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
The Musketeers is on now and it's absolutely wonderful, capturing not only the time period but the characters's personalities perfectly. D'Artagnan is wonderfully sassy, Aramis is stunning, and my heart bleeds for Athos already. I love the characters' friendship, and Milady is already an intriguing villain. I love how the series retains the flavor of the books, not shying away from ships between married characters. Constance is wonderful, the first version of the character I've liked, and she and D'Artagnan are perfect together. Thankfully, I absolutely detest her husband which makes the shipping easy. "Sleight of Hand" was even better than the pilot with an intriguing spy plot and plenty of explosions. Aramis and Anne were surprisingly adorable, and even if I know it's doomed I can't help shipping it. I loved that she gave him the necklace, and that he kissed it after the bomb failed to explode. Still it saddened me to think Aramis believes Adele abandoned him when her last thoughts were of how much she loved him. I assumed the Cardinal would be plotting against Aramis by now but it hasn't come up yet. D'Artagnan was fabulous as a spy, getting whumped and yet still saving the day. "Commodities" was excellent, deftly handling the Athos/Milady backstory and allowing Athos to discover she survived. I love how dangerous Milady is compared to some versions, and Athos continues to be more and more tragic. Aramis was hilarious, especially with how proud he was of his stitching, and he even got to speak some Spanish. The scene of him reverting to the role of priest was touching. Porthos got a chance to shine, lending a haunting touch to the scene where he derides a slave trader. I love the way the show uses social issues. "The Good Soldier" gave a glimpse of Aramis's past, focusing on a tragic massacre that only he and his friend, now an assassin and wanted man, survived. While the episode was somewhat weaker than the others it was wonderful to see Aramis featured as well as the attention to past details such as him wearing the cross Anne gave him. "The Homecoming" gave Porthos a chance to shine, as well as give a glimpse of his past. I found the Court Of Miracles fascinating, as well as the insight into his character. "The Exiles" was the best episode so far, perhaps because I went into it only expecting baby!fluff and was pleasantly surprised to find so much more. The plot was perfect, featuring political intrigue with the royals - a hidden twin, a plot to usurp the king, a scheming Queen, and a baby being used as a pawn - alongside the Musketeers and Constance trying to protect the infant and his mother. Constance was back to being fabulous again, helping rescue the child and even sword-fighting to protect Aramis and he. Aramis was wonderful - I think I fell in love with him even more than before - with a poignant lost love revealed, as well as his protection of Agnes and her son. He was adorable with the baby and even got to sing to him, something I never knew how badly I wanted. "A Rebellious Woman" played into my fascination with the 1600s' witch trials while presenting more reasons for me to adore Aramis. I loved all his lines, and the comment about him "cherishing women". Athos's explosion at seeing his wife was stunning, with Tom Burke pulling every emotion possible out of that scene and even scaring me a little in the process. Also the scene of Aramis fighting with books was epic. "The Confession" was a weak plot but made up for a lot of it by enough shiny sword fighting to make even me content. I loved seeing the tournament, especially Athos training D'Artagnan, who showed so much growth in this episode, by finally rejecting MiLady and seemingly growing up. The moment where he finally becomes a musketeer was beautiful, and I loved his hugs with Aramis and Porthos. D'Artagnan and Constance's romance was adorable followed by heartbreaking and while I can see her husband's point of view, I can't help but loathe him for hurting her and threatening to kill D'Artagnan. Aramis was strangely out of character, and the writing seemed shaky, but I enjoyed the continuation of the characters's story arcs and the new twists. "Knight Takes Queen" finally explores the tale of Aramis's lost love and brings him closure, even if I was quite disappointed with who she turned out to be. Aramis/Anne are finally canon, but I feel worried to be shipping it, since it can't go smoothly. Still they're lovely and sweet together, and I liked the parallel of Aramis's lost child to Anne's. King Louis got to show the two different sides of his often childish personality, and the Cardinal continues to grow more evil. The nuns were fabulous, especially Mother Superior, and I loved them defending the convent. "Musketeers Don't Die Easily" was a wonderful finale, neatly tying things up while leaving me looking forward to next season. The romantic relationships were the best: Athos finally got closure over Milady, Constance and D'Artagnan have found each other again but in a bittersweet move, Constance chooses to remain with her husband, and most poignantly, it's heavily implied that Anne's expected child is Aramis's. I loved their final scene together when Aramis pledges to protect the child for the rest of his life, a beautifully acted and touching moment as his eyes show barely constrained happiness mixed with sadness. D'Artagnan was wonderful, pulling off the scheme brilliantly, and I adored the group hug and the "one for all and all for one" finally being spoken.

In brand new shows there's Star Crossed which is lovely so far, a sci-fi reimagining of Romeo and Juliet which will hopefully have a less tragic future. Roman is a wonderful character with a perfect blend of sweetness and snark, and I really like Julia so far. I love the first meeting between Roman and Emery and how most of the aliens seem more human than the humans. The ending of the pilot with Roman saving Julia and his father dying was deeply poignant.

