Monday, October 31, 2011

List of Horror Movies

An email circulated around Blue Sky collecting horror movies (or movies with horror elements) that we should watch. Since today is Halloween, I figure it’s a good time to share it! I’m going to cross off movies on this list as I’ve seen them. Join in if you like!

13 Ghosts (1960)
13 Ghosts (2001)
28 Days Later
28 Weeks Later
30 Days of Night
Alice Sweet Alice
An American Werewolf in London
American Zombie
The Amityville Horror (1979)
The Amityville Horror (2005)
Apollo 18
April Fool’s Day
Army of Darkness
The Audition
Battle Royale
The Birds
The Brood
The Changeling (1980)
Cabin Fever
Children of the Corn
Christmas Evil
The Crazies (1973)
The Crazies (2010)
Darkness Falls
Dawn of the Dead (1978)
Dawn of the Dead (2004)
Dead Alive
Dead Snow
The Descent
Devil’s Backbone
The Devil’s Rejects
District 9
Dog Soldiers
Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark
Don’t Look Now
Drag Me to Hell
Event Horizon
Evil Dead 2
The Exorcism of Emily Rose
The Exorcist
Exorcist II: The Heretic
Exorcist III
The Fly
Friday the 13th (1980)
Friday the 13th Part 2
Friday the 13th Part III
Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter
Friday the 13th: A New Beginning
Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives
Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood
Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan
Friday the 13th Part 9: Jason Goes to Hell - The Final Friday
Friday the 13th: Jason X
Friday the 13th: Freddy vs Jason
Friday the 13th (2009)
Fright Night (1985)
Ginger Snaps
The Grudge
Halloween (1978)
Halloween II (1981)
Halloween III: Season of the Witch
Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers
Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers
Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers
Halloween H20: 20 Year Later
Halloween: Resurrection
Halloween (2007)
Halloween II (2009)
Hellraiser II: Hellbound
Hellraiser II: Hell on Earth
Hellraiser: Bloodline
Hocus Pocus
High Tension
The Host
House of 1000 Corpses
The House of the Devil
House on Haunted Hill (1999)
The Howling
The Human Centipede
The Human Centipede 2
The Hunger
I Am Legend
I Know What You Did Last Summer
I, Madman
In the Mouth of Madness
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)
Jeepers Creepers
Killer Clowns from Outer Space
Let the Right One In
Let Me In
The Mist
The Mothman Prophecies
Night of the Living Dead (1968)
Night of the Living Dead (1990)
Nightmare on Elm Street
Nightmare on Elm Street 3
Nine Dead
The Orphanage
The Omen
The Others
Pan’s Labyrinth
Paranormal Activity
Paranormal Activity 2
Pet Sematary
Pet Sematary 2
Poltergeist II: The Other Side
Poltergeist III
Repo! the Genetic Opera
The Return of the Living Dead
Return of the Living Dead Part II
Return of the Living Dead 3
The Ring
Rosemary’s Baby
Secret Window
Session 9
Shaun of the Dead
The Stuff
The Shining
The Silence of the Lambs
Single White Female
The Strangers
Super 8
The Swarm
A Tale of Two Sisters
The Thing (1982)
The Thing from Another World
Trick ‘r Treat
Troll 2
The War of the Worlds (1953)
War of the Worlds (2005)
Wicked Little Things
The Wicker Man (1973)
Wolf Creek
Zombie (Zombi 2)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

5 things you’ll never do

  1. Be a boy.
  2. Actually fly without the aid of a jetpack or some such nonsense.
  3. Defect to the enemy.
  4. Understand infinity.
  5. Actually believe I’ll never do any of the above.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

5 things you want to do

  1. Go falconing/owling.
  2. Direct a movie.
  3. Publish a comic book.
  4. Make a million dollars.
  5. Have a family of my own.

Friday, October 28, 2011

5 things you’re known for

  1. Being a deadline-nazi in professional relationships.
  2. Being the girl who said “I want to work in movies” and actually doing it.
  3. My above-average writing skills.
  4. Being a braggart when I actually accomplish something I’m proud of.
  5. Passion.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

5 things that make you hyper

  1. Too much caffeine.
  2. Not enough sleep.
  3. Morning coffee.
  4. When something happens on a show/in a book/in a movie that I completely did not expect and I like it.
  5. Children.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

5 things you do when you’re bored

  1. Organize my iTunes.
  2. Pick at my nails or some other such grooming.
  3. Tap my fingers or twiddle my thumbs.
  4. Complain loudly.
  5. Yawn.

