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16 June 2009 @ 12:27 pm
 
We've seen quite a few movies and such lately, one in person and others via Netflix.

Up was delightful, both poignant and funny. I loved the montage near the beginning of how Mr. Fredricksen met his wife, and the evolution of their story. And I got quite a kick out of the old-man humor overall. Christopher loved it, Lauren thought it could be funnier, but she's going through that pre-teen phase, so who knows if that's a real input or just attitudinal. ;)

Tropic Thunder was every bit as funny and politically-incorrect as advertised. I really loved Robert Downey Jr. in it, who somehow managed to bring off a really questionable character (I can't imagine anyone else ever making that work). Jack Black was as obnoxious as ever, but it fit his character. The fake trailers at the beginning of the movie were gold ("Satan's Alley" is available via YouTube, though most of you have probably already seen it).

Smart People was pretty good. So many of the characters are unlikable (by intent) that you wind up getting a kick out of the feckless adopted brother who comes to slack his way around the dysfunctional families house. Ellen Paige is marvelous as the daughter with the runaway Electra Complex. Dennis Quaid lives up to the abrasiveness and assholery of his character. Jessica Parker... I just don't really care for her, and for a smart woman her character made some awfully stupid choices.

The Shield, S6 finally arrived, and that series never lets up. We'd have watched S6 ages ago except that we thought we were waiting for S7 (!). Still an intense, conflicted, and fascinating show. Plus, my love for C.C.H. Pounder never ends.

Weeds, S1: we watched the first episode on instant-download last night, which saved us big on the turnaround time. Everybody I know loves this series, but it's just not for me. I can't deal with the moral issues in it, particularly the parenting choices and the utter destruction of childhood innocence. The writing is snappy and the cast is great, but it's a poor match for me and HSH in terms of subject matter.

I mentioned a little while ago that I'm reading Birdwing to Christopher at bedtime. This book has a great premise, but I find myself wishing somebody else had written it! It's a post-"The Twelve Swans" story (the Hans Christian Anderson tale), which goes into the life of the brother whose nettle-shirt was not quite finished in time and who wound up with a swan's wing on one side of his body instead of an arm. It's a fantastic idea for a story, but the main character is more petulant than the young Luke Skywalker. I also find myself editorializing as I read: because of the wing, the character can communicate with animals and understands their speech, but the author cheats for an extended period when the character is dragging his poor horse through snow and ice and cold and yet he remains conveniently deaf to the horse's misery. This is followed by a scene where the character plans to feed himself on fish and the occasional seal, and What? You'd kill a seal, knowing what it feels like to be the seal?

Saturday night, we got to a section where the character encounters a walrus. In the middle of this, Christopher went off onto an unexpected tangent:

"You know, it should really be walri instead of 'walruses.' We have cacti and fungi and radii. So the plural should be walri."


And because we also have loci and foci, and a ton of other examples, who can disagree with him? I've been cracking up myself and HSH ever since then, just randomly saying "walri." :0

 
 
 
sassy, classy, and a bit smart-assy: Iknowrightbadboy_fangirl on June 16th, 2009 08:24 pm (UTC)
I appreciate your thoughts on Weeds. I love Mary Louise Parker (ever since she was on The West Wing) but I cannot watch that show just for the reasons you give here.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on June 16th, 2009 08:26 pm (UTC)
Exactly. I WISH I could like it (so many people do, in RL and online), but I can't get past those issues. They all hit too close to home for me, as a parent, though they would have bothered me just as much before.

Jeffrey Dean Morgan eventually shows up in that series, and I love him, but still... I just can't do it.
sassy, classy, and a bit smart-assy: Hawtbadboy_fangirl on June 16th, 2009 09:46 pm (UTC)
I think they're together in real life, too, so it's a shame. I'd probably ship them liek whoa! I do so enjoy JDM. Did you see that Hilary Swank movie he was in--I can't think of what it's called, but he played an Irish guy. So sexy with an accent.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Johnhalfshellvenus on June 17th, 2009 03:16 am (UTC)
I'd totally forgotten he was in a movie with Hilary Swank! I'll probably have to add it to my DVD list, because finding him in a role where I'm allowed to LIKE him is really rare. I hope he's working the beard in that movie-- he is SO much hotter with that beard. Totally brings out those smoky eyes. :0
sassy, classy, and a bit smart-assy: Hawtbadboy_fangirl on June 17th, 2009 08:33 pm (UTC)
Just fair warning, he's not in the movie a lot. There's a lot more Gerry Butler (who is quite delightful too) and way too much Harry Connick Jr, not looking so hot, I might add. But when JDM shows up, he's scene stealing, for sure. I don't remember if he had a beard or not...I'm leaning towards not.

I'm not a huge Hilary Swank fan, and I actually think she's badly miscast in that film, so I'd be intrigued to hear your impressions.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on June 17th, 2009 09:04 pm (UTC)
Actually, I found it via imdb.com, and it's "P.S. I Love You."

I'd already passed on that because it just looked too goopy and melodramatic, too much of a chick-flick.

I thought about it for JDM, but I just can't do it! I still don't want to watch the movie, even for him!
sassy, classy, and a bit smart-assy: Favoritismbadboy_fangirl on June 17th, 2009 09:29 pm (UTC)
You know, the storyline itself was interesting to me, and not your typical chick flick, but it would have been so much better with a different lead actress, I think. The opening scene is a fight between Hilary and Gerry (wife and husband) and I found it pretty realistic, as far as how women and men argue. But it went downhill from there because there were some contrivances for sure, and there is this one scene where they meet on the road in Ireland that is just so hokey...oh, gah, even thinking of it now, I'm embarrassed for them.

