Category Archives: Movies

Exciting News!

One of my friends forwarded me a month’s free Movie Pass and I’m planning to pay for it through the rest of the year after that because there are a lot of movies I want to see. Since I no longer do the Book of Face to check in places and jabber about flicks, I’ll try to remember to say a bit about them on here. I’m not an in-depth reviewer with a bunch of pretentious gobbledy. Don’t know directors. Can’t compare this one movie to that Fronsh flick from 1967. Yada. I just like to say a few words. Same with books really. If you want splainy, I’m not your girl. If you want complainy, then you’ve come to the right blog.

Here’s my list of wanna-sees so far (will likely add more):

Book Club
Life of the Party
Ocean’s 8
Hereditary
Puzzle
Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again
The Spy Who Dumped Me
A Star Is Born
The Nutcracker & the Four Realms
Bohemian Rhapsody
The Girl in the Spider’s Web
Mary Poppins Returns

Can’t wait to get my card in the mail, d/l the app, and run off to the theater. Yes, I realize I will have to leave my apartment.

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Diamonds, Daisies, Snowflakes…

That Girl!

That Girl

I can’t believe no one guessed the correct answer. Some of you got close with MTM, etc. ~ shows about single brunettes navigating big city life. But alas, nobody got That Girl. I’ve been enjoying reruns on Prime and am just starting the second season. A good friend bought S5 for me as a gift and watching some of those motivated me to start over at the beginning. Okay, let’s discuss…

First, we’ll address the theme song (music only until S5 when lyrics are introduced), which I see via google is not super popular. I guess people hate happy, sappy lists. Does this mean “My Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music is hated now too? Bye cream-colored ponies, off you go. We’re tossing the crisp apple strudel right in the trash. What the hell is wrong with lists of nice things? Does every piece of music have to be dark and dystopian with singularity death robots clawing out our livers? Eff that. We can haz nice lists.

Second, That Girl is a nice show about nice people, who mostly do nice things and end up getting into mild predicaments. So, you’re thinking omgawwwd boring. No. You know what I’m bored with? Criminals, jerks, liars, druggies, drunks, narcissists, wackos, and psychopaths. But enough about men from dating sites already, eh? Pffft.

Sometimes it’s just darned good fun to watch a show about normal people negotiating the quotidian. Kind of like Seinfeld, in a way… many of TG’s eps are also about “nothing” or nothing more than the minutiae of daily life gone awry via misunderstandings or miscommunications. This was prior to texting and email, so people have to talk to each other face to face to work things out. This generally resolves an issue quickly rather than our current method of trying to “text it out,” which further mires us in the muck of miscomm. Yes, I realize it’s fictional. 😛

Third, there’s a refreshing absence of sex, drugs, and violence. I’m no prude, but I’m just tired of the emphasis on those three things in entertainment. Once they’re introduced, they tend to dominate the script. Ann and Don are steadily dating, but we haven’t seen them in bed. Good. I don’t want to; it’s uninteresting to me. In one of these early eps, they wade in a stream while picnicking and she remarks that it’s the first time she’s seen his ankles. Why? Because they haven’t slept together or cuz he has sex in his socks or what? The questions crossed my mind, briefly, and I’m happy not to know. There’s a mafia ep where the bad guys end up in a food fight then a fist fight but not a gun fight and it’s hilarious. Etc.

Fourth, surprisingly, these old TG eps offer many situations that are still currently relevant. How to maintain a close relationship with your parents when you move away and choose a different lifestyle. Can you conduct a professional relationship in the same office with someone with whom you’re romantically involved? The struggle of pursuing your low-paying dream while juggling two or more side gigs to make the rent. Etc.

Plus Marlo Thomas is funny. So are Ted Bessell, who plays her boyfriend, and Lew Parker, who plays her father. But many actors could have done these roles, imo, including Marlo’s. This is not to disparage the actors, who are certainly fine, but the writers should get the credit for the show. Always credit the writers! Check out that link… interesting.

K, I’m off for more teevee! 🙂

Sabrina, 1995

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For some odd reason, I never saw Sabrina (the 1995 version with Harrison Ford) until this weekend, even though Prime constantly recommended it. I generally like Ford, and romcoms, so it’s baffling. Well, turns out I hated it. What a horrible movie! Maybe I had some weird subconscious warning, who knows.

This bloggery will spoil the movie, so if for some inexplicable reason you want to see it, quit reading now and go watch a cute kitty video.

