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Nerve

Last week, the Mr. received an email invitation…

We were invited to a screening of the movie Nerve.

I pulled up the movie trailer because I had not heard of it.

The trailer looked good, so we decided to go.

I had to go to the theater early to pick up our tickets.  Note to self:  always take my Reel Rewards card.  You have to be a member to get the invitations for movie screenings, and they need to see the card to distribute tickets (limit of two per card).  I was extremely upset when I saw people being turned away.  I had not taken the card.

Now, bad moment here, okay.  Just forgive me.

The lady in line behind me offered me her key tag…the Reel Rewards one…so I wouldn’t have to leave.  The guy in front of us had told us that they weren’t using the numbers for anything.  Y’all.  The drive to the movie theater takes almost an hour because of traffic, not because of distance.  I live in a tourist town, and this is high season for us.

So, I handed over the keys with the card on them and was given two tickets after the lady WROTE DOWN THE NUMBERS.

Yeah.  My heart was convicted.

The lady behind me took her turn and was asked if we were together because YOU CAN ONLY GET TWO TICKETS PER CARD.

We were so busted.

I stepped forward, handed the lady the tickets, and fessed up.  I explained that I had left my card at home.

Why or why don’t I trust God in even the smallest matters?

Sheesh.

The lady behind the counter told me that she could look up my card by my phone number.

:::hung my head in shame:::

I felt horrible.  She was extremely gracious as I apologized, face as red as could be.

I got my tickets, but my heart felt so soiled, a bit of joy robbed from the experience.

I had four hours to wait, so I did a bit of shopping, coupons in hand.  Ulta always calls my name when I’m at this mall.

Then, I visited Red Brick pizza and ordered my favorite vegan combo and sat down to read.

It was such a pretty day, so I was able to sit outside after I finished eating and read some more, finishing my book and starting another.

The Mr. met me at the theater around 6:30, and we waited to be allowed into the theater.

The movie finally started!

Let me tell you, I quickly fell in love with Dave Franco.

Swoon.

He was simply adorable in this movie.

Swoon.

Sorry, Mr.

His chemistry with Emma Watson was spot on.  She was precious in this role, her character so lovable.

The premise of the movie is that Vee (Emma) is a goody-goody who lives in the shadow of her best friend.  She finally gets mad and decides to play a game called Nerve, where “watchers” create dares for the “players.”  Each dare has to be recorded on the player’s phone while the watchers look on.  For each dare completed, the player earns money, with the earnings going up the longer the player stays in the game.  The ultimate goal is to win in the finale.

Through “fate,” Vee meets Ian (Dave Franco) when she chooses him to complete her first dare on.  They pair up quickly, their numbers of watchers goes up, and the dares get more elaborate.

Eventually, things turn nasty when Vee tries to quit the game, a big no-no, and has to find a way out.

What I Liked

As mentioned before, the chemistry between the characters.  Oh mercy.

The premise, which is actually two-fold.  You have a girl who’s becoming her own person, which I totally love.  I see my students fall into the traps of unfulfilled dreams all the time.  Vee’s story is their story.

Mainly, the movie is a commentary on the influence of social media and our fascination in “watching” others’ lives evolve through it.  I loved how the movie opened and completely identified with all of it…the use of technology…the Macbook…even answering the phone on the computer.

The scenery.  New York at night…all lit up…so beautiful.

The action scenes.  The Mr. and I actually held our breaths at various points.

What I Didn’t Like

In the first five or ten minutes, there is full rear nudity…gross.

Shortly after that, there is a conversation that had some sexual references that made me very uncomfortable.

Fortunately, this didn’t continue.  I simply don’t understand why producers think they need to include such stuff in the opening of movies and television shows.  Totally unnecessary.

I also didn’t like the prevalence of underage drinking.  The mass party scene painted underage drinking in a favorable and NORMAL light.  I cannot be okay with this.  Yes, I know it happens, but seriously.  If you’re putting a movie out there with a good message, you can eliminate some of this stuff.

My Overall Opinion

The Mr. and I agreed that the movie was cute.  Would we pay to go see it?  No.  It would make a fun movie rental though.

With that said, I think my teenage students will love it.  I hope they see the bigger picture at the end of it.

Age of Adaline – A Movie Review

So, what does a teacher who’s in the middle of testing do on a Tuesday night?

Well, if she has a great movie theater, she gets invited to preview a new movie!

