Friday, November 21, 2008

Movie Review ~ Four Christmases

Last night I went to the Premiere of Four Christmases at Grauman's Chinese Theater. The movie was a cute holiday romantic comedy which wasn't too over the top as I thought it would be. Good storyline that everyone could relate to if you have been in a relationship and have to meet your boyfriend's or girlfriend's family during a major holiday. Reese Witherspoon was lovable, Vince Vaughn was bearable, and the supporting cast Robert Duvall, Mary Steenburgen, Kristin Chenoweth, Jon Voight, and Sissy Spacek were great.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Southern California Fires

I'm sure you all know we are having several fires here in Southern California. My home isn't near any of the fires, the closest is in Anaheim Hills/ Yorba Linda about 30 - 40 minutes east of us. My sister and her husband's neighborhood have been evacuated in Anaheim Hills. They live just off Weir Canyon Road right in the hot spot, which is still closed as of today.

Thankfully my sister and brother in law had been visiting my parents at their home in Temecula since Friday night. They had no idea about the fires until I called my parents on Saturday afternoon looking for my sister to see if they had heard from them. We are very lucky everyone is safe.

The sky is grey from smoke and ashes are falling everywhere. Very sad and gloomy here. We left the house to do some errands and this is the view of the sky from Whittier.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Slumdog Millionaire ~ Opening night

I loved Slumdog Millionaire so much I had to go see the movie again at Landmark Theaters with a special screening with a Q & A with director Danny Boyle for opening night.

Danny Boyle spoke very animated and enthusiasticly of how he was asked to read the script, he only read it because he liked the screen writer's past work, Simon Beaufoy who wrote The Full Monty. Within minutes he loved the story. Danny then had to figure out how to make a film about Jamal Malik, Dev Patel , a game show contestant and his life in the slums of Bombay, not an easy task with unknown actors and a portion of the film in Hindi and subtitled. Danny said things fell into place, with a 13 Million dollar budget, he has created this heart warming story.
You must see this film, the best I've seen in a long time!

Here's an interview with Danny Boyle

Danny Boyle @ the Q&A

After the Q&A

Loren, Danny, & Me
Eddie & Danny

Slumdog Millionaire in theaters now

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Fullerton Bikes BMX Aitken Jam

My son Ryan came in 2nd place!

Here's the link, Ryan is the guy with the black shirt and jeans on a red bike:

Monday, November 10, 2008

Movie Review ~ Defiance

The AFI Film Festival closed on Sunday night with the Premiere of Defiance directed by Edward Zwick. Edward Zwick announced the film and spoke about how he had heard stories from survivors of WWII of how Jews had fought to defend themselves and hid in the Belarussian forest in Nazi-occupied Poland. It took Edward Zwick twelve years to finally see this movie in theaters.

This true story is about the four Bielski brothers who become reluctant leaders of a group of people fleeing from persecution led by Tuvia Bielski, Daniel Craig. They encounter the hardships of protecting, feeding, and sheltering the people from the harsh winters. Edward Zwick doesn't soften the story, but tells the raw truth of what the people had to endure in order to survive.

A friend of mine, Lois came along to see the movie and had to stand in the "Rush" line (standby tickets). While in line, limousines began to park on the curb near her. She saw a man approaching the limousines who she recognized as Liev Schreiber who plays one of the brothers, Zus Bielski. A man not too far from her in line caught Liev's attention and began talking to him and showing pictures. The man happened to be a Bielski family member.

Liev asked the man, "What are you doing standing in this line?"
The man answered, "I'm hoping to get inside the Cinerama Dome to see the movie."
"What? You shouldn't be in this line!" Liev turned to a woman who was standing beside him. "Get this man inside!"
Next thing the man knew, he the was being ushered away by Liev and the woman.

Defiance in selected theaters December 31, 2008
Wide release January 16, 2009

Fun Filled Weekend with Friends

What a week! The AFI Film Festival and the annual midnight screening for The Phantom of the Opera at the Crest Theater in Westwood. After seeing five movies in one week, I'm exhausted! Slumdog Millionaire, Julia, RocknRolla (yes again!), The Phantom of the Opera (only my 4th time in the theater), and Defiance. I think that's a record for me!

Here's pictures from the weekend with the girlfriends.

At lunch, Lois & me
Lynne & Jane
Having a drink at the bar before dinner, Annette & Lori

At dinner before the midnight screening of The Phantom of the Opera

Lynne & Jane
Sharon, Annette, & me

And lastly, lunch the next day

Friday, November 7, 2008

Movie Review ~ Julia

Julia, directed by Erick Zonca, is a movie about an alcoholic woman, Julia, Tilda Swinton, in a destructive spiral. The movie doesn't glamorize alcoholism and parting. Julia is fired from her job and kidnaps a boy Tom, Aidan Gould, for ransom money. As much trouble Julia gets into she somehow manages to get out of it. The movie was very long, 144 minutes, and very depressing, but wonderfully acted by Tilda Swinton, Aidan Gould, Saul Rubinek, and Kate del Castillo.

Julia doesn't have a release date in the USA, but will be released in the UK December 5, 2008

AFI Film Festival Tribute to Tilda Swinton

Wednesday night I attended the AFI Film Festival's Tribute to Tilda Swinton. First a forty-five minute presentation was shown of film clips of Tilda's body of work and then a Q&A with Tilda. We had an added surprise, the premiere of her new movie Julia. We happen to sit beside a man and his son. The son happened to be Aidan Gould, who played Tom in Julia.

Tilda is a fascinating person and very humble in her vast achievements. The night was long, but very interesting.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Movie Review ~ Slumdog Millionaire

Slumdog Millionaire is a wonderful heartwarming movie Directed by Danny Boyle. I love it. Great storyline and great actors, you must go see it!

"The story of Jamal Malik (Dev Patel), an 18 year-old orphan from the slums of Mumbai, who is about to experience the biggest day of his life. With the whole nation watching, he is just one question away from winning a staggering 20 million rupees on India's "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?"

But when the show breaks for the night, police arrest him on suspicion of cheating; how could a street kid know so much? Desperate to prove his innocence, Jamal tells the story of his life in the slum where he and his brother grew up, of their adventures together on the road, of vicious encounters with local gangs, and of Latika (Freida Pinto), the girl he loved and lost.

Each chapter of his story reveals the key to the answer to one of the game show's questions. Each chapter of Jamal's increasingly layered story reveals where he learned the answers to the show's seemingly impossible quizzes. But one question remains a mystery: what is this young man with no apparent desire for riches really doing on the game show? When the new day dawns and Jamal returns to answer the final question, the Inspector and sixty million viewers are about to find out..." Written by Fox Searchlight Pictures

After the movie ended, there was the usual applause, few people left their seats. As in almost all Indian movies there was a dance number while the credits rolled so everyone stayed to watch. The audience applauded again at the end of the credits!

Slumdog Millionaire in limited release November 12, 2008