Tag Archives: movie

Burm Em If Ya Gottem, Duke!

It’s been a while since I watched a good John Wayne movie. Terry and I just finished watching “The Wings of Eagles” and I’ve got this to say…

It’s been a while since I watched a good John Wayne movie. It was a bit boring and plodding in my opinion, but I guess they had to pack a lot of years of this guys life in 110 minutes.

I guess the movie was alright but what really caught Terry and I’d attention was all the smoking on screen. In bed, in hospitals, everywhere, everyone was smoking. Probably the only ones not smoking on screen were the two children playing “Spig’s” kids. But for all I know they were lighting up Luckies as soon as John Ford yelled cut. It certainly was a different age.

And then Terry noticed the deft way the actors were plucking cigarettes seemingly out of the air. Someone was doing their scene and next thing you know they got a butt going.

It looked me like the actors were just firing them up whenever the spirit took them as they sleepwalked through their performances. I know at least 1/3 of the screen time someone was sucking the old cancer stick.

I’m a smoker myself, I’m not trying to preach. It just struck us funny, that’s all…

Sucker for a Meme #3

I’m even later to the party than Jay G but I thought I might play along. I’m not tagging anyone either but if this moves you to do one yourself, let me know.

100 Thing You Have Done.

  1. Started your own blog. (Back in 2001 I posted my first drivel on a blogspot blog.).
  2. Slept under the stars. (Lots of camping in my youth.)
  3. Played in a band.
  4. Visited Hawaii. (Lived there for five years, in fact.)
  5. Watched a meteor shower. (Many times, usually in the cold clear skies of winter.)
  6. Given more than you can afford to charity.
  7. Been to Disneyland. (Actually DisneyWorld twice. First time when I was in the Navy.)
  8. Climbed a mountain. (Only while driving my truck…)
  9. Held a praying mantis. (Then I lost track of him, I found him an hour later, he’d been sitting on my head the whole time!)
  10. Sang a solo. (Does Karaoke count?)
  11. Bungee jumped. (whaddayou, crazy?)
  12. Visited Paris. (Italy, Spain, Sri Lanka, Kenya, England, Scotland, but never Paris unless you mean the one in Texas.)
  13. Watched a lightning storm at sea. (While in the Navy, over the North Sea, I think.)
  14. Taught yourself an art from scratch. (Photography, I guess.)
  15. Adopted a child.
  16. Had food poisoning. (Everytime I eat at a TA truckstop…)
  17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty. (No, but walked to the top of the Scot Monument in Edinburgh.)
  18. Grown your own vegetables. (Ended up with TONS of tomatoes. I love tomatoes, but not that much.)
  19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France.
  20. Slept on an overnight train. (The only train I’ve EVER been one is a touristy one in Strasbourg, PA.)
  21. Had a pillow fight. (As a kid.)
  22. Hitch hiked.
  23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill. (Here’s the point where I say, No comment.)
  24. Built a snow fort. (In a cemetary in Virginia.)
  25. Held a lamb.
  26. Gone skinny dipping. (Once, with the wife.)
  27. Run a Marathon. (Not this smoker, but I did a 16 mile “Walk for the Whales” when I was a kid.)
  28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice.
  29. Seen a total eclipse. (First one was in Hawaii.)
  30. Watched a sunrise or sunset. (Too many to recount, love them.)
  31. Hit a home run. (I’ve always sucked at baseball.)
  32. Been on a cruise. (If four years in the Navy and two trips halfway around the world count.)
  33. Seen Niagara Falls in person.
  34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors. (Well, my ancestors are from Indiana, so I guess so…)
  35. Seen an Amish community. (Near Lancaster, PA.)
  36. Taught yourself a new language. (I’ve taken stabs at learning Spanish, to no avail.)
  37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied. (As long as a have a place to live and food to eat, I’m satisfied.)
  38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person.
  39. Gone rock climbing.
  40. Seen Michelangelo’s David.
  41. Sung karaoke. (With enough booze, anything is possible…)
  42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt.
  43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant.
  44. Visited Africa. (Shore leave in Mombasa, Kenya. Lovely place, really)
  45. Walked on a beach by moonlight. (Once on the East Coast watching a comet, many times in Hawaii.)
  46. Been transported in an ambulance. (Cut up my finger in the hydraulics of a school bus door as a kid.)
  47. Had your portrait painted.
  48. Gone deep sea fishing.
  49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person.
  50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. (What’s all this bias toward all things french?)
  51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling. (In Haunama Bay, also in Hawaii (of course).)
  52. Kissed in the rain.
  53. Played in the mud. (Just last week… ;) )
  54. Gone to a drive-in theater. (Last one was in Memphis, TN, twenty plus years ago.)
  55. Been in a movie. (But only on Super 8.)
  56. Visited the Great Wall of China.
  57. Started a business.
  58. Taken a martial arts class.
  59. Visited Russia.
  60. Served at a soup kitchen.
  61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies. (I didn’t know I could!!)
  62. Gone whale watching.
  63. Got flowers for no reason.
  64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma. (Only once, I’m allergic to needles and chickenshit besides.)
  65. Gone sky diving. (See #11.)
  66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp.
  67. Bounced a check. (Not on purpose!!)
  68. Flown in a helicopter. (No but I was shot off an aircraft carrier’s catapult.)
  69. Saved a favorite childhood toy.
  70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial.
  71. Eaten Caviar. (Once, hated it…)
  72. Pieced a quilt.
  73. Stood in Times Square.
  74. Toured the Everglades.
  75. Been fired from a job. (Yep, and I deserved it.)
  76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London. (More shore leave fun.)
  77. Broken a bone. (Never, I drink lotsa milk…)
  78. Been on a speeding motorcycle. (Right before it tried to kill me.)
  79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person.
  80. Published a book.
  81. Visited the Vatican.
  82. Bought a brand new car. (Never, in all my years, have I bought new…)
  83. Walked in Jerusalem. (But I walked in Memphis, my feet ten feet offa Beale…)
  84. Had your picture in the newspaper.
  85. Read the entire Bible.
  86. Visited the White House.
  87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating. (Fish only.)
  88. Had chickenpox. (Or so I’m told…)
  89. Saved someone’s life.
  90. Sat on a jury.
  91. Met someone famous. (Jack Lord of Hawaii 50 fame, Hairiest knuckles I’ve ever seen on a human! A few years ago saw Dawn Wells (Maryann) at a book signing in a grocery store (how the mighty have fallen).)
  92. Joined a book club. (Science Fiction Book Club, if that counts.)
  93. Lost a loved one. (too many…)
  94. Had a baby. (Now, THAT would be a trick…)
  95. Seen the Alamo in person.
  96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake. (No, but I’ve seen it in person.)
  97. Been involved in a law suit.
  98. Owned a cell phone. (A must-have in my work.)
  99. Been stung by a bee. (A few times, I’m slightly allergic, but no bad incidents, just more annoying than anything else.)
  100. Read an entire book in one day.(Lotsa. I’m a reading fool…)

