Divergent: movie review

Grade: A-
Date: March 28, 2014
Location: Citadel Stadium 16
Notes: Great casting choices.

I like when I can watch a movie that I’ve just read the book for, especially when the movie has already been cast before I've finished the book. I can then picture the characters and the vision that the author had, while reading the superior storyline that can only come with a book.

This movie adaptation of Divergent did not disappoint! I think it covered all of the bases of the book and included a lot of details, a tough task to do for a movie that is only a little over 2 hours.

My only criticism is that they didn’t go as dark as the book did, and I don’t know if they did that for a specific reason (like the rating?), but I kind of wish that it did. For example, they did not show the girl falling to her death while trying to jump from the train to the roof in the very beginning or how Peter stabbed Edward in the eye because he was first place. 

In fact, if you are not paying attention, you might not notice that Edward just isn’t there after the first initiation rounds. Or you may have not even noticed him at all and I think this was a mistake as he plays a rather large role in the second book, with an eye-patch. I can only assume that he was the tall guy in the background of some of the scenes. Now, I am wondering how they are going to all of a sudden bring him into the picture without any backstory - I guess they could do a flashback. I digress.

Overall opinion is that I think the movie actually described how Tris could beat being Divergent even better than the book did. It made more sense to me as the book has me question some of the things that happen and was a little confusing at times. I think that the movie, even on its own, was very entertaining and the casting was great. Especially Tobias Eaton. ;)


British Invasion

This is the kind of invasion I don't mind... but I can't help but wonder why all the hot young actors, in my opinion, are British!?! Maybe casting directors are just as mesmerized as I am by not only their looks, but their accents as well.

Top to bottom, left to right, we have:
  1. Joshua Bowman
  2. Robert Pattinson
  3. Theo James
  4. Henry Cavill
  5. Andrew Garfield
  6. Alex Pettyfer
This is in no way an order of how I would list them on hotness scale, Henry Cavill will probably be my #1 for a while... but Theo James is giving him a run for his money! I think he is about to blow up the screens with his lead role in Divergent. I am so excited to see it as I loved the books.

This is just pictures of their faces... wait until you hear them talk! I have been intrigued by the British accent since I was a little girl and I don't think that I have seen any film or TV show where any of these guys use their accents, for that reason I google interview videos of them. :)

Whatever you have in the water, Brits, keep it up!

Here are three more...

Ryan Kwanten

Charlie Hunnam

Andrew Lincoln


Brooke & Davis - married!

It was a beautiful day for a wedding! All week the chance of rain decreased to 0% from about 40%... it was a gorgeous 72 and sunny. Someone was really looking out for these two! Custom dress, adorable white chapel and yard, key lime filled cake, fried green tomatoes... this wedding had it all. My heartfelt congratulations go out to Brooke and Davis! Have SO MUCH FUN on your honeymoon!


Out of Office

I think that if you are going to put up an "automatic out-of-office reply" in your email, then you should not respond to said emails while it is up. Every time I sent a message to someone last Wednesday, I not only got an auto-reply saying that they were not working for the day, but I also got a response to my question from said person. 8 times. EIGHT.

People, unless it is an emergency, try to relax on your vacation! That is what vacation time is for. I have no problem waiting until the following Monday for something that isn't a huge deal.

I also took some time off last week and did NOT pick up the phone while I was off. In return, I will not call you on your vacation day. And to the person from Omaha who called me THREE times before 8:30am on Friday morning and did not leave a voicemail - GRRRRRRRRR...


Happy Wedding Day!

To Brooke and Davis, may you have a lifetime of love and happiness!
Love, Joellen & Steven

The picture above is where we are staying, the lovely Dorgan's Inn.



My friends, my husband, and I are taking to the road today for a 9.5 hour driving trip to Alabama for our friends' wedding! I do love a good road trip (at least on the way there) and I have compiled a small list below for necessities!

  1. Hydration - water
  2. Energy - Red Bull, 5 Hour, Mt. Dew, etc.
  3. Snacks - salty & sweet!
  4. Blanket and Pillow
  5. Special Indulgences - fast food!?!
  6. GPS
  7. iPad or tablet for games
  8. A good music mix
  9. Cash - tolls, gas, etc.
  10. Comfy clothes
I can't wait to get on the road with my good friends. The whole weekend will be wonderful and I will share some photos when I return!  


