Monday, July 30, 2012

Movie Plot Translation Game

Hey! Let's play a game!

For every 100th movie on my Flickchart, I will grab the plot summary from IMDb and run it through Bad Translator, which will machine translate it all over the place (or, well, into eight different languages and back) before eventually putting back in English.. Then you get to guess what the movie is.

To help, I'll put the decade and a genre clue after the plot summary.

#100: Control of the activities of people in ownership structure and people want to be in love when she was deadly. (1980s foreign drama)
(Good luck with this one. It's not even CLOSE.)

#200: Has two children, who live in the dark old House are light sensitive women convinced that plagued the family's House. (2000s horror)

#300: Lawyer Henry survived the shoot to find he cannot remember what it is. If not enough, contains animations and Henry. No answer to life. (1990s drama)

#400: The golden age radio nostalgia is active. Normal families and different media player. (1980s comedy)

#500: In the event of a dispute between the two conductors and other restrictions: a little over-confident and relaxed, no doubt will affect their lives. (1990s drama)

#600: A man marries his mistress who took his daughter. (1990s drama, although a remake of a much better 1960s movie)

#700: Professional wrestler lost you will find new inhibitors conflict retirement and life stages. (2000s drama)

#800: When one tries to discover the dark secrets of the dysfunctional chaos in the United Kingdom for recently deceased Patriarch of the family. (2000s comedy)

#900: The Klondike gold rush, Tramp, and more lies. (1920s comedy)
(This is unfairly low on my list for this movie, which is quite good.)

#1000: There are two white women, Mohawk and despair in the world, a single mother of two smuggling of Eastern border along the St. Lawrence River. (2000s drama)
(That one is super easy if you know the movie, but I'm not sure anyone will know the movie. Heh.)

#1100: Actor on the edge of fraud and his students of the child and adolescent psychiatry years strange. (2000s... heist movie, I guess.)
(You get a more specific genre because this one is SO FAR AWAY from the original plot summary.)

#1200: Since 1912, Arthur United Kingdom, mechanical. (1940s musical romance)

#1300: If you want to change the lives of top chefs, it becomes a guardian for your child. (2000s romantic comedy)

#1400: The directors efforts to find harmony in its GUI kongdini working and personal life, because of his relationship with his wife, including the best. His love, his agent, his inspiration, his mother. (2000s musical)
(An unrecognized proper noun threw off some of the translation there...)

#1500: In the defense of the Philippines in the accounts of the torpedo during World War II, the United States the role. (1940s war movie)

#1600: Two police officers kidnapped daughter team returned. (1990s buddy cop comedy)
(Specific genre because of a terribly vague IMDb summary.)

#1701: Young Florida to Montana with his family, where he fought for the maintenance of the OWL together. (2000s family film)
(#1701 because The Emperor's New Groove 2 is at #1700 and IMDb doesn't have a plot summary for that.)

Answers will be posted next Monday.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sim Sunday: Goals Accomplished!

OK! Today's goal: Get Kali a job. Get Kali and Odelia married and do some adopting. Help some other people achieve some goals.

For one thing, poor sex-starved Lysander has wanted a double bed since the very first day. So I bought one for him. Unfortunately, there's not a lot of room in the house, so I put it out in the yard. No private woohooing for any of you guys...

And there, an hour later, Lysander and Barbara have their very first... er... romantic encounter. As soon as they're done, Lysander jumps out of bed and goes to do something else. Barbara is completely in love with him though, so it's going to be kind of terrible when she realizes he really just wants to sleep with EVERYONE. (One of his goals right now is to "have two loves at once.") This is going to be really difficult to maneuver. And sleazy.

Dsean makes friends with me! Which helps him achieve a goal. Hurray! However, for wanting to make friends, he's kind of a terrible person. He tried to talk to Odelia, but when she didn't want to listen to his gossip, he shoved her.

Kali has a job! Yay! People are just achieving goals left and right here.

Annnnd... YES! Kali and Odelia are now married. (Kali did the proposing, for all those wondering.)

Now Odelia just has to adopt a child and she can get her family goal on the road. However, there is an obstacle there - they can't adopt a child until they have accumulated more money and can prove they have a financially stable environment. It doesn't say what the requirement is, so I'll just try again every day after people are home from work and see if they've met it yet. It might be awhile before Baby Peregrine (or whatever Laura chooses as her name if she chooses in time) gets here.

Wait, what? Michael was supposed to go to work, but instead he took a shower and just didn't go into work at all. NOT OKAY.

So many of these people clean when they have free time. Kali was supposed to be watching TV, but she disappeared off the couch and I lost her. Turns out she was cleaning the shower.

As everyone but Lysander (and Odelia, because she's off at work) is sleeping that night, I realize that now would be the perfect time for Lysander to be all sleazy and cheat on Barbara. However, when I go to have him call someone over, it turns out he doesn't actually have any friends outside of this house, so whenever he invites them over, they're all like, "Uh, no." So he just talks to them on the phone instead, hoping to build up enough of a relationship with them that he can invite them over sometime soon and THEN sleep with them.
Meanwhile, in the next room, Barbara's thought bubble indicates she's dreaming about Lysander and love.

This is not going to end well.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Movie Confessions Blogathon

My Film Views is hosting a Movie Confessions blogathon, asking all the movie questions we're a little ashamed to answer. I first discovered it via the blog Cinematic Katzenjammer.

Here goes...

Which classic movie don’t you like/can’t enjoy and why? 
The Godfather. I CANNOT stand The Godfather, first or second. I've watched it all the way through once and tried a second time, but it's JUST SO BORING. (I'm coming to the conclusion that I just don't like Francis Ford Coppola - I hated Apocalypse Now too.)

Which ten classic movies haven’t you seen yet? 
Using my unseen list on Flickchart to help me, I came up with these ten: A Fistful of Dollars, 8 1/2, Ben Hur, The 400 Blows, The Great Dictator, The Magnificent Seven, Nosferatu (on my Blind Spots list, so I'll see it sometime this year!), Evil Dead 2 (just saw the first Evil Dead a few weeks ago), Dracula, and Spartacus.

