Tag Archive: movies


So I log on to make a new post and WordPress looks absolutely nothing like it did a few days ago. What the???

Well anyway… back to what I was going to post about…

Yesterday I closed my account with BB&T. They didn’t even ask why I was closing my account. You could tell they just didn’t give a shit. I guess after the whole “occupy” thing and everyone switching to credit unions they’re just so used to it. But switching to a credit union is definitely the way to go, in the event someone reading this was contemplating.

After my bank fun and a little shopping I picked Katie up from work. Her ex sent her a “moneygram” and we ended up going to several places hoping in vain someone would cash it. We didn’t have any success, but she was able to cash a refund check from the electric company and she insisted on paying for dinner. I wouldn’t have any of that, but I did cave and let her pay for the movie tickets…

We went to see Frankenweenie at the Brew-n-view. It was pretty good overall, if not earth-shattering. While it was clearly aimed at children, it never came off as cheesy or pandering, and there were plenty of jokes adults would love. There were a lot of neat homages to classic black-and-white horror movies, but it mostly avoided the popular trend of inserting a million pop culture references to make you laugh. The bottom line is that if you’re a Tim Burton fan you’ll like it. It wasn’t my favorite of his movies, and after a while the 3-D glasses were giving me a headache, but it was definitely an enjoyable movie experience.

That’s about all for now. I’ll probably play around with this weird new setup and hopefully get around to posting my long-delayed best-of-2012 list. I have a few more albums to listen to before I set anything in stone, but it’s almost finished. Until then…..

 

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Merry New Year!

We’re now about four hours into 2013 here on the east coast. If these first few hours are any indication, this will be quite the year. But a super quick recap of the past week is needed…

Christmas was okay. Nothing out of the ordinary, good nor bad. We went to my sister’s house to watch my niece and nephew open presents, then came back to my parents’ house to open our own. The rest of the day was spent sleeping, hanging out with the family, watching National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, and eating food I shouldn’t have eaten. The day after Christmas we headed to Best Buy so I could buy a new external hard drive, Target to return a shirt, the auto shop so I could buy  new wiper blades, and a few other random places. After dinner I headed home, stopping a few times for gas, food, and bathroom usage. By the time I got to Black Mountain it had started snowing, and when I arrived home there was a light dusting of snow, to go along with 70 mph winds. A tree fell on a power line minutes after I started unpacking and I was in the dark. The power came back on at some point during the night, but I have no idea when. The next day I went to work, still half asleep. The entire rest of the week was pretty uneventful.

So that brings us to the current holiday. I made a dinner date with a girl named Katie (yet another one!) who lives in my apartment complex. We had met quite some time ago when we were both waiting for the bus. She has bluish-greenish streaks in her hair and I complimented her on them. We chatted a little but that was pretty much it. A few weeks ago she came into the art supply store and we realized we knew each other and started chatting. We exchanged numbers and decided to get together sometime. I saw her at the bus stop again a few days ago and we talked about how neither of us had plans for New Year’s Eve.

She suggested Nine Mile for dinner, but when we got there it was standing room only, so we gave up and went somewhere far from downtown. We settled on Elena’s, which is probably the best Mexican restaurant in town. After dinner we came back to my place because hers was messy. We had some drinks, watched an episode of Fawlty Towers, and did a little snuggling. The rest of the evening I won’t go into detail about, but it’s safe to say this was the most successful first date I’ve had in a while. Not sure when or what the second date will be, but there most definitely will be one.

So I didn’t watch the ball drop. I didn’t go to any parties or festivities. I spent the evening with someone I barely know while my friends were off doing god knows what. All in all it was a pretty low-key New Year’s, but it was quite possibly the best one I’ve ever had. Now I’m exhausted and sleep calls. In the coming days I’ll attempt to write some sort of grand philosophical review of 2012, along with my annual best-of music list. But for now, sleep.

 

A Week of Blahs

It’s been quite some time since I wrote anything in here. I’m currently in the last throes (I hope) of a really annoying sinus infection, most likely triggered by the 30+ degree temperature swings we’ve had in the past few days. Seriously Mother Nature, 67 in the afternoon and 29 at night is NOT COOL.

I can briefly (for me anyway) retrace the major events of the past week. On Saturday I went to the Mountain Xpress Bash with Sarah. It was pretty cool overall. The food at the taco stand in the Grey Eagle is amazing, I’d go there on a non-show day just for some cheap grub. The Secret B-Sides played and were great as usual. There was a drag show and a comedian and a “Bathrooms of Asheville” trivia contest, all of which were fun. The final act was a rap group; neither of us are big rap fans and she was getting tired so we left. All in all, not much to complain about.

