Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Movie Review: Gun Fight at the OK Corral

This is a movie I recorded with DVR.  It stars Kirk Douglas as Doc Holladay and Burt Lancaster as Wyatt Earp.  This 1957 movie is loosely based on a gunfight which occurred in 1881.  However, other than that some of the same people were involved, this movie is not a historical representation of what really happened. 
OK Corral is in Tombstone, Arizona.  The movie presents this as Earp and Holladay traveling from Dodge City to give assistance to the brothers of Wyatt Earp in dealing with a cattle family that had a history of rustling and had it out for the Earps.  That Wyatt would travel with Doc Holladay is frowned upon by his brothers who are lawmen, as he has a bad reputation for being a gun slinger.
Added onto this is the intrigue of the women involved.  Doc has a girlfriend who turns to the bad.  Earp has a girlfriend who was a gambler until he fell in love with her.  However in the end, they are both without girlfriends. 
One of the brothers is killed in an ambush, which lead to the confrontation at the corral.  In this movie, the gun battle is a long drawn out affair.  It has the use of shotguns and long rifles and pistols.  It has flanking moves, and fire and obstacles to help in providing cover.  It also has a chase with danger of ambush. 

Movie Review: **^The Duchess

This is a movie from 2008 starring Keira Knightly (Pirates of the Caribbean and Pride and Prejudice) and Ralph Fiennes (Voldemort from Harry Potter.)  It portrays the upper class in England and is reported to be a true story about the Duchess of Davenport.  The Duchess enters a hasty marriage relationship, and later discovers that the Duke is  philanderer.  He keeps the duchess to sire an heir.  Of course the first two babies are girls, intermingled with a couple stillborn boys.  She finally sires an heir, and then has her own fling and becomes pregnant.  Because of the Duke's influence, he arranges for her to be on vacation to cover up the pregnancy, while forcing her to leave her lover under threat of not seeing her children again.

The movie portrays the difference between laws surrounding men and women.  The Duke takes a live-in lover, and expects his wife to just deal with it.

The movie shows the impressive wealth of the few in England at this time.  It portrays several castles in which the Duke resided.

It also shows the love of a mother, and what a mother will sacrifice to keep her children.  I would mildly recommend this movie.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Book Review: ***The Lightning Thief

  This book is written by Rick Riordan.  This book is basically Harry Potter in the setting of the Greek gods instead of witchcraft.  Olympus is above New York and the Underworld is below Los Angeles.   The author must not care for L.A.

The book was an enjoyable read, and had some tense moments.  The main character turns out to be the illegitimate child of Poseidon.

I worried about the book promoting belief in gods ra
ther than God.  I also worried about the morals.  So I would mildly recommend this book.

Movie Review: ***North & South

This is not the "North and South" dealing with the Civil War.  It is a BBC movie based on the novel by Elizabeth Gaskell.  The major characters are played by Daniela Denby-Ashe and Richard Armitage.  (If you watch BBC Robin Hood he plays Guy Grisbane)  I watched this four-part series on Netflix Instant Movies.  It was presented in 2004.  I was looking for Jane Austen Movies and came across this one.

It is different than Jane Austen movies as it is darker and has a more naturalistic flavor.  It is about a family that leaves the more agrarian lifestyle in Southern England, and moves north.  It presents the conditions of the mill workers in Northern England.  It is a very realistic period piece presenting the premature death of those working in the mills.

The story revolves around the relation between Maraget Hale, daughter of the family and John Thorton who owns a mill.  The relationship develops very much like a Jane Austen novel.  This story covers the same period of time in Jane Austen's books.

I would recommend this movie to those who like British period drama.

Movie Review: **^A Room With a View

This is the 1985 version which I found on Instant Netflix.  It stars Helena Bonham Carter (Bellatrix in Harry Potter) and Julian Sands (Phantom in Phantom of the Opera) in the lead roles.  It also has Maggie Smith and Judi Dench, both of James Bond fame.  It is based on the novel by E.M. Forster of the same name.  It takes place in early 20th century Italy and England.  A Young woman is traveling with her chaperone, cousin to Florence.

The general story is one of love, but also the author and director hope to expand our minds, and the heroine's with different views.  Among other things she sees a murder, which is a horrid view, her potential lover in a field, (he kisses her in this scene) coming upon this same gentleman with her brother and the vicar skinny dipping.  The scene shows too much, but reminds me of a similar episode in my youth.

The main character denies her love, and becomes engaged to a different gentleman.  However you know it is just a matter of time before she gives in to love.

I liked this movie, but not as much as those of Jane Austen.  I was hoping to find an Instant-play Jane Austen and found this instead.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Music Review: Diahann Carrol: The Lady. The Music. The Legend.

