Sunday, December 30, 2012

Movies To Watch All Year Round

Well, time has finally come to wrap up another year for all of it's good and bad. I do not wish to do that now, seeing that I still have over 24 hours for a miracle to happen, not to mention that all is well that ends well... and if it isn't, it is not over yet. So this year might be over soon, life isn't. That is why I wanted to list you a couple of movies that I watch every single year. Without exception! I might watch it at a different time, but I do watch them - always.
Perhaps you'll get curious and find some favorite of yours hidden there! Who knows?

The first movie is La Boum with Sophie Marceau. I watch this movie usually on the 30th of December. And then I watch the sequel La Boum 2 on the 2nd of January. This is a little ritual of mine, to end the year with and to begin another. This way, I actually watch both movies in the same year... just the other way around. I know it is weird, but bare with me! The story, in a nutshell, is that of Vic, a young teenage girl and her first love. In the background, her parents get separated because of cheating on the part of her father, for which her mother gets revenge. In the end, they realize that they love each other too much. The sequel is supposedly two years later, however Vic seems much more grown up and she gets together with a college boy. He finally seems to be more then the guys she dated previously, and unlike the first one, that sort of had an open ending, this ends on a happy note and it really makes you believe in eternal love: Two people who fight for each other and don't give up at the first sign of jealousy or controversy. Either way, I pretty much grew up on these two movies: they where my mom's favorites when she was a little girl. The songs are iconic, the actors and story are exceptional and well, the main characters are really good to look at! French people do know something about making movies, contrary to popular belief! Anyway, starting your year with Sophie Marceau is a great moral boost! (I made a fan video out of the two movies, you can watch it by clicking here!)

Speaking of touching love stories, this second one is a favorite of mine. The clashing of British and American traditions is a never ending well of resources for movie makers. Some use them better than others, this is one of those cases. I am of course talking about The Wedding Date, a story in which Kat (Debra Messing) hires a male escort, Nick (Dermot Mulroney) to accompany her to her sister Amy's wedding (Amy Adams), because her ex-fiancee Jeffrey (Jeremy Sheffield) is the best man. She has moved to New York, and is now going back to London for the wedding. During the movie, we find out that Jeffrey has cheated on Kat, and while doing so, had fallen in love with Amy, but Kat finally learns how to let go of him. Nick in the meanwhile realizes that Kat is the first woman for whom he would be willing to quit his profession and finally fall in love. The two get together in the end. Let alone the beautiful landscapes in the great country of Britain, this movie has an exceptionally great script! Some movies start on a funny note, and they end up forgetting about that... This however has the sense that something isn't quite over yet. It does start off on a funny note, and it keeps it throughout the whole movie, without ruining the more dramatic scenes. There is also a sense of mystery, as we slowly find out that something has been going on behind Kat's back... In the end the viewers are awarded, because although you kinda know that the two main characters will get together, they have a great story arc and they both need to conquer certain fears before being able to be happy. Back in 2005, I saw this movie twice in the theater, I really loved it and up until this day, around April, I always watch it again. It is a real home run if you ask me! (For Christmas, my sister made me a fan video out of this movie, you can view it by clicking here!)

One time during the year I watch one after the other the Italian movie L'Ultimo Bacio and the remake The Last Kiss. This is one of my favorite Italian movies because of the protagonists, Giovanna Mezzogiorno is the best you can ask for. Five years after the release they made the American remake. This is the kind of love story that I write when I work on my own scripts. They are really inspirational for me, both great movies and the casting choices in the American fixed the only problems I had with the Italian. I have written an OLD vs. NEW compare-and-contrast, which nicely summarizes my views, if you get the time check it out here! Either way, there are great Italian movies out there, hard to find, but if you follow some of the great actors' career you are bound to find some great films out there!

With my birthday on June 1st the summer movie marathon begins. You might have read my review on Sixteen Candles (click here if you wish to do so now!), in which I reveal that I have watched this movie on my birthday every year since my own sweet sixteen, which, in the year to come, will make it the 7th time I've seen it. I don't want to go into a lot of details, mainly, it is Sam's birthday and everyone forgot about her during the mess that her sister's wedding is causing. In the meanwhile, she is longing for a boy she thinks doesn't even know she exists, while it is quite the opposite, and he too is longing to meet her. In the end, of course her family apologizes and the movie ends in one of the most iconic kisses in American movie history - trust me, everyone knows that scene! I love this movie, I always have, always will. I really don't want to go into more detail, read my review and you'll get an answer to all and any question you might have, but let us now move on to the summer triplets:

Now, I quite confident to tell you that this next movie is my favorite. And I literally mean that I, unlike every poor being on this planet, have 1 favorite that cannot be rivaled by any other. This movie is The First Wives Club. Taking into consideration that I was about 7 years old the first time I saw, I have been rewatching it every year since and have completely grown up now to actually understand what it is about, and not just laugh at the comedic scenes. The story is about four best friends from college who have lost touch during the years and are now reunited because one of them has committed suicide. The three, all of them stuck in a circle of unhappiness, join forces to bring down the ones who have made their lives miserable: their husbands. Their friend died, because she couldn't handle her divorce and having been left for a younger woman, not to mention having have lost contact with her friends. Knowing, that the latter cannot be changed, the three decide to make sure that this tragedy never occurs again. WIth schemes of blackmail and other distortions, they get their money back from their exs and build up a crisis center for women in downtown New York. The movie is of course considered a comedy, but a grown up comedy none the less. It really focuses on what can go wrong in a marriage and how hard life actually is without your friends in it. The imdb rating is a total bullshit, so never mind that, rent this one! Trust me, it'll be worth you while!

