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Free Day

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I had an extra, unexpected day off today. I tried hard not to spend any money since I wasn’t making any, but what a surprise, I had to go out and buy more butter. I’ve used five sticks in two days. Three of them went into one cake.

It was gloomy and raining all day, so I decided to watch a movie whilst curled up under the covers in my bed.

Here’s the thing about Hugo. A lot of people said it wasn’t that good. I think what they really meant was that it didn’t meet their expectations, and I can see why they would be disappointed. It wasn’t exactly an exciting adventure. And if you watched it on DVD then all the time they spent on “ooh look it’s 3D!” shots was just wasted time. This film was actually an homage to film history. Much like The Artist, it was mainly about how great movies are. Luckily, I think movies are pretty great, too. I enjoyed Hugo, but it definitely wasn’t what I expected. I think the flaw was that they tried to make a “kids” movie that wasn’t really about kids stuff. The main character was just as much George Milies as it was Hugo Cabret.

Interstingly, I felt similarly about Rango. Did people actually take their kids to see that movie? Even I sorta needed a dictionary for moments in that film. How many eight-year-olds got the Hunter S. Thompson reference?

So… to sum up, see Hugo if you like rich art direction and cinematography and you’re in love with film. See Rango if you like esoteric lizards or are interested in an animated version of Chinatown. Wait, that makes it seem like I didn’t like Rango. I was actually pretty entertained, it’s just not a kids’ movie, in my opinion. Not that my opinion matters.

A Cluster of Reviews

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I’ve done a lot of physical and mental consumption lately, so I thought I’d share a few opinions.  Take it or leave it.

It’s morning, and I’m hungry, so let’s start with breakfast.  Yesterday we decided to go to Cafe Kaila.  It’s walking distance from our house, tucked away under the freeway near Foodland.  It’s a tiny little place, and I first noticed it when we saw the line outside on our way to Fun Factory.  Long lines all the time?  They must be there for a reason.  We waited probably a half hour for a table, and then another fifteen minutes for our food once we got inside.  When it finally arrived, though, I was completely satisfied.  I ordered the buttermilk pancakes, and Geoff got a Belgian waffle with a side of bacon.  We both ate hungrily and made plenty of yummy noises.  My pancakes were tender and flavorful, which is a lot more uncommon than you might think.  The bacon was extra crispy, which I love.  And the prices weren’t too outrageous.  Be warned, though, you can’t use your card, so make sure you visit the ATM before you sit down.

I’ve also been reading Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk.  The movie version of this novel is one of my all time favorites.  This is one of the few times when I have to say that the book isn’t necessarily better than the movie.  It’s not that the book is bad.  It’s not.  It’s great.  And the voice of the novel, the spirit of it, is extremely similar to the movie. It’s just different.  There are a lot of plot differences.  I think I might like the movie better, but probably only because it’s been dear to me for years.  I definitely recommend this book.  It will give you plenty to think about.  And the pace is unrelenting.  Do it.

One last thing I think you should experience is Midnight in Paris.  Owen Wilson is absolutely delightful, and Marion Cotillard and Carla Bruni are absolutely stunning.  I wouldn’t necessarily call myself a Woody Allen fan, and yet each time I watch one of his films, I love it.  Owen Wilson plays a Hollywood hack striving for artistic integrity on vacation with his annoying fiance and her judgmental parents.  Through some unknown magic, he is transported through time, and meets the likes of Fitzgerald, Hemingway, and Picasso.  It’s a charming film.  And if, like me, you are a lover of modernist American literature, you’ll love to see the portrayals of Hemingway and Zelda Fitzgerald.  It’s a quick little film.  Worth a watch.

I have been doing a ton of reading lately but haven’t made much progress on my movie list.  I suppose I better shut up and get some things done so maybe I can catch a matinee of Hugo.  Fingers crossed.