Wednesday, February 09, 2005

 

The Pianist

  1. Who's watched:  M
  2. Mentions:  *1* (added 2/10/05 after watching movie)
  3. Commentary:  So, I was wrong. There is one movie that Mom has seen that I have not...this one. In fact, she was the one who suggested we get it, when Costco has it, when we saw a commercial on TV for the dvd. She may have seen it at MCF's house...we visited there a lot up until just about a year and a half ago. Anyway, I'm not quite sure this is the movie she is remembering...I'm thinking she must be thinking of some kind of Liberace production type of movie, but she insists this is the one.
        Which is fine with me. I am, generally, a Roman Polanski fan, and usually try to watch all his movies. I hadn't yet thought of owning them. This should be an interesting start.

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M*A*S*H

  1. Who's watched:  M & G
  2. Mentions:  None
  3. Commentary:  I know, this is the movie, not the series, and Mom loves the series, too, but that's on TV so much we decided not to buy it. This, however, is not.
        Because, when I came to live with her, she liked this series so much and had been in the military just previous to the Korean conflict, so she identified with a lot of the show detail, I challenged her, once, to see the original movie from which the show was adapted. We were both surprised how much she liked it. I remember that she was surprised at the words of the theme song, with which one does not become familiar if one watches only the television series.

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Citizen Kane

  1. Who's watched:  M & G
  2. Mentions:  None
  3. Commentary:  I am surprised there are no mentions of this movie in either journal. Although I think I like it a bit better than Mom (I love the film perspective, I don't think she's crazy about it, but she likes the way the story is told), we watch this movie as a rental or on TCM a couple of times a year. Time to own it.

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Tuesday, February 08, 2005

 

The Spencer Tracy Legacy

  1. Who's watched:  M & G
  2. Mentions:  None
  3. Commentary:  Both my mother and I found Kathryn Hepburn's participation in this project especially revealing, and the letter she wrote to "Spence" after his death especially touching.
      This video is a part of the Tracy/Hepburn Collection.

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Pee Wee's Playhouse, Seasons 1 - 5

  1. Who's watched:  M & G
  2. Mentions:  *1* *2* *3*
  3. Commentary:  We are hypnotized by this series, as well. I know; we should get out, more. But, what a way to go.
    Update 2/9/18:  I have a memory ... One of the aspects of the series from which we both used to get a kick was Pee Wee's frequent admonition to "scream real loud", which we'd both do, on command, Mom much softer than me. I remember my mother saying, "Can't you just imagine what most mothers feel when their kids watch this show and 'scream real loud'?" And then she'd chuckle. One thing you can say about my mom with authority, she really loved kids.

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Northern Exposure: 1st & 2nd Seasons

  1. Who's watched:  M & G
  2. Mentions:  *1* *2* *3* *4*
  3. Commentary:  You already know a lot about our love affair with this series. We finally saw the pilot, yes, another one of those. We were not disappointed.
        My mother loves the moose. I notice that Janine Turner's name appears against the moose in a particularly gawky stance. Interesting.

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Kung Fu: Entire Series

  1. Who's watched:  M & G
  2. Mentions:  *1* *2* *3* *4* *5*
  3. Commentary:  I know, I should be ashamed of how much I love this show. There's a lot of stuff involved: The time period; living on Guam when it first aired; knowing someone who became an instant and serious devotee of the series and what it represented, etc.
        I'm not sure why my mother likes it, but I know she does. It has an hypnotic effect on both of us.
        Although each of us, separately and together, have watched many episodes of this series many times, neither of us had seen the pilot, so that was a treat.
        I think, too, one of the reasons we bond over this series is that both of us have a bit of the monk in us.
        I know the story behind the series and know that, in some serious ways, its existence is a travesty to Bruce Lee, the man and the force. I keep this in mind when I watch it.
        My mother is not concerned with politically tainted considerations. She just likes the shows. She mistakes David Carradine for his father. Interesting, because I think they look nothing alike, nor do they act alike, especially in this series. At some point David's father is in the series, playing an itinerant preacher. His brother Robert plays the preacher's mute sidekick, Sunny Jim. Another brother, Keith, plays Kwai Chang Caine as a teenage aspirant.

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Deep Space 9: Entire Series

  1. Who's watched:  M & G
  2. Mentions:  *1* *2* *3* *4* *5* *6* *7* *8* *9*
  3. Commentary:  This series is like school for both of us. We watch anywhere from 3 to 7 episodes a week. They are played throughout the day, spark conversation, sometimes I use them to keep Mom awake a little longer.
        We are, by the way, nowhere near the end. I think, at this posting, we're lost somewhere in the third year. There is always a year's block on our floor in front of the dvd player, in case Mom wants to watch TV and there's "nothing on", and Animal Planet has lost its charms.
        I still, by the way, have not seen how Judsea Dax dies.

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Cosmos: The Entire 1980 Carl Sagan Series

  1. Who's watched:  M & G
  2. Mentions:  *1*
  3. Commentary:  This series is our church. We watch episodes of it often, reverentially and alertly. The music has a tendency to blur the experience for Mom, but the stories and cosmopolitan view snap her out of it. We have been known to lose entire afternoons and evenings to episodes of this series. In a way, I consider it the essence of the spirit that keeps Mom around.

