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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Salt (2010)


Angelina Jolie is one of Hollywood’s biggest stars. Hers is a name that is not only plastered across Hollywood gossip magazines on a regular basis or has people clamoring to head to the cinema, but is also one of the highest paid in the industry, and despite it all, I am not a die-hard fan – for a variety of reasons. Somehow, Salt appealed to my cinematic interests, and even though it wasn’t something I had to get a hold of, I still did see it in its first week to DVD.
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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Avengers (2012)


The Avengers
 
Perhaps in order to be precise and more exact, I should label this post, the-movie-everyone-but-me-has-seen or the-review-everyone-but-me-has-already-written. Yeah. But, we’ll go with the professional one and leave it at that. 

Ever since filmmakers started teasing us with this movie, I was completely in “awe” of it. (It is best to just admit that.) Ironically, about the time the teaser promos were airing was the same time that I was really getting into super hero films, and were there one that ruled above all the rest, this would be it. 
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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

This Means War (2012)


This Means War
 
Back when this appeared on the big-screen (this past Valentine’s Day) I was all jazzed up and ready to go see it. It was one of the films I thought would be a better bet to see at the box office. As it turned out, I may still wish I had, but in the end it was all for the good that a seven dollar ticket was spent on something else.
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Sunday, May 27, 2012

Book: The Ride of her Life



About the book:
Author: Lorna Seilstad
Publisher: Revell
Publication Date: 2012
Series: “Lake Manawa Summers” (book 3 of 3)
Genre: Christian Fiction, Historical

The Story (From the Publisher):  The only man pragmatic Lilly Hart needs in her life is a six year old. Widowed two years ago, Lilly leaves the shelter of her intrusive in-laws' home to stand on her own and provide for her young son by working for the summer as a cook at Lake Manawa. However, her in-laws find that life utterly unsuitable for their grandson, and when a row ensues, a handsome stranger--who designs roller coasters, of all things--intercedes on her behalf. Still, Lilly is not about to get involved with any man, especially this cocky (though charismatic) gentleman. Little does she know she is about to begin the ride of her life.
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Friday, May 25, 2012

Characters Welcome


Hey, all! Most of you who have been reading this  blog for any length of time know that I love (or perhaps it is an "addiction"?) USA's television shows - and most of you know how easily I can gush about them (yes, my reviews go on... and on... and on but we'll stop there). Home to many of my favorites, the network's slogan is "Characters Welcome" and I love that about the shows! How easy and likable they each are. Photographer Nigel Parry shot all (or most of) the stars of USA's prime-time line-up and these are awesome. Each set perfectly represents the characters and while, Fiona's are a little... hm... quirky(?), it is so Fiona. 

If you'd like to read more about any of the shows, most of them are reviewed under the "television" tab and those that are not will be up this summer. Enjoy! 
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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Australia (2008)



Having “mixed emotions” is how best to describe my feelings about this film. Initially I wanted to see it in theaters; eventually that wore off and instead I settled for the DVD. Now, the only question that remained – was it worth that wait?
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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

She's the Man (2006)



Loosely inspired by Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, She’s the Man is a fun tale set in contemporary America that may be flawed but is far too much fun to ignore.
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Monday, May 21, 2012

The Italian Job (2003)


First time I’d ever really given this title a second look was the result of reading a fellow reviewer’s rundown on it. She did such an excellent job of interesting me that when I found it in the “bargain bin,” I decided to give it a try. After all, I love a good mystery.
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Friday, May 18, 2012

Bandslam (2009)


Bandslam

Initially this was not something I had hopes of being “great.” Imagine my surprise when I walked away from this with the conclusion of this being one of the BEST (albeit quirky) teen flicks to come along in a long time. (Seriously! This is true.)
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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Mystery of Edwin Drood (2011)


Good morning, readers! Did you see the post prior to this? If not, check it out and let me know what you think about a possible giveaway here – one in which you could win this on DVD, among other stuff. *wink* Today, I bring a movie review on the latest Charles Dickens adaptation.
Unfinished works might excite a flurry of promise in fans of a popular author but does that mean that screenwriters should attempt to better it by putting finishing touches on it? That theory is tested in this, the unfinished manuscript by Charles Dickens.
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Monday, May 14, 2012

Link Love, Take Two // Blogging + Reviews


Hello, readers! What has been keeping you busy? It is May already, can we believe that - the year is nearly half over. I know a lot of you are probably really excited about school getting out, and summer beginning. My summer is shaping up to be of the usual variety. It suits me fine, too. Do you have something exciting coming up this summer?

Since my post of a couple weeks ago that consisted of commercials and "link love" was kind of fun, I thought maybe, I'd go ahead and do another one. I just hope (*fingers crossed*), I can come up with some links! Let me know what some of your favorite links from the week are... or anything else you want to share.
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Saturday, May 12, 2012

The Vow (2012)



With the recent box office release of The Lucky One, critics praised it as “Dear John meets The Vow.” Having now seen all three, it is easy to draw comparisons with snapshot moments from both of those encompassed in this film but overall, The Vow is a beautiful, heartbreaking love story on its own time, told in its own charming way. For once, marriage is demonstrated as something to cherish not bash.
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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

My Stubborn Heart by Becky Wade



About the Book: 
Author: Becky Wade
Publisher: Bethany House
Publication Date: 2012
Genre: Fiction, Christian
Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5

The Story: Unhappy with her life as it stands now, thirty-something Kate Donovan decides to travel with her grandmother from their home in Dallas to Redbud Pennsylvania to restore gran’s ancestral home. Following some heartbreaking cases in her work as a social worker, Kate is ready for a break – and she is realizing that despite two “serious” relationships, she is still seeking “Mr. Right.” Is God telling her that there is no one “right” for her? Or did she miss her chance at happy-ever-after?

