Shirley Temple Dies at 85

Shirley Temple Black, Screen Darling, Dies at 85 – NYTimes.com.

The link not only talks about Shirley Temple’s death, but gives an encapsulated biography that includes not only her film and political successes, but also several anecdotes and more nuanced experiences of her life. For example:

“After winning an honorary Academy Award at the age of 6 and earning $3 million before puberty, Shirley Temple grew up to be a level-headed adult. When her cancerous left breast was removed in 1972, at a time when operations for cancer were shrouded in secrecy, she held a news conference in her hospital room to speak out about her mastectomy and to urge women discovering breast lumps not to “sit home and be afraid.” She is widely credited with helping to make it acceptable to talk about breast cancer.”

Hats off to you, Shirley. Thank you for showing everyone that even the most iconic little girl could grow up into a tough and intelligent diplomat more than capable of holding her own as an adult:

“When she was appointed ambassador to Ghana in 1974, some career diplomats were outraged, but State Department officials later conceded that her performance was outstanding…Mrs. Black succeeded beyond almost everyone’s expectations, winning praise during her three years in Prague from, among others, Henry Kissinger, who called her “very intelligent, very tough-minded, very disciplined.” Although she may always be best remembered as America’s sweetheart, the woman who left the screen at 22 saying she had “had enough of pretend” ended up leaving a considerable mark on the real world.”

Advertisements

Reasons “Frozen” Rocks

I finally got to see Disney’s “Frozen” and I love it! This is the kind of empowering movie that “Brave” claimed to be and fell short of!

elsa-disney-frozen-hd-wallpaper

SAFE-TO-READ Reasons Why:

1. It’s gorgeous. Even with obviously disproportional heads, eyes, etc., Disney has mastered this newer style of animation. Paired with the spectacular visuals of Elsa’s ice creations, this is pure eye candy.
2. The characters not only are complex, but the entire movie owns those nuances, bringing out more and more reasons to invest in these protagonists as it goes along instead of trying to smooth everything neatly into a tidy ending box.
3. The music! The last few movies Disney made caused me to wonder if they’d forgotten how important their soundtracks are to making things compelling, but clearly they have remembered! I almost cried at the end of “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?”
4. They actually came up with a good reason to have a goofy, talking snowman running around. I’m impressed.
5. This is a fairy tale treatment that explores the real folklore material of “The Snow Queen” and comes up with a valid interpretation, rather than simply turning it on its head in one simple way like through modernization or completely reversing the blame.
6. Even the comic relief characters have wisdom and a level of emotional resonance.
7. Romance was important, but put nicely in its place.
8. There is a credit for “Caffeination” with only one name-“Carlos Buenavidos”, aka “Carlos Good Life.”

Long live the Queen!

Frozen Movie CLIP – ‘Let It Go’ Song 2013

Frozen Movie CLIP – 'Let It Go' Song 2013 – Disney Princess Movie HD – YouTube.

This in itself is gorgeous. I can’t wait to see “Frozen”! Watch it!

The White Queen 1×5 “War at First Hand”

SPOILERS:

Well, Finally we have gotten through Warwick’s story.  Surprisingly enough, this episode that reaches the climax of everyone-knows-no-matter-what-something-is-going-to-suck managed to show all the characters at their best.  Warwick shows protectiveness towards his daughter, Isabel.  Isabel bears up bravely in her loneliness and supreme something’s-about-to-suckage.  Seriously, Isabel has become far and away my favorite character.  Anne grows up in leaps and bounds, although sometimes not very plausibly.  The “Bad Queen” Margaret flaunts her strengths for battle and commonsense.  Remarkably, her respect for commonsense is so great she gives up any extra jibing at Anne.  Unfortunately, her practicality put Anne at a disadvantage in my eyes for awhile.  (Yelling you’re the Kingmaker’s daughter is not going to help you against the folks who killed him, Anne!)  Even Anne’s husband comes across as just an arrogant prick instead of a horror.

 

Where they lost me was Warwick himself.  First, the man is not Boromir!  He doesn’t need this music and kneeling-in-the-leaves thing!  Second, call me something if you want, but I would’ve been much happier if the York boys had actually at least tried to kill him.  I know there’s this thing going about where the “good guys” no longer actually dispatch their enemies, but for God’s sake, we KNOW Edward gets his hands dirty, has no time for anything but, AND we’ve already gone over how he doesn’t want to, so at least let him act like he’s willing to do what he has to do for his realm.  Jeesh.  Just made him look like a wimp to me.

