Thursday, May 19, 2022

Thursday Movie Picks-Mazes

 


I love mazes but have only been in sad little mazes like one at Niagara Falls. I’d love to be in a big maze like one in "The Shining" but don't know any in my area. Check out Wandering Through The Shelves who chose a fun theme this week which is all about the Maze. Nope, I decided not to go with the most famous one, the aforementioned Shining but picked 3 I think you may like.

1. THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI-1947

This stars the husband and wife team of Orson Welles and Rita Hayworth, nicknamed "Beauty and The Brain" by the press but, by this time, they were not happily married and it shows in this film because Welles decided to have Hayworth's beautiful auburn locks cut and died platinum blonde. She also seems quite hard in this film as the femme fatale. In this movie, Hayworth is married to an old coot who hires Irish( hahaaa) Orson Welles to help out on their yacht. There is much duplicity going on including a couple of murders where it culminates in an excellent climax in a mirrored maze. That climax is justifiablely famous

2. LABYRINTH-1986

I haven’t seen this film in decades and want to watch it again. I remember seeing it in the theatre and thought it was quite excellent for its beautiful dream-like world inside this labyrinth ruled over by the goblin king, played by David Bowie. Jennifer Connelly plays a beautiful 16 yr old who has to take care of her baby brother and, in a fit of anger, wishes the baby be taken by the goblin king. As soon as she wishes this, it happens and she must find a way out of the labyrinth in order to save her baby brother. Along the way, she meets up with some characters who become her friends and vice versa. The sets and costumes are truly quite beautiful and this movie deserves its cult status.

3. IN THE NAME OF THE ROSE-1986

This is another film I saw in the theatre and also love because of the beautiful labyrinth of the secret library held in a mysterious monastery. Sean Connery plays a Friar(no, not Tuck) who, along with his assistant( Christian Slater) come to this monastery to investigate the strange death of a monk. It is a whodunit set in the 1300s when the inquisition was around as well as disease, poverty and religious fervour. I love Connery’s character, a sort of early Sherlock Holmes, who loves the written word but also loves solving a good mystery. I found this film quite ...fun and engaging. It’s worth a watch.

I feel guilty not choosing "The Shining" ...which films would you choose?

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Which One Won the Oscar 1957

 

It’s a month full of birthdays...7 including a new one, my hubby’s niece gave birth to a baby girl on May 7th, named Molly Olivia. My hubby’s birthday is on May 25th and he will be ....65!! He is officially a senior citizen but only in age, not in his heart. I decided to choose 1957, hubby’s birth year to choose  3 songs from the movies- one that won the Oscar, one that was nominated and one that missed out on both. Let’s see if you can guess which is which.

1. ALL THE WAY SUNG BY FRANK SINATRA

This song is from the film, “ The Joker  Is Wild”  starring Frank Sinatra which turned into one of his bigger hits. This song was written by Jimmy Van Heusen with lyrics by Sammy Cahn.

2. AN AFFAIR TO REMEMBER SUNG BY VIC DAMONE

I know the movie very well and even the music but I didn’t know, or remember, the lyrics. I guess it’s because the song was heard at the very beginning and then sung by Marni Nixon who always subbed for Deborah Kerr. ( among others). This song was composed by  Harry Warren with lyrics by Leo McCarey and Harold Adamson.

3. LOVING YOU SUNG BY ELVIS

Elvis is Elvis we don’t even have to say his last name and we know who it is. He starred in the film with the same name. This is a really nice song written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller.


So which song won the Oscar, which was nominated and which song lostnon both counts?

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Thursday Movie Picks-Actors who are a Real Life Family Playong Same Family Role in Movies

 

That title must be one of the longest:) I was thinking about families and, to be honest, came up blank. I didn't want to do anything about kids or kids and parents so I thought of real life romances. There are plenty out there but I wanted the real passionate relationship  and I think Wandering Through The Shelves would Like. Here are my 3...

