Saturday, May 29, 2010

May 29

Well I'm back to sucking at this blogging stuff again.  This post might be random.  The next few posts might be random.  I have such a backlog of pictures and topics that I don't know how to get caught up in any sort of graceful way.  So enjoy this bumpy ride.

 Ride With the Devil (1999)
When the Civil War begins, lifelong friends Jake (Tobey Maguire) and Jack Bull (Skeet Ulrich) join the Missouri Bushwhackers, a ragtag team of Southern guerrilla fighters. But after the cold realities of conflict set in, the men must decide for themselves what honor means. Director Ang Lee takes viewers deep into the labyrinthine conflict of the War Between the States and those who fought it.

Not sure how I missed this one for so long....being from 1999.....but it was quite good.  I love me some Skeet Ulrich but it was long haired Tobey Maguire that was the hottie in this one.  Anyway, it was a good movie but I didn't really understand some of what was going on.  Who exactly were these guys fighting against, and why?  And why were they holed up in their little dugout for so long?  And how did they keep in touch with each other, being spread out all over random countrysides?  Still, pretty good movie.

Old Dogs (2009)
On the verge of a game-changing business deal, a divorced dad (Robin Williams) and his womanizing best friend and partner (John Travolta) are thrown for a loop when they're tasked with caring for a rambunctious pair of 6-year-old twins. Helmed by Walt Becker, this family comedy also stars Seth Green, Kelly Preston, Matt Dillon, Rita Wilson and Bernie Mac, in his final big-screen appearance.

This was funny.  It's Disney so it's tame and gets sappy at the end but it was pretty good.  Short enough too that it stays funny without getting boring and old.  The part where their pills got mixed up, although extremely predictable, was hysterical.  The way John Travolta's face was twitching in the early stages of what happened...omg...I was laughing so hard.  It was good, no-brainer fun for an evening.

The New Daughter (2009)
Luis Berdejo directs this supernatural thriller centered on John James (Kevin Costner), who moves to the country to get a new start -- only to be confronted by a new nightmare when his daughter, Louisa (Ivana Baquero), begins acting stranger by the minute. With unsettling events besetting the South Carolina home, John begins to believe that something on the edge of the forest nearby might have the answers he needs.

I'd not heard of this one, and not sure how I ended up Netflixing it.  Recommendation page perhaps?  It was ok until the end.  (Seems I'm very hard to please when it comes to movie endings!)  I would have liked more explanation of what these things were and what was happening than the one quick conversation with the researcher dude.  I was confused why the dad felt the need to sacrifice himself instead of just destroying the 'creepy thing.'  There are lots of 'Did you see that?!' things in this movie that made it fun to watch.  Several times we had to rewind to double check something we thought we had seen.  And Kevin Costner is still hot.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

May 12

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009)

When a deal with the devil comes due, the immortal Doctor Parnassus (Christopher Plummer) must renegotiate the pact to save his daughter. Now, with the help of his mystical theater troupe and a mysterious stranger, Parnassus attempts to right the wrongs of his past. Terry Gilliam's quirky fantasy marks Heath Ledger's final film, with Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell and Jude Law stepping in to complete his pivotal role.

Ok, I love Heath Ledger and I love Johnny Depp but wow...I did not like this movie.  It was bizarre, I knew that going into it.  But it was just so, I don't know... pointless.  Ack.  Bleah.  Did not like it.

Legion (2010)
In the wake of an apocalypse of major proportions, a motley crew of survivors (including Dennis Quaid, Tyrese Gibson and Kate Walsh) ekes out a living at an abandoned truck stop in the desert, never suspecting that the pregnant woman walking among them is carrying the Messiah. Paul Bettany co-stars in this thriller as the archangel Michael, who was sent to Earth to steer humankind away from darkness and toward the light.

