Saturday, March 27, 2010

Materpiece Classic

The 39 Steps (Liked It)--So I have recently started watching Masterpiece Classic. This movie is one of those shown on this season of Masterpiece. It was fun. I really like Rupert Penry-Jones, who some of you will know as Captain Wentworth in the latest version of Persuasion. He's equally as charming in this story. The 39 Steps is based on a novel by John Buchnan. There's actually 5 novels in the series about Richard Hannay and involves espionage, war, excitement, etc. This movie was fun to watch and the acting was great. I also enjoyed the interplay between Rupert and Lydia Leonard who plays Victoria. She's a suffragette and a good match for Mr. Hannay. The plot involves the Germans trying to steal the British Naval plans on the eve of World War I and it kept my interest for the entire movie. Being Masterpiece Classic means it's well made and there are many of actors from the British front that many will recognize even if they aren't necessarily household names over here. If you're looking for something to watch one evening, give this movie a run in your DVD player or see if it's going to be rebroadcast on PBS. It's worth the 90 minutes.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

So, I'm reviewing DVD's I own, when I can't get to a new movie

Cast Away (Loved it Enough to Buy It)--So, I'm rewatching some of the DVD's I own. I haven't had the time lately to sit down and watch a new movie or actually to make it to the movie theater to see a new movie. But, I have had time to put on a DVD of a movie that I loved enough to buy. Usually when I do this, I am doing something else that should be done and the DVD is in the background, but I can multi-task and since I have a pretty good memory, I can remember why I liked the movie enough to buy it in the first place.

So here is Cast Away: I thought this movie was fascinating. It was an interesting story and although not original (I'd have to be reviewing Robinson Crusoe for that to be true), it was an idea that Hollywood hadn't visited in awhile when this was made in 1999. Tom Hanks is a good actor and although I won't see just anything he's in, I usually like his acting choices as well as movies he decides to produce (From Earth to the Moon, Band of Brothers, etc.). This movie had a story that interested me from moment one. It's a modern day shipwreck story on a deserted tropical island. Many people often think being stranded on a tropical island would be paradise, but the situation the main character is put into in this story is hardly ideal. The time that Chuck Noland spends on the island is amazing. I don't know how I would do in that situation, but I have a pretty good guess that I would not survive it. I thought the movie did a great job of showing the mental and physical anguish that would happen with such an ordeal and when Chuck triumphs in the end, it makes the previous time of watching the difficulty worth it. I also like how much of the movie is free of dialog. Chuck does have a companion he creates (Wilson, the volleyball) and it helps him maintain a bit of sanity. It was interesting how I thought of this inanimate object as real during the course of the movie.

Now this is not a movie I watch often because it's a difficult situation to watch, but I think it's a fascinating premise and I love watching movies because I can experience situations that I will NEVER deal with in real life. That is why I LOVE to watch movies and so this movie is a good one for me. Plus the special features are informative and interesting. The survival specialists they used as advisors on the film are an eclectic group of men and it was great to listen to them give the advice on how to survive in an extreme situation and the tidbits about how the roller blades had to be changed to ice skates were fun.

So if you Netflix, consider this DVD as a possibility.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

I haven't quit blogging.

I just wanted to publish a post saying my blogging has NOT quit. I just honestly have had no time to watch movies lately. Between work and other activities my movie watching time has been cut down significantly as of late. But, I am beginning again today and should have a couple of posts on actual movies beginning this week.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

I've been away & it's Olympic time

I realize it's been awhile since I posted. Truth is I've been busy. I went to Singapore on business and between the preparation and the travel, almost a month has FLOWN by. In addition, I haven't been watching many movies. I HAVE been watching the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. I LOVE the Olympics and I really can't overstate that. I am an Olympic junkie and since I'm watching it on my TV screen, I decided to blog about that. The first Olympics I remember is the 1980 Lake Placid Winter Olympics. I remember Scott Hamilton carrying in the U.S. flag, the lambskin coats the team wore, Eric Heiden and his 5 gold medals and of course, the Miracle On Ice. I also remember that the Soviet game was not the gold medal game and that my family skipped church to watch the gold medal game because it was on a Sunday. These were the days remember before DVR, DVD and even VCR. So, I am basically a couch potato when the Olympics are being broadcast. For half of these games, I was in Singapore and completely maxed out my DVR with the telecast, so I have spent the last few days trying to catch up.
Now, why I love the athletics and seeing sports that we in the U.S. only watch every four years, what I really enjoy is all the sentimental stuff. I love the stories of comebacks, the sacrifices made to get to the Olympics, and the cultural things they share about the host nation and the nations of the many athletes. I enjoy the stories of athletes that KNOW they aren't going to medal, but just want to be there, like the Turkish skater, Tugba Karademir, whose parents literally gave up everything they had so their daughter could compete. They emigrated to Canada so she could train and worked menial jobs for the money. They couldn't afford to see her in Torino and thought the same thing about Vancouver, but then someone paid their expenses and they were able to see their daughter skate as an Olympian. I bawled like a baby watching that story and I'm tearing up while I write this. Those are the stories that make it worth watching. Then there are the stories like Bode Miller, in essence, redeeming his poor performance in Torino. He was a changed man. I also love the stories that Tom Brokaw and Mary Carillo share. They all just touch my heart.
So, I've still got a few days of the Olympics to catch up on and then I'll be back to my normal movie reviews. Until then, if you have a computer, go to and check out some of the highlight clips and touching stories that make the Olympics so awesome.