Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The One We've All Been Waiting For

Movie #21- The Notebook
Suggested by Me

So this is it! This is probably the one movie that I feel like everyone in the entire world has seen except for me. Some of you out there like it, some of you hate it. So I am going to end this feud once and for all!

The Notebook
Overall: 7/10
Deductions: LOTS of flesh, Noah's beard
Bonus Points: Dad eats pancakes for dinner, Rowing in a boat on a lake with that many ducks would be incredible. So long as they all decided not to turn against you...

I can honestly say I don't really know what to make of this movie. It wasn't horrible, but it wasn't great. Most of it for me was quite cliche. The whole story of forbidden love, separation, meeting again, having to finally decide whether to follow your heart or society's conventions- it's not exactly a new story. But the one thing that was a little different was at least the viewpoint of the characters when they are old and the twist of her haivng Alzheimers. I did find that storyline very touching (and simultaneously extremely depressing. I don't like movies that remind me of my own mortality and show me what I have to look forward to as I age. Blech.) So overall I can say that for those that love it, I don't see what the big deal is. For those that absolutely hate it and think it is the worst movie ever made, I would ask if you have ever seen Batman and Robin? Suddenly The Notebook is looking pretty darn good, eh?

And lastly, if there is anything in the world that The Notebook teaches us, it it this-

If you are watching a movie that has this guy in it:

Things are not looking good for his relationship...

Exhibit A: X-Men, boyfriend of Dr. Jean Grey, loses out to super hot Wolverine

Exhibit B: Enchanted, engaged to Giselle, loses out to McDreamy

Exhibit C: Superman Returns, engaged to Lois Lane, loses out to Superman (but who could really win that one?)

Exhibit D: The Notebook, engaged to Allie, loses out to Paul Bunyon, I mean, Noah

Someone really ought to tell him he's a terrible judge of character...

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Stone Cold Jane Austen

You like the awesome WWE reference to open my official Jane Austen smackdown?? Of course you do :) I was asked by three different readers to watch three different movies based on Jane Austen novels. I have never in my life read a novel by Jane Austen or seen a movie based on one either. And I have to admit I was not really excited by the thought of this task. However, after watching the three, I am totally surprised and happy to announce that they were actually pretty darn good! But which one prevails when they go head to head in a battle of Ladies, Lords and empire-wasted gowns? Let's find out, shall we?

Contestant #1- Sense and Sensibility
(Movie #18) Suggested by Sweeneyville reader Kaylee Adair

Kaylee was the photographer for the local paper who took my picture when my deep-fried Raccoon Fritters won the blue ribbon at the Polk County Fair. She was a little skeptical about my choice of ingredients, but one bite and she was slapping her grandma! Totally kidding, of course. I would never use raccoon, when armadillo is so much more tender. Kaylee is a former BYU roommate. She was a couple years older than the rest of us and she was probably the wisest of us too. We all loved her for her good example and ability to always get along. She lives in Utah with her hubby and two kiddos. She has the best funny stories about what her kids say and do. I thoroughly enjoy reading the updates on Facebook :)

Contestant #2- Persuasion
(Movie #19) Suggested by Sweeneyville reader Amy Schmutz

I met Amy on the TRAX train in Salt Lake City back in 2001. We were both on our way to a Winter Olympics Volunteer training meeting. Come to find out, Amy speaks Basque and was to be a translator to the Spanish short track speed skating team. Wow, that would be amazing to actually meet someone who speaks basque, wouldn't it? Amy is also a former BYU roomie. She was from my very first year, very first semester. She had a CAR and I remember the days of our awesome trips to Super Target with Jen. She was part of BYU Singers (elite singing group, it's a scholarship thing), so she is pretty much an amazing vocalist. She has two cute girls, one on the way, she sews the most adorable modest Barbie clothes AND she gets to do all that while moving to Las Vegas from St. George this month. Supermom? YES :)

Contestant #3- Pride and Prejudice
(Movie #20) Suggested by Sweeneyville reader David Bingham

Two years ago Jacob and I went to a Tampa Bay Rays baseball game. During the bottom of the 6th inning Evan Longoria hit a wicked foul just over the third base line wall and it was making a bee line right to my forehead. If it weren't for the guy sitting right behind me (David) and his cat-like reflexes, I wouldn't be here to write this blog. In return for his heroism, he demanded I sign an indentured servant contract and in only 5 more years I will be able to move back home. Yippee! Dave is actually my oldest brother. And I am still trying to find out if his suggestion of this movie was real or not.... He lives in Tallahassee with his fam and he graduates from FSU next month with some sort of IT degree. Which is pretty much a Bachelor's of Computer Hacking Skills. I think I need get one of those...

Sense and Sensibility
Overall: 9.1/10
Delores Umbridge!
Bonus Points: Snape! Rose! House!

I really enjoyed this movie because of the amazing cast of characters and possibilities of how it could turn out. I had absolutely no idea what was going to happen and the last thirty minutes were kind of torture for me. And I actually teared up a little at the end for Ms. Dashwood, well, actually both of them. Loved that the steady, noble, nice guy wins in the end. Plus, I am a total sucker for anything Hugh Grant.

Overall: 9.2/10
Two people taking bad falls in one movie
Bonus Points: Her entire horrible family was brilliantly acted, Aunt Petunia!

This movie plot was more of a "will they or won't they" kind of movie. You will like this movie because of three things: The main character, Anne, is the perfect underdog to root for, her sister the hypochondriac and her high-and-mighty father say some of the funniest things, and the dialogue is very witty and quick throughout. Thoroughly enjoyed this movie! And I dare say that you will too.

Pride and Prejudice (Kiera Knightly version)
Overall: 9.4/10
Mr. Darcy's giant sideburns and mini mullet were killing me
Bonus Points: Mr. Collins, The MUSIC

I just have to say that I really, really wanted to come away from this movie not liking it so much. Everyone I know loves it and it is by far the most popular Jane Austen story that gets redone and redone and redone. But darnit, I really, really loved it! This is a movie that I have been thinking about since I saw it. I even dreamed about it all last night. At first I was not impressed with Mr. Darcy's looks at all. But he totally grows on you! His hair definitely looked best in the rain. I admit, there are still a lot of unanswered questions for me about it, which maybe is why I kinda have to declare it the winner. But if all these movies were comparable for the most part in how good they were, then I guess the one thing that would push me over the edge for this movie was the music. I am a total move music person and the score to this movie was INCREDIBLE. I even bought a few of the songs off the soundtrack on Amazon this morning. Best movie music score I have heard since New Moon.

So as you can see, they were darn close to each other. It was actually terribly painful trying to pick a winner because they were all different, but all very good in their own way.

And watching all these movies was not completely frivolous, for here are three things I learned from watching Jane Austen movies:

1. Never, ever, EVER get caught in the rain. You will die.
2. Apparently it's quite acceptable and not uber-creepy to marry your cousin.
3. If you don't play the pianoforte, like to take long walks or enjoy gossipping, don't bother getting out of bed :)

Friday, November 26, 2010

And so the brainwashing begins...