I'm on season two of Once Upon A Time now. The way the characters are all related and the constant recasting of the same character in many roles - crocodile!Rumplestiltskin being the worst - continues to make my head spin, and sadly there's even more focus on the female characters to the expense of the much better written male characters, but there are bright spots in the mess. New this season is Killian, and I love him even better after getting to see his introduction, while Emma's betrayal of him only serves to make me hate her more. Her constant whining and complaining about being an orphan when she's found her family and her son gets old quickly and her personality flips between annoyingly aggressive and so bland she sets my teeth on edge. New also is Phillip, and he's lovely, a perfect mix of sweetness and bravery that makes me only wish the writers would use him more often, and preferably without Aurora, definitely the most useless princess in the series so far, and Mulan who keeps looking like she'll betray everyone and never does - a pity since it might actually make her interesting. I adore the backstory of Phillip being cursed and Belle saving him, and I hope the writers explore that curse more in the future. I was looking forward to Lancelot and was sadly disappointed as this version lacks much of the nobility and depth of the character and seems like more than a means to an end for the writers to correct a short-lived twist for Snow White that might have been more interesting if they'd only explored it further. Regina's lost love Daniel returns in one of the saddest episodes of the series as her relationship with him is the few times I feel pity for Regina. I teared up when she was forced to kill him. Jefferson is back for a few episodes and I couldn't stop smiling when he finally is reunited with his daughter; their relationship is my favorite on the series and it made me so happy that he finally found her again. Dr. Whale finally gets backstory, and despite my original skepticism at how the show would handle a non-fairytale and difficult, iconic character, I was thrilled to see they did a beautiful job. The idea of the Land Without Color, and Rumplestiltskin appearing in color in it is brilliant, and Frankenstein's monster being his brother adds a poignant layer, making me tear up when his brother seemingly begs for death after finally speaking Viktor's name. I loved the parallel of Dr. Whale saving the stranger and finding some atonement for his actions. I was far less pleased with the writers's handling of Jack and the Beanstalk, though, reducing Jack to a girl - who annoyed me every bit as much as I'd suspected she would - and making Charming's brother evil. I did like the giants being good and the humans evil but the story lacked heart. I loved seeing Rumplestiltskin leaving Storybrooke to find his son, along with his endearing confusion at the outside world. His injury and phone call to Belle were heartwrenching, and Belle losing her memory and breaking the little cup broke my heart completely. The origin of Rumplestiltskin's injury was revealed in a way I hadn't expected, as well as how he attained the ability to see the future. The seer was an interesting character that I'd love more background on, and I adored seeing Rumplestiltskin with baby Bae. Neal annoys me, and I find it nearly impossible to consider he and little Bae the same person. Cora is dreadful, unquestionably the most horrible character on the show yet, and the flashback romance with her and Rumplestiltskin makes me both cringe and gag. I've never been so grateful to see a character killed off, and for the first time Snow White gets some depth with the twist of her heart being blackened by killing Cora, even it makes little sense seeing as how evil Cora was and how killing her saved more than just Rumplestiltskin's life. "Welcome To Storybrooke" was fascinating, showing the endless timeloop of the 28 years along with bringing Graham back for the episode. I was so thrilled to see him again, if only in the flashbacks. August's story finally gets an ending after being dreadfully underused and all but forgotten by the writers. Eoin Bailey is one of the most talented actors in the series and I adore August, for his deeply human flaws and attempts to do right. He made my heart hurt in the scene where he lays in the alley, and the poignancy of him turning to wood and finally giving his life to try to save the others had me in tears. I was thankful the fairy brought him back to life but heartbroken that he became a child again, seemingly having forgotten being August and thereby erasing all those beautiful flaws that made his character so wonderfully complex. "Lacey" broke my heart as Rumplestiltskin falls back into evil and Belle ends up with cursed memories, but I adored Robin Hood and his magical bow, even if his role was all too brief. I enjoyed the storyline of the curse failsafe and the beans even if it felt rushed, and I loved seeing Belle finally get her memories back, and Killian showing his good side by returning to help the others and finally giving up his revenge. As evil as Greg is his grief over finally finding his father's fate was poignant. "Second Star to the Right" was lovely, and surprisingly, as much as I usually dislike Neal, I actually liked Bae in his interactions with Wendy, an adorable and wonderful version of the character. I loved the whole Darling family, them taking Bae in, and the twist on the shadow coming to the nursery, as well as Bae ending up with Killian. It saddened me to see them turn against each other in the end, though.

