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A Bookaholic, Pro-life, Pro-Family, Pro-Oxford Comma, Catholic (with Asperger's) who reads and writes as her obsession. I've been reading over 400 books a year lately. These are my ramblings on some of the books I read. To read about all the books I read and comment on, visit me at LibraryThing or Goodreads.

I've been blogging since 2007 and at this point (July 2015) am trying my hand at turning the theme of this blog towards mystery, thriller, and crime, fiction and nonfiction. I have some special interest topics and categories within this broad genre which include (but are not limited to) serial killers, scandi-crime, Victorian history and historicals, history of the criminally insane and asylums, psychopathology, death, funerary practices and burial, corpses, true crime and anything dealing with the real life macabre, or that portrayed in fiction.

I also read a short story a day from various collections, sometimes anthologies othertimes collections of a single author's work. These reviews are also posted here and while they are of mixed genre the mystery, thriller, horror, gothic and macabre often appear within their pages as well.


I also blog about
graphic novels and manga on a separate BLOG.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Movies/DVD's Watched in 2009

I tried to do this last year and failed miserably. It took all the fun out of keeping the list when I tried to review each movie. So I'm just going to keep a running list for the year. The list will include the movie and indicate whether it is a re-watch otherwise it can be assumed it was my first time watched (the year)(owned/rental/library/borrowed/theatre) and a brief review which could be just one word such as good, great, just OK, whatever. If I feel like expounding on the review I will. No rules here just a list with a bit of extra information. I will also note which ones I watched with my 8yo/9yo by starting off with a red (#).

January: 8

1. (#)Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom: re-watch, (1984) (library) - great, my favourite of the three original movies because the plot is so dark. 8yo is so into Indiana at the moment.

2. Fargo: (1996) (library) - wonderful. very quirky. Lots of violence but incredibly funny. We will be saying "Oh yah" "yah" to each other for quite a while, I think.

3. (#)Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: (re-watch) (1989) (library) - #2 is my favourite because I love the dark plot, but this is really just as good but because it is so funny. We were all laughing a mile a minute and Sean Connery is just so darned good in this movie. He's hilarious.

4. Millennium: The Complete Third Season: (1998/99) (own) - Love this show! Season 1 is still my favourite but I wish it hadn't ended here. The Fourth season would have proved interesting. Also includes the X-Files episode with Frank Black.

5. Firefly: The Complete Series (2002/2003) (borrowed) - Sigh! It doesn't get any better than this. I want more Firefly!!!!!

6. (#)Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008) (library) - Not as good or as funny as the others but all round fun movie. We all felt satisfied and loved the scene at the end where he does not pass the hat on to his son. I love everything Harrison Ford does, but he'll always be Indiana Jones to me, even more so than Han Solo.

7. (#)Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog (2008) (own) - I love this so much. I watched it at least once a day the whole time it was on the Internet and bought it as soon as it became available on amazon.ca. If you like Joss Whedon you must watch this. Commentary! The Musical was fun, had a couple of really funny songs but wasn't anything compared to the original show. I preferred the actual real commentary which included all the stars and producers and provided lots of interesting info. Plus the Making of ... documentary was a wonderful behind-the-scenes look.

8. Serenity (2005) (library) - Wow,wow,wow! Brilliant, fabulous ending to Firefly. I was crying at the end. I know, I should have expected it by now. Josh Whedon always kills characters at the end but I was shocked and really sad with who died. There are still so many questions left unanswered though. I want more! Hurry up and make another movie, even if it is just direct to DVD.

February: 6

9. The Dark Knight (2008) (library) - Very good. Better than the first one. Very dark; this is how I like my Batman! From all the talk I certainly knew that The Joker was the villain in this one but I was pleasantly surprised to see Two-Face show up as well.

10. (#)Attack on Canada: The First Civil War (2000)(library) - One hour documentary on the American Revolution from a Canadian-British point of view. Specifically focuses on the Rebel attack on Canada trying to bring us into the original American colonies. Lots of footage of war re-enactments and interviews with "common people in the field" such as infantrymen and drummers from both sides, the Rebels and the Redcoats. Watched with the 8yo as part of our curriculum to bring a Canadian focus to our study of the American Revolution.

