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Rules for going to the movies

15 Feb

I last went to a flick a few Fridays ago, on the opening night of “The Woman in Black,” starring Harry Potter.

Going to movies is one of my favorite things to do. I love going to see chick flicks with girl friends (or solo — chick flicks make for the best Saturday solo matinee), end-of-the-world and/or alien flicks with my dad, comedies or comic book movies with the beau, or just about anything else. But lately, moviegoing has caused me more rage than pleasure.

Because it would appear that people have lost all semblance of those around them, wrapped entirely as they are in their own little bubble, caring naught for, oh, anyone else.

It doesn’t have to be this way, people, and with some common sense and common courtesy, going to movies can be fabulous for all.

1) First and foremost is the most obvious, most important item to list: Don’t. Touch. Your. Damn. Phone. You think you’re being sly by putting it in your lap, but let me tell you a secret: With stadium seating, I can see your phone from my seat five rows behind you. And that little tiny screen in the dark produces arguably the most obnoxious light I’ve ever seen. When you sit down, turn that blasted little machine to vibrate and don’t touch it again until the dang movie is over. I promise — nothing is going to happen in those two hours to your kid or on Facebook that you need to worry yourself over. If you’re that unable to go two hours without a phone or information fix, you have a problem and should seek treatment.

Just say no.

2) Keep your gasping to a minimum. “The Lady in Black” was a scary movie. There were things jumping out at us and loud noises to break up a silence that cause a moviegoer to end up on the floor. A shout or shriek or gasp is to be expected. However, when that ghost jumps out at you for the fourth time and you’re still letting out a blood-curling scream, you need to be punched in the face with one of these. You’re in public; if you can’t handle a scary movie like an adult, wait for it to hit Redbox.

A scene from "The Woman in Black." Oooh, how foreboding!

3) Don’t sit by me. If we’re in a crowded theater and there’s no where else to sit, fine. I totally get it. But when I play it smart and get there with 15 minutes to spare and choose my seat, and you get there five minutes later with the majority of the theater still empty, please choose a seat that is more than three chairs away from me in any direction. That’s the beauty of a large theater, and it means if I ask my friend something, you don’t have to hear it; and if you ask your friend something, I don’t have to hear it.

4) This is a minor rule. It’s not as distracting as the first three, but again, common sense here: Don’t take your kid to a violent movie or one with sexy time where they’re going to ask things like, “Mommy, what is Bellatrix doing to Hermione?” True story — I was in the theater with some dimwit who took her 5-year-old to see the first installment of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” complete with torture. I think having to explain “Well dear, Bellatirx is a Death Eater and is performing the Cruciatus Curse on Hermione. It’s an Unforgivable Curse, and it causes her the very worse pain she will ever experience in her entire life,” might be a bit much for a child.

"Oh ... Huny, they're just having a little chat about Bertie Botts Every Flavored Beans!"

What are your worst movie time peeves?


Notes from a fantastic weekend

10 Oct

I hadn’t gotten home to see my family in quite a long time. I’ve typically made the trek to Illinois once a month, but this summer was so busy that it’s been about two months since I’ve seen my parents and brother.

The weekend was low-key and full of exactly the kind of stuff I want it to be filled with:

  • A movie with my dad. It’s how we bond. We got in a viewing of “Contagion” on Saturday afternoon. The previews do NOT do that flick justice. It’s superbly well-done and perfectly acted. I’m not remotely a germophobe, but if you are, this is probably your version of “The Exorcist” meets “Paranormal Activity” (Jac’s two Scariest Movies Ever).
  • Shopping with my mom. And that’s how we bond. I haven’t been to a department store in ages, and I must say: Kudos to J.C. Penney for having some fantastic fall clothing.
  • My first outing to Culver’s. Since Joey graduated high school in May, Mom has been able to only find one program for him; he gets to the park district twice a week. It’s nice, but not enough to not keep him from getting bored. He likes him some French fries and regularly wants to go to White Castle, Culver’s or McDonald’s. Well, I had my first Culver’s outing. Good chicken and holy God, that root beer was worth the trip all by itself.

    OK, I got the regular ol' root beer, not the float. But look how yummy-looking!

  • As I finished my walk on Sunday (I walked FOUR TIMES last week — I loathe exercise, so this is kind of huge for me), I saw Dad in the driveway putting air in my bike’s tires. Now, I haven’t been on that thing in like a decade. What they say about never forgetting how to ride a bike is true — what they neglect to say is that you become scared to turn. Or brake. But I brought that bad boy home with me and hope my immediate future sees a bike ride or two before it gets too cold to breath.

How was your weekend?

