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I apologize for the lateness of this post, but that’s just the kind of week I’ve been having. But my difficult week is to your benefit as it means you get a rare Saturday post. I’ve got some fun things coming on Monday you won’t want to miss, and the Awards Ceremonies commence on Monday as well. Other than my own category, I do not know who has won the other awards, so I am very excited to attend the ceremonies and see who our victors are this year!

But anyway, on to today’s post…

This week’s Favorite Family Film is a more recent offering, but became an instant family favorite nonetheless. Stardust is an epic, adventure story filled with swashbuckling pirates, evil witches, nefarious princes, and a beautiful fallen star that everyone seems to be hunting for their own purposes.

This movie takes its themes and blends them into a fun-filled mixture of creepy and corny, sweet and stunning (visuals), hilarious and heartwarming that just somehow works really well.

A little over-the-top at times, Stardust does a fantastic job of throwing you into an unfamiliar realm as you follow young Tristan through a hole in the wall bordering his normal and hum-drum little village into an unexpected place of magic, mystery, and danger.

Remember my first Favorite Family Film recommendation? Well, I can’t deny that Michelle Pfeiffer is a big reason I love this movie… even if she does play a villain. She does a fantastic job being creepy and also just a little constantly “put out” with fact that everything about her quest is so difficult. Watching her be annoyed is pretty entertaining by itself.

Tristan is a sort of sweet, bumbling oaf at the beginning of the movie, and I enjoy watching him grow up, as it were, and come into his own throughout the story. He sets out on a quest to win the heart of the most beautiful girl in his village, and ends up on an adventure quite a bit bigger than anything he expected. Along the way, he must dodge the villainous princes who are competing to find their father’s necklace so they can ascend to the throne (succession rules in this land are a bit cut-throat). He also meets some highly entertaining characters such as the ferocious Captain Shakespeare (who really would rather not be ferocious at all… think of him as a sort of unwilling Dread Pirate Roberts).

And in the center of it all, the lovely, naive, innocent young star who has fallen from the sky and whose only wish is to go home without being used or killed or eaten… is that really so much to ask? If you enjoy a fun, fantasy romp with a fairy-tale feel and movies that have a little bit of everything… you will love Stardust.

Stardust is available to watch for free through Amazon Prime. You can also rent it through the likes of iTunes and Vudu. 

~ jenelle

Silm Awards: Phase 2


First of all I just want to say THANK YOU to everyone who participated in the nomination phase of the Second Annual Silmarillion Awards last week. We had an amazing turnout, and I am still a little giddy. (And I learned about some fantastic-sounding fantasy books that I need to read, so that’s always a bonus to this event!)

Over here in the Villain’s Corner, we had FIFTY-SIX villainous foes nominated, and while not all of them received seconds, that is a genuinely vast array of fiendish characters. I hope you all enjoyed the nomination round, because now comes the hard part… because one of these villains must rise to the top, and the responsibility for choosing the winner is squarely in your hands, dear Reader.

The voting form is the same on every blog, but you may want to make sure you visit the blogs and read about the top five candidates in each category before you start voting…. not only so that you can get a better idea of who is in the running, but also because today we are kicking off the SCAVENGER HUNT for the GRAND PRIZE! Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to put together the poem in the correct order and type it into the voting form so that you can be entered to win this deliciously nerdy pack of Tolkienish items.

1 Grand Prize to Rule Them All…. a 24″ x 36″ map of Middle Earth with a lovely wooden frame, a replica of the One Ring, and a paperback copy of “Aratar, Peredhil, and Halflings, Oh My! The Ultimate Tolkien Quiz” book by Benita J. Prins.

1 Grand Prize To Rule Them All (1)


My blog is actually the last stop on this scavenger hunt, so I recommend you head over to ADVENTURE AWAITS, where the first line of the poem is hidden. Collect all the lines of the poem and arrange them in order in the voting form to be entered to win!

The final line to the poem is this:

The handiwork of Feanor, the Silmarils.

