The Lost Colony (Play Review)

During my vacation I went to a play with my family put on by the Roanoke Island Historical Association, which was called The Lost Colony. Now what I knew about the Lost Colony of the Roanoke Island before was basically that it was a lost colony and that Supernatural used it in an episode. My brother-in-law did fill me in a little bit, but I still did not know a lot about the actual history the play was based on.

The scenery with created with great skill and craftsmanship, that really brought the audience into the play. On the same note the special effects and pyrotechnics also brought the audience into the world that the play set up. I was caught up in all the wonderful technical aspects of the play.

The acting was also technically sound and a pleasure to watch. The actors were clear in speaking and they were effectively believable. I particularly enjoyed Thomas Bell’s portrayal of Old Tom and Payne Hopton-Jone’s portrayal of John Borden. It was an ensemble play with no weak links.

As far as the individual scenes my favorite was the 1st native american scene. The dancers danced perfectly while 2 men hung almost sideways from a tall totem pole.

The only issue I had was the ending, which ruined the entire play. All the hard work everyone did went down the trash to me. Instead of feeling completed and that I could leave with a conclusion I was left waiting in my chair. There was no “the end” moment. The historian that narrated the entire play seemed to disappear for the ending. The comedic relief, Old Tom, walked off in the crowd not saying anything. There was not even a bow to close it. The actors simply walked off the stage to end the scene. I even told my nieces to  sit back down, then the ushers came and stood in front of the audience. They just stood there, they did not say anything. It was not until I leaned over and asked one of the ushers if there was bows that I learned that the play was fully over. The cherry on the top of the bad ending was that hardly any of the cast members were out in the lobby, even though there was an announcement that the entire cast would be available for greeting.

Perhaps this is just my pet peeve, but I believe that an actor should show gratitude towards their audience and fans. I know I was made a fan of Payne Hopton-Jone’s that night and would have at least wanted to show that in my applause. Actors bow to thank the audience for supporting them and the audience applause the actors because they enjoyed the play. That is how it is supposed to be.

I really wish they would have done something to close the book, because it was such a good play otherwise.

Happy Camera

Redwood

I recently moved back to California and took a walk in the redwood forest. I was such an amazing walk and I loved it. Being out in nature with my friends was a great way to spend my first few days in California.  The beauty that surrounded us was breath taking and awe-inspiring.

The most surprising thing to me on the walk was my camera. The lighting was perfect for picture taking and the subject, the trees, were beautiful. I did not want to carry my big professional camera so decided to bring my tiny cannon point and shoot camera. That is why I was surprised with what came out. It was a relatively cheap camera that  gave me amazing pictures.

Here are some more of the pictures taken that day.

redwood and bowling 043 redwood and bowling 046 redwood and bowling 047

It is a Cannon PowerShot A4000 is and here is a link to it so if your interested in taking awesome pictures you can.

Canon PowerShot A4000IS 16.0 MP Digital Camera with 8x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom 28mm Wide-Angle Lens with 720p HD Video Recording and 3.0-Inch LCD (Blue)
Thank you for reading.

Donnie Darko

With Halloween right around the corner I felt like a Halloween themed movie was in order. After a long search on Netflix, I was surprised that I could not find any real horror movies that were also on my Start with the Best project. I did find and watch Donnie Darko, which is I’m counting as a Halloween movie, if only because the climax is on Halloween night.

This was my first time watching it and as the movie start I wondered how many scenes it would take to start the real action. The setting up of the movie seemed rather dragged out but as soon as I had the thought that this was going to be a long stretched movie a demented and evil-looking bunny was standing right in front of Donnie. This is where the film starts to pick up. A mysterious plane engine falls from the sky and the idea of time travel is talked about.

In this film time and time travel is the main subject that is looked upon. I first noticed this when the audience is first introduced to the school. Time is slowed and sped up just enough to notice a change. The date is also shown every few days to show how many days until the main action will take place.

The film also plays with the fourth wall when Donnie, the main character, looks at Frank. the scary bunny. This is a great element which, although it usually is out-of-place in most movies, feels perfectly placed while helping to make Donnie’s character seem more unstable and at the same time more knowing. It is almost like he is looking directly at the audience while he looks at Frank.

This is such an interesting and great movie. I was once told that I would like it by a friend and he was right. This is a movie I will be watching again.

If you want more information about this movie you can go to The IMDB page for Donnie Darko.

If you are interested in buying this movie, here is a link to the amazon page.
Donnie Darko

4 movies down 324 to go.

Wizard of Oz

There is no movie like this week’s movie. It is an iconic classic that is also one of my favorite movies of all time. I could have written this review with out even watching it again, but it is my favorite movie, so I watched it for the hundredth time. This week’s movie is The Wizard of Oz.

