Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ we’re going to talk about a character from the ‘Harry Potter’ franchise that we went on a real roller coaster of feels with. As soon as we saw Professor Snape, we felt anger, dislike, perhaps hate towards him, but over the years this character grew in unsuspected ways, and became many fan’s favorite character in the franchise. In the wake of Alan Rickman’s tragic passing, I decided that it would be a great idea to countdown Mr. Rickman’s ‘Top 5 Greatest Snape Moments’. Now I know that he did a lot of other amazing movies and plays, and that there are way more than 5 great Snape moments in the ‘Harry Potter’ films and books. However, for the purpose of this post, I limited the countdown to one scene per film (even though I didn’t include 2 films in order to keep the list shorter), and we’re only discussing scenes that are found in the films. So now let’s get to the fun. Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!
5) Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s (Philosopher’s) Stone:
Ok now technically some of this scene was cut in the final movie but it’s included on the DVD release so we’ll count it. I love how this is the first scene that we get to see Snape interact with Harry, and he completely terrifies/enrages us all at the same time. Alan Rickman did an amazing job of making Snape an instant villain, and we also got the birth of sassy Harry so this is definitely a scene you’ll want to watch again and again.
4) Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets:
Honestly I think that this is really an underrated scene. By this point you either love or hate Snape (depending on your opinion of villian characters), however whether you love him or hate him, you have to admit that Snape is really cool in this scene. This was the first of many amazing dueling scenes that we would see Alan Rickman in, and this really adds a cool vibe to Snape’s character.
3) Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban:
Personally this scene between Snape, Sirius, and Professor Lupin is probably one of my favorite scenes in the franchise, because it’s funny and revealing. We get a chance to not only meet Sirius and get to know more about Professor Lupin, but we also get to see the dynamic that the three characters must have shared when they were in school (siriusly when is that marauders movie coming out…ok I know that this pun was cheesy but I couldn’t help it).
2) Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince:
I think that we can all agree that one of the saddest moments in the ‘Harry Potter’ franchise was when Dumbledore died. At that moment I’m sure everyone hated Snape, and we were all convinced that he had betrayed the man who put so much faith in him. Honestly Alan Rickman, Daniel Radcliffe, Michael Gabon, and everyone else in that scene did such an amazing job that we really felt the anguish and loss of everyone’s favorite Headmaster. This was truly one of Alan Rickman’s greatest ‘Harry Potter’ moments and shows just how talented of an actor he was, from his facial expressions, to the way his voice shakes when he says that final spell, truly a magical performance.
1) Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 2:
Ok and now we’ve reached the scene that EVERY ‘Harry Potter’ fan knows and gets the feels over. Yes we’ve reached the ‘Always’ scene, now prepare to cry. In this scene we learned so much about Snape that it literally changed how we looked at all of his scenes up to this point. This is a moment that all Harry Potter fans truly treasure because it not only showed what a great author J.K. Rowling is, but also how Alan Rickman was able to take such a complex character and change him from a villain into a hero in a single scene. A truly breathtaking performance that we will remember, always. RIP Alan Rickman, we raise our wands up to you!
•All photos and information used in this blog belong to J.K Rowling, Harry Potter, all those involved in the publishing, marketing, creation, directing, casting, and in any way, shape, or form, made the Harry Potter books, movies, merchandise, or any other product created form the series possible, Daniel Radcliffe, Alan Rickman, Michael Gabon, YouTube, APotterZable, DutchHPfan1992, Canal de Lyzergel, all of the actors/actresses who portrayed the above mentioned characters, and all other original owners. I do not own anything in this blog. All opinions expressed in this blog are my own. I wrote this blog for entertainment purposes and no copyright infringement is intended.
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘YouTube Wednesday’ we’re going to talk about an amazing channel that’s a little different than what we usually discuss. I think the coolest thing about YouTube that draws us all to it is that everyone is able to find interesting, entertaining people who share our interests and obsessions. Whether you love amazing covers, unique beauty/hair tutorials, hilarious comedians, or anything in between you’ll find the perfect channel to subscribe to. Today we’re going to talk about an incredible Booktube channel called abookutopia (which features a seriously entertaining self-proclaimed book-o-holic named Sasha) so if you love books and/or anything book related then you’re going to want to keep reading. Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!
