tvordlj: (Movies)
We went to the movies today and saw Ghost in the Shell in 3D. Now, I'm not a fan of manga and I have absolutely no familiarity with this story which is apparently a well known one among fans. G. saw the original Japanese manga movie though he's not really into manga either so the movie today, which had a lot of the same elements, made sense to him. Yes, I had a bit of trouble keeping it all straight. Part of that seems to be that I nodded off at one point! Eek! I was drowsy at a few points but was making an effort to stay awake and watch. I think i was just comfy in the dark and there were some slow bits and off i went. And I also think that because I was a bit confused watching it, my attention strayed and that made me drowsy as well.

Anyway, I had thought I would like it, since I often like scifi and I like Scarlet Johansson for the most part. I did find myself questioning things I had no business questioning like why would she be urged to breathe when she first came to after her initial creation. I thought, but she's mostly a machine, wouldn't all that be fired up and running and supplying the brain with the needed oxygen? She wouldn't actually have real lungs. Never mind.

The movie is about a woman who has been turned into a cyborg but with her human brain implanted to give her the best of both worlds, the ability to be a fighting machine but with the reasoning and intelligence of a human rather than AI. And fight she does, very well. She has some funky visions or "glitches" but they are dismissed by the doctor. She's trying to track down an entity that keeps uploading his conscience into others and using their bodies to kill several of the doctors and board members at the corporation that does the cyborg/human thing. Things are not as they seem but she finds out some truths by the end though in the end, nothing really changes for her life. She will continue as she has been which sets things up for possible sequels of course.

The special effects were very good and I figured they would be, which is why I thought we might see it in 3D. That's not something I usually go for but sometimes it does enhance the movie. I like Scar-Jo as I said and the man that played her sidekick was good, too. He's a Danish actor and was also in Game of Thrones as one of the Greyjoys, not Theon, the one that became Reek, one of his uncles.

She's gone

Oct. 12th, 2014 11:36 am
tvordlj: (Movies)
I decided to go to a movie yesterday afternoon but the movie I saw wasn't the one I had intended to see. I wanted to see Pride, a new British film about a group of gays that raised money for a small Welsh mining town during a strike in the 80s and I thought it started at 3:20. I got on the bus at 2:40 and figured I'd get there just in time. I checked my phone, the Cineplex app, and oh dear...The movie's start time was 3:10 and there's no way I would get there in time. The only other thing I thought I'd like to see was Gone Girl at 3:35 so that's what I did and I had enough Cineplex points to see it for free.
spoilers )
Thanksgiving feasting later today. Spending some time with one of my best friends tomorrow. Top weekend!
tvordlj: (Movies)
I went to see a wonderful movie on Monday evening called The Grand Budapest Hotel. I think it was released some months ago but it's only just opened here a few weeks ago. My friend and I were chomping at the bit waiting for it and it did not disappoint. It's also a bit hard to describe properly but here goes....

It starts off in the mid 80s with a revered writer about to dictate his story about the Grand Budapest hotel (of which he's written a famed book apparently). We go back to the late 1960s where a younger version of him (played by Jude Law) is in the GBH, a sad and tired version of what it was in it's glory days. It is a Grand Hotel indeed, way up in a mountain near a little village somewhere in the Alps in a little country. Unspecified, Probably based on Liechtenstein or something like it.  There are few visitors staying and none of them speak to each other. The concierge is a shadow of the former versions who were meticulous, efficient and ruled the hotel lobby. The writer meets the owner in a tatty spa and they have dinner together in the vast dining room where the owner, a man called Zero Mustafa, tells him how he came to own the hotel.

We now zip back to the early 1930s. War is impending in a pseudo-Nazi like atmosphere (the ZZ instead of the SS). The Grand Budapest is perhaps just past it's prime but still a famed hotel where lots of the beautiful and/or rich people stay. The lobby is ruled by M. Gustave, a smarmy, pretentious but highly efficient and yes, legendary concierge. He is charged with training a young man, named Zero who gets to be a Lobby Boy. We know this because that's what's written on his hat. One of the guests, a rich old woman, is about to leave. She stays here every year for several months but oddly, doesn't want to leave this time. M. Gustave convinces her to go. She will be just fine. But alas, as reported in the paper the next day, she is dead in her home! M. Gustave and Zero take a train to see her. The train is stopped at the border by the soldiers but though Zero's papers are not particularly in order, (he is later revealed to be a refugee from a fictional country decimated by war), the head honcho of the troop of soldiers knows M. Gustave and allows them through.

At the castle of the family of the dead woman, it's revealed that a priceless painting has been left to M. Gustave but the will and it's box full of addenda and codicils still need to be verified. The Butler of the house slips an envelope into the back of the painting and allows Gustave to escape with it. He's later arrested for murdering the woman and is thrown in prison. He later escapes with a group of hardened criminals and with Zero's help, has to find the missing Butler and prove his innocence.

There are all kinds of characters, and lots of cameos by famous faces like Jeff Goldblum, Willem Dafoe, Harvey Keitel, Bill Murray and Tilda Swinton. The action is fast paced and a bit madcap at times. It feels a bit like a cross between Tintin and keystone cops and is quirky, bizarre and is loads of fun but with a dark edge as well. And as there are a few quick scenes that have a sexual nature and with some crude language on occasion, it's not for children in spite of the adventure.

Ralph Fiennes plays M. Gustave and though he's not always an actor I like, he certainly suits this part to a tee. An unknown young man plays a young Zero, with hesitant and unsure manner at first and later, as the character grows, more confidence. Saoirse Ronan plays Agatha, a young baker who is in love with Zero and she gets to play her part in the caper as well. Willem Dafoe gets to play a villain of few words, kind of the heavy hit man for the family of the deceased and Adrian Brody plays the nasty, greedy son with aplomb.

Wonderful movie. Excellent cinematography. I loved the way they composed the shots and the movie almost had a bit of a cartoon like quality to it. Even the characters themselves were often cartoonish in looks (the three sisters of Adrian Brody's character!) Apparently this is going to be out on DVD in a few weeks so I do believe I shall buy it. This one is worth owning!
tvordlj: (Dime)
I wanted to go to a movie today and couldn't decide between August: Osage County and American Hustle. In the end, I went with American Hustle because I wasn't in the mood for anything overly emotional today and I thought Osage probably would be. See, it's been 8 years today since Dad died and while I'm ok, it wouldn't take much, yannow? After the movie, I decided to be a bit lazy and instead of walking up the staircase to the main level, I turned down a small corridor that leads to two other movie theatres in the cineplex and the little elevator. Half way down the corridor I saw a dime on the floor gleaming in the light! I always see them when I'm not expecting to and they always make me smile.

