Movie Review: Our Idiot Brother

Posted on December 22, 2011. Filed under: Movies, Personal Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Ever since Clueless I have been a big fan of Paul Rudd. He is just my kind of fellow, don’t know how else to describe it! I usually do my best to catch all of his movies as they hit DVD, I’m not much of a theatre-goer otherwise I would definitely check them out there. Netflix finally delivered Our Idiot Brother to my home – and what a joy! The movie was a comedy but also a bit of a life lesson. We all have these people in our lives that we look for and we look to but can sometimes we such an incredible inconvenience but in the end we appreciate them and grow to love them as they are, that is My Idiot Brother.

Paul Rudd, playing Ned, starts the movie getting arrested for distributing drugs to a police officer. He lived on an organic farm with his dog and his hippie girlfriend. It is clear from the arrest forward that he doesn’t have quite as much going for him as one would expect. His family immediately comes to his rescue offering shelter, food, love and support. It is clear that the family is a bit off though and has a plethora of issues themselves. His three sisters are all striving for something completely different in life. One, Zoeey Deschanel, is a lesbian, but maybe more of a sexually charged bisexual, or maybe straight, but she really wants to be a lesbian. Another sister, Elizabeth Banks, is a journalist and is the highest reacher of all the siblings. She wants to make it big and really lives an upscale, city, business lifestyle. The oldest sister, Emily Mortimer, is a mom, she is the only married sibling and her husband has a few quirks that immediately make him unlikable to the audience.

Ned is a very happy guy. He has an extremely positive outlook on life and doesn’t get in too deep in anything. He takes everything on the surface and does his best to really roll with the punches. His brother-in-law gives him a job working as an assistant as he films a documentary. Ned does his best to go along with but never seems to do things good enough for his brother-in-law. He exposes their children to television and games they would prefer their kids don’t see and quickly lands himself getting shoved out of their house and onto the next sister’s home.

He spends time in each of his sister’s homes and one by one manages to mess up the one thing that they each seemed to have wanted the most: a valuable relationship, a career advancement and a happy family. Ned doesn’t see these as his fault but really focuses in on dishonesty, lack of morals and ethics and a lack of trust. Ned makes a really great point for each of these things. With time his sisters do internally reflect a bit on his actions and the reactions and make peace with what has changed in their lives. It really seems like they for once open their eyes to their behavior and internalize what could make their lives better, stronger and more fulfilling and how to see life a little more through the rose-colored lenses that Ned has on. In Ned’s time of need his sisters pull through – you cannot beat a strong family bond, especially when you see that your ‘idiot’ brother was really trying to do his best.

It was a really funny movie with some great lines. Through the humor and strange situations there are some great messages and if you view it at the right time there are definitely things I could reflect on that each of the sisters did that I may also be guilty of, giving me just a small dose of a life lesson. It was a fun, entertaining movie that certainly did not drag on at all. I really enjoyed it and if you see it – I hope you do too! Keep on rocking Paul Rudd!

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Well Hello Again!!

Posted on January 10, 2011. Filed under: Books, Destination: Travel!, Everyday Me, Movies, Personal Reviews, TV Shows | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Hello all!

Sorry that I have been gone for almost a year! I lost track of blogging but alas – I’m back!! A lot has gone on in that year, and many many books have been read, a handful of movies watched. But I am back in action and ready to lay my opinions on you!

Lets start back with a quick synopsis of my 2010 favorites:

Favorite TV Show: Big Love – hands down my absolute favorite! I love watching this family and seeing their drama unfold. They start up again in a new season this week, unfortunately I dont have HBO so I’ll have to wait to report on the new advancements until my library has the DVDs

Favorite Book: This category was a little more difficult, there wasn’t one book that really stuck out in my mind over another, so I’ll have to come back to this one…. I’m thinking it is most likely going to have to be Zeitoun , that was a really great book.

Favorite Movie: The Town – amazing! Great story, harsh language (that was a minus) but overall just excellent. There were quite a few other contenders in this category including Love & Other Drugs, An Education, Black Swan and Going the Distance. Reviews on some of these to follow!

Favorite Column: From the WashingtonPost Magazine (weekly) I cannot get enough of Gene Weingarten. He has a great way of writing that really draws you in. I can ‘hear’ his voice and I love it!

Favorite DC Restaurant: Founding Farmers – this is truly great food! It’s an amazing atmosphere and a fabulous restaurant. I cannot wait to write a review on this to tell you more!

Favorite Trip: Asheville, NC. What a beautiful place to go! We had such a fabulous time visiting Asheville and the surrounding BlueRidge Parkway. If you are ever nearby or passing through please do yourself a favor and stop. It is SUCH a great place! I really cannot wait to go back and explore more!!  

There were lots of favorites in 2010 but for now that will do. I have some reviewing ideas on tap and will post as I get them ‘penned in’. Sorry for being such a lame blogger but I promise you – I am back!

