Wednesday, April 29, 2015
Saturday, April 25, 2015
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Adaline Bowman (Blake Lively) hasn't aged since 29. 1937 was when the miracle took place. As she drove through the California coastal mountains to pick up her daughter something amazing happened: it snowed. And it was this snow that caused Adaline to plummet into a lake and reach the freezing body temperature of 87 Fahrenheit. Then another miracle occurred: Lightning. At just the right moment, around the two minute mark, the right age defying recipe struck Adaline, unbeknownst to her. She later takes a medical job to try and figure out what's happened. We as an audience, on the other hand, knows everything that has taken place, thanks to supplied information by the same Narrator who drones through the trailer.
It's this Narrator and the unnecessary scientific explanations that ruin The Age of Adaline magic. Whenever there's a montage of time, there's narration. Whenever there's an unwanted explanation, there's narration. Does the Narrator have to sound so bored? Sadly this narration takes an otherwise polished interesting film and turns it into a documentary. We're not watching a major theatrical release; we're watching a special on the Science channel about the life of someone who's still in the luster of youth at 107 years old. She's spent years slipping through time, but never living. All the good moments in the film has no narration at all. We don't need it! And it's a shame, because the narration is jarring and sidetracks from some good performances by Blake Lively, Michiel Huisman, Harrison Ford, Ellen Burstyn, and Kathy Baker. Shame really.
The Age of Adaline could have been an incredibly enchanting film. I like this movie, but I wanted so desperately to love it.
MPAA: Rated PG-13 for a suggestive comment.
Friday, April 24, 2015
That's what my elder niece said the other night when she went into the playhouse. "My house is like mindcraft."
It's a cute little house. My Mom found it at Costco, and my Dad spent hours putting it together. Then my Mom went to town decorating and buying knick-knacks. I guess it's to make up for the fact that my Mom only had one girl--and I'll have you know I've totally made up for it by being super fantastic--and three boys. Regardless, grandchildren are fun, and my Mom is loving being a Grandma.
The play house is adorable.
And it's cute that my nieces notice every little detail and change, and get super excited each time because of it.
My Mom insisted she buy these little blue chairs for the outside. We made three trips to Tai Pan before my Mom made the purchase, and then got giddy sprucing the house up some more. My Mom's pretty cute when she gets excited, so I know where my nieces get it from. My Niece noticed the blue chairs and made sure to sit in each one.
After my elder Niece made the Mindcraft comment, Michael, my bro, told her they should build the playhouse in the game.
My niece is ADDICTED to Mindcraft, and she's pretty good at it, especially since she's four. My three-year old niece is good at crafting in the game as well. They watch a lot of tutorials on YouTube.
I haven't been lured into the Mindcraft World yet! Though most of my family plays and shares a server (or World, or whatever it's called). My computer is acting up.
Heh, or I'm procrastinating because I know I'll be addicted!!
Wednesday, April 22, 2015
Sunday, April 19, 2015
Thursday, April 16, 2015
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Woman in Gold, the new movie by Simon Curtis, seems to pick up right where Monuments Men left off. Where in the later film we see pieces of art stolen by the Nazis and then rescued by a select group of WWII service men, in Woman in Gold we see Maria Altmann, played with spunk by Helen Mirren, trying to reclaim precious art stolen from her family in Austria decades after WWII. The art in question is that of the masterful Gustav Klimt (1862-1918).
Klimt's close friend and patron, Adele Bloch-Bauer, is the only woman Klimt painted twice. Adele Bloch-Bauer is also Maria's aunt. The least known of these paintings is entitled Adele Block-Bauer II, in which Adele stands in full color, covered in modern Edwardian beauty. Statuesque and strong. But it is Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I, aka Woman in Gold, that is the true masterpiece, and what the Austrians consider their Mona Lisa. It is also this portrait, looted by the Nazis, that Maria Altmann wants returned to her family.
