Top Ten Spooky Flicks for Fall

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Every October, patrons come into the library and ask for horror movie recommendations. While I’m totally the person to talk to if you’re looking for Science Fiction, Animation, or TV Show recs, I am completely hopeless when it comes to horror.

I don’t watch proper horror movies. I’m totally a wimp.

Thankfully, we usually have a display full of movies like Friday the 13th, Chucky, and Saw. Otherwise, I’d just keep pointing patrons to films like The Babadook and A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night because I like to promote female directors when I can (even if I haven’t watched their movies myself).

While horror movies are mostly a no-go for me, I do like spooky flicks. Give me ghosts, not-totally gruesome zombies, and aliens and I’m good to go. I’ve decided to share a list of some of my favorite spooky films with you. . .just in case any of you lovely readers are a tad squeamish like myself.  

Top Ten Spooky Flicks for Fall


  • Crimson Peak ~ I always try to sell people on Crimson Peak by telling them it’s like Jane Eyre but with more stabbing. I just love Guillermo del Toro’s gothic masterpiece and I wish more people would fall in love with it too. It’s one of those very few films that feel made for me personally. There’s ghosts, a lady writer heroine, gorgeous costuming, and a heroine saving herself. It’s perfection!   
  • What We Do In the Shadows ~ In a roundabout way, the TV show Legion led me to discover Taika Waititi and his mockumentary What We Do in the Shadows. If you liked the idea behind Being Human (a werewolf, a ghost, and a vampire are roommates), What We Do in the Shadows will appeal to you. It’s a quirky and occasionally bloody tale about vampire roommates living in New Zealand. I recommend you watch it before Taika’s Thor: Ragnarok this November!
  • The Visit ~ I’m going to say something controversial: M. Night Shyamalan is one of my favorite directors. He’s had his rough periods, but he’s also made several of my favorite films (Split, The Village, and Signs–all appropriately spooky) and the wacky The Visit. I picked The Visit for this list in particular because it’s one of his creepier yet still funny films. Also, it has a naked, old lady pretending to be a cat–which is particularly unnerving, let me tell you.    
  • 10 Cloverfield Lane ~ I once overheard two middle-aged men talking about 10 Cloverfield Lane at the library. It was hilarious, mostly because it became obvious that neither of them had ever watched Cloverfield. Please, dear reader, watch the far lesser Cloverfield before 10 Cloverfield Lane. It makes the entire thing creepier. As for 10 Cloverfield Lane itself, John Goodman is so creepy in it and Mary Elizabeth Winstead is great as the trapped heroine. Sigh. I cannot wait for God Particle next year.


  • The Boy ~  You know what I’m scared of? Porcelain dolls. Seriously, they freak me out. As a kid, I used to go to Hartville Kitchen with my family and they had a doll nursery there. It was a thing of nightmares. The Boy, about a woman who plays nanny to a possibly possessed doll, is actually a pretty scary film for me. I saw it in the theater with my mom and I may have jumped. A lot.
  • Pride and Prejudice and Zombies ~ Pride and Prejudice and Zombies seems like it would make a garbage movie, but I legitimately loved the zombified film adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith’s book. It’s not scary per say, but there are zombie attacks and blood spatter. Halloween appropriate? I think so.
  • Alien ~ Alien is one of my favorite movies of all time. It’s the one proper horror movie that I absolutely adore–which probably has to do with it’s perfect combination of aliens chomping people, androids, and Ellen Ripley herself. I could definitely watch Alien and Prometheus on repeat all fall long.
  • Maggie ~ My Arnold Schwarzenegger love led me to watch Maggie, a relatively tame zombie movie about the relationship between a father and his zombified daughter. It’s a sweet, sad movie, but it still has the right atmosphere for spooky, Halloween viewing.
  • Practical Magic ~ I’m not including Hocus Pocus on this list because, let’s face it, that movie is awesome but not spooky. Practical Magic, however, has just enough spookiness to make the cut. It’s about sister witches and the troubles that occur after they accidentally kill Goran Visnjic. Good times.
  • The Girl With All the Gifts ~ One last zombie movie to round out the list! The Girl With All the Gifts is a dystopian film about a young girl who’s hungry for brains. It’s not a particularly scary or bloody film (although there is chomping) but it’ll definitely creep you out in a slow-burning kind of way.

What are your favorite spooky flicks?


