Saturday, July 28, 2012

This Movie's Making Me Hungry.

A few nights ago I was watching "The Help".  Along with all the racial strife were some shots of some awesome fried chicken. 

Maybe I am just overly susceptible to food but after watching it I NEEDED fried chicken.  It just looked so good.

This happens to me a lot.  There are a lot of movies out there that have such delicious looking food that I seem to gain weight just watching them. 

There is a lot of food in "Julie and Julia".  In the first cooking scene Julie Powell makes a bruschetta that looks so good.  I can almost taste the crispy toasted bread, the tomatoes, oh my.

I didn't get a whole lot out of the Love and Pray parts of "Eat, Love, Pray" but I do want to go to Sicily for pizza.  It looked amazing and just the thought of fresh mozzarella makes me weak in the knees.

I am right with the old man and the turkey from "A Christmas Story". Just seeing Ralphie's mom pull that turkey out of the oven I am ready to pull up to the table and load up on the stuffing and mashed potatoes.

I know why most people enjoy the deli scene in "When Harry Met Sally".  All I can think is a pastrami on rye would hit the spot.

I watch "Office Space" and feel like Milton getting screwed out of that piece of birthday cake.  Really is there any cake better than birthday cake?  Maybe wedding cake?  Cake is just good. 

This is just the tip of the iceberg.  There are so many movies with food in them.  I will watch something and just sit there thinking about it for days.  Can you tell I am dieting?

But the best of all is "Defending Your Life".  It is almost worth doing what you have to do to get to the afterlife.   That is if Albert Brooks' version is close.

Julia: The best hot dogs in Judgement City are supposed to be over by the Hall of Records.
Daniel Miller: You really love this eating thing, don't you?
Julia: To be able to eat as much as you want, never gain an ounce and feel great. Please.

Just writing this post made me hungry.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Happy Blogiversary To Me!

One year ago today I started my little blog.   I started with this post outlining my plan for this blog. 

My first movie was Ghostbusters

Some months later I detailed my intricate process for choosing a movie to write about.   Some days were easier than others. 

I spent a week writing about my favorite horror movies for Halloween.  Then decided that for the month between Thanksgiving and Christmas I would write about a different holiday movie each day.  This resulted in my most popular post for page views.  The classic, "Charlie Brown Christmas". 

Then life happened in a big, bad way.  Until February 6th of this year, I posted something every day.  I skipped my first day in a morphine induced haze.  But it resulted in another popular, though not movie related post.

This resulted in some quality recliner time.   And not a lot of culturally significant entertainment. 

I have had visitors from every continent except Antarctica.  I am quite popular in Russia.  I have had comments from actual strangers which thrills me to no end. 

My goal a year ago was to write every day.  I do try.  I am back to work on a novel and I think the daily writing did help get my writing muscle in shape. 

I will keep writing.  I hope you keep reading. 


Saturday, July 21, 2012

Aurora, Colorado

I don't know what to say. 

I have gone to so many movies in my life.  I can imagine the moment with alarming clarity.  So many times I have gone to that safe place and sat in the dark with strangers and been transported to another world.  To have a mentally ill person walk into that place and just destroy lives is unthinkable. 

Today my son went to see the movie.  I didn't tell him, but it made me think of September 11th.

I was working in a call center and talking to a customer about their phone bill when they told me a plane flew into the tower.  I remember asking if it was a small plane and they didn't know.  My whole office spent their breaks and lunches running to the television, coming back with updates. 

Since I worked at the phone company we went into total lockdown.  Communication, even so far away had to be protected. 

That night at home we watched the news and waited.  The horror of what happened took time to sink in.  We had a decision to make.  We had planned a trip and had plane tickets booked for that Saturday. 

All the planes were grounded.  For the first time, nothing was flying. 

If they planes started flying, our choice was to go.  And we did.

Many of our friends and family were shocked with our decision.  They couldn't believe we were going to fly so soon after such an unspeakable tragedy.  But the tragedy is the reason to go on.   I know bad things happen.  I refuse to live in fear.  I know from experience that life is way too short.

