Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Force Theme





This is a melody made of a bunch of songs from Star Wars. Every single time, without fail, when I hear The Force Theme/Binary Sunset by John Williams I cry. And I don't cry that easily. It's just the most beautiful thing.

And it's been like this since I was five.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

The Aristocats | Review

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rated  G  
staring  Phil HarrisEva GaborSterling Holloway
director Wolfgang Reitherman
time 78 min
music score George Bruns 


When Edgar, the English butler of a Paris mansion, learns that his mistress's cats are to inherit her fortune and  that after them he will he begins to plot their demise so that he may inherit the fortune solely. He drops the cats off in the countryside of France and leaves them to die. The rest of the movie covers the story of the four cats' adventures on the way back to their Parisian home. 

There are quite a number of side characters and they make the movie fun. Two English geese, a mouse who dresses like Holmes, a horse, a musical band of street cats, and two dogs named Napoleon and Lafayette. The butler Edgar, 'madame', a cat named O'Malley, three kittens and two cats complete the character list. There were a couple of familiar voices, namely Phil Harris and Sterling Holloway (Baloo/Little John & Kaa/Winnie the Pooh).

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I love old Disney movies for many reasons, not the least of which is for their beautiful animation. It doesn't try to look particularly realistic, it's just beautiful art. I love the painted backgrounds. That's the kind of animation in Aristocats and it's pretty. 

The Aristocats reminded me very much of Lady and the Tramp, if you like that movie there's a good chance you'd like this one too. It's sweet, it's cute, it's happy, it's funny. I liked all the characters, the mouse especially. The story itself is simple and predictable, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. I wasn't watching it for a clever plot, I just wanted to watch something fun and nice in the old way while making NY cheese cake. And Aristocats fit the bill.


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my rating: 3.6 out of 5 stars


Saturday, July 19, 2014

The Four Seasons


I heard of the Four Seasons because of the movie about them which is now in theaters (Jersey Boys). I looked some of their music up and at first couldn't help laughing at that sound they make. But now I love it. Isn't it great how it's like that sometimes? An acquired taste, I suppose you call it. Here's one of my favorites of theirs. Oh, and these lyrics and tune get stuck very easily and firmly in one's head - just a warning.


Big Girls Won't Cry 





What have you been listening to recently?

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Walter Mitty | Review

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Rated  PG "...for some crude comments, language and action violence " (MPAA)
Staring   Ben StillerKristen WiigJon Daly
Director  Ben Stiller
Time 114 min


Walter Mitty is a day dreamer. Playing visions in his mind of heroics, adventure, and romance he often loses himself in his land of fantasy, while his real-life self is left standing in a crowd or in a business room. Lost sitting, waiting for the buss. Walter works for LIFE magazine and after discovering that an important photo to be used in it that was under his charge has been lost, he begins a sudden and give-it-all frantic search to find it.

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I loved the colors the movie was filled with. How the credits and were shown and stylized was wonderfully imaginative and I liked how LIFE’s motto was scattered throughout the story. The scenery of Iceland and Greenland is beautiful, the misty greens, browns, and hills.
"To see things thousands of miles away, things hidden behind walls and within rooms, things dangerous to come to, to draw closer, to see and be amazed. To find each other and to feel. That is the purpose of life."
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In the short story by James Thurber which Walter Mitty is based of off, Walter never accomplishes the goal of any of his adventures before his musings are cut off, and at the end of the story is just where he began. It's a view into his self, but is a story essentially without plot, change, hope. In the movie we are shown Walter's fantastic secret life. At first it seems a land for him to escape to and is riddled with the negativity of being fiction. But then, as the story progresses, we watch as his dreams supply him with the courage he needs. In the short story Mitty uses his stories to escape his real life. Perhaps this is true of the movie, or perhaps The Secret Life is of a dreamer who forgot that dreams are meant to be lived. A story of a man waking to the inspiration of his imaginings or a view into a man's secret life. I admit I would find the latter wanting.

I like Sarah's review of the movie. She said: He put his ambitions on hold until they were so far away they were forgotten, and he began to believe he was what he appeared to be. But he's not, or else he would have given up on that photo without even trying.