My Fall Bucket List

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Fall is boot season, and boots are my second favorite type of shoe behind Converses. I’m very excited that it finally being Fall means I get to put away my flats and low-rise Chucks and break out my Peter Pan boots and high tops. Also, it doesn’t hurt that I have cozy blanket scarves and heavy cardigans just waiting in my closet for those chilly 50 degree days.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I love Fall.

Now that it’s officially Autumn (Yay September!), I get to share my “Fall Bucket List” with you. There’s nothing earth-shattering on it, but I’m looking forward to all the cozy, pumpkin-y activities all the same!    

My Fall Bucket List

  • Carve Pumpkins ~ I have a love/hate relationship with carving pumpkins. I hate the squishiness of pumpkin innards and the mess it leaves on your hands, but oh, do I love the look of finished Jack O’Lanterns and the feeling of accomplishment at having made a funky looking Halloween decoration all my own! I want to have another pumpkin carving night this Autumn, and hopefully, I’ll be able to come up with a nifty design (Spoiler Alert: It’ll probably be Star Wars-related).
  • Watch Four Horror Movies ~ I’m squeamish about horror. . .which is something you might not expect from a person who loves the TV show Hannibal very intensely. When it comes to films, though, I tend to avoid anything with too much blood, gore, and violence (I will never ever watch a Saw film, for example.). I would like to *try* to expand my horizons a little this year and watch a Halloween-type film that’s a bit more adventurous than Hocus Pocus or Practical Magic. Any recommendations for scary films that aren’t that gory?
  • Read a Stephen King Novel ~ Every year, I say I’ll read a Stephen King novel in the lead up to Halloween, and every year, I fail spectacularly. Not this year! I’ve already purchased my to-be-read book and I’m pleased to announce that it’ll be the total chunker Under the Dome. I’ve been rewatching the spectacularly awful TV show adaptation this Summer (I love it so much) so it’s about time I gave the source material a try.
  • Watch Northanger Abbey (1987) for Halloween ~ Watching Northanger Abbey on Halloween is a tradition I started about five years ago. If you’ve never watched the 1987 BBC adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel, you are missing out. The adaptation is nowhere as good as the 2007 version with Felicity Jones and JJ Field, but it is bonkers and that’s all that truly matters.
  • Read One Classic Novel ~ Every year, I try to read one new-to-me Classic. I did read The Hound of the Baskervilles this year already, but I’d also like to tackle a novel either by George Eliot, Elizabeth Gaskell, or one of the books I’ve missed by a Bronte sister. I’m not certain which book I’ll choose yet. Hopefully, it’ll be one from my shelves so I can check another purchased book off my TBR.
  • Knit Indy a Sweater ~ Indy has a lot of fur so he might not *technically* need a sweater, but I’m sure he could still use one when he goes on walks this (likely frigid) winter. I already have the yarn picked out (it’s a sea green color) and I’d like to get working on it before it’s too, too cold out. I’m also counting on his dog sweater giving me some much needed practice knitting clothes so I can FINALLY knit a Weasley sweater for myself before Winter is out.  
  • Drink Spiced Apple Cider ~ I love Spiced Apple Cider and I look forward to it showing up on the shelves every year. I can only drink it in moderation (thanks to all that sugar wreaking havoc on my anxiety levels), but I love savoring it when I give myself the chance.
  • Watch Stranger Things ~ Oh my gosh, so Stranger Things is back in October and I am hyped. I think I’m having withdraws from all my favorite spooky shows (seeing as they’re either cancelled or abandoned) because I am so glad this show is finally coming back. I really cannot wait to see more Hopper, Nancy, and Steve in particular. They are my faves!
  • Bake a Pumpkin Pie (or Anything Pumpkin) ~ I used to love eating pumpkin muffins and pumpkin roll every Autumn. Now, thanks to being on a gluten free diet, my store-bought pumpkin options are limited to Pumpkin Spice Cheerios and (gross) pumpkin-flavored yogurt. I baked a delicious pumpkin pie last year so I might try that again OR I might be braver and attempt a gluten free pumpkin roll or muffin. Only time will tell. . .
  • Start Recording a Podcast ~ Working at a library gives you ample time to listen to podcasts so I’ve become a tad addicted over the last two years (If you’d like recommendations for non-True Crime podcasts, let’s say I’ve got you covered). Lately, however, I’ve really been wanting to start my own. Unfortunately, thanks to me being horrible at decision making, I’ve been struggling to come up with a definitive focus. This Fall, I need to buckle down a pick a topic and name a just get going–which, for me, is MUCH easier said than done.

What’s on Your Fall Bucket List?

