Monday Movie Minute…

I saw TWO great movies in the theatre this week – how much fun is that?

The Wehrenberg 100th Anniversary logo (2006).
The Wehrenberg 100th Anniversary logo (2006). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

First, Jenni and I attempted to celebrate VIP Free Movie Day at the Wehrenberg, but the movie we wanted to see was not included in the freeness of movie day.  But we stuck with our plan to see Captain Phillips – and it was worth it!  Such a tense and stressful movie!  Even though I knew the outcome, it was hard to watch, and the ending was so powerful and emotional.  I highly recommend this movie!

Then, Saturday night (date night!), we saw Gravity (3D) and wow!  I thought the movie was beautiful to watch and, if it’s possible, I was even more tense throughout!  It was a little bit of a “whatever could go wrong did go wrong” story, but going in I knew nothing about it, so it was all a surprise.

Image representing Netflix as depicted in Crun...
Image via CrunchBase

On Netflix, I’ve seen The Trip on Instant – two British comedians on a foodie road trip.  They are real-life famous comedians (Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon) but it was a mockumentary.  Funny and serious.

On Netflix DVD:

Stories We Tell – a filmmaker re-creates her mother’s life and gets the family to tell the stories they remember.  I sort of fell asleep for a few minutes because it was booooooooring, but it got better and it was actually pretty good.

Loosies – a pickpocket who is trying to pay off his dead father’s debt, attempts to go straight.  It was just ok – sometimes I wonder why the movies in my queue are there.  But I guess sometimes it’s nice to have just a brainless, silly movie to watch.  I don’t recommend this one, but it was ok.

What next?  Hmmm… Movies Coming Soon that I’d like to see include About Time, The Wolf on Wall Street, The Book Thief, and Delivery Man (because Vince Vaughn?).  My Netflix Queue includes The Kings of Summer, Frances Ha! and Smashed… among 331 others. 🙂

How about you?  Have you seen anything good?  Have anything you want to see?

Book and Movie Updates

I am so lucky to live very close to a great movie theatre in Rochester and once a year they host an International Film Festival. It started last Friday and runs through Thursday. For the past few years I have tried to go to at least a few movies during the festival.  Memorably, I saw Mid-August Lunch a few years ago, which has inspired my Ferragosto vacation, and I saw a great Greek film, but I don’t remember the name.  It was laugh out loud funny, especially in a theatre filled with Greek descendents!  How fun.

This year I knew that the craziness of my work and family schedule wasn’t going to allow too much viewing, but I did get to see two movies that I wanted to see at 9:30 PM on Saturday and Sunday!  Saturday night I saw “A Separation,” which was the 2011 Oscar Winner of Best Foreign Film from Iran and Sunday night I saw “Sound of Noise,” a Swedish film.

“A Separation” was not what I expected.  It was a beautiful story about a woman who wanted to leave Iran in order to pursue a better life, but her husband refused because he was caring for his elderly father with Alzheimer’s. And their beautiful 11 year old daughter is caught in the middle.  A divorce is not granted to them, so they separate for a time as they try to figure things out. And then the story begins.  There is so much in the story without it being preachy or overt.  It’s hard to say that it has a sad ending, but it does. It doesn’t feel sad, but it feels like real life.  Anyway, I’m so glad I got to see it.

Sound of Noise
Sound of Noise (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And then last night – “Sound of Noise.”  What fun.  First of all, it is a Swedish film and the first five minutes we couldn’t see the subtitles!  Someone asked aloud if anyone in the theatre could translate!  They got the problem fixed and I don’t think we missed too much of the story.  Essentially, a son of musicians with total lack of a musical sense is an anti-terrorist police officer and starts to investigate a group of musical terrorists who are wreaking havoc on their city.  Musical terrorists.  How fun is that?  They are percussionists who are performing a piece entitled “Six Drummers and a City.”  They use bodies and medical equipment in a hospital, they use money and banking machines at a bank (“This is an exhibition!”), they use jack hammers and bull dozers at a classical concert, and finally they use electric wires and power at a power plant.  What fun.

I will not be able to see the Italian movie starring the same actor that was in Mid-August Lunch, but I put it in my Netflix queue.  And maybe I’ll check out the listings for Wednesday, after I’ve had some sleep!

