Sunday, June 10, 2007


Felt crappy this weekend, nursing some kind of creeping crud (allergies or cold) but we still ventured out. Saturday it was the Phoenix Public Market, a local farmer's market. We hadn't been to it before, but most of the other farmer's markets shut down during the summer, which is unfortunate since the weather here is conducive to growing fruits and vegetables year-round.

It was very nice. It starts early in the morning, has covered tents with misters and fans, so it's not so unpleasant. We picked up some outstanding jalapeno/cilantro hummus, some fresh herbs, tomatoes, potatoes, etc. People think that it costs more to buy local, but the cost of not buying local is food being shipped in trucks thousands of miles. But if you live in a place that has a long growing season, the prices of local food are comparable to the prices at a grocery store. Nothing we bought was in more than it would be at the grocery store. I highly recommend buying local (for food or otherwise) as often as you can. Some good reasons --

Farmers’ markets are:

Good for farmers

- they’re a different source of revenue, often crucial in today’s difficult farming climate.
- they give farmers greater control over their economic lives.
- farmers can get higher prices - as the middle man is cut out.
- farmers diversify their skills - gaining marketing and business expertise.
- farmers get increased networking and learning opportunities with other farmers.

Good for the local economy

- more money is spent in the local economy, and it circulates in the locality for longer.
- there is high knock-on spending in other shops on market days.
- they provide an outlet for local produce, helping to start new local businesses and expand existing ones.
- they reinforce local job and business networks, maintaining local employment.

Good for consumers

- consumers enjoy the atmosphere and experience of farmers’ markets.
- consumers get fresh, healthy produce usually at competitive prices.
- they offer increased choice, and can offer extra fresh, affordable produce in areas with few such options.
- they strengthen community - a key factor in the quality of life.

Good for the environment

- food travels less far; there are less “food miles”.
- food has less packaging.
- they are an important outlet for farmers selling organic and less intensively-produced food.

Plus we checked out a few movies this weekend:

Ocean's 13 - Nothing's left on the table with this one. More flash, more disguises, more twists, more characters. It helps if you have seen the other 2 movies as it ties in characters from those movies (Andy Garcia, Vincent Cassel). The film is an apology of sorts for the shortcomings of Ocean's 12, which was just a little too in love with it's own cleverness.

There's a lot of made-up terminology and purposely obtuse dialog, and one guesses more than a little ad-libbing. It helps to create the thief's world ... one which we may not understand but can get humor out of the machinations. A lot of the joy in the movie is not that different that the original Ocean's 11 movie with Sinatra, Martin, Davis, etc. They were obviously friends, had an easy rapport and were obviously having fun making the movies. This movie is no different. Actors added for this installation include Al Pacino and Ellen Barkin. Eddie Izzard, who was in 12, has a larger role in this one and is very good.

There are some funny inside jokes including the end where Pitt ribs Clooney's character for gaining weight between capers (in real life, he purposely gained weight for Good Night and Good Luck and Syriana). Clooney responded suggesting that Pitt settle down and have a few kids.

I've liked these movies because I've always been a little nostalgic for the Vegas/jazz/Rat Pack scene. These movies upgrade it and introduce better acting. Grade: B+

Yesterday, the wife and I checked out Knocked Up:

Knocked Up - From the director (and many of the actors that brought you 40 Year Old Virgin, comes a comedy about what happens when a stoner out kicks his coverage and gets the attractive (and successful) Katherine Heigl character pregnant after a drunken night. She decides to have the baby. They both want him to be part of the process and the movie revolves around the adjustments they have to make to fit each other's worlds. It's very real, very raw dialog, a lot like Virgin. If you are offended by repeated f-bombs, marijuana use, or blue humor, you probably should stay clear, But if you can see the role all of that plays in settings the scene and creating very funny situations, you'll like the movie. It's not really skit-based comedy like a lot of comedies are now. It's more funniness out of real life. As such, the movie has some dramatic and poignant moments. All of the lead actors are great but I especially liked what some of the smaller roles added: Alan Tudyk (of Serenity fame) as her boss, Kirsten Wiig (SNL) as a co-worker, and cameos by Steve Carrell, James Franco and even Ryan Seacrest (whose profanity-laced tirade will do a lot to loosen up a lot of people's image of him ... very funny stuff). RF's a big fan of this film and gives a much deeper review here Grade: B-

Other films I've recently seen that we've seen that I'm not going to take time to do extensive reviews of:

The Queen - A film that that shows in spades the important art of subtlety in acting -- something that British actors are much better at than Americans (though American James Cromwell does his usual great job). Check out RF's very good review here -- Grade: B

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End - A film with a lot of obvious holes ... actually I'm not sure there's an actual plot. It's much too long. All that being said, I liked it anyway due to the obvious strength of the ensemble cast: Depp, Knightly, Chow Yun Fat, Orlando Bloom, Geoffrey Rush, etc. The special effects are great. You are going to a Pirates movie to see swashbuckling and funny dialog and this delivers both. -- Grade C+


Laura said...

We LOVED Knocked up. I think it far surpassed 40 Year Old Virgin in a lot of ways and I like that Paul Rudd had a somewhat leading role. He's dreamy. I thought it was hilarious, with appropriate amounts of reality. A must see if you like this sort of movie.

We're probably gonna see Oceans this week. I did NOT like 12. I thought it was too contrived - I figured out the "twist" too early and I am thankful to see Julia Roberts passed on 13.

I was most disappointed in Pirates also.

dbackdad said...

The director said that the humor in Knocked Up was a lot more organic. He was striving to not have to pull hair off anyone's chest to get a laugh. lol. Paul Rudd is great.

Check out the first video in this post on Reel Fanatic's site (you have to scroll down a bit). It's a scene that didn't make it into the movie but is hilarious - Knocked Up

I didn't like 12 either but liked 13. And you are right about Roberts. It was definitely addition by subtraction by ditching Roberts and Jones ( and I like the both of them generally, but they're just unneeded in these stories).

Jeff said...

I wanted to see Knocked Up until I heard that it was over 2 hours long which detracted me from going to the movies to see it. I've heard good things so maybe I'll get around to seeing it though.

dbackdad said...

Just got the good news that the Phoenix Public Market will be expanding even more:

Big changes in works for Public Market