Saturday, July 31, 2010

Movie on TV: My Best Friend's Girl

  For those of you that don't know, I LOVE Dane Cook.  I had never seen My Best Friend's Girl but I do enjoy Kate Hudson as well, so I DVR'd it.  As I watched it, I couldn't help but think:  what did she see in this script?  What is she thinking right now?  Is she thinking, this sounded so much better on paper? 

The premise could have worked, really.  I don't understand why the vulgar movies are so popular, but I guess that shows the general state of mind of the average American male?  American Pie and others that are like it gross me out.  I don't find them entertaining at all.  At any rate, the idea of having a guy who's such an ass that he makes the girl's ex-boyfriend look good was actually pretty funny.  Especially as he becomes entangled with Kate Hudson and suddenly realizes, he's a booty call!  lol  Alec Baldwin is a pig.  I have yet to see anything where he plays a character of any kind of quality.  He wasn't bad in It's Complicated, but still, his character there was basically a bed-hopping, thoughtless, self-centered jerk, and that's one of  his better characters!  Here, he is a professor of women's studies, a huge front to get college girls, and Dane Cook's character's father.  Which is supposedly why Tank, Dane Cook, is the way he is.  Again, there could be a good purpose for his character here, to show Tank's transformation and break-away from his father but it just doesn't feel genuine between them.  I don't believe them as father and son.  I like the chemistry between Kate Hudson and Dane Cook and even the friendship between Jason Biggs and Dane Cook.  However, the abrupt addition of vulgarity was a little puzzling and very off-putting.  Additionally, the plot was disjointed and the flow kinda sucky.  If you get a premium channel, wait for it on TV, but don't waste money on it.  I give this a D for vulgarity, Alec Baldwin and crappy plot flow!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Wow, that could be annoying!

I just realized that the MP3 player I put on there plays all the time, over and over, the same 4 clips I put on there.  My bad!  I have the volume down on my laptop, so I'm sorry for those of you who may have been blasted!!  My intention was just to have the site be more multi-media and to be able to share some stuff I really liked!  However, if you have been greatly annoyed by this, there is a poll set up, so please let me know what you think! :)  I can certainly add more music!  At least then you'd have some variety! lol OR you can always turn down your volume! Another solid idea!

The White Trash Look

Wow, I’ve had a pretty cool day, minus the mother of a slice I got from a STAPLE. Yes, a staple. Here’s the complication: it’s on my middle finger. I know what you’re thinking but no, I can still flip people off. It the fact that my mouse pad thingie on my laptop doesn’t respond to the rubbery band-aid I have on it! So----sigh---I might just have to endure some pain in order to finish this blog. It’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make I guess.


However, the reason I was handling something that had a such a dangerous staple on it was because my hubby was replacing our front light. We bought this house 5 years ago and many, ok, ALL of the brass lights are still on it. I hate brass! So we changed out the 2 lights on either side of our garage as well as our front step light with these pretty black teardrop shaped lights with the flawed glass, the ones with the bubbles in it so it looks handmade? In fact, Jay even said, “Are you sure you want these? There’s something wrong with the glass!” lol The extra little pieces were in a plastic bag rolled 50 times and then stapled, to make sure you’d break a sweat trying to get them out. After all, it’s not worth it if you don’t have to sweat for it! The front step light is a little bigger and takes up some of the empty space by the front door. And underneath we have pots with purple and pink petunias---I just love it!! Now we just have to go back and get 2 more for the back; one for the deck and one beside the walk-out basement door and we’ll be all set! …..and then when we move, I’m gonna want to take those suckers with me and will leave them with nothing but wires hanging out! Don’t laugh, I did that when we moved here with a pendant light I couldn’t part with! Lol

And then on the deck I got rid of 2 plant stands that had rusted….and 2 yellow painted buckets that had rusted…and 2 green plastic planters that had cracked and were missing dirt due to, of all things, my stupid dog! She actually lifted her front paws UP a good foot and then proceeded to DIG in my POTTED PLANTS. Still a head scratcher! And then the other day, I catch her munching on dirt, just cruising by on her way to the door, thrusts her head into the damn planter and munches! WTF?? I don’t get it! At any rate, I decided the poor white trash look is passé, so I ditched all the rusted stuff and put two plastic square tan pots on either side of the slider and put some pretty purple flowers out there that I don’t know the names of but the cards said they attract butterflies, which Ian was really stoked about.