Monday, October 24, 2011

5 signs that you’re into someone

*NOTE: These things must occur in combination to be valid.
  1. If I give you an unusual amount of casual attention.
  2. Poking or other sort of playful physical contact.
  3. If I talk about you to my friends a lot.
  4. If I laugh at your not-so-funny jokes anyway.
  5. If I tell you so.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Order Experiment

In my acting class, our first assignment was to venture out into society and troll someone.

No, quite seriously. That’s what our assignment was. We had to go to some poor service-employee and ask for something so inanely specific it’ll get us over our fears of doing stupid things. At the same time, we would get some laughs.

Then we were to report back to class next time and share with the class our stories of complete ass-itude. Here’s mine.

Order Experiment
I figured I’d start my assignment with the bank because it turned out that getting the necessary change for the assignment was pretty interesting.

I went to Bank of America to get the change (my personal account is at Wachovia), and a young female teller called me up to her desk. I asked her if she’d be able to exchange my twenty-dollar bill for some change, and she said yes. So, I proceeded to ask her for one 10-dollar bill, three 2-dollar bills, three dollars in dimes, and one dollar in nickels. It turned out that she didn’t have any 2-dollar bills, but she sent me over to a different desk that had them.

So I walked over there and the teller (also a mid-twenties female) welcomed me to Bank of America, how could she help me? So, (counting on my fingers as I went so that I wouldn’t mess up) I asked her for three 2-dollar bills, three dollars in dimes, and one dollar in nickels, please. I handed her the twenty.

“You want what?”

I repeated myself, holding up my fingers as I did so.

“Alright.” She fished out the three 2-dollar bills. “And how much in dimes?”


She plugged something into her computer and stared at the screen. “So you’ll have fourteen dollars in change?”

I looked at her funny, quickly figuring in my head how this added up. I repeated my order to clarify (fingers still in the air, but this time, it was for her benefit, not mine.) She said “Oh!” and typed something in the computer again. She turned to her change organizer and began to count out dimes. “Why couldn’t you ask for five dollars in change? It’d be easier.” Said jokingly, but meant seriously. Once again, I silently checked myself to see if that, indeed, would have been easier. It didn’t seem like it.

Dimes were added to the pile. I wasn’t entirely sure if they were all there. “And one in nickels,” I said again. “One in nickels…?” “Yes.” She turned and began to count out nickels. She seemed confused. She said, “So you’ll have sixteen dollars?” I thought again, figured she’d counted the 2-dollar bills in that as well, and said “yes.”

So here we are, staring at my strange combination of change and dollars. I was waiting for the ten dollar bill to be added. Awkward pause. “Wait…” We exchanged glances. She stared at the presented twenty-dollar bill. She looked to the 2-dollar bills. I held up my fingers, once again presenting the math, and I repeated my order. “That’s ten dollars left over,” I added. “Oh! Oh!” She suddenly exclaimed, nodding quickly. At this point, I was beginning to wonder if the smile on her face was merely a formality. “Alright, I get it. You were right. Would you like a ten dollar bill?”

It briefly crossed my mind to say ‘no, I’d like another set of three 2-dollar bills, three dollars in dimes, and one dollar in nickels’ but I decided that wouldn’t have been very kind. So I said “Yes please.” She offered me an envelope to hold it all as I recounted the money to be sure it was all in order. As I left, I waved and said “Thank you very much,” my bright voice stopping all conversation in the line behind me. She waved back with a smile, “No more service for you.”


Holy. Crap.

Alright, get this.

For my assignment I decided I should go to Applebee’s for dinner. There, I would order a Shirley Temple and specify that the sprite, the ice, and the grenadine would be in all separate cups and there should be one cherry in each of them.

I have to say that ordering this was almost depressingly simple. The waitress (twenty-ish, amiable, blonde) just jotted down the note, smiled, and continued about her business. It was so easy that I considered if this request should be scratched and perhaps I find something else to attempt. When she came back with the drink, she gave me a large cup of Sprite, a large cup of ice, and a full gin glass of grenadine. In the Sprite and ice there were two cherries each, and in the grenadine there was five cherries. I considered returning it and requesting that there only be one cherry for each glass, but I absolutely love cherries, so I decided to settle for the given amount.

