It’s A Movie Conspiracy I Tell You!

Have y’all ever noticed that all the good movies hit the theaters at the same time? I’m pretty sure it’s a conspiracy of epic proportions, because we go through months or years of dry spells where there are literally only one or two good movies a year and then suddenly…HOLD ONTO YOUR WALLETS BECAUSE EVERY GOOD MOVIE THAT WE CAN IMAGINE IS COMING OUT AT THE SAME TIME! I mean seriously, they should plan this out a little better and spread out the awesomeness so that people aren’t so aware of the fact that they’re about to shell out a fortune to watch good entertainment. It seems that we’re now entering into one of these “good movie” spells that both excite us and bankrupt us at the same time because I’ve noticed there are a heck of a lot of good movies coming out in the next three or four months that I can’t wait to see. This leads me to my second blog list (squee, I love lists!):

MOONSTONEMAIDEN’S LIST OF HIGHLY ANTICIPATED UP-COMING MOVIES:

Les Miserables– (December 25th 2012) I’m eagerly awaiting the Christmas season for more than just my annual visit from Santa this year folks! I can already hear the music keying up in the background (though that’s probably because I play my Les Mis playlist on youtube pretty much every day but that’s beside the point)! But seriously, I can’t wait to finally watch this in theaters and finally hear the new renditions of these timeless songs!

Image From Google

2) The Hobbit– (December 14th 2012) Do I even have to explain why I’m excited for this?! I think not, suffice it to say it’s more Lord of the Rings, the return of Gandalf, and the introduction of Richard Armitage (who captured my ardent interest after playing Mr. Thornton in BBC’s North and South. Check it out people!).

3) The Host– (March 29th 2013) Aliens freak me out but I absolutely love this book and I’m quite excited to see how it’s been translated it to film! The book emphasized both the glory and agony of human emotions through Wanderer’s (aka Wanda the soul/alien) interactions and relationships with her human host Melanie’s family, species, and boyfriend. I don’t want to give anything away for those who have not read the book or who plan on seeing the movie, but I will say this: read the book before you see the movie. The book is powerfully moving and no matter how good (or horrid) the movie is, it will never be all that the book is.

Image From Google

4) Beautiful Creatures– (February 13th 2013) I actually have my best friend to thank for this one, she sent me the link of the preview last Friday and now it’s driving me nuts because I want to read the books so badly! Not only did the trailer for this film grab my attention with its paranormal, romantic, southern-gothic content, but it also played Seven Devils by Florence and the Machine in the background and that just automatically makes it awesome. I now have three months to read the four books in this series before the movie comes out…hardly a challenge (except finding the money to buy all these books…oh Santa darling)!

Image From Google

5) Warm Bodies– (February 1st 2013) I saw the preview for this the other night and although zombies are not my normal thing, this movie looks rather interesting and I have to admit…I really really want to see it! I would never have thought to do a zombie romance movie/book/anything, but this looks so cute it’s not even funny. Check out the trailer on Imdb and let me know what y’all think!

6) Anna Karenina– (November 16th 2012) I love classics, and the Vivian Leigh version of this film was incredibly beautiful so I’m hoping that this movie doesn’t disappoint. I was completely enthused until I watched the trailer for the film and saw that it was a very artistic rendition of the book; it still looks rather good and I loved Moulin Rouge and over the top things like that so hopefully everything will turn out great and I will love this movie and it’s wacky, craziness!

Image From Google

7) Cloud Atlas-(October 26th 2012) This movie looks amazing, with its interconnected stories and flashbacks and romance and redemption. It’s so far up my alley that it’s practically next door to my house (metaphorically speaking of course, lol). I’ve had this philosophical gem of a movie pegged for a few months now, waiting for it to come out and now that it has I can’t wait to go see it!

See, what did I tell you?! So many good-looking movies coming out in such a short time span and these are only the movies coming out in the next three to four months! I also can’t wait to see World War Z (June), The Great Gatsby (May), The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (November), and The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (August). What about y’all, any movies you can’t wait to see? Are there some on my list that look good, or maybe some that I’ve missed?

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to start on another list…

Dear Santa,

This year’s gonna be a big one, so let’s start with the easiest thing: money…

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Intruder Thy Name Is Love Triangle

Hello everyone, I’m back and feeling a heck of a lot better! *Happy Dance* I just want to say thank you all for the massive amount of feedback (in both likes and comments) you gave my last post. I found it quite surprising, considering I didn’t think anyone outside my regular readers (whom I love!) would actually read that post and I only wrote it so that you would know I hadn’t callously abandoned you for the week. But wow, the response was the largest I’ve ever had on this blog; so thank you all, it truly made my week(end)!

