thirteen fantastic movies & what i thought of them.

I did a post like this last year, so I decided to do it again!

Now, before you start saying, “Thirteen movies?!  Well, GOSH, Ashley – you spend so much money on movie tickets!”

  1. I wasn’t allowed to go to the theater much when I was little because (a) there wasn’t much I could see and (b) because my parents always had to pay for my ticket and, because of that, (c) they always had to be slightly interested in the movies as well, so now I go fairly often because I have a car and money to pay for myself.
  2. I never get popcorn or drinks.  (However, I did manage to sneak in a Starbucks frappucino this year.  #win)
  3. I didn’t pay for some of these tickets.  (PRAISE THE LORD FOR PARENTS & PARENTS OF KIDS I NANNY.)
  4. I go at the cheap times.  Every day from 4 to 5:30 at my theater is $6.  BOOM.
  5. I like movies.

Let’s do this thing.  (Links to the trailers are in the movie titles.)

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God’s Not Dead 2 | 1/21

Well.  This one was a colossal flop.  I didn’t even want to talk about it at all when I saw it, and did an April Fools post mainly consisting of Kevin McCreary’s review of it.  I can’t even remember most of what I thought about it, but I know I didn’t like it.  My dad got tickets to a super early screening because he’s a pastor (#perks) and we talked about it on the way there, basically laying out our (super low) expectations and what we wanted it to ultimately do.  It barely met my expectations, and, well, let’s just say that I got more out of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World than this movie.  Not only were there some issues with the court sequence (you cannot have surprise witnesses.  the end.  go home.), there were major issues with the basic story as well.  The one thing I did like, however, was that the hot lawyer (whose face almost made driving 45 minutes to go see this movie worth it) didn’t become a Christian at the end.  I know that may sound awful of me, as a Christian, to say that I’m glad someone didn’t become a Christian.  But think about it – how many movies have you seen where the meek, submissive, Christian main character influences his/her non-Christian rivals so much that they radically turn from their heathen ways and go to church, ending up raising their hands with tears streaming down their faces?  TOO MANY.  And that’s all I’ll say.  For more, watch Kevin’s actual review.  It’s totally worth an hour of your time.  (And this is the longest paragraph.  Obviously.)

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Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens | 1/28

HECKLES YES.  Back to the good stuff.  So, I had already watched this movie a month before with my relatives, but my friend Katelyn and I wanted to see it again.  So we did.  Four girls (including us and my two sisters) going to a Star Wars movie sounds pretty awesome to me, especially since we spent half of it whispering about how hot Oscar Isaac and Adam Driver are.  (“You know… I can take anything I want.”  *entire row bursts out laughing*)  And there were only like ten people in the theater, including us, so it worked out marvelously.

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Captain America: Civil War | 5/5 & 5/15

SWEET. BUTTERED. CRUMPETS.  What a masterpiece.  What an absolute cinematic masterpiece.  I saw it the first time with my siblings and a friend, and then again with my siblings, my dad’s intern, and Morgan and her sisters.  (This is when we sneaked in our frappucinos.)  Such a good movie.  I loved it so very much.  See my actual, non-fangirly review here.

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Finding Dory | 6/18

I saw this one with friends after exploring World of Coke in Atlanta, and it was super fun!  Our group totally symbolized the majority of the movie’s audience, since our group consisted of six people with ages ranging from sixteen to twenty-five.  We fell in love with Finding Nemo when we were little and gosh darn it we were absolutely gonna see Finding Dory as soon as possible.  I loved it so much.  It actually made half of us cry – that one scene with all the shells, guys.  I’ve heard people say that it’s not as good as the first, but I don’t think they can be compared.  They’re both fantastic movies.  I watched it again on Christmas Day and remembered how much I liked it.  It’s about family and persistence and bravery and it’s just so good.

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The Secret Life of Pets | 7/8

I took my little twins I nanny to see this one, and I think someone went with us (their grandma, I think?), but I can’t remember.  (Stupid brain, lol.)  I thought this movie was cute!  A little confusing, but still adorable.  I wasn’t planning on watching it, but I couldn’t pass up free tickets to see an animated movie that may or may not be good.  I’d watch it again with my younger siblings, if only for Kevin Hart’s adorably hilarious bunny character.

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Star Trek Beyond | 7/24

Goodness gracious.  This has to be one of my favorite movies of the entire year.  I’m not a huge Star Trek fan, but I’ve really enjoyed the reboots.  (Call me what you will, but the original show is so cheesy!)  Even though it was tainted in my mind because of Anton Yelchin’s tragic death the month before, it still made me laugh, sit on the edge of my seat, and even tear up a little.  From what I’ve seen of the show, Beyond was more in the vein of the classic episodes, and contained significantly less objectionable content than the other movies.  Because of that, it just worked.

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Pete’s Dragon | 9/2

I took the twins and my younger sister to see this one, and I knew it would be good, but it absolutely exceeded my expectations.  I’ve always been a Karl Urban fan, but Slightly Evil Lumberjack Karl Urban?  Um, YES PLEASE.  (The first time he came onscreen, my sister and I reached across the two kids between us and waved fingers at one another with excited looks on our faces.)  That, combined with Seneca Crane and Opie’s daughter… yep.  Fangirling about actors aside, it was just beautiful in a cinematographic sense as well.  I loved how they altered the story slightly, and I didn’t miss the songs ’til the credits started rolling.  It’s like the classic, but it’s a little more green and focused on slightly different aspects of the story.  And I was crying in the first scene, if that says anything.  (They showed Pete’s parents dying.  Like, heck no.  Why, Disney.  Why.)  Definitely would’ve liked to see this one in the theater again, but at home will have to do.

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Doctor Strange | 11/8

YIIIIIISSSSSSSSSSS.  Honestly, this is one of the cleanest Marvel movies ever, and I have no idea why.  There’s not much language, no sensual stuff, and very little blood.  And when you add BennyC into the mix… wow.  I really enjoyed this one – so much, in fact, that I wrote a critical thinking journal entry on it (a school project, which I got a great grade on).  I haven’t done research to see if the director is a Christian, but there are definite allusions to the Bible and Christian themes.  The only thing I didn’t like was the lack of females in it.  The Ancient One is, I think, female (played by Tilda Swinton {aka the White Witch}), but the character might’ve been ambiguous, and the only other girl is Christine Palmer, played by Rachel McAdams.  McAdams did well in the role, but the role itself isn’t that great.  Christine saves his life once with medical assistance, but she’s barely in fifteen minutes of the movie.  I like my female characters to be kick-butt and awesome.  Besides that, I really liked this one.  Not my favorite Marvel, but not my least favorite either.

