Monday, December 31, 2012

Skyfall Encore!



Thinking I should see Skyfall in the theatre one more time before it's gone forever. For me, this was one of the best James Bond flicks in recent years. The fact that I'm a huge fan of Daniel Craig is another reason to take the leap (no pun intended). And of course seeing Javier Bardem remove the mouth piece that prevents his face from looking like a living skull is priceless.

Best line: Welcome to Scotland!


Saturday, December 29, 2012

Django Unchained



Hands down, the best movie of the year!

Synopsis: Set in the pre-civil war south, white bounty hunter, Dr. King Shultz and former slave Django partner up to buy Django's wife from evil slave owner Calvin Candie.

I'm not a big Quentin Tarantino fan. His films are typically too violent, crude and profane for my delicate sensibilities.

But the violence in Django Unchained is justified. The horror of slavery is graphically portrayed, creating intense emotions in the audience. Yet, Tarantino tempers the violence with tasteful humor. A difficult balance to say the least.

Jamie Foxx (Django), Christoph Waltz (Dr. Shultz), Leonardo DiCaprio (Calvin Candie)...all brilliant in their roles.

The cinematography, script and music work together to create a provocative film that you will never forget.

I'm pretty stoked as the winter scenes were shot in my home state of Wyoming! Jackson, Wyoming to be exact. It was pretty cool seeing those magnificent shots of Wyoming's bison and elk herds.

Auf wiedersehen, ya'll.


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Dear Readers:

I will be taking some time off from blogging for a while. Thank you all so much for you support and encouragement. Not sure when I will resume but I will keep you posted.

Thanks again!

Luana

Sunday, August 5, 2012

This Week at the Movies



I'm in Boston this week on vacation and I've been going to the movies a lot. The weather is so hot and humid that the cool refrigerated atmosphere of the cineplex is a welcome reprieve.

Ice Age 4: Continental Drift (Papa Mammoth Manny is worried about losing his little girl ... as well as it being the end of the world. Scrat, in his enthusiastic pursuit of an acorn, spins the Earth's core like bowling ball and starts the continents to drift.)

To Rome With Love (Alec Baldwin guides Jesse Eisenberg is his relationships. Meanwhile Woody Allen acts as impresario to an opera singer who can only sing in the shower. Best Line: "Go ahead. Walk into the propeller.)

Total Recall (Colin Ferrell goes for one heck of a ride. Is he secret agent? Does he have a wife? How can he crash his car so many times without breaking every bone in his body?)

Brave (Red Hair. Bears. Bagpipes. Archery. Witches. Spells. The Eating of Pastry.)

Whew! And that doesn't count what I saw on DVD:

The Lightning Thief (The Son of Poseidon tries to clear his name and in the process must rescue his mother and defeat the real lightning thief, Luke, Son of Hermes. There is also a crazed five-headed dragon that is turned into stone by the head of Medusa aka Uma Thurman.)

Underdog (Non animated version of the classic cartoon. Doesn't come close to the adorable Shoeshine Boy of my childhood. But I must say ... this beagle ROCKS!)

Anatomy of a Murder (James Stewart, Lee Remick and Ben Gazzara in a murder mystery that was pretty risque for it's time. Didn't know you could say "b***tch" in the movies in 1959.)

Saturday, July 28, 2012

The King

Cartoon by Mark Parisi - "Off the Mark"

So I was flipping through the channels last night and came across Stephen King's "It." Richard Thomas, John Ritter, Tim Reid --- oh YEAH! I'd been wondering what book to bring with me on my vacation and now I have my answer.

Isn't it ironic that clowns frighten children? What does that say about Ronald McDonald? He's the creepiest clown I know. I read  that McDonald's is doing away with the clown. It's about time.

What's your favorite clown movie?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Wicked Wednesday: Cruella DeVille



The worst kind of evil. Murdering sweet little puppies just so you can feed your tremendously vain ego with a Dalmation fur coat!

Cruella is a Fashionista Nazi. Yes, her clothes are fabulous, but at what price? Do the ends justify the means? Absolutely not! If there ever were a time for faux fur, it's now.

I've always wonderd what Anita saw in her. They are best friends? You've got to be kidding! I can't picture them together having lunch, shopping and chit chatting at Starbucks.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Crazy People



I watched this creepy move on Lifetime Movie Network the other day. "An Officer and a Murderer." It's about a well-respected Army colonel who stalks women, breaks into their homes, ties them up, photographs them and then video tapes himself with them. He makes them wear a blindfold so they don't see him. If they  do see him, he kills them. He also takes their underwear with him and wears it under his military uniform.

The crazy thing is that this is based on a true story. When he was finally caught, his friends and neighbors said they couldn't believe it. He was such a "nice guy."

Last week I was hanging around the bargain section at Barnes and Noble and came across a book with an intriguing title: "The Sociopath Next Door." It was written by Martha Stout, a psychologist. In the book, she explains anti-social disorder and gives examples from actual cases (a composite of the people she has actually treated in therapy). The book is fascinating. I was especially intrigued because I have a gradute degree in psychology and have always been interested in human behavior, especially mental disorders.

