Posts tagged with: Books and Movies

Verrrrrrry Scarrrrrry….

by Jeanne Adams


Did I scare you? BWAH-Ha-Ha-HA!!! It’s Halloween! Tonight is Trick or Treat! Tomorrow, All Soul’s Day…Are you ready?



All of you know, by now that I ADORE Halloween. Almost every year we have an annual Addams Family Halloween party – in hiatus this year because I was on deadline, alas.

*huge, long-standing pout*

However, it is an event like no other. We’ve had up to 65 people in our house and garden for this affair. One year, early on while it was still just “Jeanne’s Annual Halloween Party” (i.e. Pre-DH) I did a scary movie fest.

That was a strange one – not that they all don’t have their strange character! – but this one struck me as odd because half the group was in the family room of my then-condo watching the scary movies, devouring popcorn, beer, and cupcakes with the same abandon as the monster on the screen devoured people.

The other half were in my miniscule kitchen talking as loudly as they could so as not to hear the scary noises or gasps of the populace from the TV screen.

Hmmm. I drew a frightening conclusion. Some people are really frightened by scary movies! Imagine that!

Did I mention that I’m REALLY missing the party this year? Can you tell? So I thought we could have a Virtual Halloween Party here.

Let’s talk about Scary Movies! And Scary Books, Shaaaaall we?

The scariest movie I ever saw (nightmare producing scare and I was an adult!) was Aliens II. The one on the ship. *shudder* Something about that one just gave me the flat out willies. I literally did have fall out of the bed nightmares after that one. Could’a been the cold medicine too, but jumpin’ heebie jeebies, Batman! That one was a doozy.

Second to that one in the “gives Jeanne the collywobbles” category is American Werewolf in London. Now before you go all Hollywood Critique on me and tell me it’s a parody, I’ll say that yes, I do know that. Doesn’t matter. That scene, where the werewolves are dressed as Nazis and bust in the house? Huh-uh, oh no you dinnna!?! I truly did walk out of the theater. Well, run on wobbly legs might be a more writerly description. Ha!

Others that were on the “Sleep Disturbing” list are : Jagged Edge; Body Heat; and Wait Until Dark.

Alien (the first one) didn’t get me. The Halloween movies didn’t bother me. Neither did any of the Elm Street movies. Frankly if you are boneheaded flat out stupid peabrained enough to get yourself IN to that situation? Damn if you don’t deserve to get dead. Snork!! And hey, Jamie Lee Curtis? If you go in the house to get something, come back out and the car doors are locked and the windows fogged?

GET. THE. HECK. OUT. OF. THERE. Yeeesh. Too Stupid to Live. Seriously.

What really seems to get me are not the slasher/gore movies. No, it’s the pscyological ones. Hitchcock. The Birds.

I still have an unnatural fear of things that flap.

Gaslight. Are you mad, or are you being “gaslighted?” Grins.

Then there’s the books and movies-from-books like The Exorcist and The Omen and Rosemary’s Baby. Oh, and all the Anne Rice books.

Ohhhh yeah. Scarwy.

So I knew what scared me. I figured I’d ask some of the Banditas.

For Suz, it’s the old school thriller – Rear Window; Midnight Lace; Charade; and the aforementioned Gaslight.

For our own AC, The Talented Mr. Ripley made her shiver, along with the end of the world flick 28 Days.

Nancy says Wait Until Dark had her covering her eyes. She also cited Dead Again and Terminator as among the collywobble films. (Now, with passing time, she’s decided Michael Beign made all the Terminator fear worth it.)

Joan, despite her love of blood thirsty Romans, assures me she does NOT watch scary movies. Of course, she went on to list three….Exorcist (the mere discussion of it had her worried); Jurrassic Park (especially the part with the raptors in the kitchen…but you know, she doesn’t watch scary movies); and What Lies Beneath. I’m sure she saw this for Harrison Ford, never THINKING it was a scary movie. Right JT? Grins.

Our own Anna says the first Halloween scared her to death, along with The Shining. “Daddy’s home!” *shudder!* Anna likes thrillers. Movies like Fatal Attraction, Dressed to Kill, Sleeping with the Enemy, Seven, The Hand that Rocks the Cradle and Suspect. Suspect’s one of my favorites, but Anna says Notorious is one of the best.

