Posts Tagged ‘The Paperboy’

Some Wrongs You Can’t Right

While I’ll continue to fight for equality, I’m going to talk less about politics in 2013.  I’m saying that because no matter what politicians say, chances are they will lie or promise more than they can deliver.  Another wrong that we can’t right is “Crash” winning the Academy Award for Best Picture for 2005 over “Brokeback Mountain”.  While Ang Lee won for Best Director for “Brokeback” and the movie won “Best Adapted Screenplay”, it was a shock to many that “Crash” won for “Best Picture”.

Brokeback Mountain

Another wrong that we can’t right is the box office disappointment of the 2012 Disney movie, “John Carter”.  While the budget for the science fiction adventure film was $250 million, it only grossed $282.8 million thanks to a very strong box office outside the United States.  Domestically, the movie only made $73 million.

“John Carter” is definitely a wrong that you can make right by renting it on DVD.  We did that this past weekend and I’m so glad we took a chance on it.

The problem with the movie is definitely not with sexy Taylor Kitsch as John Carter or beautiful Lynn Collins as Princess Dejah Thoris of Helium.

Taylor Kitsch as John Carter

The problem with “John Carter” at the box office was in marketing.  I don’t think Disney knew how to sell the movie.  I was expecting the action flick to be some far-fetched science fiction movie set in some future time.

While the movie predominately took place on Mars, known in the movie as “Barsoom”, it opened with a death scene set in New York in the late 19th century and then flashed back to the Wild West!  At first, I was confused as to how this movie was going to move from a western setting to another planet.

I’ll go ahead and give away a spoiler from the opening scenes.  John Carter, a former Civil War Army Captain, dies suddenly and everything is left to his nephew.  Carter is buried in a tomb that can only be opened from the inside before his nephew arrives.

As his nephew reads a locked diary that John Carter left him, we flash back to the Arizona Territory where Carter is arrested and jailed.  He escapes and after an altercation in a cave where Carter is searching for gold, something happens and for much of the 2 hours, 12 minute movie, we’re on the neighboring planet of Mars, aka Barsoom.  There, John Carter realizes that he has developed a special power that comes in handy since a war is taking place on the planet.

I thoroughly enjoyed “John Carter” and it had little to do with the hotness of the two lead characters, John Carter and the princess.  The movie also featured an army of Green Martians, the good guys in the war, and a very loyal Martian “dog”.

The American box office and the trailer does not do “John Carter” justice.

GRADE:  A-

‘THE PAPERBOY”

Nicole Kidman is one of the best living actresses out there.  I absolutely love her.  I found her mesmerizing in “To Die For” and “Moulin Rouge!” and there are still many of her other movies I still want to see.

In “The Paperboy”, she plays seductive and trashy Charlotte Bless, who falls in love with a series of prison convicts.  Her latest crush is Hillary Van Wetter, played with intense creepiness by John Cusack.

thepaperboy_nicolekidman_web

Kidman was nominated for a Golden Globe award and a Screen Actors Guild award for this role.  And, boy does she chew the scenery whether she is teasing Cusack into a frenzy during a prison visit or  urinating on Zac Efron (I won’t say why, but it’s not what you think).

The movie is the followup to director Lee Daniels’ Oscar winning “Precious”.

“The Paperboy” also stars the aforementioned Zac Efron as Jack Jansen, who falls in love with Kidman’s Charlotte.

Matthew McConaughey plays Efron’s older brother, Ward Jansen, who is investigating the case that put Cusack’s Van Wetter in prison.  This was McConaughey’s third highly acclaimed role in 2012 following his star turn in “Magic Mike” to his frightening and under appreciated role in “Killer Joe” to this one.  Ward is harboring his own secrets that could cost him his life in the racially-divided 1960s South.

After seeing “The Paperboy”, you’ll likely be very thankful for the life you have and you’ll probably want to take a shower!

GRADE:  B

Anthony

Random Thoughts 2012 Recap, Part Two

Here’s another round of the random blogs that I posted this summer that covered multiple topics.  To read each random blog, I’ve made it easy so you only have to click on the highlighted title inside the blog.  Have a great Saturday.

