Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Z is for Zombieland



Zombieland is currently #372 on my flickchart list.

I've only seen it once and I guess I enjoyed it well enough!  I'm not a huge "horror" fan, even when it is tinged with comedy (or is this a comedy tinged with horror).

I've heard murmurs of a television series adaptation that I don't really have much interest in!

Today's poster gives a subtle "SPOILER" that was such a delight when I saw the movie.


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Monday, April 29, 2013

Y is for Young Frankenstein




Young Frankenstein is #155 on my flickchart list.

I have a fondness for 1970's era Mel Brooks movies.  This is among his best.  And that's saying something...look at his output:

Blazing Saddles 1974 (#253)
Young Frankenstein 1974 (#155)
Silent Movie 1976 (#507)
High Anxiety 1978 (#380)
History of the World: Part One 1981 (#511)

He didn't direct another movie until Spaceballs (#935) in 1987.  It's been a long time since I've seen it, and at the risk of upsetting Nan, I'm going to refer to it as "over-rated".  It certainly lacked some of the cleverness of his earlier work.  It always seemed to me he started to feel the pressure of the Zucker-Abrahams-Zucker juggernaut and couldn't get his form back.
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Saturday, April 27, 2013

X is for X2: X-Men United



X2: X-Men United is currently # 40 on my flickchart list.

One of the best superhero films.  I loved the introduction of Nightcrawler and the look into Wolverine's origins.  Well crafted!

Even though the promise of the Dark Phoenix saga was squandered with the next movie, it was set up so nicely here.


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Friday, April 26, 2013

W is for Watchmen



Watchmen is currently #43 on my flickchart list.

Though much maligned by comic book fans and movie fans alike, I really liked the film.  I went to see it on my own.  It didn't have the build up The Avengers (#3) had for me, but it did have a lot to live up to.  That being said, I really felt it delivered.

And the opening credits (NSFW: violence) are second to none...they set the tone and give so many nods to fans of the original limited series:


The Watchmen Opening Titles por ypsilon2 no Videolog.tv.




(Both of the above are the same, I just want to make sure at least one stays embedded...)
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Her Majesty's a pretty nice girl but she changes from day to day...

Happy Birthday!
April 26, 1921



Princess Elizabeth and President Harry S. Truman in the Canadian Embassy in Washington on Nov. 1, 1951

Queen Elizabeth and President Dwight D. Eisenhower at the White House State banquet he held in her honor on Oct. 20, 1957.
 
Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip host Queen’s Dinner for President Kennedy and Mrs. Kennedy at Buckingham Palace on June 5, 1961.


Queen Elizabeth is pictured with U.S. President Richard Nixon at Chequers, Buckinghamshire, in 1970

President Gerald Ford and Queen Elizabeth dance during the state dinner in honour of the Queen and Prince Philip at the White House on July 17, 1976, in Washington.

Queen Elizabeth and President Jimmy Carter

Queen Elizabeth of England making a toast at a state dinner given in her honor by President and Mrs. Ronald Reagan in San Francisco, March 1983.

President George H.W. Bush escorts Queen Elizabeth II from the White House to a helicopter en route to Baltimore to watch her first Major League Baseball game on May 15, 1991, in Washington.


Queen Elizabeth sits alongside President Bill Clinton at the Guildhall in June 1994 prior to attending a banquet for the 50th anniversary of the D-Day invasion of Normandy.

Queen Elizabeth and President George W. Buswalk through St George’s Hall at Windsor Castle in England, June 15, 2008.

President Barack Obama and Queen Elizabeth II give a toast during State Banquet in Buckingham Palace on May 24, 2011 in London, England.





Thursday, April 25, 2013

V is for Vegas Vacation





Vegas Vacation is currently #240 on my flickchart list.

A worthy entrant into the National Lampoon's Vacation (#75) franchise!  Far better than National Lampoon's European Vacation (#516) and better than the somewhat overrated National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (#248), I find the movie funny and well scripted.

Ohhh...and tonight...Star Trek: The Next Generation "Best of Both Worlds" on the big screen!

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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

U is for Unstoppable




Unstoppable is currently # 29 on my flickchart list.

Lots of action (though less than the poster above would have you believe) and character development (more than you would expect from a runaway train movie).  

