Category Archives: movies

overheard barside, portland OR

two men, talking as they leave a lovely restaurant in NW Portland wednesday evening:

“no, you don’t understand, she doesn’t want me gone, she wants me dead

his friend’s response:

“johnny, let me tell you, that’s a good thing”

it felt like a scene of the soprano’s,  pacific northwest edition.

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on being exceedingly hot

and i don’t mean hot like the PB, i mean as in it’s a gazillion degrees here.

so hot you sweat even under a cold shower, so hot the night was almost unbearable, so hot Her Highness has not stopped panting all day. in fact, i have been panting too. other people are complaining miserably , i am staying sweaty, but happy. after the two winters we had this year (winter started in october 07 and ended around may 28th 08 ) i can take this heat and i welcome it.

this heat means : TOMATOES! it means happy vines (and yummy wines), it means meteorologically and medically recommended laziness and hydration by any means (i vote for micheladas – see the kitchen section for instructions) – these are the dog-days of summer we hungered for in april, so bring them on!  however, i did not survive a year in yucatan without learning some lessons on how to make this heat more pleasant, so here are a few:

  • drink lots of liquids – lukewarm sweet mint tea, water with a sqeeze of lime, ice cold diet-cokes, micheladas
  • eat cold fruit and veggies – watermelon, peaches, frozen berries, cold cucumbers (slices of which feel very good over sleep-deprived puffy eyes)
  • down gallons of gazpacho (see kitchen section)
  • sleep in a hammock if possible
  • take a wet bandana or sheet and wrap yourself in it – particularly good at night
  • let it slide: there is literally no reason to get excited about anything, and it is too damn hot expend any energy on anything. no really. not even that.
  • go to the cineplex – it’s air conditionned. the PB and kidlets are going to base-ball game tonight, so i am free to see pineapple express. ice cold air and tub of popcorn here i come.

and last but not least, go commando. when it is too hot to breathe, it is definitely too hot to wear underwear. TRUST me.

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“wanted”, the review

starring lara croft angelina jolie and the rather nice but monochromatic james mc avoy with an extremely rare appearance by morgan freeman’s smile (think about it – when was the last time that actor smiled on screen?)

the movie is fun, providing special effects surprises not experienced by this member of the audience since the first matrix. i mean honestly, we got “crouching tiger, hidden dragon” and the first “matrix” almost 10 years ago, and while i am not a specialist in these things, all i can say is that i haven’t be very wowed by special effects since (except in CSI, where the repetition of their special effects always enthralls, altho that may be residual grissom enthrallment on my part). sorry, i digress.

back to “wanted”. special effects = cool. acting = minimal : angelina plays the same part she plays in the lara croft series and in mr&mrs smith. she had one great role in “Gia”, which I think was made for HBO, and since then she has managed to recycle herself and her role. she is stunningly gorgeous tho, but even with the 10 pounds the camera adds on, she is scarily skinny. james mc avoy does his grinning, side squint best, and buffed up considerably for this role. he almost pulls the american accent off, but the scottish accent’s there, lurking below the surface, and i wish they had let him keep it, it is one of the things i may like best about him. in any case, however many bullets he bent, he’ll always be robbie turner to me – i thought ‘atonement’ – the book – could not be topped, but he was perfect in the movie. and yes, morgan freeman’s smile has a tiny tiny role, mostly eclipsed by morgan freeman’s ‘somber- and- possibly- evil- but- we- can’t- be- sure- because- didn’t- he- drive- miss- daisy’  look.

i still haven’t told you much about the movie bc there really isn’t anything to say. it’s entertaining, not completely asinine, the script is irrelevant, although you may find yourself using “they’re just decoys” for a while after seeing it. it does have more staying power than “get smart”, which i forgot i saw, that’s how vapid that one is.

now, if you want true summer blockbuster material, take thee to amalah.com. her deodorant wars are ON, and they are very very good.

