Entertainment 2010-14

To get on the bus that takes me to you...

It's time for the first week of the Kapgar Photo Scavenger Hunt!

You know the rules. If you don't remember, check them out in the main post. Please remember to post links to your photographs in this post, not the main announcement post.

Here are your lyrics for the week:

My lyric -
"You say it's your birthday, well it's my birthday too, yeah.
You say it's your birthday, we're gonna have a good time.
I'm glad it's your birthday, happy birthday to you."
--The Beatles, "Birthday", The White Album

Nat's lyric -
"Through my research I have found all it takes
To keep the chickens laying eggs
Is opera or Gershwin played at low volumes on dad's old radio."
--Christine Fellows, "Spinster's Almanac", Nevertheless

Odie's lyric -
"Don't your feet get cold in the winter time?
The sky won't snow and the sun won't shine
It's hard to tell the night time from the day."
--The Eagles, "Desperado", Desperado

Knock yourselves out!

I don't usually like to do a TUA on a Scavenger Hunt challenge, but I do have to post a quick photo.

And if you need help with what the picture means, check out this post and this post.

So I leave you now with Mr. Jerome Bettis formerly of the Pittsburgh Steelers...


Then we're gonna give him a best friend hug...

The plan behind the reason why this post is coming on New Year's Day instead of prior to the New Year was a complete and dismal failure. We had hoped to see a movie or two on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day and we did no such thing. Our local theater was so horrifically packed

I actually started by creating a list of all the movies we've seen, but, for whatever reason, it didn't save in the e-mail draft I had written. Thankfully, the list of finalists did save.

With no further ado, here are mine and Katie's top movies of the year starting with #10:

  1. Away We Go
    This movie almost never had a chance to charm us the way it did. Starring John Krasinski and Maya Rudolph as a couple struggling to find themselves as they're about to have a baby, I thought this film had come and gone before it even came. Luckily, it finally started airing in the Chicago suburbs nearly a month after most other places got it. It was worth the wait.
  1. Taken
    Liam Neeson kicking serious ass while trying to rescue his daughter who was kidnapped and sold into sex slavery while vacationing in Paris? Yeah, the equation for a great film!
  1. (500) Days of Summer
    I had high hopes for this film and it did not fail me. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a hopeless romantic falling for Zooey Deschanel's hopeless singleton. Can it possibly work? Well, the voice-over introduction does tell you right off the bat that this is not a love story.
  1. Inglourious Basterds
    I know I'm not rating this nearly as high as many other people have this year end, but I loved this revisionist take on WWII until just around the end when something happens that makes this film go from a "could this have actually happened and just never been reported" to a "no possible way." I really preferred believing the former as opposed to realizing the latter. But it does contain the finest acting I've yet seen in a Quentin Tarantino film. Had this maintained the illusion of semi-reality in my head, I think it would've rated much higher.
  1. Fantastic Mr. Fox
    Wes Anderson + Stop-Motion Animation + the voices of George Clooney, Meryl Streep, and Bill Murray = a surprisingly good film based on a classic Roald Dahl children's book about a fox who returns to his thieving ways despite promising his wife he'd become an upstanding citizen.
  1. Up In the Air
    I really have no idea how the films of Jason Reitman remain so consistently good. From Thank You For Smoking to Juno to this gem about a normal guy (George Clooney) who jetsets around the U.S. firing employees for spineless bosses. He believes that this is the way he is meant to live until he meets Vera Farmiga and realizes that there may actually be more to life.
  1. Star Trek
    Apparently, my earlier review led people to believe I didn't like this movie. That is not true. I liked it, just not as much as some other people. However, on subsequent viewings, I love this film. I'm not a Trekkie. I never aim to be one. But this is a thoroughly enjoyable film with some incredibly unique and spot-on casting. I can't wait for a sequel.
  1. District 9
    Easily the best scifi film I've seen in years mostly because it's presented as another one of those "so real it seems real" sorts of films. The scratchy, over-the-shoulder documentary style of filming really brought this film to life and helped hide any imperfections in the CGIs making them blend seamlessly with the live action acting. And, like any good scifi, it uses false characters and situations to bring to light real social issues (segregation and genocide) in terms that even regular joes can understand.
  1. Up!
    Can Pixar ever do any wrong? It sure doesn't seem that way. As good as this film is, though, I could handle just watching the opening segment which brings greater emotionality to a movie using animation and no dialogue than almost any live-action film I've ever seen.
  1. Hangoverposter09 The Hangover
    Four friends, Las Vegas, date-rape drugs, a tiger, a hooker, a baby, a stolen police car, Chinese mobsters, and Mike Tyson. Need I say more? Nah, didn't think so.

Oh, and the following movies are ones we have yet to see although I'm pretty sure they may have fared pretty well on our list had we gotten around to them.

  • Sherlock Holmes
  • The Hurt Locker
  • The Informant!
  • Zombieland
  • Where the Wild Things Are
  • Invictus
  • Crazy Heart

I also really liked Marty's idea of listing movies that kinda let me down. I'm just listing a single movie here because I lost my list of films we watched. I'm sure there'd be more, but...

  •  The Men Who Stare At Goats
    In concept, this movie about soldiers who are trained to use their minds as their greatest weapon should have been great. And for about the first hour it was. The final half really was terrible, though. It felt like a film that fell victim to the writer's strike of 2007 and just never was properly finished. Or maybe it had a great, but controversial, ending that studio execs nixed in favor of one they deemed would fare much better with audiences. If this is the case, Studio Exec Tampering FAIL!

What films did you enjoy this year?

Katie and I learned a few things about ourselves last night during our stay-at-home New Year's Eve celebration.

Thought we'd share:

  • We are not late-night people.
  • We are not party people.
  • Unless it is mixed with orange juice, we are not champagne people.
  • I do not have my finger on the pulse of popular music as evidenced by my not knowing half the people performing on New Year's Rockin' Eve. Justin Bieber who?
  • Unlike the Black Eyed Peas, I do not got your boom boom pow. Hell, I don't even know what your boom boom pow is. Sorry.