My friend Davina had told me about a 5k in our area that was on Thanksgiving morning. I ran a Turkey Trot with her and my friend Michelle down in Bartow last November, but actually doing a race ON Thanksgiving sounded fun. So I signed myself up. And since they offered a kids Fun Run for $5, I signed Cindy up too. She is always, always talking about how fast she can run (despite any evidence of this fact whatsoever on the soccer field). So here was her chance to be like Mom and get out there and hustle!

A HUGE, GINORMOUS, INCREDIBLE Thank You to my dad who got up way early and drove us to the race. He waited with Cindy while I ran my race, he took pictures, he held all my stuff, he took us to 7-Eleven afterwards- I don't think anyone out there has a better Dad that I do :)

The day in picutres:

I actually did pretty decent. Especially since there were almost 500 people in this race! I serioulsy could not believe how PACKED this thing was. I ran it in about 27 minutes, which was great for me because I haven't had a really good run in a while. But it went fast, no cramps, great music- I was really pleased :) Plus in the last half mile I think I picked off about 7 ladies who seemed to be in my age group. And the only ones passing me, were groups of teenage boys. Which I can handle because they are young and haven't started to rust yet. I keep checking for the official race results online, but they have yet to post...

What's a Turkey Trot without a turkey?

Cindy is looking confident before her run!

Cindy did great, she got a ribbon and I am happy she got to go with me and start her own journey of running torture- I mean, greatness and joy.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

From the Island of Misfit Food

You may have noticed my blog posting has been a little sporadic over the past few days. While I would love to completely blame it on a busy schedule, the fact of the matter is that I pretty much can't be on the Internet while a certain someone in this house plays Xbox or it will cause him to "lag"- so I have about a 1 hour window each day to upload pictures and blog. I haven't been slacking, just being held hostage :)

My movie watching is still going well, however, I may be hard-pressed to physically get my hands on all the movies I need by Tuesday. I did not plan that as I should.

But in the meantime, it is once again time for me to present to you the Weird and Wacky World of County Food Drive Donations! (Insert applause here)

Each year my dad is in charge of the county-wide holiday food drive. So each year he sends out emails and drops off boxes at hundreds of locations and then has to pick up all the food and sort it out. Any food that is expired is disqualified. They are not allowed to officially distribute it to the needy. Then there are some donations that just leave you scratching your head. Each year I bring you these donations. So without further ado, here are this year's Foodie Awards...

Best Donation for Elves on the Go

A 1.7 ounce bottle of Pure Vermont Maple Syrup. Not sure if this was just a company trying to make a buck off the airport liquid regulations or what, but this bottle is TINY! It is not even enough for maybe more than 2 pancakes!! First, why does this exist? Second, why would you donate it?! And third, I'm a little afraid to try this because it might be so potent that they only sell it 1.7 ounces at a time.

Best Donation with an Air of Mystery

This has got to be the most random donation ever. Take a gander at this:

Some sort of magical fish bobber orb with a button on the front. It was still wrapped in plastic, and when it came into the office, everyone started to make bets on what was inside. The consensus was that it was candy. And just what was inside it? I will tell you:


Wow, I so did not see that one coming! I let Cindy open it the other night and I think she is still confused on what the heck was in it. It even came with a little stand to display it on AND a certificate of authenticity, which immediately discredits any value it may have. It came in a protective case and is actually really heavy. I could not stop laughing. And I am pretty sure the person that donated this thing is still laughing too.

Best Donation by A Person Who Got Really Hungry on the Way to Work

This is totally awesome: A box of Mueller's Spaghetti noodles that is missing half the noodles and the end is sealed up with Scotch tape. YES. Do people think that all the noodles are put into a giant barrel and then divvied out with a scooper?

Best Donation by a Repeat Offender

If you remember last year, someone donated a sweet can of Government Peaches. Well this year I am sure the exact same person donated this:

Government Powdered Eggs! It doesn't have an expiration date on it, but I can't wait to mix these up Saturday morning. It is the equivalent of 10 EGGS, people!

Best Afterthought Donation

You just went out to lunch. You see the food donation box and think, "Oh, crap, I really should put something in there so people see I am not a heel. Wait, I got a packet of Sonny's BBQ Sauce from lunch. Problem solved." I will put it with the Travel Syrup for a future business trip.

Best Donation for the Needy Caterer

Hey, it's hard times for everyone, buddy. Caterer's need to light their chafing dishes just like anyone else. So this donation of Sterno Canned Heat Cooking fuel will be a welcome sight, ok?

Best Donation by a Person With a Very Loose Definition of "Food"

Travel deodorant? Really? I will however, give 5 Bonus Points because it is Old Spice Fiji Scented and it smells amazing. (Puh, puh pow-pow pow puh POW-ER!) Between this, the travel syrup and the BBQ sauce, my 72-hour kit is SET.

Best Donation by Someone Who Obviously Lived Through the Great Depression

Half a bag of dark brown sugar in a Ziploc bag. Most of us would think, I can't donate that! But want not, waste not! This brown sugar is perfectly useful, pal! (Okay, actually just not for this particular food drive. There are rules against accepting things that really did come from The Great Depression).

Best Magical Donation

Wow, if I understand this correctly, you just add some water and BAM! You get a lasagna! The Bishop's Storehouse should really look into this one...

Best Donation by Someone Who Wants You to get Pulled Over for DUI

"No, officer, I swear, it's Budweiser WATER!" And actually, it really is! Take a look:

I don't know where this came from or why it is even on this planet, but it was supposed to be used within one year of June 2004. For now, it stays with me until the lights go out and the trucks stop rolling. Which may be sooner than we thought given the current leader of our country and his economic genius.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

#17- The Sting
Suggested by Sweeneyville reader Chris Sturgis

You did suggest this to me, didn't you? Somewhere? Sometime?

Chris was the repo man that came to take away my brand new Camaro back in 1999. I convinced him to arm wrestle me for it, and since I was hitting the BYU weight room 3 times a week, I won the contest and he left my apartment complex parking lot empty handed. Okay, in all seriousness, Chris is a friend I met out at BYU my freshman year. He is the one guy from freshman year @ BYU that I still keep in touch with. Let's see, he served a mission to Japan, he loves to golf, he is from Methuen, Massachusettes and was the first person to really teach me about "fluff" marshmallow cream. He just started school again to get his MBA, he is a darn good handyman, he loves his adorable neices and attention single ladies, he is available! Had to put that in there since he is becoming a menace to society by not being married in his old age. Just trying to help, Chris! :) He is a great friend, very funny and if I ever make it to Boston, my tour guide awaits me!

