Love Actually.

Although I have watched this movie numerous times, and will probably continue to do so*, I pretty much agree with every single thing this (long) article details about its true non-romanticness. Especially this:

The fundamental problem with Love Actually is that it presents romance as either absurdly easy—something that strikes you like a thunderclap and requires only a single grand gesture in order to be fulfilled—or all but impossible. Notably absent is the idea that love might ever be worth a little sustained effort: some mutual exploration and discovery, a bit of care and nurture, maybe even the overcoming of an obstacle or two.

*I really watch it because I enjoy the Hugh Grant performance so much. It is a nice pairing with either Two Weeks Notice OR Music and Lyrics, both charming lovely movies.

p.s. I just rewatched it last night after totally cracking up over this tweet (& video).

Pros, cons; six of one, half a dozen of another.

Things I hate about this year: I’ve been to see/hear very little live music (so far) this year.

Things I love about this year: All the (FOUR) shows I’ve been to were magnificent performances by bands I love.

*Note: I do have tickets to Spoon in September! Or October. Can’t remember which. I have it written down somewhere.

Things I hate about this year: I didn’t see a single movie in April, and wasted my February movie-going energy on Wolf of Wall Street, a completely ridiculous movie with zero redeeming qualities if you ask me.

Things I love about this year: I saw Only Lovers Left Alive and Words and Pictures, two flicks which are still serving my soul with reminders of things I love, things that are important, things to strive for.

Things I hate about this year: It’s somehow so much easier and faster to record having read a book on goodreads than to take the five seconds longer than that to record it here and who knows maybe even a quick review.

Things I love about this year: At least I’m keeping up with goodreads.

Big Screen: What Maisie Knew

I actually had Kramer vs Kramer flashbacks during this movie — I have very vivid memories of that being the first movie that really upset me about parental treatment of children. (I was pretty young to see it then but my parents are not censors of much.)

Julianne Moore’s performance here is pretty amazing and just spot-on for what it’s supposed to be. The two young blondes who become Maisie’s caretakers (Skarsgard being one of them–yeah I’m pretty much over my obsession with him, except where Pinterest is concerned) are both fine although both come across as idiots as the movie begins and it takes a while for them to be tolerable on screen (they become moreso as they wake up to the realities of the film, I guess, which is fine, but did they really have to be quite so dumb to begin with?).

It was a well-done movie but pretty hard to watch if you are daily interacting with children who, while not necessarily mentally or physically ABUSED, are most certainly treated with varying degrees of neglect.

I mean I have often before, and certainly during this movie, pondered whether some sort of readiness test for parenting should be instituted by the state before unprotected sex is allowed. But of course in order to bring that about, the policing of sex would have to be instituted which is such a wild violation of one’s civil rights that it’s plain horrifying. But then you see a child being treated this way…

There certainly are people too self involved to parent, just as there are people too stupid to parent, and frankly the former is more horrible than the latter. The latter might learn, the former don’t care to.

Big Screen: Mud

From the director of Take Shelter, this is an unusual little movie that I just loved to pieces, as did my fellow viewers. By the way, we were the youngest people in the theater by about 100 years. There were numerous walkers, wheelchairs, and interestingly loud exhalations on display throughout the theater.

And yes, it has Matthew McConaughey in it, part of his whole “I do art-y movies now” like Magic Mike (which I actually thought sucked) and Killer Joe (which was compelling but horrible and do not watch it unless you want to be completely icked out).

But guess what? It also has the kid from Tree of Life and he’s even more amazing here. It reminded me/us a little bit of Beasts of the Southern Wild, except less marginal (more relatable in many ways, for me anyway) and none of the extra fantasticalness thrown in. Very down to earth and compelling (and painful) about family conflict and what makes someone your family–obviously Neckbone is as much Ellis’ family as anyone else, growing up, true love (and how DO you know it’s true) and so many other things. This was really just lovely.

Michael Shannon’s part was surprisingly small, I kept waiting for something more to happen with his character. Maybe next time!

Also: there is a character named Neckbone. Neck, for short. An adorably honest peculiar young kid named Neckbone. LOVED HIM.

Sick Girl Likes Action Flicks

The only movies I find tolerable enough to watch right now as I drift in and out on the couch have been action movies.

(All rewatches):

Bourne 1, 2, 3:
I still get really pissed during the first movie how much they threw away (or actually DID WRONG) from that book, because it’s just a gloriously finely crafted book and not a very good movie. Movies 2 and 3 are very well done, although they basically have nothing to do with the books at that point. But I can enjoy them as movies in their own right, whereas the first movie just makes me mad. But I watch it anyway. Because Matt Damon is pretty.

Lara Croft 1, 2:
It’s hilarious to watch these movies and see Daniel Craig and Gerard Butler as Angie’s sidekicks, respectively, back before they really hit it big. I love how these movies combine some great fighting with the Indiana Jones mystical hoo-ha type stuff. And I could just watch training montages of Jolie fighting for a few hours and be pretty happy. 😉

Casino Royale:
It’s so interesting to go back and watch this after having seen Skyfall, because tell me that you, like me, did not forget how rough and tumble and just plain uncouth Daniel Craig was in the first of these movies. Yes they work it into the storyline, having him just barely having made 00 status as the movie begins. He’s just so much sloppier here. His clothes don’t fit, he gets muddy, etc. It’s an interesting evolution they’ve put him through, moreso than any other Bond I would think.

Deathbed (or sickbed, bygones) Entertainment

new to me:

The Adjustment Bureau: Too bad they didn’t do a better job with the setup/gimmicky backstory because Blunt and Damon actually have great chemistry. I loved all their scenes together which made it not as bad a movie as I’d heard. Also so much great NYC scenery.


Ghostbusters 1 and 2: Yes these are SO dated in so many ways but man they totally hold up humor-wise. Really entertaining even if they did bring Rick Moranis back to mind, after having gleefully completely forgotten of his existence.

Music and Lyrics: I am never ever ever going to be sick of watching this movie. It’s charming and delightful and Hugh & Drew are both adorable in it.

pre-sickness rewatch:

The Town: introducing Lauren to my favorite recent movie. Oh I still love every minute of it.