Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Looking forward to 2014!


This year was fantastic. I am referring to movies, as I wasn't excited in the beginning, but then ended with seeing some real gems. You know, I hate to go to the theater as it costs way too much while I rarely see things that are worth my money. I did see Fast & Furious 6 - which quickly became my favorite. At the beginning of the year my mom and I went to see Silver Linings Playbook, and after that I got around to see The Perks Of Being A Wallflower and both were life changing to me.
Although they didn't come out last year, I did finally watch other Oscar nominated movies that made my year. But getting back to the cinema, I was very pleased with Thor: The Dark World and above else Catching Fire which as up to now I have seen 4 times (and counting).

That said, I believe that I will go slightly bankrupt in 2014 as there are a lot of movies I am looking forward to! Among them the most important ones include The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1, as well as X-Men: Days of Future Past. As a matter of fact, here in Hungary American Hustle only comes out on January 23rd, which means I still have to wait a month... But at least I will be done with my exams by then! Actually, this coming year will be fantastic for Jennifer Lawrence fans :D I need to get a part-time job or I won't make it...
On the note of comic based movies, we'll have Captain America: The Winter Soldier and The Amazing Spider-Man 2. I am curious about both of them, but I'm not sure yet if I want to see them on the big screen. I didn't like the trailers at all and well, unless I get some last minute awesome feedback or another trailer, I am afraid that my decision is final. I do believe that, having seen the first ones in the cinema, that I should see these there as well - but since I don't care for them, it is really up to the economic status in my pocket at the moment of release. I will admit to the fact that I am eternally pissed at Sony for what they are doing to Spider-Man. If the two biggest rival comic companies, such as Marvel and DC can put their heads together and release crossovers - then don't tell me that you wouldn't get a shitload of money from loaning Spider-Man to Disney!
As far as comic based movies go that I do want to see as soon as they come out, Guardians of the Galaxy is definitely one of them! I have been super excited about this movie from the beginning. When I heard that they would be making a movie, I looked up who these characters are and why they are important to the story-line that preceded them with the Avengers. And step by step as the casting decisions were revealed, I knew that this is undoubtedly going to be amazing. I only wish they would finally release the trailer! Or at least the one they brought to Comic-Con! I mean, I'm pretty sure they got good feedback, so please share!
And speaking of the Guardian's casting, I am reminded that there are three more movies have to be mentioned that I am particularly looking forward to. One of them is the seventh installment of the Fast & Furious franchise. It is set to for release on April 10th 2014. I have always loved those movies, even the ones others didn't prefer. I was so excited about this one, until the tragic accident a month ago. It is still hard to believe. I have gotten criticism for caring so much, but people just don't understand that when you make movies part of your life, then you are bound to be hurt if someone close to you dies through this medium. I don't want to get into it, because the hole idea of judging someone based on the things they care for is somewhat revolting to me. I will say this: this is Paul Walker's last movie and I wouldn't miss it for the world!
The second is a musical that is now being made into a movie. These movies always get criticism, but guess what? Some of us will never get to Broadway to see them live. And I do believe that musical movies are made very well. This musical in particular is entitled Into The Woods, and the synopsis reads: "A witch conspires to teach important lessons to various characters of popular children's stories including Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk and Rapunzel." The witch in question is played by none other than the wonderful Meryl Streep - which alone would be enough of a reason for me to see it in the theater. And there is another movie that actually had a trailer that made me really curious. That is Jupiter Ascending, which I fear will actually suck. I mean, what if they cut together the best scenes for the teaser and then it will be one mush of nonsense? This has happened before! Either way, I am really curious to see what this will be (Also let's hope Sean Bean doesn't have to die anymore!).

As lesser, but still interesting movies go, we have Muppets Most Wanted, The Lego Movie, Dumb and Dumber To, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit and finally How To Train Your Dragon 2. These are just guilty pleasures, but I can't wait to see them nonetheless!