Every summer I have three movies, classics in my opinion, that I cannot live without. The first being 3 Men and a Little Lady. My mom was always in love with Tom Selleck after Magnum PI (how could she not? He is a stud! Still is! And that perfect mustache? How does he do that?) Either way, this movie started my fan ride in following Ted Danson and Nancy Travis. They both star in great TV shows now, so at least I get a chance to see them. The movie was originally the remake of a french movie, and this is the sequel. Three best friends live together and raise the daughter of one of them with the girl's mom. In the end there is of course a great romance and a happy ending. It is a cute and funny story, again, clashing of British and American culture - but without any stereotypes. It is a lot of fun!
The second one is a movie that the Americans don't like for some reason... at first I thought that perhaps the dubbing made it better, but upon watching it in original I realized that it was just as funny. This is the movie version of a play, in which the lead, Angelo 'Snaps' Provolone (Sylvester Stallone) plays a gangster who decides to go straight on the same day when the police tries to catch him; another gangster plans to kill him; his daughter gets engaged and he finds out that he has fathered another child. This is a great comedy, with such well known actors as Ornella Muti, Marisa Tomei, Peter Riegert, Tim Curry, Chazz Palminteri and Kurtwood Smith. In comments I have read that they find Stallone to be a bad comedic actor - I don't think that is the case. If you can, get a copy of it! You'll be sure to like it!
Lastly, my favorite musical-movie. I haven't seen it on stage yet, but I would kill for a chance. We are of course talking about Grease. This movie is really what my childhood is all about. But unlike most people, the love story that keeps drawing me back into watching it over and over again is the story between Rizzo (Stockard Channing) and Kenickie (Jeff Conaway). 'There are worst things I could do' is my favorite song in the whole world. Since I was 6 years old, I find that I have become the number one fan of Stockard Channing, and trust me, she is wonderful in this movie! (Maybe even better than the leads...)

The next one is also a summer favorite, as I have seen in the theater in summer. You probably don't know it, as it is a Hungarian movie, but for me it is really the tip of the iceberg. The title is Valami Amerika, which stands for 'A Kind Of America'. Tamás is a young, Budapest-based director of video clips and commercials who dreams of directing his first feature film with the title 'The Guilty City'. He has already written the script but does not have the means of financing his project. Thus when he surprisingly gets an email from American film producer Alex Brubeck who writes that he had liked the script and would like to meet him personally, Tamás sees all his dreams come true. With the help of his two brothers Ákos, a successful manager and sex maniac, and András, a poet and complete loser, he tries to make a good impression on the American and persuade him to finance the film project. But there are some surprises on the way... Hungarian movies have tried to copy the American style for years - without any success I might add. This movie is outstanding because it doesn't want to fit in elements that the Hungarian culture doesn't have. Here I mean that we have movies about cheerleaders, proms, movie premieres and none of these are heard of, even now! This movie is singularly and exceptionally wonderful because it is revolutionary on a Hungarian scale, it is adherent to our culture and has a thick logical script with some of the best actors that ever lived in our little country. Try and watch it, there are english subtitles available on the net!

On July 17th Mamma Mia! premiered in Hungary. That summer I spent all of my time watching as many Meryl Streep movies as I possibly could, I was so excited! I had to find something to see while waiting. As far as musicals that I have seen on stage go, this is my favorite. The movie is just as much up there, I was not disappointed. I have seen it 8 times in the theater! I'm not even kidding :D. I already loved the songs, I love the story and the casting was marvelous! They made great choices and I applaude that they waited for the director of the musical to direct the movie as well! I do have two complaints... There were a total of 3 songs cut from the movie, and I really didn't get why... Not to mention, those were my three favorites! The first is 'Under Attack': this song comes up at the beginning of the second part, when Sophie has a nightmare. Honestly, the movie built it up very well, Sophie fades because of her dads and mom and fiancee, meaning that a nightmare scene would've fit perfectly, but there was no mention of why this song got cut. The second is 'One Of Us': sang by Donna. The third is 'Knowing Me, Knowing You': which would've been Sam's solo. Now, people have heavy criticism on Pierce Brosnan's singing, I personally had no problem with it. But if that is the reason they cut it, perhaps they shouldn't have casted him... Just saying. Either way, I can see how the last two didn't really fit in the quick going of the story, but the first?? Why did you cut it? Secondly, while waiting for the movie I watched as many interviews and featurettes as I could, and the actors kept talking about how hard the 'Voulez-Vous' dance was... but you can't really see anything in the scene that was finally released. Not even the DVD bonus features have anything on it. I didn't get that... BUT, I do watch this movie every year on July 17th, even if I watch it previously on TV or just with friends. It is one of those tiny rituals I'm not willing to get rid of!

