A Smurfin’ Good Time

Posted in Movies on August 1st, 2011 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I was so pleasantly surprised by how much my family liked the new Smurf movie that I was inspired to write a short review.  Going in, I thought I would hate the movie because it didn’t look funny.  And I was a fan of the Smurfs as a kid, so not only did the movie look stupid, but I couldn’t figure out why it took place in our realm rather than the Smurf’s realm – wouldn’t fans of the little blue mystical creatures, kids, and everyone else want to see Smurf village on the big screen?

Don’t worry, we get to see Smurf village, and it’s pretty cool.  Especially the scene where Gargamel breaks in!!  Ok, so I guess that’s kind of a spoiler, sorry about that…  but this is a kid’s movie we’re talking about.  And kid’s movie it is – my kids all really liked it (ages 11, 7, 4 and 3).  The Smurfs have screen time for pretty much 100% of the movie, and there aren’t any boring scenes with a lot of dialogue – these tend to lose the attention of kids.  There are some Smurfy jokes – in this case I’m using “Smurfy” to describe inside jokes written for fans of the Smurfs from decades ago.  Much like the Brady Bunch movies are actually enjoyable parodies of the hit tv show and poke fun at it,  The Smurfs movie has gags about such shout-outs to the 80s cartoon as their names reflecting their personalities (a hilarious joke in the movie that I’m still chuckling about), cracks about how Smurfette always wears the same dress (although more than one joke about this was overdoing it and took the humor away), and multiple references to creator Peyo.

(the Smurfs as I knew and loved them)

From the previews, I thought Gargamel was going to be a bumbling bafoon, one of these over-the-top characters who might be ruined by the actor portraying him as he flailed around aimlessly in a ridiculous looking costume.  But Gargamel as a live person in today’s New York City was actually quite entertaining and even hilarious at times (If you grew up watching the Smurf cartoon like I did, watch for the way Hank Azaria runs as he portrays Gargamel – he imitates the cartoon character so well that it made me laugh out loud!).  I especially liked the inclusion of the little details from the cartoon – like seeing the Smurf cages that Gargamel always had lying in wait for when he finally caught the little guys.  There was backstory explained; everyone knows by now that Smurfette was actually created by Gargamel as Smurf bait, right?  The story line was cheesy but not unbearable even while it made several futile attempts at teaching positive life lessons to kids in the audience.  I could have done without the Katy Perry song reference (is “I Kissed a Girl really a song for kids?  I’ve never heard the song and don’t want to know), and Katy Perry as Smurfette’s voice didn’t really give any personality to the character anyhow – she was just a girl Smurf and nothing like her character in the cartoon.  Clumsy Smurf on the other hand, was a perfect 3d replica of his cartoon counterpart – both in voice and graphics.  I did stop watching the Smurfs sometime after the Smurf cousins (Smurflings) came in, so I have no idea where Gutsy Smurf came from (seems to be a brave Scottish Smurf complete with red sideburns and a kilt?).  I would have liked to see my personal favorite Smurf, Jokey, get more screen time in the movie.  On that subject, I don’t understand why the group of 6 Smurfs with the most screen time (the ones who get to go to NY) did not include such series regulars as Jokey, Greedy, Handy, Vanity or Hefty.  Actually, I didn’t see those Smurfs at all, but then again, we arrived late to the movie so maybe I missed their appearances.  The production staff also did an excellent job of utilizing aspects of modern technology to make funny jokes involving the Smurfs.  Case in point: see the wikipedia reference.

(My favorite Smurf, Jokey)

Overall, Smurfs was an entertaining film for the entire family – and there was a huge gap between my low expectations and my high level of enjoyment of this cute movie!  A must-see for anyone who has kids to take to a movie – bonus if you are a Smurf fan!

One more note – here is a list of characters I would like to see in the sequel:
Hogatha, Johan and Peewit, Clockwork Smurf, and Baby Smurf.  But please, NO SMURFLINGS!!

