Sunday, January 03, 2010

Movies of 2009

Thumbs up? Thumbs down? 5 Stars? These are the movies I saw in 2009. Since movies cost me $10 each I will rate them on a scale of $10. In other words, were they worth $10 and if not how much should I have paid.

Grand Torino - I admire the hell out of Cling Eastwood as a director. This was a good movie that was saved by the ending. Before that it was not very believable. $7

Last Chance Harvey - This was an ok movie with some good performances by some good actors Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson. $7

Defiance - Dreary WW II movie. Not much else I can say about it. $4

Hotel For Dogs - The ultimate happy ending movie that was simply too much. Kids movie. Wish I hadn't gone. $2

He's Just Not That Into You - This was panned by most everybody I talked to but I liked it. Scarlette Johanson... worth the price of admission. $8

The Inbternational - Action movie. Weird premise. Fair. $4

Taken - Action revenge movie. Predictable. $3

Knowing - End of the world movie that was very depressing. $3

I Love You Man - Not bad. Had some funny parts. Predictable. $6

Adventureland - Not bad. Good character development. $7

Sunshine Cleaners - Disappointing. Iliked all the actors but it could have been more. $6

Angels and Demons - I really like Tom Hanks but this movie sucked. Totally predictable. $5

Star Trek - This was pretty good. It was fun seeing the crew come together. Good special effects. $8

The Hangover - This was a very well done and very very funny movie. I enjoyed every bit of it. $9

Up - Everybody thought this was a good movie. I thought it was really weird. Liked the talking dogs though. $6

Brothers Bloom - I like quirky movies and this was a good example. $8

The Proposal - Predictable. But it was still better than most romantic comedies. $7

Moon - Slow paced. A bit confusing but after I figured it out it was good. $8

Ugly Truth - Terrible. Awful. $1

500 Days Of Summer - This was very well done. A unique movie with some surprises. I liked it alot. $9

The Informant - This was a movie that made you think you knew what was going on but you discover toward the end that you did not have it right at all. Amusing at times. $8

Zombieland - I like Woody Harrelson and Jesse Eisenberg. Amusing. Too long and it faded toward the end. $7

Invention Of Lying - Funny concept. I liked it overall. $8

Whip It - I like movies that empower women. This was a fun concept that was actually fun. $8

Couples Retreat - Predictable. I like Vince Vaughn and John Favre. $6

Men Who Stare At Goats - Worst movie of the year. Terrible. Very disappointed in George Clooney. $2

2012 - An end of the world movie that got tiring. Too long too. $4

Blind Side - I thought this was an ok movie. I'd like to meet the woman that Sandra Bullock played. $7

Avatar - This was an impressive movie. James Cameron is amazing and the planet Pandora was beyond description. I am not a fan of 3D but it worked in this movie. $9

Invictus - Again, I like Cling Eastwood. This was a very good movie. He showed what an amazing man Nelson Mandella is. $9

Up In The Air - This was a smart, funny, and sad movie that shows the effects of lay offs in this recession. The dialogue sparkled. Very good movie. $9

It's Complicated - I love Meryl Streep and I like Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin. This was good but not great. $8

29 movies. 13 I saw alone. Movie of the year? I don't know. Best screenplay is Up In The Air or 500 Days Of Summer. Best special effect is Avatar.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


There is an expression: "Don't sit on your hands on the bus of survivors."

That applies more today than before. What makes up a "survivor" today? Someone who still has a job, is not losing their home, is not depleting their savings or kid's college funds.

If you are a survivor chances are you know someone who is not. This is the time to reach out and help them. No, they are not starving, homeless or destitute but they are caught up in a situation that is scary, supremely stressful, and de-humanizing. They probably will not come to you for help but you can see the signs of their needing it and reach out. They say never loan money to a friend but that "law" is suspended in this economic disaster.

Most people will refuse help because of that "charity/pride" thing that we all have. I respect that and I look at my friends who are not a survivor and tell them I am in a position to help them and that someday they will be in a position to help someone else. I do not expect the money to be paid back. I do not expect my help with fixing things around their house to be paid back. I do not expect the dinners I buy them to be paid back. I tell them to pay it forward when they get their life back.

It's tough out there people. I know I am a call to my boss's office away from being unemployed and dipping into my savings to save my house. Will I ask for help? I don't think I will have to. My friends will see me trying to keep my head above water and will throw me a rope. I will always be rich that way.


