what I’m doing {#2}

{reading}

Alice's Piano: The Life of Alice Herz-Sommer by Melissa Müller, http://www.amazon.com/dp/1250007410/ref=cm_sw_r_pi_dp_cgr-pb04SESM4

Several things.  (As usual.)  Part of my WWII history course this year involves me reading a certain number of (non-fiction) books set during the time period and then writing a report on each one.  I recently finished reading Alice’s Piano, and while I don’t really care for most non-fiction books, this biography was lovely.  I enjoy reading books where a character has a special skill, especially if that skill is discussed and described at length, so reading about the different pieces Alice played and the techniques she used was great.  

After I finished reading Alice’s Piano, I picked a copy of The Great Escape from the library, was really looking forward to reading it, but had to put it down after just a couple of chapters because of Bad Language.  A disappointment if there ever was one, because the story is amazing and highly entertaining. *sigh*  I’m now in the middle of Mockingbird, a biography (of sorts) of Harper Lee.  Fascinating, especially since I didn’t know much about the background behind TKAM.  The chapter that focuses on the movie adaption was interesting – there were a lot of little bits of trivia sprinkled throughout.

In between reading Deep & Serious books, I sped my way through The Deadly Curse Of Toco Rey by Frank Peretti, and then handed it over to Elisabeth with the very highest of recommendations.  I don’t think she’s started it yet, though, because she’s been busy going through the binder of Combat! fan-fiction I gave her for her birthday.  But I will MAKE HER read it as soon as possible, because I think it helped form my taste for good action/adventure stories.  (Both books and movies.)  Can’t have her miss out on that, can I?

{watching}

Ah, Roman Holiday.  Watched this for the first time just a couple of days ago, and I fell completely in love with it.  The plot was pretty predictable, so it was the gorgeous setting, scenes that are alternately grin-worthy and poignant, and the charming acting from both Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn that cemented this film in my mind as one of my very favorite old films.  It’s so beautiful.

In between writing that last paragraph and this one, about two hours have elapsed while I took a break from writing (yes, I know, it’s an awful chore, isn’t it?) to watch Charade – another Audrey Hepburn movie, though very different from Roman Holiday.  I read a review of it yesterday (one of those things I randomly stumble on during my Internet browsing hours), and finding that it starred Audrey and that James Coburn (!!!!!!!! – Yes, I know.  Right about now Elisabeth’s rolling her eyes.) was included in the cast list (and that we owned it on DVD), I had to watch it.  The whole thing was much better than expected, even if I still don’t really care for Cary Grant as an actor.

Speaking of movies that star James Coburn, I watched Monsters, Inc. last night.  Um…yes.  Monsters, Inc.  James Coburn voices Waternoose, of all things!  When I saw his name on the cast list, I was pretty much stunned into silence (for about two seconds) because it is SO. WEIRD.  I mean, honestly.  Voicing a monster-villain (well, okay, the villain part isn’t so weird, because he tends to play those a lot, but STILL) who has lines like the ones Waternoose has; I really couldn’t get the mental image out of my head of James Coburn saying all those lines in the recording booth and it was hilarious.

Oh, and I’ve also been watching a few episodes of Wanted: Dead Or Alive, and it’s amazingly good.  So thank you for that, Hamlette.

{listening to}

Elmer Bernstein - The Magnificent Seven

Elmer Bernstein has officially become one of my favorite composers.  His work on The Magnificent Seven and The Great Escape is, well, magnificent (and great), and I’ve been listening to the themes for both movies almost non-stop over the course of these past few days.  And when I’m not listening to either one, they run through my head constantly.  It would be annoying, if the music wasn’t so good.  Someone on Youtube has done a smashing, epic music video of clips from The Magnificent Seven set to the theme music – go check it out!

What’ve you been reading/watching/listening to lately?

