Tuesday, February 22, 2011

"Gnomeo and Juliet"...Shakespeare for Kids!!

Now I am not one of those purists that need to have her Austen or Shakespeare exactly as they were written. I think the more variations there are, the more of them there will be. Well, for the first time that I can think of, a variation has been done for children and I think that is amazing!!!

Gnomeo and Juliet is a version of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet that will please not only children and adults but it will especially please those of us who hate the ending of the “real” play. I was wondering how they would handle it in a kids movie and it was perfect!!!

First I must say that I am a sucker for ANYTHING James McAvoy is in.

Not that I have seen everything he has done but he is a very talented actor! But when along with him you have Emily Blunt, Maggie Smith and Michael Caine, and then the music of Elton John and you just can’t go wrong with this movie.

There are multiple “Shakespeare” references which only a real Shakespeare buff would catch but you don’t have to have ever even heard of the Bard to enjoy this movie. This is how Shakespeare should be introduced to children. In fact, he should NEVER be introduced to beginners by reading his plays. That is a sure fire way to turn them off. His plays should be seen! But don’t get me started on this! That is for my next blog!

Anyway, back to the movie. You have the red yard, or the Capulet home, and the blue yard which is the Montague home. Juliet, lives in the red yard and Gnomeo in the blue and the gnomes in these 2 yards have been feuding for so long, no one even remembers why.

One day, the two star crossed lovers meet accidently in an abandoned yard, both trying to get the same flower and it is love at first site.

There are many fun characters that are also introduced that move the story entertainingly along. The best I think is the statue of W. Shakespeare in the park that Gnomeo is explaining the problem of his love story to, and the statue tells him how his love story is going to end, but Gnomeo refuses to let it end how the play does.

I won’t tell anymore but this very fun movie is great for all ages and since we all had to READ (again, don’t get me started on how stupid it is to do this to students), Romeo and Juliet, you will recognize most of the lines and puns from the play that are used in this movie. The musical score is an A++++ bonus as Elton John is at his best with old favorites and a couple of new songs for the soundtrack. I will defiantly get it on iTunes!

Don’t wait for the DVD to go see this in the theaters. It is worth it. We didn’t see it in 3D and it was great. If you did see it in 3D, let me know if it was worth the extra $$$$. I don’t think we missed out on anything. Enjoy!!!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

For The Electronic Geek in Your Life...

It is impossible to get a gift for some people.  Like my Husband, other than work, he has only one interest and that is electronics and I know nothing about that!  Well, I found a book that is perfect for this type of person. 

"It's A Book" is a very short but VERY humorous look at how eletronic geeks deal with the concept of something that can't blog, tweet, instant message, scroll, re-charge, or anything that has to do with a cord or wi-fi. 

It only takes about 1 minute to read but you will be laughing by the third page and continue to laugh the end.  The author, Lane Smith, REALLY got to the funny side of this topic instantly with the witty conversation between this jackass and the monkey. 

A friend of mine who is a teacher, after reading it said, EVERY teacher should have this book just to have a good laugh now and then. 

Check it out.  It is in the "Humor" section of the bookstore where I found it, after looking for it in the children's section for a while.  Enjoy it and let me know what you think of it!

Friday, February 4, 2011

"What is that you read, my Lord? Words, words, word. (Hamlet a2s2)

A word can hold so many pictures for the imagination.

I love reading books that use words so well that I can see a picture in my mind just from the descriptive words I read. A few months ago I signed up with the web-site,, to get a new “word a day” sent to me by email. I love learning new words, especially if they are interesting. I have started saving some of my favorite words, hopefully, for someday when I write a book and I can use them. Here are a few of the words that I have really liked:

Acedia: laziness or indifference in religious matters

Nitid: bright, lustrous

Kenspeckle: easily seen or recognized

And there are many more. However, one of my favorite words that I have learned is “evanescence” and it means; a gradual disappearance, or the state of becoming imperceptible. Isn’t that a beautiful word?

I can see using it in some type of fairy story, or a mystery maybe.

Another of my favorite words comes from one of my favorite Shakespeare plays.

In Henry V, act 4 scene 4, the King is praying the night before the battle of Agincourt with the French. In this prayer, he says this:

…But, like a lackey, from the rise to set

Sweats in the eye of Phoebus and all night

Sleeps in Elysium;…

It is the word “Elysium”. I wondered what it meant to “sleep in Elysium”. It sounds wonderful. Just from the context of the word, it sounds like a deep, peaceful, and restful sleep. So I looked it up and it means: A place or condition of ideal happiness. Now, knowing the definition, it makes being able to “sleep in Elysium” sound even more wonderful.

Even now, I find myself, after a rare night of solid sleep without my crazy dreams that I have regularly, waking up to the thought of this night I slept in Elysium. Doesn’t that sound so much more beautiful than to say you had a good night’s sleep?

So my challenge to all of you is to start using more frabjous words to describe our lives!