Saturday, August 30, 2014

Robin Williams

Robin Williams-July 21, 1951-August 11, 2014

So much has been said about his passing and his death goes along with many shocking deaths we have experienced when it comes to famous people. He was a true giver and I have yet to hear anything negative about this man. He was a genius in comedy just like his idol, Jonathan Winters (who also suffered from depression). He was Mork from Ork (Nanu, Nanu) (I also loved his latest sitcom but I seemed to have been the only one who watched it). He was great on late night T.V. and any interview as his mind was always going, never stopping. He was intelligent and a deep thinker who went to Julliard. He met his life long friend, Christopher Reeve, there and they were blood brothers. Knowing some other men, in the late 50's and early 60's who went into a deep depression, I wonder if male Menopause is something that should be looked into. It is only in the last 30 years that Doctors talk seriously about female menopause but nobody thinks of Male menopause. I wonder, if some men who already deal with depression, suffer even  more so when their hormones go "out of whack"...just thinking. Anyway, Here are my 10 favourite films. It does not include Aladdin because I have not seen it yet (slapping my hands). When I made this list it was pick just 10 so let me know if you have any others to add.

10.  One Hour Photo-2002- Robin Williams plays one creepy nut in this film. He gave me the heeby jeevys but it goes to show how great an actor he was.

9. Insomnia- 2002- OK, another creepy outing from this man and I was amazed by his range in acting and how he outdid Al Pacino. Worth looking into this film.

8. The Bird Cage- 1996- Robin Williams plays the "straight" man in this gay comedy. A remake of La Cage Aux Folles. This is just downright funny especially Nathan Lane  and Hank Azaria. One has to see it if only to see Gene Hackman in a dress.

7. Good Morning Vietnam - 1987- This is a comedy-drama and was the first film I remember to put Robin Williams on the map for movies. Yes he made "The World According to Garp" and "Popeye" but this gave him range and one got a sense of his soul from this film which is based on a true story.

6. Happy Feet - 2006- Great animated tale about a dancing penguin and it wouldn't be the same without Robin Williams at one of his best. You have to watch this to laugh at Robin's ad-libs (Like Aladdin)

5. Dead Poet's Society- 1989- A teacher who inspires but there is so much more to this than this small sentence. Robin received his 2nd nod for best actor(first was for Good Morning Vietnam). This film has soul and some may be upset that I have it at #5 but this is my own little list...:)

4. Good Will Hunting - 1997- Robin finally won the Oscar and it was about time. He plays a prof and helps the young Matt Damon in so many more ways than just as a teacher. Robin, talking about his dead wife, left tears in my eyes.

3. Mrs. Doubtfire - 1993- Who hasn't seen this film?? There are so many classic scenes (his breasts catch fire, face in the cake..."helloooooo") but there was so much more to this film. It has heart with a lot of laughter. Creating his Mrs. Doubtfire and going through all the different "women" made me fall off the couch laughing

2. What Dreams May Come- 1998- This is, to me, such an amazing film and very few know about this gem. It is about life and death and the after-life. The imagery is spectacular especially how the film incorporates painting into his version of heaven. It is more sad now considering Robin's death and it still moves me to tears

1. The Fisher King - 1991- Yes this is MY favourite Robin Williams film. I love Terry Gilliam (director) and I love Jeff Bridges. Robin's energetic take on a homeless man who teaches how to live life to the fullest to Jeff Bridges is stellar. It resonates all the more when one finds out how and why Robin Williams' Character becomes homeless. Robin's acting is superb!

Any other films you wish to add?

Monday, August 25, 2014

First of 3 Film Greats Who Recently Passed-James Garner

James Garner- April 7, 1928 to July 19, 2014

This is not like my A to Z challenge but a list of my favourite films from 3 great stars who recently passed away. This took me a while to think about this- should I write about this and what would I say, if anything, and would it sound the least bit interesting since I do not promote myself as a film critic but a lover of films. James Garner is one of my favourites of recent film actors( to me he is a newer star even though he acted in the 1950's onward). He grew up with an abusive step-mother, he was a Korean war Vet and he married the love of his life 2 weeks after meeting her (stayed married too). He also was fond of smoking pot as it helped ease his pain in his knees. He had no problem speaking his mind and according to Julie Andrews and Sally Field was the best kisser they ever experienced (hopefully that excludes their husbands). Anyway here are my 10 favourite films of James Garner.

10. Maverick (1994)- Of course he was the original Maverick along with Jack Kelly who played his brother Bart but I am talking about the Mel Gibson film. This is not a mind bending film that is Oscar worthy but it is a fun movie to watch and I can watch this over and over again. James Garner brings class to this film. If only there could have been a Rockford Files movie but the main star would have had to have been James Garner himself.

