Monday, December 15, 2008

Dec. 15 - Twilight news



Woot! Just read an announcement that the New Moon movie will be released Nov. 20, 2009. It had been reported everywhere that it wouldn't be out until 2010, so a year sooner is awesome news! We've already learned that Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke won't be directing this one....Golden Compass director Chris Weitz will be.

And I also just saw this:


Dollmaker Figures It'll Get In on Twilight Action

Finally, a doll-lightful cure for the post-Twilight doldrums!

Fanggirls can pass the time until New Moon hits theaters by replaying and recreating moments from the books and film with their very own Bella Swan and Edward Cullen dolls.

Bella is 15 inches tall and modeled to look like Kristen Stewart, while Edward towers 2 inches over her and is meant to resemble Robert Pattinson (swoon). They both have hand-detailed face painting and multiple articulated joints.

The collectible figures will be available exclusively at TonnerDirect.com in spring 2009. According to the Tonner Doll Company, plans for creating likenesses of the other characters are in the works.

In other words, a perfect stocking stuffer for next Christmas.


LOL...not sure how I feel about those, but I had wondered if there would any 'toys' to come out of this.

Dec. 15 - Products and Movies

Total Cinnamon Crunch Cereal. I *love* cinnamon, and when it's a cinnamon cereal, I am sooo there. When I saw this new flavor of Total, I was thrilled. When I had my first bowl of it, however, I was not. How disappointing. It's ok but a couple things I don't like are that the little squares of cereal are a bit harder and crunchier than I was expecting, and the flavor is dull. It was good enough that I'll finish this box that I bought, but I doubt I'll ever buy it again.


Simplicity Liquid Dish Soap. I'm pretty sure I mentioned this way back when I first bought it but I'll mention it again now that I've tried both scents. I first bought it because I was trying to take small steps into the world of 'going green.' I'd passed by so many 'green' cleaners for so long because they're usually so expensive and because I was convinced that they were weak, they wouldn't work. This one is not any more expensive than what I was normally buying, and it's "a non-toxic, biodegradable, hypoallergenic liquid dish soap." I was surprised by how well it works! Lots of bubbly suds that last all the way thru, lots of cleaning power, and you only need a little squirt of it. I was impressed, and I've been using it ever since.

There are two scents. One is Green Apple, and I think the other is Citrus. I will say, the citrus one has a rather...medicinal?...smell. I did not like it at all. But it worked just fine if you could ignore that scent. I like the green apple scent though, not too overpowering. I'll stick with it.

(Oooh, I was just reading some Googled things about this product and one woman mentions it gave her a rash on her hands. I wear gloves when I do dishes, so I don't know how harsh this really is. It's also a Walmart brand so I know alot of people automatically poo-poo it. Oh well...)


Pure and Natural Body Wash. Drawn from and inspired by nature, Pure & Natural(TM) offers consumers what they need to keep their bodies and environment clean and healthy. Pure & Natural(TM) uses ingredients derived from nature and recycled packaging to form a brand that is truly eco-conscious.

The product line consists of a Body Wash, Liquid Hand Soap and Bar Soap which are each available in three ingredient combinations: Moisturizing Almond Oil & Cherry Blossom, Cleansing Rosemary & Mint and Renewing Grapefruit & Pomegranate. All Pure & Natural(TM)
products are biodegradable: the Body Wash and Liquid Hand Soap packaging are 100% recyclable, the Bar Soap packaging is made of 100% post consumer paper with seeds embedded inside, so users can actually plant the wrapping in the ground and watch it sprout a few weeks later.

-- 98% Natural Origin
-- Hypo-allergenic
-- Biodegradable formulas
-- 100% Recyclable Packaging
-- Paraben Free
-- Not tested on animals


I've only tried the body wash so far. It's 'almond oil and cherry blossom.' Like the dish soap above, I was surprised and impressed by the amount of lather. The scent is not over-whelming. It cleans just fine, doesn't leave me feeling slimy or dried out. While it is pricier than what I'd normally buy, coupons.com often has coupons for it and I've been able to catch it on sale at Walmart enough times that I have four bottles of it on my bathroom shelf. I also like that the company makes an annual donation of at least $100k to World Wildlife Fund.

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Some movies I've seen lately...

Twilight
Heee! Sorry, couldn't help it. I haven't mentioned it for a while. I'm still a total Twilight dork, as my kids like to point out. Yesterday I kept saying "Feature's dead, Angela! Don't bring it up again!" LOL!

After seeing it four times in the theater I thought I had seen it enough to keep me content until the DVD comes out. It's been ten days since I've seen it, and the urge is coming back. I'd taken a break from the soundtrack to keep Christmas music playing but I'm now back to cranking Twilight. Plus, having the score cd, hearing that extra music...gah.

I almost went this weekend. Casey had mentioned he wouldn't mind seeing it again, and Ty has said he'd go along if I really do go. Hubby though, just rolls his eyes. LOL!