Some unrelated thoughts on a Friday

30 Sep

* It was a raspberry mocha day, but I wanted to switch it up. So I got a caramel mocha. Probably not that big of a switch, but holy hell, it’s delicious.

* Dried apricots are the best thing you could put in a scone.

No, I did not make them myself, but I found this uber sweet blog post (click on the pic to go there) with a recipe for them.

* Most of my clothes come from Kohls, Penney’s, Old Navy and NY & Company. I like trendy things that are affordable. I’m not much into Express or Banana Republic or other trendy stores I deem too rick for my blood. Today, however, I’m wearing a pair of Banana pants. I found them at a local Good Will. They’re actually lined. I don’t think I’ve ever owned a pair of lined pants. Also, they fit like a glove. I still don’t think I’d pay full price for them — they were $8 for me — but I can appreciate the quality difference.

I don't think these are the exact pant, but they look pretty much like this.

* I’m wearing an adult friendship bracelet I made. I think this bugger is sturdy enough to introduce to the shop! I’m way excited about it. It has a tiny chevron pattern and is made out of that colored thread you used to make friendship bracelets when you were in junior high. But it has a bit of chain, and a real clasp, so you don’t have to tie a knot and just wait for it to fall off.

* I’ve been wanting to start a monthly e-mail newsletter. I figure I’ll send my first one (which will very  much be a trial run) after the bracelets get posted. If you’d like to be on the list (I swear I won’t spam you), let me know! Be sure to include your e-mail address with the comment. Or is this a silly idea? Do the blog and Facebook and Twitter suffice? (Man, when I put it like that …)

* My $10 off gift certificate goes away after today! Have you gotten yours?

* I’m dying to see The Help. I think it will be a Sunday solo matinee.

* I WILL finish “A Game of Thrones” this weekend. I have a ridiculous little 1960s beach read next, because when you finish a 700+ page book, you need to follow that with dribble, even if said 700+ page book is so flippin’ amazing you want to dig through the pages until you find a Narnia-like hole that will take you to Winterfell.

Peter Dinklage plays (and won an Emmy for!!!) Tyrion Lannister. He's amazing, and one of the main reasons the TV show is ((gasp!)) better than the book. Yes, the book rocks, but the author, George R.R. Martin, also writes the show. So obviously, it's reeeeally well done.

Your turn. Tell me something unrelated.



It’s OK, yo

29 Sep

I’m so happy Neely over at A Complete Waste of Makeup is doing linkups for her “It’s OK” posts. I have no idea how I didn’t realize she was doing them before!

* It’s OK to  look at the above button and think, “Yo, there’s an apostrophe missing.”

* It’s OK if seeing “The Lion King” in theaters gives you chills on multiple occasions.

* It’s OK to really dislike 3-D movies.

* It’s OK to forgo a party this weekend and just stay home with yourself.

* It’s OK to spend a Friday night in the basement of your bestie’s parents’ house going through her stuff from junior high and laughing at now nerdy you were.

* It’s OK to then proceed to make old school friendship bracelets while you discuss marriages and relationships.

‘You follow ol’ Rafiki. He know the way’

29 Sep

Last night, a 28-year-old woman and a 37-year-old man went to see “The Lion King” in the movie theater.

And holy hell, it was just as good this time around on the big screen as it was the first time, when I was 12. (The beau and I agreed a long time ago that our age difference — which I completely love — was the grossest when I was 12 and he was 22.)

And it solidified a thought I’d had a few times before: I miss real animation. That computer stuff Pixar does is cool, but I don’t think it’s possible to beat the beauty of a hand-drawn African savanna.

My other solidified realization? I don’t like 3-D movies, especially when the extra dimension is added after the movie was already made. It doesn’t add anything except a pair of annoying glasses, and the vibrant colors seem darker. The beau and I actually left one movie theater that was only showing the flick in 3-D to see if another theater in town would let us watch it the ol’-fashioned away. Alas, we were forced into 3-D.

Rafiki is probably my favorite Disney character ever. I had this exact image printed out and tacked on my wall to hide the rip in the corner of my Lion King poster, which was adult Simba and Nala nuzzling each other.

It couldn’t ruin the experience, though. “The Lion King” was the cool thing in the sixth grade. I remember something like three Lion King-related songs in the talent show that year, and I was so jealous that I wasn’t up there singing that I’m going to be a mighty king (so enemies beware).

I admit it: I had a crush on Simba when I was little. I thought he had pretty hair.

I think I need to get a VCR. I have all the old school Disney (where “old school” is defined as “The Lion King” and anything before it) VHS tapes, and I’m itching to watch them.