Sabrina begins like a typical romcom with an obscenely wealthy family, two handsome brothers, and one cute daughter of the chauffeur  ~ too young for both of them. Oh, sorry I’m being judgy already. My bad. (But this isn’t an 1890s romcom, it’s set in the 1990s, so I take my apology back.) Sabrina has a crush on the younger brother, David, but goes off to Paris as a Vogue intern (because that happens) yada. While in Paris she learns that David has become engaged to a doctor and she’s heartbroken. Immediately she morphs from a pretty young girl with a fresh face and long hair to a sophisticated vamp with short hair and impeccable style. Why? Dunno. But it seems to be a thing in movies and on TV that women chop off their hair to signal post-heartbreak fortitude.

Sabrina jets home to Long Island, where David doesn’t recognize her and starts his seductive routine until Linus (H. Ford) steps in to put a stop to it. The doctor fiance, you see, isn’t just any gorgeous doctor, but a TYSON, and Linus needs Daddy Tyson for some merger because of an indestructible TV screen. It’s all very complicated and worth a billion dollars. Sabrina and David aren’t dissuaded however, but David sits on some champagne glasses and gets a cut-up butt, so while he’s recovering Linus begins to woo Sabrina. Apparently she’s this brainless, faithless dingbat who can easily transfer her lurve from one brother to another while he’s telling her a series of idiotic lies. Oh, this is my halfway house. This homeless man here I helped when he got out of prison. And Sabrina the Paris sophisticate gobbles it all up. WTF?

Suddenly Linus grows a conscience and decides he can’t do this any longer, right after he bought plane tix for Paris, for himself and Sabrina, where he was planning to ditch her, jet back home, and finish the Tyson deal and see David married to the doc. He confesses to Sabrina that he’s a horrible person, etc. He knows she’s always loved David, and he’s going to transfer his ticket to David’s name so they can go to Paris together and be happy. Sabrina takes her ticket, says goodbye to people, and leaves. David decides that Linus must really love Sabrina to jeopardize a billion dollars, tells him to keep his original ticket, and insists he go after her. David and the doc go on as if nothing happened, and the deal with Daddy Tyson continues unharmed. Linus flies to Paris and reunites with Sabrina, who apparently would have fallen into the arms of whichever brother showed up! Not that anyone actually ever cares how Sabrina feels at any point in this whole freaking mishmash! Except maybe her father, the chauffeur, but he’s satisfied when Linus says that he needs Sabrina, and he’s never needed anything before. Okay then!

So dumb. So enraging. I assume the older version is similar, but I’d have to pay to see it, so no thank you.

Also, I want to talk about the brothers’ mother, Nancy Marchand. Yes, Livia. It’s like she was auditioning for the Sopranos’ part in advance, I swear to God. She is the exact same character and it freaked me out! I could not believe it. I was all, WTF is Livia Soprano doing at this fancy schmancy Long Island party? The same voice, the same tone, the same mannerisms. I expected Uncle Junior to pop in next. When she was lecturing Linus on going too far in wooing Sabrina and said, “I didn’t teach you this,” that was SO LIVIA. I wanted her to say, “Does your Uncle Tony know?” Eeeeeeee!!! She was a bright spot in the movie.

Nancy M. had a long and interesting career.

You Are The Product

scream

How many times have we read that lately? I actually read it a long time ago and it made a lot of sense. Who the hell gives away anything for free? We always knew our eyeballs were being sold to advertisers, or we should have known. And of course it isn’t only Facebook ~ insurance companies, credit bureaus, Google, etc. all have your data. Sometimes you’re the product even when you pay for the privilege, like on Match dot com. Isn’t that a kick?

Several years ago I was searching for a fun Google map I had created of all the places I’d lived and traveled to, maybe a couple years prior to that. I was just poking around, as you do, wondering if it was gone forever, when I blundered into my total location history since the beginning of time. Whoa, what? I thought I’d deleted all that! I had a big sad as I emotionally revisited the restaurants and hotels I’d gone to with the man who broke my heart… and then I deleted my location history permanently up to that point. Well, I think it was permanent. Who knows? No biggie, except I don’t want to see all that ever again. I know the gobblement and Google and Russia and some creatures on another planet have it. Whatevs.

Oh, I found the fun map. Whoopee.

Some peeps on the Book of Face used an ad blocker, which I’m sure was very clever. I never bothered with that. But it turns out FB was still able to gather gobs of data from your phone logs and your friends’ profiles too. You could be locked up tight, but they could still sell you to people based on stuff your friends had public. Plus anything you “liked” was up for grabs to create a shadow profile of you to package and sell. One of my friends said she liked incorrect things to throw THEM off the scent. Maybe that helps. I have to say that my ads were pretty inaccurate as is. I didn’t hide my true self, and yet I was shown very few tempting ads all those years ~ where were the adorable kitty tee shirts, the romance novel 4-packs, the c00kie cutters, the stitchery stuffs? I saw loads of ads for real estate and spa trips, things I could never afford. I’m assuming they, whoever THEY are, figured anyone in Orange County must be wealthy. Wrong!