Sunday after work I hung out with the other Sarah, my friend who will shortly be leaving for South Korea. We ate at this Thai/sushi place in Hendersonville and then I helped her get a little packing done. She sold me her old laptop for $10, which I will use to better familiarize myself with Linux and to play streaming movies on my TV. She also gave me her dresser, which my neighbors had wanted. When I got home I helped them get it inside and then made a quick run to the store and went to bed.

Monday I saw what I thought was great news on my Facebook feed. Sarah posted something about “finding a keeper.” I texted her asking what that was about, expecting her to play it off and digitally whisper sweet nothings into the phone keypad. But as it turns out, she was referring to someone else. Again we have the complete lack of communication that has plagued me for years. If you’re seeing multiple people, and you think one of them could possibly turn into something more serious, you should tell the others. Don’t just go along with their flirtations and act as though things are great and then let them discover a bombshell on their news feed. Be open, be blunt, speak up and make things easier on all of us! I don’t know how I always wind up in the exact same situation, but it’s really getting old.

The rest of my week was rather uneventful, aside from doing a lot of painting and getting really sick on Thanksgiving. I had a nice dinner of Tofurky, stuffing, and sweet potato casserole, but what I really needed was some TheraFlu. The past few days I’ve been getting slowly better, so hopefully this is the end of it. I would like to make a full recovery soon so I can see some of my friends whom I haven’t seen in forever and would like to not infect.

Today on my lunch break I stopped by the video store downtown that is closing and picked up a few movies. I just watched Your Highness, not really knowing what to expect, and was pleasantly surprised. Yes, it was stupid. But in a good way. My roommate just got home from ten days in Puerto Rico. As soon as four hours has finally passed I’m going to have another dose of TheraFlu and pass the fuck out in preparation for my next-to-last weekend as a CitiStop employee. And that’s really about all that’s going on. The End.

 

Updates on The Shit Test

As some of you might remember from my previous blog, I’ve decided to go The Shit Test with my love life. What is The Shit Test, you ask? That’s when you throw a bunch of shit against the wall and see what sticks.

The other night I was talking to my friend Lucie on Facebook, and we talked about getting together. She goes to Western, which is about an hour’s drive from me. When I was at work yesterday she texted me and asked if I was serious about coming up there. I was having a somewhat crappy day, so I figured why not. I was working until 8:00 and she had a night class that didn’t get out until 9:00, so we both knew this would be a late night. And of course the universe decided it should pour rain, which always seems to happen when we hang out.

It was about 9:30 when I finally got there, soaking wet. We took her roommate to campus so she could do some laundry and we got pizza. After that we came back and watched a movie on her laptop until her roommate was finished with her laundry and we had to go pick her up. After that we just kinda sat around talking, mostly randomness. Around 2:30 we were both about to fall asleep, but I didn’t bring anything, so I decided to drive home. It was close to 4:00 when I got home, and I wound up sleeping until around 1:30 this afternoon.

For the most part it was a pretty uneventful evening – two friends goofing off, cursing the rain, watching Stepbrothers, eating pizza, etc. But in a way, it was a lot more. Ever since that night last week when she told me that she really liked me when we first met, I’ve been questioning things. Is it better to go with the sure thing, even if you’re not sure you still want it? Or do you continue to pursue the unknown, which you think you want? Last night was a lot of fun, but that’s about all it was. I didn’t feel any sparks, I didn’t feel any urge to push things further. I realized that she’s a great friend, but that’s more than likely all we’re meant to be. And I’m perfectly fine with that. In fact, it actually feels pretty good knowing that. I’m assuming she feels the same way, because she didn’t try to push things either. We’re better off this way, we make pretty awesome friends.

Today, after my epic sleep, I went to the store and the laundromat. I bumped into a former roommate at the laundromat and we got caught up, it was kinda cool. Then while my clothes were washing I decided to finally quit being a pussy and call Kat. There’s a concert on Thursday that I’m probably going to, and I’ve toyed around with the idea of inviting her. I wasn’t sure she’d pick up, I feel like she’s kept her distance and I’m not sure how to read that. But lo and behold, she did pick up. She was out with her friends, so we didn’t talk for long, but it was a pretty good chat. She said no to the concert, too short notice. But she was very warm and friendly, it felt like she genuinely missed talking to me. She’s going out of town this weekend so she’s been working almost every day. I told her to let me know when she was free and we would figure something out. I’ll probably call her early next week and see what her schedule is like. I’m realizing actually calling is better with her than texting. But yeah, hopefully we’ll be able to get together again soon.

