Archive for the ‘Dennis Quaid’ Category

BOOK: Doc by Mary Doria Russell (2012)

May 14, 2013

docI first fell in love with Westerns in Japan, of all places.  When I was 12, we lived for a year in a little town in Southern Honshu named Iwakuni, and because buying electronics is one of the things one does when one lives in Asia, my dad bought a $700 Betamax player (oops) and rapidly began scooping up pirated movies galore (oops, again) .  Since he was in charge of developing the Wood Family Betamax Library of Copyright Infringement, he tended to focus on the movies he loved himself — which is why I grew up watching a LOT of Clint Eastwood films.

As I got older, I branched out of the Eastwood spaghetti Western genre (though those still hold a very special place in my heart — see my previous review about Tarantino’s Django Unchained and references therein!) and started getting into the other classics.  But despite seeing more than one variation on the infamous O.K. Corral yarn, I never really got sucked into that story or its players (the Earps, etc.) until 1991’s Tombstone tumbleweeded into local theaters.

Thanks largely to Val Kilmer’s exhilarating performance, I was instantly intrigued by dentist-turned-gunslinger John “Doc” Holliday (when I first met my husband, in fact, I told him I wanted to be Doc Holliday when I grew up.  His response?  “Be careful who you emulate, cough cough.”).  In the years since, I’ve rewatched many of the Holliday players of the past (My Darling Clementine, The Outlaw, Cheyenne Autumn, etc.) and also most of the players since (Dennis Quaid in Wyatt Earp and Randy Quaid in Purgatory, to name two Quaids), and I’ve never found a performance of that role that has struck me nearly as much as Kilmer’s did.

I’ve since read a number of books (fiction and non-fiction) about Holliday, the Earps, and even a novel about Doc’s prostitute girlfriend “Big Nose” Kate Harony (though for the life of me, I cannot find the title of that book anywhere now, which is too bad because I remember really enjoying it).   And one of the things that’s always struck me most about the Western genre, as I got more and more into both fact and fiction, is how completely idealized it is; how utterly beautified the real stories become in the hands of storytellers, beginning with the dime novels springing up back in the day and carrying all the way through to the big screen.  I mean, this is how it usually goes when you take a true story and you turn it into a movie or a novel, I suppose, but it’s a characteristic of Westerns in a way I don’t always see it in other genres.

In other words, if you’ve ever read a non-fiction book about Doc Holliday, you know what you see in Kilmer’s performance, as delightful as it is, is not exactly the truth.

In this regard, Russell’s novel Doc is a real stand-out; it was clear from early in the story that this was not going to be the usual White Hat vs. Black Hat oater.  Russell did her research, and the Doc in this book comes to life in a completely new and mesmerizingly authentic way.  It begins with the line, “He began to die when he was 21,” and from that sentence forth, we feel the pall of that death sentence hanging over everything Doc does in a way I’ve never really been cued into it before.  Imagine getting that diagnosis back then at that age — I can’t do it.  I can’t imagine it.  Not just a death sentence, but a PAINFUL death sentence.  Thanks to this novel, however, the agony, despair, and fear that drove so many of Holliday’s choices becomes tangible.  And moving in the extreme, to boot (pun intended) (about the boots).

Doc takes us from John’s early years, born into a wealthy family with a mother fiercely determined to make sure all her sons grew into educated gentlemen, through his fleeing West, seeking relief for the constant coughing and throat pain from his tuberculosis.

There, he initially strives to establish a career as a dentist, something most mass media portrayals of him barely touch on.  As one of the first dentists to practice in the West, though, Doc finds it’s not nearly as easy to convince the locals to take care of their teeth as he’d hoped (most were afraid of dentists, having never ever been to one before).  A lot of times in a lot of films and novels, Doc is depicted as a man out to make a buck — a gambler first, and a gunslinger. . . er, tied for first. But in reality, he was an extremely compassionate man.  He went into dentistry because he wanted to relieve suffering, and he worked for many years in the West pro bono or on a sliding scale to try to help as many people as he could.

As his TB worsened, though, and whiskey became the one “treatment” that eased his raw throat, he began to struggle with his financial situation, especially once he realized he could make more money in a single night of gambling than in a year of dentistry.  And that’s kind of where his life started to fall apart.

Though the novel introduces us to the Earps, obviously, Wyatt isn’t the Earp boy with the biggest role — another new look at an old story.  Instead, and apparently this is true, Doc met Morgan first and was very close friends with him (you know, the brother with barely any lines in Tombstone?).  Though he deeply respected Wyatt, their relationship was never as close as his friendship with Morg.

