Tag Archives: Movies

Madonna, a Bit Differently

Just for the record, I like Madonna – I like her music and I have always admired her spunk.

However. Per chance, I got to see a bit of “Swept Away” this afternoon and it has to be one of the worst movies I have ever seen. Not only is Madonna a really poor actress (this film just underscores that, once again) but the person that wrote the screenplay ought to be flogged. Oops. Sorry. Just checked IMDB and Ritchie directed and wrote the screenplay.

The dialogue, IMHO, is trashy, boring, unrealistic. There is nothing, not an ounce, not a trace, not an inkling of likeability of the character Madonna plays – not at the beginning, and not at the end.
And the Sailor is a complete idiot – what a waste of celluloid.

Five thumbs down from this gal.

A Big Thankyou

to my well-wishers, Ms.Mac, Michael and Seitherin. You really cheered me up!

I am by no means rid of the bug, but well enough to sit at the computer or diddle around the house a bit. This is one doozy of a bug.

However, in the meanwhile, here a list of thing not to watch while in a feverish (and thus delirious) state:

1) Caveman’s Valentine (though I really liked the movie the first time I saw it and found Samuel L. Jackson’s performance absolutely outstanding). Watching it while having a fever, you will just get everything mixed up.

2) Stephen King’s Dreamcatcher. I have been a fan of Stephen King since the start (when I was about 13 and Carrie, his first novel, appeared). This is a movie about what appear to be giant leeches though with big mouthes filled with some ugly teeth and ugh…..an example of King going for the gore factor instead of the fear factor. Regrettably.

On a side note, one of his best works, “The Stand”, was read by me when I was about 14 and had an incredibly bad case of tonsillitis – I was quite doped up and read the book in between sleeping phases – it gave me the feeling of having been transported into another world.

3) Animal Planet documentaries titled “Killer Instincts”. Will just give you nightmares or cause you to eye various house pets suspiciously.

Gone Fishing

Much to my delight, my 2,5 HDD thingy came in the mail yesterday, so I spent all day on the PC replacing files I needed, importing bookmarks and so on. This is such a wonderful invention – and the best thing is that I thus have a 40GB backup device for the 40GB hard drive on the new laptop. Meaning, future laptop problems not be such a big deal (as long as I backup regularly).

Last night we went to the “office” of the fishing club to get our fishing cards for this year. It was my first time there and I was pleasantly surprised. They have one room with a computer and all the paperwork, and then a larger room with a bar, a large table and a kitchen (also with tables). So we sat and had a beer and some food and chatted with some of the other anglers that we know – traded fishing stories and gossiped about who caught what and when and how – who left their bait hanging in trees – quite nice and “gemütlich”.

So, now I can go fishing again! (Except for the fact that it is snowing and I object to fishing in the snow ;-)).

I spent today doing the usual Saturday leaning and chores – watched some TV this afternoon – films all over the genres, really “Run Jane Run” (the book which I enjoyed – the movie was somewhat dry, “Fear of the Dark” (recent Canadian production – not bad) and currently, “Omen IV” is on and geez it is predictable as ever, but I am going to go watch the rest of it anyhow.

Phantom of the Opera

Lloyd Webber’s ‘Phantom’ horrifies the US film critics: “It has taken Andrew Lloyd Webber 16 years to bring his stage musical hit Phantom Of The Opera to the screen, but according to American critics, he need not have bothered.”

I haven’t seen the film, but my guess is that the opulence of this piece just doesn’t translate well to the screen. When I saw it in Detroit many years ago, we (my ex and I ) had third-row orchestra seats. When the chandelier came crashing down, I thought it would be falling on my head. Additionally, the constant appearance of the Phantom (Michael Crawford) in the rafters and practically all over the place, his voice booming throughout the theater, is something that just can’t be done in a movie.

I loved this piece – and will be checking out the film – though without Crawford, I am a bit reserved.

I Have Stopped Believing

in the efficiency of my electric toothbrush. Yours truly being much too cheap at the moment to replace the worn brush on the electric one, I have resorted to brushing my teeth the old fashioned way with the super quality “manual” toothbrush I bought last winter for my hospital stay.

Seriously, I feel I get a better result the old fashioned way – causing me to question why the electrical ones are propagated by most dentists I know – but that may well have to do with some as yet uncovered dental industry bribery scandal – who knows.

It has been a really goof off kind of day which then, slowly but surely, became a “project” day.