11. Alias: The Fourth Season (2005) (own) - It's been a while since I watched Seasons 1-3, so it took me a couple of shows to get back into the storylines but once I did I was addicted again. Everything that happened was so fabulous. From the 3rd (of 6) disc on every episode made me want to watch just one more! And I stayed up late two nights in a row watching 5 and 6 because it was just so amazing. I'm glad Sydney's sister won't be in the final season much because I've never liked her. Every time she's out in the field without Sidney is a time Sidney could be on screen. I just love her outfits and watching her fight is amazing. Any way, the last episode was an amazingly astonishing cliff hanger that makes me want to pop Season 5 in right away. But because it will be the last season AND only has 17 episodes I'm going to make myself wait just a teeny tiny little while first. I hate it when shows are over :-(

12. The Day the Earth Stood Still (re-watch) (1951) (own) - classic sci-fi movie. Made just before the 50s mutant monster movies took over. This is a character-driven, emotional story. A must watch for sci-fi fans. Will be watching the new re-make later when my library gets a copy.

13 (#)WALL-E (2008) (own) - very cute movie. The whole family enjoyed it. Loved the extra cartoon shorts on the DVD especially "Presto", that was hilarious.

14. Alias: The Complete Fifth (Final) Season (2005/2006) (own) - Oh how I hate it when I finish a series. This was a real stunner! Plot twists all over the place. Lots of people die and my favourite character at that! Also lots of old faces pop up again from the past, like Will. Lots of fun seeing him again. Every episode ended with me gasping and dying to watch the next one and since this season only had 17 episodes it makes for a quick viewing. It's so sad to let all these characters go. I just love this show, absolutely outstanding. It is one that I will watch again some day.

March: 7

15. Stargate SG-1 Season 8 (2004/2005) (own) - Love, love, love Stargate! I've seen a large portion of these episodes on TV but not all of them and it was enlightening to follow the story in order. Not much more to say. One of the best shows ever and a great season with some really cool episodes. Loved the ending when the nerdy alternate Sam & Daniel travel back in time and also love the first episode that introduces Vala. Last season with Jack O'Neill as a regular though. I'm gonna miss him, but as long as Daniel Jackson is around I'm happy!

16. Hancock (2008) (library) - I basically had no idea what this movie was about when I took it out. I knew it was something superhero-ish and that it had Will Smith in it was enough for me. At first I wasn't quite sure whether I was going to enjoy it or not but once one sees where the plot is going (or at least thinks one knows) I started enjoying it. In fact, I really enjoyed it. As a fan of superhero movies this was very unique and I actually loved the story behind his powers. Not the best movie in the world, or even Smith's best but I have to say it was a winner for me. My dh, on the other hand, has no more comment than "It was ok" but then he only watches superhero movies for my benefit.

17. (#) The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones Volume 1, The Early Years (1992) (library) - The 8yo and I really enjoyed this series. I just barely remember watching some episodes when they first came out on TV. Seven movie length episodes show Indy's adventures as a ten year old and the last two episodes have him grown to about 18. 8yo loved these, found them very interesting and loved seeing Indiana when he was the same age as him. He liked the last two episodes the best though, with the older Jones as they were more like Indy from the movies, ie. swashbuckling action. The series also includes a ton of documentaries on all the real life people and events Indiana Jones meets in the time period from 1908-1918. We both enjoyed this series very much. There are two more volumes but we will be holding off on them for a few years as the next one covers WWI and is too mature for my 8yo. Lots of fun and informative.

18. The Number 23 (2007) (owned) - As I looked for the amazon link for this movie I noticed the average review was not good for this movie. I didn't even bother to read why because we actually enjoyed the movie. It started out great, got very weird in the middle, and slowly started to answer my feelings that the route the plot was taking was full of inconsistencies. I didn't figure out what was happening and once I knew, I didn't believe it, but my reservations were proven to be wrong and the plot proved itself consistent and very well done. I love a movie that has me stumped as I figure out how they will end quite easily most times. Jim Carey is at his best, imho, when playing serious roles and I loved him in this. I also enjoyed the actor who played his son. Let's see imdb says his name is Logan Lermon. While probably not for everyone, if you like weird you may just enjoy it as much as I did.