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Hamlet {National Theatre Live} | 11/15

I saw this with two friends when I was in Florida for a week.  It was actually perfect timing because I already had to read Hamlet and then watch a production of it, and it was so much fun to go to a coffee shop, read the play, then go see the movie (and be able to say “Yeah, I read the play this morning; no biggie.  Now I’m going to see the version with Benedict Cumberbatch.  Again, no biggie.” when, in fact, it was a biggie).  This is, by far, the most expensive movie ticket I purchased this year ($20), but it was oh. so. worth. it.  The show itself was almost four hours long, and I can’t remember if that included the intermission or not.  I did a three-page review of this for school, and I could ramble almost that much just about Ben’s performance.  (It’ll be the basis on which I judge all other Hamlets.)  The sound production alone had me and my friend fangirling.  Every time he’d soliloquize, the sound would go “FubwubwubwUBWUBWUBWUBWUB” and everybody would slow down and the spotlight would be on Ben and it was just absolutely amazing.  And if anyone has a bootleg, I will send you both of my novels right now in return for it.

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Fantastic Beasts | 11/17

To be completely honest, I didn’t initially like this one when I left it, but I’ve since realized that it’s still pretty good, regardless of the issues I had with the story.  (Spoiler-free, I feel like it was two different stories that met together in the last ten minutes of the movie.)  I still loved Newt, though.  He’s the best thing to happen to Harry Potter since Deathly Hallows Part 2.  So good.  I’ll probably go watch it again and see if my opinion’s changed.  My favorite part of the movie, however, was the fact that I went with a big group of friends, and half of us dressed up in 20’s costumes.  So. Much. Fun.

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Moana | 11/27

OKAY SO I LOVED THIS ONE.  I knew I’d love it ever since I heard about it last year – and, um, hello, it’s LIN, so what’s not to love?!  The music was, obviously, phenomenal.  Loved the cast, loved the story, loved the animation (so beautiful).  I didn’t feel like I was watching a kids movie, which is exactly what I was hoping.  The story was so precious and so relatable – and I LOVED the fact that Moana’s story isn’t centered around a guy.  She’s a princess, but she’s not looking for a prince, and I think that puts her a cut above all of the other princesses.  I mean, I love all of the Disney princesses, but her story seems so much more pure because her story has to do with doing something meaningful to benefit her people, not sleeping while waiting for true love’s kiss or waiting for a prince to find her or falling in love with the guy who keeps her imprisoned in a castle.  (Yes, this is my feminist side coming out.  #dealwithit)

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Hacksaw Ridge | 12/10

This was the first R-rated movie I’ve seen in the theater.  I went with my dad for my birthday and he loved it almost as much as I did.  Truth be told, I knew very little about the story when I saw it (I saw the trailer when it first came out, but by the time I saw it, I’d forgotten what was in it), and that makes me even more glad that I watched it because it was amazing and so inspirational!  It’s based on a true story about a guy who saved dozens upon dozens of soldiers during WWII.  I loved the fact that they portrayed his faith and his stance against violence and war without demeaning him for it or making him look stupid.  And it stars Andrew Garfield, so obviously it was amazing.

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Rogue One | 12/28

I went into this one with pretty low expectations – not because I didn’t think it would be good (I knew it would be), but because I’m still not much of a Star Wars fan.  But hooooooo boy.  SO GOOD.  I adored it, actually.  By the end, I was shipping characters so hard that the only thing keeping me from yelling “JUST KISS HER ALREADY!!!” was the fact that my fourteen-year-old cousin was sitting a few seats over and I didn’t want to set a bad example.  For real, though, it blew almost every other movie I’ve seen this year (in the theater at least) out of the water.  The story was so unique and the characters were all so wonderful.  GAH.  I loved it.

What do you think of my list?  Have you seen any of these?  Want to fangirl with me?!

the holiday & nativity! | christmas movie marathon

Part One | Part Two

Join me as I count down to Christmas with reviews of some of my favorite Christmas movies – and a few new ones!

p162526_p_v8_aa.jpgThe Holiday {2006} | Cameron Diaz, Jude Law, Kate Winslet, Jack Black

The Plot: Unlucky in love, two women swap homes over Christmas.  Then, love surprises them when they expected it least.

The Good: My mom discovered this movie a few years ago and introduced it to my siblings and I.  It soon became a tradition to watch it at least once every year (but sometimes I watch it outside of the Christmas season because it’s just that good).  I cry every time I watch it, and melt from the feels.  I’m not usually a Cameron Diaz fan, but she won me over in this one.  Kate Winslet is amazing as always, and Jack Black in a romantic role completely surprised me!  And, hello, Jude Law in glasses – what’s not to love?!  And I just found out that it came out on my birthday in 2006, so it was my density to love this one.

The Bad: To be completely honest, this is probably the movie with the most content in this series.  Sensual kissing, casual sex, language, etc.  See IMDb’s Parents Guide for details, but I’d say this is a pretty typical rom-com PG-13.

The Bottom Line: So good.  So incredibly good.  The romance is fun and makes you feel all fuzzy inside, but it’s also got a sub-plot about being “the leading lady in your own life” that makes me tear up just thinking about it.  And the twist at the end – gah.  If you like rom-coms or just feel-good romances, you’ve gotta watch this one.

p7935389_d_v8_aa.jpgNativity! {2009} | Martin Freeman, Mark Wootton

The Plot: After a Scroogeish grade school teacher (Freeman) is told to direct the school’s production of The Nativity, a lie he tells gets blown out of proportion, causing his job to be much harder.  (Not to be confused with that movie that had Poe Hot Damneron in it.)

The Good: I heard of this movie a few years ago, having been introduced to it by the plethora of adorable gifs that came out of it.  (I need a gif of him shutting up his class by banging cymbals with an angry face and i can’t. find. it.)  I forgot about watching it last year, and finally made more of an effort this year.  Katie and I sat down one night with very low expectations – except hello it’s Martin so it’s gonna be at least okay – and soon were laughing so hysterically that we had to pause it and rewind.  It’s absolutely hilarious, all of the kids are just adorable, and it was surprisingly touching as well!

The Bad: This movie is PG.  I’ve only seen it once but I literally can’t think of anything inappropriate (unless there was some British humor, which is always a little more crass than American).  Some of it was a little ridiculous, and the ending got wrapped up a little too neatly – but let’s be honest, who didn’t want all of that to happen, regardless of how unlikely it was.  😛

The Bottom Line: If you’re looking for a cute movie to watch with your younger siblings but really just want to see Martin Freeman SLAY, watch this one.  And let me know what you think.