The rest of the dinner went by normally.

I have to say, I did not expect that the most difficult part of this assignment would be paying for it. When you look at it, it seems simple enough. You’ve got the proper amount in change, just pay for the damn thing and get out of there. When I first thought it over, I figured it would be hardest for me to make a specific demand from someone. I realized afterward that making the actual request was simple for me because I do similarly crazy things on a regular basis; I just don’t do it for a class assignment.

So, I’m sitting there with exactly five dollars in dimes and nickels from the bank, and I’ve also got a huge number of dimes, nickels, and pennies left over from the bottom of my purse. I get the check, and the meal (including gratitude) cost me $12.54. I swear to god, I pulled out $10.54 in dimes, nickels, and pennies. I added two dollars in quarters and I placed it on the table. I then pulled out my wallet and produced the three 2-dollar bills and tucked them under the grenadine glass.

The waitress came to the table, and I just watched her expression completely shift from a formal smile to a ‘holy shit, what is this?’ look. The first words out of her mouth were, “What’ve you got going on here?” She’d momentarily dropped all pretenses. I feared for my life.

“I’m paying for my meal.” It was incredibly difficult to act as though this was an everyday thing for me. I swear, I really did try to act normal, but it’s really hard to do when you know the waitress is just dying to wring your neck.

“Coin Star is so much better for this.”

I stared at her. Blankly.

“I can’t carry around all this change, but,” she lifted her finger and pointed across the room with an irritated look, “you can go talk to the bartender, and give him your money.”

I glanced in that direction and looked back at her. I gave the waitress a look that said ‘Yeah right, that’s your job, so you better damn well do it.’ (I was nearly shocked how easily the expression came to me despite the situation.)
She looked back at me, and a fake-smile came to her face. “I don’t have time to count through all this.” Another pause. I was still staring at her. She leaned over the table and began to count out the change. “Here, you can help me.”

I decided that humoring her was good enough. Of course, I already knew how much money was there, and I also knew that if I helped her, she would only have to recount it, but I decided to go along with it. I placed a few quarters together, a few dimes. A penny here and there. She got up to five dollars and walked over to the bartender. She came back and we counted out the rest of the money.

“And what are those?” The waitress suddenly asked, eyeing the small stack of 2-dollar bills almost suspiciously.

“Additional tip. It’s for you.” With that, I got up and left. I stepped out onto the sidewalk, and I let out a deep breath that I didn’t realize I had been holding. I slowed down, crossed the street, and spent a few minutes to take some notes for the assignment. I returned to the car. I was home free.
It wasn’t until I was standing in front of the cashier at Borders, order already rung up, when I realized I had forgotten my wallet back at Applebee’s. I’ve never been so flustered and distracted to the point of forgetting something as important as my wallet, but lo and behold, it happened. My first thought was, ‘oh crap, my money’s gone.’ I immediately began to regret seriously pissing off the waitress right before leaving. At this point, I could only rely on her moral code in response to her possible knowledge that I could have spared her all the coin trouble if only I had paid with that fresh 10-dollar bill that was happily tucked in my tri-fold wallet.
I moaned and returned to Applebee’s.

I stepped inside, and the hostess (30s, short, Latino) immediately recognized me. “Back for another table?” she asked, unsure if she should grab a menu.

“Uh, no…” I said, glancing around. I was hoping to god that my waitress didn’t spot me from across the restaurant. Turned out that the bartender already had, and he wasn’t shy about it either. I quickly glanced away. I felt my hands slip into my pockets. “I think I left my wallet here…?”

“Ah, yes, I believe so.” The hostess turned on her heels and headed directly for the woman I knew was the manager. I recognized her because the woman that sat at the table beside me had quite loudly complained about something her waitress had done. That discussion had ended in a free meal that I personally didn’t believe was rightfully earned. Anyway- the hostess and the manager briefly discussed something, and the administrator disappeared into the back room.