I’m not going to bother linking to the scary articles that tell us how much FB and Google know about us because we’ve all read them in the past week. Plus you can easily find them yourself if you haven’t. For me, though, FB was the least necessary of the bunch and the easiest to jettison (along with Messenger and Instagram). And yes, I’m going to keep talking about it as much as I want to, pffft. I do miss some of the interaction with FB peeps, but I accept that’s the price I pay for reclaiming a huge chunk of my free time.

*

I watched an interesting movie on Prime yesterday called Paperback, kind of a writers’ movie and also a movie for the romance-cynical. No spoilers just a rec!

My First Dick

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Philip K., that is. Just read Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? this week and enjoyed it. At first, I was surprised at the clunky writing style because after all I’ve heard about PKD, I expected him to be a superb writer, but there was so much “as you know Bob” type of dialog right from the start. But I got past that and was able to appreciate the incredible imagination exhibited throughout. I saw the Blade Runner films first, and enjoyed them, but the book surpassed them. It had so many more levels. The empathy testing was more interesting in the book. The religion aspect was unexpected. All the inner conflicts. The marital relationship. And of course the animals! I had no idea they played such a huge role. Loved the many clever twists toward the end.

I found a few things too amusing not to mention. The book was rather sexist, don’t you think? Rick’s wife was pretty Stepford all the way. The other women were tropes, even the “strong” ones. Also, smeary onion skin copies, bwahahaha! After all PKD comes up with as far as fab futuristic stuffs, he thinks we’d still be typing with copies in 2021. Jesus, I can’t remember the last time I made a literal “carbon copy.” Omg, remember those? So messy. Hate hate hate. And one mistake? You had to start all over.

I have several books waiting in my queue, but I want to read a few more PKD’s that’ve been recommended by friends. Glad I finally grabbed this one after all these years!

Creature Features & Jigsaw Puzzles

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I have a clear memory of watching Creature Features with my mom in the basement of our townhouse in Illinois, which she had turned into a rec room with a ping-pong table, TV, stereo, etc. It was Illinois, if you missed that in the preceding sentence, 40 miles north of Lake Michigan, where it got so cold that if you dropped a record on the floor it would shatter like a dinner plate. (This actually happened.)

I’ve always said I remember putting giant jigsaw puzzles together with my mom while we watched scary movies, and generally, but I was trying to call up a specific memory of this and it’s not working. It actually doesn’t even make sense. The only table we had in the basement large enough for a 1000-2000 piece puzzle was on the side of the room that didn’t have the TV. The stairs were in the middle. Right in front of the stairs was a little storage type room my dad used as a darkroom for photography. On the right side was a TV, sofa, coffee table, etc. On the left side was an old dining room table, another sofa, and the stereo system. We would have had to use the old dining table for the puzzles. So how would we have been watching Creature Features at the same time? Memory fail.

Even though I enjoyed these campy horror movies at the time (because mommy was there), I’ve disliked horror since. Pretty much the entire horror film genre falls into the dislike pile, but I do reserve some exceptions for books, Stephen King in particular. It’s not because the movies themselves are all terrible; it’s because I don’t enjoy having my emotions manipulated to that extent. Now you’ll say I don’t mind the same thing when it happens in the romcoms. And I’ll just shrug. Because people are inconsistent, and I’m a people too. Shockeroo!

The two Creature Features that stayed with me all these years I dub “Coconut Sea Monster” and “Alpine Beheader.” The first was about guys on a military submarine who kept getting murdered brutally cuz one of them had morphed into a monster due to radiation exposure. We didn’t see the murderer until the end and he looked like he was covered in coconut. It was really freaky! The otter one was about peeps trapped in a ski resort during a blizzard and some snow vampire kept grabbing one at a time and ripping off their head. Icky!

You know, this could very well be why I dislike both sailing and skiing. A-ha!

Still love coconut though. Nothing comes between me and a coconut donut.

As far as jigsaw puzzles, still love doing those, but don’t have room for them in my current place, can’t isolate one from the kitty anyway, and they seem sort of time-wastey when I have so many otter projects I want to finish as far as writing and needlework and staring at the walls. Someday though… when I retire maybe, bring on the jigsaw puzzles again! Hey, I wonder if they have Creature Feature puzzles? That could be a thing.