Have you ever sneaked into another movie at the cinema?
No, although I did go watch the last 30 minutes of Attack of the Clones in the cinema. I got permission to do so, though. I was seeing Spider-Man while my family was seeing Star Wars. My movie ended 30 minutes earlier and there really wasn't a place to sit and wait for my family to be done in the little tiny theater, so they gave me permission to go sit in there.

Which actor/actress do you think is overrated?
Hmm. Let's go with Meryl Streep. Occasionally she is off-the-charts excellent (Doubt comes to mind) but most of the time she's not that interesting, and when she's in comedies she is just AWFUL. Example: I went into Mamma Mia! hoping that since she was supposedly such a great actress, she'd be the best part of the movie, but she was the worst. I could even handle Pierce Brosnan over her.

From which big director have you never seen any movie (and why)?
That is a really, really, really tough one, because I tend to watch a little bit of everything, but I came up with one! I've never seen anything by Fellini. 8 1/2 is on my unseen classics list up there, and I'm pretty sure I've never seen anything else he's done.

Which movie do you love, but is generally hated?
Oh, dear. I have to defend The Happening again. Which I really can't do, because I completely accept that the ending is stupid and the acting is terrible... but all that fades away when you realize IT COMPLETELY WORKED ON ME. Terrified me, almost to a nightmare-inducing point (which is really, really rare for me and horror movies). The idea of losing complete control of yourself like that is possibly the most awful thing I can think of, and seeing scene after scene after scene of people losing themselves and dying was horrifying - but in a good "that movie was awesomely scary" way. The movie completely fails whenever it tries to be not just a series of scary scenes and have actual action (and also when Mark Wahlberg speaks), but the scary scenes themselves are so effective for me that I kind of love it.

Have you ever been “one of those annoying people” at the cinema?
I tend to be really conscious of other people around me, so usually not. However, I've sat with "those annoying people," and if it's just me and my friends in the theater, I will willingly talk (and occasionally text) through the whole movie with them. But if there's anyone else to annoy, I am a good audience member.

Hold on, I've just remembered the time I went to see The Game Plan with a group of friends. We were the only ones in the theater, but one friend and I spent most of the time quietly mocking the movie, until eventually the rest of the group made us go sit somewhere else in the theater, after we figured out the ending. So, yeah, just that one time.

Did you ever watch a movie, which you knew in advance would be bad, just because of a specific actor/actress was in it? Which one and why? 
Absolutely. I hunt down movies with musical theater people in them. I watched School of Rock for Adam Pascal. I watched Dan in Real Life for Norbert Leo Butz. I watched Bewitched for Kristin Chenoweth. Although it turns out that Bewitched was the only one of those that's really a terrible movie, I didn't expect to like any of them. And one of these days I have to watch all Neil Patrick Harris' movies. *grimace* Here I come, Smurfs and Beastly...

Did you ever not watch a specific movie because it had subtitles? 
Nah. Sometimes I'll be like, "I don't want to watch this movie TONIGHT because it has subtitles," but I'm totally for subtitles and foreign films.

Are there any movies in your collection that you have had for more than five years and never watched?
No. I don't buy movies if I haven't seen them. I don't have that kind of money. My funds have to go to movies I actually know I like. The one exception is a $3 "classic movie musicals" collection I bought from Wal-Mart, but that was less than five years ago. So far I've seen two out of the twenty on the list. I need to finish that up.

Which are the worst movies in your collection and why do you still own them?
Well, the least-liked-by-me one is Remember the Titans, which ended up on my Amazon wish list for some reason, so I got it for Christmas. One of these days I'll sell it or trade it for something else. Other than that, I like pretty much all the movies I own.

Do you have any confessions about your movie watching setup at home?
Nah. I watch pretty much all my movies on my laptop. Nothing confession-y about that. I always think I'm going to be like, "Hey, everybody, let's watch a movie!" but 90% of the time I'd rather watch something new and I don't generally like watching new-to-me movies with people.

Any other confessions you want to make?
Sometimes if I'm halfway through a movie and it's extremely boring and I just want to finish it and I know it's not going to turn itself around, I watch it on double speed with subtitles on so it can be done faster. If it gets interesting at any point, I slow it back down.

Other movie blogs I read that have participated in this blogathon
Eternity of Dream
"...let's be splendid about this..."
Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité
The Frame

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Life on the Road: Some Background

All right, for those of you who don't know, here's the rather cool thing I did for a year, from August 2007 to August 2008.

I worked with a Christian ministry called New Life Drama Company. It was based out of Tennessee, but I wasn't there very often because I was usually traveling instead. The ministry wrote short sketches, some comedic, some dramatic, and then put us all into teams of 5-6 people and sent us out in a van to do those sketches at various places across the country. We'd travel for ten weeks at a time, then come back for a week, switch up teams, learn and write new skits, get new places to go, and start all over again.

At most of our services, we'd do 5-7 sketches with someone talking in between, to tie them all together. Since we were specifically Christian, we mostly did church services, but we also went to Christian schools, camps, prisons, rehab centers, and even did drama on the streets. Every once in awhile we'd be invited to do something at a public school or someplace else where we couldn't be too overtly Christian, and we had a couple skits that were just funny or that we'd tweak a little bit to be more acceptable to that crowd.

(Let me quickly add - I have *never* been more impressed with Christian drama than I have with these people. That was a major reason I decided to join in the first place. I co-directed my youth group drama team, and I HATED the scripts we found. They were cheesy. The funny ones weren't funny and the serious ones were horribly written. Most of NLDC's skits were very decent quality. Of course there were some duds, but 80% of the time I was happy with the skits we went out with.)

Wherever we went, the place that had booked us was responsible for providing us with food and a place to stay while we were there. Once in awhile this meant a hotel, but usually we were staying in people's homes. Sometimes the whole team would stay in one house; more often the guys and girls got split up.

A major emphasis of the ministry was that it wasn't just about the drama we did on stage - it was about ministering to the people in the homes we stayed at. We spent most of our free time hanging out with our hosts and getting to know them. I was always amazed by how uplifting it was for people to just have someone to talk to. Sometimes we'd come home from a long day of church service projects and drama workshops and drama performances, and we'd be exhausted, but we'd walk into our host home and our host would be eagerly awaiting us, ready to chat, and we'd make sure at least a couple of us stayed up and talked with them until they were ready for bed. Even when this left us pretty tired from day to day, it was wonderful when we found out that our time spent with the host had made a difference.

