Wednesday, August 31, 2011

"An Officer and a Gentleman" 1982

An Officer and a Gentleman
“An Officer and a Gentleman”

Foley: In every class, there's always one joker who thinks that he's smarter than me. In this class, that happens to be you. Isn't it, Mayonnaise?

It is Richard Gere’s birthday today and when I think of him two movies come to mind immediately. “Pretty Woman” and “An Officer and a Gentleman”. They are very different movies. I like both of them.

Zack Mayo wants to fly jets. So he gets into officer training and tries. He’s had a life of no one believing in him. His mother died when he was young and his father is terrible. He dreams of making a change and getting a better life. But he’s a bit of a jerk.

That’s right, another misunderstood bad boy. This one doesn’t dance but it is still worth it for the ending.

He romances Debra Winger’s Paula. She is a town girl who is afraid to dream. She is the product of an ill fated romance her mother had with her own officer candidate. Now she watches her mother who is married to Mr. Edwards from “Little House on the Prairie” and working in a paper factory and she is desperate for a different life.
Her best friend Lynette is more determined. She wants to marry a pilot and will do whatever it takes to get there. She spots Sid, played earnestly by David Keith, and sees her ticket out her crappy life. Sid’s brother died in Vietnam and he is going through the motions, living the life his brother left behind.

But the romance is only half the movie.

Louis Gossett Jr. won an Oscar for his portrayal of Foley, a hard case drill instructor. His job is to push each of the candidates to the breaking point. The classic scene is where Mayo is being punished. Foley is determined to break him down and make him DOR, Dropped on Request. After hours of relentless punishment, Foley is screaming at Mayo to quit.

Mayo then launches into what my husband refers to as his “Oscar Clip”. He is fighting tears, drenched in sweat and in a voice husky with emotion he screams back at Foley.

I think it is required that in order for a man to really grow in one of these movies, his best friend has to die tragically. Look at “Top Gun”. It is practically a remake. Sid makes the decision to stop being his brother and live his own life. He drops out of the military and proposes to Lynette, believing she is carrying his baby. She dreams of exotic bases around the world and rejects him as soon as he reveals that their destination is Oklahoma. Devastated he commits suicide.

This cracks Mayo. He confronts Foley and rejects Paula.

But in the end he sees that he is a better man with Paula. Wearing his dress whites fresh from graduation he walks into the factory and literally sweeps her off her feet. Her mother watches as her daughter gets the happy ending she didn’t have. Lynette watches with jealous eyes. We hate her anyway, so that is good.

Lynette: Way to go Paula! Way to go!
The music swells and they walk into the sunset together as Paula puts Zack’s hat on her own head. And I cry every time.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

"The Waterboy" 1998

The Waterboy [Blu-ray]
“The Waterboy”

Bobby Boucher: Now that's what I call high quality H2O.
At work today I was passing my boss’ desk. Laying on it was a green spiral notebook. It immediately brought this movie to mind. Anyone who has seen “The Waterboy” knows the significance of that notebook.

This is one of those movies that my husband loves and has watched multiple times. We went to see it opening weekend with another couple. As is the case with Adam Sandler films, much like Will Ferrell, I went in with very low expectations. Imagine my surprise to see one of my favorite actresses, Kathy Bates, was playing Bobby Boucher’s beloved Mama.
It is on cable all the time. And sadly it is quoted quite often around our house.

Mama Boucher: Bobby, deh ever catch dat gorilla that busted outa da zoo and punched you in da eye?
Bobby Boucher: No Mama, the search continues.
This is a safety movie for my husband. So we have seen it a few hundred times.

Mama Boucher: You gonna lose all your fancy "fools' balls" games! And your gonna fail your big exam! Because school is?
Bobby Boucher: The devil?
[Mama gasps]
Bobby Boucher: Everything is the devil to you, Mama! Well, I like school, and I like football! And I'm gonna keep doin' them both because they make me feel good!
Bobby Boucher: [Bobby runs out, slamming the door, then comes back in] And by the way, Mama. "Alligators" are ornery 'cause of their "Medula Oblongata"!
Bobby Boucher: [Bobby runs back out, then back in again] And I like Vicki, and she like me back! And she showed me her boobies and I like them too!
[slams door on Mama]

Ultimately it is a coming of age movie. Of course Bobby is old to be coming of age. His mother takes the job of protecting him to the extreme. She just is afraid of being alone. But she has Steve, the indoor donkey to talk to. And it is from this movie we got the name Steve for our dog. His official name is Sir Stephen King of Derry. That was a compromise for the name. But this movie inspired it. Since I won’t let my husband have a donkey in the living room, we can name our dog after one.
Townie: You can do it... you can do it all night loong!

