summer stay-at-home movie recommendations

Documentary Recommendations

Over the last few weekends we have been ticking away at our Netflix queue, particularly the 900 documentaries we have lined up.  Last time we did a binge in a single weekend; perfectly ideal for indoors-only kind of weather.

Up first, Chasing Ice.  A behemoth of a project undertaken by National Geographic photography James Balog to document in photographs the physical changes in the worlds largest glaciers over a 5-year period.  The end results are stunning.  Recommended

Next Up, The House I Live In.  If you are at all a child of the 80s then you are familiar with “the war on drugs”.  This movie takes a look at said “war” and the repercussions and implications of drug and judicial policy in America over the last three plus decades.  My only complaint was that it left me feeling a little hopeless and without a “what you can do about it” solution.  However, the official website offers these.  (Also, you can check out an interview with the director on The Daily Show here.) Recommended

And finally, Hot Coffee.  Think what you will about the infamous lawsuit of a woman suing McDonalds, but this film offers a different side of tort law than what I have been indoctrinated with being a Texan.  And basically, as a consumer (of anything) in Texas, you’re screwed if something goes wrong…. you’ve got no very limited rights. Recommended


I don’t know why I feel the need to explain myself, but I do.  It is clear that each of these documentaries presents one side of an issue.  And I am smart enough to know that these topics (and so many others) are very nuanced and have a lot of gray.  It’s never black and white and there’s never an easy answer.  I would encourage anyone to explore the other side of where they think they stand, or what they have always been told.  It may only reaffirm your stance, or hopefully, add a new element to our ever-present pro/con lists.  I will just hold to one of my most favorite quotes ever…

weekend scene

It was a Wicked weekend!  I’ll start the weekend with a delicious meal and delightful musical any time!  (The last time I saw Wicked it was 2010 and I wore a hand-made dress.)  The rest of the weekend was well…restful!  The hubs was off fishing with my Pops, so I caught up on some laundry, reading, & being lazy…with the kitty joining me!

Weekend Scene July End

i can’t take my eyes off of you

tv nuns


The hubs and I haven’t had cable for several years now — yep, we’re “one of those” couples.  But believe me, there is plenty of TV-watching still happening in our house.  Between Hulu and Netflix, we’ve always got something to watch.  (FYI — I do not think that Hulu+ offers anything different/better than their regular free streaming videos… AND they still have commercials!)  Well, we are the new demographic of viewers who like to “binge” on our shows — that is — we’ll watch nearly an entire season of episodes during a weekend (or two, or three).  There is a great article in the NYT about this very phenomenon and how Netflix has capitalized on it with their all new original series, House of Cards.  Over three weekends we fit in all 13 “chapters” and well, we’re hooked.  Kudos to Netflix for taking such a risk on a new idea and better yet, for making a quality show to boot.  I hope we can expect more of this in the future, (and it looks like we can.)

on the small screen

I can’t remember when the last time was that I watched a single movie, much less FOUR in one weekend.  We have a quite the ever-growing Netflix queue; and we made a serious dent in it this past weekend.  We covered nature, the economy, and personal grooming.  My least favorite of these was Mansome; I’m a serious Bluth-brother fan, so maybe my expectations were too high.  It just wasn’t very funny.  (The hubs might disagree.)  But it’s no secret that I love a good infographic, so it’s no surprise then that I really liked The Flaw — kudos graphic design team. I highly recommend this to anyone wanting to better understand the financial meltdown of 2008.  Ethos will be “out there” for the main stream, but I thought it was informative (but definitely a little lacking in the graphics department).  And 180 Degrees South is just beautiful, inspiring, and a little heartbreaking.

1 | 2 | 3 | 4

who you gonna call?


My family has a ridiculous affinity for the movie Ghostbusters.  I think the four of us could reenact the entire movie, really.  The hubs sometimes has a hard time watching it with us because we won’t shut up.  Perfectly campy, it will always be one of my favorites (and most casually quoted).  Lucky for us, it has been re-released for a limited showing and tonight is the last night to catch it on the big screen!  Oh yeah, date night it is.


music monday

I have mixed emotions about holiday music.  I typically only enjoy it for about one week out of the year.  But with so many amazing artists creating holiday albums it’s becoming easier for me to enjoy seasonal music for a longer period of time.  Pink Martini’s latest album Joy To The World is a reminder that the holiday’s are a global event, not just some suburban phenomenon.  (They sing in at least four languages on the album.)  And I like the lounge-y, eclectic vibe they’ve got going on.



{This was last year’s holiday music recommendation and this is my all-time favorite.}


to whom do i gripe about this?

Is this a segment of SNL’s “Really” routine…  Because, Really?!

I’m sorry, wait, actually I’m not.

In what world is it remotely acceptable to place a child with an adult in an overtly sexual photo shoot (or any similar scenario really)?

I’m not sure if I’m mad because at its root it’s child exploitation or because it’s a horrible double standard.  This would NEVER happen with a 16 year old female pop star and older man.  (Well it probably has happened and since I don’t religiously read particularly pop-crazed magazines, I’m sure I missed it.)  What’s worse is when People promotes Kim Kardashian’s questionable shoot as  “Channel[ing] her inner cougar with Justin Bieber”.   Would we ever read the headlines “29 year old man gets his flirt on with 16 year old girl while in his underwear” and all be ok with that?  I think not.

I understand the artistic direction was influenced by The Graduate, but at least Ben Braddock was of legal age.

Maybe my outrage is because K.K. is just so va-va-voom (and having your ta-tas tantalize a 16 year old boy is beyond inappropriate.)  Maybe it’s because I feel like Justin Bieber needs an advocate — because he is still a child! Either way, I just can’t believe that this is not only culturally  accepted, but also encouraged and thought of as “cute” and “whats the harm” and “he’s so lucky” as well as what I’m assuming will be considered good press for each star involved.

If someone thinks I’ve misinterpreted the intentions of said shoot, maybe this video will clear things up.

***********Post Script*********

I wonder if others don’t feel as strongly as I do because it doesn’t “feel like” they’re doing anything wrong.  If this was a closed door shoot, shady and suspicious, that would imply that there is something to hide.  But as it stands, it’s out in the open.  Literally.  But somehow I think everyone involved has been duped by good lighting and a sweet smile.  Just because it looks like fun, it started as a joke, or there were no bad intentions doesn’t make it ok or appropriate.