Domestica: “Balmy Days, Sweet Sangria…”

As summer continues to scorch us, I am drawn, as always, to the fruitier alcoholic beverages.  One of my absolute favourites is sangria.

If you’ve never had sangria, the easiest way to describe it is “wine+fruit juices/pieces”.  Oversimplified, but it conveys the vibe of the drink.  Not only is it a way to drink many glasses without becoming ridiculously drunk early in the evening, it’s also incredibly tasty and refreshing.  Extra bonus:  it’s my favourite way to get rid of wine leftover from a day or two ago –  you know, when it’s still good but you can tell it’s not quite the same as it was when you opened it?

Life Hack has 11 recipes for sangria variants and all of them are making me thirsty.  Each has its own spin, allowing for you to choose the sangria that suits your mood.  Enjoy!

Starving students:  Got a half bottle of wine leftover from Friday?  Unable to hit the store or find fresh fruit, but craving a fix?  Sunday brunch it, half-assed and tasty.  Blend the wine on a 1:1 ratio with any fruit juice you have handy.  Fruitopia, Crystal Light (acai white peach flavour works well), anything berry-ish.  You end up with a fruity alcoholic drink that stretches the wine out for sharing.

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DVD Blog-entary: The Breakfast Club

While I may have come away only half-impressed by the John Hughes documentary Don’t You Forget About Me (and also embarrassed that people from my city thought stalking a film director wise), the one thing their film properly conveys is the love for and universal appeal of the man’s films.  My sister, for example, is thirteen years younger and she loves these films as much as I do.  My parents allowed me to watch them as a small child right when they came out, and I credit their relaxed attitude to pop culture (this flick is rated R; I was maybe 7 years old) as the reason for my enthusiasm and diversity in tastes, as well as being a pretty well-adjusted teen.  I didn’t drink much as a teen; I was allowed at home, anyway.  I didn’t smoke.  I didn’t do drugs.  I feared pregnancy enough to leave full-on sex for university (not that I was that old, entering frosh year at 17).  You get the picture though:  I had fun, did some not-so-great things the parentals know nothing of, but I ultimately made decent choices and valued the things that truly matter:  education (book and street smarts), music, friendship and enjoying life as much as possible.

I honestly can’t remember which film I saw first (I think it was Ferris Bueller’s Day Off but it could be The Breakfast Club) but this is the one that is forever my favourite.  I never get tired of it.  I spent three months straight watching it before bed each night during a wicked run of insomnia.  I often list it as a go-to film.  What makes it so magical?  The honesty.  The language of youth.  The music.  The acknowledgement of the generation gap between teens and teachers.  The fact that each of us can relate to at least one character (I relate to all of them, one way or another).   Most importantly, look at this film:  no special effects, no action sequences, no real change of scenery.  This it literally a film set in a library and it is held up strictly by dialogue and pitch-perfect acting.

Seriously, you’re dead to me if you don’t at least like this film.  Because to me, that means you have no heart.  Like Allison says, you’ve grown up and your heart has died.

Without further accolades, let’s dive in to one of my top ten flicks of all time, The Breakfast Club.

Press Play

  • Yesssssss…..  Simple Minds.  The band that didn’t initially want to do this iconic tune, namely because the original lyrics kinda sucked.  They changed the verses and added the la-la outro riffs and music history was made.  I cannot hear this song without seeing the end of this movie.  Impossible.
  • And then, more music awesome:

  • Trivia:  for years, I confused Anthony Michael Hall with Anthony Rapp’s performance in Adventures In Babysitting…  I figured it out in my late teens.  Oops!
  • I love that this film is honest.  Teens threw the word ‘fag’ around like an insult.  Hughes employs it in writing on a locker.  It’s just how the world is in the early 80s.
  • I love the intro lectures in the cars that reveal half the story in each student’s case, but leave you wondering what the hell they all did.  Bender’s my favourite, though, although I’ve lived through Brian and Andrew’s lectures.
  • In the trivia, it’s revealed that it was Judd Nelson who decided that Bender would sit “wherever Brian sits”.  This is why Judd Nelson is boss.
  • *snicker* Oh, Claire!  You belong here alright.  Sorry, Princess.
  • Okay, hands up if you’ve ever heard of 9 hours of detention.  Because I haven’t.  That’s cruelty!
  • Vernon is so evil… and yet, he’s so hilarious.  This film wouldn’t work without him.
  • And that chewing sound, ladies and gents, is Allison!  Say hello, honey!
  • Bender’s line to Allison, “I’ve seen you before, you know,” is very telling…  since no one sees Allison.  And Bender knows it’s exactly what to say to get under her skin.
  • Bwahahahaha!  Brian tried to see Bender’s package.
  • The way Vernon yells from across the hall reminds me of scolding cats.  Lazy discipline FTW!
  • I love the discussion between Bender, Claire and Andrew where he tears down their precious popularity and belief that they’re great! decent! people! and he’s the problem.
  • Brian is so cute, babbling his academic clubs.  I was a high school Math tutor.  Props.
  • “So it’s sorta social.  Demented and sad, but social.”
  • The first half of this film is Bender deconstructing the social hierarchy and establishing their commonalities.  And Brian is loving it, jumping in to jeer at Andrew wearing tights.
  • The first test of loyalty lines:  Bender yanks the screw and waits to see if anyone rats him out.  Of course, no one does, because no matter how much they may dislike each other, they dislike authority more.

  • “She doesn’t talk sir!”  *squeak*
  • I don’t think Bender’s had such fun in detention.
  • The infamous “Eat my shorts!” banter…  I’ve had this discussion with my mother far too many times – well, before I cut her out of my life.  Sometimes, acting like you don’t care is the only weapon left with irrational people.  Especially irrational people who say “cracking skulls” often enough to be predictable.

  • Claire’s wetting herself watching Bender; Brian’s popping a boner for her.  Oh, what a triangle!
  • I love Allison, but seriously honey, HEAD AND SHOULDERS!