19. (#) Madagascar 2 (2009) (live viewing at the library) - not bad, has some funny bits but not that many. Sure kids will like, they all seemed to be enjoying themselves in the theatre. But nowhere near as good as the first, which I loved. I suggest you rent, not buy this one.

20. Stargate SG 1: Season 9 (2005/2006) (own) - What can I say, with all the cast changes this season I thought it wouldn't be as good now. But man, was I wrong! This is the best season ever; it's almost like a brand new show starting it so fresh and new. All the story arcs from the previous seasons have ended and new bad guys, worse than the Guaols (sp?), come along. Ben Browder, Claudia Black and Beau Bridges are awesome additions to the cast and while I loved RDA as Jack O'Neill so much, I didn't even miss him! Bridges is as good a leader as Hammond was and the relationship between Daniel (my fav. character) and Vala is so funny and electric. I hope it goes somewhere with them next season. Mitchell is just as eccentric a character as O'Neill was but in no way tries to replace him. Mitchell's character is very different but terribly humorous in his own way. Bravo season 9! I can't believe there is only one more season to go. But I console myself that I also have two movies to watch after that.

21. Stargate SG 1: Season 10 (2006/2007) (own) - Oh wow! I just loved the final season. It was truly brilliant and so fresh. There was so much more they could have done with the storylines it's sad to see them end here with season 10. I'm sure they could have easily gone to season 14 without losing any integrity of the story, The new characters had so much more to offer. I was surprised at the number of times that Richard Dean Anderson showed up as a guest star and also surprised that they didn't make it known that he and Sam were together now. It was indicated that they were on his last full time episode and when she was asked if she was single now and she said she wasn't but when they were on the screen together not a single look, touch or electricity whatever. But who cares, there was plenty of that between Vala and Daniel and the last episode was truly wonderful. The relationship between them was everything I had hoped it would be, just too bad they had to go back in time to before it started. {sigh} I hope the movies finish off the relationships for us. But I absolutely loved the Ori as the new bad guys, the lingering Ba'al causing trouble and the new Arthurian legend as opposed to the Egyptian ones which were indeed getting old. Love this show and will indeed sit down someday in the future and watch them all over again. But I still have two movies ahead to watch first!

April: 1

22. (#) King King (2003) (re-watch) (own) - First saw this in the theatre when it first came out and enjoyed it very much, this is the first time I've re-watched it. This time we let the 8yo watch it and only had to have him close his eyes a couple of times when people were getting killed, otherwise the violence was monster movie violence and nothing worse than cartoon violence. Anyway, I am what you would call a King Kong aficionado. I've seen every King Kong movie at least twice and yes that includes (Godzilla vs. King Kong), the original King Kong many times and even Mighty Joe Young, and I think they did a very good job with making making it and keeping it essentially as a love story. I only think they made a very bad choice in choosing Jack Black as the lead. He can't do drama and he played the part way over the top. A much more serious take on the part would have put the movie up another notch onto a much more serious playing field. But other than that the casting was good and I enjoyed the movie and will watch it again.

May: 7

23. The Clearing (2004) (watched at my dad's - he owns) - I read the back and this sounded like a great thriller. Plus I know that if Willem Dafoe is in a movie he makes a wonderful bad guy. I didn't think I'd ever heard of it before though but about half way through the movie I started to remember seeing commercials where they showed the scenes of them walking through the forest. I really enjoyed this. Not a "y'all gotta go see this" movie but I really did like it. I kept thinking it would end the way it did, but I also kept thinking "nah, they won't end it that way". So, I was surprised that my ending did happen after all. It's a slow movie with mounting tension. My dad found it a bit boring, mentioned it was a slow mover, but that's what I liked about it. I compared it to a Hitchcock movie, where the story just kept mounting and mounting to a point you just weren't quite sure of. If you're in the mood for a thriller without the action scenes and just the suspense, give this one a go. Redford, Mirren and Dafoe all give superb performances.