This morning the two local DJs were talking about it. The woman DJ said she'd taken her daughter to the theater over the weekend, thinking they were going to see the new Keanu Reeves movie (Day the Earth Stood Still) but her daughter saw Twilight is still playing and talked her into seeing that instead. So now the DJ lady is all "I can absolutely see now what all the buzz is about. Mmmmm," and things like that. The guy DJ was laughing, asking some questions, admitting he's clueless. And it made me want to go again.

It's still hanging on to #3 in the rankings. So, Deb's 5th Viewing might not be a ridiculous notion afterall...

Step Brothers (2008)
Brennan Huff (Will Ferrell) and Dale Doback (John C. Reilly) -- two grown men still living at home -- turn into jealous, competitive stepbrothers when their single parents marry in this Judd Apatow-produced comedy. Brennan's constant competition with Dale strains his mom's (Mary Steenburgen) marriage to Dale's dad (Richard Jenkins). Will the reluctant stepsiblings ever see eye to eye? And more importantly, will they ever leave the nest?

This one was ok. I'd heard it was so over the top hysterical but I didn't find it *that* funny. The end was kinda...lacking. Be sure to keep watching once the credits start, because there is an imporant 'whatever happened to' type scene thrown in. Oh! The crazy sister-in-law was a riot. She stole the show.

The Clique (2008)
In the tradition of Mean Girls, this direct-to-video teen comedy based on the best-selling book series follows Massie Block (Elizabeth McLaughlin), the leader of a group of privileged schoolgirls who arrogantly call themselves "The Pretty Committee." But Massie's life take an unexpected turn when her parents' friends, a middle-class family with a self-assured teenage daughter (Ellen Marlow), move into the Blocks' guest house.

I Netflixed this one because I thought it looked cute and fun. I wasn't expecting much, just wanted something no-brainer for once. And it was cute. Even hubby watched it and laughed along the way. He marvelled, "Is that really the way it is with girls??" So yes, this one is good for a bit of no-worries relaxing.

Cruel Intentions (1999)
Slaking a thirst for dangerous games, Kathryn (Sarah Michelle Gellar) challenges her stepbrother, Sebastian (Ryan Phillippe), to deflower their headmaster's daughter (Reese Witherspoon) before the summer ends. The prize, if he succeeds, is the chance to bed Kathryn. But if he loses, Kathryn will claim his most prized possession. Sebastian takes up the dare but soon learns there's more to the bargain than meets the eye.

This was recommended by my movie watching co-worker. We'd been talking about something else and a part from this movie came up in the conversation. She was amazed I'd never seen it, and assured me that Ryan Phillippe was the hottest thing since vegetarian vampires, and insisted I Netflix it. So I did. It was ok, not nearly as great as she'd made it out to be. (But we've already established in previous posts that she and I don't see eye to eye.) There are some hot things about Ryan in this movie but overall he didn't do it for me like MWC-Worker was sure he would. It was rather predictable, as all 'dare to get the girl' movies seem to be. It was ok though. I would watch it again if I came across it.

Under the Tuscan Sun (2003)
In this movie loosely based on Frances Mayes's best-selling memoir of the same title, Diane Lane stars as Frances, a newly divorced American writer who heads for the Italian region of Tuscany to make limonita out of life's lemons. Having just quit her high-pressure job and ended her heartbreaking marriage, she buys a decrepit-but-charming house in Cortona on impulse, rebuilding it piece by piece -- and herself along with it.

I'd been wanting to see this movie since it first came out. For whatever reason, I just never have...until now. I really like it. I think it's that whole idea of leaving everything behind and starting over in a foreign country. (My choice would of course be in Germany.) It kinda reminded me of the Johnny Depp movie Chocolat. Lots of characters in the little 'neighborhood' to get to know, learning to fit in, etc. There is humor, but it made me cry too. I don't know, I just...liked it.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Dec. 5 - #4 baybee

I wasn't planning on it, and it was totally spur of the moment, but I saw Twilight tonight...fourth time now. When Ty got home from school he mentioned that he would like to see it again. I joked that we could inhale our fish dinners when hubby got home and race to town to see the movie. I didn't think Ty seriously wanted to go.

Well, hubby got home with our food, we ate, and I glanced at the clock and laughed. I told Ty we had time to get there before the first show. He said ok, let's go. I kinda laughed it off but he said he would seriously like to see it. So we flew into action, grabbing our shoes and jackets and money. Hubby just rolled his eyes and Casey didn't want to go, so we flew out the door and into town.

There were about 25-30 people there, still mostly teenage girls.

It was great to see it again. I'm so used to it now, some of the wonder is leaving. I didn't cry as much. Still love all the same parts. I wonder if this is it for me now until the DVD. As of right now I think I'm content.

