Tag Archives: movie challenge

Movie Challenge: happy


6.) A Movie That Makes You Happy

answer: You’ve Got Mail


Why does this movie make me happy? Two reasons:

1.) The communication between Kathleen and Joe

Kathleen Kelly: Once I read a story about a butterfly in the subway, and today, I saw one! It got on at 42nd and off at 59th, where, I assume, it was going to Bloomingdales to buy a hat that will turn out to be a mistake, as almost all hats are.


Joe Fox: Don’t you love New York in the fall? It makes me wanna buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address. On the other hand, this not knowing has its charms.


2.) The Bookstore, which is practically it’s own character


It reminds me of the small church library that I volunteered in, years ago. The library was basically geared towards children, not just religious themed books, but all the children’s books that happened to be popular at the time. The librarian really kept up on things, she ordered the newest books and we creatively put them on display throughout the small space. We had reading aloud hours and fun holiday themed events. I really enjoyed my time there. So when I see Kathleen Kelly with a princess hat on her head, enthusiastically reading a story to a group of children, it makes me nostalgic.


The love story of the film is cute. The face-to-face banter between Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan is enjoyable, but it’s really the e-mail theme that grabs me. I’ve had many pen pals through the years, and so I cherish that kind of communication.

Kathleen Kelly: I turn on my computer. I wait impatiently as it connects. I go online, and my breath catches in my chest until I hear three little words: You’ve got mail. I hear nothing. Not even a sound on the streets of New York, just the beating of my own heart. I have mail. From you.


Unfortunately I’ve either drifted away from my old letter writing pals, or they now prefer to communicate in three sentence conversations via social media instead. I miss the uninterrupted honesty that letter writing fosters.

Kathleen Kelly: Sometimes I wonder about my life. I lead a small life – well, valuable, but small – and sometimes I wonder, do I do it because I like it, or because I haven’t been brave? So much of what I see reminds me of something I read in a book, when shouldn’t it be the other way around? I don’t really want an answer. I just want to send this cosmic question out into the void. So good night, dear void.


This is probably why I’ve gravitated to the blogging platform. Here, I can send thoughts ‘out into the void’ and also have ample room to babble on to my heart’s content in the comment section.

Kathleen Kelly:The odd thing about this form of communication is that you’re more likely to talk about nothing than something. But I just want to say that all this nothing has meant more to me than so many somethings.


And instead of pretty stationary or cutesy stickers and ink stamps, I can decorate with other fun things instead…

fun thing


I’ve never made the connection between letter writing and blogging before. I like the thought of it though, it makes it seem more personal.

Kathleen Kelly: Whatever else anything is, it ought to begin by being personal.




Posted by on June 12, 2017 in Movies


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Movie Challenge: favorite comedy


5.) Your Favorite Comedy

answer: Elf

I like how the beginning throws back to the claymation version of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer (in both look and story), which was my favorite Christmas cartoon as a child.

I like Buddy’s sense of wonder about everything, when he leaves the North Pole and shows up in New York City.

I like how some people appreciate his innocence, while others are completely baffled by it.

I like the mishaps he gets into

and the way he fixes things without even realizing.

I hated making snowflakes in school but I loved making paper chains!


I laugh and smile so much throughout this movie but I always, ALWAYS cry at the end. When the crowd is trying to power Santa’s sleigh with Christmas Spirit by singing, the camera focuses on a little baby; the sense of innocent awe as the sleigh takes off into the air just makes me lose it! It’s only a few seconds long but I can’t resist tearing up!

‘The best way to spread Christmas Cheer, is singing loud for all to hear’


I loved Christmas time when I was a child. It was all about magic and love and believing in things that you couldn’t see. I was able to revisit that sense of wonder when my kids were young. The past few years, holidays have been such an ordeal for me, so stressful, so much spite and bitterness on display in my extended families; it just makes my heart hurt.



It makes me want to nail our door shut for two months straight and find that magic again, with just the four of us. I can’t do that, but I can watch Elf to recharge my senses, so that I can brave the gatherings with a smile on my face.


smiling’s my favorite


up next: a movie that makes you happy


Posted by on May 24, 2017 in Movies


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Movie Challenge: favorite drama


4.) Your Favorite Drama
answer: The Shawshank Redemption

The first time I saw this movie in the cinema, I freaked myself out. I swore I was having a major case of Deja Vu because throughout the movie there were several instances when I knew what was going to happen before it did. and not like when you’re watching a poorly written story where you can predict what will most likely happen, in this case I knew specific events and even lines of dialogue! When I went home and told my mother, she laughed and said it was because I read the book. It’s a short story by Stephen King called ‘Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption’.