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Woman of the Year

  1. Who's watched:  M & G
  2. Mentions:  None
  3. Commentary:  Mom doesn't like this one as much as the other two Hepburn/Tracy movies we have. I think she considers some of the sentiment about marriage dishonest. She also, for some reason, has a hard time following the conversation in this movie; maybe because a lot of political and sports metaphors are used.
        I consider it an unusually brave movie for the time because of the subject matter and for all time because it dares to complicate the issues of love and marriage for highly ambitious women, something we continue to consider daring, today.
      This movie is a part of the Tracy/Hepburn Collection.

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Witness

  1. Who's watched:  M & G
  2. Mentions:  None
  3. Commentary:  The attraction for my mother with this movie is the wide swathes of glimpses into Amish life. I love the music [Maurice Jarre; the Jarres are my favorite father-son environmental composers] and the movie's seamless construction. We share our favorite scene: Hands down, the barn raising. My mother has been heard to say while this scene was unfolding, "Wouldn't it be nice to live that way again?" Telling comment: I believe it shows that she considers the way (and area within which) she was raised as a child culturally and spiritually similar to Amish society.
        One other scene that always gets a rise out of her: When the heroine tells her father-in-law that he shames himself. "Good for her," my mother has been known to cheer.

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Victor/Victoria

  1. Who's watched:  M & G
  2. Mentions:  *1*
  3. Commentary:  Watching this movie is pure delight for my mother. Although she appreciates children's or 'family' musicals, considers them, "very nice", her preference is for adult musicals. Recently, when we were watching a Broadway retrospective on PBS, she mentioned, while "Sweeney Todd" was being reviewed, that she thought she'd "enjoy that one".
        My mother is a big fan of cross dressing and love/gender complications in movies. Add Julie Andrews, Robert Preston and James Garner and my mother will buy a ring side seat.
    Update 2/10/18:  You'll notice that I linked the title to a write-up about the play, not about the movie. You'll also notice, if you read the article, that the play is based on the movie, not vice versa, which is the usual case. That's why I linked to the article. I thought this bit of information was interesting, especially considering the stage musical actors in the film.

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Monday, February 07, 2005

 

The Last Wave

  1. Who's watched:  M & G
  2. Mentions:  *1*
  3. Commentary:  This movie has haunted me since I saw it when it was first released. My mother has watched it a couple of times with me. She likes the background digideroo music, the otherworldliness of the movie...but she's not interested in trying to make sense of it. Neither am I, so we just watch it in awe on a fairly frequent basis.

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The Fog of War

  1. Who's watched:  M & G
  2. Mentions:  *1*
  3. Commentary:  I'm sure you'll be surprised to know that my mother (and, thus, me) had a very successful experience with this movie. I continue to use it as a meditation on conflict. Often, when I'm using it for this, Mom will sit down and watch it from wherever it is when she notices I'm playing it.

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The Clearing

  1. Who's watched:  G
  2. Mentions:  None
  3. Commentary:  This one was a "freebie" with another movie, I can't remember which one. With Willem Dafoe, Helen Mirren and Robert Redford I thought this would be an interesting little piece. It wasn't quite as interesting as I thought, although I always enjoy watching all these actors. Mom hasn't watched it. I'll probably forget to mention it to her.

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The Chaplin Collection Vol. 1

  1. Who's watched:  M & G
  2. Mentions:  *1*
  3. Commentary:  Both my mother and I tend to forget, between watchings of these movies, how riveting they are. Typically, we watch one of these movies when we want to watch something and have absolutely no idea what we want to watch. It's hard to pick a favorite; these are four of Chaplin's greatest, but juging from her reaction, I think Mom's favorite is probably Modern Times, she loves the man-in-the-cogs scene and never fails to say, "I wonder how they did that?!?", and mine is The Great Dictator, for too many reasons to mention.

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That's Entertainment Complete Collection

  1. Who's watched:  M & G
  2. Mentions:  None
  3. Commentary:  I supposedly got these for my mother. She haunts cable looking for replays of the That's Entertainment series. I have to admit, though, I really enjoy them. They are especially good for generating energy. My mother and I both sing along to them. Sometimes, I dance along to them, too. Just for your info, the 4th disc, "Treasures from the Vault", is repetitious and boring. Don't bother.

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Spirited Away

  1. Who's watched:  M & G
  2. Mentions:  None
  3. Commentary:  This is another Little Buddha movie for both my mother and me. We dive into this and let it nourish us at least once every couple of months. My favorite spirits are the face masks. My mother's favorite spirit is the dragon "prince".

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Sneakers

  1. Who's watched:  M & G
  2. Mentions:  None
  3. Commentary:  This movie was one of those that was better in the remembering than in the reviewing of it. Even my mother thought so, and she's only seen it once.

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Sexy Beast

  1. Who's watched:  G
  2. Mentions:  None
  3. Commentary:  I am also a devotee of Ben Kingsley's work. I find his portrayal in this movie thrilling. I'm sure my mother would ask, when it was over, "Now, what exactly was the point to that?!?" So, I don't imagine I'll ever invite her to watch it, nor will she express interest in it.