Gluten Free Fried

I have been trying to be gluten free since October. It really hasn't been too bad, and as time goes on I have found some ways to still eat the foods I like, just modified a bit. Fast forward to last week, my husband got a brand new cast iron skillet and wanted to fry up some catfish as the inaugural meal.

Here is the result, the left is regular flour fried and the right is all gluten free... didn't mind a bit and both were delicious! Thought I would share (the picture, not the fish). :)



If you are looking for a new book to read, I highly recommend Divergent by Veronica Roth. It is an easy read and sort of has that Hunger Games/ Host/ Twilight flair when compared to the action, setting, and love story, respectively.

And Theo James stars in the movie adaptation, so just picture him below...

'Nuff said? :)


1980s Condo Transformed

The before (black and white) and the after of a condo I did at Folly Beach, SC. The closed stairway, carpeted floor, and dark kitchen were transformed into a bright and airy unit to be used by the owner and renters alike.

The owner originally called us to fix some items that had been neglected over time, such as a drainage issue at the porch, but the renovation grew in size and scope as our client realized the potential of his unit.

Opening up the stairway and removing a large pantry were two of the most instrumental parts of making the space feel larger. Durable finishes, paneled wainscoting, and updated color palette gave the space a fresher and more updated feel. Add a master bath renovation to that, and you have yourself an amazing rental!

  • Adding the wainscoting gives the unit some dimension and character.
  • Running the flooring the width of the unit can make it appear wider (actual width only 13' wide!)
  • Adding new lighting fixtures (even off the shelf from a big box store) is a quick and easy way to update any space - and can be relatively cheap! The dining fixture was only $85.00
  • When painting a smaller space, avoid accent walls or multiple colors. Painting the room one cohesive color and having the same flooring throughout will make the space seem larger.

Project Specifications:

Paint: SW 6176 - Liveable Green
Flooring - Solid Hickory
Cabinets - White Bead Board
Countertop - Wilsonart 4588K-07 Kalahari Topaz


Bachelor: and then there was one

UGH. Worst.finale.ever. I know that you can't expect much from this show, but that is kind of why I like it. If you didn't see it, I am not even going to give you the spoil alert, because it was just that bad. Nikki ended up "winning" the final rose, not even an engagement ring, which seems fine by her, but I give them two weeks based on the After The Final Rose show last night.

Juan Pablo won't say he loves her, he won't talk about commitment, and he won't give concrete evidence that they will even continue dating. In fact, he tells America that they are starting their journey now. In all seriousness, that is kind of what happens with every relationship on that show, but they definitely begin it with a little enthusiasm at least.
Juan Pablo sounded like he was angry at The Bachelor show for something, but he did not say what it was. He wants out of the limelight and he definitely does not want to be interrupted by Chris Harrison. There is no love lost between these two now that the show is over it seems. This finale definitely left me feeling like we were hanging... now what?!?

The best part of the whole finale show was when Clare admitted that Juan Pablo whispered the words "I love f#$%ing you." on their last date. WOW! Could this be the first admittance to sex occurring on the show? Regarding that whole thing, why she even went to the final rose ceremony is a mystery to me. I don't understand why women insist on acting like it is OK to get treated like that. Yet, I keep watching.

New Bachelorette is Andi! I really liked her throughout this whole thing, but I HATED her exit. It seemed like she wanted to fight with Juan Pablo over something that didn't matter... and she kept pushing like a typical lawyer. I think she will do well on the show though, actually having a brain. I just want her to use it and not play into the typical male/female BS.

Good luck Andi! Until next time...


More Like Worst Present Ever

A surprise wedding is not a good idea for 99.99% of the population. In fact, even thinking that this could have been a possibility will now haunt my dreams for the rest of my days... I am just so glad that I am already married!

The gist is that a man, under the guise that he was planning the couple's own engagement party, set it up to be their actual wedding. According to this article, Adam wrote Carly a letter to explain what was actually going to happen (their wedding) instead of an engagement party and celebration of her homecoming from a 6 month sabbatical in Europe. With cameras already rolling, how could she react in any other way than thrilled?

As Carly read on, she soon discovered that Adam had planned every last detail, including picking a wedding dress, booking a hair stylist and makeup artist and inviting friends and family.


Notice one little detail - NO ONE has pinned this article to Pinterest, there is a big fat 0 in the "Pin It" section. Want to know why? Pinterest is for wedding ideas that mostly girls have... and this, my male friends, is not one of them.