I have a huge CD collection – ranging from Def Leppard to Ella Fitzgerald to Waylon Jennings to Dire Straits to Smetana – well, I think you get the idea. Ever since my CD player bit the dust last year (not totally – it just kept “hiccuping”) I stopped listening to CDs and reverted to my old (1954) tube radio, which has quite a nice sound. This morning, I felt like listening to a CD (Robbie Williams – Swing When You’re Winning) so I did so with the help of the DVD player. It then occurred to me that the right front speaker, located under the floor of the upstairs gallery, needed to be relocated. I spliced some extra speaker wire together and placed it upstairs on the railing. Much better. Then, I decided the left speaker needed to go to the same height, which they now both are, aimed at the (12 feet high) ceiling. Sounds lovely. The acoustic qualities of this house are absolutely awesome. Of course, I spent quite a bit of time adjusting the aim and such and ended up listening to parts of I think about 30 different CDs. When the opening tones of Finlandia came out of the speakers, Tobi awoke quite startled, looked up as though some huge creature out of nowhere was going to eat him and fled into the bedroom.

It all ended up with me late in the afternoon deciding to watch a DVD – my choice of the day (one of my personal all-time favorites) The Hunt for Red October in Surround Sound – wonderful.

I have been a bit of an audiophile forever, I think. I remember the first really decent stereo I bought at the age of 16 with help of the AAFES layaway program at the Munich PX – Kenwood Tower System with cabinet and glass door, and huge Bose speakers. Lol. I don’t think I ever got to turn it up more than a quarter of the way – Mom would’ve shot me, lol.

Though I do remember getting her turned on to Willie Nelson that way. At first, she hated his voice (which does take some getting used to) and at some point, he just kind of grew on her.

The Weather Permitted Me

Tto do a bit of garden work this afternoon. I got the last of the geraniums and fuchsia as well as the angel trumpet into the basement, swept the walk on the south side of the house where the tomatoes were and took care of cutting down the flower bed containing the tall growing perennials such as bloodwort, purple loosestrife, and monkshood. Filled up two large garden sacks doing so.

At 5 p.m. it was dark, but I am just about finished. I did manage to sweep the walk and the porch, as that moor birch still has quite a few leaves which it insists on dumping on the porch and sidewalk – all the other trees here are bare.

I meant to watch “About Schmidt” some time ago (I posted that, I believe) and finally did last night as it was on Premiere. Jack Nicholson in top form – wonderful and sad, this movie, but I really liked it.

Watching Planet, a channel which I get over Premiere and which is basically a documentary channel like Discovery except that it tends more toward sociological issues, you somewhat get the impression Austrians are obsessed with climbing mountains. Every other time I tune in, they are broadcasting some documentary about some Austrian climbing a mountain in (take your pick) Nepal/India, Africa, etc. I don’t quite understand it really. This would make it appear that most mountain climbers are Austrian. Perhaps it is so. Guess I could email Reinhold Messner and ask him – he ought to know.

I don’t really understand the whole concept – probably due to my own height phobia – but I do have a lot of respect for people who are able to climb mountains up to 8.000 meters in height.

I just think there is something lmao funny about an Austrian traveling to Africa to climb a mountain.

It Has Been A Tad Quiet and Boring

around these parts and there has been little to say and not much to tell.

I spent all day cleaning the house like a mad woman (and am banning shoes entirely from the house). Due to the rain/sleet the grass in the yard is all squishy and muddy and just going out to get wood makes feet DIRTY. ugh.

I finished these socks yesterday – they are for someone who may or may not have a birthday coming up (I never know who all reads this blog ;-))

And speaking of socks, much to my absolute amazement, Jen got her Christmas package yesterday – I mailed it via surface on November 2 – amazing. It should have taken at least four weeks, but I am glad everything including the advent calendars got there in time.

Out of the bug department, I brought in an armload of wood this morning and spotted this little guy who had apparently been planning on spending the winter in the woodpile:

I am not sure but I think it might be some type of shieldbug. He has wonderfully bright green legs to go with that brown shield. After photographing him I brought him back outside to the woodpile (next to it).

I finally got around to seeing “The Hours” last night and it was definitely one of the best movies I have seen in quite a while. Worth seeing.

On the political front, this is interesting reading from Greg Palast:

KERRY WON OHIO

JUST COUNT THE BALLOTS AT THE BACK OF THE BUS

Relaxed

Well, the four of us (Uwe, Hilde, my sister and I) had a lovely celebratory dinner last night; honey melon and Spanish serrano ham, followed by giant prawns with drawn butter and a loaf of Italian ciabatta to accompany them, along with a field salad tossed with lime dressing and a lovely Portugese white wine. Dessert was a wonderful Camenbert from Normandy – the kind sold in a wooden box.

Uwe grocery shopped all of that – I think we ought to let him do that more often.

The very nice man from the consulate called me yesterday and I have an appointment week after next, at which they will be pulling in my passport (which they will return to me invalidated when this is finished). This means I will be without “real” ID for the next three months and will be carrying my driver’s license around with me. However, I don’t see it as a major problem since even if I wanted to travel somewhere, as long as it is within the European Union, no passport is required.