And speaking of stoked, I was so excited to call the dry cleaners and ask for an appointment for alterations. I’m thinking, “not taking the kids. If they don’t have an opening tomorrow, I’ve got to wait two weeks until Jay is home before I can go!” And of course, once I’d made up my mind to spend some extra money on myself, to get altered several pairs of jeans, 2 dresses, a tube top and a blouse---I HAD to get it done. They were hanging separately in the front of my closet, and had been, for a good 6 months, totally screwing up my closet organization system. A system I have had in place since I was a wee thing. Seriously. I have. And frankly, it was annoying me on a daily basis, adding to my stress, to open my closet and see them, out of place. But they had an opening TODAY. So went and had pants hemmed and waists cinched and a halter topped dress made into a cross-back-strap dress and a boxy blouse taken in to show my waist and a large tube top I wore while pregnant (I know, not pretty, but it was an empire-waisted tube top with a flowy bottom!) but liked so much, I decided to keep it! So now they are gone and I’m going to have clothes that will fit me like a glove!! Woohoo!! I don’t remember the last time…ok, total lie, I completely remember when I last wore clothes that fit me, it was February of 2009. That was the last time I could fit into clothes that I had had altered to fit me and THOSE alterations I’m still too chubby for, but I’m working on it!

I got a hand me down stationary bike from my grandfather and we added it to the room where Jay had put the weight bench. So now it’s like we have our own little gym down there, which is pretty spiffy! And now we just need another light in that dim room. And a fan, it gets hot down there. And one of those balls that I can do crunches on. And get the 19” flatscreen down there actually hooked up to something so we can watch TV and THEN it will be just like we have our own little gym! ;) But the bike is cool, you can hold this handle and its metal surface takes and monitors your pulse. Or you can have it track a bunch of other info. And it has a clear lip on it for setting a book or magazine! Almost as good as a working TV! ;) I plan on going down for some peace and quiet as soon as the boys are in bad…well, once I get my homework assignment done. Dang! Look at the time! I’ve really got to get that assignment done!! TTFN! 

When Ian grows up...

I don't think I ever told the story (although many of you know it by now!) of Ian's "graduation" ceremony at school. I was alone, with the baby and Gabe to keep quiet through all of Mass and then another hour of calling names for different awards, so it was along thing!

At any rate, his teacher had been telling everyone what each kindergartener wanted to be when they grew up, including where they would work, and then their own personal award. Every child got a different and unique award. So we're going along and kids are saying they want to be a vet, a ballerina, a firefighter, a football player for the Ravens (that almost brought the house down! The boy is from a very large, very Italian family, who were hooting and hollaring and whistling---it was pretty funny!) and then another vet and a teacher and finally we get to Ian. His teacher says, "When Ian grows up he is going to be a knight in shining armor...." you could've heard a cricket chirp, "...in Baltimore City." The crowd roars. I know I was grinning so hard I was almost crying. Typical Ian. Totally unique, that boy. Gotta love it! :)

Oh, and he got the Math Award. Brains AND imagination. Not too shabby! ;)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Book Review: The Passage by Justin Cronin

This book sucked me in and spit me out, hard.  I was up until 4am last night and still didn't finish.  (Mostly, some of it was so creepy, I knew that if I put it down and turned off the lights, I'd never sleep!!  I had to wait until I had gotten to a point where it felt safer for the characters!)  I got up this morning, nursed the baby, made some breakfast and sat down with my kindle again.  It is 2:20pm and I just changed out of my pj's an hour ago.  I never do that.  Ever. I get dressed as soon as I get up, no matter what day it is.  I feel like I have just woken up from a very long dream.  The only other times I have stayed up through the night:  Twilight and the 4th Harry Potter.   
At least when you are reading Tolkien or JK Rowling, the world is so different from ours, so obviously a fantasy no matter how absorbing, that it is fairly easy to switch between that world and ours.  However, The Passage is a sci-fi futuristic novel, not unlike The Road by Cormac McCarthy.  It takes place here, on Earth, in the United States, among familiar things. You feel like you are there, now.  It is relentless in its action, its pace, its drive.  Once you start it is very hard to put down, you are so anxious for the characters. 