{Film Review} This Beautiful Fantastic

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Bella’s beginning were unconventional. Found among ducks as a baby, she was raised in an orphanage where she nursed a fear of the outdoors and soothed her loneliness with books. Now an adult, Bella lives very much alone with only those books, a typewriter, and radio for company. Her interactions with the outside world occur at the library where she works and over a garden wall with her curmudgeonly neighbor. It isn’t until she has an accident in her neglected garden that her lonely little world begins expanding. Gradually, she is forced to let in her cleaner/cook, the aforementioned grumpy neighbor, and a handsome inventor.

This Beautiful Fantastic is a whimsical fairy tale along the lines of Penelope, Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium, and–perhaps the most well-known of all quirky, girl films–Amelie. Jessica Brown Findlay excellently portrays Bella, a character who has spent years building walls to protect herself from the grief of losing her parents too young. It’s a quiet role–one which calls for Findlay’s expressive eyes and gentle, physically comedy–and while Bella is described as the oddest of oddballs by our narrator, the film and Findlay never allow her quirkiness descend to ridiculous levels (that’s left for her manic pixie dream boy love interest). Bella spends her time dressing like Winona Ryder in Beetlejuice, learning foreign languages on the radio, and obsessively ordering her house. She’s essentially a relatable sort of weird and you can’t help but root for her to begin writing her book and make friends the individuals thrown in her path.

These prospective friends come in the form of cleaner Vernon (Andrew Scott), neighbor Alfie (Tom Wilkinson), and inventor Billy (Jeremy Irvine). Each role is played to varying success.  Andrew Scott is impeccable as always as the first person to knock bricks from Bella’s wall. His sweet charm and adorable bumbling-ness make you understand why Bella would immediately make room for him and his calming hugs in her life. It’s a shame really that they cast someone so incredibly likiable in this role because it’s difficult to understand why she would pass up her kind cook/cleaner in exchange for a mad, inventor boy. (Sigh.) Before we get to that mad inventor, it needs to be said that Tom Wilkinson manages wonderfully as Bella’s antagonist/mentor. His character sets Bella on her journey, but he’s more than just the catalyst for the film’s gardening-heavy plot. He’s also given room to grow as he overcomes loneliness and grief of his own. It is the bond and sympathy between Alfie and Bella that centers the story–which is one of the many reasons why her love story with Billy feels so extraneous.

Billy–the main weakness in the film–is in all essentials a Manic Pixie Dream Boy. He dresses like he’s a member of a Steampunk club, builds robots that are powered by moonlight, and always has tea and a spare cup at the ready. His character appears to be part of a separate (far quirkier) film altogether, and his and Bella’s love story sparked my only annoyance with the film. Certainly, his “Luna” gives Bella the protagonist for her children’s book, but it’s her experiences with Alfie that drive the fable she’s writing and illustrating. Billy’s cartoonishness makes for an odd fit tonally in this film, and seeing as he’s the only character without proper development, it would have been better if his role had been written around and out of This Beautiful Fantastic.

Thankfully, Billy’s presence doesn’t break this movie. The writer/director Simon Aboud created a  whimsical tale about grief, creativity, and caring for something outside yourself in This Beautiful Fantastic, and while it might not inspired the viewer to pick up a spade and take to the garden, it certainly reminds one of the importance of creativity and moving forward.  

If You Like This Beautiful Fantastic, Check Out. . .

  • Penelope
  • Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium
  • Amelie
  • The Brother’s Bloom

Top Ten Most Anticipated Summer Movies

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It’s that time of year again. It’s time for blockbusters and superheroes. . .with some sword and sorcery thrown in! While April was a deathly slow movie month, a whole load of exciting movies are gracing the big screen between now and Fall. I know I’m going to be racking up those Regal Movie Rewards thanks to all the films that look AH-MAZING. . .and those others which look just bonkers enough to be worth seeing.

I’ve put together a top ten list of my most anticipated films (in no particular order). Be sure to tell me which movies you’re most looking forward to in the comments!

Top Ten Most Anticipated Summer Movies

Spider-Man: Homecoming ~ I never thought I’d be excited to see a Spider-Man film, but thanks to Captain America: Civil War, I am thrilled to see the webslinger on the big screen again (this will be my first time seeing Spidey since that fateful day I took my cousin to see Spider-Man 3).

War for the Planet of the Apes ~ The new Planet of the Apes films are my favorite Science Fiction movies of all time. (Yes, I love them even more than Star Wars and not just because the second one has Jason Clarke.) I cannot wait to see Andy Serkis knocking it out of the park for the third time in this franchise. It all looks absolutely glorious!

