Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas Books Christmas Movies FINAL

Thanks for the Christmas Wishes and I hope everyone has a wonderful New Year!


I am finally getting around to posting about my Books and Movies.

The Christmas Shoppe by Melody Carlson

This was the second book I have read by her. I thought it was just OK. I liked "Christmas at Harrington's" much more. However, this book was an interesting read.

The small town of Parrish Springs is not ready for Matilda Honeycutt. A strange older woman with scraggly gray hair and jewelry that jangles as she walks, Matilda is certainly not the most likely person to buy the old Barton Building on the town's quaint main street. When it becomes apparent that her new shop doesn't fit the expectations of Parrish Springs residents, a brouhaha erupts. After all, Christmas is approaching, and the last thing the town needs is a junky shop run by someone who looks and acts like a gypsy. But as townsfolk venture into the strange store, they discover that old memories can bring new life and healing.


A Wallflower Christmas by Lisa Keypas

I am NOT a romance reader, I don't think I've ever read one that was a pure romance novel. I run the other way when I know a book is a romance. This book was a historical romance and I really liked it. Go figure.

It’s Christmastime in London and Rafe Bowman has arrived from America for his arranged meeting with Natalie Blandford, the very proper and beautiful daughter of Lady and Lord Blandford. His chiseled good looks and imposing physique are sure to impress the lady in waiting and, if it weren’t for his shocking American ways and wild reputation, her hand would already be guaranteed. Before the courtship can begin, Rafe realizes he must learn the rules of London society. But when four former Wallflowers try their hand at matchmaking, no one knows what will happen. And winning a bride turns out to be more complicated than Rafe Bowman anticipated, especially for a man accustomed to getting anything he wants. However, Christmas works in the most unexpected ways, changing a cynic to a romantic and inspiring passion in the most timid of hearts.


Total = 7 Christmas Books in All (6 in December)


MOVIES

Homeless for the Holiday's
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol
A Christmas Carol (1951)

Total = 33 Christmas Movies in All (13 in December)

* I got a Kindle Fire for Christmas.  My co-worker bought it for me. :)


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas Books Christmas Movies

The Man Who Invented Christmas: How Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol Rescued His Career and Revived Our Holiday Spirits
by Les Standiford

If you can believe it, this is the 2nd non-fiction Christmas book I've read in my life. This one was about Mr. Dickens and how his writing of "A Christmas Carol" revitalized Christmas in England and throughout the world.

It talks about how he came to write and the circumstances surrounding it. Though it is not a Christmas book per se, it does basically describe how the holiday we know and love today became something we can cherish.


The Paper Bag Christmas by Kevin Alan Milne

A young boy is asked to play an elf for sick children in a hospital.  He may find out that Santa is real, but more importantly, he gets a bigger gift than he anticipated and he gives a gift that means the world to one patient.


Currently Reading:


The Christmas Shoppe by Melody Carlson
A Wallflower Christmas (Wallflower Series #5) by Lisa Kleypas



MOVIES

Christmas in the Clouds - Takes place on a Rez, a Hotel owner is confused by one guests intentions and falls in love.

Battle of the Bulbs - Charming story about old friends who became enemies and then became neighbors. Who has the better decorated house? Can they live as neighbors without killing each other?

The Muppets Christmas Carol - Of course I've seen this before, but I always love a good Christmas Carol telling.

The Dead - Based on the short story by Thomas Hardy from his book The Dubliners. Starring Angelica Houston and Colm Meany. I thought it would be pretty good, but I was bored to tears. I was going to read the book, I think I will skip.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Christmas Reading Challenge


Christmas at Harrington’s
By Melody Carlson
Pages:  167

Lena Markham has just been released from prison for a crime unknowlingly committed.  She is friendless and penniless.  Restarting is not easy, but she finds friends in unsuspecting places and  opportunities where none existed before.  Book has a strong message of redemption and forgiveness and is very much filled with the holiday spirit.  This is a very visual book, full of Christmas images that are easy to see in the minds eye.

This was my first book by Melody Carlson, but it won’t be my last.  I have waiting in the wings “The Christmas Shoppe”. I hope I’ll get to read that one shortly.

I recommend “Christmas at Harrington’s”. It is an easy read. I like light Christmas reads that get the message across without it getting lost in pages and pages of prose.

Snow Angel
By Glenn Beck
Pages:  288

Glenn Beck? Yes that Glenn Beck.  Many people I know do not like him, however, his Christmas books are in a whole category by themselves and I have no problem reading them. It seems like when he writes these, he is a different person.