Diahann Carrol is a TV star, movie star and Broadway star.  This is a made for PBS concert.  She is backed by the Pat Risso Orchestra.  It is available through instant Netflix.  This concert was filmed in 2010 in Palm Springs. 
I went looking for it as I wanted to find some background on the song the Mormon Tabernacle sang this week, "On a Clear Day You Can See Forever."  She is a very good artist and this song is beautiful.  This is the lyric quoted in the spoken word:
"On a clear day
Rise and 1ook around you
And you'll see who you are
On a clear day
How it will astound you
That the glow of your being
Outshines every star
I also enjoyed "Come Rain or Come Shine."  However, with only a couple exceptions, including the aforementioned songs, the music is mostly forgettable.  "High Hopes" has very good energy.  She sings "New York, New York."  It is interesting to note that Carrol had to break down stereotypes on many occasions.  She was the first black woman with a regular role other than as a domestic.  The song New York captured this attitude. 
For me the lowest part of this concert was the performers naration.  It seemed too much self agrandizing as she talked about her career, and getting a call her and a call there.

TV Review: ****^Doctor Who Season Four

Doctor Who Season Four, including “The End of Time”  I watched  on Netflix Instant.  For some reason the last two episodes of this series are not with the rest of the series, but they are on Netflix Instant.  This season has Donna Noble, portrayed by Catherine Tate, as the regular side-kick to The Doctor, David Tenant.  Much of the series deals with how she became the sidekick even though she is just a “regular person.”  However in a later episode we are introduced to Doctor Donna, in which she is melded with the Doctor and takes on his intelligence combined with human instinct.  Episodes that stood out this season are:  "Silence in the Library/Forests of the Dead" in which the shadows are not shadows but creatures that devour anything with meat.  In this episode The Doctor meets his future wife.  We learn the dark is not always just dark and it is important to count your shadows.  "Midnight" in which a creature takes over The Doctor’s speech, and starts saying things before he does.  This is just creepy.  There is a series with all the old side-kicks as well as a few others, who must find the Earth which has been stolen by the Daleks.  "The Stolen Earth/Journey's End"  is a two-part series in which the Earth with several other planets have been put out of sync with time and thus hidden.  The Daleks are using the stolen planets to create a reality bomb and destroy all universes.  This is the episode where Donna saves the day.  There is also created a human Doctor in the same process that melded Donna with the Doctor.  This Doctor is given to Rose to take care of.  In “The Next Doctor”  episode The Doctor is traveling alone and meets a character in old London who thinks he is The Doctor.  This is a fugue state on his part, and he knows of the Doctor from information tubes the Cyber-men have.  He has made a TARDIS from an air balloon, which in the end the real Doctor uses to save the day.  And finally in “The End of Time” the Doctor is again pitted against The Master in a battle for Earth.  This time the Time Lords are using him to make a return, destroying Earth. This season we also met the Ood, the Doctor's Daughter, and Agatha Christie.  Great fun.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

TV Review: Doctor Who: ****Season Three

The first episode has the Doctor (David Tennant) kidnapping, by accident, a bride, Donna Noble portrayed by Catherine Tate.  She ends up on an adventure with The Doctor, as her fiance turns out to be a heal and just using her.  However she does not stay with The Doctor, and the next episode we are introduced to Martha Jones, a medical intern.  Her hospital is taken to the moon, as the intergalactic police are looking for an alien.  Just as everyone is running out of air, they are returned.  However there has been an adventure in the mean time.  There is an episode about Shakespeare, which is fun, but I didn't care for the witches.  William is great however.

There are a couple of great two-part episodes.  The first presents the Daleks in New York.  There is a cute bit of a relationship between a dancer and her boyfriend who is turned into a pig-man.  They genetically engineer Dalek and human combinations.  However this  doesn't work for the Daleks. 

Another is about the Doctor turning himself human in pre WWI England.  He is hiding from a family who want to use he and the Tardis to rule the universe.  This is very similar to "Goodbye Mr Chips" as The Doctor is a school teacher at a boarding school.  The Doctor falls in love in his alternate life, and has to decide if he wants to give up this life to be The Doctor.  He becomes The Doctor and is able to defeat his pursuers.

The season ends with a reintroduction of The Master, who also had hidden himself away, taking human form.  With the arrival of The Doctor, he remembers who he is, and steals The Tardis.  The Doctor pusues him, but not before he has become prime minister, and opens the way for an alien species to help him take over the world.  In this one Martha Jones saves the day.

