And at the stroke of midnight…[Daily Prompt]

I was somewhere I never would have imagined. I rang in the new year with quite a random group of people. I had planned to do something with my friend and her husband. However what we were going to do was up for debate. Would we hangout at my place or go to Des Moines and partake in one of the bigger parties?

We ended up going over to a guy’s house we had known in high school. Also in attendance were a couple buddies of mine from high school and college and the first guys wife. We rang in the New Year playing board and card games (even got my friend’s husband to play a couple games of cribbage). After the games were done we somehow got onto youtube and started watching lots of random stuff. That meant that at the stroke of midnight we were watching ‘Twilight: A Bad Lip Reading’. I’m not sure what that means for my new year, but I’m excited to find out! As we passed around the bottle of Moscato I couldn’t imagine planning a better way to bring in the New Year for myself, sometimes randomness works out, that’s certainly my MO.

Thanks DP for asking!

I really hate that I enjoy it [Daily Prompt]

Twilight. There, I said it. As my friend once said “you hate to love it, and you love to hate it”. The whole Twilight thing has gotten SO blown out of proportion, I mean the story really is drivel. An easy read that can make a car ride pass a little faster (or at least did when I read them years ago) but not ‘great literature’ by a long shot. Then they made the movies. Did they intend to make them comedies? Not going to lie, I’ll pop one in when I’ve had a bad day or whatever and get lost in two hours of mocking, awkward dialogue and longing glances. Sarcastic or not, it doesn’t alter the fact that I own them and do, occasionally, watch them. Will I see the fifth one? Yes, in theaters? No. You never know when a twihard will pounce. I don’t think I’d survive. So yeah, Twilight is probably one of my guiltiest pleasures.

Thanks DP, really enjoying these prompts, why didn’t I do this sooner?

Movie Review: Detention

I’ve realized that my reviews are more summary then review. Or follow a intro – summary – ity bity review set-up. I don’t know if there is anything wrong with that – but if you want my opinion/review you can just skip on down to the bottom paragraph. Anyway this revnopsis. (review/synopsis…or would synew be better?) is for the movie Detention.

Before I watch the movie let me share the trailer with you and here is why, it’s what got me interested in the movie in the first place. Earth shattering, right? However that is different then other movies such as Gone with the Wind or Rebecca, which were watched because they were on a special list. Before I get into what struck me about the movie, here is the trailer:

The first half seems like it’s going to be some teenybopper comedy, sugary and sweet, likely with some amusing one-liners, but nothing that will make me think deep thoughts. Then we get into the murder. WHAT? Seriously? It comes out of nowhere. That is why I had to watch this movie. For the sheer fact that if the trailer could surprise me, well then, maybe the movie could too. Also, since they had said it was during Prom I was waiting for the words to say ‘cancel-your-limo’…gets me every time! Despite knowing and seeing that people are getting hacked up I still thought it, somehow, was a comedy. Then as I’m putting it in my DVD and notice the word ‘slasher flick’ I remember that it just might be scary at points.

Something you should know about me – I’m a horror movie wuss. It doesn’t even have to be that scary (I own the Scream trilogy and I’ve watched them all and I still get scared when I watch them). Thus watching this ‘genere bending slasher flick’ in the afternoon was a positive life choice. Onto the movie watching (if you’d like to come back in a couple hours so the review feels more real, feel free. Or just jump down to the next paragraph and ignore my nonsense). Oh quick side note – under the movie rating I crack up at ‘Bloody Violence’…I’ve watched one too many British shows to think of that word in conjunction with it’s anatomical/literal meaning over it’s slang status across the pond.

Opening Line, “I’m Taylor Fisher and I’m a B.I.T.C.H (it ends up being an acronym for Beauty. Intelligence, Talent, Charisma, Hoobastank (what they’re good)).” My thought about her? Nobody’s hair is that perfectly fanned out over a pillow…ever. It reminds me of a Daria episode where she is making a documentary about her sister. Also, Taylor is an evil character, obviously. No love lost there however if I had any delusions of it being strictly a teenybopper comedy, they died in the first three minutes of the movie with the gruesomeness of Taylor’s death. Well, that’s how I felt at the beginning of the movie. Now, at the end, it’s just such a random movie. I decided to replay bits of it while I write because there was just so much that, wow, I can’t even make sense of it. I’m not even sure if it’s possible to do a summary because it was everywhere. However now that I’ve seen the movie the ‘Cancel Your Future’ makes 1000x more sense.

