Oscar Notes

Mar. 8th, 2010 09:37 am
magicalmartha: (Pretty necklace)
- People who looked unequivocally fabulous: Anna Kendrick, Rachel McAdams, Helen Mirren
- I am 100% ok with Chris March becoming Meryl Streep's pet designer
- If I look half as fabulous as Helen Mirren does when I am her age, I will have lived a good life.
- Ditto for Sigourney Weaver, although I wish the top of her dress had been a bit less boxy.
- Cameron Diaz usually has at least one element of her look that is off/horrible in some way, but last night she NAILED it.  She looked awesome, head to toe.
- Kathryn Bigelow won my unofficial Most Smokin' Director award last night.  Although I felt bad for her when she looked like she was about to faint onstage at the very end there - couldn't someone have given her a hand? 
- Gabourey Sidibe, please, don't ever change.
- Ditto Neil Patrick Harris.  Can he please have random musical numbers at ALL awards shows?
- Carey Mulligan FINALLY hits it out of the park, after a run of near-hits.  Lovely.
- Dear Kristen Stewart: if you, like I've been urging, finally fired your stylist/actually got a stylist/punched your stylist in the face so that he'd LEARN, congrats.  You looked great.  Also, a large portion of that was the fact that you SMILED and looked like you were ENJOYING yourself.  Keep it up!  I'd rather see you look fun, fresh and lovely than dour and sulky (which, honestly, is usually your MO).
- Jennifer Lopez's dress was wearing its own sidecar.
- I wish Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin had gotten more face time.  When they were on, they were quite funny; I just felt like we never SAW them.

On Kathryn Bigelow and the "OMG she's a FEMALE DIRECTOR" thing: yes, I'm glad that Bigelow was the first lady director to win the Oscar.  But I think the important thing is that I honestly believe she would have won even if she'd been male.  She won her Oscar on artistic merit and skill, and she absolutely deserved it; she did NOT win SOLELY BECAUSE she is a woman.  Personally, I think it says more about how sexist our society is that we think it's a bigger deal that Bigelow is a woman than that a director made such a raw, powerful, gritty, great film.


I just found a page of tweets courtesy of Entertainment Weekly about the celebs heading to the bar during the ceremony.  GAZE UPON THEIR BOOZING (I will definitely be camping out at the bar if someone ever lets me into the Oscars):

Jeremy Renner is at the bar drinking water. ‘I’ll alternate it with scotch,’ he says. ‘It’s only 6 pm. I’ve got to pace myself.’”

“After losing best original screenplay to Mark Boal, Tarantino and producer Lawrence Bender head to the bar for tequila shots.”

“Clean up in aisle three: Woody Harrelson broke his wine glass at the bar. He started cleaning it up himself, until a bartender took over.”

Sam Worthington ordered a beer at the bar — then realized he didn’t have money to pay for it. Bartender gave it to him free.”
(Note: I would buy Sam Worthington a beer.  I would buy him SEVERAL.)

I will most likely be posting thoughts on the actual winners on my movie blog later.  Summary: while I did not agree with some of the Academy's choices, I was surprised by none of them.  I don't know which is a bigger disappointment, although it wasn't a bad thing in some cases.


Feb. 19th, 2010 11:38 am
magicalmartha: (ZQ doesnt even know what to do)
I got my hair cut last Saturday, and it is Very Short.  I'm kinda pissed about it, since the stylist took off several inches more than I asked her to, but it's kinda cute and hair grows.

I also had my eyes examined for the first time since I first got glasses, about four years ago.  I REALLY needed my prescription changed, since I'm having trouble reading street signs and recognizing people unless they're a foot away from me.  My new glasses should be here today; I need to call the optometrist and see if they came in.

I saw The Hurt Locker, Up in the Air, and The Wolfman, all of which I enjoyed to varying degrees.  (For my evaluation of The Hurt Locker, see my blog; discussions of the other two are forthcoming.)  Watched Zombieland at home last night, it was superfun.

