McGee Movie Night

Russell and I watched Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner this evening. In trying to decide what to watch, Russell read off cast lists and DVD captions to entice me. He didn’t have to go much further than “Spencer Tracy, Sidney Poitier and Katharine Hepburn” for me to say, “Oh, oh, that one!” I was NOT disappointed. The movie is a bit dated now but it is still a good watch.

Over all, I liked the writing but I had a few problems with the script. One was the depiction of a seemingly unified front of progressive young people versus the old folks and their tired prejudices. Although the script admits that the future for an inter-racial couple will be hard, in every scene that features young people, everyone is getting along famously, regardless of color. The script would have you believe that young people don’t have the slightest notion of race. This is not true of 2009, well enough 1967. However, the dialogue was solid and I had no idea how it was going to turn out.

I really enjoyed the performances. This was Tracy’s last film, he died the same year. Nonetheless, he was nothing less than the powerhouse I expected him to be. Hepburn had a few well-written scenes in which to shine. I especially liked a certain scene in which she deals with an employee of hers.  I really liked the portrayal of Monsignor Ryan (Cecil Kellaway). Poitier never quite did what I expected him to with the role (and that was a good thing!). I was amused by what he was doing with his sandwich when he was sitting on the terrace waiting for his bride-to-be’s father to come home.

The film won two Oscars (Best Actress, Katharine Hepburn and Best Writing) and was nominated for eight others (including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor and Actress). Hepburn, Tracy and Poitier were already Oscar winners before working on this film.

Weekend Redux

My weekend slipped by once again. There were a few fun highlights in the mix of Aver’s (Fri, Sat and Sun shifts), web maintenance, and Banshee blogging. I hung out with Tim for a bit, went out with the hubby on Sunday and I managed to squeeze in some reading (Drawing of the Three, Stephen King). Far from a terrible weekend by all means but naturally, I felt like I got nothing done. I had aspirations of cleaning. I fear there is a whole new mess waiting to descend on our tiny apartment now that principle filming for Banshee is just about done (this morning was the final day before scheduled pick-ups in March and July). More costumes. More props. And all of our lighting equipment is returning. If you don’t hear from me for a few days, please send the coroner to dig my body out of the wreckage that will soon be my home.

Maybe this is a common feeling when you’re living in an apartment: it’s a place to stay, to keep your stuff, until Later comes and you move all of your shit somewhere else. It’s not a home. I guess it never was. Oh well. I ought to be counting myself damn lucky that I have a secure job and a roof over my head at all.

I caught up on Dollhouse on Saturday (no TV for us, just Hulu). Thoughts? It’s not the greatest television I’ve ever seen but it’s entertaining enough that I’ll give it my attention next week. The set is SO pretty. I’d love to tour the Dollhouse. Oh, and as I am writing this, I received a notification from Hulu that there is a new episode of Legend of the Seeker. I managed to watch Episode 6 (my 5, almost 6 year-old laptop has some weird issues with video so it was a rather painful process without Russell’s laptop handy). Richard’s fight scenes are still comical but I admire Bridget Regan’s work on the show more and more (she plays Kahlan). She’s clearly done her homework and built an emotional life for her character. So even when Richard does something entirely unimpressive, I believe that Kahlan believes he is the most amazing thing since… well, the last Seeker.

No TV means no Oscars for me, but the #oscar traffic on Twitter was unreal last night, so I got the play-by-plays. I heard Hugh Jackman was a great host, not that I’m terribly surprised there, and that the music was good. Other thoughts?

Cash Cow

Catherine Hardwicke found another way to cash in on the movie franchise she lost. Hardwicke’s book, Twilight: Director’s Notebook, will be published just days before the DVD release of Twilight. The story and details are here.

There is little to recommend Hardwicke’s work as a director on this film (I haven’t seen her other films), so I’m not sure why a film enthusiast is supposed to care about this book. This leaves me to guess that this book is being marketed to Twilight fangirls. And I think they will be disappointed. I can’t imagine this book having more eye candy than the Complete Illustrated Movie Companion.

If I were a fangirl, I’d save my $18 in favor of supporting the original creator and buy Meyer’s Twilight Saga: the Official Guide when it is released. If I were a smart fangirl, I’d submit a request at my public library and get on the hold list.

Books and Plays and Things

I chose to work this MLK Jr Day. I am one of two people present in my unit  and maybe one of ten present in the entire cataloging division. I’m rather enjoying the quiet though.

