There’s some online game in which you name ten films that heavily influenced your way of thinking, or world view, or whatever. They need not be GOOD films or your FAVORITE films. If I picked Annie Hall, which may be my favorite, it would be selected, as I noted before, because of my hatred of going into a movie after it starts, just like Alvy Singer (Woody Allen). But let me look elsewhere.
Being There (1979) – Can a guy uttering stuff he’s heard on TV be embraced as a wise and profound leader? Seemed ridiculous at the time, save for televangelists, but now reality-show “celebrities” often drive the national dialogue (see: Jersey Shore, Duck Dynasty, The Real Housewives of Topeka, et al.)
Continue reading 10 movies that have influenced me
When I heard the buzz about the movie The Theory of Everything, I expected that the movie making would be less conventional. But it’s just a standard romantic biopic of boy meets girl/boy and girl fall in love/boy discovers he has ALS and has two years to live/boy and girl get married anyway/they live happily ever after (for a while).
The “boy” is astrophysicist Stephen Hawking (Eddie Redmayne from the movie Les Misérables), who will eventually become one of the most famous scientists in the world, and author of the bestseller A Brief History of Time. The “girl” is fellow Cambridge student Jane Wilde (Felicity Jones), an unlikely pair.
Jane: So, I take it you’ve never been to church?
Stephen: Once upon a time. Continue reading MOVIE REVIEW: The Theory of Everything
And in an act that defies logic, I am now answering questions that New York Erratic answered for me, even though I gave them to her, based on questions Lisa posted, and which Dustbury also answered… Oh never mind.
1. What is your dream vacation spot and why?
It would be a place by water, preferably running water, like a river or a waterfalls, because I love water; maybe it’s the Pisces in me. It would be neither too hot or too cold. Maybe Continue reading Circular question answering New York Erratic
The Wife and I went to the Spectrum Theatre on a recent Saturday night. I knew little about any of the movies, so we opted for the film down from four showings per day to two, The Grand Seduction.
From the IMDB description:
“The small harbor of Tickle Cove [probably Newfoundland, Canada] is in dire need of a doctor so that the town can land a contract to secure a factory which will save the town from financial ruin. Village resident Murray French (Brandon Gleeson) leads the search, and when he finds Dr. Paul Lewis (Taylor Kitsch) he employs – along with the whole town – tactics to seduce the doctor to stay permanently.”
This film is an English language remake Continue reading MOVIE REVIEW: The Grand Seduction
Earl Butz, who was born 105 years ago today, was one of the worst US government officials ever. He was Secretary of Agriculture in the Cabinets of Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. “His policies favored large-scale corporate farming” which has damaged the family farm to this day, and arguably “led directly to overproduction of corn and a subsequent rise of obesity in the United States.” But “he is best remembered for a series of verbal gaffes that eventually cost him his job.”
Butz resigned his cabinet post on October 4, 1976… News outlets revealed a racist remark he made in front of entertainer Pat Boone and former White House counsel John Dean while aboard a commercial flight to California following the 1976 Republican National Convention. Continue reading NSFW video: Earl Butz and "Loose Shoes"
I was watching JEOPARDY! per usual. But this was strange: in the six days between June 6 and June 13, inclusive, none of the contestants got the Final correct in five of them, whereas I KNEW four of them, and guessed correctly on the fifth. The one question I got wrong, two of them got right.
These are the six final answers:
20th CENTURY AMERICANS: In 1911 Glenn Curtiss received this document Number 1.
THE MEDITERRANEAN: It’s the only U.N. member country in the Mediterranean where English is an official national language.
SCIENTISTS: As a humorous tribute, an astronomical term equivalent to at least 4 billion has been named for him.
CAPITAL CITY WORDPLAY: Ending in the same 2 letters, these 2 are capitals of a nation that covers a continent & of a nation reaching onto 2 continents.
CURRENT TELEVISION: George Romero declined to direct a few episodes of this series, calling it “basically…just a soap opera”
FOREIGN AFFAIRS: William Sullivan retired from the Foreign Service in 1979; he was the last U.S. Ambassador to this country.
Which one did I get wrong? Continue reading Teevee; remembering Dee, Gwynn, Kasem, Noll
I suppose I should not have been surprised that the Daughter expressed tremendous interest in seeing the film Million Dollar Arm. She watches these annoying Disney shows on TV, and I imagine they have promoted the movie incessantly. A Memorial Day matinee trek to the Spectrum Theatre was in order.
There is an inherent problem with most movies based on real life. Additional issues come from sports movies, which generally slip into cliche. Still, the premise was interesting: a struggling sports agent, JB (Jon Hamm) comes up with a wild idea. What if he could find a baseball pitcher or two from India Continue reading MOVIE REVIEW: Million Dollar Arm
Also O for Oz with ABC Wednesday, Round 15:
Miss Piggy and Fozzie Bear on The Muppet Show. Cookie Monster, Bert, and Grover in Sesame Street. These were all creatures performed and co-created by Frank Oz, born Frank Richard Oznowicz. He has also performed Sam Eagle and Animal on the Muppet Show, and Yoda in the Star Wars movies.
Sesame Street, which I was too old to watch, but I did anyway; the various Muppet TV shows and movies; and the original Star Wars trilogy have brought me hours of joy.
I’ve indicated my favorite Muppets recently Continue reading Frank Oz is 70, tomorrow
I’ve only seen a relative handful of films created by George Lucas. Most I enjoyed greatly, though, and so I need to note him turning 70.
1973 – American Graffiti (Director, Writer) – great film that not only launched a lot of careers (Harrison Ford, e.g.), but gave new life to others (Ron Howard, who would star in the period TV show Happy Days). And a neat soundtrack too.
1977 -Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (D, W, Executive Producer) – yeah, the later films might be better. But I remember standing line at the FOX Theater in Colonie, NY, weeks after it had been released, and coming out saying the wait was totally worth it. Continue reading George Lucas is 70
My April was much better than my March, but between blog connectivity problems (more anon), and back pain that kept me out of work for a couple days, followed by four days out of town for work training, which compressed other tasks, I didn’t a chance to update the April Rambling since April 17. Moreover, I discovered some links from as much as two years ago I was GOING to use but they fell through the cracks. Meaning that I’ll do another one at the end of the month. Always said that if blogging got too hard, I would not do it. And this, comparatively, is the easy post I need right now.
An article about depression I was going to include in a different blog post. Some of the earlier posts from this blog I liked too. The blogger also linked to the TEDx talk Andrew Solomon: Depression, the secret we share. “The opposite of depression is not happiness, but vitality, and it was vitality that seemed to seep away from me in that moment.” When I imagine many people’s understanding of depression, I think of that famous scene in the movie Continue reading May Rambling #1: Depression; and ABCW's Leslie gets married