Saturday, April 4, 2009

Bad Weather, Good Movie

Our coach's training plan called for a 2 hour mountain bike ride today.

Nat may be a super-stud mountain bike guy, but Mother Nature isn't impressed by his credentials - she called for icky, windy, snowy weather.

So, down to the basement we trudged. 2 hours - ugh.
However, we were saved, not for the first time, by NetFlix. I had rented The Fugitive, which happens to have a 2 hour and 11 minute long run time - perfecto!
So, it seems like time for a another set of movie reviews. I'm really hoping to put NetFlix on mothballs for the summer - soon - but our 10 day forecast is calling for rainy crappy stuff almost every day. Sigh.
The Fugitive (1993): Wrongfully convicted of murdering his wife, Dr. Richard Kimble (Harrison Ford) escapes custody after a ferocious train accident. While Kimble tries to find the true murderer, gung-ho U.S. Marshal Samuel Gerard (Tommy Lee Jones, in an Oscar-winning performance) is hot on Kimble's trail, pulling out all stops to put him back behind bars.
We really enjoyed this today; it made the 2 hour workout fly by (it only felt like, oh, I don't know, maybe only 90 minutes!)
Six Feet Under: Season 1 (2001) This darkly comical HBO television series follows the members of a dynamic but dysfunctional Los Angeles-based family that operates a funeral home. It has an ironically grim but intriguing premise: Each episode is based on the death and extenuating circumstances of the family's current client.

We just watched the pilot episode about 6 weeks ago. It looks pretty good – we’ll watch a few more episodes and decide whether to slip it into our Sopranos/24 rotation. [We’ve since watched the first 4 episodes – it is quirky, and I don’t know where the story is going – how fun to watch a TV show that isn’t absolutely formulaic and predictable!]

Beverly Hills Cop (1984)

It really holds up well. Eddie Murphy was fantastic in this movie. I don’t think he’s been as good in anything since. Another perfect movie to kill 2 hours when the weather is too nasty to ride outside.

Bottle Shock (2008) In 1976, a small American winery bested the exalted French wines of the time and sent the wine industry into a tizzy - putting California wines on the map for good. Based on a true story, Bottle Shock chronicles the events leading up to the famous 'Judgment of Paris' tastings, told through the lives of father and son, Jim and Bo Barrett.

I rented this right before our trip out to Solvang. While the wineries in this film are based in the Napa Valley, and we were going to be a couple hundred miles south in the Santa Ynez Valley (where Sideways was filmed), it still seemed like a good way to get primed for a vineyard country vacation. The movie is fairly predictable, but Alan Rickman is fabulous, as always, and the scenery is great. When the film premiered, the LA Times food section ran a brief review – it includes some interesting background tidbits that fill in blanks in the “real” story.

Sopranos - we finished watching Season 1. Tony's mom is a piece of work!

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