Not a whole lot going on right now.  Work is alternately mind-numbingly stressful and hardcore boring.  Today is one of those stressful days.
magicalmartha: (Moooovies)
I really like my book blog Alternative Read, but I ALSO really like talking about movies, so here's the companion blog to AR:

Boycott BluRay

At the moment it's mainly Oscar discussion, since they're right around the corner.  But stay tuned for pretty much anything that pops into my head relating to film.
magicalmartha: (Moooovies)
DAMN but this was a GREAT year for film.  I saw a whole bunch of really enjoyable, well-put together movies, and I thought that in general, there weren't very many poor showings.  That said, here's what I thought truly blew me away.

10. Adventureland
9. The Soloist
8. Up in the Air
7. Taken
6. Up
5. District 9
4. Where the Wild Things Are
3. Coraline
2. Fantastic Mr. Fox
1. Star Trek

I stand by putting Star Trek in my number one slot, and I'll tell you why.  Not only did I enjoy watching it more than any other film this year (and more than most films in a long time), but I thought the acting was fabulous, the story was fun, and it looked great.  Re-view-ability is pretty important to me, and Star Trek has it in spades.  But I also thought it went beyond the normal summer popcorn fair - it not only revived a classic canon, but breathed new life into it.  The pacing was excellent and the script was fun (also pretty witty).  It wasn't perfect, but hardly any film really is.
magicalmartha: (I reject your captaincy)
I liked it, I really did.  I just...didn't love it.  After a whole lot of thought, I've decided that stunning visuals (and it really was stunning - I was blown away by how the film looked) can't make up for poor direction and bad acting.

Massive spoilers, and also they're blue )

In summary, it's worth seeing on the big screen, but I don't think this is going to revolutionize science fiction film.  I thought Star Trek and District 9 were both better films by far, and frankly I'm a little annoyed that the general consensus is that Avatar's existence is going to knock both of those films out of the Oscar race, and lord knows I'm a big proponent of summer films getting recognition.  But I guess we'll see.

magicalmartha: (Whimsical)
You can read now about all the weird shit I find on the web, as well as some random lists and the crazy crap my bird does, here: My bird stands on one foot.

One of the coolest parts about Christmas day was not only the awesome slow cooker I got (it's red) but that I made waffles from scratch for breakfast.  They were delicious (and my dad made bacon).

I watched The Hangover last night, and I laughed so hard I almost cried.  Seriously, talk about underrated films.

Speaking of underrated and overrated movies, I'm putting together my own "decade of cinema" lists for those very things, and I'd like to hear from you.  I've got my own ideas, but what films did you think were critically under- or overrated?  (Think of these as my "I know people are going to disagree, but dammit, I HATED <whatever>, and it's MY list" lists.)

magicalmartha: (Citiscape)
 On Friday I skipped work to have a mole removed from my foot.  The mole was not cancerous, but my dermatologist said it was definitely a "high risk" blemish - words that made me nervous enough to have the whole thing cut out.  So now I have four stitches in the really thin skin right about my heel on the inside of my right foot.  It hurts to walk, so I've been moving in this kind of twisted club foot-esque fashion.  When strangers ask me why I'm limping, I've been telling them mysteriously that I have a congenital birth defect.

But seriously, if I don't know you, why would you care about my foot?  Or expect me to share?

Before I got my parrot, I did a lot of reading on them - what they eat, what their habits are, that kind of thing.  Because I am a responsible pet owner.  Almost everything I read said that conures like to have hidey holes, things to poke their heads in, and things to sleep in.  So when I set up Dizzy's sleeping cage I included a fuzzy sleeping tent.  I had no idea if he was actually using it or not, because he always wakes up before I do; but Monday morning, I slept all the way through to my alarm and realized Dizzy wasn't making noise in his cage, waiting to be let out.  I pulled the sheet off and had a split second panic attack because I couldn't see him in the cage at all - until I noticed the long red tail feathers poking out the end of the fuzzy tent.  He didn't move or make a sound until I tugged on his tail feathers, wherein he immediately poked his head out the other end all "What?  A guy can't get five more minutes?"

And it was pretty much the cutest thing ever.