Next Week: Scrooged and Serendipity

eloise at christmastime & christmas with the kranks | christmas movie marathon

Part One

Join me as I count down to Christmas with reviews of some of my favorite Christmas movies – and a few new ones!

Eloise_at_Christmastime.jpgEloise at Christmastime {2003} | Sofia Vassilieva, Julie Andrews

The Plot: Eloise, a resident of the Plaza Hotel, is simultaneously trying to figure out the motive of a suspicious man and set up her friend Bill with Rachel, his unrequited love, all the while getting ready for Christmas.

The Good: OKAY.  This movie may have been intended for the eight-year-olds who read the books, but I’m pretty sure anyone can watch it and love it.  I first discovered it a few years ago and it’s been a tradition to watch it at least twice every Christmas season.  It’s hilarious, sweet, heartwarming, and the ship is one of my OTPs.  (BILL + RACHEL FOREVER.)  Sofia always shocks me as Eloise because she’s such a great actor – and she’s only ten.  Also, Julie is such a great surprise in this one because she’s nanny goals.

The Bad: Unless you think Eloise is a little too independent – and a little “wooed” – for a six-year-old, there’s nothing bad in this movie.  Period.

The Bottom Line: Yes.  All the yes.  This movie is perfect and I love it dearly.

christmas with the kranks.jpgChristmas with the Kranks {2004} | Tim Allen, Jamie Lee Curtis

The Plot: After their daughter leaves home shortly before Christmas, Luther and Nora Krank decide to skip Christmas and spend their money on a cruise.  However, the entire town has a problem with this.  Hilarity ensues.

The Good: My family and I hadn’t seen this movie before, and after hearing about it a few times and then having it recommended by a good friend, we decided to watch it.  Spoiler alert: we loved it.  Even my dad, who’s pretty hard to entertain sometimes.  (Love you, Daddy.)  It was amazingly relatable, too, because we know people who’ve skipped Christmas for one reason or another.  Super duper funny, and even a little touching at times.  And Tim Allen is always hysterical.

The Bad: As far as inappropriate content goes, this movie had very little – unless you count a veiled reference to Nora thinking that Luther has something planned *wink*.  It’s 5% on Rotten Tomatoes (YIKES) is pretty harsh, but not unwarranted, as this movie feels a little confusing and pointless at times.  The town’s reaction to the Krank’s decision to skip Christmas is a little ridiculous as well.

The Bottom Line: For all its problems, this movie isn’t without good aspects, and I’m pretty sure it just became a tradition for my family.

Next Friday: The Holiday and Nativity!

elf & a christmas story | christmas movie marathon

I love doing Christmas blog series because I love blogging and I love Christmas.  It just works.

As I thought about what I’d do this year, I kept remembering the blog series I did last year. If you’ve read that one, you probably noticed that I basically covered all the bases – my favorite Christmas movies, my favorite Christmas songs, my favorite Christmas traditions, and, finally, the reasons why I celebrate Christmas.

For the longest time, I couldn’t think of anything to post about this year that I hadn’t posted about already last year.  And then I thought about the list I made a few weeks ago of all of the Christmas movies I hadn’t seen yet but wanted to.  So I thought, “Hey, why not write a review for each movie?”  However, because it’s not Christmas without my favorite Christmas movies, I probably wouldn’t be watching enough new movies to warrant a blog series.

BAM.  Reviews of a new one and an old one (for me, at least).  I’ll post one every Friday morning, just in time for a family movie night.  Enjoy!

christmasmovieself.jpgElf {2003} | Will Ferrell, James Caan

The Plot: Buddy the Elf, one of Santa’s helpers, has to find his dad in NYC and get him off The Naughty List, all while helping others to believe in Santa Claus before it’s too late.

The Good: This movie is a straight-up classic, despite the fact that it’s “only” been out for thirteen years.  My family watches it every year while we decorate our Christmas tree, and we’ve gotten to the point where we can all quote it word for word – even my parents.  It’s hilarious, it’s heart-warming, it’s got an adorable romance subplot, and it teaches valuable lessons about family, friendship, and the Christmas spirit (especially when the Clausometer levels are shockingly low).

The Bad: As with every movie, this one has it’s faults – and it’s definitely not for everyone.  I know people who despise this movie because they don’t get (or don’t like) the humor.  I get it.  It utilizes some potty humor and the characters have to work their way around some ridiculous situations – not to mention the fact that it *gasp* encourages The Santa Myth.  However, this movie is just a fun ride, and people who think it should be more than that probably shouldn’t be watching it in the first place.

The Bottom Line: Elf is a hilarious family movie that can be enjoyed by all ages.

christmasmoviesachristmasstory.jpgA Christmas Story {1983} | Peter Billingsley, Jean Shepherd

The Plot: Ralphie wants a Red Ryder BB gun and tries to convince his parents, his teacher, and even Santa that it’s the best gift, despite their protests that he’ll “shoot his eye out!”

The Good: I can see why this movie is such a classic.  It’s charming, it’s memorable, and the situations the characters get themselves in – although ridiculous at times – are pretty hilarious. I absolutely loved a lot of the characters, and I’m so glad to finally get the jokes!

The Bad: First of all, let me just say… I don’t do whiny kids.  I can’t stand them.  Like, put your kid in time out or something and make. it. stop.  Ralphie’s little brother was a whiner, and it annoyed the crap out of me – and don’t even get me started on that dinner scene.  This movie also had some language, mumbled almost unintelligibly by Ralphie’s dad, and Ralphie is punished for a word he says (that we don’t really hear).

The Bottom Line: I think I would’ve enjoyed this movie a little more if I’d grown up on it – or if I were an 11-year-old boy.  So although I think it was little more than “meh,” I can still see why it’s such a classic.

Next Friday: Eloise at Christmastime and Christmas with the Kranks!

review | rear window {1954}

Rear Window.png“We’ve become a race of Peeping Toms.  What people ought to do is get outside their own house and look in for a change.” – Stella

My good friend Eva over at Coffee, Classics, and Craziness is having an Alfred Hitchcock Blogathon in honor of the birthday of man himself!  (Happy birthday, Mr. Hitchcock!)  I’m a little late, but I wanted to review Rear Window, my favorite Hitchcock film, for the occasion.

So why review Rear Window?  It stars my favorite actor, one of my favorite actresses, and includes two of my favorite elements of story – fiction and suspense.  Thus, it lands a place on my Favorite Movies of All Time list.  I saw it for the first time a few years ago and knew I wanted to review it when Eva made her announcement.  I’ve been crazy busy, so I’ve had to watch it in multiple sittings, but watching it again reminded me of how absolutely brilliant it is.

