Tag Archives: Elf

That’s Entertainment; Cowboys Vs. Aliens or Friends With Benefits?


As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about….more entertainment! While an evening out, being waited on hand and foot, at a fabulous restaurant might sound like the perfect way to spend a beautiful summer evening, Chuck and I were super psyched to have two, count ‘em, two, movie going experiences within 16 hours! So far this summer, we have seen exactly two movies together; Bad Teacher (naughty and somewhat hilarious) and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part II (absolutely amazing story telling, made all the sweeter because Nick asked us if we’d like to accompany him to the show……YES!).

This weekend, however, it was hard to decide; Horrible Bosses, Cowboys vs. Aliens, Crazy, Stupid, Love or Friends with Benefits. As a devotee of Harrison Ford and his fabulous matinee idol-ness, I was all over Cowboys vs. Aliens. Besides, I adore director John Favreau (one, for his guest spot on Friend’s as Monica’s boyfriend, Pete, like 100 year ago, and two, as the director of my all time favorite Christmas movie, Elf.).

 

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I’m not exactly sure what I expected, but Cowboys vs. Aliens was exactly that; COWBOYS vs. ALIENS. I was kind of hopeful because, as I said, Harrison Ford is the ultimate (next to my all time favorite movie cool dude, Bruce Willis. Nobody is cooler, not even Cary Grant, and I think he’s pretty cool.). Sam Rockwell, well….rocks, and while he’s kind of a sleeper, I love Keith Carridine (why you may ask? Because he was totally stellar in one the best Broadway musicals of all time; The Will Roger’s Follies….maybe you would consider a revival Broadway smarties?).

On the other hand, I think Daniel Craig is a total stiff. He may be one of the worst 007’s next to Timothy Dalton, ever; absolutely no charm and no humor, which are hallmarks of James Bond’s persona. So, as the robotic lead of Cowboys vs. Aliens, I was kind of unimpressed; desperately trying not to nod off in the theater as it’s expensive to go to the show. I sure hope he is better suited to the role of Kalle Blomkvist in the much anticipated The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (all three Stieg Larsson books were AMAZING).

 

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On the other hand, our Saturday matinee, Friends with Benefits, was outstanding! Shockingly, as a gal with a special place in her heart for teen idols, I’m just not that familiar with Justin Timberlake. I think I must have missed the In Sync invasion while I was a little more focused on Barney, but Justin is Da Bomb! He is so talented and so incredibly charming, delightful and funny. As a long time devotee of Saturday Night Live (even though it has stunk for the past 20 years; hope springs eternal), his performances are serious highlights; Single Ladies and Motherlovers. Need I say more?

Friend’s With Benefits was charming, delightful and hilarious. JT and Mila Kunis have wonderful, and completely believable, chemistry. They were so stinking cute that we were just totally rooting for them. I love the “in the know” nod to their previous projects; Patricia Clarkson from Motherlover and Jason Segel from Forgetting Sarah Marshall. FWB is side-splitting fun and I give it two thumbs way up!

More disappointments, more hilarity, more charming leading men, more movie going experiences!

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Memories of Christmas….


As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about……a more relaxing Christmas with my family! Well, we did it; we simplified our Christmas Eve celebration. Gone, this year, was the four course, four star dinner (along with the days of prep and hours of clean up). Gone was the elaborate and gorgeous tablescape (along with the ironing of the linens and the polishing of the silver). Gone were the fancy frocks (along with the dry cleaning bill). This year we ushered in Christmas with casual, comfortable style, with all the pomp and circumstance reserved for Christmas Day.

I thrive on the rat race. I absolutely live for complicated matters, trouble and aggravation, all for the sake of authenticity, but even I must confess, the respite was welcome. The afternoon began with our annual cocktail and appetizer festivities with my friend Judy and her family. Putting our children (one college and three High School students) in charge of arriving at church early enough to secure a pew, while the adults arrived in just enough time for a little socializing before we took our seats.

What a treat! Instead of getting dinner underway after mass, we slipped into our sweats, packed up the car, with Wrigley in tow, and headed to my mom and George’s house in Chicago for our new and improved celebration. On the way, we made a pit stop at our favorite Chinese restaurant, Chicago’s famous Orange Garden. By 7 pm, we were sitting around the dinner table enjoying the most Heavenly and delicious meal. Who needs a beef tenderloin and crab bisque soup when you’ve got the world’s best egg rolls and shrimp fried rice? Fa-ra-ra-ra-ra (you have seen the cult classic; The Christmas Story, with Ralphie and the Red Ryder BB gun haven’t you?)……and clean up was a snap!

 

Wrigley and his stuffed Christmas bone

 

The remains of a Christmas toy...

It was all so relaxing (except for constantly wrestling Wrigley away from the packages, the tree, the Chinese food, the cookies, everything on the coffee table and all of the squeakers he immediately removed from all of his new toys)! We exchanged gifts, had a few laughs and watched Will Ferrell, in one of his finest performances, Elf. The perfect end to the perfect evening.

 

Cub fans..

 

Nick, Wrigley and Mr. Cub, Ernie Banks

 

Wrigley rubbing Wrigley Field for good luck!

