Okay, it was so cold while we were hanging out in South Carolina this past week, we did the usual winter activity - we went to the movies, twice! I enjoyed both movies but if you can only see one - go for Clint!
The first day, we went to see Gran Torino. Clint Eastwood plays his usual tough talking, strong-willed and opinionated character as Walt Kowalsky, a recently widowed, retired auto worker who still feels like he's fighting the Korean War. Obviously, he's not too thrilled to see Hmong (Vietnamese) neighbors move in next door. Cheerful determination and persistence on the part of his teenage neighbors cracks that hard exterior and Walt's humanity leaks out. There is a fair amount of language throughout. If you are highly offended by various racial and ethnic slurs and labels (he doesn't just pick on one ethnic crowd), then sit this one out. There is also gang violence throughout the movie. Ultimately, it's pure Clint and the actors do a superb job. He is well supported by the performances of Bee Vang and Ahney Hu, playing his teenaged neighbors, Thao and Su Lor. I'll give it 4 stars.
The next day wasn't any warmer, so we again turned to a nice cozy theater and saw Last Chance Harvey. As Harvey Shine, a fading jingle writer from New York, Dustin Hoffman is having a bad week. His career is definitely on the skids, his daughter is getting married - in England, his ex has made his hotel arrangements for him - away from the rest of the wedding party, his daughter tells him her step-dad will be giving her away instead of him and the job situation worsens over a long-distance phone call. The light at the end of the tunnel appears as a conservative, spinster, played by Emma Thompson, when she approaches him at the airport carrying a clipboard and attempting to take a survey about the airline's customer service. It's a little slow moving, sentimental and predictable - definitely a chick-flick. It does, however, subtly state it's never too late to find love. I liked it but it won't win any awards. I think its appeal to the younger audience (under 30) will be limited. I, on the other hand, am over 30 and I'll give it 3 stars.
CPSIA Update :
I think there may be a little reprieve, at least for a little shile, for folks like me. I've just seen an opinion, dated 1/15/09, written by Cheryl A. Falvey, General Counsel for the Consumer Products Safety Commission, that explains the differences between the General Conformity Certification required as of 2/10/09 and the certification based on 3rd party testing required by August of 2009. In part, she states Section 102 of the CPSIA indicates that if the manufacturer (me as a crafter) is confident with the results of lead tests done on components, that my product does not necessarily require tests of the final product -until August! She uses an example of jewelry to illuistrate this point. I believe this would also pertain to my handpainted clothing. Check this out at http://www.cpsc.gov//library/foia/advisory/323.pdf .
This does not permanently solve the problem but it does buy some time for folks like myself. Maybe I will still be in business after 2/10/09!!
In the meantime, stay warm, keep creative and live happy!