Monday, August 29, 2011

"Move Over Darling" 1963

Move Over Darling
“Move Over Darling”

Nicholas Arden: [muttering as he walks through the hotel lobby] My wife is wife is wife is alive...
Seymour: So's mine, buddy, that's why I drink!

I like Doris Day. My husband hates her. He is convinced that I have worked out some covert deal with the American Movie Classics channel to show her movies on Sunday mornings. I haven’t but I love watching them.

This movie was originally to star Marilyn Monroe and Dean Martin. She was fired from the film, Dean Martin held out on having her replaced and she was set to return to filming when she died. On the documentary, “Marilyn Monroe, Her Final Days” they cobbled together some of the shot footage into 37 minutes of story. It gives a glimpse of what this film could have been. It would have been interesting to see Monroe evolve into that next stage of her career.

This movie is delightful. Doris Day isn’t afraid to be completely goofy. When she is pretending to be a Swedish nurse to check out the new wife, she is hilarious.

James Garner is great. I do love him. I have great memories of Jim Rockford and my husband still loves to catch his reruns on television. You understand why these women are both in love with him. He is irresistible. He still is. Just watch “The Notebook” and see if he’s lost that charm.
It is a great story, a remake of “My Favorite Wife”. Ellen Arden has been missing and presumed dead for five years. After waiting her husband Nick has her declared dead and moments later is married. He doesn’t know that his wife has just been rescued by a naval ship and is on her way home. She follows him to his honeymoon and gets the room next door to the bridal suite.

It starts a chain reaction of half truths, near misses and fun. There is the new wife, the guy that was stranded on the island with Ellen who happens to be in love with her too. A mother in law with a clear favorite in the wife race and finally two little girls who think their mother is dead. There is a great cameo by Don Knotts as a shoe salesman pulled into mix.
This has everything I love about this type of comedy from the early sixties. Especially all the innuendo. They talk about sex without ever saying the words. Ellen won’t let Nick into her bed until he gets rid of the other wife. The other wife is doing all she can to get her marriage consummated. Nick ends up falling off the building and in a full body cast to avoid breaking the news.

Finally the ending is happy. Ellen is desolate and sure Nick has left her. Her mother in law forces her to go into the back yard and tell her children who she is. As she enters the yard her daughter pops up in the pool and says “Hello Mommy”. Then her other daughter does the same thing. Then Nick pops up smiling that Rockford smile. She jumps fully clothed into the pool and we leave the happy family playing together.
It is a nice way to spend a Sunday morning.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

"Office Space" 1999

Office Space - Special Edition with Flair (Widescreen Edition)
“Office Space”
Dom Portwood: Hi, Peter. What's happening? We need to talk about your TPS reports.
Peter Gibbons: Yeah. The coversheet. I know, I know. Uh, Bill talked to me about it.
Dom Portwood: Yeah. Did you get that memo?
Peter Gibbons: Yeah. I got the memo. And I understand the policy. And the problem is just that I forgot the one time. And I've already taken care of it so it's not even really a problem anymore.
Dom Portwood: Ah! Yeah. It's just we're putting new coversheets on all the TPS reports before they go out now. So if you could go ahead and try to remember to do that from now on, that'd be great. All right!

This movie should be required viewing for anyone who has ever worked in an office. It perfectly captures the inane tasks, the weird coworkers, and the horrible fax machine. But it really captures the bosses. In every office job there is an organization chart, kind of a reverse family tree. The lower you are on the chart, the more bosses you have above you. I worked in an office where I had a team lead, a supervisor, a manager, and a Vice President. And those were just my direct line. There were others within the department that were also in charge of things I did. You had to be careful not to hit reply all to the wrong email.

