Twilight Movie Review (Spoilers!!!!)

Disclaimer: I posted this review after seeing the movie on opening night on a message board that I frequent. (I have since been to see it again.)  I thought I’d plug it into my blog and elaborate since I like to review movies that I care about. 

Twilight 11/22/08 Review:

You know, going into this movie, I was excited, but I was completely prepared for major, utter disappointment.  I thought that it would be miserable and never live up anywhere near what the book did for me.

I am shocked that despite the things they left out and changed; I still loved it so much more than I expected I would.  It’s different than the book.  The same cheesy, yummy goodness is there, but it’s different.  No one will win an Oscar, the movie’s not going to win any awards…and I don’t care.  It was wonderful to me, I guess maybe because I set the bar so low.  Sure, there are things that are flat out wrong or inconsistent with some fundamental characteristics of some of the characters, but I can suck it up and overlook them.

Would I have enjoyed the movie had I not read the books?  Maybe.  I think there are some things in the movie that aren’t explained, and I feel like I had a better background and understood reasons for why things were the way they were or why someone said what they said. 

I think RPattz aka Robert Pattinson who plays Edward Cullen (the main vampire in which the story revolves around) was perfect.  I wouldn’t change a thing, I could have watched him as Edward for 2 more hours….I couldn’t get enough of him.  I know people have complained about some of what he did was awkward and not true to the book, but I think he was working with what he had (as far as the script and how the author forced somethings in there) and just nailed it.  I am so pleased with his performance….I guess because I never thought that anyone would rise to the level that Edward stands in my head and RP got there.  I loved the first scene in biology (and the second when he talked to her), I loved when he rescued her in Port A (“get in the car”), I loved when he brought her home, I loved the kiss in her room (“I just want to try one thing”), the scenes in the trees…..  ::melts::  He did no wrong in my book.  I didn’t realize I’d be a BIGGER RP fan after the movie, but apparently I am….  “You can google it.”  He was so funny too, I didn’t expected that.  My biggest complaint was that I don’t think they paid enough attention to his gift of reading thoughts and how he can’t read Bella’s.  Sure, yes, they mention it, but the angst and the frustration doesn’t come across on screen the way the book makes you feel it.  Maybe Stephanie just crammed it down our throats so much that it seems so trivial in the movie.

I think the rest of the Cullens were overall wonderful, I wish we had spent more time with them.  The scene at their house was great when Bella came over for dinner and I loved the baseball game….it was EXACTLY as how I pictured it.  (I am actually glad that I just finished my re-read of Twilight a couple days ago.)  I loved all their scenes.  Nikki did a great job with Rosalie–she didn’t look right, but the character was there.  As for Alice, I’m on the fence about her, she’s one of my favorites in the books, but her hair was all wrong for me and I dunno, I wasn’t a fan of the way her “visions” were presented. I could have done with less high schoolers and more Cullens! 

I think most everyone did great with their parts except KStew aka Kristen Stewart who plays Bella, our narrator throughout the series.  What’s funny is that going into this, she’s the one I thought had it down and would be the most perfect Bella.  I was disappointed with her performance.  It was dry, lifeless, and completely lacking the fire that Bella in my mind had.  the “flirting” on the beach with Jacob?  not there.  chemistry with RP?  not there.  She just seemed angry all the time with the clenched teeth and fists…she seemed way more emo than emo-vamp Edward.  When Edward asks, “Are you afraid?”, she looks mad and scared, not confident.

I will say that the way some of the cheesiest parts in the book were delivered did bring the cheese factor down a notch…the heroin line, the lion/lamb line…I was waiting to roll my eyes, but it really wasn’t as bad as I was expecting.

Charlie was a pleasant surprise, I really liked him!  He was funny…the whole pepper spray references/scenes made me giggle.  Oh and James….I’m so sad he had to go.  Hot, hot, hot.  I really wish they had changed this part of the movie to keep him as the bad guy….and killed off Victoria instead.  I mean sheesh, they changed so much other stuff.

