johnny 5

Photo: movieweb.com

Over Christmas and New Year’s I got exposed to some new-to-me music, movies, games, and books. One game especially kinda pulled it all together. There’s a card
game named Slash in which you try to find the best mate for each character. All the character cards are from TV, movies, and books. This brought to my attention to how many cards I needed to discard since I was at a loss as to who or what the character was.

I would love to get recommendations for all types of media in the new year. It is so readily available but it’s like diving into the middle of the ocean. Where to begin?
It doesn’t have to be new media either. For example, I watched Die Hard just before Xmas for the first time. Alan Rickman makes a cool bad guy and I hope he’s enjoying some peace just now. Oh, and dear god, get that cop some shoes.

alan rickman

Photo: Buzzfeed

So, can you recommend some media to me?

  • Movies–I like comedies, romances, thrillers, action films. Not keen on angst ridden, artsy films nor horror flicks. Although, classic horror is good.
  • Television–Similar to movies. I like crime shows and comedies. Such as NCIS, Castle, and Parks &  Recreation.
  • Anime or Cartoons–I love all things Studio Ghibli. I am not into mech.
  • Books/Graphic novels–Mostly fiction/fantasy/sci-fi and some biographical nonfiction.
  • Music–I really like singable and dance-able music and sometimes I need chill background music.
  • Podcasts–I like em short, informational (somewhat), and funny.
  • Games–Solitaire type games, two person/small crowd, cards, dice, paper–I’m easy.
  • Recipes–I love cooking! I am not the most experienced, but I love playing with recipes!

Here are a few things I’ve been taking in recently:

  • Movies–Watch Die Hard if you haven’t. If only to hear Alan Rickman say “Yippie Ki yay, mother fucker” one more time. (Spoiler: https://youtu.be/7tKr5XRPGmQ)
  • Television–iZombie has been getting recommended to heaps of folks by me. I want to get into Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries series.
  • Anime or Cartoons–Last animated feature I watched was Animatrix (again)–some not so bad ones in there.
  • Books/Graphic novels–Reading Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls.
  • Music–Uhm, I have been listening to same playlists for years…
  • Podcasts–Thrilling Adventure’s Sparks Nevada Marshall on Mars is great!
  • Games–I enjoyed King of Tokyo over the holidays among several others.
  • Recipes–I don’t know why but homemade chicken salad is so simple and worth every ounce of effort.

Please leave me some recommendations in the comments below. I would absolutely love all input! I can quickly do a search and read a quick blurb on the media you suggest, but I would much rather like to know why are you recommending this? I assume because it was good, but it is thinky, inspiring, funny, great for a party, perfect with a cup of tea?

 

January–Popcorn & Movie in Historic Theatre

I went over the crazy complication over our botched January date in my overview blog of the 12 Months of Preplanned dates that I gifted to Kit for Christmas. I finally got things worked out! The theatre gave me complimentary tickets to the popcorn & a movie feature that we chose and, to my surprise, gave me the gift card for my trouble. They had awesome response time to my problem when I called them.

pre-date

Sorry for the overly-cheesy upshot selfie here. It was the best I could manage. I really didn’t want to show up late. The two dollars was for our boxes of popcorn. We ended up spending about five bucks on concessions because we wanted candy and drinks too. I always feel better buying things from a not for profit arts group anyway.

darkenedtheatre

The theatre was super dark (as it should be), but I managed another cheese photos with bright orange tix and popcorn.
The movie was the 1930s Little Princess starring Shirley Temple. Eerie as it was, she passed away within a week after our date. When I was a kid I had watched the 1990s version which is a bit more fairy tale-ish. This was fun because the whole time I was comparing the two versions. Kit had seen a bunch of Shirley Temple movies as a kid.

Even though the movie itself wasn’t very romantic it turned out to be quite an enjoyable date. The theatre wasn’t overly packed, ate cheap concessions,  movie was a little grainy and the historic auditorium just added to the fun.
We don’t have many more day left in February to do our Blindfolded cookie baking date, but hopefully we can get it done before March!

