Saturday, July 31, 2010

All right kids

Saw another movie in the theater! 

The Kids Are All Right (2010)

Story: 18 and 15 year old children of two gay parents (Annette Bening and Julianne Moore) find sperm donor dad.  Tension, humor, and drama ensue. 


I highly recommend this film.  Bening and Moore are fantastic, Mark Ruffalo is pretty hot (even though his character is annoying at times), and the story is endearing and engaging.  It’s hard to pick out one thing about the movie that is especially good though.  I mean it’s funny but it’s not necessarily a comedy and the aren’t any one-liners, which is actually quite a good thing.  There are crazy and emotionally complex situations but they aren’t really such atypical situations in our modern world.  Yet the story was really fresh.  I guess i can say that I really enjoyed the world bathed in sun, steeped in red wine, surrounded in plants and dirt and fresh food.  Those images stayed with me and created a real backdrop to the drama and off-beat hilarity of it all.


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

It’s Complicated

I really thought I was going to hate this movie.  I didn’t hate it and I’m pretty certain I’m not the target demographic. I found it to be somewhat witty and delightful, even if it was in a world of extreme privilege. 

It’s Complicated (2009)

Netflix description:

Ten years after their divorce, Jane (Meryl Streep) and Jake (Alec Baldwin) Adler unite for their son's college graduation and unexpectedly end up sleeping together. But Jake is married, and Jane is embarking on a new romance with her architect, Adam (Steve Martin). Now, she has to sort out her life -- just when she thought she had it all figured out.

The chemistry between Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin was surprising and engaging.  The whole movie had a sort of lightness – like “life lite.”  Serious life issues are coming up but the movie is designed in such a way that you can’t get too serious about those issues with the prancy music, the comic relief characters and beautiful things everywhere.

The two characters that I found the most enjoyable were John Krasinski and Steve Martin – the funny guys.  Steve Martin really came alive in the pot smoking section of the movie.  I never even imagined that there would be a pot smoking section in this movie!!  What a pleasant surprise.  John Krasinski is fine in The Office (I don’t watch TV but have caught the American version of The Office  a few times here and there) but was AWESOME in Away We GoHe is  a charming addition to this film.   


Oh, did I mention privilege?  It was a bit over the top.  I mean Steve Martin was her architect and he was tasked with designing her a bigger kitchen.  In one part of the film she just gives her college-age son her credit card!  Who would do that?  Slate does a Spoiler Special on this movie and does a good job of covering this point.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Shutter Island


We watched Shutter Island at home the night before we saw Inception in the theatre.  I posted about Inception just after the viewing last night (and my scattered writing betrays my lack of collected thoughts). The similarities didn’t occur to me right away – other than that the lead for both movies was Leonardo DiCaprio.  In fact, now I find it quite a coincidence that we happened to see these two films back to back. 

Warning: I might do a little spoiling for Shutter Island (and maybe Inception).


In Shutter Island, DiCaprio is a US Marshal investigating the escape of a patient/inmate at Shutter Island, which is a penitentiary for the criminally insane.  He goes through his entire search, which of course leads him in circles.  We finally discover that he is a patient at the facility!  He is criminally insane and suffered a great trauma and cannot face reality.  He lives in a world where he didn’t commit any crime but is constantly seeking the person who did, but that person is him.

In Inception, DiCaprio is a thief.  He enters dreams and steals ideas.  The movie starts with a dream within a dream.  He’s in someone’s head while he’s in someone’s head.  The movie viewer almost never knows if she is in a dream or in reality.  The viewer does come to see, however, how fine the line can be. 

I didn’t really get into Shutter Island much.  Sure, the twist at the end was interesting and the filming had some eye-catching details but it wasn’t enough.  I was drawn to it because the trailer piqued my curiosity (which isn’t too terribly difficult) and it was a Scorsese film but it felt a bit flat.   Inception on the other hand is worth seeing!

Saturday, July 17, 2010


I’m way behind in posting about the movies I’ve seen.  It’s been since last month that I’ve posted on this topic.  In that time, I’ve seen about 8-9 movies.  I saw a movie actually in the theatre tonight (it was 102 degrees here and the house was too hot!) and I’ll discuss that one.  I’ll get to the others later.

Inception (2010)

We saw this tonight.  I’ve really been wanting to see Cyrus or The Kids Are All Right but we decided that Inception was one of those movies that might benefit from being seen on the big screen (i.e. not on our TV at home).

