Tag Archives: awards

“I’m having a thought. Oh, yes. Oh, yes. I’m gonna have a thought. It’s coming… It’s gone.”

I have a confession.  I think the Oscars are bullshit and they were put on this earth for two reasons.  One, to make really rich people feel like they’ve accomplished even more in their lives. Two, to ignite a fire of rage and debate in all of us.

I used to think the Academy Awards meant something.  I mean, it was peers determining which of them had the best performance, directing, writing, picture, etc.  They should know, right?  They’re the professionals.  Then you go back and look at the past winners over time and realize that the “true” winners with lasting power were never picked.

I ramble on…

1990 was an amazing year for film:

Goodfellas” (I’ll get to this one down the road…)

Home Alone” (Thank you John Hughes)

Edward Scissorhands

Pretty Woman

Awakenings

Misery

Ghost

Lord of the Flies

Miller’s Crossing

I didn’t even list the ones I’ve already written about.  Trust me, there are plenty.  But…some things I cannot understand.  How did “Dick Tracy” get left out of the best picture mix…?  How did Al Pacino win for “Scent of a Woman,” but get stiffed for his role as Big Boy Caprice in “Dick Tracy?”  Rhetorical really…but I continue to ponder…

To my mind, “Dick Tracy” is the most underrated “comic book” movie of all time.  I did not say it was the best.  I said it was the most underrated.  You know, the one that is G-R-E-A-T great, but you always forget about it when you are thinking about Superman, Batman, Captain America, Spiderman, Iron Man, etc.

Warren Beatty’s vision was a marvel (pun/jab intended) and deserves all the credit that has been thrown it’s way–and more–over the years.

It was visually stunning (throughout every frame).  It was perfectly cast, had a great script, and stayed true to the source material.  I don’t know if it is true, but in my mind, I like to believe that when Warren was a child he grew up reading Dick Tracy just like I grew up reading about Wolverine and Gambit.  He had to.  The attention to detail was incredible.  The lighting, the costumes, the makeup, the sets, the props…it truly was a world that existed in the pictures of a comic book.

The characters were all larger than life and the photos I’ve added don’t display a quarter of all of the great ones.

“Dick Tracy” was a tricky movie for my mom.  It was rated PG.  I was old enough to watch it.  I had seen way worse in terms of violence and gore at that point in my life…but this picture had one thing in it that my mother had a hard time with.

MADONNA

Yes.  My mother is not a fan of Madonna.  She was a very “controversial” figure in the 80s. I grew up in a small conservative town…Madonna wasn’t very popular to anyone over 30 in  Blackfoot, ID in 1990.  She was skeptical and encouraged me not to watch it, but she relented.  She, however, refused to watch it with me.

Her loss.

Forget about the technical aspects.  We all know the makeup, costumes, lighting, sets, etc. were amazing.  The performance by Al Pacino is the glue that keeps this picture rolling.  Has there ever been a character that is so dangerous in one second and hilarious in the next?  He boogied with Madonna as Breathless Mahoney, which is meant to be a funny scene…but as you watch the scene unfold, you know that Big Boy Caprice is unpredictable and could snap and break her neck for singing out of key if he felt like it.

There is drama, suspense, humor, action, and a little romance too.  I feel that it is a movie that deserves to be in my top 10 list, but I never count it among those.  It’s probably that guilt from enjoying a movie so much that I know my mother didn’t want me to ever see.

Totally worth it…

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“Here’s to swimm’n’ with bow-legged women.”

This film is my favorite “horror” film of all time.

I probably saw it when I was too little, but what are you going to do.  It was on HBO all of the time in the early 80s.

After “Ghostbusters” this has to be the film I have seen the second most in my life.  It isn’t just me that loves this film.  My family loves it and once we had a copy of it, we probably watched it together in the summer time once a month after dinner when the kids could stay up late and finish movies with mom and dad.

The open “boating accident” in the film was the hardest for me.  I remember after viewing it once, whenever we would sit down to watch it again, I would conveniently go do the dishes or find a need to make water.  Next to the climactic kill, it is one of the hardest scenes for me to watch presently.  The fact that it is a woman screaming in terror in the dark with no hope and the length of time at which it takes for her to finally be annihilated is what sets the horror tones in the movie.  The actress was amazing and what a way to open a film.  No blood, no murderer, no special effects–plenty of terror.

I say “horror” because a great majority of the film is action packed with a sea voyage on the hunt to save a small island from this very real monster.  The first half of the film is horror at it’s finest (I am biased).  We get slight glimpses of the beast for scale purposes, but we never get a full shot of the scope of the creature until approximately an hour and fifteen minutes in.  This builds tension and drama and when we finally do see “it,” the pay off is sufficient due to a perfectly delivered line by the lead character to the captain of the Orca.  I think everybody knows that line or has heard someone reference it.

This film gave me nightmares, and I had to slightly talk my mother into seeing it.  She was a huge fan of the film though and she was torn between protecting me from nightmares or allowing me to experience a masterpiece of suspense and horror the way she had.

Mom was not aware of “Poltergeist” yet, so she didn’t know I already had years of experience keeping my nightmares to myself.  That helped prepare my parents to allow me to keep watching horror movies as they never thought that I was effected by nightmares.  Little did they know I was just trained at hiding it. My imagination is too great to escape nightmares.  It’s a curse, but I can’t stop.

My therapist and I are working through it.

The nightmares I remember always made me feel like my blankets were constricting me from escaping the monster under the blankets with me at the foot of my bed as it latched onto my feet with it’s “Jaws.”  Just like when you are under water or treading water.  The shark totally has the advantage as it is their world we’re encroaching on.

