Category Archives: Movies

The Conversation

“Max, we need to talk,” Rachel said. “And I think you know why.”

Max sighed. “Seriously? I couldn’t even begin to guess.”

“Just like a guy.” Rachel rolled her eyes. “Everything is deteriorating and you don’t even have a clue.”

“Come on. Isn’t that a bit dramatic? I thought you were happy. Just last week you said you had so much fun.” Max smiled as he tried to cajole her back to her normal good mood.

Rachel wasn’t having it. “That was before I realized things were falling apart to the point of danger and possible harm if we continue on.”

“Oh Rachel. For heaven’s sake!” Then Max saw where she was pointing and gasped in alarm.

He took her hand. “I’m so sorry. I had no idea the foundation was rotted out. We don’t have to spend Friday night in a silly old treehouse ever again. Let’s go to the movies!”

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Two for Tuesday [movie reviews]

SPOILERS!!!!!

1. A Simple Favor.

This is one of the movies I was really looking forward to seeing. The previews were so tantalizing… and after watching Henry Golding slay in Crazy Rich Asians, I wanted to see him in another role. Plus, I was predisposed to like the female leads: Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick. Am I now going to say boo I hated it? Nope! I loved it. It was fabulous!

However. I would not have liked it as a book. Generally, I say to myself, self, I like the written version best and the screen is never as good as what I can imagine from the words. But not this time. There were several elements, one in particular (which I hesitate to reveal even to those who don’t mind spoilers), that are on my hate list. If I see this on a novel description, I won’t read the book. Yep, that bad. But I didn’t mind it in this movie.

There were other things that would have annoyed me as a reader ~ I would have paused and thought wtf? Why is this here? Gratuitous backstory weird sex scene. Unnecessary veering into the possibility of the supernatural. But the movie was too fast-paced to pause and think. It was just damn good fun with a satisfying ending.

I walked out grinning like an idiot. Love these three actors. Blake was especially great.

2. Puzzle. This is another movie I had been trying to pin down on Movie Pass and finally gave up. So, I just went and saw it on Sunday with a few friends. Odd flick. Not what I had expected.

I didn’t much like the protagonist. She’s supposed to be some sort of repressed genius whose mind works too damn fast for her mundane life, yet apparently not fast enough to pick up a book or any kind of smart hobby all these years until someone gives her a jigsaw puzzle. And then she doesn’t know where to buy another puzzle without traveling an hour or so by train into Manhattan to a special puzzle store. Because this genius has never heard of Target.

But they need her in the big city for the plot to work, so okay. And it seems we are supposed to dislike her husband, except I don’t. I actually dislike her new man, so there’s that. I don’t like people who jabber psychobabble at you that ostensibly is supposed to make you feel good about yourself, but is ultimately designed to manipulate you into doing what they want all along. I have a big thing about that actually! 😡 Oo Paula’s issues! But it was still an interesting movie overall about family dynamics and such, and I’m glad I saw it.

I’m looking forward to Colette, A Star Is Born, The Old Man & The Gun, Serenity, The Nutcracker & The Four Realms, Bohemian Rhapsody, Robin Hood, Welcome To Marwen, Mary Queen Of Scots, and Mary Poppins.

Geez, that’s a lot of movies. Good thing I have my trusty pass! 🙄

Song Lyric Sunday: Glass

Thanks to Helen for once again giving us a great prompt! Lots of good song choices for “glass” ~ I ultimately went with “Sunrise, Sunset” sung by Herschel Bernardi. There are many versions, including clips from Fiddler on the Roof, but this studio version is articulated so clearly and I just love it. A friend sent it to me last night. The lyrics were originally written in 1964 by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick. Listening to it can be a very emotional experience, especially for a parent. (Warning.)

Sorry, I can’t find a full set of correct lyrics to C&P. The relevant lines are as follows:

“Now is the little boy a bridegroom,
Now is the little girl a bride;
Under the canopy I see them, side by side.
Place the gold ring upon her finger,
Drink the sweet wine and break the glass –
Soon the full circle will have come to pass.”

