Fall Film Challenge (3)

This will be my third year participating in Jenn of Quirky Pickings Fall Film Challenge!

It starts on September 1st and ends at midnight on November 30th. Rule are no repeats (in any capacity), must be theater releases, and there’s a points penalty for switching films mid-challenge.

|one| starring Anthony Hopkins: Thor
|two| listed on nathan bransford’s best hundred movies challenge: The Big Lebowski
|three| about charity: It’s Kind of a Funny Story
|four| starring Robert Downey, Jr.: Iron Man
|five| about envy: As Good As It Gets
|six| about faith: War Room
|seven| about greed: The Founder
|eight| about hope: Sing
|nine| starring Jeremy Irons: Casanova
|ten| about justice: 12 Angry Men
|eleven| starring Kevin Bacon: Crazy, Stupid, Love.
|twelve| about lust: The Virgin Suicides
|thirteen| starring Ian McKellen: Mr. Holmes
|fourteen| set in a castle: Gosford Park
|fifteen| about fortitude: Les Miserable
|sixteen| about pride: Best in Show
|seventeen| starring Alan Rickman: Alice Through the Looking Glass
|eighteen| released last year & reviewed here: The Magnificent Seven
|nineteen| about temperance: Coraline
|twenty| about prudence: Driving Miss Daisy
|twenty-one| starring Val Kilmer: At First Sight
|twenty-two| about wrath: X-Men: Apocalypse
|twenty-three| set in an exotic locale: The Darjeeling Limited
|twenty-four| about gluttony: The Bling Ring
|twenty-five| set in space: Star Trek Beyond

I actually feel pretty confident about these films. Some I’ve been meaning to see for a while (Thor, Iron Man, Driving Miss Daisy, Crazy Stupid Love, The Magnificent 7) and some are based on books I”m currently or soon-to-be reading (Coraline, The Virgin Suicides).

Have you seen any of these? What would you pick? (You can still join!)

A Mental Diet

After I wrote my fall TV show post I started thinking about all the shows I’d like to watch, but can’t. It’s a funny thing to say considering I’m an adult and I can technically do whatever I want (within reason/the law), but similar to how we know we shouldn’t each donuts and ice cream and cake for dinner every night, I know there are shows I shouldn’t watch.

This is not a moral or biblical “shouldn’t.” It’s a mental health kind of “shouldn’t.” If I drink Mt. Dew & eat potato chips for every meal I know I will be physically unhealthy. If I binge on Game of Thrones or This Is Us or Criminal Minds I know I will make myself mentally unhealthy. And like food, we all have a different threshold for “too much.” We all prefer different flavors- we all process those foods (or shows) differently. I don’t enjoy pie, but a lot of people love it – I don’t enjoy GOT, but a lot of people love it.

I think it’s important to know what you can and can’t do mentally. I have never enjoyed violent television shows. I don’t like anything that fixates on the drug culture (Shameless, Breaking Bad, OITNB) or anything with violent or rape undertones (The Handmaid’s Tale, OITNB, Game of Thrones). It doesn’t both me one bit that people enjoy these shows- I just know that I don’t.

In my early twenties I used to love Law & Order SVU, CSI, and Criminal Minds. In my teens I watched General Hospital, Grey’s Anatomy, and other dramas. Somewhere along the lines I realized that I internalized the drama, fear, suspicion, and paranoia that the characters in these shows portray. I let it affect me and I carried it with me. When K would leave for business trips I’d have terrible dreams about kidnapping and murder. I honest to God believed someone was living in our attic. (And I love to be alone- having him gone was not the issue. My brain was the issue.)

So I stopped watching shows like this.

This mental healthy “diet” isn’t restricted to television. There are songs and artists that I avoid for emotional reasons. (I’d guess many music lovers are nodding their heads.) There are books I know I shouldn’t read or I should space out. (Thrillers make me shake- my body actually quivers while I read them. Holocaust and slavery-era books completely destroy me.) Obviously there are movies I’d never touch. I watched Django: Unchained with my family once and I felt sick for a week.