After a nervous moment of waiting (I swear it felt like fifteen minutes,) the manager walked to the front. She was an abnormally tall, broad-shouldered woman with high, plucked eyebrows and dyed blonde hair that made her head look on fire when the light hit it just right. Her bright blue eyes were so wide I thought they’d pop out and hit me in the face. I shrank. “Hey you,” she said crisply, smiling with her thin, painted lips. By this point, I was growing rather weary of supposedly cheery people. It’s incredible how easily a practiced customer service person can lie to you. “This yours?” She held up my small, black wallet. I nodded. “Mind if I-?”

“Ah, yeah, go ahead…” My attention briefly scanned the floor as if I had dropped something, and then it returned to my poor forgotten item.
She opened up the wallet and scrutinized my ID. “Ah, yeah, I recognize you. Sat right over there,” she pointed to my table. The woman’s glances flickered back and forth between my face and the terrible three-year old photo. “I figured you might have gone off to see a movie, so I knew I couldn’t follow you there.” Her flickering eyes paused, and she took the silence as an opportunity to broaden her toothy beam.

“Ah…nah. I actually just spent a few minutes across the street there…” I immediately wondered if this was the right thing to say.

The wallet was briskly snapped shut and presented to me. “I see.” She made eye contact. “Now you go run off and have a nice night, alright?” A quirk of the head. Impossible grin plastered in place. She lifted her hand and did the synchronized-4-finger-buh-bye-ee wave.

I half-cringed and half-grinned, wiggled my fingers farewell, and nearly bolted out the door. As I darted, I quickly opened the wallet and scanned through the many pockets. It seemed as though everything was still in place. Another final, deep breath and I slowed my pace to my usual stroll.
I think I’ll wait a couple weeks before going back there.


Despite the uncomfortable social situation I found myself in, something very unrelated, completely unexpected, but positive did happen. It turned out that one of the two dollar bills that I got at the bank was a Where’s George bill. I got to look it up online at and I found out that the bill had been previously used just last Saturday to purchase a Spicy Gespacho Sandwich from The MidTown Bennigan’s here in Sarasota. I decided to go ahead and enter my own data into the travels of this two-dollar bill. Now whenever someone looks up my bill online, they’ll be able to get a little peek into my own adventure.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

DnD Campaign

How it Started

Everything started when a lone sorcerer with low charisma and a close-combat ranger decided to follow a strange dream premonition that involved fire. Together, Iolande and Logan traveled to a random ghost town, which still has no name. So, of course, upon finding there was no one in the area, it was suggested they go to the bar and see if anything was available.

It would have been, except a strange human bard (in possession of a magic ring that could change his gender, and also in possession of a demonic monkey named Frodo) had already consumed everything in the entire kitchen. After explaining that he’d taken all of the alcohol -and mind you, it was very good, too bad you missed it- he introduced himself as Necrim FreValmont at your service. And so, he joined their party.

They stepped outside, and a goat-man barbarian was randomly standing in the middle of the road. And so, he joined their party.

Friday, October 21, 2011

5 basic facts about you

  1. My full name is Jill Marie Hackett.
  2. My eyes are a dark brown.
  3. I’m 5’7” and weigh 130lbs.
  4. I always wear sandals, even when it’s cold or raining outside.
  5. I presently prefer glasses over contacts, though I used to wear contacts all the time.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Do you like to dream? Do you find dreams interesting?

I love to dream. It’s one of the primary sources of my creativity. Every night when I dream I get new ideas, process old ones, turn ordinary things into something vibrant. Dreaming keeps me going, in a way. If I didn’t have such an abundant source of inspiration for my stories, I think I would be very sad.

Dreams are extremely interesting to me, as well as extremely personal. I think they mean something to the individual. My dreams are my subconscious trying to tell me something. Or- maybe not “tell me something”, but it’s definitely me thinking extremely freely, and sometimes I learn something about myself or my feelings that I wouldn’t have known without my dreams. That’s why I tend to keep the important dreams to myself, and sometimes I feel really uncomfortable listening to other people tell the stories of their dreams when they feel like dreams don’t mean anything. When I hear other people tell their stories, I sometimes feel like I’m listening in on something secret that wasn’t really meant for my ears. I dunno, it’s strange I guess.

To me, dreams are a tool. I use them to explore ideas that I’d never be able to come up with when I’m awake. I like to repeat dreams several times in a night so that I remember them when I wake up. Sometimes I like to repeat a dream so that I can lead it in a new direction and see something new, something that I didn’t think of the first time. Dreams aren’t always about me, they’re sometimes about the people around me, the places I’ve been, the things I want to do. And since the dream is so metaphorical to begin with, it turns out that the dreams are stories that anyone could relate to, and that’s why I love dreaming as my first tool for story ideas.

