Cinderella Movie Review

I saw Disney’s new live-action Cinderella movie with my wife and we weren’t very impressed.

We went into it with high expectations. Everyone had told us it was good and a nice romance movie that we both would like to see.

First disappointment was that it wasn’t a musical with talking mice like the animated version.

The mice are still there, hungry and oppressed by the cat, but they don’t talk. The notes of the songs are still used in the movie’s score, but the movie is definitely not a musical with talking animals.

Next problem for me specifically was Cinderella’s beauty. I had the same problem in the new Snow White movie with Kristen Stewart. In both cases the story tells of the characters unsurpassing beauty. Its even an important plot point in the Snow White story. And then the movie fails to deliver. In both cases the villainous women are more attractive than the heroine.

This fact is possibly a conscious decision in Cinderella. She is far more kind and generous than her step-relatives and perhaps making the villains more outwardly beautiful than her was done to counterplay Cinderella’s inner beauty.

The story doesn’t stray far from the known narrative. The romance between Cinderella and the Prince seems genuine. They love each other because they both judge each other’s worth based on their personalities instead of their rank in society.

Their romance did seem a little tame compared to other romances though. I’m used to movies where true love is expressed by the characters jumping each others’ bones instead of holding hands and dancing.

Not that Disney did anything wrong by keeping the passion to a low level. The movie is intended for children and the historical setting imposes its own limitations on how far the lovers can go physically without being sinful.

The removal of the songs and the lack of adult romance didn’t ruin the movie, but it certainly doesn’t compare well to other Cinderella movies like Ella Enchanted or A Cinderella Story. If you’re in the mood for a sappy Cinderella romance I would suggest those over Disney’s live action Cinderella.

GoCorral

Home Movie Review

A week after moving into our new home my wife and I had some of our friends over to celebrate my birthday.

We went out to eat and then saw the Dreamworks movie, Home.

The movie is about an alien race that invades Earth and takes over everything.

The trailer didn’t talk about this much, but the invading race, the Boov, are running away from another alien race, the Gorg.

The Boov move all the humans on Earth to Australia and deposit them in a prefabricated idyllic suburban complete with ice cream and amusement park rides for everyone (nevermind that most of the world wouldn’t consider this a paradise but a horrible alien environment).

The Boov overlook one human in the abduction process, Tip.

Tip and her cat, Pig, soon hookup with an outcast Boov, Oh. Oh is as socially awkward as someone can be and also accidentally sent an email to everyone in the galaxy, inviting them to a housewarming party on Earth. Everyone in the galaxy also includes the Gorg who will be coming soon to blow up the Earth.

The rest of the Boov are looking for Oh. Oh is running away from them with Tip, but to get her cooperation he has to help find her mother who was moved to Australia.

The trailer can probably tell you the rest of what you can expect from the movie. Oh doesn’t understand human culture and Tip teaches him about it.

I liked the movie a lot. It is a traditional kid’s movie where everyone gets a happy ending with no consequences, but that’s fine.

The acting is well done by Rihanna and Jim Parsons. They aren’t playing characters that are significantly different from what they’ve done before. A little typecasting never hurt anybody.

The movie has great coloration as well. I don’t often expect movies to be that visually pleasing.

The Boov have all sorts of colors for their technology, going all over Earth presents tons of different landscapes and colors, and most important of all the Boov themselves have tons of colors to represent their different emotions (blue for neutral, red for anger, yellow for scared, green for lying, etc.).

The movie had the ever present issue of “Why does everyone speak English in space?” but that’s something you get over after watching and reading tons of science fiction stuff.

It was the perfect movie for my loosely space themed birthday party! We had a cake with stars and a moon on it after the movie of course.

-GoCorral

Giving Blood

Blood Bandage and Sticker
The sticker says, “My reason for donating is ‘My sister’s B-Day.'”

 

As I was coming home from work yesterday I passed by a sign on campus that announced a blood drive.

