Thursday, June 30, 2016

Thursday Movie Picks-High School Reunions

OK...I really suck at this week's theme probably because I just never cared for this. Knowing that I would rather be sitting on hot coals getting my teeth drilled than going to my High School reunion might be one reason. The other is that I just don't know many films with this theme that I have seen. I am still dealing with my illness so I have been slow here on blogland. Anyhoo, this is hosted by Wandering Through The Shelves so you can head over and see what the others have picked. Alas I am picking 2 that i have seen and one that I haven't because that's just the way it goes. You can let me know if the last one is even worth it to see.


I have not seen this film since it came out so I am a bit rusty on this movie but I do remember enjoying it. It stars Kathleen Turner as Peggy, disenchanted with her marriage and separated from her husband, going to her High School reunion. Once there, after being made Homecoming Queen she faints and wakes up to 1960 and reliving her last few days of high school just before she got knocked up by her now and future husband played by Nicholas Cage. I recall it being sweet, fun and intelligent.


I can take John Cusack most times and this is one of those times. He plays a hitman who decides to go to his high school reunion since it comes at a time he needs to lay low. Even though all his former classmates ask him what he does and he tells the truth, they, naturally, don't believe him. He meets up with his former high school flame and, let's say, things get complicated. It's fun in a dark way which I like.


I have not seen this film so I am really bending the rules here but I am going to ask you (if you have seen this film) what you think of it. It's about 2 friends who stayed friends after High School going back to their reunion and, believing they didn't amount to much, decide to make up a huge story about how successful they are. When it first came out in the theatres, I thought it looked quite stupid but maybe I am wrong. What are your thoughts.

What films have you come up with?



I love Frasier and find this was one of the wittiest shows ever. This, I have seen!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Thursday Movie Picks- high school competitions...non-sports

I am still recuperating from my illness and now my poor hubby has it which makes me feel horrible. I don't want anyone to have this horrible cold. The good news is he is already feeling much better and I am back to work so let's hope next week I am all better. Thank you immensely for all your well wishes, it has truly touched my heart. This week it is all about high school competitions but can't be sports related so spelling bees, music, you name it. If you wish to join, head on over to Wandering Through the Shelves to sign up and see what the other have chosen for this week's topic.  Here are my 3.....


Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland made so many movies together from the famous Andy Hardy series to others that would showcase their amazing talents. This is where typical (HA) high school kids put their heads together to put on a show! Now we all have done this when we were in high school, right? .....HA! These wild and wacky kids decide to enter a competition to be on a show with Paul Whiteman's orchestra. The famous band leader shows up in the film and the sets and the talent is something you will never ever find in high school but who cares! This is a showcase of the young talent at MGM and what talents.


We take a nice small town with a nice suburban family who have an innocent girl with a double D chest enter a competition to win one last kiss from Conrad Birdie a Rock N Roll singer (obviously based on Elvis) before he has to go into the army. Of course, double D (Ann Margaret) wins and the Elvis entourage with all the cameras and crew hunker down to this pretty little town and cause much mayhem. Dick Van Dyke plays a songwriter , with mother issues and Janet Leigh plays his gal who only wants to get married. Paul Lynde just about steals the show as the dad of double D. It is quite witty and a pretty good satire on the nutty ways teens reacted to their heart throbs back in the day.  Gower Champion directed and choreographed the original musical play that won many Tony's and you can still see a little of his inventiveness in the Telephone scene.

3. TAKE THE LEAD- 2006

This is, to me, an under-rated gem and based on a true story. Antonio Banderas plays a dance teacher sent to an inner city school  to deal with the worst delinquents. He decides to teach! They are, at first reluctant( no kidding) but soon, after seeing the teacher dance the tango with a sultry bitch, they realize there is more to this dance than they thought. The teacher has a regular dance class for the high class snoots and one girl doesn't feel like she fits in so she joins the inner city ruffians. These kids start enjoying their class and their teacher signs them up for a ballroom dance competition. What will they do? How will they react with all the stuffed shirts? You'll just have to watch and find out. This won't win any awards but it's fun and sweet even if the ending is a bit over the top. 

So what films would you choose?

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Thursday Movie Picks- takes place in stores, malls etc..

Sorry for being late...I am sicker than a dog and have been off work all this week. Throat, lung, nose and ear infection has clobbered me. I'm making this short  and sweet and then back to the couch I go with my tablet. Head on over to Wandering Through The Shelves to see what the others have picked. You can always join in as well...every Thursday a topic has been chosen and you pick 3 films that work with that topic. Here are my 3.....

1.  THE BIG STORE-1942

This is a Marx Brothers film...need I say more? Yes, it takes place in a store where an evil man wants to kill the owners of the store but the grand Dame Margaret Dumont doesn't trust this evil doer and hires an inept P.I., played by Groucho Marx to find out what is going on. The antics are great as well as Harpo's playing of the harp. If you love the Marx Brothers, you'll love this.