Eva

movie review: hell is for heroes

“Hell Is For Heroes” is a World War II drama where the action centers around a single maneuver by a squad of GIs in retaliation against the force of the German Siegfried line. Reese joins a group of weary GIs unexpectedly ordered back into the line when on their way to a rest area. While most of the men withdraw from their positions facing a German pillbox at the far side of a mine-field, half a dozen men are left to protect a wide front. By various ruses, they manage to convince the Germans that a large force is still holding the position.

_______________________

Despite what all the critics say, I do love this movie.  (Not to mention what the actors themselves thought.  I recently read that none of the cast thought HIFH was going anywhere fast, and every day one or more of them would approach the director and ask for their character to be killed off so they could go work on other projects.  I guess that’s why about half the characters die by the time the film is over.)  Sorry.  Rabbit trail there.  To get back to what I said about loving HIFH, the more I think about it, the more I realize that it’s one of my absolute favorite war movies (so my list of ‘top five favorite war films’ is already obsolete).  It’s not some grand, sprawling epic by any stretch, and I think that’s part of why I like it so much.  HIFH focuses on a tiny sliver of the war, in an intensely human way, and because of that, it’s easy to get very attached to both the film and the characters.

Which I have.  Of course.  Because that’s simply what I do with movies like this one.

One thing I can’t leave out mentioning about HIFH is the marked similarity it bears to the TV show Combat!, mainly in mood and tone, probably because the screenplay was written by Robert Pirosh, who also created C!.  Like C!, it focuses on the individual lives affected by the war, not really shining the spotlight on the larger, strategic picture.  The fact that HIFH was shot in b&w helps, of course, along with the score which is composed by the same person (Leonard Rosenman) who did the music for C!.  And there also happen to be three different cast members who also guest starred in different C! episodes – JAMES COBURN, Nick Adams, and Mike Kellin.  Overall, it’s very satisfying to watch, as a C! fan (a blogging friend said that HIFH feels like one long episode of C! that just happened not to deal with the main cast, and I completely agree), although the film stands out well in its own right too.

The characters: You have to forgive me for not liking Steve McQueen for the longest time, because HIFH was the only film I’d seen him in until very recently, and his character, Reese, is for the most part, unlikable to the extreme.  I read that McQueen hated the film and didn’t think the character of Reese fit him at all (I’m not sure if I agree with him on that, although I will say that Reese is very different from the three other characters I’ve seen McQueen play), so I don’t think it took much acting on his part to portray the surly, taciturn, angry Reese.  There are, however, a whole slew of other great characters – so great, in fact, that I don’t think I can pick a favorite.  I was pleasantly surprised to see Fess Parker (as Pike) is HIFH, because he plays the main character in The Great Locomotive Chase, which I happen to like very much.  All the times that Pike tried to be friendly with Reese made me smile because he just wouldn’t give up.

Corby (Bobby Darin) is great…a really darling, fun (and funny) character.  And Driscoll (Bob Newhart – in his screen debut) was hilarious.  Mom knew more about him than I did, and she really enjoyed his little phone conversation scenes, which provided a nice change from all the tension and death and characters with bad attitudes (well, more like just one character *wink*).  (And not that I mind tension and death in war films.)  Larkin (Harry Guardino) was one of my favorite characters.  Very level-headed, and someone who didn’t back down from giving Reese a good chewing out when it was necessary.  Mike Kellin (Kolinsky) weirded me out just a little at first, because I’m so used to see him as Jackson in “Losers Cry Deal”, where he’s an antagonist, so having my brain reverse gears and think of him in a better light was difficult.  The re-watch was much better, in that regard.  And you really can’t talk about Kolinsky without mentioning Homer (Nick Adams) who’s very swiftly rising up my favorite characters list.  Sure, he’s sometimes used as a bit of comic relief, but he can be serious too, which I appreciate.  (And the part at the end where he goes berserk, during the final battle, always makes me tear up.)