Movie Review: ***^The Apple Dumpling Gang

This is a Disney movie that was on KBYU.  It features the slap stick comedy of Don Knotts and Tim Conway as Theodore and Amos.  They play a couple of washed out outlaws.  They are the redeeming quality of this show.  It is hilarious when Amos lights his companion's rear end on fire.  He then has used his last match, and lights his cigarette on the smoldering behind.  And the bit with the firetruck ladder is just as funny.
On the other hand, this movie is about three orphans, and the couple who adopt them.  I found much of this syrupy and over done.  The younger sister kept having to go potty, and that wasn't humorous, especially not the upteenth time.  There was a ride in a mining cart which just wasn't believable. 
The movie did have some real outlaws, the Stillwell gang, with Frank Stillwell played by Slim Pickens.  Amos and Theodore were part of the gang until Amos accidentally shot Stillwell in the leg.  It is funny when they meet again.
If you like Knotts and Conway, this movie is fun.  If you don't you had best skip it.

Movie Review: ****I Walk the Line

I Walk the Line I also found in our personal DVDs.  It is the story of Johnny Cash (Joaquin Phoenix) and June Carter (Reese Witherspoon).  I assume the actors are singing the songs in the movie, and do an admirable job.  I get carried away by the music, but more so by the characters of John Cash and June Carter.  John Cash was tormented by a poor relationship with his father, and by the death of his older brother in an accident with a saw. I guess this combined with the stress of his career lead to drug addiction.  Another consequence of his lifestyle was the dissolving of his marriage.  June is instrumental in helping overcome drugs for a period, and following his being sober for six months they become engaged.  Drug addiction was a lifelong struggle for Johnny Cash, and the movie portrays the consequences drugs can have.

Movie Review: ****^Spiderwick Chronicles

I Found Spiderwick Chronicles (2008) among our personal family DVDs and realized I hadn't watched it; although I did read the book sometime ago.  I think the movie is very true to the book, and one think I had difficulty understanding in the book was the manipulation of time, which was much more clear in the movie.  The ogres and Mulgarath, (Nick Nolte) are just despicable, and their green blood is gross.  Freddie Highmore plays a dual roll of twin brothers.  (I was confused at first until I looked up the casting.  Their sister is portrayed by Sarah Bolger.  Jared, one of the twins, finds a book written by his great-great uncle after the move into the Spiderwick mansion.  There is a warning placed on the book to not read it under threat of death.  He reads anyway, and sets off a series of events with trolls and Mulgarath wanting the book, and willing to kill to get it.  The children's mother (Mary-Louise Parker) doesn't believe in the beasts, and thinks it is just her son's anger coming out.  Her son is angry because dad has left the family.  Spiderwick is very well done.  It is exciting, but also has good story, and characters with interesting powers and motivations.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Movie Review: **^Persuasion, 1995

This is a BBC version of the classic Jane Austin story.  It stars Ciaran Hinds and Amanda Root.  As I watched this movie, it made we wonder how British aristocracy ever married.  First you had to find someone you loved, and then you had to get the approval of your family, which was not always easy.

This story presents the re-meeting of Captain Frederick Wentworth and Anne Elliot, who had fallen in love several years before, but she turned him down as a suitor because of the insistence of her mother that he was not suitable.  Several years later he is more financially suitable, while her own family has hit on hard times, and had to rent out some of their property.  They rented their home  a man who turns out to be the brother-in-law of Mr. Wentworth, and thus the circumstance of their coming into contact again.

The story presents the formality of courtship, and the intrigue of other relationships, and because of these they almost miss each other again.

I love Jane Austen, but must admit this is not my favorite.

TV Review: Doctor Who ****^Season Two

Doctor Who Season Two:
I am still going through the Doctor Who Series on Netflix. David Tennant stars as The Doctor and Billie Pyper as Rose Tyler.  I have recently finished season Two.  The episodes are varied, but I think the “Girl in the fireplace” is classic.  This presents The Doctor forming a relationship with Madame Pompadour from France.  She was a real life character who was actually mistress to the King of France.   The Doctor, however, only sees her sporadically in her life, as they are on different time lines.  It is sad, but the Doctor will say, “I’ll be right back,” and it turns to be years in her time line.  However the Doctor is willing to sacrifice all to save her, but it turns out well, relatively so, in the end.  In one of those I’ll be right back, she passes away, and the Doctor arrives to see her driven away in the funeral carriage.  The king presents him a letter, and uses this remark he is said to have said in real life. “The marquise won't have good weather for her journey.”  It was a stormy day, and the roads were mud.  They carriage was taking her to her traditional home for burial.
Another interesting item in this season is the parallel universe, in which Rose’s father is alive.  However, in that world, her mother (the parallel mother not her real mother) is turned into a Cyberman.  In another story the Cybermen gain entrance into our world, and begin to raise havoc, taking over the world.  The Daleks (the four remaining) also show up and are fighting the Cybermen.  However the Doctor sends them all back into “the void.”   However in doing so, Rose and her family end up in the parallel world with no way back.
There are fourteen episodes in all.  This was a very fun ride.  My least favorite were “The Idiot’s Lantern” and the two-part about a Satanic being being freed.  They wove several events into the show including the 2012 Olympics and the coronation of the queen.

