bipolar mom shares her insights on everyday life

Posts tagged ‘movies’

Note to Hollywood

It is been said recently (and often) that politicians are out of touch with the common man. I believe that is true of Hollywood as well.

For example, I know very few people that drop “f-bombs” as often as they use the word “the.” But, watch a few rated R movies, and I begin to think I am living in a fantasy world of candy canes and lollipops. I’m not naive. I know that people use “those words” daily. Just not the majority.

Then there are the driving scenes.  Some scenes are filmed with the actors actually driving a real car and the camera is right there with them. (I saw an outtake of an episode of “The Office” where Steve Carell was driving and actually drove to a cul-de-sac, and had nowhere to go. Now that’s real life!) But, more often than not, I see the driver of the car turn to the passenger either next to him or even the rear seat, and talk a blue streak. Now, those of us in the real world know that a driver would most likely either run his car off the road or crash into another car. (or at the very least run a red light or stop sign) Keep your eyes on the road, idiot! At least for the majority of the time. One of the worst offenders of this practice (and is actually the inspiration for this blog today) is one of our family’s favorite movies “School of Rock.” There is a scene where Jack Black is driving the van with all the kids in the back, and Led Zepplin is playing on the stereo. He turns around to the back of the van and sings along (in his Jack Black way) for quite awhile. It must be a mom thing, because no one else seems to freak out over those things, but in my mind I’m thinking, “They’re going to crash!” and then they don’t.  Hmmmmm.

I am not going to venture into the “leave the Midwest alone” subject. Everyone knows that the Midwest is hilarious. We all live on farms, have a hillbilly accent, and are dumber than a box of rocks.

Hey! Maybe that’s the answer! Maybe outside of the Midwest, people drive while looking backwards and shout out four-letter words like a bad rapper. Well, then, Hollywood…never mind.  I gotta go harvest the pumpkins and milk the cows.


Feature Presentation

When Mark was a toddler, he would watch videos and when the previews were over the words, “Feature Presentation” would appear and Mark would excitedly shout, “FEATURE PRESENTATION!  FEATURE PRESENTATION!”  It was so cute!  Those big words coming out of that little mouth.

Today’s web site is all about movies.  I’m shocked at how many people don’t know about the Internet Movie Database, otherwise known as imdb.

This is the go-to site for movie info.  I use it to find out the name of an actor that I just can’t remember, and find out where I might have seen him before, since it lists all the movies and TV shows he’s been in.  (And, yes, it includes actresses too, that whole him/her thing just gets old when you are reading/writing.  See?  You are already tired of it, aren’t you?)

After every movie we watch on DVD, I look it up and read the trivia section for the film.  That is my very favorite part.  I love behind-the-scenes kind of stuff.  You often find out who else was considered for the roles, which scenes were ad-libbed, and all sorts of other great trivia.  Frequently, the trivia also includes how many days it took to film and what the original budget was. 

As a side note, the site includes both old and new movies.  Even ones that haven’t yet been released!  The information on those is sparse, but it is still there if you are interested.

Just last night, though, I found another aspect of the site that will prove very helpful.  There is a section for Parent Reviews.  This area is written by everyday people like you or me, not professional reviewers.  It lists scenes of the movie that feature Sex & Nudity, Violence & Gore (no, not Al), Profanity, Alcohol/Drugs & Smoking, and Frightening & Intense Scenes, all which contribute to the MPAA rating.  This section really helps when Tom and I are trying to decide whether or not the movie is appropriate for our kids.  Anything involving Sex & Nudity is OUT.  😉

There are several other categories of information that you might find helpful, but these are my personal favorites.  The site also includes TV shows, but I have found those aren’t nearly as in-depth as I like them to be.  But, it is helpful when you are looking for that actor’s name and where you’ve seen him before.  (For example, in the show Parenthood, Amber is played by the same actress that portrayed Ann in Arrested Development, which drove me crazy until I looked it up.  She changed her hair color, which threw me off, but I knew I’d seen her before.)

Oh, and if you are a registered user, which, of course, I am, you can post items on there as well.  I’ve posted both a goof and a bit of trivia.  Impressed?  You should be.  I’m officially published.  ha

I have this site bookmarked at the top of my screen since I visit it so often.  If you haven’t visited it, you have no idea what you are missing!  Grab a bowl of popcorn and start searching!

Award Winners of the 90’s

Sometimes I watch the Academy Awards and think, “What?!  Are you kidding me?!   THAT is what you chose for Best Picture?”

