My friend Kari and I were having a girl’s night at her cabin recently and she suggested that we watch “My Fair Lady,” which she had picked up somewhere. I clutched my hair in both hands (as I am wont to do when imparting deadly serious information,) and said, “Worst. Closing. Words. Ever!” We talked a bit about how famous that movie is and how wonderful it is supposed to be and although neither of us had ever seen the whole thing all the way through, I told her I thought it was a horrible movie with all kinds of bizarre misogynistic material in it, but very nice costumes. We decided to watch it. That sucker is three hours long, and indeed full of bizarre and unsatisfactory messages, side plots and outcomes. My favorite line was spoken by the mother of Professor Higgins when she meets him unexpectedly at Ascot and says, “Henry, what a disagreeable surprise!” followed by “Whatever are you doing here?” and “Go home at once!” Quite. She was the only character that made any sense at all. I was slightly off about the final line, I remembered it as “Eliza, fetch me my slippers!” which says everything you need to know about how that film ends, even if it isn’t accurate. The costuming was fabulous, the songs were classics, and we laughed throughout the movie, although sometimes with disbelief. Maybe it just doesn’t translate well to modern times? It was filmed in 1964. All I know is that I am sticking with “horrible.” What great classic or well-reviewed modern film have you seen that makes you want to tear your hair?
They’re blue, they live in a fantasy world, and they’re threatened with extermination. No, they’re not Smurfs; they’re the characters of James Cameron’s “Avatar”, my “movie most likely to make me tear my hair out and run screaming from the room.” I didn’t see it in the theater, mostly because what I saw on the trailer didn’t interest me enough to make me spend $15 to go, even if the popcorn is extra buttery and the soda icy cold. When I finally did see it, it was a borrowed DVD which we watched in the privacy of our living room so I could roll my eyes and say “Seriously?” without the person in the next seat elbowing me and telling me to shut up.
So what bugged me about this movie? It was torturously long, which a lot of James Cameron’s movies are. The characters were interesting only because of what they were not who they were. Despite some really fine actors in the group, some of the acting, well, stunk. And there was so much going on with the story that midway through the movie, I thought to myself, “You know, I don’t really care if they make it or not”. And that’s where they totally lost me.
Is James Cameron a genius when it comes to making movies? Well, really, he’s got a pretty impressive resume. And he made millions of people sit through a film that was over three hours long, all the while knowing that at the end the ship was going to sink and most of the people onboard were going to die. Will he get a Lifetime Achievement Award from the film industry someday? Probably, although I hope he has to wait until he’s 80 until he gets it. He’ll appreciate it more then.
Atonement, Billy Elliott, Bomber, Commitments, Death at a Funeral, Full Monty, Hot Fuzz, Kelly Thompson, Love Actually, Lynnette Dobberpuhl, Monty Python Holy Grail, Monty Python Meaning of Life, Pirate Radio, River Kwai, Run Fat Boy Run, Shane Taylor, Son of Rambow, The Flying Scotsman
- Death at a Funeral
- Hot Fuzz
- Love, Actually
- Run, Fat Boy, Run
- Pirate Radio
- Monty Python and the Holy Grail
- Monty Python Meaning of Life
- Son of Rambow
- The Flying Scotsman
- Billy Elliott
- Still Crazy
- Shaun of the Dead
- Pirate Radio (gotta go with you on that one – LOVE that movie – killer soundtrack – and it’s about radio, so what can I say there?)
- Monty Python and the Holy Grail
- The Full Monty
- To Sir, With Love
- The Commitments
- Bridge on the River Kwai
And there you have it – not a single Harry Potter movie in the bunch!
Aaagh! How did I miss The Full Monty and The Commitments? And of course Shaun of the Dead. I remembered that one, but let you have it since you were the one to tell me about it. ‘Cause I’m generous like that. Still haven’t seen Bomber and you’ve told me about that three times. Love!
I was surprised no Shaun of the Dead on your list because you have a lot of Simon Pegg on there. Bomber is a great movie – excellent story, shot on a shoestring budget, and stars Shane Taylor who’s an amazing actor AND a pretty nice guy all-around. I’ll loan it to you sometime. KT
I am losing my mind. I can’t find my driver’s license, the raincoat I’ve been looking for for weeks turned up out of the blue on top of a basket of shoes I moved just a few days ago, a pair of black capris are also missing…what the heck is going on? I’m the one who usually knows where stuff is, not the one blindsided by things winking in and out of this universe randomly. Maybe my son’s homework really was just disappearing between home and classroom, like he said. Do you see how this is causing me to doubt myself? My face hurts from the perplexed wrinkle between my eyebrows I have been sporting all day, and my mental processes feel like they are slogging through warm used chewing gum. I can’t keep compulsively checking the same places for the missing items, and there are no new places to look. I think I will go teach my older son to parallel park (because THAT will be relaxing,) and maybe while I’m gone the same wormhole my raincoat traveled through will bring back my license and my pants. Magic thinking. Have you got any better ideas?
