A blog about general entertainment, fashion, and movies. And some random stuff too.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween! As a celebration of one of my favorite holidays ever, here are some pictures from my Halloween weekend with my friends and my hubby!


Justin went as Dexter!
I went as [SPOILER] dead Rita!
I even am wearing a towel to show that I just got out of the tub.
A little wrong?
Maybe... but I couldn't resist!

Yes, Justin and I dressed up like Dexter and Rita. I saw the Dexter costume while I was at the mall and could NOT pass it up! I called Justin immediately and asked if he'd by up for it, and he said yes. Unfortunately, we didn't even have plans for Halloween when I bought it, so we weren't sure what to do with it. Thankfully, the next day my friend Amanda sent an invite out about her last minute Halloween Party! Hoorah, a reason to dress up and put the Dex costume to good use. But that meant I had to come up with something to go with it. I know a lot of couples go as two different things, and that's cool, but I love doing counterpart costumes. SO... I came up with a very insensitive costume idea... sorry Rita fans, (I love her too!!!) but this one was too awesome to pass up!

This was my first time EVER doing a costume that was slightly scary. I usually like to go as something that is cute. Not something or someone that is either dead/dying/scary/threatening/boring. That last one is kind of a given, duh. So I had a hard time figuring out how I wanted to do my make up as I've never tried to make my self look dead. I've done dead eyes when I dressed as a vampire... but how did I do the rest? Thankfully, my friend, Terri, gave me some "dead lips" tips and I was on my way. Foundation over the mouth, powder, and then some blue eye-shadow. HELLO. Then I had fake blood to smear all over my arms and legs to look as though I've just gotten out of the bath. P.S. I DID have clothes on under my towel, guys, haha!

The costume party was SO fun! And we had a vast array of great costumes to dazzle us. Including the following:

Here's our beautiful hostess, Amanda!
(She's a ladybug, if you can't tell)
Here we have Snookie, Rita (me), a Chilean miner, a bee, a ladybug, and Liz Lemon from 30Rock.
Antics ensued, there were games and punch and a LOT of laughter. It was so special to laugh and be silly with these people. AND to introduce our significant others to each other. And to other friends. I hope it becomes an annual party, hint hint!

Here's a drink with a mustache.

Terri's antenna made a jump into her punch.

The mustache kept jumping from place to place all night.
P.S. This is Terri's husband, a bee-keeper. TOO CUTE RIGHT?

Oh! The tables have turned!
Happy Halloween! I'd love to see your costumes. Comment links to pictures!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Movie Review: Paranormal Activity 2

I was so psyched about this movie because I loved the first one. I know that usually horror movie sequels aren't that good, but I was freaked out enough by the trailer that I thought I'd give this one a try. So, me and my gals brought our courage to the movie theater tonight, opening night, to see what we were sure would a terrifying movie, hoping for a fun experience. We had a fun experience. But not so much a scary one.

Spoilers below.

This movie was NOT good. We were so irritated when we left, because it was such a let down, though we did have fun making fun of it. Haha. Mostly, this movie is a string of loud noises and cheap scares. The acting wasn't good, there wasn't a lot of time to get to know the characters, and therefore it was really hard to care about them. The only one I liked, besides Abby the dog, was the step-daughter. Plus, I thought all of the events dragged on and on... I was like... WHY do they keep cutting and cutting and cutting to a different camera? It seemed like it was all just for suspense, I guess, to make us jump with a random loud noise after waiting for so long. And then, once things started really getting going, I felt it then went much too fast. It was like small things kept happening to make it drag, but then as soon as something big happened it was the climax... There was no smooth progression like the first one did so well. Also... there was NO motivation for ANYONE to be filming. This family just carried a random hand-held around for no reason. In fact, there was one scene where the husband is arguing with his wife and filming at the same time. I was like... What man would want to tape a conversation like this? What family tapes EVERY conversation??? At least Micah had a reason to be carrying around a camera. They EXPLAINED that motivation.

Here's the run down of how this movie is linked to the first. Katie, the main character in the first has a sister who married an older man with a daughter and they just had a baby named Hunter. Throughout the movie the demon is after Hunter and we find out why later one... It's a really lame reason, just so you know. Katie shows up a few times in this one, as does Micah. And, in fact, Katie plays a pretty important part.