  • Barely 90 minutes in and they’re all passed out.  Nice.
  • Bwahahaha.  “Ha!” Allison is awesome.  But Bender’s “STFU Andrew” snark is even better.
  • Brian, really?  You REALLY think you can break up a wrestler and a tough guy?
  • “Dork, you are a parent’s wet dream, okay?”
  • Dude, do NOT call Claire fat!

  • Sexual harassment:  apparently, it’s the way to her heart.  I love that no one intervenes, including tough guy Andrew, until she’s super uncomfortable.
  • Brian’s face as he watches Bender and Andrew fight is awesome.  He’s like a little child watching his parents fight.
  • …. And no one notices Allison steal the knife.  Which we never see her give back.
  • “I’m trying to help her.”  The funny thing is, Bender means it.  He’s trying to get her to stop being pretentious and just be real.
  • The janitor is my hero and he is NOT LYING.  In my high school, my one friend who was seriously screwed in the head flirted with the janitors… and in their office, she saw that they had discarded letters and photos they’d picked from the garbage.  Pictures of teen girls and their notes.  And somehow, no1curr.

  • “I’ve seen her dehydrate sir.  It’s pretty gross.”  LOLZ.  What does that even mean?
  • “What do you drink?”  “Vodka.”  Allison’s pathological lying is awesome.
  • “His nuts would ride shotgun.”  DEAD
  • Niagara Falls.  LOLZ.  Canadian side props.
  • Lunch time!  I love that when this film was made, sushi was…. WTF?  Now, you can buy it to-go in every damn supermarket and in the food court of a mall.

  • The twisty fingers of the Brian impression that Bender does…  I can’t.  I die every time.  “Aww, but I have homework to do!”  “That’s alright son, you can do it on the boat!”  “Gee!”
  • “Shut up bitch!  Go fix me a turkey pot pie!”  And this would be where the ‘get in the kitchen’ jokes come from…
  • I wanna give Bender a hug.  He finally tells a little something about himself and they all think, “Wow.  Maybe we suck.”
  • Oh snap!  Breaking da’ law!

  • Claire is sooooo excited.  Because my God, she wants to be bad!  Followers, the lot of them.  The funny thing is, Allison is only following to watch them.

  • Allison’s look at Bender is adorable… Because I’m betting she knows they’re going the wrong way too and she doesn’t want Bender to screw them over.

  • Yup.  Screwed.
  • Vernon, you need to hit the gym, dude!
  • Um, where did the random white sneaker come from?
  • Vernon reaches for something Bender would care about…. “What if your dope was on fire?”
  • He’s not lying.  It’s in Brian’s underwear!
  • *snort*  $31K is apparently a fortune in the 80s.
  • You sir are scaring Bender and you are a coward for threatening a powerless teenager.  Go away now.  Boo!
  • I’m very bitter that the joke in the vent system was entirely made up and had no actual punchline.
  • The toilet seat cover…. perfection.

  • Wanna git high?  I think these kids do….  I’m a Brian-Bender combo when I *ahem* partake.

  • Again, the janitor knows all and is utterly amazing.
  • I love the purse/wallet swapping… I also love the unwrapped tampons that fall out of Allison’s bag.
  • Afghanistan, Allison?  Really?  No, sweetie.  No no.
  • Aww, look.  Andrew cares.  Bonding via being ignored.
  • “The kids haven’t changed.  You have.”  Ding ding ding!  The message to all adults watching the movie.
  • Truth or dare sharesies time!
  • The nymphomaniac part… I love this.  I love how Allison turns gender norms on their ass.
  • The ridiculousness of what Andrew did is what makes the story realistic.  I mean, our high school allowed seniors to duct tape grade nines to the walls during the welcome breakfast.  Authorized, supervised initiation.

  • This is the mantra of every teenager.  Even the most confident and content ones have that moment where they look in the mirror… and aren’t happy.
  • For the record:  I can make spaghetti, pick things up with my toes, probably tape your asses together and yes, I have actually tried and succeeded at applying lipstick with my breasts.  I’m shocked Molly manages without serious cleavage.

  • The one part of the movie I don’t get is Bender tearing Claire apart at this point.  I know it’s a means of pushing her away because he’s afraid of her, but still…  irks me a little.
  • Y’know, you don’t hate him.  I mean, you should be angry, but hey, we all know you’re gonna get with him.
  • I love Brian cursing out Claire.  And then I wanna cuddle him when he cries.  How can you not?  The poor guy… God.  I understand.  I grew up with parents like his.  Pressure happens to everyone… There is no easy life.  No easy circumstances.
  • Allison…. best answer.  “Nothing.  I didn’t have anything better to do.”
  • Alright, enough with the heavy.  Let’s dance!

  • And then, they take advantage of the nerd.  Assholes. LOL.
  • Allison looked better gothy.  Also, EW!  Bender used that brush on his teeth and now you’re putting it on Allison’s eyebrows?
  • No fair!  Brian doesn’t get a girl AND he does homework.
  • The janitor totes wants to get the dirty details from Bender next week.
  • And they’re free!  FREEEEEEEEEEEEE!

Fuck yeah!  Damn the man!  Er… that’s another movie.  One I’ll eventually Blog-entary.

A little less pic-tastic, because this movie is simply too… meaningful to spam.  Well, not TOO much spamming, anyway.  Tune in next week when I take on another Hughes film.  Which one?  I’ll never tell!

Sincerely yours,

Butterflies and Hurricanes

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Domestica: Cheap and Tasty Korean Chicken Recipe

When you’re on a budget, food can get pretty boring.  You find yourself eating the same thing over and over again, to the point where eating becomes a chore.  Not cool.

In the spirit of budgets, here’s a recipe I was given six years ago, passed on from a soldier’s son.  He’d picked it up from locals while over in Vietnam.  The ingredients are pretty basic, but the end result is uber tasty.