And oh yeah…   I did a search on my own blog to see if I had written about the I’m a Pink Toothbrush song from the Smurf’s 1979 album.  Turns out, I did include it in a blog post that I had written in March 2010, and my kids (and me still!) are big fans of this adorable tune.  It was really fun to read about my speculations on the Smurf movie in this blog post given the limited info I had that time on this “in production” project!  (if you read it, you should know that Quentin Tarentino was oringally cast as Brainy Smurf, but both actor and studio are quiet on why the pairing did not work out…)  So apparently I HAD heard of Gutsy Smurf – and wrote about it in my own blog a year and a half ago!

(modern Smurfs from the 2011 movie)

My New Pet

Posted in animals on December 15th, 2008 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I’ve wanted a new pet for awhile, mostly since my cat passed away almost a year ago now.  What I want most is another cat – I love cats, and it would be the perfect type of pet for our household.  But unfortunately, I’m allergic to cats.  When I had my cat, it was a constant struggle to decide if I should pet her or not.  I always wanted to of course, but then I would itch for hours, my eyes would water, and sometimes I’d get hives.  And, my allergy symptoms were worse during my 4 pregnancies.  I just don’t want to go through that again – so no cat for us.  We have a Jack Russell Terrier mix, so any type of animal she’ll want to chase and bark at is out also – which means no rats, ferrets, small birds, etc.  So that leaves me with reptiles or bugs, I guess.  And the only reptile I’m interested in owning is a tortoise.  Those can be kind of costly and I’m not entirely sure that my Jerk Russell Terrier mix won’t want to hunt it, so I’m going to hold off on the tortoise for a little bit.  Also complicating the situation is that I really don’t have any extra time to spend with a pet, so that limits my options even further.  So lately I’ve been in limbo, trying to decide what to get.  But the other day, a new pet sort of fell into my lap.

It’s a ladybug I found in the house – normally I’d let any bugs go outside that I find in the house, but it’s way too cold out for a ladybug, and I don’t want him to suffer while he froze to death.  So I looked up what ladybugs eat, and I found out that their favorite food is aphids, which are an even smaller group of insects.  Knowing I couldn’t get any of those easily, I put a drop of honey in a little container with the ladybug.  He went over to it and started eating it!  So I put a little drop of water in there too, and he must have smelled that or something, because he left the honey and went over to the water – it was really interesting to watch.  He’s survived in captivity about a week now, and I have to say I’m getting a little attached to him as a pet.  It started out as just a fun little project, and I didn’t expect it to live more than a few days.  But he did, and I’ve named him Francis (like the ladybug from A Bug’s Life), and he is my secret pet – the kids don’t know about him.  If they did, he’d be dead already because my 4-year-old adores bugs and often smothers them with love – literally.  I think today I’ll go out and get Francis some grass for his container, because earlier when I fed him, he REFUSED to go back into his container!  I’m not kidding; he was sticking to my finger and just doing everything possible to not get locked back in there.  Finally, I put him on a Q-tip and cut it to fit in the container and locked him in.  I feel a little badly that I’ve kidnapped this ladybug, but I think I’m his only chance at life.  Outside, he’d freeze, and if I let him go into my house, I don’t think he’d be able to find food and water and he’d either die or go into hibernation until a kid or a dog got him.

So anyway, I guess I have my new pet.  I still don’t expect him to last very long, but for now it’s fun just taking care of an animal, especially since he’s my little secret.  If he’s still around in another week or so, I’ll take his picture and post it.  Say hi to Francis!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted in holidays on November 28th, 2008 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Another Thanksgiving weekend is upon us, and so far it’s been wonderful for us.  Thanksgiving dinner was deliciously cooked by my husband and our guests who were kind enough to bring yummy dishes to share.  We played some games afterwards and watched the movie “21” -not very Thanksgiving-y, but a good movie nonetheless.  The night before Thanksgiving, my husband and I watched some Thanksgiving episodes of Friends – I think I had forgotten how funny that show was.  It’s strange because now when we watch Friends episodes, we are older than the Friends, whereas when the show was still running new in prime time, the friends were older than us…  oh well, yet another example of how time flies.  Over the turkey last night, we also did our tradition where we go around the table and say what we’re thankful for – and my ever-generic answer was the same as some of my friends, “I am most thankful for my family and friends.”  It may be a generic response, but it’s very true, and I am very blessed to have such a wonderful family (my husband and kids and our relatives who live far away – we hope everyone had a wonderful day) and such great friends.