I have had a Lumbergh. A female version of Lumbergh, even down to the glasses. She was not good at confrontation. I’ve managed people too and there is a good deal of confrontation involved in any leadership position. This manager had a terrible time with it. She would walk around for a few days looking like you had kicked her dog. Finally she would step up, tell you the problem, look like she was waiting for a blow to the head and run off.

This movie gets quoted in every office I have worked at since it came out.
Peter Gibbons: The thing is, Bob, it's not that I'm lazy, it's that I just don't care.
Bob Porter: Don't... don't care?
Peter Gibbons: It's a problem of motivation, all right? Now if I work my a$$ off and Initech ships a few extra units, I don't see another dime, so where's the motivation? And here's something else, Bob: I have eight different bosses right now.
Bob Slydell: I beg your pardon?
Peter Gibbons: Eight bosses.
Bob Slydell: Eight?
Peter Gibbons: Eight, Bob. So that means that when I make a mistake, I have eight different people coming by to tell me about it. That's my only real motivation is not to be hassled, that and the fear of losing my job. But you know, Bob, that will only make someone work just hard enough not to get fired.

Who hasn’t dreamed of making such a speech. If you don’t see your coworkers in this movie, you aren’t working in an office.
Milton Waddams: [on the phone] And I said, I don't care if they lay me off either, because I told, I told Bill that if they move my desk one more time, then, then I'm, I'm quitting, I'm going to quit. And, and I told Don too, because they've moved my desk four times already this year, and I used to be over by the window, and I could see the squirrels, and they were married, but then they switched from the Swingline to the Boston stapler, but I kept my Swingline stapler because it didn't bind up as much, and I kept the staples for the Swingline stapler and it's not okay because if they take my stapler then I'll set the building on fire.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

"Wayne's World" 1992

Wayne's World [Blu-ray]
“Wayne’s World”

Wayne Campbell: So, do you come to Milwaukee often?
Alice Cooper: Well, I'm a regular visitor here, but Milwaukee has certainly had its share of visitors. The French missionaries and explorers were coming here as early as the late 1600's to trade with the Native Americans.
Pete: In fact, isn't "Milwaukee" an Indian name?
Alice Cooper: Yes, Pete, it is. Actually , it's pronounced "mill-e-wah-que" which is Algonquin for "the good land."
Wayne Campbell: I was not aware of that.

I remember seeing this movie in the theater and loving it. I bought it on video as soon as it came out. I don’t quite remember how it became my then three year old son’s favorite movie.

“Wayne’s World” started as a funny skit on “Saturday Night Live”. Sometimes a three minute skit becomes a funny movie. But for every “The Blues Brothers”, there is a “Here’s Pat”. For every “Coneheads” there is a “Stuart Smalley Saves the World”. “Wayne’s World” created a great universe to expand on the funny skit. Mike Myers and Dana Carvey are both funny and have a great chemistry.

My son had been on a Disney kick. We had months of “101 Dalmations” which was starting to turn my brain into mush. I could quote it backwards and forwards. I had developed an unhealthy hate for Pongo and Perdita. I had started rooting for Cruella DeVil. I needed a change. I’m sure it was a matter of the kid being in the room while we were watching this movie and getting drawn in.

Soon he was obsessed. There is a scene where Wayne and Garth go to a club called The Gasworks. Soon every gas station was called the Gasworks. We had a dog named Phil. My son would look at him and quote Wayne, “Phil, you are partied out dude.”

Years later when I let him watch “Terminator 2” he finally got the joke with the cop.

But it was Alice Cooper that sunk in the deepest. I remember walking by his room and there he was lying on his Batman sheets singing “Be my Frankenstein!”

Just last year there was a local music festival that was headlining Alice Cooper. And my son was there. He wasn’t the only one that my son had to see that day, but he was a big part of it.

It is still a fun movie. I’ve never gotten tired of it. Even after he rewound the video tape so many times that he almost wore it out.

We’re not worthy.

Friday, August 26, 2011

"The Green Mile" 1999

The Green Mile (Blu-ray Book Packaging)
“The Green Mile”

Eduard Delacroix: [after Coffey shares his cornbread with Del] I thank you. Mr. Jingles thank you, my mom would thank you too but she's dead.