I enjoyed the movie.  Along with zombies and apocalyptic films, I’m a sucker for art forms that make you think about your reality. One of the very basic ideas in this movie is that dreams can be entered and manipulated to find or plant information. This can be done in groups in the movie or you can explore your own head.  The dream state and what goes on in the "back" of one's head is a debated and complex topic.  The way this movie manipulated it and explored it was compelling.

There were echoes of two other films: eXistenZ and The Matrix.  I won’t go into the parallels with the reality theme and The Matrix because that’s a much-seen movie.  eXistenZ, however, is a small movie directed by David Cronenberg that I don’t think got much attention, but that I found fascinating – at least in concept.
In eXistenZ, “the world's leading designer of virtual reality games [Jennifer Jason Leigh], is testing a new prototype when an assassin wielding a daunting organic weapon attacks her. She survives the assault with help from her marketing assistant turned bodyguard (Jude Law). But she'll need to ‘portal’ into her own game to get to the bottom of the intrigue.”


The dream-surfing in Inception and the resulting feeling of not knowing which is real – the dream or “real life” – is similar to the game scenario in eXistenZ.  Also, the use of the subconscious mind and what goes on in there as well as the manipulation of ideas (both getting them out of someone’s head and putting them in) is interesting.

As far as the performances go, Leonardo DiCaprio played what’s becoming his typical “serious guy”role and Ellen Page seemed somewhat two dimensional, I expected a bit more from her.  Of course, Marion Cotillard was excellent.

Great review by Roger Ebert here.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Such a hard life…

In the past I may have mentioned how difficult my life is with, you know, living in Colorado and having great friends and all.  Well, this weekend is another woeful tale. Saturday we climbed Torrey’s Peak via the Kelso Ridge, which was both challenging and a lot of fun.

Today I had an utterly urban morning with Wendy W.  We took B-cycle bikes from 13th/Pearl in Capitol Hill to Rootdown in the Highlands for brunch.  This is my Hazel Dell mushroom omelet with Wendy in the background.  We reserved a table and had a great one right at the edge of the patio – not 100% in the sun but lots of light and a breeze from the outside.
wendy sunday 005Rootdown has a good atmosphere and wonderfully organic food offerings but they don’t offer non-fat milk, only whole and soy milk.  Is that some anti-processed food movement I haven’t heard of? 
Also, as I’ve mentioned in the past, I have allergies.  They have cloth napkins, which is great.  I use cloth napkins at home.  I usually carry a handkerchief but forgot one.  After I placed my order, I held up my cloth napkin, merely to identify it as cloth, and asked if I could get a paper napkin.  The server tried to take my napkin but then I clarified that I just had to blow my nose and didn’t want to replace my cloth napkin.  I guess I can kind of see the confusion.  See the kind of problems I have…

Next we walked to REI to get new sunglasses for Wendy.  We found new ones that look great!  Seriously.
We rented another B-cycle and made our way back to Capitol Hill.  Our route took us across the Millennium Bridge, which is great because it has a stair ramp for bikes.  This means you don’t have to use the elevator or carry your bike up the stairs.  You can get a short but awesome work out by pushing your bike up the stairs!  This is Wendy making it happen:
wendy sunday 006 
Someone affixed knitted flowers to the fence around the Denver Union Station construction site.  This is just one panel but there were many more.
wendy sunday 010
After dropping our B-cycle bikes at the kiosk, our last stop was WaxTrax:
wendy sunday 015 
It was fun way to spend a Sunday morning.  I recommend y’all get a friend on a B-cycle and get out to brunch soon!

Friday, July 2, 2010


In my last post I discussed flexibility.  After posting it I spent some time looking around the interwebs for random yoga stuff.  You know, really maximizing my time on earth to the greatest extent…

My search yielded some amusement for me and maybe for you!  It started with this Natalie Dee picture that is somewhat amusing, depending on your feelings towards yoga.


Next I came across this marketing website that had a “great” idea for yoga business cards:


Then I ran into “doga.” This is like mommy and me yoga but with your dog.  Doesn’t the dog look kind of confused or embarrassed or something?


Based on the picture below it can be a stretching experience for the dog also?


Of course, I can’t leave out cats:


Ok, the funniest thing I saw was Star Wars Yoga. It’s probably funnier if you do yoga.



That’s what I have to share.