The Daily Bongo


Disney's The Little Mermaid

Sunday, January 13, 2013 -- Evening

Disney's The Little Mermaid
It's been a long time since I watched Disney's The Little Mermaid. That was remedied today when I had to watch it three times with my two year old niece. I had to watch her for several hours today, and I was trying to come up with entertainment for her. She never saw The Little Mermaid, so i thought that we might give that a try. The niece is hard to please though. She was not a fan of Beauty and the Beast. I hoped that the music and story would work their magic on her, and boy, did they! We watched it the first time, and as soon as the credits started to roll, she started screaming for more. Her mother came to pick her up as the movie was ending for the third time, and Maya was quite eager to tell her mom all about Mermaid. And so starts yet another girl down the path of giving up everything for the prince of her dreams. Oh Disney! What a web you wove with your catchy musical tunes and cute little talking animals!

Friday, March 25, 2011 -- Evening

Grown Ups
Cast of Grown Ups I love Adam Sandler, and I finally had a chance to see Grown Ups through Netflix. Granted most of his movies have that stupid quality, but there's always that inner message that goodness wins out in the end. Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade, and Rob Schneider play the main characters. They were the members of a middle school (7th-8th graders) basketball team who won a championship because of their coach's leadership. 30 years later, they all get the call that the coach has died. The group gathers for the funeral, and then decide to vacation together for a week in the old hometown vacation spot. Sandler's character is a rich man who feels that his family has lost touch with common folks. Hence his eagerness to spend time with his old school friends. The movie is hilarious. Selma Hayek, Steve Buscemi, and Tim Meadows are also in the movie. If you want to have a few good hearted laughs, this is the movie for you!

Monday, May 25, 2009 -- Evening

I went to see Angels & Demons, and I was very disappointed. I had heard that the movie was better than The DaVinci Code, but I think that my disappointment with the movie was that so much that was in the book was left out. In fact, my boyfriend, who did not read the book, was very confused by the plot. Yes, there Robert Langdon was there, and a few of the other characters, but some of the major characters were missing, like Max Kohler, the director of CERN. Spoiler alert! In the book, all four cardinals die. In the movie, Langdon saves the last cardinal from the fountain at the water chapel, and that cardinal becomes Pope. All four died in the book. Then Robert Langdon never went up in the helicopter with the Carmerlengo (granted that part in the book really strained the whole fiction concept--it was so far out of whack that it was hard to believe.) As I was watching, I was wondering if I really disliked the movie because I read the book, but as I said, my boyfriend hated it even more. Personally, I would say that this time, Ron Howard had a dud. Read the book (yeah, yeah, whatever about the poor writing claim) and skip the movie.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008 -- Afternoon

I watched WALL-E this afternoon. I didn't watch it when it was in the theaters because for some reason, I had the impression that it might be lame, and I might not like it. Well, I decided that since it was on DVD, I might as well give it a try and see if I liked it. I have to admit that the beginning was a tad slow and bleak. The action takes place on Earth, destroyed and deserted, with only a robot, WALL-E, to clean up an Earth that has been polluted and destroyed by the humans that inhabited it. The only live form that survives is the cockroach, one is WALL-E's pet. Things start to pick up when an alien probe, EVE, is left on the planet to search for biological life. The film turns into an action flick when WALL-E follows EVE onto the spaceship, Axiom, from which she came. The people on Axion have become so fat and lazy that they are unable to stand or do things for themselves. They have become totally dependent on the robots that take care of every human need. A pitched battle takes place between good, WALL-E, EVE, and the Axiom's captain, and evil, Auto, the Axiom's autopilot. it's obvious that the makers of WALL-E were fans of 2001: Space Odyssey, and they practically copied the battle between HAL and Dave in WALL-E. By the end of the movie, I was totally engrossed and bawling my eyes out. The folks at Pixar did a great job with the animation. I highly recommend the movie, not only for the story, but also for the beautiful animation.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008 -- Early Morning

