Movies Watched in June 2009

1. 2009/06/01 Once Upon a Time in Mexico. Action. (2003, 102 mins.) NR
2. 2009/06/01 Edison. Crime. (2005, 97 mins.) NR
3. 2009/06/02 Disturbia. Thriller. (2007, 105 mins.) NR
4. 2009/06/02 Johnny Dangerously. Comedy. (1984, 90 mins.) NR
5. 2009/06/03 A Love Song for Bobby Long. Drama. (2004, 119 mins.) NR
6. 2009/06/03 The Natural. Drama. (1984, 134 mins.) NR
7. 2009/06/04 Zulu. War. (1964, 138 mins.) NR
8. 2009/06/04 Death of a President. Drama. (2006, 97 mins.) NR
9. 2009/06/05 Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Romantic Comedy. (2008, 111 mins.) NR
10. 2009/06/05 The Secret Life of Words. Drama. (2005, 115 mins.) NR
11. 2009/06/05 Deja Vu. Thriller. (2006, 126 mins.) NR
12. 2009/06/06 Paranoid Park. Drama. (2007, 85 mins.) NR
13. 2009/06/06 Don't Say a Word. Thriller. (2001, 113 mins.) NR
14. 2009/06/06 National Treasure. Action. (2004, 131 mins.) NR
15. 2009/06/06 Duct Tape Forever. Comedy. (2002, 90 mins.) NR
16. 2009/06/07 The Jane Austen Book Club. Romance. (2007, 106 mins.) NR
17. 2009/06/08 The Great Santini. Drama. (1979, 115 mins.) NR
18. 2009/06/09 Joshua. Horror. (2007, 106 mins.) NR
19. 2009/06/10 My Boss's Daughter. Drama. (2003, 86 mins.) NR
20. 2009/06/10 And When Did You Last See Your Father?. Drama. (2007, 92 mins.) NR
21. 2009/06/11 National Treasure: Book of Secrets. Adventure. (2007, 124 mins.) NR
22. 2009/06/12 Shoot 'Em Up. Action. (2007, 86 mins.) NR
23. 2009/06/12 Paparazzi. Thriller. (2004, 84 mins.) NR
24. 2009/06/13 300. War. (2006, 117 mins.) NR
25. 2009/06/13 Sunshine. Science Fiction. (2007, 107 mins.) NR
26. 2009/06/13 Sunshine. Science Fiction. (2007, 107 mins.) NR
27. 2009/06/14 Rails & Ties. Drama. (2007, 101 mins.) NR
28. 2009/06/15 Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World. Comedy. (2005, 98 mins.) NR
29. 2009/06/16 WALL-E. Animation. (2008, 98 mins.) NR
30. 2009/06/17 The Rock. Action. (1996, 136 mins.) NR
31. 2009/06/17 WALL-E. Animation. (2008, 98 mins.) NR
32. 2009/06/18 Pieces of April. Drama. (2003, 80 mins.) NR
33. 2009/06/18 The Matador. Crime. (2005, 96 mins.) NR
34. 2009/06/18 Ocean's Twelve. Crime. (2004, 125 mins.) NR
35. 2009/06/20 Righteous Kill. Crime. (2008, 101 mins.) NR
36. 2009/06/20 Searching for Bobby Fischer. Drama. (1993, 110 mins.) NR
37. 2009/06/22 Valkyrie. War. (2008, 121 mins.) NR
38. 2009/06/23 Pineapple Express. Comedy. (2008, 111 mins.) NR

Listed 2012/04/02 at 03h32ET.

Weights only.

...reached a new level...

I

n the last three plus years, I've been disciplined and organized about my exercise, about trips to the gym. I've seen results in weight loss, toner muscles, endurance etc. Today I discovered another result: a lower at rest heart rate--in the low sixties. I was surprised and proud. In the past it was in the seventies to low eighties.

To me that's a sign of fitness, but I should also test my recovery time. I would like to know what it is these days. I suspect it's a low number as well.

Because I've seen such results and can't improve on them, I realized today I don't need to push as hard as I've been doing. There's going to be days of rest each week and instead of 9 rotations, I only did 6 today. Six is plenty.