The Sting
Overall: 8/10
Deductions: length, is it a requirement that all goons and thugs be incredibly unattractive?
Bonus Points: Illustrated page titles helped me follow along quite nicely, Dana Elcar from MacGyver! And of course, Robert Redford. Oh, Robert Redford! :)

This movie kind of reminded me of Ocean's 11 or even Matchstick Men. (I actually love the movie Matchstick Men. The ending to that one blew my mind.) But getting back to the matter at hand, I really enjoyed this movie. Again, I was a little worried at the beginning that I wouldn't be able to follow the story or what was going on, but I caught on just fine. I am still not as good with the names of everyone, several times Jacob and I would ask each other "Who's Salino?" or another name we couldn't remember, but overall you knew the big characters. I was actually surprised with how it ended because I thought they would go for a some sort of crazy triple-cross or something in the end, but it still was pretty good. Overall it had good dialogue, a fair amount of action, it flowed good, it had some humorous moments and watching how they set up Lonnigan for the big payout was fun. Plus mobsters are always a good time, am I right?

#18- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1
Suggested by Sweeneyville reader The Entire World

Who am I to go against the suggestion of The Entire World and not see this movie? Actually, since I officially started reading all of Harry Potter books this summer, I was determined to be done with them by the time this movie came out so I could be super excited about seeing it in the theater. And it did not disappoint me!

Harry Potter 7
Overall: 9.5/10
Deductions: guy behind me in the theater that gave his opinion of every movie preview, I cried twice, music could have played a bigger role
Bonus Points: I was wearing my totally awesome Gryffindor Quidditch Team Seeker shirt at the movie. Boo-yah!

What is there to say? This movie was amazing! Especially if you read the book, because then you knew exactly what was going to happen in key parts and were much less scared. Always a plus :) From the very opening scene though, I felt so much emotion. I felt like I knew these characters so well and watched them all grow up, but I could feel the end was coming and was surprised by the intensity of my feelings! I cried when Harry saw his parents' grave and I heard many, many sniffles when Dobby was buried. It wasn't just me- so there! I thought they ended it in a great spot too. Nicely done. The mark of a truly great movie for me is when I don't take notice of the time. At all. Not even once. I was so sucked in to this one, it could have ended the next day and I wouldn't have noticed. Plus my super hot husband went and saw it with me, so I wasn't really in a hurry to go anywhere. Being my arm candy gets a little tiring, but he never complains :)

Monday, November 22, 2010

#16- The Great Escape
Suggested by Sweeneyville reader Brian Bingham

Brian was a telemarketer that called me last summer and tried to sign me up for Mini Perfume of the Month club. I signed up, but only on the condition I could have his personal phone number and call him at the most inconvenient times. So right when the first Super Bowl commercials were starting, when they announced Lee as the winner of American Idol and at 12:01am on June 30th, I called him. And he is so polite, he answered and talked to me every single time. Psych! I don't even wear perfume! Yeah, yeah, Brian is my little brother. He is pretty much your quintessential super polite, nice, really funny guy. He got back from his mission last December, and in the past year has already transferred to BYU, gotten married, and signed up to live in Mexico all next summer. He is amazing! This movie is his all-time favorite movie ever. So I thought I would see what the big deal is...

The Great Escape
Overall: 7/10
Deductions: LENGTH, length, and I don't think there was a a girl in this entire movie
Bonus Points: I finally get to know who the heck Steve McQueen is, his khaki pants must have Chuck Norris DNA in them because they are incapable of being destroyed

Here is the story: My dad and Brian both LOVE this movie. They talk about it all the time. My dad even has the official movie poster framed in his office. I just had never ever seen it. So maybe I was oversold, or maybe it's a guy thing, but I just thought this movie was pretty okay. I mean, the story was fascinating- the daring escape from a Nazi prisoner of war camp- how can you go wrong? Plus this was a totally true story. It really is remarkable, I get it. But I kept waiting for the big finish. I kept hearing of a very famous motorcycle chase scene at the end, but unless I fell asleep I just saw a guy taking a ride through the German countryside. I didn't really feel the suspense. Plus, at almost 3 hours, I was just a tad bit disappointed with the ending. I was expecting a really spectacular, "take-that-you-Nazi-cows' type of ending, but it was more like Jerry Seinfeld describing what a thoroughbred horse is thinking after a race. "That's it? We were just here! That was the longest possible way to get where we already were!" Maybe it should be called the The Great Almost Escape? Anyway, I am definitely not saying this movie was horrible or not worth watching. I definitely think it is, but perhaps I was just expecting something else in the end. Don't worry Brian and Dad, I still love you :)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Is it December yet?

I am thinking I should have picked February to do all my movie watching, because the past three days have been ridiculously busy AND with this week's annual presentation of the Weird and Wacky World of Food Drive Misfits, I don't see things calming down any time soon. But I am still watching movies and doing my best! It'll be a barn burner for sure, though. Stay tuned.

And now for a quick recap...

Thursday my friend Michelle and I headed out to Bok Tower Gardens with our boys for free admission with Polk County Family Week. Sad part is that in order to get free admission you had to donate canned food. I searched every nook and cranny of my entire house and found only THREE cans of non-expired food. THREE!! So Bok Tower got those and I am officially completley out of any canned goods that expire after October of 2010. Cool!! But the boys had a great time seeing nature, we got to feed the giant carp in the tower moat and Justin and Luke did some serious wrastlin' in a giant sand box just outside the park. Manly bonding time is always an excellent way to spend the day:)

Friday morning I got ready for my garage sale that I had Saturday morning. We also went to a soccer game for Jacob's team (our first this season). Luckily my mere presence did not cause his team play like the blind or lose 8-0 in the first half. They actually won 3-0 and still only have one loss on the season so far. Go Wildcats!

Then after the game I drove like a maniac down to Bartow to attend a trophy ceremony for Luke and his soccer team. Isn't it awesome when no one tells you the location has been moved so you miss the entire ceremony even though you were about a block away the entire time? I still don't want to talk about it. Grrrrrr.........

Saturday's garage sale went good. I sold a bunch of stuff that has been sitting on my patio for about 4 months. Ahhh, feels good to get rid of stuff. I still have to make a huge run to Goodwill with the leftovers, but at least when I take it there I know I gave it a fair chance to have a new home :) Cindy's soccer game that afternoon went much better than expected. Our team is still winless but they only lost 2-0 and actually had 3 shots on goal! It was a slight miracle. Only one more game to go. The end of the tunnel is in sight!!!!

So anyway, I am pretty sure that all next week for Thanksgiving I will be a movie-watching machine. Well, a movie-watching and early-morning-running machine. Jacob is off the entire week for Thanksgiving break (Yee-haw!) which gives me the liberty to run early in the morning. I need the practice because Cindy and I are actually signed up for a Thanksgiving morning 5K and fun run! Can't wait to play the militant Mom and demand she run her half a mile without stopping. She has been talking some serious smack about how she is a better runner than me. Really? Get ready for a rude awakening, girl. Here it comes!!!

