Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I knew, but I watched it anyway ..

Boy in the Striped Pajamas ... I knew it, I just KNEW this movie was going to make me WEEP. But I guess I'm a masochist when comes to Holocaust films. The only one I didn't weep while watching was Schindler's List because, well, I hated it. Now, the Pianist was the best film about that tragic period of European history. And all you Polanski haters can hate all you want, he richly deserved that Best Director Oscar, which was presented by Harrison Ford in France .. the Pianist is one of the best films ever made, period.

ok ok ... The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. A German family is moved to the countryside because the father, who is in the SS was promoted. The kids had no idea what his Dad was going to be in charge of. They lived in this huge mansion, walled off from everything, except for the little boy could see through his window, the barbed wire of the concentration camp that his dad was in charge of ... so there ... recipe for me weeping uncontrollably. And wouldn't you know ... the boy in the striped pajamas was a little boy, the same age as the German boy, only he was a prisoner ... the boys meet almost on a daily basis separated by barbed wire. They manage to play games through the barbed wire ... but you just know this can't end well ... it just can't. But man, it ends SO SO SO HORRIBLY. It's worse than what I thought it would be. These two little boys united in friendship by a horrible tragedy .. well, I won't give it away ... let's just say that I cried and cried for a good 20 minutes in the bathroom after watching the movie. I mean, I wept. I wept worse than when I wept during the entirety of the Pianist. At least the Pianist had a little bit of a happy ending. The Pianist was about survival.

And then ... I watched The American Experience on The Dust Bowl. What a tragedy that was. So many children died from pneumonia from breathing in all that dust that was swirling around. The pictures of the oncoming dust storms were truly amazing to see. The interviews were mesmerizing and the people who survived this catastrophe are testiments to longevity. One of the ladies lost her little brother ... he was no more than 5 when he died from what they called Dust pneumonia. She still can't talk about it. So sad. So very very sad. I didn't weep, but I cried.

Watched Terror in Mumbai. FRIGHTENING isn't the word. First of all, it was narrated by Fahreed Zakaria, the most brilliant commentator in the world. Truly. He can boil down any international topic and be not only objective, but explain it so it can be understood by anyone. Apparently, the Indian government intercepted dozens of phone calls that came out of pakistan to the terrorists and they shot their way through Mumbai. And yes, arrests have been made in Pakistan. There was even someone arrested in Chicago for conspiracy! Chicago!!!! The phone calls were so very scary to listen to. The controller was very calm and directed the terrorists in what they were to do and these young men carried out the orders without hesitation. One was captured alive and they interrogation was again, fascinating and scary. He'll be hung, no doubt ... but the audio and video of the attacks and their aftermath were something to see. The Mumbai police ... so incompetent and ill equipped to handle this type of, heck, any type of terrorist attack. I just hope that for the sake of the citizens, they've learned their lessons.

Curb Your Enthusiasm's season finale was magnificent. Jerry Seinfeld deserves an Emmy for his performance. He and LD have such a great synergy together. I hope they don't bring any of the former cast members back again. It was a great run. And I loved how LD made reference that this reunion was to make up for the Seinfeld series finale that was supposedly so bad ... which ... I guess I'm a whacko because I liked it. I also like the Sopranos series finale. Just color me kooky.

And here's a tidbit ... the slurpee capital of the world is Winnipeg, MB ... who knew????

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Great film. Sean Penn IS a great actor, whether you like him or not. Shoot, I liked his narrating Dogtown & Z-Boys ... excellent documentary, by the way. Yep, big Sean Penn fan here. Guilty.

Watched Milk last night. I remember when he was killed. It was surreal because it was shortly after the Jonestown massacre in Guyana and the assasination of Leo Ryan. I remember feeling like there was too much bad crap going on and it all seemed to eminate from San Francisco, wonderful San Francisco. Jim Jones's people's temple was in the Bay Area ... Leo Ryan was the congressional representative ... but funny, the film, Milk, never once made mention of the other events and they happened less than 2 weeks apart. I guess that's my only issue with the film.

Sean Penn's performance was incredible, but I have to say, every single co-star was equally magnificent. And of course, there's Diego Luna!!! Watching him ... sigh ... he should be a bigger star than he is. But then again, he had plenty of practice kissing a man with Y Tu Mama Tambien ...

Josh Brolin, another one who must be really picky or something because his performance in both No Country for Old Men and this one ... he has range!