After sleeping in, we opened presents from “Santa” and had a huge breakfast. I made egg casserole and bacon, and George made his world famous, special requested, beer waffles. It was divine. For me, the best part of the day was when my Nick and I laced up our running shoes and took Wrigley for our very own, second annual, Reindeer Run. We zig zagged through the city streets to the Friendly Confines, Wrigley Field. I took a picture of my fellas in front of a souvenir shop, the statue of Mr. Cub, Ernie Banks, and of Wrigley tapping his paw against Wrigley Field for good luck (it was like kissing the Blarney Stone or pulling the sword, Excalibur, out of the stone). Perhaps the curse will be broken in 2011. You heard it hear first.

The evening brought a beautiful dinner with our family and cherished friends. More of everything is always better!

More new traditions, more time with family, more meaningful memories and experiences….

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For a Good Time…Get Him to the Greek!


I know that it’s summer, not by the warm weather, sunshine (ha! if there ever were any) and gorgeous flowers, but by the number of times that we have been to the movies. The lazy days of summer are a beautiful thing…..

My mom is a total gamer that loves the movies (I would venture to say even more that we do!). She quotes lines from the Hangover with Nick. Seriously, only a very cool grandma would talk to her grandson about eating couch pizza. So when she read the reviews of Get Him to the Greek, she knew she had to see it with her Nick (fortunately she didn’t mind that Chuck and I tagged along to the Multi-plex too. Not to worry, Amanda and her pal CC saw the Karate Kid instead. What kind of parents do you think we are anyway?).

As with all good movie going experiences, our show started with the Coming Attractions (and a few even looked promising!).

• That Michael Cera is an unlikely leading man. I have not had the pleasure of seeing Superbad in its entirety, but he was super cute as Paulie Bleeker in Juno (I loved Juno! Everyone was fantastic, but Ellen Page and J.K. Simmons ~Juno’s dad and the editor in Spiderman~ were especially great!). In Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, our hero must defend the honor of his beloved Ramona and her League of Evil Exes (Boyfriends that is. 7 of them; 8 if you include the twins.). The previews are genius! I only hope it’s half as good as it looks.

• I don’t know what makes me think that this is potentially a good idea, but I kinda can’t wait to see The Other Guys. Some of Will Ferrell offerings (okay, Elf might be his only charming movie) can take a while to get accustomed to, but after you see them several times, you can’t help but like him. This is a seriously All Star cast; The Rock, Samuel L. Jackson (you know I think he’s one Bad Ass Mother F*#@*r!), Mark “Marky Mark” Wahlberg (BTW, when does HBO’s Entourage start up again?), the one and only Michael Keaton, and Eva Mendes….as Will Ferrell’s wife (totally plausible, because nothing else is plausible either). I am going to roll the dice and declare this one a winner (I hope I’m right, because I think I might be willing to pay full box office prices to find out.).

• Step Up 3D. Who approved this script? If this is what they think looks like a good idea, I shudder to even think about what might have been rejected.

• I like Josh Brolin and I love, love, love the super creepy John Malkovich, but I fear Jonah Hex may not be for me. I’m not a huge fan of the paranormal.

• Dinner for Schmucks….looks like a movie for schmucks. This one just isn’t grabbing me, though I am a fan of Paul Rudd (I have adored him since Clueless) and Zach Galifianakis (Fat Jesus. Another Hangover reference, sorry…). I might leave it on were I to be flipping channels on my cable-box.

• Matt Damon sure does make a lot of movies, though I think I am more of a Ben Affleck kind of gal. The Adjustment Bureau, with Emily Blunt (of Devil Wears Prada fame. She was also quite likeable in Sunshine Cleaning.). holds the promise of intrigue, drama and romance. I would expect nothing less of Jason Bourne.

With so many promising previews, I nearly forgot about the main attraction! I was a huge fan of Forgetting Sarah Marshall (though Jason Segal’s full frontal nudity was slightly uncomfortable), and when I saw that Russell Brand was going to reprise his role as Aldous Snow, I was psyched! Inconsistency drives me crazy however, so the only thing I had a hard time getting past was that in Forgetting Sarah Marshall Jonah Hill was a waiter on the island and in Get Him to the Greek he worked at a record company. Both characters worshipped rock star Aldous Snow. Perhaps the guy on the island was Jonah’s evil twin….

Get Him to the Greek (I thought they meant Jimmy the Greek, but I guess that dates me and doesn’t make any sense) was a wacky and hilarious buddy picture. Russell Brand is absolutely charming and delightful, kooky and dandy! Instead of portraying the completely moronic pot-head that he usually plays, Jonah Hill was wonderful, tender and interesting as Aaron Green. I just loved Get Him to the Greek.

While the plot was a complete romp, what made this movie so good was the largely witty dialogue and the complex character development of Aldous Snow (who could have totally been a one trick pony, and is instead endearing) and Aaron Greene (who was sympathetic and likeable). One of my favorite observations was when Aldous says to Aaron, “Off drugs, your life must be a baffling to do list.” As the More is More Mom®, don’t I know it?

Personally, I rate movies based on whether I would; pay full box office prices (an offensive fortune…movie makers, we need to talk), go to the bargain show, watch it on cable or wait until it is further butchered on basic television. Not only would I see this again at the show, but it will be a classic that I add to my collection as soon as it is released on DVD. As the More is More Mom® I want more Russell Brand and more Get Him to the Greek!

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