“Well, I know what I’ve got here…”

Feeling the little nugget kick and punch all the time now is incredible.  Sometimes I feel like he’s doing it to make a point.  Most of the time it’s just after I eat, if I’ve been moving too much and stressing him out or sitting too long in one position.  However… there are times that make me so proud and he’s not even here yet!

We went and saw “Raiders of the Lost Ark” in IMAX up in Pittsburgh on Saturday.  I’m not sure if all of you are aware, but although “Henry” is a name on both sides of our family tree… it is also the real name of Indiana Jones.  This (among other nerdy reasons) is why we chose it as the name of our little nugget.  My hopes were that Henry would somehow understand what we were seeing and why and kick at some point during a fight scene and Nick wouldn’t get kicked out of the theater for performing all the lines.

The first “punch”… and I’m talking PUNCH that I have felt in my upper belly was right when Sallah, Indy and the workers open the top of the Well of Souls.  The thunder cracked and BAM… it was like he was saying… “I’ve got a bad feeling about this!”

The Plane Fight Scene

His fight training started with the big plane fight scene.  Just about the time Indy realized the mechanic was behind him and they started fighting, Little Henry started kicking and squirming around.  Absolutely LOVE it!

On a completely other note, I adored watching Raiders on the big screen.  There were little things that Harrison Ford does that I had never noticed before when watching on our TV at home.  However, when his face is taking up the entire IMAX screen… it’s awesome.  There’s a moment after Indy drops into the Well of Souls where a snake pops up and scares him.  In the past, all I noticed was Indy backing away slowly with a look of shock.  In the IMAX, you see his bottom lip quivering and his facial expression is ridiculously amazing!  The rendering of the film was incredible, with only the wide angle shots in between the scenes not being as “sharp.”

I wish we had an IMAX closer to Morgantown, or a theater that played these old movies regularly.  It’s been a tiny dream of ours to buy The Warner Theater on High Street and turn it into the theater we always wanted in Morgantown.  Add more theaters to it, have the new movies and the old classics play… but alas.

…But That’s Alright By Me…

Becky and I went to the theater yesterday to kick off our Sunday shoes and hear it for the boy.  The remake of “Footloose” is a film that she and I had be tentatively looking forward to since they started showing trailers for it about 3 years ago.  It didn’t disappoint.  It had enough nods to the original film, while trying to make it as current as they could.

The young man playing Willard was a riot.  The loveable funny best friend who learns how to dance had just the right amount of everything you need for the role.  He was charming, funny and watching him try to dance while the little girls sang “Let’s Hear It for the Boy” was hilarious.

They didn’t have any of the book burning plot, but I didn’t miss it all.  They had enough tension with the racier Chuck/Ariel storyline and the ramped up “I’m really a good kid” story line for Ren.  Julianne Hough was hardly recognizable with her dark hair at first, but as soon as she started dancing you could see the dancing star.

But, enough about Ryan Seacrest’s girl getting slapped in the face by Dennis Quaid… let’s get to the new movie I will blindly obsess over until “SOON.”

The preview for “Joyful Noise” is as if… and I’m quoting Becky:
“Someone looked inside my brain and created a movie.”

Let me set the visual:  a small town, Dolly Parton, Queen Latifah, A struggling church choir and a national competition.

I mean come on!  Latifah goes up against Parton (who thought she was becoming the new leader for the choir, but got passed over for the Queen) on how the choir should be run.  Dolly’s grandson comes to spice things up and is a “good singer” and flirt with the Queen’s daughter… DUN DUN DUN. 

The song choices from the trailer include “Man in the Mirror”, “Do Ya Know What it Takes?”, “Me, You and the Dance floor”, “Sign, Sealed, Delivered, I’m yours” and more.

Besides this being Dolly’s return to the big screen after 20 years, I’m digging the feisty chemistry between my two sassy broads. It’s going to be Sister Act meets 9 to 5 and I am JAZZED.  While this has all the ingredients to be a fantastic guilty pleasure movie… it also has the potential to be a train wreck.  Either way I’m totally in.

No Sass Mouthing.

Very few times a movie lives up the book.  I am happy to say that “The Help” captured the words that were written with respect and gave it more life.  Overall, I think writer-director Tate Taylor has done an excellent job bringing the book and its characters to life, in harmony with an exceptional cast. He has managed to recreate the look and feel of a Southern town in the 1960s, with its separate but unequal citizenry: the well-to-do white folks and their black servants.

I think if Oscar buzz is swirling for Viola Davis (Aibileen) and Octavia Spencer (Minnie) then I’ll swirl too.  Their conviction in the roles, the honesty… truly made the film.  Bryce Howard Dallas (daughter of Ron Howard) was just the perfect evil villain as Miss Hilly. And Jessica Chastain surprised me as Celia Foote, in the book the character wins you over time and time again, and in the movie… this actress nailed it.

