Magic Mountain

Magic Mountain

Steve, Judy & I

It must be over 25 years since I’ve been on a roller coaster or at Magic Mountain. I was hesitant to go because of my diabetes complications with my feet, but need to know if my love of roller coasters had waned. I was also hesitant because the last time I went to an amusement park, I could not ride a ride because I did not fit in the car. How embarrassing! I must comment that most of the cars were quite small for my girth, leaving me feeling squished most of the time.

We started out with breakfast at Marie Callender’s. There was an excellent buffet, including some yummy menudo!

When we arrived at the park, Judy and Steve, being thin and small were all about walking from the car to the entrance. I would have preferred the tram, but went along. Our first stop was X2, which I had been dying to ride, but it was closed due to wind. The second ride I was looking forward to – Green Lantern: First Flight, broke down just as we were at the foot of the final staircase. The picture above is from Tatsu, which was a wild ride. Upon boarding, you are in a seated position. I was having a problem with the shoulder bar locking, but finally managed with the help of a park attendant. Then the cars are rotated ninety degrees, placing you in a face down position with the track above you and out of sight; that really played with my head. I was freaking out the whole ride, thinking I would fall out. SCARY!

About halfway around the park, I my feet started to hurt, but I pushed on. During the whole visit, I experienced cotton mouth. I think that may have been a result of no insulin shot in the morning and two pieces of pie with breakfast. I was able to find water fountains throughout the park to relieve the cotton mouth, but my legs and feet only progressively got worse. By the end of the day, I felt like a ninety-year-old.

Out of all the rides we rode, I did not fit on Riddler’s Revenge or Apocalypse. The embarrassment was minimal and perhaps because of my body aching from all the walking. In retrospect, I wish I had not fit on Full Throttle, the newest ride. You are in a car in a seated position – no shoulder bar. You are shot out of the station into a 360 degree loop. While in line, I had noticed a delay in the middle of the loop and when I was in that situation that delay seemed like an eternity, especially because I felt like I was falling out! There is another part of the ride where the coaster goes backwards and once again I had the sensation of falling out. The final sensation came at the end of the ride where the cars go over the 360 degree loop and the ride ends on the descend.

That falling out sensation is my farewell to roller coaster riding, unless I lose some weight before my next visit to an amusement park. Surprisingly, we did not have to wait long for any ride, walking the maze right up to the boarding station in my instances. Love that!

We ended the day back in Marie Callender’s where we dined an then went home. I am so sore today, but had a good time with my old high school friends.

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Now You See Me (2013)

Now Your See Me

source: impawards.com

SYNOPSIS: Internet Movie Database

An FBI agent and an Interpol detective track a team of illusionists who pull off bank heists during their performances and reward their audiences with the money.

REIVEW

I admit, I got lost on this one, but still found the movie quite enjoyable. I am a Jessie Eisenberg fan and like magic/illusions. Even the movie follows the illusion model in that what you think you are seeing is not really the story.

Apparently, I am saturated with  movies, as evidenced by my shorter reviews. I also think I am in suffering post traumatic depression from my recent firing.

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The Avengers (2012)

Avengers

source: impawards.com

SYNOPSIS: Official Movie Website

Marvel Studios presents in association with Paramount Pictures “Marvel’s The Avengers”–the super hero team up of a lifetime, featuring iconic Marvel super heroes Iron Man, the Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Hawkeye and Black Widow. When an unexpected enemy emerges that threatens global safety and security, Nick Fury, Director of the international peacekeeping agency known as S.H.I.E.L.D., finds himself in need of a team to pull the world back from the brink of disaster. Spanning the globe, a daring recruitment effort begins.

REVIEW

I finally saw it…and mostly because I wanted some back up on the television show Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which I have been watching off and on. I could not make the connection. Secondly, I think my like of movies in this genre is fading, as I did not find this movie very enjoyable. I think at this point in my life, I am more interested in movies of a higher caliber.

One of the high points for me was learning the real-life identity of Agent Phil Coulson: Clark Gregg and learning that Paul Bettany had a role in this movie, albeit voice only.

Very average movie fare.

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Tammy (2014)

Tammy

source: impawards.com

SYNOPSIS: Official Movie Website

Tammy (Melissa McCarthy: Oscar® nominee “Bridesmaids”) is having a bad day. She’s totaled her clunker car, gotten fired from her thankless job at a greasy burger joint, and instead of finding comfort at home, finds her husband getting comfortable with the neighbor in her own house.

