Friday, December 16, 2016

Comic Relief: Home Alone Parody

Friday: Comic Relief


I love this Studio C sketch. Never leave Kevin home alone this time of year!

Kevin Defends the Apartment

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Take 33: Silent Night

My "take" on a film.


Silent Night (2012)


"The powerful true story behind the most
popular Christmas carol of all time."

As a new assistant priest, Joseph Mohr (Carsten Clemens) wants the church to connect with the common people of Austria with sermon and song in German (instead of Latin). He wants people to understand the services, but his methods, which include allowing a female in the church choir, lead him to the verge of disciplinary action. 

Early in his ministry, a religious leader counseled, "If you want to keep hope alive, you must never lose hope yourself." Yet, the night before Christmas, Mohr struggles with possible defeat, and as he walks through the snow, wondering about his future, he feels inspired to put one of his poems to music. 

Enlisting the help of musician and church organist, Franz Gruber (Markus von Lingen), they combine talents to create--in one night--a lullaby to perform for the upcoming Midnight Mass. Mohr hopes the people "will remember this Christmas for years to come."

Thank you, Joseph and Franz, for my favorite Christmas hymn, Silent Night.

And thank you, Christian Vuissa for the beautiful film. 


I met Christian, an Austrian filmmaker, several years ago. He was passionate about the history behind the beloved hymn and it shows in the film. The stunning Austrian location, beautifully composed shots, and the editing pace--never lingering too long on one scene--move the fascinating story.

This film will air on BYU-TV (Mountain Standard Time)
December 11, 7:00 p.m.
December 12, 12:00 a.m.
December 12, 12:00 p.m.

Or watch it now on byutv.org (link): Silent Night (2012).


Monday, November 14, 2016

Slow movie vs wall-to-wall action

Monday: Dialogue, Lines, or Quotes


"A slow movie that closely observes human beings and their relationships can be endlessly fascinating, while a thriller with nonstop wall-to-wall action can be boring, because it is all relentlessly pitched at the same tone." (Roger Ebert)

I've seen action packed films that I count as gaggers, yet I get so used to fast paced movies and television, that when I watch a slower paced flick, I feel impatient. But, if I relax and let the story unfold at its leisure, I usually find, like Ebert said, the movie to be endlessly fascinating.

And memorable.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Dialogue from not-so-scary movies.

Monday: Dialogue, Lines, or Quotes

Today is Halloween, so I selected some fun dialogue:


ERNEST (Jim Varney)
(sees Trantor the Troll)
Oh, I sure hope you're from Keebler!


Hocus Pocus (1993):

WINIFRED (Bette Midler)
Oh look, another glorious morning.
Makes me sick!



DR. FRANKENSTEIN (Gene Wilder)
STAND BACK! ... HE'S GOT A ROTTEN BRAIN!

FRAU BLÜCHER (Cloris Leachman)
It's not rotten! It's a good brain!

DR. FRANKENSTEIN
IT'S ROTTEN, I TELL YOU, ROTTEN!

THE MONSTER (Peter Boyle)
(lunging at the doctor)
RRAAAAAA!

IGOR (Marty Feldman)
Ixnay on the ottenray.


Casper (1995):
KAT (Christina Ricci)
I can see right through you.

CASPER (Malachi Pearson)
Yeah, kind of happens when
you haven't got any skin.


Beetlejuice (1988):
ADAM (Alec Baldwin)
(reading)
"Handbook of the Recently Diseased".

BARBARA (Geena Davis)
... Deceased.

ADAM
Deceased?

BARBARA
I don't know where it came from.
Look at the publisher.

ADAM
"Handbook for the Recently
Deceased Press".

BARBARA
You know what? I don't think
we survived the crash!

Have a happy and safe Halloween!


Thursday, October 27, 2016

Costumes for the Coneheads.

Writing Prompt: A memorable Halloween costume.

In keeping with the focus of this blog, I considered costumes in film, and Coneheads (1993) rose to the top. Although donning a fake dome makes for a fun Halloween costume, I refer to the costumes the characters wear within the movie.

Aliens from the planet Remulak crash-land on Earth. Stranded, and awaiting rescue, they blend among the "blood skulls" (humans) by using the name DeCicco and claiming they are from France. Like that explains their cone-shaped heads.

An immigration official and his assistant suspect the DeCicco family are aliens--illegal aliens. They hope to catch the family off guard by entering their home under the pretense of being Jehovah's Witnesses.

