Friday, October 30, 2015

Comic Relief: Parody of Thrillers

Friday: Comic Relief

I've said it before and I'll say it again, scary movies scare me. I do, however, appreciate Alfred Hitchcock thrillers. He's a master of suspense. So with today needing Comic Relief and tomorrow being Halloween, and since I'd rather laugh than scream, here's a trailer for my favorite Mel Brooks comedy: High Anxiety (1977)... a parody of Alfred Hitchcock films (Psycho, Vertigo, The Birds, and others)

Have a happy, safe, and funny Halloween!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Ring in the dialogue.

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

In keeping with the theme of this blog, I thought it would be fun to find movies with ring in the dialogue.

Ready? … Line, please!

Okay, I've heard various versions of this nursery rhyme, but never quite like this from The Wizard of Oz (1939)...

Ring around the rosie, a pocket full of spears! 

I haven't seen The Book of Life (2014), but I got a chuckle out of this line when I noticed which character was speaking...

I was a beast in the ring.  A beast!

Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) has some great lines in Iron Man (2008)...

Iron Man. That's kind of catchy. It's got a nice 
ring to it. I mean it's not technically accurate.
The suit's a gold titanium alloy, but it's
kind of provocative, the imagery anyway.

Based on these two lines from Stardust (2007), we can get the impression of love and jealousy.

Do you know, Humphrey's going all 
the way to Ipswich to buy me a ring.

Ipswich? Victoria I'm talking about 
London or Paris or... A ring? 
Why is he... What kind of a ring?

And speaking of love, I gotta include The Notebook (2004)...

No, I made a promise to a man.  
He gave me a ring and I gave him my word.

Don't keel over from shock, but I've never watched Rocky (1976) or any of the sequels, and I need to, right? Knowing it's a story of triumph, I assume this line refers to Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone)...

Tonight, we have had the privilege of
witnessing the greatest exhibition of guts
and stamina in the history of the ring.

Contrast that with this single line, taken out of context, and it makes Daniel (Ralph Macchio) in The Karate Kid (1984) sound like a lost puppy.

Where am I, this ring over here?

When I saw Independence Day (1996), I enjoyed the interaction between David (Jeff Goldblum) and his father Julius (Judd Hirsch)...

It's the White House, for crying out loud.
You can't just go up and ring the doorbell.

Mushu (voice of Eddie Murphy) was my favorite character in Mulan (1998). Not all of these lines have the word ring included, but they help set up the humor in this scene...

Mushu! These are the family guardians. They...?

...protect the family.

And you, oh Demoted one?

I... ring the gong.

In Clueless (1995), Cher (Alicia Silverstone) gives very sound advice…

Dee, when your allergies act up,
take out your nose ring.

(If you knew nothing about the films, other than these lines, would any of them seem like a ringer?)

Writing prompt from:

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Take 28: The Great Buck Howard

Tuesday: My "take" on a film.

The Great Buck Howard (2008)

"Greatness is a state of mind."

Earlier in the year, I mentioned the book 151 Best Movies You've Never Seen by Leonard Maltin (see post), and added The Great Buck Howard to my "want to see" list. I finally got around to viewing it... and... (drum roll)... What a gem!

After dropping out of law school, Troy Gable (Colin Hanks) stumbles into a job as personal assistant to Buck Howard (John Malkovich), a has-been mentalist hoping for the comeback of a lifetime.

They travel small town circuits, where Buck does cheesy performances in half empty auditoriums, and always exclaims...

I love this town!

The eccentric, cantankerous entertainer does not make life easy for Troy.

There is a reason, Troy, I am called
the Great Buck Howard... Not the Okay
Buck Howard, not the Not Bad Buck Howard--
--The Great Buck Howard!

But, Troy hangs in there, knowing that although this job doesn't make his heart race, it pays the bills and oddly fits his life--it feels right. 

Sometimes our niche finds us when a current job turns into a stepping stone to a dream.  Other times, after reaching the stars, we return to the niche we had all along.

What happened in Vegas?

