Author: thoughtsallsorts

Just someone with thoughts about whatever happens to inspire - generally music, movies and books.

Taking a break…

…due to long working hours. I just don’t have the time or energy to blog at the moment. I hope you understand. I dream work these days.

For the Blogathons I’ve entered…I will try write something but can’t promise. I’m just not finding enough hours in the day.

Some belated Jeff Bridges Birthday anagram fun

The Anagram Hunter (@Thomas_W_Hunter) sent me this list of movies to unscramble – here’s to all you Jeff Bridges fans who want to give it a go.

Apologies for the delayed reaction with this…I’m afraid blogging, renovations and my work commitments just didn’t get in sync this week. Unfortunately, work had to come first…JBAnagrams

Jeff Bridges Blogathon Wrap-up

I’ve had absolutely wonderful entries to the Jeff Bridges Blogathon. Thank you to everyone who joined me.

Apologies to those of you who I only linked up today – timezones, different bedtimes and a long day at work made it difficult to get everyone’s linked on 4th December, Jeff Bridges’ Birthday.

Sam Simon of vengonofuoridallefottutepareti tells us about the excellent performance given by Jeff Bridges in his Oscar and Golden Globe winning role of Bad Blake, a washed out singer (and actually excellently sung by Mr Bridges himself) in Crazy Heart (2009). (here)

The Midnite Drive-In guides us through cult classic The Big Lebowski, which, dude, if you haven’t seen, you really should do so, man. This 1998 Coen Brothers movie is rated one of the top 250 by IMDB. Get inspired here.

Realweegiemidget Reviews tackles Jeff Bridges’ role as  homme fatale Jack Forrester in 1985’s Jagged Edge. This court-room thriller has you wondering if Jack is guilty or not. Pop past this post (here) to read all about it.

Taking Up Room tells us about Tron (1982) and the cyber world together with some really interesting things about the sets and costumes. It must be quite an experience finding yourself in a computer program. Here you can read it all.

MovieRob gives us his thoughts about Tron (1982) as well as Tron: Legacy (2010). Both star Jeff Bridges. Here and here are his thoughts about these two movies. Technologies change so be sure to read about his thoughts on the latter.

Read about Tucker: The Man and His Dream of 1988 over at Dubsism (here). Aside from the great movie reviewed you’ll also discover some interesting information around the hidden allegory to the rise and fall of the Alliance of American Football.

Want to read about a little heard of gem of a movie? Head on over to Diary of a Movie Maniac and read about Bad Company here. A western showing a less glorified west, with Jeff Bridges in one of his first starring roles.

Pfeiffer Pfilms and Meg Movies reviews The Fabulous Baker Boys of 1998 here. In this one Jeff teams up with real-life brother Beau and take on the role of musicians and the impact when a singer joins them.

And finally, I review the movie that first introduced me to Jeff Bridges, Lolly Madonna XXX here.

Happy reading!

 

Lolly Madonna XXX

Lolly-Madonna_XXX…not a dodgy rated movie but a postcard signed with kisses by Lolly Madonna. And the cause of a whole lot of violence between the Feather and Gutshall families in Lolly Madonna XXX (1973).

Two families, living next door to each other in Tennesse, steal or damage each others’ property. And up to this point, things are relatively harmless and nobody gets hurt. But then, the Gutshalls sons place a postcard into their own postbox which is next to the Feathers’ one. It is addressed to one of the Gutshall sons and states that Lolly Madonna will be waiting at the bus-stop in the village nearby on a particular day. This all with the hope that the Feather boys Thrush (Scott Wilson) and Skylar (Timothy Scott) will find the card (yes, the look into each other’s post boxes) and head off to town to find this girl thus leaving the Gutshalls with a chance to steal some pigs.

BUT…there just happens to be a girl waiting at the bus stop. Not Lolly Madonna but Roonie Gill (Season Hubley). She has no connection to these feuding families at all and is running away from her own troubles. Thrush and Skylar kidnap her while Zeb (Gary Busey) and Ludie (KielMartin) Gutshall go get the livestock. And this is the start of the total destruction of these two families. Even the respective patriarchs Laban Feather (Rod Steiger) and Pap Gutshall (Robert Ryan) fail to restore some order with violence ensuing on both sides. We do, however, have some members of these families who try to keep civil, including Zack Feather (Jeff Bridges) who is tasked with looking after Roonie.

