Archive for the ‘Extremely Biased Film Reviews’ Category

Martha Southgate author of “The Taste of Salt” was complaining about the movie “The Maid” on CNN.   Then, on comes one of the actresses and says something like, that she had to debate doing the movie because she had trouble with doing a part (that of the maid in 2011), that being a maid is demeaning.

Now, don’t shoot me if I misunderstood because far be it for me to get anything wrong and run with it, but I’m not about to stop now.


Is being a ditch digger demeaning?  Is it more demeaning to be a lawyer than a doctor or a babysitter than a waitress?

Were these maids possibly treated in a demeaning manner?  HELL YES!

But, were they also doing an honest day’s work for less than an honest days wage to feed their families?  HELL YES!!

No matter what society you live in, you do the best you can with what you are given.

I grew up in the 50s, in a household that did not believe that women should go to college.  Women  were to be taken care of, (all the while they are cleaning the toilets, that  is.)  Did I finally get my butt through  college?  Yes, I did.  Did I pick the best vocation for the    money?  Well, no!

I started off in pre-law.   Made straight A’s and thought about doing something, other than being a  lawyer in this vein.  Then, I got a  divorce and needed to work to support my girls.  So, I became a legal secretary.   It was there, I was good at it and it was a wage.  I never once thought about it being demeaning  to be a secretary rather than a lawyer.

I have, however, been treated in a VERY demeaning manner by bosses, and then I have had other bosses who treated me like family.

In the end, I’m an artist and there is definitely a reason  why they call it us “Starving artists.”   I have my hand in about five separate ways to
make a living.  I get $200 here and $20 there.  I don’t care if I paint toilets,      there is nothing about working any job that is demeaning.

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There are two people in our family who are just so funny that you love to be around them and often the comment is heard, “if we could get Sharon and Carol together one day, we would die from laughter.” 

Sharon lives in Indiana and Carol in Wisconsin, so it has not happened yet, but Sharon has begun blogging.  She was shamed into it really by a couple of bloggers, okay, me  and her friend.  She tried her hand, Just who are you people? « Braindebris’s Weblog, and was (as we suspected) hysterical.  She is one of ‘those’ people, who if she wrote regularly enough would be publishing a book.  She is that funny, just check out the The Immortal Rabbit « Braindebris’s Weblog if you want to split a gut.

She took a long break from blogging, much to our disgust, and is back now on a weekly blog schedule.  You would think she has a life or something!  She also mentioned it takes a good hour to put a blog post together.  Who knew!   

So, this morning, I checked how her weekend was and she brought up the often mysterious workings of the blogosphere and the people who take the time to read your blog but rarely write comments. 

My readership is not huge, it has dropped since I have gotten less regular in posting. However, in the beginning, when my readership would hit 1,000 for the month, I never had commenters, other than one.  There were 999 people out there lurking.   XUP always comments, all the way from Canada.  Aren’t you ashamed fellow Americans?  I have to get comments from Canada.  Pollyanna Rainbow Sunshine and the Needles of Doom often commented, but I have been really remiss commenting on their blog lately.  Don’t you love that name though!

 I have also been blogging a bit less lately myself, as I work on my eternal update to my website.  I feel like one of those people on the commercial, staring wide eyes, pupils dilated from staring at the screen, mind numb … anyway, you get the not pretty picture.  I only have one section left to go on the website and am soooo look forward to it being done.

This morning, here is a copy my monthly stats.  Notice the slow decline.

So, I checked Search terms. 

“no blood for oil Viggo” – as in Viggo Mortensen, no surprise there. Half of my readership is searching for “Viggo” –  Talk about stalkers! 

“Worms …” – EUWWW! especially when in the house. 

“actor with low ears” –  Okay, is this person casting a movie?  I have written about actors, and I have written a post due to the lovely commercial based on the old song “do your ears hang low. ” But, I have NEVER written about an actor with low ears.  I am not even sure why you would want to find an actor with low ears.


In an effort to raise my stats, I realize that I have three sure winners:

  • Viggo Mortensen
  • photography
  • Movie reviews

Okay, Viggo Mortensen is hot and I do understand the fascination.  He keeps his private life mysterious and he’s hot and he likes dark chocolate and he’s hot.  What more could you want?  The only thing is, I do not actually know Mr. Mortensen (I love his name by the way— Viggo Mortensen—-it’s lyrical.  This is coming from someone named VanVleck.  Not so lyrical.