Alternating between Rachel (the daughter) and Mitch (the father) this story is told from both points of view and flashbacks to Rachel’s childhood and adulthood.  It weaves together events in Rachel’s life that lead her to her current situation.  Looking through her eyes you see one reality, however, by the end of this book, you see that things are not as they seem on the surface.

This book does not all take place during Christmas time.  Some of it takes place in October (her childhood) but her adult life takes place during the Christmas season.  And although this book isn’t filled with ‘Christmasy’ stuff, it still has that message of forgiveness we all seem to crave around this time.

Though the page count is 288, it is one of those short square books, so it reads quickly. 

I’ve read Glen Beck’s freshman Christmas book “The Christmas Sweater” which made me both smile and cry.  He is another author I will read every time he writes a Christmas book.

I recommend this book to anyone.  Great story and well written…Go Glenn!

Stuff waiting in the wings:

The Man Who Invented Christmas:  How Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol Rescued his Career and Revived Our Holiday Spirits by Les Stanford.

This is my only non-fiction Christmas Book for the year. But how can I not read about Charles Dickens’s and A Christmas Carol? This will prove to be interesting.

The Paper Bag Christmas by Kevin Alan Milne

The Christmas Shoppe by Melody Carlson

That will probably be it for the books.


MOVIES

I’ve watched my fair share of Christmas Movies.  Of course it makes no sense to rate them all.  They all are listed, But the ones I thought were pretty interesting will get my time and energy to write about.

These all were watched from December 1st.

Rare Exports:  A Christmas Tale

Mostly in Finnish, this film is very dark. If you want a happy, jolly Santa in a red suit, you ain’t gonna get it.  This unique film tells of a very different type of Santa, one akin to Satan. This movie is in line with a very good horror film, I wonder if they can make a new genre called holiday horror? This would fit right in.

I will try to explain this movie to you without giving too much away.

A young boy is convinced that Santa is buried in the ice in a nearby mountain.  Some unsavory developers plan to dig up the mountain for the purpose of finding this ‘grave’.  They succeed.

Santa Claus is coming to town….run!!

This is not a gory and silly film.  I thought it was very interesting and well done.

Previously unseen movies that I've watched since my last post:

Eight Crazy Nights 
We're No Angels
Nativity! 
Trading Christmas 
Christmas Lodge 
Dear Santa Claus 
A Princess for Christmas
Gift of the Magi  

Thursday, December 1, 2011

This Year and Christmas Movies


This year, I’m not going to do my usual Christmas list, as I’ve done them 2 years in a row and really have run out of movies to add.  I will do some Christmas movie posts, but they will be general.

I was looking on line to see if I can find any classic Christmas movies that I haven’t seen.  It doesn’t look like it.  I think they are all here.  I listed movies that ranged from 1934 – 1967.  Movies after 1970 are not Classics to me.

I’ve noticed most of the Christmas movies are post-war (1945-1950), I guess Hollywood was feeling good about Christmas and life in general.

Here is the list.  Check out the ones you haven’t seen.

Babes in Toyland (March of the Wooden Soldiers) (1934)
Beyond Christmas (1940)
The Man Who Came to Dinner (1941)
Christmas in Connecticut (1945)
I’ll Be Seeing You (1945)
It’s A Wonderful Life (1946) *
The Bishops Wife (1947)
It Happened on 5th Avenue (1947)
Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
Come to the Stable (1949)
Holiday Affair (1949)
A Christmas Wish (The Great Rupert) (1950)
Last Holiday (1950)
Room For One More (1952)
Susan Slept Here (1954)
We’re No Angels (1955)
All Mine to Give (1957) *
Pocketful of Miracles (1961)
Fitzwilly (1967)

Below are Movies that are the same (storyline the same)

Shop Around the Corner (1940)
In The Good Old Summertime (1949)

Scrooge (A Christmas Carol) (1951)
A Christmas Carol (1938)

Below are Movies that are sequels

White Christmas (1954)
Holiday Inn (1942)


These aren’t truly Christmas Movies, however, they are watched during the season and are beloved by many, and they have a Christmas scene or two.  

The Bells of St. Mary (1945)
Going My Way (1944)
Boys Town (1938) *
Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)


* Tissues Needed.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Well it is finally here. Christmas will be here next.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone, don't eat too much.

My mother and son are here. My mom cooks most of the food, but I cook the macaroni and cheese and Clarissa and I made the pie. It is apple. She wanted to do the lattice top, it kind of looks sad, but I tasted the filling, ohhh is it good.

We are watching the Parade, and later we are going to watch 'Hanna' later.

I will enjoy today, I have to work tomorrow. But it will be empty there, so I plan to do my work and go home. No Black Friday shopping for me. I don't do that anyway.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Christmas Reading Challenges for 2011

I am doing two Christmas reading challenges this year.