On the book front, it’s pretty pathetic.  I finished reading The Hunger Games, Chasing Fire, and Mockingjay.  I ripped through the first two books and it took longer for me to read the third.  Maybe if I had taken a break I would have had more motivation to finish?  They were good.  It’s hard to recommend books like that, when the topic they are about is so distasteful, so I won’t recommend them, but I’m glad that I read them.

And then I was trying to help Beth figure out her nook library lending, so I went and checked out the first book that looked semi-interesting that was available on the RPL site – and it was a Harlequin romance from the 90s!  What a fun little break for the mind.  Ah.  🙂

So now, what to read?  The pile of books by my bed hasn’t gone down one bit and I’m still behind in my magazine reading.  I’ll see what inspires…

Off to read!

This Dystopian Life

dys·to·pi·a [dis-toh-pee-uh]


a society characterized by human misery, as squalor, oppression,disease, and overcrowding.
Ok. There’s nothing about my life that is Dystopian, absolutely nothing. Except that I have a little misery in my knee, which I finally went to the doctor for on Tuesday and found out – guess what? – that I’ve got a little arthritis and osteopenia!  Yes, my knees, especially my right knee, is feeling old and frail.  Ugh.  So I will start a strict regimen of calcium and Vitamin D. I’ve never been a milk lover and used to force myself to drink some, but the last few years it has bothered my tummy so I stopped drinking it altogether. Even ice cream doesn’t appeal anymore, which isn’t a bad thing, although I will indulge sometimes and know I’ll pay later.  Has to be well worth it. No simple vanilla for me.   🙂
Chocolate ice cream
Chocolate ice cream (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As I stated in my last post, I went to see The Hunger Games in the theatre on Friday night. There’s nothing like a sold out theatre on opening day or in its early days.  I tend to go to the more independent movies, so I have been the only person or with a small handful of people at a showing many times, so going and sitting shoulder to shoulder with people excited to be there is another experience altogether.  There were a lot of teens at this movie, as expected, and the boys behind us felt like talking through most of the movie, which was unfortunate.  A little loss of manners. Or maybe they didn’t have them?

Cover of "The Hunger Games"
Cover of The Hunger Games
I thought the movie was pretty good.  Dystopia isn’t my favorite genre of book or film. And there were a lot of things I didn’t understand fully, so I had my daughter and niece explain them to me. And now I’m reading the first book and its interesting.  I’ll keep you posted on my thoughts…
A map of the fictional nation of Panem from Su...
A map of the fictional nation of Panem from Suzanne Collins' "The Hunger Games." (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I finished reading “Still Alice” for book club and we discussed it for a few minutes.  I truly lost sleep one night after reading before sleep, so I didn’t do that again. It is a painful story about early onset Alzheimer’s Disease.  Sad.  I guess I’ll have to look at the author’s other books because they were recommended.
My TBR pile just doesn’t go down… and I almost ran to the library today to pick up a light easy read, but I used self-control and focused on The Hunger Games.  We’ll see how long that lasts.
Another day off tomorrow… there is just something indulgent about being off during the week. So far I haven’t minded the weekend work… we’ll see if it gets old.  I will watch a little Letterman tonight – haven’t watched him in ages – because the cast of “once” from Broadway will be on there.  Good stuff!
Well, off to read!

Books into Movies: “Sarah’s Key”

movie tickets three

This afternoon I went to see “Sarah’s Key” at the local theatre.  There are three theatres in my town and I actually had to drive to the one farthest from me to see the movie – but I really want to support independent films in this town.  I have been disappointed more than once because a film I was really looking forward to never made it here.  And “here” isn’t a slouch of a city, either.  So when independent films come, I try to support.

I wasn’t really looking forward to seeing this movie, because I knew the story and that it would be sad.  I looked away a few times (I’m so wimpy) and got teary-eyed a few times. It was a good portrayal of the book and wonderfully acted and beautifully filmed. Little girl Sarah was an incredible actress. It makes me wonder if I will ever be able to learn about all of the atrocities of war. You think you know some history and you learn that you know the tip of the iceberg.  (I really probably only know the tip of the tip of the iceberg about history.)

I’m glad I went and “voted with my dollars,” and hope that independent films will continue to come here!

Off to read!