Archive for the ‘movies’ Category

A movie meme!

ones I’ve seen in bold; ones I want to see underlined. (of course, zuska-style, with commentary) Steal at will – I got it from E. McPan.  The “new classics” from the last 25 years. According to Entertainment Weekly, anyway.

1. Pulp Fiction (1994)
2. The Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001-03)
3. Titanic (1997)

4. Blue Velvet (1986)
5. Toy Story (1995)
6. Saving Private Ryan — 1998
7. Hannah and Her Sisters (1986)
8. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
9. Die Hard — 1988
10. Moulin Rouge (2001)
11. This Is Spinal Tap (1984)
(The ex made me watch it – worst 1+ hours of my life.)
12. The Matrix – 1999

13. GoodFellas (1990)

14. Crumb (1995)
15. Edward Scissorhands (1990)
16. Boogie Nights (1997)

17. Jerry Maguire (1996)
18. Do the Right Thing — 1989
19. Casino Royale (2006)
20. The Lion King (1994)
21. Schindler’s List (1993)

22. Rushmore — 1998
23. Memento (2001)

24. A Room With a View (1986)

25. Shrek (2001)
26. Hoop Dreams (1994)
27. Aliens (1986)
28. Wings of Desire — 1988
(Thrilled to see this favorite of mine made the list. One of the best movies this ex-Christian has ever seen)
29. The Bourne Supremacy (2004)
30. When Harry Met Sally… 1989

31. Brokeback Mountain (2005)
32. Fight Club — 1999
33. The Breakfast Club (1985)
34. Fargo (1996)
35. The Incredibles (2004)
36. Spider-Man 2 (2004)

37. Pretty Woman (1990)
38. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

39. The Sixth Sense — 1999
40. Speed (1994)
41. Dazed and Confused (1993)

42. Clueless (1995)
43. Gladiator (2000)
44. The Player (1992)

45. Rain Man — 1988
46. Children of Men (2006)
(Highly recommended)
47. Men in Black (1997)
48. Scarface (1983)

49. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)

50. The Piano (1993)
51. There Will Be Blood (2007)
52. The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad — 1988
53. The Truman Show — 1998 (Another favorite at the time.)

54. Fatal Attraction (1987)
55. Risky Business (1983)
56. The Lives of Others (2006) (Also highly recommended)
57. There’s Something About Mary — 1998 (hated it with a passion)
58. Ghostbusters (1984)
59. L.A. Confidential (1997)

60. Scream (1996)
61. Beverly Hills Cop (1984)
62. sex, lies and videotape  — 1989 (mmm, James Spader)

63. Big — 1988
64. No Country For Old Men (2007)

65. Dirty Dancing (1987)

66. Natural Born Killers (1994) (I loved this movie when it came out.  And Juliette Lewis.)
67. Donnie Brasco (1997)
68. Witness (1985)

69. All About My Mother — 1999
70. Broadcast News (1987)
71. Unforgiven (1992)
72. Thelma & Louise (1991)

73. Office Space — 1999
74. Drugstore Cowboy — 1989
75. Out of Africa (1985)
76. The Departed (2006)
77. Sid and Nancy (1986)
78. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
79. Waiting for Guffman (1996)
80. Michael Clayton (2007)
81. Moonstruck (1987)

82. Lost in Translation (2003)
83. Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn (1987)
84. Sideways (2004) (ignore the bold, I can’t make it turn off)
85. The 40 Year-Old Virgin (2005)
86. Y Tu Mamá También (2002)
87. Swingers (1996)
88. Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997)
89. Breaking the Waves (1996)
90. Napoleon Dynamite (2004)
91. Back to the Future (1985)

92. Menace II Society (1993)
93. Ed Wood (1994)
94. Full Metal Jacket (1987)

95. In the Mood for Love (2001)
96. Far From Heaven (2002)
97. Glory — 1989
98. The Talented Mr. Ripley — 1999
99. The Blair Witch Project — 1999
100. South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut  — 1999

Beloved studied film in undergrad.  As a result, since I’ve been with him, I’ve seen a shitload of movies.  I’m pretty happy to say that off this list, only a few of them were ones I saw because of – or even with – him.

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Of course, Beloved and I made up last night, said our sorries and talked about ways to make our arguments a bit less … argue-ey.  I suppose we should be grateful that we argue over dusting, and not over the biggies – like money or whether or not to have another kid or stuff like that.

The girls are home.  J is sleeping on me right now.  Which is probably the first time she has done this is 5 years or something.  She left with a new cold a week ago, and it’s still got her feeling like shit today.

Since we were given stories of midnight bed times, trips to water parks, and frozen pizza for both lunch and dinner days in a row – I shouldn’t be surprised that her cold has lingered.

