Sunday, November 28, 2010

Holiday Movie Reviews: Part 1

Hello Everyone!

Since my lap is conveniently occupied by my baby kitty, Twix, (spoiled, she is!) I thought I would take this opportunity to write my thoughts about the latest movies I've seen. I have quite a few coming up as well. If you have any suggestions for me (movies I should check out, dis/agree with my opinions etc)I'm all ears!

The newest tradition in the Decker family is to see a movie on Thanksgiving weekend. Usually a good movie releases that weekend anyways, so why not? This year we chose Tangled!

The newest Disney fairytale is a cute movie. There's been a lot of hype around this film with the commercials, toys and clips all over TV and Internet. They portray it as a fun, fast-paced adventure with a little bit for everyone. It's absolutely that, but something seems to be missing...I can't put my finger on it...It's not up there with Beauty and the Beast or anything, but it delivers as a whimsical family film with a touch of Disney magic.

The magic is delivered through shining performances of the cast and creative characters. Mandy Moore blew me away as Rapunzel because she felt genuine and she was able to show off her voice, in speech and song! Zachary Levi was a the perfect choice for Flynn Ryder because of his versatility in humor and drama. He actually sings too! Even though the music is written by Alan Menkin (Disney composer extraordinaire!), the timing of the songs is awkward (forced, even) and the lyrics don't go very deep. There were a few songs which fit, like whenever Mandy Moore sang :), or when the Thugs in the tavern were given their moment to share their dreams! haha

My favorite characters other than the leads were Pascal the chameleon, the Thugs, and Max the Guard Horse! They were fantastic additions! Added a lot of humor and spunk to the film. I also really liked the way the story was modified to include magic, love and the characters still having a life after the 'magic' is over and they can move towards the 'happily ever after' stage :)

Overall, really liked it, but some key ingredients were missing. Easily overlooked because it's a fun story!

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1

Wow...where to begin? Well, obviously, we've been waiting for this film for a loooong time, but it was worth the wait! The storyline is perfectly matched with the book (excellent!) and the visual elements only enhance the story telling; FINALLY!
My favorite enhancement was the choice to animate the Wizard Fable; very well done! It was wonderful to see Dobey again, for however short a time. *tear*(more of those to come, I'm sure!)

It's nice to see Ron/Rupert Grint having more than just a pout on his face. He's finally moving up to the same level as Emma Watson and Daniel Radcliffe. Rupert really beefed up for this role! He has SHOULDERS! haha For me, Emma Watson is the most talented of the three. I know no matter where life takes them, they're going to do very well.

I loved seeing more of the Death Eaters and Voldemort. So creepy and scary (could not believe there were kids some kids under 10 in the theater...parents are DUMB!) but that is the reality of that world.

Awkward Scenes: Harry and Hermione dancing (it was a nice break from all the tension), Harry and Ginny kissing (funny because she's obviously taller than him keehee, I'm mean, I know...), the Harry/Hermione make-out session (obviously not how the characters would act since Voldemort is trying to tempt Ron, I saw it as a lustful portrayal, not how the characters would really kiss if they had the chance) and Harry diving into icy water in just his underwear (not entirely unpleasant ;) just kidding!)

Rip-off Moment: When the Trio is running away from the Snatchers in the forest, the lighting and camera style are very similar to the running scenes in Twilight...Too similar....

Overall, enjoyed it thoroughly! Totally didn't feel as long as it was. Can't wait to see Part 2!

But until then, I know I'll have plenty of other films to see...

I've also been able to view some interesting films with the help of Netflix. My mom and I tried our first series. We can't wait to get a Wii so we don't have to wait for the next disc to come in the mail.

The series we watched was a bio/drama about the infamous actress of the Victorian era, Lillie Langtry. Simply titled Lillie, the series was made in 1978 by BBC. Obviously, at that time BBC didn't have the high production value they do today, so it was amusing to see the sets and you could tell the actors were on a sound stage. But the script and the cast bringing this story to life are so realistic and captivating, you really have to pay attention or you'll miss the clever comments and pivotal choices of the characters. My favorite character other than Lillie is Oscar Wilde. He has the best lines (which sound very much like lines from his books and plays) and he has great insight of others. Very interesting, but I would recommend it to those who are looking for a dramatic piece heavily influenced by actual events and people. Lillie led a very eventful life! She's an excellent example of how the life of a celebrity (and all the sacrifices that involves) hasn't changed in the last 100 years.

Movies Coming Up!

The King's Speech
Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader
TRON Legacy (the Father-Daughter/Daughter movie this year since my big bros loved the original)

More to come!

all my love,


Monday, November 15, 2010

Keep Moving Forward!