Goodness, this list goes on and on, doesn’t it?  There’s just a couple more characters to mention, though – Cumberly (Bill Mullikin) and Henshaw (James Coburn).  I don’t really feel like I know all that much about Cumberly, not like how I got to know practically every other character so well.  He was optimistic and happy, and actually very like Morgan from “Hills Are For Heroes”.  And then Henshaw.  I LOVE HENSHAW.  I believe HIFH was the first thing I watched where I actually liked James Coburn’s role (well, duh, of course it was, because the only other thing I’d seen him in thus far was a Combat! episode where he played a [very interesting] baddie), although at first I didn’t know it was the same guy because of the glasses.  Glasses always throw me – in my mind, they can completely change anyone’s looks.  Anyway.  Henshaw’s a great mechanic, can do practically anything with any kind of vehicle, and handles The Flamethrower.  So…very, very epic.  (It always makes me grin when Reese ignores Henshaw’s attempt at a handshake at the beginning of HIFH because “You guys are going to do more epic movies together and become great buddies!” – that is, if they weren’t good friends already.)

I don’t really know what else to say.  The story is simple, interesting, and tense, with delightful dashes of humour here and there.  The characters are, for the most part, wonderful.  The casualty count is high – out of ten main (sometimes main-ish) characters, five die.  HALF of them die.  HALF.  And the film ends in a rather ‘up in the air’ way (the first time I watched it and it said “The End”, I think I said “That CAN’T be the end!”.  A little more closure, please?).  As a small aside, I must say that the end credits are nifty…they really helped me straighten out what names belonged to what faces (both actor and character).  HIFH isn’t for the faint of heart (there are a couple somewhat disturbing death scenes), but as I like my movies deep and sometimes depressing, it worked well for me.

Have you ever seen Hell Is For Heroes?  What are your thoughts on it?

Eva

sisters, sisters…

:)

All kinds of weather, we stick together,
The same in the rain or sun.
Two different faces, but in tight places,
We think and we act as one.

Today is my sister, Elisabeth’s, eleventh birthday.

Trust me, most of the time, she acts wayyyy older than her age, which is nice since we’ve become Great Friends as of about five-and-a-half months ago.  Why so exact, you might ask?  Because I was introduced to Combat! about five-and-a-half months ago, and I firmly hold to the belief that that’s what made us such good pals, mainly because fangirling is such a great way to bond.  We picked up a set of Uno cards one day (well, Mom bought them), and started the grand tradition of playing the game every night while we discussed Combat! and other miscellaneous things (but mostly C!).  We can be quite loud/dramatic sometimes, and there’s quite a lot of giggling involved, and most of the time we’re (note for Elisabeth: animated movie quotes + you-know-what) more than a little immature – but it’s also loads of fun.  (And we’ve now got quite a collection of inside jokes, which is splendid.)

Anywhoozle.  I’m not going to write a bunch of mushy-gushy stuff, because that’s not the kind of person I am (hey, Elisabeth, when you read this, tell me right away what those last few words made you think of) so it would be kind of weird, and Elisabeth knows that she’s prrrrretty much my best friend (*wink*), so I don’t need to go into a lot of detail.  What I will say, though, is that I greatly admire her patience, mainly with me, because I’m extremely forgetful about Little Things, and I depend on her to remind me of what that certain character said and what Combat! episode it was where so-and-so did such-and-such, etc.  And sometimes she gets a wee bit frustrated with all my questions, although I get frustrated with her too, because she’s finicky about things (such as getting movie quotes exactly right) that I take a more relaxed view of.  (She also puts up with my ‘tends-to-be-very-enthusiastic’ fangirling over Certain People – fictional and non-fictional.)

EXACTLY.

Since this post really is sort of a present for Elisabeth’s birthday, I’ll get down to the main point of the post, which is a pretty long (and definitely not complete) list of books and movies and fictional characters and people and things that she likes.  Mainly so that I can see her facial expressions when she reads certain things on this list.  (MUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA…)  And hopefully she’ll finish reading this and have what I call ‘the fangirl glow’ where you’re so full of happiness and feels that you’re just about ready to burst from the awesomeness of practically everything.

