Sunday, November 1, 2020

Ivy's Agenda

I found this on the floor back in January, but January was madness, so I simply took a picture and tucked it away.  Found it today and was entertained all over again.  This is Ivy's plans for the day (ideas are all her own). 

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Kid-quote-fest I

I've opted to share less about my kids on the blog in recent years -- because they're older and those are their stories -- but I have their consent to share some quotes I've amassed over the past year and a bit.  Some of you may have heard these stories -- in person, or maybe you're one of my five followers on twitter -- whether they're new or your reminiscing with me, I hope you enjoy!



Long drive; many games played. One is taking turns naming fictional characters -- the first name of the next you name must start with the letter of the surname of the last one named. 
Mia, shouting exultant after "Willy Wonka": Won Weasley!!!


My kids discuss trivia acquired via silent reading...
Ivy: A peek and guess can be stubborn, you know 
Me: Do you mean...Pekingese? 
All three girls eyes and mouths fly wide


I read inside while it rains outside and the girls have screen-time
Mia appears, dashes to kitchen 
Mia: This movie is beautiful and nice and makes me thirsty!


Sitting still and quiet next to Ivy, I hear her throat release that weird, whiney spring sound inside we all get sometimes (don't we?) 
I whisper: You've smuggled a frog in your throat?!
Ivy, deadpan: Toad. 

My mistake.


Ivy: Can you sing me a song at bedtime? 
Me: If you want me to 
Ivy: Great! I'll write down the words for you 
Me: ... 
Ivy: Here you go. It's a song from the book Holes 
Me: So this is a song we don't. know. the melody. for? 
Ivy, eyes closed: Oh, I know it. 
Me: gulp


Mia has recently lost her two top front teeth
Esky, looking at Mia: You kind of look like a vampire! 
Mia, horrified: But I don't want to be a grampa!
(A mondegreen that only really works in a kiwi accent)


Ivy,. to me: You were born in the one-thousands, right?


Mia: I know I shouldn't say this, but, I need to let you know, I'd really like a surprise party for my birthday.


Esky, pointing to a small gap between furniture: Octopus test, can you fit through there?  


Mia: You all have inny belly buttons, I have an outy belly button; I am New York! 
Esky: Do you mean unique? 
Mia: Yes, newnique!


Reversing out of our drive-way
Squeal from back of car 
Me: What's the matter!? 
Sound of window going down
Ivy: SPIDER! There's a SPIDER on my shoe! 
Thunk. {Reader, she threw her whole shoe out the window.} 
Arachnophobe Esky: Thatta girl!

Halloween 2019 answers to "Who are you dressed as?" 
Esky: A unicorn 
Mia: Sacajawea 
Ivy: Venom4 
Person asking:
Ivy: It's a character from a book I'm going to write


Esky: Ow! I just hit my foot on that open drawer! 
Mia: Me too! Do you think it's our enemy or something?


Esky: Can you ever tell just by looking at someone that they'll have a fake voice? 
Me: Can you? 
Esky: Maybe.


Walking through a bird eco-sanctuary
Ivy: Takahe poo! Make a wish!


Mia: What do you do in an earthquake? 
Me: Get under a strong table, if you can. 
Mia: But we need the honey. I guess we just keep the honey under the table.


Home-school session in the library; I write, Esky reads, Ivy writes, Mia knits. 
The school day ends; schoolers arrive for Lego Club / computer access. 
Mia, stills her needles, turns to me, her expression wan and says: I prefer to knit in quiet.
What have I created?

ImageEsky heads up a page she plans to fill with sketches. Things take an unforeseen turn, as pictured. 
Me: Keep it, see where it takes you 
Esky, ignores me, starts over. REPEATS THE ERROR 
Ivy: Don't fight it, Flute Scamander is speaking to you.

Friday, April 24, 2020

Mini Movie Reviews: Bulk Hit No 57

Alita: Battle Angel
This is a puzzling mash-up of Disney-esque casting, acting, script and story choices playing alongside violent and brutal content.  I enjoyed the thrill and fascination-factor during the fight scenes but found the aforementioned elements distracting and odd.  I started feeling like a lot of moments deserved a face-palm. Also: Psssst...Jennifer Connelly is not aging like the rest of us.