I figure plenty of parents took their kids, but did any other adults go see this re-release just for themselves? What other flick do you want Disney to put back in the theater? Mine is “Sleeping Beauty.” That is  handsdown the most beautiful   cartoon I’ve ever seen, and I don’t remember ever seeing it in the theater. (Which makes sense, as IMDB tells me it’s from 1959. Wow. I had no idea it was that old.)

A very underappreciated Disney flick & Madam Mim

29 Aug

On my Google homepage, one of my widgets gives me a Disney character of the day (we all know it’s just so I can get a new pic of Donald every week or so).

Today’s character? Oh man, it just tickles me. Remember her?

Remember Madam Mim from “The Sword in the Stone“? Absolutely one of my fav Disney movies of all time, and definitely one of the most under-appreciated ones.

Here’s one of the best scenes from it. I really think this version of Merlin gives Dumbledore a run for his Best Wizard Ever money.

‘Something Borrowed’ was good!

26 May

Last week, I took myself on a date to see “Something Borrowed.” I have a love/hate relationship with chick flicks. I love them, but I hate it when they blow. And they often blow.

“Something Borrowed” did not blow! There were a handful of the cliches that make me want to stab the story’s writer, but the goodness more than made up for the stabby parts.

I’ve taken the job of mapping out the pros and cons. These are full of spoilers. If you care, kindly browse elsewhere. (May I suggest my Etsy shop? Ha, couldn’t help myself.)

From left: Jon Krasinski as Ethan, Ginnifer Goodwin as Rachel, Kate Hudson as Darcy and Colin Egglesfield as Dex

The basic plot, in case you’d missed it: Rachel and Darcy have been bffs 4ever & ever. Darcy is about to marry Dex. Problem: Rachel is hugely, massively in love with Dex, and she has been since law school. She mentions this law-school crush to Dex, who had been stupidly oblivious, and the two sleep together. Now: Does Dex break up with Darcy? Does Rachel tell her best friend what she’s done? Shenanigans ensue. The plot sounds atrocious, I know. But I swear, it was good!!)

The goodness

  • Often, when a main character is being an idiot, there is no one on screen to tell her off as we wish we could. “Something Borrowed” has that character! Ethan is a friend who has watched this entire Dex saga unfold, back from the days when Dex and Rachel were just law students. As a viewer, you want to scream at Rachel to get her head out of her ass and make a decision, but theater owners frown on it when audience members shout “ass” too loudly. Ethan, bless his heart, has this conversation for us. I don’t remember if he says “ass.”
  • Darcy is not just a bitch with a capital B. Yes, she’s loud and obnoxious and selfish. She’s a piece of all of us and a piece of all our best friends and a piece of all the girls we hated growing up. But she’s sweet. She adores Rachel. And Darcy might seem to use her friend, but it’s more because Rachel allows Darcy to act this way. Darcy is not actually heartless, especially when it comes to her friend. When it comes to guys, that’s something else entirely. But not with Rachel.
  • That girl from “How I Met Your Mother”! Remember when Ted meets “Buttercup,” aka Victoria, at a friend’s wedding? IMDB tells me this gal is Ashley Williams, and she’s adorable. In “Something Borrowed,” she’s a hot mess. Her crush on Ethan is friggin’ hilarious.
  • The resolution. I adore that pregnancy agrees with Darcy. I love that she’s strong enough to stay away from Rachel for that long. Because Rachel, in her meekness and inability to tell Dex how she feels from the very start, is a shitty, shitty friend. The entire situation could have been avoided if Rachel did not suck so enormously.

The stabby parts

  • The main character sucks. I absolutely cannot relate to a woman who tells her best friend to date the man she loves. Flat out tells her to do this. No. You suck. You’re not a martyr; you’re a moron.
  • Did Ethan really need to be in love with Rachel? No, he did not. Stupid. Let them be friends.
  • Dex. Everything about Dex sux, so badly, that it’s necessary to misspell “sucks” to closer match his name. He is whining, unsure of himself and hugely, enormously stupid. When you’re in love with a gal? And her best friend hits on you? You don’t flirt back. And when you become engaged to the friend? You don’t continue to hold a flame for the original friend. That engagement, at that point, is called “bad decision making.” And it makes you look like an idiot.

It might seem that “the main character sucks” is a reason in and of itself to stay away from a flick. The thing is? You kind of find yourself liking Rachel anyway. This is probably thanks to Ginnifer Goodwin. Ginnifer Goodwin is what you would get if you mixed fairy dust, unicorn hairs and your grandmother’s lemonade in a blow-up swimming pool on a sweet summer day.

Your turn: Did you see “Something Borrowed”? What did you think?