Top Ten Movies Countdown

As many of you know, movies are not as much my thing as books.

That said, I do try.

My movie-watching is limited – but, in my defense, I am interested in movies and have compiled a whole list of movies I want to watch for various reasons.

However, the movies I do watch, I have watched many, many times. Which means that I can parrot large portions of it on command, tell you all sorts of things you didn’t even want to know about it, and have basically dissected the poor movie within an inch of its life.

For some movies this means I grow to hate them more with each viewing. For others, it means my love for them grows deeper daily.

Today I want to talk about the second group. Because I know you must be wildly curious.

 

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10. Pride and Prejudice (2005)

The attention to detail, superb casting, and breathtaking music make this movie one of my favorites, not to mention being a bit of a private obsession – I watch it every time I get a chance.

This movie never gets old.

So why is it in last place, you ask?

I may or may not be just slightly embarrassed to call such a cliched chick flick my favorite movie.

Because obviously I have more class than that.

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9. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Admittedly my least favorite of all the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies, The Desolation of Smaug is essentially three hours of fire and heat and boredom.

I have also had a terrible cough every single time I’ve watched it so far, so that didn’t do much to improve my opinion of it.

 

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8. The Battle of the Five Armies

Combine the superb acting of Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, and Lee Pace, and breathtaking animation that makes this whole movie look like a watercolor painting come to life and you have The Battle of the Five Armies.

 

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7. An Unexpected Journey

This absolutely delightful first chapter in the Hobbit trilogy is as good as any of its Lord of the Rings predecessors.

Martin Freeman was born to be Bilbo, I firmly believe, and though a rather too-large portion of the movie is spent running away from orcs, I love it just the same.

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6. The Return of the King

All three of the movies that make up the Lord of the Rings trilogy are nothing short of classic, but The Return of the King, for me, is somewhat exhausting. Watching Frodo and Sam toil toward Mount Doom at such a painstakingly slow crawl is torture and the battle scenes are starting to blur together.

Don’t get me wrong. I love this movie. Always have. Always will.

It just, sadly, isn’t the best in the trilogy.

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5. The Two Towers

Many people consider The Two Towers the best movie in the original trilogy and I can see why.

Eowyn, a favorite character, is introduced, Gollum becomes a major character, and the battle of Helm’s Deep is about as epic as anyone could wish.

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4. The Fellowship of the Ring

Call me boring, but I like this one the best. I love seeing the Fellowship whole and together. I love the Shire. Aragorn’s introduction is all that could be desired. Frodo’s pain at losing Gandalf is heartrending. It breaks my heart every time to see him slowly lose faith in the other members of the Fellowship.

The Return of the King is all about Frodo and Sam creeping closer to Mordor.

The highlight of The Two Towers is Eowyn and the Helm’s Deep battle.

I like the variety of The Fellowship of the Ring. It’s about the Shire and Frodo, Gandalf, the Fellowship, Aragorn, Boromir, and friendship.

 

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3. Little Women (1994)

One of my favorite books, this movie comes the closest to doing it justice.

It has its flaws, but it captures Jo’s restlessness and Marmee’s passion, Meg’s romance and Amy’s childishness, it accurately portrays Jo and Laurie’s friendship and the closeness of the sisters and the happiness and beauty of family. In my book, that’s all that matters.

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2. Amazing Grace

This breathtaking movie about William Wilberforce’s passion to abolish slavery is one of the best movies I have ever had the pleasure of watching.

Not only is the filming and casting fantastic, but this movie means something. It is not purely entertainment. It has the potential to change lives.

 

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1. Finding Neverland

Best. Movie. Ever.

The end.

Have you watched any of the movies on my list? What’s your favorite movie? Why?

My Thoughts On The Hobbit Trilogy

For those of you who have not had the pleasure, I will quickly summarize the trilogy.

In the first movie we have narration, Bilbo being used as a Kleenex, and goblins who look nothing like their orc counterparts, not to mention the fact that they speak English… with a British accent.

In the second, we learn that Mirkwood is confusing – unless you climb the trees, and then it’s amazing, with a nice breeze and autumn-colored leaves that turn into these cute blue butterflies –

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that a morgul  shaft will render you sweaty and several shades paler than normal – and, who knows, may even induce childbirth,

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that liquid gold has absolutely no ill affects on dragons, and lastly, that Bard is a man of many talents.