Starts December 1, 2011




 The Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge
Starts November 21st until January 12, 2011

Monday, November 21, 2011


BOOKS

I have started reading “11/22/63” by Stephen King.  It is very good, and it is taking me a long time to read it. But I suppose it doesn’t help that I’m also reading “A Year Without Autumn” by Liz Kessler at the same time.  I probably won’t finish King until next year because I have my Christmas reads coming up.  It’s OK, it is on my Nook, so it will be there.

I can’t list my Christmas reads yet, because I’m not quite sure what I will be reading.  A few books are coming due from the library, but those are the only ones I do know.

  1. Christmas at Harrington’s by Melody Carlson
  2. The Snow Angel by Glenn Beck

Others that will be up soon are:

  1. The Christmas Shoppe by Melody Carlson
  2. The Christmas Singing (Audio) by Cindy Woodsmall

The ones waiting in the wings and will probably NOT get read this year

  1. Angels in the Snow by Melody Carlson
  2. The Gift of Christmas Present by Melody Carlson
  3. The Christmas Hope by Donna VanLiere
  4. The Christmas Note by Donna Van Liere
  5. The Man Who Invented Christmas by Les Standiford (non-ficiton)
  6. A Christmas Star by Thomas Kinkade
  7. An Irish Country Christmas by Patrick Taylor

These are just a few that are waiting in the wings. The only one that I see getting read this year from this batch is #5. It is a non-fiction book about Charles Dickens and the Christmas Carol story and how it revived Christmas.  I can’t help it, I love non-fiction.

I love it so much that it takes me away from fiction reading.  So my goals for next year include:

  1. Reading less non-fiction, so I can read more fiction
  2. Read what is on my shelves (hard copies, Kindle, Nook)


MOVIES

There is no need to give synopsis’. They are holiday movies, feel good stuff.

Christmas Angel 2009
Cancel Christmas 2011
The Case for Christmas 2011
A Christmas Wish 2011
A Day of Thanks on Walton’s Mountain 1974
A Walton Thanksgiving Reunion 1986
Moonlight and Mistletoe 2011
Star Shall Rise/String of Blue Beads 1953


The REST

I started taking art classes. The last time I had any formal instruction was in High School, and that was a long time ago.  So you might see some stuff here from time to time that I am working on.

My son should be home Wednesday evening.  He’ll leave on Sunday. But that is OK, because he’ll be back for Christmas and for a whole month.

I haven’t started Christmas shopping yet, but there is very little to do. I plan to start next Saturday.








Friday, November 11, 2011

Holiday Movies / Books


Thanksgiving will be here in less than two weeks. Time sure does fly. I have not even started my Christmas shopping yet, although I’m not buying many things.  My daughter is getting a laptop (her last one died), my son just clothes and money and I don’t know what I’m getting mom this year.  I buying my friend a book and her kids get gift cards. That’s it, I’m done. I have little money.

I am currently reading “11/22/63” by Stephen King. I downloaded it to my NOOK yesterday for $16.99. I cannot believe the hardcover is $35.  WOW! It is too big to carry around so I didn’t mind spending the $16.99.  I usually don’t buy books over $9.99, however, I knew this one was coming out months ago, so I made sure I allotted money for this.

I’ve been watching my holiday movies.

Mistletoe over Manhattan on the Hallmark Channel.

This was a nice, modern day movie.  Of course it wouldn’t be complete without Santa, Mrs. Claus and an elf.  Nice family friendly film.  Mrs. Claus intervenes to bring two people on the brink of divorce back together. Can she help them recapture the Christmas Spirit?


Love’s Christmas Journey on the Hallmark Channel.

Jeanette Oke’s Christmas story.  I am not sure if this is part of her “Love’s Series” or  not. I don’t recognize the characters, however, it is still a great family film.  2 parts, 4 hours, so make sure, if you do watch it, you see both parts. 

Recently widowed Ellie visits her brother Aaron and his two children during the Christmas holidays.

Of course there is way more to it than this, but you’ll have to watch.


By The Light of the Silvery Moon (1953)

Starring Doris Day and Gordon MacRae, based on stories by Booth Tarkington.

Let me just preface by saying this is a musical and it is not a Thanksgiving or Christmas movie per se.

Marjorie’s boyfriend William returns from the Army after WWI.  They have an on-again, off-again romance. There are other family crisis going on, but it is mostly caused by Marjorie’s younger brother’s wild imagination.

Very light hearted and fun ‘Winter’ movie.  There is a Thanksgiving scene, which is funny. This movie takes place during the Winter months. 

One thing that did confuse me about this movie is the synopsis reads he is returning from WWI, however, when you watch it, the clothes seem to suggest a later period (1930s or early 1940s).