Mary Queen of Scots
Historic fiction with Saoirse?  Sign me up.  Oh, it's quite sexy.  Lots of powerful moments and breathtaking costume, but once is enough for me.

Sierra Burgess is a Loser
I wanted to like this, and I wouldn't call it time wasted...but the catfishing is just too much.

Ready Player One
This was okay.  It hasn't stuck with me or begged a re-watch, but I enjoyed it at the time.  If you had to choose between only giving this or Tron a go for someone you love, I'd go with Tron.

Just One of the Guys
From the vault (1985), this was another reminder of how much nudity and sexual content was already in movies decades ago.   I made a note of this fact, and that I found this "interesting," but I've already forgotten it.

Isn’t it Romantic? 
I watch everything Rebel is in *guilty hands up.*  Found this fun.

There are two stand-outs in this bulk hit and this is one of them.   Haki and I both enjoyed this one.  Me, emphatically so.  Will watch again with the girls later.

 One for the Money
My notes on this simply say "entertaining, no kiss."  So...apparently I am super-antiquated and simple-minded...and felt frustrated at its end and like I should warn anyone else going in with hope there will be kissing??  Tell me if I'm wrong!

The Cured
Well, it's a zombie movie, so it had its work to do from the start (Haki's pick that night, obvs).  I remember one dude's creepy face and manner more than any zombie-looking-zombie, so he did a good job at being creepy.  I wouldn't highly recommend it, but if you love zombie movies, it's a different angle.

So Haki talks me into zombie movies more than once a year.   Of these two, I found this one better.  I never though I'd watch it, the premise seemed like too much...but the post apoc elements really resonated with me.  If you're not a zombie fan neither of these is going to win you over...but if you sometimes go there (that's me), this is one of the best zombie movies I've seen. It's memorable.  Top 3, I reckon.  (I think it's restricted, which is breaking from my MO, so you may find this a lot "more" than other mature recs here.)

What We Did On Our Holiday
This is the second stand-out on this list.  Highly recommend.  What a gem of a movie.  Possibly an all-time favourite.  Yeah, I think so. 

The Great Wall
There's some cool moments here, but I'm sorry, the white saviour narrative and undecided accent are too. much.

Scent of a Woman (1992)
I felt like not having seen this was an oversight.  Remedied it. Didn't love it, but appreciated the characters a great deal.  Quite sweary.

Barakah meets Barkah


Ghost in the Shell
So, I was just trying to explain to Haki just last night, that even if I don't like a film's story or acting or script, sometimes I feel like there's this other criteria I rate "watchability" on that is essentially "world effects."  With science fiction, almost always, I can forget almost everything about a film except its aesthetic...and I am glad to see each future imagined, even if I didn't like the movie.  Alita  and Mortal Engines are both examples of "world effects" I liked more than the movie..  Ghost in the Shell is like that too -- I liked seeing another set of "world effects," not the movie so much.  Did I like the over-sexualisation?  I did not. 

The Perfect Date
Okay, so I disagree with the audience ratings on this one.  This movie features great parents, good morals and less sexual references and sexualisation than most high school / college movies ...I think it's a great teen movie!  Maybe for some that made it less edgy? Fun?  Funny?  I'm not sure, but it's a great addition to the teen movie canon, in my opinion, especially given its technological content.

 Ones I think can be passed:
Going the Distance
Unnatural Selection
How it Ends
Something Real -- I can't even find this one any more, but the classification was so off!  There's drug use, abuse, sex x3, swearing...and I felt there was really no warning that would all be there.

I posted a bulk hit yesterday and the day before too.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Mini Movie Reviews: Bulk Hit No 56

Mom, this one is not for you (cussin' and crass).  So, based on the synopsis, I thought I was in for an edgier, British Groundhog Day, featuring a lead I'd liked in things.  It's not all of those; especially don't hold out for the alternate versions of the same day so much, though that element is there.  I did not find greatness here, but I did enjoy it and want to see it through to its end.  Haki did not, and he bailed.  It's a bit of an awkward circus, so avoid if that bugs you.

This was okay.  Technically, impressive, but overall enjoyment was at def "okay."  Haki fell asleep.  Dare I say, another case of "all the best bits were in the trailer."  But not bad.  Wouldn't watch it again or buy it.

I liked this more than Into the Spiderverse.  The girls still talk about this one and want to see it again (saw it once, in-cinema), and our entire family quotes it did alright with us.  There's something irresistible about this one.