Those looking for another telling of the infamous OK Corral tale, by the way, will need to look elsewhere — this novel ends before we get that far (and how refreshing that it does, really).  Doc’s gun-fighting days are not the relevant ones in this story — it’s more about how he got to those days, than what he did with them once they arrived.  Russell has always been a wonderful descriptive writer (her sci-fi novel The Sparrow is an old favorite of mine and though it’s been over a decade since I last read it, there are still images from that book I can picture vividly in my mind — that tells you a lot about her power as a writer, I would say), and under her fingers, the Wild West comes alive in such a sympathetic way it seems like a brand new creation.  An alien planet of a far more commonplace type of compassion and struggle — and survival — than we usually get to see in this genre.

Ron Charles, in a review of the novel for the Washington Post, described it like this:

“‘Doc’ is no colorized daguerrotype; it’s a bold act of historical reclamation that scrapes off the bull and allows those American legends to walk and talk and love and grieve in the dynamic 19th-century world that existed before Hollywood shellacked it into cliches . . .”

I love that — and I loved this book!  Absolutely a must for any fan of the genre, or of really original and evocative writing.  Another new favorite book by Mary Doria Russell, who has hit up just about every genre at this point and nailed them all.  I can’t wait to see what she does next.  A true delight, her work.

Recommended!

(Incidentally, how annoying is that book cover?  Primo example of the issue outlined by Meg Wolitzer in the New York Times last year about the differences in jacket art for books written by men vs. women:  http://mobile.nytimes.com/2012/04/01/books/review/on-the-rules-of-literary-fiction-for-men-and-women.html.  I have to wonder how many men have walked right by this novel after taking one look at the cover, thinking it’s “chick lit” instead of a powerfully good Western. Very frustrating.  Don’t be fooled, fellas — this is a book for both genders!)

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Fall TV Update: Tuesday, Sept 25

September 25, 2012

So whatcha whatcha whatcha want (whatcha want)?  Well, hey, how about anything but this year’s Tuesday night line-up (ba-dum ching!)?

I mean, NCIS — fine.  FINE.  I’m still watching it, I still enjoy it for the most part, but truly, it could retire.  It’s really time for it to retire, guys.  NCIS: LA, on the other hand, should get fired, and should’ve been fired its first month — this is a crazy, crazy, mixed-up kinda world where that insufferable dreck survives and Pushing Daisies doesn’t.

As for New Girl, I keep hearing it’s great, and then I keep seeing that Zooey Deschanel iPhone ad and having to fight the urge to punch her in the face (which is only going to end up hurting me, because I still have an old CRT TV — you know, the ones with the glass screens?).  So, no.  Mindy Project, no.  Private Practice, GOOD GOD NO.  Ben and Kate, only if it’s renamed Ben and Kate Plus 8, Ben is an android, and the 8 are from the planet Melmac (wow, actually, I may be onto something there. . .).  And Vegas — well, now, Vegas.  I’ll get to that one in a second.

HERE’S WHAT’S UP TONIGHT:

NCIS – 8pm (CBS) — Look, I’m still in love with Michael Weatherly, and with McGee even more.  And Abby — Abby’s great.  And please, Mark Harmon?  Mark Harmon can do no wrong, even when he’s playing Ted Bundy.  But Ducky — Ducky was my favorite character, and Ducky’s gone now, right?  So, what’s the point?  I think there is no point.  I CANNOT GO ON.   I MUST GO ON.  I CANNOT GO ON.  I WILL GO ON.  Crap.  Can’t you just get canceled and put me out of my misery?  Why you gotta hang in there so tight?

New Girl — 8pm (FOX) — “Hey, Siri, can you order me up some TOMATO SOUP because I’m SO DUMB I do not know how to use a can opener.”  *punch* *blood* *911 call* *17 stitches*

Ben and Kate – 8:30pm (FOX) — Sit-com starring an adorable kid and a guy with really weird teeth.  PASS! (FAIL!)

NCIS: LA — 9pm (CBS) — Every time I see an ad for this show, I cry a little bit for the man LL Lame J used to be.  Why couldn’t this show be good?  Chris O’Donnell!  LINDA HUNT, for pity’s sake!  But the Navy doesn’t have a super secret undercover crack detective team in Los Angeles loaded to the hilt with money for fast cars, gadgets, and costume changes, and I can’t just pocket that information and pretend it’s fine you’re being ridiculous!  Stop being ridiculous!  It’s just so ridiculous!