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

Posted on October 21, 2009. Filed under: Books, Personal Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , |

I’m a little speechless, but have a lot of thoughts and opinions about this book at the same time. I didn’t expect to be sitting at this screen with no idea how to start this review, but here goes…

To say that I am haunted by this book doesn’t seem to be the correct adjective. Stunned, maybe a better choice, contemplative, better still and in the end I still dont think there is a combination of that many words that can truly describe the feelings that this book left me with. After the book was finished I could still feel the story lingering within me. It was there when I slept and it was in my thoughts as I watched TV later that evening. I felt like I could not shake the feelings of despair, sorrow and uncertainty that this book clearly painted with each word. This book is something I recommend to any and every reader out there, the words are dramatic but simple and McCarthy truly paints a vivid portrait through his words. If you have a group of friends or a reading circle I’d recommend that you read it together so that you can have discussions about the book, you will want to talk about it trust me!

The ending was inevitable and maybe I start with describing the ending first here because maybe the ending was just the beginning, it’s hard to distinguish in this book where exactly the world left off and where the world began, but that’s something you don’t fully realize until you finish this book. McCarthy gives you just enough information to understand, or to feel like you understand. The book slowly gives off bits and pieces of information about this world that his characters are fumbling in. Not naming these characters is an interesting element, especially when names are asked of minor characters. I think not having characters named gave off the impression to the reader that these characters could be anyone; they were easy to relate to not having a name to classify them and it almost made their despair feel more real; these characters were in such dire straits that names weren’t even necessary.

This is a true tale of despair. You will follow a father and son across a barren, stripped and charred land in search of something, possibly in search of a land that hasn’t been killed and raked over with ash, maybe for a tribe they can fit in with and maybe they went on this journey because it became the normal way; maybe the journey would be their objective in the world from this point out. While it’s true they were running away from the problems they left in their starting place, neither knew what they were running towards which increased the risks that this journey would take.

As you learn more about the child, aka The Boy, it is striking to learn what things this child has never been exposed to. You learn that The Father has taught much of what he knew to this boy, the boy had never previously tasted a coca cola and most likely had never seen a cow in his life, things that most American children could easily identify by sight, sound or taste. In contrast this boy did know what rotting human flesh smelled like, and had also watched death take its toll on many other travelers. This child knew true fear and starvation, he also knew survival skills of the wild, but still was a child. It was amazing to be brought back to moments when the child was scared and when fear gripped him as it would any child his age, because for a few chapters you may have almost forgotten his young age. You also learn about this relationship between The Father and The Boy. It is a relationship that faces some rocky moments, but moments that you know are still filled with complete affection and love for one another. There is no love more pure than the love, respect, and devotion that this father gives to his son, and each chapter you feel the love spill from the pages and can see that as many times the easy road out of the world may be available for the father, his love for his child makes the long road the only road he will travel.

This book was about learning. You learned of their struggles, you learned of their survival, you learned about true fear and you learned about human nature in the worst of circumstances. Is this the way that we would behave if we were placed in the same unfortunate situation? Would we wish for death or would we ‘carry the fire’ and continue to search for something, anything better, or really something other than death? These are some of the questions that are raised with each passing chapter in this novel.

It is a novel written with extreme poise and such a careful tongue. No word is wasted and no word is misused. McCarthy truly uses every word to paint the picture of despair in a world that has gone to rubble, and of a dwindling population that has turned its back on each other as well as the world around them. This book is not a light in subject matter, it is a dark novel but one that cannot be passed up. It truly makes you not only appreciative of the world around you, but aware of what may have come before and what may come after, maybe this is a warning of what the worst may look like. It also makes you look towards a higher power and seek answers to questions about what if, and why not. I am excited for this novel to be turned into a film, because it will be interesting to see how it is adapted and to see if the emotions and feelings that are captured within this story can be expressed similarly through film.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 2 so far )

Movie Debriefing: I Love You Man

Posted on September 17, 2009. Filed under: Movies, Personal Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Man, I love you too! That was my thought after I finished this movie. It is an awkward guy comedy. There are many scenes where you feel like a slight intruder into their lives and then there are other scenes where their awkwardness makes you feel awkward but since we’re feeling awkward maybe that makes it ok?

This movie has the typical ‘guy comedy’ including silly sexual jokes and air guitar (who isn’t a fan of air guitar?!). It also features a great, but generally less honored band, as the male character’s bonding moments. I speak of awkwardness and what makes this movie awkward is some of the character development. Paul Rudd is given the part of a man with no friends, which is a strange concept, especially since he seems really loveable. The plot for this movie is that Peter Klaven (Paul Rudd) is marrying the love of his life Zooey played by Rashida Jones but he has no friends to be in the wedding party. His father, JK Simmons, has a few best friends including Peter’s brother Robbie (Andy Samberg) but Peter has none which is a long-running family joke. Peter’s fiance has a bunch of girl-friends who think he is not only clingy but weird for not being as friendly with men as he is with women. Peter’s mission is to find a male best friend, hopefully a few, to be at his wedding with him.

