Re-engaging

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In an effort to incorporate more writing into my life, I am going to attempt to breathe more life into this blog.  Last year I lost a dear relative and could barely bring myself to do the things I needed to do from day-to-day.  However, time has done its healing thing and though I still miss her dearly, she would want me to do what I love to do.  Therefore, the show will go on.  For the beginnings I will shoot to write a blog post a week.  We shall see how it goes.  I would update with what I have been watching, but it is nothing more exciting than Friends reruns (I love you Netflix!) and Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.

However, there was a little dustiness upon watching the final episode of Daily Show with Jon Stewart.  I will admit that I was not an avid watcher, but he will definitely be missed.

There may also have been some serious binge-watching of Gilmore Girls since it is streaming on the aforementioned Netflix (what did I do before, you?!).  Season 4 has proven to be a little harder for me to get through, but I’m sure it will pick back up.  I’m crossing my fingers.

August Stand-Outs

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This is the first time trying out this format.  Let me know what you all think, if you like it or you want me to go back to the weekly format.  Basically I’m going to talk about the movies / TV I have been digging this month and why.  There was also one show that I was disappointed by.  So here goes!

I re-watched “Jurassic Park” this month after discussing with my father the changes to CG and sound effects.  As a movie made in 1993, I kind of just assumed that the movie, in this day and age, would have lost some of what made it great back then.  What I found was the magic that was “Jurassic Park” back then remains intact, for me anyhow.  The dinosaurs did not look cartoonish or poorly captured on-screen.  With the exception of the usual dated fashions, cars, whatnot, I still found myself taken with the movie in general.  A happy surprise as I adored this movie as a 12-year-old.  It would be interesting to see what kids today watching this for the first time would think.  Also the T-Rex roaring scared the bejesus out of my puppy.  Seriously, she was cowering under the covers.

Also enjoyed this month was the previously raved about “Tucker & Dale Versus Evil”.  I’m not going to continue to gush over it as I did that in my previous post, but it is by far the funnest thing I watched all month.  Go check it out. For more thoughts, go here.

I also have to give props to USA as I continue to love “Covert Affairs” and “Royal Pains” while my fall shows are on hiatus.  Thank you so much USA for that!! (Although I am currently frustrated over a recent unnecessary twist in “Covert Affairs”. Grrr.)  I am also quite enjoying “Franklin & Bash” as usual.  Oh, that Breckin Meyer, I just want to stick him in my pocket.

As far as the things I was not such a fan of, I have to say, sadly, Alton Brown’s new competition show “Cutthroat Kitchen” is a miss for me.  I just really don’t like it.  The competitors are mean.  Not to mention, they are cutting each other up pretty good and only walk away with maybe 11 grand.  Is that really worth it?  It could be just the way producers are throwing it, but I’m out unless there are some serious changes.  Sorry, Alton but I do still love you on Iron Chef America and Good Eats, old friend.

Tucker & Dale vs Evil: Winner = Me

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On a recent day off in which I showed some self-control and didn’t pack the day with errands, I curled up on the couch with the intention of putting a tiny, microscopic dent in my enormous instant Netflix queue. I think one of the problems I’ve been having recently is the overflow of awesome or potentially awesome TV/movies at my fingertips all the time. Consider me completely overwhelmed. At first, I tried to watch “John Dies at the End”. Blech. I got through maybe the first 10 minutes and just was not into it. Next to it in my queue was “Tucker & Dale vs Evil”. This was added to my queue first because it was brought up on the podcast that I listen to (The Film Vault). But more importantly it stars the delightful Alan Tudyk (Wash from Serenity/Firefly fame) and the adorably hilarious Tyler Labine who you may know from Reaper or Mad Love.

I don’t really want to say too much because, honestly, it seems like it would be best to go in cold. But without giving away too much two guys go “on vacation” to fix up their new cabin and things run amok when they cross paths with a rather obnoxious group of rambunctious college kids. It is 90-ish minutes of hilarious-ness. More than I have laughed in a movie in a while. It is a clever, fun, fresh look at that creepy cabin/car full of teens horror movie. It is a little over-the-top at times, but in the best possible way. Some of the plot turns are pretty predictable but that isn’t really the point here anyhow.