The story was part of a collection named ‘Different Seasons’. I read the book when I was 15 and I remember being shocked by the descriptions of prison life, particularly the ‘Sisters’ storyline. Coincidentally the book also contained the short stories that turned into ‘Apt Pupil’ and ‘Stand by Me’.

Andy: I have no enemies here.
Red: Yeah? Wait a while. Word gets around. The Sisters have taken quite a likin’ to you. Especially Boggs.
Andy: I don’t suppose it would help if I told them that I’m not homosexual.
Red: Neither are they. You have to be human first. They don’t qualify.


I may have initially forgotten about the book version of this story but the movie version stayed with me. I thought about it constantly, quotes from the movie that I could relate to on a personal level:

Red: I could see why some of the boys took him for snobby. He had a quiet way about him, a walk and a talk that just wasn’t normal around here. He strolled, like a man in a park without a care or a worry in the world, like he had on an invisible coat that would shield him from this place. Yeah, I think it would be fair to say… I liked Andy from the start.

Visual aspects that I found pleasing:

And just the general situation that Andy found himself in: serving a prison sentence for something that he didn’t do but felt like he caused to happen. So not only physically serving time but emotionally serving it as well, through guilt.

‘She was beautiful. God I loved her. I just didn’t know how to show it, that’s all. I killed her, Red. I didn’t pull the trigger, but I drove her away. And that’s why she died, because of me.’


I love many parts of this movie but I have two particular favorites. First, when Andy finds himself part of the work crew that is tarring the roof. He gives the main guard some financial advice, after being a little too blunt in his delivery and almost getting himself thrown off the building.

Andy: Mr. Hadley, do you trust your wife?’


In exchange, Andy requests that his friends get the chance to indulge in some bottled beer during one of their rest breaks. Andy didn’t partake himself, since it was alcohol induced decisions that got him stuck there in the first place, but he found comfort in watching his friends enjoy the treat.

‘We sat and drank with the sun on our shoulders and felt like free men.’


The second scene I really like, is when Andy finally gets his donation of books that he’s been requesting in order to update the prison library. Some music was also included in the shipment and so he locks himself in the Warden’s office and plays an Opera record over the main sound system. Visually speaking, the scene is beautiful: all of the prisoners who are out in the prison yard stop to listen in awe. and inside, Andy is laid back in the Warden’s chair taking in the beautiful sounds himself.

Andy knows what the consequences will be for pulling such a stunt, but he believes it was worth it. The consequence being, spending time in solitary confinement. Afterwards, his description of music resonates with me. I too value music as a gift, storing it in my head and bringing it out when needed, either out loud by singing/humming or in silence by just remembering.

That’s the beauty of music. They can’t get that from you…there’s something inside that they can’t get to, that they can’t touch. That’s yours.


The big reveal towards the end of the movie is very exciting and always leaves me feeling inspired, not only for Andy- with his patience and determination- but for his friend Red as well. I love a happy ending.

‘I hope to see my friend and shake his hand. I hope the Pacific is as blue as it has been in my dreams. I hope.’


next up: favorite comedy

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Posted by on May 10, 2017 in Books, Movies


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Movie Challenge: favorite horror


3.) Your Favorite Horror Movie

I don’t particularly enjoy horror movies, or rather, not anymore. When I was young, I watched a lot of horror because it was the 1980s and that’s just what you did. I liked watching the kind of horror films that were either intentionally funny or so cheesy that they became funny, things like House II, The Gate, The Blob. I liked the multi-storied variety like The Twilight Zone and Cat’s Eye too because I was used to watching the old Twilight Zone and Alfred Hitchcock Presents television episodes with my parents, along with Tales from the Darkside and Amazing Stories. I often watched a lot of horror with my older brother too: The Exorcist, Damien, The Thing, along with all of the Halloweens, Friday the 13ths, Nightmare on Elm streets, and Hellraisers. Sometimes I would watch things that I really shouldn’t have been watching and lived to regret later, like The Howling or Wolfen. Where the hell were my parents? that’s what I’d like to know. Why did they let me watch these things?! It’s no wonder I was plagued with nightmares my whole childhood.

why I slept under the pillows, instead of on them.


Now that I’m an adult, I stay away from horror as much as possible. I’m the sissy who hides her eyes during horror film trailers. and when my husband watches Ghost Hunters, I leave the room at lightening speed.