AMBER’S SOOPER-SEKRIT KOREAN CHICKEN RECIPE

Take one to two bottles of low sodium soy sauce (one works fine up to four large breasts; low sodium is CRUCIAL), a teaspoon of crushed red pepper, one medium onion (chopped), one clove of garlic (finely chopped) and half a stick of butter or margarine (unsalted is best – the soy has plenty of salt).  Combine in a medium pot.

Bring the sauce to a boil and then simmer for at least ten minutes so that the onion and garlic pieces become tender.

Take a baking dish and put in thawed boneless chicken breasts. Pour the sauce over the chicken breasts once it’s finished simmering. The simmering sauce will cook the outside of the chicken a bit and that’s fine.

Place in fridge and let it marinate from an hour to overnight. I suggest and recommend overnight cause the longer it’s marinated, the better.  I’ve found that at least two hours works best.

Now you can either grill the chicken breasts and use the leftover sauce to baste or you can place the baking dish in the oven and cook at around 300 to 350 degrees til the chicken breasts are cooked all the way through. Cooking time depends on how many
breasts are being prepared. I’ve always baked the dish personally, but my recipe source has grilled in the past.

Voila!  Serve with rice or salad.  I often chop the baked breasts up and serve it stir-fry style.

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DVD Blog-entary: Labyrinth

Hello, Blog-entary fans (or random blog visitors)! It’s Friday, which means it’s blog-entary day.  What’s that, you ask?  Simply put, I watch a movie and type whatever nonsense thoughts and trivia come into my head, perhaps slap in some GIF-spam and call it a post.  You watch along, or just snark along.  Easy, right?

This week, since Footloose was so much fun, I’ve gone with another nostalgic favourite:  Labyrinth.

Also known as the movie that starred David Bowie’s package or the movie that made us all lust for/want to be him, Labyrinth is one of the films I’ve seen at least a hundred times.  It never gets old, and it’s not simply because Bowie is insanely hot in leather pants.  Who doesn’t relate to wanting to escape life?  Who actually enjoys babysitting their siblings?  Wicked stepmother?  A classic!  The music is fun and it features Jim Henson creations.  Really, what more do you need?

Grab a drink or two, grab a snack perhaps, and settle in as I watch a timeless tale of dangers untold and Goblin City.

Press Play

  • Our story begins, like Harry Potter, with an owl…. named Hedwig.  Okay, I’m making that up, but since Hedwig is pretty fucking awesome, the owl that is Jareth is now Hedwig.

  • God, how intelligent were these filmmakers?  Not only did they cast Bowie, but they let him write and sing all the songs.  Mrrowr!  (What?  I have an unnatural love of Bowie in this movie.  Get used to it – and his balls.  The glass ones, pervs.)
  • Frolicking baby Jennifer Connelly is so ridiculously young.  She looks like an extra from a Florence + The Machine video, which makes her fashion forward and awesome.
  • Oh crap!  You’re late for baby slave duty!  Run, Sarah!  Run so we can have a rainy montage to more Bowie!
  • I love how Sarah gives no fucks about running through people’s yards.
  • Bitch!  God, her stepmother even has the cliche french twist.  She’s also a cow for sending the dog into the garage.  Why do you have pets if you don’t want to care for them properly?
  • Anthem cry of all teens:  “I can’t do anything right, can I?”
  • Stepmommy, maybe she treats you like a fairy story character because her entire room is decked out in freaking fantasy paraphernalia?
  • God, she is so whiny!  She hates it when they talk to her, she hates when they don’t, she hates babysitting because it interferes with the dates she doesn’t have because she’s actually DJ Tanner (I mean, check the clothes now:  Full House, baby!).

  • Denial, Candace.  Moving on.  Why is this baby dressed like Waldo?

  • You know, this story isn’t impressing Toby.  Maybe read him some quality writing *snort* like Fifty Shades of Grey *flails and dies at association of “quality” and “Fifty Shades Of Failtastic Fanfiction”.

  • Wish it, girl!  Hedwig-Jareth is listening!
  • Seriously?  Aren’t you a fan of this damn play?  Get the lines right, you failed actress-to-be.
  • God, even the goblins think you’re dense.
  • Maybe this kid is colicky.  Maybe you should drug him.
  • And with a magic click of the light switch, bye-bye baby!
  • Yeah, the baby’s going to just answer your question.  “I’m not crying because a dude with a huge package picked me up and took me home.”
  • Hedwig!  Yeah!
  • Man, she sucks at observation!  How do her parents trust her to watch her navel lint, never mind a baby?
  • Sparkling!Bowie arrives, and the swooning begins.  “Go to your room and play with your toys.  I wanna watch.”

  • Why is she crying over the baby now?  Like, crocodile tears much?
  • Half these goblins look like deranged chihuahuas.
  • “Oh fine!  Here, try and solve it since you won’t be my Lolita!”

  • “It doesn’t look that hard.”  That’s what she said.
  • Bwahahaha:  and after a grown man pervs on a teenager, we meet Hoggle, who’s taking a leak.  This movie is great children’s fare!

  • “Oh, excuse me!”  *shake dry*  “Hello, baby!  I’d love to help you, but I’m busy killing Tinkerbell’s cranky sisters.”
  • The running gag with everyone butchering poor Hoggle’s name is awesome.  It’s not even a hard name.  First pun:  Horrible.
  • Again, it’s not that hard but she couldn’t find the door.  Uh huh.  Sarah, you talk a lot of smack.
  • Name two:  Hogwart.  And with that, she steps into the labyrinth to chase down the baby she wished away. Because she loves him now, or something.
  • You can tell Jareth is GLAMOROUS! because even the trees sparkle in this place.
  • Next, Sarah meets a British worm, who of course does what anyone with a British accent would do:

  • The best part of this sequence is that Sarah the know-it-all doesn’t bother to ask why.  Why should she go this way and not that way?  Why does she rush off?  It makes me laugh every time she screws herself into the long way to the castle.
  • I love her lipstick arrows.  It’s actually clever, aside from the whole unfair spinning tiles courtesy of the goblins.
  • And now, the very best part of the whole damn movie:  Magic Dance.  You know what that means, right?  Dance, everyone!