But let alone movies, as far as TV shows are concerned, I am very excited as the current season of Arrow is simply outstanding and we will have a series with Flash - and he is my favorite DC character of all time! They cast Grant Gustin and he did a great job introducing his character in two episodes of Arrow and my only criticism is that I wish they had died his hair blonde... but if that is going to be the only problem with it, then I won't complain!
And speaking of Arrow, damn they are on a roll! I remember episode 8 of the second season, and I had to call up my best friend and I told him the following: "The number of comic based characters in this episode is just too damn high!" :D I still want to bitch-slap them for not calling him Green Arrow!!! But otherwise, I am very proud of what I am seeing and I can't wait to see more!
As far as other old favorites go, ever since they cast Ted Danson and Elizabeth Shue, CSI has become one of the best series. I always need to watch something crime related and well, ever since this season started, I have been wanting to re-watch each episode again and again. I fall in love with George Eads (he was the voice of Flash in Young Justice!) and I always adored Elizabeth Harnois so this cast appeals to me a lot. And I have to mention Nashville which has got to be my second favorite series of all time now! They just cannot do wrong by me! I love the natural dialogue, the songs, the characters and I was really scared that the initial idea would be lost very fast and that the series would simply become flat and exactly the opposite happened! It gets better episode by episode!

That said, it will be a busy year, but I am looking forward to it, as I have all of these great things that will accompany me! Thank you all for reading and sticking with me - I have plenty more planned for next year! So have a very happy 2014! Any resolutions? :)

Click on one of the following if you'd like to read my reviews from 2013!

Monday, December 23, 2013

My Top 10+1 TV Show Christmas Specials

As I have done for the Halloween specials I would like to tell you about the Christmas TV specials as well as there are some real gems among them. Each Christmas special either re-uses the A Christmas Carol of the story-line of It's A Wonderful Life. Some do it brilliantly and others have specials that have nothing to do with classics and yet have such an original story with the magic of Christmas included that I cannot help but re-watch them year after year!

+1) Hawaii Five-O
Season 1, Episode 12 - Hana 'a'a Makehewa

I actually remembered this episode while writing the list, so instead of having a best 11 list, I just thought I would add it to the end. For many people Christmas equals snow. Growing up in southern Italy, snow is no issue to me, so I enjoyed this episode a lot, no matter the sand and the sunshine. In it Danny tries to build up the best Christmas for his daughter Gracie but he encounters several bumps on the road... The others help Steve in his investigation to find the man who killed his father. In the end it is only with the help of the whole team that Danny reaches his goal and surprises his daughter! Mele Kalikimaka!

10) Suburgatory
Season 2, Episode 7 - Krampus

The main story is about a girl who moves to the suburbs with her dad. In this episode she goes back to the city to spend Christmas with her mother, but in the end realizes that she wants to be in silly suburbia with her friends.This special is unlike everything I have ever seen! The characters are hilarious and there are two simultaneous stories that made me laugh so hard I started to cry.

9) The Neighbours
Season 1, Episode 9 - Merry Crap-mas

This show is amazing. I love these families so much! When the Zabrovians ruin the Weavers' Christmas plans, they go out of their way to set things right. It is a great and hilarious story about how the meaning of Christmas really is about the presents and nothing else! Make sure you check this one out :D

8) Regular Show
Season 4, Episode 9 - The Christmas Special
This is freaking insane. Santa has a lead elf who created a weapon to destroy Christmas forever. During his fights with the elf, Santa falls into a garage in the park where Mordecai (a blue jay) and Rigby (a raccoon) work. Santa gives them the weapon and they have to destroy it, but can they before encountering the elf? I don't want to spoil it, you really need to see this one! It's just wonderful in every expect of the word :D Also wonderful use of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra's Carol Of The Bells!

7) The Office
 Season 9, Episode 9 - Dwight Christmas

The Office was known for having Christmas parties that always got a little bit out of hand... I actually like many of them but in the last season it just-- Oh my, it was wonderful! The Christmas party wasn't planned and everyone votes for Dwight's interpretation which has no Santa Claus and no real presents. Sounds wonderful, huh? The emotions go sky high when Dwight admits that he is sad about losing Jim as a co-worker and Christmas is a great occasion to solve their problems. It is by far the funniest, if not the awkwardest of all the specials!

