I have a love for movies and shows. Even if I don't particularly watch them, we can still chat about them. We can talk about our favorite movies, movies we never get tired of watching, anticipated movies, and everything in between. I can get lost and escape the chaos of life while engulfed with the characters, plots, and landscapes. Come and join me, let's discuss the latest and favorite movies, along with the shows we can't live without! Whatever you want to talk about - I'm game!
For the next movie in the Year With Capra Challengeis yet another ingenious gem. John Doe has long been used as a reference for an unidentified male. In Meet John Doe (1941) Frank Capra utilized this concept in an association to the struggling average American. Much like today, the average citizen is financially burdened and latent with delusions from media as well as corrupt political agendas.
So far the "pluck" that Capra is well known for is evident within his bold stance in calling out political injustices, the manipulative nature of the media, and by far my favorite the human character. He has a keen eye for small details and what makes the characters tick with heart and soul. Pitting those insurmountable odds against the human spirit and showing that spirit struggle to do what is right (the pluck), something everyone can learn from.
Ann Mitchell (Barbara Stanwyck) is a journalist who was just fired (by a whistle) after the newspaper, The Bulletin (free press) she had been working for was taken over by The New Bulletin (streamlined era). In a desperate attempt to keep her job she confronts the new editor who informs her that the newspaper requires "fireworks" to gain circulation. After he refuses to keep her on, he also instructs that she has to submit her column before she leaves. Her fiery wit ignites as she creates a John Doe who is tired of the unjust measures of society and informs the journalist of his demise, by jumping off of a roof in protest.
When the column gets political attentions Mitchell strikes a deal with her editor to create the rue. The manipulation begins as they have to find their John Doe to play the part. Mitchell creates the entire scheme for Doe to gain the media spotlight clenching her new contract and regaining her position with favor. Now, they just have to find their John Doe. Conveniently for them many struggling men arrive claiming that they are in fact John Doe. Now, all they have to do is to pick which one will best suit their needs.
Enter John Willoughby (Gary Cooper) a man that use to play ball in the minor leagues and after he hurt his shoulder or as he calls it his "wing" he hasn't been able to find much work and is traveling with his friend The Colonel. In today's era we would refer to them as living off grid, back then they would have been considered hobo's. Either way, Capra draws those slight attentions to his embarrassment of being looked over as the editor and Mitchell eye him up as a contender, in a marvelous manner. Instantly Gary Cooper's eyes captivated me and grasped within to grab hold of my empathy for his position and what he was going through. I loved the interactions and his portrayal of humility. This movie has definitely made me a huge Gary Cooper fan.
Mitchell is convinced that he's the perfect All American man who can convince the masses of her story and gain celebrity attention from the people. Over seven decades later and the basic outline of the story can still be found within the fundamental structure of society today. What is at the core of this structure? Necessity, greed and money. Mitchell needs money to keep her family and those she support within their lifestyles, while you have the poor who out of necessity agrees to something that may be against their better judgment in an essence of survival, and the greed of political agenda (which we'll get to). This further escalates as the celebrity gained is then manipulated for political reasons.
One of my favorite characters is The Colonel. He's the conscious of the story. The Colonel has been John's friend and tries to tell him that this isn't right. My favorite is his theory how money changes a person. He's trying to warn his friend to the dangers he's heading toward. The Colonel can see the rabbit hole but, it might be too late. John only wants to get his shoulder fixed so he can return to Baseball, not even fully understanding the damages his situation is going to impend on his future. The Colonel tries to warn him in his way. My favorite is his definition of the "He Lots" the people with money who are never happy with what they have. We see it all the time, as a nation of consumers it can be inevitable in our society, you have to work to sustain a life, in order to work you need one thing such as a car, which then you'll need insurance, taxes, fees and more. One thing leads to more and more and your desire to get more and more money to have those things. As The Colonel explains the "He Lots" are a lot of people who become heels.
