Review: Sully: Miracle on the Hudson (2016)

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“Everything is unprecedented until it happens for the first time.”
– Chesley “Sully” Sullengerger

SYNOPSIS: The story of Chesley Sullenberger, an American pilot who became a hero after landing his damaged plane on the Hudson River in order to save the flight’s passengers and crew. – via IMDB

So chilling around the other day, I decided it was time to watch this. Obviously I know the story, but not in too much depth or anything like that, so figured this would be a good yardstick. Plus, Tom Hanks. I think he’s fantastic and would watch him in anything.

I didn’t think Sully was the greatest movie ever, but I did think that what Captain Sullenberger did that day was truly amazing. As the movie points out, you only ever see bad news nowadays, so to see a success story is always nice. Tom Hanks was excellent, as always, and was well worth watching. Aaron Eckhart, too, was solid and played well alongside Hanks. Comparing the actual photos at the end of the movie to what Eastwood delivered, too, is good, because it looked exactly like what had happened.

Sully is a quick watch, and so never overstays its welcome. It tells the story and gets you involved with the investigation into that fateful flight, and it is interesting to see how the investigation was going, and how it ultimately turned around. I don’t necessarily know if I will ever go back to watch Sully, but it was a decent watch with a strong cast and was done well.

May Blind Spot Review: Big (1988)

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“So you got a job, where you play with all these toys?”
– Billy

SYNOPSIS: After wishing to be made big, a teenage boy wakes the next morning to find himself mysteriously in the body of an adult. – via IMDB

You know what… this one was going so well until it wasn’t. And when it wasn’t going well, my stomach was churning. Maybe let me back up and get this going properly so we are all on the same page.

In the beginning, I was having a good time. The movie was sweet and silly and so totally eighties, and Tom Ha

nks was totally just owning it. Preposterous movie, but cute. But then it went icky – quickly. Despite the fact that this 12 year old is now in an adult body, it does not make him an adult, so for the writers to have to engage in a sexual relationship with a coworker was just too much for me. I just went ICK and the movie never recovered from that.

Besides that whole section of nasty, the second half did suffer from being too adult-y and all that. Yeah, I get why, and yeah, I get the message and all that, and it is necessary for the story arc to start somewhere, progress, and then complete, but after Josh started kicking it with Susan, everything fell apart. I got the whole concept of how much life changes when you have to grow up, how the simplicity is lost, I didn’t mind the message, but I was having severe difficulties with the relationship component – even with his body, he is still a child, and my skin crawled.

In the first half there were a lot of fun things – it was funny to see a child find himself in an adult body and try to pick up a life and make things work, all the while having a total ball with all that cash and freedom. Tom Hanks is also excellent here, to be sure, and I thought he handled the role really well. He came across and genuine and adorable.

Anyway, I can’t really say Big was much of a winner. It started out alright and then it just went super dodgy, and it ruined the experience for me. I will certainly not be rushing out to watch this again. Once was enough.

Sporadic Scene: Forrest Gump (1994) – I Know What Love Is

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Forrest Gump is a fantastic movie in  my eyes, and it is infinitely quotable. It balances of the knife edge of being hilarious as well as being a heavy drama. This is just one of those scenes that was just so heartbreakingly sad, showing us that Forrest was more that just some silly dimwit with extremely good fortune.

If you have a scene that you would like featured, drop me a mail at sporadiczoe@hotmail.com with a picture/gif/video of the scene and an explanation as to why (should you want to include it).

Review: Road to Perdition (2002)

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road to perdition poster

“There are many stories about Michael Sullivan. Some say he was a decent man. Some say there was no good in him at all.”
– Michael Sullivan Jr 

Irish mob boss John Rooney (Paul Newman) has many people that work for him. One of those people is the exceptionally good enforcer Michael Sullivan (Tom Hanks). The two have an incredibly close relationship seeing as Rooney pretty much raised Sullivan as his own son. Connor (Daniel Craig) is Rooney’s son, but has always somewhat resented Sullivan for having his father’s love and respect more than he. Rooney requests that Sullivan and Conner pay Finn McGovern (Ciarán Hinds) a visit about money that is being stolen and going missing. McGovern just buried his brother, and is unhappy about it. Sullivan’s son, Michael Sullivan Jr (Tyler Hoechlin) follows his father to the meeting place to see what it is that his father does for a living. What he sees scares him – Connor loses his temper and he and Sullivan gun down McGovern and his men. Sullivan discovers Michael at the scene, but there is no way that he will eliminate his own child.