The Story

RW“Professional photographer L.B. “Jeff” Jeffries breaks his leg while getting an action shot at an auto race. Confined to his New York apartment, he spends his time looking out of the rear window observing the neighbors. He begins to suspect that a man across the courtyard may have murdered his wife. Jeff enlists the help of his high society fashion-consultant girlfriend Lisa Freemont and his visiting nurse Stella to investigate.” (from IMDb)

The film opens with shades rising on Jeff’s titular rear window, accompanied by the opening music, literally the only sound used in the film that isn’t diegetic – that is, not in-world.  A quick pan of the camera on the courtyard outside introduces us to all we need to know about the backdrop of the story before Hitchcock drops us in.  From there, he spends thirty minutes establishing the characters, something he can do because the film itself is two hours long.  Although the beginning (especially the first thirty minutes of world/storybuilding) is a bit long, it’s crucial to the story.  And, as always with Hitchcock, everything introduced in that initial thirty minutes is essential to the plot.

(Here, I usually put a trailer for whatever movie I’m reviewing.  Since older movies have stupidly long trailers that give up literally the entire plot – even more so than trailers do nowadays – here’s a fan-made “modern” trailer.  The music doesn’t work because there’s no soundtrack in the film {see my above comment about diegetic sound), but I love how this trailer was edited.)

The Cast and Characters

RW2L.B. “Jeff” Jeffries (Jimmy Stewart) is a very interesting protagonist because the audience is drawn into what he’s doing without fully agreeing with it.  He’s stuck in his apartment all day due to a broken leg, so he’s obviously bored after five weeks of it.  When he starts spying on his neighbors, both Lisa and Stella question his motives until he convinces them that something suspicious is going on.  He can’t convince his detective friend, though, who thinks he’s insane.  Jeff is gruff, yet sweet underneath.  A little snoopy, but genuinely cares for his neighbors.  When a sad single lady in the apartment across from his puts out wine for herself and an imaginary suitor, he toasts her back, wordlessly conveying his compassion for her in a way that makes us completely fall in love with him.  Jeff’s also a very good freelance photographer, which adds to the tension between him and Lisa.  He thinks she, with all her society-seducing ways, won’t be able to handle his life on the road.  “You’re not meant for that kind of life,” he tells her.  She, on the other hand, completely disagrees.  She asks him if he doesn’t think people can change, adding, “I’m in love with you.  I don’t care what you do for a living, I’d just like to be part of it somehow.”  The strain between these characters adds to the overall stress in the plot.

And Jimmy Stewart… what can I say?  He’s perfect.  Once, when I was in eighth grade, I did a research paper on him.  I’ve been in love with him ever since.  He’ll always be one of my favorite actors of all time (and I don’t say that lightly).

RW3“You’ve got this whole town in the palm of your hand,” Jeff tells Lisa Fremont, assuring her that she can get any man she chooses.  “Not quite, it seems,” she quietly replies before leaving him alone.  She’s a society girl down to her last hairpin, with everything and everyone at her fingertips… except the only man she really wants.  She also defies the stereotype of “pretty girl,” climbing walls and digging in the dirt and literally risking her life to get down to the bottom of the mystery – and to prove to Jeff that she can handle anything, most of all his life as a photographer.

Jeff describes Lisa as “perfect, as always.”  This can also describe Grace Kelly, who is a flawless goddess.  I’ve seen her in a dozen movies, and loved every single one.  She embodies this timelessly classic persona that very few actresses have, the few including Julie Andrews, Audrey Hepburn, and Scarlett Johansson.

RW4As far as the more minor characters go, Thelma Ritter as Stella, Jeff’s insurance nurse, adds the matronly “Do you really know what you’re getting into and what the consequences are???” advice, Wendell Corey as Detective Lieutenant Thomas Doyle is hilariously sarcastic, Raymond Burr as Lars Thorwald is just… *shivers* SO GOOD, and the actors who play the other neighbors – Miss Lonelyhearts, the pianist, the dancer, the couple on the fire escape who own the dog, the old lady sculptor, the newlywed couple, Miss Torso – all play their parts exceptionally well, conveying through their actions what they can’t do through words (because they basically don’t have any lines).

Plus, all of the costumes are just fabulous.  Edith Head is a legend, and everything she designed for this movie (especially Lisa’s green suit and sleeveless shirt which I need NOW) is stunning.

Objectionable Content

RW5This entire movie circulates around a very dark subject, a murder that Jeff doesn’t witness but is heavily implied.  Because of that, it’s very intense – one of the most intense movies I’ve ever seen, actually.  (Definitely the most stressful out of the four-ish Hitchcock movies I’ve seen.)  When we first watched it, my then-12-year-old sister literally vaulted over our couch as she was running out of the room during the most stressful part.  There isn’t any language, but there’s a slightly sensual kissing scene (and it’s implied that Lisa spends the night at Jeff’s apartment).  All in all, though, it’s a very light PG-13.

Bottom Line

RW1This is an amazing movie, period.  It was nominated for four Oscars, and is #40 on IMDb’s Top Rated Movies list.  Plus, it’s just a classic.  If you haven’t seen it, grab a pillow and some popcorn (and then a vacuum for when the popcorn flies in the air as you vault over the couch like my sister did), and watch it.

review | captain america: civil war

{So since my ‘thoughts i had during civil war’ post would literally just be “WHERE IS BUCKY” “BHAHAHA” “WHAT OH MY GOSH” “AHHHHHH”  “AHHHHHHHHH” “AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH” “WAIT WHAT?!”… yeah.  Here’s my slightly-more coherent review.  I’ve kept it spoiler-free for anyone who hasn’t seen it yet.  But go see it asap.  Because it’s awesome.}

Civil War1“Compromise where you can. Where you can’t, don’t. Even if everyone is telling you that something wrong is something right. Even if the whole world is telling you to move, it is your duty to plant yourself like a tree, look them in the eye, and say ‘No, YOU move’.” – Peggy Carter (ish)

I’ve been a huge fan of Captain America for a while now, and it’s no surprise that I was really looking forward to this movie.  After all, I’ve been waiting for it for two years.  I had no idea how the Russo brothers were going to pull off everything they were attempting, but I knew I had to join along for the ride.

AND BOY WAS IT AMAZING.  (Shocker, right?  A Marvel movie, amazing? *sarcastic gasp*)

The Story

“With many people fearing the actions of super heroes, the government decides to push for the Anti-Hero Registration Act, a law that limits a heroes actions. This results in a division in The Avengers. Iron Man stands with this Act, claiming that their actions must be kept in check otherwise cities will continue to be destroyed, but Captain America feels that saving the world is daring enough and that they cannot rely on the government to protect the world. This escalates into an all-out war between Team Iron Man (Iron Man, Black Panther, Vision, Black Widow, War Machine, and Spiderman) and Team Captain America (Captain America, Bucky Barnes, Falcon, Sharon Carter, Scarlett Witch, Hawkeye, and Ant Man) while a new villain emerges.” (from IMDb)

Basically, yes.

