplayed the scene where Gallagher thinks Komansky was killed is. Gallagher never really says anything, not even that he's happy to see him, but it's all on his face, from when he turns back to salute the plane to the ending when he pats Komansky, wounded and resting, on the shoulder. In "The Survivor" Komansky gets to be tougher than usual when trying to get to the truth of an accident; I love when he comments about his long name and threatens to put it one letter at a time on the crewmembers who are giving a pilot a hard time. "Day Of Reckoning" is a beautifully haunting study of faith as a chaplin - the ever wonderful Charles Aidman - struggles to maintain a belief in God after the woman he loves dies in bombings and he kills an unarmed German soldier. Three of the German prisoners escape and shoot Komansky, badly wounding him. The chaplain manages to cling to his faith and prays for days over Komansky. Despite his wound being the same as the one that killed the German, a poignant parallel, Komansky survives. The chaplain's final comments about the Nazis not believing in God was deeply thought-provoking and Gallagher's statement that Komansky is a "tough Yankee" was adorable.

I'm on season five of Rawhide and it's wonderful with such treats as the lovely "Incident Of The Black Ace" where Wishbone believes a gypsy fortune and believes he's doomed to die soon. He writes out a will which is read by the men and they all realize how much he cares about them, and later save him when he's taken hostage, making him realize how much they care about him, too. Finale "Abilene" is less wild than previous seasons but makes up for it by having fed-up Rowdy punch Gil. I've been waiting for that for years! "Incident Of The Clown" is a suprisingly poignant tale of a man finding his calling in life, and has a interesting conversation between Rowdy and he where Rowdy comments that he always wanted to be a path-finder blazing new trails through the wilderness, which makes me want a spin-off series or episode where he becomes that. The haunting "Incident Of The Hostages" gives Hey Soos a chance to shine and be a sweetheart when the drovers pick up three white Indian-raised siblings and attempt to take them to a town. Rowdy gets an adorable scene where he sings and plays guitar for the younger children, and Gil has an unusually kind streak when it comes to the smallest child, even if he's stubborn when it comes to making them white. I loved that the story didn't follow the usual path and instead had the three choose to return to their Indian family. "Incident Of Judgment Day", the season's best episode, is a stunning character study in hate and humanity as a group of former Confederate soldiers ride into camp and take Rowdy to stand a mock trial in a ghost town. The men and Rowdy were in the prison camp during the war where Rowdy became seriously ill while they were planning an escape. The captain believes Rowdy told the commander of the camp about their plans which resulted in their recapture, one man being paralyzed, and two others being killed. Rowdy's only hope lies with a former judge, now a defeated alcoholic who blames himself for an error in judgement that cost a person their life and at first is unwilling to defend him. "Incident Of The Pale Rider" is a chilling ghost story where Rowdy shoots a man in self-defense and then is stalked by a ranch hand who looks the same as the dead man. Hey Soos scared me by being badly injured but thankfully he recovered, and I loved Rowdy in the episode.

I'm watching The Virginian season six and it appears the series has found it's footing after the shaky fifth with the touching "Seth" in which Trampas discovers a sick and half-starved teenager, Michael Burns who's superb as usual, in the mountains. The boy refuses to give any answers to Trampas's questions and only gives his first name, but Trampas sees promise in him and has him signed on at Shiloh. However, his uncle turns up to claim him prompting Trampas's suspicions and the discovery of Seth's past. I loved Seth and he worked well with Trampas and would have been good as a regular. Since he stayed on at Shiloh in the end I like to think he's there just not seen in other episodes.

I finished the Adam-12 finale "Something Worth Dying For" and it was perfect! Reed went back to being Pete's partner and it ended with him receiving the medal of honor for saving Pete's life. It was wonderful to watch their journey end, from a cop who wanted to quit partnered with a rookie to both of them seven years later, good friends and honored. I've also fallen in love with another cop show The Streets Of San Francisco. Mike and Steve have a beautiful father-son like friendship, and I love the contrast between them and how well they work together. In "Flags Of Terror" Steve was taken hostage and it was moving to see the fear on Mike's face as he can't help him, as well as Steve's attempts to keep their spirits up.