The Coneheads don't typically disguise their odd head shape, but on this night they are dressed for a costume party, inadvertently hiding their cones:

Beldar, dressed as Abraham Lincoln, wears a tall top hat. Prymatt's painted-red cone poses as lipstick in a tube. And their daughter, Connie, appears dressed as a medieval princess wearing a hennin (cone shaped hat). Perfect--and memorable--costumes for the Coneheads.

What movie comes to mind when you think of characters wearing costumes?



Writing prompt from:

Friday, October 21, 2016

Questionable Dating Advice

Friday: Comic Relief!

It's been a tough week, so I turned to Studio C for comic relief. In this sketch, The Phantom receives dating advice.



Monday, October 10, 2016

True courage.

Monday: Dialogue, Lines, or Quotes


In Peaceful Warrior (2006), Nick Nolte's character, Socrates, gives wise insight:
"A warrior is not about perfection, or victory, or invulnerabilityHe's about absolute vulnerability. That's the only true courage." 

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Action


Wednesday: Point of View

(I found this in my drafts and it's a post that I needed today.) ...............

Action.

Imagine if Joan Wilder (Romancing the Stone) remained in her New York City apartment searching for tissue and feeding her cat. Or if Jean Valjean (Les Misérables) spent his time curled up in a ball, whining. We wouldn't feel engaged in their problem, or really care about them much.

At some point in compelling stories, the main characters take action to solve their problems. The idea or solution might come from an outside source, but the characters act on it--even when it pushes them out of their comfort zone--and we cheer for their success.

Think of a favorite movie. How did the main character take action to solve his or her dilemma? Did it make the character more interesting and likable?

I think of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. When Walter leaps onto the helicopter as it takes off, I thrill over his courage. His story becomes far more interesting at that point.

We are the characters in our own life story, and taking action to solve our dilemmas can make us more interesting, too.
Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy. Dale Carnegie
As I said... I needed this. Lately I've been rolling along letting circumstances dictate direction. I don't want to be that character. It's time to take action.

What kind of character are you in your life story?


Thursday, July 14, 2016

Wish in one hand.

Writing Prompt: Write a blog post inspired by the word: wish



Geppeto wishes for a real boy, Aladdin's genie grants wishes, and in The Princess Bride (1987) Westley expresses love for Buttercup when he tells her, "As you wish."

Here's to "wish" in cinematic dialogue...


GUS PORTOKALOS
There are two kinds of people -- Greeks,
and everyone else who wish they was Greek.

I don't wish I was Greek, but I certainly wish to vacation there!


In Divergent (2014), citizens are classified as: Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), Erudite (the intelligent), Abnegation (the selfless), and Candor (the honest).

TRIS PRIOR
"Candor" value honesty and order.
They tell the truth,
even when you wish they wouldn't.

Yep, the truth can hurt.


I love Dory in Finding Nemo (2003). She's already conversed in whale, but awhile later when Marlin tries the language, she says...

DORY
Wow. I wish I could speak whale…

Sadly, sometimes my memory resembles hers. 

Where was I? Oh yeah..


From Jack Reacher (2012)...

JACK REACHER
… Look at the people.
Now tell me which ones are free.
Free from debt. Anxiety. Stress. Fear.
Failure. Indignity. Betrayal.
How many wish that they were
born knowing what they know now?

Count me in, Jack! Oh the mistakes I could correct... but then again... I'd just make new ones.


Did you pin any teen idols on your wall? I had Bobby Sherman, and Davy Jones in my room, so I get a kick out of this scene from The Parent Trap (1961). As Sharon watches Susan put a picture on the wall, she asks...

SHARON McKENDRICK
Who's that?

SUSAN EVERS
Are you kidding? Ricky Nelson?

SHARON McKENDRICK
Oh, your boyfriend.

SUSAN EVERS
I wish he was! You mean you've never
heard of him? Where do ya come from? 
Outer space?


A fun line from Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011)...

JACK SPARROW
Captain, I wish to report a mutiny.
I can name fingers and point names.


In this scene, the Goonies (Goonies, 1985) gather coins from a wishing well, but Stef tells them to stop. Data and Mikey ask her "why?"

STEF
Because these are somebody else's wishes.
They're somebody else's dreams.

MOUTH
Yeah, but you know what?
This one,this one right here.
This was my dream, my wish.
And it didn't come true.
So I'm taking it back.
I'm taking them all back.

I tossed a coin in the Trevi Fountain with a wish to return to Rome. Hasn't happened yet. I'm still wishing.