As summer ends, come the fall movies, or at least those that make me think of fall. There are two worth mentioning. The first is Cocktail. This 80's movie has been my favorite ever since I saw it. I do find Tom Cruise to be and exceptionally wonderful actor, even if he is really weird in real life... And his roles in the 80's? God, I would've killed just to be the first one to see them on the big screen! After this movie I became a hardcore Elisabeth Shue fan too! Up to today I always check where I can find her, and just the same, I try to watch the best Cruise movies as well. The story is about Brian, a handsome fellow who goes to New York to study and simply be young. He becomes a wonderful bartender, but he hates New York and he goes to Jamaica to make his dreams come true. Ironically, it is there that he meets and American girl, Jordan, who pretends to be poor, as it seems that money is the only thing that Brian cares about. Having had enough, and realizing he is in love with Jordan, he goes back home to find her - only to discover that she is carrying his child. After having proven that he doesn't care for her money, Jordan decides to marry him and they open their family bar together. It is a great story, clever script and it has the one of the best soundtracks I've ever heard. The two main characters have great chemistry on the big screen.
The second movie is one that I have quoted and requoted, and also reviewed about a year back. This is My Sassy Girl. The story takes place in the beautiful Autumn in New York, where two young people meet and, although the universe doesn't seem to be on their side first, fall in love. This for me is the ultimate love story. The two don't even share a kiss until the end of the movie, but you are completely involved and concerned for their happines right after the first shot of the movie. It is really that good, trust me! I wish for you to read my review, which you can do if you click here, so you understand where I'm coming from. This was one of those typical indie movies that is completely under the radar, yet it deserves attention! Make sure you get this one!

Before I wrap up, I'd to mention one last movie. I of course have my Christmas favorites, which you might read on my list of 15 favorites, but there is one movie missing from there, which isn't Christmassy at all, except for one really depressing scene... But the first time I saw it was in fact on Christmas and so I try to rewatch it around December if I can.
This movie is Billy Elliot, which I find to be the gem of the British Film Industry. The story is about Billy, a young boy who's mother had died, and who's father and brother take part in the mining strike in Northern England. He is torn between his love of ballet and dancing and an old-fashioned family. It isn't until his father realizes that his kids' dreams are the most important thing, that Billy can fully become himself. This is a very touching story of a boy and his father who's relationship was destroyed by the mother's death. It is a sad story, but with a happy ending. I always cry when I watch it, but that doesn't stop me! There is even a musical currently playing on the London WestEnd as we speak. This I find is truly a wonderful tale, so even if you didn't care for the previous movies I mentioned, trust me, this one you'll want to see for sure!

Well, I hope I have given you a couple of ideas and that you'll try and see some of these. Or if not, if you have your own rituals, make sure you keep them up - there is something magical and special about all movies or series one decides to rewatch. They really define us! Well, this has been CsorEsz, signing off for 2012, and looking forward to great new year. I have reviews like The Hunger Games, Bachelorette, The Lucky One and the Closing Of Ring. Be sure to like me on Facebook and Have a Very Happy New Year!

Friday, December 28, 2012

What's Next On My List? Arthur Christmas

Well, I have a new favorite and I wanted to make sure that I share it with you! At the midnight stroke, end of Christmas Eve, my brother and sister and I watched:


The story is about one specific Christmas night, when Santa missed a child during his night of deliveries. This specific child is a little girl from England, who's letter to Santa was answered by Arthur, Santa's second born. We see that Santa gets help from the elves, who deliver presents simultaneously in order to finish on time. Steve, the first born, is back at mission control on the North Pole, while Grandsanta watches the delivery through television where Arthur joins him. Steve expects that his father, after his 70th mission will pass on the job of Santa to him and finally retire, when he doesn't, Steve grows angry. It is after their family Christmas Eve dinner that Steve gets a call that one of the children were missed and they hadn't gotten their present.
Arthur goes crazy with worry, it just cannot be that someone was missed. He tries to find a solution, but Steve and Santa tell him off. Grandsanta comes around and shows him the old sleigh. It was supposed to be burned years ago, when the S-1 plane was constructed, but Grandsanta hid it along with eight reindeer, descendants of the first ones. He and Arthur decide to use the sleigh to deliver this last present. They use magic powder for the reindeer and on board they discover one elf from wrapping, who wished to accompany them, to make sure the gift arrives properly wrapped.
Santa is woken up when all the other elves find out that a child has been missed and he sets out with his wife to help Arthur. Steve joins them, finally we find out that he has plenty to be pissed about. Santa is actually an awful father, who doesn't know his children in the very least. Even Grandsanta has a better relationship with them, even though he always fights with Steve over the technological updates that he made around the Pole. At the end, they all meet up at this little girl's house to deliver the present and for the first time watch together the joy of a little child opening her present on Christmas morning. It is in that moment that Santa realizes he is too old and Steve sees in Arthur something he isn't quite cut out for.


