Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A Lost Movie

I grew up in NY where we had the very best TV imaginable. Million Dollar Movie which showed movies like "King Kong" and "Moby Dick" twice a day for up to (if I remember correctly) 2 weeks. We had Zacherle and Ch. 13 PBS which showed early Fritz Lang films and Japanese film retrospectives. We had the Early Show and the Late Show and monster movies on Ch. 11 and somewhere in the mix there was one movie that stood out, one movie we'd watch every time it was on. "Home Sweet Homicide"!
"Home Sweet Homicide" was the story of the 3 Carstairs children, Archie (Dean Stockwell), Dinah (Peggy Ann Garner) and April (Connie Marshall). They lived with their widowed mother, Marian, a mystery writer. The kids decide they need to help their Mom make it into the big time by getting her to solve a real murder...which conveniently happens next door. Enter, a handsome detective (Randolph Scott) and his grumpy side-kick (James Gleason). This all added up to being a very appealing and delightful film that seems to have disappeared into outer space.
 The book the film was based on was by Craig Rice, and it is one of my very favorite books. It is often available on Amazon or ebay and worth tracking down.
So, rights owners to this movie wherever you are... this is the age of DVDs, Netflix and TCM. What are you waiting for? Don't you want to earn some extra cash by releasing it from the vaults? I'm ready to hit that Paypal button whenever you do!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Jean Reno : Cool, French and a Role Model For Young Girls

The other day I came across a fantastic French film, "Wasabi" starring Jean Reno, an actor I find very sexy and cool, so of course I had to watch it. In it Jean plays a cop who 19 years previously had been stationed in Japan doing some kind of under cover work and  had a relationship with a Japanese woman who was the love of his life and who ditched him after 8 months.
He has been unable to forget her and move on and after being ordered to take some time off for beating up some criminals and the chief's son, surprise, surprise...he gets a call from a Japanese lawyer saying his former flame has died and left everything to him and he has to go to Japan to claim his inheritance... which includes an absolutely adorable 19 year old daughter, Yumi, played by Ryoko Hirosue. It's a fun movie and got me to thinking of that other great Jean Reno film "Leon, The Professional" which costarred Natalie Portman in maybe her best role ever, as a little girl whose family are murdered and who turns to her neighbor, Leon, for help. Below are trailers for both these films. What girl wouldn't feel safe with a father figure like Mr. Reno?
Here's "Wasabi"

And "Leon, The Professional"

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Worst Hard Time: A Book Recommendation

The Goodwin Library Book Club has been going well this last year with a focus on some brilliant Young Adult titles which allowed us some pretty intense discussions. We just read an amazingly well written and researched non-fiction book that almost reads like fiction, the "Worst Hard Time" by Timothy Egan.
Many of you have already read this book when it came out. If you haven't... it's the story of the dust bowl problems affecting the Oklahoma and Texas panhandle and the people that stuck it out during this epic disaster plus it was in the midst of the depression. Huge dust clouds that swept over and devastated people and animals and filled them with dust and dirt causing a disease called dust pneumonia that killed many elderly and infants and people who were caught out in storms sometimes suffocated. The book goes into the causes for this disaster and what was done to try and rectify things. It's chilling and fascinating and filled with memorable characters. It really makes you appreciate having enough water and not having to eat tumbleweeds!
 NYTimes Book review

NPR story on the book and interview

Timothy Egan reads a selection

The Plow That Broke the Plains movie

 And Woody Guthrie. I would have put "If You Ain't Got the Do Re Mi" here, but I wanted to end on a more upbeat note!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Post Valentine's Day Cartoon

For those of you who have had it with all the pressure of candy, hearts and flowers...or not getting any!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day Countdown Cartoon Plus a Special Surprise!

And now a special Valentine's Day surprise mini story all about LOVE just for YOU:

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Second Annual Kitty Awards

The Kitty Awards

It's Awards Season. So far, the Golden Globes and the SAG Awards have been incredibly boring, except for Chris Colfer of GLEE winning a Golden Globe and being so sweet and charming and SUCCINCT! A perfect nominee and winner. Yay, Chris!
Welcome to the 2nd Annual Kitty Awards!
Once again, the Kitty will go to the most deserving. Not the movies that cost the most, or the biggest stars. Using the Academy Award's nominees, below are the incredibly lucky stars and films that will win the Kitty!

First, Best supporting actor:
The nominees are:

Christian Bale in “The Fighter”

John Hawkes in “Winter's Bone”

Jeremy Renner in “The Town”

Mark Ruffalo in “The Kids Are All Right”

Geoffrey Rush in “The King's Speech”

And the winner:
John Hawkes from "Winter's Bone"!

He was creepy, but kind of a good guy. Someone you'd want on your side when you've got to tackle those tricky distant relatives. A great choice, right?

