Friday, July 6, 2018

This post is not about Music or Movies!

I just returned to this blog after too long an absence and found that Google had changed it all around so it now is listed as Music and Movies.  Well, F--you Google, thanks but no thanks.

I have learned my lesson though.  No free lunch!  If you start a blog that is supposedly free, what is free is the true owner's ability to change it at will which is what happened here. I do understand why they did this; I haven't been posting frequently enough so they just consolidated my blogs.

I came wanting to post to my personal blog: What Now Grasshopper? It still exists but I can't post there anymore.  If I was so inclined, I can blame myself for my long absence. Did I miss some small print Google, saying I have to post with a certain frequency to maintain my blog?

The problem is that many of my best posts are not about Music and movies.  So bye bye Google, thanks for the lesson.  If I want to have an independent blog that I control, I have to pay for it. Even then there are no guarantees, but free is for amateurs. If you or I want to get serious about blogging, be prepared to pay to play.  This is reality folks. 

Friday, March 31, 2017

The Churkendoose

In celebration of 74 spins around the sun!  And I'm hardly even dizzy, OK, a little bit :)

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Sunday, January 24, 2016

The Painted Veil, the movie reviewed

It has been a while since I have been moved enough by a movie to want to write about it. This movie certainly did it for me, in spades. Interestingly, this is the second time I've seen it. When I saw it was playing on HBO, I remembered that it was very good and gave it a second look.

This is a truly adult movie, with some  real culture and restraint, the kind of thing you would more likely see on PBS than coming from Hollywood.  Based upon the novel by Somerset Maugham, it takes place in the 20s, and is set in real historical time. The main characters are British, and they are coming from that time when restraint of the emotions was the order of the day. This makes for some wonderful opportunities for these  great actors to show their chops, and they do not disappoint.

The leads are played splendidly by Ed Norton and Naomi Watts. Diane Riggs is also notable as a Mother Superior.  Ed plays a doctor and Naomi his spoiled wife. The action starts out in England but moves to China where the Norton character goes to first live in Hong Kong then later gets called to combat a cholera epidemic in the interior.

I found this film gripping from first frame to last. Everything about it was well done. Beautiful cinematography, great script, great direction, etc.

The movie displays how life can mature us and teach us and open us to a greater vision. All the major characters go through real transformations under very difficult conditions.

There was so much that was memorable for me about this film. To just pick out one thing, Diane Rigg beautifully plays a Nun running a poor orphanage in China who has devoted her life to service to God.  In talking to the Naomi Watts character who starts out vain and self centered, The Mother Superior describes how she too fell in love when she was seventeen; She fell in love with God.

Then she goes on to describe how her relationship with God has changed over the decades. Anyone who has been involved in the spiritual life for decades will appreciate that speech.

There is so much to recommend in this film. If you want to watch a great adult entertainment, this one has my highest recommendation. 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Liberal Arts, the movie reviewed

I don't often find myself watching movies a second time. But, while casting about on Netflix to find something to see, I impulsively clicked on Liberal Arts for a second watch.

It was an easy choice, something predictably feel-good. And since it held up very well through a second watch, it was also an obvious choice for a review.

I had a wonderful liberal arts education myself at a small “community of scholars”, Shimer college. I mourn the dumbing down of America which has been very real and sad to experience. So seeing a celebration of good education, smiling over literary references and generally relishing the life of the mind as this movie does is reassuring for me. There are still plenty of folks out there with those values.

Josh Radner does a good job playing the lead character who is a 35 year old alum of a college that gets invited back and gets involved with a 19 year old student. Richard Jenkins does great support as a retiring professor, full of doubt and apprehension at leaving the prison/oasis of academia after oh so many years.

The inimitable Allison Janney plays a cynical Romantics Professor. She is never less than delightful to watch and she does not disappoint for this outing.

Elizabeth Olsen plays the young co-ed brilliantly, just delicious with nary a false note.

Altogether it is a sweet comfort food of a movie, especially if you have a liberal arts education. Recommended.