9. Move Over, Darling ( 1963)- This was a fun film with Doris Day. Actually he made another film with her called "The Thrill Of It All". I like both so either is actually good for this spot. This was originally with Marilyn Monroe and Dean Martin but when she died, he dropped out so it went to these 2 greats. I love the basic romp and typical early '60's style to it even though, in the other film I mentioned, Doris decides to stay a homemaker...ichhhhh. If you can rent it or watch it on Netflix you will enjoy this merriment.

8. My Fellow Americans (1996) - This co-stars Jack Lemmon and they should have made more films together. Again it is not a film classic but it is a lot of fun. 2 ex-presidents one Democrat (Lemmon) and one Republican (Garner who never wanted to play a Republican:))  and they are marked for assassination. Let the hijinks commence and it is enjoyable once again. In lesser hands it would not be fun but these 2 give it a touch of class.

7. Murphy's Romance (1985) - Sally Field stars in this film with James Garner who received his only Oscar nomination with this film. It is a comedy with depth. It is about love and age and so much more. It is worth checking out for sure besides Sally Field couldn't get enough of his kisses. She said it made her knees weak.

6. Support Your Local Sheriff ( 1969)- Now let's talk comedy and hijinks with a great cast of character actors like Harry Morgan (M.A.S.H. fame), Jack Elam, Joan Hackett, Bruce Dern and Walter Brennan. A comedy western in the best sense which brings us to...

5. Support Your Local Gunfighter (1971)- Yup same hijinks with a similar cast except for Suzanne Pleshette as the love interest and Chuck Connors as the bad guy. Great bar fight, Fun, Fun, Fun and you know the cast must have had fun making this film.

4. The Notebook ( 2004)- You know I never wanted to see this film because I thought it was all about Ryan Reynolds and Rachel McAdams and their soppy romance. I also dislike hype which made me not want to see the movie all the more. One day this past year, I wasn't well and it was on TV so I decided to finally watch it and I was glad I did. The reason-The excellent heart-breaking performances of James Garner and Gena Rowlands.  I had no idea how much screen time they had and they, to me, made the film. The power of love and pain was shown in the simple looks and gestures of these 2 great actors.

3. Victor/Victoria (1982)- This is an all time great comedy and, yes, there is music in this but it goes with the film and brilliantly I might add. Julie Andrews at one of her best teamed a second time with James Garner. Robert Preston as an aging queen who helps Julie Andrews be a gay man in Gay Paris. Lesley Ann Warren almost steals the film and Alex Karras is great as James Garner's bodyguard. A women pretending to be a man pretending to be a woman in the early 1930's with gangsters and mayhem afoot. A remake of the German film Viktor/Viktoria starring Renate Mueller but a great remake.

2. The Great Escape (1963)- All star cast with Steve McQueen, James Coburn, Richard Attenborough and Donald Pleasance (who did survive a POW camp in WW2). It is a rousing war film that, of course, is not accurate in how the 50 died (sorry plot spoiler) but it is accurate in how they dug the tunnels, forged documents, made outfits all to escape. James Garner plays the man who can get all the stuff ( the scrounger). When they do escape it is thrilling and the motorcycle chase is fun to watch.

1. The Americanization of Emily (1964)- This is James Garner's favourite film and he loved working with Julie Andrews. He plays a coward who does not want to go to war but due to the undermining of authority figures he gets in deep and it does play on the social conscience of war and what it means. It is fun to note that Julie Andrews said when they had a kissing scene, he kissed so well that when she walked away her legs gave out and they had to retake the scene...which she didn't mind.

So this is my list of James Garner's films-my favourites. Do you have any? Do you wish to include any in your comments? Let me know. Oh and to all the ladies...isn't it a shame we never had the chance to kiss this man:)

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Santa and an Angel

Materials used-Cream, silver and white pearl cardstalk, Angel stamp, Gold embossing dye stamp, Egyptian and African gold embossing powder, Snowflake and border stickers.

Materials used- Drak green and light green cardstalk, scrap paper embossed using cuddlebug, Santa stamped with black dye ink and embossed with clear embossing powder, coloured with tombow markers, glitter in red, brown, purple, yellow and green. Santa fussy cut and placed with raised stickers. snowflakes, corner and border stickers used as well as greeting.

