Saturday, July 31, 2010

Happy Birthday: Harry Potter!

Yeah, that's right, I am recognizing a fictional character's birthday. Today would be his 30th birthday, he was born on July 31, 1980. It is also Jo Rowling's birthday today and she has turned 45. I loved all the books and I miss having more of them to read. It was so exciting when a new Harry Potter book was set to come out. Maybe, I'll end up re-reading the entire series again. It's been a while, so I should still enjoy them.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Happy Birthday: Joe E Brown

I love this guy! I've only seen him in one movie and that's Some Like it Hot. He is hilarious in it. He played Osgood Fielding III, the perverted older man attracted to Jack Lemmon's character, Daphne. Happy would have been 118th birthday!!!

I guess he was quite the sports guy.

"Well, nobody's perfect!"

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Mad Men: Season 4: It's a Mad Mad Mad World

I'm so happy that it has returned! I've missed it so. I'm obsessed, I'll admit it. I started watching 'Mad Men' for the first time a few months ago and I instantly fell in love with it. The fashion might be my favorite part, along with the ad agency and the insanely dysfunctional characters. The time period is one of my favorites as well, the 1960s. Not that I was alive then, but I'm still allowed to love it. A lot of interesting and traumatic historical events occurred during that time period! Like, the assassination of Martin Luther King, the assassination of President Kennedy, and the death of Marilyn Monroe.

Season 4 has a different feel to it so far, compared to the first 3 seasons. It was expected though because a lot of crazy things went down during last season! The premiere was well done and compelling. We got to see where everyone is at and some of the storylines were set into place. I can't wait for the twists and turns to start this season! I have a love-hate relationship with the majority of the characters. Sometimes, I really can't believe the things that they've done! Other times, I can understand the reason for why they have done such things, so I sympathize with them! I'm so happy it's back! Everyone should watch it!!! Everyone!!!

Meet: Donald Draper: Who is he? 
Betty Draper Francis: Ex-wife of Don: Mother of 3
Roger Sterling: Partner of Sterling Cooper Pryce and Draper
Joan Holloway Harris: Office Manager of SCPD
Pete Campbell: Partner of Account Management at SCPD
Peggy Olson: Creative Copywriter at SCPD

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Prestige

Are you watching closely?

I've been watching a lot of Christopher Nolan films. A couple of nights ago, I finished watching The Prestige (2006). I really enjoyed this film. It's based off of the novel written by Christopher Priest, which I've been wanting to read. I've just finished up with a Raymond Chandler novel the other night, so I might end up getting The Prestige when I go to the bookstore again.

The Prestige is about two magic apprentices, Rupert Angier (Hugh Jackman) and Alfred Borden (Christian Bale), turned rivaling magicians. A tragic event induces their rivalry and eventually takes toll on both of their lives. The two become obsessed with outdoing one another. Jealously consumes them and nothing else seems to matter, besides hurting each other, which eventually affects and jeopardizes the lives of others around them.

The plot is much more complex than what I've described, but I gave you a little taste of it. The storytelling is compelling, the acting is superb, and the film has spectacular cinematography. Also, it's loaded with suspense, which is always a plus in my eyes. If you haven't seen it yet, then you must see it soon!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Happy Birthday: Natalie Wood

Natalia Zakharenko, also known as Natalie Wood, was born on July 20, 1938. Her acting career began when she was a child and it progressed through her teenage years to when she became an adult. Her last film was released was Brainstorm (1983), which was just about three years after she had died. Natalie died after she drowned in the ocean after having fallen off a yacht that she was sailing on with her husband Robert Wagner and her friend Christopher Walken. The story of her death is quite odd and suspicious, but we'll just have to go with it, I guess.

Natalie was nominated for 3 Oscars. The first being one of my favorite movies of all time, Rebel Without a Cause (1955), for her role as Judy. The second nomination was for her performance in Splendor in the Grass (1961), for her role as 'Deanie' Loomis. She was crazy good in that film!! Her last nomination was for her performance in Love with the Proper Stranger (1963), which I have never seen.

She was in a lot of other fantastic movies as well, like West Side Story and Sex and the Single Girl. Other movies, too, I just don't want to write them all! RIP Natalie and happy would have been birthday!!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Inception: Review

Earlier today, I went to see Inception in the IMAX. I thought it was spectacularly well done. Christopher Nolan wrote an extraordinary screenplay and translated it to film marvelously. The acting is brilliant as well; solid performances from everyone. Leo especially, he always ends up impressing me (like when he played Arnie Grape and Jim Carroll). Nolan definitely got all the right people for each of the main roles. Also, the cinematography and art direction were fantastic. I loved the different countries that were shown as well. I highly recommend this film because it is so engaging. See it now if you want to see something amazing! I want to go see it again already!


Saturday, July 17, 2010


So, the other night I found that Following (1998) was on the instant streaming on Netflix. I wrote a previous post declaring my love for Christopher Nolan's writing and films a few posts ago. This film has only increased my love. Following Nolan's debut of a feature length film. It's in black and white and feels a bit like Memento when watching.

