Welcome to Things Liz Loves!

Let me apologize in advance: I'm not the regular poster I used to be. I try to keep things interesting around here though, so check back from time to time.

Check the Contests page for info about our current giveaway!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Friday Pick: Saw 3D

Saw 3D
Release Date: October 29, 2010
Rated R (Twisted Pictures)
Starring Tobin Bell, Sean Patrick Flanery, Costas Mandelor, Betsy Russell, Gina Holden and Cary Elwes

This week I have chosen Saw 3D. It picks up where Saw 6 left off with Hoffman escaping from the trap set up by Jigsaw's ex-wife. He then proceeds to attempt to track her down to take vengeance on her. Meanwhile, survivors of the Jigsaw traps, led by the supremely delicious Sean Patrick Flanery, band together in an attempt to stop copycats in the future. Throw in some stunt casting (hello, Chester Bennington) and some 3D visual effects and you've got yourself a movie.

The reviews for the movie are mixed. Some say its a return to the Saw film series' former glory, while others insist that it is a over the top, plotless gore fest. I say it all went south when they killed off the original Jigsaw, but this one has serious potential. My only major issue with the plot is where did all these survivors come from? I thought that people actually living through the traps was a rare occurance. I suppose the movie wouldn't be as interesting without people to put through hell. This film is supposed to answer all of our questions. For example: What the heck happened to Doctor Gordon after the end of the first Saw movie? The answer is in this installment.

Plenty of twists propel this film, whether its actually the last film in the series or not. And as this is a Saw movie, its not for the squeamish among us. But if you love violence and gore, you should get your butt down to the local theater and get yourself a ticket.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I Need Your Input!

Hi, my fantastic blog followers! Is everyone ready for Halloween? I know my kids are pretty excited to dress up and eat themselves into a sugar coma.

I wanted to get some input from you guys about a new thing I want to do. I have gotten way into crocheting as of late, and I looked into a few websites where people sell handmade goodies (Etsy seems to be the most popular one). So my question for you is, do you guys like handmade stuff? What kind of crocheted things would peak your interests? I've made a few headbands, flowers for hair clips, and a couple of kinds of bags, and I plan to make some hats and scarves and such. Let me know what kind of stuff you guys like in the comments on this post. I will include some of these goodies in future giveaways, so it is totally in your best interest to give me your opinion on this one! :)

Thanks for your help, everyone!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Time Travel Tuesday: Goosebumps

This week's Time Travel Tuesday is a retrieved post from my old blog. It's all about everyone's favorite creepy book series turned TV show, Goosebumps. Check it!

"Goosebumps" was the greatest children's horror show of all time. There were others, like "Are You Afraid Of The Dark?" but none that could compare to "Goosebumps." It had mystery, suspense, humor and life lessons. Kids were better for watching it, and it was scary! Based on the popular book series, the show would follow everyday regular kids that found themselves in extraordinary situations with supernatural forces. I remember a couple of episodes very well.

One episode, The Haunted Mask, followed a girl on Halloween. She wanted to have the scariest mask ever for trick or treating, so she went to Ye Olde Creepy Mask Shop and purchased a nasty slimy monster mask. This mask fused to her face and made her a mean monster child. The moral of tthe story was to listen to warnings, including those about creepy slimy masks. After seeing that, Jim Carrey's "The Mask" was not funny anymore. I mean, who wants to get possessed by a green mask? *Shudder*

Another episode that stuck with me was Calling All Creeps. This nerdy kid was being constantly picked on by everyone, especially little Susie Snob, the bratty little popular girl. So Nerd Boy decided he wanted to get revenge on that little witch by posting an ad in the school paper. It said for all the "creeps" in the school to call her in the middle of the night. Good plan to get her in a bunch of trouble, right? Not when Susie Snob is the editor of the school paper. She changed the ad to have everyone call his house instead! What a biotch. So, in the middle of the night, Nerd Boy gets a call from some kid claiming to be a "creep" and wanting to have a creep rally. Turns out these "creeps" are nasty pod people who want to take over the bodies of all the children. In the end, Nerd Boy helps the pod people take over and turn all the kids into slimy lizards, including that jerkface Susie Snob. What did I learn from this? Don't mess with nerdy kids. They will make sure you are destroyed when the alien invasion comes.