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Scarface (Al Pacino)

  1. Who's watched:  M & G
  2. Mentions:  *1*
  3. Commentary:  This is one of my very favorite movies. It is one of my mother's least favorite movies. She watched it once when some friends were visiting, one of them noticed I had the movie and wanted to watch it. The visit became a Scarface Fest. When the movie was over my mother turned to me and said, "I don't know why you like watching all that blood-letting, girl!" Neither do I.
    Update 2/9/18:  By the way, Roger Ebert wrote about this movie twice, which is why I am using his reviews (here's the other one) instead of Wikipedia's write-up (Okay, I'll link to that, too). One other thing: If you read the comments, you'll notice a link to a site called "The Scarface World". The link is now dead, so a performed a cursory search and couldn't find it. I noticed, however, a plethora of commentary on the movie. Just punch in its name, if you're curious, and you'll be overwhelmed with content. There's even a Scarface video game.
RE-WATCHED: 7/30-31/2020 Including bonus materials on disc 2. The bonus materials for this movie are especially interesting and there are loads of them, relatively speaking. They include one bonus on the changes made for a TV version and another on why it became so popular among gang members of the time. Al Pacino being interviewed for one of the bonuses dealing with acting the role was a treat. This movie remains an absolute favorite of mine. I can't imagine a time when I won't look forward to watching it ... again.

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Saved!

  1. Who's watched:  M & G
  2. Mentions:  None
  3. Commentary:  This was a pleasant surprise for both of us. I rented it on a hunch, since one of my sisters was a teenaged Jesus Freak and I'd had much experience with both teenage Fundamentalist Christians and Christian High Schools. I was apprehensive about how Mom would react, but she was as tickled with it as I was. When I noticed it at Costco, remembering that we'd watched it twice on rental, I bought it. We watched it again that night.

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Rear Window

  1. Who's watched:  M
  2. Mentions:  None
  3. Commentary:  I know, I said there isn't a movie in our collection I haven't watched, and this is it! I got this movie because Mom's mentioned it off and on throughout the years and it appeared one day on sale at Costco. The day I bought it, some weeks ago, she was excited when I told her, settled in with it zestily, then, about ⅔ of the way through decided, without warning, to take a nap. She has watched it again, since then.
    Update 2/9/18:  I have, as well, watched this movie since my mother's death. I find it mildly engaging but it isn't close to my favorite Hitchcock movie. That badge of honor belongs to Vertigo, a movie I've watched more than a few times since my mother's death and should probably own. Just for the record, my second favorite Hitchcock movie is The Birds, mainly because I saw it when I was a kid. Its astonishingly dark ending really made an impression on me. I should note, I read the book before seeing the movie. Ah, the good old days of multi-literacy! I should also note, I have not seen nearly all of Hitchcock's movies, although all members of my family were devotees of his television show Alfred Hitchcock Presents.

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The Mosquito Coast

  1. Who's watched:  G
  2. Mentions:  *1*
  3. Commentary:  For my reaction to this movie, see the write-up for Ray.

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Ray

  1. Who's watched:  Neither of us has seen this one
  2. Mentions:  None
  3. Commentary:  This is one of only two dvds I've intentionally bought without viewing the presentation.
        The other was The Mosquito Coast and, being a Peter Weir movie, I was destined to own it whether I liked it or not. It is my least favorite, so far, of all the Peter Weir films I've seen. I consider Master and Commander more worth another watch than this one.
        Anyway, I bought this one strictly from seeing Jamie Foxx on Inside the Actors Studio a couple of Sunday's ago. Mom and I both watched that episode and when I told her last week I'd bought the movie, she was pleased. But, we haven't yet seen it. I can't wait.
        We finally watched the movie. Jamie Foxx's performence is dazzling, the music is good, the story is fairly interesting. We've only seen it once. I've kept it because of the "Hit the Road Jack" sequence and some of the other music, but, well, I don't know when we'll watch it again.

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Pat and Mike

  1. Who's watched:  M & G
  2. Mentions:  None
  3. Commentary:  This is the least played of the three Hepburn/Tracy movies we have, but this is not to say it is not well played. The character in this movie seems to remind my mother one of her cousins with whom she went to college, as, every time we watch this movie she gets an urge to call this cousin. The cousin wasn't a golf star, but she was of big, bold character, a type much admired by my mother's generation of women.
      This movie is a part of the Tracy/Hepburn Collection.

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One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

  1. Who's watched:  M & G (both in theater and on video)
  2. Mentions:  None
  3. Commentary:  The first time my mother and I saw this movie it was new, just in the theaters. She, MFS and I went with my mother's sister, niece and nephew. We saw it at the Los Arcos Cinema in Scottsdale. The audience, during the credits, gave the movie a standing ovation. This was the first time any of us in our related group had ever been to a film that elicited so much from the audience.
        I don't know if Mom remembers. I do know that the day I purchased this movie, some months ago, brought it home, wrestled it out of its wrapping and dropped it into the dvd player, Mom and I relaxed, knowing that being overwhelmed by a movie is possible more than once.

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Powaqqatsi

  1. Who's watched:  M (about a quarter) & G
  2. Mentions:  None
  3. Commentary:  This is the frenetic one of the trilogy. I stayed with it out of obligation. Mom did not. Throughout, it reminded me of an abstract The Two Towers. Neither Mom nor I had the patience for that one, either, but stayed with it so that we could say we'd watched it all.

