Review of "Wanted"

Wanted” directed by Timur Bekmambetov is “The Matrix” meets “Shoot Em Up” meets “Smokin’ Aces” - to put it in a nutshell. And judging by the sold out showings at the theater I went to, which is the theater I go to when I think the other theaters will be sold out – people really want to see this movie. But will people like it when they see it? Probably. Will it win any awards? Nope. Not unless they come out with a “Funniest Morgan Freeman Moment”, or “Angelina Can’t Possibly Be More Badass” or “Best American Accent by a Sexy Brit” award. So if a movie winning those awards sounds enticing, read on.

- James McAvoy’s character – he’s real and relatable, even after becoming badass. He cries while getting beat up during his initiation, finally tells off his boss, smiles like a geek when he’s kissed by the hot chick, you know, normal stuff we would all do.

- SICK stunts! – and not of the coughing, sneezing kind! The stunts are incredibly imaginative and there are a ton of them that aren’t revealed in the trailer! If I could live in any imaginary, badass world, it would be this one.

- (Spoiler) There’s a plot twist that’s not even HINTED at in the trailers. I love this! Never saw it coming.

- No stupid sex scene or lame love plot. Woohoo!

- Why does every badass chick whether she’s a cop, assassin or spy, have to have “daddy” baggage, specifically “dead daddy” baggage? For once I want a badass chick to just be a badass chick. Maybe her parents are still alive, treated her great, live in suburban Pennsylvania, and maybe they even support her career decision! But she chose to kick some bad guy ass just because. Is that too much to ask for?!

- Weird back story to “The Fraternity.” Weavers and taking orders from a loom? Hm.

- Sometimes, it was just too much. This is where it’s like “Shoot Em Up” just a little over the gross quota for one film. But only sometimes (mostly at the end).

- A lot, and I mean unanimously agreed upon in my circle, that A LOT of innocent people die, which is not usually what “good guys” are after. Also, the “Fraternity’s” motto is “Kill one, save a thousand”, but I guess we are just supposed to forget that for one or two scenes.

Unique Qualities:
- The magical bullets used in the movie and how they do really cool tricks!

- How convincing MacAvoy is as an assassin and as a bored, run of the mill “Average Joe.”

- Even though friends of mine guessed the end twist, the fact that we weren’t expecting one is just awesome! Awesome!

What movies would you compare this one to? Has anyone read the comic book that it’s based off of?

“Basically, I'm for anything that gets you through the night - be it prayer, tranquilizers or a bottle of Jack Daniels.” – Frank Sinatra

So may the prayers, tranquilizers and JD be with you and see you next time.

Read more!


Review of “Get Smart”

I was reading other reviews of the movie and there is some negative feedback regarding leading man Steve Carell. Some of the buzz is that Carell’s Maxwell Smart is too similar to “The 40 Year Old Virgin” type characters and not enough of the original Maxwell Smart. I say, rather I yell “THIS IS A MODERN ADAPTATION!” And if Carell had tried to immitate Don Adam’s Smart, there would be complaints about that too. Honestly, casting Carell was the best thing they could do for this movie. I wanted to see it the instant I saw the first trailer with Maxwell Smart stuck in a phone booth.

Pros: What I liked about the film:
- Steve Carell is funny, but so is Anne Hathaway, Dwayne Johnson, Alan Arkin, Terry Crews, David Koechner, James Caan, Bill Murray, Patrick Warburton, Masi Oka, Nate Torrence (breath) ok did I leave any one out? It’s funny. Although about 45% of the funniest moments are seen in the trailers (I hate that) there are still numerous laugh out loud moments from the entire cast.
- It’s a feel good movie. Happy endings, romance, eye candy, explosions, the good guys win – end of story.
- There’s enough action to keep it interesting.
- The scenery is great!

Cons: What I didn’t like about the film:
- The romance between Hathaway and Carell is a bit of a stretch. There is even an added line regarding Hathaway’s Agent 99’s real age and that she recently had surgery to change her identity and to “take a few years off.”
- I wish the trailers had shown less of the funny parts. This is a really big pet peeve of mine and I don’t laugh when these moments occur in the movie because you can see it coming.