Civil War2Because of their values, Steve and Tony are at odds.  Tony has seen first-hand what destruction his weapons (and the Avengers’ actions) have caused, and wants them to be put in check.  (“If we can’t accept limitations, we’re no better than the bad guys.”)  Steve sees it, too, but he’s always disliked the thought of a government being able to tell them what to do and what not to do.  (“I know we’re not perfect, but the safest hands are still our own.”)

(I went into it siding with neither of them, but on Team Cap because my loyalties will forever lie with him.  During one of the big debates between Tony and Steve, where they were both laying out their opinions, I leaned into my friend and said, “I literally don’t know whose side I’m on!”  And she replied, “Me neither!”  Both sides were given equal screentime and shown with complete objectivity, and both were incredibly valid.  I still don’t know what side I’d be on if this were a real issue. … OH WAIT.  IT IS.)

As the plot furthers and things come to light, the different members of the Avengers (plus a few extras) join sides.  Then it gets real.

The Cast and Characters

Team Cap

Civil War3Obviously, we should start with Captain America himself, aka Steve Rogers.  He’s always been my favorite Marvel hero (and one of my favorite heroes of all time), and this was certainly no exception.  Steve fights bravely for his rights in this addition to his series (the finale of his trilogy, I think), and I love him more than ever.  He really can do it all day.

As always, Chris Evans blew it out of the park and I love him way too much.  Every single emotion was acted perfectly, and even the little moments where Steve was thinking or looking at someone (hello, that scene when Steve noticed Wanda reeling from the footage in Sokovia and told the Secretary of State that it was enough) – absolute perfection.

Civil War6BUCKY BARNES AKA JAMES BUCHANAN BARNES AKA MY LOVE.  OH MY GOSH.  As always, there wasn’t enough Bucky in this film.  (But is there ever, really?  I would’ve gladly paid $15 just to sit through three hours of Bucky hiding out, buying produce, eating granola bars, and working on his little notebook.  Srsly.)  He’s amazing, though, as always.  Dry-witted and angsty and THE MURDER STRUT.  AWW YISS.  I won’t talk about the Winter Soldier parts because spoilers and because it’s just TOO MUCH.’

Sebastian Stan is a national treasure.  He just is.  He was flawless in his, what, nine minutes of screentime in Winter Soldier, and doubly so in this one (and he was basically in the whole thing!!!).  The contrast between his on-screen personality as Bucky and his off-screen interviews and whatnot as himself is just the DEFINITION of amazing acting.  He’s my stupidly perfect Romanian jerkface.  And that is all.

Civil War7The rest of the team is pretty amazing, too.  Scarlet Witch’s guilt over the innocent lives she took at Sokovia (and the scene in the beginning of the film) is apparent, Falcon’s loyalty to Steve is key, the addition of Scott Lang as Ant-Man was the comic relief the film needed, Clint (Hawkeye) is just FABULOUS (as always, duh), and I guess you could say Sharon Carter was on his team, too.  (WINKKKKK.)  (And, by the way, she speaks at The Funeral, confirming everything we already knew.  YESSSSS.)

Team Iron Man

Civil War 9.jpgTony Stark… gosh, I have such a love-hate relationship with him.  He’s so funny and smart and the Avengers would be nothing without him… but he’s also very prideful and has this HUGE ego and never thinks he’s in the wrong.  (He guessed it in Age of Ultron, though, and he admits it in this one, too.  So yay.)  I can see where he’s coming from, having had all of this emotional trauma in his early life to frame his worldview and the personal stories he’s heard of how his weapons have destroyed lives, blah blah blah… but I just have very little sympathy for him.  THAT SAID, when the teams got together for The Big Fight – the one in the trailer, so no spoilers here – I literally didn’t know which team to root for.  WHICH IS WEIRD?!  But partially because Team Iron Man has so many great characters in it, as you’ll see below.

Robert Downey, Jr. is Tony Stark.  He just is.  He knows all of his quirks, flaws, weaknesses, strengths, etc, and every aspect of his character is completely lifelike.

Civil War8Skimming a little to get to one of my favorite characters in the entire movie…  Natasha’s character wasn’t quite as deep as I would’ve liked it – especially the tension between her and Clint, who were on DIFFERENT SIDES WHAT THE EVEN HECK – but I still liked how she pleaded (in vain) with Steve to “stay outta this one.”  Iron Patriot was good (he added a camaraderie to Tony’s character because they’re bros) and Vision was okay (and the paprika scene was hilarious and made me ship the thing a little harder *wink*).  Black Panther (Prince T’Challa) was really great, except I didn’t like his motive, which was to kill Bucky.  So I didn’t like him ’til the end.  BECAUSE WHO COULD LIKE SOMEONE WHO WAS AGAINST MY PRECIOUS CHILD?!  Anyway.  He had a pretty valid motive, though.  (And that’s all I’ll say because spoilers.)

Civil War4OKAY SO SPIDERMAN.  GUYS.  OH MY GOSH.  Okay, so I have quite a few favorite Marvel superheroes, but Spidey’s way up there (probably like #3).  I was first introduced to Peter Parker with Tobey McGuire (just the first one, though – I didn’t watch the second and third ’til after the two reboots), but I liked Andrew Garfield’s take on the character a little more.  ALL THAT SAID, I’m pretty sure Tom Holland’s version is my favorite.  When he first came onscreen, I knew he’d be my favorite.  He looked, acted, and talked like the quintessential Peter Parker – awkward, angsty, witty teenage kid (and Tom is actually a teenager – IMAGINE THAT) who stumbles upon powers that he uses to make the world a better place.  Without going into it too much, they introduced his character without rehashing anything we already know.  Which was perfect.  And that just set up his entire character.  His voice cracks constantly, he’s a REALISTIC KID, he’s hilarious, and he’s still kind of in awe of all the people around him.  And did I mention he’s HILARIOUS?!  (“Hey, guys, you ever see that really old movie, Empire Strikes Back???”  I laughed so hard.)

And Tom Holland.  Man.  That kid’s gonna go places.

As for the other characters, Martin Freeman as Everett K. Ross was great (but unexpectedly AMERICAN – so it didn’t sound like John/Bilbo at all – and I loved his abnormally un-timid character), and Daniel Bruhl as Zemo… gosh, I loved him.  No more, though – spoilers.