Anyway the movie, yes it was pretty good. Bradley Cooper, Christian Bale, Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence were the principle cast. Bale looks to have gained a lot of weight for the part. Amy Adams is an actor i really like though not used to her playing sexy tough-but-vulnerable roles like this. She was very good as was Lawrence who is in everything these days. Cooper played a rogue FBI agent who's ambition to bust some big marks drags Bale and Adams' characters into the sting against a mayor and some congressmen, senators and a few mob bosses. It takes place in the late 70s and I think was partly based on an AbScam sting.

The FBI used a con man and his partner to bust a stolen goods ring but it ended up being a sting against corrupt public officials and they used a pretend sheik as the bait to promise money to develop the Atlantic City casino area. Christian Bale played the con man and Amy his partner and lover though he was a married man (to Jennifer Lawrence's character). Amy's character pretended to be British during much of the stings so she spent half the movie with a somewhat weak accent. Bradley Cooper's FBI agent was off the wall and hyper and flew off the rails several times.

It had twists and turns and you knew darn well it was going to be a "who's scamming who" trick. You got a few flashbacks to fill in some gaps. It had a good soundtrack, lots of late 70s goodness. There was a cameo by DeNiro, excellent! I don't like the hand held camera method but it wasn't too distracting like it can be. There were little 70s touches like hearing tv commercials from that era. The clothes and cars were great. The eyeglasses and sunglasses were the size of dinner plates.

Anyway, I liked it. Good movie. Will it win the Oscar? I don't think so but it was just what I needed today.
tvordlj: (Movies)
Been a good weekend so far. I like when that happens. Most weekends, especially through the winter, I don't do very much unless Mom and I go out shopping somewhere. Friday was a day off and my cousin came over to help me put the book case together that Mom gave me for my birthday. There's two small bullet like bits missing, not sure what happened as we counted them all and there was the required number. They're the bits that stick in the holes that let you put the adjustable shelves where you want them. I can use something else i'm sure if i can't find them in the carpet or on a side table somewhere.

Yesterday my friend Denise and I went to a movie and lunch. There's a little cafe in a hotel near a retail area, the Redwood Grill and it's quite good. Not an extensive menu and the food is all ordinary stuff like sandwiches, burgers, salads but it's quite tasty. The movie we saw was Quartet and we both really enjoyed it. It's about a retirement home for musicians in England, it looked like it might have been in the Cotswolds, or at least the scene or two shot in the village nearby was similar. The time of year was autumn, with some leaves already off the trees. Some beautiful sunsets. All very symbolic of the later years in life, I think.

Every year there is a musical gala put on by the seniors to raise money to help keep the home open. The planning is underway for this year's gala, organized and directed by the character played by Michael Gambon, late of Dumbledore fame. He's marvellous as the diva-like Cedric (pronounced See-dric don't you know!). He despairs of some of his performers but pulls it all together in the end. Three of the residents were part of a famed quartet of opera singers whose best work has just been re-released on CD, a Verdi piece. Into the home comes Maggie Smith whose character, Jean, is feeling old and defeated, her fame long gone. Turns out her ex husband is living in the home and is not happy to see her at all. She hurt him very much and he's reluctant to accept her apologies so many years later.

Her other friends, played by Pauline Collins and Billy Connolly, talk she and her ex husband (played by Tom Courtenay) into performing the quartet for the gala.

The movie is a gentle ensemble movie. The comedy comes from the lines, the looks, a lot of it from Billy Connolly but not in his usual vigorous manner. They are all people in their 70s and up and experiencing the aches, pains, and illnesses of age, an old age not for sissies, as they say. Pauline Colins' character seems to be experiencing dementia or Alzheimers at times. Billy's character is an old scally wag, flirts with anything in skirts and could charm the birds out of the trees. Tom's character is more reserved, still nursing his pain from all those years ago. Maggie's Jean is coming to terms with age and her confidence is in the toilet, she'd had to end her career due to crippling stage fright that came on as she got older. She get some great lines in as only she can.

A lot of the cast is made up of musicians and actors from very presigious origins, we see this as the end credits roll. I really enjoyed the movie. It might not be for everyone but I would recommend it anyway.

Today my aunt and i will have a little party at my mom's. Her birthday is tomorrow so we've often shared our celebrations over the years.
tvordlj: (Default)
Christmas itself was very nice, it always is. The season hasn't started very well with the death of my cousin's wife and the funeral was Monday morning (Christmas Eve). He was a little wobbly once or twice but got through it pretty well. The eulogy was by her younger sister and was amazing. One of the best i've heard. The gist of it was not to put off things and people. Make every get together an occasion and don't wait for one to get together.

Christmas eve was pretty quiet, just my nephew, mom and me. Justin and Staci both got home in the morning and we had breakfast and when my sister and her husband arrived we opened presents. It always takes awhile because we do it one at a time so we can watch each person open something and see what everyone's got. It makes it nicer so you can see the reaction of the others to the gifts. Dinner was at my sister's house. I made eggnog caramel cheesecake which turned out pretty awesome though the bottom crust was a bit hard. Overcooked a tad i think but the rest of it was wonderful. All the food was yummy and even though I tried not to over do, i still rolled away aching.

Christmas night, Mom and i went to my auntie's, a tradition. This is my cousin's mother, the cousin whose wife's funeral we were all at the day before. He was at his mom's and was ok, though his voice was almost gone. He's had moments, of course and maybe is still running on adrenaline. There's a lot of legal stuff and paperwork to keep him hopping for a few weeks. Once things quiet down, it'll probably hit him harder.

I brought my things home on Boxing day and kept the car overnight. Stores aren't open here on the 26th which is nice really, having that extra day where everything is still quiet across the city. Today my aunt was having the ladies in the family over for seafood chowder. The weather wasn't really cooperative but it was clear when we got there. We left early though, because the roads were getting pretty filled up. I got home about 2:30 and now, at 4:30 it sounds like it's turning to rain / ice pellets as forecast. Everyone is home and safe and warm.

