We just got back from the movies earlier this afternoon (today is a holiday - no school). We saw the Transformers. I've seen a few movies lately, so I thought I might post some reviews. But I figured I could review more than just the recent movies I've seen. So, here are some reviews of the events/movies/places which I've experienced this week.

I guess I need some sort of rating system or scale. I could go with the standard scale of 1-10, letter grades (A-F), percentages or maybe 1 -5 stars, like hotels. But what fun would that be?

Let's do this: I will use a scale that goes from macaroni and cheese to chocolate chip cookies. I assume that I don't need to say which is the best and which is the worst.

Let's start with the movies:

Transformers: I didn't see any previews for this movie, so I didn't know what to expect. I used to play with transformers a lot when I was little, but I have to admit that I didn't remember much about them (sorry Kurt). A couple teachers and a bunch of students recommended it. Since we had the day off and Robin didn't protest too much, we went. It was also nice because Wednesdays are 2 for 1 days, so we both got in for under $5. Overall the movie was good. It was fun to be reminded of the world of the Transformers. The special effects were good, and I was surprised at how many recognizeable actors were in it. I only had a couple complaints: 1. Long drawn-out action scenes. I know they are vital to the movie, and most people consider them the best part. But not me. I just get a bit bored at those parts of movies. Does that make me a girl? 2. The transformers themselves were all modernized and complex. I liked them better when they looked simpler. Sometimes it was hard to tell what they even were. 3. Isn't Megatron supposed to transform into a gun?

Besides those few things, it was good, and I'm glad we went. On the way home, the radio in our car turned on by itself (as it did in one of the transformers). Robin and I were wondering if it might be a transformer. You think that if our car were a transformer it would look like this?:

Rating: meatloaf (good, reminds you of the good ol' days, but far from cookies)

The pursuit of happyness: This was one of two movies we rented last weekend. Its been out for awhile but for some reason, I had no real desire to see it. I figured it would be kinda predictable. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked it. It was really neat to see how rough things were for the Fresh Prince before he moved to that mansion in Bel Aire.

Rating: maple and brown sugar oatmeal (way better than you think it would be)

Pan's Labyrinth (El laberinto del fauno): I had been wanting to see this movie for awhile, but I couldn't find it at the video stores until last Friday. It came highly recommended by Andrew Peterson, so it was one of those things that I needed to like it in order to be cool. It was also recommended by a few of my students, and it won a few Oscars, so I had high expectations. I was not disappointed. Robin did not watch it with me. She asked me how it was, and it was hard to find the words to describe it. Let me see if I can now. It was one of the most visually stunning movies I've seen. I'm not big into fantasy movies (hence the lack of LOTR viewings), and this was definately a fantasy movie. But, I really liked it. Andrew Peterson called it, "creepy, scary, beautiful, moving". I would have to agree with all four of those. Besides the beauty of it, there were some added bonuses. It was all in strange-but-cool Castilian Spanish (grathias printhetha) and it was set in Spain a few years after the end of the civil war and into the reign of Franco. So, it was even more interesting to me.

Despite my own opinions, I am not recommending this movie to anyone unless you really want to see it. The problem is that included in all the visual beauty is some pretty graphic violence and some pretty icky monsters.

Maybe someone else has seen this movie and can do a better job describing it than I can.

Rating: Chicken fingers from Texas Roadhouse (yum!)

Now lets move on to dining facilities:

TGI Friday's: Yes, there is actually a Friday's here. Robin and I went there on Friday night. There was one in Guatemala when I was there, but it wasn't all that good. So, my expectations weren't too high. I was pleasantly surprised. The hamburger I ordered was quite good. Robin's Ceasar salad was also good (I know because I finished it for her). Being there also felt like home, if only for an hour or so.

Rating: a hamburger from TGI Fridays (I mean . . . how else do I rate food with a food scale?)

Pricesmart Pizza: We stopped at Pricesmart after Guizaros on Saturday. While we were there, we had lunch. I had a giant piece of pizza. So good! In fact, when things are going rough at school, I just think about that pizza, and I feel better.

Rating: Pricesmart pizza (again . . .)

And finally, a dentist office review:

Clinica West: I mentioned earlier that Robin has been having some problems with her teeth. Logically, we went to the dentist. Then, we went to the dentist again . . . then again . . . and again . . . and she's scheduled to go again soon. Everytime, they do a little something different, send her home and schedule a future appointment. Guess what else happens everytime? . . . we pay. I think that's what's really behind the multiple visits.

Rating: yogurt (We'll see how many more visits we have to make. They could drop down into whipped cream or even mac and cheese levels)