Monday, December 29, 2008

Movies of 2008

Thumbs up? Thumbs down? 5 Stars? These are the movies I saw in 2007. Since movies cost me $10 each I will rate them on a scale of $10. In other words, were they worth $10 and if not how much should I have paid.

The Savages - Odd movie. Not bad though. Phillip Seymore Hoffman is always good in his roles. It takes place in winter which always makes a movie dark to me. The truths of old age makes you dread it. $7

Charlie Wilson's War - This was a really good movie. I am surprised that it did not get more notice. Tom Hanks is very good but I really loved the character played by Phillip Seymore Hoffman. A crass yet funny CIA agent who does not play nice guy to anyone's opinions he does not agree with. The end is so sad due to the fact that the Taliban tragedy in Afghanistan could have been avoided with such little effort. - $9

The Bucket List - Predictable and a waste of 2 huge talents in Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson. Manipulative and too "pat" in it's scenerios. - $5

27 Dresses - Awful. The main character was such a mousy character that I did not give a damn what happened to her which was predictable of course. $2

Fool's Gold - Sorta fun. It takes place in the sunny Caribbean and I saw it in the middle of winter. It was nice seeing the blue water and sky for a couple of hours. That is what saved it. Predictable. $6

Definitely Maybe - Ok. I had to look this up on the net to remember what this was about. I had forgotten it completely. I have to say it was better than what I expected. Kinda charming at times and nicely paced. A bit long if I remember correctly. $7

The Bank Job - Decent movie. Kept you guessing and had some twists in it that made it interesting. Good actors in it and good acting. $8

Drillbit Taylor - Ok. I saw it because I like Owen Wilson but this was a dumb movie. Not believable at all (could not suspend my disbelief). $3

Leatherhead - If I remember correctly it was kinda dull. A few chuckles but not worth the time I spent watching it. About the early days of "pro" football. $6

Nim's Island - There was nothing else playing so I saw this. Definitely a movie for kids and teens. A girl and her father living on a tropical paradise all by themselves. Please. $4

Flawless - I was surprised. Two actors I don't think about one way or another, Michael Caine and Demi Moore, in a nicely paced and interesting story. Demi Moore was pretty good as a woman in a man's world of banking back in the 60s. $8

Smart People - This was a slow paced slice of life movie that was too slow. Tried to be smart but was just a bunch of uninteresting events in uninteresting character's lives. $4

Forgetting Sarah Marshall - I know. I know. Seeing who was in it (many of the same people who were in Super Bad and Knocked Up) I knew what was coming. I got a couple of laughs and I knew what I was paying for so it's my fault. $6

Iron Man - I went to this because I wanted to get out of the house and I could not find anything else to see. I was pleasantly surprised. Very entertaining and funny. I like action movies that are tongue in cheek. It never took itself seriously so it was fun. $9

What Happens In Vegas - Why do I go to movies like this that I know will be predictable. Two badly matched people thrown together and guess what? They end up loving each other! Who could have guessed? - $4

Then She Found Me - Sorry. I can not remember much about this movie, even after looking it up on the net. Must not have made an impression. $5

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of Something or other - What a disappointment. Bummer. This was a dog of a movie and I guess I should not have expected it to be as fresh and exciting was the original movies from the 80s. $2

The Fall - Amazing visuals but kinda boring. The story did not substain me and I was ultimately let down. $6

Sex and the City - It does not matter what I say about this movie. If you were a fan of the HBO series as I was then you have seen it and probably enjoyed it. I like it. $8

Get Smart - Mildly amusing and good for what it was. $7

Wanted - Ultra violent and futuristic movie with Morgan Freeman playing the bad guy. Corny. Full of slow motion firing of big guns. Yawn. $4

Hancock - I really like Will Smith and though this plot had some potential but it was just not pulled off. At least for me. He plays a down and out super hero which was the potential. It got silly with the addition of Cherez Theron. $6

Wall E - I really enjoy animated movies and this did not disappoint. It was well done and surprisingly touching. $8

Mamma Mia - I really enjoyed the play and the movie did not disappoint. It was fun and well filmed and acted. Merly Streep can do anything. $8

Pineapple Express - See Forgetting Sarah Marshall. $6

Bottle Shock - This was a very good independent movie (as most independent movies are). Interesting and fun to be taken back to the 70s. The tru story of how a California wine won a wine tasting event in the ultra snobby French wine country. $9

