Friday, May 29, 2015

Shall We Dance?

On recommendation, I recently looked into Smartling, a translation software company, that helps businesses connect with their audiences by translating the many languages out there so people get more connected. It got me thinking about foreign films and how they change when Americans remake and transform them. So I thought I'd write about the film "Shall We Dance."

I decided on the film "Shall We Dance?" Not the 1936 film with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers which is great, but the Japanese film made in  1996 and then remade in the States in 2004.

The film is paying respect to that wonderful song by Rogers and Hammerstein in the film "The King and I"

So first up is  the Japanese film

I have to say I simply loved this film. It was enchanting and ethereal. The basic plot is a happily married man who has a wonderful wife, a teenage daughter and a great job but somehow feels lost. On his way home, standing at the train station he sees a beautiful young woman stare out the window which happens to be a ballroom dance class. He is taken with this woman and her sadness and so, with great hesitation, he enters her world and starts to learn how to ballroom dance. There are a myriad of characters, my favourite being the audacious man who works with the main character but, on the ballroom stage, he lets loose with a fake wig and a smile that can blind you. Another character is the tough and blousy woman who is brash, loud and slightly nutty. I love her. There are scenes of quiet beauty and it shows how the Japanese are careful in wanting to take on Ballroom since it goes against their customs. I found it wonderfully played, sweet and intelligent.

The remake:

This is a nice remake. It is sweet but it falls short of the brilliance of the original film. It is simply more....American. The plot is basically the same but the ending shows more of a Hollywood ending to all the characters and so is not quite as realistic as the great Japanese film (the Japanese film also has a happy ending). Richard Gere does a solid performance but I longed for the performance by Koji Yakusho who played the lead in the original film. They each played to their strengths. Naoto Takenaka is great as the wild guy with the wild hair who loves to cha-cha but is so conservative at work with his fellow dance pal. Stanley Tucci, in the remake, is also just great in this same role and I love both of them. I love Stanley Tucci in just about anything he does.  Tamiyo Kusakari plays the winsome, sad professional dancer in the original and one can't help but fall for her graceful style. She conveys elegance and aloofness quite well. Jennifer Lopez can't carry the same part in the style Tamiyo did.  Cool elegance and aloofness does not seem to go with J-Lo especially when one always sees her pursed fish pout everywhere and her booty in your face every 10 seconds.  I enjoyed seeing Susan Sarandon and Richard Jenkins who almost stole every scene he was in. The blousy woman in the remake blew it as far as I am concerned. She made her character one dimensional for the most part where the actress in the original made her very moving and one had great empathy for her.

Overall I can't say to forget to see the remake because it is fun and nice but where the remake is a good film, the Japanese original leaves one wanting more and it is a superior film worth seeing.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Birthday Crazy Time

Sun Stamp, Word stamp, Brown dye ink, Champagne dye ink with gold shimmer embossing powder, Gamsol pencils, Tim Holtz ink pads, Stencil (cheated but has holes), paste, different coloured perfect pearl powders, stickles, die cut.

Craft Your Passion - Anything Goes
Alphabet Challenge-  "G" is for Glitz and Glamour
Simon Says- Stencil It
Dream Valley-Anything Goes

Crazy, Crazy Time because  I am waist deep in Birthday nut ville. In the span of 3 weeks there are 7 birthdays! It ends with my birthday and I was always so happy that I did not "share" my birthday with anyone. Now that has gone all to hell! I am not even counting Mother's Day. It starts off with my friend's birthday on the 14th, the 17th of May was my hubby's niece's Birthday, My niece, Jade, was on the 18th. The 25th is my hubby's birthday which is today! My friend's son is the 21st, her daughter's is the 29th and mine if June 2nd.  There are more to follow....