After Taylor bites the bullet we meet the main protagonist, Riley Jones (played by Shanley Caswell). Her opening remarks? Life sucks. Another tidbit by Riley? The 90s are history, and so am I. And through that I realized that the 90s were officially 20 years ago and am a bit wigged out. Back to Riley. What can I say about her? She’s a self described loser, a vegetarian feminist whatever, dangerously clumsy and unlike in Twilight people don’t seem to find it super romantically endearing. They take it for what it is, mock worthy or a bit inconvenient – especially for her (falls over a swing set while trying to escape a murderer). Part of the story is told talking to the camera (like Taylor had) most of it treats us like the fourth wall we are.

Weird bits in the movie

  • The banners. I enjoyed the banners throughout the movie, such as “The movie detention is against drunk driving even if you’re suicidal.”
  • Definitions/wikis – occasionally there would be tid bits. Like the hipster thief had a hoodie that said Sigur Ros. The screen informed me Sigur Ros is from Iceland – made Riley’s banter make more sense.
  • The scoreboards (such as Riley: 0 Hipster:1)
  • The chapter titles: The Terrible Ultimatum of Clapton Davis or The Unfortunate Collapse of Ione and Riley’s Friendship

We make it to school and the titles start. I loved the opening titles. The names were put on items people had, such as a pair of Chuck Taylors (with CT’s name replaced) or a Hershey bar, or the message that someone was texting. At school we meet the super hip Clapton Davis (played by Josh Hutcherson). What you can’t see in the photo is a bright pink fanny pack. Yup, it’s pretty fantastic.

Riley (at school) has had enough and she goes to hang herself in the school hallway. While dangling two girls just pass by, not caring. If that’s not bad enough psycho slasher comes and interrupts her strangle. It’s one thing to choke to death, it’s another to be slashed. She doesn’t die then, but is attacked again that night in the privacy of her home.

The next day, at the game Billy Nolan (school jock who is challenging Clapton for the love of Ione. Ione (played by Spencer Locke) is kind of sorta friends with Riley and Clapton, or use to be anyway) spits acid and the movie makes another random jerking turn (like the trailer seeming all teenybopper and then WHAM horror) and from that moment on it was just weird and random.  We don’t deal with Billy’s weird mutant powers long (but we do get to see him punch Clapton in the forehead). After the game Billy (played by Parker Bagley) is attacked at a party (held at Sander Sanderson’s house – Sander (played Aaron David Johnson) is a friend of Clapton, Riley and Iona) and killed. A video is found and everyone on the video is given Saturday Detention by the charming Principal Verge (played by Dane Cook).

While trying to figure out who the murder is (in detention) the kids find a guy whose been in detention for 19 years who solves an equation. The equation states the world will end in 10 minutes – but the fracture will occur in 1992 when someone who went back will blow the world up. Riley, Clapton and Sander all go back in time. Riley tries to discover who is trying to blow up the world (I wont divulge who – that’s a secret). She runs into Ione and convinces her to take Verge (who is there present day principal) to the prom thus making him not want to set off the bomb that gave him a scar on his face (since the bomb was a dud). While in 1992 Clapton realizes Ione isn’t interested in him, it was her mom, and he gets over it.

Back in the present things have changed. Verge is married, and Riley and Clapton are together (as they are told by Verge). The two are also prom king and queen. Just as the two are finally about to kiss, the killer comes out for one last scare (don’t they ever learn). The magnetized bear comes back for one last time too and bites into the murderer’s head. The movie ends from that point showing what the cast is up to.

Really Random Plot things:

  • bear stuffed in the hallway that is highly magnetic
  • organic super-conduction magnets found fused in the bear
  • Billy the fly-blooded boy
  • Riley hitting on her teacher while he tries to cheer her up (she then discovers he is gay)
  • A time traveling bear abduction via aliens
  • Ione and her mom Slone do a freaky friday (kind of) and Slone’s mind goes into Ione’s body in present day while Ione’s goes into Slone’s body when she was Ione’s age (so she goes back to 1992). Presumably aliens do this too. So for the last few weeks Ione has actually been Sloan
  • A movie within a movie within a movie that has a review by Sherlock Moriarty (I just enjoy that bit) but in all the movies they go to a movie for a clue which is a movie where they look into a movie for a clue (like russian nesting dolls or something) then in each layer a person dies bringing the clue seekers back to their level to realize someone has died/is killed the best is that each level has people that are all in detention.
  • Temporal loop holes
  • The stuffed bear (that was abducted from outerspace and chilling in the school) has been converted into a time machine for science class. Oh yes, they all took quantum physics and had to try to make time machines for class. Sign me up for that one