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Creature

That’s Entertainment

Entertain

Along with many other things, I’ve become extremely picky wrt movies as I’ve aged. It also helps to have an enormous variety from which to choose. I have several theaters nearby, access to Amazon Prime, Netflix, HBO Now, and my own library of DVDs. When I’m in the mood for a flick, I don’t have to settle for any old yawner.

The bottom line about a movie for me is entertainment. If I want to read about an event from history, I’ll look that up myself. I don’t want to see two hours of a long, dragged out battle or unrelenting gore. Gah. Of course there are exceptions, like if Brad Pitt is plotting to kill Hitler, I’m in. I don’t want to watch a bunch of robots, zombies, or Bruce Willis. I don’t like horror and mostly dislike science fiction, unless it’s really compelling and/or about human relationships primarily, not blasty laser battles. Forex, I liked The Martian, Arrival, and Blade Runner 2049.

I love a good romcom, which basically means one starring Meg Ryan. There are a few others in my fave list, such as 27 Dresses and My Big Fat Greek Wedding. But not many. Most are awful, unless they star Meg Ryan. Oh, Sandra Bullock did some good ones too, but now she mostly does those /who needs men anyway/ movies, which are even better. One is coming up later this year ~ Ocean’s 8 ~ and I’m totes seeing that (have to see the otter three Oceans first).

Love mob movies. One of my fave movies of all time is Goodfellas. Love spoofs of mob movies too ~ Analyze This! And of course The Sopranos on HBO rocked. (A bunch of series shows are fab ~ GOT, SFU, BB, G&F, etc.) Comedies generally? Depends. Some are great, some horrible.

I thought I would enjoy seeing old musicals on Prime, but I have to admit I don’t. They’re so boring. Guess I’m a newer musical lover only. Sound of Music, Chicago, Walk the Line, My Fair Lady, Fiddler on the Roof, Zorba the Greek, Grease, Hair, Mamma Mia! A sequel to Mamma Mia is coming this summer, yay! I just saw The Greatest Showman and liked it a lot.

Regular dramas? Hit or miss. It just depends on the specific movie and I can’t count on reviews at all. I don’t trust Rotten Tomatoes/critics because my opinion doesn’t gibe with the norm. Forex, I loved Collateral Beauty and it received crappy reviews; Baby Driver was raved about everywhere and I found it mediocre. Loved Lion, didn’t like Manchester by the Sea. Enjoyed The Accountant, and I think a sequel is coming. Other films I liked last year include Lady Bird, Kingsman, The Big Sick, Wonder Woman, and The Glass Castle.

I’m planning to see Molly’s Game and Phantom Thread at the theater soon. Those both look interesting via their trailers. I’ve completed S2 of my Game of Thrones rewatch and am enjoying it just as much (if not more) the second time around. My list of wanna-sees on Prime etc. is long and getting longer, almost as impossible as my list of books to read. But those are both nice “problems” to have, right? There is always some form of great entertainment around. What a wonderful luxury!

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Entertain

Twice Upon a Yesterday

Red umbrella

[Warning: this poast will contain extreme spoilers for the above 1998 movie, aka The Man with Rain in His Shoes and If Only, depending on the country.]

When I noticed that Prime was showing Twice Upon a Yesterday starring Lena Headey from Game of Thrones, I decided to watch it even though the storyline didn’t appeal to me that much. I generally don’t go for rom-coms with science fiction elements, but ever since I finished my GOT binge this summer and have been waiting for S8 like everyone else, I’ve been missing Queen Cersei. I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to see Lena.

TUAY has an interesting take on the concept of do-overs with certain things amenable to change, while others seem inevitable, even if they are reached via an alternate path. Of course, we are not treated to every possible universe in TUAY, only two, and teased with a third at the end. In U1, Victor cheats on Sylvia, confesses, and she dumps him. He tries to win her back before she marries someone else, telling her what an idiot he was, how much he loves her, etc., but he fails at this and ends up in a bar where he’s given a red umbrella. The umbrella is apparently a key to unlock time travel. Victor next encounters two dustmen who give him the chance to do-over his confession, which he does, lying about his affair instead.

In U2, Sylvia is happy because she doesn’t know Victor cheated on her. Victor hurts the woman with whom he cheated on Sylvia by coldly dumping her, but that’s fine ~ we’re supposed to be rooting for the Victor/Sylvia romance. Victor is happy once she’s gone and all is well. Except… Sylvia ends up meeting her lost fiance from U1 anyway. They still fall for each other. Would this happen in every universe? Well, we don’t know. So far, we have two for two. Now, Sylvia cheats on Victor while he remains faithful. Sylvia leaves Victor and they both end up with new loves, but Sylvia’s doesn’t work out and she wants Victor back. She goes a bit insane too.

