30 Days, 30 Movies {Day 21} Robin Williams – Aladdin

When I was preparing for this series, it was before Robin William’s tragic suicide. I was planning on reviewing Father’s Day. It is a less than stellar movie and I thought it would be encouraging to see that even someone as legendary as Robin Williams makes mistakes. Now that he’s gone, I feel that would be in poor taste.

We did not go to the movies very often growing up. Most of the movies we did see in the theaters starred Robin Williams: Jumanji, Hook, and Aladdin. I was at UNC-Chapel Hill for Journalism Camp and saw part of the filming of Patch Adams. The movie I want to revisit is Aladdin.

Aladdin was a huge hit with my entire family. We saw it in the theater and bought it on VHS when it came out (no DVDs then). My mom still has our Aladdin Christmas stockings. When we went to Disney World, the best part for us was watching the Aladdin parade.

Robin Williams did so much ad libbing as Genie that the script was turned down for a Best Adapted Screenplay Academy Award. He improvised so much that there was 16 hours of material. He was even asked to improvise the merchant role, but most of what he said was unsuitable for the Disney audience.

 

30 Days, 30 Movies {Day 3} Trilogy – The Mighty Ducks

I know, I know. I could have chosen any number of “better” trilogies than The Mighty Ducks. But when I watched the first one a few months ago, I knew I wanted to include it in my 30 Days, 30 Movies Series.

Here is the  usual reaction to trilogies :

The first one is: “LOVE THIS MOVIE!”

The second one is: “Meh.”

The third one is: “WHY?!”

This trilogy is different. The first one is: “Yay for those kids and that recovering alcoholic!”

The second  one is: “Huh?”

And the third one is: “Where is the main character?”

The Mighty Ducks centers on a spoiled self-centered lawyer, played by Emilio Estevez, who gets a DUI and is forced to do community service. His service is coaching a peewee hockey team. When the movie is over, the coach has quit his lawyering and is trying to become a professional hockey player.

The second one is about the team competing in the Junior Olympics with the original coach, because his professional hockey career did not work out. The original team picks up new players from across North America and its biggest competition is the Swedish team. Spoiler Alert: The Mighty Ducks win.

The third one is about the team from the second one going to a prep school. The coach appears in two scenes and has maybe five lines. They did, however, use him for the poster.

My thoughts are if these movies are playing on TV and there is nothing else to do or watch, go ahead and watch them. Not too closely, though.

Thirsty Thursday: Keep Swimming

The 5th & 6th graders needed someone to fill in for their teacher on Sunday morning & I volunteered. They didn’t remember what they were studying last week and the curriculum wasn’t in the room. I listened as they talked among themselves and found an in: MOVIES. I had them name a movie, summarize the plot in one sentence, and share how that relates to the real world, the Spiritual realm. At one point, they were talking all at once and one student quoted Finding Nemo, “Keep swimming, keep swimming, keep swimming.” I was unable to elaborate on that because it was someone else’s turn to speak and before long we were discussing outcasts.

I want to encourage you to keep doing what you’re doing.

There will be times in our lives when everything goes wrong. You pray about it, you keep being faithful, and things do not improve. Months go by. Years go by. Nothing seems to change. Hardship after hardship rain down on you. You feel like you cannot make it one more day.

You can.

You can do all things through Christ (Philippians 4:13).

You can overcome.

Do not give up doing good (Galatians 6:9).

Why?

People are watching. You can be living proof that God is bigger than our circumstances. You can be an example of faith. You can show someone else that God is worth trusting (HE IS!). God is using you through your circumstances. The people around you are getting a front row seat to God’s majesty. When good things finally come our way, you can proclaim God’s faithfulness. You can be living proof that God’s word never fails.

Don’t complain (Philippians 2:14).

Even when times are tough, you are being used by God, the Alpha and the Omega, to shape eternity. Eternity, people! How can we complain when we have such an important role that stretches from this life on into the next?

Keep trusting. Keep praying. Keep swimming.

Old Movie (Old is a Relative Term)

I was talking with a few ladies and one of them referenced the movie RV. I mentioned that I hadn’t seen RV, to which she replied, “Oh, it’s an old movie.”

RV was made in 2006. It’s not even ten years old yet. The lady who referred to it as an “old” movie is twenty years older than I.

Hunny and I were talking to someone who said he was a movie buff. Hunny mentioned that we love film. He said, “I even love old movies from the 80’s and 90’s.”

When I refer to old movies, I’m talking about black and white movies from the 1930’s and 1940’s. But I guess I have a different view of film than other people. My mother is a huge Disney fan. Her family life wasn’t all that great growing up, but she said she loved seeing Walt Disney on Sundays on television. Because of the joy they brought, she raised her children on Disney films from her childhood. I watched movies from the 1960’s growing up. Movies from that time period aren’t old to me. According to my mother, the first two films our family owned were Cinderella (1950) and Pinocchio (1940).

