In General…

Posted in Everyday Life on August 10th, 2011 and tagged , , , , , , , ,

Here we are in the middle of August already, how did that happen?  I know how July flew by for me since most of it was spent traveling, but where the heck has the beginning of August gone?

I am 30 weeks + a few days pregnant.  I talked to the doctor yesterday and am most likely going to have the baby at 39 weeks (planned cesarean), so there is not too much time left of this pregnancy – for that, I am mostly glad!  I cannot wait to meet little Luke!  Plus I’m sick of the soreness, the nausea, the moodiness, and all that good stuff.  I just hope that I turn back into a normal person again because right now it seems like an impossibility.  I can’t remember my life before I was pregnant – did I really have enough energy to function every day?  Sure don’t now, but most days, I can fake it but that is exhausting in itself.

I wrote a few posts ago about making important decisions and about doors of opportunity opening for us.  For certain things, we are still praying, being patient, and waiting to see what God’s plan is for us right now.  In the meantime, we did reach one decision about a lifestyle change for our family, and we are very excited to get started.  Close family already knows what this is about, but do I want to reveal it to others for the first time in a blog?  I’m not sure…  But either way, we are very excited about it, and it’s been a lot of fun already to begin this journey.  Just another thing to look forward to this fall!

Tonight is the last night of our Wednesday night Bible study, and it’s been great to make new friends and to get to know these families.  I am looking forward to having 3 (THREE!!) free Wednesday nights for our family once the class is over and before youth group starts again.  And how is this for irony?  I wrote the preceding paragraphs, saved it as a draft, then did lunch with the kids before coming back to it.  During lunch, I checked the mail and I found postcards notifying us of youth group leader training meetings on TWO of my THREE free Wednesdays.  Sigh.  I need to be happy with that one free evening, but my human nature disappoints me because I almost had 3 free Wednesdays instead of one…  oh well, such is life.  Wednesday nights are fun anyway; I just wish I had more energy to enjoy them.

My Monday morning Bible study is drawing to a close also – that one I will really miss.  I’ve become close with the other ladies in my class, and it’s been so great to get to know them and learn about the similarities and the differences in our lives and journeys in our relationships with Christ.  I will even miss the 5 hours a week of homework – it was SO incredibly valuable and eye-opening for me to spend this time with God’s word.  If I weren’t taking on so much this fall, I would definitely sign up for another one.  Maybe in the spring or next summer…

Seen some movies lately, as usual – I think it’s probably mine and Hubby’s favorite thing to do together, snuggle and watch movies after long days of work and tending the kids.  I had heard that the new Planet of the Apes movie was supposed to be good, so we saw that, but I was disapointed.  It was okay, but I was hoping for less ape, more planet – meaning, the movie ended just as the apes were about to take over.  I would have liked to see their rise to power as they actually take over the planet.  Maybe that’s going to be saved for the next movie?  The movie was entertaining, but there was a little too much animal cruelty and not enough payoff – seeing the apes take over the planet – for having to watch all that animal cruelty.  Of course the creatures were CGI so you know none of them were hurt during filming and it was just a movie, but that doesn’t mean in my spare time I want to sit and watch that and think about what goes on in animal testing labs.

We haven’t visited the Redbox in a while, mostly because we had seen many of the movies they had (we watch a lot of movies!).  But Hubby ventured out last night and picked out Cedar Rapids, a fun (a bit more vulgar than I usually like, but interesting just the same) movie about insurance salesmen starring Ed Helms (Andy Bernard from The Office; he’s also in the Hangover movies).  It was a different kind of movie, and we both enjoyed it.

That’s about it for now…  I just had the opportunity to sit and blog for awhile – I MADE the opportunity, actually – because I just HAD to today.  I’ve had this awful headache that’s been lodged behind my left eye for a few days now, and running around chasing kids again was just too much for today.  And I do need to sit more.  For someone in my condition, I really think  I should be resting more, but the nature of the busyness in our household makes it an impossibility.  I’m finding it quite a challenge to take good care of myself, finding time to eat right to take care of my anemia and gestational diabetes and all that stuff.  It’s just too hard to put myself first when I have 4 little ones to take care of and Hubby has his own full plate with work as well.  I hate to complain about physical stuff, but I really need to feel better soon.

Am I A Denzel Fan?