 

As for the royalty, Jacquetta managed to come up with a way for them to help the battle, magically of course.  Elizabeth showed great aplomb and practicality in attempting to defend her brood against Edward-in-disguise, and other times, which makes me like her.  “Most men would prefer to die in their sleep” indeed, Elizabeth!  You rock on!  (Until she gave Isabel that death look anyhow.  You keep your machinations off of Isabel!  Remember how sorry you felt for her and her newborn, will you?)  Edward continued to act very nobly, as always (So nobly and courageous in fact that it tired me out just watching him run about even more after all these episodes), and this time added sensitivity.  His demeanor about his son and about Warwick set him markedly apart.  They finally let Richard in on the action there, too, talking down to George.  Speaking of which, even GEORGE at least acknowledged how he should be feeling about his wife being Warwick’s daughter.  When you can get George to admit something honorable, you’re really on a roll!  (Isn’t he the most magnificent bastard?)

 

And on the Lancastrian side, even Margaret of Anjou and her husband made out well, character-wise.  Husband Henry showed determination, integrity, and as always, commonsense.  Margaret meanwhile proved that she can actually put aside her quest to think of others when things are dire, and that she can bear up well under more trials so long as she’s sure she did all she could.  It makes me think how frustrating it must be to not be able to really influence or ACT to effect the outcomes you want as a woman in those times, and how hard it would be for me also to shut up about anything without that power, how hard not to play manipulative emotion games when that’s all you have.  This episode showed that, so long as Margaret could do things and felt she had done all she could do, she can actually show some grace.

 

Plotwise of course, everything was supposed to be all war! Battle!  Blood!  However, that first blood-soaked face they close-upped on reminded me so much of the time I made a Vlad-the-Impaler cake (https://wheresmytower.wordpress.com/2013/07/29/vlad-the-impalers-just-desserts/) and sprayed red food coloring and strawberry syrup everywhere for blood that the taste of that scrumptious creation came to my mouth.  Naturally, after that whenever I was supposed to think about blood and death and the misery of it all, I just tasted and thought-CAKE!  So, that kindof fell apart for me, but ya know, a very enjoyable experience for my own reasons.

 

Also, I am disappointed that the show has taken no stand on the death of Edward Lancaster.  Died in battle, indeed.  What about the more controversial stories and rumors, eh?  This is a Starz freaking TV history version, if you take out the controversies, what on earth are we doing here???  Which brings us to:

-Suffocating King Henry in bed.  Well, I know what they’re going for with that, but…I have no strong feelings.  Sorry.  Have you?

 

Other thoughts:

-Anne’s a freaking princess now, she can’t get at least a fancier hairdo like her mom has??

-Having Queen Margaret offer to make Richard king instead of having him figure it out all on its own just seems to weaken his character for no good reason.  Foreshadowing?  I don’t know.  It throws me off.

-Having Richard dramatically rescue Anne like that is a bit over the top, yes?

-I actually really like seeing little Elizabeth join her mom and grandma in magic.  It at least gives her a glimmer of her own power, which I’ve never felt she had before.  It’s nice.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Similar Posts:

-https://wheresmytower.wordpress.com/2013/07/30/the-white-queen-1×1-in-love-with-the-king/

-https://wheresmytower.wordpress.com/2013/08/23/the-white-queen-1×4-the-bad-queen/

-https://wheresmytower.wordpress.com/2013/02/05/bones-belonged-to-richard-iii/

 

Ironskin

 

Ironskin

By: Tina Connolly

(http://tinaconnolly.com/)

Published by: Tor (2012)

A young adult steampunk fantasy review

 

Ironskin-cover

 

The Great War blasted Jane Eliot’s life apart, just as the fey blasted her cheek with their curse.  Now she is ironskin, forced to cover her face with an iron mask to keep others safe.  When Mr. Rochart advertises for a governess to care for a girl in a “delicate situation,” Jane knows she can help this fellow victim.  Yet, a lot more greets Jane at her new position than a difficult child.  Jane finds there are more curses than she knows, and learns about masks more burdensome than iron.

