I’ve been watching too much TV and not reading nearly enough again. This is my usual state of being (since you can do other things while you watch TV, but not while you read) but it’s been a bit worse than usual. The fairytale genre has been a fun one to play with. And it’s so great because I can get my kids involved too. It’s hot as hell today – none of us can move. Watching a movie while slipping into a heat coma seemed pretty reasonable. Of course the kids absolutely loved Peter Pan and so did I. I did see this one a long time ago but I may have loved it more this time. My capacity for joy and wonder seems to have increased along with my capacity for crippling depression. We won’t dwell on that fact too much… Anyway, in this particular interpretation Wendy is especially special. She is sort of courageous and unconventional. She makes up crazy twists to the usual fairytales and mesmerises everyone with her plotting skills. It’s rather sweet. Of course there is the silly “there’s more to life than living in Neverland” message which is ridiculous (As an aside: WHY do they do that? Why are they constantly trying to convince us that the ultimate goal to go home from Wonderland, or Oz, or Neverland or Fantasia or Narnia? Personally I think I might choose to never go home at all!) but we’ll forgive that little bit of misguided romanticism. The ending made me cry, which is more than I can say for the book. I found the book rather annoying to be honest. Although….I suppose I could also consider it an interesting lesson in old fashioned writing. Aaaaanyhooo…. This movie is kind of awesome. I should go and read something now!
I picked this book up because it fits into Fairytale February but I must admit to finding it rather dull. Despite being a short and easy read I found myself labouring through it with no real desire to get to the end. Funny because I’m not even sure where it came from or why I chose to have it in my possession. I can be rather superficial when it comes to choosing books, especially children’s books. The children’s books that I do find myself purchasing usually have incredible illustrations or they hold a certain nostalgic value to them. This book possesses neither of those qualities, and despite being retold, the stories themselves possess a rather dull and old fashioned voice. Oh perhaps they are original? I actually have no clue. Perhaps I should be ignored… The illustrations aren’t necessarily “bad” but they are just not spectacular, and not at all something that would excite my imagination at all. It’s a pity I guess….
I love this movie. In fact I think it might be one of my favourites. It was one of those accidental finds at the video store one time when I couldn’t think of anything that I particularly wanted to watch and I kind of liked the cover soI got it. Sans any expectations I found it breathtakingly magical, while being so extraordinarily real at the same time. Not a moment passes in which you do not feel like the author and all those involved in this particular story have somehow managed to come together to produce this incredible worth of heartfelt truth. The story is a simple one, and though we most likely cannot claim to understand the ailments of our young heroine, there is no doubt that something strikes a chord regardless. Phoebe is a little girl who doesn’t quite fit the way everyone seems to with that she would. Her attempts at adherence to the rules seem to only aid in making her break them. She is happiest left alone inside her own head. And then she meets the most exquisite drama teacher. The kind of teacher that each of us wishes we could have had ourselves as children. Patricia Clarkson brings to this particular role a kind of inexpressible grace and unfaltering beauty. What a woman! This is simply one of those stories that resonates so deeply with my soul that I cannot help but find myself breathless and a little hopeful at the same time. So sad that it is one of those movies that just quietly flies below the radar because it demands a certain kindred spirit perhaps. I hope those involved with this production will always look back on it with the utmost pride. To me it is a beautiful masterpiece. A heart rub. A reminder of just how important fantasy life can be when it comes to making real life a little bit more bearable.
Another relatively bland fairytale retelling I must admit, though I did have to appreciate the slightly creative spin on the origins of the beast in this particular tale. Always kind of felt that the beast kind of deserved to be shunned because he was, after all, a bit of an asshole. I kind of liked that in this tale the beast was relatively innocent and didn’t actually deserve his curse. That said I can’t honestly say it was all that fabulous. I did watch from the beginning to the end though, so that’s got to mean something, right?