The villainous political aspect of the movie comes into play as D.B. Norton (Edward Arnold). A politician backing the story and who has hired Mitchell personally to write John Doe speeches as he tours the country gaining his celebrity of the people. Other news outlets know that Doe is a fraud and he is nearly tempted to take their offer of outing the rue, until Mitchell convinces him to deliver his speech. Even if John Doe doesn't know it, he has feelings for the conniving woman behind his demise (whether she directly knows it or not).
Further down the rabbit hole they go, it's alluded that Mitchell starts a relationship with Norton's nephew or son who is a man in uniform. Someone who can manipulate and control Mitchell, who has been cleverly composing the speeches that rally the people to inspire to follow Doe to stand together and to care for one another. Doe himself believes in the speeches, which are not all together a farce. Mitchell uses her deceased father's journals to guide her crusade to unite the people to follow her John Doe. As they do, Norton funds the John Doe Fan Clubs across America.
Mitchell to Doe: "Your a pitcher John, now go in there and pitch!"
It was hard for me to like Mitchell because of her manipulation of the quiet and gentle Doe. After he delivers the speech he feels like the heel that his friend The Colonel warned him about. After the speech they duck out and make their way back to what they know, life on the street. When they stop in a shop he's recognized and his celebrity comes out as he discovers the John Doe Club. A great find within the movie is Sterling Holloway who portrayed the son working the counter in the shop. John and The Colonel stopped in to get a bite to eat. When he's discovered they flee the shop and end up at the towns City Hall where they are being held until Mitchell and Norton arrive and further manipulate the unsuspecting John with the plight to fight for the good of man. What Norton really means to do is to use John's celebrity and popularity for his future political gain.
John meets the club and starts to believe in the messages and the truth within the speeches. Meeting the people he's impacting puts the personal touch on what started out as something very fake, now it has heart and soul and moves people to follow the messages of helping one another. There is one stipulation within the club; no politics. When Doe and Mitchell go on tour, they spend a lot of time together and it's obvious how much he's nuts over her, it's adorable. She admits that she's a heel for leading him on and using him on this mission. There are so many great scenes that give great psychological insight into the characters. Such as the scene where John is telling Mitchell about his dream he had about her. He says that he was her father in the dream; this is because he's delivering the speeches that she's written based off of her father's beliefs. It goes on further and it was amazing to me, then again there is always something to what we dream.
Mitchell is a heel, Norton buys her expensive things and impresses her and then delivers the blow of his political gain from the John Doe he has built. When John is due to deliver a speech in front of all the John Doe Club divisions at a convention, the editor of the paper diverts his body guards to whisk him away to get a drink with John. The editor asks John is he's read the speech that he's due to deliver. When the editor finds out that he hasn't he sends someone to retrieve a copy as he starts to explain a few things to John. I love this scene. It's an endearing scene where he discusses his weakness and makes us realize, we all have a weakness. Two for two, both Capra films I've seen so far have these perfect scenes with great talent, perfect writing, and great delivery; timeless to the human character. It's the editor who tells him about Norton's meeting. John goes to Norton's home to confront him when he crashes a meeting in progress.
John stays somewhat hidden so he's able to hear what Norton's ulterior motives are. Norton's plan is also clenching the 90 percent of the "John Doe" votes; they already consider themselves victorious. When they praise Mitchell for her part in all of this (which she explains she didn't know what was going on, which is hard to believe of such an intelligent woman). John does a great job of pointing out to her how she's been bought. He confronts the meeting and proclaims that he's going to call them all out tearing up the speech. Norton threatens him and exposes the scam by media manipulation. Back then they sent gangs of newspaper boys through the convention with the newspaper calling out John Doe as a fake; today they would have trolls on social media outlets igniting those flames. Either way, the tinder smokes as people boo and call out rants until he's escorted out and ends the John Doe Movement (of good will) how quickly his supporters turned.