I went to see the new Adam Sandler movie You Don't Mess with the Zohan last night. The basic plot of the movie is that Sandler is a Mossad agent who is the best at catching terrorists. Actually Zohan is one of those people who excels at all things in life: picking up women, discoing, and catching terrorists by leaping talll buildings and catching bullets in his nostrils. You know, the typical terrorist hunter. However, Zohan is tired of the fighting and wants to cut and style hair. So he fakes his death in a fight with super terrorist, the Phantom, and sneaks into the US by stowing away in a dog carrier on a plane. Once in New York, Zohan finds that it's not very easy to get a job with this idol, Paul Mitchell. He winds up working in a hair salon run by a Palestinian girl in a mixed Araba/Israeli area. Usually, I'm not an Adam Sandler fan because his movies tend to overdo the gross part of his comedy. Zohan isn't much different. It wont' ruin the plot to say that Sandler spends a good deal of time having sex with the older female clients in the salon. And Zohan just doesn't have sex with them, he practically makes out with them in the salon chair. With that said, I did enjoy the movie. I laughed throughout the movie, and I loved picking up on the Israeli and Heberew moments. The movie gets a definite rating of yofi tofi and beseder in my book. However, if you aren't into juvenile male humor, and you don't want to see Adam Sandler shimmying his naked butt checks, this might not be the movie for you.

Sunday, May 25, 2008 -- Evening

I went to see the latest installment of the Indiana Jones series. This movie is called Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. There have been rumors that movie wasn't all that. I can understand why that has happened. The movie is basically a throwback to the original 80s movies. The special effects seem to be right out of the 80s. The new villians in the movie are the Russians. The movie is set in 1957 so they couldn't continue to have Jones against the Nazis. Some of the plot was very preposterous. The Russians are after alians that landed in Roswell. Jones was needed because he had been called in by the US government to investigate the matter. Gosh knows why the government would have called in an archaeologist! Anyway, aliens figure heavily into the plot. Cate Blanchett does a great job of playing a villanous Russian agent trying to get put the alien element into the hands of the Russians. Harrison Ford plays an old Indiana Jones. Surprisingly, he's active for a 65 year old. The movie was like visiting with old friends. Enjoyable, but you can see the aging process having an unkind hand with them. If you like the Indiana Jones movies, I think that you won't be disappointed, especially if you expect it to be similar to the other 80s movies.

Saturday, May 24, 2008 -- Morning

Yesterday evening, I noticed that a film crew has setup show in my neighborhood. They were filming My Bloody Valentine in one of the houses here in Squirrel Hill. We talked to a few of the crew members and found out that the crew had been filming around the Pittsburgh area for a few weeks. The house had been found by one of the locations guys who was looking for a house with a manly interior to be the house for the leading man in the show. Supposedly, they were paying $10,000 to rent the house for the night. The movie has a budget of $20 million. The filming went on all night, but there wasn't much for us to see because all of the filming was done inside of the house. The filming is being done with 3-D cameras and will be in digital format. The one guy told us that with the new 3-D you don't have to wear the red and green glasses. Any polarized lenses will work. I don't know if moviegoers will have to bring along a pair of their own sunglasses, but it will be interesting to see the movie since it is Pittsburgh setting. The movie is set for release in January/February of 2009. An interesting note: one of the guys told us that they were trying to rush filming because of a possible actors strike at the end of June.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007 -- Late Afternoon

This afternoon, my boyfriend and I went to see National Treasure: Book of Secrets. The movie is the second that stars Nicolas Cage as Benjamin Franklin Gates, treasure hunter. In the first movie, Gates hunted down a treasure that was hidden by the leading Masons in the early history of the US. In the second outing, Gates great-great grandfather is accused by Mitch Wilkinson of being the lead instigator in the plot to murder Abraham Lincoln. As we saw earlier in the movie, the earlier Gates was asked to solve a puzzle that would lead to a city of gold. In order to prove that his great-great grandfather was not involved with the group who assassinated the President, Ben Gates, Riley Poole, and Abigail Chase join forces to hunt for the hidden City of Gold. Gates' father (played by Jon Voight) and mother (played by Helen Mirren) join in the action this time. The movie was great, one of those fun rollercoaster rides that keeps you on the edge of your seat. Gates went to Paris, got into Buckingham Palace and searched a desk in the Queen's office, searched a twin of the Queen's desk in the Oval office, and kidnapped the President to find a secret book that is handed down from President to President with all of the secrets of the country. Sure, it's not believable, but you find yourself so caught up in the action that you don't care. I would definitely recommend this movie to anyone who loves good, edge-of-your-seat action flicks. I can't wait for the next movie in the series!