I’ve always wanted to donate, but a few things worried me about it.

I take antihistamines for my allergies, so I’m constantly getting a little sick. You can’t donate within three days of being sick.

I used to be freaked out by my blood being inside another person’s body, but the Lego arguement helped me get over that problem. It’s not really my blood once its outside of my body. It’s just blood. And I might need blood someday when I’m in a hospital, so I should give some now!

It’s also a little difficult to schedule when you donate blood because they’re open at the same time I’m working or at school.

So as I was biking past this sign for the blood drive I was thinking about my sister as yesterday would’ve been her 27th birthday. I had some strange compulsion to get her a present. The sign and the present idea lined up and I decided giving blood would be my present to her.

The process was fairly smooth, mostly just a lot of waiting.

I got a card to fill out with my address, name, and phone number. I talked to some people about having them sponsor my donaion or something so they could get a grant for supplis at their student-run clinic in Sacramento.

I then sat in a line or people waiting to go into the five buses lined up along the UC Davis quad.

Eventually one of the buses called me and the exchange student next to me up. I then sat in the bus while they entered my info into a computer and confirmed that everything was right.

After that I went into a tiny little closet (slightly bigger, but it felt like a closet) at the back of the bus to answer questions about my sexual, travel, and penal history. Basically anything that puts you at risk for HIV.

A guy came into the closet to test the hemoglobin levels of my blood and my bsic vitals to make sure I could donate. Everything looked good and he sent me into the main part of the bus.

The bus had several reclining chairs set up all along it. The perfect ergonomic position for holding your arm out and letting people drain blood from it.

One of the two women working in that section explained everything to me, set up the IV, and started taking the blood out. The actual process of being drained took about six minutes.

While the IV is in I didn’t look at it. I find that needles only creep me out if I look at them.

They gave me a little squeeze ball to roll in my arm. Keeping my hand moving kept the blood flowing into the IV.

At the end they bandaged up my arm and sent me to the front of the bus to get cookies, water, and Gatorade. I got the sticker in the picture above as well.

It was pretty fun for a first time. I’m planning on going again in June. I’m sure my sister would’ve liked her present!

-GoCorral

Unpacking

IMG_3079
Putting together packaged furniture while the cats observe.

Unpacking boxes takes an awful lot of work.

My in-laws had come up just to help with the big furniture. After they left we were still left bunches of boxes to unpack.

Additionally, we hadn’t fully moved out of our old apartment. We have a lease that extends until the end of August. There are ways to get out of the lease, but moving somewhere else isn’t really one of them.

We have the option to sublease, but there are tons of people that want to sublease during the summer in Davis. We don’t even have the added benefit of offering a continuation of the lease past August because our apartment complex already found someone for that slot.

So why didn’t we wait until we’d finished the apartment lease before moving into a new home?

It’s mostly because the home is way bigger and a better place to live in. We thought about it prior to moving. Either way we end up paying the same amount of money. The apartment lease is for X amount of months whether we stay in it or not. The house we buy/bought will be Y amount of dollars whether we buy it in March or August.

So we’re not actually paying anymore money than if we’d stayed in the apartment until August. We have to pay MORE now, sure, but the total amount is the same.

I’ve got a decent amount saved up, so paying more now isn’t a huge inconvenience.

In exchange for paying more now we get to live in the house six months earlier. Woohoo!

Living in the new house includes many beneifts, most of which are related to choosing how our new house will be set up.

We get to decide where everything goes in our kitchen and the garage. We get to pick out plants to grow in the backyard. We get to pick out art to go on the walls or to present on shelves. We get to print out more pictures to put on our walls. We get to find places to put all the cat stuff. Stuff that never had a “place” at the old apartment (my wife’s shoes) get a whole new piece of furniture devoted to them.

All the new stuff is super great! And we get to blast music and stomp on the floor and not worry about offending our neighbors anymore. Nobody lives directly under or beside us.