A dear friend recently passed away, so I can relate to Forrest (Tom Hanks) when he speaks to Jenny's grave (Forrest Gump, 1994)...

FORREST GUMP
Mama always said, dying was a part of life.
I sure wish it wasn't.

Me too, Forrest. I wish that too.


Jiminy Cricket sings, "When you wish upon a star, makes no difference who you are, anything your heart desires will come to you." 

Um hmm, right.  Well, my mama always said, "Wish in one hand and spit in the other. See which one fills up fastest."


Writing prompt from:

Monday, June 27, 2016

Wise words from a red panda.

Monday: Dialogue, Lines, or Quotes

Words that make me go, "Hmmm..."

In Kung Fu Panda 3, Master Shifu (a red panda) tells Po:
If you only do what you can do, you'll never be better than what you are. 
Tell me about a time you moved beyond what you thought you could do!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Take 32: In the Heart of the Sea

Tuesday: My "take" on a film.



"Based on the incredible true story that inspired Moby Dick."

A massive white whale attacks and destroys a ship under the command of an inexperienced, prideful, and greedy captain. Herman Melville's novel, Moby Dick, is a fictionalized version of this actual event. Directed by Ron Howard, In the Heart of the Sea portrays the story of the 1820s disastrous expedition of the whaling ship Essex, and Melville's desire to write the tale.

The film opens with Herman Melville (Ben Whishaw) arriving in Nantucket where he coaxes the full account from Tom Nickerson (Brendan Gleeson), the last living survivor of the ill-fated voyage. The story flashes back to the time of his youth as they prepare to sail, and resurfaces periodically to the aged Nickerson recounting the events to Melville, purging his soul of suppressed ghastly memories.

HERMAN MELVILLE
The Devil loves unspoken secrets,
especially those that fester in a man's soul.

Benjamin Walker portrays the ship's captain, George Pollard, a man who came to that title mainly by family status. His Nantucket bloodline runs deep, a fact he holds over First Mate Owen Chase (Chris Hemsworth), an implant to the island--a "landsman"--descendant of farmers. They clash in leadership styles but share traits of arrogance and greed.

I found the story and movie more interesting than Moby Dick (but admittedly, I haven't given that novel much effort since high school lit). And, at risk of showing my ignorance, I didn't know Moby Dick came from a true story until learning about this film. 

The quality cinematography and special effects, along with some enormous action, kept my interest despite a few slows scenes of the crew adrift. It's worth watching this (can't resist the phrase)...whale of a tale.



Notes on content:
  • No sexual situations or nudity except for a risqué figure of a woman carved in whalebone.
  • Some mild swearing, numerous religious profanities and vain references to Deity.
  • Violence of whale harpooning, some bloody scenes especially while butchering a whale for the blubber. Later, violence of the whale attacks, along with death and injuries. Disturbing images of the emaciated crew adrift, and implied abhorrent methods of survival (not shown on screen).

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Movie locations inspire vacation destinations.

Writing Prompt: Write a blog post inspired by the word: vacation.

Sometimes a film's breathtaking or intriguing location implants a desire to vacation there.


Here are some vacations of my dreams and the films that fueled them.

GREECE
  • The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (2005), a somewhat forgettable movie, except for the scenes of Greece. When Lena (Alexis Biedel) rides a donkey up a path surrounded by blue domed white-washed buildings with glimpses of the deep blue sea while iconic Greek music plays, well… it calls out to me.
Start at 0:38
  • The same with Mamma Mia! (2008). The main thing I remember is the beautiful scenery, and my desire to go there.

POSITANO, ITALY
  • The film Only You (1994) highlights beautiful areas of Italy, but my favorite scenes take place in Positano. Breathtaking. 
  • Under the Tuscan Sun (2003) also has a short scene in Positano.
Because of those films, when I went to Italy on an internship a few years ago, I made sure to visit Positano. Unfortunately  I only had about 45 minutes to enjoy it, and I still feel gypped. I could spend days there. Homes and buildings ascend the hillside connected by stairways everywhere. (I love stairs!) They say you don't walk to your neighbor's home, you climb. I want to return while I can physically handle it.

AUSTRALIA
The locations and scenery in those films entice me to visit there. My husband and I dream of taking a train ride across that grand continent.

MONTANA
Exotic places sound wonderful, but when I want Shangri-La, I go to Montana. Whenever I visit the Bitterroot Valley, a calmness washes over me. I feel peace. Films depicting Montana make me ache for the "big sky state."

Have movie locations inspired your vacation destinations?