Thoughts? This movie was wonderful! In every sense of the word. About a year ago I wrote a comparison between American and British Christmas movies. In it I discuss two movies in particular that underline the fact that British ones are a lot better. This movie proves that point as well! (If you care to read my comparison, click here!). The way my point if emphasized in the movie is that there is no villain. Steve isn't a villain, we find out that he had his heart broken by his dad and all he wishes for is for everyone to be proud of him - in the end he gladly gives Santa's job to Arthur, as he sees that he wasn't meant for it. Santa, although a really bad father, isn't the villain as he realizes that he is a klutz just like Arthur - this way underlining the fact that Arthur is suited for this job. Also, even if he doesn't always deliver as much care as he does presents, he still loves his family, this can be clearly seen in the scenes with his wife.
Lastly, we find out that Grandsanta only wished to accompany Arthur to prove to Steve that all his technology isn't good for anything, sleigh and reindeer is the way to go. When Arthur finds out his motives, his soul is crushed. He believed in Steve, who wouldn't help; he believed in Santa who calmly went to sleep without a bother and he believe in Grandsanta, who turns out had his motives too. But in the end he too shows that he cares about the little girl and it is silly to fight with Steve.
I'm sad to say, but the Americans would've made a villain. They don't really get how a story could work without one. That is another thing that makes those Christmas movies so freaking horrible! If they don't have a villain, they don't really have a good story - but with a villain they go overboard and end up making silly childish jokes with it.
This movie was wonderful because it shows that we all have that tiny bit of jealousy in us, concerning our family and siblings, but it doesn't mean that we love them any less or that we don't wish them the absolute best. It also doesn't mean that we wouldn't put everything aside to help them. Actually, we would! This movie was funny, sweet and very touching. It is indeed the dealings of a family where men are in abundance and they all just need to grow up, even if one of them is already over 132 years old!
Every Christmas cartoon should have a message, and the message is quite clear in this one. Great comedic timing, wonderful casting choices and not to mention, CHRISTMASSY! I ate gingerbread cookies and milk while watching it and boy-oh-boy, was I touched by this magical tale! Songs, characters, decorations and all together a great mood creator! I also fell in love with Steve... he is so cute! I liked his goatee :D

Even if not this year, make sure you check this one out if you have little ones in the house, or if you simply wish to have some holiday fun!

I have previously discussed my favorite Christmas movies on a long list, this movie is actually something I want to add now... I don't wish to change my list for the time being, but it would be between place 4 and 5. Also, if you check out the list, I have talked about Doctor Who Christmas Specials, this year's, "The Snowmen" was by far the best of them all! Make sure you put that on your own list of things to watch! If you wish to read my list, click here!

_ _ _ _ _

Arthur - James McAvoy
Steve - Hugh Laurie
Grandsanta - Bill Nighy
Santa - Jim Broadbent
Mrs. Santa - Imelda Staunton

Building With CsorEsz: Beads

Oh dear god. I have never done anything that was so addictive as this damn thing. I want to make everything in beads. I love that they look like pixels and I can remake any and every character that my brother and I played with on the Gameboy. If you look for them you're likely to find them elsewhere as well - in order to make the best copy for my brother for Christmas I copied several works of others. Anyway, I made a spin on a couple of them, so I thought I'd share it with you! And yes, my brother loved them! It was a wonderful Christmas present!
I also thought that if you want to give up smoking, or even get over some issues or simply make sure you can turn your brain off for a 20 minutes or so, then this is the hobby for you! It might be a stretch, because I am not an expert, but I find that perhaps this would be a great hobby even for people in rehab who need to get over some serious illnesses. Either way, be aware, it is highly addictive!
Oh te szent ég. Soha életemben nem csináltam semmit, ami ennyire addiktív lenne mint ez a hülye gyöngy rakogatás. Mindent ki akarok rakni belőle. Imádom, hogy úgy festenek mint a pixelek és, hogy megtudok csinálni minden régi kedvenc karaktert a bátyám Gameboy játékaiból. Ha kimondottan rájuk keresel biztosan megtalálsz belőlük sokat, én is loptam egyet-kettőt annak érdekében, hogy a legjobbat készítsem el Karácsonyra a bátyámnak. Mindenesetre megváltoztattam egy-két dolgot, ezért gondoltam megosztom őket! És igen, a bátyám imádta őket! Remek Karácsonyi ajándék lett.
Esetleg még ha van valamilyen komolyabb dolog, amit felakarsz adni, például a dohányzás, vagy csak szeretnéd 20 percre kikapcsolni az agyad, akkor ezt a hobbyt neked találták ki! Lehet, hogy túlzok, mert nem vagyok valami profi a témában, de szerintem ez egy remek hobby lenne olyan embereknek, akik rehabilitáción mennek keresztül. Mindenesetre,vigyázz, függőséget okoz!

I used a circular base for this, and it is completely made up by me.
The others I've found used a square base.
Ehhez a fához egy kör alapot használtam, és teljesen egyedül találtam ki.
A neten a többsége azok mind kocka alapon készültek.
Final Fantasy VI - Black Mage
Captain America's Shield
Super Mario Bros.
Super Mario Bros. - Mushroom
When searching I actually never found any pictures of the old
Gameboy in beads, so I just made one up myself.
You are free to use it if you wish, but I am very
proud that I could make up one just by
looking at my brother's old Gameboy.
Kerestem, de nem találtam létező mintát a régi Gameboyról ilyen
gyöngy formátumban, ezért kitáláltam egy saját. Nyugodtan fel
lehet használni ha valaki vmi hasonlót szeretne.
Mega Man
Doctor Who, the Tardis
While in the making, I used transparent blue beads, this way the figures
can be applied on lamps and so on. It's just an easy way to make
them even more cooler!
Munka közben végül átlátszó kék gyöngyöket használtam, így a
figurákat lehet lámpára tenni vagy ilyesmi. Ez csak egy egyszerű
módja annak, hogy még királyabbá varázsoljuk őket!

Finally, my sister made a couple too, some more favorites of ours. I thought I'd share those too.
Végül, a nővérem és készített egy-kettőt, ezek is mind kedvencem. Gondoltam ezeket is megosztom.

