Let’s all go to the movies

We took the baby to the movies!  As our neighbor said, we’re those people.  In our defense, we did our best to minimize disruption, and we succeeded.

Backing up: we’ve seen every Marvel movie in the theater (except Ant-Man and the Wasp), and we want to keep it that way.  Captain Marvel came out (and the next Avengers comes out soon), but we’ve got this not-quite-6-month-old, and we’re not ready for a babysitter.  But we figured that the movie had been out for a couple of weeks, and maybe if we went to the earliest showing, there wouldn’t be many people, so we could sit away from everyone, and we’d try to time it so I could feed him and then he’d nap…and people, that’s exactly what happened.  Turns out the earliest showing on a Saturday morning was 9:45. Who knew they showed movies that early?  There were only ten people (including the three of us) in a normal-size theater, so there weren’t many people to be bothered, and Jack performed exactly as planned.  He sat quietly for half an hour, then I fed him, and then he slept in my arms through the end of the credits.  The noise didn’t bother him, and being scrunched up between the seat’s arms just made him more cuddly and cozy.  It was great, and I don’t think we’re ever going to try it again.  There’s just no way we’d get that lucky.

I have a plan for how we might see the Avengers movie (which is rumored to be THREE HOURS LONG), but it involves a babysitter, and I’m just not sure I’ll be ready for that.  Gotta prepare myself!

In non-theater news, we watched two movies at home recently that were surprisingly good (both on Netflix).  The Edge of Seventeen is about a teenager going through a really rough time. Hailee Steinfeld really sells it.  I don’t want to like her, but she’s very good.  (She was fantastic in True Grit a few years ago, too.)  And Juanita (a Netflix original) with Alfre Woodard was fun.  Maybe not good, but we enjoyed it, and I’ll watch anything Alfre Woodard is in.  She makes the movie.

Shortest review

Live action Beauty and the Beast: meh.  I don’t see the point of a shot-for-shot remake at any time, and the singing is better in the cartoon.  I mean, it’s fine, but if you want to watch Beauty and the Beast, just watch the 1991 cartoon.


I watched The Man From Snowy River tonight for the first time in probably 20 years, and I think it’s hilarious how vindictive and nearly evil they paint the black horse who’s in charge of the wild brumby herd, what with the rearing and the freeze frames of crazy eyes.  Equally hilarious is how Kirk Douglas plays two brothers, one of them camouflaged behind a beard and a peg leg.   A beard doesn’t fool me, movie makers.  I’ve got eyes.

Not so hilarious is the scene where poor Jessica wakes up on a tiny ledge over the side of a cliff.  I didn’t remember that at all.

Impressive: according to Wikipedia, the actor who played Jim had never ridden before he got this role, and he did his own stunts.

Opinion after 20 years: the movie holds up.  It leaves Netflix on Dec 1st.  You’ve got a week!

Let’s go to the mall!

Would you believe I was in the mall the other day and I DIDN’T go to Athleta?  It’s true.  Would you believe I have lived in Providence for two and a half months now, within easy reach of Athleta after a year and a half of being two hours from the nearest one, and I haven’t been even once?  Also true.  I must be ill.  Would you believe I went into a bookstore yesterday and didn’t buy a single book?  You would?  You’re gullible.

We were at the mall over the weekend to see the third Thor movie, which is BY FAR the best of the Thor movies.  Those first two were pretty bad.  The second one is easily the worst of the Marvel movies.  This one was more like Guardians of the Galaxy – funny, fast-paced, and fun.

The mall was all decked out for Christmas, and we had to go through the entire thing, from the basement level to the top floor, and from one end to the other, to get from the car to the movie theater.  We didn’t do any shopping – I’m afraid that once we go back so we can buy stuff, we’ll be holiday’d out faster than usual.  Would you believe it?  Somehow we’ll live.

I carried a watermelon

We found a magic hotel in Minnesota.  We watched the very end of Dirty Dancing AND THEN IT STARTED OVER AGAIN.  Heaven.  I may never leave.  Also, it’s late, I’m tired, and I may be a little giddy.  Sitting on my butt in the car all day is exhausting work.

Nobody puts Baby in the corner.

Whoops, that was last night.  We left.  Spending tonight in Racine, Wisconsin.  Ooh!  Maybe A League Of Their Own will be on!

I sewed!