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

It's my job!

Wednesday: Point of View

A company promoting family friendly films asked me to write reviews for their website, giving me an excellent excuse for frequent movie-time. (More on that in a future post.)

So... yesterday our handyman (and long-time friend) arrived to tile our bathroom floor. After discussing the back-breaking chore, I told him, "If you need me, I'll be downstairs working. Don't judge me… I'll be watching a movie."

"What? You're going to watch a movie while I'm up here slaving away?"

I laughed, "Hey, you chose your job, and I chose mine!"

It's a tough job but somebody's gotta do it, right?

I love my work.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Something I noticed...

I participated in the April Blogging from A to Z Challenge with a theme of "Making movie lines our own," and as I shared family stories about certain movie quotes, I noticed something: a majority of memorable lines my family use are from animated movies and/or films from the 90s.

Interesting.

What's with that?

I reflected on that during the past week and realized…

… The lines that stuck with us are from movies watched when our kids were young (in the 90s), which of course included many animated films. Watching and laughing with them made lines memorable.

… Most of the lines we quote are from comedies, and unfortunately it's harder to find good clean comedy from the past couple decades.

… Animated films use such clever dialogue. Those lines stick!

… Lines don't linger with me as much nowadays as I've gotten, well... older. I can remember things from years past but can't recall what movie I watched last week. (Wait, did we watch one last week??)
How about you? Do most of your favorite quotes come from a certain genre or decade(s)?

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Zee End.

Blogging from A to Z Challenge.
Theme: Making movie lines our own.

Zee End

(Read like a phony foreign accent, "Zee End.")

We are at "zee end" of the 2016 A to Z Challenge, so here are some favorite last lines -- lines at "zee end" of the film.

Gone With the Wind (1939)...

SCARLETT (Vivien Leigh)
Tara! Home. I'll go home, and I'll think of some way
to get him back! After all, tomorrow is another day!


JOHN L. SULLIVAN (Joel McCrea)
There's a lot to be said for making people laugh!
Did you know that's all some people have?
It isn't much, but it's better than
nothing in this cockeyed caravan! Boy!


The Quiet Man (1952)

MICHALEEN FLYNN (Barry Fitzgerald)
No patty fingers, if you please. 
The proprieties at all times.
Hold on to your hats.


BUTCH CASSIDY (Robert Redford)
Oh, good. For a moment there, 
I thought we were in trouble.


The Sting (1973)

HENRY GONDORFF (Paul Newman)
You not gonna stick around for your share?

JOHNNY HOOKER (Robert Redford)
Naah. I'd only blow it.



DR. EMMETT BROWN (Christopher Lloyd)
Roads? Where we're going, we don't need roads.



MOSES (Bill Cobbs)
And that's the story of how Norville Barnes
climbed waaay up to the forty-fourth floor
of the Hudsucker Building, and then fell
all the way down, but didn't quite squish
hisself. You know, they say there was a man
who jumped from the forty-FIFTH floor? 
But that's another story...


Spider-Man (2002)

PETER PARKER (Tobey Maguire)
Whatever life holds in store for me, 
I will never forget these words: 
"With great power comes great
responsibility." This is my gift.
My curse. Who am I? I'm Spider-Man.


The Help (2011)

AIBILEEN CLARK (Viola Davis)
God says we need to love our enemies.
It hard to do. But it can start by telling
the truth. No one had ever asked me
what it feel like to be me. Once I told
the truth about that, I felt free. 
And I got to thinking about all the
people I know. And the things I seen
and done. My boy Trelaw always said
we gonna have a writer in the family
one day. I guess it's gonna be me.

Friday, April 29, 2016

You hate them compared to how much I like them.

Blogging from A to Z Challenge.
Theme: Making movie lines our own.



"You hate them compared to how much I like them."

The following is one of my favorite scenes in Madagascar (2005). The lemurs gather in a meeting and discuss the four escaped New York zoo animals (which they refer to as New York Giants) who ended up in Madagascar. 


JULIEN (Sacha Baron Cohen, voice)
Curiosity about our guests,
the New York Giants...
(calls on a lemur)
...Yes, Willie!

WILLIE (Cody Cameron, voice)
I like them!

MORT (Andy Richter, voice)
I like them! I like them!
I liked them first. Before I even
met them, I liked them!
I saw them, I liked them right away.
You hate them compared to
how much I like them!

My husband is a competitive guy and can turn just about anything into a competition. When I say, "I love you," he responds with, "I love you more." 