June 21, 2012

You Know What I’m Thinking?

In this blog, I talked about classic rock and kitchen renovation, causes of death in the United States, the summer drought and being ready for fall and winter, Olivia Newton-John, my future pick hit from Chris Wallace, and chocolate wine.

July 10, 2012

I’m Thinking About These Things Today (And You May Agree or Disagree)

In this blog,  just ten days before the Aurora, Colorado, movie theater shooting spree, I said “guns don’t kill, people do”.  I know that guns caused the actual deaths, but there was a person behind them.  Sadly, when I wrote this segment of the blog, I referenced the Tucson, Arizona shooting and I had no idea of what would happen later in the month.  And, now we have the fresh, sad memories of the Newtown, Connecticut school shooting.  You might find the reading interesting and I welcome your feedback.

I also referenced work and seniority, which is another ill-fated topic since I’m no longer there.

There were also random thoughts about Hank Williams Jr. calling President Obama “Hitler”, food, the remake of “Steel Magnolias”, Carrie Underwood, and the music of Laura Pausini.

August 7, 2012

My Wandering Mind — Here’s What I’m Thinking About

The heavy topic on my mind here was about returning soldiers and the demons they face, which leads to more suicides.  I also touched on human rights.  On a lighter note, I had random thoughts about “Dexter”, fall, food, “Zero Dark Thirty”, “Artpop”, Lady Gaga, “The Paperboy”, “Lebanon”, and the music of Demi Lovato.

August 26, 2012

Oh No, He’s Thinking About Random Things

Topics here:  nuclear power plants, healthy eating and cheesecake, bigotry, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, fall, Thomas Roberts’ upcoming marriage, hot new music from Zedd and Madonna, “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” and “Argo”.

One more coming tomorrow.

Anthony

A Buffet of Thoughts — A Little of This & That

It feels like one of those days where I’d love to have a buffet!  But, I’m determined to eat healthy through Saturday when I leave for Houston.  So, I’ll have a blog buffet — where I talk a little about this and a little about that.

SO GOES OHIO, SO GOES THE COUNTRY

Watch out, Mitt Romney!!!  If the great people of the Buckeye State are correct and they have been since 1972, you’re in trouble.  Since Ohio is considered a “battleground” state that will be key in deciding the 2012 election, you’d better be spending much of your time, money, and efforts there.

Since 1972, Ohio has picked the winning candidate in the presidential election.  As a matter of fact, since 1944, the state has only picked the wrong candidate in the race for the White House one time!  Back in 1960, Ohio picked Republican Richard Nixon over Democratic winner John F. Kennedy by 6.6%.

In the latest CBS/New York Times/Quinnipiac poll of Ohio voters posted on Real Clear Politics, President Barack Obama leads Romney by 10%!

And, speaking of President Obama, I entered a contest the other day and the winner gets to have dinner with the President before the election.  While a long shot, Gretel is very excited.

IS THAT A DINOSAUR?

While the Quad Cities will enjoy more “Indian Summer-like” weather (NOAA: “Indian Summer” is generally associated with a period of considerably above normal temperatures, accompanied by dry and hazy conditions ushered in on a south or southwesterly breeze”), from this weather map you’d think that a storm would be bringing a dinosaur into the middle of the country!  I saw this a while back and saved it.  Too funny!

Sadly, the forecast for Houston Saturday when we arrive doesn’t look too great and will likely keep us from seeing the “Balloon Glow” of hot air balloons at the Johnson Space Center!   Bummer!  😦

OUR FISH SHOULD BE VERY AFRAID

Overnight, I was awakened around 2 a.m. by a noise down on the patio, which is located right below our bedroom window.  One of the cats heard it, too, and she was in the window peering outside.  As my eyes adjusted to the darkness, I saw it.  A raccoon was scurrying around trying to get the can of fish food open after it knocked the container off the patio table.  I ran downstairs and turned on the patio light and it ran up the steps into the backyard away from me.  Like a warrior, I grabbed the water hose and started spraying it into the direction that it ran.