Washing my sweater/hoodie broke it apparently, since after it dried (gentle cycle, air dry) I noticed that one of the pockets was hanging half off.  Luckily for me, the thread was still attached at one end, so I unearthed my bag of sewing kits (I have four or five travel kits), figured out how to thread the needle, and FIXED IT.  You can’t even tell.  Then we went to see Dunkirk and I spent two hours crying.  I cried horrified tears, sad tears, tears of pride, a few more horrified tears, and then some happy tears.  Stupid emotional movie.

I also ate all the popcorn in existence, so I’m skipping dinner and going to bed early.  All that crying wore me out.

Must start earlier

It’s night #2 of not feeling the blog thing, and I think I can safely say that waiting until after dinner to write is not a great strategy.  Whatever energy I had during the day is gone, completely, and all I want to do is read and go to bed.

This is the summer of binge-watching, so after we watched the entire season of The Crown (loved), we watched the entire season of The OA (disappointing), then all of Doctor Who season 9 (yay), and now we’ve moved on to Iron Fist, the next Netflix Marvel Comics show.  It’s…okay.  The main character is annoying in his naivete, and overall, it’s definitely the weakest of the Netflix Marvel shows.  Still entertaining, though.  I like how all of the shows are connected.

Oh, hey, we saw Wonder Woman last weekend.  The movie wasn’t great (although it’s the most I’ve ever liked Chris Pine in anything, and it was miles better than the other DC movies), but I felt this visceral enjoyment seeing Wonder Woman kick ass during the fight scenes.  I’d watch it again.

Hey, look, even tired I can babble about TV and movies.  Good for me.  Bed for me.  See ya.

He grew up okay

Memory associations are weird.  When I came home from dinner with Christina tonight, John was watching the end of a Law & Order: SVU episode.  It was about pedophilia at a boarding school (aren’t they all?), and this guy was on it.

John asked me if I thought he looked familiar, and I was like, yeah, he was the TA in Road Trip.  (This was not a good movie.  If you haven’t seen it, don’t bother.)  So I looked him up on IMDB, and yes, I was right, he WAS the TA in Road Trip, but why was THAT my association when I SHOULD have recognized him as Daryl from Adventures in Babysitting?  I’ve seen that movie WAY more times and it’s a million times less embarrassing to reference Adventures in Babysitting than Road Trip.

Stupid brain.


Watched The Iron Giant for the first time last night.  Cried a ton.  Watched Logan tonight.  Cried a little.  So what’s up for tomorrow?  Old Yeller?  Steel Magnolias?  Up?  Oh, no – Beaches?

For anyone wondering, though, we really liked Logan.  Violent as hell, but it’s a really good Wolverine movie.

Girls’ night!

John and Will have a gig tonight, a late one, so I’m going to hang out with Christina, eat Indian food, drink wine, and maybe watch a movie or something.  That is a perfect night out.  Hey, it’s out for me – not my house.

I just have to make sure it’s not a scary movie (I don’t think that’ll be a problem) because the Black Tapes podcast keeps creeping me out.  Just a little.  And John will be out late, so I’ll probably be coming home to a dark, empty house.  Happy movies for me!

I really don’t know why I keep getting this urge to watch scary movies.  I don’t want to watch the gory ones.  I want to watch the scary thrillers, or the ones that are just different enough, like Cabin in the Woods.  But when even Stranger Things can get to me, it seems really stupid to want to watch more things like that.  And seriously, Stranger Things isn’t scary.  It just had that one thing that got stuck in my imagination.

So worst case scenario: I come home, it’s dark, and I’m scared.  Solution: Watch Friends on Netflix downstairs with all the lights on until John comes home.  That’ll do.

Get used to disappointment

Mild spoilers ahead.

We saw Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice last night, and it was bad.  It was very not good, and we are very not happy.  On the one hand, we didn’t have great expectations for it, so it’s not like we were let down.  On the other hand, COME ON.  It was a Superman movie where Superman is the bad guy for no apparent reason.  It was a Batman movie where Batman didn’t act like Batman at all.  And Wonder Woman?  With as little introduction and explanation as she got, she should have been a cameo.  Instead, her scenes were inscrutable.


Teddy bears and sprinkles and unicorns requested

We have a watched a LOT of violent TV lately.  Last night, we finished watching Jessica Jones on Netflix.  It’s all we watched last week, and I loved every minute of it, but holy hell, was it violent.  We just finished watching John Wick on HBO Go, which was surprisingly good, but crazy violent, too.  I mean, it’s about a hit man with LOTS of reasons to go after the entire Russian mob, but still.  I haven’t checked IMDB yet (or Google), but the body count has to be near 100.

