Igor – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2008 film Igor.

Story

A remake of My Fair Lady but with a Frankenstein twist. This could have been a wonderful satire of sexism, fat-phobia, classism, and racism, but instead they decided to ignore the messages of both My Fair Lady and Frankenstein to create a poorly executed adventure romance.

Score: 0

Characters

The titular character is the stereotypical nerd with a heart of gold. He triumphs by sheer brain power and luck. He manages to change his world without changing anything.

The monster is the most civilized and definitely the one that makes the difference in the story.

The only characters that weren’t bland and honestly saved the movie from being boring were Scamper, the immortal rabbit, and Brain. The sidekicks made the best jokes and insights.

Score: 0.5

Dialogue

The wry humour of the sidekicks and the referential jokes save this movie. If it wasn’t for those, the movie would get lost in it’s own blandness.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

The animation is crude by the standards of it’s time and hasn’t aged well. The monochromatic world don’t help make it visually appealing.

The music is boring and the songs feel like they were chosen by someone who got a bad synopsis and didn’t understand the little amount of plot.

Score: 0

Fun

There were some fantastic jokes and some interesting moments and references to classic monster movies. That was fun but the fat-phobic jokes and constant tropes about beauty sapped the joy for me.

Score: 0.5

Overall

The movie could have used more Scamper and Brain, which are the only parts of the movie that are genuinely funny. Beyond that it’s mostly been done before and I wasn’t impressed.

Final Score: 2 Stars out of 5

Turkey Mash – Leftover Recipe

Hello Food Lovers,

I developed this recipe when I hosted a large dinner in university. I effectively put everything I had in a pot with rice and tater tots. It’s a great hearty-type meal for cold days.

It’s also really quick and easy to adapt to your taste.

Turkey Mash

Quick and easy way to use leftovers from a turkey dinner

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 package Tater tots
  • 1 Box Stuffing Feel free to substitute with 2-3 cups of stuffing
  • 2 cups Rice I like wild but it's your choice
  • 4-6 slices chopped bacon
  • 2 cups Chopped Turkey meat You can use almost any protein here.
  • 1 cup Peas I use frozen, feel free to use other veggies if you prefer.
  • 1 cup Gravy Optional but it really adds flavour and moisture.
  • 1 tbsp Jalapeno chopped or blended Optional
  • Salt and Pepper To taste

Instructions

  1. Cook anything that hasn't been cooked.

  2. Mash everything together in a big pot and stir.

So what do you think?

Éric

Week 7 – Curious George Halloween

Curious George is super cute, and throw in a little Halloween fun… your kids don’t want to miss this. You’ll have a smile on your face throughout watching this for sure!

Here is the link for the downloadable materials. (Again, please let me know if you have any problems so I can fix it!)

MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday
Watch movieDraw pumpkin facesFinger paintingLearn about monkeysFlex
Summary of the week

Daily details:

Dance

Ballet and martial arts on alternate days

Music

Singing, listening to different pieces, learning piano

Crochet

The project she is working on (currently she is making herself a poncho)

Basic Information

We talk about the days of the week and play games with the cutouts of the names. We do the same thing with the names of the months of the year. You can find the print-outs here.

Printing words

Download materials

Counting objects/math-type activities

Practice counting objects and writing how many of each type – in download materials

Count and group buttons

Math with pumpkins (on paper)

Storytime

Activity

Draw pumpkin faces (website)

Finger painting with Crayola washable paint on paper

Learn about monkeys (link to web) (Factsheet)

Next week: Hocus Pocus!

Week 5 – Halloweentown Results

This week was Meet the Teacher (vitually, of course) and I discovered that I was not letting Dragon be independant enough. So I taught her how to use the track pad on the keyboard so that she can turn on and off the microphone by herself. This is good – it means I can sit with my laptop or crochet and I don’t have to pay attention as much (only to what time we need to return). Also, starting next week, they will be doing small groups, which will allow her to (hopefully) talk more French. We’ll see how that goes. The homeschool portion was a little more relaxed this week, for some reason. Maybe she’s getting faster at doing her work?

Dance

No martial arts this week, but she did ballet 2-3 times this week.

Music

In order to prepare for piano this week, we practiced the alphabet forwards and backwards A-G.

She had her second lesson on Saturday. They reviewed whole notes and half notes, and learned about quarter notes and eighth notes. She practiced the tune that she learned last week, and then tried to play it as all half notes – she did it perfectly! Then my mom taught her a bit of chopsticks. She had lots of fun with that.

We listened to a bunch of French music. Coeur de Pirate was the favourite yet again and I am thrilled because it is a beautiful album.

