Category Archives: director

Spirit of Halloween “Lives” in These Vehicles!

Standard

Halloween Cars and Vehicles

In Delaware, a group of Zombies climb annually out of a rented

Hearse. They turn on the music of “Thriller,” sung by Michael

Jackson. My children and grandchildren tell me this Halloween

tradition lives on, in Delaware, Ohio.

Mom and I were happy to get up, she put on a black and white

top, an orange sweater along with a white ghost pin. I wore this

Halloween shirt, that has spiders’ webs, with black velvet spiders

and a haunted house. On the back of this shirt, which has orange

sleeves is a very large velvet spider. I walked with Mom down to

get our pumpkin donuts, frosted in cream cheese icing, along with

a cup of cider and one of coffee, too. We passed some of the candy

out to the morning servers, teens that Mom has connected with,

over the past two years.

I read a great summary of several famous vehicles that embody the

spirit of Halloween and need to give, Terry Troy credit for his news

in the Automobile Sales pages of Wednesday’s Cleveland Plain Dealer.

 

Here are the three vehicles that will go in order of ‘scary’ effects:

#1.  “Christine,” from Stephen King’s book is a 1958 Plymouth Fury,

who is filled with Satan’s soul, according to the thrilling novel. They

used between 20 or more Fury cars, some were destroyed in stunts or

used for parts. This “Christine” is indestructible and a determined “fury.”

 

#2. “Duel” is a memorable horror story of a 1955 Peterbilt 281 tanker truck,

who is chasing through the desert and mountain two lane roads, poor mild-

mannered Dennis Weaver’s character. He is driving a Plymouth Valiant, 1971.

This was, by the way, Stephen Spielberg’s first feature length movie, a triumph

in suspense and deadly scenes, released in 1971. Loud and scary horn is sounded

in a seemingly ‘driver-less’ truck that is relentless in its pursuit.

 

#3. “The Munsters”  television series was funny and not so scary, in my mind, as

the more hauntingly creepy “The Addams Family.” In the show, the Munster

family has two vehicles of note. One that you see more often is that of the family

car, called “Munster K0ach.” Fred Munster would take the family out for a drive

and the neighbors and other travelers on the road would pull over. This strange

but fun vehicle consists actually of three Ford Model T’s cut up and reconnected.

This iconic car was assembled by the famous George Barris, famous for other

television and movie vehicles. His other car constructions consist of the Batmobile,

Beverly Hillbillies Truck and KITT from Knight Rider show.

The “Munster Koach” used to tour with Fall car shows around the country. There

was a year it made it to the Marion Southland Mall, where my three children were

able to peek inside and see the red velvet interior, similar to the fabric used in caskets.

The goggle-wearing “Grandpa” character played by the great Al Lewis, was called,

“Drag-U-La” and was designed by Tom Daniel and built by George Barris.

 

 

 

Hope you have a Happy Halloween!

Also, hope you enjoyed this post paying homage to creepy Halloween vehicles, found

in movies and television.

Do you have a scary movie to add, whether or not it holds a vehicle?

Tear-jerkers: Memorable plus Meaningful

Standard

While discussing my recent movie reviews that were less than favorable, my friends

were suggesting I make a list of memorable and meaningful movies I would still

recommend despite sad, unusual or discouraging endings. This will help you to get

a better idea of my movie entertainment tastes and interests. Hopefully, this will

also spur some additions or explorations into movies you have not yet experienced.

 

I think that I may have overdone my expressing ‘dislike’ for “Gone Girl.” In the past,

while a younger and more adventurous woman, I may have hung on tightly to the

‘roller coaster ride’ of this fine, well-received movie. After all,  Jack Nicholson was

hugely entertaining in the suspenseful thriller movie, “The Shining.” Rosamunde

Pike was chilling in her portrayal of Amy, in “Gone Girl.” Reminds me how I did

enjoy Glenn Close’s psychotic character in 1987’s “Fatal Attraction.”

 

Lastly,  I hope to shed some light on the subject of movies, for ‘drop-in’s’ or new

visitors to my posts, who may think I am all sunshine and happy endings only!

 

Here is my List of Favorite Movies which are varied in subject matter, ‘genres’

and widely spaced in their production and release dates. They include ‘gooey’

love stories, star-crossed lovers,  along with ‘gory’ and intriguing plot lines.

 

1. “Deliverance,” a fine movie which featured great performances from both Ned

Beatty and Burt Reynolds. It was not pleasant, but it was informative and held my

interest throughout this feature. I am sure it won awards, too.

 

2. “Dr. Zhivago,” which probably did win an award for best song, “Lara’s Theme.”

If you loved this one, it may have been because you cherished the book, too. Julie

Christie was gorgeous, the scenery was captivating and I could not take my eyes off

of Omar Sharif. The historical element and the details were perfect, along with the

war-torn, epic love story.