Without further ado (ugh, what a cliche), THE LIST:

  • Hanley (this would have to be first, wouldn’t it?)
  • Lemonade (yes, I DID just put that down)
  • Chocolate ice cream (well, pretty much all girls like that, but anyway…)
  • The calender hanging up in our room (the one that’s still set to ‘January 2015’)
  • Underland Chronicles (duh)
  • Hamnet (ditto)
  • Gregory Peck movies (To Kill A Mockingbird and Roman Holiday and Pork Chop Hill FOR THE WIN)
  • Practically anything related to Combat!, but especially Brockmeyer (and Avery, Hicks, Lovelace, Grady…)
  • Stalag 17 (soooo happy that this is one of your favorite movies now)
  • SIR PERRRRRCY (because who doesn’t love him?)
  • Steve McQueen riding a motorcycle cross-country while being chased by hordes of angry Germans (I remembered the phrase I used two nights ago – BE PROUD OF ME)
  • Hiccup and Astrid/Gregor and Luxa (we are alike on this)
  • Pinterest (oh, yesssssss)
  • Deacon and Gunderson and Saints & Soldiers in general (even if they do give us both massive amounts of Feels)
  • Baking (cake, mostly)
  • Cobie (at least I HOPE)
  • The 1940’s (why can’t we just go back in time and live there permanently?)
  • A bunch of other things that I can’t remember right now… (I told you that I’m forgetful)

And as a last word: We make a sensational team.

Eva

of heroes, great escapes, and magnificent sevens

Hilts "The Cooler King" (aka Steve McQueen) on his Triumph in the Great Escape (1963) #motorcycle #motorbike

And the day started out so sane, too.

It ended with Elisabeth (my sister) and I, exhausted and exuberant all that the same time (watching about seven hours of movies in a day will do that to you), wondering why certain movies (aka “Hell Is For Heroes”) aren’t better known, and finally understanding why Steve McQueen is such a big deal in the Yesteryear Of Hollywood.  We had a lot of free time on our hands today, since Mom and Dad were both out doing Things, so we decided to watch a movie, and it kind of escalated from there.  Who knew that we owned not one, not two, but THREE movies that featured Steve McQueen and James Coburn together?  (Which is not to be taken lightly.)  (And in case you’re wondering, said movies are “Hell Is For Heroes”, “The Great Escape”, and “The Magnificent Seven”.)  So, being the crazy US that we are, we decided to marathon all three, and that’s what I’m going to talk about today.

(I know I don’t really ever do this kind of impromptu post, but I simply couldn’t not write something the experience, so here it is.)

First, we watched “Hell Is For Heroes”, which a good blogging friend of mine – Hamlette – gave to me as sort an earlier-than-early birthday gift, and which I desperately wanted to re-watch, mainly so that I could review it on this blog if I had the chance (although, because I’m talking about it right now, I might not end up reviewing it after all, but the idea’s not dead yet, at least).  HIFH was my first introduction to Steve McQueen, and while his acting was fine, the character he portrayed – Reese – was not, shall we say, the most cheerful guy you’ll ever meet.  But I didn’t really mind, because the rest of the characters were great (especially James Coburn’s Henshaw), along with the story, and the general atmosphere on the film; it feels very much like a long Combat! episode, which is smashing.  One thing about HIFH, that I really like, is that it feels so very, very real.  Like the part where Henshaw and Kolinsky have been killed, and Reese is close to hyperventilating and I could just feel the desperation and guilt and how it’s like to have your breath coming so hard and fast that you can hardly think because of all oxygen getting muddled up with your thoughts.  A little frightening, actually.