road to perdition rooneys and sullivan

“A man of honour always pays his debts… and keeps his word.” – John Rooney

Rooney is deeply angry with his son, and Connor bears the brunt of it. Sullivan is making sure that Michael stays quiet about what he saw, interacting with his son on a more frequent level than ever before – he has not really been the family man. Connor, however, is sure he can “fix” things between himself and his father, but will not have Michael a part of what went down. Instead, he arranges to have Michael killed, and when he visits the house he kills Sullivan’s wife, Annie (Jennifer Jason Leigh), and youngest son Peter (Liam Aiken), mistaking him for Michael. Sullivan is crushed to find his family, but takes Michael and flees Rock Island, Illinois, to speak with Al Capone. He needs work and he needs to know where Rooney has hidden Connor.

road to perdition

“Natural law. Sons are put on this earth to trouble their fathers.” – John Rooney

Father and son trek across the country, spending more time together than ever before. Sullivan meets with Frank Nitti (Stanley Tucci), Capone’s associate, who turns him down for both work as well as assisting Sullivan exact his revenge against Connor. Rooney learns of the meeting, and is forced to employ assassin Harlen Maguire (Jude Law) to eliminate Sullivan. Sullivan, however, has other plans. On the run from the assassin, Sullivan starts to rob banks that are known to contain Capone’s laundered money. Michael is helping his father, and together they rob the mob of plenty of money. Sullivan wants to hit them where it hurts, and he needs someone to tell him where to find Connor so that he can bring about order to his life. Sullivan comes across some ledgers when holding up Alexander Rance (Dylan Baker), Rooney’s accountant.

road to perdition street

“Just one last thing, and then it’s done.” – Michael Sullivan

Michael and Sullivan continue to rob banks, but the ledgers that Sullivan has acquired tell him a hell of a lot more about what is going on with Connor and Rooney and McGovern. However, with his son in hand, they need to get to a safe place. His sister-in-law’s place is not safe, seeing as Maguire is watching it and sure to know that it will be the place that Sullivan seeks cover. Will Sullivan be able to get Connor and punish him for robbing him of his family? Will Sullivan and Rooney still have ties if Sullivan exterminates Rooney’s biological son? Will Maguire ever get off of Sullivan’s case? Will Michael be able to stay on the run across the country with his father, whom he is only now finally developing a relationship with?

I would score Road to Perdition a 7.5/10. This was a good movie, not too much, not too little of anything. Tom Hanks played his role well, though this was really something a bit different for him in my opinion. This was full-fledged drama with virtually no comedic aspects to it, which is not always his thing. Watching a father and son find themselves after the colossal loss that they suffered is quite sad. Without his mother, Michael Jr doesn’t really know his dad, and vice versa. They knock heads and are so damn similar to each other that building a relationship is no mean feat. They need to get to know each other more and make peace with so much that had, before the tragic loss of family, never been dealt with before. There were a few scenes that made me smile, and a few that were terribly sad. I thought Michael Jr being the getaway driver was hilarious, as well as his desire to be cut in to some of the earnings. The movie had sweet moments, and others that just made you feel things were not right. I liked Maguire’s character that Jude Law played, the assassin that loves his job too much and documents it in excruciating detail. Jude Law himself, however, still doesn’t impress me much. I liked the way that Michael Sullivan Jr told the story of his father, their pain and the antics that they got up to. The film also looked really pretty, which is always nice. Not a bad film and worth checking out I reckon.

Top Ten Movies Where Tom Hanks Urinates to Move the Plot Along: The Oracle of Film

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So the Top Ten lists have been in full swing, and there have been solid lists that I have been receiving. However, the most bizarre request that I received was from Luke over at Oracle of Film, seeking permission to do something a little different. I was all for the creative juices, though when he told me what his premise and idea was, I was like there is no ways you are going to cough up ten films where Tom Hanks takes a leak as a part of the plot! Well, trust me, I was proven wrong in the most hilarious fashion possible. Luke, I take my hat off to you for your dedication! If you haven’t stopped by to see what Luke has to say about all sorts of things film related, games related, music related and what not, I would say that should be your next interwebs stop!