Posted in Movies on April 22nd, 2010 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I’ve heard a lot of people say they are Denzel Washington fans, and I didn’t really get it.  But then I watched Inside Man, and  I enjoyed it.  I then saw Book of Eli in the theaters, which I really liked a lot, and it’s become one of my husband’s favorite movies of all time.

Last night we watched the 1998 movie Fallen, also starring Denzel, and it was one of the best crime-thrillers I’ve seen in a long time.  As usual with these types of movies, I hesitate saying too much because I don’t want to ruin anything for anyone.  Let’s just say that I highly recommend Fallen; especially if you like the genre; especially if you like Denzel.  Always intriguing; at times it was genuinely creepy, though never gory, and most importantly, it did not leave the audience distracted with guessing possible twists – just a good crime drama which left one waiting to see what unfolds next.  John Goodman, James Gandolfini, and Donald Sutherland all provide excellent performances rounding out the acting roster.  At one point, there was an expression on Denzel Washington’s face that was utterly perfect for the circumstance at hand, and that’s when I realized that I was starting to become a fan of his acting.  If you would have asked me before today who my favorite movie actor is, I would have said Tom Hanks.  I loved Forrest Gump, Splash, League of Their Own and Toy Story, and I thoroughly enjoyed a host of other Hanks films: The Terminal, Castaway, and Big just to name a few.  Hanks’ diversity, comedic abilities, and every-man qualities make him fun to watch.  So after thinking about all these great movies again, I guess I would still maintain Tom Hanks as my favorite movie actor, but because I judge movies more from a whole-picture perspective, Denzel’s films are starting to catch my eye – he knows how to pick ’em!

I’ve seen Bone Collector (push-knob car locks have never been the same), but it’s been a long time, and I don’t remember much about the movie except that I liked it (and those darn push-knob car locks).  So now, being a Denzel Washington fan, I will have to watch Bone Collector again.

So the point of this post is?  See Fallen – it’s good.  And we have SO broken the stinker movie trend around here.  Hallelujah!!  And thank you Denzel!

Knowing I Love You Man

Posted in Movies on March 30th, 2009 and tagged , , , , , , , , ,

I’m going to take a break  from my New York Trip Diary to write up a few movies.  All I have left is the World Trade Center site post anyway, so that’s just one thing on a trip of hundreds!  Besides, writing up these 2 movies should be easy, since I don’t have much to say about either one…

Last week for date night, we saw Knowing, a movie we had been looking forward to.  Not that we’re Nicolas Cage fans (quite the opposite actually); the movie just looked intriguing.  It’s about a guy whose son gets a piece of paper with hundreds of numbers on it which was buried in a time capsule for fifty years.  After some investigation (and A LOT of liquor!), Nicholas Cage discovers that the numbers correspond to the dates, places, and the number of fatalities that would occur during certain calamities – they have all occurred already; except for the 3 left on the list.  And that’s about it.  Cage’s acting was no better than usual (why did I think this would be one of his better movies?  Can you tell he is Francis Ford Coppola’s nephew?), and I don’t want to spoil the ending for you, but I found it cheesy and actually kind of dumb.  I was entertained, but barely, and I did doze a tad during this one, although the action sequences awoke me with a start.  Feeling unsatisfied after this movie, we decided to make it a double feature and sneaked into I Love You Man – no, I’m kidding, we went back to the cashier and paid for the movie legitimately – besides, we needed a refill on our pop and popcorn, though the latter was quite regretful.

I Love You Man looked like kind of a dumb comedy, but we’ve been appreciating the actor Paul Rudd lately (he is SO funny in Role Models and Friends reruns), so we decided to check it out.  What we got was kind of a dumb comedy, but actually not as bad as I thought.  It wasn’t entirely predictable, and there were some funny moments that they actually hadn’t spoiled in the movie’s trailers.  If you like silly comedies and Paul Rudd, check it out.  It’s not nearly as funny as Role Models, but it is much less crude.

The Night Listener Returns

Posted in Movies on January 3rd, 2009 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Regular readers of my blog know that I thought The Night Listener was a terrible movie.  It stars Robin Williams as a radio show host who…  you know what, I don’t even remember.  For a plot synopsis, click on the link above.  I was actually surprised that an A-list actor like Robin Williams would do such an awful movie as The Night Listener, but he did.  After sitting through a movie like The Night Listener, my husband and I are weary of Robin Williams.  However, 3 of our friends and fellow tangents.org authors all agreed that August Rush is a good movie, so we checked it out.  And you’ll notice that the title of this post is called, “The Night Listener Returns”, so uh-oh.  But that was more of a joke, and now I’ve explained it, so let’s get on with my review of August Rush.

