Archive for October, 2010

Ghost Writer

I just tried to watch Roman Polanski’s Ghost Writer. First I dozed off, then I was able to predict what was going to happen…  I really wasn’t impressed, even though there are a number of good actors in the movie and some of the dialog was quite clever.

However, the plot seemed rather “been there, done that” to me.  Oh well, I have other movies to watch.

Live “Chess”

The Jamestown College theater department’s fall musical is “Chess,” a story about chess and the cold war.  I had an opportunity to watch it last night.

It was an enjoyable event, although the second half seemed to drag on a bit, especially since it got increasingly sappy.  It’s sometimes hard for me to take people seriously when they are singing about “true love” at the top of their voices.  But I digress.

Jeff Prentice, who played the Russian chess player Anatoly, is an excellent singer, so his rendition of “Anthem” was quite powerful.  Also good was “Pity the Child,” sung by Jordan Wolfe as American chess player Freddie.  But I think my favorites of the night were some of the secondary characters, particularly Brandon Bodien as the match Arbiter and Logan Caldwell as “the agent” Walter.  Both Bodien and Caldwell can sing well, and their acting is also engaging and humorous.

Best Russian accent prize goes to Morgan Bossman, who did a touching portrayal of Anatoly’s scorned wife Svetlana.  Bossman had the most believable cadence for a Russian speaking English, and her managed to bring a bit of the accent into her songs.

Most surprising singer award goes to Rhys Harries, who played a relatively minor part as Florence’s father.  When he appears toward the end of the play, he looked almost unable to speak, let alone sing.  Yet his voice was excellent.

If you’re interested in catching the show, you’ve got one more chance tonight!

Can you guess the “theme” for this quote quiz? – The theme was “scary” movies.

1.  ”I can’t live without you. And I won’t let you live without me.” – Martin Burney, Sleeping With the Enemy

2.  ”Double, double toil and trouble; fire burn and cauldron bubble.” – Witch, Macbeth

3.  ”Excluding the possibility that a female Scandinavian Olympian was running around outside our house last night, what else might be a possibility?” – Merrill, Signs

4.  ”When a man’s jawbone drops off it’s time to reassess the situation.” – The Judge, The Frighteners

5.  ”Everyone will suffer.” – Samara, The Ring

6.  ”One, two, three, four, five, six.  One, two, three, four, five, six. Trick or treat, I give you treats and tricks! One, two, three, four five sssix!” – Emily (sort of), The Exorcism of Emily Rose

7.  ”That’s the problem. He was dead to begin with.” – Ichabod Crane, Sleepy Hollow

8.  ”Listen… do you smell something?” – Dr. Ray Stanz, Ghostbusters

9.  ”He told the truth, and once you tell the truth, everything else is just cheap whiskey.” – Sheriff Buck Olmstead, SwitchBack

10.  ”Look, I don’t care what the telly says, all right? We have to get out of here. If we don’t they’ll tear us to pieces, and that is really going to exacerbate things for all of us.” – Shaun, Shaun of the Dead

Which one?

I’m trying to decide whether I should watch Fight Club (no, I haven’t ever seen it yet) or The Man Who Knew Too Much.  Well, I should say I’m trying to decide which one to watch first, since I have both in my possession.

I know!  I can watch them both, back to back!

Just in time for Halloween?

I just found this little treasure.  Yeah, pay special attention to picture #9.  It’s hilarious.  Or frightening.  Or both?  You tell me.

http://www.foxnews.com/slideshow/entertainment/2010/10/26/nope-costume/?test=faces#slide=1

Where did all my thoughts go?

I think they blew away.  Seriously, it’s a bit breezy out there, people, in case you hadn’t noticed.

But maybe I can find some answers out there, since as we know, the “answers are blowing in the wind.”

I don’t know what Lea Michele and Dianna Agron were thinking when they did that controversial photo shoot with GQ. I don’t imagine, though, that they are really helping any of their “fellow” high schoolers.  Sure, maybe they can pull off posing in clothes like that, but does that really help girls (and guys) of the age they’re supposed to be portraying?  I think it will cause more problems in the long run.  But maybe it’s just me, since I haven’t been sipping the Glee koolaid.

Although I do get a lot of news (especially entertainment and media-related news) online, one of my favorite print sources is the Wall Street Journal.  I’m sure some of you are thinking, “What? Isn’t that paper all about financial news and investing?”  Actually, it’s not.  The WSJ has excellent editorials, good media reporting, and nice precises of major news stories.

One of my favorite movie reviewers, Joe Morgenstern, writes for the WSJ.  His reviews are generally less snarky than many other reviewers, yet he has some good insights.

And my affection for the WSJ has been solidified by the fact that they’ve run two pieces (that I know of) on Alexander McCall Smith.  In fact, I will share the link for the most recent one, since I think it’s something everyone should read.  He’s talking about the tendency to be too verbose…or should I say prolix?

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703440004575548170190455294.html?KEYWORDS=alexander+mccall+smith

I remembered something else that the WSJ did that was unique and informative.  Around the time the movie Temple Grandin was released, they had a full-page interview with Temple Grandin.  It was not much about the movie.  In fact, it was more about how far she’s come in life, and some of her unique perspectives and advice.

Quote Quiz 10.22.10 – Answers

The penultimate quiz for October…

1.  “Lady, you’re about a half a bubble off plumb, and that’s fer sure and fer certain.” – Matthew Quigley, Quigley Down Under

2.  “Please tell me you’re not one of Toulouse’s oh so talented, charmingly bohemian, tragically impoverished writers?” – Satine, Moulin Rouge

3.  “If you build it, he will come.” – Field of Dreams

4.  “You can’t be wise and in love at the same time.” – Bob Dylan, No Direction Home

5.  “Three hundred lives of men I have walked this earth and now I have no time.” – Gandalf, The Two Towers

Reason #98 why I like NCIS

I spent the past weekend helping with some winterizing projects for my family.  It was rather grueling–though rewarding–work, so none of us felt like doing anything “exciting” during the evenings.  So we watched NCIS.

This is yet another illustration of the awesomeness (that’s right, I used that word) of the show.  We all enjoy the show, although I’m sure most of my family is not quite as obsessed with it as I am.  It’s a testament to NCIS that it appeals to such a variety of people.  I hope the show continues for a while yet!