What else did we do on the road? We did lots of service projects - if we came into a house and someone needed help with a home project, we helped. We painted churches. We cleaned kitches. We babysat for Bible studies. We did door-to-door evangelism (ha, but that's a whole story in and of itself - how I dealt with that when that's not something I believe in doing - I'll definitely share that some day). We did worship and devotionals together as a team. We made sure to do the occasional *just for fun* thing as a team. We practiced the skits we knew and wrote new ones to bring into homebase, to be tweaked and sent back out on the road one of the next tours.

It was the busiest year of my life, but it was also the most rewarding. I made many of my closest friends. I traveled to new states. I ate grits and bear for the first time (not together). I gained confidence. I grew as an actress, as a Christian, and as a skit writer. I met some crazy people and some sane people and some people who I liked but liked better when we weren't smushed in a van together. And over the next couple... hadonno, whenever, months, years, I want to share some of the most entertaining and memorable stories about the adventures and places and personalities I encountered on the road.

Now, whenever I say, "When I was traveling," or "When I was on the road," you'll know what I'm talking about! Because I say that a lot to people who I've forgotten to tell about my time traveling, and then they just think I'm a gypsy. Which I kind of was, for a year. But a structured gypsy.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Musical Spotlight: Wonderland

OK. I have been kind of addicted to the songs from this show for the last month or two and have been wanting to share them because nobody knows this show. The problem is this: I can't really tell you why I love it. It's one of those cast recordings that just connects with me and I don't have any good reason why that should be the case. So, fair warning, this musical spotlight is really less me talking intelligently about the show and more just me going, "Here are five songs I love! Listen to them and maybe you will love them too!"

It's sort of a modern-day Alice in Wonderland story, although not a very coherent one (at one point, Lewis Carroll himself appears as a character). But the most important thing to know is that the music was written by Frank Wildhorn, who is fantastic. His shows are, sadly, not very successful - he has a tendency to work with awkward lyricists (curse you, Leslie Bricusse!) and the books for his shows are often terrible. Wonderland's reviews were mostly things like: "The score is fantastic, the book makes no sense." (They were correct on both of those things.)

Wildhorn does a lot of musical adaptations of old books and plays. His most famous is Jekyll and Hyde, but he's also adapted Dracula, Cyrano de Bergerac, and The Scarlet Pimpernel. (And I love all those cast recordings too.) My favorite songs of his tend to be his big beautiful gothic-romance-sort-of-sound love songs - very showtuney - so I wasn't sure at first if I'd like Wonderland, which is much poppier. But, uh, I totally do. And I can't stop listening.

So without further ado, here are my 5 favorite songs from Wonderland.

1. Go With the Flow
This is the Cheshire Cat's song (or "El Gato" as he is called in the show). It's got a Latin flavor to it (one of the YouTube comments on the song says, "The Cheshire Cat, as played by Carlos Santana?"). He's a very mellow character and sings this to Alice when she first arrives in Wonderland. This song is a lot of fun, but only in the last week or so has it become one of my favorites.

2. One Knight
The White Knight is the leading man in this story. This song of his was one of the first ones I ever heard from the show. Done as a boy band parody (complete with cheesy boy band dance moves), it's about him swearing to protect Alice. It's mildly funny, but it's actually got a really pretty melody and I'm kind of a sucker for songs about knights (and no, I don't know why. I know that's weirdly specific. They just make me happy). Also, I really like Darren Ritchie.

3. Through the Looking Glass
This is the act one finale, where all the good guys go through the looking glass to save Alice's kidnapped daughter from the Mad Hatter. It's got a great "let's go save the world, la ba dee da!" vibe to it. This was the first song I really obsessed over from this show. Listening to it just makes me a much happier person. As with most of these, I have great trouble articulating what about this song actually grabs me. It just... touches me, somehow. (This is the kind of wonderfully articulate commentary you get from me tonight, folks.)

4. I Am My Own Invention
This song is sung by Lewis Carroll (also played by Darren Ritchie, which is probably another reason I love it). This section of the show makes little to no sense - Alice goes somewhere and runs into Carroll and he tells her to be herself and she goes and sees herself as a child and then she's like, "Sweet, I can be myself!" and so, yeah, the lyrics are pretty iffy and cheesy, but I love Frank Wildhorn's melodies. Ever so much.

5. Together
And here our band of good guys... I don't remember. Band together. For something. I think they're singing to try to convince the White Rabbit that together they can all... work together. Yeah, by this point the show has mostly fallen apart, plotwise, but I still really enjoy this song. Although, again, I can't tell you why. It is a secret. It's also pretty boy band-y. Maybe that's secretly why I like this show. So much of it is cheesy boy band pop which (confession) I miss. So it's both fun and nostalgic for me.

So that's Wonderland. For my next musical spotlight, I'll try to choose something a little showtunier and less pop, but in the meantime I had to share my can't-stop-listening cast recording.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sim Sunday: Back to Work

It's been a couple weeks since I was able to do anything with the Sims, so I don't really remember what my goals are, so today I'm just going to make sure everyone has a job and try to get Odelia attracted to SOMEBODY so she can marry them and start a family, since things don't seem to be going well with Michael.

We pick up at midnight. Odelia's out working and doesn't get home until 2 a.m., at which point I'm going to put her to sleep on the couch. Everybody else is sleeping. Dsean is DEFINITELY NOT DREAMING ABOUT EGGS, according to his thought bubbles. Or maybe he's dreaming about how much he hates eggs. Michael dreams about himself a lot. Barbara and Lysander dream about each other. (Aw.) Kali is dreaming about... baseball.

Odelia comes home and goes to sleep, and I realize that the couch doesn't offer as much good sleep as the beds do, but since Odelia is always at work when everyone goes to sleep, she's always going to be stuck with the couch. So she may just be perpetually tired, unless I make everyone else go sleep on the couch instead. Well, not EVERYONE else. Just one at a time. I *actually* fix this by moving her to a bed when everyone wakes up at 6:15. There. Now she can sleep a bit before she needs to wake up and flirt with people.

