Sunday, November 30, 2014

In November


  • *The Black Arrow, by Robert Louis Stevenson - Do you ever come upon a book you used to love, pick it up, and read it all through in one sitting? Yeah, that.
  • The Miracle of Thinking Big, by David J. Schwartz (audio book) - I really enjoyed listening to this book, offering advice and ideas for success in all areas of life.  
  • The Little White Bird, by James M. Barrie - It's a strange book, not so much as a dream is strange as as a person is strange. But here's a quote from it, to show you what part of it I liked: I lunged gaily with my stick at a lamppost and missed it, whereat a street-urchin grinned, and I winked at him and slipped two-pence down his back. I was surprised by how much of the book tells about Peter Pan, who isn't the protagonist of the story. 
  • The Lion in the Gateway, by Mary Renault - Called so because the Spartan king who led the legendary three hundred Spartans and held the pass of Thermopylae was named Leonidas, which means 'lion.' The book tells the story of the Greeks as they fought against the mighty army of the Persian king Xerxes. Here's quote from the book, given by an Athenian leader before the defining battle of Salamis: In every man, [...] there are two men. One bass, one noble. And we shape our lives as we choose between them. The easy choice looks cheap, but the man defeated pays as long as lives. While he who chooses to be brave and risk the price of it will live with honor or die with glory, seeing his sons inherit freedom and bow to man but the gods. And this, [...] is our choice today.

movies & tv:

  • *Lilo and Stitch - This movie is just so sweet. "This, is my family. I found it...all on my own. It is broken, but good. Yeah, good."
  • Secret of the Wings - Didn't care for this one.
  • Big Hero 6 - It's such a sweet story.
  • Tinkerbell -  I was surprised by how much I liked this movie. It has a good story working for it. 
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides - I do like Philip and Syrena. 
  • The Great Fairy Rescue - It was sweet, but not one I'd watch again. 
  • Tinkerbell and the Lost Treasure - I liked this one a lot and its story of friendship. 

  • Doctor Who (one episode) - Still not a fan of season eight.
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - I'm rather surprised by the extent to which violence and gore is shown on, more now than in the last season. It's unnecessary and rather revolting. I love Coulson & co. but I'm losing interest in Agents. 
  • Once Upon a Time - I really enjoy this show; the characters really make it for me.
  • Bewitched (about two episodes)
  • Gilligan's Island (about two episodes)
  • old Disney cartoons: Mickey, Donald, Chip 'n' Dale - Here's a favorite.
*read/watched before

I hope you all had a great November and especially a happy Thanksgiving (to those of you who are american). As I didn't get to make a list on Thanksgiving day, here are five things I'm grateful for: my parents (an awesome & beautiful mom who doesn't mind staying up till the wee hours watching POTC with me when she sees I "need it" and a dad who always listens and has great advice); fantastic siblings (I mean, sure, they're annoying at times, but I love them); home school; Disneyland; and stories which inspire me to write and think better each day.

Thanks again to all of you for your comments, they truly make my day. :) What movies and books did you like especially in November? 

I like peppermint mochas. (<- Random note.) 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides | review


The fourth Pirates of the Caribbean movie's plot focuses on a race between the British, Spanish, and pirate Blackbeard to reach the fabled Fountain of Youth. Captain Jack Sparrow, having come to London to set straight rumors of his recruiting a ship's crew to sail for the fountain, and to rescue his first mate Gibbs, is tricked onto Blackbeard's ship; and Gibbs onto the British ship, captained by Barbossa, where both are forced to act as guides. 

Woven into this are subplots concerning Jack's past relationship and love affair with pirate and former almost-nun Angelica; Angelica's hope to have the father she never had and to find redemption for his soul; and a romance between two entirely new characters: Philip, a captured missionary, and Syrena, a mermaid. Philip is sort of a replacement for Will Turner, he's the new good-guy non-pirate. Syrena reminded me of the The Little Mermaid fairy tale, which was kinda cool.

I like the POTC movies for two main reasons: one half for Johnny Depp and one half for Hans Zimmer's music. The soundtrack for On Stranger Tides echos the music from the earlier films a lot and so didn't sound as original to me, except for the mermaids' theme, which I loved, but it's still awesome and brings so much energy to the movie. The mermaids are seriously creepy and the camera angles used for their scenes were nicely chosen to enhance this. (Just a note on the mermaids, the movie is rated pg-13 for sexual content/nudity, etc. and the mermaids, um, don't wear tops like Ariel does, just hair.) The fight/action scenes are good fun, especially the ones with Sparrow. The Hawaiian scenery is really pretty. I liked Philip and Syrena, and it was fun to see Robbie Kay (from OUAT). 

