Jul 24, 2012

Movie Review: The Amazing Spider-man

I actually saw a movie soon enough to make a review seem reasonable! Yay me! (And Yay Dad! for paying. :) ) We decided to spend Pioneer Day (a good day to be a Utahn) at the movies, which is a real treat as I don't get home in time to catch a matinee and we're all too cheap to spend the money the a full priced ticket.

Title: The Amazing Spider-Man
MPAA rating: PG-13, for violence
My rating: **** (this rating is completely bogus, by the way. I've never actually come up with any kind of rating system, so this could be four out of four, or four out of ten. I don't know. I've never decided and I think it changes every time I review something. This time, it's four out of four.)

To prepare for seeing The Amazing Spider-Man (TASM), a week or so ago I watched Spider-Man (SM), so I had that fresh in mind as I was watching.

I really like Spider-Man, so I'm not going to bash it or the actors in it, but there a lot of things that I think TASM did better.

Caution: May contain minor SPOILERS (depends on how "in the dark" you want to be)

To start off, I feel like this whole movie was to give the viewer a true understanding of Spider-man's "origin story." Where he came from (dad was scientist, parents died, raised by aunt and uncle), how he became Spider-man (spider bite), why he started fighting evil (Uncle Ben), and what is he getting out of it (at first, freedom from guilt, which then changes to knowledge of doing good). In comparison, SM went quickly over the origin into a different storyline making the movie cover at least a year (if not more). Because TASM only covers a few months, I feel like I got a better feel for all the characters.

That leads me to point number two. Compared to SM, I feel that TASM had a more complex storyline and deeper characterization. Even Flash, a minor character, shows growth and depth after Uncle Ben dies. Because of the shortening of time, I feel that we get to see more about Peter accepting what has happened to him after the bite. We get to see him as the super intelligent person that he is, which I feel like was only alluded to in the previous films. And then when Ben dies, we see the transformation of Peter's motivation from vengeance to genuine heroism.

This leads me to point number three. Gwen Stacy and her father. I felt that the real turning point in Peter's motivation comes from these two. First, when Captain Stacy argues with Peter about Spider-man, and then when Peter tells Gwen that he is Spider-man. A side-kick/confidant is key to a lot of hero stories and I really feel that it helped Peter to have someone he could talk to. In SM, Peter is trying to deal with everything himself, and he ends up losing multiple jobs, and the girl, and his best friend, and fails school. Not that Garfield's Peter Parker won't have issues, but having someone who knows who he is, is going to help ground him, and keep him from losing himself to Spider-Man.

As for Andrew Garfield, I know that there are very differing opinions about him as Spider-Man (as there are of the whole movie). For me, I thought he was great. He was able to play the awkward genius teenager really well (loved the scene in the school hallway with him and Gwen), but he was good looking enough to make me want to be saved by him. :) Though Tobey Maguire was a good Spider-Man, I think Garfield was the perfect choice to play the new one. In fact, I thought all of the actors were great in their roles. I also really appreciated the smaller amount of CGI; it made everything feel much more real.

If you want something a bit more "comic book-y" I would recommend the Tobey Maguire franchise. It's a bit more faster paced, a little bit more cheesy (in a good way). But either way, see The Amazing Spider-Man. It's got some moments of cheese as well, but it's got a good plot and good characters.

Jul 14, 2012

"I was never meant to fight on my own"

On My Own by Ashes Remain

There's gotta be another way out
I've been stuck in a cage with my doubt
I've tried forever getting out on my own.
But every time I do this my way
I get caught in the lies of the enemy
I lay my troubles down,
I'm ready for you now.

Bring me out
Come and find me in the dark now
Everyday by myself I'm breaking down
I don't want to fight alone anymore
Bring me out
from the prison of my own pride
My God, I need a hope I can't deny
In the end I'm realizing
I was never meant to fight on my own.

Every little thing that I've known
is everything I need to let go.
You're so much bigger than the world I have made.
So I surrender my soul,
I'm reaching out for your hope
I lay my weapons down
I'm ready for you now.


I don't want to be incomplete
I remember what you said to me
I don't have to fight alone


This was my 300 post!

Jul 9, 2012

A TARDIS ipod case!

Okay, I am so geeky. But I absolutely love Doctor Who. It's practically an obsession. :) Anyway, last week I was thinking about how I needed to make an iPod case to better take care of my poor ipod (now that it's three years old . . .). But something that was really important to me about the case was that I wanted it to have some sort of pocket or something for me to put my headphones in since I'm really hard on headphones (two pairs in the past year alone) and thought maybe if I had a pocket I wouldn't just wrap them around the 'Pod and hopefully that would make them last longer.

So, I went onto pinterest (which is so dangerous. It's like a blackhole. Which is the reason I don't have one) and looked around at iPod cases. It was so fun to see the things people come up with! I really liked this idea (I'd also seen it done with a teddy bear) with the cute little arms "holding" the headphones. And then I got to thinking about how I have so much blue felt left over from when I made this banner in May. Instantly I thought, "I should make a TARDIS case!" Which I then spoke out loud. And my mother (who is basically a genius) said, "You could make doors that open and close!"

I used this tutorial as a kind of starting place, and then I went off on my own! As you can see in the left corner, I was having some problems with the applique film, as I had never used it before. I also made the mistake of writing "Police Box" on with fabric paint before attaching it to the felt. This meant that when I ironed on the applique film, it kind of melted the paint a little bit. My cutting and sewing isn't perfect, but it just makes it look a bit more cartoony, which is totally fine! I hand sewed the panels on the doors and went around twice, making sure that the stitches were different the second time around. Then I just got out the sewing machine and attached the elastic and sewed up the sides!

I'm actually kind of proud of myself. Maybe I can be crafty . . .

Jul 8, 2012

Sunday Special: Families Can Be Together Forever

I truly believe this. There is a life after this and I will be able to live there with my family as a family.

I have always heard this, and had moments in my life that affirmed it, but about three months ago I got to get a glimpse of what it will be like. For the first time ever, my entire family was in the temple together. My parents, bro, sis, and bro-in-law. When I walked into the celestial room, my mom was waiting for me and she was the first person I saw. And then the rest of my family came and greeted me. It was so joyful! And I knew that when I die, I will be greeted in heaven the same way. It was a glimpse into the eternities.

The knowledge of eternal families is amazing. I am so happy to know that death isn't forever, but just a small moment and while we may grieve now, we know we will be together again.

My forever family!
(None of us realized until after we looked at the pictures that we had failed to get one that included bro-in-law. Sorry bro-in-law! We still consider you part of our family!