Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Peace, Love and Misunderstanding

This is the first time that I have watched a same day as theaters IFC film onDemand. It was a fun experience. Not the best movie but I am glad I took a chance on the feature.

Catherine Keener's husband, Kyle McLachlan, asks his lawyer wife for a divorce in the opening scene of the film. Diane, Keener's character, takes her children, played by Elizabeth Olsen and Nat Wolffe, to her mother's. Her mother Diane is portrayed by the lifeforce that is Jane Fonda. Fonda's character is the hippie of all hippies. They say Dylan had a thing for her.
Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Chace Crawford, Roxana Arquette, Maddie Corman and Katharine McFee round out a solid supporting cast.

I could not help but think, this is a weak stab at the next version of On Golden Pond. Now Jane Fonda is the grandparent. And in the first eight minutes, there is a that's what she said joke. Not a noteworthy movie but fun to play with the onDemand option and watch something that would usually require a visit to Fox Tower or a wait for DVD.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

My 10 Favorite Beatles Songs -- Special Music Edition

Laura proposed that we each come up with a list of our Top Ten Beatles songs and simultaneously publish on them our blogs. What an excellent idea. My friendship with Laura began during our track warm up laps. We talked constantly about the Beatles during those early times in our friendship. There was even a dark moment late in high school when Laura said she preferred the Rolling Stones. I feared for our friendship at that moment! Clearly there was no threat and Laura has since retracted that statement.

1) She Came in Through the Bathroom Window (Abbey Road) I think my sister Patty is the one person that knew before now how much I love this song. I absolutely love this song and it is part of the wonderful Abbey Road album that must be heard in order, in it's entirety to fully be appreciated.

2) When I'm Sixty-Four (Sgt Pepper's) I infamously cried the first time I heard this song on the radio after Linda had died.

3) Eleanor Rigby (Revolver) Beautifully haunting with amazing lyrics.

4) Yesterday (Help!) This was an early favorite of mine. I also love the Boyz II Men cover. I may have sang along to my Walkman so loudly that even in a closed office I could be heard throughout an entire office suite. Probably sounded better than when I sang it as part of an in-class required solo assignment when I got nervous and sang an octave higher than my alto range.

5) In My Life (Rubber Soul) This song can also bring me to tears.

6) Here, There and Everywhere (Revolver) Romantic and beautiful. How could Don Drapper turn off a record of Revolver?! See Mad Men season 5.

7) I Will (The White Album, disc 1) Again, a beautiful, romantic ballad.

8) Lovely Rita (Sgt Pepper's) I love the quirkiness of this song. So much so that I might dare to bestow the name unto a daughter if I had the chance.

9) She's Leaving Home (Sgt Pepper's) Great companion song to Eleanor Rigby with a sad beauty.

10) We Can Work It Out (Past Masters volume 2) We Can Work It Out was originally released as a double A-sided single with Day Tripper, recorded during Rubber Soul sessions. A great message much like the ones in the End and All You Need Is Love.

My honorable mention goes to Junk. I was first exposed to this song via volume 3 of the Anthology. It also plays over the goodnight kiss scene in Jerry Maguire.

My Razzy goes to Come Together (Abbey Road). One of the most covered Beatles tracks and a rare one that I do not love. I do not even have it in my iTunes library. Though I did find a cool video to compensate.

Sgt Pepper's was the clear winner in album representation. Could it be because growing up my mom not only had it on vinyl but also had a spare copy?

Props to Laura for this great idea and check out her Top Ten picks here.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

What to Expect When You're Expecting

This past Saturday night at the movies, I was not seeing the number two box office finisher Prometheus. It found me at a very strong, large scale ensemble comedy. When done right, this genre can be my favorite. Kari commented after the showing at Bridgeport that it was better than she thought it would be. We discovered that we each had not expected much. Funny that a movie with expect not once but twice in its title had so much to do with expectations as a movie goer. It goes to show that the genre has not been doing so well lately when lowered expectations make for an improved viewing experience.
I think a big part of the success of the ensemble was that while the cast was large, it was not unmanageable large much like Valentine's Day or New Years Eve. Both movies I enjoy watching but by no means favorites or extraordinary. The well know actors, Cameron Diaz and Jennifer Lopez, were charming and funny. The film is honest about pregnancy not being all hearts and flowers and glow. The movie is also very heartwarming. I would even go so far as to say that it was well written. Editing five plot lines together well plays a big role in the success of the stories being woven together believably.

If you like these types of movies, go see it! I had even thought about waiting for DVD...but do go with low expectations, makes all the difference. From what I hear, the theme of this week's movie goers regardless of genre seems to be managed expectations.

And on DVD...
I have been eager to see this 2010 independent movie since I first saw the trailer and heard it had been to Sundance (it premiered there on my bday of that year). It is written, directed and stars Josh Radnor, Ted on How I Met Your Mother (which will henceforth be known on my blog as HIMYM). So well done. I watched this movie Sunday and now Wednesday it is still with me. Shout out to the Tigard Library for placing it in my line of vision and letting me renew it twice before finally watching and loving it. The film is about a 30-ish writer in New York, as two people enter his life, a new love interest and a young boy, as well as the lives of those closest to him. I really did not know what to expect as it had been sometime since I had been interested in the movie. In following with today's theme, go in with no expectations and see what you like. NPH, Jason Segel, Radnor -- HYMYM is overly abundant with talent and a cast that will have long careers. Even when they finally tell us who the dang mother is.