There are three firms that work on the floor that my dad's firm is on.  One is a two-man team that just broke off of my dad's firm.  They're very used to using the assistants in the office to do their filing and such, but one of them is such an asshole that as soon as they formed their own firm all of us were like "Oh good, we don't have to deal with them anymore."  But since they do still need administrative help, I've been hired to do part time work for them (about 5-7 hours a week) at an additional income of $20 an hour (which is slightly more than my normal hourly rate).  As a consequence, I will end up staying later or coming in earlier more often so as not to affect my salary, but hey, extra cash is extra cash.  I will gladly come in an hour early to the tune of an extra $100 a week.

I got my shipping notice for my copy of Star Trek.  While I'm slightly annoyed that I don't have it NOW THIS INSTANT, I'm willing to wait for the sake of the discounted price I paid for it.

My mom has decided she wants to see more movies in theaters, a result of which is that I get to see more movies in theaters.  We saw Coco Before Chanel on Sunday, which was pretty much brilliant, and tonight we're going to see An Education.  I've also been holding weekly movie nights, the goal of which is to bring films most people haven't seen before, and so far it's a resounding success.  Our roster so far:
The Slipper and the Rose
A Boy and His Dog
Night of the Hunter
(which I'd seen!  Did Seth show me this?  I don't remember!)
I've got Saving Face on the backburner, and my mom gave me a pamphlet with cult films on it from the library, so undoubtedly movie nights will only get more interesting.
magicalmartha: (Coraline says WHOA THERE)
I had a funk-ass horror dream last night... I don't remember everything, but the general gist was that there was a Prince, and his birthday was coming up, and I was some kind of minor hanger-on to his entourage.  At one point we (the Prince and six or so of his buddies, and myself) killed a really massive squid/octopus/thing, and cut off all of its tentacles.  I pushed the now-legless body stump back into the ocean, and then we retired to some pub to tell the Prince how awesome he was.

The next day, or at some point in the undefinable future of dreams, we go swimming or something, and what should come rising out of the depths but THE RAVAGED TENTACLES OF THE OCTOPUS.  This is one of two scenes I remember very well, because frankly ocean where I can't see the bottom scares the bejeezus out of me.  So the angry octopus comes rising out of the deep dark ocean, wraps what's left of his stumps around the Prince and drags him off to who knows where.  There is much thrashing and shrieking from the entourage, but the Prince is totally drowned and dead.

A little later again, we're walking across some rampart dressed all in mourning, and I turn to look over the edge of the stone wall out into some kind of bay, and I see three really, really awful things:

1. A really, really big, chained outline of Cthulhu under the surface of the water (even in the dream, at this point I was like, well, never watching THAT movie again....) which is really evil and scary and people either don't notice it or don't care; I get the impression that it's a fact of this town's life because of the two other things I see;

2. A retainer poking a bobbing lump that looks like the Prince's head suffused onto the octopus' body out into the bay toward the Cthulhu shadow;

3. A tradesmen of some kind (I want to say a baker, but I don't know for sure) accidentally slip and fall into the water, and emerge with a literal target branded on his face.  While we watch, he turns into a raving madman who, after people try and restrain him, rips off his own arms.

On waking, I realized that I can never watch that Cthulhu movie ever again, and that I probably shouldn't play the RPG even though I kinda want to. 

magicalmartha: (Mimi feels like dancing)
Since I moved back from Iowa, the mattress I was sleeping on has occupied the garage.  It is a lovely, serviceable double that I've slept on for most of the past eight years or so, and I was thrilled when my mother said I could take it to school with me.  Of course, when I did, my parents promptly bought a queen sized bedframe and mattress to put in my room, so that people could continue to use it as a guest room.  This is the bed I've been sleeping on since I got home, since I obviously can't have two mattresses in one room.

I am in love with this bed.

It's squishy but not uncomfortably so, it's big, it's wonderful, I sleep soundly on it.  Now that I'm moving out in a couple of weeks, I'd started resigning myself to transferring back to the double and readjusting my sleep habits accordingly, and frankly it was making me sad to know I wouldn't get to sleep on this mattress anymore.

But yesterday I received wonderful news: my parents sold the beach house they owned part of!  And we get to bring back all the furniture we had there!  And by the way, Martha, do you want the queen mattress up there?  No?  Well, how about the one in your room now, and we'll just replace that one with the beach house mattress?