As usual I'll have to rework my routine to fit in a five day a week routine instead of six or seven days.

Posted 2009/06/29 at 19h37ET in Exercise.

Cardio only (6.0207)

...cardio only for a change...

A

month ago today's workout would have been typical. Come to the gym and do 30 minutes on the elliptical machine. I changed it by adding in stretching and stomach crunches then bicep curls then chest presses. After 25 straight days of exercising my body said take it easier (my mind as well). As a result, it was cardio only. Tomorrow I expect to take the day off. Probably. Either that or Sunday. We shall see.

Posted 2009/06/18 at 20h51ET in Exercise.

Weights only. (6.0199)

...rushed for time...

I

had a board meeting in the late afternoon and it seemed as if I wouldn't get to the gym at all; however, I realized I could squeeze in some weights or cardio and I decided on weights. I thought I could do 9 sets, but I had to stop after 6 even with the rushing. It was still a workout.

Today was 24 days in a row. Not bad, but I think I'm going to take Friday off. I'm at 89.5KG on consecutive days and it would be good to rest my body. I've averaged 6.3 days a week in 2009. My long-term average is 6.02. I can afford to take a few days off and still be above six.

Stomach Crunches on Swiss Ball: 40 reps x 6 sets with 3KG medicine ball (Right/Left/Centre).

Bicep Curls on Swiss Ball: 9kg x 20 reps x 6 sets.

Chest Press on Swiss Ball: 9kg x 30 reps x 6 sets.

No Leg Lunges.

No Squats

Lots of stretching.

Posted 2009/06/17 at 18h45ET in Exercise.

Cardio and weights (6.0191)

...a cardio day with weights...

I

've said it before but my exercise routine changes and evolves as I learn new things, discover news things or simply get too used to a particular weight amount. Today it was about consciously doing stomach crunches in three different motions instead of simply back and forth through the middle. The first set is to the right to work the obliques. The second set is to the middle to work the abdominals. The third set is to the left to work the obliques. When I say "work" I mean a more concentration of effort on those muscles. All those muscles are working during a stomach, just some more than others. We'll see how that goes.

I'm finding it too easy to do stomach crunches and I'm wondering what is next. I keep doing more reps but there comes a point where you can't do anymore reps. We shall see.

In talking with someone at the gym today I was told I was to eat protein with every meal. I don't do that. Apparently if I don't, my body consumes some of the protein stored in my muscles. Ugh me. I was also told diet pop isn't a good for weight loss. The reason (and it's absurd): Chemicals. Have you ever seen anyone who isn't fat drinking diet pop?, she asked me. I'm not the person to ask such questions, but even if it were true, it doesn't support her claim.

Stomach Crunches on Swiss Ball: 40 reps x 9 sets with 3KG medicine ball (Right/Left/Centre).

Bicep Curls on Swiss Ball: 9kg x 20 reps x 9 sets.

Chest Press on Swiss Ball: 9kg x 30 reps x 9 sets.

No Leg Lunges.

No Squats

Lots of stretching as usual. I've definitely gotten into the habit of stretching and it makes a difference.

Posted 2009/06/16 at 20h38ET in Exercise.

Weights (6.0183)

...Never stop learning and adjusting my workout...

I

've been doing so many stomach crunches with a 3KG medicine ball (9 sets with 40 reps) day after day that it has become too easy. I think I have to do 50 reps or as many as needed to "feel the burn." I also realized I was concentrating on my abdominals and ignored my obliques. The former run down the middle, the later on each side. You have to do a different motion to get a full workout of the obliques. I've adjusted.

Today was a full weights day (i.e., heavier weights). For time reasons, to save time, I didn't do any leg lunges or leg squats. I'm not sure how many times I should do these exercises each week. Once or twice, max three times a week.

Bench Press: 14kg x 25 reps x 3 sets

Inclined Bench Press: 14kg x 20 reps x 3 sets.

Tricep Presses on Swiss Ball: 18kg x 20 reps x 3 sets.

Stomach Crunches on Swiss Ball: 40 reps x 9 sets with 3KG medicine ball. 3 sets centre, 3 sets to right, 3 sets to left.

