Friends With Kids

I pretty much just write about TV shows, but I thought I’d change it up and write about a movie every once in a while.  A couple weeks ago I went to see Friends With Kids.  I already knew I would love it because I love the people in it.  No, it wasn’t as good as Bridesmaids, but then what is?  I don’t think it’s fair to compare the two, because they’re two completely different stories, even if half the actors are the same.  When the commercials are comparing them, they’re not saying it’s like Bridesmaids, they’re saying that the actors are also funny in this movie.

The concept is kind of hard to wrap your head around.  Two friends, best friends, decide to have a baby together, even though they plan to just remain friends and not be romantically involved at all, and just continue dating other people while being committed to raising a kid together.  I was curious to see how they came up with that idea.  Adam Scott and Jennifer Westfeldt are the last two singles left in their group of friends.  The other two couples, Kristen Wiig and Jon Hamm, and Maya Rudolph and Chris O’Dowd, are married with kids.  The two singles see how having kids have affected their friends’ lives and that gets them thinking about their own.

Jennifer Westfeldt’s character brings up the point that she wants to have a kid and how it’s scary to think that after having the kid, it would be a person who she would love more than anything, including the person she’s chosen to spend the rest of her life with.  They discuss how it might be better to have a kid now, and then find love later.  And then they somehow decide the two of them should have and raise one together.  And so they do.

This seems like a convultued idea, but think about the number of women who want to have kids and opt for sperm banks, which is considered a perfectly acceptable thing to do.  I guess this way, at least she knows the father and he’s invested in helping raise the kid.  But obviously, we know that feelings and attractions will occur, as it is a romantic comedy after all.  Apparently I like romantic comedies and chick flicks?  I honestly don’t know when the hell that happened.  But to be fair, it’s the rauchy, funny ones that I like, not the sappy ones.  So it’s okay.

And as I said, I couldn’t not love this movie because I love the people in it.  I liked seeing Jon Hamm and Kristen Wiig in another dysfunctional relationship.  And Maya Rudolph and Chris O’Dowd were great.  It was kind of weird seeing Adam Scott play a womanizing jerk as opposed to a nerdy pushover like on Parks and Recreation, but I got used to it.  And I haven’t seen Jennifer Westfeldt in anything before, but I love her.  I also love her clothes.  I found myself noticing her fashion choices throughout the movie and loving them.  I especially loved her coats and there was this red one she wore that I really wish I had.

So yeah.  Great movie, and if you don’t like chick flicks, don’t call it a chick flick.  Because it has the type of humour that should give it a different category, a better one than that.  And while I still think the concept is convoluted, I like the way the story plays out.  But I would never in a million years want to have a kid with a friend.  Unless my friend was Adam Scott, Jon Hamm, or Chris O’Dowd.


Toy Story 3

I love the Toy Story movies.  I remember as a kid going to see the first one in theatres, and my cousin jumping up and down out of his seat because he was so excited at the part where Buzz flies, or rather, falls with style.  Most sequels I don’t really care for, and Disney is no exception.  But Toy Story 2 and 3 were exceptions.

I watched Toy Story 3 again recently at my friend’s place, because it was the best thing we could come up with to watch at the time.  And it was a good choice.  In this setting, I found myself beginning to actually analyze certain things in the movie, because I was among friends where we could just say whatever the hell we were thinking.  I won’t get into it too much, because I do not want to give the impression that I’m trying to tear down this movie at all.  I just want to state a few things that came to mind as I watched it again.

To refresh your memories, the third one is the one where Andy is going off to college, and the toys are left worried about their fate.  It’s been a while since they’ve been played with, seeing as Andy is now 17 years old and has more important things to do.  Up until this point, I had watched these movies with my family.  Being with friends, our minds tend to wander in a certain direction.  Towards the gutter.  My friend speculated as to whether the toys may have witnessed Andy doing things that most 17 year old boys do.  In the privacy of their own bedrooms.  Not knowing that their toys can see everything.  That would be somewhat disturbing, don’t you think?

