Sucker Punch: Acid Trip or Deeper Meaning?



Sucker Punch is a combination of warfare and psychology set in a highly stylized version of the 1950’s. The story opens with a death. Baby Doll is then sent to an asylum where in five days she will be lobotomized. With Rocket, Sweet Pea, Amber, and Blondie, she devises a plan to escape by retreating into an imaginary world she has created to help her avoid the horror of reality. This film is a reality within a reality and neither of them are real. We are asked to discern the meaning of the false realities, the first a brothel and the second a fantasy realm filled with dark forces Baby Doll and her friends must defeat to escape. Continue reading Sucker Punch: Acid Trip or Deeper Meaning?


Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge, Reading Between the Lines



Subtitles have never been my thing. I struggle reading books written in first person, so imagine the focus needed for subtitles! How could I ever watch an entire television show that needed them? That’s what I thought until I stumbled across Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge, based off a manga series. It won me over by the end of the first episode. What started my interest? Maybe since the lead is dazzling and I’m not blind, or the heroine’s tendency to knock out every man in the room because he’s too “bright,” or maybe I was staggered by the idea of love as represented in the series. When do you find agape love in a relationship these days? Our world favors eros  so agape is pushed aside. Agape love is self-sacrificing, runs deeper than emotions, and acts in the best interest of someone else even if it means losing something in return. Continue reading Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge, Reading Between the Lines




One legend has intrigued people for generations: the stories of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table have been told in many different ways over the years from an animated version about a clumsy boy discovering his true purpose to the heartbreak of a King finding out his finest knight is in love with his wife. These tales often focus on Arthur: who he is, how he became king, or how he deals with being king. In the background but just as much a part of the legend as Arthur is, is Merlin, the mysterious wizard, sometimes funny, sometimes serious, but always powerful and there to help Arthur. Continue reading Merlin

Faults and Follies, Discovering North and South



I love reading classics, and one of my favorite classic authors is Jane Austen. In her writing, I believed I had found literary perfection: witty dialogue between characters, descriptive settings and simple yet deep plots are all present in her books. I have read almost the entirety of her “canon,” as I once heard it called, including her most popular works. I considered it a sort of literary heaven. Yet one day I stumbled on the saga of North and South and my world shifted, so to speak. Continue reading Faults and Follies, Discovering North and South

Cold Comfort Farm: The Art of Parody



It’s not that all literary adaptations are serious, melodramatic, or devoid of humor. In fact, some of the most popular costume films are based on works by two of the cleverest writers in history: Jane Austen and Oscar Wilde. For sheer wit, it’s hard to beat those two. But real comedic silliness is rare in costume drama.

That’s one reason why I love the little-known 1995 film Cold Comfort Farm. You’d think more people would rave about this gem of a comedy. It’s got more great British actors than you can shake a stick at: Eileen Atkins, Ian McKellen, Stephen Fry, Kate Beckinsale, Rufus Sewell. It’s got period charm, set in the 1930s. And it’s funny. Continue reading Cold Comfort Farm: The Art of Parody

Beautiful Tragedy



The first time I saw Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, I fell in love with it. Since the movie was so good, I decided to read the books it was based on, and decided it’s one of those rare instances when a movie is better than the book. The books are witty and original and fast-paced, but I found myself left with a bad taste in my mouth after finishing the last one. Many storylines are left unfinished and mysteries unsolved. The movie, while changing certain things from the books, keeps the same flavor but the ending is far more satisfactory. Continue reading Beautiful Tragedy

Reward of Virtue: Adaptation in The Inheritance



As in the other arts, aptitude and enthusiasm for writing tends to manifest itself early. Precociousness marks out some of the authors who have left their legacy of words with us, and the earliest works of these writers can simultaneously impress and demonstrate the growth of their ability in their later works. Louisa May Alcott was only 17 when she wrote The Inheritance and it is a case in point. The plot owes a lot to fairy tales but the entertainment of reading it can not be denied. The same can be said of it’s film version. The adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s The Inheritance is a interesting mixture of invention, faithfulness, and modernization, but the most important theme of the book retains it’s clearness in film form: virtue is rewarded. Continue reading Reward of Virtue: Adaptation in The Inheritance

A Blank Canvas



Paper is a marvelous tool, a blank canvas that invites the imaginative to express themselves. It can be used in many ways, and for many purposes. It has been my favorite medium my entire life because it is so versatile. I started using paper as a creative outlet when I was little and loved to make small books. I would write a short story, illustrate it (or sometimes it was the other way around) and then staple the pages together. I was so proud of myself every time I finished one! I saved them all and now a box is filled with my little books. I love to take them out from time to time and remind myself of how far I’ve come and how much I’ve learned. Continue reading A Blank Canvas

Wizards, Hangovers & Death



Normality can be challenging if you can walk through walls and see monsters hiding under beds. Susan wants to be left alone and hopes to make others forget her notorious parentage by working as a governess. (Death adopted her parents and as such she inherited certain of his … ah, abilities.)  The children are delighted that she can routinely beat up make-believe thugs with fire irons and more than once she has impressed the lady of the house by referring to various Important People by their first name, but all that is about to come to an end when someone comes down the chimney on Hogswatch Eve that isn’t supposed to be delivering presents… Continue reading Wizards, Hangovers & Death

Mad Men, Where The Truth Lies



Madison Avenue is best known either for the New York Life Insurance Building or the fashionable high end shops that line its street, but in the 1950s and ‘60s it was populated with so many advertising agencies that the term “Madison Avenue” became almost synonymous with advertising itself. To be a an ad man on Madison Avenue was considered a glamorous job in a world that was quickly changing. It was a time of excess, of three martini lunches, expense accounts, and meetings in rooms filled with cigarette smoke, a time when sexism, racism, homophobia and anti-Semitism were accepted and commonplace. The United States was on the brink of war, a young new president and his lovely wife and children had just taken their place in the White House, and people were working to obtain the American dream of a car, house, a loving spouse, happy children and the products that proposed to give them just that. People consumed beverages, wore clothes, and purchased products on the promise of happiness each item would bring, all the while failing to realize the American dream they were striving for was carefully crafted for them by advertising agencies. Continue reading Mad Men, Where The Truth Lies

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