I have expressed my love of Tom Hanks. I think I have most of his films in my collection, so just be ready for me to express my love over and over again. I also have expressed my Stephen King love. This is an adaptation from Frank Darabont. I love all his tiny little genre of period prison films based on Stephen King stories. Both of them.

This movie is based on a series of books that came out over a six month period. It was an experiment in chap books that Stephen King wanted to try. It was torture waiting a month for the next installment. When a story is good I tend to gulp it down. I read it fast and then come back and reread it for the nuances. This book was awesome. And the adaptation is fantastic.

I let my husband know that we were going to this movie opening weekend. I had been waiting desperately to see this movie. We went to an evening show and stood in line waiting for the theater to open. There were two couples in front of us talking about movies. They were waiting for “The Green Mile” too. But they had chosen it because they were at the theater and it started at the right time.


I am a bit of a movie freak. Hello, that is what my blog is about! I have never understood showing up at a theater and saying, hey this starts at seven. I am usually in anticipation of a movie for weeks or months ahead of time. As much as going to the theater costs, I can’t imagine seeing something that I wasn’t excited about.

My husband had to hold me back as they continued their uneducated talk about the pedigree of the film and the ticket taker was playing the expert and was clueless. He said that the same guy that directed “Clerks” directed “The Green Mile”. Huh? Kevin Smith is a favorite too, but totally different movie.

Finally we were in and the movie was fantastic.

One thing about this movie that makes my husband laugh is Mr. Jingles. First some background on me and mice. I have an extreme and irrational fear of rodents. About once a year we get a mouse in the house. Usually after the weather turns cold the mice that live outside start looking for a nice warm nest for the winter. We get what I refer to as a “scout mouse”. I have a theory that the mice go from house to house and send in a scout to check it out. If it looks good, infestation. If the scout doesn’t come back, they move on. We normally get one or two and it is caught in a trap and we are done. The men in my life have learned that if there is even a hint of a mouse in the house, they keep quiet.

As they are typically spotted in the kitchen, I refuse to enter that part of the house. In the event of multiple mice I have left the house until the death notice is posted.

The movie started and we watched as Mr. Jingles came into the picture. By the time that bastard Percy killed him I was emotionally invested and started to cry.

“You’re crying over a mouse?” He was flabbergasted.

“Not just any mouse. Mr. Jingles.”

“You hate mice.”

“Mr. Jingles is a special mouse.”

There is so much about this movie that I love. I could write a book about all the things I love about it. The whole cast is great. Love Tom Hanks. Love Bonnie Hunt. Love Michael Clarke Duncan and the rest of the cast. But the real star is a little mouse that could make me forget that I hate mice. I love you Mr. Jingles. But don’t tell the bad mice in my kitchen.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

"Wizard of Oz" 1939

The Wizard of Oz (Two-Disc 70th Anniversary Edition)
“The Wizard of Oz”

There’s no place like home. "The Wizard of Oz" was released into movie theaters for the first time today in 1939.

I remember watching it every year around Easter when I was a kid. I’ve never been able to figure out why it is always on at Easter. But then it isn’t really connected to any other holiday either. This movie transcends generations. You say “I’ll get you my pretty” and chances are someone will pipe up with “And your little dog too!”

This movie was a favorite of my nephew and a few years later, my son.

I met my husband’s nephews a few months into dating. He had offered to babysit the three little boys while his sister and her husband went out with friends. So I came along to meet some family members. There was a flurry of introductions, an announcement that we were dating BUT NOT GETTING MARRIED, and his sister and husband left us with the boys.

All the boys were memorable to me. The oldest at eight was very studious and showed me the book he was reading. The middle one told me about his dog, Walter, who was a cool dog till he got eaten by a coyote. This story was odd till I found out that Walter was a very small dog. But the one that stands out is the littlest one.

He was four and had lost all four of his front teeth as a toddler. After getting settled in, I was in the kitchen helping to make some dinner.

He came up to me and tugged on my shirt.

“Do you like Darcy?” He asked.

“I don’t know Darcy.” Hoping it wasn’t someone I’d already met.

