Monday Movie Musings (with a few plays thrown in)

I thought I’d do a catch-up post on the media I have consumed in the past month or so!  I am still hoping to soon have a Ferragosto wrap-up post, as well as more information on the book that I’m reading for a book blog tour (sneak peak: so far I love the book!), but movie Mondays are pretty melodic, so here ya go.

Besides the movies and plays below, I finished watching Arrested Development seasons this summer and started catching up on Weeds.  I am going to jump into Breaking Bad, I think, or I’ll dive into Orange is the New Black.  So many choices.  I do not miss cable TV at all!  Just have to stay home and relax a little!

Here are my thoughts:

MacbethAs mentioned in a post about July, I saw Macbeth at the Great River Shakespeare Festival in Winona, MN with good friend Cindy.  It was a performance by the summer interns, but wow.  I don’t know that I have seen much serious Shakespeare – usually I see the lighter stuff (typical me!) – and I really felt like I needed a massage when this was done!  How intense!  If you know me, you know that I like to branch off from things, so I need to read The Weird Sisters now.  Or someday.  My TBR pile is much too large.

The Way, Way Back – I really enjoyed this summer flick!  Steve Carell has a very different role and I loved Sam Rockwell in this movie – what a hoot!  I loved the 14 year old boy,  ahd love being reminded that my Satellite Sister Sheila proctored an exam for him on set of another movie!  It wasn’t all light-hearted, but a good picture of relationships between dating adults with children.  Not a positive or healthy picture, but an interesting view.  Really, Sam Rockwell was terrific!

“Don’t Tell My Wife!” – I saw this community theatre play in Zumbrota.  It was an original play and I had never been in this nice little theatre before!  A friend was directing it, so that’s why I made it a priority to go, and it was very fun.  There were pastry chefs trying to raise money as ‘ladies of the evening,” a wealthy man wanting to open a bakery, men at a tool convention, a frumpy secretary who gets a makeover, and a wife who is an adult Girl Scout leader.  I think that community theatre is often better when you know the people who are portraying the characters, but this was well done, which is what I expected. 🙂

When Did You Last See Your Father? (on Netflix) – Meh.  I had this forever before I finally put it in.  It was an adult son who is caring for his dying father and thinking back on their relationship.  Colin Firth was the draw, but it was not fun at all.  Remember me?  I prefer fun.

Lee Daniels‘ The Butler – Saw this on Monday with Jenni.  I didn’t know much about it going in, except that Oprah was in it and there were presidents.  It was a very enjoyable movie, even if it felt trite or heavy-handed in its message sometimes.  I loved the presidents: Robin Williams as Eisenhower, John Cusack as Nixon, James Marsden as JFK, Liev Schreiber as LBJ, and Alan Rickman as Reagan.  They were all amazing.  As were Forrest Whitaker, Oprah, Cuba Gooding Jr., Lenny Kravitz and Terrence Howard.  I will read more about it, as they say it is “based on true events,” but it is mostly a fictionalized account.  Still good enough to recommend.

Blue Jasmine – I really liked this Woody Allen movie a lot!  I am a Woody Allen fan, as a rule, so it isn’t surprising to me that I enjoyed this.  Cate Blanchett was amazing and the story was a well-told glimpse into madness.  I sat throughout the entire movie wondering how it could ever end – and it was never predictable.  I love that in a movie.  I guess Cate Blanchett played Blanche Dubois on Broadway, and this is reminiscent of that role.  She is “dependent on the kindness” not of strangers, but of estranged family and has conflicts with her sister’s boyfriends and ex-husband.  So glad I caught this movie in the theatre.

The Sapphires  (on Netflix) – I wanted to see this when it came out and it never came to our neck of the woods.  That’s either a good sign or a bad sign.  This film has Chris O’Dowd (love him!) managing an Aboriginal girls’ singing group who tours Vietnam.  There were some overt messages which played into the plot – “white looking” Aboriginal children were often removed from their birth families and raised in white communities and the Civil RIghts movement and assassination of MLK were highlighted – and some of the plot points were predictable, but it was a fun little movie.  I wonder if a lot was cut out of it, because some of the relationships weren’t as flushed out as they could have been and you are left jumping to conclusions, but it was a good watch.

Have you seen any of the above?  Have any thoughts about them – or about anything you’ve seen lately?

What It Is…

And another few weeks have flown by!

