Tuesday, September 30, 2008

"Bride and Prejudice" is fun and I'll take Jane Austen anyway I can!!!

Some people are puriests, they will only watch or read Jane Austen, Shakespeare, or other famous writers exactly how it was originally written or meant to be performed. I'm not that way, especially with Austen. There are so few of her novels, 6 in all plus "Lady Susan", and that's not enough! So anytime I can enjoy her in a round about way I do! This movie is one example of an adaptation of "Pride and Prejudice".
"Bride and Prejudice" starts in India as a typical Bollywood musical (if you haven't ever seen one you have really missed out). There are only 4 "Bennet" daugthers, Kitty got lost in the translation I guess, but their name is Bakshi instead of Bennet. Lalita is the Elizabeth character and is played by the most beautiful woman on earth (next to Halley Berry), and her name is Aishwarya Rai. She is one of the biggest stars in Bollywood. The action starts in India, then moves to London, to LA and back.

It even has the dance scene between Lalita and William Darcy except that Indian dance and music is so much more fun than 18th century music and dance! One warning, there is no kissing!!!! Miss Rai is very devout in her religion and will not kiss anyone(except her husband AND she will not dress immodestly)!
The colors of India will amaze you and it really made me want to visit the country someday. Mrs. Bakshi is just as annoying and embarressing as the original Mrs. Bennet.
The sisters are fun together and remind me of me and my sisters dancing around the house when we were children. And Mr. Kohli, (Mr. Collins) is hilarious!
Not to say that India is backward at all, but the cultural system of India really fit in with that of 18th Century England due to the arranged marriages that they still practice somewhat in that society.

Check out the fun and toe taping musical redition of one of Jane Austens' best books!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Just a reminder!


This weeks Jane Austen question must have been hard!!!! Don't forget to vote!!!!

Can you imagine eating only potatoes or turnips for more than 4 years? Read who had to do this and why...

How long has it been since you enjoyed a book so much, you didn’t want it to end? That is what you will feel like when you read “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society”.
The entire book is written in letters to various characters. Although it begins in London, 1946, you are transported back through these letters and the experiences of the writers, to when the Germans invaded and occupied the islands and in particular the island of Guernsey, for 5 years during WWII.

Map of Channel Islands, just north of the French Coast

I felt I really got to know each of the main characters, through their letters to each other, and how they managed to survive their awful experiences during the war, sometimes through VERY funny ways. The Literary society was one of those funny ways and it continued after the war was over.

Germans boats on the shore of the island

If you enjoy funny, touching, and even a little romance thrown in you will love this book and you will also learn quite a bit. Although the book is Fiction, the authors reseached used actual experiences of the islanders that have been recorded for the events in the book.

Port St. Peter on Guernsey where the Germans landed

This is one you will not want to put down and especially not want it to end. If you have read it already, leave a comment or review for others to read also.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

This secret treasure is a movie that has it all!!!

In 2003 the movie "Bon Voyage" was released but it took a while to make it to the USA. It is a French movie and there are very few that make it "across the pond". This movie however, was worth the wait and I am willing to wait again if we can see another French movie as great as this one!
There are only 2 actors that you will probably recognize, Gerard Depardieu and Peter Coyote, but there are many others that after watching this, you would wish you could see again and again

The story is set in France, shortly before the Nazi invasion of Paris during WWII. There is a murder within the first 10 minutes and then the suspense, intrigue, comedy, and romance never stop until the very end.

There are delightlful characters that you will love, and delightful characters that you will love to HATE!!!
You may also learn something about "heavy water", what it is used for and the need to keep it out of the Germans hands.
In the end, all ends as one (me) would hope. One warning, it comes with sub-titles but that is also a plus, because that means you may have to watch it more than once to enjoy it completely!

Try to find this movie and you will agree with me when I say...VIVA LA FRANCE!!!!!!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Birds are for the BIRDS!!! This is why I hate them!

