Sunday, May 30, 2010

RIP: Gary Coleman & Dennis Hopper

It seemed wrong and unfair to say R.I.P. to only one, so I had to say both. Gary Coleman died from after suffering a brain hemorrhage at the age of 42 on May 28, 2010. Dennis Hopper died after a long battle against prostate cancer at the age of 74 earlier today on May 29, 2010.

I remember watching "Diff'rent Strokes" re-runs when I was a child. I haven't seen it in a while, but I have great memories of it. It saddens me how the three kids' lives turned out in real life. One died from a drug overdose at a young age, one ended up in jail, and now another one who has died at too young of an age.

When I think of Dennis Hopper, I think of the two films that I've seen him in: Rebel Without a Cause (1955) and Blue Velvet. I've also seen Giant (1956), but it's not a movie that I really think about because it makes me so sad. 

Hopper had a small role in Rebel, but it's still awesome that he was in it. I love that movie. His character in Blue Velvet (1986) frightens me and I read that he claimed to have asked to play the part because he felt he was like that character in real life... R.I.P. Dennis Hopper. 

Friday, May 28, 2010

Happy Birthday: Vincent Price

Happy Birthday to Vincent Price, who would have been turning 99 today! The man had one of the most awesome voices that I have ever heard and his laugh was insane! Yeah, that's his voice in Michael Jackson's song Thriller. He puts so much drama and feeling into his voice, which is why it sounds so amazing.  I've posted some pictures and videos below.

I would have posted this sooner, since his birthday was on the May 27th, but I was stranded on an Amtrak train that caught fire in the first cabin. No one was hurt, thankfully. It was quite an adventurous day/night.

What has he got?!

Vincent Price and the Raven.

Uh ohs!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Stars and Insuring Body Parts: Really?

Well, I have just returned from a long day filled with work and classes. In my Finance course, we discussed credit default swaps and how they are similar to insurance policies. The mention of insurance got me to thinking about how stars have insured their body parts. I'm wondering if some of them did it for a publicity stunt:

1. In the 1920s, Ben Turpin the comedian insured his crossed eyes for about $25,000. Really? He couldn't have done an act as well without his crossed eyes? I guess they were his trademark, but still.

2. Fred Astaire insured his legs for $150,000. This is one that I can understand, since he was a dancer!

3. Bette Davis insured her waistline for $28,000. What?! How was this even allowed?

4. Cyd Charisse had her legs insured for $1 million. Again, I understand this since she was a dancer. Also, she had fantastic legs! Who wouldn't insure them if they looked like that?!

5. The Beatles got their fingers insured for £200,000 during the 1960s. I understand this one, too. How would they have made their awesome music without their fingers? I love the Beatles. Listen to them every single day.

There are many more other celebrities that have insured their body parts, some have insured more than one. Although, it does seem that legs are the most frequently insured body part. 

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Happy Birthday: James Stewart

Happy 102nd Birthday to Jimmy Stewart! Looks like I have another reason to watch some of my favorite movies tonight!  

Jimmy spying on Thorwald.

Grace Kelly and James.

My, she was lucky.

Donna Reed and James.

Jimmy having a conversation with Harvey.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Home Alone: Close Up View

This past weekend, I went on a little trip to Winnetka, Illinois. I needed a break from studying, which seems to be consuming my life. Good news is that I graduate in a few weeks, so then working will end up consuming my life, but at least I'll be paid for that! The ride to Winnetka was beautiful, the sky had cleared up and the city and lake shore look incredible in the shining sun.

Being a huge fan of basically anything that John Hughes was involved with, I was excited to see the neighborhood. The Home Alone house and the house in Uncle Buck are actually located on the same street, but in different suburbs that are right next to each other. It's easy to find the location of the houses because of Google. We also passed through Evanston, which is the suburb where Sixteen Candles was filmed, as well as Uncle Buck.

Once we got to Winnetka, we found the house right away and parked outside of it. It's a very nice house, as are the other houses in the neighborhood. I thought that the house would have been taller up close, but I think it appeared taller in the movie because of the angles it was filmed at. I took a couple pictures of it, which can be seen below:

We ended up going and ringing the doorbell of the house. The owner answered the door and we asked him a few questions. He was extremely nice and told us a lot of information. Billy was interested in whether the owners already had the treehouse that was in the film, but we were told that it was made for the movie. He pointed across the street to show us the Murphy's house, where Kevin runs to near the end of the film and gets caught by Harry and Marv. He then gestured to the house next door to him and said it was the old man's house and explained that the front of that house had been changed. We didn't recognize it and we were surprised at how large it appeared! It looks massive up close! I would have taken pictures of these other houses, but my phone was about to die. It was a spontaneous choice to go look at the house after we went out for dinner, so maybe I'll go another time and be ready to take pictures.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Pairing Films with Drinks: An Article

I stumbled upon a humorous article while on Twitter today. It's from the New York Times and it discusses pairing a drink with a film. With the amount of cocktails you see in films, it's about time that someone has written about pairing the two together.