 

3. “Diary of Anne Frank.” (No need to explain why this movie was significant. Along

with many of my mother’s friends thinking they chose exactly who should play this

role and Millie Perkins did an excellent job in the 1959 classic. The 2009 mini-series,

for television was a good one, to help bring awareness to another generation.)

 

4. “Casablanca,” made me fall in love with Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman.

This iconic love story included historical features and another war story.

“Play It Again, Sam,” although a friend informed me, it never was included in the

movie. It is implied by both the main characters asking for him to play  the song,

“As Time Goes By,” more than once. It became a common expression, most young

people even know where it (sort of) comes from…along with Woody Allen using it

later,  in his film title.

 

5. “Flowers in the Attic,” recently remade, done well for television. This is an example

of a fascinating, dark subject, including incestuous behavior. It was a great book with

a well written script. Louise Fletcher, who did an outstanding performance in this

movie, also portrayed Nurse Ratched in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.”

 

6. “Love Story,” which brought my Dad and me together, reading it, first in the Reader’s

Condensed Version, which came to our house. Then, he went right out and bought the

full  hard book version. Our whole family went to see the movie, knowing we would need

tissues, enjoying Ali McGraw and Ryan O’Neal, in their roles.  “Not a dry eye in the (movie

theater) house.”

 

7. “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” which I jokingly say is to blame for my vastly

inappropriate husbands. Paul Newman and Robert Redford played the bank robbers, who

up until the very end, did not use guns to hurt people. The last freeze-frame of the partners,

coming out of their hiding place, to the Mexicans shooting their guns, is unforgettable. I

also, surprised my parents, by taking our Encyclopedia Brittanica out when we got home,

finding the “Hole in the Wall Gang” article there. They had thought it was a fictional story,

and later, proud of the efforts of both Paul Newman and Robert Redford’s philanthropic

projects: “Newman’s Own” foods (sauces, dressings and other products) and “The Hole in

the Wall” children’s ranch for those disadvantaged kids, other benefits like scholarships

available.

 

8. “Saving Private Ryan,” which is another sad story but it is more realistic than most

war stories. I point this out due to my brothers and others who enjoyed John Wayne’s

versions of war while growing up. The Viet Nam movies, such as “Apocalypse Now”

and “Born on the Fourth of July,” include violence, drugs, Agent Orange and some

powerful, memorable characters.

 

9. “Brian’s Song,” which won a few awards, I am sure. Brian Piccolo, along with

his best friend made sports and cancer a household subject to talk about. If it could

happen to a young, vital athlete, it could happen to . . . anyone.

 

10. “Flowers for Algernon,” which had the futuristic subject of how drugs could

potentially raise a person’s I.Q.  If you never saw this one, it is very well done. This

makes you appreciate the way science fiction can be gently inserted into a movie,

without being overdone. Matthew Modine plays the man with retardation, in the

newer 2000 version,  Cliff Robertson was the fine actor to watch in,  “Charly.”

Both were based on the short story, “Flowers for Algernon.”

 

11. “Clockwork Orange,” which was a book I was required to read in high school. Our

class went to see the movie together. It is not everyone’s “cup of tea,” but it was a break-

through movie with fantastic performances by a young Malcolm McDowell and directing

by Stanley Kubrick.  Anthony Burgess’ science fiction book was disturbing, but has

significance and meaning. Visualizing the book did not match how powerful the film was.

Our classhad great discussions after viewing this, about what personal rights criminals,

particularly juveniles, deserve. Where the boundary of “Big Brother,” (government and

courts) also begins and ends.

 

12. “Romeo and Juliet, ” which broke the ground rules of lack of male nudity prior to

this movie in the 70’s. I think you may know why anyone would like all versions of

this movie, since it is considered ‘classical’ to love Shakespeare.

 

13. “West Side Story,” with the Hispanics and Caucasians fighting over their areas

of the city or ‘turfs’ among rival gangs. A beautiful love story, with music and great

choreography. The movie’s ending could disappoint you, if you did not know it was

based on #12’s book and movie themes.

 

14. “Out of Africa,” which was absorbingly written by Isak Dinesen. It has Robert

Redford, Meryl Streep, many British actors and the scenery is outstanding. What a

magnificent love story!  The ending made my Mom and me weep in July, while we

watched this for our ‘umpteenth’ time. What I could not get over, this recent viewing,

was how young the two leading actors were, when they made this movie.

 

15. “White Fang,” other Jack London stories, have the naturalistic side of ‘survival of the

fittest,’ along with beautiful Alaskan and other frontiers featured. The 1991 movie, with

Ethan Hawke was ‘panned,’ by critics, given the “Rotten Tomato” award.

