Monday, January 17, 2011

second movie review

I thought I would go ahead and do this now, instead of later, because I don't think this second movie review will be as long. Anyway, everyone who knows me knows I love Cher. I love her music, most of all, but I also like her as an actress. I've watched a few of her movies recently, but I really wanted to watch one called "Mask" because it was referenced in a season 5 episode of X-Files that I really love, called "The Post-Modern Prometheus." And since I've seen that episode a bajillion times, I figured it was time to watch "Mask." I had to put it on my DVD queue on Netflix, because they didn't have it on instant streaming. The movie arrived in my mailbox on Saturday, and I watched it last night before bed. So here goes my review.

IMDB Link:

This movie was really heart-warming. It's based on a true story, about a boy named Roy "Rocky" Dennis, who has craniodiaphyseal dysplasia. I didn't even realize it was a true story until after I watched it and read up about it on Wikipedia and IMDB. I really liked it, but I have a tendency to have a soft spot for underdogs, and that's exactly what Rocky was.

One thing I found amusing was that the actor (Eric Stoltz) who played the main character is an actor I don't really like. But in the movie, you couldn't tell it was even him, because the character he plays has craniodiaphyseal dysplasia. So he was unrecognizable. That's awful, maybe, but it was easier to care for the character when I couldn't tell it was Eric Stoltz. I can't even remember why I hate him... I think it was because he was on "Mad About You," and he was very irritating. So irritating, in fact, that I can't stand seeing him anywhere else. Haha.

Anyway. The movie was very sweet. It was really easy to care about the boy and his family. He grew up with his single mother, Cher, and their "biker gang" family. And of course, I have a bit of a soft spot for motorcyclists. Even though I wouldn't consider my parents to be a part of a biker gang, or anything close to it, I have a fondness for people on motorcycles. Because I know a lot of awesome people who ride.

Cher, who played Rocky's mother, did a really good job, I thought. She was a drug addict in the movie, and a little bit slutty, but she was an awesome mom, for the most part. You could tell she really loved her son. And the relationship they had was very sweet, and real, I think. When a mother has a child who is disfigured like that... they are automatically going to stand up for their child and try to protect them. She was like a fierce mama lion in the movie. And he was just adorable. Plus, Cher looked super pretty. You know, real. Not like a plastic Barbie doll, which is how she looks now -- which don't get me wrong, I still think she's hot for a 64-year-old. Also, she sang a little bit in the movie, which always makes me happy. :) And I totally bought all of the acting... she plays a really good drug addict. Wait... that sounds wrong... Haha. Oh well. You get it, right? Right!

Sam Elliot played Cher's boyfriend. And he was super hot! I saw him in a recent Christmas movie and now he's just old, right? But back in the 80's, he was a hottie. And that voice is yum-yum.

Plus, the biker gang was really cute. They were an interesting group and all adorable for a variety of reasons.

Oh, and young Laura Dern was in it! She was 18 when it came out... It was weird to see her so young. I can't say that I really, truly like her... She seems a little weird... But I LOVE Jurassic Park, so I have a soft spot for her because of that.

Anyway. I don't think there's much else to say... Cute, heart-warming movie, with a sad ending. I would give it an A-.

i get a little bit stronger...

I've started playing around with this idea in my head of making this blog dedicated to movie reviews, at least in part. A few weeks before Christmas, I bought a subscription to Netflix and well... I love it. I'm obsessed. I watch at least five movies a week. I watched a lot of movies before, but now it's even worse! A lot of the movies I watch are slightly obscure, considering new releases don't come out forever on Netflix and some of them I've already seen in theaters. Although, a lot of newer releases I haven't been watching, because now that I have Netflix, I don't go to Blockbuster (or haven't yet, since getting Netflix) and haven't really downloaded any movies like I used to. So I've watched a lot of older movies, from the 80's and 90's. I generally tend to pick an actor/actress to focus on and watch a few of their movies before moving on. Already I've gone through short phases for Cher, Whoopi Goldberg, and Sally Field. And of course I watch a lot of scary movies.

I think if I do this, I won't review every single movie I see, or else I'd be updating this blog almost daily. Especially because I watch a lot of low-budget, awful "horror" flicks, and nobody cares about the reviews for those. I'll probably just review the movies I like or feel like reviewing.