Unique Qualities
- I really like the cast. It’s a great mixture of some of the industry’s best talent and best upcoming talent.
- IT DOESN’T IMITATE THE TV SHOW! It’s modern! (gasp) How dare they?!

In about 2 weeks you will probably forget you’ve seen this movie, and you may not have much to tell people when they ask you “How was it?”, but you certainly won’t hate it and it’s better than half the other crap that’s in theaters right now (cough – Chronicles of Narnia, cough – Made of Honor). So, laugh and enjoy and take it for what it is.

“Basically, I'm for anything that gets you through the night - be it prayer, tranquilizers or a bottle of Jack Daniels.” – Frank Sinatra

So may the prayers, tranquilizers and JD be with you and see you next time.

Read more!


Review of “The Happening”

A lot of reviews I have read have described M. Night Shyamalan’s latest flick “The Happening” as a long Twilight Zone episode. And I agree, so no reason to change the analogy. In a nut shell, there’s a virus that’s causing people in the North Atlantic to kill themselves. Shyamalan shows us the mass chaos of a seemingly unstoppable, invisible killer and what it takes to survive it.

Pros: What I liked about the film:
- Not to sound like a weirdo, but I’m kinda intrigued by how the people decide to off themselves (sorry to be vulgar). I HATE the super gross and gore but it is visually interesting to see by what means people chose for themselves. Also, there isn’t a whole lot of the blood and guts that we are used to seeing in R movies.
- We see mass chaos without the typical clichés like people frantically running towards busses and subways trying to flee, pushing down children to rescue themselves or high pitched screams from terrified women. I love this aspect of the movie because there is still a sense of fear and confusion as people try to figure out what to do, but it’s just not shown in the typical ways.
- That’s another thing, perspective. You will catch yourself thinking “Man, what would I do in this situation?” more than once throughout the film. The perspective of the movie really focuses on what would be happening to you if this occurred. Shyamalan keeps the terror of the unknown on a much smaller scale. We know that bad things are happening to lots of people but the direct events are concentrated on this particular group that we are apart of. (I hope that makes sense).
- The acting is great! From the headliners to all the extras, they are all so good!

Cons: What I didn’t like about the film:
- It’s a little weird, not gunna lie. Not that living people seeing dead people or magical mermaids in pools isn’t weird either, but this, this is a bit odd. Maybe it’s that the killer isn’t a person or the whole suicide thing, I dunno.
- I feel it is a little political. It may just be bad timing, but in a day and age where “climate change” and “no offshore drilling in order to save the environment” are such prominent issues, I am a little annoyed that the main story line is that the Earth feels threatened by man kind.
- The crazy lady at the end. Uh, yeah, what is that about?

Unique Qualities
- It’s a “day in the life” film. Some of the storylines aren’t totally fleshed out or wrapped up.

So, the whole movie isn’t a total waste. And it is certainly the right time length. But I have to say that I didn’t have an instant “I loved it” or “I hated it” feeling when I left the theater. I had to sit down and read some reviews, talk with family and friends to wrap my head around it. Ultimately though, if you are tired of the sequels and comic book movies, then you may like this film for its different-ness in story. I was a little let down, but I am still looking forward to whatever M. Night Shyamalan is up to next. I just hope that it has one of his great twist endings as well as the imaginative plots he is famous for.

“Basically, I'm for anything that gets you through the night - be it prayer, tranquilizers or a bottle of Jack Daniels.” – Frank Sinatra

So may the prayers, tranquilizers and JD be with you and see you next time.

Read more!


My ADD Story

Hello everyone. As my intro blog for the “Random Thoughts” section, I thought I’d tell my ADD story. I want to begin with two notes. First, technically it is called AD/HD, however, I don’t have any of the H (hyperactivity), so in this intro blog I will refer to it as just ADD. Second, I hope that through this blog posting, future postings and this section of my blog, others can find support and find even just one other person who has been through what they, their family members or friends are going through. Please feel free to comment and ask questions about anything I discuss. I love to talk about this topic so discussion is always welcome (and encouraged).