The card above is for my hubby and I had fun creating this colourful display. I used different coloured perfect pearls for the background and the Tim Holz for the inner paper which I stenciled using that very wide "metal" ribbon with holes in it to put the paste on and then placed perfect pearl on top. It gives a velvety appearance. I used a die cut and embossed the saying which fits my hubby perfectly and actually some of you who write, are not happy with it, get rid of what you wrote and start from scratch!. I coloured the sun with gamsol pencils and fussy cut it and adhered it to the  card. My hubby always says I am his sunshine so now I am listening for the Awwwwwwe sound (no barfing please). I think it has a dreamy, glitz and a glamour to it in a Star Trek sort of way.

sponged dye ink colours in purple, blue, aqua and used a light purple. Die cuts borders & centre, embossed word, embossing powder in silver pearl. crystals, butterflies, stickles.

Chocolate Baroque- Colour Challenge
Whimsy Challenge- Anything but a square
Alphabet Challenge-  "G" is for Glitz and Glamour

Oh I went so girly with this one, I must have been taken over by a fembot. Light colours, pink, glitter and some glam with this card also. This is for my friend's birthday in July as she is totally all girl.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Blood, Boobs and Carnage Blogfest

What's a girl to do when faced with a task like this. I thought of Tarantino films and they would fit the bill (sorry about the pun) but I thought someone will write about one of his films. I thought about Cecil B DeMille. I mean he loved all 3 and got away with making these films because he chose the bible for his plots but I drifted away from him and towards films I have not seen in quite a few years. They are the Hammer films.

I chose "Dracula Has Risen From The Grave"

Christopher Lee is a great actor-period! Most know him as Saruman  from LOTR but he got his start in the Hammer films from the 1950's and 60's and they solidified his career along with the late, great Peter Cushing.  This film has Lee coming back as Dracula, wanting revenge and being able to bite the necks of voluptuous frauleins with double D cups that look more like torpedoes than actual boobs in bras. Instead of Renfield he has the local priest under his spell but, in the end, the hero saves the day, his bosomy gal and the priest while poor Lee turns to dust. No fear because Lee comes back as Dracula, again and again....and again. God love this man who fought in World War 2 as a spy for the SAS. In other words, you would never want to cross him (pun again...sorry).

I mean I could pick many Hammer films from the '50's and 60's since they entailed blood, carnage and boobies like all the Dracula films but they ventured into Frankenstein territory, zombies, The Gorgon and my favourite (again) "Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde or now known as Bruce Jenner's life story. Anyway, many stars made films for Hammer studios so you can take your pick.

Friday, May 8, 2015

My Film Choice is "What's Up Doc"

Some of you guessed last week's trivia film right! Congrats to you:) This means you have seen this film and what a film!! I love it!! The Mock and Armchair Squid have created a film society where, each month, we review a film. This is mine.

The answers to my questions are 1. Barbra Streisand who acts, sings and directs. 2. Great Screwball Comedy and 3. Introduces Madeline Kahn

This film came out in 1972, directed by Peter Bogdanovich and starring Ryan O'Neal, Barbra Streisand, Madeline Kahn (in her first film role) and great character actors, Kenneth Mars, Austin Pendleton, Liam Dunn, Mabel Albertson and the list goes on.

Bogdanovich is a lover of old Hollywood, the Silents, screwball classics and anything dealing with film. This film pays homage to the great screwball comedies of the 1930's but also has classic moments taken from the silent era especially when viewing the great chase scene near the end of the film.

It begins with a bag, no I am not talking about an old lady, but an actual bag-4 bags to be exact which are all the same but carry something completely different on the inside. One carries clothing, The other priceless jewels, the 3rd Top Secret documents and the 4th Howard Bannister's Igneous Rock formations. Howard is engaged to Eunice Burns played to the hilt by the brilliant Madeline Kahn but is pursued by Barbra Streisand who brings trouble in all forms. It was written by Buck Henry, David Newman and Robert Benton who should have received Oscars for their Screenplay. This film is listed in the 100 best all time best comedies from the American Film Institute (AFI).

