Sunday, October 30, 2011

This is Halloween

My friends and I got together to carve pumpkins. I didn't have time to buy a pumpkin so I just went to hang out but all of the pumpkins turned out great.

Here we have Nadar -the tow-truck from Cars

Here we have a creature that reminds me of a Moose on the left. And an ogre/Shrek type monster on the right. The ogre looked better in real life trust me.
Here we have (from left to right) Harry Potter pumpkin (Deathly Hallows, lighting bolts, broomsticks), Happy Haunting +scary face, and last, the Haunted House

My two personal favorite. Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas and
Boo from Mario Bros.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Hunter Hayes

So I have been a little obsessed with Hunter Hayes and his album lately. Not only is he adorable but he is completely talented. Just watch this video and you will see how many instruments he actually played on the song. Its impressive. If you like this song i'd recommend listening to CD, especially "Somebodys Heartbreak" and "If You Told Me To"

Sunday, October 16, 2011


So I would really like to sit and write out my own thoughts on the remake of Footloose but I have found a kindred spirit as far as my taste in movies. Their name is Movie Freak 97. This is their review and it says for the most part what I would love to say but I don't have the time to sit down and write out. All I will say is this remake pays tribute to the original, but each character is given their own unique story and are actually in my opinion better developed. You learn why challenging the law is so important to Ren and why Ariel is so rebellious and lost. I loved a lot of the small changes throughout the movie and I was highly surprised by Julianne Hough. I was skeptical at first but now, I will have to eat my words. Overall there were so many bright spots with the dancing and so many funny moments (particularly Willard) that this movie was easily a B+ maybe even an A.

Now. . . without further adieu Movie Freak speak MY MIND

And it simply couldn't be so. A remake of an 80's classic? The film that defined the musical nature of its generation? Sure it's an entertaining movie, but in a mindless fun kind of way. In any case, I was still only hoping for SOME of the fun the original brought to the table from the remake. I was expecting a mildly entertaining popcorn flick held together only by a soundtrack reusing iconic songs and a few solid dance sequences. I was even prepared for a guilty pleasure. I was not expecting a great film.

From the first shot of the Paramount logo with Kenny Loggins' flawless rendition of the title song booming in the background to the toe-tapping finale with Blake Shelton's new rendition, writer/director and a multitude of talented actors/dancers had me smiling. Their film may be tremendously faithful to Herbert Ross' and Dean Pitchford's original, but they've doubled the fun, doubled the energy, and doubled the heart. It's an accomplishment no remake has ever made before and one not likely to made again anytime soon.

The basic story remains unchanged. The small town of Bomont sits peacefully off the map and outlaws
public dancing of all kinds. At the head of the town council sits Rev. Shaw Moore, a dedicated preacher desperate to keep his congregation, and more importantly his family out of harm's way. But, he's losing touch with his rebellious daughter Ariel who appears to be the play toy of local racing star Chuck, but in reality, she's holding out for a hero. When big city kid Ren McCormack comes to town with music in his soul, he takes up arms with Ariel and other local teenager to fight the dance ban.

It may look and seem like a shot-for-shot word-for-word rehash at first glance (and at times it actually is), but the few changes Brewer makes to the narrative, be it the expansion on the backstory or the re-arrangement of a few key scenes are all for the better. Any and all problems I had previously had with the original are nowhere to be found in Brewer's screenplay. The narrative is tighter, the characters are more compelling, and the film builds its dance sequences around the story rather than building its story around the dance sequences.

But, the film wouldn't work half as well if it weren't for the strengths in its actors. Kenny Wormald lights up the screen as Ren, filling Kevin Bacon's shoes with a strong-willed and fully realized performance. And to top it off, he's an infinitely better dancer. But the real surprise is Julianne Hough as Ariel. I was never a fan of the character in the original and I found Lori Singer's performance to be whiney, shallow, and irritating. Hough is all of those things, but at the same time she's sweet, sexy, and sensitive. And as her character matures, so does her performance. Veteran actors Dennis Quaid and Andie MacDowell both get their respective moments to shine as Ariel's parents and Miles Teller, let's hear it for the boy, steals the show as Ren's best pal Willard, offering up the most inspired performance in the film and tremendous comic relief.

And then there's the dancing. How is it? It's beautifully shot, breathtakingly choreographed, and just flat-out awesome. And like I said before, the dancing is built around the story. Ren's breakdown in the barn feels so real, so......necessary. And Wormald's intensity with the choreography only emphasizes the emotional toll his character is taking in. A country line dance around midpoint serves as a comic highpoint, mainly due to Willard, and of course, the climactic dance in the mill is fantastic. It's mostly modern dancing, yes, but there are some classic moves thrown into the mix for those who are skeptical on today's methods.