Thursday, August 16, 2007 -- Evening

I went to a matinee of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix today. It's been awhile since I read the book, and my memories of it as the most depressing book in the series was validated by the tone of the movie. The actress who played Dolores Umbridge, Imelda Staunton, did a great job as someone who seemed so sweet and pink on the outside while truly evil inside. The movie started out with Harry and Dudley Dursley being attacked by Dementors. Harry was expelled from Hogwarts by the Ministry of Magic, but was reinstated at a hearing that was Dumbledore attended in Harry's favor. At Hogwarts, things weren't pleasnt. Dolores Umbridge was the Professor of the Defense against the Dark Arts class. Her tactic was to do all that she could to prevent the teaching of defensive magic in the class. Harry, Hermionie, and Ron form Dumbledore's army. Concerned students in the school, like Neville Longbottom and Luna Lovegood, join the Army. Practice begins in the newly discovered Room of Requirement. The movie builds toward the showdown between Harry and Voldemort, with quite a few tense moments. Although the movie was two hours and 18 minutes long, the time flew by. The movie was very well done, and the development of the characters has been progressing nicely. If you haven't seen the Order of the Phoenix yet, I would suggest that you get out there and see in on the big screen.

Friday, December 22, 2006 -- Late Afternoon

My boyfriend and I wen to see Happy Feet this afternoon. Since we were both off today, we wanted to do something that we usually don't get a chance to do. I thought of Happy Feet because we had talked of going to see it. The aninmation for the movie was fantastic. The fur on the penguins looked very realistic, and one would be hard pressed to distinguish the live action people at then end of the movie from the animated part. The plot of the story was positive and uplifting. A little penguin, Mumbles, who has an awful singing voice that makes him a misfit amongst all the other penguins has the ability to dance. Of course, that doesn't cut it with the stodgy elders who think that only having a heart song makes a penguin complete. In fact, the elders blame Mumbles for the lack of fish. However, Mumbles knows that it is because the "aliens" are taking away the fish. The aliens are humans, and Mumbles goes off with a band of misfit crested penguins to stop the aliens from depleting the resources. The movie was very good up to this point. When Mumbles dives into the ocean to chase after the aliens, the plot took a dive too. The music was excellent, and I would love to get the soundtrack. My foot was tapping throughout the movie. Yes, I would recommend the movie to others, even with the slightly disappointing final 15 minutes. Go out to see it while it is still in the theaters.

Friday, June 9, 2006 -- Late Evening

As for the movie, it was X-Men: The Last Stand. I not a huge fan of action comics. I prefer Archie and Disney Comics. I'm not the person who can tell you if the movie is faithful to the Marvel Comics or not. I do know that I didn't fall asleep during the movie (probably because of my cough and sore leg). Truth be told, though, I did find the movie to be entertaining. It wasn't the best movie, and I don't know if it was worth the full price admission. Ian McKellen did a nice job. James Marsden had an extremely minor role in the movie. He cries and he dies--and then not even on camera. We do get to see Rebecca Romijn naked and without blue paint. She strategically has all her body parts covered though. In general, I just felt that the movie really didn't go in to the characters very much. All the characters received only a minor introduction and appeared to be thrown together just to show what great special effects CGI can produce. I was disappointed in the end because there wasn't an explanation of what happened to the kid who was the Cure. Also, I understand that the movie is supposed to be setting up the younger generation for future movies, but I just didn't get to know any of the characters. The movie was just a superficial special effect feast. Oh, and stick around for the end of the credits for an extra surprise. Out of five stars, I would give this one two. It wasn't my cup of tea, but at the same time it wasn't torture to watch it.

Sunday, April 30, 2006 -- Early Evening

I haven't seen the movie in some time now, but late this afternoon, We showed Dirty Dancing. I forgot how much I enjoyed the movie. The chemistry between Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze adds to the movie and draws the viewer into the experience. Yes, the plot is slim and unbelieveable, but watching it and listening to the music just puts me into a really happy place.