 

16. “Dallas Buyers Club,” AIDS and Matthew McConahey, along with the wonderful

supporting actors and actresses, made this a rich, intelligent, humor-sprinkled movie

about a serious subject. I liked Jared Leto’s sympathetic portrayal of a transvestite.

 

17. “Philadelphia,” with Tom Hanks. Need I say more? Fantastic movie, need your

tissues but I watched it again recently, it still ‘holds up’ to the test of time, my gauge

or ‘thermometer.’ Wide variety of actors, along with exploring our fears of HIV and

Aids in a movie. Bruce Springsteen’s song, “Philadelphia,” is hauntingly beautiful.

 

18. “Fargo,” the Coen brothers have done funnier, (“Raising Arizona” with Holly

Hunter and Nicholas Cage) but this one is the ONE that hangs in my mind, lingering.

If you were to compare it to anything else, in the way of ‘thrillers’ they would ‘pale.’

Great writing skills! Frances McDormand is excellent in capturing the Minnesota

accent and delivering a pregnant police woman realistic, classic  lines. William H.

Macy and Steven Buscemi are outstanding in their quirky parts.

 

19. “Steel Magnolias” had Julia Roberts dying. What else do you need to know? Many

famous actresses, including Dolly Parton, Sally Fields, and Shirley Maclaine bring

the comic relief. Good support from the male actors in this movie, also.

 

20. “Terms of Endearment,” with Shirley Maclaine, Jack Nicholson. Debra Winger

is dying. The family dynamics and the careful writing is a good combination, realistic

and gritty at times. Jeff Daniels plays the husband, who is not likable, a switch from

his typical roles.

 

I did not add a lot of old, classic and Iconic movies, since I know there are much better

critics of these, so please share… (like “The Count of Monte Cristo” or “In the Name of

the Rose.”)

 

What melodramatic movies do you enjoy, despite not always being popular with the

critics?

How do you like to escape into movies? Through romance, drama, action or historical

fiction or ??

Intermissions: Oscars’ Commercials

Standard

As with the televising the Golden Globes, the

Grammy’s and the Super Bowl 2014, the 86th Academy

Awards show had the best, most fun commercials I had

seen for at least a couple of weeks!

I think the most imaginative and creative commercial

used one of my own personal favorite “devices,” of

wordplay! The word was “garage” and the writers went

‘to town’ with that and the variations that we all

associate with the use of the word.

Do you know which product I am talking about?

Can you guess what the name brand is yet?

I like that the commercial, itself, doesn’t

reveal the product until they have fun playing

with word usage.

The advertisers start by listing inventors. Leading

your imagination to fill in the blanks.

“The Wright Brothers started out in a garage. The

companies of HP, Apple, and Amazon were created,

out in garages. Famous ‘garage bands,’ like the

Ramones, made music in a garage…

Some of the most remarkable innovations in the

world have rolled out of a garage. . .

Introducing the 2014 Cadillac.

It goes to show you, never underestimate the

power of a garage.”

(This is paraphrased, may have extra details

in the actual commercial!)

J.C. Penney has come up with a new advertising

campaign, capturing my attention. I find myself

studying and staring at the people out in the

world, enjoying the outdoors, some dressed up in

classily designed clothes. Watching others in

casual wear clothes on urban streets. I think

the CEO’s have some fabulous clothing designers

on ‘board’ at JCP!

I like the nostalgic device of using the song,

“Everybody’s Talking.” This great Harry Nilsson

song includes the lyrics of, “Only the echoes of

my mind.” I also love sweet, green and good ole’

Kermit the Frog, too. These memory-evoking ploys

are being utilized by the Lipton Tea Company.

I loved the new Google Play stories and movies

commercial. It has short clips of famous books

characters and movies. I think this is always

good product placement, during an award ceremony,

to have intermissions giving ‘homage’ to film and

the power of WORDS, too!

The montage of clips of international heroes,

including comic strip ones, like Captain America

and Superman, has a clever product attached.

One source on the internet (beliefnet) said:

“The Pepsi Mini had a better tribute to the magic

of movies than the Oscar’s broadcast clip reels.”

Here are 2 of the advertising slogan for Pepsi

Minis:

“Pepsi- Little cans with Epic Satisfaction.”

and,

“A movie quote can be as satisfying as a

Pepsi Mini.”

Whoever doesn’t laugh out loud or snort their

drink while watching Tina Fey’s newest two or

three commercials for the American Express

company, doesn’t have a sense of humor!

I was actually drinking an iced cappuccino, that

I have created and make my ‘week’s consumption’

on Sunday. I was in the middle of a sip when here

is Tina Fey, of Saturday Night Live fame, writer

and director of several movies, actress in the

movie I think is both hilarious and heart-warming,

“Admission” and the famous ‘impersonator’ of

Sarah Palin. She is in a black and white short

film, crouching down by her washer with piles of

laundry around her, avoiding her family. She is

saying something about trying to get work done

and then she has to head out to the store for

something needed. I am too busy laughing to

hear her narration, sorry! She ends up at a

store, using her Am Ex credit card.