A review I read said the characters were all good, that they had no vices, but I don't think that's true.  No, none of them were out and out bad....unless you count Richards....and the virals themselves (that's what the infected people are called, virals)....oh and that guy Olson, while not evil, was pretty damned heartless if you ask me, and so was Jude.  Then you had Theo, who was certainly not evil but screwed things up pretty good by being indifferent.  Alicia with her drive and focus didn't help things. But that's just me!  (Sometimes I wonder if reviewers have read the same book!)  Now, I did wonder about all the background information he had given at the beginning of the book.  It seemed every character got 3 pages of background info, taking you away from the story at irritating moments when you just wanted to know what happened next, interrupting the flow.  But, there is a pay-off.  As well as severl dangling storylines.  I raced to the internet to check:  SHOOOO, it's part of a trilogy!! Thank God!   

I really can't tell you much more without ruining it, but let's just say, Mr. Cronin is a master storyteller.  I have never thought much of Stephen King, but even HE says it's fantastic!  Go, run do not walk, get it at the bookstore, download it on your Kindle immediately, put your name on the list at the library.  I don't care how you get it, just read it!  And then let me know what you think!

This book really made me want to write, too, as all good stories do:  they make you itch to write your own!
And now I need a nap! ;)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Movie Review: Eclipse

  This link is just for the book (and c'mon, who hasn't read the book yet?!  I mean, except for Jenn! LOL)  I actually saw this a few days after it came out and for some reason, did not review it!! I don't know what my problem was!

Has anyone noticed that Kristen Stewart has these little affectations that she does no matter what movie she's in?  When she hesitates, or is feigning hesitation, she does the same look away, a little breath, pursing of the lips---she puts her hands to her mouth a lot too and is always running her hands through her hair, no matter what character she is.  Well, this time, I noticed she didn't do that nearly as much!  I don't know what they did to her look this time, but her eyes were a very dark brown and her hair, I know, was a wig and I think darker than her natural color.  I felt she really looked like Bella this time, what I imagined her to look like and she acted like her too!  lol  Her delivery was a lot better this time, no distracting tics or anything.  I think it might've been the director, that's the only thing I can think of!  And Rob Pattinson, he does the subtle stuff superbly but needs some serious help on the more...overt emotions shall we say?  He does great when he's doing the half smile, the tilt of the head, the arching of an eyebrow---but really angry vampire?  Not so much.  He just looks goofy every time!  I mean, remember the scene at the end of Twilight, where he's supposed to suck Bella's blood just enough to get the venom out?  And then he goes all vamp and just keeps sucking and sucking?  His eyes were bulging out of his head and he was swaying and his veins were bulging.  It was ridiculous.  We were laughing. 

So too is the scene where he's all ticked off about Jacob kissing Bella and he's yelling at him.  It just came across as fake!  But otherwise, there were some great scenes here, like when Victoria is being chased by both vamps and wolves, that really got the adrenaline rushing!  Great scene!  And I think the complexity of Bella and Jacob's relationship comes across well here.  Taylor Lautner does a great job as cocky Jacob but he's actually less annoying in the movie than he was in the book!  In the book, you just want to reach into the pages and shake him.  Hard.  Less so here! lol Final scenes were pretty good, but all in all, I thought this was the best one yet and one my husband may even want to watch! ;) I give this one an A-.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Leaving Comments We'd Actually LIKE to read...

