Thursday, May 29, 2014

I'm Glad

Frodo has never been my favorite character in Lord of the Rings.  And I doubt he ever will be (what with Faramir, Arwen, Gandalf, Pippin, Eowyn, etc., he's kinda far down on the list).  But I realized something as I was reading The Fellowship of the Ring the other day.  I don't really give Frodo the credit he's due.  Sure, he makes mistakes during the trilogy, he trusts the wrong people (er, uh, creatures), he doubts his closest friends, and he almost gives in to the Ring's power.  But what I forget so often is what he does right.  He's given a task to complete, and he does it.  Frodo never asked for guardianship of the Ring, he never wanted it, and it scared him.  But he took it anyway.  What on earth did I read, you may ask?  Well, I shall oblige you.

Frodo's spirits had risen for a while after his escape, and after food and a draught of the cordial; but now a deep uneasiness, growing to dread, crept over him again.  Though he had been healed in Rivendell of the knife-stroke, that grim wound had not been without effect.  His senses were sharper and more aware of things that could not be seen…And he was in any case the bearer of the Ring: it hung upon its chain against his breast, and at whiles it seemed a heavy weight.  He felt the certainty of evil ahead and of evil following; but he said nothing.  He gripped tighter on the hilt of his sword and went on doggedly.

Okay, so here's a guy, living a peaceful and enjoyable life in the Shire, probably the safest and most cheerful place in Middle-Earth.  He's entering young adulthood (from what I understand of the book).  He probably expected his life to go on uneventfully, in the usual style of the Hobbitfolk.  But then his uncle, with whom he's very close, starts acting strangely.  And another close friend, Gandalf, shows up.  Happy, right?  But then at a birthday party, his uncle mysteriously vanishes and Gandalf begins to make Frodo nervous.  And then he's told that he, and he alone, can save his village - and his world - from an impending Armageddon, by taking a seemingly innocent-looking ring and throwing it into a pit of roiling lava…inside a mountain by the inviting name of Mount Doom.  Oh, and as a side note, he's going to be chased along his beautiful route across Middle-Earth by Ring-wraiths.  Loverly.  But Frodo doesn't complain, once he realizes that he must perform this duty.  He takes the Ring, and decides to trust Gandalf to guide him.  That's not to say he wants to.  From what I can see, there wasn't a fiber in Frodo's body that wasn't tossing up red flags every which way.    

And now we come to that beautiful part when Frodo confides his fears to Gandalf.  "I wish the Ring had never come to me."  "So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide.  All you have to decide is what to do with the time you have been given."  (At which point we all burst into tears…or, if you're like me, you don't, but you feel Extremely Shaken by such a stirring pep-talk.)

As you all know, Frodo goes on to destroy the Ring.  He completes his quest.  And that's great and we're all happy about it, but why am I writing a post on it?  Because, in the end, I'm glad.  I'm glad that Frodo gets to travel to Valinor.  Though I don't particularly like that heart wrenching scene in the Gray Havens when Frodo says goodbye to Pippin and Merry and Sam, I'm glad that he does.  Because Frodo deserved to rest from his troubles.  He deserved to board an (absolutely beautiful) ship with his mentor and father-figure, Gandalf, and sail away from the Earth where he had seen and experienced such evil, such pain.  He deserved to see the gray rain-curtain of that world roll away, and then…white shores.  And beyond, a far green country under a swift sunrise.   (Tissues, please.)  Because believe it or not, as much as I think Sam endured almost as much as Frodo…he didn't quite.  I honestly do think Frodo went through the most.  He had to carry that monstrous Ring around the world in eighty days.  He had to make the hard decisions about which roads to take, who to trust, how to deal with everything he encountered.  And that's why I wrote this post, to remind myself that after all of that, I think Frodo Baggins deserved to be at peace. 

Don't you? 

And, just because I want you guys to leave happy and not totally heartbroken by LotR's epic bittersweetness…here.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

"What about Elevensies?!"

Kiri Liz is passing along the Elevensies tag to her readers, so…here I am;)

So!  Questions!:)

1.  What's your favorite fairytale retelling (book only)?  That would have to be Ella Enchanted.  Both because I love that book and because I can't really recall any other retellings that I've actually finished.

2.  How many mosquito bites do you currently have?  Actually…just one, I think, and it's fading.  Win!:)

3.  What was the last film you watched?  And would you recommend it?  I'm currently watching Anne 2 with my mom, for the umpteenth time, and enjoying it immensely.  Yesterday I also watched most of The Pink Panther 2 with Steve Martin.  I'd heartily recommend Anne 2!  As to TPP…yes, I would recommend it, since it's perfectly hilarious, BUT I certainly advise viewer discretion, as there are some innuendos and one or two plain inappropriate scenes.  Other than that, though, it's great.

"Ho-hoba!  Ho-hoba!"

"This one has a fingerprint…this one has a fingerprint…this one has a fingerprint…"

4.  Closest object to your right?  Go!  Uh…the printer, I guess;)

5.  What song describes your mood right now?  Ooh.  That's a toughie.  (Thank you, Amos.) "Strangely Dim"?  "The Sound of Music"?  "How Can I Keep From Singing"?

6.  Opinion on flip-flops?  I loves them.  They're my footwear staple:)

7.  If you could ask any literary character one question,  who would it be and what would you ask them?  I'm going to go with either Denethor from The Lord of the Rings or Mr. Dinsmore, Jr. from the Elsie Dinsmore series.  My question, for whichever I chose, would be something along the lines of this:  "Yousicktwistedspecimenofhumanity!  How exactly do you live with yourself and what precisely is your problem?  STOP BEING SUCH A BARBAROUS CONTROL FREAK! (in Mr. Dinsmore's case, and in Denethor's - ) PLEASE GO AWAY UNTIL YOU'VE STRAIGHTENED YOUR BRAIN OUT!   