It is Zack who always stood out for me. He is the caring one, the one who seems to want to stay out of it all. And this is also the role which introduced me to a very young Jeff Bridges. And I’ve been a fan ever since. He brings this perfect balance of a young man both loyal to his family yet still trying to do the right thing. And, it turns out that this mostly level headed Feather boy is indirectly responsible for all the mayhem.

LollyMadonna

Directed by Richard C. Sarafian and based on a novel by…wait for it…you’ll never guess…Sue Grafton, I never really know how I feel about this one. At times unpleasant to watch at other times leaving a hopeless and then hopeful feeling, it is most definitely an interesting one to watch with a final climactic shootout. Oh, the futility of it all!

You’ll know most of the cast (also Ed Lauter, Randy Quaid) and yet will probably never have heard of this one. But, I’m forever grateful that this relatively unknown movie introduced me to such a phenomenal actor and artist. I’ve watched pretty much every Jeff Bridges movie since.

For more posts celebrating Jeff Bridges (it is his birthday today), head on over to my Jeff Bridges Blogathon page and read all the entries!

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The Jeff Bridges Blogathon and a birthday wish…

So, first and foremost:

Happy Birthday Mr. Bridges! Hope you have a wonderful day.

And for Jeff Bridges’ 70th Birthday, I’ve decided to hold the Jeff Bridges Blogathon to honour this wonderful and often underrated actor.

JeffBridgesBlogathon1

As many of you know, I was introduced the wonderful world of movies through my parents’ Super 8 film collection (saved just in time from someone tossing them into the junkyard). And, it is amongst this wonderful collection that there was Lolly Madonna – XXX (and no, don’t get any ideas…that’s XXX as in kisses). The character who caught my attention was none other than Zack Feather played by Jeff Bridges. Since then, I’ve always enjoyed this artist and the movies he’s been in. From the up-to-no-good Jake (Bad Company) to Jack (The Fabulous Baker Boys and The Fisher King), be it Charles Howard (Seabiscuit) or Rooster Cogburn (True Grit) and those myriad other characters, every role he takes on is absolutely perfect.

Born on the 4th December 1949 as Jeffrey Leon Bridges, he has starred in movies such as The Fabulous Baker Boys, Tucker: The Man and his Dream, The Big Lebowski, The Fisher King, Crazy Heart, Hell or High Water, and and and the list goes on. It was year after year that I hoped this great actor would win the coveted Oscar and/or Golden Globe…finally 2010 came and Crazy Heart won him both awards. Photography is another gift of his and the shots I’ve seen are superb. As for his musical talents, those are fantastic too.

So, without further ado, here are the posts of my fellow bloggers in honour of today’s special birthday (I’ll update the entries as the day goes by…late entries welcome, including mine):

 

CrazyHeartPoster vengonofuoridallefottutepareti  (Sam Simon) – Crazy Heart (2009)
TheBigLebowskiPoster The Midnite Drive-InThe Big Lebowski (1998)
Jagged_edge_poster Realweegiemidget Reviews Jagged Edge (1985)
Lolly-Madonna_XXX Thoughts All Sorts – Lolly Madonna XXX (1973)
TronPoster Taking Up Room – Tron (1982)
TronPoster MovieRob – Tron (1982)
TronLegacy MovieRob – Tron Legacy (2010)
Tuckerposter Dubsism – Tucker: The Man and His Dream (1988)
BadCompany Diary of a Movie Maniac – Bad Company (1972)
FabulousBakerBoys.jpg Pfeiffer Pfilms and Meg Movies – The Fabulous Baker Boys (1989)

Faun’s latest delights…

…ah, what a feeling when you discover a band has released an album without you being aware of it (or rather, you weren’t aware there was one coming out and voila, you find it). It means it is a total surprise and you didn’t have to wait and wait.

Here is the new album from German band Faun. As the album name, Märchen & Mythen, suggests, their songs are fairy tale and myth themed.

I absolutely love the sound of Hagazussa:

This one, Seemann is also pretty cool (aren’t all of them though?):

Thalia is also lovely:

As always, happy listening. And for my favourite, head on here: Musical Notes: Federkleid (Faun)

Sunshine Blogger Award…Thank You!