In Aurora a terribly disturbed young man took guns into a safe place and caused terrible damage.  All of the newscasts are talking about finding answers.  Even if we discover what was wrong with him it won't change what happened. 

There is no understanding.  At the most we will get a glimpse of his insanity. 

I will still go to the movies.

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Movie Was Better Than The Book

This is not something I usually say.  I am a big reader.  I normally have a book that I'm reading, an audio book in my car and sometimes a back up book.  If I hear that a book is being made into a movie I try to read it a good three to six months before the movie comes.  This gives me a chance to enjoy the movie as a separate entity.  The major components are there, but I have lost some of the details.

I also love casting them in my head and more recently on my blog.  There are a number of movies that have outdone the book.  This doesn't happen too often. 

Bridges of Madison County

I really didn't care for the book.  It was excessively flowery and wordy.  It was a small book, but it felt longer.  The movie cuts through the crap and gets to the heart of the story, a farm wife's fling with a traveling photographer.  It doesn't hurt that Meryl Streep was the lead. 

I love the added scene where Meryl has a fit and pushes Robert nearly accusing him of almost using her.  She is wise enough to know that the romance of those few days wouldn't survive in real life.  She chooses to cherish what happened and let him go.  Hate the book.  Love the movie.  Thanks Meryl!

Witches of Eastwick

Maybe it was the casting.  But the book didn't have the question that the movie had.  Did these women somehow conjure this man?  The movie was fun and had great performances.  The book was convoluted and the women were not in power.  In the movie, there is no doubt.  I love the ending when they have relegated Jack to the television. 

Practical Magic

In the movie, they make the magic real.  They bring the aunts up as wacky old women rather than dangerous influences.   It gives a mythology that the book lacks.  It is more fun.  The book is dark and pessimistic. 

The list of movies in which the book is better than the movie is too long.  I think it is just that it is rare for a movie maker to capture my imagination and make it more than it was.  There are lots of pretty good adaptations. 

But usually, the book is better.   Do you have a movie that you liked better than the book?


Monday, July 9, 2012

Wolf Boy's Baby

My husband and I were watching television tonight and there was a tease through out one of those so-called news magazine shows.  It was a cat on a balcony with the apartment on fire behind her.  Through the show they teased with the question.  Would the cat survive?  They would show the poor thing wriggling around and the fire blazing in a menacing manner. 

My husband looked at me and said "It's Wolf Boy's baby".

This is part of the secret family language.  Let me explain.

This is not the real Wolf Boy.  This is Michael J. Fox as "Teen Wolf".  But I wanted a picture to go with the story of Wolf Boy's baby.

Some years back my husband and I were just about ready to go to bed.  We had watched the late news and were shutting things down when the teaser came on for the next show.  It was "Ripley's Believe It Or Not."  On the screen came the Wolf Boy.  He was very hairy.  Next to him was his extremely pregnant wife. 

An ominous voice came on the screen giving a little history of the Wolf Boy.

Wolf Boy suffers from a rare genetic disorder known as hypertrichosis - or "werewolf syndrome" which causes a thick coat of hair to grow over every inch of his body except his palms and feet.  His family has a history of this unfortunate condition. 

Now the question was, would Wolf Boy's baby suffer from this disorder. 

My husband and I decided to stay up a little bit longer.  We had to find out.

So we "stayed tuned". 

There were other stories first.  I don't remember any of them.  After every segment we would get another tease.  Wolf Boy's wife would be stroking her pregnant belly, expressing her concern about Wolf Boy's baby.  Then there would be Wolf Boy setting up the crib and talking about his own childhood.  But no look at the baby.  Not yet.

It was getting to the end of the show, there were only a few minutes left.

I should note that this was before DVR and we probably didn't have any blank VHS.  That was the way things worked around the turn of the century.  Today we would just set record and go to bed, knowing that we could see it at our leisure.