Ahem.  Does that answer your question?;)

8.  Favorite soundtrack?  Ugh, THIS kind of question;)  Haha just kidding - let's see.  Frozen, Les Miserables (2012), The Prince of Egypt, The Fellowship of the Ring

"Take your pick.  I got more."  XD

9.  I'm inviting you to a costume party.  Who are you going to cosplay?  ARWEN OR HADASSAH!!!

10.  Big Ben, the Eiffel Tower, or the Great Wall of China?  Great Wall of China or the Eiffel Tower.

11.  If Christ were to return today, what would He find you doing?  Living my day-to-day life, trying to trust Him through a very difficult situation, but enjoying my day nevertheless.  (And may I say…hi.  No, no, that's not what I meant!  I meant to say, thank you for that thought-provoking question!  We all need that reminder from time to time.)

Thanks for the tag, Kiri Liz!:)

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

"The Apple Dumpling Gang" Movie Review

"You know something, Amos?  The Lord poured your brains in with a teaspoon and somebody joggled His arm!" ~ Theodore 

Prepare yourself to completely LOSE IT laughing if you watch this movie.  This is one of those rollicking, feel-good old Westerns we all secretly love (well, some of us more secretly than others).  

Here's a synopsis of the movie taken from the back of the VHS:  "Head for cover!  Don Knotts and Tim Conway are Wild West outlaws who can't hit the broad side of a barn - but never miss when it comes to rounding up laughs!  The hilarity begins when a roving bachelor (Bill Bixby) inherits three young orphans and a wealth of problems.  When the youngsters stumble upon a huge golden nugget, they must fend off the greedy townspeople.  So the kids join forces with the bumbling outlaws to stage a robbery of the gold.  Little do they know a surly gang of sharpshooters plans to beat them to the draw!"  

This movie is a goldmine of comic genius.  My family and I just about die of laughter during some of the scenes.  Literally, we sometimes have trouble breathing (or at least, I do)!  

TADG also boasts some terrific characters:

Bill Bixby as Russell Donovan

While I can't say that Donovan is my favorite character (but, really, with Amos and Theodore, does anyone else even have a chance?), Bill Bixby's portrayal is great:  "Do you take her, Donovan?"  *awkward pause*  "Yes!"  ~  "Magnolia?!"  Donovan starts out as a selfish man with an unfortunate propensity to gamble and some roguish tendencies, but it's nice to see how he changes throughout the movie due to his relationship with the children and Dusty.  

Susan Clark as - ready for this? - Magnolia "Dusty" Clydesdale.  (Finding pictures of the characters is proving difficult.  I do apologize.)

Dusty's kind of awesome.  I'm just saying.  "Other than that, I got a free evenin'." ~ "Well, why didn't you say so in the first place?  And we could have avoided this little - misunderstanding."  And it's good of her to agree to *SPOILERS!* marry Donovan in order to be able to give the kids "a good home." *END OF SPOILERS*  So yeah.  I love Dusty.  (And may I say, the dress she wears at the end is most becoming.) 

Clay O'Brien, Brad Savage, and Stacy Manning as Bobby, Clovis, and Celia Bradley

The kids are adorable.  And it's really cool, because Celia looks almost exactly like an older version of this little girl I know;)  But it sometimes seems like the only reason they care about Donovan is because of the whole apple dumpling thing, which can get annoying.  "Mr. Donovan gives us all the apple dumplings we can eat!"  Great…so that's the only reason you want to stay with him?

Harry Morgan as Sheriff McCoy

Sheriff McCoy is great.  He's a no-nonsense, quick-thinking Wild West sheriff, and is therefore a great addition to the collection of characters.  "Dusty is a fine specimen of womanhood!  I seen her get caught in a cloudburst once, and I wanna tell you!" ~ "What would please this court is to see both of you run outta town on a rail!" ~ "They got married."  McCoy might be my second favorite character.

Don Knotts and Tim Conway as Theodore and Amos

And now we can get to the good stuff;D  Theodore and Amos totally MAKE this movie, and it'd be sort of pitiful without them.  The comedic genius of Don Knotts AND Tim Conway…*sigh.*  It makes for a grand smorgasbord of awesome, best demonstrated by this part: 

And this part:

Followed by this part:

And don't forget this part:


Also, some hilarious scenes with Dusty and Donovan:  "You tryin' to pass those kids off on me, mister - or ya workin' on somethin' else?"  And then, of course, the unforgettable "misunderstanding."

 On the whole, TADG is a rip-roaring bundle of sidesplitting, refreshingly clean hilarity that I heartily recommend.  Go watch it!:D



Sunday, May 18, 2014

You Are Hereby Nominated!

I am nominating Kiri Liz of Lianne Taimenlore for The Olaf Award, a blog award dedicated to the glories of Disney animation!  So here goes.

My Questions (applying to animated Disney movies):
1.  What is your favorite Disney movie of all time?

2.  Of the three newest Disney films (Tangled, Brave, and Frozen), which is your favorite?

3.  Do you tend to prefer Disney films made prior to the 2000s or those made more recently?

4.  Who is your favorite character in Frozen?

5.  Everyone loves Disney music.  Any movie whose soundtrack you particularly enjoy?  Limit yourself to three.

6.  In your opinion (similar to Question #3), has the quality of Disney's film-making decreased as time has gone on, or has it only improved? 

7.  Favorite Disney couple?

8.  Favorite Disney sidekick?

9.  What is the worst Disney film you've ever seen?

10.  Lastly, what is one lesser-known Disney film you'd recommend?

1.  Answer the award questions.
2.  Pass the award on to however many bloggers you choose, using the same or your own questions.

I hope you like it, Kiri Liz!:D