Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Red Carpet Eye Candy . . . {5}

I've sort of run out of clever ways in which to start these posts, so . . . yeah.  You know the drill. :-P

I like Jennifer Morrison's style, but usually it's too plunging for me.  Needless to say, I was happy to find this pretty, modest outfit. :)  J-Mo (I heard the rest of the cast call her that in an interview and it was adorable) definitely knows how to style, that's for sure.  

I love the wine color of this dress, and just how slinky and simple it is.  Plus, it also just looks La La Land, doesn't it?

The token Cinderella dress. :D  (Actually, though, Emma Watson's is also Cinderellic, and so is Jennifer Laurence's . . . oh, well.)  The color is gorgeous on Blake Lively, there's just the right amount of floofiness (not too much), and basically it just looks great. :)  I also like the sequined beading or whatever that is on the top, and how it continues down into the skirt.

Auli'i Cravalho seems so cute and sweet. :)  And I really like this dress, too -- I don't think the pattern would have worked as well in color, but since it's neutral it really flows nicely.  

Now, yes, the neckline is too low, but other than that, I actually quite like this look.  Which kind of surprises me, since it's a bit more "out there," and I'm still not sure if the pinned-up bustle thing is spot-on.  But the styling is great and makes me think of the 1920's. :)

Squinting at the picture right now, I think it's actually a lace overlay, but it looks rather like sequins or beading from a distance, and I think it works really well for her -- which is saying something, given that it seems like it'd be a difficult color to wear well.  (Also, are those shamrocks?!)

A more closed bodice would have been nice *ahem*, but I really like this, otherwise.  The color is really pretty and looks fantastic on Hailee, and I like the drape of the dress and the styling she did.

Loverly. <3  And the fabric looks like it'd feel silky. :D

I think this was some event where celebrities were supposed to come dressed sort of like different countries?  I'm not sure.  But anyway, strange as it might be, I do like this piece.  And it looks really cool from the back.

I LOVE THIS SO MUCH.  JUST ALL THE YES.  <3  Plus, the photos of her and Dan Stevens at this premiere?!  LOOK. <3)  It's so simple, yet so elegant, and the hairstyle complements it perfectly, as does the delicate jewelry that she wore (which you can't really see in this picture).  And, as you may know, I'm kind of a sucker for trains, so . . . ;D

Which is your favorite of these gowns? :)

Sunday, June 11, 2017

What I Do and Don't Like in a Love Story

I love love stories.  I am, as they say, a sucker for them.  They can tend to make or break a film/book/TV series for me.  (I can't say I'm proud to admit it, but I have been known to let my enthusiasm for diving into a particular story be determined by whether or not it has a romance of some kind.)

Recently, I have been reflecting upon this affection for love stories (I pun without even realizing it, sometimes), and have amused myself most heartily with making up a little list of the things that I do and don't like in a romance.  I certainly don't mention every single thing I do or don't like in a love story, but I do list quite a few. ;-P  It makes me feel all sophisticated and In Touch With Myself to determine what story elements I have grown to like or dislike over the years. :-P

So!  In a moment, the list; but first, a couple (I PUNNED UNINTENTIONALLY AGAIN) disclaimers.

1.  I will be using several different couples as object lessons for some of my points, so a) there may be spoilers, and b) just because I might poke some loving fun at a certain duo for the purpose of illustrating a specific thought, that doesn't mean that I don't still love that twosome very fondly (case in point: Joseph + Shannon from Far and Away).  And it certainly doesn't mean that this particular point I'm making holds true for all couples in all circumstances.  If I make fun of an element that you really like, particularly for a specific couple, I'm sorry -- I definitely don't mean any offense!  

2.  Obviously, I'd prefer my couples to hold to certain moral standards, and a relationship with or belief in God would be great, but I'm not really going to be talking about just those couples who do so, because, unfortunately, most of them don't.  So.  Anyway.  (I say anyway a lot, don't I?)

