Posted tagged ‘movies’


March 1, 2022

socialPicture this, if you will.  Everyone’s electronic devices … phones, computers, tablets … are connected to a massive computer that monitors everything they do and uses that information to control what they believe, think and do.  Or.  Imagine that your devices and everything you do on them is displayed to a team of managers whose job it is to keep you online as long as possible and to drive you to look at certain advertisers’ information.  Sounds like a 1990s science fiction film, but it’s not.  These are two of the images the film, The Social Dilemma, uses to illustrate the ways that social media like Facebook and Instagram are damaging our society through manipulating what we look at based upon our actions online.  The film offers three areas of concern: mental health because studies show a decline in mental health and life satisfaction greater use of social media; decline of democracy because of disinformation campaigns on social media; and rising extremism because the majority of people in extremist groups were steered there by social media. (more…)

The Queen

August 26, 2021

respectOver the weekend, we went to see the film, RESPECT, with friends.  In case you don’t follow movies, it is a biopic of the life of Aretha Franklin starring Jennifer Hudson.  Now, I love rhythm and blues, what we used to call soul music.   Not only did my years in college coincide with the explosion of Motown, in my junior year I joined Beta Sigma Gamma, the first inter-racial fraternity at the University of Connecticut.  As I used to say, almost half of my fraternity brothers were brothers.  I started my junior year listening to the Beach Boys but ended it listening to The Supremes, The Temptations and yes, Aretha Franklin.  So naturally, I really enjoyed RESPECT, filled as it was with Jennifer Hudson’s amazing renditions Of Aretha’s music.  As a film, it was good but a little long … still I learned a lot about Aretha’s often difficult life.  Reading RESPECT: Hollywood vs. History at home after the movie, I discovered that the film understated the ways in which her father and first husband controlled her life and career. (more…)

Best Days

October 17, 2020

This is a repost from 2013 when I was posting favorites every Friday.   I’m feeling nostalgic this morning so I thought I’d post it again.  It’s one of my favorite favorites.

frat pinThere are certain movies I can watch over and over again … it drives Muri crazy. Most of the films aren’t great films, although I do hold the North American record for viewings of The Godfather. My favorites are usually romantic and each has a scene I love: Sally Albright faking an orgasm in a busy restaurant in When Harry Met Sally; Ronnie Camereri and Loretta Castorini at the opera in Moonstruck; Bill Johnson, the soda jerk, discovering color and art in Pleasantville; Phil Connors gradually learning to be human by living Groundhog Day again and again. In Billy Crystal’s City Slickers, as Mitch, Phil and Ed are driving the herd from New Mexico to Colorado, Mitch talks about his Best Day, a trip to Yankee Stadium with his father.


Fun with Words

August 29, 2020

The year 2020 has has not been much fun and that has been reflected in my posts.  So, on this lovely Saturday morning (it’s finally cooled off a bit here in South Jordan, UT), I though I’d resurrect an old post from August of 2011.   A fun post.  OK, a fun post if you enjoy words.  I assume it’s obvious by the sheer number of words I generate here that I am a word-guy   . and given the number of readers I have compared to the time I put in here, you’ve got to know I do this for fun.  Now, for a word-guy, what could be more fun than Fun with Words, words strung together in interesting combinations so cool that they have their own name. If you’re on the ball today, you know from my illustration (which is, by the way, a pun) that the first word combination for today is known as an oxymoron, which Wikipedia says is a figure of speech that combines contradictory terms. (more…)

Bud Runs a Marathon

September 24, 2019

brittanyOver the weekend, while our house was being shown to prospective buyers, my wife Muri and I decided to go to the movies.  We chose Brittany Runs a Marathon, the indie film from Amazon Studios directed by Paul Downs Colaizzo, and starring Jillian Bell as Brittany.   Brittany is a 29 year-old Cornell graduate whose once promising life has faded into a montage of mindless partying, low paying jobs, and falling self-worth.   After being told by her doctor that she needs to lose weight she reluctantly decides to try running.  As played by Bell, Brittany is a funny, resilient but wounded girl whose self-deprecation masks deeper self-loathing, and whose self-sabotage veers precariously toward self-harm.  Toward the end of the film, Brittany is near mile twenty-two of the marathon, too tired to continue.  Friends convince her to keep going and the camera follows her painful steps toward the finish line.  Surprisingly, I found myself emotionally invested in her progress, crying like I rarely cry at movies.  What was that about? (more…)

