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Opinions, please...


Hey, Readers! So... as you all can see, I have been trying out a new design here at Scribbles, Scripts and Such. I wasn't really finding a new layout image to use for a "new look," which prompted me to be on the look-out for an entirely new template - and that is exactly what this layout is.

Now, I am asking your opinion: do you like this layout or do you prefer keeping more with the "simplistic" one I've had...? I like this one and had a lot of challenges, ummm... I mean, fun putting it together. I apologize if I had a lot of visitors during the time I was working on it, but hey, what can I say - I am slow with all those HTML coding (translation: I do not like it). In all likelihood, this would be what it would look like for a while with exception to some minor "tweaking" here and there.

Let me know what you all think of it, and which is easier to use - your opinions matter.

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Martin Chuzzlewit (1994)


Considering that Dickens’ 200th birthday is in 2012, I figured it’d be a good time to post some reviews of his book-to-screen movie adaptations that were brought to life by BBC. As someone who thinks Charles Dickens is a great storyteller and a girl who loves all things that might be related to costume dramas, seeing this displaced movie seemed like a good idea. After much research and reading of reviews, I was thrilled to find Martin Chuzzlewit. While this story is less-intelligent than some of Dickens’ other works, it is still a complex enjoyable story that leaves you guessing until the end.

Martin Chuzzlewit (Paul Scofield) is a wealthy man with an old well-known family name. Right now, he is travelling with his companion and nurse Mary Graham (Pauline Turner). Since Mr. Chuzzlewit isn’t in the best health he has decided to get his will in order, leaving his fortune to his beloved grandson and namesake Martin (Ben Waden). After learning that Martin has fallen in love with Mary, Mr. Chuzzlewit disinherits him and forbids a match between the two. In families, news travels fast and when Mr. Chuzzlewit’s dozens of relatives learn that his sole heir has been disinherited they become greedy with the prospect of becoming his new heir. The scheming hypocritical Seth Pecksniff (Tom Willkinson) – a cousin to the elder Chuzzlewit is the most determined relative to get named in the will. With the assistance of his two daughters – the self-centered Mercy (Julia Sawalha) and dull-witted Charity (Emma Chambers), Pecksniff devices a plan to “protect” Mr. Chuzzlewit from his evil grandson.
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Switched at Birth, Season One Volume One (2011)


Switched at Birth
 
Ever since I was a young teenager, I have been fascinated with ASL – or interpreting through sign. Don’t ask me why as there was no reason for it (no one in my family had need of it) other than I found it an interesting form of communication. When I was about twenty I took a once-a-week class comprised of home-school kids that lasted barely six months because the teacher had a career and her students were so busy running around with other activities that it just wasn’t worth anyone’s time and effort. Now all I am left with is a book I bought off of Amazon, the alphabet (and even at that, it would probably be best not to ask me to sign anything beyond my own name *wink*) and still, a lingering interest.
 
When news of this ABC Family Channel series surfaced, both my mother and I were curious, and with its recent arrival on DVD, I rented the first disc, eager that it would be so much more than just a teen drama. Read on to find out what approach Switched at Birth takes to an out-of-the-ordinary concept.
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Abduction (2011)


Abduction

Put the name Taylor Lautner in lights and without a doubt, any studio will have a blockbuster on their hands – or they will when it comes to screaming teenage girls. Most will recognize this name from a certain teenage vampire trilogy (I refuse to even type the name out here) in which he plays a werewolf in love with the one girl that he wants to see him as more than just a friend. In this, was is essentially, Taylor's debut in a leading role and thriller-type-movie to boot, I think he forgot that he is not playing a brooding supernatural creature – he still has that stare-filled-with-longing thing down to a T. But then, really, do we mind this?
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Ballet Shoes (2007)



Many of you may recognize this title from the reference Meg Ryan’s character makes to Noel Streatfield in You’ve Got Mail. I know that has been my only introduction to her works. When first reading about this adaptation, I’m not sure the light bulb went off, but either way, I do not regret having stumbled onto this little jewel.
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Tortilla Soup (2001) - It's all About Family and Food



This might not be something that would immediately catch your eye at the rental store. But this obscure film is actually one of the better independent films you’re ever likely to spend a dollar on and two hours with.

Sunday dinner has been a tradition for the Naranjo family for years. Widowed during the important years of his three young girls’ lives, Martin (Hector Elizondo), and his now three grown daughters are still living together. But for lack of reasonable conversation and quality time they share, they may as well be apart. Still, he expects them each to participate in the elaborate, home-cooked meal he prepares each week. An event that always seems to bring out the worst in everyone.

Youngest daughter, Maribel (Tamara Mello) is a free-spirit High Schooler whereas eldest, Leticia (Elizabeth Pena) is the complete opposite. Responsible and sensible to a fault, but she has earned an education and is now a teacher. It's the middle daughter, Carmen (Jacqueline Obradors) who clashes most with her stubborn father, perhaps because they are so much alike.
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The Last Song (2010)



The latest film Nicholas Sparks film from a "series" of earlier box-office hits, this story was written “backwards.” First the screenplay was written then the novel at the request of the leading lady herself.

Divorce has ripped their family apart. Or that is what eighteen-year-old Veronica “Ronnie” Miller's attitude is all about. Her grades in school are terrible, and now even with an acceptance to Julliard, the piano prodigy has allowed no one to break her hardened wall of bitterness. As her mother plans to re-marry, Ronnie (Miley Cyrus) and her little brother, Jonah (Bobby Coleman) are sent to their dad’s house for the summer. The many letters her father, Steve (Greg Kinnear) , has written to Ronnie remain unopened. Upon her arrives, nothing prepares him for the sullen young lady his daughter has become and even more so to learn she hasn’t touched a piano since he left…
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Downton Abbey, Series Two (2011)



Can you all believe that finally the long-awaited return of Downton Abbey is back playing on our American screens? Knowing that the time frame for the second series of this highly acclaimed Emmy-award winning series, it didn’t take an astute observation to see that this series would take an altogether darker approach. Logic suggests this is because of a war but it also might have something to do with the changes the characters are asked to traverse and the lessons that have brought them this far.