Once Upon A Time In Wonderland is also back from hiatus with 90% more Cyrus and "Nothing To Fear', a tale that finds the Knave rescued from his bottle by Lizard. As much as I ship Will/Anastasia, they're cute together, and Lizard's unrequited crush on him is all the more poignant when he transforms her into a beautiful woman whose dress is suspiciously like the last one he saw Anastasia in before she became the Red Queen. In any event, Lizard didn't deserve her fate, and my heart broke for the Knave, trapped, and unable to do anything but feel the pain of her last wish. Cyrus and Alice are as adorable as always, and the marriage proposal scene, complete was fireworks, had me grinning ear to ear. Alice seemed somewhat out of character, and a tad selfish, but understandable, and I loved that she came around in the end and realized Wonderland needed them. The Red Queen's story arc and Emma Rigby's acting continues to impress me, and I teared up when she realized no one would pay her ransom, then cheered when Cyrus and Alice came to her rescue. The Jabberwocky is creepy but nothing like what I'd imagined and I'm still not sure what to make of her, as much as I enjoy Jafar being intimidated for once by someone more powerful than himself. "Dirty Little Secrets" finally reveals Cyrus's origins, and I was both pleased and disappointed with the backstory. By the summary, I was braced for an evil version of Cyrus and was happily surprised to find him just as charming and good at heart, just more reckless and a bit of a card shark. I liked seeing his brothers, who oddly enough had no names but were every bit as handsome as Cyrus, and Peter Gadiot got a chance to shine - on a shallow note he cries very beautifully. However, I was a little disappointed that his crime was so minor. I suppose I was expecting something larger than simply stealing water to save his mother, even though the guardian of the well was delightfully mythological and creepy. I'm not quite sure what to think of Amara being Cyrus's mother. I'd guessed she was going to be someone we'd already seen in the series but I was sort of hoping for Jafar's mother, since I thought it would have been a poignant and fascinating twist to have Jafar and Cyrus be half brothers. Also considering Amara was involved with Jafar - a little squicky in itself considering she raised him - it's even a little icky. On the bright side I loved Cyrus and Alice finally having a heart to heart talk about their pasts and separation from each other, and I loved Cyrus's doubts - he's still so doubtful that anyone could accept and love him, poor baby - as well as Alice's beautiful reassurances and promises to "be his bottle" and keep him good. The torture scenes of Anastasia broke my heart, and I was glad that at least the Tweedle came to comfort her and help her, I never fully appreciated him before, and now I love him. "Heart Of The Matter" was flawless, finally exploring why the Knave has no heart in a poignant backstory. Cyrus was adorable and hilarious at the beginning, and I adored him in Storybrooke, fascinated by the light switches while Alice was hilariously intrigued by the ice maker. She finally said her "curiouser and curiouser" line, too! I loved the return of the Lost and Found, and Cyrus finally figuring out the fate of his mother, as well as Amara fighting back when Jafar tried to use the staff to kill Cyrus. Anastasia was wonderful, surprising me once again how talented Emma Rigby is - the contrast between the three versions from innocent sweet girl to Red Queen to broken and defeated woman was stunning - and my heart broke when she was so grateful to Cyrus and Alice for returning. The Tweedle was as fabulous as last week, and the White Rabbit was more endearing than usual. Michael Socha had the hardest role, from heartbroken young thief to his usual sarcastic self and everywhere in between, and he nailed it beautifully, making me ache for the Knave when he finally got his heart again. The scene where he finally sees Anastasia and says her name before kissing her brought tears to my eyes followed by complete heartbreak as she's murdered in front of him. "To Catch A Thief" finally reveals Alice and the Knave's first meeting, and it was wonderful and perfect. I adored the funny bits with Alice controlling his heart and him trying to politely murder her, and their friendship was lovely. The fact that she reminds him of his lost sister was touching, and I adored their last flashback scene, taking her right up to the moment she finds Cyrus's bottle. I loved how, even desperate to bring back Anastasia, he couldn't hurt Alice, even jumping into the water to save her. His short scene with Cyrus where he offers to let him get a free punch was amusing, making me wish again the two had more scenes together. I loved the Sultan standing up for the Knave and knowing instinctively who Alice was - I'm so happy they finally met - and since I have no sympathy whatsoever for Jafar I adore his character. The ending tore me up, though, with Cyrus killed and Alice feeling his pain as he died. "And They Lived" was a packed but gorgeous finale, giving me everything I'd hoped and more, all tied up into a beautiful, fitting package. The Knave and Anastasia's love story finally finds their happy ending, and I loved that they became the White King and Queen and ruled Wonderland. Anastasia never seemed to stop smiling once she found him again, and the Knave's love speech and true love's kiss as well as the "sleeping beauty" comment were adorable. He's even more loveable with a heart, and the smile he gives Alice after their last, bittersweet hug was the first genuine, non-pained one in the series, making me grin back in response. The White Rabbit, always a delight, was more fabulous than ever, making me laugh with his comments about Cyrus and Alice and what they'd done to his house, as well as making me tear up a bit at his parting with Alice and his spying on her years later in England. I never could warm to Amara, despite a nice scene where she properly meets and accepts Alice, and a nice cameo by the Flying Carpet, so I wasn't saddened by seeing her make the sacrifice for her sons. I loved that Cyrus's brothers were freed, and I wish there would have been a little more of them, or at least what became of them in the ending. Surprisingly, I was a little sad about the Jabberwocky's uncertain fate, since, despite my first thoughts, she'd become an intriguing character, and I was very sad about the Sultan. Maybe it's my hatred for Jafar, but I've loved the Sultan since the beginning and he was always so kind to Cyrus, so it broke my heart to see his ultimate and somewhat unexpected fate. Jafar showed a rare flash of humanity here and there, but not enough to make me stop cheering when, true to my theory, he became a genie himself, a perfect finish on his story. The dear Tweedle happily got a cameo, and I loved seeing his adorable interactions with little Millie, as well as his happiness at the wedding. Cyrus, thankfully, was brought back, and happily through healing magic rather than the spell, and his scenes with Alice, especially when he lifts her up at the well, were as adorable as usual. Alice and he finally get their much deserved and long-awaited happy ending, and their wedding was gorgeous. I adored everything about it, especially the Rabbit's words, and Alice's stunning dress. I loved that her father finally believed in her, and that she and Cyrus stayed in Victorian England. The ending with them having a tea party with their own daughter - an absolutely adorable little child - made me tear up from happiness, and the inclusion of the book was the perfect cherry on top of the wonderful treat that was this series.

I finally got to see more episodes of The Ponderosa and even more than before it saddens me how quickly the show fell apart. In many ways, as much as I love Bonanza, it had the potential to become better, especially with it's brilliant versions of Hop Sing and Adam who were given far more depth than in the original series. But the townspeople, who I grew to love, were quickly shoved aside, killed off, or sent out of the series, most horribly Carlos, but even dear Frenchy. The brothers's relationships remain the one truly beautiful thing about the series.

I'm up to the episode "Saturday" in Coronet Blue and it's a gorgeous and haunting story of a little boy forced to grow up too quickly. I loved the way he changed Michael's views, and how Michael helped him. More than ever I think it's such a shame how there was no proper conclusion for the series.

In other new/old shows I've been rewatching Emily of New Moon, a childhood favorite. I always shipped Perry/Emily, but I'm warming to Teddy.

I gave a try to the 2000s version of Battlestar Galactica and by considering it a different show instead of a remake I'm managing to enjoy it quite a lot. I love their names being call signals instead of just names, which lets me think the names are passed and these are different people instead of just a different version of the same character. Apollo, never my favorite in the original, is strangely more appealing here, helped along by Jamie Bamber's portrayal of him. As much as I hate Starbuck being a girl she has awesome chemistry with Lee; I adore how she saves him in the miniseries. Boomer, despite being a girl, is a likeable character so far, and Boxey is cute.

In other new shows I've started Teen Wolf, a surprisingly entertaining series. Scott is an appealing protagonist, and strangely enough I love Derek. I also really like Jackson, even if I already know he's the Whitney Fordman of this series, aka the character everyone hates who leaves the show early and I develop an attachment too and mourn him for the rest of the series. I also love the visuals of the werewolves, both their look and their powers, and I'm curious to see where the series goes.