Nobody's hungry. Why is nobody hungry? No breakfast for them, I guess...

Dsean needs to work out, which can usually be done with a TV, but he freaks out about something or other when I try to make him work out with the TV, so I decide, ya know what? I'm gonna give these guys a pool. I spent $3000 of their $4000, but now everybody can work out without having to clutter up the house jumping around in track suits.

Oh, hurray, there's a Slacker career in the newspaper today! This means Barbara and Lysander can both get jobs as golf caddies. How cute. They can carpool. Still no job for Kali - she's the only unemployed one so hard. It's OK, though. Medical jobs are hard to come by.

Lysander meets another Sim in my Simworld who is quite enamored of him.

I feel like Lysander's goals of SLEEPING WITH EVERYONE are going to be difficult with Barbara being in love with him and all. And he and Barbara have the same job, so it's not even like he can sleep with other people while she's at work... It is ridiculously hard for my sims to cheat on each other!

Odelia wakes up, and I decide to go send her to flirt with Dsean, hoping for a spark, but, uh, Dsean and Barbara are busy fighting with each other. They're taking turns slapping each other.

Finally Barbara bursts into tears, so I send Odelia in to do some flirting. She and Dsean definitely do not have chemistry, though. Well, that's all the guys in the house. She's mildly attracted to Michael, but not enough. Time to hit on the girls.

Whoa. That was fast. Odelia and Kali have crushes on each other now. Maybe they can even get married by the end of the day, and then adopt a kid or two. Well, no more than two, because I can only control eight Sims. (Laura and Lindsay, these are your Sims - if they do adopt a child, which could happen by next week, what would you like to name it? Laura names it if it's a boy, Lindsay names it if it's a girl. Go.)

I just spent a bunch of money on a chess set, since Michael needs a logic skill point to get the next promotion in his job. Now the Sims only have $610 total. (The cheapest chairs in Sims are $80 apiece. I just spent $160 on chairs to play chess. Also, since there's no room in the house, the chess set is right by the pool. That wouldn't be annoying in real life at all.)

Incidentally, this is Dsean's awesome mascot that he gets to wear for his job.
OK, no wedding today. Odelia and Kali are best friends now (which means love is the next step), but Odelia has to go to work and won't be back until 2 a.m. So the wedding should happen next week, aka Simtomorrow.

Man, everyone in my house is EXHAUSTED. Barbara and Lysander are sleeping and it's only 7:30. But they do have to get up at 3 in the morning, since their golf caddy job starts at 5, so I'm going to let them nap. And Kali can nap too, I guess, since she doesn't have a job and doesn't need a regulated sleep schedule yet.

And, triumph! Dsean has been promoted to Minor Leaguer. No more dumb mascot costumes for him!

Michael brings home a friend from work (who, uh, incidentally, is "Benedict Texan," aka Benedict Cumberbatch from that house I made awhile back of me and my friends who were all going to move to Texas together. This was before I had a real life boyfriend to match up to my Sim self, so I got Benedict) but he is way too tired to socialize, so I'm going to have him to go sleep while Barbara (who has woken up) can go flirt with him a little bit.

And then, before I realize, it's midnight in Sims and this day is over. So next week, we will most likely get Kali and Odelia married to each other so Odelia can start acquiring babies. Also, hopefully Kali will get a job. Oh, and Dsean should make some friends. He hasn't done that in awhile and that's kind of his aspiration.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Blind Spot 2012: The Hurt Locker

As I did with The Band Wagon, I'm going to submit my liveblogging feed of what I thought of this movie. This one definitely does have spoilers in it, so if you want to remain spoiler-free about this, I suggest you don't read.

8:48 pm: OK, here we go with The Hurt Locker, a recent Best Picture winner I have not seen. It's a war movie, so I don't have high hopes, although Saving Private Ryan impressed me recently.

8:50: At first I thought, "Oh wait, John Krasinski and Jake Gyllenhaal are in this!" But then I realized I was thinking of Jarhead. Another war movie I haven't seen.

9:00: I may not be texting much because I have to focus rather hard on the movie itself. Why are war movies so difficult for me to follow?

9:06: I can't decide yet whether I like this new guy or not.


9:15: "Right now, what are you thinking about?" "You wanna know what I'm thinking about?" Well, yes, that's probably why he asked.

9:20: Oh crap. I have no idea what happened in the last 3 minutes or so. I zoned out and started thinking about phone plans instead. Come on, Hannah! I know this is a war movie, but YOU CAN DO IT!

9:26: OK, I like the new guy, but he's going to be in mega trouble any moment now.

9:30: Young hotshot has fans.

9:39: Oh, hey, I *thought* that sounded like Ralph Fiennes' voice! Nice.

9:41: I just zoned out again. This time I was making plans to watch Ferris Bueller's Day Off after this. I'm sure this is probably a good movie. I just can't get into it.

9:49: Are these even the same people I was watching earlier? I can't recognize anybody.

9:53: Only an hour left of this movie!

9:54: Wait, wait, wait. Those two guys drinking together look the same. I'm so confused.

9:59: The idea of hanging out with my friends and standing around punching each other is a very weird idea. This is what guys do, huh?

10:00: ...Actually, most of the guys I'm friends with would think that was dumb too.

10:01: As they count down the days, I count down the minutes. 16 days for them, 52 minutes for me...

10:05: Is that the kid he hung out with? Oh man.

10:09: Holy cow. This scene is terrifying.

10:12: "They all look the same." That is how I feel about EVERYONE IN THIS MOVIE. Dress everyone the same and I can't tell them apart.

10:19: This last section is getting much more interesting... We'll see if it redeems the rest of the movie for me.

10:21: Nope, it's lost my interest again.

10:28: I always feel a little ADD when I'm watching a movie like this. I keep trying to make myself focus, but my mind keeps wandering to all sorts of other things. I want so badly to just pause the movie and do something fun and pick it up later, but I only have 25 minutes left... I can make it through! I can!

10:32: Wait, wait. Is that the kid we thought was dead? Could he not tell them apart? Is he really alive?

10:38: I don't get the title of the movie. Is it a term I don't know?

10:48: So the one thing he loves is bomb teching rather than his kid? That's quite a downer of an ending.

