100 Word Blog Challenge

Day 8 – Nimoy

This is kind of old news but I reviewed Leonard Nimoy’s photo book The Full Body Project (Warning: nudity) a few years back. If you have not seen it yet it is worth checking out. It definitely gave me a new perspective on the man as a creative artist.

For many who grew up in my generation, Nimoy will forever be immortalized as the first officer with the pointed ears on the original Star Trek television series and movies. The series was first aired from 1966 to 1969 so I experienced it in reruns although I did not know it at the time.

Over the years I let my love for the series extend to its reinvention through: The Next Generation (1987–1994), Deep Space Nine (1993–1999), and Voyager (1995–2001) — I never got into Enterprise (2001–2005) but my love for the original cast always hung on with all the movie lines I stood in, first with a babysitter and then with my Jeff and his friends. For me these six movies are the original Star Trek:

  • The Motion Picture (1979)
  • The Wrath of Khan (1982)
  • The Search for Spock (1984)
  • The Voyage Home (1986)
  • The Final Frontier (1989)
  • The Undiscovered Country (1991)

Leonard Nimoy as Mr. Spock on Star Trek.

And while I was still enamoured with the Next Generations’ take on space something was always missing.

  • Generations (1994)
  • First Contact (1996)
  • Insurrection (1998)
  • Nemesis (2002)

I have watched the new generation of Star Trek but waited for it to come to rental as I probably will for the latest version. Do not get me wrong. The movies are enjoyable and the actors are well chosen. I am just not a stand in a long line movie goer anymore. Although I would not be opposed to seeing the original movies in the theatre again.

All the characters/actors of the original Star Trek are vital to the story but for me Nimoy was and is tops. And with DeForest Kelley (Bones) and James Doohan (Scotty), gone to the undiscovered country my heart aches a little that soon the rest of the crew (all born in the early to mid 1930s) will join them sooner than I would like. But they will all be immortalized in reruns and our DVD collections.

In the total span of Nimoy’s career he as worked on many projects not involving a Star Trek theme — other televisions shows, other movies, directing, writing, singing, photographer, teaching but…

Nimoy, you are, and always shall be, my Spock.

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100 Word Blog Challenge

Day 3 – Gerard

Gerard (Gerry) Butler that is. Love him to pieces. When it comes to actors I adore I seem to lean toward many from the UK. I do not know if it is the accents or what. Gerard Butler

Not only is he beautiful, he makes beautiful movies. He first came into my hottie radar in the movie Dracula 2000. I just love vampire movies and Butler made both an intimidating and sexy vampire as the lead, Dra-cu-la. Unfortunately I was one of the few who enjoyed the movie as it was considered a flop among movie moguls.

Gerry kind of fell out of my Radar until I watched Attila. A television epic tale about barbarian Attila the Hun’s life and death. I still have the copy of the VHS I taped it on even though I cannot watch it. Gerry walks around half naked most of the time but it really is a good movie. Lots of action. This is the movie that cemented my connection with him.

There after it seemed like he became the handsome supporting actor who gets killed or disappears. Reign of Fire, Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life, Timeline. Loved all three.

When Gerry was cast for The Phantom of the Opera I was dismayed. I just could not see him playing the phantom. But he pulled it off. And he can sing! I still think Christine made the wrong choice. And apparently, that was a problem with critics. Gerry was too good looking to play the Phantom. Not!

Next, Dear Frankie. What could make a woman melt more than a ruggedly handsome man pretending to be someone’s dad so a little deaf boy does not know the painful truth about his deadbeat dad and lying mother. I melted. Could he be more perfect?

Gerard Butler in white shirt.As you have probably figured out I find it hard to separate the actor from the character. But I really do not want to. It is entertainment after all and it is not like I am going to actually meet Gerard Butler.

To round things up here is some basic background on the man, not the characters. Gerry and I share the same birth year, 1969. He was born in Glasgow, Scotland, spent a short stint of toddlerhood in Montreal, Canada and grew up in Paisley, Scotland. Despite being Scottish, he is from Irish decent (me too!). I have been going on and on about his looks and acting ability but apparently he has an Honors degree in law. Looks and brains too! And long before I knew him he was an established stage actor.

There are many websites devoted to this talented and handsome movie hottie but no official website. He is too busy making movies I guess.

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Leaping Lizards!

One of my favorite movies, Annie, turns 30 this year. Seems like yesterday I was singing along with Albert Finney (Daddy Warbucks), Carol Burnett (Miss Hannigan), Bernadette Peters (Lily), Tim Curry (Rooster), and the freckle faced Aileen Quinn (Annie).

The Movie Annie

The Movie Annie celebrates its 30th Anniversary. Now available from Amazon.com for $5.99.

If that was not enough to make me feel old, I can tell you I have this movie on VHS. I know, right! I cannot even watch it anymore because we do not have a VHS player.

The only people I knew in the movie at the time were Carol Burnett, I remember watching her earlier variety show with my favorite aunt, and Bernadette Peters, from The Jerk with Steve Martin — I know she has done a lot TV/movies/Broadway but at the time that is what I knew her for. All the actors have done so much since Annie. When I think of Albert Finney these days I think Erin Brockovich before I think Annie.