Grrr.  argh.

I went to two open houses today.  Both condos close to home and in the girls’ school district.  One is likely out of my price range, and of course perfect.  The other is probably right in our range, and itty bitty.  For us.

The perfect one was really close to perfect.  It was around 1900 square feet (1200 more than we have now), and on top of three bedrooms, has a study and what I keep calling a “family room.”  Eat in kitchen and a dining room.  Two full baths.

The works.

It’s also 3 doors down from the high school.  Which, in just over 2 years, will be extremely convenient and hopefully will preclude E from ever being late to school.

Did I really just say “just over 2 years”?  Is that right?  Next winter, she’s in 7th, and the next, 8th.  Which is pre-high school.

So, yeah.  Just over 2 years.  Or rather “less than 3 years.”

Anyway, it’s a bit high for us.  I think if the seller is inflexible, then we’re just gonna have to walk away.  If we find that offers are accepted, we will be a little thinly stretched for the rest of this year, but will be fine next year.  An August or September closing date would make it all easier.

No work would be required upon walking in the door, but we eventually have some projects already in mind in order to increase the flow of the rooms.  We would have an office.  And a dining room.  And a laundry room.  And a gas stove.  And a screened porch – perfect for the kitty litter and a summer-time table big enough to hold a bottle of wine and two glasses.  And a park across the street where the kids could (and likely would anyway) congregate with their friends.  And E (and eventually J) would have no reason to be late coming home from the dances, and I could watch them for their entire walk home to be sure that they weren’t sneaking smooches or trips behind the gym for any inappropriate activity.

he he he.

That alone makes the stretching worth it – doesn’t it?

They likely won’t mind the spy opportunities, since it will be balanced out by the fact that they will have their own suite on their own floor with their 2 bedrooms, their own bathroom, and my laundry room – that’s it.

Which is really hysterical to me, because when I was 9, I moved to my parents’ downstairs, and soon after, my dad redid the whole downstairs, and it became a place for just me and my sister – our two bedrooms, a bathroom, and my mom’s laundry room.

It would be very funny if my girls got the same.  Only theirs wouldn’t be a basement, but a lovely second story in a beautiful building overlooking (out very pretty bay windows) the park.  And their bedrooms would be bigger.  A little ridiculously big.  I think bigger than mine and Beloved’s, but ours is fancier and is right next to our own study and library, respectively.  So there.

The other condo is less exciting and more settling, and I don’t think we need to think about it too much until we see what the spring brings to the market.

Both of them, though, are in ideal locations.  With friends and parks and walking distance to present and future schools.  Oh, and also my train.  And still Beloved’s work.  Probably closer for all of us.


Time to shake the dreams out of my head, and go watch the Oscars.  We saw less contenders this year than we have in the past, which is sad.  I tried so hard to see Juno with a friend, and if Beloved and I hadn’t caught J’s cold before she left for the Middle of the county, we likely would have seen There Will Be Blood.  But as it stands, we’re stuck having seen only Michael Clayton and No Country for Old Men.

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When E was in 2nd grade, I read her some books.  3 books.  Outloud.  Every night, after her sister went to bed, we curled up in my bed, and read a story.

I was a single mom at the time.  For some of the year, we lived just the 3 of us, and for some of the year, my sister and her son were in the house.  I think my sister listened in on some, when she was around.

First we read the Golden Compass.

Then the Subtle Knife.

Then the Amber Spyglass.

Yes, she was 7.  Or 8.  I’m not sure which.

And I read her stories about souls being wrenched out of humans, and of religion as evil, and of young, young love.  Stories of hell, of death, of courage and strength.  Stories that wrestled with the fabric of the universe, with the afterlife, with the “what ifs” of other worlds.

Beloved has chastised me for this ever since.

I may protest a bit too much when I say, “yeah, and it was FINE!  She loved the books!  I read them outloud – we talked all through – she asked questions, it was FINE!!!”

But now she’s 11, and the first book (or as E will complain loudly about – 3/4ths of the first book) is now a movie.

We went to see it today.

Just the 2 of us, because I don’t allow my children to see movies before they read a book.  At least a good book.  I refuse to have anything to do with their mental pictures being created by Hollywood instead of by their beautiful brains.  (Oh, and E re-read it on her own during 5th grade).

Sometimes their father flips me the bird and takes them anyway.

But that’s because he can be a fucker, when he wants to.


There was a scene that struck home my old love of the books:

The 12 year old girl was having an altercation with her benefactor; unaware that the icy, nasty, manipulative woman is her mother.  Until that point, their relationship was cordial, and the girl felt lucky to be taken in by a wealthy woman, after having lived in the care of a college – scholars and servants.

