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Graphic artist credit embedded in image. Click to enlarge.

Continuing on in my journal, I bring you my list of most beloved childhood movies. Well, I wouldn’t exactly say these movies are my most “beloved”, but they are truly memorable. A few of these movies even represent a few small milestones that occurred in my life. Let me cut to the chase & just get on with it then.

[DISCLAIMER: ALL PHOTOS LISTED BELOW ARE COURTESY OF PINTEREST OR GOOGLE IMAGES.]
sleeping beauty1.jpg

Image represents the 3 good faeries.

I believe Sleeping Beauty was the very first Disney princess animated film I ever watched. Out of all of the Disney princess movies I’ve seen, Sleeping Beauty is my most favorite princess. When I was a little girl, I daydreamed that I lived in a beautiful, secluded cottage with my three best friends, who also happen to have magical powers, & that I could communicate with animals, & meet a handsome man to come & sweep me off my feet.

Out of all the elements from this movie, my favorites were the three good faeries. They were always my all-time favorite characters in the movie (along with Prince Philip’s horse Samson). I loved the way Flora Merryweather would argue back & forth over taking care of Princess Aurora (a.k.a. Briar Rose), especially bickering over who gets to sew Aurora’s birthday dress (& choose which color it will be). Fauna just quietly steps back to bake the important birthday cake. When I was a child, I really wished I had three special faeries that could wave their magic wands & help me along the way.

I loved this Disney animated movie when I was growing up. I loved to fantasize about falling in love with a Prince Philip-type guy of my own, where we would bump into each other accidentally & fall in love with each other at first sight. Of course like most young girls, I dreamed that this mystery guy would slay dragons & move heaven & earth just to kiss me. I wanted to live on my own with my three best friends & go on adventures. I didn’t necessarily want to be a princess per se, but I wanted that fairytale of falling in love at first sight with a hot, hunky guy who would fight to be with me.


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I didn’t watch this movie when it first released. I was too young then. I watched this movie a few years later when I was a bit older, & my older siblings convinced my parents to get the fancier cable TV package with the HBO movie channel. This was one of the first times I ever realized I started liking boys in a romance-y kind of way. I saw the actor Ralph Macchio in The Karate Kid, & I pretty much had heart-shaped stars in my eyes.

First off, I was barely 7 or 8 years old & hardly even knew what a “crush” was, but I knew that I thought this actor was cute. That was the first time I ever experienced a celebrity crush on an actor. I was in total awe of the main character’s school costume in the movie (a person taking a shower, but instead of wearing a cheesy bathrobe & shower cap, he actually rigged up a fully functioning shower curtain so it looked like he was in a real shower). I thought it was so cool that he could do karate. I kind of wished back then that I could perform a few karate tricks so I could impress my relatives back in Japan. Watching this movie made me want to visit Japan again.

I was such a weird kid growing up. When I watched TV shows or movies, I would focus on the most random or inconsequential things, like how I wanted to paint a fence just so I could say “wax on, wax off”. At least my older cousin who was living with us at the time tried to copy the scene when the character Mr. Miyagi caught a fly with only a pair of chopsticks. He actually succeeded in recreating that scene, but only after like, 15 tries…& we had to trap a fly & bring it into the house so he could try the trick.


This movie will always be hailed as my most favorite Disney film of all-time! Hands down. Oh man, I watched this movie so many times that I memorized all of the songs. I wanted so badly to have Julie Andrews come to my house & be my babysitter/nanny/governess. I would daydream that she would float down from the sky wit her talking umbrella & take me on awesome adventures, except for dancing on rooftops & walking on staircases made of chimney smoke because I have been afraid of heights my entire life. Seeing those chimney sweeps dancing & leaping between buildings mad me so nervous when I watched Mary Poppins as a child. I was always anxious/scared that one of them would slip & fall off the ledge of the building, even though I knew this was only a fairytale movie.

Even to this very day, I still love this movie & will watch it over & over again. I want to laugh so hard that I float up to the ceiling & tell funny jokes with the likes of Uncle Albert (who looks suspiciously like Benjamin Franklin) while sipping on cups of tea. I want to jump inside a sidewalk chalk drawing & have lovely tea & cakes served to me by smiling, dancing penguins. I want to invent the longest word you’ve ever heard & song a catchy song about it. However, I DO NOT want to live next door to an over-zealous ex naval captain with a penchant for daily reenactments. It would be incredibly annoying to have to rearrange/realign my furniture & hanging picture frames everyday. My OCD personality wouldn’t know how to deal with that kind of situation.