Give it a watch. Much fun to be had!

Changes…again

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Okay, so apparently it was too much pressure to post weekly.  I’m going to be completely honest here and say there are a great number of weeks where I don’t watch anything new and as was the case a lot in June and July maybe not anything at all.  When I don’t feel well I go back to my “comfort programs” which are not necessarily awesome to anyone else and surely not worth mentioning more than once to one who isn’t me.  So I’ve decided to post when a movie is really enjoyed or really loathed by me.

Additionally I will post once a month (around the 1st) with my favorite and least favorite movies/TV of the month previous month.  For instance, September 1st I will be posting my favorite and unfavorite movies from August.

So that is my plan. We shall see how it goes! Wish me luck and stay tuned.

on the nostalgia train

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Well the last few weeks I have continued my course on the nostalgia/cheese train.  There are only four stops in two weeks. I am really slacking.  I better get my butt in gear! 

Without further ado, my first confession is a familiar one.  I saw this movie twice in the theater and run out to buy the bluray the day it came out, because I’m that kind of whack-job.  Actually, I rarely if ever do that but I loved this movie so much I just couldn’t help myself.  I have oozed and gushed about Warm Bodies on two other occasions. All I can say is I adore it and how it makes me feel after I watch it.  It really leaves me feeling good and full of hope.  Give it a try! If interested in the previous posts you can find them here and here.

Next we have a movie I think I boycotted when it first came out due to my LOVE for Johnny 5. That’s right, I finally gave in and watched WallE. I must say, it was pretty cute. I can’t say it really stuck with me as it seems to with some, but it was enjoyable and I would watch it again. The almost complete lack of human dialog was interesting, if not a little refreshing.

Some Kind of Wonderful is another of those 80s movies that I love to watch when I’m really craving some nostalgia. It is, in my opinion, an underrated Hughes classic (maybe due to the absence of brat-packers…) starring Eric Stoltz, Mary Stuart Masterson, Lea Thompson and Craig Schaefer in all his smarmy-douchebaggery he was famous for playing back in the day. The story isn’t super original but definitely has that 80s high school coming of age feel Hughes did so well. Love it every time I watch it.

It had been probably, at least, a decade and a half since I have seen Raising Arizona and I must say it is just as hilarious, if not more, than I remember. Some classic Nick Cage, in the best way possible. Ah, the kidnapping hijinks. The only two things I remembered were the guy on the bike and the baby being left in a very dangerous place. I’m not sure how many people haven’t seen this, but if you haven’t, give it a try. You are in for a real treat!

TV-wise, I suckered myself back in to Gossip Girl…sigh. Those stupid dumb cliff-hangers, get me every time. It’s trashy and completely unrealistic but what can I sometimes I really, really like watching the high drama of it all. (Please, no judging..we all have our things…)

Movies I’m totally excited to see coming out soon: Despicable Me 2, Pacific Rim, and Star Trek Into Darkness. I will wait for Man of Steel on video I think.

Well until next week…

cheese please?

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It’s been another slow couple of weeks for the watching of the movies.  I have no excuse.  Sigh.  In double-checking it appears I have watched five movies since last check-in. Some of them will probably and not without merit get a few raised brows. I just have been not in the movie mindset for some reason as of late. In any event, here we go.

First up, a movie I believe I “watched” in the wee hours of the morning / late at night when I was probably doing other things as well, Raising Helen starring Kate Hudson as a career driven / party lady who inherits her sister’s children. It’s a cheese-fest, probably throw away movie but it hit the spot for what I wanted to watch at that moment. You don’t need to run out and find it. Doubt I will watch it again any time soon.

Now You See Me, on the other hand, I would definitely recommend. It is basically a heist movie but it’s done so well and sort of fresh with the magic aspect. It was refreshing and entertaining and in this time of no movie less than two and a half hours (it feels like), this one flew right back and was over before I knew it but in a good way. Yes there are a few plot holes and improbable things going on but to be honest, the majority of the time I like my movies a little fantastical (okay, maybe a lot but don’t judge me…).

