Thursday, October 15, 2020

Again with the movies!

Writing prompt: Write a blog post inspired by the word: again. 

We were booked to go on a cruise in August but it was cancelled, so my husband decided to use the scheduled time-off for a staycation. What a relaxing time full of reading, relaxing, and re-watching movies!

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Here are some films we had seen before but watched again:

  • The Goodbye Girl (1977)
    • I adore the writing for this movie. Such clever dialogue! And top notch performances. Richard Dreyfuss won an Oscar for Best Actor for his role in this film.
  • Cast Away (2000)
    • I didn't remember this movie being such a downer. Good movie, but mostly depressing. This recent viewing was my third time watching it and that's enough.
  • The Kid (2000)
    • When I wrote about Kid Humor during the April A to Z Challenge, a reader, Sue, reminded me about The Kid and its snappy dialogue. Ever since she made that comment, I'd been wanting to see it again. Such a good film. (Sue's blog: Suzanne Blazier: A Movie for Every Mood)
  • McLintock (1963)
    • My taste has definitely changed. I thought I liked this show, but upon seeing it again... ugh.
  • Ben-Hur (1959)
    • It's a long one, but sooo good.
  • The Holiday (2006)
    • Why'd we watch this one again? *shrugs shoulders* I think because we happened to stumble across it while surfing streaming movies, but I especially like Jack Black's character. 
  • Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins (1985)
    • I was surprised how much I liked this movie the first time I saw it. I've watched it multiple times since, and always wished they would continue making the Remo Williams series. Not sure why Joel Grey was selected to portray the Asian character Chiun, but he does a superb job in the role.
  • Oscar (1991)
    • If you've followed my blog much, you probably have already guessed this is one of my favorite comedies!
  • The Shop Around the Corner (1940)
    • Our daughter came to our house for a pajama-time movie. Her husband didn't want to watch this with her, so when the kids were settled for the night, she drove to our house to watch it with us. (Kurt and I had to take a nap earlier so we could stay awake late!) I'm glad we watched it again, I had forgotten some of the humorous scenes.
  • True Lies (1994)
    • I mentioned this movie when I wrote about Honesty or Blunt Truth used for comedy, so when a television channel aired an edited version of this film, we recorded it to watch again. 
  • A Hard Day's Night (1964)
    • When I wrote about Running Gags, John Holton (The Sound of One Hand Typing) commented about a running gag involving Paul's grandfather in this film, so I wanted to see it again. Watching this as an adult was more fun than when I saw it as a kid. I caught more of the humor this time.
A movie I'd love to see again but can't find it anywhere (probably because it was a TV movie)... A Place to Call Home (1987) starring Linda Lavin. In the film, a man moves his wife and eleven children from their home in Houston to a sheep station in Australia, and then abandons them. If you ever come across this movie, please let me know!

What movie(s) would you like to see again? 

Writing prompt from:


Monday, September 21, 2020

One small adjustment away.

 Monday: Dialogue, Lines, or Quotes

I love when movie dialogue touches on something weighing on my mind. Such was the case while watching How Do You Know (2010).

In a heartfelt scene, George (Paul Rudd) gives Lisa (Reese Witherspoon) a birthday gift. She carefully unwraps it and discovers a can of Play-Doh. She's a bit confused.

George explains that part of the gift is the story, which is... the dough was originally sold as a wallpaper cleaner for getting soot off the walls, but when people switched to natural gas (instead of coal), the product sales dropped and the company floundered. A relative who taught at a nursery school suggested they market the squishy substance as a child's toy... Play-Doh.

And then comes the profound line:

GEORGE
So... I have kept this for a long time
...as proof that we are all just one small
adjustment away from making our lives work.

Just one small adjustment away! I love that.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Take 41: Just Mercy

Tuesday: My "take" on a film.


Just Mercy (2019)


Every generation has its hero. Meet ours.


(Based on a true story, and currently streaming free of charge through FandangoNow and Amazon Prime.)

I read the book in February (Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson) and pondered on it for weeks after. Then, with the issues of race and justice currently raging across our nation, I felt a pull to watch the movie, too.

Bryan Stevenson is a lawyer from Delaware who founded the Equal Justice Initiative (a nonprofit law office in Montgomery, Alabama) and has "dedicated his career to helping the poor, the incarcerated, and the condemned."*

The film mainly focuses on the case of Walter McMillian (Jamie Foxx), a man unfairly tried and convicted for a crime he didn't commit. In fact, he was put on death row even before his trial, and had been in prison for six years by the time he meets Bryan Stevenson (Michael B. Jordan).

When Bryan first interviews him as a potential client, Walter has very little (if any) hope that the efforts of this young lawyer will make a difference. He underestimates Bryan's tenacity and drive.

The injustices and lies uncovered regarding Walter's original trial are maddening! We are all children of God, and it breaks my heart to see such blatant disregard of human rights. It's not an easy film to watch, at times, but so worth it.

I love what Bryan tells the US Senate during a hearing on the Death Penalty:
BRYAN STEVENSON
Through this work, I've learned that each of us is more than the worst thing we've ever done; that the opposite of poverty isn't wealth, the opposite of poverty is justice; that the character of our nation isn't reflected on how we treat the rich and the privileged, but how we treat the poor, the disfavored, and condemned.
Well-said, Mr. Stevenson, well-said.


Notes on Content:
  • No sex and no full nudity. A man is stripped searched, and shown bare from the waist up.
  • Threats at gunpoint, fistfights. A prisoner is placed in the electric chair and prepared for execution... his death is not fully shown on screen, but the intensity is there.
  • Language includes racial slurs, derogatory remarks, and some mild swearing (no f-words).

https://eji.org/bryan-stevenson




Friday, June 12, 2020

Food in Film: Lamb

Friday: Comic Relief

I came across the draft of a  post I had intended to use during the 2017 Blogging from A to Z Challenge with my Food in Film theme. It would have been used for the letter L -- Lamb -- but I went with "Lobster" instead.

Still... why waste the post? It can give some comic relief.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

I love this scene in My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002) when Ian Miller (John Corbett) meets Toula Portokalos' (Nia Vardalos) Aunt Voula (Andrea Martin).

AUNT VOULA
Ok ok. Why don't you come to
my house and I cook for you.

TOULA
That may be a problem.

AUNT VOULA
Why it a problem? Don't you tell him
I'm the best cook in the family?

TOULA
Oh, I did.

IAN
Twice!

TOULA
Ian is a vegetarian. He doesn't eat meat.

AUNT VOULA
He don't eat no meat?

TOULA
No, he doesn't eat meat.

AUNT VOULA
What do you mean he don't eat no meat?

(Everyone in the room stops and stares.)

AUNT VOULA (cont'd)
Oh that's ok. That's ok, I make lamb!


I used to eat lamb when I was little. Lamb chops, leg of lamb. But when I was in high school, I went with my mother to a neighboring town to pick up a lamb from a slaughter house. It had been killed and skinned in preparation for my parents to cut and wrap in freezer paper.

The skinned animal, cloaked in a white bed sheet, was loaded into the back of our station wagon and we drove 30 miles home with the smell of the carcass attacking my senses.

I was no stranger to the butchering of our own meat. Our kitchen table turned butcher table numerous times. I'd even helped my brothers skin deer. But something about the smell of that lamb made me so nauseas I have not been able to eat that type of meat since.

So even if I was a vegetarian and your Greek aunt wanted to cook meat for me anyway, please don't let it be lamb!


(To find my 2017 Food in Film posts, click here and scroll down.)