Oo-de-lally, golly what a movie! This might’ve been the first movie to introduce to the wonderful world of foxes. I loved this movie so much when I was a little girl. I wanted so badly to be Maid Marian & fall madly in love with Robin Hood, who would use his cunning skills with a bow & arrow to rescue me from the evil clutches of the nasty, yet bumbling villain. My hero would save the entire kingdom, get an official pardon from the real king, & we would run off together in a wildly romantic fairytale ending.

Although I loved the whole story line between MarianRobin, they weren’t my favorite characters from the movie. Some of my most favorite characters from this Disney movie were, quite literally, the little guys. I loved the little church mice. They were such a lovely & adorable couple living in the church with Friar Tuck. I also really loved the lute-playing rooster. To me the rooster & Lady Kluck, the chicken-in-waiting, were the funniest characters (aside from Little John) who provided just the right amount of humor. However, my most favorite character in this entire movie were the little rabbit children, especially the little girl bunny who was always carrying her stuffed bunny toy with her & minding her manners.

I wasn’t always a fan of Disney movies, but this one (as well as a few others) really captured my attention. I mean, seriously how could you not love a movie with intrigue, secret disguises, action, romance, & epic child-friendly fight scenes. On a related note, I also cannot wait for the new Robin Hood origins-style movie to be released in theaters later this year. The headlining stars of this film are actors Taron Egerton (as Robin Hood) & Jamie Foxx (as Little John, not the rapper)….but most importantly, it also stars Jamie Dornan as Will Scarlett, Robin Hood’s half-brother who is the one actually married to Maid Marion (but Robin Hood steals her love away from him…blah, blah,blah…) It’s going to be super exciting.


When I first watched 101 Dalmatians as a kid, I had a bunch of thoughts racing through my mind that a kid that age would normally never think about.

1. How could one couple take care of so many dogs/puppies? I couldn’t imagine taking care of one let alone 100 (and one). I could barely take care of goldfish let alone a dog.

2. Cruella DeVille, the villain, kind of reminded me of my maternal grandmother. Not in that way. My grandma wasn’t evil or mean, but like Cruella my grandma had an extravagant lifestyle. She owned exotic fur coats & jewelry that could almost rival the collection of Elizabeth Taylor. She was also larger than life, & commanded the presence in any room she walked into.

3. I was such a weirdo back then. I saw the commercial for Canine Cruchies dog food in the animated movie, & like the little puppies, I sort of wanted to try it too.

4. I really wanted a Dalmatian as a pet. I never had a pet as a kid, so seeing all these cute & cuddly puppies made me so envious.

I really loved this movie for all of the adorable, cute, & cuddly puppies. I love how all of the dogs banded together with their owners to defeat the villain & lived happily-ever-after. I’ve always loved feel-good movies like this one!


Oh my gawd! I LOVE spaghetti with meatballs!! Seeing these two lovable dogs sharing a plate of pasta yumminess made me so hungry every time I watched this movie. Of course it’s always been a romantic fantasy of mine to share food with my significant other (or my crush) & then we keep eating until our lips touch. I am getting hungry even as I write this.

I really felt bad for Tramp being stereotyped just because he was a stray. He was a scrappy dog, but he had a good & pure heart. I loved how Lady saw the good in him right away, & gave him a chance. I always thought Lady was the most beautiful dog, but my heart ultimately belonged to Jock, the bull terrier. I instantly fell in love with him when I saw his adorable knit sweater & heard his cute accent. The two characters I didn’t really like (other than Aunt Sarah) were the Siamese twin cats. I thought it was kind of discriminatory to give them Asian-sounding accents & slanted eyes. I also didn’t like them because they were stuck up little brats, & when I was a kid, I was severely allergic & didn’t like cats anyway.

Of course, after watching his movie too, I still wanted a pet dog, but my parents wouldn’t allow it. I have a theory as to why, but that’s a long story for another time. Overall, I found this movie to be super romantic, & I especially loved the happy ending where all of the dogs in the neighborhood got together at Christmastime along with Darling & Tony’s newborn baby & Lady & Tramp’s new puppies.


As you can tell, I’ve always loved feel-good movies with happy endings. I watched a lot of different movies when I was a kid. I wanted to hang out with my older siblings & older cousins, & they were mostly interested in the pop culture of those days (back in the 1980s). As a family, my generation watched a ton of television, movies, & listened to all of the popular music on the newly trendy TV channel MTV. When I spent time by myself, I would watch the same movies over & over again, & some of these movies were on heavy rotation. Writing about these movies s making me want to go back & watch them again. Until next time, cheers!

Today’s song of the day is my new PLAYLIST!