Darkwing Duck, lifebar from Zelda, Yoshi from Mario as well
as the Star, an finally the Companion Cube from Portal.

Unfortunately, some of these beads have unacceptable price... Here in Budapest look for them more in toy stores then hobby stores because they are likely to cost less - even if by only a couple of hundred of forints! Have fun!
Sajnos ezekből a gyöngyöknek soknak felfoghatatlan ára van... Itt Budapesten inkább játék boltokban keressétek mert ott valamivel olcsóbbak a több színű csomagok - akkor is ha csak pár forinttal! Jó szórakozást kívánok!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Egy Örök Álmodozó Karácsonya

"An Eternal Dreamer's Christmas" - For the english version scroll down a bit! 

Oh Karácsony... egy gyermek kedvenc időszaka. Nekem is gyerekkoromban az volt a kedvencem, ha kaptam ajándékot - de már évek óta az élvezem legjobban, hogy meglepem szeretteimet. Többnyire kézzel készített ajándékokat tervezek, és már hónapokkal az ünnepek kezdete előtt elkezdem a készülődést. Nem hagyom, hogy buta vizsga időszakok vagy egyéb apróságok elvegyék a Karácsonyi hangulatomat! Valakinek elmeséltem, hogy gyerekkoromban mit gondoltam a Karácsonyról, és azt mondta, hogy ez borzasztóan szórakoztató, és osszam meg mindenkivel, szóval idei egyik utolsó bejegyzéseiközt had osszam meg veletek egy kedves Karácsonyi történetemet!
Tudni kell ugye, hogy a magyar szokás szerint December 6.-án jön a Mikulás, és Karácsonykor a Jézuska. Na most, hozzánk nem jön a Jézuska, gondolom nem kell elmagyaráznom miért, hanem köztudott tény volt számomra mindig is, hogy a családomtól kapom az ajándékokat - ezért már eléggé korán én is akartam ajándékot adni a családomnak. De 5-6 éves létemre nem voltam valami kreatív, és ha az oviban nem készítettünk valamit, akkor nem nagyon tudtam mit adni. Ezt az követte, hogy saját játékaimat csomagoltam be a szüleimnek és testvéreimnek! Képzelhetitek mennyire örültek neki :D. Bár egy rossz szót nem hallottam tőlük!
Szóval a Szent Este nem volt különösebben titokzatos. Viszont, December 6.-án valóban egy titokzatos ember volt, aki a csizmámat megrakta minden jóval. Míg itthon laktunk, akkor diót és mandarint kaptam, na meg pici plüssöket (egyik kedvencem egy mókus volt!. Tudtam kivel megosztani a sok diót, amit kaptam!) Hát, olyan hét éves lehettem, amikor rájöttem, hogy a szüleim adnak nekem minden jót. Mikor Rómában éltünk, a Mikulást jobban fizették, akkor néha egy DVD vagy zene lemez is becsúszott a csizmámba :). De a történetnek itt nincsen vége, hiszen én is a sok számtalan Amerikai karácsonyi filmet megnéztem, melyek mind egy pocakos fehér szakállas, piros ruhás emberről meséltek, aki egy éjszaka alatt ossza szét a világ gyermekeinek az ajándékaikat. Én magam is hittem a Télapóban, egészen 10 éves koromig - csakhogy én abban hittem, hogy ő csak Amerikában létezik. Kreatív vagyok, mi? A híres Télapó azért tudja egy éjszaka alatt kiosztani az ajándékokat, mert csak Amerikában kell dolgoznia. Logikus, nem? 
De már felnőttem - pont eléggé ahhoz, hogy sikerüljön magyarázatot találnom arra, hogy mégis, hogyan tudna a Télapó egy éjszaka alatt elvégezni a munkáját! Kiszámoltam, hogyha időzónánként halad, akkor szinte ugyanabban az órában lehet mindenhol. Ugye milyen okos vagyok? :D 
Végül is azért akartam ezt elmesélni, mert az egyik kedvenc sorozatomban, Ally McBeal, az egyik karakter arról mesél, hogy a Télapó legendája nem azért van, hogy a gyerekeket áltassuk valamivel, ami varázslatos - a felnőtteknek sokkal nagyobb szüksége van rá. Mi, akik tudjuk, hogy milyen gonosz tud lenni odakint a világ, számunkra kellemes a gondolat, hogy van kint valaki, akit megáldott a világ minden jóindulata és kedvessége, és, akinek azaz egyetlen élet célja, hogy másokat megajándékozhasson. Semmilyen szabály nem mondja, hogy mi felnőttek nem hihetünk a Télapóban. Én mindig is hinni akarok!
A történet bezárnám még egy érdekességgel: az olasz ünnepi szokások szerint Január 6.-án, a vízkereszt éjszakáján egy boszorkány oszt ajándékot (náluk Karácsonykor jön a Mikulás), és ha gonosz voltál, akkor szenet kapsz. Csakhogy az olaszok ügyesen kikerülték ezt azzal, hogy cukor tömbökből készítenek szenet, amit persze a szülők megvesznek - remek kezdete a cukorbetegségnek! Mindenesetre, mindenki kap valamit, és Január 6-ig tartanak az ünnepek, és se munka se iskola nem jöhet közbe, ami szerintem remek ötlet, hiszen a December 31-et nagyon nehéz kipihenni! 

