Monday, October 16, 2017

Lack of perfection.

Monday: Dialogue, Lines, or Quotes

In his book My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business, Dick Van Dyke shares what helped him land the role of Rob Petrie:
Over the years, I have heard and read about other actors they considered, including Johnny Carson. I have also heard and read various accounts of why they liked me. My favorites? I wasn't too good-looking, I walked a little funny, and I was basically kind of average and ordinary.
I guess my lack of perfection turned out to be a winning hand. Let that be a lesson for future generations. 
 And let that be a lesson for me. Success does not require perfection.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Comic Relief: Ryan Hamilton

Friday: Comic Relief

Surfing Netflix, I came across a comedian I had never heard of: Ryan Hamilton. He's been a guest on talk shows, named one of Rolling Stone's Five Comics to Watch, plus he's from my home state (Idaho), yet somehow I he was new to me.

His refreshingly clean comedy gave me much needed laughter. Thank you, Ryan!

Here's the trailer to his Netflix special:

Trailer: Ryan Hamilton: Happy Face

Monday, September 18, 2017

Never give up.

Monday: Dialogue, Lines, or Quotes

I love when movie dialogue resonates. Sometimes it's easy to give up after failing, but we truly only fail when we give up.

From Megan Leavey (2017):
MEGAN'S DAD
There are a few people in life... not many... that you gotta find a way for. If you needed something, I would do whatever it took... not because I'm any kind of great dad... but because how I love you is stronger than when I'm not. I want you to be a person who shows up... for work... for your friend's funerals... for life.
MEGAN
I've tried. I've failed.
MEGAN'S DAD
So fail again. And just keep failing until... they're... tossing dirt on your corpse. 

Friday, August 18, 2017

Working on another blog page.

Friday: Comic Relief

Just a quick update. I am working on another page for this blog. It lists the movies referenced on here over the years, along with links to the posts referencing the movie (some movies are referenced in more than one post). The project is taking longer than I expected (of course), and I seem to hear King Julien shouting... "How long is this going to take?"

 (Madagascar, 2005)

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

The 50 United States of Filming.

In honor of Independence Day, I created a list of movies filmed in each state. I have visited all 50 of the United States and each one has its own beauty and charm... and filming locations.

Except where noted, these movies were filmed entirely in that particular state according to IMDb (I linked each title to the listed filming locations).

So if you see these films, know that the scenery really is from the state it was filmed in. For instance, if you watch Runaway Bride, all locations are in Maryland (think that's NYC? Nope, it's Baltimore posing). Whereas if you watch Dances with Wolves, you'll see lots of South Dakota, but also Nebraska, Wyoming, and Kansas (thus the movie did not make this list).

As much as possible,  I selected feature-length narrative films that showed in theaters rather than documentaries and small independent flicks.

And of course, this is not perfect or all-incluseive. Sometimes I found copious films to choose from so I limited the selection to three or four, and other times it seemed like scraping the bottom of the barrel to find one or two (a good indication those particular states don't offer decent film incentives).

(NOTE: Many of these movies contain content I would not recommend.)


Alabama:

Alaska:

Arizona:  

(Popular state for filming!)

Arkansas:

California

(No surprise... there are pages and pages of movies filmed exclusively in California, so I selected some with plots linked to the movie industry.)

Colorado:

Connecticut:

Delaware

(This state only recently formed a film commission, so maybe we'll see more films there in the future.)

Florida:

Georgia:

Hawaii:

Idaho:

Illinois:

Indiana:

Iowa:

Kansas:

Louisiana:

Maine:

Maryland:

Massachusetts:

Michigan:

Minnesota:

Mississippi:

Missouri:

Montana:

Nebraska:

Nevada:

New Hampshire:

New Jersey:

New Mexico:

New York

(Many, many movies filmed in New York, so I selected three with themes of Broadway.)

North Carolina:

North Dakota:

Ohio:

Oklahoma:

Oregon: 

(Popular state for filming with many filmed exclusively in Oregon.)

Pennsylvania:

Rhode Island:

South Carolina:

South Dakota:

Tennessee:

Texas:

Utah:

Vermont:

Virginia:

Washington:

West Virginia:

Wisconsin:

Wyoming:


Well? Did the list hold any surprises for you?



Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Take 35: Apollo 13

Tuesday: My "take" on a film.


Apollo 13 (1995)


"Houston, we have a problem."


This film earned a spot in Roger Ebert's 33 Movies to Restore Your Faith in Humanity. With that in mind, I rewatched the movie to see if Ebert is right. And he is.

Based on an actual event, Ron Howard directed the film with great attention to detail as it portrays the near-fatal voyage of Apollo 13 when an oxygen tank explosion cripples the spacecraft with astronauts Jim Lovell (Tom Hanks), Fred Haise (Bill Paxton), and Jack Swigert (Kevin Bacon) aboard.

So how does this film restore faith in humanity? Through several facets. The flight crew pulls together in crisis, treating each other with respect. And Houston Mission Control reveals masterful creativity and ingenuity as they put their heads together for solutions. Ebert describes them as, "...men trained to do a job, and doing a better one than anyone could have imagined." Examples of teamwork and courage abound.

But the biggest boost for my faith in humanity came while watching people around the world worry, watch, and pray for the safe return of three stranded astronauts. Millions praying for three. That's humanity--universal humanity.

Trailer: Apollo 13

Notes on content:
  • The language is a bit strong for a PG film, with several vain references to Deity, and frequent mild to moderate swearing. A possible F-word, but not distinct.
  • A few sexual innuendos and references.
  • Some explosions in space and tense situations.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Enemy of art is the absence of limitations.

Monday: Dialogue, Lines, or Quotes


"The enemy of art is the absence of limitations." (Orson Welles)

Movies of yesteryear had more limitations, so filmmakers were creative with how they portrayed certain scenes. Hitchcock brought terror to his audience without showing graphic violence or gore. And in D.W. Griffith's silent film, Way Down East (1920), no crude language or vulgar images were necessary for the audience to grasp the meaning of a scoundrel's hand on an innocent girl's knee.

Too many of today's filmmakers buy into a no-holds-barred-push-the-envelope mentality and fall short in the creative department.

If filmmakers combined today's technology with yesteryear's stricter codes, we could have some incredibly creative films.