First Movie Seen In December 2011

Self saw “The Muppets”!  Amy Adams is adorable!  She confesses she snoozed through the “Toy Story” short that preceded!  And there were previews for all sorts of kiddie movies, self thinks there was even one for “Rin Tin Tin,” but watching it reminded her of son, and he still hasn’t committed to coming up for the holidays — WAAAH!  Big time WAAAAH!

Self!  Stop being such a cry-baby!  Son is a grown man, now!  You’d better start getting ready to celebrate Christmas by yourself!

After “The Muppets,” still infused with the joy of having heard “Mahnahmahnah” sung during the closing credits, self drove straight to Wegman’s, ignored all the sundry rich people in their REI and North Face down parkas (This is frickin’ Ca-lee-fuh-niah, for heavens sake!  Reserve the parkas for the ski slopes!) and, since no one was paying attention to her, and she had to wait half an hour for an attendant (She noticed the tanned couples were being faithfully dogged by Wegman’s staff), she bought a huge, FAT Noble fir!  So fat it looks like it can accommodate 200 ornaments!  The woman who finally helped self asked where self was planning to put it.  “Oh, I have a huuuuge picture window,” self assured her.  “Huge!  And every year, the neighbors gather on the sidewalk, just to wait for the moment when I open the blinds and — VOILA! — the tree is laden with Christmas ornaments from such far-flung places as Berlin and the Philippines!  It is quite a local attraction!”

“I’ll put a red tag on it right away!” the woman said.

To be fair, the woman who helped self was super-nice.

Now, to the movie.

But wait!  There was something else!  Self discovered (after she’d parked) that there was a street fair along Broadway!  Many many booths selling kiddie things (knit sweaters, whirligigs, “Fit Kids” sign-ups, and so forth) were set up in front of the Courthouse plaza.  Oh what joy to be in Redwood City, alive during a street fair!

Afterwards, self went to the Century 20 and purchased several gift cards.  Then she asked the ticket seller:  “Are there any movies starting in the next 15 or 20 minutes?”

“Oh yes!”  the young woman said.  “The Descendants!” (Self couldn’t help noticing how accurately the woman had pinned self’s demographic.  Perhaps it’s time for another hair dye … )

“There’s also Hugo!” she went on …

Hmmm.

“And J. Edgar … ”

Three for three, self was thinking.  Gaah, all the movies self really wanted to see and did end up seeing, like Immortals and Harold and Kumar, were completely, to this girl’s thinking at least, beyond the viewing possibilities for middle-aged women in camel pea coats …

“And The Muppets … ”

“I’ll take that one,” self said immediately.  For she loves Amy Adams.  She could watch Amy Adams cleaning a toilet.  Bet Amy could make the job look wonderful and refreshing.  She is so bubbly and full of energy!  Even in “The Fighter,” when she had to play the girlfriend of Mark Wahlberg, and got into a hair-pulling fight with his trashy sisters, she still managed to look fresh and perky.

And, oh!  This was a musical!  And while self was buying the obligatory popcorn, the cashier, who looked about 17, asked her, “So what movie are we seeing today?”

The Muppets,” self replied.

“Who’s your favorite Muppet?” the young man asked.

Wow, this day was really full of conversations!

“Kermit,” self answered.

“Naaah!” the young man said.  “It’s got to be MISS PIGGY!”

Oh my goodness!  What a conversation to have with a 17-year-old!

Anyhoo, self proceeded to the movie, and at first she was rather glum.  But after the first burst of song, and especially after Amy Adams showed up wearing a neon yellow skirt, self was wide awake, and laughing and laughing and laughing.

Self would just like to say, there were so many 80s references here, it was ridiculous.  They even had James Carville.  James Carville, dear blog readers!  Displaying his bald head and impish grin (which self confesses she finds strangely alluring) for about two seconds!

Jack Black, Emily Blunt, Chris Cooper, and Rashida Jones (among many others) were along for the ride.  Can you imagine Chris Cooper singing and dancing?  No?  Well, then, ladies and gentlemen, you have just got to see this movie!  Afterwards, self couldn’t help singing “The Rainbow Connection” to herself in the car!

Why are there so many
Songs about rainbows
And what’s on the other side?
Rainbows are visions
But only illusions
And rainbows have nothing to hiiiiide
And what’s so amazing
That it keeps us star-gazing . . .

After self got home, she looked up “The Rainbow Connection” on YouTube. The best versions, in her humble opinion, are the ones by Sarah McLachlan and Jason Mraz.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

“The Fighter”: Featuring a Trifecta of Fine Performances

Self watched “The Fighter” with hubby today (And right now, Mark Wahlberg’s handsome mug is close-up on flat-screen HDTV). This movie featured a trifecta of great performances, and these are the three:

Self would also like to include the Vengeful Chorus of the five sisters — what a riot they were! So many scenes would not have worked without their malevolent, sniping presence.

But — Melissa Leo! Shock! Self has just seen her in her Oscar gown, and she looks: a) waaay younger than she does in the movie; and b) waaay waaaay prettier. In “The Fighter,” she plays Mark Wahlberg’s avaricious and self-dramatizing Mom. How the title character can focus on his bouts when he is surrounded by so much drama (Most created by his Mom) is almost beyond comprehension.

Then there’s Christian Bale. From the very first frame, self was in shock. He played jittery, he played ridiculous, he played hollow-eyed crack addict. It was a very physical performance, every bit as demanding as Wahlberg’s role. But when he was in a scene, self could watch no one else. Except, except for the scenes he had with —

Amy Adams. Self has loved this actress for years. Her performances are always so grounded. Here, self loves her vulnerable yet feisty bartender, the little pouch of fat that she allows to peak over the waistband of her short shorts; the way her eyes look dreamy, but her mouth and her words are not;  the timing of her verbal jabs;  the way she looks utterly believable in every scene (and even steals some from Christian Bale, quite a feat!), whether she is playing flirtatious in a bar, romantic with Wahlberg, or screaming profanities and punching out the hero’s sister. What a performance!  Self can imagine no one else in the role.

Self can hardly wait to see who wins the Best Supporting Actor (She hopes Bale) and Best Supporting Actress (She hopes Adams, but it won’t be. It’ll probably be that tall young girl from “True Grit.”)

Self also finds herself being extremely curious about the director, David O. Russell.  (Oh, she discovers from IMDB that he directed “Three Kings”!!  Self loved that movie!)

Five out of five stars. The best movie self has seen so far this year.

Stay tuned.

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