Archive for the ‘Movies’ Category

The Help

I went to see “The Help” this weekend.   I knew I would like it, and I did, even more than I thought I would.

And it made me think of Mrs. Williams.

I have to state, first, that I was born around the time the events depicted in the movie occurred.  And Mrs. Williams didn’t start working for our family until I was in junior high, I think. I’m not quite sure.

I also have to emphasize that my family was not a wealthy or upper middle class family, with a stay-at-home mother who hired help so she could go be involved in bridge clubs and social events, etc.

No, my mother worked full-time, and she worked damn hard. My father worked full-time, and he, too, worked damn hard. It’s entirely possible that during Mrs. Williams’s tenure my father was working two jobs. My mother was the first female certified latent fingerprint examiner in the state of Georgia. She was either working days and on call nights, or else she was working nights and spending her days testifying in court.

So Mrs. Williams was no luxury for our family. She was a necessity. And we loved her. I loved that she and I shared first names (Virginia). My sister loved her for standing up for her when my brother and I got too bratty. She taught me how to roll lemons on the counter, putting a lot of pressure, before you cut them open to squeeze the juice for lemonade or hot toddies, because that releases so much more juice. She taught me that hot lemonade made with honey worked wonders on sore throats.

She loved us. At least, that was the impression we got from her. Maybe she didn’t. Maybe we were just a job. I remember being struck by the difference in our homes, on those days that I rode with my parents to take her home to the projects. I remember being a little scared when we drove through the projects, because the people looked so tough. Now my older self recognizes that if they were tough, it was because to survive, they had to learn how to be tough.

Mrs. Williams, wherever you are, please know that in the months that you worked in our family, you earned a tremendous amount of love, and your memory will always be bright in our hearts.


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Why should you go see Cowboys and Aliens?

Maybe I didn’t make myself clear….

Daniel Craig. In chaps. Fighting things. Climbing things. In chaps.

He is a beautiful man.

Oh, and the story is fantastic, and you’ll find characters to love and characters to loathe, and there’s lots of fighting and changing and cool stuff.

And Daniel Craig.

I’m just sayin’.

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This weekend I saw one play and two movies, one of which was at the theatre and the other of which was at home on DVD.

First the play: Annie Get Your Gun, at Theatre Arlington. Izzy kept telling me, over and over and over, that she has a girl crush on Jenny Thurman, who stars as Annie Oakley. And I can definitely see why. Thurman has character in spades, and a gorgeous singing voice that can go from husky to pure to sexy, and that’s just in one song. I was crushing on Jim Johnson as the appealing Frank Butler. If you’re in the DFW area, you really should call for reservations and go see this play. I sent Joe to go on Saturday night, and he liked it as much as Izzy and I did.

Then the theatre movie: Tropic Thunder.  This movie is just wrong in so many ways. More than once I caught myself laughing at something just before telling myself that I can’t believe I was laughing at that. It pokes a LOT of fun at actors, and Tom Cruise does a delicious job of poking fun at himself.  Unless you have an exceptionally strong stomach, this isn’t an eating movie. So if you just have to have popcorn with your movie, you might want to get there early enough that you’ve got time to eat popcorn during the pre-movie show, the ads, and the trailers. I’m just sayin’.

Then the DVD movie: Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Until Elle told me she hadn’t seen it, I had pretty much assumed everyone had seen it. So I made her watch it. She didn’t complain. Too much. 😀

Okay, next, I also did some reading.  I had some brain candy in the form of two Body of Evidence books by Christopher Golden (Head Games and Skin Deep).  It’s an entertaining series, and I enjoyed them. I’m also 2/3’s of the way through Charlatan: America’s most dangerous huckster, the man who pursued him, and the age of flimflam. Gentlemen, is your manhood failing you? Why not get a pair of goat testicles implanted? You think I’m joking, don’t you? Well, for some years in the early part of the 20th century, a man styling himself Dr. Brinkley did just that, and got fantastically wealthy by doing so. He was pursued by Dr. Fishbein. I can’t tell you what happened in the end, because, as I said, I’m 2/3’s of the way through the book. It’s a fascinating read, though, and I’m planning to finish it tonight. I also started reading Atonement, as I liked the movie so much. However, I’m not a fan of McEwan’s writing style. I sort of doubt I’ll finish that one. And the best book I’ve read this weekend was Tweak (growing up on methamphetamines) by Nic Sheff.  It’s a painstakingly honest memoir detailing his relapse after a year of sobriety, and then in and out of sobriety. It’s a gut-wrenchingly good book.