Now, for my complaints…..Where was the “Dazzling” when Bella’s heart skips a beat and she can’t breathe when Edward turns on his charm?  Where was Bella taking care of Charlie?  Why was the meadow scene so lame????  He didn’t look “brilliant” or “dazzling” or “beautiful”, he just looked weird.  I guess it’d be hard to recreate what was in my head, but the movie FAILED in a big way at that.  I was waiting for the scene where Bella falls asleep in the backyard and she thought she was alone and she dreams about Edward and says his name….while he’s watching.  I thought that would have been a good one to show how their relationship was growing or at least to show him being “protective”.  The movie didn’t have that soul-burning passion that comes across in the books, it sort of trivialized their relationship. 

Anyway, overall, I am very pleased that I loved it and I cannot wait to see it again!  YesYes

And PS – Justin’s review:  “It wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be.  It was a little slow in parts, but it picked up.  The special effects didn’t look as cheesy as they did in the trailers.  It was pretty good.”

Mexico

I feel like I’m always whining and moaning about what a slacker I am.  I’m not even going to make excuses this time.  🙂

We went to Mexico for our 2nd Anniversary (has it already been 2 years?) September 20 – 25 and stayed at Excellence Playa Mujeres.  I was worried all summer that we may have to cancel due to a hurricane, but we lucked out.  We flew out of Austin on VivaAerobus because it was the cheapest flight out of here.  Two tix for $500?  Not bad.  The flight was fine, I was a little nervous getting on the plane though–someone said they had brand new planes and well, they weren’t brand new.  They were OLD Southwest planes me thinks.  Smelled like a friggin’ porta potty and the actual bathrooms never had any toilet paper (both there and back).  I didn’t ask, but that may have been an extra charge?  Anyway…I felt like taking a shower afterwards.  But like I said, flight itself was OK.  I read Eclipse all the way down so I was completely distracted–there could have been an emergency that I may not have noticed.

We met up with our friends who flew down from Houston and took our private car up to the resort.  Instead of a travel van, they called in a brand new Suburban to drive us up.  We went through Tropical Travelers (because Jennifer actually saved us $$ than going straight through the resort and even Expedia) who works with American Express down there.  I think I was pretty glad to have them as the other car companies seem to attack you as soon as you walk out of the terminal andtry to sell you timeshares.  What a joke!  The ride was about 30 minutes and painless.  I think the resort is pretty secure, you have to go through three gates (with 3 guards) to get to the hotel.  I don’t know what that says about the area but as far as my eyes could see, it was just forest.  We were met curbside with champagne and cold towels upon arrival.   We checked in, our room wasn’t ready so they gave us this handy-dandy buzzer and would let us know when it was.  We changed in our friends’ room to our swimsuits and went for a bite to eat.  Traveling makes me hungry!

We went for lunch at the Grill, which is down basically over the main pool.  I had the chicken quesadillas and we ordered nachos for the table.  I didn’t think the chicken quesadillas were bad, not anything to write home about though.  Pico de Gallo was yummy–not spicy unfortunately.  However, the Pina Coladas WERE fantastic!

Here is our “Before” picture.

We basically laid around at the pool the rest of the day.  Our room ended up being ready just at about the time they said it would, I do have to say that the staff was very friendly throughout our stay.  Since it was our anniversary, we had a few perks to our suite.  First, they let everyone know that it was our anniversary with a great big banner on our door.

We opted for the Rooftop Suite which comes with your very own pool up on the roof top deck.  A great perk that I thought we’d definitely use, however we were rarely in our room–always down at the pool and also, the private pool was too freaking cold.  I got in once for a couple minutes and brrrrrr….had to go downstairs to take a warm bath in the jacuzzi to warm up!  I feel bad that we didn’t take enough advantage.  😦  Anyway, here are some pics of our room.

This was the view from our room, I could get used to waking up to this every day!  The place next door was under construction, but the “heavy lifting” is pretty much done, so I never noticed any noise.  It’s going to be condos for sale, but the construction style is similar to Excellence Playa Mujeres, same rooftop terraces with pools and everything.  Across the way, which you can almost see off in the distance is Isla Mujeres.

