Showing posts with label movies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label movies. Show all posts

Saturday, September 23, 2017

That movie went on and on . . . the plot, Forgotten

          The cinema movie offered to the seniors this week was Dunkirk - which Roland wanted to go and see, but it was on Wednesday which overall is NOT the best day for me - especially when I have two classes.  Roland was finishing up his assignment and Corey was coming to town (and there is no movie that I would rather see over my brother, Corey) and I wasn't going to jeopardize that!  Roland's plan was to take me on a date to the theatre last night.  Unfortunately the last showing was on Thursday, and so we ended up not going to the big city of Roseburg. 

          Instead we decided to go rent movies from Redbox.  We drove to the  one located by McDonald's.  I was watching two men, one in a cherry picker and one in the McDonald's sign - which actually looks further up in the air when there is a cherry picker and crew inside the sign.  I wished I would have had my camera.  You think with all the times I've not had it with me, I would learn.  But no.  I was too lazy to have taken anything - even proper shoes.

          We selected two movies: Meagan Leavey and the Zoo Keeper's Wife,

but there was a problem with the machine and we couldn't get any farther than checking out the movies.  As Roland continued to fiddle with Redbox, I continued to watch the view of the two persons (I could only see the one on the cherry picker but figured there was also at least one in the sign itself).

          We drove to another Redbox location on the other end of town.  Roland couldn't find the Zoo Keeper's Wife and had selected the latest King Kong.  We did not spend as much time at the second RedBox.  We collected the two movies and returned to our house to watch them.

          I really liked Megan Leavey, which is the first movie we watched.  I  thought Kate Mara looked a lot like the real Megan Leavey.  What a remarkable turn-around of her life.

          I don't know what possessed us to watch King Kong in its entirety.  I think we both thought something would happen - maybe a plot would unfold.  I

t was kind of like a rip off of Jurassic Park meshed with some other movie. I saw Planet of the Apes, the Incredible Hulk and dare I saw Honey, I Shrunk the Kids?  We apparently lost sight of why the group had gone to Skull Island in the first place.  My recommendation would be that you do not waste your time on watching this King Kong but rent one of the other mentioned movies instead.  And the creatures, by the way, looked as realistic to me as the ones used in the King Kong movies back in 1976.

          This morning on facebook I posted a bogus picture of cherry picker raised to McDonald sign with the caption: "If you have a fear of heights, changing light bulbs in the McDonald's sign is NOT for you."  I don't know if that is actually what they were doing.  It certainly was interesting to watch - though from my point of view, there wasn't much to see, except for the inside of the sign which is normally yellow appeared to have open slats of white shining through.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Shop, Summer, Mail

        Sometime between the birth of brother Corey and the arrival of my sister Kayla, my parents decided to finish the basement.  I moved from my upstairs bedroom to the coolness of the basement.  They also had a phone put in at the end of the hall next to the laundry room.

        I don't know how old I was, but suspect it was after I had graduated high school when I heard the phone ring.  Mom had already answered the upstairs phone by the time I got to it.  Out of curiosity, I went upstairs to inquire about the phone call.  Mom said that it was her visiting teaching partner and she'd be leaving pretty soon.

        She had just started watching the movie "The Shop Around the Corner" with Margaret Sullivan and James Stewart and asked me to continue watching it for her so that I could tell her what she had missed.  We had a VCR, I think I offered to record it.  Or perhaps the recorder wasn't working.  I don't remember why we didn't record it.  I allowed myself to get roped into watching. 
        "The Shop Around the Corner"  is an old movie from 1940.  It surprised me that mom had not seen it already it, as she certainly had watched a lot of old movies and I had suspected everything with Jimmy Stewart but either couldn't remember or had missed this one.
        The characters' names were Klara and Alfred.  They both worked at the curio shop (at least I think they did) and didn't seem pleasant toward one another - mostly her to him. During the course of the movie we learn that each of them has a penpal they are currently writing but it is done secretly so not as to reveal each other's identity.  Eventually Alfred learns that he and Klara are penpals to each other, but she doesn't learn the truth until toward the end of the movie.
        The entire time I was watching it, the plot just seemed so familiar to me.  I know that I had never seen "The Shop Around the Corner"  before, but I was able to predict what events would happen.  How is it that I knew?  I finally figured it out  just before my mom returned.
        She had been watching "In the Good Old Summertime" just a few weeks prior and had been telling me that Judy Garland's character had been receiving anonymous letters from Van Johnson's character, and she'd been writing to him - and he knew, but she didn't.  I really hadn't been interested nor do I recall ever seeing it the entire way through.  But apparently I had watched enough to see the similarities.   