The original Footloose is and always will be an 80's classic. I wholeheartedly respect that and won't try to change anyone's mind, but that isn't going stop me from enjoying this update all the more. Ross' film may have come first and introduced us to the music, but Brewer has injected the story with the energy that Ross forgot to bring to the table. There was a time for the 80s, but not anymore. This is our time. This is the moment for all those my age to experience that sense of freedom our parents did with the original. All I can say is this: Regardless of one's stance on Kevin Bacon, Kenny Loggins, or anyone else involved beforehand, one thing is certain, Footloose 2011 is the feel good movie of the year. Not because of some heavy-handed message or corny moral, but simply because it reminds us that, no matter how bad things may get, there is and always will be a time, to cut loose.


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Hunger Games

Katniss Everdeen lives in a post-apocolyptic world in the country of Panem where North America once existed. This is where a government working in a central city called the Capitol holds power. In the book, the Hunger Games are an annual televised event where the Capitol chooses one boy and one girl aged 12 to 18 from each of 12 districts for a massive televised battle in which only one person can survive.

I finally gave into the hype, I broke down and started the Hunger Games. I must admit the biggest reason I started the book was because the movie has been made and will be coming out in March. I wanted to read the book so I was familiar with the story and I knew what to expect.

I really enjoyed this story for a couple of reasons. First, the story was really original. its not your typical boy meets girl romance, and the Fight to the Death" reality of the games don't seem that far fetched, considering the times that we live in. The games are intriguing and shocking but its not completely unbelievable that something like this could happen in our real world.. .in the not so distant future. I mean just look at the horrible things you see reported and broadcast on the news!

I really liked the development of the two main characters and their interaction. I love how devoted Katniss is to her family and that she is able to put her own fears aside to protect her sister. You can see that Katniss is afraid and insecure but she knows that she's strong and she knows how to play to her strengths. I really related to Peeta though. He is brave but I would also describe him as subtle and understated, especially when it comes to his feelings for Katniss. He seems like a genuinely kind person and the way he treats Katniss is sweet.

I really enjoyed this book. I think its funny that katniss is so in denial. Peeta is just putting on a show, he doesn't really care about me. Took her long enough to figure out the truth. I am excited to read the second book and find out what happens with Katniss and Gale and Peeta.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Dream House

Whatever its shortcomings, director Jim Sheridan and stars Daniel Craig, Rachel Weisz and Naomi Watts deserved better than the give-away-the-store trailer that Universal delivered for "Dream House."

But screenwriter David Loucka? Oh yeah, HE deserved a trailer that drops the film's big reveal on you before you buy your ticket. They would have done us all a favor by hinting at the eye-rolling lulu of a finale he cooked up for this faintly spooky semi-supernatural thriller.

Craig plays Will, a New York book editor who quits his job, rides the train home to his lovely wife (Weisz) and two kids. He's going to write a book himself, and they're going to fix up their suburban Connecticut home.

"I feel so safe when you're here," she says, reciting a line straight out of Foreshadowing 101 in film school.

"I'm not going to go anywhere," Will says back, reading from the same textbook.

But first, there's the matter of what happened to the last family there. The neighbor lady (Watts) is close-mouthed about it. It was bad.

And it might be happening again. The children see a man in the window. There are footsteps in the snow. Goth teenagers hold strange candlelight rituals in the basement. And the cops are no help, even when Will blurts out "I bought the freaking crime scene!"

If you've seen that trailer, you know what comes next. And that revelation leaves the movie no maneuvering room. So many peripheral characters have stood out in earlier scenes that we know that Elias Koteas and Marton Csokas will have something to do with the solution to this not-that-mysterious mystery. So much is just so ... obvious.

But the actors and their director ("My Left Foot," "In America") saw something here, so maybe you try to figure out what that was. Without rolling your eyes.

A happy memory — Craig met Weisz on this movie and they married last winter. And they manage a poignant moment or two, to go along with the film's two decent chills.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Feis Weekend

This weekend was so much fun.
Friday I got to go to the Divine Comedy Show. I know I'm a little obsessed. I was laughing the entire time though. It was so worth the hour plus long wait in line. They rewrote the poem the Raven, they did a Magic School Bus Skit, a Date with Voldemort. Their headliner was Aladdin. So funny. Especially EQP ha ha.