Crochet

We managed to get a few more stitches in on Wednesday.

Basic Information

We played with the days of the week (four times) and the months of the year (once). It’s going to be a pretty steep learning curve, I think. She’s able to separate the days of the week into English and French. She can now list off the days of the week in French if I prompt with the first day (L for…?). Still a work in progress, especially for the months. I think it’s intimidating to have twelve pieces of paper in front of her rather than only seven.

Printing words

The words were much shorter this week, and she remembered that broom was balai from Monday to Friday. I was impressed.

Counting objects/math-type activities

I feel like we’re going backwards with the printing of numbers, which is weird. But she’s getting better at counting to dix – she still forgets sept, but we’re working on it.

Storytime

We read a couple small books together.

Activity

Draw a monster mask – definitely a highlight for Dragon. She wanted a scary mask, picked this grotesque one, and was very pleased with herself when she coloured it. She also cut it out by herself (minus the eyes, which I did for her). I don’t know if I should be encouraging her to colour in the blank spaces more or not…. She’s happy with it, and that’s what matters?

Write a short Halloween script (2 days: writing + storyboarding) – we wrote a very short descriptive script (I wrote it because she had so many ideas too quickly and couldn’t get them down fast enough. They were all her ideas, though.), then I explained how to storyboard and she sketched it out, and then she wrote the dialogue for each step of the script so that we could know what was going on in the stop-motion video, which we will be doing next week.

Example of a series of stop-motion images, not put into video form:

Advent Calendar Next Deadline

Hello Coffee Lovers,

You have until Friday November 9th to order your advent calendars for shipping in mid to late November.

Here are the options for this year:

  • 24 Bags at 1oz each ($50)
  • 12 Bags at 2oz each ($50)
  • 24 Bags at 2oz each ($100)

This is a pre-order for our Advent Calendars. Flavours will be picked from our current selection and a few experimental flavours.

These are pre-orders.
Deadline to order second wave November 9th – Orders will ship mid-November.

ALLERGY If you have allergies please email us at JenEricDesigns(AT)gmail.com to let us know your specific allergy.

Pre-orders are open now

Thank you,

Éric

Enola Holmes – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2020 film Enola Holmes.

Story

There are two main types of mysteries, those that the audience can solve and those that the audience can’t. Holmes, Poirot, Castle, etc they all did both. In the second it’s usually a small detail that the detective sees but the writer omits.

This is more of a coming of age adventure with a bunch of mysteries mixed in, most of which are of the second category. It’s easy enough to guess but not all the pieces are there for us to be sure.

A lot of complaints about this movie are around the fact that it’s not a Holmesian-style mystery and that it includes too many feminist and egalitarian themes. It’s not supposed to be a Holmesian, it’s supposed to be inspired by not copying, as for the other complaints… it seems there’s a lot of sensitive people.

The major flaw in this movie is the amount of time it takes to set up places and events, some of which won’t be explored until the next movie. So much of it feels like a forced prologue instead of an origin story.

Score: 0.5

Characters

Enola Holmes is wonderful character that has a lot of Sherlock’s flaws, like over confidence, and a few extras like being a fish out of water. Sherlock would argue that her empathy and emotions are another flaw. She’s also competent, clever, and funny.

Mycroft and Sherlock are both a little different than in other interpretations. The first being more of a dick and the second being more caring. Both can easily be explained by family dynamics and the fact that the story is told from Enola’s point of view.

She doesn’t see the brilliant politician and spy that is Mycroft because he acts like a petulant child who’s always been compared to his siblings and been found wanting.

She might not see the cold, calculating, and sometimes cruel Sherlock because with her he remembers caring and he feels guilty that she’s a lot like him. I have to say it was refreshing not to see another interpretation of Sherlock as a frantic, addled, mess.

The rest of the cast is interesting, but it’s the siblings that make the movie special.

Score: 1

Dialogue

There are times that I feel the dialogue slipped out of its period authenticity but I really don’t care. Again this isn’t a historical drama, it’s an adventure story.

Enola narrates in an almost jarring 4th wall breaking style throughout the movie and at first I wasn’t a fan. As it went on, I realized this was like her diary, her narration would have had much less impact and humour had it been done traditionally. This added a little humour and made the audience feel like it was being included.

The word play and puns were delightful.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

The setting is mostly historical London but there’s almost a Romantic era love for nature that’s included. The nature scenes are lovely and the overall filming was very well done. The fight scenes were nicely shot.

The music was cleverly Holmesian with a modern twist. Adventurous, mysterious, with a little cheekiness added in.

