Pick your movie of the week: The 1930’s (Nov 24-30/19)

It wasn’t an easy decade with the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl, the Hindenburg disaster, the rise of the Nazis, etc.; however, movies were instrumental in bringing the culture through those tough times. Good luck on choosing a best from these three!

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)

Gone with the Wind (1939)

The Wizard of Oz (1939)

 

The insanity of the feminists

My daughter recently wrote a paper on feminism, and you won’t believe some of the crazy stuff they engaged in just to get what they wanted. You probably can remember these “femi-nazis” throughout the last century (plus a score) and their irrational behaviour. Most of us have heard of them burning their bras, shouting in the streets, and yelling at men. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Here are some interesting tidbits you might find “interesting”…

In 1971 a 25-year-old Louisiana woman took a cinderblock and then pulled a gun out. The people standing by and watching were understandably shocked, frightened, and wondering what she was going to do with it. She started threatening the cinder block! She even snuck up on it from around a corner like a stealthy soldier at war, pulled out a stick and started hitting it and screaming. Obviously she just came across as a crazy person. Spectators just walked away shaking their heads.

Then a 47-year-old woman from New York City took a much lazier approach. She laid down on the grass in a local park and refused to move. She said she would lay there in that same position for over a year. OVER A YEAR! She got up only to eat, use the bathroom, and (barely) bathe. As you can imagine it was gross, inconsiderate, unnecessary, and just an overall pain in the neck!

Then there’s the Canadian woman who, in 1978, decided to get in on the act. She stood at a corner on Yonge Street and shaved her head. Completely! She took a bunch of it and threw it in the air and the wind picked it up, something I’m sure bystanders and passersby didn’t appreciate. And yes, she did this in front of everyone making a big spectacle. She proceeded to take another handful and cut the locks up into bits with scissors. Then she burnt the rest. Yes, burnt it. Again, not sure she was thinking of the passersby and onlookers. Quite the stench. Later that year she was found trying to dig a hole in the side of Maple Leaf Gardens. She was arrested, thankfully.

The best though is the 35-year-old from California (That place always takes the cake!). It was 1969 and she had a wood stove in her kitchen where she made all her food. She emptied out the ashes and started to use cow crap instead of burning wood. Yes, cow crap! For every meal she would fire up that thing that–again!–drifted a funk aroma all over the crowded neighbourhood. The local news interviewed her and she spewed off her message of inequality and said she’d  originally was planning to use human excrement but decided instead to opt for the bovine variety.

Those of you familiar with the story of Ezekiel may have already guessed that this is actually the story of one man in the Bible. He wasn’t a feminist, rather he was a man trying to get an urgent message out. The people living in Israel were about to be taken over by an army who were every bit as cruel, blood-thirsty, and brutal as the Nazi SS army. And they were going to be the recipients of the coming holocaust. Almost every one of them would die a painful, horrific death.

It goes without saying that the message he was bringing was urgent! But no one was listening. And that is why God told this prophet to use these unorthodox methods and media (to put it mildly) to get the word out. And he instructed him to do many more crazy things as well.

Of course, his message was of a more grave nature than that of feminists. But I make this correlation for a reason. For years I thought feminists were, for lack of a better term, bad. They were offensive and weren’t looking for equality, but a flip-flop of the current inequality. They wanted more than what equality would give. And maybe this has happened to a degree: a few people claiming to be feminists being unreasonable, perhaps even being misandrists who misrepresent the cause… my fellow Christians this happens to us too, does it not? The God-hates-fags people? Westboro Baptist?

Sometimes there are movements like Black Lives Matter, feminism, and others that seem to be “a little out there” and offensive to us. But maybe, like in Ezekiel’s case, no change needs to happen and one seems to be listening. Hearing, perhaps, but not listening. They get passed off as fanatics. And sometimes those weird methods they use to get our attention that seem so “in-your-face” are what those who need to be heard end up using because… well, they have to do something to get our attention. Maybe we should seek to understand first before passing judgment.

Just be thankful they didn’t do what Ezekiel did.

Congratulations Jerry Maguire. This is your week.

And the Oscar goes to…

Best Actress: No question here: Renee Zellweger as Dorothy Boyd in Jerry Maguire. When she received the call that she’d gotten this part she didn’t have enough in her bank account to make a withdrawal. Now she’s one of the best, which she proved once again in this year’s Judy.

