mountains, nothing but mountains

Unless you are one of my sisters, you likely do not know the movie reference:

Mountains, nothing but mountains. We’ve had it. We’ve, we’ve completely had it.

No we haven’t. Between these mountains somewhere there’s a green valley. See these mountains over here? There’s no snow on them.

Those mountains must be fifty miles away. You think you can walk fifty miles?

If we have to, we will.

I can’t.

Yes, you can.

I can’t. I’m not as strong as you.

Do you know what it is that we’ve lived this long the way we have? Seventy days? That we climbed this mountain. You know what it is? It’s impossible. It’s impossible and we did it. I’m proud to be a man on a day like this. Alive. That I lived to see it, and see it in such a place. Take it in. I love you, man. Look, it’s magnificent. It’s God. And it’ll carry us over every stone, I swear. I swear to you.

***

Best movie ever. My sisters and I were oddly obsessed with ALIVE. Our love for Ethan Hawke probably started it all but, we went through a phase of watching the VHS weekly then read all of the books and absorbed every bit of information regarding this amazing true story about a rugby team whose plane crashed and they had to save themselves. Yes, they ate the bodies of the deceased but they SURVIVED and walked out of the freaking Andes! Unreal.

But I digress… I am actually here to talk about how mountains bookend the week for me. Last weekend was STORM THE MOUNTAIN and this coming weekend we are heading to Whistler for an Ackerman family ski trip (it’s our late Christmas).

My top priority for both adventures is warmth. I’m always cold and do my best to dress for the elements.

Case in point: This is how I feel (Another ALIVE reference):alive-1993-movie-free-download-720p-bluray-4-1And this is how I go outside every day: img_0091

Last month I wrote here and here about these new mittens I discovered and ordered for me and my mom. They’re microwavable and I’ve worn them a few times now. Here is my unbiased (not sponsored) review of the HXT Marathon Mittens.

Cons:

  • Not cheap. $80 US (which is like a bajillion dollars Canadian) + shipping (but we had ours shipped to my sister’s house in the States so it was a none issue).
  • They don’t show sizing information on their site – I emailed the company, it took a week to hear back, and was told the small-mediums would be best… They are big. I think the x-small would be better. Like my head, my hands are small. On the flip side, I can easily wear a pair of gloves under them for extra protection.
  • They are not HOT like the disposable hand-warmers. I was expecting my hands to feel like they’re in an oven but they feel more like a warmish late spring day and although they claim to last up to 4 hours, I’d say 2-3 hours is more realistic. (see the pro side to this).
  • They’re heavier and bulkier than a basic pair of mitts. If you don’t want to wear them, it’s hard to subtlety stuff them in the back of your running tights.
  • You need a microwave. Most ski hills have one in they lobby so I am not too concerned. As for running, even long-long runs don’t go much beyond 4 hours so I should be okay.
  • They’re not the most attractive pair of mitts on the market.

Pros:

  • They have nose wipes. No joke, this is smart. Gross but handy.
  • They have reflectors. I run at 5:30 am so this is good.
  • The cuffs are long and fit nicely under my jacket sleeves. Easy on and off, tuck-ins.
  • Because they’re not HOT like the disposable hand-warmers, the severity of taking them on and off outside is less shocking. During the eco challenge, I had to take them off a lot in order to use the compass and my hands stayed warm the whole time. Mike was shocked. My hands were so happy that I actually walked without the mitts on at times.
  • They have extra pockets for more warmers so if it’s really bad out there, you can add more disposable hand-warmers to them.
  • Less wasteful and although the upfront cost is pricy, disposable hand-warmers are not cheap. Plus, once you open the package of hand-warmers, you have them for 8 hours.

Are they the cure to cold? No. Am I keeping them? Yes. I love that I can heat them up whenever I want. I pop the whole mitt right into the microwave for 35 seconds and I’m ready to go! This means I can have warm hands for my morning run + then again for my morning walk to school + then again for my after school walk + then again if I go out in the evening. That would be at least two sets warmers a day!