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writer’s block not

not so much that, but it’s summer in oregon, which means visitors. PB’s cousin was visiting and i spent quite some time taking her to town for brunch, for coffee, for shopping, for a pedicure. unlike yours truly, she has a 12-hour a day job, with a team of underlings and a salary that is 4 times mine. i took it as a personal obligation to make sure that her short week of vacation should be as relaxing as possible – i think we succeeded. she had tons of great food, loads of wine, plenty of sleep. so did we – except for the bit about sleep. she left on saturday evening, and we spent all day yesterday lounging about, went to the movies in the middle of the day (“wanted” – fun, but no more), ate nothing but fruit and veggies, in a vain attempt to purge all that food and wine we had with the cousin.

all this to say that i haven’t written bc i haven’t had time, and what time i had was devoted to editing the manuscript that is no longer haunting my dreams.

to those of you writing a book, all i can say is : it gets better. once the book is written , once your soul is on paper and all you have left is the empty shell of your brain, you’ll actually enjoy it. it’s the sweet bliss of the lobotomized, but i’ll take it for now.

and now, for something completely different, some of my favorite children’s books:

  1. cronin & bliss: diary of a spider – (and i hate spiders, so this is meaningful)
  2. rosenthal & corace: little hoot. a-do-ra-ble.
  3. patrick mcdonell : the gift of nothing. stunningly sweet and moving.
  4. mo willems: the pigeon series – yeah, thems pigeons rock
  5. albert sixtus “Die Häschenschule” – germany’s answer to beatrix potter, except – and i know i am risking my hide here- i think it is better. it has less of an obvious nursery look to it, and it is teutonic and old-school. so retro. i love it.
  6. and of course the entire collection of tintin – belgium’s greatest contribution to rainy summer afternoon activities

that is all – have a good day.

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SATC

it was not as bad as i might have expected. it was not as good as i had hoped. but “sex&the city” was most enjoyable, it was a feast for the eyes, for those of us who enjoy seeing clothes on beautiful people, who enjoy seeing (and not wearing) high heels.

if you take away the lagging plot, the unbalanced characters (charlotte /kristin davis SO got shorted) and the complete waste of the gay characters that were KEY to the hbo series, you are left with a primo chick bonding flick that momentarily recaptures some of what i enjoyed every sunday night while SATC was on TV. it is unfortunate the whole plot hung around a wedding. there’s nothing wrong with marriage per se, but it smells just a tad bit too conventional, fr a show that was always the opposite of conventional. i watched it with the PB, who, perhaps because he is male, found it, if i remember correctly, tepid. he was also completely unwilling to discuss wardrobe mistakes and successes during the movie. most frustrating…

ignore nathan anthony lane’s vitriolic review in the new yorker – he just doesn’t get it. there’s true emotion in the heart of the movie, which is about the essence of friendships between women, and the profound nature of those connections. even if women can be vile to each other, i think the movie does justice to the most positive aspects of the sisterhood, even if it does dress it up in high heels and lots and lots of tulle (and amen to that!).

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dilemma

the movie is out – the girls are back – sex and the city is playing at the little cineplex down the hill.

what am i going to do?? manohla dargis already killed the movie in her review in the NYT. and rolling stone says it’s a must see for guys so they understand the female psyche. really? SATC explains it all? is that all it’ll take to enlighten our men – send them to see the movie? these two reviews give me much pause.

i watched every episode while it was on hbo, and enjoyed it enormously, and remember it fondly. will the movie take me back to those years, to that chapter in my life? probably not – i doubt a movie could do that, and i am solidly in this chapter, no one is taking me back there. and while the series was great, the movie, i fear, will not be. how could you translate 22 minutes of great into 140 minutes, without losing some zing?

but of course i’ll go, if only so i can pull a manohla and pan it myself (and bc i do want to see the clothes, and mr big, just one more time…). or maybe i’ll surprise myself and love, love , LOVE it!

and on that note, i am off to get a pedicure. they do them in massage chairs here, and my back needs some kneeding. who would ever have thought that a 20 buck pedicure would be the cheapest massage in town?

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iron man : quick thoughts (not a rant, not a review)

iron man = melikes.

at one point in “iron man” tony stark (robert downey jr) says “i am iron man”. i am not giving anything away here – we all know tony stark is iron man bc most of the movie is about tony stark building the iron man suit. as a plot it’s not tremendously gripping, and when RDJ says “i am iron man” he is essentially confirming why this movie is better than it should be – it’s bc RDJ IS iron man. without his delicious self this movie would be one more pre-summer super-hero action movie. RDJ actually acts, such a rarity these days, and injects self-deprecating humor in places usually reserved for over-emoting muscle-protruding hackery. the first scene, in which he rides a humvee with admiring soldiers in afghanistan, twirling ice in a tumbler full of whisky, wearing sunglasses ricky martin would be proud of, is epic.

i suppose some of the credit should go to john favreau for directing, but i this is my blog, and here i decide it ALL goes to RDJ.

for those of you who already saw the movie, you will notice i am not even mentioning gwyneth paltrow. and that is why.

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