Oh and last weekend I went to see the Hobbit with a friend. We were less than impressed. We both found it slow and draggy. Yes, the special effects were nice. Sometimes. But I'm usually underwhelmed when overwhelmed by CGI and there was so much of that. It's like they made the movie just to showcase what they can do on a computer. I can't imagine sitting through two more movies of that so I won't be. I liked Lord of the Rings in spite of the CGI because there was a lot more story to it. This didn't have that to hold my interest. A few scenes foretold some stuff from LOTR but even then it was extended out way too much. We didn't see it in 3D, neither of us are too fond of it and you could tell a lot of the effects that would have taken advantage of it. A couple of times, during scenes that you might expect to be filled with actual people, close ups and everything, I was pretty sure were all cgi versions of the actors, possibly even the close up of them speaking, it looked that faked. If that's the case, why not just make the whole movie animated and give up the pretense of having actors play the parts, just use their voice overs.

Mom, my niece Staci and I are hoping to have our annual trek to Chapters on the weekend, weather permitting. Everyone knows Mom loves getting Chapters gift cards so she gets lots. She gets one for Staci and I got one from Staci's fiance so we're all armed and ready. We all love reading and there are a lot of family members that do. At today's lunch, my cousin Pam and I exchanged books and one of my other cousins and I agree, how can anyone *not* like to read!?

I'm still off work until the day after New Year's. I was on call today but it doesn't look like i'll get any calls now. I did check my email and all was ok there. Good thing, too. I brought my work laptop home but forgot the electronic key that logs me in to the work network. Doh.
tvordlj: (Default)
Good grief!
I've just read a short news article where a condemned prisoner who is due to be executed by lethal injection in January is trying to get out of it citing health reasons. He weighs about 400 pounds and his first push of the envelope was that he feared the table would not support his weight. It was proven wrong by a test using a large jail guard and extra weights. Hmm. Well, he also claims that his weight, vein access, scar tissue, *depression* and other conditions would make his executioners "encounter severe problems". His lawyer filed something with the court to say that "there is a substantial risk that any attempt to execute him will result in serious physical and psychological pain" .
So?
He's a murderer, judged guilty (for a murder 20 years ago, which is another rant altogether, these endless appeals). He's suffering depression? Is anyone feeling sorry for him yet? If he's worried about his weight or vein access, I'm sure a gas chamber can be arranged. Or a guillotine.
Apparently weight has caused problems in the past with injections according to this article. I suppose they're trying to say it's undue hardship or emotional abuse. The man is a murderer. And besides, I'm in the "obese" category and they never have any trouble finding a vein to take bloodwork or inject an IV in my arm. Every body is different and there's a lot of places in your body you could use to tap a vein.

The new iPad mini is coming out. (or "miniPad" *snork*) It's a 7.5 inch screen and more the size of the ereaders (slightly bigger) and some tablets. Apparently two weeks after it's released, another version will be out that can take advantage of cellular service. Doesn't say that it'll be a phone but probably that's the 4G network so you don't need a wi-fi hotspot. Seems like a lot of fuss for something that's already out there sold by other companies but Apple has to keep up, i suppose and they certainly have their dedicated fans. I do have an iPod touch, several generations old now and newer apps won't run on it. But then i always ran my PC operating system years past the newer ones that were offered. I don't own a smart phone either because i really don't think i'd use it to any advantage most of the time. I may upgrade the iPod at some point i suppose but there's no hurry. The main thing i use it for is tunes and it does that quite well.

I saw the latest Bruce Willis movie, Looper last night. good clean bloody fun. And I do mean that literally. Typical action movie shoot up all over the place with some timey wimey paradox confusion thrown in. It takes place about 30 years from now. And 30 years from that point, time travel has been invented but is illegal. Because disposing of bodies is also more and more difficult, Mobsters use it to send their targets back 30 years, where a hitman is waiting to shoot and then dispose of the body. The victim is sent with bars of silver attached to their back as payment for the hitman in the past. Sending the hitman himself back to be shot by his younger self is called closing the loop. The victims are hooded and the assassins don't know it's their future selves until they slice open the back of the jacket the body has on to find gold bars instead of silver bars. The equivalent of the gold watch kiss-off i guess. They can then retire and live their lives until they're sent back to be killed.

This loop closing is suddenly happening all the time. There's a mob boss in the future called the Rainman who has just taken control and is closing all the loops as his first order of business. Nobody knows who he is or what his real name is. Most of the loopers are youngish men, cocky, stylish, braggarts. One of them discovers his victim is his future self and can't kill him setting off a man hunt for both men. His best friend gives him up and later, one of his hits is, yes, his future self.

Spoilers )
That's as much as i'll spoil, without going into the ending. But suffice it to say that i had to chuckle when in a typical Bruce scene, he's squinting, cocking his head to one side, looking rather complacent and shooting the place down with a series of various guns. Most of the action movie guys are screaming or gritting their teeth, leaping about over-adrenalized, it's a big show of Tough Muthafuckin Badass. Kind of like when Bruce Springsteen is straining like he's passing a horse out of his arse, sweating and grimacing while crooning out a soft ballad. Not Bruce Willis. He's resigned to the fact but equally determined the opposition isn't going to cream his ass, he's going to take them out first. He's also a Tough Muthafuckin Badass but he doesn't have to make a big production out of it.

Anyway, I liked the movie for what it was. And Emily Blunt is in it. I always like her. And the little boy that plays her son was quite good for being so young. I didn't see the ending coming. Probably should have.

more 2012 books )
tvordlj: (Reading Woman)
Went to an early showing of Men in Black III tonight with a friend. Sort of an early birthday dinner as she'll be in TO next week on business. We had a quick bite at Tim's first. Loved the movie, good fun! Will Smith's character goes back to 1969 to prevent Tommy Lee Jones's character from being killed. Josh Brolin played a young Agent K and wow did he have him down cold! He had the looks, the gestures, the vocals just right. Lots of aliens, lots of them being splattered, the main villain was quite creepy really, well. Apparently a New Zealand actor. He reminded me a bit of Tim Curry but i knew it wasn't him. Not in looks because with all the make up you couldn't tell what he really looks like anyway. It was just his voice a bit but anyway, it wasn't Tim Curry. Still did a great job, though.

More 2012 books )
tvordlj: (Default)

Just another manic mondayyyyyy .....
Well it should be less manic than last monday which was rife with mystery and confusion. We know what the problem is now, and we already have a pretty good plan of action. Just need to nail down the details.

Saw Brave yesterday. I'm not sure if i've ever gone to see an animated movie at the theatres before. I must have but if so, it's been a very long time. Of course the place was filled with kids and parents but they were all really good. One or two smaller ones were led out by a comforting hand when the bear in the movie was kind of scary. Some may wonder why kids' movies have scary stuff in them. Have you actually *read* classic fairytales lately? Brutal stuff.

