Posted in California Livin'

Summer Days

The kids are finishing up their fourth week of school already and I am tired of the triple digits hell that is our California weather. I am ready for fall weather, pumpkin candies and lattes, and the smell of a fire going in my fireplace. And even though we STILL haven’t gotten on a plane with the kids (fingers crossed for next year!) I know that we had a good summer this year and have the pictures to remind me.

That afternoon the kids spent shooting dollar spot sticky frogs at the ceiling…

 

When I made my son pose in front of a movie billboard without realizing how hella inappropriate it was

Inappropriate movie

Trips to Knotts that never disappoint

 

One more picture from the OC Fair because it was that much fun

OC Fair Family

Celebrated Hubby’s 40th at Raging Waters

 

Pool Action

 

I hope you are enjoying the last remaining days of summer. Tell me something fun you did. Thank you for reading!

Posted in Pop Culture

Friday Favorite: Goodies from Comic-Con

While others were out enjoying their Saturday on 7/22, I was sitting in my solar powered air conditioned house refreshing my phone throughout the morning. Why, you ask? Because down in San Diego, CA on this past Saturday was the holy grail day of panels in Hall H. The Warner Bros. Panel was scheduled for 1130 am. And even though I didn’t get to enjoy the crowds of 150,000+, the overnight lines to get into Hall H, and celebrities hidden behind masks, the family and I did get to enjoy trailers that were released throughout the day.

First up is Ready Player One. This Spielberg directed flick that comes out next March is based on the book by Ernest Cline. It was one of my favorite books of 2016. As an 80s movies nerd, it fulfilled all my dreams in one story. It is the tale of Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan), a teenager living in the future. Society is so bleak that he prefers to be in the OASIS, a virtual reality world. When the creator of the OASIS dies, he sets up the players to chase clues that will lead them to win the game and his fortune. The game is stuffed with movies, television shows, and video game references (Joust, anyone?). I have been waiting for this movie to come out since I finished the book and the trailer had me whooping and hollering throughout.

We did take a break from waiting for more trailers and dragged the kids to see War for the Planet of the Apes (which was awesome, btw). As soon as we stepped out of the theater Scarlet’s first question was, “Is there a Stranger Things trailer? Is there?!” And OH MY WORD, there was. The trailer is set to the tune of Thriller by Michael Jackson, Vincent Price narrating while Mike (Finn Wolfhard), Dustin (Gaten Matarrazo), Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin), Will (Noah Schnapp), Hopper (David Harbour), and the others are dealing with the aftermath of Season One and hoping for a reappearance of Eleven (Millie Bobbie Brown). There is new student Max (Sadie Sink), problems between Nancy (Natalia Dyer) and Steve (Joe Keery), and more scary monsters that are slightly bigger than the Demogorgon. Is it October 27th yet?!

Thor: Ragnarok comes in November, four months after Marvel’s release of Spiderman’s Homecoming. It is directed by Taika Waititi and it is the third installment. This time around Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is captured and forced to fight for his life, where he comes face to face with his Avenger mate the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo). Together they try to battle Hela (Cate Blanchett), who is hell bent on destroying Thor’s world. I always enjoy the Thor movies but please don’t ask me to explain what each one is about other than Thor saves the day. But with this new one, the visuals (they look like a seventies rock band cartoon and Cate Blanchett looks like a total bad ass), music (70s rock), and humor (“I know him! He’s a friend from work!”) have my expectations higher than usual. Add Jeff Goldblum in blue makeup and Tessa Thompson (Westworld), and Thor Ragnarok will stand out from the rest.

I hope you have a go to list of things that make you happy and you get to enjoy them over the weekend!

