7.24.2015

Poorly Pixelated


Poor Adam Sandler. He hasn't really had a big hit in some time. Then again, can anyone really pity the man when he puts in such minimal effort into the majority of the roles he takes? Most of the time he's resigned to his comedies (romantic and otherwise) produced by his company Happy Madison Productions and over the last ten years or so, pretty much sleepwalks through the parts. There are minor exceptions with the small films he takes, but that just doesn't seem to happen too often. When I heard about the plot of Pixels, I thought it sounded like a fun original(ish) movie. And then I heard it starred Adam Sandler and Kevin James. But....maybe it could be good despite them?


Sandler plays a former arcade prodigy whose life never amounted to much, that is, until aliens invade the earth with Nintendo like Pixel technology. After receiving a floating time capsule from the 80's that celebrated old video games, the  aliens mistake it as a challenge from Earth. The plot is insanely wacky and ridiculous, but could the right actors pull it off?


Unfortunately, Pixels is just about what you'd expect given its lead actors and never manages to rise above them. Though, maybe with all those negative reviews flooding Rotten Tomatoes (the film currently sits at 19%), your expectations will be just low enough to find this somewhat enjoyable. While it isn't completely without its moments (though I counted and for me there were about four of them,) a good majority of the film was throwing jokes at the wall that didn't really stick. The action sequences on the other hand actually seemed like there was more thought put into them...but they're pretty few and far between. Basically if you want a constant video game-like movie you'd be better off watching Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. It's unfortunate though because with the right people involved this could have been a really fun movie. As it is, it just becomes another unforgettable Adam Sandler flick. While it is probably the best thing he's been a lead actor in doesn't say much and it's definitely more in spite of him. He brings nothing to the role, but his co-stars fare a little better. Peter Dinkalage and Josh Gad seem to be having the most fun while Michelle Monaghan does her best to play the straight man. Jane Krakowski is completely wasted as the First Wife to Kevin James' president. Pixels is hardly the worst thing I've seen this year...just very forgettable and a wasted opportunity. EMILY RATING: 5/10

7.20.2015

After All, This is France

It's time for part two of my France recap, from my recent trip to Europe. And guess what? This time we go to more than just Paris. (If you missed Part One you can find it HERE.) Okay, the post is still *mostly* Paris themed as I wanted as much time in the city as possible but also I had to show my sister Laurie some of the less touristy parts of the city. Since we'd both been there before, we weren't worried about hitting the big spots but instead wanted to revisit some of my favorite places, as well as some new places... including a side trip to the Monet's home in Giverny. Even though it's only 40 minutes or so from Paris, it still felt really nice to experience the charming small town feel of France again that I saw the last time I was there...making it a France trip, not just a Paris trip. Our first day though was exclusively in Paris, and I started the day with one thing I had never visited before.


Saint Chapelle.


The outside doesn't even give an idea of how amazing it is inside!


The stained glass windows inside are insanely beautiful.


The colors are so intense, it's breathtaking!


I also love going out to the balcony and see all the carvings, with a glimpse of the windows inside.


After that, we passed by the Notre Dame again and went for a visit to the Pompidou.


I did get pics inside, but I just love the view from this place. And I already mentioned that I just love that weird fountain so much.


This chalkboard room was one of my favorite exhibits, but there was so much more cool stuff! My phone just didn't happen to capture its coolness as much as I would have liked!


We ended the night with a picnic dinner (baguettes & Boursin, and some french yogurt OF COURSE,) at the Parc des Buttes Chaumont. Not a bad day.


The next morning after a lot of hustle and bustle, we jumped on a train headed to GIVERNY!


There were clear signs early on how beautiful this place was.


And then we actually saw the house.


And the garden.


I'm really so glad I got the opportunity to take care of this particular matter of unfinished business.


When I found out about Monet's gardens during my study abroad in 2010 it had already closed for the season and I was devastated.


I'm afraid pictures don't even do justice to how beautiful the place is.


Seeing the inside of the house was pretty cool too!


Monet is a kindred blue & white fetish soul. I totally envied his kitchen.


But back to the outdoors...and onto the water gardens.


You wouldn't know it to look at this picture, but the bridge is covered in tourists.


Being there was like stepping into a painting.


Truly one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen.


After seeing Monet's house, we explored the rest of the small town and it was just so charming.


Made me fall in love with France all over again.


Even if it is the place where some tragic Gilmore Girls events happened (the ill-fated union of one of our favorite couples apparently happened in this church.)


When we got back to Paris after our day trip, we felt it was only right to see the works of art that were inspired by all the beauty we just saw. So we headed to the Orangerie to see Monet's water lilies in person.


After that, we decided our day hadn't been pretty enough yet so we needed to cap it off with a trip to Parc Monceau.


Have we hit beauty overload yet?


This park was always one of my favorites, just quietly beautiful.


Simply lovely.


Boy what I would give to live there.


Finally, we come to my last day in France and Europe, which we started off with a serene stroll in the Pere Lachaise.


It's almost strange that a cemetery could be so beautiful.


With how loud Paris can get, this might be the calmest place you can go.


Next we made our way to the Musee D'Orsay, which is in my opinion one of the most amazing museums in Paris.


The museum itself, let alone all the art inside of it is so cool to see.


Even the smallest pieces are incredible!


I also highly recommend seeing this view from the D'Orsay of the Sacre Coeur.


But perhaps one of the most fun things to see are the painters inside the museum!


After the Musee D'Orsay, we headed over to the Jardin du Luxembourg.


I can't get over how beautiful the parks are in Paris.


Then again. Everything is beautiful in Paris. Including the Galleries Lafayette.


Unfortunately I'm pretty sure everything for sale is pretty much more than my life savings.


At least the view was free :)


Before I left though, I had to pay some last respects.


I was pretty happy with my loot, but little did I know that I'd be separated from my poor Angelina chocolate tragically and prematurely.


But we also managed a stroll along the Seine before we had to say goodbye.


And my dear city told me goodbye with a beautiful sunset I watched from my hotel room. Goodbye dearest Paris, until we meet again.

Well, that concludes the recaps of my grand European adventures! I hope you enjoyed them, but hey if not you will soon be back to your usual movie themed programming! If you missed any of my previous posts feel free to check them out below!