A Good Yarn

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Weekend Update

It's full on summer around these parts, so I did my usual - a nice cool, dark movie theater. Friday night I went for some scares:

It was pretty good. A nice suspenseful film, without a lot of the blood and gore of the current crop of horror films. It's based on a Stephen King story and stars John Cusack as a writer who writes books about haunted hotels, even though he's disdainful of the idea of a spirit world. He checked into room 1408 of the Dolphin Hotel in NYC against the strong advice of the hotel manager (played by Samuel L. Jackson) and scary creepiness ensues. Cusack does an awesome job of running the gamut from humor to sorrow to fear. If you like old-fashioned scary movies and/or Stephen King books, you'd probably enjoy this one.

Saturday I went for the weepie:

and cry I did. Angelina Jolie stars as Mariane Pearl, the widow of Daniel Pearl. You probably remember that Daniel Pearl was a Wall Street Journal reporter who was kidnapped by terrorists in Pakistan and eventually beheaded. The film certainly packs an emotional punch. The story is told in a very straight forward, almost documentary-style way, without a lot of extra stuff. At first, I thought the suspense of the search for Daniel was a little diluted because we know what's going to happen - they're not going to find him. But you get so drawn into the process of everything that they're doing and invested with them that by the time the video of his death is released, you feel like you've also been punched in the gut. I think a lot of that is because of the wonderful acting of the ensemble. Jolie is outstanding showing Mariane's determination and strength as well as the devastating pain when she find out her husband is dead. Dan Futterman is great as Danny Pearl - so different than his character on Judging Amy. Irrfan Khan, who I loved in "The Namesake", is terrific again as the Pakistani police captain leading the investigation. Will Patton also is great as an American diplomat - he always brings a little question about his motives and intentions to any role and it serves him well in this one.

Today I went to a baby shower/picnic, for one of my friends from one of my knitting groups. Now I can show a secret project I made this spring:

Yes, crochet! This friend taught me how to crochet, so I thought she might get a kick out of it if I crocheted something for the baby. It was really fun and I'll definitely be crocheting some more. This is the Bright Baby Blanket from Lion Brand, crocheted in LB Cottonease.

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