All through middle and high school I was the ditsy blonde; a little flaky, occasionally said dumb things but always got decent grades. I remember a few instances in high school where people would ask me “Where did that come from?” or say “That was random” in regards to a comment I had made. And it always hurt my feelings, but there wasn’t anything I could do about it so I would just be sad and move on. I decided to go to a college about 3 hours away from home. I had never lived any where else so this was a pretty big move for me. During that first year I drank A LOT and 9/11 happened. I got tired of the drinking and frat parties pretty quickly but the school is in a small town so there was nothing else to do really. Soon I started to get depressed and even kind of angry. My mom brought this up during a phone conversation one night. I felt guilty for behaving that way and wanted to figure out what was going on. My mom knew of a good therapist, so we set up an appointment during my Christmas break.

I went home for the Holidays. My therapy appointment was scheduled for that first week. I went to the appointment with an open mind thinking that I did not want to continue these new characteristics because it was not in my nature to be so angry and unhappy. The session started. I had a lot to say to the therapist and just started spilling my guts. She stopped me about 10 minutes into my motor mouth monologue and said “I think you have ADD.”

That shut me up immediately.

Telling me I had ADD was like telling me I was adopted. It had never been brought up before, no teacher had ever suggested it, no one, I mean NO ONE had ever even had an inkling of a thought that I had ADD. The therapist brought out her diagnosis book and that was where my life became so much clearer. Every question she asked was perfectly fitting to my life. It described every little doubt I had ever had about myself. I finally had an explanation for little quirks that didn’t seem to be normal.

I was 19 years old.

Nineteen is pretty late in life to be diagnosed with this ADD. When you are 19, you’ve gone through high school, all of your self defining teen years and struggles and pretty much established your identity. This diagnoses put all of that upside down. Once the diagnosis was over I was sobbing. Mostly out of happiness that I wasn’t crazy, that there were answers. I knew nothing about ADD and also felt overwhelmed by the idea of it. After the session I went home and had the biggest anxiety attack to date. At nineteen I was curled up in a ball on my bed at my parent’s house soaking the sheets with tears while my parents were telling me “everything will be ok.” We scheduled another therapy appointment for the very next day.

I saw that therapist 2 or 3 times a week for the rest of my Christmas break and then I saw her every time I came home. I was put on Adderall for which I am still taking. I learned to manage the disorder and learned to adapt my life in a way so that it worked for someone whose brain is continually firing. It’s a very interesting disorder that I love reading books and articles about. I have learned a lot since my diagnosis 6 years ago. I went through a mini identity crisis, which I am still dealing with, because once I learned to cope with ADD and with the help of continual therapy and Adderall, I stopped being the stupid blonde people knew in high school. I left that first college after my sophomore year and transferred to a school where I could live at home. It turned out that I was pretty smart and I ended up graduating Magna Cum Laude (not to brad or anything). So, now who was I? I still struggle with this, but I’m dealing and have improved greatly in many aspects of my life. I have a terrific family and group of friends who were my friends during the random years and continue to stick by my side.

So that’s my ADD story. I will definitely go into more detail about certain aspects of it in future blogs as well as voice my opinions on issues like over diagnosis and medications. I hope you all did not find my story too boring. It’s been a very eye opening road for me as well as family and friends who enjoy learning more about it as well.

“Basically, I'm for anything that gets you through the night - be it prayer, tranquilizers or a bottle of Jack Daniels.” – Frank Sinatra
So may the prayers, tranquilizers and JD be with you and see you next time.

Read more!


First Business Trip

Here is a blog I started while on my first business trip. It is one of the largest conferences regarding the industry I work for and was held in NYC. Representatives from major industry leaders were all there. The point of this blog posting is to help guide those of us who are just starting out in the business world on etiquette and behavior on business trips. So, please read on and feel free to ask any questions. The advice is in italics.
On the Way…
Well, hello from NY, everyone! I decided to blog about my first business trip which I think is the “graduation” for the workforce initiating you as a true member of the team. And out of all the places I get to go, I'm in NYC! Wow. I drove right past the place where that crane crash occurred. Welcome to the city, right. So, here's what's happened so far:
- Unbeknownst to me my plane is delayed for 2 hours. Not too bad, but I am bored out of my mind at the airport. Fortunately, I have great people who keep me calm and talk to me on the phone, which makes the time zip by. (Well, sort of).

