Stacy's Books

books, movies, and boy

V – Viggo Mortensen

Blogging from A-Z

Viggo Mortensen had many roles before his star making turn as Alagorn in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.  I’d already noticed him in G.I. Jane (not in a good way), A Perfect Murder, Psycho, A Walk on the Moon and 28 Days.  But it was his role as Aragorn that most of us sat up and took notice of his leading man abilities.  Since then his roles have only gotten bigger and more varied.  I will watch whatever he is in.

As the controversial dad in Captain Fantastic…

The softer side of Aragorn…

As the sexy Blouse Man with the backwards name…

He wasn’t the nicest guy in Eastern Promises…

What’s your favorite Viggo role?

 

April 26, 2017 Posted by | Blogging from A-Z, movies | 2 Comments

S – The Shawshank Redemption, Fave Movie #17

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ShawshankRedemptionMoviePoster.jpg1994

Cast-Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman, Bob Gunton, William Sadler, Clancy Brown, Gil Bellows, James Whitmore

Director- Frank Darabont

Andy is convicted of murdering his wife and her lover in a drunken rage and ordered to two life sentences.  In prison he maintained his innocence and took every opportunity to better his situation and those of his friends.  Life in prison was not without repeated heartbreak, but Andy remained hopeful to the last.

Why I love it– I could listen to Morgan Freeman talk all day long and, thankfully, this movie allowed me two+ hours of easy listening.  Hearing Freeman tell Andy’s story was what sold this movie for me.  Yes, everything else was very good, but without that it’s just another movie.

I thought the actors were fantastic, even the cruel ones.  I loved that the movie had a message of hope, but didn’t ignore reality.

Get busy living or get busy dying.

These words by Andy really captured the essence of the movie.  The prisoners had a hard life, but Andy persisted in making it better.  There were life lessons, thought-provoking insights about prison, and the bloom of friendship.

This movie tanked at the box office, was nominated for seven Oscars but didn’t win one, and ends up being Stephen King’s most successful movie adaptation.  Jason just read the short story so I know changes were made and I’m looking forward to reading it to see if it packs the same emotional punch.

This movie was mainly shot in Ohio halfway between where I live now and where I grew up. A few years ago we took the tour of the prison that was partially demolished after the film.  I’ll have to see if I can find a few of the pics today and add them.

Definitely a great movie and one of my favorites.

April 22, 2017 Posted by | movies | 6 Comments

Q – Quotes from my 25 favorite movies

Blogging from A-Z

You’ll never be a first class human being or a first class woman until you’ve learned to have some regard for human frailty.   (The Philadelphia Story, 1940)


Only grown-up men are scared of women.  (The Sound of Music, 1965)


I’m like cat here, a no-name slob. We belong to nobody, and nobody belongs to us. We don’t even belong to each other.   (Breakfast at Tiffany’s, 1961)


I wouldn’t give you two cents for all your fancy rules if, behind them, they didn’t have a little bit of plain, ordinary, everyday kindness and a little looking out for the other fella, too.   (Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, 1939)


We all go a little mad sometimes.   (Psycho, 1960)


I understand you may have had sexual relations with my daughter before, but under our roof, it’s my way or the Long Island Expressway. So just keep your snake in its cage for 72 hours.   (Meet the Parents, 2000)


Mary: I want a guy who can play 36 holes of golf, and still have enough energy to take Warren and me to a baseball game, and eat sausages, and beer, not lite beer, but beer. That’s my ad, print it up.
Brenda: “Fatty who likes golf and beer.” Gee, Mary, where are you gonna find a gem like that?   (There’s Something About Mary, 1998)

Frodo:I wish the ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened. 