Ok, to be honest, it was the Mr. who received the invite because the reward card is in his name, but since I am the one who prints these invitations, I don’t feel dishonest by claiming ownership of them.

Anyhoo…

We received an invite to see the movie Age of Adaline

I had seen commercials for this movie and thought that it looked like something I’d enjoy.

The deal with these tickets is that the theater starts doling them out at 4pm, which meant that I had to leave straight from work to get there.  Traffic was a BEAR, and it took me over 45 minutes to drive the fairly short distance.

I talked to Super Sis on the way because, get this, I was going to have NOBODY to attend the movie with!

#firstworldproblems

I felt like a social outcast.

Despite that, I continued with my plan.

I decided that I’d probably just stay over that way because the thought of driving home…a journey that would probably take an hour with only a short time with my fur babies before having to make the drive again…just wasn’t worth it.

On the other hand, I’m not used to being out and about like that by myself.

Super Sis cheered me on, as did Rooster when I made one last-ditch effort to find a date for the night.  He had small group though.

Thus, I found myself in line…a longer one than the time the Mr. and I had gone to pick up tickets for The Duff.  Apparently, Age of Adaline was getting a higher billing due to some of the actors (i.e. Harrison Ford).

After getting my tickets, I went to my favorite pizzeria, which offers Daiya cheese and vegan friendly pizza…

Dinner for one, anybody?

I’d seated myself outside to enjoy the pleasant weather when I spied two ladies I knew from my church.  They stopped to chat, and I learned that they were attending the movie too!

Here’s where God inserted Himself…

These sweet ladies invited me to sit with them in the theater so I wouldn’t have to be by myself.

So much for my little pity party, eh?

We agreed to meet back at the theater later.

I ate dinner and went back to my car to finish reading a book.

Then, I headed to the theater.

The line started early…as in 6:15.  The movie was sold-out.  The theater had overbooked.  I wanted to make sure I got a seat!

My friends arrived shortly after me, so we chatted while we waited.

Two of us even walked back to our cars together because the theater wasn’t collecting phones in ziplock bags this time (as it had done for The Duff).

Ugh.

The theater couldn’t take a chance that someone would record the movie.  It doesn’t open until the 24th.

We wound up getting PERFECT seats in the theater…right in the middle and high enough that we wouldn’t have to crane our necks.

We watched those clips where you’re encouraged to turn off your phones.

Some in our audience quipped about how they would turn them off IF THEY HAD THEM.

heehee

We then saw a screen encouraging us to post photos and videos with a hashtag of #ageofadaline.

To which I commented, loudly enough to entertain more than a few people, “So they can find us and arrest us.”

I also proclaimed that we could all take selfies…in front of our cars…and tag the movie.

The irony was not lost on anyone!

Finally, the movie started.

Oh, what a lovely little story!

It’s about a young woman named Adaline.  She gets into a car accident that alters her body so that she stops aging.

There’s a love story-mystery involved.

There’s a scene that brought tears to my eyes…it hit too close to home, strangely enough.  My friend, Rebecca, will know what I’m talking about once she sees this, which I’m sure she will.

I loved the flashbacks in this movie.  Because Adaline had lived through six decades without aging, she’d been through the Roaring 20’s and the hippie 60’s.  I loved the costuming and makeup work.  It looked so authentic!

I loved Blake Lively.  She was well-cast and oh so elegant.

Michiel Huisman was adorable.  I didn’t know who he was prior to this movie.  I do now!

Harrison Ford…well, he was Harrison Ford…still dreamy.

Sigh.

I don’t think there was any cursing.  If so, it was very minor.  This is a PG-13 movie.

There was a scene with inappropriate banter that irritated me because it was completely unnecessary.  I despise stuff like that.

I also didn’t like the fact that Blake’s character sleeps with a couple of guys without much thought.  There wasn’t nudity, but the message struck a wrong chord with me.

Overall, it’s a cute movie that reminded me a bit of Benjamin Button and The Green Mile (think of Tom Hanks at the end of the movie).

Iron Man 3

This past weekend, the family and I went to the movies!

The movie of choice?

Iron Man 3!

We had really enjoyed the first two installments, so we were eager to see #3.

Of course, I am always a bit leery when going to the theater simply because of the way Hollywood turns great story lines into opportunities to flaunt sex and bad language.

Well, I’ll tell you that this movie met my high standards!

There was tons of action!  There was so much comedy!  The interaction between Robert Downey Jr. and the little boy in the movie was priceless!