Review: Atomic Twister

Signal to Noise Rating: 25%

(Ok, I lied… I never made it to see Star Wars AOTC. Time and “soicumstance” conspired against me, so I went to work instead.)

Last night I just hung around the house with the wife and watched Atomic Twister. Tell you what, TV’s label as a “vast and empty wasteland” is still nice and secure.

This movie had been promoted for weeks, bombarding us with commercials telling us how good it was going to be. With nothing else to do last night, we settled down and watched it. This movie was a great “commercial vehicle,” in that there was an even split between actual movie and commercials, about an hour of show and at least an hour of ads (as if this was the freaking Super Bowl). Gawd, how I hate TV.

Here’s how the movie went. These tornadoes manage to sneak up on the local nuclear power station. And I do mean sneak, silently sneak. The Gate Guard (played by Carl Lewis, the only “brother” in town, so of course the first to die) walks out of his gatehouse to use his cell phone, he finishes the call and the tornado, who had been hiding QUIETLY BEHIND the gatehouse all this time, jumps out, sez BOO! and sucks him up and spits him out. Them the movie pretty much goes all downhill from there.

The nuke plant, was a pretty wimpy place. It’s phone system was knocked by the tornado, the satellite blew down, the radio blew away (cuz someone left the door open), there were also a few “papier mache” coolant pipes cracked by the sneaky tornado (how it did that inside a sealed containment building, I’ll never know), and of course the people who are running this place are mostly morons and idiots, except for the Heroine (Sharon Lawrence), who got her job via Affirmative Action. She has a cute pre-teen son (no daddy in sight), who plays Twister (the game) with the teen-age babysitter (with the really prominent cleavage). Said babysitter bites the dust later when the tornado silently sneaks up on the house and catches the her peeking out the window. You just can’t trust those sneaky tornadoes…