In the last movie we begin to doubt Bard’s parenting,

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Azog and Bolg’s mortality,

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to wonder why dwarves who have miraculously survived the first two movies are now dropping like flies and if Legolas will ever get it through his thick skull that Tauriel is not interested.

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So. Now that we’ve established the basic principles…

Let the list begin.

1. To The Nerds

I hear a lot of people whining about how The Hobbit movies do not stay true to the book.

Before you join this group, make sure you’ve gotten your facts right. Jackson seems to have gotten his material straight from Tolkien himself. Check the Appendices in your copy of The Lord of the Rings, or read The Silmarillion. It’s in there.

Some of this stuff will surprise you, I think.

Some of it surprised me, and I’m one of the biggest nerds there is.

Like Azog. He’s in there.

Bolg, his son? He’s in there.

Dol Guldur? Yep. This was a real fortress.

The Necromancer? Absolutely.

Gandalf and Thorin’s  meeting at the Prancing Pony in Bree? You bet.

Thrain wandering around in the wilderness? That, too.

Gundabad? Mmm-hmm.

Satisfied yet?

Besides, you have to remember that Tolkien wrote The Hobbit for children. He hadn’t done any of the intensive research and worldbuilding he had done by the time he wrote The Lord of the Rings.

Some gaps obviously had to be filled.

Now, to be fair, Jackson did make a few unprecedented changes.

2. Tauriel

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Tauriel was the topic of much debate.

Personally, I have no problem with her. Mirkwood, and the elf kingdom that the dwarves were held in there, came straight from the book. I thought it was a great idea to pick out a representative of the Mirkwood elves as a supporting character.

The trouble starts when a love triangle looms in sight – a love triangle Tolkien didn’t so much as hint at.

3. Legolas

If you have read The Hobbit, you know that a guy named Thranduil is not in it.

But the King of the Woodland Realm is. And in The Lord of the Rings, the King of the Woodland Realm is named Thranduil.

And the messenger he sends to the Council of Elrond happens to be his son. That would be Legolas.

So it absolutely makes sense that he would appear in The Hobbit movies.

However, I’m not a fan of Legolas myself, so I wasn’t thrilled to see him. And his whole, “Hey, Tauriel, let’s go off on our own to singlehandedly take on the forces of evil!” is ridiculous.

And, don’t quote me on this, but he seems to have changed eye color?

4. The Dwarves

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They did not get the hood-and-hair colors right! 

Come on, Jackson. Where are your priorities, my man?

But let’s be serious for a moment. There were some things about the dwarves I didn’t like. The innuendo was new and eye-roll-worthy at best.

Bofur is annoying.

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I want to murder Ori.

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Bombur was supposed to be fat, not obese and his supposedly comedic scenes are sickening.

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Dori, Oin, Nori, and Bifur are useless, unlikable characters.

And Fili and Kili are too darn good-looking!

 

On the other hand, I fell wholeheartedly in love with sweet old Balin.

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Dwalin is my spirit animal.

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Thorin is glorious perfection.

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And Fili and Kili’s bromance is awfully cute.

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5. Martin Freeman

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The Lord of the Rings movies have sported some truly gifted actors over the years – Ian McKellen, Viggo Mortensen, Andy Serkus, and Elijah Wood among them. Martin Freeman is instantly admitted into this elite group. Not only admitted, but in a league all his own. He is fantastic!

Richard Armitage, who played Thorin, also had quite an impressive performance.

6. Three Movies

I actually agree with this complaint. I don’t see why the story had to be dragged out so long.

Not that I’m smart enough to tell you what should have been left out.

It just seems like the second half of the first movie is “Let’s run away from orcs!” and the second half of the second movie is “Let’s run away from this dragon!” and not much gets accomplished.

Ultimately…

Jackson’s commitment to accuracy and quality is admirable, and in his hands, the story behind the simple children’s book takes on the texture and emotion it wanted all along. These movies are on a level with the original trilogy.

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So tell me, friends! What are your thoughts on The Hobbit trilogy? Do you like it? Hate it? Was it as good as the original trilogy? Better? Are you a Legolas fan? What did you think of Tauriel? The love-triangle? The hot dwarves?

Pride And Prejudice And Zombies, Basically

For those of you who weren’t aware, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl is actually a sequel to Joe Wright’s Pride and Prejudice. Keira Knightley plays Elizabeth in both movies and Orlando Bloom makes a significant appearance in this movie – another throwback to Pride and Prejudice, as Wickham has always reminded me of Bloom.