Not nearly as bad as the Night Listener; I wouldn’t even call August Rush a bad movie.  At the very least, it was really refreshing to see a movie whose target audience was over the age of 18 that was absent any filth whatsoever.  August Rush is a cute story, but I think the movie could have been done a heck of a lot better in some ways.  The tale follows the life of a young orphan, an almost magical boy, named Evan Taylor as he “follows the music” to find his real parents.  There were a few circumstances and events in the movie that weren’t believable in any shape or form, and even if you suspended your disbelief, the cheesiness of other aspects of the movie was annoying.  The storyline is intriguing, and the acting is not bad, but there are a few things that would have to change about August Rush in order for me to consider it a great film.  To name just a couple of those things, I couldn’t get over the fact that this entire love story is based upon a one-night stand.  Tactfully done – as I said, there isn’t any filth in this PG rated movie, but still, knowing it’s true love after just a one-night stand?  Come on!  And, I guess you’ll have to see the movie to appreciate this, but would an abandoned theater really still have its electricity working?  Doubtful.  Like I said, just a few examples of what I perceived to be holes in the plot, but there are other things about the movie that could have easily been changed, improving the film’s quality.  Doing so would add much enjoyment and just plain common sense to this movie.  And Robin Williams was not the shining star in August Rush either; that was left for Freddie Highmore who played Evan – he was also wonderful playing twins in the great movie The Spiderwick Chronicles – another highly recommended flick.  Williams seemed almost annoying in his role as a musical outlaw with his multple piercings and goatee.  I flip-flopped between deciding if his character “Wizard” was a good guy or a bad guy.  Maybe that was the point, I’m not even sure.

The actor who played Buford Benjamin Blue (Bubba) in Forrest Gump played a preacher in August Rush, so I was wondering if the line, “Run August run!”  was a reference to the extremely famous line, “Run Forrest run!” from the Oscar-winning film based upon the Winston Groom novel, one of my favorite movies (one that I highly recommend).  Or maybe it was the filmakers’ way of laughing at us for even thinking of an awesome movie like Forrst Gump during August Rush.  Ok, it wasn’t that bad…  I did appreciate the sentiment.  But my lack of suspension of disbelief just got in the way of me getting swept into the magic of the movie, I guess.

Sorry for those who disagree with me, but I’m still glad you recommended the movie; it was definitely worth a screening – thanks!

Burn After Reading

Posted in Movies on September 22nd, 2008 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I’m not a huge Coen brothers fan, but I do find their movies interesting.  Like many of the Coen’s movies, Burn After Reading is about normal people who come across an illegal way to make lots of money, become obsessed with it, and consequently watch their lives unravel.  Frances McDormand, a Coen brothers movie regular (and I found out why – she’s married to one of them), was great in this movie.  She plays a woman named Linda Litzke, a gym employee who is obsessed with reinventing herself via plastic surgery.  She, along with a gym co-worker played by Brad Pitt, come across a CIA agent’s (played by John Malkovich) disk at their gym and bumble through a scheme to use it as blackmail.  They are truly a couple of idiots, and Brad Pitt’s performance as the big doofus Chad is hilarious – might have been my favorite part of the movie, and this is not coming from a Brad Pitt fan or anything like that.  Not that this movie is a comedy, don’t get me wrong.  I suppose it could be classified as a dark comedy, but I would say it’s more of a suspense film with some comedic moments.  As with any Coen brothers movie, there are numerous twists and turns, so I’m going to cut my synopsis short for fear of revealing any spoilers.  Go see it, watch how the events unfold, and you’ll be entertained.  Besides Brad Pitt’s character, my favorite part of the movie was how they told the story – as a case file being discussed by a couple of FBI agents.  If you’re a Coen brothers fan already, then I’m sure you’ll love it – it is everything Coen: money, foiled scheme, setting – the Coens are famous for making the setting of their movies very integral in the plots, and this one is no exception.  Washington, DC and the surrounding area of Virginia is the locale of choice for this one, and it’s all very important to the relation of the events and how they unfold.  This movie features a few Coen movie regulars like Frances McDormand, George Clooney, and Richard Jenkins (who also gives a great performance as the forlorn gym manager, by the way – they really make you feel sorry for his character).  Better than No Country for Old Men, The Ladykillers, and O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Burn After Reading is second only to Fargo when comparing it to other Coen brothers movies in my opinion.  An entertaining 96 minutes at the movies – this one goes by fast.  And make sure you pay attention; if you miss something, I could see where it would be difficult to catch up – a lot happens in those 96 minutes!