I hope that made sense.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Have you ever had a prophetic dream?

Yes, but I don’t claim to be a prophet. My prophetic dreams are really just when the clues are starting to fit together. When I’ve seen a pattern for a few days in a row and suddenly when I’m sleeping, the pieces start to slide together and my dreams tend to predict what will happen next. It’s a symptom of knowing your friends, your family, and yourself really well.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Favorite animated film

Spirited Away (Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi) (2001)


I’ve watched it sixteen times. Not nearly enough if I can still keep count.

I don’t know why I love this movie so much. Well, I do, and there are so many reasons I love this movie that I just- my heart- it explodes with love for this movie.

Why I love Spirited Away

1. Chihiro is adorable.

Look at that face. Look at it.

2. Haku is such a badass.

Any dragon is a badass in my book.

3. I love this world.

And this is just the OUTSIDE.

4. The soundtrack is AMAZING.
Click here to see a recording of the orchestra

5. Yubaba has the most amazing sidekicks


6. These guys:


7. The dialogue is perfect.
Chihiro’s Father: Look, Chihiro! There’s your new school!
Chihiro’s Mother: It doesn’t look so bad.
Chihiro: It’s gonna stink. I liked my old school.
Door Knocker: Aren’t you even going to knock? You’re the most pathetic little girl I’ve ever seen.
Zeniba: I’d like to help you, dear, but there’s nothing I can do. It’s one of our rules here. You’ve got to take care of your parents and that dragon boyfriend of yours, on your own.
Chihiro: But, um, can’t you even give me a hint? I feel like Haku and I met, a long time ago.
Zeniba: In that case, it’s easy. Nothing that happens is ever forgotten, even if you can’t remember it.
8. It’s a heartwarming story.

9. No-face.

He’s a silkworm and it’s really cute.

10. It makes references to…
a. The Wizard of Oz (1939)
b. Alice in Wonderland (1951)
c. The Birds (1963)
d. Lupin the Third: The Castle of Cagliostro (1979)
e. The NeverEnding Story (1984)
f. Castle in the Sky (1986)
g. Luxo Jr. (1986)
h. Grave of the Fireflies (1988)
i. My Neighbor Totoro (1988)
j. “Ranma ½” (1989)
j. Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989)
l. Alien (1992)
m. Princess Mononoke (1997)
…and more.

11. It is referenced in:
a. Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (2002)
b. Darkness Falls (2003)
c. Finding Nemo (2003)
d. “Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Library (#2.10)” (2006)
…and more.

12. The dubbing was directed by Pixar’s John Lasseter.
Lasseter is such a fanboy.

13. This movie kept Director Hayao Miyazaki from retiring.
Oh BBC… Gotta love this interview though.

14. First ever anime film to be nominated for and win an academy award.
For reals.

15. I just freakin’ love this movie.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Best cameo in a film

Bill Murray
Bill Murray in Zombieland

Movie: Zombieland (2009)

This movie is my hero. After character Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson) repeatedly states throughout the movie that he loves Bill Murray, the actually meet Bill Murray. I think I was as stunned as Tallahassee was, and that’s only a fraction of the fun that occurs in this scene.

And yes, I consider this scene a public apology for Garfield.

Ruben Fleischer (director) on getting Bill Murray in the film: “Various people were sent the draft and passed, and then there was an actor that was attached but then two weeks before shooting he dropped out, and we were scrambling. Woody said ‘OK, let me make some phone calls,’ and he called Bill Murray and got him to do it.”

(movie quote) Bill Murray: My make-up guy taught me how to do this: corn starch, you know. Some berries, liquorice for the ladies. It suits my lifestyle. I like to get out and do stuff.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Favorite classic movie

Some Like it Hot

Some Like It Hot

This movie isn’t only my “favorite classic movie” it’s among my “favorite movies ever” list. Some Like It Hot made me crack up laughing so many times. The characters are fantastic, the situation is beautifully absurd, and the way the A-story and B-story intertwine is extremely entertaining. In a word, this movie has “wit” and I love it.

