Friday, October 2, 2009

Friday Fantasies: A Movie Break

As regular visitors here know, I’m hard at work on a book proposal this week. So, it’s probably good that it’s a dreary-looking day in the rain-soaked woods of northern Michigan. Otherwise, I might be tempted to abandon my laptop, go for a stroll in said woods, and search for the last vestiges of blackberry season.

Of course, Dan just walked into my office and tempted me with another rainy-day activity: a trip to the movies! Now, you’d think with two film degrees between us – not to mention our two film festivals and our vast collection of DVDs – that we’d be weekly moviegoers. But, alas, the past few weeks have been a whirlwind of watching independent shorts and features for our upcoming Big Easy Film Festival, so frankly, we were “movied-out,” as my mother would say.

But today, I’ll take any opportunity to forget that phrases like “author credentials,” “competition analysis,” “sample profiles,” and “manuscript specifications” exist – at least for a little while. So, we’re going to the movies! Yahoo!

Here’s the question, though. Whatever should we see? Several films have opened this weekend, including Michael Moore’s latest, Capitalism: A Love Story; the Ricky Gervais vehicle The Invention of Lying; the Coen Brothers’ dark comedy A Serious Man; Drew Barrymore’s directorial debut, Whip It; and, of course, Zombieland. Knowing me, which film do you think I’m most anxious to see? And which do you think I’ll avoid like the plague?

24 comments:

Bane of Anubis said...

I'm dragging the missus to Zombieland tonight or tomorrow. Neither of us were big fans of Shaun of the Dead (gasp! sometimes British humor falls flat for us), but I think zL will be more up my alley (if not hers ;).

And though I can appreciate MM's vitriol to some extent in this case, I will be shying away from his cathartic wilding movie.

jbchicoine said...

Laura, I have no idea what any of these movies are about, but based on the fact that one of your favorite movies (in your profile) is Harold and Maude (one of my favorites, in my profile), I think you'll definately want to see the dark comedy, A Serious Man .

Lazy Writer said...

I'll have to agree with Bridget, A Serious Man.
Have fun!

Becky said...

Hmmm, I'd say you'll go to see the zombies, and skip Michael Moore ;-).

Hope you had fun. BTW, while you and Dan were watching movies, I was repairing damage Biko inflicted on the upholstery of Chris' truck. What was he thinking!!!

The movie I want to see the most right now is Julie and Julia. As usual, probably won't see it until video. After seeing you today though, I may try for a 3D video flick if I can find one. Had fun! If I can muster enough courage, I may try to start up a blog soon :-O so you can keep in touch! Good luck with the film fest and the book proposal!

Laura Martone said...

Becky wins! Becky wins! She guessed it totally. We just returned from seeing ZOMBIELAND, and it was awesome! Very funny - there's an especially hilarious cameo in the middle, but I won't give it away. ;-)

Now, Bane, Dan and I happen to be huge fans of SHAUN OF THE DEAD as well as HOT FUZZ - in fact, we own both and have watched them often! British humor has always appealled to us.

If you and the missus don't like SHAUN, I'm not sure if you'll like ZOMBIELAND or not, but it was quite funny. Dan didn't like it as much as I did - I think he expected more zombie action - but it really hit the spot for me. If only our dumpy little rural theater had a better sound system. The soundtrack warbled the entire time! Argh.

Anyhoo, I hope you enjoy the flick, Bane! Please let me know what you think.

P.S. Although I, too, can appreciate Moore's issues toward the big dudes of Wall Street, I just can't stand the guy. I mean, we're talking serious disgust here. Blech.

Laura Martone said...

Bridget - Yep, I do love a "small" movie, and that's so cool that HAROLD AND MAUDE is one of your favorites, too. I really adore that film and quote Maude often. :-) Also, I'm a big Coen Brothers fan (most of the time) - I especially like their dark comedies, so I have no doubt that I'll see A SERIOUS MAN soon. But tonight, it was all about the zombies!

Susan - See above answer. ;-) Nice try, though!

Laura Martone said...

Becky - You know me too well. Zombies it was. Michael Moore it wasn't. Not to get too graphic, but I'd so much rather see exploding zombie heads than feel my head exploding with every Moore-ish stunt.

We had an awesome time in Gaylord, and I'm slightly sorry to hear that you were simultaneously cleaning up after Biko. Guess it's safe to say he's back to normal. A mouthful of quills apparently didn't faze him at all!