24. Saving Private Ryan (1998) (watched at my dad's - he owns) - Unbelievably, my first time to watch. Always wanted to but never got around to it. My dh does not like war movies so we seldom watch them together. What can I say, this was awesome. Loved every second of it. I had no idea what the true events were, nor had I learnt the plot so it was completely new to me. Lots of war violence, terribly so, but it is needed to really bring home the reality of full scale war. No words can really express how a movie like this makes you feel. It is truly a fine movie. I did enjoy Band of Brothers better though, but then that was a whole mini-series.

25. The Rainmaker (1956) (watched at my dad's on TV -TCM) - Kate Hepburn and Burt Lancaster star in this wonderful movie set in about 1920s rural mid-west America about a girl who is getting to the age where she is going to be an old maid if she doesn't marry soon and her two brothers and father are desperately trying to marry her off while she dreams of having a man fall in love with her. I'm a big fan of Hepburn's and hadn't seen this one before and really enjoyed it. It's a comedy and full of deliciously funny moments. The topic could offend feminists of today but it really is a beautiful love story of how a girl brought up in a house of men learns to be a woman and how a man hurt by a woman learns to love again. I really enjoyed it and am glad I was able to add it to my list of Hepburn movies I've seen.

26. Arthur (1981) (watched at my dad's - he owns)(re-watch) - I saw this originally when it came out at the movies; I would have been 13. I have never seen it again. I was in the mood for something fun and remembered laughing during this so hoped it would live up to my 13 year old's experience and boy, did it ever. A hilarious movie! This is Dudley Moore at the prime of his career. A really funny, "feel good" movie that you should see, if you've never watched it before. Liza Minnelli is at her most beautiful in this movie, too. I think this is probably when I became a fan of hers. Loved it!

27. The Brothers Grimm (2005) (watched at my dad's he owns) - ummm....... weird. Can't really say I liked it, but didn't necessarily hate it either. Let's just go with weird. Not likely to re-watch it ever, either.

28. The Story of Three Loves (1953) (watched at my dad's on TV - TCM) - never heard of this but when I saw the cast I had to watch, James Mason, Leslie Caron, Ricky Nelson, Kirk Douglas, Farley Granger, Agnes Moorehead and others. But those are the ones that caught my eye. Strange really as it was just three short stories about love. Tragic, yearning and true love. I liked it. But would not have watched it unless by chance this way. Glad I did.

29. National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets (2007) (watched at my dad's, he owns) - not a lot to say about this one. I loved the first movie and I loved this one! It was just as good as the first. In fact it was pretty much the same as the first. On a treasure hunt to find something important to American History and then finding an underground "world". Anyone who loved the first will love this and the movie ends with a set-up that could be made into a third sequel. I'd watch it. Great bit of fun!

June: 3

30. Seven Pounds (2008) (borrowed from library) - not really a lot to say. They take an awful long time to getting around to letting you know what's going on but as soon as they give a hint we had the whole thing figured out and basically it's a pretty slow story that I never connected with any of the characters. I don't know how we're supposed to feel for Smith's character but suicide is never admirable and I had no sympathy for him whatsoever. Dh enjoyed the movie more than I did, though not much more . Won't say I hated it but don't go running out to buy this one.

(#)31. Facing the Giants (2006) (live viewing at a church) - an absolutely inspirational movie! A down and out football coach at a Christian High School has lost 6 years in a row and finds out he is going to be fired. His home life is full of problem after problem as well, mostly money related, as his marriage is strong but is being tried as they have not conceived in 4 years of trying. Well things just keep going down from there until the one day he hits personal rock bottom and decides to give his life to the glory of the Lord and he convinces his team to do this to. They start playing games, not just to win, but for the Lord. They decide to praise Him when the win and praise Him when they loose. From there on the mystery of the Lord is at work and what a feel good movie this is. I felt myself saying Amen throughout. If you've ever been down and out and had one of those moments when you've prayed and given it up to the Lord, you'll know exactly how hard that is to do and how beautiful it is to see Him at work in your life.