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales ~ I’ve seen every Pirates of the Caribbean film in the theater, and Dead Men Tell No Tales is not going to be an exception. While I am keeping my expectations in check after the mess that was On Stranger Tides (a movie I forget exists more often than not), I do hope Jack, Will, and the gang will pull it together for one more movie.

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets ~ The Fifth Element bring me joy so there’s no way I’m not psyched about Luc Besson’s new Sci Fi project. It looks just as bonkers as Jupiter Ascending–which is definitely a selling point for me.

Wonder Woman ~ Wonder Woman, oh, Wonder Woman, I’m so pleased to see you headlining your own movie (with a female director to top it off)! The trailers for the DCEU’s new flick are so promising that I hope, for once, positive reviews will come to the DC Comics’ universe. It’s about time this franchise had a proper win.  

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword ~ Let’s be real: This movie looks wackadoo. . .so it’s obviously on my list of must-watch movies. I remember reading that there are giant elephants in King Arthur (rather like Oliphaunts, perhaps?). Between that and Jude Law as the villain, I need no more reasons to pay for a ticket.

Alien: Covenant ~ While I’m nowhere near brave enough to see this on the big screen, I’ve been scarfing down the trailers and featurettes. Sadly, I will be holding off on viewing this until the DVD release, but that doesn’t quell my excitement at there being not one but two Michael Fassbender androids in one film.

Baby Driver ~ Confession time. The only Edgar Wright film I’ve seen is Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World. I plan on remedying that soon by FINALLY watching the Cornetto Trilogy (a decision made solely after seeing the trailer for Baby Driver–which looks absolutely divine).

The Mummy ~ While Legendary’s MonsterVerse is more my speed, I figure I should check out Universal Monsters from the get-go. To do so, I’ll have to get over my extreme dislike for both Tom Cruise and Russell Crowe–but hey, at least, they’re be rampant destruction and one angry mummy to distract me!

Dark Tower ~ This is one of those films that seems made for me. It’s got everything: Cowboys, inter-dimensional travel, Idris Elba, and a weird fantasy setting! The trailer was breathtaking and 100% gave me an excuse to pick up Stephen King’s series once again.

What films are you most looking forward to this Summer?

My Favorite Podcasts

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Whenever I’m off-desk at work, I put on my earphones and start up a podcast. It’s calming to shut out the noise of the library and focus on the hosts’ voices and their stories. Since music has never been a huge thing for me and audio books don’t hold my attention, I’m glad there are so many podcasts out there that are funny, educational, and focused, more often than not, on Pop Culture. I’d really be struggling for background noise if podcasts were not such a thing right now.

I’ve listened to a lot of podcasts over the past year, but there’s a few in particular that I keep downloading to my beloved iPod Shuffle, Honey Lemon. I thought it’d be neat to share some of my favorites with you–mostly because I want you to share your favorites right back so I can have more to listen to.


My Favorite Podcasts    

  • Dear Sally ~ A Felicity podcast that’s a perfect mix of nostalgia and jokes. I haven’t even watched that much Felicity, but I still enjoy hearing these two friends talk about who won each episode: Noel or Ben.
  • Gilmore Guys ~ After I watch a particularly annoying episode of Gilmore Girls, I download the companion Gilmore Guys episode right away. The two “Gilmore Guys” and their guests always have hilarious and insightful takes on the episodes.
  • Common Room ~ #PotterWeek was amazing and Common Room just started a series recapping the TV show, Lost. No matter what sort of geek you are, there’s almost certainly a Common Room episode/series for you.
  • Mousterpiece Cinema ~ Again, with the nostalgia! I have a thing for retro movie and television podcasts. Can’t you tell? Mousterpiece Cinema is Movie Mezzanine’s Disney podcast. Mostly, the hosts review Disney films from the 80’s and 90’s, but there’s a couple of modern movies thrown in too.
  • The Nerdist ~ If you like listening to writers, actors, and directors talk about their craft and other, much more random things, The Nerdist podcast will suit your fancy. I skip around and pick episodes based on my tolerance for the guests, but others might not be so picky.
  • Rosie and Jessica’s Day of Fun ~ A little bit of everything is in this podcast. Most of all you should know they talk about knitting and baking.
  • Nerdonomy: Nerds on History ~ My inability to finish historical non-fiction makes me very thankful for all the history podcasts out there. Nerds on History is VERY eclectic–which is fun because you learn a bit about everything listening to it.
  • You Must Remember This ~ Thanks to The Hairpin’s “Scandals of Classic Hollywood” series, I’ve been getting more and more into Hollywood history. You Must Remember This is a great way to satisfy curiosity about old timey actors and the stories behind their films.

