Showing 1 - 10 of 154 posts found matching keyword: family

Movies, movies, movies!

197. (1426.) Doctor Strange (2016)
Doc Strange's origin story has a pretty simple plot (and a very flawed hero). It also has Benedict Cumberbatch, who almost succeeds in making his character likable. Almost.

198. (1427.) Hearts and Minds (1974)
This anti-Vietnam War documentary is about as anti-war as any movie ever. There was so much film footage of moments I'd only seen in stills, I felt like I was watching a history textbook come to life. For the record, I'm convinced. Let's get out of Vietnam.

200. (1429.) Trolls (2016)
I wanted to watch something special for my 200th movie in 2018. Instead, I watched Trolls. I shouldn't complain. I was a kid once. I can be marketed to. I saw The Care Bears Movie in a theater. (What can I say? I've always been a sucker for Grumpy Bear.)

201. (1430.) Ma and Pa Kettle (1949)
This is actually the second in the Ma and Pa Kettle series of movies about The Beverly Hillbillies the misadventures of some country folk adapting to life in the modern world. It's enjoyable, and it's easy to see why they went on to make The Beverly Hillbillies six more. (Almost completely unrelated trivia: There is an auto mechanic near my house that calls itself Maw and Paw Kettyle. They do good work.)

202. (1431.) Love Actually (2003)
I heard so much about this movie over the holiday season that I finally watched it on TBS. Even though Martin Freeman was in the opening credits, none of his scenes appear in the edited-for-television version, so I re-watched Mom's DVD (because she owns every Christmas movie). His scenes were, amusingly, the most honest and by far the best. In other words, don't watch this movie on TV.

203. (1432.) Christmas in Connecticut (1945)
I turned the channel to TCM to wash down all that Love. Here Barbara Stanwyck is a lifestyle columnist (a 1940's Martha Stewart) caught in her own web of lies when her boss insists she host a Christmas get-together with a war hero. Good stuff.

More to come.

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Speaking of old acquaintances that should be forgotten... these movies watched in 2018:

193. (1422.) Mythica: A Quest for Heroes (2014)
194. (1423.) Mythica: The Darkspore (2015)
195. (1424.) Mythica: The Necromancer (2015)
196. (1425.) Mythica: The Iron Crown (2016)
199. (1428.) Mythica: The Godslayer (2016)

Like I said last time, I made Dad watch King Lear. He was so dissatisfied, I volunteered to let him choose the next films we watched. He chose these. I should have known better.

It would be fair to compare this whole series of five connected films to the Star Wars saga. The first couple are by far the best, and the rest become so increasingly disappointing that you begin to hope that all the main characters die just to make it all end.

To sum up, the story involves a small band of heroes seeking to stop a necromancer from using an ancient, evil artifact to take over the world and ascend to godhood. (Does that sound familiar?) I admit that it is a pretty tired adventure trope, but if the characters in my books are half as dumb as those in these movies, I apologize for ever writing the damn things.

Dad is no longer allowed to pick the movies.

More to come.

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We're almost done with 2018, so let's finish up November movies and get a head start on December.

188. (1417.) The Score (2001)
This heist movie starred Robert De Niro, Edward Norton, and Marlon Brando. Brando is by far the weakest of the bunch. Very good.

189. (1418.) Mission: Impossible III (2006)
Not as good. In fact, it's so stupid, it's almost insulting, but that's what I've learned to expect from director J.J. Abrams. I think he thought that if the action moved fast enough, no one would notice the giant plot holes he was plunging through. Not even light can move that fast.

190. (1419.) Atlas Shrugged: Part 1 (2011)
Ouch. I read and enjoyed the novel this movie is based on, but the movie made me reconsider why. It manages to be simultaneously too loyal to the literal text of the book and too determined to simplify the theories behind it. There are no characters here, only fast-talking allegories. Worse, this is only the first act of the story. It has no ending; it just stops. There are two sequels in this lecture trilogy, but I can't imagine ever being bored enough to watch them.

191. (1420.) King Lear (1971)
Dad asked what I wanted to watch, and I chose this, an experimental theatrical take on the Shakespearean tragedy. Not my best choice. Dad called it the worst movie he'd ever seen, but he hasn't watched Atlas Shrugged.

(For the record, I still consider the worst movie I've ever seen to be Armageddon. I know, I know. [Don't @ me.] But I really do hate it. I can't believe I paid to see *that*.)

192. (1421.) December 7th (1943)
As you might guess from the title, this is a docudrama about the 1941 Japanese ambush of Pearl Harbor. It is not kind to Japanese Americans. Totally worth a watch if for no other reason than as a historical document of a still shell-shocked America trying to put their world back together. If you lived through 9-11, you can relate.

More to come.

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During a commercial break in the evening news, Mom says, "I keep getting this jingle stuck in my head." She was talking about the ad for Ozempic, which sounds more than a little like this:

I wasn't alive in 1974, but Mom was, and she says she's never heard of Pilot or their single, "Magic." Obviously, there's only one explanation for this: all documented instances of Pilot are part of an elaborate counter-intelligence campaign created by Communist trolls for the purpose of destabilizing our American capitalist corporatocracy by fooling rubes like me into believing that some kind of popular culture preexisted the marketing needs of greedy pharmaceutical conglomerates. Those bastards!

Now, if you'll excuse me, it's time for my federally mandated once-weekly semaglutide injection.

