Saturday, February 28, 2015

Movie Review: John Wick (2014)

100 minutes of judo, bullets, and Keanu Reeves getting progressively angrier until he goes off like...something that is not a wick, because let's face it, when you think wick you think candle. A candle does not suggest righteous ass-kicking fury. Keanu should have been named John Fuse, is what I am saying. The Word Ninja has spoken.

John Wick is a terrific action movie that overcomes its terrible trailer. It's a straightforward tale--and I'm not spoiling anything here because the trailer already did!--of a man who loses his wife and his dog, in that order, and goes on a roaring rampage of revenge against the twatwaffle whodunit.

The movie is a joy to watch because of the fight choreography, the sly nod to nerds (look for the red shirts!), and the various, often humorous ways in which people interact with John Wick. As the person "you send to kill the bogeyman," he has a bit of a rep, and everyone who knows him respects him--and then poops their pants or backs slowly away, depending on the person's ties to John's target.

Re: the fighting: Keanu's John knows his business. He holds his gun close to his body ("For maximum turning angles," said Fragrant Husband, geekily), conscientiously double taps if the first hit wasn't a head shot, and does all sorts of throws and body slams that get the job done. The body count is ridiculous, naturally, but John also takes a beating. There's a scene where he gets thrown over a railing, and while normal action movies will go for the slow-mo smashing through the table, ain't nothin' but ground waiting for our hero. It was like WHAM. HELLO, I AM THE FLOOR.  HOW NICE OF GRAVITY TO BRING US TOGETHER. Cue the wincing. Oh, and in case you were wondering if his Nascar-ing at the beginning is a Chekhov's Gun...maaaaybe.

The cast is bomb: Michael Nyqvist, Willem Dafoe, Bridget Moynahan, and John Leguizamo are familiar faces. Meanwhile, A Game of Thrones fans will be all *smh* at Alfie Allen playing yet another snot (although apparently he's a fun guy IRL!), and sharp-eyed watchers of Agents of Shield and Agent Carter shall be rewarded. My favorite, though, is Lance Reddick, who plays the unflappable hotel manager.

Viewers are also treated to the Hollywood fantasy of the incredibly classy lifestyle of gangsters and underworld assassins, who are all impeccably dressed, have luxurious homes, drive awesome cars, and stay at (ahem) special hotels. Yes, Hollywood, this is why I throw my money at you, keep the double-breasted suits and attractive people on screen so that I may forget the drudgery of my empty life and my crippling first world problems. MBTAAAAA! *shakes fist*

And the other thing I like about this movie is the stylistic subtitles. (nerd voice) I like reading.

TL;DR: AWESOME ACTION AND EXCITEMENT! BRING THE KIDS, NO KID DIES IN THIS MOVIE!

This post brought to you by chicken in the oven!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Movie Review: The Equalizer (2014)

The Equalizer poster.jpg
"The Equalizer poster" by Source.
Licensed under 
Fair use via Wikipedia.
From the director of Training Day comes a movie where Denzel Washington is smooth and kills people...just like most other Denzel films. Watch it anyway, obviously.

Apart from Denzel, there are three things that make The Equalizer a great watch: the cinematography, the soundtrack, and the action. Dear lord, the action. Boyfriend gets intense.

Denzel plays Robert McCall, a worker at a Home Depot lookalike. He's sweet, friendly, and helpful to his coworkers. He's a good guy. But his low-key facade is belied by his tics: his spotless apartment, obsession with timing his actions, and sleeplessness. It's on one of these sleepless nights that he encounters someone doing something "unspeakable," as he would say, and he decides to do something about it.

Just like in Man on Fire, Denzel's murder rampage is motivated by a protective instinct for a young girl. Unlike Man on Fire, I did not feel like I was having a seizure as he calmly shoots, stabs, gasses, etc. all the assorted baddies who foolishly cross his path. It turns out that they're part of a very large organization, and soon an enforcer arrives to find out who's messing things up.

This Final Dungeon mini-boss is played by Marton Csokas, who played the prince in that Drew Barrymore movie Ever After. In The Equalizer, Marton is princelike in that he wears expensive suits, works out of a high-rise with a view of the Boston Harbor Hotel, and eats at swanky restaurants. He's competent, ruthless, and backed by large men with high-powered guns and hilariously villainous beards.

But they're up against Denzel, who handsomes hardest of them all. He plays McCall as someone you really root for. Fragrant Husband and I had a bet going on whether or not his character would kick the bucket in a blaze of glory. And the answer is [REDACTED].

Oh, and Melissa Leo and Bill Pullman are also in this movie, to provide some backstory and also presumably to underline the theme of "Be who you are," which is resonant because Denzel says this to Chloe Grace Moretz's character who is trapped and can't be who she is, which is why he launched his bloody campaign in the first place: to free her to be who she wants to be.

My hero! (swoon)

TL; DR: Get the large popcorn for the eye-popping, one-sided fights. 

