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A Slipping Beauty Blog

To-Read for July

As I’m leaving for Costa Rica in the coming days, it is crucial that I have ample reading material to take with me!  Here are some of the novels I’m planning on reading in the month of July.

1. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rowling

sorcerer's stone

Obviously this one’s been read before, however I’m participating in Pottermore’s book club and reading along with it.  Excited to delve back into this magical world and experience the stories as an adult.

2. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

and then there were none

A classic novel by a classic author, Christie is one of my favorite writers of all time.  This novel centers around guests arriving to an island and each disappearing one by one.

3. When the Moon Was Ours

when the moon was ours

This novel came up in an article on Goodreads and I thought I’d give it ago.  As June is pride month, many LGBTQ books were added to my list and I decided to pick this one to roll over into July.

4. A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving

a prayer for owen meany

This novel was added to my list in an odd way: my best friend was named after the main character in the story.  Excited to see what comes of reading it!

 

 

Beauty and the Beast (2017)-General thoughts

WARNING: there may be mild spoilers ahead, proceed with caution!

On Thursday night, I went to the first showing available for the new Beauty and the Beast with my best friend.  It was nice to sit in an audience of mostly adults who were Disney fans, as the showing was at 7pm on a Thursday night.  I had been waiting in anticipation for this film for many reasons.  Firstly, my favorite actress of all time, Emma Thompson, was playing Mrs. Potts, which is a dream come true.  Secondly, the story of Beauty and the Beast is one that’s touched my heart since I was young.  I’ve always identified the most with Belle of all the princesses and it’s so exciting that a live action remake is happening.  The messages of not judging others based on appearance and that people can change are so important in America’s current state.  I’m glad this film was released when it was.

The first thing I noticed was how differently everyone approached their characters.  No one tried to copy exactly what the characters were like in the 1991 animated film.  They all made it their own, which made the film more interesting to watch.  Maurice was a more developed character in this film, as was Le Fou, which added new elements to the story as a whole.

Musically, the two leads lacked ability and were heavily autotuned.  However, their acting in these moments of song were so strong that I almost didn’t even notice.  It was only back when I listened to the soundtrack that I really noticed.  My personal favorite numbers were “Gaston”, “Be Our Guest”, and “Days in the Sun” (which was an original song for this movie).

There were mild plot lines that were added, some of which were effective, while others were not.  I don’t want to go into too much detail, as I wanted to make this as spoiler-free as possible, but they were trying to add layers to the overall message of the story.  They were good messages, but so underdeveloped that the friend I was with missed them completely.

All that being said though, I really enjoyed this movie.  It was fun to relive the story and be part of the magic a generation later.

The Good Dinosaur Review (spoilers)

The Good Dinosaur (2015), written by Meg LeFauve and directed by Peter Sohn

Overall Rating: 4.5/10

The story of The Good Dinosaur takes place in an alternate timeline where dinosaurs still roam the earth.  It focuses on Arlo, the son of two Apatosaurus parents, and his journey to find his way home after he is separated from his family.  Growing up, Arlo is constantly trying to gain his parent’s stamp of approval, though he is fearful.  His fear gets in the way of him doing his job and experiencing the world.  He is only able to overcome this fear through the obstacles he faces journeying back to his parents.  Along the way he meets many creatures, and becomes friends with Spot, a human child.

The film definitely had its redeeming qualities.  The animation was on another level from previous Pixar movies.  The landscapes were a sight to see and the movements of the different creatures were appropriately tailored to their species and personality.  I enjoyed the family dynamic between Arlo and his siblings.  His motivation to impress his parents is one that almost any child can relate to.

However, this film does not stand out among the other Pixar films for me.  The plot was predictable.  The concept was so creative that I felt the could’ve done more with the story. It felt like they focused so much on animation that the storyline kind of got forgotten until they had not choice but to choose the obvious ending.

I also didn’t really enjoy many of the characters in this movie.  Arlo was dynamic and had dimension to his personality, however the familial unit and most of the antagonists seemed one dimensional.  I wasn’t really rooting for the “good guys” because they didn’t have adequate “bad guys” to balance them out.