And now that I’m feeling more like myself and less like a pathetic blob of ick, I think it’s high time to finally write the blog idea that’s been floating around my mind for the last week or so (it’s been driving me crazy lol). But before I begin, I have to say that last week this idea also came to one of my favorite blogging duos: Mystic Cooking (I’m sorry ladies, I don’t know how to make a clickable link so your site, but everyone should go check them out!). When I first read their post I nearly fell out of my chair with elated and confused shock (I even had the same title picked out as they used!) and for quite a few dazed moments I thought they were mind-readers and how cool/bizarre was that! It took me a couple of minutes to realize that the more likely explanation was that great bloggers just think alike 😀 And with their encouragement I decided to go ahead and write my opinion on the matter that occupied our thoughts; so thank you ladies!

I think it’s safe to say that I’m a drama enthusiast when it comes to books, movies, television shows, musicals, and all that good stuff that makes the world a happier place. Notice that I left real life out of that list; I like to be entertained by drama, not live it. Most of the time anyway. There’s nothing I love more than a good, drama-filled romance or perilous decision-making accompanied by a sudden outburst into song that will leave me breathless as I try to belt along with it, but I’ve noticed that there’s a “new” trend sneaking not so subtly into my entertainment world. Intruder thy name is Love Triangle (I love Shakespeare, lol!). They’re everywhere! Think about it, there’s: Peeta vs. Gale in The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins) , Jacob vs. Edward in Twilight (Stephenie Meyer), Damon vs. Stefan in the Vampire Diaries (T.V.), the Phantom vs. Raoul (I’m thinking musical here, but the book works as well), Heathcliff vs. Edgar in Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte), and on and on until your head wants to explode. It seems the entertaining world of books and visual media has become nothing but a collection of sport-related “teams” battling it out to decide who the better guy is and why he should end up with the girl since clearly the other guy is a loser/jerk/whatever!

The Phantom Of The Opera Photo Courtesy Of Google

And I’m not going to lie, I have my opinions like everyone else (Peeta, Jacob, Damon (Yum), the Phantom, and Heathcliff) and there is a part of me that does enjoy defending/discussing my choices every now and then. But there’s also another part (that seems to be taking over) that’s tired of it all and is dying to scream “ENOUGH ALREADY! Find something new to write about for crying out loud!” I think the basic plot has been used, reused, and over-used far too much here recently; it was fun the first few times but now it’s time to move on to the next fad before people go insane. Love triangles make for good drama, high rating, and enormous sales, I get it but sooner or later people are going to have to just move on and let the concept go. Give it a rest for a few years and then bring it back or something. What happened to the good old days where there was just one guy and one girl and the reader/viewer easily knew who to root for and all womankind could bond over the fact that we all loved the same person? I miss those days. There’s just something so comforting knowing that there is only one right answer; and I know that isn’t lifelike or realistic all the time, but really, sometimes I just want the illusion.

Couple Photo Courtesy Of Facebook

Of course, there are ways to employ the love triangle and have only one obvious choice (it’s called compromise). Just look at Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice: you’ve got Elizabeth, Darcy, and Wickham and all the drama that people crave with love triangles but there is a clear right answer and everyone roots for Darcy in the end. The happy medium works for me. I just don’t like repeatedly falling in love with a guy only to have him be broken-hearted and rejected in the end, or worse, have a hastily made happy ever after constructed out of thin air for him (copout cough cough). If there are going to be two suitors competing, then one of them should have some horrible flaw or something that effectively puts him out of the running (not in all cases of course, but most).

Pride And Prejudice Film Poster Courtesy Of Google

And what I find the most amusing is that I employ love triangles in my novels as well (it took me a while to realize this oddly enough because I never think of the other guy as having any real chance). There are times when two men both love the same woman in one or two of my novels, but there is always one right answer that my female protagonist comes to (at least I think so, we’ll see what the world thinks when they’re published, lol) and I try to make sure the reader understands that early on so that there is no confusion later. So I guess I’m a hypocrite, but at least I admit it.