Although humorous at times (I started laughing way too loud at the beginning when Minnie marched up to Miss Hilly’s door with that pie!) it turns on a dime at times into the dramatic and gives the movie a true heart.  Without that foundation of the drama, some characters would seem more like a caricature then “real” women. 

There were scenes left out of the book that I didn’t miss at all.  The way they handled the growth of these women over the course of 137 minutes was just beautiful.

Still shot from "The Help"

 

Favorite Moment: Sissy Spacek in every scene she was in… just hilarious

Favorite Quote: “No sass mouthing…”  (I have to repeat that to myself on a regular basis)

Trivia:  The young girl playing Sugar, Minnie’s eldest daughter, was the “Aretha-esque” of a singer in “School of Rock”

Favorite Shots: When the Tornado is coming, the sweeping landscape scene…. Aibileen and Minnie hugging at the dinner table, burning the fried chicken…. So many more!

 

I give this movie 5 stars.. A+, 2 thumbs up! So similar to the book, which if you haven’t read, you need to!

 

The Vision of Captain America

I ran out of contacts and was forced to wear my glasses until I could get an appointment.  Not only was I frustrated with the fact I had to wear my heavy glasses I didn’t like, I couldn’t really see because the prescription hasn’t been updated since I was a senior in high school.

When they checked my glasses prescription, the doctor actually said it was like starting over and giving me glasses for the first time because my vision was so bad… always something good to hear.  They dilated my eyes without checking my contact prescription (which may or may not have changed in a year) so once I got my new glasses, I would have to rock them for a while until I can go back in to get my contacts re-checked.

HOWEVER…

When I went back to pick my new frames and lenses up I put them on and had to ask if they were really my prescription.  The lenses were about half the weight I was used to and they used some sort of etching technology on my extremely bad prescription with astigmatism.  The things I could see in my peripheral looked “warped.”  The glasses lady then held up one of those signs with the writing at different font sizes at various angles around me and I about fell over.  I could READ it more than arm’s length away in every direction without squinting!

It did take me a few hours to get used to the fact that, as the glasses lady said: “You’re actually seeing for the first time in a long time.”  It was like going through life and then one day I could see everything in HD.  I couldn’t believe it!  I don’t think I’ve ever been able to see this well without having something 6 inches from my face and/or squinting hard core.  (Yea, driving was always a “What does that sign say?” until I was right in front of it situation)

SO, when we went and saw “Captain America: The First Avenger” last night, I was excited to see how my new glasses would do.

I now understand the hype about seeing 3-D movies.

I’m not sure if it was because this was the first movie I have EVER had the pleasure of watching without squinting the whole way through to understand that the character lurking in the background is This Guy and the one next to him is That Guy or they probably shouldn’t listen to Those Guys because their name tags have a symbols that says That.  I was floored! (GOSH I wish I had these when LOST was on!!! Maybe some of those headaches I got while watching weren’t because of the theories, but because I was trying to see all the little nuggets of information!)

Chris Evans exceeded my expectations as Captain America.  I’ve only ever seen him as the “cocky guy” so I was worried about him as Mr. Goodguy.   The technology they used to create “Skinny Steve” was incredible.  They filmed Chris Evans in front of a green screen and then deleted his muscles and shrunk him to the scrawny guy he is for the first quarter of the movie.  It was hard to tell at times that his body was basically recreated… They decided to do this because Chris Evans has a way of moving that another actor would not be able to recreate and it would be obvious that they had superimposed his face onto someone else’s body.  Really incredible special effects.

There were throwbacks to the only Captain America I know that’s super Star Spangled Bannered and stylized with that 1940’s feel.  The plot kept me interested and the music was phenomenal.

My other shout out for this movie goes to Hayley Atwell who plays Peggy Carter.  She was spot on perfection.  She played the Ginger Roger’s roll to a T, doing everything Captain America can do, only backwards… and in heels.  I LOVED HER.  Took me back *almost* to a more refined and girlier Marion Ravenwood.

I give Captain America: The First Avenger…… an   “A!”

I really enjoyed this movie and thought all the special effects, layered character (Oh hey there Iron Man’s Dad… the Apple doesn’t fall far from the tree…) and  actors performances (Stanly Tucci doing a German Accent… Tommy Lee Jones was incredibly fun!!)!  Will it sweep the Oscars? No… but is it my current favorite “Super Hero” movie?  I could see that…

Now I can’t wait to see the Avengers… and every other movie that’s out there because I can see in my awesome new glasses.