  • After our dance interlude, Sarah throws another temper tantrum about the unfairness of a villain’s labyrinth, tries to solve a riddle and fails, and falls into an oubliette.  You go, girl!
  • Hoggle gets sent to trick her into heading back to the beginning.  It’s hilarious since he obviously has a boner for Sarah (are pretty girls rare in this kingdom or what?) and yet, he reluctantly tries to be evil.  Instead, he starts helping her, acting all concerned and caring…
  • I love the false alarms, especially the one that begs to say his line because it’s been so long.
  • And then, Jareth appears.  He’s not happy that Hoggle is macking on his woman and wearing her class pin bracelet.  You can tell he’s not happy because his package is in plain sight but not… hard.

  • Name three:  Hedgewart.  Bwahahaha.  Dude should get a name change.
  • Of course, Sarah’s gotta be a know-it-all again and call the labyrinth a piece of cake.  “Nah nah, less hours for you, bitch!  By the way, here comes a bad-ass boulder creation to kill you.  Kisses, bye!”

  • Jareth is starting to doubt Sarah’s commitment to Sparkle Motion.
  • “Just what we need:  a ladder.”  “What for?”  “Oh, uh…. escape, yeah!”
  • Sarah is totes in the wrong.  Stealing his jewels after he took her as far as he could, just as he promised.  Y’know, this movie is non-stop testicles:  balls, jewels, Bowie’s package on display…
  • “It’s so stimulating being your hat.”
  • Oh yay!  Ludo time!  Poor beast.  He’s being attacked by Goblins with rabid living fetus critters for weapons.  Speaking of:  um, wtf?
  • Hoggle is the only one with common sense:  “She’ll never get to the centre!”  Without others leading her, she really wouldn’t ever make it.
  • Dude, even the cobwebs sparkle in Jareth’s world.

  • Speaking of Jareth, he is really not happy that all of these people keep helping this girl. They’re ruining his plans for a new goblin minion and a hot piece of ass.  But hey, he’s got a plan.  A peachy-keen one, made from his ball.  The crystal one, pervs!

“Faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahbulous!”

  • Now that we’re all sunshine and kittens, it’s time for the Fireys to show up to scare the crap out of Sarah and children alike.   This is our second dance montage, and it’s pretty awesome.  Chilly down!

  • Hoggle comes back and, of course, she kisses him in thanks, triggering Jareth’s magical promise to make him royalty of the stench variety.  At least we’re reunited with Ludo as a result.

  • Word, Ludo!   The trio manages to reach a lovely bridge, where an adorable fox named Sir Didymus awaits to be all Gandalf on their asses.

  • After some lame attempts by Hoggle to defeat the critter, Ludo picks him up and is not remotely bothered by his defenses.  However, Sarah is polite enough to grow a brain cell and simply ask permission to pass.  Access granted!  See, Jareth?  That’s all you gotta do.
  • Anyway, Ludo is friends with everyone, rocks included.  He asks his stony buddies to save them from walking in sewer water from the Middle Ages and Sarah is spared a fate worse than sex with a gym sock condom.  I’m pretty sure this bog hatched the toad that Lisa changes Chet into in Weird Science (end aside).
  • Now Sir Didymus and his steed, Ambrosius, have joined the labyrinth party. It’s an entourage for Sarah to whine at!
  • Notice how Toby is perfectly content in Jareth’s care.  He’s not a bad baby at all.  Sarah just sucks at childcare, probably because she’s an overgrown petulant toddler.
  • Hoggle caves and gives Sarah the peach and well…. it’s apparently laced with some serious hallucinogenics.

  • What does Jareth do?  Play with his balls, of course!

  • Sarah is transported to the Lolita Ball, a costume party where Jareth can mack on her all he likes while she forgets all about that stupid baby brother of hers.  He also gets to show off his package again, as well as his bedazzled jacket.

  • “O hai!  I’m the horny beast and that is not remotely a sexual innuendo because this is a family film.  Really!  Dance?”

  • “Um… should the world be spinning like this?  I can taste colours.”

  • After her horrible drug trip, she pulls a Jim Morrison and breaks on through to the other side.  She ends up in the garbage dump, which is where I’m sure at least a few drug users have ended up after a wicked ass party, and harasses a packrat goblin.  She suddenly realizes they’re kindred and Sarah is a hoarder in the making when it comes to Broadway World memorabilia and sets her up with a hunchback of junk.
  • Is it weird that I’m mildly annoyed that Sarah doesn’t put on her magic dress of Florence Welch-ness before leaving her room?  Her clothes are REALLY unappealing.
  • The something you were looking for is in Bowie’s pants!  It’s hard to miss, Sarah.
  • Oh, yeah:  the baby.  I guess you should save him
  • Hoggle realizes that the peach failed and knows that means Jareth will NOT be happy and will likely castrate him, so he rushes off to ensure Sarah wins and he gets to keep his jewels.
  • Sir Didymus is the worst knight ever.  No sense of stealth.
  • Bad ass Transformer time!  Or is it a Megazord or whatever it is the Power Rangers drive around?
  • Sarah really shouldn’t forgive Hoggle,  I don’t care if he did hijack a Megazord.
  • Welcome to the Goblin City, which is really just a slum for Smurfs, best I can tell.
  • Jareth calls out the guard…. and uh, shouldn’t the lazy bastards have been out guarding all along?  I mean sure, Sarah sucks at solving labyrinths, but why take any chances, right?
  • The Goblins fail horribly at defending the castle.  Jareth realizes that he has a staff of stupids and is very unhappy.  Why is Sarah not mesmerized by his balls?