Saturday, February 11, 2006 -- Late Evening

Netflix is under attack from subscribers who are very unhappy with the delivery practices of the company. It appears that Netflix penalizes people who are heavy renters by putting blocks in to slow down the amount of DVDs that the person can receive in a month. Also, the heavy renters tend to not get the latest releases on a very timely schedule. Netflix's reasons for doing these things are so the company can make money. However, they have always publicized their service as one that allows the user to have access to an unlimited number of DVDs per month. Now the company is making some note of the restrictions that it places on heavy renters because the company has had a class action lawsuit placed against it because of its actions. The solution was to give subscribers an extra DVD for a month, hence if you usually can have three DVDs at a time, you could opt to get four at a time. The hidden clause was that if you took the offer, you agreed to up your subscription rate the following month to get the four DvDs. In other words, to remedy our scam, we want to scam you some more. Personally, I haven't had much issue with my Netflix shipments, but I tend to rent the television series which take awhile to watch, and aren't usually the most popular shows.

Wednesday, February 1, 2006 -- Evening

According to Harvey Weinstein, Judi Dench was snubbed by the Today Show, Good Morning America, and The View because of her age. I don't think that sounds very realistic because Dench is one of those stars that is very much admired by the critics and the fans. Dench was nominated for a Best Actress Oscar for her role in Mrs. Henderson Presents.

Sunday, November 27, 2005 -- Late Afternoon

I went to see Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire this afternoon. I was looking forward to seeing it because I have enjoyed the books so much. The movie was an enjoyable one, and even though it was almost two and a half hours long, the time really did seem to fly by. This movie had alot of action in it because of the Tri-Wizard Competition. The film starts darkly with Harry, Hermonie and the Weasley family journeying to the Quiddich World Cup. while there, the Dead Eaters make an appearance and the Dark Mark is placed in the sky. Is this a sign that Lord Voldemort has returned? Harry has been having nightmares about voldemort and his scar has been aching up a storm of late, all signs that Voldemort has gained strength. At school we find that a group of students from two foreign schools have travelled to Hogwarts, and Professor Dumbledoor announces that a Tri-Wizard Tournament will take place. We have the French girls from the Beauxbatons school and the Eastern European boys from Durmstrang. One person from each school will compete in the tournament, and the games can be deadly. Although he is under the 17 year age limit, Harry's name winds up in the mix, and he is forced to be the fourth person to compete in the tournament along with Cedric Diggoory from Hogwarts, Ron's Quiddich hero, Viktor Krum from Durmstrang and Fleur Delacour from Beuxbatons. The action in the tournament scenese are exciting and suspenseful, and the cinematography is wonderful. The actors playing Harry, Ron, and Hermione have changed from the first movie. They are growing into young adults and their acting skills are improving. In the movie, the group goes through all the teenaged trials and tribulations of dealing with the opposite sex and dealing with each other. Tempers flare, and there is a breakup between Harry and Ron that is eventually repaired. Miranda Richardson does a great job as irritating and annoying gossip columnist, Rita Skeeter. The movie was dark and forboding, full of emotion twists and the death of a major character at the end. Lord Voldemort has his official return to life, and Ralph Fiennes does a great job as the character. I wouldn't recommend the movie for the very young who might not realize that movie death is not real life death. There were some younger boys under the age of 10 in the theater when I went, and they didn't seem to upset by the violence. It would depend on the child. It is a fun movie, and I would highly recommend seeing it.

Friday, October 14, 2005 -- Afternoon

There is a new Bond, James Bond. The role has gone to Daniel Craig. I guess that the only thing that turns me off about him is that he has blond hair, but that can be dyed. Other than that, he looks rugged enough. I haven't seen any of the other movies that he was in to comment on his acting ability. It's not like Bond is a heavy acting role though.

Thursday, June 23, 2005 -- Afternoon

I watched Breaking Away last night. It was a very good movie. Read my review.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005 -- Evening

The American Film Institute has picked the top 100 quotes from the movies. Top on the list is "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn" which is what Clark Gable said in Gone with the Wind. Here's the whole list.