SunshineManiacs and Monsters (here) has nominated my for a Sunshine Blogger Award. Thank you so much. For this round though, I’m going to be taken out of my comfort zone. Because, Maniacs and Monsters, I’m such a scaredy-cat when it comes to Horror. Yet, somehow this genre is coming to haunt me these days…recently I entered the Gothic Horror Blogathon where the banner tempted me to watch Crimson Peak (but am totally too scared to start it), I’ve had 28 Days Later on my To Watch list for ages (but am totally too scared to start it) and now, because things come in threes, you’ve given me some horror related questions. I think I need to stop being such a wuss and tackle a genre that, believe it or not, as a teen I had no problem watching (or reading).  (And I’ve just checked my watch list and seen that I’ve watched almost 40 horror movies in my time…so maybe it is simply a matter of getting back into it).

Here goes…

…starting with those rules:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  2. Answer the eleven questions from the blogger who nominated you.
  3. Nominate eleven bloggers.
  4. Create eleven new questions for your nominees to answer.

…and here we go:

Thanks Maniacs and Monsters. I appreciate the nomination but also for giving me a push to the horror genre. Here are the questions of yours:

  1. Do you consider yourself a fan of horror, adverse to horror, or a patron of any genre including horror if it is entertaining? Well, when I first started writing this post I was a “oh, I can’t watch horror these days. I won’t sleep at night” person, probably the “any genre…if it is entertaining” approach. But, the more I think back and see what I used to watch…I’m actually probably a fan. I just need to get back into it. To stop being scared. To just watch this stuff and enjoy like I used to! But, I just can’t watch those gruesome, blood and guts torture horror movies. That for me, is just sick.

  2. What is the first horror film you remember watching and what was your reaction? This is going to be a very strange answer…because I actually don’t know what it was and I’ve been trying to find recently (another sign that maybe I’m ready for horror again). So…let me explain: my parents had Super 8 movies salvaged back 220px-Candymanposterwhen Video came out. Amongst them was some black and white horror movie with, I think, a vampire. All I can remember is something moving under a floor of straw (later to have may parents say they must have pulled something underneath it to give the effect). Oh, and I’m sure there was a barn of sorts. Someone screaming? What can I say? A black and white movie that has the reels whirring in the background and creepy vampires biting people, that’s got to be scary. But, strangely enough, I’d watch it over and over.
    Then came Candyman…I remember being so damn scared and to this day won’t whisper the name five times while looking into a mirror (that was the summoning, wasn’t it? Or did I remember it incorrectly?). But as a teen, it was awesome!
  3. What is your opinion of real world paranormal activities such as ghosts, spiritualism, UFOs, cryptozoology, or extrasensory perception? I definitely think there is something out there, something we can’t explain, something that doesn’t necessarily conform to the “normal” world as science might try explain. I do also think that many stories and myths had some form of explanation behind them. Possibly many were not as outrageous as we think but there were probably some truths to them. As for spiritualism…yes, there are signs we get that can’t be logically explained and that come with a purpose. I’m not making any sense here…
  4. Have you ever had what you believe to be a paranormal experience or at least an experience you could not explain? As per point 3 above, I have experienced signs or happenings I couldn’t explain, well, the only thing it could possibly have been is something present that I couldn’t see that did whatever it was. Once again, I’m not making sense…but I can’t explain…
    GothicHorror
  5. If you were cast in a horror movie, which of the following roles would you want and why:
    – last girl/guy

    – killer/monster
    – fodder for the slaughter
    – evil genius/mad scientist/cult leader
    – tortured soul
    – kick-ass hero/military leader
    – creepy caretaker/gas station attendant/neighbour/sea captain
    – member of the faceless zombie/demon/alien horde
    – wise stranger that warned those reckless kids 

    Oh gosh, my imagination is running wild here. I’m going to be cheeky and do a few:
    I’d be the (supposed) last woman, doing my utmost to stay alive, to remain undetected, living mostly on the move while killing off those damn, un-killable monsters. But, I’d find an abandoned (off-course) gas station where I’d make my base. When a group of know-it-all kids (and supposed last people alive) come my way I’ve got to get rid of them, they need to move on, so I’m going to be creepy. But as they finally leave, I’ll whisper a wise warning…because where they are headed, they are doomed. But…I told them so…njahahahahaaaa….
    Abandoned gas station?  Take 2