Don't know how I'll feel tomorrow though!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Nov. 26 - Twilight again

I saw Twilight again tonight. I was solo this time. Well, hubby went along to the theater but he decided to see the new James Bond movie instead. My sister saw it again last night (in Illinois) and said there were only about ten people there. I don't get that...just where is she seeing it?? Cuz even when I saw it tonight, that theater was easily over half full. Unfortunately tonight's crowd was louder, more annoying.

The silver car was still on display. I actually stopped earlier today and took this pic. It's easy to see now that it doesn't look much like Edward's car but still close enough to giggle and say 'Kewl!'


But anyway...I think I loved it. I know, I know, 'You *think* you loved it?' Well, I was able to appreciate it for what it was more this time, didn't worry about the changes. I was able to lose myself in it. I was more able to follow Edward's emotions. But I need to be able to cry freely and I tend to detach and hold back when I watch in the theater. When I get this on DVD and am able to just sit and cry at parts, then I'll know whether I really love it or not.

There were more little things I noticed this second time around. Like in biology class, the position of the owl on the shelf behind Edward makes it look like he (Edward) has angel wings. LOL! I watched the Cullens in the background more, noticing their reactions more to things going on. Emmett is hottt, dammit. He (Kellan) could have played Edward and I'd probably have been alright with it. And I can see now how some people think the venom sucking scene was comical...Edward was almost orgasmic, moaning and clutching her arm. Ha!

And then there are the parts I just love....the bit with Edward playing the piano being the first one that comes to mind. I think it's because he just looks so relaxed. I tried to find a pic or a clip online but couldn't find what I was looking for. The pics in the movie companion book are not the same. The big kiss scene was awesome again. When Bella starts getting more aggressive, the look on Edward's face is so...I don't know...pained? And two bits I love in the slaughtered meadow scene are when he backs her up against the rock and has his arms on each side of her, and when he's in the tree and she comes up closer to him...as she comes up he moves back to keep the space between them. So cool. Loved the dorky classmates again too.

Ooooh, and really loved the part where Edwards saves Bella from the dorks in Port Angeles. And lovelovelove his voice when he's talking to Bella in the hallway of the hospital early on, when he says "Mmm, and what do you think you saw?" (Or whatever the actual quote is.)

I don't know if I'll see it again in the theater. I'm not ruling it out. When it was done tonight, I thought I'd satisfied my need and could wait until the DVD comes out, but now I don't know. I'm already wishing I could see it again.

My name is Deb, and I am a Twilight dork.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Twilight movie - My first thoughts

I'm just back from seeing the movie and am going to talk freely about it so...you have been warned.

The local theater that we go to had a midnight showing of Twilight, but that was sold out days ago. I had instead bought our tickets for the 6:45pm showing this evening. Hubby and the boys were going with me, more because we rarely go to movies so when we do it's a family affair. They were going more because of that than because they were gungho to see it. No, tonight was all for me. Hehe.

Hubby got home from work at 5pm. He changed his clothes, cleaned up a bit, and thought we were going to be leaving immediately. I laughed at him, told him I didn't need to be there *that* early. However, by 5:30pm I was getting anxious and excited and decided it would be better to be ridiculously early than to be late. So we headed out then.

We got to the theater by 6pm. The lot wasn't even filling up yet, things looked promising. As we pulled into our spot I had to laugh because parked on the lawn in front of the theater was a shiny silver car.

"No way!" I exclaimed, laughing like a dork. My menfolk looked around, clueless, and I told them that car was probably a silver Volvo and it was parked there because that's what Edward drives. They laughed. I wanted to take a pic but it was already getting too dark outside. (Found out *after* the movie that it was a Mazda that only *resembled* Edward's silver Volvo. Doh!)

We went inside...no line, yay!...picked up the tickets I'd pre-purchased, and stopped to get our drinks and munchies. Gave our tickets to the ticket dude who then stopped us and stamped our hands. That was kinda weird, since this theater is usually pretty lax. Walked a short way down the hall and were stopped outside the Twilight theater to have our handstamps checked before being allowed inside. Again, wow.

We always sit in the very back row, over in the corner. I love it there cuz you're not surrounded by people. Well, even for as early as we got there and for how empty the place seemed, once we rounded the corner and came into the actual theater we saw just how many people were already there. It was maybe a third filled already! And our preferred seats were already taken. Dammit! So we sat way closer than I would have liked, but at least still off to the side so we weren't totally boxed in.

It was fun for me to do some people watching, seeing all the Twilight shirts, and stuff. There was even a girl wearing a Team Jacob shirt! Who in their right mind would be Team Jacob?? *rolls eyes* I was texting my sister. I was really frikken excited. When the lights finally started to dim a bunch of the teen girls started screaming, which was actually pretty funny and cool.

There was a preview for the next Harry Potter movie. That was interesting cuz of the rivalry, cuz today was originally supposed to be the HP opening, and cuz of the Rob Pattinson connection.

So...the movie. Now, it is my norm to not be able to form an opinion on the first viewing of anything. And this was no different, which kinda disappointed me. I'd been thinking, hoping that I'd love it so much I wouldn't have this problem. Honestly though, I can't decide at the moment. That in itself should say that I didn't love it, but I don't feel that way. At least I didn't come away from it feeling totally depressed, ha.