ANYWAY...because of this book I've been attuned to sociopathy and have noticed it more and more in characters in films. It seems as though many villains are either psychopaths or sociopaths to some degree. As a screenwriter, I think that knowing about these mental disorders will make my characters more realistic. Truth is indeed stranger than fiction.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Wicked Wednesday: Biff



Biff Tannen was the biggest bully in Hill Valley. Just ask George McFly if you don't believe me. He made George's life miserable! Fortunately, George's son, Marty went back to 1955 and changed the future. Daddy George became a successful science fiction author and Biff ended up with the fuzzy end of the lollypop. Ah, sweet justice.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Getting Ready for the Shoot Out



Friend and co-producer, Susan V. and I have started our plan of attack for the next Cheyenne Shoot Out Filmmaking Festival. Slated for the first weekend in October, the event challenges filmmakers to create a  film in 24 hours with only in-camera editing. The film can be no longer than seven minutes including credits and it must include elements from a "Brief" given to the filmmakers on the day of the shoot. The Brief includes specific locations, various "Cheyenne/Wyoming" items, and a phrase (either spoken or shown) that must be in the film.

Last year was our first attempt and we were thrilled to have won three awards for our movie, The Bear Switch Project (Best Comedy, Best Actor and Best Film).

This year we have experience on our side. We know what to expect. We know what worked and what didn't.

We met last week to brainstorm story ideas and now I'm writing the first draft of the script. I can't tell you about the movie but I will say it's a comedy and involves an alien.

Until next time, adios, amigos!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter



Coolest movie EVER!

I love movie ideas that go outside the box. And this one is so outside the box that it's flying to the Moon!

Abe hunts vampires with a silver tipped axe, which is also rigged with a gun that shoots silver bullets. If you know your vampire lore, only silver can kill a vampire.

So why is Abe a vampire hunter in the first place? Because when he was a boy his mother was killed by a vampire and Abe is out for revenge.

Adam, the leader of the vampires owns a plantation and feeds on his slaves. He wants to take over America and make it a haven for all vampires. So he sends his vampire minions to fight with the Rebels against the Union.

At the Battle of Gettysburg, Abe supplies the troops with silver bayonets and bullets. Even Mary Todd Lincoln gets in the act and has a final showdown with the evil vampiress.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Movie Music Monday: The Jazz Singer

I still get chills when I hear this song by Neil Diamond . Happy Birthday, America!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Kid Stuff -- Or Is It?




This month when my grandkids visit, we'll be watching some of the BEST kids animation movies EVER! Take a sneak peak at our party shows!

The Incredibles -- Why couldn't I have grown up in a family like this?
The Lion King -- Haven't seen it yet.
Dispicable Me -- Haven't seen it yet.
Ratatouille -- My favorite! Genius on every level.
Madagascar -- Love the cultural references that go over the kids' heads.
Tangled  -- Maximus the Horse ROCKS!
Kung Fu Panda  -- Po is my Bro!
Cars -- I always knew that cars had personality. Mine is a Bohemian coffee house singer.
Toy Story -- Makes me want to play with my toys so they don't get lonesome.
Pocahantas -- Haven't seen it yet.
Lady and the Tramp -- Best Doggy Rom Com.
101 Dalmatians -- Cutest pups EVER!

And we'll go to the theatre to see Brave which is SO gonna happen!

So which is your favorite?

Monday, June 25, 2012

Friday, June 22, 2012

Puppets RULE!



I'm a puppeteer. There's just something about bringing an inanimate object to life that captivates me. Must be the Frankenstein gene..."It's ALIVE!"

I have an enormouse puppet collection. They are my peeps. They love to perform and speak their minds.

I have "people" puppets (kids with red hair, black hair, pig tails, blonde hair, hillbillies, princesses, angels, doctors, etc.)

I have animal puppets (crow, frog, mouse, lion, dragon, penguin, cat, dog, wolf, zebra, etc.)

My goal is to learn to perform with marionets.

This was a good month for my puppets. Granddaughter Lily was visiting and we brought them all out and had a blast. She especially liked Dundee the Zebra puppet from Australia.

I also brought one lucky puppet (Billy Joe Crow) to Vacation Bible School this week to talk to the kids about flying from London to the United States.

Just yesterday I watched a movie called "The Beaver." Mel Gibson has psychological issues (in the movie!) and can only communicate through a beaver puppet. I was also mesmerized with the B story about his teen son Porter, which was compelling and beautful. The film was directed by Jodie Foster. This has become one of my favorite films.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Wicked Wednesday: Scorpio



Scorpio is a total psycho. How lame is it that when Dirty Harry catches the guy, he walks on a technicality?!.But Scorpio better watch his back cuz Harry says, "Sooner or later he's gonna stub his toe and I'll be right there."

Monday, June 18, 2012

Movie Music Monday: Nine to Five

This movie CRACKED ME UP! Lily Tomlin was hilarious in the hospital scene. Jane Fonda was great as the housewife turned secretary and totally rocked the inept newbie. Dolly Parton got to show off her hog-tying skills.

Friday, June 15, 2012

What's New?



Well, last weekend hubby and I trekked up to Sundance, Wyoming and checked out Devil's Tower. Got some good footage which I'll be putting together for a movie. Waiting for Muse to toss some ideas my way.

I wrote a short sketch I'll be performing this Sunday to promote our Vacation Bible School at church. I'm Lois Lane and I'll be interviewing VBS Man! VBS starts next week and I will be in charge of music -- teaching first through sixth graders to sing and dance. Gotta channel Gene Kelly.

Brainstorming script ideas with co-director Susan for the Cheyenne Shoot Out 24 Hour Filmmaking Festival which will be in October. Still no word from Muse.

Making a Shakespeare in the Park documentary short.

Creating a music video parody.