I hope this helps. Stay warm friends. I’ll be sure to let you know how they make out on the mountains out west!

By the way, Storm the Mountain is a winter eco-endurance challenge put on by the Pugwash Ground Search and Rescue. A really fun 4 or 8 orienteering adventure in Wentworth.img_0087img_0081img_0085

psst. Random “fact” about my sister… her son’s actual name is Nando although everyone calls him Sam. He’s named after the rugby player which Erin swore she’d do when she was 15. 
psst. The full movie can be found on YouTube. You’re welcome. Movie image from here.

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oh, oscar

Ya’ll ready for this?

Here they are. The best in show:

arrival1ARRIVAL | Shawn Levy, Dan Levine, Aaron Ryder and David Linde, Producers

fencesFENCES | Scott Rudin, Denzel Washington and Todd Black, Producers

hacksaw-ridgeHACKSAW RIDGE | Bill Mechanic and David Permut, Producers

hell-or-high-waterHELL OR HIGH WATER | Carla Hacken and Julie Yorn, Producers

hidden-figuresHIDDEN FIGURES | Donna Gigliotti, Peter Chernin, Jenno Topping, Pharrell Williams and Theodore Melfi, Producers

la-la-landLA LA LAND | Fred Berger, Jordan Horowitz and Marc Platt, Producers

lionLION | Emile Sherman, Iain Canning and Angie Fielder, Producers

manchester-by-the-seaMANCHESTER BY THE SEA | Matt Damon, Kimberly Steward, Chris Moore, Lauren Beck and Kevin J. Walsh, Producers

moonlight2MOONLIGHT | Adele Romanski, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner, Producers

***

Welcome to my annual pre-show recap PLUS a printable lists to help make your movie watching experience more enjoyable.

There 32 days until the Academy Awards on February 26 and there are 62 nominated movies so you can easily see all of them if you aim for two a day. Let’s go!

Here’s where I am at… it’s not great.

  • The good news is I saw and LOVED La La Land. It’s up for 14 nominations.
  • The bad news is that I am waaaayyyy behind on movie watching this year. I’ve seen 4 out of 62! (La La Land, Manchester by the Sea, 13th and Moana)
  • The good news is I am really excited to see all of the Best Picture noms – Especially Moonlight and Hidden Figures.
  • The bad news is I am surprised to see Mel Gibson is back on top … but I like Andrew Garfield.
  • The good news is Emma and Ryan, my favourite on-screen couple, are both nominated!
  • The bad news is I have only seen 2 out of the 9 Best Pictures. Manchester by the Sea was wonderful and I love Michelle Williams but I can not support Casey Affleck.

My goal is to see as many of the Best Picture + Best Actor /Actress + Supporting Roles as possible. That’s 15 movies. Again, I’ve see 2.

I did a quick Netflix and iTunes search and here’s what I found so far – I haven’t search all of the movies.

  • 13th, Zootopia and The Jungle Book are all on Netflix (Canada) – I watch the documentary 13th yesterday and it was excellent.
  • Captain Fantastic, Hell or High Water, Deepwater Horizon, Sully, Suicide Squad, Star Trek Beyond, Kubu, Life Animated, The Lobster, Jim The James Foley Story and Florence Foster Jenkins are NOW available to rent on iTunes.
  • You can purchase Piper and La Femme et le TVG on iTunes for $2.99.
  • Arrival and Moonlight are available on iTunes January 31.
  • Hacksaw Ridge, Trolls, Nocturnal Animals, I Am Not Your Negro and Loving are available on iTunes February 7.
  • Doctor Strange and Allied are available on iTunes February 14.
  • Fire at Sea is available on iTunes February 14.
  • Jackie and Moana are available on iTunes February 21.

Here we go! Game on.

Let me know what movies you’ve seen and want to see.

