Chaos Attraction

New Year's Eve vs. New Year's Eve

2011-12-31, 8:29 a.m.

(Still backdating entries, this is for December 31.)

After returning home last night, I will say that it was nice to get a full night's sleep for a change. And not spend the entire day walking around or standing in line either. I spent the day in bed knitting and watching Little Miss Sunshine.

I did get to see Deacon Dave's this year, got in JUST under the wire to do it a couple of hours before he closed for the year. (New pics start here.) This year's theme was "Believe" and based off of the Virginia-writes-to-the-Sun-about-Santa letter. Good job for something new! I do think it's a challenge for him to come up with new themes he hasn't done yet. He also did "Hidden Mickeys" around the place, which amused us no end under the circumstances.

As per usual on our Lameass New Year's Eve, same as we have done every year of my life except for the 3 years where I actually got invited to parties in college, we went to the movies. I am pretty sick of this tradition by now (honestly, I reallllllllllly wanna go to parties on a regular basis every year. Yes, I know I'm over 30 and "too old" to want to do that any more, but I didn't get enough partying done due to being a nerd and I still wanna), but...whatever. I can't change that now. I don't know if I ever will. It seems unlikely from here.

This year's flicks were both ones I didn't give a shit about seeing, but figured they were the most tolerable of the bunch Mom offered to me to pick from because man, I don't want to watch another Mission Impossible when I didn't like the first one, and I figure War Horse is probably about as interesting as a Benji flick, but with more shooting. Deliver me from evil and from watching animal movies where the animal doesn't talk. And I hear The Descendants is really depressing.

Oh, random funny: Mom was pissed off at Mauricio for (a) possibly being late to movie #1 (he wasn't) and (b) not wanting to sit through movie #2 because he had to work on NYD at 5 a.m. So she was all, "I am not going to buy you popcorn!" Well, we got to the theater, got there about a half hour before movie #1 so we were standing around, and a random lady walked up to us and offered her popcorn bin because you could get a free refill with it and she was sick of popcorn. GO FIGURE, eh? I think Mauricio manifested that one all by himself there.

So we ended up seeing:

We Bought A Zoo: I would say it's tolerable, albeit a little "wtf?" when it comes to finances. So Benjamin was this adventurous reporter dude before he settle down and had kids, and then his wife died. Then he gets ticked off at his editor for turning down the "iPocalypse" story he pitched about bringing his kids to some danger zone or other (I forget where) and stomps off in a huff when the editor offers him an online column instead. I would like to point out that this takes place starting in early 2010 and I cannot conceive of any reporter who still has a job (PLUS TWO KIDS 'CAUSE YOU'RE A WIDOWER AND ALL) stomping out in a huff when he's offered a position with slightly less likelihood of being laid off. Oh yeah, and he also makes a big stinking deal about being pitied and refuses to get laid off (which the editor offers instead) so he can get any benefits. WHAT THE FUCKING FUCK?!?!

Hi, bitter ex-reporter speaking. Moving on:

Naturally, the first thing you do while you are UNEMPLOYED by YOUR OWN FAULT with TWO KIDS TO SUPPORT is go house hunting! Look, I know this was based on the original story, and the original story takes place before The Great Recession and in Europe and under different financial circumstances in general. But man, didn't anyone think about the logic of this when you set it in 2010 and "updated" it? Come on. Anyway, we're told that somehow Benjamin has a giant(?) inheritance from his dad, so he can afford to buy the property he fell in love with in the boonies...that comes with a zoo that is currently being supported by the state of California (HAHAHAHHAH ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?!?!? ... Hi, kinda bitter Californian speaking who thinks this would have been budget cut by 2009. Moving on), but if someone doesn't buy it soon, all the animals will be killed. (Note: probably not, more like shipped to other zoos. Sorry, just watched A Dolphin's Tale for Christmas. Moving on.) Anyhoo, Benjamin buys it. The little girl loves it, but his emo moody-ass teenage artist son doesn't and sits around drawing decapitations and crap like that for most of the movie. There is naturally a hot young blonde teenage girl who Just Happens to work at the park (and is homeschooled so she's there all the time) to pine over him. Isn't that convenient.

Benjamin meets the small skeleton staff remaining and gamely pitches in on learning the zoo life. And to be fair, I think despite the silly-ass plot contrivances and the OMG USDA INSPECTOR GUY issues, they mostly make the zoo stuff work all right. You can watch the movie and be okay with it if you have been dragged to the movies and you'll be entertained enough. Scarlett Johansson is the hot young zookeeper, but she keeps it pretty real for the most part. I give the movie credit for not making this a great romance between Kelly the zookeeper and Benjamin just because they are 2 hot people in the sticks together (then again, that plotline already went to the son). Yeah, there's a weird moment in the middle of the movie where they consider the idea, and they do do a kiss at the end, but it doesn't suddenly go to Happy Stepmom Territory when Benjamin is still very clearly not over missing his wife yet either. (Note that the movie ends with Benjamin still talking about his dead wife.) As you can guess, they finally get the zoo rolling, so good for them.

