Category Archives: Movies

Bathroom decoration

My son ran out of a restaurant bathroom in Italy very frightened.

“I can’t go! This man with a huge head keeps staring at me!”

So of course I had to check it out.

He was right.

Hulk’s pants

Dinner time is an important meal for the whole family to spend together. We talk, learn about each other’s day, and discuss important topics of concern to us all.

The other day, that topic was the Incredible Hulk’s pants and superhero clothes in general.

So when Bruce Banner changes into the Incredible Hulk, all his clothes shred off except for his pants. Stan Lee and Marvel have tried to explain this as a special fiber that allows the pants to stretch, but our family has other questions:

  • Why do the pants tear at the ankles but not the upper thighs?
  • Why doesn’t the butt seam break apart like it does on normal people’s pants when they wear out?
  • How many pairs of these pants does he own and how much do they cost, because obviously he has to replace them every time he changes back?

This also leads to questions about another superhero:

  • Superman wears his costume under his clothes. Where’s the cape tucked in?
  • Superman removes his suit (usually in a phone booth) to expose his supersuit and fly off. What happens to his discarded business suit? People steal that right? What would you do if you found a nice suit crumpled up in a phone booth? How many suits does he have? A reporter doesn’t make that much money.

That’s as far as we got because then we were done eating dinner, but I feel this topic could easily be explored further.

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Your guide to Venice (or, yes, I’m still bored)

I’ve made a family fun guide to Venice in case anyone’s looking to convince their family that this is the place to go!

Brothers… all the same

My youngest son was talking about how he wishes we could hurry and invent teleportation.

“We’d already have it if it weren’t for the Marx Brothers.”

I thought about this for a while, but could remember no scenes relating to teleportation in any Marx Brothers movies.

I asked, “How did the Marx Brothers ruin our chances at teleportation?”

“Because they invented the airplane, so everyone focused on that instead!”

“Um, you mean the Wright Brothers.”

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Christmas in Sweden – Advent Calendar

awesomechristmasEvery family has at least one Advent Calendar, usually with bits of chocolate on the inside. There is also a tv calendar and a radio calendar.

The Christmas Calendar (Julkalendern), which dates back to the 1960s, is an annual TV series airing one episode a day in 10 minute increments. Each year it’s a different story.

There is also a radio calendar with a different Christmas story than the television, airing a 10-minute episode each day.

The TV calendar this year is a story set in the early 1900s about a girl and a professor who build a hot air balloon to travel to find the land of Santa Claus.

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The radio calendar story this year is about a girl who shakes a snow globe and is taken to a magical land.

We listen to the radio calendar every morning at breakfast, and watch the television calendar every evening.

It’s a good way to practice my Swedish, though many years the stories take place in the 1800s to early 1900s, so I may have picked up a few unused words here and there.

 

 

Movies

Took the kids to the movies yesterday to see “Fantastic Beasts” and they were literally on the edge of their seats. In fact, I had to push my youngest back three times because he sat so far up that he was basically breathing on the neck of the guy on the row in front of him. At least he had nice popcorn breath.

I have a friend who pops her own popcorn and brings it to the movies. I used to think that was strange and thought “well I want my popcorn warm,” but realized yesterday that my 35 SEK ($5) box of popcorn actually cools off in about two minutes, so I think she’s onto something there. Plus, if I start making my own popcorn at home, I can put bacon salt on it. I could also bring one of those electronic warming things I keep in my pocket on cold days and set it under the popcorn bag.

I already save the 3D glasses each time so I don’t have to pay the fee for the new ones. Now I figured out the popcorn. I think all that’s left is special non-stick shoe covering and I’ll have conqured the movie theater.

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Customs video FAIL

As usual, when we arrived in the U.S. last month, we were subjected to a special video that re-played every three minutes while we waited in the long line at immigration/customs.

At least this year there was a new video. I was really getting tired of listening to super-happy people repeating, “I am America…… I am America…. I am America” over and over. I kept thinking, “Where’s the angry lady that shouts at me when I don’t have correct change for the toll? Isn’t SHE America? And where’s the guy who cut me off and stole my parking space last year in Texas? Isn’t HE also America? I don’t see these people in the video.”

But anyway, this year’s video for customs was a little instructional piece for stupid people and children explaining why we have to stand in an hour long line to enter the country. In one part of the video, a little girl asks a customs official, “Why are you taking my mommy’s fingerprints?” and the man replies, “I’m making sure she really IS your mommy and not someone PRETENDING to be your mommy.”