What Are Your Favorite Podcasts?

Gif Source: Popsugar

My Fall To-Do List

Hamilton Songs On Repeat (2).jpgSweaters, electric blankets, hot chai, and new TV shows. Fall IS my season. I know you’re not supposed to wish your life away, but Summer is the worst and I’m so glad it’s over.

I cannot wait to eat all the (gluten free) pumpkin things!

Like with Summer, I figured I’d do a proper to-do list for Fall. Looking back, I can say I did alright on my Summer list. *Maybe* I didn’t get to any beach reads, but I did dash through Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and see Top Gun in the theater so the season wasn’t an entire waste. Also, I went to three new coffee shops and an artisan Ice Cream parlor. Living my best life right there.

My plans for Fall mainly include watching Gilmore Girls with my mom, but I figured it’d be nice to make a more ambitious to-do than just getting through seven seasons of a show before November 25th.

Okay, the list isn’t incredibly more ambitious than that, but Fall is the season for books, tea, and coziness. I don’t want to do too much adventuring when I could be reading the next A Song of Ice and Fire.  

My Fall To-Do List

  • Carve Pumpkins ~ I’m terrible at carving pumpkins (because sharp objects and myself do not mix), but I love it anyway. The last two years I’ve missed out on carving but not this year! I will carve something wonky into a pumpkin’s side and display it proudly for trick-or-treaters.
  • Star Wars Watch-Through ~ Last year, I rewatched all of the Star Wars films in the Spring. I wish now that I’d waited until right before The Force Awakens came out so it’d all have felt more fresh. That’s why, this year, I’ve been waiting and waiting to start my rewatch for Rogue One. Originally, I’d planned to try watching it in “Machete Order” since I’ve only ever watched the series chronologically starting with the prequels. I’m not entirely sure that’s the best way to go since that would mean watching A New Hope (the film closest chronologically to Rogue One) first. I’ll probably just go with “Chronological Minus The Phantom Menace” as per usual.
  • Art Museum Trip ~ I’ve only been to the Cleveland Art Museum once. I was up in the city for an interview and was able to spend *maybe* an hour there–which meant that I got through the Egyptian exhibit and very little else. I’ve been longing to go back for a second visit, and Fall seems like the perfect time to wander through galleries.  
  • Reread Jane Eyre ~ Is it just me, or is Fall the perfect season for reading the Brontes? I might make that association thanks to my English Major days, but the gothic setting of Jane Eyre feels October-y to me. I haven’t read Jane Eyre since high school, and I’m well aware that I didn’t understand it at all back then. I need to go back and be more open minded about Rochester (unlikely) and more accepting of Jane (much more likely).
  • Go to a Craft Show ~There are indie craft shows ALL THE TIME downtown where I work. Unfortunately, a lot of them occur on Saturday so I end up working through them. I want to take advantage of one of the few Sunday fairs, even if that means venturing downtown on a day I’m not actually working.
  • Find a New 3DS Game to Play ~ So, I bought a 3DS last Fall and I’ve only purchased three games for it–two of which I hated (Disney Infinity and Animal Crossing). Right now, I’m playing through Legend of Zelda: An Ocarina of Time and I’m enjoying it. . .kind of. I have to use a walkthrough to get through the story–which can get incredibly frustrating. I want to find a game with more of a puzzle aspect to it. I loved computer games that had a nice balance of story and puzzle when I was a kid (like Torin’s Passage and Dr. Brain). I’m sure there’s something out there along a similar line. If you have any recommendations, please let me know!
  • Drink Spiced Apple Cider ~ Pumpkin Spiced Latte’s aren’t my thing. They’re too sweet and not pumpkin-y enough tasting for me. Spiced Apple Cider is the real deal. Every once in awhile, I even get to drink apple cider from the apples we’ve grown–which makes it even better!
  • Play More Games ~ I own a decent amount of board games, but this year, I’ve been terrible about actually playing them. I still haven’t touched my copies of Munchkin, Iota, or Diamonsters. Before Christmas, at the very least, I need to give them all a shot (then I don’t have to feel guilty if I ask for a game or two for the big day).
  • Watch Horror Movies ~ I’m a complete wimp when it comes to horror movies. I’ve always loved horror TV shows (Hannibal <3) and novels, but films just seem so much more intimidating. I have a short list of movies I want to watch in October (The Ring, The Host, Cabin in the Woods, etc), but I could definitely use recommendations for horror films that are scary but not terribly gory–which means do not recommend a Saw film! I will not watch it. 
  • Bake a Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie ~ I already have a recipe picked out. This will happen!

