Monthly Archives: December 2008

Merry Christmas!

What a fantastic Christmas! I only asked for one thing (the Murnau, Borzage, and Fox box set). I got it, but my mom has this guilt thing where if there aren’t a lot of presents under the tree, she thinks she’s a bad mother. So she bought a lot of other stuff. I got the beautiful Cinemania 2009 calendar. A penguin stuffed animal to add to the millions of tiny stuffed animals that cover my desk. Some Jolly Rancher lip gloss (which is pretty cool, but apparently mom thinks I’m still 12). $25 of Regal Theaters gift cards. Candy (love, love, love Jelly Bellys). Pajamas (adorable pink ones with penguins all over). A few rings. A watch (a brown one, to go with my brown clothes, of which I have a lot. I’ve been wanting a brown watch for a long time). An electric blanket (which is amazing to have, especially when I wake up in the morning). And electric ice scraper for my car (I love it. When we had the ice storm, it took me nearly an hour to scrape the ice off, so this is a wonderful thoughtful gift. And my brother got me season 4 of Lost, which is spectacular.

I love Christmas. We always do a tiny Christmas Eve thing when my uncle and my parents’ best friend comes over, and we just hang out and talk. We’re one of those families that gets up at 7am to open presents. I didn’t take my sleeping medication until 1 am last night, when out guests left, so when my mom came to wake me up at 7 it was so hard to wake up.

Pretty soon we’re going to head over to my brother’s apartment for Christmas dinner with them and his wife’s mother and brother. I love seeing everyone, but I kind of don’t want to go the apartment because we just spent five days there when our power was out.

But we got the best Christmas gift of all when our power was restored on Tuesday. As soon as I got out of work, my mom and I loaded up the car and brought all our stuff home. It’s amazing how much crap we brought to that little apartment. The whole back seat and the trunk was filled with our crap. We spent Tuesday night putting the house back together so we could have our holiday festivites. And my cats did not freeze to death.

I have Christmas with Grandma on Sunday, so I’ll get a few more gifts. And I usually get money from other family members (and I already got ten from my grandpa and step-grandma). So, YAY!, I’ll have money to order those two Richard Widmark movies I couldn’t find (Night and the City and Don’t Bother to Knock).

This was just an amazing Christmas. Anybody else get some awesome gifts and have Christmas fun with the family?

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New Banner

I was so upset about the power outage that I totally forgot to pimp out my kick ass new banner.

Yeah. Richard Widmark. Pickup on South Street. It’s making you a little weak in the knees, isn’t it? Yeah, that’s the awesome. The awesome is radiating from the banner and it’s infecting you with awesome.

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Something Rotten In the State of Fort Wayne

A sort of update on the “not having power” thing. Yes, on Sunday they told us Wednesday at 6 pm. I’ve been checking the website everyday to check our status. And every single day it’s said that the complaint was reported on December 19th. My mom has been calling every day, and it’s still always said Dec. 19th. She called again this morning, as usual. And now they’re telling her we might not have power until Friday. And when I checked the site, it now says that the complaint was reported on Dec. 23rd, not Dec. 19th.

So, yeah, AEP pretty much sucks and is kind of screwing us over. Thanks for ruining Christmas, AEP.

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Without Power Until Christmas Eve

I’m sure a great deal of you are aware of the horrible weather that hit the Midwest last week. Fort Wayne seemed to bear the worst of it. Not inches and inches of snow, but a horrible ice storm that knocked out the power through most of the town.

We’ve been staying with my brother and his wife in their apartment downtown. Downtown seems to be the only spot in town where the power was never knocked out.

My mom called as soon as the power was knocked out on Friday morning. We were told the power would be back on on Sunday. So we packed up and came here. On Friday night, the power was back on in the rest of our neighborhood. But a tree limb had taken out the power line in our back yard. So we were still left without power.

This is the third time in six months that a limb has taken out that power line. Last time, my dad asked them to attach it to the powerlines in the front of the house. The back year has a lot of tree in it, and as long as the power line is hooked up through the back, tress will be falling on it. They didn’t listen, and just hooked it up through the back again. If they had done what we asked in the first place, we would have power right now.

We got an automated call this morning on my mom’s phone asking us if we had power. Our hopes got all high, my dad went to check. Still no power. My mom called the power company.

They won’t get to us until Christmas Eve.

So, merry frakking Christmas.

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SAG Nominations!

It’s looking more and more likely that The Dark Knight will not be getting a Best Picture nomination at the Academy Awards (I can still hope though). The Golden Globes and the Screen Actors Guild Awards are the biggest forecasters of the Oscars. As we all already know from my previous post, The Dark Knight did not garner a nomination in BEST PICTURE DRAMA. It also failed to garner a SAG nomination in BEST ENSEMBLE – the guild’s equivilant to BEST PICTURE. The critics are bestowing their love upon it, but it looks like the industry isn’t.

