Southern Man

Friday, March 27, 2009

Geocaching in St. Jo

Spring break just wasn't enough break for us, so after a half-week back at "work" Southern Man, gf, and Youngest Daughter headed north to St. Joseph, MO for a long weekend with gf's sister, her bf, and his four children - one of which is a girl about the same age as Youngest Daughter, which is why she is along - which will end on Monday with a surprise 75th birthday party for gf's mother. Our presence is part of the surprise, so we'll be more or less hiding out for a couple of days in gf's sister's beautifully restored Victorian home in downtown St. Jo.

We got in late last night and visited 'till much later; the four kids got out of school early today and were home by noon. Southern Man is an avid geocacher and found several within easy walking distance of the house, so he and the five kids spent the entire afternoon stomping about in the cold and having a great time finding caches and swapping treasures. We saw just about every variety of cache - traditional ammo box, home-made, disguised, tree-hanger, film cannister, micro - and the kids loved it. They are begging to do more tomorrow. And, happily enough, Southern Man's daughter and her new cousin-to-be are inseparable and are having a wonderful time themselves. So it is looking like it will be a fun weekend.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Movie Review - Duplicity

Southern Man's gf has wanted to see this one since the first trailers were out, so we went last night. We begin with a comparison to the latest Bond flick (even though in Duplicity there is not one single gunshot, much less the usual Bondian mayhem). First, leading man Clive Owen would make one hell of a good James Bond. Second, Tony Gilroy's direction was the polar opposite of everything Southern Man hated about the camera work in Quantum of Solace. It's a sad world when a Bond fan like Southern Man rates what is essentially a romantic comedy above 007.

OK, so Duplicity is the spy-vs-spy flavor of romantic comedy. Julia Roberts (who is clearly just coming into her prime as an actress - yes, she's that good) and Owen play former government agents who turn to the private sector in a quest to con a fortune from two dueling cosmetics giants in an incredibly convoluted scam that leaves us continually wondering just who's gaming who - and of course they begin to fall for each other (or do they?) which only complicates matters even further. The twists and turns come thick and fast, particulary given that this movie jumps back and forth in time more often than an episode of Lost, but this turns out to be a fairly effective trick and requries that the audience continually re-evaluate everything that they've already seen and wonder just who, if anyone, they can trust. It's also suspensful and funny and filled with sharp anti-corporate satire, with Paul Giamatti and Tom Wilkinson portraying a pair of not-quite-sane CEOs and obviously having a lot of fun doing so. In short, this was a most fun and pleasurable movie to see, and one that demanded that the audience pay attention and rewarded us for doing so. Take your SO to this one; you'll have a great time.