However, there is a horse drawn carriage, so I guess it is post WW I.  It is a very  charming ‘Currier and Ives’ scene that leads to another ‘Currier and Ives’ scene on an ice skating pond.

So if you are in to Classic movies (in Technicolor) and not in the mood for a full blown Christmas movie, this one would be a good choice. But you have to like music, because they break out in song.



I finished my 1st Holiday Book.

Lost December by Richard Paul Evans

A modern retelling of the Prodigal Son.  Luke Crisp is heir to a multi-million dollar Copy Center franchise.  His father wants his son to take over the company when he retires. Luke has other plans.  His father reluctantly gives Luke his Trust Fund, and what does Luke do with it?  Well if you know the story of the Prodigal Son, then you will know. 

Luke soon learns who his friends are and that good people come in all shape, sizes and colors.

Good people are usually taken advantage of, but good people are the ones who help out the most. Luke is ‘Good People’.

Richard Paul Evans writes a Christmas Story every year.  It doesn’t revolve around Christmas.  It usually starts around one Christmas and ends around another Christmas. It could be the following year or 10 years later, one never knows.

This is a fantastic addition to his Christmas Collection.  It is a quick read, like most Christmas stories, but packs a huge message.

I gave it 5 out of 5 stars. Of course, I usually give his books that.

I will probably not read my next Christmas book until December. I am reading Stephen King’s book as I mentioned and oddly enough I have another time travel book in the library.



A Year Without Autumn by Liz Kessler.

This is a children’s book, but I loved the synopsis, so I wanted to read it.
Jenni Green’s family vacation has finally arrived! Even though she has to deal with her annoying little brother, her slightly overbearing dad, and her very pregnant mom, she gets to spend a week with her bestest friend in the world, Autumn. But twelve-year-old Jenni’s world turns upside down when she takes an old elevator to visit Autumn and discovers that everything has changed: not only is her friend in a different condo, but tragedy has struck Autumn’s family, Jenni’s mother has had her baby, and everyone is a year older. When Jenni realizes that the elevator caused her to skip a whole year, she tries to go back, but soon finds that fixing things won’t be as easy as pressing a button. How can she alter the past and keep her family and Autumn’s from falling apart?


And if anyone is questioning why I’m reading a book for children 9 – 12, I will just say…Because I can!




Friday, November 4, 2011

Movies and Book Reviews


I signed up for Amazon Prime. I have one free month before I take the plunge.  $79 gets to streaming of movies (older) and TV shows.  Not unlike Netflix streaming. But now they have the Lending Library, from Amazon.  You can borrow one book a month and keep it as long as you like.  I thought it would be worth $79 for the year to give it a shot.  I already have the Roku box for my Netflix streaming, and I can watch the Amazon streaming on that too.

I plan to buy the Kindle Fire sometime next year.  My Kindle, though still working, is just getting old.  I have a Nook too, but as much as I read, I really do need them all.

This weekend I officially start watching my Holiday Movies.  I have a few Thanksgiving movies to watch, some of them are actually re-watches, but I liked them the first time, so I want to watch them again.  “A Family Thanksgiving” and “An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving” are on the list.  After a few hours of cleaning the house (tidying up for Thanksgiving) I am going to do nothing but watch movies.

I finally got “Lost December” by Richard Paul Evans from the library, they took forever to get it in.  No not really, in actuality, it came out later than usual.  His books usually come out in early October, this one came out in later.  But I was one of the first requesters, so I got it. That should take me a minute to read.  It is too early to use it for any Christmas reading challenges, but I don’t care. I read all of his Christmas books, whenever I get them, and that is usually October or November.  And since there is always a waiting list, I don’t have a choice.

Most Christmas books aren’t very long, so I would like to say I’ll get through one every other week in between my other reading.  And the fact that11/22/63 by Stephen King is coming out on November 8th, it might take up much of my time as it is 960 pages long.

Nano started four days ago.  And as of now, I’m on track.  1,667 words a day is all that is needed to make it to the endon November 30th.  I hope to be done before then, however, I am not as ahead as I usually am. I am literally right on track.  But I will finish this year. Last year I didn’t even participate.

REVIEWS:

Pigeon English by Stephen Kelman

I read this because it was long listed for the Booker Prize.  The synopsis sounded interesting to.