MP299. "The Great Escape" Movie Poster by Frank McCarthy (John Sturges 1963) / #Movieposter

So, yes, we watched that, and then I discovered that we owned both “The Great Escape” and “The Magnificent Seven” on DVD, so I proposed the idea of a marathon (especially since I’d been wanting to watch TGE for forever) and Elisabeth went along with it quite merrily.  We watched TGE next and my reaction was basically “OH MY GOODNESS THIS FILM IS ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC HOW HAVE I NEVER SEEN IT BEFORE NOW?”.  Absolutely mind boggling, in a fantastic way.  In a ‘scrape your jaw off the floor and try to cope with the sheer awesomeness of what you’ve just seen’ way.  The whole thing was so daringly clever and tragic and wonderful all at once.  Add to that the fact that nothing (and I mean nothing) beats Steve McQueen on a motorcycle being thrillingly chased by Germans…and you have an epic, EPIC movie.  And when the little “Dedicated to the fifty” appeared on screen at the end, I nearly cried.

“The Great Escape” was one of the only movies I’ve ever been so vocally into – from yelling at the characters to “Hurry up already and just go!” or “WATCH OUT THEY’RE GOING TO CATCH YOU.” to fangirl-squealing every time there was a Motorcycle Chase Scene (I really did do that – just ask my sister), it wasn’t a very quiet viewing experience.  (Those chase scenes are intense and epic and cool and some of my favorite parts of the whole movie.) (Oh, and James Coburn’s character survived this movie, which is something – one out of three isn’t a very good score, if you ask me.  One out of four, if you count the Combat! episode he’s in.)

(Also.  Am I the only one who thinks that the main theme is very similar to the one from “The Devil’s Brigade”?)

The Magnificent Seven

By the time we got around to “The Magnificent Seven” (which was actually more like “The Magnificent Six & One Angsty Kid”), we were both rather tired and sprawled over our respective chairs and prone to offering nearly unintelligible comments concerning the action on-screen.  Plus, I started up the vaguely annoying habit (to Elisabeth, that is), of referring to James Coburn’s gun (knife?) slinging character as ‘Cobie’ and I just couldn’t stop, because I couldn’t remember the character’s name, and by that point I didn’t really care all that much.  As Westerns go, it was an excellent film, but I don’t really find Westerns as interesting/entertaining as war movies, so I’d have to say that the best part of the whole thing was the cast.  I mean, with Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen (who looks amazing in Western garb, I must say), and James Coburn (ditto), how can you go wrong?

Answer: You can’t.

And I swear that the movie studios only had about twenty different actors back in those days.  Charles Bronson popped up in both “The Great Escape” and “The Magnificent Seven”, and there are about three actors in “Hell Is For Heroes” that’ve been in different Combat! episodes.  Along with the fact that we were able to do this kind of marathon (Steve McQueen AND James Coburn) at all.

It’s a small world in Old Hollywood, I’m telling you.

Eva

way down memory lane… {part 2}

5 Old-Timey Prejudices That Still Show Up in Every Movie - We think of Hollywood as a liberal and socially progressive land of hippies, what with its endless fundraisers and giving awards to movies that teach us that intolerance is wrong. Yet in certain ways, movies are still way behind the times.

A few days ago, I talked about books I read and loved when I was a little girl, and today I’ll be discussing the movies and TV shows that held my interest back in the day.  When I started compiling the list, I was pleasantly surprised at how many films I could remember – and how many I still enjoy (although usually for different reasons), and I could see how many of the books and films on my list shaped my tastes today.  From historical fiction, to larger than life heroes, to musicals – it’s all there: the blueprint for my current interests.  And I think that’s amazingly cool.

The Treasure Of The Sierra Madre, 1948, John Huston. When someone asks me my favorite movie, I usually answer "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre"

For starters, a couple of the movies that are undeniably part of my family’s history, for want of a better word.  I think most families have at least one or two movies that are ‘theirs’, the kind that they watch semi-regularly and quote a lot, movies that are part of the familial traditions – if even in a small way.  At the moment, I can think of only two for my family, but I’m pretty sure there’s more: ‘Oliver!’ and ‘Treasure Of The Sierra Madre’.  I’ve seen ‘Oliver!’ more times than I can count (I have practically all the lyrics to all the songs memorized, simply by osmosis), and ‘Treasure Of The Sierra Madre’, which might not be the first choice for a family movie because it’s actually pretty dark, but Dad likes it and so do I and I think everyone else kind of tolerates it.  It’s been a while since I’ve seen it, to tell the truth, and after watching ‘Sabrina’ and ‘Casablanca’, I feel like seeing Humphrey Bogart in something else (even if Dobbs is a rather unsavoury type).  Oh, and we were all quite thrilled when we stumbled on the ‘Get Smart’ episode – “The Treasure Of C. Errol Madre”.  It’s a hilarious parody of the real thing.