So let’s take a look at the SAG nominees for BEST ENSEMBLE…

Doubt
Frost/Nixon
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Slumdog Millionaire
Milk

Compared to the Globe’s Drama nominees, Doubt and Milk take the place of Revolutionary Road and The Reader. I’m predicting (….I really get nervous predicting these things…) that Revolutionary Road will get the nod over Doubt, but that Milk will get in over The Reader. The most exciting thing about this season is that there still isn’t a clear front runner for who’s going to win. 

So…. SAGs for Actor….

Richard Jenkins, The Visitor
Frank  Langella, Frost/Nixon
Sean Penn, Milk
Brad Pitt, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler

Richard Jenkins makes a late surge here, overtaking Leonardo DiCaprio’s Revolutionary Road nod at the Globes. I’m really, REALLY hoping that this is the year Leo finally wins his Oscar, so I’m hoping that he makes it into the final five. And I think of these five, Jenkins is the only one who might not get into the Oscar circle. 

Actress time…

Anne Hathaway, Rachel Getting Married
Angelina Jolie, Changeling
Melissa Leo, Frozen River
Meryl Streep, Doubt
Kate Winslet, Revolutionary Road

Melissa Leo overtakes I’ve Loved You So Long‘s Kristin Scott Thomas, who got the Globe nod. I really think that Leo will end up in the final five at the Oscars over Scott Thomas. I’m betting these are going to be Oscar’s five. And I’m betting Hathaway takes the award, though I’m REALLY hoping Winslet finally wins. Though she might have a shot with The Reader too.

Onto Supporting Actor…

Josh Brolin, Milk
Robert Downey, Jr, Tropic Thunder
Phillip Seymore Hoffman, Doubt
Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight
Dev Patel, Slumdog Millionaire

These noms are pretty different from the Globe nods. Hoffman, Ledger, and Downey all recieved nods in both. Patel and Brolin are the newbs here, replacing Tom Cruise in Tropic Thunder and Ralph Fiennes in The Duchess. Brolin’s nod here was expected considering most were baffled by his absence on the Globe’s list, and I bet he makes it into the final five come Oscar time. Dev Patel is the wild card here. Most are arguing he doesn’t belong in this category, but in the lead category. It’s very possible he won’t get nominated at the Oscars, leaving that fifth spot wide open, because neither Fiennes nor Cruise are locks. And it’s looking like Ledger will probably win the Oscar. He’s taking nearly all the pre-cursor wins so far.

And Supporting Actress….

Amy Adams, Doubt
Penelope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Viola Davis, Doubt
Taraji P. Henson, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Kate Winslet, The Reader

The Supporting Actress race is usually the most interesting race of Oscar night. Lots of unknowns mixing in with past nominees, the winner is often hard to guess. And it’s also often hard to guess who the final Oscar nominees will be. Tarji P. Henson got the SAG nod over Marisa Tomei in The Wrestler (who got the Globe nod). They’re both getting equal attention from the critics, so either of them could be the fifth. And don’t count out Rosemarie DeWitt in Rachel Getting Married. The winner here is even more unsure. This could be where Winslet takes the Oscar (God, I want her to have an Oscar so bad). But it’s such a wide open category. I just really hope Amy Adams does get nominated so I can call her a two time Oscar nominee. Because Amy Adams is amazing.

And the Oscar anticipation just keeps on growing. 

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Judgment at Nuremberg (and other Richard Widmark goodness)

I started writing this for Obscure Classics, and then I realized that this movie really isn’t an obscure classic, so I guess this is the place for it.

Yesterday I went to Aeropostale to exchange a sweater my boss got me for Christmas. It was several sizes too small. Unfortunately, they didn’t have the sweater in my size, so I had to buy a different one. There was a massive sale, so I got money back.

With that left over money, I was dead set on buying some Richard Widmark movies. He’s one of my very favorite actors, but when he died I realized I only had one of his movies on DVD – No Way Out. The week of his death I went out an bought Pickup on South Street (amazing movie, and great Criterion DVD). That was several months ago, and I hadn’t really had the spare cash to buy more since. So this was a pretty exciting thing.

I initally had my heart set on Night and the City (Criterion) and Don’t Bother to Knock.  I headed over to Barnes and Noble (both Aeropostale and B&N are in the mall). Barnes and Noble awesomely has their Criterion DVDs in their own section, so I went there to look for Night and the City, which they did not have. I then looked for Don’t Bother To Knock. Also didn’t have this one. So then I decided to just look for any Richard Widmark movies. The Street With No Name, Kiss of Death, Roadhouse, Panic in the Street. They had NOTHING. The only Richard Widmark movie they had was Pickup on South Street. Which I already own.

I then decide to go to Suncoast (also in the mall), which was worse. They didn’t have a single Widmark movie.

So I get my lunch to go, leave the mall, and go to Borders just down the street. God, I love Borders. They have an amazing DVD selection. I can always find something there I can’t find anywhere else. And they also have computers throughout the store, like the library, so you can see if they have what your looking for.

Sadly, they had neither Don’t Bother to Knock not Night and the City. But they did have several others. After debating for a long while which two to get, I settled on Panic in the Street and Judgment at Nuremberg. Both films that I have already seen and loved.