Vicky Christy Barcelona - I was about to give up on Woody Allen but this saved him in my eyes. This was a good movie, well acted, beautifully filmed and directed. It'll make you want to move there. $8

Tropic Thunder - I knew it was going to be a silly movie but I still expected more out of it. Ultimately, a waste of time. $4

Women - A movie full of great female roles with not a single male person it. I mean no where. Not even in the background on the street or in restaurants. And you did not miss them. A good story well acted. $8

Burn After Reading - I adore the Coen brothers. And this did not disappoint. Full of really clever and funny characters and the quirky interactions between them. Count on the Coens for some sudden twists that will make you sit up. $9

Night In Rodanthe - A romantic comedy that was missing the comedy. It was ok as far as acting but a bit of a waste of time. $6

Choke - You really have to like quirky movies. This is definitely quirky. But, I like quirky. A story of a man who makes extra money by faking choking on food in restaurants. I am way over-simplifying this but it was a bit dirty and weird. Good things to be in a movie as far as I am concerned. $8

Zack and Mira Make a Porno - This was raunchy and more or less a NC-17 movie. It was full of porn scenes. I am not a prude by any stretch of the imagination but finding out that a lady in in love with you because she did not f*ck in a scene of their porno movie just does not do it for me. $5

The Changeling - This was an excellent movie. Angelina Joline was very very good in it. I did not look at the screen once and think "Angelina Joline is doing a good job." She was the character she played. Based on a true story I was riveted the entire movie. And it was a long movie. Clint Eastwood is a artist as far as directors go. This would have been my choice for best picture until I saw the next to the last movie listed here. $10

Quantum of Solace - I was so disappointed. The first "new" Bond movie was very good. This was not. A loose plot and I did not know who the villain was. $5

Role Model - I thought this was going to be another Forgetting Sarah Marshall but this turned out to be a fun movie. It revolves around these quirky geeks who play dungeons and dragons in parks on weekends. I was surprised. $7

Australia - They wanted to make an epic movie and failed miserably. It was corny and badly acted and just boring. I would have walked out if I had been alone. $3

Slumdog Millionaire - Amazing. Fresh. Fantastic. Epic in it's scope. This was far and away the best movie I have seen in a very very long time. This is my choice for best picture and will be sorely disappointed if it does not get the Oscar. I could not recommend this movie enough to my friends and so far they have all loved it also. Astonishing in its pace, acting, plot, cinematography, directing and on and on. This is why I go to movies. $20

Curious Case of Benjamin Button - This was a good movie but it was way way too long. Kate Blanchette is wonderful as always and Brad Pitt may get a nomination. It was 3 hours and should have been 2. $8

39 movies. 12 I saw alone. Movie of the year? No contest. Slumdog Millionaire

Thursday, May 15, 2008

I had a Blogher dream

I had a dream about Kris last night.

I was at a crowded bar when I looked over and saw her at a table surrounded by men. She was surrounded by men, not the table. I could not get near her but I immediately recognized her. I HAD to get near her. I was finally able to get next to her and I asked if I could get her a drink. She replied a glass of wine and I said "I know. You are such a wino." She looked at me with a quizzical look on her face wondering if I knew who she was through her blog. I winked at her and motioned for her to walk with me. Well, as opposed to real life, she did.

I am six feet tall and she towered over me but at the same time she was not tall. You know how those paradoxes are very possible in dreams. I told her I was Trapped and she smiled.

Suddenly we were at a table with 3 other guys (the guys in the movie The 40 year old Virgin) and she excused herself to go do something. When she left the 3 guys were all over me trying to make passes at me. I'm not gay and there is nothing wrong with that but they were way too assertive. Then I saw Kris sitting next to us and she was crying. I went over and asked her what was wrong (I touched her leg as I asked.. it was firm yet feminine. Hey, it's a dream!). She said something I could not make out ending in "let's walk". As we walked she took my arm (I LOVE it when a lady takes my arm). I remember during the walk us looking at each other and almost, almost, kissing. Then she pulled out a pack of cigarettes and I said I was going to the restroom while she went outside to smoke.

Of course, I could not find the restroom, a waitress loaded down with a tray of food flirted with me then I woke up.