  1. Horror films, much like comedies, have been historically ignored by the Oscars. What horror film or horror performance do you feel deserved, but did not receive, recognition by the Academy? Strangely enough, all the horror I was going to suggest actually did win Oscars (not for performances though) – Sleepy Hollow (1999) and  Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992). The Others received a Golden Globe nomination for Nicole Kidman so that was probably overlooked. Sorry, I’m no help here but yes, performances should get more attention and not only effects, music etc.
  2. Which subgenre of horror is most appealing to you (noting that these subgenres often overlap):
    • action horror
    • ‘B’ movies/camp
    • body horror
    • comedy horror
    • disaster/natural horror
    • giallo – what is this? I’m so green when it comes to horror…
    • gothic horror – after the recent Gothic Horror Blogathon, I’m tempted by this.
    • horror thriller – sounds good but not sure my nerves will handle it…
    • kaiju
    • psychological horror – this was the last type of horror I watched because it usually all had some explanation to it. And with that, I could cope.
    • science fiction horror
    • slasher
    • splatter
    • supernatural horror
  1. Assuming you observe Halloween, describe a favourite costume (scary or otherwise) that you have worn. Oh, without a doubt my lovely Red Riding Hood Cape that I’ve made from a nice heavy material. It has a hood that covers the face so nicely:
    RedRidingHood
  2. What is your greatest fear/phobia? That our future is going to be like all these dystopian movies (another genre I can’t watch).
  3. You die only to awaken as a ghost, vampire, or zombie. What do you do? I go feed…I’m a vampire after all…but a romantic gritty type take on the vampire. Like Lena in Wir Sind die Nacht (We are the night).
    WirSindDieNacht
  4. Darkness falls across the land. The alien invasion has begun.  Civilization is collapsing.  The dead are returning from the grave.  Cthulhu is rising from his eternal slumber.  The Horsemen of the Apocalypse are on the ride.  It’s the end of the world.  You are among a small group boarding an experimental starship to escape to another galaxy.  You are allowed to bring any three items of your choosing.  What do you bring (and no fair bringing something ‘useful’)? You said Items…so I’ll stick with that…but hang on…everything cool is useful…that samurai sword, or the kick-butt knife I can gouge an alien’s eye out and watch it oozing gloop. Or that camera with flash that can take photos (and blind the invading alien that is about to bite my head off). I’m going to have to think this one over…

Now to the next bit…the following bloggers (not sure I’ll get 11) get my nomination. I wanted to nominate a few more but you already have the honours from Maniacs and Monsters:

Dubsism

Sam Simon of vengonofuoridallefottutepareti

Jay of Assholes Watching Movies

The Craggus

The Stop Button

The Ü

Caftan Woman

Phyllis Loves Classic Movies

sevendoorsofcinema

Book Beach Bunny

Wolfmans Cult Film

Here are my 11 questions:

  1. The number of Western movies in my DVD collection far outnumber any other genre. What genre do you have most of in your collection and, well, why?
  2. Where movies are based on books, what is it for you: book before movie, only movie, only book or each is its own medium and not compare?
  3. You have to create a story using a mish-mash of your favourite existing book or movie characters – a good character (your protagonist), a villain, a superhero and a fantastical being, who would you bring together?
  4. Now, which actors would you cast in your story in 3 above?
  5. As this is a Sunshine Award, what is the movie or book that brings most Sunshine into your life?
  6. I’ve recently watched Rear Window and now have a different take on my neighbours. I’m sure you’ve all observed your own neighbours. What is the strangest or most interesting thing you have witnessed?
  7. Is there an actor or actress who’s movies you will watch regardless of the story, genre, content, reviews etc. and why?
  8. Are you an introvert or extrovert?
  9. Favourite movie from your childhood? Does it still appeal today?
  10. Who is the most interesting villain (movie or book) you’ve encountered?
  11. It is a rainy, cold day (as today is)…what do you do…read or watch a movie?

 

 

 

Intense, heavy, tragic, excellent…

Now…where do I even start? This is such a difficult movie to “digest”. I find it extremely disturbing and heart-breaking yet I do consider Brothers (2009) an excellent movie.

Well, I guess I should start at the beginning. We’re introduced to Marine Sam Cahill (Tobey Maguire), his wife Grace (Natalie Portman) and their two little girls. We’re also introduced to Sam’s brother, Tommy (Jake Gyllenhaal) just as he is being released from prison. And then, we discover Sam is about to leave for Afghanistan in the line of duty. Shot down and reported dead, in reality he and good friend Private Joe Willis (Patrick John Flueger) have, in fact, been taken captive and undergo extreme torture* by the Taliban in a remote village.  Back home Grace and the family try to make sense of it all while Tommy additionally needs to deal with getting his own life sorted.