If you are not familiar with the Annie story it is about a little girl with bright red curls who lives in an orphanage under the rule of a cranky heavy-drinking den mother. Annie wins the opportunity to spend a few weeks living with one of the richest men in town as part of his PR campaign to improve his image. Of course everyone falls in love with her. Daddy Warbucks decides he wants to help her find her parents and offers a reward which leads to numerous people suddenly claiming the girl as their own long lost daughter.

Annie was loosely based on the Broadway musical, which I have never seen but would love to, and before that there was the comic strip by Harold Gray (Little Orphan Annie, 1924).

The film is one of my favorite musicals with lots of great songs, melodrama, slapstick humor, and sappy tearful moments to entertain a wide range of ages. The biggest message that comes across is that even though our families may not always provide us with the love we are entitled to there is much love to be given by those who are not related to us — families come in more flavors than Skittles.

Here is Annie singing tomorrow for President Roosevelt — still tears me up after all these years — it’s right up there with Hallmark commercials:

I read recently that actor, singer, producer, Will Smith is producing an updated version of Annie that will star his daughter and have updated music. I am not sure how I feel about it. Generally I hate my favorite movies being remade because they are usually horrible. But Smith produced the remake of The Karate Kid starring his son and it was good so the prospect of him in charge of an Annie remake is promising.

To Kill a Mockingbird Film Review

Atticus Fitch is a widowed father of two children; Jean Louis (Mary Badham) who goes by the nickname Scout is 6 years old and her brother Jeremy Atticus (Phillip Alford) who goes by the nick name Jem is 10 years old.

The review for To Kill a Mockingbird was originally written 1/19/2009 for Literary Fiction, BellaOnline. The full review of To Kill a Mockingbird can now be read at Squid Flix.

Iris Movie Review

“If one doesn’t have words, how does one think?”

Kate Winslet as Iris Murdoch.Iris Murdoch (1919 – 1999) was a prolific author and philosopher having written twenty-seven works of fiction, five philosophical books, six plays and two books of poetry. Her novel, The Sea, the Sea, won the 1978 Booker Prize. The film, Iris, is based on two of her husband John Bayley’s books about her life — Iris: A Memoir and Elegy for Iris. It covers approximately 40 years from her early courtship with John, a novelist and an English professor, until her death.

The focus of this story is Iris and John’s relationship and their mutual love of words. It follows the course of their rocky courtship and lovely philosophical discussions to the repetitiveness and forgetfulness that invades Iris’s words, facial recognition and then beloved activities like swimming, dressing and ultimately writing, as she begins to exhibit telltale signs of Alzheimer’s.

“You know more about me than anyone. You are my world.”

My Review

The movie opens with a young couple (Kate Winslet and Hugh Bonneville) swimming deeply in murky water. The young forms merge into older ones (Judi Dench and Jim Broadbent) and this is pretty much how the film deals with time by switching back and forth between the here and now and lost memories.

Iris was a philosopher so it’s not surprising to see many philosophical ideas brought to fusion. This romantic film makes the viewer think a little afterwards. That is if you’re listening to the words. Otherwise they can pass so quickly and be easily forgotten. One of these ideas is education and its individual worth. Can it in stow happiness in the bearer. And whether it is better to have “freedom of the mind or an educated mind”.

A similar idea is our attachment to words. “If one doesn’t have words, how does one think?” There’s an ongoing discussion on the importance of language and being able to communicate one’s thoughts. If one can’t write then one can’t think which leads to thinking of Iris, the writer; if Iris can’t think Iris can’t write. If she can’t live without thinking she can’t live without writing. One of Iris’s greatest fears was going mad because she considered herself one of those people who lived in their minds. When she is stricken with memory losses John is constantly trying to get her to write, thinking perhaps if she can’t write then she won’t lose her beautiful mind.

According to the film, Iris believed that love is the only language that anybody understands. Iris was not a woman to be contained. She said what she thought and did what she wanted when she wanted often making it difficult for John to accept. But through it all he continued to love her. The film expands the concept of what love means and what it could mean to different people. Unconditional love is a recurring theme within the movie as Iris and John’s relationship is continually tested.

In another early scene John and Iris are racing down a road on bikes. Iris pulls ahead of him and he yells after her, “I can’t catch up with you!” This feeling is consistent throughout their relationship whether they are on the bike or not. Near the end John constantly searches for signs of the woman he knew. Once her disease takes hold the film becomes emotionally moving and I was brought both to tears and fear of mind; especially by John’s reactions, both positive and negative. He begins to move through the grieving process long before she dies. One line he says in particular brought this home for me, “I use to be so afraid of being alone with you. And now I can’t be without you.”

Jim Broadbent and Judi Dench in a scene from IRIS.Jim Broadbent won a well deserved Oscar for his role in 2002 for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for his portrayal of John Bayley and it is well deserved. I also thought Hugh Bonneville’s (young Bayley) performance is particularly notable and the likeness between him and Broadbent is amazing. Winslet and Dench are superb actors in their own right but there was nothing extraordinary about their performance other than their ability to meld with the other actors. Which I think is often as important as telling the story. In other words they weren’t bigger than the parts they played.

Iris is a heartbreaking love story about human love and the love words and the freedom of thinking.

Official Movie Trailer for Iris

Here is a sneak peek into the world of Iris Murdoch as portrayed by Kate Winslet and Dame Judi Dench.

Topic Links
* Add Iris to your library
* My Review of The Bell
* My review of Under the Net by Iris Murdoch

The review for the movie Iris was first published at 7/2/2007 at Literary Fiction BellaOnline.