In other news, I'm trying out some new cupcake recipes and baking up a storm. Last week I made Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting, garnished with chocolate sprinkles and a Hershey's Kiss. After that I made some delicious Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting dusted with yellow food glitter.

I took the Red Velvet to the Theatre Volunteers Awards Event. Everybody loved them (just like Sally Field). I took the Lemon cupcakes to the office and my coworkers were devastated by their awesomeness (to quote Kung Fu Panda).

Monday, June 11, 2012

Movie Music Monday: Chariots of Fire

When I saw this movie in the theatre in 1981, I had just started my running career. I was inspired to say the least. I've been running ever since. I love the look of joy on the runner's faces in this clip. That's how I feel when I run.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Wicked Wednesdays: The Joker

Welcome to Wicked Wednesdays where we chat
about movie villains past, present and future.



Okay, I'll tell you right now. Batman is my favorite superhero. He's not an alien and he doesn't have super powers. His talent is his resourcefulness, courage and determination. And it doesn't hurt that he's got so much money he makes Donald Trump look like a hobo.

The most imposing Batman villain has got to be The Joker. Previous "Jokers" like the bombastic Jack Nicholson or the goofy Cesar Romero set the stage for the darkest, most demented Joker to ever rock Gotham City -- Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight (2008).

Nevertheless, you can't help feeling a BIT sorry for him when he tells about his horrible childhood:

JOKER: You wanna know how I got these scars? My father, was a drinker, and a fiend. And one night, he goes off crazier than usual. Mommy gets the kitchen knife to defend herself. He doesn't like that. Not. One. Bit. So, me watching, he takes the knife to her, laughing while he does it. He turns to me and says, "Why so serious?" Comes at me with the knife. "WHY SO SERIOUS?" He sticks the blade in my mouth... "Let's put a smile on that face."

Which is your favorite Batman movie?

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Titus Andronicus



If you want to see a movie that will visually blow your socks off, ya gotta see Titus Andronicus (2000)starring Anthony Hopkins. This was Shakespeare's first tragedy -- a violent, bloody revenge play set during the Roman Empire. Directed by Richard Griffin, Titus Andronicus incorporates modern sets (cars, motorcycles, etc.) with Ancient Rome derivative of Jesus Christ Superstar. Hopkins is outstanding.



Monday, June 4, 2012

Movie Music Monday: Working Girl

Great movie about the 1980s career woman starring Melanie Griffith with an amazing theme song by Carly Simon, "Let the River Run."

Friday, June 1, 2012

Coolest Dude EVER!



Okay, so I just finished a radio drama performance of "Casablanca" and "The Maltese Falcon." Had a blast and the cast party is this Sunday!

In the mean time I was inspired to watch these classic films again. I knew Humphrey Bogart was cool, but seeing him this week I'm blown away by his awesomeness. He rolls his own smokes. He drinks bourbon. He flirts with women - and the women flirt with him. Bogey takes no guff from anyone. He stands his ground, even if it means a sock in the jaw or a slug from a fourty-five. Bogey is what every guy wants to be and what every girl wants. Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating, but you know what I mean.

Woody Allen was inspired by Bogey's coolness when he wrote  his stage play, "Play It Again, Sam," about a recently divorced neurotic film buff who is given advice about women by Bogart's ghost.

Bogey talks:

Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.

The whole world is about three drinks behind.

I stick my neck out for nobody.

My, my, my! Such a lot of guns around town and so few brains!

I collect blondes and bottles, too.

When your head says one thing and your whole life says another, your head always loses.

When you're slapped, you'll take it and like it.

People lose teeth talking like that. If you want to hang around, you'll be polite.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Wicked Wednesdays: Miss Gulch

Welcome to Wicked Wednesdays where we chat
about movie villains past, present and future.




I've been watching the Wizard of Oz since I was knee high to a Munchkin, so it's only natural that my first memory of a movie villain would be the one and only Miss Gulch aka The Wicked Witch of the West.

Watching this movie as a young girl, I related to Dorothy and hated the Witch. But now that I'm "old" -- I relate more to the Witch. I understand Miss Gulch's impatience with Toto. There's nothing worse than an annoying neighborhood dog. Miss Gulch is a woman who takes action and doesn't just sit around and wait for things to happen. She jumps on her bicycle and pedals over the dusty country road to confront the Gale family. She could care less if there's a cyclone brewing. She's prepared for anything. She has already been to the Sheriff to obtain a legal document giving her permission to take the dog. You go, girl!

As for the Wicked Witch of the West. . . what do you expect when someone kills your sister? Even though the legal term is "manslaughter," you don't come back from something like that. Just sayin'.

Would you confront your neighbors about their annoying dog?

Monday, May 28, 2012

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

My Semi-Annual Hollywood Rant



Pet Peeve: Hollywood's penchant for rehashing old movies and TV shows. Seriously, do we really need another Men in Black? In 3-D no less?

Hollywood is a wimp. It plays it safe. No risk. No edge. Of course it's all about the money. They have to sign those checks to the big stars and making a movie is not cheap when you're caught up in the Hollywood Machine. That's why there is a revolution in filmmaking. Movies and TV are changing and a new generation of  filmmakers are taking the lead.

Thanks to technology, the average Joe or Jane filmmaker can make a high quality movie without a huge budget. The Internet is changing TV and movies as well. Television networks are struggling to keep audiences. We should have seen this coming when Survivor started the reality TV craze of the past decade. Studios don't have to pay writers for scripts and thus they can save a bundle. Yeah, right.