Bicep Curls on Swiss Ball: 9kg x 20 reps x 9 sets.

Posted 2009/06/15 at 21h50ET in Exercise.

Cardio and weights (6.0150)

...eighteen days in a row...

M

y exercise routine continues to change based on new information. For example on Monday, after seven days in a row of leg lunges and leg squats, I woke up to an aching pain in the top of my knees. Nothing painful, just enough to let me know they were there. A few bends of my leg and the ache was gone. I think I know what is happening and it's nothing too serious. Age is creeping up and knees tend to take a punishment over the years. There is nothing wrong with my form, it's simply too much use. As a result I decided to stop doing leg lunges and squats. That was Monday and Tuesday. I should have got back to it yesterday since it was a none cardio day but only realized it afterwards. Today was a cardio day, 30 minutes on the elliptical machine so it didn't make any sense to me to do any today. Tomorrow I will. In the future I won't do 630 reps of leg squats during one week, especially not every single day. The same for 1260 leg lunges. That's a lot of bending on the knees. but how many times did I bend my knees doing 15 mins on the stepmill, three or four times a week? Not sure. And 90 minutes on the treadmill? It's not the first time I've felt this pain, but it's rare. That's the good news. The bad news, as you age, it'll be less rare and there's not a great deal you can do to prevent it and stay physically fit.

And another change. In the last few weeks I've drastically increased the amount of exercising I've done. The emphasis was on bicep curls and stomach crunches and legs. I've mentioned the legs with some negative side effects. No ill effects on the arms or stomach. There is however noticeably more definition and that's a good thing. On Tuesday I started applying the same technique (lots of reps with light weights) for the chest press which works the chest and triceps. I expect it should work as well. We shall see.

The best part is I hit 90.5 KG again today. That's my recent new low. I hope to see 89 something in a week or so. My target weight is between 80 and 85. I will get there.

Note: Weight amount refers to a free-weight for one hand.

Stomach Crunches on Swiss Ball: 40 reps x 9 sets with 3KG medicine ball.

Bicep Curls on Swiss Ball: 9kg x 20 reps x 9 sets.

Chest Press on Swiss Ball: 9kg x 30 reps x 9 sets.

No Leg Lunges.

No Squats

Posted 2009/06/11 at 21h17ET in Exercise.

Cardio and weights (6.0092)

...solid workout and the results are coming...

I

n the last couple of weeks I have increased the intensity and length of my workouts. I'm pushing myself to get trimming, leaner and toned. I'm seeing results. I hit a new low with my weight 90.5 KG. That was no fluke. The fat is disappearing. The tire around my waist is less noticeable. I have visions of it disappearing. It's possible given what I've been doing and the results I've seen.

Today was a long, solid workout. 30 minutes of cardio followed by weights. I thought about only doing 6 sets instead of 9 but did 9. I want to keep my promise on doing it everyday this week. It's part of my plan to see results.

Stomach Crunches on Swiss Ball: 40 reps x 9 sets with 3KG medicine ball.

Bicep Curls on Swiss Ball: 9kg x 20 reps x 9 sets.

Leg Lunges: 10 reps x 9 sets - Left/Right

Squats: 10 reps x 9 sets.

Posted 2009/06/04 at 21h01ET in Exercise.

The Natural (1984)

The Natural. Feature film. (1984, 134 mins) IMDB

...a little too Hollywood and sweet for my liking...

A

young boy growing up on a farm shows he has a strong throwing arm and can hit the ball. He's a natural baseball talent. As a young man he gets a tryout with Chicago Cubs and begins the journey to the big leagues. Before he leaves, he makes love to his sweetheart. On the train trip he meets a newspaper sports reporter and Babe Ruth. During a pit stop, a challenge is set. Strike out Ruth with three pitches. He does. The legend has begun except there's a major bump in the road. He meets a sexy woman on the train. At a hotel later, he goes to her room where she shots him with a handgun. What the!?!

