My Twentysomething Life

I Do, Make, Read, Watch, Eat…

84 Movies in 19 Months

It all started around October of 2011.  I decided that I wanted to watch all 82, now 84, Oscar Best Picture winners.  Well, after a little over a year and a half, I have done it.  I am really proud of my accomplishment.  The only thing is that now I do not know what to watch now.

In this post I have compiled my absolute favorites from the list, the movies that most surprised me, and the movies that I really struggled to watch.

The following seven movies are the ones that I was thinking were going to really be a struggle to watch.  Either I had heard something bad about them, or the description on the back really did not sound that interesting.  But in the end, I found myself really enjoying them.  Some of them even almost made the cut for the favorites list.  The following are in order from the least surprising to the most surprising.

1-Chicago (2002)
My mother is a big musical fan and she does not really like Chicago, and I was not allowed to watch it when I was little, so I think I had a bad idea of it going into it, but I really ended up enjoying the story and the music.
2-Unforgiven (1992)
I knew nothing about this movie when I popped it into the DVD player.  All I knew was that it was a Clint Eastwood western.  I figured it would be a lot of gun fighting.  What I found was that it was actually a very deep story that I did not expect.
3-On the Waterfront (1954)
This movie was one of the first older ones that I watched, and I just thought it sounded boring.  This is an old Marlon Brando film and it actually ended up being a really good movie.  I enjoyed the story and it actually got pretty exciting in the end.
4-Gentleman’s Agreement (1947)
This is a really great story about a man who pretends to be a Jew in order to write an article about how they are treated and I found this movie to be very powerful when I foolishly thought it would be boring.
5-The Greatest Show on Earth (1952)
When a movie is over two hours long, it can be hard to start in the first place.  When I finally put this DVD in, I was expecting to really hate it, I did not think a story about the circus could be all that exciting, but I was wrong.  The story involved several characters and even had a twist at the end.  I really enjoyed this movie, the full 2-ish hours of it.
6-Tom Jones (1963)
This movie was really funny.  There have not been very many funny best picture winners.  They hardly ever get nominated, let alone win, so I was surprised to find this movie as funny as it was.  It was the story of a ladies man and what happened when he actually fell in love.
7-The Life of Emile Zola (1937)
This movie was awesome and the most surprising for me.  I sat down to watch this movie one night while I worked on the budget.  After only a few minutes into the movie I had to put my work away because I was so intrigued.  I highly recommend this movie.

Moral of the story—do not judge a movie based on the description on the back—when in doubt, give it a try.  It may surprise you, like it did me.

Now, this next list is of the movies I really struggled to watch.  There are only 6 of them, which is pretty good from a pot of 84.  I got lucky that I enjoyed 93% of the movies and only suffered through 7%.  These movies either just plain bored me, put me to sleep, or I just thought the story was not very good.  So here are the 6 movies that I did not like, in order from “okay” to “meh” to “I will never watch again.”

1-How Green Was My Valley (1941)
2-The Great Ziegfeld (1936)
3-Gigi (1958)
4-Dances With Wolves (1990)
5-A Man for All Seasons (1966)
6-The Deer Hunter (1978)

And finally, the list of my top twelve (I just could not stop at 10) movies that were my favorites from the 84 I watched.  These are the ones that I would watch again, several times, and that I would not hesitate to recommend to you.  The following are in order of favorite to most favorite.

1-Grand Hotel (1931/32)
2-Out of Africa (1985)
3-It Happened One Night (1934)
4-Driving Miss Daisy (1989)
5- Wings (1927/28)
6- No Country for Old Men (2007)
7- The Godfather (1972)
8- The Apartment (1960)
9- Argo (2012)
10-Shakespeare in Love (1998)
11-The Bridge over the River Kwai (1957)
12-In the Heat of the night (1967)

So there you have it.  I am so glad that I watched these movies.  On average I watched 4 best picture movies a month, on top of all the other movies that I watched.  And I will make sure I keep seeing the best picture movies in the years to come.  Now I just need to find a new list…

Any suggestions?

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One Down, One to Go

Tonight I watched “The Greatest Show on Earth,” my second to last best picture movie left to watch!
It was really good.  It was about the circus.

I only have one more movie left to watch, it is sitting on top of my television.  All I need to do is get the time (over 3 hours) to watch it and I will be finished!!