Brave is by Pixar and has the excellence of animation you expect. Lots of fun too. They make the faces on the people and the animals very expressive, in fact i often find the animal faces even more so because you don't expect them to have human-like expressions when they often do in animated movies. Even in real life sometimes. I'd like to know how many times a cat has glanced up at me with that "Seriously????" look.

So yes. Brave. A story about a girl with wild red hair who grows up as a princess and is instructed on the proper behaviour as such by her mother all her life, when all she really wants to do is ride her horse and shoot arrows and be a bit of a tomboy or a warrior if she'd been allowed to be. Her father has survived a legendary battle with a huge bear though lost his leg to it and the bear still survives. He's spent all the intervening years either hunting for it or tediously retelling the tale of the battle. The time has come for a suitor to be picked for his daughter, Merida, and the winner of a competition between the sons of three neighbouring clans will be the one chosen. Not her own decision, mind you and she strenuously objects to that. The only input she gets is what the contest will be and she chooses archery.

One lad is tall, skinny, and vain. Kind of a rock star attitude. Also tempermental. One is a big beefy lad like his father but when he talks, the accent is so strong nobody can understand a word. (must be from Glasgow! ;) The third is a short, weedy, clumsy, goofy looking chinless wonder. But Merida can out shoot them all and does. Her mother is furious with her and in the midst of a gigantic row, Merida slashes a tapestry depicting herself, mother and father and she runs off. She finds a witch in the forest and is given a spell to change her mother so that she won't insist on the marraige. Of course she gets what she asks for but what she gets isn't what she expected. Mama turns into a bear. You can see the complications that can cause.

It all comes out ok in the end of course, with a mighty battle and a change of heart. Billy Connolly voices the king, Kelly MacDonald is Merida and Emma Thompson is the queen, Eleanor (whom i thought was called Helena through most of the movie!)

Also saw a good trailer for an animated movie called Hotel Transylvannia. Definitely one i want to see.

tvordlj: (Default)
Back to work and the routine. Don't know yet who the interim manager will be.
My hip isn't too bad in the daytime, moving around keeps it loose though i'm still walking a bit off kilter. The worst part is at night. I can get to sleep but i wake up half way through with hip pain and can't get comfortable enough to get back to sleep. Toss. Turn. Get up and walk for a few minutes. Repeat. I found a bit of comfort laying on my stomach but i hate sleeping like that. Trying to put cold pack on it when i'm home but that doesn't really seem to have any effect though the chiro says that's what it needs, not heat.

One of my coworkers is retiring this Friday. I've worked with him since i started this job in 1988 and we worked quite closely together for the first 8 years and usually sat close by each other for a long time after that on and off. He's a good friend and he's always cheerful and I'll miss him. The retirement do will be quite a bash! I did a painting for him using a photo he took on his vacation to Ireland a couple of years ago with his wife and daughter sitting on a pile of rocks at Giant's Causeway with the bay out behind them. I did the scenics and Graham did the two figures because i'm rubbish at that. We took it over to him last week and they really liked it. I forgot to take his picture with it and i asked him to but i'll have to remind him again. I'm pleased with how the painting turned out.

Speaking of which my friend's mother is going to teach painting in Kentville and wants a practice run so my friend, me and i think one other person are going to the community centre here on Saturday where she's going to lead us through a How-To session and we all come away with a painting.

We saw two movies last week, too. The Avengers and Dark Shadows and liked them both quite a bit. G. liked The Avengers more but he did enjoy DS. I liked them both about the same, but they're very different movies. Avengers is super heroes and lots of action and effects and cgi and DS is Tim Burton and Johnny Depp and it's all Goth and wry and camp. The actors in the Avengers were all good but Robert Downey Jr. as Ironman stole it for me but i'm a bit partial to him anyway. Mark Ruffalo played Bruce Banner (Hulk) and was really good in the part. The guy playing the villain, Loki, was excellent too. Dark Shadows is based on the old soap from the late 60s so it emulated that a bit with the style of soap story and acting. Characters with secrets, pasts, a witch, a curse, ghosts and lost love. And Johnny Depp. Excellent. Both movies were good fun.

Mom's out in Victoria, BC visiting her brother and it sounds like they have a full schedule for her!
tvordlj: (Movies)
I didn't mention that i went to see Mirror Mirror last Thursday with a friend. It was as expected, not a deep movie, not hugely comic but it had funny stuff and was light and fluffy and fun. The costumes were bright and very nice and I enjoyed Julia Roberts since i like her anyway. It's a take on Snow White with Julia as the queen who has taken over the kingdom in the absence of the king, Snow's beloved father. The Queen is step mother and has raised Snow mostly isolated in her bedroom in the castle high over the lake where the village is on the other side. The Queen is bankrupt and has over taxed the village and kingdom to pay for her elaborate wardrobe and lifestyle and needs a wealthy husband. She encounters a young Prince and starts to woo him but of course he has met Snow White and though they bicker, you know that's how love always starts. The Queen resorts to a love potion which has humourous results. Snow White has been banished and though the Queen's lackey was meant to kill her, he couldn't do it so she ends up with the seven Dwarves who are outlaws since being shunned for what they are, another result of the Queen's reign.

Snow White is played by Lily Collins, a newcomer. Some of the dwarves are familiar faces and some are new to me. Nathan Lane is great as the lackey. Arnie Alcott is Prince Alcott in a fun performance as well. Poor guy keeps losing his clothes! I liked that the dwarves were not all sugar sweet and happy and industrious, they're sarcastic and inventive and though don't have the same names you've heard in the classic fairy tale, some indeed are happy or grumpy at least. The queen's "mirror" is a straight talking image, not a sycophant and is located in a magic spot. We liked it, a pleasant way to spend a couple of hours.
tvordlj: (Movies)
Weather back to normal. Quite cold and windy today.

Mom, Sis, niece and i went to see The Hunger Games at noon. Good time to go as it wasn't really crowded. We all enjoyed the movie and felt it kept fairly close to the book. The cast was all great, especially Woody Harrelson as Haymitch. Excellent choice. Some topics and scenarios that are more detailed in the book are only touched on here, as you would probably expect from a movie adaptation but it was enough to get the idea across. There were only little brief bits about the past and the lead heroine, Katniss's personal history and the history of her more deprived district so you really didn't get a good sense of why she is the way she is or who she is. That's a lot to do with trying to fit the events of the book into a movie though. If you hadn't read the book you might not have found the movie as engaging. If you have, then you can fill in the blanks.

