Re-Blog: Where Has the Village Gone?

This.  Just so much this.  I’ve written before on how hard it is to be a parent away from your own, and this re-blog from Scary Mommy echoes those sentiments exactly.  If you have the chance to be someone’s village today, take it!  And if you find yourself on the receiving end of help, pay it forward!  We can start re-creating our own villages today, no matter where you are.

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Movie Review – John Wick 2

Dear Everyone:

You are welcome in advance for this movie review.  I am about to save you $30 (at least) and about 2 hours of your life!

So, my husband and I saw the first John Wick.  We are not who you would call big ol’ Keanu fans but we ARE, as you know, big ol’ fans of movies and it was the only one playing at the time.  It was surprisingly good!  Mostly because (1) we figured the movie was going to be horrible so our expectations were very low and (2) there was a lot of Russian language in the movie!  So, all in all, not a bad movie date.  Think one of the later Fast and Furiouses but without Vin Diesel or the Rock.

Now, fast forward a couple of years and enter John Wick 2.  This movie is awful.  The storyline is so nonsensical that it would probably be nominated for an Oscar if someone other than Keanu Reeves starred in it.  The writers introduced this completely different world than what was featured in the first movie, throw Keanu Reeves into and give him a backstory to make you think he had been in it all along, and then toss in a bunch of criminals from different countries so you can hear Keanu “speak” Russian, Spanish, and Italian without the slightest attempt to use an accent.  At all.  One of my biggest pet peeves in movies (looking at you Tom Cruise in Valkyrie.)

In short, do not see this movie.  Stay home and rent The Drop instead.  You’re welcome in advance.

Movie Review: The Finest Hours

And…we’re back, darlings!  Sorry for being MIA for about 6 months.  I got this new AWESOME job which has required changing my schedule A LOT.  But, things have calmed down a bit (I know, famous last words right?) and I’m back!  So of course my first post in half a year is going to be about a movie everyone should see: The Finest Hours.  Seriously.  If you haven’t seen this movie, rent it.  Right.  Now.

The movie: The film is about the greatest Coast Guard rescue in history.  In the 1950s, a crazy snowstorm battered the east cost and the Coast Guard in Chatham, Massachusetts (think the Cape Cod area) embarked on an impossible mission to save those stuck at sea.

The cast:  Chris Pine, Casey Affleck, and Eric Bana are the ones you will know and the others you will learn to love.

The reason for the high recommendation: This movie is awesome.  It is hands down the very best acting performance Chris Pine has ever given – and arguably one of the best performances that the silver screen has witnessed in a very long time.  Yes, it will be overlooked for all of the awards because the story isn’t sexy enough but Chris Pine is absolutely understatedly electric in this movie.  He creates a completely different character than any other he has portrayed in his career to date – and it is a fantastic creation.  Believable, endearing, consistent – you name it, he did it.

Saving the best for last, I need to give a slow-clap standing ovation for Casey Affleck.  I must be honest here – I’ve never really be a fan of Mr. Affleck.  He always seemed to play crazy-eyed and screw-loose characters and just never appealed to me.  His role in this movie is the polar opposite of what he has portrayed in the past and he is excellent in it.  Totes on the Casey Affleck train now (and apparently the Academy is too).

Why are you still reading this and not watching The Finest Hours?  Go!  And come back to leave your comments on the amazingness of this movie.  Enjoy!

Re-Blog: The Art of Conversation and How to Avoid Conversational Narcissism

Because the Art of Manliness is right – sometimes we could all use a little reminder.  Click here for the full reminder.

“You probably know how mastering the art of conversation is an invaluable tool in building your charisma and networking with others, whether it comes to business or pleasure. But it’s also a vital part of fulfilling a deep human need we have as social animals.

Have you ever had a night out with friends, maybe you met up at a new restaurant, had a few beers, and ended up talking and laughing the night away? As you walked to your car, I bet your brain felt positively aglow with a warm sensation of deep satisfaction and pleasure. That’s the effect a great conversation can have on you. Absorbing conversations truly add happiness and richness to our lives.

But the enjoyment of a good conversation is becoming more of a rarity these days. In our time of cell phones, text messaging, and emails, we’re having less face-to-face interactions, and thus when we do meet up with people in the flesh, our social skills can be a bit rusty. So we can all use some brushing up on the art of conversation and how to make great conversations a more frequent occurrence in our lives.