Thursday, December 14, 2017

Thursday Movie Picks-Small Towns


This week it is all about small towns...No blabbing away here (well, not much) so head on over to Wandering Through The Shelves to find out what other movies take place in a small town. Here are my 3...

1. THE GREAT RUPERT-1950


This is also known as A Christmas Wish which stars Jimmy Durante as the head of the household who move into an apartment that is attached to another home. Durante's family are down on their luck while the other family are quite wealthy. The miser dad from the wealthy family has hidden his money in the walls because he's a bit ....squirrely (sorry). His son soon falls for the poor but pretty daughter next door. The fun part comes from Rupert, a squirrel that a vaudeville man can no longer afford to keep. The squirrel doesn't like living the rough life with the other squirrels so he makes his home..you guessed it, in the home of these 2 families. His bed...the money, but the squirrel decides he just has too much of this money so he lets it "rain down" just when the poor family pray for a break. Hijinks ensues all because of this squirrel. It is a silly but charming story with a very fun squirrel created by the Oscar winning George Pal. In fact, many people wrote in asking how someone could train the squirrel to do the stunts.

2. WHITE CHRISTMAS-1954


I hope everyone has seen this holiday classic with Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen. It is a fun musical with an over the top ending that I don't think one would ever find in an Inn. It begins  during WW2 with Bing and Kaye entertaining the troops. You meet their leader who is a stern but kindly general who treats his men right. After the war, the 2 become big entertainers who decide to see 2 sisters (at the behest of an old soldier friend of theirs) work their magic. Well, the sisters do and somehow all 4 end up going to a small inn where the sisters are to perform. The 2 men find out the Inn is run by their old general who sank all his money into it and is close to bankruptcy. Of course, they decide to put on a show. You see many dance numbers which has a Bob Fosse look about it. The ending is sweet and almost makes me cry. My favourite scene-when Bing and Kaye play the sisters and sing...Bing Crosby could not hold a straight face because of Kaye's antics so he is really laughing and it was kept in. Oh..and check out Vera-Ellen-a great dancer who only wears turtle necks and seems painfully thin. The rumours are that she had anorexia.

3. A CHRISTMAS STORY-1983


"You'll shoot your eye out!" This is such a fun film that brings back an era from the late 40's or 50's in a small town about a family with 2 boys. The older boy wants a BB gun but not just any BB Gun, he wants a Red Ryder Carbine Action 200-Shot Range Model Air Rifle. He dreams about owning one but everywhere he goes, everyone, even Santa, tells him it is too dangerous. We get to know this boy, his younger brother who is too wrapped up (by mom) in his snow outfit to walk anywhere, his mom and his old man, who loves his new lamp. You have to laugh at the antics as we can all relate...I was the kid dying in my snow suit. I also put my tongue against a pole..yup, I did do that but I just cupped my hands around and kept breathing on my tongue (attached to the pole) and I was free. This movie was filmed partly in my home town:)

Bonus...

IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE-1946


Come on! You know I would choose this as well since this is my favourite film and I truly believe in what it conveys. If you haven't seen it, you are living under a rock somewhere. Remember, No man is a failure who has friends.

What are your 3....

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Thursday Movie Picks-Ugly Duckling to Beautiful Swan


I’m in the busy days leading up to Christmas so I’m bad with posting my cards etc...This week it’s all about turning an ugly duckling into a beautiful swan and I would love to have someone professional do me up and wear some fancy couture gown with a dazzling sapphire necklace. Ok, so I’m in my pajamas with my blue robe, glasses and no make up....very comfy:) I picked 2 classics and a guilty pleasure. Head on over to Wandering Through The Shelves and see what other swans were chosen.