You know, I don't really belong in Vegas anymore.
I belong in places like these. I love what I do.
I love these towns. I love these people.

Greatness is a state of mind.  It doesn't have to be about glitz, glamour, "making it big" or what others view as success. When we genuinely love what we do, it might very well be our calling, our niche.

Notes on content:
  • A few sexual references (innuendos), no nudity.
  • Mild profanity.
  • No violence.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Comic Relief: Kid scripts for Bridge of Spies

Friday: Comic Relief

I don't follow late night television (I'm sawing logs by that time), so this was new to me... Jimmy Fallon's Kid Theater. In this particular video, elementary school kids wrote scenes for Bridge of Spies (2015) based only on the title. The funny writing and performances made me laugh out loud!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Take 27: The Chosen

Tuesday: My "take" on a film.

The Chosen (1981)

The friendship between two teenage boys starts off a bit rocky...

You are weird.

I am?

Yeah, you are. You look like you
walked out of another century.
You play baseball like Babe Ruth.
You talk like you're from another planet.

Thanks for the compliment. 

Although both boys are Jewish, they come from vastly different upbringings. Danny (Robby Benson) was raised in Hasidic traditions, with siblings, a loving mother, and a rabbi father who communicates with him through silence. Reuven (Barry Miller), on the other hand, is an only child whose widowed academic father, a Zionist, speaks liberally.

Despite their differences, they become inseparable friends...until their opposing views regarding the formation of Israel create a gulf between them almost too wide to cross.

The film is rich in culture, relationships, and dialogue. A scene in the latter part of the film touched me deeply and made me reflect on our relationship with God, our Heavenly Father. Sometimes we don't understand God's ways, but His reasons always tie to an abiding love for us, and in His knowing the experiences we need in order to become compassionate and merciful beings.

I can't recall who recommended this film to me. I wish I could thank them. This film sticks with me in a good way.

Notes on content:
  • No sex or nudity
  • Some mild name calling, and racial slurs.
  • No extreme violence, but some bullying and fighting. Also, some graphic images of the Holocaust are shown.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Oh, for the love of wit!

Monday: Dialogue, Lines, or Quotes

In the PBS series Downton Abbey, the character of Violet Crawley (Dowager Countess of Grantham) has the best lines...filled with savvy candor and punch. I applaud this favorite:

Vulgarity is no substitute for wit.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Someone Special: Malala

Thursday: Point of View

A writing prompt from Mama Kat--"Write about someone special"--prompted me to post about Malala Yousafzai. I read her memoir two years ago, I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Talibanand made a note: we need strong females, such as Malala, portrayed in our movies.

Sometimes films give the impression that a strong female is one who can kill people with her bare hands, guns, or arrows, all while dressed in skin tight clothing revealing plenty of cleavage.

But it takes more courage to stand for what you believe, without violence. Malala is an example of such courage, and a superb example of a strong female.

As the title of her book reveals, Malala was attacked, shot at point blank range, for advocating education for girls.

In a recent Super Soul Sunday interview, she told Oprah that the attack changed nothing in her life "except that weakness, fear, and hopelessness died and strength, power, and courage was born. I feel stronger than before."

She is the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, and during the 2014 ceremonial speech she said, "I had two options. One was to remain silent and wait to be killed. And the second was to speak up and then be killed. I chose the second one. I decided to speak up."

The recently released documentary, He Named Me Malala, tells her story. I am eager to see it.

Oprah said, "When we see a living, breathing example of real courage, it lets us know we can reach higher to be our bravest selves."

We need more examples of real courage, in life and in films.

Writing prompt from:

NOTE: When I linked this post to Mama Kat's blog, I didn't notice until too late that it chopped off the link title and reads "Someone Special: Mal"  I sent an email to Kat asking if it can be edited. I am new at this…lesson learned… double check the info before linking! 

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Take 26: The World's Fastest Indian

Tuesday: My "take" on a film.

"It's never too late for the ride of your life."

Never too late and never too old to follow a dream. Based on the inspiring true story of Burt Munro (Anthony Hopkins), the film follows his golden-years-quest to set a land-speed record in 1967 with his 1920 Indian motorcycle. 