Current Ranking:

  1. The Incredibles
  2. Ratatouille
  3. Monsters University
  4. WALL-E
  5. The Good Dinosaur

 

Monsters University Review (spoilers)

Monsters University (2013),  written by Dan Gerson, Robert L. Baird, and Dan Scanlon, directed by Dan Scanlon

Overall Rating: 6.5/10

Pixar sequels truly redeem all of the poorly made (and rarely spoken of) Disney Animation sequels.  Monsters University is an easy to enjoy story that brings back the beloved characters of Monsters Inc..

The story follows a college bound Mike Wisowski, from when he is young and dreaming of college, to the day he steps off the bus.  He has been accepted into a highly competitive scare program with hopes to become a scarer and work for Monsters Inc..  James P. Sullivan, another scare student, has similar hopes and a reputation to go along with it.  When they’re both kicked out of the program, they pull together a team of unlikely candidates to compete in the “scare games” with hopes of winning back a spot in the program.

My favorite part about this movie was actually the ending.  It ended realistically and wasn’t predictable, based on where Monsters Inc. starts off.  The lessons learned from Mike and Sully’s failure is what drives them to ultimately become scarers on the scare floor.

I enjoyed the university feel.  Overall, the story wasn’t really deep or relatable, but it was never boring.  I disliked most of the characters that were added in for this movie.  All the members of OK I found to be flat, however it was balanced out by Sully and Mike and didn’t take away from their character development.

It was nice getting to see how an uptight, small monster like Mike and a large, laid back monster like Sully ended up as best friends and work colleagues.  That was the goal of the film and they achieved it in an above average sequel.

 

Current Ranking:

  1. The Incredibles
  2. Ratatouille
  3. Monsters University
  4. WALL-E

 

Being a “Grown Up”: The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Hi all, starting a new posting series for when I rewatch movies I haven’t seen in a long time.  Each will be entitled “Being a “Grown Up”” and will consist of 5 things I didn’t remember/catch the first time I watched the film.  This week’s installation: The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996).

1. The Wizard of Oz Reference which changed my LIFE

The Wizard of Oz is one of my favorite movies of all time, so I was overjoyed to hear the very obvious reference.  It alludes to the Wicked Witch releasing her flying monkeys not chase after Dorothy and her friends in the forest.  I’ll insert a clip from youtube here.

2. Sexual and language innuendos

Most of these occur when Esmerelda and Phoebus first encounter each other in the church.  A nice touch only the adults viewing will understand

3. Frollo is tempted by lust?

The song Hellfire is literally about Frollo being tempted by Esmerelda in a sexual way, not only ridiculing her sinful acts.  This is something I obviously didn’t pick up on when I was younger.

4. The extreme (and dark) themes of Christianity and damnation

I loved rewatching this movie because its commentary on “monsters” versus “men” and how “men” are quick to condemn other humans when they are in no position to do so.  Frollo is the prime example of this, where Esmerelda is the example of grace and compassion, which is much of what being a Christian means to many.

5. Why are the gargoyles IN THIS MOVIE?

Okay, yes I understand that this is a children’s movie and there needed to be comic relief.  But they take away from the main plot and were totally not needed.  It keeps this movie from being as amazing as it could’ve been.

Nancy Drew: Shadow at the Water’s Edge-Review and Thoughts

I’ve waited years to play this game because I was so nervous about not being able to sleep at night after I played it.  However, after much consideration, I braved through it and was able to finish the whole game probably in about 15 hours total.

Those of you not familiar with the Her Interactive Nancy Drew video game series, this is a great first game in order to convince those unfamiliar that this is not just a game for children.  It can be enjoyed by people of all ages.

Let’s start off with the story: Nancy has been sent on a relaxing vacation in Japan where she is staying in a ryokan in order to be completely immersed in Japanese culture.  However, the inn she is staying at is known to be haunted and her fun quickly turns into another mystery she must solve.  Consisting of an old family business, bickering siblings, and frightening ghosts, this game surely has enough subplots to keep players on their toes.

The game itself  is definitely one of the better games in the Navy Drew series that I’ve played.  It is probably in my top three favorite games in the series.  The graphics are amazing and the storyline has a nice arc that really allow you to solve this mystery step by step.  The characters are super fun to talk to and there are a variety of different personality types which definitely kept the game interesting.

The only thing I didn’t love was that the puzzles are so incredibly difficult.  Some of them took me almost 3 sessions of gameplay before they were completed.  If you’re one to enjoy tough puzzles, this game is definitely for you.

