Friday, February 25, 2011

Since you've been gone...

I must offer some profuse apologies. Or maybe not. I ran into Brunch Bird last weekend at, of all places, of course, the movies. (I was there to watch The Roommate. How was it you ask? Hysterically amazing!) She asked if I had a blog when I told her that I liked hers and I said "I do, but it sort of went defunct after watching Girl with the Dragon Tattoo." (Oh, and how was that you ask? Only the best movie I saw in 2010!) She said, "Well, it's never too late to start up again. I'd know." And she is right.

And I have seen some really worthy movies. I don't think I am an extraordinary writer, or maybe even that good, but my friends seem to enjoy it. So, back to movies. Well, all of the Swedish Steig Larsson movies were high points in my movie watching year last year. But I never wrote about them. I don't know if I ever will, but hopefully. So what has been going on with me, you ask? Well, lets do a photo run down, shall we?

According to my last post I stopped writing after I went to GA in March. Well, I went back in May. It was the epic Georgia trip. It will go down in the annals of the Georgia Trips. Well, until Lori and I go on our ten year anniversary road trip though Georgia.

Epic Georgia Adventure. May 2010.

Let's see. Then the World Cup happened, right? Well, I rooted for Germany, until they lost to Spain. That German support involved many hours at Lucky Bar and included me being interviewed at 7:30am on the CBS local news! Good thing my State Department colleagues knew I was drinking beer at 8am on a work day. Here is me and a bunch of other Germany fans after they beat Australia (? Australia, right?)

German Victory. And lots of Beer. World Cup 2010.

The World Cup era was also a celebration of new housing arrangements. I moved in May and therefore was able to acquire this little piece of toilet paper shredding heaven at the end of June. She is excellent. For the most part. Except she shreds all my toilet paper. Named after a 20th century Mexican Revolutionary, her name is

Emiliano Zapata. July 2010.

She's almost ten months old now (March 6) and is currently sitting in a reusable bag with a pair of my heels. Good work Zizzle.

August was epic because not only did I audition for the Capitals Red Rocker squad (and did not make the cut) but I also went to DISNEYLAND for the first time!!! Good god, if you haven't been there book your plane ticket now. It is the most wonderful place on earth. Even better than Niagara Falls. And I bet you never thought you'd hear that come out of my mouth!

The wonderful world of Disney. August 2010.

We also spent time with our good friend Steven while there. He took us around Los Angeles. Mel and I were re-united with high school friends. We ate at Spago. Saw the Hollywood sign (though I think we actually looked to the right to see the Hollywood sign). Saw the jail where OJ was kept. Saw a Soviet submarine. Ate Jack in the Box and had an all around fantastic vacation!!
Look to the left and I see the Hollywood sign.
Everyone here is so famous.
Including Craig Kilbourne.
I told him he looked like my grad school advisor. HAH!
August 2010

But the fun didn't stop in August. Oh no, no. September brought about three momentous events.
1. First UGA game day. We lost. Sad.
Imagine us in Game Day dresses. September 2010.

2. American Idiot on Broadway with Billie Joe Armstrong. Of course, now he is in the show for a two month run, but at the time he was only doing 8 shows. And I saw one of them!St. Jimmy died today/ He blew his brains out into the bay. September 2010.

3. Another Virginia inspired beauty. This time for my left arm.
You're looking at $300 of dogwood. September 2010.

October was confusing. Zombies invaded Washington and I was there to document it. I almost got ejected from the National Mall by the Park Service because they didn't believe I was not a professional photographer. Why? It wasn't because they saw this post and were amazed at all my photos (I took all of them except the one of Billie Joe). No. It was because he took one look at my camera and thought it was too "professional." Dude, hate to break it to you, but I'm not the only person in the city with a DSLR. Durr.

The Walking Dead invade Washington. October 2010.

In November I did play professional photographer though. I took my friends' engagement photos. I loved it. Does anyone have anything they want me to photograph? My rates are reasonable! You can email if you're interested. I am available in DC but will travel. I'm not kidding. You'll be impressed when you see my work below.