- I get the window seat and fly into NY at night!! I am staring out the window like an 8 year old on their first plane ride. Oh my gosh, no wonder it's the city that never sleeps, there's too many lights!
- It is a windy landing in NY and Thursday (the day I come home) is supposed to be windy again. This makes me a little nervous, but it’s ok.
- Once I arrive to the hotel I check in. The clerk asks me if I want the key to the mini bar and I say “yes” (hehe - for SNACKING purposes). This turns out to be a good thing (perfect for mid-day snacks or a quick breakfast).

Day 1
- The first morning – what do you do? Check your agenda. If there’s a breakfast listed, great, if not, and you don’t have any pre-arranged plans, call room service. Just be sure to keep ALL receipts. Should you call the other people you are with to see if they want to do breakfast? In my case I thought there was a breakfast, so no actions were taken.
- Ok, well now it's "Morning coffee" according to the conference’s agenda, so I think I'll go downstairs and see if I can find anyone I know.
- This is a moment when I wish I could see into the future, because if I could, I would have eaten breakfast. Silly me thought that “morning coffee” meant that there would be muffins or scones or something like that to nibble on. But there isn’t and I am starving throughout the entire first session. Eat a little something before the first session JUST IN CASE morning coffee truly means just coffee!
- The first session is interesting, lots of people making insider-industry jokes with a lot of jargon. It is very informative, which is more than I expected (I had expected to be a little bored). There is a lot and I mean A LOT of people coming in late and leaving early. I am quite appalled actually. To avoid this, please be on time. You never know who will be in those meetings and you never want to make a bad impression on anyone within your industry. Plus, you are a representative of your company, the same company that is paying for you to be there. So, look the part even if others aren’t. I feel like I am surrounded by unsupervised high schoolers attending a boring lecture. I wonder if most events like this conference experience the late and leave early people. Weird. Also, there is at least 1 person who did NOT turn off their cell phone and it keeps ringing during the talk. Seriously?! Business professionals who can’t turn off cell phones need to go back to college. Please double check your cell phones, pagers, black berries, red berries, grapefruits, whatever, before the speaker begins. It’s just common courtesy.
- After this speech there is a short break and then a second lecture. The second session is so PACKED with people that it is getting a little stuffy in the room. Again, lots of people coming in and out at will and while the guests are presenting. An observation that I make is that so many people are very willing to talk and are very approachable. This is great since I will be mostly solo on this trip.
- Next is lunch. My dilemma here, do I try to meet up with others from my company or fly solo? I run into people I know, so I tag along. Now, with major, industry-leading sponsors, one would think that we'd have a great, terrific, New York lunch. We have a boxed lunch. Yes, you read that right. Very disappointing. There is a silver lining and I realize that it is a great chance to meet others from my company who work at different departments and with different products.
- There's enough time to go back up to my room to check my email before the 3rd installment and then it's time for the third lecture of the day.
- Holy crap, this lecture will turn out to be the 2nd most boring lecture of my life. Not only can I not understand what the speakers are saying (because they are all foreign trying to speak English) but there's this annoying noise the microphone or something keeps making and I HATE repetitive noises. I leave this lecture early, go back to my room and check my email again. It's nice to see that there's nothing huge happening at work so far this week.
- Now, at 3:45 pm it's time for a lecture that everyone is invited to. This will turn out to be the MOST boring lecture of my life. Not only boring, but annoying. The man who sits next to me sits ON me while taking his seat. Then 3/4th of the way through the lecture he starts snoring. Yes, snoring. Oh and now his cell phone rings and is so loud it attracts the attention of the speakers on the stage. Dear god, why do people like this have professional jobs?! Do I need to get back on my soap box about common courtesy and cell phones? I think not ;)
- Anywho, now it's time for dinner. I do not have anyone to eat with. This is ok though, as I suspect, eating alone is the nature of business travel. So, if you don’t have any dinner plans, fear not. You are not a loser. It’s normal. You aren’t here to always have plans. I think that a lot of people are in the same situation. So I'll go downstairs and try the hotel restaurant (the fancy one) and then I'll swing by the hotel bar. I have to be a little social, how many times in my career will I be surrounded by hundreds of people who actually understand what I do for a living?!
- Ok, so I can’t find the fancy restaurant after 2 tries and 3 phone calls. So, next I try ordering food at the fancy bar, no food. Then I walk over to the other bar and it’s packed. I shake my head as a way of saying “of course.” So, guess what, ROOM SERVICE! Yeah! I say feel free to order room service. After an entire day of lectures and cramped spaces, wanting to chill out and eat in your room is totally ok.
Day 2
- Today I walked to Central Park all by myself. Yeah! It is very exciting being apart of the New York City vibe for a little while. You know, being very cautious as you cross the street, watching out for homeless people, things like that. Well I took some pictures and now I’m on my way back to the hotel for some more learning. Particularly if you are in a city you have never been in, try to see some sights. Maybe even leave a couple days early. Take in the sights, seriously!!!
- To start the lecturing part of the day off is a group lecture by an author. We all get copies of the book. But this is pretty boring and I wish I had stayed in Central Park a little longer.
- Next, they open up all the booths. Try and grab the free stuff if you can. However, be cautious. I found that most of the booths were other companies that were technically competition for my own company. So, I don’t really have anything to talk to them about.
- Next is the second lecture of the day which is just like the first and now lunch, which is exactly like day one. I run into my boss and we sit down with someone from our company but who works at a different location.
- Again, I have time to check email.
- I’m not sure if conferences other than the one I am attending have as much to do or if attendance is counted or what. But by weeks end, I have skipped a few lectures. But, when in doubt, always be on your best, most studious behavior. Lol You don’t want the higher ups regretting the fact that they let you go on this trip.
Some random things that I learned:
- If you get invited to a vendor sponsored event where there’s free booze, please be aware of the type of alcohol you are drinking and the amount. Even if the drinks are weak, you don’t want to have 6 in an hour and have everyone thinking you’re an alcoholic even if you’re not feeling a buzz.
- Wardrobe – wear whatever you would wear to work unless you know of a different dress code. For example, my company is business casual, so those are the types of clothes I packed. Once I got there, a lot of the attendees were in jeans. I certainly wasn’t the only one dressed in business clothes, but man I love my jeans, so it would have been nice to have been able to wear them. Also, I forgot sneakers and ended up cutting my feet with the flats I had worn on the plane while walking around the city. Over packing never killed anyone, so do as the boy scouts do and always be prepared.
This was a great trip, I learned a lot about my industry as well as the people I work for and with. I got to see parts of NYC as well as discover things about myself.
“Basically, I'm for anything that gets you through the night - be it prayer, tranquilizers or a bottle of Jack Daniels.” – Frank Sinatra

