Jane and the 12 days of Christmas

Author: Stephanie Barron

Published: 2014

I started this book hoping to it to get me more in the Christmas spirit. I had a selection to choose from mainly romances and pets themed books but this one was the only bookthat I though might challenge my mind and possibly learn something from seeing that’s it is historical and about Jane Austen.

The book is a murder mystery and it takes place over the 12 days of Christmas. There is much history and detail that went into the history at the time and this also Applies to the mystery. There are a great deal of characters each with distinct backgrounds and personalities which makes it easy to identify with and see through the lenses of each character. The setting was set in the 1820s in Britain and most of the story was captured within a mansion with gave an exiting and thrilling place for a group of guests to spend there Christmas. The traditions, ways of living, what they did for entertainment, and customs for that time and culture were very interesting and fun and which gave the story some extra spice and flavor. The mystery itself was very good and hard to figure out. I especially liked the detective work and the putting together of the pieces to solve the case.

On the other hand what I didn’t like was the conclusion of the murder mystery and who the why they did the crime. Also I had a difficult time following most of the conclusions drawn in finding the murderer when they had to do with the current events at the time. Not just this but the language was neat but I also had a harder time following it and had to read more slowly because of the old style.

After finishing it I wasn’t unhappy but I think I could have picked a better movie for Christmas, I should have went with one of the ones about a pet dog. Can’t go wrong with that.



Sleepy Hollow (1999)

sleepy hollow

I never read the book for sleepy hollow and waited thus long to watch the 1999 mystery film. I don’t know what sparked my interest in it this late but I felt lead to watch it. It might have been because it was a Johny Depp Film or directed by Tim Burton or because it was in my to watch list on Netflix. No matter trying to figure out the reason, lets just say it was a mystery ;).

Based on the book I would imagine by Washington Erving this movie features a classic seen shot in 1799. in a place not to far from network called sleepy hollow. Johny Depp plays the investigator who knows better than to just glance at recent death that has and unknown cause and say it is an accident. He ready to put to the test modern day science and forensic techniques to the test solve the questionable deaths nobody els will.

Not surprising to the audience but to Johny Depp the Murders in sleepy hollow are more that what he expected let alone dreamed of. The story keeps the watcher unsure if these murders are caused by the physical world or something beyond what the eye can see.

Mixed into the movie you have some witch craft, pretty ladies or lady I might correct my self, Men with Wigs, and the eerie ghostly little town of sleepy hollow. This town I might add I quite enjoyed as it was beautiful yet made you feel like something was going to pop out and get you behind every dark corner.

Johny’s Investigation skills are top notch and quite impressive making the movie just that much more amusing. They also did a great job in not letting the audience figure out to early the mystery behind sleepy hollow. Now what was cheesy and Im going to give this some merry being as old as this movie was was the scary effects. Lets just say man have they came a long way in what they now consider frighting.

This movie is nothing to jump off your bum and go run to the movies about and don’t bother it not in the movies anyways. But give it up for something different will yah.


The Cold Dish: The First Novel In The Longmire Mystery Series (Book Review)


Mark: This book looked like a good one from the Barnes and Nobles and i knew it would have potential. The story unfolds with Walter Longmire, the sheriff of a small town in Wyoming.  I love Wyoming after visiting there so this made the story even better for me. Walter is hilarious to me, but also i feel sympathy for him, as he doesn’t have any family around and has been through some dark times.  He does have a good friend in Henry, a bar owner and indian in the town.   There are many other diverse characters as well as some that made you scratch your head.

Parker: I agree, the scenery depicted and the towns talked about paint a beautiful picture of the WY country side and small town life. In the beginning you are a little fuzzy on what the layout is and the ground to be covered in this book but as the story unfolds get a clear picture in your mind of setting the story is placed in. The towns and where they are at become real to you as if you were taking along with LongMire himself.

The book really didn’t catch my interest at first it was slow to start out and it really didn’t start to get interesting infill about page 120. But as the story progresses it gets more and more interesting leaving you with exciting cliff hangers at the end of every chapter.

Mark: I really like the dynamic between Vic the deputy and Walter.  She really is a firecracker she says whatever she wants and does whatever she wants. Walter really doesn’t know how to handle her and her style. As the story progressed i felt like Henry was the killer.  The story in the background is about four young men who did something mean to Melissa, an Indian back when they were in high school. Cody, George, Keller, and Jacob.  These young men play a vital part in this story throughout, so pay close attention readers.