1. PYGMALION-1938


This film is about the closest to Shaw’s play and it is my favourite rendition because of the brilliant acting of Leslie Howard and Dame Wendy Hiller who was perfect as Eliza Doolittle. A renowned professor makes a bet with his friend and colleague that he could make a common guttersnipe a lady passing her off as a Dutchess at a ball. The professor is brutal, condescending, rude but brilliant with his creation. Eliza is stubborn, willful, brilliant and a beauty. It was remade as a musical with Rex Harrison and Audrey Hepburn( Julie Andrews would have been better in the role she originated) called My Fair Lady but I find this comedic version better and the ball gown and look is much more fetching than the one Audrey wore.

2. NOW, VOYAGER-1942


This is one of the most famous of make-over films with Bette Davis as the mousy gal who is stifled by her domineering mother and sent away to get some mental help by the kindly doctor played by, the always great, Claude Rains. She comes back healed, not only within but outside as well. She takes a cruise and meets a man played by hubba Paul Henreid. They share a sleeping bag together and he often lights 2 cigarettes and gives one to her which was the epitome of sexual innuendo back in the day and made many women swoon. Another great film that is romantic but is more bout a woman who breaks free from being dominated and finds her purpose in life.

3. MISS CONGENIALITY-2000


This is my guilty pleasure that is shown often on tv and I still get a kick out of it especilly when poor Sandra Bullock has to undergo major treatment to make her look like a beauty pageant contestant. Yes, Sandra is too old for this role and the plot is silly but it’s funny and has no real meanness. She is an FBI agent who goes undercover to find out who wants to destroy the Miss USA pageant. She enters the contest with a preconceived opinion about the girls and finds out they are more than just fake everything. I love Michael Caine as her guru who does the impossible...makes her beautiful. It’s silly but I enjoy this flick.

What would you choose?

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Thursday Movie Picks: TV Edition-Work Place


I have not been around much because I have had friends stay over this past weekend, dinners out and now Christmas festivities is soon upon us. I apologize for not visiting like I want to but I have been busy making tags, bookmarks and cards. I will show them one day. This weekend I have to make my Advent Wreath and put up some decorations. This week for the movies....it's all about tv and we talk about the workplace. Head on over to Wandering Through the Shelves to see what the others have chosen. I love the 3 I chose this week as they are some of my favourites.

1.THE MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW-1970-1977


In honour of Mary Tyler Moore who died this year, I thought it only right to showcase her show especially with all the crap happening in the entertainment industry. She plays Mary Richards who is hired by WJM-TV as their Associate Producer. Her boss is Lou Grant, played wonderfully by Ed Asner. Murray Slaughter(Gavin Macleod) is the head writer, Ted Baxter (Ted Knight who is excellent!) as the vain and dumber than dumb newscaster, Sue Ann Nivens (Betty White) as the happy homemaker, Phyllis is Mary's landlady and friend (Cloris Leachman) and Rhoda is her best friend played by Valerie Harper. It's considered one of the best written comedies ever and a great shot in the arm for independent women who can make it anywhere! The antics in the newsroom was so funny especially when Ted Baxter goofed things up or Sue Ann was lusting after Lou. I loved it when Mary hosted a party because it was always a disaster. One of the best is the Chuckles the Clown episode...watch it on youtube!!

2. WKRP IN CINCINNATI-1978-1982


"As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly!"  I love this show and the antics of all the people at this workplace from the bumbling but good hearted boss to the lecherous Herb Tarlek whom blonde Bombshell Jennifer, the secretary, had to always fend off and could...easily. Poor Less Nessman was a horrible reporter waiting for his walls and door to his own office. You have Andy hired to try to bring the radio station into the black and he hires Venus Flytrap as a DJ along with Dr. Johnny Fever, the spaced out DJ played brilliantly by Howard Hesseman. Bailey is a young newswoman trying to make her own claim. The famous Thanksgiving episode is just one of many. I think my favourite episode was to show the bad effects when drinking, unfortunately, Dr. Johnny Fever's reflexes just got better the more he drank.

