Category Archives: Movies

feeling special

A couple weeks ago I received an email from Peter. He let me know that we would be attending a ‘special event’ on July 10th and that we would need a babysitter. I love a good surprise, so I didn’t ask questions I just set about finding a babysitter.

Turns out the ‘special event’ was a special preview viewing of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix!! I don’t think I’ve ever seen a movie before its release date. The showing was arranged by a company that Peter’s company does business with and they had bought out a local theater. There were several other people from CBD in attendance as well as folks from other companies. We were given complimentary snacks and a goodie bag with HP glasses and some jelly beans (not earwax flavored!). The bags also had raffle tickets in them. My ticket was actually drawn and I won a Hogwarts key chain 🙂

I am feeling slightly privileged to have gotten to see the film early. Heck I wasn’t even planning on seeing it anytime soon! I won’t write any reviews or any thoughts because there are folks that read this that wouldn’t appreciate it.

In any case, the night was quite fun and I hope you enjoy this pic we took once we got home!

Redbox

I’d noticed a shiny new red vending machine in Stop and Shop a few months ago, and I finally stopped to check it out. The machine is managed by a company called redbox, and it is essentially a DVD rental vending machine. For $1 per night, plus tax, you can rent a DVD from their selection. Get it back before 7 p.m. the next day and that’s all you pay. After that, it’s another $1 for each additional day, and after 25 days without returning it, the DVD is yours to keep (and you just paid an outrageous amount to buy a movie).

The selection is understandably limited by the physical size of the machine. They do have some of the day’s more popular titles, and it is stocked with new releases on a weekly basis. There is no membership to sign up for – you just provide a credit card at the time of rental. The touch-screen on the machine allows you to browse the inventory of DVDs, make your selection, and pay. The DVDs themselves are vended mechanically from a slot on the side of the machine. They come encased in hard plastic. To return the DVD, simply go to any redbox kiosk and put the DVD back in the slot. Presto! You can also browse the selection of your local redbox kiosk from the website, and place your order there. Then, just go to the kiosk to pick it up.

You can get a free one-night rental if you visit the website and provide your email address. We did so a few weeks ago, and last night I stopped by to pick up a DVD. The whole process was as simple as could be, we enjoyed our movie, and I returned it today with no hassle.

It certainly won’t replace Netflix‘s breadth of selection or nifty feature set, but it can’t be beat for simplicity and price. At some point, they’ll probably enable the kiosks to download any movie you want, and then burn it instantly to DVD… then Netflix will have something to worry about!

If you’re interested, find the nearest redbox location and check it out!

Nope, I’m not getting paid anything for this post, I just think it’s really cool.

Jordan Collier/Cliff Secord

Maybe you didn’t know, but imdb is one of my favorite websites out there. I often use their search features to find out who’s who in many of my favorite tv shows and movies. Every once and a while I come across something completely unexpected. Today was one of those instances.

Have you seen the TV show The 4400? It is on the USA network and has just finished airing season three. (We watched the first two seasons on DVD from Netflix so you can too!) It is a fantastic science fiction show with the premise that 4400 people were abducted during the 20th century (apparently to the future) and were all returned on one night, many with special powers. I find it fascinating.

Anyhoo. There’s a character named Jordan Collier. He’s somewhat of a Christ figure (JC!) and fairly controversial. Never mind that, though. I just realized who he is…

Cliff Secord! Or for those of you for whom that name doesn’t ring a bell… He was The ROCKETEER! I was shocked. (and I can tell you are too!) I can hardly wait for season 4 to start up next summer so that I can watch Jordan Collier with a whole new perspective.

Be bop a rebop…

…Rhubarb Pie!

Last night Peter and I took advantage of the hospital’s “free babysitting” and went out on a date.

We weren’t the youngest people in the theater, but we brought the average age down considerably. I’m guessing most folks in the under 40 age group aren’t interested in seeing A Prarie Home Companion at 7:05pm on a Friday.

Being a long time fan of the Prarie Home Companion radio show I was excited to see this film which shows the ‘final broadcast’ of “a celebrated radio show”. We see backstage antics as well as onstage performances. Some of the PHC actors are in the movie: Garrison Keillor and Tom Keith play themselves while Sue Scott and Tim Russell have other roles.

The comedy was hokey and groan inspiring; exactly what I expected and hoped for! Many of the radio show’s characters showed up, notably the cowboys Lefty and Dusty… and Guy Noir. It was good old comedy at it’s best.

Date with Da Vinci

Becky and I met Jenny today to see The Da Vinci Code.

ppp|Becky and Jenny

Becky and Jenny

|ppp

We had lunch at Panera and then went over to Loews AMC to see the movie. All three of us had already read the book, and enjoyed it. For me, the movie was a bit of a yawner. The action was pretty sparse, the suspense was muted, and there were a lot of eye-rolling scenes. It was a decent bit of Saturday afternoon entertainment (we saw it matinee, so we saved a few bucks), but definitely not as good as the book. I’m not sure what I would have thought of it had I not read the book… it might have been a bit more interesting and surprising.

In any case, we had fun hanging out with Jenny. 🙂 It is kind of bizarre to me that tomorrow is Becky’s due date, and we’re just having a fairly normal weekend. Other than a bit of tiredness, Becky is feeling just fine and there are no overt signs that the baby will be coming within the next few days. So we might as well enjoy ourselves, huh? 🙂

Here are a few more photos from the afternoon.

Peter-ism?