There are times when I adore love triangles, there are times when I hate them, and funny enough, there are actually times when I use them. When I first thought about this blog idea I thought all I wanted to do was bash love triangles, but having the past week to really think about it made me realize that when it comes down to it, I’m a big ball of conflicted confusion. My thoughts on the subject are ephemeral and change with my mood, but generally it comes down to this: a little bit of a good thing goes a long way, but right now the media is drowning us in something that is far too potent a subject.

What do y’all think? Do you love, hate, or use love triangles and why? Or are you just as conflicted as I am? What are your favorite uses of the love triangle? Least favorite?

A Very Musical Samhain

Forest Scene- found on Facebook

Merry Samhain and Happy Halloween everyone! I love this day of the year, it’s so steeped in magic and the unknown that it just makes me feel all tingly and powerful inside for some reason. Maybe it’s my Irish/Celtic heritage kicking into overdrive, or perhaps I just have a wildly active imagination, but whatever the reason, I just adore today! The costumes, the food, the candy, the bright colors, it makes me giddy thinking about it all. Oddly enough though, I don’t really feel like doing a Samhain/Halloween blog or anything today (possibly because I’ve done a few autumn-themed blogs already) but I’ve had music and musicals on the brain lately so I think a music rant/list/blog thing is in order.

(Just to forewarn everyone: I’m a bit of a List nut, I don’t know why but I love making lists for everything, so there will probably be more of them in this blog’s future!)

So here we go:

MOONSTONEMAIDEN’S LIST OF ALL-TIME FAVORITE MUSICALS EVER

These are in no particular order of affection because I find it way too hard to pick just one of them as my favorite and then start delegating second/third/etc. place to the others because they’re all just so amazing!

1)       Les Miserables– I only recently (like six or seven months ago) discovered this musical for myself and have since fallen HEAD OVER HEELS in love with it! (And have since driven everyone I know crazy by talking about it so much and playing the music constantly, but really the sooner they succumb to the charms of Les Mis, the sooner their lives will be that much more complete.) I remember a few years back hearing it in a friend’s car and having her explain to me what was happening but I found it all very confusing and I didn’t think anything of it afterward; it didn’t sound all that special to me. How wrong I was. Eponine has quickly become my new favorite (musical) character of the moment, everything she sings just makes my heart wrench with understanding (I’m talking Lea Salonga and Samantha Barks rendition of ‘Eponine’ here). The music is just so powerful and sweeping and emotional, I love it! I want drama, I want theatrics and big musical numbers I can belt to and lose myself in and Les Mis certainly delivers. And I cannot wait to see the movie in December! Favorite Songs: On My Own, Red and Black, One Day More, Empty Chairs At Empty Tables…and the list goes on and on!

2)      The Phantom of the Opera– LOVE. There is just no describing how much I adore this fantastic musical, the drama, the passion, the romance, the MUSIC! My heart swells with joy and a slight tingle of fear every time the Overture begins and in moments I am swept away into a glittering underworld of Paris theater intrigue. The Phantom is hands down my favorite guy in a musical; he’s just larger than life and dripping with emotion and sexual tension. It’s no contest between the Phantom and Raoul for me; I’m a Phantom fan all the way! I love the movie (it was my first intro to the musical) and recently discovered the 25th Anniversary Concert and have fallen in love all over again (the Ramin Karimloo and Sierra Boggess version). Favorite Songs: The Phantom of the Opera (obviously), Twisted Every Way, Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again, The Point Of No Return, and Down Once More.

3)      Love Never Dies– The sequel to The Phantom of the Opera and just amazing on its own. I was nervous at first at the thought of a follow-up to the POTO, and was not convinced at first that I liked the new music but it has quickly won me over. I won’t give away any details concerning plot here, but if you’re a Phantom fan and haven’t heard/seen LND then scurry on over to Wikipedia or Youtube and check it out! Though I forewarn you: if you like the ending of the Phantom of the Opera and have no desire to see anything change at all, this may not be a musical for you. Love Never Dies has one of the most beautiful scores I have ever heard in my life, it’s just…gorgeous and the songs are brilliant as well. Favorite Songs: ‘Til I Hear You Sing, Beneath A Moonless Sky, Devil Take The Hindmost (and reprise).

