Archive for September 5th, 2006

Labor Day Weekend…The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly

September 5, 2006

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First let me say that any weekend ending with the death of a character as fun and vibrant as Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin (pictured above, bottom right) is a pretty cruddy weekend…Labor Day weekend included.

Don’t get me wrong…I really enjoyed my three days in Biloxi with my family. We had lots of fellowship…a bunch of fun…a little bit of fighting…and tons of food. But between the news of Irwin’s death and my three-day romp on the Coast, where I lazed about watching movies, eating, and NOT walking each morning, I felt like I had been hit by a Mack truck filled with booze when my alarm went off this morning at 5:30 a.m.

But I persevered.

I got up and went for a mile-long walk. I wanted to throw up…my back was killing me…my feet hurt…and my mouth was like cotton…but I went for that damn walk.

The good news is…Grandpa Camo was a no-show this morning…so I felt pretty triumphant for beating him to the track. Maybe, like me, he was hungover from too many cheese puffs, barbecue, Mexican food, and cotton candy this weekend…or maybe he couldn’t find his cane…either way…I’m chalking it up as a victory for me.

I saw a couple of movies this weekend that I wanted to recommend to y’all…and one movie that I want you to avoid like the plague.

On Saturday, Ben, Hattie, and Dad when to Video Heaven and came back with “Syriana” (pictured above, bottom left). As soon as they announced that they had rented it…I wanted to stick needles in my eyes. I soooo didn’t want to watch some political film on the Saturday of my Labor Day Weekend. I wanted something funny and stupid…something to make me laugh and be happy that I was eating ice cream.

But I persevered.

And ends up…the movie was absolutely fantastic. Yeah…it was a thinky thinky movie. And yeah…I had to put down my spoonful of ice cream during the torture scene. And yeah…I had to ask someone to explain a couple of points to me. And yeah…George Clooney was pudgy and bearded. But it was worth all of that and more. It had a great message(s) and the acting was fantastic. I even enjoyed the movie the next morning when several of us discussed it over pancakes. I highly recommend “Syriana.” Go rent it…NOW.

The second movie I want to tell you about is “Crank” (pictured above, top left), staring hottie Jason Statham.

Ben, Hattie, Cooper, and I were stoked to go see this action movie about a guy who will die if he lets his adrenaline levels drop. But when we got to the theatre, Ben and Hattie asked if we might want to go see “The Illusionist” (pictured above, top right) instead of “Crank”…afterall…who doesn’t love Paul Giamatti and Edward Norton?

Coop and I had been really anxious to see “Crank,” so we stuck with our original plan. We bought our tickets and settled in with our popcorn, candy, and hot dogs (okay…so I’m the only one who got a hot dog). Then after about 15 minutes worth of previews…the theatre darkened and the movie began.

And, literally, within the first 5 minutes of the show…we were accosted with horrible camera work (quick shots and bizarre angles…almost to the point to inducing dizziness) and trashy scenes of topless women. I was mortified to be sitting in there with my family…especially 15-year-old Cooper.

But we persevered.

We all promptly got up and walked down the corridor to the theatre showing “The Illusionist,” which was just about to start.

The choice was inspired. (I wish I had listened to Ben and Hattie initially.)

Let me encourage all of you to go see “The Illusionist.” Set in turn-of-the-century Vienna, it’s a story about the investigation of stage magician Eisenheim after the mysterious death of Sophie von Teschen. Not only is the movie beautifully shot…it’s very clever and fun to watch. The characters are as compelling as the illusions performed by Eisenheim. And the acting is absolutely fantastic. I love Edward Norton…always. But I had the most fun watching Paul Giamatti…who is a chameleon of a character actor…brilliant.

I promise y’all will love the movie. Go see it.

Oh…and don’t worry about me. I plan to continue my walking…and I’m done with my Labor Day binge. It’s back to pumpkin/flax seed cereal and grilled chicken for me.

I will persevere.