They changed ALOT. I knew they would, but they changed SO MUCH. Things that I don't understand why they felt the need to change it. The story is still the same, all the key points are there, all the basics were covered. But they rearranged some things, split up conversations and moved them around, compacted things here and there. And I don't understand why. They humored it up alot, which was fine...but they kinda changed the tone of alot of things.

The whole meadow scene. What was that?? Several of those tiny little comments and bits that just *make* the story, gone or changed. The way Edward reveals himself to Bella...it's done in and angry 'Look at what a freak I am!' way. In the book I always got a feeling of him being, I don't know, embarrassed and wary about showing Bella but at the same time feeling he'd gotten to a level of security with her that he was kinda pleased to say 'This is me.' I don't know, I really need to see the movie again to fully taken in how much that scene was slaughtered.

On this first viewing I didn't feel the deep bond, deep attraction between Bella and Edward that the book has. To be fair, I think I was just too busy taking everything in to really just live it. Edward was played a little more bumbling and unsure of himself than I think the book Edward is. Bella was Bella, she was ok. They added alot of Charlie stuff that was actually pretty good. Alot of little things that the book fans in the crowd picked up on, fun things like Jasper's constant pained expression. LOL

The cry factor...hmmm. I cry over the smallest things. I also try to control myself in the theater, try to stay a bit detached so I don't end up a red faced blubbering idiot when the movie is over. I did cry during this, but I think I will cry a whole lot more when I get to watch the DVD in the privacy of my own home. The two spots that I remember really crying were when Bella said the stuff to her dad before she left (to get away from James) and the end of the hospital scene (like I knew I would). There were other parts where I was teary-eyed but controlled it.

As for the music...HA! I had every song wrong. Well, except for the prom song, but the friggen book tells us what that one is. In my own defense though, I did wonder before the movie was done if the Linkin Park song would be the end credits, and it was. And the music during the scene when Edward sucks the venom out was indeed Rob's song but not the song on the soundtrack. Cheaters! My very favorite song (the Muse one) was during the baseball game!!! Doh!

So, overall, hmm...I'm leaving it at undecided.

And I'm off to bed now, to let it all simmer and stew in my brain, and maybe my thoughts will be different in the morning.

wOOt!

Oh, forgot to say that this 6:45pm showing was also sold out. They announced that shortly after we sat down, and were rearranging people to best seat everyone in the groups they came with. Also forgot to say that Ty and Casey both liked the movie more than they thought they would. Hubby says that while he liked it, he thought it would be more vampire-y, which is what I think alot of people who haven't read the book are thinking. Ok, off to bed now.

AND I forgot to say that they totally set up the next movies with that little Victoria bit at the ending. Of course.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Oct 17 - recently viewed movies

The Happening
In this thriller from M. Night Shyamalan, a deadly airborne virus threatens to wipe out the northeastern United States. Fleeing from contaminated cities into the remote countryside, science teacher Elliott Moore (Mark Wahlberg) and his wife, Alma (Zooey Deschanel), fight to survive and discover the truth: is it terrorism, the accidental release of some toxic military bio weapon, or something even more terrifying? John Leguizamo and Betty Buckley co-star.

I had really wanted to see this. The commercials had always freaked me out. Then my movie watching co-worker saw it just before me and was gushing about how it was SO freaky, and had freaked her out like nothing since the Blair Witch Project. Imagine my surprise when I was totally disappointed! There were only a couple very brief parts that were freaky (and one I had already seen in commercials) and I found the whole thing rather stupid overall. What a bummer. Hubby, who had also been anxious to see this, thought it sucked too.

You Don't Mess With the Zohan
Adam Sandler also stars as the titular Zohan, an Israeli counterterrorism soldier with a secretly fabulous ambition to become a Manhattan hairstylist, in this comedy he co-wrote with Judd Apatow (Knocked Up) and Robert Smigel. Zohan's desire runs so deep that he'll do anything -- including faking his own death and going head to head with an Arab cab driver (Rob Schneider) -- to make his dreams come true.

Hubby and the boys wanted this one. MovieWatchingCoWorker has warned me not to waste my time on it. She hadn't seen it, didn't plan on seeing it, but had heard it was crap and thought the commercials looked stupid. I guess I shouldn't be surprised that I liked this one more than The Happening. LOL I didn't love it, probably would never buy it, but if I stumbled across it while flipping thru channels I'd probably watch it again. Just dorky fun.

Ironman
After ultrarich inventor and weapons maker Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) escapes from kidnappers using makeshift power armor, he turns his invention to good by using it to fight crime. But when he must face the evil Iron Monger, his skills are stretched to the limit. Based on the Marvel comic, this captivating superhero tale from director Jon Favreau co-stars Gwyneth Paltrow, Jeff Bridges and Terrence Howard.