So tonight, Becky and I are watching Bee Season, a drama about a father who tries to avoid his failing marriage by immersing himself in his daughter’s spelling bees. In the opening scene of the movie, a helicopter is carrying a large letter ‘A’ across San Francisco Bay. It’s hanging from what appears to be a very thin cable. The scene cuts back and forth between this helicopter and our family riding in a car across one of the Bay bridges, with the daughter looking up out of the window. Eventually, we find that the helicopter safely delivers the letter to a large sign being assembled to read “Port Of Oakland”. In any case, as we are watching this scene, the following interchange transpires between Becky and me:

  • Peter: I bet that “A” is going to drop on their car.
  • Becky: I don’t think it’s that kind of movie.

I guess it’s sort of like a Jeremyism. 🙂

Some Rain, a Bee and a Baby

Please don’t hate me for this: I am thoroughly enjoying the week of rain we’ve had here in Massachusetts. Yup. I love the sound of the rain, the cool air, the quiet atmosphere… Of course, I haven’t had to deal with the problems that most of New England has. We haven’t been flooded, there are no rising rivers nearby, our cars haven’t stalled out in the middle of a puddle… I also haven’t really had to leave the house. We’ve been lucky.

That luck allows me to enjoy the dark, rainy days at home. The coolness and the pitter patter of the rain makes it easy for me to curl up and actually get some decent sleep. I’ve been sleeping better this week than I have in months.

My heart goes out to everyone who has had their lives upended due to the unending rain. Under normal circumstances I might complain about the weather with them. This time around however, I just like it.


On Friday Peter and I went to see Akeelah and the Bee. It was a fantastic movie. Cute, upbeat, serious at times, and overall; entertaining. I even cried at the end. You should go and see it.


Last, but not least, we’ve entered week 40. I was at the doctor today and she said that everything is looking good. That’s what she’s said at every appointment so far 🙂 There’s really nothing too exciting to report on the baby front. Try not to be too disappointed!

Bewitched

Sandwiched between two musicals on our Netflix queue (Newsies and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat) was the recent movie, Bewitched. Last summer when it was in theaters I thought about going to see it, but decided not to go. Wednesday night was the perfect time to curl up on the couch and watch this fluffy, yet enjoyable movie.

Written and directed by Nora Ephron I would have totally expected Meg Ryan in the lead role instead of Nicole Kidman. In fact, I found myself somewhat annoyed that Kidman seemed to be acting like Ryan! Every once and a while I’d catch myself noticing a gesture or vocal inflection that screamed “Kathleen Kelly”.

That’s not to mean that Nicole didn’t do a fine job. I thought that she and Will Farrell were funny and enjoyable. The movie’s plot was no big surprise to me. From the first 5 minutes I knew what was going to happen. It was painfully obvious, but still I wanted to see exactly how the events would unfold.

I really enjoyed some of the support cast as well. Michael Caine was splendid as always, Kristin Chenoweth was hilarious and I was glad to see Heather Burns in (yet another) obscure part. Burns cracks me up every time I see her.

So, that’s my 2 cents. Next on the list, one of my all time favorites…Joseph. Starring none other than Donny Osmond!

Recent Films

Thanks to the “bargain matinees” at Loewe’s we’ve seen two movies during the last two weekends.

First, Harry Potter. If you’ve seen it you know what you think of it.. if you’re going to see it I don’t want to spoil it and if you’re never going to see it you won’t care what I say. So, no big review for you. Sorry. I’ll just point out the things I liked… Ron Weasley’s new ‘R’ sweater, Snape’s ‘study hall’, Neville Longbottom (especially the ‘shoes around the neck’ scene). Neville has always been my favorite, so it was nice to see him grow and become his own person.

Rent. Did you see the play? Yes? You’ll probably like the movie. No? Maybe not. I loved the play in ’97 and the movie didn’t disappoint. They cut some songs and such which I was sad about, but the main plots/characters/songs were all there. I had a very hard time not singing along…too loudly.

What I did notice is that 80% of the theater that afternoon was comprised of teenagers. Kids who are 10 years younger than me. When I first saw Rent 8 years ago I thought that it was the most cutting edge, poignant, dangerous thing I’d ever seen. The topics of AIDS and homosexuality were so new to a sheltered country gal like me. The kids in this theater, however, laughed at this movie as if it was a comedy. I was shocked. They just didn’t seem to get the point. In today’s world those hot button topics from the eighties and nineties just seem mainstream today.

Well, now that I sound like an old curmudgeon…go see the movies and tell me what you think!

A week of movies

So, we’ve seen a few movies since we’ve been back. I thought you’d like to hear about them!

Gigantic: A Tale of Two Johns: It is a docu/movie about that fabulous band They Might Be Giants. Through the film you are walked down the same road that John and John took…from performing in small clubs in New York’s East Villiage to signing with a ‘big’ agency to filming music videos. We found it to be very entertaining. I suppose you’d have to like TMBG to begin with to really get into it, though.

Italian for Beginners : a flick recommended by my coworker, Jane. She thought I’d enjoy it and she didn’t disappoint. An extreemly low budget (looking) film, “Italian for Beginners” was a delight to watch. It told the stories of 6 or 7 Danes and eventually wove those stories into one: they all take a beginners Italian class. It is sad and sweet and funny…and in Danish. Love those subtitles! It was a fun, quirky movie.

Wallace and Gromit: Curse of the Ware-Rabbit: our afternoon outing today. Knowing that we loved the original W and G series we were looking forward to seeing this full length movie. It was a ton of fun. Lots of puns and jokes and a surprise vocal apperance of one of my favorite actors, Ralph Finnes. We loved it, and so did all the kids at the 12pm matinee showing we were at 🙂

That’s all for now. We’re waiting on Bride and Prejudice to come via Netflix. We’ve seen it already, but are looking forward to singing “No life….without Wife” again!

ps. It’s Snowing like crazy! We’ve got at least an inch out there. Never fear, Peter is taking pictures 🙂