        So when she returned home to ask me about it, I turned to her and said, "This is In the Good Old Summertime without music."

        I don't know why she didn't want to believe me.  So I started pointing to different characters and described what their role was.
       "Okay, that girl, there (I did not know Margaret Sullivan by name) she and Jimmy Stewart have been corresponding using false names.  And he knows it, but she doesn't know it."
        She asked me two or three questions which I don't recall, and I answered accordingly.  Finally, she came up with a question that only applies to one movie, but not the other.

        "What about the violin (or other stringed instrument; I forget)"
        "What violin?"
        I can't even remember what explanation she gave of why it was important to the story.
        "There is no violin.  But there is a curio box"
        "Oh, this is not the same movie at all."
          According to, "In this musical remake of The Shop Around the Corner, feuding co-workers in a small music shop do not realize they are secret romantic pen pals." We did not have (or know about) IMDB back then and so I was unable to prove my point.

       Several years later, "You've Got Mail" was featured in Theatres.  Instead of Penpals, Kathleen Kelly (played by Meg Ryan) and Joe Fox (Tom Hanks) would email one another.  Rather than exist as co-workers, they were actually business rivals.  I love that movie.  I loved Meg Ryan's character.  Of the three, it is my favorite. 

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The Things We Learn

          In these two posts (here and here) I mentioned how much Jenna loves learning about her family members. Until we had played Chatter Matters, she hadn't known that Roland used to play the trombone - or anything about his childhood really.  Usually it's just her and I, but she did manage to rope Roland into playing with us between conference.  After she won the game, we continued to go through the "family room" and "my room" cards so that Jenna could know Roland a little better. It reminded me of when my sibs and I would force the Ungame questions upon my dad.

          My parents actually did three listed on the card - hiking was more of a seasonal activity  or annual thing - and it was usually a part of either a daytip or full vacation so the specific places we hiked were Yellowstone National Park or Timpanogos Cave in American Fork, Utah.

           I don't know that shopping was ever restricted to just the weekend.  Movies also occurred on days other than the weekend.  I chose number one for myself as they took us to church which falls on the weekend.  By process of elimination, Jenna and I guessed that Roland's family would go shopping choosing from just those four.  Church was definitely out and they didn't seem like they'd be much for hiking. His parents (well his dad in particular) liked to have drinking parties - but that wasn't on the card.

          I remember going to the drive-in theatres when I was younger.  Mom and Dad had taken Patrick and I to one drive-in theatre called the Woodland.  The walls that surrounded the theatre were decorated in colored bubbles - like on a loaf of Wonder bread - but with more colors. 

There was a playground area for children to play before the movie started or even during intermission (because there was usually a double feature or sometimes movies that actually had an intermission; but we may have been asleep by then. 

          I also remember going to different movie theatres with my family both as a child and an adult;  Roland says the one and only time he'd ever gone to the movies with his parents is when he was an adult and had paid for all three of them to see "Kelly's Heroes"


Not all multiple choice, but once again Jenna and I had both predicted that Roland would answer "Watching TV".  I don't remember actually ever sitting down to watch TV as a family - unless it was something like "The Wonderful World of Disney" 

Mostly we played games or talked.  I don't know any families who read together.  Unless it's the scriptures - which I don't imagine would amount for "more" time spent.

          I don't know that Roland's family watched TV together either.  It was long before cable, and the TV offered only three stations.  There were no remotes and so the kids had to act as the remote and turn the station to whatever dad wanted to watch. 
       We learned that his father had only a fourth grade education and would often get drunk and come home and line up his children and say, "Your mother and I don't owe you a living".  I think my mom's dad may have been that way.  She said she was scared of him and when he would get drunk he would smack her mom around.  She was determined to give her children a  family environment different from the one in which she had been raised. 
         Roland's family didn't believe in families like mine - nor did I have any clue that families like his existed.  As I grew up, I realized that my family was not the norm. when we had all worked for Snelgrove's, for example, (each of us having worked there except for my dad) we would take the change out of our pockets and Kayla's would remain on the kitchen table for a few days.  None of the rest of us would take it as we knew it did not belong to us.  The money would have been gone in a heartbeat with many other families. The older I get, the more unrealistic my family seems.  That's too bad. 

