January 2007 - Posts
Over the weekend, I watched The Train (1964). It takes place in and around Paris days before the Allied Liberation during WWII, 1944. A Nazi colonel, knowing the allies are coming and realizing the value of paintings by Van Gogh, Manet, Picasso, Degas, Renoir and others, orders the artwork to be crated and loaded onto a train bound for Germany. It becomes his obsession. Burt Lancaster is the French railman, eventually ordered to engineer the train.
It is a fascinating look at the French Resistance, National Pride, and the character transformation of a man who at first is ambivalent about a bunch of paint on canvas, yet ends up risking his life over and over to prevent them from being stolen.
Watch for Burt Lancaster, a former circus performer, doing all his own breathtaking stunts. He has no lines toward the last part of the movie, but his actions speak volumes. It's quick-paced and suspensful, and the last 5 minutes are incredibly emotional.
Well done: ****1\2 out of *****
It was about 10 degrees out this morning when I dropped Steven off at daycare. He looked like the Stay-Puffed Marshmallow Man, only shorter. Amazes me how oblivious kids are to the cold, as he takes his painfully sweet time waddling from the car to the front door. Can't hurry him along... "I do it, I do it!" I answer by rolling my eyes.
Commute uneventful, unless you count being cut-off while turning left onto Michigan Rd from I-465 as an event. Do people really think I'm exiting just to get back onto the interstate again? I digress, not many are likely familiar with the annoying lack of turn-lane paint on the NW side.
Monday blahs. "What did you do this weekend? What movies did you watch? Cold enough for ya?"
Swiped the morning coffee from accounting instead of spending the two minutes it takes to make more. Yes, I'm one of those.
Lunch break.... Rather than brave the cold, braved the Klipsch cafe. Had a Junior High moment holding my tray scanning the room for a friendly table. Opted for engineers. Big mistake--they speak in tongue. Snarfed a burger, got a refill, back to work. Found marketing co-workers spending their lunch hour watching The Rocketeer on laser disc. Yeah, laser disc. Cooool.
Mid afternoon email from HR...if I owned a Colts shirt I could wear jeans and tennis shoes for the rest of the week. Is it worth the 30 bucks? Hmm... have to give it some thought. Pre-pregnancy jeans not fitting so well these days.
Sunny out finally. Windy, though. Still looks frozen. Traffic moving good for now.
Work day will end with picking up Steven at daycare to the proud and joyous cries of "Mommy, Mommy, I in time-ouuut, I in time-OUT!"
It seems even he knows if Time Out is the worst thing that happens to him all day, it's still a pretty darn good day.
A girl I know is married.
The couple had season Colts tickets.
Dilema: Do they go to the Super Bowl in Miami to finish out the season?
Husband: Yes. Girl I know: No.
The phone call: "What about flight? What about a place to stay? What about time off work? What about the dog? What about all that money? What if they lose? I need to think about this. You're making me sick to my stomach. Don't do anything stupid. Bye."
Two hours later....flowers are delivered. Tickets are bought. Mini-vacation planned at condo by the sea.
Daytime soaps are easily replaced by voices over a cubicle wall.
If you have a child under the age of 10, chances are, you have heard of The Wiggles.
If you have a child under 5, chances are you know that Jeff sleeps all the time and Greg drives the Big Red Car.
If you are like me, your brain is complete mush, but you can perfectly sing along with 30 to possibly 50 Wiggles tunes without missing a beat.
My two-year-old identifies colors with the members of the band, who always wear the same color shirt. When asking to drink from his red cup, he will gleefully shout "Murray!" When wanting the purple balloon, he'll demand "Jeff!"
Yesterday while coloring together, I asked Steven to hand me the "Greg" crayon, and it seemed perfectly normal to us both.