We’re spoilt today. I don’t think we realize it much. Our entertainers, those brilliant people who many of us rely upon for our very sanity, seem to take franchises a little more seriously today….I must admit I am grateful. Even as a child it bothered me that the casting for the second Neverending Story was completely different to the first. As an adult, the change in Dumbledore was distressing enough, and that was something that could not be helped! Today we seldom have to worry about the degradation of our favourite movie franchises. We can trust that as much care as possible will be taken when it comes to the follow-ups. No longer are sequels notoriously dreadful. In fact, sequels are quite often better. Outdated technology aside, The Neverending Story sequels were pretty dreadful. The second was bad enough but the third was especially terrible. I did get a small kick out of seeing Jack Black in such a ridiculously “uncool” role in the third movie, though the delight did not last too long. The stupid rock baby is annoying. The real world references made by Fantasian characters was just too much of a blooper to ignore. I think it would be kind of friggen cool if they remade all three of these movies with todays higher standards, with out better technology and with a more serious attention to detail. Today’s world doesn’t allow substandard material to simply cash in on previous fame. I like that. For now I will have to strike these two messes from my mind and allow my own Neverending Story ideas to run through my head…..
Of course I will always love this movie. I remember the first time I saw it, it was playing in the back room of our church. I don’t even know why it was on, but no one else seemed to be paying any attention. I thought it was the most wonderful thing I had ever seen. I don’t think I even understood any of it as a child, but I definitely liked to get lost in the idea of it. Watching it today the experience is a little disappointing. Of course my disappointment is completely superficial and it comes from being a spoiled consumer exposed to superior graphics and better acting. But the story? The story remains wonderful despite the over-acting and the not-always-the-greatest costumes. Strangely I find that watching The Goonies is always wonderful, and I never feel disappointed by its “old fashionedness” like I am with this one. It still brings about that glorious feeling of nostalgia though. That feeling where you are transported right into the shoes of the ordinary hero and cannot help but be left with a longing to find yourself transported to another realm.
Ah yay! I’m so happy I found this! Alice is kind of a kickass retelling of the Alice in Wonderland story – definitely one of the best I have experienced in a while. I’ve been reading a lot of retellings over the last week and I’ve started watching them now too and I’ve noticed that often authors take so many liberties with the story that you no longer recognize it (preferable) or they simply just rewrite the story in a way that kind of makes you wish they had used a tiny bit more imagination. This particular retelling (for me) strikes the perfect balance. I love when a retelling stretches the imagination and twists our favourite tales into something completely obscure. I love when the setting is modernized but the old touches are weaved into every detail. You pick out your favourite characters, spot them despite the slight role changes they may have been assigned. This particular story is great for that. I must admit that I was a little hesitant when I saw who was playing Alice (the druggie chick from Private Practice) but she was pretty cool – I should stop type casting people! Meh. It was just great. I think the kids will love it too.
I’m starting to come to the conclusion that when it comes to reviews I might want to consider writing reviews either straight after experiencing something – or even while I am doing so. Here I sit and I sort of already feel a little less capable of gathering my thoughts on this particular TV experience. Of course this is ridiculous when you consider that I watched it only last night, but, what can I say? My mind tends to wander quite quickly…
Anyway! I am a fan of all worlds that I may never visit in reality and Neverland is no exception – I’ve been wanting to fly with the Darling siblings since I was tiny. I’m not generally a fan of Peter Pan, even less so after reading the original story last year (perhaps I should share that review at some point too….I don’t think it made it on to the blog for some reason) but this particular Peter was quite pleasant. Far less obnoxious than his novelized counterpart at least. Neverland is a mini series dedicated to telling the story of Peter and The Lost Boys’ arrival in Neverland. The weird thing about the series though is that while just about every single character is perfectly fine, and even quite lovely, on their own…there is a strangeness that I just can’t quite put into words when it comes to the overall dynamic. I can barely rate the project as much more than “ok” and to be quite honest I found it quite irritating that Keira Knightly’s role was such a small one. I sort of had to wonder if she had not been given the part just so that her name may appear in the credits and therefore add credibility to the project itself. I suppose that doesn’t really matter. At the end of the day it’s kind of one of those shows that’s fine to watch but you’re ok with not watching it ever again…
Oh….the crocodile is kind of awesome. Watch it for the crocodile!
So I spent most of last weekend reading a couple of fairytale retellings and I kind of planned to continue during this week but I played Candy Crush while watching The Big Bang Theory instead. I’m not proud…but at least I’m honest. Anyway – we’re doing fairytales in February and I thought I’d revisit the genre this weekend….on my TV…. so I can play Candy Crush and feed my computerised sheep…. And blog about stuff….
