Alas, pretty much the only thing I’ve been productive about lately is my writing. Even that is an ehhhhh. Because I hate writing about myself, I’ve tried to keep posting something here at least once a week. Hence the ehhhhh. It’s hard when you haven’t really done anything new but be a new and present lump in the great state of Nevada. This is not the exciting and shocking stuff that dreams and stars are made of, not that I do anything really shocking…..ever. Shocking for me was trying Boca meatless crumbles a couples weeks ago, which are rather tasty. Again, ehhhh.
There has definitely been some writing. Along with this blog I’ve been working on my film review blog. That still has yet to be a force to be reckoned with, but it’s getting there. Some novel ideas have popped in my head that I’m looking at pursuing. I have an idea about a romantic comedy about a Jane Austen fanatic who meets someone a little out of this world. This probably sounds crazy, and I agree. I have to remain cryptic to a point. I don’t want to ruin the whole story before I’m done with it. There is a real following for these kinds of books for Jane Austen fanatics. I should know, because being a fanatic myself, I own quite a few of them. It just kind of popped out. Did I forget to mention that it is still strictly an idea? Hehehe, I’m a slacker.
I’ve also been thinking about starting some children’s book. This is mostly due to my want to give Kellan special stories. What better gift for me to give to the little stinker than my love for imagination. I have been toying with an idea featuring a cat and the shenanigans that it will get into. Recently I wrote a little story for him to help him understand about his Dad being gone on deployments. That one is kind of special right now. I’m trying to join forces with an artist to illustrate this and make something fantastic for my brother’s family.
This is random, but too funny to share. As I’m writing this, Kellan was given some of the macaroni and tomato I made. Not only did he find it yummy, he discovered the prospective skin care attributes of it. I kept hearing squishy noises coming from him, and I looked over to find him moisturizing. This is the typical mischief that I get to witness on the daily basis, a large plus of my moving out here.
Until next time….
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Director: Griffin Dunne
Screenplay: Mimi Hare, Clare Naylor, Bonnie Sikowitz
Starring: Uma Thurman, Colin Firth, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan
Dr. Emma Lloyd is a popular and well-respected love guru with her own radio talk show. For Patrick Sullivan, she is the woman that ruined his life after she gave advice to his fiancé to call off the wedding. Knowing that the good doctor herself will be getting hitched soon, Patrick decides to get a little payback by hacking into state records and making her married to him. The comedy proceeds as Emma tries to sort out the mistake and still keep her wedding together. The marriage mistake seems to take a backseat to her new problem, her growing attraction to Patrick. Who will she choose?
I personally purchased this, because I had yet to see it and enjoy Colin Firth. Now I wish my logic of not buying it at full price won out my carefree whim. It’s not great, but it’s not terrible. This is a standard chick flick. It’s so standard that I’m a little surprised that it was not an original Lifetime movie, yet I still would have seen it, if it was. The story follows the basic which guy does the girl choose plot line, and it remains pretty basic. If your significant other is usually opposed to these films, be kind and do not force him to watch this. There are plenty of other rom coms out there that will make everyone laugh even without admitting it. This is not one. Watch it yourself or with a few friends who enjoy the same type of movie.
I can only sum up this movie as cute and entertaining. If you’re bored, go ahead. If you like the actors, okay, try it. I warn you, though each of these actors has shown great talent in other films, this is not one, and I don’t entirely blame the actors for that. I felt the writing was not compelling enough to offer them a chance to expand the characters any more than they did in the film. I also certainly do not recommend purchasing this film like I did, unless you find it on a bargain rack. Do not dive off the regular price cliff that I found myself doing.
I give this film 2 ½ Buttery Kernels.
Coming Soon: Across the Universe
Director: Floria Sigismondi
Screenplay: Floria Sigismondi (Based on the memoir by Cherie Currie)
Starring: Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning
Adapted from Cherie Currie’s memoir, this is the story of the mid 70’s all girl rock band, The Runaways. Being the first of its kind, the idea of an all female group was offensive and laughed off, if not dismissed by their rock peers. What made the band even more radical was the fact that they were all barely adults.
