Monday, January 22, 2007

Random movie opinions

  • Tim Allen needs to be a little more selective about the scripts he chooses. I realize that he's found a niche in "family friendly" movies. But dude, can't he pick scripts that are good?
  • Patrick Stewart is sexy. Yeah, that's right, I said it! And every time he does voice work for animation, I get a little shiver.
  • I do love the Harry Potter movies, but I have to say that the ending to Goblet of Fire was disappointing. Why? Because they try to end on a high note, with Harry all smiley and joking around with Ron and Hermione. No. Not the proper tone. It makes no sense because 1) Harry was all depressed about Cedric Diggory dying and full of self-blame, so don't tell me he recovered that fast, 2) how are we supposed to believe that he was all happy at the end of Year 4 and suddenly teen angsty at the beginning of Year 5?, and 3) there are not really any political overtones, which would properly set the stage for 5.
  • Jennifer Garner's new movie, Catch and Release, is out this month. Kevin Smith is in it, prompting me to wonder how Kevin Smith is always involved in projects with Ben Affleck and/or his significant others. Then again, that's what friends are for. In any case, I'm glad Jennifer Garner is working again. She's got talent, that's for sure, and I hope to see her in many more projects that showcase her range.
  • Speaking of Catch and Release, this movie is promoting itself with the phrase "From the writer of Erin Brockovich." It's a trend now to promote your movie by bragging that it was made or written by the same people who worked on other movies that did well. I find this disturbing. Seriously, am I supposed to be more impressed that a romantic comedy was penned by the screenwriter who adapted a true story (a drama at that)? I remember when Princess Diaries was first released, and the big promo was "from the director of Pretty Woman." Yeah, I know, it was the legendary Gary Marshall, and it was a G movie, but please explain to me how invoking a movie about a prostitute was supposed to make parents want to take their twelve-year-old daughters? I suppose it pays off if it gets more butts in the seats. But I sincerely doubt Date Movie is any funnier just because I know it's from two of the six writers of Scary Movie; for all I know, those are the two writers who wrote the penis-in-the-ear joke, and that just wasn't funny.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Happy Birthday Dr. King

Thank you, Dr. King.

I am grateful for you, and all you did to make our country a better place.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Harry Potter and the Over-Zealous Nerdy Fans

Let me start by saying that I love the HP series. They're funny, they're moving, they are wonderful escapist entertainment. Great stuff. I'm not picking on the books, nor am I picking on the folks who dress up for Midnight Release parties. (Those people are having fun, and if I didn't have two little ones at home, I'd happily join them.)

My comments today are concerning a specific section of the popular HP fansite, This site overall is laid out nicely, with sections on the books, the movies, the actors, the author, etc. Again, great stuff. But there's one thing that's driving me mad: the Theories.

I like to amuse myself with theories about random things, and I don't see anything wrong with the practice of forming theories about a book that has sparked so much discussion. But when I try to read theories for Harry Potter 7, oh boy, do I get a wicked migraine.

Go in there and read ONE theory about whether or not Harry Potter is himself a Horcrux. The theory is developed by making assumptions, or by attempting to disprove someone else's assumptions (with, you guessed it, other assumptions). They talk and talk and talk in circles, until I'm so confused that I don't remember whether I was reading a proof or a disproof. (I know disproof is not a word, but you get what I mean.)

I know, I know, if it bothers me that much, I should just not read it. I don't read the theories very often, but sometimes I come across one I haven't read before, and the caption misleads me by saying "well-thought out." The problem is not that the writer hasn't thought out his/her argument; the problem is that the idea has been overthought and written in such a way that I almost can't bring myself to finish the article. After so many paragraphs (long ones), I finally have to exit the page or pop an Excedrin. Always, I leave the articles convinced that what's really going on here is "mental masturbation" (a term coined by my sociology prof) moreso than intelligent discussion.

Then again, I can't say I haven't been guilty of the same thing in the past. Y'all are lucky you didn't see my Alias days, back when the show was in it's prime and I had only one kid who took three naps a day. I was spitting out theories (or rebuttals to other people's theories) left and right. But at least we got a new episode to dissect once a week. Rowling is letting, oh, two years go by between HP books, sometimes more. All the fans get in the meantime are occasional Q and A sessions with the author, or an update to the Rumors section on Rowling's site. I almost can't blame the Theorists for concocting such long-winded essays.

Almost. People, READ OTHER BOOKS! Rowling's not the only fantasy writer out there. Hell, fantasy isn't the only genre out there. There's military fiction, sci-fi, romance, mystery, comedy, true crime, chick-lit, historical fiction, and an endless array of nonfiction categories. If you can imagine it, somebody probably wrote about it. Why not read some of those instead of just dwelling on the last, unfinished book of one series? Better yet, write your OWN stories instead of just writing about someone else's stories. This isn't a lit. class, where you have to hand in a complicated paper explaining what you think about someone else's work.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go check the Excedrin supply. I think I just gave myself another headache.

Monday, January 01, 2007

2007, Here I Come

I hate making New Year's resolutions, for no other reason than calling my goals "New Year's Resolutions" make them all guaranteed to fail. Seriously, it's like giving them a holiday-inspired title is like permission to slack off. "Oh, who cares, it's just a New Year's resolution, nobody keeps those."

So, my goals for the year 2007 are:
  1. Get on that treadmill three times a week. But first, I should plug it in.
  2. Spend more time playing with and teaching the kids and less time doing my own thing while they watch the same movie four times in a row.
  3. Register my daughter for kindergarten EARLY, not at the last minute, so that she can be in Ms. C's class, just like her cousins on her father's side were.
  4. Not let anyone else move into the house who I didn't give birth to. (Seriously, if one more sibling tries to slide in here...)
  5. Enroll in college and see if I can work toward finishing my degree (if we have the money).
  6. Attend my 10 Year high school reunion and NOT feel ashamed that I didn't do more with my life. Because really, I think I've done okay. You try making babies as pretty as mine and serving them HOMEMADE BABY FOOD.
  7. Figure out my digital camera, including how to make it work with this dang computer.
  8. Ease up on the swearing.
  9. Make some baby blankets for some pregnant friends of mine. Preferably before they give birth.
  10. Get us on track with the bills so my dad can buy a house and move out like he wants to and get married in his new house to his nice girlfriend. (I wonder if Gina will be a flower girl?)
  11. Not be so mean. (Except when I'm yelling at the TV. That'll be my outlet.)
  12. Take down the Christmas tree and other decorations before the end of January.