Score: 1

Fun

Ten minutes in as they were still world building and telling us what Enola was like, my daughter proclaimed that she didn’t like the movie. She sat through it anyway and by the end said it was her favourite movie ever. (Like Holmes, her favourite is the last one she experienced.)

I enjoyed the beginning although I feel it was a little long and could have been trimmed and enjoyed the rest. It was a fun adventure with lots of great nods to Holmes.

Score: 1

Overall

Suffering a little from over explaining and too much set up, the movie is still delightful all the way through. If you’re a fan of Sherlock Holmes and not precious on all the details you’ll enjoy this. If you’re not a fan of Holmes but love a good adventure and strong character this is also a good choice.

Final Score: 4.5 stars out of 5

Secret Society of Second-Born Royals – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2020 film Secret Society of Second-Born Royals.

Story

An interesting mix of Kingsman and Sky High with very little original content. It’s fun but neither complex or original. I called the twists way before I should have and felt disappointed rather than proud that I did.

It also suffered from excess world building, making it feel like a pilot episode rather than a movie.

Score: 0

Characters

The characters were pretty much a mixture of superhero and high school stereotypes but they were very well played. The actors made some awkward character arcs seem more believable than they should have.

Score: 0.5

Dialogue

Neither bad nor memorable, the dialogue was passable. There were a few standout moments between the kids and the narrator/teacher and a great scene between the main character and her future queen sister.

Score: 0.5

Visuals and Music

The special effects were okay, but the scenery was great. The camera angles and cinematography were good but not great.

The music was mostly pretty bland until there was someone playing on screen, then it was great. A weird mixture of styles and feels like they’d originally made this a musical and then changed their minds but couldn’t let go of some of the music.

Score: 0.5

Fun

I enjoyed myself and liked watching the characters develop, but it wasn’t gripping.

Score: 0.5

Overall

Bogged down by world building and a derivative script, the movie felt like its goal was to set up the characters and world for a TV show. Nothing about it was terrible, but it wasn’t very good. I’d watch it again for the rock music and impressive actors.

Final Score: 2 Stars out of 5

My Bucket is Full

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

I’m struggling this week. I know most of us are struggling right now. In my part of the world, we’re in the second wave and I’m not sure people understand what that means.

Bucket

Pegasus is not good at having his sleep cycle disturbed. Last Friday we slept in and didn’t wake him early enough and he refused to nap, then he fell asleep playing (twice) and I was up until 2am with him for the next two nights. We’re just now getting his schedule back in order.

Work has also been super busy and stressful. Report season in fall and spring has stressed me out for over a decade. I should honestly be better at it by now. With the season change comes a new set of allergies and a huge uptick in the pain in my hands.

So I’m feeling like I have a bucket for stress and my bucket is starting to flow over. I’ve started feeling overwhelmed. This morning I got an email and I couldn’t process it. It just went in one ear and out the other. I’ll get back to it later today and try again.

My way of dealing with new stress this week.

Trapped

The stress, the pandemic, politics, pain, allergies, and not-sleeping have me feeling trapped. Not by my life, not by my house, and certainly not my family. I feel trapped in a need to be productive. I’m missing having days were I don’t have to do anything. Where I can wake up and just do whatever I want. Six years ago I decided I wanted to try and roast coffee. I binge watched Gilmore Girls and made buttons. I haven’t had one of those days in a while. It’s part of getting older and having more responsibilities, along with being limited in what I can do because of the pandemic. As the kids get older and don’t need naps, and there’s a vaccine, I’ll be able to just spontaneously decide to take a day off and go to a museum or to a park with them, that’ll be nice.

Grief

My mom’s mother died when my mom was 5. Every chance we got we’d come to Ottawa to visit my grandmother’s siblings that acted like grandparents. I found out that the last of that generation passed away on Monday at 85.

My last phone call with her she sounded tired but hopeful. Because of health issues and the pandemic, she never met Pegasus but met Dragon a few times. She was a fantastic painter, wonderful hugger, terrible cook, and lovely person. I’m going to miss her.

Hope

My bucket is full but I’ll scoop it out, or drink from it, or something… (this metaphor seems to be getting away from me.) The point is, I’ll be okay. The nights will start freezing away the allergens, the weather with stabilize as much as it ever does, work will become less hectic, the stress will abate. It’s just a matter of dealing with it and taking deep breaths.

I have toddler, child, and wife hugs to keep me going, coffee to roast, and more pumpkin things to bake.

I’ll be okay but I’m struggling.

Stay safe and be kind,

Éric