Toy Collection 4: The Nightmare Before Christmas

Greetings, lovelies! I was listening to the Nerdist podcast the other day. The guy who hosts collects things like I do, only his stuff sounds WAY better. He said that his collection was like a diary of things he loves. That’s exactly what mine is!

Today we have the Nightmare Before Christmas – um – group? Subcollection?

nightmare

The first time I saw The Nightmare Before Christmas, I didn’t like it. When I went to see it in the theater, I didn’t know it was a musical before I went, so I was annoyed. Of course, later I saw it again and was able to appreciate it for the piece of genius it is.

So, left to right, starting in the back, we have stuffed Zero, VHS of the movie, big Jack, which should have arms but doesn’t. I have no idea where they went. Next row from left to right, we have non-stuffed Zero, smaller Jack, Oogie Boogie, Sally, Doctor Finklestein. Then there’s Lock, Shock and Barrel but not in that order, and tiny Christmas Jack with Christmas tree.

I think the next collection post might be Batman.

Toy Collection 2: Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

I am fully aware that these are not toys, but they are AMONG toys and part of the collection.

This is a set of promotional pins for the DVD/VHS release of Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. They were given to Blockbuster employees in either 2003 or 2004 and then given to me by one of my friends. I don’t remember if he was the one who worked there or if he knew someone who worked there and then he just passed them on to me.

lotr

I like how easily they arrange in this neat, little grid. It appeals to some OCD portion of my brain.

These were actually missing for years. I just found them a few weeks ago in some random box. They don’t have an official spot yet. I thought about mounting them in a frame. For now, they just sit in their neat grid on the counter.

Buying presents for me

Really just the one present, but I am really excited. I collect TV and movie…um, toys? knick knacks? Gimcrack? Gewgaws?

Yeah. I actually wanted to post some pictures, but the shelves were dusty, and I was too lazy to dust them. I also didn’t want the whole wide internet to see my dust.

Anyway, I got a new gewgaw. It’s Doctor Finklestein from Nightmare Before Christmas! Here’s a picture.

doctor

The arm in his hand is actually more of a blue color, probably because it’s Sally’s. He also plays the audio of a snippet of a scene from the movie with surprisingly good quality sound.

He won’t be hanging on the tree. He’s on the shelf with the other figurines and my VHS copy of the movie. I didn’t have this guy before. I have a few Jacks, a Sally, Lock, Shock, and Barrel, Oogie Bookie, a stuffed Zero, and a figurine Zero. I think that’s it.

Someday when I dust, I’ll post more of the collection. I own way more toys than any 39-year-old should.

 

 

 

Coraline the book vs Coraline the movie

Hey there, internet! The weather this week has been amazing!! I finally got to open the windows and let in some fresh air. I do so love fresh air. It’s raining now but it’s still pretty warmish, relatively speaking.

I read Coraline this week. I’m getting ready to write another kids’ book (the first one isn’t out yet), so I thought it might be good for some inspiration. I love Neil Gaiman’s work, so the more I can get, the better.

I was actually a little surprised that I liked the movie better than the book. That usually isn’t the case. I feel guilty, like I’m breaking some kind of bookworm rule.

Why did I like the film version better? The movie is more imaginative. For instance, most of the garden scenes aren’t in the book. Wybie (one of the main characters in the movie) isn’t there at all, neither is the doll with the button eyes. The story is fundamentally the same. It just lacks a lot of the color and depth the movie had.

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. The book is only 160 pages (about 30,000 words) long, which I feel is really short. My 12-year-old son agreed. He does still plan to read it, despite or maybe because of the shortness of it.

I don’t want to say I’m disappointed because I did like it, and Gaiman is still one of my top 5 favorite authors. This just wasn’t my favorite work of his.

 

neil gaiman coraline

Ladies of Hollywood

star

 

Okay, I know this news thing is kind of old, but my annoyance has been eating away at me for a while and I want to post about it, so I am.

Earlier this month, Dakota Johnson commented on ageism in Hollywood, asking why her mother (Melanie Griffith) and her grandmother (Tippi Hedren) can’t get roles in Hollywood, that they’re great actresses, etc. I don’t doubt their acting ability, and I don’t doubt the claim of ageism.