Now the pendulum has swung and scripted shows are back with a vengeance. But it might be too late. Web TV is going to blow the socks off the entertainment industry. At least, that's my prediction and I'm not a gypsy with a crystal ball.

We now continue with today's program. . .



Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Le Voyage du Ballon Rouge



So I'm watching the Sundance Channel last week and come across a movie called "The Flight of the Red Balloon." The title intrigued me because I immediately thought of the classic French film "The Red Balloon" that I had seen in high school.

"The Flight of the Red Balloon" is only vaguely inspired by the original, but what they have in common is a little boy, a red balloon and Paris. That was enough for me.

I loved the film. It was in French with English subtitles, which was great for me because I'm learning French and it helped me with the language. Ooh La La!

The Story: Suzanne and her son Simon live in Paris. She is a single mother who works as an actor in a puppet theatre. She hires Song, a young Taiwanese film student as a nanny for Simon. The movie presents the every day life of the characters and how they relate to each other. There is no major conflict or dramatic moment. The story is mostly about the harried life of Suzanne and the affection between her and her son, and also between Song and Simon and between Song and Suzanne. (Notice that all their names are an alliteration?)

The strong points in the film are the cinematography and the visual metaphors. The color red is a theme and I had much fun looking for "red" in the images. The balloon itself was a minor character and didn't appear very often. But when it did, it was compelling and drew you in. The visuals were stunning throughout.

There were very long takes, which was fascinating to watch. It's really amazing when you can see a scene in a film played out that way with no interruptions. It gives the actor time to develop the scene and see what they can do with it.

I enjoyed the scenes of the puppet theatre. The dialog of the puppet story related to the story of the characters.

If you're in the mood for a deep, reflective film experience, and not in a hurry for "something to happen," and if you enjoy lovely cinematography -- and Paris -- then you will be impressed with this film, as I was.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Movie Music Monday: The Sting

The Sting is one of my all time favorite flicks. Not only is it a great story, but it showcases the amazing talents of Paul Newman and Robert Redford, in addition to Marvin Hamlisch's brilliant score featuring the music of Scott Joplin.

This movie inspired me to learn Joplin rags on the piano. I learned to play The Entertainer, Pineapple Rag, Solace and The Easy Winners.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Movie Music Monday: Superman

Superman was the first movie I ever saw on VHS. I remember the day when the kids and I went to Montgomery Ward and bought our first VCR in 1984. Unfortunately Hubby was away on a TDY in the Air Force and not available for the masculine duty of setting up the VCR. But my grandpa came to the rescue. The kids and I headed to Blockbuster and picked out a movie. We all agreed Superman would be cool. We had not seen it yet and we were excited.

We sat on the couch with our popcorn and popped in the tape. We were mesmerized when we saw the fabulous images in the opening credits accompanied by this dynamic music. I will never forget that day.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

What Do I Have in Common with Ingrid Bergman?



We both play "Ilsa Lund" in "Casablanca"!

I was cast in the CLTP's production of "Casablanca/The Maltese Falcon Radio Drama"!

As if that weren't fabulous enough, I was also cast as Brigid O'Shaughnessy in "The Maltese Falcon"! So I have something in common with Mary Astor as well.

Yay, me!

The auditions were a blast. We have a Foley Artist who will be doing the sound effects. And best of all, everyone who auditioned was cast in the show! I love when that happens.



Monday, May 7, 2012

Movie Music Monday: Live and Let Die

As a die hard Beatles fan and later, a Wings fan, I was blown away by this song back in the day. Who would have thought Paul McCartney would be on a James Bond soundtrack?

Friday, May 4, 2012

The Raven

My birthday was April 28 and of course I went to the movies. "The Raven" was playing and I was thrilled. I'm a fan of Edgar Allan Poe and also of John Cusack. Perfect combination. I've got to give a shout out to Cusack for his amazing performance. I never realized until I saw this movie what a versatile actor he is. Comedy, drama, romance, action...he's a master at them all. This is what happens when a great script and a great actor get together.

Director James McTeigue captured the haunting tone of the story with superb sets and costumes, as well as stunning cinematography (my favorite part of filmmaking). I also applaud the fabulous score by Lucas Vidal.
I don't typically watch movies more than once at the theatre, but I'm going to see this again. It is truly amazing on the big screen.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Changing My Wasteful Ways

I saw a documentary called "Garbage! The Revolution Starts at Home" on the Sundance Channel last week.

The film followed a family of five (two adults and three young children -- including a baby in diapers) to see how much garbage they accumulate in a three-month period. I was blown away by how much we all contribute to pollution without even knowing it. This film really opened my eyes. I'm going to change my wasteful habits and make a difference. Starting with no more bottled water.

I've found a cool website that sells eco friendly products to prevent waste.
www.reuseit.com

Monday, April 30, 2012

Z is for Zeng



Welcome to the A to Z Blogging Challenge where I will post on a word
featuring a different letter of the alphabet each day of the month of April.
My theme for this challenge is Animals on TV and Film.



Zeng - "Kung Fu Panda"

THE STORY: Po is a goofy, lazy. gluttonous panda with a heart of gold. He loves Kung Fu and aspires to be a Kung Fu warrior. His dream comes true when he is chosen as the Dragon Warrior. With the help of the Furious Five - Tigris, Crane, Mantis, Viper and Monkey, Po defeats the vengeful snow leopard Tai Lung.