TV Review: Doctor Who: ****^Season One

One of the funnest things ever. 

Doctor Who: ****^Season One

Doctor Who: ****^Season One
About every year or so I go through the Doctor Who series on Netflix.  I have started with season one this week.  There are six seasons available on Netflix; however they lack some of the Christmas specials and episodes outside of the regular season.
Season One introduces us first to Rose Tyler (Billie Piper) and then to Doctor Who Christopher Eccleston.  In the first episode they take on a plastic monster, determined to make plastic come alive and take over the world.  After giving the monster a chance to leave people alone and the monster goes ahead with his plans and activates plastic monsters everywhere, the anti plastic is delivered and the monster destroyed.  Rose’s boyfriend is drawn into the plat, and her mother is a victim of the plastic men.
The Season continues through several other romps:  We see the explosion of our sun and the end of Earth.  The family who takes over British government determined to create nuclear holocaust so they can sale the remaining slag heap that was Earth.  We meet Charles Dickens, as he gets inspiration for his ghost stories. 
My favorite is a two part episode on the bombing of London during WWII.  A rocket has landed on earth, with medical nanobots escaping.  They do not know of human DNA and repair a child incorrectly, which causes a disease of their making others in the image of the repaired child, with a gas mask as part of his anatomy.  The child, as well as the other people infected, if they touch you will give you the same result.  They go around looking for “my mummy.”  It isn’t until he finds his mummy that the nanobots realize their mistake, and are able to correct it. 
This run goes through two future Earth worlds, where things have gotten out of where they actually should have been, because of third-party manipulation.  We are introduced to “Bad Wolf” and the evil the Doctor must confront.
I enjoyed this romp, and come back to it on a somewhat regular basis.

Motivational Movies: Summary

Some of my favorite movies are those that work at making me a better person.  I find the human struggle, and conquering, and finding success very entertaining.  Some of these movies are fiction, and some is based on true stories.  They are all movies which serve to motivate me.
***** When the Game Stands Tall 2014
***** Rudy (1993)
***** Hoosiers
***** Michael Ballam: The Power of Music to Lift and Teach: BYU Education Week (1998)
***** Michael Ballam: The Healing Power of Music: BYU Education Week (1999)
***** Michael Ballam:Recognizing Inspiration in the Arts: BYU Education Week (2009)
***** Brave (Disney Pixar 2012)
***** Unstoppable
****^ The Blind Side
****^ Hitchcock
****^ The Drop Card (BYU)
****^ Johnny Lingo (LDS 1969)
****^ The Emmet Smith Story (BYU 1979)
**** ESPN 30 for 30 Survive and Advance, story of 1983 NCAA basketball champions North Carolina State
****^ The Pistol: The Birth of a Legend (Pete Maravich)
***^ Pistol Pete Maravich: The LSU Years (perseverance practice)
****^ Cool Runnings (1993) Jamaican Bob Sled Team, a dream vs opposition
****^ Wild Hearts Can't be Broken, (1991) Diving Girl
****^ Tyler: A Real Hero
**** The Phone Call (LDS 1977)
**** Faith in Every Footstep
***^ We Bought a Zoo
***^ Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat (talks about having a dream)
***^ Invictus (Matt Damon and Morgan Freeman, So Africa rugby)
***^ John Baker's Last Race (BYU)
*** Run Dick, Run Jane  (BYU 1972)
*** Blind Love (BYU 1979)

Friday, July 26, 2013

Movie Review: *** The Avengers (1998)

This is not the Marvel's Avengers, but an earlier movie based on a British spy television series with Uma Thurman and Ralph Fiennes as Emma Peel and John Steed.  Emma Peel is accused of sabotage of her weather machine, putting all of Britain in dander, and Steed her spy companion.  They are controlled by Mother and Father.  Sir August de Wynter, played by Sean Connery, is our mad scientist, responsible for framing Peel, and seeking to control the weather of the world, and thereby blackmail all of the countries of the world, if they want rain or sunshine.  Of course with a name like August de Wynter, he must be insane, but he makes a worthy opponent all the same.
There are several things about this show that are confusing, like why did the three spies have to split up to go through a maze.  Staying together would have been a better idea.  The show is sometimes really confusing and hard to follow.