Tawny too refuses to see the scary ones, but says her kids think the REAL scary movies are: Dead Alive, Sixth Sense, the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Quarantine, The Grudge and the Evil Dead.

So what about you? What’s YOUR scary movie?

Any of them give you nightmares?

Do you get more frightened by the psychological stuff – Jagged Edge, Mr. Ripley, Gaslight, and so on – or the blood guts and gore, like Saw, and Halloween and Elm Street?

What about books?

Lisa Gardner’s Say Goodbye had me seeing spiders everywhere. *shiver!!* and I certainly wouldn’t want to meet any of Linda Howard, Karen Rose Smith or Lisa Jackson’s villains in MY town!

Last but not least…I always buy at least three new Halloween books for my children each year. This year, the best is:

Tell Me Another Scary Story by Carl Reiner
Now….last but not least, for all my Pagan Pals…

Blessed Be and HAPPY SAMHAIN!!!!


by Jeanne Adams and Nancy Northcott

Have you ever seen one of those movie that just invades your life? You know, the one you see with you best friend/sister/husband that you both quote all the time? One of our own Bandita’s quoted a line from Star Wars the other day that had us all laughing and remembering which movie it was from and where the scene – the asteroid field – fell in the movie.

Then, when I was on FaceBook not too long ago a poster friend said she was going to crawl in bed with a favorite movie. In less than an hour, she had 42 one-liner comments to her FaceBook post. The movie? The Princess Bride.

It’s one of my favorites too. This brilliant film can be seen by children and adored for the fairy tale it is. They will laugh and gasp and giggle and sigh just as if it were the true tale of adventure, wonder, swords and swashbuckling which the Grandfather (Peter Falk) tells his grandson (Fred Savage) he will enjoy, despite the kissing parts.

That does it little justice, however. It’s also viewable on a whole other, adult, amusing level of parody of every adventure tale we ever watched as kids, from Captain Blood and Robin Hood to Disney’s Aladdin.

It spawned lines like, “I’m not saying I’d like to build a summer home here, (in the Fire Swamp) but the trees really are quite lovely.”

I have a friend who will periodically leave this – and only this line – on my voice mail.

Another friend frequently texts, when asked how her day is going,

“I’ve got my country’s 500th Anniversary to plan, my wife to murder and Guilder to frame for it. I’m swamped!”

You get the idea.

Then there’s the lines from great old films. Who could forget Rhett – “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn!”
Or Scarlett: “As God is my witness I will never go hungry again!”

(Which also brings to mind Carol Burnett’s parody of Scarlett where she comes out wearing the drapes, and the drapery rod. THAT’s a whole ‘nother blog!)

Or the cult classic by legendary director Quentin Tarantino, Pulp Fiction. “Who put me on brain detail?”

Do you remember the famous line from Who Framed Roger Rabbit? “I’m not bad….I’m just drawn that way.”

Scarface: “Say hello to my little friends….”

Apocalypse Now: “I just love the smell of Napalm in the morning…”

There are SO many! I have a friend who loves movies and she’s passed this love on to her daughter. They can have an entire conversation in movie lines. It’s like a scene from Whose Line is It, Anyway, where they just use song titles or movie titles to converse. However, Em and her daughter A. will seriously converse in whole sections of dialogue. It’s like their own secret language and it is hysterically funny to watch.

The Holiday – “I’m a weepah (weeper)…a major weepah!”

Or Love Actually, with the inimicable Rowan Atkinson and his nearly silent performance as the shop clerk. If I’m being slow, another friend of mine will laughingly quote my dear, darling Alan Rickman when he insists Rowan be “QUITE quick, I say, QUITE quick.”

As to Love Actually, who could forget that life so terribly imitated art as Liam Neeson lost his beloved wife this year? Sorrow of the heart indeed.

Love blossomed in Love Actually, between porn stand-ins, elementary school pals, the Prime Minister and an aide who not only couldn’t NOT say the f-bomb upon meeting the PM, but lost her job because he couldn’t be with her and not want to be WITH her. How wild is that?

If you want quotable lines, Monty Python pretty much can’t be beat either. “What is the airspeed of an sparrow…”; “We are the Knights who say NI!”; “She’s a witch, burn her! Burn her!”; “Fetchez le Vache!”

And there’s the Monty Python show…Spanish Inquisition, anyone? Not only is the Spanish Inquistion used in the shows, but its spawned all sorts of other things. Did anyone else love the movie Sliding Doors? I thought I would fall out of my chair when the whole, “No one expects the Spanish Inquisition” line cropped up.