  • The gang manages to use the magic of Ludo’s rock calls and arrives at the castle, where Sarah suddenly remembers that all of this is based on a goddamn play she reads every day and tells them, “I gotta do this on my own, peeps!  Chill here.”  Y’know, why didn’t she just remember the story and know the way through the stupid labyrinth?

So Jareth’s hidden the baby in a maze within the castle and Sarah is unamused.  It does provide Bowie with an excuse to sing a lament about Sarah’s lack of love for him (and ungrateful attitude towards his wish fulfillment efforts).

  • “Peek-a-boo!”

  • “Bitch! You suck!  You’re seriously choosing a baby over ME?  I’m DAVID BOWIE!  IN LEATHER!”
  • This is ridiculous.  A baby is outrunning you Sarah.  And now he’s suicidal and ready to jump to his death to avoid you.  He hates you, Sarah.
  • Bowie changes outfits again, going for one last assault with his package.  These pants are ridiculous.  I’m surprised Sarah can look him in the eye, never mind recite the play.  He even offers her another (crystal) ball to try and shake her gaze downward!
  • It works:  she blanks on the line again.
  • “You have no power over me!”  Oh noes!  The magic repellant!  Jareth is banished into Hedwig form and delivers Sarah and the baby home in time for parental arrival.  The baby’s finally asleep, Sarah.  Yet another favour the Goblin King did for your whiny ass.
  • Sarah packs away her preciouses and suddenly hallucinates her new BFFs in the mirror.  Who needs toys when you have LSD, right?  Party time!

And with one last reprise of Underground, we’re out with a flapping of Hedwig’s wings!

Thanks for joining me again for a musical picspam and ramble.  I try to do these every Friday, time permitting.  Hey, did you know that Toby is related to one of the filmmaker people?  Credits are informative.  ANYWAY, stay cool like Bowie and feel free to suggest future blog-entaries.  I’ll catch you later.

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DVD Blog-entary: Footloose (the original, not the unnecessary remake)

Hello!  I’ve slacked off on these, haven’t I?  What can I say:  it’s been busy over on the music blog.  As I sit here grooving to Russian Unicorn, I’m preparing to blog the hell out of one of my fave childhood flicks:  Footloose.

I can hear the soundtrack in my head already.  It was one of my favourites in the parental vinyl collection.  Kenny Loggins was the 80s soundtrack man, folks.  Don’t even try to argue.  Your points will be invalid.  Trust me.  So’s the remake of this film, which I refuse to ever see out of respect for the almighty Kevin Bacon and John Lithgow.

To help you out kids, I’ll try and add visual cues to my comments so you can play along.  Grab your DVD, load it in your player of choice and “Ev’rybody cut, ev’rybody cut!

Press Play

  • Oh, the old school Paramount logo…. nostalgia!
  • Let there be lips… er feet!  Sorry, wrong nostalgic fave.  Hell yeah, Kenny Loggins!
  • Oh my lord, mesh slip on shoes…. *shudder*  I loved a lot about the 80s, but the shoes…
  • Leg warmers!  *dead*
  • Moonwalk!  Just in case you didn’t know this was the 80s…
  • Stock footage is blatantly stock footage.

  • John Lithgow is awesome in this movie.  Remembering his role as Rev. Shawn Moore made watching him on Dexter extra delicious.
  • Kevin Bacon is not having your shit, John.
  • LOLZ, your daughter is painting her nails satanic red during your sermon.  Which, by the way, sounds like an existential crisis that should be delivered on a psychiatrist’s couch.
  • “Son, I know this is boring as fuck, but if I’ve gotta pretend to care, so do you.”
  • Gaggle of girl geese watch as the secretly pervy Ariel Moore meets dreamy Ren.  “Are you blind?  He’s gorgeous!”  (And decently endowed.  See Wild Things.)
  • “Hey dreamy trucker!  Going our way?”
  • I totally forgot Sarah Jessica Parker was in this!  She looked more human and less horse-like back then.
  • Oh, Hollywood!  Crazy girl straddling two vehicles without expert instruction is so plausible.

  • Triple facepalm for you Ariel, you go Ariel!
  • Bwahahahaha!  Irony:  they’re all terrified of Slaughterhouse Five… and I can’t make myself finish it out of boredom.  Irony two:  Tom Sawyer is a classic to them… y’know, because the racism/hatred of fellow man is right where it belongs instead of being challenged in Twain’s world.
  • Music cue:  “Dancing In The Sheets”.  Gonna have a dancing montage at the malt shop, baby!  Sexual innuendo via hot dogs and seductive lyrics.
  • Snap!  Daddy busted yo’ ass!
  • Music cue:  Metal Health (Bang Your Head).  Welcome to your first day at Bible Thumper High!  Mind the ten gallon hats.
  • LOL!  Did that girl just say, “Hrrpmh!  Girl, you are on!” or am I high?
  • Kevin Bacon is the man:  he just has to dance (with girls like Ginger) to get free brewskis.  #bigpimpin
  • Willard is the apparently SJP’s pet puppy.  Baits him with food and babytalks him.
  • Ren is horrified:  dancing?  Banned?  A plague of small towns with no dancing? It’s like the world’s taken over by the crazy mom in Detroit Rock City.
  • LMAO at the over-copped-cops pulling him over.  Whacking him with a cassette tape in the face.  Where was YouTube then, huh?