Now I knew I loved this movie and that it is a great movie so I asked myself “what makes this movie great?” As soon as the movie started I realized the details and quality of the scenery. The farm had real chickens, pigs and horses. This is a farm that looks real, and growing up next to one I know what a real farm looks like.

A movie can have good scenery and still have the possibility of being a bad movie, though. That is, of course, not true for this movie. During this viewing I noticed the foreshadowing in the farm hands and the fact that Dorothy was a dreamer. She wanted to find her own life, so she ran away only to find that her life was with Aunty Em.

All through the movie I looked for weak parts, because I knew that the story line is great and the acting is superb. I wanted to learn something from this watching. What I found was that each and every scene was needed. I have watched some movies that add scenes for what appears to me to be time wasters. It is like some producers want a movie to match their time. This was not the case for this movie. Each scene was either setting up the movie, introducing characters or moving the characters along in their journey.

Another thing I saw in the viewing, that I hope I saw before, was that it was the journey that taught the characters about the things they were missing. Scarecrow wants a brain, but comes up with the plan to get Dorothy out of the Wicked Witch’s castle. Tin Man is searching for a heart but is the one that is usually crying or being emotional. Lion desires courage, however, he is the one will to lead the three men into the castle. Finally, Dorothy wants to go home and at the end of the journey when she thinks all is lost, she finds all she needs to do is open her eyes.

I was surprised to find two areas that stuck out as not high quality. The first one was the wires. While Scarecrow is on his pole there is one, I’m assuming to keep him up. A few times I saw a wire attached to Lion’s tail to make it move and stay raised. The other time was with the flying monkeys; as they take Toto away you can clearly see the rigging. The only part that took away from the movie was seeing the rigging, mostly because that was the most noticeable. The other area that was not high quality was the make up. I noticed edges and bald cap lines on some of the actors. I did not feel like the make up took away from the over all quality of this movie. It was just something I noticed.

Even after noticing the two weak areas, I love this movie. That is because it is not about the background, special effects, or technical side of it. This movie is about the story and characters that jump off the screen and ask you “what are you searching for?” Then no matter what you answer this movie tells you to search deep within yourself because what ever will make you happy is there. Whether you think you need to be smarter, braver, or more caring, you already have the tools inside you. It is the journey called life that will teach you how to use what you have to shine and become who you want to be.

For more information you can you to The Wizard of Oz on IMDB
If for some reason you do not own this movie yet, I suggest you buy this version.The Wizard of Oz (Three-Disc Collector’s Edition)
It has wonderful extras both on the DVDs and as hard copy photographs and publicity materials.
3 movies watched 325 to go.

Fight Club

This week’s movie is one that I’ve watched many times before. It is a dark and twisted film called Fight Club. Now although the first two rules given in Fight Club is not to talk about Fight Club I plan to talk a lot about it, because as the opening credits started I realized I did not talk enough about last week’s movie. What am I doing if I’m not learning and really writing about the movie? So this weeks movie review will be more in depth and analytical.

First I want to start with the theme and feeling of this movie. I realized during this viewing of the movie, that this is a form of dark poetry meant to make you ask the question, “Does what you own, own you?” It also makes you wonder who are if you? Who you think you are may not be who you actually are. The world as you know it may not be reality. That was true at least for the narrator of this film, who never revels his true name.

The fact that you can watch most of the movie not knowing the main character’s name is truly interesting. I watched it knowing the plot and trying to figure out how that was possible. How did the creators side step him giving out his name and no one finding it out on screen. I found that there was only two times anyone even asked him his name or who he was. The first time the scene switched to him waking up on a plane. The second time he described himself instead of saying who he was.

The narrator’s lack of name is one creative way of hinting at a major plot development that if I talked about would wreck the entire movie for a new audience, so I will not go into specifics on that topic. Just know that if you watch it for a second, third, or tenth time you find new details about the narrator’s mental health.

Besides the theme of identity crisis, this movie is also a revolt against conformity and main stream advertising. The characters, primarily Tyler, call for a revolution and total freedom from society’s conventions and rules.  The narrator and Tyler’s relationship is even built on the foundation of trying to break away from the norm. They start a fight club to feel alive; a fight club that grows into it’s own army to start a revolt against materialism and greed.

Now, just like the narrator displays his thought process I will do the same as I jump to the next and final point abruptly. This is great film and a wonderful piece of art, however it is dark and strictly for adults only. If you do not like swearing, violence, sex scenes or bloody scenes you most likely will not like this film. Of course, I usually do not like swearing, sex scenes or overly bloody scenes but love this movie for the quality, theme, character development, and plot.