That guy from Saved By The Bell (Mark-Paul Gosselaar), played the irresponsible (yet reserve policeman) former fiancé of the daughter of the tough, grumpy police chief (Corben Bernson, who must have gotten a good nap during the filming of this flick). Anyway, he saves the Heroine’s kid, saves his former fiancé, saves East Tennessee from total nuclear annihilation by hijacking and delivering a load of diesel fuel to the plant. Damn…

Yeah, one other minor problem. How it is that a nuke power plant, whose only purpose is to generate electricity, had such a problem with power that they had to shutdown systems and use diesel generators to even make the computers work? And wasn’t it handy that a “leftover” generator that had been sitting and rusting for 20 plus years, starts up when the heroine gives it a swift kick, thereby saving the day and East Tennessee.

I thought I saw a subtle anti-nuke message somewhere but with the bad acting and the sucky plot, I wasn’t quite sure. Anyways, this movie’s plot really sucked ass, the special effects blew chunks, and the acting was downright crappy. It was a bad movie, not a cheesy bad movie that’s funny bad, but just plain bad. It would have been much more fun if everyone dies and East Tennessee had become a radioactive wasteland, but we can’t even get that break.

Introducing my rating system, the Signal to Noise Ratio. I figure every movie must have something good (signal) throught out all the stupidity and bad acting (noise). I gave this one a 25%, the only good points being the heroine’s tight shirt and the babysitters cleavage. So be it!

Star Wars all over again…

I’ve yet to see the Episode 2 Star Wars movie yet, I’ve seen that a lot of people in the Blogosphere have already lined up, seen the flick and reported back. Overall their reviews are favorable so I guess it might be worth my time to see it. I’ll probably go in the next few days. My wife wouldn’t go with me (she hates scifi) so maybe my sister or brother-in-law might. I just hate trying to get into movies on opening day. I’m not that much of a social gadfly that I HAVE to see it NOW because all my friends have already seen it and if I HAVEN’T SEEN IT, well then, we’ve got nothing to talk about:

“Wasn’t Attack of the Clones great! I like the Yoda fighting parts best! What did you like best about it?”

“Uh, I haven’t seen it yet…”

And then we stand around in the awkward silence, me thinking, “He must think I’m a moron.” And him thinking, “What a moron!”

Back in 1977, I was living in Hawaii and I was about 15. I got news of the great, new flick called “Star Wars” that everyone else had seen and liked. So I figured I’ll try to see it. It was playing at a place called the Royal Hawaiian Theater (or maybe just the Hawaii Theater), an old ’40s looking movie house with a huge screen, fake coconut trees on the sides this neat projected effect that made stars and clouds move across the ceiling. The whole thing to make you think you were outdoors, I guess. It also had a state of the art (for the ’70s) sound system. The year before I’d seen Midway in Sensurround and it was deafening and great fun.

Dad dropped me off to see the matinee and I sat down to see the show. The last thing I remember seeing was the Imperial Cruiser coming over the top of the screen and then I went into full sensory overload! I loved the movie, it really blew me away! But when Dad asked me to explain the plot, I couldn’t! I had to see it a second time just to figure it out!

I had seen Phantom Menace the night it came out in 1999, having waited many years for it was disappointed, so I figure Episode Two can wait a few days more for my viewing it.

Magic Eight Ball – Hot Rock

Last night I broke down and bought something I’ve been wanting since I was a kid: a Magic Eight Ball. I don’t know how I’ve gone forty years without having one. You know what these are, don’t you? A black plastic ball about 4 or 5 inches in diameter with a black 8 in a white circle and a “spirit” window on the bottom.

You hold it in your hands, gently shake it and intone: “Oh, Magic Eight Ball, seer of all things, master of destiny, hip to the mysteries of the universe, I ask unto you and your wisdom…” then ask the question. Well, actually you don’t have to say those exact words (I just made them up), but you do have to concentrate, ask a yes or no question and them flip the ball over. In time a little triangle will appear with the answer…

Is it a tool of the occult? If you ask the M8B, it usually says “yes” (at least mine does). Earlier this morning I asked it: Will there be peace in the Middle East in my lifetime? M8B says: “My Sources Say No…” I tend to believe it.


Yesterday I saw the movie The Hot Rock. Robert Redford, George Segal and a bunch of other ’70s type steal a diamond, again and again. I think the movie is OK and I’ll usually watch once a year or so. Well, this time I was stuck by the aerial views of New York City in the early ’70s, how trashy the place looked.