The film is about an aspiring and meek writer, Bill, who one day decides to follow a stranger. After doing this, however, Bill finds himself inclined to follow even more strangers. He follows them to learn more about who they are, what they do, and where they go, so that maybe from them he can get an idea for a character in one of his stories. Bill establishes a set of rules that he must abide by to make following these strangers seem like an ok thing to do. However, he quickly breaks this rule and finds himself following a particular man, Cobb, on a regular basis.

One day, Cobb notices that Bill has been following him and decides to confront him on it. Similar to Bill, Cobb has an interest in peoples' behavior, but instead of following them to learn about them, he burgles them. Cobb decides to take Bill along with him to show him what he does on a daily basis. After the two burgle a particular woman's flat, Bill becomes captivated by her because of all the pictures she has of herself and decides to follow her next. Eventually, he decides to introduce himself to the woman and they begin seeing each other. She tells him this awful story about what her ex-boyfriend did to someone else in her apartment. These leads to Bill wanting to help her and he offers to do a favor for her that involves a break-in. Cobb becomes enraged once he learns about this. What has Bill gotten himself into? He'll soon find out.

Following: The Trailer

I highly recommend this film to anyone who enjoys a thriller that makes you think. It is also full of suspense. Nolan likes to put films out of chronological order. I love that. Nolan always writes about intriguing characters as well. I found Cobb (yeah, this is the same name as Leo's character in Inception) to be the most interesting of them, which does not mean that I  approve of how that character behaves, but he sure is engrossing.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Happy Birthday: Ginger Rogers

Ginger Rogers was born with the name Virginia McMath on July 16, 1911 in Independence, Missouri. She got the nickname Ginger from a little cousin who wasn't able to pronounce the name Virginia correctly. Ginger is best known for her dancing and being partnered with Fred Astaire. She is one of my favorite dancers of all time, as is Fred. Also, she won an Oscar for her performance as Kitty Foyle in Kitty Foyle: The Natural History of a Woman (1940).  Ginger passed away on April 25, 1995 in Rancho Mirage, California from congestive heart failure. She would have been 99 years old today!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Happy Birthday: Ingmar Bergman

Ingmar Bergman was born on July 14, 1918 in Uppsala, Sweden. He died on July 30, 2007, but I'm not sure why. Maybe because he was 89, but my great-grandma lived until she was 100, so 89 isn't too old in my opinion! He is widely considered one of the best directors in motion picture history. R.I.P. Ingmar and happy would have been 92nd birthday.

I've only just recently discovered Ingmar Bergman and I am highly impressed by him. I watched his film Wild Strawberries (Smultronstället 1957), which he both directed and wrote the screenplay for. It is brilliant. It is beautiful. The cinematography is stellar. It is also witty and humorous at times. It is also very interesting and intriguing. I loved the characters. The acting was remarkable. I obviously really enjoyed this film! It's a must watch!

The film is about an elderly man, Isak Borg (played by Victor Sjöström), who is a professor of medicine and an accomplished physician. He is traveling to Lund in order to receive an honorary award. His daughter-in-law comes along with him for the trip and they meet some strangers along the way who end up traveling with them. During the trip, Isak finds himself experiencing intrusive dreams and hallucinations that relate to and explore some of his past experiences in life that have affected him tremendously. From these, Isak is able to analyze his life, confront his fears, and contemplate the man that he has become. 

Ingmar inspecting a model of a shark. Not sure why...

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Happy Birthday: Yul Brynner

Today would have been Yul's 90th birthday. He passed away from lung cancer on October 11th in 1985. The guy was an awesome actor and he looked good with that shaved head.

He won the Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role for The King and I back in 1956. He was said to have remained good friends with his co-star Deborah Kerr after filming that movie. Also, he was the one who insisted that she be given the part of Anna.

An interesting fact about Yul is that he was also a gifted photographer. His daughter, Victoria Brynner, put together some of his photographs and put them into a book, which is called Yul Brynner Photographer. A picture that he took of Ingrid Bergman is on the front cover of it.

Another interesting fact is that he was a circus acrobat before he became an actor. It was because of a serious acrobat accident that he ended up acting.

Yul's reflection in the mirror as he is taking a picture of Ingrid Bergman. Love it.

Yul with Deborah Kerr. 

Yul supported himself as a guitarist and singer before his acting career took off.


Fantastic video of Yul on 'What's my Line?'

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


Christopher Nolan is one of my favorite modern directors. I love Memento (2000) and The Dark Knight (2008). Batman Begins (2005) was enjoyable as well, but I feel that Memento and The Dark Knight surpass it. The plots and characters of Memento and The Dark Knight intrigue me. I don't know why I haven't seen some of his other films yet because I've been wanting to, but I will see them fairly soon.

To me, Inception appears as though it will be a fantastic film. I love the casting of it, mainly because of Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Cillian Murphy, and Marion Cotillard. Also, the story line of the film is strange and it entices me into the plot even from just watching the short trailer. I need to see this film, now! This movie is about dreams and using the mind in order to invade someone else's subconscious during their dream state. DiCaprio's character, Dom Cobb is the ultimate master of this and he has been invading others' dreams in order to steal ideas from them. This has made him a fugitive and has cost him everything. However, he is given the chance to redeem himself if he can do the impossible with his team of specialists, which would be to plant an idea into someone's subconsciousness rather than steal one away. Who or what will try to stand in the way? Will they succeed or not? I guess we'll just have to find out on July 16th.