But, I’m going to have to admit that the Academy made some pretty good choices in the 90’s.  Continuing with the ever-exciting list of “What Michelle Movies Has Seen and What She Thinks About Them…”

  • 1999 American Beauty – Okay, I’ll be honest here.  Kevin Spacey could read the ingredients on the side of a cereal box, and I would watch it.  This movie was good, albeit a tad disturbing.  Which is what the Academy often chooses, so it’s not a surprise winner.  However, that year, I would have chosen The Green Mile.  Probably too “preachy” for Hollywood.
  • 1998 Shakespeare in Love – This one goes in the “Are You Kidding Me?” category.  It was decent movie, but was it really better than Life is Beautiful?  Really? 
  • 1997 Titanic – I’ve never seen this movie.  It’s become a thing of pride now.  A game winner in “I Have Never…”  Besides, I know how it ends.  The ship sinks.  Oops.  Did I spoil it for you?
  • 1996 The English Patient – Never seen it.  Heard it’s a snooze-fest.  One of “those” movies.  The kind the Academy loves, but the public slept through it.  Fargo, however, was Oscar-worthy in my opinion.  At least I stayed awake during Jerry Maguire.  (Remember Cuba Gooding Jr’s acceptance speech for Best Supporting Actor?  Priceless!)
  • 1995 – Braveheart – Wow, this was the year to watch movies.  Braveheart was well-done.  I remember people poo-pooing Mel Gibson’s accent, though.  He was up for Best Director, not Best Actor, so lay off.  🙂  Apollo 13 was an excellent film that year as well.  Historical.  Tom Hanks.  Gary Sinese.  What more do you want?  Babe never had a chance, in my opinion.  Still one of my favorite “feel good” movies.  But, the biggest disappointment of all?  Sense and Sensibility was robbed!  This is absolutely one of my very favorite movies!  Brilliant!  I cry every single time I watch!
  • 1994 – Forrest Gump – Okay, I’m still not over Sense and Sensibility.  Give me a moment.  Okay.  Now I’m ready to move on.  Forrest Gump is absolutely going to remain a classic for all time.  The acting, the special effects, and the storyline were all superb.  I feel sorry for anyone else who made a picture that year.  You never had a chance.  (Especially Shawshank Redemption.  It was all about timing.  Should have waited until 1996.)
  • 1993 – Shindler’s List – This was a no-brainer on the Academy’s part.  Holocaust, Steven Spielberg, and vintage black and white.  A trifecta film.
  • 1992 – Unforgiven – Please don’t call it THE Unforgiven.  Drove me crazy anytime anyone would call it that.  The first movie I ever saw on DVD.  Not a big fan of westerns, per se.  (Unless Jimmy Stewart is in them.)  But, they had me at Gene Hackman.  Other than that Superman III debacle, Gene is almost always in excellent movies.  I absolutely loved this one.  And, the Academy’s nod to Clint Eastwood.  (Whose name I can’t type or say without thinking of Back to the Future III .  “Eastwood.  Clint Eastwood.”)
  • 1991 – Silence of the Lambs – I have to admit that I’m surprised by this one.  Thrillers don’t normally win the big award.  But, this wasn’t just any thriller.  Anthony Hopkins and Jody Foster (the darling of the Academy) made this movie worth more than just a glance.
  • 1990 – Dances With Wolves – Epic movie.  Beautiful landscape.  Shows how mean we were to the American Indian.  No question.  Godfather Part III is arguably the worst of the trilogy.  It got a pity nomination, in my opinion.  Ghost was too “froo-froo” for Best Picture and too much of a comedy.  Comedies never win Best Picture.  Never.  Awakenings and Goodfellas might have won had they been released a different year.  Similar to 1994.  No one else had a chance.

Now it’s your turn.  What movies did you love/hate?  Never see?  I’m at 90% for the 90’s!  🙂

Recent Award Winners

I’ve been interested in classic movies lately.  Watched In the Heat of the Night  “They call me MR. Tibbs!”  Loved it!  Watched Wall Street, not sure that it is a classic, but I felt like it was on the list of “Movies Everyone Has Seen and Gets Referenced Enough that I Should Watch It.”  (Am I the only one who has this list?)

The way I got started with this list was reading someone’s blog about the 10 Most Memorable Movie Quotes.  As I went through the list, I realized that the two movies above were the only ones I had not yet seen.  So, I can check those off my list.