And I'm telling you right now, don't sit next to him during a game of Uno unless you can tolerate someone slamming a Draw Four on the card pile with a shout of, "Die, Sucker!"

So, yes, this line is a favorite of his.

Me: I like that raspberry jam.
Him: You hate that jam compared to how much I like it.

Me: I enjoy Sunday afternoon naps.
Him: I enjoy naps! You hate naps compared to how much I enjoy them!

Me: I love the beach.
Him: I loved it first! Before I even met the beach, I loved it. You hate the beach compared to how much I love it!

Good thing I love the guy. I know it's all in fun and we laugh together over it, otherwise I would be tempted to respond in the same way King Julien responds to Mort, "Oh, shut up! You're so annoying!"


Thursday, April 28, 2016

X never, ever marks the spot.

Blogging from A to Z Challenge.
Theme: Making movie lines our own.



"X never, ever marks the spot."

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989):

Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) tells his university students, "X never, ever marks the spot." Then later he follows Roman Numerals 1 through 10 to a vital clue beneath the 10... a huge X.

Wouldn't it be nice in the journey of life if X marked the spot, indicating we have arrived, or we're at least on the right track?

And a huge X might come in handy when searching for lost keys, misplaced reading glasses, or where we parked the car.

But alas, Indiana's initial observation seems correct, "X never, ever marks the spot."


"X never, ever marks the spot" at approx 0:15

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Whoa. Is my hair out?

Blogging from A to Z Challenge.
Theme: Making movie lines our own.


"Whoa. Is my hair out?"

Fire burns atop Hade's head in Hercules (1997). In one scene, Hades (voice of James Woods) shouts orders, "Guys! Get your Titanic rears in gear and kick some Olympian butt!" As he shouts, Pegasus flies up behind him and blows the blue flame out. Hades reaches up to his bare scalp, asking, "Whoa. Is my hair out?"

One night our family ate at Subway where my husband had a sandwich with extra jalapeños causing his head to sweat. Afterwards, as we walked to the car, a streetlight cast him in silhouette allowing us to see the heat vapors rising from his bald head!

When the kids and I explained our laughter, he looked at his reflection in the car window and quipped, "Whoa. Is my hair out?"




Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Villainous lines.

Blogging from A to Z Challenge.
Theme: Making movie lines our own.


Villainous Lines

Sometimes we want perpetually smooth lives, but a good story needs an antagonist--someone (or something) that gets in the way of the of the protagonist's goal. Villains play a vital role in films, mwahaha, and although I usually don't make their lines my own, they often have memorable dialogue:

(In alphabetical order)

Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)...
(Click here for "My Take")


ULTRON (James Spader)
I know you're good people.
I know you mean well.
But you just didn't think it through.
There is only one path to peace...
your extinction.


Batman (1989)


THE JOKER (Jack Nicholson)
Ever danced with the Devil
in the pale moonlight?


Batman Returns (1992)...

PENGUIN (Danny DeVito)
They wouldn't put me on a pedestal, 
so I'm layin' 'em on a slab!



YZMA (voice of Eartha Kitt)
I'll turn him into a flea, a harmless
little flea, and then I'll put that flea
in a box, and then I'll put that box 
inside another box, and then I'll
mail that box to myself, and
when it arrives...
(laughs)
...I'll smash it with a hammer!
It's brilliant, brilliant, brilliant,
I tell you! Genius I say!...
...Or, to save on postage, I'll just
poison him with this.


The Help (2011)...

Hilly Holbrook (Bryce Dallas Howard)
I specifically said, "Drop old coats
at my house", not commodes!


The Incredibles (2004)...

SYNDROME (Jason Lee)
Oh, ho ho! You sly dog!
You got me monologuing!
I can't believe it...

Les Misérables (2012)...

JAVERT (Russell Crowe)
And I'm Javert! Do not forget
my name. Do not forget me, 24601.


Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)...


SARUMAN (Christopher Lee)
Hunt them down. Do not stop
until they are found. You do not
know pain, you do not know fear.
You will taste man-flesh.



SHERIFF OF NOTTINGHAM (Alan Rickman)
Cancel the kitchen scraps for lepers
and orphans, no more merciful
beheadings, and call off Christmas.


¡Three Amigos! (1986)...


EL GUAPO (Alfonso Arau)
Well, you told me I have a plethora.
And I just would like to know if you
know what a plethora is. I would not
like to think that a person would tell
someone he has a plethora, and then
find out that that person has "no idea"
what it means to have a plethora.