Harry Potter and Paterniry of Snape’s Son

Let’s go back to when it was announced that theaters would play the Deathly Hallows Part 1 at 9pm, giving priority seating to those who wish to stay for the midnight premiere of DH Part 2.   We asked a manager at Hollywood Studios if this was true and if our 3D midnight showing tickets would be valid for the same theater if we bought the 9pm tickets.  We also double checked this with a second employee the next time we went to the theater to see a movie.  A friend then called and said he heard the opposite..that in order to get the priority seating, you had to have a 2D midnight ticket… I called and the manager on duty (who seemed super excited to be working) said that was true.

I told him my situation, that I had talked with 2 employees who told me the opposite, just so he would know for future reference why people might call to complain since employees had been giving out wrong information (calmly.. not accusing… I know how it goes), and since they were sold out for the 2D, I would be returning my tickets.  He didn’t seem to care and when I did exchange the tickets with a different manager, he never asked if there was a problem or why… having been in customer service a LONG time, I found it really odd.

So we bought our tickets at Carmike… we arrived at the theater around 5:15… no line.  So we went and ate dinner at Garfields, came back and they were setting up the lines.  We stepped right up and were first in line.  We became totally besties with Dylan, the Harry Potter gate keeper who had only watched 3 of the films (gosh was he a muggle or what?) and Kelly and Benjamin, a mom and son duo that were super fun and adorable.  We were interviewed by the local paper, made friends with the people around us and Nick, Kate, Becky and I had a blast.

Dylan was a good sport, we made him laugh and bought him a milkshake after he was told he would have to stay until the end of the midnight shows instead of getting off at 8pm as scheduled.  Carmike Theaters opened EVERY screen for Harry Potter.  Once one was full, they opened the next one.  They made a killing last night that even Gringott’s Bank would be proud of.  The lines they set up were manageable, signage was clear… Carmike had their owls in a row.  I must admit, I’m usually a Hollywood Theater girl, but this situation has totally changed my mind and I might go back to being a mall rat.

I later found out that once at Hollywood studios, the management reverted back the ticketing to what they had originally told us and because they had told everyone the opposite priority seating arrangement, they had to open another theater to keep customers happy.  Glad I was at Carmike! 

… Until…

It NEVER fails that we sit in front of, next to or beside the worst kind of movie goers.  People that make out the whole time… kick your seat every 20 seconds… or TALK THE WHOLE WAY THROUGH THE FILM.  Guess which delightful gems of people sat behind us?

The 2 witches had not read the books (which is totally fine!), but instead of just watching and waiting for the explanation of “Who is that? What is he doing? Why are they here? Where are they What’s he going to do? I knew he liked her! The Reserrection Stone!  Wait, I thought he had the want…. Wasn’t her haid different in the last movie?” they would ask each other.  It was the blind leading the blind.  I think my favorite quote from them was:
“Oh I get it… Harry is Snape’s son.  It all makes sense now.”

 

REALLY?!

After that comment, which happened about 2/3 of the way through the film, I got tired of doing the typical head turn to the side “shut up” movie-goer technique and just straight up had a seizure in my chair to knock one witch’s foot off the back of my seat and shut her up.  I just felt turning around and saying something would have made it worse in this particular situation… so I went with the standard passive aggressive route… *sigh*

As far as the movie goes… it could have been titled “Harry Potter and the WOW They Took a LOT of Liberties For This Film.”  Lots of things were left out in terms of “minor” and “accessory” characters in order to wrap up the Harry/Voldemort plot.  I know people hated on the Lord of the Rings finale for being so long, but at least it had closure for all of its characters, not just the main one.

I’ll wait a while to actually give my full opinion on the movie after more of you see it… which you should… don’t get me wrong, it’s a Harry Potter film.  The special effects are great and it’s magically fun… just not the truest to the book.

Right now I’m being mortified at work for being on the front page of the Dominion Post in our Hogwarts garb.

My response?

“Do you wear a jersey to football games? Same thing… only more awesome.”

Horrible Bosses Makes Me Want to Drag Race a Prius

Horrible Bosses is HILARIOUS!

The Guys: Jason Sudeikis, Charlie Day and Jason Bateman are a trio you know. Bateman is the more serious “straight man,” who does what he’s supposed to do when he’s supposed to do it, follows the rules…. Day is the COMPLETE opposite. He’s your outrageously funny guy who doesn’t quite think things through (“We’re men looking for a man…”). And then there’s Sudeikis who’s in the middle of those two extremes. He’s chasing tail any way he can in the movie, but when Charlie is being over the top he sides with Bateman and when Bateman is being “not so fun” he sides with Charlie.

They all balance each other out in the end and the chemistry is totally there for the bromance. Stay after the movie ends (Great ending!) for fun outtakes. (“… show her the 50 states…”)

The Bosses: Collin Farrell was the insane boss. He inherited the company from his father and just couldn’t care less, so he tortures Sudeikis and anyone who is within earshot of his drugged out self. It reminded me almost a little bit of Tom Cruise in “Tropic Thunder.”