I then decided to check out what Academy Award Winning Movies (Best Picture) I had seen/not seen.  (This was also prompted by my friend Mark who was shocked to find out I had never seen The Godfather.  Yes, it is now in my Netflix queue.)

The past 10 years of Best Picture are as follows

  • 2008 Slumdog Millionaire-haven’t seen it, and don’t really want to.  Just not my cup of tea, I guess.
  • 2007 No Country for Old Men – haven’t seen it.  Too violent for my taste, I think.
  • 2006 The Departed – saw it, and had to admit it was pretty good.  I’m a sucker for Matt Damon movies.
  • 2005 Crash– EXCELLENT MOVIE!  Love those movies where everyone is impacted by other characters, seemingly unrelated.
  • 2004 Million Dollar Baby – haven’t seen it, but I HATE boxing and boxing movies.  (“It’s not a boxing movie, it’s a movie about (insert life-changing moment here)”.  No, it’s a boxing movie.  Sorry.)
  • 2003 Lord of the Rings-Return of the King – Saw it.  Loved it!  Never read one of the books.   Wouldn’t have even seen the first one, if my only other option hadn’t been to stay at home and watch 12 kids while their parents went to the movie.  Yeah.  Not a tough choice there. 
  • 2002 Chicago –Haven’t seen it.  However, I saw the musical at The Fox in 1998, and so the movie’s not on the top of my “must see” list.  Not a big fan of Richard Gere or Renee Squinty-EyesZelleweger.  (I know.  I shouldn’t talk…She probably makes fun of me too.)
  • 2001  A Beautiful Mind Excellent movie.  Excellent acting.  Loved it.
  • 2000 GladiatorI haven’t seen this one either, but I have to admit that I’m going to add it to my Netflix queue.  Not a big Russell Crowe fan, but it’s probably worth it.  After all, Elizabeth Taylor’s announcement of Best Picture at the Oscars that year alone made it intriguing enough for me to want to see it!

So, what have you seen and loved?  Or what do you wish you hadn’t wasted your time on?

My Favorite Movie is on TV!

My daughter just shouted those words earlier today.  Her favorite movie is “Three Amigos,” by the way.  And, it has been for several years.  She’s ten.  We bought her the DVD for her birthday about five years ago.  Yep.  Some girls think “High School Musical” revolutionized the movie industry.  Or, when they were five, they couldn’t get enough of “Beauty and the Beast.”  Nope.  Not here.  Steve Martin, Chevy Chase, and Martin Short have no idea how little their biggest fan really is.  Yeah, 0ur family has its quirks.

When Tom turned on the TV and started flipping channels, she saw it, and said, “My favorite movie is on TV!  Don’t change it!”  Tom pointed out that it was the end of the movie, but she didn’t care.  She wanted to watch those last 5 minutes.

What I found interesting was the fact that she could watch that movie any time she wanted.  She has the DVD.  But, the fact that it was on TV made it more enticing. 

But, honestly, I do the same thing.  If “When Harry Met Sally” showed up on TV, I’d sit and watch it, even though I own it.  Mark would watch any of the Harry Potters, and time stands still if Tom’s favorite “The Fifth Element” shows up.   Okay, honestly, I just pulled these out of the air.  We all have several favorites.  So if Tom and Mark read this (and they will), please don’t correct me and say, “Why did you say that (name of movie) is my favorite?  It is SO not my favorite.  My favorite movie is “Barney’s Adventures in Happyland” (or something like that).”  I was just giving examples.

So, why is it that we want to see it right then?  Even when just a portion of it is left?  And there are commercials?

In college, my friend wanted to watch “The Sound of Music”  one night.  We told her she could tape it and watch it later.  Her response?  “But, it’s not as fun as when you know that everyone else is watching too!”

Is that it?  Do we like the imaginary camaraderie? 

Ahhhh.  The great questions in life.  Will we ever find the answers?  Or are we doomed to roam this earth just searching…searching…searching…

A Pregnant Bridesmaid on a Sled

  • I just watched “27 Dresses” this week.  I was surprised at how much I really liked it.  I do have one complaint though.  While watching the extras (one of my very favorite parts waiting to rent.  Especially the outtakes, of which there were none in this movie), the other actors kept talking about what a comedic actress Malin Akerman (the sister) was.  Really?  I must have missed it.  I didn’t think her part was humorous at all!  In fact, I hated her through the whole movie!  Even though we were supposed to like her at the end.  I will say she was a good enough actress to make me hate her, but comedy?  No.