Hello Everyone!

It's snowing in Minnesota! Thanksgiving and Christmas are just around the corner, but that means good family time, good movies coming up and reconnecting with people.

I know it has been awhile so I'll get right down to business!


I've added to my arsenal! While continuing to work with Brandon and Cat Auction Services, I'm now a PR Intern at Hennepin Theatre Trust in Minneapolis. I help out there once a week putting together press kits, writing press releases and learning about what it takes to promote theater programs. It's exactly where I want to be in the n ear future and this is a great step for me to take. If a job opens up there, I'll be considered for jobs based on my performance here. But if there's nothing there now, I can always put this experience on my resume. I'm also on a temp agency's list! The agency is called Hourglass. They specifically cater to non-profits because they always need short term hires for projects and Hourglass is a place they can go to find qualified people who want to work in non-profits. No jobs have come up yet, but I'm just glad I'm not the only one looking for myself anymore. I'm still searching, but I'm keeping busy!

Church Stuff:

This school year I'm working with Community of Hope's Wednesday night program TREK! I'm a small group leader for 4th grade girls. I love them so much! They share their hearts with each other, help each other look up Bible verses and get easily excited about Jesus! Sometimes they drive me crazy, but they are so sweet.

Actually, I get fed Spiritually a bit more from that program than I do on Sundays! The worship is so genuine, the messages simple but thoughtful, and hearing Truth from kids is priceless. This week since Jeri, the Children's Ministry leader for Weds nights, is on a cruise with her husband (lucky!), I'm taking over some of her duties like announcements, worship and Slam It Questions! Also, cleaning up, the leaders meeting and reminding the kids there's no programing for Thanksgiving week. Hopefully they remember to bring in shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child, too! The goal is 200 boxes to get Jeri and Justin to get slimed! Oh, motivation...haha

Whew! It's going to be a cray night...Especially since I have worship team practice right afterwords! I've been on the worship team a few times lately, and I have a few more weeks to go. This coming week we're incorporating the choir, yay! It's been really fun to be part of a worship team again.

Blast from the Past!

Thanks to Facebook, I've been able to reconnect with people I grew up with in Bellingham, Washington. Many people from high school, middle school and elementary school! It's fun to see what people are up to, where they went to college, what they studied and where they are now.

I also was able to Skype with my friend David, from Washington, who's been in England attending grad school for aerospace engineering. (Yeah, he's too smart for his own good...) He was able to connect with me online thanks to his sister Ruth, who's also in England. Great conversation! I hope he finds a job out there so I can see him when I visit Lesley next year in Scotland! :)

Movie Review Time!

Nowhere Boy
Saw this movie with a Beatles fan (good choice!) and was impressed by the high quality of the film. It's rated R for a few reasons, but the story is so fascinating and the cast is excellent! It's rather dark and dramatic, but if you're a Beatles fan and interested in John Lennon's past, then go for it! 

Little Miss Sunshine
I've wanted to see this movie for awhile and I'm glad I finally did :) I loved the dry family humor and how the characters changed during the course of the film. Very kwirky, but fun. 

Extraordinary Measures
Great story and excellent dramatic role for Brendan Fraiser and Harrison Ford. It's based on an incredible true story. I can see why it didn't do so well in theaters, because it's rather deep content. But it's a good film to watch with families (with older kids/teens/adults).

Temple Grandin
My favorite movie this season! Go HBO! Claire Danes blew me away as Temple Grandin, a cattle expert with autism. She opened the doors for experts to find out what it's like to have autism and how cattle farms could be more humane in their handling processes. She's a genius with a PhD who self soothes with a squeeze box! She's helped so many people and is still active in the cattle and autism communities. Anyone interested in seeing what it's like to have autism need to see this film! Even if it's not something you've been exposed to, I still think you'll like it. Temple is funny, sweet and sooo autistic! but I mean that in the best way possible :) They see the world so differently! It's wonderful!

It's a modern-day fairy tale. I don't want to give anything away because the whole story revolves around the question of where a mysterious girl came from, who (and possibly what) she is. A gritty, realistic story with very human characters who mess up, but you still want to see the miracles that happen. 

Coming Up:

Experience at Hennepin Theatre Trust (and tickets to SHOWS!)

TREK Stories!

Harry Potter, Harry Potter (spaz!), Harry Potter, Harry Potter!
Can't hardly wait to see it! I hope it has more energy than the Half-Blood Prince.

Tangled (Disney's version of Rapunzel) 

Thanksgiving and Christmas!

Blessings to you all!