Let’s assume for the sake of argument that you wore the black capris to the liquor store to pick up a bottle of wine. Being the youthful-looking sprite that you are, you confidently stuck your driver’s license in your pants pocket in anticipation of being carded. While you were there, you ran into your friend Jane who complimented you on how flattering those black capris were and after the appropriate amount of sucking up, she casually asked if she could borrow them for a function she had to go to the following afternoon. Of course, you replied, but I don’t know that I’ll have time to wash them first because when I drink wine, I don’t feel like doing laundry. Not a problem, she said. If you can drop them by my house, I’ll wash them myself. By this time, you’re at the checkout and the clerk is waiting impatiently to peruse your driver’s license which you hand over while remarking to Jane that the black capris will be in her mailbox when she gets home. You rush home, change clothes, fold the capris (which still have your driver’s license in the pocket) and walk them four houses up the street to Jane’s house where you stuff them in the aforementioned mailbox. She washes them and wears them to her event, garnering compliments from everyone she runs into. So, where’s your stuff? Your driver’s license is in the bottom of Jane’s dryer where it landed after falling out of the pocket. And your capris are hanging in Jane’s closet because after getting all that positive attention for wearing them, there’s no way in hell she’s giving them back to you. See, that wasn’t so hard, was it? And there are always new places to look.
Handy Tip for Teaching Parallel Parking: Take your car and your husband’s car and park them at the curb in front of your house with just enough space in between for your son’s car with about six inches leeway, front or back. Then make him practice parallel parking in between them, letting him know that if he hits either car, he will not only be grounded for life but will have to pay for all damages out of his own pocket. That’s how I learned how to parallel park, and trust me, it works. I can fit my vehicle into parking spaces that require a shoe horn to get it out. It may take me 20 minutes and a lot of backing and forthing to do it, but I can do it. Let us know how it works out, O.K.?
I am watching “So You Think You Can Dance.” I love that show. All day people have been asking me, “Are you limping?” because I’m hobbling around recovering from an energetic session of Kettlebell. Even on a normal day I am a stiff, inflexible, uncoordinated (but strong!) lump of flesh. I love seeing the strong, limber, lyrical movement these people manage while defeating gravity and staying charming to boot. I am not a big fan of reality TV, but I am a fan of this show, the dancers, Kat the host, and the judges (even if we do fast forward sometimes through the commentary because we are all about the performances, not the judging.) When I take Zumba classes (and I do almost every week–I am ridiculous, but it is FUN) I keep my eyes on the instructor because she is amazing and cute and every move has attitude and life and as long as I am watching her, I am moving just like her (in my mind, anyway.) I learned a long time ago to avoid looking in the mirror and all will be well. There are times when being a fan surpasses being a participant, and there are times when there is some crossover. Then of course, there are times when you have to get out there and bring it, all yourself, even if it is on paper or a digital page and not onstage. What are you watching?
I’m watching reality fare of a different sort – “Ghosthunters International” which is one of a very few shows I always try to catch when I can. I’ve watched the “Ghosthunters” series (both domestic and international) since they began and while I sometimes question their evidence and the banter can be annoying, I’m always hopeful they find something really, well, COOL. I’m waiting for the day when they ask the fateful question “Can you please give us some sign that you’re here?” and the spirit either cuffs them a good one across the head or growls in a James-Earl-Jones-with-a-head-cold voice “Can you hear me NOW?!?” Now THAT would be some evidence, eh? This ghosthunter thing goes back to an internship I did for a Rapid City radio station the summer I turned 20 (yeah, five years ago – HA!). That summer I had the great opportunity to interview and spectre search with a real ghosthunter who coincidentally was from New Hampshire (the “Ghosthunter” TV guys are from Rhode Island). It was a lot of fun and a little creepy and while it didn’t make me a total believer it made me more respectful of the unknown.
I’ve seen the dance show you mentioned. I’ve never watched a whole episode; it just makes me miss dancing. Not to brag, but I know I can dance – after 10 years of dance lessons as a kid, I better have some moves, albeit a bit outdated now, I’m sure. But after three broken ankles (no, that’s not impossible even though the math doesn’t seem to work out), I’m mainly a wallflower these days. But that just gives me more time to watch for ghosts…who probably can’t dance.
Ghosty-girl, you need to read the Greywalker series by Kat Richardson. I like (almost love) her books. They are a guilty pleasure I can publicly own. Enough said on that except to mention that I have had some ghostly encounters of my own. I think. If it was obvious it would be on youtube or Ghost Hunters, but while I expected to have some claustrophobic, emotional, vertiginous reaction to a concentration camp in Austria and a funeral home in South Dakota, I certainly did not expect it on the USS Midway in San Diego or an old Methodist Church in Minneapolis. I think I was picking up some unquiet spirits, although my own true love would really rather I kept that sort of talk under wraps. Hee, hee! Good thing he doesn’t read my blogs! Love!
Don’t think I’ve ever read any of her stuff so I’ll have to check it out. On the ghostly experiences, churches would be rife with spirits – think of all the funerals. And I don’t know what it is about boats, but I had the creeps on the Queen Mary in Long Beach and there were some eerie moments when we went to the Titanic exhibit (which was fantastic, by the way). Open minds, that’s all it takes. So we can’t count on him as a subscriber?!?