Pick your movie of the week: One Room (Oct 7-13/18)

Our nominations are all movies that are set <predominantly> in one room. Hitchcock’s Rope (1948) is not include, though it is truly set in one room. One could argue that so is his Rear Window (1954). I’ve just picked four, and surely there is one that you’ve seen or would like to see. Here are your choices for Movie of the Week:

12 Angry Men (1957)

Dog Day Afternoon (1975)

The Breakfast Club (1985)

Room (2015)

The Greatest Athletes (according to Lukey and me)

I asked my wife and three children which athletes they admired. The only one Joy could think of was Ekaterina Gordeeva, the Russian figure skater who lost her partner and husband, Sergei while they were in practice. Leah was stumped, so I asked her about Darryl Sittler because of a children’s book I’d read to her many times when she was little that centered on the Maple Leafs player. Her answer was, “Yeeeeahhh…. I guess.” Erika was impressed by Serena Williams because of the stand she took recently amid controversy and disappointment. (I realize that there are a lot of conflicting feelings and beliefs about this news story, but it was her sticking up for equality and for herself that caught Erika’s attention and admiration.)

So Lukey and I had the longest lists, hence the title to my post. Here is my son’s list of names with a short statement of what he likes about them:

  • Tim (Fantana, wrestler) — A small athlete who beats the odds and rises to the top
  • Adam (Wesley Pipes, wrestler) — One of the very best in the Maritimes
  • Kobe Bryant (NBA) — L.E.G.E.N.D.!
  • Steph Curry (NBA) — He’s just amazing overall
  • Kevin Durant (NBA) — He can’t miss!
  • Kyrie Irving (NBA) — Great dribbler, great shoes

And my list:

  • Maurice “Rocket” Richard (NHL) — Insurmountable odds, but still the best in the world at the time.
  • Muhammed Ali (boxer…duh!) — The greatest athlete of all time.
  • Roddy Piper (wrestler) — Reason? I’m sure I’ve covered this already on this blog.
  • Wayne Gretzky (NHL) — L.E.G.E.N.D.!
  • Darryl Sittler (NHL) — That ten goal game! Plus my brother sold me on him when we were kids.
  • Jackie Robinson (MLB) — For obvious reasons.
  • Lukey (the man!) — Always gives his all when playing sports. Not scared of a challenge either.

And as for movie athletes, this is where it’s difficult for me to keep my list down to ten. The following don’t reflect a progression of how much I like each movie, but rather the athlete portrayed in the film:

  1. Steve and Jack Hanson from Slap Shot (1977)
  2. Rod Tidwell from Jerry Maguire (1997)
  3. Vince Papale from Invincible (2006)
  4. Ronnie “Sunshine” Bass from Remember the Titans (2000)
  5. Nacho from Nacho Libre (2006)
  6. Dottie Hinson from A League of Their Own (1992)
  7. Randy “The Ram” Robinson from The Wrestler (2008)
  8. Mickey O’Neil from Snatch (2000)
  9. Rudy from Rudy (1993)
  10. Rocky from Rocky (1976)

Congratulations Rudy. This is your week.

And the Oscar goes to…

Best Actress: Meg Ryan as Kathleen Kelly in You’ve Got Mail.

Best Actor: John Candy as Del Griffith in Planes, Trains & Automobiles.

Best Quote:The Godfather is the I Ching. The Godfather is the sum of all wisdom. The Godfather is the answer to any question. What should I pack for my summer vacation? ‘Leave the gun, take the cannoli.’ What day of the week is it? ‘Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Wednesday.’” — Tom Hanks as Joe Fox in You’ve Got Mail.

Just a thank you to those of you who read this blog, even semi-regularly. I decided when I started to focus on weekly writing and to not worry about whether or not anyone was reading it. But I really do appreciate you taking the time. It means a lot.