6) American Dad
Season 3, Episode 8 - The Most Adequate Christmas Ever

Stan dies while trying to get the perfect Christmas tree. After he dies, he petitions for a second chance at life, which leads to a trial where he must prove that he deserves it. Stan is crazy and the only thing that I like about him is how much he loves Christmas. There were several specials in the series and some are quite weird... But this was a really festive one and I always enjoy it! I also thoroughly believe in what Roger said:

"- Wow, great sweater, Roger.
- Thanks, I totally sniped it from a guy on eBay. I not only stole the sweater, I stole his holiday spirit. And that made my holiday spirit grow stronger. Because th-that's how it works, right? Like Highlander? There can be only one? I've, I've had like eight cups of eggnog. And this makes 12."

5) Married With Children
Season 2, Episode 13 - You Better Watch Out

The Bundys' Christmas is rudely interrupted when a parachuting mall Santa crash-lands into their backyard, attracting the neighborhood kids. Again, more than one special, but this one is my favorite - especially the twist at the end! Merry Bundys Christmas to you :D

4) The Looney Tunes Show
Season 2, Episode 10 - A Christmas Carol 

Coming to this one, I realize that I have chosen specials that have nothing to do with the classics :D Except for number 1, but that is still far away! This episode is about Lola Bunny trying to put on Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol - by completely changing the story and leaving out everything that is well known and loved about it. What could possibly go wrong? Everything does, but you have to see it go down!

3) Ally McBeal
Season 4, Episode 8 - The Man with the Bag

I actually had trouble with this one. Ally McBeal is one of my favorite series of all time an they made sure they had a Christmas special every single year! Twice, it even ran for more than just one episode. It was really awesome of them and each year when I watch them for the songs and the stories my heart melts with sadness.
Each story has such deep plots and well if I learned anything from Christmas is that it is not a happy holiday from everyone. Feelings run sky high and emotions are all over the place. In the end, the episode I chose to talk about the one from season 4.
Nelle hires John to defend her father when he's been fired for believing he's Santa Claus. The case is going to need some magic since he really does believe he's Santa. Larry's ex-girlfriend and the mother of his child, Jamie, shows up in his office, and Ally tries to deny that she's jealous. When Jamie then gets invited to the office Christmas party, Ally no longer feels like partaking in the festivities.

2) ER
Season 12, Episode 10 - All About Christmas Eve

Not only is this my favorite holiday special from the series, but it is also my favorite episode in the running of the fifteen season of ER. I don't only re-watch this during the holiday season, but also anytime I am stuck writing.
If you read my blog, you must know that Dr. Abby Lockhart was by favorite character and in the run of her character arc this episode was of monumental importance. Pratt and Weaver try to create a Christmas miracle when they work to save a girl wounded from gunfire. Also, Abby has a special gift for Luka. She reveals to him that she is pregnant with his child, just when they seem to have the grounds for a stable relationship. The music, the writing, and the cases in the ER? It is really one of the best episodes that ever aired on TV. (If you'd like to read about my favorite doctor from ER, click here!)

1) The O.C.
Season 4, Episode 7 - The Chrismukk-huh?

Season 1 was totally depressing. Season 2 portrayed step by step how someone's life can be ruined. Then, season 3 starred one of the most annoying characters in history. Despite it all, I still re-watch them every year because I just love them so much! Other than Ally McBeal and ER, only this one really captured what it is like to feel lonely even if you are surrounded by family and friends.
When Ryan and Taylor have an argument over where they stand with their whatever relationship they have, they both fall off a ladder while Ryan is putting up Christmas lights and both wake up in a alternate reality of what life is like had Ryan never came to Newport: Sandy is the uptight mayor of Newport Beach and married to Julie Cooper; Kirsten is married to Jimmy Cooper; Seth is still a socially awkward geek and Summer is a mindless, narcissistic party animal who is engaged to Chester "Che" Winchester, whom is having a fling with the sex-addict Julie. Ryan also learns from Kaitlin that Marissia in fact died from a drug overdose three years prior during the road trip to Tijuana, and Ryan was not there to save her. Back in the real world, Seth tries to arrange his annual Christmukka party and then tries to move it to the hospital where the comatose Ryan and Taylor are.
Out of the four, this is the only one that I have absolutely no problems with and it is therefore my favorite. This one reuses the great plot of It's A Wonderful Life!
_ _ _ _

I hope that I have given you a list of series that really care about the holidays and if you do too, you should make sure to see them before or during the Christmas break.
For this list I used some of the plot summaries from imdb. Many of them were anonymous, so I would like to thank the authors here! You helped my work a lot this year!

