Consumables #55


Movies!
Do we still think Jude Law is cute? Like, as a society? Because I can’t remember if we’re still supposed to be thinking that. Anyway. There were fights and chases and explosions and I liked how Holmes and Watson were sort of in love with each other. They even get to partner dance with each other and it warmed my heart.

There was nothing that I wanted more at a certain time in my life than to live inside the Muppet Show. This movie made me want that again. I want to wear Amy Adams’ rainbow outfits and sing in production numbers about how life is a happy song with Rolf’s floppy ears going crazy and Gonzo and his weird chicken lovers and Kermit somehow always being so frigging poignant and why can’t I do it, WHYYYYY.

There is a thing that happens in lots of kids’ movies which I call the “whoaaaaaaa” moment. It’s when a chase is happening, or someone falls off something, or slides down a chute, or is in a car or plane or train that goes out of control, and the character goes “whoa!” for about 10 seconds. The whoa moment is everywhere now, and I find it irritating because I am old and crotchety. Hugo is a beautiful film that is heartfelt and suspenseful and does not have ONE whoa moment. Not one! This gives it points in my book based on that alone. Even with that aside, I thought it was lovely. Good job, Mr. Scorsese. And you didn’t even have to have Joe Pesci show up to put the beat down on anyone.

Christmas Carol times two
After reading a Christmas Carol again this year, I felt like watching a couple of movie versions. First, we watched the 1938 version starring Reginald Owen. Then we watched the Muppet version with Michael Caine. Both were worth seeing, but I shall warn you that Michael Caine is made to sing in his version which probably could have gone undone.

I basically half-watched this while doing other things. 50% of my attention was still too much.

I could see some people finding this movie completely annoying, but I didn’t. I thought it funny and it made me want to take a foodie road trip through England. There was a scene where Steve Coogan is running across some step stones in a river, and gets stuck in the middle, and Rob Brydon yells to him from shore: “Oh no! You’re stuck in a metaphor!” That cracked me right up for days.

I liked that this wasn’t an idealized portrayal of Charles and Ray. For fans of their work, there is plenty of eye candy, but I wished there was a little more depth in the description of their processes.

TeeVee!
It kind of amazes me that this is so popular everywhere. I get so much glee from it because I live in the Pacific Northwest. I mean, I think it’s funny anyway, but it’s just that extra something-something if you live here.

A spinoff/prequel of Battlestar Galactica, which I should have watched a long time ago but I was kind of mad about how BG ended. So I finally got around to this one, and it was ok, but not a barnburner, entertainment-wise.

Books!
Karma, by Cathy Osterle
I give this one points for an exciting plot that will keep people turning pages, and for tackling a specific time and place in history that is hard to find in teen lit: the time period during the time that Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated and the riots that followed. Ultimately, I found it disappointing that the characters were so stereotypical, and that all of the Indian population, with only one or two exceptions, were portrayed as a cruel people, prone to terrorism at worst and apathy at best as a whole.

Every Me, Every You, by David Levithan
I know this title is taken from a Placebo song, but every time I picked it up for some reason I couldn’t help singing “Knowing Me, Knowing You” by Abba instead. The good news is, every time I sang the words “Knowing me, knowing you,” Nordic Boy would pipe in with the “uh huh” part. Oh, you wanted to hear about the book? Silly me. I have read a lot of teen books, but this one tops my list of one of the most emo ones I have read. So just prepare yourself for that. I did like the mix of photos and text though.

The White Tiger, by Aravind Adiga
The setting and the point of this book are both not anything new, but what makes it a great read is the character of Balram, the confessor who is telling the story of his crime. He is maddening and sympathetic, funny and scary, and his point of view carried the whole thing for me.

Music!
Here is some advice from me to you about combining two activities: cooking and dancing. Nordic Boy and I are great cooking/dance party enthusiasts, and I realized that the best songs for this are ones that have calm moments where you can concentrate on the recipe you are following, etc. But then they have to bust out with a ramp up section where you can kick up a serious groove for a minute. The song that came up on Pandora that really brought this home for me was that Usher song “Without You.” Tell me you can’t listen to this and know when it is time to measure your ingredients and when it’s time to throw your hands up and shake the bootango.


Happy Friday!

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