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My aunt's contribution to our Thanksgiving feast included stuffing, chocolate ice cream, and three dozen sugar cookies bought from the Kroger bakery.

The others ate the stuffing and ice cream. I ate the cookies. All of the cookies.

To be honest, I ate too many cookies. I don't know what Kroger put in them, but each was more delicious than the last. I. Just. Couldn't. Stop. Now I'm going through cookie withdrawal.

I thought I was through the worst of it when Mom went grocery shopping today... and returned with another three dozen cookies.

"I came around the aisle," she said, "and there they were, the only cookies on the table. The last batch. They wouldn't have been there if I wasn't supposed to buy them and bring them home for you."

So that's my Mom, who thinks that fate is trying to bring me and cookies together. Fate is not the boss of me! I'm an independent, rational, strong-willed individual. I can resist the allure of a basket of sweet, sweet sugar cookies.

Cookies 72, Walter 0

DAMN YOU, COOKIES!

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Today was the day that we moved Dad's stuff up from Florida. Of course, I woke up with a stiff upper back. Moving the boxes out of the trailer, I hurt my lower back compensating for my upper back stiffness. And then I split my pants.

Sometimes, life is funny. And sometimes, life's a riot. The kind with tear gas.

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Life in America, 2018 (a one-act play):

Interior, Den — Day

FATHER and WALTER (son) sit across a table from one another.

WALTER (to Father)

It was reported this week that the President's cell phone is tapped by Russia and China. Trump's reply, that the story must be fake news because he rarely uses cellphones, came by way of a tweet he sent from his iPhone.

FATHER (to Walter)

You're looking for something to criticize. You only ever talk about the bad things he does.

WALTER

Okay, fine. We'll talk about something good he's done. Go ahead, name something good.

FATHER

. . .

Father closes his eyes as though thinking but says nothing.

Hold for sixty seconds.

Father begins to snore.

Curtain

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Almost everyone reading this already knows that in April 2014, my father moved to Fountain, Florida. What you may not know is that Fountain is only 37 miles due north of Mexico Beach, the town Hurricane Michael wiped off the map this past Wednesday.

Through a series of unexpected coincidences, Dad wasn't at home when the hurricane hit, which is good. (He has temporarily relocated to Heard County, Georgia for... other reasons.) Also good is the news that although trees fell everywhere around, including on his barn, the house emerged unscathed! Even his whole herd of cattle survived.

That's even more amazing considering that this news came from my father's friend who lives not 10 miles to the west. His friend's house was all but completely blown apart and submerged under water. (Fortunately, his friend was also out of town on business planned before and completely coincidental to the arrival of Michael.)

Both properties are without power and are expected to be so for another month. And while Father has offered his house to his friend, travel between the two will be quite the hike until Bay County can get around to clearing the roads of fallen trees, which might take considerably more than a month.

Anyway, the point of this story is that everyone is alive, and one day we'll all look back and laugh about it. Assuming that Dad's friend can find clean water and get gas to keep his generator running, and assuming that Dad ever gets over the fever he hasn't treated for the past two weeks because his doctor is unreachable.... Did I mention that the livestock seem fine?

UPDATE: I wrote this post on the 12th. On the 13th, Dad finally decided he'd had enough and visited the ER in Newnan where he was diagnosed with abscessed diverticulitis. That's bad. The hospital docs will determine on the 15th how well the abscess is responding to a heavy dose of antibiotics. Otherwise, there may be emergency surgery in Dad's near future. Freaking hurricane.

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For the second time this season, I will not be attending a UGA football home game. Making it to one out of three would be a pretty good success rate... if I had season tickets to baseball.

At least this time, I have a good excuse: family. Can't live with 'em; can't turn your back on 'em and pretend they don't exist. (Right, Trey?)

Good luck with Tennessee, Bulldogs. And enjoy the tickets enough for both of us, Matt.

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Mom found this empty 1942 UGA student football season ticket book in a batch of letters kept by my grandmother:

The University of Georgia Department of Athletics Student Ticket Season 1942-43

In 1942, UGA played only 3 home games in its home stadium

THIS BOOK IS VOID IF PICTURE IS DEFACED

Dink graduated in the class of 1943. Back in her day, students were sold these books of paper tickets (face value of 85¢) redeemable at the box office for a real ticket. Student tickets were only raised to $10 in the 2018 season. To the university's credit, that's less than the price of inflation. (Eighty-five cents in 1942 is over $13 today.) Sanford Stadium has been expanded eight times since 1942, when it only held 30,000 fans. It now seats over 93,000, so I suspect they're making up that lost value in volume.

If an empty ticket book seems like a strange keepsake, keep in mind that UGA won a national title in 1942 behind the incredible backfield tandem of Frank Sinkwich and Charley Trippi. For the record, this was the outcome of those games:

September 25 Jacksonville Naval Air Station, W 14–0,
October 3 Furman, W 40–7,
October 17 Tulane, W 40–0,
October 31 Alabama (ranked #3), W 21–10,
November 7 Florida, W 75–0,
November 21 Auburn, L 13–27,
November 28 Georgia Tech (ranked #2), W 34–0

I never knew that my grandmother attended every home game that season, and Dink died before I went to Athens, so she never knew I would one day have season tickets to our shared alma mater. Maybe, if I'm lucky, I'll eventually get to see a national championship season myself. I think she'd like that.

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To be continued...

 

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