Another one has her somehow feeding a baby?

Doing something where she has somehow ended

up with yogurt in her hair, does she care?

No! She is off to the store, getting something

and talking to a stranger in line, while she

is grabbing stuff. She has a bag of potpourri

in her hand, stuffing some in her mouth. She

says something wacky about it giving her good

breath. “It smells good in my mouth,” the line

she delivers to someone.

Each commercial is like a short precisely timed

and well delivered comedy sketch! Love all of

these, maybe they have been around longer than

this, but I paid attention to the commercials

on Sunday night.

Hope you enjoyed my trio of Oscar’s posts and

found something among them to chuckle at. I

was told by someone in one of my own recent

post comments’ section that I wrote so much

they had to go get a snack in between reading,

to be able to finish it!

***This made me think seriously about how

we write on our blogs, in our posts.

We may wish to entertain ourselves, pouring

out our thoughts and salving our wounds.

We may wish to bring something into another

person’s life and meet their needs with some

shared lessons, learned in our own lives.

We may want to meet our ‘audience,’ learn

from them and become better writers.

Or all of the above!***

(reocochran. 3/4/14)

The Main Event: The 86th Academy Awards Ceremony

Standard

The 86th Oscar presentations began with the humor and

grace shown by host, Ellen DeGeneres. She has been a

host for the Oscars before and made a point that it had

been ‘awhile’ since she had been there.

In actuality, Ellen had been the host seven years ago.

She also made a joke about being the “most important

person,” because the show needs someone to name who the

next honoree will be. I liked that Ellen also reminded

the ones who have won or been nominated multiple times,

like Meryl Streep for 18 times. The way she plays off

this, making Meryl feel honored plus kidded at, shows

her comedic skills. Adding that being nominated and

having to buy expensive fancy dresses meant Meryl

‘could not afford any more nominations!’

Then she told Amy Adams that she was “selfish” for

her multiple nominations.

Most of the time, Ellen was humorous, making

playful jabs. Not sure how the one joke will be

received when she did say, that by not letting

certain movies “win” would prove the ones who

voted were “racists.” This is in reference to

“Mandela,” “12 Years a Slave,” and “The Butler.”

You probably have heard of the ‘selfie’ she took

with almost all the big names in the front rows

included, that it shut down Twitter by ‘going

viral!’

Another humorous part of Ellen’s playing the

host was she “ordered pizzas” for the front rows

and had the pizza delivery man help her serve

people. Ellen made sure to give the pregnant

women in the audience a piece of pizza. She later

got a hold of a hat that resembled Pharrell

Williams’ hat, (at the Grammy’s it looked like the

Smokey the Bear hat) and was passing it around to

collect money to pay for the pizzas. Plus, Ellen

was specifically calling on famous people for a tip

for the delivery man.

She also emphasized,

“Meryl, you gave enough!”

Jonah Hill must show some nudity in his movie

with Leonardo DiCaprio, “Wolf on Wall Street,”

since there were a couple of jokes about his

body. Ellen said, in an intentionally innuendoed

way, “I saw something of yours, I have not seen

for a very, very long time!”

Then, later after a commercial break, standing

looking down at Jonah, in his seat, she said,

“No, I don’t want to see it.”

Jonah replied, “What’s the big deal?”

Jared Leto was the first actor who was chosen for

Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture. This was

for his role in “Dallas Buyers Club.” Jared gave a

great, planned speech. It included an homage to the

other actors in this category, saying ‘thanks to

his fellow nominees’ for their terrific performances.

Then he said, “Thank you to my Mom and my brother.”

Thirdly, he said, “To all the dreamers out there,

those not in the Ukraine and Venezuela,…”

emphasizing recent current events, turmoils and

struggles, he wished others to keep on dreaming of

possibilities.

Jared did a final tribute in his speech to those victims

of AIDS who have passed on, those that are still in other

countries, needing medicine (for HIV positive), too.

Jim Carrey, as a presenter, said it ‘must be tough to

be nominated.’ He said, “I wouldn’t know how it feels

to be nominated.” (There was one serious movie that I

felt he deserved to be nominated for in “The Majestic.”

He did a meaningful and understated acting job in this

which showed his talent. I like his comedies but they

don’t always get nominated…)

Jim also did a joke about Bruce Dern’s facial appearance

and the way his character said things, in the movie,

“Nebraska.” He also said something I didn’t quite get

about LSD, “No I meant animation like penguins, beloved

movie heroes…” This led into a great series of animated

cartoon movies, including more than these:

“Brave,” “Snow White,” “Dumbo,” “Finding Nemo,” “Kung Fu

Panda.” I enjoyed this flashing back to humorous films

that children and adults alike enjoy.

