Kathleen
I got to see the new Disney Beauty and the Beast in theatres, and despite my reservations it completely blew me away to become my favorite version. I've never really liked the animated version with the exception of the servants - I've always been annoyed at it for completely turning the original fairytale upside down in regards to Belle and the Beast's characters and the reason for the curse, but it seemed better here. The Beast was wonderful, far removed from the unlikable animated version, fleshed out with a bit of backstory - I loved the comment about the servants not preventing him from being warped by his cruel father as the reason why they were caught up in the curse as well - and the decision to show the curse occur, but obscure his face with makeup was brilliant. The costumes were gorgeous - I adored the historical details of the 1700s style French clothes and shoes, the gorgeous gold effects on Belle's gown, and the whimsy of her tucked up skirt. Belle was perfect, kind and lovely, and Maurice was wonderful, with their relationship one of my favorite things in the movie. Despite the fact that, as usual, I longed for more scenes between the Beast and Belle, their love story felt more believable than in prior versions, helped by a kindness shining out of the Beast's eyes - someone commented this was the first version where the Prince felt like the heart of the Beast, rather than another person entirely and I agree - as well as a beautifully touching scene where the Beast and Belle bond over him reading Arthurian legends and feeling a similar sense of disconnect from society. I liked that Lefou got a bit of redemption arc, and that Gaston was unrepentantly evil to the end - it's sometimes nice to see a pure evil, nonredeemable villain for a change. I liked the changes to the animated film - having the original library Belle goes to be only a few worn books made so much more sense in a town where reading is considered odd, as well as enhancing the contrast between that and the huge library the Beast gives her. I can't say enough good stuff about the cgi - both breathtaking and flawless - with highlights for me being the rose petals swirling around the Beast as he transforms back into a prince, and the incredible details of the servants which carry back over into live-action - the piano has missing teeth as a human! Chip was precious, and as usual my favorite, Lumiere delightful, making me smile through all of his scenes, Mrs. Potts lovely and heartwarming, and the dog was adorable. I loved the scope and almost stage play feel of the set and song numbers, and the gorgeous songs, especially the heartbreakingly beautiful "Evermore".

I finally worked up the courage to see the latest X-Men film, Logan, which I'd been dreading. The series has been dear to me much of my life and it feels like a real life loss to say goodbye to the characters I love best. Despite that, it was a stunningly powerful and raw yet beautiful study, with a nearly western road trip feel I fell in love with. Laura was wonderful - I loved her foot claw!, and her relationship with Wolverine and Charles, too, was touching, as was Wolverine and Charles's relationship. I loved seeing all the familiar fighting moves and wildness of Wolverine reflected in a child, and the musings on nightmares, past mistakes, and love broke my heart as well as warmed it. I sobbed like a baby at the end - Laura turning the cross into an X! - and while I'm bitter that Wolverine couldn't live to find more joy raising her, I'm grateful he had a final moment of peace after all his torment.

The new Tangled series is out now, and despite my continuing issues with the animation - I'm sad it couldn't be like the film, or at least old-style 2d animation instead of the weird cartoon look - it's a delight to hear their familiar voices, and see Eugene and Rapunzel's relationship progress. There's so many cute nods to the movie - the cupcakes! - and adorable scenes, and the music and new characters are largely enjoyable.

In new old shows I've discovered the short-lived but intriguing Brimstone. Zeke is an easy to like main character, and the portrayal of the Devil is perfect and wonderfully creepy. I love its intro and concept, and it was building up quite an interesting story and cast of characters, all of whom interact wonderfully with the protagonist - I especially love Father Horn and the delightfully offbeat Maxine, as well as the poignant almost interactions Zeke has with his wife, who never fully gets to learn he's back from the dead. While some of the villains are more interesting than others, it's always fascinating to see where in history they came from, as well as what sin caused them to be condemned. Having Ash turn out to be the main villain was a stroke of genius, and an awesome twist, and I'm just sad the series didn't continue to see more of her and Zeke's interactions.