In all seriousness, my definition of an old movie is way off base. Silent films are much older than the 1930’s and 40’s. Film began in the late 1800’s, so those films should be the “old” ones.

Do you think RV is an “old” movie or is Back to the Future an “old” movie? What is your definition of an “old” movie?

A Silent Film from 1927

Saving Mr. Banks (Disney on Disney)

I love Disney; I love period pieces; and I am beyond excited about Saving Mr. Banks. As a small child, I loved Mary Poppins.  There is home video of me and my brothers singing “Stepping Time,” and if I knew how to convert VHS into digital, I would share it on the blog.  I reviewed Mary Poppins for my 30 Days, 30 Movies challenge, and while doing research on the film, I found that P. L. Travers left the premiere in hysterics over how Disney ruined her book.  I am so looking forward to how they portray this in Saving Mr. Banks, if they portray it at all. The Disney company has a tradition of taking stories and changing them to fit a “feel good” paradigm (have you ever read or seen the original The Little Mermaid? Gruesome).

In preparation for watching the film, I am reading the book and I will review Mary Poppins with Hunny this go around.

Are there any movies coming out this holiday season that you are looking forward to seeing?

Johnny Depp is Bothering Me (My Objections to Tonto)

It’s been bothering me for some time now.

Hunny is a Johnny Depp super fan dancing on the thin line between deep admiration and crazy stalker.  I push him over to the admiration side from time to time because I don’t want Hunny to skip town and move to France to gawk at JD on the regular (I would be super disappointed if he went without me).  Since Hunny has a strong man love for Johnny Depp, I find out about his comings and goings before your average person.

I remember the first time I heard that JD was going to be Tonto.  I was sitting on the floor in our living room.  Hunny was sitting on the couch, hunched over our laptop.  He let out a large, startling laugh.  “They’re doing a Lone Ranger remake.  Johnny Depp is going to be Tonto!”  Before the words registered in my mind, Hunny whipped the computer around so I could see one of the first leaked pictures of him in the Tonto makeup and garb.  “This is going to be good!”

My reaction was, They couldn’t get a Native American to play Tonto?

Hunny’s face fell.  I think his heart broke a little.  My disapproval of JD’s role choice was just as damaging to him if I had disapproved of something Hunny did.  I don’t know what it is about JD.  Hunny feels like they are one and the same.  Hunny sees himself in JD.  Except for the fact that they both attract women from the ages of 15 – 75, I can’t see it.

Seriously, though.  Tonto would be a great role for an up and coming actor.  There’s a Native American actor who is still highly sought after right now.  I think you’ve heard of him, or at the very least, heard a teenage girl squeal about him…

I know this movie is being advertised as “the next Pirates of the Carribean.”  I understand what the studio execs were thinking:  We need another period piece for our Golden Goose.  It has to be something where he can play a crazy character.  And he has to wear makeup.  The female demographic really responds to him in makeup… I know!  Cowboys and Indians haven’t been in for decades.  Let’s bring it back!  He can play an Indian!  I mean, Native American. 

But come on!  Let’s think this through a little.  Wouldn’t people be offended if he wore makeup to play an African American?  Prosthetics to play an Asian?  I think so.  At least one other blog post I’ve read agrees.

All of this doesn’t matter, because Hunny is making me watch it.  In the theater.  I can hardly watch the previews without cringing.  I don’t know how I’m going to make it through the movie, but once I see it, I’m going to let you know how I feel about it.  Is the storyline more powerful than Johnny Depp playing Tonto?  Is it grabbing enough to make me forget it?  I’ll let you know.

12 Days of Christmas {Polite and (paranoid) Style} 7 Enchanted Servants or (Beauty and the Beast)

If you want to be all technical and nit-picky, Beauty and the Beast is not a Christmas movie.  However, it was one of my Christmas presents from Hunny last year and Belle is my favorite Disney Princess hands down.  I completely relate to Belle, a fellow bookworm, and I felt that what the people in town said about her was how people in my life felt about me, “Behind that fair facade, I’m afraid she’s rather odd/She’s nothing like the rest of us, She’s different from the rest of us.”  Now that I’m a grown up of sorts, I’ve come to embrace the fact that I’m a creative type and that there will always be people who don’t care for me.

Out of the servants in the castle, I never had a favorite.  I love the interactions between Lumiere and Cogsworth.  Lumiere chasing the Feather Duster is pretty entertaining.  Especially after they had transformed and she was beautiful and he was… Not so much that… Mrs. Potts is a very influential character.  She’s a maternal figure to both Belle and Beast.  Not to mention, Chip’s actual mother.  I always wonder if Mrs. Potts and Maurice get together.  He smiles at her a lot in the end.