The sole difference between The Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl and Pride and Prejudice being, obviously, Johnny Depp – and the zombies.

This was my first time watching The Pirates of the Caribbean. It was pretty much exactly like I thought it would be, but I thought certain elements that stood out to me would be worth mentioning.

1. Will Turner? Seriously?

The movie opens with a young Elizabeth aboard ship, singing a creepy song and imagining pirates lurking around ever corner. She readily admits to her father that she finds this seafaring experience exhilarating. As a young woman, Elizabeth is disconcertingly frank and finds it more stressful to be proposed to by a prominent political man than to fall sixty feet off a cliff into the sea, nearly drown, be rescued by an infamous pirate, and then have him promptly use her as his hostage. All this points to an adventurous nature and utter disregard for convention. So why exactly does Will Turner appeal to her? He is, of course, intensely good-looking, but also completely boring, safe, and totally predictable. Jack Sparrow is clearly the better option.

2. Make Up Your Minds!

Elizabeth gets the ball rolling when she defends Jack and opposes his being hanged because he just saved her life, and yet, even though she has just been made aware that he is a pirate, she acts surprised when he uses her to escape. She can’t seem to decide if she admires and is friends with Jack or despises him with a vengeance. Will follows suit. He and Jack have a half-hour fencing match upon meeting, but Will later springs Jack out of prison and proceeds to be his loyal sidekick – until he knocks Jack unconscious with the oar of their boat and destroys Jack’s carefully laid plans. In the end, Will saves Jack from hanging at the risk of his own life. So overall, it seems like they are good friends, but both Will and Elizabeth can’t seem to trust him. Whenever he does something unexpected – which is kind of a lot – they act like he’s betrayed them. They don’t seem to get that that’s what Jack does.

3. Orlando Bloom

The only other movies I have seen Orlando Bloom in are The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies, and, quite frankly, his was the worst acting I have ever watched in my life. Somehow Bloom manages to make every word that comes out of his mouth sound at once completely ridiculous and totally unnecessary. He looks feminine because of his skinny build and unflattering wardrobe, but attempts, incongruously, to exude an air of overdone masculinity that fails to be convincing. After his scenes, we are left wondering why exactly his character is in the movie. That said, I did not come away with the same feeling after watching Pirates. While his acting was not outstanding, it didn’t make me want to puke, either. Whether this role was more suited to his abilities or it didn’t really require him to act at all, I am not sure.

4. Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp is my favorite actor. Though I have not seen even close to all his movies, I have always admired his ability to play the not-quite-sane with easy grace. In Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, he plays the weird and feminine Willy Wonka, who is emotionally unstable and never grew up because of an inability to connect with his overly strict father. In Finding Neverland, my personal favorite, he plays the eccentric and failing playwright J. M. Barrie, who never grew up because of the death of his doted-upon brother and subsequent feelings of being unloved. While it seems like Depp only ever plays weird, messed-up mental cases, he can do serious roles as well as bizarre ones. In Finding Neverland, thought the eccentricity is still present, he also shows a very lonely, sad side as well. In Pirates, obviously, he displays no such seriousness. He obviously has a lot of fun with this unscrupulous , strangely charming Long John Silver-esque character.

Aside from the far-fetched action scenes which include the classic see-saw fun – I go up, you go down, I go down, you go up, we dance around in the rafters – and a fencing scene that was vaguely reminiscent of The Princess Bride – I kept waiting for Jack to admit that he is “not left handed” – and the ever-present pair of bumbling idiots… I enjoyed this light-hearted pirate story.

Pride And Prejudice And (Sea)Zombies, Basically

The Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest has all the essential elements of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies – with a few important additions: Elizabeth has abandoned the corsets for a more Peter Pan Live! approach, the zombies are back, but are going for a beach theme this time, and, wait a minute, is that – Mr. Collins?

Things get a bit more complicated in this movie, so bear with me. I will try to make this easy to follow. We have finally arrived at that time in every story where the girl must decide who she is going to choose – the wild guy, or the nice guy? In this case, Will or Jack. Honestly, I was surprised they didn’t plunge into this in The Curse of the Black Pearl, but better late than never, I suppose. Of course, the girl never does make up her mind. Elizabeth is going to waffle back and forth between the two guys for the next seven installments until we get so sick of our emotions being toyed with that we threaten to stop watching.

