9.28.2012

Boatloads of Fun


Since I liked the format so much of the State Fair blog in combining movies and mayhem, we'll do that again with movies set on cruise ships vs. my own experience on my recent cruise to the Mexican Riviera. Fortunately for me, there was a lot less chaos involved on my trip. So what cinematic cruises do we have to put up against mine? Unfortunately only disastrous ones. Titanic, The Poseidon Adventure and its mediocre remake Poseidon, and lastly (and certainly least) Speed 2: Cruise Control. I thought of a few other non-disaster boat films such as Overboard (but it's a yacht, and most of the movie doesn't take place on it..), An Affair to Remember (which I only have a foggy memory of...the only thing I recall is melodrama) , and Now Voyager (which I have sadly not seen.) And if we were talking t.v. and I'd seen it, I would include The Love Boat...but since we're not...........disaster boat films it is! Now let's get to the comparisons. But first... apparently all I needed to do was look up films made in 1997..



THE SHIP:

THEIRS: This is a category where all the films, with the exception of Speed 2 really shine. Both of ships decor (pre-disaster) in the Poseidon movies were top notch. Grand and elegant just as a boat should be. But it's hard to get a great look when the disaster begins right at the beginning of the film. Titanic blows everything out of the water (no pun intended.) ship-wise. The set designer there did a fantastic job recreating the ship of dreams. The first class areas of the ship are absolutely breathtakingly beautiful. The exterior of the ship too is marvelous and classic. All of the movie ships looked good be they real or fake.


MINE: The outside was fine. A boat is a boat. But the inside was one of the fugliest things I've ever seen. Timeless and classy it wasn't. Dated and tacky it was. This thing came straight from the 80's and should have stayed there. I really wish I would have taken pictures of how bad it was, but I will do my best to describe. On the walls near the elevator, there were hot pink donut designs everywhere. In the walls near the cabins, there were huge drawings of people that were supposed to be in the old-timey comic style...but were absolutely awful. The dining room was supposed to be a pearl motif but looked more like a science experiment. Tacky carpet and weird chandeliers galore. But now let's say some nice things... Uh...the decks were nice? And there was a little mini golf course. That was nice.



WINNER: Titanic

THE VOYAGE:

THEIRS: Well let's see. The plot of both Poseidon films are the same, but the execution is worlds apart. The original is considered the first disaster film, so if it seems cliche it's just because it's the model everyone else copied. It has its share of annoying characters but Gene Hackman is fantastic and Shelly Winters is solid. The ending is full of hope and, all in all, the film is great. The remake? The definition of a stupidly entertaining popcorn film. Neither voyage would be one I would want to live through, but the remake is much worse if only for this, which one IMDB user described as the least heroic act ever put to film:



Speaking of stupid things put to film let's talk about Speed 2! The voyage here is equally as perilous as the Poseidon's but far more stupid and implausible. And the grand plot behind it all? A disgruntled cruise employee. You can't make this stuff up. This movie is so bad it's bad...but don't worry it's sprinkled with unintentional hilarity throughout mainly coming by way of the script. One of my favorite lines? When a pair of newlyweds exclaim "How could this happen to us!? We're on our honeymoon!" Another great would have to be "Can't somebody stop this boat!?" which I felt like was uttered a few times..

And finally there's Titanic. We all know the tragic real outcome (yes this was a real event unlike some uneducated fools would have you believe...) so I won't make any tasteless jokes even though it was 100 years ago. As for the movie, the first half of the voyage in the eyes of those on first class was quite the life! But not worth having to experience the second half.


MINE: Definitely not as entertaining as all the others...but probably in a good way! Our voyage was probably the definition of lazy. But we did some stuff! Saw some shows, went to the movies, visited the photo gallery, played games, played mini golf, laid out and subsequently got scorched, exercised a bit, etc. And then there was the ultimate entertainment: the fact that French Stewart was on the same cruise as us, and counting the times we would run into him. My favorite? When I stumbled upon French Stewart and his wife singing karaoke. Don't worry I have a video of it. Ask me sometime and I'll show you :)


WINNER: Mine. For relaxation alone!