What’s on your Fall To-Do list?

Fall Movies On My Must-See List

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So far this year, I’ve seen a grand total of thirteen movies in the theater. I believe that’s a record high for me–even with how many times I went to The Fellowship of the Ring and various Disney movies in Junior High.

Thirteen might be an unlucky number, but I’m actually really proud of it. For years, anxiety’s completely messed with my movie-going enjoyment. (It’s hard to have fun watching a film when you’re in the middle of a panic attack.) This year, I figured my own form of exposure therapy would help me get over that, and by movie five or six, I realized my master plan was working.

I *may* have ended up seeing a few doozies (I nearly fell asleep during Pete’s Dragon), but it was worth it to get to the point where I’m look forward to seeing things on the big screen again.

To keep up this momentum (and keep myself from getting squirmish), I’ve made a list of all the movies I’m going to go see this Fall. Of course, you’ll all be able to guess what movies I’m really, really looking forward to (ahem, Rogue One), but I’m going to try to force myself a little outside my comfort zone with a weeper like Light Between Oceans (I can, at least, bribe myself with the likes of Fassy).   

Fall Movies On My Must-See List

Light Between Oceans (September 2nd) ~ Several years ago, I read the book during a single, long car ride. I don’t remember much about the novel other than the very basic plot–which probably means it wasn’t the greatest book of all time. Still, the trailers for the film look gorgeous (as does the cast). This will be my first time seeing Alicia Vikander in a film other than The Man from U.N.C.L.E.. Hopefully seeing her in something serious will give me the added gumption to watch Ex Machina . .finally.  


Bridget Jones’ Baby (September 16th) ~ I never expected Bridget Jones’ Diary to be one of my favorite films, but I’m incredibly partial to it. While Edge of Reason wasn’t the greatest sequel in the world (I remember very little of that film), I’m so looking forward the the third in the trilogy. I’m also pleased to see McDreamy returning to the RomCom circuit. Maybe a resurgence on his part could mean a sequel to Enchanted?  


The Magnificent Seven (September 23rd) ~ The Coen Brother’s True Grit is one of my favorite films of all time. Before that movie, I had a very low tolerance for Westerns. Slowly, though, I’m coming to appreciate the genre. (It helps, of course, that newly released Westerns have actors like Michael Fassbender and Chris Pratt in them.) Before the new Magnificent Seven is released I plan on watching The Seven Samurai and the original Magnificent Seven–which feels incredibly ambitious since both of those films are LONG.


Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (September 30th) ~Let me confess something: I really didn’t like the book this film is based on. Thankfully, the film appears to be COMPLETELY different from the source material. I’m rooting for Tim Burton to make a decent film out of this concept. I can’t say my expectations are high, but I’m going to give it a proper chance regardless.   


Arrival (November 11th) ~ I hate myself for still liking Jeremy Renner in films, but he and Amy Adams are completely selling me on Arrival. I love a good low-key Science Fiction film, but this is the first one in awhile that has a cast I can get on board with. Sorry, but if Matthew McConaughey, Matt Damon, or George Clooney are in space, I’m out.


Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (November 18th) ~ I wasn’t anticipating the release of Fantastic Beasts until Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was released. My enthusiasm for Harry Potter had been waning in recent years, but rereading the series and getting an 8th “book” has gotten me back in the Potterhead zone. Also, I really just want to see Colin Farrell as a wizard villain.


Moana (November 23rd) ~ Not the point of this movie, but I want Dwayne Johnson to be a Disney Prince. Someday, I hope it will happen, but until then I’ll be satisfied with him voicing a prominent character in Moana.


Rules Don’t Apply (November 23rd) ~ Actual Han Solo, Alden Ehrenreich, is in another film about old Hollywood. After Hail, Caesar, this isn’t a movie I’d pass up voluntarily. I know it won’t be as good as Hail, Caesar (no Charming Potato as a Gene Kelly-a-like), but it looks cute all the same. It’s also part of my old Hollywood to-watch list with Trumbo and The Magnificent.

Rogue One (December 16th) ~ I love Star Wars. I also loved Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla. There’s nothing about this movie that makes me think I won’t absolutely adore it. I’m just worried that by book shelves won’t have room for the inevitable Rogue One collectibles that I’ll be adding to my Star Wars collection.

