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Posts Tagged ‘mary tyler moore

films that defined us

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I was asked by Marc from the awesome blog Go, See, Talk! to participate in this awesome blogathon: Films That Defined Us.  Man, these are the best things to think about.  Everyone remembers the movies that touched us as kids, movies that we could watch all day long on a Saturday, movies that we’ll always consider special.  My list plays directly off the word define.  I tried to choose movies that I not only enjoyed but movies that shaped the person I am today – or influenced future movie viewing habits.

8 genres, 8 movies.  Ready, set, go!

8. Drama: Apollo 13 (1995)
This is one of the first “adult” movies I remember watching and I thought I was soooo cool to get to see it (I was probably 6 or 7…)  Being already fascinated with space travel (thanks to Star Wars) this raised it a whole ‘nother level – this baby actually happened, it’s history.  Still a favorite movie and a must-see – annnd I still think it should have won Best Picture… (sorry Braveheart).

7. Musical: Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967)
I grew up watching and loving musicals but this was my favorite.  Somewhere between tapping the Tapioca and quirky, kidnappin’, Chinese women I became obsessed with this nonsense.  Today, while it’s since been replaced by West Side Story as my fav, I still know every lyric, I still love Mary Tyler Moore and John Gavin, and it still makes me want to dance.  I would cite it as the biggest influence in my musical-loving life.

6. Animation: Mulan (1998)
I dare say that this movie “defines” me more than just about any other movie because I used to pretend to be Mulan. It also inspired the martial arts side in me to come alive.  I now have a black belt and that passion began sometime while watching this Disney chick kick Hun-trash.  In the animation genre, I’d have to say that there are many that surpass (yeah, Pixar happened), but it’s still a lot of fun.

5. Thriller. Kind of: Rear Window (1954)
And so begins my Hitchcock obsession.  And a love for Jimmy Stewart.  I can’t even remember how old I was when I first saw it but it always stuck with me (and made me never want to watch Perry Mason…)

4. Adventure/Comedy/Romance/Everything: The Princess Bride (1987)
Man, what genre does this film fall under anyway?  It’s got “fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, miracles…” Anywho, this is where I learned to quote movies.  “Anybody want a peanut?” and “Have fun storming the castle!” I used on a daily basis.  It also gave birth to an undying admiration for sword fighting.  Whatever genre it may fall under, it’s made for every kid, teen, and adult.

3. Sports: Hoosiers (1986)
Favorite sports movie of all time.  Bball is also my favorite sport and every time I watched this, I’d want to get out and play.  So you could say it helped improve my ballin’ skills.  Basketball is still very important to me.  As for its genre, it’s simply the best out there.

2. Classic: On the Waterfront (1954)
This one came later on (as in just a few years ago), but has nonetheless made its mark on my life.  This is where I really got the whole classic-movie-gig.  Though I already wanted to marry Cary Grant, this movie made me want to watch absolutely anything made before 1960.  It has defined me by helping me discover the thrill of classics.

1: Sci-fi/Adventure: Star Wars (A New Hope) (1977)
There it is.  The king.  I must have watched the original trilogy of SW over 100 times in my childhood.  I used to pretend to fight with lightsabers and play with my brother’s toy Millenium Falcon.  I had no idea  a movie could be so wonderful and thought there was nothing parallel.  My perfect movie.


Written by laurenthejukebox17

August 13, 2010 at 3:00 am

aw, pa…

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I’ve recently been watching The Andy Griffith Show Seasons 1-3.  When it comes to old school sitcoms, The Dick Van Dyke Show takes the cake in my book.  I’ve seen every episode several times and I continually laugh at its timeless humor, good comedic acting (I love me some Mary Tyler Moore), and funny situations.  Andy has its funny moments, mostly with Barney Fife (Don Knotts) but it’s not up to par with the excellence of DVD (haha).  The one absolutely GREAT thing about  Andy is the cute little kid named Ronny Howard.

That is until he lost all his hair, turned director, and started winning those Oscars.  Ron(ny) Howard has directed some of my very favorite movies from Apollo 13 to A Beautiful Mind to Parenthood.  He has made his mark in the cinematic universe as one of our finest directors.