Sleepwalkers

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

With the exception of Thinner, I’ve liked most of the Stephen King movies I’ve seen.  My favorite is Storm of the Century, a Prime-Time Emmy Award winning made-for-tv mini-series that aired in 1999.  Every winter when a big blizzard is predicted in our corner of Ohio, we plan on being snowed in watching our Storm of the Century dvd.  It never happens though; I think it has to do with trying to watch a 240 minute movie that’s not for kids when we have 4 of them.  But anyway, if we ever get time to watch Storm of the Century in the near future, I’ll definitely blog more about it – it’s awesome!

One of Stephen King’s lesser known films, Sleepwalkers, is a movie I saw as a teenager.  I liked it back then, so when I happened to see the dvd on the library’s shelf the other day, that’s what I quickly picked up since I was in a hurry.  My husband and I watched it the other night, and we both had the same opinion.  A fun little horror film, nothing great but still entertaining.  It is Stephen King-creepy, as only he can do, and much of the movie’s creepiness has to do with the mother-son relationship; I won’t go into detail except to say that it’s extremely disturbing.  Brian Krause and Alice Krige play the mother and son monsters who need to feed on a human virgin in order to survive.  They morph into strange cat-like creatures, which is even more strange because cats are drawn to their house, yet deadly to the monsters at the same time.  The special effects are extremely cheesy by today’s standards and even laughable, but sometimes I’m a sucker for that kind of thing and really enjoy bad special effects – my favorite example of this is Jaws 3-D.

While we’re on the subject of Stephen King, as I mentioned, I like most of his movies that I’ve seen.  I tried to read the book Carrie a really long time ago, but I found it hard to follow, either because I was a teen or because of the religious ramblings inserted throughout the book which were done in such a way that it’s hard to follow because it’s depicting Carrie’s mother’s craziness.  But anyway, Stephen King is very talented, of course.  He has a gift of making movies extremely creepy without stooping as low as many of today’s horror movies do with the constant blood and gore.

An interesting event took place in his life that almost reads like one of his novels, well, actually it does since he wrote about it.  On June 19, 1999, his life was changed forever when he was hit by a car while walking down a Maine road.  There are two creepy coincidences about this incident.  First, earlier that year, King had finished most of From a Buick 8, a novel in which a character dies after getting struck by a car.  Second, the driver of the car, Bryan Smith, who was only 43, was found dead in his trailer just over a year later of an accidental overdose.  He was found dead on Stephen King’s birthday, September 21.  The accident was inspiration for the Dark Tower series of books, and King is in talks with Lost co-creator J.J. Abrams to do an adaption of the series.  Since I’m a fan of Lost and Stephen King, that might be something I’ll have to check out.  Until then, I’ll probably be planning another snowy viewing of Storm of the Century this winter that won’t come to fruition.

American Psycho Hellboy… Never Mind

Posted in Movies on July 24th, 2008 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

We managed to fit in some movie watching this week while the kids are with Grandma, and I was attempting to put them all together in a clever blog post title, but it wasn’t to be.  Probably my lack of sleep with the new baby and my recovery process has inhibited my creativity.  I hope to be back in full swing soon, but it will probably take a few months, especially because once I’m feeling better, I have lots of stuff around the house I need to catch up on and as much as I would like blog posting to come first, it doesn’t.  As people keep reminding me oh so helpfully, a c-section is major surgery 🙂  Don’t I know it. 

So the 3 movies we saw this week are Hellboy 2, American Psycho, and Fortress.