In new movies I saw the 2005 version of War Of The Worlds. I'm usually not fond of remakes and was less than impressed with the original so I was shocked to discover how much I adored it. The filming, acting, and photography were stunning, moving me to tears countless times, and the character growth was amazing. It not only improved on the original film but also the book, making something fresh, believable, and heart-wrenching. I grew to love the characters despite my first impressions and the ending was beautiful and perfect. Next was Saving Mr. Banks, which, while it failed to live up to my hopes and I had many issues with the portrayal of Walt Disney - not the least of which that he looked and sounded nothing like him - I enjoyed. The story behind the making of Mary Poppins was both fascinating and poignant as was the recreation of Disneyland back in the day as well as the premiere of the film. My favorite part was when they finally get her dancing. Colin Farrell was excellent as the writer's loving but troubled father, and I cried at the scene where she drops the pears and goes in after his death. Next was the flawless The Sorcerer's Apprentice which managed to be both hilarious and deeply poignant with equal parts romance, magic, and friendship. I loved every moment, helped along by the fabulous cast, and adored the ending. Then was the intriguing and both fun and poignant Season Of The Witch, a fantasy-drenched look at the days of the Black Plague. Behmen was a tragic hero, and I loved Kay and how by saving him Behmen found his redemption, as sad as the ending was. After that was the haunting and heart-wrenching A.I. Artificial Intelligence. The acting was stunning, and I sobbed at the poignant ending. Jude Law was fabulous as Gigolo Joe, I loved his character and his friendship with David. The parallel between the fairytale and David's quest to be real was heartbreaking, too. Next was the 2009 live-action Mulan which I tried out of curiosity due to my love for the Disney film and was blown away by. It was hauntingly beautiful and achingly sad, and I cried over Wentai and Mulan's tragic romance. Next was the lovely and unusual Winter's Tale, a surprisingly poignant and beautiful story with more than a few unexpected twists. The settings were gorgeous, the acting flawless, and the plot was deeply moving in a bittersweet fairytale-like way. After that was the hauntingly sad true story Changeling which was often brutal but deeply moving, reducing me to tears multiple times. Next was Civil Love, a lovely Civil War era romance between a widow and the wounded soldier she finds in her barn. Daniel was wonderful, sweet and gentle, and I fell in love with him instantly. I liked that Rachel and his love came slowly instead of love at first sight, and how she ended up saving him. My running a little low on new films has led me to giving a try to remakes which I don't usually do, and which has been a combination of the surprising good and unfortunately annoying. I started with the 1999 version of Great Expectations, one of the few films I watch every version of, even though the 1940s one remains my favorite. Miss Havisham was sadly the weakest spot, lacking the madness or invoking the pity of other versions but giving a strangely flat performance. Estella, by contrast, was flawless, both as a haughty child and as a twisted woman incapable of love. The casting, too, was perfect; I had no difficulty whatsoever believing the child and adult were different versions of the same person. Little Pip was a more jaded, world-weary version of the character than I'm used to; fitting, perhaps, but surprising. The child was an excellent actor, though, and I loved how he starts to skip when Miss Havisham tells him to play instead of automatically wanting to play with Estella. Ioan Gruffudd was a very different Pip than I'm used to, but his performance was fascinating and layered, not always likeable but always intriguing. His final scene with Miss Havisham gave me chills as it was the closest I'd imagined to the book. The tune running through the film was poignantly lovely, and I liked the beautiful location shots as well as the bittersweet, more realistic ending. Next was 3:10 To Yuma, which, while failing to live up to the beauty and depth of the original benefited greatly from it's actors. Christian Bale was, in many ways, far more appealing than Van Heflin as Dan, with a tragic backstory and determination to be a hero for his son. The twist at the end by having him die shocked and saddened me. Russell Crowe did a fine job as Ben, but lacked the gentleness that made me fall in love with Glenn Ford, and although I loved the music it wasn't the hauntingly lovely tune from the original. Still the man alone theme found in so many westerns such as High Noon and Sitting Bull and always portrayed best here managed to shine through despite the years, and the characters were still as fascinating as in the original. Next was the intriguing The Invasion which surprisingly manages to be as good as the original with appealing characters, a new twist of certain people being immune, and more than a few creepy moments. Carol attempting to blend in with fascinating, and I loved her relationships with both Ben and Oliver and was grateful that they all got their happy ending. Then was The Lone Ranger, a peculiar mix of the surprisingly good and the terrible. The film seemed to be unable to decide if it was a comedy-parody, a western drama, or a steampunk action flick, and veered so quickly between the genres I got mental whiplash. Red was a quirky and appealing character who was poorly underused, Tonto was given a tragic and fascinating backstory ruined by the clownish and sometimes mean-spirited actions (the worst being hitting John in the head when he realizes he's not dead yet, only badly wounded) and always dreadful "acting" of Johnny Depp. Despite my dislike of Armie Hammer, he managed to do fairly well with what he was given, especially toward the end when he gets to actually be a hero. The story within a story format was well done, and I found a few of the nods amusing. Still the gruesomeness of Cavendish and the squirmingly obvious racism made it far less pleasant than the original series, despite the few flashes of brilliance. Next was Return to Treasure Island which was cute and a nicely done sequel. Dean O'Gorman made a perfect older Jim.