The first POTC movie is my favorite, the second two I like just for Johnny Depp and the music (the third felt bloated and messy); I like this fourth one pretty well, better than the third and possibly better than the second. I agree with what one reviewer on IMDb said, which was basically that, 'If you're looking for a good time going into the movie, you'll most likely get it.' 

my rating: 4/5
favorite line: (Jack) Did everyone see that? Because I will not be doing it again. 

MPPA rating: PG-13 (for sexual content/nudity, language and some violence)
Directed by  
Screenplay by  , 
Time 136 min
Soundtrack by Hans Zimmer
Release year 2011
Rating: (RT) 33%; (IMDb) 6.7/10

( more reviews )

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope y'all had (or are having) a great day.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Big Hero 6 | Review

Big Hero 6 Japanese Poster-- HELP ME! I didn't know if I should list this movie in my Super Hero (it's Marvel), otaku (it was influenced by anime), or Disney boards! Hard to classify XD
(this review is spoiler-free)

Fourteen your old tech genius Hiro and his older brother Tadashi live with their guardian-aunt Cass in the upper story of her Lucky Cat Cafe in San Fransokyo. Having graduated from high school at the age of thirteen Hiro is content participating in illegal bot fight betting and enjoying the spoils of winning. But his brother Tadashi wants a better life for him, saying his gift could be used for great things. Tadashi brings Hiro to the 'nerd lab' of his school and Hiro, to his brother's satisfaction, instantly becomes infatuated with the desire to go to The San Fransokyo Institute of Technology. While at the nerd lab Tadashi shows his brother the pride of his work, Baymax, a robot heath care provider. I like to tell as little of the plot as possible so I'll stop here. 

There are three things I like a movie or tv series for: characters, imagination, and quality. Though Big Hero 6 has all of these the one I like it for especially was its characters. Tadashi, Hiro, Cass, Baymax. Baymax is a robot, but Tadashi programmed him with his same selfless and loving concern for the welfare of others. Baymax is the glue of the story line, heart of many moments, and cause of some great humor throughout the film. At the beginning of the movie Hiro is self-serving, but near the end there's a great moment when an earlier action of Tadashi is exactly mirrored by Hiro, displaying his newly found heroism like that of the hero he loved. 

As I understand, Big Hero 6 was inspired by the Asian Marvel comic series of the same name first released in 1998. The story and setting of the movie is different from the original, particularly in that the movie is set in 'San Fransoky,' a fictional mix of Tokyo and San Francisco. Watching the movie and knowing nothing of the comics the mix of Eastern and Western cultures seemed uncalled for but it was cool. It would have been neat to see it as set simply in Japan, but I loved it as it is. I loved the animation. The music is pretty (I'm listening to it now), though I don't remember particularly noticing that I liked it while watching the movie. The voice cast was good, Daniel Henney and Ryan Potter as Tadashi and Hiro were especially great. The single point of the story which felt like it'd 'jumped' was how the villain became the villain.

Don't forget to stay to the very end of the credits (as all good Marvel fans do); there's something there waiting for you. ;) (Check out this great review of Big Hero 6 by Ruth A.

my rating: 4.4/5
favorite line: (Tadashi) I am satisfied with my care.

MPPA rating: PG (for action and peril, some rude humor, and thematic elements)
Directed by , 
Time 102 min
Soundtrack by Henry Jackman
Release year 2014
Rating: (RT) 89%; (IMDb) 8.4/10

( more reviews )

Monday, November 24, 2014

My Favorite Things about Winter


Thanks to Kat from (Almost) Completely Mad for tagging me! <3 I'm behind on a coupla tags but I thought I'd go ahead and do this one now as it's now getting cold where I live and we started decorating the house for Christmas yesterday (it's not even Thanksgiving yet!). 

The Rules: 
1.Thank the person who tagged you & link to their blog. 
2. List your top 5 favorite things about winter.
3. Answer the questions of person who tagged you.  
4. Create 5 questions about winter for the people you tag to answer.
5. Tag 3 or more people.

My top five favorite things about winter:
1. The first snow, which usually seems to happen at night, and going out the back door to stand in it and break up its perfect smoothness and smell that wonderful smell of chilly clean whiteness. 
2. Waking up on Christmas day and suddenly remembering what day it is.
3. Christmas decorations & lights everywhere.
4. Scarfs & boots.
5. Being cozy inside and being with family. 

Kat's Questions:
1. What's the first five words winter makes you think of?
Snow, cold, lights, candy canes, cold (oh, did I say that already?). 
2. What's your favorite thing to do in winter?

I'm not sure. That's when all my siblings are home and it's fun to do whatever it is with everyone. And I like waking up early or going to bed late and doing stuff by myself. 
3. What's your favorite winter drink?