There were so many epic installments to the Goosebumps series. Remember the one with the creepy puppet? Or what about the one with the killer camera? There was so much win in both the TV series and the book series that it could not be contained to one medium. Goosebumps is not at all scary now, but it certainly stuck with me as a kid. When I was a little older, I moved on to "Are You Afraid Of The Dark?" because the subject matter was more mature and it had a slightly darker feel. But Goosebumps has a special place in my heart. In honor of Halloween, I suggest picking up an old Goosebumps book or DVD to reminisce and scare the bejeezus out of your kids.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Review: Bloodthirsty by Flynn Meaney

Written by Flynn Meaney
Release Date: October 5, 2010
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
ARC Provided by Publisher for Review -- Thank You!

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars

Synopsis (Courtesy of Barnes and Noble):
Some vampires are good. Some are evil. Some are faking it to get girls. Awkward and allergic to the sun, sixteen-year-old Finbar Frame never gets the girl. But when he notices that all the female students at his school are obsessed with a vampire romance novel called Bloodthirsty, Finbar decides to boldly go where no sane guy has gone before-he becomes a vampire, minus the whole blood sucking part. With his brooding nature and weirdly pale skin, it's surprisingly easy for Finbar to pretend to be paranormal. But, when he meets the one girl who just might like him for who he really is, he discovers that his life as a pseudo-vampire is more complicated than he expected. This hilarious debut novel is for anyone who believes that sometimes even nice guys-without sharp teeth or sparkly skin-- can get the girl.
A surprisingly great read that I will definitely read again! Interesting, funny, well-written and entertaining, Bloodthirsty is definitely a must-read for anyone, especially vampire fans with a sense of humor. Full review after the jump. WARNING: SPOILERS!!!

Review: Linger by Maggie Stiefvater

Linger (Wolves of Mercy Falls, Book 2)Linger
Written by Maggie Stiefvater
Release Date: July 13, 2010
Scholastic Inc.

Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Synopsis (Courtesy of Barnes and Noble):
In Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver, Grace and Sam found each other. Now, in Linger, they must fight to be together. For Grace, this means defying her parents and keeping a very dangerous secret about her own well-being. For Sam, this means grappling with his werewolf past . . . and figuring out a way to survive into the future. Add into the mix a new wolf named Cole, whose own past has the potential to destroy the whole pack. And Isabelle, who already lost her brother to the wolves . . . and is nonetheless drawn to Cole.
At turns harrowing and euphoric, Linger is a spellbinding love story that explores both sides of love - the light and the dark, the warm and the cold - in a way you will never forget.
Linger was more of the same that Shiver had to offer: unlikeable characters, anti-climactic ending, minimal action, and a mysterious pull to finish the story in spite of everything wrong with it. Full review after the jump. WARNING: SPOILERS!!!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Gratitude Giveaways for Our Fabulous Followers!

Thanks to I Am A Reader Not A Writer for hosting!
Our friends at I Am A Reader Not A Writer are hosting a fantastic giveaway hop November 17 through 27. Things Liz Loves is participating in a BIG WAY!

I'm offering THREE prize packs! Each prize pack will have an ARC, a cute bookmark and a handmade crochet goody as yet to be determined. I have a couple of really cute headbands and some great bags, so bet on it being something really awesome! I'm going to start selling my cute handmade crafts on an Etsy page, so you will be able to check out some of the stuff I make and get a preview. I'll post pictures of the prize packs in the official contest post.

These will be the rules of the contest:
This contest is open to Google Friend Connect followers with a US shipping address only. Entries must be received by November 27th, and winners will be announced on November 28th. You can earn up to 2 extra entries by blogging or Tweeting about the contest and providing a link in the form. You can enter for any or all of the prize packs, but please only fill out the entry form once! The winners will be chosen using the Random Number Generator at RANDOM.ORG and will have 48 hours to respond to the notification email. If any of the winners fail to respond, I will choose a new one.
I can't wait to be a part of this awesome giveaway! Check back for more information, and check out my Contests tab to see some other great giveaways! Don't forget, I still have an ongoing contest for another $20 Amazon gift card when I hit 150 followers. Hooray for free stuff!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Thursday's Picks (7)

Thursday is my favorite day of the week because of this little feature right here! Thursday's Picks is where I spotlight upcoming movie, book and DVD releases that should definitely get a look-see from you all. I would love it if people would play along! Post which movies or books you're excited for that are being released next week, and comment on this post with a link so I can check it out! And don't forget to grab our cute little Thursday's Picks button!

NOTE for all my wonderful followers: My laptop is being repaired right now, so all my posts for the next two weeks or so are from my uber-slow desktop that I want to throw in a river. So please forgive me if I don't post a ton over the next two weeks. I still love you guys! Also, I've got some really awesome prize packs put together for that big contest in November, so keep looking for that announcement post!