He travels from his home (a shed) in New Zealand to the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, USA, overcoming obstacles and making new friends along the way. Almost naive during his travels, I found myself worried that someone would rip him off or take advantage of him. But his quirky (sometimes salty) open and friendly chatter, along with his acceptance of everyone, endeared him to others.

That's not saying his journey (and the story) is without conflict, but it doesn't come through people around him and that's a pleasant change in a film. Everyone he met seemed to help him along and encourage him to reach his goal. No one tried to pull him down or sabotage his efforts. Imagine a world filled with such individuals--people pursuing their dreams and helping others do the same. I want to be that kind of person.

Notes on content:
  • There are a couple sexual situations, but no nudity.
  • Some profanity, including a few vain references to deity. And he sometimes uses terms or slang that might be considered profane in other countries.
  • No violence.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Films that stick.

Monday: Dialogue, Lines, or Quotes

"Big opening weekends are like cotton candy. The films you will remember over time are the films that stick in the consciousness of the audience in a good way."  ~Robert Redford

Which films stick in your consciousness in a good way?

Friday, October 9, 2015

Lines with a twist.

Friday - Comic Relief

Lines of dialogue with a twist, an unexpected element, give moments of humor.

In Despicable Me 2 (2013), Dr. Nefario admits to Gru that he misses being evil... he's received an offer of employment elsewhere. And, of course, one must consider the employee benefits, right?

Dr. Nefario!  Come on,
you're kidding, right?

It's a great opportunity for me,
bigger lab, more evil, full dental...

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Take 25: The Cokeville Miracle

Tuesday: My "take" on a film.

Based on actual events.

What a refreshing film! During a time when negativity and vulgarity abound in the media, The Cokeville Miracle stands out with quality filmmaking and a faith-promoting message: miracles happen.

Based on an actual event, the film depicts the crisis in May 1986 when David and Doris Young, wielding a bomb, rifles and pistols, held children and teachers hostage in a small elementary school in Cokeville Wyoming. 

The disturbed couple gathered over 100 students and teachers into a classroom. Hours ticked by. The bomb exploded. The death toll? Two...David and Doris, the perpetrators. All of the hostages survived the explosion and gunshots. That is a miracle...and it's not the only one. The investigation uncovers other miraculous points prior to and during the blast.

The film can uplift and give hope. Still, it might cause some to question, Why were the Cokeville hostages given these miracles, yet other victims in hostage situations were not so blessed?

The filmmakers don't attempt to answer that question. Miracles, by definition, are unusual events believed to be caused by the power of God. Since God is omniscient (knowing all things past, present, and future), it stands to reason that we don't always understand His ways. Miracles often come to those with faith, yet it can take great faith to accept that sometimes miracles do not come.

In Cokeville, Wyoming, for reasons not completely understood, miracles came in abundance on that fateful day.

Notes on content:
  • No nudity or sex
  • No vulgar language
  • The scene when the bomb explodes contains images of violence. There are also images of blood and wounds, but not in a gory or graphic way. (Although all hostages survived, not all escaped without injury.)

Monday, October 5, 2015

Meeting destiny...

Monday: Dialogue, Lines, or Quotes

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

From Kung Fu Panda:

One often meets his destiny on the road he takes to avoid it.

Is there truth to that? Have you experienced it?

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Continuing The Video Challenge

My apologies for not keeping up with the monthly video challenge. Life got a bit off-kilter for a time and I had to let a few things go to regain balance. (And yet I started a blog to chronicle that journey. Go figure.)

Anyhoooo... here it is October 1, time for new video prompts. These prompts are randomly pulled out of three separate boxes, and this time they seem to fit together. Plenty of room for imagination, though.

October Deadline: (October 31, 2015)
Character: mom
Location: playground
Prop: chalk

(You choose the storyline, but at some point we need to see a mom, a playground, and chalk. They do not need to appear at the same time or throughout the entire video.)

Click the Video Challenge Guidelines tab above (or click here).