Another choice from hubby and the boys. I hadn't planned on watching it but was in the room at the beginning and was slightly amused by how sucked in I got. I had too many other things to do though, so I didn't commit, figured I'd come back to it some other time and watch all of it. Hubby thought it was good enough to own so I bought it while shopping today. Yes, I had no intention of watching, no interest, but what I saw looked pretty good!

Gone Baby Gone
When a 4-year-old girl goes missing in Dorchester, one of Boston's toughest hoods, private investigators Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro (Casey Affleck and Michelle Monaghan) reluctantly agree to take the case. But the investigation proves tougher, riskier and more complex than they could have imagined. Ben Affleck's directorial debut, adapted from the Dennis Lehane novel, also stars Ed Harris, Morgan Freeman and Amy Ryan (in her first Oscar-nominated role).

I picked this one. It was really good. There is a part a while into where you think it's over and you're almost screaming "That can't be it!" but then it kinda veers off and continues. The plot had me quite confused after a while though. It wasn't until afterwards, when I had a chance to go back over everything in my head and ask hubby some questions, that it became clear (I think?!) to me. And big conflict, the end....doh! I recommend this one.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Sept. 25 - An American Crime

Finally watched the movie An American Crime tonight. It's about the Sylvia Likens story that I mentioned not long ago. I had finished reading the book House of Evil today, about the same thing, and had already heard about the movie from my movie watching co-worker...

I cried during the movie but for different reasons. I cried because the movie version barely touches on the horrors, which was probably better viewing-wise, but doesn't get the whole story out. I watched the movie wondering how I would have felt about it if I hadn't known everything beforehand. To me it seemed like it was rushed and didn't make much sense, probably because I knew the missing pieces and couldn't 'see' it for what was being presented. Hubby seemed quite shocked and disgusted by what happened just from the movie, so I guess it does its job.

But then I just sit and think of all that wasn't shown, or what was changed, and it just breaks my heart to think of what it must have been like for that poor girl. To me, the movie made it too nicey-nice.

Bleah, this is going to be on my mind for a while.

(Ellen Page as Sylvia Likens)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Sept. 16 - Pan's Labyrinth

Finally watched this movie tonight. I've been wanting to see it for a long time but have always skipped it for one reason or another, often because it's subtitled. But I Netflixed it and finally...after sitting here for a week...watched it tonight.

I loved it.

The subtitles didn't bother me afterall. It's a more visual movie anyway, and the spoken parts were quick and easy enough that you don't lose anything in those precious moments.

There were some very graphic parts that I wish they would have done without, or at least toned down, but it's not a gorefest.

Once you get to the end and think back about the story leading up to it, it's so sad! I mean, you lose yourself in the magic and find it so believable. Then you get to the end and see what the captain sees, and you rethink it all and go 'Hey, wait...was it just...?'

That little girl was awesome.

Love this movie. Highly recommend it. :)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

April 14 - Meeting Johnny (this is LOOOOONG)

Sunday night I had a discussion with hubby, told him I needed some straight answers about going to Oshkosh….like did he really want to go or not? Should I factor him out of all plans and summon the courage to try and get myself there? He had always been so vague before, which is why I missed Friday’s filming at the airport. He kept saying I didn’t want him there. I said no, I didn’t want him to go along if he didn’t want to be there. I wanted to hang out with someone who would be into it, fun to talk to, not someone who would tag along after me making it extremely obvious that he’d rather be someplace else.

So he admitted he thought it might interesting. He agreed to leave work after a basic eight hour day (he usually works over-time) and come home to pick us up and head back to Oshkosh. He agreed to stay however late it got to be before I was ready to come home. I couldn’t believe it!

I had read on Rod’s blog that Rory was in town for these scenes. And I’d read that Johnny would be doing a meet-n-greet Monday. These two things, I think, are what really fueled my need to go.

All day Monday at work I was excited. When Lisa and I had gone to Columbus in March on the first day of filming, we had done it on a whim, quite out of nowhere. I had absolutely no idea what to excpect when we got there, so all of it was exciting. But now I knew more. Going to Oshkosh would be different. I was making plans this time. As the day went on I started getting really nervous because I was back to thinking hubby didn’t really want to do this. I started to consider not even going. Why did I want to do this so bad? To stand a million miles away, behind hordes of people, and in the end not see anything and have pics of the backs of peoples’ heads? No one else around me was even interested in it. I found that weird. (And still do!)

So the clock hits 3pm and I’m flying out of work, and heading to Ripon where I have a stupid eye doctor appointment. It was only a contact lens followup so I was hoping I’d get in and out, but no….I got there a bit early but still waited 15 minutes past my appointment time. *grrr* Hubby had figured if he left work at 3:30pm, he’d be getting home about the time I was getting home from my appointment. Didn’t look like that was going to happen. Once I finally saw the doctor I was very quick, very brief, very antsy, and sailed thru the appointment. I was home shortly after 4pm, and hubby was already there….ready to go.