For more information about this movie you can go to Fight Club’s IMDB page.
If you would like to buy this movie here is a link to do so. Fight Club

2 movies down only 326 to go

Amelie’s movie review

At roughly 2 hours long Amelie is an engaging and delightful movie, even if you don’t understand French, which is the language spoken in the movie. The cinematography is a perfect fit for this film as it is quirky yet beautiful; simple and clean yet creative and imaginative. This film is a dance between the simple everyday of the characters involved in Amelie’s life and the complex reality of how they interact with and feel about each other. The story ties everything together in a fun love story not told before. All in all if you are looking for a well done quirky comedy I would point you to this one.

My favorite part of this film is the fact that the title character reminds me of myself. Locked in an introverted personality Amelie dreams and creates stories much too wild and detailed to be true, partly to protect herself and partly because that is simply how her mind works. She observes ordinary moments and finds the extraordinary in those moments.

Although Amelie is the main character, as the title suggests, the entire cast shines in this movie. Whether it is the Glass Man who encourages Lucien, the grocery delivery boy, to be an artist, or the staff at the Two Windmills, where Amelie works, everyone is believable and melts into the world the film takes place in.

You would think that there would be on area of the film that was not as good as the others. Every project and team has a weak leak. Well, if Amelie’s crew had one I could not see it. The script and plot keeps you engaged and chuckling. The acting, although I could see the possibility of it falling short, soars above what is expected while it brings the story to life. The editing made sense and was well done leaving nothing out. It seems like the team of this film all knew that this was a artistic film with a quirky storybook feel to it.

If you would like more information about it you can check it out at Amelie’s IMDB page
If you would like to buy this movie you can simply follow this link   Amelie

That being said I would rate this a 9.5 out of 10. Now only 327 movies to go.

The Start with the Best Project

I must confess I am a dreamer who dreams about creating, reviewing and simply being part of the movie industry. I love watching movies and figuring out why they work or don’t work. I often find myself sitting and reviewing a movie I’m watching in my mind. Then one day I had a thought; why don’t I share my reviews, thoughts and ideas with other people. I figured the best place to do that would be in a blog. The next issue was what movies should I start with. Should it be the ones I know, the ones I know I’ll enjoy, or the new movies being released?

After figuring out where I should post my own, most likely quirky, thoughts, another brilliant idea came into my mind. I would make this into a project. I will review movies I knew, ones I enjoyed, and ones I should know. Now this would not be a project if it was all movies I knew and enjoyed though, so I went on to imdb.com (internet movie database) and looked up their top 250 movies. There were a few classics movies that were not listed, so I added some that I thought I should review. I also noticed that it didn’t have a good variety of black and white movies, so I added a few Gene Kelly, Marilyn Monroe, and Judy Garland movies. Well then I reviewed my list again and noticed that there was movie series with only one movie of the series on the list. I just had to make sure I had all the Star wars and Lord of the Rings on there. Long story short my Movies to review list is 328 movies long. This will hopefully take only 6 years to complete.

Here is the list (if you want to keep track):