This Week's Movie Pick:
Paranormal Activity 2
Release Date: October 22, 2010
Rated R (Solana Films)

Synopsis (Courtesy of Moviefone):
Spooky hauntings are once again the main course in this Paramount Pictures follow-up to Oren Peli's wildly successful supernatural thriller, Paranormal Activity. Kip Williams directs from a script by Michael R. Perry.
As you can see, there is not a ton known about this movie, just like it's predecessor. In the first Paranormal Activity, we were introduced to a couple (played by unknown actors) and then watched them descend into a terrifying bout of possession. The first Paranormal Activity was the most scared I have ever been from watching a movie. I didn't sleep for months after watching it, and I still get a bit freaked out if I'm awake in the dark too long. I don't expect the second to be nearly as scary (because sequels never are), but I hope that it will bring some closure to the events of the first movie. (The family in the trailer is related to the woman who went all demon-crazy in the first film.) Take a look at the trailer, but don't do it with the lights off.

Misguided Angel (Blue Bloods, Book 5)This Week's Book Pick:
Misguided Angel (Blue Bloods Series #5)
Written By Melissa Delacruz
Release Date: October 26, 2010
Hyperion Books

Synopsis (Courtesy of Barnes and Noble):
After inheriting the dark Van Alen Legacy, Schuyler fled to Florence--with her forbidden love, Jack. Now the two of them must embark on the mission Schuyler was destined to complete: to find and protect the seven gates that guard earth from Lucifer, lord of the Silverbloods.
As the Blue Blood enclave weakens yet further, fate leads Schuyler closer to a terrifying crossroads--and a choice that will determine the destiny of all vampires.
I was terribly worried I wouldn't be able to find a book that I was interested in reading for this week's pick. I got excited to see that Melissa Delacruz is continuing the Blue Bloods series with this installment. I haven't gotten to the Blue Bloods series in my to-be-read pile, but I hear good things, so I'm interested to see how the whole story plays out. The book trailer is pretty intense, so check it out!

The Girl Who Played With FireThis Week's DVD Pick:
The Girl Who Played With Fire (Swedish)
Release Date: October 26, 2010
Rated R (Music Box Films)
Starring Noomi Rapace, Michael Nyqvist, Alexandra Eisenstein, Annika Hallin, Per Oscarsson and Lena Endre

Synopsis (Courtesy of Moviefone):
The second installment of author Stieg Larsson's best-selling "Millennium" trilogy gets translated to the big screen with this tale of a prominent magazine publisher who launches a comprehensive investigation into Swedish sex trafficking and political corruption. The publisher of "Millennium" magazine, Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist) has built an empire on his ability to shake up the establishment. Approached by a young journalist with evidence that high-ranking Swedish officials are involved in sex trafficking and crimes against minors, the incensed magazine publisher launches a comprehensive investigation that threatens to implicate some of the most powerful politicians in the country. Noomi Rapace and Alexandra Eisenstein co-star.
I really liked the Swedish film adaptation of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. It was certainly more entertaining than the book (THANK GOODNESS!), and I feel like the Swedish filmmakers were at a distinct advantage, since they could interpret the source material as it was written by Stieg Larsson. They did a wonderful thing by cramming the first 500 pages of Blomkvist reading into about 20 minutes of film time, and they gave other aspects of the story a spotlight that I didn't feel like they received in the book. I look forward to checking out the second film and to the American version of the movie, which will star Daniel Craig as Blomkvist (which I LOVE!). Take a peek at the trailer below.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Time Travel Tuesday: 1985

In celebration of my 25th birthday (which is TODAY!), this week's Time Travel Tuesday will focus on the best year ever: the year of my birth, 1985. 1985 was packed full of awesome, and I'm not just talking about the day I showed up. I mean, they didn't spend the entire Back to the Future series trying to get back to 1985 because it was stupid. Let's take a look at some of the epic win that was 1985.

See?! Songs are written to honor 1985!

Did you guys know that Back to the Future was the top grossing movie in 1985? (PS: You can get the entire Back to the Future trilogy on DVD or Bluray at Amazon)

It even beat out Rambo II and Rocky IV! All that Stallone!

Also, The Goonies came out in '85 and was one of the top ten grossing films of the year. Goonies never say die!
Movies in '85 were awesome. Trailers were not.

