Tag Archives: movies

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It’s Morgan Freeman’s world; we just live in it

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As good as it gets

Took the afternoon off.

An elegant and kind man with a poet’s touch

roger_ebertRoger Ebert, who died yesterday, began blogging in earnest some years back after cancer robbed him of speech. He racked up millions of hits and every post generated hundreds of comments.  I’ve written about him a few times. From March of 2010:

I discovered his blog a few months ago and was enchanted – a fine writer, a profoundly human man and very very brave. He’s wasting away from cancer – can no longer speak or eat. He doesn’t even have a jaw anymore. And yet he blogs. And he cares. And he has his finger on the pulse of the humanity that is us. I wish I knew him.

Roger Ebert’s Journal was much more than movies; while he chronicled the challenges of his illness he also wrote – always elegantly – of so many other things – of politics, music, art, children and cooking.

He and I were born in the same year, so when he wrote of his own youth, which he often did – as often happens with those battling terminal illnesses – I went back in time with him. Like in this passage from a very recent post titled “How I am a Roman Catholic”:

The nuns at St. Mary’s were Dominicans. They lived in a small square convent behind the school, holding six nuns (some taught two grades) and a cook and their housekeeping nun, who kept a sharp eye trained on us through her screen door. We had humble playground equipment, a swing set and two basketball hoops. Our principal sport was playing King of the World. This involved two boys standing on a log, each trying to push the other off. The housekeeper would open the screen door and shout, “If you break your necks, you have only yourselves to blame.”

It was from these nuns, especially Sister Nathan and Sister Rosanne, that I learned my core moral and political principles. I assumed they were Roman Catholic dogma. Many of them involved a Social Contract between God and man, which represented classical liberalism based on empathy and economic fairness. We heard much of Leo XIII’s encyclical “Rerum Novarum”–“On Capital and Labor.”

I’ll miss him and his writing but I’ll go back now and again to the archives. There is wisdom there.

Words fail

Lincon: casting mystery

Anyone who has read down the entire cast list of the movie Lincoln  bumped into this mysterious bit of casting trivia: Kevin Kline appeared in the film as a ‘wounded soldier’. The real Kevin Kline. (The headshot in the cast list at Imdb.com is indeed Kline and even his own Imdb page lists the credit. )

I’ve been googling about the interwebs but can find no reference to this odd and utterly delightful bit of information. (I just saw the movie, but didn’t know to look for him; there were, predictably enough, many many ‘wounded soldiers’. And a lot of dead ones. Splendid movie by the way.)

The Les Mis movie will no doubt call for a double box of Kleenex; I will enjoy every minute.

Just visited Christian Mihai where I saw the official trailer for Les Miserables which opens in December. From his post:

Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, Sacha Baron Cohen, Helena Bonham Carter, and Tom Hooper, the director of The King’s Speech. Honestly, what more can you ask?

This new adaptation of Les Miserables by Victor Hugo (well, technically it’s based on the 1980 musical by Claude-Michel Schönberg) is set to be released on 14 of December 2012.


UPDATE: TheOtherSteve tells me in comments that the opening has been moved to Christmas Day.

Take a bow. Exit left.

with Patricia Neal in “A Face in the Crowd”

Imagine an actor who made his film debut as the named lead in a movie that is still a classic.

Well done.

I’ll take the laughs where I can get them. And this made me laugh.

How do I explain to other adults of my certain age that I am dyyying to see this movie?

Is there an awards ceremony?

Here come the Annual Rotten Banana Awards – given to the “20 Most Unbearable Movies of 2011” by Dr. Ted Baehr, media critic and founder and publisher of Movieguide. From World Net Daily:

Sex, homosexual affairs, heavy drinking, gruesome violence and anti-human and anti-God themes – it’s all featured in [Kevin Smith’s Red State] winner of the Vile, Vulgar & Anti-Christian Award and dubbed Worst Ultimate Christian Bashing Movie of the Year.

The film heads his list of the 20 Most Unbearable Movies of 2011, each receiving the Annual Rotten Banana Awards.

Other films earning the disgraceful designation include: “Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star,” which won the Slimy Pornification Award for its lewdness; “A Good Old Fashioned Orgy,” which received the Abhorrent Sexcapade Award; “The Skin I Live In,” which earned the Lurid Transgender Abuse Award; and “Happy Feet Two,” which was given the Environmentalist Hysteria Award.

“Most of these movies made very little money,” Dr. Baehr noted, “which shows the good taste of not only the vast majority of Americans but also the vast majority of moviegoers overseas.”

“Most of these movies” have never even been heard of either, except perhaps for “Happy Feet”, the second installment in a popular children’s animated film series, which has also drawn attention from a few FOX-heads who either don’t like penguins or don’t have children. Or perhaps don’t like penguins or children.

Once again, Christians are under attack but this time dammit, they stepped up and found some low-lying fruit to blame! So take that.

 

Sum sum sum sum summertime . . .

Off to see it! Friends are often appalled at my cinematic choices. So be it; I love sci-fi, action and anything remotely apocalyptic. Also superheros.

100 ways to leave your movie

Greg Mitchell at The Nation took the trouble to visit Rotten Tomatoes and see what critics around the planet are saying about Atlas Shrugged, the movie, Part the First which opened today.

A dud. A flop. A disaster. A bore. A waste of time. Not even fun.

Mitchell points out that: 

Somehow, Atlas Shrugged, Part I (yes! more to look forward to!), which opens Friday, has at this writing achieved the rare feat [a 0% rating) . . .  not a single critic to date, from major and minor outlet, high or lowest of low of lowbrow, likes it one bit. 

(Betcha the most famous namesake of them all, Sen. Paul, likes it a lot.)

Sarah Palin: just the glitter, not the guts please

Chris Kelly today in Huff Post notices Sarah Palin’s Favorite Communist Movie.

. . . she says Mr. Smith Goes to Washington is one of her “favorite movies,” that it’s “about timeless truths of America handed down to us from our forefathers and foremothers,” that it’s “wonderful” and “not pro-government, certainly, but definitely pro-American,” she must know it was written by a communist, right?

His name was Sidney Buchman. In 1951 he appeared before HUAC and admitted to being a member of the Communist Party, but refused to name anyone else. In 1952, he was subpoenaed again, but refused to honor the subpoena — much like Todd Palin did when called to testify about Troopergate.

Unlike Todd Palin, Buchman was found in contempt of Congress by a vote of 314-0. He was fined $150 and sentenced to a year in Federal penitentiary (suspended). A two-time Academy Award winner, it would be a decade before his name appeared on another American movie.