I've been meaning to check out Revolution for ages, and finally ended up binge-watching the whole series, completely falling in love with it along the way. The premise is both chilling and fascinating, the plot addictive, and I adore the character arcs, growth, and relationships, as I found myself growing to love characters I initially disliked and crying over ones I loved from the start. Miles and Charlie's relationship is the heart of the show - I'm so happy the comics revealed them to be father and daughter as I suspected from the start - and Miles and Bas's relationship both hurts and warms my heart in turns. I loved Maggie and Danny, and wish they hadn't both been killed off so early when their characters had so much potential. I'm also very sad about Jason, even if I never shipped Charlie and he. But I love most of the characters - I loathe Tom and Rachel - and watching them change.
 
 
calliope tune: "Billy Bayou"-Jim Reeves
feeling: happy
 
 
 
 
 
 
Kathleen
27 January 2016 @ 03:10 am
The X-Files, my childhood love, is back for a tenth season after all these years, and I'm happily wallowing in nostalgia. It's a complete delight so far, with all the old faces, easter eggs, and parallels to the past episodes, along with the original intro and theme. "My Struggle" is an interesting, although flawed start. The actors take a bit to get into their roles again - Scully by the end of the first episode, Mulder by the second - although Skinner is as if he never left. I also loved the glimpse of the Cigarette Smoking Man at the end. It made me sad to see Mulder so skeptical and jaded, even though it makes sense after all these years, and I actually winced when he tore the I want to believe poster. But the scene where his face light up when he sees the spaceship was so Mulder I teared up. "Founder's Mutation" is a superb blend of the myth arc and monster of the week, with a sympathetic monster, and a heartbreaking subplot featuring Mulder and Scully's daydreams about if they'd kept William, all of which, especially the forehead kisses, had me sobbing. "Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster" is pure comedy, and despite how much I hated the original 100% comedy episodes, it works, helped along by the offbeat and hilarious premise of a monster who is bitten by a human and becomes human when the moon comes out. The character was great fun - I also loved the puppy, I adored seeing Mulder slowly becoming a believer again, and the theme being his ringtone was flawless. "Home Again" is a gut-wrenching subplot against an intriguing concept. It's not carried off perfectly and the storylines don't fit perfectly together, but they both impact emotionally, especially in the flashbacks. "Babylon" seems to have been greatly disliked by most, but I rather enjoyed it. The guest characters, especially Miller, were enjoyable, the concept intriguing, and I never knew how much I needed Mulder dancing to country western music in a stetson. I was very sad how little screentime the Lone Gunmen got, though, and that they were only a hallucination. "My Struggle II", is excellent, making my wish the whole season could have been a miniseries of the plot, rather than just the first and final episodes. I've always preferred the mythology arc episodes to the stand alone, and it's fun to finally see the Syndicate's endgame after all these years. It was a delight to see Mulder and the Cigarette Smoking Man interact again. As much as I love to hate CSM, and as proud as I am of Mulder for not taking his deal, I've always found their dynamic fascinating, with that strange mix of father-son relationship against hatred and so much evil committed. It was wonderful to have Miller back - I adored his scenes with Mulder - and Einstein grew on me a lot compared to last episode, even if her skepticism is far more annoying than Scully's ever was. I've never been a big Reyes fan, but it was nice to see her again, even if she seemed desperately out of character. I just can't believe Reyes would ever ally herself with CSM, and especially not for the selfish reason of saving her own life, even if she did give Scully the information she needed to help everyone sick. I was incredibly sad that Doggett didn't even get a mention, though, as part of me had always hoped, even if I didn't ship it, that Reyes and he ended up together, since it might have made him happy. I loved the opening of alien!Scully, as well as Scully being the key to saving the world - Mulder's line about thanking the CSM for saving her and CSM commenting on her being Mulder's weakness made my shipper heart melt - but the cliffhanger ending left me screeching and desperate for more. Overall, weak spots aside, I enjoyed the season, and it was so wonderful and nostalgic to have my childhood babies back on my screen.