I've been working my way through The Master, an offbeat little series. Max Keller is a trouble-prone kid who's constantly being thrown out of bar windows, when he isn't turning the tables on the bad guys, that is. He lives out of his truck, has one friend, his hamster Henry, and a pronounced, endearing Brooklyn accent. His life takes a sudden detour when he gets into another fight and meets John McAllister, a WWII vet who stayed in Japan, became the only white ninja master, and returned to the states in search of the daughter he's never met. Trailing McAllister is Okasa, his former pupil who views him as a traitor and plans to kill him. As McAllister and Max set out, McAllister finds in him an eager student, and takes him under his wing to teach him how to survive. I have a weakness for ninjas so this series is right up my alley. To make it even better, Max is both hilarious and adorable, hot-headed yet good-hearted, and I love him.

I've started rewatching Lost, one of my teenage shows. I love the tone and characters, especially Charlie, Claire, and Jack.

MeTV's showcase played Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea so I got to see a new Irwin Allen film. I liked it much better than the series which I only watch once in a while, especially the cast and more toned-down fantasy feel. Robert Sterling makes a great Lee Crane and I wish he'd been him in the series. Frankie Avalon is underused but he did get a moment of bravery while facing down a man with a bomb, and a cute music scene, as well as singing the pretty themesong. Admiral Nelson, a maverick but brilliant Navy scientist has launched the Seaview, a Jules Verne style submarine commanded by a crew under Captain Lee Crane, a young man for his command who's brought on board his fiancée, Cathy. Seaview's ocean trials come to an abrupt halt when the Van Allen radiation belt catches a meteor shower that floods the earth with extreme heat, leaving the world weeks away from destruction. Lee's father-son relationship with the Admiral becomes strained when Nelson's harsh orders and refusal to search for survivors clash with Lee's care for the men and the pressure they're under, even as Nelson attempts to maintain control over the crew, all while launching a risky scheme to save the world before time runs out. Somewhat less shiny and colorful than Irwin Allen's other work, it's still a fun film with underwater attacks by another sub and sealife, as well as personal interest stories, and a real treat. In other new films I saw Peter Pan and the lovely sequel Return To Neverland, which I loved even more than the original. Peter had a fiery-tempered but softer edge to him in the sequel, and there was an adorable scene where he flew with Jane on his back. Tinkerbell was precious, and the Lost Boys as well as the clapping octopus kept me laughing, despite the more serious tone and occasionally dark WWII setting. As much as I like Wendy I actually preferred Peter with Jane, since her more take charge personality suited Peter and Neverland better, and Hook seemed more comical instead of threatening. Next was the fun and imaginative Enchanted. Next was the whimsical and poignant fairytale Edward Scissorhands which I loved. After that was the moving and lovely Miss Potter which broke my heart but also warmed it by the ending. Next was the flawed but pretty One Night With the King with its beautiful sequence of Hadassah coming before the king. I'd loved the book so it was even more exciting to see it on the screen. Next was the hilarious, far fetched, and completely fantastic Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. I have a huge weakness for historical fantasy and the concept was a delight. Next was a rewatch of Casablanca which I always enjoy, especially the French song scene which always reduces me to tears. Next was the surprisingly well done The Nativity Story which I loved, especially for its kind and decent portrayal of Joseph, one of my absolute favorite and somewhat overlooked Biblical figures. Next was the adorable Eragon. I loved the world building and character relationships. Next was the intriguing Dial M For Murder. Hitchcock is very much hit or miss with me but sometime I love the concept and filming style as I did with this one. Next was the beautiful but sad Finding Neverland, and after that the poignant yet adorable Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium. Next was The Golden Compass. I adored the world building, especially the creatures, and the characters were enjoyable. Next was the lovely and moving Blossoms In the Dust whose true story made it even more poignant. Next was the fun time travel adventure Timeline. Next was the enjoyable Beautiful Creatures whose southern gothic feel and historical flashbacks delighted me. Next was the Twilight movies and while they're far from high art I greatly enjoyed them for escapist fluff and random fun. Next was my first horror film House On Haunted Hill, an always delightful and ever so slightly scary caper. Last was Elvis movies, my favorites Flaming Star and King Creole.