Thank you for sticking with me throughout the year, happy holidays to you all and stay tuned until the next item on my list!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

What's The Next On My List? Winter's Bone

I am currently crossing out movies from Jennifer Lawrence's filmography and this has been on my list for quite sometime. I have been told that it is a very deep movie and I shouldn't take it lightly. Before we head in, all I can say is that it deserved every single award nomination it got!

Ree is a 17 year old girl taking care of her little brother and sister as well as her sick mother. Her father Jessup cooks crack, which is the reason why her mother broke down mentally over the years. Unfortunately he is gone missing and he has a court appointment, which if he doesn't show up for, their house will be taken as it is up for bond.
Ree tries to find him by going up the family ladder all the way to their leader who is responsible for the whole family operation. She is warned several times to stay back, but her family home is way too important. Not to mention that it seems something really did happen to her father as he is nowhere to be found. She is helped along the way by her only uncle, Teardrop, who at first refuses, but then realizes that nobody can kill his brother and get away with it. Ree is afraid to lose Teardrop as well, but she cannot give up and in the end it turns out that her father was helping the sheriff, who told on him and because of it he lost his life. After he is proven dead, the family gets to keep the house and the movie ends with Teardrop heading off to get revenge.

I really liked this movie. It almost scares me how much I liked this movie because it is really dark, and sad and... it's just nasty. The most frightening thing about it is the fact that I believed every second of it. There is a family like this out there. There are people whose decisions are defined by blood relations and I do believe that some sell drugs to make a living in the current economic state. This semester I actually had a class on the geography of the US and the minute they uttered the words 'Missouri' I zoomed in on the blank map in my head and from that point on I felt I was part of the movie.
Getting back to the story: The general blue and gray color of the film is supposed to have a depressing tone, but really, for weeks now there is nothing but fog here in the city and it actually very realistic to me without being forced. And well, no matter how sad the story was, it never really was depressing for me. Actually in the end the movie has a pretty positive outlook after all the shit Ree goes through - they get to keep their house and they even get money from somebody who deposited bond for their father. It is, however a bit scary that her uncle Teardrop will probably be consumed by his vengeance. But to that I need to say that it was written in a very noble way: You see, the aim of the story for me was to show that some have a faith that cannot be escaped. Ree's father Jessup was victim of his activities, while Teardrop will pay the price of not that caring for his family; and out of the three it is Ree who is destined for better things.
My favorite scene in the whole movie was when we find out that Ree is planning to join the army, but her plan is delayed when her father went missing. She does, however meet with a soldier at a recruitment and she has a serious conversation with him about the money she would receive if she applied. The scene is pretty straightforward and my favorite thing about it was that neither Ree nor the soldier sugarcoat the fact that she needs money and she needs it now and she needs a home in case they lose theirs. You don't get such raw and honest conversations like this in movies and let me tell you, the whole movie is worth it for just that singular scene! It ends with the soldier telling her that she is welcome to join when she becomes 18 and that there will always be a future for her with the army - which I thought was really nice.
Two more scenes have to be mentioned - and no, not the when where Ree skinned a squirrel, although it was pretty amazing - but the one where she was beaten up by the women following the big leader of the pact. Ree is told to back off from searching for her father and she is then taught a lesson for not listening. Afterwards she goes home, her friend helps her into bed and her brother and sister lay down next to her so she is not alone. The whole scene was so strong and touching and no big speeches or extra actions were needed to make it memorable. The second one is when Ree is taken to the site where her father's corpse was dropped. She is supposed to chop his hands off for the DNA exam to prove he is dead, but she is not able to do it. What I loved about the scene was that is wasn't grotesque, although a bit inhumane, but otherwise just simply entertaining in a very psychotic way. You are there with the main character, you feel her pain and disgust, but you cannot look away. As I said before, although very dark in some places, the movie does actually end on a happy note in my opinion so I excluded all the bad things from the movie when it concluded.

