Category Archives: Monday Movie Madness

We love movies, and movies make great date nights. We will be dipping into our collection of movies to rewatch a movie we haven’t seen in ages.

Catching up

We’ve both had a busy week with life and work, which has left us little time to blog. Still, each night we put away some time to have date night. Things have calmed down again, so we are back in blogging business, but you, our faithful readers, have been left out in the date night cold. Here is a short (Amanda’s note: short? lol.) recap for the past week of what we got up to.

Saturday was my company’s Christmas party. Yeah, yeah, Christmas in February. The party is usually scheduled for mid to late January to avoid scheduling conflicts with all of the other festivities going on in December. This year, it happened to be scheduled for that weekend that we got two feet of snow, so it was rescheduled to now. We carpooled with a few friends who also work for the company. The party started at 6 with some casual conversation and greetings from everyone. We caught up with a few other people who work for the company that we don’t see very often. Dinner was served around 7:30. We enjoyed chicken marsala, crab cakes, broiled veggies, salad, and hot rolls, all served buffet style. Dessert was an assortment of cakes, pies, and fruits. The CEO gave a short speech, some funny awards were given out, and a short game of Left Center Right rounded out the night with the overall winner taking home a Fitbit Charge HR. Sadly, we did not win, but it was a quick, fun dice game. The party gave us an excuse to dress up and go out on the town, which we really enjoyed. It was also a lot of fun to take another (albeit short) road trip with friends.

On Sunday, we visited my parents. We’ve mostly been trapped indoors all Winter, as evidenced by our long, long string of indoor date nights. We hadn’t been over to visit my parents since around Christmas, which is way too long. The weather was gorgeous for the drive over to their house, making us super ready for Spring. We arrived early in the afternoon and stayed until about dark chatting and catching up on life. We had a really nice visit, and now that the weather is finally getting better, we’ll be spending more time visiting family. Hi, Mom!

Monday Movie Madness for this week is Idiocracy. A few days ago, Amanda saw this movie mentioned in an article about the presidential primaries, but she had not seen the movie, so she didn’t get the reference. I couldn’t let that stand, so I went over to the DVD shelf to grab it, then realized I didn’t own it. I really couldn’t let that stand, so we bought it on Amazon. The movie describes an average Joe, played by Luke Wilson, who is frozen in an experiment and wakes up hundreds of years in the future. After all of that time, everyone had become increasingly dumb through stupid people having dozens of kids and smart people having very few. When Joe wakes up, he finds his average present-day knowledge makes him the smartest man in the world. After a series of misadventures, he meets President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho, played by Terry Crews, who puts him in charge of making food grow. Everyone is about to starve to death because all of the crops are dead and no one can figure out why they won’t grow. This all leads to more comedic misadventures in dealing with the incredibly stupid people of the future. The movie is one of my all-time favorites, so I’d highly recommend watching it if you haven’t. Buy Idiocracy on Amazon. This is a link to the digital copy. For some reason, the DVDs are wildly expensive, so either rent or buy the digital version.

Tabletop Tuesday this week is a classic: Go Fish. We didn’t bother to look up the rules because everyone knows how to play Go Fish, right? We played one round and ended up with a tie. I made a corny fishing pun, which, this many days removed, I can no longer remember. You’ll have to believe me that it was very clever. However, after the round, we sat down and thought about the game we just played and realized nearly every game would end in a tie. It turns out we didn’t remember how to play this game as well as we thought. A quick internet search later, and we had the actual rules. For our first game, we were only matching up pairs of cards. The rules we found online said that you had to have all four of the same card to count it for points. We redealt the cards and started guessing, then started fishing. Knowing the actual rules made the game turn out much differently. Instead of a tie, Amanda ended up thoroughly stomping me, 10 sets to my 3.