The problem with this movie is it tried too hard to incorporate the first one. It takes place a few months before Paranormal Activity occurred, and kind of completely undermines the premise for the first movie. It explains why the demon is after Katie's family (apparently some distant relative in the past made a deal with a demon to give the first son that is born to that family to it if they became rich or something dumb), it shifts the story of childhood traumas about the demon from being mostly Katie's to being mostly her sister's (who is the step-mom in this story), and then it straddles the events of the first one and ends after Micah is killed.... making the fear factor slow down a lot in between. Then, at the end, after Katie's sister is possessed, they decide the only way to get the demon to go away is to give it to someone else. And some site they were looking at (on a site probably named convenient-plot-devices.com) said it had to be a blood relative so they choose to give it to Katie... SURPRISE! And THAT is how the demon comes and starts messing with her in the first movie. And then it shows the stupid dad/husband burning the picture of Katie when she was a child as part of the demon-transfer ritual. Again, undermining the greatness of the first film. GAH! 

When they finally reveal that Katie's sister was actually going through all this paranormal stuff before she was I was thinking that eventually maybe the demon would be visiting both sisters at the same time... and I guessed that at the end something would happen to make the demon unsuccessful in taking Katie's sister and so he would use Katie to get the baby. But the whole random thing about the family consciously deciding to pass the demon to Katie was such a stupid way to get to the end. My idea was better, I feel. And of course at the end, after they have exorcised Katie's sister, it flashes to the night Micah was killed and Katie shows up to her sis's house covered in blood. She snaps brother-in-law's neck on the couch, which rocked since he's such a jerk the whole time, and then goes up stairs and kills her sister. Then, Katie leaves the room carrying Hunter, the baby, and we hear him laugh. Then there is a black screen for literally a minute before the credits start... WHY? Who knows... but the whole things was perplexing in one way or another.

I would say what totally ruined this movie completely is the fact that all of this happened because some stupid ancestor made a deal with a demon. What made the first movie so scary was that there WAS no reason. It was random. And HOW do you even meet a demon to make a deal with one? And how do demons have powers enough to make deals with souls....? DUMB.

The only good scene that actually really impressed me was when Katie's sister was down in the kitchen and there is all this boring waiting around. I expected a pot to fall or something like that, but instead every single cabinet, drawer, container, etc opens all at the same time in the entire kitchen. It was very surprising and something we hadn't seen in the other movie. Everything else that happened is something we had already seen versions of. Though, I will also say the scene where Katie's sister gets her legs knocked out from under her TWICE and dragged down the stairs into the basement (then the basement door slams quite frighteningly) was also pretty great.

Overall it was a big MEH. But we had fun making comments about it as we watched!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Top 5: Scenes That Always Make Me Cry

For most movie lovers, it's a regular thing to be emotional about films that mean a lot to you, and therefore, most movie lovers probably have shed a few tears during their favorite movies. Whether it's the beautiful stoic one-tear cry, or the wrinklely-faced snotty cry, these tears show the film lovers' true feelings for a movie that has truly touched them. In this blog you'll see the 5 scenes that make me cry, without hesitation, EVERY time I watch the movie. Hopefully, some of you guys will relate and you can send an "I holla!" back my way (Scrubs style).

(Beware, if you haven't seen these movies, chances are, there will be spoilers.)

#5: The Miracle Worker (1962) - "She knows!" 

As most of you know, I was an English major, and one of the plays we studied is called "The Miracle Worker." It's the story of Helen Keller and how Annie Sullivan is able to teach her what language is. Now, I know that many of you guys reading this right now are thinking of Helen Keller jokes, and that's fine, but I take this story very seriously because it's SO amazing! The woman didn't understand language for the first 7 years of her life... and yet as soon as she did begin to understand it, she was a genius! She wrote 12 books! She became a Motivational Speaker! And all without ever having even heard a single word in her life. She did more than most of us will ever do. 

But the real hero in the play, in my opinion, is Annie. I love this woman. She is definitely one of my all-time favorite women in history. And at the end of this movie version, Anne Bancroft (who plays Annie) and Patty Duke (who plays Helen) are at the water pump. In that moment, Helen is finally able to put what the thing is with what the sign is for the thing and everything clicks. She runs around trying to take it all in and understand all the words and sign all at once, and finally the world has been opened up to her. Annie follows her around, showing her these signs and then, as Helen's parents rush outside to figure out what all the commotion is about, Annie shouts: "She knows!" Just the profoundness of this moment, where Helen knows for the first time in her life something other than instinct; that language exists and now she can express herself and talk to her family for the first time ever. 

Uhhh! I'm getting emotional about it just writing about it. And as an English major, of course this resonates with me. Because language is such a powerful thing. BEAUTIFUL. Each year in my class, I have to watch this part 6 times in a day (because I have 6 different periods), and YES, I do tear up every single time.

#4: Up! (2009) - Opening Montage

As Pixar movies go, this one doesn't seem to be in the ranks with films like Wall-E that tend to make many people cry throughout (namely, Pixar fanatics). But for me, the beginning of this movie is more touching than any Disney/Pixar movie I've seen. 

