Archive for the Movies Category

Eventful night in downtown Seattle

Posted in clothes, Movies, shopping on January 9, 2010 by poojaland

An evening earlier this week, I went straight from work to downtown Seattle to attend one of those free movie screenings, this one for the movie “Leap Year” (yes, I’m a sucker for rom-coms, and on top of that, I love Matthew Goode). Once I got downtown, I had just over an hour to kill, so I walked to Pacific Place, a huge mall/restaurant/movie theater complex across the street from the theater the movie would play in. I went inside the mall, and then as I headed toward an escalator, I walked by this questionable-looking guy (read: a bit unkempt, shifty). Right as I walked by he said “Follow me out, OK? Let’s go.” I pretended I hadn’t heard anything — at this point, I thought he was maybe talking toward someone already on the escalator — so I kept walking. I got on the escalator, and as I was going down, he said “They’re watching you.” I stealthily looked around, and didn’t see anyone he could’ve been talking to. So.. he was either just talking to no one, or just to me. Um, yikes! He got onto the escalator a few stairs behind me. As soon as I got off, I booked it to the other side of the mall. Thankfully, I didn’t spy him again.

I wandered into some random stores with “Sale” signs out front, making sure to quickly walk past Victoria’s Secret (where the big Semi-Annual Sale was going on) and Express (where the famous Box Sale was going on), two places where I have little will power. Swung through J. Crew, and then went next door to BCBG Max Azria (which, as I side note, I used to think was Max “Azaria,” as I confused it with the actor Hank Azaria), a place I normally would never go into, but this time I was lured in by the “Extra %30 off clearance items” sign. Most of their clothing, even marked 50% off, and then an additional 30% off, was still waaay too expensive for me, but I found a casual jacket and a couple skirts to try on. A saleslady led me over to the dressing rooms and then opened up one for me. I walked in, closed the door behind me, and then turned around and around in confusion: There was no f’ing mirror in the room!! I then remembered that as I’d waited to be let into the dressing room, I’d seen a man and two kids sitting on this large sofa thing, and the mom of the family had come out to show them the dress she was trying on. There were mirrors on the outside of each dressing-room door, so she was obviously showing them the dress while also getting a first look herself. BCBG is such a high-end store — and yet they only have mirrors OUTSIDE their dressing rooms?! Luckily, I at least didn’t have all stubbly legs, as I’d had swimming the night before, but there was still no way I was going to step outside to show off every bulge and dip. The jacket I’d took in to try on was much to short — I didn’t need a mirror to figure that out — so that immediately went back on the hanger. Next, I tried on the two skirts. Herein was where I ran into a bit of a problem.. I tried to take some self-photos on my iPhone, but as all other iPhone owners know, this is a pretty impossible task. At right, you can see the results of those attempts. The skirt was actually quite cute, but being that it was all black, the details don’t show on a low-resolution/badly lit iPhone-camera picture. The lack of being able to truly see how the skirts fit, combined with the still steep price of them, led me to easily decide to not buy either of them (though I could’ve of course bought them, tried them on at home at my leisure, and then returned them). One of my friends suggested that the no-mirrors-in-dressing-rooms thing is so that when you step outside to look at yourself, the salespeople can come over and start lauding you with compliments, so you get all excited to buy everything you try on. I definitely don’t mind stepping out for some compliments/affirmation on something that looks good on me, but only after I’ve looked at myself for 10 minutes and from every angle in front of the mirror inside my dressing room. So…yeah. Now we all know!