I didn't like some of the camera work, that hand held shaky, too-close-up, too quick editing during action scenes. Makes me dizzy. You really didn't get to know the other Tributes much because over half the movie was the set up and training and by the time the Games were on, there wasn't time to go into great detail or character development for the other combatants. I did like that you got a bit more of the "behind the scenes of the Games" in the large control room, watching how they manipulate things.

After the show, Mom and i had lunch at Montanas and then we went up to Staples. I had seen a netbook on their website and wanted to see if they had it in the store. They did but the Operating System was different than described online. Lo and behold, the website has been changed between yesterday and today so they now match. (Windows 7 starter, which i think is going to be the case on all or most netbooks from my research. It's not as good but it can be upgraded). I asked about getting more memory in it as it can go up to 2gig instead of the 1 that comes with it. Apparently it's a bit tricky to install in the netbook so it would have taken a couple of hours. They were also uncertain whether Windows 7 would have recognized the extra memory before a full install or not. Might have been fine, might not. They charge extra for the installation (Windows is loaded but you have to go through the registration, service pack and patch update process apparently and they soak you to do that if you are too nervous to do it yourself. I could do it but if it didn't recognize the new memory stick and froze up i'd have to take it back to the store, probably pay for them to do the installation before adding the memory after. Pain in the arse, that. He didn't know if it *would* be a problem but said some netbooks are like that and some are not and their tech wasn't sure if this was one of them.

Anyway. Now i find myself rethinking. Do i want a netbook or a tablet? I'm still leaning to the netbook and i considered that i could just buy it out of the box with 1 gig of memory and go from there. Maybe the 1 gig would be fine most of the time. I'm not planning to do anything really heavy with it, any more than maybe light photo editing and i could get software that isn't big and ugly to do that. In fact, PicMonkey looks like it might be pretty good and it's online and not an install and there's no registration required. I tried it but not with a larger resolution photo. You drag the photo or upload it, do the work on it and save it back to your puter. It's one of the suggested replacements for Picknik which is going away. It seems to have all the basic editing needs i would require for on-the-go stuff.

As for the netbook and 1 gig memory, I can always take it back and buy the upgraded memory and pay to have them install it since it's a bit tricky on that model as to the ease of getting to it. Decisions, decisions.

2012 books....more detailed review through the links
30. Madame Bovary - Gustav Flaubert
A classic that i read in school and hated. Emma Bovary was bored, I was bored, then she topped herself. I thought i might reread it to see how my tastes had changed and how i viewed it. Much better this time around. I don't remember much else from it when i first read it but i realize that she is a woman that pretty much lives in a fantasy world and can't cope with the realities of day to day life. She wanted romance, adventure, a white knight to sweep her off her feet. Life isn't like that, toots.
http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/278694284

31. The Tiger's Wife - Tea Obreht
Apparently winning a lot of awards, i found it a bit less riveting than all the reviews are screaming about. It was good, well written, but not a lot of character development so when you read the description that says you know what the recently deceased grandfather is by the two tales/legends that are told in the book, you don't know at all really. There's a few other characters introduced in those stories and the author takes you back to their whole history which seems unnecessary. Still, i did enjoy it overall.
http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/295331004
tvordlj: (Movies)
Went to see the Adventures of TinTin last night with some friends. It was pretty good, lots of chuckles. TinTin was never really known all that much when i was growing up though i think i was aware of it perhaps in my teens. Nearly everywhere in the world it was hugely popular. I wonder why it never really caught on in the US and Canada though i hear there is a "cult" following. That's what they say when it's not caught on mainstream like, for instance, Peanuts/Charlie Brown which was far more popular. Or maybe it's just my little part of the continent that didn't discover TinTin. I bet it does rise up a few points now that there's a movie to introduce the characters. I believe there were some TinTin books out before Christmas too. A Spanish coworker of mine, who hails from El Salvador, bought one for herself. She loved TinTin as a child.

Anyway. It was pseudo-animated, i.e. they had live actors doing movement and stunts and some acting but then digitized it all. The facial features, expressions and movements are far more realistic that way, i find. The characters really did not resemble the actors in the least though. Sometimes in animated movies you do see a bit of resemblence, the animators seem to try to add some features in but this wasn't the case here. It doesn't matter, of course, I looked up the actors just to see as i was curious.

TinTin is a young reporter who has a little white terrier, Snowy. He has lots of adventures as he follows stories, coming into danger many times but always managing to find a way out, sometimes only because the little dog helps him. In the legendary comics/graphic novels one of his good friends is Captain Haddock and in this movie we along with TinTin meet him. There is also two twin bumbling detectives, Thompson and Thomson, voiced by Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. The premise is a model of an old ship, the Unicorn, that contains a scroll, one of three that point the way to a treasure. The baddies are after TinTin because they think he has one of the scrolls and the baddies also have made a prisoner of Captain Haddock as he is the last of his family and supposed to have the secret to decoding the scrolls, passed down through his family. Only Haddock is fond of the drink and has forgotten his grandfather's dying words that passed on the story.

There are adventures on a container ship, in the desert, on the ocean, in a Moroccan town. There are wild chases. One of the lines that cracked me up was the Captain (who has a Scottish accent, voiced by Andy Serkis, he of Gollum fame) describing some of his crew who are all asleep below deck. One, he said, has no eyelids, lost them a few years back. We get a shot of this burly man asleep on his bunk but looking like he's staring at you. The Captain then remarks "Ahh...now *that* was a card game to remember!" Bwahahaha! It was just so unexpected! Serveral of the Captain's insults towards some of his captives at one point were pretty funny too but there were too many said too fast for me to remember now.

It did slow down a bit in the middle when the Captain was relating what happened on his ancestor's ship once he started to remember. It kind of stopped the action dead in the water though there was plenty of action on that ship. It seemed to sidetrack the storyline.

It was a nice, fun movie. No heavy concentration needed, just sit back and enjoy the ride!
tvordlj: (Movies)
I read 93 books this year, mostly ebooks with a small number of paper books thrown in. I am trying to get through The Scottish Prisoner by Diana Gabaldon but i don't think i'll finish it today so it will have to go into next year's allottment. Have also got a couple of other books i've been picking at through the year as well and since they aren't finished they probably shouldn't count as 2011 books either. The last one i finished was The French Lieutenant's Woman by John Fowles. Interesting, in parts. It was written in 1969 but is about the Victorian era and is very detailed about Victorian life and culture but the problem with that is that i found it kept veering off into mini-lectures about those subjects and didn't really contribute much to the actualy storyline which i was more concerned with. The storyline being that of a young woman who had been used by a shipwrecked sailor and abandoned and she's not been able to move on past the reputation she got from it. She spends most of her days walking and gazing out to sea, clearly in a depression. She's taken on as a companion by a society harridan and meets a gentleman who is engaged to a socialite. He becomes enamoured of the first woman though tries to help her make a new life for herself.