The real work. November 2010.

December was pretty standard. Heartbreak. Presents. New Years Eve in Georgia. The Caps won the Winter Classic (in your face Pittsburgh!) and the year started off more miserable than I could possibly imagine. Work upheaval. Henious sinus infection. The complete opposite of Love, Valour, Compassion. So I really needed one weekend in January to go well. Luckily the weekend I spent in New York for Mel and Barry's birthday was excellent. If it hadn't been I don't think I'd be here to type this right now. I'd still be crying in a gutter.

A new era of Hope. January 2011.

This brings us, more or less, to the present day. I tried to buy a scratching post for the cat but the pet store was sold out. It was very tragic. (UPDATE: I have secured said scratching post. VICTORY!)

But, this is neither a blog about my stupid cat nor a blog about my excellent photography skillz (though, seriously, email me if you want me to shoot something for you!), it is a blog about movies. So here, very very briefly, are my reviews of the movies I have seen since we last spoke (minus movies that weren't new to me--Dawn of the Dead, Interview with the Vampire, Titanic, Before Sunset, etc, etc, etc, etc.) And in no particular order...

The movies:
  • All the Swedish Steig Larsson movies. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo--the best one of the three. I am so glad I saw the movie before I read the book. The movie was so shocking because I had no idea what was going to happen. It was the best movie I saw in 2010! The Girl Who Played with Fire-- Good. I think the book and the movie were actually pretty different. Again, I saw the movie first then read the book. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest--The book is waiting to be read on my shelf. P.S. sweet Mohawk!
  • 127 hours--very different then I thought it would be. I was actually surprisingly emotional. Go see it. Seriously. It is very good. Even though Danny Boyle annoys me. Though, I did enjoy 28 Days Later. A lot.
  • Black Swan--overrated I think. I didn't care about any of the characters and was in fact hoping bad things would happen to them. Plus, I want to punch Natalie Portman in the face. Seriously. I did like that Frenchy though. I hope it doesn't win all sort of Oscars.
  • Casino Jack--Erik and I wanted to go see a movie and there was nothing out. So he suggested this. It was fine. I was entertained. It was interesting to "learn" about Jack Abramoff. Plus, I like Kevin Spacey and I like drinking my pomegranate Italian sodas at E Street.
  • A Film Unfinished--I saw this after I got my tattoo. Another good thing about E Street is that you can order beer there. Which I did. To stop the arm throbbing. A Film Unfinished is the footage that was recorded to make a Nazi propaganda film. The film was somewhat interesting even though nothing Nazi related seems to shock me anymore. I guess that is what you get for being a history major. Nothing in it stuck with me to this day. Just watch The Pianist instead.
  • Easy A--Watched this with Lori on the last GA trip. It was entertaining. I like that Emma Stone. Her parents were ridiculously amusing and Dan from Gossip Girl was in it. What's not to like??
  • Jackass 3D--I will confess, the only reason I watched this was because the boy I was crushing on worked on this movie. He was the stereoscopic supervisor. Basically, his job was to make it 3D. (You can figure out who he is on imdb) Otherwise, it wasn't nearly as amusing as I remember Jackass to be. I guess maybe I am getting too old for this? There was one though where a guy got his tooth pulled out. It made me feel like I was going to puke. So, maybe, mission accomplished?
  • The Roommate--This one was a pretty recent view and I will admit it, I saw it because I love horror movies and Leighton Meester. What of it? Christ Almighty this movie was bad. If we hadn't seen it at Chinatown and had the "interactive" movie experience (ever noticed the audience at Ctown can't shut the eff up? They talk to the screen. They think it is interactive) this would have been a total waste. But by the end the reaction from the audience with the action on the screen was so hilarious that we were all dying of laughter. I imagine this was not the desired effect when they made the film.
