Too Much Studio C?

My hubby and I took our girls to a great musical, White Christmas, at the local high school. My niece is in it, as is one of the neighbor girls whom I have the privilege of working with in my church. It was a visually dazzling production, with great sets and costumes, along with a talented, hard-working cast.
Four-year-old was having a hard time sitting still and paying attention. She did pretty well. She only got her shoe/foot stuck in the folding auditorium seat once (though she loudly proclaimed that fact), and she only asked me when it was going to be finished three times. For a two and a half hour show, that’s pretty great. She really only got bored during the dialogue. When all the songs were going on, she sat up, swayed to the rhythm and even tried her best to sing along. My apologies to the people directly in front and behind us. I did my best to quiet her, but sometimes, I guess, you’ve just got to sing! Even when you don’t know the words. Or the tune. Or the rhythm. Yeah. Sorry.
So, I was rather surprised that she was paying enough attention to know when adorable neighbor girl got stage kissed by her leading man. I was equally surprised that she had a certain Studio C skit memorized. She stood on her seat and yelled out in a perfect Mallory imitation, “Aww Yeah!” The people around us cracked up, at least the Studio C fans did. Luckily, enough other people were whistling and cat calling in the auditorium that her comment wasn’t heard by all.
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Still, maybe it’s time to limit the amount of Studio C watched in our house. Ah, who am I kidding? I love that four-year-old yelled it out. I would have done it myself if adults weren’t expected to have a filter. Check out the hilarious sketch that inspired my four-year-old’s outburst here. And go see White Christmas at local high school. And yell out “Aww Yeah” for me.

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Saved by Studio C

My thirteen-year-old had a band concert last night. Last year, all the students were encouraged to wear Halloween costumes since it was a Halloween concert.

Before thirteen-year-old’s concert, I asked him if he was allowed to wear a costume again this year or if he needed concert dress. He assured me that costumes were fine.

Rewind a few weeks ago to the discussion of what thirteen-year-old wanted to be for Halloween this year. He had all sorts of ideas, all related to his favorite sketch comedy show, Studio C. (Check them out on YouTube. You won’t regret it.) We ordered the pieces necessary for his costume from amazon and got excited for Halloween.

Last night, as we pulled into the junior high parking lot, my husband and I immediately noticed something. All the other kids were dressed in concert dress– meaning a white shirt, a tie, and slacks or a nice dress. Somehow, my kiddo had missed the memo, the only kid who had. No costumes this year, concert dress only.

Thankfully, my son decided to be James dressed as the Lobster Bisque character, seen here:

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“Quick!” I told thirteen-year-old, give me the gloves, the glasses and the suit coat!” He handed over all the requested items, and voila, he was ready to go, concert dress:

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I can only be thankful that he decided on Lobster Bisque instead of Awkward Avoidance Viking, Captain Literally, or Ann the Librarian. (All choices that he was considering.) So thank you Studio C for having the Lobster Bisque character. Lobster Bisque saved his attire grade, and quite possibly saved my hubby and I from a concert spent hiding under the folding chairs trying to pretend that our son was not the sole kid who missed the no costume message. But what a photo op it would have been.

Extreme School Spirit

I live in a place where a heated rivalry between two major universities exists. My husband and I happened to have graduated from the school that most other members of our families consider the enemy. This doesn’t bother us, and while we’ve taken some good natured teasing over the years when “our” football team has done poorly, we’ve given just as much back when “their” school has a less than stellar year.

Actually, we hardly even care, but it’s something fun to talk about with relatives that actually have an interest in sports. Neither of us have watched a football or basketball game for at least a decade, but we hear the scores and sort of pay attention to how “our” team and “their” team is faring.

I guess I didn’t realize how loyal some fans really are. While I was with some youth from my church, touring a local spot with plenty of Christmas lights and decorations, a man walked by in the opposite direction.

He looked at me–stared at me–with intense hate in his eyes, actually even grimaced and balled up his fists. I couldn’t understand what I had done to elicit such a strong reaction from a stranger. Even the teenage girl who was walking around with me noticed his behavior and commented.

Then, I noticed his ball cap. It had the “other” team’s logo emblazoned on it. I had forgotten for a moment that I was wearing a winter hat with “my” school’s logo on it. I hadn’t purposefully made the choice. It was just the first hat I grabbed that I knew would keep my ears toasty warm.

He was about as crazy as this guy...

He was about as crazy as this guy…

Judging by his reaction, this stranger probably wanted to tear the hat off my head, throw it on the ground and stomp it to a million pieces. And was having a hard time keeping himself from doing so.

Dude, it’s just a hat. I can’t help it if “my” team is winning more games than “your” team this year. And if you’re that upset over someone stranger’s headwear, you obviously had missed the meaning of the decorations and holiday reminders around you.

So, Mr. Scrooge Fan, settle down, take a deep breath and know that I still have enough holiday cheer in my heart to give you a pass and wish your team success in their bowl game. After all, it is Christmas.

