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.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Pages for Reviews

I organized my film reviews for easier reference... see the above tabs:
  • My "Take" (Reviews) -- An alphabetical listing with links to movie reviews published on this blog.
  • My ClearPlay Movie Reviews -- An alphabetical listing with links to movie reviews I've written for ClearPlay, published on their website.
    • Note: ClearPlay is a legal filtering company that has been around for nearly two decades. With ClearPlay, you can set what level of filtering you want for various content such as profanity, nudity, and violence. Filters are available through streaming, or with their patented Blu-Ray and DVD player. 
Stay tuned for more reviews to come!

Friday, May 19, 2017

Movie Soundtrack Earworms

Friday: Comic Relief

We watched Moana (2016) last Sunday, and I've had at least one song from the soundtrack caught in my head every day since. Moana earworms.

It started Monday morning with You're Welcome, a catchy tune sung by the demigod Maui (Dwayne Johnson). I mentioned the frustration to my husband, so he sang lyrics of Shiny, another song from the movie, in hopes that changing the tune would get the first song out of my head.

Nope. It only turned my earworm into a medley of both songs.

I looked up ways to get rid of earworms:
  • Chew gum.
  • Sing another song. 
  • Listen to another song.
  • Chat with someone.
  • Meditate.
  • Visualize changing the channel inside your head to another song.
  • Look up the lyrics.
  • Listen to the song all the way through.
  • Read a book.
  • Do a puzzle.
  • Relax. The earworm will pass.
That last one annoys me the most... the earworm will pass? Maybe someday, but it's now day six. I've tried every one of those suggestions and somehow only succeeded in adding yet another Moana tune to the medley, How Far I'll Go.

Maybe writing this blog post will help. Maybe it will pass those Shiny earworms on to you. You better believe it... yes, that's How Far I'll Go. And if you find those songs stuck in your head... well... what can I say except you're welcome! ...

... And thank you!

Dwayne Johnson - You're Welcome (from Moana)

Monday, May 8, 2017

Creativity Inside the Box

Monday: Dialogue, Lines, or Quotes

M. Night Shyamalan, writer and director of The Sixth Sense (1999), said,
"I believe in the process of limitations forcing creativity. It's important to have walls to work against."
I enjoy blog challenges because creativity flows from limiting posts to topics based on specific writing prompts and guidelines. Limitations spawn creativity.

We like to believe anything is possible and want to dream big, so it's easy to assume having no boundaries is a good thing. We hear the slogan "think outside the box" and forget how the very factors that seemingly box us in--boundaries, limitations, guidelines, deadlines--actually generate creativity. Thinking inside the box sparks ideas.

For instance, the April Blogging from A to Z Challenge gives guidelines to post with a specific letter on certain days throughout the month of April. Since this is a film blog, I added another boundary... each post needed to include at least one movie reference. And another limitation came by following a theme, Food in Film.

The letter K proved difficult, but thinking of my boundaries...
  • food 
  • starting with the letter K
  • appearing in a movie
...gave birth to one of my favorite posts during the challenge: Food in Film: Kibble.

This was my third year of participating in and completing the A to Z Challenge. Each year thinking inside the box stimulated additional ideas for future A to Z posts. Based on that growing list of ideas, I have film-related themes for 12 more of the yearly challenge!

Shyamalan's words ring true, "It's important to have walls to work against." Limitations generate creativity.

(Click here for links to all my A to Z posts, or click on the tab above.)

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Food in Film: Zagnut

Blogging from A to Z Challenge

A food addict and connoisseur of tasteful films reviews Food in Film, starring...

… Zagnut

The crunchy peanut butter and coconut candy bar was a delicious treat when I was a kid. I haven't eaten one in years, but I can still imagine the taste.

In The Great Outdoors (1988), Chet (John Candy) wants a bonding father/son moment with his youngest son. He drives to a garbage dump where the bears are known to forage, but the boy seems unimpressed. So... Chet tosses Zagnut bars to the bears, then places one on the hood of their vehicle. The bears get closer alright.

I would never entice a bear closer. I read the "Bear Etiquette" pamphlet given to us while camping in The Grand Teton National Park. The instructions included:
  • Never approach a bear. Okay. I have no problem with that rule. 
  • Never allow a bear to get human food. If approached while eating, put food away and retreat to a safe distance. Sorry, but if I'm approached while eating, I am not taking time to put the food away!!
  • Never abandon food because of an approaching bear. Always take it with you. Yeah, right. This is too much like the previous one. Let's see... a bear approaches me because I have yummy food, how does taking said yummy food with me solve anything? 
  • Never throw your pack or food at a bear in an attempt to distract it.  Sorry again, but I'm all for throwing anything (except a family member) at a bear if it will take its attention off me!
So go ahead, Chet, throw the Zagnuts to attract the bears... I will be running the opposite direction while you distract them.

From Apples to Zagnut, that's a wrap on my Food in Film theme, and the 2017 A to Z Challenge.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Food in Film: Yolk

Blogging from A to Z Challenge

A food addict and connoisseur of tasteful films reviews Food in Film, starring...

… Yolk

A rotten egg breaks all over Templeton the Rat (Steve Buscemi, voice). The barn animals react to the horrid smell and he puns, "The yolks on me!" (Charlotte's Web, 2006)

Mind if I shell out some egg "yolks"?

The wording might not be eggs-act, but two men place a breakfast order in a diner. One orders cow's tongue and the other responds, "Eewww! How can you eat something that came from a cow's mouth?" Then he places his order, "I'll have the eggs."

Why can't you tease egg whites? They can't take a yolk.

As I've mentioned before, life is what comedy is made of... One day I dropped a trayful of eggs while removing them from the refrigerator. My husband reacted, "What's going on?"

Looking at the broken yolks around my feet, I responded, "Apparently I'm ovulating."

Scene: The yolks on Templeton.