This is the kind of movie I watch and feel a strange mix of satisfaction and envy. Satisfied because the movie was just that good, and envy because I wish I was the one to come up with it. ;D

Friday, October 14, 2011

Is there a dream you had, that you wished it would come true? If yes, describe it.

Haha, this is a funny question because I have lots of dreams that I like but not many dreams I wish were true.

Mostly, dreams that I wish would come true are dreams where I hang out with my characters or characters from a show/book that I really like. Recently I hung out with Ivan and Keith, both superheros from a show called Tiger & Bunny. It was a lot of fun. We just chilled in Keith’s living room with our feet on the ottoman and watched TV and talked. John, Keith’s golden retriever, sat in front of the TV and chewed on his bone.

In my dream, the carpet was an off-white color that had a rolling weave in it. Something felt really familiar about it, and so I remember the carpet most. It was comfortably warm there too. Like it was the beginning of fall outside but the heater was on. We had hot chocolate on the coffee table. There was a pad of paper and a pencil that I played with while I talked to Keith and Ivan, but I don’t remember what I did with the paper.

I really liked Keith’s house. I wish I could go back there.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

A film that angered you

Last Airbender, The (2010)

I know I mentioned this before just the day before yesterday, but I’m going to have to elaborate upon it for two reasons: 1) This film angered me. 2) Anything that deserves bashing deserves proper bashing, which I didn’t have time to get into previously.

Why The Last Airbender is a Shitty Movie

1. The Last Airbender is riddled with scenes that were obviously designed to hold kick-ass CG effects that weren’t there.

Allow me to be perfectly clear, though. What CG effects were there looked incredible. Check this out:

There simply wasn’t enough of it to make up for the terrible story. And when I say “wasn’t enough” I mean there were lots of shots like this:

Where the characters are standing around in some pose and nothing else is happening. I kept staring at the screen thinking “Okay, sweet, he’s striking a pose… He’s moving slowly… he looks like he’s about to bend something… come on… bend something… bend something… BEND SOMETHING DAMMIT WHY AM I HERE I DON’T CARE ABOUT YOUR LAME POSE.” I nearly rage-quit my eyes.

2. The story deviates drastically (and for the worse) from the series. 

I’m usually very flexible with this kind of thing. Kudos for trying to capture an entire series in a two hour movie. However, when you have that much awesome material to draw from, and your story turns out this bad, I have to wonder what happened.

Besides taking well-developed characters and converting them to cardboard yawn-bots, the construction of this story is so muddled I don’t even know where to begin. Let me state my first retrospective observation, which is I don’t even remember what happened, only that I hated it when it was happening.

Here’s the thing that got me. The entire first half of the movie was spent moving from one location to the next, simply for the sake of moving somewhere new. It was as if in his attempt to show all four elements of bending, Shyamalan completely forgot the basic rules of story, such as 1) Beginning, 2) Middle, and 3) End.

It gave off the feeling of an ADD child attempting to tell someone what he did that day. “First I was in the south pole where there’s lots of ice and it’s cold but then Zuko was in the fire nation because that’s opposite of cold I think and then I decided to quest to the north pole but first I stopped to help some earth benders stop digging and then I went into the sky and then Zuko was in his ship some more and I was kidnapped and I was in the ship but then I somehow ended up at the north pole, insert some special effects, the end.”

3. The races of the characters make no sense.

“I come from a clan of eskimos but I’m white.”

4. It was anti-climatic.

What it was supposed to be:

What it was:

5. They repeatedly mispronounced the main character’s name.

This should be forgivable. After all, we only had sixty-one episodes in which “Aang” was pronounced ANG and not AHNG. (For the record, his name was NEVER pronounced AHNG.)

6. And worst of all, it gave the cartoon series a bad rep for anyone who hadn’t seen it yet.

I kid you not, as I left the theater I overheard someone say “Glad I didn’t waste my time watching the series.”

Enough said.

Still haven’t had enough The Last Airbender bashing for one day? Here, have some-

Great/Funny Reviews

“The Last Airbender” is an agonizing experience in every category I can think of and others still waiting to be invented. The laws of chance suggest that something should have gone right. Not here. It puts a nail in the coffin of low-rent 3D, but it will need a lot more coffins than that.
-Roger Ebert, Sun Times

“Please, Hollywood, if there’s to be another Airbender movie, hand the job to some efficient hack, and not to a once mesmerizing artist who’s lost his way.”
-Richard Corliss, TIME magazine

“Mere words can barely describe the sheer inanity on display.”
-Mike McGranagham, Aisle Seat

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Favorite Pixar film

Monsters Inc. (2001)

This is SUCH a hard thing to decide on. Really, my favorite Pixar movie changes with my mood. It just so happens that my mood today is adorable things, of which there is plenty in Monsters Inc.