Of course a little digging has lead me to discover that the world is quite filled with far more fairytale retellings that I could have possibly ever imagined. I’m not sure why, but this fact makes me feel slightly hopeful, and considering the state of my fragility today the discovery has certainly come at a good time. There are so many beautiful worlds to get lost in. I know that in today’s progressive society it is perhaps felt that many fairytales are an old fashioned and somewhat misogynistic idea of the dynamic between men and women, but honestly for me the magic of fairytales has never been about princesses being rescued by princes so much as it was always about the magical places in which they lived. The beauty of these places has possessed my mind for as long as I can remember and I don’t imagine that will ever change. These realms far exceed the warm-and-fuzzies gleaned from the idea of being a helpless princess waiting for her prince charming. As a child the idea of boys was a bit gagsome. In my adulthood I kind of know better – boys are not gagsome, after all, but I still don’t need them to rescue me (although it is nice when they offer to make tea so that I don’t have to do it myself). My love for fairytales remains despite my lack of feeling any real excitement in reference to the “love” part of the stories. And even though I do love wearing my sparkly tiara, I have no real desire to be a princess.
As a child I longed to get lost in Neverland, Narnia and Wonderland. I wanted to live in Doctor Seuss books and I (strangely) wanted to hang out with Lowly Worm. As an adult this longing has not changed. I remain better suited to the imaginations of others that I do to the actual world around me. As much as it pains me that I shall never get to meet Aslan or The Weasleys or the smoking caterpillar, I do have to take comfort in the fact that I am not alone in feeling so. If I was, fairytales and retellings would not exist in their thousands as they do.
It truly is time that I add to their number.
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
So…. fairy tale erotica is something else then, huh? *shuffles feet awkwardly* Ok – so this story was about some random chick who decided that shagging a stranger in a library was a good idea. Obviously it was a bad idea a because apparently his…erm….finger skills…somehow made her pass out and then wake up in an enchanted realm of sorts. There she was captured by the Lord of the realm and made to join his harem. A bit of rape fantasy-ish stuff happens. It’s a bit odd and I have to wonder if this particular story was influenced more by Fifty Shades than by Grimm’s The Queen Bee as was stated by the author. Not the best book I’ve read in a while, but it was definitely better than some of the many other fairytale retellings I have read. The storyline was kind of interesting at least, even though the writing style was a little meh. Is it customary in erotica to refer to a vagina as a “rose”. I found that slightly odd. And i don’t know…. I get that it’s erotica blah blah blah….but it’s in a fiarytale setting. I sort of feel like the writing language should perhaps try to reflect that. References to “Ass cheeks” and “doggy style” just seemed a bit weird to me…
My Goodreads rating is only 2 stars, but here I’m giving an extra half star because I did appreciate the imaginative storyline (although technically I should remove it again as punishment for the cover that doesn’t match the book at all!)
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
A sweet children’s retelling of the classic Red Riding Hood tale. A bit dorkishly snarky in some places but I imagine that children would appreciate the silliness. I quite liked the idea of the wold preceding to be Little Red instead of the grandmother, but it didn’t quite work out like I was expecting it to. I guess that means that it gets points for not being too predictable?
Something about this man just demands for me to trust him and his ideas. While we attempt to home school in our home for various reasons, videos like this help to remind me that we are doing the best we can for our kids. I know there is such a stigma attached to doing so, and I totally get where it comes from, but after a year I can already see that my two stepkids are a lot less stressed and that alone makes me feel like we are most definitely doing the right thing.