Those are pictures of the fish earlier in the week.  I think we need to find something to keep the raccoons away from them this week while we’re gone.  We definitely didn’t  fatten them up to be a meal for a nocturnal beast!

RANDOM PICTURES I REALLY LIKE

REMEMBERING MY GRANDMOTHER

On Monday, my sister, Tammy, turned 46.  We celebrated by Ray making her dinner and we had pumpkin cake roll for dessert.  Tammy is not the only family member that would have been celebrating a birthday Monday.  She was born on my grandmother Helen’s birthday.

Had my grandmother been alive, she would have been 99 years old!!!

FALL MOVIES & OSCAR CONTENDERS ARE COMING

I’m so excited to see the new Ben Affleck movie, “Argo” when it’s released on October 12th.  I’ll be in Las Vegas and I plan on finding a movie theater.  I’ve already expressed interest in “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”, “The Paperboy”, “Lincoln”, and “Zero Dark Thirty”.  Now, I’ve added another one to the list.

“Entertainment Weekly” calls “The Impossible”, starring Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor, a “shocking tsunami drama” based on one family’s experience of the Indian Ocean tsunami that hit on Christmas Day (our time) 2004.  The trailer looks incredible.

CHRISTMAS IS COMING

I know that I just blogged two days ago about the new Mattel Barbie coming out and that I still didn’t get my Reba doll from last year, but here are a few nice places you can shop this year and know that some of your money goes toward marriage equality.

FALL TELEVISION

While I wait for the new ABC Reba McEntire comedy, “Malibu Country” (November 2nd), the only new television show I’ve checked out this fall is “The New Normal”, from Ryan Murphy (“Glee”, “American Horror Story”, and “Nip/Tuck”).  It focuses on a gay Los Angeles couple (Bryan and David) wanting to have a baby.  Goldie, who just moved to LA from Ohio agrees to be their surrogate mother for $35,000 to go back to law school and to make a better life for her daughter, Shania.

It’s funny and enjoyable.  The premiere episode has been the best.  The ensemble cast is great and the standouts are Ellen Barkin (Goldie’s grandmother), NeNe Leakes (Bryan’s personal assistant), and Bebe Wood (Shania, Goldie’s pre-teen daughter).

Sadly, the ratings for the NBC show have already started slipping from almost 7 million viewers for the first two episodes to around 5 million for Tuesday night’s politically-charged episode, “Obama Mama”.  Check out this extended preview if you haven’t already watched the show.

Tonight (Thursday night), I want to check out CBS’ new take on Sherlock Holmes, “Elementary”.  It’s not because I’m a fan of the detective.  It’s because I’ve had the hots for Angelina Jolie’s ex-husband, Jonny Lee Miller, ever since he played “Eli Stone” on ABC (thanks for cancelling that ABC, bad call!).

Speaking of hots, Miller’s version of Holmes is even tattooed! 🙂

And, finally, Sunday night is the seventh season premiere of “Dexter”.  And, we’re only two weeks away from the new season “The Walking Dead”!  I love this post to thank the show’s 10 million Facebook fans!

And, the new season of “American Horror Story” is coming, along with the final season of “Fringe”.

FLOWERS

With the trees beginning to turn and mums opening up, colors are beginning to pop.  Did you know that in the winter of 1636, tulip mania hit Holland and for some time, bulbs traded for the price of houses? Crazy!  Although I’d never pay that much for anything, other than a house, the sight is majestic!

MY NEW MUSIC GUILTY PLEASURE

While I await the new Lady Antebellum Christmas CD, “On This Winter’s Night” and  Blake Shelton’s Christmas album (because it features Reba), the album I’m really excited about is Calvin Harris’ “18 Months” (October 29, 2012).

For those that don’t know him, he’s a Scottish DJ and producer.  He also spent 10 weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with Rihanna on “We Found Love”.  He’s also had other hits like, “Feel So Close” and “Let’s Go”.  His new song, “Sweet Nothing”, features Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine.

And, FYI, I still cringe when I hear the current Taylor Swift song, “We Are Never Blah Blah Blah”!