Python addicts can go on for DAYS. Seriously. DAYS.

Network: “I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!”

When Harry Met Sally: “I’ll have what she’s having…”

However, I have to confess I always come back to my favorites.

Star Trek: “Beam me up, Scotty”; “Damn it Jim, I’m a doctor, not a miracle worker!”; “Cap’tn, I’m giving ye all I’v got, she’s not going to take much more!”; “Live long and prosper”; “Damn it, Jim…”

Star Wars: “Do or not do. There is no try.”; “Use the Force Luke”; “Never tell me the odds”; “Search your feelings, Luke”; “There is…gasp…another…gasp…Skywalker”; “These aren’t the droids you’re looking for…”

And of course, The Princess Bride. You knew I’d work my way back here, now didn’t you? Grins.

If you don’t have your health, you don’t have anything…
Where’d we put that wheelbarrow? Over the Albino, I think…
Fezzig, jog his memory…
Be nice to him. He’s been mostly dead all day.

I am not left-handed…
Bow to her…bow to the Queen of Putrescence…
So many quotes, so little blog space. But the best, the BEST: Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.

I’m betting the new Trek movie – DYING to see it! – as well as Wolverine and others will spawn a whole new set of favorite lines.


What’s your favorite movie of all time?

What’s YOUR favorite movie line, either from one of the movies I’ve listed or your own particular favorite?
Do you have a friend with whom you trade movie lines?

Reveal all, dear movie and book lovers…

Famous Quotes, Famous Movies

by Jo Robertson

It’s nearly that time of the year – People’s Choice Awards, the Golden Globes, SAG Awards, and finally the Academy Awards – the time when various organizations vote for their favorite movies, television shows, actors, and directors, among others.

I thought it’d be fun to see how many of us can match the following famous lines to the movies they came from. I’ve listed ten quotes and a picture from the film. See how many you know. I’ll post the answers at the end of the day and one random, lucky commenter will receive a $10 Amazon gift certificate, just for giving it a try.

1. “I know what you’re thinking. Did he fire six shots or only five? Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement, I’ve kinda lost track myself. But being as this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you’ve got to ask yourself one question: ‘Do I feel lucky?’ Well, do ya punk?”

2. “Badges? We ain’t got no badges! We don’t need no badges! I don’t have to show you any stinking badges!”
3. “You should be kissed — and often, and by someone who knows how.”

4. “A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti.”

5. “Nobody puts Baby in a corner.”

6. “What we’ve got here is failure to communicate.”

7. “Get your stinkin’ paws off me, you damn dirty ape!”

8. “Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die!”

9. “I’m your number one fan.”

10. — “I feel the need…”

— “…the need for speed!”

Finally, for those who don’t want to play that game, what’s your favorite movie based on a book? Gone with the Wind? Silence of the Lambs? Which do you think was better, the movie or the book?
Announcement Alert: Nancy’s bringing us another guest on January 26! Jessica Andersen, who started writing fiction after earning a Ph.D. in genetics, broke into fiction with a Harlequin Intrigue, DR. BODYGUARD, which was a Romantic Times Top Pick. Later, research on pre-Colombian serpent worship led her to the Mayan End Time countdown and inspired the Nightkeepers and the Novels of the Final Prophecy. Join us in welcoming Jessica on January 26!

The Book or the Film?

by Anna Sugden

There has been a lot of controversy lately with the new Bond film ‘Quantum of Solace’ (where do they get these titles?!). For those of you unaware of the issues troubling Bond fans, it’s all to do with the last two (Daniel Craig) movies.

You see, they go back to the beginning and tell the story of how Bond developed into the character we know today. The purists believe that this is the only way to see Bond and that this is as close to the James Bond of the Ian Fleming books as we’ve seen, since George Lazenby. Film fans, meanwhile, are horrified that some of the classic Bond-isms eg ‘Martini, shaken not stirred’ and Q, are missing from these films. It doesn’t matter (much *g*) who plays Bond, but the Bond-isms have to be there.

All of which got me thinking about the problems with turning books into films.

Think of the controversy about the Harry Potter films. Though it’s obvious to anyone with an ounce of common sense that turning an 800-plus page tome into a two hour film is just the teensiest bit tricky, die-hard fans get quite upset that chunks of the story have had to be left out. They don’t see why it’s a problem to capture all the depth of characterisation and complexity of plot, without seeing that the end result would be a major bum-numbing epic!