On Wednesday, we made 550 paracord survival bracelets using a tutorial we found on Youtube. Amanda bought the supplies for this back in August or September of last year. We had intended to make them before we went on the cruise last year, but, as with most of our projects, we got distracted and didn’t do it. We came across the supplies the other day in our crafting storage area and decided that we should finally make them. This was a really easy and fun project. It took us about an hour total to make both. I made a standard bracelet and Amanda made an anklet, both of us using the standard cobra weave. Amanda showed off her teenage-girl friendship bracelet skills by telling me to tape down one side to prevent it from moving around while I was weaving the cords. The tutorial said to really tighten each loop, so I took that to heart and used as much force as I could to tighten each loop. My finished bracelet is extremely stiff and will hold whatever shape I put it in. Amanda didn’t use nearly as much force on the loops, so her anklet came out much more flexible. We really enjoyed this simple crafting project. I looked around YouTube for some more patterns after we finished. There are a huge number of different weaves and patterns that you can do, so I’ll be making a few more of these in the future just to try out different styles. For the cobra weave, we used about a foot of cord for each inch on our wrists. Being a D&D and Pathfinder geek, I’d love to find a weave that is more dense so I could have 50 feet of rope. None of the weaves I found would give me anything close to that, other than one tutorial I saw for a belt. Oh well. Guess I’ll have to look more into that later.

Video Game Thursday this week is Stardew Valley. This game is taking the internet by storm, and for good reason: it’s a lot of fun. It’s an RPG farming and adventure simulator in the style of Harvest Moon. However, tonight was only part 1 for this date. I use a Linux laptop for most of my day to day computing, and with Steam and video game developers always increasing their Linux support, I’ve even been able to play a few games. Unfortunately, Stardew Valley is not currently supported on Linux. Fortunately though, Steam has the in-house streaming option and I have a Windows machine. Why not just use that machine and skip the laptop? Because it should do what I tell it to, that’s why. So, Amanda played Stardew Valley and I played Make Linux play Stardew Valley. One of us had way more fun than the other. You can guess which one. In between Googling for answers, rebooting, recompiling, and generally cursing my misfortune, I was watching Amanda play. The big advantage of me being behind Amanda is that she learned all of the lessons the hard way and has been able to pass them along to me. She is the Ghost of Stardew Valley Future. Your crops die when the seasons change (except for a few types that we didn’t have) so Amanda lost a few thousand gold worth of crops really early on. She also found a lot of the cool features before me, but I’m not going to mention those because spoilers. It took me until pretty late in the evening to figure out that I had a problem with my wifi driver which was causing the streaming to crash, so I fixed that and went to bed. It seems we have been having more and more frequent issues with setting up games the day of the dates. We’re going to start loading everything and getting it ready before the day we play in the future.

Friday was Stardew Valley: Part 2. Now that my laptop is set up, playing is a breeze. As a pleasant side effect, the fix also got rid of an annoying crash that my wireless card would suffer after being online for a random number of hours, and usually right in the middle of me uploading pictures for a post. I’m mid way into Summer after the date tonight, so here are a couple pointers we’ve learned along the way:

  • Start clear-cutting your trees early. With 50 wood, you can make a chest in your house that gives you 36 slots of storage. Crafting a couple of those will greatly help you at the beginning since your inventory space is so limited.
  • Items will stack to a maximum of 999.
  • Go explore the community center as soon as it is available.
  • Save at least one of everything you get for the first year, especially gold star items, but even trash. Just keep making chests if you run out of space.
  • Start working your way down through the mines as soon as you can. Valuable copper, iron, and gold can be found in the mines, all of which will make your tools better and your farm easier to manage.

There are so many more things to do and see in the game, but we don’t want to spoil too much. You can pick up Stardew Valley for $14.99 on Steam or Good Old Games. Warning: it’s extremely addicting. You’ll wonder where time has gone when you look up and realize it’s 3 AM. But there’s time for just one more day before bed. Crops are coming up, your fishing skill is really close to the next level, you’re almost at another level in the mines, and oh, the festival is coming up. Just one more day…

Well, folks, that mostly catches us up. We’ve had a busy, but great, week. I’m still a tiny bit behind on posts, but expect those, along with your regularly scheduled updates, starting again tomorrow.

Pride & Prejudice

To cap off our Valentine’s Day weekend, we wanted to watch a love story for Monday Movie Madness. There is currently a movie out called Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, fairly obviously based on the book Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. We enjoy quirky zombie films, but neither of us read Pride and Prejudice. We certainly don’t have time to read the book, so we’re cheating and watching the movie to get the gist of the plot. Tonight we watched the movie Pride & Prejudice from 2005 because it is a love story, and to see what to expect from Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

First, we wanted to have a snack for the movie because it was over two hours long. We are big fans of Alton Brown’s show Good Eats, and really, everything Alton Brown does. He had an entire popcorn episode where he taught the secret to fresh, home-cooked popcorn on the stove. It is actually extremely simple. All you need is a medium metal bowl or a sauté pan. Add a little bit of oil to the bottom, add kernels, cover loosely with foil, then heat over medium heat, constantly tossing the kernels to avoid burning. We weren’t sure it was working at first, but once the kernels started popping, the entire batch was quickly done. Voila! Low calorie popcorn.