Sunday, June 12, 2005 -- Evening

I just finished watching two more recorded shows this evening. I am trying to clear out some of the things in the DVR. The first one that I watched was Murder Ahoy. It was the last one in the Margaret Rutherford series of Marple movies. This film was not based on an Agatha Christie novel. The plot was pretty far fetched. Miss Marple inherits a position on a board that reviews naval ships from her grandfather. The death of a fellow board member leads Miss Marple to check out a local cadet training ship. The movie culminates in Miss Marple engaging in a vigorous sword fight with the murderer at the end of the movie. It was not one that I would really recommend watching. The second movie was also another Margaret Rutherford movie. This one was Murder Most Foul. The screenplay was based on an Agatha Christie novel, Mrs. McGinty's Dead. The book featured Hercule Poirot. You would have thought they could have come up with a Miss Marple novel. Granted there weren't many, but still. Anyway, this movie was much better than the first. It starts with Miss Marple being a juror at a trial for a man who is accused of murdering his landlady. The trial ends in a hanged jury because Miss Marple won't find the man guilty. From there, she runs off to investigate the murder of the landlady, and that leads to Miss Marple joining a theater group. Murder Most Foul was at better than the first one, and it was a very entertaining movie to watch.

Wednesday, June 8, 2005 -- Evening

The Cassini spacecraft has found an icy volcano on Saturn's moon, Titan. Analysis of the results of Titan's surface show that there aren't any methane oceans on Titan's surface, so what they think happens now is that ice is forced up in the volcano and that is what puts the methane ito the atmosphere. Of course, all of this is pending further analysis where they will have another theory about the methane.

Friday, June 3, 2005 -- Evening

I am watching The Replacements on television. It's an entertaining movie. I love any movie with Keanu Reeves. The thing that makes this movie for me are all the other members of the replacement team. This movie does contain one of the lines that most annoys me. It's a line about the deaf player that Gene Hackman makes. He says "At least he'll never be called offside on an audible". Well, the guy is a tight end. That means he's on the offense. The offense doesn't go offside. A member of the offense has a false start. Geeze! Get it right!

Saturday, May 28, 2005 -- Evening

Last night, I saw Team America: World Police. It's a movie made by the guys who made South Park, Trey Parker and Matt Stone. Team America is a group of international police officers who go around the world to fight terrorism. Basically the movie makes fun of the gung-ho American "let's shoot 'em up" mentality and the liberal movie stars who would want to stop such activity. There are funny moments and sections in the movie, but I think that the show could have been just as funny at half an hour or 45 minute length as opposed to the 98 minutes that it ran. The sex scene--yes there is one, even though the show is full of puppets--was sort of graphic, gross, and extended. Yeah, it was funny at for the first minute, but after a couple of minutes, you just wanted to move on. After all, they were only puppets! The movie pokes fun at Arab terrorists, Kim Jong Il, jingoist Americans and the liberal artists (who were all members of FAG, Film Actors Guild). The movie opens with Team America blowing up the Eiffel Tower and the Lourve. As I said, there were funny moments, and it really reminded me alot of the South Park type of humor. The funniest moment for me had more to do with an inside joke that my boyfriend and I have about secret signals. I always come up with these very obvious secret signals that he should give me to alert me to things in public, like wiggling your fingers behind your head and walking funny. Well, in the movie, they have a similar "secret" signal that was so obvious and silly. It was such a Bongo move. Would I recommend the movie to others? Sure, although I think that your feelings towards South Park will be similar to your feelings for this movie. It is rated R because of the graphic and crude nature of the sex and violence, and for the foul language.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005 -- Evening

I just finished watching the recording that I made of Murder at the Gallop with Margaret Rutherford. This is the second movie that Dame Margaret made as Miss Marple. The movie is based on the Agatha Christie book After the Funeral. The book wasn't a Miss Marple novel, but a Hercule Poirot novel. At the beginning of the movie, Miss Marple and Mr. Stringer find Mr. Enderby dead. Was it a heart attack, or was Mr. Enderby frightened to death by someone? When Mr. Enderby's sister winds up stabbed to death, Miss Marple begins her investigation in ernest. With the assistance of Inspector Craddock, Miss Marple does indeed catch the murderer. I love Dame Margaret in this movie. One of my favorite moments is in this movie. Miss Marple is at a dance in a long gown, and she dances the twist with Mr. Stringer. The mystery is a decent one, and the humor is very enjoyable. I love the energetic, eccentric Dame Margaret as Miss Marple.