ALSO, THE VILLAIN ISN’T WHO YOU THINK IT IS.  Partially because he isn’t in any of the trailers, partially because I don’t know which comic he’s in.

Objectionable Content

Civil War10.gifThis one had a little more language than the Marvel movies I’ve seen (okay, maybe except Ant-Man).  Some profanities and obscenities were muffled by other sounds, but most were there.  Lots of blood, as is expected in a movie with a few big battle scenes.  It was pretty intense, but most of the violence was shown with a shaky-cam.  There was one pretty intense water torture scene that I didn’t like.  And there was nothing by way of sexual scenes – just one kiss.  See IMDb’s Parents Guide for specifics.

The Bottom Line

Basically, it was one of my favorite Avengers movies ever, but it’s hard to compare it to others because it deals with different things than the other Marvel movies.  It’s about friends fighting friends, which always has issues.  As Dumbledore said, “It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.”

I loved the way Kevin of Say Goodnight Kevin explained it, so if you want a more clear review (sans fangirling), watch his initial review!

As with all other Marvel movies, it’s the perfect blend of action and intensity, with enough depth to make you think but enough comic relief to make you laugh.  And just a dash of romance, which I always love.  Recipe for a perfect superhero film.

TAKE THAT, DC.

Civil War5

sixteen of my favorite childhood movies.

(Instead of posting two very ranty posts about perfect people, or one that’s literally just my text conversation with my sister about a guy at Starbucks who was literally sitting next to me the whole time we texted, here’s a list of ten of my favorite childhood movies.  Because I like being nostalgic more than I like ranting at you guys.  ALSO because this is like a make-up for my “movies i don’t like” post, which freaked you guys out.  I still have good taste!  Be my friend again!)

You know that moment when someone bashes something you love and you feel like building a barricade and taking up arms to defend yourself and your opinion?

Well.

A few weeks ago, Shia Labouf said that he “wasn’t proud of Holes.

My knee-jerk reaction was, “WHAAAAT?!  HOW DARE YOU SAY THAT ABOUT ONE OF MY FAVORITE CHILDHOOD MOVIES?!  IT DEFINED MY CHILDHOOD.  THAT MOVIE IS A WORK OF CINEMATIC GENIUS.  YOU KNOW NOTHING OF THE WORLD.”

And then I calmed down and decided to write this blog post.

Because I feel like I need to defend Holes, here are my top ten favorite childhood films (including Holes).  Honestly, these aren’t all Oscar-worthy, but they’re movies that I saw in my childhood (birth-twelve) and have stuck with me since then – and enough that I’ll eternally love them, no matter what anybody says.  In no particular order, because I can’t narrow movies down like that.

{And this was originally gonna be just five… then ten… then fifteen… then I remembered a huge one, so yeah.  Skim it if you don’t care.  It was way too nostalgic to write.  *runs away sobbing*}

holes

Holes (duh)

I distinctly remember when my siblings and I first got introduced to this movie.  We were on the way to Hershey, PA (it was a homeschool field trip that was my idea – booyah), and stopped at somebody’s house for the night.  The kids begged Mom and Dad to let us watch it, but it had gotten too late.  They had recently gotten the DVD, so they gave us their copy of the VHS (remember those???).  We later watched the movie in the hotel room and fell in love with it.  I’ve loved it ever since.  Because what is not to love?!  Bravery, comedy, adventure, and insanely hilarious one-liners, plus a FANTASTIC sub-plot set in the Old West.  We’ve seen this movie so many times, we can quote all of it, and certain lines come up in our daily conversations, such as “I can fix that” and “Once upon a time, there was a magical place where it never rained.  The end.  *annoying laugh*”  (The book is pretty great, too, and almost exactly like the movie – that’s when you KNOW the movie’s good!)

If you haven’t seen it, totally go watch it right now.  Seriously.  Right now.  Go.

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this is the actual cover of the actual vhs we actually still own.  good gracious.

The Country Bears

Okay, so this one’s more of an inside joke in my family – one of those it’s-so-stupid-you-can’t-help-but-like-it movies.  My brother and I watch it every now and then, if only to poke fun at it.  I’ve always loved it, though.  The songs are fantastic (plus, I had a babysitter who looked like the waitress in that one musical number), and the comedy is genius.  Some of my favorite parts are when the parents and police (HAMM AND CHEETS) ignore the fact that Beary (B e a r y) is a bear who was literally adopted, and whenever Beary meets a new member of the Country Bears – thus starting a new musical number.  Favorite lines include: “We’re gonna play this little game I like to call Hidin’ In The Car Wash.” “What do we do?” “We hide… in the car wash.” and “OH NO!  NOT COUNTRY BEAR HALL!”

If you need a totally stupid movie that you can just mindlessly watch that will make you laugh ’til tears stream down your face, this one’s for you.

Robin Hood

Robin Hood

This movie.  This. Movie.  I have memories of singing the “Oodilally Oodilally, Golly, What a Day” song in the car… at nineteen.  With fellow teenagers.  And when we went to Disney last month, I ran towards the guy dressed in the Robin Hood suit.  (And he hugged me and kissed my hand and let me take pictures with him.  I basically died.)  That’s the impact this movie has had on my life.  It’s set all of my relationship goals (‘Love Goes On,’ anyone?), all of my husband goals (because Robin IS goals), and it’s basically one of my favorite stories ever – SET TO MUSIC.  WITH ANIMALS.  I mean, seriously, HOW CAN YOU NOT LOVE THIS?!

Pretty sure you guys have all seen this, so watch it if you want some insane nostalgia.

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Chicken Little

Okay, I feel like I need to defend this movie, too.  One of my friends just dissed it and I felt memories from eleven years ago rise up and form my soapbox from which I bashed him.  My younger siblings watched it while I saw The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and I was slightly jealous, until we watched it later and I fell in love with it then.  I love how funny this one is.  (“Pfft – bandaid solutions!”)  Plus, it’s just a great take on the story.  And with the undertones of friendship and fatherhood and bravery, it’s maintained its place on my list of favorite movies of all time.

Literally just watch this one if you want a good laugh.