          I don't know about Roland's side, and I don't believe he knows either.  But he counts Uncle Ted as family, and so with this question we all answer Uncle Ted - who celebrated his 100th birthday in February (I don't know why I didn't post about it to my blog; I did to facebook)

          My parents met at a Church dance.  I was surprised to learn that Roland's parents had met at a dance also.  He said his dad had been going with another girl at the time but had told his mom that someday he was going to marry her.  I think she just laughed it off - probably rolled her eyes as I did when Roland proposed to me.

          It had surprised us all when Roland said his favorite movie was/is "Oh, God, you Devil"  He received it for Christmas one year because he had said it was his favorite.  I have only seen him watch it one time.
          It's great how some memories will trigger others.  I think these questions are great conversation starters and I am happy that Jenna prefers this interaction over spending time on electronic devices.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Space Travel - Perception then and now

I was 7 years old when the astronauts landed on the moon for the first time.  I didn't care about space or world events or modern technology and so forth.  I was seven.

The oldest boy from across the street was nine, I think.  He loved the idea of space and everything that came with it.  He would ask his mom to buy tang and space food sticks and whatever other promotions that might be related to space.  He owned a telescope and spent time at the planetarium (he probably had a regular membership) and was absolutely intrigued with any current space-related discovery.  He was obsessed.  Still might be, I don't know. 

Space and astrology never did much for me.  I did like the star shows at the planetarium,  but for the most part I found the whole space obsession somewhat boring and hated having to learn about space in school and studying the names and forms of each planet.  There were nine at that time, because Pluto was considered a planet at that time - the coldest and smallest planet.  Today I think it's just a rock may or may not be circling the solar system.  Whatever.  I don't care.

Yesterday we went to the big city of Roseburg as that is where the county's only cinema is located.  It was Roland's birthday and he wanted to see "The Martian"  which I really did enjoy, and it got me to thinking about the attitude I have always carried with me about the space program - which I don't actually view as uninteresting anymore.  The adjectives I use now are: "scary", "crazy", and "mind-boggling".  I used to say I was "scared FOR astronauts" which Jenna misinterpreted and would often tell others: "My mommy's scared OF astronauts"  which isn't true.  I'm afraid for them - for the unknown.

I've seen "Mission to Mars", "Gravity", "Space Cowboys", "Planet of the Apes" and  some that really were based on actual events - like "Apollo 13".  But it always leaves me with shaking my head not disbelieving any of "what could be" and basically the unknown - unknown to me anyway.  Why would anybody willingly risk their lives like that?  Why would anyone willingly go up into space?

In 1986 NASA would send a civilian in addition to the trained astronauts.  The program was intense.    Christa McAuliffe was not the only the only  candidate in training.  There were several who tried out for that coveted position.  And as her students cheered, there were others who had been in camp with her who had wondered "Well why didn't I get picked?"

Space movie disasters always take place several years away from planet earth and not so close to take off.  I was on my mission when the Challenger Shuttle was launched. How would the investigation have been different if the explosion had taken place two days later or the following week?  Would we know what happened or would we think the communicators had gone faulty or what? 

As we sat through "the Martian", for the first time ever, I saw the entire space program with new eyes.  Certainly in 1957 or 1963 - the concept was so new, the idea was so unreal to most, that it was a dream to some to be the first to travel in space.  It was exciting!  Conquer the impossible. 

From the late 50's to late 60's - what a turn of events.  I'm now actually impressed with what was accomplished.  To think we actually had that kind of technology half a century ago.  That's actually quite amazing!

I still think those who enter the space program and willingly leave their friends and family for an adventure in space are nuts.  But I seriously do have a better appreciation - though I still don't understand all the reasoning involved and why it's important.  But I do use a GPS and am very grateful for the satellites that help guide me on the roads.  So thank you NASA and for all of you dreamers that contributed to making space travel a reality and are willing to explore the unknown so that perhaps we may enjoy other benefits that I personally may have never thought of (like the GPS)