The framework of Jane Eyre brings this novel a natural sinking point for the reader to dive in and let themselves go.  We already know the basis for this romance, for these main characters’ traits, so we are free to splash through the vivid colors of the war with the fey, the steampunk world details, and the new barriers that this Jane faces right away.  Knowing the strengths to expect from this Jane could have been disastrous if she didn’t match up, but the fact that she so resoundingly does makes the story of what this Jane remembers and how she chooses that much more endearing than if she’d had no one to live up to.  Similarly, knowing we will eventually reach certain turning points in the story makes the building parts more purely intriguing rather than tense.  Jane’s charge, Dorie, plays a much larger role in this book and we learn a lot through interacting with her.  Jane’s dynamic with Mr. Rochart leans heavily on audience foreknowledge for the romance, but he allows us to see new angles of this Jane and how she sees herself.  Jane Eliot’s identity rests between visions of herself where she has various levels of opportunity, personal connections, and beauty.  Exploring the ties between these things among all her characters, Connolly pulls on chords familiar to us all while grounding her fantastic society.

The new details and mysteries swirling through this world keep the pace swift as we long to know not just what will happen next but what has already happened.  Each character in here is Connolly’s own and indelibly set within this strange world, so even those who can’t bear the thought of an impure Jane Eyre should be able to read it without flinching.  The prose engages and surrounds with firm moments and beautiful imagery.  The only issue I had was that the ending is rushed.  After such lovely delving and swooping through this gothic tale I was suddenly crashed right through the center of things, with no opportunity to get my bearings or start to breathe again.  It lacks that last chapter, where loose ends are tied up and you can feel the satisfaction of knowing how things have turned out.  I still have some questions that I doubt the sequel, from Helen’s point of view, will answer.  Basically, I needed more!  And I still do, so I’m relieved there is a sequel.  I loved reading Ironskin.

 

Questions I Still Have (BEWARE SPOILERS):

-So, where WAS all Rochart’s money going??  I mean, it’s implied that he’s paying off his ex-wife’s father, but the guy’s a village shop owner and no one is saying he’s living it up, so he can hardly be using up all of Edward’s vast fees.  What happened to the rest of it?  Is Poule sending a bundle back to her clan?

-Wait, so if the curses and things are all parts of actual fey being punished by separation, then if whoever takes charge over the fey next decides to pull their forces together or end some punishments, or time just runs out, people’s FACES could just FLY OFF??  I do not think people are concerned enough about this possibility.

-Why were blue tendrils trying to keep Rochart in the forest that time if the queen’s plan was for him to keep coming back and giving people fey faces, anyway?

-So, if Dorie can see people she cares about through walls, does that mean that all the fey can just see through anything but iron?

-If it was Edward’s fey gift that meant he could remove people’s faces, then how can he reverse the procedure now it’s gone?  Is Jane going to make Dorie do it?

-Can all fey just feel everyone’s feelings and where they are if they care about them?

-Shouldn’t it matter that Jane’s current face came from a mask with a forehead chip?  Is it just going to look like there’s a birthmark up there or what?

 

Please tell me if you’ve ideas about these!

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Similar Posts:

-https://wheresmytower.wordpress.com/2012/06/22/the-horns-of-ruin/

-https://wheresmytower.wordpress.com/2012/05/20/bitterblue/

The White Queen 1×3 “The Storm”

Otherwise known as: No matter what the scheme is, women always suffer the most.  *shrug*  It’s a common theme.

I think the real problem here is that not a lot of character development happens here.  This episode is more about entrenching who these people were before, although it does broaden horizons enough to admit that people from different sides have valid grievances.  On the other hand, the plot picked up more action and snarky scenes than before.  I love me some historical snark.  I do, however, have some notes on how things could have been improved:

 

SPOILERS

1. Let George TALK more, so we can all revel in the fact that he is a glorious bastard and take a personal stake in his defeats.  It works, he proved it as Juan Borgia.

2. Stop spending so much time with this Jasper character.  Not that I’ve anything against him per se, but he seems like the token feel-sorry-for-this-woman! card, and in my head it is keeping Beaufort too victimized.  The woman has an iron fist, let her just do her job without all this pity-playing about menfolk around her.  Bonus, that’d leave more screentime for little Henry VII.

3. If Warwick is going the insanely stormy route, let him ham-it-up, already.

4.. Less witchcraft, more Jaquetta being awesomely practical about everything. Why was Edward IV the most practical person in this episode?