*I barely managed to watch these scenes on my first viewing so please be warned…they are not easy watching. And may disturb you long after the credits roll.

brothers-movieThis in itself is so heartbreaking to watch as every member of the family, from father to son, mother to daughter and even friends have their own personal daemons and grief process. While watching this I found it difficult to even try to understand what these people are going through with such a loss. The blame, the guilt, the hope and the list goes on. And we see how everyone has their own means of dealing with it. This must be so unbelievably difficult.

On the other hand, we also see positive healing in an unexpected manner. Tommy, the son who never followed his father’s military footsteps and instead went the criminal route, finally finds responsibility, a purpose and a way of rebuilding his life.

2009_brothers_011But then, Sam comes home. And things become even more difficult. The effects of Sam’s traumatic and extreme experiences (I won’t go into the details) are of course felt by all. And once again, an entire family must rediscover itself, it’s purpose, redefine relationships and question everything they thought they stood for. It almost becomes even more challenging because when presumed dead, Sam’s family had some means to move on and rebuild. But with him back that normalcy falls away. Relationships are tested. And we are reminded of the emotional impact of war. The ever-lasting after-effects. How, when the physical scars heal, those mental ones are barely, if at all, heal-able. I cannot imagine that anyone can ever fully recover from experiences such as Sam (and countless others) have.

Sam’s final line sums it all up perfectly: “Only the dead have seen the end of war. I have seen the end of war. The question is…can I live again?”. And that’s the sad thing…the lives that are ruined.

Natalie Portman and Jake Gyllenhaal as always, deliver stellar performances and even Tobey Maguire is superb in his role, earning a Golden Globe nomination. Overall, absolutely worth watching but as I said, this is a heavy one.

For more Marine related movies, head on over to my blogging friend Gill of Realweegiemidget Reviews (here) and her co-host J-Dub of Dubsism (here) for their The Send in the Marine Blogathon.

MarinesBanner

Grace shines again…

Rear_Window_film_poster…as always. I’m really enjoying watching Grace Kelly and this time I finally got around to a movie that I’ve been meaning to watch for ages. Rear Window (1954).

Here she takes on the role of snob high society fashion expert Lisa, who is desperately trying to win the full attention of her boyfriend Jeff (?, hmm, is he really? Maybe she thinks so…I’m not convinced he does). He, however, is confined to his apartment in a wheelchair due to a broken leg courtesy of some action shot he took (he’s a photographer). Bored, Jeff (James Stewart) spends his days spying on casually watching the comings and goings of the surrounding neighbours. One couple living across the courtyard is constantly fighting until suddenly, the wife is gone. Under very suspicious goings on. Lisa at first isn’t really interested – she’s more worried about serving lobster and being the perfectly styled lady around. Oh, and becoming the undivided attention. However, gradually she is pulled into the mystery of the missing wife. And eventually is fully involved in contributing theories.

I absolutely love watching Grace Kelly go from pretty much being disinterested to being hands-on with this personal investigation going on. An absolute pleasure to watch her transform yet still allow the underlying prim and proper lady to shine through. And she seems to manage this so will in all the movies I’ve seen her in (which, I’m afraid is really a small handful). She has the knack of subtly bringing out a woman who does, in fact, have more substance/strength than we initially believe. And yet she always keeps her poise.

Grace-James

As for the movie, well, let’s just focus on Grace here. She is magnificent. And gives another fine performance.

Here the movie that first introduced my to this actress: Grace Kelly’s Mrs Kane in High Noon and here she is in another Hitchcock movie: To Catch a Thief (1955).

For more of this wonderful lady, head on over to The Wonderful World of Cinema (here), Musings of a Classsic Film Addict (here) and The Flapper Dame (here), the wonderful hosts of The 5th Wonderful Grace Kelly Blogathon.

GraceKellyBlogathon

In case you missed it: The Jeff Bridges Blogathon

With so much on the go at the moment, I thought I’d just casually mention that the Jeff Bridges Blogathon is a month away. I’d love for you all to join me in celebrating this wonderful actor on his 70th Birthday.

Here’s my original announcement: Announcing the Jeff Bridges Blogathon

JeffBridgesBlogathon1

Northanger Abbey? Gothic?

Northanger Abbey_1I was quite surprised to see an image of this wonderful Jane Austen story on Pale Writer‘s Blogathon announcement. So I learn something everyday…and actually, it is right there, so obvious. Because Catherine Morland, Northanger Abbey’s main character is engrossed by Gothic stories, particularly Anne Radcliffe’s Mysteries of Udolpho. Ms Radcliffe was, in fact, one of the first writers of Gothic fiction. Or, at least someone key in making it a “genre” if you like. Something else I’ve learnt.

