A book, a song and movies, movies, movies
First, a book: Raina Telgemeier is an amazing cartoonist. My kids fell in love with her work when she was doing her comic adaptations of the Baby-Sitters Club books. We love Raina, she's an awesome person and so talented. After she did the BSC books she went on to do her own book Smile, which has deservedly won all sorts of awards. I love the book. If you haven't read it yet, you should. It's geared to middle school kids? I don't know, but it's all about Raina's dental ordeal from her childhood and it will stick with you, regardless of your age.
Raina's newest book is called Drama. When she was laying it out, she sent a copy to me to read and get my opinion. Winter was also allowed to read it (Scott did not get to- which made both Winter and I feel so very cool). I have no idea if either of us told her anything that was of any use to her, because, well, we both love love loved the book, but I do remember that we talked to her about it. This last week, we got a copy of the book. It's the galley that she's been giving away, the book isn't out for a bit yet.
When it came, we fought over who would read it first. Scott got to because he was the one who hadn't read it yet. That night I was staying up to listen to Sky on the radio, so I read it while everyone was asleep, Winter took it to school to read it during study time. Within less than 24 hours all three of us had read it. I keep thinking about it. I just want everyone everywhere to read it so that I can talk to you all about it. It again is geared for middle school age kids, but I can't imagine anyone not liking it. According to Amazon it comes out on Sept 1st. Take my word for it, you want to read it. Or give it to someone you know. It's one of the few things that Scott, Winter and I (and I'm sure Sky once she gets home and gets to read it) all agree on. Raina's really come into her own with this one. So. Very. Good.
Now for a song. This is the song that I've been obsessing over for the last month. If you listen to Alt Nation on Sirius/XM you've probably heard it, but otherwise, maybe not. I've been playing it on repeat for weeks now. It has a couple of words that would cause it not to be played on regular radio shows, so consider yourself warned. This is the video for the song. So you can hear it. The video is adorable, but listen to it once without watching so you can enjoy the song? The vid is an end of the world happy thing. Like I said, adorable. But the song is awesome, and just makes me happy. The band is from Australia and they are so very cute. Go on, check it out, it's not that long of a song, then you can come back here and read all about So Very Many Movies.
I've seen a lot of movies lately. If you know me, you know I also have opinions. Most of you know this, but just in case, I should start by saying that I have what I would call an Embarrassment Squick. I don't find embarrassing humor funny. At all. I find it uncomfortable and I have a hard time watching it. I avoid it whenever I can. This is why I've never seen the American Pie movies, for example. I have trouble watching the trailers for them. This is important for the rest of this post.
Last week, Scott was in Montreal and I wasn't. Men in Black III came out and Nat Gertler and I saw it. I enjoyed it. There were parts that I wished were not in the the movie. The kids came up with an Ivy Scale to rate movies, based on how many minutes I wouldn't want to watch, if the number is too high, then I really shouldn't see it. There were moments in MiB that I'm sure I would've been happier had they not been there. But not as many as there could've been, and mostly I really liked the movie. I've thought about it a lot after seeing it, so it passes that test. And in a good way. I'd kinda like to see it again, but I don't feel a burning need. Scott didn't really want to see it, and I don't think that he'd get that much if I dragged him to it, so I've resisted. There are other movies that I'd like to see more (both again and for a first time).
When Scott got back from Montreal, the next night, we went to a movie to celebrate his return. Scott got to pick. 21 Jump Street got better reviews than the trailer indicated it would've deserved, and it was now at the 3$ theatre, so Scott decided that's what we should see. I told him it was not going to be an Ivy Friendly movie, but he was convinced that I was wrong (he listens to reviews, so he was confident that the trailer was not indicative of the film). I was scared so he made me a deal, if he was wrong, I could force him to see a movie that he wouldn't normally go see. Wrath of the Titans was mentioned. So. We saw 21JS. To say it was not an Ivy Friendly movie is a vast understatement. I had so much trouble with the movie that Scott decided he owed me TWO movies in exchange. There were so cute moments, but the uncomfortable parts for me, were so uncomfortable that I left the theatre in pain from tension, and feeling like I needed to read for hours to get it out of my head.