Walking out of the theater was hard because we just didn’t want the movie to end!

I highly recommend this movie for middle school and up (there was some killing, of course, which isn’t suitable for younger children).

Men In Black 3 (MIB3) – A Movie Review

Yesterday, the Mr., Rooster, and I headed to our favorite theater to see the movie, Men in Black 3.  The Mr. had purchased the first two movies in Blue Ray, and there were $10 movie coupon codes under the shrink wrap.  I redeemed them online, printed my coupons, and off we went!

Here are my thoughts about the movie.

First of all, I would not take children who are not in high school to see the movie.  It starts off with a scene between the bad guy and a gal that is…um…a little too over the top.

There was also some cursing in the movie.  I mean, with Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones, you really should expect that.  The cursing was completely unnecessary, in my not-so-humble opinion, but it wasn’t enough to make me walk out of the theater, unlike a certain other movie that I, to this day, loathe (Transformers 2).

That’s all of the negative stuff I have to say about the movie.

The storyline was good, and there was comedic relief in just the right places.  I fell in love with the younger version of K, and his back story helped me understand the previous two movies a lot better.

There’s an alien that you simply fall in love with in this movie.  Check out his eyes.  They are incredibly kind and full of wisdom.

There’s a twist in this movie that you don’t see coming.

It was perfect and provided the glue to make all three movies come together nicely.

I definitely don’t think you’ll waste your money if you go see this movie.  While not as good as Avengers, it certainly wasn’t anything to shake a stick at!

Captain America Rocks!

A couple of nights ago, Rooster casually mentioned that the movie, Captain America, was premiering that evening at midnight.

I casually said, “If you buy my ticket, I’ll take you.”

Hello, Fandango.

Rooster checked, and there were still tickets available for the 3D show.

Dancing Girl wanted to go, and, after getting permission from her parents, she hopped in the car with us.

We headed to the beach to the nice theater.  True to his word, Rooster paid for my ticket.

Please take a moment to sigh at the sweetness of my boy.

Awwwww…

The theater was packed.

Many of the moviegoers were wearing comic strip geek stuff.

All of a sudden, I felt like a nerd.

Well, in truth, I am a nerd, but I’m not used to being in a room full of them.

Everyone was talking loudly, but they quieted down as soon as the previews started.

I wasn’t sure what to expect.  Rooster was the one, after all, who had been looking forward to the movie.  He has the hat and t-shirt to prove it.

Plus, I always seem to be disappointed by movies.

Well, let me tell you that this wasn’t the case for this movie.

Oh my goodness, but the movie was pretty good!

In case you’re not familiar with the premise, the movie is set during WWII.  Steve Rogers is a painfully thin, patriotic young man who, despite his best efforts, cannot pass the physicals that the various branches of the military require to get in.

Regardless, he is selected to be the first participant in a special program designed to produce mega soldiers.

His transformation into Hunky Soldier Boy (my name for him) resembles that of Wolverine (you might remember hunky Hugh Jackman)…

And so Rogers becomes Captain America and sets off to save the world with his shield, extraordinary strength, and sidekicks.

There’s also a little bit of romance, but it’s very clean and sweet.

Let me talk just a minute about the 3D stuff.

This was my first time seeing a 3D movie, and what a difference!  It took me a few minutes to get used to it, but I can honestly say that the extra $$ were worth it.  The movie had a depth to it that made me like I was sitting inside the movie.

As I’ve already indicated, I enjoyed this movie a lot.  I only counted three or four curse words total, and all of them were spoken by Tommy Lee Jones (no surprise there).  There were a lot of fighting scenes…shooting and such…but, with the exception of one, the scenes were not bloody.  Ultimately, I found this movie fairly kid-friendly.

We didn’t get out of the movie until after 2am, and by the time we had dropped Dancing Girl off at home and returned to our own abode, it was nearly 3am.

Rooster and I went to sleep with smiles on our faces, though.  The impromptu late night had been a lot of fun.  It had been his first time attending a midnight premier. and I, as his mom, was glad to have been a part of it.

If you’re looking for a movie with good, clean fun, I encourage you to see this.

Everything is Kung-Fu

The title of today’s post is just one of several memorable quotes from the movie The Karate Kid.