But this was in the nineties.  So we had to wait.

Then, with only 30 seconds left in the show we finally got a shot of Wolf Boy's baby.

Not the actual Wolf Boy's baby.

It was just a regular baby.

Now don't get me wrong.  I didn't want an innocent child to have to suffer from this unfortunate disorder, but come on.  I stayed up and all I get is a normal, regular baby!

From then on whenever there is a tease on a show, "Inside Edition" is one of the worst offenders of this, my husband and I know.

It is just Wolf Boy's baby. 

The cat jumped and was perfectly fine. 


I watched to the end to find out.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Disney Princesses and Why They Tick Me Off

There are eleven official Disnay Princesses with the addition of Merida from the movie "Brave".

Each one (before Merida) makes me a little mad. 

Let's put them in order. 

Snow White.


Snow White didn't have a whole lot of gumption.  She didn't do anything to change her circumstances.  She is dumped in the woods by the evil queen and becomes a maid for a bunch of dwarfs.  Huh?  Then she eats a poisoned apple and is brought back to life by a kiss.  Then she just hops on this random prince's horse and rides off into the sunset. 

What does this teach young girls?  No matter how bad it gets some guy will come along and take care of you.


More cleaning?  And another bad stepmother?  Cinderella had the friendly animal friends that made her a dress, but that got destroyed.  Then her fairy godmother takes care of all her problems but puts a curfew on the magic. 

What does this teach young girls?  The right shoes will get you a prince.

Sleeping Beauty

Another magic kiss and ride into the sunset.  This one has a fairy battle that results in the big nap Aurora took. 

What does this teach young girls?  Women can't get along and will be terribly catty to each other.

The Little Mermaid

She collects human items.  She gives up her voice for a man.  She ticks off a jealous witch.  She is rescued by her human and her daddy grants her legs so she can go be with her man.

What does this teach young girls?  If the guy is hot it is worth giving up your voice.

Beauty and The Beast

Belle takes her father's place with a ticked off Beast.  She agrees to stay with him and save her father.  So she gives up her freedom and falls in love with the beast.  She got a lot of press because she read books.  It doesn't help.

What does this teach young girls?  If a guy is a beast your love will turn him into a prince. 


Jasmine dresses like a harem girl and has a pet tiger.  But she falls for Aladdin after a ride on his magic carpet. 

What does this teach young girls?   Guys with cool transportation, no matter how untrustworthy they seem to be, are betrothal worthy.


Poor Pocahontas.  She shows the white man how wonderful her land is.  She saves his life.  But then ends up losing her land and going to England and dying of a white man's disease.  OK, they don't show that part in the movie, but it happened for real. 

What does this teach young girls?  Guys will take what they want and screw you over.


OK.  Mulan isn't too bad.  She takes her father's place so the old man doesn't have to fight the Huns.  But she has to spend most of the movie pretending to be a man.  Her father sends a dragon to protect her.   She still manages to find romance while pretending to be a man. 

What does this teach young girls?  Just because you can kill the bad guy doesn't mean you can't look pretty and catch a man.

Princess and the Frog

Tiana wants to open a restaurant.  She works two jobs and tries to save for it.  After a wish for help, she kisses a frog and instead of getting a prince she becomes a frog herself.   There is a lot of action and eventually they get married and become human again.  Then she opens her own restaurant. 

What does this teach young girls?  No matter how hard you work, if you marry a frog you are still going to be working.  Not a terrible lesson there.


Rapunzel.  Oh Rapunzel.  Let down your hair.  Is this a commercial for hair products?  And this version does crazy Spiderman antics with her hair.  It even has super magic powers.  She falls in love with a bad boy and when he breaks her heart she decides to spend her life in the tower.

What does this teach young girls?  Don't cut your hair.  It is magic.


Merida is strong, independent and feisty.  She rescues her family and saves her clan. 

What does this teach young girls?  Listen to your mother, unless she tells you that you need a man to be complete. 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Brave - 2012

I loved, loved and totally loved this movie. 