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

I’ll leave with you this amazing quote from Chinese journalist Hu Shuli, “Believe in what you do, do it smartly, and never give up.”

Have a great day and thanks for checking out my buffet blog.

Anthony

I’m Having More Random Thoughts

You know what it’s like to have random thoughts much of time.  Seriously, tell me that I’m not alone. 🙂  My mind works all the time and sometimes it’s a picture that prompts me to think.  At other times, its entertainment, a magazine, or Facebook.  And, today’s blog is about sharing some of those thoughts with you.

Miss Betty, “Mom”, is with us through Tuesday morning.  We’ve already been to the casino and we’re going back tonight.  She says she has to win her money back.  Last night, we grilled out and enjoyed the beautiful, cool weather.  With the exception of the casino tonight, we’re going to continue to chill out.

‘SAWDUST PIE” & BANANAS

Last weekend, when we had dinner guests, I made Patti’s 1880s’ (my favorite restaurant in Grand Rivers, Kentucky) “Sawdust Pie”.  Actually, I made two and froze one for Betty’s visit.  You serve them warm with cool whip and sliced bananas.

I didn’t know that bananas are the most purchased grocery item in the United States!

While that surprised me, here’s the shocker that I learned from “Time” magazine:  Bananas “are picked immature, shipped in special boats and then taken to ripening rooms that use ethylene gas to complete the job.”  So since the boats use fuel, the price of bananas increase when gas prices are high.  Stick with me and you might learn all kinds of interesting (or useless) information.

ASIAN CARP, WHILE BAD FOR OUR AREA LAKES AND STREAMS, DON’T LOOK SO BAD NOW!

PUTTING MARRIAGE  AND FAMILY INTO PERSPECTIVE

LINCOLN” & “ZERO DARK THIRTY” TRAILERS

Earlier this summer, I blogged about the movies that have my attention as we head into the fall.  I still want to see “Looper” and “The Paperboy”, but I’ll probably wait to see them in the cheap theater or on DVD.

There’s also “The Perks of Being A Wallflower” and “Argo”.  “Argo”, directed by Ben Affleck, is my most heavily anticipated movie this fall.  It’s based on a true story of a rescue effort to free American hostages from Iran back in 1979.  It comes out October 12th and I’ll be seeing it in Las Vegas, one day before my birthday and Madonna.  I’ve never gone to a movie in Vegas and to be honest, do tourists even do that? 🙂

Also, the trailers for two more movies that I want to see later this year were finally released.  Both “Lincoln” and “Zero Dark Thirty” will likely have a date with Oscar in early 2013.

REMEMBERING 9/11

Since “Zero Dark Thirty” is about the search for Al-Qaeda learder Osama bin Laden and last Tuesday marked the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks when terrorists flew four planes into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, killing more than 3, 000 Americans, I’ll reflect by showing some of my favorites pictures posted that day on Facebook.

FORGETTING OSAMA BIN LADEN

While President Barack Obama gave the order for the brave U.S. Navy Seals to capture or kill Osama bin Laden in its successful mission in killing the terrorist leader in May 2011, we’ll always live with the threat that jihadists or other terrorists will attack Americans here at home or abroad.  We saw that last Tuesday in Libya when Islamic jihadis killed an American ambassador and three others.

As I read more about the man who had so much hatred for western civilizations and especially, the United States, it makes me happy that bin Laden was killed and buried deep below the North Arabian Sea.

In 1996, bin Laden said “O Lord, shatter their gathering, divide them among themselves, shake the earth under their feet and give us control over them” and then in December 2001, “We calculated in advance the number of casualties.”

It’s also very interesting that President Barack Obama announced that bin Laden was dead on May 1st.  That is also the same date back in 1945 when the German government announced that Adolf Hitler, the man responsible for the mass murder of more than six million people, most of them Jewish people, was also dead.

bin Laden and his terrorist group won the battle on 9/11, but we’ll win the war.  It may take us the rest of our lifetime and the lifetimes of our children and grandchildren, but there’s hope that one day “the world will live as one” as John Lennon so eloquently sang in “Imagine”.