After wasting some more time at other stores in the mall — and not spending any money: snap! — I headed back out to walk over to the movie screening. About 20 minutes into the movie, the screen suddenly went white, and we saw the film literally melt right there. It looked like someone stretched some thin caramel across the screen, and then it just tore apart and disappeared. The theater was at full capacity, and we all laughed nervously and were like, “What the–?” About 10 minutes later, we were back in action, though the film obviously started again at least a minute or two from where we’d last seen it. Twenty minutes later…another film meltdown! This time, it only took them about 5 minutes to fix things (after each meltdown, the rep from the film studio told us “Sorry about that! They say they’ll have it fixed within a few minutes!”). Once again, the film started up. And then 20 minutes after that…a THIRD meltdown! Jeezus! I heard later that a couple people walked out during one of the meltdowns, but in general, everyone took it with good humor. Certainly, no one was yelling or complaining loudly or anything. And after the third fix up, though the screen definitely had a blurry section right in the middle, it was smooth sailing through the end of the movie. As for the movie itself, well, it was up and down. The best part, for me, anyway, was Matthew Goode. Oh, and as a bonus — on our way out, we each got a free ticket for an upcoming movie as the theater’s way to apologize for the technical problems. My boss was like “You attended a free movie, and got a ticket to see another free movie?” Um, yes. And why not?

Yes, I’m one of ‘those’ girls …

Posted in Movies on December 23, 2009 by poojaland

… and am a HUGE “Sex and the City” fan! Sure, last year’s movie definitely had some slow/expendable parts, but even after seeing it in the theater, I’ve since watched it at least 10 times on DVD. A friend gave me the DVD for my birthday last year, and I ended up buying the Blu-ray version just last week.

Anyway, “Sex and the City 2” will be coming out next year. Don’t know much about the plot lines, but you can bet I’ll be seeing it soon after its release! The first trailer (just a teaser) came out yesterday:

Video: ‘Sex and the City 2’ Trailer

Can’t WAIT!

Trailer for upcoming Apatow comedy — I can’t wait!

Posted in Movies on March 10, 2009 by poojaland

I’m a huge fan of Judd Apatow — and nearly anything and everything he’s even remotely associated with. So I was very excited to get a first look at his upcoming comedy, “Funny People” (which, surprisingly, is only Apatow’s third directorial outing, after “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” and “Knocked Up”).

You know it’s gonna be hilarious! Just check out the cast list: Adam Sandler, Seth Rogen, Leslie Mann (Apatow’s real-life wife; I think his two daughters also appear in the film, as they did in “Knocked Up”), Eric Bana, Jonah Hill, Jason Schwartzman, Aziz Ansari.. plus cameos by Sarah Silverman, Andy Dick, Norm MacDonald … Here’s counting down to July 31!

‘WFL,’ Sweeney’s ‘God’ and the Twilight Court

Posted in Movies, tennis on June 14, 2008 by poojaland

Last week, we had a work party at Lincoln Square in downtown Bellevue, where MSN has some offices on I think the top half of Lincoln Tower. The food/drink portion of the party was held in the cafeteria, which is on the top (28th) floor. They have an AMAZING view up there, looking out over part of Bellevue, and across the water to Mercer Island and even the Space Needle. Here’s a shot from the patio outside the cafeteria:


We were all invited to go downstairs to Lucky Strike to either bowl or play pool, but I decided to cruise out at that point to hop the shuttle back to my office (my smaller team has a bowling outing next week as well). Anyway, Josh and I decided that we’re going to start a new triend: WFL. That means “Working From Lincoln,” an offshoot of the more traditional WFH (Working From Home). Though I don’t think I’d ever get used to that view..

Friday, I went to see another movie at SIFF: Julia Sweeney’s “Letting Go of God.” It’s a film of her one-woman show about her journey from being Catholic to being an atheist (or, as she calls it: a “naturalist”). Though the format (just her, in a living-room setting) got a little tiring at times, I was pretty absorbed the entire two hours, as was the sold-out audience. Julia was there herself (she’s a native of Spokane) and got two standing ovations, one after the film, and one after the Q&A. For me, it was just kind of comforting to be in that sort of environment with other non-believers. I just get tired of how god-centric the world is, even in relatively liberal, open-minded Seattle.

Finally, Anuja stopped by on her way home from work this morning for some tennis. We played at the courts at North Seattle Community college. The funky benches they have there never fail to crack me up. How can more than one person sit comfortably on this thing??