Friday, November 19, 2010

A Tale of Two Woofs

#14- Teen Wolf
Suggested by Sweeneyville reader Krista Tripodi

Krista was the helicopter pilot when Jacob and I tooka ride over Kauai, Hawaii back in 2004. She thought she was pretty funny pretending the engine stalled out and nose diving us straight down into Waimea Canyon. How we remained friends is still a mystery. Yeah, right. Krista was one of my roommates at BYU my sophomore year. (One of 5 roommates in a ridiculously tiny apartment, I might add.) She was my encyclopedia of all things pop culture, and I was her encyclopedia of sports. It was a very symbiotic relationship. We also shared a love for boy bands, brownies, and thick sarcasm (among other things). The coolest things about Krista are that she is from Rhode Island (seriously), she now works for BYU as the PR director for the Engineering department, she is a very loyal and supportive friend, and she reads my blog completely voluntarily. She suggested I watch something with Michael J. Fox, and since I've only ever seen like one tiny clip of Teen Woof ever in my life, I decided it was time to see the whole thing and get some good 80's vibes going on.

Teen Wolf
Overall: 8/10
Deductions: Pamela, Stiles, the horrendous 80's music and fashion nearly killed me

Bonus Points: Francis Buxton!, Jacob now has an awesome coach/role model to look up in Teen Woof's basketball coach, Bobby Finstock and we now know what it would look like if Chewbacca settled down with a special lady wookie and had a child that played High School basketball

So the question is, does a movie that makes you laugh because it is so ridiculous still get points for being a "funny" movie? Because I really did laugh out loud at this movie. Mostly because it was so goofy, but I still laughed! The best thing about this movie is that when he turns into a Werewoof, everyone stares, thinks about it, accepts it, and then he becomes a basketball celebrity and life goes on. I am impressed they avoided the classic "I will awkwardly try to hide this from everyone as long as I possibly can" plot. It was much funnier to have him be out in the open from the get go. You know, so he could go to school dances, wear clothes and sunglasses, star in the school play, things like that. Best of all this movie was only 90 minutes! Jacob and I put the kids to bed and were done by our own bedtime. Sweet! So in the grand scheme of things, Jacob Black may be (okay, definitely is) the best looking teen werewoof there ever was, but did he take his high school to the regional basketball championships? I don't think so. Teen Woof, you rule the school :)

#15- Dances with Wolves
Suggested by Sweeneyville readers John and Julianne Christiansen

Back in the summer of 1995 I ran away from home. My parents weren't going to tell me not to go to chess camp! I wandered the streets of Central Florida for 2 months, and ended up at a homeless shelter in Yeehaw Junction. John and Julie were the pastor and wife of a local Baptist Church located just down the road. The would come in every day and play Boggle with me and it was they who ultimately guided me to return home. I will never forget them. Man, I have quite a life, haven't I?! Let's see, John and Julie used to be in our ward here in Lakeland. Still working on getting them to come back from Texas somehow. Did I mention it's November 19th and 85 degrees outside? Julie holds the title of the bestest Ward Music Conductor ever- not only does she know how to do it really well, but she smiles and makes you want to sing! I dare you not to! John is a super duper accountant math guy and was pretty good at indoor soccer back in the day when mixing it up with my older brothers and the other guys from church. Anyway, they have two handsome sons and are some of the kindest, geniuinely fun people I know. And they will come back one day!

Dances with Wolves
Overall: 9/10
Deductions: Length, Kevin Costner's ever increasing mullett, Stands with Fists' anti-gravity hair
Bonus Points: indian names were awesome, Cindy walked in at 3 random times and saw a bleeding, skinned buffalo, a horse being shot and then a guy getting tomahawk'd in the back. Nothing like learning about your heritage!

I won't lie, I was not looking forward to this movie. I knew it was LONG. And the other thing I knew was that it was LONG. So, I was expecting nothing more than just 5 hours of torture. But you know what? This movie was very, very good. I actually really liked it! In fact, I even cried a little at the end! I didn't know ahead of time what the story was or the background or anything. But this was an extremely well done period piece that taught me a lot about history. I was very impressed with the story and ultimately glad I took the time to watch it. In truth it was only 3 hours, not 5 :) I couldn't give it the full 10 out of 10 because Kevin Costner never actually danced with a wolf. I was epecting a nice foxtrot or a waltz. I guess I will have to wait for the sequel.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Finally, I get to watch something about cross-dressing!

#13- Tootsie
Suggested by Sweeneyville reader Linda Bingham

Okay, when I first asked my mom to borrow some of her movies, she threw in this VHS in the giant bag she gave me and said, "Well, you gotta watch Tootsie!" So I did :)

Deductions: song "It might be you" is in this movie, title constantly made me crave a chocolaty-filled candy sucker
Bonus Points: Bill Murray!

For some reason I thought Dustin Hoffman's character dressed up as a woman to get a job as a news anchor. But it was actually to get a job as an actor on a Soap Opera. Who knew? I think the good thing about this movie is that since it was made back in the 80's, it's a fairly clean movie. If this had been made today, it would have been too easy for it to get very raunchy, I am sure. Dustin Hoffman did an amazing job playing a woman. She wasn't the most feminine thing in the world, but he did it! It was believable and totally convincing. He was actually nominated for Best Actor for that role (Tootsie got 10 noms altogether) but only Jessica Lange got the award for Best Supporting Actress. The only real thing that kind of bothered me about the movie was the ending. I am pretty sure that if someone who you considered to be a very close personal friend turned out suddenly to be of the opposite sex, you wouldn't want to have anything to do with them. It might be a bit awkward, shall we say. That's my take, anyway. Overall the movie was very entertaining and I finally got to see the famous scene of him (her?) wearing the shimmering red dress in front of the American flag. (It was for the cover of The New Yorker, by the way...) So as they sing in the movie, "Roll, Tootsie, Roll!"

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Don't toy with me...

#12- Toy Story 3
Suggested by Sweeneyville editor-in-chief, ME

You know, I wasn't always the refined, classically-trained writing machine you have come to know and worship, I mean, admire. No, I started out small. I paid my dues, did my time. It all started when I was 10 and wrote for my elementary school newspaper, "The Wedgie." My expose on field-day sexism really put me on the map and by the time I got to middle school, I was publishing a monthly column called "Under the Bus." I called it this not because I was finding out sordid information on fellow students and ratting them out, but because I would actually crawl under a school bus and see what it looked like. You would be shocked at some of the things that get caught up in there! Anyway, I continued to write all through high school and college and almost three years ago began Sweeneyville. So what's next for me? What bigger fish are there to fry? Not really sure yet, but I'm hoping it involves lots of waffles.