32. The Dark Half (1993) (borrowed from eldest son) - I don't think I've seen this movie before, at least it didn't seem familiar as I watched it. Of course, I've read the book which is better by far. Kind of a cheesy movie. Kept me entertained but nothing special, certainly not scary, but kinda fun. Fun to watch Timothy Hutton again. Reminds me of wanting to see Taps again some day (oh how I loved that movie) but my library doesn't have a copy of it.

July: 0

August: 0

September: 0

October: 1

(#)33. The Adventures of Bullwhip Griffin (1967) (borrowed through Interlibrary Loan) -We watched this right after reading By the Great Horn Spoon upon which the movie is loosely based. Many liberties have been taken with the book but the major plot points and action scenes are included. We all enjoyed watching the movie. Pleshette's character was an add on so I never really took to her; I would have preferred they added on one of Jack's sisters to go with them but then of course the big love story would have been missing. Still, Roddy McDowell is a fine actor and loads of fun in this part and Karl Malden is perfect for his part as the dastardly, yet cowardly Judge. The highlight of the movie though is the famous fight scene which uses a lot of pre-Matrix camera trick moves. My 9yo thought that was quite funny!

November: 1

34. Julie and Julia (2009) (live showing at the library) - Loved it! I haven't read the book, nor did I really know what it was about before I went. I simply knew it was about some woman named Julie who had a thing for Julia Child. The movie was great. Meryl Streep was fantastic in the part of Jullia Child. She played the character as eccentric as she was without going over the top which would have been so easy for an actress not of Streep's calibre. Personally, I loved the Julia Child portions much more than the Julie parts but that part was ok, too.

December: 2

(#)35. A Christmas Carol (2009) (at the theatre) - this cgi animated version starring Jim Carey was fabulous. The whole family loved it. My nine year old who saw a play this year was familiar with the story and because of that he wasn't too frightened because it is a quite frightening movie at times. Do not take little kids to see this. He did hide his face and peak through his fingers at times but it wasn't more than he could handle and he loved it! We all did. I was quite surprised at the amount of Dickensian language used within the film, especially during the first half. Also the film was very true to the original story, another surprise coming from Disney. And the big question on my mind would Tiny Tim say the famous words "God Bless us, everyone", Disney couldn't mess with Dickens, could they? .... No, they could not! Timmy says it twice in the movie, which goes to prove just how much they stuck to the original story. Now it's been ages since I actually read the story, so someone may pick bits and pieces here and there but I was perfectly satisfied. A very well done job. Satisfied 3 adults and a 9yo.

(#)36. Spider-Man (2002) (own) (re-watch) - 9yo got this for Christmas (the whole trilogy actually) as we decided he was finally mature enough to watch it. I loved it just as much the second time as the first, though I didn't laugh as I remember laughing the first time through. As usual you can't go wrong with Willem Dafoe as the bad guy. And I just love the upside down kiss! {sigh}. 9yo loved it even though parts of it went over his head and we had to explain what was going on quite a bit but that didn't matter, all he was really interested in was the Spider-Man action scenes anyway. Lots of fun, I love Spidey in the comics, cartoons and movies!

3 comments:

  1. I'm trying the movie review thing this year, although I'm not reviewing all the movies I see. I'm really not very good at writing movie reviews. I like your idea much better!

    Firefly was such a good show. I hate that it was canceled. At least we have the DVD's. I enjoyed Serenity quite a bit as well.

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  2. I'm a huge Firefly/Serenity fan as well. There were a few episodes that had some questionable content, but overall I loved it. I didn't think it was for kids though and my kids didn't watch it with my husband and I (same with Battlestar Galactica).

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  3. oh yes, Michelle, definitly some questionable material. I wouldn't let my 8yo watch any of the episodes.

    I've only seen a few battlestar gallactica episodes as I want to get the DVDs and see it all in order. But, again, not for the 8yo.

    I do have the original Battlestar Gallactica DVD set, that *I* watched as I kid, and he's watched that, lots of fun.

    The Indiana Jones movies are the first not rated G movies we've let him watch and there were a few parts where we covered his eyes but not as many as I thought there would be. We are pretty conservative with what the kids watch. Well, we're conservative about everything, really (LOL)

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