Should you be interested in submitting a Top Ten list, draw up a list of either your top ten personal favourite movies or a top ten list by a specific genre/theme and send it along to me at sporadiczoe@hotmail.com. Hope to see a few more lists!

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When Zoë asked me to write up a Top Ten list for her blog, I was stuck choosing a particular theme to go for. For one, I hate trying to narrow my favourite movies of a genre into a top ten, because I always panic and forget the most important one. Also, I really wanted to do something outside the box and memorable. Then suddenly, it hit me. The answer was in front of me the whole time. Tom Hanks’ penis.

You see, people, Tom Hanks penis comes up a lot in cinema. If you look through Tom Hanks’s entire filmography, you will notice that having a slash is actually a long-running theme in several of his movies. I noticed a couple and laughed it off as a wacky coincidence. However, to research this list, I realised that this was more of a coincidence. Tom Hanks is obsessed with urinating in front of packed cinemas. Please join me, readers, as we descend into the murky depths of Tom Hanks and his love for bodily fluids.

10 – A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN

This is the movie that started off this random, wacky trend. In perhaps the best scene in the entire movie, Tom Hanks bursts into the girls’ changing rooms and has the manliest pee in cinematic history. He just leans back and lets it flow, throwing in what can only be described as a noise, scarily similar to an orgasm.

9 – THE TERMINAL

Another great comedy scene in a Tom Hanks movie is the Terminal. Tom Hanks is waiting for a really important phone call and he cannot afford to be away from the payphone for a second. Of course, in a move that almost everyone ever can relate to, he suddenly needs to pee. The next scene consists of his own bladder becoming his nemesis, when all he wants to do is get back home to his country.

8 – THE BURBS/ ROAD TO PERDITION

In fairness, Tom Hanks doesn’t urinate in every movie he stars in. Sometimes, he just pretends to, in order to get out of trouble. In the Burbs, when Tom Hanks suspects his neighbours of being up to something, he claims he needs to use their bathroom, in order to get some time to snoop around their house. This idea of urinating once again forwards the plot. And in ‘The Road to Perdition’, Tom Hanks realises he is about to be assassinated by a hitman, so he excuses himself to go to the bathroom. This saves his life, giving him time to escape. Urinating once again saves the day.

7 – THE MONEY PIT

This is an early film of Tom Hanks that you might not know. Here, peeing is actually Tom Hanks’ character arc. He starts the movie moving into this new house with his wife and the plumbing does not work. He goes out into the garden and pees. Next to him, the water fountain (a child peeing, because art is for paedophiles), is struggling to keep up a constant stream. Tom Hanks mocks this statue, proudly displaying his manly ability to pee. This scene symbolises Tom Hanks at the height of his power in the movie. However, slowly the house disrupts is marriage and life, until it basically defeats him. His pride at peeing became the enemy and punished him.

6 – FORREST GUMP

This pee joke doesn’t mean anything, but it is another example that Tom Hanks refuses to be in a movie that doesn’t involve peeing in some way. The scene in question sees Forrest Gump meeting JFK. JFK shakes his hand and Forrest bluntly announces he needs to pee. JFK laughs and repeats the line. The reason I have included this in the list is because I find it endlessly funny that cinema finally got the technology to make a dead person say something original and they used it on the line: “He needs to pee.” That is so… Forrest Gump.

5 – CASTAWAY

Tom Hanks is the only person in the world, he would take a script about a man trapped on a desert island, kept away from any form of society or civilisation, appreciate the powerhouse script and the potential OSCAR nominations contained within, but then give it back, asking “Where does he pee?” Yes, Tom Hanks actually tried to work in urinating, so he could get an excuse to pee on film once more. Cue shot of him running frantically to the edge of a beach and then once again, letting it rip. I wouldn’t be surprised if that orgasm crept up once more. There is no stopping the bloke.

