Monthly Archives: September 2013

A Tragedy at Midnight – Movie 168 of 365

If you have about an hour to spare and need a little mystery movie to kill time with, A Tragedy at Midnight will fit the bill. Gary Sherman (John Howard) is a radio personality and armchair detective. He makes a living at making the police look like idiots, by solving the cases they can’t and announcing the perpetrator on air.

Sherman has infuriated the local police so that chief has ordered his men to find something, anything on Sherman in order to bring him in and more importantly off the air. They can’t find anything but Sherman soon provides something himself. Coming home from a party he collapses into his twin bed not bothering to check the other bed beside him, assuming it’s his wife already asleep. He wakes later to discover that not only isn’t the woman in the bed his wife but also she has a knife sticking  out of her. Now he must solve the murder mystery  while also staying one step ahead of the police, lest he ends up in jail himself.

If you go into this expecting more fluff than drama you won’t be disappointed. While there is definitely a mystery, they try to inject a lot of lighter moments throughout the film.  Almost too much. However, the revealing of the killer was actually a pretty exciting scene. And if you are watching any version that is less than an hour apparently you are getting the cut-down available for TV version. So maybe there was more substance in the missing 15 minutes, but I doubt it. Gary Sherman and his wife make a cute mystery couple. Not a cute as the Thin Man’s William Powell and Myrna Loy, but still enjoyable.

Overall A Tragedy at Midnight is a nice little time waster.

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Posted by on September 30, 2013 in Movies, Reviews


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The Day – Movie 167 of 365

The Day is a post-apocalyptic horror film where the horror is more based on the violence and slight goriness and where the monster is all too human. As I said this movie is set in a post-apocalyptic world, it is not said what kind of event caused the situation but apparently it’s not important. Besides whatever happened occurred ten years ago.

What is important is that everyone seems to be down to just basic survival mode, not just from the elements but from other survivors. Particularly from those who, after the food supplies dwindled to near nothing, have resorted to cannibalism and actively hunt other survivors. But our fearless main characters haven’t resorted to such barbarous acts. Traveling with jars of seeds to plant, they search the countryside for a place to become civilized again.  They happen upon a lone farmhouse, long abandoned as well as the area around it. Thinking of it as a temporary oasis, they soon find out that it’s a trap, literally.

I’m not really sure what to think about this movie. On one hand it’s a pretty solid movie, the action and acting are both decent. On the other hand the movie feels like half a movie. That what’s going on is a subplot at best or the second half of a movie. There is not a whole lot of depth, no real back stories, and very little reason to care about the main characters except they are being attacked. Okay one character seems to have a backstory, that once discovered causes the others to distrust her.  Also suddenly she becomes the main character among the group.  This is a little disconcerting without much background.  So even though The Day has great potential for being a good movie I struggled to get emotionally invested. It’s a good beginning, or more appropriately ending, but there just needs to be more.

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Posted by on September 30, 2013 in Movies, Reviews


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Fangirl Friday – Clark Gregg

By gdcgraphics

Object of my obsession Robert Clark Gregg – April 2, 1962

My favorite appearances: The New Adventures of Old ChristineRichard Campbell,  Iron Man (1 and 2) , Thor, The Avengers, Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.Agent Phil Coulson, Much Ado about NothingLenato

Usually an actor, particularly a male actor, acquires a bevy of fans because of their Hollywood looks and their sexy moves.  But Clark Gregg achieves it with a slightly goofy grin and a laid back demeanor, which we all know hides an undercover badass.  Nothing causes a visceral reaction from a Gregg fan so much so as two words, COULSON LIVES.


The New Adventures of Old Christine

But before he was Agent Phil Coulson he was Richard Campbell, the ex-husband of “old” Christine on The New Adventures of Old Christine. He was probably the only reason I gave the show a second chance.  I tell you it was the goofy smile that did me in.  You are not supposed to like the ex-husband who then replaces you with a woman with your same name.  But how can you not when it’s played by Gregg?

Agent Fanboy

Agent Fanboy

And that I think explains how Clark Gregg worms his way into fangirl’s hearts.  Showing up for entirely too small moments in the Marvel movieverse, he reminds you of that unassuming guy you know. Nice, respectful, funny, yet always in the friendzone.  But then he does something that gives you a small hint of the badass hiding underneath.  Now you are intrigued.

Then came The Avengers and we get a lot more of Gregg and everyone’s favorite S.H.I.E.L.D agent.  We are happy. We are, dare say, in love as our favorite agent also turns out to be a big ole fanboy and then… WHEDON!!!

By ABC/Bob D'Amico

By ABC/Bob D’Amico

But to quote Kaylee from FireflyEverything’s shiny… Not to fret.”  Because COULSON LIVES and we get to see him every week on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. The first episode, unlike 99% of my TV viewing I actually watched live; couldn’t wait for the HULU rebroadcast.  I’ve had to reserve myself to the one viewing of the pilot, lest I awaken the fan-fiction muse.  I can’t believe I haven’t dedicated a story to Agent Coulson yet.  I think I’m afraid of screwing it up. I’ve read a lot of fan-fiction on Coulson and although I like the pairings I would probably just write him as a loner. Married to his job and doing really cool stuff like the video below.