1. FLESH AND THE DEVIL- 1927


I actually like this movie, I don't love it but there is something mesmerizing between John Gilbert and Greta Garbo. The film is about 2 lifelong German friends who end up meeting a Count and Countess. When John Gilbert has his first look at Garbo, his mouth drops open. This is not faked and Gilbert never returned home to his wife,  Leatrice Joy. With the Countess's encouragement, they begin an affair which ends up with Gilbert shooting her husband in a duel. Since he is in the army, Gilbert is sent to Africa for 3 years but when he returns, his best friend is now married to the Countess. Gilbert and Garbo's passionate love was caught on screen. When the 2 make out on a couch  the director ended the scene without yelling "cut" and they all left so the 2 stars could get acquainted in the biblical sense. Gilbert was the biggest star back then, not Garbo, but he helped her. When she did not show up to their wedding( it was a double wedding)  L. B. Mayers  head of MGM,  told him " Screw her, don't marry her". Gilbert decked him. From that moment you see his career decline. He died in Marlene Dietrich's bed from a heart attack brought on by his alcoholism. In 1936, he was only 38.

2. TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT- 1944


This is a fun film starring Humphrey Bogart as a captain of a small touring boat on the island of Martinique during WW2. He doesn't want to get involved in the war but events lead him right into it. Lauren Bacall plays "Slim", the young gal who decides to get under Bogie's skin especially when she tells him how to whistle. Bogart and Bacall met on the set of this film and, despite him being married ( to an alcoholic nutjob who tried to kill him) and 24 years older, they fell for one another. The thoughts were that it would never last, but they stayed together until Bogie died in 1957. They had 2 children and, even though Bacall married again( to Jason Robards) she always said Bogie was the love of her life.

3. BUGSY-1991


Warren Beatty stars as Bugsy Malone, the real life mobster ( who hated his nickname) who brought Las Vegas from a small, no nothing town to the mega casino Sodom & Gamorah that we know it today. Well, today it has huge fountains, rides and a throw up of tackiness but back in the 50s to the 80s, it was the hobnob of gamblers, the Rat Pack and Wayne Newton. Annette Benning plays Virginia, the gal that wins his heart. This film is a more glamourized account of Bugsy and Virginia  but tongues were wagging when the rumours came out that Beatty and Benning were playing footsies. No one expected this to last because Beatty was notorious for his womanizing ways but, they proved everyone wrong because he married her! They are still happily married and have 4 kids. Warren found the woman he wanted to be with forever but it took a long while...and many women.

Which family in real life are in the movies that you saw?

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

A beautiful Week

 



Our Cherry blossom tree is starting to show off in the most delightful way. What a better way than to showcase flowers especially since the first song I picked has been in my head for a week now.

1. IF YOU'RE GOING TO SAN FRANCISCO SUNG BYSCOTT MCKENZIE-1967


This was written by John Phillips ( from the Mama's and the Papa's) at the heyday of flower power and peace out, smoke a doobie, far out etc... I always think of that famous Life Magazine photo of this blond mam putting daisies into the head of the rifles that were pointed ag him and others. 

2. HONEYSUCKLE ROSE SUNG BY LENA HORNE-1943


I always loved how Lena Horne sang this song when I first heard it from a movie that was just a showcase for the MGM stars. The sad thing is she could be clipped out of the film when it was shown in the South. Disgusting but true and this is often how Lena was shown in films  except for films like Stormy Weather, you couldn't see her much which was a shame. This song was written by Fats Waller in 1929.

3. DESERT ROSE SUNG BY STING-2000


I never cared for The Police and that one song, " Roxanne" really grates on my nerves but I do like this song by Sting with the Algerian Rai  singer Mami creating an Arabic touch to this song that Sting also wrote.

For fun, I had to put this clip in from a musical I still have to see  Watching Bobby Van bounce like Tigger  all around the neighborhood just leaves me  speechless. I tried doing this once and only did 3 jumps. I was not feeling well after that because just look at where he places his legs..all the way back...thus made my mouth drop open.


Feeling like spring is in the air by seeing all the pretty flowers? What songs grab you?

Friday, May 6, 2022

What I watched in April

 


I didn’t watch nearly as much as last month but I still saw some so here we go....

