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01 April 2008 @ 11:14 am
No jokes here, nosiree  
Thank goodness I'm a grownup now, where the only April Fool's jokes are attempts by my kids, namely my daughter. Lauren tried to tape a "Kick me! Not!" sign on my back during an unscheduled hug, thinking I wouldn't notice (Ha! Still taller! I could see her holding it behind her back). I suspect the "Poke me! Not!" didn't last long on my husband's jacket. Though the "Pet Me 'Cuz I'm Cute!" sign on the cat is probably still there. :0

Lauren's basketball team won their championship game. The first quarter was 0-0, with the other team being warned twice for illegal (3-on-1) defense and then given a technical foul. They finally got the message, and our star players were able to score.

Went to Coldstone afterwards, where I tried their ice-cream for the first time. Huh. I like the mix-ins, but the ice-cream is kind of weird. Too sticky, and much too sweet. Yick.

Finished watching Big Eden, which I highly recommend to just about everyone. There was a lot to love about that movie . I mentioned before that this is about a gay artist named Henry Hart, who comes back to his little Montana home-town to care for his grandfather after the man has a stroke. Once you get over the 'fable' aspect of their being no homophobia in this town (it is truly an "Eden"), you settle into the movie's charm. What if everyone could be encouraged to be themselves and to find love, whether they are gay, confused, or almost pathologically shy? Here, even the gang of cowboy coots that hangs out at the local General Store gets in on the matchmaking.

The movie starts with a terrible performance from the woman playing Henry's New York agent (whose acting is SO BIG it threatens to break down the walls of every room she's in). But hers is the only bad performance here— there are so many wonderful character roles, all of them done very well. Louise Fletcher plays an old family friend, and she's so warm in this role that you forget every villain this actress has done. George Coe is the grandfather, Sam, and the relationship between him and Henry is wonderful— joking, warm and loving. Henry calls him "Sampaw," which is really sweet.

The character that really got to me in this movie was the Native American man who owns the General Store, Pike Dexter (Eric Schweig). The role was written and acted with real understanding of what it means to be painfully shy, and to subvert your own interests because of an inability to make your feelings known or to take any obvious initiative. I loved that character (my husband did too), and felt for him throughout.

Most people, gay or straight, really like this movie. For those who didn't, the problem seems to rest with one of several things: A) They don't get that it's a fable, and so they're hung up on the non-homophobic setting not being 'realistic', B) They don't understand Pike, and find him frustrating, or C) They feel that because Henry isn't good-looking (he's not), that he at least needs to be incredibly charming so you could understand why everyone in the movie thinks he's so wonderful. That last part has some legitimacy— I expected more from Arye Gross in this part. Still, I loved the movie.

Rated PG-13 ONLY because it's a gay love story, because honestly— there's no sex or even the faintest allusion to sex. There's kissing, and that's it. In straight stories, that's called "PG."

We also saw Stop-Loss, which has a dumb name (marketing-wise), but which was much better than I expected (and the name is the fundamental aspect of the story, once you find out what it means).

First of all, I can't get over how much Ryan Phillippe resembles Jensen Ackles (except less pretty), and given that the main character is from Texas I also couldn't stop thinking that this would have been a perfect role for Jensen. It's drama and it's a character role, and those are his specialties. That is not to say that Phillippe wasn't really good in this role— he absolutely was.

This is an anti-Iraqi-war movie, which begins in wartime, and then follows a group of soldiers home on leave to their Texas hometown. Even on their first night home, we see some of the effects brought on them by the war. It worsens over the next few days, and then we get to the movie's main point, which is that Sargeant Brandon King (Phillippe) is finished with duty... and has been re-upped by the government against his will. This is the first I'd heard of this— the process of forcing soldiers to return to duty after their tour has completed— but it apparently has affected some 81,000 soldiers thus far. It amounts to an illegal draft.

