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Showing posts from April, 2007

October Sky (1990)

Monday, April 30, 2007 October Sky. Feature Film. (1990, 108 mins) IMDB ...damn rockets are fun... O n average I watch one movie a day--it's better than watching television--and tonight I watched October Sky.
At some point since its release in 1999, I had seen at least part of this movie, but at the time, it didn't do anything for me because I would have remembered more. Not so tonight. It's the late 1950s in a coal mining town in West Virginia, USA. Homer is in high school facing two options: work in the coal mines or get a football scholarship. Within the first five minutes of the movie, any football dreams are shattered with his failed tryout, but since it's a movie there has to be more and that more is Sputnik. On October 4, 1957, October Sky, the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1. The successful launch of the satellite shocked the US and inspired Homer. He wants to build rockets. It's his way out of the town, his way to avoid working in the mines, an…

Movies Watched in April 2007

Movies Watched in April 20071. 2007/04/01 Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World. War. (2003, 138 mins.) ****
2. 2007/04/01 A Month by the Lake. Drama. (1995, 92 mins.) ****
3. 2007/04/01 Must Love Dogs. Romantic Comedy. (2005, 98 mins.) **½
4. 2007/04/01 One Fine Day. Romantic Comedy. (1996, 109 mins.) ***
5. 2007/04/01 Mrs. Dalloway. Drama. (1997, 97 mins.) NR
6. 2007/04/01 Song of the Thin Man. Comedy. (1947, 86 mins.) NR
7. 2007/04/03 Stand By Me. Drama. (1986, 89 mins.) NR
8. 2007/04/04 Stand By Me. Drama. (1986, 89 mins.) NR
9. 2007/04/05 The Razor's Edge. Drama. (1946, 145 mins.) NR
10. 2007/04/06 I Capture The Castle. Drama. (2003, 113 mins.) NR
11. 2007/04/07 Shakespeare In Love. Drama. (1998, 122 mins.) ****
12. 2007/04/08 Stardust Memories. Comedy. (1980, 88 mins.) NR
13. 2007/04/09 My Life as a Dog. Drama. (1985, 101 mins.) ****
14. 2007/04/10 Sullivan's Travels. Comedy. (1941, 90 mins.) NR
15. 2007/04/10 Sullivan's Travels. Comedy. (1941, 90 mins.) N…

Commas Matter

Wednesday, April 25, 2007 ...the power of the comma... If you've ever thought that punctuation doesn't matter, is too restrictive, too pedantic then consider these two sentences.A woman, without her man, is nothing.A woman: without her, man is nothing.The same words in the same order. Replace a comma with a colon, move the other comma and the meaning is startling different.Posted 2007/04/25 at 13h32ET in Writing.

Crosby to the Worlds?

Saturday, April 21, 2007 ...Crosby only has two choices about the World championship and saying I'm not going isn't one of them... When the Pittsburgh Penguins lost their fourth game of the first round of the 2007 Stanley Cup playoffs to Ottawa the obvious question became: Would Sidney Crosby play at the World Championships?There's no doubt Steve Yzerman, this year's General Manager for Team Canada, would love to see him on the team.The are only two options for Crosby: play or feign an injury.He can't say no. For good or bad, if he declined to play, said "I don't want to go", many wouldn't forget it and many would use it to take shots at him and since he has the potential for a Wayne Gretzky like career, he has to avoid a backlash.I am therefore not surprised to see today he announced he won't be going. He's been playing with a fracture in his foot.To be expected.Posted 2007/04/21 at 18h29ET in Hockey.

Roulette Wheel Odds

Saturday, April 21, 2007 ...Even David Mamet makes mistakes... I started reading David Mamet's Bambi vs. Godzilla: On the Nature, Purpose, and Practice of the Movie Business.In his chapter on producers, he compares a movie producer to a casino gambler who bets black on a roulette wheel. After the first loss, he bets black again but with twice the money and keeps this up until he wins.Movie producers keep betting more money on the tent pole movies with the hopes it will be the next JAWS or STAR WARS. If the movie fails, the producer can't be blamed because he didn't cut any corners. "We doubled our budget."The strategy he insists is doomed to fail just like the gambler.When he writes that there is a limited bankroll for both the gambler and producer, it's easy to understand even for a multibillion dollar company. They may very well run out of funds before their strategy pays off.And he's correct when he writes about the independent nature of each roll o…

Media & Violence

Friday, April 20, 2007 limit to what television newscasts will broadcast... On April 16, 2007 I clicked on a Toronto newspaper's web site and learnt about the shootings in Virginia earlier that day. Two days later when I clicked on the same site, I saw a photo, the size of a paperback, of a man pointing a gun at me. A second newspaper had the same image. I wasn't pleased.The saying goes: don't point a gun at someone unless you intend to shot. I don't intend to get shot and I don't like the idea of a gun pointed at me even if it is a photograph.How many movies have you seen where an actor points a gun directly, in close-up, at the audience? Rarely. There is a famous early sound film where that stunt took place, but it failed miserable as people keeled over from freight.Why did The Toronto Star and The Globe and Mail think the photos were appropriate? Money.Today I read in the G&M that TV news broadcasts were playing video of this killer over and ove…