Ty and Casey decided they didn’t want to go. At first I’d told them they had to go cuz all they ever do is sit around watching TV and playing video games. I had given them the lecture about how something like this doesn’t come along very often, blah blah blah. In the end, I was so excited to get going that I told them they didn’t have to go. And both opted to stay home. Then there was hubby, rushing me, and heading out the door before I’d even had a chance to gather my stuff. Soon enough though, we were on our way to Oshkosh.

We were very surprised to find a place to park as close as we did, on Court Street (I think). It was a ‘4 hr parking’ area. Hubby shrugged it off, saying he’d just walk back and move it later. It was about 4:50pm when we headed over to where the action was…up about a block and a half on Court, then left on Waugoo, heading over to where we saw people. At first I’d wanted to get around to the other side, cuz we’d seen the green screen and I knew that would be blocking our view. Everything was blocked off though, with cops patrolling, so we just headed along in the general direction of people.

We were in some kind of parking lot. Three things I noticed right away were the huge green screen, channel 26 news, and a guy in a dark suit and fedora….an extra….who looked familiar. ‘I think that’s Rod!’ thought I, and had him framed in my zoom lens, but didn’t take the pic for fear of looking like a dorky tourist. We were, afterall, behind the green screen, where there was nothing picture-worthy.

While I was taking in everything in those first moments, hubby had moved a bit farther down, was looking over towards the green screen, and said “Hey, I think that’s him on the steps.” I scoffed and blew him off, thinking ‘You don’t know what you’re looking for.’ But as I moved those few steps over to join him, I heard loud voices and suddenly there was gunfire. GAH!! I jumped, and the little girls around us screamed, then started laughing. We caught a glimpse of the action from a gap between a building and the edge of the green screen. A car was racing away from the scene, gunfire following. To our left, out of our view, down the parking lot, we heard cheers moments later. Soon enough, we heard the cheers again, coming closer to us, like a wave, and noticed the car come back.

I think we hung out in that crappy area long enough for them to run the scene again. While this was happening, I was aware of 26-news just off to my right, doing take after take of the news lady’s segment. I heard them saying they were going to pan over the crowd, and knew that the three young/teen girls next to me…and myself…would be the first ones seen in the ‘pan over the crowd.’ Doh!!

Anyway, we were in a crappy area for a short while, then I told hubby we *had* to move. I was still wondering how to get around to the other side. He suggested we just move down to the left, where we’d heard the cheers, where the car had driven away to. I wasn’t thrilled, because there were so many people over there, but what the heck… figured we’d see whatever there was to see as we passed by.

Right as we were approaching that area, another take of the scene was ending and the car had already gone by. We noticed it backing up, heading back to reset the scene, but then I heard someone say “Johnny’s walking back! Oooh, there he is!” I looked over to see…..Johnny Depp!!! I grabbed my big camera from hubby (zoom lens, hehe) and hurried a bit closer, then snapped pics almost blindly. It was like, take a pic then look with my own eyes to see the real thing then take a quick pic again before looking again. It’s crazy, do you soak in the moment with clear eyes?? Or do you try to capture it on film?? There really is a difference, if you’ve never been in a situation like that. (It was kinda like the first time I saw U2 in concert. I could see better if I watched the big screen, but I wanted to look at *them*!)

The car had backed up all the way to the set but Johnny had walked that block length, waving and smiling to the cheering crowd. I could not believe that after only ten minutes or so of being there, I had already seen him!! I was totally excited! This was going to be great!!

I found a spot in the crowd, only two people in front of me, and I could easily see over/between them. While we couldn’t see anything up by the green screen from here, this area was wide open. And I knew the car would be coming by right in front of us. We were directly across from the library, and had a perfect view of the trolly that was placed there. I had my digital camera in one hand, and my big ol’ film camera in the other. I prefer my film camera but it’s bulky, and a manual focus, and loud in this day of silent digital cameras. But I like to take pics on my digital cuz I can share those immediately. So I was ready for whatever presented itself in front of me.

I’m not even sure how long we stayed in that spot, but it was the longest we stayed put anywhere that day. They ran the scene several more times. The people in front of me had been there since 9am so they knew all the little cues for when the action was starting farther up on the set. “Oooh, the ladies are back in position,” or “The cop car is moving so they’re rolling up there.” We’d hear the gunfire, and moments later the car would whiz by, heading to the intersection just past us before stopping (“Cut!”) and driving reverse back to the set. Our favorite gangsters were standing outside the car, on the running boards, with their guns drawn. I had thought Stephen Dorff was one of them but I read later that his character was shot on the steps…? So I wonder now if it’s Stephen in the pics or if it’s David Wenham? Cuz I’d seen a pic of them on the bank steps and David was in that group. Hmm.

