Archives for the month of: May, 2012

Look, some days are just…like that.

And some weeks are…like that too.

I try my best to not take it personally and remind myself that, yes, we all have bad moments and we all have to have bad moments if only so one person doesn’t get all the bad moments, right?

I’m happy to get my share.

Just sometimes…I’m not that great at it.

So, yeah.

Bad Week.

One of those weeks where that thing you’ve put off a bit too long and suddenly needs to be done doesn’t go exactly as planned. In fact, it goes horribly, horribly wrong. And it costs you money that you hadn’t budgeted for and really why did you feel so bad about that little piece of paper that said “FAIL” on it, when you were about to see a little piece of paper that said $$$$ on it?

One of those weeks where someone suddenly decides to call you a new nickname, which sounds strangely like a pet name your ex used to call you and then proceeds to call you that even after you requested they not. And explained your reason, and they want to know the pet name.

One of those weeks where someone else suddenly has a jealous rage and says “I don’t like you talking to anyone else.”, pouts and clenches his fists. And takes a moment to calm down and accept that, yes, the person you just spoke to is actually a very important colleague.

One of those weeks where your very worst character flaw about grammar asserts itself causing the someone to get angry and not speak to you for the rest of the day.

One of those weeks where you trade one sentence emails with your ex and when, on the fourth day one doesn’t arrive you are totally crushed.

Yeah, that kind of week.

So.

Upside:

It was also one of those weeks where one of my dear, dear friends called me up to see if I wanted a drink and me, at work late, decided to try to call back on the off change she was still there and – she was! So we went out for drinks and something to eat and she was at work late too! So we did!

Another upside:

We had our staff BBQ and I’m on the committee that does these things and everyone had a really, really good time.

Also an upside:

I was very productive.

This, too, is an upside:

I totally wow-ed my trivia pal with the answer to a question about the first line of a story – he even prefaced the question by saying “You will never get this. I’m just going to skip it.” I convinced him to ask and he did. I got it write away and told him the author as well. I’ve never seen someone so amazed by something I said.

And another upside:

I’m going out for dinner and a pedicure with a dear friend after work tomorrow. And visit in the morning.

So, yeah, even during a Bad Week, it is possible to find some upsides.

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“Turn Me On, Damnit!” (Fa meg pa, for faen) is directed by Jannicke Systad Jacobsen, written by Jannicke Systad Jacobsen, Olaug Nissen (novel). English subtitles.

So, after a week of enduring hearing about “30 Shades of Grey” in what seemed like every second conversation and every trip to the loo at work, seeing this film, where adolescent sexuality is portrayed so candidly and frankly is a totally refresher.

15 year-old Alma struggles with her sexual desires and fantasies – the mundane of being held all night by school-hottie Artur, to the surprising interlude with one of her best female friends, to seemingly everyone she meets – her near constant masturbation that cause an awkwardness with her mother who overhears her every night, to being shunned at school for talking about an absurd incident with the aforementioned hottie.

Hilarious, heartbreaking and utterly enjoyable, this film delights at every turn. The characters are sympathetic and realistic without being ridiculous or overly clever. We empathize with them, but don’t pity them.

As with many “northern films” the dialogue is sparse and the scenery beautiful, but the camera stays firmly riveted by the actors whose silences and body language speak volumes. Not a word or action is wasted and serve to move plot and reveal character.

Best advice – put down “30 Shades of Grey” and go see this movie instead.

Look, I’ve been trying to write this review since I saw this movie, which was opening night, and I’m still having trouble.

The thing is, I can’t figure why this movie was made and if is really, really good or if it was really, really bad. The film was uneven – careening wildly between camp, melodrama and straight up seriousness.

But, I love Tim Burton and his cast of regulars so much and enjoyed the movie, that I can’t bring myself to pan it and give it a bad review.

I read a pile of reviews for this movie and all of them gave it a pretty good rating – one even going so far as to say it is the bravest movie that has been made in a long time.

I don’t agree.

This movie is absolutely a labour of love, for people who believe that the combination of Tim Burton and Johnny Depp can do no wrong. And yes, it had funny, fun moments and cool random cameo by Alice Cooper, but…a good movie? A movie that I think you should rush right out and see? Ummm, no…so here is my review:

Dark Shadows is directed by Tim Burton, screenplay by Seth Grahame-Smith, story by John August and Seth Grahame-Smith, based on a television series by Dan Curtis.

So, I saw this movie opening night and it is still giving me some trouble, processing it.

I love Tim Burton and, for the most part, love the things he creates, but sometimes, he sounds a false note and I’m forced to re-think my admiration of him and his work.

When I first saw the trailer for this film all I could think was “Why? Why would anyone want to do a reboot of Dark Shadows? Sure it was semi-popular in the 70s, as a night-time soap, but the reboot in the 80s was a complete failure and laughably bad. Why reboot it?” After seeing this film, I still don’t have an answer.

I’m not sure that we were thirsting for a supernatural/camp/melodramatic film that at it’s very core is little more than a soap opera for adults with a taste for the odd. I’m also a little unsure if the movie was meant to be taken seriously or if was a parody or send-up of 70s culture.

A re-make of Dark Shadows needs a reason beyond “I loved Dark Shadows! It would be really cool to re-boot it into a movie!” and sadly, I don’t think that this provides a decent one.

If ever there was a Tim Burton movie that I could say you could skip – this is it. And man, it was like Johnny Depp totally forgot how to act!

I’m convinced, after much thought, that they decided to do this film after too many bottles of wine at a dinner party and kept drinking all through the production. It is the only way I can even attempt to explain a re-make of Dark Shadows.