Any excuse to watch the 2007 rendition of Northanger Abbey again…this time for the Gothic influence. It is absolutely wonderful watching Catherine, played perfectly by Felicity Jones, daydream (and dream) of all things “horrid” and terribly suspenseful, all influenced by those novels she loves to engross herself in. I absolutely love how this movie integrates the characters into her various fantasies all dark and moody (I’m not sure how they are portrayed in the book…will find out soon though as I have it waiting patiently on my bedside table to be read) from her daily encounters…including Henry Tilney and his brother. Ultimately, our dreams and daydreams involve people we know, I guess. And don’t we all build up our own expectations of the unknown…like Catherine expects a haunted mansion with ghouls and ghosts. And Henry just loves to tease her about it.

NorthangerAbbey1

Felicity Jones is perfect as Catherine who gives us that wonderful contrast between innocence and her “wild” haunting romantic dreams. I’m enjoying J.J. Field (Henry) more and more…

Her staying over at the Tilneys’ place is a delight. I thoroughly enjoy watching her build up her own mysterious world based on her readings and what she’s heard. The lightning storm adds the perfect atmosphere.

NorthangerAbbey4

All-in-all, a wonderful movie, well worth the watch.

For other entries of the Dark and Deep: The Gothic Horror Blogathon give Pale Writer a visit (here). And be sure to check out my Sleepy Hollow post for the same Blogathon (here). And while not part of this Blogathon, also thematically fitting is a previous post of mine on The Crow both comic and movie over here (here).

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Some delightful magic…

practical-magic-poster-01Practical Magic. Remember that one? One of those feel-good Sandra Bullock movies with a bit of magic and of course, romance. I came across it again last weekend. And thoroughly enjoyed it. Again.

There’s a curse around. A curse on the Owens witches. Passed from mother to daughter, generation after generation. All because of love. Or, rather the “agony of love”. Maria Owens, casts a spell that any man who is truly loved will die. And that’s exactly where the problem for sisters Sally (Sandra Bullock) and Gillian (Nicole Kidman) comes in. Sally falls in love, with detrimental effects and Gillian, well, she also meets a man but has other problems. Ending up temporarily living with the aunts who raised them, these problems needs solving and the two sisters are left to deal with it, and a handsome investigator mostly on their own. What results is a wonderful, feel-good movie of magic, spells, family, laughter and love.

Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman are perfectly juxtaposed as sisters – different enough yet still convincing. Who better to play the two wacky aunts, and wacky they are…chocolate for breakfast, no things as bedtimes or brushing teeth (eeuw), than Stockard Channing and Diane Wiest? They remind us of what we should do a little more in our lives…worry less about what others think and just be ourselves. Granted, that is not always easy, but honestly, I think rate others’ opinions of us far too highly. There are some other lessons to be learnt but I won’t bore you with that right now.

PracticalMagic2

Back in the late 80s and early 90s, romantic (comedies?) movies had something that just worked. They were light, delightful and just…well, uhm, romantic. Especially if you had Sandra Bullock and Aidan Quinn (remember him?) crossing paths. Aidan Quinn is Gary Hallet, the detective following a lead and finding himself face-to-face with the most disliked ladies in town. Ladies who are totally misunderstood.

So, if like me, you are way too scared to watch real horror movies for Halloween, give Practical Magic (1998) a watch. You’ll smile and you’ll feel good by the end.

And remember ladies, “There’s a little witch in all of us”. Well, that’s what the aunts think anyway.

Not so sleepy…but very creepy…

…and absolutely wonderful! Full of atmosphere and eccentricity. Oh, those worlds Tim Burton can submerse us in! Welcome to the town of Sleepy Hollow:

SleepyHollow2

Where the headless horseman is in search of such object. A head that is. So intent on his mission that body after body is found clean cut and cauterised, “as though the blade itself were red hot. And yet, no blistering. No scorched flesh”. Ah…”The devil’s fire”.

Or, maybe not. After all, that’s what the constable Ichabod Crane (Johnny Depp, who here reminds us that there once was a brilliant actor before Jack Sparrow) is here to prove. “Murder needs no ghost to come from the grave. We have murders in New York without the benefit of ghouls and goblins.” But Baltus Van Tassel (Michael Gambon) reminds him that “You’re a long way from New York, Constable”. Ichabod isn’t convinced despite shaking in fear that he can barely hold his cuppa “The assassin is a man of flesh and blood and I will discover him.”.