I did not like Hellboy 2.  I actually would have left the theater, but I never got around to asking my husband if he wanted to and that was a good thing because he liked the movie.  It gave me a good laugh when we were walking out of the theater and he told me he liked it because we always have the same taste in movies and I really didn’t like this one.  That also means I don’t have much to say about it except that the Abe fish-like character reminds me of C3PO from Star Wars, and I can’t believe the actor who plays Hellboy, Ron Perlman, was also Vincent the Beast in the old Beauty and the Beast tv show from the 80’s with Linda Hamilton.  I thought he was going to be some Andre the Giant huge guy wrestler type, but it turns out, he is just a regular actor.  I suppose my impatience with this movie had to do with the fact that my infection flared up and I was raging with fever yet again in the movie theater.  So even though I felt crappy and wanted to leave, I could not pass up a night out with hubby while the kids were away.  Even if it was to see Hellboy 2…  I’m just glad one of us enjoyed the movie.

Next up is a movie from the early 90’s called Fortress.  It’s set in the future – and it’s always fun to see what people thought the future would be like when the movie was made over a decade ago – and revolves around a corporate owned underground prison (think Walmart does Alcatraz).  The main characters are sent there when they break the “one child per couple” rule.  They had lost their first child, and now they’ve been caught trying to have another, so they are both sent to prison, even though she is pregnant.  This is a fun action-packed movie.  When I looked it up on imdb.com after we watched it, I learned that it is actually a kind of cult classic movie and there are actually multiple endings.  Our version was the less happy of the endings, but I still liked the movie.  It’s kind of violent for early 90’s, and if you look it up on imdb.com, don’t let the keywords fool you.  Let’s put it this way, if I had seen the keywords first, I wouldn’t have watched this movie, but in retrospect, I don’t think there was really much adult stuff in it – just violence and gore, but they didn’t overdo it like they do in some movies nowadays, like the Saw movies for instance.  American Psycho on the other hand…

I will start by saying that Christian Bale was excellent in this movie.  I wasn’t so impressed by him when he was Batman in The Dark Knight, but he definitely shows versatility and depth in this movie.  He plays a Wall Street executive who is just about as big a jerk as one can be.  Also, he has blood lust and likes to kill people in his spare time.  The movie is very strange for reasons I can’t quite put my finger on.  For one, I was confused about what the movie was trying to be.  I guess it’s just a story about this man, an American Psycho.  But at times throughout the movie, the music was strange, and it just didn’t play like a normal movie.  And then there were the constant 80’s references.  I guess it was supposed to take place in the 1980’s, given the characters’ huge cordless phones and constant talk of musical artists such as Phil Collins, Huey Lewis, and Whitney Houston.  Why they would change the time period of the movie, I don’t know, but they did a good job because if Reese Witherspoon (who is about my age and would have been a kid in the ’80’s) wasn’t in it, I would have been convinced the movie was actually filmed in the ’80’s.  And I have to say the end confused me a lot.  I won’t say more because I don’t want to spoil anything, but if anyone who reads this has seen this movie, maybe you can answer a question I have.  I don’t think I’d recommend this movie since there are many disturbing scenes and it didn’t seem worth it to me to sit thru them for what you get from the rest of the movie.  I don’t think I’m going to put it on my list of baddies however, but then again, Hellboy 2 isn’t going on there either.  Just 2 movies I didn’t really like and wouldn’t see again, but I don’t feel like I wasted my time watching either of them, and that’s always a good thing.   

The Island of Dr. Moreau

Posted in Movies on May 6th, 2008 and tagged , , , , , , , ,

No, I’m not talking about the movie The Island of Dr. Moreau…  Many people thought it was awful, but I actually liked that movie, last time I saw it anyway over a decade ago.  Scared the heck out of me though; I saw it in college and had to walk home from my friends’ dorm all by myself late at night afterwards…  I was so freaked out that I ran all the way home, prompting some other college-aged jerks to jeer at me, “Run Forrest, Run!”  See what they did there?  That’s a reference to the great movie, Forrest Gump.  Clever kids, weren’t they?  I will have to try that Dr. Moreau movie again; even though I bet nowadays the special effects would appear outdated and it would just be dumb, but I’m not about to try it any time soon with all the nightmares I’ve been having…

Anyway, I was just looking for a way to tie in my latest activities, that’s why I called the post The Island of Dr. Moreau.  I went to the Dr. today, and watched the movie called The Island last night.  The Dr. visit was routine…  but I do have to mention how I just sat there waiting for the Dr. to come in with nothing to do but stare at the walls because after reading the CNN article called “Don’t Let a Hospital Kill You”, I was too afraid to touch any magazines in the Dr.’s office.  See one of my previous posts of that title if you would like to experience the same paranoia.  Dr. told me we’re going to induce me a week before my due date because I have large babies…  thank goodness for that, except that I’m ready NOW – do we really have to wait until July?!?

