Rats, Penguins, and Stuff Blowing Up

I’ve been in one of those frustrating phases of late where I feel the need to write but the combination of absolutely no time, and no mental energy, leave me struggling to make the arc from thought to action. When I’ve had time to myself – as I have several evenings lately, with family away […]

I’ve been in one of those frustrating phases of late where I feel the need to write but the combination of absolutely no time, and no mental energy, leave me struggling to make the arc from thought to action. When I’ve had time to myself – as I have several evenings lately, with family away on minor summertime jaunts – I wind up spending the remaining energy on stupid-yet-imporatant activities like the paying of bills (dammit, why can’t I just do this every second or third months? I’m happier that way!), and the doing of taxes (yeah, I just finally got around to that; it’s a long story why but this is the first time, ever, that I’ve been late with my taxes).

When I do sit down with the intent to work on a story I’m writing, I get no further than adding a bit more to an outline or writing a sentence or two. When I try to work on some of the half-dozen blog entries I have barely started, I find my eyes glaze over.

Yes, I know, you’ve all heard this before. No helpful suggestions, m’kay?

In any case, I have managed to see quite a number of movies lately. So let’s do some quick summaries.


Shrek III – skip it. Not funny. The best of the film’s in the preview. The animation’s great, but that’s part of the problem; shrek is real enough to actually look like a giant stinky ogre, which just makes him creepy. There are a few good gags, but it doesn’t work.

Surf’s Up – here’s a surprise winner. I expected, when I saw the previews, for Happy Feet to be the winner and this film, he loser. That’s backwards. Happy Feet looked great, but was vastly too long, had little or no story, and though some of it was brilliant, it wound up being very dull. This film, though, was shockingly clever. SHot as a mockumentary, it manages to work perfectly, poking fun at reality teevee, sports films, and cartoons. It’s vastly funnier and better than I expected it to be.

Ratatouille – ok, this should be great; it’s pixar, it’s Brad Bird; it’s about cute rats and cooking, and Thomas Keller, possibly america’s greatest chef these days (certainly one if the best) was a consultant. But with that much buzz, you have to fear. The good news is, it’s that good. Well written, stunningly well animated, great voice acting all around, it’s not just a good cartoon, it’s a really good film. This is one of those that needs to get nominated for something higher than just best cartoon; it won’t be the cartoon that wins best picture, but it certainly should be one that gets nominated. Forget your fear of rats; this is just a good film.

Live Action:

Knocked Up – made by the 40 year old virgin guys, this film works the same territory. But I think it’s better. Despite being about some incredibly crude, juvenile characters, it’s a heart-warming sort of story. The moment when Ben (Seth Rogen, whom I think I’d have a crush on if I swung that way) wakes up to realize he’s just slept with the hottest girl he’s ever met; well, let’s just say, most of us can imagine (or have experienced) that moment. I liked this movie a whole lot more than I expected to; everyone in it was exactly someone I know. My only real issue with the film was that I found Leslie Mann’s character (Debbie) so utterly dislikable that I found it distrating. I don’t think the director was aware how hateful she was; I think he thought she was funny and dysfunctional. She was so familiar to me (I know her exactly, in real life) that I felt my hands twitch with the desire to choke her every time she was on screen.

Live Free or Die Hard – I think this movie has a terrible title but that’s the only thing about it I don’t love. The rest of the series is, you know, ok; this film rocks. It’s cleverly plotted, well written, has amazing stunts; the cast is fantastic, and Bruce Willis as John McClane has now taken Jack Bauer’s place as the butchest action hero around. This movie is everything 24 aims for but often misses. I’d happily see this movie two or three times through; it’s an absolutely classic action film. Also, I have to say, The “I’m a mac” guy, Justin Long, is absolutely great in this film. All the teenage girls I know who have wicked crushes on him from the commercials are gonna fuckin’ swoon when they see this. I’m not kiddin’, they’ll swoon.

That’s how it’s been. Work, movies, sleep, and mythbusters. But that is another post.

11 thoughts on “Rats, Penguins, and Stuff Blowing Up”

  1. I’ve had a crush on Seth Rogen since Freaks and Geeks and have loved Justin Long since back when he played a teenage misfit on Ed, long before he was “the ‘I’m a Mac’ guy.” Good boy crushes, KE. Though, ahem, Mr. Freud seems to be hinting that you might want to do “Justine” just a little bit more than Seth.

  2. So…you are the kind of guy I would like to meet in a dark alley? The liclist told me.

    Wear your kilt please, and I will wear my school girl skirt that way we both have dark alley easy access.

  3. Okay, I am *so* going to have the image of you doing David Beckham in my head now. Really. And it’s not “pretty” but it is hot. 🙂

    Of course, I came here to talk about a Pixar film and am completely distracted now.

    Um. Yeah. So, I have to see those movies.

    hugs, E

  4. Ah, Seth Rogen. I had a dream last week in which he starred as the boyfriend of a woman who had more sex toys than me. I was so envious of her. By the end of the dream, he and I had become such good pals that I was nearly sitting in his lap. *sigh*

    I have to agree that Shrek III was not so wonderful. I liked the first two, tho. Haven’t seen any of the others yet, but I’ll take your recommendations 🙂

    Have a lovely Sunday!

  5. Beckham? Eh. Soooo doesn’t do anything for me. Then again, I think Brad Pitt is rather boring to look at, so you know it’s a rare pretty boy that catches my attention (Julian MacMahon? Hugh Jackman? HAWT. Otherwise, give me the character types.)

    Just saw Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix on Saturday. I think I would have liked it more if I hadn’t reread the book right before seeing the movie (not going to make that mistake again). They got all the major plot points in, but much of it was seriously reworked and the whole thing felt far too rushed. I know there’s no way the whole book could have been fit into a two hour movie, but I was a little underwowed. However, I like Goblet of Fire better now than I did when I first saw it in the theaters – maybe the same thing will happen with Order of the Phoenix. I do like that the movies are getting darker, much like the books – Sorcerers Stone was too glossy. Prisoner of Azkaban remains my favorite movie of the franchise.

    I definitely want to see Knocked Up. I really enjoyed 40 Year Old Virgin, even though I was sure I wasn’t going to like it (love Steve Carell). Seth Rogan and Paul Judd working together = too much funny.

    I’ll probably see Live Free or Die Hard when it’s on cable. I enjoyed Die Hard the most of the series, but it had Alan Rickman and I adore Alan Rickman (whom I first noticed in this movie).

    Mythbusters? Love it. How can you not like exploding pants? However, I’m thinking that this may be one of the things you enjoy most about the show…

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