So, I shall now vow to make more of an effort to review movies about Viggo Mortensen and you, my kind readers (numbers 13 to 30 and occasionally 1,000) shall occasionally drop me a line to let me know what you like, or do not like, on my blog.

Oh, and I will try not to be a stalker myself.

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I do not remember watching Julia Child.  I think I presumed I would not like her, and that she was rather ‘stuck-up.’   Never presume!

Julie Julia

The Julia Child, played by Meryl Streep, that I saw on the screen is the most delightful woman who finds joy in everything.  For this Julia, eating fish is an orgasmic experience.  No, make that, everyday living is an orgasmic experience.  She is delightful, radiant and someone anyone should love to be around.

Stanley Tucci is fantastic as Paul Child, Julia’s husband and we should all find the love that is depicted in this film, in our lives.

Amy Adams is Julie Powell, the blogger who decides she needs direction and discipline in her life and that her committment to cooking all the recipes in Julia Child’s book will be just what she needs.

I had only seen one review on this movie on Reelz channel, but one of the two reviewers found Amy Adams, as Julie Powell, to be whiny and irritating.  Frankly, I think he needs to get a life.  There are just times in life when the best thing you can do is fall on the floor and cry.  It is certainly better than breaking or shooting something.  The movie depicted the growth of this character and, at the end, she seemed as delightful as Meryl Streep portrayed Julia to be. 

The most wonderful thing about this movie, however, is you could not help but leave the theater feeling a lot happier about the world.  We need more of that in life.  We need more people like Julia in our lives.

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What can I say about Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince? Out of five people in my house: one has not seen it, three did not think it was as good as the other movies and one, ME, absolutely loved it, and since it is MY blog.  I get to rave about it.  I have seen it twice now and would be happy to go again. Give me a call, if you would like company to see it.

1. The cinematography was awesome. This is the hardest one for me to explain, but I felt like it was shot in real life, rather than as a movie with actors. I am guessing it has something to do with filters.  The cinematography was outstanding.

2. It was funny, in just the right amount. And, a lot of that can be credited to the increasing acting talents of the actors. Harry (Daniel Radcliff) is just hilarious when under “lucky potion” and the same for Ron (Rupert Grint) when under a “love potion.”   Hermoine (Emma Watson) was excellent also and showed a warmer, more relaxed side of Hermoine.

3. I loved Jim Broadbent as Slughorn, although it bothers me a bit that he isn’t padded to more fit the description J.K. Rowling gives. But, he so fits the character that it doesn’t take long to get over missing the extra padding. Ie: his stomach did not precede him.   He plays the part to perfection. 

4. Ron’s girlfriend, Lavender Vane is it? and I am sorry I cannot remember the actresses name, but she did an excellent job also. And, that part could have been sooo overdone. But, it was perfect.  Freddie Stroma, as Cormac McLaggen just made you cringe, he did such a great job as the boy with the crush on Hermoine.  We’ve all known a character like him.  (Thank you, Review – Half Blood Prince « Mariannabelle’s Weblog for reminding me.)

5. And, while we are on actors, I am glad to see a “character driven movie again. I think that may be what made it flow so nicely, as opposed to a couple of the other movies, where it was like watching independent scenes.  One being “Goblet of Fire.”

6. I loved the way the shots worked for the close ups of Dumbledore and Slughorn. Slughorn’s makeup really added to the drama of the shot.  Like I said, the cinematography was outstanding.

7. The isolation you felt for Draco Malfoy was heart wrenching: unlike every other movie. You may have felt sorry for him previously, with that father, but he was such a despicable little snot nose that you hated him.  This time around, your heart ached a bit for him.

So, I, for one, in this house, absolutely recommend Half Blood Prince, my only drawback would be a spoiler, but they did something at the end that I just do not understand. It was dramatic and a wonderful scene but it really puts them in a bind when it comes to several continued subplots for the next film. I mean what about poor Hedwig and all the things in the trunk, that are needed???????