Here we are at another first – June 1st!  Love those firsts.
It’s a weekend off with no plans!
Here’s a recap of what’s been going on and what’s been making me happy:

UW-L graduation
  Somewhere in this crowd is a girl we know!

Graduation day at UW-LaCrosse was a great day!  Marissa wasn’t sure she wanted to walk through, but decided it would be good closure to her 2 years in LaCrosse.  Afterwards we took pictures down by the Mississippi and then went to one of her favorite after-class establishments – Howie’s Bar.  🙂

graduation
Smiles abound!

The next weekend (Memorial Day) we had a small family gathering to celebrate her accomplishments, and that was a fun day, as well!

godparents graduation party
Gathered with her Godparents
Silliness faces love
Silliness with the cousins! Love it 🙂
family photo
The family all together – we love to take these pictures!

So this summer will be filled with apartment and job searching for her – I’m sure I’ll be invited along to assist!  :

Can’t wait to watch her further adventures in education!

Bookish Stuff:

  • Had Preston book club for “The Accidental Tourist.”  Consensus was that we liked the book quite a bit, mainly it caused a lot of thinking!  Thinking is good!  Some of us related to the characters in the book more than others (I won’t name names).  It was a good discussion (mostly about the book), delicious dinner (not promptly at 5:30 but we had to make sure the Tots got browned!), and too many dessert choices!  A great time.
  • Next to read for Preston book club is “The Night Circus.”  I’m looking forward to reading it!  Oh, my TBR pile never goes down, just keeps getting bigger!
  • I just finished “Little Wolves” by Thomas Maltman, a Minnesota author.  It definitely set a mood, that book.  West-central Minnesota, in the late 1980s, a teacher who engages her students by teaching Beowolf and other early epic stories, and a mystery or two.  I can’t wait to discuss it with Paul and Heidi in a few weeks!
  • I couldn’t decide which book I would pick up next, but decided to read Rob Lowe‘s book, “Stories I Only Tell My Friends.”  It’s been highly recommended so I can’t wait to dive in!
  • I also am excited about reading “The Promise of Provence” by Patricia Sands!  I think that will be next, after Rob Lowe’s book. 🙂

Other Media:

Last week I had the pleasure of a two-movie-day.  Love when that happens!

  • First I saw “Mud” with Jenny.  I kept hearing that I needed to see this movie, and I am so glad that I did!  It was a nice story with incredible teen actors.  It felt a little like “Stand By Me” – a coming of age story, with a bit of intrigue and a lot of relationship building.  Good stuff.  And Matthew McConnaughy!
  • Then I saw the late showing of “Hangover III” with a bunch of random people.  There were many laughs, groans, and one time I gasped and jumped!  I saw the first in the theatre and the second at home, so this was better than the second but really more of the same.  But a good time.  And two-movie-days are always great!
  • On DVD I saw “Rust and Bone,” the French film which got some buzz at the Golden Globes. Kickboxing, killer whale trainer accidents, and poor parenting.  It was pretty good.  I was glad for the ending.  Not because it was over, but because it was a fitting ending.
  • I finally watched the finale to “Smash.”  There were tears, there were Broadway numbers, there was closure.  Ah, it was good.
  • I have been powering through past seasons of “Arrested Development.”  I know I’m late to the game, but it is fun to binge on it!  I’m well into season 2 now and enjoy all the episodes!  It is a smart show with truly abhorrent people in it!  How fun!
  • I have to plug Noisetrade again.  I love discovering new music this way and recently downloaded their 65 song summer sampler. How fun is that!  I have my iPad playing on random and just really enjoy all the stuff that is on it!  Of course there are over 3000 songs on there, so I will never hear them all but it’s nice to just be able to enjoy good music of all kinds!

And now I’m enjoying this weekend off.  No big plans, but just taking care of my house and hopefully seeing some friends!  What are you doing this early summer?

March Movie Report

movies
I love movies!

It’s been a while since I did a post exclusively about movies.  The list is quite long since my last film post just over 6 weeks ago and most of them were in the last few weeks  as I’ve been hanging close to home and resting my knee.

In the Theatre:  

Oz The Great and Powerful – Saw this last Wednesday (free popcorn at the Wehrenberg!) with Jen.  We didn’t go for 3D,  because isn’t that getting a little old?  Everything does not have to be in 3D.  This movie did not need to be seen in 3D but it was obvious when they were playing it up.  James Franco is pretty cute, the China Doll was adorable, the monkey was a great side-kick, and it was fun to think about the land of Oz pre-Dorothy, and pre-Wizard!