Here’s Anuja and me, posing for what Anuja dubbed a “Wes Anderson shot”:


And then.. in yet more weirdness.. on the adjacent court, there’s a green, wood backboard with a white horizontal line to simulate the net. It’s a practice area if you want to “play” solo. There was an envelope taped up backward on the backboard — with nothing inside, and nothing written on it. Then, a couple feet away, was a blank Post-It. Maybe the writing washed off in recent rains (though you’d think either or both items would’ve fallen off).. weird.

Non-bulked ‘Hulk’ and the dreaded ‘overreactor’

Posted in Movies, Weather on June 10, 2008 by poojaland

Saw “The Incredible Hulk” last night. Overall, it was okay; a good popcorn/matinee flick. I enjoyed the scenes with Norton as Bruce Banner, but I couldn’t get into the over-the-top action scenes when he was Hulk. It was also a little hard to remember that Norton was the Hulk, because he’s super scrawny (especially from the waist down) and the Hulk bears no resemblance to the actor. I’ve never seen the TV series, or 2003’s “Hulk,” so I can’t make any comparisons there.

We had the misfortune of sitting in the row in front of the type of moviegoer I’ve decided is an “overreactor” — after a fight scene ended, she would loudly sigh “Whoa!” and during a funny part, she’d laugh (again, loudly) and then still be laughing two seconds after the crowd’s laughter died. She would make exclamations; i.e., when Stan Lee appeared for his standard cameo, she guffawed and said “Stan Lee!” When there was a cameo at the end of the film by the star of a current box-office draw, she was laughing and exclaiming so loudly that we completely missed all of the guy’s lines. The worst outbursts, though, were before the movie when they showed the trailer for “Hellboy II: The Golden Army.” Only five seconds into the trailer, she yelled “YEAH! HELLBOY!” and then was “woohoo”-ing every 20 seconds throughout the trailer.

After the movie, in the restroom — the door of my stall randomly opened before I was ready for it to be open. I sat there dumbly (I won’t go into further detail about what I was doing at the time) for about a second, and then stood and lunged for the door. Luckily I was in the end stall, furthest away from the line of ladies in waiting, so no one came wandering over to enter the suddenly available stall.

Finally, I must comment yet again on our crazy weather. It felt like October last night! I had to wait for the bus outside Pacific Place downtown for about 10 minutes. It was super windy and really cold (I’m guessing 40s). Everyone at the stop had their hood on, even though it was (thankfully) not raining. I wore a scarf this morning — on freakin’ June 10! Thankfully it’s going to warm up the next couple days. The Times said last week was the coldest first week of June in Seattle since they started recording the weather in the early (?) 1800s.

Enjoy ‘Sex,’ forgo ‘Zohan’ and learn a new bus trick

Posted in Movies on May 30, 2008 by poojaland

I went to two very different movie screenings this week … Tuesday, I went to see “Sex and the City.” The crowd was mostly women (of course) and totally into it (of course). It was completely over the top and borderline cheesy at times, but I really loved it. Mainly I was just excited to see those four girls again! I was surprised at how much of an emotional roller coaster the film was; it was funny, sad, tragic, dramatic, outrageous… I highly recommend it to any and all “SATC” fans. I may go see it again.

Last night was a screening of “You Don’t Mess With the Zohan.” Apologies in advance to anyone I know at Sony who reads this, but…man, it was HORRIBLE. The only mildly funny/interesting parts were the cameos. Other than that, it was truly excruciating. Taylor, who sees a lot of movies (2-3 a week) declared it the worst movie she’d ever seen — even worse than “Son of the Mask.” Now, I have a pretty corny sense of humor, and can find “dumb” funny movies hilarious, but this was a looonng way from even “dumb” funny. It was just “bad” funny. So those of you who’re thinking to go check it out — you’ve been warned. I’m really curious to see what the critics have to say about it.