They had the same problem with Dan Brown’s ‘The Da Vinci Code’.

Similarly, the recent version of ‘Pride and Prejudice’ (once you’ve got over the horror of anyone other than Colin Firth playing Mr Darcy!) raised hackles by straying from the well-known and much-loved story.

That’s not to say that any of these films is bad – they’re just not ‘as good’ as the book. Personally, I think they’re very entertaining and enjoy them for what they are … but that’s just me (except for ‘Pride and Prejudice’ – which I didn’t like!)

You only need to speak with authors like Lisa Gardner about the adapatations of their books to know how they feel about what was done with their beloved stories.

On the other side of the coin, are the movies that are better (in the viewer’s mind) than the book. The one that stands out most for me, is ‘Practical Magic’ (starring Sandra Bullock, Nicole Kidman and the drool-worthy Goran Visnij and Aidan Quinn). While Alice Hoffman’s book is very good, the film has much more charm.

And then, there are the multitude of TV adaptations (Thank you, BBC) and movies that are really good translations of the printed word to the screen. The Colin Firth version of ‘Pride and Prejudice’, ‘A Town Like Alice’ (the Bryan Brown TV series) and Inspector Morse are just a few examples.

I’ve seen a number of debates about potential movies made from popular series. Who would play Eve Dallas and Roarke (pause to drool) if they made the JD Robb ‘… In Death’ series into movies? What about Ranger, Joe Morelli and Stephanie Plum from Janet Evanovich’s series? It’s a brave director and producer who take on such feats – because you know you going to irritate a bunch of people no matter what you do!

I know that the fabulous Robert Crais has sworn not to allow his books to be made into movies or TV series, because he wants the reader to have their own interpretation of Elvis Cole and Joe Pike – not one fashioned by Hollywood.

So, what do you think? Do you like books being converted to films? Which do you think have been done well and which badly? Have you read a book which inspired a film and been disappointed? Does it matter if book and film don’t match exactly? Are there books you would love to see turned into movies? We all dream of our books being optioned, but how would you feel if the only recognisable element was the title?!

And who would play the yummy scrummy Roarke? Or Ranger?

An Ode To Cheese

by Caren Crane

(With many apologies to the lactose intolerant among us.)

I love cheese. Not only the traditional loves like cheddar, gouda, swiss, edam and monterey jack, but also the more exotic varieties like Camembert, Danish Havarti, brie, Stiltson, bleu and feta. I adore this milk-based product in many forms (some of them stinky, but all delicious) but this post is about something else: real cheese.

The cheese you are ashamed to love. The guilty pleasure you allow yourself only when you are all alone in the house or car. Or perhaps with a select few treasured friends who share your forbidden fantasy.

Here is a list of some of my all-time favorite cheese. Some I have admitted to before. Some represent ground-breaking territory that could totally be used against me in public. For the Banditas and BBs, I bare my cheesy soul:

1. Big Trouble In Little China – This movie stars Kurt Russell, who is one of the funniest, sexiest actors of all time. Kurt is a man’s man and in no role is he more manly than that of truck driving, John Wayne channeling Jack Burton. Director David Carpenter made this movie in 1986 as a spoof of the old Westerns, except he set it in modern times. It was sort of a B-grade, Saturday matinee sort of movie with lots of kung fu, magic, monsters, enslavement of beautiful girls, and Chinese gang warfare in San Francisco’s Chinatown. A young Kim Cattrall is exceptional as a nosy lawyer who is a spunky, feminist, world-saving cliché. ALL the characters are rather over-the-top, making the movie endlessly entertaining and a verifiable port wine cheese ball.

2. ELO – Yes, I mean the Electric Light Orchestra. For those born after 1980, ELO was the brainchild of British musician Jeff Lynne. He wanted to create pop songs with heavily classical overtones. Man, did he ever succeed! Out Of the Blue, a double album (yes, that was a PRESSED VINYL ALBUM, kids), was probably my favorite slice of ELO cheese. It contained such treasures as Turn To Stone, Sweet Talkin’ Woman and Mr. Blue Sky. Let’s not forget, however, the McCheesy goodness of other hit singles such as Livin’ Thing, Can’t Get It Out Of My Head, Evil Woman, Showdown, Telephone Line (extra cheese, please), and Strange Magic (which, when I was a girl, was about as close to an out-of-body experience as I could get). People love or hate ELO. But come on, they had 46 U.S. and U.K. Top 40 hit singles from 1972 to 1986. Forty-freaking-six!! Surely that proves that I was not the only one snacking on this particular slice of extra-creamy gouda.