Please listen to the whole video. 🙂

Peanut Butter

I stole these 26 questions from Fandango, who snagged them from Barbara, at Teleportingweena. But I have an issue with 26 (yes, including our alphabet, annoying). Twenty-five is a great number, and oddly enough (hehe) so is 27. But 26? Meh! I guess I can think of it as 13×2 and be okay that way. That’s what I’ll do then: renumber the questions halfway through.

1. Share your profile picture.

– Which profile? Here’s one from last year, taken at the happiest place on earth.

2. Who are you named after?

– Paula Abdul.

3. Do you like your handwriting?

– Like Fandango, I used to have great handwriting, but now that I’ve gotten older, it sucks.

4. What’s your favorite lunchmeat?

– Peanut butter.

5. Longest relationship?

– I had a good relationship with my dad from the day I was born until he died in 2013 just before I turned 52.

6. Do you still have your tonsils?

– Nope.

7. Would you bungee jump?

– NFW!

8. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off?

– Sometimes.

9. Favorite ice-cream?

– Coconut chocolate chip.

10. What’s the first thing you notice about people?

– That they’re too close to me.

11. Football or baseball?

– Neither.

12. What color pants are you wearing?

– White lounge pants with grey and pink flowers.

13. Last thing you ate?

– Peanut butter on a banana.

1. If you were a crayon what color would you be?

– Ultraviolet, baby.

2. Favorite smell?

– Cinnanommmm.

3. Who was the last person you spoke to on the phone?

– One of the partners at work.

4. Hair color?

– Light brown plus some silver.

5. Eye color?

– Hazel (this feels like filling out a dating profile now).

6. Favorite food to eat?

– Seafood pasta.

7. Scary movies or happy endings?

– Romantic comedies with happy endings.

8. Last movie you watched?

– I rewatched American Gigolo a few days back because it came up on Prime. Saw it over 30 years ago and liked it a lot. Didn’t like it that much this time. I didn’t sense any chemistry between the leads; it was just trashy and sad.

9. Favorite holiday?

– Loved Fandango’s answer, but I’ll go with New Year’s Day.

10. Beer or wine?

– Neither. Alcohol triggers migraines.

11. Favorite day of the week?

– Sunday.

12. Three or (four) favorite bloggers you want to learn more about?

– Anyone who plays along.

13. Added info you didn’t know you wanted.

Buy my books!

Insomnia

When people come to you for help, what do they usually want help with?
-Some emotionally distressing thing that I will listen to nonjudgmentally

What takes up too much of your time?
-Insomnia

What do you wish you knew more about?
-How to fall asleep

What would be your first question after waking up from being cryogenically frozen for 100 years?
-Now that was a great night’s sleep! Where’s my phone?

What are some small things that make your day better?
-Catnaps and cats

Who’s your go to band or artist when you can’t decide on something to listen to?
-Oldies mix from the 60s or 70s

What’s the best way to start the day?
-Painfree

What shows are you into?
-Waiting for the end of GOT

What TV channel doesn’t exist but really should?
-Dunno, only have internet

Who has impressed you most with what they’ve accomplished?
-My daughters

What age do you wish you could permanently be?
-14

What TV show or movie do you refuse to watch?
-Historical borings, gory horror, animated, preachy, most other stuff…

What would be your ideal way to spend the weekend?
-Pampered at a luxury spa

What is something that is considered a luxury, but you don’t think you could live without?
-Cell phone/internet

What’s your claim to fame?
-I dumped Facebook

What’s something you like to do the old-fashioned way?
-Nothing

What’s your favorite genre of book or movie?
-Lately suspense (shocking!)

How often do you people watch?
-Not much, would rather read

What have you only recently formed an opinion about?
-Beets, favorable

What’s the best single day on the calendar?
-Every day is a good day to be single

What are you interested in that most people haven’t heard of?
-Synesthesia

How do you relax after a hard day of work?
-Stare at more screens like a boneless zombie

What was the best book or series that you’ve ever read?
The Unbearable Lightness of Being

What’s the farthest you’ve ever been from home?
-Maui

What is the most heartwarming thing you’ve ever seen?
-My girls being awesome to each other

What is the most annoying question that people ask you?
-“Have you tried [whatever thing] for your migraines?”