Finally, on a completely different topic — I took the bus from work to the screenings, which were at Pacific Place. It was my first time on a Sound Transit bus (I always take Metro). As the bus approached downtown and my stop, I looked around the bus a bit and realized I couldn’t see a bell-pull string thing that you yank to let the driver know you want the next stop. I kept looking all around, but couldn’t see any instructions on the walls or anything to clue me in to what I was supposed to push/pull/yank to request a stop. I started getting a little anxious, and then decided I’d just walk up to the driver before my stop to tell her that I wanted the next stop. But then — a guy in front of me reached up to the wall behind him and pressed this thin, vertical yellow strip on the wall and then “bing!” the “Stop Requested” sign lit up! Funky! I was kind of curious to give it a try myself, but as my stop approached, someone else pressed it before I got a chance. Next time! Here’s a pic I took surreptitiously on my cameraphone for any other Metro riders who randomly hop on an ST bus:

SIFF opening-gala grand adventure

Posted in Movies on May 23, 2008 by poojaland

Wow. So yesterday was … A Day. The main event was the evening’s outing — the SIFF (Seattle Int’l Film Festival) opening-night gala and screening of “Battle in Seattle.” Where to begin..

8:00 a.m. — I pull on my backpack and walk up the street to catch the bus to work. Keys are (thank god) tossed into backpack and *not* purse.

11:15 a.m. — Get my purse out of my backpack in order to go to lunch with some co-workers as (another) send-off for Derek, who made a special trip to the Eastside to meet up with us.

1 p.m. — Return from lunch. Plop my purse down next to — but not inside — my backpack.

3:30 p.m. — Pull on my backpack — sans purse, still — and head out early to catch the bus home.

4:40 p.m. — Back home. Get ready for the premiere, finish up some work.

5:40 p.m. — Final preparations before needing to head to Capitol Hill to pick up my “date,” Lara, en route to McCaw Hall for the gala. Go looking for my camera, then remember it’s in my purse and then also remember that, SH*T! I left my purse in my office!! My purse has my cell phone (I have no landline at home), ID and credit cards/cash in it. Run to my computer.. luckily Eric (officemate) is still online in the office. I have him call Lara from my cell — which was in my purse — to let her know that I have to head to Redmond to pick up my purse, as I’ll likely need to show ID to get our tickets at the McCaw Hall box office, and won’t be by her place until probably 6:45 instead of 6, as was the original plan.

5:50 p.m. — Dash out the door and hit the freeway, negating the fact that I’d been good and bused in to/from work earlier.

6:15 p.m. — Due to thankfully light-ish traffic, get off 520 in Redmond. Hit immediate backup about two blocks from my office. Traffic is not moving at all. Turn off to try a detour, but again get stuck in a backup. I can now see flashing lights down 148th about a block past the turn off to my office; some kind of accident has the two lanes blocked. After 10 minutes, I’ve moved about four car lengths. I pull into the 7-11 parking lot and begin booking it on foot the 1.5 blocks to my office.

6:30 p.m. — Arrive in my office. Say a quick “Thank you!!” to Eric, grab my purse, and begin booking it back to my car. Along the way, my left foot begins hurting where the base of my big toe joins the rest of my foot. I stop for a second to look down. Turns out I’m already getting a f*cking blister! The shoes are good quality (BCBG), and Nordstrom had “stretched” them for me when I bought them, but it was my second time wearing them, and first time wearing them while walking so quickly.

6:40 p.m. — Head back to Seattle. Hit traffic just past the 520 W/405 S junction. While my car inches forward, I pull off my left shoe and try to stretch that part of the heel out more. I put on my earrings and necklace.

7:05 p.m. — Am pulling up to Lara’s building. Ask her to bring along some band-aids for me. I put a couple on the worst parts of my left food while we wait at a red light.

7:15 p.m. — Park in pay lot a block from McCaw Hall. Dash (or in my case, painfully stumble) across the street and walk up the now-deserted red carpet, past the $25 (!!) valets. Pick up my tickets — after NOT being asked for any ID — and run into the hall. Due to the lateness, Lara and I had to sit a couple rows apart. The timing actually worked out okay, though; they were still just doing general intro/SIFF plugs when we sat down.