Lying in front of Harrison Opuku is a body, the body of one of his classmates, a boy known for his crazy basketball skills, who seems to have been murdered for his dinner…

I thought this book was pretty awful. I have to say, I haven’t disliked a book in a long time.  It is told from the point of an eleven year old boy. Which in itself is a turn off for me.  However, I’ve read books narrated by young people, “Room” by Emma Donoghue comes to mind, and it was fantastic.  There was something about the language this boy used. It wasn’t endearing to me.  When the boy cursed, the writer would use f----- instead of spelling out the whole word. What was the purpose of that?  He may have been eleven, but a curse is a curse and if he said it, write it.  I also felt the protagonist seemed a lot younger than eleven.  He was talking about super heroes and such.  I think back to when my son was eleven and my daughter even, and they seem more mature than that.  Basically this book didn’t grab me until literally the last two pages.  Then it got good, and then it ended.

The most interesting parts to read were when the Pigeon talked. This was some of the most fluid and captivating language I’ve ever read.  I don’t know what happened with the rest of this book, it was a mess.  I give this 1.5 out of 5 stars.



The Talk-Funny Girl by Roland Merullo

I found this book through Pigeon English if you can believe it.  Some how, this book came up in my search for Booker List books. It is not a British book, but it sounded good so I gave it a shot.

In one of the poorest parts of rural New Hampshire , teenage girls have been disappearing, snatched from back country roads, never to be seen alive again.  For seventeen-year-old Marjorie Richards, the fear raised by these abductions is the backdrop to what she lives with her own home, every day.  Marjorie has been raised by parents so intentionally isolated from normal society that they have developed their own dialect, a kind of mountain hybrid of English that displays both their ignorance of and disdain for the wider world….

I LOVED this book.  The synopsis does not even do it justice. There is no way they could put all that happens in this book into a short blurb.  This girls parents are absolutely whacked, her aunt has a secret, the guy she works for has a secret, the kids in her school tease her about the way she talks, she’s worried about a serial killer….OMG, how does she manage?
This was a super book.  I highly recommend.  I gave this 5 out of 5 stars.


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Link to New Christmas TV Movies

NEW CHRISTMAS TV MOVIES FOR 2011 found at It's A Wonderful Movie Blog.


And just so you know, I'm typing this entry on July 29, 2011. Christmas in July! But I don't want to have to search for it in November, so here it is.


Also listed, are movies from years past. I know some of the channels, especially Hallmark, like to re-run them, so if you see anything on this list, look for it.


Edit:  This was edited yesterday.  This weekend, November 4th and 5th, the Hallmark Channel will be showing a lot of Thanksgiving & Christmas movies.  Basically for the whole 2 days.  Get your DVRs set.  None of this stuff is new, but some may not have seen it.


Enjoy.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Horror Fest - The Final Week

The Stepfather (2009) I saw the 1986 version of this, but this one was better. Starring Sela Ward and Dylan Walsh (Nip Tuck). Walsh plays the Step-father who charms his way into an unsuspecting family. I always thought Walsh had boyish good looks, but he was very creepy in this one. He's a great actor. 4 out of 5 


Them! B-Grade film from 1954. Giant ants invade the earth. Good guys come and kill them off. 2 out of 5


Dementia 13 Francis, Francis, Francis (Ford Coppola). SIGH. Thank god he finished film school. He did this film in 1963 when he was still in film school. The mood was very good, but the story had holes and obvious flaws. No one can get away with that stuff today. For one thing, bodies don't stay at the bottom of the lake, they float up eventually. Everyone knows this!! 3 out of 5 


The Creeping Flesh A 1973 Peter Cushing film. I can't explain this properly so here it is from Netflix. A scientist who begins to believe that a skeleton he's brought back from New Guinea may be infused with evil. Worried that his family will be punished by this malevolent being, he scurries the pile of bones away. Unfortunately, his nefarious brother (Christopher Lee) may have other plans for the skeletal find. This came on TV, so I just watched it, since I really like Peter Cushing. The movie was pretty good until about the last 30 minutes, then it just got silly. 3 out of 5. 


This was the year I planned to watch only classic horror films. I watched other stuff as well. Here are the stats.  


Total Horror Movies Watched: 19 
Total Classic Horror Movies: 10 
Total Recent Horror Movies: 9
Total Stephen King Inspired Horror Movies: 3 
Total Movies about Dr. Frankenstein: 2 
Total Movies starring Boris Karloff: 3 

The creepiest movie watched this season: The Children

Friday, October 28, 2011

80s vs. 50s


Can you tell who is which era?  Well that is obvious.  My daughter decided to go 80s, her best friend 50s. They both look so cute.  They're off to their Halloween party at the school.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

October is Ending


Halloween is on Monday. The month of October flew by.  I haven’t watched as many horror movies as I had hoped, but I did OK.  I did manage to read at least one horror Book too. 

I have a few movies on my DVR to watch, but I have decided that I will delete whatever horror movies I don’t watch.  I had two on there from last year that I watched this year. I only kept them because they were classic movies that hardly ever are shown.  But the other stuff that is on there, is the same old stuff, so if I don’t watch it this October, oh well.