I enjoyed Walter Mitty mainly for its imaginativeness and the beauty of the scenery. If I had been watching the movie by myself I think I would have felt it getting long and perhaps boring, but I didn't watch it by myself. Watching it with friends, talking back and forth, pointing things out, laughing, and telling each other to hush, I found it very enjoyable.* In a way, Walter Mitty felt like a short story and long movie to me. The anticlimactic climax was very appealing, and fit right in with the rest of the movie's taste. The film has comedic aspects, is at times sweet, is filled with beautiful scenery and colors, and contains a few thoughtful moments. These comprise The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. 

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars | Would I watch it again? no


*Usually this amount and of distraction and interruption of a movie is aggravating, but for a movie that I don't love to pieces and am simply looking to have a good time watching with friends I don't mind it (there are, of course, exceptions to this). 


Click here for more reviews.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Questions from S.F.

I love this so so much...the outfit, the setting, the lighting...I want to be here so bad
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Thanks to the lovely S.F. from On Solid Ground for tagging me.


Liebster Award Guidelines: 
answer questions 
+ create new questions 
+ tag a few bloggers and let them know they've been tagged



S.F.'s questions:

1. Given the chance to go anywhere else at the moment then where you are now, where would you go?
To a certain place in North Carolina that I love very much....

2. Favourite colour?

 I like blues best I think. Reds are also very pretty. 

3. If the situation called for it, would you call the police, a detective, or rely on yourself?

Well, it would depend on the situation. In general, probably the police. 

4. What's the most serious injury you've had? (Please don't go into detail, for the faint of heart*! :)
I fractured my wrist once, slipped in the mud (not very romantic). 


5. Washing dishes or doing the laundry?

Well, laundry is easier and doesn't take as long...but washing dishes can be okay if I'm listening to good music. :)

6. Are you gifted with the art of drawing?

I certainly enjoy drawing and I'm okay at it, I'm better at copying stuff than making an original picture though. 

7. What piece of poetry do you enjoy most?

Poetry...poetry...poetry. Hmm. The Jabberwocky from Through the Looking Glass, by Lewis Carroll. I memorized it and it's been stuck in my head basically ever since (Twas brillig, and the slithy toves / Did gyre and gimble in the wabe; / All mimsy were the borogoves, / And the mome raths outgrabe.)But in terms of non-nonsense poetry, I like Shakespeare's and Tennyson's. 

8. Someone (you know this person) says that right then and there you can go swimming in the ocean-to the bottom of it, if you wish,-or fly, which will you choose?
I'd choose to fly, definitely. :)

9. Talkative or shy?

Jeepers, I'm not really either. I can be very talkative but I listen a lot too, it's amazing to me how much people need and want to tell other people stuff and how often people who were strangers just a little bit ago will start telling me so much. 

10. If you are a photographer, what is one of your favourite pictures you've taken?

Nothing really comes to mind.... There's one that I like that includes a very bright blue sky, hot air balloons, and a road sign in the corner that says "Sante Fe." But I'm not even sure I took it. :/ 

11. Everyone must have a "dream pet" (a dragon, a peacock), what is yours?

A big dog, probably.

My questions
1. What's something you'd love the be really good at?
2. Is there something that's been stuck in your head today?
3. What qualities do you especially appreciate in a friend?
4. What's a favorite food of yours?
5. What's something you enjoy watching?
6. If you could visit a different time period and meet any famous person you wished, when and who would you choose?
7. How are you today?
8. What are some of your mannerisms?
9. What's one place you'd love to go?
10. What's something that you try to remember all the time? 
11. Did you have any weird dreams last night? 

I Tag:

Laurel Liu

Cindy
The Veggie Polyglotographer

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Lists; to do this Summer

+ do math and start next year's book
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+ learn HTML and CSS basics (Codecademy is awesome)
+ work on the Congressional Award
+ start an Etsy shop for silhouettes and other art
+ finish The Pickwick Papers
+ get a camera, first figure out what kind
+ practice making videos & editing them
+ get a computer 
+ practice violin daily
+ write (blog, journal, letters, stories, etc.)
+ practice Spanish 
+ look into graphic design 
+ learn about photography
+ think
+ read stuff - including lots of history books
+ run
+ learn 
+ have fun

¿Y tรบ? What are you working on?

Friday, July 11, 2014

How to Train Your Dragon 2 | Review

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How to Train Your Dragon 2 takes place five years after its predecessor. The viking town Berk has now completely accepted dragons and they have become an essential part of life. Hiccup, along with the other characters, is, of course, older, and his character is much more mature and wonderfully grown from his younger self in How to Train Your Dragon. The development of the characters was was natural and perfect, very well done, in a way that was wonderful.

