A Good Yarn

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Movie Catchup

Ok, you saw the little bit of knitting I did. I also didn't see that many movies. But the ones I did see were good:

OK, you know I love the Coen Brothers and my boyfriend George is in it, so what's not to like? George plays Harry, a Treasury agent who is having an affair with Tilda Swinton's character, who is married to Osborne Cox, played by John Malkovich, who has quit the CIA and is writing his "memoirs", except his notes are accidentally lost and found by Chad, a personal trainer played by Brad Pitt, who thinks he and his co-worker, Linda Lipsky, played by Frances McDormand, can use them to extort money from Osborne Cox, or maybe the Russians, so Linda can get plastic surgery because she's having an affair with Harry too. Yep, it's totally convoluted just like it sounds, and I thought it was hilariously funny. All of these characters are as idiotic as they sound, and yet I loved watching them. The acting and crisp writing are what set this film apart. I think whether you like it or not will depend on how much you like the Coen Brothers style. It's not Fargo, but it's still pretty good.

I thought W. was just ok. I wanted it to either be hilariously funny or deeply insightful, and it was neither. Most of the funny lines we already saw in Fahrenheit 9/11 or just in the nightly news. The story is familiar to almost everyone who watches the news, too. W. was a disappointment to his daddy and jealous of brother Jeb. He partied it up in his young adulthood, but then he found Laura and Jesus and changed his life. He and his cabinet were not too worried about the facts leading up to the war, because Cheney wanted to consolidate power and get access to oil in the middle east and Rove thought it would be just great for re-election time. Colin Powell was the lone voice of reason, but eventually was a good soldier and went along. Yep, I kinda knew all that. The movie goes back and forth between Bush's early adulthood and the lead up to Gulf War II. I'm not sure that style of editing/storytelling was especially effective. And there's not really anything else about the Bush administration - 9/11, the war itself, Katrina, etc. I think we're just too close to all of this to have any good perspective, too. So, overall, it didn't totally work for me. I did, however, think the acting was amazing. Josh Brolin is far, far too good looking to be W., but if you close your eyes, he sounds just like him. I think he really captured the essence of the man and makes him fairly sympathetic. Everyone else is great too. Thandie Newton does an over the top portrayal of Conde Rice, but for me it worked because it gave it a little comic relief. I'd say this is probably worth renting if you're into politics and interested in seeing the performances.

In English that's "I've Loved You So Long". Boy, I don't even want to say too much about what this is about, because I think it sort of ruins the film. I've read a couple of reviews and they've given away too much, I think. My advice would be to just trust me and go see the movie and don't read any reviews. The beauty of the film is you are introduced to Juliette, played by Kristin Scott Thomas, at the beginning of the film and you don't really know who she is or anything about her. She looks beat down, sad and lonely, so you know she must have a story. As the film goes on, you learn more and more about her story and it unfolds like a flower - as does Juliette. Kristin Scott Thomas gives an amazing performance and you're just sitting there, fascinated by this woman. It's a French movie, with subtitles, so if that's not your cup of tea, fair warning. But otherwise, I'd highly recommend checking this out.

I'm going with the banned poster on this post for a reason. If you are offended by that poster, this movie is not for you. If Seth Rogen's face makes you giggle a little, check it out. I'm not the biggest Kevin Smith fan, but I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. Seth Rogen plays Zack and Elizabeth Banks plays Miri, lifelong friends and roommates who decide to make a little porno film in order to make some money to pay the rent and utilities. BTW, Elizabeth Banks also played Laura Bush in W., so that was quite a contrast in my mind! The film is really dirty and has Kevin Smith's usual fascination with bodily fluids, but I laughed pretty much the whole way through. It ended up being a very sweet romantic comedy, sort of in the Camp Apatow tradition.

This is another film that I don't want to say too much about so as not to ruin it. I'm going to describe the basic plot, and it's going to sound really cheesy and lame, but trust me when I say it's not. The movie is about a young Indian man, Jamal, who grew up on the streets of Bombay/Mumbai and then goes on the Indian version of "Who Wants to be a Millionaire." There are flashbacks between Jamal's life and his appearance on the tv show. There are three actors who portray Jamal throughout the years and they all are really good. Directed by Danny Boyle, you really get to see what life is like for an orphan trying to make his way through Mumbai. There are all kinds of connections throughout the movie and the story itself is such that it could have been just unbelievable, but for me, it totally worked. I think Boyle flirted with the line between art and schlock, but never crossed it. Stay for the credits, which features a wonderful Bollywood dance sequence.


Saturday, November 08, 2008

Yes, We Did!

Amazing night, wasn't it? Sorry I've been absent for so long - I don't think I've ever gone over a month without a post before. This whole having a job thing really puts a crimp in my lifestyle :-) I spent most Saturdays doing some phone calling and doorknocking and Sundays with football, so I just haven't had a lot of time for blogging. They both paid off, though. We have a new President, and it's the one I wanted and I'm in first place in my fantasy football league. Yay and yay! I also was sick for a little while, but I'm feeling tip top now, so let's get back into the swing of things!

I have a ton of things to blog about, but let's go with the knitting this time, since this is supposed to be a knitting block. I finished up a couple more thing for the Knitters for Obama project:

A pair of socks from Woolease, and a matching hat:

The sock pattern was my own - one I cobbled together from a couple of other sources and measurements of Bill's feet. The hat is Ellen's Knit Hat and I really liked it a lot. If you're looking for a basic worsted weight hat pattern, I can recommend this one.

I was the collection point for the delivery of KFO goodies to the Minnesota Assistance Council for Vets. This is a great organization that does a lot of good stuff for our vets here in Minnesota, so if you're looking for a good organization to get involved with, I can't recommend them highly enough. I got a stack of hats:


and washclothes and soap:

I had three big bags full of stuff to deliver, which was so much fun. They handed out a few of the items this week and it looks like the guys really enjoyed their new warm woolies!

I also finished up a pair of socks for myself:

Project Name: Froot Loop Socks
Pattern Source: Knitty, Spring 2008
Yarn: Chestnut Bay Fibers Galloping Colors in the Vikings colorway
Yarn Source: Chestnut Bay Fibers
Date Started: 8/30/08
Date Completed: 10/08 (I can't remember when I actually finished them)

Comments: I made these socks as part of a knitalong on the footballalong group on Ravelry. The colors are really beautiful and I can't capture them on my camera - it's a very true Vikings purple. The yarn is very soft and lovely, but it is a bit thin. I liked the pattern a lot. It's easy to memorize, but still interesting to knit. I think it would work better with a solid color and the darkest purples do swallow the texture, but I still like how it turned out. I liked the striped pooling of the colors and the variations kept the knitting interesting.

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