Once Upon A Time is back for the second half of season five with a mythology arc, and while nothing like what I'd expected I'm enjoying most of it so far. I love seeing this new version of Emma,still strong and brave, but no longer closed off and hurting, now determined to save Killian and fight for their future. I was never a big Neal fan, but I was glad she finally got closure with him. Killian, always being whumped, is already breaking my heart, even though I love seeing his faith in Emma and knowing she was coming for him. I liked seeing the origins of Liam and he entering the Navy and first seeing the Jolly Rodger. I was a little sad about Liam's deal with Hades, but did love him sticking by his brother and doing the right thing in the end, earning himself a happy afterlife and closure with Killian. Killian and Emma's goodbye broke me, but their reunion, and Killian finally coming back to life, was the most beautiful scene ever. The little kisses Emma gave him had me giggling and grinning. Emma has grown so much since she took her walls down, and I adored seeing them back together, as well as Emma finally admitting, without anything bad having to happen, that she loved him. I adored Charming hugging Killian, as well as trying to save him from Mr. Hyde. Snow White is delightful so far, finally getting to be the character I loved in season one again, and I love Charming and her moments together and with baby Neal. I adored her calling Killian by his first name and acting motherly toward him. Her friendship with Hercules was a surprise delight and I only wish we could see more of him. I liked Meg, too, who, while very different from the Disney version, was a sweet character. Hades, never one of my favorite Disney villains, is a mix of annoying and truly scary, even if the flaming hair makes me snicker. I also despised his romance with Zelena, and was delighted when she killed him. Surprisingly Zelena, once my least favorite character, has grown on me quite a bit, largely due to her love for her baby, and the fact that she's a lot nicer with her memories back. I also enjoy her new relationship with Regina. I teared up during Regina's goodbye to her father - and loved that Henry got to meet him - as well as her closure with Daniel. I liked her getting closure with her mother, but was annoyed Cora, after all the horrible things she did, got redeemed for doing so little to make amends. I'm broken over Robin Hood's death, as well as what it means to Regina, and leaving poor little Roland an orphan, but I loved that Regina didn't revert back to the Evil Queen, and even attempted to destroy her other half, showing how much she's grown. I adore that Rumplestiltskin and Belle are finally having a baby, and Rumple's instant willingness to do whatever he had to to protect the baby breaks my heart and gives me Rumple and Bae feels all over again - if seeing them in the flashback wasn't heart-tugging enough! I did like that he showed remorse at sending Milah into the river, too, even if I despise Milah and honestly didn't care that he did it. But I appreciate that Rumplestiltskin has seemingly come to terms with his darkness and found a balance between his love for Belle and his power, something I hope Belle will eventually come around to, as I want so much to see them and their baby as a family. I love Belle but she's frustrating me so far this season, pulling away from Rumplestiltskin when, in this case, he's actually doing the right thing, being honest with her and himself, and trying to save their baby. I'm also incredibly sad that True Love's Kiss didn't work to wake her, after Rumplestiltskin was willing to give up who he is to try it. The season finale introduces a new and intriguing world, the Land of Untold Stories, with a delightful cameo by the Three Musketeers, a tantalizing hint at Agrabah, and new characters in the introduction of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I love the steampunk feel of the world and characters, and the concept of characters being able to split off their evil sides is intriguing, leaving me excited for season six.

The Musketeers has completed its third and final season, and despite a few things that felt rushed or forced, I enjoyed every moment. The series finally hit its stride and settled into its characters even more than the previous seasons, all of whom have grown so much. I adored that everyone got a happy ending, especially Aramis, D'Artagnan and Constance (I was so afraid for all of them), and Aramis and Anne's little son was absolutely adorable. I also loved Porthos getting a love interest, and a little family all at once. I wasn't incredibly fond of Sylvie at first - I greatly enjoy Athos and Milady's relationship, felt Sylive and Athos's came out of left field, and aren't very fond of Athos in general, and less so this season - but she grew on me, and seemed to make Athos a better person. I was surprisingly pleased with the villains this season, compared to my hatred - and not in a love to hate way - of the last two season's, with each one unique, and some even strangely sympathetic, like the King's ill-fated brother. I was saddened to lose both the King and Treville, but did love seeing Milady again, even if only for a couple episodes. I also adored the baby Musketeer - I never did get his name - and was so happy he survived and ended up becoming a full-fledged Musketeer in the end.

I watched The Living and the Dead, and while it wasn't at all what I was expecting, I completely fell in love with it. The acting was superb, the music, scenery, and cinematography all breathtaking, and the plot had a gorgeous Gothic feel that delighted me, as well as shocking me with the twists. I liked the themes of growth and healing, as well as realizing one's own limitations, and Nathan and Charlotte's relationship was both adorable and heartbreaking yet realistic. I loved the poignancy of the episodes, and how the writers didn't shy away from tragedy and darkness, while still leaving a glimmer of hope. I also had no idea how much I needed to see Colin Morgan holding a baby until now.

