Saturday, August 29, 2009

Pop Song of the Week: “Boulevard of Broken Dreams”

I wish I could take credit for this video's creation but, alas, I can only take credit for my decision to post it here. Apparently the creator took clips from a bunch of old movies -- especially movies in the film noir genre -- and created this short film, set to the Ted Weems version of one of my favorite Harry Warren songs.

The Ted Weems version isn't exactly my favorite version of this tune but I like it far better than the more recent Green Day song that bears the same title. And, of course, the clips are nice, too, though I'm not sure why the filmmaker chose to end with a clip of Sharon Stone.

I hope you all enjoy it... even if it is a bit... ahem... out of the past.

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Movie Song of the Week: “Clean as a Whistle”

I'm not sure I even want to comment on this song. Taken from the 1933 flick Meet the Baron, it's probably best seen as an example of what filmmakers managed to get away with before the advent of the Hays Code.

Granted, it's tame by modern standards, but not exactly safe for work either. Unless you work in a very liberal workplace.

And ay, those accents. Not to mention such lines as “Spic and Spanish.”

Anyway, I hope you all enjoy it.

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Movie Quote of the Week

Rich people always like animals. They treat them better than people.
--Anthony Quinn, High Risk (1981)

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TV Quote of the Week

It’s my estimation that every man ever got a statue made of him was one kind of sommbitch or another. Ain’t about you, Jayne. It’s about what they need.
--Nathan Fillion, Firefly, “Jaynestown”

Courtesy of Lynn of Violins and Starships

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

R.I.P. Edward Kennedy

Yes, I could say something, but unlike some conservatives, I have respect for the dead.

And their next of kin.

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This Diamond Ring Doesn't Shine for Me Anymore

And yet I haven't sold it.

Don't ask me why.

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Buscando Trabajo de Nuevo: Parte II

Apparently no news is good news.

Mi Mejor Amiga has one hand in a plastic bandage, one of my younger brothers is still unemployed and my favorite hermana had to borrow money from me yesterday.

On the bright side, I appear to have a new dinner companion.

Not that I'm able to go out to dinner too often for obvious reasons.

And I managed to make it through the date of what would have been my second wedding anniversary without incident. Perhaps because I was too busy worrying about other stuff.

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Monday, August 24, 2009

Miranda Doesn't Have to Be a Little Mermaid to Make a Big Splash

Given the longevity of the mermaid myth, one would think there would be a lot more movies about mermaids. Yet apart from 1989’s The Little Mermaid, 1984’s Splash and 2006's Aquamarine, not a whole lot of movies about the subject come to mind.

The British 1948 film Miranda is one such movie and, ay, what a movie it is, indeed. On paper, this movie about a talkative mermaid who ingratiates herself with a British doctor on holiday and ends up producing all sorts of social chaos in his household should come across as being more than a little stupid.

Yet it says something about the charm of the lead actress -- Glynis Johns, who plays the title character -- and the light touch of the script that the movie actually proves to be very entertaining.

It does not hurt that Ms. Johns is backed up by an adept cast and that the script does not necessarily flow in the direction one would expect.

The film starts out with a British doctor discovering the mermaid Miranda while he is fishing. He ends up being kidnapped by her and Miranda agrees to allow the doctor to go back to civilization provided that she be allowed to tag along. The doctor chooses to pass off Miranda as a crippled patient and introduces her to his wife, his servants, and a newly engaged couple who are good friends with the doctor and his wife.

Miranda seems to win over every male she meets and even earns the respect of the eccentric nurse hired to watch over her. She goes sightseeing and even attends the opera, where in one scene she can't resist competing with the local divas. Eventually, her secret comes out but not in the way I expected and even the movie's last scene raises more than a few eyebrows -- as well as raising a question whose answer may or may not be obvious.