Sparkles Christmas Challenge-Snowflakes

Winter Wonderland- Anything Goes
52 Christmas Card Throwdown-Colour Challenge-White, Cream, Gold, Silver
Crafty Hazelnut Challenge- Anything Goes
Christmas Cards All Year Round- Sparkle and Shine

Since I wrote about my wonderful adventure when I was a dumb ass 21 year old hitchhiking with Santa and being picked up by a Cowboy trucker from Quebec I thought these cards were in keeping with my Insecure Writer's Support Group post.:) I believe I have gained a few brain cells since then (knowing I also have equally killed a few as well by imbibing in my favourite liquid of past-OJ and Vodka) so I will never do anything that crazy again. An angel has definitely been by my side on a few occasions and thankfully my parents never knew my antics. Like parents know anyway! Yup I am certain some of my fellow readers can relate to this and also pray their children will never do anything nutty either.  I love sparkly things since I believe I was a magpie in a prior life and I finally was able to create a card for 52 Christmas and CCAYR and have it under the wire! Now since I really did hitchhike with Santa (albeit a drunken skinny assed one) it is only fitting to have Santa here and all sparkly:) In heaven above the angels are now laughing and if it is raining, it is their tears of laughter from embracing Robin Williams-A wonderful man

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Santa, a Cowboy and a Blond = stupid...for the IWSG

Here is my little story of my youth for the Insecure Writer's Support Group:)

Now this is a tale that leaves one wondering if it actually happened or did I smoke something really funky. 
Many moons ago, I, a fresh faced dumb ass 21 yr old, decided to meet some friends in a downtown bar/restaurant. I was just getting over a very bad case of the flu and decided that I needed to become even more sick by going out and having some fun so I left my brains at the door and decided to do just that. 

There I am at the bar/restaurant with my best friend, her then fiancee and someone else that I can no longer remember or maybe that is the hazy amount of meds, fever and alcohol that permeated my brain, liver and other vital organs, that make me not remember. Doug, the slug, my best friend's former fiancee owned his parent's home and this home was recently in a fire. Now Doug was more upset that his home-made wine in the basement  was in a bad way after said fire than he was upset by the home being in a shambles so he asked all of us to go check out his still. What was I to do? Should I be sensible and call home to get more rest? Puleassseeee! We all sauntered down the street to his shell of a home, went through the yellow tape (yup dumb kid with matches) and went down to the basement to have a taste of his new wine that incurred a smoky palette. Of course, going down rickety stairs  and being under a floor that could possibly give way at any moment was not in our thoughts but rather having a taste of said smoky wine seemed more on our minds. From my state of altered consciousness, I decided the wine was still salvageable and was quite good. Now I was 21, sick, dizzy (see above meds and alcohol) and thought Spumante Bambino was the best wine ever. 

After having said smoky wine and believing we were all going to be the next young adults offered to go to Mensa, my best friend and the man with no name left to go home ( they still had some brain cells lurking in their heads). Doug the Slug and I decided to get back to St. Catharines. How???  We knew better than to drive so we decided to hitchhike. Yup that stupid crazy thing I swore I would never ever do.....well I did with Doug the Slug who weighed in at 55 lbs when wet and had a voice so high it could shatter glass and make Boy George's heart go pitter-patter. So we we started walking...and walking...and walking. Nobody had the sense to pick us up at 1am. I wonder why? Doug the Slug just happened to have his Santa Claus suit on him in his duffel bag and thought nobody will decline Santa Claus. He was wrong! Santa and the dumb ass blond still kept walking. So there I was with a skinny drunken Santa at 2am at a lonely intersection in the middle of no-where-ville and Friday the 13th when a big semi-truck pulls over., Santa opens the door first to see a man saying he will take us. We get in and now it gets more interesting.....

This trucker looks like he would walk like John Wayne, talk like Clint Eastwood, smoke like the Marlboro man but loved to listen to Conway Twitty in French! Yup It was a cowboy trucker from Quebec! He had a big hat on with a cig. hanging from his mouth talking in a Quebequer accent while listening to country twang. He felt sorry for us and brought us all the way to St. Catharines. I finally was home around 3am or so.I was happy that no roof caved in, no Quebec Cowboy turning into Jason, and my flu no worse for wear. 

A couple of weeks later my boyfriend was talking with his friend and his friend mentioned how his dad said, one night after leaving the legion he had seen Santa and some blond hitch-hiking on the road. My boyfriend's friend didn't believe his dad. I naturally said "Oh no that was me". My boyfriend laughed and fell off his chair and his friend just figured of all people it would be me. 

This is lengthy, but hope you liked to read it even if the grammar is not correct. Is this story true?? I shall make you wait.........Yup it is true!!! I really believe I have a guardian angel somewhere with all the things I got myself into, but I guess very few people can say they hitch-hiked with Santa and a Cowboy from Quebec gave them a lift:)