The movie itself is a classic love story: girl meets boy, girl thinks boy is stuck up, boy pursues girl, girl doesn’t like boy, drama ensues, but eventually, love prevails. That’s a classic love story, right? Or something like that. The movie follows Elizabeth Bennett, the second oldest daughter of an English gentleman, as her relationship progresses with the socially awkward Mr. Darcy. Her first impression of him is of being an aloof noble because he doesn’t handle social situations well, and she holds on to that original encounter, at one point swearing to hate him for all eternity. He, then, is the “Pride” title character, and she the “Prejudice” title character. They keep meeting through both chance and some meddling on the part of Elizabeth’s mother, forcing them to see that first impressions aren’t everything.

The scenery in this movie is gorgeous. There are lots of shots both inside and outside of large manors, plus a good bit of countryside that Elizabeth has a penchant for wandering through. The costuming was also very well done, with lots of contrast between the everyday wear and the more formal dance/ball attire, as well as the stark difference between the servants and the nobles.

While long, the movie was pretty good. It took us a bit of time to get into it, but we enjoyed it overall, so we’re more excited for Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. After watching, we decided that when we grow up, we need to have enough butlers to push in the chairs for a room full of dinner party guests. Now that’d be a fun date.

Links:
Alton Brown’s Perfect Popcorn Recipe
Pride & Prejudice on IMDB

Groundhog Day

Okay campers, rise and shine, and don’t forget your booties because it’s coooold out there today!

A great part of being together long term is establishing and sharing traditions together. One of my long-time traditions, which is now one of our traditions, is watching the movie Groundhog Day every year on Groundhog Day. This year we made a small exception and watched it the day before for Monday Movie Madness.

This tradition started for me back in high school. Some friends of mine were big fans of the movie and threw a party every year to celebrate Groundhog Day. They would order sausage pizza (ground hog, get it?) and watch the movie, reciting so many of the famous lines right along with the movie. It was a great time. I’ve since moved away, but I have kept up the yearly tradition of watching the movie, introducing people to it along the way. Now, Amanda and I watch it every year.

Groundhog Day is the story of Pittsburgh weatherman Phil Connors (Bill Murray) being stuck in Punxsutawney, PA repeating the same day over and over. He starts out not wanting to even go to the Groundhog Day celebration, thinking that covering the groundhog is beneath him, but he is forced to go for his job. He stays the night of February 1st in a nice bed and breakfast. The following morning, he wakes up to Sonny and Cher’s “I Got You Babe” on the radio and a couple of morning radio show hosts talking about how cold it is. Phil goes about his day, providing coverage of Punxsutawney Phil seeing his shadow. then trying to get out of the city as fast as possible. However, a blizzard traps him in Punxsutawney, so he has to stay another day. When he wakes up the next morning, instead of being February 3rd, it’s Groundhog Day again. He is confused at first, thinking it is a bad case of deja vu, but as the day repeats more and more times, he gradually starts to accept it and make the most of his situation. Hilarity ensues as he decides he’s immortal and can’t suffer any consequences.

It’s a great movie that’s a lot of fun to watch. Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell, and Chris Elliot all provide really fun characters to the story. We definitely recommend watching this movie. More importantly, we recommend starting your own traditions.

As an added bonus this year, Punxsutawney Phil didn’t see his shadow, so according to the Prognosticator of Prognosticators, an early Spring is coming!

Links
Buy Groundhog Day on Amazon

Sin City Double Feature

Tonight’s Monday Movie Madness is our first Double Feature: Sin City and Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. I saw Sin City nearly a decade ago when it came out, but Amanda hadn’t seen it yet. I’ve been excited for the sequel since it was announced, but it took so long to come out, that I missed it being released. Amanda had never seen either movie, so we decided to make a long night of it.

Sin City is stunning visual piece. It’s mostly in black and white except for a few colors as accents. It is an extremely violent movie, but incredibly interesting to watch. It tells the stories of multiple characters whose paths intersect across fictional Basin City, riddled with crime and corruption, all of which is controlled by the Roark family. The setting is dark and gritty and the effects call back to its graphic novel roots. The cast is star studded, featuring Bruce Willis, Mickey Rourke, Jessica Alba, Elijah Wood, Michael Clarke Duncan, Rosario Dawson, Brittany Murphy, Powers Boothe, and even Nick Offerman, plus so many more.