1. HACKSAW RIDGE-201



Yes, this is a Mel Gibson film but, although I never cared for the man ever since I saw him interviewed by Barbara Walters way back in the 1980s, I do believe he makes some really good movies and this is one of them. I would say it is an excellent film. It is violent but that is what war is and, I believe, it is not gratuitous. This is a true story about a man that, due to his religious belief, he refuses to carry a gun but wants to be in World War 2. he faces many uphill battles from his own side to begin with but, boy does he prove his worth. If you read about the actual man, Desmond Doss, he enters the war as a conscientious objector medic who saved over 75 men (many say it was more) during a key battle and was the first conscientous objector to be awarded the medal of honour. 

2. TITANIC-1997


Yup, I watched this drivel (Dribble? Drivle?) of a flick because there was not much else on TV and I wanted to slum it. I was hoping I would change my mind about it but...nope...It's the Love Boat sinking. The costumes are excellent and the detail that went into the decor and how it showed the ship at the bottom slowly come alive as it used to be is impressive, even the acting is good but the writing and directing by that ego inflated goon, James Cameron falls into a pit of crap. He went all cutesy teenage love story where the kids fall in love and poor slob, Leo, gets invited to first class engaging the rich people to listen to what he has to say... Yeah, and I have an Oligarch yacht I want to sell you. Rose and Jack go in and out of that freezing water so many times I am surprised they didn't become prized ice sculptures surrounded by caviar. Never mind the true stories that are much more interesting than Jack and Rose, let's centre on a story that would never, I repeat, never happen in this manner. Besides, I don't care if old Rose is 100, I would bitch slap that old broad for throwing over that honking, tacky blue diamond into the sea. She hated that thing so why would she keep it all these years? Didn't her grandkids need to go to school? Where did she hide it all those years from her husband? You mean, she loved Jack more after knowing him for 3 bleeping days than her husband that she was with for probably 50?  Ughhh

3. GOON-2011


I happened across this fun flick and laughed my ass off. It is brutal, stupid (maybe moronic) and many F bombs but I laughed and laughed. It is not for many since you do see a lot of blood splatters  but I just couldn't help laughing. Obviously, the men who wrote this must have loved Slapshot (starred Paul Newman and that is a much better film) and wanted to make another hockey film. It stars Seann William Scott as a dumb bouncer who finds his dream job on the ice as an enforcer for some minor hockey league. We also have Liev Schreiber as an experienced enforcer who is adored by man fans. It is  loosely based on a man named Douglas Smith who co-wrote a book, with Adam Frattasio, about his exploits on the ice.

4. MINORITY REPORT-2002



This film stars Tom Cruise as a cop, haunted by the disappearance of his son, who captures criminals before they commit murder. Yes, it is sci-fi mixed in with thriller and a conspiracy story deftly handled by Steven Spielberg. You see there are these pre-cogs-2 men, twin brothers and a woman, who seem to spend their life in this water connected to some tv where their minds show what will happen. The problem is that is it true or can it be manipulated? Well, you have to watch the film to find out. It is well acted and I thought the story was quite original.

5. Grace Quigly-1985


This is quite a good movie bringing a hint back of the old screwball comedy but on a much darker side. Katherine Hepburn place Grace, who lives in a slumlord building and is ready to be kicked out of her apartment by the a-hole landlord when she witnesses his murder by a hitman, Nick Nolte. She follows him and decides to hire him to kill her. He is a bit put out by this request but she will not take no for an answer especially when she gives him all her life's savings-$2,000. When he meets her again, she has told a few of her old cronies that live in the same building and they want to be done in too. Before you know it, it becomes quite the business venture but not in all the ways you expect it to be. The 2 of them start forming a bond like only a demented mom and son could be. It is not a great film but it is funny and quite engaging.