Toy Story 3
Overall: 7/10
Deductions: plot and script de ja vu, another conveyor belt of doom? (complete with daring last-minute rescue of the bad guy)
Bonus Points: Latin lover Buzz, nice ascot!, movie trilogy rides off happily into the sunset

Verdict: Having seen the first two installments of this movie franchise, it was inevitable that me and the kids would want to see the final chapter. So this past Friday night we redboxed it and gave it a little look-see. I'm not gonna lie, and this is hard to say, but this movie kinda bored me to death. I really, really, wanted to just love this movie. I love Toy Story and I really enjoyed Toy Story 2. Both are excellent movies, but a third installment was just a little too much for me. It's not like I hated the movie, it's just the entire plot, some of the jokes, and some of the dialogue all felt a little too familiar to me (i.e. "What matters is that we're there when Andy need us" and the one toy you think you can trust actually turns out to be evil! No way.) Don't get me wrong, it had some very funny moments. Some of the toy jokes and characters were pretty darn funny. Barbie and Ken together were hysterical. I think you could almost make a little movie of just them. (I loved the part at the beginning when they call Ken down from the dream house and he takes the little elevator on the side. Classic.) Anyway, I still think everyone should see this movie. After all, we need some closure for our relationship with Woody, Buzz and the whole gang after all these years. But technically speaking, you could just watch the last 10 minutes for that :)

Monday, November 15, 2010

It's been an Odd Day's Night

#10- The Odd Couple and #11- A Hard Day's Night
Suggested by Sweeneyville reader Mike Bingham

Seeing as how I have yet in my short life to see anything by playwright Neil Simon, I knew I had to see one of his movies for this project, so I chose The Odd Couple. And seeing as how I gave my dad the movie A Hard Day's Night for Christmas last year, it's only fair that I borrow it and enjoy it for my own benefit, as any great gift to a family member should ultimately be used :)

The Odd Couple
Overall: 9/10
Deductions: is there really such a thing as an 8 bedroom apartment?!
Bonus Points: great theme song, Piglet plays poker, loved when Felix "tells off" Oscar towards the end :)

I guess the one thing Neil Simon is known for in his is writing are the amazing dialogues, and rightly so. The dialogue in this film was so funny and never missed a beat. Walter Matthau and Tony Curtis were perfect foils of each other and watching them interact was incredibly entertaining. I mean, you know they are gonna drive each other absolutely nuts, but watching it unfold is a real treat. Plus Felix makes OCD fun, doesn't he? Who sends a suicide telegram? Who calls their wife who just threw them out to get her meatloaf recipe? Only Felix. So if you ever wonder about your own obssessive-compulsive habits, watch this movie and see where you fall on the scale. Are you an Oscar or a Felix? Personally, I think I'm a Osclix. Right in the middle.

A Hard Day's Night
Overall: 8/10
Deductions: British accents a little mumbled, (is my hearing going out?) George looks like the wolfman (I'm sorry, but the good looks wagon passed him by), and, SERIOUSLY, EVERYONE SMOKED IN THE 60's- EVERY. SINGLE. PERSON.

Bonus Points: Music show director was also in Start the Revolution Without Me (NO WAY!), his super hairy v-neck sweater was soooo groovy, loved the "very clean" escaping Grandpa. His entrance through the floor at the end was classic.

Verdict: If you like The Beatles, you will like this movie. And if you like the music of The Beatles, you will like it even more. And if you don't like the Beatles or their Music, we cannot be friends anymore. Sorry, it's a matter of principle. The movie is basically just a day-in-the-life story of the most famous band on the planet. If you are younger like me, you probably have only seen the Beatles in TV and film clips here and there, but have never really seen them in any sort of footage longer than about 5 minutes at a time- especially when they weren't singing. So it was really interesting and fun to see these guys who are so incredibly famous horsing around and being terribly silly. I am hoping that this depiction is what they were truly like back in the day; happy-go-lucky, quirky, mischievious and so very British. The accents make anything they say hilarious, especially little Ringo. Plus, this movie really is a piece of pop culture history, so you pretty much have to see it eventually. I'll be checking up on that...

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A Cindy Quickie

Still watching movies! I have watched one every day so far (even despite my very busy weekend), but I will play catch up this week on the write-ups. Wait, where have I heard that before? No, really. Two tomorrow :) In the meantime, for your entertainment....

Today at lunch we were sitting at the table as a family. As is custom on Sundays, we asked Cindy what she talked about in her Sunday School class that morning. Usually she hems and haws and says she can't remember. But today she was totally prepared. When asked, she replied, "We learned that Satan's real name is Louis." (Incidentally, his last name is Tully and he is an accountant in New York. But I think they are covering that next week...)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Well, then, that's one thing we've got

#9- Breakfast at Tiffany's
Suggested by Sweeneyville reader Linnley Sweeney

Linnley came to my door selling magazine subscriptions last summer. She just needed to earn 500 points and then her whole church youth group would go on a humanitarian mission trip to a Honduran orphanage. Who was I to turn down 12 issues of Modern Ferret? We've kept in touch, and every time I read about "10 Things Your Ferret Will Never Tell You", I think about her. How could I ever expect you to swallow that? I just told you a few days ago that Linnley is my sister-in-law :) However, she is also a triathlete, half-marathoner, student, wife, swimming teacher- what is there that Linnley doesn't do? Not much, apparently :) I have been wanting to see this movie forever! So I was very happy she suggested I watch it. Yay for Linnley!

Breakfast at Tiffany's

Overall: 8/10

Deductions: they never actually eat breakfast at Tiffany's, Audrey Hepburn's permabulb hairdo and mini bangs made me a little crazy, minus 100 points for leaving a cat in the pouring rain, and I contracted lung cancer just by watching this movie
Bonus points: Jed Clampett AND Hannibal Smith?!! The over-the-top stereotype of her chinese upstairs neighbor (you could do anything in movies back then...), amazing hats and even more amazing cigarette holders. How very Pink Panther-esque!

Again, this was another movie that I had zero information about prior to watching it. I read the back cover of the VHS tape and that was all I had to go on. So I really didn't know where it was going or how or when it would end. The story was interesting enough. The only problem with it, as I was telling Jacob last night, is I hate how in movies there is always some beautiful free-spirited girl who is an absolute mess, but because of her good looks and adorable quirkiness, the leading man just can't stay away from her. "She's unlike anyone he's ever met before" and he can't help but put up with all her crap in hopes of taming her in the end. Oh brother. Why can't the guy fall for the girl who actually has it together? Anyway, aside from that, the movie was very enjoyable. Audrey Hepburn and Fred, baby were great together. And the scene in the movie where they have an absolute swinging sixties socialite party in her apartment was amazing. The smoking! The drinking! The intoxication! The music! The jocularity! I enjoyed it thoroughly. I am still confused on one part, though, so if anyone can clear this up for me, please help. I am still not sure about Paul's "decorator" lady friend. Exactly what is the relationship there? I mean, I am sure they were romantically involved, but was it only because she was helping him financially? Helping him to get his writing published? They never clearly resolved that for me. Overall, it is an interesting story. Check out it and give me your take if you haven't seen it :)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Luke Quickie

Luke's room smelled a little too clean and refreshing when I got home last night from Activity Days up at the church, so after a little searching, I found out why.

Behind the toy container in his closet, he was storing his secret stash of seven bars of opened soap. If only he intended to actually personally use these one day...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Bow WOW!