This is a musical remake of the film "Shop Around The Corner" starring Judy Garland and Van Johnson. She is hired in a music store when she is able to sell an instrument at a higher price than what it was labeled as. She and the main seller, played by Johnson, dislike each other and are always at odds but, unbeknownst to them, are secret pen pals who love each other. You know how it is an MGM musical after all but it is sweet and it is nice to see Buster Keaten in a very small role. This was the first role of Liza Minnelli, playing the daughter of Judy and Van at the very end of the film.

3. BAD SANTA-2003

Ok, this is a Christmas film but a foul mouthed one that actually has some wholesome ideas in it....if you look hard enough:) if you don't like debauchery, bad language and bad taste, then don't watch this, me....I love it!  Yes, I hold my head up high. It stars Billy Bob Thornton as a derelict, alcoholic, foul-mouthed, sex obsessed sad sack who works with a midget/dwarf playing Santa and his merry elf for department stores during the holidays. When they know enough money has been collected by the store, they break in and, due to Santa's nimble fingers, crack the safe and make off the with money. The latest store sees Thornton's Santa really lose all his self-respect, while romancing a woman with a Santa fetish and helping out a fat, sad kid deal with bullies while his dad is in prison, mom is dead and grandma, played by Cloris Leachman, is in dementia land. Whew...long sentence...anyway this is very funny in my book and this is the last film that stars John Ritter before he died. He and Billy Bob Thornton were great friends and often appeared in movies together.

What would be your 3 picks? Do you like the trailers or find it too long and prefer to just see the posters?

Friday, June 10, 2016

Armchair Squid Film Society...The Answer

I really stumped all of you and I say that with a bit of a wicked smile:) My choice is a new film which came out last year at the Toronto Film Festival and only opened in the States this year. I will answer my 3 hints below and then tell you the film.

1. Stars 2 Oscar winning actors.......Christopher Plummer and Martin Landau

2. It involves a search....Christopher Plummer's character goes on a search for a man.

3. Issues of Old Age comes up in the film-The leading character has dementia

The film is....REMEMBER-2015

My hubby and I rented this film and we were quickly enthralled by its story. Atom Egoyen is the director who weaves you through a story of aging, Alzheimer's, death, the holocaust, family and revenge. It starts with the recently widowed Zev, played by Christopher Plummer, lives in a long term care home and is friends with another elderly man, Max, played by Martin Landau. They have both endured the holocaust and have lost their families due to one man who ran the prison and Max says it is up to Zev to find this man, now living under another name and kill him. Max is too ill to travel so he creates a list for Zev to keep close to his person and read constantly since Zev suffers from dementia. The list tells him how to leave the home, buy a gun and search for the killer of their families but there are 4 men with that name and Zev must make sure he finds the correct man. Zev goes on this journey and you are taken with him and deal with his fears from being with a man who thinks of the War as glorious to a neo-nazi. During his search for this man, Zev's son is searching for his missing father and has no idea what his father is truly up to.

The film is a German-Canadian  co-production and was filmed in Canada. I need to see this movie more than once because it makes one think. It is slow paced but you can't give up on this film because the ending is superlative. I love the sounds in this film which really come to the fore when Zev is in the horrible home of the neo-nazi. I will not say more but you will understand when you watch this film.

I highly recommend it for anyone to see. Some people may think it is slow moving but I do not...I find it deliberate in its movement like a musical piece that starts slowly and quietly and becomes louder and more prominent as it nears its conclusion. It is worth a watch for sure especially in the masterful acting hands of these 2 great film actors.

To Check out the other film nuts head on over to The Armchair Squid

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Thursday Movie Picks-Immortals

From weddings to immortals....what a trip! I had to think about this one and my hubby can attest from the smoke coming from my ears. This week it is all about immortals and, as one often knows, being immortal isn't all that's cracked up to be. So let's get on with the show...Here are my 3 listed below and if you want to check out what the others have chosen, head on over to Wandering Through The Shelves.


I just re-watched this film about a month ago and I love it. Hurd Hatfield plays a very pretty but creepy Dorian Gray who is being painted by his artist friend (not him but a's for 1945 audiences). His friend comments that he feels this is his best work ever done and when they continue talking Dorian realizes and wishes to stay young forever. Dorian takes his portrait home with him and often gazes upon it wishing he could stay young while his portrait ages. He goes out to the lower end of town and enters a pub where he becomes enchanted with the songstress, played by a young Angela Landsbury (of Murder, She Wrote Fame). They quickly fall in love...or more she with him as he considers her more a plaything than anything else. His lack of being able to love her and actually hurt her doesn't show up on his face but rather on the painting and he notices this. He hides the painting away so no one can see it. The years go by but he doesn't age. It is remarkably well acted and I love George Sanders who plays Gray's other friend. The gothic noir is really captured in this and the cinematography is excellent especially  the use of colour in certain spots. I would hope Oscar Wilde, who wrote the book, would have enjoyed this version.