Emil Hersch playing a rent boy ... and then he also played the main character in Into the Wild .. directed by ... Sean Penn!!!! oh I love that kind of stuff.

American Experience started up again, as did Frontline (the most important show on television). AE did a great show about the Civilian Conservation Corps and how errily similar the opposition backlash was to the CCC to all the backlash of today ... government takeover! Too much money!!!! The CCC really started the environmental movement in the country. If you visit most state or national parks, the CCC have all left their makes. The built bridges, cabins, planted trees, cleared brush ... and they also trained millions of men to be able to transition into the military and serve in WWII ... thank you FDR!!! Glad you stayed strong.

Frontline had a program on called The Warning. Apparently, there was a woman by the name of Brooksley Born, who was in charge of the CFTC, who warned congress about these derivative swaps, only to be run out of DC by Greenspan and laurence Summers ... I'm sure she doens't enjoy being right on this issue, but she was and Summers is still in government.

Friday, November 13, 2009

I hafta say ...

Bored To Death was quite a pleasant surprise. The first episode wasn't good, but as the show moved along, it got better and better and the season finale was good enough that I hope HBO brings it, rather than Hung, back for a second season. If they bring back both, that's ok too, but if they have to choose between one or the other, I'll take Ted Danson and Oliver Platt over that googley eyed woman ... Jane ... Addams ... anyday.

And on a completely different rant: Notre Dame football. I was recently taken to task because I am not a graduate of ND, therefore, I have no right to be a fan, defend the team, the coach, cheer for them, or criticize anyone for bashing them. Well, I give a hearty state bird of New Jersey to them. I've been a fan of ND for my entire life. As have most of their fans, those who both attended and didn't attend. This incident happened a while ago and I'm still incensed. Anyway, here's my rant:

Unless Jon Gruden takes the job, they need to stick with Charlie Weis. I read all these silly opinions about this no name guy called Brian Kelly from Cincinnati ... didn't even know they had a football program. I only have heard of them because of their dismally corrupt basketball program ... and I fear that their football program, considering how good they supposedly got so quickly ... nope, Brian Kelly can use ND as a salary negotiator to go take the U of Michigan job if they ever wise up and get rid of Rich Rodriguez, which would only serve him right for what he did to his very own alma mater, West Virginia. ND plays by the NCAA rules and I'm becoming more and more convinced they are the only ones who do. They hold their athletes to just as high an academic standard as they do the rest of the students at ND. You can't be a dummy, even marginal and get into ND. I'd be surprised if any of the Cincinnati players would even get wait listed at ND. They need a coach who "gets" that aspect of ND and I can guarantee you that this Brian Kelly probably doesn't.

Nope, ND, stick with Charlie. He's a proven recruiter, which to be honest, college football is all about the game of recruiting anymore, which stinks, but it is what it is. Tyrone Willingham single handedly caused ND to go down the tubes recruiting wise, well now Charlie has top talent wanting to spend their college years in south bend ... that's saying something. They are getting guys to choose ND over USC, FLA, UT ... Tyrone couldn't do that.

My gut tells me that Gruden is positioning himself to take the Bears or Lions job before he'd consider ND.

rant over.

I gave up on that stupid Dallas Divas and Daughters show. Seriously ... it was just awful. The moms and daughters should be ashamed of themselves and I don't see how they can be seen in public for their terrible displays. They are just bad bad bad people and it's just shameful that the style network would continue to waste their time with this show.

Still getting through my many 1000 Ways to Die episodes. Sometimes it's hard to watch ... I fast forward through some of the deaths.

Modern Family is simply the best new show of the season. Ed O'Neill deserves the Emmy now. Al Bundy who???

oh and did I mention that WGN didn't renew their contract to run Corner Gas????

Mad Men is done for the season. Seriously awesome show. Every character had a twist and if they could give an emmy for the best season finale, this one would be it. Jared Harris was magnificent and I can't wait to see if the snooty wife leaves him because poor little missy can't stand America. The season went so fast .... oh well, have to wait until next summer to see what happens. Should be interesting as they should cover the British invasion. And I also don't think that Betty is going to go through with the divorce. That's my main prediction.

Nip Tuck, from what I've heard, is wrapping up for good. I think it's time.

Gossip Girl seems to be on a little hiatus as well. So now I can watch Lie to Me again.