I’m fairly certain this is the longest stretch my blog has ever gone without an entry. Over a month. It’s very sad. (This from the person who swore off journaling or diarying (just pretend it’s a word) from an early age.)
In my defense, I worked three consecutive weeks of 13- and 14-hour days at the office. It wasn’t pretty, friends. I was grumpy, exhausted, and short-tempered. My friends, Chris and Joanne, rescued me after the third week of 60+ hours in the office. Joanne had called me on a Friday afternoon to talk about some other stuff and then said, “Do you need to come to our house so you don’t go to the office tomorrow?” Tomorrow was Saturday. My answer was quite succinct, “Yes.” Two weekends later, I was back at their house. Granted, it was to celebrate the thirteenth birthday of my eldest niece, but I came over Friday night and left late Sunday night. Because that’s how we roll.
I was talking to another of my bestests on the way to their house that afternoon. Jackie and I were catching up and I was telling her that as much as I’d love to be married with kids, I had realized recently that the Lord has singularly blessed me. He has given me friends who consider me family. I can arrive at their house and not pretend that everything is peachy keen or that I’m not exhausted. They tease me, I tease back. They love on me, I love back. Being single is a challenge because you don’t always have someone to “do” life with. But I have been so blessed because I have people in my life that allow me to “do” life with them. I join theirs and they join mine. They are surrogates, of a sort, but when I tell you that I love them like family, I’m as serious as a heart attack.
And it’s not just Chris, Joanne, and the girls… all of my closest friends are cut from a similar cloth. This is one of the many reasons I’m so blessed.
Once I stopped trying to kill myself, I started back in on my movie watching… here’s the list as it currently stands:
50 to 1 American Sniper
The Best of Me
- The Best of Men (not a redundancy with a typo, it’s a real movie)
Black or White
- The Book Thief
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
- Far from the Madding Crowd
The Final Season The Flying Scotsman
- Guardians of the Galaxy
The Hundred-Foot Journey The Imitation Game
- Inside Out
- Into the Woods
- John Wick
- The Judge
- Kingsman: The Secret Service
- The Mighty Macs
- Million Dollar Arm
- The Monuments Men
- Spare Parts
- Taken 3
- The Theory of Everything
- Trouble with the Curve
- We Bought a Zoo
- When in Rome
- When the Game Stands Tall
- The Wolverine
- Woman in Gold
As I’ve said from the gitgo, this list is a work in progress. I’m so far behind on movie watching that I’m figuring out more movies I’d like to see as I go along. Now, to be clear, I do have a couple of movies I have seen before that are on the list… The Final Season, Leatherheads, Invictus, The Monuments Men, Trouble with the Curve, We Bought a Zoo, and When in Rome. However, I’ve only seen them once or so long ago that I’d like to see them again.
So here’s my opinions on the new batch of films I finished:
Black or White is interesting. The concept of a biracial custody battle involving a successful, single, black grandmother with a blind spot involving her son, and an alcoholic, widower, white grandfather accustomed to a life of privilege is certainly something that can quickly go off the rails. Octavia Spencer is absolutely fantastic. She takes no prisoners. As one might expect of such a film, everything works out in the end…
The Final Season is the true story of a high school baseball program in small town Iowa that won their state championship year after year, sending a few players to the pros… and its final season. The school board voted to combine their schools with a larger district, thereby killing their programs. The movie is about their final season playing ball for their local high school. It’s a pretty incredible story. Then again, I’m a sucker for a based-on-a-true-story-sports-movie. Totally. I admit it. It was a passion project for Sean Astin and I think he should be proud.
The Flying Scotsman is a little bitty film that I stumbled over. Another true story. Another sports-related true story. Like I said… sucker. Graeme Obree is a Scottish cyclist and he has a story that is equal parts inspiring and tragic. Afflicted with bipolar disorder and an engineering genius where cycling is concerned, he pioneered many concepts in the sport and twice broke the world record for the longest distance cycled in an hour by a single person. Along the way, he has attempted to take his life on multiple occasions and been shunned by the governing body of cycling, Union Cycliste Internationale. They took exception to the remarkable changes in performance times from his newly designed bikes… think Speedo’s NASA super suit that had swimmers going body lengths faster than they had previously, shattering world records left, right, and center. The now-banned super suit.
One of my new favorite films is The One-Hundred Foot Journey. I absolutely adore this film. It’s charming. Indian culture and cuisine crash headfirst into a classic French, Michelin 1-star fine-dining restaurant. Life and humor ensue. And should I ever open a restaurant, I’m hiring this fictitious family to manage the marketing, advertising, and public relations. They are so funny! And highly effective. I finally returned the Blu-ray to Netflix. After almost of month of watching it. Yes, I binge-watched the same film over and over.
I have wanted to see The Imitation Game since the first time I saw a trailer… I mean, come on! First, Benedict Cumberbatch. Second, true story. Third, Benedict Cumberbatch. Fourth, World War II true story. Fifth, Benedict Cumberbatch. Did I mention Benedict Cumberbatch? Oh, well… Benedict Cumberbatch. Yes, I have a well-documented celebrity crush on the man. The good news is I’m not a crazy nutball… I wish him all the happiness and success in his marriage and raising a family. I just enjoy his work and think he’s incredibly compelling on the screen. So I saw it… now, as you can see from the list, I haven’t yet seen The Theory of Everything so for the moment I’m completely shocked that Benedict didn’t nail the Oscar for Best Actor. (I retain the right to retract this opinion after I see Eddie Redmayne in TTOE.) But Benedict was that good. There’s a line in the movie that I absolutely love… “Sometimes it’s the very people who no one imagines anything of, who do the things no one can imagine.” That’s something to remember and live by…
I watched McFarland, USA this morning… refer to my aforementioned enjoyment of based-on-a-true-story-sports-films. I’ve seen most of the films produced by the guys who made this one. You may have as well… The Rookie, Miracle, Invincible, Secretariat, Million Dollar Arm. These guys found the formula and have cranked out a number of good films. This one is no different. The story is fantastic! Watch it.
I’ve seen Leatherheads before, but not for many years. It’s a slightly ridiculous film, but I enjoy it. And it was so long ago that I forgot many things. There was much laughing. Much. I know George Clooney likes to do serious roles that have an effect on mankind, but he really is a hilarious comedian. He has fantastic faces and impeccable timing. I enjoy his comedic turns.
Now for more movie watching…
And I’ll try to stick my head up a little more often.