  • Up--I know. I know. How is it possible I haven't seen this yet? IDK. I watched it on Christmas, perfect movie for that day, right?! I loved it. I thought the animation was so excellent and the characters were so sweet. I was chastised though because I didn't cry at the beginning. I guess I have a stone where my heart should be?
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1--I actually saw this movie twice! Once the day after Thanksgiving and once on Christmas. Don't you just love Harry Potter at holiday time? God, I do!! This is obviously the best HP yet. Why? Obviously because they split it in two so it can be closer to the story in the book. Love love love love love it. Can't wait till the end.
  • Blue Valentine--Ah yes, another E street wonder. What does it say about me, or maybe about that theatre, that anything I see there is more enjoyable than a movie anywhere else? And how do I remember that I had my pomegranate soda, resces pieces and a crab pretzel? They must pump some sort of hyper circulated air in, or something. Anyway. I liked this. It wasn't uplifting, but sometimes neither is life. Michelle Williams was way better than stupid Natalie Portman. SHE should win the Oscar. I also sort of realized I am in love with Ryan Gosling. I guess I should get in line.
  • Catfish--OH DAMN. Seriously. This was the other best movie of 2010. I want everyone to watch it. I wont say anything about it though, because I want you to experience it with fresh eyes. After Erik and I watched this we had to immediately go to another movie to cleanse the palate of this one. It was SO GOOD!!!
  • Devil--is the movie we saw after Catfish. What is with M.Night? Seriously. That guy can't make a good movie to save his life. Though. I did sort of like it. But it is really hard to tell if he is being serious or just thinks that he can make good previews and trick people into seeing his movies.
  • Inception--Yes, yes. A worthy Oscar contender. But lets be seriously. I love Leonardo DiCaprio. I would watch him read the phone book. I love him. Love, love, love. This was good. I liked it. I should watch it again. Oh Man... speaking of Inception and Up. Watch this. It is freaking HILARiOUS!!!!! Please watch it. Please. It is so good.
  • Let the Right One In--A Swedish vampire movie. I hear that the book is much better. Let's all just read the book, eh?
  • Dead Snow--Hahahahahaha. Yes. You know this movie. It has some of my favorite elements. Norway. Zombies. Nazis. Well, Nazis aren't my favorite, but they are historical. Yes, a somewhat historical zombie movie set in Norway. It was just as bad, or as good, as you expected. I watched this on Halloween. Totally viable.
  • Please Give--I watched this because I read something about it in Slate. The article was talking about this scene where the daughter wasn't a pair of jeans and how it was really sad and realistic. I don't know about that but I thought the movie was good. Entertaining. And the actors were quite good. And Amanda Peet was in it. Solved.
  • Saw 3D--Ok. Ok. This was just like Jackass 3D. Mel and I went to see this because her friend was in it. It was awful. Just awful. But we did see her high school friend get cut in half. Classic.
  • Waiting for Superman--I read something about this movie that said some of the scenes where the kids are waiting during the lotteries were actually fake. It was disappointing. I mean, I suppose what is more disappointing is that not everyone can go to school in one of the best counties in America, like I did. It is sad that people can't get quality education. I dunno that charter schools are the answer. I just wish people had more money so they could move to a good school district.
  • Survival of the Dead--This movie makes me sad. This is not George Romero quality. It was just atrocious. Just so, so, so so awful.
