Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Dano started doing the cutest thing this afternoon: making little kissing noises! I tried to get it on video, but it was nearly nap time and he got cranky when I wouldn't let him play with the camera. Still, it was adorable, these little smacky kissy noises.

Today he also figured out how to turn on the hot water in the bathtub. At first he just turned it on a little, and was fascinated by watching the water come out, but then he turned it on more, and then he got scared. For some reason, he gets really upset if he's in the bathroom while Cowboy or I are taking a shower -- he gets all squirmy and whiny and worried. He started doing the same thing when he turned the water on more and it got louder. So maybe that'll keep him from playing with it all the time. (Know what 'fat chance' means?)

All day, I've had Coldplay's new song "Viva La Vida" stuck in my head. The lyric are rather... surreal, but I don't really pay attention to them anyway, the tune is the cool part. This is doubly odd for me, as I'm usually all about lyrics, and I don't like most of Coldplay's stuff because their songs never seem to go anywhere. Except this one.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

This is going to be a long, rambly, possibly not entirely coherent post. It may even get a bit maudlin now and then. I don't even know if you'll want to read it, but I need to get it out of my system, so here goes.

I went to see The Dark Knight yesterday.

I was not sure if I wanted to see this movie. Not sure at all. I figured it would be awesome, but I also feared I would spend the whole 2 1/2 hours in tears. Or at least every moment Heath Ledger was on screen. So I waited for Johnnycake to go see it last weekend and asked him to tell me if he thought I would want to see it on the big screen. He said he thought I ought to, so I figured maybe I would. Maybe. If Dano took a nap at the right time, if I didn't chicken out, if I wasn't busy doing other things like... alphabetizing my spice shelf. Cowboy predicted I would drive to the theater and then circle the parking lot and never make up my mind to actually go inside. Or I'd go in and decide to see something else. Like Space Chimps, cuz that just looks sooooo good.

But Dano took a nap just in time for me to run down to the car and... turn the wrong direction out of my driveway. Apparently, part of me wanted to go see the movie, but the part controlling the steering wheel wanted to go to the mall. I realized my mistake, turned around, and made it to the theater in time to stand in a very slow line for tickets where I had plenty of time to read through the show times for everything else currently running and see if there was anything else that I had any interest in seeing at all starting at about the same time. But nothing else started for at least another half an hour, not even Space Chimps. So I got my ticket for The Dark Knight and found a seat just as the hot dog stopped singing about popcorn.

I did not cry. Not once. I did hug my knees a lot. And chewed on my lower lip quite often. Watched some scenes from beneath lowered eyebrows. And spent quite a few minutes with my hands in a tent around my nose and mouth, because that's what I do when I'm worried/frightened by a movie. But I didn't cry. I did clap once, though. As did everyone in the theater -- I'll say this for Connecticut theatergoers: they are not afraid to clap and cheer.

But I'm glad I saw it. I think I needed to. I came out of it feeling empty, almost cleansed, as if I had rid myself of an oppressive mantle of gloom.

And it was a good movie. It had all sorts of deep themes and complicated emotions and complex characters. Very meaty. Even Maggie Gyllenhaal, who usually strikes me as a sort of off-brand Kirsten Dunst, pulled off her role with style.

Once again, my favorite character ended up being Jim Gordon. I completely dug him in Batman Begins, and he's even more wonderful in this. Of course, he's played by Gary Oldman, so odds of me liking him are pretty high, since I've never seen Oldman turn in a less-than-intriguing performance. Don't highlight and read this next part unless you don't mind spoilage. In fact, the closest I got to tears was when they killed Gordon off -- I would definitely have cried if I hadn't been so outraged. I spent the next section of the movie fuming that they had dared kill off such a morally upright character -- and that they never let him become Commissioner Gordon like he's supposed to! Then, of course, it turned out he wasn't dead after all, and that's when the whole theater clapped. Definitely one of my favorite moments in the movie.