Okay, onwards!  The deets of Olivia's love story preferences.  (Suuuuuuuper long post, btw, and I'm sorry for the very-un-uniform sizes of the pictures and gifs.  I kind of give up.)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 


~ When one of them tells the other -- usually at a climactic moment when they feel they have lost their love forever -- something to the effect of, "I've loved you since the moment I clapped eyes on you."

Actually, no.  You have not, in fact, loved the other person forever.  You may have been Very Interested in the other person, but I think for many of you it's safe to say that you were not in real, true love with him or her right from the start.

Now, granted, I can tolerate this sort of sentiment better with some couples than with others.  Let us look at two examples:

Gilbert Blythe:  Hmm, well, yes.  You've loved her for quite awhile and basically fell for her as quickly as could reasonably be expected, so we'll give you that one.

Shannon Christie:  Umm . . . no.  No, my dear.  You did not love Joseph from the first moment you saw him -- in fact, you thought he was going to rape you and you stabbed him in the leg with a pitchfork.  Let's not romanticize unromantic things.  

~ When our lovebirds are Getting Along Swimmingly, but then a Great Misunderstanding happens and one of them Deeply Wounds the other with their Harsh Words, motivated by their own Deep Pain, and thusly the Budding Romance is Brought to a grinding Halt. 

Urrrrrgh.  I know, I know, stuff like that happens in real relationships and it's good when people try to portray romances accurately, but sometimes?  I'm just like, stop.  Seriously, stop.  It's annoying.  And overdone. :-P

~ When one of them says something like, "I'd die for you" or "I'd die for her/him." *

Show, don't tell.  

Hehe.  Kidding.  (Sort of.)

. . . Okay, okay, this one isn't all that bad.  It just seems sort of, well . . . cheesy.  And unnecessary. :-P

* (The exception to this is if you're Will Turner in Curse of the Black Pearl, because if you're Will Turner in Curse of the Black Pearl, you are basically an adorable, doe-eyed puppy and you can do whatever the heck you want. <3)

~ When the girl is noticeably older than the guy.

I'm soooooorry, but I can't help it. It just majorly weirds me out.

~ When the romance goes nowhere.

This. scene. was. so. weird.

This one is difficult to explain. I don't necessarily mean when the romance is cut short for some tragic reason *ahem*, but when the romance seems to have been put in FOR NO REASON. I don't like it when a romance is stuck in just to wither away and die to no purpose. I'm not talking about those times when two minor characters you thought would be cute don't really end up as a couple, like Jack and Annie in Penelope -- I'm talking about when story makers pull Dear Frankie c-r-you-know-what. I get that sometimes these kinds of love stories are meant to illustrate that things don't always work out, and sometimes people are foolish and don't seize the chances they have, and precious things can be lost as a result, but to be honest?

I still don't want it.

~ When couples choose the worst, most impractical times to have "a cosmic moment."

Seriously, when Shannon and Joseph do this in that mansion scene in Far and Away?! STAAAAAAAAHHHHPPPP. I understand that it's Touching that they care about their relationship more than food, but the pragmatist in me is grinding her teeth and saying, "Guys, really. You're literally starving. EAT."

Basically, couples, you should take Han Solo's advice: "Escape now; hug later."


~ When they have adorable, innocent fun together -- either doing something peculiar to their own interests, doing something that others might think strange, or just laughing together.

Examples of this include but are not limited to:

     -- Kit and Ella swinging in the "secret garden"
     -- Holly and Paul walking around New York "doing things they'd never done before" (minus the stealing, of course :-P)
     -- Jason and Hannah playing in the water
     -- Charlie and Sophie eating ice cream cones in Italy
     -- Molly and Roger in Africa
     -- Kat and Patrick playing paintball
     -- Jack and Lucy slipping over the ice

~ When the guy is protective of the girl.

This sounds weird, but "it is what it is." :-P  I love it when the guy is really passionate about protecting his lady love, especially when he does it without even thinking about it or finds himself going a tad berserk when he feels she's in danger or hurt.  ("I made that sound really not good," but y'all know what I mean.)