My dislike of birds goes back to my childhood when I first saw the movie “The Birds”, (one of the scariest movies ever, even my kids won’t watch it, they just mock me for being afraid of it). That is when I was introduced to the fact that they are just biding their time to hurt us as humans. Then a few experiences with birds confirmed this.
First, my husband and I were in Florida at the Kennedy Space Center. I was sitting in an open area eating lunch when a bird came and attacked me, forcing me to drop my sandwich. He then turned around and flew back and picked up my food and flew away!!! Proof enough but…Then came the black birds that keep stealing the “props” out of my train garden, especially the tombstones from the church graveyard. I am still finding tombstones around the yard where the birds dropped them.

Next were the pigeons. They are everywhere here in Mesa AZ. We have chased them from one corner of our roof to another for over 3 years, cleaning up their messes along the way! They’re messes are worse that pets! I finally called a professional and I think we have them gone! But I feel guilty because they have gone to all of our neighbors roofs. So the problem hasn’t left. They are just waiting… waiting… waiting… but for what???? If it can happen in Bodega Bay, it can happen in Mesa.
PS- I do love hummingbirds.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The media helped me make up my mind!

As much as the mainstream media has tried to do otherwise, they have helped me make up my mind to vote for the Republican ticket. Let me tell you how they convinced me to come to this conclusion.
It was in the interviews that I saw of the 2 candidates. I think of all the interviews I have watched (and I have watched a lot of them) the best and most informative was of Reverend Rick Warren of the Saddleback Church in CA. He interviewed both men individually and asked each one the exact same questions. If you can watch it I highly recommend you do so. The differences were very clear!
Each time I saw the candidates on the “mainstream media,” I noticed the difference in the questions asked of the candidates. It is as if they are afraid of what Barack Obama will say so they don’t ask him the same type of questions that they ask John McCain. It seems like they are unsure he can handle the questions and don’t want to make him look bad. Then, when McCain answers the tough questions, they don’t like the answers and get very “snooty” (my choice of word) and condescending with him or Gov. Palin. Joe Biden, now that’s a no brainer, you listen to him and you know why he’s not an option. I haven’t watched him without feeling embarrassed for what he says. The most informative interview of Obama was on Bill O’Reilly and he answered tough questions for the first time, but I didn’t agree with his answers!

I wish I could get a list comparing questions asked of the different candidates (especially from “The View”- I was so embarrassed for the ladies to see them drooling over Obama). Here is one list of questions to show you the difference between what Obama was asked and what Palin was asked, and the source of this information. Ironically, the Hillary Clinton Forum published this list of the Obama questions:

-How does it feel to break a glass ceiling?

-How does it feel to "win"?

-How does your family feel about your "winning" breaking a glass ceiling?

-Who will be your VP?Should you choose Hillary Clinton as VP?

-Will you accept public finance?

-What issues is your campaign about?

-Will you visit Iraq?

-Will you debate McCain at a town hall?

-What did you think of your competitor's [Clinton] speech?

And the Palin questions:

Do you have enough qualifications for the job you're seeking?

-Specifically have you visited foreign countries and met foreign leaders?

-Aren't you conceited to be seeking this high level job?

Questions about foreign policy

-territorial integrity of Georgia

-allowing Georgia and Ukraine to be members of NATO-NATO treaty

-Iranian nuclear threat

-what to do if Israel attacks Iran

-Al Qaeda motivations

-the Bush Doctrine

-attacking terrorists harbored by Pakistan

-Is America fighting a holy war? [misquoted Palin]

from American thinker:

The “mainstream media” apparently doesn't believe that Obama can speak to the great problems of the country. He can’t even handle tough questions from individuals that clearly want him to win. In this way I totally agree with the media that he is not up for the job of President... hence my choice was helped by the media’s coverage or lack of coverage of the 2 candidates.
(Blogs are great for venting!!!!)

Monday, September 15, 2008

On a clear day you can see this golden nugget of a movie...