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“Baltimore industrialist Wendell Armbruster crosses paths with London shop girl Pamela Piggott when they come to Ischia to pick up the bodies of her mother and his father, who have been killed in an automobile accident after a ten-year summertime affair. Straitlaced Wendell tries to avoid a scandal while free-spirited Pamela is impressed by the romantic setting. After some confusion with the bodies and a blackmail attempt by unscrupulous locals, Wendell and Pamela extend their parent’s affair into the next generation.” via IMDB

Before this week, I had never even heard of this movie, called Avanti! (circa 1972). I know of actor Jack Lemmon; I’ve seen a few of his older movies & TV shows in the past (eg. The Odd Couple with fellow actor Walter Mathau). I know little of actress Juliet Mills. If I hadn’t “Google searched” her name, I would not have immediately recognized her. I only remember her from her days on a long-ago cancelled daytime American TV soap opera, & as the wife of fellow actor Maxwell Caulfield (whom I only recognize from the movies Grease 2 & Empire Records). I just happened to stumble upon this movie one evening while I was channel surfing on my bedroom TV. I often enjoy watching the classic movie channels, & sometimes I’ll uncover a real winner…like this one.

In just this one week alone, I’ve already watched this movie THREE TIMES. Yes, I understand that I sound like a crazy person, but I really, truly enjoyed this movie, & found it to be quite romantic even though some may argue that this movie glorifies & beautifies the act of openly & freely committing adultery. I choose to look past the sordid details of adultery & focus on the budding romance between the two main characters Wendell Armbruster Jr. Pamela Piggott. I can’t quite understand how a man, back in those days, could go on vacation to Italy for one moth every year for ten years without his family, & it doesn’t raise any red flags. I get that in the movie, it was mentioned that the main male character’s father had health issues & was visiting the Italian hotel to relax & relieve his ailments. However, staying in Italy for ONE MONTH, alone? If I were the wife of Mr. Armbruster Sr., I’d tell him to take the kids with him. I need a vacation too. [laughs]

There were definite parts of the movie that I enjoyed the most. I really liked how, through the course of the movie, Jack Lemmon’s character Wendell Jr. has a change of attitude & a change of heart toward’s Juliet Mills’ character Pamela. Jack’s character is at first cold, surly & impatient.

“Look, Miss. On a train, or on a boat, there’s nothing I can do about it. But when you come barging into my room…” – Wendell Armbruster Jr.

“I thought maybe tonight we’d do something different…our thing.” – Wendell Armbruster Jr.

avanti-6

However, Juliet’s free-spirited & happy-go-lucky character slowly thaws his icy heart & slows his quick-tempered pace. Eventually, the two main characters grow to enjoy each other’s company & build a relationship without immediately realizing it. My most favorite scene(s) of the movie has to do with Juliet’s character Pamela Piggott. I absolutely LOVE that Pamela shows a little vulnerability & sensitivity toward her not-so-slim figure (a.k.a. her weight), yet she is able to keep a sense of humor about it all. Through the course of the movie, Pamela becomes increasingly confident about her voluptuousness. I wish I could be as confident about my body as Pamela is about her own body.

“I’ve been called plump. I’ve been called pudgy. I’ve been called chubby. But I’ve never been called fat…ass.” – Pamela Piggott

“Mrs. Armbruster, just to put your  mind at rest, you needn’t be worried one bit, because if you saw me, I’m short, I’m fat, & I’m not very attractive. OK?” – Pamela Piggott

avanti-5

Besides the two main characters, there are a few other colorful characters worth mentioning…such as:
1. Carlo Carlucci, the charming, witty & quick-thinking hotel manager
2. Bruno, the cheeky valet with a penchant for taking raunchy photographs
3. Anna, the mustachioed housekeeper with a trigger finger & an unrequited passion for Bruno (Throughout the movie, I thought this character was played by an effeminate man, only to discover that she really was a woman…Oops!)

This movie starts off rather cold, with Wendell Jr. desperately trying to keep Pamela quiet about their parents’ love affair. Wendell sees the affair as a sordid black mark on his well-respected & high-profile father’s life, while Pamela only sees the pure & genuine love the two shared between each other. After spending a night of reliving their parents’ past, the two warm up to each other & start to really see things the way their parents saw things when they were together at the hotel. One of my favorite lines from this particular part of the movie comes after the pair decide to take a morning swim in their birthday suits (& a pair of black socks…because some people are in mourning.)

“Well here we are…basking like two baby seals…” – Wendell Armbruster Jr.

avanti-15

The hotel is very beautiful, & I wish it were a real place that I could visit. All of the rooms seem quite luxurious, & I would love to have a cocktail (or two) at the bar & enjoy a meal of Duck à L’Orange with a side of pasta (perhaps green, for color).