MP15: Searching

I saw Searching today at Metro Pointe, not an E-ticket theater. What an ordeal it is to see a movie now with Movie Pass ~ I do sympathize with peeps who have given up and canceled the service. Even at the E-ticket theater, it’s a daily crapshoot to check out what shows MP will allow, and that might change before evening. Best not to make plans with people! Luckily, I mostly don’t. Thing is, three movies per month for ten bucks is still a great deal and I hate to give that up.

***Spoilers for Searching***

This movie is a classic mystery. A man’s daughter goes missing and he feels the police aren’t doing enough, so he tracks some leads himself. He (and we) are led down various paths in such a way that we start going omg aha! Only to be proven wrong once again. Believe nothing.

And that’s today in a nutshell: we don’t know who to trust, what to believe. It’s so easy to create fake identities. To steal ID’s. It’s so easy to spy on people. Only the most technologically adept know how to take advanced precautions.

I feel unsettled from this movie. It reminds me of something I’ve believed for quite a while: that I disagree with the concept of online anonymity. Everyone should be required to be a “real person,” locatable by name and city, and an adult. I know many disagree, which is fine. Some will say this would put a damper on free speech, but so does the presence of vicious anonymous trolls. So, take your pick. I’d rather have an internet without the anonymous harassers and stalkers, scammers and ID stealers, if I got to choose.

But I don’t get to choose and things get worse all the time. I can’t imagine what I would do if I had little kids today ~ I would not want them anywhere near the internet. Of course, that is an unrealistic position.

I don’t know what to tell you about Searching. Did I like this movie? Honestly… not that much. It started out very slow, almost annoyingly so, and the part with the mom was unbearably predictable. I can appreciate why they set up all the tech the way they did, but repeated texting on the big screen just isn’t compelling. I loved the dad’s character, but he seemed too naive and unsophisticated for a Silicon Valley guy. I’ll just leave it at that, to not give too much away. 🙂

Triple Shots

Questions from The Haunted Wordsmith

1. Name three people who are better suited to be President than Trump.

-Any
-Freakin’
-Democrat

2. Name three places you want to visit before you die.

-Boston
-Nashville
-Santa Fe

3. Top three favorite Halloween stories.

-The Headless Horseman
-The Raven
-The Tell-Tale Heart

4. Three favorite movies.

-Dr. Zhivago
-Young Frankenstein
-Goodfellas

5. Top three TV shows.

-Game of Thrones
-Sopranos
-Breaking Bad

6. Name three foods you cannot live without.

-Eggs
-Clif bars
-Avocados

7. What three items would be essential if you were stranded on an island that already had sources of food and fresh water.

-Plane
-Pilot
-Gas

8. Name three animals you would like to be for a day.

-Owl
-Dolphin
-Tiger

9. Top three favorite actors/actresses.

-Robert DeNiro
-Meg Ryan
-Meryl Streep

10. What three fictional worlds/locations would you love to visit.

-Dragonstone (Game of Thrones)
-Wedding guest in Crazy Rich Asians
-The original Starship Enterprise

Sometimes You Feel Like A Nut [SYW]

Sometimes you don’t!

Share Your World questions from Cee:

Do you prefer eating foods with nuts or no nuts?

Complicated Q. I love peanut butter. In fact, I recently rediscovered my taste for crunchy PB, after declaring I hated it for decades, only because Target was all out of Jif smooth (I’m a choosy mommy). Yes, I know that peanuts aren’t technically nuts. 🙄🙄🙄 Sometimes I enjoy snacking on almonds, cashews, etc. I love marzipan and any pastries made with it. But the nuts stop there. I don’t want my c00kies, brownies, ice creams, etc. adulterated with nuts. So annoying! (Of course chocolate candy can have nuts; that’s entirely different.)

