Thursday, June 28, 2012

What A Day To Be Born!

I checked out the birthdays of the day.  I can't believe how many awesome people were born today!  There were 799 on IMDB.  I only picked the ones I know.   

First off, the love of my movie life, John Cusack is 46 today.   Love you John!  Thanks for "Say Anything" and "Grosse Point Blank".  Call me!

Kathy Bates is 64 today.  She won an Oscar for her role as Annie Wilkes.  She did a nude scene in "About Schmidt".  She is in one of my favorites, "Fried Green Tomatoes".  TOWANDA!!!  Have a great birthday,  can't wait to see what you do next.

Mel Brooks is 86 today.  He wrote, directed and starred in my son's favorite movie, "Spaceballs".  He had a long marriage to Anne Bancroft.  I hope he enjoys more birthdays.  Thanks for making my son laugh, no matter how many times he watches your movies.

Mary Stuart Masterson is 46 today too.  She is the embodiment of spunk.  I am not seeing enough of her.  Why isn't she starring on a great drama on Showtime? 

He is gone now, but Pat Morita was born today too.  Thanks for Mr. Myagi, you were awesome.  You should have kicked Daniel-Son's whiny butt. 

Gilda Radner left us too soon.  She was so funny and self-effacing.  She even joked about the cancer that killed her.  She was more crass than classy, but she was real.  You felt like you could sit down with her and have a beer.  Miss you Gilda!

So happy birthday to all the others on the list.  I may or may not know all of you, but you've helped contribute to this crazy industry I love. 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Goodbye Nora Ephron

Nora Ephron could write.  She created some of the most amazing women ever to grace the screen.  They were always fully formed.  They were flawed and funny. 

In her first feature she gave Karen Silkwood an epilogue for a life that ended too soon.

She even wrote dialogue that made Cher look impressive.    Both Meryl Streep and Cher were nominated for acting Oscars and Nora was nominated for the screenplay.  

Her fictional account of her own marriage in "Heartburn" gave Meryl Streep another great role.   It was raw and real and showed all the warts.  Neither of them were perfect.  Her fictional counterpart Rachel is just as messed up as her husband.

Mark Forman: When we're married, I want this once a week.
Rachel Samstat: I'm never getting married again. I don't believe in marriage.
Mark Forman: Neither do I.

She was the inspiration and voice behind Sally Albright of "When Harry Met Sally".   It started as a story of Rob Reiner's foray back into singledom and became a great love story.   I love that it is the character's flaws that keep them apart, not some convoluted plot device.  Because of her, I know I am the worst kind of woman.  I'm high maintenence but think I'm low maintainence

Harry Burns: There are two kinds of women: high maintenance and low maintenance.
Sally Albright: Which one am I?
Harry Burns: You're the worst kind; you're high maintenance but you think you're low maintenance.
Sally Albright: I don't see that.
Harry Burns: You don't see that? Waiter, I'll begin with a house salad, but I don't want the regular dressing. I'll have the balsamic vinegar and oil, but on the side. And then the salmon with the mustard sauce, but I want the mustard sauce on the side. "On the side" is a very big thing for you.
Sally Albright: Well, I just want it the way I want it.
Harry Burns: I know; high maintenance.

Until I looked at her IMDB profile, I didn't know she'd written "My Blue Heaven".

Steve Martin disapeared in the role of Vincent Antonelli, AKA Tod.  The dialogue was snappy and fun.  We quote this movie a lot in my house.

[Vincent Antonelli is questioned about the stolen goods in the trunk of the car he stole]
Hannah Stubbs: The books...
Vincent 'Vinnie' Antonelli: You have something against books?
Hannah Stubbs: I have nothing about books! I am curious about the books in your trunk.
Vincent 'Vinnie' Antonelli: You see, I was thinking of writing my story, so I bought this one on how to do it.
Hannah Stubbs: Why do you need 25 copies of it?
Vincent 'Vinnie' Antonelli: In case I want to read it more than once...

When she turned to directing she made her mark. 

I mean she created a whole movie where the lovers don't meet until the last scene.  In "Sleepless in Seattle" she managed to convince us that Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan were meant to be.  She also created other people, family and friends that made them even more real.

Annie Reed: Now that was when people KNEW how to be in love. They knew it! Time, distance... nothing could separate them because they knew. It was right. It was real. It was...
Becky: A movie! That's your problem! You don't want to be in love. You want to be in love in a movie.

She made John Travolta an angel.

She made Steve Martin crazy.

She reunited Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan.  They fell in love over email and went to war face to face.  And we still bought their romance.

She made Nicole Kidman bewitchingly goofy.

I find it fitting that her final movie featured Meryl Streep.  She brought Julia Child to delightful life.

There was so much more to this incredible woman.  She wrote books and spoke in a voice women hadn't heard before.  She was funny and real.  She wasn't afraid to point the funny and real at herself . She will be missed.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Best In Show - 2000

I love Christopher Guest's mockumentaries.  He is so spot on with people.  His cast is exceptional.  We watched this movie yesterday on Netflix.