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Once Upon a Time in America

  1. Who's watched:  M & G (G many times)
  2. Mentions:  *1* *2*
  3. Commentary:  Another movie for which I have an unreasonable love which my mother tolerates. All I can say is, the scene where Noodles stirs his coffee? Devastates me every time.
        I don't think my mother gets the garbage truck scene, although she gets the rape scene and doesn't like it.
    Update 09/13/2019:  I am now a proud owner of the extended director's cut of this movie. Owning director's cuts is not really my style, but this is one of my all time favorite movies and the extension adds an additional 22 minutes. I've read that the inclusions are not particularly smooth, since the optics put them a bit out of joint with the rest of the picture. I have no problem with them. In fact, since I haven't recently watched the initial European theater version, which is the cut I first owned, I can't actually tell, yet, which are the added scenes. There are special features on this version, as well, which I haven't yet watched, but I'm looking forward to seeing them.

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Mulan

  1. Who's watched:  M & G, more than once
  2. Mentions:  None
  3. Commentary:  Something about the scene in which the invading army comes over a snow ridge. Something else about that "song and dance" number about what it takes to be a man. Something else about it being a Chinese fairy tale. I don't know if Mom likes it for the same reasons I do, but I know she likes it. I've even replayed the "Be a Man" song for her when we are watching it.
      Too, and I don't know if this has anything to do with my enjoyment of the film, when the movie hit the theaters in 1998 Mom and I took my Chandler niece to see it because all three of us were excited about the movie.

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Miracle on 34th Street

  1. Who's watched:  M & G, not as often as you might think.
  2. Mentions:  *1*
  3. Commentary:  We've only owned this movie since this last holiday season and only watched it once, I think. I am oddly attracted to it. I think my mother is, too. I think, unlike It's a Wonderful Life, which we are apt to watch in the middle of the summer, this will remain a holiday movie.
    Update 2/10/18:  Yes. This is a super-hero movie. Don't argue with me. Santa Claus is the epitome of the purely good super-hero.

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Master and Commander Far Side of the World

  1. Who's watched:  M & G
  2. Mentions:  *1*
  3. Commentary:  Although I was doomed to own a copy of this movie because it is a Peter Weir movie, and although both my mother and I have watched it, once, and enjoyed it although wondered throughout where it was going, then, at the end, where it had gone, I have to say, we enjoyed the booklet that came with the movie much more for its interesting exposition of life in the Navy "at that time".
        I will probably watch it again, someday, when I'm feeling the need for a Peter Weir fest. My mother may watch, again, by default.

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Love Actually

  1. Who's watched:  M & G, many times
  2. Mentions:  *1*
  3. Commentary:  Okay, I don't know whether to be ashamed or not to say that I not only love this movie, I am in love with it. It has the ability to both soothe and encourage me. So, we watch it a lot. I know my mother enjoys it and sticks with it every time. I don't know if she has the same kind of gut reactions to it that I do. Fairly recently, toward the end of the holiday season, I watched this movie on dvd in the evening with Mom then turned right around and watched the entire movie again on cable. My mother did not stay up for the cable viewing.

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Little Buddha

  1. Who's watched:  M & G, many times
  2. Mentions:  *1* *2* *3* *4* *5* *6*
  3. Commentary:  This is a sort of "grahsshoppah" movie, for me, but of a somewhat more serious vein, like listening to Alan Watts tapes.
        Mom enjoys the movie, as well, as adult religio-spiritual fairy tale. We actually view this movie, or parts of it, a lot.

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Lawrence of Arabia

  1. Who's watched:  M & G
  2. Mentions:  *1*
  3. Commentary:  We even had, the second time we watched it, a Watching Lawrence of Arabia party. Very successful.
        Both my mother and I are surprised at the things we learn about my father knowing that this movie was one of his two favorite movies, the other being Khartoum. He and I saw Khartoum together, a very memorable event, one I'll probably remember as though I'm going through it when I'm old and mentally creative. It happened in Honolulu, probably 1966, the year the movie came out, and involved a long evening stroll along the Ala Wai.
        I have, however, had no desire to see that one again. Lawrence of Arabia, though, sometimes I put the disc in and zone out on it for a half hour or so. My mother doesn't do this, but she enjoys the movie.

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Koyaanisqatsi

  1. Who's watched:  M & G
  2. Mentions:  None
  3. Commentary:  This movie is one of a trilogy of graphic expeditions. You can read more about the trilogy and the individual films at the link provided. They are visually provocative to watch. I've seen all three at least once, own two, and I can't say that the films provoke within me what the Navajo words that entitle each episode 'mean'. This has its frenetic moments but it is so well put together that when you have just about had enough visual speed, it slows down and your mind begins to make sense of what it's seeing, again.
        Of the two we own Mom stayed with this one the longest. She had absolutely no patience for the second one, Powaqqatsi.
        Of the three, this one is my favorite. It is like an animated coffee table book that makes you think and feel. Of the three it is the most active.

