Birthday stuff

We’ve had a busy couple of days of it, running errands and prepping for our son’s 13th birthday. Yes, we are now the parents of an official Teenager. Heaven help us.

Today the birthday boy and friends spent a few hours at the pool, then were whisked to a pizzeria for every kid’s favorite lunch. Dessert was a double-sized pan of birthday brownies, half frosted and half not, at the request of our son who adores brownies but doesn’t like frosting. However, I experimented and produced a new chocolate peanut butter frosting, in an attempt to recreate the frosting my mom used to make on my birthday. (I’m sure I have her recipe somewhere, but couldn’t locate it when the moment came, and I didn’t think she’d appreciate a call at 3 a.m. her time when I was baking.) The frosting turned out to be perfect, loaded with peanut butter flavor and not too sweet. I consider it the height of baking achievement that our son, upon trying the frosted side, promptly decided he liked those brownies better than the plain ones.

Then we went to the cinema and watched RED 2, which had us guffawing loudly through most of the film. It’s always fun to watch films like this with a Portuguese (or British expatriate) audience, and see where they laugh. One of the biggest audience laughs in the entire film came when Frank complains that Marvin gave his girlfriend a gun, and Marvin says, “This is America! Everyone has guns.”

Heads up, US: outside your borders people really do think that every American citizen has a gun.

After returning home, I checked the review on Roger Ebert’s old site, now written by Odie Henderson. Having not seen the first RED, and thus getting none of the jokes or the joys of the characterizations, Henderson gave it two and a half stars out of four, saying:

I don’t know who the target audience is for this “Grand Theft Old Folks,” but it wouldn’t have been the teenage boys of my generation. We lusted for blood, boobs and bad words, all of which are in short supply under the auspices of the punk-ass PG-13 rating…Helen Mirren can spin around in a car with two guns-a-blazin’, but GOD FORBID she unleashes Helen Mirren-appropriate F-words or a bodacious ta-ta!

So, let’s get this straight: Henderson apparently believes that a PG-13 rating means the movie is targeted specifically to the under-13 kids, and those kids want boobs and cussing, and since Helen Mirren didn’t go topless, the movie won’t appeal.

I don’t think I’ve ever read a more misdirected review, or a more blatantly sexist one. And for the record, our 13-year-old boy was not looking for Helen Mirren’s boobs. In fact, his favorite character was Han Cho Bai, the Korean contract killer. Although, come to think of it, he went topless.

Heavens, do I miss Roger Ebert.

Now the birthday planning and events are behind us, so we can relax again. I think I’ll have a gin and tonic and try to reconcile myself to the crushing disappointment of not seeing boobs at the cinema.


About Fletcher DeLancey

Socialist heathen and Mac-using author of the Chronicles of Alsea, who enjoys pondering science, politics, well-honed satire (though sarcastic humor can work, too) and all things geeky.
This entry was posted in life, Portugal. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Birthday stuff

  1. Carys says:

    For film reviews see if you can get the wittertainment podcast:
    They have a bit of a cult following because of Mark Kermode’s rants. The first half usually includes a famous guest but the second half is focussed on the week’s film releases in the UK. They may be a bit out of step with Portugal but will hopefully entertain nonetheless.

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