Love Actually

25 04 2010

  In the month before Christmas in London, we follow eight couples loosely intertwined through their love lives.  We discover the many meanings of love and the ups and downs that come with love in the real world.

  We begin with a wedding and a funeral to portray the two greater extents of love.  There’s new Prime Minister David who crushes on his new assistant Natalie and has to compete with the President to get her.  There’s John and Judy who meet at work- on set of a pornographic film.  We see Peter and Juliet get married, only for juliet to discover that Peter’s friend Mark has been unfriendly toward her because he secretly loves her.  Harry the boss of an ad company, a married father of two, is baited by his new assistant Mia for some attention while his wife Karen is home raising their children.  We see Sarah try to face her five-year crush on coworker Karl but continually distracted by her mentally ill brother Michael.  We join Daniel at the funeral of his wife and while he tries to cope, his stepson Sam reveals he loves a girl at school named Joanna, the same as his recently deceased mother.  Jamie, who rushes home early from Peter and Juliet’s wedding to his sick girlfriend, walks in on her cheating with his brother.  He quietly retreats to a cottage in France where he falls in love with his Portuguese housekeeper Aurelia.  Colin, convinced he’s on the wrong continent to find a girlfriend, goes to Wisconsin to meet American girls who will like his accent. And we see rock star Billy Mack realize that all the years of fame and rock and roll haven’t really gotten him anything but a friend, his manager Joe.

  Their stories unfold before us as we laugh and hurt with each victory and each backslide.  Eventually you feel like you know each of the characters by mere commiseration.  

  This is one of my favorite movies to watch, always giving you a good laugh.  A good date movie, hint hint.

Ellen





Criminal Minds

24 04 2010

  There are few police dramas on television that can keep my interest.  I’ve watched CSI, NCIS, Law and Order, and all the various spin-offs but for some reason, this show is my favorite.

  The show is about BAU [Behavioral Analysis Unit of the FBI] agents who follow serial killers, profiling them to find their next move and stop them before they kill again.  In addition, in certain episodes you get a deeper look into the different agents’ lives outside of the BAU.

  Okay, I’ll admit the reason I love this show.  Reed.  Dr. Spencer Reed played by Matthew Gray Gubler is one of my favorite characters ever.  Reed is a genius, graduated high school in Las Vegas when he was 12.  He went to CalTech and has PhDs in Mathematics, Chemistry, and Engineering with BAs in Psychology and Sociology.  At 27, Reed is the youngest member of the BAU and usually gets a lot of jokes about being the kid.  In one episode we learn that Reed’s mother, played by Jane Lynch, is schizophrenic and he had to commit her to a mental institution when he was 18.

 And that’s just one agent in the BAU.   There’s a great cast with other agents played by Thomas Gibson, Shermar Moore, Joe Mantegna, Mandy Patinkin, Padget Brewster, AJ Cook, and Kirsten Vangsness.  I like the interaction between Morgan [Moore] and Garcia [Vangsness] the tech girl.  Everyone seems to have a good relationship and that helps them solve the cases more efficiently.

 I could talk about Reed all day [he’s my favorite and I love him with all of my dorky heart] but I’ll just let you watch.  Just remember, I called dibs on Spencer Reed:

Ellen





Julie & Julia

23 04 2010

    Not going to lie, I really liked the concept of this movie.  I’ve always wanted to be a chef or even cook my way through a cookbook.  Meryl Streep and Amy Adams are also from some of my favorite movies, they couldn’t hurt this project.  Yet somewhere along the line, something fell short and let this film fall flat on its face.

  This film intertwines two stories, one of famed chef Julia Child who moves to Paris with her husband and searches for a hobby to keep her days occupied.  Eventually she’s led to French cooking school where her career begins.  The other is Julie Powell who’s normal life with a normal job leaves her bogged down.  Julie takes on the challenge of cooking her way through Julia’s cookbook in a year and blogging about it.

  The plot handles the beginning and middle well, showing how both women struggle with their new tasks and how it affects their lives.   And then, the ending just falls together.  Everything that you’ve been built up for just disappears as they mush together the last 15 minutes.  I understand trying to surprise your audience, catching them off-guard and throwing a curve ball, but really?  This was not a good surprise to the plot.

