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Showing posts from June, 2013

Super Quickie Review - Hitchcock

Brilliantly cast with Hopkins and especially Mirren absolutely amazing. Johansson, Biel & Darcy do their predecessors proud with subtle, yet meaningful roles (each plays in an integral poignant scene), with Darcy's portrayal of Anthony Perkins meeting Hitchcock easily the best scene in the film. Michael Wincott is stunningly eerie and amazing as Ed Gein.  Yeah, that Ed Gein.  The biggest problem with the film and forgive me Sir Anthony and Dame Helen, but it always feels like a TV movie. ***out of 5

Movies I Can't Turn Off

I rarely write blogs on the weekends anymore, because instead of somewhere between 20-30 people reading them, I find that the number is usually under 10. That being said, I am bored and was thinking of a recent conversation about movies that end channel surfing, sleep and conversation.  Those movies that no matter where they are in the story, I'm watching til the end.  For sake of not boring anyone, I'll keep the comments minimal

Jaws - I'm pretty sure this is on everyones list and most people I know claim to have seen this somewhere between 50-100 times.Apocalypse Now - This used to be my favorite "come home drunk but not tired" movie.State of Grace - Second most underrated gangster film ever made (Miller's Crossing),with absolutely brilliant Ed Harris.King of New York - Walken and Fishburne the bad guys and Caruso, Snipes and Argo as the good guys. Classic Walken.Deep Blue Sea - Probably my biggest guilty pleasure movie.  It's awful and great at the same…

Home & Where My Heart Is

I think it was about this time two years ago when I went to spend some time with my grandmother during a little vacation/memorial service my father was attending.  My intention was to spend a week with her, helping out and then another week once my father returned. In the end, I think it was about 18 days. Tomorrow night will be three weeks I've been here.  Sadly, I don't have much going on this summer.  No work lined up, which needs to change, as I'm still holding on to one last paycheck, trying to milk it for everything it's worth.  Sure I could become a hermit and make it last three months, but what kind of life is that? Hoping for a bit of a miracle, but I'll take some luck instead, being I don't believe in those.

Today was the first day I really reflected on this time.  I thought about where I call home.  Home is the place you are supposed to feel free. Calm. Secure. Home is where the heart is, is it not?  Yet, my heart is anywhere but where I call home. M…

NBA Draft Predictions - Abridged Version

With the influx of foreign players and my lack of cable, I'm a little out of the loop going into this draft, so I'll predict the top 10 and the two NY Teams.

Cavaliers - Otto Porter, SF, Georgetown. Absolutely nobody has Porter going first, but he fills the biggest need and is a beast. Nerlin Noels would be the obvious pick, but he does not have an NBA ready body after his injury last season.Magic - Victor Oladipo, SG, Ohio St. A do everything player with huge upside. The Magic need a face of the franchise and this could be it.Wizards - Anthony Bennett, PF, UNLV. Small for PF, but a beast on the boards. This may be a reach, but he will be an immediate starter and Noels won't be.Hornets - Ben McLemore, SG, Kansas. Might be the best player in the draft, but only a freshman.  too good to pass up.Suns - Nerlin Noels, C, Kentucky. How do you pass on a guy slated to go first in the fifth spot, even when you need a shooter more?  You can't.Pelicans - Trey Burke, PG, Michigan. …

Racism Today

When Martin Luther King Jr's name rings out, we white people say what a great man he was. We admire his courage, his fortitude, his achievements.  Then we go back to our lives and think of ourselves as good people. We can't, make that don't, want to think about what he struggled with or what he really was fighting for.  Equality was see as a given, because we believe instinctively that we have it.  We don't.  We don't have equality until we're all equal.  Our differences are what should make us shine, not be the things we are persecuted for, no matter what they may be and more importantly, no matter what we or others may think of them.  There was a man who wanted everyone to be equal and the same and his name was Adolf Hitler.  Sadly, we have a lot more than a few little Adolfs running around these days.

