Posts Tagged ‘Movies’

Most. Depressing. Birthday. Evar.

January 25, 2012

This is why the Hubby usually doesn’t get to plan our outings.

Yesterday (Tuesday) was Hubby’s 38th birthday. Hehehe – my old man! Last week I asked what he was thinking about doing for his birthday, and I was pleasantly surprised when he told me that he was toying with the idea of going to an indoor paintball range or an indoor waterpark. I LOVE that kind of stuff, but he’s usually not into the running around and being goofy like I am. But it’s January so maybe there’s some cabin fever going on.

I should have known it was too good to be true. On Monday he changed his mind and told me he wanted to see The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo over at the West End Icon Theater VIP Lounge. Normally this would have been cool, ‘cuz I like movies and swanky, overpriced movie theaters, but I had no desire to see TGWTDT. I had heard that while it was very good, it was also very dark, that there was a graphic rape scene and that it was a pretty depressing movie all around. I tend to skip movies like this because I don’t like the way they make me feel. My take on most horror and a certain subsection of suspense/thrillers is that I know there’s heinous, offensive, horrifying shit out here in the world; I don’t need to watch it for entertainment. That’s just me, and I don’t begrudge or think less of people who enjoy dark movies. But my $10, my three hours…this isn’t how I usually want to spend them.

But it was the hubby’s birthday, so I put on a smile and went along. Please know it wasn’t traumatizing for me to watch the movie, I just wasn’t looking forward to it. *sighs* And I was right. I was in a funky, depressed mood afterwards. Here’s my facebook writeup:

It’s certainly not the first time I’ve been introduced by media to the concepts of evil, cruelty, revenge, abuse of power, rape, incest, familial battery, serial murder, sadism, mafia business dealings, corporate greed (to name a few of the story’s highlights) but I was angered, offended, depressed, horrified, revolted, saddened and wearied during and slightly after the movie. It was a well-made dark movie that evokes dark emotions.

But…it was Hubby’s birthday, so I shook it off.

Afterward we went to Pizza Luce for dinner, which was ridiculous because we were stuffed on salty, buttery popcorn and Raisinets. We had a rousing discussion on politics, including a comparison of  liberal and conservative philosophies. That meandered its way to a discussion of the corporation city of Shenzhen, China, which he posed as an example of what no-government rule over corporate interests looks like. Which got us talking about corporate greed, consumer responsibility, and a shared disbelief that companies would so callously act like…ya know, companies…all of which ended up being horribly depressing.

I finally put the kibosh on the whole depressing trend by jokingly telling the Hubby that this was the most depressing birthday party I had ever attended, what with the cat killing and unsolvable problem of slave working conditions in China. I was going for “Hahaha – what a night, amiright?”, but some of my down mood must have really come across, which made the Hubby depressed and upset because he was having a good time and didn’t know that I was depressed. Plus, by the time we were done with popcorn-raisinets-gallons of soda-pizza there was simply no room for ice cream, which usually makes things all better.

But you know what did make things better? Presents. I got the Hubby a couple of things he had been wanting (tattoo magazines, a gift certificate for range time at Bill’s Gun Shop in Robbinsdale), but at the last minute I had also picked up this silly gorilla holding a cheesy red heart, which I had debated throwing in for the very nature of its intense cheesiness.

And would you know it – that silly damned gorilla broke the mood. Who can think depressing thoughts with this guy around?

But seriously…next year I have veto power on the Hubby’s birthday. No I don’t. Dammit!

2010 Twin Cities Pride Intro

June 28, 2010

This past weekend was the Twin Cities GLBT Pride Festival.  I had a blast and wore myself out!  I hung out with friends at the 19 Bar in Minneapolis on Thursday night, and then at Rumours/Innuendo in St. Paul on Friday night (I love the name of this bar!). 

On Saturday morning I picked up Ashley (the 13 yo I mentor) and one of her friends and we went to Pride in the Park.  Yesterday I went to the Pride Parade and then spent more time at Pride in the Park with the Hubby.  And finally last night I joined my friend Courtney and her roommates at their place for Rocky Road sundaes and a British movie called The History Boys, which was reminiscent of The Dead Poet’s Society except with fabulously dry British humor.

I can’t wait to get home and process my pictures from the weekend!  I’ll post those tomorrow, but for now enjoy this collection of photos from last year’s Twin Cities Pride that was put together into a video by admanbobw and uploaded to youtube.

Weekend Report: Kick Ass and Psycho Suzi’s

April 26, 2010

I saw Kick Ass this weekend with a bunch of coworkers from the bookstore, and I LOVED it.  Seriously, I heart Hit Girl – she’s one of the baddest ass action heroes that I’ve ever seen.  Check her out, but not at work because much like Hit Girl herself, this video is violent and crude.