Perhaps it sounds silly at first, but if we’re careful about what we feed our bodies nutritionally, why wouldn’t we keep tabs on how other stimulants make us feel?

We all feel things extremely differently. It’s why menus & Netflix & the TV Guide have so many options. I would challenge you to pay attention to how television shows and songs and movies make you feel. I know that I shouldn’t have a milkshake every night, but once is a while is totally fine. I know I can’t read a book like The Handmaid’s Tale every week, but every so often is fine. Knowing what’s good for you in all forms of ingestion is important to your health.

So pay attention to how television shows make you feel. Do you walk away from Grey’s Anatomy feeling dramatic and bitchy? Do you walk away from GOT with a little bit of rage? Evaluate how affected you are and how your personality differs after you take in a program or movie. Set some limitations for yourself and find a healthy mix.

(Or maybe I’m just crazy 😉 Are you completely unaffected by shows? I’m genuinely curious.)

The Boy Who Lived… ⚡

The stress levels around these parts are unreal. If you follow me on IG, you saw we listed our house last week. We got an offer within 2 days of it being online and we accepted it on Saturday. We’re pumped, but also stressed because inspections/appraisals/financing/buying a new home/money/moving/packing/fencing/fees/etc./etc./etc.

Also, as I mention all the time, summer is our busy season professionally. *groan*

So today I’m doing something fun that I can’t believe I’ve never done before: A Harry Potter Tag. (Thanks to Stephanie and Jenn for the questions!)

1. What is your favorite book?

The Prisoner of Azkaban. (& the Deathly Hallows)
2. What is your favorite film?
Order of the Phoenix. Although I think the Half-Blood Prince is hilarious up until the cave scene.


3. What is your least favorite book?
Goblet of Fire. I feel like most people say this one or OtP.
4. What is your least favorite film?
Probably Goblet of Fire, but it’s been a really long time since I’ve seen it.
5. Parts of the books/films that made you cry?
Probably every other scene for some reason or another. Molly v. Bellatrix, Hedwig’s final scene, the death of the twin, Dudley and Harry’s goodbye, Narcissa protecting her baby bear Draco & lying to Voldy. Also, Harry rescuing Ginny in the 2nd book always gets me since I know their end story 🙂 There are many, many more moments.
6. If you could hook up with any character, who would it be?
Movie George Weasley. Book Lupin. (Is that weird…?)


7. Who is your favorite character?
Book Ginny. Movie Molly. I like the twins, Luna, and Tonks in both forms, too.
8. Who is your least favorite character?
Umbridge is garbage. Duh.
But also Dumbledore. (Go ahead, burn me at the stake.) Snape also never won me over. And Wormtail creeped me ouuuuut.
9. What is your favorite quote?
I can’t even begin to answer this- book or movie quotes.


10. What is your least favorite quote?
“I must not tell lies.” (Crazy bitch…)
11. What would your Patronus be?
Pottermore said a basset hound, but I think it’d be a fox 🙂 Or a hawk.
12. What would your Boggart be?
A dinosaur riding a giant horse.
13. What would you rather have – the elder wand, the resurrection stone or the invisibility cloak?
The cloak.  Duhhh.
14. Which house would you be in?
Ravenclaw. (When Pottermore was revamped it re-housed me into Gryffindor. But nah.)


15. If you were on the Quidditch team, which position would you play?
I think chaser. Or I’d chill in the stands 😉
16. Which class would be your favorite?
Either Transfiguration or Care of Magical Creatures.
17. If you could bring one character back to life, who would it be?
Do Tonks and Lupin count as one…? (Sorry Hedwig/Fred/Dobby) I freaking hate that they died. Or maybe Sirius. He still had a lot of fight in him.
18. What would your job be in the magical world?
I think I’d want to be a professor at Hogwarts.
19. If you could meet any member of the cast, who would it be?
Dame Maggie Smith & Emma Watson. I typically consider people to be people regardless of their “job”, but those ladies are so badass I think I’d faint.
20. Were you happy with the ending? 
Yes. But I hated the spin “The Cursed Child” put on it. I refuse to believe Ron and Hermione had such a common and predictable love. And Ginny is better than that play gave her credit for.