So I'm incredibly pleased, even though the room I'm moving into is not big and the mattress will likely take up 90% of my floor space.  I love this bed and I get to keep it.

Continuing to enjoy Netflix.  I watched Cthulhu the other day (made recently, not the old black and white one or the one from the eighties) and I have mixed feelings about it.  It is very Lovecraftian, and it has a decidedly amateurish feel to the camerawork, which I think might actually be beneficial to the effect.  I dunno.  It's short, so at least if you don't like it, it doesn't last very long.

Priceless, on the other hand, is lovely and charming and satisfying.  A very solid French romance with Audrey Tautou, who I think is gorgeous.

IKEA tomorrow, for to buy shelving.  I love buying housewares.

District 9

Aug. 30th, 2009 11:18 pm
magicalmartha: (Moooovies)
Saw District 9 tonight.  It was...much better than I expected, but it was also much, much harder to watch than I expected. 

District 9 spoilers )

I did read two excellent books last week, both by Charles de LInt and both vastly different experiences.  I liked Yarrow more than Angel of Darkness, and eventually I'll write about why.

I've decided I'm going to play in a WarMachine tournament coming up at a Chicago games store, so in preparation for that I have a buttload of painting to do and I also need to practice playing timed games.  I know that I take too long to think about my turns, so I really need to work on konwing solidly what my army does, what I have to do to get them to do their thing the best they can, and how it all will play out in different games.  I've got three weeks, so we'll see if I can get ready in time.  If not, I'll at least have a fully painted 500 points and actual tournament experience, even if it's a losing experience.

magicalmartha: (Lions tigers and bears OH MY)
New blogpost, discussing my favorite book-to-movie adaptations:


magicalmartha: (Dug)
I saw Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince at the midnight showing, and I think I was disappointed.  It is sitting a little oddly with me, since I realized I don't actually remember that much of the book; the sense I got, though, was that while I enjoyed the movie I saw, I think they made bad choices as to what scenes to leave out and what to include.
Half Blood Prince spoilers )

In other news, my bird is arriving at the airport tomorrow around 2:30.  I'm super excited; I made a vet appointment for Saturday, so I can meet the vet staff and they can meet the bird and make sure everything is ok, and so that if (God forbid) an emergency does happen I won't be taking him to a stranger.  Today I'm going to check out a specialty bird store, to see if I can find a playgym for him, so he has something to monkey around on when he's out of the cage. :D

magicalmartha: (Pudding)
I sent in my down payment on Dizzy, so he is officially the bird I will be receiving.  I bought a birdcage and bedding today, and will be getting some toys this weekend (I'm going to wait to get food until RIGHT before he arrives, just so I know it won't spoil or anything).  So now Keith the breeder just needs to arrange the flight, and Dizzy and I can begin our birdie friendship.  :D

I also started my job at Borders FINALLY.  I went in on Thursday and filled out all of the paperwork, and did some training stuff.  It's funny, it took me like four weeks at the Java House to get to learn how to use the espresso machine, and Borders got me on it the very first day - my supervisor had me make a latte, a cappuchino, and three different kinds of mocha before my "shift" was over.  I'm working next week Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday, and hopefully after my training is done I'll be getting more hours as I can work more by myself.  It'll be nice to have something to DO, although I'll be sad to see my free time go out the window.

I'm almost done painting a unit of Dryads for my wood elf army, which is significant to me because they will be my very first completed unit of any models.  I had to take a break from my elf guard because their cloaks ended up the wrong color, it's a much more teal shade of blue than I wanted (I'm doing a winter themed army, so I'm trying for a more gray color).  I think I'll be ready to rethink them following my success flush after the Dryads.  /nerd moment

I watched Dead Snow tonight with Billy and my dad, and EVERYONE SHOULD SEE THIS MOVIE.  It's NAZI ZOMBIES.  NO REALLY.  ZOMBIE THAT ARE ALSO NAZIS.  And it's Norwegian, too, so it features a whole lot of Scandinavian rock music. :D
magicalmartha: (Pink flowers in her hair)
I had a really good Fourth.  I love going to Minnesota - my mom's family is from there - and every time I come back I have the sort of reflective thought that I could live there at some point.  My aunt and uncle's house is fantastic; they have a HUGE lawn framed by this gorgeous thick spread of trees, so it's perfectly balanced between civilization and wilderness.  My aunt is also an avid gardener, and their back garden is lovely and peaceful.  Also they get MASSES of interesting birds at their feeder, including a pileated woodpecker who doesn't think he's too large for their feeder (but he really, really is) and lots of hummingbirds.