The movie ends with Sylvia coming into possession of the red umbrella and getting her chance at a do-over. At which point will this one begin? How will things work out in U3 now that Victor seems very much in love with the bookstore girl?

Normally I wouldn’t have enjoyed such a goofy movie, but something really held my attention here and it wasn’t just Lena’s fine acting. Everyone is fab in this film, and the fantastical plot is somehow more intriguing than it seems at first glance. I guess we’ve all indulged in these what-if scenarios, haven’t we? What if I could go back in time and do something over? Where would I start? What would I change?

It’s a fun and hopefully harmless waste of time, ultimately pointless, like fantasizing how to spend our lottery winnings.

My Take on PassionFlix

I know my blogfans can’t wait to hear what I haz to say about PassionFlix: “a premium streaming entertainment service that will provide your fix of classic romantic movies and launch original film adaptations of romance novels.” [quote via Bustle]

Honestly I was pretty freaking excited about the concept, one which I thought of myself ages ago. I mean, of course I thought of it ~ why wouldn’t I? There are so many mediocre romcoms (and lots of great ones too!) and so many good romance novels; it’s only natural to wonder why “they” don’t make the better ones into movies, beyond P&P. It puzzles me, forex, why no Jennifer Crusie romances have been made into movies. Faking It could be a super fun movie, among others. Bet Me, Welcome to Temptation, etc. Then there are the old-timey romances with dukes and pirates. Peeps luv pirates. So much potential!

Anyway, after reading the Bustle article, I ran right over to the PassionFlix site, thinking hey maybe I will subscribe right away! But um… none of the books they have on their list to be made into movies are ones I’ve heard of. Some of the authors ring a bell, like Sylvia Day and Jill Shalvis, but not in a happy bell ringy way. Oh well.

They also stream other romantic movies, so I might sign up for a couple months just to be supportive of the concept. We’ll see. It’s a great concept. Maybe eventually there will be a Crusie book movie. A girl can dream…

And I know some of you are suspicious (or hopeful) that this is simply a pr0n site. Well, it does have a “barometer of naughtiness” (lol), but from the streaming movie list, it doesn’t look that way, unless you consider these movies pr0n:

“We have everything from Moonstruck to Thomas Crown AffairClueless to Last HolidayOverboard, BabyBoom, Roman Holiday, Strictly Ballroom, Love Story, Like Water for Chocolate, Bride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre, Mansfield Park, Kate & Leopold, She’s AllThat, Sabrina and Wuthering Heights. [from the Bustle article]

Unfortunately, I’ve seen almost all these movies, or can easily get them from Prime or wherever, so the only thing that would really tempt me to join would be fab original content. As I said… maybe later on.

Buffet Paralysis

Choice is good; too much choice leaves me paralyzed. Not talking about dating again, though I could be, but that’s too boring. I’m talking about social media generally ~ there is simply too damn much of it now. When we had only Usenet (BITGOD), supplemented by our frantic, gossipy, occasionally flirtatious backchanneling emails, that already took up way too much free time, especially for those of us trying to do Serious Writing. Gawd forbid if we had Real Jobs too, yipes.

Then came, what, some other drippy sites, then blergging, then faceblop, which isn’t just one thing now, but has spawned into a devilmass of special groups to soak up every fucking minute of the day. Yes, you can turn off all those notifications, and I have. Also, there’s twatter and instapeep and group chats on messenger… and this doesn’t even touch actual news sites and e-magazines we might want to read and a constant flow of shows to watch via Prime or ‘Flix or whatever thing plus books on Kindle all piled up and regular books too and it’s all driving me insane. Good for you if you have a handle on all this shit. Yay you.

I’m paralyzed by this. I feel if I neglect Facebook and chats, then friendships will fade, especially with people I don’t see in meatspace. If I give up Twitter, then I won’t have a “presence” to promote the books I never write anyway. Instagram is no big deal to spend less or no time on, but it takes up the least time in the first place, so that doesn’t help much. I already don’t read as much as I’d like to, for a writer. I don’t actually watch many movies at home and no TV shows now that Game of Thrones is done for a while. I’ve been writing nothing this summer, nothing at all.

Summer’s almost over and I’m really bummed about my lack of progress. I have a few new poems this year, that’s it. No inspiration for a new novel and only a few more ideas for poems. BITGOD I used to feel I had plenty of time to myself, plenty of time to write, even time to exercise after work, and I have that same amount of time now… I just have to stop letting the internet steal it. September is always a good time for me to make a fresh start. Perpetual student here.

~*~

PS: Don’t bother looking up BITGOD since I just invented it. Use your noodle. 🙂