Of course, Ellen plays “Dory,” in the “Finding Nemo”

movie, so she pointed out,

“Did you see I made sure they had more of ‘Finding

Nemo’ in the clips?”

Pharrell Williams came out and sang, with a lively

entourage of varied ages the song, “Happy.” This

was nominated for the “Best Song” category for the

movie, “Despicable Me 2” (which my grandsons loved!)

You may want to remember this man’s name, since he

has already been to the Golden Globes, Grammy’s,

and the “Fifty Years of the Beatles” tribute show,

singing with Stevie Wonder and the like. This young

man has captured the little M & M granddaughters’

hearts and interest with this “Happy” song. It is

very pleasant, if you have not heard it, put it

on Youtube, close your eyes, and picture that he

sounds familiar, like Frank Sinatra or another

‘crooner.’

I was happy to see that the early 2014 movie,

“The Great Gatsby,” got both “Best Costume”

and “Best Set Design.” That was one movie I think

I reviewed, after I saw it with my youngest

daughter, Felicia.

Even though the critics ‘panned’ the movie,

“The Lone Ranger,” I liked it. I was sorry it did

not get the “Best Makeup Award” or something like

this, although it did get nominated for this award.

Dallas Buyers Club won, for making those thin,

anorexic AID’s male actors believable, along with

Jared’s pitiful makeup job to look like a woman.

Harrison Ford, upon arrival, his entrance being

heralded with the great John Williams “Indiana

Jones” theme song music, got cheers from the

audience. He incorporated a quote from Marlon

Brando about a ‘lot of hustle.’ He was there

presenting about the movie, “American Hustle.”

Matthew McConaughey with Kim Novak came out,

both looking very comfortable together. Kim

still has a husky and sexy voice, was from

many movies, including Alfred Hitchcock’s

“Vertigo.” I remember her in a sexy romp

comedy role in, “The Apartment,” with Tony

Randall. She wore a black silky pant suit,

with vividly bright blue lapels on it. She

has one of those ‘frozen’ faces, that sadly

due to her age, she has allowed too much

plastic surgery and is nearly unrecognizable.

She is 81 years old and I cannot fault her

on this. If anyone wants to see an equally

sad and ‘bad’ job of cosmetic surgery, check

out Mary Tyler Moore. She would have looked

great, has she gone the way of Betty White,

her fellow comedian on her show. Allowing

herself to age gracefully and not trying to

hang on to her youth.

Matthew and Kim were there to present the

awards for the short animated films and the

longer full-length animated films. Kim told

the audience she was excited to be there after

so many years had passed and to be there on

stage with Matthew McConaughey was a special

treat, too. I took her to be nervous and felt

bad for some of the comments I heard at work

and on one of the morning shows while I had

my first work break. I was very happy that the

movie, “Frozen,” won best animated movie. I

know my grandsons’ recommended “Despicable

Me 2” but they haven’t seen “Frozen” yet.

I have a good friend at work, Tammy who has

gone with Mike twice to the winning movie.

The Best Actor award went to Matthew McConaughey

and he gave a fantastic speech, giving the three

directions that we all need to go: Look up to

God and Family, Look Forward to other roles and

Chase after something… He said he is planning

on chasing to a ‘better self.’ In the part about

family, I liked that he included personal details

about his Mom demanding that they respect others

and themselves (first) and his Dad loving gumbo,

lemon meringue pie and a cold beer. When he was

finished with his acceptance speech, he said his

enthusiastic, “All right” three times, he is

known for this in his Southern drawled voice.

The Best Actress went to Cate Blanchett who

said that females still have a ‘niche’ and

they still can ‘sell movies,’ and buy tickets

to go to movies. She was happy with her role

in “Blue Jasmine,” a Woody Allen movie.

Lupita Nyong’O won the Best Supporting Actress

in “12 Years a Slave.” She had a long speech

prepared, although she started with some fun

smiles, surprised looks and very excited

responses. She said Thank you for the incredible

award, saluted the spirit of her character,

(based on a real person) named, Patsy. She said

the past few months it has haunted her, realizing

that her joy in being recognized as an actress

is due to a person who suffered much anguish

as a slave. She reminded “every child, your dreams

are valid.” I liked that word, “valid.” We hear

people say, “Your dreams can come true,” so often

it gets ‘old.’

The Academy’s President came out and spoke. She

is the First Black Woman to be given this honor.

It was about preserving the past,

honoring the present

and shaping the future.

Sally Fields looked fabulous, in a short

sleeved black dress, the bodice having black

sheer fabric with hand-sewn sequins look. She

introduced, “Movies with Real Heroes.”