So now, Black Friday is upon us, and I was able to convince my husband to not go shopping.  Every year, he wants to get up at the crack of dawn, if not before, and go wait in the lines to see the best sales stores have to offer.  But I’m never very enthused, mostly because we have 4 children under the age of 9.  I keep telling him to put it on his “when our kids aren’t so little” list, although I have one that’s lengthy enough for the both of us.  It’d be nice if one year we could get a babysitter for Black Friday so we wouldn’t have to wake all the kids up, but until that happens, I’m not willing to lose the sleep myself or have the kids lose it either.  So today for Black Friday, I’ve already had my first turkey-and-leftover sandwich, and we’re going to take the kids to see Bolt (our two oldest girls are excited to hear the voicework of Miley Cyrus) at the movie theater with a friend and her grandkids.  We haven’t been to a movie in forever.  I just hope our 2-year-old can behave.  After the movie, we’ll walk across the street for dinner, and then we’ll go see if Santa’s reindeer have arrived on the square before we get our spots to watch the parade.  Every year on the day after Thanksgiving, our town has a parade celebrating Santa’s arrival.  They bring real reindeer to the square, and everyone lines the streets in anticipation of seeing Santa Claus come to town.  His sleigh is pulled by huge beautiful horses, and last year, Santa called out hello to us and knew us by name!  When Santa reaches the town square, a few lucky children get to push the big button that turns on the Christmas lights on the square, and everyone cheers as they sip their complimentary cups of hot chocolate.  It’s like something out of a cheesy holiday movie, and I relish every minute of it.  I don’t know who is more excited today -me or the kids!  I love small town life!  And right now, as I’m writing this, I just saw Santa’s sleigh (covered of course) get pulled down our street with a golf cart!  I excitedly yelled out, but thank goodness the kids didn’t come down here in time to see it – I think it’d be better for them to see it for the first time in the parade.  It was exciting for me to see though!

I’m not sure what the rest of the weekend holds, but I do know that I get twice as much time with my husband and kids as a normal weekend, and for that I’m also very thankful.  I hope everyone else had a wonderful holiday!

If I Didn’t Know Any Better…

Posted in Current Events on November 20th, 2008 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I’d think these are the same person:

The Cowardly Lion, fictional movie character, 1939

  

Drew Peterson, suspected wife murderer, 2008

    

I got an email a few months ago comparing a bunch of people’s faces to other pictures.  It was funny to see the resemblance between people you wouldn’t have otherwise thought about – like the two pictured above.

For those of you who don’t know, Drew Peterson is a former police officer who lives in the suburbs of Chicago.  He is somewhat of a celebrity these days because his young 4th wife Stacy went missing over a year ago.  During the search for her, his 3rd wife’s body was exhumed and another autopsy was performed.  Following this autopsy, they changed the 3rd wife’s cause of death from accidental drowning to homicide.  This and other aspects of this case always point to Drew being responsible for some sort of foul play on Stacy.  The man is very smug, and some of the things he’s said to the media are shockingly rude and callous toward Stacy.  He is an infamous jerk, and I think he actually likes the public and media attention.  I’ve take an interest in the case because I’m originally from the area where they lived, and during the national coverage of this case, I follow along, knowing the towns and areas they’re talking about.  Drew was on the Dr. Phil show the other day, and he was smug as ever…  He is in court currently on a weapons charge, and I got the idea to compare his picture to the cowardly lion when someone posted a comment on the story on dailyherald.com – good observation!  If I can dig out that original email comparing the pictures, I should post it on my blog and add these two to the email!