An excellent film.  This one is for you, Mom.  And anyone who enjoy a sassy octogenarian (think something akin to the Downton grandmas).  Available on Netflix.

Speaking of Downton, of course I went to see the film.  OF COURSE, I did.  I was very satisfied with it. *smug satiated face*  

Dumbo (2019)
For some reason, as a child, I treated Dumbo like religion.  Watching the 1941 version as an adult I'm a bit befuddled by this.  I remember feeling unsettled watching it back then too...very.  And yes, as well as the yucky feeling, the movie has many flaws.  Me now doesn't like the original, even my nostalgia for it is muddied by the gross feeling.  I like the live action update even less.  Blah.

To All The Boys: P.S. I Still Love You
This was fun like the first.  Still like the movies more than the books. Really appreciate the sensuality and content choices for these teen films.

Dark...slow...yet intriguing.  It's a genre I find hard to look away from, so I stuck with it when many would not.  The score's probably the strongest part.  It has the lowest rating on imdb for anything in this list, so probably for other post-apoc die-hards? Not for Haki at all. 

Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu
Pretty good...but also frustrating.  *shrug of apology*

Swiss Army Man
THIS IS NOT FOR EVERYONE OH MY GOSH PROCEED WITH CAUTION.  Haki and I exchanged so many looks during this and kept saying, "Who could we recommend this to?  I mean, WHO?"  We both enjoyed it, but like I say, we have no idea who else would.  It's like a much less reverent, more morbid and weirder Life of Pi?  I think it's safe to say if the premise sounds like something you'd rather not see, you shouldn't, and here it is: A hopeless man stranded on a deserted island befriends a dead body and together they go on a surreal journey to get home.   If you're intrigued by that and "weird, morbid and irreverent," well, maybe you're the answer to our puzzle!

The general consensus on this and the book seems to be "mediocre" but I enjoyed both.  It took me years to see the film adaptation because of this talk, but maybe that was for the best?  I went in with very low expectations and found it quite fun...and when I read the book, I wanted to see a film of it.  Thank you, Hollywood.

Falling Inn Love 
Better than I expected.  I was thinking this would be Hallmark movie standard (I mean, the punny title screams it) but it's a cut or two above that.  There is definitely the possibility you will watch it and say, "Oh, it is that, Ange." *more shrugs* I quite liked it! Though casting an Australian as a lead in a kiwi film and not saying as much was a bit buggy.  I let the girls watch it after I watched it, too -- they asked to, and it has no sex, nudity, violence or profanity. 

The Light Between Oceans
HA!  Now to a very different story!  This is more artistic, has a sex scene (it snuck up on me, it's PG-13!), and a powerful and unforgettable narrative.  Beautifully acted, elegantly told and achingly tragic.  A great Film Club film.  What. a. cast!  And what a premise!  I'm certain I projected all over the show.  I have not read the book, but the story reminds me of something Bryce Courtney would pen.
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
Alright.  Interesting moments I'm glad I saw. It's like a younger Guardians of the Galaxy x Babylon 5 hybrid (so right up my alley, you would say?)  But...a lack of chemistry where I think they hoped there was some, and less punch.

Australian.  Swearing and some sex scenes (rated M).  EXCELLENT sci-fi concept. 

Always Be My Maybe (2019)
Haki and I found this funny.  I will watch it again in two years when I've forgotten most of it to enjoy again. Lots of sexual references.

The Knight before Christmas
Quite awful really, but watched alongside the girls in all its corniness.  I'm glad they enjoyed it, and I didn't hate it.  This, this is the Hallmark movie one that is exactly what you expect from its punny title and HSM cast member.

Jumping the Broom

More of a typical rom-com.  I liked it.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Mini Movie Reviews: Bulk Hit No 55

I posted about reading the book upon which this film is based back in 2013.  When I saw Grace VanderWaal was cast for its adaptation I was excited -- I'm a huge fan and I think this was an inspired call.  The movie is good...and I think worth seeing for its points of difference from the teen film canon and for the discussion I think it's so great at generating.  Available in Disney+.
The Boy who Harnessed the Wind
Haki and I really enjoyed this one.  It's got some tough kids aren't ready for it yet.  Available on Netflix.