In one scene, the toys talk about how someday Andy will get married and maybe have kids of his own, and then they will get played with again.  That seems rather a long time to wait.  If that’s what they’re hoping for, the toys should really be trying to form a plan to get Andy a girlfriend and then hope he knocks her up.  I wonder why they never considered that for a story line.  Toy Story 4: Getting Andy Laid.  I think it has potential.

When the toys get themselves stuck at the daycare where things are not at all what they expected, at one point, Jessie says that it was all her fault.  Woody then says no, that they shouldn’t blame her.  At that point, I’m yelling it is your fault, bitch!  Yeah, not a big fan of Jessie.  When Woody tries to tell them that they still belong to Andy and they should respect what he wants, they mention that they don’t belong to anyone anymore and can be free.  This seems reminiscent of a someone in a relationship who is sick of being tied down.  Rather than committing to one person, the toys are now free to be played with by everyone.  Andy’s name written on them in sharpie is sort of like a tramp stamp and like when someone has a tattoo of the name of their ex.

If they added a few things and took these ideas further, they could make an R rated version.  But enough of that.  Let’s focus on Andy for a minute.  In terms of them getting him a girlfriend, I realized that plot wouldn’t work.  Cause I think Andy might be gay.  I mean what 17 year old still plays with a cowboy doll?  Also, has he hit puberty yet?  From listening to his voice, it sure doesn’t sound like it.  Even if he’s not gay, I don’t think his chances with the ladies are that great.  What’s his pick up line gonna be?  Wanna see my Woody…?

At one point, Andy’s mom tells him to get his toys together and figure out which ones to keep and put in the attic and such.  She tell him he’s got to be more responsible now.  Yeah, because nothing says responsibility like gathering up all your old toys.  Also when he  drives to the little girl’s house with the toys, he’s on his way to college.  But apparently even though he’s in a hurry to get there, college can wait while he plays with toys for a couple hours.  Really?

All things considered, I love this movie.  And I do apologize if I’ve tainted it slightly for you with my thoughts.  But apparently these are the sort of things that go through my mind when I watch these movies now.  I could go further, but I won’t.  I hear they might be making a Toy Story 4.  Who knows what thoughts that one will evoke?

All This, and Heaven Too

I am not referring to the song by Florence + the Machine (although I do like it).  There is no comma in that song title.  I am referring to the 1940’s film starring Bette Davis.  Why am I watching old movies instead of listening to new music?  Because I can.  Because I have random movie channels that play random movies, both new and old.  And because sometimes I have nothing better to do.  And after all, this blog is called what are we watching, not what are we listening to.

In this movie, Bette Davis plays a governess for a family where she is loved by the children and their father, but despised by their mother.  And due to no fault of her own, unfortunate circumstances and events seem to play out for her.  She is more of a mother to the children than their own mother appears to be, although maybe that was the case in a rich family that had a governess.  But the mother is cold and rude and doesn’t seem to care for the well being of her own children.  She is also insanely jealous.  I just kept thinking “wow, what a bitch.”At one point the governess tells her that the little boy is too sick to go out, but she forces him to accompany her, and as a result, he becomes very ill.

My favourite thing about this movie is the little boy.  When he’s sick, you’re worried that he might die, and when he’s well, he’s just so cute.  The way he talks to his father and says “pa paw” is adorable, but not as adorable as when he refers to the governess as mademoiselle, but pronounces it “mum-selle”.  Richard Nichols, who played the boy is now 76 years old.  I’m not sure if he went on to other roles as an adult.  But either way, playing that four year old boy had to have been his best role.

The movie was a bit long, but I didn’t mind it.  I found myself getting angry as I watched it.  Which is good, because that meant that it was holding my attention.  I was angry at the circumstances that Bette Davis’ character was faced with, and at how bitchy the mother was, and at how stupid the father was.  Love grows between him and the governess but is never acted upon.  But this movie seems to explore the idea that the love itself could be considered a crime.  Well there is an actual crime committed as well, but I don’t want to spoil it in the off chance you might actually want to watch it.  Although when I watched the movie, it was already spoiled, as it was stated in the movie description on my TV.