First, watch the movie trailer (love the song in it…I used that song on the soccer video I created for Chicky’s high school team)…

Oh yeah.  Rooster, the Mr., and I went to our SECOND movie in TWO weeks, courtesy of two free movie tickets (thanks again, Coupon Queen, for providing the stuff I needed to take advantage of this offer).  Rooster still had money on the movie theater gift card he had received for his birthday.

We splurged on popcorn, candy, and pink lemonade, but only because I was able to use three $1 coupons that we printed from the Sprint kiosk in the theater (see this link for more info).

Unbidden, Rooster threw in $6 of his own money to help pay for the snacks (so kind of him, eh?).

But I digress…

Let’s get back to talking about the movie!

We had seen a trailer for this movie two weeks ago, and we knew it was going to be good.

Let me just say that we were not disappointed!

Being an 80’s teenager, I knew I would be comparing the remake to the original.  Who could ever forget Ralph Macchio’s portrayal, eh?

Wax on, wax off.

But I digress…again.

The NEW Karate Kid, starring Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan, was INCREDIBLE!!

First off, filming was done in China (yes, I checked online just to make sure those weren’t sets).  I read that the director cut down the number of people in his crews to enable them to access the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, and, probably the neatest place, the temple where kung-fu originated.

The scenery is breathtaking!

The storyline is an emotional roller coaster ride.  I laughed a lot and teared up a few times (danged 40 year-old hormones).

There were a few blips that reminded me of the original movie…subtle nuances that you KNOW came from that 80’s gem.

Jaden Smith proved himself as one charismatic actor.  He has a lot of spunk…most definitely his dad’s son!!

And Jackie Chan…oh man…what can I say.  You just fall in love with him.  He plays his character in a most endearing way!!

Oh, and the villains!  Of course, every movie has villains!  I’ve gotta say that I LOATHED them!

If you like rooting for the underdog, this movie is for you.

If you like a movie with a bigger message, this one is for you.

I’m giving this movie two thumbs up minus a teensy bit of one thumbnail.

My only complaint is that Dre (aka Jaden Smith) utters a three-letter expletive THREE times in a row…very in-your-face.

I was mortified because there were lots of younger children in that theater!  In fact, there was a four or five year old boy sitting beside me!  Ugh.

This movie is best suited for upper elementary/middle school and above, I think.  Mostly because there are a couple of beatings that are very difficult to watch.  Two things I cannot stand watching in a movie (besides sexual scenes, of course) are women getting hit and children being hurt.  Dre’s beatings are integral to the storyline, but I would not advise younger children see the violence.

An Open Letter to the Movie Industry

Dear Movie Industry,

I am writing this letter after what started to be a promising day.

I am the mother of teenagers.  It is rare for all of our schedules to mesh in such a way as we can actually spend time together as one unit.  Today was one such day.

We decided to go to the movies, in celebration of Mr. AuburnChick’s birthday.  The latest, most anticipated summer movie was Transformers.  We had seen the first one, loved it, and couldn’t wait to see the sequel.

We decided to see the matinee.  I am unemployed, and money is tight.  Chicky’s Guy Friend tagged along, making for a whopping total of $35+tax spent.

We didn’t mind.  As I stated previously, it would be a rare day spent together.

The movie started innocently enough…good transformers fighting bad ones.  We settled into our seats for even more action.  We had heard wonderful things about the movie.

It didn’t take long for my excitement to turn to disappointment.  The first clue that things were going south was when one of the female characters was shown from the rear wearing shorts that left nothing to the imagination.  Did the camera really have to linger there?

Next, the audience heard an earful of curse words and sexual innuendo…all coming from the mouths of the “parents.”  Animal sexual antics, followed by a “You’ll see more of this in college, Son,” caused me to grit my teeth in anger.

As the Transformers began to play a bigger role in the action, so did their mouths.  I was shocked to hear curse words spewing forth from them.  Not only curse words, but very crude phrases that were directed at females.

I crossed my arms and grew increasingly tense as each scene passed.  You see, my son used to play with Transformers.  As you know, kids imitate what they see.  Can you picture your son or daughter using some of the colorful language they’d just heard at the movie that Mommy and Daddy just took them to see?

Oh sure, the action scenes were fantastic.  I’ll give you that.  The special affects were superbly done.

But why, oh why, did you find it necessary to throw in so much sex?  Some of it was overt, and some it was behind the scenes.  An observant mom like me won’t miss those posters on the college dorm wall.  I know I may not be a famous Hollywood writer, but I fail to see how a girl sitting on a boy’s lap added substance to the storyline.