All in all thoroughly enjoyed the game and would recommend it to a friend.

WALL-E Review (spoilers)

WALL-E (2008), written by Andrew Stanton and Jim Reardon, directed by Andrew Stanton

Overall Rating: 5/10

I know my rating of this movie is probably making you freak out, but hear me out.  I do not think WALL-E is a bad movie in the slightest, my ratings are just based on it being compared to the other Pixar movies and how they fall on my scale.

WALL-E is about earth in the future, where it has been abandoned and flooded with robots to help clean up the mess.  All of humankind has been in a spaceship, the Axiom, for 700 years waiting for earth to be healthy to live on again.  WALL-E seems to be the last of the robots cleaning the earth, and he has a particular interest in humans and their artifacts.  Eve, a mysterious robot sent from the Axiom, has come to search for any signs of life.  WALL-E falls in love with her and the two hit it off, until she finds a seedling he had discovered and completely shuts down.  They both return to the Axiom and work along with the captain to try to get humankind back to earth again.

First, the things I loved: I loved WALL-E’s admiration for Hello Dolly and the music from it.  I loved the animation and the message of the film.  I loved Eve and WALL-E together and their supporting cast of robots, like Mo and the malfunctioning robots.

I have a hard time getting through WALL-E because it feels like it moves very slowly and I have a hard time staying focused on it.  I don’t mind slow movies, I loved Saving Mr. Banks and Gone With the Wind.  I just didn’t sympathize with the characters a lot and I wish there had been more relationships between the robots and humans.  Everyone seemed so disconnected (which may have been on purpose because of the increasing technology in their lives), and it was just difficult to watch as humankind spun into laziness and lack of ambition.

Again, this is a great movie, very cute, I just don’t connect with it as much as others do.  We all appreciate things in different ways and this is not a film I really found to enjoy as much as other Pixar movies

Current Rankings:

  1. The Incredibles
  2. Ratatouille
  3. WALL-E

 

Rapunzel Cosplay: Plan and Fabric

With Christmas over with, I have some Jo-Ann’s gift cards in my wallet that I immediately spent on fabric and supplies for a new cosplay: Rapunzel.

To make this, I’m using three different patterns and combining them together:

  • McCall’s #7363 for the skirt
  • Simplicity’s Snow White and Cinderella pattern for just the bodice (which is a separate piece from the skirt)
  • The 3/4 sleeves I’m free handing

Here are the different fabrics I chose

img_5161

The farthest to the left is the fabric for the skirt, this is a polyester fabric.  Next over is the sheer fabric for the 3/4 sleeves.  Second to last is the fabric for the puff of the sleeves, this is a cotton-polyester blend.  Lastly, the swirly fabric is for the bodice.  All of these were purchased at Jo-Ann’s.

I’ll keep you all posted, I’m planning on starting with the skirt because it will probably be the fastest part of the process.  Keep looking here for updates 🙂

Top 5 Books I Read in 2016

1.) Buffering by Hannah Hart

Autobiographies are always interesting and this book was no exception.  Most books released by youtubers I have thought to be poorly written or not interesting enough to pick up.  However, as one who keeps much of her private life away from the public eye, I was curious to see what Hannah’s story was.  Not only was it inspiring (yet devastating), but it was also extremely well written.  This would be a good autobiography to start out with if you’re looking to get into the genre.

2.) The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

This was the first novel I read this year and it’s hard to describe and review because it is a book targeted towards a younger audience, but the themes and imagery become dark and often scary.  The story whisked me off my feet with the whimsy and detail of the storytelling and I appreciated the frustrations the main character faced of being a “powerless” child.

3.) Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain by Portia de Rossi

Another autobiography, yet this one is on a different note than Hart’s.  De Rossi shares her journey of struggling with an eating disorder and her path that led her to who she is today.

4.) Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Gay love stories are always great to read because rather than concretely falling in love, the characters have to discover their feelings and are confused by them, which means more description about how the other person makes them feel.  This novel did just that and I love reading first person books from a male perspective.

5.) The Color Purple by Alice Walker

A classic I had yet to pick up.  I saw the musical earlier in the year and was ashamed with myself that I’d never read the book.  It lives up to the hype and its place as one of the most classic and inspiring novels in American literary history.

 

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