The Hobbit at midnight

We only go to the movies once every year and a half. It’s so much money that we really only spend money on seeing movies in the theater that we already know we’re going to love.

We love going to midnight movie premieres – everyone in the theater REALLY wants to be there, is quiet during the dramatic parts, cheers when appropriate. SO much fun.

The last movie we went to was the last Harry Potter midnight show.

Then we more or less made plans immediately to see the midnight show of The Hobbit.

It came out on a Thursday night …. and because of driving time, it was just easier for me to take the whole day off. I’m not complaining.

We went and got our Christmas tree that day, then went home to relax, take a little nap and head out to the theater for the midnight show.

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We went to a theater in Sherman Oaks with assigned seats so we didn’t have to worry about waiting in line for hours ahead of time.

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The movie was about 3 hours long… which means we got home around 4a. And both had to get up in a few hours to get to work.

SO fun – and totally worth it.

I mean, yes, it was totally self-indulgent and ridiculous for a 3-hour movie to be made out of a third of a children’s book. But Peter Jackson chose to make more of a Lord of the Rings pre-quel than a Hobbit movie.

But we still like it :)

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Happy Halloween and Scary October

You may have noticed, this year we watched SIGNIFICANTLY fewer scary movies than last year. Thank goodness.

We were TOTALLY overwhelmed

(listed in roughly the order we watched them)

The Fog – John Carpenter’s 1980 film about killer creatures that come in with the fog … It *could* be really creepy, except the scenes when the fog is basically animated (not scary) and the creatures are pretty much just big rubber monsters.

Paranormal Activity 2 – Prequel to Paranormal Activity. I enjoyed this one, especially the way the story relates to and leads into Paranormal Activity. Looking forward to the 3rd movie too.

The Thing – John Carpenter’s film from 1982. About a monster that duplicates itself, with Kurt Russell as the hero. The climax was a bit … off. But the rest of the film was lovely and creepy.

Case 39 – Renee Zellweger and Bradley Cooper. Most of the movie is revealed in the trailer, which is a bit disappointing… And the ending part of the plot is full of holes … But the lead up to then is pretty creepy.

Scream 2 – I really enjoyed Scream, and I know that the first 3 Scream movies were designed as a trilogy. But this one felt like the weakest. Although Jerry O’Connell is in this one and I kind of love him.

Scream 3 – While not as good as Scream, I think this one is better than Scream 2. Take that however you will.

Funny Games – German film about a home invasion. Seriously creepy. Super super scary. Loved it. Also, I hear there’s an American remake.

It – I can imagine this book (by Stephen King) is probably good…. And the first half of this movie (actually a TV miniseries) is good. But the second half, when the grown-ups come back to kill It? Too ridiculous. The first half with a group of kids fighting It feels more like Goonies or Sandlot (with a supernatural killer), and it’s a bit endearing.

Scream 4 – Yea, um. Unless you LOVE the Scream franchise, feel free to skip this one.

The Walking Dead (season 1) - Zombie TV show. The second season is on the air now. I wasn’t totally sure how they’d make the basic zombie-movie premise into a whole TV series, but I kind of see now. The one thing that drives me crazy is how the female characters aren’t given any agency. They just sit on their hands in the corner while the men hack away at the zombies, or the doors, or whatever challenge they have to break through. We’ll still watch season 2 when it’s available, of course.

Wicked Little Things – About miner-accident-children zombies who every night for the last 150 years come out and kill for revenge. Just as ridiculous as it sounds.

[REC] – Spanish zombie movie, in the style of Paranormal Activity or Blair Witch (one of the characters is the cameraman). Really great movie. Also, it was remade in America as ‘Quarantine’

Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer – 1980s movie about a serial killer. A little bit about how he kills, his relationship with a brother/sister. Sad and a bit creepy, but VERY good.

Mimic – Cockroach/Termite creature movie by Guillermo del Toro.

[REC]2 – sequel to [REC] (clearly). Takes place about an hour after the first one ends. It’s not just the same story w/ different characters (like so many sequels can be), but instead follows a SWAT team type group who head in to the original quarantine to try to get it under control. Same basic idea (same infection, same zombies) but the story unfolds differently.

Ghost Adventures – season 5… I can’t believe I actually like this reality show!

Deathwatch – World War 1 supernatural thriller starring Jamie Bell (who I just love).

Did  YOU watch any scary movies this month?

I did NOT make note of the Scary-Movie-Rules and lessons we learned through watching these … but our past Halloween posts have plenty, in case you’re worried.

