Sunday, February 27, 2011

My Oscar "confidence list"

Just for fun, a movie podcast I listen to (Movie BS) is doing an interesting Oscar predictions system that I couldn't resist. You make your predictions, then list them in the order of picks you are most confident. There are 24 categories, so the pick you are most confident in, you can give yourself 24 points if you're right. The pick you are least confident in (in my case, I have never heard of any of the documentary shorts, so I had to take a total stab in the dark) you only get a point. Therefore, it's cool, cause one point? Meh.

So here is my list:

Light: Ones I ended up predicting
Dark: My losers

24: Animated feature - Toy Story 3

23: Lead Actor - Colin Firth, The King's Speech
22: Best Picture - The King's Speech
21: Foreign Language - Dogtooth, Greece
20: Adapted Screenplay - 127 Hours
19: Supporting Actor - Christian Bale, The Fighter
18: Cinematography - The Social Network
17: Directing - Darran Aronofsky, Black Swan
16: Make Up - The Wolfman
15: Original Score - The Social Network
14: Original Screenplay - Inception
13: Best Actress - Nicole Kidman
12: Documentary (Feature length) - Exit Through the Gift Shop*
11: Supporting Actress - Hailee Steinfeld, True Grit
10: Art Direction - Inception
9: Costume Design - True Grit
8: Editing - 127 Hours
7: Original Song - We Belong Together, Randy Newman
6: Sound Mixing - The Social Network
5: Visual effects - Inception
4: Animated Short - Day & Night
3: Live Action Short - Na Weve
2: Sound Editing - Inception
1: Documentary (short) - Killing in the Name
FINAL SCORE: 133 (meh)

*my only real pick that came totally from my heart - favorite movie of the year-- had to do it.
So that's that. My prediction really, is that I do terrible.
Bring in on Oscars-- I can take it.

Also- I SWEAR "What Emily's Been Watching" January edition is coming really soon, it's half written, I've just been lazy. I will work on it during the Oscars and post it tonight. That's a promise.
(You can take that with as much salt as you can take any of my blog promises.)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

What Emily's Been Watching, January Edition

I have had a complicated month (Especially the beginning of it). Enough said.

Problem is, my memory that is notoriously bad in the first place when coming up with the movies I watched- gets progressively more bad as time passes. THEREFORE, you will be getting a pretty lousy accounting of my January movies. The ones I remember later, I will add to later months (as I am going to do with Winter's Bone -which I watched ages ago and totally forgot to add where appropriate- so that will even out my list a little). The biggest question here is, "Why oh why is it so hard for me to keep a comprehensive list of movies handy to write down after watching? WHY?" Oh, this is just one of the mysteries that make me who I am. I wouldn't know what to do with the stranger that would be "organized Emily".

Here's what I remember for now:

EXIT THROUGH THE GIFT SHOP (twice more) (2010) [R]:Documentary. Did a full review of this movie last month, but watched it the next day again. Then again with Rob, cause he of course needed to see it. The good thing was- I got the physical copy of it to watch with Rob and it had EXTRAS. My favorite was a little film done on Banksy and he did the coolest thing I have ever heard of. When Paris Hilton came out with an album a few years ago, he made his own Paris album that looked on the outside like hers, but he doctored the inside pictures with little blurbs of... you know what? I just found a bit of that part on youtube so I'll just show that. (just so you are warned: he does something to her picture involving her breasts on this clip, but it's blurred out.) Here is my full review of the movie I did last month in case you missed it:
Banksy is my hero.

THE HURT LOCKER (2008) [R] : Action. This is one I've meant to see for a time and finally did. I like a good war movie, that's for sure. I have to admit, my first impression of the Jeremy Renner character had me rolling my eyes. It was just so by-the-book-same-old-story: well established platoon, "new guy" comes and crashes their delicate hierarchy, he's a rebel, first mission he doesn't play by their rules, goes through his part with a cigarette butt hanging from his mouth (that is how rebellious and blase and too cool for school he was). Anyway, yes it follows that formula, but it really is good and manages to throw a twist and a turn or two in that classic story. Emily can recommend this movie to the war movie loving crowd. It is especially intense (it is about a bomb unit in the Iraq war- so yeah, it's intense). Language and violence peeps, as any respectable war movie should have.