As such, review is a term I use very loosely. I'm not Roger Ebert. And I don't have any background in film or anything like that... I just know what I like and what touches me, makes me laugh, freaks me out, etc. So I will mostly just be talking about that... not so much analyzing the film or different aspects of it. Plus, I am not sure how many "spoilers" I want to post... maybe for newer releases, I'll go light on that, in case anyone who reads this wants to see them.

ANYWAY... So to get started, I thought I would review two movies I watched this weekend. The first is a movie I went and saw in theater with my mom on Saturday...

Country Strong
IMDB Link:

This movie was not the greatest movie of all time, but I liked it for a few reasons.

1) The music was amazing. It's all country, of course, and that's something I've been drifting back to lately. Not in its entirety, but I've been listening to more of it, more often, and not just bypassing it because it's "new" country -- which I haven't had as much of a taste for as I used to. There are SEVERAL songs that I love, but I'd have to say my favorite is "Give in to Me" which is sung by the actors, Garrett Hedlund and Leighton Meester. I also really loved:
I pretty much liked all the Gwyneth Paltrow songs, which is half weird for me, and half not. It's weird, because she's an actress, not a singer. And I've never really been a huge fan of her as an actress, so it's weird. But, it's not weird, because she sang in the movie, "Duets," with Huey Lewis and I really liked it. Plus, Maria Bello sang in that movie, too, and I have all of those songs on my iPod. So GP singing is not new to me. (Sorry for the initials, her name is really annoying to try to spell/type. Haha.)

So anyway, the movie soundtrack came in basically 2 discs. The "official soundtrack" and then, "other songs from the movie." Haha. So I bought the official soundtrack and realized that a lot of the songs weren't sung by the actors, which is who I wanted to hear. So I picked out some of the songs from the second album to buy on iTunes, so I could get the versions I wanted.

Basically, the music rocks. In my opinion.

Another reason I liked the movie: 2) The acting. Okay, so GP has never been my favorite. I usually find her kind of flat and annoying. But in this movie, she hit the dramatic acting spot on. The only part that was hard for me to swallow was when she was on stage singing. I think she's a decent singer; I like her voice. But she didn't look completely comfortable on the stage. That's okay, I guess, because she's NOT a singer... but she is an actress and I'm supposed to buy what she's selling. So, it goes both ways. (Also, she looked a little bit like a retarded giraffe trying to dance around on stage, but I digress. She can't act her way to good dancing.) But the drama stuff she excelled at.

Tim McGraw played her husband/manager in the movie and this is his like... third film. Maybe more, but I just remember "Flicka," "The Blind Side," and this. And I am too lazy/don't care enough to look it up on IMDB to see if he's been in anything else. And he's not bad, for someone who has primarily been a musician throughout his career. Before he started doing movies, I never would have thought of him as an actor. But he's not doing so bad for himself. His character wasn't very likable, in my opinion, but that doesn't make him a bad actor. The character was written kind of flat, anyway. I can't fault him for that.

The other main actor was Garrett Hedlund. I've never heard of him, so I didn't have any preconceptions or anything like that. He's kinda cute, in a "he hasn't showered in several days" greasy kind of way. A little scruffy. When I see pictures of him outside the movie, you know, as himself, he looks a lot different. And doesn't really look country at all, but he worked it for the movie. I read on IMDB that he likes punk music... but he sings country really well. So yeah, it worked for him.

And the other girl... Leighton Meester. All I knew about her was that she is on "Gossip Girl," which I don't watch. Her character was slightly annoying in the movie. But I didn't have any complaints about her acting. Also, throughout the movie, I had this thought a lot: She's cute, but goofy looking at the same time. Haha. Anyway, she is also a good singer. I like her sound.

As far as what I didn't like about the movie... the plot was kind of... I don't even know the words for it. There was too much going on and I felt a lot of it was never resolved. Plus, some of it wasn't believable. Like, I didn't buy certain things... But something I did find interesting was that the writer & director, Shana Feste, said that "American pop singer Britney Spears inspired Gwyneth Paltrow's character in the film." I found that out after I saw the film and it amused me.