Mitchell's beside herself as she's comforted by her mother. John retreats with his friend the Colonel to lick his wounds. The media runs wild tearing apart what was built as it haunts John. Christmas comes and as the original letter stated, he was going to jump from a building. As the characters contemplate the possibility of John actually going through with the pretend letter, they all converge where he was suppose to jump from. With a great ending. Originally Capra shot four different endings and were tested and deemed unsatisfactory during previews and test screenings. "A letter from an audience member suggested a fifth ending, which [Capra] liked and used in the finished film" (IMDb, Meet John Doe).
Overall, what won me over the most in this movie was Gary Cooper. When I imagine a gentleman, his performance is top shelf. A very small part of the movie, when John goes to visit Mitchell at her home and visits with her mother, there is a scene with the family dog. It's true, you can judge a person by how the dog interacts with them. It has been my experience if a dog doesn't like a person, there is usually a reason behind it. In this scene the dog seemed to saddle up to John, this confirmed what I already knew in the movie, John's a good nut. From when we first meet him as John Willoughby, to when Mitchell is fussing over his new appearance and he's enjoying the attention, to the end scene when he takes Mitchell in his arms, he delivers with great charm and decades later, has even captivated this jaded heart. The movie is full of great scenes, you'll love, you'll hate and at the end you'll have a little more faith in humanity.
Watch the entire movie on YouTube by clicking here.
The show first aired in 2005 and is currently getting ready for their 10th season on October 7th, 2014.
This is one that I started watched a few years ago and was hooked right away. It follows the Winchester brothers Dean (Jensen Ackles) and Sam (Jared Padalecki) who are left to carry out the family legacy of hunting the paranormal. The charismatic brothers are addictive as they are funny, it doesn't hurt that they're gorgeous too! I love this series because of the fantasy, mystery and adventure.
Jump in the car and go on a supernatural ride! Some of my favorite things about this show are delivered through the eldest brother Dean. He's a beer drinking, meat eating, fighting machine and he's hilarious! The show has awesome writers that can keep all the paranormal and supernatural realms alive and enjoyable. I've read books and have watched shows where it isn't enjoyable and you end up changing channels or putting down the book. Here, you have that perfect combination of great actors, talented writers and ingenious staff that work dynamically together and the result is an amazing show that is enjoyable (and addictive) to watch.
The Run Down
There are currently 8 seasons available on Netflix.
Season 1 - 22 episodes - 922 minutes or 15.37 hours
Season 2 - 22 episodes - 896 minutes or 14.93 hours
Season 3 - 16 episodes - 642 minutes or 10.7 hours
Season 4 - 22 episodes - 918 minutes or 15.3 hours
Season 5 - 22 episodes - 906 minutes or 15.1 hours
Season 6 - 22 episodes - 907 minutes or 15.12 hours
Season 7 - 23 episodes - 954 minutes or 15.9 hours
Season 8 - 23 episodes - 961 minutes or 16.02 hours
Total Time Invested: 7,106 minutes or 118.43 hours
If you want some great laughs, watch the Supernatural bloopers on Youtube.
UPDATE - Netflix now has the last season available!!
Season 3 comes back with a bang (no pun intended). I loved this season just as much as the first two and I give mad props to the writers, actors, and everyone involved with this series. Gran Hotel is definitely on my Top 5 of all time favorite television shows and it's simply because when you think the plot is going to go one way, it doesn't necessarily go that way - instead it goes ten different ways. This series is definitely addictive and once again, when I started the season I couldn't stop until the very end. I also loved how they ended their series, very classy, and very well done. Nothing but complete love for Gran Hotel. Now go and check it out!
The Run Down
Season 1 = 14 Episodes
Watch Time: 518 minutes or 10.3 hours
Season 2 = 28 Episodes
Watch Time: 1,248 minutes or 20.8 hours
(According to the official site Gran Hotel's Season 3 is the final season and not yet carried via Netflix)
42 Total Episodes
Total Time Invested: 1,766 minutes or nearly 30 hours UPDATE!!
Season 3 = 24 Episodes
Watch Time: 1,055 minutes or 17.58 hours
Total Time Invested 2,821 minutes or 48.68 hours And every second is well worth it!