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Treasure Planet

I feel like this movie is ignored in the Disney canon a lot because it’s in that awkward stage when Disney was trying to figure themselves out again (it came out in 2002, right along with Lilo and StitchThe Emperor’s New Groove, Brother Bear, Home on the Range, Chicken Little, Meet the Robinsons, and Bolt – all good movies but not considered “classics”).  And I have NO IDEA WHY because this movie DEFINED MY CHILDHOOD.  Seriously, I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve seen this.  We have the pre-release version (long story short, a good friend’s dad was a theater marketing guy for Paramount, so he’d give us the VHSes after he was done with them – actually, a good chunk of these movies are from him.  Thanks, Mr. A!), so I’ve been in love with this movie for a while.  Then, when the 10th anniversary Blu-ray came out, Katie and I lamented how old we’ve gotten and bought it.  Because duh.  Everything is amazing – the cast (Emma Thompson!  Martin Short!  Baby Joseph Gordon-Levitt!!!), the post-apocalyptic-18th-century-SPACEPIRATES setting, the hilarious references to older movies (“Dang it, Jim, I’m an astronomer, not a doctor!”), and the incredible accuracy to the original Robert Lewis Stevenson book.  (And, I mean, it’s probably my favorite adaption.)  Plus, Jim was one of my first major fictional crushes (not telling you what the first one was – it’s embarassingggg), and Doctor Doppler and Captain Amelia were probably my first ship (before I even knew what shipping was!).  This movie is amazing.  Plus, dang it, that SONG.  And the soundtrack is E P I C.  I used to do my math homework to it.  Every single day.  And this huge paragraph just goes to show just how much I LOVE this movie.

If you need something fantastic in so many ways, go for this one.

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Cinderella (1997)

*adjusts hipster glasses* Chances are, you haven’t heard of or seen this one.  It’s based on the Rogers and Hammerstein musical (originally on television in 1957, starring Julie Andrews), and it played a major part in my decision to go see Cinderella on Broadway in 2013.  (I’ll take this opportunity to say again that I saw the original cast – meaning Santino Fontana and Laura Osnes.  Yes, Cosette, this is true.)  To be completely honest with you guys, I got this movie (the VHS from Target – yes, I’m that old) as a reward for success in potty training.  It’s been in my family for a while, and my baby sister watches the same VHS I did.  *melts from the happy feels*  The music is amazing, the sets and costumes are breathtaking, and the color-blind casting is genius.  (How Whoopi Goldberg and Victor Garber had Paolo Montalban as a child, I will never know.  But I love it.)

If you need a dose of amazing music sung by the TALENT that is Brandi, Whitney Houston, and Bernadette Peters (THE QUEEN), be prepared – this one will knock your socks off.

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Pride and Prejudice

This one seems a little mature to fit in this list, but TRUST ME – IT BELONGS.  I can almost remember the day we got introduced to this movie by our amazing friends in North Carolina (who also introduced us to Redwall, Monk, The Penderwicks, and Hogan’s Heroes) – mid-November of 2005.  We were at their house for a literature class, and their sixteen-year-old son (no joke) casually mentioned that they were going to see “the new Pride and Prejudice” later that day and asked if we’d heard of it.  The second my mom said no, he gasped a little and found the DVD for us to borrow.  He later told us that the new one wasn’t any good and that we should just stick to the old one.  (Before you guys fall in love with him, just know that he’s married now.)  I love this movie.  I like the new one (we’ve formed a cordial friendship ever since I’ve decided that it isn’t as bad as I thought it was), but this one is amazing.  It’s what started my love for period dramas.

If you haven’t seen it yet… seriously, why are you even following this blog.

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Little Women

This one is such a classic, and I connected with it in so many ways when I first saw it.  Jo and I are both second-born, love writing, have a flair for theatre, and are tomboyish.  I can’t see Laurie played by anybody else, either – Christian Bale is Laurie.  And it’s so accurate to the book!  (Which, confession, I didn’t read until about 2012.  What can I say – I’ve never loved classics.)  I’ve seen this one too many times to count, and I still can’t watch Beth’s death scene without covering my eyes or fast-forwarding (because we have the VHS, duh).  The only thing I don’t love is the fact that Jo and Laurie didn’t end up together.  I understaaaand why Laurie wasn’t right for Jo and why Prof Bhaer was, but… dang you, Louisa, they were SO CUTE.

If you love period drama, watch this one.  (And then listen to the musical.)

anastasia

Anastasia

SWEET BUTTERED CRUMPETS, THIS MOVIE.  I’ve been in love with Dimitri ever since 1997.  (He. Is. Mine.)  The entire thing is amazing, but the music is what makes up for the historical inaccuracies and the creepily-almost-demonic Rasputin.  “If I can learn to do it, you can learn to do it!”  And ‘Once Upon a December’ is one of my favorite songs of all time.  Not to mention all of the songs are breathtaking (even the kind of lame, totally 90’s ‘In the Dark of the Night’), just like the costumes.  (GAH.  I need ALL OF THEM.)  The action is amazing – that train scene, guys.  *dies*  Plus, hello, the love story between Anya and Dimitri – TALK ABOUT GOALS!  I shipped them (along with Captain Amelia and Doctor Doppler) before I knew what shipping was.  I want a guy like Dimitri, guys – sassy and loyal and a little bad.  *WINKKKK*  This movie has just the perfect amount of romance, one-liners, action, and comedy.  I will never get over this movie.  It’s on Amazon Prime and I don’t care to mention how many times watched snippets on my phone in between study sessions.  It keeps the kid in me alive.  ; )

If you just want to see a really good animated movie, watch this one.

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Barbie: Princess and the Pauper

Say what you will about all Barbie movies being self-insert fanfiction, but this list had to have at least one (and it’s probably the stupidest movie on this list but I love it anyway).  This one’s gotta be my favorite, probably because of the music.  (I’m sensing a theme here…)  I listened to some of it the other day and got all nostalgic again while realizing I still know all the words to ‘Free‘… plus all the other songs.  (“Imagine life without the strife of an unfamiliar groom!”)  And my relationship with my husband/boyfriend/whatever will not be complete until we sing ‘If You Love Me for Me,’ amen and amen.  Plus, the older ones are just so much better than the newer ones.  (We still own this one, Nutcracker, Rapunzel, and Swan Lake, and my younger siblings watch them all the time.)  I love all of the stupid lines (“It was always lilac!”) and all the music and the insanely unbelievable and predictable plot and all the plot holes and the stupid romance subplots and just everything about it.  I don’t know how or why Martin Short sunk so low, but b l e s s.

If you need something to watch at 2am after studying for six hours *cough* not that I’ve done that *cough* but… yep.

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i couldn’t find a picture of josh and buddy together… but who needs that when you can have just this adorable little kid, amiright?!

Air Bud

One word: Dimples.  This movie introduced me to them, and I’ve never been the same.  (I’ve also harbored a nineteen-year-old crush GOOD GOSH HAS IT BEEN THAT LONG on Kevin Zegers.  The other day, I found myself speed-watching an episode of a TV show that I’m not interested in just because Kevin played a very sick teen and I needed to make sure he ended up okay.  {He did.})  This movie is amazing.  It tugged at my baby heartstrings and I cried when Josh told Buddy to leave.  (The pudding cup, guys… *sobs*)  I still can’t watch it without crying when Buddy comes back, even though there’s no way he can help Josh with the basketball game.  (HE’S THERE FOR MORAL SUPPORT, OKAY?!)  I still watch this occasionally.  And my opinion on all the Air Buddies movies – no.  Just… no.