But there was a test of wills.

Between the woman and the child, there was a cold stare, a defiant glare, and at the most, the grabbing of the child’s arm.

Their little daemons, though – these animal-formed physical manifestations of the humans’ SOULS.  Souls!!  The woman’s daemon attackd the child’s, pinning it to the ground.  The kids’ daemon (in cat form) took a fully submissive pose, despite it’s hair on ends, and regretfully gave in to the attack.  A full-on attack.

And I thought – wow.  You see a mom bitch at her kid in public, in thier house.  You may see a kid slightly shrink back.  Perhaps a little bit of numbness in the eyes.  You may think, “wow, that tone seemed kind of harsh.”  But you don’t see the absolute wrestling match of the wills.

But it goes on all the time.

It would be really helpful, I think, if we had that window into each other.

I want a daemon.

But I also want everyone else to have one, too.


I do not recommend the movie.  Not until you read all THREE books.  They are incredible.   Then I will tell you that the movie was pretty well done.  The characters were nicely drawn, the plot quickened, but far from stripped.  It was stripped of some subtlety, but I think that was a pass to the Catholic Church.  Who obviously never read the damned books.


Afterward, E and I went and bought her a MacBook.  That was fun, too.

Finally, around 4:30 p.m., we were home again.  We had big plans to decorate the tree (J and Beloved put it up today), but instead, J had a weird, random crying fit that she had forgotten to type a report (due Weds.)  That took some time.  First to get the old Dell computer to respond to any key strokes or mouse clicks (seriously, it took an HOUR), then to get her to stop the crying, and then for her to do the actual work.

Hopefully we’ll decorate our solstice shrub tomorrow (our celebration of the season, and not of anyone’s birth-so-he-can-die-for-me).  I have been watching my co-workers one-by-one leave “new associate transition period” and enter “regular associate slammed-with-work period” and fear that my turn is around the bend.  Will I have to post-pone tree trimming?  Will I have to cancel my Christmas weekend with my parents next weekend?  Will I have to give up a vacation day the week after?  I sort of feel like all of those are possibilities, from what I’ve seen.

We shall see.

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Date Night

The sushi was, in fact, fantastic.  Very creative and yummy.  Especially their “creative roll” which they termed the volcano.  It had scallops in it, and some sort of sauce dumped on top, and it was amazing.

We ate at 9 p.m., after seeing two movies.  Not one.  Two.

We saw:

1)  Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead; and

2)  Michael Clayton.

Turns out we both liked Michael Clayton better. Interesting that while reading the Times reviews, I see that the reviewer of Michael Clayton speaks of how the director (Tony Gilroy) must have seen several movies directed by Sidney Lumet before digging in to Clayton, Gilroy’s directorial debut.  Lumet directed Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead.

I didn’t feel a similarity between the films.

Other than enough for us to say, “I wonder if our second movie should have been something lighter?” Because we had no lightness.  We had no humor.

But they were great movies (even the one that wasn’t our favorite), and we had lots to talk about with both later.

I highly recommend both films.  I think I recommend Michael Clayton more.

I do think, however, that you should see Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead, because Marisa Tomei was topless a lot, and her boobs are really freaking amazing for someone her age.  Perhaps this is nothing other than a sad commentary on my own boobs.  But when I brought it up later, Beloved said there’s no way she’s HIS age (45, for about another minute), she must be my age (34, for about another minute) or younger (based on the boobs).  I said no … she could not be MY age, because I was approximately 17 when My Cousin Vinnie came out, and she was NOT 17 when she did that movie.  (We were assuming that it had come out in the late 80s – we were wrong.  It was 1992.  So I was 20.)

Turns out, she’s 8 years older than me, 3 younger than him.  To the day.  She shares my birthday.  His is the next day.

She looks amazing, in my opinion.

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The last person on earth

to watch Legally Blonde.

My main comment:


That is all.

No, I found no redeeming value.

I *do* understand that this makes me humorless.


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So far, so good

We’re less than 2 hours into the party.  The girls have already had their sundaes, opened the gifts, and played American Idol (Do kids all over the country do this?  Or is it unique to my town?  Or even my HOUSE? The new party game – to hell with the donkey and his damned tail – we’re gonna SING!)

They’re watching the original (1963) Pink Panther.

I’m hoping that they’ll eat dinner before this one is over, and then comes Back to the Future.  Beloved is questioning whether they’ll make it to a third movie, but I’m thinking they will.

One of the girls brought Grease and Grease 2 as their Yankee Swap contribution.  Of course, all the girls wanted to see it.  NOW!!  They said, “oh! We can watch this tonight!” and I sort of just walked away.