Do you sleep with your closet doors open or closed?

My preference is closed, to keep monsters and ghosties safely shut away, but my cat has other ideas and often opens them in the night to hang with the otherworldly beings.

Are you usually late, early, or right on time?

Almost always early unless I force myself to be on time or deliberately late. Is just my way of avoiding the stress of worrying about being late. I can always sit in my car and read something if I’m ridiculously early. Also, I tend to get lost, even with GPS, so I need to build that in.

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination.

So many things! I had a great week and hope I don’t jinx myself by saying so. Last Monday I was still spending time with my lovely daughter and we were having fun painting to vids from YouTube. Tuesday I saw Crazy Rich Asians and enjoyed it a bunch. Wednesday I had a delicious free lunch at work courtesy of the landlord. Saturday I had a blast playing board games with friends. Yesterday I just chilled with Mr. G watching Monk all day… home sweet home!

MP14: Crazy Rich Asians [FOWC]

Today’s prompt euphemism reminded me that I didn’t poast about the last movie I saw, yikes. So many prompts. So many topics to jabber on about. You know how it is. Anyway, I saw Crazy Rich Asians several days ago and loved it. Fab romcom, just fab.

I guess there might be some slight spoilers. Consider yourself warned.

A few points. Generally, to get the full flavor of a romance, we need to be present at the couple’s first meeting. This isn’t a diehard rule, like the happy ending, but it’s nice to have. I grok that opening with the poker game foreshadowed a later game, and metaphored (can verb if I wanna, pffft) a lot of gamesmanship throughout the film, but still. We could have had a flashback to Rachel and Nick’s cute-meet at some point.

One of the critiques of this movie mentioned that we didn’t get treated to the way “regular” people live in Singapore, only these crazy rich ones. Well, true, but it’s not about crazy average-income Asians. And I wasn’t expecting that. Wasn’t expecting a documentary on Singapore. Why hold the film to this standard? I think that’s really unfair. No one complained that Sleepless in Seattle neglected to show homeless peeps living on the streets. No one said Notting Hill should have shown the poor people in London. These are fairy tales, for cryin’ out loud!

So, I bet you’re wondering when I’ll get to euphemism. As they’re flying extra mega deluxe first class to Singapore, Rachel suspects that Nick’s family may be kinda… wealthy. He cops to “comfortable,” which she declares is exactly what a wealthy person would say. Is it? Since I’m not wealthy, nor do I pal around with the super rich, I wouldn’t know. But I do know it’s a euphemism for loaded!

If I were a rich girl (cue music), I think I’d keep things on the down low. No need for flashy cars or mansions that require lots of people around for upkeep. The more you own, the more you need. One of my blog buddies recently poasted about taking the bus, which I remember doing in Chicago, and that had certain stresses, but mostly people did not interact with each other; traveling by car and dealing with auto maintenance is probably on the whole more stressful. Of course, having a silent chauffeur and unlimited funds for limos could be the way to go. Hmm.

Anyway, like nearly every romcom, so much of the “plot” of CRA is built upon layers of communication failures. Nick didn’t tell Rachel the full story of his family’s empire before whisking her off to a gala event. Rachel’s mother never explained her own circumstances. Side characters are involved in other deceptions ~ to be explored in sequels, I presume. But this is what we expect from romantic comedies. And unless it’s done well, watching the protags resolve their miscommunications can be boring and irritating to sit through, but this one was excellent, IMO.

Anyway. It was fun diving headlong into a pure fantasy again. I really love this stuff, knowing I can depend on a happy ending, unlike real life. Such a great cast. I was thinking of seeing Alpha today, but then decided nah… just gonna keep watching Monk. I’m sure I’ll see something at the theater next weekend. My MoviePass is still working fine at the E-ticket place, and that’s good enough for me.

Monk(ey) Business [SOSC]

The otter week a couple friends and I began talking about how much we like the show Mrs. Maisel, and specifically we mentioned the father’s character, played by Tony Shalhoub. That reminded me I’d never seen Monk, which he stars in. I always meant to, and Prime has it, but you know… busy organizing socks. Anyway, I started it and am now almost done with S3. I plan to watch all of it (why not?), five seasons or so, except I will take a break soon for a Mission Impossible marathon, since I just bought the first five DVDs, and I’ve never seen any of those movies.