Have you seen The Reader? That's the film Kate Winslet won her Oscar for. Very thought provoking film. I really loved it, though it's emotionally draining. No JDM, but Ralph Fiennes, who is always amazing, and Kate, whom I love, and this lovely young German boy who is remarkable in his first film.
Entendre? Make mine a double.: SN Jensen dorkdeirdre_c on June 16th, 2009 08:29 pm (UTC)
Oh man, I cried like a baby during Up. Particularly because Husband kept reaching over and squeezing my hand during schmoopy Carl/Ellie scenes. :P
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on June 16th, 2009 08:48 pm (UTC)
Hee! I cried too-- several times. That part was SO moving, and you just don't expect to find yourself responding that way to an animated cartoony-looking movie, but it's a testament to the story-telling.

Glad I'm not the only one. ;)
blackcat333_99: Estatic Lightshowblackcat333_99 on June 17th, 2009 12:26 am (UTC)
I loved UP so much that I was naughty and gave my (nonspoilery) review/reaction uncut. Because I wanted everyone on my F-list to get the idea that if they're looking for a movie to see -- this should be on their watch list.

The Carl/Ellie stuff -- That's the one thing I appreciate about Pixar movies -- they may be animated, but they are for adults just as much (if not more so) than kids for most of their flicks.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on June 17th, 2009 03:12 am (UTC)
I originally had all the movie stuff outside a cut (no spoilers), but once I saw how long the listing was I revised it.

Wonderful movie, and the Carl/Ellie parts were very much geared toward adults just for their depth alone. Beautifully executed!
she said mysteriously: Repo! on my tvresounding_echo on June 17th, 2009 01:23 am (UTC)
I saw Up last week when I was in Disneyland (Disneyland!!!) and I bawled like a crazy person during the montage--the entire thing, even the happy bits because I knew where it was going. Like a crazy person. And Doug, who doesn't love Doug. It's funny because the squirrel is dead.

Tropic Thunder kills me. Did you happen to watch the commentary before you sent it back to netflix? Because the commentary is done in character. So freakin' funny. And yea, I loved the whole movie but those fake trailers were genius. And how much would you watch Satan's Alley? Yes.

Still glad I didn't read Birdwing. Nothing worse than a good idea and poor execution.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on June 17th, 2009 03:15 am (UTC)
I'm glad so many other people loved that montage, and were moved to tears by it. I was the only teary one in my family, but it really spoke to me. Also the moment at the end, with the pin-- that got me all over again.

Darn it, we didn't watch the commentary! We never do, and I had no idea there was valuable humor there. I should have suspected, given the trailers! Might have to re-rent.

I totally would watch Satan's Alley, even though I find Tobey Macquire utterly unattractive, and RDJ as a blond is kind of freaky. But not enough to keep me from the slash. ;)

As for Birdwing, more and more I'm thinking you definitely saved yourself some money and time on that one. Boo. Though I highly recommend "The True Meaning Of Smekday" as an excellent combination of irony and satire. Talk about books that work toward adult AND child audiences!
she said mysteriously: literary satisfactionresounding_echo on June 17th, 2009 05:11 pm (UTC)
Cried like a crazy person. I adored the whole film, but that was by far my favorite part. Even given their personal tragedies and the inevitable end, isn't it a life we all hope for?

Tobey Macquire...I don't find him unattractive, but he's not one I'd want to look at normally. And ditto about RDJ creepy blue contacts and blond hair. But yes, not even to stifle the slash fangirl in me.

I'll have to look up The True Meaning of Smekday! This is the second time someone's mentioned it to me.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on June 17th, 2009 05:45 pm (UTC)
:D It was probably me who mentioned The True Meaning Of Smekday before, unless it was a RL person.

I LOVE that book. I've posted about it several times (speaking of crazy people). As soon as I'd finished it the first time, I went back to re-read it, which I haven't done with any book since I was a child.

There is so much weirdness and snark to love in that book-- well worth trying to get at your local library (or via amazon.com, even. There was a firesale on some of the hardback versions for awhile at $6.99).

Christopher loved it as much as I did, which surprised me because I couldn't imagine that it would be as funny to a child as it was to an adult. But apparently, it IS. :D
Sarsargraf on June 17th, 2009 04:59 am (UTC)
Hi! :))

I have nothing of importance to say, only that I am finally logging into my lj again. I saw your name on my flist and had to stop by to see how you're doing. Hope you're doing well! ((hugs))
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on June 17th, 2009 05:20 am (UTC)
Hi, Sarah! Nice to see you around again! I've missed you. :)

We're in the middle of a medical mystery with HSH that's not going so well, but everything else is good. How about you?
Sarsargraf on June 17th, 2009 05:53 am (UTC)
Oh, I'm sorry about that. I hope things turn out well. (hugs)

Things have been okay in my life. Less active, more contemplative than in months prior, so that's a good change for now.
be: hotbeascarpetta on February 22nd, 2010 06:35 pm (UTC)
That kid is brilliant.Are you sure he hasn't been doing Latin behind your back?
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: heh-hehhalfshellvenus on February 22nd, 2010 07:25 pm (UTC)
Hee! He's certainly learning some Latin by osmosis.

And I see, via Google, that there are people who want to change the plural to "walri" for exactly his reasoning. Which makes sense, although that word just cracks me up. ;)