ABOUT ZENG: Zeng is a timid Chinese goose and messenger of Master Shifu. He is clumsy when he gets nervous, which is pretty much all the time. Zeng was sent to Chor-Ghom Prison to tell the guards to double their security on Tai Lung, even though there are already one thousand guards and Tai Lung is the only prisoner. Ironically, Zeng leaves one of his feathers behind and, like Hannibal Lector, Tai Lung uses it to escape. Watch out, Dragon Warrior. Game on!

Has a goose ever gotten you into trouble?

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Y is for Yogi Bear



Welcome to the A to Z Blogging Challenge where I will post on a word
featuring a different letter of the alphabet each day of the month of April.
My theme for this challenge is Animals on TV and Film.


"Yogi Bear"

THE STORY: Yogi Bear lives in Jellystone Park with his little pal Boo-Boo Bear. He has a hankerin' for picnic baskets and spends all his time trying to steal them. Ranger Smith does his best to thwart Yogi but is not always successful.

ABOUT YOGI: Yogi has a healthy self-esteem but is a bit narcissistic, referring to himself as "smarter than the average bear." His girlfriend Cindy Bear keeps him on his toes and does not appreciate his wild side. Yogi is a kleptomaniac and he cannot control himself when he sees a picnic basket. He needs therapy.

Have you ever been to Yellowstone?

Friday, April 27, 2012

X is for Xtra (Wild Card)


Welcome to the A to Z Blogging Challenge where I will post on a word
featuring a different letter of the alphabet each day of the month of April.
My theme for this challenge is Animals on TV and Film.



"The Black Stallion"

THE STORY: A boy named Alec and a wild Arabian stallion are the only survivors of a shipwreck, washing up on the beach of a deserted island. Alec and "The Black" learn to trust each other and thrive in their island paradise. Eventually they are rescued, but modern life has lost its appeal as both recall their days of freedom on the isalnd.

ABOUT THE BLACK: This horse is a survivor -- imprisoned by Arab traders on a ship, swimming for his life when the ship explodes, and trapped by tangled ropes among boulders on the island. Alec is his only friend; he saves the horse's life and the horse saves Alec's. When they are rescued, The Black experiences new adventures as a race horse trained by none other than Mickey Rooney. 

Name three things you'd like to have with you on a deserted island.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

W is for Wilbur



Welcome to the A to Z Blogging Challenge where I will post on a word
featuring a different letter of the alphabet each day of the month of April.
My theme for this challenge is Animals on TV and Film.


Wilbur - "Charlotte's Web"

THE STORY: A pig named Wilbur is in danger getting slaughtered, so his friend Charlotte, a spider, comes to the rescue.

ABOUT WILBUR:  Wilbur was the runt of the litter and almost died. Luckily, a farm girl named Fern took him under her wing and raised him as her very own pet pig. Wilbur had a lot of friends on the farm but his very best friend was Charlotte. She was wise and kind and loved Wilbur very much. Wilbur was SOME PIG!

Do you have any spider stories?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

V is for Verdell



Welcome to the A to Z Blogging Challenge where I will post on a word
featuring a different letter of the alphabet each day of the month of April.
My theme for this challenge is Animals on TV and Film.


Verdell - "As Good as it Gets"

THE STORY: A humorous, yet profound tale of three New Yorkers whose lives connect -- Melvin, a best-selling novelist with OCD; Carol, a single mom and waitress with a sick child; and Simon, a gay artist. 

ABOUT VERDELL: Verdell is Simon's Brussels Griffon. When Simon ends up in the hospital after a brutal beating, Verdell stays with Melvin, who doesn't like the dog at all. But over time, Melvin and Verdell become best buddies. Bacon plays an important part in the relationship. When Simon comes home, poor Verdell is torn between his loyalty to Simon and his new friend Melvin. 

Do you like bacon?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

U is for Underdog



Welcome to the A to Z Blogging Challenge where I will post on a word
featuring a different letter of the alphabet each day of the month of April.
My theme for this challenge is Animals on TV and Film.



"Underdog"

THE STORY: "There's no need to fear - Underdog is here!" Underdog is the alter ego of humble and lovable Shoeshine Boy. When there is trouble afoot, Shoeshine Boy enters a phone booth and becomes the amazing superhero, Underdog!

ABOUT UNDERDOG: Underdog always speaks in rhymes and takes a "super energy pill" to boost his superpowers. "The secret compartment of my ring I fill / With an Underdog super energy pill." His love interest is Sweet Polly Purebred, a TV reporter. When she gets in a pickle, she sings, "Where oh where has my Underdog gone?" No cartoon would be complete without a mad scientist. Enter Sinister Bar Sinister. 

BONUS TRIVIA: A "Barre Sinister" is a diagonal line, running from top right to bottom left on medieval family crests, indicating the person is a bastard by birth; this was a clever inside joke typical of animation writing at the time.

Monday, April 23, 2012

T is for Toto



Welcome to the A to Z Blogging Challenge where I will post on a word
featuring a different letter of the alphabet each day of the month of April.
My theme for this challenge is Animals on TV and Film.



Toto - "The Wizard of Oz"

THE STORY: Dorothy longs for a place over the rainbow and ends up in the Wonderful Land of Oz. It's beautiful and magical but there's no place like home.

