Thank goodness for leap year, because without that extra day, I don't think I would have gotten this round-up before my self-imposed deadline!
I have to say, January was a pretty good month, mainly because I had a birthday and celebrated it at Disneyland. That instantly makes any month pretty awesome. As for the other stuff...
Movies Seen: Eleven, with two in a theater. Those two were "There Will Be Blood," and "Cloverfield." I've mentioned I liked "TWBB," and that extends past its "milkshake" line--although that line is paired up with what I thought was a really jaw-dropping ending. I went into it thinking I'd have a hard time with Daniel Day Lewis's acting, as I tend to (I pretty much hated him in "Gangs of New York"), but he really didn't bother me at all. Maybe because he was just so out there. And it lead to some funny parodies. (See a few posts below.)
As for "Cloverfield" I liked it a lot when I saw it, but had pretty much forgotten I had even seen it until I started to look at my movie list for January. Perhaps that doesn't mean anything...perhaps it does. I will say I'm glad I saw it in a theater because some of the glimpses of the monster are so fleeting I imagine I'd completely miss those moments on DVD. Of course DVD has the added bonus of freeze framing and re-winding, and I already know I have to see it again because I missed a significant shot at the very end of the film. That's what I get for not reading any kind of reviews beforehand for fear of spoilers.
As for the stinkers, I'd have to say "Sunshine" was the stinkiest of the lot. It started out OK but really went off the rails at the end, which rendered the whole thing completely pointless and dumb. "Solaris" it aint.
Books Read: Four. One was the last book in the "His Dark Materials" trilogy, which I spoke of last month, ("The Amber Spyglass"). I thought it was the weakest of the three books. It's quite long, and the heroine is out of the picture for much of the beginning, which makes it hard to get into. But I'm still glad I read 'em. The best book was Steve Martin's "Born Standing Up," which I basically read in one evening. Not because it's short (which I guess it is) but because I just didn't want to stop reading it. It was that enjoyable. I don't think it would be quite as fascinating to anyone who is not a fan. But for anyone who listened to his comedy albums in the '70s, and/or joined his fan club (yeah, I did!), it's a must read.
Fancy Dinners Out: Five. Whoa! And I wonder where my money goes. One was Zuni, and I hadn't been there in years. It's still quite good. Chez Papa was the only restaurant where I was able to take advantage of the Dine About Town deal, and it was mighty tasty. I think they do a fixed prize menu for a few hours nightly, though, so it wasn't that much of a novelty. The best meal was probably at Bix. Man. I love that place. And I love that it's been basically the same since the late 80s early 90s when I first started going there. It's far from cheap, though. The potato pillows, an appetizer consisting of something resembling the tastiest tater tot ever, dolloped with creme fraiche and caviar, runs 16 bucks for four. And they're pretty small. But they are SOOO GOOD. My porkchop was heavenly, and I had a chocolate brioche bread pudding for dessert that I want to take a bath in. Tasty birthday dinners were also had at the old stand-by La Traviata and Steakhouse 55 at the Disneyland Hotel. Shoot. Now I'm hungry.
Live Shows Seen: Another evening with the Rifftrax crew. This time is was "Plan 9 From Outer Space" at the Castro. It's a movie made for riffing, but because of that, it's also kind of a movie that doesn't need the riffing. It's hilarious on its own. I did enjoy the show, but I think I probably laughed more at the "Daredevil" and "Over the Top" shows.
Shoes Bought: None. WHAT?