~Kat

Valentine’s Day Movies on Netflix Instant Part Two of Two

If you haven’t seen it, check out Part One of my Valentine’s Day Movie List.
As I mentioned in Part One, these are movies that I found on Netflix instant. Sure, you can peruse the Romantic movies section of streaming all by yourself, but I find lists on the Internet to be extremely helpful. Also, if you have to type one painful letter at a time to search for a movie on a Wii console or Roku, this list can be helpful. All photos belong to IMDB. Titles in bold are those that I’ve seen before.

  1. The Jerk Theory (2009)–Acting like a jerk wins girls, but can the sweet girl of his dreams change his tune?

  2. Carolina (2003)–I love me some Julia Stiles. This is a Rom-com jerktheoryabout a girl trying to escape her wacky family. Description makes it seem like a Boy-next-door romance.

  3. The Decoy Bride (2011)–Famous author and actress hope to get married on a remote island, but have to come up with a decoy bride to throw off the paparazzi. David Tennant. Nuff said.

  4. Charade (1963)–Woman finds herself running from bad guys who are looking for money her recently-murdered husband stole. Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant star in this classic.

  5. Clueless (1995)–Ditzy high school girl loves playing charadematchmaker, but her latest matches don’t go as planned. This is the updated version of Emma that I mentioned in Part One. 
  6. The Count of Monte Cristo (1998)–This is the four part TV mini series. A wrongly imprisoned man escapes after 18 years, he seeks revenge and his lady love. More of a swashbuckler than romance. 
  7. Like Water for Chocolate (1992)–Star crossed lovers and food in Spanish. Subtitles and some raunchiness (warning). The book is just as fun! 
  8. Maid in Manhattan (2002)–Important political candidate accidentally falls for the hotel maid when he mistakes her for a wealthy lady. 
  9. Tonight You’re mine (2011)–Two rival musicians get tonightyoureminehandcuffed together at a festival where they must later perform. I am really looking forward to watching this one.
  10. McLintock! (1963)–Stubborn John Wayne comes to town to meet his daughter returning from college and is reunited with his hot headed estranged wife. 
  11. New York, I love you (2008)–A slew of actors with nothing better to do made a movie with several love stories entangled. 
  12. Safe Haven (2013)–Woman on the run shows up in a small town and falls for a widowed man with kids. They both have shit they need to get over. 
  13. Say Anything (1989)–The unexeceptional guy at school falls for the gorgeous head of the class. No one told him he was John Cusack.sayanything 
  14. Waiting for Forever (2010)–Street performer childhood friend stalks the girl of his dreams next door. He finally confesses his love to her. This will either be great or a wretched train wreck. Stars the gal who plays in the TV show Hart of Dixie.
  15. Serious Moonlight (2009)–Woman tapes her adulterous husband to the toilet. And then they both get tied up by burglers. Super weird, I haven’t finished this yet.

  16. The Host (2013)–Unseen evil is erasing people’s memories. A book to movie adaption by Stephanie Myer. 
  17. Shakespeare in Love (1998)–Young writer finds a beautiful shakeyinlovemuse high above his social status. TONS of awesome reference to Shakespeare plays we know and love, this is treat for Bill S. lovers. 
  18. What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (1993)–Gilbert has to care for his challenged brother and ill mother. He is bogged down until a free spirit moves into town. Apparently more moving than romantic, but supposed to be quite good.
  19. TiMER (2009)–Modern invention has taken the unsettling guesswork in finding your soulmate. Everyone has a countdown to their soulmate…but what if you love someone else? Pah-lease watch this movie!

