Monday, July 25, 2011

Movie Monday - 7/25/2011

Agora is a historical drama loosely based on true events, set in Alexandria, Egypt in the fourth century A.D.  It was a time when the Christians and Pagans were trying to stake a claim on their territories. The main character is Hypatia, a philospher, astronomer and mathematician who was widely respected.  She is played by Rachel Weisz.  She has a very loyal slave who is smarter than any of her students, and who has to choose between his loyalties - his master and Christianity.  It is a good story, but very brutal and bloody.  Why can't people just be nice to each other?  That's the central question in my Pollyanna world.  Anyway, if you are into historical dramas with some graphic depiction of the inhumanities man inflicts on man...this movie is for you.

Ramona and Beezus is a cute little movie adapted from the childrens books series by Beverly Cleary. I remember reading them to children while babysitting. Joey King plays Ramona and Selena Gomez plays Beezus.  Their father is played by John, although it is a cute, little kid's movie with a predictable plot, it's a good way to spend extra time you might find that you have.

I liked Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, even despite the inconsistencies to the story that The Kid pointed out to me.  This film is a long way from the warm, fuzzy and heartwarming story of a boy wizard who is finally brought to the place he belongs after a less than warm and fuzzy upbringing.  As one watches the HP films, they get darker and darker, and this one was the darkest of all, but it was the final battle between good and evil.  As I did when I read the book, I really liked the epilogue set nineteen years after the battle.  Again, looking back over the series, I am amazed and humbled by the sheer inventiveness and creativity of JK Rowling's story.  This woman is very talented.  I still enjoy rereading the books and rewatching the movies.  I just love my Harry Potter.

I loved the newest Woody Allen movie Midnight in Paris.  Woody Allen is a neurotic little man, and he writes neurotic characters into his movies.  Sometimes, he plays the main character, but this time, Owen Wilson does, and he could be a Woody Allen stand-in anytime.  My friend Jules thought the story was too superficial and a bit scattered.  That may be...but I didn't have high expectations for a deep story - or, maybe, it was just the thing for my mood at the time.  Without revealing too much, it's about a guy who has long admired the writers of the 1920s and the Paris of that era.  He is a screen writer who has always wanted to write novels. He is in a relationship with the wrong woman which makes his longing for the nostalgia of the past and his associated fantasies more real.  So, he decides to chase his dreams...It's probably the best Woody Allen film I've seen in a while.

And with that, I will take my leave.

MK out.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

WIP Wednesday - 7/20/2011

I have too many things on the needles (OTN) right now, so I've been concentrating on finishing some of them.

I am on the finish line with the Scrap Blanky.  I am on the last ball of light gray yarn, and then will bind off with the darker gray:

All I have to do is assemble and do the finish work on the Little Man Sweater.  This is an older picture:

I started a little poncho out of all the scraps I have of this yarn from the different projects that I've made:

I had a boat load of this stuff, and to tell you the truth, it's not my favorite yarn.  I felt determined to use it up since I bought it.  I just cannot give yarn away, unless it goes to someone who is really going to use it.  I don't know why I feel this way about it.

I realized that I've made many things with this yarn...I might do a post about all of them in the future.

Let me get back to it.

MK out.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Ten on Tuesday - 7/19/2011 - Pass the Hawaiian Tropic!

Carole came up with another fun topic for Ten on Tuesday: 10 Favorite Beach Songs.

The reason I like this topic is because I grew up on that beautiful barrier island, known affectionately as The G.  Pretty much all my favorite songs in my teen and college years could be my favorite beach songs.  I'll try to make sure to include ones with actual we go with ten of them:

1.  Summer Breeze by Seals and Croft.
2.  Hotel California by The Eagles
3.  Fun, Fun, Fun by The Beach Boys
4.  Good Vibrations by The Beach Boys
5.  Catch a Wave by The Beach Boys
6.  Surf City by Jan and Dean
7.  Vacation by The Go Gos
8.  California Dreaming by The Mommas and The Poppas
9.  Crimson and Clover by Tommy James and the Shondells...I liked listening to this one on the beach...Don't ask me why.
10.  Play that Funky Music by Wild Cherry...because I listened to this one a lot!

This topic is really appropriate, because we just got back from a trip to The G and to Florida.  Unfortunately, I only got to swim once in the whole eleven days.  It was fun, despite not actually stepping on the beach except for that one time though.

On the way to Florida, we found a fun, local place to eat in Mobile, Alabama:

While in Naples, the fire alarm went off at 0311 one morning:

Yep, we all were standing outside in various forms of dress, but luckily for the crowd, this picture is not very clear and the hedges are in the way:

In Fort Lauderdale, we ate at a cool place called The Rustic Inn - famous for their crabs:

On the way home, we timed it just right to be able to eat lunch in Destin, Florida.  I didn't take a picture at the restaurant - we sat overlooking the beach and the frolicking on it - but I did get a shot of the shore...