The first night we were there, we voted to go the Mexican restaurant Agave at the property (when in Rome, right?).  I was ridiculously disappointed.  I had a burrito/enchilada thing andI had to choke it down, it was awful.  So awful, in fact, that I couldn’t even finish it.  I ordered some dessert to fill me up, but I was not impressed by them trying to pass off a brownie that came out of a package as a piece of chocolate cake.  Are you kidding me?  So began my disappointment in the food for the rest of the week.  It got better, but it was mostly pretty bad.  Most of it was very bland and had nothing special about it.  We never ate at Agave again needless to say, we did most of our eating at the Grill, Barcelona, Toscana, Spice, and Chez Isabelle.  I’d have to say Chez Isabelle and Spice were the best ones we ate at…and yet…never impressed though.  😦  What is sad is that Justin had arranged for a romantic dinner on the beach for our anniversary, which is something that I’ve always, always, always wanted to do.  After a couple of sub-par to terrible eating experiences, he confessed the surprise to me.  I sadly elected to cancel, because a) it was $220 US (which could allow us to eat like Kings here in Austin) and b) the food was so terrible to date that I didn’t want to waste that money on something so awful.  We did put it towards a couples massage on the beach–definitely a MUCH better use of our money!  A+ to that one.

We went on a bike ride on Sunday morning because when Justin and I are on vacation, we have a hard time sleeping.  I always feel so wired, even when I am dead tired, just because I feel like sleeping wastes so much time.  When I am home, its pretty much my favorite activity though.  Anyway, I have nicknamed the bike ride, the “Tour of the Native Things that Can Kill You”.  We saw Jaguars, an alligator, and a huge ass boa constrictor.

See?  Told ya.

We did a lot of laying around the beach.  We went into Cancun one night a) for some better food and b) to try the nightlife since none of us had ever been in college.  We went to La Mansion for dinner down at the Hotel Zone.  It was steakhouse…pretty good…much better than what was at our resort!  For our clubbing experience, we chose Coco Bongo.  It was insane.  There are no words to describe what went on there.  It was like LasVegas on steroids.  I tried to take some pics.  If you go to Cancun, I’d recommend going there once–just to see the insanity.   There’s confetti being shot out after every song, there are people swinging from the rafters, there are impersonators, they act out fight scenes from movies on the bar…lights, balloons, its sensory overload!  Imagine New Year’s Eve, Mardi Gras, and St. Patrick’s Day…all rolled into one.  It was also Monday night…during LOW season! 

Agreed.  I am a little too old for that scene, but there were plenty of older people even more so than we are.  I guess they were doing the same thing–seeing what they missed out on back in their college days!

We went on two excursions, a sailing trip to Isla Mujeres and deep sea fishing.  If you go down there, don’t book a trip with Albatros if snorkeling is high on your list!  We were sucked into the sailing trip because it sounded fun (we wanted to go over to Isla anyway) but also because we were told we’d go snorkeling in two spots, one of which was a really good reef off Isla Mujeres.  We went to one spot during the trip and it definitely wasn’t a reef and I definitely didn’t see squat.  😦  We totally should have just gone scuba instead and sucked it up and done another lesson (since we aren’t certified).  Anyway, the sail itself was fun and the water was amazing.  I don’t own Photoshop so I didn’t do anything to the coloring…that is real.

My tag is out and no one said anything!  😦

I don’t have any interesting photos of our fishing excursion.   There were six of us and we all caught a barracuda and that’s it.  😦  Nothing really great (like marlin or sailfish) was in season and we knew that…but you always hope there’s something awesome out there!  We had something GIANT on the line but we lost it.  It bit through the line, the guides think it was a bull shark.  (OMG a big shark would have made the vacation!)  We were using smaller fish as live bait for the shark fishing portion and our line was down almost 400 feet.  One of the guides hooked it and Justin said I could go first, so they sat me down in the fighting chair.  They put the rod down in the holder and I tried to lean back with it.  It would hardly budge and almost slipped out of my hands!  So I tried to crank the reel….it wouldn’t move…at all…I tried so hard too.  I tried for a few more seconds and gave up.  No way was I going to be able to reel it in, so Justin gave it a try andeven he had a HARD time with it for about two minutes, which was long enough for the shark to chomp its way up the line.  😦  The other guide hooked something but we lost that one too.  It wasn’t as heavy as the first one.