TV SHOWS

1. TEMPLE-2019- PRESENT


I love Mark Strong, who usually plays a villain, but in this show, he is a doctor who does questionable services for people who wish not to have it known they need a doctor. His base of operations is in the bowels of the subway where he has a trusty sidekick who helps him and, soon, brings in a fellow doctor/scientist to help cure his wife who is in a coma. It goes on from there where he seems to sink lower and lower all for the love of his wife. It's well acted and I love the drama punched in with some good comedic bits that are played out dryly but with good effect.

2. HISTORY'S GREATEST MYSTERIES-2020-PRESENT


I love a good mystery and, when I was young, my mom always bought me books on unsolved mysteries whether they be true or fanciful or a novel...I love them. This is one show that looks deeper into some of the most famous but does not take a tacky look at things but more of a research style which is what I love. I just watched one about the famous Amber room that was looted by the Nazis  from the Catherine Palace in St. Petersburg. Of course, they tackled D. B. Cooper, the convicts that escaped from Alcatraz and the Titanic but they also talk about the 5 Sodder kids that supposedly died in a fire and the Dyatlov Pass Incident. Pretty cool.

3. SECRETS OF PLAYBOY-2022


I came across this and didn't think much about it. To be honest, I rolled my eyes  thinking that it was going to be about these playboy women in fake tans, boobs and all bashing an asshole now that he's dead. Well, Hugh Hefner was an asshole and he is dead (I never liked this creepy bastard), but I was very wrong about these women and am readily admitting to it because I judged them. They stayed with him and on his place, they were in the magazine, frolicked by the pool so why didn't they just leave? Well, when you watch this, you find out how horrible this was and it is too difficult to explain in a few short sentences. These women were terrified, abused, gaslighted, drugged up and slowly stripped of their power. I always remember seeing Hefner on Larry King with Holly Madison and a couple of others and I remember a few of her looks that disturbed me. I felt she was uncomfortable and very unhappy but I didn't know what was going on. Before ye judge, watch this show. 

What did you watch this past month?

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Thursday Movie Picks- Cinephiles In Movies

 


I love movies!...Well, Duh:) I learned to love movies from my dad who would turn on an old movie any chance he got which was often. This was when ABC had "Movies for a Sunday Afternoon" as well as "The Late Show" before the anthum was played and the TV went to that screen us oldies know well. Here, in Canada, we had the great Elwy Yost who showcased a movie on his "Magic Shadows" and finally had a double feature with some excellent interviews on "Saturday Night At The Movies". I was hooked and watched everything that I could watch including when channel 29 came on board and showed all these B movies on Sundays. This was my education to monsters like "Godzilla", "Gargantuan" and "Them"....oh and "Attack of the Killer Shrews." Wandering Through The Shelves chose a theme that, I think, plays to our own hearts and I have chosen 3 films that, I think, exemplify, the lover of movies.

1. NICKELODEON-1976


 The wonderful Peter Bogdonovich, who just passed away earlier this year, had a wealth of knowledge when it came to the beginnings of film. Somehow that bastard was able to talk to the greats from the early days of cinema (and beyond) and amassed a wealth of knowledge plus an unbridled joy when it came time to showcase early Hollywood. This film stars Ryan O'Neal as a would be director of flickers who, along with the owner of the New Jersey studio, decide to relocate to a small town/village called Hollywood. They must escape the Edison (Yes that Edison)patent people who will do everything they can to stop the independants from making movies. Along the way they meet a young gal (Tatum O'Neal) and a photographer (John Ritter)  who along with their main actress and actor (Burt Reynolds), decide to take on Hollywood. This is quite a funny movie and one made with love because most of the stories in this film truly happened. Bogdonovich was friends with the early directors of Allan Dwan and Raoul Walsh who told him many tales. This is one of my favourites.