Now, I do not dream of movie or tv stars. Or anyone famous, for that matter. I read a lot of blogs and enjoy them. Why Kris? Sure, she is very attractive. She has a fantastic sense of humor and a wonderful way of expressing it. Is it because I think a good sense of humor is very sexy? Yes, but there are other humorous bloggers.

So, Kris. If you read this. What gives?

Oh, by the way. Before I woke up we were well on our way to getting a room.

If you are ever in Denver, tell me where you will be and I will buy you a glass of wine. You wino, you.

Friday, February 08, 2008


Once, about 10 years ago I was driving home on a nice summer evening. I saw a dog in the road that had been hit by a car. I silently offered a speedy trip to it's soul and steered around it.

About a quarter of a mile later it hit me that maybe it was not dead. I made a u turn and returned to the dog. I parked in front of it and turned on my emergency blinkers, what with it being a 4 lane thoroughfare and did not want anyone hitting us.

I approached the dog slowly and saw that is was breathing. Breathing very fast and bleeding from it's ears and nose. Mortal wounds.

Not having a cell phone at the time I drove to a nearby convenience store and called animal control. They did not sound too concerned.

I drove back and repeated the emergency blinker routine. I knelt next to the still rapidly breathing dog and began to gently stroke it's head and body while talking gently to him. I told him it was ok. He can go if he wants. His breathing slowed. Then slowed some more. Then stopped.

He just wanted someone to calm him. To know he was not alone.

I moved his body to the sidewalk and drove away. My eyes watered for the dog and for the family that would be looking for him in the morning.

I remember that every time I drive past that spot. I think I have a dog's soul thanking me every time, also.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Planes and 1 and a half year olds...

Flying back from Florida and the short sleeve golf shirts and shorts weather, I was seated in the aisle seat next to a dad and his 1 1/2 year old daughter in the middle seat. I imagined what he was going through... wondering how I and the guy in the window seat would take it.

She was adorable (aren't all 1 1/2 year olds), had just learned how to wave hello and goodbye and was a professional thumb sucker. The father was trying to make sure she did not go outside the imaginary boundaries of his seat (all 18 inches of it's width) and intruding on my space. I knew it was hopeless so I placed a pillow on my leg and told him he was welcome to lay her down over both our laps. It was as if I had offered him a lifetime supply of free babysitting.

After about a hour of flight time she got sleepy and lay her head on the pillow on my leg. She leaned her head back and stared at me as she sucked her thumb and descended into the sleep of babes. Sleeping, she was angelic. A face that calmed the stresses of travel and family decisions you have to make in the upcoming years. My pulse rate lowered. My breathing calmed. If a swarm of bees had started buzzing around my head I would not have moved my leg in fear of waking her.

The moral of this post? Good deeds sometimes have immediate rewards.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Movies of 2007

Thumbs up? Thumbs down? 5 Stars? These are the movies I saw in 2007. Since movies cost me $9.50 each I will rate them on a scale of $10. In other words, were they worth $10 and if not how much should I have paid.

Night At The Museum - Predictable. Some amusing parts. It was strange seeing Dick Van Dyke playing a villan. $5

Pursuit of Happiness - Will Smith is quickly becoming THE biggest star power in Hollywood. This showed he can play a serious character. That damned bone scanner got on my nerves though! $7

Letters From Iwo Jima - This was a good movie. One that shows that it does not matter what side you are on, you have more in common than you do differences. The scene where the Japanese officer reads a letter found on a dead American soldier from that soldier's mom to his platoon was very moving. $9

Ghost Rider - I knew it was going to be a comic book movie but I went anyway. Dumb. $3

Wild Hogs - Very funny in parts but still predictable. The homophobia got to be tiresome. $5

Zodiac - This was a bit long, well acted and had one of the most intense and disturbing murder scenes totally devoid of blood I have ever seen. $8

300 - Ok. This was a man flick to beat all man flicks. Way over the top in testosterone but I loved every minute of it. Some beautiful imagery. $8

Grindhouse - Holy crap! This was another over the top movie that was gross and silly and what made it great was it was meant to be gross and silly. $8

Music and Lyrics - I like romantic comedies. Their predictability if part of their charm and this did not disappoint in that regard. Not too bad. $7

Disturbia - Basically a remake of Rear Window. Failed totally. $4

Namesake - Nicely acted, well paced and nicely filmed. A good story that tugged at your heart strings in parts. $8

