Tag Archives: Roger Ebert



Last night, Amanda and I went to a screening of Jeff, Who Lives At Home. The film, from the Duplass brothers, played at the Film Festival last year and stars Jason Segel, Ed Helms and Susan Sarandon. I went in expecting lots of laugh and not too much thinking.

The film delivered in humor, cringe-worthy moments and just complete absurdity. But that’s not what kept me engaged, the script was superb. The way everything tied at the end with a nice little bow you just didn’t see coming and it all was because Jeff (Segel) watched Signs one day and decides when someone calls him as a wrong number, it’s a sign he’s supposed to do something great with his life.

For me, I completely believe in signs, though I’m sure it’s just my imagination making something more in order to make me feel better about my decisions. But I couldn’t help but take it as a sign that I need to finish editing my book and send off when upon exiting the theatre, we walked right by my writing idol, Roger Ebert.

The film opens on Friday, March 16.

My First Boyfriend


Growing up, I can remember three distinct crushes:
1) Jeff (Kindergarten–Fall of Second Grade)
2) Dan (Fall of Second Grade–An embarrassing grade level)
3) Harry (Seventh Grade–Present)

While things with Jeff and Dan never panned out, Harry didn’t disappoint. I can still remember the time when my mom introduced Harry and I to one and other.

“I heard about this Harry on NPR. I think you should give him a try, I think you’ll really connect.”

So I did it. I made the eyes-closed, heart-stopping, stomach-churning dive into love with one Harry Potter. Harry saw me through my awkward teen years and just when an ending was in sight (only 7 books in the series?!) he decided to come to me in person (on the big screen). Then, I got to meet him first hand at the Museum of Science & Industry last year. As Lisa can attest, I was a mess. A complete and utter mess. A 23-year-old who waited a decade for this kind of magic finally got to throw a quaffle, walk through a mock great hall and wave a wand. Now, Harry just opened The Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park. Have yet to go, but I know he simply won’t disappoint me and I can almost taste the Butter Beer.

Today, the latest trailer for the final Harry Potter film came out and I nearly broke down into tears. It’s all coming to yet another end. And like all good relationships, I found myself reminiscing on the great times Harry and I had.

1) Graduation parties. High school ended and I brought Harry (and the Half-Blooded Prince) to four graduation parties. I vividly recall reading in Mallory’s silver Alero and sneaking out of the party one (or a few [or a dozen]) time(s) to spend a few more minutes with Harry.

2) Hanna, in the library, with Harry. After every book launch date, you could find me curled in the maroon chair in the green library of Mom’s with Harry and sipping on Raspberry Tea. I refused to leave, often eating cheese slices and Mint Milanos right off the Table of Wisdom.

3) Midnight movies. Robbie and I went to the first three movies together. The fourth, with my college roommate. The sixth, with an old pal in Chicago. I have only missed one midnight showing of Harry (#5) and that’s because I was abroad. I promptly saw it the next day in a room full of undevoted muggles.

4) Book release party. I never went to the book release parties for Harry’s 1-6 years. I just wanted to reserve it, pick it up and head home to read it. Just him and I. When book 7 came out, I was in Dublin. I made good on my commitment and reserved it at Eason’s downtown. All the other students were gearing up for a weekend in London, which meant I wouldn’t be able to pick up my book for THREE WHOLE DAYS after the release. Unacceptable. I stayed back. Stood in the Dublin rain for 4 hours with people who weren’t even alive when Harry first surfaced. I remember the excitement of running in. The dilemma: Children’s version or Adult version? We didn’t have this problem in the States, but alas, here I was. To the left: Adult. The Right: Children’s. People yelling at me to move along. Stop holding the que. I made my affirmation of “Adult.” Harry and I were ending our childhood journey and beginning an adult one.

With only two more movies and the amusement park hanging over my head, I’m nervous to see our journey really truly end. Each other time we simply took a break; now it’s really going to happen. It’s safe to say whoever comes around next is going to have one hell of a cloak to fill.

Review: Toy Story 3


So last night I was extremely fortunate in snagging tickets for Toy Story 3. The roommate was working, so I went through every single person I know in Chicago for a date. No luck. But alas, I could not simply sit at home and miss this, so I went alone. Despite the weather, I toughed it up and went on down.

The place was hopping with kids of all ethnic backgrounds and classes. It made me happy, seeing other families coming out, donating toys to Toys for Tots and being able to see this film in 3D for free especially with today’s movie prices. Upon entering the theatre, we had to surrender our phones, bags and all belongings, then get wanded down. I expected to board a 757 after that, instead, I sat down in the caution tape of  “Press Row.” I always get excited in Press Row trying to figure out who’s going to sit by me. Seeing as I’ve been fortunate to attend a few sneak previews in the area, I saw some familiar faces, but none more familiar than Mr. Roger Ebert. As a reviewer, he is an idol, a standard to reach.

Kids sat all throughout the theatre (Press Row was a few seats mingled in with the “commoners”), it was very reminiscent of the theatre scene of Peter Pan in Finding Neverland. Griffin in a tie-dye shirt was the lad in my area. A brief Toy Story trivia was held giving kids free E-books and then the film started.

Seeing this movie in 3D was unreal. I mean, 1 & 2 are “normal, traditional” and get the job done. But Pixar did it again with even the short in the beginning in the 3D format. Seriously felt like I could touch each and every toy in the box.

We get some new characters this time around (Ken and Barbie are obviously the fan favorites and rightfully so. I saw my perils of relationships plastered in all of their interactions) and have our usual gang of Andy’s toys. The premise of the movie is Andy is going to college, so he has to clean his room and put things in the attic. Like a true 17-year-old boy, he grabs a trash bag and puts the toys in, sets in the floor and plans on putting it in the attic eventually. Well, like a true Mom, she finds the bag and puts it on the curb. The toys see what’s about to go down, get out and jump in the box labeled “Sunnyside” for the daycare. Another adventure begins for Woody and the gang.

Woody takes on the persona of Andy throughout the movie. Andy chose Woody to accompany him to college (much like my Mookie bear), but Andy couldn’t part with the rest of the guys. You see him figuring out ways to get the gang back together again and into the hands of deserving and worthy children.

I won’t write too much more in fear of ruining anything, but every single character was fantastic. Mr. & Mrs. Potato Head provided a few giggles from myself (her roaming around with one eye throughout the movie is hilarious), Buzz Lightyear, while not a favorite in past, really stepped up his game and became quite caliente and of course, Ken and Barbie were just phenomenal together.

Got a little teary-eyed in the end with Andy’s last hurrah with the toys, which led me wondering what’s going on with all my old ones from yester years. This movie is one everyone can enjoy and cherish together as we’ve all been there, cleaning out the toy chest and saying goodbye to being kids.