BRIGHAM CITY (2001) [PG-13] :Crime thriller. Alright. Here's the deal: I saw the world of Mormon Cinema unfold and watched it happen with horror for the most part. I didn't pay attention to it closely, just saw titles like, "The Singles Ward" and "Mormons and Mobsters" and in my head, these movies played out like a bad road show (remember those?) I wanted nothing to do with them and pretty much ignored the rise and fall. I also heard of Deucher's films and heard some of the controversy surrounding them and wasn't impressed with that either. For what ever reason nothing about all that interested me.
So was it this summer? Fall? I'm not sure. But my cousin Dan interviewed Richard Deucher on a podcast and this raised my interest enough to listen to it. I found the 4 hours to be engaging and interesting.
If I am to be completely honest, (to me) he came across as egotistic (which probably works in his favor for the business he's in), but to a casual listener, the egotism seemed unwarranted. The egotism wasn't a big deal though, my biggest impression I came away with was how I found his journey through Mormonism contradictory like crazy. Let's just say I finished that interview with my impression of the man not so good and I had prejudged his movies as amateurish and probably laughable. I discussed it (the interview) a little with my bro who also listened and he brought up some favorable things that I didn't think of (perhaps you needed to listen with a brain that makes movies as my bro does to have appreciated this -or maybe you just needed a more open mind then I had) but Matt respected his perseverance in getting his movies funded and seeing them through to the end when that took a lot of effort and hard work. Matt's right. That is totally commendable of him and I can respect that, so thanks Matt. However hard he worked to get these films made, I didn't leave the interview with any real intent to see any of his stuff, I left it with the impression that I was going to go on ignoring Mormon Cinema.
Yet, while at the library last month, I spontaneously grabbed Brigham City. Why not? My intent was to be able to dislike it and his movies with some actual intelligence. My overall impression? You know what? It was not nearly as bad as I was set for it to be. Sure there were some actors in it that couldn't act (dispatcher girl comes to mind), but over all, it really looked and felt a whole lot more professional then I would ever have thought. The story was good too. Kept me guessing and all that jazz. I am surprised that the ordinances shown were a big deal to any one.
It was surprising and fun to see my home town as the back drop, I liked that.
The people in the movie brought up the church too much to feel natural to me though. I thought that was over done. But perhaps that's what we do with Mormon Cinema, and perhaps why I instinctively knew to keep away. I also balked a little at the "end scene" that was supposed to be so touching. For whatever reason it fell TOTALLY flat to me. To her surprise, Emily can actually recommend this movie for the most part. Perhaps you need to go in to it with low expectations as I did, but if you do, it will pleasantly surprise you. I might be persuaded to see "God's Army" someday, but just so you know, no one will ever get me to see "Home Teachers". Not a chance in H-E-double hockey sticks.

SHERLOCK HOLMES (2009) [PG-13]:Action. Never saw this one. Always meant to, figured it was worth at least a rent someday when the time was right. The time was right one night when Rob and I were in the mood for a little at home date night and a red box. Fun, silly, and entertaining, but not overly so. For whatever reason, Robert Downey, Jr. absolutely delights me. Always has. He is 100% adorable. Emily COULD recommend this movie, but she is pretty sure you've already seen it.

DINNER FOR SCHMUCKS (2010) [PG-13]: Comedy (or was supposed to be at any rate). This was at home date movie for the next week. I am not keen to go on about this movie. Bottom line: tortuously bad. I like Steve Carell. I like Paul Rudd. I wanted to like this movie, or at least not hate it. Too bad, hated it. Stuffed mice were funny. Pretty much other then that--- chirp chirp. I will say that Rob hated it a lot more then I did. In fact it was one of those movies that crossed the line for him from just "this movie is so stupid", to "so stupid it made him angry". In fact, we tried to watch The Office a few days later, a show he has always enjoyed, but he couldn't even look at Steve Carell and we were forced to turn the channel. Emily and Rob wouldn't recommend wasting your time and if you want a more comprehensive review on the stupidity that is this movie, call Rob.

WINTER'S BONE (2010) [R]: Drama/mystery/thriller. I don't recall how long ago it was I saw this movie, but it's been several months. Another casualty of my bad organization (I may have found a working answer to my writing down problem- the memo feature on my phone). Anyway, this was a great movie. It takes place in the mountain's of Arkansas (or similar) and the culture that is the Ozarks. The screenplay is really good and the acting is fantastic. John Hawkes played the uncle "teardrop" and he really blew me away. I would have been VERY happy for him had he won the Oscar (even though I picked Bale and racked myself up 19 points by doing so). Jennifer Lawrence blew me away too. The movie really pulls you in to the atmosphere and world that is portrayed in it, and it left me glad of my own situation and surroundings. The heroine is an amazing character and I was impressed with her ability to do what needed to be done at risk to her own self physically and emotionally. I just might need to check that book out. Emily recommends this movie if you like this kind of thing and enjoy immersing yourself in a corner of the world you might never experience otherwise.

