Showing 11 - 15 of 15 posts found matching keyword: myrna loy

Okay, now that I'm rested, let's continue the vacation!

Day 4 (June 30): National Portrait Gallery

  1. National Portrait Gallery
  2. Smithsonian American Art Museum
  3. National Gallery Sculpture Garden

I loved the portrait and American art museums. Loved 'em. I could have spent the whole week in there.

George Washington

Myrna Loy
America's Sweetheart, Myrna Loy

Day 5 (July 1): Newseum

  1. Newseum
  2. United States Capitol
  3. Library of Congress
  4. Supreme Court

The Newseum is the only museum we paid admission fee for. It was worth it. I must not have been the only person to think so; it was pretty crowded. The one exhibit that was totally empty was the section investigating journalistic ethics. I wish that was a joke.

Berlin Wall

Library of Congress
Library of Congress Great Hall

Day 6 (July 2): Back to Virginia

  1. Arlington National Cemetery
  2. Steven F Udvar-Hazy Center
  3. Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial
  4. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial
  5. Thomas Jefferson Memorial
  6. George Mason Memorial
  7. National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial
  8. Air Force Memorial
  9. US Marine Corps Memorial

Udvar-Hazy is the satellite campus (ha, ha) of the Air and Space Museum located 30 minutes away from DC in Dulles, Virginia. Like all Smithsonian museums, admission is free. Parking will set you back $15. This museum is home to the Enola Gay and the Space Shuttle Discovery. It also has a Concorde and some foreign military aircraft, but otherwise, I didn't find it as impressive as the Warner Robins Museum of Aviation. At least in Warner Robbins, parking is free.

Udvar-Hazy Center

Arlington Cemetery
Remember the Maine

Day 7 (July 3): Lexington, VA

  1. Lee Chapel & Museum
  2. Stonewall Jackson Memorial Cemetery

Lexington is home to Washington and Lee University and Virginia Military Academy. No surprise it also has the final resting place of General Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson. Brian was very excited to stop here because it meant we'd completed our pilgrimage to the graves of all three men on Stone Mountain. (Lee and Jackson's horses, Traveller and Little Sorrel, respectively, are also on Stone Mountain, and both buried in Lexington as well.) Mission accomplished.

Stonewall Jackson Cemetery

We returned home in the wee hours of July 4, and that was all right with me. I enjoyed the trip, but there's no place like home.

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These statistics from my year-long movie watching experiment in 2012 may interest no one but me, but it's my blog. So there.

First up is actors. You can see the totals for January through June here.

Comedies continued to be the big draw for me, 82 in all. What can I say, I like to laugh. Dramas was a distant runner up overall, although there were as many months in which I watched more action movies than any other type as there were months where dramas were the leading category (2 each).

By the end of June, I hadn't seen any director's work more than two times. By the end of the year, I smashed that ceiling, seeing more than 2 films from four separate directors (W.S. Van Dyke [5], Frank Capra [4], Morgan Spurlock [3], David Gordon Green [3]). Van Dyke directed the best of the Thin Man movies, and was very skilled with giving the actors room to work and showing the clues to the mysteries, without making it entirely obvious that was what he was doing. I enjoyed his work.

Given that I've seen all 5 Twilight movie this year and that they were all written by Melissa Rosenbrerg, it seems a no-brainer than she should be the most-watched screenwriter of the year. And she was. The only other writer I saw more than twice was Frank Capra's frequent partner in crime, Robert Riskin (4). For the record, I saw multiple films from 20 different writers, and Paddy Chayefsky and William Rose both stand out from the crowd.

In case you were wondering, the studio that released most of the pictures I saw was Warner Brothers (35), although MGM (34) ran a close second. I've always had a soft spot for WB films, probably because I must share some of their sensibilities. They do own DC Comics, after all.

It must be something of the Obsessive Compulsive in me, but I really enjoyed keeping track of the movies I watched, maybe more than I enjoyed watching them. Even if I don't set any goals for 2013, I might keep tracking, just for giggles. We'll see what we shall see, won't we?

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The big movie experiment of 2012 is finally complete.

299. Gun Crazy (1950)
This movie is your typical "boy loves girl, girl loves murder" story. It's obvious pretty quickly that this isn't going to end well for the boy, but isn't that always the case?

300. Another Thin Man (1939)
The Thin Man movies are easily the highlight of my 2012 movie experiment. Not a bad one in the bunch.