As you can see, 1985 was super amazing, and I am proud to have been born in such an epic year. WIN!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Review: Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

Shiver (Wolves of Mercy Falls)Shiver
Written by Maggie Stiefvater
Release Date: August 1, 2009 (Paperback July 2010)
Published by Scholastic Inc.
NOT a Publisher Requested Review

Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Summary (Courtesy of Barnes and Noble):
For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf--her wolf--is a chilling presence she can't seem to live without. Meanwhile, Sam has lived two lives: In winter, the frozen woods, the protection of the pack, and the silent company of a fearless girl. In summer, a few precious months of being human . . . until the cold makes him shift back again.
Now, Grace meets a yellow-eyed boy whose familiarity takes her breath away. It's her wolf. It has to be. But as winter nears, Sam must fight to stay human--or risk losing himself, and Grace, forever.
A strangely captivating werewolf story that kept me turning it's pages, though I might not actually be able to tell you why. Full review after the jump. WARNING: SPOILERS!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Thursday's Picks (6)

Ahhh, Thursday. A day to celebrate the best things next week has to offer. At least, that's how we roll on Things Liz Loves. Thursday's Picks are my favorite meme because I can share what I think is really great that's coming up, and you guys can share back! I would LOVE it if some other blogs would jump in and do a Thursday's Pick, even if it was just a book or just a movie. If you want to play, grab a Thursday's Picks button from the sidebar and link back to us. I'd love a link in the comments, too! I want to see what you guys are looking forward to! Now let's do this!

This Week's Movie Pick:
Release Date: October 15, 2010
Rated PG-13 (Summit Entertainment)
Starring Helen Mirren, Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, Morgan Freeman and Mary-Louise Parker

Summary (Courtesy of Moviefone):
Based on the cult D.C. Comics graphic novel by Warren Ellis and Cully Hammer, 'Red' is an explosive action-comedy starring Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich and Helen Mirren. 
Frank (Bruce Willis), Joe (Morgan Freeman), Marvin (John Malkovich) and Victoria (Helen Mirren) used to be the CIA's top agents--but the secrets they know just made them the Agency's top targets. Now framed for assassination, they must use all of their collective cunning, experience and teamwork to stay one step ahead of their deadly pursuers and stay alive. To stop the operation, the team embarks on an impossible, cross-country mission to break into the top-secret CIA headquarters, where they will uncover one of the biggest conspiracies and cover-ups in government history.
Red looks like a really awesome action film. I really LOVE Bruce Willis (he reminds me of my dad), and the prospect of seeing Helen Mirren blowing stuff up it really interesting to me. Plus, Morgan Freeman is a freaking gangster. Isn't he in everything now? I really hope this flick is good. Check out the trailer; it's so fun!

Crescendo (Hush, Hush)This Week's Book Pick:
By Becca Fitzpatrick
Release Date: October 19, 2010
Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing

Summary (Courtesy of Barnes and Noble):
The sequel to the New York Times Best selling phenomenon, Hush, Hush!
Nora should have know her life was far from perfect. Despite starting a relationship with her guardian angel, Patch (who, title aside, can be described anything but angelic), and surviving an attempt on her life, things are not looking up. Patch is starting to pull away and Nora can't figure out if it's for her best interest or if his interest has shifted to her arch-enemy Marcie Millar. Not to mention that Nora is haunted by images of her father and she becomes obsessed with finding out what really happened to him that night he left for Portland and never came home.
The farther Nora delves into the mystery of her father's death, the more she comes to question if her Nephilim blood line has something to do with it as well as why she seems to be in danger more than the average girl. Since Patch isn't answering her questions and seems to be standing in her way, she has to start finding the answers on her own. Relying too heavily on the fact that she has a guardian angel puts Nora at risk again and again. But can she really count on Patch or is he hiding secrets darker than she can even imagine?
I have heard such great things about Hush, Hush and Crescendo, and this is one set I cannot wait to get my hands on!

This Week's DVD TV Pick:
The CW's Prime Time Programming
The Vampire Diaries
Starts at 8/7c

The Vampire Diaries: Things are really getting, er, hairy in Mystic Falls with all the Lockwood werewolfiness. And little miss Katherine is stirring up all sorts of trouble. It's seriously interesting stuff. And Nina Dobrev told us on her Twitter that this week's episode is very focused on hottie Mason Lockwood. And if Ian Somerhalder is anywhere near it, you know I am, so you can bet that my TV will be locked tonight, no matter what my husband has to say about it. Yummy!

Nikita: If you haven't caught this show yet, you need to watch it. This isn't the same old La Femme Nikita from the 90's. Maggie Q is really talented, and not just in the hot chick who fights in heels kind of way. Her character is a master manipulator when necessary, and she can hang with the best in combat. Also, the always beautiful Devon Sawa is in this week's episode as the sensitive bad-a$$ Owen. It's good stuff, people!

Watch full episodes of both Nikita and Vampire Diaries on the CW website.

PS: If you didn't notice, there's no DVD pick this week. That's because the DVD's released this week are garbage. That's why TV got DVD's spot. Better! Yay!
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