There was a montage of film clips that included

“Ben Hur” (Charleton Heston), “Milk” (Sean Penn),

“Jackie Robinson,” “Erin Brockovich” (Julia Roberts),

“Ali” (Will Smith), “Braveheart” (Mel Gibson), “All

the President’s Men” (Robert Redford and Dustin

Hoffman), “They Call Me MISTER Tibbs,” (Sidney Poitier)

and the movie that Sally Fields held up the infamous

sign, that said, “Union:” “Norma Rae.” I also suggest

anyone who likes Sally Fields to see the movie,

“Abraham Lincoln.” She does a very good job in her

role as Mary Todd Lincoln.

The Special Effects montage included “Iron Man 3,”

“The Hobbit,” “The Lone Ranger,” “Star Trek into

Darkness,” and “Gravity.”

A simple song that is very sweetly sung, although it

did not win, listen to “The Moon Song,” from the

movie with Joaquin Phoenix, “Her.” (I don’t recommend

the movie, though!)

A Special Honorary Oscar went to Angela Lansbury,

who amazingly at age 88 is going to be in a theater

production play on the London stage. She was unable

to come to accept this award. They definitely said

she has quite a wide range throughout her lifetime

in film and theater. She also, amusingly enough,

sings well, in one of my children’s favorite movies,

“Bedknobs and Broomsticks.”

There was a standing ovation for Darlene Love who is

in a documentary with other famous/close to famous

back-up singers. She belted out a song about a

sparrow that was rich, spiritual and religious. She

came up to accept the award for the 20 or more singers

featured in, “20 Feet From Stardom.” I would like to

see this movie! Bradley Cooper was her co-presenter.

Although I enjoyed “Ordinary Love,” along with Mandela’s

quotations flashing behind Bono with U2, I think that

the funniest line all night was when the song from

“Frozen” won! The married couple who wrote the song

said that they worked well as a team and we…

“Beat literally rock stars for this Award!”

Pink sang the song, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,”

gently, not overdoing it, with spine tingling tone,

as a tribute to Judy Garland. Her children, including

Liza Minelli were present, asked to stand up and take

a bow. There was a montage of clips from the movie,

with both the black and white copies and the colorized

ones.

Whoopie Goldberg introduced it, showing us under her

black gown, she was wearing black and white striped

hose with red shiny shoes.

Ellen arrived at the end of the presentation, hurrying

on, once the stage was empty and all were gone, in

her huge fluffy pink Glinda the Good Witch costume!

Ellen only wore tuxes and once had a long white silk

scarf, another time a black tie. There were no big

wardrobe changes and this was her only grand finale

one!

Bette Midler had me crying a few tears, since she

sang after all the ones who had been in the film

industry and died in 2013, the eerily haunting

song, with her still radiant and strong voice,

“The Wind Beneath My Wings.” I love that line

in the song, “Did you ever know you were my

hero?”

This was not the end of the show but it

fits the end of my summary of the Oscars!

Tomorrow, I will post about the wild and

unique commercials shown during the Academy

Awards. It will be called, “Intermissions.”

The Opening Act: Oscar’s Red Carpet

Standard

The first thing I would like to say about the Red

Carpet is that this summary was broken into three

parts, so there may be more ‘palatable’ chunks and

easier to read. This part is about style, charisma

and other details noted during pre-Oscar interviews.

Mainly, my comments are reflecting my own personal

thoughts, although I may mention something that

was a fact or opinion of someone else, also.

When I had gathered up my snacks and iced coffee

in preparation for what I knew would be a long

night, I was very excited to sit down to watch

the 86th Academy Awards Show. I turned on to watch

the preliminary Red Carpet event.

The first person I saw was the handsome, quirky

(remember he liked to play his bongos in the nude?)

and very honest Matthew McConaughey. I always felt he

had ‘deserved an Oscar,’ for his early career, lawyer

character he played in “A Time to Kill.” This was an

outstanding movie version of John Grisham’s book of

the same name.

Here Matthew’s character was in the South, trying

to defend a man who was accused of killing two men

who had raped and killed his 10 year old daughter.

Race comes into play, as the man Samuel L. Jackson’s

portraying is black, while the men who raped and

discarded the child are white. Sandra Bullock portrays

the lawyer’s wife. There are fascinating characters

including ones portrayed by Donald Sutherland and

Kevin Spacey portray. It is an intense drama, made

in 1996, Matthew was able to ‘sink his acting chops’

into this role and did a fine job, too!

Matthew McConaughey has never been nominated for an

Oscar, which is shocking in itself. That movie was

like a variation of “To Kill A Mockingbird,” for

which I am pretty sure won Gregory Peck an Academy

Award!

Matthew had his beautiful wife and mother of his

three children, Camilla, on one arm and his now

famous mother, who has accompanied him to prior

award shows, on the other arm.

Naomi Watts looked outstanding in a glittering white

dress which had cap sleeves. She wore accents of a

silver necklace and held a black and white small

clutch, it sported a zigzag pattern on it.