Saturday I got to go to Olivia's Feis and see her dance. She did amazing!! She won 4 first place medals and 2 second place. The only setback was that Tyler had to take poor Georgia Mae to the ER with a dislocated elbow. poor puppy =-(
My sister has developed some Irish themed clothes (sweats and tshirts) to sell at the Feis. I got me one of each. They are pretty dang awesome.
These black sweats are awesome. They are a boyfriend cut with wide, straight legs.
All of the sweats say "Rattle Your Bones" on one leg and "Dance Irish" on the other.
I love the Charlie's Angels t-shirts. They turned out great.

FRee Plug-check out Bangers and Mash Tees on Facebook. If you like the page on Facebook this month you are entered into a drawing to win a free t-shirt.
This was Olivia's first competition with her solo dress. She looked so dang cute!

Monday, October 3, 2011


Here are some of my favorite thoughts from Conference.

First, I couldn't believe the news about the Provo Tabernacle being restored and turned into a temple. How exciting!!

Sister Barbara Thompson-If We diligently keep the commandments and ask in faith, answers will come in the Lord's own way and in his time...It is our our testimony, combined with our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and our knowledge of the Plan of Salvation, which helps to get us through these times of trial and hardship.

Boyd K. Packer-You suffer temptations because of your physical nature, but you also have power over [Satan] and his angels. The gift of the Holy Ghost, if you consent, will guide and protect and even correct your actions. As a servant of the Lord, I promise that you will be protected and shielded from the attacks of the adversary if you will heed the promptings that come from the Holy Spirit.

Deiter F. Uchtdorf-God knows that some of the greatest souls who have ever lived are those will never appear in the chronicles of history. At times we may even feel insignificant, invisible, alone or forgotten. But always remember-you matter to Him.

L. Tom Perry-Members must be bold in their declarations of Jesus Christ. . be righteous examples to others, and speak up about the church.

Carl B. Cook-By looking to God for help, the burdens of life will not overwhelm us. We will not feel incapable of doing what we are called to do, or need to do. We must have the faith to look up and the courage to follow His direction.

David A Bednar-Individuals will be protected against the intensifying influence of the adversary for participating in this vial part of the work of salvation and exaltation. Speaking of course about Family History.

Elder Neil Andersen-He expressed a deep gratitude for the enormous faith shown by husbands and wives in their willingness to have children. Elder Andersen understands some may not be able to have children in this life but that the righteous will not be denied the blessing of children. The blessing to bring the children of God into homes is wonderful.

Elder D. Todd Christofferson-True repentance requires not only abandoning sin, but committing to obedience. It is recognizing the acknowledgement of error and offense to God and man. No matter the cost of repentance, it is swallowed up in the joy of forgiveness.

Tad R Callister-The Book of Mormon acts as a confirming, clarifying, unifying witness of the doctrines taught in the Bible so their is only one Lord, one faith. The list of doctrinal confirmations goes on and on, but non is more powerful, nor poignant, than the Book of Mormon's discourses on the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

Henry B Eyering-As we live charitably, witness of God, and endure to the end, we will live up to our charge. Members across the world gave service and participated in volunteer work, bringing strong feelings of the love of God to whose who were served.

Robert D Hales-WE may not know when or how the Lord's answers will be given, but in His time and in His way, I testify His answers will come. He knows your sacrifices and sorrows. He hears your prayers. His peace and rest will be yours as you continue to wait upon Him in Faith.

M Russel Ballard-WE should everything in our power to circulate the correct ideas and beliefs of our church. This includes helping others know that we are Christians. We want to follow the Savior by simply and clearly, yet humbly, declaring that we are members of His church.

Elaine Dalton-By the way you love her mother, you will teach your daughter about tenderness, loyalty, respect, compassion and devotion. By being the guardian of virtue in your own life, and in your home, and in the lives of your children, you are showing your wife and daughters whe true love really is.

Matthew Richardson-While we are all teachers, we must fully realize that it is the Holy Ghost who is the teacher and witness of all truth. There is a difference between teaching people and teaching lessons. We must overcome the urge to cover everything in the manual or teach all we have learned on the subject and focus instead on those things that our family or class members need to know and do.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

How to Tame Your Dragon

Isabel drew this picture and told me I could keep it. Before I took the picture home, we had a conversation that went like this.

Isabel: "Do you know what kind of dragon this is?"
Me: "It's the Night Fury"
Isabel: (visibly frustrated and snapping her fingers) "Dang it"
-obviously I got it right =-) and Isabel asks me one more question.
Isabel:"Do you know what kind of sun this is?"
after careful deliberation I answer "A Colorful one"
Apparently I got this question right also because Isabel had the exact same reaction-she snapped her fingers and said "Darn it. . you're too smart"

So just in case anyone had any doubts. . .Yes, I am smarter than a 6 year old.