#8- My Dog Skip
Suggested by Sweeneyville reader Linda Bingham

I won't event try to make up something ridiculous about my mom, you all know who she is. Or do you? :) She has a few movies for me to watch this month, but I decided to start with the one that would make her the most proud of me. See below for an explanation. Anyway, what is there to say about my mom? She likes roller skating, making homemade applesauce and buying way too many Christmas presents because stores them like nuts for winter in her closet (beginning in August) and forgets what she even bought. A genetic trait she has now passed on to me. She also loves boxes. All shapes, sizes and kinds. If you ever give her a present, give it to her in a cool box. The actual gift can totally suck, but she won't care because the box will be so cute. And finally, my Mom is the best Holiday celebrater there is. Without fail, she will deliver to each of her children's family a Halloween package, Thanksgiving package, Valentine's package, Easter package, etc. every year- complete with shirt, candy, handicraft and cutesy container. I love that about my Mom :) And not just because I am the benefactor of said generosity, but because she is so diligent! Thanks, Mom :)

Overall: 9/10
Deductions: moonshiners, how can an all-american hero have the name "Dink"?
Bonus points: Ending was not predictable, Kevin Bacon's character was neither a drunk nor a wifebeater, Frankie Muniz can really cry himself some tears!

Verdict: Let me just start by saying that if I had a nickel for every time over the past ten years that my mom has gasped the words, "You've never seen 'My Dog Skip?!!!" I would be living quite nicely somewhere in the Virgin Islands. My mom LOVES this movie. I had never even really heard of it. It came out in 2000 and at that time I was out at school in Utah, seriously dating Jacob and I can tell you that a dog movie was most definitely not on my radar. So this was my chance! My chance to FINALLY, FINALLY watch My Dog Skip and tell my mom, "YES, I have seen it!!!" And also a big "Thanks a lot, jerk!" because I cried my eyes out!!! It destroyed me! Oh, the humanity! And the thing of it is, the dog lives! He has a long and happy life! There really isn't even that much real sadness in the movie, but it's just so poetic in the storytelling- it's like a heartwarming, thinking man's version of "The Sandlot." Anyway, my kids liked it and thought the dog was so adorable, but not being an adult they really miss the poignancy of the movie. So if you are feeling like watching a nice, solid, emotional coming of age story of a boy and his dog, see this movie. It doesn't really get more American than this. And unless your emotion chip has been disabled, make sure you have some tissues handy.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Good day, Mate!

#7- Australia
Suggested by Sweeneyville reader Misty Bingham

Two years ago when we got our bunny Rosa, she stopped eating for about a week. I became terribly worried about her health and finally resorted to calling a pet psychic. And that was first time I met Misty. Okay, not even close. Misty is married to my brother David. They live up in Quincy (outside of Tallahassee, FL) and have two kids, Laurel and Addison. Misty is a professional cake baker lady. To make yourself feel completely inadequate about your apparently lame cake baking skills, check out her blog here. Go on, you know you want to. She really does make amazing things. She does wedding cakes, birthday cakes, retirement cakes, and she could even manage a "sorry I backed into your RV" cake if she had enough fondant. As of recently she bakes three cakes a day for a local restaurant and gets rave reviews. Another piece of interesting trivia about her is that I actually think that Misty was the very first person ever to tell me she was reading a book called "Twilight." And I couldn't have cared less. But alas, she was patient, and I came around! And now we share the obsession together :) She also is Relief Society President of her branch and really, really likes to watch movies. Much like my mom, she has seen everything! And I am sure by the last week of the month, I will be getting some more suggestions from her to fill in the gaps.

Overall: 7.5/10
Deductions: Length, predictable ending, and I am now deathly afraid of being trampled by 1500 head of cattle
Bonus Points: Actual kangaroo in the movie, actual Australian actors in the movie, and Hugh Jackman is very easy on the eyes if you get what I'm saying. Wowzers.

About the only thing I knew about this movie going into it was that is was a long one. And it had good cinematography. And that was about it. So imagine my surprise when it also was about cattle, racism, adoption and Australia being attacked by the Japanese after they attacked the US at Pearl Harbor! Who knew? From a historical standpoint, this movie was very educational. I don't really remember ever being taught about the events of Australia's history. I thought the child in the movie had a very cute accent and voice. And the mysterious Grandfather was portrayed by what had to be the oldest living Aboriginal man on the planet, who I am sure is not even an actual actor. He was just a native they found in the outback, they shoved him in the movie and whispered him a few lines. And he was amazing. Hugh Jackman was a little too "Wolverine" to me at some points of the movie- (not like that's a bad thing, eh?), but overall I liked the story. I was confused at the very beginning trying to figure out who was who and what was happening, but if you stick with it, you understand exactly what's going on. Anyway, good pick, Misty! Luke's favorite part was when one of the cows fell off the cliff and into the canyon. Just thought you should know...

Monday, November 8, 2010

Read Me

#6- Alice in Wonderland (2010)
Suggested by Sweeneyville reader Nathan Sweeney

We met Nathan last summer on Facebook. He is a distant relative we never knew we had! Don't you just love Facebook?? He is Jacob's uncle's half-brother's son. He currently lives in Wichita, Kansas and works for the City's Leisure Services Department. His idea for the Blindfolded Cornfield 5k really put him on the map out there. He plans to visit us this Christmas and the kids are just dying to finally meet him! Well, that isn't exactly accurate. Of course, he is really one of my brothers-in-law. He is married to Linnley and they live in Salt Lake while they both finish school at the wretched, I mean, adequate University of Utah. My kids absolutely ADORE Nathan. Probably because he is way too nice and lets them torment him constantly every time he is here. He plays games with them, talks on skype with them- I am sure the kids would have to think for a minute if they ever had the choice to dump me and Jacob and go with Nathan and Linnley. He likes Xbox, soccer, and cookies- which certifies that he is a true Sweeney boy :)

Alice in Wonderland (2010)
Deductions: a little long, Mad Hatter's eyes constantly creeping me out, and what is the deal with the Queen's right hand man looking so animatronic?
Bonus Points: Surprisingly easy to follow for a Tim Burton movie, Alice's dresses were pretty amazing throughout the movie (except for the first one in real life- YUCK) and I'm ordering a pig ottoman online later today

Verdict: To be honest I am not really a fan of Tim Burton movies. They always get a little weird for me and make my brain hurt by the end. Having said that, this movie wasn't half bad. Having known the story of Alice and Wonderland was a huge help, because most things were immediately familiar to me, but it still had enough new stuff and quirks to keep it interesting. Johnny Depp was great as the Mad Hatter, and his futterwacken really was quite good. I had no idea that Anne Hathaway was in this movie! She was great but I really, really wanted to redo her lipstick every time I saw her on screen. The Queen of hearts looked and acted so downright bizarre but eventually I got used to it and kind of liked her character by the end. What a regrettably large head she has!

Okay, here is the real pic of Nathan and Linnley :)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Did that just happen?