Annnnd there we have it.

A Different Kind of ‘Flix

A few weeks ago, I heard about the service Pure Flix. I spoke with the lovely Leah over there to get a little more information because prior to that, I’d never heard of the streaming platform. I don’t pay for their service and they’re not paying me to write this, but I wanted to share a little about them because I think it might appeal to some people who read Life as Louise.

(If this isn’t your thing that’s totally ok 😉 I’ll see you on Tuesday!)

Right now Pure Flix is teaming up with Convoy of Hope. Together they’re bringing food, medicine, and supplies to millions of children. By watching a movie or show on that platform in May you will help them bring more than $100,000 in goods to families.

While I was perusing their library I saw they had some of the bigger faith-based films available like “God’s Not Dead” and “Old Fashioned” (which was actually filmed in and around my county).

I know there are thousands of ways to donate time and money to worthwhile causes, but something in me felt called to share this platform with other folks 🙂 I’m a Christian and I had no idea it existed, so I figure other Christians and non-Christians alike might be in the dark, too.

No pressure, friends. Just putting this out there for those interested in a Christian-based entertainment platform as well as contributing to Convoy of Hope!

Movie Yays and Nays

I saw Tanya and Erin do this fun little questionnaire. So now I’m doing it, too!

Most Hated Movie of All-Time: Django Unchained, The Other Boleyn Girl, The Last Airbender
Movie I Think is Overrated: Shawshank Redemption (it actually ties for “most hated”)
Movie I Think is Underrated: Field of Dreams
Movie I Love: Clue
Movie I Secretly Love: Inglorious Basterds (even though I hate violent movies)
Favorite Action Movie: The Mummy
Favorite Drama: Ocean’s 11
Favorite Horror: The Grudge or Gothika (is that horror?)
Favorite Comedy: Talladega Nights
Favorite Disney Movie: The Lion King or Aladdin or Alice in Wonderland (1951)
Favorite Sci-Fi Movie: Star Trek (2009)
Favorite Animated Movie: Fantastic Mr. Fox
Favorite Superhero Movie: Guardians of the Galaxy or X-Men: First Class
Favorite Musical: Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954)
Favorite Western: Rio Bravo (1959)
Favorite Martial Arts: Ummm… I don’t think I’ve ever seen a martial arts movie
Favorite Indie: I guess Juno… independent films are always so dang depressing
Favorite Bad Movie: Alice in Wonderland (1999)… it was made-for-TV, but I don’t think it’s bad
Childhood Favorite: Billboard Dad
Favorite Franchise: Harry Potter & X-Men
Best Trilogy: LOTR (or the original X-Men)
Guilty Pleasure: Napoleon Dynamite… so bad, yet so good
Favorite Director: Wes Anderson and David Yates
Favorite Actor: Chris Pratt or Jon Hamm
Favorite Actress: Jennifer Lawrence or Olivia Munn
Favorite Foreign Film: Water (2005)
Favorite Movie this Year so Far: I’ve only seen Beauty & the Beast this year…
Worst Movie so Far this Year: -nothing-
Movie I Have Seen Recently: We’re the Millers
What I Thought of It: I’ve seen it before but it was on TV recently. I actually think this is a hilarious movie. Stupid and cheesy, but comical.
Most Anticipated Film of this Year: Guardians of the Galaxy 2!!
Favorite Movie of All-Time: It’s a tie between HP, Alice in Wonderland, & X-Men

What movie do you hate? What’s your favorite Disney one?