There was only one problem I had with the movie. This is really stupid, but I have disease when it comes to being tidy and every time I saw the mess around their house I just wanted to get in there and tidy up! Sorry, I know, I'm stupid, but we all have that one little thing that drives us insane - this is mine.
As far as casting goes, those Oscar nominations were dead on! I am sort of glad that Jennifer Lawrence received it with Silver Linings Playbook instead of this, but I do agree that out of all the nominated movies - and I watched them all - this movie was the best one indeed! And John Hawkes? Give that man more leading roles! I could watch him for hours and hours!

So, watch it? Yes, please do. It might shake you more than it did me so be aware. But as far as Lawrence movies go this is a 10/10! I am pretty sure I'm actually gonna watch it again before the New Year's Eve. Until the next item on my list!
_ _ _ _ 

Teardrop - John Hawkes
Sheriff Baskin - Garret Dillahunt
Merab - Dale Dickey
Sonny - Isaiah Stone
Ashlee - Ashlee Thompson

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Blogger: A Starbucks Christmas

You know what I love? A good American Christmas. No matter if it is the mountains covered by snow or in the big city - Christmas is very special in the US. What really gets to me is that Christmas feelings that comes along with seeing people with shopping bags and steaming coffee in their hands. Streets light up as windows are fully decorated for the holidays. There is really nothing quite as magical as Christmas, is there? And for years I've longed for that warm Amerinca feeling and today I have found it!

My dearest friend and I met up in a Starbucks today at Király utca, in Budapest. And let me tell you, that those 100m2 belong more to the US than the whole territory of the embassy does! I stepped in, and there weren't many people inside. But there was a bit of a red light and the baristas were wearing red aprons instead of the iconic green. And most importantly in the background 'Let It Snow' was playing.
Unfortunately in Hungary not all the shops believe in playing Christmas music, and I hate that. That's why I love to shop at Butlers as well - even though it is completely out of my price range - they actually have their own Christmas album that they put on and it is like walking in Winter Wonderland!
But getting back to Starbucks, I remembered reading a list on buzzfeed.com about three weeks ago entitled "23 Signs You're Obsessed With Christmas". And, well all of them apply... it was kind of crazy and number four was: You think the day Starbucks’ red cups come out is a holiday in itself. And well I do now! And when you step into the shop, you immediately see the merchandise and they have all of these Christmas mugs with candy cane handles and colorful insides. Not to mention the free samples of apple pie at the counter and the giant gingerbread man :D
I actually brought my friend there because I have a history with the caramel hot chocolate - which I believe is God's gift to humanity. The sweetness of a hot chocolate with that magical after taste of caramel! I remember drinking this three years ago in Vienna when my father brought us to see the markets during the holidays. Ever since then, whenever life throws me a curve ball, whenever I feel like I just want to kill somebody I get myself to the closest Starbucks and get a hot chocolate. And this year I needed it because I've had a very stressful semester and this was my only gift to myself for Christmas. No more luxuries this year :D If I get some money from Santa, I'll try to drink a gingerbread latte! And well, my friend liked it, so I get extra points for my good tastes!
Either way, being inside the coffee place, dimmed red-yellow lights, gingerbread everywhere, sipping chocolate, surrounded by calming holiday music and exchanging gifts with one of my dearest friends? It really doesn't get any better than that! And in the back of my mind, I guess the thing that really fooled me into thinking I am a US citizen for two hours was two scenes from my favorite movie You've Got Mail. (You should really listen to Bing Crosby's White Christmas when you read this part!) In one, at Christmas, one of the main characters walks on the streets of the Big Apple and looks inside the window of bookshop that has a little Winter Wonderland in it with a functioning toy train. The second is when the main character Joe reads out from his letter the following: "The whole purpose of places like Starbucks is for people with no decision-making ability whatsoever to make six decisions just to buy one cup of coffee. Short, tall, light, dark, caf, decaf, low-fat, non-fat, etc. So people who don't know what the hell they're doing or who on earth they are can, for only $2.95, get not just a cup of coffee but an absolutely defining sense of self: Tall! Decaf! Cappuccino!" - What I love about this quote is the amount of reality in it. It is actually very true! Tall! Caramel hot chocolate! And yes, I do want whipped cream on the top!

Before you ask me, yes, I realize that my whole entry is one huge Starbucks advertisement. But I don't care. This year was especially tough for me and well, I'll take all I can get when it comes to Christmas. I realize that being inside the coffee shop isn't like being in New York and skating in front of Rockefeller Center - but it sure damn feels like it and that was the best gift I could've asked for!