At the beginning, a little boy named Carl is shown pretending to go on an adventure to South America and runs into a little girl, named Ellie, doing the same. It goes on to show that they grow up, fall in love, and get married. The montage changes from a happy tone to sadness when it shows trying times in their marriage, struggles to have children, and then finally the two accepting that their life will only be the two of them.

Then, we see Ellie and Carl begin to save up for a trip to their childhood dream, a waterfall in South America, Paradise Falls. As time goes on, they keep using the money to pay for other things that come up, and eventually it's obvious that these two will never reach Paradise Falls. Finally, Ellie grows too old and weak and she goes to the hospital. When she passes away, we see Carl alone with a single balloon... SO heartbreaking!

I went to this movie with a friend, Rocky, just because we were bored and it seemed like a cute story. We had NO idea that in the first 10 minutes we would end up weeping on each others' shoulder. I couldn't help but think of my Great Granddaddy on my mother's side. Later, when I was with my mom, I was trying to explain to her how sweet Up! was and how the beginning went, and just talking about it, I started crying! Needless to say, each time I see it... I do cry. Even when I prepare myself. 

#3: Little Women (1994) - "I know I shall be homesick for you, even in heaven." 

The first time I ever saw this movie, I was watching it with two of my best friends in college. I am an only child, but both of these girls had sisters. By the end of this film, I was beside myself. I could not even gather myself back up. I was a wreck! These two ladies will attest to that fact because I am pretty sure they were a little unnerved at how upset I got, hah!

This movie made me really feel like I was missing out on something really special since I have no siblings. The sisters in this movie are just so precious. But the scene that was the reason for my breakdown was definitely when Beth gets sick. 

Jo comes home because she gets word that Beth is dying, and the scene where she comes to be with her completely reduced me to a hot mess.  Jo was always so protective of her family and did whatever she could do to help them. When Amy is being bullied by her teacher, Jo wants to go give him a piece of her mind. When the family needs money to travel to see Papa, Jo sells her hair. Again, in this situation, Jo wants to fix Beth, but there is nothing she can do. And even though Jo is usually the strong one, weak Beth says some things that are so beautiful to comfort her sister. She says she is not afraid to die but "I know I shall be homesick for you, even in heaven." At this point, I am reduced to a blubbering mess. Every time!

#2: Sex and the City: The Movie (2008) -  "You're not alone."

If you ask many Sex and the City fans what part of the first movie they tear up at, you'll probably get a ton of different responses. More than likely, a fan of this series tears up more than once during the film, and that is true for me, too. However, there is one scene in particular that gets me the most. 

I realized just how powerful this scene was when I was flipping through the movie channels one day and the Sex and the City movie was on. It just happened to be during the New Year's Eve scene when I started watching. I immediately started crying, and before that, I wasn't even in a weepy place! This scene just gets me! 

Miranda and Carrie are at their separate homes, lonely, watching TV, etc. Carrie goes to bed early, and Miranda is eating Chinese food and cracking into her fortune cookies. Something it says make Miranda uneasy, so she calls Carrie and accidentally wakes her up. Their exchange is short and ends with Miranda apologizing for waking her, tells her she doesn't need her to come over and to go back to bed, and tearfully she hangs up. It's at this point that a beautiful version of "Old Lang Syne" begins to play and Carrie gets dressed and rushes across town to be with Miranda before the ball drops. As Miranda answers the door, Carrie says to her, "You're not alone! You're not alone." 

The gals begin the New Year with each other, laughing and enjoying each others' company. I think the reason this scene speaks to me is because this is the kind of relationship I want with my friends. No matter what we're going through, I want to know that they can sense when I need them even when I won't admit it, and vice versa. I hope I can know when to come to the rescue for them, as well.  
#1: Lord of the Rings: Return of the King - "I will not say do not weep, for not all tears are an evil."

I don't think I've sufficiently talked about my intense love for Lord of the Rings, yet, but you are about to get a taste of it. First of all, it's my favorite book series of all time. Secondly, it's my favorite movie series of all time. I watch all 3 every single year as a one day marathon, each December, and it's always magical. I have often said that if there was one thing I could seriously go back in time and experience, it would be going to New Zealand back when those movies were being made and being a part of it in ANY way possible. Even if it meant just being the snack girl holding the platter of pigs in a blanket for the cast and crew. I love this series so deeply, it is the reason I became and English teacher and it really is a part of who I am. Intense? Yeah, but whatever. I love it.