I saw the heartbreaking and beautiful miniseries The Hanging Gale about the Irish Potato Famine as seen through the eyes of four brothers: Liam, a priest, Daniel, the schoolmaster, and farmers Sean, a married father of three, and Conor, headstrong and quietly in love with Sean's wife Maeve. I've always had an interest in the time period and Ireland as well so it was wonderful to finally find something set then, especially a film like this with such superb history accuracy, gentle yet painful photography, and excellent acting. The soft-spoken Liam shines the brightest, bringing tears to my eyes in the heartwrenching scene where he buries a young child while mumbling the Lord's Prayer over her in a numb, shocked tone. One of the best miniseries I've ever seen.

In Arthurian legend I watched Tristan + Isolde and it was the most beautiful film I've ever seen, with breathtaking, lush, and vivid scenery and lighting, especially in the scene where Isolde comes across the water. Middle Ages Cornwall is in constant battle with Ireland, and one massacre costs the would-be king Marke his wife and a hand when he saves the life of a young boy, Tristan. As the years pass Marke raises the boy as his son, and Tristan proves to be a nearly undefeatable warrior. However fate soon intervenes when Tristan is wounded by a poisoned sword, believed to be dead, and sent out on a funeral boat across the sea. The waters take him to Ireland's coast where the king's daughter, wistful dreamer Isolde, discovers Tristan barely alive on the strand. Hiding him from everyone, she nurses him back to health and the two fall in love only to be separated when the king discovers Tristan and Isolde smuggles him out of Ireland and back to England. Returning a hero, Tristan loses himself in a tournament, promising to win Marke a wife. But his life takes a cruel turn when he discovers that the promised bride is Isolde, and for the good of both their countries she must marry Marke, sending the star-crossed lovers onto their tragic path. The film has something of an old-fashioned feel, particularly in the acting, and I thought all the actors fit their roles, even if I imagine Tristan as lighter-haired. The tragedy of their circumstances is incredibly poignant, backed by lovely music, and the ending brought tears to my eyes, an amazing, gorgeous film. After that was the tv series Camelot, a fascinating and realistic spin on the stories whose gorgeous theme and thrilling version of Arthur pulling the sword from the stone on the top of a waterfall has captured my imagination. Finally this Arthur is a good and sympathetic representation who captures the future king's youth but also nobleness, a powerful speaker with kindness who I can believe as becoming the greatest king ever. Merlin is a quiet, nearly haunted version of the sorcerer, lacking most magic and yet surprisingly mystical and mysterious. Igraine has an unusually large role but best of all Arthur has a close brother/friend relationship with Kay, and his origins are exactly as they should be. I got chills during Arthur's incredible coronation, especially when he's pronounced "King Arthur" and when he speaks to the people.
 
 
feeling: bouncy
calliope tune: "Popsicles,Icicles"-Murmaids
 
 
Kathleen
Recovering from the claustrophobia of being jammed into a theatre with too many people, I just got back from The Hunger Games! I had very high expectations for the film and it filled them all and still blew me away, especially the bread scene even if it missed the dandelion moment. Peeta was incredible. I expected as much from the other films I've seen with the actor but he pulled every emotion possible out of every scene and was even better than I'd imagined, and so vulnerable I kept wanting to hug him. Prim was sweet, Gale was surprisingly sympathetic, I actually felt for him, and Haymitch made me love him even though I didn't like the book character. The other Tributes were very much as I'd pictured, especially little Rue. The scene where she died hurt, and then when the district saluted Katniss I don't think there was a dry eye in the theatre. My favorite scenes were the chariots, Katniss finding Peeta by the river, and that final hug when they think the Games are over. I was slightly disappointed that Peeta healed up so quickly after the medicine arrived, since I wanted the scene where Katniss is pounding on the glass screaming, but the whole film was beyond perfection, especially this line: "I think about it all the time. How I tossed you that bread, I should have gone to you, I should have gone out in the rain. I remember when I first saw you. Your hair was in two braids instead of one, and in music assembly when they asked who knew the valley song and your hand shot straight up. After that I watched you walk home everyday...every day."

So apparently most Les Miserables fans hate Marius. I'm beginning to suspect somethings wrong with me when my favorite character is always the least popular with other fans, still this surprised me because I always assumed Marius would be a popular character. He's certainly a romantic and tragic revolutionary and, even though I adored him years before I ever saw the fantastic 1998 movie or any other version, he's pretty. I have a weakness for high cheekbones and he has the highest ever.