After we got back from fishing it was Spa Time!  We did the Marine Hydrotherapy before our massage on the beach (did I already say it was amazing?).  They basically put you through all these five showers with different pressures and temperatures, then you go to the hot/cold pool, which literally you walk through a hot pool and then one that is about 50 degrees!  Then you head to the sauna for a few minutes.  Back to the cold pool and then the hot pool andthen you go to the main pool to go through all these series of jets in different stations.  After that we laid on a hot stone lounge chair where we had a cloth dipped in some kind of delicious citrus smell placed over our eyes andwere treated to a temple massage (which I could do that part every day).  Then it was down to the beach for our awesome massage.  Oh the waves crashing against the sand….ah…..

Here is the outside of the spa where we did the hydrotherapy.

 

All in all we had a good time.  We both arbitrarily gave the trip a “6” on a scale of one to ten, ten being the most awesome thing ever.  We decided that our honeymoon to Saint Lucia was definitely a ten.  The bummer most of all was the food.  The resort was gorgeous, the drinks were yummy, the staff was nice.  Our room was excellent, we loved the bathroom (we want to recreate in our house). Our excursions were a bit of a rip off, I really wish Justin would have sat down with me prior to going and we would have hashed out something different.  I’d go back to the region, but we’re probably doing Cozumel or PDC instead.

Anyway, here are some more random photos to leave you with.  Thanks for reading!

What was drank all week – Dos XX and Pina Coladas

Before you roll your eyes, I must tell you that Justin did that.  Ok, now say “Awwww” with me.

And the “After” picture, tan and exhausted.

Twilight….Again.

Thanks to the girls on the Nest Book Club board for sharing this hilarious video.  It’s a spoof of the movie coming out in November.

If you’ve read the book or seen the trailers from the real movie, you’ll enjoy it.  🙂

Twilight

Holy crap, I am hooked on these silly books!  Am almost done with New Moon…waiting for Eclipse to arrive!

If you don’t know about this series please find out.  As a short synopsis, its basically a human + a vampire = love.  For some reason….sooooo good.  I may need an intervention.  Why didn’t I ever realize how sexy vampires are before?  (wink)  I don’t want to ruin anything for anyone, but I strongly urge you go pick up a copy of Twilight and get caught up!

Viva Las Vegas!

I am such a slacker.  I apologize.

We went to Las Vegas over Labor Day weekend as sort of a “mini” family reunion with some folks on my mom’s side….which happen to be my favorite relatives too!  We had a GREAT time.  We met up with 3 cousins, one of their spouses, and an aunt and her husband.  I love Las Vegas, I know its a trashy kind of town, but there’s so many people to watch, things to do, places to eat, shop, and drink….ahhhh. 

We stayed at the Monte Carlo.  It wasn’t bad for the price over a holiday weekend.  I think we paid about $350 for 3 nights.  I could see why it was so cheap though–City Center (a MASSIVE hotel/condo/retail development) is being built right next door.  It is going to be incredible when it gets done, but right now is certainly a nuisance to Monte Carlo.  We requested a room as far away from the construction as possible and thankfully our wish was granted.  I can tell the hotel used to be really nice back in the day when it was first built, but is in dire need of some renovations and updating.  It appears they’ve started updating their suites, so I’m sure those will trickle down.  All in all, the worst thing was walking back and forth through the construction zone next door.  We were only there to sleep a few hours anyways! 

(PS – We were going to stay at Bill’s Gambling Hall and Saloon, which supposedly gets great reviews on TripAdvisor and is in a great location BUT we experienced the RUDEST person at their reservation number.  Didn’t convince me to give them any of our money!  And HA!  I made money at their stupid casino too!)

Thursday night was very low key, we just gambled and learned how to play craps.

Friday was awesome!  We got up for breakfast/brunch and did some shopping at Planet Hollywood (fka Aladdin).  The H&M there was SO disappointing.  I was pretty bummed.  It was tiny, small (terrible) selection of crap….it was a nightmare.  We had free tickets to Siegfried and Roy’s Secret Garden at the Mirage and so we went over there to kill some time.  I love animals, so you know me….I was in heaven.

 

Do you see that gentleman in the background?  There are baby tigers in there and he gets to watch/play with them…..and that’s all I ever saw him do.  Best.Job.in.the.world.