SleepyHollow6

So his investigation begins. With magic and sorcery and curses. Add some greed and other small town secrets and you’ve the start of a potion to behold. The key ingredients though are Tim Burton and the entire cast (Johnny Depp, Michael Gambon, Christina Ricci, Miranda Richardson, Christopher Lee and every single other actor and actress involved, with Christopher Walken topping it all off as the Headless Horseman.) Finally, Danny Elfman’s music makes this cauldron of art boil to perfection.

Sleepy-Hollow-Poster-202x300Tim Burton is just phenomenal with the fantastical words he creates for us. No matter which story he tackles, he weaves a gorgeous canvas that is utterly over the top yet at the same time moody and convincing. Don’t be misled by the seeming “lighter” parts he gives us – those bright and dreamy sequences that are as menacing as the dark and misty ones.

This Halloween, enjoy some Gothic Horror with Sleepy Hollow (1999). It is worth every millimeter of film.

And if that isn’t enough, there’s plenty more of the like over at Pale Writer and the bloggers of her Dark and Deep: The Gothic Horror Blogathon (here).

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In a Nutshell: Locke (2013)

Locke_posterI went into Locke not really sure what to expect. The only reason I watched it was because I’m quite enjoying Tom Hardy at the moment. And that’s the thing with this movie…you’re not really sure of what to expect. It keeps you wondering where it is heading. You wonder what is going to unravel where the only on-screen character is driving a car and mostly making/receiving phone calls. And, seemingly all about concrete pouring. For roughly 80 minutes or so.

And then you start realising how it all fits together. And, for me it isn’t so much a story but insight into a person. Into people in general. How, through a single incident one’s entire life can crumble. The consequences of an action. Until it all falls apart, you don’t realise what you have (or rather, had).

I can’t give you many details because you need to discover this one on your own. It isn’t an action-filled movie…just driving and talking and a brilliant performance by Tom Hardy. To watch him transform right before your eyes (the camera rarely leaves him) from being the best at his job, from the perfect family man to what he ultimately reveals is unbelievable. Fantastic acting.

This one stays with you. Long after the credits roll because it takes some processing. Some time to digest and think it all through.

Strictly goes Nostalgic…

How absolutely awesome was last night’s version of Pump up the Jam? I must admit, I tried to listen to the original 80s Technotronic piece that was all the rage back in my day…I just couldn’t. But oh that Strictly Come Dancing rendition is just perfect and made me all nostalgic. Alex and Neil…great dancing you two:

And for those who want to listen to the Technotronic version…here it is:

Shelley takes no nonsense…

This is Shelley Winters to me:

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Always has been. Always will be. In fact, I don’t know her in any other role. That is, the cigar-smoking, non-nonsense taking Kate from The Scalphunters (1968). So there you have it…another secret is out. I guess I should try watch at least one other movie of hers…but you know what? I quite like her as this western lady. The one who gives tough-as-nails leader of the “wickedest, crookedest”* scalp hunters, Jim Howie (who else but Telly Savalas?), a run for his money:

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She has to though…who else would put up with kissing a man who chews tobacco and likes prunes:

Kate: “Look. Look at my skin. It’s getting all dried up. Pretty soon I’m going to look like an old prune.”

Howie: “Well, I like prunes”

She’s not scared to tell Jim Howie to run his business “like you knew what you’s doing” in such a way that all he can reply with is  “ain’t she pretty?”. And that she is. Underneath all her toughness, she dreams of a fancy house and beautiful skin. And, she’s Shelley Winters, really a pretty lady who has the perfect balance of sweetness and feistiness to pull off this role. I’m not sure who else could have been so perfectly cast opposite Telly Savalas, himself at times overpowering the screen.

Here she is, promised that after having had her hair shampooed by the humble cactus, she’ll be a fine lady:

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I think that goal was definitely achieved:

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Throughout the movie, Shelley Winters is just fabulous in her role. The perfect fit here and when facing the Kiowa chief, offering him a bottle of whiskey, she sums up her character (and performance) absolutely perfectly: “Indian Man, I don’t know how many wives you got now…but you’re going to have yourselves the damnedest white squaw in the Kiowa nation.”

If you haven’t seen this movie yet, do so. Aside from Shelley‘s performance, Telly Savalas, Burt Lancaster and Ossie Davis add their great acting skills to this western (with some comic moments added in). The story is about a fur tracker who encounters some Indians and being forced to trade his precious goods for an escaped slave. Things are further complicated when the furs end up with the renegades. For a more detailed review of the actual movie, head on over here (here).