Guitar player, Joan Jett, approaches record producer, Kim Fowley, with her plan of starting an all girl rock band. He helps her find a few more girls that can play instruments and thus group is created. There just seems to be one more thing missing for Fowley. The girls need something to give them that edge. Enter Cherie Currie. With her vocals and rocker glam look, The Runaways become a force and create enough of a following to get a record deal, jumping into the world of fame.
Life for a teenager in the mid 70’s had its challenges, whether it was with easily obtainable alcohol and drugs or sexual experimentation. For the The Runaways, these temptations were only magnified with their new found celebrity status, forcing crumbling holes within the band and especially in the young Cherie Currie.
This is a bio-pic, so there isn’t a deep and mysterious storyline. Not everyone may have known the story of The Runaways and their trials as a band, but because at least one person does, the substance that will make this kind of film a success falls directly in the hands of the actors. Their challenge to create something that was real into something believable for the audience cannot be done by just any actor. Bad acting in a film like this will kill it instantly. There is no contest with this picture that the actors, Dakota Fanning and Kristen Stewart, not only held their own, but were Joan Jett and Cherie Currie.
Dakota Fanning was recognized for her acting skills as a young child, a talent that she has been cultivating with every picture. Her portrayal as Cherie Currie is so convincing that at times, I would forget it was her. What was even more shocking for me was when I did realize it was her, and my internal morals would flare up. I would judge her for playing such a shocking part at her age. I quickly remembered that Cherie Currie was the same age, and this was actually her life. I do not believe that there are any reward nominations hinted at or confirmed for her role in this film, but I would not be surprised if she is honored with a few.
I can only hope that after seeing Kristen Stewart play Joan Jett some of her integrity as an actor will return. She has been criticized for her performances in the Twilight series, and I, myself, have been one of them. The difference between most of her critics and I is that I know she is a very capable actress and will most likely become an outstanding actress of our generation. This is bold, but she has the films to prove her presence. They have just been shadowed by the hype of the Twilight series. Is she deserving of any kind of award nomination for this part? Yes, but I feel as only a supporting part. It would not surprise me if she does or does not get nominated, because even though Joan Jett was showcased in this film, Cherie Currie was the main focus.
It really is an wonderful film that I feel will not disappoint. The film stands out as much as the band it portrays. The acting is moving, if not compelling. Being that it is based on a rock band, the soundtrack does not disappoint, either, using influential music from the era, the band, and Joan Jett’s. A nice little twist to the soundtrack and one that adds to their acting chops is that Dakota Fanning and Kristen Stewart provide their own vocals, making the film feel more authentic. I feel bold enough to say that even if The Runaways music is not your cup of tea, you will still enjoy the journey that created the rock band.
I give this film 4 Buttery Kernels.
Coming Soon: Accidental Husband
Director: Niels Arden Oplev
Screenplay: Nikolaj Arcel and Rasmus Heisterberg
Starring: Michael Nyqvist and Noomi Rapace
After being set up, Mikael is facing ruin and a prison sentence for writing a supposed fraudulent story exposing the seedier side of an elite Swedish business man. Before he has to serve his time, he is contacted by a retired business man asking for Mikael’s help in solving the murder of the business man’s long lost niece, Harriet. He meets Lisbeth, the girl who had been hired to investigate his integrity and has continued to keep tabs on him, after she discovers a clue that had yet to be figured out by anyone over the years. Her rough looks and attitude are abrasive at first, but together Mikael and Lisbeth form a bond and work to solve the mystery before it gets them killed.
This film is based on the Stieg Larsson novel of the same title. Due to the novel’s popularity around the world, this Swedish import found its way to America. I will admit that I am pretty biased about this film based on the fact that it is Swedish. Being that I’m half Swedish, this is where I get my blonde attributes. That’s pretty much all I can claim. I am not exactly what they call proficient when it comes to the language. I would like to be, but that’s about as progressive as I’ve become with that dream. As interesting as that has probably been for you all, I should get back to the film.
Since this was a foreign film, I personally prefer to watch them with subtitles as opposed to a dubbed option. I find dubbing a little distracting and sometimes inadequate. With subtitles, you can still judge the actor’s themselves as opposed just their actions and some other actor trying to portray the character vocally. It is rare when you find the harmony between the two with a dubbed film.