Passengers (December 21st) ~ No trailer for Passengers yet, but a Science Fiction romance with Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence is a must see. I hope it will have some humor to it and maybe a few shirtless scenes for Pratt. It’s about time I see Jennifer Lawrence in a film outside of the Hunger Games or X-Men franchises anyway.


What Films Are On Your Must-See List This Fall?

Stream It! {June Edition}

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The entire month of May, I struggled to find my next show to binge, and you know what? I wasn’t successful! To keep myself busy, I’ve been knitting and watching Vicar of Dibley–which is charming but not the sort of show I can really get into in a fangirl sort of way. I’ve been *thinking* about trying Orphan Black, The Walking Dead, or Miss Fisher’s Mysteries again, but seeing as I never made it past the pilots of any of those shows, I’m sort of reticent about giving them another go.

I get sort of listless without a TV show to watch so I’ll have to make a decision soon. If anyone has a lesser known show that they’d recommend or reasons I should give the shows above another chance, definitely comment! I’m obviously in need of a little help.

If you’re struggling with ideas of things to watch too, I’ve got some “Stream It” recommendations for the month.

And, by the way, I seriously hope I can avoid the “Steam It!” mishap from May in the future. It was a special sort of typo, that’s for sure!  

Stream It!

  • The Paradise ~ Last Spring, my mom and I watched through The Paradise and were equally in love with it and frustrated by it. The show is about about a country girl–with ambitions–coming to town to work in a shop. The first season is absolutely fantastic in a sweet, cozy sort of way, but the second season goes off the rails. I’d still recommend watching it all the way through, but once you hit the Series Two, you MUST read Telly Vision’s recaps. They’ll greatly increase your enjoyment. I guarantee it.  
  • Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. ~ AoS is one of those shows that I don’t bother to watch live. I mean, it’d be a shame to waste such a good binge-watch show on week-to-week viewing. Thankfully, Netflix releases the seasons quickly after they wrap up for the year. The third season will be out mid-June so, if you’re like me and need to catch up, this is your time!
  • Leading Lady ~ I mentioned this movie in my Monthly Round-Up, but I wanted to give it a proper shout-out. The film’s about a young actress who REALLY wants a role in her director boyfriend’s upcoming movie. To prepare, she travels to South Africa where she meets a hunky farmer and stages a play version of the film. The movie is just adorable and quirky. If you have seen Not Another Happy Ending with Karen Gillan and liked it, Leading Lady will be just your cup of tea.
  • About a Boy (TV Series) ~ I’ve read Nick Hornby’s About a Boy, but I’ve never seen the film. Instead, I fell in love with the TV show–which not enough people seemed to appreciate. It’s a cute, feel-good show that features an absolutely hilarious Minnie Driver. The first couple episodes are rough, but once the show realizes it’s actors’ strengths and weakness, it pulls together into a really great sitcom.
  • One Day ~ With Me Before You coming out this month, it’s only right to draw attention to the better weepy, British film. While I 100% believe that Anne Hathaway was miscast as Emma, the movie itself does a good job at keeping to the essence of the book. Besides, Jim Sturgess is the perfect Dex. It’s worth a watch just for him!

Honorable Mention: The entire series of Happy Endings is on Hulu Plus. If you like pop culture jokes and manic dialogue, watch it now!

What have you been streaming lately?

Stream It! {May Edition}

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I’m sorry I’ve been missing in action since April. I needed to take a bit of mental health break. Unfortunately, that need for a break means I haven’t finished The Silmarillion yet. Instead, I spent a decent amount of April binge-watching Arrested Development and Disney films since I didn’t feel up to much else.

Obviously, I’ve been getting a lot of use out of my Netflix subscription between these binges and rewatching Lost (don’t even get me started on that show), and that reminded me that I’ve been wanting to do “Stream It!” recommendations for awhile.

Once a month, for here on out, I’ll try pick out five (or so) TV shows, films, etc. that I love and think you should watch (or even rewatch). They won’t always be new releases, but that doesn’t matter since there’s a decent amount of buried treasure hiding in Neflix’s categories.    

Oh and one more thing, thanks for sticking with me through my break! I try to blog consistently, but it can be hard when I’m not feeling mentally up-to-par. *Hopefully,* I won’t need another long hiatus for awhile.

