Movie Challenge: Childhood Favorite

8.) A favorite movie from your childhood

answer: The Wizard of Oz

When I was young, The Wizard of Oz was shown on television once a year. I always looked forward to watching the beloved classic, even though I could never get much farther than the castle scene without nodding off to sleep. my mother would say it must be because of the poppies.

poppies will put them to sleep. sleeep…

The black and white portion of the movie scared me. I found Miss Gulch more frightening than her green skinned counterpart; real life monsters are much scarier than pretend ones. my grandmother had a neighbor who reminded me of the real world Wicked Witch, always chasing me away from where I rode my bike or tried to sled ride in the winter, even though it wasn’t her property to guard in the first place. I could easily picture her trying to take someone’s dog away from them.

But I knew if I could just get through the black and white portion of the movie, then all the fun would begin when it switched to color!

Meeting each of the main players was something I eagerly anticipated. Scarecrow, who was smart even though he claimed to need a brain.

(and now that song will be stuck in my head for the next 3 days)


The Tin Man, who was gentle and caring even though he thought he lacked a heart.

(my favorite part of the whole movie)


and The Cowardly Lion, who may have been timid but fought to protect his friends.

I’ll go in there for Dorothy. Wicked Witch or no Wicked Witch, guards or no guards, I’ll tear them apart. I may not come out alive, but I’m going in there.

The way the Wicked Witch popped up and caused trouble was concerning, but the scariest thing childhood me thought she did was try to keep Dorothy from getting back to Auntie Em. that crystal ball scene got me every time!

In the end, they all realized that what they were ‘missing’ was within them the whole time, just not in the way they expected it to be. that lesson left a big impression upon me as a child. it suggested to me that the conventional way of doing things wasn’t the only way of doing things.

The Wizard of Oz may be considered a children’s movie, but it’s lessons have carried me through adulthood as well. life is full of wicked witches who try to make everyone around them feel as unhappy as they do, and people who hide behind curtains pretending to be much more than they are. sometimes we need reminded that home isn’t really a place but a feeling that lives inside of you, and to not let ourselves get so wrapped up in trying to reach Oz that we miss all that the yellow brick road has to offer along the way.




I didn’t watch Dan Stevens’ new movie, Permission, just to get a better look at the tattoo on his rib cage. Okay, maybe I did. I’m none the wiser on the tattoo, but the movie was equal parts endearing & poignant. I enjoyed it very much.

another letter?

Anna (Rebecca Hall) and Will (Dan Stevens) have been dating since their first year of college. They were each other’s first kiss, first sexual experience, first (and only) everything. As Anna gets ready to turn 30 years old and Will prepares to officially ask her to marry him, a drunken friend points out that they’ve only slept with each other. How can they be sure they really want to spend the rest of their lives together, if they’ve never experienced anyone else? This causes Will to hesitate and postpone his plan to propose, while Anna suggests they sleep with other people, because ‘sex is just sex’.

is it, though?

I’m sure you can see where this is going: awkwardness and heartbreak. Why would I want to subject myself to that? Especially when Will looks like such a cuddly teddy bear!

But it is Dan Stevens. I’ve grown to trust that his choices will be thought provoking or outside of the box in some form. So the day the movie became available to view, I debated for about 10 minutes before giving in.

okay, maybe more like 3 minutes

Why I like this movie is hard for me to articulate. The story goes in the direction I thought it would, but how it got there exceeded my expectations.

shall I elaborate?

It was funny in some areas: Will sleeps with an older woman who wandered into his woodworking shop. Lydia (Gina Gershon) is kooky, free spirited, and endearingly likable. Will’s naivete and her ‘anything goes’ personality lead to some cute and funny interactions.

he’s wearing fur. in an empty bathtub.

Contemplative in others: The drunken friend is Will’s business partner, who happens to be in a same-sex relationship with Anna’s brother, Hale (David Joseph Craig). One of them can’t stop thinking about becoming a parent, while the other won’t even entertain the idea. Their scenes together are both beautiful and heartbreaking.