What kind of psychological damage is that customs offical subjecting that little girl to? “My mommy may not be my mommy but someone PRETENDING to be my mommy?!  AHHHHH!!!!!”

Another fail for the customs video writers. My suggestion is simply to run some Tom & Jerry cartoons like they used to do at Six Flags Amusement Parks while I waited in line. Trust me, I get just as much useful information from that as I do from a customs video.

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12 Angry Birds

My youngest son was extremely excited yesterday when looking over our movie list and seeing that we had “12 Angry Men.” He thought it was a sequel to the Angry Birds movie.

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Cancellation requirements

I bought some tickets for a show tonight. I had the option of buying cancellation insurance. I decided to look through the requirements to see if anything seemed reasonable. I declined the insurance – mainly since they didn’t cover anything nuclear or radioactive. I mean, c’mon! Doesn’t someone in that situation DESERVE a refund?

Also, there must be a lot of angry customers arguing about supersonic speed damages.

Actual quote from cancellation insurance page:

We will not pay any consequence of war, invasion, acts of foreign enemies, hostilities (whether war be declared or not), civil war, rebellion, revolutions, insurrection, military or usurped power, riot, civil commotion, strikes, lockout, terrorism, malicious intent or vandalism, confiscation or nationalisation of or requisition or destruction of or damage to property by or under the order of any government or public or local authority. We will not pay any loss caused directly or indirectly by:

  • ionising radiations or contamination by radioactivity from nuclear fuel or from any nuclear waste from the combustion of nuclear fuel;
  • the radioactive toxic explosive or other hazardous properties of any explosive nuclear assembly or nuclear component thereof.

We will not pay any loss caused directly or indirectly by damage or destruction directly occasioned by pressure waves caused by aircraft or other aerial devices travelling at sonic or supersonic speeds.”

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Dolomite!

My family and I are spending a week in Italy near the Dolomites. Sadly, 2 are under age 12 and the other is Swedish, so they will not understand my numerous Dolomite jokes.

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I have a (5th grade) dream…

I visited my 5th grade son’s school earlier this week and I noticed kids’ projects taped to the wall for their English lessons that said, “I Have a Dream” (they’re also studying human rights).
Most kids had written things like “My dream is that no one should be poor.” “My dream is that there will be no more war.”

My son, very concerned that we have recently become stuck with a low-selection Swedish Netflix, wrote, “My dream is that we get American Netflix back.”

Priorities.

netflir

Monsieur T

Ever wonder what the A-Team theme sounds like in French? Wonder no more!

Parenting lesson #15 – Why predicting the future is bad

Had a very detailed discussion yesterday on the subway with my son about the dangers of future prediction. As he is too young to have seen the movie “Minority Report,” I had to fill him in on why we shouldn’t predict crimes that haven’t happened. I also had to explain this:

Me: What if you found out that you would be hit by a car March 10?
Son: Then you could stay at home.Me: Then the car is going to crash into your house.
Son: But we live on the third floor.
Me: Then the helicopter carrying the car will have a lose cable and it will fall in your house.
Son: Ah…

Important moments in parenting and teaching in order to stop your future mad scientists from destroying society. Also, you get your own subway section of seats because people think you’re insane.

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This really irritates me

Someone posted this in a Facebook group yesterday. Here’s my problem with this every time I see it in a movie…

In most of these movie situations, the person is moving across the country, taking another job, or going back to someone else – otherwise there would be no last minute dash to stop someone from leaving forever. If they’re just on spring break to Florida, it can wait until Monday.

So now that we’ve established it’s a life-changing, never-come-back flight…  Can you imagine the time it took to pack up everything for the move? And what about the cost of hiring movers, plus extra luggage on the plane? To make it even simpler, what about the price of a plane ticket? You’re looking at $500-2000 depending on where you’re moving.

After you’re stopped from getting on the plane, can you imagine how much trouble you have to go through to remove your luggage, if it’s even possible when the plane is already boarding (as it always is during these scenes)? That means you need to go to the desk to file a luggage claim, which takes forever. Plus, if it was your decision not to board, there’s no refund for that. You’ll also have to pay the movers to bring everything back. Is this love-of-your-life going to chip in for costs? Unpack boxes? Or even wait in line with you to fill out forms at the luggage counter?

This is my problem with this type of scene. Thank you.

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Garden & Gun?