Monday, May 16, 2005 -- Morning

George Lucas is saying that there are analogies between the new Stars Wars: Revenge of the Sith and the evil that is the United States. According to Lucas, we can see from the movie how a democracy turns into a dictatorship, and how good people turn to evil. I just find it disgusting the United States and its government is always given the tag of evil. The guys who flew the planes into the World Trade Center were just oppressed beings who didn't have any other way to call attention to the evil that is the US, and any response that we have to such acts of terrorism are just signs of dictatorship. Where was the outrage of George Lucas when Saddam Hussein was gassing the Kurds in Iraq, or torturing and killing people who disagreed with him? That's not evil or a dictatorship. It's only the US that is evil. That is such a bunch of bull! I think Mr. Lucas doesn't know what it is like to live in an evil and repressive dictatorship. Maybe if he did, he might not be comparing the US to those entities.

Sunday, May 15, 2005 -- Evening

I just finished watching the recording that I made of Murder She Said starring Margaret Rutherford. The movie is based on the Agatha Christie book, 4:50 from Paddington. It's also known as What Mrs. McGillicuddy Saw. What is ironic is that the new Miss Marple this evening on Masterpiece Theatre is What Mrs. McGillicuddy Saw. I am going to try to watch this show this evening so I can comment on it. Anyway, I enjoyed the Rutherford version of the story. There were changes made to the Christie story. In Murder She Said, Miss Marple is the person who views the murder while traveling on a train. She is looking out the window of the train, and sees a woman being strangled to death. When she tells the conductor on the train, he believes that she is mistaken, and unfortunately, no body is found on the other train. Miss Marple figures that the location where she saw the strangling was near Rutherford Hall, and then she becomes the person who goes to the Hall to look for the body that had to be dumped from the train. There is a great deal of humor in the movie, and this increases in the subsequent movies. The Miss Marple in the Rutherford movies is a very active person with a very sharp, witty tongue. The real liberty that is taken with the movie is the addition of Mr. Stringer, who plays Miss Marple's male friend/boyfriend, and was Margaret Rutherford's husband in real life (Stringer Davis). I really do love the theme music for the movies. It has a very peppy, sixties sound to it which I think gives a very good description of what the movie is like.

Tuesday, May 3, 2005 -- Afternoon

The newest Harry Potter movie, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire will be released in IMAX theaters at the same time that it is released in regular theaters. In the past, an IMAX version was released after the regular theater release. The movie should be out on November 18. The new book, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince will be out July 16.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005 -- Afternoon

The Bond producers are keeping mum, but word is leaking that Pierce Brosnan will be back as Bond in the next movie. Dame Judi Dench has already signed up for the next movie, and has let it slip that Pierce will be back too. Dame Judi says the announcement will be made in the summer, but the production company still has a wait and see attitude.

Monday, April 25, 2005 -- Afternoon

Tickets for an all day screening of all six Star Wars movies sold out in five minutes. There were 1000 tickets, called "Galactic Passports" to the screening at London's Empire Cinema on May 16.

Sunday, April 24, 2005 -- Afternoon

There is still no word yet on who will be playing Bond in the next Bond movie, but there are plenty of guys who are being considered for the role. At least, they are being considered by the popular press. So who would I consider a good Bond? My favorite Bond was Roger Moore. In fact, I started watching the Bond movies because of Sir Roger. I happened about some episodes of the Saint on television with Roger, and really liked the way Roger portrayed the character. I like the humor that he put into his version of Bond. At the same time, I think that Sean Connery probably fits into the character from the books. I hated Timothy Dalton because the Bond he played was just too sensitive. Now I always thought that Pierce Brosnan would have been a good replacement for Roger Moore in the Saint because of the character he played in Remington Steele, and he has been okay as Bond. I'm not sure who I would want to see as Bond now. Pierce is getting up there in age, and I think that we need a Bond in his thirties. Of the actors listed in the Foxnews article, I think Clive Owen looks the most promising. I can't see Bond as a black actor though because the picture (and the character itself) that I have from the books is of a white actor.

Thursday, April 7, 2005 -- Afternoon

Star Wars fans are a crazy bunch. A group of them are lining up seven weeks early in front of Grauman's Chinese theater for the new movie, Revenge of the Sith. The joke is on them though because the movie isn't even being shown at Grauman's. It's going to be at a theater a mile away. The queue is not leaving because they don't believe that it won't be Grauman's.