If you do happen to ever be in the mood for an old drama romance movie, this one isn’t bad.  Though if you’re like me, certain things about it might make you angry.  It bothers me that the governess has to suffer even though she is guilt free.  But things work out for her in the end.  And it was actually based on a book that was based on a true story.  I’m not sure if that makes it better or not.  But if nothing else, just watching the scenes with the little boy in them makes this movie worth it.

The Postman Always Rings Twice

This is a movie from 1946, based on the 1934 novel.  I watched it the other day, as we seem to be getting some extra movie channels.  The film follows the classic plot line of boy meets girl, girl is already married, they both conspire to kill her husband.  The man happens upon a diner and gets a job there, falling in love with the owner’s beautiful wife.

The husband in question is rather old and stupid.  He is oblivious to what his wife wants in their relationship and doesn’t seem to realize that she may be unhappy and possibly drift elsewhere for attention.  One might think you’d feel sorry for the unsuspecting husband. But throughout the movie I couldn’t help but think “you’re so dumb, you deserve to die”.  His wife tries to love him and make things work but his stupidity is ultimately why their marriage is failing.

An example of his stupidity is when his wife goes to the beach and instead of going with her, he lets the man who’s falling in love with her go instead.  At one point the wife is explaining to this man why she married her husband in the first place, but it doesn’t really make sense.  Something about her having to fight off many men who wanted to be with her and so she accepted his marriage proposal to avoid all that.  And that she tried to grow to love him but that clearly didn’t work out, seeing as him being stupid is more of a problem than him being unattractive.

I spent this entire movie waiting for the postman.  I thought it would be some key point in the movie, where the postman ringing the doorbell would be of some significance, a major turning point in the plot.  I waited and waited.  Spoiler alert, there is no postman.  It’s a metaphor.  Not even a great metaphor really.  But yeah.  They really should’ve called it The Postman Never Shows Up, or There Is No Postman.  That would’ve been less misleading.

Despite my disappointment upon the realization that there was no postman, I did enjoy the film.  I think it’s been deleted off my PVR now, to allow room for more random movies and shows which we do not have time to watch at the times they are on.  But that’s okay.  I liked it, but I think I only need to watch The Postman Always Rings Twice, once.

Joyful Noise

What movie is that again?  Oh, you know, it’s the choir competition one with Dolly Parton and Queen Latifah.  I know, you’re thinking what, but that’s not in theatres until Friday, how have you seen it already?  Or, more likely, you’re thinking, why?  Simple, my mom won tickets to the preview.  Yeah, it would’ve been nice if she’d won tickets to something I actually wanted to see, but I’ll take what I can get.

I went in with zero expectations.  Because, well, do I really need to explain why?  Dolly Parton’s husband, the choir director dies in the beginning of the film and Queen Latifah is appointed as the new director instead of her.  Based on the commercials for this movie, it looked as though Dolly Parton was the one who was going to be all upset and jealous.  Actually, I found her character to be pretty nice and reasonable.  Queen Latifah was the one who was a self righteous bitch the whole time.  Throughout the movie I kept thinking why is she so bitchy?  As the movie progresses, we see life circumstances that have contributed to said bitchiness, but still.  And to add to this drama, there’s the common love story between Queen Latifah’s daughter and Dolly Parton’s grandson.

You know when you get the DVD for a movie and watch the deleted scenes, and there are some that are completely unnecessary and you can see why they weren’t included in the movie?  I felt like some of the scenes in this movie could fall into that category, except that for some reason, they weren’t deleted.  About 20 minutes into the movie, I thought, how is this going to be 2 hours long?  An example of an unnecessary scene is when they show Queen Latifah in her job at the hospital as a nurse and a patient grabs her arm, causing her to drop a bedpan that she has just removed from his bed.  Literally, that’s the whole scene.  What was the point of that?  My guess is it’s supposed to make us feel sorry for her?  There’s also a scene in which Dolly Parton sings a rather boring song and there’s a vision of her dead husband dancing with her.  The song was really long and repetitive.  I could have done without it.