Winter Movies that Aren’t Christmas Movies

This week is always confusing to me… I still feel festive, but Christmas is over and I don’t know if holiday music is still appropriate… Also, the Type-A planner in my brain wants me to take down the tree & decorations, but New Years still feels Christmas-y and festive so I’d actually like to leave it up. I don’t know- it’s just a really confusing week for me each year…

Additionally, I am at work this week but K gave his boys the week off… which I know is the norm for some businesses. Our house is a mixture of vacation and normalcy (and I’m stuck on the wrong side, ha).

Maybe you have some downtime this week? If so, here are some winter movies that aren’t actually Christmas movies to keep you entertained!

Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954)winter_movies_1

Trading Places (1983)winter_movies_2

Edward Scissorhands (1990)winter_movies_3

The Mighty Ducks (1992)winter_movies_5

Balto (1995)winter_movies_4

I came up with this topic a few days ago but didn’t jot down the movies I was thinking of at that moment. Oops. I’m sure there are a million more I’m missing… What are some winter non-Christmas movies that you enjoy watching?

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On Friday I’m announcing some 2017 resolutions and goals, plus a pretty big life change for us next year (nope, not pregnant ). So come back on Friday!

A Fantastically Magical Review

Hello, lovelies. I have a “wishlist” that I need to post for family members, but I just saw the newest wizarding film this weekend and I wanted to gush about it while it’s still fresh in my mind.
Look for the wishlist on Wednesday.

*No spoilers here! I would never ruin the magic for anyone! ❤︎

Fantastic Beasts AND Where to Find Them

fantastic_beasts_and_where_to_find_them

Movie Summary: Set in 1926, Newt Scamander arrives in New York City with a suitcase full of fantastic creatures and a mission. Unfortunately, times are tense & suspicions are high, and MACUSA (Magical Congress of the USA) has their hands full with a mysterious destructive force at work in the city. Meanwhile, the wizarding world is panicked by the sudden disappearance of the powerful, dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald. Newt finds himself (and his creatures) in the middle of the turmoil along with the former Auror Tina, her sister Queenie, and a No-Maj (American Muggle) named Jacob. (Read the complete story on the official website!)

So… let’s go at this movie review like an interview.

What did you think of the film overall?
“Loved” isn’t a strong enough word. The new screenplay for The Cursed Child fell flat for me and I was concerned this movie franchise would lack the magic of the HP world in which I grew up. I was wrong- this film was glorious. It didn’t touch or tarnish the ‘original’ story at all but it still tied into the world I know and love.

Do you have to be a Potter Head (i.e. well-versed in Harry Potter) to enjoy it?
I would say no… though having knowledge of A) the wizarding world and B) the HP details makes this film infinitely more fun.

How does it relate to the Harry Potter story?
While there’s no mention of Harry, Ron, or Hermione (obviously- their parents wouldn’t even have been alive), they do reference Dumbledore. Also, hardcore HP fans will recognize Grindelwald’s name. A few eyebrow-raising names are dropped (that are the ancestors of familiar characters) and we get to see the early years of wizards and Muggles/No-Majs, pre-Wizarding Wars.

Favorite character?
Queenie was probably my favorite. As suspicious and private as New York and MACUSA were, Queenie was full of love and acceptance- for all types. I also loved her relationship to her sister- they were never competitive or demeaning, even though they were totally different people with different personalities.

Favorite scene?
Ah, SO MANY GOOD MOMENTS. There’s a very short scene right in the first 30 minutes that gives a little nod to Hermione & Ron- I loved that. I think my favorite scene was probably 3/4 of the way through when Queenie had a moment to shine and help her sister and Newt. I won’t say any more than that, but I thought it was funny and action-packed and clever.

Would I watch it again?
I think I have to. I was telling K that I love the HP movies because there’s an even more intricate (and sometimes entirely different) world of wizardry in the books. ‘Fantastic Beasts…’ doesn’t have that book element. All the subtle references and foreshadowing can only be found in the movie- which means I need to read all the articles and rewatch the film a million times to fully scrutinize it.

If you haven’t picked up what I’m putting down then I’ll just say it bluntly: Go see this film- especially if you are a fan of Harry Potter. It’s everything we’ve been waiting for ❤︎

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