We started to get hungry and had seen a little burger joint on the way in…BLT Burger.  Oh my gosh, this place was amazing!  I don’t even like hamburgers, but…wow!  (I know, I’m weird, didn’t we already establish that?)  Just look as these milkshakes.  Best Milkshakes ever I think.  You won’t be disappointed if you go here.  It was a pleasant surprise.

 

Friday night was our big “dress up and paint the town” night.  We had tickets to O and went to Prime at the Bellagio for dinner.  Prime was good, don’t get me wrong.  The service was phenomenal.  I just still have to give David Burke’s Primehouse in Chicago as the top steakhouse I’ve been to.  Food was very good.  Other than a great seat to watch the fountains over the lake, I don’t remember anything else spectacular though.  I think I had set my expectations too high, simply because it was the Bellagio and I was expecting to be blown away.  I was pleased, don’t get me wrong, just not blown away.

Now, O on the other hand….I can’t begin to describe.  It was the most amazing thing I have ever seen.  I was definitely blown away.  Afterwards, even though we were sitting during the whole show, I felt like I needed to just sit down and close my eyes and breathe.   I loved it.  I’d go see it again in a heartbeat.  Wow!

Afterwards the ladies ended up going into the Bank, where supposedly Paris and Eva were, although we never saw them.  We went to hang out with our boys over at Caramel lounge where I think we ended up spending the rest of the evening.

Saturday….more gambling (we bet on Texas…made $200 yeah!), some pool time…more eating…more drinking.  Justin and I went to ‘whichcraft in MGM.  Blech.  Terrible.  Don’t go.  We went to Kahunaville for dinner where we had my most favorite beverage ever…the Strawberry Koladas.  Yum.  That is why I go to Vegas!

We caught the Duece and went down to Fremont Street.  I had never been…interesting place.  We lost our money and stayed out until 4 am.  Need I say more??  🙂 

That was basically the weekend in a nutshell.  Help!  I’m in a nutshell!  (Austin Powers anyone?)  Anyway, here’s some more random pictures from the trip!

 

 

And yes, I do look goooood on the red carpet!  HA!

Dark Knight (Semi-Spoiler)

We saw the Dark Knight last night.  I thought it was really good.  At first I was a little let down, because I think I over-hyped it and was starting to think it wasn’t that great, but then it got a lot better.  At the end, I didn’t want it to end!

There was one thing that irked me about the movie though.  It was filmed partially in Chicago…and you can tell!!!!  😦  I didn’t know this going into it.  Batman is Gotham City.  Gotham City is New York.  Not Chicago!!  You can clearly see the Chicago River, Lower Wacker Drive, the bridges, Marina City (the corn cob towers), and especially the Trump Tower in the final showdown between Batman and the Joker.  Are they trying to say that Chicago makes a better New York than New York??  If so….hahaha.

And you’d think that since it was trying to be Gotham, they’d cover up telltale signs, such as “Sweet Home Chicago” in the scene with the semi that flips.  Come on movie editors.

iPhone = iFinally!!

I am a dork.  I have been waiting for an iPhone since they first came out last year.  I have been wanting this little gadget for it feels like, oh so long.  I was about to get one earlier, but then we heard rumors about the new 3G model coming so I had to wait.  And wait, and wait, and wait!

Don’t get me wrong, I was itching to get one the day they were released, however I didn’t want to deal with the crowds.  Had I had nothing to do that day, I probably would have sucked it up and gone to sit in line somewhere.   My biggest concern was that they were going to sell a lot right off the bat and I hoped Apple was prepared!  I didn’t want that first round to get sold off and then be out of luck for a couple more months. I was worried they were going to be as exclusive as Wii’s were around Christmas time!

I think we found the ideal situation though.  We didn’t camp out, we didn’t have to stand in any lines.  We walked into the AT&T store last Friday when they came out, we waited about ten minutes and talked to a rep who could order us an iPhone that we’d get in 7-10 days.  No standing in messy lines, no dealing with crowds!  Our iPhones arrived about 7 days later and we picked them up on Sunday.  No extra charge even!  I think it couldn’t have worked out better.