Taking out the trash isn’t a huge trek across the parking lot (100 yards feels huge when you’re carrying 50+ pounds!). The laundry machines are much closer and I don’t have to hoard quarters like a lunatic anymore.

So many cool new things and this is only the beginning!

-GoCorral

Kingsman Movie Review

The day after my in-laws helped me moved in was my birthday. Wheee!

We were still moving in so we didn’t do anything super fancy.

My wife and I went out to eat for breakfast. Not like we had another option because we hadn’t moved the food over from the old apartment yet…

The breakfast restaurant was Italian themed and is rapidly becoming our favorite restaurant in Davis. It’s called Cafe Italia if anyone is interested in going.

After breakfast we unpacked more stuff. My one birthday event was going to a movie that I got to pick. I chose Kingsman (as if the title of this post and the picture weren’t enough clues for you to figure that out already).

The movie was pretty awesome, filled with action scenes and callouts to other spy movies.

The plot follows Eggsy, the son of a man killed while working for the mysterious Kingsman.

The Kingsman are a secret spy organization working independently of other intelligence agencies to keep the world safe from evil people. They’re a small group and everyone is named after people from the King Arthur stories. The leader is King Arthur, the person filling Q’s role from the Bond films is named Merlin, Eggsy’s mentor is named Galahad, etc.

I love the King Arthur stuff and it’s coupled with the agents being chivalrous and knightly in their mannerisms.

Eggsy’s initial selection is a lot of fun. Bar fights, car chases, evil step-fathers. Awesome stuff! Some of it you’ve already seen in the trailer if you watched the trailer. Go watch the trailer!

After he joins the training program the movie slows down a bit. Eggsy’s mentor, played by Colin Firth, investigates the villain’s plan to kill half the Earth’s population, while Eggsy goes through a series of unusual training exercises.

The concept of the training exercises is fun. One of them is six people sky diving and after they’ve jumped Merlin informs them that only one of them has a parachute. Unfortunately, the training sequences just aren’t as fun as the car chases and bar fights in the first half hour.

The movie heats up when Eggsy finally takes on the villain with help from the other Kingsman. I don’t want to give too much away from that part of the movie though.

I’d definitely recommend it. It’s a solid action movie and my wife said it was even a little bit thought provoking.

And it’s just barely still in theaters as I’ve been dragging my feet about making blog posts. Quick! Go see it!

-GoCorral

Moving In

PIcture was taken by the house inspector. I'm in the doorway!
This picture was taken by the house inspector. I’m in the doorway!

So where have I been the last month or so with my posts?

Moving into this brand new house of course!

Well, it’s not actually brand new. It was built in 1975, but you get the idea.

My wife and I packed up most of our stuff and her parents and then on a Saturday her parents came down to help us with everything.

Last time we’d moved I had rented the truck and driven it. Being unfamiliar with how to drive a truck resulted in me sideswiping another car while parking. No serious damage to either vehicle, but I got scared of driving something that big.

My in-laws were willing to drive it for us this time.

So we spent all of Saturday sweating and puffing as we moved all the furniture downstairs, into the truck, and inside the new house.

The hardest part was the couch. The couch is an Ikea couch and came delivered in 6 parts.

Putting those parts together was an extremely annoying experience that I wasn’t looking forward to repeating so I convinced my relatives that we could get it out of the house without taking it apart.

I turned out to be just barely right about this. We turned the couch on its side and even then it barely fit through the door. Grappling it down the stairs was an art form.

We were tempted to tip it over the side of the banister halfway down the stairs and be done with it, but we resisted.

Eventually we got the thing down the stairs and into the truck.

Moving it into the new house was much easier. A ground floor entrance and double doors helped that process a lot.

We’re now about a month away from that Saturday and have mostly moved in. More stories to come! Hopefully I can get my act together and keep posting here with some regularity.

 

-GoCorral