The first video that we’re going to talk about is Sasha’s ‘Divergent Book Trailer’, which was uploaded on July 11th, 2013 (you check out this video below) is a really fun skit that all Divergent fans will love! Sasha does a great job of showing that not only is she very knowledgeable about this amazing book, but she also has the ability to instantly mesmerize her audience and keep us interested throughout the video. In a world where most people have a VERY short attention span (I mean honestly why do you think we love Vine so much), it’s interesting to find someone that makes you want to watch their videos and not worry about the length of the video. The next video that we’re going to talk about is Sasha’s ‘Interview with Melissa Landers!’, which was uploaded on May 28th, 2014. This is a really fun interview to watch because it is extremely well executed, and demonstrates Sasha’s natural on-camera charisma and fun-loving nature. She has a lot of other really interesting interview with various authors on her channel so I would definitely check them all out!
The next video that we’re going to talk about is Sasha’s ‘If You Like This…| BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS!’ video, which was uploaded on February 5th, 2015. If you are a HUGE book lover (c’mon you know everyone reading this blog post should have their hand up in the air right now…yes you too), then you’ll want to watch this video on replay. In this video Sasha picks a really interesting and diverse group of books, and not only tells you which books you should check out that are similar to these books, but also why they’re similar. The final video that we’re going to talk abut is Sasha’s ‘My Playster eBook Library Tour!’ video which was uploaded on December 7th, 2015 (you can check out this video below). In the past few years everything we enjoy has gone digital and mobile, from handheld/mobile video games, to our music, movies, and even books. Unfortunately sometimes we are just so busy that we may not have time to actually pick up a physical copy of a book and let our inner bookworm go wild. Luckily, e-books solve this problem by allowing us to take digital copies of our favorite books with us anywhere through the use of a phone, tablet, and other devices. In this video Sasha tells us all about the website playster.com, and goes through her personal Playster eBook library. if you want to check out a new site where you can find e-books, movies, music, and games, or if you just want recommendations on new books to check out, then this is the video for you!
Keep up with everything Sasha is doing (and reading here):
Goodreads: sasha alsberg
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ we’re going to discuss an event that we all experience every year. This is something that we all grow up with, and no matter how old or young you are, it still has the same affect. What am I talking about you may ask? A little movie that we all love known as ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’! In 1965 ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ first aired on CBS, and thus started a Christmas tradition that would continue to enchant families for decades. The movie was commissioned by ‘The Coca-Cola Company’, which asked ‘Peanuts’ creator Charles M. Schulz and his team to create the special in 6 months, after they viewed an unaired documentary staring Schultz called ‘A Boy Named Charlie Brown’. This year ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ turned 50 so let’s discuss why this amazing movie has become engraved as a part of our Christmas tradition. Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!
Although there are so many things about this movie that we love, I think that the 3 main things that you can pinpoint that makes ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ different than other Christmas specials is: the characters, the music, and the risks that this movie takes. One of the most important aspects of a great story is for it to have amazing, memorable characters that we can relate to. The Peanuts universe has brought us a lot of beloved characters from Lucy (the girl we all love to hate), Linus (the intelligent and practical one), Sally (the little sister we all wish we had), Snoopy (the cool one we all wish we were), and of course the wonderfully hilarious and fun Charlie Brown who we can all relate to on some level. Of course ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas wouldn’t be nearly as memorable without it’s amazing music. Whether you love more traditional sounding Christmas music such as ‘Christmas Time is Here’ and ‘Hark the Harold Angels Sing’, or music that brings a fresh feel to the season such as the unforgettable piano jazz number ‘Linus and Lucy’ (which you can check out in the video below), this movie will have you humming along to its’ diverse soundtrack long after Christmas is over. Finally, we need to discuss the incredible risks this movie takes. One of these risks is not using music in the style of what was popular at the time. A lot of times movies use catchy, modern sounds in order to easily win over an audience. ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ uses the opposite (and often risker approach) of using genres that weren’t necessarily in the forefront of the American public’s mind in the 60s, and thus makes very unique music that instantly mesmerizes you because it’s so different. Another risk that this movie takes is that it used actual child actors to voice the characters, and because of this adds a larger sense of authenticity to the roles. Shows/movies are notorious for using adults to portray teens and children, (because of legal, financial, and other reasons), so to use a cast that was primarily made up of children was very groundbreaking at the time (and is still VERY uncommon today). Using children actors also added a sincerity and innocence to the roles that really brought these characters to life on screen, and has set a bar that all Charlie Brown specials have had to try to live up to ever since. Because of all of these reasons, we can see why we love Charlie Brown so much, and why we’ll continue to sing, dance, and laugh along to ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ for the next 50 + years.