Kellemes Ünnepeket Mindenkinek! :)

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Oh, Christmas... a child's favorite time of the year. Me, just like everyone else, was big on receiving presents - but nowadays my favorite about the holidays is giving gifts. I prepare something handmade usually and make it personal. I always try to start a lot sooner than the actual holiday season, seeing that I don't want to  let exam periods or what not ruin my Christmas mood! A couple of days ago I told a friend of mine about my believes as a child and what I thought about Christmas, and he said that it is a hilarious story and that I should share it. So one of the last entries this year is a Christmas story.
Peek & Cloppenburg©
You need to know that in Hungary Santa Claus, more precisely, Saint Nicholas arrives on December the 6th, and he doesn't bring big presents, only one and some candy (sometimes just candy!). And on Christmas we are visited by baby Jesus. Now, in my family we don't have Jesus, I think you can guess why, and ever since I was little, I always knew that it was my parents who got me my gifts. This implied that at the age of 5-6, I too wanted to give back. But, if we didn't make something at nursery school, then I would simply wrap up some of my toys. You can guess how much my family appreciated that :D, but I didn't get any complaints so far!
So even though Christmas wasn't much of a mystery, December the 6th was! I think I was about seven when I put together that even that was the job of my parents. When we lived in Rome, Jolly Old Saint Nick's paycheck used to be larger, so even a DVD or a CD would get into my stockings that night! But the story doesn't end here. I actually had grown up on movies that showed a big fat man with long white beard and a red suit who delivered presents one night. I too believed in Santa Claus, until I was about 10 years old. However, I was eternally convinced that he only exists in the US... clever, huh? This way I explained how he makes it in one night. Logical, right?
But I have grown up - just enough to find a working formula for how Santa does his work! I figured, that if he uses the different time zones, he can be at the same hour almost everywhere. You're thinking that I'm pretty smart, aren't you? :D
Peek & Cloppenburg ©
To be honest, the reason why I wanted to tell you this story, is that there is a favorite quotation of mine in the series Ally McBeal, where one of the lawyers talks about the fact that Santa Claus doesn't exist for the children: it is us adults who need this bit of magic. We know about the cruel world outside, and the idea that there is one guy with all this warmth in his heart who's only mission in life is to reward the children of the world is quite wonderful. There is no rule that says we cannot believe in Santa if we grow up. I, for example, would like to believe forever!
To finish my story, I'd like to mention another tradition. In Italy they do not celebrate Saint Nick on December 6th, instead, he arrives of Christmas, and their celebrations end on January 6th, on the day of the Epiphany. Their custums involve a witch distributing treats for the good and coal for the bad children of Italy. However, sugar companies developed a chunk of sugar that looks like coal, and parents still buy it - it is a great way to start diabetes! Anyway, the Italian holiday season ends then and no job or school is allowed to start before it. I think that this is a great tradition, seeing that recovering from December 31st can be quite hard!

Happy Holidays! :)

Thursday, December 13, 2012

My Top 15 Christmas Movies

Don't know what to watch this Christmas season? Tired of the typical Hallmark and ABC channel movies that have no really story behind them? Well, let's list a couple of things that are worth watching this holiday season!

15) The Christmas Carol


This is an obvious choice, a definite classic. What you do need to check out is the latest 3D version with Jim Carrey's voice acting as well as the Disney version. These are great fun for both adults and the children. Or, if by any chance you are bored with this tale, check out Blackadder's Christmas Carol, which features the exact opposite of the story and creates occasion for great comedic elements! You won't be disappointed.

14) Elf

Buddy, a human raised among elves if sent back to the US to look for his family and well, a place in the world. This is a great comedy with Will Ferrell and one of my newest and most favorite comedic actresses, Zooey Deschanel. The story is just fun and moving. It is not your typical "the magic of Christmas solves everything" story, and it leaves the audience wanting more. This is definitely a keeper for me!

13) DOCTOR WHO Christmas Specials


I was thinking very hard about choosing one that I love, but it was literally impossible for me to do that. I very much loved David Tennant as the Doctor and he has more specials then the current Doctor, Matt Smith (I love him too!). In the first one he has just changed bodies (The Christmas Invasion); in the second a mysterious woman gets transported into the Tardis (The Runaway Bride); in the third he embarks on a trip on the Titanic of the future (Voyage Of The Damned); lastly, in the fourth he finds a man who believes he is the Doctor in Victorian England (The Next Doctor). After that came the body change and Matt Smith took over. His third special is coming out this year, but the first two were quite fantastic two: he finds a world governed by an evil man, who was crippled by his father and he uses the well known Dickens story to change his mind (A Christmas Carol); a family that escaped from the war torn London gets a visit by our own Doctor as he investigates something strange (The Doctor, The Widow & The Wardrobe).

12) Christmas Is Here Again


This is a charming little story of a young girl who helps Santa Claus find his lost sack, without which he cannot deliver his presents. This is a great little story, I am sure that any and every child would enjoy it. Unfortunately, it tries to imitate a bit the well known singing Disney style, and well, the songs aren't even worth mentioning... but otherwise I really love the way it was drawn, the story and the overall feeling I get when I watch it!