I even believe this bit that Dakota supposedly said – “No matter how tough you are, sometimes there’s the feeling of not being wanted. It’s absurd and cut-throat.”

What I don’t get is why these skilled ladies with fantastic resources sit around and wait for someone to hand them something. Seriously, if no one offers you a role, make one for yourself.

Hell, these days, there are kids with webcams slapping stuff up on youtube and making fairly large amounts of money. And most of them don’t have rich, artsy friends.

So here’s my unsolicited advice to the ladies who feel undervalued. Don’t talk about the problem and hope that things might eventually change. Get off your butt.

Team up with your undervalued lady writer friend, your undervalued lady director friend, and your undervalued lady actor friends and make something real. Pool your resources, because together, you are stronger than the people who disregard you.

Make an indie film. Slap it up on the internet if you have to. The internet is free worldwide distribution, baby.

I will also mention that my writing services are almost always available, and my older lady characters kick ass in their own unique ways.

Here’s the link to the article.

http://www.theguardian.com/film/2016/jan/05/dakota-johnson-brutal-hollywood-ageism-fifty-shades-of-grey-melanie-griffith-tippi-hedren

movie: Inherent Vice

Ah yes. A movie post. It seems like such an easy thing. And yet, I’ve been having some trouble writing one. I’ve had a lot of stuff going on, not all of which is taking me in the direction I need to move. Anyway.

The husband and I saw a trailer for this on some other movie we were watching, so we added it to the Netflix queue. It was weird because it has this great cast and we had never heard of it. Now that I’ve watched it, I think I know why.

vice cover
Description from IMDB: “During the psychedelic 60s and 70s Larry “Doc” Sportello is surprised by his former girlfriend and her plot for her billionaire boyfriend, his wife, and her boyfriend. A plan for kidnapping gets shaken up by the oddball characters entangled in this groovy kidnapping romp based upon the novel by Thomas Pynchon.”

Okay, this movie is weird. Not like Lost Highway weird, but weird in its own quirky, what-the-heck-am-I-watching kind of way. It stars Joaquin (yes I had to look that up in order to spell it correctly) Phoenix as Hippie Wolverine a private investigator named Doc in 1970.

The movie is LONG (148 minutes) for what it is. It also veers wildly from slow to hilarious to weird and back again. If someone were to take this movie and condense it down to the best, say, hour to an hour and a half, it could be great. But they didn’t do that.

By far the best scenes were the ones between Doc and a cop he called “Bigfoot”. Bigfoot (Josh Brolin) is this big, old school manly, conservative police officer who hates hippies. The two of them have this frenemy thing going on. They antagonize each other in a hilarious manner, but they also kind of like each other at the same time.

So yeah, the movie definitely has its bright points if you’re willing to sit through the wait. Overall, I would give this one a C+.

Movie Twofer: John Wick and Maleficent

Hey there! Just popping on for a few minutes. The time/energy crunch has been kind of rough lately, so blogging has kind of fallen by the wayside. Writing and editing activities have slowed significantly as well. I may post a writing update later this week.

john wick

Description from IMDB: “An ex-hitman comes out of retirement to track down the gangsters that took everything from him.”
John Wick’s wife dies. Some bad guys wrong him. He goes on the rampage.

This movie is colorful and stylish, very exciting to watch, but the plot is predictable. As usual, Keanu’s acting is monotone. At this point, that’s pretty much his modus operandi, right? I know these comments probably make it seem like I didn’t like the movie, but I did.
The fight scenes are graceful. I don’t know if it was Keanu or a stunt guy or a mix of the two. The movie was visually interesting. John Wick gets a B+.

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maleficent
Description from IMDB: “A vengeful fairy is driven to curse an infant princess, only to discover that the child may be the one person who can restore peace to their troubled land.”

I LOVE this movie. I’m actually thinking about buying it.

First off, any story that blurs the line between good and evil is a-okay with me. Maleficent is a more complex character in this than she was in the original Disney Sleeping Beauty movie. The story itself is also more complex and the world is more developed and colorful. The magical creatures are crazy and alien looking.

Maleficent has some great battles and humor and bonding. It gets an A.