How was y’all’s weekend?

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The Twilight Knight

Since I made it pretty clear after I saw the movie that I’m not a big fan of the new Batman movie, it probably won’t surprise you that when I went with Elle, Izzy, and Jehara on Saturday I sort of, um, well, fell asleep during the last half of the movie. That being said, I enjoyed it a heck of a lot more than the first time I saw it! That nap during the last half made all the difference! 😀

Also, I seriously love Janet.  Wanna know why? Well, because she’s totally cool, for starters, and she finds all these cool things that I get to share with you guys. I totally ripped this from her, and I know you’ll love it, even if, unlike me, you should be a fan of the Dark Knight.  Check it out!

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Mamma Mia!

This has been such a sucktacular day that I wanted something to cheer me up. So I called Joe and asked if we could go see Mamma Mia! after I got off work. He cheerfully assented, and we did. Loved it!! There’s only one ABBA song that I love that wasn’t in the movie, and I understand why–it doesn’t fit. But I was singing along with all the songs and having to restrain myself from getting up and dancing.  I loved the sly allusion to the Greek chorus. I loved all the village women throwing down whatever they were working on to go dance along with the Dynamos and be dancing queens.

Okay, yeah, I cried during at least half of it, but I’ve been crying all day and it’s nothing against the movie.  Every now and then the knowledge that I do not and will not have children just gets into me and twists my guts inside out. I’ve already reflected today about how joyously happy I am for one of my friends who is most likely pregnant, but how at the same time I feel that wrench inside for myself. So during the movie I was enjoying the mother-daughter interaction while at the same time wishing desperately that I could understand that from the mother’s perspective. My two children never lived longer than a few days inside my body. I never got to hold them, to look into their eyes, laugh with them or weep with them. None of that. And I’m usually okay, but on days like today when my emotions are all over the place, it hurts.

I’m home now, and took my meds early, including a sleeping pill, so I’m hoping for a good night’s rest. I wish you all bundles and bushels of joy.

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Movie Night

So after last night’s stressful evening at the movies (I had to come home and wach Narnia so I could relax enough to go to sleep), I slept in a bit this morning. And then ran the usual Saturday errands–grocery store, get a prescription filled, etc.–before coming back home and watching some documentaries.

Tonight was movie night with my sisters. The incomparable Izzybella hosted, and Elle and Jehara were there. The movie was Penelope, starring Christina Ricci and the beautiful James McEvoy. It was utterly delightful. I don’t want to say too much about it lest I spoil it for someone who’s planning to see it. And if you weren’t planning to see it, you might want to rethink your position. It’s a charming modern fairy tale. The sets and costume and makeup are just delectable.

And if you think I’m exaggerating the depths of my love for the movie, I will tell you that I had to stop at Target on my way home to pick up some nylons. I bought the DVD. Yeah, it’s that good.

It’s always nice spending time with  my sisters, too. We played a brief round of who would you do, which is always entertaining. And we made Elle blush, again, always entertaining. 

Poor Baxter is just skin and bones. He’s lost so much weight it’s a little scary. He still seems cheerful, though, and it was nice to get to spend some time with him. He’s such a sweet dog.

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Not For Me

I know this is an unpopular opinion. I hated the new Batman movie. Hated it. Hated it with the fire of ten thousand suns.

Objectively I can stand back a bit and tell you that the acting was brilliant. It was. Heath Ledger’s performance was incredible.

It was such a painful movie to watch, so full of darkness. And I need more light than that.

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