I'm working my way through the complete 1978 series Battlestar Galactica and I adore Starbuck with his hilarious womanizing, gambling, cigar-smoking, and gorgeous hair, even CORA, his computer, wants to flirt with him. On the flipside I feel sorry for poor Athena; she starts out as one of the leads and after a few episodes the writers seem to have no idea what to do with her, and she spends the rest of the series staring at a computer screen or eating dinner. I love how detailed the world is from the viper fights to the "space Las Vegas", and Apollo, Boomer, and Starbuck's friendship, as well as Apollo and Boxey's relationship, is heartwarming. Rick Springfield turned up in the pilot, which was a treat, even if he had a tiny and tragic role. Starbuck gets to show his caring side in the dream-like "War Of The Gods" when he offers his life to save dead Apollo, even in payment after Apollo has been brought back to life, and his crying shows how much he really does care about his friends. "Fire In Space" showcases Boomer as a hero, as well as showing the loyal heart of Starbuck when he jumps off the ship into outer space to grab onto Apollo who's lost his grip, and continues holding onto him, floating without ropes, until help arrives. Starbuck gets some nice whump in "Greetings From Earth" as well as "The Young Lords", both of which have cute scenes with him and kids. The beautiful and moving "Lost Warrior" features an incredible and fun western showdown between Apollo and a cylon, as well as a lovely backstory and star-gazing finale. While there's no real finale the last episode was superb, and I love the broadcast being the moon landing as well as the adorable "waggling the wings" part.

I'm up to "The Seige" in A Man Called Shenandoah and by now I see the writers enjoy tormenting him. Here he comes closer than ever with the hope of a family, a name, and a hometown only to have it all snatched away. On the bright side Charles Aidman was in it! I adore him, no matter what role he has he's excellent, and he got to have a cute little daughter in this one which is always a sweet bonus. I'm still not convinced on the ending, though. Since the doctor said in the pilot that some people with amnesia forget to read I think it's possible that his handwriting was forgotten and relearned (or at least I'd like to think so), not to mention the fact that little Nora sort of looked like him, enough to put a doubt in my mind. It would have made an excellent finale, too.

I'm infamous for ignoring special features on DVDs so it's taken me all this time to notice my The Time Tunnel set came with a bonus movie, Time Travelers, and watch it. Clint, a doctor desperate to find a cure for the outbreak of an extinct disease, and Jeff, a former astronaut, join forces to travel back to the 1800s and speak to the doctor who found a cure for the deadly virus but lost the records to the Chicago Fire. At the last moment something goes wrong and the men arrive a mere 29 hours before the fire, with Clint contracting the virus, leaving it up to Jeffrey to get them back in time to save both their lives. With Rod Serling's story of a doomed love and poignant endings and Irwin Allen's colorful touch to lend a bit of fun to it all, the two leads have a good and believeable friendship with strong similarities to Tony and Doug's friendship in The Time Tunnel. I would have loved to see Tony and Doug in the Great Chicago Fire but there's enough of both of them in Jeff's character to not feel too wistful. It's a shame they didn't make this into a series as it would have been interesting to see what other adventures Clint and Jeff could have had, and I really liked Jeff as well as the focus being on the travelers.

I saw "The Bounty Hunter", the Trackdown episode that spun-off into Wanted Dead Or Alive and it was interesting to see how much rougher Josh was compared to the series, quick to fight and shoot while later it shakes him up everytime he has to kill someone. He and Hoby worked well together and it would have been nice to see Hoby in Wanted Dead Or Alive. Along the same lines, I also saw a hilarious Boy Meets World episode with the Monkees, being different characters but with many in-jokes and an adorable ending, and the Make Room For Daddy that spun-off into Andy Griffith Show. Andy's character was more goofy, and Aunt Bee was an entirely different character, but it was cute and I can see the makings for the series, especially with Andy and Opie's relationship. While I was working on "Dust Off The Moon" I kept noticing the overlap between the real John Ringo and the tv version, especially the holes in John Ringo's life that could have been filled by someone like Cully. That eventually led to my considering the opposite: if Johnny would become like the real person if Cully was taken away. But I never thought about what would happen to Cully without Johnny. I saw The Rifleman episode "Mark's Rifle" where Mark Goddard played a character very much like Cully, a trick shot artist with a carny background and a likeable smile. But underneath all that is a world-weary, bitter thief, a dark mirror of Cully, or who Cully could have been if he'd shot Johnny or if Johnny had never met him. It would have been fascinating if Johnny Ringo had done an It's A Wonderful Life styled episode for each of them.