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and 
Very Happy New Year! 
Have a hot chocolate on me - just don't send me the bill!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

What's Next On My List? The Wolverine

I have already discussed the first stand-alone Wolverine movie (click here to read my review!) and it has up until now received the highest number of views out of all of my reviews! This makes me very proud so I wanted to make sure I cover this movie as well, seeing that the coming up X-Men sequel is driving me insane with excitement! So, just the other day I watched:

We are currently after the first trilogy. Logan has trouble getting over the death of Jean Grey and he is asked by an old acquaintance to travel to Japan.
This acquaintance is a man by the name of Yashida: he was saved by Logan during the drop of the atomic bomb in Nagasaki. Now on his death bed, he asks Logan to share with him his ability to regenerate because he doesn't want to die, while Logan only looks at it as a curse. Despite it being tempting, Logan says no, but wakes up in the morning to find that Yashida has died. Yukio - the late Yashida's right hand, assigned to look after Logan - tells him that she has these visions when someone is about to die, but she hasn't seen the death of her master. During the funeral, the Yashida family is attacked by the yakuza who try to kidnap Mariko (Yashida's granddaughter). Logan stops them and escapes with her, but for some reason his re-generations has stopped and he cannot heal quickly.
Mariko takes him to her old house in Nagasaki, where they figure out that Yashida actually owned money to several people and that he decided to give his company to Mariko and not his son Shingen.The latter enraged buy this development entrusted his soon to be son-in-law with taking care of Mariko. Logan loses her and returns to the capital to find out that he was injected with a small robot that is feeding on his heart and slowly down his regeneration. He pulls out the creature and becomes unstoppable again. At the Yashida factory he fights Yashida himself as he faked his death to be able to steal Logan's ability. He almost loses the fight, but Mariko saves him as she is disgusted by what her grandfather has become. Logan goes back to his life and Mariko takes over the company.

This is one of those stories where I either tell you the plot in one sentence, or I go slightly into detail, which results in three pages of summary... either way, the movie: It is really great. This finally portrays accurately what Wolverine is like. He fights and kills and doesn't look back. Blood everywhere, revenge and most importantly the animal within him. This is what you see, it's not unnecessarily disgusting, but there are blood drops in the air and he is in constant pain. Many people were outraged that they included Jean Grey as well as originally this comic book story has nothing to do with the X-Men franchise - but seeing that they wanted to tie these movies together they did a really good job without going overboard.
I liked the casting, the colors, and well, after Logan starts regenerating again, things just get better and better in the movie. The fights are off the hook and I was very sad to find out that his iconic yellow costume was featured at the end, but was then edited out... why? That would've been so great!
Overall it was very much better than the previous one and it fits with the previous story - not to mention a short scene at the end shows us Logan without the metal claws visited by Magneto and Professor X. That should be interesting, I can't wait to see the new movie!

The movie is great, at least for a rental. And if you have watched through all the other Marvel movies, I see no reason why you should skip this one! As for Days Of Future Past - I know that they changed the main character from Kitty Pride to Logan, which I know is purely because the wider audience know him better. Not to mention that many didn't like Ellen Page's Kitty Pride. I think actually that was a wise decision in the long run.

Until the next item on my list!
_ _ _ _ _ 

Logan/Wolverine - Hugh Jackman
Mariko - Tao Okamota
Shingen - Hiroyuki Sanada
Yashida - Hal Yamanouchi
Young Yashida - Ken Yamamura
Jean Grey - Famke Janssen

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The 50th Anniversary Of Doctor Who

One Last Sentence About Doctor Who Before The Year Ends!

You might have discovered that I am a big fan of the sci-fi world in Doctor Who, let alone the Doctor himself. And I still remember when back in February I saw a picture of Matt Smith holding a top secret script with David Tennant by his side and my brain exploded! Then I saw that Billie Piper got a script as well and I knew that this will be nothing if short of epic! - And it was.