Zoo is on season two, and it's a surprisingly emotional and jarring ride from season one's fluffy outrageous tone. I'm not happy with the changes in Jamie's character - I get that she suffered a lot but becoming a murderous psycho, and lashing out at Mitch who fought the hardest to save her, seems wildly out of character. Logan was an interesting, although completely under-used and largely pointless character. who didn't seem to quite deserve the horrible ending he got. I'm broken over Chloe's senseless death (and the destruction of my otp), and Dariela irks me endlessly - I despise her instant romance with Abe, as much as I want him to get a *nice* love interest. But, on the bright side there's snarky as usual Mitch and Abraham and Jackson's heart-warming friendship to fill the void. I also adore that we're finally getting backstory on Jackson, including flashbacks to his sad childhood, and, while I'm worried and so sad for him, I'm very interesting in his story arc this season as he slowly mutates. I love the new and creative animals this season, especially the adorable Moe the jellyfish, and the electric ants.

I've started watching Roswell again, a show I faintly remember from my childhood, and falling in love with it. Max and Liz's star-crossed, alien/human love story hits all my tropes, and it's easy to also root for Michael and Maria's romance. I love Max, who projects the perfect mixture of sad vulnerability and other-worldliness, and Michael continues to break my heart. I also surprisingly even love the female characters, with Liz and Maria perfectly tolerable, and Isabel very likeable. I adore the way the characters, particularly the alien trio, form a makeshift family. While Kyle is a somewhat useless character, I did love his interactions with Max in the episode where they were both drunk, and hope for more scenes with the two of them. The Sheriff is a fascinating character, from a sympathetic villain to on their team, and I love his relationship with the kids. I love the theme and setting, especially the Crashdown, too. I'm not especially fond of Tess, as much as I like Emilie de Ravin, who feels like a plot device solely to create angst for Max and Liz, but I do love the realization of who and what the aliens are.

I binge-watched the complete series of Roar, and it was such a treat to plunge back into a Kiwi show again. They have such a lovely feel and warmth, and are so nostalgic to me. I adored the Celtic soundtrack, and the characters, for the most part, were all likeable, especially Conor. Molly annoys me a bit, but I love everyone else. I'm only sad the show didn't continue, because it grew on me more and more, and seemed to be getting better by the episode. The setting was also quite unique and very enjoyable.

I'm finally getting to watch the seasons of Gunsmoke I hadn't seen, starting with eight. Chester is in the show much less this season, sadly, but there's a new character in the form of half-Comanche blacksmith Quint, and so far he's both a delight and quite easy on the eyes. There's also the episode "Us Haggens" which introduces Festus, long before he'd become a regular. His voice is quite different, and he doesn't have all his quirks yet, nor his beloved Ruth, but I can see the roots of the character I'd learn to love, even then. I also found it interesting how he's likeable, but not quite as sweet and slightly more intelligent than the later character. Among other excellent episodes is the delightful and heart-tugging "I Call Him Wonder", a flawless prequel to one of my favorite later season episodes. By season eleven, Doc and Festus, now a regular, have a wonderful banter and friendship going, and I adored episodes like "Wishbone" where Festus cares for Doc who's been bitten by a snake, and another episode where Festus has been badly beaten up and Doc worries over him. Quint is sadly gone, though, replaced by Thad, the only character in the show I've ever disliked. In truth, Thad is harmless, although far from charismatic and very dull compared to all other deputies Matt had, but I've always had such an irrational loathing of him.

I'm on season four of Maverick now and it's a delight. I've always been unusual in that I've never cared for Bret and found his episodes far less interesting for the most part. Filling his place is cousin Beau who is fine so far, and Bart has a bit more episodes than usual, all of which are excellent.

New this season is The Shannara Chronicles, an absolute treasure so far. It's pulling heavy inspiration from Tolkien, but I don't mind because its old fantasy, and therefore different from most current tv and films that draw from more recent novels. It's undoubtedly one of the most gorgeous shows I've ever seen, with the lush backdrop of New Zealand mingled with tactful cgi and well-done filming, costumes, and props, all a richly detailed and offbeat blend of Medieval high fantasy merged with post-dystopian futurism. I love the beautiful opening credits which quickly explain the background and mythos of the series. The whole show has a slightly modernized tinge over the feel of the Kiwi shows of the '90s I grew up on, making me both happy and somewhat nostalgic at the same time. I love the vast majority of the characters, and nearly all of the male ones, helped by a likable cast and the refreshing lack of common tropes in most of their personalities. Wil is a complete sweetheart, and its a joy to have a protagonist who is mostly inept at fighting, admits fear, sorrow, and horror, and would much rather be a healer than go on an epic quest. Allanon is fabulous, a perfect mix of dry wit and slightly spooky power; and I adore the writers for, once, not killing off the mentor character at first convenience. I love his relationship with Wil, and I'm always a sap for the magic comes at a cost trope. Ander is sweet, and I absolutely adore his relationship with Amberle, and have so many headcanons about how he poured all his love into her because of his father's rejection, brother's death, and his other brother's seeming indifference toward him. On a shallow note, his looks are absolutely stunning, too. Bandon is a precious baby, and I'm so worried for him, especially concerning his gift. I'm not fond of Eretria, but I appreciate the layers of her character, and the realism of a life of abuse having shaped her into what she is, while still showing flashes of a good, yet scarred heart beneath it all. Amberle seems sweet but I dislike her with Wil, and that seems to be half of her personality.