People might wonder why I pick a particular month to watch a particular genre.  Because if I don’t I probably will not watch most of these movies.  I have come to realize after years of doing this, that I would have missed some great things if I didn’t make the effort to seek them out during a pre-determined time period.

November and December are set aside for Holiday movies.  I need a full two months to watch these because there are so many.  And I watch a lot of Christmas (and Thanksgiving) movies every year, and hardly repeat watch anything. I will watch things over and over like “It’s a Wonderful Life” which is my favorite movie, and “Miracle on 34th Street ” and stuff like that.  My daughter also enjoys the Hallmark Christmas movies and wants to watch them with me, so Hallmark is always coming out with new movies all the time for the holidays.  My DVR has more Christmas movies waiting to be watched than anything else, and all but one were recorded this year.  I record them when they come on, it usually starts in September.

My library FINALLY got in “Lost December” by Richard Paul Evans Christmas present to us this year.  It is out a month later than usual, he usually has his books released sometime in October, but this year it is November 1st.  But I’m early on the queue, so I should be one of the first people to get the library copy.  I am also waiting for Glenn Beck’s Christmas book to come out for this year.  This one is called “Snow Angel”.  I’m not a Glenn Beck fan, but his last Christmas book “The Christmas Sweater” was so sweet and wonderful, I’ve decided I will read all of his Christmas books, but nothing else.

I’ve put together a list of Thanksgiving movies. This is by no means all of them, but it is a good start to find new things to watch for a holiday that is usually ignored in the film department:


This link should work. I hope it does.

Nanowrimo starts on Tuesday, November 1st.  I am making an effort this year. Last year I couldn’t be bothered, the year before I started but couldn’t finish. I had no desire, but this year I plan to get to my 50K.

So November posts will be interspersed with Thanksgiving/Christmas stuff and Nano stuff.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Week 3 - Horror Fest

Children of the Corn 666: Isaac's Return 
As I mentioned last week, I loved the original Children of the Corn movie starring John Franklin.  This sequel stars a much older John Franklin.  Isaac was kept alive in a coma for 19 years. When he finally awakens he gathers the children of the original children.  Actually not a bad remake.  Stephen King had nothing to do with this other than the original character of Isaac and the story-line.  3.5 out of 5

Let Me In
This is the American version of Let The Right One In.  A young boy meets a new neighbor, but he is not at all what he expected.  Pretty creepy movie.  3.5 out of 5

The Children
This was a super-creepy movie.  Friends go away for Christmas holiday with their kids.  A secluded cabin in the woods is nice, that is until the children come down with a mysterious illness that causes them to become psychotic.  3.75 out of 5

Black Room 
Boris Karloff stars in this classic film as brothers Gregor and Anton.  Twin son's of a well liked Barron who tries to prevent a prophecy of having one brother kill the other.  Gregor is the eldest, therefore, becomes the next Barron when the father dies, but he is not as beloved as his father.  3.5 out of 5

The Man They Couldn't Hang  
Boris Karloff stars in this classic film as a Doctor who has discovered a way to bring the dead back to life.  However, before he could finish his experiment, he is arrested for murder.  He is tried and hanged for his crime.  That is when the story gets interesting.  3.75 out of 5



I've watched 7 Classic Horror Movies this far.  I'll probably end up watching about 10 of them.  Not so bad.  I did want to watch nothing but classic horror, but there are just too many movies to watch.  I will never be able to watch them all.  Once October is over, I will delete the unwatched movies from my DVR.

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Exorcist, The Lottery


I finally read it.  The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty.  OK, I've only had this book for a year, so it is not as bad as some other books I've had for years.  I liked the movie and I really liked this book. This was well written and although I knew the story, it was entertaining to read.  This will probably be the only Horror book I will finish this month.  I was striving to also read Dracula, but that isn't going to happen.


The Exorcist gets 5 out of 5 star.


I did finally read something else I've wanted to read for a while.  The Lottery by Shirley Jackson.  This is a short story, and in the past, it has only been in a collection.  But my library had it as a book.  It was about 20 pages long.

A small town runs an annual lottery. The chosen person is the sacrificial lamb.  But the sacrifice is the interesting part.  There is a strong moral message in this story.   4.5 out of 5.


If you can't find this story in the single book format, it is in the book entitled The Lottery and 7 Other Stories or in the book entitled The Lottery and Other Stories.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Week 2 - Horror Fest

Thanks to It's A Wonderful Movie I can keep up with all my Christmas movies. It is posted there that Countdown to 25 Days of Christmas on ABC FAMILY will start showing movies on November 20, 2011. Starting off with Desperately Seeking Santa.