So when trying to answer this question, my brain immediately went to something more lighthearted

answer: Shaun of the Dead

This movie is a fun zombie apocalypse story. That statement may seem like an oxymoron but in this case, it’s not. Shaun doesn’t have a whole lot going for him when the story starts. he hates his job, his girlfriend breaks up with him, his roommate berates him, and his best friend enables him.

Shaun gets drunk and when he wakes up the next day, the zombie invasion is under way. Only, he doesn’t notice at first. He slips in blood at the convenience store, thinks the zombie that approaches him in the street is begging for change, and he keeps changing the television channel through all the breaking news reports.

When he finally does become aware, he rushes off to ‘save’ his mother and girlfriend, planning to wait out the invasion in his favorite pub. but he has a few things that need to be taken care of first.

Along the way, Shaun the Slacker finds some courage, at least enough to get them all to the pub in one piece. What follows is some gore

poor David!


And some genuine it’s-been-good-knowing-you bouts of emotion

‘you’ve got red on you’


But only enough to classify it as a zombie movie. And that’s why I like it: a comedy that I can loosely claim as horror. Gotta keep up appearances!

Shaun: As Bertrand Russell once said, “The only thing that will redeem mankind is cooperation.” I think we can all appreciate the relevance of that now.

Liz: Was that on a beer mat?

Shaun: Yeah, it was Guinness Extra Cold.

up next: Favorite Drama


Posted by on May 3, 2017 in Movies


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Movie Challenge: favorite action/adventure


2.) Your Favorite Action/Adventure Movie
answer: The Dark Knight


The Dark Knight is the sequel to Batman Begins, directed by Christopher Nolan and starring Christian Bale. I watched the first installment and liked it but it wasn’t something that stuck with me afterwards. This second installment, is one of those movies that I watch again and again. If it’s playing on television I will always turn it on, no matter if it’s almost over or just beginning.


I like the flow of the story, how it’s separated into several storylines that all fit together.
The Joker and The Mob

‘This city deserves a better class of criminal, and I’m going to give it to them.’


Harvey Dent and Rachel, and Bruce Wayne

Harvey: the famous Bruce Wayne, Rachel’s told me everything about you.
Bruce: I certainly hope not.


Batman and The Joker

‘you won’t kill me out of some misplaced sense of self-righteousness, and I won’t kill you because you’re just too much fun.’


Overall I like the theme of the movie, the sacrifices that Bruce Wayne makes for the greater good and his unwavering faith in humanity. The Joker tests his resolve, and Bruce’s affection for Rachel makes this doubly difficult for him to resist, but he believes in his cause so strongly that he doesn’t waver. In the end, he’s even willing to sacrifice Batman’s reputation in exchange for Harvey Dent’s, because it’s what’s best for the city of Gotham at that time.

Jim Gordon: He’s the hero Gotham deserves but not the one it needs right now… He’s a silent guardian. A watchful protector. A Dark Knight.


Some of my favorite parts: when an employee of Wayne enterprises comes to Lucius Fox and tells him that he’s figured out that Batman is actually Bruce Wayne and he has proof that he’s willing to reveal to the public if his demands aren’t met. the way Morgan Freeman delivers his response, and then the way the employee’s smug face changes as he realizes his blunder.

another favorite is when Bruce is stitching himself up after a fight. Alfred asks if he got mauled by a tiger and Bruce says it was a dog, then clarifies that it was a big dog. his smile a few lines later is enjoyable too.

This movie marked the first time I had seen a movie more than once in the cinema. I’m usually someone who will watch the movie once, then rent it, and then buy it and watch it with abandon. This time I saw it three times! Two times in it’s regular form and a third time in IMAX. The parts of the movie that were shot specifically to be shown in IMAX form were amazing! It truly did feel like I was there and part of the story. The regular parts of the movie though, weren’t as enjoyable for me. I get motion sickness very easily and I wear glasses because of an astigmatism, which sometimes affects 3D viewing and prevents me from sitting too close to the screen. So although seeing Christian Bale up close on a gigantic screen should have been enjoyable, it crossed my eyes a bit and made me feel sick.

such a shame.


As for the actual ‘action’ of the movie, I really liked the car chases and the motorcycles, and all of Batman’s gadgets.

The Dark Knight is a movie that spends much time replaying on my television screen because it makes the comic book world seem real, not like a cartoon. Batman is just an ordinary man (albeit with extraordinary financial resources), not someone with special powers or who comes from another planet. I like my fantasies to be based in reality (somewhat). It makes it easier to step inside the story and pretend that it’s real.

up next: Favorite Horror


Posted by on April 27, 2017 in Movies


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