  • Rachel Getting Married--Here is the thing about this movie. It was actually pretty good. But towards the end Anne Hathaway has her hair highlighted and it was so hideous it was actually distracting. Like, I could not focus on the movie. Just ask Erik. He was there. Also, why was that family so weird? Maybe we will never know.
  • Midnight in the Garden of Good And Evil--Lori and I both read this book in preparation for our Georgia Road Trip 2011. It was an excellent book. Just excellent. It teaches you so much about Georgia history and prepares you to travel to Savannah. The narration was amazing. But Christ this movie was bad. Not even Kevin Spacey and Jude Law could fix it. Message to Hollywood: Just because a book is awesome doesn't mean it will translate well to film. Please consider why the book is good (narration and the character development) and make sure you can do that in the movie. Because they couldn't do it, it made the movie not good. We both fell asleep then had to return to watch it another day. Sad.
  • The Fighter--I just saw this last night. Yay for solo dates! This one was much better than Black Swan. Christian Bale should win an Oscar. Brother is scary good! I liked this one. I like that there is a character arc, and that I care what happens to them. And I am not sure, but were the sisters supposed to be funny, because hoo-boy. What was going on with them? Despite the fact it was a Thursday night and everyone in the theater was over 25 it was still interactive. Oh Chinatown.
The television...
  • True Blood Seasons 1 and 2--Fuck I love this show. It is pretty unusual that I am interested in a show from the first episode, but I was with this one. Thanks to RaeJean to recommending it. I can't wait till I can watch Season 3.
  • Peep Show Seasons 1-7--God this show is hilarious. Peep Show is a BBC production about two friends, Mark and Jeremy (though my favorite character is Super Hanz...which I thought was Super Hands for a long time). It is sort of like It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia but set in England. I discovered the show one morning when I woke up from a night out at like 5 and I needed to wash my face and brush my teeth. I turned on the telly, which was on BBC because I was watching Law and Order: UK when I fell asleep and I was absolutely hooked! It is on BBC America Saturday mornings from 4-6am... for those times when you're just getting home from the bar or are too drunk to fall asleep. Or you can watch all the episodes on Hulu. You wont regret it. It is hysterical.
  • The IT Crowd Seasons 1-3--The only reason I watched this show was because it was available on Netflix view it now. The first season was really funny. The other two, not as much. It reminds me of the show within a show on Extras. What was it called? When the Whistle Blows? It has the same sort of odd BBC production values... almost like it is a fake show.
  • The Walking Dead--Remember when I said the Walking Dead invaded DC? Well, these were the dead from this show. God. What didn't I like about this show? It took place in Georgia. Had Zombies. Was made by AMC. And it was one of the first scary shows I have ever watched. Other than MTV's Fear (god I miss that show) I have never actually been scared during a show. The first three or so eps of this show just made me so nervous. I loved it. The DVD comes out around my birthday. Hint. Hint.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 1--To say Lori was mad when I liked True Blood would be the understatement of 2010. She was like, "those aren't real vampires. Watch Buffy. Otherwise I will hate you." So over NYE weekend we watched Season 1. I will tell you, the vampires in TB are so much sexier (ugh) than the ones in BtVS. Lori would say "They're not supposed to be sexy! They're supposed to be evil!! I hate you." So Season 1 was sort of ridiculous. The production quality was very low and the episodes were hysterical. But we made a drinking game out of it and now Season 2 is much much better. Ah, the things we do for love!
Wow. That took many days to complete. That is the full disclosure. Hopefully now that I have gotten those out of the way I can go back to updating regularly. Coming soon... (or what I have been watching, or have ready to watch...)