I really loved Kerry Washington’s lavender dress,

which was made of satin, off her shoulder and

not trying to cover her pregnancy. She is on a

television show that I don’t watch, “Scandals.”

Viola Davis looked very fashionable in a green,

almost aquamarine, colored dress, while showing her

natural ‘down to earth’ beauty. Her husband, of

over ten years, accompanied Viola. When she was

asked, “Who is your date tonight?” by interviewer,

Lara (rhymes with Sarah) Spencer, I thought to

myself,

“You didn’t do your homework!”

There will be an even more major ‘faux pas’ by this

Ms. Spencer, in my mind, later…

I like the relationship Jason Sudeikis has with his

wife, Olivia Wilde, who looked lovely in black.

Jason is a comedian, with his roots in Saturday

Night Live, branching out into many comedy roles.

(In such comedies as “We Are the Millers,” “Hall

Pass,” and “Horrible Bosses,” mainly R rated and

not ones to watch for plot or character growth,

but funny!) While his wife, Olivia, has played

conniving, yet beautiful and intriguing characters.

They were smiling and it seemed there were a few

private jokes in their glances at each other. She

is expecting and the black silky dress showed her

‘baby bump.’

Cate Blanchett, in a gorgeous Armani dress which

was sheer with a vine pattern of golden sequins,

just shimmered! Her hair style resembled the 50’s

like the way famous actress, Lauren Bacall, wore

her hair about shoulder length, curled under and one

side pulled back.

I would say Cate looked ‘bejeweled’ and ‘enchanting.’

Sandra Bullock wore a fabulous dress of a deep blue

with purple tones, it was designed by Alexander

McQueen, for her. I liked that interviewer Robin

Roberts, a more serious newscaster, asked her about

Sandra’s role in the movie, “Gravity.”

The way Ms. Roberts asked, it helped draw Sandra out.

She gave a revealing expression of her feelings while

in her role as an astronaut, floating in space and

dangerously disconnected from the spacecraft, left

her a “changed woman.”

She further told Robin that she is quite emotional

about her experience “and hasn’t quite sorted all

of it out yet.”

This is the kind of candid remarks I like to have

the interviewers, in their brief moments, make their

time worthwhile. By asking a serious and thoughtful

question, this makes the Red Carpet a great feature.

Jennifer Lawrence has been sporting a nice, short

young-looking hair style this whole season of awards.

Her portrayal in “American Hustle” was a whole

different look, matching the seventies movie. Her

short blonde hair and red satin dress, made her look

like a classic beauty. I did not mind her flat waist

with red ruffles on the side continuing onto her

back. The dress flattered her, emphasizing her curves.

Now, here goes the problem with Lara Spencer, when

Sidney Poitier approached her, being told to head

that way, (off camera) she recognizes him, or maybe

there are big cards with his name, hidden from our

view? But really, who doesn’t know how to pronounce

his last name? She mangled it, not sure if anyone

else will notice, but he did! He did not seem too

pleased, very quiet and not answering her questions

too frankly, either. He deserved respect. Surely she

knew who he was, 87 years old, presenting later, during

the Oscars’ show. On the Red Carpet, this is something

that really bothered me about this woman and other

interviewers in the past. I would have loved a chance

to ask.

“Mr. Poitier, which was your favorite role?”

I liked him in many movies and he played different

kinds of men. Educated, in “To Sir With Love” and a

handyman stranded amongst nuns in “Lilies of the Field.”

He won an Academy Award in 1963, for this role, as the

first male black actor, winning “Best Actor.”

(I did a post about this movie, actor, director and

diplomat.)

Then proving himself a major star, drawing large

audiences to the box office, Poitier played a great

police detective, in “The Heat of the Night,”

followed by two other sequels, “They Call Me MISTER

Tibbs” and “The Organization.”

Jonah Hill, nominated for his role in “Wolf on Wall

Street” has ventured into dramatic roles, growing from

his comic roots. He looked like he is trimmer, nicely

dressed in a tuxedo, having brought his mother as his

‘date.’ His first Oscar was for an interesting movie,

I had not expected to like him, in “Moneyball.”

Chiwetel Ejiofor was the only man in my forecasts and

posts for the Academy Awards, 2014. I predicted he

would win “Best Actor,” for his role in the intense

movie, “12 Years a Slave.” He has acted for years,

contributed to a lot of fantastic movies, an edgy

character role of a transvestite, included.

Ejiofor comes across, in interviews and on the Red

Carpet, as a very dignified and articulate man. The

interviewer labeled him, “Dapper,” and I agreed.

Lupita Nyong’O looked very beautiful in her light

blue, airy like the lightest turquoise colored

sky dress with a low cut v-neckline. She was very

attractive, beaming and spinning for the cameras.

She portrays a young slave woman in “12 Years a

Slave.”