In other new shows there's Legends of Tomorrow, a delightfully zany and surprisingly emotional mash up of heroes that results in just about the most overtly comic book series I've ever seen. Snagged from other DC shows, I know most of the characters already, especially my baby, Ray, thankfully on a much better show and surrounded by a better cast, but still as precious and nerdy as ever. Heat Wave is growing on me a lot, and I already loved Captain Cold, Professor Stein, and Jax. The only brand new character is Rip Hunter and he's great so far, even if often exasperated and shady. AI Gideon is also fun.

Also new is Outsiders, an intriguing and highly unusual series. The characters are interesting and layered - I adore Asa, the setting - and contrast between the ways of life - is fascinating, and I enjoy the relationships, especially Hasil and Sally Ann.

Daredevil is back for season two, bringing with it all the unique things that set it apart from and make it more deeply thought-provoking than other superhero shows with its realism, haunting cinematography, long scenes of dialogue, and poignant character study as it fleshes out its characters and thankfully narrow setting. Added to the always fascinating supporting characters this season is Frank Castle, an intriguing and layered character. I loved his clashes and eventual alliance - including saving his life - with Matt, and despite his violent, morally grey actions, I enjoyed his more tender moments, such as his love for his family and dog. Also new is Elektra, a character I enjoyed in the movie, and is even better here, both in her own complex morality, and her poignant relationship with Matt. I loved seeing the priest, Claire, and Wilson Fisk again, and only wish they could have been in it more. While there were some things I found unnecessary or unwanted - Foggy and Matt's breakup rehash of season one, the less focused storyline, and especially the Matt/Karen forced and annoying romance angle - I loved so many moments, especially Matt getting his new sticks, and all the returning supporting characters. I was disappointed in Karen's character, which, while troubled and somewhat traumatized last season, was far more interesting and likable as opposed to how whiny and annoying she came across this season. Despite the forced chemistry at first, I grew to enjoy her scenes with Frank, and she seemed much more like her season one character with him.

I went to see X Men: Apocalypse in theatres, and it was fabulous, definitely my second or third favorite film of the series so far. Charles has finally stepped into the role of the kindly professor I loved, and his character growth is a delight to behold. I also enjoyed the unique explanation for how he ended up bald, even if I'm going to miss his fantastic hair. Erik breaks my heart, as usual, and the death of his family was devastatingly cruel - I so wanted to see more of his little daughter's animal mutation, and their scenes together were so touching and tender. I adored Charles and Erik's scenes together - their balance between friend and enemy is my favorite relationship in the series - and I inwardly shrieked when Erik swung to the X-Men's sides and dropped the huge metal X in front of Charles to protect him from Apocalypse. I also loved that the movie ended on a hopeful note for their relationship. Despite my reservations, I quickly grew to love the younger versions of the characters: Storm was fascinating, Scott was as precious as his adult version, and surprisingly, I liked Jean a lot more than the adult who I've never really cared for. I loved her saving Charles by unleashing her power, showing a flipped parallel to the darkness of her character in the original films. I'm horribly upset about Alex, though, and cling to the hope that he'll come back alive in some future film, since his body was never shown. Nightcrawler, a favorite of mine from the original films, was precious, and I adored every moment with him. Angel was a fascinating character, and I only wish there had been redemption for him, or at least more time, as his story seemed ripe for more exploration than it got. It was nice to see Mystique fully with the good guys by the end, and I love that she seems to be staying to train the new kids. Quicksilver was as much of a treasure as last movie, with a delightfully expanded role. I was a little disappointed he never told Erik he was his son, but his perfect mix of poignancy and quirky humor warmed my heart. His song sequence was endearing, and I was extremely worried when Apocalypse hurt him, but thankful when things ended happily for him. Apocalypse was an intriguing, although under-developed villain. I loved the concept of him - his gaining powers through body transference - and the few glimpses given of how he viewed the world, but he lacked full motivation for his actions. Wolverine's cameo was an unexpected and beautiful scene. I adored Jean giving him a memory, and the fact that he never spoke highlighted how good an actor Hugh Jackman is, with all the emotions he conveyed through his eyes.