~ When they've grown up together/when they're friends as adults before they become a couple.

Childhood buddies or longtime friends who become sweethearts later on are so precious. <3

~ When they've both gone through traumatic things and then they find each other (not to be sappy or anything).



(Yes, I may or may not have included this solely for the excuse to gush about Faramir and Éowyn.  I ain't ashamed.)

~ Relationships that start off on the wrong foot and have killer #sass.  And banter.  Lots of banter.

Ahem. ;)  I know some of you aren't so fond of the love/hate format, and I'll admit that it's overdone.  But what can I say?  I really like it.  I will point out, though, that I think this particular element tends to work better in movies/TV shows than books.

~ When one of them doesn't realize The Truth About Their Feelings and gets involved with someone else for a while, but then they realize The Truth About Their Feelings

This picture was cuter and less cadaverous in theory.

Every period drama ever. :D

~ When there's a dance involved.

I'm also a sucker about dances for a couple's development, shallow and too-oft-used though they may be. ;)  They're just romantic, okay?!

~ When they are already married or get married close to the start of the story, and we get to see their "post-honeymoon" relationship throughout the rest of it.

It's more real, dontcha know. <3

~ When they're just plain cute -- when "adorable" is one of the first adjectives that comes to mind when you think of them.

Cuteness is a must.  Don't we all love cute romances? :)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

What elements do we have in common?
What are some things you would add to either of these lists?

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Robin Hood Week | | That's a wrap, folks.

*cue the inclusion of Robin Hood farewell gifs*

Somebody -- I can't seem to find who! -- started off one of their posts with this
 at some point during the week, and I decided to steal their idea. :-P

Well, Robin Hood Week has drawn to a close.  Everyone, thank you sooo much for all your enthusiasm and participation.  You guys really made this week fun -- *I* sure enjoyed it, and I'm proud of what we did here. ;)  I loved reading y'all's posts -- looking forward to reading the rest of them! -- and just had a great time overall. :)

Now for the very long list of the aforementioned posts, in random order.  If I missed anybody's post, please let me know and I'll try to add it!  Also, I'm sorry if some of the titles don't match up perfectly with the post titles. 

Hamlette wrote:

Natalie wrote:

Ruth wrote:

Rachel wrote:

MovieCritic wrote:

Art3mis Took wrote:

Éowyn wrote:

Meredith wrote:

Ivy Miranda wrote:

Catherine wrote:

DKoren wrote:

Eva wrote:

Mary Katherine wrote:

Miss March wrote:

Livia Rachelle:

WOW!  That's a bunch of posts, people -- go, us!

Don't forget that Hamlette's giveaway is still open through this evening (she'll be announcing the winners tomorrow), so if you haven't entered yet, now's your chance!

I'm hoping to be able to wrap up reading/commenting/responding in a few days, and then "I regret I must leave you," as I'm departing on a vacation with the fam for a while.  However, I've several post ideas "in the works," so hopefully they'll stay with me and I'll get them done at some point. ;)  

Thanks again, everyone!!!  
Have a fantastic start to your summer. :)

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Robin Hood Week | | Thoughts on a few different Robin Hood portrayals.

On this last full day of the party, I wanted to talk about some of the different Robins I've seen: basically, determining which characteristic of the Robin Hood legend I think each actor brings out the most in their role -- or which characteristic leaves the greatest impression on my mind -- and reflecting a bit on each role in general.  We'll see how it turns out. ;)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

~ Stuart Wilson {Disney's Princess of Thieves} ~

The shortage of pictures of this show is, as Rachel Lynde would say, perfectly amazing.

I think I've always liked Stuart Wilson's Robin . . . although, to be frank, I'm sort of wondering why after re-watching the show a few days ago for the first time in several years!  (Nah, just kidding.)  This Robin is older and trying to juggle raising a daughter (or, rather, trying to have her raised safely, since he's absent most of the time), fighting in various crusades, and now having the responsibility of bringing King Richard's rightful heir, Philip, to the throne before Prince John gets to him first.  Excusably, all this pressure creates a rather crusty exterior, and his relationship with his daughter, Gwyn (the heroine of the movie), has become strained.

