Babel is one of those movies that ties multiple story lines together. Think Crash or Magnolia. In Babel, I liked each individual story. I thought the acting was great, especially Adriana Barraza, who plays a Hispanic nanny, and Rinko Kinkuchi, who plays an emotionally challenged deaf schoolgirl. I thought the cinematography was spectacular. But I'm not quite sure what it was all supposed to mean. I didn't need a heavy handed message like in Crash, but something more than someone being someone's housekeeper or someone selling someone a gun. I'm sure there is an obvious message I'm missing, but to me it seems like they reached to tie the plots together, and weakened the film in doing so. I would have preferred four short movies, with no attempt to tie them together.
Movies about royalty are not my bag, so I wasn't expecting much. But The Queen was actually pretty good. I would say that Helen Mirren is a lock for best actress for her portrayal of a Queen who was brought kicking and screaming by Prime Minister Tony Blair (played by ) to publicly emote over the death of Princess Diana. For reasons both traditional (dignity and a stiff upper lip vs. emotional displays) and personal (she didn't like Diana all that much), getting such a response was quite difficult, and makes for a surprisingly good story. But at the end of the day, it's still a movie about royalty.
3.Letters From Iwo Jima
Great war movie. Makes you think about "the other side". Beautifully shot, beautifully acted. Since everyone, including the soldiers, knows how this battle will end before it begins, there's an undercurrent of sadness throughout the film. It drags on a bit long and is a bit clunky at times, but still an excellent movie.
2.Little Miss Sunshine
Lost in all the hype and the eventual negative backlash surrounding LMS is the fact that the movie is just plain funny. And as hokey as some people claim the ending is, it simply made me feel good. And that's kinda hard to do. Alan Arkin does a great job as the heroin-snorting, perverted grandpa. Everyone else was good, but not deserving of any best actor/actress nominations.
Being a huge Scorsese fan, I'm probably biased, but this was the best time I had at the movies since Kill Bill 2. I've seen it three times now, and every time it gets better. If you think to deeply about things, you'll find holes in the plot, so my advice is don't think too deeply about the plot. Just enjoy it. I've also seen Infernal Affairs, the Japanese movie the Departed is based on. It doesn't happen a lot, but the remake is better. Great acting (Alec Baldwin is quickly becoming my favorite actor). Great cinematography. Great story. Best picture, easily.
So, since we're talking Scorcese, of course it won't win best picture.
SAN JOSE, Costa Rica - An American senior citizen killed an alleged mugger with his bare hands, and his traveling companions aboard a tour bus fended of two other assailants in the Atlantic coast city of Limon, police said.
A retired member of the U.S. military aged about 70 put suspect Warner Segura in a head lock and broke his clavicle after the 20-year-old and two other men armed with a knife and gun held up their tour bus, Luis Hernandez, the police chief of Limon, 80 miles east of San Jose, said Thursday. Segura was later declared dead, apparently from asphyxiation.
The two other men fled when the 12 senior citizens started defending themselves during the Wednesday attack. Afterward, the tourists drove Segura to the Red Cross where he was declared dead.
So, with my tax refund in my pocket, I decide it's time for once to not be a cheapskate and to finally spend good money on a good mattress. Don't get me wrong, we're not talking some sort of $1500 extravaganza pushed on me by some car dealer-esque bed salesman. We're still talking about me; the cheap gene was in check, but it was still there, so I headed off to Ikea.
The top of the line Ikea mattress is the Sultan Hasselback, and it's quite the deal at $400. But I spend $400 in one chunk almost never. So I did my homework. I've researched it online. I've tried it out in store. I like it. I want it. And now, thank you Uncle Sam, I can get it. I'm pretty excited.
I call Ikea.
“Do you have the Sultan Hasselback in stock”.
“Yes, we have 25 of them”.
But then reality hits, I don't have a truck. I have no friends available who have a truck. I am too cheap to pay the $80 Ikea delivery fee. There's an Enterprise phone at Ikea, but it's Sunday, and Enterprise is closed. U-Haul? That's thirty bucks or more after mileage and gas, but it still beats $80. But I hate that hassle, so let me try something first.
I post an ad on Craigslist offering any schmo with a truck $30 to haul my mattress from Ikea to East Sacramento. Soon after, I get a call. Awesome. This may work out after all.
So, I go to Ikea. I get the bin number to my mattress. My driver calls...he's there, ready to go. Awesome. I go to the bin where the mattress should be. It's empty. Fucking great. After a moment of panic, I ask a worker if they have them in stock. She looks it up. Sure enough, they have 25. She looks on the shelf. None. She tells me that since they are not on the shelf, that means they need to be taken down with a forklift. And, for safety reasons, they do not run forklifts during open hours. I tell her I hired someone to meet me here. She says I am more than welcome to come back when they close, or pay the $80 for home delivery.
At this point, I am confused and angry. Do they really not want my $400. I've seen people drop thousands at Ikea, so obviously they don't understand that this is kind of a big deal to me. But I must say, I've never tried to buy something that costs $400, that was IN STOCK, and been turned away, empty handed, and without apologies or any attempt to make me leave the store happy. And I did not leave the store happy.
Have you ever been in Target or something, and you shop around, and you pick up this and that and that and this and as you keep shopping a voice pipes up in your head, “Hey, do you really need all this shit?” Usually the answer is no, and you make another lap around the store, putting back all the shit in your cart. That's me. If you give me room to doubt a purchase, it will be doubted, and 8 times out of 10, I won't buy. I'm about at that point with this Ikea bullshit.
If you know me, you know I love Ikea. And until today, I've had only positive experiences. So, I'll give them one chance to make this situation right. I called corporate, and they are supposed to get back to me in 24-48 hours. At a bare minimum I expect free home delivery of my mattress. I'll let you know what happens, and if I should change the title of this post.