Wednesday, April 6, 2005 -- Afternoon

Bond, James Bond. Sean Connery will be returning as Bond....for a new video game. The game is From Russia with Love and Connery will record dialogue for the game and his image will be used. Also on the Bond front, Pierce Brosnan may be returning as Bond for the fifth time. It seems that Sony bought the MGM studio that distributes the Bond movies, and they have opened up the possibility of bringing Pierce back in the role. Of course, there are conflicting rumors that Daniel Craig will be the next Bond. I guess that we will have to wait for official word, or for the movie to actually go into production.

Monday, March 28, 2005 -- Evening

I watched The Incredibles this evening, and I enjoyed the movie alot. Pixar really does a good job with the animation and the story. It was amazing how realistic the animation is. So far, I don't think that anyone has really captured humans well with animation, but the backgrounds look like they were actually filmed from the real world while the cartoon characters are placed on it. The animators do a great job with sunlight and shadows too. Where Pixar excels though is in having a story that grabs the imagination of the viewer. Watching The Incredibles was like watching the first Indian Jones movie. There was non-stop excitement. Mr. Incredible is a super hero who in the first few minutes of the movie does five different heroic acts, only to be sued by the folks that he rescued because they were injured in the rescue. Well, this leads to the US government paying out millions of dollars, and the superheroes going into hiding. Mr. Incredible had married Elastic Girl, and they are relocated to a small town where they raise their family--Violet, the oldest daughter who can become invisible and has the ability to create a protective shield around things, Dash, the middle son who can run incredibly fast, and baby Jack-Jack, the normal one, supposedly. We get to see the difficulties that a family of superheroes goes through when trying to blend in with normal folks. The action increases though when Mr. Incredible is recruited by the mysterious Mirage to reenter the superhero world. The action grows and the whole family gets involved. The movie was very entertaining, and I would highly recommend it. There were three separate instances where the multi-angle icon appeared on the screen, but we weren't able to get any additional angles. The two disc set is supposed to be rich in Easter eggs. I haven't checked out the second disc yet, but I do plan on looking out for the hidden extras.

Saturday, March 26, 2005 -- Late Evening

It seems that others feel like I do. People prefer buying a DVD to going to see a movie. Over the past year, I don't think I have gone to see a single movie basically because the cost of going is so high. There aren't alot of movies out there that I would want to pay $9 per person to see. Throw in a snack and a drink, and it's close to $20. As I said, if it's a good movie, I would consider it, but there are so many movies out there that are just a waste of two hours. Who wouldn't want to stay in the comfort on their own home with a big screen television, nice sound system, food, drink, and the ability to pause or rewind when you want? The Incredibles DVD sold 5 million copies in its first day, making $100 million which more than a third of what it made the first weekend that it was released.

Sunday, February 27, 2005 -- Evening

Sean Connery and Judi Dench topped a list of British Film Legends on a poll given by Sky Television in Britain. The poll listed the top 10 men and women and covered a variety of eras. So Cary Grant is side by side with Kate Winslet.

Friday, February 4, 2005 -- Evening

The next Bond movie to be released will be Casino Royale. It's the first book that Ian Fleming wrote in the Bond series, and was made into a comedy movie with David Niven as Bond. The book was nothing at all like the movie, and had one of the most gruesome torture scenes that I ever read. So far, there is no word who will be replacing Pierce Brosnan.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005 -- Afternoon

I continued to watch more Dashiell Hammett that I recorded yesterday. First up was The Thin Man with William Powell and Myrna Loy. William Powell and Myrna Loy really have great chemistry together. I was surprised to learn that William Powell is a fellow Pittsburgher. As for the movie, it was an entertaining comic mystery from the 1930s, and it lead to a whole series of Thin Man movies. Throughout the movies, Nick and Nora Charles (played by Powell and Loy) spend the majority of time either drinking or recouperating from a hangover. After the Thin Man was the second movie, and a young Jimmy Stewart plays a character in the movie. It seems that hard drinking characters were common in those times. The Lockridges' Norths were series characters in mysteries that were written at the same time, and they also spent alot of time drinking cocktails and having parties.