A day later after the article went viral and STILL no pins to Pinterest. Men, if you have any questions on what to do to surprise your fiancee, I want to stress to you that THIS is not the solution.


Theo James Franco

I have to admit, when I saw the trailer for the movie Divergent I thought a couple of things... One, that the movie looks awesome! And two, that maybe James Franco a little too old to be the love interest of Shailene Woodley? James is about 15 years older in real life, but damn, he looks good in this trailer!

Well... it wasn't James Franco after all! It is a new face in Hollywood, Theo James. He hasn't been in anything quite notable until now, and I think he is about to get REALLY famous. Take a look below... I am not crazy, they look so similar, right?!? (Theo is on the left). Sort of the way Heath Ledger and Joseph Gordon-Levitt look alike. Like maybe they can play brothers some day?

After close inspection... I think Theo James is a little bit cuter, but I wouldn't kick either of them out of bed for eating crackers. This is just one of the reasons I cannot wait to see this movie! It is being posed as a sort of Hunger Games plot without the whole children killing children thing. I wonder if I could hold out to read the book before I see it... I may have to check into that!


I read the book! Amazing.


Bossy Pants

I have first hand experience with this quote below in my own life. I feel confident enough to share this story on the web as this particular aunt does not even own a computer. :)

I have a certain aunt who I don't think particularly cared for me when I was little. I was a little bratty and wanted to do things on my own, as I had a mind of my own. This did not sit well with her as she much preferred little kids who let her do whatever to them she wanted, like put them in pretty clothes and tell them what their favorite color should be... Let's just say, my spirit could not be broken.

Many years later after I had grown up and graduated from college, I think I finally got the respect I so desired from said aunt. I knew she loved me my whole life, but I guess I was just a little more difficult to love in her eyes sometimes. As it turns out, in the end we are very similar creatures - creative types who are strong minded and independent.

I think I have made her proud with what I have done in my life. She recently told me a story of a "young girl who showed a lot of leadership, just like you did when you were little." I looked at my aunt and smiled shaking my head and said, "You mean she was bossy?" She said, "No, a leader, for sure." I think that she changed her mind about me. :)


Opinion: Amy Adams

Let's get real, my whole blog is just one big opinion.

This is something that has been bothering me for a while...

Can we all just agree to ban Amy Adams from big movies? Something about her just irks me - I think it was her role in The Wedding Date. American Hustle going 0 for 10 at the Academy Awards only supports my theory. And she better keep her damn hands off of Henry Cavill! ;)

Seriously though, I can't believe they cast her as Lois Lane in Superman. I could see her as the "April" character in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or something (red hair), but Lois Freaking Lane?!? Who is her manager and what is he paying for her to get these roles? I don't get her.

Does anyone else see this as a mismatch?!?

Here are three actresses that would have made MUCH better Lois Lanes, in my opinion.

Kate Mara
Jessica Biel
Alexis Bledel
Kate would be my number one choice, I have loved her since her roles in Broke Back Mountain and The Shooter. I would have thrown Emma Stone into the mix, but she was already the love interest for Spiderman. One super hero per girl! And I didn't even think too hard about this either, I just thought of women who would be old enough to have a good career in news publications, not too hot that they could appear unrealistic as the character, and not too old that it would be weird if they were single. Amy is 40 years old... you think Henry Cavill, as a 30 year old, would choose her? Especially since he is Superman?

The actress who played his MOTHER is even hotter (albeit again, in my opinion) than Amy Adams, and her last name is freaking Lane! Oh well. Too late to change it now I guess.

Diane Lane


Homosexual Bachelor/ette Show

The hot topic on The Bachelor, Women Tell All episode last night was if there could be a gay bachelor(ette) or not. To me, I think they are focusing on the wrong issue here when Juan Pablo said that the homosexual population is too "pervert" for the show.

Personally, I believe in equal liberties for all so I am hoping that for his sake he was telling the truth when he said that he backs the GLBT community. I don't agree with him because of what he said, but I do agree that I don't think a gay contestant would work in their current format. Let me explain below:

There is a big difference in the pictures above. It would lessen the attractiveness of the main bachelor if there were 25 other - just - as - hot - men there to steal away some of the attention. In the current set up, they ALL want ONE person. If they had a homosexual on the show, there is a potential for multiple hook ups and I don't think that is what they are getting at with the current show.

All this being said, I would probably watch it. :)

From Charleston, South Carolina to your computer. I hope you enjoy. :)