Special Cinema Spotlight: The Grand Budapest Hotel

August 31, 2014
A Vintage Nerd, Vintage Blog, The Grand Budapest Hotel Review, Old Hollywood Blog

The films begins with a book and an eccentric old woman named Madame D played but the multi-talented Tilda Swinton.  The film, The Grand Budapest, is as eccentric as Madame D or perhaps more. It reminded me of the indie films I used to watch at the Angelika Theater in the Village (Greenwich Village). Quirky and fun with a dash of "who done it".

It is set in 1985, then 1968, with flips into 1932, you would think you would get dizzy with the decade changes but it was based on the reflections of two men. One who owned The Grand Budapest Hotel (F. Murray Abraham) and one who interacted with the owner, who is known as The Author (Tom Wilkinson). We learn how the owner acquired the hotel and the misadventures he experienced with the original owner, Monsieur Gustave H. (Ralph Fiennes), who was a character onto himself.

I loved the multi cast of characters and all the actors that were involved in the film. It made it heaps of fun to watch. I did feel that I wanted to understand the motivations of Monsieur Gustave H. more but I think that was done intentionally when they developed that character. It was almost as if you had that very book in your own hands so you could read more about him.

There are murders, mysteries, injustices, humor, and romance all set in the backdrop of a cold season at The Grand Budapest Hotel. If you think this film may be too quirky for you, know that sometimes it is good to watch a story with an ambiguous ending and that sometimes it is good to also sit back and enjoy something different. Because different it is. I cannot describe it fully because it is by watching it that you grasp the uniqueness of the film. 

Have you seen this film? What did you think? Do you enjoy multi cast of characters in a film?

Special Cinema Spotlight: Winter's Tale

August 30, 2014
A Vintage Nerd, Vintage Blog, Winter's Tale Review, Old Hollywood Blog, Retro Lifestyle Blog, Period Films

Set mainly in 1916 in New York, Winter's Tale tells the story of a two star crossed lovers who learn that each person is special and each carries their own miracle. I would categorize this film as a romantic/fantasy film. I didn't know what to expect from it and actually assumed the romance part was going to be a fleeting aspect of the story when actually it was the foundation. About 80% of the film is focused on the characters of Peter Lake (Colin Farrell) and Beverly Penn (Jessica Brown-Findlay).

Peter Lake is an orphan who doesn't know about his past and grows up on the streets of New York and becomes a thief. He works for a man named Pearly Soames (Russell Crowe) who unknown to Peter he is actually a demon. That is where the fantasy aspect of this story comes in. Pearly knows that each human has a miracle to perform while on earth and if he corrupts those miracles then it would big hit for the home team (very surprising appearance by Will Smith as the Devil). Pearly thinks Beverly is Peter's miracle and as Peter and Beverly fall deeper in love, despite her dying of consumption, he helps along with her death which spins Peter out of control.

After Beverly's death and the supposed murder of Peter by Pearly's men, Peter awakens and has no memory of his past. He continues to live unchanged and the story brings us to the year 2014. In the present is when Peter learns of the miracles, his roles in them, and changes the lives of a mother and daughter named Virginia and Abby Gamely (Virginia is played by Jennifer Connelly). 

I won't share the end because a lot builds up to it but I must confess I found it poetic and lovely. I know this film didn't do well in the box office and for many it would be an acquired taste but I love how much I ended up enjoying it. My favorite bits are the interaction between Peter and Beverly, the random hug her father gives to Peter, and the presence of a classic film star, Eva Marie Saint, playing an older version of Beverly's younger sister.

What disappointed me or confused me was Peter's accent. It was Irish (the actor is Irish) and although Pearly's accent is also Irish (he raised him), I think it would have been fitting to have had a authentic New York accent of that time. Will Smith. Interesting scenes but he just shouldn't have been in the film at all. The film could do without those scenes. And lastly, how the heck could Eva Marie Saint's character of Willa have been 103-105 years old and still running her newspaper? They should have pushed it back to like the year 2000 or so. Much more convincing.

Otherwise, I enjoyed the uniqueness of this tale. It is loosely based on a book by the same name and I truly enjoyed Farrell's performance.

Have you seen this film? What did you think? Anything surprise you or disappoint you?

Lunch at The Brooklyn Farmacy

August 29, 2014
A Vintage Nerd, Vintage Blog, Brooklyn Farmacy, New York Vintage Spots, Vintage New York, Retro Lifestyle Blog

The Brooklyn Farmacy is such a fantastic place to go to. You have heard of it before HERE and of my review of their cookbook HERE, but now I'd like to share with you what having lunch at the Brooklyn Farmacy can be like.