  • “Daddy?  Y U No Like Music?”
  • This scene was so much cooler when it was between Jennifer Grey and Jerry Orbach in Dirty Dancing.  Lithgow’s just too down with his Christian Rock Band secret dreams.
  • The next day, trucker moron’s back.  Cutting off poor Ren’s tiny clown car, making gay slurs.  He’s so bad-ass.  I’ve also realized it’s no wonder I picked up ‘douchebag’ at a young age – a 1984 film tossing it around that was a constant?  Indoctrination into cussing, baby.
  • Meow, Ariel!  Chuck wants to see me?  No 1 curr.  Busy working with flour, brb.
  • I love the random cuts to new scenes that vaguely translate into an advancing plot.  Now we’re at the gym, where Kevin swings on a steel rod and finds out Ariel’s a hoor.
  • Speaking of, bam!  Cut to Ariel being a hoor with Chuck, who does not support her college ambitions.  Y’know, Mr. “Slaughterhouse Five” Ren would appreciate intelligence.
  • And another cut 60 seconds later!  Tractor chicken!
  • “Wanna git high, Ariel?”
  • “Yay, Ren!”  “How’d I get myself into this?”
  • Cue the Bonnie Tyler baby, because we know this scene is an excuse for a manhood measurement that determines her love interest.  Considering Ren’s more of a “streetwise Hercules”, guess who wins her love?

  • Y’know Ariel, ALL OF YOUR FRIENDS ARE CHEERING REN.  Just a thought.
  • Bacon’s ass is filthy.  Did he crap himself?
  • SJP is like, the Charlotte to Lori Singer’s Carrie.
  • Bwahahahaha teachers trying to trap Ren with planted pot.  It’s like Glee.  Can you fight this feeling anymore, Ren?
  • The stepdad or whoever sounds like the Charlie Brown parents to me every time he’s on screen.  “Wah wah wah.”

  • Music cue:  “Never”.  Aka Ren feels the need to dance while thinking of his hormonal teen drama.  Gonna have a recap montage!  I love this movie, I do, but Ren’s dance right here looks eerily like the inspiration for this:

  • Y’know, maybe this is why High School Musical was so compelling for the tweens.  It’s the magic of Zac Efron channeling the magic powers of Kevin Bacon’s groin-pumping moves and flailing arms.

  • And now we see why we had to know Ren’s down with gymnastics:  he has to swing on a bar when angry to loud pulsing music to express his angst.
  • Ariel’s such a stalker.  She magically shows up at his sooper sekrit dance hall and demands kisses.
  • “I’m not just a town floozy!  I applied to colleges.  I didn’t even tell my Daddy about all of them!  I’m a rebellious lover of education.”
  • Of course, magically their banned books hideaway is in this little hideaway of Ren’s.  And this where they wank to lit porn and cement their love.  At least it’s based on intelligence and art.  Oh, and Ariel’s deathwish because she is banned from healthy means of expression like dance.  Thus, Ren’s quest to save the town.
  • “We’re not living in the Middle Ages here.  We got TV, we got Family Feud.”  Awesome Willard moment.
  • Oh dear God, shut up, Reverend!  Do you ever do anything aside from preaching?  If you were just a nice guy who liked the Yankees or something, you might have more listeners.
  • Music cue:  “Hurt So Good”.  Sekrit music cue:  “Breakin’ the Law!”.  Welcome, my pretties, to the evil world of booze and boogie.  ZOMG SATAN!
  • Damn girl, eat a sandwich!  I can see every bone in that girl’s upper body.
  • SJP is all, “Wah!  Dance with me, loser!”
  • I don’t get why she doesn’t just go dance solo to fast numbers until “Footloose” comes on (second time of three… just in case we forget what we’re watching).  I also don’t get why Willard didn’t ask for dance lessons sooner.  Plus, any idiot can slow dance.
  • Hey, jealousy!  Get yer lumberjack paws off my woman!
  • Hey, Lithgow!  Your daughter can’t be a cherry on top of anything when she’s popped hers.
  • I’m pretty sure that God doesn’t like violence, Reverend.  Better go beg for forgiveness.  Oh wait, we flash-cut to the church!  He heard me!
  • YES!  My favourite part:  the “Let’s Hear It For The Boy” dance montage!

  • BRB dancing to my jam!
  • Lithgow wants a cookie, bitches!  Pony up!

  • And now, boy drama.  Ariel is all, “Um, I wanted to tell you that because you suck at tractor chicken, I’m going to keep my legs closed to you now.”
  • Damn!  This is the second bitchslap she’s gotten in this movie.  Does she have an invisible “hit me” tattoo, or did the screenwriter just not have any other ideas?  And a third slap!
  • “What’s in da box?!”  Sadly, not Gwyneth Paltrow’s head.  Just music.  Is this music evil too?  It’s inducing kissing…

  • See, Mama Moore has the common sense.  “O hai honey, just looking at you made me wanna get nasty.  You gonna jab out the eyes of all the kids to gird their loins?”
  • The only payoff for being a pastor’s daughter:  knowing every Bible passage countering Daddy and the town’s dance hate-on.  LOL.
  • …. Y’know, it’s as true now as it was then:  the violence comes from the religious intolerants when it’s a matter of moral change.  You don’t see Ren chucking bricks through windows.

  • Awesome speech of awesome:  “Ecclesiastes assures us… that there is a time for every purpose under heaven. A time to laugh… and a time to weep. A time to mourn… and there is a time to dance. And there was a time for this law, but not anymore. See, this is our time to dance. It is our way of celebrating life. It’s the way it was in the beginning. It’s the way it’s always been. It’s the way it should be now.”
  • Finally, someone in this town with sense:  “Screw dem town council idiots!  Let’s DANCE!”
  • Ariel and the Reverend are like, Ariel and King Triton, only Triton’s cooler.   He also doesn’t fear telling it like it is to her face.  And now, Ariel’s about to break your heart, Daddy dear:

