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Movies. I Swear.

Posted by on November 13, 2010

Two posts in one day!  What did you ever do to deserve this?!  (I’m aware that this could be interpreted two different ways.)  If you want to read about my family, scroll down or click here.  If you’re here for movies…okay, then, so we’ve watched some more movies.  In fact, as of this morning, we’re at 87 for the year. EIGHTY-SEVEN.  Which is pretty much right on-track, but somehow I just can’t believe we’ve watched all of these.  Sometimes as I’m watching one I can’t believe I’m watching it, but that’s something we can discuss more in a little while.

Firstly, I want to alert you to the fact that Joe has watched several movies on his own, and while I keep telling him he needs to write a guest-post on them, he hasn’t yet.  So Lady in the Water, Scanners, and several more from further back on the list are not something I can speak to.  And if you really want to hear about them, leave a comment encouraging his report.  Maybe if someone besides me asks for it, he’ll get around to doing it.  Because he’s got so much free time these days.

We pick up, then, with Bolt.  Yes, another kids’ movie.  This one was okay…pretty cute…but not the best kids’ movie we’ve seen this year.  I wouldn’t buy it, let’s put it that way.  But it was an enjoyable way to spend a movie evening with the kids.

Next up, that very same evening, Joe and I had an opportunity to watch a movie together (thanks, “procedure“!) and decided to watch Whatever Works.   Several of you readers had suggested this one and that was a big incentive.  Now…we didn’t love this movie.  There were things about it that were good, and the incredibly endearing Evan Rachel Wood was tops among them.  Her little country-girl-child-wife was probably the saving grace of this movie, as far as I’m concerned.  But Joe and I are not big Woody Allen fans (I know, take us out back with a switch) and therefore we found the script tired old Woody Allen-fare, and Larry David was never meant to be an actor.  EVER.  I’m glad we watched it, as it was outside our box, but I don’t think I’d watch it again.  Even for Evan Rachel Wood.

A few days later our friend Godmama Beth came for dinner and stayed after bedtime to watch a movie with us…our Redbox pick was Iron Man 2.  This was awesome…I didn’t think it would be Beth’s cup of tea, but she had it in her own Netflix queue and was totally game.  Yay!  And…you guys…I LOVED IT.  Remember when I watched Iron Man (the first one)?  And how I found myself so surprised to have loved it so much?  Lightning strikes twice.  Or, maybe we should say Robert Downey Jr. strikes three times, and that does not make him out but very, very IN.  Oh my RDJr.  Whether you’re snarky Tony Stark or snarky Sherlock Holmes, my love knows no bounds.  This Iron Man was made even better by Don Cheadle instead of that insufferable Terrance Howard, Scarlett Johannson, more Jon Favreau, and the Rocky IV-esque America vs. Russia theme.  Hahahahaha!  I do love some cheesy East vs. West tropes.  And while Mickey Rourke basically just sounded like a drunk mumbler to my Russian-speaking husband (well, he knows some Russian from his high school days) he actually wasn’t too bad…for me to laugh at!  Anyway, if you liked Iron Man you’d love this follow-up.  More of the same.  Dreamy.

This next movie left me with a feeling I alluded to above: that is, why am I watching this movie?  Breaking Upwards was, in my opinion, grossly misadvertised by the summary written in its Netflix profile.  I read that, thought I might like it, and began watching.  It was…not good.  I thought it was going to be about a couple who had broken up trying to navigate their intertwined social sphere in a mature manner after their relationship had ended.  Instead it was about the slow, painful, stupid breakup itself.  Not a lot of maturity or thought involved, either.  You just wanted to yell at them to break up, already!  Run the other direction!  THIS IS DUMB!  And of course, I’m sitting there wondering what the intent of this movie project is, anyway.  Is it just to prove I can watch 100 movies in a year, even if they’re crappy movies like this one?  Shouldn’t I have a more deliberate scope?  Isn’t my time worth more that this?  But don’t worry; I felt better as soon as I watched…

