Category Archives: Films and Movies

Simon’s Cat

I don’t recall how I stumbled upon this, but I love this little series of animated “films” called Simon’s Cat. Click on “films.” They’re great for cat people — accurate and funny — and he really nails cat mannerisms.
"TV Dinner"


Been Back Almost a Week

I have been adjusting to the time difference, and I thought I was pretty much back to US time, but yesterday was a tiring day, and today I am going to see Springsteen. I am a little worried about how I am going to manage to stay up. I can usually make it to 10:30 or 11, but we will be in traffic for a long time, too.

Anyway, woke early this morning and began checking out a few expat blogs. I read a bunch before I left for India and found Our Delhi Struggle, which I liked. I’m following them on Twitter, not that I check my Twitter feed often, which pisses Sujal off to no end. I went on Twitter this morning to make a snarky comment or two about the movie to which I was dragged last night, kicking and screaming, District 9. (Why bring your wife, who hates sci-fi movies, to a sci-fi movie, with a bunch of dudes? Just go see it with the dudes.) Nonetheless, The ODS folks posted a link to another blog, Same, but Different. They are either expats who once lived in Poland as well, or they are Polish expats. I could not tell, because it kind of sounded like they were ragging on Poland a bit. What is it with the Polish and India? I swear, it is a marriage made in heaven, and I should know. ūüėČ

Ultimately, that blog lead me to American Expats in India, and I really loved their photos. Honestly, I really miss being in India. Yes, I was on vacation, and that makes anyplace really awesome, but there is a certain busy-ness, a buzz of activity, that makes India vibrant. I also miss being around my sister and her family.

My Life in Ruins

I went to see My Life in Ruins tonight. It was a fun movie and definitely worth seeing. It is not an earth shattering flic, but it was fun. It stars Nia Vardalos, the actress and writer of My Big Fat Greek Wedding. I find her very endearing — her self-effacing style, very human. Alexis Georgoulis is extremely handsome in this movie, playing a mysterious romantic. From IMDB, it looks like he is a greek star and did this as his first American project. Overall, I recommend it!

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Donny Darko

I finally saw Donnie Darko. What interesting narrative technique! I really liked the flic. I was a bit nervous about where it was heading as it was slowly approaching the end, but I love how it ended. I definitely recommend this flic. The visuals are compelling, and the characters elicit sympathy galore. Check it out.


UP in 3D

We went to see UP in 3D last night. First let me respond to the movie.

I liked the movie. One thing that seemed remarkably differnt to me was the fact that it focused on an ederly character, thereby humanizing the elderly for kids. This past semester, I took students out to do community service, and I really like taking kids to nursing homes, because the residents love seeing kids, particularly teens. There seems to be a lot age discrimination in our society, and this is my mini way of bridging that gap. So I liked that it featured an old man. Partly because it was about an old man, it was also about a widower. The film was also greatly about loss. In retrospect, many kids flics are about loss, though usually a dog dies — this is not my own initial observation, but a much spouted observation about kids’ books and movies. Yet the loss in this movie seems differently poignant to me, perhaps because I am married. The loss of a spouse seems unbearable, and the movie portrays that. But then it portrays the loss of little fragments — photos, artifacts, chairs, and ultimately, a house. Yes, of course, it has an uplifting ending, but even the kid in the movie experiences significant loss. It made me sad, and that was a bit unexpected for a Pixar film. I’m not saying sad = bad. It’s just an observation.

Secondly, it was in 3D. Frankly, I don’t care about 3D so much. Sujal wanted to see the 3D version, so we did. Yes, it added a fun dimensions (though I sadly missed most of the Pixar short before the movie), yet there is significant waste with the 3D glasses. When we went to see Coraline, which I don’t really recommend unless you are a child, the Plainville theater had recycle bins for the glasses. At the Palace in Hartford, they had no such thing. We brought ours home, but the likelihood of them getting used again is slight at best.

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It’s Sunday evening, and I have been cleaning out the kitchen cabinets. We got new dishes, Santiago Square green dishes by Dansk.

Our new dishes

Those of you who are close to me know that I have been obsessing about dishes for quite a while. I’ve been wanting nice stoneware dishes, so I’ve done a fair amount of research. When I was in Buffalo, my mother and I went to Niagara-on-the Lake for her birthday. While there, we stumbled upon a Dansk store that was going out of business, selling dinnerware for 40% off. Woo-hoo for Sujal and me!

Another really cool part of that trip was that my mother and I saw two foxes. Here is a great shot I got:

I wish we had foxes in our yard. Foxes are the best.

Anyway, so I had to clean out space in our cupboards. Afterward, exhuasted and coaxed by my husband, I am now watching a documentary on fonts — Helvetica specifically. When he came and asked me if I wanted to watch a documentary on fonts, I rolled my eyes but was silently a bit interested. If he’d told me it was about helvetica — well, I’d have probaby said no. I’m not a fan of font without serifs. I know that probably sounds funny to most of you, but what can I say? I’m a serif girl. The documentary, Heletiva, was somewhat interesting, though I was writing this post through most of it. It goes through the genesis and life of the font. One aspect I found specifically interesting was one woman saw a correlation with helvetica and “right” politics. She associates the Vietnam war with helvetica. Check it out if you are: a. into documentaries b. into helvetica c. into design d. into font.