4 – APOLLO 13

Again, Tom Hanks takes a great story and finds himself unable to not think about peeing. Therefore, we get a long scene of exposition, telling the audience exactly how someone pees in space. Admittedly, this time it is quite interesting and I am sure several astronauts will appreciate what is surely an inside joke being shared with everyone else. Finally, their penis struggles are captured on film.

3 – SAVING PRIVATE RYAN

Every war movie as the bitter monologue of the shell-shocked soldiers. Every war hero needs his origin story, for example. Spielberg had to include a scene where the soldiers gather around and share their stories. Everyone talks about how much they miss home and then Tom Hanks dreamily reminiscences about a bully at school who pissed the letter V (let’s assume he is talking about Verbal Spew), into everyone’s jacket. Seriously?! Your war story involves urinating again. This is one of the clearest moments that Tom Hanks is obsessed.

2 – THE GREEN MILE

Yes, of course, this was going to make the top end of the list. The entire movie is about pissing, at least symbolically. Tom Hanks’ character cannot urinate without causing himself pain. Then a dangerous, yet gentle criminal is admitted in death row. He heals Tom Hanks, allowing him to pee freely (by this point, in the article, we understand that Tom Hanks sees this gift in the same light we see a lottery win). Tom Hanks is torn for the rest of the movie. And thus the movie will always be remembered as the film where Michael Clarke Duncan saved Tom Hanks’s penis.

1 – CAPTAIN PHILLIPS

But the winner as to be Captain Phillips. Why? Well, mainly, because when I heard about this Tom Hanks’ obsession with pee, I laughed it off. I remembered Green Mile and Castaway, plus a few throwaway jokes in Forrest Gump, but I assume it was just a weird coincidence. Then I saw Captain Phillips in 2013 and saw him try to escape his terrorist captors by faking the need to urinate. I am not sure of the symbolism here yet. Maybe at this point in his career, Tom Hanks has realised his dream ambition of making urination a public topic is hopeless. Just like trying to escape his captors in the movie. Urination symbolises many things in Tom Hanks’s life, depending on where he is in his life. Tom Hanks’ movies and pee scenes have turned into a portfolio of his life, proving that urine can be art. And on that point, I think it is best to leave this list there.

Review: Saving Private Ryan (1998)

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SAVING PRIVATE RYAN MOVIE POSTER

“He better be worth it. He better go home and cure a disease, or invent a longer-lasting light bulb.”
– Captain Miller

American soldiers prepare to land on Omaha Beach. The landing is catastrophic, and soldiers are killed in earnest in the landing. The Germans are waiting for them, and as the US soldiers are practically led to slaughter, Captain John H. Miller (Tom Hanks), the company commander of the Charlie Company, 2nd Ranger Battalion, gathers all able-bodied soldiers he can. With his new group he launches an assault on the German defenses, and soon emerges victorious. In the midst of all of this happening in Normandy, back at Washington D.C. General George Marshall (Harve Presnell) learns that three of four brothers of the Ryan family are deceased, and that Private First Class James Francis Ryan of Baker Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division is still out there somewhere, though whether dead or alive is unknown. Ryan’s mother is to receive all the terrible news in one day, and General Marshall decides then that a group will be dispatched to bring Private Ryan home.

SAVING PRIVATE RYAN BEACH LANDING

The ghastly beach landings

Captain Miller is given the task of recovering the young Private Ryan, and gathers men he trusts to take out with him. Sergeant Michael Horvath (Tom Sizemore), Private Richard Reiben (Edward Burns), a great sniper by the name of Private Daniel Jackson (Barry Pepper), a Jewish Private Stanley Mellish (Adam Goldberg), Private Adrien Caparzo (Vin Diesel) and T-4 Medic Irwin Wade (Giovanni Ribisi). In need of a new translator, he picks up Corporal Timothy E. Upham (Jeremy Davies), a nervous young man who has never actually been out in the field. Together they set out across the foreign country with no real idea about Private Ryan’s whereabouts.