Let me know your predictions.

hellosunshine_oscar-noms-2017_1 hellosunshine_oscar-noms-2017_2 hellosunshine_oscar-noms-2017_3

PDF download: hellosunshine_oscar-noms-2017

All Best Picture images are from IndieWire

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winona forever

Are you guys watching Stranger Things on Netflix? So good! Honestly, if Winona Ryder wasn’t attached to the show, I probably would of ignored it on my feed but like Kyle Chandler, there are certain actors that get my attention.MV5BMjEzMDAxOTUyMV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNzAxMzYzOTE@._V1_

We ploughed through the season in one week – there’s only eight episodes – don’t judge. The show is set in the early 80’s and it reminds me of The Goonies / Stand By Me / E.T. – a lot of Stephen King / Steven Spielberg and even a little John Hughes. Just watch it.

When I was eleven or so, I remember going to a sleepover party at Elyisha’s house and we watched Pet Sematary – it scared me to death and now I want to go back and watch all of the Stranger Things-like movies plus, maybe start a petition to add more Winona to Netflix.

***

Winona Bests (according to me):

Reality Bites (1994): I was about 15 when this came out and Ethan Hawke was my everything. If you haven’t seen this movie, it’s a must. This is all we need, a couple of smokes, a cup of coffee and a little bit of conversation…

Beetlejuice (1988): We didn’t have cable growing up but we did have a VCR and my mom’s friend gave us a collection of movies. On one tape was Beetlejuice / La Bamba / Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom, and we watched them over and over. Now, looking back, it’s kind of messed up that my childhood included a crazy ghost that haunts the living, shrunken heads, a plane crash that killed a dreamy and talented singer and a hot archaeologist eating monkey brains… oh Donna.

Little Women (1994): Why did she not choose Laurie? Besides that one devastating detail, I love this movie. Also starring Claire Danes, Kirsten Dunst, Susan Sarandon, Samantha Mathis, Eric Stoltz and Christian Bale – it oozed 90’s coolness but in an Anne of Green Gables kind of way.

Edward Scissorhands (1990): Winona and Johnny Depp – he makes her snow with his scissor hands – need I say more?

Heathers (1988): The full movie is on YouTube… (FYI). Christian Slater as a psychopath killer boyfriend and Shannon Doherty as a mega brat – how can you not watch this right now?

And finally, Mermaids (1990): Marshmallow and maraschino cherry kabobs! This movie is charming and fabulous and also starts CHER and a tiny Christina Ricci – Remember this song? You are so so welcome!

Let me know what your favourite Winona moments are… and no, I did not include Girl, Interrupted because my dislike of the Jolie trumps my love of Winona.

Oh. And watch Stranger Things so we can discuss!

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oh oscar

The Academy Awards are ten days away! Ten! Before we pop the popcorn and the bubbly, I thought it’d be fun to check in. How is everyone doing?

A conversation with my sister – one of the only other people I know who watches more nominated movies than me:IMG_4872

Good point. Why do the Oscars not have BEST KISS… y’all remember this golden moment from the 2005 MTV Movie Awards right?

* * *

But back to the Oscars, first, lets rewind…

Here is my previous status report from January 18 (one month ago):

58 Movies nominated (I’ve seen 13.5 – halfway through What Happened To Miss Simone?)

Movies I have already seen: Bridge of Spies, Brooklyn, Carol, Cinderella, Creed, Inside Out, Room, Sanjan’s Super Team, Spotlight, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Steve Jobs, Straight Outta Compton, The Martian

8 Best Pictures (I’ve seen 5) : Bridge of Spies, Brooklyn, Mad Max: Fury Road, Room, Spotlight, The Big Short, The Martian, The Revenant

My favourite so far for Best Picture: Brooklyn!

My fingers and toes are crossed for: Sylvester Stallone!

Biggest surprise: Creed. I loved it. LOVED it. I have never seen a Rocky movie before but it did not matter. Michael B. Jordan, enough said.