The Neighborhood

July 8, 2018

neighborhoodWhen my wife Muri and I were looking at our current house in Anaheim Hills, the owner told us it was a very friendly neighborhood that frequently had neighborhood block parties.  My Inner Curmudgeon didn’t see that as much of a reason to buy the house and I was inclined to agree.   But otherwise, the house was just what we wanted so we bought it.   Here we are, 17 years later and there hasn’t been a single block party.  The neighbors are friendly enough but not in a get-together-for-the-holidays kind of way.   Consequently, on Wednesday we were having a minor case of the All-Alone-with-Nothing-to-Do-on-the-Fourth Blues.  A movie is always a good place to escape the blues on a hot California day but, as usual, our choice was limited by the fact that we see a lot of (too many?) movies.  Limited to Jurassic Park Episode 132 or Won’t You Be My Neighbor.   Hmmm.  CGI dinosaurs or Mr. Rogers.   WYBMN had unbelievably good reviews and I’d rather have a sharp stick in the eye than another overdose of CGI, so Mr. Rogers won out.   But I have to admit, the thought of an hour and a half of Mr. Rogers gave me pause. (more…)


July 30, 2017

artsyMy wife, Muri, and I see a lot of movies.  So many, in fact that a trip to our local Redbox is almost never fruitful.  Yes, there is an occasional really-dumb science fiction flick that Muri refused to see but that’s about it.  Netflix and Amazon Prime are relegated to rerunning favorites only.   And here in the midst of summer, our prolific movie-going often leaves us little choice in the local theaters for a Date Night film.  We pretty quickly pick off the films-with-a-brain like The Big Sick, Dunkirk and Baby Driver and a fewminion high-quality animated films like Despicable Me 3 (I love minions!). It only takes a few over-blown superhero epics and space fantasies for us to have had our fill of CGI special effects and crash-bang mayhem.


Up in the Air

October 17, 2015

AAThere was a time when I flew coast to coast almost every month, which made it a good thing that, for the most part, I enjoyed being Up in the Air.   Yes, it helped that with so many flights on Ameican Airlines came Aadvantage miles which allowed me to fly first class most of the time.  Some of the other airborne annoyances, like loud, inebriated businessmen or First Class chatterboxes were mitigated by my Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones and my favorite playlists in the mp3 player I always kept in my briefcase.  I’ve always liked the window seat because I find the world spread out beneath me, five miles or so down, awe inspiring.  I found I could get a lot of work … or reading … or writing done to the tune of my favorite music.  I’ve made some important decisions at 30,000 feet.  I’d look at people doing absolutely nothing for a six hour flight and wonder, How the heck can they do that?  The best in-flight song ever is, in my opinion, Derek and the Dominos’s Layla, by the way.  I’d love to know yours if you have one.  I suppose most people don’t have favorite in-air songs. (more…)

Monday Smiles – 6/29/2015

June 29, 2015

doubleThis weekend was a two-movie weekend for Mr. and Mrs. Eyes.  Even though we are both movie fans, that is a rarity.  Our two-movie weekend was the result of two unrelated occurrences.  First, when the Social Director (that would be me) consulted the internet, there were no live events that I cares to see.  Has anyone else notice that they’ve never heard of the bands at music venues, or if you have, you don’t know why anyone would want to see them?  Yep, I’m and old curmudgeon. A movie is the default date for Date Night.  We saw a film with the peculiar title Infinitely Polar Bear at the Westpark Theaters in Irvine.  The Westpark shows films that don’t make it to the mainstream theaters, hence its nickname, The Artsy-Fartsy Theater.   It is a good name indeed because, when you see indie and small market films, they are sometimes excellent (artsy) and sometimes peculiar and/or awful (fartsy).   Polar Bear was, in spite of its odd title, and excellent portrayal of a father struggling to keep his family together while suffering from bipolar disorder.   Mark Ruffalo, who is becoming one of my favorite actors managed to bring both humor and pathos to the role of the father.   The film managed to be a drama about a serious subject and yet find humor in the situations.


Monday Smiles – 6/8/2015

June 8, 2015

tmp_2121-20150608_1350311420557034 This morning, my wife Muri and I delivered Meals on Wheels as we do on one Monday a month.  It is largely a service of younger oldsters delivering meals to older oldsters who can’t get out anymore.   A delivery consists of two meals, one fresh for lunch and another frozen but many people subscribe just to have somebody stop by once a day.  Muri and I usually have lunch together after our deliveries and when I told Muri I was going to the park afterwards to work, she said, Oh, it’s supposed to be hot today.  It is indeed a sultry day here in Southern California, a light breeze making the temperature just tolerable.  Even the usual assortment of squirrels, crows and geese are nowhere to be seen, altough a single gnatcatcher is sitting a nearby picnic table, gobling up passing insects.  I  could squeeze a Monday Smile out of the weekend … the retriever hunt test I attended with my friend Ralph Saturday morning, or the new Melissa McCarthy film, Spy, that we saw Saturday night with our friends Ron and Kerry on Saturday night.   As much as enjoyed watching the dogs go through their paces as retrievers, my duck friends here at the park would never speak to me again if they knew how many ducks bit the dust during the trials.   And the movie, although amusing, was not as funny as the trailer made it look.   I got to watch American Pharoah win the Triple Crown (but it wasn’t a very good race) and to watch a very good NBA Finals game (but the team I’m rooting for lost). Yup.  Cup half empty.   Yup.  The lower case blues.