The Haunting of Molly Hartley

Posted in Movies on November 5th, 2008 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Even though our car is out of commission, we were still able to get out to vote yesterday with our rental car, courtesy of our car warranty.  I have to say that after years of driving a loaded mini-van, I kind of enjoy zipping around in the little Malibu they gave us.  My husband pointed out that it’s probably because all the kids won’t even fit in it, so for the first time in a long time, I find myself alone in the car, which means blaring country music of my choosing rather than listening to kids fighting, KidsSongs, or Veggie Tales.  He’s probably right; although I do enjoy the quick pick-up and the fact that I can easily back out from any parking spot I find myself wedged into.  So anyway, the movie theater in the neighboring town was offering free popcorn to those who voted in the election yesterday.  They had a movie called, “The Haunting of Molly Hartley“, which I hadn’t heard about.  But the title sounded promising, as did the fact that the movie came out on Halloween.  But then I looked it up on imdb.com, and it had a 3.8 rating.  Ouch – that’s a pretty stinky rating!  Not only that, but examples of users’ comments on the movie include:  “What’s the point of this movie?”  “Don’t worry about getting up for a snack, you won’t miss anything.”  “A fright fest without the scares.”  “Reminds me a of a Nickleodeon movie.” – you get the idea.

But we decided to see it anyway, and I’m glad we did.  It really wasn’t that bad – it even has replay value; I’d watch it again.  The plot centers around a young girl named Molly who, days before her 18th birthday, begins to have episodes characterized by nosebleeds, anxiety attacks, and hearing voices.  She is really worried that she is “going crazy”, especially given her mother’s mental instability.  The audience doesn’t really know if everything is just in this girl’s head because of past trauma or if there is really more to it.  I would describe the movie as Rosemary’s Baby meets Proof (I’ve only seen the stage play, not the movie though).  In Rosemary’s Baby, a woman is having a baby and is paranoid that her neighbors are demons who will harm the baby.  The movie is done in such a way that the audience is left guessing the entire time if she’s just being paranoid or if her concerns are legit.  And Proof is the story of a woman who is following in the footsteps of her mathmatical genius father, only to worry if she is also inheriting his mental illness.

And I disagree with some of the comments made about the Haunting of Molly Hartley – there were plenty of scares.  The movie had a creepy mood to it, and there were plenty of jump-out-of-your-seat startles.  They were quite predictable, but I’ve seen lots of scary movies, so the predictability of the scares probably had lots to do with my experience of knowing when to expect them.  Overall, I’d definitely recommend this movie to people who like horror movies.  I liked it much better than Saw V, and they’re really two different types of movie since unlike the entire Saw franchise, this one had no gore and was rated PG-13.  Apparently it was too tame and lame for teenagers, which scares me to think about what it must take to shock teenagers these days.  But for grown-up thrill movie fans, it’s worth a view!

Pedal To The Metal

Posted in Kids on September 2nd, 2008 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Yes, a fun day indeed, if you read Jamiahsh’s blog, then you know what I’m talking about.  To get our minds off of certain medical dramas (not like House or Grey’s Anatomy or anything like that – our real-life medical dramas taking place right now are much worse than some crappy tv), we decided to have a day of fun.  It began with go-carting, which is always fun but even more so if you can fill up the track and drive with people you know – which we were able to do.  I like the place we went to because they don’t charge any extra if you take a kid along with you, and seeing as how we had a few nice adults who didn’t mind chauffering some little kids, all 3 of our daughters got to go around the track a bunch of times.  But I’m the dummy who forgot my camera, so I didn’t get a picture of my little almost 2-year-old in a go-cart like I wanted.  It’s funny because I had the camera with me, just forgot to use it, which should signal how scatter-brained I’ve been lately because of the worry and lack of sleep resulting from my husband’s as-yet-unidentified medical condition.  And while we’re on that subject, we won’t know anything until next week now, because they’ve ordered further tests for Thursday, and they won’t get the results back until next week.  But they’ve eliminated gallstones, so at least we know that much.  He blogged a little update here.

But anyway, enough tangents, back to the fun day.  After go-carting, we decided to practice in the batting cages for our upcoming annual theater softball game.  The batting cages reminded me how hilarious last year’s game was – I mean, theater people playing softball?  It was a riot!