I think I have a certain affection for this movie because I babysat for an exceptional terror about Boo’s age. Boo seems like a cuter version of the little boy I had to watch over. Not that the kid was bad. He was just…energetic, you could say.

Anyway, most Pixar films are filled to the brim with vaudeville references/inspiration. Sometimes it feels like watching old Saturday morning cartoons. My particularly favorite scene in this movie is the part where Sully thinks Boo is in the trash compactor.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Have you ever had a lucid dream (been aware that you are dreaming)?

Lucid dreaming is practically the only kind of dreaming I do. Actually, I was shocked to find out that other people have difficulty with lucid dreaming, since it’s so normal for me.

Basically, I almost always know that I’m dreaming when I’m dreaming. Which is the definition of lucid dreaming. I don’t always have complete control over my dreams -particularly when I’m stressed out in real life- but I know it’s a dream to begin with. However, even if I know that I can do whatever I want in my dream, most of the time I just roll with it, almost like watching a movie. I participate in what the dream wants me to do and it’s usually pretty fun. Like an actor on stage or a character in one of my stories.

Sometimes I do take control of my dream though. If something gets scary or if I get bored, I usually chose to fly off and do something else. Flying in my dreams is similar to super jumps, but you don’t come back down. You have to jump off the ground high enough and then just coast for a while before you decide to land. I like to ask my friends what flying is like in their dreams and I’ve heard everything from flapping arms to controlling chi.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Sequel that never should have been made

The Return of Jafar (1994)

Return of Jafar


All masters are entitled to one decent screw-up, but REALLY? REALLY?
Between the princess impostor and the world-domination, the movie might have actually been pretty hot if Jafar hadn’t been too busy terribly emasculating himself via musical suicide.

Need I say more?

Sunday, October 9, 2011

5 ways you break the ice

  1. Offer a compliment, such as “I like your hat!”
  2. Ask about something the person is holding, such as “What book is that?”
  3. Comment about something unusual in the surroundings, such as “Is that their excuse for good elevator music?”
  4. The straightforward approach: “Hey, I’m Jill. What’s your name?”
  5. Ask something completely random, such as “Why are normal light bulbs round but fluorescent bulbs long?”

Saturday, October 8, 2011

A movie that can make you feel better

How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966)

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

This movie…is not allowed to be this cute.

Dude, I totally met the Grinch at Universal Studios and he is the funniest/meanest “guy” you’ll ever meet. I remember one year my friends and I spotted him randomly walking around and we mobbed him. He took off running and skidded into trashcans and we chased him through buildings. It was fantastic. Then we caught him and forced him to take a picture of us. Poor guy in the suit was nearly wheezing.

Friday, October 7, 2011

A movie that you’ve seen countless times

Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008)

Forgetting Sarah Marshall

And it wasn’t on purpose.

Don’t get me wrong. Forgetting Sarah Marshall is a good movie. It’s just that it’s always on TV. I don’t know what it is about this movie that makes it haunt me, but it seems as though everywhere I go, there’s someone who’s flipping through the channels and “Oh look, I love this movie!” and then it ends up playing continually in the background- or worse, I end up watching it with them for lack of something better to do (this was before the days of Tumblr, obviously…)

Anyway, I really liked it when I first watched it. Romantic comedy isn’t my thing, but this one goes down easily due to good humor and great actors. Not to mention Mila Kunis is H-O-T.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

5 not-so-basic facts about you

  1. I like to sing along with all the songs I hear, but don’t like to do karaoke.
  2. My favorite food group is fruit, though my favorite fruit changes day to day. Today it’s orange.
  3. I love to be surrounded by friends having a good time, but I prefer to watch them than participate.
  4. Most of the stories I write feature male characters, even though I’m a girl.
  5. I grew up in Florida but I don’t consider myself a strong swimmer. Doggy paddling is enough for me!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Best trilogy

Hannibal Lecter Series

Hannibal Lecter

This series ROCKS. First of all, I’m a big horror fan. But second of all, as far as story construction goes, these three movies are fantastic.