In new animated films I finally saw Wall-E which was very cute and actually somewhat inspiring. Wall-E and Eve's relationship was adorable, especially their dancing in space scene, and I also loved the two humans who found each other in the ship. Next was The Road To El Dorado, a greatly entertaining and random adventure with lovable characters. Next was Finding Nemo and I adored both the title character and the richly detailed world, as well as Nemo and his father's relationship. Next was Rio, a cute and colorful story with an adorably quirky romance between the human characters. Then was The Nightmare Before Christmas which was imaginative and far cuter than I'd imagined, with both towns a lot of fun. ext was the darling Oliver and Company with the cutest animated cat ever and some lovely moments and catchy tunes. Next was Kung Fu Panda which was random but enjoyable. Next was Big Hero 6 which was a little strange and sad but featured the most precious and unique robot ever. Next was the Ice Age series which I laughed my way through and completely fell in love with. Next was Quest For Camelot which was sweet but also featured the first disabled hero I've seen in an animated film which delighted me. Last was a childhood favorite, the beautiful and heartwarming The Snowman.
 
 
feeling: depressed
calliope tune: "I Started A Joke"-Bee Gees
 
 
Kathleen
I'm working my way through season three of Smallville, the only season I hadn't seen yet. Highlights include the fascinating "Extinction" in which an embittered teenager is executing meteor-infected people one by one and ends up shooting Clark with a kryptonite bullet which leads to Jonathan and Martha having to perform home surgery to save his life, and "Whisper" in which Clark is blinded by a piece of meteor rock and discovers his super hearing, with the cute foreshadowing of Clark having to wear glasses as his eyes heal. "Relic" was an unusual mystery in which Clark discovers his father traveled to Earth in 1961 and fell in love with a woman he's accused of having murdered. The story gives a human side to Jor-El who I usually despise and made me see him in a more sympathetic light, as well as giving a fantastic excuse to have Clark with retro clothing and hair. I loved the scene where Jor-El reveals where he's from and then picks up Louise and floats in the stars with her, and their romance was a lovely and tragic fairytale. I loved how everyone's lives were woven together in the past, especially Hiram Kent saving Jor-El from the police, and Lex's grandfather being a murderer, showing the roots of the Luthor family's evil. "Hereafter", a moving and unique episode, features a teenager who can see the way someone will die by touching them, a meteor power that leaves him deeply troubled and afraid of human contact, a situation that poses an intriguing and unsolved question when the boy touches Clark and sees only a cape and light, leading him to wonder whether Clark is immortal. He sees a flash of the school coach committing suicide, but Clark saves the man, changing the future and setting into motion a dangerous chain of events that threaten several lives, the teen's included. The ending with Clark finding Jonathan collapsed in the barn was a superbly filmed and acted finale to a deftly woven story. Running through the episode is another storyline involving Adam, the teen Lana met while recovering from her injury. He has a lot of potential, not the least of which is being the first person in the series to give Lana a swift emotional kick to try to force her to grow up and get over herself, despite being yet another guy to fall for her. His story arc takes a chilling and startling turn when toward the end of the episode the boy, having bumped into him by accident, seems to suggest that Adam had already died, giving a sinister edge to the unknown medicine he's been taking. My favorite episode of the season is the heartbreaking and gorgeous "Memoria" in which Lex, attempting to regain his lost memories, unearths pieces of his tragic childhood, including the death of his infant brother, Julian. The conclusion shocked me and made me cry, and it was one of the most moving episodes I've seen of anything. Lex has finally won me over, and it makes me sad to realize what he'll end up like in only a few seasons.

Season 7 of The Virginian is out on DVD and little has changed this year with the exception of Stacey mysteriously vanishing and new ranchhand David Sutton, a kind and unassuming drifter who settles at Shiloh, stepping into his place. Trampas and he have an easy and wonderful friendship, bringing back something lost when Steve left the show. Clay and Holly Grainger are firmly established as the owners of Shiloh but their relationship with the hands remains strained or forced, and I couldn't help my jaw dropping when Clay threatens to fire Trampas after he gets into a fight. The season has a comfortable but mostly worn feel, as if the writers were short on new ideas and instead reused ones from earlier seasons. However there's still some gems among the rest, including the unusual and intriguing "The Wind Of Outrage" in which the Virginian and Trampas find themselves held prisoner by a group of Frenchmen on the Canadian border and Trampas is as wonderful as usual, the excellent and well crafted "The Stranger", "Nora", a intriguingly twisted tale of a woman attempting to promote her army husband through any means necessary including murder, the delightfully quirky "Big Tiny" and the hilarious "Crime Wave In Buffalo Springs" both of which brought some much needed humor back to the show, and the complex and fascinating "Stopover".