I first saw this film when I was maybe 10 years old and would watch it every chance I could get. There are so many great scenes from the "Burnsie" scene, the Hotel room scene, the "charm" scene between Sorrel Brooke and Mabel Albertson" and the huge car chase scene in  which this is the first time that stunt men got film credit and rightly so. In fact, the one guy in the back seat of the convertible  was knocked out and could not remember doing the scene even years later.

My favourite scene "Dorilla St"-Poor Eunice is told that the party has been changed to this address. I remember my daddy laughing so hard when she went up those rickety steps that tears were in his eyes. So I hope some of you will give this film a look especially if you need a good laugh. Oh and because of this film, Mel Brooks hired Madeline Kahn and Liam Dunn for his film "Blazing Saddles"

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

IWSG and A to Z Reflections

I am not sure if I am cheating but even if I am, oh well as my saying goes.  This is the first Insecure Writer's Support Group run by The Ninja, Alex J. Cavanaugh, after the A to Z Challenge in April. The A to Z was the brainchild of Arlee Bird at Tossing it Out. I have to say, I was invigorated, enthused, passionate and just plating gung-ho at the beginning and by the end, I may have been tired and my ass may have spread wider that than the parting of the Red Sea but I was still enthused and passionate about it. I wanted to read as much as I could.

There were so many that joined and it was a sheer pleasure to read the blogs where some discussed writing, enhancing one's abilities in that field, stretching one's imagination to just enjoying humour in every form. I know, next year, I will put more than just my name in the title so people will know what I am writing about. My wacky little brain didn't have the dim bulb go off until half way through this challenge. 

I tried to keep my posts as short as possible since I can talketh too mucheth. I know when I found a blog with lots of writing I just moved on and felt guilty about it because the blog person put a lot of effort behind this.  I want to thank the people who visited my blog and enjoyed the film people of times gone by. Many commented on the sad lives they had led and how many died of cancer.  These are film people so most of them are screwed up anyway:) Cancer and heart disease are the major reasons death keeps calling. Think about many do you know who have died from cancer, either family, close friends or just people you know. Ok onward to happier things...

I loved reading some great blogs that I love following or have met just this past month.

Maryann Holloway at If I Only Had A Time Machine, writes about history, flash fiction, Amazing women etc... Her A to Z was on World War 2 and this is one blog you need to check out.

Sharon Himsl at Shells, Tales and Sails, wrote about Women Inventors. I learned so much about what women have accomplished and wish this would be taught in schools.

Vidya Sury at Going A-Musing, Inspiring Happiness, Collecting Smiles, wrote letters to her son which were empowering, positive and worth it to read and be inspired.

 Sandy at Bridge and Beyond spoke about her passion for helping the homeless and how she tries to bring them warm clothes by donations etc...-a truly selfless person.

Denise Hammond at Yes Virginia, There is Life after retirement wrote about Russia this year and to see the photos of the cities made me want to wiggle my nose and go there.

Sheila Milne at A Postcard a Day, was so much fun to see the interesting postcards that she has found or received from all over the world.

There was humour, Disney, films, books, animals, plus so much more.  I know I missed out on some other great blogs. The fun thing is one can go to that list and just keep looking if we have nothing else to do even if our asses get sore from sitting.... and wider:)

Thank you all!!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Bonehead Blog Hop

Welcome to the Bonehead bloghop, hosted by Cherdo at Cherdo on the Flipside and Diana Wilder at About Myself, By Myself. We have all done boneheaded moves not full realizing how idiotic it looks or, should I say we look.  I have had many, so many, in fact, that I forget all the moves I have done. Now most are just funny but some can be a bit scary so I will do the latter because I still think it is somewhat funny, in retrospect.