To be fair, and give the other three house members their side, although they should get their own blog for that, right?  Anyway, It was mentioned that this is not a good “stand alone” movie.  Even the opening scene would leave someone confused who had not seen the previous movie.  One person felt too much time was spent on Draco Malfoy’s search to fix the cabinet and that Snape’s state-of-mind was not shown enough.

I need to go now.  I have discovered my very own personal giant Acromantula in the downstairs bathroom.  Gosh, I am glad it did not grow any bigger.

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Sunday, I watched “The Visitor.” With that title, and all the movies that seem to be playing right now, I avoided it the first time it was on.  Ithought it was a horror movie. But, it was a wonderful movie.  The Visitor (2008) – Moviefone  has it listed as one of the 50 best movies of 2008.  I’m sure I would rank it much higher and I am putting it on my DVD want list.

It is amazing what a great movie they can make with a very simple plot, excellent casting, acting, and directing. There were no special affects, no bombs, no blood, no action too fast to watch and too loud to hear, just a lot of emotion. It’s on Starz this month and I hate to give away too much, so I will try to be careful.

Things to watch out for are the subliminal messages, in the background. Things like how we welcome everyone to our humble shores, as we used to,  and how we are a land made up of all nationalities, as we are.

And, as wtih all good plots, the main ingredient is the character development.

Tarek (Haaz Sleiman) is a jubilant, love-of-life musician who is driven to hatred by bureaucracy. 

Walter (Richard Jenkins) shows the world how good of an actor he is as he plays a man going through the motions of life, when he is randomly thrown into close contact with Tarek and his girlfriend.  Tarek shows Walter what a wonderful thing life can be, and Walter begins to live.

The ending of this movie left me silently praying for any other outcome.  But, it is a movie that is true-to-life.

We can all get in ruts and may need to be shown how to enjoy life again, and to be open to accept others into our life.  Life is too short, not to experience it. Check out, “The Visitor”  and do not be afraid to try new things in your life.

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Bedtime Stories

We try to go to the movies at least once, with the boys, over the Christmas break, while Gaffer is home to join us.  This year we did not have a lot of choice, when we decided it was time to go before school starts on Tuesday.  So, we picked one everyone could agree on and went to see Bedtime Stories.


I have to tell you, it looked cute but I did not think I would enjoy it near as much as I did.  I’m such a visual person and the CGI in this is outstanding.  It is a family movie. I would not mind taking younger children to it, but ours are 16, 19 and 22 and we joined the whole audience in laughing most of the way through the show.


Adam Sandler has not been my favorite actor.  I’ve seen too many rolls for him that just fell flat or made him look stupid, but recently he has been on a role of wise choices.  He was a natural for this story of a ditzy acting brother who has to care for his sisters children for a few days.  He plays it with love and tenderness and just the right touch of humor.


You are never sure just how dumb or smart he is until the very end. 


The movie falls into CGI moments at the drop of a hat but they fit.  They are very well done and really added to the story. 


My whole family highly recommends it.

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The boys have wanted me to purchase Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix for some time now.  I gave in and bought it the other day.  The only thing is that, things being things, they did not have the wide screen version and I did not notice till we were home.  Drats!


We had a family movie night, with popcorn and most cell phones off.  We have a visiting Harry in our house.  Actually, that is his name and he needed a place to stay, so Harry is our guest.  I gave up waiting for Harry to get off the cell phone and he finally went downstairs with it.  He’s a nice kid but addicted to a girl.  And, that’s a whole other post.


This viewing of Harry Potter just reinforced for me, yet again, the shear shortness of my memory.  I have now established that it does not last five months.  We saw this movie at the theatre and yet it was like watching a brand new movie.  I didn’t remember how it opened and I kept telling myself that we must have walked into the theatre late.


By the end, I knew I just did not remember seeing it before.  There were a few scenes, mostly like camera images that I remembered.  Filch on the ladder was one and I love it when he does that “high knee run” of his.  But, I had forgotten Groap (sp?) and all kinds of other stuff.  I do remember not being real impressed with it the first time.


I thought it did not flow well; that the scenes were too disjointed.  But, I had just read the book over again, so maybe you are better off not reading the book right before seeing the movies.  And, I do read Harry Potter over again.  I love J. K. Rowling’s writing.


So, every time I feel guilty for buying another DVD, I just remind myself, it’s all new to me: over and over and over and over.