After that, we went to a nice little restaurant we like on the river.  If you sit outside, you get to enjoy the beautiful weather, the view, and a game of cornhole while you wait for your food.  I like cornhole; if anyone has a set, we should bring it to the theater family fun day and play that along with softball…  Why is it called cornhole?  Is that a NW Ohio term for it?  They have that where I come from in Illinois too, but I don’t think they call it cornhole.  In case you aren’t from NW Ohio and you don’t know what I’m talking about, I’m referring to the game with the wooden ramps with holes in them…  you have 2 of these and station them about 15-20 feet apart with half of the team at each end; then you throw bean bags into the holes – hopefully.

After dinner, the kids fell apart (what else is new?  They’ve been acting HORRIBLY lately!), so we had to leave, but I hear the rest of the group went mini-golfing.  I was actually tempted to mini-golf earlier in the day but I knew the kids would drive me nuts because they get bored of it after about 6 holes.  So we left, thinking maybe the kids would fall asleep in the car, giving me and hubby a much-deserved and needed night alone together to watch a movie.  Didn’t happen.  And starting with the kids spazzing out at the restaurant about bees (and there weren’t that many – our almost 9-year-old is a wimp about certain things and her craziness got her sisters going – don’t you love how they chain-react to one another?  Hence the name of my blog), things went from bad to worse.

I’m going to blame Carol and Megan for this one, since they brought it up earlier in the day, but what a coincidence – we got pulled over on the way home.  So thanks Carol and Megan for jinxing us!!  Just kidding, of course it’s not your fault…  I guess poor Chris really got used to putting the pedal to the metal on those darn go-carts.  The state highway patrol officer who pulled us over had the personality of a housefly, and she wasn’t going to act like a human being and be thankful we weren’t drunk driving or even think about giving us a break on labor day, so our fun day ended up being pretty expensive when you include the $100 speeding ticket.  Our luck SUCKS lately, but if we can get the all-clear on my husband’s health, then I will stop complaining.

Oh yeah, so anyway, when we got home, our almost-2-year-old was the last one awake, and since she had only napped for about 10 minutes during the day, we thought we were almost home-free for a nice evening together – WRONG!  About 30 minutes into the movie, our oldest came down, asking for a snack.  No biggie, but “Did you wake your sister?” we asked her, panicked beyond belief because our 4-year-old has been a little hellian again lately.  She said she didn’t think she woke her up, but 5 minutes later, guess what happens?  Sammie comes down the stairs, and now we’re in the middle of an R rated movie with all 3 kids awake and downstairs.  So much for our peaceful early night, sigh.  We sent the oldest 2 upstairs, and that’s actually the last we heard from Sammie, believe it or not.  Disney, the youngest besides the baby (and he’s not old enough to cause any trouble yet, thank goodness!), got so OVER-tired that she started crying for about 45 minutes straight until she finally fell asleep.  But then Taylor, the oldest, must have come down the stairs at least 3 more times because she was worried about various bugs that were in her room and in the house, according to her anyway.  If this were still the age of the VCR, our movie would have been eaten by the VCR by now because of all the pausing and unpausing we were doing…  but ultimately, we just gave up anyway because I was falling asleep during the first part of the movie, and we could tell Taylor was going to be “bugging” us all night…  So we missed the end of No Escape – some crappy Ray Liotta action film from the 90’s.  I think it was crappy anyway, I really didn’t see much of it – let me know if it’s any good and maybe we’ll go back to it.

But for what it was worth, the day provided a nice destraction from the worries that have been plaguing us lately, so thanks to all who participated.  Now we just have to wait another week to find out more medical test results…  ugh, I hate the waiting!