Valentine’s Day Movies on Netflix Instant Part One

I am always trying to find a good movie list for those only found on Netflix Instant. These are hard to find, so I am slowly making my own lists and I hope this helps other people who only have the Instant subscription.The Roku I have linked with my Netflix Instant account might be the best Valentine’s Day gift to ourselves that my husband and I have ever gotten. Searching for a genre is a little  difficult on the Roku and sometimes you just don’t feel like searching a specific title by clicking one letter at a time. Tedious.

Here is my list that as of January 2014 can be found on Netflix Instant. The titles in bold are those I have seen before. Those not in bold are movies I want to watch soonish and maybe you’ll enjoy them too.  It’s a little out of season, but I made a (shorter) list of Halloween-y movies found on Netflix Instant.
All pictures belong to IMDb unless otherwise stated.

Romantic-ish/Valentine’s Day movies on Netflix Instant–Part One:

  1. 13 Going on 30 (2004)--Girl wishes to be 30 with perfect BF/Job/life but when her dreams come true they fall short. Girly romance with boy next door theme. 13-30movieposter
  2. African Queen (1951)–A unlikely team, Bogart and Hepburn, strike out on an adventure to blow up an enemy boat.
  3. America’s Sweethearts (2001)–Movie publicist deals with very public celebrity split up. Love triangles galore, give the set up some time.
  4. Blue Hawaii (1961)–Elvis music and Hawaiian scenery. Elvis has just gotten out of the army and wants to enjoy island life again.
    bluehawaii
  5. I Hate Valentine’s Day (2009)–Woman avoids falling in love by sticking to dating rules, until love moves in next door to her florist shop.
  6. Dorfman in Love (2011)–Woman wants life outside of caring for her family. Looks like two new loves fall in her lap.
  7. Emma (1996)–She loves meddling and setting up marriages until her plans backfire. Period film version of Clueless.
  8. See girl Run (2012)–Young woman revisits her old relationships to seek guidance in her life.
    seegirlrun
  9. Footloose (1984)–Rebellious teen who loves to dance moves to a small town where dancing is banned. I prefer the 2011 movie simply for the updated music.
  10. About Adam (2000)–Guy seduces two sisters and possibly more characters. There are some poor reviews, but at least sniff test it.
  11. Get Over it (2001)–Love triangles every which way, allusions to Midsummer Night’s Dream. This might make me sound like a mom, but this is definitely a movie for older teens. Kinda surprised it was PG-13.
  12. Time Traveller (2010)–Girl tries to go back in time to find information to save her mother who went into a coma. She lands in the wrong year. (Foreign–Based on the anime The Girl Who Leapt Through Time).
  13. Grease (1978)–Good girl Sandy falls for the bad boy at school. greaseMusic, Travolta, fashions, euphemisms, and teen drama.
  14. Not Suitable for Children (2012)–Man who finds out he will soon become infertile sets out to procreate. Obviously rated R.
  15. Pretty in Pink (1986)–Teen must decide between her dream boy or the boy next door.

  16. Ondine  (2009)–Irish fisherman discovers a beautiful water nymph (selke) caught in his net. (Colin Farrell)ondine

  17. She’s All That (1999)–Jock takes a bet he can take the ugliest girl at school and turn her into the prom queen.
    Transformation romance. 

  18. Daddy Long Legs (1955)–Fred Astaire plays a wealthy man who sponsors an orphan to go to college. They accidentally fall in love.
  19. One for the Money (2012)–Unemployed divorcee takes on a job as a bounty hunter and searches for an old flame. Based on the Stephanie Plum books.
  20. Outsourced (2006)–American goes to India to train people in his job that recently got outsourced.
  21. Some Like it Hot (1959)–Two musicians running from the mob join a band of all female musicians. Very beautiful females–strictlyballroomhilarious.
  22. Strictly Ballroom (1992)–Classically trained dancer wants to dance his own style and risks his reputation on a new partner. Ugly duckling transformation, dancing and music.
  23. Somewhere in Time (1980)–Playwright hypnotizes himself so he can meet the woman in an old portrait in his hotel. Weepy of course. 

