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February 14, 2012 (DVD)
Cowboys & Aliens

I wanted to love Cowboys & Aliens. The casting alone made me want to love it, and Jon Favreau‘s involvement made me just as excited. It should have been a slam dunk. How then could it have gone so very wrong? My parents watched the movie a few weeks before me, and my mom told me it was awful. Still I believed, determined to see it for no other reason than Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig. In a western! The aliens premise was odd, yes, but I was certain that could never derail such a promising project. I was certain it would add a quirky little element to a fine western. … I should have listened to my mother. The aliens storyline is exactly what killed this film. I could never decide if it was supposed to be goofy fun or witty drama or just plain tongue-in-cheek. I spent the entire movie wondering how I was supposed to feel about it. As the closing credits rolled I was still unsure how I was supposed to feel about it. All I really knew for sure is that the movie came across as so much wasted talent in such a stupid story. And that made me very sad.

Cowboys & Aliens suffered from a ridiculous alien plot. If that particular story had been better, the movie would not be such a disappointment. If I had made the film, I would’ve put a lot of TNT’s Falling Skies into Cowboys & Aliens, making the outer space enemies much more terrifying rather than played for disgusting effect. I would’ve given Ford and Craig more to do than just battle aliens. Two hours of watching them run around with wide eyes and shooting at grotesque creatures just isn’t a full use of their talents. The best parts of the movie came when they got to play off each other instead of fight off attackers. But those best parts were few and far between, leaving me thoroughly unsatisfied with the movie.

I did love one thing: the performances of the cast. Or rather, the performances of the male cast. Ford was wonderfully grizzly and Craig was beautiful and steely, and the supporting players of Clancy Brown (always fantastic), Sam Rockwell (surprisingly meek), and even Walton Goggins as a nutty dimwit were all pitch-perfect. But then came Olivia Wilde. At first she seemed to have no purpose and was simply meant to bring some kind of softness to the dusty Old West town, but then she was revealed as a major element to the story. I almost laughed out loud at the ridiculousness of it all. Even as a “key player”, Wilde had a non-role. Which she played beautifully… as a non-actor. Her entire appearance in the film seemed like nothing more than window dressing, and she was as stiff as I’ve ever seen an actress play in a film. Simply put, I longed for her to disappear from the time she first arrived. And come to think of it, that’s pretty much how I felt about the whole “aliens” portion of the movie. I’m looking for a do-over now. Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig deserve so much better.

movie still via Rotten Tomatoes

a weekend (and a do-over) in this girl’s life

A Week In The Life 2011I finished up my Week in the Life project yesterday, adding an extra day to my week because I seriously needed a do-over from Sunday. The weekend started off great, and I had the most productive Saturday I’ve had in months without even planning to be productive, but then I didn’t feel well on Sunday and ended up missing church, my Sunday job, and my niece’s birthday party, as well. The whole day was a total bust. All I felt like doing was lying around and, eventually, lying around while watching TV. When I finally woke from that stupor on Monday afternoon I wanted nothing more than to document a few more things in my life that I’d not managed to capture during the previous week. Now I feel like my project is complete… for this year, anyway. Here’s hoping there’s much more to show for my life next year.


documenting the week







Sunday, with the company of Christopher Gorham, Rufus Sewell and Tom Hanks (in the late night)


my view


Covert Affairs

Zen, with Rufus Sewell

Saving Private Ryan

Monday, featuring a free movie rental, some old friends, and my beloved Max Martini




old friends



no curfew


Max Martini on 'Rizzoli & Isles'

always on my radar :: Max Martini

Max Martini One of my greatest pop culture joys in life is introducing friends to favorite movies, TV series, books, and actors, and having them validate my love for those things. It happened unexpectedly last night while watching Castle. As the first scene began I noticed that longtime beloved Max Martini was appearing in the episode and posted a quick shout of joy onto my Facebook profile. Within seconds a FB buddy replied with “????” which gave me the opportunity to share a little love for the man. A couple minutes later my pal said she’d looked up Martini on her own, and that began an hour-long online commentary while we patiently awaited his arrival onscreen. [Of course, we were both pretty engaged in the episode, as well, since it was one of the very best of the entire series so far.] By the conclusion of the program, she and I were in agreement that my affection for Martini is justified, and the smile on my face was in place the rest of the night. 

In describing Max at the onset of the conversation I stated that he was redheaded, scruffy, gravelly-voiced, and gorgeous. I also said he was my idea of the perfect man, which is why I’m still single. 😀    Though I was joking at the time, I couldn’t stop considering that last statement. It occurred to me that, yes, in my laundry list of qualities I would include if I could design my own mate, a great many of them appear in Max Martini. Such a realization just couldn’t go unexplored, so here is my list to judge for yourself.

Qualities I Would Include If I Was In Charge of Creating My Own Mate 

  • Height: 5’10” to 6’3″
  • Build: strong and broad
  • Hair: red, closely cropped (bonus points for natural curls)
  • Eyes: light and clear
  • Short and scruffy facial hair
  • wide smile
  • weathered but jovial countenance
  • crinkles at the eyes from lots of laughter
  • rich timbre voice
  • slightly calloused hands (bonus points for skills in woodworking/carpentry)
  • tender heart that recognizes others’ needs
  • joyful spirit that can find the humor in any situation
  • not overly serious about the stuff of life
  • personal, intimate relationship with Christ
  • profound devotion to family
  • a love of cold weather, mountains, music, baseball, and movies
  • skilled in cooking (because I am soooo not)
  • seeker of knowledge for the sheer joy of knowing things
  • interest in how the rest of the world lives
  • speaks with an accent from Australia or Scotland or Ireland

Now, obviously these qualities are not in order of importance, nor are they meant to imply that I’m only interested in men who possess these qualities. It’s simply a list of what I find attractive. And honestly, I find these things to be attractive in anyone. I want friends who have these personality traits, and I’m drawn to people who have the skills and interests listed here. But, just for the fun of it, I kinda enjoy writing out all the things I would include if I could genetically engineer a companion. And I find it pretty cool that one of my celebriloves has so many of these qualities himself.

Though I look at Max Martini’s filmography and see that he’s been acting since he was a child, I only came to the point of remembering him in 1999 when he co-starred in Harsh Realm. It was his name that I caught first: Maximillian Martini. Whether that’s truly his birth name or not, it’s a seriously cool name. I remembered him, though, because of his stature. He is a bold figure. Many of his characters are gruff, plain-speaking, in-your-face and take no prisoners. He often plays a soldier or a hard-edged criminal, but he also has this amazing soft-spokenness about him. Many times his speech is just slightly above a whisper, which can be equally seductive and terrifying but is always, always mesmerizing. He just commands attention. Likewise, he can be one of the most explosive personalities onscreen, which is why he comes across as truly dangerous in many of his performances. What took my affection for him to a completely different level was the many photos I see from Hollywood events with his wife by his side and true joy in his eyes. I love that he’s been married for 13 years, that he has a fine arts degree in sculpture and painting, and that he founded a theatre company in New York City. So, yeah… my little dream list is somewhat embodied by Max Martini. And it’s just so fun to realize that after all these years!

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