I finally got season four of Merlin and I'm already in love with the knights: Leon, of course, because he's wonderful, and Lancelot as always, but Percival, too, especially after the adorable scene where he finds and rescues the three children, and Elyan for coming to their defense and his speech to Arthur in the season's opener. Arthur has finally transformed into the kind and just king of legend, and for the first time in the series I find myself truly caring about him and warming up to him, especially when he's so gentle with the girl whose family was killed in "The Darkest Hour", and the heartbreaking conversation he has with Merlin at the end of the first part of that episode. I also love that he finally calls Merlin his friend, and seems to care about him, even if he's still awkward at saying it. Bradley James has turned into an incredible actor this season, really impressing me with subtle touches to the character, like the way his voice shakes when he calls for help after Uther is stabbed. There's something strangely off about Merlin, as if he's changed into Emrys and left most of the endearing awkwardness and goofy boyish charm behind, and even his banter with Arthur sometimes lacks the quirky fun it once had. This Merlin is somehow far older than last season's, and the boy who once sobbed over the father he barely knew doesn't shed a single tear for Lancelot, one of his oldest friends and one of the few people with whom he could be himself and not have to hide his magic. And Lancelot...I've forgiven the writers for many things when it came to Merlin's jaw-dropping disregard for the core concepts of Arthurian Legend because I loved and appreciated the clever reimagining and easy to become attached to characters of the series but that's where I draw the line. Santiago Cabrera's Lancelot is my very favorite version of my favorite character in Arthurian Legend, so obviously I wasn't looking forward to seeing his death, but I expected something more noble and heartwrenching. I expected to feel more than numb resignation when he walked through the veil, and for the focus to linger on his sacrifice and the grief left by it instead of instantly shifting off into Arthur and Gwen's romance and Merlin trying to hide his secret. Lancelot deserved far better than to be written off and forgotten when he'd worn out his usefulness to the writers who only have eyes for Arthur/Gwen, and to head straight into the next episode and have Arthur's birthday party and everyone laughing and happy felt horribly cruel. If that wasn't enough there's the dreadful "Lancelot Du Lac" which manages to make Lancelot's beautiful last name into something twisted while corrupting and almost destroying the strength of his character and decency. I was disappointed with the season's finale "The Sword In The Stone". Despite playing fast and loose with the legends Merlin usually has an impressive way of introducing my favorite things such as the Round Table, Arthur's coronation, and Lancelot, but Arthur pulling the sword, one of the most awe-inspiring moments in the legends, was sadly ruined by having it be caused by Merlin's magic instead of Arthur's destiny, casting all the glory on Merlin. Tristan and Isolde's love shone through, and both the actors were very well cast, but it took me a while to adjust to them being smugglers. Arthur was hilarious when Merlin took his will but I couldn't help feeling uncomfortable with the idea, even played for laughs. Between that and killing Agravaine, Merlin seems to have crossed a dark line this season that makes me sad to watch. Also, as much as I enjoy the idea of the people of Camelot as fugitives, the story felt like a rehash of last season's finale. But there's still bright spots in the season with the adorable baby dragon and the superb episode "His Father's Son" in which Arthur truly stepped into the king's shoes and proves himself a far better man than Uther. Things finally get back to normal in "A Servant Of Two Masters", a hilarious tale where enchanted Merlin comes up with way after way to kill Arthur that always fails in the end. The hug was wonderful, as well as Arthur's determination to find Merlin, even if the episode gives me even more reason to hate Morgana, the worst and most evil version of the character yet. "The Secret Sharer" is also incredible, a beautiful glimpse at Arthur and Merlin's future destiny, as well as tender Merlin and Gaius moments and a surprisingly sweet scene with Arthur and Gaius. Arthur and Merlin's banter at the beginning is finally the way it should be, and I couldn't stop giggling through the whole scene. My favorite episode of the season was the deeply moving "Herald Of A New Age", for it's focus on Elyan and the incredible acting from Bradley James during the scene in which Arthur confronts and makes his peace with the spirit. I sobbed when the "child" hugged and forgave him, and the episode was perfect in every way. Next on my list of Arthurian adaptations to watch was the '60s musical Camelot, and once I got past the strangeness of everyone randomly bursting into song I completely fell in love with it. It's a gorgeous, flawless film that manages to capture everything I adore about the love triangle of the legends while not focusing so much on the magic and sorcery. I teared up through most of it, and sobbed at the ending. Arthur came across as somewhat silly at first but he surprised me by turning in a moving performance starting with his heartbreaking monologue when he discovers Lancelot and Guinevere are in love, and by the end of the film I loved his portrayal, capturing Arthur's heart and also his caring for both his wife and knight in the scene where Lancelot saves Guinevere from execution. Guinevere wasn't how I picture her but she did a superb job at the role, and her slowly growing love for Lancelot was beautiful and convincing, as well as perfectly pulling off her tragic last scene. Lancelot was fantastic, one of the very best takes on the role I've seen, managing to carefully balance the flaws and virtues of the knight while making it easy to see why Guinevere would fall in love with him. He had gorgeous blue eyes and a French accent, too, and the scene where he brings the dead knight back to life was so powerful it sent chills up my spine. Following that was King Arthur, the most unusual and fascinating version so far. Despite setting and style being completely shifted, and Arthur as a Roman soldier who leads a ragtag but skilled group of knights, everyone was easily recognizable, with Arthur's strength of character and caring heart shining through. I loved the clever way the film took key moments such as the sword in the stone and made them believable in a historical and non-magical context, and the amount of research and training that went into making the film was impressive, especially how well the actors swordfought. Lancelot, as usual, gets the best scenes and lines, as well as two swords, and his fate, however foreshadowed, deeply saddened me, as did Tristan's tragic and horrific death. I did prefer the alternate ending to the one they used which felt too happy and weak for an otherwise powerful and grim film, but the beautiful scene of the horses running put tears in my eyes. I also loved the costumes and the stunning music, especially the haunting theme. Last, I saw Knights Of The Round Table, an extremely faithful version that finally included Elaine, my favorite female character from Arthurian Legend. She was wonderful, sweet, lovely, and perfectly cast, and my heart ached for her tragic love for Lancelot. The film also finally had Galahad as Elaine's and Lancelot's son, played by the most adorable baby ever, and there was a heart-tugging scene where Guinevere, tears running down her cheeks, picks him up and cuddles him. Percival was also as I imagine him, and I enjoyed his friendship with and trust in Lancelot. My favorite scene was Lancelot throwing Excalibur into the ocean, gorgeous and haunting. 