Monday, January 17, 2005 -- Evening

TCM had a tribute to Dashiell Hammett today. One of the movies was, of course, Maltese Falcon. The Maltese Falcon was the movie that started film noire. The movie was a good one. The plot was intricate, and there were many twists and turns. What was the Maltese Falcon? Who were the bad guys, and the not so bad guys? Would Sam Spade ever figure it out? You really have to pay attention to the movie because there are so many twists and turns, and you have to keep the characters and situations straight. Humphrey Bogart does a great job, and I just love Peter Lorre. The movie definitely belongs on the AFI's list of the top 100 movies of all time. I have to work on seeing some of the other movies on the list.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005 -- Evening

I watched I, Robot with Will Smith this evening. I wasn't expecting much from it, and I was pleasantly surprised. I am a big Will Smith fan. He is very good in the comedies, and is making a name for himself in action flicks. I haven't read the Isaac Asimov stories, but I will have to check them out. The thing that I find fascinating is that for years now, science fiction has shown robots as humanoid type creatures that will be commonplace. We have The Jetsons, The Terminator, and Alien. So far, I think that we have found that the creation of artifical intelligence as we see in the robots in movies is not that easy to achieve. The question: if we are able to achieve a high level of artifical intelligence, should we implement it? If we do, would we risk robots that would attempt to overtake civilization as we see in The Terminator and I, Robot?

Tuesday, January 4, 2005 -- Afternoon

I watched one of my favorite movies last night The Mark of Zorro from 1940. That's the one that stars Tyrone Power. For me, Zorro is Tyrone Power. He was charming and full of charisma. At least that is how he came across in the movie. Also, he managed to pull off wearing those tight clothes without looking silly. The pace of the movie is good, and there are a slew of good sword fighting scenes, especially the fight with Basil Rathbone.

Saturday, December 25, 2004 -- Evening

This evening on ABC, the Sound of Music was shown. It is one of my favorite movies. I love to sing along with it. Granted, I am no Julie Andrews, but that doesn't stop me from singing and enjoying the music. The movie is just so full of hope, at least for the main characters. One does wonder what happens to Rolf and the rest of the folks who are left behind in Nazi occupied Germany. When I was a child in grade school, I remember the principal having the movie shown in the auditorium. It is one of those movies that children and adults can love. It is one of those movies that you can watch over and over, and that young children today can relate to just as I did when I was a child.
It also tugs at the heart strings to hear Julie Andrews singing in the movie. It is tragic to know that her vocal cords were damaged in an operation in 1998, so she doesn't have the four octave range that she once had. She does still sing, and sang a song in the Princess Dairies 2.
Nicholas Hammond looked very familiar in the movie. He plays the oldest boy, Friedrich von Trapp. It seems that he has had a very prolific career. He's been on alot of television series, and was in an episode of Murder, She Wrote that I remember seeing recently.

Saturday, December 25, 2004 -- Afternoon

Since I have a home entertainment center, I find that I go to the movie theater alot less often than I used to. In the past, I would go practically every weekend. Now, I have difficulty remembering when was the last time I went to see a movie. I think that the last time was in February when I went to see Miracle. It was a really great movie, and I bought it on DVD. Kurt Russell did an excellent job as Herb Brooks. The other actors who portrayed the hockey players did a very good job, especially considering that the majority of them were actually kids who played hockey. When you bring the good acting jobs together with a great story, you wind up with a very good movie.
I just don't go to see movies that much because the cost for an evening at the movies is just more than I am willing to pay. I would rather rent a DVD and watch it on the 28 inch flat screen at home with the capability of pausing when I want to go to the bathroom or to get more pop or food. When you add up the cost for the tickets and snacks for two people, you could easily spend $30. There are very few movies out there that are worth $30. Miracle was one of them in my opinion.
The movie that I watched last night left much to be desired. It was Spiderman 2. I have to admit that I was disappointed. When I watch an action flick, or a comic book movie, I want lots of action and limited angst. I know that the film makers are trying to get the audience to connect with the characters, but the only thing that I felt was this incredible urge to fast forward the movie. I know that others out there probably loved the movie. I have to say though that I preferred the first Spiderman to this one. I don't watch action flicks to see tortured characters and how difficult it is to make ends meet and hold down a job. I want to see thrills and action. Pish posh with this romance and having a tender side. Obviously from the way the movie ended, there are plans to have a Spiderman 3. That will be another one that I'll wait to see on DVD!