Around this time of year, people are constantly asking “What are you doing for Valentine’s day?” Hubby and I have been together for ten years, so people assume I’ll answer “We’re riding winged hippos to our private concert with The Cure in Valhalla, then we roll in fairy dust and eat rainbow babies. They taste like marshmallows!” or something like that.
I know single people hate Valentine’s because couples are gross, and on and on. But couples hate it too. Do you have any idea how much pressure there is to come up with a magical romance scenario? Also, I’m not really supposed to plan anything, it’s all on Hubby’s shoulders. On top of all of that, some people made their plans LAST year, so all the winged hippos are already reserved! I would rather stay home, get drunk together, and play couch coop killing zombies on Xbox.
So let’s REBEL.
No more expensive meals crammed into busy restaurants with every other couple in your neighborhood. No more over-priced flowers and chocolates (I mean, you can make chocolate covered strawberries if you want, but those are just good for any occasion).
Die Hard is the perfect movie to watch on Valentine’s. Yes, it’s a Christmas movie, but it has action, adventure, romance, and most importantly, ALAN RICKMAN. Oh what a hot demon of a man. He’s so good at being evil!! It’s romantic without being in your face mushy, and let’s just be honest, it’s possible one of the greatest movies of all time.
If you haven’t seen it yet, don’t bother to tell me. Use this as your excuse to finally see it. I’m starting a new tag called “Movies you should have seen by now” and this is a great movie to start with. You really should see the whole series.
Have a great Thursday, no matter what you end up doing or with who.
I don’t know about you, but I was a teeny bit disappointed there was no apocalypse. I had already mapped out which houses on the block to raid, our weapons were ready, food and water stocked, and plenty of crafts to keep me occupied. Then…nothing. Not even a small town taken over by zombies! No aliens or meteors coming from space, no leather-clad gangs roaming on motorcycles, no worldwide plague, no solar flares or mega-storms, volcanoes or mutants.
To console ourselves, Hubby and I watched a string of post-apocalyptic movies, so we could at least survive the wasteland vicariously. We stumbled upon an absolute GEM of a movie, called “The Bed Sitting Room” (in Britain that would be like a studio apartment, I believe).
The movie is from 1969, and it was completely amazing, and not in a terrible B-movie way. The settings are truly post-apocalyptic, and the story is weird and funny. It’s not a serious, Mad Max style apocalypse; more like Monty Python, but still incredibly well done. You will even recognize Veruca Salt’s father amongst the cast. It’s on instant on Netflix, so you really have no excuse not to watch it.
I am a huge fan of Netflix. I know they’ve had issues recently with changing the name, price hikes, etc, but so far I still love them. There are a ridiculous amount of movies I want to watch that they have, and it makes checking the mail fun again. Unfortunately, those red envelopes are always getting buried under junk mail on the coffee table, so I wanted them to have their own special place where they won’t get lost.
The materials I used are a light bulb box, because it was made of really sturdy cardboard, left over paint, and a post card. I found the original idea that inspired this on pinterest using a cereal box.
First, trim the top of your box to look like this:
I used a nail to punch two holes at the top to hang it from.
I painted it blue, and let it dry overnight. I wanted to use this postcard to decorate the box, but I don’t necessarily want it on there permanently. I have these tiny plastic picture mounters that I used.
You can barely see it, but they are little plastic triangles that fit over the corner of your photo or postcard, and are sticky on the back. I put one each on the upper right and lower left corners, lined up the post card, and stuck it to the box. I then added the mounters to the other two corners.
I tacked it to the wall near the TV so my movies are always visible, and conveniently located for enjoyment.
My new Netflix box is hanging next to this set of framed movie monster postcards, and they look great together.
I’m aware there has been a big stink up going on regarding Netflix recently announced price increases. I know for a lot of people it will mean a huge (percentage-wise) increase over what they are currently paying (somewhere around an additional $6 per month). I don’t think Netflix is being very bright about this whole thing, but it is still WAY BETTER and cheaper than cable. And it’s the only thing in my mail box other than junk mail, and I get excited when I see one of those little red envelopes. So that’s my take on the whole thing.
The envelope that showed up yesterday contained “Whip It”, a movie that was filmed and set here in Austin. That in and of itself makes me want to watch it. It stars and was directed by Drew Barrymore, and it also stars Ellen Page, Juliette Lewis, and Jimmy Fallon among many others. Ellen Page’s character, Bliss, lives in a small town near Austin, and secretly attends her first Texas Roller Derby match. When it’s over, she is convinced to try out, and of course makes it onto the team, the Hurl Scouts.
Roller Derby is a big deal here in Austin, and I have been to a few matches myself. I freaking love it, and apparently so does Drew Barrymore, which is another reason I was excited about this movie. Overall, it was a good movie. It had funny parts, although it could have been funnier, and there were a few parts that seemed like “Well, this is how a movie plot should go, right?”