For those who might not have seen series two – or haven’t gotten through it yet, be forewarned, there will be some minor spoilers herein.
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Downton Abbey - S2, E1 and E2 (2011)


Finally, finally the long-awaited return of Downton Abbey is back on our American screens. Once promotional material started showing up for the second series of this highly acclaimed Emmy-award winning series, it didn’t take an astute observation to recognize that this series would take an altogether darker approach. Logic suggests this is because of a war but it also might have something to do with the changes the characters are asked to traverse and the lessons that have brought them this far.
Be aware, many fond ramblings are ahead. 
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Leap Year (2010)



There are two facts that have prompted me to post this review. The first being that 2012 is a leap year and I thought it perfectly appropriate to share my review on this film, and the second is that Valentine’s Day is on the horizon which means that stores and movie theaters alike will be hawking all sorts of romantic fluff. Leap Year fits that latter description like a glove.
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Blue Bloods, Season One (2010)




Concealed underneath the crime drama persona of obtaining justice for those who cannot speak, at its core, this CBS drama is all about family. It centers on an NYC law-enforcement family who are not about to let the bounds of law stop them when it comes to what’s ethically right. Led by veteran actor Tom Selleck, this freshman season gets in one or two good punches proving it deserves a spot next to shows like NCIS one of television’s top-rated dramas.
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Zen (2010)


The Brits usually know how to create a superior production… when it comes to costume dramas. Where suspense is concerned, I think American productions can keep pace with them. This BBC/Masterpiece Theatre Mystery! series was something that interested me after reading glowing reports on it and while it can hold up to the best of them, it is also a bit too ambiguous for its own good.
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Land Girls, Series One (2009)


Land Girls

This wasn’t a series that appealed to me because of any British star power (I don’t know any of the names or faces save for one), but rather the catnip was its setting. I finally got the series on-line this past year for Christmas, and found it sometimes flawed but always endearing.
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I Don't Know How She Does It (2011)


I have said it before but I’ll say it again: Sarah Jessica Parker is not one of my favorite screen stars. Perhaps it is my biased opinion on the television show that made her who she is today or perhaps it is the actress herself, but whatever I do not clamor to see her latest flick. This one, her latest is mediocre at best but it had potential.
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Alvin and the Chipmunks, Chipwrecked (2011)


Question: who doesn't love these adorable, fluffy creatures? Sure, Alvin can be a bit... what's the word - trying, but other than that, aren't their little faces just the cutest ever? I am way past the age-group that this is targeted for (and I went without the company of any kids!) and I think my twenty-year-old cousin thought this was a strange movie choice to spend a ticket price on in theaters, but I say, who cares? This merry band is too much fun to miss out on. 
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Tackling the Past (2011)


This upcoming weekend, I will have a couple of all-new reviews for you of new movies. Until then, enjoy this tele-film from this past summer and a review of Crazy, Stupid, Love – and just as an “fyi,” it is the complete opposite of Tackling the Past.   
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Crazy, Stupid, Love (2011)


Crazy Stupid Love

This movie matched two out of three (wanna’ guess which two those are? *grin*) of the definitions in the titular words right – down to a science even, but the third, and most important appears to be missing from the story’s message. Its purpose is twofold. One story tells how a quarter of a century marriage can break apart without the proper attention, the other involves a smooth-talking, 21st century Casanova who (wait for it…) finally finds himself falling head over heels in love.
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Bride and Prejudice (2004)


Bride and Prejudice

A modern day re-telling of any Jane Austen novel is always something deserving of attention. Whether or not it will be worth it is another story all together. This happens to be a Bollywood version of Pride & Prejudice and inspired by that genre, it's a fun contemporary tale filled with colorfully choreographed song and dance numbers that are each irresistibly charming, and leaves you with a smile on your face long after the final credits have rolled.
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Denise Hunter's Driftwood Lane


           

Hey, readers! Today I've got another "book design" post for you all. This one features the fourth book in the "Nantucket Love Story" series by Christian author, Denise Hunter. Although I own all four, I've yet to read them (my mom has read some), but they look like gorgeous stories! Cannot wait to give them a read-through. They've all been re-released with new cover art to match this fourth novel... but these two designs are not a case of a re-released novel. Instead the one to the right was a working design, the left-hand side is what made it to press.
So... if you all aren't bored with this "series" of posts, tell me, what do you think of these designs? Which is better? Do, share your thoughts and inklings below...




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Burn Notice, Season One (2007)


Burn Notice

Regardless of this airing on a cable network, Burn Notice is probably one of the most enjoyable shows presently benefitting from ratings today. If you don’t like the camaraderie between this band of do-gooders comprised of a burned spy, a washed up Navy Seal and an ex-IRA agent (yes, all these organizations are represented in one show), then you probably won’t like this series. Although, I cannot imagine why!  

Spies don’t get fired, they get burned.
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Sherlock, Series One (2009)


Sherlock

Introduced to this, primarily through a love of BBC British costume adaptations – which often leads to countless trips on Internet sites to find out the latest scoops, Sherlock seemed intriguing from the very start. Then, a friend saw it and despite her initial skepticism, it totally won her over to the point that she recommended it. Not something everyone will immediately like – or maybe ever appreciate, even still, for me, this is one of the BEST series… ever.

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