So may the prayers, tranquilizers and JD be with you and see you next time.
Read more!


A Review of “Sex and the City”

Yes, I was one of the girls that got her other girls together and happily went to see our favorite four-some on the big screen opening weekend. But I’ll get straight to the point.

What is so great about this movie, and what was great about the TV show, is its ability to be real! These women are captivating because we understand them. Their situations are not that outrageous or exaggerated. Their witty comments are smart and casual and not amped up so that the whole movie is filled with one liners (man I hate that). These women have everyday jobs that they excel at and enjoy. They date regular guys and dump regular guys with the unexpected charmer or foreigner here and there to spice things up. And relationships on SATC take work and are not always magic and fairytales, which is a plague within the movie business that skews the public’s views of relationships. (stepping off the soap box) All of the above reasons are why this movie works.

On a more technical note, I did feel like parts of the movie slowed down the pace. They probably could have cut an extra 30 minutes here and there. And, man, I hate to say this because I love her, but maybe they could have cut some of Jennifer Hudson’s scenes. She’s terrific and I’m so glad she’s acting and it has nothing to do with her talent or abilities, it just has to do with the character she plays. “Louise” just was not all that necessary I thought. And poor Harry and Smith, they are hardly in the movie at all. And they were two of the BEST guys that made it into the girls’ lives. (sigh) I am just a big fan of Charlotte and Harry’s relationship.

