Wednesday, May 30, 2012

What I do when I'm sick . . .

I'm sick.

Or have hay fever.

It's one or the other but regardless of WHAT it is, the last several days have been horrendous. More so because it was a holiday weekend and I was schedule to work the day after the holiday so I had to go to work. My boss was kind enough to schedule me for only a half day (which I really, really appreciate) but by the end of the night I was completely dragged out and only wanted to go home. Which I did, finally.

But, on the positive side, I had a chance to rewatch some old movies that I haven't seen in forever. Of course by old I mean classic 9 times out of 10. So I spent most of one day watching the original Tarzan film with Johnny Weissmuller and then the 3rd film in that series Tarzan Escapes. That last one isn't my favorite and I really wish I'd watched the 2nd one instead. Maybe tonight once I'm off work. Except Tarzan bellowing is a bit loud for night-time viewing when the rest of the family sleepeth. There's nothing quite like Tarzan and Tarzan and His Mate. They were filmed before censorship so Jane's costume in the 2nd film is quite risque and the newest DVD release even included the swimming scene where she's not wearing a stitch of clothing. But I love them anyway. Somehow they feel like classic cinema at its rawest and best form.

Then of course there's my foray into modern comedy. Sister Act was a must. I'd forgotten that Maggie Smith played the Reverend Mother and I'd also forgotten how much I LOVE her. That woman is in acting genius and a marvel and when she passes her death will be a great loss to society. Then for the 1st time in at least 5 years I watched Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. Maybe I'm old enough to appreciate it now because I wasn't that fond of it when I first saw it. This time around I loved it. It warmed my heart with its authenticity and sympathy for these teen girls who all have their own set of problems. I think I also appreciated how not all of the girl's situations revolved around boys. It's not all about the guys, people, and it's nice having movies remember that.

Then (remember I've been sick or I'd never have watched this many movies) I plugged in my edited copy of Keeping the Faith. There's a good chance 95% of you have never seen this movie. It's the obscurest of the obscure but kinda cute in its own unrealistic, melodramatic way. The movie stars Edward Norton as a priest and Ben Stiller as a Rabbi in modern New York City. They're innovative in their preaching methods and what's more they've been best friends since they were in 8th grade, which is also where they both met the girl of their dreams. Except she's the same girl. Long story short, they've all grown up and she moves back to New York for a job. Both men fall in love with her again (yes, even the priest) and we watch how the drama unfolds. The moments of humor are hilarious and I love Ed Norton.

Spoiler Alert:

Which is why, regardless of the fact that he's a priest, if Priestly Ed Norton confessed his undying love to me, it would be reciprocated! You have a choice between kissing Ben Stiller and kissing Edward Norton? Uhm, not a hard decision to make! Sheesh, that girl's not nearly as practical as me!

So, there you have it. A totally fluffy post of my recent movies. I almost never write these types of posts so don't worry about them getting to be a habit. In fact I usually dislike talking about my recent movie-viewing habits since it does seem petty to talk about. Eh, one time won't hurt. My next post should be more substantial. Once my sinuses have cleared up enough so thinking doesn't feel like I'm using up oxygen.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Past, Present, Future, an avengers fanfic - FanFiction.Net

Past, Present, Future, an avengers fanfic - FanFiction.Net

Sometimes the best moments of Memorial Day poignancy don't actually occur in our reality. In this case, I stumbled on an Avengers fanfic where Steve Rogers a.k.a. Captain America visits the 9/11 memorial. And why wouldn't he? In Capt. Rogers' book, tragedy is tragedy. It doesn't matter whether it happened yesterday or 70+ years ago.

I hope you'll take the time to read it and may you be as moved as I was by an author who let good ol' Cap mourn for a real-life American tragedy.

Remember those who have come before, fought diligently, sacrificed their lives, or arrived home safely. The armed forces deserve a debt of gratitude.

Happy Memorial Day!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Sherlock Holmes Corrections

Looks like I should probably clarify a few things about my previous Sherlock Holmes posts. :-)

You know the ones, where I prefer the recent films to Sherlock?

As it turns out my opinion really wasn't set in stone. Makes me wonder if I should hold off on posting certain thoughts until I've given them a few weeks to simmer. In this case the new Downey Jr. film makes me nervous and uneasy because of the gay overtones. Yes, they are there and no, I don't like them. They became more obvious to me the more I thought about them and within a few months I realized I likely would never watch Game of Shadows again.

Now, I know that people are going to make assumptions about their gayness or straightness regardless of what movie or tv series we're talking about. But you know the difference? WATSON! That is the difference. I look at Martin Freeman and under no circumstances could I imagine that John and Sherlock could be gay. It's bloody impossible, end of story.

Then there's Jude Law. His Watson is written almost as if he were a pansy. Well, that might be a bit extreme but, I ask you, who did teach his Watson to dance? Makes you wonder and I'd rather not have to worry about wondering, period.

So, there we go. My most recent Holmesesque thoughts. A Scandal in Belgravia is still ICK and so far off canon it hit Pluto on its journey out of the Milky Way but I'd still pick Sherlock as my #1 choice of recent Holmes film/tv adaptations. Hands down awesomeness.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

"The Great Gatsby" on the Silver Screen

You know how an idea seems brilliant until you actually see it come to fruition? That's The Great Gatsby.