Alright kids, there it is. February won't be late. Yikes! I guess that means it will be in a couple days. Sure glad I polished this off tonight and made it on the last day of Feb. (I DID work on this last night and about a week ago, just didn't quite finish/polish it off in time for last night).

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Making a Splash

Radiohead much to my delight, surprised us all by releasing their new album last week. Then surprised us again by making it available a day early. The biggest surprise of all however has turned out to be this video of one of the tracks, "Lotus Flower":

It features just Thom dancing and it is funny, entertaining, stupefying at times, brilliant, and a tad off-setting. It has caused quite the reaction on the webs. Many of the reactions are fans making Thom dance to other tunes, such as Pony, Single Ladies, Milkshake, Whip My Hair, Maniac, Welcome to the Jungle, Bad Romance, Soulija Boy and my personal favorite:

You also have your dance guides such as this,
but this on NME really cracked me up.

There is talk that Thom recorded this dancing video with the purpose of creating a buzz surrounding the new album and if so, I say- well played Thom, well played. Either way I gotta say, I totally dig your dance moves.

Thank you for providing most of the source of this post. Totally dig you too.

Friday, February 18, 2011


Well, Elle's little evaluations are over and we've had our meeting where we went over her abilities and made goals for her. I was nervous and it was scary. It was scary to see her paper evaluation listing her stage of development which was as follows:

Cognitive: 9-11 age range (in months, of course)
receptive language: 9 mos.
expressive language: 8 mos.
gross motor: 6 mos. (yikes)
fine motor: 10 mos.
social/emotional: 9 mos.
self-help: 14 mos. (go Elles! No surprise, this is the category that eating falls under). Also- one of the things in this area they grade on was helping me when I dress her, which I gave them a no. But the last couple of days I have observed a little more closely and she DOES help me with her arms and legs, so I am sure she should have scored higher still. MAYBE even where she should- gasp.

So there it is- yes, she is behind pretty much in all areas. The Kids on the Move people don't diagnose, so I need to get in touch with her doctor and start the ball rolling on finding out what is really going on with this little monkey. They recommended this, and told us that kids with delays like hers usually means there is an underlying condition. They definitely think she has a sensory issue going on. Another possibility is a mild case of cerebral palsey. The KOTM people said something about MRI's and CAT scans both which freak me out a little, but it is what it is. I googled "sensory issues in babies" today and saw some familiar things in Elle in one of the types. I also came away feeling very lucky, cause there are some cases of babies having sensory issues and they don't sound fun for anyone. Many involve clothing issues and many have food issues of which Elle has none of that and has been a calm happy baby, and the babies I read about today were NOT happy babies, in fact-- they were screaming babies. SO if she does have sensory issues, we hit the jackpot, cause she doesn't seem to be in pain- in fact, she seems to be a very happy little thing that doesn't let much bother her. The KOTM people told me that sensory issues and CP, don't usually effect cognitive learning and Elle is behind enough that it makes them think that if she has one of those conditions, there may be something else going on. But from what I read today, sensory issues at least can really get in the way of cognitive learning because of the limitations they have physically. So, I don't know. At this point I am far more concerned with her mental abilities then any physical problems. Mental abilities seem far more daunting and seem more tough to deal with in the long run.
There is good news. At the end of the meeting (in a shaky voice), I asked if kid's they have worked with that are in a similar situation as Elinor respond well to this program and they both gave me a resounding YES. It makes a huge difference and Elle is so young, she has the best chance possible. Many parents ignore the signs until they are almost 3 and many until they enroll them into kindergarten and these kids have much harder road blocks and stuff. So I have to give myself a little pat on the back for being the idiot/jerk/concerned mother that I was and pushed for Elle. I don't know what the future holds for Little Little but I do know she has a mom, dad and big sister that are going to support and fight for her and help her as much as we are able. We have little exercises to do with her and so far she is responding well to them and making progress already. The picture at the beginning of the post shows her having fallen asleep while trying to put little fisher price people into a bowl. Bless her little heart. Oh I love her. She is such a sweet little thing. She's so happy and has such a great little twinkle in her eye. Whatever life holds for her, she is going to do awesome.

Elle's goals:

Elinor with participate in container play.
Elinor will participate in simple relational play.
Elinor will imitate new gestures 50% of the time
Elinor will look for familiar people or objects when named.
Elinor will lift her arms to mom to be picked up.
Elinor will transfer objects between hands.
Elinor will play with her image in the mirror.
Elinor will distinguish between happy and angry voices and strangers and familiar people.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Random Scout observation of the day......

Scout 5 1/2-

(observing me getting dressed this morning)

"Everyone puts their pants on first.......................except for cavemen."


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