Inception
Shutter Island
The Dark Knight
The Prestige
Fight Club
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
The Matrix
The Matrix: Reloaded
The Martix: Revolution
Leon: The Professional
127 Hours
Mulholland Dr.
Pulp Fiction
The Butterfly Effect
Into the Wild
Sunshine
District 9
Se7en
The Sixth Sense
Magnolia
Donnie Darko
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
The Departed
A Separation
The Usual Suspects
Memento
Gladiator
The Shining
American Beauty
No Country for Old Men
Blue Valentine
Requiem for a Dream
Good Will Hunting
WALL·E
Tae Guk Gi: The Brotherhood of War
Crash
50/50
Slumdog Millionaire
Life Is Beautiful
Braveheart
Psycho
Eyes Wide Shut
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
Lost in Translation
It’s a Wonderful Life
Rain Man
3:10 to Yuma
Changeling
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
21 Grams
A Few Good Men
Vertigo
Amélie
Identity
Jackie Brown
Batman Begins
Unbreakable
The Sting
Timecrimes
Raging Bull
The Shawshank Redemption
Avatar
Warrior
Chronicle
Zombieland
The Green Mile
The Illusionist
The Patriot
Back to the Future
Back to the Future Part II
Back to the Future Part III
The Lord of The Rings: The Two Towers
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
Star Wars: Episode I
Star Wars: Episode II
Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith
Star Wars: Episode IV
Star Wars: Episode V
Star Wars: Episode VI
I Am Legend
The King’s Speech
Saving Private Ryan
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
The Princess Bride
Apocalypse Now
Office Space
The Book of Eli
Ocean’s Eleven
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Law Abiding Citizen
The Italian Job
Knocked Up
Pineapple Express
The Bourne Identity
Minority Report
Shooter
The Mist
21
Despicable Me
Mission: Impossible
The Devil’s Advocate
Repo Men
Paths of Glory
Exam
11:14
Lost Highway
Following
1408
12 Angry Men
Oldboy
Pan’s Labyrinth
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
The Breakfast Club
The Help
Seven Pounds
Star Trek
Kick-Ass
The Hangover
Alien
Drive
The Bourne Ultimatum
Napoleon Dynamite
The Bourne Supremacy
The 40 Year Old Virgin
Superbad
Crazy, Stupid, Love.
Cypher
Rear Window
300
Role Models
Mother
Ice Age
The Uninvited
Mean Creek
The Descendants
Hugo
Black Swan
Underworld
The Big Lebowski
Full Metal Jacket
Wanted
Children of Men
Twelve Monkeys
Let the Right One In
Mystic River
Moon
2001: A Space Odyssey
The Truman Show
Apocalypto
Equilibrium
Kill Bill: Vol. 1
Kill Bill: Vol. 2
The Machinist
Hotel Rwanda
Blood Diamond
Little Miss Sunshine
A History of Violence
Predator
Defiance
Chinatown
Cast Away
Cloverfield
The Others
Deliverance
Win Win
The Descent
Road to Perdition
Point Break
Rescue Dawn
The Orphanage
Punch-Drunk Love
Matchstick Men
Rope
The Boondock Saints
Terminator 2: Judgment Day
Fargo
American Gangster
Catch Me If You Can
Shame
The Lives of Others
Blow
The Pursuit of Happyness
I, Robot
Almost Famous
Gangs of New York
Armageddon
Inside Man
Groundhog Day
Shrek
The Ring
Rocky
The Fighter
Hard Candy
Lucky Number Slevin
The Bucket List
Ace Ventura: Pet Detective
Arsenic and Old Lace
21 Jump Street
Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy
Sherlock Holmes
Spider-Man
Babel
City of God
Melancholia
Iron Man
Gattaca
(500) Days of Summer
Up
A Beautiful Mind
Man on Fire
Jurassic Park
Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
The Incredibles
Mr. Nobody
Jaws
Being John Malkovich
The Village
Big Fish
Night of the Living Dead
Vanilla Sky
The Artist
A Clockwork Orange
L.A. Confidential
V for Vendetta
The Silence of the Lambs
Casino Royale
American History X
Reservoir Dogs
Taxi Driver
Die Hard
The Road
X-Men: First Class
Edward Scissorhands
Buried
The Secret in Their Eyes
Hunger
Misery
Machine Gun Preacher
The Talented Mr. Ripley
Apollo 13
The Vanishing
Scarface
Platoon
Revolutionary Road
The Thing
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
The Wicker Man
Amores Perros
Annie Hall
Rebecca
The Amazing Spider-Man
The Dark Knight Rises
Traffic
The Secret Life of Words
Once
CaddyShack
Citizen Kane
Gone with the Wild
The King and I
Ten Commandments
Ben Hur
The Music Man
Schindler’s List
To Kill A Mocking Bird
North by Northwest
Taxi Driver
The Bridge on the River Kwai
Singing in the Rain
The Maltese Felcon
The African Queen
The Grapes of Wrath
High Noon
On The Water Front
Mr. Smith goes to Washington
Notorious
The Graduate
Bonnie and Clyde
West Side Story
A street Car named Desire
Roman Holiday
The Big Sleep
Bringing up Baby
The Bride of Frankenstien
City Lights
A Night at the Opera
42nd street
Something’s Gotta Give
The Prince and the Show girl
Monkey Business
Lets Make Love
Gentlemen prefer Blondes
How to Mary a Millionaire
Meet Me in St. Louis
A Star is Born
Easter Parade
An American in Paris
On The Town
Cover Girl
Trainspotting
Beaches
The Notebook
Mama Mia
It’s Complicated
Avengers
Top Gun
Clerks
Clerks 2
Serenity
The Last Samurai
Frequency
The Wizard Of Oz
Boondocks Saints II: All Saints’ Day
Fear and Loathing in Los Vegas
The men Who stare at Goats
Star Trek: The motion picture
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
Star Trek III: The search for Spock
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
Star Trek V: The final Frontier
Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country
Star Trek: Generations
Star Trek: First Contact
Star Trek: Insurrection
Star Trek: Nemesis
Casablanca
GoodFellas
Lemony Snicket’sThere is my list of 328 movies I will be reviewing, and if you thinking there should be a movie on the list let me know.