1. If Jack Represents Freedom, Elizabeth Represents… What, Exactly?

In Dead Man’s Chest, it becomes apparent that in addition to the surface level, there is also an allegorical level to this story. Jack Sparrow has come to mean, specifically to Elizabeth, freedom and adventure. And Elizabeth, I’m guessing, is supposed to represent the opposite, to Jack: being a good person, or choosing to do the right thing, or maybe sacrifice… I’m not really sure yet.

2. The Person, Or The Ideal?

In this movie, it is revealed that Jack’s compass, the one that supposedly “does not work,” actually points the bearer in the direction of whatever it is they want most. So, as opposed to a “moral compass,” I guess you could consider this an “immoral compass.”  So now we know what guides Jack through life: his own selfish desires.

As soon as it is made clear what exactly Jack’s compass does, it is obvious that the whole idea of “what you want most” is going to be a central theme for this movie. In the beginning of the movie, Jack, weirdly enough, appears to be feeling insecure because his compass is pointing in all different directions; he does not know what he wants. Later, Elizabeth struggles with the fact that the compass keeps pointing her to Jack. While part of her knows it is true, she refuses to believe that she is falling for him. When Jack is holding the compass and it points at Elizabeth, he concludes that the treasure he is seeking is buried beneath her. Strangely enough, the treasure actually does end up being buried there, but Jack knows the truth when the compass points him back to the ship he is abandoning because Elizabeth is on board it. But the question is, does Elizabeth want Jack most – or does she simply want the freedom and adventure he embodies? Does Jack want Elizabeth – or… whatever it is she stands for?

3. Prophecies

There is this one all-important moment in Dead Man’s Chest where Jack and Elizabeth make these predictions about each other. Jack prophesies that Elizabeth will realize that he is right: she is just like him, soon, she is going to want to see what it is like to do what she wants to do, to live life for herself. Elizabeth’s return shot is that one of these times, Jack will do the right thing, because, deep down inside, he is a good man. More on this later.

4. What Just Happened?

Jack has just propositioned Elizabeth and she, disgusted, has turned him down – but she’s disturbed by the fact that she knows Jack is right: she is more like him than she would like to admit. They both have black hearts and desire freedom and adventure above everything. But then she abruptly changes course and – attempts to seduce Jack? She seems to offer him herself if he becomes a good man and makes the decision to do the right thing in a crucial moment. She is leading him on, but why? If it was just to test him, to see if he would “do the right thing,” she certainly does not act the least bit alarmed that he is totally ignoring the speech she just made and is about to kiss her. On the other hand, she doesn’t seem terribly disappointed when he has a sudden change of heart and does not kiss her, even though it was pretty obvious that that was exactly what she wanted him to do.

5. Prophecies Fulfilled

Jack’s prophecy actually does come true… sort of. When Elizabeth chains him to The Black Pearl, she is looking out only for herself – similar to something Jack would do. But… arguably, sentencing Jack to a grisly death is not what Elizabeth wants to do because she wants to do it – the thing she would like to do is see what it would be like to do is to leave Will… for Jack. This is what Jack was referring to when he said that she would do what she wanted to because she wanted to do it. So… his prophecy kind of backfired on him.

Ironically, Elizabeth prevents her prophecy from coming true because she doesn’t give Jack the chance to do what she said he would. I’m inclined to think that Jack was already planning to stay behind on The Black Pearl to meet the kraken face-to-face – contradictory to his usual style, Jack wasn’t rushing to be the first to get away, instead he was lingering on the ship, looking forlorn. His line, “It’s only a ship, love,” is not only the most serious thing he has ever said, but it’s also totally out of character. But now we’ll never know – thanks a lot, Elizabeth!

The Curse of the Black Pearl was better. Dead Man’s Chest has even more far-fetched action scenes – the see-saw and rafter combo notably makes another appearance, as well as pretty much the exact same undead crew from The Curse of the Black Pearl with a few aquatic features slapped on, not to mention the dumb-pirate duo from the last movie. However, some elements of the plot I found vastly more interesting than the plot of the first movie. Because The Curse of the Black Pearl is introducing the characters and story for the first time there is no intricate plot. The idea of falling for the “wrong girl” or the “wrong guy,” though overused, I still find intriguing – especially when Jack Sparrow is the guy. Another interesting idea is Jack’s being “marked,” hunted by the kraken – and that his desire for Elizabeth is somehow intrinsically linked to the appearance of the mark.

Pride And Prejudice: The Cast

I’m kind of obsessed with this movie.