I saw an amazing Marcus Welby M.D. episode "A Matter Of Humanities" with Pete Duel as a man with aphasia. He only said one word over and over throughout the episode but it was an incredible acting job, one of the most impressive I've seen. I also discovered the excellent sci-fi series Journey To The Unknown and am working my way through it. I'm also binge-watching the fun sci-fi Gemini Man - I really want a watch like that - and it's clone, the '70s version of The Invisible Man, the catchy Fame, the jazzy detective series T.H.E. Cat, the quirky Jack of All Trades, and the excellent western Branded. I'm also enjoying the '90s sci-fi Roswell.

Heidi, the little Swiss dreamer, and Peter, the young goat-herder with issues have held my heart since I first saw the 1993 movie Heidi as a young child, and even then I knew they had to get married someday. They were so adorable together; Heidi needed someone to look after her, and Peter seemed to come out of his shell only with her help. The moment he saved her on the cliff I was in love with them forever. I recently heard of the not official but good enough for me sequels to the book: Heidi Grows Up and Heidi's Children, which find Heidi and Peter marrying and having twins.

I managed for almost the entire first season of The X-Files to not ship Mulder/Scully. It was "Beyond The Sea" that did me in, right at the scene where Mulder is on the ER table, dying, and Scully is standing there. She's not even crying but that look on her face, like her world is falling apart. And then when she lies for him in "Tooms", and the whole "only trusting him" and the way he panics when she's kidnapped and oh.

I'm watching S.W.A.T. season one. There's enough closeness among the team to make me happy and I love Luca; he's hilarious, adorable, and such a flirt. "Blind Man's Bluff" is my favorite episode so far, with a wound leaving Harrelson deskbound and a new, harsh officer in charge of the team, leading to sweet moments as Harrelson undergoes surgery to get back to his job, Hilda brings him a giant sandwich in the hospital, and Luca goes to his office to visit him.

I've been working through The Big Valley season two and I'd nearly forgotten my childhood love for this gloriously overdone western. It's a colorful soap opera packed with enough brothers h/c to make me squee like a teenager. And it has Richard Long. I don't know what it is about him but I adore him completely. All he has to do is make that amused, crooked smile of his and I'm instantly in love with whatever character he is. It must have started with Jarrod Barkley of the quirkily spelled name, noble character, and gorgeous blue eyes. Not that Jarrod's the only looker, as it has possibly the best looking cast a western ever flaunted. There's Heath, occasionally troubled by his past and constantly troubled by hair that can't decide what color it wants to be. It was bottle blond last season and now it's inching into the brown zone more by the episode. I'm assuming it will be black next season at the rate it's going. He has a crooked, meltable smile and that western accent that always endears me to a character as soon as he opens his mouth. Even Nick who unnerved me seems better now, even if he could use his big brother's ease at controlling his temper. He's such an incredibly different character from Black Saddle it's amazing, mark of a good actor, I guess. Poor Audra doesn't get to do much but be pampered by her brothers and lose the latest object of her affections but she cries nicely and has lots of bright clothing so I suppose she can't complain. In all seriousness, though, it's a fantastic show, surprisingly deep for such a pretty series, with lovely amnesia episodes. I've also been watching Green Acres and fallen in love with it's adorable way of breaking the fourth wall as well as it's homespun humor. I love how ditzy Lisa is, the fancy furniture and clothes against the rundown farm, and the telephone on top of their house. All of the townspeople are hilarious, too, such characters. I've also been rewatching a childhood favorite in Leave It To Beaver. I've been on a cop show spree too this week, watching all the series I used to and loving them all: the fantastic Baretta with Fred and Baretta's disguises, Patrick Swayze in The Renegades, Dan's ability to be anything in David Cassidy Man Undercover, Doyle's curls in The Professionals, David Janssen in Richard Diamond, Mark Goddard in The Detectives, and my favorite Kojak. I'm loving the spy/detective series Hawaiian Eye, and best of all, the jazz-flavored Johnny Staccato, too.