However, we are still in October, so how is it going for me and movies this week? I've watched

Riding the Bullet
From a Stephen King story. Alan Parker fears the worst in any situation. But after his mother falls ill, Alan shelves his fears and hitchhikes to the hospital, only to be picked up by an otherworldly stranger. Alan's journey takes a turn for the frighteningly surreal as he's forced to confront his demons on a life-altering road trip. One of the better King adaptations. 3.5 out of 5.

Children of the Corn (2009)
This is the remake and made for TV. A Midwestern town run by creepy children kills anyone over 19 that comes into their midst. The story is the same as the original one that first came to the screen in 1984, but the children in the 1984 version were much creepier. These kids just seemed like kids playing a part. The original one was produced by King, which always makes them better. If you recall the creepy kids John Franklin who played Isaac and Courtney Gaines who played Malachai, well you can't get much creepier than those two. The recent one lacked that casting magic. 3 out of 5.
  John Franklin (The Original Isaac)
                                                                                         
Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed
After a drunk wanders into and disrupts his secret lab, Dr. Frankenstein decides he must find a new place to set up shop. Conveniently, he finds an innocent young girl who happens to have a boyfriend employed by the local hospital. Seeing his opportunity, Dr. Frankenstein kidnaps the couple and forces them to take part in a dangerous brain-swapping experiment. It was said that this is the best one of the lot, but I found it to be just OK. 3 out of 5.

The Ward Master of horror John Carpenter returns to form -- and to the director's chair -- for this chilling thriller in which a young woman, Kristen, is sent to a mental institution with a past as dark and haunted as her own. Terrorized by a ghost, each of the other patients in Kristen's ward begin to disappear, and that's just the beginning of her long nightmare. This one was actually pretty good. The ending was interesting, didn't see it coming. 3 out of 5.

Black Sunday (La maschera del demonio) (1960) Condemned witch Princess Asa played by Barbara Steele, returns from the dead two centuries after her execution and wreaks vengeance on her killers' family. Possessing the body of a descendant who happens to look just like her, Asa pulls out all the stops to exact her revenge. Overdubbed in English (originally Italian I believe) this was a typical classic B grade horror movie. Well probably a little stop above B, a B+. 3 out of 5.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Movies - Horror

It is 9 days into the month and I started my Horror Feast on October 1st.


In the Mouth of Madness - A famous Horror author goes missing, and an investigator is sent to find him.  The small town he is tracked to finds him in a horror scene right out of the authors book.  Rating 3 out of 5


Homicidal - A William Castle film from 1961.  A B class movie but it was very interesting.  I didn't see this ending coming, although I should have.  Rating 4 out of 5


Frankenstein Created Woman - One of the Frankenstein movies staring Peter Cushing.  Not a 'Bride of Frankenstein" remake, it had a different take.  I find the Cushing Frankenstein movies to be more character driven and quite good.  Rating 3.5 out of 5


Attack of the 50 Foot Woman - Was warned this was a bomb, but I love seeing old and bad.  A jilted wife runs into a little problem with radioactivity and grows to amazing heights.  If she can't have her husband, no one will.  Rating  2 out of 5


Scream 4 - Yes I like the Scream movies (I like the Saw movies too).  Typical slasher stuff, pretty cool ending though.  Rating 4 out of 5


The Ledge - This one was a Thriller.  I thought it was a remake of "14 Hours" (1951), but it wasn't.  A man is on a ledge and a cop attempts to talk him down.  That is where the similarities stop.  This movie is told through flashbacks of mostly the jumper but sometimes the cop.  Rating 4.5 out of 5

Thursday, September 29, 2011

October is Here


100_6311
Originally uploaded by kelsokraft

These past few weeks have been seriously busy at work. But I am trying to post more often. Especially since it is nearing October, which for me is Horror Movie Month.

I have a few movies I am ordering from Netflix, however, most of my stuff will be from my DVR which has a whole lot of horror movies just waiting to be watched. I thought I’d be able to plow through them, but with the fall TV line up, it might prove difficult. I’m starting this weekend.

I wanted to also start my Horror Books this weekend as well, but “Mockingjay” by Suzanne Collins is next on my TBR list and it is a library book, so that is first, however, it should take me only about 4 days to read it, then on to the Horror.

Fall Lineup

“House” will be back on Monday, I’m excited. This season looks good.

“Bones” is not coming back until November. It sounds promising as we left Bones preggers.

“The X-Factor” is holding my interest, slightly. It seems almost like Idol, which is fine. The auditions ended last night, so now we see how the competition fairs. A British cyberbuddy told me it is very similar to Idol.