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ we are going to talk about a story I read last week on Facebook that I just had to share with y’all. Everyday we are constantly bombarded with terrible, often unimaginable crimes that happen in the world. In fact we have become a culture that in a lot of ways have become a bit unaffected by disaster. We’re so used to hearing about how dangerous and terrible the world is that it can be difficult to imagine a world were people do nice things just because they want to be nice. As I previously said, I read a story last night about a Starbucks barista that performed a simple small action that really affected a woman. So now let’s get to the story. Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!
On October 20th, 2015 a woman from New Hampsire named Bekah Georgy wrote a piece for themighty.com about a recent trip to Starbucks. Now this may seem like the beginning of a really boring story, but I promise you it gets really good. In the piece Bekah explains that she has suffered from Anorexia Nervosa for half of her life. Her anorexia is so bad that she has to wear a feeding tube, because she explains that most days the most she can consume is coffee. Bekah also suffers from anxiety and depression and has attempted to commit suicide 5 times. She continues to explain in this post that she was having a particularly bad day, in which her suicidal thoughts were worsening, and she contemplated not even drinking the coffee that she had just bought from Starbucks. Then Bekah saw that the barista at the Starbucks had written the word ‘Smile!!’ on her cup. Bekah explained that this simple word helped her feel better about her day and stopped her from doing any harm to her body that day. I found this story to be really inspiring because we just don’t hear about these stories as often as we should. It really shows that ever little action we take has a more powerful reaction. I’ll link the article Bekah wrote below because I really think y’all should read it. This just shows that sometimes the biggest smiles, hide the deepest scars.
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ we are going to talk about something that we all go through. Whether it involves a band, actor, book, or song, we are all fangirls (and fanboys…don’t think I’m leaving the guys out of this one). Whether you keep your fangirling to yourself, or you have a twitter account completely dedicated to the loves of your life, we all usually have one thing in common…eventually our ships sink. However, thanks to the internet one very lucky little 3 year old girl named Mila got to meet her celebrity crush face to face. Now I know that you have all heard about this one, but honestly this story was so sweet I just couldn’t resist sharing it with y’all (and you know you wanna watch it again).
In an interview a few days ago with Ellen DeGeneres, Mila’s mother explained that she told Mila about Adam getting married in a grocery store, and immediately changed the subject when Mila freaked out (didn’t we all), but then she decided to tell Mila again and film it (again I think we all would have done this). Ellen invited Mila on to her show so they could talk about love, Mila’s relationship with Adam, their wedding plans, etc., you know typical girl stuff. After receiving a really cool Adam themed outfit (yeah Ellen I’m gonna need to know where I can get one of those), Mila actually got to meet Adam. Unfortunately for Adam, Mila seemed to be over the relationship, but she did keep the rose he brought her (good girl!). It is such a cute video that y’all all have to check out. So now that Mila has successfully lived out every fangirl’s dream, what will she do next? Blockbuster Hollywood movie? Walk the runways at the next Fashion Week? MIla for president in 2016? Whatever she does, Mila will always be an inspirations to fangirls everywhere!