I deem it a tolerable watch, even if Ben, after finally running out of money, MAGICALLY finds a deposit slip from his wife in her old sweatshirt that nobody will throw out, that Just Happens to have "circus money" (no, really) in it and that saves the park.

The other movie was New Year's Eve. Which, of course, we saw as it was going past midnight. And given how much I wish I was partying instead of doing this, it's kind of rubbing it in my face to be watching a movie with 2 hours of partying in it. But...oh well, at least it wasn't Mission Impossible. Or Valentine's Day.

Anyhoo, the plotlines are:
(a) Hilary Swank is in charge of getting the ball to drop. It breaks. She has to call Hector Elizondo (in the least dressed up role I have ever seen him in!) to fix it. She makes a brilliant stalling speech on television. Then she runs off before the ball drop (whose job lets them do this?), but she has a good reason.
(b) Robert DeNiro is dying and wants to watch the ball drop one last time on the roof. Hospital won't let him. Someone else does. I am not spoiling this, but you can probably guess what I am getting at. Cary Elwes is the doctor (please grow your 'stashe back, Cary, and do that accent again) and Halle Berry is the Hot Nurse.
(c) Once upon a time, chef Katherine Heigl was briefly engaged to big shot rock star Jon Bon Jovi. Who then freaked and called it off. Yup, that deserves some nut-kicking. He tries to get back together with her, she softens 'cause it's New Year's. You would hate this character if it wasn't played by JBJ. Alas, Katherine Heigl needs to stop playing roles where she is pouty and mad. We've seen enough of that. Gloria from Modern Family is here, doing the same schtick she does on MF except for being single with no kids. This plot would have been somewhat more interesting had Sofia Vergara and Katherine Heigl switched parts.
(d) Lea Michele is JBJ's backup singer and spends most of the movie locked in a rusty elevator with NYE-hater Ashton Kutcher, dressed like a slob. Whatever, nobody likes the Ashton much any more after being a skeeving cheat. Just forward to the singing here.
(e) Josh Duhamel attends a wedding in the NY sticks, then his car breaks down and he needs a ride back in a camper with a bunch of kids and grandparents to the city so he can (a) make up a speech, and (b) try to find the chick he wanted to hook up with last year's NYE.
(f) Sarah Jessica Parker wears clogs (this is pointed out a lot) and chases after her teenage daughter--why, yes, it's the same kid from Little Miss Sunshine and she could be a beauty queen now-- who wants to spend NYE getting kissed by a boy at the ball drop than staying home with Mom. I have never been to NYC in my life, but am pretty sure that (a) most people would not be able to travel so speedily around in this movie on this day in general, and (b) from what I hear, once you're locked in a pen on NYE in the streets, you can't travel from pen to pen. Right.
(g) The best plot of the whole thing, in a really strange way, is Michelle Pfeiffer playing this nerdy, unhappy, nervous wallflower secretary girl who, after seeing her chintsy bonus (HEY, AT LEAST YOU GOT A BONUS) from her boss John Lithgow, quits on the spot, writes herself a list of insane resolutions, and pays a bike messenger guy (Zac Efron) who hangs around her work to enable her to do them all. This is kind of silly, but I can't help but enjoy the inventive solutions the dude comes up with to jump through her hoops. Only in NYC, I think. There's also this bizarre chemistry between the two for some reason and you actually kinda root for that coupling-- at least for a night, I guess. I do not get why they cast MP for this role exactly, and it's very odd that these two actors seem to kind of cutely get along at all, but hey. It rather works. Even if I'm watching it remembering what roles they played in Hairspray and thinking, "wasn't he your daughter's boyfriend?"
(h) Worst plot: two pregnant ladies compete to have the first kid born on NYE. I hoped they both lost.

Either way, I'd say it's a good enough movie to sit through if you must sit through a movie. It's okay. Whatever.

As this movie came on, Mom (who went to NYC briefly on her way to Ireland this year and spent a day wandering around the city before her plane took off) was all, "I'd like to go to New York with you sometime to see what you think of it." Hah. This seems unlikely unless an act of God comes up. It seems bizarre that I could ever go to such a thing as the sights seen in this movie at all. Or hell, it's weird to think that I might have an opportunity to do ANYTHING on this night at all.

I thought I'd be spending this night thinking, "This is the last damn time I spend the holiday sitting through semi-crap movies." Well... who knows now. It feels all in doubt to me. I don't know what to resolve any more. Maybe I move, maybe I don't. Maybe I just move in 2013. I don't know. I'm confused.

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