So yeah. I got some questions answered. Something didn’t stick. The jury is still out on the rest. I think I have a clearer idea what I want and how to go about it. And I guess that’s about it.

 

Yesterday was a loooooong day at work. I walked home, exhausted and ready to collapse. But somewhere along the way I got a little sidetracked and had some adventures instead.

When I first got home, my neighbor Angela was sitting on her front porch with her crazy little dog Izzy. For some reason this dog hates all men, but loves me. She was feeling playful and ran around barking at me to chase her, so chase her I did. Then my neighbor Crystal started walking our way with her seven-year-old daughter Phoenix. She wanted to play frisbee, so play frisbee we did. Other neighbors started to gather round, until we had a rather large group hanging out and chatting.

The apartment complex management sent out a letter to everyone with some ridiculous demands, including (but not limited to): no chairs or other personal belongings are to be left on porches, no curtains or other coverings over windows, and no charcoal grills, period. We decided to form a neighborhood association, not so much to protest and demand, but to open up a dialog with management and show them why we think their demands are unreasonable. Hopefully we can accomplish something and keep this complex a community where people will want to live. We’ll see.

Midway through our neighborhood discussion Angela’s banjo-playing friend came over and a jam session sprung into life. A little while later my neighbor Michelle pulled into the parking lot. She came down to join us and almost instantly said, “Hey Chris, guess what? Kat is coming over!” Kat is her cute friend I met a few weeks ago and hit it off with. About an hour later she finally showed up and joined our little group. Trying not to seem creepy and obsessive, I slowly made my way towards her, using Michelle’s dulcimer playing as an excuse to sit in between the two of them. Eventually Michelle decided to retire her dulcimer and get another beer, conveniently leaving Kat and I alone. We started chatting and things pretty much went the same way as they did the last time, with the two of us basically tuning out the rest of the group.

Somehow we started talking about ringtones, and I stated that mine were the best. (My ringtone for incoming calls is Fascination Street by The Cure and my text tone is the power-up sound from Super Mario Brothers.) Kat wanted to hear my ringtone, and before I could pull it up under my phone settings she was calling me. She apologized for being creepy, but I didn’t find it creepy at all. I promptly saved her number. Turns out she got my number from Michelle last week.

Around 12:30 Michelle and my neighbor Ty (whom she has a ridiculous crush on) decided they wanted to get stoned and watch a movie. After I bragged about the size of my DVD collection everyone came over to my place and started digging. They decided on Coraline, and since I don’t smoke pot we decided to watch it over at Michelle’s place. Her and Ty took the couch, Kat went straight for the floor, and I sat down next to her. Michelle and Ty lit up the bong and less than half an hour into the movie they were giggly and distracted and Kat was sound asleep on the floor. She had worked a double shift and was exhausted, so I can’t really blame her. For some odd reason they decided to finish the movie at some point in the future and instead go play with Michelle’s tarantula.

I started to get really sleepy myself and decided to go home. I got ready for bed, but as soon as I got in the bed I was wired and couldn’t sleep. I’m not gonna lie, I was mostly thinking about Kat and the chance that this could actually turn into something. Maybe I’m a hopeless romantic at heart, who knows. Today at work I texted her and we chatted for a little while. I’m hoping we can get together soon and see what might happen. But in the meantime I’m the one who is exhausted, after a night of almost no sleep. I need to make it a point to get to bed at a decent time tonight…

 

Moonrise Kingdom reviewed

As promised, here are some of my thoughts on Moonrise Kingdom…..

Let my start by saying that I am a fan of all things Wes Anderson. I understand the criticisms that he gets, and in some instances they actually do have merit. And while I’ve enjoyed his last few movies, they’ve left me feeling a bit underwhelmed. I’ve been eagerly anticipating Moonrise Kingdom since the day they announced filming was completed. But I was a little worried that I would be disappointed. I’m happy to say the exact opposite was the case. While I’m still processing things, and repeated viewings will ultimately confirm or deny this, I don’t think it’s much of a stretch to say that this might just be Anderson’s crowning achievement. Almost everything in  the movie worked, and when it worked, it really worked. It felt like the most complete, most rewarding, most viewable movie he’s done since The Royal Tenenbaums.