When the 7th season ended with "The Name Of The Doctor" - which was by far the best episode in the season, I knew that although there were several little errors lately, they do still care about the show.
In the last season, only two episodes really captured my attention - even though I love everyone that has River Song in it - and that was the first one "Asylum of the Daleks" and the last one. Now, for Rory and Amy - his companions - that was the beginning of the end and it was a very beautiful story arc that got its fitting ending. Something didn't, but I'll get back to that later. Before the 50th anniversary, however, we discovered that the Doctor will die in a battle at Trenzalore and that Clara Oswin was the companion who saved him in all of his adventures from the Great Intelligence who tried to destroy him by entering his time stream.
And we also know that all the when we met the 9th Doctor, he had previously destroyed his planet to make sure that the Daleks die with them and they will never be able to take over the universe. Not to mention that he has a secret - one secret that he will take to the grave and it wasn't his name...

So, before the 50th anniversary we got a small preview of the 8th Doctor when we discover that big secret in the short entitled "The Night Of The Doctor":

"The Day Of The Doctor" begins after we found out that his secret was another Doctor, the one who did the unspeakable, something he can never change because the war with the Daleks is time locked. He was the one who decided to destroy his own planet.
Our special begins with the War Doctor talking to the interface of weapon of mass destruction. While talking to it, he wonders what will become of him after destroying his planet and that is when he meets the 10th and the 11th. Thanks to them being more than one, of course the Tardis reacts and they barely manage to land it most of the time. But the War Doctor is touched - he sees that the pain of what he has done has given him the will and the energy to save lives and do everything he can to help other planets and creatures and literally everyone who deserves it. (This is something that always comes up. When the Doctor travels alone, he becomes less forgiving and we can see why he needs a companion - he needs them to keep from becoming this self of his. The one he has traveled 400 years without becoming again!)
The War Doctor realizes that his action will not ruin him; this will make him a better person in the long run. And if he can stop the Daleks then this is what has to be done. The two Doctors appear next to him, but something is wrong because they weren't supposed to be here - this time period is locked and yet something let them through. What was it? Being all three of them, they come up with a plan, to froze the planet and hide it, therefore making the Dalek ships shoot onto each other and destroying themselves. Only problem remains is that being all three of them, the time space shift erases this memory and they remain always thinking that they destroyed their home planets - except for the 11th who now knows that his next great adventure will be finding Gallifrey.

I thought the episode was astonishing. I had my doubts, I will not lie about that because I remember whole episodes that describe how it is impossible to have the same person from different time lines in the same Tardis - but this theory was kicked to the curb when in a very short and very tidious DVD special, there were two Rivers and two Doctors in the spaceship. That short was a prequel to the episode where River dies and I just had to yell out "Come on! She deserves more than that!" - And I am hopeful she will get the ending she deserves. I love her and I wish there was more of her. but I will forgive the writers for never bringing her back if finally there would be just ONE Doctor who had the screwdriver she was given that in the end saved her. Is that too much to ask?
Sorry, for changing topic. Getting back - I really want to come up with something bad to say, especially because lately the changes have driven me mad... but perhaps I can't because there really wasn't. The episode was thought through, they looked at old episodes and they saw what has to be done. I will even go as far as forgiving them for all the lousy episodes in the season because clearly all the energy was put into these 80 minutes and it shows. I liked all the cameos and the extra scenes and well - thank you for including Christopher Eccleston somehow :) as a fan I really needed that!
Also, I am very happy that the new Doctor will be Peter Capaldi. As a matter of fact, I have known him since he had a small part in a movie called Shooting Fish (an old favorite of mine) and the minute I saw him I knew - "Yup, this will be awesome!". I also applaud it that it is an older actor. I loved everyone, but I find it will do some good for the series. Also he has appeared in Torchwood and another Doctor Who episode, which creator and writer Steven Moffat promised won't be overlooked, but explained and that is something I just can't wait to see. I don't care if they make mistakes if later on they are addressed - a casting choice of such magnitude cannot be seen ahead, so thank you for not forgetting that the fans are paying attention!

The last thing that still keeps me excited is the Christmas episode. If you have noticed, most of the Christmas specials don't really add anything extra to the story. It helps us getting the Doctor better, so I love and applaud them, but in the long run they aren't usually part of the mystery that stretches throughout a whole season. Now, the last special - "The Snowmen" - actually introduced our main villain for the second half of the season. Since we all know that it will be the last episode of the 11th Doctor, I just hope that it will intertwine the following season and give us a nice glimpse of the awesomeness up ahead! I also hope it's gonna be a bit like the first Christmas special, were Rose felt weird about the Doctor becoming somebody else and there will be some emphasis put on how the 12th becomes friends with Clara. It should be fun to see again how an old companion gets to new their new Doctor!