I think I have finally finished all of my Christmas socks, thank goodness. I have knitted a total of 12 pairs in the last few months, which doesn’t sound like a lot but knitting a pair of socks is time consuming. I finished the last pair last night since I couldn’t go to bed early with all that food I’d eaten – ended up watching all of the last episode of “Crackers” with Robbie Coltrane. Then, a really old Mia Farrow movie came on – I am not a huge fan of her, but the movie was quite suspenseful – “See No Evil”. It centers around a blind young woman who comes home and doesn’t notice that all of her family has been murdered – she only discovers it on the second day when she tries to take a bath and there is a dead body in the tub. Bad thing is, the guy who did it is in the house – though you never see him – all you ever see are his pointed cowboy boots with a star on them.

Most of my day today was spent sorting out the files on my computer. I sorted all pictures according to category, deleted all that weren’t any good, popped them on a CD. Then, I sorted through the rest of the rummage on the hard drive, decompromised? (geez – what’s it called in english when you get rid of the gaps between files) both logical drives and backed up all important files and data. Perhaps now it won’t be quite as slow as it had been. The C drive was very full, only had 550 MB of space left so I uninstalled Photo Impact which takes up a whopping 430 MB. I will reinstall it to the other drive when I need it.

Time to turn off the PC and get started on my weekly cleaning – won’t have as much time for it tomorrow as we are getting a few cords of wood.

 

A Promise Kept

It is really typical of me. Last evening at dinner, we were discussing breakfast (no, not odd – my father has been eating cereal for breakfast and I told him to stay away from milk until his digestive system is back on track – and he complained that he wanted cereal because he was tired of eating Semmeln (Bavarian Bread Buns)). So, I offered to make pancakes for everyone – no problem right?

Right.

It is all Premiere`s fault that I almost didn’t. Premiere is my wonderful digital TV provider – digital TV is great, most films can be watched in German or English language, whichever one prefers. Plus, the signal and picture are wonderful. But all of that does not help if they don’t stop just showing crappy movies.

I desperately wanted some TV couch time though, and not even Discovery, Animal Planet or Planet was showing anything of interest, so I decided to pop open the still sealed “Two Towers” DVD of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. At 10 p.m.

Settled down comfortably, got some chips, channeled the Dolby sound over the stereo receiver, adjusted the rear speakers.

It was wonderful. I love this story and I loved it as a kid when I first read the Tolkien books. There was a time in Chicago when I used to spend an awful lot of time playing Wizardry (the very first one – anyone remember it?) with my stepson Rob, during his summer vacations (we would often play into the wee hours of the morning, sending LOMILWA and MAHALITO and what not all spells into the maze and buying various armor at Boltac’s Trading Post), and all of our characters were named after characters in the Tolkien story. My thief was Frodo, my Warriors were Aragon and something or another, Gandalf was my Mage, etc.

But I am getting off topic here.

I didn’t see the entire movie – my eyes were just trying to shut really hard at some point well after midnight, so I reluctantly (worse than a little kid, I know) went to bed.

Woke up this morning at 8.10. Breakfast was scheduled for 8.30, as always.

I held my promise with the help of one of the pancake mixes Mom brought me some time back – I would not have made it in that time frame from scratch – and went over with a plate of wonderful stack of pancakes on it. (The table was already set when I got there) 😉

Giant Bugs Are Stupid

The last few days have been quite uneventful so I won’t bore you with that. I will mention that again yesterday I did another 15 km on the bike, and today I did 17 km (in the same amount of time). Whew. Feels good.

Ok, here’s proof (pardon that glazed “looking at the TV” glance) and notice the Jan Ullrich T-shirt, lol (t’was a coincidence)..

But now, let’s get back to the giant bugs. I watched one of the worst movies last night that I think I have EVER seen. Mimic 2. The fact that it was a sequel should have warned me, but no. It’s about this woman entomologist – all the men in her life are found brutally murdered and mutilated, and so the police naturally thinks that she is the killer. Turns out that giant mutant cockroaches are responsible – I have really never ever seen this bad a movie in eons.

Here a few others I have seen recently.

Killing me Softly – Though the IMDB reviews aren’t that great, I was fascinated and thought it a good movie.

Trapped – Good acting, interesting plot, quite ok.

The Banger Sisters – quite a disappointment, though I am a fan of both Goldie Hawn and Susan Sarandon. If you saw the preview, you have seen the movie. Completely lacking in depth, story and everything. And, how come Goldie Hawn still looks like she’s 35, when she is over 60???

Black Cadillac – Not bad, but I didn’t think Randy Quaid was quite believable in his role. The ending was kind of cliché.

Premiere has been showing “Six Feet Under” – it took me a few days to realize that it wasn’t a short film but a series (see hair color). Thus, I only caught the last few episodes and am hoping they will rerun them soon. They were running one episode per night so I think I caught maybe the last six, and was really getting into this series and looking forward to the next, sat down in the evening, and wondered why they weren’t sending – well, duh, cause the last episode from season 3 had been broadcasted. :-((