Beauty and the Beast Trivia

  • Chip originally had one line, but the producers liked Bradley Pierce’s voice so much that they expanded the character
  • One of my favorite lines in the film “Chocolates, flowers, promises you don’t intend to keep” was ad libbed by David Ogden Stiers
  • In the French release, Cogsworth’s name is Big Ben
  • The voice of Belle was going to be the done by the same person who voiced Ariel from The Little Mermaid, but they didn’t feel like her voice was European sounding enough
  • First Disney film to receive a Best Picture Nomination in the Academy Awards since Mary Poppins
  • First Full Length Animated Feature to win the Golden Globe for Best Picture
  • Art Director Brian McEnte color keyed Belle so that she is the only person in town wearing blue, symbolic of how different she is from everyone else.  Beast, another misfit, also wears blue.  (This might be my favorite trivia fact.  Does that make it bonus trivia?)

Don’t miss out on the re-release of Beauty and the Beast!  I can’t wait to see it in theaters!!

12 Days of Christmas {Polite and (paranoid) Style} 5 Jilted Dogs or (101 Dalmatians)

I recently watched the animated version of 101 Dalmatians with Cupcake.  I forgot that the movie was set around Christmastime, so I had to include it in the 12 Days of Christmas.

In the beginning of the movie, Pongo is looking for a mate for his pet human, Roger.  Five humans with their dogs walk by the apartment:

one set is an unusual breed,

one set is a little short coupled,

one set is too fancy,

one is too old,

and the last set is too young.

That is when Perdita and Anita walk past.

They are the perfect pair for Roger and Pongo.

*sigh* Cartoon love.  Gets me every time.

12 Days of Christmas {Polite and (paranoid) Style} 3 Spirits Visit or (A Christmas Carol)

How many adaptations of this story have you seen?  Take a moment to think about it… Three, four?  Or is it closer to ten?  How many times have you read the Dicken’s story?  One?  Never?!  If you haven’t read it, stop reading this blog and get your booty to the library.  There is no film version that captures what you get when you read the story for yourself.  I know you may think that you can’t get anything new from it.  Believe me.  Just read it.

Now that I got that out of my system, I have to say that the Mickey Mouse version is my favorite Christmas Carol adaptation.  Scrooge McDuck was named for the Dicken’s character afterall, so he’s perfect in the role.  Mickey Mouse is pretty much type cast as the loving underdog Crachett.  Goofy is hilarious as Scrooge’s pal Marley.  I could go on and on about how great this version is, but that would be boring.

I really wanted to see the 3D version of A Christmas Carol with Jim Carrey in the theaters, but Hunny never took me.  Well, it’s not all his fault.  The closest theater showing it was 45 minutes away, which is even longer when you factor in holiday traffic.  I could have gone by myself.  Hunny’s not into 3D anything, so I should have gone by myself.  I watched this version for the first time last year, and I didn’t care for it.  I think it would have been better in 3D, which isn’t saying much.  I was distracted by all the voices Jim Carrey did.  Did the Disney people look over his salary and think, Hey!  We’re getting ripped off here.  Let’s make him do more voices.  That’ll make up for the money.  They were wrong.

If you like Bill Murray and enjoy dark comedies, you have to see Scrooged.  Bill Murray plays a TV executive who has to make a television adaptation of A Christmas Carol.  He hates Christmas and is an all around bad guy, so the Christmas spirits visit him.  It’s hilarious and horrifying all at the same time.  I’m not a horror fan, but I think this film should be included in the genre.  Don’t watch it late at night.  You won’t be able to sleep.

30 Days, 30 Movies {Day 20} Family Friendly or (Mary Poppins)

I prepared myself to have a similar reaction to Mary Poppins as I had with Bedknobs and Broomsticks.  The last time I saw this movie, I was a child.  The last time I heard the music from this movie, I was watching home movies of my family.  My brothers and I were singing “Stepping Time” on my grandparents’ porch.  It’s adorable.

I had a much different experience watching Mary Poppins this time.  I didn’t like her.  I felt like she was aloof, snobbish, and kind of mean.  It was very easy for her to point out everyone’s faults, especially since her special tape measure claims she’s “practically perfect in every way.”  She seemed to be especially hard on Bert.  How could you be so mean to someone who likes you so much?  As a child, I didn’t notice it.

According to my research, Mary Poppins is supposed to be mean.  She is supposed to be a harsh character.  P.L. Travers, the author of the book, ran out of the theater crying after she saw the movie.  She didn’t think Mary Poppins was mean enough.  She also didn’t like that the mother gave up being a suffragette to spend time with her family.

Something else came to mind when I watched this as an adult.  Is Bert supposed to be homeless?  He’s a one man band, a street performer/artist, and a chimney sweep.  It doesn’t seem like he has a place to go at night.   Poor Bert.  He encourages and helps the families Mary Poppins looks after, and she doesn’t care for him.  It’s a one sided relationship.  She just wants to be friends.

Are there any movies you loved as a child that when watching now you see differently or don’t like at all?

Favorite Line:  A thing of beauty is a joy forever

Favorite Character: Bert

Favorite Scene:  When they have a party on the rooftops of London with the Chimney Sweeps