Best Actor: Tom Hanks as Andy Beckett in Philadelphia.

Best Quote: TIE: “You had me at hello,” and “Show me the money!” from Jerry Maguire. I wanted to pick another, but these are by far the most known quotes from these movies, and there’s a select few movies that can boast quotes more recognizable in pop culture than those. Which brings me to this…

Greatest Movie Quotes from the 2010’s (IMHO):

  1. “I’m glad he’s single because I’m gonna climb that like a tree.” — Bridesmaids (2011)
  2. “I am Groot.” — Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
  3. “Avengers assemble!” — The Avengers: Endgame (2019)
  4. “Chewie, we’re home.” — The Force Awakens (2015)
  5. “Puny god.” — The Avengers (2012)
  6. “I just wanted to take another look at you.” — A Star is Born (2018)
  7. “In moonlight, black boys look blue.” — Moonlight (2016)
  8. “Would that it were so simple.” — Hail Caesar (2016)
  9. “Do you bleed? You will.” — Batman v Superman (2016)
  10. “People say nothing is impossible. But I do nothing every day.” — Christopher Robin (2018)
  11. “We know each other! From work!” — Thor Ragnarok (2017)
  12. “Don’t say n’stuff. Just say, Dad there are whores here.” — The Nice Guys (2016)
  13. “Well, I don’t want to survive. I want to live.” — 12 Years a Slave (2012)
  14. “Now you’re in the Sunken Place.” — Get Out (2017)
  15. “Great. I think I got it. But just in case, tell me the whole thing again, I wasn’t listening.” — The Lego Movie (2014)
  16. “What a lovely day!” — Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
  17. “Not quite my tempo.” — Whiplash (2014)
  18. “Eat my shit.” — The Help (2011)
  19. “I volunteer as tribute!” — The Hunger Games (2012)
  20. “Look at me. Look at me. I am the captain now.” — Captain Phillips (2013)

Pick your movie of the week: Bruce Springsteen! (Nov 17-23/19)

Bruce Springsteen is one of my absolute favourite musical artists, and he seems to have a knack for writing and performing amazing songs for movies. The following are, in my opinion, the best ones. You can choose according to which Springsteen song you like the most, or the movie you think is best, or a combination of both:

Philadelphia (1993, “Streets of Philadelphia”)

Jerry Maguire (1996, “Secret Garden”)

The Wrestler (2008, “The Wrestler”)

 

Never Again

One of my favourite parts of Ocean’s Eleven is when Saul (Carl Reiner) says incredulously, “we’re just supposed to walk out of there with $150,000,000 in cash on us, without getting stopped?” as nine other characters then turn their eyes to Danny (George Clooney) who responds with a simple, “Yeah.” I love this about heist movies. The protagonists plan to do the impossible and we get to watch their genius plan unfold.

It’s not so fun to watch when it’s the bad guys though.

At this time of year we are reminded of the horrific events of the two world wars. And the scary thing is, they walked right out the front door in plain sight. How did they get away with that?!

Remains of a gas chamber in Auschwitz, Poland.

Would anyone have guessed that there would be a political party in central Europe that would grow in number, take over countries, threaten the entire developed world, and kill over six million innocent people (not to mention the millions that died in battle)?

A friend of mine posted on social media the warning that the Holocaust didn’t start with a gas chamber. No, it seeped in. It started out very subtle. Not even with all his charisma and power of persuasion could Hitler have merely talked his way into making so many people commit such nightmarish crimes. It started with just a grain of fear and grew into a monster.

This time of year we say “lest we forget” in remembrance of those who sacrificed their lives for us in battle. But it’s important to also not forget the way this evil got its foot in the door, stole from us, and then walked away in broad daylight. Legislators, senators, and politicians used worry and fear to stir up the emotions of the people. They divided them. They told them how fed up they were with bad leadership and a poor economy. And it was hard to deny. Frustrated and fearful people followed them.

Now before you criticize the German and Austrian people of the 1920’s and 1930’s, remember that they were just ordinary people like you and me. You, the one reading these words, have the capacity to be persuaded and led down such a dark path just like they were.