Elf. Yes, Elf.  That holiday movie starring Will Ferrell.  Now, if you haven’t seen it, I just have to ask: why not?  If you’re normally not a big fan of Will Ferrell, I would say that this movie is not his standard stuff.  Of course he’s goofy, but in a loveable, innocent, man-child way.  Or man-elf way?  If you’re worried about it being painfully schlokey, it’s not.  Somehow it straddles the delicate balance of being adorable and not too saccharine.  Regardless, it’s magical.  I just love Christmas movies, and this was no exception.  I don’t know why it had taken me so long to see it, but I am very glad that it finally came into my life.  We laughed to tears several times.  Oh…and this was the second movie in this post directed by Jon Favreau.  So much love.  Thanks for restoring my faith in the project, J.F.!

Next, at the recommendation (again) of several readers, the boys and I watched a delightful movie called My Neighbor Totoro.  I cannot recommend this highly enough.  It is an anime movie unlike any I’ve seen before…the animation was beyond gorgeous, in this really everyday-beauty-meets-the-fantastical sort of way.  Same with the story.  Two sisters move with their father to a country home and await the release of their mother from the hospital.  In exploring the countryside and their new home they encounter magic.  Not much “happens” in this movie…that is to say, the pacing was very slow.  But the kids and I were all entranced throughout, so it was by no means boring.  So grab your favorite kid (or not!) and settle in for a treat.

Then it was Halloween, and then afterwards I got all sad and couldn’t be bothered with movies for a little while.  One night I got to feeling guilty that I kept watching those smutty naked Tudors instead of movies for the project, so out of my Netflix queue I randomly chose Last Chance Harvey.  Starring Dustin Hoffman as a man who’s watched his life and dreams pass him by, and Emma Thompson (be still my heart) as a woman stuck under her mother’s loving but stifling thumb, this movie was beautiful.  I really, really loved it.  How these two meet, with their mutual past of broken dreams and loneliness, and forge a relationship is all kinds of lovely.  It was life-affirming, and it reminded me of why I love movies, especially ones starring Emma Thompson.  My hero.

And finally, just last night Joe and I had the chance to watch something short together (see: illness sweeping my household, with vast exhaustion in its wake!) and so we watched Zach Galifianakis: Live at the Purple Onion.  On our new TV!  Galifianakis is probably best known as the weirdo hairy stoner brother from The Hangover.  We enjoyed watching his standup.  This guy is funny.  Random, strange, cuss-happy, and funny.  I was thinking after watching it that I should make sure I watch only funny or happy-ending-guaranteed movies for the rest of the month to get over my November blahs.  It helps that we get to watch movies on this:

other than this:

for the rest of our lives.  Yes, you read that right, Joe.  No new TVs, ever again!  Though this one is growing on me, and I haven’t even seen any 16th-century six-packs yet!  Thankfully sexy-time TV programs don’t stick to historical accuracy, because Henry VIII did not look like he sported a six-pack.  Also: were people back then really that unattractive, or were the painters just really terrible?  Inquiring minds want to know!  Until next time…don’t go Googling paintings of 16th-century aristocracy! *shudder*

12 Responses to Movies. I Swear.

  1. Charlie


  2. mattie

    I found myself comparing before and after tv shots…ha! Did you give in and get a new receiver/speakers as well?

  3. administrator

    I wish I could travel by catbus. It looked much more comfortable that MTC.

    And Mattie, my husband would not be my husband if he hadn’t insisted we needed a new home theater speaker setup. So yes, those are new, too. Of course. I have had some success in talking him down from some other component “necessities.”

  4. Jodi

    I LOVE TOTORO! It was Ellie’s absolute favorite movie for several months straight, and she had to watch it practically every day. You’ll have to remind me next time you come over to show you the *awesome* (if I say so myself) crocheted Totoro I made for her. She also has a pillow-style stuffed Totoro. I love most of Miazaki’s works, but Totoro is really one of my all-time favorites of his. Of course, all I can think of when I see Catbus is “AH-CHOO!” (Oh, and look closely next time you watch Totoro; when Catbus jumps down from the electric wires toward the end of the movie, you can see his balls…Yup. Catbus is definitely a boy! An anatomically-correct one, at that!!! LOL)

    I enjoyed “Bolt” — enough to buy it. =D I think I enjoyed it more the second time watching it, though.