Now for the movie…  The Island is a sci-fi movie about a factory that manufactures humans.  It is set in the future – but not too far in the future, 2015 or something like that – there are monorails, flying motorcycles, and human clones aplenty.  It’s funny how in one scene, they thought they were being clever by showing gas prices to be over $4 / gallon, but I guess our 2008 society is a bit ahead of them, not in a good way either 🙁

So anyway, in The Island, the general public is under the impression that their “insurance policies” – as the clones are known – are simply organisms being grown for spare parts and will remain in a vegetative state.  The “insurance policies” however, are living, breathing, thinking, feeling humans who are housed in a self-contained facility within the factory.  They live from day to day with the hope of winning “the lottery”, which will send them to “the island” – supposedly a place of bliss where they will live happily ever after.  Ewan McGregor‘s character accidently finds out however, that winning the lottery is fatal, and “the island” is really what happens when a customer needs their insurance policy – ie, the clone is killed for its spare parts.  I’m not normally a fan of sci-fi, but this movie has a very interesting premise that doesn’t go too over the top, and I enjoyed it.  Without giving too much away, I would trade a scene in the middle (too cheesy!) for 2 at the end – scenes I thought should be added with things I’d like to see in the movie…  if you see or have seen the movie, I’ll tell you what I mean.  But I did like it, and like I said, I am not normally a fan of sci-fi, so I would recommend this one to sci-fi fans or action movie enthusiasts.

SPLASH! It’s Mr. Woodcock in Real Life

Posted in Movies on March 10th, 2008 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

We went kinda crazy with the movies this weekend…  We watched the 1984 classic Splash with the kids, and we also took in Mr. Woodcock and Dan in Real Life (for the adults).  Splash is a Tom Hanks and Daryl Hannah movie about a mermaid who leaves the ocean to come to New York city and fall in love with Tom Hanks.  It sounds dumb, but it’s actually pretty well done and a movie with substance and heart.  The special effects of her fins aren’t bad either, considering they’re over 20 years old and most likely made without computer assistence.  Since I haven’t seen the movie since I was a kid, I was wondering this time around about how many takes it took to film the underwater scenes…  mainly the one where Daryl Hannah’s character looks on a map in a sunken ship to find where Tom Hanks lives.  Also, there’s a scene in the movie where they are trying to choose a name for the mermaid, since her name is unpronouncable in English.  They’re walking down a New York street, and Tom Hanks mutters, “where are we, Madison…” to which Daryl Hannah replies, “Madison, I like Madison.”  That was a joke in the movie at the time, that the mermaid was named after a street in New York, but nowadays, the name Madison is almost TOO popular.  We had about 4 Madisons or Maddies in a play we directed last year out of 21 kids!  Anyway, I would recommend this as a good family movie, especially for little girls.  There is actually some nudity (female rear end), and I could have done without a few of the kissing scenes, but overall, it is good family entertainment.  I wonder if it would have gotten a PG13 rating if it had come out a few years later?  I know there is a Splash Too, but judging by the lack of returning actors, I haven’t bothered to check it out.  After a quick lookup on imdb.com, I found that it got a whopping 3.0 rating with only 170 votes.  Also interesting is that Madison the mermaid in Splash Too is played by Amy Yasbeck, who is nowadays best known for being John Ritter’s widow.  She was good in her bit part in Pretty Woman, but still…  I wonder if I should bother getting it from the library for the kids?  Also in the original Splash is Eugene Levy, who plays the bad guy trying to expose the mermaid  – literally, by throwing water on her in public.  This must be one of his first movies; I think he was a relatively unknown actor back then…  Also, the late, great John Candy is hilarious as Tom Hanks’ party animal brother, and those two have great chemistry in the movie…  but on to the adult movies…  ahem, I’m talking about the movies we watched without the kids…

