There will be Blood. 2007.

This was another film up for Best Picture in 2007, so I thought I’d take a look.  While the trailer looked good, and the movie was captivating, I was not that crazy about it, especially the ending.

After watching it, I found it was based on the book “Oil” by Upton Sinclair written in 1927.

I did think the performance of Daniel Day-Lewis was fantastic — he won Best Leading Actor and I think that was well deserved.  It also won Best Cinematography, and it was a visually appealing movie.  Very dark in some places, but that was the point in those scenes. I also was not crazy about the sound.  I guess it was done that way to create tension, but it was more grating than anything.

In Her Shoes.

I’ve read a couple of Jennifer Weiner’s books (Good in Bed and Little Earthquates), with posts on those back in 2005 before I started using a real blogging platform.  This movie is based on one of her books I have not read, and I thought it would be a good one to watch vs. read and/or watch and read.  After the 1st 30 or 45 minutes, I thought it was going to be terrible!  About that time is when Maggie (Cameron Diaz) goes to FL and meets her Grandma (Shirley MacClaine).   It got much better after that.

There were a couple of poems in it that I thought I would include here.

One Art

— Elizabeth Bishop

The art of losing isn’t hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother’s watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn’t a disaster.

—Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan’t have lied. It’s evident
the art of losing’s not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.

I carry your heart

— e. e. cummings
I carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear
not fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)


Based on a true story but fictionalized, this is the story of MIT students who counted cards in Vegas and made some good money.  I won’t say more than that about the plot, but will say the movie was well done and I enjoyed it on my transatlantic flight from London to Cleveland.

It was cool to see Boston and Cambridge — MIT, the T, etc., on the big screen (err, laptop…).

Just one quote:

“Yesterday is history,  tomorrow is a mystery”

I would like to read the book “Bringing Down the House” that this movie was based on.

Bach’s Concerto for Two Violins in D minor (bwv 1043) showed up at one point, so that is now in my monthly play list.

The Bank Job. 2008.

Friends from CO had this from NetFlix while we were visiting, and I had not heard of it before then.  The “visuals” were a bit surprising early on — but later they made more sense when we learned that it was a kind of brothel for a porn king.   I did find the story a bit hard to follow early on, but as the movie progressed, the pieces fell together.

The story is based on a true heist that “went wrong in all the right ways” according to the tag line.  Wikipedia has this line: 

According to the producers, this movie is intended to reveal the truth for the first time, although it includes significant elements of fiction and the extent to which it represents historical fact is difficult to determine.

The movie was ok, but not as good as The Italian Job.

The Bucket List. 2007.

I thought this movie was pretty well done.  Both sad and funny at the same time.  And it makes me want to work on my own “bucket list,” though so far I have thought mostly of places I want to go, and not so much things I want to do.  But I envision my list as a living dynamic list that will change over time, and I will start something soon.

Only a couple of quotes:

  • Carter Chambers:  …. I can’t claim to understand the measure of a life, but I can tell you this: I know that when he died, his eyes were closed and his heart was open….
  • Edward Cole:  I envy people who have faith, I just can’t get my head around it.Carter Chambers:  Maybe because your head’s in the way.

Charlie Wilson’s War (2007). (7.5/10)

I thought this movie was very good.  If you have any interest in recent world history, or how the major religions are woven throughout world history and geo-political situations, it is especially relevant.  It also made me feel very ignorant for when some of the major battles were taking place — in 1988 when I was graduating high school, and I had no clue about much of what this movie was about.  At least I know more now — or at least I hope I do.  And I’m not sure why I didn’t know much then… It certainly wasn’t talked about in high school classes, or if it was, I totally missed it.  Today I hope I am less ignorant, but while I feel I may be a little above the typical American in regards to knowledge of world affairs, I still feel I would be considered ignorant by the rest of the world.

There were a lot of good quotes, some quite funny.  I’ll leave out the ones with high sexual innuendo since this is a family oriented blog.  🙂

  • Why is congress saying one thing and doing another?    ->  Tradition Mostly
  • I do not understand the energy women have after sex… Dancing around, baking cakes…  (Ok, one w.r.t. sex.)
  • You know you are pretty much at rock bottom when you have been told you have character flaws by a man who killed his predecessor in a coup.
  • You ain’t James Bond…  -> And you ain’t Thomas Jefferson, so let’s call it even.
  • When Charlies said “For the love of Christ” to a Jewish/Israel man — I thought that was pretty funny…

Beyond the above quotes, there were a couple of other items that stood out to me.

  1. The Zen Master story of the boy who got a horse for his birthday, and everyone said “that’s great!”  The ZM said “we’ll see.”  The boy later fell off the horse and broke his leg, and everyone said “oh, how terrible!”  And the ZM said “we’ll see.”  Later a war broke out, and the boy could not go because of his leg.  Everyone said “that is great!”  And the ZM said “we’ll see…”
  2. In speaking of single malt scotch as the “King of Drinks” according to Robert Lewis Stevenson… I had to look up the poem and read it after seeing it referenced in the movie.  You can find it here. (Good luck unless you are up on your Olde English.. Or is it Olde Scot?)

Finally, the quote at the end from Charlie Wilson himself… Unfortunately, too true.  😦

These things happened, and they were glorious.  They changed the world… And then we fxxx’ed up the end game.

To see a better “review,” from a much better writer, and a much brighter mind, and to read more insight into this particular quote and to Charlie Wilson himself, see this link.

p.s. It also made me break out Juice Newton’s “Angel of the Morning!”   Which is a scary thought.   A VERY scary thought. :-/

Star Wars. 1977.

I still remember driving to NY City from West Point with my Dad, to watch this when it first came out in 1977.  I was not quite seven at the time….  Riley has been asking about it recently, as one of her friends loves it.  I figured she is almost 6, so almost the same age as me, and that she was probably ready for it.  It is really the 1st movie she has seen with any amount of death in it, though I’d have to say that death in this movie compared to new movies is much tamer.  There was one scene when an arm is cut off by a light saber that maybe was a little much!  Reece watched some of it as a well, but I think he is at a young enough age (2.5), that it doesn’t really register the same way with an (almost) 6 year old.

There are some decent life lessons in it that Riley and I talked about, though not really in depth.  But as things come up over the next few weeks, I’ll try to tie them and reference the movie.  Such lessons include good vs. evil (spiritual warfare, for a Christian perspective), patience, loyalty, and make believe (this is just a movie!).

Looking at the movie now, from my perspective, after 30+ years, it is pretty amazing how well they did with the special effects — the flying space ships, all the characters/creatures, explosions.  And the sound was fantastic.  Guess that is why it won best visual effects and best sound effects.

Atonement. 2007. (8/10)

[I’m going to start rating movies in the blog post title — this is an 8/10.]

Kelly and I watched this, via Apple iTMS rental. Very good — I don’t give many movies 8/10 ratings! Hard to say much about it without spoiling, but Kelly was mad at the ending, while I thought it was sad yet appropriate.

As we were watching it, I thought the musical score was very well done. It incorporated sounds from the film into the score in a fairly unique way. Little did I know at the time that this had actually one an Oscar for best score in 2007.

Horton Hears a Who. 2008.

We took the kids to see this last week at the “dollar theater” (which now costs $1.50! and of course they gouge you on popcorn and drinks). It was Reece’s 1st movie theater experience, and he did pretty well — only had about 8-10 minutes in the middle where I took him out to do something different.

The movie is pretty good and has some decent “life lessons” for the kids that we talked about a little afterwards, though I wouldn’t put it on the same level of most of Pixar’s works, both in terms of animation and story line.