THE DESTINATION:

THEIRS: Let's see. In Titanic, the destination ends up being an iceberg....in Poseidon Adventure/Poseidon theirs would be just getting out of the boat period. And finally, in Speed 2 the boat crashes into the island of St. Martin in the Caribbean (yes you read that right. crashes into an island) By default, I guess we have to pick Speed 2: Cruise Control, though I must say I wouldn't want to be anywhere near that island when that boat came around. Then again, almost everyone unrealistically survived so maybe it wouldn't have been a big deal.

MINE: I had sooooo much fun at our stop in Puerto Vallarta. We took a little speedboat and went zipping past some beauuuuuuuuuuutyful arches in the ocean. Then we went horseback riding up a mountain to swim in a gorgeous waterfall. After that more speed boating to a remote location where we went snorkeling (AKA what I'm pretty sure heaven is like..) then, we relaxed at a private beach. So secluded and wonderful. It was a perfect day. Minus the fact that my skin got absolutely FRIED.




The next two days were spent in Cabo San Lucas and they were amazing. On day one I went para-sailing and then explored the beach on my own. Day two was more beach time and more snorkeling. The arch and the beach was incredible and the water was the most beautiful shade of blue you can think of.




WINNER: Mine :)

THE FOOD:

THEIRS: Okay this one is pretty much N/A for the trio Speed 2 and the Poseidons since there was no time to even THINK about food with all that destruction. But the dinner parties and food in Titanic was most likely top notch and definitely looked that way from the film. In faaaaaaaaaaact, last April my fam did some research on it and made some of the recipes that were likely on the Titanic and they were absolutely delectable. You can read more about that  HERE

MINE: You know, the food on my cruise was a lot more hit or miss than it was on the cruise I took 8 years ago to the Caribbean where everything was marvelous. But obviously it was still incredible and I sufficiently gorged myself. One of my favorite things to eat are the fruit bisque soups. Of the nights I was there I tried a strawberry mint, peach, cherry and a mango ginger bisque. All were wonderful. I also had some pretty great desserts including a grand marnier souffle, the usual creme brulee and a bread pudding with chocolate sauce. All wonderful. Is it kinda sad that I don't remember all the main courses I got? Mostly just chicken and pastas really. But I also enjoyed getting a fresh baguette with butter for each meal too. As for the buffet...that was the more hit and miss part. The Italian and French buffets left little to be desired. But the Indian food was incredible. And of course the never-ending soft serve was always welcome :)

WINNER: Well, I'll still pick mine since I was always allowed to have as much of it as I wanted. But second would go to Titanic.

THE LOVE:

THEIRS:

I think Amelia was really affected by the love story in Speed 2: Cruise Control. It took a runaway cruise ship crashing into an island and being held hostage (on jet skiis no less) by a raving Willem Dafoe for Sandra Bullock to overcome her commitment issues...that right there was just so moving. Haha just kidding. This part of the film was just as laughable as the rest of the film. Plus we got treated to some pretty sloppy writing as they had to explain away Keanu's absence and introduce Sandra's replacement love intrest. ha. I have to say though, props to Keanu for passing. That may have been his wisest career move....well that or The Matrix.

In The Poseidon Adventure probably the best love story was the aging couple on their way to see their grandson. The cop and ex-prostitute didn't do it for me and Gene Hackman weirdly had a bit of chemistry with a girl far younger than him but that was it. As for the remake, Gene Hackman is replaced by Josh Lucas (or you could debate Kurt Russell) whose chemistry is replaced with a single mother with a son as opposed to a young girl with a brother. There is zero character development on either end so it's barely worth mentioning at all. Oh and also Emmy Rossum and Mike Vogel as a young couple too nervous to tell her dad that they're engaged. Also a yawnfest. However I must mention how funny it is that they show Richard Dreyfuss' gay character flirting with a guy he kills moments later (in the video I showed above). Stay classy Poseidon.