Posted in Pop Culture

Must See Movies of the Summer: Adult Edition

Even though summer doesn’t officially start until June 20th, we are already into summer movie season. Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 rocked (literally-the soundtrack is awesome). This past weekend King Arthur bombed (Damnit Charlie! Stop accepting roles in terrible movies). Cars 3, Spiderman: Homecoming, and the inevitable Transformer sequel are still ahead of us. As a family we will see a lot of movies. But I am looking forward to the following films that I can see without my kids:

  • Baywatch (May 25th): Dwayne Johnson, Zac Efron, and Alexandra Daddario bring the cheesy television show to the big screen. I don’t want to be excited for this movie but damn if I don’t laugh every time I watch Zac fall in the pool.
  • It Comes at Night (June 9th ): Scary movie with Joel Edgerton, his director Trey Edward Shults from The Gift, and visuals that look terrifying. Summer was a giver of good horror last year with chilling films like Don’t Breathe, Lights Out, and The Conjuring 2. I hope 2017 brings more of the same.
  • The Beguiled (June 30th ): Sofia Coppola is one of my favorites. I don’t love all of her work but when she gets it right, it leave a lasting impression (The Virgin Suicides and Lost in Translation). Her muses Kirsten Dunst and Elle Fanning join Nicole Kidman in the story about a girls’ school during the Civil War. When Colin Farrell’s soldier arrives in need it shifts the dynamic between the women and takes turns you wouldn’t expect. Creepy and unsettling.
  • Baby Driver (June 28th ): The one I am excited about the most. Director Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead) gives us Ansel Elgort (Divergent) as the most talented of getaway car drivers. Jon Hamm, Kevin Spacey, Jamie Foxx, and Lily James make up the cool cast about a group of bank robbers and their boss. I’ve only read and heard great things about this one and the release date was already moved up from August to June due to all the buzz.
  • Atomic Blonde (July 28th): Charlize Theron as a spy in 1980s Berlin with James McAvoy as her handler and music that includes New Order, Bowie, Queen, and Depeche Mode. This spells fun and lots of action.
  • A Ghost Story (July 7th ): This trailer looks pretentious and a little weird. But it gives enough emotional content with the love story between Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara that I am intrigued.
Posted in Pop Culture

The Dark Knight: The Best Superhero Movie

Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight is my favorite superhero film. It’s what one should expect from a Batman movie: gritty, dark, worthy heroes, and scary villains. But what sets it apart from Tim Burton’s cartoonish version and Zack Snyder’s just plain ridiculous take is that it breaks your heart into a million pieces and you walk away changed.

I was not into superheroes as a kid, save for my daily Spiderman read in the local paper. When Tim Burton came out with Batman in 1989, I loved it. Burton’s use of grape purple, stark white, and kelly green against the gray bleakness of Batman’s home dare you to ignore it. Michael Keaton is a soft spoken but matter of fact Bruce Wayne. Robert Wuhl is a wisecracking reporter who works along side Vicki Vale (Kim Basinger). Jack as the Joker is immortalized (in my mind at least) as he sits next to his love Alicia Hunt (Jerry Hall) and has her put on a mask to cover up the scars he gave her. He walks the line of sanity, putting the audience on edge. I loved him for it. With Prince’s BatDance as the soundtrack, Batman is a classic 80s film.

Zack Snyder took over for Christopher Nolan after 2012’s The Dark Knight Rises was released. I was hopeful. I had seen 300 and Watchmen. Both had haunting sights and solid, dark story lines. Then Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was released. The reviews were bad. Not Batman and Robin bad, but worse than Batman Forever. I love Ben Affleck. I really do. But it says something when you keep reading that his performance is the best thing about the movie. But it did give us this:

Suicide Squad was equally terrible and silly (Just NO Jared Leto, NO). Snyder produced the film. He produced the upcoming Wonder Woman and helmed this November’s Justice League. All of these have made or will make a shit ton of money. Why does it matter that the stories are borderline stupid??**

This brings me back to The Dark Knight. When it first came out I would ask those who had already seen it how it was and they would shake their heads with emotion and say, “It’s really sad.” I felt like I was prepared going in. My husband and I went with our sleeping 11 month old. For 2 ½ hours we witnessed not a great superhero film but a phenomenal film PERIOD (screw you Oscars). You come to expect good vs. evil in these type of movies. But watching our heroes break under a mad man hurt me as an audience member. It has been nine years and I can remember the third act in vivid detail like I’m still sitting in those theater seats.

Michael Keaton’s Batman with Burton’s bright and deranged setting. Nolan’s grittiness and heartbreaking storytelling. These are the elements I miss in Batman. Matt Reeves (Cloverfield) is attached to direct The Batman with Affleck starring. Now if they can just keep Zack Snyder’s mitts off of this one, maybe they could give us back a hero we can root for?

**sarcasm