I'm still working on my movie watching, don't want to worry you. But while my watching is on time, my write-ups have gotten behind. However, by the end of the week I will be squared :) I do need to take time out to tell a quick story. Last night we had some chilly weather here in Florida (mid-50's!!!!), so the kids and I did a campfire in the backyard in our outdoor fireplace. We roasted marshmallows, almost set the house on fire, threw random things into the flames, and got nice and smokey. At the end I went to the side of my house to pull out the garden hose so I could douse the fire completely. It was totally dark except for the fire, so when I hauled out the hose and it got stuck, I assumed it was caught on one of my garden boxes. So I gave it a giant yank. And then I heard a snap, and then water started spewing out of the side of my house in true Niagra Falls fashion. I broke the little spigot right off the pipe! Remember the expression Doc Brown made in Back to the Future when the model Delorean time machine runs off his homemade diorama and drives into a trash can and lights it on fire? That was my exact reaction, multiplied by 114. However, here is where the miracle ocurred; since I was in charge of the pipes when we did the laundry room, I knew how to fix it. Let me wow you one more time: I knew how to fix it! AND I DID! All by myself in under two hours. In your face, Roto Rooter! Sorry for the horn tooting, but stuff like that doesn't happen every day. Especially when it comes to me and plumbing :)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

When in Sweeneyville

#5- When In Rome
Suggested by Sweeneyville reader Karin Salisbury

I met Karin 6 years ago when I had jury duty. We were assigned the case of woman suing a furniture store for damages after she twisted her ankle tripping over her own 18-month-old son. Karin was the only other juror to vote with me on the side of the store owners. That is how I knew she and I were meant to be lifelong friends. Gotcha! Karin is actually one of my friends that I have known the longest. We go all the way back to 1995! Or is it even before that? We have so many good memories together; of EFY, Youth Conferences, dances, camp- yep, we have had some good times. Karin is also a certified Supermom. She has 6 kids and still manages to do more nice things for more people on a daily basis than I manage in about 8 months. She really is an incredible lady. She has an amazing blog too, read it here. (Hers actually is uplifting, motivating and inspiring, rather than mine which is well, you know...) I am watching 2 movies for Karin for this challenge and this one was the first. I know that Karin loves this movie (I even bought it for her birthday this year) but I had never seen it. And since I promised her I would one day, well- promise fulfilled!

Disclaimer: Karin would want you to know that she watches this movie only on ClearPlay (a movie sanitizing device that cleans up anything inappropriate in any film you watch) so she gave me her recommendation based solely on the version that she sees when she watches it. See? I told you she was good!

Overall: 7/10
Deductions: strangest looking "assistant/best friend" I have ever seen in a movie- her eyes are like ping pong balls!!!
Bonus Points: Scene where they all cram into the tiny italian car together was priceless, CAMEO BY PEDRO SANCHEZ- How did I not know about this?!

Verdict: I don't really think I have seen a movie or show with Kristen Bell or Josh Duhammel before, but they are both very likeable and thoroughy cute. I thought they had good chemistry together and their comedic timing was not half bad. Jacob even saw this movie with me! And he didn't fall asleep or simply walk out of the room, so this is a veritable 5-star review from him. I also loved the delightfully bizarre ensemble of weirdos that fall in love with her. The best was the creepy magcian, John Heder. When he tried to escape his mummy wrap while hanging from her apartment ceiling, I laughed out loud. Overall I thought it was silly, yet entertaining and a great way to escape for a hour or so. I watched it, Karin! Aren't you proud of me?!

Friday, November 5, 2010

At long last

#4- Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid
Suggested by Sweeneyville reader Mike Bingham

No sense in trying to fool you on this one. If you don't know by now who Mike Bingham is, well, you aren't reading this blog enough! He is, of course, my dad. (And according to this picture I found of him, some sort of humorless bank manager). He and my mom are actually the whole inspiration for this blog challenge. So many times when I have been talking with my dad he will reference a classic movie. And when I give him a completely empty look because I haven't seen the movie, he says with puzzled incredulity "You've never seen that movie?!" And let me just tell you what kind of movie person my mom is. She has seen every movie ever made. No really. Have you ever played the game Balderdash? The version where sometimes they give you a movie title and you have to make up the plot? More often that is normal, my mom knows the actual plot of the movie in question because she has seen it in real life. Is that not amazing? She really has seen a lot of movies. And she is even worse when it comes to being shocked by my lack of movie watching. So in an effort for them to not be embarassed by my culturelessness, I am watching about three movies for each of them. Plus, this way we can also have meaningful two-way conversations in the future :)

Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid
Overal Score:9/10
Deductions: What is with cowboys that mumble?
Bonus points: Robert Redford's mustache was a thing of beauty, the ending, and Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head comes from THIS movie!

Verdict: I really have been wanting to see this movie for quite some time and I am so glad I finally did. I think I really have been missing out in life. Because this is one of the first real classic Paul Newman or Robert Redford movies I have ever seen, and I can say a big "Oh, I get it now" because those two are quite the lookers! Oh my goodness. That alone made me stick around til the end. (But in the end I'm like Etta- I choose Sundance :) Plus, I was seriously surprised by the fact that it all culminates in BOLIVIA! I had no idea. And classic lines? Oh, this was full of them. But here are my favorites:

Butch Cassidy: You know, it could be worse. You get a lot more for your money in Bolivia, I checked on it.
Sundance Kid: What could they have here that you could possibly want to buy?

Percy Garris: That's what happens when you live 10 years alone in Bolivia: you get colorful...

Butch Cassidy: [to Sundance] If he'd just pay me what he's spending to make me stop robbing him, I'd stop robbing him!

Butch Cassidy: Alright. I'll jump first.
Sundance Kid: No.
Butch Cassidy: Then you jump first.
Sundance Kid: No, I said.
Butch Cassidy: What's the matter with you?
Sundance Kid: I can't swim.
Butch Cassidy: Are you crazy? The fall will probably kill you.

Also, I now get the full connection of the names "Hole In The Wall" and "Sundance", which both Paul Newman and Robert Redford used in their business ventures to this very day. Always thinkin', that's me. So if you haven't seen this movie, you really ought to.

Did I mention Robert Redford and Paul Newman are in this movie?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

I confess! I watched another movie!

#3- Confessions of a Shopaholic
Suggested by Sweeneyville reader Meredith Cardall

(No one is really creeped out by me stealing photos of them off Facebook, right? Okay, good, just checking...)