Flashforward sixteen years. Our hero gets a tryout with a struggling NY major league team. He's 36 years old and has virtually no baseball experience. That's an odd story. It just doesn't happen. The manager and team don't want him, but he sticks around long enough to get a chance to prove he belongs and he does. He becomes a regular player in the three spot--their best hitter. The team starts winning games because of his hitting. They climb in the standings. The attendance goes up.

That's the first half of the story. Enter the dark part.

The manager is part owner of the team. The judge is the other owner. There's a deal in place: if the team finishes first in the NL, the judge has to sell his interest to the manager. If they don't, the manager is out.

With the help of our hero, the possibility of the finishing first is good. Enter a bookmaker and femme fatale to destroy that outcome. When she seduces him, he becomes so screwed up from sex, he can't hit. If he's not hitting, the team isn't winning.

Enter bribes from the judge and pressure from the bookmaker to take a dive and let the team lose. He won't do that.

He's saved when his childhood sweetheart enters the picture. They haven't seen each other since the day he left his father's farm. She's living in Chicago. Single mother. Working. The child is his. When she's in the stands, his hitting is back.

The climax builds to a playoff game to decide who finishes first. His late inning home run clinches the deal. They win. It's his last game in the majors.

Why? The bullet was still in him and damaged his stomach. Playing might result in a rupture and death. It doesn't matter because he goes back to the farm with the golden fields of wheat and blue sky to play catch with his son and his girl. He gets something he didn't ask for. He wanted to break all the records and be famous. He didn't get that.

I watched this film a number of years ago knowing it was a "classic." When it was over, I wondered why and asked, is that all? I ask the same questions this time. Is that all there is?

Maybe if you're a baseball fan, you'll love this movie. I suppose, but I loved BULL DURHAM and this film isn't the same.

This film never draws me in emotionally. Not once am I routing for this or that. I'm just watching and wondering when it will end.

Posted 2009/06/04 at 21h01ET in Movie Commentary.

A Love Song for Bobby Long (2004)

The Love Song of Bobby Long. Feature film. (2004, 120 mins) IMDB

...interesting characters in an unusual setting...

P

ursy lives in a trailer park with a deadbeat guy in Panama City, Florida. She sits on a couch watching TV, and, with a spoon covered in peanut butter, dips it into a bag of M&Ms. The place is a mess. He tells her she received a phone call a few days ago from Bobby Long. Bad news. Her mother died. Furious, she packs up and makes a trip to New Orleans where her mother lived in a beat-up old home she owned. The front lawn is dirt. The paint long pealed away to expose boards. Not much in the way of furniture. Old appliances. It's a mess as well.

When Pursy arrives she finds out her mother was buried the day before. Dead a the age of forty. We never meet or see her mother. We don't know what she died from. We learn she sang, but obviously not that well given her living conditions. She never married, but obviously had affairs. We don't know who Pursy's father is, but there is speculation.

Pursy also discovers her mother left the house to Bobby Long, Lawson and her. The two men are drunks. They drink all the time. They live to get drunk. When they aren't drinking they are smoking cigarettes.

Pursy decides to live in the house. It upsets the balance of life for everyone. Part the story is the battle between the three as they share this house. A house without heat and little food.

It's not hard to imagine people living in such squalor, what I want to know is how do they pay for the electricity and property taxes etc. They have no obvious source of income. None of them work. It's never fully discussed in the story.

Part of the story is the woman's touch Pursy gives the inside of the place. She cleans and paints and organizes it all. By the end of the movie, there's something approaching a liveable space within the walls.

Pursy, still high school aged but a high school drop out, wants to get a job. Be a waitress so she can buy what she needs. The other two have a better idea. Go to school. Get your GED (whatever that is). She's not interested.

We learn Bobby was an English professor, but for some reason he got to drinking. Lost his job, his wife, his family. Lawson was one of his students. He's working on a novel, but nothing is any good. Between drinks of vodka or gin, they quote from the classics. Dylan Thomas to TS Eliot etc.

Eventually Pursy goes back to school since she has trouble finding a job. The two drunks help with her studies.

Act III comes when she discovers a letter from the lawyers. There's a new deal. After one year, the place is now entirely hers. She moves all of Bobby's and Lawson's belongings out onto the porch. They are gone from the house, but they reconcile. It helps, buried in her mother's belongings is a song she wrote for Bobby Long. She discovers he is her father, not the sax player with emphysema.