*as so aptly described by Joe Bass (Burt Lancaster) to Joseph Lee (Ossie Davis)

Now I’m heading over to Realweegiemidget Reviews and Poppity Talks Classic Film the hosts of The Shelley Winters Blogathon  (here) to be enlightened on some more of this actress’ roles.

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The Ladd Tag…

…my dear blogging and chocolate swap friend Gill from Realweegiemidget Reviews likes a tag as much as I do…and she got me this time. The Mad About Ladd tag comes from a mad about Ladd blogger Pale Writer who I’ve recently discovered is also a western fan! Anyway, moving along, here’s the tag (albeit a little late):

  1. Please add the name of and link to the person/blogger who tagged you as well as a link to Pale Writer and her original post here.
  2. Please post your four favourite pictures of Alan Ladd as well as your favourite gif.
  3. Say why you love these four pictures and this gif.
  4. Tag four other bloggers/ people who are part of the classic film or film community on twitter.
  5. And please circulate the rules through linking this post 😊

So, point 1 done, I now need to look for pictures and a gif of an actor I’ve only ever heard of (sorry…I know, that’s soooo bad. How could I?) and not seen….I’ll be back just now…

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Ok, I found some stuff and next, I guess I’d better make some time to watch this actor..

Here are the pics and why I like (love might be a strong word for an actor I don’t know 🙂 ) them – be warned though, as I am totally unfamiliar with any of his works, my comments might just be totally out of context…but hey, I’m trying…

  1. The first one that really caught my eye…I like it purely because it looks so intriguing. So mysterious. So suspenseful. I might just need to track this movie down.

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2. The next one was just so sweet. I guess it touches a soft spot seeing parent and child together. And I just like their expressions.fb982226a6455ea18a1eb2281b685b62--famous-men-famous-people

3. Up next, weirdly enough…a similar one to my first. I guess this movie (I think it is from the same one as 1) is really calling out to me. Once again, that intrigue got my attention.

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and finally, number 4…well, this one just seemed such a “classic movie” pose. I’m the romantic at heart and this one just speaks love and that there is about to be a huge change coming but that it will eventually all work out.dorothy_lamour_dorothy_lamour_alan_ladd_wild_harvest_1947_Or0q79A_sized

Then, the gif…here it is…I’m just so curious as to how a man with a gun, obviously waiting out some situation ends up with a cat in his lap and a lady by his side…

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I’m going to have to pass the tagging of other bloggers because I think all the classic film bloggers have been tagged by this stage…if not, you’ve been tagged…tee hee.

Announcing the Jeff Bridges Blogathon

JeffBridgesI think it’s high time we have a Blogathon in honour of an often underrated but brilliant actors…Jeff Bridges! I was first introduced to this fantastic actor when I was a teen and right from that moment, he was right there on the top of my list of favourites. And there he remains to this day.

So, without further ado, here it is:

I’ll be doing a one day only Blogathon, on Jeff Bridges‘ birthday. So, 4th December 2019 it is. You can submit as many entries as you like and the topics can cover the man himself, his movies, or anything related to this versatile actor. I don’t mind duplicates as everyone is different. No previously published posts though.

JeffBridges00You know the drill I’m sure…sign up in the comments below with your topic/movie of choice and publish it on 4th December 2019. I’ll link them all up on the Blogathon page that day. Oh, and in the meantime, grab a banner from further down (or create your own) and link back to me here.

(Of course, it should go without saying that if you are not a fan, please don’t submit a post i.e. no disrespectful entries please. And, please don’t write about a movie you didn’t really enjoy just because Mr Bridges is in it. We’re here to celebrate after all. )

Here’s the roster so far:

Thoughts All Sorts – Lolly Madonna XXX (1973) and TBC

MovieRob – TBC

Pfeiffer Pfilms & Meg Movies – The Fabulous Baker Boys (1989)

Dubsism – Tucker: The Man and his Dream (1988)

Realweegiemidget Reviews – Starman (1984)

The Midnite Drive-In – The Big Lebowski (1998)

Taking Up Room – Tron (1982)

Seven Doors of Cinema – Kiss Me Goodbye (1982)

vengonofuoridallefottutepareti  (Sam Simon) – Crazy Heart (2009)

Diary of a Movie Maniac – Bad Company (1972)

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