I finally watched Robin Of Sherwood's season two finale "The Greatest Enemy" which I'd been dreading. I already knew what was going to happen but, as I expected, it didn't make it any easier. It was gut-wrenching to watch, knowing that this time Robin wouldn't get out alive, but his actual death scene was unique and beautifully handled, not letting the viewers actually see Robin die, only the arrows released before cutting to a new scene. I'm still not sure why he didn't kill the sheriff with his last arrow but the way he smiles and shoots it off into the sky was incredibly poignant, as was his goodbye to Marion and the scene between Marion and Much when they realize he's dead. I liked the mirror of the beginning, where the men shoot the arrows and remember Robin each in their own way, showing how he touched each of them. Then I started season three, and despite the fact that I'd already made up my mind to dislike the new guy, I just couldn't. Two episodes and I was already head over heels for him, even if he'll never take Robin of Loxley's place in my heart. But Robert is adorable and so very sweet, and he won me over with how humble he was and determined to never replace Robin as well as how he managed to win each of the men over. I've accepted him as the leader, but he's still Robert and not Robin to me, because Robin of Loxley was Robin Hood, the only one who's ever fit how I imagined and won me over at the first moment. But I love Robert, too, and his episodes are amazing like "The Inheritance" which made me all fangirly over the fantastic combination of Robin Hood and Arthurian Legend when the band defends the castle of Camelot and Robert is asked to protect the round table. He's also adorable with children, and his dimples never fail to make me grin. By the last episode he'd won me over so much he's become my favorite character, and the finale "Time Of The Wolf" broke my heart as much as "The Greatest Enemy" did, only in a different way. It was an unusual but fitting end, somehow, closing Marion's story while still leaving the possibility of a happy ending, and even if I wanted to shake her it was an uncanny parallel to the pilot where she's planning to enter the convent. I heard that if the series had continued Marion would eventually have come to her senses, returned to Robert and married him, and I think to picture that as the ending. There was so much to love in the finale, just the same, with the final flashbacks, the last "nothing's forgotten, nothing is ever forgotten", and especially the adorable scene where Little John, so happy to see Robert alive and well, grabs him from behind in a huge hug that nearly crushes and knocks Robert over, even if he grins back. Robin Of Sherwood left me with a tiny crush on Jason Connery, though, so I've been watching some of his other roles, and it blew my mind to realize he was Dominic in Smallville. I even tolerated the Sixth Doctor to see his episode of Doctor Who "Vengeance On Varos". Six, while still being egotistical and occasionally unfeeling, was surprisingly good to Peri, and I especially liked his approach to rescuing her when he shoots out the controls and then imprints her own identity back on her. The story was refreshingly unique and good, too, about a grim planet where the people's "entertainment" consists of televised torture and executions. Jason Connery's character, Jondar, is a rebel who's been tortured and is moments away from execution when the Doctor and Peri rescue him and his wife who's being held prisoner. The four of them wind up in the midst of a series of deadly traps but manage to escape them all. I couldn't help giggling and shaking my head at the Doctor hauling Peri around like a sack of grain, just like Five carried her but at least he had the excuse of being sick, while Jondar ever so gently carries and sets down his wife. After that was the adorable Puss In Boots, a perfect adaptation of the fairytale and I couldn't stop smiling through the entire film. Jason Connery as Corin looked impossibly young in it, younger than Robert despite it being filmed later, and he was so precious all the way through, cuddling little Puss, singing, dancing, and winning the heart of the princess. Human!Puss was hilarious, too, and I loved how the princess wasn't a damsel in distress and accepted Corin instantly. Then was Casablanca Express, an action WWII adventure that put him as Cooper, a soldier defending a train from Nazis. He was beaten up and wounded and still managed to save the day and I loved his determination as well as felt his anger at how the military leaders used him and the others, including his friend who died, as pawns in a spy game. Best of all, he used a crossbow as his weapon, the first war film I've seen with bows and arrows, and I kept seeing flashes of Robert in him. His girlfriend was awesome, too, tough and able to distract Germans, send radio signals, and still run to him and support him out at the end. I also found the people on the train fascinating, from the talkative little girl to the tragic and touching study of the Arab and the priest.   

I'm working my way through season eight of The X-Files and it's so wrong without Mulder being there with Scully, and her heart breaking is painful to watch. I sobbed when she goes into Mulder's apartment, hugs his shirt, and curls up in his bed. The feel of the series has changed, too, giving it a dark, almost dangerous edge that Mulder and Scully's relationship always lightened, and even the Lone Gunmen and the return of Gibson Praise can't seem to make me feel better. But there's John Doggett, possibly the character with the worst introduction in the history of the show which makes me want to do exactly what Scully does and toss a cup of water in his face, and yet curiously grows on me with each episode. He can't compare to Mulder, of course, but there's a good heart beneath the tough exterior, and he cares about Scully. The more I see of him the more I grow to love him. Scully and he work well together, and even though I'm all the way behind Mulder/Scully, I get why others ship them. The episodes are as good as ever, including the stunning "Invocation" which provides insight into Doggett's past against a haunting storyline. The music alone was enough to make me tear up, and the last part was deeply poignant. Other superb episodes include the deeply moving and unusual "The Gift" which gives Doggett a chance to shine as well as making the "monster" far more human than the humans misusing him. I found the concept of the soul eater fascinating, and Doggett's death freeing the creature was incredibly poignant, as well as Mulder's refusal to add to it's suffering. The season's storyline of Supersoldiers and Mulder's abduction and return is fascinating and very well done, even if it saddens me to see good, caring Billy Myles turned into an alien. Krycek's death was horrible and painful to watch, and as much as I loved him I can't help hating Skinner a little for killing him, since regardless of anything else, Krycek was trying to fight the aliens and save earth.