Quartet – Saw this today and loved it!  I want to live there or a place like it, say in 30-35 years, so I’m going to start building my community!  The home for retired musicians was filled with the ever-constant presence of beautiful music, people rehearsing for fun opera or showtunes, and croquet and walks on the grounds.  Sounds blissful, eh?  The characters were lovable and the story was fun.  And no one died. 🙂

Liz on the Satellite Sisters podcast was talking about creating her own retirement community for her future and I was thinking about that throughout the entire movie.  Instead of moving to some canned community, she was going to create hers, inviting the people she loves to spend time with and figuring out where they want to live and hiring someone to live with them to prepare meals.  So, who’s in?  🙂  You know I’m a great social organizer!  I will ensure that there will always be something to do!

From Netflix Instant:

The Giant Mechanical Man – What a nice little find this was!  Starring Jenna Fisher (the Office) and Chris Messina (more about him later!), the movie is about not fitting in and not knowing what to do “with the rest of your life.”  Chris is a street artist and Jenna struggles keeping temp jobs.  Family and friends try to assist, but they don’t fit their mold.  Very sweet movie.

Butter – And what a hoot this was!  I saw it on preview somewhere and saved it to my Netflix queue.  Surprising cast in this film about the competitive butter sculpting world in Iowa!  The cast includes Jennifer Garner, the guy from Modern Family (Ty Burrell), Alicia Silverstone, Rob Corddry, and a surprise appearance by Hugh Jackman.  And a funny and sweet plot about a pre-teen girl who is living with yet another foster family.  Good stuff.

7 Up, 7 Plus Seven14 Up, 21 Up, 28 Up – These British documentaries are interesting, although I’m not watching them fully engaged but while multi-tasking.  In the first they meet a group of 7 year olds and they follow up with them every 7 years.  I believe that 56 Up was just released, so I have some catching up to do and I’m glad they’re all available!  Just a “slice of life” for a small group of people in Britain.

From Netflix DVD:
I have mentioned a few of these in previous posts, so these will be brief.  

Beasts of the Southern Wild – Fascinating story about people living in the “bathtub” of Louisiana during Hurricane Katrina.

Ruby Sparks – Did not keep my attention.  Interesting premise – a writer meets a girl like the one he is writing about and then realizes that she is, in fact, the girl he is writing about.  I don’t know what I was multi-tasking with this day, but I let it play without re-watching it.

Eulogy – Liked this neat little movie with many unexpected stars!  

Undertaking Betty –

 

Celeste and Jesse Forever – Starring Rashida Jones (also one of the writers!) and Jason Samberg, these BFF get married and then divorced, while remaining BFFs.  It is awkward and uncomfortable for their friends and gets in the way of their ‘moving on” so they have to figure out a new relationship.  Also starring Chris Messina!

 

Thirteen Conversations About One Thing Well, the one thing is HAPPINESS, but it’s not a very happy movie at all.  Lots of story lines and stars. Not a recommendation.

 

From DVR: 

 

Ira & Abby – Starring Chris Messina (!) as a neurotic guy who gets dumped by his psychotherapist after many years, and Jennifer Westfeldt as the loosey-goosey gym membership salesperson.  They meet and feel a connection and decide to get married.  Lots of talking in this film, crazy family members, and a pretty fun story.

Next!
Next!

 

Coming up on DVD:

 

The Sessionsabout a quadraplegic’s experience with a sex therapist and The Intouchables (again!), the lovely French (?) movie about a quadraplegic’s caregivers.  Wow.  That’s interesting, eh?  Good timing.  

 

I have purchased Anna and will plan a viewing party soon!

 

Ira and Abby
Ira and Abby (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Movies starring Chris Messina:
So as I was watching the third movie starring Chris Messina lately, I decided to look him up on IMDB and see how many of his movies I have seen.  He has been in a lot and I have seen a fair number of them!  It is surprisingly a lot!  I counted 30 MOVIES on IMDB (he has also been on several TV shows).  

 

Of those 30, I have seen:   Argo, Ruby Sparks, The Giant Mechanical Man, Celeste & Jesse Forever, Julie & Julia, Greenberg, Away We Go, Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, Ira & Abby, Made of Honor, You’ve Got Mail, and Vicky Christina Barcelona

That’s 12 movies through the years!  Crazy, odd statistic.

Well, that’s enough. More than enough!  

Let me know if you’d like to be in on the retirement community I’m planning!