I am desperately trying to get through Sense and Sensibility before I watch the movie (1995 with Kate Winslet, Emma Thompson, Hugh Grant and Alan Rickman), which is now being held for me at the library (and there are more holds so I only have it for a week). I’ve never read it before. In fact, I think Pride and Prejudice is the only Jane Austen novel I’ve read cover to cover. I can’t remember why I put down Emma. I think I get distracted too easily, hence my determination to finish S&S.

I’ve already Tweeted about joining DailyLit, a service in which you receive chunks of the book of your choosing either by email or RSS. I’m reading An Ideal Husband by Oscar Wilde in hopes of finishing it before seeing the productions staged at IU. More time-sensitive reading.

I’m looking forward to the inauguration tomorrow. I feel as though I ought to do something to celebrate…

Of Castles and Damsels in Distress

Russell is very excited about making a movie. You can tell because he is glowing.
Russell is very excited about making a movie. You can tell because he is glowing. It's a skosh creepy.

I accompanied Russell on a location scouting excursion to Loveland, Ohio yesterday (not far north of Cincinnati). Russell found himself in of need of a castle for a film adaptation of his stage play, The Babbling Banshee. Being the obses- I mean, aspiring, clever independent filmmaker that he is, he found a castle about 2 hours and 40 minutes from Bloomington. Loveland Castle was built by a single man over the course of fifty plus years. Yikes! This crazy genius (he carried all of the stone from the river bed nearby) utilized a variety of architectural influences but importantly: the exterior of the castle looks Norman, just like those that are smattered about the Irish countryside. Yay! Russ is waiting on word back from the good Knights as to whether or not shooting there is an option.

The weather was rainy- of the misty drizzle variety, not unlike Irish weather.  I uploaded a few shots from the trip to Flickr. I also uploaded a few shots I took before the new year- mostly of me playing with camera settings.

A photo I did not upload this afternoon: a recent one of myself. Mom has been expecting one of me in my new winter coat (which she financed) and my newly trimmed hair (I went even shorter this weekend) for quite some time. I don’t know what it is with me and photographs. I’m never in my own and I am inexplicably not in other peoples’ photos either. I just checked the file of photos from the Tech Services party- nothing. Not even the back of my head. I didn’t even leave early this time. A latent talent? Perhaps it’s my superpower.

I will take some photos of myself and send them soon, Mom-poo (not taken by the camera phone!). Perhaps I’ll even get around to creating an avatar.

Pensacola

A drawback of seeking out warmer weather: allergies. When I left Indiana, frosts had pretty much eliminated that problem. Here, not so much. I have a lot of sinus pressure and was glad Russell wanted to spend the day in. It must be a little amusing watching me move around. The room tends to do this spinning thing. I probably look a little drunk. Le sigh.

The bright side: I’ve been reading a lot. I liked Stephenie Meyer’s The Host. It’s way better than the Twilight series. I also read Maureen Johnson’s first two books, The Keys to the Golden Firebird and The Bermudez Triangle. I love Johnson’s snark. Her characters are very real and well developed. I have more of her books with me and will probably keep reading when I have some down time.

Seville Quarter, downtown Pensacola, Florida
Seville Quarter, downtown Pensacola, Florida

I ventured out on my own Monday morning and played with the camera with mixed success. I won’t post them to Flickr until I get back but here is a shot from the Seville Quarter in downtown Pensacola. I also visited Saint Michael’s Cemetery. The cemetery wasn’t as old as I’d hoped it be. I had a relaxing stroll, if nothing else. Later Monday night, we saw Quantum of Solace, which Russ and I both really liked.

I think the congestion just clogged my brain. I’m out.

Safe travels to all who are journeying out for Turkey Day!

Of Monks and Samurai

A few things I’ve recently wanted to read or see:

Reading

  • The Host by Stephanie Meyer. I’m about 140 pages in and it’s decent thus far. It’s certainly a nice break from a certain stupid shiny vampire.
  • Books by Maureen Johnson. I’ve been meaning to pick up some of her books for awhile now. Since I’ve been on a YA lit kick lately, I thought I’d give them a read over Thanksgiving.
  • The Monk by Matthew Lewis. This was on the syllabus for a Victorian Literature class I took and I didn’t quite get around to reading all of it. OK, I didn’t read much of it at all. Better late than never? Dark might be a nice change.

Watching

  • Samurai Champloo. I’ve been waiting to see this since seeing the name Shinichirio Watanabe (Cowyboy Bebop) jumped out at me from an unassuming DVD sitting on a shelf at Best Buy. I’ll be able to cross this one off my list tomorrow: Tim and I are doing a ‘thon.
  • Eden. This is a newly-released Irish film that I may have to wait until it is released on DVD to see. This review piqued my interest. I’m intrigued by the mention of ‘old’ versus ‘new’ Ireland.