Ok, last night (March 2, 2014) the Oscars aired, and it was a night full of fun, jokes, exciting musical performances, and A LOT of amazing film stars. Due to the amazing films that were nominated, the musical performances that were booked, and the humor and wit that always follows Ellen Degeneres (the host this year), it was easy to predict that the show would be amazing! So if you missed the show last night, or just want to review all of the amazing moments, then keep reading! Ready? Let’s get started!
This year’s Oscars were hosted by actress/comedian/talk show host Ellen Degeneres. Ellen emerged on stage in a really cool black velvet suit, which instantly made her stand out from the rest of the celebrities. She began her opening monologue by stated that “it’s been a tough time for us [in California]…it’s been raining…thank you for your prayers”. She then spoke about how movies inspire important things like, “love, family, and friends…and if you don’t have these things, then you end up in this [show] business”. Ellen then compared the Oscars to the film the ‘Hunger Games’ by stating that, “everyone’s hungry…and Jennifer Lawrence wins everything”. She then made fun of Jennifer Lawrence’s infamous falls at the Oscars last year and this year and stated, “If Jennifer Lawrence wins again, we will bring her hers [award]…” Ellen certainly brought numerous other hilariously memorable moments throughout the night. One such moment was Ellen’s now famous group selfie with numerous stars such as: Jennifer Lawrence, Jared Leto, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Meryl Streep, Channing Tatum, among others. This picture instantly went viral, and actually shut down the social networking site Twitter for several minutes, making it a true historical event. At point Ellen continued the selfie mania by taking a photo of her reaction to how large the crowd was, and then jokingly placing emphasis on stating that she would be tagging the photo, “#selfie, #blessed”. At one point in the show, Ellen came out dressed in an all white suit, then looked at herself and stated, “oh new clothes!”. Another one of Ellen’s funniest moments came when she appeared on stage as ‘Glinda the Good Witch’, after P!nk’s rendition of ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow” as part of the ‘Wizard of Oz’ tribute. Upon “realizing” that she “missed” the tribute, Ellen said, “Guys that’s not cool!”, “you always had the power…oh never mind…”. However, the finniest moment of the night had to be when Ellen brought a pizza delivery man on stage, and stared handing our pizza to numerous celebrities (honestly what could be better than a pizza party with Ellen!…oh by the way Ellen I’m still waiting for my piece of pizza…just so you know… Ellen later took Pharrell Williams’ infamous brown hat, and went around to the various celebrities present and asked for a tip, she even “scolded” Brad Pitt for not donating “enough”. Due to all of these hilarious moments, and her natural charisma and lightheartedness, Ellen certainly further proved that she is truly a hilarious comedian, and a great entertainer. As always she didn’t disappoint, and proved that this is the “age of Ellen Degeneres”. I look forward to the next show Ellen hosts, because you know that if Ellen leads, then hilarity will follow.
*This is only a partial list of the winners, for a full list please visit Oscars.com
Best Picture: 12 Years a Slave
Even though it was not my pick, I can certainly see why ’12 Years a Slave’ took home this coveted award. The acting in the film was superb (especially the performances of lead actors Chiwetel Ejiofor and Lupita Nyong’o). The actors were really able to translate the emotional depth of the script to the screen, and thus made the audience feel the correct emotions at precisely the right time. The ability to have great dramatic timing is not an easy task to perform however, the actors in this film were able to do this with ease. This film also had an amazing script, which contained thought provoking themes, and dialogue such as “I don’t wanna survive, I want to live”. The dialogue had audiences clinging to the film’s every word, and helped the film strengthen its grip on all those watching it. I also loved the meticulous detail that the costume department and other crew members obviously used in order to make every aspect of this film perfect and this further invoking our attention.
Actor in a Leading Role: Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club)
Now this was truly a very difficult category to judge because all of these actors gave superb performances in their respective roles however, I do see why Matthew won this category. Matthew has the uncanny ability to perfectly embody any character he is given, and use his performance to transport an audience to where they need to be. His performance in Dallas Buyers Club was certainly no exception. In this film Matthew was able to make us feel every moment that his character Ron faced when he was diagnosed with AIDS. The fact this film is inspired by actual people and events (it has been noted that some characters and situations have been changed and/or created in the film), adds a great amount of credit to Matthew’s performance because it is very difficult to accurately translate a person’s life in screen (and selfishly I did want Matthew to win for ‘Dallas Buyers Club’ because he’s from Texas, and I’m from Texas, so I have to root for my fellow Texans!).