 

 

First February Friday Film Footnotes

I know I have mentioned a few films in my past few posts, but thought I’d do a full-fledged Film Footnote.  It is Friday the First of February, after all.

“The Impossible” – Saw this with Marissa at the late-late show on a Wednesday.  Before going, I read a bit about the family the movie is centered on.  It  would be interesting to read the book that they wrote, as it is very amazing how they came though the horrific situation as whole as they appear.  Having lived through a national disaster, as well as spending time thinking about a crisis response to a disaster, it is hard to imagine the response needed to a disaster of this magnitude.  The underwater scenes were painful to watch; the search for family was painful to watch; the difficult hospital situation was painful to watch.  I guess, it was painful to watch!  The middle son broke my heart when he said, “But I’ve never taken care of anyone before” after he is asked to take care of his younger brother.  Wow.  I cried throughout the movie and thought that the flashback underwater scene was a bit much.  I can recommend this movie, even as it isn’t the kind of movie that I would usually be drawn to.

“Silver Linings Playbook” – I just can’t say enough about this movie.  I saw it a second time last week and can’t wait for its next viewing!  I will refrain from purchasing another ticket and will wait until it comes out on DVD, but it is truly my favorite movie from 2012.  I’m glad it is nominated for so many Oscars and I hope that it takes a few!  Although it tackles the serious subject of mental illness, it is happy and light and funny.  It is sooo feel-good.  The first time I saw it, I was surprised by some of the plot.  No spoilers here.  It is just a clever story.  I ordered the book and will see if it lives up to the movie!

From Netflix:

What to Expect When You’re Expecting – a second viewing for me.  I saw this in the theatre and was pleasantly surprised.  It isn’t great literature or film, but it is a cute movie, well-done.

The Ides of March – political intrigue, not my usual cup of tea, but this was well-done as well.  Ryan Gosling and George Clooney, oh my!  But aside from being easy to look at, it had a good story.

In Honor of Pride & Prejudice being 200 years old:

Pride and Prejudice
Pride and Prejudice (Photo credit: elycefeliz)
A scene with Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy after a ...
A scene with Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy after a swim in a lake is recognized as “one of the most unforgettable moments in British TV history”. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Pride & Prejudice- BBC version” – I own this and thought it deserved a viewing upon finishing reading “Persuasion” by Austen and in honor of the 200th year since publication of the book.  It is just so delightful.  Colin Firth is a perfect Darcy; watching him play disagreeable and prideful and then seeing the love in his eyes when Elizabeth plays piano… amazing.  Ah…. such good stuff.  All 5 hours of it.   I’ll watch the most recent version sometime soon, too.

Coming next from Netflix: “Beasts of the Southern Wild” and Ruby Sparks.”  Can’t wait to see what the Oscar buzz is about for Beasts and think that Ruby will be a fun one to watch.  

What about you? What have you seen lately?

 

“It is a truth universally acknowledged…

that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.”

200 years ago on January 28, Pride & Prejudice was published in England.  200 years ago!

I just finished reading Jane Austen’s final novel, “Persuasion.”  Austen doesn’t disappoint, but I”m afraid it can’t compare to “Pride & Prejudice.”

Detail of a C. E. Brock illustration for the 1...
Detail of a C. E. Brock illustration for the 1895 edition of Jane Austen’s novel Pride and Prejudice (Chapter 3) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Favorite quotes:

“A lady’s imagination is quite rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony in a moment.” Darcy

“I have been used to consider poetry as the food of love,” said Darcy.

“Of a fine, stout, healthy love it may. Everything nourishes what is strong already. But if it be only a slight, thin sort of inclination, I am convinced that one good sonnet will starve it entirely away.” Elizabeth Bennet

I could go on and on… I can’t wait until my next re-read.

In honor of the occasion, I started watching the BBC version of “Pride & Prejudice.”  Almost 5 hours of delight with the great Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy.  So proud and outwardly disagreeable.  I won’t get it done in one sitting, but it will be what I’ll be watching for a few days!

So that’s what I’m watching…

In other news,

  • I’m reading “Tell the Wolves I’m Home” before I read “The Great Gatsby” and “Gone with the Wind.”  
  • I saw “Silver Linings Playbook” for the second time and will have to refrain from seeing it again and again!  It definitely will be purchased!
  • Saw “The Impossible” with Marissa in the late show.  Wow.  Painful and heart-wrenching to watch, even knowing the outcome.  Those kids were incredible!  The adults were amazing, too.  Good stuff.
  • Had a great few nights with Deadra and family – watched “Magic Mike,” “Once,” “Young Adult” and episodes of the Take Home Chef.  Good talks and good food and good wine!  Good times!