When it is discovered that the museum displaying Adele Bloch-Bauer I does not hold a legal claim to the piece, Maria Altmann enlists the help of Randol Schoenberg (Ryan Reynolds), Grandson of composer and creator of the twelve-tone technique Arnold Schoenberg (I have a few choice words towards the twelve-tone row and atonality thanks to my music degree, but such lamentations shall not be written here . . . and don't get me started on Pierrot Lunaire), to work as an attorney to reclaim her families treasures.
The movie Woman in Gold serves as a bridge between the past and present. Tatiana Maslany of Orphan Black fame plays a wonderful Young Maria Altmann. In the present we see Maria come to terms with the past through a myriad of court battles, a trip to Austria, and so forth. In the past we see the opulent wealth and culture of her family, and then the horrors of the War and how the Jews were treated. Watching Austrians literally go out of their way to turn in the Jews was chilling. It's a sad reminder of the horrors of WWII and the inhuman practices of the Nazis and their followers.
It is this going back and forth between past and present that quickly brought to mind Saving Mr. Banks, the behind the scenes Disney movie about Mary Poppins. Even the movie poster is similar.
Where Saving Mr. Banks is a more polished, tightly woven story, Woman in Gold tugged more at my heartstrings. When the movie ended my Mom turned to me, tears down her face, exclaiming that I better give this movie a 5. My brother Steven, who has a passion for art, also agreed that Woman in Gold is a 5 out of 5, and that it's better then Saving Mr. Banks.
And thus my struggle for writing this review was born. I haven't even told them yet that I've decided to give this movie a 4! A part of the problem for me lies in the technical: A couple rough scene transitions and plot pacing, a melodic motive in the musical score that felt unoriginal and borrowed. The more I study the history of the story, the more I see missed opportunities.
The battle Maria underwent to acquire the Klimt paintings took 8 years. That's a lot of information to narrow down into a nearly two hour movie. And maybe that's where some of the plot suffers. The court cases feel rushed and simply too easy is some ways, amongst other pacing problems. From Movie Mom Nell Minow: "[Randol Schoenberg] didn’t let his wife go to the hospital to deliver their baby alone while he went to argue the case at the Supreme Court, but he did get a call from her when he was in Washington and about to appear before the Court, telling him she had gone into early labor. Fortunately, she did not have the baby until later. But that may be part of the reason that he really did get so nervous at the Supreme Court that he told the Chief Justice he did not understand his question." little truer-to-life plot changes like this would have accounted for a far more interesting movie.
Many aspects of this movie is absolutely beautiful and heart wrenching. And I found myself in anticipation of whether or not justice would be done. Overall an important movie, and one worth seeing.
MPAA: Rated PG-13 for some thematic elements and brief strong language.
Arnold Schoenberg really was the bane of my music education experience.
Tuesday, April 14, 2015
How often do we slam doors before we've even opened or walked up to it? How often do we look at a door and then walk away? Symbolically of course.
I don't know where my subconscious found this wisdom,
but it's my deep self speaking to me.
I need to stop slamming doors.
Sunday, April 12, 2015
Saturday, April 11, 2015
Of course, it helps to do a little research, because the packaging, at first glance, doesn't clarify what this product is used for. These chalk pieces were designed to work with chalk board labels. The ease of writing on labels without the smudge and the mess, wiping away easily. On Staples.com this Martha Stewart Home office: 4 pack fine tip chalk has a 3 1/2 out of 5 star rating.
Still, I wonder how Martha Stewart chalk compares to other brands who sell a 12 pack between $1-$5. Or simply, would it be better to invest in a liquid chalk pen? You wouldn't have to deal with chalk on your hands mess or the fine tip wearing out and going flat.
Friday, April 10, 2015
This box only has 5 items, instead of the usual 6, and because if this there feels like something is missing. Maybe a yummy snack? But overall a successful box.
I'm not so sure about this necklace. It looks cute, but this style typically works well on only small chested women. We'll see. I'm curious.