Other Comments:

1. Dude, EDWARD IV WAS THE MOST PRACTICAL PERSON IN THIS EPISODE!  I don’t even know what to make of that, except to say that this characterization has officially won me over for the fact that we somehow got here believably.

2. I feel like Warwick’s character is being sacrificed.  It makes me sad.

3. Isabel is really carrying the bulk of the empathy-play to a huge degree.  Not great for the show, but impressive for the actress.  I think she pulled it off.

4. Here’s the thing: I feel like Elizabeth played her feelings off as if reacting directly to everything and kept all emotional things really consistent, while everyone else played it as if spans of time were happening and therefore their feelings were shifting around.  It made Elizabeth more accessible, but also just oddly without depth in comparison to everyone else.  They should really all get together on this timespan-vs.-immediacy issue.

5. Anyone else just really feel it was totally Jasper’s fault for telling Wells the plan in the first place and maybe he should feel bad about it sometime?

6. It is really interesting to me that all of the tensiony sex scenes in this episode were actually about people plotting things about people who were not the one they were having sex with.

7. I do like Richard’s actual appearances this episode.  It makes me more uncertain about how they’re planning to portray him later.

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

Similar Posts:

-https://wheresmytower.wordpress.com/2013/07/30/the-white-queen-1×1-in-love-with-the-king

https://wheresmytower.wordpress.com/2012/04/15/the-borgia-bulletin-spoiling-paolo/

Once Upon a Time 2×17 “Welcome to Storybrooke

See, this is exactly the episode I did Not want to see.  Spoilers in the reasons why:

 

1. See, this kind of monotony is exactly why the show started AFTER Emma showed up.  It is Boring.  I was bored then.

2. If Regina is also bored, as she seems to be, she doesn’t have to keep doing the same thing day after day-that’s the reward of having her memory.  Is she really that unimaginative?  No, but this episode was.

3.We know it took Regina maybe a week to get that bored, which is ridiculous.  We know this because Kurt and Owen arrived right after Storybrooke’s creation.  So, about a week into her 28 year curse, Regina’s discovered that what would truly make her happy is a child.  Henry was 8 when Emma showed up.  Mr. Gold, without his memories, might take…shall we say a year at the most to get Regina a child once she’s asked him?  So that leaves us with a swiftly discontented, lonely Regina who’s been shown exactly what she wants within the first fortnight of the curse and…she does nothing about it for 19 years?  Nineteen YEARS?  Come on, people!  This is all just nonsense.

4. By the by, that Owen thing’s another mark for “All Mothers Die” being the true secret name of this series.

5. I never want to see Lana Parilla standing there looking helpless because the writers and directors couldn’t think of anything for her to do while two men struggle.  Ever.  But it’s particularly heinous when her character is, in fact, the one with all the power as she is in this episode when Graham originally tries to arrest Kurt for drunk driving.  That was character assassination by negligence.

6. That curse Regina so conveniently found that so conveniently would get her both of the things she’s been craving forever, that came at the most convenient time is too…what’s that word?  CONVENIENT.  Where was Gold stepping out into the writers’ room and announcing, “You didn’t think it’d be that easy, did you?” when it counts.

7. Also, Gold was the one standing strong and victorious at the end of last episode-all he gets to do this one is roll over and be a guard dog?  That’s just not good television.

8. So, how exactly did Greg get Regina’s cell number?

9. For that matter, how did stalker Greg manage to have no reaction at all to the name Storybrooke or seeing Regina as precisely herself, as opposed to simply reacting to magic?  I call bull.  Total bull.

10. This thing where Regina does the right thing at Henry’s bequest and Henry immediately goes to the other side…I feel I have ranted on this before.  It’s the worst possible handling.  Even worse, in this instance it didn’t even make sense.  Henry clearly felt equally upset at both sides and Regina’s the one who actually stood up and gave him what he asked for.  It would have made far more sense for his character to hug her first.

11. If Henry needs to be out of the way but won’t go to New York, I strongly advocate he spend his days with Granny and Ruby.  No one’s tougher than them and they can teach him how to make all the delicious pancakes he can eat.

12. See, these times when people are depressed and won’t get out of bed and turn suicidal is generally when you call in folks like Dr. Hopper.  Seriously, no one takes that cricket for anything, do they?  It’s just sad.

13. Lana Parilla did rock the ending.  Sadly…it was after 40 minutes of things I can’t care about and I couldn’t muster up the will to care by that point.

It’s sad.

Previous Older Entries