And, yes, Dan and I very much want to see JULIE AND JULIA - especially for the Meryl Streep half. You know Dan - he loves anything that involves food and/or cooking. I'll give you one chance to guess his favorite Pixar movie. ;-)

Watching 3-D flicks at home is almost as awesome as the movie theater. Course, you should see our set-up up here... Huge screen hanging from the ceiling, surround-sound speakers, and two LazyBoy armchairs with a table in between. Can you say avid movie lovers?

We had fun today, too! Good luck with the big move - and please start a blog soon. I'd love to be your first follower - though I'm sure we'll keep in touch regardless.

Oh, and thanks for the lucky vibes - I'll need 'em. And I'll let you know how the film fest and book proposal go...

JennyMac said...

Best of luck on the book proposal. And I read Julie and Julia this summer...the book is a fun read. And I would have skipped M.M. for something more entertaining. :)

Lori said...

I love movie night. We don't go out, because of our daughter, but watch DVDs every Friday now. I know nothing of the new movies. Ask me in a few months when they come on DVD.

Strange Fiction said...

I'm late to this party. We don't get out much but we watched The Wonder Boys last night. Well, almost, I hate to admit it but I fell asleep...

Sounds like you had fun :)

Laura Martone said...

Thanks, Jenny! This proposal is kickin' my butt - so I need all the lucky vibes I can get. As for JULIE AND JULIA, I'd like to read it, too - before seeing the movie - but we'll see if I can find the time. I'm reading Dan Brown's latest right now - on my e-reader!

Lori - Dan and I don't have kids, but we still see more movies at home than in the theater. There's nothing like the theater experience, it's true, and yet watching from home is awesome! (Especially re: potty breaks.) So, like you, we typically wait for the DVDs.

No worries, Deb! I posted this entry right before I left, so it's not like I gave you much time to figure out the mysteries of my noggin. What does concern me is that you fell asleep while watching WONDER BOYS!!!! That's my favorite movie ever. Boo-hiss.

Becky said...

Ratatouille!? Great movie!

You would have loved one of the houses we were looking at when we first moved here. It had a private movie theater, complete with pop-corn machine, restroom, and fancy seats built above their large garage. That was the kids' favorite! But it's right on 612, next to the sand and gravel place, so no thanks. But I must admit it was a pretty sweet set-up, even for someone like me (I sees maybe a dozen movies a year). They had the nicest kitchen we looked at too with even a brick oven right above their fireplace (drool, drool). Just couldn't get past the gravel trucks driving by all of the time just past the small front yard....

Your movie set up sound great! Probably much better than the place in Gaylord...

And Biko's never done that to cars/trucks before. Maybe his mouth is all itchy and he needs something to chew? I think DH has forgiven him by now!!

Laura Martone said...

Once again, you are correct, Miss Becky! I like RATATOUILLE, too, but I'm still partial to FINDING NEMO.

OMG, that house sounds freakin' awesome (except for the bit about the gravel trucks). I just described it to Dan, and he was especially taken with the oven. He, too, was near-drooling.

Yeah, we sure like our set-up up here... last night, at the Gaylord theater, the sound was awful! Almost hurt the movie for us - almost.

P.S. Glad DH has forgiven poor Biko. He has had a rough week, after all.

Ink said...

Wonder Boys! One of my favorite films. And I am a wonder boy! Or so my mother said.

I'm very disappointed in Bane. No love for Shaun of the Dead? Very sad.

Laura, since you guys are back in Michigan and like books, I should probably mention that I'm selling everything in my store for a dollar... and in a little over a week I'll be having a bag sale - $5.00 per bag of books. How can you beat that? And you can write a travel book about your experience of travelling all the way to the gutted town of Windsor, Ontario! Okay, maybe an article. Okay, a blog. A short one. My store's like 45 seconds from the tunnel... who doesn't want to take a day trip in October? To see a city that looks vaguely plague-struck? You know you want to.

And I actually had free tickets to a premier screening of Capitalism, but didn't go. Gave a few away, though. Not very capitalistic, I know...

Laura Martone said...

Hi, Bryan! Oh, man, your visit reminds me that I haven't been to your blog in a while. So many blogs, so little time!

Ahem. I'm happy to hear that you're a WONDER BOYS fan - that movie never fails to inspire the writer in me.

And, yes, I'm in utter agreement about Bane. :-( SHAUN OF THE DEAD is hilarious, though admittedly I like HOT FUZZ so much more, and I'm totally excited about their next team effort, THE WORLD'S END, which is supposed to be a satire of sci-fi disaster films. Yahoo!