But, as I said, I've always kind of liked him.  I guess just because he obviously does care about Gwyn, regardless of his inability to express it well?  And he grows some over the course of the movie, so yeah.    Also, he clearly has a very strong sense of patriotism, and hasn't decided that he's "given enough" and is entitled to retirement yet.  All in all, I like him. :)

Take-away characteristic:  { patriotism/loyalty }

~ Timothy Hutton {TNT's Leverage} ~

Hehe.  He counts as a Robin Hood, doesn't he?  He's sure called one enough during the show.  ;-P  

Nate Ford is historically not my favorite Leverage character (my least favorite, actually, but there are only five main characters, so let's be fair), but he has his moments.  He loves his team fiercely, and I think he kind of strikes the right balance between letting them know and trying to seem reclusive and independent.  ;-P   He's had a major tragedy in his life, but he manages to press through and try to use it to help other people.  (Now, he does this using methods "of . . . questionable legality," but still . . . )  This Robin is highly intelligent (duh, he's literally "The Mastermind") and seems to always know how to find a loophole in his opponents' schemes.  (Which can get a little annoying sometimes, tbh.  But mainly it's okay, since it means the team basically always comes out all right.)  He also tries to grapple with his drinking problem, and though I can't say that he was super successful, at least he got it under control, right?  (Was that a spoiler?  If it was, I am sorry.)

He definitely has his flaws, though.  For one, he seems a wee bit self-satisfied at times, and can be rather close-minded to the ideas and wishes of his team.  He also gets missile-locked on less-than-healthy goals now and then.  

However, he is overall a very decent fellow and I do care about him a little.  (Just not as much as the others on the team. ;)  But he's okay.)

Take-away characteristic:  { intelligence }

~ Sean Maguire {ABC's Once Upon a Time} ~

*Spoilers for seasons 1-5 of Once follow!*

Robin has never been one of my favorite characters on Once.  I'm not really sure why.  I guess, for the most part, I liked him well enough, but he was just sort of . . . there.  A nice guy, don't get me wrong, but for some reason, something about him seemed to get under my skin somehow.  Plus, there was the whole issue of the Regina/Marian thing, and regardless of how that worked out . . . he still didn't know that it wasn't really Marian, so it was still kind of adultery.  Anyway.  *steps off soapbox*

So yes, Robin hadn't been one of those characters to whom I was particularly attached.

Howevuh.  Then I watched that latterly episode in Season 5 where *BIG SPOILER* he dies, and I was sort of shocked!  I mean, not my favorite character, as I've said, but still!  I had no wish to see him die, especially like that -- without even the possibility of the underworld and a subsequent rescue therefrom. *MORE SPOILERS* But, although I have not yet seen the sixth season, I did read something that gave me hope that he might be reappearing on the show at some point?  I'm not sure, but I'd love for there to be some sort of loophole like that.  (His funeral made me feel like crying inside. :'(  And poor Regina!)  

Okay, done with the little fangirl rant.  Sean's Robin is very, very kind.  Compassionate.  You know, he tries to see the best in everybody.  All that good stuff.  :)  He's very devoted to his son, Roland (WHO IS BASICALLY THE MOST ADORABLE PERSONAGE EVER), and seems to always be open to developing friendships with any and everybody.  So, although he does some things that I disagree with and just isn't my favorite in general, he's certainly a nice Robin Hood.

Take-away characteristic:  { kindness/caring }

~ Jonas Armstrong {BBC's Robin Hood} ~

WELL.  *sobs buckets*  Where does one start?

I'm a bit biased towards him out of all the Robin Hoods I've seen, for obvious reasons. ;-P  For one thing, since I've spent 39 episodes with him, I've probably gotten to "know" him the best.  