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Posted by on September 27, 2013 in Fangirl Friday


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Patrik, Age 1.5 – Movie 166 of 365

I find that often other countries deal with some subjects better in film than America. One subject is homosexuality. There are very few gay main characters in American films and usually they are single and most of the plots deal with them being out of not. The Swedish film (with English subtitles) Patrik, Age 1.5 is not about that, but it is about the hope and heartache surrounding adoption.
Göran (Gustaf Skarsgård) and Sven Skoogh (Torkel Petersson) are a gay married couple who want to adopt a baby. Well Göran does anyway, Sven has a daughter from a prior relationship and is not really wanting more children. After many unsuccessful attempts, the adoption agency sends them a letter stating that they have a boy, Patrik, age 1,5, that they are looking to place. Göran and Sven decide to take in the 1.5 year old child, assuming that the comma was supposed to be a period. When Patrik arrives it becomes obvious that they assumed the wrong typo. It was a case of the comma being in the wrong place, Patrik is 15 years old and a juvenile delinquent. Now Göran and Sven have to decide whether to keep Patrik, who is also homophobic, or send him back like so many families have done before.

I love this movie. I think it provide a good portrayal of the highs and lows of trying to adopt and how it affects the couple’s relationship. But it does so in a way that doesn’t make it too depressing, while at the same time taking the subject seriously. I also like that they cover all aspects of Göran and Sven’s relationship. It’s not only about the potential new child and it’s not just from their perspective.  We also see the situation though the eyes of Patrik, the neighbors, and even Sven’s ex-wife and daughter.

I thought the ending was a bit cheesy and sure it could’ve been a bit deeper, but I think neither diminished this from being a really good film.

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Posted by on September 25, 2013 in Movies, Reviews


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Today’s Theme Music – King of Birds



King of Birds popped up in my Pandora today.  I haven’t heard it in a while but it reminded me of my first band obsession, R.E.M.  Thanks to MTV in the 80’s, I discovered many artists; Cindy Lauper, Culture Club, Men at Work, and R.E.M.  I owned at least an album or cassette of each.  The first R.E.M. video I saw was for It’s the End of the World as We Know It, after that was Stand.  I bought the cassette and became obsessed.  I knew every song, the order, and the words, well as much of the words as one can with Michael Stipe.

Then I had to go buy the previous albums and memorize them too.  Even today I can hear pretty much any song from Murmur (mostly) through Green and tell you which song goes next.  After that it starts to get hazy.

Singer sing me a given, singer sing me a song

One of the first songs I performed in front of mostly strangers was Swan Swan H off of Life’s Rich Pageant.  I had sung in church choir when I was a child and did a song for a camp talent show but this was my freshman year at college.  I had managed to make a handful of friends but they hadn’t known me more than a couple of months.  This was also alumni weekend so 99.9% of the crowd I hadn’t even met.  But somehow I screwed up my courage and stood on a stage by myself, without musical accompaniment, and belted out a song I still don’t fully understand but find hauntingly beautiful.

Standing on the shoulders of giants, leaves me cold

What I like about R.E.M. are beautiful lyrics completely open to interpretation. And believe me a lot of their songs have changed meaning for me over the course of my life.  I didn’t think much of the shoulders of giants line at first but as I tried to make my way in the world it’s meaning kind of smacked me in the face.  I’m all for appreciating the past and those who made contributions then to make my life easier now.  But then there comes a point where the next generation can’t make their own way because they aren’t allowed to do anything because the older generation knows better and has more experience.  Never seeming to realize that someone had to have given them a chance one time as well.  That was me and a lot of activism when I was younger.  Part of the reason I left.  I didn’t want to be in charge and I know I wasn’t always right, but I wanted to be at least listened to and be able to contribute.  Maybe that’s all changed, but the idea of going back leaves me cold.

There’s time to teach

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Posted by on September 18, 2013 in introspective, Music, Writing


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Today’s Theme Music – In the Middle

I haven’t had a lot of time to write lately mainly because of working on the pay-the-bills side of my life.  However, I heard this song and just had a feeling someone needed to hear it besides myself. Have you ever felt that way? Anyway, there is a lot of things I want/need in my life right now and I’m not a very patient girl. My body is not cooperating in so many ways and I feel I’m too slow, too unattractive, too whatever, to get what I want out life. Sometimes it’s hard to keep going when you can’t see the finish line.

It just takes some time, little girl you’re in the middle of the ride.
Everything (everything) will be just fine, everything (everything) will be alright (alright).
— lyrics, Jimmy Eat World – In the Middle

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Posted by on September 17, 2013 in introspective, Music


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She Done Him Wrong – Movie 165 of 365

She Done Him Wrong 1933

Prior to this movie my exposure was Mae West to was a series of what I thought were over the top imitations. However, after seeing She Done Him Wrong, I now realize they weren’t far off.

It seems pretty clear that this movie was a plot woven together to fit nicely around Ms West’s looks and personality.  It’s a drama but the drama of the secondary characters seems to be downplayed to focus more on West and you don’t want her to be too sad so even her “down” moments barely crack the surface.  But then of course it would show West in her best light, she wrote the screenplay.  As was the case with most of her movies.

She Done Him Wrong is the story of Diamond Lil (Mae West) nightclub owner and headliner act.  She juggles men’s affections with ease, until one of them, a her criminal boyfriend Chick Clark (Owen Moore) breaks out of prison to see her, and more importantly to make sure that he’s her only one. Meanwhile, Lil is finding herself very attracted to Capt. Cummings (Cary Grant) who runs the city mission next door.  Also, she’s finding out that her boss Gus Jordan (Noah Beery ) is involved in a lot more than the nightclub and it’s not legal.

The musical numbers are nice and the dialogue and one-liners are fun.  You either like the character that is Mae West or you don’t.  I can take it in doses.  But if you have never seen her in action this is a great movie to see what all the imitation is about.

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Posted by on September 10, 2013 in Movies, Reviews


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