All in all I enjoyed the movie. I think you have to be in the right mood for it. Like it’d be great after a bad day. (My sister ended up stopping by and watching the movie with me. She said it was just what she needed after the day she had.) As a plus there was lots of witty banter or one liners that I enjoyed.  With so many twists and turns and really just random things it would definitely take you out of your head for a couple hours. If you stay thinking about your stuff you wont follow the movie. I just might have to get it for my rainy day pick up. Also there were LOTS of 90s references, so that made it fun. I was a kid in the 90s so not all of them stuck, but that’s okay, the handy wiki would clue me in to the less obvious ones. So, in conclusion if you’re looking for a deep movie this isn’t it. If you’re looking for a random amusing movie loaded with pop culture this is for you.

Until next time ~ Q

Movie Review: Rebecca

So I just finished the first Oscar movie of the 1940s, Rebecca (although in part I was writing this while watching so it’s really long – spoilers pretty much throughout the post – you’ve been warned). My first thought while the credits were rolling was that some of the scenery was reminiscent of Gone with the Wind. Then I discovered that it was produced by the same company, so that kind of made sense. The first, of many things, that surprised me about Rebecca was that it was directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Instantly my interest was piqued. Add to that Nigel Bruce, the guy who played Watson opposite Basil Rathbone’s Sherlock, was also in the movie. I buckled in for some surprises.

Rebecca starred Joan Fontaine as Mrs. De Winter (she has no other name besides that, ever, so I’ll refer to her as DW) and Laurence Olivier as Maxim de Winter. The movie began the same way the story begins with a voice over by DW saying “Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley” she continues to talk about the ruined home and then enters into the story of her life at a younger point in time. They go into a memory of a vacation in Southern France where DW was a paid companion to Mrs. Van Hopper (played by Florence Bates). The first we actually see of DW is her yelling at a man to stop because she thinks he is going to jump off a cliff (I quite agree that that is how it looked). The man tells her to get lost and the next wee see of either character is when they are in the hotel with van Hopper. Hopper is an older lady and a bit of a busy body. She spots Maxim (cliff man) and beckons him to join them. More awkward interactions ensue between Maxim and  DW while Hopper blathers before Maxim makes his hasty exit. The next day DW is at brunch alone and is invited/forced to join Maxim. They have an easy conversation and he offers to drive her somewhere to sketch (after insisting she eats more food).

While they are sketching DW brings up that she once saw a postcard of a fine old house by the sea and that she didn’t realize that it was his home, Manderley. Maxim says that he will never return and becomes rather introspective. Trying to cover the awkward silence she tries to change the subject to the water (since they are indeed by the sea) and how it takes so long for the water to warm up in England and how the water in southern France is so warm she could stay in all day. That is if it weren’t for the dangerous undertow. She then remarks on how a man drowned there last yer. Again Maxim decides to make a hasty retreat and brings them back to the hotel. There Joan walks in on Hopper being a gossip to her nurse (for she has fallen ill with a cold/flu) talking about how she knew Mr. and Mrs. de Winter. Then she adds that the Former Mrs. De Winter drowned in a sailing accident. This sets the bar for dear DW. She can’t quite seem to have an interaction with Maxim that doesn’t end pretty poorly.

This might be why she is so surprised when the next day he stops her in the lobby:
Maxim: Off duty?
DW: Well, yes. Mrs. Van Hopper’s cold turned into flu, so she’s got a trained nurse.
M: I’m sorry for the nurse. You keen on tennis?
D: Well, not particularly.
M: That’s good. We’ll go for a drive. (Takes the racquet and hides it in a bush).

That starts many outing for the two while Hopper is sick. However the romance is threatened when Hopper’s daughter gets engaged and they must leave at once. DW goes to Maxim and tells him goodbye. He then asks her if she would rather go with Hopper to New York or Manderley with him, as his bride. She chooses that later and is accepted by all the servants save for Mrs. Danvers who is quite put-offish and cold.