Stream It! {May Edition}

  • Beauty and the Beast (CW TV Show) ~ With Rookie Blue and Under the Dome cancelled, my Summer TV viewing has been robbed of almost all it’s melodrama. Thankfully, there’s still one season of Beauty and the Beast left to keep me entertained. If you’ve somehow missed this wack-a-doo Dark Angel ripoff,  the first two seasons are on Netflix. This show will be perfect for you if you are either a hopeless romantic or someone who is endlessly entertained by over-the-top romantic adventure stories. Watch the first two seasons (and part of the third on Hulu Plus) before the fourth airs in June! 
  • The Great British Baking Show ~ If you somehow haven’t watched this masterpiece, you need to. Now! It’s sad to me that so many of the seasons aren’t available to stream in the U.S., but at least, PBS airs them eventually. Hopefully, a new season will come out this fall.
  • Bride and Prejudice ~ Winter is the season for Charles Dickens. Fall is for the Brontes. And spring is the perfect time of year to binge Jane Austen adaptations. One of my absolute favorites is Bride and Prejudice–a Bollywood adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. If you’ve ever wanted to see Sayid from Lost dance, this is the movie for you. 
  • Begin Again ~ I never liked Keira Knightley as an actor until I started watching her in non-period piece films. Most recently, I’ve loved her in Laggies and Begin Again. Begin Again, so you know, is about struggling musicians and it features Keira Knightley in an enviable wardrobe and Adam Levine acting (which is something that all people need to see because it’s weird). The movie’s sweet and filled with decent music. It’s also by the same fellow who did Once–so it has a respectable pedigree.
  • World of Tomorrow ~ It irks me that World of Tomorrow didn’t win best animated short film at this year’s Academy Awards. It was my favorite because it was funny and bizarre and not sentimental. It’s seventeen minutes long and I won’t spoil what it’s about. Just watch the weirdness unfold. It’ll be worth it.

Honorable Mention: If you have Hulu Plus, now’s a good time to watch/rewatch Wayward Pines. That bonkers show is coming back May 25th.

Have you streamed anything good lately?

{Book Review} Star Wars The Force Awakens: Before the Awakening

before-the-awakening.jpgGreg Rucka’s Star Wars The Force Awakens: Before the Awakening is the middle grade prequel to The Force Awakens. It’s separated into three parts–each focusing on one of the leads from the film. While no huge reveals and shocking truths come out, there’s a lot of information in this book. Some of it answers questions left by the movie and the rest gives more insight into the characters many of us (including me) have already begun to love.

For obvious reasons, Rey’s part doesn’t go too deeply into her story. Since she’s the heroine of the films, that’s the sort of information that’s being saved for a big reveal on the screen. Still, I did like getting a look at her life before BB-8 crossed her path. It was fascinating to see how she learned to be such a good pilot and mechanic and why she was such a tough fighter. I wish we’d have gotten a little information about her childhood on Jakku, but maybe–just maybe–that will be addressed after more of the films have been released.

Poe’s story, meanwhile, contained the most information. It revealed quite a bit about his childhood, parents, and how he joined with the Resistance. While I loved seeing his reckless bravery, it was a little difficult for me to stay invested in his section overall (mostly because I just cannot picture the space-fight scenes). That’s more my issue than an issue with the book though. After reading his part, I did decide I need to go back and finished Shattered Empire now. It took me too long to realize that Shara Bey is Poe’s mother.

As for Finn, my favorite new character, his section was just what I was hoping it would be. There’s a lot about his struggle with the harsh regime of the First Order and his compassion towards his fellow stormtroopers and the First Order’s subjects. The interactions between him and Captain Phasma were also very enlightening. I didn’t find her exceptionally interesting in the film, but I liked what I saw of her here. She seems like a complicated character in her own right, and I want to see more of her now. Finn’s story–not surprisingly–was my favorite in the book, and if possible, it made me like his character even more than I did before.

While art isn’t a big part of Before the Awakening, the few pages that had illustrations were gorgeous so I have to mention them. Phil Noto’s one of my favorite artists, and he did an amazing job recreating Poe, Finn, and Rey on the page. He’s also been doing an amazing job with some of the Star Wars comics–which means I cannot wait to see his upcoming Poe Dameron series. Judging from this book, he’ll do some wonderful work on that one too.

I got so caught up in Before the Awakening that I ended up reading it in a day and loving it through and through. The writing was strong and the stories surprisingly complex considering their length. If you are curious about Poe, Rey, and Finn, this is definitely a book I’d recommend. It made me love the characters more and NEED to see the film again. What more can you ask from this sort of tie-in book!

Have you been reading any of the Star Wars: The Force Awakens tie-ins? Do you have a favorite Star Wars book?

Image Source: Goodreads