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Here are the rules:

1. Link to the person that tagged you and put the rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 weird or random facts about yourself.
3. Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and link to their blog.
4. Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a note on their blog.

My Tagger – Pollyanna Rainbow Sunshine and the Needles of Doom

Why is it that when you get something like this, your mind just freezes up.   Me?? Weird?  Random perhaps!  Weird definitely.

  1. I actually like to organize.  You would never know this by my house; where I organize my desk by throwing it all, the paper, not the desk, in a rubbermaid, when the paper piles up too high.  Two years later, you can just toss almot all of it.  But, when I am done working in my studio, I like to put everything back in it’s place, so the next morning, I go out and I’m ready to roll.  This is perhaps why, I cannot work now, because both studios look like a hurricane hit them.   I do dream of having a decent office, some day, where I can file, yes as in file in alphabetical order in a cabinet, all of that paper and have a place for extra office supplies.  AND, a cork board wall to hang all my information for my book:  drawings of characters, things not to forget, etc, etc, etc.
  2. I too am a fan of What Not To Wear : TLC and, if Lyda will nominate me, I will nominate her.  We’ll have to take secret photos of each other though and that could get embarrassing.  At the present time, my wardrobe is one pair of good dress pants, one polyster suit my mother gave me and I refuse to wear because polyster is just plain YUCK!!!  The rest of it–they can have all of the jeans and t-shirts they can carry.  I would follow you anywhere for $5,000 worth of decent clothing, a good haircut and what makeup to wear.
  3. I really enjoyed working as a security officer in a grocery store.  I would get off the train from Chicago, where I was going to college, grab a shopping cart, put some shopperly items in it and troll the aisles.  I did not like to bust the little old men who pocketed $3.00 bottles of aspirins, while buying $200 worth of groceries.  But, I loved it when I found someone loading up their purse with higher end items.  They were wise to security too and once I got stiffed when I missed them dumping the items before I could bust them.  But, that happens to everyone once in a while.  Those bikers with cartons of cigarettes in their leather jackets were a real trip too as they just did not want to stop.
  4. I really want to spend two hours a day practicing my violin.  I love playing it and want to get back to the level I was at, while living in Wyoming and taking lessons.  Well, actually, I want to get way better.
  5. I too am a pretty good dancer, like Anna-Liza.  I can follow just about anyone and often do.  Opps! That was meant for dancing.  However, I am a bit rusty.  Note to next romance, you are not even in the running unless you will learn to dance.  Twenty years without dancing is more than enough in one lifetime!
  6. One of my favorite all time movies is Kinky Boots (film) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The last ten minutes of that movie is worth watching over and over and over.  I just love it.  It’s such a study in thinking outside the box for success and a great message on acceptance.
  7. And finally, I love the realism I paint, and I can’t wait to get back to painting, where I hope to go off in a new direction and really free up my work to show more emotion. 
  8. I’m throwing an eighth one in that I just thought of.  That is that, I spend an inordinate amount of time daydreaming (Of love, what else?).  I dream of a relationship where we sit in a gazebo with swing each evening, under the stars with a glass of wine or Bailey’s and talk about the day and keep our relationship close.  A relationship where one of you comes in the kitchen and the other grabs you and starts dancing, see # 5 above, to our own music.  Where we are comfortable with the silent times together.  Where we can critique each others art work and make, not just the artwork better, but where we have the affect of making each other better people.  That would be a perfect match.

On that note, I’m not sure I can find seven people I feel comfortable tagging, but I shall try those I read on a daily basis.  I am trolling through my daily blog reads and finding that those who write only about their son, or cooking (and don’t ask why I read that.  I have an aunt who reads cookbooks for entertainment — it’s another hereditary thing), or those who write about fitness or their upcoming nuptuals, or the two who you cannot post back to.  In other words, I’m coming up blank here. Of course, Pollyanna Rainbow Sunshine and the Needles of Doom  and XUP  are on my daily blog reads but they are out-of-the-question. 

Oh, heck with it, now I’m losing my stuff.  What stuff you ask?  Brain matter!  Web pages! you name it.  If you are willing to be tagged, please let me know so I can tag you.  I mean we all need ideas for blogging, right?