The story is pretty simple. It’s 1965 on a remote island off the coast of Maine. An awkward, nerdy “Khaki scout” forms a friendship with a “troubled” young girl. The two plan to run away together and retrace the historic trail along the coast of their island. When they’re found to be missing, all hell breaks loose in this sleepy little community. The two are separated, and child services gets involved, before they are eventually reunited during the storm of the century. It’s your clichéd story of forbidden teenage love amongst misunderstood outsiders who, because of their isolation, have somehow been sheltered from the changing world around them. In essence, it’s all of the things that Wes Anderson critics hate about his movies. While this movie might not sway the harshest of the critics, it’s just way too likable to not win over at least a few.

The strength of the movie is without a doubt its two young leads. Sam’s awkwardness is extremely endearing – you spend the entire movie rooting for him to get the girl who is way out of his league. Suzy has a certain slyness to her – she might be the 1960’s equivalent of the misunderstood emo kid, but she’s brimming with wit and intelligence and a certain maturity beyond her years. The chemistry between the two seems genuine, and they make a perfectly adorable couple. They often speak like adults, but they have all of the whimsical qualities that come standard with the twelve-year-old worldview.

As for the rest of the cast, they all turn in fine performances, especially Edward Norton as the scout master, Bill Murray as Suzy’s helpless father, and Jason Schwartzman as cousin Ben. The refreshing this was that, even with so many big names on board, it never felt like they were competing for the spotlight (which, if we’re being totally honest, has been a problem in a few Wes Anderson movies). In fact, they seemed content to play their supporting roles like cameos and let the two kids be the focus of the movie – which is exactly why this movie succeeds. Every scene, every line, it all plays to the strengths of the movie. It’s cute, but never for the sake of being cute. The soundtrack never jumps in your face and shouts its hipster cred. The quirky cinematography never distracts from the action that is going on all around us. The bottom line remains the desire to tell a good story (with more laugh-out-loud moments than most Anderson movies) and to make the viewer connect with the main characters and relate to their longings. On these accounts, Moonrise Kingdom is an absolute triumph.

The only major drawback to the movie is the narrator, who only appears a few times, thankfully. His scenes do help to fast forward things a little and help us to understand the context that this story is taking place within, but for the most part they are completely pointless. It breaks up the natural flow of the movie, and by constantly breaking the fourth wall, makes this movie seem like it’s trying to be a bit more clever than it actually is. The narrator scenes are very tongue-in-cheek and  do provide some laughs, but at the expense of the whole. Getting rid of them altogether wouldn’t hurt the film one bit – even if we didn’t know the name of the storm and when it was going to hit, we could still easily understand the impact it had. Perhaps expanding them might work – rather than a gimmicky aside, they could be used as the primary storytelling device. But that would completely change the character of this movie, and there’s really no way to know if it would be a change for the better or not. But as it stands, these few scenes break things up enough to keep this movie from being perfect, but they don’t harm it so much that you can’t easily ignore them and focus on the good.

Basically what we have is a very good, sometimes amazing movie that proves to be so likable that even people who don’t like Anderson’s style will have to admit he’s really accomplished something here.  If you’re already a fan, you’ll flat-out love this movie. If you’re on the fence, it just might win you over. And if you’re sick of Wes Anderson and his methods, you should probably check out this movie before you write the final chapter.

 

I just attempted to make some Facebook cards at Moo, but ultimately got nowhere. They’re running a promotion where the only thing you pay for is shipping, so I figured why not. They base your cards on your Facebook cover photos. But for some reason when you have your cover photos set to Facebook’s default of 851 x 315 pixels, it says it’s too big. They say to adjust the size, but it won’t let you shrink them any smaller. They say if you can’t adjust the size you might need to re-upload them, but they don’t give you that option on their site, so I’m assuming they mean on Facebook itself. But Facebook won’t let you just upload to your “cover photos” album, you have to change your cover photo to upload a new one. I have six cover photos, so basically the people who liked my page would see me changing my cover photo six times. Seems to me the whole process is kinda annoying. I sent an email to the Moo help desk asking if I can just skip the resizing and allow my images to bleed over. It’s just going to crop them anyway, and I won’t be losing anything significant, so why not? But I’m learning, when Facebook and/or business card websites are involved, nothing is easy.