Then there’s Kevin Spacey who is the power hungry boss. He exists to make Jason Bateman’s life Hell and make sure his wife (Julie Bowen) isn’t stepping out on him. His character was really the only one out of the bosses that gets really flushed out, and he delivers. I’m always a fan of him as the bad guy…

Jennifer Aniston is pretty funny. I read that there was a big “Wig-gate” about whether or not to let her wear a big brunette wig during the film for her character. She put her foot down and said that if Colin Farrell got to wear a comb-over and such for his character, she should be able to remover herself a little bit too. I’m glad she won that fight, because if she had been all blonde highlight, flat ironed girl-next door looking I don’t think it would have played so funny.

The Plot: Pretty much “9 to 5” meets “Strangers on a Train” meets “The Hangover” … Fun, twisted exaggeration on something that most people can relate to.

Other Characters of Note: Jamie Foxx’s role made me actually excited to see him as the lead in Quintin Tarintino’s upcoming “Django Unchained.” His character name is out of control… and I love it. Julie Bowen was darling. Bob Newhart was delightful (as always) and Ioan Gruffud (the violinist from Titanic and Reed Richards in Fantastic Four) was a standout. Oh, and I can’t forget Gregory!

Funniest Moment: Charlie Day’s character Dale singing in the car while being the lookout. “That’s Not My Name!”

All in all I give this an A-. Dirty and fun R rated comedy.

Bridesmaids and Pirates

This weekend we went to a wedding in Charleston (congratulations James & Esther!). The Schultz wedding was beautiful with a peacock color theme and so many of their friends and family in once place to celebrate.  It brought Nick and I back to our wedding… And after being on the Bride and Groom side of things, you have a new understanding of all things table seating, flowers, time and food.  It was a lot of fun!

After the wedding was over, we went and saw “Bridesmaids” at the theater that was about 2 blocks from our hotel.  We thought it was appropriate given the weekend.  It was HILARIOUS!

“Bridesmaids” deserves every ounce of hype that it is getting right now.  It is RAUNCHY… Think “The Hangover” with more scenes that make you groan as you laugh.   The movie is about childhood best friends played by Kristin Wigg and Maya Rudolph.  When Maya’s Lillian gets engaged and Kristin’s Annie is selected as the maid of honor all Hell breaks loose.  Annie’s life unravels before your eyes.  She was what you call down on her luck before, but as the wedding planning continues her life disintegrates.  The other colorful Bridesmaids don’t help the situation, especially Helen who becomes Annie’s arch nemesis played by Rose Byrn.   The big stand out is Melissa McCarthy from Gilmore Girls and Mike & Molly… Think Zach Gallafanakis.

The film is very relatable I feel.  If you’ve EVER been involved in a wedding you can understand some of the trails that occur.  When you get several girls together from different backgrounds to be in a bridal party, I would think there is always going to be a little bit (if not so exaggerated) of the hyjinx in the film.

I think my husband laughed harder at this film in the theater than he has in quite sometime laughing at “guy comedies.” so it really is a movie for anyone old enough to see “R” rated films… I’m telling you… The opening scene is a perfect set up for how filthy the movie will get!

So… We drive back Sunday and meet my friend (and bridesmaid at our wedding) Becky to see the 4th Pirates movie.

“Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tide” is everything you expect out of a Pirates movie.  Johnny Depp running like a drunk girl, swashbuckling fights, action on both land and sea and a dash of the supernatural.

If you’ve never seen a Pirates movie before OR you’re a huge fan of the franchise you’ll want to go see it.  

However…. I must whine about a few things.  

1.) the dog wasn’t anywhere!  My favorite part of the movies and ride… So much so that for my birthday last year Nick got me a Disney painting of the dog holding the keys as the pirates in the cell try to bribe him with a bone… And yet… He’s not there!

2.) Black Beard (Ian McShane) wasn’t as menacing as I had hoped he would be as one of the baddies in this film.  Seeing him in Deadwood, I feel he can scare me and still make me root for him in anything he does… Except this movie.

3.) They got rid of Orlando Bloom- HOORAY (sorry Becky) and Keira Knightly (DOUBLE HOORAY) But they had to force this love story with a Priest and a Mermaid on us… Seriously?

I did like Penelope Cruz as Johnny’s leading lady.  They had some fun chemistry and I could listen to her accent all day! 

So overall it was a pretty good movie weekend.  However, we’re going back to the island tonight.  One-year ago today we were all gathered at the house to watch the finale.  Tonight we will start our official LOST re-watch.

From now until September 22nd we will watch all 6 seasons. It’s going to be so much fun for me… And probably not as much fun for my husband as I trek back into my true LOST geekiness. Check out my previous blog post for more details and stay tuned, my next post will be about the big night tonight!