Fiddler On the Roof. A brilliant, brilliant story with incredible characters. I've watched it hundreds of times and it still thrills me. (No, I did not create this poster - I simply enjoy it immensely!) - Natalie

As for the musicals, there were two that alternated as ‘THIS IS MY FAVOURITE MOVIE OF ALL TIME’ (I was really into musicals, even back then), and they were ‘Fiddler On The Roof’ and ‘Singin’ In The Rain’.  FOTR stuck with me long after I watched it, but the only version available to me back when I was eight or so was my grandparents’ VHS (very old technology, I know) and since the thing was about three hours long, I only watched it a couple of times throughout my whole period of all-things-related-to-Russia obsession.  And a little later, maybe when I was eleven or twelve, ‘Singin’ In The Rain’ became the new ‘thing’, so to speak.  It’s one of only four movies I’ve ever seen that I watched two days in a row (the other three being ‘White Christmas’, ‘Saving Mr Banks’, and ‘Meet The Robinsons’) and after the two viewings, my siblings and I had basically every song memorized, along with most of the dialogue.  And Mom literally banned us from watching it anymore because we drove her crazy with out constant quoting.  Again, that was a terrible bane because SITR was my new favorite movie, but I survived (duh).

Meant to include these two on my list of favorite fictional couples, but I forgot.

I suppose now would be the appropriate time to discuss a few of my early fictional character crushes.  There were three main ones, although I don’t really remember how old I was for each – Robin Hood (from the animated Disney Robin Hood – yes, yes, I know he’s a fox, but he’s so heroic and amazing and just…anyway), Gene Kelly, and (*blushes*) Little Joe from ‘Bonanza’.  I KNOW I KNOW.  There’ve probably been thousands of girls who’ve had a crush on Little Joe, but I was young and I liked him the best and I can’t really blame myself.  If I still watched ‘Bonanza’ as religiously as I used to, he’d probably still be my favourite character (more on ‘Bonanza’ in a bit).  Robin Hood showed me the heroic, self-sacrificing side of fictional guys; Gene Kelly helped me appreciate good music and the funny, wise-cracking side of fictional guys; and Little Joe was…cute, I guess. (*eye roll at my younger self*)

No, but he did have some good qualities (I think), and I suppose now is as good a time as any to discuss the TV shows I enjoyed when I was younger.

For fourteen seasons and 431 episodes, the Cartwright family showed America a slice of the Old West. One of the longest running Western television series of all time had, what is arguably, the most recognizable openings of all time. From the fiery map, to the scenes of the Cartwright men looking manly, to the music that played in the background, the opening to “Bonanza” was a thing of beauty! READ ALL ABOUT IT IN MY BLOG POST!  http://stargazermercantile.com/bonanza/  #TV #Westerns #Bonanza

My siblings and I had the first few seasons of ‘Bonanza’ on DVD (I believe there were fourteen seasons, all in all), and we watched each episode avidly, although there were only two that really stuck out to me, and those two are the only ones I can still remember.  “Death At Dawn” and “The Abduction”.  “Death At Dawn” is actually kind of special to me, because I believe it was one of my first introductions to heroes being heroic and brave and all that in the face of a life or death situation – especially when that certain situation is intensely personal.  The basic plot is that Adam, Joe, and Hoss have to decide whether to hang a criminal (thus sentencing their father to death, since the criminal’s boss has captured Ben, and it’s pretty complicated), or let the criminal go, thereby proving that law and justice don’t really rule in whatever generic town they’re protecting.  There’s some pretty deep parts and heavy emotions and the fact that it’s still in the back of mind after all these years…I should probably watch it again.  And “The Abduction” was a Little Joe focus, besides being just plain interesting, so I watched it a lot.