King, whose emotional state is too damaged to return to the war and he knows it, is now stuck in the position of fighting against the very government and country he had willingly chosen to serve. The impossible position this puts a patriotic man like him in makes for a terrific story.

The second-largest role in this movie is that of Michelle (Abbie Cornish), King's best-friend's fiancee. That character could have gone so many wrong ways throughout this story, but never did. I really liked her— she was stronger than she gave herself credit for, both a good woman and a good friend and as uncliched as they come.

It was an odd surprise seeing Ciaran Hinds play King's father here. He was great in this role, and sounded the part (despite being from Ireland!). Hinds is getting a lot of work this year. Chatum Tanning was okay— don't know why people find him good-looking, but he worked his part well. And looked huge doing it.

Recommend it-- about 3 1/2 stars out of five. Directed and co-written by Kimberley Pierce (of "Boys Don't Cry") fame.


 
 
 
she said mysteriously: Darcyresounding_echo on April 1st, 2008 06:24 pm (UTC)
I'm a great target for practical jokers because I loathe practical jokes. I have absolutely no tolerance for them. I'm that person that gets mad, which just makes the jokers laugh harder. Circle of life.

That being said, that pet me sign is pretty cute.

I didn't read your thoughts (spoiler-phobe) but I really want to see Stop-Loss. I agree that it is a terrible name from a marketing point of view, but it is a technical term the army uses, yes?

And thank you! I thought I was the only person who doesn't like Cold Stone. To me, unless you just want candy and such, even their mix-ins aren't very good. Their fruit is frozen--heck, I can do that. And their ice cream itself is just gross. I think their default flavor isn't a vanilla or anything mild, but rather like a butter cream or something. Syrupy and too sweet. Yuck.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on April 1st, 2008 06:41 pm (UTC)
I was always the really gullible kid who would believe practically anything (because lying is foreign to me), and so I hated April Fools' Day for that reason alone.

Fortunately, the cat is totally unaware of anything except that something weird is on her. She purrs anyway. :0

I agree that it is a terrible name from a marketing point of view, but it is a technical term the army uses, yes?
It is, but if you're not familiar with the term then the title of the movie makes no sense (and does not "grab you" the way that something like, "A Man Of Honor" might).

You can read the notes-- not especially spoilery. You'll find less spoiling there than a general movie synopsis, I think. Though I understand being spoilerphobic!

To me, unless you just want candy and such, even their mix-ins aren't very good.
Also aren't enough! They need at least double the portion of mix-ins for all dish sizes, at least for me.

And the consistency is _weird_ on top of being too sweet. It's like frozen taffy or something, with twice the sugar. Bleh.

But then again, I really like Dreyer's Light Ice Cream, because who needs the extra fat? Plus, melty ice cream is how I like it!
shaitanah: paul/chanishaitanah on April 1st, 2008 06:34 pm (UTC)
Ha-ha-ha, I probably have no sense of humour but I hate April's Fool's Day)) Lucky for me, I haven't been the victim of any practical jokes since school)))))
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on April 1st, 2008 06:44 pm (UTC)
Lucky for me, I haven't been the victim of any practical jokes since school
Me either, though we used to have a co-worker that would fake up these fantastic emails from various other co-workers. One was "from" a manager deciding on a whim to move to one of the offices in France (and it sounded just like her!). The other, which was my favorite, involved a cost-cutting initiative where the entire software team would move to the section manager's partially-finished basement. Lots of details on rewiring for extra power consumption and the like. Dang, but I miss those!
iamstealthyoneiamstealthyone on April 1st, 2008 08:01 pm (UTC)
Went to Coldstone afterwards, where I tried their ice-cream for the first time. Huh. I like the mix-ins, but the ice-cream is kind of weird. Too sticky, and much too sweet. Yick.