And finally: Rose and her fiancé Cal. Oh wait I mean Jack and Rose. Haha! I've never really thought that this was the most well-written romance to hit the screen...but I will admit they sure have some iconic and sweet moments (uh minus the whole "draw me like one of your French girls" thing... haha) Compared to the others this one wins in a landslide.



MINE: I actually did have a little tale to tell. A tale resulting in nothing...which is a shame because it made for a pretty great meet cute. I met an insanely cute guy on lovers beach (of all places in the world) who was currently attending the same school I graduated from. Tragically it wasn't meant to be as nothing came from it but a nice conversation (I blame circumstances beyond our control....because that makes it more interesting right?) True shame because someone would have finally found some meaning to the Rihanna song "we found love in a hopeless place" Oh well. Maybe on my next cruise... Haha! I guess the real love story worth telling is between me and my appreciation for the beautiful earth we live in? Because I gotta say, I looooooove the opportunity I get to see all of it....which reminds me, the blog has an IOU for a Tahiti/New Zealand post..

Well that ought to do it. Hopefully you enjoyed my vacation recap with the movie comparison. Look out for a Tahiti/NZ one...maybe....




9.21.2012

Tale as old as time

Time to get back on a regular posting basis. Like I said, I have a lot of posts in mind, including my cruise ship adventures...(which I am all prepared to write, look for it maybe next week.) but since I did a less movie post in the last one, I wanted to return to a straight movie analysis here. Consequently, you are about to receive my rant on Disney's animated classic Beauty and the Beast. Random I know, but it was one of the movies featured at the "seaside cinema" during the cruise and as I watched, even in moments of my delirium,(because we fell asleep almost every movie we watched in that "theater"..) I found that I had very strong feelings about this movie and was seeing it with eyes very different from when I was a child.

Retro 90's Flashback Confession: As a child growing up in the '90's, Belle was indeed my favorite of the Disney princesses...I owned the cassette tape of the soundtrack, and on many occasions I could be found in my room with my hair in a Belle-esque ponytail, strutting around and singing along to Belle's song (because of that song nearly 20 years later I spent nearly a whole month in France mispronouncing the word "bonjour" before I figured it wasn't as exago as the song) .I LOVED pretending to be Belle. Why? Hello, because Belle is the smartest of the princesses duh. How does a five- year-old come to this conclusion? Because Belle reads of course! That must make her smarter than the others.  I kid you not, this was my logic.But she wasn't just smart, she was kind, beautiful and had a certain wit about her. Perfect example for anyone right? That is....until you become a jaded adult.

Now now, I'm not about to start ranting about how Disney ruined my childhood and never to allow your children to watch Disney films again. Quite the contrary, I love them and they were a great part of my childhood. I will definitely pass that legacy on to my kids. But what I am going to say is that watching this movie now in the stage of life I'm in, I just saw it in a whole new way that I don't know that I can un-see. (This is what happens when you become the official sound board to your friends and they lay out all the red flags of their love interests that they refuse to see and you just want to scream... ARE YOU BLIND!?) So what did I find from this harmless Disney film....well I'm just going to say it, and my apologies beforehand who I offend :) ....but.... Belle is kind of a hypocritical idiot and the Beast has serious anger problems that a week of good behavior ain't just going to cure.


So let's start from the beginning with Belle. We are introduced to her in a song that she and the townspeople sing about how she's a misfit who doesn't fit in because she prefers fiction to reality. Let's be honest....you've met people like this in real life too and that's a pretty good reason for them to be a misfit (cough FREAK!! cough) I mean sure, I obviously love fiction too which is why I write a site talking about movies. But fitting in with society is important too. Mind you, I'm not saying CONFORMING, but at least putting in an effort to be among the land of the living. I don't think Belle really does that at all, in fact, in the reprise she sings about how she's kind of above it all.. Very humble girl! So after our introduction to her, she winds up at the castle of the Beast looking to find her father who was just taken prisoner there. She begs Beast that he let her father go in exchange for her own freedom. Girl. your dad looks like he's pushing 70. Was that really the smartest choice? See what I mean. Girl isn't as smart as you think. Kind yes, but smart....not so much there. I mean seriously, how many years left can her Dad really have? But anyway the Beast agrees and I'm pretty sure says something along the lines that she will be his prisoner FOREVER. She agrees to these terms.