Next up, Best Supporting Actress:
The Nominees are:

Amy Adams in “The Fighter”

Helena Bonham Carter in “The King's Speech”

Melissa Leo in “The Fighter”

Hailee Steinfeld in “True Grit”

Jacki Weaver in “Animal Kingdom

and the winner:
Hailee Steinfeld in “True Grit”! Congratulations, Hailee! We think even the Academy can see she should win the award. She probably should have won Best Actress, even. But there may be someone as deserving in that category. Stay tuned!
Now: Best Animated Feature Film
The Nominees are:

“How to Train Your Dragon”

“The Illusionist”

“Toy Story 3"

Who picks these titles? What about "Despicable Me"?
Well, I am nominating "Despicable Me" a movie everyone I know LOVED (even John!) and has a leading character (Grue) who is like the love child of Edward Gorey and Charles Adams.

The winner:
"Despicable Me"!! Way to go, Grue! Look how happy he and his minions are to win a Kitty!

New to the KITTIES is the Foreign Film Category:
The nominees are:

“Biutiful” Mexico

“Dogtooth” Greece

“In a Better World” Denmark

“Incendies” Canada

“Outside the Law (Hors-la-loi)” Algeria

 But, guess what? I didn't see ANY of these. Some of them sound a little depressing. So, instead, I am nominating MY favorite foreign film of the year, or, my favorite that I saw this year. On Netflix:
"Ginger and Cinnamon"  Italy.
And the winner:
"Ginger and Cinnamon" of course!!! Who doesn't love a fim set on a  gorgeous Greek island? And the cast is fantastic. And funny! And the soundtrack is perfect. And it has maybe my favorite ending, ever! I even bought the DVD!

Get ready! Here are the BIG awards!
First, the Nominees for Best Actress:

Annette Bening in “The Kids Are All Right”

Nicole Kidman in “Rabbit Hole”

Jennifer Lawrence in “Winter's Bone”

Natalie Portman in “Black Swan”

Michelle Williams in “Blue Valentine”

And the winner:
Jennifer Lawrence! She is brilliant and very believable as Ree Dolly in "Winter's Bone". I've seen it a couple of times and it was even shown at the prestigious Farmington Film Society where 15 elite patrons unanimously agreed on its merits. I have to say Natalie Portman was good in "Black Swan", too, but a bit too scary.
OK, now the nominees for Best Actor:

Javier Bardem in “Biutiful”

Jeff Bridges in “True Grit”

Jesse Eisenberg in “The Social Network”

Colin Firth in “The King's Speech”

James Franco in “127 Hours”

What! Garret Hedlund from "Country Strong" has NOT been nominated by the Academy? That is just WRONG. How many people seeing that movie said, "Wait a minute...who IS that guy?"So, once again I am forced to over-ride the Academy and place Garrett Hedlund in the Best Actor category.
 I liked Jeff Bridges in "True Grit" (and I also liked John Wayne, who won an Academy Award for his version of Rooster Cogburn), but he already won last year. Two years in a row is pushing it.
And the winner is Garrett Hedlund! Hooray!
Congratulations, Garrett. And, yes, "The Kitty" would make a great truck hood ornament.
Now, wait a minute, Jeff, that's Hailee's "Kitty". Don't be sneaking it into that saddlebag while she's watching the rest of the Kitty Awards!

Finally! The Kitty for Best Movie:

The nominees are:

“Black Swan”

“The Fighter”


“The Kids Are All Right”

“The King's Speech”

“127 Hours”

“The Social Network”

“Toy Story 3”

“True Grit”

“Winter's Bone"

"Toy Story 3" got in there? What about the shut-out "Despicable Me"? I'm nominating it for BEST Picture.

And the winner:
"Despicable Me"!
I know. Not what you were expecting. Since when does a popular favorite win an award? Since the Kitties! Remember, last year's winner was "District 9"! The judges (me) almost went for "Winter's Bone" or "True Grit", but I am sure they will reap plenty of other awards, and we did honor Hailee, Jennifer and John Hawkes for their greatness.

And, as I mentioned last year our choice for the Kitty Awards host would of course be Neil Patrick Harris. As we've noted, he should be National Host, in charge of hosting all shows on every channel including the Tonight Show!
Can the Academy Awards compete against the "Kitty Awards"?

Wait and see!

Valentine's Day Countdown Cartoon # 4

And don't forget the Kitty Awards will be posted here, tonight, at 8:00 PM!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Valentine's Day Cartoon # 3

And remember to tune in Saturday night at 8:00 (EST) for the 2nd Annual Kitty Awards!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Valentine's Day Countdown

Who doesn't love Valentine's Day? (OK, some of us may be related to people who aren't believers in big demonstrative expressions of affection. We'll deal with them later!)  I'll be posting a V Day cartoon a day from now until the 14th. Also, exciting news. It is almost time for the "Kitty" Awards. Watch this space!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Post That Would Have Appeared on the Six Chix Blog

I am not a techie. Let me repeat that. Multiple times. I have tried to figure out how to post this little drawing exercise on the Chix blog but even with several friends trying to help me with screen captures of this blog site...what they were showing me wasn't what I was seeing. So here is what I would have posted there if I could have!
I always tell the kids at the Cartoon Club I run at the library to use their imagination. Here is an example of "imagination-ing" I did today: