Watching Movies with MIL

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So last night I went over to my mother-in-law’s for dinner and a movie. I had rented Iron Man 3 on Amazon and still had two days left on my three-day rental. My MIL has a hand-me-down HP desktop, but she hardly uses it. She’s not very tech savvy, and since her stroke, she mostly uses the iPod touch to play games. When her friend gave her the computer, she didn’t include speakers, but I had the setup my late husband used on our old desktop. I haven’t used that computer in over a year, so I thought, why not give her the speakers?

After hooking them up, making sure everything worked, we had dinner, a delicious homemade meatloaf, corn on the cob, roasted potatoes, and cole slaw. Yeah, it was good! We decided to eat dessert while watching the movie. In case you’re wondering, dessert was strawberries and cream with lemon pound cake. Needless to say, it was an unbutton the top button kinda meal.

My MIL loves superhero movies as much as I do, so I knew she was excited about watching Iron Man 3. And everything worked fine . . . for the first ten minutes. Then the buffering stopped. The computer froze and had to be restarted. This happened at least three times during the movie. And during the most important parts, too. It was so frustrating, but we finally got through the movie. At the end, she cracked me up with her comment about how Robert Downey Jr. was “sexy.” Now, I whole hardheartedly agree, but it seems funny coming from her.

It turns out she’d only watched the original Iron Man movie, but she hasn’t watched any of the Hulks, or Thor, or Captain America, so how can I show her The Avengers until she catches up? Worse yet, how can we watch the movies together on Netflix when her computer freezes every few minutes? My laptop has lousy sound, and the screen’s too small for both of us to enjoy the movie. I could have her come over to my house, but since my husband died, she hasn’t stepped a foot inside. It’s too difficult for her. So, my question is, do I unhook my Wii and take it over every time we want to watch a movie? What would you do?

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15 Movies I Can Watch Any Time

As I flipped through the channels tonight, I saw that Grown Ups was on again, and again, I watched it. Never mind that I’ve seen this movie more than 5 times in the last couple of months. Never mind that I have it recorded on the DVR. It was on FX, so I stopped to watch. As I sat there watching the scene where they guys play arrow roulette, I realized that this is one movie I never tire of. I can watch it no matter my mood.

But there are other movies  in different genres that give me the same feeling. In no particular order, I present you:

MOVIES I CAN WATCH NO MATTER MY MOOD

1. GROWN UPS 

Five basketball buddies meet thirty years later to bury their coach. This feel-good family movie is one of the funniest I’ve seen in a while. Sometimes Adam Sandler’s movies irritate me, but this one is one of my favorites. As I wrote this post, the movie ended and started up again, and I did not change the channel. Funny line I caught on the second time around was when Gloria tells the women not to fart as the body builder approaches them.

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2. PITCH PERFECT

Musicals get a bad rap sometimes, but the young actors combined with fun music make this movie one of my faves. I’ll watch this every time it’s on. Rebel Wilson has some of the funniest lines, and the music has me singing along ( a little out of tune, maybe, but who cares?) The movie makes me wish I was part of the Bellas. Oh, and on my wish list is the soundtrack.

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3. SECOND HAND LIONS

The story of a boy abandoned by his irresponsible mother might sound like a downer, but Second Hand Lions is actually an uplifting movie. Left with his bachelor uncles played by Rober Duvall and Michael Caine, Walter’s days are filled with wonderful stories his uncles tell him and a lion they buy.

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4. PURE COUNTRY

My husband drove me nuts one summer playing this movie every time it was on cable, and let me tell you, it was on A LOT! But the story of a country singer making it big is played wonderfully by George Strait. It could be that he was just playing himself and not acting. Either way, the story is good, and the singing is even better.

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5. YOU’VE GOT MAIL

I saw the original version of this movie, Shop Around the Corner, but there’s something about Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan sharing a screen that makes for a perfect love story. One of my favorite scenes is when Tom Hank’s character brings Meg’s character a bunch of daisies, and she insults him. The way she covers her mouth with her hand and re-insults him as she apologizes is adorable, and Tom Hanks…well, in this movie, he makes me swoon.

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6. DAY AFTER TOMORROW

A sudden storm plunges the word into a new Ice Age, and a father must travel across the country to find his son. I love Jake Gyllenhaal and Emmy Rossum in this film. But I cringe every time they burn a book.

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7. NEVER BEEN KISSED

This movie made me fall in love with Drew Barrymore again. I loved her in E.T., but the movies she made in her teen years didn’t leave much of an impression on me. With Never Been Kissed, she likable and relatable. She’s goofy and funny, and she shines. This romantic comedy is one I liked enough to buy. Oh, and Michael Vartan…swoon.

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8. PRINCESS BRIDE

This classic fairy tale with a princes, an evil prince, lots of swordplay, a giant, giant rats, and a handsome hero  has been one of my favorites for many years.