I Am Mother
This is one of two jaw-droppers on this list.  I love love loved it.  Haki and and I looked at each other after it was over and went, "That was so good."  I can still talk about it at length with someone else who's watched it.  I think this has earned a place on my favourite films of all time list (the last new entry for this was The Martian).  If you enjoy sci fi, don't read a synopses, just watch it.  It's such a treat.

This is the second jaw-dropper.  This is my favourite war film of all time.  It's certainly not for everyone (if you don't usually like war movies, I doubt this will change that).  It is incredibly well-executed.  I'm so glad I saw those one in the big theatre.  Wow.
Jojo Rabbit
I saw this in theatres with Haki because: we like Taika.  We were both dubious.  I enjoyed it more than Haki did!  My biggest gripe is its egregious classification as M; I think it should have been restricted.  There's some incredibly disturbing imagery I can't believe kids were watching alongside us.  It has some truly magic moments.  If what you know of it doesn't interest you, I wouldn't bother -- your instincts are probably right, for you -- I did enjoy it.

Knives Out
I am a huge fan of this one -- I found it clever, playful, noir-ish, fun to dissect and pretty to look at.  Haki thought it was good but not as great as I was making it out to be.  Whenever I've seen Daniel Craig's face since I feel a sense of affection because of this film; him as James Bond is forgotten.

Green Book
Ripper.  This one was a home run for me and Haki, and he's brought it up a number of times since, simply reflecting on how good he found it.  Available on Netflix.

Let It Snow
This was a good time. Hit the spot on the night I felt like watching it -- and that's the kind of rec I'd make for it -- if it looks like what you're in the mood for, it might scratch the teen flick itch.

Little Women
It took me a while to be okay with the postmodern treatment...but by the end, I was sold.   The chronological jumps made it harder for my youngest to follow (I took all three girls to see it, in cinema), but she got there. I cried a lot.  Saoirse is one gifted creature. Remake it a hundred times and I'll watch it every. time. 

Gente que viene y bah (In Family I Trust)
I dug the chemistry in this Spanish film, and found more depth and authenticity to the acting and story than a Hollywood rom-com.  It isn't something I'd often feel like watching though, or watch again.

The Addams Family
Maybe I was in a bad mood when I watched this?  But we paid to rent it on appleTV for Ivy's birthday and I found it pretty meh *shrug*...sure glad I didn't pay to see it at the movies.  It's one of those ones where I feel like I caught all the best gags in the trailer. 

Frozen II
I like the Frozen films.  I feel things, watching them.  Most of all, I appreciate the dimensions it's adding to Disney romance.  No longer are love stories founded on well- or boat-sightings alone, but they're born from overcoming things together, seeing each other in crises and through good, and there's doubt and then a conscious determination to work and stick with it -- yes please!  Are things still relatively simplified?  Yeah, it's a 2-hour film for families.  Is it a heck of an improvement on the love-at-first-sight-but-now-willing-to-die-for-you model?  YES.  I think it's fantastic that we get to see Kristoff working out feelings (!) and being so loyal and supportive.  Haki thinks the music in the second movie is nowhere near the quality of the first, I disagree; love both soundtracks.  I also love Anna's boundary-setting (though Elsa doesn't appear). 

Aladdin (2019)
Oh, there are more big Disney's I saw yonks ago to catch up on, folks!  I had a great time watching Aladdin.  I think it's my favourite animated movie from my childhood and I enjoyed seeing it adapted.  Wahoo for Jasmine having more lines!  I'm finding it hard to hear American accents in all-world settings lately, but was so fun.

Mary Poppins Returns
This wasn't bad, but it didn't win me over like it did some of my friends...but then, I am not a massive fan of the original; I like both well enough,
Star Wars: Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker
I really really like Rey and this episode gave me a good Rey dose.  Thoroughly enjoyed.   I know haters aren't happy with the new stuff, but I am thrilled with updates being made to this universe, particular for female characters.

Crazy Rich Asians
Okay.  Fun at the time.  Forgettable though.

Rim of the World

The Lion King (2019)
I did not love watching a remake of this.  The animals looking real made them talking weird.  I have chosen.

Great film.  I was very slow coming to this party but yay for getting there in the end.  Available on Netflix.

I'll be back tomorrow and the next day with two more bulk hits.  It's been a while...
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