Gandalf:So do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us. There are other forces at work in this world Frodo, besides the will of evil. Bilbo was meant to find the Ring. In which case, you were also meant to have it. And that is an encouraging thought.    (The Fellowship of the Ring, 2001)

I guess it comes down to a simple choice, really. Get busy living or get busy dying.  (The Shawshank Redemption, 1994)


You know, you may be the first attractive woman I’ve not wanted to sleep with in my entire life.   (When Harry Met Sally, 1989)


Those aren’t pillows!   (Trains, Planes, and Automobiles, 1987)


Oh, I don’t know, Charlie. Unlike you, I never expected “the thunderbolt.” I always just hoped that, that I’d meet some nice friendly girl, like the look of her, hope the look of me didn’t make her physically sick, then pop the question and, um, settle down and be happy. It worked for my parents. Well, apart from the divorce and all that.   (Four Weddings and a Funeral, 1993)


We’re all pretty bizarre. Some of us are just better at hiding it, that’s all.   (The Breakfast Club, 1985)


You’re my knight in shimmering armor. Did you know that?   (What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, 1992)


If you fit into my pants I will kill myself.   (While You Were Sleeping, 1995)


Sometimes things happen between people that make it impossible for them to stay together. (A Walk on the Moon, 1999)


Unthinkably good things can happen even late in the game. It’s such a surprise.   (Under the Tuscan Sun, 2003


I don’t think you’re an idiot at all. I mean, there are elements of the ridiculous about you. Your mother’s pretty interesting. And you really are an appallingly bad public speaker. And, um, you tend to let whatever’s in your head come out of your mouth without much consideration of the consequences… But the thing is, um, what I’m trying to say, very inarticulately, is that, um, in fact, perhaps despite appearances, I like you, very much. Just as you are.    (Bridget Jones’s Diary, 2001)


You can’t navigate me. I may do mean things, and I may hurt you, and I may run away without your permission, and you may hate me forever, and I know that scares the living shit outta you ’cause you know I’m the only real thing you got.    (Reality Bites, 1994)


Thank God its not a bullshit detector or none of us would get in.   (No Way Out, 1987)


A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti.   (The Silence of the Lambs, 1991)


You can’t handle the truth!  (A Few Good Men, 1992)


You swim alone, climb rocks, rescue servants, is there anything you don’t do?   (Ever After, 1998)


You know the Greeks didn’t write obituaries. They only asked one question after a man died: “Did he have passion?”.   (Serendipity, 2001)


No, sir, I have no experience but I’m a big fan of money. I like it, I use it, I have a little. I keep it in a jar on top of my refrigerator. I’d like to put more in that jar. That’s where you come in. (The Wedding Singer, 1998)


What are some of your favorite movie quotes?


April 20, 2017 Posted by | Blogging from A-Z, movies, Say What? | 2 Comments

P – Paper Towns

Blogging From A-Z

Cara Delevingne and Nat Wolff as Margo Roth Spiegelman and Quentin "Q" Jacobsen respectivelyI could do a movie/book comparison, but I’m too tired today.  I read the book a few years ago (here) and watched the movie last night.  Amazingly, they both felt the same to me.  I’m sure there are differences, but my feelings about the story and each of the characters was the same for both.

Q and his buddies are not popular in high school, but they’re seniors so that part of their life is almost at an end.  Margo is popular, really popular, and Q has been in love with her since she moved in across the street over a decade before.  They had been friends before high school sorted them into different spheres.  One night not long before graduation, Margo sneaks into Q’s room and convinces him to join her on what turns out to be the best night of his life.  Thinking it was the beginning of something special, he is confused when Margo disappears the next day.

This was a good movie starring Nat Wolff who was Isaac in another John Green movie The Fault in Our Stars and Augustus from that same movie, Ansel Elgort, has a funny cameo.  My favorite part of the book and movie was the friendship between the three boys and the road trip they took together, even if it ended in heartbreak for one.

Solid movie based on a solid book.

April 19, 2017 Posted by | Blogging from A-Z, movies | 2 Comments

J – Jack Reacher, Never Go Back

Blogging From A-Z

I love Lee Child’s Jack Reacher.  He is the man.  If I ever get into any kind of trouble I hope that Reacher is going through town so that he can take care of it.  I was late to the series and am not rushing through so I’ve read the first 11 of the series.  I compared the first Jack Reacher movie with the book it was based on here.  Tom Cruise was not a popular choice to play the anti-hero, but I think he managed to pull it off.  I was surprised that they made a second film after the limited success of the first.