Grand Hotel has it all! Sex, scandals, mystery, suspense, romance, great writers and awesome actors. It's the perfect combination that delivers an addictive binge session. If you are a fan of Downton Abbey, then you would also enjoy Gran Hotel (Grand Hotel USA). The TV series began in 2011 and is set in the 20th century aristocratic time during the reign of King Alfonso XIII. It begins in the year 1905 as we follow Julio and Alicia who do not know each other at this time but, they're both heading to the same place; the Grand Hotel. Alicia's home and the place where Julio's sister was last seen.
While Julio (Yon Gonzalez) originally arrived at the Gran Hotel to solve the mystery of his missing sister, he ended up staying because of his love for Alicia (Amaia Salamanca). Alicia is the daughter of the Alorcon Family who have built, own and operate the massive and premiere hotel. However, the family has suffered the loss of their patriarch; Alicia's father. Soon, Julio enlists the help of Alicia as well as the very adorable and sweet waiter Andres. Together the trio embark on many adventures in their attempts to solve the mysteries that involve the family and the hotel.
The plot twists and character developments through out the presently 42 episodes on Netflix, were astounding and kept me coming back for more. I love these characters (yes, even the wicked and bad ones) and hated how episode 42 ended. Immediately I searched online to make sure that wasn't how the series ended and to my joy I found out that there is a season 3. However, I can't decipher or read the Spanish language so I'll be left in the dark until season 3 is available on Netflix. Until then, I'll be waiting ~
There are many reason why I love Netflix so much, binge watching is just one of those attributes. Something I watch for is how often a show updates their season on Netflix. Much to my surprise, Once Upon A Time updated and I was able to catch up to the finale of season three just in time for season four to start later this month. Not only am I a renewed "Oncer" I'm a believer in the show again. However, I will say the wait was worth it. One of the reasons I have such a hard time watching the show on it's network time, is because of the commercials. Maybe it's just this age and we've become spoiled to such pleasures as Netflix and not having the cumbersome commercials to nag us. Even when we try to watch on-demand through our cable providers, there are commercials. So, I threw down my remote and proclaimed: no more. This is why I am a true believer in the powers of Netflix. That being said, catching up from where I had previously left off took me a solid two days! And who knew Captain Hook was so swoon worthy!?!
There are far too many plot points to try to tell you all about them. If you have Netflix I would highly suggest you check the show out. What I do love about this show are their constant reminders of renewed hope and second chances; they seem to be hidden plots within themselves. Constantly, they are showing us how life can get complicated but, we can't lose hope. If you don't like fairy tales than this might be harder for you to grasp and enjoy. I grew up watching Disney movies, so when they make those references I thoroughly enjoy them. However, the one aspect I could do without is "the Savior" jargon. Couldn't they come up with a better hero's title than that? Apparently not. In season three they wavered from Emma being the sole "savior" to Regina having the ability too; encouraging that we all have the power within us. I'll include a link below if you want to read my other postings about Once Upon A Time about the beginning characters and plots.
I'm excited yet I have some apprehension about this season. Have rating slumped that they feel they need to ride the Frozen bandwagon? I just hope people aren't tired of Frozen that they'll still tune in and watch. Hopefully the writers know what they're doing and can get it right. So far they have bewildered the viewers with mind-boggling assaults. Not so much in a bad way; those that we know from tales before to be good, turn out to be bad etc. I love the twists and turns and especially the romance sizzling between the main protagonist Emma Swan and Captain Killian "Hook" Jones. It is almost enough to renew this ladies belief in romance!
The plots definitely thicken! In a strange twist within the last two seasons the trip to Neverland turned out to - once again - reunite family. Peter Pan turned out to be Rumpelstiltskin's horrid father. Pan was quite wicked and through his lackeys kidnapped Henry, Emma Swans "The Saviors" son. The family (Prince Charming, Snow White, Regina, Emma, Rumpelstiltskin and Captain Hook) ride on the Jolly Roger through a portal opened by the last magic bean, in an attempt to get to Neverland. Meanwhile, Neil (Henry's father) had been shot and fell through a similar portal; leaving everyone to believe he was dead. However, he was found in the Enchanted Forest shore lines and made his way to save those that he loves.