Alright, I hate to acknowledge this publicly, but please, if you're going to leave comments, DO IT IN ENGLISH!  I am never going to publish a Japanese/Chinese/Korean comment because WE CAN'T READ IT!! I write in English and for all I know, you're cursing me out! lol Either you can read English but can't write it or you're doing it purposefully so I can't read it.  Either way, knock it off! 

Then there is the reader whose name is in Chinese characters and leaving weird, cryptic, fortune-cookie-like comments that have absolutely nothing to do with my post. 

Yeah.

Not gonna publish those either. 

So knock it off.  Stop.  Quit it.  Really.  I have better things to do with my time then moderate nonsensical spam comments, ok? 

Thanks. 

Sunday, July 18, 2010

An Old Book...

of prayers, I almost forgot I had it! It has such a large variety of categories of prayers (for others, for kids, for comfort, etc) as well as many types of prayers (modern prose, biblical quotes, poetry, etc).  I can always find something for my mood or situation but I had put it aside for a few months, I guess I was feeling tired of the same prayers, but I've rediscovered it! :) 

Here is one of my favorites, the last line always gives me chills:
A Burdened Awakening
by Amy Carmichael

My thoughts had said,
Lord, I am weary of the way;
I am afraid to face another day--
                                 Frustrated, limited,
                                 Guarded, confined, where I would go
                                 By close-set "cannots," that like hedges grow
                                 About me now. And then our dear Lord said,
                                 "I am about thy bed."

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Yes, that is in fact pee!

So I’m standing in the frozen food section when I feel something wet on my flip-flopped feet. I have the baby in the snugli, so I’m twisting this way and that, looking down, trying to figure out where it’s coming from. You know how, when something incongruous happens, you find your brain coming up with and quickly discarding ideas or solutions? Well, my brain was jumping around like this: wha--? Did I already pull something out of the freezer? Is it leaking? No, I haven’t opened the door yet!! I’m not peeing am I? ummmm, no, nope, it’s not me. The baby! Did I not put a diaper on her this morning?? Did I dress her naked butt?? I pat her behind, no, she’s got a diaper. Brain’s lightening speed conclusion: The baby has overflowed her diaper so much it is steadily leaking on my feet.


This all happened in a matter of seconds mind you.

It’s 1:30pm-ish. We’ve already been across town to return a bunch of (impulse) purchases from the day before to Target, been home to drop it off and pick up the bag of goodies to keep Gabe occupado at the grocery store that I forgot and have been racing steadily through Giant ever since. The baby has not napped in the snugli this time, of course. I have trekked almost all the way across the grocery store like this: baby strapped on to my chest, Gabe in the seat closest to the handle of the cart, Ian in the “car cart” part up front. Gabe has a bag of stuff to do next to him. Ian is playing his PSP. This is the only way to keep the 2 of them secured and not bickering. It does not, however, keep them for asking for everything they see as we move through the aisles. The baby keeps arching her back, kicking frantically and then looking up at me, over and over. I guess I should feel pretty good that she’s not screaming at least (this should have also been a clue to my hunger-fogged brain that she was uncomfortable in her diaper! Duh!). AND, also on the bright side, we are almost done when the diaper overflows.

So I get the last few things I need, almost throwing 2 gallons of milk at Ian up front because we’ve run out of room in the tiny basket----which defies logic! If the damn car cart is technically big enough for 3 kids (2 up front in car, 1 in seat by mom) why would I only be getting enough food for two 80-somethings for a week??---- and fairly race down the aisles back toward the front of the store for check-out. Which is abominably slow, as I’m leaning down by bending only my knees, not my waist, to get things out of the cart. THEN the stupid molded plastic car Ian’s in is so big, if I pull it right up to the conveyor belt, I can’t get around it to get back to the basket part to reach my groceries. The whole snugli thing works beautifully up to this point. Then it sucks.