German Jewish Holocaust Memorial Berlin, Germany

After all these years of learning about this time period, I never thought I would see white nationalists boldly demonstrating, marching, and causing violence anywhere in Europe or North America. It always seemed crystal clear to me that everyone learned from this event. I naively believed there were only a very select few “crazies out there” who would still align themselves with such despicable ideology. But even if that were true for a time, the fear and hatred of those select few can seep in again.

I believe it is time for us to be bolder than we were yesterday. No more simply shaking our heads when people around us seem racist or intolerant. We stand up and speak up. In many holocausts that have happened in this world the perpetrators have called a certain group of people cockroaches, vermin, disease, etc. But it is fear and hatred that are the cockroaches. We stand up against those attitudes, inappropriate comments, and attacks on people for things they cannot control (e.g. race, social status, sexual identity, etc). We tolerate people. We do not tolerate hate. We speak. We defend.

It was fear that fueled the Nazis. It is fear that fuels hate. And as gushy and syrupy as this may sound, all the TV shows and movies we watched that claimed love was the only weapon that could kill hatred were right. Love overcomes evil. We can’t let the robber to get in.

Never. Again.

Congratulations Ocean’s Eleven. This is your week.

And the Oscar goes to…

Best Actress: Julia Roberts as Erin Brockovich in Erin Brockovich. She was also great as Tess in Ocean’s Eleven.

Best Actor: Don Cheadle as Montel Gordon in Traffic. He was also great as Basher Tarr in Ocean’s Eleven.

Best Quote: The moment you set foot on that casino floor, they’ll be watching you like hawks. Hawks with video cameras..” — Eddie Jemison as Livingston Dell in Ocean’s Eleven.

Tomorrow at 11 am, we will all remember.

Epic Movie Deaths

Today is the Day of the Dead in Mexico, so it’s the perfect time to take a look at some of the most perfect deaths portrayed on screen. In an effort to steer clear of spoilers, I tried to only include ones that are very well known. Chances are that if you haven’t seen one or more of the movies listed below, it won’t be me who spoiled the death scene for you. You’ve probably already heard about or even saw the scene.

Vizzini in Princess Bride (1987) — This is probably the most quoted death scene in all of cinema. Wallace Shawn is the perfect choice for Vizzini. I love every scene he’s in. Plus, the comedic timing of this scene couldn’t have been done any better.

Greedo in Star Wars (1977) — I remember being nervous seeing that Han was being held at gunpoint by this little seahorse/Qbert mix of a creature, and then breathing a sigh of relief when the camera let us in on Solo’s ace up his sleeve.

Major J. T. “King” Kong in Dr. Strangelove (1964) — If you haven’t seen the movie, you may not know what I’m referring to here; but, you’ve seen it. Picture a man sitting on a nuclear bomb that’s been dropped from an aircraft. He’s waving his cowboy hat in the air and exclaiming “Yeah-hoooo!”

MOST UNIQUE AND MEMORABLE DEATHS: Dr. Rene Belloq in Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), Cane in Alien (1979), The Lawyer in Jurassic Park (1993) — Facemelt, chestburst, toilet.

Hans Gruber in Die Hard (1988) — The great thing about this death is that they tricked the actor, Alan Rickman, as to when he would fall. Therefore, the look on his face is pretty genuine.

Sonny Corleone in The Godfather (1972), Tony Montana in Scarface (1983), Bonnie and Clyde in Bonnie and Clyde (1967) — The eternal Budda-budda-budda-budda-budda-budda-budda-budda!! Say hello to my little friend!

An important character in Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan (1982) — So I decided not to spoil this one, even though I don’t think it would matter. This is still the best Star Trek movie, even counting the 2009 reboot, and part of that is a moving death scene. I’ll leave it at that.

MOST MOVING ANIMAL DEATHS: Mufasa in The Lion King (1994), Old Yeller in Old Yeller (1957) — It doesn’t matter that you already know what’s going to happen. It’ll get you every time.

Do the Right Thing (1989) — I won’t say who dies because the scene is as important to the movie as the movie is important to our culture. You really should see it.