3. FRASIER-1993-2004


This show is so well written, acted and intelligent with hilarious moments ("You dirty girl." "You Bad Boy") ...I watch this show any time I come across it. The character of Frasier started on another classic sitcom that would fit this theme, Cheers. Kelsey Grammar made the character so lovable and popular that he got his own show. Frasier, a psychiatrist,  takes a job at a Seattle radio talk show where he listens to the trials and tribulations of people who call in about their various problems. His producer is Roz a sexy and independent woman with a very healthy sex drive. Frasier takes in his grumpy dad who is a no nonsense ex cop with a leg injury so he needs a live in physiotherapist, Daphne Moon. Frasier also has a brother, Niles, who is just as uptight,and snooty as his brother. Niles is married to Maris, whom no one ever sees, but has the unrequited hots for Daphne. A great show that I still wish was on the air with new episodes.

I love Cheers, Are You Being Served and Fawlty Towers to add a few more. What would be your picks?

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Thursday Movie Picks- Origin Movies

Happy Thanksgiving to my American blogger friends. May you find much blessings with family and friends. I hope you don’t go out on Friday when all the good wishes fly out the window as mothers beat each other up for the new Playstation or those pleather leggings that the size 24 gals must have. I had no idea what Origin movies meant and had to look it up. Check out Wandering Through The Shelves to see what the others have chosen. Here are my 3...

1. THE STORY OF VERNON AND IRENE CASTLE-1939


This was the first film to show Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers as a married couple and was their last film at RKO. I love Dancing With The Stars despite all the liberties that are taken with the ballroom and Latin dances. I always wanted to learn ballroom dancing and took classes once. It is much harder than one thinks. Vernon and Irene Castle were an actual married couple who redeveloped ballroom dancing as we know it today. The foxtrot became more defined as a ballroom dance because of this couple.  Fred Astaire wanted to keep the original dance the way the Castles danced it. I think it is a lovely film that tanked at the box office but is the sweetest of their films since it shows how they met, struggled and became famous.

2. ONE MILLION YEARS B.C.-1966


I could have chosen the 1940 version with Carole Landis but, come on, this is the one with Raquel Welch in her fur bikini. It is the beginning of man who seem to co-exist with dinosaurs which is fun to watch. The dark haired people seem even more primitive than the golden haired vixens. Of course a dark haired man falls for Welch and we get to see him fend off dinosaurs, watch women fight for a man and a Pterodactyl pick up Welch, as an appetizer, for her little birdies. Every teen boy’s wet dream movie.

3. GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY-2014


I went with a new movie! This is all about a Han Solo type of dude who was taken off earth when he was a kid by some space pirates and now jet sets across the Galaxy. He steals an orb, not realizing its power, fights a green vixen, a nutty raccoon and a tree who are all after the orb. They end up in a prison where they meet Drax who tries to kill the green vixen. They find out what the orb does and they band together to save the galaxy. Vin Diesel delivers his best acting in his role as Groot (the tree). It is a fun, thrill ride, witty flick with great effects and music.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Thursday Movie Picks- Movies With Strong Strong Female Characters


This was my choice and who knew it would come at a time when all this crap has hit the news from Weinstein to Spacey. What is happening, especially in Hollywood, is not  new because this has been going on since the movies began. You better believe that Darryl F. Zanuck and Jack Warner make Weinstein and Spacey look like freshman in the sexual abuse arena. Marilyn Monroe was famous for saying, when she finally hit it big, “thank God, this is the last cock I’ll ever have to suck.” Sorry for the brutal language but it shows what women...and men, had to endure and still do. Anyway, I know there are many films that one can choose that features strong women and I chose women who are strong but not insane. Check out Wandering Through The Shelves to see what everyone else has chosen. Here are my 3....

1. HIS GIRL FRIDAY-1940


How can I not choose this film! It stars Cary Grant as a newspaper editor who was married to his star reporter played beautifully by Rosalind Russell. They are now divorced and she is ready to marry a nice, boring insurance agent played by Ralph Bellamy (many jokes about poor Ralph in the film. He is also known as one of the old brothers from Trading Places) but not if Cary has anything to say about it. Hildy (Rosalind Russell) finds herself in the middle of a great news story and her true  love for the business overrides any want to be a housewife. Sharp direction by Howard Hawks with quick talking often over each other makes this a fast paced, funny film with a great cast and a woman in a position often held only by men.