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Thelma & Louise

  1. Who's watched:  M & G
  2. Mentions:  None
  3. Commentary:  Blew me away when I was watching this movie on cable, one evening, late, Mom awoke within the first 15 minutes of the movie, I decided to keep it on because I really wanted to see it again and she was riveted. She even likes the end of it, which leads me to believe that she understands the real power of this movie: That it isn't a dirge for the female spirit, but a celebration of it. She has even been heard to mutter, during the semi scene, "Good for them!"
        I actually didn't consider owning this movie until, a couple of times after the above mentioned viewing, when I exclaimed that it was "on", again, Mom always has wanted to watch it.

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Monsters, Inc.

  1. Who's watched:  M & G
  2. Mentions:  None
  3. Commentary:  This movie is a treat for both of us. My mother is an animation fan, anyway, so she was an easy sell. She often requests this movie when I'm drying her hair, then watches it through to the end. We play the credits at least a couple of times per viewing because she and I both like the theme song (including the fact that it's written and sung by Randy Newman).
         I'm a very hard animation sell, but everything about this movie charmed me, including the concept and its development. I am a devotee of children's literature, anyway (all ages), but animation has never done much for me, even as a kid. Pixar, though, seems to know exactly how to seduce my eye, and I'm a big fan of most of their stuff. I consider this movie one of their most brazen and imaginative.

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The American President

  1. Who's watched:  M & G
  2. Mentions:  None
  3. Commentary:  Another favorite that we watch fairly often, when we need to believe in political integrity.
        Mom especially likes the state dinner for the French President and his wife. Every time we watch that scene she can't help but say, "Wouldn't you just love to attend one of those dinners?" The truth is, I think she would like to spend her entire life going from State Dinner to State Dinner. It would suit her.
        I particularly like that, after I'd established my affection for the movie, a good friend of mine told me that he considers me the real life Sidney Allen Wade. I spend a lot of time preening in as I watch this movie.

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Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

  1. Who's watched:  M & G
  2. Mentions:  *1* *2*
  3. Commentary:  I think I've said quite a lot about our reactions to this movie throughout the main journal. We both find it entertaining and "feel good" inspirational.

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Sex and the City: Entire HBO series

  1. Who's watched:  M & G, many times
  2. Mentions:  *1* *2* *3* *4* *5* *6* *7* *8* *9* *10*
  3. Commentary:  We both remain fascinated with this show and continue to watch it, and discuss it while watching it, regularly. As you can read in the mentions, we have eccentric opinions about and reactions to this show.

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Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love

  1. Who's watched:  M & G
  2. Mentions:  None
  3. Commentary:  I think this movie may have been one of the last I saw in the theatre alone. It is a dream of a movie for me. As well, I like, and have watched a fair amount, of Indian cinema. I'm surprised that this is the only one I own. I look forward to watching it, with or without Mom. From what I remember, I think she'll be transfixed. Sort of an Indian Sex and the City.
    UPDATE 2/24/06:  For lack of anything better to do that interested Mom, I decided to pull out this movie and view it with her, her first viewing of it. She, too, was entranced by the color and composition of the movie, the dancing and the stylized movements (which actually cause the movie to be more like theater than a movie) and the music. Although there is some full female nudity in it and obvious suggestions of sex (both of which actually make this movie less than a true East Indian cinema), she enjoyed it immensely and was transported back to Guam, primarily because that is where she became familiar with East Indian customs and clothing. We talked about Guam, and a store called Radhi's, which shared a space with Eileen Kershaw's. She remembered the sari material she'd bought which I'd transformed into a table cloth and the rich, stunning Asian fabric selections at Radhi's (which, apparently, still exists, although I found an article dated February 12, 2006, that lamented the closing of Eileen Kershaw's, among other stores with which I was very familiar when Guam was our family's home). At one point, when Maya was explaining to Tara how to seduce her husband, essentially telling her that it was simple, I laughed and said, "See, Mom? Men are easy in every culture."
        She laughed and added, "Men have always been easy and always will be."
        Such a woman!
    Update 2/8/18:  All updates on stores on Guam, above, were added today.

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Jacob's Ladder

  1. Who's watched:  G
  2. Mentions:  None
  3. Commentary:  This is a recent purchase, and I haven't watched it, yet, since it arrived. Mom has not seen it and probably would find it boring, distracting, and distract me.
        This movie is one of my Haunting Movies. I was bound to own it at some point. I continue to focus on the scene in which the character played by Danny Aeillo quotes, damn, someone, about the nature of angels.

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It's a Wonderful Life

  1. Who's watched:  M & G, many times and off-season
  2. Mentions:  *1*
  3. Commentary:  This movie turned me into a Jimmy Stewart and Frank Capra fan. It used to irritate Mom, though, because it is so believably dark (which is what I love about it...by the time Jimmy Stewart is hanging over the bridge, you're thinking, yep, that's the only way). Now, she focuses on Donna Reed and Beulah Bondi.
        I remember reading somewhere that this is the only Capra movie in which the monster does not receive his comeupance. And, Lionel Barrymore is a superb monster in this movie.

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Imitation of Life (1959)

  1. Who's watched:  M & G
  2. Mentions:  None, to my surprise
  3. Commentary:  This is Mom's favorite version. I'm not sure whether it's because it's a color version, or more 50's, which is a decade she loved, or what. I like this version, but my favorite is Claudette Colbert's.
      See my comments in the write-up for the 1939 original of this film.