ANYWAY... I am seriously rambling. This is a bad first movie review. I'm all over the place... kind of like the movie.

I do want to mention one more thing, though. My favorite scene in the movie was the scene in which GP's character went to a school to visit a little boy with leukemia for the Make-a-Wish foundation. It was really cute and she made up a song on the spot for him. You could tell that GP is a mom, because she had a really good chemistry with the child. It was adorable and touching.

Overall, despite all the plot holes, for lack of a better word, I might buy the DVD, just because I liked the music so much. And I could see myself watching it again.

If I had to give this movie a grade, I would probably give it a B- ... maybe a B, depending on what mood I'm in. :)

Now, I was going to review another movie I watched, but I think it needs to go in it's own post. And I am not sure if I am going to do that right now, or just go to bed. Decisions, decisions...

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

a few different things...

i had this thought last night that i wanted to blog about for some reason.

anyway, i have a cold... my second cold in two weeks. i had one for a few days, was mostly over it, then got slammed with another one that has different symptoms. so last night i was taking my favorite cough syrup... the only one that seems to work for me, which is robitussin night time cough, cold, and flu. (by the way, i just discovered this medicine on amazon... wtf? you can buy medicine from amazon? weird!) i take it before bed and it doesn't make me drowsy, so much, but i just fall asleep faster... if that makes any sense. and i don't cough as much. but anyway... i took that and i started thinking about how when i was a kid, i used to HATE taking cough syrup. i would whine and moan every time i had to take it. i didn't fight it, necessarily, because i knew it would make me feel better, but i hated the taste of it. and now i chug that stuff every night when i have a cold to help myself sleep. maybe i am more used to it because i got used to the taste of alcohol with practice... and so now cough syrup ain't no thang... but anyway. it's funny the things you fight tooth & nail as kids and then come to accept as common practice as adults.

another example would be naps! NAPS! glorious naps! i took them in college like it was my second major... and now i still take them at least once or twice a week. yet every day i sit at school for 2 hours, watching my preschoolers NOT taking naps... and i'm like, "hey dudes! i would trade you places so fast you wouldn't know what hit you... if it wouldn't get me fired." because those tiny little blue cots look like heaven just after lunch time when you're sitting in the dim room with a quiet movie playing running on 6-7 hours of sleep.

the things we fight as children... that we love as adults. haha. got any other examples? that's all i could think of... other than maybe eating a wider variety of foods... but i STILL hate cooked broccoli... from childhood through adulthood. lol.


moving on... i wanted to talk a little about music. recently i have become obsessed with three country songs. which is WEIRD for me, because i basically stopped listening to new country when i went to college and didn't have a radio. plus, got into other kinds of music. but anyway... the songs are as follows:

  1. "Need You Now" by Lady Antebellum
  2. "If I Die Young" by The Band Perry
  3. "The House That Built Me" by Miranda Lambert
no, taylor swift does not make that list. thank god. i just can't stand her. ANYWAY... so i've been all up on this country kick, and it's weird. but there's this other song i am really into... by this kick ass woman we all know and love (you BETTER!)...

her name is... CHER. say this with an oprah flare... it makes it even better!

anyway, my mom and i went and saw "burlesque" two weeks ago and well... basically i loved it. i love musicals, anyway, and a musical WITH CHER... it doesn't get any better than that.

there was this one part of the movie, where cher had a solo song... and i kept giggling and elbowing my mom and basically being a huge gay man. after it was over, my mom turned to me and goes, "that was so good!" hahaha. my mom is a gay man, too. but that song would be, "you haven't seen the last of me." and it's brill... for sure. cher sings her guts out. i have had it, plus my three country songs basically on repeat for the last three days. you should check out the song here. and then just go ahead and buy the MP3 here or wherever else you buy your music. i had to buy the song, but i am getting the CD for christmas. SUPER PSYCHED! lol.