But I also found this horror-movie-focused blog: Into Survival that includes reviews of movies, comparison of foreign-to-American remakes, and discussions of horror movie rules … Like How To Survive a Horror Movie: Fashion Tips for Ladies

Happy Halloween!!

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It’s no secret Andrew and I love Netflix.


It’s pretty much one of our favorite things. We won’t pay for cable TV because Netflix is enough ….

And then Netflix did one better and offered unlimited instant streaming via the internet.

And THEN … they hooked up with Nintendo and let us do it with our Wii.

It’s magic.

And it lets us watch so many more movies and TV shows than we ever would be able to ….

Top 5 Favorites:

Reasons we love Netflix Instant Streaming

  • We can stream it through the Wii - We don’t have to watch it on the computer, but can actually watch any movie on Instant streaming on our television. The wireless internet signal gets sorted through our Wii (which we have had for several years now) and it’s SUPER easy!


  • We get unlimited instant streaming time – Days off can easily turn into movie marathons because all the Netflix plans now include unlimited instant streaming hours. When we originally signed up for Netflix there were limited hours available depending on your plan, but Netflix has expanded the Instant streaming hours to unlimited every month. It’s magical. And dangerous.


  • We can watch a movie anywhere we have a computer + internet - Anywhere. For example, in Palm Springs, when we were at the ACE Hotel. Or even on my phone, during my lunch break at work. Anywhere. AND Netflix remembers where I am in the movie. So if I start it at work on my phone, and then watch some more at home on the TV, Netflix knows where I have left off.


  • The Instant selection is getting so much better! – Netflix has REALLY been focusing on their Instant movies. The entire series of TV shows like XFiles, Lost, the Cosby show, etc are all available. It’s SO MUCH FUN! I have plans to go online this weekend and see what Elizabeth Taylor movies are available. Every time I go on the Netflix queue there are more and movies I want to watch.


  • We can watch a movie or TV show on demand – Any time we are craving a particular kind of movie or TV show we can just turn on the TV+Wii. No more driving down to any video rental store. It’s all there. Just at a couple clicks.





Christmas – 23 – movies

We didn’t watch nearly as many movies for Christmas as we did for Halloween … but still some good ones…

Although, please notice – many (kids) Christmas movies operate on the basic assumption that Santa Claus is real.

After watching all these movies, I kinda wish he was.

  • Elf – Possibly my favorite Christmas movie. I’ve watched it so many times. I’ve cried at the end so many times. I’ve quoted it so many times. If you haven’t seen this – you must.
  • Fred Claus – Sweet, heartwarming Vince Vaughn movie. It’s nice to see him in a kid-type movie. I’d watch it again.
  • Love Actually – Mostly good. It’s a collection of several (6 or 7?) different stories/relationships. Most of them a good, loving, sweet, inspiring, etc. At least one of the stories is just sad and weird. Which is not very Christmasy. But you should watch it just for the cast.
  • Muppet Christmas Carol - Awesome. Michael Caine as Scrooge. Gonzo as Charles Dickens (the narrator). Definitely a holiday must.
  • A Muppet Family Christmas – Another one of my favorites. From the late 80s, a muppet TV Special. ALL the Muppets go and visit Fozzie’s mom for the holidays … and the Sesame Street gang and the Fraggles show up. I could watch this over and over. In fact, this year I watched it twice.
  • Scrooged – Just OK. If you’re going to watch a take on A Christmas Carol there are better options. But Bill Murray is good in this.
  • The Santa Clause – I remember really liking this movie as a kid. Totally follows the formula (grumpy man isn’t very Christmasy, then meets Santa, then believes and changes his life).
  • A Very Merry Muppet Christmas – So, we (I) have 5 Jim Henson/Muppet Christmas movies. 5. And there’s even a couple more we don’t have. This was a TV special a few years ago. Basically It’s A Wonderful Life as retold by the Muppets. Cute. Not great. But good and worth watching if you love the Muppets.
  • White Christmas – I LOVE this movie. Love it. When I was growing up, I would borrow the VHS from Ted and Kristi and watch it over and over. I don’t know why I don’t own the DVD yet. And I finally got Andrew to watch it with me this year. He agreed that it’s good, but then went on to break my heart by pointing out that it’s not really Christmasy. Jerk.

Plus It’s a Wonderful Life which we haven’t gotten a chance to watch yet … and we’re hoping to get a couple more tomorrow (from Netflix).

There needs to be a couple more days in December so I can watch all the Christmas movies I want to.

View all posts in the Journal your Christmas series