2. ADAM`S RIB-1949


How can I not have a Katherine Hepburn film in this week`s theme. This is one of the best films of Tracy and Hepburn and, once again, a woman in a typically male dominated career. They play married lawyers who have a wonderful marriage until she takes the case of defending a woman who tried to kill her horrible excuse for a husband. The lawyer prosecuting the  the woman is Spencer Tracy-the  film husband of Hepburn. We see the antics in the court room and how Hepburn`s character, Amanda, plays every trick in the book to win the case even at the expense of her husband. Well written by Garson Kanin and Ruth Gordon who were good friends of Tracy and Hepburn and knew how to bring out the best in each actor. It is also the Hollywood debut of the great Judy Holliday who died too young from cancer.

3. THE NIGHT OF THE HUNTER-1955


This is a great film that could be considered a horror film, thriller or a fairy tale but no matter what one may call it, it is an excellent film that was unappreciated in its day to the point that the director, film star Charles Laughton, never directed another film. The Coen brothers, Spike Lee and many others have sited how they were influenced by this film which starts Robert Mitchum as an evil preacher after money he knew was hidden somewhere in a house with a widow and 2 small children. he cons the town and the widow whom he marries and murders trying to find the money. The 2 small children run for their lives as he tries to capture them. The children come to a small home with an elderly lady who stands up to this evil man and defends the children seeing right through the so-called preacher. Such great acting from Robert Mitchum who has LOVE tattooed on one hand and HATE on the other (Have you ever seen people with this on their fingers-it comes from this film) to Lillian Gish, she started in films almost when movies began and is considered one of the best actresses.

BONUS...

4. ERIN BROCKOVICH-2000


I had to go with a modern film and I chose this one because I felt Julia Roberts nailed it as the brassy,, in your face real woman-Erin Brockovich. She is hired as a legal assistant whom most in the office, can`t stand and she starts to investigate why a number of people are becoming very ill with cancer, tumours and other medical issues in the small town. When she brings the information to her boss, he sees the big problem and becomes a lawyer to the townsfolk. Through the unrelenting support and hound dog investigation of Erin, the lawyer brings the corruption and poisoning of the water supply of  the big company to the foreground. Everyone soon realizes not to mess with Ms. Brockovich. Julia won an Oscar for her role and she delivers a great performance in a well acted film.

Which films would you chooseƉ

Monday, November 13, 2017

Remakes Blogfest-Movies, Books, Music


I'm a bit late but here we go....I decided to join in on the fun and, of course, I went the movie way.This one was tough for me but I finally found my pick. Head over to the Great Alex J Cavanaugh's blog to check out the rest.

OCEAN'S ELEVEN-1960


Our computers at work suck! I can't seem to be able to download the film trailers here and I have no time this eve to even try on the computer at home so the movie posters will have to do. This was a big film for the day since it starred the Ratpack led by Frank Sinatra. These men whooped it up in Las Vegas and had many women in tow including Angie Dickinson. They play World War 2 vets who decide to steal from the top 4 casinos (back then). They are the essence of cool who  work out a unique way to steal millions. I always knew about this film but never had a chance to see it until this past year. I was a bit disappointed with it because the writing seemed to go more for the  "I am cool" vibe than having this film play out  the way it should have. You have a lot of  these men just play off one another except you notice they never want to piss off Frankie. I do think Sammy Davis Stole the show.

OCEAN'S ELEVEN-2001


I have to admit I really enjoyed this film much better than the original. They are cool, classy and humble so the script is tight, works well by developing the characters, and the cast do not think they are too cool for their own good. The main man, played by George Clooney is let out of prison and soon brings his old troop together to rob the big Casino of millions. I just found this remake to be better acted, and much more fun. They are not trying too hard like the original.