I stumbled across Beyond the Prairie, and despite my reservations and few annoyances, mainly Laura being blonde - I'm far from a book purist on anything, but an absolute stickler than Laura must have brown hair - I enjoyed it quite a bit. It's pretty cute and a complete delight to see some of my favorite things from The Long Winter, my favorite book of the series, and the one thing I was always so sad the tv show didn't include. I've had a massive crush on Cap Garland since I was little, and despite him not being what I imagine I still shrieked like a schoolgirl at finally having him on my screen, even if only for a few short scenes. I also loved the inclusion of the blizzard, and Almanzo and Cap's journey for the wheat, especially Almanzo and Laura's adorable reunion scene. In other favorites, he voice over was lovely, Mary was sweet and I would have loved to see more of her, and baby Rose was so precious.

I watched The Huntsman: Winter's War and was left with mixed feelings. While I adored seeing the Huntsman again, and finally getting his backstory, I hated how much was retconned, particularly Ravenna's death and the Huntsman's wife. Female warriors are one of my least favorite type of characters, and I could see nothing in Sara's character that resembled Snow White as the first film implied. Freya was an unnecessary addition to the story, and greatly boring with the exception of the final few minutes that made me feel a bit of sympathy for her. Many of the other characters, like the other Huntsman, who I would have liked to see more of, were underused, and the dwarves were wasted in comic relief. The plor seemed overstuffed and muddled, and while pretty, failed to measure up to the beautifully dark and imaginative first movie. Saddest of all, to me, Snow White married the Prince, eliminating all the implications of the first movie that the Huntsman had taken that role, having been the one to kiss her awake.

In other new movies I watched Gods Of Egypt with low expectations, and ended up adoring it. It's very much a '90s style adventure story, with delightful fun, a lighter-hearted, more straight forward feel than most films today, and some wonderful friendship feels between Bek and Horus, whose relationship was my favorite thing in the movie. I enjoyed the somewhat fanciful but partially faithful depiction of mythological events, and how they wove into the story, like Horus's eyes. Horus was a lovely character, growing emotionally throughout the story until becoming a kind and good kind, and Bek was endearing. Next was the stunning and deeply moving Mr. Nobody. In addition to being one of the most beautifully filmed movies I've ever seen, it was incredibly thought-provoking, and a flawless mix of tragic poignancy and quiet inspiration. The cast was all superb - I'm absolutely in love with Jared Leto's eyes on a shallow note - and the plot was full of imagination. Next was the gorgeous On Drakon, a beautifully filmed and acted fairytale story with elements of Beauty and the Beast, but better. I've longed for human shape-shifted dragons in a fantasy for years and finally got one in Arman, a sweet and heartbreakingly sad character fighting his dragon side and the evil his race has committed. The mythology behind the dragons, especially their birth, was fascinating and dark, and I adored when the conclusion was him not becoming human but rather learning to control the dragon. The romance was sweet, and the ending so precious I couldn't stop smiling. Next was The Legend of Tarzan, the Tarzan movie I've been longing for for years. The tone was perfect, the cinematography and music gorgeous, and the relationship between Tarzan and Jane was the heart of it all, a beautiful, realistic, and powerful love story. I was a little saddened that there weren't more flashbacks, but I have an absolute weakness for married couples deeply in love, and the story hit so many of my beloved tropes. The ending was adorable, too. Next was the inspiring and lovely Hallmark movie Front of the Class. I loved that it was a true story, and James Wolk was so good at the role.

I discovered and have been watching the adorable and imaginative Tinkerbell animated film series, which fills out the backstory of the Peter Pan character. I love the world of Pixie Hollow, with all it's imaginative concepts - fairies painting ladybugs and stripes on bumblebees and the flower bulbs with legs - and I love the other fairy characters, especially Terrence and the sweet little Fawn.
 
 
calliope tune: "Green Fields"-Brothers Four
feeling: hungry
 
 
 
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.
 
 
calliope tune: "26 Miles"-Four Preps
feeling: listless