I debated.  Do I stay, or do I get up and walk out.

I fought my thoughts as the scenes continued.

At one point, we were treated to the sight of a man ripping off his pants to reveal that he was wearing thongs with something written on them.  I have no idea what they said because I turned my eyes away.  I heard shouts of surprise and a few of shock from some of the patrons.  Did you really have to leave that man’s butt on the huge screen for more than five seconds?

Point taken.  Crude.

The thing that pushed me over the edge was when a transformer saw fit to do a sexual number on the main female character, and she laughed.  I sat two seats away from my daughter and was mortified.  Sure, she’s 17, but do I really want her to think it’s okay to laugh off such sexual banter?  The way women were portrayed in this movie was appalling.  They are not sex objects or brainless.

My heart was beating hard as I grabbed my stuff and walked out.  I barely made it to the restroom…that’s how badly my body was shaking from anger.  At first, I felt guilty leaving the theater.  This was the first time I have ever walked out before a movie was over.  With each step, I grew more confident and proud.  And angry.

Folks…you knew very well that kids and adults would be seeing this movie.  Regardless of who the target audience was, why did you have to dirty it up this way?

I’m angry because I seem to be the only person who cared.  I did not see one other person walk out today, and I know I’m not the only person who holds my morals close to my heart.

I feel cheated.  I want my money back.  But giving me back my measly $7 won’t hurt you one little bit, will it?  This movie will make millions as crowds continue to pour in and sell out showings.

Oh sure, some might be surprised at the filth that the human and non-human characters shout out, but they’ll be distracted minutes later by action scenes.

You may have those people fooled, but not me.

Shame on you for allowing your industry to go to such lengths just to make a dollar.

Shame on me for continuing to waste money on this form of “entertainment.”

Maybe you haven’t heard, but money isn’t everything.  In fact, it’s worth nothing if it means giving up your integrity.  When is the last time you heard someone say, “I won’t go see that movie.  It doesn’t have any cussing in it?”

I’ll venture to guess you never have.  Neither have I.

You can be sure of this.  I may only be one voice, but it is one that will be vocal from here on out.

I implore you…please…make cleaner movies…movies that families can see together without being embarrassed.

That’s the sign of integrity.

Signed,

AuburnChick

Two Thumbs Up

For the movie Up.

Last night, I took the kids to see this movie.  Guy Friend tagged along.

We opted for the 2D version because the 3D tickets were $3 more per person.

We don’t feel like we missed a thing.

The movie was FANTASTIC!!!  It had something for everyone…cute animals for young children, action for pre-teens, and a story line for older teens and adults.  Everyone can identify with something in this movie.

If you go, make sure you take a hanky.  I laughed and cried through the entire movie.  One could chalk that up to my getting older, but I think it was the superb story.

Here’s a clip, in case you haven’t seen one yet:

Rooster and Mama Go To the Movies

Rooster and I were plodding through our day, each planning on getting some chores done, although I was actually doing the planning, while Rooster was doing the obeying, when we had a change of plans.

Before going out to the car to run errands, I decided to check the mail.  I found an envelope addressed to the boy and me.  Here’s what was inside:

To be fair, I had received a heads-up phone call yesterday.  Sister had told me what she was going to do, but I didn’t expect the letter to arrive the next day!  We have fast mail service!

Rooster and I jumped into action.  He ran over to the computer, while I checked my phone…a race to see who could be the first to locate movie times.

I won.

We had already discussed which movie we might want to see.  Last night, Tom Cruise was a guest on the Tonight Show.  Of course, he was there to promote his newest movie, and he did his job well.  Rooster and I were hooked.

We saw that there was showtime beginning in an hour, so we quickly got in the car and were off.  Our favorite theater is a solid 30-minutes away, so we didn’t have much time to waste.

Here’s a trailer for the movie:

Because we were there for the matinee, we had enough money left over to buy a large bag of popcorn  We added a ton of butter.  Yum!

When the movie was over, Rooster and I were quiet, as was the rest of the theater.  It was a sobering movie.  I know there are mixed reviews out there about the movie.  Good thing I’ve never been a fan of so-called “reviews.”

Rooster and I give it two thumbs up!  The cinematography is incredible.  The storyline is well-executed.  We were left sitting on the edge of our seats until the end.

Definitely a movie worth seeing!

Thanks Sister!  We thoroughly enjoyed our treat and appreciate your thoughtfulness.

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