What about you? What are you reading?  Do you have a favorite Pride & Prejudice quote?  Favorite film adaptation?  “Bride & Prejudice” done Bollywood style was pretty fun, too!

Good articles:  The Independent or First Post or NPR 

 

 

Movie Monday!

I haven’t seen anything in the theatres for a few weeks (not that I haven’t wanted to!) but had good Netflix viewing time…

Movie night
Movie night (Photo credit: Andrei Z)

Blu-Ray DVDs – so fun!

  • Safety Not Guaranteed – The ad: “Wanted: Somebody to go back in time with me. This is not a joke. P.O. Box 91 Ocean View, WA 99393. You’ll get paid after we get back. Must bring your own weapons. Safety not guaranteed. I have only done this once before.”   Answered by magazine writers looking for a story.  Mark Duplas was very enjoyable!  Jake Johnson (from New Girl) was unlikable and sad.  Aubrey Plaza was just crazy enough to join in the fun.  Nice little movie!
  • Brave – beautiful in Blu–Ray!  I didn’t fully tune in to the story as I was multi-tasking, but got the gist and enjoyed the Scottish accents, men in kilts, and bears.
  • Liberal Arts – recommended to me as a Josh Radnor fan (How I Met Your Mother, happythankyoumoreplease).  Again, I wasn’t fully attentive.  It was good but not as good as happythankyoumoreplease in my mind.  Thirty-something guy goes back to his alma mater for professor’s retirement party and falls for a student.  Sixteen year age difference may not be the deal-breaker, but roommates and cafeteria lunches may be.  Maybe it’s a guy movie.

Netflix Instant:

  • Sleepwalk With Me – I watched this on PPV and re-watched it on Netflix instant.  I’m tempted to buy the autographed blu-ray from the star, but we’ll see.  Just an enjoyable look at a comedian who is avoiding facing his life.
  • Serious Moonlight Meg Ryan.  Timothy Hutton.  Married.  He’s planning to leave her.  She’s planning to surprise him by coming home from the city early for the weekend.  She realizes (by the rose petals everywhere) that he is unfaithful and as he is trying to leave she throws a pot, hitting him in the head, rendering him unconscious.  He wakes, duct taped to a chair. Comedy ensues.  🙂  Just kidding. It’s not funny, but it was not a bad movie.  But what is up with Meg Ryan?  Those lips take up 1/3 of her face.  Poor thing…

Coming up:

  • Seeing Silver Linings Playbook with Deadra – yay!  The previews continually to make me happy, so I can’t wait to see it again!
  • Bringing movies to Deadra’s for some girl-time while she is recuperating – Magic Mike, Once, What to Expect When You’re Expecting, and the Ides of March.  
  • Still wanting to see The Impossible (if I can hack it – hear the tsunami is difficult to watch).
  • Before Midnight is the third movie by Richard Linklater about the same couple – played by Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy. In Before Sunrise (1995) they meet on a train and after spending the night walking around Vienna they talk about meeting in 6 months, after they tie up loose ends in their lives.  In Before Sunset (2004) they meet again, when she sees that he is speaking at a book signing (or something) in France and neither of them knows if the other showed up at their planned meeting.  And now, almost 20 years after the first, it premieres at Sundance.  Very exciting.  Can’t wait til it comes to a “theatre near me.”
    66ème Festival de Venise (Mostra) Ethan Hawke
    66ème Festival de Venise (Mostra) Ethan Hawke (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

     

What is your movie news?

Award Shows Reflections

Sunday night the Golden Globes were awarded, and before that, on Thursday the nominees for the Oscars came out.  Ah.  Good stuff.  So, of course, award shows cause me to reflect and make lists – of what I’ve seen, what I want to see, and what is not worth my time!  Isn’t the same true for you?? 