Matt Jarreau is broken. Once a popular, decorated hockey star, Matt walked away from the spotlight following his wife’s tragic and painful death. Now he is returned from the city lights of New York to his small hometown of Redbud. Working as a contractor, he is a hermit who likes his “space.” That is all about to change. Matt is hired by Beverly to see her family home put back to rights. He quickly realizes that he cannot shake Kate so easily – her bubbly personality is persistent and she doesn’t take silence as an answer to his not wanting to be bothered.

Will Kate’s stubborn heart break Matt’s cynical one? Or will the two of them never realize what they have is more than friendship?
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Monday, May 7, 2012

Jane by Design: Season One, Volume 1 (2012)



Today, I cannot tell you all how much fun I had watching this all-too-short first-season series. For those who may not have been aware of it, I am happy to give you an idea of what it is about (seriously, look into it) and for those who watched it, let’s chat about Jane by Design, shall we? Without explanation, ABC Family channel series have been a “trend” at my house. Some I have no interest in, others make me cringe without really trying and some I couldn’t find to rent. This show was the latter’s case. Had it not been, I’d have likely seen it two months ago.
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Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Inconvenient Marriage of Charlotte Beck by Kathleen Y’Barbo



About the book:
Publisher: Water Brook
Publication Date: 2011
Author: Kathleen Y’Barbo
Series: “omen of the West, book 3
Genre: Christian Fiction, Historical

Synopsis: Blessed with wealth but spoiled with anything her heart ever desired, Charlotte Beck is the privileged, only daughter of the wealthy Daniel Beck who foolishly gave in to his daughter’s every whim. Being of English ancestry, Charlotte and her step-mother travel abroad during the London season attending parties and brushing shoulders with the upper-classes most-respected family names prior to Charlotte’s official debut. When Charlotte butts heads with the handsome but pompous Alexander Hambly in the most embarrassing way, she cannot think of anything more interesting than getting away from his company and mocking gaze. As it would happen, the pair of them can help each other.
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Friday, May 4, 2012

The Contemporary Princess


I have a guilty pleasure to confess: Fairy-tales are still my favorite kind of stories. They have been ever since I was a little girl and my mom’s family introduced me to a red-headed young girl who dreamt of life on land and had the voice of an angel. After that, I was infatuated with this girl who was not just a beautiful figure in a fairy-tale world but a princess – from the songs to the clothing, or so I am told. Naturally, I have no memory of that. It isn’t just the dashing hero who travels through fire and thorns to bestow a kiss on his love in the only hope of saving her (although that kind of heroics don’t ruin the effect) or the pretty music but the world in which it takes us into that captures us as a viewer. Really it is a lot more than that. There is a magical quality to the world we journey to that gives its viewer a glimpse of a world we will never know. Today that world is more than just a girl with a pretty face and a guy who arrives in the knick of time to rescue her. No, indeed, according to our culture, the girl can disarm the bandits, reject what she knows is the poisoned apple and take back her kingdom all while still managing to look pretty as a picture. Talk about, all in a day’s work, huh?

Female empowerment is just one taboo pc subject that has been gaining momentum ever since the 1900’s and the birth of the suffragette movement. So then, the question, if we do not want to present the woman as the “weaker” sex – why do we still love it when at the end credits, the guy still rescues the girl?
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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Carrie Underwood: Blown Away


About the Album:
Released: 2012
Writing Credits: Carrie Underwood, Ashley Gorley, Chris DeStefano, Hillary Lindsey, Josh Kear, Luke Laird
Tracks: 14
Label: Arista Nashville
Genre: Country, Rock

My Thoughts: Upfront, I just really need to say something. Although this profession really has nothing to do with the songs on this album or the writing, I really feel like I should say that I am not overly fond of this album… cover art. After three prior fun, artistic, and “classy” shoots, this one is just… too un-cool. It could have been great in an edgy kind of way but it fails. Something is just off about it - the posing or something. With that ridiculous prattling out of the way (forgive me!), we will be moving on with me just saying: Carrie is baaaaack! The country crooner who made a splash after winning an early season of American Idol has got talent. Not only does she usually share writing credits on most of the songs (as she does here along with renowned songwriter Hillary Lindsey) but this girl has got some vocal pipes! Seriously, her voice is one of the best the country scene has ever known. This, her fourth studio album is lovely… but I am not sure I can honestly say it is her best yet. There is something different about it and in that, it is perhaps lacking something I cannot quite put my finger on.
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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Lucky One (2012) - A Romantic Drama about a Soldier's "Lucky" Charm


The Lucky One

For those of us who love a good drama with pretty theatrics that is set against scenic locations – plus the chance to see a leading guy who is easy on the eyes, this might be an option for your next Saturday night in.
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