In a land far, far away, many eons ago when I was fresh eyed and bushy-tailed, Ok I never had a tail bushy or otherwise but you get my meaning that I was young and stupid. Yes, I was that magical age  of 18 years old. I went to Europe in 1982, Just little ole me and met up with my Aunt and Uncle. I was there for 6 weeks and loved every minute of it. I was in Graz, Austria for 4 weeks and, being 18, I became bored so one day, while sightseeing I saw a 4 day tour to Budapest. I wanted to see Budapest ever since I heard the lovely Rise Stevens say that city in a dreamlike state in the film "Going My Way." My mom, fearing I would be taken to the Siberian Gulag was in a state of panic but she was all the way here in Canada and I thought she was nuts so did my Aunt and Uncle. We booked the tickets and I went with a whole bunch of old people and one 16 year mountain girl that was hornier than a toad croaking for a mate.

The tour was great (another story for another day) and we were coming home on the bus. The tour was in German and the lady travel agent spoke in a German dialect so when we were coming to the border, I understood nadda! Our bus drove into No Man's Land. Remember that Hungary was a Communist State back then. We were in between the barbed wire fencing with 2 Guard towers positioned at each gate. We had to give over our passports and Visas and get off the bus while German Shepherds  sniffed in and under the bus. I was on my own looking around and thinking how cool this was with all the armed guards and suddenly I had the bright idea..yup, Bone head move!, take a picture! Why not? This is a cool thing and my 18 year old brain was in top notch blond bimbo form. I took out my camera and pointed it to the guard in the tower to snap his pretty picture. He looked at me cocked his rifle, said something of which, to this day, I have no idea, and pointed it at me. As the blood drained from what was my tiny brain, my heart stopping and doing all I could not to pee and or poop myself, the words of the German lady on the bus was suddenly "translated" into my brain. It was "Do not take any pictures or they can confiscate your camera!" I looked at the guard, waved and saw a bunny rabbit (no kidding!)  to my right. I pointed to said Bunny Rabbit and pointed to my camera and took a picture of the rabbit.

I gulped and the guard moved on to the other side probably giggling to himself that he scared an 18 year old innocent looking dumb ass. My camera was not taken and the Bunny was no where in sight. That bunny saved my ass! When I got my pictures developed, the bunny rabbit picture was not there. This was my bonehead move early in my life that I will never forget.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Back to card making-Zen

Flower and bird stickers, border stickers, Tombow markers, Green, Pink, Turquoise blue cardstock, Cuddlebug-polka-dots, Exacto knife, Pearls, Stickles

Animal Friends- Spring/Feathers

Color Throwdown- Pink, Green Turquoise blue

Craft Your Passion- Anything Goes

Fairy Tale - Bingo Challenge-I chose Pearl, Glitter, Flowers

Glitter- Anything Goes

Simon Says- Anything Goes

So I have been absent from the card making world for the month of April due to the great A to Z challenge but now I need a rest and what better way that making a card with Zen in mind. I need some Zen to the power of ten! Can I say I hate exacto knives! All the fussy cutting  but it works. OK now before I go off and veg for the night I thought this needed to be up and running:) I shall write about my survival of the A to Z in a couple of days:)

Friday, May 1, 2015

TriviCan ya guess the movie I picked?

Oh me oh my...OK so I am feeling a little like death warmed over from completing the A to Z challenge (applause here) but onward to the next gig!

Over at Mock and the Armchair Squid they have started a film society where a movie is chosen each month and we need to watch and critique it. This month is a trivia challenge where we give 3 clues that the others have to guess. The actual film will be revealed on May 8th.  So here are my 3 clues:

  1. The film, one of my all time favourites, pays homage to the classic screwball comedy classics of the 1930's even though it was made in the early 1970's.
     2. The main character not only acts but sings and directs in real life as well.

     3. It is the introduction of a famous lady who starred in more than one Mel Brooks comedies

     4. Ok, ok, we are to stop at 3 but I always like to bend the rules a little...or break them, so my 4th clue is that it has one of THE best screwball chase scenes ever!

So there ya go, let's see if you can guess this classic. Have a great Friday everyone. Whoever completed the A to Z challenge-congrats to all of you!