Parker: The mystery was hard to solve but I am glad because the clues were always leading to a bigger more complex case. You can see the excitement in the characters when ever they get a new lead that re-vitalizes the cold dish. One thing I really appreciated about this book was the break of comedy it added to make the intermittent scenes fun and relaxing. Then there was all of the women that wear starving over Longmire, he basically had the whole woman population in his district of WY courting him. Remarkably he is a classy man and would never take advantage of a women, though that is hard to say about the women drooling over him.

Mark: In closing, let me just say that this book is not by any means a short read.  It took me a month.  400 pages, so not Lord of the Rings or anything that daunting. Midway through, you will become very engaged in the book and will have trouble setting it down.  It gets to be quite exhilarating and you will have to pay close attention to the details.  I did not like the first half, but the last half really was much better.  The characters are strong, and the author really puts his insights into it and you can feel him driving the narrative in the direction he wants it to go, which is quite a gift.  Put down the iPhone and read this and get lost in the story! I give this book a Six out of Ten.

Parker: Well it is my first book to read that is a series and is also a TV series. I can’t wait to see how this is going to play out on Netflix. So many firsts. ‘tears’.. This book gets a Seven out of Ten.

Rating: 6/10

Rating: 7/10

Total Rating: 6.5/10



It Comes at night

it comes at night 2

Nice job done by the previews in making this look like one scary movie except for all things considered it wasn’t. From the previews you will get an impression of a very scary movie that fits in the category of flesh eating disease and decaying. Where they do a great job is in hiding back what makes this movie scary. And they did it for a great reason too.. To hide that fact that this movie isn’t really scary at all. The best thing that it had going for it in this department was the short lived attempted at suspense. Every time I thought something scary was about to happen it didn’t and just turned out to be a total let down.

So what do we got here. Well its hard to tell for the longest time and even at the end you are still thinking what was this movie truly about anyways. The movie begins by showing the worst of the disease and gets it out of the way making you think this is as worst as it gets or it must get a whole lot worse. Unfortunately this is as bad as it gets.

The whole point of this movie reveals itself slowly as simply don’t catch the disease and this is what the movie focuses on the whole time. The only other variable involved is the other family that they allow to stay with them in their house in the woods. Eventually this becomes the movie. two families living in the same house trying work together but at the same time can’t trust each other. In fact in the condition that they are in they can’t trust anybody.

Resources seem to be scarce and the people that did decided to get out of the city are the few that have not gotten sick. The importance of taking precautions and having rules is made explicit throughout the plot and even making it another core concept of this movie.  The family cannot be too careful, they live in an abandon house out in the woods and have it boarded up except for one door that is the only way in and out. Most of the exciting thrilling scenes happen around this door being that its the place where most people end up getting sick.

Composed of better than normal acting and screenwriting this is what makes this movie bearable to watch, though it is expected finding out that it had nothing really els going for it. Most of the progression in the movie was slow and some parts even unnecessary or completely drawn out way longer than they needed to be. You might say after watching it that it has since of artsiness to it, being much different than other suspense/horrors movies tend to be.

The actors playing the main family did not look to be a good match for each other as it was difficult to tell if the son was really even related to the father. Both the father and the son were interesting characters. They acted and looked to be totally opposites. The son was probably the strangest of them all. He would have these strange dreams every night that would actually be the scariest parts of the movie, which was really disappointed. But on top of that he was a bit of a disturbed individual having to deal with so many people dyeing and his inner drive pushing him to find a women when there is none except one.

Many people talked about how the ending of this movie was really just not good. I didn’t quite think it was that far off from the rest of the movie and that it all pretty much was expected, being how boring the rest of it was. Yes, they could have done a better job in closing up this sad story but if you think about it, it does the job in pulling together and closing the whole theme of the thing.

My recommendation don’t be fooled by Rotten Tomatoes on this one, and listen to the fans instead. This movie gets a Five out of Ten

Rating: 5/10


Mamma Mia! (2008)


This is a fun go happy movie, family friendly, and just whole hearted good fun. I chose to watch this movie because one, I needed a good pick me upper to raise my spirits. Two, what better than a fun happy musical with great 70s music set on an old villa beside the sea in Italy.

The movie starts out with Sophie played by Amanda Seyfried, who I truly think is a beautiful women and an amazing actor, finding her mothers journal. After reading this Journal she discovers her possible fathers and invites these three men to her wedding hoping to find out who her true father is. Sophie’s mother, Donna who is played by Meryl Streep, tries to wrestle with past emotions and feelings as she has to deal with her past lovers showing up at her door step all wanting to win back her heart.

