SF Chronicle Capsule Movie Reviews

Self knows, she knows:  she’s going bananas with blogging again.  Perhaps it’s because she’s trying to postpone working.  Writing!  All right, but let’s just get this last one off her chest:  M. La Salle is possibly the only critic in the universe who gave “Watchmen” a good review.  And Carla Gugino is in “Race to Witch Mountain,” which self does not want to see because, aside from the fact that self no longer has a kid at home and therefore has no excuse to see a kiddie movie, she doesn’t want to see Carla in one of these Hollywood commercial flicks when self last saw her deliver a truly scorching performance on the stage of the Goodman Theatre, in “Desire Under the Elms,” last February.

Let’s see:  what else is in the Little Man Ratings Guide that might be of more than usual interest?  “Push” is rated a Sleeping Man.  Oh, too bad, self thought Chris Evans and Dakota Fanning were an appealing pairing.  “Rachel Getting Married” (which earned Anne Hathaway an Oscar nod) gets an Attentive Man.  Ditto for “The Reader.”

“Revolutionary Road” has Man Jumping Out of His Seat —  too bad it’s not showing in self’s local cine-plex any longer!  “Slumdog Millionaire” has Attentive Man (Yes!)  “Taken” has Clapping Man.  “Two Lovers” has —  Whoa!!!  —  Man Jumping Out of Seat with Joy and Appreciation!


Critic M. LaSalle says:

Joaquin Phoenix stars as a bipolar man who is torn between his attraction to an unstable neighbor and a beautiful friend of the family in this exceptionally well-acted romantic drama from writer-director James Gray.  It’s only February, but if this isn’t one of the best films 2009, it’s going to be an amazing year.

No, No, NOOOO — !

And here is the same critic’s review of “The Watchmen” :

This is a superior action movie, based on a graphic novel, that posits an alternate universe 1985, in which Nixon is president, the Soviets are about to launch a nuclear war and masked heroes are a part of the urban landscape.  Evocative and unsettling, it’s an intelligent and well-realized work of the imagination, worthy of its epic running time.

Hmm, self had no idea the movie was about an alternative 1985 universe.   She actually thinks it sounds pretty interesting:  the 1985 Nixon-is-President part, not the masked-heroes-running-all-over-the-urban-landscape part  (which is  —  hello?  What else is new?  Heroes are running all over the landscape in almost every movie coming out this summer!  The only difference is that some heroes are from the future, like John Connor.  And others are from Hogwarts, like in HP VI.  And some look like Denzel Washington, and others look like Jason Statham.  Some even look like —  Seth Rogen???)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers, stay tuned.

Quotes of the Day: “Mongol”

Self and hubby love watching sword-and-sandal epics. Also, war movies (“Saving Private Ryan,” “The Bridge on the River Kwai,” etc etc etc). Also, The History Channel (turning “300” in its new series, “Battles B.C.”).

The other week (in between Chicago Trip 1 and New York trip), we ordered “Mongol” on Pay-Per-View. Quite a rousing movie, that. And self would like to share with dear blog readers that even though the last third was rather lame, the first 2/3 had probably the most exciting scenes she’s seen in a movie, thus far in 2009. And because the first 2/3 were just so cheesy/great, self of course had to write down certain choice quotes from the movie, which she will now proceed to share with dear blog readers:

Do not scorn a weak cub. He may become the brutal tiger.

— Mongol proverb, 1192

Now, self doesn’t know if that truly is a 12th-century Mongol proverb, but she thinks dear blog readers will agree that it does lend the movie’s proceedings a certain air of tension. So, thumbs up.


When choosing a bride, her face must be flat like a salt lake. Her eyes must be narrow. Evil spirits dive into big eyes . . . and she will go mad.

No date given for that particular proverb, but self thinks it funny that the Mongol of the title, Genghis Khan, chose a woman whose face was decidedly not flat.

Anyhoo, self highly recommends it, dear blog readers.  Three out of four stars!  Very entertaining.

Stay tuned.

The Gods Up There

Now that self has sated her desire for junk food (bought two Hershey bars from gas station), self is at home, pondering an extremely weighty matter, and that is:

Should she once again risk humiliation by submitting work to Prairie Schooner?

Buoyed by the success of fellow Filipino writers M. Evelina Galang and Brian Ascalon Roley, self has felt moved to submit to this estimable journal, at least once a year for the last three or four years. But no sooner has self licked the envelope and applied the stamp than — surprise! — her manuscript comes back! Sometimes in just one week!

Since self is such a glutton for punishment, she Read the rest of this entry »

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