Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I still don't like American popcorn and I'm not sure I liked The Forbidden Kingdom that much either...

The Forbidden Kingdom movie poster Maybe I'm being too harsh when I say that I didn't like The Forbidden Kingdom, which opened on Friday.

I'd not really seen all of the trailer for the film and I incorrectly assumed I was going to see a House of Flying Daggers or a Hero, which were both a visual feast, but were also super cool martial arts films and were refreshing to watch as they weren't made in the formulaic Hollywood movie mold. Instead what I got was Jackie Chan trying to be funny and a martial arts fest to please the fan boys, but I'm not sure many others!

It wasn't cinematically beautiful and the story was traditional kung fu quest fare, but it was entertaining. Even more exciting was that it had Jack's son, Elliot, from Will & Grace. Actually he's the actor Michael Angarano and he's also been in the sixth season of 24 and played the lead in kids movie Sky High.

Anyway, I thought he was quite good as the hapless American kung fu fan that magically ends up in mystical China to save the imprisoned Monkey King (believe me you can't make this stuff up, or actually maybe you can!), plus his character's name was Jason, so you can't go wrong. Only two stars ** for this one I'm afraid - save your dollars (and pounds) and wait for the DVD release!

I'll miss my trips to the AMC cinema in Downtown Burbank when we've moved to West Hollywood, but at least we'll be near the fabulous Arclight cinema and may be able to catch a few more special Q&A's with film directors and other special guests.

I've also been driving a lot around Burbank and had my last two hour driving lesson yesterday and drove through downtown Glendale and up to Eagle's Rock. Only onDowntown Burbank AMC cinema bannere hour lessons from now on, with an early one tomorrow at 9am. Apparently it's best to take your test when the examiners are still bright-eyed and bushy-tailed in the morning, so that will be the plan when the time comes!

Aside from cooking up a storm in the kitchen last night and discovering the joys of mince (the meat, not the walk!), I continued my now age old struggle with HSBC.

Seven weeks in (plus a few months before we left) and I still haven't received my new debit cards. When we opened the account at their offices in Downtown Los Angeles, the incompetent person setting up my simple checking account misspelled my postal address, so hence no cards and no internet banking password yet.

For anyone planning on relocating to the U.S. and who'll be put up in temporary accommodation where you can't use the address to receive post (not ideal, but more common than you think I bet), it's a real pain as we've experienced similar problems with Lloyds bank also. But I still maintain that HSBC is still trying very hard to qualify as the world's worst bank.

In lighter news, Dancing with the Stars was its usual treat, although theDancing with the Stars USA series logo costumes are still shocking and most of the women looked like they were just wearing sheets of fabric last night - they need some help from Project Runway I say.

I think up for the chop tonight will be either 'no hips' Shannon Elizabeth (who's getting the PR machine working for votes with a supposed romance with her professional partner, Derek Hough) or Marlee Matlin, who's amazing for dancing at all as she's deaf and sadly can't even hear the music to keep in time with the beat - this week it showed. I'll say Marlee will go tonight!

So anyway, we're heading into another period of change and upheaval for us in the next few weeks when we move from our temporary accommodation into our new West Hollywood home. Just to tease you, I can confirm one of our Burbank IKEA storeneighbours will be a bonafide celebrity of stage and screen (how exciting)!!

So today after the film I thought "be brave" and I forced myself to take a look in IKEA.

Oh my god, it's just as bad as in the UK. Well it's not as busy, but the store layout is just as soulless and moves you around the same maze-like rat run. I didn't see any beds that I liked (do they not know I need under-bed storage?), but there may be a passable corner sofa, but we may have to check out a few more local furniture stores and do some more online research first before giving in to desperation!

As the Governator would say, "I'll be back...."

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