Glee: Season 1 (two discs left)
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 2 (three episodes left)
The Tudors: Season 4 (how did I not know this was out?! I will watch it once Glee is over)
The Social Network (waiting at home to be watched Sunday)
Mighty Ducks and D2 (purchased with an amazon card I won at work!)

and thats all for now! Welcome back.

See you at the movies. Or something. (E street. Not Chinatown)

Monday, April 26, 2010


So what is this one about?
If for some stupid, insane, inane reason, you don't know the plot of 1996's Scream, Netflix will tell you about it...
Horror maven Wes Craven -- paying homage to teen horror classics such as Halloween and Prom Night -- turns the genre on its head with this tale of a murderer who terrorizes hapless high schooler Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) by offing everyone she knows. Not your average slasher flick, Scream distinguishes itself with a self-parodying sense of humor. Courteney Cox and David Arquette co-star as a local news reporter and a small-town deputy.

And how much did I pay to watch?
Nothing. I actually watched this while I was visiting my beloved in Georgia. The state not the country. She is also a netflix member, because she is amazing--as is netflix--and we watched this after a night of drinking on view it now. It was pretty much the greatest decision ever!

And what did I think?
Wow. When I first saw this movie I thought my head was going to explode. I watched it when I was in middle school and I'd never seen anything so amazingly brilliant in my entire life. I am not even being hyperbolic. It seriously blew my mind! It was so surprising with the way Wes Craven used typical horror movie convention and turned it completely on it's head!!

The movie is so wonderfully quotable. So many amazing quotes. "What's the point? They're all the same. Some stupid killer stalking some big-breasted girl who can't act who is always running up the stairs when she should be going out the front door. It's insulting" and "Your mother was a slut-bag whore who flashed her shit all over town like she was Sharon Stone or something, but let's face it Sydney, your mother...was no Sharon Stone" and "Listen Kenny, I know you're about 50 pounds overweight. But when I say 'hurry,' please interpret that as 'move your fat, tub of lard ass NOW!'" It also has music that is so awesome and retro without being too much of a time warp. I listened to that soundtrack like a million times. It is hilarious to listen to a movie and be able to sing all the songs because I remember them from when I was 13.

This movie may be one of the most responsible for my love of horror movies. I don't just love slasher movies, though, I love all horror movies. This may have been one of the first ones I'd really seen by the time I could sort of understand what I was thinking about anything. It was just so incredible!!

So what is the rating? (out of 10)
Scream is just so gd clever it makes me sick! The characterization was amazing, with using horror movie cliches. And it paints an amazing picture of what was going on in pop culture in 1996.

It is amazing. It is 100% a 10.

I need to buy this on dvd like a million years ago. I have it on vhs somewhere...

Ghost Town

So what is this one about?
Welp, my delightfully under-used friend Netlfix tells us,
British funnyman Ricky Gervais ("The Office," "Extras") stars in his first feature film lead as Bertram Pincus, a hapless gent who's pronounced dead, only to be brought back to life with an unexpected gift: a newfound ability to see ghosts. When Bertram crosses paths with the recently departed Frank Herlihy (Greg Kinnear), he gets pulled into Frank's desperate bid to break up his widowed wife's (Téa Leoni) pending marriage to another man.

And how much did I pay to watch?

One thing you might not know about me is I have recently (well, maybe not too recently, since the Olympics) started going 10 miles a day on Saturday and Sundays on the treadmill in my basement. For the most part this works well because I have recorded shows from the previous week that I can watch. At most, three episodes of Law and Order (and it's friends) and one episode of Gossip Girl. This seems to fit the time well.

Unfortunately, the weekend I watched this I had nothing left to watch, so I used my HBO on demand and settled on this one. And since I don't pay for cable it really was nothing.

And what did I think?
Well, I am a big Ricky Gervais fan. I like his insane laugh. And his British accent. And his fat little face. He doesn't seem to have a lot of range to me, because I've never seen a role where he wasn't just playing Ricky Gervais. Luckily, though, I like him. So, it works well.

As Bertram he was really playing himself. Grumpy old Ricky. There is something about him, though, that is so sincere, so his character arc was nice. He had a very nice chemistry with each other character in the movie, and you really wanted things to work out well for him.

Interestingly enough, since it is a stupid idiotic romantic comedy, things had to fail then could be built back up. Romantic comedies are so flipping dumb. In life, when you like a boy (or a boy likes a girl) and you do something stupid to fuck it up, you often don't get a second chance. Romantic comedies give stupid people too much ammunition for them to think that everything will work out for them too. Romantic comedies are the devil. (except Love Actually, and does Clueless count?) I sound way more bitter than I am.

So what is the rating? (out of 10)
It was funny enough, but mostly, anything with Ricky Gervais will likely be enjoyable for me.

I give it a 6.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Shutter Island

So what is this one about?
My beloved tells us,
World War II soldier-turned-U.S. marshal Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) investigates the disappearance of a patient from a hospital for the criminally insane, but his efforts are compromised by his own troubling visions and by Dr. Cawley (Ben Kingsley). Mark Ruffalo, Michelle Williams, Emily Mortimer and Max von Sydow co-star in director Martin Scorsese's plot twist-filled psychological thriller set on a Massachusetts island in 1954.
Mmmmmm, Leonardo DiCaprio AND Max Von Sydow?!?! Sign me up!!!