Feeling bad about locking her in the tower, Beast instead lets her have a nice cozy room elsewhere in the palace and then proceeds to tell her where she is allowed and not allowed to go within the castle. He is very clear that the west-wing is completely off-limits. There is no way to misunderstand this because the way Beast says it pretty much guarantees you will die if this order is disobeyed. So what then does Belle do? Well after having a dinner presented to her from singing kitchenware, she goes straight to the west-wing. Unsurprisingly, Beast goes completely berserk. So what then does Belle do? She plays dumb. "Oh I didn't know...I was only curious..." B, please. You knew dang well what you were doing and how murderously mad he would be if you got caught. Don't try and act all shocked. So then, after he gets rightfully upset (though again, RED FLAG at HOW upset...) Belle flees the castle and informs Lumiere and Cogsworth "Promise or no promise, I can't stay here another minute!" You haven't even been here one night.... And it was your own fault for ignoring the one thing he said that would really piss him off! ANNNNNNND you just promised hours earlier you would stay there FOREVER? Seriously. How good is this girl's word?

So she flees and the Beast chases after her but then saves her from a pack of wolves and proves that he does have some good in him for...not letting her die? Trying to keep his prisoner in tact? And suddenly he becomes all nice to her because she bandages him up and is the first girl ever willing to scream back at him. And this is healthy? Well whatever.. a few montages later Beast is a decent guy...erm creature, with a heart of gold! Because he gives her a library she would be lucky to have him. You don't calm a temper like that in a matter of days people. This is merely the honeymoon stage. Don't be so naive as Belle when she tells her dad "somehow...he's changed!" And you've known him HOW long? The moment Belle does something wrong again, if she's not careful her head could LITERALLY be bitten off. And that leads me to another disturbing point that I just have to say...

Beast does not resemble a human being AT ALL. Gaston is right on when he says if he didn't know better he'd think Belle had feelings for this monster. Okay monster is harsh....but well he is (in looks and personality!) The only thing that is human like is that he wears pants and walks upright and can talk. Nevertheless! It's too bad he just didn't look like ogreish...or like a deformed human. Also I may have mentioned this before, but isn't Beast like 21? He must have been a kid when he angered that enchantress (ie Ten years we've been rusting, needing so much more than dusting). Tough break she wasn't more understanding enough to know boys will be boys, and probably made the situation 10,000x worse (who knows though...maybe he was just a REALLY evil kid...which makes Belle's fate even worse). Sure a bratty kid is gonna become a monster when you curse him for eternity to be one. But just because the spell is off doesn't mean those red flags that have been there for 20 years go away! [side note: kinda ironic that Belle goes for a guy that is probably nicer and better to her than Gaston..though this is debatable...but still has a lot of the same inherent bad qualities as him that she detests ie possessive, angry, jerk...he just isn't as vain...and it's not like he can be. Have you SEEN Beast after his transformation?] But Belle might not have the least successful marriage of the princesses. That honor probably goes to Ariel. Leave behind your whole family and prior life for a guy you've known 3 days? Oh and you're 16 on top of it? Seems legit. Well that oughta do it....I still have more thoughts but this is probably long enough. But for more on the subject check out these articles (but be advised for strong language):

Beauty and the Beast: Just Because He's Abusive, Doesn't Mean He's Not a Really Good Guy


Speaking of Disney Princess marriages though, I feel that I better link this one even though I know that I've already made everyone I know watch it...

REAL DISNEY HOUSEWIVES

9.18.2012

Our state fair is a great state fair!

Time for a post that isn't straight movie, but a little bit of mayhem mixed in. Good clean mayhem that is. Last week was the State Fair, and being one of the fun things to do in September, we made it a priority to go...and had a grand ole time. Then in commemoration, later watched Charlotte's Web and State Fair. So how did my fair-going experience compare to the movie versions of fairs like Web, State Fair, Big Fish and That Thing You Do? Well.... let's see....we'll try to break this down into some categories...