Movie: Robot and Frank

robot&frankposterRobot and Frank (2012)

IMDB does a great job with their super simplified plot, so why re-write it?
“Set in the near future, an ex-jewel thief receives a gift from his son: a robot butler programmed to look after him. But soon the two companions try their luck as a heist team.”IMDB

Let’s meet the main players:

Frank–A retired codger that wants to keep living in his old house. He tries to keep in touch with his two grown children who are off and away. He loves walking to the library for outdated printed material and to flirt with the local librarian. He hates the idea of needing any caretakers, either robots or nursing homes, but he is starting to forget things….

Hunter & Madison–I think someone tried to write these two characters as vastly different people, but they are siblings and children of Frank. They live busy lives and can’t take care of their aging father. Hunter buys dad a butler/in-home nursing robot as an alternative to committing him to an old folks home. Madison is played by the cherubic Liv Tyler and her character hates robots with AI.

Robot–I was disappointed he never got a name, but the title of the movie kinda tells you that. Robot is programmed to track Frank’s health and help him set up a routine to help him remember. He is not programmed to understand the immorality of theft.

Robot_And_Frankwoods

Jennifer–Okay, I really had no clue that this character had a name. I love Susan Sarandon and she doesn’t disappoint. The librarian is trying to come to terms with the fact that her job, print materials,
and libraries as homes of quiet research are being phased out.

Her library is becoming a community center. She likes Frank.

Snarky or Insight of Some Sort

  • The genre is a Comedy/Drama. I must say that the story was extremely well balanced. I warn you that there are some sad bits because apparently I am a sadness weenie.
  • Please, please, please, give this movie a watch. The run-time is something like an hour and a half. It can be found on Netflix Instant.
  • The acting was good but I found the two children not so lovable. Perhaps there had to be tension so they could explain some back story. Makes me worry how I will treat my parents if/when I must make decisions for them.

Lessons I learned from the movie: 

  • I want a robot as a care-taker. Screw nursing homes and communities.
  • Dementia runs in my family and still freaks me out.
  • Story telling is an art. Witnessed.
  • Liv Tyler always tricks me. She looks beautiful and casual all at the same time.

Would I recommend it to others?
YES, yes, yes, yes!!
What’s so great about it?
The character relationships. I never doubted that Frank was actually conversing with Robot. I completely got sucked into the story. Because the characters have such a pull I was cracking up laughing or on the edge of my seat whenever a twist in the story took place. There are also beautiful woodland scenes throughout.

I would blog more about this movie, but I don’t want to give all the fun parts away and I don’t want to waste your time. Go look it up or check it out and pop some popcorn!
I hope to find a copy of this to add to my collection.

~Kat~

Movie: Dead Snow

Dead Snow (2009)

Tagline: Ein! Zwei! Die!deadsnow posters
“Død snø” (original title)
Comedy/Horror   Link to IMDB Movie Profile

For the horror movie buffs out there this may not be the best choice. I should say that if you’re a purist or snooty about the traditional zombie, you won’t like this flick as much. Comedy horror is definitely a good way to describe this movie. It has a good mix of spewing blood, zombies chasing and killing their prey, and characters making fun of people in horror movies.

Let’s begin with the basics. What’s the story:
Four guys and three women drive out to the country and hike up to a secluded cabin in the mountains for a wintry vacation. The characters get some spooky exposition from a local and their vacation gets interrupted by the Nazi zombies of lore buried in the mountains.

I really don’t know what to say about this movie that won’t give away something enjoyable, funny or nice and gory. So, I will just tell you, get on it! Either with Netflix Instant or some other movie watching program. Even if you must multitask or have the movie on while you’re fixing supper.

It’s really not overly necessary to meet the characters because there are so many of them and the story is easy enough to follow that they will remind you of the character name, if it is important.DeadSnowmeninsnow

The movie opens with classical music and a chase through the snow. We get our first kill in the first five minutes. Satisfying. Much like the rest of the movie. The next scene exhibits the banter of college students. We find out some character names and relationships they have to one another.