Actress in a Leading Role: Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)
With stellar performances in films such as: ‘The Lord of the Rings’ trilogy, ‘The Aviator’, ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’, etc. etc., it should come as no surprise that Cate had a great shot at winning this award. The competition for this category was stiff due to the appearances of veteran A-List actresses such as: Amy Adams, Sandra Bullock, and of course Meryl Streep (yeah “the” Meryl Streep). But despite the other amazing actresses in this category, Cate Blanchett’s performance in ‘Blue Jasmine’ was too amazing to ignore. Cate’s portrayal of a woman who goes from being extremely wealthy to losing it all ( including her mind) is perhaps some of Cate’s finest work. She is able to portray the process of a woman’s unraveling , without making it seem over dramatized or unnatural.
Actor in a Supporting Role: Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)
This was another extremely tough category to participate in, but Jared Leto was able to rise above the rest. Although he has given several other good performances in various other films, I really think that Jared Leto was breathtakingly good in ‘Dallas Buyers Club’. He was not only believable as the unique character of Rayon ( a young HIV Positive transgender woman who Matthew McConaughey’s character meets during one of his hospital stays, and later goes into business with when he begins the Dallas Buyers Club). In the role, Jared is able to accurately portray all of Rayon’s emotional highs and lows. Through this performance, Jared further cemented his place as a phenomenal musician and actor. Although he has said that he will focus on his band’s music ( 30 seconds to Mars), I think that Jared has proven that he has the talent to portray any character, and we will certainly see him in another Oscar caliber role soon.
Best Animated Feature Film: Frozen
Although there were many deserving films in this category ( the minions in Despicable Me are soooo cute!) you just can’t beat a Disney animated movie. With talented actors such as: Idina Menzel, Kristen Bell, Josh Gad, Jonathan Groff, etc. etc. there was no way for this film to fail. Another thing that this movie had in its’ favor was a heartwarming story, amazing music (we’ll talk about ‘Let it Go’ later, but another favorite I mine was ‘In Summer’ performed but Josh Gad, which was a hilarious and adorable song that told the story of a snowman’s desire to experience summertime), and unforgettable moments and characters. These elements are what have made several other Disney films such as: ‘The Lion King’, ‘The Little Mermaid’ , ‘Mulan’, ‘Snow White’, and various other films classics among children and adults. Since its release, ‘Frozen’ has received praise from critics and has also grossed over $1 billion ( That’s unbelievably impressive isn’t it!?!). I definitely think that this film will enter the elite club of Disney classics, and I will definitely be first in line when they make ‘Frozen’ 2 ( hint hint Disney ).
Best Actress in a Supporting Role: Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave)
Once again we face a category that had many amazing contestants however, I have to say that I do agree that Lupita’s performance in ’12 Years a Slave’ was fantastic. I recently did some research on the actress, and I was baffled to learn that ’12 Years a Slave’ was Lupita’s first major film! Her delivery of the emotionally charged script was riveting, and left the audience completely entranced by the story. Obviously this was an amazing film for to help Lupita get her name out there, and I think that we will certainly see more amazing films from this talented new star. I can’t wait to see where her career takes her, and how many unforgettable moments and characters she will create.
Best Original Song: ‘Let it Go’ (from Frozen)
Frozen strikes again!!! I was so excited that ‘Let it Go’ won for two reasons: 1) It is an amazing and inspiring song about shedding what others think and expect of you, and living your own life ( this is a classic Disney theme, and one of the things they makes Disney music so epic!), 2) Idina Menzel performs the song!!! Now many people may recognize her from the hit Fox show ‘Glee’ however, my fellow theater nerds will recognize Idina from her various roles on Broadway (probably the most famous is ‘Wicked’, but seriously this woman is like the queen of Broadway…ok I’ll stop fangirling now…wait…ok I’m done now for real). With the combination of an amazing vocalist like Idina Menzel performing the song, and the talented writers at Disney, there was no way for ‘Let it Go’ to lose! This and all of the other music in Frozen definitely left me wishing for a sequel ( and Disney has now announced that ‘Frozen’ will be adapted into a Broadway musical…so maybe Idina will reprise her role??? Probably not but we can dream, can’t we?!).