There is something weird about Maxim and DWs relationship. Maxim treats her a bit like a child. Telling her what/how much to eat, what articles to read, or takes her hand to wave to someone else. In one scene it might rain so he sends a servant to grab a coat. When he returns Maxim goes to put it on her instead of carrying it (since it’s a rain coat and it hasn’t started raining yet). DW asks if she must put it on and he replies, “Yes, certainly, certainly, certainly. You can’t be too careful with children.” That sums it up in a nutshell. DW is, herself, a bit awkward and clumsy. This apparently is a never dyeing theme – quite prominent right now (hello Twilight / Fifty Shades of Grey).

Poor DW, as she tries to get settled to a new life style there are constant reminders of the former ‘Mrs. De Winter’. Some are subtle, like the napkins that are monogrammed as R de W, while others are more overt like Mrs. Danvers constantly making reference to how things were done under the former de Winter. She is often served back handed compliments. (Such as Beatrice (Winter’s sister) comments about how Maxim acts: “I doubt he’ll fly off in a rage with you, you’re such a placid little thing”. The comments are always said kindly, but if you listen to the words and not the tone they are quite rude.

DW always walks on egg shells, fearing she’ll set off Maxim. One day she finally goes to the west wing (a part of the house that hasn’t been entered since The Former de Winter passed away). Danvers catches her and starts to show her evil side. She does all she can to push DW over the edge. Sinking so low as to tricking DW into dressing like Former de Winters for a fancy dress party. The night of the party Danvers opens a window for DW to ‘calm down’ and get fresh air. Then she tries to convince DW to just jump and end it since she’ll never make Maxim happy.

That same night (it was a big night) there is a shipwreck and we get into the Hitchcockian twists. The diving team finds the wreckage of the Former de Winter’s boat. This puts Maxim into a tailspin. DW searches for him, knowing the effect it will have on her husband. She finds him to apologize for the costume mishap and discovers the truth about Maxim’s freak outs whenever the Former de Winter is mentioned. Oddly enough telling the truth makes it possible for them to actually grow as a couple. So as not to truly spoil the twist I won’t divulge what the truth is. After DW somewhat stood up for herself (or at least stopped being the child Maxim was use to) I started rooting for the couple and in a weird way they had a happy ending. All in all I’d watch this Oscar winner again. It truly wasn’t what I was expecting, but perhaps that’s because I thought this Rebecca was the same as Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm. Definitely not.

Until next time ~ Q

[Audio]Book Review: Fifty Shades of Grey

It was my mistake to listen to Fifty Shades of Grey on a whim. I had been hearing the title mentioned a lot and seeing it in stores on stands. I decided to see what the hubbub was about myself with out actually seeing what the book was about. A few chapters in I was having the strangest sense of deja vu, like I’d heard themes of this story before. That’s when I looked the book up and discovered it was a twilight based story turned erotic. Not really my cup of tea.

I didn’t know it was possible for something to be worse than Twilight, but this just might be it. [Before you judge this post as just a person hating on the Twilight series I’ve read them and have seen the movies. Once the movies came out it really put it in its parody place in my brain. So now if I watch or read them (they’re an easy listen while working on projects) it’s always half a joke now.]

Perhaps the story gets better but I wont be finding out. If I must suffer through Anastasia’s inner dialogue I wont do it with Battoe’s voice in my head. Her inflections were too pointed and obvious to make them feel genuine and it made me dislike the main character. Not the sort of thing you need in addition to the repetitive sentiment (how many times in the first chapter alone did she say how gorgeous Grey was – and in the same exact way. If you are going to repeat an idea over an over again at least mix it up a little for the reader. Don’t just flat out say Oh he’s so gorgeous or he’s so beautiful. It makes the character seem unimaginative.) This mixed with overtly obvious attempts to make the character seem witty “I must be the color of the communist manifesto” or her use of Medulla oblongata just doesn’t work (I know I flippantly use the phrase in my head all the time). There may be some characters that could get away with thinking/saying this, but I don’t think any of them exist in this story.

As a side note, I’m sick of the magical ‘electrical current’ of connection between two people. Either find another way to express the idea or move on. Although it’s not entirely EL James fault that I’ve read several books that use that term recently, but she used it too so it is fair game.–I must give James her props though. She’s making a crap ton of money…so I guess she wins in the end.–

This may be harsh but considering how many times I rolled my eyes/cringed during the first few chapters I can’t bring myself to care. With that being said, on to another book which I might accidentally enjoy. Until next time~Q