Sniper Private Daniel Jackson saving private ryan

“Well, it seems to me, sir, that God gave me a special gift, made me a fine instrument of warfare.” – Private Jackson

The soldiers seem to feel that is is a ludicrous request to send all these men out to recover one man. Other lives are at risk to save but one? They don’t get it, but orders are orders. However, during the course of the journey, they move through warring districts, lose men and contempt and contention breaks out. Captain Miller is supposed to lead them, to keep them in line, but slowly but surely an angry Reiben starts cracking the foundations of the group. He does not want to die for one man. Captain Miller is an enigma to the soldiers – nobody knows anything about him, and he seems content to keep it as such. The search for Private Ryan seems to be fruitless, as they have yet to find either the man or his tags. Neither seems forthcoming. Ready to give up, a friend of Private Ryan comes forward and tells the group that he is defending a bridge in Ramelle.

SAVING PRIVATE RYAN WAITING FOR THE GERMANS

“It doesn’t make any sense, sir. Why? Why do I deserve to go?” – Private Ryan

Upon reaching Ramelle, they break the news to Private Ryan (Matt Damon). The soldiers are ready to leave having completed the mission, but Ryan refuses to go. This makes the situation awkward, and arguments break out as to what needs to be done. Their task was to bring him in, but he will not. He has a duty to the United States government, and seems intent on carrying it out. Will the soldiers be able to get their home passes by sending Ryan back to his mother, or will they go back empty handed, angered at their dire losses suffered for one man?

Saving Private Ryan earns a solid 9/10. This movie was a gem. The opening scenes of the beach landings in Normandy are just so beautifully done, though extremely heart wrenching. That aspect of this film should not be underplayed or under-appreciated at all. The story that is told is a great one, and this movie shows a look at soldiers and all the difficult things that they went through. Tom Hanks delivered a solid performance here, and should not be overlooked. Saving Private Ryan was excellent on so many fronts I don’t really know how to describe it all. All I know is that the movie never fails to blow me away. It looks at how men of all cultures, backgrounds and professions joined a war to fight for their country, yet ceaselessly dreamed about going home to their loved ones, ever afraid that they would not go back. Watching Captain Miller make impossible decisions and maintain his composure around his company is so sad, and tells you of his character. The seemingly fruitless march across foreign soil to recover one soldier seems fantastical, yet respect is due the soldiers that undertook to trek across to find this man and return him to his mother. This seems to be an incredibly realistic rendition of wartime conditions (I do not know and do not plan to find out about it). It is so sad to see how these men rely on each other with their lives yet are too scared to get to know the others too well due to the uncertainty of situation. There was humour in the film, but real dark, though still enjoyable, until things get dramatic. When the turn comes you are very in with the drama side again. Exceptionally well cast (even with Vin Diesel, he was really not that bad in this) and brilliantly put together and a wonderful backdrop to play the story out on, I loved this movie, and think that everyone should watch it at least once! I know it is an emotional and heavy film, but it is definitely worth looking into, and remains solidly on my watch list.

Review: Catch Me If You Can (2002)

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Catch Me If You Can Wallpaper

“I’m not a doctor. I never went to medical school. I’m not a lawyer, or a Harvard graduate, or a Lutheran.”
– Frank Abagnale Jr.

Yesterday I watched Catch Me If You Can again, and realized why I love it so much. It has been years since I watched it, and I have been particularly nostalgic over the last few weeks. Naturally, this movie would feature.

The story is that of Frank Abagnale Jr. (Leonardo DiCaprio). His father, Frank Abagnale Sr. (Christopher Walken) is a well meaning man but a small time con artist. Frank’s parents, Frank Sr. and Paula Abagnale (Nathalie Baye) get divorced after the family loses everything. Put on the spot to choose which parent to live with, Frank Jr. runs, and begins his life as one of the world’s greatest con artists at the tender age of sixteen.

Frank Abagnale Jr Pilot

Women can be so distracting!

After roughing it and sweet talking to no avail, Frank gets an idea, and researches in depth. It all begins with the Pan Am airways, and Frank markets himself as young co-pilot Frank Taylor, and banks thousands of dollars worth of cheques. Later, he moves on to becoming a doctor by total random decision when FBI agent Carl Hanratty (Tom Hanks) starts closing in on him. Dr. Frank “Conners” then meets the love of his life there, nurse Brenda Strong (Amy Adams). Frank asks her father, Roger Strong (Martin Sheen) for her hand in marriage, and then spins the story of practicing law, and having studied before. Frank becomes a licensed legal prosecutor, and just as he studied to be a doctor, meticulously watches tapes to mimic the profession.