“The New Girl” was cute. I watched it for the first time last week, I have this week’s taped. I’ll give it a few more weeks to see if I will continue with it. I like sit-coms, but they have to be real funny.

“2 Broke Girls” is a funny sit-com, I will watch this one.

“Two and a Half Men” in the era of Ashton will be watched for sure.

“Terra Nova” came on this week for the first time. I thought it was promising. I’m not usually in to those type of futuristic dystopian/utopian films, but it sounded different, and it was by Spielberg, so it automatically gets a chance. I’ll be watching this too. Of course these ALL come on Monday night (Men and Girls and Terra). So I cannot watch “Dixie” another show I wanted to get in to.

“Project Runway” is still running, I’m hoping it will be done by the time “Bones” comes on, because it is really going to use up a lot of DVR space, as X-Factor is on Thursday’s.

So, as you see, there is no time to watch movies during the week. Friday, Saturday and Sunday are the only days I can really do my movies.

Christmas time is so much easier. Things go into hiatus.

Also Autumn decorating will start Saturday.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Miffed

Well I'm a little disgusted about this stie: 

http://www.christmastalk.com/index.php

I mentioned it in my last post.  They have banned me, for no reason.  Especially since I never was able to finish my registration.  They apparently have the moderators put you on manually, but I never was, I was just banned.  Really?

So I am revoking my endorsement of this site.

There are others.


Instead here are a few other really nice sites, with people who aren't weird.


http://magicalholidayhome.com/forum/index.php


http://www.mymerrychristmas.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=15


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

August / September reads


Can I just interject how much it sucks not to be able to post from work!  It is putting a damper in my blogging.  When I get home I am so tired, and my brain is fried, I can’t think.

I was looking for information on more Christmas movies that will be out this year.  And while I was surfing I came across a board that is “Year Round”. 


Pretty cool, so now I have two Christmas places, there and The True Book Addicts Christmas page http://www.christmasspirit-truebookaddict.blogspot.com

You’re never too old to love Christmas.

But the next thing on my plate is Halloween.  As I mentioned in a previous post, I plan to watch more Classic Horror films this year.  However, I’ve been taping to the DVR a lot of modern Horror movies. 

And as far as Horror reading I will read DRACULA and THE EXORCIST this year.  I’ve been trying to read DRACULA for years, and never get to it.  THE EXORCIST is a new addition, but I will read it this year.  If I only read 2 books in October, these will be them.

I’ve actually accelerated my reading the past few months.  This is how August and September (so far) re looking:

August

40. Angels in My Hair - Lorna Byrne
41. The Master Key System - Charles Haanel
42. Excuses Begone! - Wayne Dyer
43. The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins
(RECOMMEND)
44. Connecting With Your Angels - Doreen Virtue
45. How to Get What you Really, Really Want - Wayne Dyer / Deepak Chopra
46. The Ultimate Happiness Perscription - Deepak Chopra
47. The Secrets of Power of Intention - Wayne Dyer
48. The Science of Being Great - Wallace Wattles
49. Michael Vey - Richard Paul Evans
50. The Power of Your Subconscious Mind - Joseph Murphy

September

51. We Have Always Lived in this Castle - Shirley Jackson
52. Rodzina - Karen Cushman (YA RECOMMEND)
53. Applying the 10 Secrets for Success and Inner Peace - Wayne Dyer
54. Please Look After Mom - Kyung-Sook Shin
55. Crazy: Notes on and Off the Couch - Rob Dobrenski
56. The Blue Zones - Dan Buettner (RECOMMEND)
57. The Book of Secrets - Deepak Chopra
58. Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul - Deepak Chopra
59. Catching Fire - Suzanne Collins (RECOMMEND)
60. Discover Your Genius - Michael J. Gelb


As you can see, there are a lot of self-improvement books listed.  I get in my moods, and read a lot of the same type of book for weeks.  I’m just about over that now, I do have a few more books in that genre I want to read, but now other things will be read.  I put my recommendations alongside the ones I enjoyed the most.  I highly recommend THE HUNGER GAME SERIES.  I’ve only read book 1 and 2 so far.

Check back soon to see how I am doing with my Horror Books and Movies.

* * *

OTHER LIFE

Both kids are back in school.  My son has the beginnings of Carpel Tunnel Syndrome.  He’s on the computer at least 12 hours a day and hours at a time.  He is a computer major, so that doesn’t help any.

Still temping at the same job. It goes well.

The new Fall season started. I’m checking out the new shows.  I caught “Two and a Half Men” on Monday with Ashton, it was so funny. I like the show anyway, and wasn’t sure how Ashton would fit in, but he is so funny, he can fit in anywhere.


Nothing else to report.