It is at this point that Gabe starts whining about how much he would reeeeealllly like to get out of the seat of the cart. I handle it like the mature adult I am: “No……uh-uh……nope... you’re not getting out so stop asking me…..NOOOOOOOO………..NO!.....Gabe, sit down!!” Then Ian says, “Mom, I have to pee!” I growled. “You’re going to have to hold it! I’m almost done,” I tell him, trying to pick up the pace of my living statue imitation unloading groceries onto the belt. He’s totally puzzled by this: “Why?” I’m finally exasperated, “Because E, I have most of the cart unloaded onto the belt and there are people behind me and I still have to pay! Am I supposed to leave all this and run you to the bathroom and back??” He ponders this. “Oh,” he says. Oh, indeed my little Ian.

We get the whole cart unloaded, checked out, re-loaded and then un-loaded again into the car. (and by “we” I really mean “me.”) That’s when I realize I didn’t pay for the two milks that are staying me in the face, which were sitting with Ian in the car cart. I am now officially a thief, as I don’t even debate running all the way back in. All I can think of is Morgan’s wet outfit and how she’s sitting in it in her carseat. I’ve got to get home. It’s like a metronome in my head---get home, change the baby, get home, home, home, hurry, home, hurry, home.

I get home and get the car unloaded, then the individual bags unloaded. Ian lets the dog out then races for the bathroom (which I almost forgot about!....He makes it, in case you were worried!). I dump the raw ground beef I bought into the skillet to brown for sloppy joes for dinner. I take the baby up, pull off her nasty diaper and bathe her. I call the boys up. Baths? Check! I race downstairs to the smell of some seriously cooked ground beef and put it in the crock pot. Rolls defrosted? Check! Herbs and other nummies to make it taste good? Check! Tomato sauce? Not so much. And JUST at the store….I don’t need to go there with you, you know the routine! I add some ketchup and a huge can of tomato paste. Hey, I’m not driving back up there!!  FINALLY, at 2:30pm, I’m just making lunches for my kids. I know, but hey, I won’t have to give them baths later!!

I am supposed to take them to the library at 6:30pm (well, that’s when it starts!) for the Reptile Man (leaning over, getting camera before short term memory shorts out….). I still have to do my homework assignment for today (although that looks like fun!) and have another due tomorrow. Reptile guy, sloppie joe sammies (since we had lunch so late!!), pj’s and BED, followed by a shower for mommy and finishing up homework, and let’s face it, the chances of me finishing an assignment before we leave are like, slim to none!

Alright, off to hit the books!

TTFN!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Some Shimmying and Re-arranging

Please note the new tickers, the DaisyPaths and Lilypie countdowns I've added!  Thanks to my friend Jenn--I "stole" them from her FB page! ;) 

Watched Law Abiding Citizen last night and The Wolfman is slated for this evening, so I should have reviews up shortly. 

Be forewarned:  School starts again today, so you may see a re-slackening off of posts---sorry!!! You know I'd rather blog than do anything else....cuz I can talk and well, no one can interrupt me! LOL  ;)

Friday, July 9, 2010

Angelology by Danielle Trussoni

 I just finished this book this evening.  Excellent read.  The best thing I've read in a while.  Loved it, highly recommend it.  It is a mystery, a spiraling, tightening and intriguing storyline about the offspring between angels and humans (Nephilim), and their enemies, Angelologists.  There is a surprise ending, a great twist, which comes upon you with breakneck speed.  I couldn't click the "next page" button my kindle fast enough towards the end!  I didn't start dinner until like 6:30pm, which is late for me, because I couldn't tear myself away!  It starts a little slow but stick with it!  It gets better very quickly.  There are multiple storylines here but I found them all interesting and I changed gears quite agreeably.  There are no loose ends, the characters were all intelligent, every solution and option was considered during the course of the story, giving it a very well thought out feel.  The details are amazing in this!  I don't know if there was ever a First Angelological Expedition, but she had the field notes from one of the men in there with footnotes and all, giving it a very realistic feel!  The whole thing felt well researched and suspension of disbelief was easy.  Ending was a bit of a cliffhanger, so I'm hoping there is another.  I will google this and see what's what! ;)  I feel like I read that this was the beginning of a planned trilogy, but I'm not sure!  On to other books!!