Pick your movie of the week: Fall movies! (Sept 30-Oct 6/18)

Our last movie of the week, Good Will Hunting, is a great example of a movie that’s good to watch between Sept 1 and November 30. It has that fall feel to it. So does another Robin William’s flick, Dead Poets Society. The following are 4 more, and each one is set in the autumn season or at least significant scenes are. Which is your pick?

Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987)

Rudy (1993)

You’ve Got Mail (1998)

October Sky (1999)

Troy! Keep your voice down!!

My voice travels. It carries. This has come in handy during the times in my life when I was teaching a large class, speaking to an audience or congregation, addressing a group of teenagers in a gymnasium, etc. However, when I was 10, getting excited telling a story at the dining room table of something funny that happened that day—especially if at the time someone was sleeping in another room—it wasn’t helpful at all. It was a real pain. I used to hate it when I was hushed or told I was too loud. But it wasn’t like they were wrong in saying it. I was loud. Now my son does the same thing with his voice and I want to be annoyed, but I can relate so well. So my response is measured, though usually conflicted and unsure.

Robin Williams was a performer who knew how to be loud. He could even shout an entire stand up routine and we would eat it up. Hearing him in Good Will Hunting speak softly and meaningfully in an effort to help Will makes me jealous. I want to be more like him. Regardless of whether you’re naturally soft-spoken or tend to speak like you’ve got a megaphone strapped to your jaw, there are always times that call for listening, asking questions, and staying calm, collected.

I’ve had someone be Dr. Sean for me many times in the past. I’m hoping I can be that for others. If my voice can carry, maybe it can also carry help and healing. Now that would come in handy.

Congratulations, Good Will Hunting. This is your week.

And the Oscar goes to…

Best Actress: Minnie Driver as Skylar in Good Will Hunting. She was nominated for an Oscar for this performance, which I think was very deserving.

Best Actor: Other than Damon, it’s gotta be Robin Williams as Sean in GWH. But seeing as that movie is sweeping the categories, allow me to give a best supporting shout out to Chris Cooper—a highly underrated actor—in The Bourne Identity. For supporting actresses, I cannot decide between Kristen Wiig and Jessica Chastain in The Martian. They were both awesome in that movie.

Best Quote:They say once you grow crops somewhere, you have officially colonized it. So, technically, I colonized Mars. In your face, Neil Armstrong!” — Matt Damon as Mark Watney in The Martian.

Speaking of movie quotes, one of my favourite parts of GWH is when Will explains to the NSA, and then to Sean, why he shouldn’t work for them. It’s a great scene, and reading the quote (albeit long) is every bit as entertaining as watching it. So, here it is:

“Why shouldn’t I work for the N.S.A.? That’s a tough one, but I’ll take a shot. Say I’m working at N.S.A. Somebody puts a code on my desk, something nobody else can break. Maybe I take a shot at it and maybe I break it. And I’m real happy with myself, ’cause I did my job well. But maybe that code was the location of some rebel army in North Africa or the Middle East. Once they have that location, they bomb the village where the rebels were hiding and fifteen hundred people I never met, never had no problem with, get killed. Now the politicians are sayin’, “Oh, send in the Marines to secure the area” ’cause they don’t give a shit. It won’t be their kid over there, gettin’ shot. Just like it wasn’t them when their number got called, ’cause they were pullin’ a tour in the National Guard. It’ll be some kid from Southie takin’ shrapnel in the ass. And he comes back to find that the plant he used to work at got exported to the country he just got back from. And the guy who put the shrapnel in his ass got his old job, ’cause he’ll work for fifteen cents a day and no bathroom breaks. Meanwhile, he realizes the only reason he was over there in the first place was so we could install a government that would sell us oil at a good price. And, of course, the oil companies used the skirmish over there to scare up domestic oil prices. A cute little ancillary benefit for them, but it ain’t helping my buddy at two-fifty a gallon. And they’re takin’ their sweet time bringin’ the oil back, of course, and maybe even took the liberty of hiring an alcoholic skipper who likes to drink martinis and fuckin’ play slalom with the icebergs, and it ain’t too long ’til he hits one, spills the oil and kills all the sea life in the North Atlantic. So now my buddy’s out of work and he can’t afford to drive, so he’s got to walk to the fuckin’ job interviews, which sucks ’cause the shrapnel in his ass is givin’ him chronic hemorrhoids. And meanwhile he’s starvin’, ’cause every time he tries to get a bite to eat, the only blue plate special they’re servin’ is North Atlantic scrod with Quaker State. So what did I think? I’m holdin’ out for somethin’ better. I figure fuck it, while I’m at it why not just shoot my buddy, take his job, give it to his sworn enemy, hike up gas prices, bomb a village, club a baby seal, hit the hash pipe and join the National Guard? I could be elected president.”

