Friday, October 2, 2015

EVEREST (2015)

2015 Movie EVEREST
     About a week ago, a friend and I went to see the movie EVEREST.  I admit-- I'm NOT much for action or adventure films.   I've seen my fill of Action Heroes and high speed car chases.  I'm much more into a deeper script full of characters and dialogue, and a plot with plenty of twists.
      However, EVEREST wasn't your run-of-the-mill "Climb-Any-Mountain" kind of an adventure film.  It did have plenty of characters and dialogue, and a plot whose true-to-life story was stranger than fiction.
     The main characters include the proprietors of a business called Adventure Consultants, which planned and guided expeditions to such places as Mount Everest.  While mountain climbing always includes the risk of imminent danger, nothing like what happened in the spring of 1996 was anticipated, as an unforeseen storm caught the expedition by surprise and trapped several of them high on the peaks of Everest.
     The film is loosely inspired by the book "Into Thin Air" written by Jon Krakauer, one of the survivors of this natural disaster.  Eight others were not so fortunate, as they perished in the storm, even though rescue attempts were attempted.  A combination of blizzards, severe cold, and lack of oxygen combined to spell their dismal fates.
     Like many other movie goers, I always love a happy ending.  Unfortunately, this one mirrors the not-so-happy ending to this catastrophic event.  This movie will keep you on the edge of your seat, and bring you to the point of tears, as it allows the viewers to relive this real-life story.

RATING : 4 {out of 5} Melons

Thursday, March 19, 2015


   I went to see the movie "McFarland USA" this past weekend.  It is an inspiring film, based on the story of a down-on-his-luck coach who sees a bad situation and finds a way to make it better.

   Kevin Costner portrays the coach who inspired a group of unmotivated but talented high schoolers into competing for a state title in cross country.  It has its share of moments, but one of the best ones is when the most talented runner in the group overcomes his selfish pity and gives his all for the team.  This also happens in the last scene, when the low achiever on the squad summons up his own talent to help the team win.

   I highly recommend this film to anyone, especially someone who's needing an emotional lift or who is doubting their own sense of achievement and purpose.  "McFarland USA" conjures up memories of other motivational classics like Rocky, Chariots of Fire, and Remember the Titans.  And like those others, it wins my vote as a memorable sports film.

RATING : 3 {out of 5} Melons

Monday, September 22, 2014


  I don't know how I could've been so negligent and aloof to forget to include one of my FAVORITE ACTRESSES of all time : MARILYN MONROE, in the "My Leading Ladies" post.  Undoubtedly, Marilyn was ahead of her time, she was a consummate 'leading lady' whose legacy and life lives on in movies, books, and TV documentaries. 

  One of my favorite Marilyn Monroe films was "Some Like It Hot" (1959), a comedy romp also starring Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis as two crazy musicians who dress in drag {again, ahead [?] of their time} to keep from being found and gunned down by the mob.  In the midst of their undercover scheme, they join a traveling female band, whose ukulele player is none other than Marilyn.  A real spoof ensues, along with a dash of romance for good measure.  It is a real classic comedy film.

  As is true of many wonderful actors and actresses, she met an untimely death in August 1962, when she was found suspiciously nude on her bed, dead of a drug overdose. 

Saturday, September 13, 2014

My Leading Ladies

   Okay- this page has been "in-the-works" for a while.  I definitely have an opinion when it comes to actors and actresses.  I cannot tell you what my criteria is when rating them.  Some of you, when looking at this 'Leading Ladies' page, will say that Beauty or Looks had everything to do with it.  That's not necessarily the case.  In fact, I find that many of these actresses are incredible in their many roles and films.  

   This list started out as a "Top 10" list.  But I found out along the way that I had more than ten, and could not really eliminate any of them from the list.  So it becomes an even dozen (12), with three honorable mentions.

   For those of you that are really interested, I've listed the dozen actresses rated from #1 to #12 on the right margin.  This is a very static list.  I do like Scarlett Johansson, but there are movies of hers that I don't particularly like.   The following is a brief bio or description of each actress :