My goal is to see all of the Best Pictures + Best Actors/Actress + Best Supporting Actors/Actress. Meaning, I still need to watch: 45 Years, The Big Short, The Danish Girl, The Hateful Eight, Joy, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Revenant, Trumbo

The movie I really want to see: Mustang (Foreign Language Film). I read this and am intrigued.

The movie I don’t want to watch but will watch: Mad Max: Fury Road

Number of movies I watched since the nominations were announced on Thursday: 6.5

* * *

And here is my status report from today, February 18:

58 Movies nominated (I’ve seen 30)

8 Best Pictures (I’ve seen 8) : Bridge of Spies, Brooklyn, Mad Max: Fury Road, Room, Spotlight, The Big Short, The Martian, The Revenant

My favourite so far for Best Picture: Brooklyn!
My prediction for Best Picture: Spotlight or The Revenant or The Big Short… I don’t know!!!!

My fingers and toes are still crossed for Sylvester Stallone but he better thank Michael B Jordan this time.
My prediction is Stallone will win however, Tom Hardy was very good. (Bad but good, you know)
Leo will win (like there is any doubt) and yes, I think he deserves it.
My prediction is Brie Larson, which I am very okay with but I may ugly-cry if Saoirse Ronan wins.
And my prediction for best supporting actress is a toss-up between Kate Winslet and Alicia Vikander. I would like to see Alicia get it.

Biggest surprise: Ex Machina – I had no desire to watch it but it was actually really good.
Most embarrassing movie I endured: Fifty Shades of Grey

I saw all of the Best Pictures + Best Actors/Actress + Best Supporting Actors/Actress.

I saw every movie that got more than one nomination.

The movie I really want to see (still): Mustang (Foreign Language Film)

Movies I will try and squeeze in: Shaun The Sheep Movie, Boy and the World, Mustang

Number of movies I watched since the nominations were announced on Thursday, January 14: 23Oscar Noms 2016 copy

Let me know your favourites and predictions. Enjoy the show.

DSC_0724

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i’m watching you

Got your list ready?

58 Movies nominated (I’ve seen 13.5 – halfway through What Happened To Miss Simone?)

Movies I have already seen: Bridge of Spies, Brooklyn, Carol, Cinderella, Creed, Inside Out, Room, Sanjan’s Super Team, Spotlight, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Steve Jobs, Straight Outta Compton, The Martian

8 Best Pictures (I’ve seen 5) : Bridge of Spies, Brooklyn, Mad Max: Fury Road, Room, Spotlight, The Big Short, The Martian, The Revenant

oscar_best_picture12 Nominations for The Revenant

10 Nominations for Mad Max: Fury Road

7 Nominations for The Martian

My favourite so far for Best Picture: Brooklyn!

My fingers and toes are crossed for: Sylvester Stallone!

Biggest surprise: Creed. I loved it. LOVED it. I have never seen a Rocky movie before but it did not matter. Michael B. Jordan, enough said.

My goal is to see all of the Best Pictures + Best Actors/Actress + Best Supporting Actors/Actress. Meaning, I still need to watch: 45 Years, The Big Short, The Danish Girl, The Hateful Eight, Joy, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Revenant, Trumbo

The movie I really want to see: Mustang (Foreign Language Film). I read this and am intrigued.

The movie I don’t want to watch but will watch: Mad Max: Fury Road

Movies you can watch on Netflix (Canada): Cinderella, The 100-Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window, The Hunting Ground, What Happened, Miss Simone, Winter on Fire, Ukraine’s fight for freedom

Number of movies I watched since the nominations were announced on Thursday: 6.5

Best description I’ve heard about the movie The Revenant: “It’s like Kill Bill, but in slow motion, in the woods, with animals”. 

How’s your score? Any predictions? Will Leo win? 

Here are some handy reference material I made to help y’all keep score. Game on. Oscar Noms 2016 Oscar Noms 20162 Oscar Noms 20163

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