IF YOU NEED TO SEE SOME ADORBS DIMPLES (on a twelve-year-old but whatever), WATCH IT.

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Hook

This movie really set in stone everything I want from an action film – ACTION SCENES STARRING SMALL CHILDREN.  (Just kidding.)  Seriously, though, I will never stop loving this movie.  I just watched it again with the kids that I babysit, and let me just say… it’s a classic.  Robin Williams is amazing, Dustin Hoffman is fantastic, and, according to Blimey Cow,  you’re not a REAL homeschooler if you haven’t seen it.  (“RU-FI-OOOOOOOOOO.”)  Plus, John Williams is phenomenal, as always.  And I’m always just 100% here for anything about Peter Pan, so yeah.  (Speaking of: Peter Pan: Return to Never Land.  First movie I distinctly remember seeing in the theater, and ‘I’ll Try‘ never fails to make me weep.)  When I first saw it over a decade ago (whyyyyy am I so ooooolllllldddddd), the scene when Hook kidnaps Peter’s kids freaked the living snot out of me, but in a good way.  (When that handle turns, SHIVERS RUN DOWN MY SPINE. S O.  G O O D.)

If you want a true 90’s classic, go for it.

lww old

*intense war flashbacks*

Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (1988)

The newer version (yes, the newer one that came out over a DECADE AGO) is also on this list, but this version belongs first because I fell in love with the world of Narnia because of this movie.  (I loved the books, but I didn’t get around to reading the books for myself until I was about nine, long after I first saw this movie.)  The 80’s feel is kind of redic, the clearly-human-people-in-animal-costumes (the Beavers, anyone?), Animatronic Aslan whose mouth goes up and down – even when he’s not talking – YES IT’S ALL INSANELY STUPID BUT THIS IS THE NARNIA THAT I KNOW AND LOVE.   We had this library we would go to every Tuesday that was in a church that had all of these amazing books and movies but my siblings and I would get one of the old Narnia movies every other week, without fail (this one the most).  I remember being insanely offended at nine years old when I found out that “they” were making another one.

If you want intense war flashbacks because you had an amazing childhood, give this a much-deserved rewatch.

lww new

OH MAH GOSH I LOVED THIS SO MUCH.

Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (2005)

I seriously have so much love for both of these versions, so they both belong on here.  Like I said before, I was mad when I found out that a reboot was being made.  Then I saw the trailer and I was like, “NOPE, I’M GONNA SEE THIS.”  I took some friends for my eleventh birthday and loved it.  (Even though I left the theater with a friend to go to the bathroom during the Stone Table scene because I was so freaked out.)  This movie influenced me so much, and the entire series formed a lot of my views of God (even though I didn’t know it at the time).  Plus, everybody said I looked so much like Georgie Henley that I cut my hair short like hers.  Of the three reboots that have been released (SO FAR – SILVER CHAIR, BABYYYYY), this one’s probably my favorite.  I had such a crush on Will Mosley (and of course I don’t still have a crush on him even though he only gets more hot why would you say that) and it was one of the first movies that I saw in which WWII played a pretty big part (we thought we’d gone into the wrong theater for the first eight minutes!).  Anyway, this one’s such a classic and, thus, such a favorite.

If you want to see an amazing version of an amazing classic… yes.  Just yes.

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Muppet Treasure Island

“He’s some kind of a blind fiend.”  “I believe they prefer visually-challenged fiend.”  Seriously, the sass in this movie is unreal.  Which is why my siblings and I loved it so much when we were younger.  Pirates, swordfighting, hilarious one-liners, MUPPETS – what’s not to love?  It’s one of those movies that’s somehow distinctly for homeschoolers, and I didn’t care about conforming to the stereotype when I was six.  Even though Jim’s voice is so high – seriously, the kid hits notes that I can’t hit with a ten-foot pole – and even though some of it is so stupid, we still loved it.  (And I’m pretty sure my older sister had a crush on Tim Curry’s Long John Silver, even though she’ll flat out deny it if you ask her.)

If you want to see (another) hilarious take on Stevenson’s classic tale, here you go.

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look at how cute this guy is!!!

All of Roy Rogers’ movies

My siblings and I own and have seen so many of these and I CANNOT NARROW THEM DOWN.  (Seriously, we own a collection of twenty, plus about twenty other standalone DVDs.  It was an obsession.)  Roy Rogers influenced me so much that I even read not one but two biographies about him and his wife, Dale Evans (and their relationship is just so many goals).  (At fifteen.  When I hated nonfiction!)  Many, many, many happy hours were spent with my siblings watching classics like Eyes of Texas and Jesse James at Bay and Young Bill Hickok and Sons of the Pioneers and Hands Across the Boarder and Heldorado and Roll On, Texas Moon and Springtime in the Sierras and then reenacting the scenes in our backyards and other friends’ backyards.  I wrote so many western short stories and scripts because of him.  And then to grow up a little more and find out that he was a CHRISTIAN who had NINE KIDS, FOUR of which he ADOPTED?!  It’s unreal.  He was my first childhood hero (I even put a framed photograph of him and Dale up on my bookshelf… where it still stands today) and I know I’ll love him for forever.  AND WAY MORE THAN JOHN WAYNE, THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

If you love Westerns and haven’t seen at least a dozen of Roy’s old movies, you really need to do this for yourself.  Watch one.  Eyes of Texas is probably my favorite.

Honorable Mentions
(because expanding already-too-long lists is what I do BEST)

All of the Pixar movies, but especially my favorites – Toy Story (1,2,&3) and Up
ALLLLL
 of the old Disney movies, but especially my favorites – The Lion King and Beauty and            the BeastAladdin, Pocahontas, Hunchback of Notre Dame, and Mulan
The Rescuers
The Great Mouse Detective
The Iron Giant
Mary Poppins
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
The Love Bug
Escape to 
(and Return FromWitch Mountain
The Princess Diaries
(mostly just the first one, though – I didn’t see the second one ’til like             2011)
The Emperor’s New Groove
The American Girl movies, especially the Kit one (STANLEY TUCCI)
Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (two words: Bryan Adams)

Gosh, this entire post has given me so much nostalgia and now I feel SO INCREDIBLY OLD.  Please tell me that you’ve seen at least some of these!  (And if you haven’t, let me know in the comments and I’ll pop us some popcorn because it’s time for you to L I V E.)