POINSETTIAS

The plant that grows in the wild in its native Mexico and Central America is my favorite plant.  Over the years, I’ve collected misfit poinsettias that were either marked down in the  stores because they weren’t beautiful enough or had a broken stem or from friends that just wanted to get rid of them after the holiday.  My poinsettias are huge now and I can’t wait for them to turn from green to red, white, and pink.  Here’s just one my four potted poinsettias.

My goal this year is to locate a very hard to find variety called “Harvest Orange”.  Last year, a California grower was producing them.  So, I’ll have to keep my eyes open to find that poinsettia in my favorite color!  This is what it looks like.

I hope you enjoyed my random thoughts.  What’s on your mind?

Here’s a closing thought.

Anthony

My Wandering Mind — Here’s What I’m Thinking About

Every once in a while, I like to blog about all of the things that have crossed my mind or crossed my path during my time on the internet and Facebook.  It may be nothing more than a picture or something that I read in a magazine or online, but I don’t want to write an entire blog about it and today is one of those days.  Here are the things that made me smile or got me to thinking.  As if I need to think more?

“DEXTER”

Season six of my favorite television show, “Dexter”, will be released on DVD one week from today.  I’m very excited to see it because everyone that I’ve talked to says that it was a great season.  Religion plays a big role in the twelve episodes and I just love the promotional material with the angel’s wings made from blood.  That’s so Dexter Morgan.

I’ve also learned that we’re down to the last two seasons of “Dexter” since it will end at season eight and that the executive producer already knows how it will end!

If you don’t watch it first run on Showtime and you’re waiting for the DVD like I am, here’s the trailer for season six.

In addition to “Dexter” season six arriving on DVD next week, Gretel is more excited about “Glee” season three on the same day.  Later this month, “The Walking Dead” season two arrives and in early September, it’s “Fringe” season four.  I will be watching a lot of television this fall!

SIMPLE ISN’T IT?

 

WE REALLY FORGET VETERANS WHEN THEY RETURN HOME

While I registered with the draft in 1982, which was required by law, I was lucky that I never got called to war.  Some choose the military as careers and for some, the military chooses them.  Our brave men and women of all walks of life go to foreign lands and fight for our freedom.  Some may only go once and some are called to serve multiple duties and they see things that we only see in movies.

And, when they return, they may get a parade or a hometown welcome and then once the last of the confetti falls, what happens in their lives then?

Recently, I came across the story of  Matthew Magdzas, a National Guardsman, who killed his family (a pregnant wife and daughter), their dogs, and then himself in Superior, Wisconsin, in August 2010.

While tragic, what’s even scarier are these stats that “Time” magazine reported at the time:  In 2010, 113 National Guard members committed suicide;  the Guard’s suicide rate is up 82% from 2009 and 450% from 2004 and now exceeds that of active-duty soldiers;  they lack jobs, support and camaraderie found on military bases when they return from war; and 42% of Guard troops come back from war with mental illness compared to 20% for active-duty counterparts that have more thorough training and are more prepared for longer periods at war.

With the wars that we’re engaged in across the world, we really need to make it where the National Guard is more prepared for what it will face away from home and what to expect when they return.  Many of the duties of the Guard changed from helping at state levels after 9/11.  Guardmen/women now account for about 20% of the combat troops at war instead of helping with state floods, weather disasters, and forest fires.

FALL IS GETTING CLOSER

I’m ready for fall to get here to break the incredible heat that we’ve experienced with the drought this summer.  It also means that our vacation season kicks off next month with Houston, Las Vegas, and then our pre-Christmas cruise.  On a much smaller scale, we’re heading to Fort Dodge, Iowa, this weekend for Ray’s 30th high school reunion.

This fall, I’m awaiting confirmation on the title of the new Osama bin Laden movie, which follows the special operation forces as they try to capture or kill the Afghan terrorist.  It’s the follow-up movie from Oscar winner Kathryn Bigelow of “The Hurt Locker”.  The rumored title of the movie is “Zero Dark Thirty” and it stars Jessica Chastain “(The Help”), Joel Edgerton (“Warrior”) and Kyle Chandler (“Super 8”).  The movie comes out Christmas week.