First up was Pharrell with his track ‘Happy’ from the animated film ‘Despicable Me 2’. It was obvious that he used the fun loving, carefree tone of the song to inspire his performance. When the performance began, he appeared on stage in jeans, red sneakers, a T-shirt, track jacket, and a black hat reminiscent of his infamous Grammy hat. As the song progressed, back-up dancers appeared and danced around joyfully. Pharrell then walked off stage and went to the front row, where he preceded to dance with several of the actresses that were seated there. All of the backup dancers were dressed in fun, everyday clothing. The back screen had the lyrics of the song, and at one point of the song, a dance circle was formed and several backup dancers did break dancing in the middle. The song then ended with a back screen full of minions (small, yellow creatures that are characters in the film). The overall feel of the performance was fun, and it left you “happy”.
Karen O (most widely known as the lead vocalist of the rock band the ‘Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ ), performed the song ‘Moon Song’ (from the film ‘Her’), with Ezra Koenig ( guitarist for the band ‘Vampire Weekend’). The execution of the performance was very simple (which perfectly complemented the acoustic elements of the song). The staging consisted of a single spotlight on Karen and Ezra, with a bright moon in the background. Karen had on a beautiful, sparkly red dress, and sat on a set of steps with Ezra. The overall presentation of the performance was very serene and was dominated by Karen’s strikingly unique vocals.
Next up was the iconic rock band U2, who performed their song ’Ordinary Love’ from the film ‘Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom’. As always, U2 was phenomenal, and truly had the crowd mesmerized from their talent. This band has had numerous hits that have become rock staples , so it is no surprise that their experience and overall phenomenal charisma was able to keep the audience engaged . They certainly showed through this performance like wine, this band only gets better with time.
Wizard of Oz Tribute:
Next up was P!nk who performed ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ as part of the show’s ‘Wizard of Oz’ tribute. The back screen played scenes from the ‘Wizard of Oz’ throughout the performance, and the lights and staging were kept very simple in order to place emphasis on P!nk’s performance. P!nk looked every bit the classic Hollywood star, with a lovely sparkly red dress, and perfectly placed hair and makeup (she is a Covergirl, so you know she’s going to look awesome!). Her performance was simply breathtaking, and showed that P!nk is truly one of the most vocally gifted artists in music today. Her technique was flawless, and her execution appeared effortless. She was also able to translate the emotional depth that the lyrics of the song contain, and left the audience feeling every emotion that the lyrics depict (I honestly had to work hard at not crying…ok maybe I cried a little, but don’t tell anyone ok ). At the end of her performance she received a well earned standing ovation.
When Bette Meddler performed, all hope of not crying was eliminated. Bette came on stage (after the Oscars honored those in the film industry who passed away this past year), and performed her iconic track ‘Wind Beneath my Wings’. Bette did a phenomenal job performing this moving track, and truly entranced her audience. Her performance ended with a standing ovation, and further cemented that fact that she is truly a star vocalist and entertainer that is able to continue to move a crowd to her bidding even after all these years.
Last but most certainly not least, Actress/Vocalist Idina Menzel performed ‘Let it Go’, the winner of the Oscar for ‘Best Original Song’. Idina wore a gorgeous dress, and the stage had blue and silver sparkly chains. When the chorus of the song kicked in the stage was lit up with gorgeous blue lights that perfectly complemented the rest of the staging. As always Idina’s vocals were nothing short of spectacular, and she was truly able to express the deep emotions that the award-winning song conveys through its lyrical content. She left the audience stunned and amazed, and definitely proved why she has always been considered one of Broadways’ brightest stars. She also received a standing ovation at the end of her performance, further adding acclaim to a golden night for ‘Frozen’.