This one, on the other hand, I was surprised by how much I *did* like it.  I thought it was going to be another blood and guts shoot 'em up man movie, so I mainly got it for hubby.  I wish there would have been more about the angels, not just the creepy demon type zombie angels.  Gabriel's lethal weapon wings and do-it-all mace were a bit much.  The ending was weak, and left wide open for a sequel or series.  Other than those fairly minor flaws I was surprised by how into I got.  And there is something hot about Paul Bettany.  He has a dark look in this movie, not his usual near albino look, hehe.  Maybe that's part of it.  Or maybe his voice combined with the dark.  I think it's definitely that power thing.  You know, the same 'power' thing that I love about Edward Cullen, Professor Snape, and NotLocke.  Not sure how to explain it and not sure if anyone cares.  He's lethal, he can kill any of them in the blink of an eye, he's been among the worst kind and knows what's going on, yet when he's holding the girl while she's in labor, urging her on in that deep, accented, authoritative it.  This is not my new favorite movie or anything but yes, I really like it.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

May 6

My Sister's Keeper (2009)
A former defense attorney (Cameron Diaz) finds herself back in the courtroom when she and her husband (Jason Patric) are sued for medical emancipation by their 11-year-old daughter, Anna (Abigail Breslin), who is expected to donate a kidney to her dying older sister. The subsequent trial tests ethical boundaries and the limits of parental love. Joan Cusack and Alec Baldwin round out the cast in this powerful drama based on Jodi Picoult's novel.

I had wanted to read this book for so long before finally getting around to it, only to be disappointed.  I didn't like the way the book jumped around, and I really didn't like the ending...thought it was a total cop out.  So when the movie came out I wasn't overly anxious to see it.  I knew they'd changed the ending and knew there was some uproar about it but I hadn't known what the change was until very recently when a co-worker blabbed it.  The movie worked its way to the top of my Netflix list and had been sitting here for probably three weeks before I *finally* watched it today.  I knew it was a tearjerker, which is probably why I kept putting off watching it.  Even though I tend to cry easily over anything and everything, when it comes to movies that I know are going to be a big sobfest I seem to need to be in a mood to allow it.  Still, I wasn't prepared for this.  Wow.  There were times when I was totally body shaking sobbing.  And I actually liked the big change they made towards the end.  But wow, a huge emotional journey that has me thinking it'll be a long time before I'm recovered enough to watch that other tearjerker on my list....Hachi

The Invisible (2007)
After high schooler Nick (Justin Chatwin) is brutally attacked and left for dead, he regains consciousness and then discovers that he's invisible to everyone -- except for a troubled young girl (Margarita Levieva) running from the authorities. An unsettling glimpse at one man's nightmarish limbo, this supernatural thriller from the producers of The Sixth Sense explores the elusive place between the world of the living and the land of the dead.

Also watched this one tonight, another that has been sitting here for weeks.  This one popped up in the Netflix recommendationsI'd never heard of it otherwise.  I went into it with very little expectations so I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked it, how much I was getting into it.  While I thought almost everything with the girl was annoying (wanted to rip her dang hat off, then once she took it off I wanted her to put it back on), I really liked the boy's side of things.  I *loved* when he was yelling in her face that it was all her fault, all her choices, despite how 'bad' her life was.  *LOVED* that!  And then it all turned to crap.  I thought for sure the girl was going to die in the car, be shot by the police or send herself over the cliff or something, and that was going to 'allow' the boy to come back.  But what they dragged it out as and turned it into....please, really?!  It became so dumb that my tears dried up and I was rolling my eyes, almost laughing in an angry 'wtf?!' way.  Even with that crap ending though, I'd suggest this movie if you ever come across it while flipping through channels or a cheap rental.

Monday, May 3, 2010

May 3 - Products, Etsy....

I've strayed from my usual Etsy tart supplier.  Yes yes, I know, the horrors.  But when I saw this other Etsy tart maker's listing for a caramel coffee scented tart I was drawn to her shop.  I found that Nana's Tarts has many coffee scents!  I sent her a message asking if I could get three different scents in one of her 3-packs instead of all the same scent as she had listed.  She said that would be fine but she also mentioned other scents she had that just weren't listed yet.  She offered me a package deal plus two free tarts (I think?) so in the end I was getting one of each of the coffee line.  Awesome!