There is an epilogue.

Lawson wrote a book on his experiences which serves as the basis for this movie. Long died in 2005, three years after her mother. He was 50. Probably too much abuse to his body.

Pursy is going to university.

Posted 2009/06/04 at 20h57ET in Movie Commentary.

Weights (6.0084)

...weights day--tweaking it...

I

keep tweaking my weights routine. I was on a 6 rotation workout with two types of bench presses every other rotation. Now it's 9 rotations with the two bench presses and a tricep press.

The other tweak has been to increase the resistance, increase the weight load. I was too used to the weights I had been doing.

Bench Press: 14kg x 25 reps x 3 sets

Inclined Bench Press: 14kg x 20 reps x 3 sets.

Tricep Presses on Swiss Ball: 18kg x 20 reps x 3 sets. (Changed weight/reps).

Stomach Crunches on Swiss Ball: 40 reps x 9 sets with 3KG medicine ball.

Bicep Curls on Swiss Ball: 9kg x 20 reps x 9 sets.

Leg Lunges: 10 reps x 9 sets - Left/Right

Squats: 10 reps x 9 sets.

That is one solid workout.

Posted 2009/06/03 at 20h05ET in Exercise.

Disturbia (2007)

Disturbia. Feature film. (2007, 105 mins) IMDB

...it could have been far worse...

I

t's not officially a remake but it is. This is modern take on REAR WINDOW. Instead of a photographer (Jimmy Steward) locked up in his apartment in NYC because of a broken leg, this film has a teenaged boy under house arrest with an ankle alarm. If he leaves the property, an alarm goes off and the police come right away and they do.

In the opening sequence he drives the family car on a highway. His father is in the passenger seat. Out of nowhere, the car collides with another and another. The father is dead. The son is quilt ridden.

The three months of house arrest (punishment for something that happened a year later) coincides with the summer months away from school. But his mother cuts the cable, internet, video games. With nothing to do, he becomes a voyeur and there's plenty of things to watch from his bedroom. Note: the family lives in a one-off spacious home as designed by Hollywood. Note: there is far more activity seen from his window than would be realistic. That's Hollywood and filmmaking.

He has a school friend who visits from time to time.

Then there's a new neighbour--a young, sexy woman his age. Of course she had to be the thin, blonde instead of a chubby bookworm with glasses. He loves to watch her undress and so do the kids in the theatre watching.

And there's the other neighbour (David Morse). He's a serial killer except our hero can't prove it and no one believes him.

The film leads to a point where there is a drag-out-to-the-death fight between the serial killer and this sixteen year old boy.

The film is surprisingly effective even if we know the outcome. In the end he is vindicated and he kills the killer. The hidden recesses of the neighbour's house looks like an anatomy theatre. The cops eventually come. His mother is saved, his girlfriend is saved, his best friend wasn't killed.

Still it is a teenager being a teenager and plenty of Hollywood non-sense. A film for teenagers, but it could have been so much worse.

Posted 2009/06/03 at 20h05ET in Movie Commentary.

Cardio and weights (6.0076)

...cardio and weights--longer workout than I expected...

I

was only going to do cardio followed by stomach crunches and bicep curls and even then only 6 sets. That turned into 9 sets and I did leg lunges and leg squats. I'm going to try it all week and see if I notice any difference.

30 minutes on the elliptical machine. A solid workout on it.

Stomach Crunches on Swiss Ball: 40 reps x 9 sets with 3KG medicine ball.

Bicep Curls on Swiss Ball: 9kg x 20 reps x 9 sets.

Leg Lunges: 10 reps x 9 sets - Left/Right

Squats: 10 reps x 9 sets.

Posted 2009/06/02 at 20h50ET in Exercise.

Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003)

Once Upon a Time in Mexico. Feature film. (2003, 102 mins) IMDB

...do you like lots of gunfire?...

T

he guitar player is back at it. This time there's no mistaken identity.