It has been awhile since I watched Judgment at Nuremberg. With Fringe on winter hiatus, I had nothing at all to watch last night, so I popped this into the DVD player. I was going to just us it as background noise while I played The Sims. But twenty minutes in my full attention was on the movie.

It’s simply fascinating. One of the most involving movies ever. And I’m not sure why. I generally find courtroom dramas like this to be completely compelling (Anatomy of a Murder and Witness for the Prosecution are to other films that are endlessly fascinating), which is strange because it’s mostly just people sitting and talking. They’re repeating information, and we never get to see the actions of this information. But it’s still incredibly captivating to me.

Judgment at Nuremberg is very interesting and captivating. It’s over 3 hours long, but it doesn’t feel like it at all. It’s so well paced and put together, it’s just utterly fascinating. And it’s filled with AMAZING performaces. It’s has an all-star cast (Spencer Tracy, Richard Widmark, Burt Lancaster, Montgomery Clift, Marlene Dietrich, Judy Garland, Maximilian Schell). All of them give top notch performances which are among the best of their careers. Spencer Tracy, Judy Garland, and Montgomery Clift were all nominated for Oscars, and Maximilian Schell won Best Actor for his performance. They are passionate and heartbreaking performances.

Montgomery Clift has only one scene, but it’s a moment of truly brilliant acting. He plays Rudolph Peterson, a mentally incompetent man who was sterilized by the Nazi party. His testimony is one of the most emotional scenes in the film. It’s completely heart shattering. The moment when he takes out the picture of his mother just kills me.

Judy Garland has only a few scenes herself, but she too gives an incredible performance as a woman who was wrongly convicted of perjury. Clift and Garland give faces to the ordinary people who were horribly wronged by what was seen as just law during the Nazi regime, and it’s very moving.

Maximilian Schell and Richard Widmark are also phenomenal. Schell is the counsel for the Nazi defendents, while Widmark is the American prosecutor. Both actors portray their characters and the passion they had for their respective causes and ideals perfectly. Both characters are given their strengths and faults as people. Neither comes off as a villain or as a hero. They are just regular people trying desperately to achieve what they believe is just and right.

Judgment at Nuremberg is a truly fantastic film.

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There’s Nothing Like a Sick Day

Yes, being sick really sucks. It’s something I’ve become used to over the years with an immune system that’s about as illness-proof as New Orleans is hurricane-proof. But when you were a kid, still in school, as horrible as feeling like complete shit was, it was still a day off. You may have felt horrible, but it was still a day to catch up on soap operas and play Chrono Cross until your thumbs cramped up.

Sick days aren’t as awesome when you’re an adult with a job, and when you call in on a Saturday your boss gets pissy with you, as though you’re last sick day wasn’t six frakking months ago, and as if you hadn’t take only TWO personal days in the entire year (for your brother’s wedding). Unless she’d rather I come into the store with a stomach flu and puke all over the customers and merchandise.

But, anyhoo, even with the added stresses of being an adult, there’s still something nice about a sick day. After you’ve puked all you can puke, and slept away most of the day, there’s that return to childhood. So what have I done with my day, after the puking out of guts and sleeping like a dead person?

Well, I caught up with my trashy soap operas. Yes, on a Saturday. Thank you soapnet. And with soapnet, that means more than just daytime soaps like General Hospital and One Life to Live (though they still don’t have my precious Guiding Light 😦 ) I also get to catch up on past seasons of One Tree Hill and 90210. I love you soapnet.

When I was in high school, sick days meant breaking out the West Wing tapes (usually season 2). Now I have all the season on DVD. I watched an episode of season 2 (Galileo has been my sick day go-to since 8th grade. That makes me feel a little old), but I get West Wing every single morning on Bravo now, so it didn’t seem quite as special. Which meant the Firefly DVDs came out. And that show is like crack. I can never just watch one episode. Before I know it, an entire disc has been watched, and I’m craving even more.

I also like watching movies I own that I don’t watch too often. I watch my DVD collection a lot. Whether it’s sitting down to seriously watch a movie, or just having something on in the background, I usually go through at least three movies a day. And while all of the movies in my collection do get rewatches, there’s s a handful that, for whatever reason, gets don’t get rewatched so frequently. So I break one of those out on the sick days. Today, that movie was The Phantom of the Opera. The musical. Parts of it are glorious. Parts of it are a glorious trainwreck. And I lurve it.

Then I just like to look at my Marvel trading cards. I have a complete collection of 1991, and a nearly complete collection of 1992 Marvel Universe cards in near perfect condition. And sometimes, I just like to look at them. Nothing wrong with that.

Then I dive into more comic goodness. Today I read some Watchmen (but I’ve been re-reading it, so that’s no different than any other day). Then I decided to dive into Sandman’s The Kindly Ones. That book is kind of gloriously epic, so I didn’t finish it. But I put a dent into it. And then I read Sin City’s Family Values, one of my favorite of the Sin City books, and probably the fastest read.

And then that brings me here, updating my blog. Good times.

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