Now that we are all on the "swimming" band wagon from the Olympics, I wanted to let you know about this great movie. It is entitled "On A Clear Day" and before you think, UGH!!! not BS(Barbara Striesand), she has nothing at all to do with this movie. That is part of why it is so WONDERFUL!!! It takes place in Scotland (love those accents!!! Gerard Butler!!! sorry I got side-tracked). It is about Frank, who is laid off of his job as a ship builder and he is devasted. He can't think of what he could do now that would bring meaning to his life. He comes up with the plan to swim the English Channel to overcome a fear due to an accident as a young father (I can't say anything else on that). Along the way, through what he is doing, he inspires his wife and friends to also over come obstacles in their lives that are keeping them from progressing.

Frank is played wonderfully by, Peter Mullen, who I don't remember seeing in any other movie except "The Last Legion" (another "g" nugget), and Brenda Blethyn (Mrs. Bennet in "Pride and Prejudice") is amazing as his wife. His friends are very funny but it is especially fun to see Billy Boyd (Pippin from "Lord of the Rings").
Part of the story line deals with a strained Father/son relationship and how he works it out and the family becomes closer. You will be laughing and crying throughout this movie.
If you have seen it, leave a comment for others about this movie!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Southwest Shakespeare's 15th season is almost here!!!

I can hardly wait for this season to begin. Two of my favorite plays are being performed this year. They are "As You Like It" from Sept. 25th to Oct. 11th, and my ALL TIME FAVORITE, "Winter's Tale" is being done for the Christmas show. I will "swoon" about "Winter's Tale" closer to the show, but first we have.....

This is one of the funniest and most romantic plays! You have Rosalind,Celia, and Orlando hiding out in the forest of Arden. Rosalind, disguised as a boy, is trying to teach Orlando how to court her, (he doesn't know it is her). You have a banished duke and his group also hiding in the forest, and Orlando's evil brother trying to find him to kill him. I'm sure you have all heard the famous, "all the world's a stage..." line and it is from this play. It is non-stop excitement! If you want to introduce your family to Shakespeare, even children from 8 and up, they will love this play.

In my opinion, you need to take children to a play to introduce them to Shakespeare, before they have to read "Romeo and Juliet" in 9th grade! His plays are so much easier to understand when seen on the stage than they are when read in a class. I think that the 9th grade experience is what turns most people off, because they think they can't understand it. So SAD!!!

TRY IT, YOU WILL LOVE IT!! Your family will thank you for it, I promise! Also this season is "Otello", "The Merchant of Venice", and "Tartuffe" (by Moliere, I have not seen this one before but heard it is very funny!)

As a side note-A great documentary on Shakespeare is "Looking For Richard". It won the Oscar for best documentary and was made by Al Pacino and his friends and it is a great intro to Shakespeare and especially the play "Richard III". Check it out!

You can get tickets by calling the Mesa Arts Center at:480.644.6500

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Death made entertaining!

Only one month left until the season premiere(10/1) of one of the best shows ever made for TV. That is "Pushing Daisies". If you didn't see it last season before the writers’ strike, you will want to watch the first 12 episodes so that you start up to date on the story line, and you can do that online:
(if you don't want to watch last seasons episodes, click on the "Starter Kit" and it will give you a great background on what happened last season.)

Pushing Daisies is about a man named Ned (Lee Pace) that can make dead people come back to life for 1 minute, then he has to touch them again to die or someone else in the near vicinity will die in their place. He and a partner have made a “business” out of solving murders because of this slight edge they have over their competitors. Ned also has a pie restaurant that he also works at and a childhood sweetheart, Chuck (Anna Friel), that he brought back in the first episode, but alas, they can’t touch or she will die again.

It is the best written, best acted, and the sets, and costumes are so beautiful. There are other interesting characters in the show like the aunts of Chuck (the sweetheart), and the pie makers employee, played by Kristin Chenoweth and the partner, Chi McBride. Don’t wait to see the season opener. Watch last season FIRST!!!!

"Pushing Daisies" and "The Office" are the only two network shows that I watch and "Pushing Daisies" is by far the better of the two!
If you have seen it leave your comments so others will see how great this show is!