Another brilliant cash maker for this film is the fact that it will most certainly translate to DVD sales. It is not a movie like Indiana Jones that is better enjoyed on the big screen. It will be comfortable and warming to bring the SATC girls back into our living rooms (plus, all the boyfriends and husbands who secretly wanted to see the film will then be able to watch it in private instead of having to face the shame of saying “one for Sex and the City at 7:30 please.”

I think the true question and ultimate review is did my group of female friends and I enjoy the movie? Us, who represent the average American 20 something girl/woman who watched the show on HBO and continue to watch it on TBS, did we really feel the movie? And yes we did. Tears, sex, babies and all.

“Basically, I'm for anything that gets you through the night - be it prayer, tranquilizers or a bottle of Jack Daniels.” – Frank Sinatra

So may the prayers, tranquilizers and JD be with you and see you next time.

Read more!


Is It a Cliché...

Is it cliché to write your first blog about yourself as an introduction? Then I say “Oh well” because that’s exactly what I’m going to do. My name is Diana and I live in Virginia. I’m 25 and was born and raised here. It’s a great place most of the time. There’s a lot of shopping. You are always 20 minutes or less away from the movies, theater, great restaurants and bars and let’s not forget the beach. I had never even heard of “Beach Week” until I went to college where I was promptly asked “Well if you don’t have beach week, when do you get to go to the beach?” I replied puzzled “After school?!” It’s true. It’s just that close. And I recently moved a little closer to it. I moved out of my childhood home and into a great townhouse with a coworker from Long Island. Yes, I was a little behind in the "moving out" phase of my life, but, hey, stuff is expensive and this was the first relocating opportunity I could afford.

So, what’s the point of my blog “Movies, Work and Random Thoughts” you may be asking. Well, I love movies, I love my job and I have ADD. I can’t think of better topics to write about than those.

I’ll start with my intensions regarding the “Movie” portion of this blog. I love films or “talkies” as they were referred to in the olden days, and so I’ll write reviews about the actual movies themselves as well as issues regarding movies and the film industry. However, do not expect any gossip here folks, there are plenty of other blogs about that topic. And let’s face it, I live in Virginia, not a lot of gossip heads our way unless it’s on People.com or the Today Show. Another question you may be asking yourself is what kind of credibility do I have regarding movies? Theater was my minor in college, so I know a little about acting and the production aspects. I’ve also taken commercial production courses. I am in the process of reading a few books about the film industry and other than going to the movie theater and watching DVDs as often as possible, I have no other expertise. Having none of that though, I think, represents the majority of the American audience, so hopefully I bring something a little less “analytic” to the table then say Ebert and Roeper (who do an excellent job at reviewing movies and I have a “Seasons Pass” programmed on my TiVo for their show).

In regards to the “Work” aspect of my blog, well let me tell you a quick story first. Recently, I went on my first business trip. I traveled with my boss’s boss, so in preparation for that I went on the Internet looking for etiquette advice and found zip!!! So, that’s what this portion will be about. Please feel free to ask questions and then we can get a dialog going about different aspects of the work place. As for what I do for work, well I work in a field called Search Engine Optimization. I love it; it’s really fun, but I will not be discussing SEO/SEM as much as general topics. I’ll leave the SEO talk to the experts like Bruce Clay and Matt Cutts.

And the random thoughts portion of this program is brought to you by Diana’s ADD, bringing out of the blue ideas and statements to those around her. I have ADD. Well, there’s more to it then that, but I’ll let you read those blogs to find out more. So, stay tuned.

Now, I think I need a great sign off to post at the end of every blog. So, I need a minute to think.
After searching Google for the past 10 minutes I found a great quote from the one person whose biography I’ve actually read cover to cover.
“Basically, I'm for anything that gets you through the night - be it prayer, tranquilizers or a bottle of Jack Daniels.” – Frank Sinatra

So may the prayers, tranquilizers and JD be with you and see you next time.
Read more!