The color palette was serene: Sparsely decorated apartments in cool colors, an abundance of scarves and hats and fluffy blankets that add warmth in sweet moments, sensual skin shots that enhance the storytelling instead of exploiting it.

me, searching for interior shots but coming up empty because the movie has only been out 2 days

The acting enjoyable: Francois Arnaud as Dane, the heart-on-his-sleeve musician. He’s the other man who doesn’t know he’s the other man. He’s emotionally brave and has a really nice singing voice. I liked him much more than I wanted to.

The situations were awkward: Will tagging along as Anna and Dane get to know each other, Hale’s attachment to the sleep deprived father and baby that he meets at the dog park, when Lydia had much more planned for Will than just delivering a table.

The visuals were beautiful: The intimate scenes between Hale and Reece (Morgan Spector), Anna rediscovering her love of piano in Dane’s dimly lit apartment, the Christmas tree in the window of the brownstone Will renovated for Anna.

I liked all of the characters and just wanted to give each of them a hug!  But when Will realizes that for he and Anna to grow, they need to do it apart? The tears!

I would have preferred an ending with more resolution. If not one where loose ends were tied up, at least one that suggested a direction for each character to go. Luckily, I’m a master daydreamer…

I’m the one he’s looking at, btw.

P.S.- Will owns a woodworking shop and is renovating a Brooklyn brownstone as a gift for his girlfriend. I know I said that already, but it’s worth mentioning again.

and again.



Beauty and The Beast: appreciation

Disney’s ‘live-action’ remake of the 1992 animated classic, Beauty and The Beast, seems to be getting shut out of all the award nominations.


This calls for a visual post to celebrate what the judges have failed to appreciate!



❤ It takes the romantic fairy tale and roots it in a way that feels more real


❤ Belle tucking up her skirts

this is something that would have been done when a girl was participating in less ladylike activities such as walking rough through the woods or climbing on and around things, etc. I rarely see this portrayed in film so I like that it was shown here. and having those cute bloomers show underneath was another way to illustrate how odd Belle supposedly was.


❤ The elaborate sets


❤ The intricate costumes

“An amazing amount of work went into the prince’s costume [worn by Dan Stevens, above] in the opening ball sequence, which you don’t really see. It’s got a whole custom embroidery of different kinds of grotesque animals stitched into the pattern. It’s embellished with 20,000 Swarovski crystals that took five days to stitch on.” ~Jacqueline Durran, costume designer

speaking of details that get overlooked, I’m going to slip in a pic of Dan’s London premiere suit here because I love the paisley swirl embroidery


❤ The nods to the beloved animated version


❤ I was never attached to the animated version (truthfully, I’m not sure I’ve even seen the whole movie), so I’m falling in love with the 2017 version like it’s my first time, because essentially it is!


Favorite Scene: when Belle & The Beast are sharing their outcast stories and Beast says ‘what do you say we run away’. Dan’s dry delivery of that line always makes me smile.


Favorite Line: when Beast shows Belle the library for the first time, she asks:

he answers:

my favorite is the next line when Belle says, “Was that a joke? You’re telling jokes now?”


Favorite Outfit: The Prince’s light blue jacket in the closing dance scene


A Wish: That Dan get recognition for the hard work he put into the role


5 Words To Best Describe It:











❤ ❤ ❤


The Man Who Invented Christmas

It’s hard to surprise me. very rarely will you hear me say “I was not expecting that” or “I’m so surprised!” and when I do, 90% of the time I immediately follow it up with “well, now that I think about it…” to which I admit I’m not really that surprised because there were clues leading up to the situation/event that I just hadn’t consciously put together yet. so when I say that the movie The Man Who Invented Christmas surprised me, I genuinely mean it.


I thought this movie was going to be a seasonal comedy, a family film, because that’s the way it’s been marketed. I don’t normally get excited about these kinds of films, although I enjoy them well enough. this one was taking a classic well-known story, one that I’ve seen multiple versions of and always enjoy, and coming at it from a slightly different angle. The premise centers around the writer, Charles Dickens, and how he comes up with the idea for A Christmas Carol. the previews looked funny, the way a disheveled Willy Wonka-like Dan Stevens conjures up the well-known characters and then loses control of them. how they mystically materialize in front of him and then disappear before he can transfer them to the page.