I love the character of Adrian Monk, and some of the supporting side chars are great too (the cops), but I don’t love the show. Does that make sense? Well, it doesn’t have to, pffft. This is stream of consciousness Saturday, and my stream has a lotta meanders in it. Not to mention rocks. And slimy toads on lilypads. Rebbit! God, my phone’s spellcheck is so annoying! What’s wrong with lilypad and rebbit? What was I even talking about anyway? Oh, Monk.

People think I’ll relate to him because of certain OCD tendencies I have, but really mine are nothing compared to real OCD. I do notice things being crooked, out of place, off-center, etc. and that bothers me somewhat, but whatever. In my own personal environment, I strive to keep things neat and clean, matched, aligned, organized, etc., but I’m not a maniac about it. My apartment right now has zillions of imperfect areas. And I don’t bother fixing them. Because eh. Endless. I never touch other people’s stuff, a la Monk, to align it. I’m also not a huge germaphobe like he is. I mean, I’m aware of ucky stuff everywhere, but yet I live a normal life and even have a pet. I touch public bathroom doors without using a paper towel. Yikes.

I could never be a cop ~ I don’t notice details about people, not relevant ones anyway. I might notice something like a woman’s part was really crooked, and the color of her hair, but I’ll fail to remember what she was wearing or anything she said. Or I might remember something really witty a man said but nothing about how he looked. It varies hugely. And I never notice people’s cars, unless they’re BMWs, at which point I will make all sorts of negative assumptions about their character even though I know some BMW drivers are good people. Well, I know of one.

One thing I enjoy about Monk, the show, is that it does progress, albeit glacially. After almost three seasons, Monk has cleaned out the office that belonged to his wife who died like 10 years ago. I’m happy to see that there is hope for him to be “normal” once again. He always had the eidetic memory apparently, but he seemed to be able to enjoy a loving relationship with his wife and a successful career as a detective. One thing I could relate to was his inability to retake the test to get his old job back a few shows ago. He kept erasing the first answer to fill in the box more perfectly and ran out of time. I can imagine doing something like this under extreme stress/anxiety. Which is a weird thing for me to say because test-taking is (was) my forte, but as I age I find it is not true so much and I get freaked out at the idea of tests or anything timed. Even timed games can upset me, especially if there are sounds.

My hypothesis is that when I was younger all these things like tests and dating and rollercoasters etc. which gave me an adrenaline rush were “fun” simply due to some physical chemical reaction, but that reaction occurs differently now because my aging brain processes the chemicals differently, and what was once perceived as yay-stress is now interpreted as boo-stress. (Sorry to get so technical with scientific jargon like yay and boo.)

One of the things I dislike about Monk, the show, is the samey sameness of the plots. They’re ridiculous. And as Monk’s new assistant points out: he’s like the Prince of Darkness. He witnesses a murder, so they have to be sequestered at a cabin in the woods until the trial, which led to some funnies with his OCD, but then naturally there’s yet another murder at the next cabin over. There’s always something like this every time. But since I like Monk, the character, I keep the show on at home in the background… whenever I pay attention again, I don’t feel I’ve missed much. So, in a way, the bug has turned into a feature.

I am starting to like background noise again. My own thoughts are too loud and that was the problem with writing in dead silence night after night weekend after weekend… Paula’s Yelly Brain. I’ll need a new show once Monk is done though. I’m starting to have slight anxiety about what to replace it with ~ it needs to be like Monk, engrossing but not too heavy. I have to be able to fall asleep in the middle of one ep and begin the next one later without a loss of anything important. It can’t be a show full of loads of character development or anything like that. A crime show would be good, I guess, where the crimes don’t really matter because you’re tuning in to see the same main characters behave the same ways every time. Or a comedy, if it’s not too stupid.

Ideas?