The story itself was rather predictable, but okay. The major plot twist seemed unbelievable and wasn't very well explained, but perhaps it was better under-explained than it would have been more, or over, explained. However, what followed from it I thought was great. The story is on a larger scale than the first movie, which allows it to be just that much more awesome.


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I didn't find most of the humor humorous. It gets repetitive...and a little annoying. I did laugh, though, but that was because of the adorableness of Toothless. He can be amazingly cute and puppy-like

The villain was built up nicely and I was looking forward to seeing him, but when he suddenly was present he was unimpressive and his character development felt forsaken. That was a little disappointing. 

The animation is stunning, the water especially and landscapes of trees, mist, and mountains. It's amazing artwork and wonderful to watch. I especially loved the change in all the characters, they're older and look it, and the artwork is perfect. Toothless looks a little different (his scales) but I liked it. Also, Hiccup's armor is very handsome. And his sword is quite nice. 


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The music, by John Powell, is beautiful and perfectly matches the magnificent scenes of flying through clouds and across water. There was one point in the movie though when I didn't care for the music, it felt like it didn't match, and I would have preferred none at all. 


The movie is worth it for the the scenes of Toothless and Hiccup flying alone. It's beautiful in a way that sends a thrill of happiness through one, just to watch the sheer joy they have in flying. The absolute trust between Hiccup and Toothless is beautiful and what I loved most about the entire movie. 

My rating: 3.5/5


Rated  PG  "...for adventure action and some mild rude humor " (MPAA)
Staring  Jay BaruchelCate BlanchettGerard Butler
Director  Dean DeBlois
Time 102 min
Soundtrack John Powell 

Friday, July 04, 2014

7/4

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Happy Independence Day! I hope you all have a great day. xx

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

In June

Learning Life Lessons Over Stale Popcorn.  Inspirational quote from The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
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|| This is the 100th post on A Free Mind! Thanks for reading. xx ||



books:
The Poetic Edda, translated by Lee M. Hollander
This book is very cool. I especially enjoyed the first half, as it concerns the AEsir, the race of gods in Norse mythology which includes Odin, Frigga, Thor, and Loki. I enjoy reading about those characters. :) Though I must say that, as portrayed in the Edda, I don't think much of Odin. And I do like Thor. It was slightly confusing at first though because most of the names in the Edda are different than in other stories. I assume they're the older versions of the names. Instead of 'Odin' it's 'Othin,' and Frigga is Frigg. The book is made up of a bunch of lays; some connect with each other but most stand alone. The second half of the book has to do mainly with the history and stories of the hero Sigurd.  
I would definitely recommend the translation by Hollander; he adds a lot of footnotes to each page explaining name meanings and simply adding a lot of depth of understanding. A lot of words are used with their old meanings which was a little confusing (weird means fate or destiny) and a lot of simply old words (like weregild - payment for taking a life, usually money - and welkin - the sky/heavens), which is always cool. Also, instead of simply saying, for example, sword, it says 'wand-of-wounds.' The last lay lists a number of dwarfs' names, some of which are Fili, Kili, Bifur, Bofur, Bomber, Nori, Gandalf, Thrain, Thorin, and Durin. I thought that was cool. :)
If you're interested in reading the Poetic Edda I'd really recommend first reading The Children of Odin, the two books tell the same stories, for the most part, but having read Children of Odin the Edda meant a lot more than it would have otherwise; there are a lot of references in it to stories that it assumes the reader already knows. Plus I really like Children of Odin. :)
Walter Mitty, by James Thurber (short story)
Othello, by Shakespeare (audiobook)


movies:
Once Upon a Time
Dragons: Riders of Berk - Watched just a few episodes - small people wanted to watch it. By 'small' I mean little, as in young. :)
*Thor: The Dark World
*The Amazing Spiderman
*X-Men: First Class, *X-Men, *X-Men: Origins, *X-Men 2, - I was getting the parents ready for DOFP. ;)
RoboCop - I didn't care for this one.
X-Men: Days of Future Past
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
Batman Begins
Batman: The Dark Knight



Did you read or watch anything last month that you liked especially?

Also, thanks to all of you that commented on my last post! xx

*movies/books I've watched/read before