Movie Review: **The Ewok Adventure

This is a made for TV movie which was first aired in 1984.  Again it is geared to the child movie goer.  Tony's loves this one as well, but his favorite scene from these two is still the Ewok sitting on the ember and burning his bum. 

The Ewok Adventure actually aired before the Battle for Endor.  It was on the other side of the DVD from the library.   The family is ship wrecked, and the parents are captured by a giant ogre type monster.  The two children, little girl and her older brother, recruit the Ewoks to help in the rescue.

The theme of the movie is the older brother accepting the help of "lower ranking creatures".  This is lower ranking in terms of their technology.  The brother has to learn that the Ewoks offer wisdom, and a knowledge that he does not quite understand.  Of course they rescue the parents, but only after the less on is learned.

Of the two movies, I prefer the Battle for Endor, but like I said, this movie is also very entertaining for children.  I have brought it home from the library, so it is still available in some circles.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Movie Review: **^Star Wars Ewok Adventures: The Battle for Endor

This is a made for t.v. movie released in 1985.  This movie is not near as good as I remember it.  Most of the humor is geared at preschool age.  My son Tony watched it at three and a half, and he responded appropriately.  He laughs when Wicket burns his back side.  He also took the monsters very seriously.  He was at the stage where he classified the world into monsters and heroes.
The special effects are pretty choppy.  And the movie is overacted at parts; especially the girl, Cindel.  The movie starts with her parents all being murdered by the monsters.  I don't think the reaction to this is very well acted, it all seems stiff.  I guess when you have a six-year old that is what you get however.
This movie features Wilford Brimley which is a  bonus, and he does a good job.  The other characters like the monsters, are extremely stiff and one dimensional.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Music review: *The Civil War Musical

I was excited to bring this CD home from the library.  I like music, especially musicals.  I also like stories of the civil war.  I had also heard good things about this musical.  However I must admit that it left me a little disappointed.  Maybe my expectations were too high.

I really enjoyed the poetry, the stories and the histories.  It was the music where I was disappointed.  It didn't capture he spirit of the Civil War for me.  It seems it was more the country singer, or the blues singer, singing of the war and the period, but not true characters, and that is what makes a good musical, the characters.

Yes, it had its intriguing stories.  The husband writing to his wife just before he faces battle and is killed, the struggle of the slave to be free, the glory and the pain of war.  But the music was too modern.  I would have preferred more period type music.  It seems it was trying to mimic Les Miserables in some aspects, in others it was a country ballad and others soul, but never figuring out its own identity.

Some parts were very moving, especially the poetry:
Out of the huts of history's shame
I rise.
Up from a past rooted in pain
I rise.
Dr Maya Angelou's words are very moving ; as are those of Frederick Douglas.
Where slavery is, there liberty cannot be
Where liberty is, there slavery cannot be
The contest must be decided, and decided forever...

These words made me stop and think.  I have always felt our country did wrong in supporting slavery, and then civil rights abuses; but at the same time I always sympathized with the South, the underdog.  I realized that any government that supported the institution of slavery had to fail.  As Frederick Douglas pointed out, there is no liberty where there is slavery.  The slave holders where also prisoners of an economic system that should have long been abolished.

There are a couple of other key moments of dialogue.  President Lincoln reading the Bixby letter, made famous by the movie "Saving Private Ryan."  "I pray that Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement."  Mrs Bixby lost five sons in the war.  The words of General Joshua Chamberlain, who as a General accepted the surrender of the Confederate arms at Appomattox, but when he was a Colonel was assigned to defend the Union left flank at Gettysburg.  If the left flank had folded, the Union line would have folded, and the outcome of the battle would have been different.  When the ammunition of his men was exhausted, instead of sounding retreat he called for a charge.  This one stroke of military genius likely changed the outcome of the war.  He is quoted as saying, "In great deed something abides."  I think that is why the Civil War fascinates me.  There were many great deeds in that war on both sides.

There are some songs that I enjoy.  Amy Grant and Bryan White singing "With these Hands" is very moving.  The concluding song "The Glory" also touches a cord.  However, to me, the music leaves something to be desired.  I was looking for more a stories of the men and women, with period music.  I could not recommend this CD.