4)      RENT- This one is an oddball for me. I love it but it makes no sense for me to (there’s no fantasy elements, hardly any happy moments, and it’s set close enough to the present to make me lose any interest whatsoever) but somehow I’ve come to adore this melancholy musical. The music is heartfelt and powerful enough to bring tears to my eyes every time I hear certain songs and the story just breaks my heart. I will admit that I’ve only ever seen the movie with regards to RENT, but I’ve heard that it was a very good interpretation of the original work. There’s just something about singing my heart out to these songs that makes my world seem like a better place for a while. (My mom on the other hand, downright LOATHES this musical, I don’t actually know why, but I find her response amusing. Whenever it’s on she starts huffing angrily under breath and asking “Is THAT the last song…WHAT?! WHAT MORE COULD THEY SING ABOUT?! I’ve only gotten her to actually watch it once and she hasn’t trusted me with musicals since (even though she loves all the other musicals I’ve had her watch since then). It took me five years(!) to get her to watch The Phantom of the Opera after the RENT debacle, as I call it. And now she loves the Phantom but getting her to watch any new musical now takes months and months of hard work. I’m trying to get her to listen to Les Miserables now…it’s not working so far.) Favorite Songs: I’ll Cover You, Light My Candle, No Day But Today, La Vie Boheme.

 

5)      Wicked- There is just something in this beautiful piece of artistry that touches my heart and soul. I discovered Wicked when my parents were going through their divorce during my late second/early third year of college. My friend had given me a CD to listen to filled with music she thought I would like and on it was Defying Gravity. One moment, I’m sitting on my bed listening to new songs that would hopefully drown out the pain of what I was feeling, and the next thing I knew I was bawling my eyes out, gasping for breath thinking: This is exactly how I feel. Ever since that moment, Wicked has been a fierce favorite of mine; Elphaba seems so real to me…she seems like me and it helped to know that somewhere out there was a strong (green) woman who felt pretty much the same way I did. If you haven’t discovered Wicked yet, go do so now, my blog will be here when you come back. Favorite Songs: Defying Gravity, The Wizard And I, Dancing Through Life, I’m Not That Girl, Thank Goodness, No Good Deed, As Long As You’re Mine, and For Good.

6)      Hairspray- Oh the joyousness of this upbeat and dance-worthy musical! Again, I’ve only seen the movie version of this (and the old original movie that frankly I thought sucked) but still, I love it! I don’t know how true it was to the Broadway version, but the movie was good enough for me (until I see the other one anyway)! The music is just so peppy and happy that it just brightens my day to bounce around the house singing these songs at the top of my lungs 😀 Favorite Songs: Big, Blond, and Beautiful, I Can Hear The Bells, I Know Where I’ve Been, Without Love, and You Can’t Stop The Beat.

7)      Jekyll and Hyde- Now apparently there are quite a few interpretations of this musical, but to be clear the one I’m talking about is the 1995 Original Cast. The music and overall feel is just creepy and overly dramatic but I’m a sucker for drama, so this one is right up my alley! The lush and seedy story is romantic, wistful, frightening and haunting; there are musical numbers that utterly break my heart or make my blood run cold! Lucy is one of my all-time favorite musical heroines/characters! Favorite Songs: Bring On The Men, This Is The Moment, In His Eyes, The Girls Of The Night, No One Knows Who I Am, Dangerous Game (though not the 1995 version), and Confrontation.

8)      Mamma Mia– Just good fun! This musical is so bouncy and full of energy and love that it’s pretty much perfect (I’ve only seen the movie, but I can’t wait to see the real thing)! Mother/Daughter relationships, true love, hilarious hijinks, and GIRLPOWER…’nuf said. My best friend and I watched this again on my last birthday and it was fantastic fun, we sang our hearts out and I ended up with this musical stuck in my head for two weeks afterward! Favorite Songs: Does Your Mother Know That You’re Out, SOS, Mamma Mia, Dancing Queen…pretty much every song.

9)      Beauty and the Beast- Disney gold. Beauty and the Beast is my favorite Disney movie ever (though there are many others in my fav list) and so unless they just completely changed the story, it was a given that I would love this musical! It shocks me just how similar the Original Broadway Belle sounds like the Original movie Belle, and it made the transition to this new interpretation much easier to handle. For me there is no comparison or competition, I love the movie the most, but the musical is very very good as well. Favorite Songs: Me (funniest song ever), Home, No Matter What, Maison Des Lunes, The Mob Song, Transformation.

And that my lovelies, is my list of all-time favorite (and therefore bestest) musicals ever! The next musicals I plan on checking out are The Little Mermaid, and The Pirate Queen and I hope to love them both! What about you all? What musicals do you love the most? What songs make your heart soar? Are there any musicals you think I should look into? I’m always open to new music and suggestions are welcome!