Thursday, December 28, 2006
Recently someone asked me, "What do Jewish people do at Christmas?" Well, assuming that Chanukah is over (or Hanukah - hey, no wonder we have so much division in our people; we can't even agree on the spelling of this holiday!) there is just one thing to do: go to the movies! Over last weekend we saw a lot of movies. I was struck by the disconnect between the reviews I'd read about various and my experience of them, so I decided to write my own reviews.
MOVIES IN THEATERS:
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: The reviews were not promising. One reviewer described this movie as "two hours of hell" and another dismissed its frenetic pace. Maybe because I was expecting dreck, I was pleasantly surprised by this film. It's very original and at times even sweet. A delightful family movie for all ages. Normally I find Robin Williams to be frenetic and over-the-top, but he was very good in this movie, as was Owen Wilson.
BLOOD DIAMOND: The reviews panned this movie as "preachy" and slow, and disdained the fact that white Jennifer Connelly comes in to save the black man from a terrible fate. Huh? What movie did they see? This movie was not preachy, nor is it slow - it's called character development, people! I had heard about conflict diamonds but did not know much about the situation in Africa. This film is an eye-opening and riveting account of civil war in Sierra Leone, and its effect on one family. It's partly a thriller, partly an expose on the machinations of some diamond merchants and partly about a man's struggle with his conscience. The acting was solid. I was totally caught up in the story (except for a couple of times when I had to surpress the urge to reach into the screen and pluck Jennifer Connelly's eyebrows). I definitely recommend this film. I have a different view of diamonds, now.
THE HOLIDAY: What can I say? Cameron Diaz is adorable and had great clothes. Jude Law is sexy in that slightly self-deprecating way the British do so well (Hugh Grant has passed the baton on that one). Kate Winslet is a terrific actress. Jack Black is great as always. Holidays are about escape and this is pure escapism.
MOVIES ON TIVO:
KEEPING UP WITH THE STEINS: If you've ever planned a bar mitzvah, you will laugh. If you've ever been to a bar/bat mitzvah, you will laugh. More importantly, if you have a family, you will laugh. This is an original coming-of-age story about a 13 year old boy who tries to reconnect his grandfather (a hilarious Garry Marshall) with his father (Jeremy Piven). Darryl Hannah and the rest of the cast is great. I recommend this sweet, funny movie.
THE TRANSPORTER 2: Ridiculous in plot, cardboard characters, yet absurdly and strangely watchable. This movie defines the term "mind candy". A lot of fun - especially if you like over-the-top action.
KINGDOM OF HEAVEN: After two attempts to sit through Troy, I gave up on historical dramas and never saw this when it was in theaters. Too bad, because this film stands apart from the drivel that was Troy. Although not a perfect film (at some points it is difficult to follow) Kingdom of Heaven is interesting, with some strong characters and a story that may be about the Crusades but also has relevence today, drawing parallels between the Crusades and our war in Iraq. Plus, Orlando Bloom is not hard to watch.
Sunday, December 24, 2006
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
Today is our ten month LID anniversary. So what the hell does that mean? Are we halfway to referral? A third? More? Less? I'm trying not to think too much about it. I'm stepping off the rollercoaster. Well, one foot is still firmly planted in that rollercoaster (the part that visits the Rumor Queen site regularly, by which I mean daily, multiple times, but who's counting?!). The other foot is dangling somewhere in mid-air looking for a place to land. Sometimes it lands in the Land of Whatever-Who-Cares-Anymore and sometimes in the Land of Goody-Goody-We're-Getting-Closer. Ah, it's enough to give a girl emotional whiplash.
Then there's the whole hormonal thing. It's a cosmic joke that PMS and pregnancy feel so much the same, at least in the beginning. Every month there's some part of me that wonders if some bizarre National Inquirer-type of miracle has occured and those cramps and sore stripper boobs mean that I'm pregnant. Weirder still is my mixed excitement and dread at this possibility, which always ends with an equally bizarre mix of relief and disappointment when I'm not.
Am I the only one who feels this way? Or is it just that I'm so freaking weird? And why am I surprised that my emotions are all over the map? After all, I'm ten months (paperwork) pregnant!!