Tony Movie Review Summaries: Kid Movies

Tony and I Movies

***** Enchanted
***** Brave (2013)
***** Frozen
***** Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone
***** Spider Man I
***** Spider Man II
****^ Spider Man III
****^ The Avengers
****^ Holes
****^ Toby Tyler or Ten Weeks in the Circus
****^ Tangled
****^ The Amazing Spider Man
**** Toby Tyler
**** Shrek: The Musical
**** Next Avengers  (animated)
**** Hugo
**** Savannah Smiles
**** The Thanksgiving Promise (Chester)
**** Toy Story III
**** Chipwrecked (according to Tony)
**** Wreck-it Ralph
**** It's an Adventure Charlie Brown
***^ We Bought a Zoo
***^ Madeline
***^ The Three Lives of Thomasina (Disney)
***^ City of Ember
***^ Pocahantas II
***^ Battle for Terra
***^ The Willows in Winter (1996) Vanessa Redgrave
***^ Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Roderick Rules
***^ Madagascar II: Europe's Most Wanted
*** Three Musketeers (2011)
*** Captain America
*** Alice in Wonderland
*** Tin Tin 
*** Kung Fu Panda II
*** Puss in Boots
*** Thor
***Next Avengers
**^ The Wind in the Willow (1995) Vanessa Redgrave
**^ Diary of a Wimpy Kid
**^ Yogi Bear
**^ Polly
**^ The Sorcerer's Apprentice
**^ Howls Moving Castle
**^ The Ewok Adventure: The Battle for Endor
** The Ewok Adventure
** The Smurfs
** Super Buddies
** Rango 
** Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Music Review: Rolling Stones: Between the Buttons

I can't say I am a Rolling Stone fan, but my sisters had this album when I was young, and I really enjoyed it.  The album came out in 1967.  Some of the songs on it have always been some of my favorite.  One of them had a restaurant named after it, or at least with the same name, Ruby Tuesday.  I just watched it on You Tube.  It was fun to see Nick Jagger hitting the low notes.  It also was a very nice theme.

Ruby Tuesday

She would never say where she came from
Yesterday don't matter if it's gone
While the sun is bright
Or in the darkest night
No one knows
She comes and goes

Goodbye, ruby tuesday
Who could hang a name on you?
When you change with every new day
Still I'm gonna miss you...

Don't question why she needs to be so free
She'll tell you it's the only way to be
She just can't be chained
To a life where nothing's gained
And nothing's lost
At such a cost

There's no time to lose, I heard her say
Catch your dreams before they slip away
Dying all the time
Lose your dreams
And you will lose your mind.
Ain't life unkind?

I especially like that part about catching your dreams before they slip away.  And it rings true, if you lose your dreams you lose your mind, dying all the time.  You have to be fighting for something to make life enjoyable.

There is another song I really liked from the album.  It is one of the songs I would sing from time to time, and when young I taught myself to play it on the piano, using chords.  This is "She Smiled Sweetly."

Why do my thoughts loom so large on me?
They seem to stay, for day after day
And won't disappear, I've tried every way

But she smiled sweetly
She smiled sweetly
She smiled sweetly
And says don't worry
Oh, no no no

Where does she hide it inside of her?
That keeps her peace most every day
And won't disappear, my hair's turning grey

There's nothing in why or when
There's no use trying, you're here
Begging again, and ov'r again

That's what she said so softly
I understood for once in my life
And feeling good most all of the time

I really like the attitude of being able to take things sweetly, even when our thoughts are getting away from us.  There are some other nice songs on this album, that I enjoyed growing up, including "Yesterday's Papers" and "Connection."  This album represents a different style for the rolling stones than what followed in their career.

Movie Review: **^Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Charity, Tony, Anthony and I went to the cheap theater to the movie today. They were having problems with the projection, so the first part the sound was bad. they gave us free passes which I gave to Charity so she can keep dating.

As for the movie, it was recommended by Tara Bence, Mark's girlfriend. I enjoyed it. There were parts that were really funny, and others that where just mildly humorous. The moral of the story was that it is always better to be honest and forthright, especially when it comes to your friends. A secondary theme was that you accept your friends, rather than trying to change them so as to make yourself be more popular or accepted.

I really enjoyed the curse of the "cheese touch." I am also glad that this gave our main character a chance to make things right. (Those who have seen the movie know what I'm talking about.) I enjoyed the mix of animation with filmed scenes. I wanted the reporter to me a more integral part of the plot, and for her to have been on camera more. She seemed like someone I wanted to get to know more, but didn't get the opportunity. Instead we got the stereotyped bully girl who was on stage too much. I must admit the apple scene was funny, and who could blame a tree for throwing a few apples.

For those of us who survived Middle School, we could identify with the movie, and the need to "be popular." I was never in that group, so could identify with being "alone" in the cafeteria amongst all the other students. I also remember being so worried in the shop class that I was going to lose a few fingers that I never really went crazy with doing projects.