...and of the bay side:

Although it was hot and humid in Florida, it was way better than the triple digits back home. 

MK out.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Movie Monday - 7/18/2011

Has it really been two weeks?  Time flies in the summertime...

It's the season of the blockbuster action hits and the fluffy romantic comedies, and the first movie is both:

Knight and Day, starring Cameron Diaz and Tom Cruise, is an action-packed romantic comedy about a guy on the run from government and assorted agencies, who has something that a lot of people are after and a girl who gets sucked into the drama.  We spend most of the movie trying to figure out if the guy (Cruise) is a good guy or a bad guy.  The girl (Diaz) is having trouble figuring it out too.  It’s a little too much action for my tastes, and most of the action is unbelievable, but it was cute.

Letters to Juliet is a cute little romantic comedy set in Verona, Italy where Romeo and Juliet first met.  There’s a wall where people leave notes to Juliet in the hopes that she will help them with their love issues.  Amanda Seyfried plays Sophie, an American girl visiting Verona with her chef/restaurateur boyfriend Victor, played by Gael Garcia Bernal.  He is basically ignoring her off doing his chef things, and she joins up with the volunteers who answer the letters left for Juliet.  She finds one from 1957 and answers it.  The woman who wrote it, played by Vanessa Redgrave, comes to meet Sophie to try to find her love interest that got away – much to her grandson’s (Chris Egan) chagrin.  It was predictable but very cute and entertaining.  I had seen this movie a while back in the theater, but felt like seeing it again.  It made me happy.

Tom Hanks plays Larry Crowne, a man who is let go from his job because he doesn’t have a college education.  He decides to go to college, where he takes a public speaking class taught by Mrs. Tainot (“that’s Tay-no, not Tie-knot) played by Julia Roberts.  She is a nice lady in a bad marriage…you connect the dots.  Taraji P. Henson, Cedric the Entertainer, Pam Grier, George Takei and Rita Wilson (who I think had a fun role, even though we only see her in a couple of scenes) also star in this predictable, romantic comedy.  It was alright, but it was really light fare.  I thought it was a little beneath the capabilities of the actors within.

Stay cool.

MK out.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Movie Monday - 7/4/2011

Happy Fourth!

This week's selections:

My man Mark Ruffalo stars in XX/XY, playing Coles – a guy who can’t seem to dance with the one he brung. He meets Sam and her wild roommate Thea when the three of them are in college. Coles and Sam hook up, but break up after he has a one night stand. They run into each other ten years later. He is in a 5-yr relationship with Claire by then, and Sam has just returned to the States after breaking off her engagement. The chemistry between the two of them is still strong. It was an interesting study of chasing after, as well as defining, happiness.

Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her is an old movie with many good actresses in it – Glenn Close, Amy Brenneman, Kathy Baker, Cameron Diaz, Holly Hunter and Calista Flockhart – and each woman has a story.  Interestingly, the stories are interconnected to some degree.  The stories and the character studies are very good.  I’ve seen this movie before, but I don’t think I commented about it.  I liked it.

Night on Earth is an even older movie that I’ve always wanted to see because Winona Ryder and Gena Rowlands are in it.  There are many other good actors in it too:  Armin Mueller-Stahl, Robert Benigni, Rosy Perez and Giancarlo Esposito, to name a few.  When I saw it coming on Showtime, I recorded it.  There are five different vignettes, taking place in a cab in the middle of the night, in five different cities.  Each story doesn’t really have an end…the problems of the world are not solved, but the film is a great example of character study.  I really liked it.

In the animated feature, How to Train Your Dragon, a Viking chief’s son must capture and kill a dragon to prove his manhood and to earn the respect of his peers.  Gerard Butler, America Ferrera, Kristen Wiig, Jonah Hill and Craig Ferguson lent their voices to the characters.  It was cute and I liked it.

I saw Beginners in the theater.  The title seems to be referring to people who are beginners in life and in affairs of the heart.  Ewen McGregor plays Oliver.  His parents have been married for almost 40 years, yet, when his mother dies, his father, Hal (Christopher Plummer) announces to him that he is gay.  Thus, Hal begins his life as a gay man.  Oliver has had several relationships in the past, but he has a problem with commitment.  Both men meet people, played by Goran Visngic and Melanie Laurent, with whom they try their hands at love.  It was a serious movie with amusing parts…and it was very good.  You will love the dog.

MK out.

Friday, July 1, 2011

FO Friday - 7/1/2011

The May 2011 Socks were completed the day before yesterday!!!

I used Madelinetosh Tosh Sock in Robin's Egg - a beautiful color.  The pattern is Dimpled Socks, also by Madelinetosh.  They were knitted toe-up, with a short-row heel, TAAT and using the Kollage Square needles, size 1US. 

The pattern is easy and you get a nice texture without too much hoopla.

Now, it's on to weave in ends and block Elphaba!

MK out.