In unrelated news…

My next door neighbor produces beats and backing tracks for rappers and pop/r&b singers who don’t play any instruments and don’t want to hire a backing band. Yesterday we were talking about collaborating on some stuff. He has a lot of beats that he wants guitar and other instruments over. He said he’d come by tonight, but never did. I’m sure eventually we’ll work on something. I’m always up for a jam, and he makes decent money doing what he’s doing, and I’m always up for making more money.

At some point in the next week I could have one, possibly two dates. I’ve been talking to Olivia about getting dinner sometime, but every time we set a day something comes up. Hopefully Monday, but who knows. I was also talking to a girl named Stacie last night. We met back when I was looking for a roommate. She wasn’t going to be moving until after I had hoped to find someone, so I crossed her off my list, but we decided we have enough in common to be friends. She doesn’t know anyone here yet, and we have similar tastes in music and movies. And she’s also ridiculously hot. Last night I asked her if she would like to go see Moonrise Kingdom with me, seeing as how most people I’ve asked haven’t been too interested. She said most definitely, but she’s going out of town until probably Thursday or Friday. So hopefully whenever she gets back we’ll decide on a time and go see it. Maybe tomorrow at the gas station I’ll see the cute waitress girl (who, incidentally wasn’t the person who texted me the other night) and get up the nerve to ask her out, and then I could potentially have a hat trick of a week. Who knows.

What I really need to do is stop being lazy. I need to call Nationwide and make a claim for my towing so I can get reimbursed. I need to work on some art. I need to clean my room. But right now I mostly just need to get to bed at a decent hour. Here goes nothing…..

 

In my post yesterday I screwed up the name of the movie… it’s actually Dracula’s Daughter. I guess I was thinking about Bride Of Frankenstein and confused the two titles. Whatever. Point is, here’s an actual post about the movie, now that I’ve seen it and can say something about it.

All in all it was a pretty good movie. Not great, not perfect, but good. It was extremely short, clocking in at barely over an hour. This made the tempo feel a bit rushed, and because of this the character development left a lot to be desired. But then again, it’s a horror movie, so I’m sure that wasn’t one of the primary concerns of the filmmakers. There was a lot of humor in the film, and I laughed out loud several times, but it almost felt like two different movies – the early scenes felt a bit like an Abbot and Costello movie, while the end of the movie was a little closer to Bela Lugosi’s Dracula. I have no problem with humor in horror movies, but if they could have intertwined the two a little more it would have helped the continuity of things. There were a few moments of typical 1930’s overacting, but for the most part everything was well-played.

The Carolina’s upstairs lounge is a great place to see movies, the atmosphere is relaxed and kinda funky and you get the impression that everyone there is a real movie buff. I’m not sure if they have discussions after the Thursday Horror Picture Show or not, but I know they do when they show the Asheville Film Society movies on Tuesday nights, and it’s usually pretty enlightening. We decided not to stick around after the movie, so who knows. Overall it was a pretty fun evening.

I didn’t get to chat very much with my new friend Meghan, there was a little awkwardness around the whole situation. We agreed to get together again sometime, hopefully next time we’ll get dinner or something so we can talk and loosen up a little. But yeah, so anywho, that was my night. Now to find something to do tomorrow night…..

 

Manamana

I am happy to report that The Muppets met my expectations in every way. And considering those expectations were ridiculously high, that’s really saying something. This was quite possibly the best movie I’ve seen in theaters in years.

Everything about it was perfect. The songs were great. The cast was awesome. The cameos were hilarious. It paid tribute to The Muppets that I grew up on, with plenty of inside jokes, obscure characters, and self-referential humor. There were a lot of breaking-the-fourth-wall type jokes as well. And not only that, but it really had a lot of heart. There was a great theme about finding yourself, and about realizing what’s most important to you.

In short, if you’re a Muppet fan, you need to see this movie. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll sing along, and if you’re drinking something you’ll most likely spit it out of your nose at some point in time. My only regret was that I wasn’t able to see this during its first run in theaters, but in all honesty the vibe of the Brew-n-view fit this movie perfectly so I won’t complain too much. When this is released on DVD I plan on purchasing it, maybe springing for whatever deluxe edition they come out with, especially if it includes the Toy Story short that played before the movie.

Asheville peeps, you only have a few more days to catch this at APBC before it’s replaced by Tin Tin. It’s also playing at Cinebarre, but I’m not sure how much longer it will be there. If you don’t catch it in theaters, at least rent it. This is a movie that must be seen.