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It’s raining in Indiana.  And, just how many times have I said that?  Way too many!  I like the rain but today it is a cold rain that keeps me from going out to my studio to get a couple of Christmas gifts made and I am afraid that I have, yet again, waited too late to do them.


I’m not real happy in the cold and cold rain is just a plain insult.  So, it’s inside for popcorn and a movie or three.


The Life of David Gale


Kevin Spacey portrays the downward spiral in the life of an intelligent, if a bit arrogant, man named, appropriately enough, David Gale.  This is a very well developed character with deep character flaws.   His touch of arrogance tops off his constant battle with alcohol.  Despite this, he is an intelligent man; loving with his family and engaging with his students. 


The movie starts with Kate Winslet, in the role of the reporter who is interviewing Gale on death row, while Laura Linney acts in an outstanding portrayal of David Gale’s best friend, Constance.


There are excellent twists and turns to be followed, and an ‘edge of the seat’ ending.  One of my favorite lines in the movie is, “Hates no fun, if you keep it to yourself.”


This is an excellent movie; not one that you will watch over and over, but a deep and meaningful movie.  There is full female nudity and a rather disturbing scene near the ending.  Not for children. 




The jacket of K-Pax quotes Bill Diehl of ABC Radio; “Keeps you Guessing Right to the End!” and that it does. 


Prot, played by Kevin Spacey appears mysteriously, claiming to be from a distant planet called, K-Pax.  Not surprisingly, he is hospitalized.  Now, this may not be politically correct.  I mean, who are we to hospitalize someone just because they claim to be an alien.  He’s not harming anyone, but he does not seem to mind.  Prot is open to the world.


There are two hearts to this story.  One is Prot’s affect on the residents of the public mental hospital where he is living.  He brings hope and joy to their otherwise drab existence.  The other is the relationship between Prot and Dr. Powell.  Dr. Powell, played by Jeff Bridges, becomes intrigued by the enigma that is Prot.  For one thing, Prot has knowledge of a distant star system only recently discovered by us, with the help of Hubble.  Then, bits and pieces of Prot’s story seem to point to a tragic history on earth.  We would rather believe in his intergalactic beginnings than the story that is slowly emerging.


This is a fantastic story.  I highly recommend it. 

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Okay, I have lived with four teenage boys, long enough to know that if they hand me a movie and say, “Grandma, you’ve just got to watch this.” My first question should be, and was, “Is this a shoot em up and kill them movie.”


“Oh, no.” They declare.  “It’s really good.”


In what depths of their male brain do they think that Boondock Saints is NOT a shoot ‘em up movie?  Dialogue toward the end of the movie even announces there have been seventeen murders. And, pretty nearly all these murders were done with weapons; namely guns, boys.  Shoot ‘em up, guns.


First, let me say that I like Willem Dafoe’s acting; usually. I like his name: Willem, not William—although he was named William at birth, Willem and Dafoe. It’s a cool name and I remember him from Platoon and Mississippi Burning.  And, I also thought I remembered him from China Beach, but apparently, he wasn’t in it.  Hmmm?


This SHOULD have been a good movie.  It’s a good premise, but, it’s not well directed.  They have taken perfectly good actors and told them to do the worse overacting on earth; especially Defoe.


Sean Patrick Flanery and Norman Reedus play fraternal twins; one of these two actors was quite impressive and that is despite the hideous directing that the other actors followed. Unfortunately, I do not remember which was which.  But, they played vigilante meatpackers.


Okay, I simplified there, but hey, I have this firm belief, and this is from direct experience so please do not get irate meatpackers, that people who work in butchering plants tend to be affected by the killing in the long run.  Violence can be one result. Well, these boys see it as their mission from God to murder “bad” people and they start with Russian mobsters who are going to close their favorite Irish pub.


This may, in deed, be justification in the eyes of most of the world but they don’t stop there and the shooting just goes on and on and on.  And, unfortunately, so does the over acting.  


The movie could have been good.  Troy Duffy was the writer and director and I recommend he stick with writing.


Don’t go out and rent this DVD, just read the plot on Wiki and be done with it. The Boondock Saints – Wikipedia, the free


Wikipedia tells me that there is a sequel in the future. 

And, that Willem Dafoe has been smart enough to turn it down.  My words, not theirs.

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