As noted, Ms. Johns’ performance goes a long way towards downplaying the potential preposterousness of the storyline, and I got the feeling the film would have been just as interesting if Ms. Johns’ Miranda had been merely a human girl who could not walk. Of course, I could not help raising an eyebrow at Miranda’s rather ironic appetite for fish and at the screenwriter’s repeated uses of the word “fishy.” But the dialogue never grew tiresome and I was actually sorry to see Miranda end.

Of course, when I ponder how a similar story might have fared in the hands of 21st century Hollywood, I am not so sorry that 1948 British filmmakers got a crack at it instead.

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Cuento de Mi Id

“Really Cool Air”

(A story I wrote several Octobers ago)

The AC was up high, just like he expected. Very high. In a place like this, cold temperatures didn’t surprise him, but he did wish the management had made allowances for the occasional human visitor. As it was, he almost expected to see his breath every time he exhaled.

All the windows in the place were covered with tinted glass and every other corner was covered in shadow. The bartender gave him one of those odd looks as if he was the type of ghoulish tourist who would deliberately seek out a place like this.

He kept telling himself he had a legitimate reason to be here. Then he saw her.

“About time you showed up,” she said. She was dressed in black, of course. And seated at the bar. Even in this dim light, she seemed pale. But oddly enough, she wasn’t shivering even though her arms were bare and her silk blouse and leather skirt way too revealing.

“How about the two of us get a booth at the back?” she said.

“How about we not?”

“So it’s going to be like that.”

“Our parents want you home, Karen.”

“Of course they do. And the moon is made of green cheese.”

“No, seriously,” he said. “They told me to come get you. All is forgiven, they said. You can come home any time you want.”

She smiled. “Suppose I don’t want?”

“What do you mean?”

“I like it here. The temperature’s just right, the sun is not always shining in my face. I can virtually live here if I wanted. In a manner of speaking.”

He frowned. “The accident wasn’t your fault. They know that now.”

“Now,” she giggled. “They know that now. Of course it doesn’t help much that they know it now.”

She smiled and sipped at her drink. “Antifreeze,” she said, pointing at the clear liquid in her glass.

“Just come home, please, Karen,” he said. “I already said they forgive you. You know how rarely Mom and Dad do that.”

“Well, maybe they forgive me but I don’t necessarily forgive them.” She took another sip.

“You can’t stay away forever, you know.”

“I don’t have to,” she said. “Mom and Dad are getting old. In a couple of decades, they’ll be gone. I can wait till then. And then I’ll come home.”

“That’s pretty cold.”

“Hey, watch the puns.”

“No, seriously. It’s not just Mom and Dad who need you. I need you, too. You’re my sister. You belong at home.”

“I belong somewhere else, you mean,” she said. “Besides, I’m not your sister. You said so yourself. I look like your sister. I talk like your sister. I even think like your sister. But I’m not your sister. Not really. Not since the accident.”

“For the last time—“

She interrupted. “Your sister died in that accident. And she was glad to be dead. She hated living at home. Never having any friends. Never having any love. She had one chance at freedom and she took it. And of course, your parents had to screw even that much up.”

“But they saved you.”

“No, they did not save me. They saved something that looked like me. The me I used to be died in that accident. I’m no longer here anymore. You just think I am.”

“Please come home.”

“Someday,” she said. “When I think I’m ready.”

He could grab her, he thought. He could grab her and force her to come with him.

But then she really would hate him—-far more than she did now. And he couldn’t live with that.

Besides, he thought, as he walked away from the bar, it’s not really her. Just something that looked like her. She said so herself.

As he started toward the door, a woman came in. She was still reeling from her time in the sun and it was obvious that she craved the cold and the shadows. She smelled of the stuff he had remembered smelling at grandma’s funeral. She looked darn good and it was all he could do to look away.

He walked out into the harsh sunlight and told himself he would never come back to this place. And he wouldn’t, he promised himself.

At least, not while he was alive.

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Saturday, August 22, 2009

Trailer of the Week: Jaws (1975)

Quick! Go see a movie today before the summer's over.