The story line was very compelling in this film as it followed both Mikael and Lisbeth. The main mystery was the murder of Harriet, but the main characters had their own personal mysteries. Mikael had just come from a scandal that put his integrity into question. The details of the story are revealed gradually throughout the movie leaving the audience to question his “white hat.” We find out that Lisbeth is on probation and that her stability is problematic at best. Little is revealed about the reason she is in this situation. Knowing that this is the first of a three part series, some of the mystery about Lisbeth is not completely revealed, which cultivates interest for the sequel, The Girl Who Played With Fire. The mixture of the three keeps the audience captivated right until the very thrilling end.
I would normally comment about the actors’ performances, but being that this is a foreign film, I am not familiar with these actors. I can only judge them based on this film. Each actor was believable without flaw with their respective characters. They both came off as seasoned. Even without familiarity, it is easy to tell new actors or bad actors. This was never a problem with this film. Though this is a story driven movie and it is strong, the story could not be executed smoothly without the performance of the actors.
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is definitely worth checking out, whether or not you’ve read the novel. The success of both the novel and film versions has inspired an upcoming English remake starring Daniel Craig as Mikael. Saying that this is popular seems to be an understatement, but it is not fueled by hype. The film will entertain you, make you think, and leave you guessing.
I give this film 3 Buttery Kernels.
Coming Soon: The Runaways
Director: Steve Pink
Screenplay: Adam Cooper, Bill Collage, and Mark Perez
Starring: Justin Long, Jonah Hill, Blake Lively, and Lewis Black
Slacker, Bartleby, discovers that he has not been accepted to any of the colleges or universities that he has applied for. Because his parents place such a high credence in a college, he turns to his talents in fraud and scamming for a solution and creates his own college. His scam quickly becomes more than he bargained for as other students get accepted to his fake college and show up for their first semester. Hilarity ensues as he tries to worm his way out of the mess he created.
For a comedy that relies on its quick dialogue and story, it makes for a very entertaining film. It is the perfect film if you want to watch something that will make you laugh and not force you to concentrate too much, just the right way to relax after a long day. The ending is even surprisingly significant and rounds out the story, leaving you somewhat educated about humanity and people.
Justin Long plays the lovable smart-ass, Bartleby. This wasn’t stretch for him. Though, he has been known to play emotional characters, there is yet to be many examples of this. This particular type-casting has been working for him, and I will admit that it is usually why I’m drawn to his films. As much as I do enjoy these films, I do look forward to him venturing into more challenging roles.
This being Jonah Hill’s first major role in a major motion picture, we see him take the traditional role of the funny and fat friend to a different level. Normally, this role is created solely for us to laugh at, while the character sticks to the usual “fart” jokes or hilarious clumsiness. In this film, Jonah Hill’s character uses sarcasm to not only make fun of himself, but also as a defense from the other characters that try to belittle him. He has since made a career of playing this role, and has only recently started to dabble with a more challenging character in film. I honestly do not know what to expect after seeing him in these specific roles for so long, but I feel that it will definitely be interesting.
This is a film from my own personal collection. I do not necessarily advocate buying this movie, because I, myself, own it. If you feel it’s entertaining enough to watch it again, then feel free to. I ended up purchasing it, because it was part of a bargain sale, a reason I have most of my movies. I definitely feel that the film should be given a chance, whether as a rental or finding it on TV.
I give this film 3 Buttery Kernels.
Coming Soon: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
Not only am I acclimating to my new heated environment, I’m getting used to Vegas life. I’ve basically lived outside of a small town for most of my life only visiting the “city” outside of it, Kokomo. It would mostly be considered a town compared to where I live now, but it is where most of my knowledge of city life comes from. I visited the capital of Indiana several times over the years, so I knew the basics about city living from that. I just never lived there. The closet thing I’ve come to living in a somewhat large city was in Muncie where I went to college for four years. Those who lived there know while it is somewhat large and populated, it is mostly due to the university population that migrates into the city during the fall and spring semesters. Also visiting the fair city of Las Vegas on several occasions has given me a good idea of what to expect. There is more than the Las Vegas Strip.
