Movie Review: Bedtime Stories

I have mixed feelings about this new movie starring Adam Sandler. While Bedtime Stories is certainly a family friendly movie (rated PG) it was not exactly what I thought it would be. Yes, it’s a movie about bedtime stories coming true – but not in the fantastical sense that the previews might lead you to believe – for the most part, there seem to be perfectly rational explanations for a lot of things – nothing just pops out of thin air in a magical way – it’s more like the stories become premonitions for Sandler’s character’s real life.

Sandler plays Skeeter  Bronson, whose father built and ran into the ground the hotel he now works in – as a janitor. It had always been his father’s dream for his family to inherit the hotel, but when he proved to be a not so great business man, he ended up selling the hotel to a man who promised to give his son a job running the hotel someday. And then of course, he didn’t quite keep his promise. But with the help of Skeeter’s adorable niece and nephew, a bug eyed guinea pig, and some imaginative bedtime stories, things start to change – and in true family movie fashion, he manages to turn his life around.

I think the only thing that bothered me about this movie is that, despite being funny, Skeeter’s character isn’t terribly likable. He is pretty rude and, well, crude. Don’t worry about inappropriate material – that’s not really an issue – it was just a little disappointing this his character was never really admirable. I guess you could say he was an underdog, but I couldn’t help but feel like he often deserved his underdog status. And even by the end of the movie when he “turns his life around” and learns the lessons that make him a better person – it isn’t really as rewarding as it could have been – he just sort of pulls things together and comes out okay – he gets the girl, but you can’t help feeling sorry for her for that.

I don’t know – I think I’m being overly critical – Sandler certainly has his style of humor and he excels at it – and the movie was good – I laughed all the way through it – it was really just the mom in me who said, “But wait – ” at the end. Your kids will probably love the silly antics – and you grown ups should enjoy it, too. Netflix deems it appropriate for kids ages 7+ and I think I’d agree with that.

I give Bedtime Stories 3.5 out of 5 stars.

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Weekend Diversions: Movie Making, Cake Wrecking & Fairy Tales

This weekend’s diversions come courtesy of Jean @ Working Momma 247, VSL: The Very Short List and my Google RSS Feed.

My good bloggy pal Jean pointed me in the direction of this fun quiz which tells you Which Cake Wreck You Are. If you haven’t been to Cake Wrecks before you’ll want to go there first and have yourself a good laugh – it’s one of my favorite blogs and always makes me smile. Here’s my result:

result image

( http://cakewrecks.blogspot.com/2008/05/cake-that-started-it-all.html )

You’re an oldie, but a goodie. You can take things a wee bit too literally, sometimes.

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Have you ever wanted to make your own movie? With the text-to-movie app at xtranormal.com you can make your own little cartoon movies in minutes. Here’s an example of the fun that can be had with this fun website:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Episode The Lay Off“, posted with vodpod

You write the script, cast the actors and add in music, expressions and more. It’s so easy and rather addicting.

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Lastly, from VSL, a version of Little Red Riding Hood you’ve probably never seen before. VSL writes:

Tomas Nilsson is a design student at Sweden’s Linköping University, and his modern take on the Little Red Riding Hood story started out as a class project. We’re giving it top marks.

Inspired by an equally brilliant video by the Norwegian duo Röyksopp, Nilsson turned the old fairy tale into a story about 21st-century information flow: He breaks the Hundred Acre Wood down by Wildlife Density (12 moose, 9 deer, 3 wolves, 25 hares). He gives Granny a nutritional-facts label (she’s high in trans fat, low in calcium). And when the hunter arrives and fires his rifle, we’re treated to a CSI-like internal view of the wolf’s brain as the bullet enters. The end.

Here’s the video:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

If you have any tips or suggestions for a weekend diversion you can email me at mommablogsalot (at) gmail (dot) com.

About the Momma:

Jen is a Stay at Home Mom and Loving Wife. She spends her time online reading RSS feeds and posting in her blog. If you haven’t heard from her in awhile, she’s likely lost in a good book, sleeping or watching Grey’s Anatomy.

Weekend Diversions: Just Dance, Free Fonts, Free Movies, “Healthy” Sodas & Springing Forward

Last week I blogged about an adorable video of John Mayer and Elmo talking about nothing cute. Not long after Ange @ Red Knows How sent me a link to the following video with combines John Mayer with another one of my favorite people, Ellen Degeneres.

I’m officially a John Mayer funny video junkie so if you come across one you think I’ll like, please comment to let me know or send me an email at mommablogsalot (at) gmail (dot) com.

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Have you ever wanted to make your own font but had no idea how to go about it? Yourfonts.com is a free online font generator that lets you create your own fonts in minutes. You’ll print a sheet that you will fill in with your handwriting, then scan it in and within 15 minutes you’ll have your very own font that you can use on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. You can make as many fonts as you want!

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Speaking of free stuff, RedBox is offering a coupon code for a free movie every Wednesday in March. Just visit their blog, RedBlog on Wednesdays for the code. The blog itself is pretty cool, too, with articles about upcoming movies, DVD reviews, behind the scenes info and other fun things for any movie fan. I added it to my RSS feed and have been having a lot of fun perusing their archives. Definitely a great read!