I played around with it all day yesterday and am in love.  I have an iPod Touch and they are very similar, so it wasn’t really “new” to me.   I’m not a techie so I can’t give you any formal review, but for my purposes it does the job.  It’s easy to use, easy to figure out, and seemed easy enough to set everything up.  My one complaint so far was that once I added my company’s Microsoft Exchange email to the gizmo, I now have to enter a password to do anything.   I wish it would only make me enter a password to get into the email application, rather than the phone itself.  Oh well, a minor annoyance.  It does have an emergency call option at the password screen so if someone grabbed my phone and needed to call 911 for me, they could.  I guess they don’t want just anyone reading my emails!  It’s not a huge deal, again, just a little annoying.  I’m pretty impressed with the 3G speed, the downside seems to be that it eats your battery a lot quicker.

I’ve downloaded a couple apps and they seem pretty useful.  I definitely think its great to have everything in one gadget.  I pondered keeping my Touch, but really, I don’t have a use for it.   I’m sure the GPS/Maps app will come in handy for traveling.

Anyway, I’ll post if I figure out anything else that bothers me, but so far, I’m in love!

2nd Anniversary = MEXICO!!

I am so freaking excited!  We booked our second anniversary trip to MEXICO!  We’re going down to Cancun and the Riviera Maya area, but specifically Playa Mujeres, which is north of Cancun.  It’s just across from Isla Mujeres.  We are flying down on the new airline out of Austin, Viva Aerobus and staying at Excellence Playa Mujeres, an adults only all-inclusive.  The resort opened last November, so it is brand new.  Unfortuntately, we’re going to have to hope and pray that there is not a hurricane between now and then!!  ::FINGERS CROSSED EVERYONE::  We have trip insurance and will get a full refund, so I’m not worried about money, I’m worried about my damn vacation I’ve been waiting for!

8 restaurants (that sound amazing), 7 pools, 11 bars…..Oh my…could it sound any more AWESOME?  I am so giddy I cannot contain myself.

I convinced Justin to splurge for the Rooftop Terrace Suite – it has its own HydroSpa pool up on the roof with awesome views of the pool and ocean.  So incredible!

Just look at some of these photos I’ve found on TripAdvisor (which gives it GREAT reviews for being new!):

Excellence Playa Mujeres

View of the Grill

(View of the “Grill”)

XLounge on the Beach

XLounge on the Beach

Lazy River

Roof Top Terrace

Yes, this is the roof of the “Roof Top Terrace Suite”  Uh huh.  Can’t wait!

Looking Down

Looking down at other roof top terraces

Inside Room

This is probably what will be my view most of the vacation.

And you’ll find me here.  🙂

And of course….here.

So far on the list is more Scuba, maybe some fishing, but mostly relaxing, eating, and drinking.  This vacation *may* be more awesome than our Honeymoon to Saint Lucia…I didn’t think anything could top that.    I’ll keep you posted on our plans as we get closer.  Or who the hell knows…we may not make any plans.  And that would still be wonderful!

Grandma

I am terrible at blogging.  I must must improve.

My grandma passed away June 22 at 88 years and 10 months.  She had been dx with Alzheimers a couple years ago, so I know that the last few years haven’t been the best.  Ever since my uncle passed away, my dad has been burdened with taking care of everything for her, and I don’t mean burdened with her, but burdened with everything that goes into finalizing things, closing out unfinished business, and all that.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t very close to her.  I came along after 3 other grandkids and after she had remarried after my dad’s father passed away, so she was a newlywed, not in a “grandma” kind of place.  I know though she cared about me and was so proud of me.   I’m so glad now that she is at peace and not in any more pain.  She’d been in and out of the hospital over the past year for various ailments that you get at 88 and you could see how much it worried and pained my father.  It’s debatable if she knew what was going on, but she would rip out her IVs, give the nurses hell (even though they were taking great care of her), and be just plain hard to deal with.  Maybe that was her way of saying enough’s enough.  I think instead of sadness, we were able to feel relief.  Relief that she’s in a better place and isn’t hurting anymore.  Relief that a weight has been lifted off my dad.  I feel so bad for him, he’s aged more in the past five years than I’ve ever seen.  I hope that starts to slow down again.    I hope that grandma’s happier now than we’ve made her in awhile.

WTF Shutterfly?

I know, I’ve got to fix my pictures.  Patience my friends….someday I’ll get to it.

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