  • Book burning makes me VERY angry.  Rage!  See what you’ve done, John?  See?  Innocent books are perishing!
  • Tearjerker daughter-daddy moment time!  “I believe in you, Daddy!”  *sniffsniff*
  • And now, the Reverend would like to say a few words on why you’re all judgmental assholes and should allow people to think for themselves.  Oh, the horror!
  • “By the way, Imma approve this inadvertently by asking you to pray for the dancing teens.”  Nah nah nah!
  • “I’m free!”  Sing it, Kenny!  One more montage (montage)!  Gotta decorate the warehouse with a montage!
  • Ariel’s wearing such an ugly dress.  Honey, you need cleavage for that look and you barely have hips.
  • “I was gonna come up…. da… da…. der…. You’re beautiful.  Let’s bone.”
  • Alright bizznatches, you know where this movie ends, right?  Dancing?  Fun?  Oh wait, first everyone’s gotta be all awkward because only Ren and Ariel know how to freaking dance without a crowd.  It’s even more awkward than my first junior high dance, and that was one of those video dances, so um… yeah.  Lame.
  • Also, Daddy and Mommy Moore gotta come spy.  Y’know, to ensure he finally stops crusading against the evilz of muzik and remembers to bone his wife again.
  • Last, Chuck’s gotta have one last wankery fight so he can get his ass soundly whooped and left for waste.  Whee!
  • NOOOOWWWWWWWW EVERYBODY CAN CUT FOOTLOOSE!  Hit play on that video below my pretties and enjoy the finale of gif-tastic joy!

THEY SAID EVERYBODY CUT FOOTLOOSE!  EVERYBODY!

Thank you for participating in this picspam of joy for the 80s!  See you next time, when I take on another classic film…

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Movie Review: The Dark Knight Rises

I waited over 24 hours before sitting down to this review.  I wanted to temper my initial reactions with the wisdom of time, as well as examining the thoughts of others and collecting awesome gifs for my blog version of things.

This review will be in two parts:  the first half will be my overall opinion with care to avoid major spoilers.  If you haven’t yet seen the film and want a non-obsessive-fangirl opinion of the film, this is for you.  The second half will be where I delve into the nitty gritty, both good and bad, and will be flagged as such.  All set?  Let’s begin.

The Dark Knight Rises
Overall Rating:  7.5/10

Although I enjoyed the first two Batman films in the previous series spawned by Tim Burton, I am one of the first who will say that Nolan’s reboot of the franchise has been brilliant.  Batman is not a fluffy, light superhero.  He is a truly dark man, living in a city of darkness and struggling to be a symbol of hope when he himself has little of it.  He’s an anti-hero, and Christian Bale has played him well.

I found the first installment, Batman Begins, to be a little dull and slow to move, but fully appreciated that it was the mythology establishment of the trilogy.  Kind of how half of The Fellowship of the Ring bored me, with me waving my hands at the screen saying, “Get on with it!  Go journey already!”  The Dark Knight, however, was brilliance.  Movie perfection.  This is thanks to the astounding talents of the tragically departed Heath Ledger, whose pitch-perfect performance of the Joker is breath-taking and unnerving – just as it should be.  The entire plot of that film, and the downfall of Harvey Dent, is so relevant and befitting the Batman/Bruce Wayne Nolan created with the first film.  I was left highly satisfied and wondering precisely how Batman would return.

With The Dark Knight Rises (TDKR), we pick up eight years later.  Bruce Wayne has become a recluse, his business empire is going down the shitter, and Gotham City is oh-so-proud of its law, inspired by the heroic Harvey Dent, that keeps criminals locked away without parole.  Yes, the good times are a-rollin’ in Gotham City.  For the rich, anyway.

You see where Nolan’s going already, don’t you?  It’s ripped from the bloody headlines of the past few years.

Bruce is pulled from his crippled state of melancholy by Selina Kyle ripping off his mother’s pearls from a safe – and his fingerprints in the process.  Curious as to how the hell his magic safe got cracked, never mind why anyone gives a crap about his prints, he boots up the magic toys of the Bat Cave and eventually slaps on his suit again.

Simultaneously, we have a scene where an aged Commissioner Gordon ends up being taken prisoner in the tunnels beneath the city during a routine criminal chase and notes that, O hai! there’s a whole gang of people building shit of a nefarious type down there, led by, as one brilliant person on Twitter called him, “a Scottish Foghorn Leghorn with a dollhouse radiator stuck in his mouth”.  Gordon gets away severely injured, rescued by budding sleuthy cop John Blake.

We all know these worlds are going to collide in bloody fashion as Bane takes over Gotham City with a bang, so I’ll leave the major plotting here for now and move on to my general comments…. Although first:  props to Alfred for smacking down Bruce and being tired of his shit.

Visually, this is a Nolan film, and that’s a positive.  It’s as dark and brooding as any viewer would want a film like this to be.  The gadgets are cool, the costumes fun (aside from Catwoman – the ear-goggles combo was kinda childish), and everyone looks the part, right down to Bale hobbling with a cane after years of body-punishing crime-fighting.

Spinning off of that, the mortality of the characters is also something that’s handled realistically overall, which I appreciate.  Bale’s Wayne has visible scars and internal damage that’s true to what the average man would endure while playing superhero.  He looks older, somewhat less muscular (fitting since he’s been out of the game for eight years), and has to work to get back into shape.  Gordon, too, has aged and is slower, weaker and exhausted, yet still mentally with it.  He relies on Blake for his body while training his young mind.

The theme of mortality -0f the difference between a man and a symbol – is prominent in this film, as well as the notion of yin and yang.  Specifically, as one character puts it, you need to fear death to truly fight to survive.  It’s where that last push of strength comes from, that adrenaline surge that allows us to defeat obstacles.  If we don’t care about the consequences of failure, we cannot rise as champions.

All this said, TDKR has several huge issues with it that result in a film that falls flat and is frankly predictable, something Nolan isn’t guilty of in past work.  For starters, let’s talk about casting issues.  Anne Hathaway as Catwoman… ugh.  Seriously?  We all know she got this job because she is, for reasons I cannot fathom, a Hollywood “it girl” right now.  While she’s certainly not as terrible as Halle Berry’s version, she’s incredibly irritating and unconvincing for most of the film.  For starters, she doesn’t look sexy or seductive, with or without the suit.  I’ve never seen her that way, and every time she prances on screen, she reminds me of a teenage girl playing at Lolita to the annoyance of a man who’s after a grown woman.  Her strange accent she’s adopted for this role isn’t sultry or sinister; it just sounds… fake.  She needs to fire her acting coach and find another.  Most importantly, I don’t buy her as a love interest for Wayne, nor do I buy her as the poor, troubled woman who just doesn’t believe she can be a good guy (more on this in the spoilers section).  Frankly, all she’s got going for her is flexibility and spiky heels.