Neil reaches Neverland where he had lived once before and knows a lot of tips and tricks to help the crew on the quest to rescue Henry (and themselves). The only thing is, right at the end, Pan switched bodies with Henry. The reason no body knew this right away is because Pan's body was trapped in Pandora's Box (which was really Henry). However, Emma knew something was off and through her determination they figure out that Pan is actually in Henry's body but, they're too late. Pan already enacted a curse and the only escape was for Regina to work her magic. All but Emma and Henry would return to the Enchanted Forest while they would return to New York with wiped memories.
Season 3 starts off with Emma and Henry's perceived life in New York being normal. She's even been seeing a (what we believe to be) a charming man. She's stopped in her tracks though when he purposes and Emma being the stubborn woman that she is, can't make the choice. It could also be her super power telling her something was off. Henry was all for it and it wasn't until Killian Jones arrived at her door step that she thought she would marry her boyfriend of 8 months. Captain Hook convinces her to drink a potion where she will regain her memories from the previous year.
With her memories restored Captain Hook tells Emma of the present danger in Storybrook. Know that she knows her family is in danger, she packs up Henry (who doesn't have those returned memories) and they leave for Storybrook, Maine. Once they arrive it's heartbreaking when Henry doesn't know the people he so desperately has fought for; especially Regina. In a twist however, during their time in Neverland we learnt of Regina and Tinker Bell's past and how Tink showed Regina a true love to pursue (that would bring her happiness) - Robin Hood (because of his lion tattoo on his inner forearm). The town pulls together to find out who enacted the curse and why.
Enter The Wicked Witch and Oz or as she's known as Zelena. What is her ulterior motive? Revenge. She wants what her little sister Regina has, that she feels she was neglected of and that she should have had. Zelena has been able to break through the barriers of time travel and wants to go back in time to make things right for her. This endangers all the other inhabitants as this could change many fates. Zelena begins by collecting Prince Charmings Courage, Regina's heart, Rumpelstiltskin's brain and the last ingredient - Snow White's baby. Once she has all of her ingredients she opens a portal and is about to change time when the hero's ban together to stop Zelena's attempts.
We learn that only white magic can stop Zelena and who has the best white magic? Emma. However, The Wicked Witch knows this and slams Captain Hook between a rock and a hard place. When he professes his love for Emma she curses his lips, that if he should kiss her he will drain her of her powers. Of course, Killian being the hero that he wants to be for Emma and her family, he doesn't. Zelena then continues to twist the knife in Killian's back by drowning him, forcing Emma to place her lips upon his to save his life, draining her of her magic and ability to stop her. What really ticked me off about this was that Emma was upset with Killian over his choices when he did the right thing.
When the heroes are facing Zelena in her finest hour (after opening the time portal), Regina switches her dark magic to that of love (white magic) and is able to knock Zelena down and get her pendant that she wore (which Glenda explained housed her powers). Regina locked up the pendant in her tomb while Zelena was locked up in Storybrook's jail cell. She didn't last too long though after Rumpelstiltskin visits her, after she tortured him and used his knife for her bidding, he stabbed her turning her into stone that crumbled to the ground and disappeared. However, this initiated her pendant in Regina's vault and unbeknownst to the residence of Storybrook, the time portal was opened once more.
Emma and Captain hook are sucked into the time portal and go on quite the quest to save the preservation of her parents meeting and falling in love. Through this time however her and Captain Hook have a new found love which I enjoyed watching! Emma also rescued someone and brought her back with them once she was able to reopen the time portal (using a magic wand that Rumplestiltskin lent them). When they are all reunited back at Granny's, she introduces the woman she brought back: Maid Marion (Robin Hood's wife and mother to his son). Regina's livid because she finally let her guard down and fell in love with Robin, they were happy. Through her anger she tells Emma that she's just like her mother (naive heroism) and warns Emma that she hopes she didn't bring anything else back with her...