He's wanted by the CIA to help with a coup or to stop a coup. It's never very clear to me, but it doesn't matter. The plot is oh so involved with many players. There's the president and his back-stabbing advisor. There's the CIA. The FBI. The drug cartel and fractions within it. There's also the Mexican army and a certain General. And of course there's El Mariachi and his men.

The plot doesn't matter. It's an excuse to put action sequences on screen. In this case it's scenes where our hero is attacked and out numbered and he has to shot his way out of every situation. Bullets fly like rice on a wedding day. It's guns and guns and more guns.

The most interesting aspect of this film? The making of it. Many of the things done on screen were done digitally. Special effects shots. The film was shot with a digital camera which made it easier and cheaper to digitally enhance the film.

Posted 2009/06/02 at 20h50ET in Movie Commentary.

Edison (2005)

Edison Force. Feature film. (2005, 97 mins) IMDB

...banal, trite, nothing new here, move along...

I

t's not surprising this film was released straight to DVD. While there are top notch performers involved in making this film, the story is weak. It's weak because it's been done before and before. It's been in films and novels; it's been on TV dramas and TV news documentaries and of courses it's filed the news. What am I talking about? Police corruption.

There's a wet-behind-the-ears "journalist" (Timberlake) who stumbles on possible police corruption when he covers a court case. He's eager to win prizes and fame and goes after it, but he has no idea what he is doing. His boss (Freeman), a veteran journalist, tells him so.

We know what has happened because we saw what happened and saw the faked court evidence. The task for the journalist is get evidence to support his hypothesis.

The cops beat him up and beat his girlfriend up. That doesn't stop him. It just slows him down. The cops also kill the one witness who is in prison. Surprise, surprise. A dearth of evidence except one dirty cop (LL Cool J) has a conscience. He hasn't completely drank the Kool-Aid.

The storyline is completely predictable. There are no surprises. No reversals. No twists. The good cop helps the journalists and legit investigators in stopping the corruption.

It ends with a massive shot out where lots and lots of bad cops are killed. There's even a flame thrower involved. What?!?

There's nothing terribly wrong with the film. It's perfunctory, but not a feature film level of story. It's trite and banal. The filmmakers bring absolutely nothing new to the table.

It might have had a chance if this young reporter was all we saw until he's ambushed and attack. In other words, don't show us the cops. Don't show us the dirty deals they carry out. Focus on the reporter and put him out on a limb. Make it worse for him as time goes by, but of course you couldn't cast Timberlake for such a role. You'd need some guy who may have had military training for some reason. That gives him a sporting chance.

The other possibility. A young reporter goes on a routine court case, drafts a story and is found dead. His editor and some other reporter pick up the pieces. Plus you have to have reversals and twists. People you thought you could trust, you find out you can't. People you thought was as dirty as mud, are completely innocent. Surprises.

One final comment on the story. I don't think it was properly structured. We want to see the McDermott character punished, but not by his boss with a third of the film to go. While our hero was in peril, it was early in the film and when it happens again, he's saved by powers not his own. In one instance, the good cop kills a would-be assassin. In another, the bad guy give the talk-out-of-killing routine. He had a chance to kill him but waited and so our hero is saved. These type of scenes are weak, unoriginal and put our hero in a position of being saved instead of doing the saving.

So why did so many talented performers get involved with this project? I saw the budget was around $25 million. A big chunk of that went to the above the line costs.

Posted 2009/06/02 at 20h50ET in Movie Commentary.

Weights (6.0067)

...weights day and longer than I expected...

I

planned to do weights today and I did.

I also wanted to increase the weights on some exercises that were getting too easy. Increase the weight and reduce the reps. I'm hoping this will result in a better workout--better results. We shall see.

Bench Press: 14kg x 25 reps x 3 sets

Inclined Bench Press: 14kg x 20 reps x 3 sets (Changed weights/reps).

Stomach Crunches on Swiss Ball: 40 reps x 9 sets with 3KG medicine ball.

Bicep Curls on Swiss Ball: 9kg x 20 reps x 9 sets (Changed weights/reps).

Tricep Presses on Swiss Ball: 14kg x 25 reps x 3 sets.

Leg Lunges: 10 reps x 9 sets - Left/Right

Squats: 10 reps x 9 sets.