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On Saturday night me, the Hubby, and our good friend Courtney went to Psycho Suzi’s, a fantastic hipster tiki-themed bar in Nordeast Minneapolis.  They’ve got famous tiki drinks like The Native’s Curse, the Crummy Scoundrel and their over-sized version of a group punch bowl, the Flaming Pele. 

I ordered a drink special that had a really geeky chemistry theme –  the Tikium Euphorium, chemical symbol “Te”.  I was hoping to be able to read the description on the sign in this picture, but sadly it’s a leeetle to small to see.  I don’t know any cool computer tricks to blow it up and maintain the resolution, but hey – it’s still a cut pic of moi!

Another great thing about Psycho Suzi’s is the trailer-trash appetizers – we ordered tater tots and pickle roll ups – dill pickles rolled in ham and cream cheese…mmmm….

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On Sunday I took Ashley to the Como Zoo in St. Paul.  We were going to take an Adventure Drive down to Manketo…oops, so an Adventure Drive is when you decide how much time you want to spend going in any one direction, then you draw a radius around your starting point, pick a direction or a highway and go explore.  But sadly, at our fueling stop (that’s the Carribou Coffee, not the gas station), I discovered that I had left my wallet at home.  By the time we got back to Minneapolis, we didn’t have nearly enough time to make it to Manketo, so we decided to shelf the Adventure Drive and go to the Conservatory and Zoo.

Ashley at the Sunken Garden

Dragons, Wrestling, Italian and iPad

April 9, 2010

All my friends are still talking about this damn “How to Train Your Dragon” movie, and it’s still holding strong at 98% on rottentomatoes.com.  Alright, I admit it…my curiosity is peaked.  And it’s still playing at the IMAX… 

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Another thing that has aroused my interest is a new play that just opened at Mixed Blood Theater in Minneapolis called The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Diety.  It’s all about professional wrestling!  Well, and slightly heavier stuff like the concept of race in America.  From the press release:

The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity examines America’s ideals and fears through a comic and provocative look at geopolitics and professional wrestling.  Told from the perspective of an unlikely underdog, Macedonio Guerra, a Puerto Rican wrestler who has made a career as a “professional loser”, Chad Deity tells the tale of an African-American champion pitted against a trash-talking Indian athlete from the streets.  Racial politics and wrestling make odd bedfellows everywhere but on Mixed Blood’s stage; political correctness and conventional expectations are thrown out of the ring in this theatrical event.

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I bought a grammer workbook for Italian last night at the bookstore (McGraw-Hill Easy Italian Step-by-Step).  I wonder if anyone really thinks that they’re going to get along in a foreign country with “Language X for Travelers” books.  I mean, how much patience would you have for someone if they approached you on the street, gripping a book, mumbling to themselves, pointing frantically at the pages and speaking something that sounds somewhat like heavily-accented English?  I think a lot of us would find somewhere else to be pretty quickly.  Seriously, take a few minutes to learn the subject pronouns (I, you, he, she, we, you (plural), they) and how to conjugate the big three verbs (to be, to have, to do/to go), and you’re in a much better position to get your point across.

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The Hubby and I have a Mac Date tonight.  We’re going to take my desktop Mac to the Genius Bar in an attempt to identify why I can’t upload my CD language programs.  We’re also going in order to pet the cute new iPads.  I think I’m out of the woods with my desire to have an iPad – an iPhone will be plenty for me, and for the price I think I’d have to go with a PC laptop before an iPad.  For those of you still struggling with the decision To Buy or Not To Buy, The Maniachi’s blog has provided this easy-to-follow flow chart:

Review of “Creation”

February 17, 2010

The vote is in:  I was mesmorized by John Amiel’s Creation.  I mean sure, I may be guilty of liking the movie because I wanted to like it.  And certainly, the dragged-to-the-movie-by-his-woman dude in front of us who fell asleep and started snoring (followed quickly by being elbowed in the gut by the aforementioned lady-friend), may disagree with my assessment of the movie.  But, the music was haunting, the set and camera work was beautiful, and as predicted in my earlier post, I cried. 

Below are a list of my personal take-homes:

Note:  These are my thoughts from the movie.  I haven’t read Darwin, His Daughter and Human Evolution or Emma Darwin’s diaries, so I’m not going to attempt to draw a line between the movie and actual events.