And Hannibal is scary as all get out. He’s not your usual horror baddie. He’s extremely intelligent. The way you scare an audience is to have the protagonist do everything the audience would do, and then a bit more, and STILL have the monster catch them, and that’s exactly what Hannibal Lecter does throughout the entire series.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Great movie with a bad ending

Sunshine (2007)


Ugh, please don’t get me started. This movie was FANTASTIC right up until the end when the writers obviously didn’t know what to do with themselves anymore. I just… What happened?

Here. Quentin Tarantino can say it better than I can.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Best film to come out this year

Super 8 (2011)

Super 8

I don’t go for alien movies, but this movie is so much more than that. It’s EXCEPTIONAL on all levels and I was blown away by it. It easily became one of my favorite movies of all time.

It was the trailer that got me to go in the first place. I could tell that it would look beautiful (which it did) and it created enough mystery that I wanted to find out what was going on. So often I see previews that feel like they give away the whole movie, but this one was expertly done.

Something unusual about this film was that it showed the monster and didn’t subtract from the overall effect. One of my number one rules for horror films is don’t show the monster. I can only think of a few films that actually do this and get away with it, including Alien and Jaws, both of which have the movie monster as their title.

Super 8 isn’t a horror movie, though. It’s got elements of horror. It’s got scifi, of course. But if it weren’t for all the violence and mass-destruction, it could be a family movie. How does that work? Go watch it and find out.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

I had a dream last night…

…That the boy I like and I were on a bicycle together. And in that weird dream-logic way, we were sharing the seat together, and I had one pedal and he had the other pedal. There was an enormous, steep hill before us, and I had the handlebars and we started to pedal up the hill.

It went really slowly, it was laborious and wobbly, but I didn’t mind. The boy I like looked bored though, and when we got to the top of the hill, he said “This is too slow, let me try.”

We looked down the hill together and it was a massive drop, longer and more dangerous than any roller coaster was. We wouldn’t be strapped in, there was no safety net, just a long straight road to the bottom of the hill where a vast city sprawled before us. I hesitantly let him take the handlebars, but as the bike slowly crested the hill, I panicked and said “No, no, I want off, let me off, I’m scared.”

But it was too late. The bike had already gone past the point of no return and I screamed and clung to the boy. I squeezed my eyes shut and my heart was pounding and I was so close to him I could tell that his was beating just as fast, but he calmly said “Trust me.”

The bike was no longer wobbly. With the overwhelming speed it had taken on, the wheels had straightened. But I knew at the speeds we were going, if we hit one rock, one bump, one wrong move, we would spin out of control and crash and tumble apart with broken bones and bleeding hearts. We might even die. And as it dawned on us both the risk at hand, I said again “I can’t do this, please let me off. I’m frightened.”

The bike slowed as we worked together to hit the breaks. We pushed the pedals backward, trying to stop the bike gradually so that it wouldn’t crash, but it quickly became apparent that there was no way to do it- the bike would not stop, and the only way off would be to ride it until the end.

This time, he wrapped an arm tightly around me. “I need your help,” he said, and even though I was terrified, I reached my trembling hand out and took one of the handle bars. I kept my eyes closed, aware of all the horrors that would occur if the bike crashed, but he saw the road before us and I let myself trust him.

We lifted the break together, and the bike not only regained its speed but careened down the hill faster than ever before. We moved so quickly it was like we had become energy, like we were forced together by the speed of light so much that we became one streak of color down the highway.

It was flight. I felt my breath calm, my heart beat strong, and I realized it was the same as his. I was still aware of the risks, but somehow it didn’t matter as much. I let them go, thrilled at the sensation of movement. I heard the sounds of the city engulf us. The woosh of buildings flying past, of cars stopped at crossroads to let us through, of pedestrians all around that we somehow missed.

I opened my eyes to find the city far more dense, more all-consuming than I had imagined at the top. With the close quarters it was far more likely we’d hit something, but our bike continued at its impossible speed and we moved through it all as if on the good fortune of wind. We had made it to the city, but we realized together the end was still far off, over the horizon. It would be a swift, dangerous ride ahead of us.

And nothing in the world could make us want to stop.