10:49: Final consensus: A few really, really good scenes interspersed with a LOT more long, dreary sequences that I couldn't for the life of me care about.

Official review, as posted on Hannah and Her Movies: The Hurt Locker has a few very, very good scenes, scenes I haven't seen before or that were done in an interesting, original way. But those were all in the final 45 minutes, and there were far more long, uninteresting combat scenes where I had to fight VERY hard to stay focused on the story. A large part of this is a genre prejudice, I admit, but war movies have overcome that before and been very touching for me (Saving Private Ryan being the most recent example). The Hurt Locker just doesn't offer enough, certainly not to justify it as a Best Picture winner.

Blind Spot Movies So Far (In Order Of How Much I Liked Them)

Beetlejuice (1988)
Office Space (1999)
The Band Wagon (1953)

The Hurt Locker (2008)

Blind Spot Movies Left (Roughly In Order of How Interested I Am in Seeing Them)

The Exorcist (1973)
Rushmore (1998)
Carrie (1976)
Planet of the Apes (1968)
Gone Baby Gone (2007)
Dog Day Afternoon (1975)
Nosferatu (1929)
The Seventh Seal (1957)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Turntable Playlist: Upbeat Songs!

I haven't done this in awhile. I was Turntabling with a group of friends and we decided to go with "upbeat songs" as our theme. So here are the songs we played during those couple hours, plus YouTube links where possible, in case you're ever looking for some upbeat songs. Asterisked songs were mine.

*1. Haven't Met You Yet- Michael Buble
2. Don't Stop Me Now- Queen
3. Sing, Sing, Sing - David Anderson
*4. Car Wash - Christina Aguilera
5. 1985 - Roper
6. Starting Now - Ingrid Michaelson
7. I'm a Believer - The Monkees
*8. Jimmy Neutron Theme Song - Bowling For Soup
9. Alive - P.O.D.
10. Little Lion Man - Mumford & Sons
11. Everybody to the Limit - Strongbad
12. Me Ol' Bamboo - Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
*13. Grow Old With Me - Jason Robert Brown
14. Polkarama! - Weird Al Yankovic
15. Beat the Horse - Pomplamoose
16. Love Changes Everything - Aspects of Love
17. Polka Face - Weird Al Yankovic
*18. Since I Met You - dc Talk
19. Tonight I'm Gonna Rock You Tonight - Spinal Tap
20. Transatlanticism - Death Cab For Cutie
21. Classical Gas - Mannheim Steamroller
22. We Hate to Leave - Frank Sinatra
*23. A Really Cool Dance Song - Bowling For Soup
24. Wonder (If She'll Get It) - Superchick
25. The World Will Know - Newsies
26. I Love To Laugh - Mary Poppins
*27. Thank You Very Much - Scrooge (played by accident when my queue goofed up, but it still fit)
28. Golden Years - David Bowie
29. Why Should I Worry? - Oliver and Company
*30. Not That Kind of Thing - The Wedding Singer
31. Midnight Bolero - Armik
32. Affirmation - Savage Garden
*33. Time Warp - The Rocky Horror Picture Show
34. That's All - Genesis
35. Paradise City - Guns N' Roses
36. Hawaiian Rollercoaster Ride - Lilo and Stitch
*37. She Mighty Mighty - House of Heroes
38. Howlin' For You - The Black Keys
*39. Son of Man - Tarzan
40. Flagpole Sitta - Harvey Danger
*41. High School Never Ends - Bowling For Soup
42. Tetris (Solid State Remix) - Game Boys
43. Medley From Man of La Mancha - Scott Bakula
*44. Benny's Dispatch - In the Heights

Monday, July 16, 2012

Top 5, Bottom 5: Johnny Depp

Since seeing Dark Shadows last week, I have now seen 20 Johnny Depp movies. That means I've seen enough movies to do a top 5, bottom 5 for just his movies. I have 1741 movies on my Flickchart so far.

Top 5:
1. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003, #39). One of my all-time favorite action movies, and Johnny Depp is definitely the best part of the whole thing.
2. Edward Scissorhands (1990, #51). A beautiful, haunting story that also has some great moments of unexpected humor.
3. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007, #79). A pretty great adaptation of one of Sondheim's best musicals.
4. Ed Wood (1994, #185). As you can tell, most of my 20 Johnny Depp movies are his collaborations with Tim Burton... and this one is great fun, especially as I'm already a fan of Plan 9 From Outer Space.
5. Finding Neverland (2004, #213). Freddie Highmore's least annoying role and a lovely story with a focus on theater, so of course I have to love it.

Bottom 5:
1. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (2007, #1397). I barely made it all the way through this movie. It's incredibly boring.
2. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006, #1309). This is probably ranked a bit too low, but the fact that I can hardly remember any of it tells you how much I thought of it.
3. Alice in Wonderland (2010, #1302). Why do all versions of Alice in Wonderland make it so terrifying? I mean, it's Tim Burton, so I shouldn't have been that surprised, but Alice should be more whimsical than creepy, and this is just creepy.
4. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005, #1285). ...Actually, same complaint. The original movie is whimsical. The book is creepy. This one is more like the book. And I don't like it.
5. Blow (2001, #1272). Nothing terribly wrong with this, it just... never caught my attention.

What are your favorite Johnny Depp movies? What are your least favorites?

Friday, July 13, 2012

Search Keyword Answer Time!

Let's see if I can help some of these people who've been searching.

what do you do if your noisetrade account says unpublished
Oh. Now, I can't help with that. I love NoiseTrade and I get their music all the time, but I'm not a musician, so I don't have an account on there to tell you how that works.

jesus car
Ew. You must've found this. Don't do that to your car. It's not cool.

neil patrick harris
He's pretty cool, isn't he? He can sing, he can dance, he can act. If you want to know about upcoming projects, IMDb says he's in... Smurfs 2. Why? Why does someone so smart and talented choose such terrible movie projects?

who has sung the most songs on glee
Now this one has taken some work. But I am nerdy enough to make it happen.

I only counted solo or mostly-solo performances. Duets or group numbers were left out. Otherwise, the answer is clearly New Directions, who have sung 37 songs (or 52, if you count "special" group numbers that were still essentially them - just the guys, just the girls, that one time they sang with Sue, when they battled the Trebletones, etc.).