Enter Jason Segel as Sydney. Sydney is a smooth operator who’s funny, open and more than happy to have Peter as a friend. Peter is awkward, and doesn’t quite know how to fit-in in Sydney’s world but Sydney accepts and loves him anyway. The two not only hit it off but seem to spend countless hours together making up for time lost, it’s their times together that prove to be the most comical. The overall concept of the movie is a bit comical as well because everyone wants to help Peter find best friends, finding friends and ‘trying them out’ provides many laughs throughout the movie; we’re laughing at you Peter, not with you…

What was surprising about this movie was how well it came together. There was romance, there was comedy, plot twists and even the Hulk were included. What was even better was this movie was under 2 hours which is great; imagine all of that in under 2 hours. Some of these comedies seem to take what feels like days, but this one was short and sweet and really never got to the point where you were just hoping it would all wrap up and end. It’s worth renting if you’re in the mood for some quick, no-thinking required laughs. I’d watch it again, not tonight of course, but in the future if I pass by it on TV I would definitely stop and give it my time.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )

Library Woes

Posted on September 11, 2009. Filed under: Books, Everyday Me | Tags: , , , , , , |

The library is an amazing tool and personally a great thing to not only pay taxes for but to donate to. Libraries can inspire youths who don’t find inspiration elsewhere to learn to read and to learn about topics that they may not find in their curriculum. I recently ran into this nifty calculator online that helps you determine how much ‘value’ you receive in dollar amounts from your library yearly, or even to date.  Personally my ‘savings’ figure came out to be $758.90 (to date)  which is impressive and truly an eye opener for those who don’t use the library as much as they should. With that all being said you can see that I am a big advocate of the library; There is nothing better than seeing a bright smile on a young child’s face as they get to leave the library with a book or two, hopefully this is where good reading habits begin.  Lately I have noticed a decline in the library services, procedures, and respect given to the library and their staff.

The books that the library carries are still excellent and the movie selection is closer to what I would expect to find at Blockbuster which exceeds my expectations. My expectations are failed when the library staff is unhelpful and can’t be bothered with assisting patrons. There have been many occasions where other patrons have waited for the staff to end personal phone calls to help find a book when they don’t know how to use good ‘ol Dewey Decimal. I have helped many of these people, which I don’t mind but I find the habit of this disturbing. Similarly I have returned books on many occasions and have been told a week later that my book is overdue. After a trek through the shelves I can locate the books, prove that I no longer have it and move on, which is more of a hassle to me but how if their systems, or staff, are that faulty why not take a moment to develop a better strategy for fixing the problems?

What is more disturbing is the condition that I have been finding books and movies in. I have taken many DVDs home to find that they are scratched to high heavens and skipping (minor inconvenience) or flat out will not play at all. This is the most frustrating. Just last week I rented a DVD that would not play in my player. When I took the DVD out and inspected the back side of it to clean it, it was clearly unplayable. I wish I had a picture but it appeared that the last user had sprayed something on the DVD, like hairspray and just left it. There was a terrible film on the DVD as well as watermarks; unfortunately it wasn’t able to be salvaged through any standard DVD cleaning methods. When I brought this DVD to the attention of the library staff they didn’t seem surprised, nor did they seem to care at all simply just commented that they would just have to mark it in their special collection. What is their special collection? Is this such a common issue that there is now a collection of these wonderfully ruined DVDs?  This got me a little upset. Another instance of this user-abuse on the DVD collection was when I went to rent a 2 disc DVD and only had the 2nd disc, with the special features, someone had stolen the first disc which was the actual movie, again that one went into the ‘special collection’.

I think it’s a two-piece problem in this case. I think that those borrowing these materials and not treating them with care are responsible for ruining them and should appropriately remedy the situation(s). The second part of the problem is the employees tasked with checking in materials as they are returned. If the employees aren’t carefully screening the books and movies being returned these issues are easily overlooked. In the case of the book with a missing chapter or a movie with the visible scratches, at that point these items can be removed from the shelves and from circulation, and most likely put into the ‘special collection’ and then the last user can be appropriately fined and the items can be replaced with those paid fees. This will give funds to replace the items that need to be replaced or repaired and will put out a message to the card holders that abusing the material isn’t acceptable and won’t be tolerated which hopefully will reduce the number of items put into the ‘special collection’.

The library is a free resource for residents in our area to enjoy and use. It is a great money-saving tool and can be helpful for entertainment and educational purposes alike. I ask all the library users in the world to abstain from abusing the library! If we all do our part to keep the movies we borrow and the books we read in a respectable condition the library can use their funds to buy NEW materials instead of constantly replacing materials that are misused by card holders.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 2 so far )

« Previous Entries

Liked it here?
Why not try sites on the blogroll...