And now, we come to the end of the movie. It’s time for Wendell to wrap up business in Italy. After all, he was there to claim his deceased father’s corpse & rush to a hasty funeral, not to fall in love with his father’s mistress’ daughter. The whole time in Italy, Wendell is cursing his father for having a ten-year secret love affair. All the while, Pamela is just happy that her mother was happily in love (whether her mother’s lover was married or not did not phase her at all). My final favorite scene in the movie was when Wendell asks Pamela about her mother. He asks her, in a roundabout way, if she was a kept woman. Pamela assures him that her mother was not receiving gifts from his father. Her mother was a working woman who paid her own way in life. Her mother never wanted money or gifts from Wendell’s wealthy father. She only wanted his love.

“I told you the first day, she loved him. She didn’t want any tips.” – Pamela Piggott

Isn’t it rather romantic (& a lot of Hollywood movie magic) that the son & daughter of the two former lovers end up falling in love with each other, & carry on the romance their parents once held at that very same hotel? Of course a storyline like that only happens on extremely rare occasions & in flashy Hollywood movie scripts. However, I quite enjoyed the storyline all the same. I guess you could say that I am in love with LOVE. I am a sucker for a sappy good romance. I thoroughly enjoyed this movie, & believe it or not…most likely you will…I was watching this movie yet again, simultaneously while writing this blog post…and NO. I am not going to watch this movie after I finish this post. Cheers.

Today’s song of the day:

uncle-posterUNCLE1

In the 1960s with the Cold War in play, CIA agent Napoleon Solo successfully helps Gaby Teller defect to West Germany despite the intimidating opposition of KGB agent Illya Kuryakin. Later, all three unexpectedly find themselves working together in a joint mission to stop a private criminal organization from using Gaby’s father’s scientific expertise to construct their own nuclear bomb. Through clinched teeth and stylish poise, all three must find a way to cooperate for the sake of world peace, even as they each pursue their own agendas.

via: IMDB

I recently saw the film The Man from U.N.C.L.E.. This was one of the films in more recent years that has truly piqued my interest. I’ve been finding movies within this decade are so uninteresting and boring. Nothing has been grabbing my attention or even getting me remotely excited, until this movie came along. Upon the first time viewing the trailer for this movie, while I was in the theater watching Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, I was instantly hooked. Oh, yeah. I fell in love with this movie straight away.

This movie really caught my attention right from the start because it reminded me of all of my favorite classic/vintage/retro films from the 1960s. I absolutely adore films from the 60s…more so than the films of my generation or even in the current decade. This movie had a bit of James Bond, mixed with a little bit of The Italian Job, mixed with a dash of Charade, mixed with a small helping of The Avengers (TV show), mixed with a dose of To Catch A Thief.

There was plenty of espionage, sexiness, comedy, secret identities, evil-doing, just-in-the-nick-of-time moments, car chases, gun fights, explosions, & the hero(es) saving the damsel (sort of) in distress.

The incredibly soulful, Motown-esque music soundtrack really set a great vibe throughout the film, & it really got me tapping my feet (quietly) & bobbing my head the entire time. I’m debating if I should just pull the trigger (no pun intended) & purchase the deluxe soundtrack on iTunes.

Man, oh man, I sure did love all the eye candy that were the costumes & accessories used in the movie (especially the sunglasses & smart dresses with matching coats)! I love fashion from the 1960s, & this movie showcased all the best 60s retro couture & accessories. I often wish I had lived in the 1960s, so that I could walk the streets wearing the colorful, chic clothes of that era.

After all that whiz, pop, pow, & bang, what could possibly be the icing on the cake? How about a slow burning romance between two very hot characters? There’s sexual tension AND chemistry afoot, & it sizzles just beneath the surface between the hardened yet soft (on the inside) KGB agent played by Armie Hammer & the sexy yet strong decoy/bait played by Alicia Vikander. Oh, how I wish the two of them would just get the kissing scene over with & just do it already! I was & still am dying to see the pair steal a sweet kiss. Armie Hammer’s character Illya Kuryakin was one of my favorite characters from the film. This particular character reminded me of my favorite fictional character from one of my all-time favorite books. The character from the book I mentioned was also Russian (from Siberia) & also had a hardened personality that was softened by the touch (& love) of a strong female lead character. Because of that, I strongly gravitated towards Armie Hammer’s character Illya. I also enjoyed Alicia Vikander’s character Gaby Teller. She’s strong, sexy, sweet, funny, cute, innocent, & above all…a classy lady with a killer fashion sense that I wish I had. Sometimes I dream of being like her with a lover of my own just like Illya Kuryakin. Hahaha!

Overall, I truly enjoyed the storyline of this film. I often tend to gravitate towards spy & action movies, & this film fit the bill all around! I loved the acting by all of the actors, the espionage, the car chases, the scenery backdrops, as well as the 1960s setting. It almost makes me wish I were a secret agent myself. Almost. Until then, I shall wait for the DVD to be released, so I can watch this movie again. Cheers!

* All photo credits belong to IMDB and Google Images.

Today’s song of the day:

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