Posted 2009/06/01 at 21h11ET in Exercise.

Nothing Sacred (1937)

Nothing Sacred. Feature film. (1937, 77 mins) IMDB

...Carole Lombard was tops in my books...

C

arole Lombard would be near the top of my list of favourite actresses. Charming. Enchanting. Endearing. Funny. What is probably not known about her is the fact she could act. She wasn't limited to comedy. She had range, but wasn't able to use it. Sadly she died too young. What did we miss out on? A great deal I would say.

NOTHING SACRED is a romantic comedy with an emphasis on comedy. Physical comedy. Pratfalls and fist fights and slapstick. It was fun to watch because we don't see a film loaded with it as in this film. Any of today's film that try to do it fail because they take it too far or maybe the actors can't pull it off. It looks easy, but like dancing on ice skates, it's far from easy.

Lombard is a young woman living in a small Vermont town. Word reaches NYC she is dying from barium or radium poisoning. A desperate reporter wants to reclaim his tarnished name and goes after this woman. He knows there's a story, a legitimate, tear-jerking story. If he gets it, he'll be back on top.

It's not easy. No one in town trusts these big city reporters. It's complicated by the fact, the local doctor who diagnosed her is a drunk and screwed up. She's not dying, but he doesn't know that. Few people know and the secret hangs like the sword of Damocles over the rest of the story.

Once our reporter meets up with our love interest, he convinces her to come to NYC where she becomes the toast of the town. The brave woman facing death.

As required, they fall in love and marry.

As required, a solution is sought to avoid public embarrassment. The mayor, the editor and others concoct a new story where they all mourn the death of her and hold a funeral while the newlyweds honeymoon in the South Pacific. Everybody gets to go home a winner.

Posted 2009/06/01 at 21h11ET in Movie Commentary.

In the Bedroom (2001)

In The Bedroom. Feature film. (2001, 130 mins) IMDB

...two stories written independently but similar--spooky...

T

here are many similarities between this story and my novel MY DEARBORN. It's scary. I wrote my novel without any knowledge of this film or story and likewise with the people involved in this film. Parallel development. It's spooky, yet, given the nature of storytelling, there are only so many characters and ideas and it's difficult to be truly original.

The story takes place in a sleepy village on the east coast of Maine. People aren't in a hurry. There's time to take a boat out on the water, pull up lobster cages and harvest the catch. You'd expect that from fisherman, but a local family doctor does it with his son. It's a different sort of place.

The doctor's son is looking at what universities to go to or even if he should go to school. He saw his father get educated and feels it didn't do him any good, but there's more than that. This young man became involved with a woman who left her husband. She's much older with two young sons. He's mad for her. She's mad for him. There's a new family in the making except her estranged husband is violent and jealous. His parents, particularly his mother, doesn't think it's a good idea. They are trying to steer him away from her and towards school.

There was a point when I asked myself how was this story going to end? The answer: not good. I expected this young man to die, I didn't expect it would happen by the end of Act I, but that's what happens. The explosive husband comes to the house with a handgun. He shots him in the face and kills him.

What follows in Act II is the surviving parents dealing with the fall out. The loss of their son. The lack of justice from the court system. The blame game.

When it seems likely the murder will result in nothing more than a short sentence for manslaughter, the friendly family doctor takes matter into his own hands. Along with a friend, he kidnaps the man, takes him to a remote cottage where the doctor kills him with a pistol. The two of them bury his body in the woods.

The film ends with the doctor returning home in the pre-dawn hours. His wife asks him if he did it. He says nothing as he climbs into bed.

The film fades to black.

It's odd how some will criticize DIRTY HARRY for its vigilante justice, but praise this film when a similar brand of justice is metered out. Go figure.

There is interesting lack of dialogue in this film. A great deal is said without any words. That's possible when actors can bring nuisances to their performances--particularly in their facial expressions.

This film is about loss. The loss of a son. The loss of a marriage because of it. The loss of potential for that son whether it be with the woman or in school. It's also about trying to recoup and recover from those losses.

Posted 2009/06/01 at 20h51ET in Movie Commentary.