One of my Facebook friends posted an article about Matthew McConaughey the other day that discussed his love for the New Orleans Garden District. All of the comments were on how great a person Mr. McConaughey is or how great New Orleans is, but there was not one comment about the name of the magazine in which this article appeared – Garden & Gun.

Though it makes me laugh, this is one of the reasons I’m glad I no longer live in the southern states. Can you imagine a magazine like this in Sweden? What would it be called?  Trädgård & Yxa ?

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New stereo system

In order to save a bit of money, my husband and I decided to install our new car stereo system by ourselves. We took the car into a mall parking garage because we don’t have a garage and it’s -10 outside. It took us 3 hours to install the stereo and speakers after which time we agreed that the installation price was probably quite fair for this amount of work. This is also because the stereo mostly works, but occasionally it goes out and you have to hit the door to get it back on. Swedish ghetto life.

Of course, my husband bought this stereo without consulting me first. I had a much better idea, which was to have a Mad Max Doof Warrior playing a flaming guitar with giant speakers in front of our car. Much better sound and he probably takes requests. But instead, we have a normal car stereo just like everyone else. Oh well. Maybe next vehicle.

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Little Shop of Horrors – Alternate ending

So I decided to show my youngest son one of my favorite movies since I was 11 – “Little Shop of Horrors.” I’ve watched it many times over the years including last year with his older brother on the DVD I bought in the 90s. Well, my husband got new Blu-Ray versions of everything to put on our Apple TV and it seems he got the new release of the movie – the “everybody dies” ending that was rejected in the 80s.

As my son and I were watching, I was thinking, “I don’t remember Audrey dying.” Then the plant ate Seymour. “I really don’t remember this part.” And then the plants took over the whole world and ate everyone. The end. So it looks like I got to see a surprise new movie today too. Sorry ’bout that son! They lived when I was little!

I mean I always knew they all die in the black and white 60s version and the musical. but it was always safe and fun in the Frank Oz directed 1986 version. Wow. I mean, it was fine and my son loved it, it was just totally unexpected for me. I thought I was losing my memory at first.  Anyway, very interesting. Never knew. I wonder what other much-loved movies have changed their endings and how many more surprises I have in store for me re-watching old favorites.

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Baytown Outlaws

I grew up in Baytown, Texas, just outside of Houston. I usually just tell people I’m from Houston since it’s more well known (and I pause for the required, “Houston, we have a problem” statement I get from each person thinking they’re the first ones to ever say that to me).

But now maybe Baytown is going to be on the map! As I googled the town today, I found this movie gem from just a few years back. Yep, once this movie catches on, I expect Baytown to be a tourist destination. I mean, look at the poster – it’s obviously high quality. I must have missed this movie’s Oscar nomination. It’s a proud moment for my hometown.  (I think that guy in the tank top used to be my daycare teacher.)

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Paris – hunchbacks, cats and old robots

We are taking the kids to Paris today! It will be their first time there. I’ve been trying to prepare them for the past few weeks with movies about Paris. I’m not sure if they really learned anything from the movies I picked. The reactions went a bit like this:

Hunchback of Notre Dame – Ended up in my son trying to walk like a hunchback for a week.

A Cat in Paris – Kids in deep discussion about if one could actually jump from rooftop to rooftop… well maybe if you were in shape… maybe if you had special shoes….

Hugo – Mainly just interested in the automatron. How to work it, how to build it. Didn’t seem to notice Paris or the history of movies in the film.

The Aristocats – Always just concerned about that one scene where the piano crashes through the floor. “They’ll get in trouble!”

Oh well…. They’ll just have to discover Paris on their own.

Aristoca

Alan Turing vs. the Sharknado

This weekend I watched both “The Imitation Game” (nominated for 8 Oscars) and “Sharknado 2″(nominated for 0 Oscars).

I will now write an comparison essay on these two films:

“Alan Turing overcame many obstacles to solve the Enigma code and therefore contributed to ending WW2.  In Sharknado 2, Finn’s wife overcame her struggle of losing her hand to a shark that bit it off in an airplane by attaching a circle-saw to her arm and saving her husband’s life by killing a giant shark on top of a skyscraper, thus leading to ……..  Wow. I can’t even remember how that ended even though I watched it 4 days ago.  Um…. they saved New York from the Sharknado like Turing saved Allied forces in WW2.”

(Stay tuned next weekend after I watch “The Theory of Everything” and “Big Ass Spider.”)

turingshark

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