Since I joined one of those online movie rental clubs back in April 06, I've been able to catch up on some movies that I've long wanted to see but had trouble finding in most brick and mortar rental stores. Now approaching 100 movies viewed since joining (yes, that's one movie every three days, for those of you trying to do quick math), I thought it would be fun to share my favorite top 10 from 2006... as difficult as it was to narrow down. So here they are, in no particular order:
1. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) Kubrick = pure genius. Stunning visuals (was this really 1968??) and perfect music selections. Goosebump-inducing final sequence, which left me pondering the meaning of it all for days. "Open the pod bay doors, HAL."
2. The Third Man (1949) Film-noir at it's finest. Perfect look, feel, mood. Orson Welles, fiendishly charismatic. And of course, the cuckoo clock speech.
3. Chinatown (1974) Polanski + Nicholson = Noir. Historically fascinating look at corruption in 1930s Los Angeles. "She's my sister AND my daughter!" Yikes.
4. Wandafuru raifu (1998) Japanese for "After Life" Tagline: What is the one memory you would take with you?
5. Sunset Blvd. (1950) Classic, classic, classic. And what is it with me and Film Noir?? Biting look at the underbelly of superficially glamorous Hollywood, marvelously captured by Gloria Swanson. "Oh wake up, Norma. You'd be killing yourself to an empty house. The audience left twenty years ago."
6. Oldboy (2003) Wow. Revenge tale at it's most vicious. I will say no more.
7. Lolita (1962) Tale of obsession and youth. Shelly Winters at her most annoyingly fabulous. I can't get the catchy music out of my head. Favorite part: Peter Sellers as the beat-nik sleeze Clare Quilty....what a hoot!
8. Dr Strangelove... (1964) Speaking of Peter Sellers as a hoot.... Quite easily the funniest movie I have ever seen. "Shoot, a fella could have a pretty good weekend in Vegas with all that stuff."
9. Night of the Hunter (1955) Jeesh, more Film-Noir. Robert Mitchum is one of the best "bad-guys" ever..absolutely chilling. "Leeeeeeeeeanin"
10. What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962) And more noir! Always fun watching a completely crazed Bette Davis. This time she's an aging, jealous, former child-star "taking care" of her wheelchair-bound more talented sister (Joan Crawford). Now considered "campy," but shocking for it's day. Be sure to read up on the alleged real-life feud to highten the entertainment value. "You mean all this time we could have been friends?"
Kubrick and Noir. Yep, that about sums it up.
Oscar noms came out this morning, so I thought it would be topical to discuss them a bit...even though I haven't actually viewed a movie outside of my home since Will Ferrell's Anchorman. Ah, the joys of having a 2 year old (what's a babysitter??).
Regardless, I will act like I know what I'm talking about and give my hopes and predictions for the evenings outcomes:
Picture: Little Miss Sunshine. Great cast, great story, all around top notch. And who doesn't love Alan Arkin as a foul-mouthed grandpa? Actual winner: The Departed. Martin is way overdue. He'll win director, too.
Actor: Peter O'Toole. Come on, the guy deserves a statue. Actual winner: Forest Whitaker. Loved him in Fast Times at Ridgemont High.
Actress: Kate Winslet. Always solid, personal favorite. Actual winner: Helen Mirren. Snoozefest.
Supporting Actor: Jackie Earle Haley. Terrific comeback tale of a long forgotten actor, much like the plot of his last decent movie, Breaking Away, 27 years ago. I was 9. Acutal winner: Eddie Murphy. Dreamgirls will get the love due to Best Picture snub.
Supporting Actress: Abigail Breslin. Based on the talent portion of the pageant scene alone. Actual winner: Jennifer Hudson. See same reason above. Plus she is fabulous.
Be sure to tape the awards so you can fast forward the 95 minutes of commercials and 45 minutes of political speeches. 40 minutes of actual Oscar coverage is more than enough for anyone.
Look for the following highlights on the red carpet:
- Al Gore trying to be cool and "Hollywood-like."
- Angelina clinging to Brad and looking annoyed
- Ryan Seacrest trying to make friends with people who are actually talented