After that, it's no contest. As I suspected, the winner is Rachel Berry, with an astonishing 26 solo performances over the 3 years Glee has been running. Second is Will Schuester, who earned almost all of those in his first year (he only got 2 solo numbers this past season). Most surprising find was how seldom they had Finn sing on his own. I feel like he sings all the time, but Kurt has more solo performances than he did. Heck, the Warblers got two more songs than Finn did. For someone who was hyped up as the alpha glee club male, he doesn't get the spotlight a whole lot, does he?

spinal tap tiny stonehenge
Best part of the movie.

how to tell if an introvert is lying
Well, it's really no easier to tell if an introvert is lying than it is to tell if an extrovert is lying. We don't have special lying powers or anything, although some introverts may be less demonstrative overall and therefore look pretty much the same when they're lying as they do when telling the truth. So usual lie detector methods work for us too.

flickchart me me
Now I can't tell if this is someone clamoring for Flickchart, or asking about a Flickchart meme. I looked to see if there was a movie called "Me Me" and someone just wanted to add it to their Flickchart, but no such longer. Not sure I can help them.

cgi dinosaurs
Here are some. I can't imagine my blog was terribly helpful with that before.

introvert christian woman
Ah, an interesting dynamic. I occasionally read stuff by feminists upset by how the (largely Christian) stereotype of good, virtuous women means they are quiet, unassuming and meek - interestingly, those are the most positive words used to describe introverts. So an introverted woman who is fighting against that stereotype and arguing that women can have other personalities must have some interesting discussions. It makes me think of how I occasionally feel bad that I'm introverted and was homeschooled, because I feel like I accidentally reinforce stereotypes by not being super social. Anyway. I don't have actually that much else to say about introvert Christian women. I am one.

Oh, to close out, here's a fun story about introversion and Christianity.

When I traveled with the drama company (I'll write some of those adventures up for the blog some day - it was a unique experience, and those of you who haven't heard any of the stories would probably enjoy them) we were always going to churches where people would prophesy over us. While I believe people can hear from God and prophecy is possible, I believe that it happens a whole lot less often than some people think it does. A lot of the time when people prophesy, they're just very good judges of character and can often guess accurately what a person needs to hear or have prayed for.

I developed a nice little method to help disqualify the not-from-God ones quickly: If anyone ever prayed for me and mentioned my "quiet and gentle spirit," I knew I could ignore it. "Quiet and gentle spirit" is Christianspeak for "I know nothing about you but you seem nice." If they used that, I figured it meant God hadn't shown them anything actually about me and they were just going on instinct.

It's also the phrase people use when you're in a Christian group and there's a "go around and say something nice about everybody" activity. That's the one I get from people who don't know me. "Quiet and gentle spirit." It's well-intentioned and I don't mind it or anything. It just makes me smile. Who would have thought there'd be such an easily identifiable compliment catch phrase for Christian introverts?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Written vs. Face-to-Face Communication

Last week while I was on a plane, I saw an ad in the SkyMall magazine for some dating service which matched people up online, but met with all members individually first to get a sense of their personality when helping them create their profile. They then went on to talk about how you can't actually get a good sense of who somebody is and build a relationship via written communication, and it's not until you see them in real life that you can realize who they are.


Yeah, I don't buy that.

That makes the assumption that we are always more ourselves in face-to-face interactions than in written ones, and, for me at least, that is ABSOLUTELY not true. People who regularly read my blog probably know me better than people who regularly interact with me on a casual level. There have been times when people I have known for YEARS in real life suddenly find out a major facet of my personality and had no idea.

I'm not *hiding* my true personality in face-to-face situations so much as I just refuse to fight for the spotlight. If I'm in a social group of people who all have things to say, I will generally just let them all speak and I will say nothing, even if I have something to contribute, because I don't want to *demand* their attention.

When I communicate in writing, I don't feel like I have to force myself into a conversation. I don't have to be the loudest one at the table to make myself heard. I can just say what I want to say and move on.

When I communicate in writing, I can think about what I want to say. I can find the words to say *exactly* what I mean, without having to verbally bactkrack and say, "No, that's not what I meant."

When I communicate in writing, I'm not spending so much time trying to watch the other person and figure out if they're bored by what I'm saying or not.

When I communicate in writing, I am more open, more friendly, more willing to share who I actually am.

There's a reason every single close friend from high school is someone I met online. Although I have bridged the gap a bit in the years since high school, I still make very strong, very personal ties to online friends. And *nobody* is allowed to tell me those aren't real friendships. The best is when I meet up with those friends for the first time in real life and I click with them instantly - but not because I'm "finally getting to see who they are." We both know each other already. It's just adding another level to the friendship.

Some of the stigma of online friendships and relationships is already fading, and I'm delighted. Even if most of the people I meet in real life don't HAVE online-only friends, they know someone who does, and it's not as much of a "What kind of socially incompetent basement-dwelling monster are you?" look anymore.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Top 5, Bottom 5: Classic Movies

OK, let's do a quick Top 5, Bottom 5 list using only movies made before 1970. I have 1737 movies on my Flickchart at this point.

Top 5:
1. Casablanca (1942, #1). While the #1 status on Flickchart just means it's my #1 at the moment (my top 3 or 4 frequently rotate in and out of the top spot), it frequently has been my #1. What an incredible movie.
2. Rear Window (1954, #7). It's a LITTLE too high on my chart, but not by much. Certainly my favorite Hitchcock. Incredible suspense all in one room of a house.
3. Sunset Blvd. (1950, #9). It's a big, campy, dramatic story and I love every second of it.
4. Singin' in the Rain (1952, #11). A truly incredible movie musical that tends to work even for people who don't like musicals that much. It's a good story, good characters, some *great* songs.
5. West Side Story (1961, #21). A musical that isn't received so well by non-musical-lovers, but it's got some absolutely incredible dance sequences.