The book is . . . incredibly detailed, with minute little moments of sorrow and depression and beauty that can make you weep for the gloriousness of it all. Fitzgerald, whatever else he might have been, was a remarkable writer and no one will convince me otherwise. A sinner, oh yes undoubtedly, but a skilled artisan of his craft just the same.

It only stands to reason that a book which highlights depravity in the 1920s would eventually make it to the Silver Screen. I'm good with that idea. Except for the follow-through! Has anyone seen the trailer yet? It's on the main page of IMDB and I encourage you to watch it. It's like a massacre of Fitzgerald's original work. I love Leonardo DiCaprio but he is one of the last actors on God's green earth I imagined playing Gatsby. I think I had Jeremy Irons or Jason Isaacs in mind when they were younger. I wouldn't have been averse to an Englishman playing Gatsby. Leo just does not fit the role and Tobey Maguire fits the role of Nick Carraway even less.

I love the book because I analyze it and pity the characters and sense what is missing in their lives, mainly God. That's because it's not displayed on the Silver Screen for all to see, admire, and worship. I know the Roaring Twenties were morally bankrupt. I might even be able to watch a film of The Great Gatsby if it were done right. But this, pardon the word, feels like a complete bastardization of Fitzgerald's original work. It's like the clothing doesn't fit the body of his work.

Don't get me wrong, I imagine it will be a magnificent triumph. Just a pathetic misrepresentation of The Great Gatsby. *sighs* Darn you, Hollywood, when will you ever leave well enough alone!?

One Extra Thought

In the case of The Great Gatsby it's original setting is one that is very clinical, very cold, and very distant because it is all from Nick's perspective. Now, maybe the actual movie reflects that but the trailer really doesn't. Instead we have confetti flying all over the place and everyone looking like they're having a great time when really the book is a tale of loneliness and how you can be in a great whirl of humanity and still be dreadfully alone. That message is better communicated if the filming keeps to the original novel. Instead we may have another Romeo + Juliet on our hands where the only decent thing in the entire film was Leo and Claire. Oh boy, I hope not.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Book Review - Hearts that Survive by Yvonne Lehman

Charity is solely responsible for my new-found interest in the Titanic. Along that same vein, also thanks to her, is my desire to see the story told as accurately as possible. A little romance is fine, awesome even, but only in so long as its in keeping with the actual facts of history. Now, on to my thoughts for Yvonne Lehman's Hearts that Survive.

The Plot

When wealthy heiress Lydia Beaumont boarded the Titanic the last thing she expected was a proposal from the man she loved. Not only did it come at a startling moment but also a necessary one due to her being in a family way. Instead of reacting fearfully John  realizes that not only is he willing to take responsibility for one night of mistaken passion but that he loves Lydia deeply enough to marry her. What better setting than the Titanic for a romantic wedding

Of course, we know what happens. History doesn't change and many a wife and mother lost her husband that dreadful night. Lydia and her friend Caroline are not, themselves, immune to the tragedy and both find they must pick up the shattered pieces of their souls. Lydia is again bombarded with a wedding proposal from the vice-president of her father's company, Craven Dowd, and now she must make a decision. Remain unwed (for despite the wedding, legal papers were not to have been signed until April 15th) and pregnant or marry Craven and pray that he doesn't notice the month's discrepancy between conception and birth.

This is a story of rebuilding one's life after a tragedy of immeasurable size has shattered it.

My Thoughts

I was deeply enthused about this book for the first 150 pages or so. The writing style interested me and I adored Lydia's beau, John. He was a poet and a toy train maker so how could I not love him? Unfortunately my greatest fear came to pass and Lydia is not nearly so likeable without John at her side. She is petty, emotional, and well, childish, rather like the much-adored Rose from James Cameron's film. The only difference is that Lydia has some faith in God, although not as much faith as John had. Okay, so the heroine's not all she's cracked up to be. I can live with that. But there's more.

How do you write a novel about the Titanic and give only one mention to Thomas Andrews? And I'm not even certain if she did mention Charles Lightoller! Lightoller was 2nd mate on board the Titanic and played a very notable role during the sinking and Thomas Andrews was the ship's designer. He certainly deserved more than one mention. Plus, and I hate to say it, but Margaret Brown became "Molly" once again. I live in Colorado so this has become a pet peeve of mine. During her lifetime she was in no way, shape, or form referred to as Molly. Her friends called her Maggie so that was actually a severe annoyance to me, having to read Molly when I knew her nickname was Maggie.

The Bottom Line

So, what began interesting quickly delved into boring. When I read a book I prefer reading actual conversations instead of descriptions of those conversations. I prefer active verbs instead of passive. The book was boring! I kept reading up until the bitter end but Hearts that Survive didn't live up to my sizable expectations. Yvonne Lehman is a respected authoress and I've enjoyed many of her novels. I'm not sure where she went wrong with the characters and style for this book. I'd have to give it, if I were doing that type of rating system, 3 out of 5 stars. I don't regret reading it but I would never read it again and recommending it, especially to Titanic enthusiasts, would be impossible.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Colorado Politics

Only a democrat could get away with saying "Ignorance is forgivable. Pride in ignorance never is." These are the words of a supporter of civil unions in Colorado, one of many thousands, who are desperate to overturn the ban on homosexual marriage we managed to pass in 2006. Or rather, the definition of marriage as being between a man and a woman.