1) “What’s popular isn’t always right, and what’s right isn’t always popular”.  This is a well-known aphorism, but Creation did an excellent job of showing us what it might be like to actually be put in this position.  However, in the movie Darwin appears to be swayed more by his wife’s reluctance for him to publish Origin, than by any external, peer criticism.  It would have been interesting to have seen the academic push-back that was alluded to by the Joseph Hooker character (paraphrase: “you have many enemies, but you also have friends, Charles”)

2) Losing a family member sucks, and it’s really too bad that Darwin didn’t have access to modern psychotherapy.

3) Hydrotherapy was a crock back then, too.

3) If you can convince a theist to read a good book on evolution, they can’t help but “see the light”.  Oh sure, maybe Emma didn’t burn the manuscript because it was the culmination of twenty years of her lover’s work and life…but I prefer to believe she was swayed by the evidence Darwin presented.

4) It’s a wonder On the Origin of Species made it to the publisher.  Seriously, the scariest moment of that whole movie for me was when Darwin tossed the papers – wrapped in brown packaging paper – on the back of the open-air horse-drawn mail carrier.  Did he back up his work?  I didn’t see any photocopies of Origin laying around!  What if it had rained?  Agh!

I knew going into the movie that it was going to mostly be focused on Charles Darwin’s relationship with his wife, Emma and daughter, Annie.  But as I hinted above, I would have liked to have seen more of the public drama surrounding the publication of the book.  So, whenever John Amiel gets around to making the sequel, I’m sooo there. 

All in all, Creation was a very good movie, and I’d see it again.  But next time I’ll remember to bring Kleenex.

I’m going to see “Creation”!

February 16, 2010

I am so thrilled to be seeing Creation tonight.  Darwin, Evolution, Paul Bettaney, Jennifer Connelly – hooray!  Oooo…the previews look great.  I think I’m going to need kleenex for this one; what little I head of the musical score was haunting and giving me that tight chest, breathless feeling.  I’m a big crybaby sucker when it comes to dramas, though.

I heard Richard Dawkins giving his thoughts about Creation on Freethought Radio podcast (2/6/10), and was interested to hear him disagree with what appears to some of the main elements of the movie – namely, the degree of tension between Darwin and his wife, Emma, and the portrayal of Thomas Huxley.  Others reviewers have questioned the reality of the over-the-top anguish and inner turmoil about the existence of god that has been written into the Darwin character, as Darwin was raised in a manner that allowed allowed him to critically analyze religion.

Creation is based on Randal Keynes’ book, Darwin, His Daughter and Human Evolution, which tells the story of the years Darwin spent writing On the Origin of Species.  There’s another trip to the bookstore!  I also want to pick up Charles and Emma: The Darwin’s Leap of Faith, and maybe reread Michael Keller’s On The Origin of Species: A Graphic Adaptation  *sigh*  I should just have my paychecks delivered to Barnes and Noble and save myself some effort.

Avatar Zoology and Xenobiology

January 14, 2010

Here is a great write-up on the  xenobiology of Pandora, the fictional planet featured in the movie Avatar.  Very fun, uber-geeky, lots of pictures and analysis of the anatomical/physiological adaptations of the eye-candy creatures of Pandora.  Does contain spoilers.

It was a good day for SciFi/Fantasy

January 9, 2010

Avatar, The Lightening Thief and Ender’s Game.

Hubby and I went to Avatar in 3D today.  It was great.  It was epic.  Everyone should go see it because it was a fun movie experience.  I cried and cheered and all that stuff.  Unfortunately, the story kept reminding me of other movies while we were still in the theater.  It’s basically Dances with Wolves or The Last Samurai, mixed with Fern Gully, with elements of The Matrix and Star Wars VI.  One idea that may be unique was the physical melding of the Na’vi with other living animals and plants via…whatever the connection was in their hair; that was pretty cool.  And nobody can argue that the special effects were anything less than spectacular.

During the Avatar previews I was introduced to the movie adaptation of Rick Riordan’s The Lightning Thief, and Oh…my…god, Becky…It looks AWESOME.  I had heard of the teen adventure series through my job at the bookstore, but I hadn’t really looked into it.  Bookstores should praise whoever put the Lightening Thief preview together, because it influenced me enough that I ran right out and bought it.  I’m going to start it tonight, right after I finish:

Ender’s Game. Yeah for classic science fiction!  I finally read Ender’s Game – it had slipped beneath my radar for a very long time, and tonight I just read the part where Ender learns that Command School wasn’t a game.   The best part of that was…I never saw it coming!  I mean, you gotta love Orson Scott Card’s storytelling, because Ender’s Game came out in 1977, and that type of plot switcheroo has been used since then, but I never even suspected that the final games were actual battles.  *happy sigh*  Good book.