If you would like to know who my favorite Doctor, companion, returning character, and which episode and Christmas special I prefer above the others, click here to read about it! And until the 1st of January - you can still enjoy it and I hope you had a wonderful WHO YEAR :) I know I did.

Until the 12th Doctor arrives! :)
_ _ _ _ _ _

1st Doctor - William Hartnell
2nd Doctor - Patrick Troughton
3rd Doctor - Jon Pertwee
4th Doctor - Tom Baker
5th Doctor - Peter Davison
6th Doctor - Colin Baker
7th Doctor - Sylvester McCoy
8th Doctor - Paul McGann
War Doctor - John Hurt
10th Doctor - David Tennant
11th Doctor - Matt Smith
12th Doctor - Peter Capaldi

Monday, December 2, 2013

The 5 Best Christmas Carol Adaptations

The Charles Dickens story of a man who has blinded by money to see what is important during the holidays is one of the most well known classic books ever printed. The story itself was adapted so many times that I couldn't even count! Playing old Ebenezer Scrooge is somewhat of a privilege for a lot of actors!
Being a huge Christmas fan, I try to see many if not all of these adaptations and I believe that there are five - which even if have the same premise - are still worth re-watching every single year! Now, I will number these, but really, I love each equally, so just make sure you get around to see them in this holiday season :D

5) Scrooged

The executive of a big TV channel loses the meaning of Christmas and is visited by three ghosts to teach him a lesson as his actions have greater consequences than he thinks. This all during a taping of a Christmas Carol special and people seem to think that he is involved in the project maybe a bit too much... To start off, I loved that it was a modern version. The setting was thought through and the acting was outstanding. Not to mention that the ghosts leave out a couple of hours between appearing, this way giving a chance for the main character to see that he is not dreaming and something has to be done quickly. This is probably one of the funniest interpretations of this classic story.

4) A Christmas Carol

As far as adaptations go, this is the most accurate. Along with being one of the most beautiful one and also the scariest. The story should be scary, otherwise Scrooge wouldn't be shaken by the what is happening around him. I am still amazed at what Jim Carrey can do with only his voice - this is truly a masterpiece that everyone fond of the original story should have on their shelf at Christmas - and if you don't, then what are you waiting for?

3) Doctor Who - A Christmas Carol
Season 6, Episode 0

What I adore about this special is the fact that there are absolutely no ghosts in it, but the Doctor changes a man's heart by the use of time travel. I find that to be a wonderful twist! It is all just a game of illusions and really talking to someone who never had a friend growing up. The Doctor travels back in time to meet a little boy, who, once grown up refuses to save a ship full of people just because he was never taught to care. But it isn't until the Doctor shows the little boy what a horrible monster he became, that his heart melts and lets the magic of Christmas save him. It is 40 minutes of pure fun with one of the most beautiful Christmas songs ever written!

2) The Muppets Christmas Carol

The Muppets, Michael Cain in a musical version of the classic story. Do I need to say more? This has an extra twist, as two characters accompany us as narrators and all the songs just take it to a whole other level! I thought about posting a song here, but I just can't choose - one is better that the other and I especially love the ghosts who accompany him throughout the story. And being the Muppets, there is still room for a couple of jokes without losing the importance of the moral of the story. This is a definite must see!

1) Mickey's Christmas Carol

This has got to be the best ones. When you think about it, happy ending aside, the story gets really dark and sad and well this cartoon is the perfect  version to introduce it to children and teach them about caring and the importance of the holidays. For me this will always be the original adaptation and the most heartbreaking as well! I mean, Tiny Tim? If you ever want to see real Disney drawings animated in a way that will break your heart to pieces - then this is for you! So sweet, cuddly and cute and the moral of the story is never lost on the viewer! If not the others, this one is for the little and big ones equally to enjoy after Christmas dinner!

Which one is your favorite adaptation? Let me know in the comments below!
Until the next item on my list!