I would mildly recommend this movie. It didn't maintain Tony's (three-year-old's) interest. He is more into Spider Man these days. He saw Spider Man in a modern artwork with lots of red which was hanging in the lobby. He also enjoyed the games, a car video game, and would spent his time sitting in the chair and I didn't have to put in quarters. However it is a good story for those of the middle school age, and those who have survived it.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Movie Review: ****Toy Story III

I enjoyed this movie. I was confused about Buzz and Jenny having a thing.  I really enjoyed the Spanish Buzz, and the change in personality the different language created for him. Spanish is the language of love. I also liked the three space creatures and their relation with "the claw." It was fun that this was used in their rescue, because it seemed like they had given up home. I must admit, I thought it was getting a bit scary, especially for Tony.

Kan and Barbie were fun. Barbie saw right through that Ken, and it is good he did some quick repenting of his ways. I am sure his change was heart felt. And the daycare is a better place without that strawberry smelling bear. (If I were political I would compare him to Obama, but since I'm not, I won't.)

Sheri cried at the end, with Andy playing with the little girl and the toys one last time.

Tony was excited to play the games after. We got out before everyone, after going to the bathroom, and Tony sat at a car game and played with the steering wheel. I dread the day when he realizes that you're suppose to put money in the thing.

Movie Revie: ***Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian

I really wanted to like this movie, the first was so funny, however in the end it just fell sort of flat.  Ben Stiller was his usually funny self, but some of the other characters where just too canned--this the Egyptian Pharaoh who was jealous of his brother, or Napoleon who didn't like short comments.  In just seemed to carry everything too far.  I really wanted to like Amy Adams.  I love her in  "Enchanted."  But in this case her Amelia Earhart is just just too canned.  By the end of the movie I hate the way she walks.  In this show George Custer (Bill Hader) is very cute.  In this case it starts with the cookie cutter Custer, and then he evolves and questions himself, and is real.  The bit between he and Sacajawea (Mizuo Peck) is well done.  Custer says, "I'll yell charge and then we all charge."  Sacajawea responds, "Why tell everyone you're going to  charge, doesn't that take the surprise away."  The bit with the monkey is good, but overdone.
A brief story.  Larry Daley has left the museum, pursuing free enterprise.  In the meantime, most of the exhibits are being sent to the Smithsonian for storage, away from the magical tablet that gives them life.  However the monkey steals the tablet, taking it to the Smithsonian.  That causes all kinds of havoc. 
Oh I liked Abraham Lincoln in his big form.  He turned the tide.
I found this movie mildly entertaining.  The original is better.  The theme of doing what you enjoy is a good one.  However, it was the free enterprise that allowed him to step in and save the museum.  The decide to open the museum at night, so the exhibits can interact with people when they are awake.  That was well done.

Movie Reviews Summary

This will give you an idea of what I like.  There are still more to include.  Top billing is 5 stars.

*****^ Pride and Prejudice (BBC Ehle and Firth)
***** Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
***** Narnia: Prince Caspian
***** Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
***** Rudy
***** Hoosiers
***** Spider-Man 1
***** Spider-Man 2
****^ Spider-Man 3
****^ Doctor Who Season 1
****^ Doctor Who Season 2
****  Doctor Who Season 3
****^ Doctor Who Season 4
***** Doctor Who Season 5
***** Doctor Who Season 6
**** Doctor Who Spearhead from Space
**** Doctor Who The Carnival of Monsters
***^ Doctor Who The Three Doctors
***^ Doctor Who The Pyramids of Mars
*** Doctor Who The Aztecs
*** Doctor Who The Ark in Space
***** Enchanted
***** Unstoppable
**** Twilight
***** New Moon
****^ Breaking Dawn 1
***** Breaking Dawn II
***** The Battle for Midway
***** The Phantom of the Opera: Royal Albert Music Hall 2011
****^ Love Never Dies (Phantom part II)
****^ True Grit (1969, John Wayne)
**^ True Grit (2010)
****^ The Sixth Sense (Bruce Willis)
****^ Ender's Game
****^  Catching Fire (Hunger Games 2)
****^ Who Shot Liberty Balance (Stewart and Wayne)
****^ Les Miserables (2012)
****^ Young Mr. Lincoln (Henry Fonda, 1939)
****^ The Pistol: The Birth of a Legend (Pete Maravich)
****^ The Avengers
***^ Iron Man
**** Iron Man II
****^ Hitchcock
****^ The Spiderwick Chronicles
****^ The Amazing Spider Man
****^ Sense and Sensibility (1995)
***^ Sense and Sensibility (2008)
****^ Tangled
****^ Holes

