Three sentence movie reviews: A Simple Favor

A suspense movie with comic moments, this is also 117 minutes of thinking how awesome Blake Lively looks in a suit. I felt the script pointed me in a clear direction early on; this turned out to not be the actual direction, so when things resolved themselves it took some time for me to let go of my framework and accept what the movie was telling me. Other than that, this was a crisp, succinct fabulous movie.*

Cost: $6.00
Where watched: McMenamins St. Johns Theater with Matt, who is an Anna Kendrik fan.

*This film is more evidence of my hypothesis: Paul Fieg is the best white male director for stories about women.

The pleasures of reading a library book older than me

Mr. and Mrs Bo Jo Jones was a good read made better by the physical copy of the book I was reading. Some of the fun features:

Buckram! That’s that hard wrapping that used to be put on all books when I was growing up. This was before it became standard practice to retain the book cover, but fortify it with plastic. I prefer the new method, but the texture of buckram is something I enjoy.

This book also has an older style barcode. The barcode is only a backup measure. The book is checked out using RFID, which is a small chip placed inside the front cover of the book.

It’s also got an old-style sticker on the spine and a highlight on that old-style sticker. I’m guessing the highlight has something to do with how the book is stored at the library.

The paper was thick and stiff, much more so than books I read today. It made the pages easier to turn and the relative heft was appreciated.

And inside was the best treat of all: the old checkout pocket. I was sad when these were eliminated, because I liked to look back and see how often a book was checked out. Also note that at one time this was a 28 day book with no renewals. Now books are checked out for 21 days with unlimited renewals.

The second page in the pocket tells us that the book was checked out infrequently over three decades and was shelved in the “Young Peoples” section. The author of this book wrote it for adults, though it has been categorized as “for teens” since the 60s.

And on the front page, a stamp identifying the Multnomah County Library. I’m not sure why the library association is listed in parenthetical, but I’m sure there was a committee brought together to decide that.

And one more stamp on the top!

Three sentence movie reviews: Ocean’s Thirteen

For me, it’s the most forgettable Ocean’s movie* but that doesn’t really matter because it’s another opportunity to hang around with the crew. Though lacking in both Julia Roberts and Catherine Zeta-Jones, Ellen Barkin does some great work. And there’s that funny bit with Linus’ nose.

Cost: free from library
Where watched: at home, with Matt

*Unlike the other two movies, I remembered nothing about the plot.

Three sentence movie reviews: Nappily Ever After

In this movie, Sanaa Lathan is mesmerizing in all her various stages of hair, but never more so as she drunkenly shaves her head. Hair is the framework for a reinvention of a life not quite fully lived, and it’s great to see Lathan’s self discovery along the way. This is another romantic comedy that tilts more toward empowerment than happily ever after, a tilt I heartily endorse.

Cost: Netflix monthly charge ($7.99)
Where watched: at home.

Single stall etiquette

My current building has two single stall bathrooms on each floor. (This is not really enough bathrooms for the number of people on our floor, but that is not the point of this post.) Let’s talk about some things I’ve seen in my 2.5 years of sharing single stall bathrooms with many people from many offices.

It is my firm belief that in a single stall situation, the toilet seat should ALWAYS be returned to the down position. This is because 50% of the population always has the seat down, and the other 50% of the population sometimes has the seat down. With the always, plus the sometimes, that means the majority of the time, that seat is down. The 50% of the population that does not lift the seat should not be involved in lowering because someone didn’t return it to its proper position.

This.  Bits of toilet paper sitting next to the toilet. What is this?  I understand that those toilet paper dispensers sometimes only dispense tiny bits of useless toilet paper, but why then is it dropped on the floor? The toilet bowl is right there. The person is probably sitting on it. Also, just out of view of this photo is a large trash can, yet another place to drop tiny pieces of useless toilet paper. The floor is not the receptacle for this item.

What happens is that every time I use the bathroom, I pick up the 1-7 pieces of toilet paper on the ground and drop them in the bowl before doing my business.  And I marvel yet again as to why people think it’s okay to drop the paper on the ground.

Backyard project finished!

I’m happy to say that we are finally done with this backyard rehab project!

We are not yet done putting the sand away; when we are, this wheelbarrow will go away.

This project was paused for a while because filling the spaces between the stepping stones with sand wasn’t working. In some places the spaces were to big which made it unsteady to put one’s foot because the sand would shift. Finding bits of rock to put in the spaces was exhausting and was taking forever.

It turned out what we needed were pebbles to fill in the spaces.  And putting pebbles in the spaces was done in one two-hour work session.

We will need to plant things around the edges in the spring, and I have to figure out what those things will be, but the labor of placing stone has ended for now.

We will, however, continue to work for just a little longer. The spaces between the pavers from the fence are too big, so we need to pop those out and put them closer together. We can use the leftover stone as fill.

It’s good to have this project finished.

Three sentence movie reviews: Beatriz at Dinner

poster from:

I enjoy a good movie that explores class, and if you throw in one that also examines “friendship” between the help and their employers, all the better. But alas, this movie didn’t give me many places latch on and really care; people were interesting (or abhorrent) but so what? It also had one of those endings that is supposed to be all art-y and deep, but really felt like they hadn’t really figured out how to end the movie.

Cost: free from library
Where watched: at home

But the door is closed now? And it’s 10 a.m.?

The Fred Meyer near me added a big red sign to it’s front door. My first time encountering it, I slowed, confused at its message.

I’m not sure who is in charge of getting such a sign made, but I wish they would have slept on the syntax before approving. Because the door is closed for much of the day. It’s an automatic door that opens when people walk up to it. It won’t just close at 8:00 PM, it will close repeatedly. And open too.

The word I think the person was looking for was “lock” rather than “close.” The message is that you will not be able to use this entrance between eight and eleven p.m. So it’s not just that the door is closed, it’s that it will be locked.

And now that sign bugs me every single time I visit the store.

Ann Hornaday’s Best Films of the 2000s. How many have I seen.?

Ann Hornaday from the Washington Post has proposed a list of the best 23 films of the 2000s. Let’s see which ones I’ve seen.

Movies I’ve seen:

  • 25th Hour
  • The Hurt Locker
  • Michael Clayton
  • Boyhood
  • 4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days
  • Old Joy
  • Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
  • You Can Count on Me
  • No Country for Old Men
  • I’m Not There
  • Dunkirk
  • Mudbound
  • Spotlight
  • Stories We Tell
  • The Royal Tenenbaums

Movies I’ve not yet seen, but plan to:

  • Children of Men
  • There Will Be Blood
  • Hunger
  • Spirited Away

Movies I most likely won’t watch:

  • Pan’s Labyrinth–this movie has weirded me out for years.
  • Minority Report–Tom Cruise is a no-go for me
  • Son of Saul–I have trouble prioritizing movies depicting the holocaust
  • The Fog of War–I’m sure this is a great documentary, but there just aren’t very many documentaries in my life.

Let’s look at what I’ve seen. Of the fifteen on the list…

I heartily recommend: 

Movies that are good movies to watch in general:
Movies that are good, but tough to watch (tense, difficult subject matter, etc.)*

*People would probably put Spotlight on this list, but it’s such a quality film, I think that overcomes the difficult subject matter.

Movies that I remember liking, but would have to watch again before recommending them:
  • 25th Hour
  • Michael Clayton
  • Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
  • I’m Not There (I recall being overly tired while watching, which got in the way of my enjoyment) (Yep. Tired.)