After the long drive, the characters load up their gear and begin hiking to the remote cabin in the mountains. There is a sweet line the characters spew towards their nerdy friend: “You won’t survive the weekend if you don’t keep your nerdiness in check.”
Once the college kids hike to a very remote lodge they officially start their vacation. I would love to be on a vacation with these people….At least during the first part of their vacation. They play twister & cards, drink beer, go sledding, have snowball fights, and zip around on their snowmobile. The editors made sure to show all the fun and none of the dripping noses and frostbitten fingers.

Like I said, I can’t say too much more without giving away super fun parts of the story. Again, I say, Go and watch the movie!
There are a couple of story choices I found fun though:

  • The characters show a few instances of intelligence when they gather weapons to fight the evil.
  • The zombies have wavering levels of intelligence too. They appear to, at times, make plans, listen/communicate, and use tools.
  • There is one scene that had “Zombie-vision”. I was disappointed that it was the one and only time. Maybe it ended up being cut?

SPOILERS BELOW!!

BE CAREFUL WHEN YOU SCROLL DOWN!!

SPOILERS BELOW!!

SPOILERS BELOW!!

SPOILERS

  • Sara, the fourth girl to arrive at the cabin was the character who died at the very beginning of the film. It doesn’t take long for this huzzah to sink in.
  • There is an outhouse at the cabin–As if you weren’t scared of them before. Female character spots something which turns out to be Mr. Exposition. He demands coffee and supplies approximately five minutes of exposition.
  • There is a SWEET bloody tent kill of Mr. Exposition–which guarantees viewers that no more lengthy explanation will be included in this movie.
  • College kids find box of gold in floor fridge. WHAT?! THEY HAVE A FLOOR FRIDGE?!?! Is this normal in Norway?? I want one now.

    Your smell turns me on

    Your smell turns me on

  • Nerd girl, Chris, makes sexy-time with nerd guy, Erland, on outhouse toilet seat after Erland excuses himself for a #2 break. I’ll give you a minute to let that sink in. I have never been that horny.
  • After the nerd-rendezvous in the outhouse Chris (girl) uses the toilet and falls into the toilet hole—the floor drops out and she climbs back up and out covered in feces and very likely, some sex juices.
  • Erland’s head gets ripped apart and brain hits floor. The sarky relief of the group says something to the effect of “I told you we should have gone to the beach”

    deadsnow gun

    Vegard finds a gun, supposedly up his ass

  • There is a scene in which Vegard, the boyfriend looking for the dead hiker Sara uses zombie intestines as a lifeline while he dangles and battles for his life over a cliff. It is hysterical.
  • Vegard sews his own neckhole closed (injury) and wraps duct tape around his neck. Surgical stitching in extreme situations is what they cover in the first year of medical school, right?
  • Two of the doofuses light the cabin on fire with molotov cocktail when they fail to throw it out of the window. They ruin their one hope at a stronghold from evil.
  • As I mentioned above, they are smart zombies and definitely have a mission. Viewers find out later on that they are trying to reclaim the gold stolen from them that was found in the floor fridge. floooooorrrrrr fridge….
  • Everyone dies and the last death is very satisfying. Very enjoyable.
    dead-snow-nazis

    Screw the gold–Give me the floor fridge

    Happy Halloween!!
    ~Kat~

Movie: Dumplings

Dumplings (2004)Dumplings movie poster

“Jiao zi” (original title)

Drama/Horror Link to IMDB Movie Profile

Let me begin by saying this movie is much more of a drama than a horror. The horror lies in the social fears related to abortions and female bits. I promise that I will not share any gross out photos. I will however discuss, as politely as possible, some of the elements related to the story. Unless someone eating normal looking food grosses you out. If you wish to see some of the more graphic images, there are plenty, just do a quick Google search. I will admit that the nastiest scenes did give me pause while I chomped on my fried potatoes, but not much. I was too busy being impressed with the props and special effects team. Yes, it looked that good….Or, bad.