Marriage equality, Voting Rights Act and Abortion rights have been at the forefront of the news and our justice system and law makers are battling.  That's…

Reality TV, Celebrity and My Confessions

I'm so painfully out of the loop when it comes to this new brand of celebrity. Reality TV is not for me.  It is one, not reality and two on TV.  I care not.  Due to this aversion, I'm discovering people that have been around for years and some new, by different avenues.  I don't know if I'm in a minority or majority with these   feelings.  So here are some thoughts about people I've recently discovered or have become more aware of.

Channing Tatum - a feast for the ladies' eyes?  Does it bother anyone what a terrible actor he is?
Sorry Ladies, he's taken and his wife is super hot.

Emma Watson - I have seen her on screen for about two minutes, as a child and knew nothing about her. Saw a picture a few weeks back and she's turned into a Audrey Hepburn-esque beauty.

Lana Del Ray - OK, I'm lying, I was one of the first to post how great she was when I heard Video Games. She's even better than that. Amazing vocal talent, lost in a pop world.

Miley Cyr…

Free Writing - Take 25

5:35AM. I've been up for two hours now after roughly 90 minutes of sleep. I awoke, atop the sheets, sweat pouring down my head. It wasn't the drink. Four beers, that is all.  The room smelled of heat. A musky scent that I deplore. My own body, burning. The feeling that overcame me earlier; Envy. I don't like it. Not envious of materialistic things, but of simplicity. It dawned on me today, through little signs, that my life will never be complete in the way that I want it. I'm not trying to be cryptic, but the things we assume will happen, never will.  The things we all crave and eventually achieve, through accidents, happenstance or just being in the right place at the right time, escape my grasp. I know not what to do to change it.  Fate is an odd  thing. It is not given enough credit in my book. We all think we work hard and are rewarded by some celestial being, yet those I know and have known who have worked the hardest, have not had fate shine kindly upon them.  W…

Why Don't We Talk Anymore?

One of the things I love about coming to Ithaca, especially when visiting with Grandma, was the relaxed vibe here. Sure, there was the time spent helping her, but that was a privilege to do at her age.  What I mean is during the down time. Sure when she was younger she liked walks on the beach or on some path, but she also loved to chat.  I think I'm probably more like her than anyone else in my family.

When I go away on vacation with a group of people, it's always fun when we're doing group events and playing games, but the special times, the reason why I keep going back, is the times late at night when it would be me and one other person, just shooting the shit.  Things would be said, maybe revealed is more apropos, that might not be said in a passing conversation.

So many of us make plans to go to dinner, to have our stories interrupted by waiters or other diners, chiming in and not quite getting where you are in the world or what you mean.  Why can't people just si…

Super Quickie Review - Taking Chance

Taking Chance is an HBO movie starring Kevin Bacon as Lt.Col. Mike Strobl of the US Marine Corps. The movie is about his volunteering to deliver the body of a young man he didn't know who grew up in his hometown.  The movie is incredibly powerful and painfully sad, but shows the dedication, camaraderie and honor that those who have served (and those who are in any way touched by those who have) display.

Bacon is absolutely brilliant (as he almost always is) and the characters along the way, many very recognizable, are equally as good.  The movie is a mere 75 minutes long, so even if you find it mundane as some have referred to it, it's over quickly.  Sadly, it's a true story and there are way too many like it.