Thanks, Google.  84.  84 people die in this movie, mostly by gunshot.

So maybe we should take a break from all the violent TV.  My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, maybe?

I want to see it again

We saw the new Star Wars movie last night, and it was awesome.  I totally want to see it again in the theater.  I got misty a few times (including the crawl and the theme at the VERY beginning) but there was one part where I cried like a baby.  Good stuff.  I sang the theme the whole way home, and I woke up humming it.  Happy me.

In other news, today is our anniversary (15 years), and there’s a parade in Annapolis!  (Not for us.  I think.  Maybe it is.)  I want to see it, but we don’t have a good track record for that kind of thing.  A few weeks ago, I wanted to cheer on some runners during a half-marathon that was supposed to go right down our street, but we missed it (slept too late).  Fingers crossed we’ll make it to the parade on time!

Star Wars confession time

I like Star Wars.  I like the story, I like the people who like Star Wars, I shared in everyone’s disappointment with the prequel trilogy, and I’m excited about the new movie (which we are planning to see with John’s family on Christmas Eve).

I don’t live and die Star Wars, and that’s okay.  I didn’t see any of the movies until high school (a big thank you to Randy for sitting me down and making me watch them), and I’ve only seen them a couple of times since then.  Maybe three.  Definitely the first one and Empire more.  I  borrowed the original trilogy from a coworker about a year ago, so I’ve seen all three recently.  We watched Return of the Jedi Saturday night, and it’s possible that that was only the second time I’ve seen it.  Third, at most.  I mean, it’s everywhere – I’ve seen videos, clips, parodies.  There’s nothing about this movie that is a surprise to me.  Well, except one thing.

Some of you should sit down.  Some of you won’t know what I’m talking about and won’t care.

We were watching Return of the Jedi, and Admiral Ackbar came on the screen for the first time.  I recognized him immediately, knew his name, could have picked him out of a line-up, BUT – I could not have told you he was a Star Wars character.  Every other character, human or alien, was familiar to me as part of the Star Wars universe, but not him.  I don’t know how that’s possible.  If pressed, I would have guessed he was a recurring Futurama character.

I’m atoning for this failure.  Please forgive me.

Worth the interruption

I was doing some tedious work this afternoon, so I decided to start the Christmas music.  All was going well for a while – I was working away and occasionally bopping along – until THE song came on my Pandora station.

My work came to an abrupt halt.  Who can work when there’s singing to be done?

I love the Mariah Carey version, too, possibly more, but this is the one that came on and made me realize I HAVEN’T WATCHED LOVE ACTUALLY YET THIS YEAR.

We’ve decided we’re going to Christmas it up in Annapolis before we head to PA for the holiday, so we’ll enjoy the lights and the stores and everything this weekend, but we may have to sneak in a viewing of Love Actually, too. After Return of the Jedi, of course. We have priorities.

Maybe we’ll bring Love Actually to PA…

Horror movies

One of my coworkers is a horror movie buff. I noticed a reddit thread the other day about horror movies that were actually horrifying, and I thought of that coworker, so I sent him the link.  (I didn’t actually read the discussion myself.  Not my thing.)  He then proceeded to make me a list, a very long list, of good horror movies that I should see (his definition, of course).  There are 18(ish) movies on that list.  I humored him, of course, and maybe I’ll watch some of them, but for the most part, I think that would be a really stupid move for me.  I am easily scared.  Easily freaked out.  Like, woke-up-from-a-nightmare-the-other-night-and-was-too-afraid-to-go-back-to-sleep easily freaked out (for real – that happened Sunday night).  The Sixth Sense gave me nightmares, for crying out loud.

I want to like scary movies, but almost every time I try one, I end up regretting it.  It’s not fun.  I  have mostly learned from those past mistakes.  I know it’s not a good idea for me try any of the movies on his list, but I still kind of want to.  Maybe during the day.  A bright, sunny day.  Which is how I watched Cabin in the Woods, suggested by the same coworker (he didn’t suggest the middle of the day part – that was my idea).  I really enjoyed that one, but it’s not a typical horror movie, so I’m not sure it counts.

Should I try again?  Maybe I’ll become inured to them.  I’ll toughen up and be able to just enjoy the movie and let it go after.  Or should I give it up?  I’m 36 years old – maybe that’s old enough to know I’m not going to get over this.

I don’t feel like giving up.