Bottom 5
1. Manos: The Hands of Fate (1966, #1712). Rifftrax is featuring this movie for their next live event on August 16! That is the only way to make this horrible movie entertaining.
2. This Island Earth (1955, #1710). I don't remember much of this. I mostly just remember it being boring.
3. Prince of Space (1959, #1707). I suspect all these bottom 5 ones will be ones I saw on MST3K. While this was a very entertaining MST3K, it's a completely ridiculous movie on its own.
4. Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster (1966, #1703). I am so not a Godzilla movie person.
5. Window Water Baby Moving (1959, #1702). Not an MST3K movie! But very experimental, which is... not in the least something I am interested in watching.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Blog Break! Maybe!

I'm writing this on Tuesday night (and posting it on Friday through the magic of the Internet... ooooh). On Wednesday I'm heading off to spend two weeks with my boyfriend in Ohio. I was so convinced I was going to be awesomely productive and have all my blog entries for those two weeks written ahead of time and just have them post on my regular days, but motivation has not been my friend since I thought of this two days ago. I may have time and opportunity to blog a bit next week, but I may not. It'll all depend. But I figured I should at least be courteous enough to let any faithful blog readers know that if I don't write again until I return on the 17th (and since I only post M-W-F, you wouldn't get a blog until the 18th anyway), nobody should panic.

All right. Well, I should finish packing now. Hopefully I'll be done by the time you read this. If not, I'll either be in South Carolina still packing (and therefore have missed my flight by two days) or I'll be in Ohio without anything, and while I support the idea of traveling light and that is very light, I'm pretty sure Jacob and his family would appreciate me changing my clothes at some point during the two weeks I'm there.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Movies I Saw In June 2012

Here we go. I'm back to my preferred movie-watching schedule, i.e. LOTS AND LOTS OF MOVIES. I watched 20 this month, and here they are. All star ratings are out of 5.

Never Let Me Go (2010). 4 stars. Mostly a romance, but it has some fascinating plot elements that I don't really want to get into for fear of spoiling it. Wonderful story with some very, very good acting, even from actors I don't like.

Interstate 60: Episodes of the Road (2002). 2 1/2 stars. Bizarre road trip movie starring James Marsden as someone attempting to deliver a mysterious package on a nonexistent highway. Completely strange and usually ridiculous, but somehow kind of charming in spite of itself.

Take Shelter (2011). 4 1/2 stars. Michael Shannon plays a man who isn't sure whether his feelings of impending doom are legitimate or a sign that he's losing it. Incredible script, incredible acting, ultimately very powerful story.

Marathon Man (1976). 2 1/2 stars. Thriller featuring Dustin Hoffman as someone who gets unintentionally mixed up in a dangerous situation involving priceless diamonds and an ex-Nazi. Doesn't really get going until halfway through the movie, but from that point on it's a lot of fun.

Ulysses (1967). 1 star. Based on the James Joyce novel. This is a difficult movie to follow, with storytelling techniques that are very original but also very disorienting. This may be a great movie, but for me was an extremely uncomfortable experience.

The Yellow Handkerchief (2008). 2 stars. William Hurt, Kristen Stewart, and Eddie Redmayne go on a road trip for, uh... no real reason. Nothing special or interesting to see here, but it's not painful.

The Duellists (1977). 3 1/2 stars. Harvey Keitel and Keith Carradine star as two men in Napoleonic (hey, Blogger says that's a word! I just made it up! Cool!) France who are engaged in a neverending duel. Still can't articulate exactly what I liked about this movie - it's just an interesting story.

The Band Wagon (1953). 3 1/2 stars. Musical about trying to write a musical, starring Fred Astaire. Really entertaining for the most part, but it loses its way about 2/3 of the way through and never really finds its footing again.

The Score (2001). 2 1/2 stars. Robert De Niro and Edward Norton planning a heist. Not super interesting as far as heist movies go, but I love Edward Norton so much that it was totally worth it for me.

Inglourious Basterds (2009). 4 1/2 stars. Several interweaving stories about groups of people trying to kill Nazis. Hugely imaginative, tremendously fun, unexpectedly hilarious - one of the most purely entertaining movies I have ever seen. A second watch could potentially bump this up to 5 stars.

Kill Bill, Vol. 1 (2003). 3 stars. Uma Thurman goes to hunt down the people who tried to kill her and did kill her unborn child. I really wanted to like this, since I'd liked Inglourious Basterds so much, but I was really unhappy with how much bloody violence was in this one. The movie is so very stylish, though, and so fascinating... I just wish there were few blood geysers shooting out of people.

Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011). 3 stars. A young girl escapes from a cultlike family to return to her sister's house. Well written and interesting, but doesn't really seem to go anywhere, and I'm not sure at all how I feel about the final scene.

My Week With Marilyn (2011). 3 1/2 stars. A young man just starting out in the movie business works on a Marilyn Monroe picture and gets to spend quite a lot of time with Marilyn. My movie review of this got a comment describing the movie as "very warm and truthful," which is exactly correct. It's not going to go in any of my "best of all time" lists, but it's a very warm movie.

Saving Private Ryan (1998). 3 1/2 stars. Tom Hanks and crew is sent on a World War II mission to find a soldier whose three brothers were killed in combat and bring him home. This movie feels much more personal that most war movies, and I found myself really engrossed in the story. Well done.

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (2011). 3 1/2 stars. Remake of the 2009 Swedish thriller about a journalist and a computer hacker working together to solve a mystery. I liked it a bit more than the original, but didn't like Daniel Craig as much as the original actor in that part.

Faces (1968). 1 star. The story of a dissolving marriage... although I had to find out on IMDb that that was the main idea, because this movie wanders all over the place and half the time the camera work is such that I couldn't even tell you what was happening. I definitely didn't get this movie at all.

Bridesmaids (2011). 3 1/2 stars. Female-centered comedy about rivalries and jealousies and hijinks in a bridal party. Pretty entertaining, and Chris O'Dowd is very charming as the love interest, but it's not a movie that's going to stick with me.

Marie Antoinette (2006). 3 stars. Kirsten Dunst plays Marie Antoinette in this biopic that follows her throughout her time in France. Interesting, but very emotionally distant and cold, which kept me from liking it as much as I wanted to.

Nowhere Boy (2009). 4 stars. Biopic of John Lennon's youth and early forming of the band that eventually became the Beatles. Well written and interesting, but not spectacular.