Meredith and I go way back. During my Junior year in High School we interned together at the local television station. She was working on her dream of becoming the next morning weather girl, while I was learning the ins and outs of making coffee for the boss. Oh, those were the days! Okay, in actuality Meredith is one of Jacob's friends since way back when he lived in Maryland. She and Jacob went to high school together, early morning seminary together, dances together, and were in yearbook together. I met Meredith out at BYU for the first time in 1999, as she and I were both attending school there and she has basically been stalking me ever since. Totally kidding! We are Facebook friends, it's all good :) Meredith is what is technically described as a "crazy wicked talented digital scrapbooker." No, really. She has her own website and designs her own kits! They. are. incredible. Go ahead, check them out here. Plus she takes these amazing pictures of her two adorable girls. Oh, they are so cute! Anyway, she is a truly talented super mom and apparently quite the movie addict. She told me it would be a challenge for her to watch less than 30 movies in 30 days. I feel so inadequate! Anyway, Meredith gave me many movies to choose from, so I just picked one that would not be repeated (and one that was currently on Netflix Instant Play). However, she did recommend another movie that I will probably have to watch by the end of the month. I will leave you all in suspense on that one. Finally, Meredith gets 10 extra cool points for once having lived in Florida :)

Confessions of a Shopaholic
Overall: 6/10
Deductions: Too distracting to keep reminding myself the lead actress was NOT Amy Adams (her name is Isla Fisher), my mannequin phobia has been rekindled
Bonus Points: British guy was handsome AND named Luke, the scene where she Latin danced very badly made me laugh out loud she was so genuinely awful, that girl really has amazing hair!!!

This was probably the first romantic comedy I have watched in over a year. Seeing as how watching Julie & Julia almost put Jacob into some sort of boredom-induced coma and nearly killed him, I purposely watched this during the day while Jacob was at school. I will definitely follow this pattern for when I have my Jane Austen smackdown. More on that later. But, I had really high hopes for this movie! It could have been so much better, but unfortunately it fell a little short. The screenplay needed more strength and the relationships between all the characters didn't really have time to develop. But it was definitely cute and clean, I loved her parents, and it prompted an excellent discussion with Cindy about financial responsibility and ridiculous shoes. Win-win!


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Where's my bustle?

Before I start, I just have to say that it took almost 32 years, but I have a cavity. Blecch. Okay, as you were.

#2- The Man From Snowy River
Suggested by Sweeneyville reader
Sarah Foley

Sarah was an at-risk youth I met in a mentoring program during the summer I spent in Spokane, WA when I was 20 years old. She had potential. I just knew she could overcome her current life of crime and make something of herself one day. We kept in touch over the years and she is now Cindy and Luke's Godmother. Actually, in real life (and not in the strange land of Fibberville I was just living in) Sarah is one of the young women I had the pleasure of working with when I served in that organization in my Church ward a few years ago. She is an amazing girl. If you remember back to when I went to the Twilight: New Moon midnight movie premiere, she was there. And anyone wanting to be seen in public at the midnight movie with me is amazing. But I think I like Sarah so much because we have a lot in common: same High School Alma Mater, (GO BARTOW!), a deep abiding love for the music of David Archuleta, we both blog, we both type really fast (although apparently her wpm and non-error efficiency is from another planet) and best of all we are BYU COUGARS! I am living my Freshman year again vicariously through her :) She tolerates me way more than she should...

The Man From Snowy River
Overall Score: 7/10
Deductions: a little slow moving, cowboys mumble a lot, there was only snow in 1% of the movie
Bonus points: Main character's name was Jessica, multiple usage of the word Wallaby, Clancy the horse mystic had a Chuck Norris-ness that was irresistible

I had in my mind that this was some kind of Mormon movie because it seems all my Mormon friends have seen it and love it. I was actually surprised that it's not, and it takes place in Australia! Who knew? Well, not me obviously. Anyway, this movie was very pleasant. Kirk Douglas did good in his ode to Parent Trap duality. Spur in particular was a delight in all his hillbilly glory. I was a little unclear as to what the real plot of the movie was (as I was watching it and having not known anything about it), but in the end Jim brings in those brumbies, makes his fortune and wins the girl. Thanks for the suggestion, Sarah! I have joined an exclusive club today :)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

And so it begins...

We made it to November, so 30 Movies in 30 Days begins now! A few ground rules: The movie that each reader chose isn't necessarily their favorite movie, it just happens to be one they recommended and one that I have not seen. And I don't actually have to watch one per day, just so long as I get 30 in by the end of the month. Thanksgiving Day might be a hard one anyway. What, with all that tryptophan coursing through my veins...

#1- How To Train Your Dragon
Suggested by Sweeneyville reader Christina Lunsford

Christina was born on a small farm in Wheeling, West Virginia. She was inquisitive, bright, and loved animals. She dreamed of becoming a small town veterinarian by day and a fishmonger by night. Okay, okay. You got me. None of that is true; I don't know what came over me! Actually nothing came over me, that is just how I am all the time. But I digress... Now for the real 411 on Christina. She is a dear friend who used to live here in Lakeland and be in my church ward, until my mad writing skills wrote a magical profile on LDSLinkUp. Brandon, upon reading it and being the smart boy he is, snatched Christina right up and took her away to the enchanted land of Arkansas, for which we all have still not forgiven him. Totally kidding, Brandon! All of us here in Lakeland miss both of you guys a ton and give oodles of thanks and appreciation for not only being great friends, but also for your service to our country. Christina is in the National Guard, Brandon was Army. Seriously, they look unassuming, but don't mess with them. They've got their eyes on you...

How To Train Your Dragon
Overall Score: 8/10
Deductions: Length, lack of women
Bonus points: Great music!
Verdict: I actually really, really liked this movie. It was very funny to me. (I like my humor like I like Luke's bed in the morning: Dry) And best of all, Cindy got totally sucked in and was almost crying by the end. Sucker!! (I had tried to get her to see this movie about 10 times previously, but she insisted this was a "boy movie" and wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole. Nanner, nanner on her!) Luke on the other hand, took several breaks to put together a puzzle, do some lace-n-trace, get a drink, etc. but he did laugh at a few parts and acknowledge the movie's presence. Thanks, Christina! I give this two talons up :)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Check Me Out!

When I went to check Cindy out from school early last Thursday to go to the Halloween parade, I wasn't prepared with a witty excuse of why she was leaving. I am so disappointed in myself! Plus, the office was busy and I just ended up writing 'Parade' in the space provided on her sign out sheet. Ughh. I hate being lame. After this horrendous failure, I have decided never again to be unprepared! I have composed the following Top Ten List to aid me in all my future early check-outs. I think I might even check Cindy out early every day next week, just to try these out.


10. She got called into work. Again.
9. Explaining the significance of the Barbie movies at today's Rotary Luncheon
8. Has monthly meeting with her parole officer
7. Her Dad needs her to come home and defeat the Dustwallow Marsh on Level 9 of World of Warcraft
6. Has to pack for her solo trip around the world on a Razor Scooter
5. She has a fever.....for the flavor of a Pringle!
4. She's really good at killing spiders and there's a huge one in my shower
3. 18 holes of golf don't play themselves!
2. Hasn't seen Iron Man in over 2 hours and is near death (Oh, wait, that is a reason to check Luke out of school early...)
1. Simply cannot wait until school is out to not vote Democrat

*PROGRAMMING NOTE: Tomorrow begins 30 Movies in 30 Days as chosen by the readers of Sweeneyville! I will begin watching tonight, which means I will see you tomorrow :)

*And, just a few more weeks until I reveal this year's Expired Food Parade from the Countywide Holiday Food Drive. My dad has already saved me something that is so bizarre and glorious, I don't know if I can wait to show it to you...I LOVE the Holidays!!!