Tying Up Loose Ends....

...pun totally intended!
I just went through my "mending pile."  Yes, I have a mending pile, like Laura Ingalls Wilder from Little House on the Prairie.  Only I was watching TV while I did it and I know she did mending for both something to do and out of necessity.  I re-attached a button, fixed 2 busted seams, stitched a split knee closed (on jeans, not in real life, I don't do skin!!), re-attached a tie to my tie-able pillow cases and set aside one pair of pants for the seamstress, as I cannot possibly re-attach the little hook that goes in the metal catch. 

I am watching Julie and Julia.  LOVE this movie it is as addictive and re-watchable as some of my other favorites, like Sleepless in Seattle and Runaway Bride.  I also love Amy Adams.  And I wish I could cook.  Instead, I watch other people cook and eat bean dip with chips.  Which my hubby brought me.  Heated up the dip and all and brought it to me in bed.  With the WHOLE bag of chips, not just a little bowl full like I would've fixed for myself.  He also delivered it sans ridicule for not getting ice cream!  Gotta love that man!

I am really starting to get used to the idea of being a full-time writer.  Not contributing to our income in any way scares me, I've always contributed in some way, even just the dribble of income I've provided over the last 3 years, but still....this is it.  I'm in art school and I'm writing.  I'm pursuing a life as a an author/illustrator.  I'm looking into writing groups (many thanks to my friend Jenn, who pointed me towards Pennwriters--it looks awesome!!) and masters programs in writing (for after I finish my associate's in art!).  I'm really doing things to bring myself closer to my goal!  It is do-able.  Scary sometimes, exhilarating at others, but do-able! 

Are you living your life's dream?  If so, what is it and how did you get there?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

News News News

So I have some news: I am quitting Mary Kay and being an assistant to my friend and director, Theresa.


I have been feeling really disconnected and kind of whacked out the past few weeks---really since school went on summer break. And I realized I haven’t written regularly in months! Some editing here, writing a scene there, working on a character profile crammed in there, but no consistent writing for more than say 30 minutes at a time. That is no way to get a novel done!! I had been feeling like I had too much on my plate, but of course immediately thought, I guess I should quit school. But something in me resisted.

We moms have so little to call our very own, so little time to ourselves, we often have to carve, slowly and with great deliberateness, time out for anything that does not revolve around our kids, what they need, what they’re eating, their laundry, their feelings---I could go on and on. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want anyone else being worried about those things for my kids; they’re my kids and I want to do the worrying and the hands on! However, there are so many things in my life that need my attention, I sometimes stare off into space and dream of an assistant—someone who would do anything I wanted or needed, like cooking dinner or folding those 4 loads of laundry or sending them to bathe the kids or hit the library before it closes. And then I feel an urge to buy a lottery ticket.

At any rate, I know that if I don’t start consciously scraping things off my plate, they will begin to fall off the edges of their own accord! After much searching for inspiration and guidance via books I have and websites, I have decided that Mary Kay is what needs to go, what is currently contributing the least to my lifestyle but costing me the most in time and stress. I hate to put it that way, because it is a very valuable lifestyle for many women and it has taught me many things and introduced me to many great people, but I feel its time in my life has past. If I truly want to get a book finished, published and peddled, then I need to focus more on that, not try to maintain this shattered focus. I would tell myself sternly to “focus!” but really, focus on what?! I have 16 different things to focus on! I think I really meant, “pick a focus!” And so I am! I am cleaning out!!