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Imitation of Life (1934)

  1. Who's watched:  M & G
  2. Mentions:  None
  3. Commentary:  This is my favorite version of this movie. For some reason, Lana Turner doesn't do it for me. That being said, being who I am, raised in the manner and era specific to me, I still find this movie and it's 1959 remake disturbing, to say the least. There are 25 years between the two movies and, yet, the basics of the story are the same. Surely such a movie could not be made now and considered legitimate ... could it? I hope not.

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High Noon

  1. Who's watched:  M & G
  2. Mentions:  *1*
  3. Commentary:  This is one of those movies neither Mom nor I had seen but it was one of my father's/her husband's favorites. So, one day I found a classic video rental store in Prescott (What a find!) and we spent the weekend watching 'old' movies, including our first viewing of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and this movie, with which we were both taken. I didn't realize it was such a dark story. As well, I found myself enjoying Gary Cooper, who's performance in Mr. Deeds Goes to Town was a little too over the top for me. Plus, one of the disturbing things about Capra movies is that the same actors keep showing up, playing essentially the same roles...Beulah Bondi, for instance; and the guy who plays drunken Diz, Thomas Mitchell, also plays addled Uncle Billy. It's eerie...like, you're not watching a movie, you're spying on another dimension. Not true for this movie. Thank the movie gods.
      I think we've watched it a couple of times since I bought it.

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Hero

  1. Who's watched:  M & G
  2. Mentions:  None
  3. Commentary:  I rented this movie a couple of weeks ago just to undergird my decision to purchase it. Mom was thoroughly bored, so bored that she wandered around looking for things to do, at one point, while doing crosswords, asked, "Is that thing still on?!?", so my viewing was highly distracted.
        No matter. Martial Arts movies of all stripes are another of my guilty movie pleasures. I am particularly fascinated with the use of color in this movie. I am approaching it rather more as though it were a Little Buddha movie, rather than a "guilty pleasure" movie. I like the idea of the telling of stories being the subject as well as the discipline of the movie. I find the depiction of the 'heroine', as well, thoughtfully complex, and the world view thought provoking and disturbing.

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Green Card

  1. Who's watched:  M & G
  2. Mentions:  None
  3. Commentary:  This is one of my favorite romantic comedies. There isn't anything about it I don't like. When I purchased the movie, though, for some reason I thought my mother wouldn't like it, so I planned my first "owned" viewing while she napped. She awoke and joined me during the scene in which "the big French Oaf" assents to play an original composition on the piano for dinner guests he's just met. After the scene she asked if we could start the movie again.
        I remember once, after watching the movie, Mom said, "Isn't it interesting how such a bad ending can make you feel so good?!?"
        I remember responding that, yeah, I'd never thought about it but, at the end of this story, you have absolute confidence that their love triumphed, and will continue to triumph.
        At one other watching, Mom sat back satisfied at the end and said, "I remember seeing that movie when I was teaching. It came out about the time those Hepburn/Tracy movies came out."
        In case you're wondering, I did not disavow her of this notion. It is a great compliment to this movie that my mother considers it in the same category as the Hepburn/Tracy romantic comedies.

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Grand Canyon

  1. Who's watched:  M & G
  2. Mentions:  None
  3. Commentary:  This is one of those subtle, quiet movies that I love and Mom endures. I've only watched it with her once. At the end of the movie she said, "Why did they go to the Grand Canyon?"
        I started to explain in my best 'student of film' answer. A few sentences into my answer I noticed she was fidgeting and realized that she may have been thinking something eye catching was going to happen at the Grand Canyon, like in Thelma & Louise, but thought she'd missed it. So I asked her if that was the problem. Yep. "No," I said, "you didn't miss any of the movie. The Grand Canyon is a metaphor."
        "Oh," she said, with that ironic side glance that tells me she's thinking, "This is one of those movies you have to work at. No thanks."

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Gone with the Wind

  1. Who's watched:  M & G
  2. Mentions:  None
  3. Commentary:  I am probably more of a fan of this movie than my mother. She loves the eye spectacle, and every time we watch it, which is at least once a year, she mentions several times that she would have loved to have lived during the period of the regal, stately Southern U.S.
        For me, I love reminding myself that the best, most successful romance in the history of romance stories contains a heroine who is wily and unredepemptive and whose one sterling quality is her ability to survive, despite who she hurts in the process. The hero, a scoundrel himself, is more sympathetic than the heroine.
        When we watch this movie, it is always a "planned" watching; in other words, we plan appropriate food, make sure the phone ringer is off, and settle in for several hours. It is, for us, an Event Movie.

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Sunday, February 06, 2005

 

Gallipoli

  1. Who's watched:  M & G
  2. Mentions:  *1*
  3. Commentary:  As I recall, my mention of this one in my journal, which is fairly recent, says it all.
    Update 2/7/18:  Just in case The Peter Weir Cave caves in on itself even more than it already has, here's the Wikipedia link for Gallipoli.

