Saturday, August 21, 2010

Temple Grandin

We watched this as part of a class last night, very interesting...

It tells the story of a girl named Temple who has had autism all her life and even though she didn't speak until she was four, she went on to do great things.  It shows the hardships that she endured not only while at boarding school but while getting her BA, her Masters and her doctorate degrees.  Temple sees things in different ways than most because of her autism, allowing her to see things the way that cows do and to make very creative devices for her Uncle's ranch. 

My favorite part of this movie was watching as she endured, even if she was scared she knew that everything she faced was a door to a new world, thus allowing her to change the methods used in slaughterhouses with her inventions.

I give Temple Grandin 4 out of 5 stars.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Tenth Kingdom

Before I begin this review, I would like to apologize for having been gone for so long.  I have been working hard on getting myself ready for college, and knowing that I leave tonight is a little frightening.  I am excited and nervous, but I guess we will see how things go when I get there.

The Tenth Kingdom was originally a Hallmark miniseries, but is now available as a 3 disc or 3 video set, as well as a book (VERY difficult to track down, I think my aunt found mine in Virginia).

It tells the story of Tony and Virginia Lewis as they leave their modern day New York and head into the mystical Nine Kingdoms-each one belonging to a different kind of mystical being.  They learn of the Five Great Ladies (Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel, Gretel, Cinderella) who changed the future of the Kingdoms.  All they really want to do, however, is GO HOME.  They spend most of their time tracking down the mirror that transported them there, and Wolf (one of their companions) just really wants Virginia to fall in love with him...and their fourth companion, Prince, is actually Prince Wendell who was turned into a dog by the evil queen (also his wicked stepmother) and he wants to save the Kingdoms, be coronated, and go back to his human form.

I really liked how the fairy tales were used.  It wasn't the new Disney versions but the old fashioned ACTUAL stories..For example, when Snow White married her Prince Charming, they made the Evil Stepmother dance in red hot iron shoes as entertainment at the wedding, and these same shoes play a role in this movie.

The acting can be cheesy at times, but the movie is so gripping that it's length (7 hours) has done nothing to stop me from watching it ten times (and reading the book).

I have no choice but to give The Tenth Kingdom 5 out of 5 stars.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist

Time for a movie night with the boyfriend and the sister, so one more movie review....

I thought this was a pretty entertaining movie, definitely true to the senior year of high school drama.  Boys and girls and cheating and sex and friends and in some cases drinking.  Other than that though, there was no meaning to this  movie.

Really made me think though, it is time to focus on the bigger picture, making choices for the rest of our lives and all that jazz that seems daunting but really, just gotta have trust in what we do as human beings.  We change every day, so why do we think our future stays the same?

I loved the freedom expressed in this movie, all of the fun times had by friends and the wanting to just be in love and feel special that Norah shows. I definitely found plenty of emotion in this film.

On the bad side, it can be a little more graphic in some parts then I appreciated (a couple making love in the back of Nick's Yugo, and Nick and Norah making love in the studio) but even these parts were done in a mostly tasteful (or completely comical) way.

I would watch this movie a few more times, but is not one that I would gladly sit and watch over and over and over and over again.

I give Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Eclectica on Grand

I know that this doesn't really fit in my usual category of things that I review, but I loved this store.  I found it randomly one day on a walk with my father, and went in while I was out walking with my  boyfriend...for those of you that want to go for yourself, the contact info is as follows:
106 W Grand Avenue
Eau Claire, WI

I was really impressed when we went in because even though it is such a small shop, they have some really neat things.  They have everything from antiques to belly dance outfits, then from exotic stones to sterling jewelry.  I even found beads with the Chinese Zodiac printed beautifully on them.

What are there prices like??? REALLY affordable, I know my beads were 2$ a piece, but I don't remember looking at anything and thinking "WOW thats expensive". That includes the henna sets and belly dance clothing.

I really loved talking with the proprietors, Sarah and John Curtis, and cuddling up to there dog, Spencer.  It truly made the store and even more incredible experience since they are so kind and friendly.

The most intriguing thing about this shoppe is the outdoor display.  It truly feels as though you are looking into someone's home, but you know your just standing on the side of a street in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

I give Eclectica on Grand 5 out of 5 stars.


Another good movie.  I watched this one just last night, and I still LOVE Tim Burton.

The animation was really good, the story was fun.  I found myself getting sucked into it and really wanting to pay close attention to everything. It had plenty of twists and turns to keep the audience's attention but not enough to confuse a person.

My personal favorite character was 2.  Sadly, he was the first to go...good thing they all come back!  8 was definitely the scariest, and reminded me a bit of Fatso from the Casper movies/cartoons..oh well. LOVE CASPER too.

This movie would definitely be good for a younger and an older audience. Everyone can sit and watch it together, so perfect for a family movie night! 

Because of its strong character 9, whose daring and adventurous ways won my heart over, I know that children can also learn from this movie.  They can see that sometimes you have to face your fears and stand up for yourself.

I give 9 4 out of 5 stars.

Moulin Rouge

Yet another  movie review, I hope to have a second book review up very soon...


The music is not original, but has been borrowed from other sources. This, however, does not make the movie a flop.

The emotions and beliefs (beauty, truth, freedom, love) of the Bohemians is quite apparent in everything they do, especially the show that they perform.  The creativity of the Bohemians of the Moulin Rouge before Christian appears is enchanting and as he is there, increases greatly. 

There are plenty of HILARIOUS moments and characters. The Narcoleptic Argentinian falling asleep and rolling down the stairs.  Toulouse falling from the ceiling, telling Christian that they are trying to kill him and the audience thinking this part of the play was funny too. I really loved that they were able to keep the show going even through all of the stuff going on between Christian, Satine, and the Duke. IMPRESSIVE!!!

Emotionally, the love between Satine and Christian is wonderful.  It makes me think of a fairy tale the entire way through...until we reach her death at the end. ANOTHER beautifully done scene.  It is easy to feel the despair right along Harold and ESPECIALLY Christian.

I give the Moulin Rouge 5 of 5 stars.