THE FOOD:


THEIRS: Well let's see here...the first thing that comes to mind is the feast of garbage that Templeton the rat (AKA my personality doppleganger) dreams of and later indulges in his first night at the fair. Nothing very appetizing as a human, but I'm glad he enjoyed it so much. Then in State Fair, there's the infamous mince meat which Melissa enters into the food competitions....which I honestly have no idea what that is...but has always intrigued me/ Seriously is it weird that I want to try this?  And sweet and sour pickles....no thanks! In addition to a nice fair-like food montage when they arrive at the fair, I also saw Margy and Pat indulge in some carmel apples and the usual carnival foods but nothing beats what I had...

No...not candy apples! Pysche!


MINE: FUNNEL CAKES!!! My favorite. These things are so freaking yummy. I learned to make mini ones at our little family carnival...but the professionals (and by professionals I guess I mean carnies...) really know how it's done. I also got an Italian ice soda which was quite yummy too...but sorry no pics of that one. It consisted of a bunch of flavors of Italian ice, sprite and whipped cream. I wish I had saved my whole stomach for the fair...there were tons of goodies everywhere that were i hungrier I would have behaved similarly to Templeton going a little crazy at all the possibilities...as it was, that's all I got.

WINNER: Utah State Fair


THE ANIMALS:

THEIRS: Pigs, pigs, pigs and....lions? I gotta say after watching Charlotte's Web that pig Wilbur is pretty freaking annoying. Always so selfishly worrying about his mortality of all things. Pipe down you dumb pig! Okay okay that's pretty harsh, sure he has reason to worry...but seriously if you ever listen to this pig he's quite a whiner. Certainly not humble or "some pig." Then also in State Fair there's some horse racing, but mainly the attention goes to the pig storyline, and it is without a doubt my least favorite. Continuing with pigs, one of my favorite lines in That Thing You Do is Lenny being interviewed on t.v. says "Oh, I'm not here with these fellas. I've got a pig in competition over at the livestock pavilion, and I am going to win that blue ribbon! " In Big Fish the animals are more exotic since it's more carnival/circus-like. Cleaning after the animals or putting my head under a lion's mouth wouldn't be my favorite job in the world...

MINE: Wouldn't you know it, we saw everything except pigs! And lions... they don't have those at our fair ha. The pigs must have been put to pasture....whoa not like that! But their pavilion wasn't open the time of night we were there. Instead we saw sheep (we concluded these were the smelliest..), cows, goats, bunnies and chickens. Fun, but not what I come to the fair for really...once you've seen one of each you've seen them all. But isn't it funny how we have these types in our head of what cows, chickens and bunnies SHOULD look like? When we saw the black and white spotted cows we were like now THIS is a cow. Forget all those brown ones...I don't know what they are. Same with the plain white bunnies and chickens. Weird. That's what media will do to you I guess....give you preconceived notions of what even the ideal for ANIMALS.

WINNER: Big Fish

THE MUSIC:

THEIRS: Nothing can top the band showcase in That Thing You Do! You've got Diane Dane (!), The Chantrellines, Freddy Fredrickson and of course...The Wonders! Pretty tough to beat..so what do the other movies got? Well..the nice 40's big band era tunes performed by Emily (no not me....I'm not in the movie!) and her band in State Fair. I'm not gonna lie, I really like the songs sung at the fair in this movie...they made the perfect mood music for all the little couples at the fair to fall for each other. Maybe more people would find love at fairs if it were still like that!

MINE: Well....I didn't go to any of the concert portion of the fair...so all I have for this category is pop hits being played over the loud speaker...while watching Amelia embarrass herself by getting so into a "dance walk" that she wasn't paying attention and dance-walked right into someone! Priceless. For that alone I'd almost give it to our state fair....but you can't beat The Wonders.

Winner: That Thing You Do!