ABOUT TOTO: Toto is the catalyst of everything that happens. He gets taken by Miss Gulch and Dorothy has to run away to keep Toto safe. It's his fault Dorothy wasn't in the storm cellar when the cyclone came. Toto led the Scarecrow, Tin Man and Lion to the witch's castle so they could rescue Dorothy. He's also the one that caused Dorothy to miss the balloon ride with the Wizard, thus allowing Glinda, the Good Witch of the North, to show her the lesson of the ruby slippers. Now that's some dog!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

S is for Seabiscuit



Welcome to the A to Z Blogging Challenge where I will post on a word
featuring a different letter of the alphabet each day of the month of April.
My theme for this challenge is Animals on TV and Film.



"Seabiscuit"

THE STORY: It's the Great Depression and America needs a hero. Enter Seabiscuit - a little horse with a big heart. In the words of the horse's owner Charles Howard - "The horse is too small, the jockey is too big, the trainer is too old and I'm too dumb to know the difference."

ABOUT SEABISCUIT: Not the biggest horse or the most beautiful, Seabiscuit holds his own in the race to end all races against War Admiral, the top racehorse in the country. For those down on their luck and standing in soup lines, Seabiscuit is a metaphor for hope. There's a reason a horse shoe brings good luck.

If you were a horse what would your name be?

Friday, April 20, 2012

R is for Remy



Welcome to the A to Z Blogging Challenge where I will post on a word
featuring a different letter of the alphabet each day of the month of April.
My theme for this challenge is Animals on TV and Film.


Remy - "Ratatouille"

THE STORY: A rat named Remy aspires to be a chef. Of course, rats and restaurants go together like peanut butter and ketchup. Remy befriends a garbage boy named Linguini, and together they create a delicious ratatouille that impresses snobby food critic Anton Ego.

ABOUT REMY: Remy comes from a poor family of rats that scrounge for food among garbage in dingy alleys. Yet, this little rat has a dream - to be the Gordon Ramsay of Paris chefs. Somehow Remy developed amazing culinary skills which will serve him well if he can just make it to the kitchen without everyone screaming in terror and running for their lives.

Do you like to cook? What's your specialty?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Q is for Queenie



Welcome to the A to Z Blogging Challenge where I will post on a word
featuring a different letter of the alphabet each day of the month of April.
My theme for this challenge is Animals on TV and Film.



Queenie -  "The 'Burbs"

THE STORY: A strange family moves into a peaceful suburban neighborhood. But when one of the neighbors goes missing, everyone suspects the Klopeks of foul play.

ABOUT QUEENIE: Queenie is Walter's miniature poodle. Every morning she trots over to the Rumsfield's nicely manicured lawn to "do her business." As a pampered poodle, her survival skills are nonexistent, which would be no big deal except for the day when she is found wandering around the neighborhood alone. And Walter is gone. Ray Peterson takes Queenie to his house until he can solve the mystery of Walter's disappearance.  


What goes on in your neighborhood?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

P is for Pongo and Perdita


Welcome to the A to Z Blogging Challenge where I will post on a word
featuring a different letter of the alphabet each day of the month of April.
My theme for this challenge is Animals on TV and Film.



Pongo and Perdita - "101 Dalmatians"

THE STORY: Cruella DeVil dog-naps Pongo and Perdita's 15 puppies to make clothing from their coats. The Dalmatian parents find their pups and rescue the 84 other Dalmatian puppies that have also been taken. Pongo and Perdita adopt the brood as their own. Talk about a tax deduction.

ABOUT PONGO AND PERDITA: So how did they meet? Pongo, bored to tears and tired of the bachelor life with his human, Roger. He was gazing out the window of their flat when he saw Perdita walking in the park with her human, Anita. For Pongo it was love at first sight. As only a dog can, he got Roger to take him to the park so they could meet the ladies - and fall in love.

How did you meet your significant other?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

O is for Old Yeller


Welcome to the A to Z Blogging Challenge where I will post on a word
featuring a different letter of the alphabet each day of the month of April.
My theme for this challenge is Animals on TV and Film.



"Old Yeller"

THE STORY: It's the 1860s and Travis Coates, a farm boy, must take care of his mother and younger brother while his father is away on a cattle drive. A big "yeller" dog shows up and begins to wreak havoc. Travis isn't impressed. But before you know it, he has a new best friend.


ABOUT OLD YELLER: Old Yeller was owned by Burn Sanderson, who tracked the dog to the Coates farm and traded him to the family for a horny toad and a home-cooked meal. Old Yeller spends his time chasing critters and keeping an eye on the family. Enter a rabid wolf that takes a hunk out of Old Yeller and poor Travis must shoot his beloved dog.


Ever seen a rabid critter?

Monday, April 16, 2012

N is for Nemo



Welcome to the A to Z Blogging Challenge where I will post on a word
featuring a different letter of the alphabet each day of the month of April.
My theme for this challenge is Animals on TV and Film.



Nemo - "Finding Nemo"

THE STORY: Nemo is a clown fish in the Great Barrier Reef who ventures to the open sea and gets abducted by a boat that takes him to a dentist's office near Sydney Harbor. Nemo's father, Marlin, with the help of Dory, a regal tang, search for his lost son.  


ABOUT NEMO: A victim of an over-protective father and a physical handicap (small right fin due to a minor injury to his egg from a barracuda attack), Nemo naturally attempts to prove his fish-hood. As luck would have it, he gets trapped in a dentist's fish tank. With the help of his new friends, the Tank Gang, Nemo escapes by faking his death.


Have you ever been lost?

Saturday, April 14, 2012

M is for Marley



Welcome to the A to Z Blogging Challenge where I will post on a word
featuring a different letter of the alphabet each day of the month of April.
My theme for this challenge is Animals on TV and Film.