301. The Haunted World of El Superbeasto (2009)
I read that Rob Zombie set out to make a Scooby-Doo episode with cursing and nudity. As much fun as that may sound in concept, no one wants to watch a 90-minute long Scooby-Doo episode. As my movie-watching buddy Otto would say, "it's not very good, but at least it's long."

302. The Thin Man Goes Home (1945)
I had to get the final, unseen Thin Man in under the wire. I'm getting good at figuring out who the guilty party is in these mysteries. Too bad I've seen them all. I look forward to watching them all over again in a few years once I've forgotten who the murderers are!

303. Speak (2004)
I think having seen this movie, made when Kristen Stewart was 14, it becomes hard to defend what she does in Twilight as "acting." There is exactly one scene in this movie where Kristen briefly acts extroverted and excited, but for the rest of the film she plays the same wallflower you see when you watch her promote her films on talk shows or "act" in other movies. Is "typecasting" the right word when you're always asked to play yourself?

304. The Pirates! Band of Misfits (2012)
Silly and all too short, this film seems to have been made for the DVD generation. There's far too much detail on the screen to take in with a single viewing.

305. Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1 (2012)
I expected to hate this direct-to-DVD adaptation of Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns. And I did.

306. Justice League: Doom (2012)
Why do these television adaptations of comic book super heroes have to display super heroes as borderline weak and incompetent? This film plays with that cliche in its conclusion, but doesn't manage to salvage my irritation at several scenes of heroes acting like teenagers gone wild.

307. I Love You Again (1940)
I closed the year with a William Powell/Myrna Loy film that isn't a Thin Man movie. The pair lived up to expectations, which should be no surprise considering that they appeared in 14 movies together overall. The studio wouldn't have done that if it wasn't working.

So that's it: 307 new-to-me movies watched in 2012. That means I started a new movie, on average, nearly once every 28 hours. I don't think I'll try to break that record in 2013, so I guess I'll have to try to find something else to occupy my time. Any suggestions?

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Twelve more for July 2012:

175. The Thin Man (1934)
Seeing the c-list actors they assigned to round out its cast, it's obvious immediately that MGM didn't expect this film to be great. Myrna Loy and William Powell are so adorable together, it's hard to believe that the company didn't recognize the film would be a sure-fire hit as soon as the cameras started rolling. Highly recommended.

176. Frankenstein 80 (1972)
Every few years, someone tries to update the old monster stories by adjusting the science or politics. In this case, the modern "science" is a bottle of neon-blue juice instead of lightning. Wow. Too bad Mary Shelly didn't think of that.

177. The Ides of March (2011)
Dad watched this movie and told me it sucked. Trey watched this movie and told me it was great. It's a pretty damn cynical movie, and of course I liked it.

178. Crazy, Stupid, Love. (2011)
Sweet, sweet Emma Stone. I never, ever want to meet you in person. You cannot possibly be as awesome in real life as you are on the silver screen.

179. The Naked City (1948) recommended this to me because I watched In Cold Blood. This movie is like a 2-hour Dragnet episode. In other words, it's awesome.

180. 7 Faces of Dr. Lao (1964)
Tony Randall must have been quite a power broker to get MGM to make this vanity project. Sure, the makeup and effects are great, but there's not enough pancake makeup in the world to disguise 2-hours of tired sight gags as plot. Very boring.

181. East of Eden (1955)
Really, I hate Steinbeck's stories. If he were writing today, his work would be called teen fiction. "Oh, what is my place in life? Why is this happening to me?" Repeat for 200 pages, close book. Ugh. At least now I've seen the complete filmography of James Dean as a lead actor. All three of them. What a shame.

182. My Favorite Year (1982)
I don't think I've ever seen a movie set behind-the-scenes of television/movies/radio/theater that I didn't enjoy. (Heck, The Player, Radioland Murders, Noises Off! are some of my favorite films.) Add this to the stack.

183. Sullivan's Travels (1941)
Another behind-the-scenes of Hollywood that manages to be a comedy and a message movie at the same time. The third act seemed a little long, but writer/director Preston Sturges is trying to make a point. Since the first two acts built up such good will, I'm not willing to pick a fault with it. I think, in fact, I'll seek out more Preston Sturges movies.