Amazingly, my time in Kokomo and Muncie has prepared me inexplicably when it comes to dealing with crazies and rednecks. There are a multitude of people living here in the dessert, but alas, there are plenty of crazies. First example: Driving. My brother and sister-in-law have told me about the driving situation here in Vegas, and I’ve even witnessed it as a passenger during visits. Kokomo’s traffic was left to be desired, mostly due to the fact that my car somehow had an amazing ability to become invisible until the last moment, encouraging most of motorized population to attempt to hit my vehicle. As you can see, I became a little bitter towards the licensed and not so licensed drivers of Kokomo. Muncie was actually worse. For a town that always seemed to have the traffic lights go out at least once a week somewhere along Mcgalliard or Tilottson, two of the busiest streets in Muncie, no one remembers that no light means 4-way. I feared for my life on a daily basis. I actually had a situation where a woman pulled up behind me as she was racing to get her frosty, the only thing that seemed logical at the time for her to be racing for. I was not moving fast enough nor did she seem to really care. This was definitely not one of the situations I was prepared for. If you have ever wondered about my strange driving behavior while in Kokomo, Muncie was probably the reason.
Las Vegas is pretty much the same except there are about 4x as many people and everyone is extremely impatient, emphasis on extremely. They always assume that little tiny area that you are keeping in front of you, so that you don’t suddenly end up in the ass of the car ahead of you, was left just for them. Most of the time, the drivers here just assume you see them and will stop, because who needs to get into an accident. My sister-in-law just told me the other day that I should never be the first one to go at a green light. There is another factor that adds to the mess that is Las Vegas traffic. There is a big dynamic in the traveling population. The visiting California drivers are always in a hurry and are extremely aggressive. This is most likely due to being used to driving in L.A. Another large part of our traffic is from the retirement community. In my experience, older people tend to drive slower than the majority of drivers. You put these two parts together on I-95, and you now have a description of the traffic flow: slow down, speed up. This makes it very dangerous. I recommend avoiding driving through Las Vegas if you’re not actually planning on stopping. There is no sense in putting yourself through that if not.
I was also informed to keep my eye out for cops, the ones that aren’t marked. They take undercover very seriously here. I knew that they had a variety of unmarked vehicles to travel in from expensive sports cars to minivans, but I hadn’t actually seen one yet, until today. I was venturing out on an errand and decided to stop for a shake when I saw that two unmarked cop vehicles had blocked in a car that had been parked. What I assumed to be a kid leaning over the Grand Prix cop car with his cargo shorts, popped collar polo, and backwards baseball cap tipped to the side, I soon realized was actually the cop. They apparently take their jobs seriously here and do intend to blend even, when that means dressing up like a tool. I know that I probably shouldn’t have, but I started cracking up. I was just glad I did this as I was turning away from the officer.
I’m still looking for jobs and waiting on a call back from one of the interviews I had. I am starting to be concerned about money. Not that I’m going to be broke tomorrow, just figuring in my comfy cushion. My sister-in-law suggested that I offer babysitting services, and I’m starting to seriously consider it. I’d just feel better if I got a job.
Until next time….
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This was back before I went natural... Pardon language on this.. I was angry.
Directed: Chris Weitz and Paul Weitz
Screenplay: Peter Hedges, Chris Weitz, and Paul Weitz
Starring: Hugh Grant, Toni Collette, Nicholas Hoult, and Rachel Weisz
Since this film is based on the novel by Nick Hornby, I would like to explain my feelings concerning film adaptations of novels. I personally like to watch the film version first before I read the novel if I can help it. I am not usually disappointed with either version in this order. Some people prefer the opposite way, but when I read the novel first, I end up becoming highly more critical of the film. I try to keep this my policy, but I am human. If I get involved with a series I really like, I tend not to have the patience to wait. Lol!
My first attraction to this film was the fact that it was British made and starred Hugh Grant, and this is also the very reason I purchased it. I tend to gravitate toward the British shows, because I enjoy the dry humor so much. Hugh Grant never disappoints in this area. What I originally thought was going to be funny narrative of Hugh Grant’s character during bachelorhood, turned out having an endearing story filled with just as charming, if not eccentric, characters as well.
The story follows Will and Marcus as they both go through the trials of growing up. Will is a self-proclaimed bachelor living off the royalties of his deceased one-hit wonder father and happy to do so. He spends his days watching game shows, spending money, and plotting his next female conquest. His newest plan finds him impersonating a single parent, believing that he can find plenty of women looking for fun and not attachment. It is through one of these exploits that he finds himself suddenly involved in Marcus’s life and not by choice either.