anyway... christina aguilera was pretty good in the movie... i was surprised. i haven't given her much thought lately... when she was first in the business, i really liked her music... that whole pop star thing i liked as a young teen. then she went a little darker/dirtier/whatever and i kind of quit listening... mostly because i went into my lesbian indie-rock phase (which i haven't left behind, don't get me wrong.) but the thing is... she has a powerhouse voice. it's a fact. even if you don't like her sound, she's got this HUGE voice that comes out of this teeny tiny body. (she was teeny tiny in the movie, at least. mom said she's gotten chunky recently. lol.) there are very few people, even out of all the famous musicians, that have a voice like her. i am so jealous, haha. but anyway... i didn't expect much of her acting, but she wasn't half bad, really. i never thought during the movie, "oh, ew, what is she DOING?"

so anyway, it's a movie i would recommend, mostly to those who love musicals, cher, christina, dancing, costumes, glitter, etc. basically... i recommend this to all gay men. :)

and to leave you with one final image to keep you warm at night:

don't forget... cher is 64-years-old... and a total sexpot. i wish i looked like that NOW, much less when i was 64. this is one case of plastic surgery i can get behind! hahahaha. even though she looks a tiny bit like michael jackson which is kinda freaky. but i'll pretend i didn't just think that.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Gettin' back in the groove!

For the past six days, I have used the website I wrote about in my first blog post, 750words. I find it to be highly cathartic and therapeutic, which is weird because I haven't really written anything of great importance.

I started writing in a diary when I was 8-years-old and wrote stories as a child. But I would say I really started writing when I was about 13 or 14, thanks to the Internet and the ease of using it. I wrote throughout my first two years or so of college and then my social life bloomed and I spent less and less time online. And I've been that way ever since... just getting online to check the basic stuff or to work my photography website, etc. The only website I've been seriously dedicated to on a daily basis is Facebook... and you don't do much "writing" there.

I have missed writing. And this 750words website gives me an outlet to write whatever I want without having to worry about anyone seeing it. But instead of it being like an online journal where there is no motivation, the motivation is to see the stats behind what you write. I find it very interesting to see what the website has to say about my psyche. Granted, it's nothing deep, but it's interesting.

For the past few days, though, I haven't had anything spectacular to write about. Tonight I remembered this website I had found through another blog I read, called Reverb10. The tagline reads, "Reflect on this year & manifest what's next." And in more words, the website states, "Reverb 10 is an annual event and online initiative to reflect on your year and manifest what’s next. Use the end of your year as an opportunity to reflect on what's happened, and to send out reverberations for the year ahead." So basically a bunch of bloggers got together and decided to give other writers something to write about at the end of the year. Every day they post a new prompt to give you something to reflect on and write about.

I decided to try it out today and I got a fun little prompt to work with: "Prompt: Party. What social gathering rocked your socks off in 2010? Describe the people, music, food, drink, clothes, shenanigans." So that's what I did... I described my brother's 21st birthday party, because I think that one has a LOT of memories, for a variety of reasons. But it's nice to write about it on 750words, because I can write whatever I want, use as much gross, inappropriate language as I want and spill all the secrets I want.

Only two people read this blog, but in case there are any random people out there checking this out, I would definitely suggest checking out 750words and if you want something to write about, check out Reverb10.

That's all folks.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

the holiday spirit

This weekend has been all about Christmas for me. And it's been pretty cool, I must say.

Friday night we had my work Christmas party. We went to this restaurant type thing called Bryan's Place and had [a very crappy] dinner, which I got for free because the waitress was standing right next to me when I bit into a piece of garlic bread with hair in it. So she comped my meal... which was already free, because my boss gave all of us $10 for dinner. So I got $10 for alcohol! Woo. Haha. Anyway, the Christmas party included 4 comedians which was pretty entertaining. The first guy was very cute, and I wanted to marry him a little bit. The second guy was blind and creepy and not at all funny... which was funny in itself. The third guy was a total metrosexual and he was pretty funny. They all went on for about 15 minutes each. Now, the last woman, she referred to herself as Mama and called everyone Baby Girl or Baby Boy... except for one guy in the crowd who she referred to as Chocolate Cake (and he wasn't even black, haha.) She must have been the main act, because she was on for like 45 minutes to an hour. By the end (we'd been there for three hours by then) I was over it. But she was pretty hilarious. We went as a large group, and there was one other group from another workplace with us, but we were all in the front... I was right next to the stage. Anyway... so basically it was really funny, because it was like the comedians were telling jokes about us... everything related to someone there... and we were shouting out from the crowd telling them stories, etc. The third guy made fun of Volkswagen Beetles which made us all die because our boss has one and the license place says "Do I Bug You?" -- in less letters, lol. It was really interactive and really entertaining. Especially when the fourth comedian talked about her two lesbians friends who asked her to go with them to get artificially inseminated with a turkey baster... and one of my co-workers was sitting there with her 7-month-pregnant girlfriend. Haha. That was hysterical. Anyway.