It’s time to take her boom box and book it. The bad news is she’s broke and without wheels. The worse news is her grandma, Pearl (Susan Sarandon: Academy Award® winner “Dead Man Walking”), is her only option—with a car, cash, and an itch to see Niagara Falls. Not exactly the escape Tammy had in mind. But on the road, with Pearl riding shotgun, it may be just what Tammy needs.

The film also stars Allison Janney (“The Help”), playing Tammy’s world-weary mom, Deb; Gary Cole (TV’s “VEEP”) as ladies man Earl; and Mark Duplass (HBO’s “Togetherness”) as his son, Bobby; with Dan Aykroyd (“The Campaign”) as Tammy’s dad, Don; and Academy Award® winner Kathy Bates (“Misery,” “Midnight in Paris”) as Pearl’s fun-loving cousin Lenore. Rounding out the cast are Sandra Oh (TV’s “Grey’s Anatomy”) as Lenore’s partner, Susanne; Oscar® nominee Toni Collette (“The Sixth Sense”) as Tammy’s neighbor, Missi; and Nat Faxon (“Bad Teacher”) as Tammy’s husband, Greg.

REVIEW

I love Melissa McCarthy and the commercials for this movie prompted me to rent this movie for viewing, thinking it was going to be hilarious. Apparently, the commercials showed the funniest parts of the movie, which was quite average overall, though I did enjoy seeing the all-star cast.

A week later, writing this post, all that I can clearly remember are the scenes portrayed in the commercials. Entertaining, but I can only recommend to fans of Melissa. If memory serves, the soundtrack was pretty good.

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Chef (2014)

Chef

source: impawards.com

SYNOPSIS: Official Movie Website

When Chef Carl Casper (Jon Favreau) suddenly quits his job at a prominent Los Angeles restaurant after refusing to compromise his creative integrity for its controlling owner (Dustin Hoffman), he is left to figure out what’s next. Finding himself in Miami, he teams up with his ex-wife (Sofia Vergara), his friend (John Leguizamo) and his son to launch a food truck. Taking to the road, Chef Carl goes back to his roots to reignite his passion for the kitchen — and zest for life and love.

REVIEW

This movie was okay. It wasn’t even on my list of movies that I wanted to see, but the only one that inspired me to take a chance on it during my last visit to Movies and More.

The best part, in my opinion, was then the chef reams the food critic. This part really justified for me the idea that one cannot rely on the reviews of others when it comes to what one might find enjoyable. Taste is subjective; what one finds enjoyable, another may not.

Having recently been fired, this movie was quite appropriate viewing for me. Love the music.

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I, Frakenstein (2014)

I, Frankenstein

source: impawards.com

SYNOPSIS: Official Movie Website

200 years after his shocking creation, Dr. Frankenstein’s creature, Adam, still walks the earth. But when he finds himself in the middle of a war over the fate of humanity, Adam discovers he holds the key that could destroy humankind. From the co-writer of the hit supernatural saga, UNDERWORLD, comes the action thriller I, FRANKENSTEIN, written for the screen and directed by Stuart Beattie, screen story by Kevin Grevioux and Stuart Beattie, based on the Darkstorm Studios graphic novel “I, Frankenstein” created by Kevin Grevioux. The story is brought to life by a cast that includes Aaron Eckhart, Bill Nighy, Yvonne Strahovski, Miranda Otto, Jai Courtney, and Aden Young as Victor Frankenstein.

REVIEW

I read a bad review of this movie before posting my own review here, which just goes to show you, if you don’t know your reviewer personally, you should not take their review for granted. I thought this movie was very interesting, loving the twist in the story that involved gargoyles as a new cultural character. One of the jibes against this movie was that Frakenstein was “smaller, talking, with existential questions no less.” Well after having lived for so many years, wouldn’t Frankenstein learn to talk, much less reason, but still possible. The dilemma this movie presents if an interesting one, similar to the dilemma that faced the X-Men in Days of Future Past. I must admit that Frankenstein was much prettier than I expected reanimated flesh would be after so many years, but he was appealing so I took it all in! ;)

The effects were awesome as was the make up. Very entertaining movie with an intelligent twist.

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X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)

X-Men: Days of Future Past

source: impawards.com

SYNOPSIS: Official Movie Website

The ultimate X-Men ensemble fights a war for the survival of the species across two time periods in X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST. The beloved characters from the original “X-Men” film trilogy join forces with their younger selves from “X-Men: First Class,” in an epic battle that must change the past – to save our future.

REVIEW

I tried to elicit help from the person manning the counter at Movies and More to determine if I had seen the previous X-Men installment. She was not very helpful. As it turns out I did see X-Men: First Class, but because of my terrible memory, I don’t remember it.