Review of Mockingjay, Part 1

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My husband’s work hosted a preview night for Mockingjay Part 1. Of course, being big Hunger Games fans, we had to go. Mockingjay is another great movie in the Hunger Games franchise.

The action was great. Since this movie doesn’t take place in an arena, it was somewhat less than the other two movies but still had you gripping the edge of your seat several times.
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This movie did allow for even more character development, and I enjoyed the deepening of Katniss’s feelings for both Peeta and Gale. Though his role is lessened, Haymitch is still Haymitch (done superbly by Woody Harleson), and Effie is great as a “refugee” of sorts.

The acting is well done. Jennifer Lawrence portrayed the panic and determination inherent in these events well. But the best acting was by far done by Josh Hutcherson. He went from confident and descended through each stage of crazy so well in his “interviews”, I was convinced he had really undergone everything Peeta had. And, whoever did his make-up is a true artist.

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I loved how the movie was mainly true to the book. I purposefully didn’t re-read the book so I would have some movie surprises. There were several moments I had forgotten. (I won’t spoil them for you.) But it still seemed to mostly the same feel.

I have one main complaint: President Coin, the President of District 13, was portrayed as way too nice/compassionate. She is seen as stoic, but no hints were given that maybe she isn’t the answer to Panem’s problems. I’m not sure how they will turn her into a character worthy of the ending in Part 2. They missed an opportunity to show she is simply a different side of the same “coin” as President Snow when they didn’t have Katniss’s prep team imprisoned and mistreated (like in the book) and had Effie play that role instead.

Overall, Mockingjay is a great movie. You won’t be disappointed whether you are a fan of the books or have only seen the other movies. I am sure I will be back to see it on the big screen again before it flies away.

Review of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

catching fireI was lucky enough to see Catching Fire last night at a preview party hosted by an affiliate of my hubby’s work.  In short, it was amazing!  If you haven’t bought tickets yet, get some before you read the rest of my review!

The movie series went through a director change, and it has only served to make it better.  Really liked the first one, loved this one.  For big fans of the book series, like I am, you’ll be happy to know the movie stays true to the book.  Yes, some things are left out, but it had to be somewhat condensed to make it fit movie time restrictions.  All the major plot elements that you loved are still in the movie.

Political machinations take front and center stage in the film.  I couldn’t ask for a better Snow or Plutrach, the Head Gamemaker.  The human relationships are also so well done.  Emotions run high throughout the film.  I found myself tearing up a few times.
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The acting was superb.  There is not a single weak link in the acting chain.  My favorite new comer was Jenna Malone as Joanna.  All the former players were excellent; Woody Harrleson as Haymitch was particularly good.  (And I don’t usually like him.)  Katniss is so well acted by Jennifer Lawrence she became the character for me.  Tucci as Flickerman is still hilarious.  And Banks turns in a great performance as Effie.

The pacing of the film is perfect, spending just enough time outside of the actual arena to set up everything that happens there well.

The action is not overdone, something  I think is all too common in most movies.   It plays its role but doesn’t linger overly long.   There was one particular moment which creeped me out.  (Baboons anyone?)

The romance love triangle is portrayed perfectly.  Ah, to be Katniss.

I tried hard to come up with something I didn’t like.  My only complaint is a certain scene where Katniss is running to interrupt a whipping.  Only, she’s just sort of jogging along.  There doesn’t seem to be much intensity, let alone speed, to her movement.  My only tiny complaint, and I had to search for it.

Both hubby and I loved this film so much, we plan to see it again before it leaves the big screen.   Go watch it.  Happy Hunger Games, and may the odds be ever in your favor.

The Katniss and Merida Effect

Every year for the past five years, I’ve signed my kids up for the local summer rec classes. This year, just like the past three years, my eleven-year-old son has taken archery. For the first two years, there were one or two girls in the class of twelve. Last year, there were four. I thought that was a lot. This year, my son is in the minority. Big time. Out of twelve students, nine are girls. A two-to-one ratio.

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I can only attribute this to two recent movie/book characters: Katniss and Merida. Katniss Everdeen has made archery cool for the teen and preteen crowd of girls. She is deadly accurate, able to provide for her family with her mad skills, and, let’s face it, makes archers look uber alluring. Who wouldn’t want to look like Jennifer Laurence? I know I would.
MeridaMerida is a feisty princess who would rather be tromping off into the forest than attending to her royal duties. There is definitely a rebel inside that head of massive curly red locks. Her archery skills are so good she shows up all the boys who have come to compete for her hand. Every 8-12 girl I know, including myself at that phase, loves to upstage the boys at anything, especially at anything physical. Plus, whenever she wants to get away from it all, she takes her bow and rides off on her horse to some fabulous adventure.
Just a little bit of pop culture spilling over into my everyday world. Maybe my eleven-year-old can learn to flirt a little while he’s in the class. The odds should be ever in his favor. But, he’d better be a gentleman. Because if he isn’t, I’ll be after him faster than my two-year-old streaks down the hall after bath time. But I probably won’t need to do anything. After all, these girls are all well-armed and perfectly capable of taking care of themselves. Go Katnisses and Meridas.