But before all that, he was not such a bad actor either.  His most memorable role is without doubt Steve in American Graffiti, but he also starred in the series Happy Days with Henry Winkler.  Before all THAT he was Opie Taylor, the cutest kid in Mayberry.  Lately I’ve been tuning out to most of the Andy eps that my mom watches but I always watch if it’s about Opie.  In my opinion, he’s one of the greatest kid actors to pass through the screen and especially on TV.  He doesn’t just recite his lines, but he listens to what the other characters are saying and treats the scene like a scene out of real life.  I’ve heard that he and Andy Griffith had a good relationship, and Andy Taylor the character was a good father model.

Hold that thought.

One of the WORST 50’s shows, Father Knows Best does nothing but prove that Father doesn’t always know best, or at least this father doesn’t.  I’ve seen two seasons of this show and its so covered in cheese you can’t even see the crust on that pizza. Not only is it cheesy and corny but it’s ridiculous!  I stopped watching for good when Father and Mother knows best teach Betty that she shouldn’t learn to be an engineer, she should dress in her pretty dresses instead so that she can IMPRESS the intelligent engineering guy.  Whatev.  However, it all comes to a hilarious end when I read that Billy Gray (Bud) was later arrested for possessing marijuana, and Lauren Chapin (Kathy) became a heroin addict and prostitute.  Not that I should be rejoicing in their poor future lives, but I KNEW that Mr. Knows Best was full of crap.  I don’t think I need to cover twice what happened to little Ronny Howard, but let’s just say his future turned out a lot differently than the other two.

I’m not even sure what point I’m trying to make with this.  That Andy Taylor is a better father than Jim Anderson?  (yes).  That Ron Howard is a good actor and director?  (and better than those other two kids combined).   That trivial bits of information that have nothing to do with anything are a lot of fun?  (sure).  See, this is why I suck at writing.  I sit at the computer, something pops into my head, I decide on a whim to write about it without any direction in mind.  Oh well.  I’ve come this far, I might as well publish it.

Written by laurenthejukebox17

July 2, 2010 at 10:06 pm

Vantage Point (2008)

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I consider myself to be a “film person.”  I mean, more so than TV.  I never watched much TV growing up and there few shows that I watch regularly.  My heart lies with movies.  But I will say this: if the series is good, I’m there, and I’m there to stay.  Some of my favorite TV shows include Lost, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Monk, The Office, The West Wing, and ER. There’s something about spending that many hours with the same characters (we all know I’m a character person).  I feel so attached to Mary Richards, Mark Greene, President Bartlet, and Monk.  They’re my friends.  So, you see, my small but firm attachment to TV improves my film experience.  If ER‘s Juliana Margulies is in anything – I’m there.  Same goes for John Krasinski, Ed Asner, Rob Lowe, and certainly George Clooney.  So, even though I’d heard mixed reviews for Vantage Point – I was totally going to see it because of Matthew Fox, our lead Lostie.

And you know, I liked it!  To a point, that is.  Essentially, it’s nothing more than a glorified 23 minute assassination.  We figure out the whodunnit and whole story by viewing multiple vantage points of the various characters.  It’s like putting a puzzle together – with each “rewind” more pieces come together.  It’s a great concept with mediocre execution, though it is stylish.  The story itself is extremely implausible (and I mean extreme), but a lot of fun.

It’s got a good cast – William Hurt, Dennis Quaid, Forrest Whittaker, Sigourney Weaver, and Fox.  Two thumbs up for the short running time.  Great action sequences.  I’m not sure what the moral is nor what *certain characters* motives were.  Also, the ending felt abrupt – as if the big build up throughout the movie led to no where.  And, frankly, this is not Dennis Quaid’s best movie ever.

So really, the more I intelligently think about it the worse it gets – I no longer fear being hit by a car since, obviously, I will never die nor be injured despite being smooshed by a semi.  I’m also now pretty confident that I can single-handedly take out the secret service and waltz into the residence to kidnap the President. …But I can’t deny that I was pretty into it.  Suspending my disbelief is rarely this fun. 6/10