Bane…  I can let go of the fact that I expected him to appear larger than life.  What I can’t let go of is the fact that I couldn’t understand half of his dialogue, and given that Nolan is huge on dialogue as a part of his message, this is a tremendous issue.  My fiance had serious issues making out over half of what he said, so it wasn’t just me.  It reminded me of one of my bitches about Inglourious Basterds:  when a dialogue master castrates his own dialogue, a film is made lesser by it.

In general terms, before hitting the spoilers, the plot comes off tired (and, to a degree, ripped off from The Dark Knight and also preachy in its left-wing slant, which is bad since I’m a lefty-libertarian), takes too long to get going, skims through what should be the bulk of the film, and twists at the end in such a way that you will roll your eyes at how Nolan destroys everything he’s set out to do for the first two hours (or, in the case of Batman, the entire trilogy).  It’s not clever; it’s so painfully obvious in foreshadowing that even I, someone who hasn’t read the comics, saw so much of it coming.  I never felt that way in the first two films.

Whew!  Here’s where I suggest you leave if you have yet to see the film.  See it, by the way, if you’re a fan of this trilogy.  Just don’t expect it to come close to The Dark Knight.  As with The Lord of the Rings trilogy, the second film is the best film, because the director isn’t just grasping to go out with every bang he can ram into a flick.

Seen it?  Let’s really chat.

This blog entry really nails a lot of what irked me, so I’ll give a nod to a like mind before beginning with my first bitch:  I hated the ending.  Hated it.  I actually loved the initial ending, and even the second ending.  God, I feel like I just watched Return of the King for the first time all over again, because this is deja vu.  But the ultimate ending…. ruins everything for me.  It wimps out on a powerful ending.  Worse, you roll your eyes and realize that yes, Alfred did actually spell out the goddamn ending for you a good hour ago.  It’s not clever, Nolan; it’s corny.  You’re capable of better.  If the point of this entire film was to comment on the mortality of men versus the eternal life of a symbol, then Wayne should have died.

After all, what you’re telling me is that a) even though he told Selina that he couldn’t use autopilot, she somehow managed to meet up with him and flee, where they waited around for Alfred’s ass to conveniently come to his damn cafe and see him; b)  that, if Alfred hallucinated that finale, he actually thought Selina was a good girlfriend for him; c) that he somehow managed to leave a bag of goodies for Blake for pick-up in this process (I was willing to suspend that one and believe that he sat it aside before the final showdown brawl); and d) that Lucius never noticed for six months that Wayne fixed the autopilot.

Sorry, but no.  Your original ending was fine.  You pulled a serious Deus ex machina out of your ass.

Speaking again of Hathaway’s character:  I don’t buy any of her plot with Wayne.  I don’t buy her as a poor, hapless girl unable to catch a break or change.  I don’t buy Bruce forgiving her for setting him up to get his back broken by Bane and ass whooped.  I don’t buy Bruce even getting over the pearls, let alone selling him out and destroying his fortune.  I don’t buy her not knowing just how much damage she was doing with her thefts.  Last, I don’t buy him trusting her in the grand finale to suddenly be a good girl, let alone her sudden love for him.  Total. Bullshit.

Next plot issue:  the general class war theme is tired, not timely.  First off, we already had that in a more subtle and intriguing fashion during The Dark Knight, when the Joker pits the two ferries against each other.  I literally felt, watching this film, like Nolan had planned for Ledger to be in the third script and when that went to hell, he watched CNN for a day and went to town.  Strangely, he somehow spins from his initial message, delivered by Selina, of “How dare the rich think they can be so powerful and leave nothing for us down here?” to “The poor murder and riot without impunity and this is why the big, powerful cops and government have a right to slaughter the uprising and be in power forever.”  It’s like a backhanded compliment to Occupy.

How Nolan makes the lower classes come off…. Uh…. Yeah. Fail.

Next issue:  I concur with the above…  The whole “Bruce fails and fails to escape” shtick got old fast.  In fact, it’s used just to accelerate time like a diluted montage, just so Nolan can skip over most of the five months of class war.  I don’t get it:  you spend forever getting us to this point and we get maybe ten solid minutes of the anarchy and reversal of fortunes, featuring a horrifically underused Cillian Murphy.  Forty-five minutes in, the main conflict was still in the distance.  I know because I looked at my cell phone, bored and wondering how long I’d been watching the film for.

Blake recognizing Wayne was vastly oversimplified.  Instead of also pointing out his hiatus and connection to past events, all he can say is that, “You’re a rage-y orphan like me with a mask, so you’re Batman”?  No no.  Levitt is fantastic in this film, and I’d love a spin-off with HIM, and I did enjoy the end acknowledgement of what I knew from moment one, but his deduction skills in that scene were unbelievable.

Last point of contention:  the castration of Bane’s character.  Really?  He’s just a crying man in love with Miranda/Talia?  Ugh.  I liked him better as the unstoppable beast Batman just couldn’t overpower who’d out-thought him as well.  Kinda didn’t care for the Miranda twist at all.  I would have much rather seen her die and that spark Batman’s final surge of adrenaline.

Summing up:  casting, aside from Hathaway, was stellar; the core message of death/mortality/symbols and class war was a good idea executed imperfectly; but ultimately, the film becomes an indulgent piece of wank that doesn’t know when to quit.  Luckily for Nolan, a lacklustre film of his is still a great film by overall standards.  It’s just not a worthy conclusion to this trilogy.

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