11) The Santa Clause 2The Santa Clause: The Escape Clause


I love Tim Allen. I do not like his career choices, and I am pretty sure that if I were to actually follow most of his work I would be disappointed. But he cannot go wrong when playing Santa! I love the second story because one of my favorite actresses, Elizabeth Mitchell, stars in it and I love the third one because of the whole idea. The second has a complete story line that I do no like one bit and I always skip with, while the third is a bit goofy but still very enjoyable. I most of all love that the moral of the story isn't that Christmas saves everything! If you want things to go right, you have got to get up and help them along! And I think that is a great message. And the stories are original! I also very much love the chemistry between Martin Short and Allen!

10) Christmas Do-Over


This is from the TV released holiday movies, but it is by far the best one! It of course centers on the "I wish it was Christmas everyday" theme, however this wish comes true for someone other then the person who wished for it. In the movie, Kevin has just divorced his wife Jill, but he goes up to see her to wish Merry Christmas to his son. He gets trapped here, forced to spend Christmas with the in-laws who hate him, Jill's new boyfriend and very disappointed Ben, his son. After several and countless Christmases, he finally learns his lesson.

9) Anastasia


I saw this movie in the theatre when I was six years old! We are currently having a discussion in my house to see who remembers, but we think that this was the second movie I have ever seen on the bigscreen, and up to this day I can still recall the terrifying feeling I had when Rasputin gets a hold of little Anastasia's leg and tries to rip her from her grandmother's hands! Brr..... anyway, because of its snowy Russia in the beginning and of course the main song "Once Upon A December", this has been a Christmas favorite of mine.

8) It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie


If it comes to me, you can't really go wrong if you put the Muppets and Christmas together. This one in particular copies the classic tale of It's A Wonderful Life: Kermit wishes he has never been, and an outside helper shows him how much greater he has made everyone's life by just being in them. This one I love in particular because Joan Cusack plays the villain and she is quite hilarious! She is definitely one of my favorite actresses!

7) Nativity


A heart warming Christmas story, with one of my favorite British actors, Martin Freeman. Here he is an elementary school teacher who has lost his love for Christmas after a serious break-up. Now, the principal in his school is forcing him to direct the Nativity play even though his previous attempts have been disastrous. This is a great story as it isn't your generic American holiday movie, make sure you check it out!

6) The Nutcracker Prince (1990)


This might not be the best adaptation of the world famous and classic Nutcracker, however, this cartoon is the one I grew up with and up to this day it is one of my favorites. It is a bit goofy, and here and there the jokes fall flat, it is very family friendly you see. But altogether I find it to be plenty amusing and although scary toward the end, it is still a great children's movie for the holidays!

5) The Holiday


Great cast, great story, great script. Beautiful scenery none the less, and it rubs itself into your heart like a cute warm little puppy! This movie is a definite 10/10. GET IT NOW!

4) Love Actually


The British have the talent of using multiple story lines, keep you interested, make you like all of the characters and make sure everyone gets from point A to B. This is something the Americans are awful at, as they go way into the artistic bits and those become tiresome. This movie has become a Hungarian classic, Italian too as far as I can see. I have not met anyone who didn't love it, and I share their opinion. Heartwarming? Definitely. Funny? Hilarious indeed. Make sure you get it as the DVD hides deleted scenes that are worth seeing!

3) While You Were Sleeping


This used to be my sister's favorite Christmas movie. And we watched it so-so many times that I fell in love with Sandra Bullock, Peter Gallagher, and Bill Pullman none the less. We had it with Italian dubbing, and they pronounce her characters name, Lucy, as if it were written 'Loosy', and we always enjoyed that. It has several great comedic elements and it is one of the most endearing romantic movies, and a great Christmas movie too!

2) The Santa Clause


Here we are indeed. This is also a childhood favorite of mine, but for several reasons! Again, Tim Allen is great. Second, his chemistry with all the other characters, not to mention the whole idea of the story I think is plainly genius. Thirdly, and most importantly, I love that the elves are all little children. I actually hate movies where they are a mixture between gnomes and short men... I mean, that's just gross, why are these people making toys?? Anyway, great music, several jokes and great execution. This is a forever classic for me! If it is not on your shelf, trust me, you are on the naughty list!

1) Mixed Nuts


Where can I start? This is by far Nora Ephron's best work. I love everything she does and this is still the favorite! The events focus around a crisis hotline business on the night of Christmas Eve. They are evicted and their boss, Philip, doesn't quite known how to break the news to his colleagues. Their adventure includes two noisy neighbors, a couple struggling to stay together despite their economic troubles, a very tiresome co-worker, a love triangle and a transvestite, who for some reason wishes to spend her holiday with these nuts!
This is probably the funniest movie I have ever seen in my life. The 5.0 rating on imdb.com is simply rubbish! (Or perhaps the Hungarian dubbing improved it... I'm not sure.) This is definitely one of those movies you need to check out for yourself! It is hard to find, but definitely worth it! Me and my family have watched this movie every December 23rd for the past 15 years! YOU NEED IT!
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These are my favorites, what are yours? :)

Magyar Diákok Tüntetnek A Keret Szám Csökkentés Ellen

Hungarian studenst protest against state scholarship cuts. A video with English subtitles is available at the bottom of the entry!
Check out my photos from the event here: 

(12.12.12)

Ez az én személyes véleményem. Senkit nem szeretnék megsérteni, ezért kérlek, ha nem értesz egyet nézeteimmel, nyugodtan beszélhetünk róla, de az elfogadhatatlan kommentek törlésre fognak kerülni. Köszönöm.
Budapesten, a kormány egy olyan döntést hozott, ami limitálja a keret számot olyan diákok számára, akik államilag támogatott képzésre akarnak jelentkezni az egyetemre. Az emberek dühösek, hiszen 2008-ban, az előző kormány ellen fellépet ez a párt és népszavazást rendelt el annak érdekében, hogy egy, amúgy elfogadható tandíj rendszer 'ötletét' eltöröljék. Most pedig, anélkül, hogy a nép véleményét megkérdeznék, elrendeltek tandíjakat (bár nem hajlandóak annak nevezni őket) és elfogadhatatlan keret számokat szabtak meg.