So, umm, yeah, give this one a pass. And sorry for the delay in writing this…

On Tuesday, as part of a belated “Administrative Professionals Day” my team presented to me, I received “The Book of Awesome” and during lunch I did a bit reading and felt a little inspired to share the awesome thing that happened to me today.

After work, I caught the 5:35pm show of “The Pirates! Band of Misfits” and…I had the entire movie theatre to myself! I sat in the perfect seat, laughed in all the rights places, put my feet up on the seat in front of me and spread my stuff out over four seats!

And I stayed to the end of the credits!

Yeah, it was awesome.

The Pirates! Band of Misfits is directed by Peter Lord and Jeff Newitt, screenplay by Gideon Defoe, with voices by Hugh Jackman, Salma Hayek and Jeremy Piven.

Ok, this is the second 3D movie in 2 days that I’ve seen and you know why? I’m still not totally sold on it – it didn’t anything to either of these movies, it wasn’t used to particularly creative ends (like in Pina) and it wasn’t achingly beautiful (like in Hugo).

Yes, I said it. 3D is not as good as the studios want us to think.

So, this film was good, clean, wholesome fun. Gentle, inoffensive humour, ridiculous gimmicks and sight-gags and nostalgic music (yeah, London Calling by The Clash is nostalgia when put in a kid’s film…)

Moments made me laugh out loud and groan from puns and sly historical references – enough to entertain parents while the kiddies delight in the sight-gags.

Fun times, people, fun times.

Umm, yeah, I saw it again in the theatre – this time in IMAX 3D…I’m totally convinced that 3D doesn’t add much to a film, but the visual-field being filled and the sound – well, that really is the IMAX experience isn’t it?

And really, all those people who walked out before the end of the credits – what you? New?

The Avengers is directed by Joss Whedon, screen play by Joss Whedon, story by Zak Penn and Joss Whedon, based on comic books and characters created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.

This review does not contain spoilers.

So, not being a huge fan of 3D, my companion and I saw this is straight up film – no IMAX, no 3D.

And it rocked!

Perfect touches of humour, camp, dramatic moments, twists, turns, suprises, things blowing up, people getting beaten up and most of all – the Hulk smashing things!!

Whedon has this amazing ability to give each character, each actor their due and their moment, at no time did the screen feel cluttered, did the character and actors fight for focus or did you feel like one character could have used more screen time than another. Very capable, able film making, very deft and not something any director or writer can do.

Special effects were, as they should be, well suited to the genre and believable within the movieverse. Nothing felt overdone or ridiculous. What was great to see in an action movie was that all the special effects drive the movie, reveal plot or character or are direct results of character action.

Fun ride, fun times and yeah, I’m already making plans to see it again…

 

 

 

Ack!

This never happens!

At work I am fortunate to mostly in charge of my time – my team members are mostly on the road and my director is usually at meetings or on the road herself. And it isn’t like I’m goofing off or anything, I create projects that help my team and when they need me, I’m ready to give immediate and accurate assistance – I keep and give information and help on a dime.

So, there I am working on a database that I’m doing for our resources/education materials and one of my dearest friends calls. And she has stuff she needs to say. She gets going and…

One of my colleagues comes to my desk for a visit and…I’m all on the phone.

And then my director comes out of the office with some things that she has approved and need to be taken to the step.

And you know what?

I have to take them.

Right now.

I explain quickly and, I hope, politely to both my friend on the phone and the colleague who is there for a visit and run downstairs to take these forms to the appropriate people – I am against a deadline! If I miss it then two of my team members will be out-of-pocket!

Yikes!

Bad Timing.

Near the end of the day and I’m packing up – I have plans to meet for drinks with some of my favourite people. I’m almost all packed and my director has a question.

And it isn’t like it is hard question, but her question leads to like five more, so I am about to come up with a solution that will work for her and she suddenly says that it is time for me to go home.

But you know what? I’m not just going to leave her in the middle of something she needs to get out. No way.

I go back to my desk and my phone rings.

I am of the school that when the phone rings and you are there, you answer the phone, even if it is after office hours.

The person on the phone isn’t calling for me.

She is quite convinced that she is calling for me, but she isn’t. She really, really isn’t. I offer to help her and all she wants to do is 1) explain to me why she is calling 2) ask me why I’m still in the office 3) explain why I should be able to help her.

I try to be polite and give her answers: 1) I know why she is calling 2) I know we have office hours and not that it any of her business, I’m helping my director with something 3) I understand why she is calling my number, but truly, I can’t help her, I can, however, transfer her to the correct person who can

I help her.

Transfer the call, do one more thing for my director and then I’m out of there.

I meet my friends half an hour late.

I’m never late!

Bad Timing.

On the upside, the Malbec I had was extremely drinkable and those chicken tacos were very tasty. And, of course, the company was amazing.

Not a bad Thursday, a Bad Timing Thursday to be sure, but not a bad Thursday.

See, I always thought that toaster ovens and Thursdays were the ultimate evil, but this was said a professional conference that I recently attended, thus clearing my confusion right up.

So, uh, thanks.

I guess.

This whole chat thing is kinda messing me up – how I am supposed to know when someone is being serious or joking or trying to tell me something of just blowing smoke without body language, facial expressions and the human voice?

I admit, I can’t. At all.

How do people not get messed up and confused with this stuff?

I think, probably, they don’t. I think that they are just a messy and confused and etc. as I am when doing this chat thing.

And I like the written word. A lot. I like getting to know people through the written word, but, so very confusing.

Not sure exactly how to navigate these waters, but trying.