Thursday, May 31, 2007

(insert witty title here)

Show me the way to go home
I'm tired and I want to go to bed
I had a little drink about an hour ago
And it went right to my head
Where ever I may roam
On land or sea or foam
You will always hear me singing this song
Show me the way to go home

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Now I prove that I am either homesick or crazy (probably both)

We've all heard the saying “You don't know what you've got till it's gone” or the alternative “you don't appreciate something until you don't have it”. Most of the time when you hear things like that you brush it off as just a cliché. That is until you realize it has happened to you.

I live in Michigan now, to put it bluntly this place sucks. I miss home, I miss Portland. I remember quite clearly that I used to think Oregon was boring and lame but as I look back I realize now that it was just the naivety of youth at work.

I took a lot of things for granted. Man how I wish I could just step out of the house and catch a bus tomorrow and have it drop me off smack dab in front of the Division Street theater (you know the one that is built in the same spot where my beloved Rose Moyer theater used to stand. Or how about taking the bus a bit further and hoofing it to the in my opinion superior Century 16 theater where you can get an awesome (but not cheap) milkshake with your movie. Or you could always go the other direction into Gresham and seek out the Mt. Hood theater for some second run goodness.

Movies not your thing? Well it is officially summertime now, that means that there is probably going to be some fun to be had at Pioneer Courthouse Square. Hell what about grabbing the nieces and nephews and planning a trip up to the Enchanted Forest, put the little suckers in the front seat on the Ice Mountain Bobsled and let them learn the hard way just how cold that water is (we had to learn that way right?). Don't forget the beach, you could head up to Cove Palisades, don't forget to check out Rooster Rock. Maybe even head out to Lincoln city head and fly a kite out on the sand (don't step on any washed up jellyfish).

Want something to do just for the day? Ok then find your way over to the Willamette and take a spin on the Sternwheeler. Or you could do my favorite head up to Grand Ronde and spend some time in the Spirit Mountain casino.

You could always skip going out and stay at home, maybe sit out on the porch during a shower and breath in the fresh air that is fragrant with clean smell of new rain. Or Maybe take a drive at night and realize how beautiful the city can be.

My god how the fuck did I ever find that place boring?

...All of that and I didn't even break into all of the awesome stuff you can do if you go up into Washington...Fort Vancouver on the 4th of July for instance (are they having it this year I wonder?)

Here is some youtube

A day in Portland

A ride on MAX

A day at the Enchanted Forest

The Rose City at night

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Askewed Review: "To Kill a Mockingbird"

I am on a never ending quest to repair the damage that my youth caused. Namely I am trying to play catch up and see all of the movies that I should have seen. After a suggestion (and some slight urging) I decided a good place to start would be “To Kill a Mockingbird”.

The Basics
Taking place in the 1930s In the small town of Maycomb Alabama a black man is accused of raping and beating a white woman. There is only one lawyer in town willing to take on the case, that man is Atticus Finch.

Atticus is a widowed father of two, his children Scout and her brother Jem spend their summers with their new friend Dill. They explore the town, play games, and discuss “Boo” Radley the local “madman” (at least according to town legend and Dill's Aunt). That is until the trial starts and the kids start to learn just how harsh and unfair the world around them can be.

What worked for me
One of the first things that came to my mind as soon as I was done watching the movie was that I couldn't actually classify it to just one genre. There are elements of a coming of age story, Scout, Jem, and Dill living, playing, and growing up in a small town. Then there are the some very suspenseful elements, the kids investigating “The Radley Place”. There is even a bit of family drama with Atticus doing what he can to raise his kids up correctly. Top that all off with a nice little chunk of courtroom drama and you stay may not have cracked more than just the surface of all that is going on!

My lord, has there ever, or can there ever be a man in the history of movies who is better than Atticus Finch? What a great character, a hero in the truest sense of the word. Win or lose what matters is he never compromised himself or his beliefs. Gregory Peck was really a highlight of the movie for me...Did I mention how great I think Atticus is?

The movie definitely takes its time getting where it is going. Even so there really isn't any dead moments, everything in the 2+ hours seems very deliberate. Even the few small tangents that are taken are well placed and help you really get to know and care about the characters and the situations that they are in.

Final Thoughts
The two paragraph “basics” story summary that I put up there honestly doesn't do the movie anything near justice. I intentionally chose to keep it short, had I let myself go I could have easily gone on and on and on (in fact in a first draft I did). That really wouldn't have served any good purpose, what I am hoping my briefness will achieve is to convince at least one person as I was convinced to rent “To Kill a Mockingbird” and be blown away (again just as I was) by it.

For what it is worth I have added this to my shortlist of movies to buy. I made the decision a few days after watching it when I realized how much I was thinking about it, multiple viewings I am sure will bring out new realizations and a new appreciation for the film. As I said there is a lot to absorb.

As I said this movie made me think a lot, especially about racism and injustice and what a truly messed up place this world has been (and can be) at times. The fate of Tom Robinson after the trial is heartbreaking, and Bob Ewell's attack on Jem and Scout is very disturbing. Of course the attack leads to the revelation of “Boo” Radley (a silent but still expressive and young Rober Duvall).