****^ Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011)
**** Sherlock Holmes (2009)
***** Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
****^ Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
****^ Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, part I
****^ Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, part II
**** Wreck-it Ralph
**** Hondo(John Wayne)
**** Oklahoma (1955)
**** Walk The Line (Johnny Cash)
**** Of Mice And Men
**** Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
**** Man of La Mancha
**** Roman Holiday (Hepburn, Peck)
**** Snow White and the Huntsman
**** The Journey of Natty Gann
**** Shrek: The Musical
**** Twelve O'Clock High
**** Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol
**** The Cinderella Man
**** The Thanksgiving Promise
**** War and Peace
**** Star Child (LDS)
****John Carter
**** Saturday's Warrior
**** Robin Hood (2010)
****Bang the Drum Slowly
**** While You Were Sleeping
**** Hugo
**** Grease (John Travolta and Olivia Newton John)
**** Cahill: U.S. Marshall (John Wayne)
**** Toy Story III
**** Faith in Every Footstep
**** Cowboys and Aliens
**** Red Riding Hood
**** A Dinner of Herbs
**** Sherlock Holmes (2009) Robert Downey Jr. Damon
**** Into the Woods Musical
**** Grapes of Wrath (1940, John Steinbeck)
**** La Perla (1947 John Steinbeck, Spanish)
**** The Disappeared  (documentary)Argentina
***^ Silverado (Kevin Costner, Danny Glover)
***^ The Crossing, Jeff Daniels as George Washington
***^ The Man in the Iron Mask
***^ Paranoia
***^ Return to Oz
***^ The Quick and the Dead
***^ Les Miserables (2000)
***^ Mirror Mirror (Julia Roberts)
***^The Three Lives of Thomasina (Disney)
***^ We Bought a Zoo   (Matt Damon)
***^ Battle for Terra
***^ Bandolero
***^ Abduction
***^ The Recruit
***^ The House of D  Robin Williams, Zelda Williams
***^ Just Like Heaven  Reese Witherspoon, Jon Heder
***^ Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Roderick Rules 
***^ The 300 Spartans  old classic
***^ The Willows in Winter
***^ Invictus  Matt Damon
***^ Sons of Katie Elder  (John Wayne)
***^ Water for Elephants
***^ Sunset Boulevard (1950)
***^ Madagascar III
***^ Gimme Shelter (documentary) (musical)
***^ Under the Greenwood Tree
*** Joseph King of Dreams
*** McLintock (1963, John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara)
*** Three Musketeers (2011)
***  Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (Ben Stiller)
*** One for the Money
*** Last of the Mohicans (1992)
*** Thor
*** The Face on the Milk Carton
*** 12 O'Clock High  Gregory Peck, 
*** Kung Fu Panda II 
*** Captain America
*** The Brothers Grimm
***That Shaggy Dog
*** Tin Tin
*** Avengers (1998, Uma Thurman)
*** Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
*** Sunday in the Park With George (Sondheim Musical)
*** East of Eden
*** Unknown
*** Alice in Wonderland (2010, Johnny Depp)
*** North and South
*** Matchstick Men
*** Les Miserables (1952)
*** Sweeney Todd In Concert (not the movie)
*** Puss in Boots
*** Sally Lockhart Ruby in the Smoke
*** Sally Lockhart The Shadow in the North
**^ Salt (Angelina Jolie)
**^ The Trophy Case (BYU 1979)
**^ Alice in Wonderland (Sean Penn)
**^ Did You Hear What Happened to the Morgans (Hugh Grant)
**^ Failure to Launch
**^ The Wind in the Willow (1995)
**^ The Marvelous Land of Oz (1981)
**^ The Shaggy Dog
**^ The Duchess
**^ Salt
**^ Diary of a Wimpy Kid
**^ Yogi Bear
**^ Polly
**^ A Room With a View
**^ The Sorcerer's Apprentice
**^ The Mill on the Floss
**^ Chicago (musical)
**^ The Ewok Adventure: The Battle for Endor
** The Ewok Adventure
** Rango
** A Little Night Music
** Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer
** Return With Honor
*^ Solitary
*^ Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
*^ The Land of the Lost
*^ The Marine
* The 11th of September: Moyers in Conversation (documentary)
* September 11 (documentary)
* When the Bough Breaks (documentary)
^ Saturday Night Fever (R)

Why A New Blog

Sheri mentioned to me that my movie, book and music reviews really do not have a lot to do with our family blog.  I agree, so here is a new blog.  I now have the task of moving all those movie reviews to this blog, but I don't have to do it all that fast.  In the meantime, any new reviews will be on this blog, so if you like my reviews, or are just interested in movies, books and music like I am, this is the place to be.