If you haven’t seen the movie, skip to the next paragraph.  Okay, you’ve been warned.  I don’t think I could have forgiven that (*&%^ sister for cutting up my mother’s wedding dress as quickly as Jane did.  I thought about that for days!  I have a very good friend whose grandmother made a Christening gown for the family and used lace from my friend’s mother’s wedding dress.  Immediately I thought of “27 Dresses”  and it had been a week since I’d seen it!  That part really got to me.

  • Another movie I just saw was “Citizen Kane.”  I mean, seriously, you have to watch what is considered the greatest movie of all time, right?  Well, I slept through it after the first 20 minutes or so the first time Tom and I sat down to watch it.  Then, we tried it again, and I have to admit, it was really pretty good.  Especially considering when it was made.  So, if you plan to watch it, be prepared to think “Wha?” during the first 20 minutes or so while some announcer keeps shouting, “GEORGE FOSTER KANE…”
  • I saved the best movie that I recently rented for last.  “Juno.”  Wow.  A most excellent movie.  I am usually leary of independent movies, but I wanted to watch this one for some reason.  (And, now that I think about it, more often than not, enjoy those independent films.  “Little Miss Sunshine,” anyone?)  The acting was superb, in my opinion, and would not be classified as a “chick flick.”   The few minutes that Raine Wilson appears are fabulous!  I consider this to be a “must see”!

I realize that these are old movies that most people have already seen, heard about, or bypassed on their own.  I am not a movie critic.  (Although I think I could do a better job than some.  My equation is this: They hate it=I will love it.  They love it=I’ll think about it.)

We have certainly rented more movies than this, but I haven’t watched many of our Netflix movies.  Once in awhile I’ll pick one that I want to see, but Tom really is the one who takes advantage of the whole thing.  He watches it them the day they arrive in the mail.   I just need my sleep too much.  This bipolar thing is kind of getting in the way of my lifestyle!  Right now, “The DaVinci Code” is waiting for me to watch sometime during the day.  Do you know how long that sucker is?  When will I find time for that?  I’d rather blog.

Song Sung Blue

Is anyone that reads this blog old enough to recognize that song?  Just wondering.

My thoughts today are about songs.  I was in my car listening to KSHE rockin’ out to “Live and Let Die” and it was an instrumental part of the song, then I realized…THIS WASN’T THE PAUL MCCARTNEY VERSION!  It was Guns and Roses.  Admittedly, not my favorite band.  But, I was sitting there thinking, “Does anyone ever think that the remake is better?” 

Now, the first one that comes to mind is Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You.”  First written and sung by Dolly Parton.  But, was it a hit?  Or was it just some track on an album or a “B side” as we used to call them?  Had anyone really heard it before Whitney made it huge?

I was telling my husband that I felt I should send Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr a note of apology.  Because when I was in Jr. High, the Bee Gees version of Sgt. Pepper’s was big and so was the movie, I guess.  I didn’t see it.  But, I remember my choir teacher had us listen to the Beatles version because we were going to do a medley of Sgt. Pepper’s songs.  The class practically revolted!  “This isn’t as good as the Bee Gees!”  “Why can’t we listen to the Bee Gees version?”  I’m so ashamed because I was right along with them.  Now, I look back and say, “Oh dear.  What was I thinking?”

So, are remakes ever worth it?  Or is it a case of whichever version you hear first, you like better?  My good friend and I go round and round about which movie is better:  “Philadelphia Story” or “High Society”.  She saw “High Society” first, so she likes it better.  I saw “Philadelphia Story” first, so I  like it better.  She’ll say, “C’mon!  Grace Kelly and the music!!!!”  And, I’ll say, “C’mon, Jimmy Stewart and Cary Grant!!!!”  We’ve agreed to disagree.  She’ll never convince me and vice versa.

Another example is “Sabrina.”  As a huge (and I mean HUGE) Harrison Ford fan, I wanted to LOVE the remake.  I really liked it.  Really, really did.  But, seriously, Humphrey Bogart and Audrey Hepburn?  Can you top that?  No way.  Saw it first, loved it.

I’m not going to go on about how Hollywood and the music business has run out of creative ideas of their own and so they remake the classics or turn TV shows into movies.  That’s another issue altogether. 

But, I’m curious.  Do you have any examples of remakes that were better than the original?  Now, it’s not fair if the original was not a hit.  Because if you go to, you will find a surprisingly large number of remakes that you had no idea were originally done in the 30s or 40s. 

Let me know.  Right now, I have to send a letter to Paul and Ringo.

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