Monday, June 28, 2010

Harry Potter

The Harry Potter series will be coming to an end on the big screen in July 2011. I'm a huge Harry Potter fan, having grown up with those characters just like I grew up with Andy from Toy Story. I had been anxiously awaiting the arrival of the new trailer for the Deathly Hallows and I finally saw it today! I posted it below for those who are interested. It will be strange with them breaking this one into two separate parts. 

I really want to go to that new Wizarding World of Harry Potter Theme Park in Orlando. I've been dreaming about it since I was informed it was going to be made, which was a while ago because I remember hearing about the plans for it back when I was in high school. Well, I guess it wasn't that long ago because that was four years ago, but it seems like longer. I've got a lot of friends and family members that are interested in going to that theme park, too, so I'll get there eventually. 

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Jack Lemmon: RIP

It's been 9 years since Jack Lemmon's death on June 27, 2001. He died from bladder cancer. I recently watched Days of Wine and Roses (1962), where he played an alcoholic married to a woman who he in turn transforms into an alcoholic. The performances by both Jack Lemmon and Lee Remick were magnificent. I felt terrible for the characters because they were struggling so much with their addiction to alcohol. I love how Jack could play both serious characters and comedic ones so well. Rest in peace!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Tornado and the Far Side of the Moon

A few nights ago, while I was relaxing watching a film on Netflix around 1 something in the morning, I heard a strange noise. At first, I thought it was just part of the movie I was watching, which was Moon (2009). Moon, for those of you who have not heard of it, is a Sci-Fi Thriller about an astronaut who has been living and working on the far side of the moon. He has a three-year contract with a company known as Lunar Industries to mine Helium-3, which is the Earth's primary source of energy.

Anyway, back to that strange noise I heard! While watching the movie, the noise I heard made sense because there were a lot of strange sounds in the Moon spaceship, so I accepted it at first. However, I became aware that the noise was emitting at different sound frequencies, which didn't make sense. Then, it hit me, the tornado sirens were going off!!!

I jumped out of my bed and started shouting to my parents to get downstairs into the basement, but they were both in a deep sleep and didn't hear me. I kept yelling and yelling for a while, but they still didn't hear me! Thinking that they must be going deaf, I knocked on their door and still shouted about the tornado siren, which proved to be a successful way of waking them. Both flew up into the air, along with the dog, and my mom ran to look out the window first. She somehow poked her eyeball in the process, which scratched it up and bruised it a little.

My mom, my dog, my cat, and I went downstairs into the basement. My dad is stubborn and wouldn't believe that the tornado siren was going off, so he stayed upstairs and refused to come down to the basement. It was quite a storm. The lightening was so intense that it looked like a spastic strobe light was going off in the sky. While we were sitting there, the cat and I heard what sounded like a tiny waterfall flowing into the house. I pointed this out to my mom, who couldn't hear it and told me it was probably outside, however, she was wrong and water was spreading everywhere. My dad was yelling from upstairs that the tornado had passed us and we could come back upstairs. We then shouted to my dad to come downstairs because the basement was flooding.

Something about the tornado weather and storms in general always makes me want to watch The Wizard of Oz. I think that I will finally watch it tonight, it has been a while.  Also, the mention of the far side of the moon always makes me think of Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" record, which when started at a certain point synchs with the plot of The Wizard of Oz. One of my teachers back in high school made us watch the movie like this for an hour.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Toy Story 3: Beyond Amazing

I finally got to see Toy Story 3. I went to an IMAX-3D showing. It exceeded my expectations to a point that I can't possibly explain in words. I absolutely loved it! This film is my favorite Disney-Pixar film and, in my opinion, the best Toy Story of them all.

I think this is the best movie that I have seen in a very long time. It deserves to win Best Picture, not just Best Animation. I'm not exaggerating its brilliance. The film has everything: emotion, humor, lovable characters, heart-wrenching scenes, you name it! If you have a chance to go out and see this film, then do it! You're missing out if you don't!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Happy Birthday: Billy Wilder!

Billy Wilder is tied as my most favorite director of all time with Alfred Hitchcock. Today, he would have been ridiculously old, 104!!!

Wilder was a genius. He wrote brilliant screenplays that never lacked quick, witty humor. I enjoy watching his films over and over again because the jokes never get old. 

Billy chatting with Audrey.

The magnificent writing duo: Wilder and Diamond.

Lemmon - Wilder

Billy displaying to Marilyn how to kiss Tony Curtis 
for a scene in Some Like it Hot; this cracks me up.

On the set of The Seven Year Itch.