THE ATTRACTIONS:


THEIRS: Big Fish looks like it has some pretty cool things to see in addition to all the exotic animal performances, there's a lot of the usual carnival freak shows, human cannons and motorcycle cage shows to strike your fancy. Charlotte's Web has got some good rides for the cuddling...for some reason Fern gets scared on a FERRIS WHEEL...the tamest ride ever. But in State Fair, the possibilities are endless and it's really more of an amusement park than a fair. You've got the roller coaster, twilt-a-whirl, flying airplanes, tunnel of love, merry-go-round, you name it. But then they've got all the games too like ring toss, and the really secretive and weird attractions "Step right up and see this crazy thing you've never seen before" type.

MINE: There was actually quite a great deal of things to do! ferris wheel, spinny rides galore, bumper cars (which was one of the things we opted for,) a giant slide (also did that,) a few fun houses, and a lot of weird type booths that looked like the run down versions of secretive booths seen in State Fair. No 1940's dancer peep show though (which was probably still the most wholesome thing in the world...) But what there was that was even better was this crazy science room where we made huge bubbles and tried to put ourselves in a bubble.... like this:

video
Amelia's face here is priceless..

WINNER: um...........3 way tie! State Fair, Utah State Fair and Big Fish

THE LOOOOOOOOOOOOVE:


THEIRS: During the State Fair tour in That Thing You Do, Guy and Faye grow closer together as friends leading to them getting together towards the end of the movie. In Charlotte's Web Fern finds love blossom with her once dorky, but now hunky next door neighbor while at the fair. Let's be honest...no one gets scared on the ferris wheel... that was just a ploy to hold onto him, I see right through you. Two separate love stories happen in State Fair as we follow a pair of siblings each finding a promising prospect during their family stay at the fair: Margie finds hunky Pat (he really should have a different name that really displays his hunkiness...) and Wayne finds Emily. Both siblings already have significant others at home, but no matter...what happens at the state fair stays at the state fair? Well...I guess that's only half true in the movie. But Wayne's attitude always bugged me...sure she's a girl named Emily and all, but that shouldn't make you a cheater.. Plus to me Emily always seemed not that interested. But Pat and Margie's love is where it's at. Fun meet cute, great chemistry, and debonair man (this is Laurie's "old timey crush" and she couldn't have picked more wonderfully.) There's is definitely the love to root for. Finally, in Big Fish we have Ewan McGregor's Edward Bloom meeting the love of his life in what is one of my favorite scenes in the whole movie. Just beautiful.



MINE: Well you see I got on this roller coaster and and and! Oh wait...there were no roller coasters. Well then I met this guy playing a game of ring toss...no wait.. no guys playing ring toss. Okay well then I just saw the most perfect guy and time stopped...no wait time never stopped and I never saw anyone. No next door neighbors. Just a weird guy awkwardly offering to share his funnel cake with us and just standing there saying he'd take any takers... Oh but don't worry we also got to hang around an engaged couple in line with us for bumper cars getting their engagements done in front of us. Courtney may or may not have successfully photobombed one of their intimate moments....hopefully they use that one for the invite. Oh and there WAS a teeny bopper couple that looked like they were having their end of the summer DTR, "but we're going to two different colleges...this CAN'T work."

WINNER: TIE Big Fish and State Fair 

Well that's about it. Did I miss anything? I thought about including the general competitions, but felt that was sort of already covered in the other categories (though I DID have to edit a silly story on funeral potato competition). However next year, maybe just maybe I'll enter something again once more. After all, I did win once for a painting and got BEST OF SHOW on my bread back in the days of 4-H. Ba-bam! So what about y'all? Anyone go to a fair this year? Any noteworthy food, entertainment or music? Or if you didn't make it, do you have any favorite fair movies I forgot to mention? Take to the comments below to give me your thoughts!

9.14.2012

Back to school....back to school to prove to Dad that I'm not a fool

I'm back! And I'm afraid I've neglected the site for about 2 weeks now. I've just been pretty busy getting life back to normal after the cruise. I have plenttttty of blogs in my head that need to get out soon including that mexican adventure..(movies on boats, the state fair, best fake movies, and randomly my newfound feelings regarding beauty and the beast) But for now all you get is a mini blog....over on Courtney's blog. Time for another monthly themed list and this time for September it's back to school movies! So read all about it in the link below. But once again, below that you can find a few hints :)