  • Liv Tyler - I first became acquainted with her when she played the very charming but aloof character "Faye" in the movie "That Thing You Do" along with Tom Hanks and Tom Everett Scott.  I was mesmerized by her portrayal of this young lady, so caught up in this one-hit-wonder band's popularity, but so hurt inside by her selfish boyfriend's ability to ignore and even insult her.  The movie ends "happily ever after" as co-star Scott comes to his senses and finds a common bond with her. The kissing scene on the outside of the Ambassador Hotel is a moving one, as two formerly disjointed hearts beat as one.
  • Elisabeth Shue - I've seen several movies with her, but the first one was the comical and sophomoric romp "Adventures in Babysitting" about a bored and distracted babysitter in the suburbs of Chicago who throws care to the wind, and accompanies a wild group of kids throughout the metropolitan downtown, jumping in and out of dangerous and unbelievable situations.  
  • Lacey Chabert - I find this young lady thorougly charming and captivating.  I've enjoyed her movie roles so much that, after seeing her interviewed on a talk show, I checked out her online blog.  Apparently, she took on a challenge to complete a Bucket List, which included, among other things, skydiving.  I first saw her in "The Elevator Girl", where she portrayed a carefree, but career challenged, caterer who accidentally gets stuck on an elevator with a driven financial advisor.
  • Jaclyn Smith - Of course, many of my age group remember her for her role of "Kelly" on "Charlie's Angels".  Others equate this role or others to the movie actresses Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, or Lucy Liu.   While I do remember her as the "smart one" on the TV show, I have come to recognize and admire her for her other roles in TV movies, such as "Ordinary Miracles" (2005), a story of a tight-lipped judge whose compassion gets the best of her in taking in an otherwise destitute teenager, and her beautiful portrayal of First Lady "Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy" (1981).
  •  Demi Moore - My very first introduction to Demi was in a movie which became one of my favorite films, a romantic drama called "About Last Night."  Interesting story. [one that's very revealing-- pun intended].  Two girls from my church singles group invited me to go see a movie with them.  I ended up sitting between them.  Rather unexpectedly [I should have known better], Demi is in a couple of nude scenes in this movie.  We were probably all surprised, and a bit embarrassed.  I know that my face probably turned bright red.  I later enjoyed Demi's character [along with Patrick Swayze and Whoopi Goldberg] in the movie "Ghost", which became a very popular film about death and dying.


   The "Honorable Mentions" happen to be three childhood actresses who were favorites of mine back a few years ago {Lindsay Lohan: "The Parent Trap"; Jena Malone: "Stepmom"; and Madison Davenport: "Dad's Home"}.  Since then, they have grown up to become adults, some of them more mature and responsible than others.   I still liked their films and acting, so therefore they are on the list.

   Not all of these are as famous as others.  You may never have heard of some of them.  Check them out.  Soon I will be adding some bio's for these, and you will perhaps learn a lot more about them.  Until then, their photos will be the only means of recognizing them.   I would love to hear your feedback, and also your choices as to your Leading Ladies.   I may even choose to feature some of them, so please use the comments box to let us hear your opinions.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

GlLORY ROAD (2006)

  I recently had the privilege of watching the movie "GLORY ROAD"A Walt Disney Pictures feature film based on a true story, it chronicles the life of the 1966 Texas Western basketball team, who won the NCAA championship.

   SO-- there's a NCAA basketball champion every year. What's so special about this team and story ?

   Coach Don Haskins' Texas Western Miners were the first NCAA college basketball team to play with a predominantly black roster.  And so this movie goes beyond the surface to show not only a great basketball team, but the struggles of teammates and coaches facing and dealing with racial prejudice in the deep South and the U.S. of the 1960's.

  Stories and mores abound here, as when the team returned to their hotel after a game in Seattle and found two black players' room ransacked and racial epithets sprawled in red paint all over the walls.  "GLORY ROAD" follows the season-long path of athletes coming to believe in themselves and one another, no matter what the odds or challenges along the way.

   After chasing Kentucky and Kansas, two white-dominated teams, in the poll standings for the #1 ranking all season, Texas Western met both of them in the NCAA Tournament, beating the Jayhawks in Overtime in the Regional Finals, and then Kentucky in the National Final, starting and playing five black players against the Wildcats' all-white team.  Their 72-65 win gave them the National Championship and achieved their ultimate dream at the end of the "GLORY ROAD".

   The movie's final credits spell out the significance of this event : "Texas Western's victory over Kentucky has been called one of the greatest sports upsets of all time, and the most important game in the history of college basketball."

   "GLORY ROAD" is an excellent film, in the same calibre of legendary sports stories as Hoosiers, Miracle, and Remember the Titans.   CHECK IT OUT ! 

 RATING : 4 {out of 5} Melons

Saturday, January 11, 2014


Just watched a good movie called "The Thing Called Love," (1993) starring Samantha Mathis, River Phoenix, Dermot Mulroney, and Sandra Bullock.  

If you're into music as much as I am, you will probably love this movie.  But I also loved "That Thing You Do."

Here's an Internet synopsis of the movie for you:

The Thing Called Love is an American comedy-drama film released in 1993. It was directed by Peter Bogdanovich. The film's tagline is: "Stand by your dream."

The movie stars Samantha Mathis as Miranda Presley (not related to Elvis), who comes from New York City to Nashville, where she auditions at The Bluebird Cafe. She is not invited to perform, but she accepts a job as a waitress. She meets and falls in love with James Wright (River Phoenix), and she befriends Linda Lue Linden (Sandra Bullock).

While the movie involves a love triangle and various complications in Miranda's route to success, it provides a sweetened glimpse at the lives of aspiring songwriters in Nashville.
This was Phoenix's final screen performance before his death.

RATING : 4 {out of 5} Melons

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


Just finished watching the life story of Dr. Ben Carson, a TV-Movie called "Gifted Hands." It chronicles Dr. Carson from a boyhood of poverty and mediocrity to a distinguished career as Head of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital.  

Also started reading the book version of the same story.

RATING : 5 {out of 5} Melons