It is bittersweet.  I mean, the whole goal has been to watch every movie on the list, but I have enjoyed it so much that I don’t want it to be over.

I guess I’ll just have to make myself a new list.  Any suggestions?

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Fun Filled Film Friday

We are twelve days into April and so far my film watching has been pitiful.  That probably has to do with a) being out of town for five days and b) being very busy.  The first movie I watched this month I watched on Monday with my sister.  We watched Melinda and Melinda, which was a Woody Allen movie that I really enjoyed.

Because I felt so pitiful with my movie watching lately, and really I just wanted to watch some movies, I watched three on Friday night.  Yes, it was awesome.

First, Adam and I got Hitchcock from the Redbox.  We had really hoped to be able to see it in theaters, but it never came to a theater near us.  This movie was fantastic!  We really enjoyed it.  It is all about Hitchcock making Psycho.  It is important because he had to fund it himself because everyone thought it would be awful.  Hitchcock was a genius when he made Psycho.  His directing and his marketing of the film was spectacular!  I read the book that the film was based on and it was great as well.  I was really happy with this film version of the book.  I thought it was great!  I highly, highly recommend this movie, especially if you love the genius of Hitchcock as much as I do!

The next two movies I watched by myself while Adam was playing a game with his friends.  The first was Red Dawn.  For those of you who don’t know, it is a recent remake of a 1984 film starring Patrick Swayze.  This remake has Chris Hemsworth, Josh Peck, and Josh Hutcherson (and my uncle was a location manager on the film).  I was not sure if I was going to like this movie, but I wanted to see it for two reason 1) because my uncle worked on it and 2) and I love all of these actors, and a bonus reason–I wanted to see if Josh Peck could pull of an action/drama role.  And I would say he did!  I actually really enjoyed this movie.  It was faced paced and full of good action.  I kinda want to see the original now.

The last movie of the night was Around the World in 80 Days.  It was one of the last three (!) best picture movies that I had to watch (yes, I only have two more now!).  I had seen the remake with Jackie Chan a few years back, so I knew the story ahead of time.  But this version was much better.  This movie was not a favorite of all the ones I have watched, but I still found it entertaining.  and it had a lot of good music.

It’s good that I got to watch three movies on Friday night because I’m going to be out of town until Wendesday and won’t get to watch any until I get home.  I have my eye on a few more at the Redbox, and Adam and I are going to go see 42 when I get back next week (so excited!)

Have you watched any good movies lately?
Is there a movie in the theater you are dying to see?

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Picking up the ball

Hey all!  I’m sorry that I dropped the ball on blogging the last couple days.  So here are all the things I would have told you the last couple days if I had blogged.

I finally finished Julie and Julia and I really enjoyed it.  It took me a while to read it, but it was a good book.  This afternoon I started an awesome book and have already read 100 pages of it!  I am reading Me, Myself, and Bob which is about the creator of VeggieTales.  It is really funny and makes me want to watch every (classic) VeggieTale movie!  I will probably have to buy all of them because I dread the day that my child will grow up without VeggieTales.

Yesterday I watched Bull Durham, and I really enjoyed it.  It was a fun movie.

Adam has strep, and yet he left me for the evening.  He is playing Risk with his friends, complete with mask and gloves so he does not contaminate them.

I made this for the bedroom, and I love it!
IMG_1551Bonus points if you can guess where the quote came from!

I also just finished these hats for my little cousins.  This first one is a beardo hat identical to Adam’s, just smaller:
IMG_1555And this one is based on a photo I saw on Pinterest that did not have a pattern, so I had to make up the pattern myself.  The first picture is of the top, and the second from the side.  Hopefully it gives you a good idea of what it looks like.
IMG_1552 IMG_1553

I am eating cotton candy Trix yogurt, which is particularly delicious while writing this blog and watching Hamlet, which is a Best Picture movie.  And speaking of that, I can’t believe I am almost done!  Speaking of best pictures…when I finish the list, I am considering writing a series of blog posts reviewing each movie.  Is this something you would enjoy reading?

After finishing this post, I will start on another project.  My mother and father’s wedding album has fallen apart.  They asked me to re-do it for them, so I will be working on that tonight.  I hope it turns out well!

I hope your night is as good as mine!