This installment was okay, but not really anything to get hyper about. As I have stated before, time travel is confusing and how this movie ended was definite proof of this opinion for me. I don’t remember Mystique being played by Jennifer Lawrence in previous X-Men installments. I was right, Mystique was originally played by Rebecca Romijn-Stamos.

Will speak to another X-Men fan to gain a better opinion on this movie. For right now, I would recommend to X-Men fans only.

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Mr. Peabody & Sherman (2014)

Mr. Peabody & Sherman

source: impawards.com

SYNOPSIS: RottenTomatoes.com

Mr. Peabody, the most accomplished dog in the world, and his mischievous boy Sherman, use their time machine – the WABAC – to go on the most outrageous adventures known to man or dog. But when Sherman takes the WABAC out for a joyride to impress his friend Penny, they accidentally rip a hole in the universe, wreaking havoc on the most important events in world history. Before they forever alter the past, present and future, Mr. Peabody must come to their rescue, ultimately facing the most daunting challenge of any era: figuring out how to be a parent. Together, the time traveling trio will make their mark on history. (c) Fox

REVIEW

I had heard negative reviews of this movie, but I enjoyed it except for the – what I considered to be – inappropriately exaggerated premise. I used to love the cartoon and today with my big boy words, I can tell you why: I loved the explanations of the tales surrounding the history. The fact that history was provided on how Peabody adopted Sherman was an added benefit. Adding to my enjoyment of this movie was my nerdy sexualization of Mr. Peabody because I recognized his voice as that of Ty Burrell, and I think is a hottie! I was not too much a fan of the meddling Penny Peterson, but I supposed the movie needed an antagonist.

Enjoyable and nostalgic!

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Maleficent (2014)

Maleficent

source: impawards.com

SYNOPSIS: Official Movie Website

Explore the untold story of Disney’s most iconic villain in this wickedly fun twist on the classic Sleeping Beauty. In an unforgiving mood after a neighboring kingdom threatens her forest, Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) places an irrevocable curse on the king’s newborn daughter, the Princess Aurora. But as the child grows, Maleficent finds herself becoming fond of the girl. And as the conflict between the two realms intensifies, Maleficent realizes that Aurora may hold the key to peace in the land. Journey beyond the fairy tale in this soaring adventure that is “visually arresting, brilliantly designed” (Andrew Barker, Variety).

REVIEW

Now that I no longer work at the yarn store, I finally have some time to catch up on some movies. After lunching with Bonnie at California Pizza Kitchen, she took me to the video store. I almost left there without this movie due to oversight. Glad I didn’t; I’d been wanting to see this for some time.

This movie was awesome and I concur with Andrew Baker, visually arresting, brilliantly designed. I think I need to add this to my collection. The fresh outlook on this fairytale reminds me of Wicked by Gregory Maguire and I was such a fan of his books as well. However, having praised the movie, there was one thing that just did not jive and really marred the movie for me: Stefan’s (Sharlto Copley) brutal attack on Maleficent betrayed his action of love that he had previously shown her. I could not rationalize the 180 degree change. Despite this odd development in this twisted tale, I could not figure out how the movie was going to end and enjoyed that aspect.

I would deem this a true Disney Classic.

Oh, and by the way, the ending song Once Upon A Dream by Lana del Rey, was awesome!

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You’ve Been Banned!

Yesterday I went to the store to pick up a project bag that I had left behind and to buy a needle I needed for a knit-along a friend talked me into doing with her. I saw a bunch of people I knew and chatted with them for a minute before leaving to a sounding round of goodbyes. So I get home and start knitting when the phone rings. I answer it and received a tirade from my female boss as to why I was fired, citing specific examples;  was accused of conducting a campaign against the store, which would not be helpful in seeking employment in another yarn store; and indicating how I had some nerve to walk into the store after I had been fired.

Wait a minute! When I was fired, by the male boss, I was told I was welcome in the store anytime. This would also conflict with the expression on his face when I walked into the store the following day and instead of telling a previous customer/friend that I did not work there anymore, I sold her six skeins of yarn. Let’s not forget my purchase yesterday. What the fuck!?

I could not understand why I was on the receiving end of this tirade – well, perhaps it was a personal account of my firing on A Hooker’s World – but finally managed to get in a word and asked if the purpose of this tirade was that I was being banned from the store. Yes! I was banned from the store.

Whatever Mary! It’s not like they are the only yarn store in town and quit harassing me; I don’t work for you anymore and it’s been three days since you fired me.

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