Here’s his list (not comprehensive, and in no particular order – he was thinking of them off the top of his head):

  • Let The Right One In
  • High Tension
  • Eden Lake
  • The Orphanage
  • Audition
  • Pontypool
  • Babadook
  • Bad Milo
  • Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Verner
  • Evil Dead movies
  • Dead Alive
  • Dog Soldiers
  • The Grey (he says it’s not scary, but it’s good)
  • The Mist
  • Pan’s Labyrinth
  • Silent Hill
  • Slither
  • Sunshine
  • The Thing
  • Trick ‘r Treat

It was JUST like the book (mostly)

I usually like the book more than the movie version of the book.  Shocking and controversial, I know.  And that’s not even really what I want to talk about, but I mention it today because in the case of Gone Girl, I didn’t like either the book OR the movie.

I read Gone Girl in 2012, and THAT time, I liked it.  It was entertaining, full of twists, engrossing.  Then I heard they were making a movie out of it, and I wanted to see the movie, so I made John read it.  He didn’t like it as much.  It had been a couple of years, so I re-read it.

I did NOT like it the second time.  Nick and Amy are entirely unsympathetic, totally horrible people.  I forced myself to finish it the second time.  (I’m not sure why, actually.  Maybe I was hoping it would turn around.)  But I still wanted to see the movie.  After John read it, he was much less enthusiastic about seeing the movie, so we didn’t get around to it until this past weekend.

The casting was perfect.  It was very well acted, and it’s a very good adaptation of the book.  And I didn’t like it (neither did John).  So…points for consistency?  Except for the first time I read it.  So there went two and a half hours spent with characters we didn’t like.  I mean, we really didn’t like this movie.  It left us feeling…bad.  Unclean.  Not entertained.  Just bad.

So John chose the next movie, also an adaptation of a book, but at least this time it was an adaptation of a book we both liked.  We both read A Long Way Down recently (since the move to Annapolis), and the movie (also a very good adaptation) was mostly faithful to the book, with good acting and likeable characters.  Likeable?  Likable?  Likable looks like lickable.  Anyway, we enjoyed it SO much more than Gone Girl.  TONS more.  It was a palate cleanser, despite being about four people who don’t like each other (at first) and met accidentally when they all tried to kill themselves.

I have banned myself from choosing movies for a while.  John isn’t complaining.

Pizza pizza pizza pizza pizza – man, that looks weird

You know how you can go for months on end without eating fast food, without craving it or even thinking about it, but then you’re on a trip and you go through a drive-thru and then find yourself craving it?  And, probably, eating more of it?

Yeah, I’m doing that with pizza right now.  I love pizza, but I tend to go overboard and eat ALL the pizza when we get it, so I’ve been avoiding pizza.  But I love pizza, and when Jess suggested pizza for our movie night this week, I thought it was a brilliant idea.  (We watched Mean Girls and Bring It On (she had never seen either) and then Victor/Victoria (which I had never seen) and then the first episode of Crazy Ex Girlfriend (because I can’t be the only person who loves it) and then we were well into the third bottle of wine and called it a night.  It was great.)  The problem is that now I want pizza.  More pizza.  Pizza again.  It doesn’t even have to be good pizza.  I will eat all pizza.

I could go to the one place in town I know about that sells it by the slice (and only buy one slice), but I am also trying to stop eating out for every meal, so I went to the store. My compromise is pizza muffins (cousin to the pizza buns that became one of my food obsessions growing up, along with hot dogs and then toast).  We have tomato sauce, we have mozzarella, and we have English muffins.  That’ll work, right?

How many times can I type Frankie Valli in one post?

We watched Jersey Boys tonight.  I’m sure the Broadway show is fun and probably really good, but the move is decidedly not.  The actor playing Frankie Valli doesn’t do a very good Frankie Valli impression (well, he might do a great impression when he’s acting, but I’m just judging his singing), and so every song was a disappointment.  The thing is, it’s the same actor who plays Frankie Valli on Broadway. Are we just more forgiving when the show is live?  Is he better on stage than in the movie?  I mean, I don’t need him to be exactly like Frankie Valli – that would be tough. But he’s enough different (and not in a good way) that it took away from the movie.  Thankfully, the original recordings were playing over the credits.  The movie is…lacking and not just because we were unhappy with Frankie Valli.  Then again, it’s a movie adaptation of a Broadway musical based on the rise and fall of a boy band.  Our expectations may have been a bit unrealistic.