The Fab Five I almost didn’t add but in the honestly of this blog I felt bad leaving it off. It’s a documentary about five guys who played basketball for Michigan in the 90s. I remembered, vaguely, watching them at the time and my father being very angered by their behavior and I’m not sure that this doc showed them in an even slightly better light. I had a good time watching it for nostalgia sake but it didn’t make me like them any more or less than I actually did. If you are a basketball fan, I would say oh why not watch it. Otherwise you can probably pass. If you are inclined, it is streaming on the old Netflix.

Next up is a movie that has been on the DVR so long I forgot why I had wanted to see it. Yes, it is a Lifetime movie (please don’t judge me). Call Me Crazy is one of those five different stories but they are all related deals, which I am still not sure how I feel about them. This one is especially maddening because the different stories are written and directed by different people so, to me, it feels a little disjointed and contrived (picture that, on Lifetime). Basically it looks very candidly and honestly on mental illness and to that end I liked it. Parts of it were very soapboxy and I did not really find plausible as during the day I do work in the medical community. But I do applaud it for trying to take some of the stigma away from mental illness.

Lastly we have Drop Dead Fred, which may or may not have been brought up here before. It is one of my comfort movies that I rewatch a lot when I’m feeling down. It stars Phoebe Cates as a woman having some marital problems whose invisible friend makes a reappearance in order to straighten up her life. It is dated and adorable and touching and makes me wish I had had an invisible friend. It is streaming on Netflix, give it a watch for some 80s adorableness.

Wow, there seemed to be a common thread I didn’t realize until I wrote them all down.

Until next time…

scandal-ous

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I’ve been a bad, bad girl.  Did not watch one. single. movie this week.  *GASP* But wait, I promise there is a reason. First, a confession, I have a bit of an addictive personality.  There, I said it.  Now that that’s off my chest. 

There are some TV shows for me that are the slow-burning kind.  I have to get pretty deep into the season for it to really stick.  This doesn’t happen to me often because usually I just give up and move on if I don’t like it immediately.  This almost happened with Mad Men.  I am still a bit confused at the mania surrounding that show (I’m most of the way through the first season).  It’s good, but I don’t really go crazy for it. 

Scandal, however, I had the exact opposite reaction to.  I loved it from the very first episode.  Every waking hour I wanted to watch this show.  A little description:  Scandal is a show written/created by the delightful Shonda Rimes of Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice (both of which I am a fan of) fame.  To not give too much away, the main character is Olivia Pope (played by Kerry Washington whom I know from Save the Last Dance), who previously worked as the White House’s Communications Director, but now works as a professional “fixer” of DC’s scandals. 

She has her own little team of “gladiators” who help her do all of this.  All of them have their own backstories and dirt, so to speak.  The newest, Quinn, who annoyed me through most of the show, spends most of her time at first babysitting and running errands but her dynamic within the group changes around mid-season 2.  Harrison, who is the lawyeriest of all of them.  He is smooth and slick and tenacious.  Abby, oh what is there to say about Abby, she is just plain sassy but her character doesn’t have a whole lot of depth.  Huck is probably my favorite of the group.  He is tortured and complex and awkward and smart and awesome. 

In other important characters, we have David Rosen, the white-hat assistant US attorney.  Poor David.  The show really, really tortures him.  There is also Cyrus, the President’s chief-of-staff, who does anything and everything it takes to keep the President “clean.”  Speaking of the President, Tony Goldwyn does a killer job playing the character of Fitz Grant, President of the United States.  He is a republican president, tortured, idealistic, and at times spoiled and tempermental.  He does an awesome job making us love and/or hate him, almost in equal measure.  His wife, Mellie (played by Bellamy Young), oh there are hardly words.  She is manipulative, old-money, pretentious, but at times you find yourself angry for feeling so sorry for the situation in which she finds herself, either by her own doing or completely out of her own control. 

The show has taken me for a ride that has been, at times, exhausting, exhilirating, heartbreaking, and inspiring.  It is about love, loss, the fight, right and wrong, and truth and lies.  You should all stop reading this now and go check it out!  Season 1 is streaming on Netflix and season 2 is on Hulu (plus, that is). 

Until next time…

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