The singing was generally good though.  I like Keke Palmer, who plays Queen Latifah’s daughter and I think she has a good voice.  I guess Jeremy Jordan was alright too.  Their love story was one of those typical things but I didn’t mind watching it.  I preferred it to seeing Queen Latifah act all moody.

I find that there are some weird people who go to movie previews.  A lot of times during the movie, people in the audience would laugh.  And my mom would turn to me and ask “Why are they laughing?”  And I would respond with “I don’t know!”  After the movie was over, I overheard an older lady beside us saying “Wasn’t that good?  That was so good!”, as if it was the greatest thing she had ever seen.  This confused me.  I’ll say that the movie was okay.  The fact that it was free probably helped.


RiP!: A Remix Manifesto

I watched this movie in class yesterday.  Yes, there are courses at UBC where the prof shows you a movie.  CRWR 213 with Charlie Demers.  I was lucky enough to get a spot in this course.  How awesome is it?  Well I figure the fact that we watched a movie on the first day is a good sign.

The movie is a documentary by Brett Gaylor about copyright infringement.  I know, that doesn’t exactly sound like the most interesting of topics.  But it really was fascinating.  Having worked at the bookstore, I know a bit about copyright laws, but not that much.  There’s a lot involved.  Having gone to school, we all know about plagiarism and citations and using other people’s work in terms of writing.  This movie goes into the copyright laws regarding music and film, something that I didn’t quite know much about and tends to have some grey areas.

The documentary focuses on Girl Talk, who’s music consists of sampling and mashups.  Taking forms of already existing music in order to create something new, he is being innovative and creative.  However, some have said this use of other artists’ songs could constitute as copyright infringement.  The film focuses on various other things such as Napster and Disney, and goes into the issues surrounding copyright laws and how they pertain to us in the world of media today.

I like that Gaylor talks about the fact that things he shows us in the movie could be considered copyright infringement and that he could get sued for it, but uses the right of fair use as a justification.  His way of informing us and giving his opinion on the matter is done in a way that is both informative and entertaining.  If you’re interested in this sort of thing, I recommend watching it.  If you’re not interested and aren’t even sure what copyright infringement means, I still recommend watching it.  I’m not generally a big fan of documentaries but this one is definitely worth the watch.


Stay tuned

I know I promised TV and movie reviews.  And that none have yet appeared.  Please be patient.  This is only day 2 of this blog.  In time, they will come.  I need to spend time watching said movies and TV shows first before I can blog about them.  And then I have to decide which of those movies and TV shows I actually feel like writing about.

In the mean time, here are some examples of the types of posts that may later appear on this blog…

Well these particular posts won’t appear on this blog.  Because they already appear on my other blog.  Having them appear on multiple blogs would just be overkill.  I suppose I could always delete them from there and recreate them here, since this blog would be a more fitting place for them.  I imagine they would feel more at home here.  But they probably don’t want to be destroyed either.  If I redo them here, they would no longer be their original selves, they would be like clones.  It just wouldn’t be the same.  I suppose they shall just have to remain where they are now, even though they might not completely fit in.  They will just have to learn to make do.

Think of this post as a sort of commercial break between shows.  Or rather, as a preview before the movie.  Yes, that makes more sense.  Sometimes the previews are good and sometimes they aren’t.  You have no way of knowing really.  You just have to take that chance and sit through them in order to pass the time for what you actually came for.  Or you could always kill that time getting popcorn or just show up late with the intention of skipping them.  But then you run the risk of a lousy seat.  And I’m pretty sure you’ll want to have a good seat for when you’re reading my blog.