I'd say the one thing I really disliked about this movie was Two-Face. Not that Aaron Eckhart portrayed him badly -- he did a good job, full of conflicted morals and juicy emotions. No, what I disliked was the makeup effects they used. They were so... unbelievable. One of the things I like best about this incarnation of the Batman world is that everything is fairly plausible. The Batmobile, Batman's gadgets and suit, even the bad guys and their weapons all seem like they could exist. The whole world feels very real. Very solid and... crunchy. But Two-Face looked too much like the Mummy, all stringy muscles and popped-out eyeball. I did not buy it at all. IMHO, cheesed-out Tommy Lee Jones in Batman Forever had more believable Two-Face makeup. I would have liked to have seen them go more Man Without a Face with it, because that would have been so much more believable.

But all in all, it was well done. And like I said, I'm glad I saw it, because I now feel very released.

Heath Ledger is dead. I wish it weren't so, but it is. Nothing will change that. He left behind one last brilliant performance, one worth me spending $8.50 to see it on the big screen. I don't think I will ever watch this movie again, but I'm glad I saw it.

Oh, and it got one Warhead.

Monday, July 21, 2008

"Captain Horatio Hornblower R.N." (1951) -- Initial Thoughts

Guess who I found at the library this week? Gregory Peck as Captain Horatio Hornblower!!! I just watched it this morning, and oh boy, is it a good one! It's going on my Christmas list straight away.

I've been wanting to see this movie ever since I first heard about it when I was introduced to the character ten years ago. One of my mom's friends loaned her three of the A&E Hornblower movies starring Ioan Gruffudd and told her about the old Gregory Peck version as well. Of course, I instantly fell madly in love with both Ioan Gruffudd and the character of Horatio Hornblower as soon as I watched the A&E movies. Although I regret to admit I haven't read any of the books by C. S. Forester, I'm hoping maybe this library will have them.

Anyway, great swashbuckling tale! Gregory Peck makes a wonderful Hornblower, as one might expect. And you know, he even almost looks a little like an older version of Ioan Gruffudd, so it all works very nicely. This movie is based on what I believe was the first HH book written, while the A&E series begins with the beginning of HH's career as a midshipman, which Forester seems to have written about later. This involves his affair with Lady Barbara Wellesley, played adeptly by Virginia Mayo. Of course, it also involves several naval battles and lots of fun sailorly stuff.

And now I'm totally in the mood for more Hornblowerful adventures, so I think as soon as Dano takes his next nap, I'm going to put in "The Duel." This is turning out to be a rather nice Monday after all!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Act III of Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog is up. It's incredibly Joss-ful. My comments are below, written in invisible ink so you won't get spoiled by them.

Um, wow. That took a sudden turn for the ultra-serious, huh? I totally did not see Penny getting killed, though I guess I should have, since this is Joss Whedon we're talking about. A show where a main character does not die is not a Joss Whedon show. Or something like that.

Dr. Horrible had a lot of thematic similarities to other Joss shows, don't you think? Dr. Horrible is like an older version of The Trio from season six of Buffy. Penny reminded me a lot of Anne Steele from season two of Angel, all helping the homeless and something of an angel herself, but somewhat willing to do whatever it takes to further her cause. The good guys aren't necessarily all that good, and the bad guys aren't pure evil. And, of course, a good character dies. How often hasn't that happened, huh? Hmm. Jenny. Angel. Buffy. Tara. Spike. Doyle. Fred. Cordelia. Okay, okay, on Firefly no one died, but Wash died in the movie follow-up, Serenity.

Anyway, I dug it, though no songs in part three are running manically through my head. But I've only watched it once, so that could change. Now I need to find time before it all disappears to watch all three acts in a row.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Act Two of "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog" is now up!

I'd write more, but I'm going to go watch it again.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Duuuuuude! Joss Whedon has created a brand new art form! Okay, not exactly, but sort of. He's created an online episodic supervillain musical called "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog," and it's available for free until July 20, so you have to go check it out RIGHT NOW! Actually, only part one is available right this moment, with part 2 coming online tomorrow, and part three on Saturday. But you have to go watch part one right now because it is full of Jossful hilarity. Funny lines, silly songs, and oh, did I mention Nathan Fillion?!?!?!?! Yes. Nathan Fillion.

Mmmmm. Nathan Fillion. Here, have a random picture of him just because. It's not him as Captain Hammer, but it's a fun picture anyway.

I think I'm gonna go watch about 9 eps of Firefly. Okay, maybe 2. As many as Dano's naps will allow, let's put it that way.