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The Sad State of Movies

I have seen a bunch of movies since the beginning of the summer, but honestly, I have not been inspired to write much about them because they have been pretty lame. When Sujal and I went to see Get Smart, I thought it was okay, but nothing to write home about. I began thinking about movies I have really liked. I like a good comedy, and I tried to think of comedies that I thought were really funny, comedies like Little Miss Sunshine, The Royal Tennenbaums, or The Forty Year Old Virgin, Sujal pointed out that there is a degree of seriousness in them. I don’t know. I used to think comedies were really funny. And now, they often seem kind of dumb. I’m not sure if movies are just getting worse, or if a “good movie” is defined by the kinds of movies one liked in one’s youth. It’s just hard to come by funny movies that make me really laugh out loud, and just ask my mom, I laugh very easily. She used to be quite amused by me watching a movie.

So what have I seen lately? The Incredible Hulk. This was one of the worst movies I have seen in a long time. Granted, I would neverhave gone to see this on my own. Sujal wanted me to go. I can’t say I have ever been that impressed with computer-generated special effects. I don’t care about flashy screen moments. I prefer subtlety. But what was so badabout this film was the writing! The dialogue was so inane that it insulted its audience, no matter how idiotic the audience might be. At one point, this scientist is speaking in what I shall call “science-speak.” He was trying to sound all technical, and he said something along the lines of, “If it is off by one integer, he might die!” The scientist literally used the word “integer.” It was a ridiculous use of the word in that context. Couldn’t they think of anything more intelligent sounding? Or did they think the audience would have been too stupid to understand? Ugh!

We did see Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, which I did like. I am a big fan of the Indiana Jones flicks. We went to see it with one of Sujal’s co-workers. He said he thought National Treasure was better, whih I took as blasphemy. That movie was terrible! He asked me what I thought the difference was, seeing how they were both adventure flicks. 1. I don’t like Nicholas Cage as an action hero. He plays a great fuck-up, but not an action hero. 2. NT takes itself seriously. IJ pokes fun at itself for the genre it is.

We also saw Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation at Real Art Ways, which was very funny. It is a shot by shot remake of the original, shot by kids (11-17?). Here’s a review.

I saw Kung Fu Panda, which frankly had far too many “fat” jokes. It was okay, but nothing to shake a stick at.

Earlier in the week, Sujal and I saw Wall*E. Sujal was annoyed that I didn’t like it. He thought I went to the movie predisposed not to like it. But here’s the truth: I tend to really like Pixar movies, so i was thinking I’d really like it — even though I’d heard the premise and it sounded uninteresting. I told Sujal after the movie that I obviously have no problem with animals being anthropomorphized. In fact, I like anthropomorphizing animals. I do it to our cats all the time. But an anthropomorphized robot? I have a hard time sympathizing with that. I’m not 100% sure why I do, I just do. Besides, this one robot (I thought robots were genderless) — a boy robot — falls in love with a girl robot. There’s no talking for close to the first half of the movie, so when the robots start speaking (and the boy robot has trouble speaking and says next to no words), they speak English. Why? (I know it is an American film…) How the hell do robots fall in love? Then the story becomes an allegory about being good to planet Earth, again via depicting fat Americans. Always with the fat Americans. If the movie is going to go so far as to be scientifically accurate that humans would lose their bone mass in space, how do they even survive for 700 years? I often can suspend disbelief, but this movie felt contrived and preachy. Even though I agree with the message, I don’t want to be preached to. Ultimately, I could not sympathize with any of the characters. When I cannot sympathize with at least one character, I have a tough time hooking into any story.

So when Sujal wanted to see another movie this weekend (Wanted or Hancock), I just didn’t want to go see anything. I haven’t even seen Sex in the City because of the abysmal reviews it is getting, and I loved that show.

Maybe soon something good will come out.

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More Movies!

Sujal and I saw two more movies. ¬†This past weekend we saw Super Bad, which despite its good reviews was Super Bad. ¬†I definitely laughed aloud in several parts, but just ask my mom — I laugh at nearly everything. ¬†The flic seems to be aimed at a different audience, not my set of demographics.¬†

Then we saw The Bourne Ultimatum, another thumbs down from me, despite its good reviews. ¬†My friend Rita said that David Lynch gave it his seal of approval, perhaps explaining why I didn’t like it. ¬†Basically, when I saw the second Bourne film — The Bourne Supremacy, I thought it was too violent. ¬†To say it has gratuitous¬†violence¬†is an understatement. ¬†This movie was the same.

I have not yet seen, but would like to see, ¬†Rocket Science. ¬†It’s about a kid who joins his school’s debate team. ¬†I figured it could be my professional development for debate this year. ¬†ūüėČ

Kirsten — Where are you?

This trailer for Becoming Jane makes me want to see this move with my friend Kirsten. This is in large part because we saw one of the Jane Austen novels made into a film (or was it an EM Forster novel made into film?) together years ago when we were college. We also both love Jane Austen. Then again, who doesn’t?

Kirsten, come down here so we can go see it. Better yet, I’ll meet you at the Berkshire Mall.

Springfield! I almost forgot!

In the summer of movies galore, Sujal and I went to see The Simpsons Movie. ¬†I recommend it. ¬†I have to admit, it was a bit weird watching it on the big screen — and they made plenty of jokes about it. ¬†Some of the jokes at the beginning were very funny! ¬†(especially right after Itchy and Scratchy) ¬†I laughed a lot, as I often do when watching The Simpsons. ¬† The only characters I did not see, and I may have missed them, were the two aliens. ¬†Go see it. ¬†Let me know what you think.