The Pineapple Express

Posted in Movies on August 13th, 2008 and tagged , , , , , , , , ,

I actually hadn’t heard much about this movie before I saw it, but it happened to be playing at the time we needed in order to be able to see a movie that day.  Having 4 kids = a hectic life.  Our weekly date night has become a date day (still weekly though, YAY!), partly because my husband is in a show and we have rehearsal or meetings most nights, and partly because the baby still has his days and nights mixed up, thus guaranteeing that he sleeps during the date if it’s during the day.  But anyway, back to the Pineapple Express.  The movie is all about marijuana.  I did read the plot synopsis before I went, but I didn’t realize exactly how much drug content there would be – the characters smoke pot constantly!  It tells the tale of a stoner (Seth Rogen – does he smoke pot in every movie he’s in?) who witnesses a murder committed by a cop.  The whole movie has him fleeing the bad guys – while smoking marijuana, of course – with his drug dealer, who he didn’t know all that well before they fled together.  Seth Rogen wrote the screenplay for this film, and I like his natural way of delivering lines.  He’s not a very diverse actor, but his characters seem like real people because of the way he delivers his dialogue.

The movie entertained me; some parts were funny; although it did get pretty violent.  I missed some of the violence though because I fell asleep…  just tired, I wouldn’t call the movie terrible or anything like that.  It’s not one of my favorites, though, and I’m not sure if it even has replay value.  But if you read my blog regularly, you’ll know that my husband and I see LOTS of movies, so this was just another theater experience, and those are always fun!

Archaeology Is A Dangerous Job

Posted in Movies, Travel on August 10th, 2008 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

…according to the movies, anyway.  Not one but two well-known movie franchises have plots revolving around adventure-seeking archaeologists, Indiana Jones and The Mummy.  I couldn’t resist the hype of the new Indiana Jones movie and made that my first experience with Indiana Jones earlier this year.  It was entertaining, though I still don’t really get what all the fuss is about, although I’m told the latest (and last, supposedly) Indiana Jones movie is not the best one by far.  So for date night last week, we decided to give the latest Mummy movie, Tomb of the Dragon Emperor a try, and again, I don’t see what all the fuss is about.  I did like it better than Hellboy 2, but I really think that has more to do with how sick I was when I saw Hellboy 2 because I just wanted to leave the theater.  My husband liked Hellboy 2 better.  I’m comparing the two because they are somewhat similiar movies; both action-fantasies involving the raising of ancient asian things.  But anyway, back to the latest Mummy movie…  Archaeology is dangerous in the movies!

Brendan Fraser plays an archaeologist who is hired to guard a precious artifact as it makes its journey to become a gift.  There’s a guy who is trying to raise this emperor from the dead; it has something to do with a curse.  So the emperor is raised, and that’s what I really liked about the movie.  The emperor was made out of what looked like metal and fire, and I really enjoyed these special effects.  When they were coupled with the emperor’s voice, it made for a nice scary villian – I hope you appreciate the oxymoron of nice scary villian 😉  The one thing I didn’t understand about the movie is why they threw in the random yetis.  You’ll have to see it to know what I’m talking about, I guess, but let’s just say that there were some yetis all of a sudden and they didn’t seem to have much to do with the rest of the plot.  As far as the plot goes, it wasn’t really my kind of movie, but it was a $3 matinee, buy one get one free, so for that price, I was thoroughly entertained.  Three random notes I have are:  1.  I didn’t realize the Mummy movies take place in the past, in the 1940’s.  2.  Is it a requirement for sequels to have extremely cheesy references to the original movie?  This movie is no exception.  3.  Anyone visiting Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida should definitely try the Mummy ride.  It is a thrill ride with special effects; a haunted house roller coaster, and it’s unlike any other roller coaster I’ve ever experienced – totally awesome!

Ignorant Viewpoint of Iron Man

Posted in Movies on May 20th, 2008 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I’ve never read a comic book in my life, so why did I go see Iron Man?  Easy – Tuesday is movie night for us, my local movie theater had 3 movies available, and it only cost $3 for both of us to see one.  The choices were What Happens in Vegas, which I wasn’t going to touch with a ten foot pole.  I don’t like Ashton Kutcher, I’m not a big fan of Cameron Diaz, and I heard a reviewer say something about the audience being tortured, not to mention that the premise itself sounded terrible – more like a Saturday Night Live skit than a movie.  Another choice was Prince Caspian, which I was somewhat open-minded about watching since I did read the first of the Narnia books way way back when, but my husband wasn’t interested in seeing that one at all, and the 2 hour and 20 minute running time kinda turned us away also.  So Iron Man it was.