A diákság dühös. És jogosan. A diákok, akik külföldre menekülnek, azok nem hazaárulónak számítanak, hiszen nem arról van szó, hogy az emberek nem akarnak itt lenni, hanem a kormány lehetetlenné teszi ezt. 
Sok olyan embert ismerek, aki halálra tanulja magát a gimnáziumban azért, hogy elérje a megfelelő pontszámokat hiszen tudja, hogy a szülei nem engedhetik meg maguknak amúgy az oktatását.

Röhejes, hogy olyan helyzetben vagyunk, hogy olcsóbb külföldön új életet kezdeni, mint itthon egyetemre jelentkezni. Míg Bécsben magasabb ösztöndíjakat akarnak, itthon a diákok azért tüntetnek, hogy egyáltalán bejussanak az egyetemekre...

Sajnos a dolgoknak mindig két oldala van. Ha őszinte leszek, én egyetértek azzal, hogy valamilyen szinten legyen tandíj. Többek között azért, mert a tanárok hihetetlenül alul vannak fizetve, és ez kezd nevetséges lenni. Nem is beszélve arról, hogy számtalan embert ismerek, akik melegedni járnak be az egyetemekre - de ezek az emberek tudják is, hogy ők ezt teszik, ezért hajlandóak fizetni az oktatásért. Sőt! Számtalan ember van, aki annak érdekében, hogy azt tanulhassa, amit igazán akar, megtalálja a módját a fizetésnek. A probléma ott van, hogy miért kell szívatni az olyat, aki nem akar évekre felvenni kölcsönöket és adósságokban élni? Olyan nehéz ezt megérteni?


Egy remek kampány mozdulat volt a mostani kormánytól, hogy megtámadta az előzőt, hiszen senki nem szeret fizetni. Csakhogy a mostani kormány állandóan adókat emel, elvontak 3 milliárdot a múzeumoktól, 7 milliárdot az egyetemektől, és most a tandíj. Pontosan hova is megy a pénzünk? És mire kell hirtelen ekkora összeg? ... Kicsit radikális a nézetem, de nem tudtam nem észre venni az egyre több (történelmileg hibás) kampány plakátokat. Esetleg félnek valamitől?

A régi kormány egy elfogadható tandíj rendszert akart bevezetni, hogy segítse közalkalmazottjait és a külföldiekhez hasonló rendszert szerettek volna. Hasonlóan okos tőlük, hogy egy nyilatkozatban megígérték, hogy megnagyobbítják a keret számokat ha a nép újra őket szavazza meg. Nem tudom kire fogok szavazni, de ha a barátaim jövőéről van szó, akkor az első sorokban fogok tüntetni.


Egyesek nem értik az egyetemisták mit akarnak. Megmondom: vannak családjaink  barátaink, szeretteink, és többek között egy országunk, amivel törődünk. Legkedvesebb barátaim jövőre érettségiznek. Nem akarom, hogy egy buta kormány elűzzek őket. Magam is dühös vagyok, hiszen a röghöz kötés miatt nem tudtam új szakra jelentkezni és nekem is fizetnem kell majd kredit túlteljesítés miatt. De akkor én még jól jártam. Ezt nem sokan mondhatják el. A gyerekek a jövő, és semmi sem annyira fontos mint az oktatás. Mi a következő, adózzuk a levegő vételt?

Továbbá úgy gondolom, hogy Orbán Viktor ezzel csak elismerte azt, hogy az MSZP sem lopni akart a néptől, amikor beakarta vezetni a tandíj rendszert, hanem egyszerűen tényleg ilyen anyagi csődben vagyunk. Persze az, hogy megint focira megy a pénz, amiket elvontak, az már más kérdés, hiszen az elvonások most sokkal drasztikusabbak problémákat vonnak magukkal, mint az, hogy keret számokat csökkentik.

A BME épületétől sétáltunk a Kossuth térig. Szeretnék hinni abban, hogy kormány felismeri, hogy csak annyira erősek, mint az embereik és ha az embereik távoznak mellőlük, akkor nem érnek semmit. Szeretnék hinni abban, hogy ez a nap számított valamit, hogy nem csak dugót okoztunk és az emberek felfogják, hogy van, amit egyszerűen NEM lehet. A DEF (Diákellenállás a Felsőoktatásért) egyik képviselője egy remek mondatot említett beszédében, had zárjak ezzel:
"Csak olyat tegyetek, amit saját gyerekeitekkel is tennétek."

A tüntetésről, angol felirattal, készítettem egy videót. Kérlek, ha van egy kis időd nézd meg. 




A fotóimat az estéről itt nézheted meg: http://www.flickr.com/photos/vampirebrain/sets/72157632237227832/