Now, a little bit about the five villains who clawed their way onto the voting form:

Queen Levana from the Lunar Chronicles - This evil queen is the sort of villain who may not point a weapon at you, herself, but she’ll manipulate someone else–even a loved one–into doing it for her. Hiding her dark and broken heart behind a glamour of beauty and holding her people in thrall, she rules the moon and has her sights set on earth. Not many dare to cross her, but those who do will be made to pay.

Death-in-Life from the Tales of Goldstone Wood – Though he has many titles, to most he is known simply as “The Dragon.” If this villain doesn’t make your blood run cold, I’m not sure any will. A massive, cunning creature of ultimate evil, The Dragon attacks the hearts of our heroes. A master manipulator and weaver of half-truths and lies, this villain is not satisfied with killing his victims, no, he lives to breathe poison into their very souls!

The Keeper from Entwined - After being contained in a secret passage under a castle for more years than he can remember, The Keeper is one villain you don’t want to get near. Under a handsome guise and charming wit hides a heart as black as night. Willing to use any means to get what he wants, The Keeper isn’t afraid of hurting anyone - or anything – to exact his revenge.

Shift from Chronicles of Narnia - Could there be another creature more despicable? Described by his author as “the cleverest, ugliest, most wrinkled Ape you could imagine” Shift is a con-artist of epic proportions. Unsatisfied with his own lack of belief, he sets out to make a mockery of what others believe. Motivated by greed, there is little this villain won’t stoop to in order to further his own ends.

Captain Hook from Peter Pan – Although this villain has been sadly declawed by the likes of a certain children’s-cartoon-creating studio, the original Captain Hook is far from comic relief. An evil and bloodthirsty man, these traits are what make Captain James Hook a magnificent pirate. Handsome, debonaire, and with a flourish of drama, this blackguard will stab you in the back and never think twice about it. He mistreats those around him and will never let go of a grudge.

And there you have it, dear Reader. I do not envy you the difficulty of the decision before you. I can only caution you with this: choose wisely… you wouldn’t want any of these Nefarious Villains to come after you for not voting for them!

You have until 11:59pm on Friday, July 14th to choose your favorites and complete the Scavenger Hunt!



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~ jenelle


Today is the last day that nominations for the Silmarillion Awards are open! Make sure you get your votes in before 11:59pm tonight! The top five most nominated/seconded characters in each category will move on to the final round of voting next week. Now, on to our regularly scheduled programming…

Favorite Family Films Header Graphic


“So you like the stupid king?”

“Yeah. I like the stupid king.”

“I love the stupid king.”

Dreamer is one of those movies about a horse… that really isn’t about the horse. It’s about a family. It’s about hope, and forgiveness, and dreaming, and remaining optimistic and believing in something bigger than yourself.

Whenever I think about the stories and movies I love the most, it generally comes down to the characters. And this movie has a pretty fantastic line-up of lovable characters. Ben Krane – played by Kurt Russell – is a racehorse-trainer is down on his luck. He cannot seem to catch a break. At the beginning of the movie, it is obvious that this is a family that has already been through some hard times, and relationships are strained.

Ben’s precocious daughter Cale — Dakota Fanning — just wants to spend time with her dad and fill their barn with horses like in the stories her grandpa tells her about what their farm used to be like. One day, she goes with Ben to the race track where he works and witnesses a terrible accident. The owner wants the horse put down, but Ben will not allow that to happen in front of his young daughter… so they end up taking the horse home with them and nursing her back to health. This process of rehabilitating the horse becomes a beautiful picture of the family unit being restored, as well.

Truly a family-friendly film this one is a must-see. The moments of humor scattered throughout will give you just enough time to dry your eyes before the next scene tugs at your heartstrings once again. I can’t get through this movie without a box of kleenex, and I’ve seen it at least a dozen times!

If you love movies about horses like The Black Stallion and Seabiscuit… then I guarantee you’ll love Dreamer!

Dreamer is available to rent at Amazon and iTunes and various other online places. At some point, I need to talk about some movies that are available on Netflix or something for free, but it is not my fault that Netflix’s movie selection is kinda lame. I promise, I’m not making any money by recommending movies that you can rent at Amazon and iTunes. I’m just talking about movies that I happen to own and love, and my husband said I should let you know the places said movies might be available to rent.

~ jenelle