I like how this Robin seems to be just a normal person, cliche as it sounds.  He doesn't know how to handle life all the time.  He makes mistakes on a regular basis, sometimes out of stubbornness and sometimes purely by accident.  He's a good leader (albeit a tad cocky *ahem*), and he's committed to helping his fellow countrymen as efficiently as possible, but he's still just human.  He's still vulnerable, like any other person.  He loses his head sometimes when the safety of the people he cares about is threatened.

Like all the Robins in this post, he's got his flaws.  He struggles with ulterior motives at times, such as revenge, bravado, and the desire to be loved and appreciated by the people he helps.  *SEMI-SPOILERS* He comes very near to giving up, particularly after the death of one of the people he loves the most. *END OF SEMI-SPOILERS*  He even still has some class prejudice lingering in him, apparently, if we are to believe that second-to-last episode in S2 (with Much).  

But he does keep going, through all these issues.  *SPOILERS*  He forgives Guy, which is h.u.g.e. *END OF SPOILERS*.  He takes care of his gang and is willing to ask other people for help when he needs it.  And, obviously, he sacrifices greatly for his country.  

Yes, I love him a wee bit. ;)

Take-away characteristic:  { relatability }

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Wrap-up is tomorrow!  Don't forget to leave links to your own RH posts HERE

Friday, May 26, 2017

Robin Hood Week | | Music Videos

I am about to emotionally abuse you.

Those of you have seen BBC's Robin Hood, that is.  The rest of you -- blissful, heart-whole people that you are -- may not be able to sympathize with us in our pain.  (Maybe you will.  I don't know.  I feel like it'd be pretty hard to be unaffected by the "I Dreamed a Dream" one.  But for anybody watching who hasn't seen the show or is in the midst of watching the show, these music videos do contain major spoilers, so watch at your own risk.)

. . . Actually, though, I'm going to be nice.  Only like four of these (there are ten total) are really tragical and feels-y and heartbreaking.  The rest are relatively happy and/or humorous. :)  However, those four tragical ones are really tragical and have been known to seriously mess with my coping mechanisms.  So if you're just coming off of watching the show, I might stick with the happy ones for now, since the sad ones might actually be a bit too much.  (I'm serious -- I speak from experience and tell you this because I love you.)

Also, we can all thank Natalie -- who actually wrote a very similar post! -- for most of these, as she is the one who introduced me to a lot of them.  {THANKS FOR THE HEARTBREAK.  (No, kidding.  I love you.  And I'm actually very grateful for them.  You know.  We've talked.  Plus you've also sent me lots of happy ones. :))}

OKAY!  To business.

Let's start with a lighthearted one, yes?  (Seriously, this is awesome.)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

Okay, now for a sad one.  (And I mean a really sad one.  It kind of destroys me, actually.  So yeah.)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

*hands you tissues*  I'm sorry, I'm sorry!  Here, this'll make it better.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

And another funny one:

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

I hadn't seen this one before, but I was quite impressed.  It's sad but also not, if you know what I mean, and I thought it was really well-done, especially as it includes other couples.  (PLUS THEY HAVE KATE AND ALLAN TOGETHER.  AS IT SHOULD BE.)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

This.  What.  x'D  (It's funny.  That was a crying-with-laughter face.)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

DEAD.  THE TEARS.  (But in a good way.  It's super sad but also super beautiful and it kind of breaks my heart but also makes me hopeful and gives me closure . . . ish.)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

Okay, a double-whammy: two really hard ones back-to-back.  I've showed you guys several that make me emotional, but this one actually makes me cry.  Like, physically.  (That is, I'm holding back real tears.)  And that's about the highest praise and best intro I can give it.  Definitely one of the top five best RH videos I've seen, and I've seen quite a few.  

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

That was the last sad one, yay!  This one cracks me up from the moment Robin's mouth starts moving and Spongebob's voice comes out.  It is gold, I tell you.  ("BOMBS!"  x'D)


~ ~ ~ ~ ~

And I close with an adorable and precious and sweet and HAPPY Rarian video.  :)

Don't forget to leave links to your own RH posts HERE. :D

Robin Hood Week | | In which I impress you all with my extensive knowledge of history.