People I Will Never Understand (Seriously)

People who say they like yogurt - Listen, I'll pretty much try anything two or three times before writing it off. I've got a pretty discerning palate and despite it coming off as snobbery at times, I know food. I grew up around gourmet food and the restaurants I went to as a child weren't the typical places parents would bring children.  I didn't always like what I ate, but as time went on, I started to realize the complexities of some foods.  Some it took me forty years to appreciate (Oysters, mushrooms, Uni), but my need to try everything more than once opened my eyes.  That being said, there is not one food I've tried more times and in more varieties than yogurt. For the life of me, I can't understand how anyone can genuinely like it, other than for it's health properties. It's chalky, bland and leaves a taste in your mouth similar to licking an envelope.  Just now, I had some Fage yogurt and had to add a berry pie insides just to stomach it.  Barely…

Sitting On The Porch In Ithaca - A Running Commentary

Well, I'm out on the front porch. It would be a lovely, cool, quiet day, if it weren't for the fact that my father's next door neighbor has a friend working on his house and this work has been going on for the better part of a year.  No apparent changes to the house, but the guy sure can make noise.  So I've decided to start writing whatever I see from this window looking out into the surreal world that is Ithaca.

2:45 - Neighbor across the street playing Frisbee with his dog.  Why is he wearing a batting glove?

2:52 - Ted Nugent's twin brother just walked by, leather hat, denim, Brillo hair.

2:54 - A beautiful cardinal just landed on a fence and immediately took off. I just passed gas. I'm one with nature.

2:57 - A student driver just did a perfect three point turn. I stood and applauded. They hit the curb.

3:01 - Two people who each weighed about 320lbs walking with a wiener dog. Hope they make it home before lunch.

3:03 - Hello college girl....for the love o…

Films You Haven't Seen, But You Should - For The Ladies Version

Ok, so last night I put together of testosterone laced movies for the fellas to watch this summer.  It was aimed for the guys who like action, but might not have ventured into my types of movies.  Now some were foreign, so if that's not your thing, you might not like my list. I hate generalizing, but it seems females are much less willing to watch subtitles than men.  This is not to say most men will, they won't, but it's an observation.  So what is my criteria for the ladies films??  I'm putting in a few movies you might not have seen that either have some eye candy, some serious relationship aspects or have an incredibly strong female lead.  Trying not to be too stereotypical with this list, but here it goes.  Remember, these aren't the movies everyone's seen, so no Notebook, no Mean Girls or Erin Brockovich.

Veronica Guerin - Cate Blanchett plays a tough as nails journalist who pokes her intuitive head into places she shouldn't while investigating Dublin…

Films You Haven't Seen, But You Should - This One Is For The Fellas

Most of my viewing pleasure comes from foreign horror, odd documentaries and movies that are so outside the box, people in the know, don't know them. Every once in a while however, I like to sit back, grab some popcorn and watch some testosterone filled craziness.  So for a change of pace, I'm going to give my guy friends a nice little summer movie list.  These aren't movies you'll need to be deep in thought to appreciate and who knows, maybe you have a thrill seeking girl by your side who will enjoy them as much as you do.  So here it goes. This one is definitely aimed at the fellas who need that Red Bull feel, while sitting on the couch.  I;m also going to try and leave off any with plot twists, where you might actually have to use your brains.

Master of the Flying Guillotine - If you are my age and watched Saturday Kung Fu theater, you've already seen this.  The government hires the MotFG to get the famed one-armed boxer.  Starts slow, but the action is incredib…

U.S. Open Prediction

OK, predicting golf tourney winners is probably the silliest thing ever. Pick Tiger Woods and go home.  So I'm going to do it a little differently.  I'm going to name ten golfers and I'm hoping five will come in the top ten.  Obviously I'll pick a winner, but I'm not too confident in that pick at all.  So here ya go.

Graeme McDowellKevin StreelmanAdam ScottBrandt SnedekerTiger WoodsMatt KucharSteve StrickerRickie FowlerRobert GarrigusRory McIlroy Not too much out on a limb, with six guy in the top 10 and seven in the top 20.

A Cabin In The Woods (Not The Dumb Movie)

I keep having dreams at night about spending a year in the woods.  In my dream, I'm living in a tiny cabin. A bed, a chair with a desk, a word burning stove, a small bathroom and because, for the purposes of fulfilling the actual dream, I'm assuming some electricity to charge my computer and to light my simple, humble abode.