I remember loving the thrills and the little bits of humor sprinkled throughout the film by Hooper and Quint.  Chief ends up being the butt of a lot of jokes as well and Roy Scheider delivered a fine performance as a lead character trying to protect the commerce of his new home.

Spielberg has a way with pacing an action film so that it doesn’t feel like we are jumping from set piece to set piece.  The writing and the acting have a lot to do with that and I give him credit for allowing his actors and writers to create entertaining dialogue that keeps the audience focused throughout with a clear flow from scene to scene.  This is evident in his films that really work.

You cannot talk about this film and NOT mention the score.  I know that it has now become a major cliche.  I can’t think of another score that we hear that makes us know exactly what the setting is and who we are sharing that setting with (you hear it and you know I am under water and I am going to get eaten).  Think about prior to 1975 however.  No one had heard that score before.  I have only lived in a time after that score and cannot imagine a world without that pop culture reference. Immediately that score became the cliche that it is and it’s a major contributor to the sense of terror that makes the movie work.

Just like being unable to live in a world without that score, I am thankful that I have watched that film and know what that pop culture reference is all about.

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“If we’re about to die anyway, I’d rather die fighting!”

I feel slightly embarrassed and giddy at the same time when I think about this next one.

It featured a mainly child cast, with a sprinkle of a few adults here and there as fill in characters and voices for animated/puppet characters. The story is told through the mind of a child in modern day (1984) America while he is reading a book that a crotchety old book store owner gave him when he sneaked in while running away from bullies before school.

The names of the characters are what stuck with me all of these years:

Bastian, Atreyu, Artax (the horse), Falkor, and G’mork to name a few.

Basically, he finds a nice quiet place to read this book all day while skipping out on school, as the story in the book becomes the movie within the movie (even more so than anticipated as the movie draws to its climax).

As a child, I loved the story and the characters. The scale at which the creators chose to tell this story was rather brave considering the main character within the movie of the movie has to continually jump from one setting to the next while trying to piece together the puzzle that will save his world and everyone that lives in it. There are a ton of set pieces, each with their own unique look and feel and it worked because I was captivated by all of them.

As an adult looking back I feel that this is another story told in the 80s that fed the egos of Gen Xers like myself. Our baby boomer parents loved to tell us that we could be president some day if we worked hard enough and they kept telling us that because we wanted to believe them oh so much. With this film we have children doing adult things again: going on a quest, solving riddles, surviving near death, killing villains, and this time not just saving a town, ultimately saving an entire WORLD.

Vanity, much?

So why embarrassment with the giddy?

I’m afraid that this film won’t stand the test of time. For 1984, it was great, but the puppeteering and the special effects just won’t hold up to what we are used to today, even just on television. I will try this movie out with my son when he is a little older (not much) and gauge it from his reactions. I think if children see it early enough, it could still hold for a period of time with them as they won’t be jaded. Kids in junior high these days would most likely be bored with this in the first act.

Do I get sucked into the theme that we need to stick with our dreams? Absolutely.  So much so, hey, I started a blog in order to continue to keep writing as a major part of my life.  I am a sucker for that kind of story and I did like the plot device of tying both worlds together when the climax draws near.

Sometimes we need to remind ourselves for our children’s sake of the responsibility we have to continue to pursue that happiness our forefathers were talking about.  It’s through our dreams that we can achieve this–even if they don’t work out the way we want them to. Having the pursuit of the dream on the forefront for them to see is a most important thing.

The Neverending Story” bleeds that expectation throughout it’s action.

So, yes.  My son will see it.

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One Lovely Blog Award-WHAT?!

Okay.

So I woke up two days ago to this amazing news. I have been traveling for work all week and this pick-me-up was way better than any latte (mmmm lattes….I do love lattes) anyways, thank you Angela from MY COLLEGE ODYSSEY. I am flattered that a young writer with your talent would ever think my meager blog would be decent enough for such a nomination. Yours is TOTALLY “One Lovely Blog worthy.”

Thinking just that, I was flattered, but felt foolish trying to think of what to write for my nomination and pretty much decided not to….

Until…..

Brooks P. Weaver was kind enough to mention me again.

Okay, papa’s gotta write one now.

My apologies for what you’re about to get. Even I don’t know what I’m going to do.

Let’s get to the rat killi’n’ as my grandpa always said.

7 facts about myself:

1. I have a 2 (almost 3) year old son. He has made my life relevant over the last 3 years in ways I would’ve never thought possible and I am blessed to be the molder of such a pleasant young child.

2. I am twice divorced before 40. Yep ladies, this guy’s single. Look out!

3. My girlfriend is going to kick my ass for number 2.

4. You all know I love movies. I like to read as well. Weird, I know. I generally enjoy “great” science fiction and fantasy but I LOVE the classics (Twilight, 50 Shades, etc.)

5. That last part of 4 was bullshit. Not the reading part, the “what I like to consider classics” part. I consider Gone with the Wind, anything by Mark Twain (My favorite), and The Idiot classics.

6. I used to play soccer in high school and college. Love it. Miss it.

7. I work full time at an agency in which we support person’s diagnosed with intellectual disabilities and I love it.

Okay 15 to nominate. Here we go:

1. jordanandeddie
2. Kevin J. Hotter
3. razorbackwriteraus
4. penshift
5. ToddMedicii
6. risahlymbicky
7. mstoywhisperer
8. inspiredbyabook
9. The Black Hat Writer
10. meohmila
11. Mike Fuller Author
12. januarygray
13. c0ral33
14. AlexF
15. Gratuitous Rex