ARTPOP

The follow-up to “Born This Way” is on the way.  We no longer have to wait for the title of Lady Gaga’s new album coming out late in 2012 (more likely in early 2013 when she should be touring America on “The Born This Wall Ball” tour).  The album is called “ARTPOP”.

Gaga tweeted, “make sure when writing about my new album/project ARTPOP that you CAPITALIZE the title, *its all in the details* good morning twitter!”

“PRECIOUS” FOLLOW-UP LOOKS AMAZING

Director Lee Daniels’ follow-up to the incredible Oscar nominated film, “Precious”, arrives in theaters this October.  (Mo’nique won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for “Precious”.)

It’s called “The Paperboy” and it looks amazing.  I haven’t been following the race to the Oscars in 2013, but I can guarantee that one of my favorites, Nicole Kidman, will be one of the Best Actress nominees based on this trailer.  And, you get a bonus!  Zac Efron in “tighty whities”!

The movie also stars Matthew McConaughy, John Cusack, David Oyelono, Macy Gray, and Scott Glenn.

LEBANON

The best movie that I saw recently was the award-winning  2009 Israeli movie, “Lebanon”, which followed a lone tank and paratroopers that were dispatched to a hostile town during the First Lebanon War in 1982.  It was gripping, suspenseful, and claustrophobic.

“The New York Times” called it “an astonishing piece of cinema” and “Variety said it is “the boldest and best” of recent Israeli films based upon the Lebanon wars.  Meanwhile, the British newspaper “The Guardian” called it “anti-war”.

GRADE:  A

 

GREAT FOOD & REFRESHING DRINKS MAKE LIFE MORE ENJOYABLE

While I would probably never have the patience to make this colorful cake (maybe before next June’s pride, I will), it looks fun and delightful.

However, I am planning on making this strawberry-basil sangria.  I found the recipe on treehugger.com.

Strawberry-Basil Sangria

  • ½ lb of fresh strawberries
  • 1 apple
  • 1 ounce of fresh whole basil leaves
  • 1 bottle of Cline Cellar’s Cool Climate Chardonnay
  • ½ cup organic sugar
  • 1 cup of club soda
  • 1 cup of white grape juice

1. Trim and thinly slice the strawberries.
2. Slice and dice the apple into very small bits.
3. Score the basil leaves with a fork. I did this instead of cutting the leaves into strips as I did not want my guests choking on basil while trying to enjoy this drink. Simply just rub the basil leaves gently with a fork in order to release their flavor in the sangria.
4. Layer the fruit, sugar and basil in a large pitcher and let sit for about 10 minutes. This is just to let the sugar absorb the juices from the basil and the fruit. You’ll see it turn a bit red.
5. Add the club soda first and then the remaining liquids. Stir well and serve.

MUSIC I’M EXCITED ABOUT

Of course, I’m excited that Madonna is at #8 on the Billboard Dance Chart with “Turn Up The Radio”, the third single from “MDNA”.  The new remix by Far East Movement (“Like a G6”) is out of this world.  It’s one time when I agree that adding rap to a pop song makes it even better.  The rap in Maroon 5’s “Payphone”, not so much!

My other favorite songs right now are “Timebomb” by Kylie Minogue, “Let’s Have a Kiki” by the Scissor Sisters, “Postcards From Paris” by The Band Perry, and these two.

I’ve never been a fan of Demi Lovato, but I knew who she was by having an 11-year-old daughter.  She’s had it rough over the past couple of years with “physical and emotional issues”, but it seems she’s got her act together now and I just love her new top ten song, “Give Your Heart a Break”.

Also, at the top of my list of favorites now is Chris Wallace’s “Remember When (Push Rewind)”, which I featured a month or so ago. It’s now about to crack the top 40!

I saw him at Market Days a couple of years ago when he was the lead singer of The White Tie Affair, which had a modest hit with “Candle (Sick and Tired)”.  I can’t wait for the debut album!

I’ve let my mind wander enough.  There was one more thing I wanted to talk about today, but this is enough for now.  Have a great day and thanks for checking out my random thoughts.

Peace,

Peeps