    You forgot to include “Miss Pettigrew” in your reviews…or does that one not count? =)

  5. Crazy Aunt Linda

    I am so glad to hear you were as enchanted by Harvey and Emma as I was. Some of the father of the bride scenes damn near killed me. And I love Dustin as much as I love Emma. We can all take a house by the sea together. [one of my favorite lines from one of my favorite movies; Camelot. Which I can NEVER recommend enough!]

    Yes, Elf was very cute, sweet, funny. Save Totoro to show me, OK?
    And, you are just a sucker for RDJ. He could star in Jackass XXI and you’d get all gushy. True?

    So, today we take the kids to see “Megamind”. And they had better Megamind because I want to see the movie…not spend the entire film running back and forth to the bathroom!

    Hey, what’s that huge thing on your wall!?

  6. administrator

    Jodi…you and my friend Charlie were the recommend-ers of Totoro, and I am very grateful! We all just loved it. Can’t wait to see Ellie’s crocheted Totoro sometime! And you must have missed my movie post when I reviewed “Miss Pettigrew”:

    CALi…I knew that if you’d seen “Harvey” that you surely loved it as I did. As for RDJr, you’re probably right on that one. I’d watch an “Ernest Goes to RDJr.’s House” movie if there was one. The perfect thing would be if they made another Rocky movie in which the opponent was Russian, and RDJr. played Rocky’s dreamy younger brother who was a snarky brainiac. My head might explode. You’ll have to tell me how you liked “Megamind”, as that will be a likely “date-night” movie with one of the kids in the future…that is, if they don’t prefer to go to Wendy’s and stare blankly across the table instead.

  7. Manda

    I adored Last Chance Harvey – it was a shot of hope I needed sorely at the time :)

  8. Dayo DaVon

    This is Dayo DaVon! And I’m laughing my head off! I remember your parents. They were great people!!! I left Minneapolis and went to grad school in Ohio. After I graduated I moved around a bit and ended up in Denver in 1999 for law school. As a matter of fact, I think I still have that letter you wrote.

    The thing about that demo tape is that I played all the instruments and paid for it myself at the cheapest studios I could find over three years in Akron, Chicago and Minneapolis. I came real close to getting a record contract from the original version of “Get Live” back in 1986. Is it ever going to win a grammy? No, but years later you’re still thinking of it. And just like my favorite line in “Rock-n-Roll Fire”: It doesn’t have to be good, just loud and fast.

    I did play a lot of open mic nights in Cincinnati and Denver, and some people told me I was really good (maybe they were lying, too) but I grew up and realized that playing by the campfire was better than playing in arenas. Now I play for my daughters (I’m the only Y in a house full of XXs, even the dog and rat are girls.)

    So thanks for giving me a chuckle. I gave out a lot of those tapes and I wondered if they ended up in the trash, overdubbed or just lost along the way.

    So now I just stepped down from Denver’s planning board, was on a couple boards of directors, I’ve written a couple articles for planning publications, ran a few marathons, yadda yadda yadda blah blah blah.

    Maybe I should send you a cassette of the other songs I recorded. :-)


  9. administrator

    Oh. My. GOD.

    I’m pretty much speechless right now.

  10. Crazy Aunt Linda

    So THIS is where Dayo first re-surfaced? Still catching up with cyber space…
    YES, two thumbs and other various digits up to Megamind!!!! Avoid fast food dates and see this movie! Especially loved the beginning which finally dealt with the idea that some of us are just darned LUCKY to have been plunked down on planet Earth where we were! I think sometimes we lose sight of the benefits of good placement…

  11. Godmama Beth

    OK, Godmama Beth is clearly behind on her reading…never assume you know what may be in my Netflix queue! I am a woman of mystery… :)

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