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Silent Movies

Tonight I watched the first best picture winner ever, Wingswings It is a silent film, but I really enjoyed it.  I have actually really enjoyed both silent best picture movies, the other being The Artist.  the-artist-poster

I think that silent movies are fun to watch because 1) they are so different from the movies that we watch now and 2) while they do put some words on the screen to help you know what is happening, you largely have to rely on music and the facial expressions of the actors and actresses to know what is happening.  It really is a different movie watching experience.

If you have not seen either one of these silent films, I highly recommend it.

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Thursday-Morning Tell-About

My Movie Queue: Hamlet, The Best Years of Our Lives, Cimarron, Wings, It’s Kind of a Funny Story, Top Gun, Bella, Stranger Than Fiction
Pages left to read in my current book: I am currently reading three different books.  I have 290 pages left in Julie and Julia, 113 in You Lost Me, and 566 in Anna Karenina
I have made: I have practiced crocheting doilies, but they have not gotten much better since the last time.
I have worked on: keeping the house clean in spite of being hurt and not feeling well
Food made: delicious skillet mac and cheese and strawberry oatmeal bars
Goals checked off: calling my mother once a week, writing a thank you note for the month.  unfortunately, I had made plans for having people over and the sister date for the month and both have fallen through from sickness, so I guess I won’t be checking those off this month since it is the last day of February
Games played: Carcassonne, hand and foot
Favorite Pinterest pin:

"Relax!  I'm just kidding."

“Relax! I’m just kidding.”

Total Blog views since last Thursday: 158  (all time views 1,013!)
Number of snow days: 0
Movies Watched: 5: Grand Hotel, South Pacific, Shallow Hal, Pitch Perfect, Lawrence of Arabia
Books read: none finished this week
This week I love:  birthdays and the love of family and friends
This week I hate:  getting sick

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4 Days to My Favorite Event!

There are only four more days until the Oscars!  I look forward to this almost more than any other event.  The last two years Adam and I have each predicted the winners and then we see who gets the most right.  I have won the last two years, and I’m feeling good about this year as well.

I follow a lot of Oscar news throughout the year and there has been even more Oscar content lately to read about.  Here is one article from Entertainment Weekly (EW) that I particularly enjoyed.  “Top Ten Best Picture Winners that should have Lost”.  In case you don’t want to go out and look at it yourself, let me tell you what it says, and how I feel about it.

10.  Winner–Forrest Gump (1994)   Should Have Won–Pulp Fiction
Now, I know that my sister will not agree with this because Forrest Gump is one of her absolute favorite movies.   She has watched it over and over.  And while I do enjoy watching Forrest Gump, I agree with EW that Pulp Fiction probably deserved to win the Oscar.  Pulp Fiction was groundbreaking.  It is known as the movie that “reinvented movie making,” and I agree that when I first watched it I was excited about the things that were done with it.

9.  Winner–The Last Emperor (1987)  Should Have Won–Broadcast News, Moonstruck, or Fatal Attraction
The Last Emperor is not a fantastic movie, but it is very ornate.  I did not particularly like it.  I have not seen Broadcast News or Moonstruck and I do not think that Fatal Attraction is an “oscar movie,” but I did enjoy it, so the other two must be good.  Maybe one day I’ll watch the other two films and then I’ll be able to weigh in better.

8. Winner–Around the World in 80 Days (1956)  Should Have Won–Giant
I have not seen either one of these movies, so I can not say one way or another.  However, because of this article I now plan on watching Giant, the final performance of James Dean, soon after I finish my Best Picture list.

7.  Winner–Gandhi (1982)  Should Have Won–E.T.  Extra Terrestrial
I Agree!  Because E.T. was definitely the better movie.

6.  Winner–The English Patient  (1996)  Should Have Won–Jerry Maguire or Fargo
Now, I did love The English Patient, but I will say that I loved Jerry Maguire more.  However, to me, Jerry Maguire just doesn’t seem like an Oscar film.  Fargo is another one that I will be adding to my list of movies to watch.

5.  Winner–Dances with Wolves  (1990)  Should Have Won–GoodFellas
I was not a fan of Dances with Wolves and I recently watched GoodFellas and was not a fan of it either.  Which one was worse?  I’m not really sure.  So I guess I’ll just have to trust EW on this one.

4.  Winner–Chariots of Fire (1981)  Should Have Won–Reds
Now, here is where I disagree with EW.  Even though I have not seen Reds, I absolutely loved Chariots of Fire.  I thought it was a great story.  I enjoyed everything about it and I do think it deserved to win.