I'm working through Cheyenne and watched the excellent "The Long Winter". Cheyenne's comment about the "tame flowers" was adorable! It makes sense, too, if people call wildflowers "wild" why not call flowers tended in a flower bed "tame"? I saw Paul Brinegar playing a trail hand in another episode, "Lone Gun", about a cattle drive, and one of the other characters was named Rowdy, so he got to keep calling him by that name while I kept expecting to see Clint Eastwood answer. He didn't have his usual whiskers, though, so I recognized him by his voice alone. Then Sheb Wooley turns up two episodes later. This series is like Rawhide before it started. Speaking of which, I finished the new season of Rawhide including Pete's final episode "The Deserter's Patrol". I'm always a little worried when I know a character I like is leaving a series for fear they'll kill him or he'll disappear without a word, which is almost worse. Thankfully if he had to leave they gave him a good send-off; he takes a job as an Army scout and takes the son of his dead friend as his. I miss Pete terribly, though. Clay lacks the warmth and clarity of character, too many shades of grey. This season did give me an unexpected gift by having Pete in the episode "Reunion". It's wonderful to have him back, if only briefly. In the last episode "Devil and the Deep Blue". Teddy turned back up! I'd been wondering where he was this season. Poor Teddy, I rather like him and he never seems to get a main role in any episode. Also, be still, my childhood heart, I watched the adorable "Grandma's Money", and "The Pitchwagon", a feast of hilarious moments where the drivers stage an impromptu talent show, both of which made me remember yet again why I adore Rowdy from his drawstring hat to that sugar sweet and oh so gullible heart. Let's just say when he sings and the girls in the crowd shriek, I'm silently doing it, too. There must be something magical about tv cowboys...they can steal your heart again and again, no matter how old you think you've become.

I adore Barney Sloane, the down-trodden character in Young At Heart, so I was thrilled to discover the film was a remake of another movie, 1938's Four Daughters, and that Frank Sinatra's role (called Mickey) was originally John Garfield's. With four sisters instead of three, the plots are still very similiar, of the women marrying men who they don't completely love yet. Into this walks a piano-player with neither self-confidence or hope compounded by a firm belief that his fates are out to destroy him. Almost the same until you reach Mickey's first scene and everything changes. Expecting the instant pull Barney had on me, I found myself recoiling from John Garfield's portrayal. Barney is such a tragic and emotionally-fragile character you bleed for him; Mickey comes across as sarcastic and bitter, enjoying feeling sorry for himself. It's the most subtle things that seem to change everything: the way they look, the tone of voice, and Frank Sinatra's unique, soulful eyes and world-weary delivery of the lines give a depth to Barney that Mickey doesn't have, and I never truly bonded with the character. It's a shame because it would have been fascinating to see John Garfield tackle the role the same way, including the final scene. Four Daughters has Mickey die shortly after in hospital, and the next scene finds Anne smiling, seemingly having forgotten all about him, and returning to the original man she loved. Young At Heart takes a far more hopeful and beautiful turn as Laurie's desperate attempts to convince Barney that she loves him and needs him finally gives him the strength to pull through surgery. The last scene finds the couple, now with a baby, Barney having finished the song that haunted him through the film. Despite a last cute moment Four Daughters left me saddened and confused, Mickey seeming like an out of place part that was worked in at the last moment and removed without anyone noticing. Young At Heart is so romantic and hopeful that I grin ear to ear at the ending. John Garfield, in his first role, has that brooding sarcasm that he'd use so well in later roles, but his approach is so opposite from Frank Sinatra's that I felt I was watching a different character completely, and the ending only confirmed that idea. The change of the character surviving, I understand, was Frank Sinatra's request that Barney be given a second chance, and I not only agree with his choice but adore him for it. More than Mickey, Barney is the backbone of the film, and the original ending would have defeated the point of the story.