Marcus’s dramatic and eccentric mother’s usual antics are enough to embarrass him as he tries to survive school and the trials of being a normal teenager, but her latest self-absorbed stunt threatens to rip his world apart completely. Fearing for his mother’s sanity and the remnants of his happiness, Marcus comes up with a plan to find his mother a boyfriend. Since he hasn’t really met an adult male besides his own father and Will, he places his hopes on Will and forces him with a little blackmail to date his mother.
What actually develops between Marcus and Will is a relationship that pushes the other to accept themselves as they are and move on with life. In Will’s case, this means becoming the matured man, willing to let others in, whom he should have become at least ten years earlier. For Marcus, he finally becomes one with his awkwardness and learns how to have fun. At the beginning, Marcus is the mature adult, putting his mother’s happiness before his own, and Will’s the child, not being able to see beyond his own indulgence. This story is their journey of finding their rightful roles in life and creating a bond with the other that was unlikely in the beginning, but turned out to be exactly what each of them needed.
Being that the novel is fantastic, the only way that they could have hoped to recreate the charm into film is with the cast that they chose. This is a story driven film, and in order to achieve this in film the actors chosen become the tools in which to propel it forward. Bad acting can easily put a story driven film through cardiac arrest before it has even seen the silver screen leading it straight to the dreaded video store path.
Hugh Grant was perfect for the role as Will. His acting is usually limited to comedy, but it is an area in which he shines. Normally, his serious moments are always overlapped by immediate comedic relief. But Hugh Grant can do drama and has the resume to prove it, which gave him the perfect chops to present Will’s character perfectly.
Nicholas Hoult handled the mantle of his first major film part quite well, delivering an engaging and believable performance. I have seen him gradually take on more and more film roles since About A Boy, and he has gotten stronger. It is clear from this film that he would have such a career ahead of him.
The last actor to pull you into this film is none other than the famed chameleon actor, Toni Collette, which she proves undoubtedly on her recent television series, The United States of Tara, as a women with a multiple personality disorder. Toni Collette has played many varied characters that spread across a spectrum that at times you do not realize the actor you are watching is her right away. This is just raw talent that few actors have. This film is no different. She once again throws herself into the character of Fiona, Marcus’s mother. Her characters neurotic tendencies allowed Toni Collette to portray a woman that allowed you to sympathize, empathize, laugh with, and laugh at without one awkward turn.
Unfortunately, there is not a whole lot to add about Rachel Weisz. She was not terrible in this film, just that her character did not offer her much to work with beyond delivering the lines. Her character was important, but only as a device for Will’s character.
Over all, this is a wonderful movie that not only will make you laugh, but make you feel good. I would also like to make a tiny notice to the soundtrack that was written and performed by Badly Drawn Boy. It adds its own character, and I highly recommend to those who find this type of music appealing. Just be warned that it is score as well as music.
I give this film 4 Buttery Kernels.
Coming Soon: Accepted
Just to keep this site moving, I am going to start reviewing my film collection. My collection is getting close to 500, and it is still growing. Yes, I do realize that I have a problem. Lol! Also, I should mention that I do have some anal-retentive issues when it comes to my movies. I keep them if alphabetical order. This will be very apparent, as I go through my reviews. Don’t be afraid to laugh about that. It is okay to make fun of me. For the reviews of the films in my personal collection, I thought that I will also add why I own them. This is an important reason to me, because not all movies should be purchased. There are even some movies that will take 2 hours of your life that you will never get back. Keeping with this spirit, I will also let you know where a new film measures up in this way. I'll let you know whether you should stay away, go see immediately, buy, or just rent.
I will be leaving this site open for anyone to leave a comment if they like, regardless if they are affiliated with Blogger. I will rate my films through Buttery Kernels. Yes, it is rather cheesy, but since I wanted to be different from the regular Stars rating system, this is was the only representation I could find that was not currently being used. It will be used like the standard system: 1 to 5 Buttery Kernels, 1 being the worst and 5 being the best. I hoping that you will have as much as I and thanks for visiting Blondie’s Flick Find.
Coming Soon: About A Boy