Point being, if I ever needed to restart my life, Minnesota/Minneapolis is on the list of places I would move to.

I finally made contact with the folks at Borders, and I'm going in on Thursday to fill out my paperwork and I'll start training next week.  I've really been frustrated with the treatment I've gotten there so far - never once have they called me back when they've said they were going to.  In every single case, they've given me a date by which I should expect to hear from them, and the dates go by three or four days before I lose patience and call them myself.  And every time I get "No one called you?  They should have called you three days ago!"  No, no one called me back.  That's why I'm calling.  Because, you know, I'd REALLY LIKE to start making money.  *headdesk*

My plan to read only books I've never read before this summer is so far a success.  My next book is The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Murakami, which I recently found I was NOT the only person on the planet not to have read yet.  It just felt like it sometimes but that's because I talk to Sam about books when I shouldn't.  I'm looking forward to it, though.

You know what else I'm looking forward to?  The continuation of summer movies.
Public Enemies
Harry Potter
The Ugly Truth
G.I. Joe
Julie and Julia
District 9
The Time Traveler's Wife
Final Destination 4
Because OF COURSE the world needed another Final Destination movie.  IN THREE DEE YOU GUYS.  That's almost as good as the Choose-Your-Own-Adventure flavor of the last one.  Oh God, please let Hollywood continue to make idiotic sequels to stupid movies that obviously exist only for my personal entertainment.  I would hate to think that filmmakers were starting to take themselves too seriously.

magicalmartha: (Moooovies)


Transformers 2 spoiler alert )

Today will probably be my last day at my dad's office, which means I get a couple days of downtime before starting at Borders.  Which I'm really glad about; it'll be nice to just enjoy the summer for a couple of days.
magicalmartha: (Le Grande Chef)
First, a Cody update - I called the shelter today, and he has been adopted.  This makes me sad, because I wanted to adopt him, but I am also happy that he has found a good home with people who love him.  THEREFORE the dog search is officially on hold until I move out of my parents' house, because my mother told me irrevocably that she would Not Be Happy if we had three dogs running around again.  Slap me if I talk about petfinder.com before that.

On the other hand, the apartment search is slowly kicking into overdrive.  I have successfully convinced my two future roommates that our original price cap was more generous than it had to be, and indeed, we are now finding nice, dog-friendly places with on-site laundry for $200-$300 less than before.  Three-bedroom places are tricky to find, though.

Up spoilers. )

Tomorrow is spinning class number two.  I hope that this turns out to be as beneficial as people have told me it can be.  It certainly FEELS like it's busting my ass while I'm doing it.

magicalmartha: (Pretty necklace)
I've been reading mass quantities of John Connolly, and he makes me think of Neil Gaiman, and for some reason this ALSO makes me think of comics, the end result of which is that I want to write loads and loads of gothic fantasy.  Which is bad only in that I feel like right now all my writing would just be regurgitated forms of better novels I've already read.  And part of my knows that I should do it anyway, just to get all the regurgitation out of my system (as it were) so I get past it, but...

So I might start posting snippets of writing.  Because otherwise I'll end up with a stack of looseleaf paper, scribbled over with tons and tons of half-formed paragraphs.  Well, this might happen anyway....But I can also share my fractured thoughts with you!  :P 

In other news, Terminator: Salvation comes out tomorrow.  If it's half as good as Star Trek it will be awesome.  (Note: all I need for it to be awesome is for Christian Bale to be shirtless at some point and for him to kill lots of robots.  Also to see his cheekbones, because they are phenomenal.)

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