Not sure how many times we saw the scene, but eventually we saw the familiar black SUV heading up to the set and someone in the crowd commented that Johnny was leaving. Sure enough, moments later the SUV was going by again and turning off at the intersection we were by. People were straining to see if Johnny was in it. Yep, when the truck turned the corner and headed away from us, we could see the window open and Johnny waving out at the crowd over there. One lady by us summed it up with a big “DAMMIT!” Too funny.

I heard someone mention it was about 6pm. The crowd really started to clear out after Johnny left. When we noticed the extras were also leaving we figured that was the end of the action in this area. Hubby and I kinda hung around the area a bit longer, then decided to start walking…determined to get around to the other side because I knew base camp was over there. We had to walk several blocks down before we found one open that we could head north on. We eventually came to another intersection that was blocked, heard the security lady telling the people already waiting that “They’ve just started the scene again, so it will be a couple minutes.” I wondered what they were filming?? When we were finally allowed to cross, we kinda poked along, looking back up the street. We were crossing Washington and looking right back at the set in front of the green screen. There were security guys on the other side of the street who were urgently reminding us we need to cross quickly. In a moment of ‘Doh!’ we felt very embarrassed and hightailed it across the road and away from that intersection. LOL! And I was reminded of that moment in Columbus when we were also yelled at for crossing the street. I commented to hubby, however, that these people were waaaaay nicer than the security dudes in Columbus. LOL!!!

So I’m all turned around now and not even sure where we’re at anymore in relation to the set/green screen. Hubby leads me on, saying he knows exactly where we are. We end up joining a small crowd in another parking area, between two buildings. Turns out we are amazingly close to the set now!! We can’t actually see what’s going on in front of the ‘bank’ from here but we soon find out we’re at the other end…the starting end…of the scene on the road. There is an old car parked in the lot entrance right in front of us. This car moves down closer to the road and starts to pull onto the street when an old-time cop car comes screeching to halt almost in front of it. The first car hurries on its way while cops jump out of the cop car and assume the guns-drawn position. We hear loud voices (“Hey you, get out of there!”) and extras are running for cover. They do this several times, and we’re so close that each time they do it we hear the calls of ‘Picture up,’ ‘Rolling,’ ‘Action!’ etc.

It’s not until two days later, while looking at my pics for the millionth, that I realize this car by us is the getaway car that Johnny & Co. had been riding on. DUH me!! So they must have done all the filming that was heading one way, then did all the filming that was from the other direction. Clever how they do that stuff, and the end result will look so smooth and flawless.

They do this part of the scene many times. At one point while I’m fiddling with cameras or looking elsewhere, hubby points out “I think that was the director.” I blow it off again as ‘he has no clue,’ but in the end I think he was right again. *sigh*

Not sure how long we were in this area either but we eventually hear “That’s a wrap!” and the word is passed on thru the chain of security and crew people. The security girl right in front of us tells us “That’s a wrap for today, everyone. Thank you all so much for coming!” And suddenly droves of people are heading past us, to the right, and we just sort of fall into the flow. I realize we’re heading right for base camp. WOOT! Just as we walk into that area I hear some girls up ahead scream “STEPHEN DORFF!!!” and they start cheering . A bunch of other people start cheering and snapping pics but I really do wonder if it was a blind reaction…..LOL!! I mean really, if someone would have yelled “Street Sweeper! WOOOOO!” I bet a crapload of people would have started cheering and taking pics without hesitating. Funny.

I’m not even sure if Stephen Dorff had walked by, or was driven by, or just what those girls had seen. I know *I* didn’t see him but then again, we were just arriving. After that brief burst of cheers those same girls were commenting on how sad it was that the poor guy gets no recognition in this. And moments after that some crew guy walked by and huge cheer went up for “TYLER!!!!!! WOOHOOOOOO!!!!!” I’m left laughing at how he just got a bigger reaction than Stephen Dorff did. How sad is that??? There was one other point, shortly after that, when they cheered for Stephen again, but I swear I don’t know where they were seeing him…..?!?!

Not long after joining the HUUUUUGE crowd at base camp (five, six rows deep, the entire length of the block) we had someone walking up and down in front of us, explaining that Johnny would be out and making his way along the crowd. No autographs, please. No pushing. No screaming. No grabbing, etc. I was in the back of the crowd, and there were two guys next to me (letting the girlfriends have their thrill up front, lol) who were kinda mocking these instructions. (Not loudly, just to those around them.) “What, are we back in kindergarten now? Use your inside voices. It’s not nice to push….” They were kinda snobby but funny too. The lady reciting the instructions had said Johnny would be out between 7-7:30pm. One of the guys checked his watch and said it was 7:15pm.

One of the pacing cops let us know that Johnny was already out there, starting down at the end of the crowd, to our right. We couldn’t see anything of course, but people started raising their cameras up and snapping pics blindly again, then bringing the camera down to see if they could see anything of them. LOL A short way to our left was a camera man from channel 2/WBAY news. He was in the front row and would lean over, using his camera to look down the street, and announce Johnny's position to us…… “He’s about halfway between those two light posts now….”