I discovered films of the Eloise books that I loved as a kid and gave a try to Eloise At Christmastime. It was perfect, as hilarious and adorable as the stories, and the little actress who played Eloise was amazing. I don't think I've ever seen a more talented, believable child actor/actress in anything. I loved her cute relationship with Bill, who was very sweet, and her determination to see him get the girl he loved. Nanny was very funny, too, and so good with Eloise. The plaza was exactly as I'd imagined and everything, all shown from Eloise's point of view, had a wonderful sense of childhood magic. After that was Eloise At The Plaza which was hilarious and nearly as cute as the other. The ending with the water pouring through the mail drop onto Miss Stickler was perfectly done, and I loved the romance subplot against Eloise and Leon's adorable friendship which made me want a grown-up Eloise story where she marries him. I've always had a bit of a weakness for The Three Musketeers and finally got around to seeing a film version from 1993. While not faithful by any means it was fun and perfectly cast and I grinned through almost all of it. Aramis was always my favorite and I loved him here, a perfect mix of priest and warrior. D'Artagnan was a little young but cute and quite the fighter. I loved his backflips during the swordfight, and how he finally manages to get the guy who killed his father and win the girl at the same time. The ending was hilarious and perfect. I also watched the 2011 version, and while I vastly prefer the '93 one, especially it's more indepth picture of the musketeers, I loved the steampunk and pirate feel of the film, especially the amazing airships. In other new films I saw The Other Boleyn Girl which, while playing fast and loose with history, was a gorgeous, deeply poignant tale. I've always been interested in Mary so it was a treat to see a portrayal of her, and I loved and mourned for George. Anne was nothing like I'd imagined, but it was easy to see how she'd capture the king's eye, and I grew to both like and pity her by the end. Henry the Eighth was much as I'd pictured: enigmatic, handsome, and obsessed with the hope of a male heir. I adored William Stafford and loved that he and Mary found happiness in the end. The costumes and settings were gorgeous, and the ending poignant. After that was 2009's Star Trek, a surprisingly good reboot. I liked Jim a lot, and Chekov was precious, both wonderful characters. Everyone seemed more realistic and human as well, and the special effects were stunning, everything in space coming to life. Star Trek Into Darkness was even better, a dazzling, special effects-laden tale with a heart. I loved the parallels between Jim saving Spock at the beginning to Jim's sacrifice, and Spock, who I thought was all right in the first film completely won me over, as well as shattering my heart in the scene where he cries, and then puts his hand up in the salute against Jim's through the glass. Chekov was a darling, worrying me terribly when he wore a red shirt through much of the film, so I was happy to see him switch back in the end, but I loved him coming to the rescue. Scotty was hilarious, Bones was wonderful, figuring out how to save Jim - I loved that the tribble lived, too! - and Khan was a terrifying villain. Next was the adorable and touching Heart and Souls which had me laughing hysterically one minute and tearing up the next. The conclusion was beautiful, the singing fun, and Robert Downey Jr. was both hilarious and completely adorable, as well as showing an incredible range of talent. After that was the sweet and touching The Decoy Bride which made me tear up and laugh by turns as James and Katie's adorable relationship grew. Next was the gorgeous Warm Bodies which was nothing like I'd expected. It was a little scary, for sure, but I didn't expect such a beautiful love story, or a moving, hopeful ending. I adored R and how he slowly became alive, as well as his relationship with Julie, and the outcome was poignant and deeply touching as the humans all brought the zombies to life. Then was the unusual and haunting Memoirs Of A Geisha which was a tragic but hopeful story. The characters fascinated me and the voice-over and scenery was beautiful. Next was the surprisingly spooky The Happening, the last of M. Night Shyamalan's films I hadn't seen. Creepy moments aside, though, it had the hallmarks of his films: everyday people thrown in extraordinary circumstances who come together. I loved watching the characters grow and change, and despite the jolting, bittersweet ending, I enjoyed the plot. Next was Jack The Giant Slayer, a quite faithful and entertaining version of the fairytale. Nicholas Hoult was excellent at the role, making me love Jack for the first time ever, and I liked the added romance plot as well as the background of the giants's war and the magical crown, and I loved both Isabelle and Elmont, as well as the cute, intriguing ending. Next was the 2000s remake of The Time Machine which impressed and disappointed me on various levels, both as a fan of the book and of the 1960 version. Unlike Rod Taylor's instantly appealing time traveler, Guy Pearce took a while to grow on me, but his transition from somewhat geeky and awkward professor to hero of the story, and I liked that Mara, unlike the more innocent, child-like Weena, was able to hold her own, protect her brother, and even try to rescue Alexander. The world was more richly detailed, with the new elements of the fragmented moon, and the unique nest-like houses that the future people lived in I loved the happy ending, overlapping the two time periods and providing closure for Alexander's housekeeper, and the added background story of Alexander losing his first love was an interesting touch. I also adored the nods to the original film such as the design of the machine, the clocks, Alan Young's cameo, and the fact that the film was directed by HG Wells' own great-grandson which made for some fascinating ideas. After that was the moving and unusually haunting Jakob The Liar which found surprisingly beautiful. Robin Williams was startingly good as Jakob, a perfect mix of gentleness and quite resistance against the Nazis, all while keeping everyone's spirits up. I loved the simplicity of the story, Jakob's friendship with Lina, and the fairytale-like ending that left their fate up to your mind..I'd like to go with what I saw because it made me happy to think Mischa and his fiancee survived and would go on to care for and raise Lina.

In new animated films I saw the quite adorable Turbo. I loved the title character and his friendships with both the people and other snails. The story was cute, and the race was perfect, as well as the wonderful ending. Next was The Swan Princess III: Mystery Of The Enchanted Treasure, a cute and lovely sequel to the fabulous The Swan Princess. I loved seeing life in the castle post their marriage - too bad they didn't add in a little child for them, though - and the story was both funny and touching, poignant in parts such as Derek's grief when he thinks he's lost Odette, and hilarious in the scenes like the tango dance. I followed that with The Swan Princess II: Escape From Castle Mountain, and I loved Derek's mother getting a larger role, as well as Jean-Bob finally getting to turn into a prince if only for one scene. I loved the song "The Magic Of Love", and Derek and Odette's romance, while a little shaky at first, quickly found it's footing as she saved him over and over and he rescued her. After that was Bartok the Magnificent, a spin-off to Anastasia which, while failing to live up to it's gorgeous original film, still managed to be quite entertaining, mostly due to it's darling hero. Next was the beautifully animated Joseph King Of Dreams, a touching story with lovely and clever moments - I especially loved the tree that grew in the dungeon, and his future wife bringing him food in prison - that I really enjoyed. Last was the touching fantasy The Nutcracker Prince. Pavlova was endearing, Hans and Clara's friendship was adorable, and I loved the happy ending.
 
 
feeling: calm
calliope tune: "Total Eclipse Of The Heart"-Bonnie Tyler