The movie focuses both on the daughter and her struggle to find who her true father is and her mothers drama with these three men. Though I would have to say Meryl Streep really gets most of the attention here as most of the musical breaks in song are focused on her as well as most of the screen time. Even in the end of the film it goes back to the focus on what happens with Sophie’s mom and her potential fathers. The end of the movie sort of threw me off as I didn’t think it would end the way it did. which I appreciate who wants to predict the end of a movie, that takes the fun out of watching, doesn’t it.

The movie did a good job on balancing the amount of singing scenes with the amount of regular acting scenes. If there is to much singing and not enough dialogue then I can sure get annoyed with a musical, glad this was not so. another positive about this film is the old italian home setting, seeing the villa and the culture and the beauty of where they lived. One thing that didn’t make this movie amazing was the whole story and what that was about. It just wasn’t for me, I definitely think that many people would enjoy it though. Especially a bunch of teenage girls at a sleep over, dreaming about getting married and love and stuff.

I haven’t really rated to many musicals but since it was a musical I am going to compare it only to musicals. This film gets a Six out of Ten.

Rating: 6/10

The Village


I am a tad bit late on getting to finally watch this movie after so many years of wanting to see it. I mean common, the whole concept of something eerie going on in some little community out in the woods just sounds like a cool idea for a film. Or maybe its just me.. M. Night Shyamalan has always been a good scary movie writer. His movies are good in the way that they create a since of fear in us unlike other scary movies do that have make something very disturbing to scare us. Rather he takes what is simple and real that can be feared and makes it hidden and unknown so that we stay worried for the characters because of the very thing we can not figure out. This very technique is nicely played out in this film The Village. We know from the start that there are killer creatures that occupy the woods and that the people of the village know that no one is to go into the woods less they never return. This is a similar idea to the story of the ‘Maze Runner’, except they are trapped in the middle of a maze instead of in a village in the middle of the woods.

There are really three main characters in this film that play important roles. There is Lucius Hunt who is played by Joaquin Phoenix. He plays and excellent character being brave yet quiet. He is always wanting to cross into the woods to get medicine from the towns for the village. He believes that a pure heart and fearlessness will prevent the creatures from wanting to harm him. His character speaks of a man who is willing to test the boundaries of the society for the good of the people. With the type of man Lucius is there are not many others like him in the village and this makes him attractive to the women. However Lucius is to noble to acctually ask a women to be his lady. luckily for him, the women seem to do the picking and choosing of soul mates here.

There is a old past of love between Lucius and another main character Ivy Walker, who is played by Bryce Dallas Howard. This love they once had is strong and not forgotten. It shows the watchers how a true love for a person never drifts away completely and how there are soul mates that are meant to be with one another. Ivy plays a pure hearted and faithful blind girl. She is beautiful, caring and trusts in her man. The two of them are really quite different in how much they speak. Unlike Lucius, Ivy talks a lot and even gets annoyed at him when he does not talk enough with her.

The other key player is Adrien Brody who plays Noah Percy, a mentally challenge man who takes fondness to his caring friend Ivy. Noah often frequents the woods and again his safe returns is based on the notion that his innocence prevents the creatures from harming him.

We see the young generation that includes the three main characters naive yet curious about the true power of the unknown and willing to test it for the good of their community. The elders are the ones who have come up with the rules about not going into the woods and other rules to protect their community that they are well set and established in. The authority shows to be exhaustive in their rules to the point where they will not even take a chance for somebody to try and go into town to get something as important as medicine that could mean the difference between life and death.

Many of the scary parts in the movie have to do with their cultish rituals they practice to keep the ‘things that are not to be spoken of’ from coming into their town. But the idea itself of some sort of monster living just right outside of your community that keeps you trapped in the community is a pretty frighting reality. You receive glimpses of these creatures and what they are about through scary sounds and short glimpses of the creators and the things they do throughout the film. The further you get into the movie you figure out more and more about them as the movie goes on. Eventually love, jealousy, and the failed hope for something greater leads them to abandon the elders long set rules about entering the forest. In this story the brave and pure hearted prevail and the jealous and controlling are repaid for what they have done.

The people in their fault in this story question if the way they chose to solve there problems and pain was at all the right way. They quickly see that the pain and heart ache that they tried so hard to  protect themselves from was to deny the basic truths about life. Nevertheless the corruption continues to go on as those in authority continue to control the naive.

The best part about this movie is the object of fear itself. The story shows that fear is of the unknown and what you think is real might actually not be real at all but just what you perceive as to be real and harmful. Even when we find evidence for the doubt in what we have been taught to fear, the movie demonstrates  until we truly no for sure we will always believe in what we are afraid of and be scared. I would have to say this was one of the writers top films and will have to give it a Seven out of Ten.

Rating: 7/10