Though I am aware that many versions of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice have been made, I have only ever watched the 2005 film directed by Joe Wright. I do intend to watch the other versions sometime, but, honestly, I’m content with this one and I doubt that any of the others will ever take its place.


Obviously, the most important part of any film is its characters and it’s my firm belief that this is why Joe Wright’s Pride and Prejudice shines.


Lizzy (Keira Knightley) – I was not all that impressed with Knightley’s performance, actually. Her ability to get suddenly teary-eyed and her line, “I hardly know,” after reading Darcy’s letter were impressive, but other than that, nothing stands out. Her anger is convincing and I do not dislike her character, which is high praise coming from a girl who habitually rips movie heroines to shreds.

Darcy (Matthew Macfadyen) – Throughout the movie, Macfadyen maintains this perfect balance between cold aloofness and shy, breathless sweetness. A few little details he does so beautifully and have always stood out for me include: the way he hangs his head as if his reply to Lizzy’s, “Do you dance, Mr. Darcy?” came out a little colder than he intended, the way he appears to count steps in an attempt to appear only casually interested in Lizzy’s answer to a question he asks while they are dancing, and the way he twice almost kisses Lizzy involuntarily after she has just rejected his marriage proposal.

The moral of this story, based on Darcy’s appearance, seems to be that the strongest indicator of true love is that one will be increasingly careless in their dress.

Bingley (Simon Woods) – While Bingley is portrayed as vastly stupider than he was in the book, but the character ends up being so funny and sweet that you can’t help but like the blundering, awkward young man.

His marriage proposal, which opens, “First, I must say that I have been the most unmitigated, incomprehensive ass,” while certainly not the most romantic one I’ve ever heard, ought to at least get some points for originality.

Mrs. Bennet, Mary, Kitty, Lydia (Brenda Blethyn, Talulah Riley, Carey Mulligan, Jena Malone) – They are actually painful to watch. I am in agony on Lizzy’s behalf every time one of them is on screen. Blethyn in particular does such a fantastic job of being fussy, crude, and ignorant.


Mr. Collins (Tom Hollander) – Hollander manages to make this character so completely odious and repulsive that he gives me the creeps. Mr. Collins is every girl’s worst nightmare.

Wickham (Rupert Friend) – Wickham is satisfyingly debonair but I can’t help feeling that the development of the story would have benefited from having a little more of Wickham in it. The same is true of Colonel Fitzwilliam (Cornelius Booth). In the book, he is supposed to be an eligible young man who might be interested in Lizzy – and she in him – but Booth portrays him as an older man who is only ever kindly to Elizabeth.

Georgiana Darcy (Tamzin Merchant) – In the movie, Georgiana comes across as a sweet kid, a pretty little girl who does not resemble the painfully shy and totally gorgeous Georgiana described by Jane Austen in the least. Supposedly sixteen years old, Merchant looks closer to twelve, making it hard to believe that she and Wickham were, at one time, a couple.

Who is your favorite character in Pride and Prejudice? Did they make it on my list? Which version is your favorite? Have you ever read the book?

Why I Hate The Princess Bride

I know that a lot of you love the movie, The Princess Bride.

I am know that this post will probably make me a great many mortal enemies.

I know that a lot of you will hate me, and more than likely hunt me down and murder me in my sleep.

I am prepared for these possibilities.

But I can’t help it.

I hate The Princess Bride. Hate it. Passionately.

I’ve been watching it ever since I was a little girl. Cursed with an amazing memory for dialogue, I even blurted out a rather unfortunate quote of that movie verbatim, at the dinner table. I had no idea what I was saying, but it left the rest of my family in embarrassed silence.

I was never a big fan, to be honest.

I may have had a bit of a crush on Westley.

I may still have a crush on Westley…

But I’m getting off topic.

Why do I hate it, you ask?

I will tell you. In detail.

~Buttercup’s Haughtiness~

In the beginning of the movie, Buttercup treats Westley like he isn’t good enough for her. She bosses him around and treats him like dirt. She literally calls him “Farm Boy.”

Ouch.

But then she has a sudden change of heart, and decides that Westley belongs to her. He has no choice in the matter. She simply decides that they are in love and it is so.

If only it were that easy in real life…

~Buttercup’s Wimpiness~


Buttercup cannot do anything for herself.

From getting a pitcher that is directly above her own head, to thinking she can help Westley fight oversized rats and ending up toppling over because she wasn’t even strong enough to heft a tree branch, Buttercup needs help with everything.