It seemed to take For.Ev.Er! But eventually the people to the right of us were getting more and more excited. Everyone started reaching up with their cameras again, snapping blindly. I had the digital camera in my hand, and I had given the other camera to hubby with instructions of “Just take pics when he gets here!” I waited till I had my very first, obstructed glimpse of the brown hat before I started snapping pics. And suddenly it seemed like a hundred extra people had appeared around me, and everyone was pressing together. There was a little girl directly in front of me, maybe 8 or 9 years old. I felt so bad for her because there was no way she was even going to see anything.

Suddenly I’m getting more glimpses of him. The crowd is not screaming or unruly but they are definitely calling to him and shoving hands out to touch him. It’s a mild chaos, and I’m in the heart of it. Awesome. And then there he is! Just a few people down! People are pushing more. I’m not very tall, so I’m on my toes to try and keep a clear view. And then Johnny Depp is right in front of me!! (Well, in front of the other five rows of people ahead of me...)

*SWOON*

And that same moment of panic happens again…..where you don’t know if you should waste those precious seconds taking pics or taking in the vision with your bare eyes, to drink in every detail. I made a feeble attempt to get my hand extended towards him, but decided I was too far back and needed to get pics instead. Thinking about it now, it seems I remember hearing his voice but I couldn’t tell what was being said. Even the moments of looking right him are sort of a blur in my mind now. I know I *did* see him directly in front of me, but I’ve looked at the pics so many times that it’s those I remember. And all too soon he was moving past and the crowd to the left was soon blocking him from view again.

Immediately, right in front of me, the channel 2 news guys were interviewing those girls who had been screaming and cheering for Stephen Dorff. I saw that one of the girls was crying, hands shaking. The others were squealing in delight, jumping up and down and hugging each other. The news dude was asking them about their experience. Once again, I was right there in view of the news camera! BLEAH!!! I moved away and down the left a bit. I couldn’t see Johnny anymore but it was obvious he was still working his way down to the end. The area where we were was rapidly clearing out because everyone was running down to that other end in hopes of seeing him again. (I understood then where all those people had come from behind me at the time. Hehe)

Hubby and I kinda hung around in this thinned out area. There was a guy and a girl next to us, looking thru pics he’d gotten on his camera. One of them laughed about how one of his pics was just Johnny’s eyes. I leaned over to peek and he showed me. It was a friggen awesome pic!!! I wish I’d thought fast enough to get an email addy or something so I could get a copy of that. (I’d overheard some people earlier discussing things like that.) He showed me a couple more of his pics…all of them amazingly closeup and unobstructed. He obviously was in the front of the crowd. (If anyone reading this knows who this guy was, contact me! Closeup pic of Johnny’s eyes. We were just to the left of where chan2 was interviewing the girls.)

There were people dressed as old-time newspaper sellers…..newsies, I think? They were selling what looked like old-time papers with stories of Dillinger and stuff. Hubby bought me one. Cool! Turns out it was the Northwestern with a special old looking front page. Still rather cool, and a clever way to sell the papers.

We hung around until we saw Johnny, way down at the end of crowd, getting into the black SUV to leave. He paused in the doorway and waved to the crowd again, then he disappeared inside and was gone. Hubby and I started walking back to the car. More areas were opened up now so we didn’t have to walk all the way back where we’d come in from. In fact we were able to cut down between the two buildings we’d been watching from earlier (the cop car portion) and get right onto Washington street. The green screen was already down, but we noticed there was still something going one. We paused, heard “Fire in the hole!” and BOOM!!!!…an incredibly loud gun shot. Looking more closely (it was dark by now) we could see some crew guys holding a microphone thingie on a long pole, holding it up high in the air. They were standing in the street, and we noticed some people on the steps of the ‘bank,’ one of them with a gun, aiming it in the air and firing once in a while. We came to the conclusion that they were recording sound bits. Cool.

So we headed back to the car, and it was starting to hit then…..finally…..that I’d actually seen Johnny Depp several times! That I’d been *thisclose* to him, looked at him directly in front of me, heard his voice. WOOT!!! No, I can’t claim, like so many around me, “I shook his hand!” or “I touched him!” or “He hugged me!!” but the little bit I got was way more than I’d expected! I’m happy!!!

We were on the road, heading home, by 8:05pm. So it had taken less than three hours for all of this to happen. No marathon was needed. And I am positive that hubby was getting into the excitement of it all but he will never admit it. I could tell, his whole manner…his vibe…his, I don’t know…changed while we were there. I think it might have been, for him, like it was for me that day in Columbus. Totally clueless about what to expect, so every bit about it was new and exciting. I was sorry now that Ty and Casey had missed it. (When they saw our pics and heard our tales, I think they were sorry too!)

I have way too many pics to try and post in here. And I’ve gotten long-winded anyway…doh! So I’ll just leave a link and you can view the pics at your leisure. Enjoy! I know I did!!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/25205751@N08/