I have yet to find an “ugly” dress or someone who

didn’t look ravishing or handsome. I do wish to say

that Julia Roberts’s black dress was very pretty,

but upon closer look I found the ruffle around her

waist made her look ‘thicker’

than her sleek body usually looks. I remember this

style, had a jacket that had the ruffle, my mother

had pointed it out as ‘not very flattering.’ I hate

to say much about Julia because her hair, makeup and

jewelry were ‘just right.’ She looked glamorous,

except for the odd weave to the black lace on her

bodice and ruffled waistline.

Julia looks great in what is called a “mermaid style”

dress.

We will hear during the different follow up shows on

“E!” channel, “Entertainment Tonight” and the “Billy

Bush” show, who the ‘worst dressed’ were…

soon enough!

Another unattractive look was that Bill Murray had

no makeup or cover up over his age spots. I thought

his whole appearance looked like a disheveled, absent-

minded professor. He is a very humble man, when asked

by an interviewer what makes you laugh? Murray said,

“The two sportscasters on ESPN, my kids and good

humor in comedies.” (Paraphrased, I started to

not get things down as quickly at this point!)

The last glamorous couple who look like they fit

together and show an easy going relationship,

were Will and wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. She looked

effervescent in pink. Her Versace dress had a

stylish twisted halter top with another twist of

fabric on one side of her waist. It suited her

well. Will Smith’s tuxedo looked very handsome

with a black vest and tie.

Later, during the Oscars, there was some concern

about Kim Novak’s plastic surgery and her outward

appearance. She seemed distracted or flighty, but

she may have been nervous. It has been a long time

since she was the beautiful actress in “Vertigo.”

After all, that was 1958 and she is now 81 years old!

On to the Main Event…

Please join me in the next post!

Follow Your Bliss

Standard

Andrew McCarthy was one of my ‘heroes’ in movies of the 90’s.

He was a quiet, unassuming young man in some of them, the

best friend in others, along with being the love interest

in “Pretty In Pink.” (My daughters grew up watching him and

I was always glad he kept his actions, for the most part,

clean cut and decent. There were several including “St. Elmo’s

Fire” where he was included in a group that was called the

“brat pack,” which was different by a generation from the

“Rat Pack” which included Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin.

In both groups, carousing and drinking was an element, for

some, they were mostly going through a phase but Andrew

McCarthy admits to being an alcoholic and becoming sober in

1992.

Andrew made his ‘fortune’ in movies, then went on to become

a director, along with his new pursuit of being a travel

writer for “National Geographic Traveler.” It has been a

year since he had his book published, “The Longest Way

Home: One Man’s Quest for the Courage to Settle Down.”

In this book, he uses an unusual approach with his travel

writing, going through his anecdotal life’s journey up

until he took off to explore the world. He uses his varied

experiences as actor, director and writing production

scenes to look at the way nature, history, and landmark

places fit into his world view.

He likes more the idea of the journey, rather than the

outcome. He likes meeting varied peoples, like when he

rode along with hundreds of Brazilians in hammocks,

their scenery the length of the Amazon River.

He enjoyed a two month long trip through 7 countries

to see, from South Africa through to Tanzania. There

are photographs, for readers that like visuals, in his

gorgeous book. In 2005, he took his 8 year old son to

the Sahara Desert. The vastness of the sand, his seeing

the distinctive mountains of sand, had an impact on his

life.

Another wonderful and life-changing trip was on the

“Camino de Santiago,” which begins in France and crosses

the Pyrenees Mountains, and ends in Santiago de Compostela.

He felt that trip ‘changed his life,’ probably the most.

(Read more about this, and other travels in his book or

in book reviews!) His discoveries in Laos, Cmabodia and

Viet Nam ‘thrilled him.’

In a quotation that reveals Andrew McCarthy’s world view

and philosophy:

“People don’t travel because they’re afraid. I don’t think

it’s (about) time. I think it’s fear. If we traveled the

world, we’d be less fearful of people, and if we were less

fearful then, the world would react to us less fearfully.

My goal is to change the world, one trip at a time.”

Andrew’s “hero” and mentor for his trips goes back to Mark

Twain’s cross country, American journeys in his lifetime.

Here is one of McCarthy’s favorite Twain quotation:

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness.”

Andrew McCarthy, also a husband and father, sometimes feels

‘lonely’ at home. He tries to explain ‘loneliness’ to others

by saying it is like missing opportunities and adventures.

Compared to being on the road, where he never feels ‘alone.’

Because of seeking and finding others in places that he will

learn more about, loneliness is different during his travels.

There is an expectancy and excitement to being away from home,

in an unfamiliar place. Although I did not see the word ‘bliss’

anywhere in his reviews or interviews, I feel Andrew McCarthy

has found just that.

How will you find your ‘bliss’ in this new year of 2014?