Never Go Back is based on the 18th book of the series, so I have a little while before I read it, but I did watch the movie with Jason over the weekend.  Jason loves the series too and thinks that Cruise is a good Reacher.

The movie is good.  He kicks some butt, but amazingly doesn’t sleep with any women in this one.  He might have a daughter, he escapes from a military jail, and he travels to both DC and New  Orleans.

So, if you are a fan of the series, who do you think is the perfect Jack Reacher?  I’ve always thought if Liam Neeson were a decade or two younger he might be able to pull it off.

 

 

April 12, 2017 Posted by | Blogging from A-Z, movies | 5 Comments

I- It Happened One Night – Fave Film #98

Blogging From A-Z

It Happened One Night (1934) theatrical poster.jpg1934

Cast-Clark Gable & Claudette Colbert

This was the first film to win all 5 of the major Oscars,  a feat not to be repeated until 1975.  Best Film, Best Actor (Gable), Best Actress (Colbert), Best Director (Frank Capra), Best Screenplay (Robert Riskin)

Socialite Ellie (Colbert) eloped with someone named King Westley, only when her father found out he whisked her away before the marriage could be consummated.  When she escapes his yacht, she boards a bus hoping to get from Florida to New York without being noticed, even though her photo is plastered on the front page of all the newspapers.  Peter, a drunk and unemployed reporter boards the same bus and sparks fly.

Why I Love It – This is one of those movies that I remember loving so much, and yet, didn’t survive a rewatch with the same enthusiasm.  Oh, I still loved it, but I initially had this somewhere around 20 and now it’s down to 98.

I still loved Colbert and Gable, they were perfectly matched in every way.  The chemistry that started as hostility  really worked.  I am not necessarily a Clark Gable fan, but the sparkle in his eye in this one won me over.  And Colbert was luminous.

This is dated, but in a charming way, mostly.  The editing was sometimes a bit rough, but nothing too terrible.  The ending was cute and gave me a chuckle, always an appropriate response to a screwball romantic comedy, of which this was the first.  And for that reason alone, everyone should watch it.  Always start with the original 🙂

Interesting to note that this movie inspired Bugs Bunny!

https://video.search.yahoo.com/search/video;_ylt=A0LEV0_FfO1YLFsAkZ9XNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTEyM2JtNnZlBGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDQjM2NTVfMQRzZWMDc2M-?p=it+happened+one+night&fr=yfp-t#action=view&id=19&vid=97cd72dedfbe2686532ed5a91a3175f3

 

 

April 11, 2017 Posted by | movies | 6 Comments

F – Far From the Madding Crowd

Blogging From A-Z

I joined the Classics Club a few years ago and the goal is to read 50 classics in 5 years.  Well, I have less than 3 years to read 39 classics!  Yikes.  When the letter F came up I was going to watch Father of the Bride, one of my top 100 movies, but then I saw this on the shelves at the library and decided to give it a try.  I’ve never read Thomas Hardy and if I liked the movie then I could add the book to my classics challenge.

Far from the Madding Crowd (2015 film).jpgFar From the Madding Crowd is a 2015 film featuring  Carey Mulligan, Matthias Schoenaerts, and Michael Sheen.  Bathsheba Everdene is on her aunt’s farm in 1870 England when she meets Mr. Oak.  He proposes.  She says no husband, no way.  She inherits her uncle’s large, very successful farm.  The neighbor, Mr. Boldwood, asks her to marry him.  No husband, no way.  A soldier shows up one day and kisses her, boom, they’re married.

I liked the movie quite a bit and think I will add this to my classics challenge.  Sure, I’m a sucker for a good romance, but more than that I really want to get to know Bathsheba a bit better.  She is a fascinating woman.

Has anyone read it? What did you think?

April 7, 2017 Posted by | Blogging from A-Z, movies | 9 Comments

D- Desk Set, fave movie #90

Blogging from A-Z

I’m more likely to watch a favorite movie again and again before I’d re-read a favorite book.  Maybe it’s because a favorite movie takes less time or I can share that time with a friend.