I love sword-and-sandals films and among my favorites is The Robe. Victor Mature was an excellent actor when given a chance at a good role, like Demetrius, requiring an emotional depth pouring out of his eyes. It's always saddened me how there's no real ending for him, so it was with great excitement that I discovered the sequel Demetrius and the Gladiators. Picking up a while later, Demetrius is living with a potter and his daughter Lucia, a young woman he loves from afar, never guessing she also loves him. His world comes shattering around him when Caligula launches an empire-wide search for the robe, believing it will grant him immortality. When they arrive his attempts to protect Lucia from the soldiers sentence him to the gladiator fights, and near death, the conniving Messalina saves him and sets her eye on him at any cost. Demetrius forced to watch as the gladiators attack and appear to kill Lucia. Demetrius lashes out, turning his back on his religion, friends, and even pacifism. Freed and given a position as Tribune, he sets out to recapture the Robe when he discovers Lucia is still living and in possession of it. It's is a well done what if?, interesting in that it isn't a single event that sets him off but more the last straw, implied that it began when Marcellus died for him. I wondered how Demetrius would feel when it sunk in. He's been through torture to the brink of death, rescued moments before dying, and healed, even as his friends knew that bringing Peter there would cast suspicion on themselves, and then Marcellus turns back and gives himself up to allow the others to have a chance to escape with Demetrius. Surely all this would haunt Demetrius, and I would have liked the sequel to touch on this more. His loss of faith, violent anger, and later change of heart, are sudden but believable but I found it somewhat out of character for him to instantly rush into a relationship with Messalina the moment he thinks Lucia is dead. Victor Mature gets center stage in the sequel and he's wonderful, equally convincing as his usual kind-hearted character and the embittered transformation mid-way through the movie. The film ends on a hopeful note but another sequel would have been perfect although the loose ends are tied up. In other new films I watched the 2010 Clash of The Titans which was surprisingly better than the original, even if I was broken-hearted that Ixas and Eusebius were killed. Hans Matheson was wonderful as Ixas - saving Perseus's life and going around with fantastic bows and arrows - and the actor who played Eusebius looked so much like Krycek I couldn't believe my eyes. Perseus was an easy to sympathize with hero, and I liked his relationship with Io even if I was hoping he'd end up with Andromeda in the end. But the special effects were all amazing, and it was quite fun. Next was The Andersonville Trial, a fascinating and moving film of Henry Wirz's trial. The cast was amazing and I was intrigued by the fact that the entire film takes place in the courtroom. William Shatner was superb as Chipman, the prosecuter whose moral convictions and deep sense of caring for those who died drives him to prove Wirz's guilt, and Michael Burns had a achingly tragic role as a nineteen year old survivor of Andersonville who remains lost in the war in his mind. The film dug deeply into the implications of following or disobeying orders and ended with a sobering, thought-provoking comment. I finally saw Because They're Young, and it was superb. I love old "teen rebel" films and couldn't resist the fantastic cast. Dick Clark is an idealistic teacher at a rough school who believes any student can be reached if he tries hard enough, at odds with the hardened principal who wants to go by the rules, teach the good students, and throw away the bad ones. Both are put to the test when he gets Michael Callan in his class, a rough kid with a chip on his shoulder who gets involved in a robbery and finds himself caught against a switchblade. Even as a bad boy he still has that impish grin that makes me smile back. Roberta Shore and cute, towheaded Doug McClure were adorable high school sweethearts in the movie and made me remember how I used to ship Trampas/Betsy before Randy showed up. Throw in some radio music by Bobby Rydell, Duane Eddy at the dance, and James Darren with his million-dollar-smile and very glittery hair and eyes and I was in love. Next I saw the lovely film The Winning Team, a biography of a star baseball pitcher and his devoted wife whose strength helps him overcome a brain injury and gives him the courage to make not only a comeback but win the world series for his team. Then I discovered the film Stolen Women Captured Hearts. Anna is a new bride, married to a man she barely knows when the Lakota capture her, her life spared by the mysterious warrior Tokalah. Forced to adjust in order to survive, Anna finds her heart strangely warmed by Tokalah's kindness as well as confused by the way he seems to have met her before, as she finds herself falling in love for the first time. But her