That was Wednesday night. Since Scott also said that he'd go to a midnight showing of movie (something I love doing, but he doesn't because he tries to get up for work early every day) as one of the two he now owed me, we decided to go to see the midnight showing of Snow White and the Huntsman. Lots of our friends seem to love this movie. Scott and I were both disappointed with it. It's a beautiful movie, but it feels like an eternity before the titular huntsman even shows up. Bob Hoskins is in the movie! I love Bob Hoskins more than I can tell you. He is on my very short list. I've seen him live in London (Guys and Dolls: he was awesome). And they barely used him. They had Bob Hoskins and he barely did a thing! The dwarves were not on screen enough to have a personality. Mirror Mirror did the dwarves better than this movie. It was beautiful. I'll give you that. But honestly, other than seeing friends talking about it, or thinking about writing this blog post, I've not thought about the movie at all.
On Friday we went to Cory Marder's memorial, and got there late because of traffic. We were only there in time to hear Larry talk. I've thought about the things that he said in those few minutes far more than I've thought about Snow White. I wish we had made it on time (we have ourselves just over 2 hours to drive the 90 minute drive. It took over 3 hours. And people wonder why we don't love LA).
Saturday we had a movie day at home. We showed Winter The Full Monty. It was a hit. The movie stands up really well.
And Tom Wilkinson is in it. Tom had been our favorite character in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel which Scott and I had seen a week or two ago. TBEMH I loved. It's a great movie. It has a great cast. Excellent performances. The only thing that bothered me is that Penelope Wilton was my least favorite character. She played her beautifully, it's just that she was the only character I really didn't like. And I love Penelope Wilton. I've seen her live in London as well (both at the National Theatre, actually, I think). So it was sad for me. Now that's a movie I've thought lots and lots about. I very much want the excuse to see it again. I tried to talk my mom into seeing it, but she didn't want to see a movie about old people. *sigh*
Back to this past week. On Sunday I was not having a good day. Things were bothering me that shouldn't. I texted Scott that I was just not doing well. Winter was upset because she needed a program for her laptop, but couldn't get it because her computer was too old. So she was giving up on an important project and I was frustrated. Scott, being the truly awesome person he is, decided to come home a bit early and take me away from everything. So we left, I told him about Winter, and he said, "Oh, wait, I can make that better." So we went home, I stayed in the car, and Scott got his laptop set up for Winter, who then worked long hours on her project. Scott and I, on the other hand went out for a nice-ish dinner. Well, we went to Fudruckers, which I love, except they no longer are letting you get your hamburgers medium rare, only medium well, which means it is likely the last time we will go to Fudruckers (I won't go to 5 Guys either. I want a rare burger, not a well done one. Period.) Anyway, the reason we had dinner there is because they are close to the ArcLight Cinema which is a very cool theater. We went to see The Intouchables. That's IN, not UN, I did not make a mistake. It's a French film about a paraplegic man who hires a street kid (as in in his early 20s?) to take care of him and their unusual friendship. It's a delightful feel good kind of movie. Based on a true story. It was exactly what I needed. There were a couple of scenes I had trouble watching, but they were few and worked in context. It's a film about two people overcoming adversity through each other, and I highly recommend it. It is in French, so you have to read it...
So that's it for movies. Well, sort of. Yesterday, my friend Carol came over and I finally got to show her Captain America, which I've now seen enough times that I've lost count, and as soon as she's free, she and I are going to be seeing Avengers. When we do, it will be my 5th time. If Scott joins us, it will be his 4th. I think it's safe to say that we really like the movie. And Scott made a donation for both of us to Hero Initiative in Kirby's honor. So I don't feel guilty seeing it many many times.
Tomorrow, Scott and I are going to see the filmed, National Theatre (London) production which is playing in movie theatres of Frankenstein. It stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller as the monster and the Doctor. They alternate the roles, and I have tickets for both nights so that I can see both of them play both roles. Really it's so I can see BC play both roles. Scott knows who JLM is, but I don't really, other than the fact that he's who is cast to play Sherlock in the upcoming CBS tv show Elementary (which has Lucy Liu as Watson, which Scott and I both agree we would be far more interested in if the casting were reversed). I thank Kathy Li for telling me about this. Kathy is frequently my source for things of this nature.
So, that's it for media, for now. Go listen to the song (buy it on iTunes? I did), advance order a copy of the book (it's really good), and go see some movies. And if by chance you wind up at the Promenade in Woodland Hills to see Frankenstein Wednesday or Thursday, come say hi. I'll likely be towards the front.