A Good Yarn

Sunday, June 10, 2007

The Drive-In

I wish I knew how to make a little map of the Twin Cities and show you how much ground I covered yesterday. It's a good thing gas is cheap (NOT!!) I started in St. Paul at my house, drove to Woodbury to pick up Red, then Richfield to pick up Michael, and then Minnetrista for mini golf at Big Stone Mini Golf. There was a new hole this year, which I was quite taken with. It was underneath a metal sculpture - it looks like a canoe with round holes all over it. Inside the holes are brightly colored plastic sculptures - it sort of looks like stained glass:

You start at the left side of one end of the "boat" to tee off. If you hit your ball correctly, it goes down to the other end of the boat and hits a dish-like object, arcs up and back down to the right side of the boat and the hole is at the end of the boat on the right side, next to where you teed off.

After we mini-golfed and fed the goats, we had lunch at an old-style drive-in restaurant. Then we drove back to Woodbury to drop Red off and Michael and I continued on to Treasure Island casino to visit with my sister Kerry and Jason. Jason's dad, Raine, is a musician and his band is playing at the casino this weekend, so Kerry came along so she could visit us. Here's Jason with his new blanket:

He's getting so big! After we spent the afternoon with Kerry and Jason and had dinner with them and Raine, we headed up to Cottage Grove to meet Bill and his family for a drive-in movie. It was a double-feature.

It was ok. Not hilarious, but not horrible. It's about a penguin named Cody in Antarctica whose father has been eaten by a killer whale who leaves his mean brother and sort of overbearing mother to follow his dream of entering a surfing contest in Hawaii. His idol is "Big Z", the best surfing penguin ever who died 10 years earlier during a surfing competition. The film is structured as a documentary about Big Z, which gives it a nice layer of reality with things like cracked lenses or boom microphones and scratchy historical footage. When Cody is injured in a pre-competition surfing challenge, the lifeguard penguin he has a flirtation with brings him to her uncle living in the jungle to help him recover. Of course it turns out the uncle is actually Big Z, who didn't like the way competitive surfing was evolving, so he faked his death and just hangs out. Big Z is voiced by Jeff Bridges and immediately brings "The Dude" to mind to adult movie lovers. Of course eventually Big Z agrees to tutor Cody and prepare him for the competition. One of the funniest characters in the film is a surfing chicken that Cody becomes friends with. They really connect because the chicken also lost his father, who is shown as a bucket of fried chicken. The messages of the movie are good and there are some funny lines, quite a few of which would be over the head of the little ones, so I enjoyed it more than Happy Feet, but I wouldn't put it on the level of the great Pixar or Disney animations. It's less than an hour and a half long and it moves pretty quickly, so it wouldn't be a bad choice for the younger kids, even if a lot of the humor is aimed at adults. I should also mention that the soundtrack includes songs by Pearl Jam and Green Day, so I enjoyed that, as well.

The second film was Shred the Third. Why are there so many third sequels out this summer? Like pretty much all the other "3"s I saw so far, this one wasn't horrible, but it wasn't great either. This one finds our pal Shrek next in line for King of Far Far Away after Fiona's father dies. That's a little more responsibility than our hero can imagine, so he sets out to find and bring back the next in line after him, Arthur, known as Artie at the high school Shrek finds him at. While Shrek's away, Prince Charming has captured Fiona and the other princesses and plans to kill Shrek and take over as King. This one has the same sense of humor as the first two Shreks, but we've seen it before, so it isn't as fresh and fun as it once was. Shrek's anxiety about settling down into civilized life as a King is only sharpened by the news he's about to become a father. As usual, the film is set to a nice soundtrack of familiar oldies and the voices are all-stars. I'd say if your a big Shrek fan, it's worth checking out, but I really hope this is the last of the sequels. The "3" I want to see next is Ocean's 13, with my other boyfriend, George Clooney and my old boyfriend, Al Pacino!