Alright, let’s back this dumpling train up.
Super Simplified Plot:
A retired aging actress seeks the help of a witch doctor to regain her youth and regain the love of her cheating husband. The secret ingredient in the witch doctor’s magical dumplings are human fetuses.

Let’s meet the main players:

Mrs. Li

Ms. Li--The retired actress that will pay any price to get back her youth. Just look at that B-face she is throwing out

Aunt Mei–I call her the witch doctor, but in the story she is a crazy lady and retired  who lives in the seedy part of town.

Mr. Li–A jerk. I mean, I know everyone in this movie is crazy or evil, but he really is. If there is a woman in his vicinity, he will have breathy gross sex with her.

Aunt Mei

Aunt Mei

Other characters:

Mom–She cries.
Husband of mom–He impregnates.
Teen daughter–She is pregnant.
Hotel hussy–Sleeps with Mr. Li

Some Snarky Insight

  • There are tons of scenes where Mrs. Li is eating dumplings. This actress must have been sick of the food in general at the end of the shooting for this flick. You have to think about too that these are only the bits of footage that the editing team decided to keep. Lord only knows, how many shots of her eating dumplings landing on the cutting room floor.
  • Aunt Mei reveals early on that the most potent dumplings use a fetus from the 2nd trimester. A 5th month baby. Foreshadowing….*eerie music*
  • This movie moves unbearably slowly, feel free to multitask during the movie. I believe some parts were to build suspense.
  • There is a lot of out of focus and off center shots. Very artsy. Or irritating. Your choice.eating dumplings quote
  • At one point you get to see Mrs. Li flossing the dumplings from her teeth in the background.
  • Aunt Mei is a creepy character and interesting to watch. She grabs her feet, has a vague stare and sings to her customers.
  • Lessons I learned from this movie: Illegal abortions are scary, don’t have affairs with people, and don’t be vain.
  • What’s so scary about it? The gross-out factor and there is some medical scary related to abortions. I feel like this would be more disgusting and scary for women, but I didn’t watch it with any men so this is just a guess.
  • Would I recommend it? Probably not to my friends. Unless you have a friend that is into scary or weird foreign horror movies. The idea of eating the flesh of youths is an old one and the way this story is done is interestingly artsy.

Dumpling Movie Spoilers—–Scroll Down at your Own Risk!

Cute Mr. Dumpling wants to warn you of SPOILERS BELOW!!

Cute Mr. Dumpling wants to warn you of SPOILERS BELOW!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SPOILERS

  • There are lots of fetal like images and a (mostly) on screen at-home ghetto abortion during the movie. Not a flick for the fragile.
  • Teen and mom begs Aunt Mei for an abortion. Father raped daughter.
  • This is the first potent dumplings that Mrs. Li eats and her when she returns home her husband is quoted, “you smell nice”. She’s got that new car, smell.
  • When Mrs. Li and Mr. Li have their reconciliation sex, she drips/spits/gargles water into his mouth and they make love. His leg is broken. Least sexy scene ever.
  • The Vanity lesson: Mrs. Li smells bad after eating a 5th month incest fetus. However, this issue disappears and she never gets her comeuppance.
  • Dangers of abortion lesson: There is a upsetting bit where the teen girl zoom eating dumplingsobviously suffering from complications from her abortion collapses after getting off a bus with her mother. The passenger that takes her seat is horrified to find that he sat in a pool of blood.
  • Mother of dead teen kills husband with a knife and is arrested
  • Husband eats dumplings and fucks witch doctor
  • Aunt Mei has monologue about history of cannibalism in China. Very effectively creepy.
  • Husband has affair with hotel hussy at beginning of movie–He unknowingly impregnates her and this is the fetus that Mrs. Li chops up at the closing scene of the film.