184. 41 (2012)
This documentary on the life of George H.W. Bush relies entirely on interviews with the man himself, and is therefore less robust than I would have hoped. More autobiography than journalism.

185. Lars and the Real Girl (2007)
I'd been trying to decide if I wanted to watch this movie for years. After seeing Ryan Gosling in two other movies this week, I decided to take the plunge. Gosling is impressive in the role, and the film is gently sincere. I'd gladly recommend it, but I'm not sure I could sit through it again.

186. Sex and the Single Girl (1964)
Yes, Natalie Wood was sexy. No, I still don't like her. This movie is what passed for a raunchy sex comedy in the 60s, being some combination of risque vaudeville routines and leftover It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World slapstick from the year before. I'm no fan of Mad, Mad World, which like this movie fails to respect the old truism about the relationship between brevity and wittiness. Listen, Hollywood: nothing is funny for 3 hours.

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For all the fuss my friends have made about it, you'd think I only watched Twilight movies in March. Not true. The Twilight made up only a small minority of my March viewing.

44. MASH (1970)
I never really cared for the series, and this movie is in many ways just like it. Fortunately, Donald Southerland's Hawkeye does far less moralizing than Alan Alda's Hawkeye, making the film slightly more tolerable than the television show.

45. Spartacus (1960)
This film is far too long, and it seems far longer than it is. However, the week before I watched it, I had played The Republic of Rome, a board game equally epic in scope as the movie. I enjoyed the game, and found comparisons between Spartacus' Rome and the game's rules to be compelling enough to keep watching when Tony Curtis' "singing" wasn't.

46. Proof (2005)
Mom chose this movie about a very smart adult child who fears succumbing to the same mental illness that her father had. I found the film difficult to watch.

47. After the Thin Man (1936)
An evenly-matched married couple with a dog gleefully fast-talk their way through solving a murder mystery? Say no more, I'm in! Delightful in every way. I'm now actively seeking out the 5 other movies in the Thin Man series to watch.

48. A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1966)
I found the highlight of this comedy of errors to be Buster Keaton in his final film role. This film reminded me of the more madcap Marx Brothers films in that I liked it, but felt dizzy long before it was over.

49. For Your Consideration (2006)
How did I miss this Christopher Guest film when it came out? I love movies about movies, and a Christopher Guest movie about movies? Sublime.

50. The D.I. (1957)
If I didn't love Jack Webb so, I probably would have found this film with him in the role of a Marine drill instructor unintentionally humorous. But I cannot laugh at Jack Webb. Joe Friday would fuck your shit up.

51. Furry Vengeance (2010)
Every bit as bad as you would expect a film in which evil Brendon Fraiser is tormented by woodland creatures to be. What is it with "family" movies these days? They are all terribly stupid. I don't know why, but Hollywood apparently hates children more than I do.

52. Moneyball (2011)
I don't care for baseball, but I enjoyed this behind-the-scenes look at the unconventional building of a team to be very enjoyable. Recommended.

53. Seven Days in May (1964)
Another great film. A truly suspenseful thriller with fantastic performances by the entire cast. Most surprisingly, the political themes at the core of the film are as relevant in the fear-mongering climate of 2012 as they were in 1964.

54. The Queen (2006)
Another recommendation by Mom. Normally, I hate historic biopics. I just can't abide by fictional words being placed in characters' mouths. That said, I really enjoyed Michael Sheen as the Prime Minister, and Helen Mirren is Queen Elizabeth. A worthwhile couple of hours.

55. Your Highness (2011)
This movie presents a different kind of royal family. Given the title, I expected more drug humor, so I was excited to find that this film rather adeptly captured the spirit of one of my role-playing game sessions exactly.

56. The Social Network (2011)
I was distracted from the last 30 minutes of the movie by a real programming emergency, and I simply haven't cared to find out how it ends. I don't really understand why everyone thought this movie is so great, but then I've never really understood the appeal of Facebook, either.

58. Movie Crazy (1932)
Yet another movie about movies. Silent-film star Harold Lloyd produced and starred in this talkie about a klutz who becomes a movie star. Despite the audio track, this is very much a silent movie in spirit. Most of the dialogue is wooden and used only to set up sight gags. Where the movie does sparkle is in the occasional verbal jousting between Lloyd and love-interest Constance Cummings. Her quick wordplay is far better than her capricious character deserves, and in my opinion she steals the film.

More to come.

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To be continued...