The movie started out interesting enough – it was never boring, so don’t let the fact that I fell asleep fool you.  That’s just what I do when I don’t have time to nap during the day and I see a movie too early before I’ve gotten my second wind that carries me through the evening.  So I would say that there was too much of a backstory given, even for people like us who had never really heard of Iron Man before and especially didn’t know his backstory.  The backstory seemed to go on and on, but my husband liked that, and since I was sleeping through most of it, I can’t really fairly say that it was too long.  Super hero movies are not even close to being my favorite kind of movie, but I did enjoy this one.  It had the perfect amount of action (too much action makes my mind wander), cool special effects, and an interesting story line.  The acting wasn’t horrible or even bad, but what do you expect with veterans like Robert Downey Jr. and Gwyneth Paltrow?  They had good chemistry; the love story wasn’t too cheesy, and I liked the ending of the movie.  I really enjoyed seeing all the technology as Robert Downey Jr. was working in his “cave” and whatnot, and the huge enemy suit was really fun to watch in the showdown between good and evil.  The people behind us came close to ruining things though, since it was a grown woman exclaiming things like, “Cool!  That’s awesome!  I wish I could do that!”  I’m glad she was enjoying herself, but it was distracting to the rest of us.

Since I’m not a comic book fan, I will pose a question to those who are.  What percentage of superheros are filthy rich tech geeks who develop their weapons in reclusive mansions?  This seems to be a common theme, but maybe it’s just in the superhero movies I’ve seen.  But anyway, I liked the movie; it tempted me to possibly check out Dark Knight this summer, unless I’m too busy like, having a baby or something.  Iron Man was well worth our $3.  I don’t think I would have said the same for What Happens in Vegas.

OPA!

Posted in Movies on May 15th, 2008 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Good news from our date night this week – we found a new restaurant in a neighboring town that has good gyros!  Finally, no more trekking to Toledo or further just for gyros off the spit!  And for you Greek food fans, stay tuned because we are currently trying to convince the owner to offer Saganaki, another one of our favorites in Greek cuisine!  He said it’s a difficult thing to carry since many waitresses won’t serve it because of the fire involved.  Yes, I said fire!  For those of you who are unfamiliar, Saganaki is a greek dish made of sheep or goat cheese, and they bring it to your table, splash brandy on it, yell OPA! and light it on fire.  A large flame erupts, the entire restaurant turns to stare at you, children cry, they extinguish it with lemon juice, and then the other restaurant patrons begin asking questions – what is that?  Is it safe?  What does it taste like?  Can I have some?  One time we ordered it from a restaurant and 3 more tables ordered it after seeing ours!  It is DELICIOUS!  Just for fun, here is a video of a waiter serving it, though he begrudgingly mumbles opa while he’s really supposed to be yelling it while smiling.

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  My 8-year-old daughter can eat a whole Saganaki appetizer herself.  She is part Greek, of course, but the stuff is that good.  It is my dream to get to Greece someday to try actual Greek food – if I ever had the babysitter, time, and money, it might just be enough (along with heavy sedatives or alcohol) to get me back on a plane…

Now onto the movie, I’ve been wanting to see the movie Baby Mama since I’m expecting and it looked like a cute comedy based on pregnancy – dumb title though I have to say.  For some reason, our local theater didn’t have it until now, so we finally got to see it.  It actually wasn’t quite as funny as it looked in the previews, but it did have a better plot and better acting than I was expecting – it did not disappoint.  Steve Martin was hilarious as a very hippy-ish owner of a large company; I would consider his character the CEO of the Walmart of organic food.  My favorite gag in the movie happened when Amy Poehler and Tina Fey’s characters were fighting in the car and Amy Poehler’s character couldn’t get out of upper-class Tina Fey’s “space car”.  So Tina Fey’s character goes, “Quit touching the door handle while I’m trying to unlock it for you!”  That is hilarious, I can’t tell you how many times that’s happened to us that the car door won’t unlock while an impatient person is touching the handle.  Whether you like comedies about pregnancy or just feel like watching one, I would recommend Baby Mama.