I saw two movies this week, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and the new Sherlock Holmes movie. Both were accompanied by a meal out with friends. Also had another friend come over for a nice long catch up one evening.

TGWTDT is based on the best selling novel by a Swedish author and the Swedish movies of all three of the trilogy have been out for awhile. I've seen all three and they were quite good and was a bit worried about an American version. They aren't calling it a remake but that's still what it is isn't it? Someone makes a movie, you make another version. It's a re-make. Anyway, it was worrying but when i saw the cast and the trailer i though it might be pretty good after all and i did like it quite a lot. It kept well to the book and didn't skip a whole lot though you don't get much of the background detail which is to be expected. The casting was quite good and i was surprised that the non-Swedish actors attempted a light Swedish accent. I have no idea how authentic it sounds but to me it didn't seem too bad though a little uneven at times. It meant the English and American actors fit in a bit better with the rest of the cast who were mainly Swedish. It was also filmed in Sweden so you have that winter gloomy light from the short days and wonderful scenery. The cinematography was really good, I thought. Decent soundtrack by Trent Reznor with an awesome opening credit sequence. Very mind blowy, abstract and... well i don't really know how to describe it but it was good. You knew you were in for a wild ride with that opening!

Rooney Mara was a very good Lisbeth Salander, with her interpretation being just as good as Noomi Rapace's if a little different. I think Rooney's Lisbeth was a bit softer, not soft because the character is not, she's fierce and edgy but you got more fierceness, edginess and that feeling of isolation from Noomi's version. I think Rooney's Lisbeth was perhaps a bit sadder rather than isolated, possibly because her makeup wasn't so dark and intimidating, but she could be every bit as fierce when cornered. Daniel Craig's Blomqvist was a bit more heroic but maybe that's just because he's a little more handsome than Michael Nyqvist who played him in the Swedish version however, the Swedish version of the character is perhaps a tiny bit more realistic though not that bad looking himself, either. He's just more of a rumpled journalist type where Craig is a tad too fashionable looking. Stellan SkarsgÄrd was very good as Martin Vanger, he really had the character down just right, every bit as good as the Swedish alternate.

I think if you liked the books, whether you've seen the Swedish movie or not, you will like the American movie version. My friend thought it was sanitized just a bit when compared to the foreign version but I'm not so sure.

The new Sherlock Holmes was good fun. Robert Downey Junior is one of my favourites and he looked damn good in this movie. So did Jude Law come to that. Stephen Fry, the wonderful Stephen Fry was most excellent as Sherlock's brother, Mycroft. This is definitely not your traditional Sherlock Holmes and at times, Guy Ritchie's style of that slow motion/action replay stuff got on my nerves. The storyline has Professor Moriarty trying to manipulate things to start a world war, after he's bought up a bunch of munitions factories in various countries. He's very clever, is Moriarty and is every bit the challenge to Holmes. He's not one of these stupid villains that makes one big mistake. He's Holmes' match, very ably played by Jared Harris who's been in Mad Men and Fringe in recent years. Coincidentally, Noomi Rapace was in this movie as a gypsy. Her brother was at the heart of Moriarty's plans but I never did figure out why, near the beginning, his people were trying to kill her. She'd had no communication with her brother in over a year and wouldn't have been able to stop his involvement in the plans had Holmes not drawn her in but they were out to kill her at the moment he came across her.

The action moves out of England to Paris, Germany and Switzerland and i've heard criticism that the movie drags a bit once that happens. It does a bit i think but I still quite enjoyed it.
tvordlj: (Movies)
I think it's going to be a quiet week leading up to the wedding. There's not a lot going on so far though Mom and my aunt and I may go to visit another Aunt at her cottage tomorrow if all works out. I"m getting my bits and pieces together to get ready for packing. Flying out on Sunday evening to arrive Monday morning and coming back the following Sunday.

Graham's dad is supposed to be coming home today! That's such a relief. Apparently they're saying he's had some sort of virus but one that isn't curable. I guess it must affect his immune system or something. Anyway he'll have to be on meds and will have a nebulizer machine, the sort of thing you might use if you have asthma but he'll only have to use it as needed. Right now he's feeling better than he has in a long time, he says. I think with this sort of scare, he'll make sure to take care of himself and follow any instructions and not overdo things. There are a couple of neighbours that can look in on him in the days when Graham is at work.
Dahlias 029
I went to see Midnight in Paris on the weekend. I didn't realize until i saw the credits that it's a Woody Allen film. I'm not very keen on his movies. I always find his lead character is whiny and even now that he's not in the movies anymore, the lead still speaks with his voice and ends up being just as whiny as Woody was. This one wasn't too bad, though. It was all very unusual. Owen Wilson plays the lead and he's another one i'm not overly keen on but he did seem to suit the part.

The plot has a man, Gil, and his fiance, Inez, in Paris as guests of her parents who are rich and snobby and don't really approve of the fiance but patronize him for her sake. She seems to be quite attached to them. They also meet up with another couple that they know, with the man of the pair being very, very far up his own arse as an expert of absolutely everything which is very grating as it is meant to be. i.e. he even has the balls to correct an expert guide about Rodin's personal life. Inez is quite impressed, Gil is not and even manages to show him up once or twice.

Gil is a screen writer but is working on his first novel which takes place in a memorabilia shop. He loves Paris but thinks Paris in the 1920s would have been the ideal place and time to live there. One night, they are at a wine tasting event and Gil decides to walk back to the hotel. He gets lost and, as the midnight church bells sound, while standing on a corner trying to figure out which way to go, an old car comes around the corner and up the hill. The occupants urge him to get in and go with them and he's just drunk enough to do it. The occupants are all dressed in 1920s style and one of the couples is apparently Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald.

Thus, he enters the world of 1920s Paris and meets up with all the great writers and artists of the time over the course of several nights' journies into the past. He meets Cole Porter, Hemmingway, Picasso, Dali and others. He also meets a beautiful woman, Adriana, the mistress of Picasso. Her ideal period for living in Paris is the Belle Epoque, the late 19th century. Neither one is all that satisfied with where they live in their present time, it seems, for one reason or another.

During the days, Gil starts to rework his book and with the few references, it almost sounds like what is happening to him at night. We never know whether it's a dream or if it's real "time travel" or just magic but it doesn't seem to matter. We can see he and Inez really aren't suited.