One easy improvement to the whole plot would have been to leave out the Bliss’s boyfriend plot line. It went nowhere, and was generally a distraction from the good parts of the story. All the cheesy, chagrin-inducing moments occurred in that part of the movie. It was a constant montage of “look how cute and goofy we are together! We sit near Austin landmarks!”
Other than that, it was a good movie. On the Clever Chick scale it gets a “I won’t be buying it, but it was worth watching”. Drew Barrymore’s character is hilarious and I wish she’d been in it more. And yes, there are lots of Austin landmarks for you to point out and shriek to your friends and/or spouse about. I totally did that.
– That Clever Chick
I love Netflix, not just because it gives me an endless supply of movies and TV shows, but because it suggests things I might like. One of those suggestions was Hogfather.
This movie is set in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld. He has written a whole series of books set there, and this movie was made from one of them. This movie is set on the night of Hogswatch, which is similar to our Christmas Eve. Someone is trying to destroy Hogswatch, and Death’s granddaughter has to try and save it.
I think the best way to describe the series, is a fantasy series, with lots of humor thrown in. Kind of like the land of Narnia, but with clever, funny bits woven throughout. If you’re a fan of Terry Pratchett, or Douglas Adams you’ll enjoy this.
If you’ve already seen this one, or you trust my advice so much that you’ll watch anything I tell you, another Discworld movie is available. Horray! It’s called The Color of Magic, and it stars Sean Astin and Tim Curry.
Sean Astin plays Discworld’s first tourist, and he teams up with the most terrible wizard on the Disc and has hilarious and ridiculous adventures. They even explore beyond the Disc! Tim Curry is actually good in this, rather than horribly distracting as he can be sometimes.
There are some animated movies of Discworld available on Netflix as well. I didn’t find those to be as entertaining, but Hubby enjoyed them. I plan on finding some of the Discworld books so I can immerse myself in all the humor and detail. I’ll let you know how they are. On the Clever Chick Scale, these both get a “I will recommend these to friends, and eagerly await new ones”.
Even though the Rapture obviously did not occur this weekend, (was there ever any doubt?) I thought I’d do a rapture post. It’s a movie AND book review, in one! Ooh-la-la!
First things first: how to out-live zombies. Max Brooks is (un)dead serious about his subject matter, and 100% practical. This book is written as a completely serious guide to survive zombie hordes. He even has historical accounts of when zombies rose in the past, what causes them, and how to survive beyond the complete extinction of humanity. It was very practical and useful. I am presently building a 10-foot-high cinderblock wall around my home, as per his instructions (not literally). On the Clever Chick Scale this earns a “I will keep it on my shelf, possibly loan it out, but probably not re-read it”.
The Last Man on Earth, starring Vincent Price, is based on the novel “I am Legend”. After having seen this one, and the Will Smith version, I really want to read that book. For an older movie (it’s from 1964), the plot moves at a decent pace, and the acting is good. There’s a twist at the end that I thought was genius, and of course it’s Vincent Price, so creepy-awesomeness just exudes from it. On the Clever Chick Scale this gets a “I probably won’t rewatch it, but I would recommend it to friends”. Plus, it’s on instant on Netflix, which is always a bonus.
Well, I hope everyone had fun at the “apocalypse”, and didn’t do any long-term credit damage, or anything. Save that for December 2012.
Hubby and I followed one of those internet rabbit holes that pop up sometimes, and discovered this movie. I was watching an Arcade Fire music video, My Body is a Cage, on you tube, and another video of theirs, Intervention, popped up, and Hubby clicked on it.
This video is the song set to the 1925 silent movie “Battleship Potemkin”. You may be familiar with the famous “Odessa Staircase” scene, where the Russian soldiers are marching down seemingly-endless stairs massacring civilians. A mother is shot on the stairs, and as she falls down, dead, she accidentally pushes her baby in its carraige down the steps. We then decided to read about the movie on wikipedia, which had a section called “In Popular Culture”. That section lists other movies and things that have referenced it.
That’s how we stumbled upon the movie “The Trotsky”. It’s about a high school senior who believes he’s the reincarnation of Leon Trotsky. After holding a hunger strike and trying to unionize his father’s factory, he is forced to attend public school. He then decides the students deserve to have a union so that the school system has to actually educate them, rather than functioning like a prison system.
Hubby and I both really liked it. It was very funny and clever. The way the main character, Leon, rebels against the school system and administration is very smart, and I wish I’d had as much motivation when I was in high school. Rather than just whining about how stupid the dress code is when some people can’t even read at a functional level, he addresses the contradictions inherent in the school system. Students are expected to be as responsible as adults, and yet also to do as they’re told, like children.
If I had watched this in high school, I would seriously have tried to stage a walk-out at some point (possibly). We really enjoyed this movie, and some of the one-liners are classics. If you know anything about the history of the Communist movement, it has a whole other level of humor as well. On the Clever Chick scale, this gets a “I will quote it, probably watch it again, and recommend it to friends, but it’s for a niche audience”.