Westley is constantly having to save her – from being kidnapped, from fire, from rats, from her husband…

~Buttercup’s Conceit~

Buttercup, who starts out as a bit of a country bumpkin, I might add, is terribly conceited.

She seems to think she is the only person on the planet and seems to be genuinely convinced that everyone in the world is only there to serve her.

I actually rather enjoy watching her get kidnapped, because, for once, everyone is not doing whatever is most pleasant or convenient for Buttercup.

She thinks she has the power to hurt the Prince with her stinging words. She is offended when some old crone “boo’s” at her, and scornfully views herself as a better person than the Dread Pirate Roberts – until she finds out that it was Westley all along.

~Buttercup’s Melodrama~


Ugh.

This girl makes me sick.

I mean, I do not demand that all heroines be ninjas, or have powers, or are tougher or better at fighting than all the guys.

I’m okay with heroines who are strong in other ways.

But seriously.

Buttercup is the worst. The worst, I tell you!

What kind of a role model is she for girls?

She throws herself off a cliff – for what reason exactly? – that isn’t a cliff at all but a steep hill, which honestly makes it that much more pathetic. Like, if it was a real cliff, than at least you would attain your objective of killing yourself, but she must have known that wouldn’t die of rolling down a hill… so why did she do it?

Supposedly, to inflict some kind of immediate pain of herself, to punish herself for being so cruel to Westley, right?

Or did she really think that the fastest way to get to him was to roll?

She could’ve gotten to the bottom much quicker – and with less bruising – by simply running.

You may have noticed a common theme in the list – Buttercup.

Yes, she is the only reason I hate this movie.

I actually like Westley. Though I deeply question his sanity – because, really, who but an insane person could fall in love with Buttercup?

Inigo Montoya is great. The whole movie is hysterical. Even if I can totally tell that the rats are men crawling around on their hands and knees in cheap costumes.

So there are some good things about this movie. It’s just that the bad far outweighs the good on this one.

What do you think? Do you love The Princess Bride? Or hate it? What about Buttercup? Do you hate her? Or do know of some (remarkably well-concealed) traits that you admire in her?

Captive: A Pleasant Surprise

Captive, a recently-released film directed by Jerry Jameson, is based off of the true events that occurred in 2005 – alleged rapist Brian Nichols escaped from the county jail and held Ashley Smith hostage in her own home for seven hours.

I was enormously pleased to find that Captive was a good-quality, well-made movie. It is so common, at least in my experience, for Christian films to be low-budget and to prominently feature poor acting, cheesy lines, unrealistic sermonizing, and in-your-face preachiness.

Captive, fortunately, was something different in the way of Christian films.

Other Christian filmmakers could learn a thing or two from it.

Kate Mara and David Oyelowo – who virtually make up the entire cast of this film – steal the show. Obviously seasoned actors in their own right, it is even more enjoyable to watch them interact. Their on-screen chemistry is simply fantastic.

Can I just that I love the idea of hostage situation stories?

Because I do. So much.

The tension is fabulous, for one thing. Another thing I like is that it presents a unique opportunity for the audience to get to know the characters in a way they normally can’t.

Most movies cover a period of months or even years. Hostage situations usually only last a day or two – which means that the audience gets to see almost every detail of that time. This allows them to bond to the characters in an intimate way that most movies don’t create.

Not to mention that it forces the characters themselves to bond intensely, which is always fun to watch. I, for one, love watching close relationships develop between characters.

The only thing that messed up this movie for me was the ending.

It felt abrupt and left me wanting something. Closure… or more resolution, perhaps.

And it made it out like Nichols was the bad guy. Which, of course, he was.

But isn’t that the whole point of the movie? Or did I miss something?

I thought that the whole point was that two broken people collided and found a measure of healing by spending that seven hours with one another.

That Nichols was, in some ways, just as much of a captive as Ashley was. I mean, where could he go? He was trapped. Every bit as trapped as she was.

It seemed almost like Ashley was betraying him, by leaving.

In reality, Ashley did an incredibly brave thing. Something that is to be applauded. She did the right thing.

But Nichols, in the movie at least, is a vulnerable, slightly unstable man. And it feels like a betrayal to use his trust in Ashley against him that way. A bit of a slap in the face to their so-called “friendship.”

Toward the end of the movie, it seems like the makers lost sight of the fact that Ashley Smith was not the only who found healing, redemption, and hope that night.