Thanks for the invitation, Bryan. I'll definitely consider it. I've never seen much of Windsor, but I've always wanted to explore it in depth. Especially since you make it sound SO enticing! ;-)

P.S. As for the Michael Moore tickets, you actually did what he'd probably want. Giving away free tix IS anti-capitalistic, but MM is a major socialist, so he'd probably love it! (Course, if that were really true, he'd have released his movie for free, right?)

Strange Fiction said...

Sorry Laura! It was actually my intention to request that you not throw rotten tomatoes at me for that one. Oh well, I totally deserved it. LOL :)

Laura Martone said...

You know I'm only HALF serious, my sweet. I'll forgive your lapse in courtesy and withhold the rotten tomatoes... this time. ;-)

(Sadly, I do actually have rotten tomatoes in my arsenal - darn cold snap is killing the last of my plants. *sad face*)

Bane of Anubis said...

Bryan, Laura, there's no accounting for (bad) taste :p. You guys probably like the Yankees and Cowboys, too (and I know B's all up in Lebron's mug -- yes, this is coming from a kettle-black Lakers fan :)...

SotD was a'ight, but I just thought it was a little bit over-lauded (not to CRASH levels, but still...).

Zombieland, however, was great, though, unfortunately, when I went to the grocery store afterward, they were all out of twinkies (when I went to the state fair last month, I spent a good two hours looking for my first fried twinkie -- could have done w/o the fried part, but loved the twinkie part :)

Bane of Anubis said...

PS - Deb, though I liked Wonder Boys enough, I think any movie w/ Tobey Maguire in it automatically gets extra points (usually undeserved, IMO) from the critics -- still haven't figured out why.

Laura Martone said...

Bane, Bane, Bane. What am I gonna do with you?

Nope, no Yankee/Cowboy fan here. I'm a Cubby fan all the way - and the Saints are the only football team for me (thought the Colts, because Peyton's from the Big Easy, are also a fave). So there! Phlbbt! And the Saints are winning today - the Saints are winning!!!

Overlauded?! You're kooky. I thought SHAUN was a lot more clever than ZOMBIELAND, although Columbus' rules and Tallahassee's twinkie obsession were hilarious! Funny thing - I've never had a twinkie in my life, though I've often wondered what a fried one would taste like.

P.S. I'm not so sure about your Tobey Maguire assessment. I mean, I think you're right that he's popular with the critics, but WONDER BOYS was more Michael Douglas' movie than his. IMO, of course. I really do think Douglas was born to play Grady Tripp (even with Jack T. Colton in his resume).

Bane of Anubis said...

Yeah, WB was definitely an MD vehicle (but I still think the Tobey effect applied to it).

As for SotD, I think it was trying to be a bit too clever (a failing w/ many comedies, particularly British ones, IMO). Though zL did this to a certain extent w/ plot points, each of the character types was plausible (perhaps a bit caricaturish, but not to SotD extent)... of course, I'll usually take overly clever comedies vs. the Wayans's brand of humor.

Laura Martone said...

You could be right about WONDER BOYS, Bane. All I know is I love that movie... course, the funny thing is that I couldn't stand it the first time I saw it. Now, it's one of my favorite films of all time. Go figure.

Although I can see your "too clever" point for SHAUN OF THE DEAD and HOT FUZZ, the thing about SHAUN versus ZOMBIELAND is that I actually gave a poop for Shaun and his pals - there were actually sad moments, like when he lost his stepdad and then later his mum - whereas I never felt anything for the characters in ZOMBIELAND. I mean, I liked them and all, but I never felt very invested in the movie. And, frankly, the girls were retarded for going to an amusement park. Hey, there are zombies everywhere! Let's turn on some lights and lure them here! Even Shaun wouldn't have been that retarded.

Bane of Anubis said...

Yeah, the girls were definitely TS2L -- I guess character attachment is an important component (go figure ;)... which is always hard for me to attain in any movie.

Laura Martone said...

I find that kinda sad, Bane. I may sound cynical at times, but I absolutely love it when I can connect with a character in a film. That's the case for every one of my favorite movies, be it WONDER BOYS or ROSEMARY'S BABY. If I don't care about or connect with at least one character, the film usually doesn't stay with me long. Don't get me wrong - it's not that I have to learn some worldly truth from a film or TV series, but I do have to feel something... which is why I've decided to stop watching DOLLHOUSE, despite my adoration for Joss Whedon.