You always have to smoke and drink on "Mad Men."

The author blames Robert Mitchum for the idea, although he was going to blame "Mad Men's" character Don Draper at first. He provides a list of cocktail and film combinations (and one TV show) that he enjoys. One that I found to be very funny and fitting was Sabrina (1953), which he paired with a gin or vodka martini, chilled, straight up, with olives. I do think you could pair this movie with champagne (or that sparkling juice for those who aren't old enough to drink yet), too. You can read the full article here.

David (William Holden) always brought the champagne! 

Monday, May 10, 2010

Fred Astaire: Happy Birthday

Fred Astaire would have been insanely old this year: 111 years old! He was born in 1899 and died on June 22, 1987 from pneumonia. Surely, we must still remember and celebrate his birth!

Fred is one of the best dancers in all of film history. If I could ever get access to a time machine, I'm going to go back and dance with him. How awesome would that be?

He also knew how to dress. The proof of this is displayed below in pictures:

Fred, pondering his dancing brilliance.

Fred springing up into the air.

Fred and Ginger looking glamourous together.

Fred looking dashingly handsome.

Fred dancing on the ceiling.

I've also included a clip from The Band Wagon (1953):

Netflix: Why did I wait so long?!

The Munsters in their badass car.

So, I finally decided to do a free trial with Netflix. After a few days, I decided that I couldn't possibly give it up afterwards! Oh, how I love it! There are so many movies to watch on instant screening, which is awesome. The selection of classics is unbelievable! They even have 'The Munsters' on there, which is one of my favorite TV shows of all time. Netflix also offers a wide variety of foreign films and horror movies, even foreign horror movies! I will definitely be continuing with it and I'd recommend it to anyone.

I've been able to watch a lot of movies because of this, which is always a good thing. I am a bit of an insomniac and I enjoy watching something when I can't fall asleep. You can only close your eyes or stare at a wall for so long and realize you're not ready to fall asleep. I've watched How to Marry a Millionaire (1953), which I absolutely loved! I might have to add that one to my movie collection. I thought it was very witty and funny. I've watched M (1931), which was an awesome thriller. It was brilliant. I'm going to have to watch more German films. El orfanato (2007), which was actually quite disturbing. Ladri di biciclette (1948), which I also enjoyed. The overall message of the film was powerful and I'd recommend watching the film to anyone. All About Eve (1950), which makes me think Bette Davis is even more awesome than I had originally decided after watching What Ever Happened to Baby Jane. It Happened One Night (1934), which made me fall even more in love with Clark Gable. I should have known I'd like this one because Frank Capra directed it! It also introduced me to Claudette Colbert, who I think is hilarious.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Happy Birthday: Audrey Hepburn

May 4th this year would have been Audrey Hepburn's 81st birthday. Why not celebrate it still by watching some fabulous Audrey movies? TCM is going to be airing 3 of her movies on May 4th: Green Mansions  at 2:00 PM (ET), Roman Holiday at 4:00 PM (ET), and Breakfast at Tiffany's at 6:00 PM (ET). I'll be missing out on this because I'll be in class taking a midterm and then going to work, but I'll probably watch at least one of my favorites once I get back. 

I won't have to study for a midterm tomorrow night and I'm so excited! I've been studying for midterms and taking them since last week. My weekend was full of studying and completing a huge project for my capstone finance class that involved forecasting a lot of data for 10 years, performing security analyses, and calculating the horizon value. I was dreaming numbers after looking at them and calculating them over for 3 or 4 days, which led to a terrible night's sleep. I'll only have to do homework, which isn't too bad after all of that! 

I plan on watching Sabrina for sure  because it is my favorite. Breakfast at Tiffany's, Roman Holiday, or Charade will follow. Not sure which one because it depends on my mood. 

Some pictures of Audrey:

Audrey reading.

Audrey jumping.

Holly and Cat sleeping.

Holly and 'Fred.'

Audrey and a cute dog.