The dialogue and camera work are typical of Woody Allen's style and did occasionally irk me but overall it was good and it was shot in Paris so it was like a travel show all around the beautiful city. I think it was worth it just for that and it makes me want to go back again!


I've read two more books,
58. Robopocalypse by Daniel H. Wilson
This describes a war between robots and humans by way of first person accounts, descriptions garnered from various traffic and public cameras, and testimonies. The world has been filled with robots and computerized items. Cars pretty much drive themselves, appliances are all computerized, there are robots to help with the children, with the housework, with surgeries, etc. Something happens and they all turn against humans, killing them on sight. They even evolved to create newer, smarter ones that can come after humans who hide in the countryside and mountains. The humans gather together and form resistance armies. When the robots are finally defeated, one soldier has decided to write all the history down and this is the result.

It felt all disjointed at first while it was establishing all the various characters but it gelled well and I did enjoy it. Apparently it will be made into a movie. CGI heaven i should think. I may not enjoy that lol

59 Crossroads Road by Jeff Kay.
A woman wins 240 million in a lottery. She is going to share it with her children but there's one catch, they have to all live in houses she has built in a little cul de sac but she is a nut job and most of the children all have various neuroses and quirks. The man telling the story is the husband of one of the daughters and seems fairly normal though keeps referring to an Incident that happened involving him. We do find out what that is at the end. The characters are all out to lunch in various ways and it's quite a funny book.

I am getting along well with the Kobo touch. It can be very sensitive and sometimes flips 2 pages but it's easy enough to go back one. The battery is supposed to last longer but i don't see it being much different. I do read a lot and i do read fast so i suppose i'm just harder on it than some.

I think i'm addicted to downloading ebooks lol I keep looking for more and you know, i have so many that i'll never read them in 20 years! But i did get hold of some newer books that are newly released and some old favourites. Still, though, I have to stop!
tvordlj: (Movies)
As crap as the weather has been this summer, we've lucked out on weekends that have been mostly quite nice. Yesterday I decided it was time for my annual visit to the Halifax Public Gardens, 16 acres of wonderful in the middle of the city. The flowers were glorious and they were setting up for a dahlia festival later in the month. Some of the dahlias were blooming and they were really beautiful. It seemed like there were quite a few varieties, i hadn't realized that. Just seeing what was in bloom already, I'm marking the dates on my calendar (Aug. 30 - Sept 1) so i can go back and see all of them in bloom. It will be an explosion of colour, i tell you. I have more pics on Facebook here.

After that i went to the nearby Park Lane shopping mall where there's a multiplex cinema and saw The Help. I really liked it. It's pretty much a women's movie since it's all about women. It takes place in Jackson Mississippi in the early 60s and tells the story of how the black maids were treated by their employers, usually not that well. There is still a lot of racism around but thank God/dess it's not as bad as that anymore. ie. one women had a little cubicle built in the back outside as a toilet stall so the maid wouldnt' use the family toilets for fear the family catch something. You could tell that a few of the women weren't as bad but still bent to peer pressure when it came down to it.

One young woman, a peer of the other  young wives, has returned to Jackson from university. Her friends have all married and started families. They have bridge club every week and they have Womens' league type groups. She doesn't really fit in anymore but still takes part. She wants to be a journalist or write a book and gets a job at the local newspaper writing a domestic cleaning column. She gets help from one of her friends' maids in answering the letters and decides she might write a book about the black maids from their point of view. This is basically illegal and at first none of the women are willing to be interviewed or if they do, they are very circumspect. One does agree to start with and little by little the rest do as well. The book, with names changed and written by "Anonymous" hits the bookstands and is a scandal.

I'm sure that life in the deep South under those circumstances was fairly accurately depicted and the characters are pretty well drawn out. Emma Stone is the new "flavour of the month" and she plays the writer, Eugenia aka Skeeter and she's really good. Her character is realizing that the way she was brought up is wrong. We're at the start of the civil rights movement and you know that Skeeter will be in the thick of it before long. I saw her recently in Easy A and she was really good in that too. I think she could go places. Viola Davis is the central maid character, Abilene, and the narrator. She's been in lots of things and I recognised her mainly from the Jesse Stone tv movies (Tom Selleck). Abilene is sympathetic, she loves the children she has to raise and tries to teach them to be strong and independent and give them a sense of self worth even when they have mothers that basically ignore them. She hopes to show the daughters that there is a different way but most of them still end up like their mothers, haughty and condescending and status conscious. She feels things deeply but seems resigned to her life though she dreams of more. Her best friend, Minnie, also a maid (Octavia Spencer) is more prickly and defensive, sassy and occaisionally prone to impulse. She's living with an abusive husband and a house full of children. 

Most of the men in the movie have very small parts and focus. It's about the women, women who are head of the houses and women who keep the houses and homes together from behind the scenes and one woman that wants to change things. It's not overly sentimental like some of these movies can be but you also know it's all going to work out in the end.

There are a lot of movies that come out that are about women. Every once in awhile there is one that really stands out with a great ensemble cast, great characters and this one is one of those, for me at least.

Dahlia Starry
tvordlj: (Default)
quietish weekend...Mom and I went to see the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie on Saturday which was not without it's minor incident. I had booked the tickets online on Thursday. Got out of the car on Saturday, got the tickets out. Guess what date is on them? Not Saturday. Thursday. Doh.

Oh well, maybe we can get them changed. In we went, the young lad on the cash register said if he couldn't change them he'd refund them and we would then just re-purchase. Ok. Except something wasn't working so he had to call for a manager. *shrug* Manager arrives, just takes the paper tickets and initials them and then says Oh, there is no 4:30 show for that today. Wha? Couldn't someone have told us? Then he says, but there is a 4:00 show (it's currently 4:05). Again. Why didn't you just say that? Tsk. Ok, can we go to that? He checked that it wasn't sold out, and as it wasn't we went along to the theatre. It also happened to be the 3D showing which we didn't want to see but didnt' have a choice at that point. Grabbed the glasses and went in, where the trailers were still showing so it was all good.

We liked the movie. It wasn't as good as the very first one, most sequels aren't, but it was definitely better than number 3. Lots of swashes to buckle and classic Captain Jack. Geoffrey Rush is back as Barbossa and Ian McShane is Blackbeard, both excellent! There were mermaids, too, which were very well done and not just a little creepy and unsettling.