A romantic adventure that has cruelty and a don't care attitude from the wild wench played by the Ava Gardner, at its core. It takes place on an island with some British ex-patriots who watch the many love affairs of Pandora roll out in front of them. She uses these men and has them get rid of something they cherish for her, only for her to turn her back to them..yup what a bitch! Anyhoo, along comes this Dutch Captain from his nearby ship and he is taken with the beautiful Pandora and so is she with him. The one Ex Patriot realizes that this captain is none other than the doomed Captain of the Flying Dutchman cursed to roam the oceans forever unless he can find a woman who will love him and sacrifice herself for him. It is moody, romantic and a bit wild. Ava Gardner, always had a thing for bull fighters so she did have an affair with the bull fighter who had a part on this film and then said "Smell Ya later".....just like Pandora:)


I am betting this will be everywhere today as it should be. This is a great movie with great adventure, some fun and a whole lot of sword fighting. It opens with the star of the film living during the middle ages fighting with other clans from his country (Scotland). He finds out he is immortal and is taught by a Spaniard, played by Sean Connery, about the ways of the immortals and that they must fight each other until there can only be one. Of course, there is always a villain and that role is played wonderfully by Clancy Brown who just chews up every scene he is in. The music is great (love that song by Queen) and the story is unique. This was such a great hit that more films followed each worse than the last which actually defeats the meaning of the first film. There was even a TV series which was...not that good overall. I would say to just watch this one and skip the rest. Oh, I love it that Christopher Lambert is blind as a bat so he had to be very careful in those dueling scenes.

Which films would you pick??

Friday, June 3, 2016

My 3 Clues- The Armchair Squid Film Society

Yup I'm a little late and feel a bit hazy from the 3 weeks of Birthday Blitzes. Thank you for the birthday wishes by the way. Turning 25 was wonderful:) actually switch the numbers but I was trying to remember my 25th year and I can't. It must have been a good year if I can't remember it:)

So over at The Armchair Squid, you can find the others who have participated and have posted their 3 clues. My 3 are listed below and let's see if you get it right.

1. The film stars 2 Acadamy Award winners actors

2.  It is a search.

3. Issues with old age comes up in the film.

Ok these are my clues...can ya guess? Stay tuned for next Friday to find out the film I chose. Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Thursday Movie Picks-Weddings my birthday and I would love to say I am 25 but I have to flip those  numbers.  When I was 16, I daydreamed to have a wedding like Maria in the Sound of Music. When I was 25, I dreamt of having a beautiful dress or white bathing suit and marrying outside...and I accomplished that (not the bathing suit). I designed my own 2 piece dress and got married in the back yard of my in-laws. It was a lot of work because I organized it all but it was beautiful and people had fun. One divorce later and  now understanding the wonders of elastic waist pants, getting married in an all out ceremony is  not a biggie. It costs way too much for one long, tiring day. This week it is all about weddings and there are some movies I still have not seen and is on my top 10 list( A Wedding with Carol Burnett is one). I could have chosen so many but here are my 3 and one I might have already talked about before but..I am not one for rules there. Head on over to Wandering Through The Shelves to check out the other picks.


I love this movie and can re-watch it over and over. Spencer Tracy makes the movie and one can see why since he shows  how a true actor works. His daughter, played by the beautiful Elizabeth Taylor, becomes engaged to the man of her dreams and now her parents must give her the wedding of her dreams. You see the engagement party they throw where the dad never leaves the kitchen to taking his old tux out of mothballs and trying to fit into it. You feel his angst and his love for his daughter. Forget the Steve Martin version and watch this one.


yes..this is a musical that takes place in London when Queen Elizabeth is about to marry Prince Phillip. The brother and sister act, Fred Astaire and Jane Powell (who is 30 years younger than Astaire) come to London to be in a big show and both fall in love..., (not with each other, this isn't Arkansas) Powell with a young Brit and Fred with Winston Churchill's daughter. Yup Churchill's daughter played the love interest to Astaire. This is the film where Astaire's famous dance on the ceiling takes place and it is pretty neat how they did this scene. The camera actually stood still and the room moved so Astaire had to choreograph the number to the room moving and making sure everything was nailed down...except him as that would hurt.


This is a great Australian sleeper hit bringing Toni Collette to fame. She plays an ego bruised, shy girl bullied by people including her own father. All she dreams about is getting married and has a scrapbook filled with pictures of wedding dresses, flowers and other crap, um, I mean, wedding stuff.  She ends up running away and meets up with a girl who becomes her best friend. Great acting filled with comedy, pathos and ABBA music which is what I love. An endearing small film showing that dreams about weddings may not be the way to go.

What films would you choose??