2. BOWFINGER-1999


Another film that makes me laugh but showcases how much some people just love the movies. This film stars Steve Martin as Bowfinger as a truly, truly, truly bad director and owner of a studio that can't afford stamps never mind having Fedex finally stop at his sad little home...er...movie studio. He has all sorts of missfits work on his film from an over the hill actress (Christine Baranski) to his accountant come screenwriter. He hires a starlet who will sleep with anyone to get ahead (Heather Graham) and, finally, an innocent young guy who looks amazingly like a big ass star (Eddie Murphy in a dual role). OK, The guy is not innocent, he is what we used to refer to as "simple-minded" (Please, don't blast me for writing something that is now poilitically incorrect)  and looks like that dumb ass star because that is his brother who has some major issues of his own. I love how everyone is in this movie because they just love movies including the Mexican illegals they grab out of the brush only for these same Mexican migrant workers now reading "Cahiers Du Cinema" while the rest have no clue what Martin's character is up to. I love the slap against the Scientology freaks in this film as well. It is so funny and yet, endearing. 

3. HUGO-2011


 This is a film directed by Martin Scorsese, another lover of all things cinema and there is no F Bombs every 2 seconds, no Robert De Niro and no Gangsters splitting heads open...how refreshing. It is about a young boy who lives high up in the rafters of a Paris Train station with an automatron that his father had but no longer works. In this station we meet all sorts of people, from Christopher Lee to Frances De La Tour (I love her) as well as an elderly man who sells toys and trinkets. The elderly man seems tired and not too friendly but his Goddaughter is the bridge between the 2. The boy wants to get the Automatron working thinking his dad will speak through this machine and soon finds out that this elderly man used to be a huge director of his own studio-George Melies. Unfortunately, this kid has to stay clear of the Inspector (Sasha Baron Cohen) who would love to catch the kid and throw him into an orphanage. The children are delighted to find some old films of Melies and  help Melies receive the recognition he deserves. I don't care what abnyone thinks, I think this film is a hidden gem that makes me smile and believe in make believe. When I was a kid, I saw a George Melies film and fell in love with his work. To this day I am mesmorized by his ability to create something amazing back before people could fly.

Which film did you watch that made you fall for a movie or fall in love with movies? 

Here is a bonus...


This was done in 1896!

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Wednesday Music Fest-Let's Get Happy

 


April is done so it is time to move forward with, hopefully, no more snow. I miss my furbabes but they gave me such joy like any animal does..I mean, look at this horse! I thought about "Happy" and each person will try to describe it and we can agree with what you feel, experience, say but your version of happiness may not do it for us. Music can bring so much happiness but some love heavy metal which drives me around the bend especially when their voices twerk to a devilish sound. Here are 3 songs I thought of that make me happy..

1. COME ON, GET HAPPY SUNG BY JUDY GARLAND-1950


Judy Garland just came from a sanitarium to squelch her drug habit which she did. She gained weight but felt happy and content. MGM decided to make a film with Judy called "Summer Stock" starring Gene Kelly which, is not a great musical despite some memorable musical performances. When we first see Judy, she is sitting on a tractor singing blissfully in her overalls and one is shocked by her weight gain (shame on me for thinking that way). When the film was done, they placed Judy on a strict diet and, to deal with the stress, she went back to the pills. A few months later, she was quite svelte and, needing another number for this film, she did this one, which was written by Harold Arlen with lyrics by Ted Koehler back in 1930 and introduced by Ruth Etting. The funny thing is she lost quite a few pounds when she did this song only to have gained it back 4 minutes later. Gotta love the movies.

2. HAPPY DAYS ARE HERE AGAIN SUNG BY BARBRA STREISAND-1963



I always remember when Barbra was on Judy Garland's show and they combined their 2 big hits together to create something special. I believe I showed it on my blog last year sometime. Anyway, this song was written by Milton Ager with lyrics by Jack Yellen in 1929. It became mega famous when FDR used this song for his campaign trail and it became his tune..thankfully he never sang it. Funny that this song was created the year the stock market crashed bringing in the Great Depression.

3. MAKE SOMEONE HAPPY SUNG BY JIMMY DURANTE-1964



I bet we have all heard this song before because it is used in many films and even commercials. I think Jimmy sings it best because he puts so much heart into it. It was actually created by the famous pair Adolph Green and Betty Comden with music by Jules Styne for the Broadway show Do-Re-Mi that came out in 1960.

Here is one more because...I can:).


You don't wabnt to like this song but you just can't help it. 

What songs make you think "Happy".