Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Mom's Birthday 2009

Mom's birthday dinner was quite the fun event. There were drinks
and gifts
and delicious pineapple upside-down cake.
Oh, and family, of course.
Dad spent most of the evening making dinner and hiding behind the flower arrangement,
while Alek and grandpa had a riveting discussion about photography.
Mom, of course was expected to sit around and have a good time while we brought her food and gifts.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Movie Quotes Meme: Answers! (part 2)

Posting just because I just realized I never finished posting the answers to my movie quotes meme game. From January, no less. Answers to the first five are here in part 1.

On to part 2:

6. Character A: Society can't exist without the family.
Character B: We're not against that.
Character A: Can two men reproduce?
Character B: No, but God knows we keep trying.

This is from Milk, of course, which I was fortunate enough to score midnight-showing passes for. Here's the trailer, which includes the quote I used:

7. I warn you gentlemen, I am not to be trifled with. To pull the tail of a lion is to open the mouth of trouble and reveal the teeth of revenge biting the tongue of deceit.

Start the Revolution Without Me, a movie replete with (over)extended metaphors. And Gene Wilder.

8. A little orphan girl once told me that the sun would come out tomorrow. Her adopted father was a powerful billionaire so I suppressed the urge to laugh in her face, but now, by gum, I think she may have been on to something!

The musical version of Reefer Madness. Clip with quote:

9. Character A: Aunt Lucy. I can see her now, lying on her dying bed, looking at you with those big, trusting eyes. 'Before I go, Jeff, promise me one thing,' she said. 'Promise me you'll always be a friend to little Orville,' she said. 'No matter what happens, you'll never leave the little jerk,' she said. 'Promise me, Jeff, promise me,' she said.
Character B: Yeah, then she up and died before I had the chance to say no.

Road to Morocco, one of my first favorite movies. Dad had tapes of all these old movies and I watched them constantly; at eight I think I had this song memorized:

10. Character A: Junior, I have tell you something.
Character B: Don't get sentimental now dad, save it until we get out of here.
Character A: The floor's on fire... see... AND the chair.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. What more is there to add?

All righty; tune in later for the final installment!

Friday, May 15, 2009


No one, and I repeat no one wanted to see Taken with me. There was zero interest among my friends or family members when it came out. As a result, I waited until I could rent a copy and watched it all by my lonesome.

In retrospect, I wish I'd gone to see it in theatres. The film is good, but boy would it have been fantastic on the big screen!

As with Star Trek, Taken is just a great action movie -- it's fun to watch, the plot moves along quickly, and there aren't many pesky subplots. Also (as with Star Trek), the sex/nudity is kept to a bare minimum; I didn't expect this, considering that the film concerns the sex trade in Europe. What's that, folks? Proof that you don't need extended shots of half-naked women to produce an enjoyable piece of cinema? Well, color me surprised. Frankly, I'm glad to see a turn away from the obligatory stripper sequences that have appeared in so many films (Armageddon & Lost in Translation, et al.).

There's a review of Taken over here titled "Father of the Year," which I think is apt; the main character definitely does a lot of kickin' ass and takin' names to find his daughter. Liam Neeson is, well, totally hot in his black bad-guy-killing jacket, and that's something I never thought I'd type. Neeson has always been a good actor, but I can't really think of a time that he was given the role of action hero. His performance as "concerned dad" at the beginning (one of the few parts of the movie where he's not trying to kill someone) was touching, and that juxtaposed with his "vengeful angel of death" attitude later was interesting to watch.

Overall, Taken was a nice change from Seraphim Falls, which I felt just tried far too hard to be intellectual. Taken doesn't try to be deep or metaphorical or anything other than a straight shoot-em-up movie.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Star Trek

One of the first things I saw with my new glasses (see previous post) was the J.J. Abrams Star Trek movie. Literally: we checked the mail, and I opened the box containing my glasses on the way to the mall movie theatre. Not exactly ideal, considering that my prescription had changed quite a bit, but I'm glad I was at my peak sightedness for the movie.

It was great. Not only is Star Trek good in terms of "hey, this movie is well written and has good production values and a talented cast," it's good in terms of "this is a good Star Trek movie." There were a lot of nods to fans of the original series (spoiler: Sulu does some fencing) that had dad and I laughing in the nearly-empty theatre, but I'm sure anyone who hasn't been a longtime Trek fan would have enjoyed the film just as much.

The writing was very good. When I first heard that the plot was going to start before the original series and change things around, everything I read was discussing "alternate realities" this and "string theory" that and it all sounded complicated and uninteresting. Instead, the movie handled the whole time travel/alternate timeline issue capably and with a bare minimum of movie-physics or technobabble. It's barely a big deal, what with all the space fights and explosions.

Speaking of which: this is a great. action. movie. Everything's always in motion, but not to the point that I felt overwhelmed. Even better, from my point of view, was that there was little by way of sex/nudity/language. Lots of running and fighting and drama, however :-D

The cast? Also well-chosen. I'll admit that I had no hope whatsoever regarding the choice of Zachary Quinto for Young Spock (I didn't like him in what little I saw of Heroes), but by the end of the film I couldn't picture anyone else in the role. Also notable were Simon Pegg as Scotty, Anton Yelchin as Chekov, and Karl Urban as Bones. Urban in particular was spot-on as a young McCoy. Really, everyone was good, but if I just start listing actors this will look like an IMDB page.

(Also, I don't think I'll be spoiling the film for anyone if I mention that Leonard Nimoy is in it, right? And we all know I'm incapable of saying anything bad about him, even including that bizarre Ballad of Bilbo Baggins video. But he almost made me cry at one point, so good show.)

Overall, I loved the movie, as I'm sure you can tell :-)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

New Glasses! (not a sponsored post)

I can see again! Trees have leaves, instead of just being giant green sponges; asphalt is made of tiny pebbles, instead of appearing as a flat gray surface!

I took a chance and ordered a pair of glasses from EyeBuyDirect. I was originally going to order from ZenniOptical, because their glasses are actually much cheaper; however, a quick internet search unearthed a ton of complaints online about Zenni's poor service and slow shipping times (slow boat from China, no less, so you know there's a good chance of things getting lost on the way).

My order was for a pair of their Rabbit frames in gold. I upgraded my lenses to "super thin" because otherwise my glasses are too heavy to actually sit on my face, and added anti-scratch, anti-reflective, and anti-UV coatings. The subtotal was $71.85 plus $4.95 shipping; an easily-located internet coupon got me $10 off, for a grand total of $66.02. Not bad considering my last pair was something like $250.

EyeBuyDirect's customer service was also very helpful: I had to email them over an issue when my payment wouldn't go through, and they gave me several options. The glasses took about two weeks to be prepared, and then I received an email letting me know that my order had shipped and should arrive in a few days. In fact, my glasses actually showed up that afternoon.

Included in the package were my glasses, a sturdy frosted plastic case, and a lens cleaning cloth. The only issue was that the left lens had actually popped clear out of the frames in transit, but that only took about 10 seconds to fix. Once reassembled, the frames were much sturdier than my old pair, and I really like the way they look. Here's the best photo I could get with my finicky webcam:

They're a bit crooked, but that's hardly the frames' fault: one of my ears is higher than the other. I think it ... adds ... character. Or something.