I like to add pictures and screen shots to my writings quite often, just to break things up a bit. This time I really want to bring attention to one of my favorite moments in TKaMB, the scene in the court room after the jury's decision came in. Even when the rest of the courtroom has cleared out the uppers section (the black section) waits for Atticus to leave, standing as he does so showing their respect for the man who fought for one of their own when nobody else would.

In summary (isn't it a little bit late for me to be summing things up?) I give “To Kill a Mockingbird” a surprising and mighty pollex up! stop reading my tripe and go rent it for yourself!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

This is what I listen to when I write.

Seriously, if you don't know who Mindi Abair is you really should.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Because once just wasn't enough

We were all "Zapped Again"

The fact that I have seen this movie at least 4 times in full should tell you a few things about me during my childhood.

1)I lacked supervision
2)I lacked judgment
3)I had a healthy respect for Rhonda Shear

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Once challenged I find it difficult not to do something....

Ok so I was challenged to take this test. This is a list of the top 100 movies from IMDB from May 2004 the ones in bold are the ones I've seen.

This shall hurt my ego tremendously I am sure.

Godfather, The (1972)
Shawshank Redemption, The (1994)
Godfather: Part II, The (1974)
Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, The (2003)
Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, The (2002)
Schindler's List (1993)
Shichinin no samurai (1954)
Casablanca (1942)
Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The (2001)
Star Wars (1977)
Citizen Kane (1941)
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)
Dr. Strangelove (1964)
Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
Rear Window (1954)
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
Pulp Fiction (1994)
Usual Suspects, The (1995)
Memento (2000)
North by Northwest (1959)
12 Angry Men (1957)
Buono, il brutto, il cattivo, Il (1966)
Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
Psycho (1960)
Fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain, Le (2001)
Silence of the Lambs, The (1991)
It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
Goodfellas (1990)
American Beauty (1999)
Sunset Blvd. (1950)
Vertigo (1958)
Matrix, The (1999)
Cidade de Deus (2002)
To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
C'era una volta il West (1968)
Apocalypse Now (1979)
Pianist, The (2002)
Third Man, The (1949)
Paths of Glory (1957)
Taxi Driver (1976)
Fight Club (1999)
Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi (2001)
Some Like It Hot (1959)
Double Indemnity (1944)
Boot, Das (1981)
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
Singin' in the Rain (1952)
Chinatown (1974)
L.A. Confidential (1997)
Maltese Falcon, The (1941)
Requiem for a Dream (2000)
All About Eve (1950)
M (1931)
Bridge on the River Kwai, The (1957)
Se7en (1995)
Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
Saving Private Ryan (1998)
Rashômon (1950)
Raging Bull (1980)
Wizard of Oz, The (1939)
Alien (1979)
American History X (1998)
Sting, The (1973)
Léon (1994)
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)
Manchurian Candidate, The (1962)
Vita è bella, La (1997)
Touch of Evil (1958)
Treasure of the Sierra Madre, The (1948)
Finding Nemo (2003)
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
Reservoir Dogs (1992)
Great Escape, The (1963)
Modern Times (1936)
Clockwork Orange, A (1971)
Amadeus (1984)
On the Waterfront (1954)
Ran (1985)
Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)
Annie Hall (1977)
Wo hu cang long (2000)
Jaws (1975)
Apartment, The (1960)
Braveheart (1995)
High Noon (1952)
Aliens (1986)
Fargo (1996)
Strangers on a Train (1951)
Shining, The (1980)
Metropolis (1927)
Blade Runner (1982)
Sixth Sense, The (1999)
City Lights (1931)
Donnie Darko (2001)
Duck Soup (1933)
Great Dictator, The (1940)
General, The (1927)
Sjunde inseglet, Det (1957)
Princess Bride, The (1987)
Dogville (2003)

I should be honest and say that there are two on the list that are bold even though I have not yet seen them. I feel justified bolding them as I have the DVDs here ready to watch. No I will not admit which ones they are and YES I realize there are a few on that list that I really should have seen by now. Believe me I'm working on it. There are also a few on the list I really should watch again.

Monday, May 14, 2007

And now this is happening

So a few weeks back I was playing around on Last.FM and I was reminded of just how awesome TMBG is. The trigger song was Particle Man. That Last.FM encounter lead me to finding this video which was actually my first exposure to TMBG.

After that I easily found this my second exposure to their music.

And since I promised myself that every third or so youtube video that I post here has to be this I now present to you a small clip of the talented Kim Morgan's appearance on Ebert & Roeper

Yes I know this isn't real content, but it is fun (and I maintain that the cip of Kim is pure gold!). I do promise I have something brewing but until I can track down my copy of “Brainsmasher: A Love Story” and “The Postman” I'm afraid I won't be able to complete what I have planned.

Now seriously why are you still here? Go read Kim's stuff, or check out what FinalGirl Stacie Ponder has been up to or find out whats new with The McGuffin.

P.S. When you visit FinalGirl make sure you check out the next Film Club pick. I plan on participating and you should join in as well!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Brain blockage

My brain isn't working correctly for the last few days. I've been trying to come up with a list of five to ten of the best and worst movies to be filmed in around and/or about Oregon. I have a few but I'm trying to come up with a few more.

Anyone out there have any help? Got any favorites of frak ups from the beaver state?

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Mysteries of the mind

When I saw the trailer for “Mr. Brooks” earlier today why did the “One of these things is not like the other “ song fly instantly into my head?