We scanned through what was available on cable and it was pretty sad.  There wasn't even any "I guess I'll watch that" type shows.  My husband has been watching some non-stop "Dinner For Schmucks" due to a lack of programming.  But even that wasn't on yesterday afternoon.

So I scanned Netflix.  I almost watched "Battle Royale" to see how it compared to "The Hunger Games" but it was subtitled and I didn't have the energy to read.  As it was I didn't make it through "Best In Show".  But not because it isn't a great movie.

My husband and I quote this movie all the time.  It starts by showing us all the contestants and their owners.

We meet Hamilton and Meg Swan.  They are as high strung as their dog. 

Meg Swan: I didn't ask for your opinion. I asked for a toy that you don't have!

Gerry and Cookie Fleck are loving owners of Winky.  But Cookie was pretty popular before she met Gerry.

Bulge: [interrupting Gerry and Cookie in the studio while they're recording] Cookie?
Cookie Fleck: Yeah?
Bulge:Cookie Guggleman?
Cookie Fleck: Yeah. Do I know you?
Bulge: Does this ring a bell?
Bulge: "I'm not wearing underwear".
Cookie Fleck: Bulge? Get outta town!

Scott and Stefan are a fun couple who spoil their dogs.

[at the butcher]
Stefan Vanderhoof: Now, Tyrone would like some of those beef kidneys so we'll have a half pound of those.
Scott Donlan: No, not the kidneys, it's the membranes, I don't wanna have to pull those things off.
Stefan Vanderhoof: [rolls eyes] I'll take care of the membranes.
Scott Donlan: [to the butcher] I mean, Randy, you could pull the membrane off.
Stefan Vanderhoof: Will you stop it? So, we'll have a half pound of the kidneys, a half pound of the salmon.
Scott Donlan: And do me a favor, will you? Just get out one of those pepperoni sticks. I just wanna hold it.

Sherry Ann and Christy are the owners and handler of the two time winning standard poodle defending her title.

Christy Cummings: It's interesting, we have kind of a family dynamic going on here which pretty much mirrors what I grew up with: I'm the mommy slash daddy, the taskmaster, the disciplinarian.
Sherri Ann Cabot: Mr. Punishment over here.
Christy Cummings: Oh, but I also reward. And Sherri Ann is responsible for the unconditional love.
Sherri Ann Cabot: And the decorative abilities.
Christy Cummings: The heart and the soul which was what my mom did. That was her role. She was there for the unconditional love... and it worked for my family, you know... until my mom committed suicide in '81

Harlan Pepper is a down home guy venturing into the dog show world for the first time.  This is something we quote regularly. 

Harlan Pepper: I used to be able to name every nut that there was. And it used to drive my mother crazy, because she used to say, "Harlan Pepper, if you don't stop naming nuts," and the joke was that we lived in Pine Nut, and I think that's what put it in my mind at that point. So she would hear me in the other room, and she'd just start yelling. I'd say, "Peanut. Hazelnut. Cashew nut. Macadamia nut." That was the one that would send her into going crazy. She'd say, "Would you stop naming nuts!" And Hubert used to be able to make the sound, he couldn't talk, but he'd go "rrrawr rrawr" and that sounded like Macadamia nut. Pine nut, which is a nut, but it's also the name of a town. Pistachio nut. Red pistachio nut. Natural, all natural white pistachio nut.

Ed Begley Jr. makes an appearance as the hotel manager.

Fred Willard steals every scene he's in.

Buck Laughlin: And to think that in some countries these dogs are eaten.
Just because I took a nap through this movie doesn't mean it isn't awesome.  I find something new each and every time I watch it.  And if that isn't enough, the scene containing this quote makes the whole movie worth it.
Scott Donlan: Rhapsody has two mommies.

Friday, June 22, 2012

If Aliens Are An Advanced Species, Why Are They All Naked?

Whenever aliens are portrayed in a movie they are almost always an advanced society.  They have the technology to travel light years.  They are coming to destroy our world. 

So why are they all naked?

Even the good aliens are naked.

E.T. can make a universal phone to call across solar systems but doesn't wear a pair of pants?

Then there is the crazy part.  In the future, when we Earthlings have managed to acquire some technology to compete instead of going naked, we all wear matching outfits.

I understand the whole Garanimals vibe we got going on here, but really?

And what is with the one piece outfits?  Is that really efficient for peeing in space?

Oh my goodness!  I just got it.  That is why aliens are always naked.

As you were.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Help! I have a problem.

I want to see this movie.  Normally I will just throw caution to the wind and go see any movie by myself.  But I am getting to a point in life where I feel a little self conscious going to a children's movie without any children.

When my son was small I got to see all the kids movies.  But with a few exceptions it wasn't a pleasant experience.

"Lion King" was a good movie. 

"Mighty Morphin Power Rangers" was not.

The whole Harry Potter series was awesome. 

"Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" was the opposite of awesome.

So here is my dilemma.  When my oldest niece, now almost 21, was young I would take her to these movies.  But by the time she was ten or so her tastes veered off into another direction.  My youngest niece is now 17 and leaving for the army in a couple of months.  Since then all the children in my life seem to be boys.