When my ordered arrived I loved how cute the packaging was, like a little country bundle all done up in a gingham fabric.  I was thrilled to see she'd also thrown in a freebie absolutely adorable apple pie scented pie-looking tart!

The actual coffee scented tarts all looked the same.  They were individually packaged and tagged in the same country charm theme.  The scents I got were:
Cinnamon Hazelnut Coffee
Caramel Nut Coffee
Pumpkin Cinnamon Coffee
Caramel Cinnamon Latte
Vanilla Toffee Latte
Chocolate Mint Latte
Cinna Latte
Roasted Coffee
The Pumpkin Cinnamon is my favorite of these.  I will probably order more of that one this fall, around Halloween and Thanksgiving.  I also quite liked the Vanilla Toffee, and the Mint Chocolate Chip.  Hubby said the Caramel Nut reminded him of when I'm doing Christmas baking, and the Caramel Cinnamon one reminded him of popcorn.  LOL...I don't know.

I have not actually burned the Roasted Coffee yet.  All the others have been plenty strong on the first burn but noticeably weaker already on the second burn.  Some I didn't get more than two burns out of.  That's the only downside to these tarts.  My other tarts I can burn over and over and over and still have plenty of scent.  Still, Nana's Tarts are good enough that I would order again.  Go check her shop!

I also ordered more from my regular supplier, Country Home Scents.  This order included Pralines & Cream, Pecan Caramel Swirl, Fudge Brownie, Butterscotch Cream, Chocolate Covered Strawberry, and Heavenly Honey.  I think this order also had Chocolate Chip Cookie scent but I burned that right away because she was waiting for me feedback.  (It was good, for those who are wondering.)  I haven't burned any of this new order yet since I've working my way thru the coffee ones but I have faith that these are all fantastic.  They always are.  (Actually, I've had a couple of these scents before and had to reorder because they are so good.)  Check her shop too!

Remember when I was in Iowa I bought that soap from the little shop in East Davenport?  I don't think I ever said much about it because I knew I wanted to write about it separately.  
The soap I bought was the Milk 'n Honey bar from Iowa Naturals, made right there in Davenport.  Ingredients are not listed on the label and at the website they are bulked together in general, so I'm not sure but I don't think this particular bar contains goat milk.  Regardless, it's quite a nice bar of soap.  Plenty of long lasting lather (which I love!), lovely Oatmeal, Milk & Honey scent, ground oatmeal to scrub and stimulate.  Nice.  We also bought a 'shave stick' for hubby but didn't realize until we were home that we'd grabbed a *womens* stick.  I have not used it.  I don't know if hubby will now.  I don't know what difference there would really be anyway.  Scent?

I was also given a tiny sample of lotion with my purchase.  The only things written on the teeny tiny jar was 'Naked Bee.'  After some internet research I found out this was a product of The Naked Bee, out of California.  I emailed them, told them about my sample, asked if they might know what scent/product it is according to the shop it was in.  They replied that the shop owner probably made the samples herself, and her guess was that it was their signature scent of Orange Blossom Honey.  The sample was so small, but I got a few uses out of it for my hands.  It was nice but I prefer my beloved Bella's Birthday.

I finally bought my first Seventh Generation cleaning product.  I've known about them for a while but haven't seen their products readily available in any of the places I shop most.  Recently a blog that I read was having a Seventh Generation giveaway and to enter you had to visit the site, etc.  While at the site I browsed the list of stores that carry them and found they must have expanded because there were now places that I go to.  Not long after that I happened to be in Target and saw an end display featuring Seventh Generation products so I bought......
...Lavender Floral & Mint dish washing liquid.  I've used it a couple times now and it seems strong enough.  I always have it in my head that these natural, eco-friendly products are weak.  The suds lasted all the way, it didn't seem like I was washing with nasty water, and the scent was very nice....not overwhelming, just enough to know it was there.  Not sure at this point if I'll buy more or stick with my Dawn.  With the oil slick approaching the Gulf Coast I need to keep supporting Dawn so they can clean the ducks and wildlife!

And hey!  I think I'm caught up now on all my product natterings!