I had the best egg salad sandwich EVER. Then for dessert my husband and I shared their Mr. Potato Head. It was delicious. Afterwards we heading into the city and checked out a neat little vintage shop called Dusty Buttons. It was a lovely day at the Brooklyn Farmacy.

Do you have an eatery by you that you love to go to? What is your favorite thing from their menu?

Coney Island Ladies

August 28, 2014
a vintage nerd

Continuing my vintage adventures with Beccie from Sew Retro Rose, we made it a point to swing by to Coney Island because as you already may know from my last post it was a hot spot for New Yorkers from the late 1800's until the 1960's. Coney Island isn't the best neighborhood in the world and the best time to be there is in the daytime. Slowly but surely things are changing there and I was glad to see that.

The first thing our eyes fell upon was the iconic Coney Island Cyclone, which was opened in 1927. I do not like heights but when I was 19 I decided to kill my fear and get on the cyclone. Very bad idea. Very.

Coney Island
Sew Retro Rose

After being in awe of the Coney Island Cyclone we walked around a bit and admired the sites. There are parts that are quite colorful and new shops opening up everywhere like the one below called It's Sugar. They had heaps and heaps of candy treats and retro goodies everywhere. I loved it!
It's Sugar

Then we walked across the street to the infamous Nathan's Famous which is the original Nathan's set up in 1916. The hotdogs are divine and they still carry their original orange drink. Its very light and no fizz, sort of like a lighter version of Tang (a orange powder drink).

Nathan's Famous
Nathan's Hot dog
Bernie Dexter

The last bit of our morning at Coney Island was walking the boardwalk. It was like walking on a piece of history. Back in the 1920's and 1930's that beach behind me used to be jam packed. It isn't as much today but maybe one day it will get better.

Coney Island

The photo above was taken by my wonderful husband who captured the moment right before we made our little mini video on Instagram. If you would like to see it, take a peak HERE.

We ended our time at Coney Island as goofballs and friends. It was a lovely time we spent together but it isn't the end! More to come!

Have you been to Coney Island? If so, have you gone to the beach or the cyclone?

Vintage New York: Coney Island

August 27, 2014

Coney Island was the place to go to for New Yorkers who wanted to get away from the city life and their neighborhoods. Coney Island was a place where they could get some sun, swim, have a blast with the rides, and eat a Nathan's hot dog.

Here is a look at what Coney Island looked like in the past:

Coney Island
Coney Island
Coney Island
Coney Island
Coney Island
Coney Island

Oh, it looked like it was heaps of fun! I wish I could have seen it as it was. Today, it is a work in progress but I would love for it to one day return to its former glory!

Old Fashioned Picnic In Central Park

August 26, 2014
A Vintage Nerd, Vintage Blog, Retro Lifestyle Blog, Picnic in Central Park

Having a picnic in Central Park are one of those things that are on my bucket list. I know you may assume because I live here that I hang out in Manhattan everyday but I don't. Most New Yorkers don't. Most just work there, eat, and leave for home in the other boroughs or even drive to Long Island, New Jersey, or Connecticut. So going into the city (Manhattan) is treat for us New Yorkers as well!

A blogger you may know well, Beccie, from Sew Retro Rose, is here on holiday all the way from Australia. The very first day she was here we met up with my family and had a little picnic in Central Park. My husband picked an amazing spot because Belvedere Castle was our backdrop. How beautiful is that!

My babies were super excited to meet Beccie and she gifted them each a beautiful handmade drawstring bag with their names on it. They were so happy. Each one held a book, chocolates, and a stuffed animal that is found only in Australia-Koala bear, Wombat, and Kangaroo with her Joey. We in turn gifted her a purple, sparkly mermaid brooch with matching earrings from Poison of Choice. 

Afterwards we headed to my favorite art museum called The Metropolitan Museum of Art. I haven't been there in ages but I began frequenting it when I was a teenager. It took me a bit to get used to it again although at one point it was like a second home to me. I just love it there.

Before we knew it our morning and early afternoon together was over, but there is more to come. Do you have a bucket list? What is on it? Do you enjoy picnics? If so, what do you like to bring at your at them?

Movie Madness Monday: New York, New York

August 25, 2014

In honor of my friend Beccie's (Sew Retro Rose) trip to New York this week, I am dedicating my Movie Madness Monday series to films set in New York!