3.  Winner–Shakespeare in Love  (1998)  Should Have Won–Saving Private Ryan
This may be one of the biggest upsets in Oscar history.  From everything that I have read, everyone thought that Saving Private Ryan deserved to win, and even though I absolutely love Shakespeare in Love, I would have to agree.  When you compare the two movies side by side, which is hard because they are nothing alike, Saving Private Ryan is heads and shoulders above Shakespeare in Love, and rememer, I love Shakespeare in Love.

2.  Winner–How Green Way My Valley (1941)  Should Have Won–Citizen Kane
Citizen Kane is another one of those movies that is known for reinventing movies.  And having seen both of these films, I agree with EW that Citizen Kane should have won the Oscar.  I did not enjoy How Green Way My Valley.  To me, it didn’t have a striking story and it didn’t know what it wanted to be.

1.  Winner–Crash (2005)  Should Have Won–Brokeback Mountain
I have seen Crash and part of Brokeback Mountain, but not enough to feel like I know enough to make the decision between the two.  Crash tells an honest, yet hard to hear story.  In their article EW states that maybe the academy just wasn’t ready for Brokeback Mountain.

What do you think?  Do you agree with these conclusions?  Disagree?  What Oscar film do you think doesn’t deserve it’s statue?

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Check another one off my list

mrsminiver1Monday nights Adam works from 4:30 to 9 and then on Tuesdays he has a night class until 9.  On these days I leave the house after lunch and don’t see him until after nine.  So on Monday nights my sister comes over to do laundry, but then Tuesday nights I’m all alone.  So I usually plan on watching a Best Picture Movie to mark another one off my list.  That’s exactly what I did this last Tuesday.  Mrs. Miniver won the best picture award in 1942.  It is the story of (can you guess), Mrs. Miniver and her family during World War II.  They live in Europe, her husband and son are in the military, and Mrs. Miniver has to deal with her husband in son being gone, while also taking care of the rest of the family.  This movie was pretty good, and kinda sad in the end.  I would not say it is one of my favorites, but I can see why it won Best Picture.  Only 13 more Best Picture movies to go!

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The time has come for me to present to you my 23 Goals for my 23rd Year.  I am really excited about these goals.  I have spent quite a few hours pondering this goals and making them better.  I really tried to make my goals actual things that I could attain.  There are only two “fluffy” “immeasurable” goals, which are: to be more content and be a good wife.  All the other goals I can actually see if I have met them or not.

I hope you will keep me accountable with these goals and maybe I’ll inspire you to make your own.  I also got so excited once I finished writing my goals that I didn’t want to wait until February 25th to start working on them, so I’m going to start February 1st, just to get a head start.

My goals are split up into separate categories: daily, weekly, monthly, and one time goals.  I figured that this would help make them more manageable and easier to keep track of.

So, here are my 23 Goals and a little bit about why I picked each one:

1. Be content with where I am in life, don’t wish my life away, flourish where I am
I wrote this goal because of the blog post I wrote yesterday about a really good message I heard that really moved me.  I realized that I have been viewing this stage in my life as an “inbetweeen” transition stage and so I wasn’t investing here.  Click here to read more about flourishing.
2. Be a good, supportive, encouraging, loving wife to Adam
Even though I do not mean to, sometimes I take Adam for granted and I know that.  So this year I am going to try and not do that.  And I also want to be more supportive and encouraging of his work in seminary.  Even when I don’t get to see him because he has a bunch of homework.
3. Do one thing to clean the house
Too often, I come home from work and I make dinner and then I just relax the rest of the night, which means that by the end of the week our house is in shambles.  This year I want to try and be better about doing at least one thing a day to make cleaning the house more manageable and help it to look better more often.
4. Keep a food and fitness diary to help me remember to be more healthy
I don’t know how many times last year I said I was going to “be more healthy” well now I am going to keep track of everything I am doing and hopefully that will make me more mindful.  Here is an example of my food and fitness diary:
5. Call my mother
My mother and I have never been “best of friends” but more and more I have come to rely on her advice and her support.  Something about growing older I guess.  I want to be more intentional about calling her just to talk and to make our relationship even stronger.