Academy Award
Academy Award (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here are my thoughts on the Oscar nominees:

  • Amour – haven’t seen it.  It won for Best Foreign Film at the Golden Globes.  It looks terribly terribly sad, and a blogger I follow said that she felt it was very sad but not terribly depressing.  I’m sure it’ll be a renter for me (it’s in my saved list!).
  • Argo – I liked this.  It was intense, suspenseful (although you kinda know the ending), and fun (the movie-making part).  I think it’s always fun to watch Ben Affleck in a movie, 70s beard or no.
  • Beasts of the Southern Wild – Haven’t seen it, but will (in my Netflix queue); have heard mixed reviews of it by my film critics.  Hear the girl is unbelievable, so that will be fun to see.  She’s nominated for an Oscar, the youngest person ever to be nominated.
  • Django Unchained – I won’t see this.  I’m sure it’s fine. I’m just not a Tarantino fan (so much violence).
  • Les Miserables – I had a great time watching this. I enjoyed the performances, the scenery, the music, and the feelings behind the movie.  It was fun to see it with Marissa, who grew up force-fed the music.
  • Life of Pi – It’s funny because 2 years ago I blogged that I did not want to see this movie (giving myself an out here) unless it was getting great reviews.  Well, it was getting great reviews and it was great to see – even in 3D!  Maybe, especially in 3D!  It was beautiful and true to the story; very well-told.
  • Lincoln – This was good.  Daniel Day Lewis was amazing (up for best actor, won the Golden Globe). He inhabited Lincoln.  It was a good slice of history that I had no knowledge of.  Well done.
  • Silver Linings Playbook – I think this is my favorite of this list.  I was pleasantly surprised with the story, with the acting, and with the ensemble.  I will see it again in the theatre and every time the preview shows on TV I smile.  Good stuff.
  • Zero Dark Thirty – I probably won’t see this in the theatre.  I eventually watched The Hurt Locker and it was good, but it isn’t my favorite type of movie.

Many of the movies overlap with the Golden Globes, in either the Best Motion Picture – Drama or Comedy / Musical, but there were a few that weren’t included in the Oscar nominees:

  • The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel – This was soooo fun to see with a theatre filled with people of a certain age (I know we brought the average down!).  They were hooting, talking back to the screen, and it was just a great time.  Good movie.  
  • Moonrise Kingdom – Ah, the quirkiness of Wes Anderson.  I enjoyed this but honestly can barely remember the story at this point.
  • Salmon Fishing in the Yemen – I got the DVD from Netflix a few weeks ago.  Hmm.  Don’t know if it was the B&W TV in my bedroom or the distraction of the iPad, but I didn’t get into this.  I’m sure it would be beautiful in full color, so I didn’t give it a good chance.  Meh.

Because of the Golden Globes a few things have been added to my Netflix queue or DVR.

  • I watched Brave last night, as it won best animated film.  It was nice.  I wanted to take Gracie when it was in the theatre, and I think she’d like it a lot, what with the archery and all.
  • I will NOT see The Master. I’m sure it’s great, but I’m just not interested.
  • I want to see The Sessions.  It was in Rochester briefly, so now it’s in my Netflix queue.
  • I still want to see The Impossible maybe tomorrow or Sunday night?
  • The Intouchables was nominated for the Golden Globe but not the Oscars. It was so fun, I will see it again.
  • Rust and Bone is getting some buzz – in my queue.
  • I didn’t see most of the TV shows that were nominated – they were mostly from Showtime or HBO.  I watched half of season 1 of Girls as I bought it for Marissa for Christmas.  That was a big winner.
  • I am anxiously awaiting season 2 of Smash and think I won’t watch the first hour of the premiere on the internet.  I’ll wait!
  • I put House of Lies and Hemingway & Gellhorn in my Netflix queue.  Both looked interesting.  Hitchcock may be fun, as well.

I think that’s it for now… what about you?  Do you have an Oscar pick? Did you play any Golden Globes drinking games ?  There was a pretty fun one online: drink whenever an actress cries during acceptance speech!  drink whenever politics are mentioned!

First Friday Film Footnotes 2013

So far I have seen two GREAT movies in 2013 in the theatre and one pretty fun one at home from Netflix.  Sounds like a great start to a great New Year!

Silver Linings Playbook 08
Silver Linings Playbook 08 (Photo credit: GabboT)

On New Year’s Day evening, I went to see Silver Linings Playbook, and I absolutely loved it.  I wouldn’t mind seeing it again soon, as there was a lot to notice and think about. I thought that Bradley Cooper did a great job at portraying a bi-polar man and Jennifer Lawrence played crazy pretty well, too.  Cooper’s character, Pat, loses everything when he loses it and is sent to a mental institution rather than jail.  The movie begins with him being released after 8.5 months in the institution, still against the psychiatrist’s advice.  He lives at home and is doing everything he can to get his wife back.  And there’s ballroom dancing!