*snickers*

My hubby used to work at Cold Stone's corporate HQ in the marketing department. We had a fair amount of free ice cream we could get each year, but we didn't even come close to eating all of what we'd been alloted, in part because I'm not a huge ice cream fan and in part because their ice cream is so fattening and expensive that we didn't want our kids getting hooked on it.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on April 2nd, 2008 06:57 am (UTC)
I love ice cream... far too much. We never have it in the house, because it does not last. Gah.

and in part because their ice cream is so fattening and expensive that we didn't want our kids getting hooked on it.
Expensive is right-- 3.69 for one scoop with stuff mixed in? And the basic flavors are so bland that you'll want the mix-ins.

I'm glad I don't like it much. It's always a relief to find sweets that I don't like, since they're virtually non-existent. Except cheesecake-- hate it in all forms! Whoo!
iamstealthyoneiamstealthyone on April 2nd, 2008 01:30 pm (UTC)
I love ice cream... far too much. We never have it in the house, because it does not last.

That's how we are with cookies.

It's always a relief to find sweets that I don't like, since they're virtually non-existent.

*nods* Yeah, I can pretty much always skip ice cream. But get me around a warm chocolate dessert (fresh-baked cookies, brownies, etc.) and I'm ravenous.
mooyoo: Torchwood - Ianto hand on headmooyoo on April 2nd, 2008 05:19 am (UTC)
I kind of really want to see Stop-Loss (and I'm glad to hear that it's good), but also kind of really don't. I love that it was made, in any case, because it's kind of mind boggling to me that most people don't know of this or know that it happens (shows just how little attention the media really pays to those actually in the military) - pretty much when you join the Army, once you sign your name they own you forever. My brother's in the Army and was honorably discharged several years ago. But last year when Bush announced that we were sending 20,000 more troops to Iraq they had to scramble to find enough soldiers, and they made my brother come back (he was supposed to go to Iraq but they decided at the last minute to send him to Guantanamo Bay instead, so at least he's not in the middle of the war). It doesn't matter if you've fulfilled your commitment, doesn't matter how long you've been out, they'll still call you back and force you back into service if they need to. There were other men called back at the same time as my brother who were in their fifties and hadn't served since Vietnam.

It's insane, but it's the closest they can get to a draft, because no one seems to notice or speak out against it - I often wonder if most people don't pay much attention because there is no draft, and they assume that if you sign up for the armed services that you're not being forced into war, you're choosing to go, which is really not the case.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on April 3rd, 2008 02:07 am (UTC)
it's kind of mind boggling to me that most people don't know of this or know that it happens (shows just how little attention the media really pays to those actually in the military) - pretty much when you join the Army, once you sign your name they own you forever.
This really frustrates me, because it's the media's job to inform people of this violation of rights rather than be a lapdog to the current administration!

and they assume that if you sign up for the armed services that you're not being forced into war, you're choosing to go, which is really not the case.
I think most people are simply unaware. I think it's correct to assume that if you sign up for the armed forces you've agreed to take the chance of being assigned to fight a war. BUT there is only so long a person can remain in combat-- beyond all the danger, it's just incredibly stressful and human beings can only take so much (they're not machines).

Not to mention that surviving a war with the current levels of weaponry has a lot to do with luck, no matter how smart or skilled you are. Keep a soldier in combat too long, and their number is almost guaranteed to come up eventually. That isn't fair either.

I can see why this might be too personal a topic to want to see a movie about. It was good, though.
Princess Robot Bubblegum!astrothsknot on April 2nd, 2008 11:19 pm (UTC)
Stewart was warned no jokes if he wanted to go bowling after the eye clinic thae day before. It took him until 1 pm to realise the date.

What's re-upping? Signing a soldier back into the army when his contract is over?
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on April 3rd, 2008 02:09 am (UTC)
What's re-upping? Signing a soldier back into the army when his contract is over?

When a soldier re-ups, he/she chooses to extend their tour of duty.

But when the government does it FOR you once your combat service obligation has ended and you would choose to be done, it's this "stop-loss" condition. Which essentially IS an illegal draft. :(