EMOST UNEXPECTED AND MEMORABLE DEATHS: Marvin in Pulp Fiction (1994), Russell Franklin in Deep Blue Sea (1999)

Ellie Fredericksen in Up! (2009) — I still say it is the opening of this movie and the love for the “Squirrel!” joke that led to this movie getting nominated for best picture. I don’t believe it deserved the nod, but I do believe the opening scene is deserving.

Charles Foster Kane in Citizen Kane (1941)Rosebud!

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the first time in the six years of this blog’s existence that I failed to give a selection of movies to choose from for Movie of the Week. Joy and I went to Toronto for the weekend and I fell behind, not posting until Tuesday. Since it was so close to the next week I decided to simply pick my own. Here they are, all having very memorable and epic death scenes:

Jaws (1975)

Dumb and Dumber (1994)

There Will Be Blood (2007)

Congratulations There Will Be Blood. This is your week.

And the Oscar goes to…

Best Actress: Lauren Holly as Mary Swanson in Dumb and Dumber.

Best Actor: Bruce as the shark in Jaws.

Best Quote: “I drink your milkshake!” — Daniel Day-Lewis as Daniel Plainview in There Will Be Blood.

Best Death: Quint in Jaws.

And a tip of the hat to the late great Christopher Lee who appeared in 280 films in his career, and holds the record for dying 60 times in those movies. He’d been stabbed, shot, fallen, bit, decapitated, crushed, impaled, even committed suicide. And his excellent acting skills, they just kill me.

From Steve Martin’s lips to your ears

Steve Martin is my favourite comedian. A big part of why he is so funny is his delivery; however, I’ve decided to compile a list of what I think are his funniest quotes. I hope you enjoy:

“Some people have a way with words, and other people…oh, uh, not have way.”

“I guess I wouldn’t believe in anything anymore if it weren’t for my lucky astrology mood watch.”

“How many people here have never raised their hand?”

“I cannot smell mothballs because it’s so difficult to get their little legs apart.”

“I love money. I love everything about it. I bought some pretty good stuff. Got me a $300 pair of socks. Got a fur sink. An electric dog polisher. A gasoline powered turtleneck sweater. And, of course, I bought some dumb stuff, too.”

“You know what I love about spending time with Martin Short? No paparazzi!”

“It’s great to be here in Los Angeles. I studied a lot about Los Angeles and it’s great to be here in the capital city of California.”

“These days it’s hard to look at a poodle without thinking what a good meal he would make.”

“You know that look women get when they want to have sex? Neither do I.”

“Before you criticize a man, walk a mile in his shoes. That way, when you do criticize him, you will be a mile away and have his shoes.”

“You know what they want for carpet? $15 per square yard. And I’m sorry but I’m not going to pay that for carpeting! So what I did is I bought two square yards and I strapped them to my feet.”

“I hate when I’m in a restaurant and someone says, ‘Mind if I smoke?’ I always say, ‘No. Mind if I fart?’”

“Some people complain there’s too much violence in movies. And maybe they’re right. I took a 9-year-old to see Gladiator and he cried through the whole film. Maybe that’s because he didn’t know who I was.”

“Everyone who works with Meryl Streep says the same thing, “Wow can that woman act!” and “What’s with all the Hitler memorabilia?”

“If Tom (Hanks) wins tonight, that means between Tom and myself we will have three best actor awards.”

“First the doctor told me the good news: I was going to have a disease named after me.”

“All I’ve ever wanted was a an honest week’s pay for an honest day’s work.”

“I’m a bitter, sad, sour young man who makes a career of hassling people with real careers.”

“We’ve had some fun tonight, considering we’re all going to die someday.”

“I saw the movie Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon and was surprised because I didn’t see any tigers or dragons. And then I realized why: they’re crouching and hidden.

Congratulations The Jerk. This is your week.

And the Oscar goes to…

Best Actress: Beyoncé as Xania in The Pink Panther.

Best Actor: Martin Short as Ned Nederlander in ¡Three Amigos!

Best Quote:
Mother: Navin, it’s your birthday, and it’s time you knew. You’re not our natural-born child.
Navin R. Johnson: I’m not? You mean I’m gonna STAY this color?

 

Joy and I saw Judy (2019) while we were in Toronto this past weekend. I’m so happy for Renee Zellweger. She took a real beating from the press for her cosmetic surgery and for being out of the spotlight for so long. Then she pulls this off! Great movie too.