And then, of course, ‘Hogan’s Heroes’.  One of my most vivid (and fondest) memories of My Younger Days, was watching an episode of HH every lunch time, and once it was over, begging Mom to let us watch ‘just one more’.  She almost never agreed, but when she did, there was great rejoicing. (*wink*)  Most of the subtle humour went over my head, but the sight gags and slapstick humour never got old.  The Heroes will always have a special place in my heart, partly because of the nostalgic wave that sweeps over me whenever I hear that familiar theme music.

What films and TV shows did you watch when you were younger?

Eva

my favorite fictional couples

{A short and sweet post in honour of Valentine’s Day.  Enjoy!}

In random order:

Emma + Mr Knightley (Emma)

Emma & Mr Knightley. I loved this scene.

Marianne + Colonel Brandon (Sense & Sensibility)

Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds. Or bends with the remover to remove. Oh no! It is an ever fixed mark that looks on tempests and is never shaken. Willoughby. Willoughby. Willoughby.

Jack + Sue (Sue Thomas F.B. Eye)

Sue Thomas FBEYE | Sue Thomas: F.B.Eye [TV Series] (2002) - Trailers, Reviews, Synopsis ...

Max + 99 (Get Smart)

1965 ... Max and '99' Don Adams and Barbara Feldon- 'Get Smart'  Noelle Nikas

Gregor + Luxa (Underland Chronicles)

Gregor and Luxa

Katniss + Peeta (The Hunger Games)

Together.

Sir Percy + Marguerite (The Scarlet Pimpernel)

most epic kiss *ever*...

Astrid + Hiccup (How To Train Your Dragon)

Hiccup and Astrid by vivedessins.tumblr.com Well it doesn't really matter, since he's pretty much the king of mighty deeds

Steve + Peggy (Captain America)

:( i thought the ending of captain america was a bit...unneeded. he could have made it! seriously!

Robin Hood + Marian (basically any version of Robin Hood)

Robin comforting Marian--They look like they're wearing modern clothes; this is kinda interesting.

Tom + Sybil (Downton Abbey)

Ugggghh....do u hear that shattering sound? Yeah that's my heart breaking into a billion pieces.

Ann + David (Combat! – “Any Second Now”)

I SHIP THEM SO INCREDIBLY HARD.

Konrad + Lisette (Songs In The Night trilogy)

{no picture, unfortunately – but I have dream cast the two of them, as Corbin Allred and Jennifer Lawrence, respectively}

Flynn + Rapunzel (Tangled)

Amy + Arthur (Little Dorrit)

"Never to part, my dearest Arthur; never any more until the last! I am yours anywhere, everywhere! I love you dearly! I would rather pass my life here with you, and go out daily, working for our bread, than I would have the greatest fortune that ever was told."  ~ Little Dorrit

Carl + Ellie (Up)

UP - Adventure is out there...one of my favorite movies....so cute!

What are some of your favorite fictional couples?

Eva

way down memory lane… {part 1}

I’ve been feeling nostalgic lately, so I thought I’d write a post about the different things I read and watched  when I was just a wee girl (along with maybe talking about a few fictional character crushes I had in my Younger Days).  I searched back through the misty memories of when I was nine and ten – or even younger – and came up with a surprisingly long list of titles (although I’m certain I’ve forgotten some).  Unfortunately, I can’t really assign dates to when I discovered certain things, though I wish I could. (This is why I should really start keeping a journal.)

The Elsie Dinsmore Series - I had forgotten about this series I read in my preteens till just recently. Loved them! Definitely a series I want my daughter to read. Such faith and goodness portrayed in them.

