Category Archives: Movies

Book or Movie?

When I work on the eggs, I need my background noise to be something that doesn’t distract me. I choose TV or movies that I know well, so that I can listen to them but not be tempted to look up too often.  This past weekend that meant binge-watching the made-for-TV Perry Mason movies that were showing on the Decades channel.

I love Raymond Burr and the Perry Mason character so it was pleasant to see many of the movies again. As I watched them back to back, I began to think about the films versus the books by Earle Stanley Gardner.  The original Perry Mason series in the 50s and 60s were based on the books, but the made-for-TV movies were pure fiction.

If a movie is made of a book, I usually try to read the book first – I like to know what the author wrote (vs. what a director wants me to see) and have my own pictures in my head before I end up at the cinema. Every now and then this strategy goes awry. When The Martian was coming out on the big screen, I knew that Matt Damon was the star so when I read the book, I did have him in my mind’s eye.  However, the book is SO good that I have no intention of ever seeing the movie; I don’t want my inner vision spoiled. I wish I had done this a few other times (Shining Through by Susan Isaacs – do yourself a favor and skip the movie). I never went to see The Desolation of Smaug and I probably won’t be going to see A Wrinkle in Time.

What’s your favorite book to movie?

Alas, Poor Yorick

Went to Hamlet tonight at the Park Square Theatre. It wasn’t very full so the theatre manager invited everyone to “upgrade” their seat for free – we ended up sitting center stage, fourth row.  It was a very good performance with intriguing casting (Horatio and Polonius were female) and a fascinating set.  It was set in more modern times and although the final scene was done with the traditional rapiers, when Hamlet kills Polonius in Act 3, he uses a gun. The only disconcerting part of the evening was that the director re-arranged a few scenes (and cut Rosencrantz and Guildenstern).  Not a big issue but for someone who knows the play well, moving some of the speeches around is noticeable to say the least.  Anyway, I would highly recommend it.

What was the last thing you saw in a theatre (play, movie, musical, sing-a-long)?

Birthday Boy!

Today is the birthday of our dear leader Dale!

We’ve talked here over the years of the gift that Dale has given us by starting the blog and setting a tone that we all appreciate.  Now let’s make a list of what gifts we would like to give Dale.

Here’s a poem for Dale’s birthday – although not quite up to the standards of Poet Laureate Tyler Schuyler Wyler.

You’re honest,
decent, lovable,
and truly are first rate.
You’re charming,
unforgettable,
and clearly pretty great…

You’re dignified,
sophisticated,
gracious, sweet,
and kind.
You’ve got a lot
of talent
and a wit that’s
hard to find.

You’re cleaver, cool,
considerate,
and clean up really nice.
You’re worldly wise,
and wonderful
and full of good advice.

You’re fun
and entertaining,
not to mention
very smart.
You’re altogether awesome
and you’ve got a lot of heart!

What gift would you give Dale?

Gardening with Godzilla!

Most of my friends don’t like weeding; all they see is a big chore ahead of them and how long it will take. Of course, if I never had to weed again, I probably wouldn’t be heartbroken, but I like to think of it as “zen weeding”.  I’m outside, it’s usually a lovely summer day with sunny skies and hopefully a nice breeze.  I let my brain wander off where it wants.

Today I was working on my creeping Charlie problem and trying not to think of all ground cover as evil.  After all, it’s only doing what Mother Nature intends it to do.   As I pulled up a tendril I wondered if the creeping Charlies on the other side of the boulevard knew what was happening on this side.  And that’s when I got to Godzilla.  What if the creeping Charlie is a Japanese city and I am the monster Godzilla?

No stopping my brain at this point! A long over ground tendril became an elevated train, underground tendrils were subway lines.  Tall bits that were reaching up – high rises.  Clumps of little root systems – office buildings.  Particularly thick clumps – city hall.  Bits that clung and clung and clung – Senate.  This kept me occupied for the better part of an hour.  I’m thinking Godzilla and I will be bonding again on the boulevard!

What monster would YOU like to be?

Binge-Watcher

I’m not sure when I first realized there was a phrase “binge-watching”, and knowing me the phrase was probably around well before I came across it. I didn’t have Netflix at the time so never thought binge-watching applied to me. Then I started to think about it.

When I was in high-school, I inherited the small black and white family tv when my parents upgraded their set. Back then there was no cable, no Netflix – just channels 2,4,5,9 and 11, with only a couple of the stations broadcasting around the clock. During my junior year, the Bijou Theatre (beginning at 1 a.m.) showed all the Johnny Weismueller Tarzan movies in order, three a night for a week or so.  Every night that week, I set my alarm for 1 a.m. and watched them all.

Several years ago, after resisting Downton Abbey for a while, Steve (in Happy Valley) lent me Season 1 on DVD. Since other folks were waiting to borrow it as well, I watched the whole season over a weekend.  I have followed this by watching every succeeding season over a weekend, once the DVD comes to the library.

And if Hallmark Channel is showing Columbo or Perry Mason or Matlock back to back to back and I’m around, I’ll turn it on. So I suppose the seed was always there.

But I have to say that Netflix has brought a whole new meaning to the phrase binge-watch.  I have noticed that I’m pretty obsessive about watching shows in order, and only one series at a time until I’m done, then on to the next. Murdoch Mysteries, The Crown, Doc Martin, Raiders of the Lost Art, Midsomer Murders (why do all those folks go wandering around in the middle of the night in the dark?) and, of course, every series about castles, country homes and British villages. I don’t think I don’t actually watch any more tv  than I used to, but now I spend a lot less time looking through the tv guide to see what’s palatable!

What will you admit to binge-watching?

 

RIP Roger Moore

Roger Moore, most famously-known for playing James Bond, passed away this week. He was always happy about being known as 007.

James Bond, as written by Ian Fleming, is a smarmy, violent, misogynist. In addition the 007 movies have taken the violence to new heights.  If you can think of it, Hollywood has blown it up in the name of British spydom.

So why am I a Bond fan? Why have I seen them all? More than once? Can probably tell you the names of the books and the movies in order? Why did I make a special trip to visit Schilthorn (On Her Majesty’s Secret Service locale) when I was in Switzerland? Have had more than one heated discussion about who was the best Bond?  It doesn’t make any sense whatsoever.

Just one of my many quirks, I guess.

What’s your most outrageous “quirk”?