Marley - "Marley and Me"

THE STORY: A journalist and his wife get an adorable yellow Lab puppy named Marley who destroys everything in his path.

ABOUT MARLEY: Marley has a penchant for incessant barking, incessant running, incessant jumping and incessant eating. The family loves him but he’s the one pooch that would make the Dog Whisperer resign.

Do you have a dog story? Our dog King (German Shepherd) once ate an entire roasting pan full of cornbread stuffing. It was sitting on the kitchen table and somehow he managed to knock it onto the floor. He couldn’t move for days.

Friday, April 13, 2012

L is for Lady



Welcome to the A to Z Blogging Challenge where I will post on a word
featuring a different letter of the alphabet each day of the month of April.
My theme for this challenge is Animals on TV and Film.

Lady - "Lady and the Tramp"

THE STORY: A footloose and fancy free mutt named Tramp meets Lady, a pampered Cocker Spaniel from Park Avenue. Despite their differences, they fall in love.

ABOUT LADY: Lady has it made. She has a loving relationship with Darling and Jim Dear, eats from a personalized doggie dish and sleeps by a warm fire. However, when the new baby arrives, Lady ends up in the dog house. After hanging out with Tramp for a few days, I’m thinking she could give those Siamese cats a dose of their own medicine.

How do you feel about Siamese cats?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

K is for King Kong



Welcome to the A to Z Blogging Challenge where I will post on a word
featuring a different letter of the alphabet each day of the month of April.
My theme for this challenge is Animals on TV and Film.



"King Kong"

THE STORY: A film crew led by Carl Denham travels to Skull Island and captures a giant ape whom he brings back to New York City and presents as the "Eighth Wonder of the World." 

ABOUT KING KONG: King Kong led a peaceful island existence and spent his days scaring the devil out of the natives. That is until he was captured and exploited by the evil impresarios. The good news? He found love. Perhaps Kong would agree that it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.


What was your strangest romantic relationship?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

J is for Jerry



Welcome to the A to Z Blogging Challenge where I will post on a word
featuring a different letter of the alphabet each day of the month of April.
My theme for this challenge is Animals on TV and Film.



Jerry  - "Tom and Jerry"

THE STORY: Tom the Cat and Jerry the Mouse are arch rivals and spend most of their time trying to outsmart each other. Although sometimes they join forces against a common enemy (the dog).

ABOUT JERRY: So how can a tiny mouse defeat a big, hungry house cat? It's easy when you're a clever, cunning creature like Jerry. Tom doesn't really want to eat a Jerry sandwich, he just wants to "play cat and mouse" with him. But luck is on Jerry's side and Tom usually gets the heavy end of the anvil.


Have you ever lifted an anvil? That's some mouse!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

I is for Iago



Welcome to the A to Z Blogging Challenge where I will post on a word
featuring a different letter of the alphabet each day of the month of April.
My theme for this challenge is Animals on TV and Film.



Iago - "Aladdin"

THE STORY: Aladdin is a street urchin who falls in love with the beautiful and independent Princess Jasmine, who can only marry a prince, not a pauper. Meanwhile, the evil Jafar (Grand Vizier to the Sultan of Agrabah) wants to rule the land with the aid of a genie who resides in a magic lamp.

ABOUT IAGO: Iago is a greedy, devious parrot that hates stale crackers and helps Jafar in his plot to acquire the magic lamp. Because of his remarkable ability to imitate voices, he is useful to Jafar who tells Iago, "I love the way your fowl little mind works."


If you had a genie who could grant you three wishes, what would they be? (and you can't say "more wishes")

Monday, April 9, 2012

H is for Hazel



Welcome to the A to Z Blogging Challenge where I will post on a word
featuring a different letter of the alphabet each day of the month of April.
My theme for this challenge is Animals on TV and Film.



Hazel - "Watership Down"

THE STORY: A warren of wild rabbits are forced from their home because it is being destroyed by humans. They must find a new home. But their enemies are everywhere - cats, birds of prey, dogs, foxes, humans with guns and roads with cars. The rabbits are blessed by their creator with the ability to run fast and to outwit their enemies.


ABOUT HAZEL: Hazel is the Chief Rabbit and leads the group on this dangerous journey. He is a natural leader and wisely heeds the advice of his younger brother, Fiver, who is a seer and has visions of the future.


Have you ever had a pet rabbit? We did. Her name was Lilac because her coat was a light lavender color.


This is where I encourage you to see this movie and read the book. It is life changing.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

G is for Goats



Welcome to the A to Z Blogging Challenge where I will post on a word
featuring a different letter of the alphabet each day of the month of April.
My theme for this challenge is Animals on TV and Film.



"The Men Who Stare at Goats"

THE STORY: Bob Wilton, a reporter goes to Kuwait with Lyn Cassady, a former special forces agent, and learns about the New Earth Army who were trained to use psychic powers in warfare.


ABOUT THE GOATS: The goats were flown in from South America, de-bleeted, and used for psychic experiments. In the secret goat laboratory, soldiers practiced stopping the goats hearts by staring at them. Back when the experiments were going on, Lyn used his psychic ability to kill a goat in this manner. He always regretted it. Later, when Larry Hooper started the goat experiments again, Lyn released the goats into the desert.


Do you like goat cheese?

Friday, April 6, 2012

F is for Felix the Cat



Welcome to the A to Z Blogging Challenge where I will post on a word
featuring a different letter of the alphabet each day of the month of April.
My theme for this challenge is Animals on TV and Film.