So, to begin with, the Books Of My Childhood (because books are infinitely superior to movies, in many ways): One of my strongest memories of childhood books was Mom reading Elsie Dinsmore to me.  Every afternoon, just before she took a nap, I’d go into Mom and Dad’s room, sit on the bed, and listen while Mom narrated the Trials & Tribulations of Elsie Dinsmore.  I was only eight or nine, and I found the story completely enthralling.  So much so, in fact, that over the next couple of years, I managed to get my hands on nearly the entire series (which is, I believe, twenty-eight books long).  The Dinsmores were like a second family to me: I cried buckets when Mr Travilla died, followed the threads of each character’s life with interest, had a great liking for Walter (I still do, actually), and, overall, had a highly enjoyable time reading through all the Dinsmore family drama.

Cooper Kids Adventure Series (4 Volume Set) by Frank Peretti http://www.amazon.com/dp/0891075968/ref=cm_sw_r_pi_dp_juFSub0KX67ED

Over time, my taste did improve (although I still do think of the Elsie Dinsmore books with fondness), and I became obsessed with the Cooper Kids series. (After I stopped staring at the covers with fascination and actually cracked them open, that is.)  I must’ve read The Deadly Curse Of Toco-Rey about six times in quick succession – each time it alternately chilled and thrilled me to the very tips of my fingers.  Frank Peretti’s books aren’t my favorites (the ones for adults, that is), but I still enjoy reading about the adventures of the Cooper Kids – there’s always a strong Christian message in each book, but it isn’t preachy, and the stories are pretty much non-stop excitement and suspense. (I don’t know how I got to sleep the night after reading The Tombs Of Anak.)  Jay and Lila are still awesome (not to mention Dr. Cooper himself).

Set Among Princes was another favorite of mine.  A family friend read and liked it, gave it my mom, who read it and liked it, who gave it to me…and I loved it. (I’ve since passed it on to my sister, and once she reads it, I’m sure she’ll fall for it too.)  It was one of the first (if not the first) historical fiction book I’d ever read, and I found it endlessly fascinating.  Now, whenever I read II Timothy 4, it makes me smile, because I feel like I know the people mentioned in there, and the same with the last chapter of Romans.  On that same note, I also enjoyed Twice Freed, which is another story that has a direct connection to a book of the Bible – Philemon.  This take on the story of Onesimus always makes me just a little emotional.  It’s a beautiful book, beautifully written.

The Shunning - Beverly Lewis  Good book, looking for the sequel

More books I read and loved (later, when I was twelve or thirteen):  The Shunning.  No, don’t laugh.  I know it’s Amish fiction, and that’s dreadfully overdone these days, but I believe this book was one of the first of the genre – and it was my first foray into modern Christian fiction, which makes it special to me.  For the longest time, I read it, hating the cliffhanger at the end, but not even guessing that there was a sequel or two.  And then one day when I was at the library, I discovered that it was a trilogy and, well, I was beyond excited.  And it’s still the only Amish fiction series that I really enjoy.  Then there was Uncle Tom’s Cabin.  For the longest time, it was my favorite classic novel, and I still really do love it, even if my favorite story line has little to do with the titular character.  George and Eliza’s fight for freedom is the best part of the novel, in my opinion.  Powerful, moving, and interesting.

Nancy Drew-my Dad took me to the library every Sat. Afternoon since I was old enough to hold a book, special times!  I remember the smell of old books and checking out every Nancy Drew book they had.

And then, lastly, the Nancy Drew series and Hardy Boys series.  Aren’t these practically a staple for every child’s literary experience?  I poke fun at Nancy Drew now, but back then I thought she was one of the coolest fictional characters ever.  And I liked the Hardy Boys’ adventures even more.  There was such a great variety of stories and plots and characters in both series that I could never really be bored with either.  And even these days, if I’m bored (which I hardly ever am), I’ll pick up a Nancy Drew book and all the memories flood in and sweep me away.  Good times, those.

And you know what?  This post has become wayyyyy too long to include movies and TV shows and character crushes, so I’m going to split this post into two parts.

Until next time!

Eva