Good stuff.

Even Crazy Anchormen LOVE the Slackers!! Cropp...
Even Crazy Anchormen LOVE the Slackers!! Cropped by riana_dzasta to focus on Paul Rudd. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Then last night the Cosmo Girls went to see This is 40 and there was much guffawing!  It was funny scene after scene, and although it isn’t the best movie ever, it was fun to see with the girls and to laugh hysterically together.  And I love Paul Rudd and Melissa McCarthy and Albert Brooks and Chris O’Dowd and Lena Dunham and Judd’s kids and all the small parts played by big people… very fun.  A great night out with the girls.

From Netflix DVD I watched Shirley Valentine.  It was one of those movies that came to the top of my queue and I wondered why it was there, and I began watching it on the B&W tv one night and fell asleep but thought I’d give it another chance in all its colorful glory – and I’m glad I did.  A middle-aged woman wonders what happened to her life, how she got to be who she is, and desires to to re-create the person that she once was.  She goes to Greece (hence the need to see the movie in its beautiful color – Greece is so beautiful!) and still doesn’t feel the happiness she thinks she should, even after being swept away by Costos, handsome Greek man.  🙂  I’m glad I started it over and watched it in full.

The Shirley Valentine Taverna
The Shirley Valentine Taverna (Photo credit: wallygrom)

Looking forward to getting some BluRay discs from Netflix (love the new player!) and will figure out what movies are on my next “Must See” list!  Last year I saw every single Oscar nominee – almost all in the theatre; I’m not sure that will happen this year, but it may.  I know there are a few that I missed but they will probably be available on DVD when the list comes out.

How about you?  Do you have a favorite movie of 2012?  Have you seen anything good lately?

Final Film Footnotes from 2012

In the Theatre: 

  • Lincoln (with Cindy at Wehrenberg) – Wow, Daniel Day Lewis was amazing.  He WAS Lincoln.  It was an interesting story about the politics around the passage of the 13th Amendment.  Definitely worth seeing – and probably seeing again when it comes out on DVD!
  • Les Miserables (with Marissa, Cindy and her friend Andrea at Winona 7 Dec 26) – Wow, again.  It was a great capture of the Broadway musical with very powerful performances.  There were tears, there were laughs (seriously? Sasha Baron Cohn?), and there was a little singing along.

Netflix Streaming/On-Demand:

Image representing Netflix as depicted in Crun...
Image via CrunchBase
  • Brief Interviews with Hideous Men – A grad student tries to figure out where she has gone wrong romantically while doing her research interviews with a variety of men to hear their confessions.  Meh.  Not bad. Not good.  Fine for cooking in the kitchen!
  • Sleepwalk with Me  – Re-watched this – saw it On Demand.  Good story about a stand-up comedian who sleepwalks – dangerously – and avoids discussions of importance.
  • The Fitzgerald’s Family Christmas  – Edward Burns made another movie ala The Brothers McMullen – set in Brooklyn, family drama, good characters.  This time a dad asks to be allowed to have his last Christmas with his estranged wife and their children.  So many siblings!  So much drama!  Such good stuff!

Netflix DVDs:

  • Damsels in Distress  – I unfortunately didn’t pay too much attention to this. I was looking forward to it but it didn’t grab me.  May have been more about the circumstances (pre-Christmas busy-ness) or the B&W TV that I was watching it on, but it wasn’t captivating.  Was just ok.
  • The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel – A re-watch.  So good and fun.
  • Seeking a Friend for the End of the World  – Pretty disappointing.  I am not a sci-fi or dystopia fan, so watching people prepare for the inevitable end of the world was not very fun.  I suppose it could be interesting to think about – how would you act? who would you seek out? where would you go?  But it didn’t pull me in that much… I may have been distracted by other things (work!) but it was just ok.
  • Big Miracle (with Mom, Dad and Marissa on Christmas Eve) – based on a true story about 3 grey whales who are stuck in the ice off the Alaska coast.  They are migratory animals who need to get to CA.  To get them out of the ice or harvest them for food?  The small town becomes overrun by media and activitists and the President eventually asks for Russian assistance.  Loved the actual footage that was shown during the movie and during the credits.  I was a little preoccupied in 1989 so I don’t really remember this happening, but it was a good story!

Christmas Views:

  • Love, Actually – Watched while decorating. Such a great movie.