Billy and Shirley on the set of The Apartment.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Toy Story

Guess what's coming out today?! That's right, Toy Story 3. I remember seeing the first Toy Story when it came out in 1995. I  became an instant fan of Disney-Pixar collaborations. What a great animated film. It's something that both children and adults can enjoy.

Toy Story is about a boy named Andy's favorite toy, a cowboy sheriff with a pull-string named Woody, who's life gets turned around after the arrival of a new fancy spaceman toy named Buzz Lightyear. Buzz believes himself to be an actual space-ranger, not a toy, and ignores Woody's welcoming to the toy family because he is set on completing his mission to return to his home planet. The other toys come to meet Buzz and instantly are impressed by him because of his flashiness. Andy is also impressed by this and he starts to like Buzz more than Woody. Consumed by jealously after witnessing Buzz's extreme popularity with the other toys and Andy, Woody tries to trap Buzz behind a gap in Andy's desk when he hears that Andy is only allowed to take one toy with him to an arcade. Buzz ends up falling out of the window and all of the toys accuse Woody of trying to murder him. Woody is saved by Andy, who ends up taking him when he cannot find Buzz. Buzz ends up hiding in the car and then attacking Woody, which leads to the both of them being lost. The two toys must learn to work through their differences and battle through some obstacles in order to get back home before Andy moves away.

This year, I took a course called Management in the Movies, which is a senior capstone course at my university. We were placed into groups in this class and we had to relate leadership and management skills displayed in a movie that can also be displayed in the workplace. Our Professor allowed us to choose our own movie because we felt that the movie choices we were provided were a bit boring. One of our group members' favorite movie happened to be Toy Story, so that's the one we chose.

It proved to be a fantastic choice. It allowed us to be very creative in our approach and present something that the entire class enjoyed, including the Professor. We decided to compare the leadership roles and skills exhibited by Woody and Buzz.

In Toy Story 2, Woody is stolen by a crazy toy collector to be sold as part of a collector's set that he is part of called Woody's Roundup, an old television show that did not stay on the air for long. Woody's Roundup consists of himself, Jessie the Cowgirl, Bullseye the horse, and Stinky Pete the Prospector. A museum in Tokyo wants to put all of them on display. At home, Woody's friends decide to set out on a rescue mission for him. Woody must decide whether he wants to be saved or sent to the museum to be marveled at forever by toy fans.

Toy Story 2 is enjoyable as well. Although, I prefer Toy Story 1 to it. I hope that Toy Story 3 will be good! It will be different with Andy going off to college and all. I wonder what will happen when he realizes that his toys have been sent to a Daycare? I can't imagine it being terrible because I haven't seen a Disney-Pixar collaboration yet that has lacked emotion, humor, or a meaningful story.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Happy Birthday: Judy Garland

Judy Garland was born in 1922, her real name was Frances Ethel Gumm. She died June 22, 1969 from an accidental overdose. I haven't seen enough of her movies, but I love The Wizard of Oz and Meet Me in St. Louis. That trolley song from Meet Me in St. Louis will randomly pop into my head. I'm going to watch A Star is Born for the first time right now. Happy Birthday, Judy. How you never won an oscar, I'll never know.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Happy Birthday: Johnny Depp

Today is Johnny Depp's 47th birthday. He is one of my favorite modern actors. He started out in one of my favorite horror films, Nightmare on Elm Street back in 1984. I saw Johnny in person when he was filming Public Enemies. I watched the entire filming of the end scene outside of the Biograph. I also saw him in the car as he was leaving the filming of a different scene. He rolled down the window, stuck his head out and waved to all of us who were standing out there. I almost died from happiness that day. I screamed things that I have no recollection of because I was in shock from seeing him, but I was told that I was screaming compliments. How thoughtful of me!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Happy Birthday: Tony Curtis!

I've met the man once and I've listened to him speak twice. Some Like it Hot is my favorite Wilder movie and I love watching it and hearing anything about it. Tony is always kind to his fans, from what I have seen. He loves to tell stories! Happy 85th birthday, Tony!

Oh, Daphne! Don't wake Josephine!


Tony and Janet Leigh with Frank Sinatra and Ava Gardner.

Sidney Poitier and Tony Curtis in The Defiant Ones (1958), fantastic movie.

Tony today, but usually he's wearing a cowboy hat.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Happy Birthday: Marilyn Monroe

I wish that I could make it to New York City this Friday, June 4. Erno Laszlo is throwing a huge Marilyn Monroe birthday party! She would have been turning 84 this year. I'll watch some of my favorite Marilyn movies today to celebrate, number one being Some Like it Hot. Happy Birthday Norma Jeane!