Then Saturday Mom and I went Christmas shopping. We got everybody done for our family Christmas... and I got my shopping half done that night. Plus, Mom and I listened to Christmas music all day. She bought the Wilson Phillips Christmas CD! Which actually kind of sucks... but we also got Lady Antebellum's Christmas CD and it was good. And I am now hooked on them... which is weird because I don't really listen to country anymore... not the new stuff, anyway. So I am going to have to get some of their music soon... I'm kind of waiting to see if I get anything for Christmas. I don't think I will, but I don't want to buy it and then get it for free.

Today Mom, Dad, and I went and got our Christmas tree, and then Mom and I decorated it. It's beautiful! :) Of course, my mom is a total nut about it, though. We are having a "Cookie Party" at my house on Wednesday, so everything had to be PERFECT. I wanted it to be sentimental, but no, it has a theme ("retro") and we couldn't put any ornaments on the tree that weren't red/green. Except for a select few she let me get away with because they are our ornaments from growing up. Anyway... we did all that while listening to some Christmas music. And of course, it had to start snowing... which is all hunky dory today... but tomorrow I am going to hate it. Anyway... I need to stop rambling and get to bed, but first... PICTURES. :)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

getting started

So I decided to start a new blog... But we'll see if it lasts. I don't know why I am starting it, I guess just to have something to do. And somewhere to put shit. Haha.

So I found this website tonight, called 750 Words. Basically it's an online writing forum, except it's private. The idea is to write 750 words every day, of whatever you want. It's supposed to be a "brain dump" as it says on the About page. I tried it out and it's pretty interesting. I think if I have enough time, I could get used to doing it every day. I would like to, anyway. You just type whatever you feel like, kind of like a journal, but also like free-writing. It doesn't have to be structured, it can be whatever you want it to be. The goal is to try and write 750 words, but you don't have to, or you can do more.

It's mostly private, but you can see who else is writing and has written recently. And I think if you give a donation, you are called a "Patron" and you're allowed to follow people if you want to. (Though you can never see what anyone else writes.) But the part that I find the most interesting is that after you write your daily entry, you get to see the statistics of what you wrote. It tells you when you started writing, how long it took, if you got distracted or not, how many words you typed, what the rating is (mine was PG-13 today, due to swearing and sexual content, lololol), how you were feeling, what you were concerned about, what your mindset was, etc, etc, etc. It goes on and on. There are even PIE CHARTS... and bar graphs. It's really pretty cool. I wrote 838 words today in 11 minutes. Typing 75 words per minute. With a PG-13 content rating. Haha.

I just thought I would share, because I thought that was pretty neat. Anyway.

Today I did some Christmas shopping. I have two of my besties finished, but I still need to figure out something for my brother. I know what I want to get him in a general sense, but I need to figure out the specifics. And I know what I'm getting Mom, but I have to go get it. And Dad... I'm at a complete loss. Haha. Mom and I finished up our family gift exchange shopping today, getting three of my cousins out of the way and we just need to get a book for my one-year-old cousin. I don't know why I'm talking about all of that on here. But anyway... I really want to share what I got my besties, but as they are the only two who will probably read this, it's a secret for now. Shhh. :)

Anyway, I think that's all for now. OH... I wanted to mention one other thing. The title of this blog (for now) is called "The Universe Listened" -- it's the title of a Melissa Etheridge song (of course.) And every username for the URL was taken relating to "The Universe Listened," so I used "enoughofme" which is the title of one of my all-time fave Melissa Etheridge songs. So yes... I am a major geek. But I don't mind. :) It's fun.

And just for kicks.. my ferocious lioncat, Simba. :)

Okay. That's all.

K bye.