At the end of Return of the King, the hobbits travel to The Gray Havens to see Gandalf and Bilbo off to Valinor. That in itself is enough to make me sad. I mean, Gandalf is the big Granddaddy of  the fellowship and now you have to say goodbye. Not ok. But then it is revealed that Frodo is going to be going on the boat, too. As Frodo says goodbye to Merry and Pippin, there are tears and hugs, but then he turns to Sam. Sam is the one who went into Mordor with him, who carried the Ring for him, who then actually carried him bodily when Frodo couldn't go any further; Sam, who was faithful and strong throughout the entire journey; the only one who really, truly understand what trauma Frodo has suffered. And he's leaving him? What are you thinking, Frodo?! This is the moment I lose it every time, because if it were me, there would be NO way that I could board that boat and sale away from the only person who really knows and understands why I am the way I am. I could never leave Sam after forming a bond like they forged on their journey. And yet, Frodo does leave. 

I understand why he left, because Frodo went deeper into that despair than anyone ever has, fighting constantly against the power of the Ring instead of giving into it. And I know that even though Sam understood him more than anyone else in Middle-Earth, it still wasn't enough. There were parts of him that could never be the same again, and Valinor was the only comfort for him. BUT STILL! It makes me so sad! Perhaps the most bittersweet ending ever, in my opinion. Weep, weep, weep. And of course, after this scene the credits begin to role and Annie Lennox's "Into the West" begins to play and I am rendered officially useless for the rest of that week.

Well, there we are! I'd love to hear your comments. Agree? Disagree? Did I forget anything? Let me know!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Movie Review: Catfish

I had wanted to go to the Dallas Angelika this weekend in order to see "Howl," the movie about Allen Ginsberg. They had it on the showtimes list of the official Angelika website, moviephone.com, and had posters up in the actual theater with the date October 8th on it. But then... Friday night, it mysteriously disappeared from all the sites and there were no show times for "Howl." I was SO upset... however, my friend Ashlie had been wanting to see "Catfish," so I made the best of a sad situation and we saw that instead.

I was worried going in because I had heard SO MANY weird things about this film. Plus, it is called "Catfish" and I could not, for the life of me, understand why. I was mostly hoping it wasn't about noodling.... which I was falsely told it was (Google it, it's creepy). NO ONE would tell me seriously! No matter who I asked, they would just reply with "You'll just have to see it!" One of my Aunt's best friends, Vicki, then put up a status on facebook recommending the film profusely, and she wouldn't tell me either. Even one of my hero's, Zach Braff, was buzzing about it and put up a post about the film that got me really interested. I even read most of that thread and still couldn't figure out what the film was about! So ... you can imagine all of the hype, questions, and worry I had going into this movie today. Luckily I was very pleasantly surprised. (Spoiler FREE for once!)

My first impression was that Nev (pronounced "neev") Schulman is SO BEAUTIFUL. I think I sort of missed a bit of the beginning exposition because I was so smitten. But after that, I became so enthralled with the direction this story goes. It starts out with Nev receiving paintings in the mail from a 9 year old prodigy artist. From there, the story takes so many unexpected turns. I never really knew where this movie was going to end up. Not once did I think I could predict it, so it was exciting. Not to mention, the three guys are so lovable. They are just normal guys, living and working in NYC, and are so relatable and easy to connect with. And on top of this, the movie is edited so well. I felt like it was not only a good story, but a quality documentary.

Overall, I really liked this film, and the more time I spend away from it, the more I like it. I think I want to see it again. It's a slightly uncomfortable look at Facebook, technological correspondence, and what some people will do with it. It will make you laugh, feel uncomfortable, be confused, be excited, and in the end, this film will really make you think. And as to why it is called "Catfish" ... I guess you'll just have to see it.


Thursday, October 7, 2010

Blogger Post: McGowan Images

Just recently I've started being addicted to photography blogs. Mostly,  wedding/engagement/bridal blogs are my favorite. I absolutely LOVE them! The excitement, however, is multiplied by a million when the pictures I'm paroozing belong to a friend. That

This past weekend, one of the most anticipated (for me, at least!) weddings took place between Meagan Caldwell and Eric Betchel. Meagan is a GORGEOUS person, inside and out, and her wedding, I knew, would be the event of the year! She has been planning all year, and from the small things I've heard about her ideas for the day, I knew it was going to be something I wanted to see. I have been so excited to know how it all turned out, and there is no better way for these beautiful things to be portrayed but through the camera lense of Chelsea McGowan. She was their wedding photographer and she is amazing!  Her blog deserves some love, and I want to help spread it! 

Cheslea took so many wonderful pictures at Meagan's and Eric's wedding that she is going to have to post 2 more photo entries (2 is here, and 3 will come tomorrow!) to show off all the wonderful images. My personal favorites, I think (it's so hard to choose since they are all so amazing), are the bridesmaids pictures. I LOVE all the different colors and styles of dresses each chose with different shoes. You can just SEE their precious personalities pouring through their outfits. How perfect! And the pictures really show the fun these girls have together, which I've been lucky enough to see first hand at a certain midnight showing. (Haha!)

So stay tuned, because Chelsea is wonderfully talented and is sure to continue to wow us with her pictures!