36. Write a thank you note to someone I am grateful for
I am thankful for a lot of people in my life, but I fall short in expressing this to them.  I want to be more intentional in thanking the people in my life that mean a lot to me.
7. Have intentional date nights with Adam.  Start with at least once a month1
This goes back to the being intentional with my relationship with Adam.  I want to intentionally spend time with him, doing something together, once a month.  This will be a time to relax and connect with each other because our lives can get so busy.
8. Find a craft or something creative to do
I thrive on being able to be creative.  I don’t want to lose time with myself because of how busy I get.  So this goal is two-fold.  One, I get to express myself through crafting and two, I get to enjoy some time by myself, relaxing.
9. Have someone over for dinner
Adam and I are always saying to each other how we would like to get to know a couple better, or spend more time with our friends, but then we never do it.  So this goal is to help both of us set time aside and focus on building relationships with people.
10. Do something with my sister (her coming over to do laundry doesn’t count)
My sister and I have not always had a good relationship.  You might say that we strongly disliked each other for most of our lives growing up.  But now that she is in college, we have become much better friends and I want to cultivate that relationship, not just when she needs to use our washer and dryer.

11. Finish Financial Peace University with Adam and save some moneyOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Adam and I are getting ready to start our third week of FPU tomorrow, and we are trying to really be committed to the principles we are learning and really do some savings.  We need discipline, quite frankly.  We need to learn how to save better so we can be ready when emergencies come up.  I am excited for the future peace to come in our lives.
12. Take a vacation–or have a weekend getaway trip somewhere we have never been
I just want to be able once this year to go on a getaway and relax with my husband.  I want us to be able to do something fun that we both enjoy and get some time away from everything going on.  So hopefully we can make this happen.
13. Finish my Best Picture movie list
I have been working towards this goal for almost two years now, and gosh darn it, this year I’m going to finish it.  As of right now, I only have 14 more movies to watch and two on my shelf at home waiting to be viewed.  To keep track of my list visist: Best Picture Movie List.
14. Finish reading Anna Karenina
I don’t know how it happend, but I got it in my head that I would really like to read this book.  Luckily, it was free on my Kindle.  So I have been reading it for a few months now, and it is good, but it’s just so stinkin long!  It will probably take me the whole year to finish it.
15. Plant flowers in the flower beds outside my apartment
I love flowers.  And I have always wanted to garden but have never had a place to do it.  Our apartment at Emmanuel has flower beds in the front and back and I would really like to plant flowers in them this year.  And I also think the process of weeding them, which is inevitable, will be rather relaxing.
16. Read through the whole Bible again
My freshman year of college I read through the whole Bible, and it was an amazing experience for me.  I have not been able to do this since then, so I wanted to do it again.  The last few years I have not been devoted to reading my Bible every day, and I really want to get back to that.  To keep track of my reading click here.
517. Play Eclipse with Adam
Eclipse is Adam’s new favorite game, probably in the whole world, but it intimidates me because it is intense.  And also because they tell you up front that it will take 30 minutes per person playing to play this game.  That is what I call a significant time committment.  So my goal is to play this game once this year so I know what all the fuss is about.
18. Finish watching Prison Break6
I started watching Prison Break sometime in December and I absolutely love it!  I haven’t even finished Season 1 yet, but in the next year my goal is to finish the whole series.
19.  Learn how to knit
I learned how to crochet back in my freshman year of college.  And this year I wanted to learn something new, and since I have never attempted to knit in my entire life, I thought it would be a fun thing to learn.
20.  Go to a sporting event or a concert (where you have to buy tickets)
It has been forever since I have gone to a concert that wasn’t a Milligan College concert, and Adam and I have not been to a sporting event that wasn’t at Milligan in a long time either.  So I thought it would be fun for us to seek out one of these this year, or maybe even both!
21. Take a cooking class7
I have discovered that I really love to cook.  I want to get better at it.  So, this year I will have my eyes peeled for classes in the area so I can get better at cooking.
22.  Go one weekend (one with good weather) without watching TV, movies, or tygetting on the computer–a weekend “unplugged”
I want to do this to see if I can do this.  It seems that on the weekend I plop down on the couch and stay there for a majority of the days of my weekend.  That’s just sad.  Weekends should be for doing things I can’t do during the week or that I don’t have time to do during the week.
23.  Read a biography of someone that I am not a fan of so I can learn more about them
I was trying to think of one more goal and this one popped into my head.  I don’t have a person in mind just yet, but we will see who pops up this year.

Here’s to a year of checking off goals!
To keep track of my progress throughout the year, click on the 23 for 23 page on the side bar or click here.

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