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Four Weddings and a Funeral

  1. Who's watched:  M & G
  2. Mentions:  None
  3. Commentary:  This is a recent purchase. I'd seen it before, my mother had not. I had a hunch, when I saw it on sale, that my mother would like it and enjoy seeing it more than once. We've only seen it once but I think I'm right. We may not watch it as much as Love Actually (which was written and directed by the same person who wrote the screenplay for this movie, Richard Curtis), which is more entertaining each time one sees it and is in the same vein. I think, having seen this one twice, it isn't, especially when Love Actually is handy.
    Update 2/7/18:  Which is why, Dear Reader, my library branch now owns my copy.

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Finding Nemo

  1. Who's watched:  M & G, many times
  2. Mentions:  *1* *2* *3*
  3. Commentary:  As I recall, my mentions of this movie speak for both my mother's and my delight in it. Aside from my favorite scene with Bruce the Shark, which I've seen many times, I love being transported by the oceanic graphic environment of the movie. It is truly one better than the ocean, only because it is so available. Watching the movie is practically like having a virtual experience without the nerve stimulation technology.
        My mother, I should note, usually takes a nap after this movie.

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Fahrenheit 9/11

  1. Who's watched:  M & G
  2. Mentions:  None
  3. Commentary:  I've watched this a couple of times: Once in depth and then speed watched through it. When I purchased the dvd the book was offered free. I've consulted the book more than the movie.
        My mother doesn't seem fazed by this kind of documentary. I gather she's heard it all before. We don't watch any of Micheal Moore's movies for pleasure. Well, that's not strictly true. I love the comedy of all his movies. It strikes me as George Carlin doing performance comedy.
    Update 2/7/18:  I had to change the original link I had to this movie in the title, above, and, as I'm doing with most of the movies, chose to plunder Wikipedia. As I was searching for the movie I came across what looks like a second (very interesting) link about the movie, Fahrenheit 911 controversies. I've included it in case you find its title as intriguing as I. The references for the second Wiki article includes, under references, Michael Moore's response to the criticisms, but that link no longer works. This one does: Factual Back-Up for Fahrenheit 9/11. If you are interested in pursuing the controversy further, this Fahrenheit 9/11 Wikis might help. Many of the intra-links on this page are broken but if you scroll down you'll find everything listed in the contents. Be aware, some of the outgoing links are broken, as well.

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Dave

  1. Who's watched:  M & G
  2. Mentions:  None
  3. Commentary:  This is one (of the many) that Mom never has any recollection of watching, yet we watch it a lot, usually during a cold, stormy afternoon/evening binge of this movie and The American President, of which she has a somewhat better memory. She likes feeling hopeful about what's best in the U.S., so do I, and both of these movies help, while the love stories provide comedy relief.
      As a footnote, may I add that I am a West Wing freak; my mother is not, but she tolerates me. No, we have not bought any collections of West Wing episodes. I have forbidden myself to do so. When, for instance, would I watch them? I watch little enough of what we have, and then, usually, only peripherally, now. It's been a hard lesson to learn that if only I like it, my indulgences in it will be few and far between. I'm okay with this; it's just been a hard learning.
    [Update 11/2/08:  I was given the entire West Wing series for Christmas a few years ago by a friend of mine; see the link].

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Chocolat

  1. Who's watched:  M & G
  2. Mentions:  *1* *2*
  3. Commentary:  This one transports both of us. I purchased it because we watched it so much on cable, then I recorded it and we watched it some more. The music and the European time period are major attractions for my mother. She really likes stories of women raising children alone with strength and courage, too. The fairy-tale quality of the story mesmerizes both of us.

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Calendar Girls

  1. Who's watched:  M & G
  2. Mentions:  *1*
  3. Commentary:  Although we haven't watched this in awhile, we've watched it more than once. It is one I know will keep Mom occupied from beginning to end when she doesn't want to do anything else but wants to remain awake; I'm able to share in movie moments with her, since the movie has a fair number of satisfying moments, and this is important. It is, for my mother, primarily a "woman's movie" in the old tradition: Women sharing the deep secrets of womanhood; comedy and triumph at the expense of the men, who are clueless; in the end, the men are proud of their women but remain clueless, the women are proud of themselves and remain a society closed to the men; and the children, if there are any, remain clueless but promising. A film of old and treasured (and sometimes questionable) sensibilities.

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Cheaper by the Dozen

  1. Who's watched:  M & G
  2. Mentions:  *1* *2*
  3. Commentary:  I think Mom goes into deep reverie over this movie. The first few weeks after we purchased and first watched it, she watched this movie very frequently. I think I've memorized quite a bit of it. She likes the older version with Myrna Loy and Yours, Mine and Ours with Lucille Ball and Henry Fonda, too, as much if not more than the others, because Lucille Ball becomes a Navy wife, which my mother was, for awhile. I can never remember a time when my mother hasn't said, "I would have loved to have a dozen kids. We would have, if we could have afforded them."
        Forgive my momentary, and cheap, philosophizing, but, isn't it interesting that in a rich country people wonder if they can afford to have lots of children, whereas in a poor country people wonder if they can afford not to have lots of kids.