The next few days I will share our vintage and city adventures with you all but until then here are a slew of note worthy films that had the city that never sleeps as its foundation and background:

King Kong

The Naked City

Barefoot in the Park

The Out of Towners

Have you seen any of these? I think I love them all and it would be hard for me to choose which is my favorite. Many films are created on a studio lot, in California, or abroad but to have a film set in the heart of New York I find to be really special. The Naked City really shows how old New York used to be-it will blow your mind! Actually they all will!!

The Gift of Journaling

August 24, 2014
A Vintage Nerd, Vintage Blog, Retro Lifestyle Blog

We all have times when we feel really overwhelmed like we may lose our minds or really down as if nothing will get better. This is all normal and although people don't normally speak about it, it happens to the best of us.

One of blogs that I always enjoying reading is called Gala Darling. I decided to take a online course called Gala's Radical Self Love Bible class was right up my alley. It's basically an art journaling course and it has been so fun to work on everyday. I am in week three into my three month course and I have already learned so much. Best part is that in a way it feels like homework so I tell the children that mama has homework to do and they sit quietly and watch me craft and journal. 

I love what I am doing and I love that at the end of the three month course I will have something that is solely about me and for me. A gift of journaling.

Have you ever journaled before? Do you find that sometimes you forget yourself in the midst of other things?

Must See TV: Breathless coming to PBS

August 23, 2014
A Vintage Nerd, Breathless, Period Tv Shows, Retro Lifestyle Blog

PBS is a magical station. I have been a big fan since I was a child and that channel introduced me to Sesame Street and Doctor Who.

In May I announced that PBS would be showcasing season two of Endeavour and now it will be showcasing a new BBC medical drama set in the 1960's called Breathless.

Starting this Sunday, August 24th at 8pm you can watch this new show either on the channel itself or online. I watch it online since I do not have cable but be aware those episodes are only available for a short amount of time. Dare I say for about a week or so the most.

I am eager to start this show as its already reminding me of a blend of Mad Men and Call the Midwife. As soon as I finish devouring it I will review here on my blog for you all. If you want to see a preview you can take a peak HERE.

Have you seen this show already? If not, are you excited to see a new medical drama set in the 60's?

The Wizard of Oz Fashion Inspiration

August 22, 2014

Today is my final post on The Wizard of Oz in celebration for its 75th Anniversary. I hope you enjoyed the other posts. I had a lot of fun putting these together!

Today I also bring you some Wizard of Oz fashion inspiration. I found most of the pieces at eShakti, Boden, Modcloth, and Kate Spade. Prices range from about $60 dollars to about $300 dollars.

How much fun is it to create an vintage inspired outfit based on a film!!!? I love doing these and hope to bring back Film Fashion Friday to my blog soon!

Here is some Wizard of Oz fashion inspiration:

Wizard of Oz Fashion

Wizard of Oz Dorothy

Wizard of Oz Scarecrow

The Wizard of Oz Tin Man

Wizard of Oz Fashion

7 Lessons That The Wizard of Oz Can Teach Us

August 21, 2014
A Vintage Nerd, Vintage Blog, Wizard of Oz Inspiration, Wizard of Oz, Lessons to be Learned from the Wizard of Oz, Classic Film Blog, Old Hollywood Blog

There is no place like home.

Not every home is a safe and good place to be in but what Dorothy means when she says those lines is that home is where the heart is. Her heart was always set on Aunty Em and Uncle Henry. Where they were would always be home. Where your loved ones are will always be home.

Getting rid of bad things is as easy as having a house land on it.

Purging your life of negative things isn't as complicated as people may make it to be. Changing your lifestyle, your friendships, or even simply purging your home of things from your past can allow you to put negative things where they really belong. In the trash.

Life brings the most unexpected friendships.

Dorothy didn't expect to make friendships with a Lion, a Tin Man, and a Scarecrow, but they created a bond that she would carry with her for the rest of her life. From the time we are little we embark on a journey that can bring us friendships and connections with other people that we never planned or expected. Making friends out of state, out of country, opposite gender, different lifestyles, etc. You just never know who you will connect with and many times it is those friendships that impact our lives for the better.

Believe in your own magic.

Dorothy had to believe in herself. She had to learn to believe in the power of goodness, friendship, and love. So, have faith in yourself. We fill our lives with faith in Gods, goddesses, and heroes but we forget to believe in the power of our own selves. We each carry within us magic and that we believe in it can sparkle not only in our own lives but in everyone else that we love. Magic is real. Believe that it is in you and that you can harness it.