Inspired by real events, this movie quickly became a family favorite.  My kids already knew Chris Pine as "their" version of Captain Kirk and the movie is a great way to prep my son for a future full of Denzel Washington movies.

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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

T is for Time Bandits


Time Bandits is currently #10 on my flickchart list.

I saw Time Bandits when it was released probably 5 or 6 times in the theater and it was probably one of our first VHS rentals.  I'm not sure if I went to see it because of my love for all things Python-esque or if this was my gateway to Python.

Either way, it was just what my 11 year old mind needed....helped shaped my sense of humor.

And it has one of the greatest George Harrison compositions playing over the end credits!  It took me FOREVER to find a copy of the song...



I really thought 12 Monkeys would be in the "T" slot, but it is just shy of Time Bandits coming in at #14!


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Monday, April 22, 2013

S is for Saving Private Ryan



Saving Private Ryan is currently # 10 on my flickchart list.

I saw Saving Private Ryan in the theater by myself when it was released.

I had the pleasure of living with my grandparents for awhile during college and then again with Nancy before she and I got married.

Gramps spent one night going through a bunch of photos and telling us the stories behind his getting shot down, life in the prison camp and about his eventual liberation.  Nana chastised him, stating that he would have nightmares "again".  Gramps said it was important for us to know.

I also remember him telling my cousins and I the story of his getting shot down in great detail when I was still in high school.  Nana was so worried for him that night too.

I remember his story like this....he was nearing the end of his commitment   He was due to leave the theater of operations and went on one more mission.  He was a fighter pilot and told us of a fierce firefight.  He was protecting some bombers and in the course of the firefight, his plane was hit.  There was fire in the cockpit.  He tried to eject but there was trouble with the ejection system (as it was).  He managed to get out of the cockpit and rolled across the back of his plane and slammed into the tail.  He rolled off and tried to deploy his chute.  His chute would not deploy so he used his secondary chute.  The chute deployed and then almost immediately caught on fire.

He landed in a field in Yugoslavia and was discovered by some locals who cared for him until the Germans could take him into custody.

He spent the next two and a half years as a Prisoner of War.  He was even declared KIA bu the US Government!

He missed the events in this movie but I still needed to see it.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


I nearly forgot to blog today!  I am a school teacher and today is our first real day of Spring Break!  Of course, that means I have some household projects to tackle.  I set out today with the goal of finishing the renovation of our downstairs bathroom that we started last year after the flood.

A relatively straightforward project revealed some mold and damage we didn't find last year.  However, I've torn out some drywall and cleaned and repaired what I could.  I decided I would take a small break before finishing the floor and replacing the sink.




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Saturday, April 20, 2013

R is for Raiders of the Lost Ark



Raiders of the Lost Ark is currently # 8 on my flickchart list.

I remember being at "Lums" in Rutland with my brother, Justin, and probably my dad having lunch with Nana and Grandpa in 1981 after "Raiders of The Lost Ark" (the correct, true title) had come out.
Gramps had recently seen this with my cousins Marc and Lars. I clearly remember him telling us about the Swordsman scene, reenacting it and laughing, deeply and honestly, at the scene and his own retelling.

To this day, I try to buy all the toys based on the scene...

And, Dean at Springfield Punx made both of these. He had the Indy done and I asked if he would ever consider creating the Cairo Swordsman...and he did!  I need to ask Lee sometime if Gramps had any real "Simpsons" knowledge.
 

And the fan made posters....











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Friday, April 19, 2013

Q is for Quick Change



Quick Change is currently # 48 on my flickchart.

I haven't seen this one in a long time.  It is the only movie Bill Murray has co-directed to date.  His performance is incredible.  This comes in the middle of a streak of some of his best work:  Scrooged (#24), What About Bob? (#123), Groundhog Day (#44), Kingpin (#234), and The Man Who Knew Too Little (#174).



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Thursday, April 18, 2013

P is for The Prestige




The Prestige is currently #26 on my flickchart list.





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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

O is for Ocean's Eleven





Ocean's Eleven is currently #25 on my flickchart list.

The modern "caper" flick.  Some strong acting....fun dialog...a fluid narrative structure.  And one of the only DVD commentaries I have ever listened to more than once!  