3. Dr. Seuss’s Sleep Book – From the inital admonishment inside the cover (“This Book is to be Read in Bed”), this classic bedtime book is a real childhood gem. It begin with the news that just came in from the County of Keck about a bug named Van Vleck who is yawning so wide you can look down his neck. It takes us from the peculiar phenomenon of the spreading yawn, to bedtime activities like the Herk-Heimer sisters brushing their teeth under a waterfall, through some rather odd sleepwalking, sleep-talking and sleep-biting rituals, to various sleeping habits, places and spaces. It leaves us with an assurance that when we turn out OUR light, the sleep tally will be ninety-nine zillion, nine trillion and three. It always made me extra sleepy (I was always ready to sleep!) and happy to be a contributor to the Whose Asleep Count. A special slice of American cheese.

4. The Sound Of Music – Two words: Julie Andrews. Two more: Rodgers & Hammerstein. Really, anything starring Julie Andrews ranks up there in my wheel of cheese, but TSOM has a special place in my heart. Just last night, at Deb Marlowe’s Independence Day Bash, my two daughters, Sabrina Jeffries and I all spontaneously joined in a rousing version of How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria? while we burned sparklers. *sigh* A great moment of sublime oneness for us, a fond remembrance for the other women in attendance (especially darling Deb) and a complete and utter WTF moment for males of all ages who were in attendance. They totally don’t get it. Deb said, “I’m coming to your house to watch Sound Of Music with you guys!” Yes, she is. I could never deny a woman in need of a cheese fix. And Sound Of Music is the very best sort of cheese fondue!

I could go on all day, but you get a sense of my kind of cheese. I love to be entertained and the cheesier it is, the better I like it. I could wax rhapsodic about the movies of Adam Sandler and Brendan Fraser. Sing you my guilty music pleasures like ABBA and WHAM! The cheesy romance novels are far too many to count. Let me leave it at admitting that Lavyrle Spencer has a sacred segment of my Keeper Shelf all to herself! Just to be extra evil, I slid in the codes so you can click on any of the above images and buy that hunk of cheese for yourself. Hey, I never said I wasn’t an enabler. *eg*

What sort of guilty, cheesy pleasure do you indulge in? We promise any information you reveal will never leave the Lair. Unless we all get together in, say, San Francisco and the margaritas are flowing freely. *ahem* Discretion, that’s the word! So, what’s your favorite kind of cheese?

I’ll Cry If I Want To

by Jo Robertson

I haven’t cried while reading a book in a long time.

Movies, sure.

My grandchildren, absolutely.

My daughters and their babies, all the time.

Okay, this is probably more the funny stuff that leads to crying while I watch my girls try to fit their babies into the Swaddler. Ezra’s got the hang of it, Annie not so much.

But that sheer, close to the edge, can’t stop bawling kind of crying? Not so much any more.

It isn’t that the writing in the books I read isn’t better – in fact, authors now are producing much stronger books than the ones I read in my twenties – or thirties. It’s just that I’ve been reading mystery/suspense or sexy romance lately. Not a lot of room for unabashed weeping there.

So has crying over a good book out of vogue? Or is it just me?

But guess what? Recently I finished up Jennifer Donnelly’s The Tea Rose. (Jennifer guest-blogged here a while back; go to the archives if you’d like to read the interview.)


I cried like a baby when a character in Jennifer’s book died. I honestly —
gosh awful, snot running out of my nose, tears dampening my pillow — sobbed. I covered my mouth in case my crying became louder than my husband’s snores.
It didn’t, by the way.

The passage where the character died was beautifully written, evocative and powerful and damned SAD! You know, the good kind of sad where you have hope and tenderness and resignation all rolled up into one good bout of weeping.

The character thought of those who’d passed before him that he loved and hoped to meet again and worried about those he would leave behind. He gave a little blessing before he slipped away. Sobbing, I tell you. I was sobbing!

So here’s my question to you. What kinds of things make you cry? What was the last book or movie or something in your ordinary life that made you break down and boo-hoo weep?