    Cover of "Holiday Affair"
    Cover of Holiday Affair
  • Elf – Always makes me guffaw
  • The Holiday – A fun one every year
  • The Family Stone – Gets me every time!
  • The Holiday Affair (TCM recording) – oldie with Robert Mitchum playing the romantic lead. He’s unemployed and gives a widow’s son an expensive train for Christmas.  He’s going to stay in town long enough to make money to get to CA, but the widow’s new fiance can tell that they’re in love and encourages her to convince him to stay.  Hmm.  Silly holiday movie.

And now, we’re in 2013.  January 1 and one movie down!  Silver Linings Playbook!  Sooooo good!  And another will be seen on January 3 –  This is 40. Can’t wait!  Will write more about these and others that I can’t wait to see later!

Happy New Year!

 

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Friday Film Footnotes

I’m gearing up for the good movies coming out this holiday season!  Here’s a brief re-cap of movies I’ve seen since the last Friday Footnote –

In the Theatre:

Life of Pi 3D (matinee on New Car Day!) – I was hesitant to get excited about this because I loved the book and couldn’t figure how they would make it work.  But I knew I would see it and it was getting such great reviews that I went at the first available opportunity – and in 3D!  The movie didn’t disappoint.  Wow. It was true to the book, beautiful beyond words to see, and wonderfully told.  Just wow.  The 3D was not overly much and I actually forgot that I was wearing the glasses after a while.  Yay!  They didn’t ruin it!

From Netflix (on DVD):

Hysteria – 1880s London, “repressed women,” an inventor who works on “stimulation” using electricity… an interesting portrait of a time!

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen – I’ll admit it: I didn’t really watch this one.  It didn’t capture my attention.  So it was on and I was in the room but I was doing other things.

Take This Waltz – Kind of a sad little story.  Sweet quirky couple; she falls in love with someone else.  Bummer.  At the end I think she wishes she hadn’t.

3o Minutes or Less –  Mindless viewing during preparatory relaxation for working overnight.  Not horrible.  Stupid criminals..

Hung – I’ve watched as many seasons as are available.  Getting a little old and out of control.

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel – I’ve seen this but it’s worth a re-watch.  Still in the envelope at home.

Damsels in Distress – Also still in the envelope… looking forward to seeing this one!

I haven’t watched anything on Netflix instant in a while.  On Thanksgiving Day we all huddled around the TV/computer at Mom and Dad’s and watched the Thanksgiving episode from Cheers.  That was a lot of fun.  I would like to watch all the Friends Thanksgiving epidsodes in a row… anyone have all the seasons?

Holiday movie traditions: 

Every year between Thanksgiving and New Years I make a point to watch some of my favorite movies with a holiday theme.  Not in any rank order, they include:

  • Love, Actually
  • The Holiday
  • Elf
  • The Family Stone
  • It’s a Wonderful Life
  • Emmett Otter’s Jug Band Christmas

I also have some Christmas musical concerts – Harry Connick, Jr., Trans Siberian Orchestra and Tonic Sol-Fa – that get brought out and played during the season.

Have any that you think I should add to my list?

Movies to look forward to this fall/holiday season – an update:  

A more realistic view of work/social/holiday fun has me paring down my list of movies that I will see in the theatre during this holiday blast.  My prior list included Cloud Atlas, Chasing Mavericks, Hyde Park on Hudson, Playing for Keeps, and The Impossible.  Those movies will probably not be viewed by me in the theatre, although a girl can hope.  I’m very bummed to read that Playing For Keeps is showing up VERY rotten in the Rotten Tomatoes ratings.  Because, Gerard Butler! That may be a guilty pleasure I indulge in despite my better judgment.  I’ll keep you posted.

For sure I will make it my priority to see:

  • Anna Karenina – although it didn’t get a rave review from my “guys,” because it is theatrically staged rather than locationally shot.  Interesting choice.  I will also have to rent some of the other versions afterwards.  Sounds like a good winter project.
  • This is 40 – already making plans to see it in January.  Gonna plan some kind of “theme” to go with it – a 40th birthday party for us all?
  • Les Miserables – also have a date to see this picked out and a group to go see it with!  Excited to see this as well.
  • The Fitzgerald Family Christmas – it’s available On Demand so I’ll watch that – may become a tradition to add to my list above!
  • Silver Linings Playbook – sounds right up my alley!

How about you?  Any movies you can’t wait to see?

(Leaving Gerard Butler’s picture here, because… Gerard Butler.  Ahh.. )

Scottish actor Gerard Butler at the press conf...