  This is one of the movies I’m going to tell you is not worth your time.  If you really want to see Julia Child, google her old cooking show.  If you want to see someone making meals from recipes, go watch the Food Network.  Don’t put up money to see Julie & Julia.





Head-On

22 04 2010

  This movie is rough, not going to lie.  It starts with Sibel, a Turkish woman in Germany, and Cahit, a Turkish man, meeting each other in the hospital after they try to kill themselves.  Sibel asks Cahit to marry her so that she can move away from her parent’s house and be promiscuous.  After some wheedling, Cahit finally agrees to the marriage.

  Cahit goes to Sibel’s family to ask her hand in marriage and at first they are leery.  Cahit is 23 years older than Sibel and they don’t really know anything at all about him.  But Cahit and Sibel have made up their minds about the marriage, so Sibel’s father hesitantly agrees.

  The deal works out at first, with Sibel cleaning up Cahit’s apartment, making him dinner, and they both go out to the club at night looking for a one night stand.  Then slowly but surely, Cahit begins to realize that he’s in love with Sibel, despite her ways.

  When circumstances leave the two apart, Sibel begins to understand that she’s in love with Cahit as well.  Then their arrangement is outed and Sibel’s family shuns her for being a whore.

  This is one of those movies that hurts to watch.  You’re rooting for Cahit and Sibel but cringing at every turn, every mis-step in their road to realizing they love each other.  I recommend that you Net-Flix this one for a girl’s/guy’s night in.  Definitely not appropriate for children [it was made in Germany, the Europeans are a little bit more lax about showing skin and sex.].

-Ellen





The Legend of Paul and Paula

21 04 2010

  This German film is everything a movie made in the 60’s should be.  It has an affair, a drug trip, free love, and promoting individual happiness complicating the story line.

 Paul meets and marries a girl working at the Carnival and they have a son.  Paula has two children by different men and a live-in boyfriend.  She throws him out when she comes home from having her second child and he’s cheating on her in the living room.  Paul soon discovers that his wife and in-laws are only interested in him for the money he’s making at his job.

  Then Paul and Paula meet each other at a club and everything changes.  Their torrid affair seems to fix their outlook on life, bringing happiness into the picture.  And one crazy drug-trip later, they’re affair is not a well-kept secret. 

  Paula’s son is tragically hit by a car one afternoon and Paula falls apart.  She starts thinking about what’s best for her daughter and not about her own personal happiness.  And this decision leads to her finding a man to marry, not a married man to have an affair with. Paul realizes that what he wants in his life is Paula and sets out to win her heart.

How will this legend play out in the end?  Only you can find that out by watching The Legend of Paul and Paula.

Until tomorrow,

Ellen





Children Of Men

20 04 2010

What would you do if you lived in an infertile society?  the youngest person alive is 18 years old and pregnant women and babies seem like a myth to some.  That’s the setting for Children Of Men. 

Clive Owen is set to protect a young emigrant to the border where someone can help her away from London.  He soon finds out that she is pregnant, the first woman to be successfully so in quite a few years.  But this child will mean hope to the world, and it’s status as the youngest child will threaten to tear it away from its emigrant mother.

I will admit, this is the first Clive Owen movie that I have seen.  His movies never catch my interest at preview or they seem to fall through the cracks.  But I am a new fan.  Children of Men kept me on the edge of my seat, hoping against all odds that this baby would be everything that they needed it to.

Another movie goes into my Top Ten Must See Movies and another person starts watching movies because Clive Owen is in them.  Go watch it and I’ll see you tomorrow.

-Ellen





Music Monday Vol. 2

19 04 2010

I am not quite sure how I stumbled across this week’s band, maybe a suggestion from YouTube?  Regardless, there’s just something about VHS Or Beta that I like.  I can’t quite put my finger on it, but they have songs that sound like they might be on the soundtrack of my life, softly playing when I’m contemplating big decisions.  I don’t really know much about them, besides they have a sweet video of them playing a crane machine set to their song Bring On The Comets.  But maybe, just maybe, not knowing their names or where they’re from or their favorite color doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of music.

Bring On The Comets by VHS Or Beta

Ellen