Mike’s World: Party Time! Excellent!

Reading up on Myers I discovered his life and career is much more interesting than one might think. Here’s what you may or may not have known about Mr. Powers:

  • I’ve always known he was a proud Canadian, but he’s also a very proud Brit. His parents are both British (Liverpool, England) and he carries a British passport.
  • He was on an episode of The Littlest Hobo when he was 16. A year later he was on Bizarre playing John Byner’s nephew. But his very first gig was when he was 12 on an episode of King of Kensington.
  • His very first movie appearance was Wayne’s World (1992), which made more than $18,000,000 in its opening weekend.
  • Apparently his Wayne persona goes way back. When he was in high school he would act out this character for girls at parties.
  • He’s joked before about not having much talent, but he had enough to get the attention of Toronto’s Second City Comedy before he’d even graduated. On the last day of grade 12 he wrote his final exam at 9 am, auditioned at Second City at noon, and was hired by them at 3 pm.
  • Even though his first TV appearance was at 12, he was in a commercial at only 9-years-old appearing with SNL legend Gilda Radner.
  • You may have seen the clip from SNL where Barbra Streisand walks in on his Coffee Talk with Linda Richman sketch. Well, a year later she called Myers and asked if he would introduce her for her concert in MGM Grand in Las Vegas, her first concert in 22 years.
  • He is a huge fan of Aerosmith, but had a hard time getting to meet the band when they were on set to appear on the show. It was his birthday that day and they walked in on his Wayne’s World segment, without him knowing ahead of time, as a birthday present to him.
  • He auditioned for Whose Line Is It Anyway.
  • And I saved the best for last: Just after former Beatle George Harrison’s death, a letter was given to Myers while he was shooting Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002). Harrison had written a letter to him complimenting him on the Austin Powers series and requested a Mini Me doll. This would end up being George Harrison’s last letter he’d ever written. Of all the great success and achievements in Myers’ career (including being a part of the animation film game-changer, Shrek), he says this was one of the most incredible things that has ever happened to him.

Congratulations Shrek. This is your week.

And the Oscar goes to…

Best Actress: Elizabeth Hurley as Vanessa Kensington in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery.

Best Actor: Other than Mike, I’d say Eddie Murphy is most deserving this week for his role as Donkey in Shrek.

Best Quote:If you blow chunks and she comes back, she’s yours. But if you spew and she bolts, then it was never meant to be.” — Mike Myers as Wayne Campbell in Wayne’s World.

Well, I really must give a shout out to my good friend and cousin Petrina. Her son (my cousin once removed?) was contestant on
The Amazing Race this summer and came in 3rd place. And if you didn’t watch it, the man is a beast! I’m so happy for you both. Cheers!

Pick your movie of the week: Mike Myers! (Sept 16-22/18)

We will get back to more iconic movie stills, but this week we’ll take a look at an actor I can’t believe we haven’t focused on yet. Mike Myers has been described as today’s Peter Sellers, though I’d say he’s had more hit movies than Sellers. Which of the following movies and their respective series would you choose for this week’s movie?

Wayne’s World (1992)

Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997)

Shrek (2001)