The quest is to find the Fountain of Youth. Jack had the map. He's heading for it, taking Blackbeard and his crew, but so is Barbossa who has gone over to the government side as a legal "Privateer". Jack's old first mate, Gibbs, had the map for awhile and memorized it so he ends up leading Barbossa's ship there and the Spanish have somewhere got a map to the fountain's location as well and they're bent on getting there first. Barbossa has his own agenda as do the Spanish. Throw Penelope Cruz in there as a former lover of Jack's and is Blackbeard's long lost daughter. She's far better than Keira Knightly, I must say.

It's more of the same, good fun, a great romp.

We went for Chinese food after and had a good meal there. (Fan's in Dartmouth) and yesterday I did laundry and had a Psychoville marathon.
tvordlj: (Movies)
I went to see Water for Elephants at the movies today. I'm in the middle of reading the book but even though i've not finished, i decided to go see the movie. It's a romance that takes place in a circus in 1931 but it's a romance with the animals as much as with the humans in a way. The Benzini Brothers circus is lurching along from town to town, barely making a go of it. It's the Depression and there isn't a lot of money for circus tickets with so many people out of work.

Jacob Jankowski is almost finished Veterinary school but during his final exam, he's told that his parents, Polish immigrants, have both died in a car accident and because they had mortaged everything to pay for Jacob's tuition, he is left with nothing. He leaves town with nowhere to go and impulsively hops a moving train at night, having no idea where it's going. It turns out it's a circus train and Jacob manages not to get thrown back off because of his skill with the animals. The owner and boss of the circus is August and he's got a lovely young wife, Marlena. It veers off from the book here in that in the book August is not the boss of the circus but it still works well and I found the movie followed the book fairly well. Jacob, as you might expect, is entranced by the blonde Marlena but keeps a respectful distance even though he's thrown together with her and August quite a bit. The Circus arrives at a town where another circus has gone bust and August manages to acquire an elephant, hoping it will turn their fortunes.

Jacob helps train the elephant, Rosie, once they accidentally discover the secret that cracks the training code. There is occasional animal abuse but almost all of it us not shown on screen, just implied and the little that is is very likely faked but it's probably pretty accurate to how things were then. Jacob, of course, objects but he doesn't always try to stop it either. We can see that Jacob is falling in love with Marlena who sometimes seems to be unhappy with August who is a cold and controlling man. The story is actually being told from the present day by an old man, the aged Jacob who is living in a nursing home. He's come to the grounds where a circus is just breaking down to leave and seems to be a bit lost. The young man that seems to be the owner sits him in the office trailer with a drink and he's telling this story. The older man is played by Hal Holbrook, always good even if the part is small.

Marlena is played by Reese Witherspoon who seems a bit old for the part which, in the book, is meant to be a woman in her early 20s. I do like her though so i'm willing to forgive this one even though it still feels a bit uneven when she's playing against Robert Pattinson who plays young Jacob although Reese is only 10 years older than him, less than i thought but she's been around for awhile so it feels like more, I guess. He does an ok job but I have to say anything I've ever seen him in all feels the same. He seems to play everything the same way or else they keep casting him in the same type of role. He reminds me a bit of James Dean too, in looks but not quite so angsty. Neither of them seem to have a wide range of expression, with lots of soulful looks and glowing closeup shots trying to convey their emotional state. Still, Pattinson is the trendy good looker these days and it brings bums onto seats, or so they hope. But you see what i mean when i say Reese looks a bit too old for her on-screen lover? August is played by an Austrian actor, Christoph Waltz and is very good as the cruel and jealous August. I'd almost say he steals the show if it weren't for the trained elephant!

It sticks to the plot of the book fairly well overall (so far, at least) and it ends much as i expected it to. It's a romance, after all. It was a nice escape for a couple of hours and something a little different with the circus environment. If you're a big fan of Pattinson you won't likely be disappointed.

The title has to do with it being a "joke" type thing. If you were offered a job carrying water for elephants, you'd be carrying a hell of a lot of water as they drink a huge amount.
tvordlj: (Reading Woman)
I watched the movie Inception yesterday. A bit of a mind-masher that one. dream within a dream within a dream and what's real anyway? I know some people found it all very confusing but i think i managed to follow it. The ending is ambiguous and apparently was meant to be. Is Cobb still dreaming or not? There's a good discussion about the movie and how it's all constructed and explained here. It doesn't give you the answer but i found it useful to explain the roles of the different types of characters and dream states. Will it win an Oscar? Don't know. Black Swan is a strong contender. Those are the only two i've seen of the nominated films. The King's Speech seems to be quite strong in the polls as well. There's a lot of buzz about the Social Network but i doubt it will win.

2011 books )
tvordlj: (Christmas Candy Canes)
Had a very nice Christmas. Spent it with my family as always and it was great spending time with my nephews and niece. We had a nice dinner and everything helped out. I made a trifle and that was really good too, with lots of cream and amaretto, strawberries and raspberries. Nom! Christmas night Mom and i went to my aunt's where other family members were visiting as well. It's traditional!

I borrowed Mom's car for a few days and got a load of groceries on Monday. Didn't go out yesterday but i went to the gym this afternoon after my friend D came over for a visit. Went to Bed, Bath and Beyond and didn't get out of there cheaply. I went in looking for the covers they had for the ereaders. They didn't have much left and only one that fit mine so i got that. It's a bit jazzier than the ones Chapters carries for the Kobo. I wanted one so i could take it in my purse or bag and it would be protected. I also got a couple of shelves that go in the cupboard that give you a second surface that you can store stuff on. Like the plates go under it and the sandwich plates go on top of it. Gives me a bit more space. Will organize the cups and mugs with one as well.

Then i took myself to the movies. I went to see Black Swan tonight. Very good movie. It's about a ballerina who is very, very good. Very structured and very controlled but she hasn't got the passion. She is picked to dance the Swan Queen in Swan Lake and the pressure put on her starts to make her crack. You see little things almost from the start of the movie and by the end of it, you're not sure if everything you see that she sees or does really is happening. Natalie Portman plays Nina and she's quite good though i'm sure they had a dance double for her as the full body shots of her dancing were always at enough of a distance that you can't really tell for sure if it's her or not. Barbara Hershey plays her over protective mother. But as the movie progresses you wonder if she's over protective for a good reason. Still, Nina has been kept and coddled like a child, with a child's bedroom and a mother that will even help her undress and take out her earrings.

The movie was filmed mainly with a handheld camera that follows Nina a lot and you wonder if it's "stalking" her, like the demons in her head. I usually don't like that technique but it seemed to really work here.
Obligatory year end meme )

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