Mrs. Brown (1997). 4 stars. Story of the friendship between Queen Victoria and her personal servant John Brown. A very moving story, with great acting and very interesting characters.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Top Facebook Statuses of June

We have fifteen today! Just because. I got a lot of likes on statuses this month. Lookit me, being all popular. Here we go.

Turns out, if I am left alone for several hours, I start singing everything I'm doing. "I'm gonna put this blind dowwwwwn, so I won't see anything creepy through the windowwwwww..." Apparently I am now Marshall Eriksen.

It always throws me off when someone quotes a Bible verse on their Facebook status but doesn't put quotation marks around it. Several of my friends are suddenly telling me that they are my Lord and my God, and it just isn't true.

This is what it looks like when introverts and extroverts fight:
Dave: There sure are a lot of books about introverts.
Randy: Well, what else are they going to do? Go outside?
Ticia: That's because the extroverts don't know how to read.
Ticia: *zing*
Ticia: Just kidding. They just never sit still long enough to write a book.

Facebook video chat is a lovely, lovely thing. It let me actually see and hear Jacob today when I chatted with him. If I've gotta be in a long distance relationship, I'd rather it be during a time in history when technology is good enough to let me do that :-)

Josh and Sarah were having a discussion about the plural of TARDIS. I googled it and found out that it's a debated issue, which makes zero sense to me. How could it be anything other than TARDISes? It's an acronym. It's not like it can be TARDI. That would make it "Time and Relative Dimension in..."

So I tried to wash my hair with body wash instead of shampoo. I realized my mistake, rinsed it out, and rewashed my hair with actual shampoo, but since my body wash and shampoo don't match, my hair now has TWO DIFFERENT SMELLS, OH MY. However, this will certainly throw off any vengeful dogs who are tracking my scent to kill me. Win.

"I can't wait to see you! Well... I can but I don't want to." I love that my boyfriend is just as literal as I am.

"O Princess! Thou art a piteous stranger, and I shall open up thy veins and stick a coconut in 'em while I wait." An example of the stellar poetry quoted at me in a dream last night. This is the only bit I can remember.

I very nearly got into a car accident today. (Thank you, Jesus, for keeping me alive.) However, the terror I felt then was not THAT much more than my terror a few minutes ago when I accidentally ranked Mr. Deeds above Saving Private Ryan on Flickchart.

Some days just need to end with eating a bunch of ice cream and watching a bunch of Community. And then sleeping a bunch.

I asked ChaCha who invented salsa. They said: "Salsa is not easily defined. Who invented salsa? The Cubans, Puerto Ricans?" They gave me salsa philosophy...

I haven't written a status in something like 4 days. Some of you might make the very logical assumption that this means I am dead, but, actually, I'm not. Some life updates: a bird killed itself by flying into my windshield the other day. And I had a dream that Sarah made a clanking sound whenever she moved, so I opened her up and discovered she was full of screws, which seemed to be an acceptable explanation. That's about it.

Today is Jacob's birthday. It is also Felicia Day's birthday. I am more than a little jealous that his birthday celebrities are so much cooler than mine.

Lisa and I are sitting here, each with a half a watermelon, eating them with a spoon. When only two people in the house like watermelon, you can eat it however you want.

Lisa and I have discovered the ultimate disappointment: seeing a bag that looks like it contains Dove chocolate, only to find out it actually contains razors. Those are terrible substitutes for each other.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Sim Sunday: Love Is In the Air

Today's goal: Have at least some of them get jobs. For real. If there's still nothing in the paper, I'll buy them a computer so they can do some more job searching, because this lounging around doing nothing all day thing is not good for them.

Everyone but Kali and Odelia wakes up at 6 a.m. Kali went to bed late and Odelia's sleeping on the couch, which isn't as efficient, so this makes sense. They wake up just a couple hours later.

Barbara makes everybody cereal for breakfast, but Odelia's fun level is really low, so she jumps on the couch while everybody else eats.

Job success! Michael is now a test subject, making $217 a day. For six hours of work. That's $36 an hour. That's pretty typical for a sim's entry-level job. Then Dsean got a job as a team mascot. He's not quite as well off as Michael - he only makes $25 an hour. And, finally, Odelia got a job as a security guard, making... holy crap, $56 an hour. I want to be a security guard.

Whenever Lysander gets a free minute, he cleans. He must have a huge amount of neatness points. Here he is passing the time by scrubbing the toilet.

Kali wanted an easel and she hadn't gotten ANY of her goals met today, so I went along with it and bought her an easel. Lysander and Barbara immediately ran over and stared at her as she painted. It's not easy to create under those conditions!

Oh, my. Barbara is flirting hardcore with Lysander. Out of nowhere, she grabs him and kisses him up his arm. And she's not even the one who needs to get married so she can have a baby! (That'd be Odelia. I'm pretty sure she's going to marry Michael, since she has at least a bit of chemistry with him. When he gets home from work today they can flirt for a couple hours until she goes to work.)

Michael comes home from work and after a single day, he's been promoted from test subject to lab assistant, making $53 an hour. He is JUST THAT GOOD. He now works in the evenings, which is great, because that gives him more time to flirt with Odelia.

Oh, crap, I moved too fast there. Odelia tried to flirt with Michael and he rejected her. We may have to take things a little more slowly here. So they just talk and chat until she leaves for work. This is moving very slowly. Barbara and Lysander, on the other hand, have cleared developed crushes on each other. That is not the romance I'm rooting for! However, since it happened, we'll go along with it. Lysander asks Barbara out on a date and she eagerly accepts. I decide to take them downtown to the community lot so that I don't have to deal with their other housemates at the same time.

They go to a diner and spend their time telling each other dirty jokes about, uh, apparently money and the Statue of Liberty? They also make out at their table.

Eventually they're done and head home, but now because they heart each other, they can share the bathroom instead of yelling at each other to get out. Unfortunately, they just got into a fight because Barbara flushed the toilet while Lysander was in the shower and it scalded him, so he ran outside and yelled at her. 

Then everybody kind of winds down and goes to bed. Looks like we've got a budding romance happening here, although there's definitely not going to be a happy ending to this story - Lysander's greatest fear is marrying Barbara, so I'm afraid the poor girl is destined to have her heart broken.