This post brought to you by yelling baby!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Mamá Bar & Fine Dining


~ Welcome ~

Thank you for selecting Mamá as your exclusive source of nutrition. Here in this fine establishment, we pride ourselves on our flavorful array of offerings. Oui, a taste that satisfies the stomach and delights the palate is always on hand!

~ Prix Fixe Menu ~
All items charged to future mommy guilt trips.

Pre-Breakfast
An exhaustion-sprinkled serving of the daily special with a groggy accompaniment of, "Is it Time to Get Up Already?" by our live band.

Breakfast
A small serving of the daily special infused with egg, cheese, and greens on whole wheat bread flavor, with a generous heaping of exasperation as the customer wiggles maniacally.

Second Breakfast
A modest, banana-flavored serving of the daily special to fuel tummy time or other mobility-related activities.

Lunch
A hearty serving of the daily special, marinated in protein and grains, with hints of trytophan in preparation for siesta.

Merienda
A mid-siesta daily special snack tasting of seasonal fruit, specially formulated for reacquiring that siesta magic.

Dinner
A full serving of the daily special with protein, salad, and tryptophan in equal measures.

Cocktail
Malbec.

Baby's Cocktail
Served exactly five minutes after the chef has drifted off to sleep, this daily special is a must for all growing infants.

The 1 AM
Bonus! The Papá Burping Unit will be activated following this healthy, resignation-tinged serving of the daily special.

The Witching Hour
The chef may be nearly senseless at this point, but the daily special is as delicious as ever! If all the gastronomical exertions result in a poopy diaper, the Papá Burping Unit will be reactivated with its Diaper Changing attachment.

***

Mamá Bar & Fine Dining
Serving the most exclusive clientele in all the land

---

This post brought to you by a wind chill of -24!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

We Have Too Much Snow, Please Send Puppies

SNOW HAS COME AGAIN TO NEW ENGLAND. YEA, VERILY, 'TIS A VERITABLE BLIZZARD...

And if I hear another "winter of our discontent" line from a news anchor I shall be very cross.

Granted, it's pretty terrible. Traffic has been a mess for two weeks now, our public transportation barely works, the transportation head just quit, and we're straight up dumping dirty snow and salt and antifreeze into the waters, apologies to the fishies.

I take comfort in the fact that we're in our temporary digs, so there's not as much shoveling for Fragrant Husband!

Still, with another storm forecasted for this weekend, I would like to request puppies. Specifically, please send sled dog breeds, like Huskies or Greenland Dogs. I won't use them to sled to work, I'll just play with them. They will warm my heart as the city freezes over again.

I would prefer to go to work on Katy Perry's giant lion from the Superbowl halftime show, but that means waking up extra early because that cat is s-l-o-w. But majestic.

Here is Junior's exasperated face. He's all, "I am DONE with this snow."
DONE. SO DONE.
If you are unable to send puppies, please send us warm thoughts. Chthulu knows we need 'em.

This post brought to you by Malbec. Malbec: a thing that Argentina does well!


Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Babywearing: Boba Wrap vs. Ergobaby


Back when Junior weighed around the same as a bowling ball, I carried him around--excuse me, I wore my baby, because sunshine unicorns flowers motherhood.

Babywearing is a tool in the attachment parents', er, toolbox, a means of raising the best baby possible. Having your little squirmer practically stapled to your body calms him/her, especially in the early weeks out of the womb. Calm baby = happy family, so much like "Breast is best," "Babywearing is caring!" or something like that, I'm sure.

Since capitalism is the font of all things, an array of babywearing products is available to parents: slings, ring slings, soft carriers, wraps, and staplers. Just kidding on that last one.

I own two bits of such gear: one I bought (Boba Wrap), and one a gift (original Ergobaby). Below are the pros and cons of each one:

Gear Pros Cons
Boba Wrap
  • No straps, just one long piece of fabric
  • Packs up into a small bag

  • Useless unless cinched really tight
  • Can't see my baby past the shoulder sections--is he breathing??? 
  • All attempts at ninja nursing failed
Ergobaby
  • Sturdy
  • I can see baby!
  • Pockets!
  • Can also be used for hip carry and back carry
  • Ninja nursing is possible

  • #$%^&* straps and buckles!!!! 
  • Rides up at the waist so I can't put stuff in my jacket pockets

Neither of them are ideal for taking baby in and out. For Ergobaby, you have to release 4,000 buckles, and if you do it out of order, baby plummets to the floor. For the Boba, the fabric loosens too much once you extract your baby, and you have to rewrap it. Blergh.

Also a con for both: if you're clumsy and sleep-deprived, you run the risk of tripping while carrying your offspring. Nobody wants that.

Finally, if you live in the freezing north, baby needs to be bundled up before you step out, and while I enjoy wrestling with a spirited infant (because I always win, you see), both of you will be roasting indoors before that happens.

TL; DR: The Ergobaby is easier to use. Know what else is easy to use? A stroller.

This post brought to you by Fisher Price! Fisher Price--a brand I forgot existed until I desperately needed its products.

Movie Review: Black Panther (2018)