Fracture - Kept me guessing in parts but ultimately disappointed. $5

Spider Man 3 - When am I going to stop going to these comic book movies? When I am no longer bored sitting at home, I guess. Dumb. And what was that dance scene all about? $2

Meet The Robinsons 3D - I like the new animation movies. This one was cute and the 3D is getting better and better though $11.75 is a bit much to pay. $7

Waitress - I love the slow paced movies where you really get into the characters. It was not perfect but well acted. $8

Pirates of the Caribbean 3 - So disappointing, especially after the first. They should let this franchise die. No more. $5

Paris Je T'Aime - This was one of those gems of a movie that you are so glad you saw. Several short stories with the best being saved for last. This was very very good. $9

Ocean's 13 - Dumb, dumb dumb. Transport a tunneling machine bigger that a football field and get it installed under a casino with out anyone knowing. Please. Give it a rest guys. Please, no Ocean's 14. $4

Knocked Up - These raunchy movies will eventually run their course but until then this was not too bad. Some funny parts and sweet at times. $6

Die Hard 4 - This was fun! The hero acknowledges that some of the outrageous things he does are unbelievable. I was surprised. $7

Transformers - Another comic book movie. When will I learn? $4

You Kill Me - A sleeper. Not bad, actually. Ben Kingsley plays an alcoholic hit man who attends AA meetings and tells people he is an alcoholic whose job is to kill people. $7

No Reservation - One of the worst romantic comedies I have ever seen. Enough said. $2

Underdog - Ok. Another comic book movie but one that was successful. Funny for what it was. $7

Superbad - Funny, funny, funny. Oh, and also funny! $9

Bourne Ultimatum - This was a kick ass fun guy flick. Non stop. $8

Stardust - Blue screen movie. That is where every scene is acted out in front of a blue screen then the scenery is edited in afterwards. Fantasy. Claire Danes is one of my fav actresses. $6

The Brave One - A remake of Death Wish but not believable. The characters bored me and I did not care about them. Too bad. Jodie Foster is one of the best actresses out there. $5

Eastern Promises - Sort of a confusing movie. Did not really know what it was meant to do. Sorta weird in it's plainness. $5

Across The Universe - Beatles music set to a psychadelic movie. Some of the remakes of their songs were quite good. But not enough to make this a good movie. $5

The Heartbreak Kid - Not bad. I was surprised. It was funny, especially in the sex scenes where she wants him to do her like a black man. $7

Elizabeth - Lavish beautiful period movie wonderful cinematography. Kate Blanchett is a really good actress. Over the top at times. $7

Darjeeling Limited - This was a very good movie. A tad quirky which I always like. Funny and moving. $9

Dan In Real Life - Predictable romantic comedy. What the hell is Dane Cook doing in movies? He stinks. $6

No Country For Old Men - You either love this movie of you hate it. I loved this movie. This is the movie of the year. Thank you, Coen brothers. Thank you for a well acted, well paced movie with the most heinous cold and chilling bad guy ever. $10

Beowolf 3D - The ogre was gross and has no manners when chomping down on the skull of a man who he just bit the head off of. Not much else but a blue screen movie. What made this special was I was with someone special. $4

Bee Movie - This was the biggest disappointment of the year. I like and respect Seinfeld but this was not good. $2

The Golden Compass - Forget the religious comparison crap you hear. This was a blue screen movie that made me forget it was a blue screen movie. The imagery is amazing. The story was very good. I hope sequel is as good. $9

I Am Legend - A remake of The Omega Man and, except for the images of a post apocalyptic New York, was disappointing for a Will Smith movie. $6

Bella - Art house well paced and acted movie. Enjoyable. $7

National Treasure 2 - Not as good as the first and has more holes in it than Nixon's explanation of the 18 minute gap in the Watergate tapes. $3

Juno - Very witty and well acted movie that was funny and sad and touching. The main character was very cool. $9

42 movies. 13 I saw alone. Movie of the year? No contest. No Country For Old Men

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Panorama From Dinasaur Ridge

Panorama Near Red Rocks Park

Monday, October 29, 2007

Hand crafted wine rack built by a friend...

Where's the net? Washington Park.. summer day

How do they do that shoes....

Denver church

For the homeless man who comes in the night

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

This guy kicked Spiderman's ass!