Hello, my pretties!  I remembered that I did a presentation on Robin Hood for school back in 2015, and so I decided that I might as well turn it into a post, right?  Quick and easy, and it changes things up a bit. :)

Basically, I'll just copy my final draft, which discusses some of the (very scanty) historical background for the Robin Hood legend.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The name of Robin Hood has been calling to mind dusty books, bows and arrows, ballads, greenwood trees, and suits of Lincoln green for over six centuries. The notorious “righteous robber” legend has captivated audiences through song, literature, movies, and even television series.

The earliest mentions of Robin Hood are found in medieval ballads and festivals, and he rose to cultural prominence mainly as a result of Sir Walter Scott’s 1820 novel Ivanhoe, which featured Robin of Locksley as an important secondary character, and Howard Pyle’s book, The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood, which was published in 1883.

It is unknown whether an individual called Robin Hood ever existed. Historians speculate that the popular image of Robin of Locksley may have come about through the amalgamation of various folkloric entities, and while the legend has changed—in some ways drastically—since the earliest ballads mentioning Robin Hood, most renditions have a common theme in that Hood is supposed to have been an English yeoman, Crusader, or outlaw in the medieval time period.

Surprisingly, popularly beloved cohorts of Hood’s, such as Maid Marian, Allan-a-Dale, and Friar Tuck, did not appear in the initial records—and neither did his famous mantra of “robbing the rich to feed the poor.” Instead, they gained a spot in the story of Robin Hood centuries after its first appearances. Also, despite the fact that many of us were probably first exposed to Hood through Disney’s happy, humorous, and popular animated classic, many of the older, more traditional renditions of the tale end in a bittersweet tragedy. However, other characters and themes that most of us “love to hate”—including the Sherriff of Nottingham and Sir Guy of Gisborne—were attached to Hood practically from the beginning, as was his believed locale in Sherwood Forest in the shire of Nottingham, England. 

Confirmed evidence for the elusive Outlaw of Sherwood is frustratingly scarce, but whatever the strict historical facts, the idea of a forest-dwelling, altruistic outlaw boasts an almost unprecedented appeal to worldwide audiences. The subject of over fifty film and television adaptations, the legend of Robin Hood and his Merry Men continues to this day to be one of the most enduring tales in popular culture.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Hope you all enjoyed that!  Don't forget to leave links to your own RH posts HERE.  :D

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Robin Hood Week | | Appreciation for the 1973 Disney film.

~ the nostalgia of all of it the opening sequence ~

~ the amazingly atmospheric quality of the whole thing ~

~ the unforgettable villains ~

"AH-ha, AH-ha!"

{I once made the mistake of saying that "no one will ever be as Prince John-ish as Toby Stephens," and I would like to formally recant that dreadful statement.  Toby Stephens' P.J. is wonderful and all, but I cannot imagine how I finagled myself into neglecting Peter Ustinov's performance.  Let the record now state that I believe that no one will ever be as Prince John-ish as Peter Ustinov and Toby Stephens.  Okay.  Good.}

~ Maid Marian ~

~ the animation ~

~ the joy and fun and whimsy ~

~ Friar Tuck ~


~ the "Not in Nottingham" sequence ~

{I have a strange infatuation with that song and that scene.}

~ Kluckie ~

~ the quotability ~

{"Hiss, you deliberately dodged." ~ "Oo-de-lally!  A crown!  How exciting!" ~ "Crime-a-niddly, Nutsy!" ~ "Forgive me a cruel chuckle . . . " ~ "HISS!  You're never around when I need you!" ~ "WAAAAAAHN o'clah-ahck, an' AAAAAALLLL'S WE-OHLL!"}

~ the fact that all the characters seem like old friends ~

~ the "Phony King of England" dance ~

~ Skippy & his gang ~

~ the jailbreak scene ~

*Spoilers . . . ?  (I'm pretty sure y'all could see this coming, but just in case. ;))*

~ the deliciously happy, satisfactory, storybook ending :) ~

Don't forget to leave links to your own Robin Hood posts HERE! :)