Because E and I made the list of movies to choose from together,  taking such factors into account as all the kids’ temperaments, their tolerance for “scary” or “intense” situations, and their parents’ ideas of “age appropriate.”  I then casually sent the list to the parents in a confirmation/reminder e-mail – not explicitly collecting approval, but at least allowing the opportunity for vetoes. None of our chosen movies include themes such as teen sex [let alone date rape].  So I was nervous.

The girls came inside, and one of her friends (who I think is likely the most sensitive, as the oldest of 3 – her youngest sibling being a toddler – has the most discriminating parents) approached me to let me know that her mother would be fine with them watching Grease.  That they’ve seen it before, and it was fine.  That her mother certainly approved, and would. not. be. mad.

I said, “no.”  She said, “E, you were right, your mother is untalkable!”

He he.  I’m “untalkable.”

I then gave a little speech about how I’d already talked to their moms about what movies we were going to watch tonight, and that the list would NOT be changing, and if they all wanted to get together at a future time to watch Grease, that would be fine with me.

So, far:  Disaster averted.

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Darkness and Light

Last night, Beloved and I watched Marie Antionette. We had been looking forward to seeing it, since we just spent some time at Versailles last month. He knew that the film was shot on location (perhaps the first time it’s been allowed), and we wanted to see the place we’d been on screen. There were things we recognized: Like this fountain, only in the movie, it didn’t have that outhouse or garden shed behind it, and it actually had water coming out of it:


And this hallway, which appropriately showed up in a rather dark moment of the film:


These trees, which Beloved spent some time photographing, waiting for the lawnmowers and fellow tourists to disappear behind them at the same time:


Otherwise, I suppose the film was just okay. I was sad to think I would have to watch Kirsten Dunst’s pretty neck get sliced through, but Sophia spared us that unpleasantry. I was also left wondering whether the children were also killed.

When the movie ended, we headed towards bed. It was midnight, and we were tired. As I was setting my alarm and Beloved brushing his teeth, the light went out. “Hey!” I yelped at him. Why did he turn off the light? I was in the middle of something!

No, wait – the light is on my side of the bed. HE didn’t do it. Power’s out.

Then a bright surge, cut out immediately. Crap.

We lose power occasionally. No big deal. It’s annoying because the building’s back up system and alarm is right outside our apartment door, and when the power is out it BEEPS every 3 seconds. Also because if the power is out for too long, it tends to mess with our wireless router, and reconfiguring that thing is a pain in the ass. My ass. Every time. I’m he router re-configurer in the house.

But then we heard sirens and saw lots of lights go by – both red and blue.  I thought perhaps something big happened.  When we looked out the window, everything was dark.  In the past, when we lost power, the area that lost with us was pretty small.  Who knows how the grids are laid out here, but hte large apartment building kitty-corner from us is always on, even when we’re out.  This time, it was dark.

Beloved and I got a flashlight and went outside.  We could see the major intersections in both directions – only because of their glow – and that they were lit.  But nothing immediately around us was.

The light was so surreal outside.  There was a hazy glow in the sky all around us, and it almost looked like the light of the dawn.  It was 12:30, though.  It was just the glow of the city around us.  But without the street lights and lights from the buildings nearby, it had a surreal feel to it.

Beloved heard the power come back on at 2:30 a.m.  We searched the news this a.m. for a story of power lost in our neighborhood, but it was apparently something so minor that it didn’t warrant a mention.

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Memory Lane

I may have mentioned before that I have a lousy memory, specifically relating to my childhood. I don’t remember shit. It drives Beloved crazy. He remembers insane details while I just shrug and say, “I don’t know.”

Tonight, while watching the original Superman with the girls (their first exposure to the concept of Superman, done right) I remembered what was likely my first television/movie crush:


I loved this man. I remember watching the movies over and over, and I remember looking up what other movies he was in, and watching all those. Even the really crappy ones. (No, seriously, I think he was his own grandpa in that one). I adored him.

Remembering this made me sad. Because he’s dead! If I remembered my insane crush back when he was thrown from the horse and was paralyzed, I think I would have been sad. But I didn’t remember. I just thought, “oh yeah, Superman. Huh. That’s too bad.” But tonight, I was sad. How could Superman, and that man who was his own grandpa, be dead, and after such a tragic accident?

I know I didn’t see these movies (I remember loving Superman I and II, and not so much III) in the theater. I must have seen them on VHS or maybe even t.v.

I was 6 or 7 when the first one came out in the theater, and I’m pretty sure that when I saw it, I was E’s age.

So I was trying to get her to admit tonight that Superman is a HOTTY.

She said no.

J said he has greasy hair, and that it’s gross.

E agreed.

Beloved belabored the point (jealous, much?).

I still love Superman.


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