7:40 p.m. — “Battle in Seattle” writer-director Stuart Townsend comes out to say a few words. He also quickly introduces the cast members who came out for the premiere — Charlize Theron (also Townsend’s girlfriend), Michelle Rodriguez, Andre Benjamin and Martin Henderson. Too bad Channing Tatum didn’t make it out.. After asking the audience for a show of hands of who was around for the WTO riots — and seeing a TON of hands go up — Townsend hilariously says “Oh sh*t.” Then…the movie begins.

….

Despite being distracted by my aching left foot and the fact that I REALLY had to pee (no way was I going to make my row stand up again, after I’d been seated late), I really enjoyed the film — Townsend spent something like six years on the film, doing research and interviews, and visiting Seattle several times. I thought it was a great behind-the-scenes look into the organization/process of protests, and the fall-out — both of the participants and innocent bystanders. They also showed the reactions from the Seattle mayor and police, and even the frustation of one WTO presenter who was trying to get his important issue heard. I think the film releases in September, so I’d urge Seattleites to check it out. Though most of it was filmed in Vancouver, it’s still a really cool snapshot of an infamous part of our history. I can’t believe it’ll have been 10 years since the riots, come November. The audience really got into the film — clapping or shouting praise when a character said/did something admirable..

After the screening, the cast and director came back out on stage to do a Q&A with a SIFF guy and take some audience questions. We found out that they all own Priuses! Well, I think everyone but Andre Benjamin, who says they don’t look cool enough … yet. Below, from left: Charlize, Andre, Martin, Michelle, Stuart, SIFF moderator:

Around 9:30, the Q&A ended, and everyone headed to the hall’s courtyard for the afterparty. I think nearly all of the 3,000 screening attendees stayed for it.. There were mad crowds around the alcohol table ($5 a drink), and the only foods were cakes and cupcakes. We stood around and ate a little, then headed to what I think is the Exhibition Hall next door, where there was more food, full bars, a small dance floor and lots of areas to sit around and chat. Once in there, we ran into some fun Aussie friends of Lara’s from her Amazon days. Though my feet were really killing me at this point (see right), we all stood around and ate (the food we got our hands on was really horrible) and chatted. Around 11:30, Lara and I decided it was time to cut out. I went to hug her friend Liz goodbye; Liz gave me a one-arm hug, but then sort of pulled me towards her, which resulted in my smashing my mouth onto her bare shoulder and leaving a sparkly lip-gloss imprint. Typical!! I wiped it off and mumbled something like “Oops! Haha, I smooched your shoulder,” but she was still talking about something or another and probably just thought I was doing some strange sort of Indian goodbye.

Before we left, we posed on the red carpet..

Once Lara and I got back to my car, I remembered that I had my gym shoes in my trunk, so I eagerly pried off my heels and put the tennies on instead. Ahhhhh!

After getting home, I applied Neosporin and band-aids to both of my feet — two per foot. Now I’ve got my fingers tightly crossed that I’m in better shape come Monday, as Chrissy and I are planning to do a day hike somewhere..

Some other notes from last night:

Interesting to see how Seattleites decided to dress for this event.. a lot of people were somewhat dressy, like Lara and me, but there were also folks in zip-up hoodies, jeans, and I even saw one guy carrying his bicycle helmet around.

“Celeb” sightings: KING 5 (?) sports dude Tony Ventrella. Super Deluxe lead singer and solo artist Braden Blake (I was going to say hello, since I’ve been a longtime SD concert-attendee and we’re acquaintences, but I didn’t). Some older guy Lara swears has a recurring role on one of the “Law & Order” shows (I wasn’t able to get a look at him).

So.. all in all, the day ended up well, despite the stress, drama and aching feet. I was worried we wouldn’t be able to get in at all, being so late! Hoo-ee.