I know the ’70s where NOT the golden age in NYC, but the place really looked like crap, like some European ghetto during WW2. However, there was a nice view of the World Trade Center under construction. Made me a little nostalgic. Then I thought, “How can I be nostalgic for a place I’ve never been to or even seen with my own eyes?”

Cuz I’m an American, I guess…

Misc Rants #4

Second New Comet May Be Visible in Late April: “On March 18, just as newly found comet Ikeya-Zhang was making its closest approach to the Sun and wowing observers around the Northern Hemisphere, yet another Japanese observer discovered another new comet. This second comet has an outside chance of also becoming visible to the unaided eye later this month.”

 


Argentine Leader claims right to Falkland Islands: I guess 712 Argentines, 255 Britons and 3 Islanders dead has not disabused his of the notion. Another Falkland War coming up?


Railway to Heaven! The space shuttle Atlantis is going up Thursday to install a 300-foot railway on the International Space Station. This will be a track the CanadaArm will travel back and forth on while building the station.

 


Saturday Morning Cartoons Are Dying Off: I was never much of a Scooby Doo fan when I was a ankle-biter, and I still ain’t. What I could never understand is why Shaggy, Scooby and Velma had to be running from the evil villains, while Fred and Daphne most likely bopped off to make the Mystery Machine rock for a while…

UPDATE: OH MY GAWD! Another sign of the APOCALYPSE! Live action Scooby Do movie in the works… Life is hell…

 


Trained to hate: This a quote from Mounir al-Makdah, who along with Abu Muhammad and “Islamic Jihad,” collect the rage of Palestinians and turn them into suicide bombers:

“As long as there is one occupier on Palestinian land, there should not be any security for this occupation and for the Israeli people in their houses, not even in their bedrooms. They shall be a target for all of our freedom fighters no matter where they are on Palestinian land,” he said. “They are not allowed to walk in the streets in peace. They are not even allowed to eat pizza.”

Why are we even dealing with these kind of people. We should be right there with Israel, wiping them out!

 


Of course I’ve heard of Andrew Beam and his crappy little article in the Boston Globe. There has been lots of retort fired back from the various bloggers I frequent. I’ve only been doing this is about a month, so I just thought I’d cover a few of my favorites…

James Lilek, one of Beams targets says: Conspicuous flaming idiocy is often treated by bloggers like a shank of meat thrown into Blofeld�s pira�a pool (�You Only Live Twice,� my favorite of all the Bond films) but this one just refuted itself; it was like one of those biodegradable camping crap-bags that collects the offal AND returns it to nature.”

Stephen Den Beste: Which proves that even a pro like Beam doesn’t understand the point: it’s not what you talk about that’s important, it’s how you write. A great story teller can describe the most prosaic events and make them spellbinding, whereas a bad writer can put you to sleep while talking about the most important things there are.”

Hawkgirl: “It’s more than a little bit obvious that we bloggers rely heavily on the regular print/internet news. I do, however, believe that it’s come as a bit of surprise to a great many of them that what they do for a living isn’t all that darn special. An Air Force mechanic, a number of lawyers, and a host of others from non-writing professions have proven that they are capable of producing work that has just as much grace, eloquence and wit as a Columbia grad.”

Matt Welch: Alex who?

Review: CBS’s 9/11

Saw the 9/11 show on CBS and I must say I was riveted. The camera views where amazing if a little raw, but what can you expect, given the circumstances. At least they showed no burning bodies, people plummeting to their deaths or body parts laying around. The camera gave us a first-person view of the tragedy from way inside the fire department and what they went through. What started out as a documentary about a rookie fireman turned into view of the worst hell on earth and the story of the two filmmaker brothers reuniting, each thinking the other was dead.

Even thought the video was spectacular, I was more impressed with the sounds. The sound of the first plane as it went by overhead, the sound of people falling 100 stories, the grinding earthquake roar or the tower collapsing and the hissing blanket of the dust cloud. But the hearing the people, how they reacted with courage to the situation, was the best part of the documentary, at least for me.

I even managed to find one bit of comedy in the film, as the firefighters were making their way through the dust cloud, trying to get out of the building, one of them knocks over a heavy pole in the lobby, scaring the crap out of the rest of them. I think I heard a nervous laugh from the crowd as the guilty party apologized for the noise. I know I laughed a bit, otherwise the rest of the horror might have overwhelmed me.

9/11 was a great piece of history and I’m glad I saw it.

I’m also glad I saw “Maximum Extreme: Too Drunk for TV” afterwards, the comic relief was very welcome. Drunk people and topless women are always funny…