Something bright and cheerful and full of this:

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Friday, August 21, 2009

Movie Song of the Week: “By a Waterfall”

From 1933's Footlight Parade, it's one of the most memorable Busby Berkeley numbers ever committed to celluloid. The musical number without which poor Esther Williams would never have had a career.

And who knew that Ruby Keeler could be so daring?

Besides, it's too darn hot to post anything that has less water.

I hope you all enjoy it.

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Pop Song of the Week: “Wham Rap (Enjoy What You Do)”

Ah! Memories.

It seems like yesterday when I was hearing this song play in a Canadian nightclub back in 1987. For that matter, I still remember hearing this song play on my car's tape player a few years later the day one of my younger relatives accused me of listening to too much black music. (Of course, it never occurred to him how odd it was to make an accusation like that to someone who was listening to one of the first examples of blue-eyed rap.)

I've always enjoyed the song and I hope you enjoy it too. As long as you don't mistake the song's philosophy for my own, of course.

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Movie Quote of the Week

It was not what I wanted!
--Al Pacino, The Godfather: Part III (1990)

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TV Quote of the Week

Don’t be frightened, grandfather. It will happen so quickly you won’t even feel it. And nobody else will feel it either. They’ll just expect it to be a -- a better day. Maybe afterwards that’s what it will be.
--Clint Howard, Night Gallery, “The Boy Who Predicted Earthquakes”

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Buscando Trabajo de Nuevo: Parte I

I'm still looking. And I'm trying to break out of the cycle of anger, depression, denial, etc., that almost every unemployed person falls into.

One would think that I'd be blogging more with more time on my hands but thus far it hasn't worked out that way.

I have some leads that I'll probably explore next week.

I'll let you all know when I have good news to report.

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Thursday, August 20, 2009

I'm Really Trying to Post More Regularly...

...but sometimes the words just won't come.

Seriously, I do have some ideas brewing...

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Saturday, August 15, 2009

Little Sister of the Week

Okay, this obviously isn't my real-life little sister but I like to think I would have displayed the same loyalty to my sister as this girl's brother did for her...

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Movie Quote of the Week

People don't like to be meddled with. We tell them what to do, what to think, don't run, don't walk. We're in their homes and in their heads and we haven't the right. We're meddlesome.
--Hunter Ansley Wryn, Serenity (2005)

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TV Quote of the Week

It doesn't matter where you came from, or-or how you got here. You are my sister. There's no way you could annoy me so much if you weren't.
--Sarah Michelle Gellar, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, “Blood Ties”

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Friday, August 14, 2009

¡Feliz Cumpleaños, Mi Hermana!

It's my favorite sister's birthday yet again.

How time flies.

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Monday, August 10, 2009

Trailer of the Week: Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters (2009)

Why bother seeing a movie this week? Why not read a book?

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Sunday, August 09, 2009

Movie Song of the Week: “I Can't Do It Alone”

I was going to post something else, but I haven't posted anything from 2002's Chicago so I might as well correct that oversight this week.

Besides, this is one of my favorite clips from that movie. And who doesn't love Catherine Zeta-Jones -- apart from Michael Douglas's ex-wife, of course?

I hope you all enjoy it.

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Movie Quote of the Week

Buck up -- never say die. We'll get along.
--Charlie Chaplin, Modern Times (1936)

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TV Quote of the Week

Norma. Please paint something cool today.
--Betty Garde, The Twilight Zone, “The Midnight Sun”

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A Brief Announcement

Yes, I know I haven't been posting as much as I normally do but I've been a bit busy.

Hopefully I'll post more in weeks to come.

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Monday, August 03, 2009

Time Enough at Last

Like so many of my fellow Americans, I was fortunate enough to get an involuntary vacation today. Unfortunately, it's not likely to be a paid vacation but I should be getting some money coming in from somewhere. I'm not at liberty to say more than that though I'm sure glad that my car is paid off and that I own my place of residence and don't rent.

What a way to start August.

Now if you excuse me, I'm going to go back into shock right now...

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