Mr. Woodcock is a comedy starring Billy Bob Thornton, who came no where near to reminding me of his character in Sling Blade – that’s probably why he was nominated for an Oscar for that performance.  I wasn’t expecting much from this movie, but it was actually worse than I thought.  It wasn’t horrible, and I didn’t feel like I wasted my time watching it, but it wasn’t very funny, and there wasn’t much to get from it.  For one thing, I thought they would make the Mr. Woodcock character a little more nasty.  As it turned out, he was really only nasty to little kids, which is still pretty bad, but I thought we’d catch him being nasty behind his girlfriend’s back.  Let me back up for a minute and give a plot synopsis – Mr. Woodcock is a horribly nasty gym teacher who terrorized kids so badly that a former student uses his experiences as fodder for an inspiring self-help book he wrote.  This former student returns to his hometown in Nebraska to receive the “corn key to the city” only to find that his mom is happily dating Mr. Woodcock – his childhood nemisis!  The successful author is played by Seann William Scott, whose acting I wasn’t thrilled with.  His mother was played by Susan Sarandon, and she was pretty good in the movie, given the character she had to play, who didn’t have much depth.  Like I said, I didn’t feel like I wasted my time on this movie, but I don’t know that I’d watch it again either.  It definitely wasn’t one of my favorite comedies.

Dan in Real Life is a touching comedy (just falls short of a dra-medy, I would say, not quite sad enough, thank goodness) about a columnist widower named Dan (the ever-awesome Steve Carell) who is raising 3 daughters alone.  The girls seem to be about 16, 14, and 9.  For starters, let’s just say that this movie had me dreading my life in about 10 years – the movie depicted teenage girls as frightening challenges for parents!  Anyway, Dan takes his girls to visit their extended family for a few days, and when he first arrives, he really falls for the ‘perfect woman’.  He gets to his mom and dad’s house, and wouldn’t you know it, the ‘perfect woman’ turns out to be his brother’s girlfriend.  After a few days of torture…  well, I’ll let you watch the movie, I don’t want to spoil anything for you.  It’s a really cute romantic comedy.  If you have sons, you will be amused at Dan’s daughters’ antics.  If you have daughters, be afraid, be very afraid!  On another note, Steve Carell has beaten out Tom Hanks as my favorite actor – he is just amazing and so fun to watch, whether it’s in the Office, Evan Almighty, or Dan in Real Life.  His characters never remind me of each other, and it’s not like they’re mentally impaired like Billy Bob Thornton in Sling Blade or Tom Hanks in Forrest Gump – sometimes those types of characters are actually easier to play since they have a very specific demeanor about them.  Steve Carell plays ‘regular’ guys, yet he gives them such depth and character that it really helps draw you into the movie and / or show.  I never watched the tv show Get Smart, but with Steve Carell playing Maxwell Smart in the big screen version of Get Smart due this summer, you can bet I plan on checking it out!  Dan in Real Life is funny and heartwarming, and it makes me look forward to having huge family get-together weekends at our house someday with the kids and their spouses and kids…  providing we survive the teenage years of course – that remains to be seen!

imdb quiz

Posted in Movies on March 1st, 2008 and tagged , , , , , ,

If you haven’t been to the site imdb.com and you like and/or watch movies, I give you permission to take a break from my blog and visit it now:  imdb.com

This site has everything about pretty much every movie:  a list of the actors and crew involved with clickable links so you can see where else you’ve seen them if they look familiar or where else to find them if you like their work, trivia about movies, quotes, discussion boards, and much more.  They also have a movie rating system for users, so you can see if a movie is going to be worth the time to watch it according to popular opinion.  Imdb lists keywords for movies, which I’ve often thought would make a fun game.  I’ve posted some below for you to try.  These are the keywords imdb has listed for some popular movies – I will give a hint – all but 2 are movies made pre-1990.  Keep in mind that I didn’t choose these keywords; imdb chose them for whatever reason and some can be quite strange!  Let me know if you would like additional hints, I can give you genre, actors, or just random hints, happy guessing!

1. Punch / Kiss / Muscleman / Eggs / Fistfight

2.  Bikini / Used Condom / Champagne / Broken Window / Brother Brother Relationship

3.  Coming Of Age / Controversial / Fantastic / Wish / Wish Fulfillment

4.  No Opening Credits / Tragic Incident / Talking Animal / Copyright Infringement / Falsely Accused

5.  Planet / Concert Scene / Box Office Flop / Laser / Physicist

6.  Miniaturization / Shrinking / Remake / Sword Fight / Toy Soldier