Wednesday, February 9, 2011

oscar predictions cont'd

9. The Kids Are All Right: you know why i dug this movie? because it was raw. to me it was not a movie that pushed political views; living "green" and gay marriage can be topics that people discuss or debate - but the movie wasn't about pushing the boundaries of what is considered "typical" - because "typical" is relative more than ever. it was a movie that shows how the difficulties of marriage and family life are (most of the time) equal to they joys it brings. Julianne Moore's monologue at the end was perfect.

"..marriage is hard... Just two people slogging through the sh*t, year after year, getting older, changing. It's a f*cking marathon, okay? So, sometimes, you know, you're together for so long, that you just... You stop seeing the other person. You just see weird projections of your own junk. Instead of talking to each other, you go off the rails and act grubby and make stupid choices..."

i believe everyone can relate to the fact that relationships (between spouses, parents/kids, siblings, best friends) can sometimes feel like a marathon. and this is coming from someone who is morally against running. the kids certainly are...all right. fourpointfive stars.

PS. this movie was a magical land where Mark Ruffalo's character was figuratively* the fonz.

*i'm trying to cut back on using the word "LITERALLY" because i literally say it all the time. dammit.

oscar reviews; or: i'm so cultured...see??

i'm almost finished checking off my movie list for the films nominated for best picture. i love...LOVE...this time of year. it wasn't really until i graduated from college that i got into movies or awards season in general, but there is a direct correlation between my interest increasing and beginning my relationship with netflix. so here are my thoughts on this year, in no particular order:

1. Black Swan: I watched this film on the very front row of the theater after sitting at happy hour drinking margaritas, so while my neck and eyeballs were strained, i didn't notice it as much because everything was slightly funny. I thought the movie itself was great - which is hard for me to say, because when i describe a movie as "great" i want it to mean that i was inspired, my heart was warmed, and i felt a connection to the cast in some way. this is not the case for Black Swan - most of the characters pissed me off, ballerinas are kooky, and i left the theater thoroughly disturbed. BUT in a make-you-think sort of way that was very fantastical and raw and captivating. four stars.

2. The Fighter: overall, the movie wasn't a new idea to me. it was an "against all odds", "fight for your dreams", "i found love in the midst of said dreams which multiplied the sexual chemistry between us", inspirational sports movie. but wow...Christian Bale blew me away. he and Melissa Leo were unbelievable and Amy Adams' little bah-ston tough cookie accent was 50% endearing and 50% you-are-annoying - which is what the director was aiming at for her character, i think - so mad props, people! oh, and Marky Mark...thanks for being hot 'n sexy. four stars.

3. Inception: uh...awesome. i was completely captivated by this movie in every single way possible: cast, dialogue, action, plot, the whole bit. Leonardo Dicaprio and Joseph Gordon Levitt frickin' tore it up. crazy creative.... five stars.

4. The King's Speech: slap me in the face and call me the joker if this wasn't one of the most heart warming stories i've ever seen on the silver screen. i absolutely loved it. Colin Firth, what a performance. Helena Bonham Carter, magical. I typically don't get into period pieces on royal monarchies, but everything about this movie made me happy. maybe it was the acting ensemble, maybe it was the incredible husband/wife partnership, maybe it was the unique "against all odds" scenario, or maybe it's because half the time i tell stories, my friends probably feel like they're having to sit through The King's Speech - i don't know, but i related, i relished, and i revered this m-m-movie. five extra twinkly stars.

5. The Social Network: well of course i'm biased, but this movie will serve as the definitive benchmark of the 2000's. few people on this planet are unable to tell you A) what the internet is B) what facebook is, or C) that life as we know it is forever changed by the developments of the former points. it was an excellent portrayal of young, naive, developing intellectuals who are tired of being treated like kids and don't just want to be "the next (fill in the blank pioneer person)", but to be the person that people aspire to be the next of. five stars because i felt like i was part of this story.

6. Toy Story 3: the fact that the third installment of a series is this critically acclaimed is accomplishment alone. with the exception of epic trilogies (Star Wars, LOTR, Godfather, etc), sequels usually suck. the cast changes, the plot is super far fetched, and people have lost interest. but not TS3 - any children's movie that is equally captivating to a child and an adult at any life stage is a succes. the pixar geniuses strike again. four stars.

7. True Grit: i'm going to be honest. i liked it, i did, but the horse was what took this movie from good to great for me. yeah yeah, TYPICAL LAURA, i know. but the more i think about that damn horse and what he meant to that girl - AHH, i get chills. for me, everything goes back to that horse - he was with her through the whole journey, he was there when she felt abandoned, he was there to make her feel like she was in control of something, he died for her and saved her. that horse had frickin' True Grit, just like the rest of the cast (which was extremely enjoyable to watch, might i add). four stars plus one horseshoe.

8. Winter's Bone: (crickets...crickets)...well, i'm not sure how to explain this: i had no clue what was going on until the credits were rolling. true story. it is one of the slowest movies i have ever seen, and i would say that 80% of the "action" in the film occurred in my own brain when i was analyzing bits and pieces of the plot. i was so-so about it during the movie, but driving home from it, i thoroughly enjoyed thinking it through and realizing the unseen details of the story. i will confess however, that i feel this spot on the ballot should have gone to The Town (to which i would give five stars). four stars.

the two remaining nominated films i hope to watch in the next week. i just received "The Kids Are Alright" in the mail today and i'm still mentally preparing myself for "127 Hours"...wish me luck.


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Ice Age (or...Why Working From Home RULES)

As most of you are aware, Dallas has been hit with an avalanche. Not really an avalanche, but what basically happened was that the temperature went down below 25 degrees and there was a sleetish, rainy, snowy substance that fell from the sky causing a layer of ice to coat every surface of the city. Did you know that the last time they shut down DFW International Airport was on 9/11? That means that this ice wasn't messing around.

Truth be told, my ice wreck from last year was the best thing to happen to my department. When this year came around, it was all over the office..."Let's not risk it. Remember what happened to Laura last year..." And for that Fossil Eyewear, I say, YOU'RE WELCOME.

So here we are, day 2 of working from home. I must say that it has truly been divine. I've been able to get work done on my home computer, do a ton of reading and journaling, and I have not changed out of my jammies in...well, we're approaching 40 hours now. I feel like I'm getting a small glimpse into the life of both our outside sales reps and my dog. It's awesome.

Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't choose to be trapped in my apartment for long periods of time very often, especially since we're almost out of milk and toilet paper. I just know that this will be over soon so I'm soaking up every bit of exquisite alone time I can before the temperature climbs back up to bearable. I can't even explain how lovely it has been to not be on any schedule, have zero agenda, and just sit and do the quiet things that stir my affections for Jesus. The ice has made me think a lot about how I don't do that enough. I let busyness and my to do lists turn me into someone who doesn't "have time" for the Lord, and I'm terribly convicted. Who's kingdom am I living for? How much more could I be if I was as committed to him as I am to my selfish schedule?

"Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life." Gal 5:7-8

Thank you, Father, for sending this beautiful ice.