What I Learned From Now, Voyager (1942)

Now, Voyager is one of the great melodramas from the 1940s. It is an emotional roller coaster with Bette Davis delivering one of her best performances as Charlott Vale, a repressed, dowdy spinster who is controlled by her dominating mother (Gladys Cooper). A psychiatrist (Claude Rains) intervenes just as Charlotte is about to have a nervous breakdown and helps her transform into a more self-assured woman. Rather than return to her evil mother’s lair, Charlotte embarks on a cruise where she meets a married man, Jeremiah Duvaux Durrance (Paul Henreid) and the two begin a complicated romance. When Charlotte returns home, she must stand up to her mother while dealing with the lingering affects of her romance.

Here are some very important lessons we can learn from Now, Voyager.

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When Beauty and the Beast Meets Downton Abbey

In just a matter of days, Downton Abbey has taken over my life. I love everything about this series and want to shout my undying love for Julian Fellowes from the Highlands. (Sidebar: Are Scotland references okay when one writes about Downton Abbey?)

When I saw Beauty and the Beast (in 3D! It was magical!) yesterday, a brilliant thought crossed my mind. Every servant in Beauty in the Beast is the animated version of every servant in Downton Abbey. So naturally, I wasted hours photoshopping pictures and shared them on Tumblr. The photo set has been received more notes than I ever expected, making me realize “Crap, maybe I should I explain my reasonings.”

So here they are: Every servant in Beauty and the Beast as a servant on Downton Abbey.

Carson and Mr. Carson

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What I Learned From Casablanca

I saw Casablanca for the umpteenth time last night. It’s a wonderful movie and the more times I see Casablanca, the more I enjoy it. There are individual elements of the film you can easily criticize, but overall it is fantastic.

Here are the most important things I took away from Casablanca this time around.

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What I Learned From In Time

When my friend asked me to see In Time with her, I went along. No questions asked. I’ll see anything. Good movies. Bad movies. Movies trying to convince that Justin Timberlake is the best actor to emerge from “The Mickey Mouse Club”. (That honor goes to J.C. Chasez. If you watch America’s Best Dance Crew you know why.)

Anyways, In Time is a sci-fi thriller set in 2161. (Wikipedia just told me this.) Humans are able to stop aging when they reach 25 but due to overpopulation, “living time” has replaced currency. You pay for everything in minutes, days, months, and years. In this system the rich can be immortal while the poor live day to day, struggling to get more time.

Justin Timberlake plays Will Salas, a 28-year-old who has lived his entire life in the ghetto. After helping 105-year-old Henry Hamilton escape local gangsters led by Alex Pettyfer, Hamilton gives Will his time (1000 years) and tells him to not waste it. Cue Will becoming some sort of Robin Hood, determined to destroy the system.  Along the way, Sylvia Weis (Amanda Seyfried) the daughter of a rich banker, joins Will. The pair become a knock-off Bonnie and Clyde, stealing from the rich and trying to evade timekeeper Raymond Leon (Cillian Murphy). Though In Time has an interesting concept (it was interesting enough to keep me engaged), it is executed rather poorly.

Here is what I learned.

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What I Learned From The Last Of The Mohicans

Ah, The Last of the Mohicans. The James Fenimore Cooper novel is the very reason why Spark Notes was invented. I think I pretended to read it in high school. Though the 1992 movie, starring Daniel Day-Lewis and directed by Michael Mann, does improve on the book and makes it enjoyable. Plus, Day-Lewis runs around in the woods, kills a lot of people, and has long flowing black hair. What’s not to love?

What you also need to know is that the movie is set in 1757. The British and the French are going at it like rabbits. (This is also known as the French and Indian War for you history buffs.)

Chingachgook (Russell Means), his son Uncas (Eric Schweig), and his adopted white son Hawkeye (Day-Lewis) end up escorting the Munro sisters to join their colonel father at Fort William Henry near Lake George. Magua (Wes Studi), a Huron whose family was killed by Munro’s troops, wants to kill Cora (Madeline Stowe) and Alice (Jodhi May). This causes all sorts of battles, gun fights, and scalpings. There is also a pointless romance and a few lessons along the way.

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