“He means Dorothy. The Wizard of Oz.” My husband translated.

“Oh, I love Dorothy.”

So I was dragged to the VCR to watch “The Wizard of Oz.”

It is hard to believe that adorable little boy is getting married in a few weeks. He has grown up to be an amazing and funny young man.

Wizard of Oz is universal. It is about friendship, adventure, and good vs. evil. It has witches and fake wizards. It has those freaky flying monkeys. So, follow the yellow brick road and watch a classic.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

"Airplane" 1980

Airplane! (Don't Call Me Shirley! Edition)
Randy: Can I get you something?
Second Jive Dude: 'S'mofo butter layin' me to da' BONE! Jackin' me up... tight me!
Randy: I'm sorry, I don't understand.
First Jive Dude: Cutty say 'e can't HANG!
Jive Lady: Oh stewardess! I speak jive.
Randy: Oh, good.
Jive Lady: He said that he's in great pain and he wants to know if you can help him.
Randy: All right. Would you tell him to just relax and I'll be back as soon as I can with some medicine?
Jive Lady: [to the Second Jive Dude] Jus' hang loose, blood. She gonna catch ya up on da' rebound on da' med side.
Second Jive Dude: What it is, big mama? My mama no raise no dummies. I dug her rap!
Jive Lady: Cut me some slack, Jack! Chump don' want no help, chump don't GET da' help!
First Jive Dude: Say 'e can't hang, say seven up!
Jive Lady: Jive a$$ dude don't got no brains anyhow! Hmmph!

My family never takes medicine. We “catch ya on da’ rebound with da med side”. It is just one way this movie has sunk into the dialogue of our family.

My favorite memory of this movie is when my son was about twelve or thirteen. My husband was really itching to introduce him to some comedy classics. But I am afraid my husband suffers from a serious mental disability. It is call “Booby Amnesia”. He has no memory of nudity in movies. I try to remind him of the boobies, but he always argues. It is really a sad condition. Someone should host a telethon.

When he told me that he wanted our son to watch “Airplane” I reminded him of the boobies.

“There are no boobies.” He insisted.

“There are boobies.”

“When are there boobies?”

“A girl comes right up to the camera, there is jiggling.”

“There are no boobies.” And he put the movie on.

Six minutes into the movie, there they are, BOOBIES!

My son loved the movie. He laughed uproariously. He saw the boobies. He watched it over and over. I voiced that I didn’t like him watching a movie with nudity in it.

“I’m watching for the laughs, Mom. Not the boobs.”

He still watches for the laughs.

Surely I can’t be serious. But yes, I am serious. And don’t call me Shirley.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

"The Firm" 1993

The Firm
“The Firm”

Bill DeVasher: Not just screwing, Mitch. All sorts of intimate acts, oral and whatnot, that can be particularly hard for a trusting wife to forgive and IMPOSSIBLE to forget.
Avery Tolar: How'd you find that out?
Bill DeVasher: What do you think I am around here, a f**king night watchman?
Avery Tolar: I get confused sometimes.
Bill DeVasher: Well, don't.

There is so much to love about a movie with my favorite diabetic, Wilford Brimley, as a bad guy. I can’t see him on those commercials for diabetic testing supplies without hearing these lines in my head.

This movie relies on a lot of luck and too many coincidences. It has a different ending than the book. And it stars Tom Cruise. I know, my second Tom Cruise movie in a week, but he’s been on cable. I’m only human.
Gene Hackman is great in this movie. He’s really good in almost everything. But I am pretty sure he doesn’t manage his money very well. He shows up in a lot of movies that seem a little below his pay grade. At least I hope he’s just doing it for the money.
Jeanne Tripplehorn, while pretty good in her role, seems a little old for the part. She doesn’t seem like a mid-twenties newlywed.
Holly Hunter is awesome. She was nominated for best supporting actress for this role. She lost to her “Piano” costar, Anna Paquin, but she took home best actress for her role in the same movie. So she had a good night.
Gary Busey was great. This movie is five years before his motorcycle accident and I still miss pre-accident Gary Busey. I watched his season of the “Celebrity Apprentice” and am still really sad about what has happened to this talented guy. It is a loss.
Ed Harris is great at angry. He gets to do a lot of that here.
Tom Cruise is his usual. He runs, he sweats, he breathes hard. He has to outwit the bad guys, jump out of a building and admit to sleeping with a girl on the beach. How about that? He is away from home one night. All it takes is a sprained ankle and he is doing the horizontal bop with a girl whose name he doesn’t catch. If they hadn’t set him up as madly in love with his wife I might buy it. But no, it kind of stinks.