"Felix the Cat"

THE STORY: Felix the Cat has a Magic Bag of tricks that gives him whatever he wants and helps him out whenever he gets into a fix. Unfortunately, this makes him a target of the Professor, a scientist who tries to steal the Magic Bag for his own evil purposes.


ABOUT FELIX: Felix not only has to deal with the Professor, but his nephew Poindexter and sidekick Rock Bottom, as well. Between the three of them, Felix has his paws full. Nevertheless, Felix always has the last laugh. If Felix were around today, he'd probably be a national security threat.


What would you have in your bag of tricks?

Thursday, April 5, 2012

E is for Einstein



Welcome to the A to Z Blogging Challenge where I will post on a word
featuring a different letter of the alphabet each day of the month of April.
My theme for this challenge is Animals on TV and Film.


Einstein - "Back to the Future"
THE STORY: Marty McFly, a teenager from 1985, travels through time and goes back to 1955 when his parents first met. The mode of travel is a nuclear powered DeLorean, but the machine needs to be tested first. That's where Doc Brown's dog, Einstein, comes in. Einstein is the first dog to travel through time.

ABOUT EINSTEIN: As the dog and companion of a mad scientist, Einstein is pretty laid back. He does what he's told without too much fuss. No one knows what happened to Einstein during his time travel episode. Maybe he stopped off for a hot dog and chased a few rabbits. We'll never know for sure.

Have you ever ridden in a DeLorean?

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

D is for Daffy Duck

Welcome to the A to Z Blogging Challenge where I will post on a word
featuring a different letter of the alphabet each day of the month of April.
My theme for this challenge is Animals on TV and Film.


Daffy Duck
THE STORY: Daffy is always outsmarted by Bugs Bunny, but isn't everybody in the Looney Tunes universe? When "Duck Season" opens, Daffy must run for cover from Elmer Fudd, the bald-headed hunter who can't pronounce his "R's". Next to Wile E. Coyote, Daffy gets blown up the most. 

ABOUT DAFFY: Like Elmer, Daffy has a glaring speech impediment. But it doesn't seem to bother him. He has a proud nature and likes to be the "star" of the show. He resents Bugs Bunny's fame and has no problem sabotaging Bugs so he himself can be in the limelight. Daffy is not a team player. He thinks he's all that and a bag of chips.

What are your thoughts on foie gras?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

C is for Cujo



Welcome to the A to Z Blogging Challenge where I will post on a word
featuring a different letter of the alphabet each day of the month of April.
My theme for this challenge is Animals on TV and Film.


"Cujo"
THE STORY: A little boy is afraid of monsters in his closet and his parents try to reassure him that monsters don't exist. He finds out differently when he and his mother are trapped in a broken down Pinto with a large rabid (and somewhat possessed) St. Bernard keeping watch.

ABOUT CUJO: Cujo lives in the country and belongs to a family that includes a misogynistic auto mechanic, his doormat wife and their teenage son. Like most country dogs, Cujo likes to chase rabbits. Unfortunately this leads to his demise when he corners a rabbit in a hole and gets bitten by a rabid bat. Once the rabies sets in, Cujo becomes a monster and goes on a killing spree.

Have you ever had a Cujo moment?

Monday, April 2, 2012

B is for Bruiser



Welcome to the A to Z Blogging Challenge where I will post on a word
featuring a different letter of the alphabet each day of the month of April.
My theme for this challenge is Animals on TV and Film.


Bruiser Woods - "Legally Blonde"
THE STORY: Elle Woods, a blonde sorority girl, goes to Harvard to get her boyfriend back and in the process becomes a successful lawyer and even valedictorian of her class! Bruiser is her little dog who goes along for the ride. He is also the catalyst that helps Elle befriend mean girl Vivian.

ABOUT BRUISER: Bruiser is Elle's Chihuahua who travels happily in her purse. He likes to wear pink, which is Elle's "signature color." There are a couple of other dogs that deserve mention - Paulette's English Bulldog Rufus and from "Legally Blonde 2: Red, White and Blonde," Standford's Rottweiler Leslie, who is gay.

Does your dog wear clothes?

Sunday, April 1, 2012

A is for Aslan



Welcome to the A to Z Blogging Challenge where I will post on a word
featuring a different letter of the alphabet each day of the month of April.
My theme for this challenge is Animals on TV and Film.

Aslan - "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe"
THE STORY: Aslan, a lion, is King of the enchanted land of Narnia. When human children (Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy) arrive in Narnia through a wardrobe portal, the White Witch tries to kill them. Aslan sacrifices himself, becoming their savior and defeating the White Witch. A truly Biblical ending.

ABOUT ASLAN: Aslan is good but also fearsome. He has great power and beauty. He is reasonable and just. He gave special gifts to the "sons of Adam and the Daughters of Eve," but they weren't gifts you would imagine a child would need -- they were for warfare: a sword for Peter, a bow and arrow for Susan and a dagger for Lucy. In the world of Narnia, spiritual warfare is a realtiy.  

What strange world would you find in the back of your closet?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Stage Right

Guess what? I have a part in the CLTP staged reading of Spoon River Anthology! I'm so excited. I've never seen the play performed but I'm looking forward to reading the various characters. The script is free verse poetry. The setting is a cemetery and each character recounts stories from his or lifetime as a resident of the fictional town of Spoon River.

I'm really looking forward to this performance; I miss being on the stage.