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Have you heard about the new Pepsi Natural (or maybe seen it in a store)? Sold in glass bottles for the slightly exorbitant price of $4.69 for a four pack of 12 oz. glass bottles, they do look very pretty and might intrigue people with the information that these versions of Pepsi contain no high fructose corn syrups and are sweetened with plain old sugar (42 grams of sugar I might add!). Still I’m not sure I’d spend that much for something that, at the end of the day, is still soda and still not great for you. How about you? Would you spend $12.50 per gallon (regular pepsi runs for $3.69 per gallon just to compare) for “natural” pepsi? For more great information about the new Pepsi Natural, check out keacher.com for a great review.

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That’s all for this weekend – don’t forget Sunday is Day Light Savings time – time to Spring Forward! For more information on DST check out this neat article at Blissfully Domestic and also timeanddate.com for some easy information.

Review: Roku Digital Video Player

I recently had the opportunity to review the Roku, a digital video player that allows you to watch any of the 12,000+ movies and television shows from Netflix’s Watch Instantly feature right on your television. I’ve been intrigued by this idea for awhile, loving the idea of being able to watch a movie or tv series on the spur of the moment when there are lags between DVDs from my queue and nothing on tv (we have a very small, inexpensive cable plan so this does happen frequently and we have no movie channels or On Demand options to fall back on).

I was really impressed with the Roku – the set up was so simple, I never even glanced at their instruction manual during set up (but glancing through it afterwards, I did see that the manual was very straight forward and easy to understand). Just connect the box to your internet connection via wireless or wired Ethernet and you are good to go. Literally within minutes of opening the box, we were up and running and watching a movie (Gattaca).

The picture quality and speed were excellent – honestly I can think of nothing to complain about in regards to the Roku, which sells for just $99 and works seamlessly with your current Netflix subscription (meaning that if you have Netflix already, you won’t have to sign up for a subscription) and the movies and tv shows you watch won’t affect your queue or billing at all. And the good news doesn’t end there. You’ll be able to use the Roku with Amazon on Demand in the near future, gaining you access to over 40,000+ movies and tv shows available for purchase or rental.

There are currently a small handful of devices that you can use to watch Netflix’s Watch Instantly shows on your television (including your XBox 360, a TIVO or an internet connected blue ray player) but nothing is as inexpensive as the Roku. For just $99 you’ll have access to all 12,000+ shows available on Netflix and all 40,000+ shows soon to be available on Amazon on Demand. I think that’s quite a bargain, especially considering the excellent quality of the device.

Have you tried the Roku yet? What did you think of this digital video player?

Book Review: Pride and Prejudice

Which Pride and Prejudice character are you?

I am Elizabeth Bennet!

Take the Quiz here!

About four months ago I read Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen for the Classics Bookclub @ 5 Minutes for Books. It was my first time reading it, and one of the first classic novels I had attempted to read in a long time (I think Gone With the Wind was probably the last one, and that was a few years ago at least). Since then I have attempted to read a couple of classics with little result – and Pride and Prejudice is certainly still my favorite. I can’t believe, looking back now, how long I waited to read it.

One of the reasons I waited so long was because I’d already seen the movie with Kiera Knightly, which was enjoyable but confusing in my opinion, not having read the book. I’ve seen several movies based on Austen’s books and have previously had a very hard time reading a book when I’d already seen the movie. You could say I’d developed a prejudice towards the situation.

And of course, Austen’s books all seem a bit dry in many ways, with their antiquated language and tendency to blather on about what sometimes seems like nothing. Despite often enjoying them, I have not been good about reading all the classics and I think I may have been a bit scared that I wouldn’t understand it, after so many years away from a classroom – that I’d find it boring simply because I lacked the propensity to enjoy it. Oh yes, I was prejudiced.

I think, if you’ll bear with me for a moment, that you could easily compare my experience reading this book to Elizabeth Bennet’s experience with Mr. Darcy. The first half of the book bordered on dreadfully boring in my not very humble opinion, the language seemed stale and unnecessarily verbose. I thought for quite some time I’d have to force myself to finish it. But then somewhere in the middle I fell in love – I realized the language wasn’t terribly stale at all, the story was easy to understand, and the level of “wordiness” was actually just right. Her writing style began to become marvelous to me and now even as I type this, I think I’ve perhaps been reading classic literature quite long enough because it is surely affecting my writing style.

By the time I realized I was loving the book, I was no longer certain why I hadn’t liked it originally. I’m not sure if my initial dislike of the book was the author’s fault or my own. Had I become lazy after so many years of reading only modern literature or did Austen’s writing style change over the course of the book – perhaps even on purpose? Was it her intention that I feel prejudiced towards the book initially, marking it off as unworthy of my time, only to wow me in the middle, win me over the by the end, and have me quite in love when all was said and done?

In short, at first the book seemed unnecessarily dry and proud and boring – but by the end it was surely the warmest, most involved book I’ve read in awhile. I’m quite fancying myself in love with it. I might marry it. My family will be quite shocked, I’m sure. Can you see the parallel yet or should I say the same thing in a different way again? No? You’re good? Me, too.

Have you read Pride and Prejudice? Did you love it, loathe it or find yourself indifferent? What is your favorite classic novel?

About the Momma:

Jen is a Stay at Home Mom and Loving Wife. Spends too much time online reading RSS feeds and posting in her blog. If you haven’t heard from her in awhile, she’s likely lost in a good book, sleeping or watching Grey’s Anatomy.

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