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Cabaret

  1. Who's watched:  M & G
  2. Mentions:  None
  3. Commentary:  This is one of our family classics. We both watch it for Joel Grey's performance as the MC. Mom get's bored with the story and the subtleties, though; for her it's a case of "say-mo, say-mo". Not an infrequent feature, but not a permanent feature, in our house. Mom has to be in the right mood.
    Update 2/6/18:  Just wanted to say, I watched this movie again recently, maybe about a month ago. It had been, probably, a decade, maybe longer, since my last viewing. I was astonished at how prescient it seemed. The budding nationalism, the furtiveness of acting as though one is living in a free society while feeling a subterranean shrinking of the borders of thought and action ... I spoke with my Florida sister soon after watching it, who is a fan of the movie, knowing she hadn't seen it for ages, either, and mentioned my realization of the budding authoritarianism in the movie. She hadn't remembered it, either, and was surprised. Funny how movies become clearer when they more closely match the times through which one is living.

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Bowling for Columbine

  1. Who's watched:  M & G
  2. Mentions:  None
  3. Commentary:  Although I enjoy such documentaries and this is one of my favorites, this type of documentary isn't Mom's cup of tea. I'm sure I'll watch it again, I'm sure Mom won't.

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Born on the Fourth of July

  1. Who's watched: G [M was in the room looking at the TV for awhile, but not watching...she evetually napped.]
  2. Mentions: *1*
  3. Commentary: It was on sale, I thought, sight unseen, I'd be glad I owned it...what can I say?!? I'm glad I watched it. It was one of the last few in a long line of Vietnam War movies (including the obscure) I make it a point to watch. I thought I'd want to watch this one more than once. Not really. I would have liked to have seen it when it first came out and Tom Cruise wasn't Tom Cruise. I think I would have appreciated his performance more. For some reason, as I watched this, I was continually reminded of Risky Business. I kept having to remind myself that it is based in 'truth' because it was acted for melodrama, which was distracting to the story. I doubt that I'll ever watch it again. I may pass it off to someone.

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Blue Crush

  1. Who's watched: M & G
  2. Mentions: None
  3. Commentary: Given to us by a young friend who had the courage to think outside of the box when deciding to gift us. Yes, we've both watched it and enjoyed it, at least twice.

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Blood In Blood Out

  1. Who's watched: M & G
  2. Mentions: None
  3. Commentary: My devotion to this movie is one of my dirty little movie secrets. I am so devoted to it that I prefer to refer to it by its original name, above. That's how it was billed when I originally saw it in the theater. My devotion to it is why my mother has seen it. Aside from owning the dvd, whenever it appears on network or cable, abridged or unabridged, if we're watching TV we're watching this movie. My mother tolerates it, watches it from the corner of her eye, occasionally comments on The Day of the Dead scenes (which she loves) and patiently waits for it to be over.

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Barton Fink

  1. Who's watched: G
  2. Mentions: None
  3. Commentary: This is one of those movies that I so much appreciate I linked to it's script. I doubt that Mom will ever see this movie. Although I can't tell you why, I believe it would bore her and she'd start 'looking for...' cigarettes.

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American Splendor

  1. Who's watched: M & G, both more than once
  2. Mentions: *1* *2*
  3. Commentary: Mom 'caught' me watching this the afternoon I purchased it when she was napping. I was surprised that she was as seduced by it as I am.

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American Beauty

  1. Who's watched: G
  2. Mentions: None
  3. Commentary: I've watched this at least three times since I bought it when we first purchased our DVD player. Although it fascinates me and I would probably watch it more if I lived alone, I will probably, also, out of respect for her intellect and her interest in movies, spring this one on her some evening when I am well prepared.

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Amelie

  1. Who's watched: Was recently given to me as a gift by someone who thought I'd love it; finally watched over a year after we received it
  2. Mentions: None
  3. Commentary: I trust the person's judgment who gave it to me, but I haven't yet seen it. I'm trying to watch it alone and prepare myself before I spring it on Mom. Update: We both finally watched this movie when we had nothing better to do one rainy Sunday afternoon. I think I enjoyed it more than Mom, I was charmed, but she stayed with it, despite the French-with-English-subtitles, and smiled broadly at many of the inventions. It's become one of my favorites. I love the fable atmosphere, the cartoon-like directing and filming, the inventiveness of the character, and especially love that the characterizations are not nearly as simple as one would expect from a broadly drawn canvas. On my second watching, a few days after our first watching, I paid no attention to the subtitles and simply let myself float with the screen. Absolutely magical.

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All that Jazz

  1. Who's watched: M & G
  2. Mentions: *1*
  3. Commentary:
    Mom: This is, to my surprise, one of my mother's favorite's of any type, despite it's darkness and irony. She's especially hooked on the last spread, the death number. I think part of the attraction for her is that it is a very well done, very watchable musical. I'm not sure about the rest of her attraction.
    Me: Its simply one of my all time favorites. We watch it every couple of months.

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Adam's Rib

  1. Who's watched: M & G
  2. Mentions: *1*
  3. Commentary: One of our all time favorites. "Hel-lo Amanda..." need I sing more?
      This movie is a part of the Tracy/Hepburn Collection.

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A Bug's Life

  1. Who's watched: M & G
  2. Mentions: None
  3. Commentary:
    Mom: Really enjoys this one, although not as much as Monster's, Inc.
    Me: I'm with Mom on this one. It's one of the very few animated movies I can handle, but not my favorite. I often do chores when Mom watches it.

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