I was not expecting that it would actually be a version of A Christmas Carol itself, with emotional struggles, revelations and redemption, and dark memories that have been locked into a box and buried. while Charles is manically running around embodying the stereotype of a writer who has one foot on solid ground and the other in dreamland, trying to balance the two while in a time crunch with his reputation and finances on the line, he’s also dealing with his irresponsible father and trying not to let the bitterness he feels towards him eat him alive. that’s the story that affected me, that’s the story that had me laughing and crying in equal measure, that’s what connected me to the main character as I empathized with his struggles.


The film does showcase the frustrations a writer goes through when forced to deal with the real life details of publishing a book, financing and printing and illustration, etc. It established the time period of Charles Dickens’s life that we were being dropped into so that we can easily comprehend why his nerves are so frayed, why this book meant so much, and how that all tied into the title of the movie.


My one and only complaint would be: why did they chose to market this film as lite family fare? maybe the intent was to create an experience much like my own, to entice with a lighthearted look at a classic tale with the twist of the writer being the focal point, only to unexpectedly deliver a deeper more meaningful story that may nudge us into looking more closely at ourselves. if that was the strategy, then Bravo! but I fear that many may miss out on what is overall a delightful mix of comedy and drama, because they thought they knew what it was about and chose not to view it based on that misconception.


So go see this movie! Do it now! if not for what I described above, then for Dan Stevens in dashing cravats and waist coats, for Tara the maid’s melodious Irish Accent, for Jonathan Pryce and his eccentric turban, or even just for this child’s giggle:


For whatever reason, you won’t be sorry.  and if you are? then Humbug to you!



Fandom Asks: Dan Stevens

Now that I’ve become familiar with more of the characters that Dan Stevens has portrayed, I can finally use them to answer this ‘Fandom Asks’ questionnaire! Maybe I’ll make it a series and apply it to other crushes as well. We’ll start with Dan though, because he’s so much fun.

Dan, inconspicuously visiting Disneyland, just weeks after the release of ‘Beauty and The Beast’ had made him the newest Disney prince. in his rose covered shoes.


The first character I first fell in love with: David Haller, Legion

He’s so sweet and clueless and broken, and he has no idea how very powerful he truly is. Once he starts to discover his powers though, he levitates, and moves things without touching them, and can take you outside of your body into the Astral Plain where he’s set up a nice little love nest for the two of you… I mean, Syd. the love nest that he set up for Syd.


The character I never expected to love as much as I do now: David Collins, The Guest

He’s a psychopath, but so damn polite about it! It’s not his fault though, the big bad government used him for an experiment and made him a super soldier without empathy, so that makes it okay to love him. As long as he thinks it’s his ‘mission’ to make you happy; don’t disrupt the mission.


The character everyone else loves that I don’t: The Beast, Beauty and The Beast

I like him well enough, but c’mon! They hid that beautiful face under CGI fur for almost the whole movie! His grumpiness has a certain charm to it, I’ll admit. I like him much better after the transformation though.


The character I love that everyone else hates: Noah Dorfman, Criminal Activities

I don’t know that others hate him, necessarily, it’s just that he’s not exactly a heartthrob. He tries too hard to fit in, willingly letting his ‘friends’ take advantage of him, and he’s kind of bouncy like a puppy. He has an enjoyable dry wit that comes out in full force when he’s stressed though, and his curly hair is adorable!


The character I used to love but don’t any longer: Will Porter, Killswitch

I really liked him in the build up to the release of the movie but then once I saw the movie, he felt flat, very one dimensional. And not actually on screen all that much. The movie, while inventive, was full of dead ends.

he ‘gazes’ like nobody’s business though!


The character I would totally smooch: Joey Van Helsing, Vamps

The floppy hair and the boyish smile, and the fact that he doesn’t run away screaming when he finds out that you’re a vampire. Not only that, but he still wants to make out with you, even though his dad is a vampire hunter. He’s a keeper!


The character I’d want to be like: David Cameron, Hilde

Confident, Charismatic, Cocky


The character I’d slap: James Harvey, The Ticket

I go from wanting to cuddle him in his disheveled clothes, to wanting to slap him in his designer suits. Maybe we should eliminate the clothing factor altogether and see what I feel then?



A pairing that I love: All of them and their Beautiful Blue Eyes


Fav fanvid: Dangerous- David Collins, The Guest

Warning: gun violence, brief female nudity, swear words, but excellent editing!


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