Tea. Except I drink that all year maybe hot chocolate? Except it's usually way too sweet....
4. What's your favorite winter clothes?

Boots, scarfs, et cetera, et cetera. 
5. What months are winter where you live?
December, January, and February. 

My Questions:
1. What does winter makes you think of?
2. What's your favorite Christmas movie(s)?
3. What's your favorite winter/Christmas song? (Feel free to make that plural.)
4. What're your favorite winter clothes? (Copying Kat's questions here.)
5. What's your favorite winter drink?

I Tag:
If you'd like to do this tag just say so and I'll add your name here. xx

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Upcoming Releases

I like lists; I like movies. So here I’ve made a list of movies coming out this December and next year which I’m looking forward to. They’re listed in the order of their release dates and I’ve made notes by each pointing out their highlights, as I see ‘em. ;) The titles are linked to trailers, teaser trailers - whatever’s been released that I could find. I’d really love to hear what movies you’re looking forward to seeing this December and next year. :)

The first set of titles are movies I'm excited about and the 'others' are, well, others: movies I'm vaguely interested in, to varying degrees, and might become more interested in later on.

This December:
The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies; The trailer is amazing and beautiful. Very excited about this one and really looking forward to seeing it with all my family when everyone’s home for Christmas. - 17th
Into the Woods; Fairy tales. Johnny Depp. Great cast. I'd really like to see this one. Wrote a post about this one here.  - 25th

Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb; Not a fan of the potty humor but I liked the first one okay. - 19th
Unbroken; Based on the book of the same name which tells the story of Louis Zamperini.  I didn’t want to see the movie, but then I watched the trailer. From the trailer it looks like the movie is a parallel to the book. Reading the book was hard, for me; the brutality, the pain, the inhuman cruelty. But I liked the book, the story (though really ‘like’ doesn’t seem the right word, more like awed by), because of the unbreakable spirit, and the hope at the end of all that suffering. Directed by Angelina Jolie. - 25th

Cinderella; Disney; live action. I’m very excited by the trailer and the cast looks great, especially Helena Bonham Carter as the fairy Godmother. And the fact that it’s directed by Kenneth Branagh makes me twice as excited. - March 13th
Avengers: Age of Ultron; The trailer is epic (I don't use that word often or lightly), and if a trailer is a taste of a movie, as I've always taken them to be, this movie is going to be stunning, intensely full, good. - May 1st
The Jungle Book; Disney; live action (I'm pretty sure). Idris Elba as Khan. - October 9th
Mission Impossible V; They’re just fun. Tom Cruise; Jeremy Renner. - December 25th
Pan; The only reason I'm really interested in this movie is that it's about Peter Pan, I don't actually know much more than that about it. - July 17th

Tomorrowland; Disney; I heard it was in some way connected to the Tomorrowland Disney theme parks. Not really interested but I’ll wait ‘n' see. - May 22d
Minions; Not sure what to say. I'm not really interested. - July 10th
The Fantastic Four; Same for this one. - August 7th
Star Wars: Episode VII; I love the originals and I really hope this new episode will be like them.  - December 18th
The Adventures of Tintin II; I’m not interested in seeing this in theaters but the first one was fun. Directed by Peter Jackson. - Unknown Release Date

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Alice in Wonderland

margaret tarrant
I shall sit here, on and off, for days and days.
{from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll}

I love that book. Have any of you read it? How did you like it? What about the sequel? I have some posts that I’m looking forward to publishing here; I’m just waiting for a time and a chance to write and edit ‘em up. How are you all? I guess most of us are in school, I, for one, am swamped, but not in a bad way exactly. How’s it going for you all? Anything fun happing? xx

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

This or That Tag

This tag is from Sarah, who writes at Half a Heart

Hair up or down?
I like it up but it can be hard to make a good bun....
Dessert or fruit?
I like chocolate and berries.
Dress or shirt and sweatpants?
Dress. I can't bear the feeling of wearing PJs (or PJ-like things) during the day (unless I'm sick, 'cause then everything is different).
One Direction or Jonas Brothers?
1D. I don't think I've ever heard the Jonas Brothers.
Radio or iPod?
I don't have an iPod, and I don't really like listening to the radio, unless it's playing classical music.
Sleepover at your house or at a friend's house?
My house.
Cookies or apples?
Apples are good. 'Specially gala.
Playing cards or painting?
I like both very much, actually. But if I have to choose I'd go with painting.
In a board game, would you rather be a green or a white piece?

Green, definitely.

Any of you who would like to do this tag, or answer the questions in comments, are very welcome to. I hope you all are having a beautiful day! xx

(This is my 130th post, by the way, just thought it's a nice round number. :))

Sunday, November 02, 2014



|| You don't get to choose where you start at; you choose where you end at.