Here is what I am opting to attempt to keep up with (in no particular order!):

My kids, keeping them busy and worn out so I’m not going crazy this summer!!
A certain level of cleanliness in my house
Eating well, trying new recipes, going as vegan and organic as possible
Exercising regularly
Writing regularly (perhaps even joining a writing group!)
Drawing regularly (whether through school, the DVD set I have or on things associated with my
story ideas)

And now….I have to go nurse my bebe and get back to some writing!!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

DVD: Valentine's Day

This movie has an all-star cast, many of whom I adore, including Anne Hathaway, Julia Roberts and Jennifer Garner.  This is one of those movies where there are a multitude of story lines occuring and overlapping.  I really liked how everything came together at the end and there were some unexpected relationships revealed.  Did I mention the 2 hotties from Gray's Anatomy, Eric Dane and Patrick Dempsey, are in it?  No? How about Bradley Cooper?  Taylor Lautner?  Jamie Fox?  Need I go on?  ;)  My favorite parts:  Taylor Swift's super-dinghy high school dance team chick in the midst of young love with Taylor Lautner.  She was so funny!!  She really just went all out and kept doing her dance routine for the local news guy...."FIVE SIX SEVEN EIGHT!!" (and dance, and swing that hair!  lol)  Oh so funny!  And Taylor Lautner even, he was so different as the guy who knew he was dating a ditz but thought she was cute all the same! lol  And Anne Hathaway as a recently graduated poet with student loans turned desperate phone sex operator is a highlight!  She does all different accents depending on the customer and has to keep dashing out to answer her phone!  Too funny!  Oh and Jennifer Garner's character gets some bad news and bashes the crap out of the pinata her friend, played by Jennifer Beal, has at her I Hate Valentine's Day party! lol  Oh, so funny!  I love Garry Marshall.  This definitely has the mood and feel of Sleepless in Seattle, which is one of my all-time favorites!! I like all his stuff! ;)  So this gets an A+ for me!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Movie Review: 9

This movie is rated PG-13, which surprised me.  I decided to watch it with the kids anyway (instead of beforehand) as there was no blood or sex or foul language.  Turns out, the PG-13 rating was apparently for scenes of war and some intimation of death, but then, look at Monster House, which I didn't like, it had the old creepie guy outright die on the kid!  Literally, on the kid!  We didn't finish watching that one!  I didn't like that one at all, but 9 was really cool!  Ian did understand that 9 was seeing glimpses of dead people (it's post-apocalyptic) and they showed hands, they showed a profile of people in a car (a mother and child actually, so beware!) none were bloody or maimed, just still and Ian knew they were dead.  I reminded him it was just a story.  Nobody had actually died.  I don't know, maybe I get Bad Mom points for that, but I don't believe in shielding my children from something that is natural and they have already encountered.  I think talking about death is age-appropriate, as they talk about Jesus dying at school, his Great Grandma (GG) died over the winter and even our dog last spring---they all had to be explained!  Sex, on the other hand, is not age-appropriate and he should not be exposed to that. 
ANYHOO, just be aware that there are scenes, where the characters are remembering the war and there are bombs exploding and such, then one guy lobs a bomb and you see his feet flop down as he falls but again, there's no blood and they are careful not to show faces.  Frankly, it's no worse than the scene from Disney's Tarzan, where they show the bad guy at the end, the shadow of his body swinging from vines where he strangled!
But the premise is awesome, the characters are well-developed.  The color palette through-out is dark, bleak, but that is the whole point:  9 is the light in their darkness.  He is the voice of reason really, asking why they aren't helping each other, why they are following 1 and why they aren't asking why!  It's about facing fear, and really instigated some great conversation with my boys.  We watched it twice and my husband liked it too.  It had some cool fight scenes as the little robotic dolls fought against the machines that were left after the great war between humans and machines (sounds like a franchise I know....) and what I liked best: the warrior of the group was a girl! ;)  Go Jennifer Connelly!!!  It was also about ingenuity, creating something from nothing, being creative and being a problem solver, all of which I am a big proponent of and try to teach our boys. 
All in all, the themes, generally speaking (except for war!) were good ones for the kids, but it gets a few points off for being PG-13.  I could see they did as best they could to minimize the showing of war-related scenes, but it was pretty pertinent to the storyline.  So although I loved it, and the kids liked it, I give it a B+ for some themes/scenes too mature for kids (hence the PG-13 label!)----when it could've been perfect for kids!! I think kids ages 6 and up would be ok, but that's a personal judgement, you may want to watch it first!

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