We tried the first sequel once and lasted about 40 minutes before during it off.  Never saw the second one.


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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

N is for Noises Off



Noises Off is currently #21 on my flickchart list.

Another movie that I can't trace my first watching.  Nan and I have since seen it performed on stage two or three times.  If you like screwball farces and have any love of the theater, you must see this movie.

It takes a few moments to get going but it grows and grows in laughs.  Each viewing still has me gasping for air as I am laughing so hard!!

The basic premise is that we are watching a group of actors attempt to put on a play entitled "Nothing On".  We get to see the trials and tribulations as the group move in and out of relationships and still try to remain "professional", because "the show must go on..."


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Monday, April 15, 2013

M is for My Neighbor Totoro





My Neighbor Totoro is currently #29 on my flickchart list.

Two animated features in a row!!

I'm not sure how we discovered My Neighbor Totoro.  However, once we did, it became a staple of our viewing habits.  My daughter, my wife and I loved it.

I even brought it into my classroom.  When I taught 4th grade at my previous school, we had a culture unit.  My teaching partner had chosen Japan and Mexico as the two cultures we rotated through every other year.  To end the Japan unit, we would watch this film.  It presents such a wonderful overall view of what life was like for Miyazaki growing up.  I had so much trivia on the movie that I would share with the kids as we watched it.  They loved it.

Sometimes, I still use Totoro images for my laptop wallpaper.  These will get projected up on the SMARTBoard while I am teaching.  This is the first year that NOT ONE student knew what the images were...it really bummed me out.  I think I will have to rectify the situation.

For more Miyazaki goodness, please to check out my pal The Armchair Squid via this LINK and scroll around.

And the art you can find online is awesome!!!










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Rabbit Of Seville

An A to Z intermission....

Your taxes are due today....why not spend 7:31 of your time and have a little smile...


Saturday, April 13, 2013

L is for The Little Mermaid


The Little Mermaid is currently #30 on my flickchart list.

I didn't see this in the theater...I had just turned 19 when it was released.  However, once it was released on VHS, I showed it for movie night in my dorm when I was a Resident Assistant.  I fell in love with it.  I know it is not the greatest of the Disney "Renaissance" of the late '80s and early '90s, but it really like it.

Earlier this week, I started singing some of the songs in the middle of class.  And my students just accepted it.

I know I have a reputation as being...odd.  I think I can trace my embracing my oddness (publicly) back to this movie.  It wasn't a big deal to like Star Wars or Star Trek, but my love of this Disney animated musical brought me some sideways glances.  But it also started me being "me".

BONUS STORY:  I loved the movie so much, I passed my joy of it on to Nan and our daughter...so much so, Ariel and Eric were the cake toppers for our wedding cake!!


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Friday, April 12, 2013

K is for A Knight's Tale



A Knight's Tale is currently #170 on my flickchart list.

The highest letter by far to this point.  I was scrolling and scrolling through flickchart looking for a "K"!  I think my "Q" is much higher!

I remember this being a fun movie.  What a great cast!

Nan and I have talked about this being our next "Family Movie Night Movie"...perhaps this weekend?

"You have been weighed, you've been measured, and you have been found wanting."


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Thursday, April 11, 2013

J is for Jerry Maguire




Jerry Maguire is currently #47 on my flickchart list.

It took a bit of scrolling through my list to find my first J.  I really expected it to be Jurassic Park, doubly so since the kids have recently been introduced to my favorite dinosaur movie and we have watched it a lot.  However, Jerry Maguire is ONE SLOT ahead of Jurassic Park.

I have not seen this movie in a long time.  And I am not really a Cameron Crowe fan.

This movie, however, was released during an incredible time of doubt and self-reflection in my own life.  When I went to see it, alone, it resonated with me.  A man who lost himself...needed to hit the bottom before bouncing back.  And Jerry's mission statement..."The Things We Think and Do Not Say"...it was MY call to arms.  Everything in the movie, especially at the time, showed me how things could be for me.

It was me.  

And I am almost afraid to watch it again.  I worry it won't stand the test of time. I also don't want to re-rank it.

But either way, I got the happy ending I finally realize I deserved.



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