And how much did I pay to watch?
Erm. Well, my mother and I went to go see this at Cinema Arts. I don't remember if she paid. I think she might have, and then I bought some snacks. mmmmmmm, Cinema Arts popcorn! So, i think I paid nothing.

And what did I think?
Well, the more I think about this movie the more I like it. Interestingly enough, when I first watched this I didn't really like it as much. It really wasn't what I expected from the ads. I wanted it to be much, much, much scarier. (Love me some scary movies!)

But now that I think about the movie, and its "twist" I think it is very smart. I'd like to see it again to see if there were any clues to figuring it out while the plot was moving forward.

And I love Leonardo DiCaprio and Max VonSydow. Yumm.

So what is the rating? (out of 10)
Like I said, the more I think about it, the more I like it. So I'll give it a 7. Or maybe an 8. Something like that.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Pregnancy Pact

So what is this one about?
Ah ha! Lifetime (yes, that Lifetime. Television for Women) tells us about their movie,
Inspired by a true story, the film explores the costs of teen pregnancy with a story of a fictional "pregnancy pact" set against the backdrop of actual news reports about teen pregnancy from June 2008. Sidney Bloom (Thora Birch), an online magazine journalist, returns to her hometown to investigate the sudden spike in teenage pregnancies at her old high school. Almost immediately, she comes up against Lorraine Dougan (Nancy Travis), the head of the local conservative values group and mother of Sara, a newly pregnant 15-year-old. Meanwhile, the school nurse (Camryn Manheim) tries to convince the school to provide contraception to students to address the pregnancy epidemic but is met with great opposition from the school and community. As the number of pregnant girls climbs to 18, a media firestorm erupts when Time Magazine reports that the rise in the number of pregnancies at the school is the result of a "pregnancy pact." As the mystery unfolds about whether or not "the pact" is real, Sidney soon realizes that all of the attention is disguising the much larger issues that are at the core of the story.
Shazaam that is long.

And how much did I pay to watch?
Zero dollars. I watched it on Lifetime. On my tv. At home. Awesome.

And what did I think?
Oh lord. One thing you might not know about me is that I love me some Lifetime movies. I mean, how the shit can you not?! Think about the fabulous Kirsten Dunst as star Fifteen and Pregnant. Or, Too Young to be a Dad with Paul Dano. Or Student Seduction with Elizabeth Berkeley. Or Co-Ed Call Girl with Tori Spelling. Do I really need to go on?! No. I do not. Lifetime movies are awesome. Awesomely bad. Awesomely awesome.

And man, they really hit the nail on the head for me. I love the whole teenage pregnancy focus on tv these days. Why? I don't know. It actually might be a little sick. Because while, when I watch 16 and Pregnant, often times these girls are stupid and unimpressive and I think they are dumb and sort of got what they deserve, I feel so incredibly bad for them. Because they are so unprepared and just sad.

So, this movie was awesome in that it was showing the typical tv teenage reaction to getting pregnant--you know, going to parties and drinking, saying ridiculous things like "I have to spend time with my friends, I can't spend time with the baby all the time!" (actually, yes, you can. When you decided to have a baby that is essentially what you decided. It isn't your fault. You're just a stupid 16 year old), and being clueless as to the fact that the boy who got you pregnant is pretty much not going to stick around. But, through wise old, old, old Thora Birch it also showed that teenage pregnancy isn't all the fun and games you think. Do people really think it will be all fun and games? Be serious.

So what is the rating? (out of 10)
It is a hard movie to rate because all lifetime movies are pretty much awful. So, is it good because it is awful, or is it just awful?

It certainly is not the best Lifetime movie I have seen, but lets be serious, if it is on some Sunday afternoon, I'm not gonna pretend like I am not going to watch it. And it isn't like I spend a few hours watching Lifetime movies today. Be serious.

So, I'll give it a 6. Better than average, but not by much!