What do you think?

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Thursday Movie Picks-An Adaptation You Want To See (of a book, Comic, Game etc... That hasn't been adapted yet)

Now that was a long title not the run off blecchh that happened to me last week.

November! I can't believe it but here we are, and soon it will be Christmas and the end of another year. At present, I am enjoying the beautiful leaves on the trees since we had a late fall. I know many of my blogger friends are excellent writers who have had books published. They would be tickled if their books would be converted into a film and I would go and see their films. This week it is all about adaptations of  anything you would love to see be made into a movie so here are my picks. I have to admit I had a tough time this week but let's see what the other film people chose, so head on over to Wandering Through The Shelves  to check out their picks.

1. MY PARENTS, FRANK (1913-1988) AND RUTH(1928-)


OK...shoot me because there is no book (yet) about my parents and to be honest, I feel overwhelmed at how to even begin. As some of you know, my mom was born in Wittenberg, Germany in 1928 and she grew up under the Hitler Regime. She has fond memories of Christmas, her forest across the road and school but she was also taken out of her home and forced into the Hitler Youth. She suffered the bombings of Hamburg, Dresden, met Hitler, lost 2 brothers in the war, worked with the resistance to stop the Germans by blowing up bridges (she placed the TNT under the bridges), suffered starvation, gang rape by 7 Russians, escaped to the West, brought food to her mom and got her dad out when he was let out of the Gulag and so much more. My dad was born in 1913 near Algonquin Park in Northern Ontario and was so poor he often had no food or proper clothing. Suffered the loss of his mother when he was 6 and endured beatings by his step mother. He worked in lumber camps when he was 14, endured the Great depression, met up with wolves , moose and bears and hopped trains to find work. He fought in the Canadian Army and was wounded near the end of the war. In the 50's they both traveled-he out west and back, my mom, finally, to Canada. They met in 1959 and wanted to marry but my mom's first husband would not grant a divorce. It took 3 years to try to get rid of this jerk and there is a whole other book just about their love. They started living together when it was not the right thing to do back then and my dad was a religious man but he loved my mom so much. I wish to honour them here especially since Saturday is November 11th which is our Remembrance Day for all the soldiers and civilians who dealt with war. I wear my poppy with pride!

2. LOUISE BROOKS-1989-BY BARRY PARIS


If you find a book written by this man, read it! I find him an excellent writer and his biographies on Louise Brooks and Garbo entertaining. If you don't know this woman, read up! She was a rebel from day 1 and didn't give a F*&;^% about what she should or shouldn't do. She was a hedonist so she loved parties, men and women and took off to Germany to make 2 of the best films ever made (in my humble opinion even if they are silents). She had affairs with Charlie Chaplin, Hearst's niece (so she was often at the Hearst mansion) and a one night stand with Garbo. She was highly intelligent and never sugar coated Hollywood. Due to her F. U. nature, she hurt her own career and ended up selling perfume in some retail store until she was rediscovered. What a life and I think Rooney Mara would be a good choice to play this woman.

3. APRIL IN HER EYES-1979-SONG BY CHRIS DE BURGH


This is such a haunting song that I fell in love with when I was in High School. It would be a fairy tale and a sad one but I would love to see this on the big screen. They would need a girl with beautiful eyes and ethereal....too bad Audrey Hepburn isn't around any more.

Bonus

OK..I have to put this down...

DAYS OF FUTURE PASSED-1967-MOODY BLUES


I love...I mean LOVE this album and consider it a classic in rock but also in classical music because the whole thing seems like an opera without the operatic vocals but of these men who comprise this great band. I think of it as days of the week from Tuesday Afternoon to Knights in White Satin. It would be so cool to see an artistic film with these songs and lyrics in mind but how would the plot go? Would there be a big love story? Would we see them when they are young until they are old with  "Another Day's useless energy spent?" Who would star in this. I like to see Hugh Jackman in it since I think he is the bee's knees.

OK so these are my picks. What would be yours?