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Favorite quotes:

Inigo Montoya: Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.

Count Rugen: Stop saying that!

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Vizzini: HE DIDN’T FALL? INCONCEIVABLE.

Inigo Montoya: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

 

9. IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT

A screwball comedy with Claudette Colbert and Clark Gable. She’s a spoiled rich girl who runs away, and he’s a newspaper reporter looking for a good story. Sparks fly and love blooms. This movie made me a Claudette Colbert fan.

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10. 10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU

How appropriate that the tenth movie I post has the number ten in it? Julia Stiles and Heath Ledger, need I say more? Well, I probably do. This is a modern retelling of Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew. Heath Ledger makes me feel like a teenager again, and yes, he does make me swoon. He plays an outcast who must tame the shrew played by Julia Stiles so that the new kid can date her sister. This movie comes with an awesome soundtrack which is a favorite when I clean.

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11. FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS

This is the  story of a real high school football team’s 1988 season. I was pleasantly surprised when I found out recently that one of my college professors graduated from Permian High School. I love most movies about sports, and this one features Lucas Black as the quarterback. Check it out if you haven’t yet.

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12. THE PROPOSAL

I was a fan of Ryan Reynolds when he was on the TV show Two Guys, A Girl, and A Pizza Place, but in his movie, well, let’s just say I became an ultra-fan. I love Sandra Bullock and have been her fan since she did Love Potion No. 9. Together, Ryan and Sandra are perfect. It’s another feel-good romantic comedy.

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13. THE AVENGERS

The earth is under attack and the only ones who can save it is a team of superheroes. One of my favorite scenes is when the Hulk punches Thor after they defeat the invaders, and of course another scene is when the Hulk takes Loki and smashes him on the floor a couple of times. I don’t know why those two scenes are so satisfying, but they are. I have to say that Robert Downey, Jr. is awesome as Tony Stark. Swoon.

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14. IRON MAN

Didn’t I just say that Robert Downey, Jr. makes an excellent Tony Stark? With this smart-aleck one-liners and charismatic charm, Robert brings billionaire/playboy/philanthropist/genius Tony Stark to life. I’m not sure I’d like to work for him, but I sure like watching Tony do his thing. And again swoon, specially in that scene when he’s a prisoner and is hammering the iron for his first Iron Man suit. Swoon and double swoon.

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15. SERENITY

The science fiction TV show about a ragtag team of renegades, Firefly, was taken off the air way too soon, but the fans were treated to an excellent ending in the form of a movie, Serenity. Thank you Joss Whedon. Listen carefully for some great one-liners.

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So there you have it. Fifteen movies I can watch any time they’re on the air. Of course, there are many more great choices. What are yours?

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The Host

I was too sick on opening night, so I had to wait until today to see Stephanie Meyer’s The Host.

I had been anxiously awaiting this film for a couple of years. I first found this book a couple of years ago, when everyone was going gaga over Twilight, which I have not read since vampires and werewolves are not my thing, but give me an alien invasion, and I’m there.

I enjoyed the story so much that after I finished reading it, I immediately downloaded the audio book and listened to the story all over again. It was as if I was in another world. I didn’t want it to end.

Melanie Stryder is part of the human resistance to the invaders called “Souls,” benign aliens who in habit the intelligent creatures on every planet they visit. I say benign aliens because they do not use violence to take over a planet. And when they do, they heal the earth and set up a society free of strife and violence. The downside, of course, is that when the Souls take over a human body, the human is trapped inside his own mind and eventually withers and dies.

But Melanie is a fighter. Her love for her brother and boyfriend, Jared, is so strong that it she doesn’t fade. In times of great stress, she even has control of her own body.

Melanie’s memories of her life with Jared are so strong that they begin to affect the Soul within, named Wanderer. She earned that name because she has lived for a 1,000 years, going from planet to planet, from species to species, experiencing many lives. Wanda, as she is later known,  yearns for Jared, so much so, that she sets out to find him. Trailing her is a Seeker, unusually obsessed with finding the human resistance.

 

The book was amazing. Although I liked the movie, there were many conversations and descriptions in the book that were missing. The book is well-written, fast-paced, and filled with the angst of an impossible love triangle.

My MIL enjoyed the movie even without any knowledge of the plot. I enjoyed it because I had read the book.

Saoirse Ronan does a good job of interpreting both main characters, and Diane Kruger is great as an unhinged Seeker. The eye candy, err, the two love interests, were great, too. When I read the book, I identified with Wanda and wanted her to find love with Ian.

I highly recommend both the book and the movie. Watch the movie, then go read the book.

 

If you’ve read the book or saw the movie, what did you think? Add your comments below or tweet me. I’d really like to know.