newfound happiness is threatened when Custer takes an interest in returning her, a simple task that quickly turns tragic. It's one of those lovely romantic films that are just pretty to look at, along with the benefits of a clever backstory of Tokalah having seen Anna in a vision, the Indians actually played by Indians, and a unique final choice. Next was Splendor In The Grass, a haunting film that's been on my "must watch list" for ages. Set in the '20s and quite accurate to the time period, the story centers on Bud and Deanie, two star-crossed teenagers deeply in love who only want to get married in their small Kansas town. But Deanie's out-of-touch parents and Bud's ambitious, harsh father threaten their relationship, and finally drive them apart: Bud to alcohol and other women and Deanie to the brink of insanity. With poignant photography, incredible acting (especially Bud's tormented, wild sister) and an aching study in social standards and heartbreak, it's a superb film. Second was Magnificent Obsession, about Bob Merrick, a playboy millionaire with no direction in life who recklessly crashes his motorboat and almost drowns, saved thanks to a resuscitator borrowed from the local doctor, who at the same time suffers a heart attack and dies. Guilt-ridden, Bob attempts to make amends to the widow, Helen, but his efforts result in a tragic accident that leaves her blinded. He begins joining her on the beach where she sits, befriending and falling in love with her. Not knowing who he is, she returns his feelings but fate intervenes when she disappears, leaving behind only a note breaking off the relationship. Flash forward to years later and he's now a talented neurosurgeon when word comes that she's been found, dying in a hospital. In a strange twist of fate he becomes the only person who can save her life and give them another chance at happiness together. It was a rich and lovely soap opera in the grand style only that era could do. The casting is unusual but grew on me, the theme is stunning, and it's a glorious movie to look at. Bob grows over the film and the transformation is fascinating as his conceited, devil-may-care ways turn into a man who gives everything of himself and asks for nothing. Next was All That Heaven Allows, a gorgeous and moving film that's one of the best happy-ending romances I've seen in a very long time. Cary is a lonely widow caught in an endless routine of country clubs, artificial friends, social standards, and the cold glitz of a wealthy, privileged life. Ron is her garderner who's starting his own tree farm, a genuine, loving man who refuses to let little things matter and lives life to the fullest. When a shared breakfast draws the two together they find themselves falling in love, a romance which tests Cary's relationships with her friends and her nearly-grown children as well as shaking the core of her orderly lifestyle. Unable to deal with social convention, she breaks their relationship off, and it takes a season of loneliness and a tragic accident before Cary discovers that what she's wanted all along isn't money or people to think well of her, only the kind of love Ron can give. It was a beautiful movie, both heartwarming and poignant, rich and gripping. Last was the quirky but fun musical The Pirate with Gene Kelly in all his swashbuckling glory as an actor who pretends to be a pirate in order to win the woman who has a crush on the pirate. More Victor Mature's films, too, and the past two were the best so far. The Egyptian tells the tragic story of a man who rises and falls through the ranks from an abandoned infant on the Nile to a wealthy doctor to Pharoh. Victor Mature played a soldier and childhood friend to the doctor who rises with him and changes as he does. The film had gorgeous scenery and sets, a haunting theme, and an incredible, heartbreaking scene where the soldiers kill the worshippers on the outskirts of Egypt. The best scene, I think, is the Doctor's inspiring speech toward the end. Million Dollar Mermaid was a sweet, wonderful film with Victor Mature being fabulous as the carny drifter with his head in the clouds, such a colorful character. I've never seen him play that sort of role and he pulled it off beautifully. The swimming scenes and the technicolor were glorious, and the setting was richly detailed with the silent movie sets, flying machines, and carnival. I've also been on a nostalgic kick and watched all the Ma & Pa Kettle films. I had a couple as a kid and saw them over and over but I hadn't thought of them again until recently. They're every bit as hilarious and fun as I remember.
 
 
feeling: stressed
calliope tune: "Together Forever"-Rick Astley
 
 
Kathleen
11 May 2012 @ 10:15 pm
Dust  
Title: Dust
Fandom: Rawhide
Summary: A character study of two very different men and the common thread that unites them.
Genre: drama
Characters: Rowdy, Gil, Wishbone, Mushy, Hey Soos
Pairings: none
Warnings: violence, pre-final season

Head 'em up! Move 'em out! )
Tags:
 
 
feeling: lazy
calliope tune: "Watching Scotty Grow"-Bobby Goldsboro