Sadly it looks like homeschooling in South Africa is under attack by the government. Now of course, I do know that mainstream media tends towards drama, and my own experience with the Pestolozzi Trust has been that while they do great work in protecting home schooling families there also tends to be a very anti-government attitude that borders on unnecessary ridicule. This kind of mockery when it comes to the government really does make me have to think twice about what kind of agenda is being pushed. I am not saying that the information they share is necessarily inaccurate, but I cannot help but wonder if it is not somehow inflated. Read the rest of this entry »
So I have a question which honestly seems like a question one should never have to ask due to the fact that it is just so ridiculous: Why do people hate vegetarians/vegans so much? I have started to notice that people get rather aggressive about it, so much so that the calling someone a vegan or a vegetarian is often used as an insult. I just can’t wrap my head around it. I’m neither vegan nor vegetarian. I will refrain from giving regurgitated reasons/excuses for my meat eating ways. I just can’t figure out why being a vegetarian should be such an offensive thing. I’ve never felt judged by a vegetarian. On the odd occasion I have felt like maybe it would be polite of me to not eat steak in front of a vegetarian, but that is my own “guilt” and I recognize it as such. It’s kind of like not saying “fuck” in front of your granny. It just feels like the right thing to do…. I do genuinely want to know though: Why all the aggression towards people who have made this choice? Personally I admire the choice. Even envy it a little. And yes, feel guilt – because I cannot deny that you, the vegetarian, are living a kinder lifestyle than I am. Good for you! I also want to know why there is a Christian connotation here. Obviously not all Christian churches are against vegetarianism, but it seems that some of them are. Why? I can sort of understand if you are pissed off with all Asians because “poaching is done for the Asian market”. Writing off an entire continent of people isn’t really fair, but I can overlook the blatant generalisation and understand where you are coming from if I must. But the vegetarian thing? I just really don’t get it. I can’t put myself in your shoes and go “ok, I don’t agree with you, but I see where you are coming from” because it really just doesn’t make sense….
Once upon a time I watched a Bruce Springsteen DVD and thought to myself “I hope that one day I can see ol’ Bruce live”. A weird thought perhaps for someone barely familiar with the man’s music, but then again, it is quite hard to deny the man’s charismatic presence. With only the idea that I would like to see him live one day, I was very quick to decide on a trip to Joburg to see the man perform when it was announced that he would be gracing our primitive shores. And so it was that on Friday I found myself on a train headed for a mere 24-hour stay in Johannesburg. Of course trains are not really part of my every day life. But then again, neither are planes or busses. No…. We drive everywhere. Usually. Usually when petrol doesn’t cost three arms and several legs. Driving is fast becoming a luxury to be set aside in favour of essentials like food and sanity.
Anyway, I’m quite pleased to be able to announce from experience that train rides in South Africa do not suck too much. Hubby and I found ourselves quite comfortable in our small compartment made for two (though I must admit – two average sized people would be comfortable – two large people maybe not so much) and it was quite nice to just veg out a bit and read without being distracted by life. The train was clean. The staff on board were all pleasant. The bathroom didn’t make me want to refrain from liquids.
Unfortunately though…. both our trains were hopelessly late in getting to our destinations. This I find particularly sad because it seems that it is a typical issue and not one that we were unfortunate to encounter due to shoddy timing. It is something that seems to happen a lot and I must admit that not being able to rely on this kind of thing bugs me. The signalling systems at the stations pack up and once that happens, you’ve got an issue where several trains need to be guided to their destinations by a single “pilot”. This takes forever. Our train was so late in getting to Park Station in Johannesburg that we eventually had our friend pick us up in Germiston. Then on the way home we got stuck in Germiston again. We ended up getting home four hours later than expected.
Was it worth it? Yeah I guess it was. A little quality down time with the hubby was nice. The train food was a bit “meh” but it could have been worse. Travelling for 48 hours in order to watch a concert is possibly a little silly though. Perhaps the trip might feel more worth it if a little more than 24 hours passes in between…
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
So I decided to read this because a.) it has “fairy tales” in the title and b.) it was free on Kindle. I seem to be a little lost though. It seems this book is supposed to be read alongside another book and that the intro to this book is possibly supposed to make you want to read the other book. Unfortunately the only thing this book did was make me question my sanity a little because I just couldn’t really wrap my head around anything that was going on. Now I imagine that leaving some stuff to the imagination is not the worst thing a writer can do, but this was a bit weird. The narrator kind of speaks as if you’re supposed to know what is being spoken about. I have no idea what was being spoken about. Perhaps I’m not so clever….but the cover is really pretty! (It may have helped to read the Goodreads blurb: “Okay, let’s start out by saying this book is a compendium, not a novel. I had no idea what a compendium was until my good friend Merriam Webster informed me. Compendium: 1) a brief summary of a larger work or of a field of knowledge; 2) A collection or compilation.” —-always read the manual!)