Many thanks to DKoren for pointing me to this site!

(Oh, and yes, that's Doogie Howser in the title role. Just FYI, in case you ever watched that show. I didn't, but you might have.)

Monday, July 14, 2008

It seems the library has run out of musicals that I haven't seen before. I'm sure the whole library system has more that I could get through interlibrary loan, but for now, I'm going to sum up what I've seen over the last five months. I watched fourteen musicals, and here they are in order of how I liked them, from best to worst:

The Pirate
Royal Wedding
Yankee Doodle Dandy
Band Wagon
Easter Parade
Bells Are Ringing
Lullaby of Broadway
Love Me or Leave Me
Meet Me in Las Vegas
The Stars and Stripes Forever
42nd Street
How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

Actually "The Pirate" and "Royal Wedding" are kind of tied for second place -- I totally dug both of them.

It's been a fun five months, that's for sure. Hmm, should I see if the library has a lot of some other genre that I haven't seen and start reporting on them?

Monday, July 07, 2008

"Get Smart" (2008) -- Initial Thoughts

I went to see Get Smart yesterday. I laughed, I cried, it moved me, Bob.

Okay, the movie didn't actually make me cry. The trailer for Dark Knight did. When it ended, I realized I had both hands forming a triangle over my mouth and nose. That's usually what I do when I see something horrifying or shocking or scary. So yeah -- not at all sure I'll be going to see that. It might be just too doggone soon.

But anyway, Get Smart was really fun! I was hoping hoping hoping it wouldn't be lame or stupid or reduced to juvenile humor, because I love the original show. And I was not disappointed! It was a good mix of slapstick, one-liners, and gags, with just a little inanity thrown in. And they included so much of the original show, from the Cone of Silence to "Missed it by this much!" to Hymie to Siegfried to the old "explain what someone just did" trick. Dug it.

Plus, Dwayne Johnson! Though, can you believe this? He never appeared even so much as sleeveless! It's like he's starting to be taken seriously as an actor and not just a big, muscly guy. He has a good sense of comic timing, so this worked really well for him. And he looked better in suits than he did in The Rundown. Either they were tailored better, or he's been streamlining himself. Don't highlight the rest of this paragraph if you don't want to be spoiled: Of course, he turned out to be a mole, and I must admit I suspected that a while before it was revealed. Mostly because he turned evil in Doom, but also because he was being just a little too slick the whole time. But that's okay, he made a fun villain too.

And hey, has anyone else noticed how much Dalip Singh looks like Richard Kiel? I was convinced they must be related or something, but they're not.

Sadly, I must give Get Smart three Warheads. It got a little draggy a couple of times, enough for me to think, "Hmm, how about some more sour and tasty candy?" But I still really enjoyed it.

What I decidedly did NOT enjoy was this old woman sitting next to me. She was in her late 60s/early 70s, and there with her husband. When they first sat down, I thought maybe they would be really fun to be near, because they probably remember the original show and would laugh at all the references to it like I would. Plus, they were kind of a cute couple. He put his hand on her knee, and they were sharing a bag of popcorn and whispering. But then the movie started. And every single time something slightly implausible or unbelievable or don't-try-this-at-home-ish happened, this woman said, "Yeah, right." Out loud. Every time. And believe me, that got very old, very fast. Finally, about two-thirds of the way through, I waited for her to say it again, and when she did, I leaned over and whispered, "I'm sorry, ma'am, but you are really annoying to sit next to during this movie." And then I moved over one seat and sat next to two teen girls who were thoroughly enjoying the movie the way I was.

I did. I'm not making this up. I really did.

After the movie, before the girls left, I turned to them and said, "I just want you to know that you have great theater manners, and were much more fun to sit next to than an old lady who said, 'Yeah, right,' every time something happened." They giggled and said, "Thanks!" and left.

What is it with these Nutmeggers and their deplorable theater manners? First the evil mother who wouldn't take her child out of a movie that was scaring him, and now this hag! Yuck! It's a good thing I have neither the time nor the money to go see as many movies as I watched back in Ruralsburg, or I might end up punching people out or "accidentally" spilling slushies on them or something. Yeesh.