I love the trailer for this movie. 

The lead character is a strong female character.  She isn't going to sit back and have her fate decided.  She takes care of herself and is a rebel. 

So here is the problem.  I need to borrow a girl for an afternoon.  About eight years old, still on the princess train, that I can take to this movie. 

I want to see it. 

I want to see it with a girl who needs to know that girls can kick butt too! 

I want her to know that girls can rescue themselves.

I guess I'll have to wait for the DVD. 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Father's Day Part 2

My husband knows I love movies.  He likes movies, but rarely is driven to see a movie in the theater.  In the last 23 years we've been together, it is a rare movie that he wants to see on opening weekend.  Yesterday he was smoking some meat in his new grill.  I mentioned that I might go see "Rock Of Ages". 

"I want to see that.  We can go tomorrow."  He said.

But we have a potluck every month or so with his family and it was on Sunday.

"Potluck's at noon.  We can catch an afternoon show."  He even looked up the showtimes and settled on a theater. 

But potluck is a lot of fun and we get talking and telling stories and next thing you know it is three-thirty.  By the time we are heading home it is too late for the movie and the US Open is on television.  Everyone knows that the best naps are to golf. 

So, we didn't go to the movie. 

He's always had good intentions when it comes to seeing a movie.  That is why typically I end up going alone.  There are a few stars he will get out of the house for.  Will Ferrell, Adam Sandler and Ben Stiller are perennial favorites. 

But some 23 years ago, he promised to take me to a movie.

He'd been promising for a couple of weeks and things kept coming up.  I was about fourteen months pregnant and determined to see one more movie before I had the baby.  Finally I had pushed him so much he committed.

"You have a doctor's appointment at ten tomorrow morning.  I don't have to work the fourth of July, we'll go after the doctor.  I'll even buy you lunch."

I was a little emotional during this period. 

"OK."  I remember saying.  I may have been crying and whining about being fourteen months pregnant with a potentially fifteen pound baby, but I recall being calm.

"Ghostbusters Two" had come out and I'd loved the first one.  Then it happened.  Of course it happened.

At 3 AM, not long after he'd gone to work, I woke up in labor.   I wasn't giving in though.   I had experienced a number of false alarms, more than three but less than twenty.  I wasn't going anywhere until the doctor told me for sure. 

You guessed it.  The doctor sent me right to the hospital.  I was still whining about not seeing the movie.  But he was patient and kind.  He sat by my side and waited for that baby. 

The kid took his time.  From waking me at 3 AM on July 3rd to finally arriving at 4:04 AM on July 4th, it was 26 hours of labor including two hours of pushing.  And he was only nine pounds. 

And this man, who I'd never seen hold a baby took his son and fell in love.  He's been a good father ever since. 

Friday, June 15, 2012

Father's Day

I started to write a lot of things about father's day.  But every story made me miss him more.  So here are just a few pictures and memories.

I think of him every time I hear a Johnny Cash song.

Or when my son looks at me like this.

Or when I see a goofy saying on a t-shirt.  Especially when paired with a slightly evil grin.

When I hear my son laugh in Dad's full-throated, whole body sort of way.

My oldest nephew is all tangled up in my memories of my dad.  They were best buddies. He would take him on errands and make sure he talked to him almost every day.  I wish he'd had a chance to be that way with all his grandkids.

No one else has ever quite measured up.  I miss you Dad.  Happy Father's Day.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Snow White and the Huntsman - 2012

Why do fairy tale characters always have British accents.  This movie we have a screen full of some big stars and they all have a put on accent.  That is just silly.

Kristin Stewart is Snow White.  She gets the traditional back story where her lovely mother gets exactly what she wishes for.  

Skin white as snow, hair black as a raven, lips red as blood. 

Why wish for skin white as snow.  I have pale skin and it is a major pain in the butt.  I was in junior high and high school at the height of the tanning craze.  I actually had people write "get some color" in my yearbook.  I've never had anyone compliment it.  I have used it to my advantage when I am not feeling well.  People comment then that I look pale.  It help.

The did add that the mother wished her to have a strong spirit as well.  Makes for a good example for the kids.

But this is NOT a kid's movie.

There are few moments that are a little gross.  The dark forest, while it didn't have rodents of unusual size, had some creepy moments.

The evil queen also has some icky snack choices.

Plus she bathes in Elmer's glue.  With her crown on.  I leave my wedding ring on in  the shower, but that is some messed up stuff.

She has a brother by her side.  He is so creepy you don't see him in any of the advertising. 

Finally there is the Huntsman of the title.

He is rocking that tortured but dirty guy who helps save the day. 

But Snow White is no damsel in distress.  In the story it is all about getting Prince Charming and living happily ever after.

We get the apple.  We get the coma induced by the apple.  But this Snow White isn't wasting her waking on wedding plans.

She is kicking butt.

That was a nice change. 

It was a good movie.  Some moments of levity.  Great visual effects.  I liked it.