Last year for New Year’s, Hubby and I had the idea to watch all of the AFI top 100 movies this year. Somehow, we’ve only watched a few, though they have been pretty good, for the most part. Yesterday we finally watched Auntie Mame, which has been in our Netflix queue this whole time.
Some older movies can be kind of stiff, or even unintelligible just due to the passage of time. This movie was actually really funny and entertaining the whole way through. It’s longer than most current movies, but there weren’t any boring parts. Some of the effects were a bit campy, but that’s to be expected. Hubby and I both laughed frequently, and completely enjoyed it. Like Bridge on the River Kwai I was pleasantly surprised. Maybe these old movies aren’t as stuffy and boring as I always thought? We’ll see. I still don’t like Citizen Kane.
This movie, Once Upon a Time in the West, is an iconic spaghetti western, with a compelling story. It stars Charles Bronson and Henry Fonda, and was directed by Sergio Leone. Much like other classics, like The Magnificent Seven, this is a tale of justice, and the whole story is completely entrancing. The musical score is haunting, and very distinctive, and I absolutely love it. It adds so much more dimension to the film.
I know what you’re probably thinking. I don’t seem like the type to enjoy westerns. I do love a good spaghetti western though. This one has that perfect blend of style, story, and characters. There are no weak parts. The entire execution is fantastic, and this is spaghetti western at its best.
With spaghetti westerns and B-movies, you kind of have to filter out the good ones. Fortunately, you guys have me to do all the leg work. See how much I love you little minions? I’m willing to sit on my couch, crafting and watching movie after movie, just so you know what to watch. I accept appreciation in the form of gifts and cash.
Spaghetti westerns and B-movies are low budget, mass produced movies, which is why they can be so hit-or-miss. There are definitely some jewels out there (like obviously The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly series), and this is one of them. Once you have seen it (because this link contains **SPOILERS**), check out this music video someone made from the movie and Arcade Fire’s “My Body is a Cage”. It’s phenomenal (my link tool isn’t working right now, so here’s the address: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pyp34v6Lmcc )
Look, one blog post leading to at least TWO HOURS of entertainment. You’re welcome, minions!
In honor of today being the fifth of November, I’m going to write a movie review of one of my favorite movies, “V for Vendetta”. For those of you who don’t know, V is based on a comic book set in the dystopian future of Great Britain. The movie is apparently somewhat tamer than the comic, but of course the comic doesn’t have Natalie Portman, so we’ll call it a draw.
If you have not seen this movie yet, go find someone who is a casual acquaintance, who probably doesn’t like you very much and has limited understanding of social mores, and get them to slap you. A friend would be too gentle for this situation.
Natalie Portman gives a damn fine performance, crying her giant doe eyes out, and/or looking bad ass the whole time. This movie has the perfect mixture of dark foreboding, some form of twisted romance, and vengeance. The director has gone to fantastic lengths to maintain the mystery of the characters, which goes against the trend in Hollywood. And by “trend” I mean “Mafia-like persuasion from studio executives who know nothing about making good movies”.
Hugo Weaving completely kills this role, but you never even think about the fact that he’s under that mask. Everyone in the movie fulfills their roles in ways most movies only shadow. There is not a single weak spot in the cast, sets, costumes, effects, design, lighting, directing, or any other part of the film making process. Even the marketing department was on board, and didn’t give away the entire plot in the trailers, like most tend to do. I constantly re-love this movie anytime I see it. Today is the fifth of November, the day the movie is centered around, so GO WATCH IT RIGHT NOW!!
In honor of Halloween, I decided to post my top 5 favorite zombie movies. I would love to post my costume, and stuff like that, but I don’t want to reveal it before the big moment. Zombie movies are some of my favorites, and if you haven’t seen any of the ones I’m about list, never admit it to anyone. You should be pretty embarrassed.
Zombieland – This movie is hysterical, and I don’t think it got nearly enough notice when it came out. Bill Murray cameos, and it is one of the funniest scenes of any movie in the past couple of years.
Planet Terror – This movie came out as a double feature with Death Proof, by Austin’s precious Quentin Tarantino. Planet Terror is ridiculous, over-the-top, and epic.
Dawn of the Dead – George A. Romero is the god father of zombie movies. I prefer the 2004 version that he wrote, rather than directed. This one is serious, how-the-hell-will-we-survive-this zombie mayhem. Corn syrup explosions abound!
28 Days Later – I love this one because the characters are really practical, and to encourages people to plan ahead for a zombie apocalypse. I think that’s an important lesson to learn.
Shaun of the Dead – This is not only, my very favorite zombie movie, this is one of my favorite movies ever. It is hilarious, clever, and makes me laugh every time I see it.
If watching all those movies made you paranoid, you can always check out the zombie survival guide. It will definitely cheer you up, if nothing else.