When my husband and I watch this movie we love to point out the obvious exposition. This movie loves to subtly set up future events. Like the cotton truck. Mitch McDeere happens to walk by when two guys are arguing about the truck being parked in that alley EVERY DAY! Next thing you know, Mitch has a nice soft landing when he escapes. Wow!

I love the southern accents. It has Memphis and Elvis. Not the real one, but a good one. If it’s on I watch it. It is what I like to call a safety movie. If there is nothing else on that I’d rather see, it is a good way to pass the time.

Monday, August 22, 2011

"A League of their Own" 1992

A League of Their Own (Special Edition)
“A League Of Their Own”

Jimmy Dugan: Evelyn, could you come here for a second? Which team do you play for?
Evelyn Gardner: Well, I'm a Peach.
Jimmy Dugan: Well I was just wonderin' why you would throw home when we got a two-run lead. You let the tying run get on second base and we lost the lead because of you. Start using your head. That's the lump that's three feet above you’re a$$.
[Evelyn starts to cry]
Jimmy Dugan: Are you crying? Are you crying? ARE YOU CRYING? There's no crying! THERE'S NO CRYING IN BASEBALL!
Doris Murphy: Why don't you give her a break, Jimmy...
Jimmy Dugan: Oh, you zip it, Doris! Rogers Hornsby was my manager, and he called me a talking pile of pig$hit. And that was when my parents drove all the way down from Michigan to see me play the game. And did I cry?
Evelyn Gardner: No, no, no.
Jimmy Dugan: Yeah! NO. And do you know why?
Evelyn Gardner: No...
Jimmy Dugan: Because there's no crying in baseball. THERE'S NO CRYING IN BASEBALL! No crying!
Amazingly this movie has a lot of people that I don’t really care for but it comes together in a way that I really enjoy. But the magic is in the casting. That is what ultimately makes or breaks a great movie. I try never to avoid a movie just because of who’s starring in it. It would be easy to miss a lot of great movies.

There is a list of actors that I don’t care for. I really don’t like Juliette Lewis or Jennifer Jason Lee. I have a viral hatred for Gwyneth Paltrow. But they are all in movies I like.
Lori Petty stars as Kit. She annoys me, but in this movie she is the annoying little sister. Geena Davis is Dottie. She has always struck me as kind of stuck up. This also works for the role.
Madonna is slutty and outrageous and Rosie O’Donnell is pushy and sarcastic.
Tracy Reiner has a job because her mom is the boss.
Tom Hanks is great as Jimmy Dugan. He alone has the ability to pull it all together. Being the only man in these women’s lives, he becomes what each of them needs.

But you add all these parts together with a great story and a fantastic soundtrack and it works. I love this movie. It has love and loss, female empowerment and fun. Everyone is at the top of their game, on the field and off it.

I can watch this film over and over. I like the DVD because it has some great deleted scenes that I am happy they got rid of. The main one being a romance between Dottie and Jimmy. I am glad it was removed. You still the see the subtle flirting but it is all under the surface and not in your face.

The story is about two sisters. There is that final play of the last game. Dottie has come back to play before she really starts her married life. She loves baseball but she knows that while she’ll regret leaving it, it isn’t the most important thing. Kit is desperate to be out of Dottie’s shadow, but also anxious for her approval. Then in that last moment they collide on the field and the ball rolls out of Dottie’s hand. It was more important for Kit to win. In her heart Dottie knew that if Kit lost the game she would lose Kit forever.

When they see each other at the end, there is great affection between them.

How great was the older casting? Especially the older Dottie. She is spot on. I know they dubbed the voice, but it looks just like her too.
So I have a question for you. Is there a movie you love that has an actor you hate?