Desk Set cinema poster.jpgDesk Set, 1957

Cast-Katherine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, Joan Blondell, Gig Young

This was the 8th pairing of Tracy and Hepburn and their first color film.

Bunny (Hepburn) is the head reference librarian in the research department at the fictitious Federal Broadcasting Company.  She has a beau in the company and after seven years she still holds out hope for more.  Sumner is an efficiency expert and a man with a machine, EMERAC.  As he spends more time in the research department the women there start to fear for their jobs.

Why I love it – I’m a Hepburn fan (Katherine and Audrey). I love the strength, smarts and independence that Katherine pulls off in every film.  She was able to shine as the woman who knows everything (or at least how to find it). I like Tracy well enough, the easy chemistry between them seems so comfortable after all of their years and roles together.

Like the recent Hidden Figures, it is about an office of women depended on for their intelligence who were slowly being replaced by computers.  Remember when we had to use the card catalog to find references and information?  Well, these women were Google before Google.  Librarians don’t get enough big screen attention.

It’s light and fun and the dialogue is sharp. A smart romp that will leave you smiling.

I realized this last time I watched it that the screenplay was written by Henry and Phoebe Ephron, parents to Nora who would go on to write so many iconic romantic comedies.

Here’s a clip…

 

April 5, 2017 Posted by | Blogging from A-Z, movies | 8 Comments

C – Catch & Release, Fave Movie #89

Blogging From A-Z

I decided to give this month’s challenge a movie theme so today I’m writing about one of my top 100.

Catch and releaseposter.jpgCatch and Release, 2006

Cast-Jennifer Garner, Timothy Olyphant, Kevin Smith, Juliette Lewis, Sam Jaeger

The movie opens at the funeral of Gray’s (Garner) fiancé, the wedding cake in the refrigerator ready for the big day that would never happen.  As Gray tries to find her bearings after six years with Grady, she leans on his friends who are just  as in the dark about the real Grady.  When Maureen shows up, kid in tow, everyone has to reassess who Grady was and what that means for the future.

Why I love it– Okay, to be completely honest, I didn’t like this the first time I saw it.  I thought the story was convoluted and felt like it was missing something.  This may be still be true, but since then I’ve seen it several more times over the years.  It’s a comfort movie and it’s got some great kissing scenes 🙂

I love the actors.  Kevin Smith carried the movie with his humor and heart, while Olyphant and Garner turned up the heat.  The Boulder setting was beautiful and makes me want to visit!

What would you do if you found out devastating news about the man you were supposed to spend the rest of your life with after he died?  Maybe you wouldn’t do what Gray did, but I think some of us would wish we had the grace and courage.

I love this soundtrack. All of it.  It may be what keeps me coming back (well, that and the kissing). What If You is one of my favorites and I discovered while writing this that musician Joshua Radin is from Cleveland.  All the cool kids come through Cleveland 🙂

 

 

 

April 4, 2017 Posted by | Blogging from A-Z, movies | 14 Comments

B – Beauty and the Beast, a tale as old as time

Blogging From A-Z

When I went to hear author Eloisa James speak last month she mentioned the original story of Beauty and the Beast and I realized that it had never occurred to me to wonder if Disney had taken liberties with the source material.  So, I did a little looking around and found that the tale originated with Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve in 1740 and, yes, Disney and others since then have molded and shaped the stories into something different.

Beauty and the Beast 2017 poster.jpg

 

Instead of Gaston there were brave brothers.  Instead of jealous village beauties there were jealous sisters.  Instead of enchanted servants there were fairies that seduced and helped.  But, in the end, a rose is still a rose and the tears of a beauty still transformed a beast.

Some researchers think that the Beast could have inspired by this real man, Petrus Gonsalvus, who had hypertrichosis.

I admit that I prefer Dan Stevens, interesting likeness just the same.  I like the Disney version, although having read more about the original I’d like to see that onscreen too!

I did like the new version with Emma Watson and nothing can beat the songs.  Have you seen it? What did you think?

 

April 3, 2017 Posted by | Blogging from A-Z, movies | 22 Comments