Merida is not your typical Disney heroine. 

Princess Merida: There comes a day when I don't have to be a Princess. No rules, no expectations. A day where anything can happen. A day where I can change my fate.

Her parents are supportive and loving.  She has gotten her spirit from them both.  Her mother is determined to make her a proper young lady.  After all she is a princess.

Queen Elinor: Merida, a princess does not set her weapons on the table.
Princess Merida: Mom, it's just my bow!
Queen Elinor: A princess should not have weapons in my opinion.
King Fergus: Princess or not. Learning to fight is essential!

They are the part of a clan and the expectation is that she will marry one of the sons from another clan.  But the last thing Merida wants to is get married.   When the families hold an archery contest for her hand, Merida takes her fate into her own hands.

This sets off a chain of events that threaten to unravel all the she knows and loves.  But through it all she keeps her spirit and independence.  And I don't want to give too much away, but it is great to see a Disney movie that doesn't end in a "happily-ever-after" wedding. 

There are lots of fun moments.  She has adorable little brothers that help save the day. 

There is kilt related wackiness.

There is so much more. Red-headed heroines are forever redeemed.  After all, Ariel, the little mermaid was the last one.  She gave up her voice for a man!  Merida would never do that.

I went to see it with my mother and my 19 year old niece.  We all loved it.  We stayed through the credits, holding up the cleaning of the theater to see the final scene after the credits.  It is worth the wait. 

I hope there is a sequel, which has been rumored.  It is really a great movie. 

Monday, July 2, 2012

A Night of "Ted" - 2012

Last Friday night, my husband and I had a date.  When there is a movie that my husband REALLY wants to see, we see it opening night.  "Ted" was one of those movies.  We are "Family Guy" fans at our house.  It just looked fun.

Our date night started when I got home at 3:30PM.  Yes, our date night was really a date afternoon.  I love seeing movies in the theater.  I don't love paying full price for a night show. 

We got to the movie and waited to get in.  This is one of the reasons I like seeing the first show of the day.  I hate waiting for them to clean the theater and being at the mercy of a teenage gatekeeper. So my husband got in line while I went to the concessions.  We had already picked up drinks that were safely stowed in my purse (Don't tell!) and I was filling our refillable popcorn bucket.  So snacks for two for under $10!

The movie is so wrong it is right.  I can't even quote its foulmouthed hilarity.   Mark Wahlberg is funny as the stunted man who made a childhood wish that brought his teddy to life.  Ted has grown up, but neither he nor John, have matured.  Somehow he has a beautiful and smart girlfriend who has put up with the "thunder buddies" for four years. 

If you like Seth McFarland, it is worth seeing. 

I won't say anymore.  There is sex, drug use and a Flash Gordon cameo. 

After the movie we headed for dinner.  I had mentioned Tasty Tacos, which are these great flour tacos that are puffy and spiced perfectly.  The only problem was that the parking lot is shared by a different movie theater and it was PACKED!

There were some huge movies coming out and we had to change plans.  So we went to Ted's Coney Island. 

Yes.  It was an all Ted night.  And to answer your question,  I was not wearing a teddy.  Or holding a teddy.  

We had our usual.  My husband had a tenderloin basket and I had a gyro basket.  I love the baskets at Ted's.

The sandwiches are awesome.  I will admit that I've never had anything but the gyro here.  I tend to find something I like and only eat that at any restaurant.  It is a double edge sword.  I know what I'm getting is good, but what if there is something better.  On the other hand, what if get something else and it isn't as good.  I could have had my favorite and wasted my chance.

Yes, it is torturous to be me.

The other thing I love about the baskets?  You can't tell because the fork is in the way, but you get fries and onion rings!  I love both and hate to make a choice.  This way I get both and their tangy cole slaw.  They don't include the drink with the combo which is kind of odd, but it is still a good deal.

So, if you are in the area, I can recommend Ted's and if not, I can recommend "Ted".  Both are tangy and a little bad for you, but oh so good.