In the dream I have a handful of items. Soap, toothpaste, a toothbrush, some towels, a few changes of clothes, utensils, a frying pan, a small fridge stocked with eggs, veggies and a small pantry filled with beans, rice and those instant mashed potatoes.  Of course, I have my laptop and a few bottles of whiskey and wine.  In the dream, I never run out of these staples and occasionally I have a visitor who brings me supplies and maybe stays the night.  Nothing lewd in this dream, just an occasional companion, to make sure I don't turn into that dickhead from Into the Wild.

I spend days wandering through the woods, setting my chair down by the river, was…

Quickie "Classic" Review - Caged

If I told you I watched a movie about women in prison, your first reaction would probably be, "Oh nice, which one? Chained Heat with Linda Blair and Sybil Danning or Black Mama, White Mama with Pam Grier and Sid Haig.  While I can't deny as a 13 year old, seeing Blair and Danning in the buff was quite an event in my life, I've grown and tonight I saw quite possibly one of the best prison movies ever made.

Caged was made in 1950 and while it's not considered the first movie about women in prison, it's the first to be completely filmed while the main character is behind bars.  The film stars Eleanor Parker (who was nominated for best actress - take a look at who she was up against this year and you'll understand why she didn't win" as a 19-year-old widow, who's been convicted of armed robbery.  A crime in which her husband was killed and her only crime was running to his rescue. Sentenced to anywhere from 9 months to 10 years, she enters prison a n…

Why Boston Is Better Than New York

The Red Sox
The city doesn't smell like sewage
Less crowded
Parks everywhere and such a clean city
Day drinking doesn't seem like a slacker thing to do
Their devotion to their sports teams is unparalleled
Chowdah and seafood everywhere for cheap
Restaurant servers are all so nice and don't feel entitled
Make a wrong turn and you're probably glad you did
Newbury St is like Rodeo Drive without the pretentiousness
Dropkick Murphys and Mighty Mighty Bosstones (among other more noted bands)
Everyone is attractive and in ridiculous shape
Happy Hour with not only drink specials, but food specials
Their Little Italy seems 10x cleaner than NYs
Accents of any type are sexy
Cab driver was friendly and gave me a free ride
Streets aren't straight so walking isn't as monotonous
Every place has some kind of food special
Hotels are cheaper
Everything is within four miles and you don't have to hit multiple boroughs to experience it
Sitting on the water doesn't involve s…

Quickie Review - Dark Skies

Unlike similarly marketed movies like Sinister and Insidious, Dark Skies goes into a completely different direction. To tell you would be too much of a spoiler. What is amazing about this film and what differentiates it from most supernatural/possession films, is acting.  The acting in this is actually really good, despite a pretty unremarkable script. Keri Russell is actually shockingly awesome and Josh Hamilton nails the "everyman" to a tee.  They are a family, like many, under immense economic pressure and blaming all the woes on these issues. Until one night they realize it might be something else.  As their problems become too much to handle and people starting asking questions, they are faced with a decision, both as parents and as a couple.

Dark Skies will not make you jump out of your seat.  It won't make you cover your eyes.  It won't make you scream.  What it will do is creep you out on a different level, because of the situation and the insinuation of its…


Is there anything better than a really good nap?  I mean, I can sleep for six hours at night and wake up feeling  none the better, but there are those special occasions when you doze off for forty minutes and wake feeling alive.  Sure there are bad naps (I just had one), but even those leave you with a feeling of rest.  Some naps aren't planned, but those that are seem divine.  Middle of the day, sun is shining, as you peal the covers back and slip into the coziness.  The pillow holds your head like a mother would hold her child. You pull the covers up to your neck and your body soon takes on a fetal positions and all the grown up woes evaporate. You almost start dreaming before your slumber begins.  Thoughts of all the good in life seem to enter your mind and as you drift, all you desire fill your head and eases you into a deep brief sleep.  You awake and feel like anything is possible. And it is.