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For is meant as a prequel/sequel/timeiswibblywobbly movie to the original. Parts of it take place before the story in Sin City, parts take place after, and parts take place, well, I don’t actually know when. There are parts that happen in what should be after the first movie, but don’t make sense given what happens in the first movie to some of the characters. I gave up trying to figure out the time line and just enjoyed the story. Visually, it was a worthy successor to Sin City. A large part of the original cast was back, with additions of Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Christopher Meloni, and with Dennis Haysbert stepping in for Michael Clarke Duncan. There were also guest appearances by Christopher Lloyd and Lady Gaga.

Both of these movies were fun to watch. There was action, drama, love, loss, and of course, a dame. That world is not a place I’d like to live, but it makes a fantastic setting for these movies. Definitely watch them if you get a chance.

Links:
Buy Sin City on Amazon
Buy Sin City: A Dame to Kill For on Amazon

Die Hard

Tonight’s Monday Movie Madness was both sad and awesome. Last week, I found out that Alan Rickman had passed away from checking the news while I was getting ready for work. It was so important that I woke Amanda up to tell her the news. We both hate mornings (a lot), but rather than grumble at me for waking her up, Amanda got up and had to spend a bunch of time watching interviews of Alan Rickman on YouTube. We knew our next movie night needed to be one of his. So tonight, in memory of Alan Rickman, we watched Die Hard.

d

We purchased the 25th Anniversary Collector’s Edition of the Die Hard movies on Blu-Ray before Christmas to marathon them over the break. However, we got busy with the holiday rush and weren’t able to squeeze it in (maybe because we were marathoning Harry Potter, maybe) so it was sitting on our shelf waiting for us.

This movie is almost 30 years old and is still completely fantastic. It also looks great on Blu-Ray. It brings back the classic 80s action movie nostalgia every time we watch it. We both commented how it catches us off guard every time we see Bruce Willis and Alan Rickman from earlier in their careers after we have spent many years enjoying their films and gotten used to seeing their older selves.

Normally in our Monday Movie Madness posts, I like to give a little synopsis teaser of the plot to encourage you to watch it, but I’m not going to do that for Die Hard. Die Hard can speak for itself. Instead, I’ll say that if you haven’t seen Bruce Willis as John McClane and Alan Rickman as Hans Gruber, you should cancel your next date night plan and watch Die Hard instead. You’ll thank us for it later.

Links:
Buy Die Hard 25th Anniversary Collection on Blu Ray from Amazon

Galaxy Quest

Today starts another line in our series of dates: Monday Movie Madness. We both really enjoy movies and have gathered a nice collection of movies we enjoy. Unfortunately, for too long, they have sat on the shelves as decoration without being watched. Won’t someone think of the poor movies? So this year, every Monday but the first each month (that one being reserved for our Taste Of dates), we’re going to rewatch one of the movies from our collection.

Galaxy Quest

We recently heard that Amazon Studios is working on a pilot for a Galaxy Quest TV series, which made us want to watch the Galaxy Quest movie again. Luckily, it’s in our collection. We made a quick dinner including salads we made last night, then settled on the couch for a movie night.

Salad from our Meal Prep date

Galaxy Quest was released just over 16 ago in December of 1999, but it is still fantastic today. Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman, Tony Shalhoub, Sam Rockwell, and Daryl Mitchell play the cast of a fictional sci-fi show called Galaxy Quest, exploring space on their ship, the NSEA Protector. A race of naive aliens led by Enrico Colantoni see the broadcast of the show and pattern their society off the fictional society of the show. When they get in trouble with an aggressive alien warlord, they turn to the crew of the NSEA Protector to help. They take the cast to space, not knowing they are just actors and not actually the characters they played on TV. Hilarity ensues.

The movie is good, clean fun for anyone, especially fans of Star Trek or similar shows. It showcases a lot of the stereotypes of fandom and the genre in general, such as Tim Allen’s shirt getting ripped during a fight, something that happened to Captain Kirk frequently in Star Trek. It’s definitely worth watching a few times, which is why it is in our collection.

This was a fun date and made us even more excited for the show. Do you have a collection of movies that are as neglected as ours? Let us know about them in the comments.

Links:
Announcement of Galaxy Quest on Amazon Studios
Buy Galaxy Quest from Amazon