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I concur.

However, the net is drawing in tightly around Frank, and Carl Hanratty is intent on catching  a man who has turned out to be nothing but a nuisance and an embarrassment to him from the off. Carl becomes obsessed with Frank, and together they play a cat-mouse game that lasts years, neither willing to back down or call a truce, and neither willing to let the other go.

Catch Me If You Can scores an 8/10. I really thoroughly enjoyed every second of this film. The deception was great, Leonardo DiCaprio really did a phenomenal job of portraying Frank Abagnale Jr. and as always, watching Tom Hanks was a pleasure, he had the role of Agent Carl Hanratty down pat. I think that Steven Spielberg rocked this film, and this is a proper classic. The humour was abundant, and I was laughing solidly the whole way, and the balance between drama and humour was simply perfect and flowed very well. The cast gelled together nicely, and the dynamic was very pleasant indeed. Well worth the watch if you have not seen it before, and definitely worth a re-watch even if you have!

Review: The Green Mile (1999)

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the green mile poster

Now here is a classic. I feel that everyone should at least watch this film if they are not prepared to read the masterpiece that is its father. The Green Mile is my rendition of bringing a book to screen. As always, only Stephen King could produce such a story, and bring it out so successfully, and harness all the elements that make this story magical. Alright, enough gushing, let’s get right down to it.

Paul Edgecombe (Tom Hanks) is a prison guard on death row, and they call their cell block The Green Mile. Paul is suffering from an extreme urinary infection, and refuses to see his doctor about it, convinced that the infection will pass in due time. On one fateful day, a prisoner by the name of John Coffey (Michael Clarke Duncan) is brought onto the Mile for raping and murdering two little sisters.  He is a giant of a man, and all the inmates and guards are stunned by his sheer monstrosity, and confused by his seemingly gentle nature.

the green mile john coffee brought in

John Coffey

Life is mostly peaceful on death row, as it should be, yet there is a young, cruel and insolent man working with a fine group of men, Percy Wetmore (Doug Hutchison). Percy is everything that you would never want to be in life, and is incredibly inhumane. Brutus “Brutal” Howell (David Morse), Dean Stanton (Barry Pepper) and Harry Terwilliger (James DeMunn), work together effortlessly and close together to maintain the block and keep it tended. One day, Paul’s infection almost cripples him after a new prisoner has been brought onto the Mile, a crazy loon by the name of “Wild Bill” Wharton (Sam Rockwell), who promptly gives his package a good kicking. John Coffey calls to Paul, and when Paul goes there, John heals him. This confuses the guards, as someone that can work such miracles, and that has such a great gift could not possibly be all the things that he is accused of. The men deal with major moral conflicts. A mouse shows up on the block, and everyone takes a liking to it, and soon one of the inmates, Eduard Delacroix (Michael Jeter) adopts and names him Mr Jingles, which only serves to aggravate some situations more.

The Green Mile  is a solid 9/10. It is an intense story, told exceptionally gracefully, and that has characters that you fall in love with. Their fates become so entwined with what you are viewing, and they become a part of you. The movie touches deep parts of a person, and again I was astounded by how close to the book they kept the film. Stephen King felt that this movie was the truest depiction of his work into a movie, and for good reason, too.

Early Christmas Haul!

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DVDs The Shining, The Green Mile, Forrest Gump, Edward Scissorhands

Yesssssssssssss! I am so thrilled with the gifts I got from my one colleague and my boss! My colleague I could understand buying The Shining for me, she knows how much I adore it. But my boss to have bought me Forrest GumpThe Green Mile and Edward Scissorhands?! (She is usually the bath salts kind of gift-er).

So here I am, with some great titles to add to my ever growing collection! I cannot wait to watch them! My holiday starts today, so I will have plenty of time to devour each and every one of them. Two Stephen King creations, a cliché but always fantastic Forrest Gump (I really don’t care what anyone has to say about it, I love the film) and a Tim Burton flick? Not bad, not bad!

I love it when Christmas occasionally comes early. So now off to enjoy some greatness, and I will be posting about them all soon!