OPB via the TV

The addition of our too-large flat screen TV at the Orange Door has changed the way I listen to NPR. Now I listen via the TV, as station 10.4 plays OPB radio. 

To my surprise, while the radio is playing I’m treated to a slideshow of Oregon landscapes.  These landscapes change with the seasons so in winter, I’m treated to snowy vistas and in spring meadows of wildflowers.  It’s a fun bonus, and makes up for the fact that the feed shorts out every time a Max train or large truck goes by the house.

I need a better antenna.

Three sentence movie reviews: Paradise

poster from: http://www.impawards.com/2013/paradise.html

This film falls into the category of Interesting Premise Poor Execution. I had several questions about the main character* that weren’t answered early enough for me and the question marks those unanswered questions distracted me from the plot, which wasn’t fully formed. The acting is good and I even like what I think Diablo Cody was getting at with her story, but this is a great example of everyone doing their level best and still the finished product is mediocre.

Cost: free from library
Where watched: at home

*Her name is what? Is it Lamb? I thought Lamb was a nickname. Just how old is she exactly? My guess was 18, but I think she was older because she had apparently finished college? Why does she have all this cash, and what sort of person in 2013 America still thinks it’s okay to carry a roll of large bills in a tote bag?

Three sentence movie reviews: Borat

poster from: http://www.impawards.com/2006/borat_ver2.html

A Venn diagram of my sense of humor and Sasha Baron Cohen’s sense of humor would show two separate circles with room for a multilane highway between them, so there was no way I was going to like this movie.* And I didn’t.** I do admire Mr. Baron Cohen’s ability to never break character and to ask the questions that elicit such terrible answers.

Cost: free from library
Where watched: at home in preparation for 2019’s Filmspotting Madness

Instead consider watching: Hunt for the Wilderpeople, Clueless

*His humor comes in two parts: taking advantage of perfectly nice people (the humor coach, the dinner party people) which pisses me off; or exposing the dark underbelly of normal-seeming people (the guy at the rodeo, the frat brothers) which I don’t like to be reminded of, much less find funny.
**At one point Matt came home. I paused the movie and mentioned where I was. He laughed, grabbed what he needed and left. I resumed watching. The sum total of laughs at the Orange Door for the duration of this movie: that burst of laughter from Matt.

Requiem: garlic smasher

Thanks to this blog, I can tell you that I’ve owned this item since November 30, 2015. Alas, it has now broken. This was the most-used item that I purchased with my going-away gift certificate, though I still use the cheese slicer a lot and the stem thing when I have herbs to deal with.  Have I made a cocktail since that post? Possibly not.

I will miss my garlic smasher.  I’m not sure if I will miss it enough to purchase another one, though.

Three sentence movie reviews: Win it All

poster from: http://www.impawards.com/tv/win_it_all.html

Recommended by Bo Burnham during an interview on Filmspotting #698, I immediately queued it up because the one-two punch of Joe Swanberg and Jake Johnson have worked well for me in the past. Johnson brings a lot of nuance to a character who could have come off as unlikable and the movie illustrates the problems of a gambling addiction while following a fairly standard plot, but managed to keep me engaged. I especially appreciated Aislinn Derbez’s performance and how her character was written.*

Cost: Netflix monthly subscription fee ($7.99)
Where watched: at home

*Most single moms in movies set their standards aside once a man enters the picture. See: Crazy Hart

Also consider watching: Drinking Buddies, Rachel Getting Married

Three sentence movie reviews: Alex Strangelove

poster from: http://www.impawards.com/tv/alex_strangelove.html

Just as I enjoy the airport reunion scene at the beginning of Love Actually more than I do the rest of the film, so did I like the montage of coming out videos that brought this movie to a close more than the rest of the movie itself.* This film is populated with either characters so abrasive I did not care about them or characters so one-dimensional I could not care about them. If I’m really reaching for one redeeming thing, it’s that this movie is a good example of someone trying so hard not to be who he really is that his actions are incredibly painful to watch.

Cost: Netflix monthly subscription fee ($7.99)
Where watched: at home

Consider watching instead: Love Simon, Trick

*The only really fun thing about this movie was the introduction of a character. The music playing was “Sister Christian” by Night Ranger, but the subtitles had the word to “Heaven on Earth” by Belinda Carlisle.  Perhaps they couldn’t get the rights?



Three sentence movie reviews: All About Eve

poster from: http://www.impawards.com/1950/all_about_eve.html

I had conflated this movie with The Three Faces of Eve, and spent twenty minutes wondering when the multiple personalities would begin. Once I let that go, I settled in for a movie that’s called a classic for a reason. For a film that is, “all about the women and their men,” this manages not to fall too deeply into terrible 1950s-era stereotypes and also includes a ton of good lines.*

Cost: free from library
Where watched: at home

Also consider watching: Sunset Boulevard, A Star is Born (1937)

*”Fasten your seat belts, it’s going to be a bumpy night,” was a quote I had heard and a clip I had seen, but in context, it’s brilliant. And that is only one example.

And now for our scratch off poster:

Generally so-so in execution, both before and after.
Another one that I find just okay.
The fact that I don’t recognize this “after” image tells me perhaps I should review this movie. It’s only been 25+ years. But it was so slow.

Do you want to scratch your movie poster itch? Get the scratch off poster here.

Three sentence movie reviews: The Incredible Jessica James

poster from: http://www.impawards.com/tv/incredible_jessica_james.html

From the sequence where Jessica Willams has her own earbuds-in dance party–stopping only to eat a PBJ–I was all in.  This movie is funny, sweetly romantic and includes two lead actors who play off each other extremely well. Like Ibiza, this also has a really great ending.*

Cost: Monthly Netflix subscription ($7.99)
Where watched: at home

Also consider watching: Maggie’s Plan, In a World, The American President, Going the Distance

*This new style of romantic comedy ending deserves a good feminist film criticism essay.  Who will write it?