A good song can soothe the heart.

"Somewhere over the rainbow...." Music at its best can soothe us, makes us feel happy, and bring us comfort. Someday Over the Rainbow is a reminder that a good song can bring us peace and calm us even when there are storms around us.

You are who you want to be.

Okay so the wizard isn't a bonafide wizard but he believes he is so therefore he IS! You believe you are smart, you are. You believe you are funny, you are. You believe you are talented, you are. There will always be people to question who you are or even tear into you but keep that belief that you know who YOU are.

Even our wildest dreams can be real.

Dorothy thinks everything she went through was a dream. What if it wasn't. What if the things you wanted most in this world were really far fetched and far off from your grasp. They can almost seem like a mirage. I am here to tell you that even our wildest and biggest dreams can come true and be real!

Special Cinema Spotlight: Oz: The Great and Powerful

August 20, 2014

When Oz: The Great and Powerful (2013) first came out I was quite skeptical and worried. I was worried that they would somehow ruin the legacy of The Wizard of Oz.

Sitting in the theater with my daughter (my boys are too young for this type of film), I held my breathe and left myself open to the possibilities.

I have to admit I was surprised to find myself not hating it. Michelle Williams keeps surprising me too. I saw her in My Week With Marilyn and well, she pulled that off too.

This film is a precursor to The Wizard of Oz. It is set about twenty years before Dorothy comes to Oz.  It begins in a similar fashion as The Wizard of Oz  did, in sepia color. We meet an illusionist/magician by the name of Oscar Diggs (James Franco). He is a bit of a con artist and womanizer and gets caught flirting with the wrong woman. He escapes via hot air balloon and that is when he gets sucked into a tornado and lands right in Oz!

He meets a girl named Theodora (Mila Kunis) who takes him to the Emerald city to meet her sister Evandora (Rachel Weisz). They tell her of their 3rd sister, Glinda and that she murdered their father. There are twists to who is actually good and who is wicked and then in a flash something happens to Theodora. I did not expect this scene and I have to say the transformation is fantastic!

In the midst of all this, Oscar  is tempted to help them defeat Glinda in order to be seated on the thrown but he never expects to create friendships with a monkey named Finley and a living china china doll named China Girl.

Oscar learns about being selfless, being brave, and being a good friend. Things that he wasn't in his prior life as a traveling magician. He also learned to believe in himself and others as well.

Oz: The Great and Powerful
Oz: The Great and Powerful
Oz: The Great and Powerful
Oz: The Great and Powerful
Oz: The Great and Powerful
Oz: The Great and Powerful

My favorite characters in this film are Theodora after her transformation ( the clue in the photo above) and China Girl. The film also connects aspects of his life from before to his life now just as they did in The Wizard of Oz which I enjoyed seeing.

All in all, I say well done. They plan to make a sequel that will not include Dorothy since it is set twenty years before she comes and all of the original cast have signed on. I cannot wait!

Have you seen this film? What did you think about it? Were you happily surprised as I was?

Ultimate Guide To Wizard of Oz Stuff: Part Three

August 19, 2014
A Vintage Nerd, Vintage Blog, Wizard of Oz Inspiration, Wizard of Oz, Lessons to be Learned from the Wizard of Oz, Classic Film Blog, Old Hollywood Blog

Welcome to my final installment of my Ultimate Guide to Wizard of Oz Stuff! If you missed the first two parts you can find them HERE and HERE.

Today I bring you home decor, games, and kitchen accessories. I love adding a little character into my home by having something that reminds me of a film I love or period of time that I admire. If you love The Wizard of Oz you can add a mat to the front of your home or drink from a mug with a clever quote from the film on it.

Here are some super cute Wizard of Oz pieces that can add a dash of magic into your home:

The Wizard of Oz

How about add some Oz decorations in your kitchen area? Look at these neat items here:
Wizard of Oz

How about some Dorothy's slippers or a Scarecrow costume for your dog? Or play Monopoly with Oz as your property?Take a peak at the rest of the goodies I found here:

Wizard of Oz

Wizard of Oz

I hope you found my guide helpful and in celebration of the 75th Anniversary of The Wizard of Oz I have a few more posts up my vintage nerd sleeves!

Which items from my guide (all three parts) did you like the best? Do you have anything from this film or story in your home already?
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