The Mindy Project — 9:30pm (FOX) — Because, why now?  I mean, it’s awesome, sure, that an Indian female comic is headlining her own show in the US.  But I kind of can’t stand that Indian female comic, so. . . Congratulations, please go away.  Am I terrible?  I’m terrible.  I’m sorry.

Private Practice — 9pm (ABC) — I was honestly surprised to see this was still in the line-up this fall.  What is this doing still in the line-up this fall?  Is it just me or do Tuesday nights really blow this  season?  This show is absolutely insufferable.  I made it through a record six episodes of season one before I couldn’t stand the churning sensation in my stomach every time a character spoke a line of vapid dialogue.  WHAT IS THIS SHOW STILL DOING HERE?  I blame you guys for this.  No, not YOU guys.  YOU OTHER GUYS.  You know, the ones who keep watching this thing!  YOU!  Cut that out, already!

Vegas — 10pm (CBS) —  Upside:  the cast.  Hunky Ex-Boyfriends Dennis Quaid and Michael Chiklis, together AND playing mortal enemies!  Ye-he-HES!  Downside: they’re playing mortal enemies in 1960s Vegas, and honestly, the likelihood of this primetime network TV show being even remotely as entertaining or interesting as Casino or GoodFellas is so teeny tiny it cannot be seen with the naked eye.  Upside:  Chiklis is playing a bad-ass again, which is great because after seeing him hitting people in the head with phone books for several years on The Shield, he’ll simply never square as The Commish for me ever again (although, having seen a few trailers and print ads for this, I’m not sold on his ability to pull of the 1960s mobster suit look, either).  Downside:  Quaid is playing a cowboy-turned-reluctant sheriff, a character I feel I’ve seen 97,000 times before (speaking of cowboy sheriffs, did you guys watch Longmire this summer, co-starring Ex-Boy/Girlfriend of the Week Katee Sackhoff?  I really enjoyed that one).  Oh, argh.  This is one of those shows I don’t really want to watch, but I feel like I should probably watch.  So, I’ll watch.  Let’s see what happens.

MOVIE: Toy Story 3 (2010)

July 15, 2010

You know what’s even better than Toy Story and Toy Story 2

TOY STORY 3.

That’s right, you heard me correctly:  far and away the best of the series.  How often does THAT happen with sequels?  Especially threequels?  I can’t think of a single one.  Not even Jaws 3-D, which holds a special Dennis Quaid-sized place in my heart.

This hilarious and delightful film takes us back to the world of our favorite pals, Woody, Buzz, Jessie (who I met earlier this year at Disneyland, by the way — see photo here.  She’s super sweet in person, I must say, though her head is bizarrely humongous), and the rest, as their owner Andy is preparing to head off for college, leaving the fate of his toys uncertain.

When a mix-up leaves everybody but Woody in a box destined for donation to a local daycare center, the adventure begins.  Will the gang get to stay together?  Will they be split apart?  Will they have to live the rest of their toy lives in a box in Andy’s attic?  Or worse, suffer the horrors of the Caterpillar Room at the daycare center, where the toddlers too young to know better beat and bash them around?

And, man, what’s up with that big fat purple bear guy anyway?  Take a ‘lude, dude.

Pixar movies never fail to impress the heck out of me.  Not only do they feature sharp writing,  gorgeous animation, and delightful characters, but they also brilliantly manage to work just as well for adults as they do for kids.  There was a joke in this film — I wish I could remember what it was — that only adults my age and older are going to get, for one thing.  And the bittersweet ending is something I think only adults are going to appreciate fully too.   You know, those of us who have grown up and left home.  Or, even more painfully, those of us who have kids who will be doing that someday themselves.  (For example, there’s a scene at the end where Andy’s mom stands next to him, surveying his now-empty room, and it reminded me of when my older brother left for college and my mother began to cry when she saw he’d made his bed before he left.  Awwwww!  Moms are the best. . .)

Little kids will laugh like crazy, get a little teared up at a few points perhaps, and root for the good guys.  Teenagers will snort and chuckle, maybe think a little about playing with their own dusty old toys one more time when they get home.  But adults — well, those of us who do this sort of thing anyway — are going to bawl their eyes out and hold their babies a little bit closer (or, in my case, my borrowed baby:  my sister’s 4 year-old son Luke, who was  snuggled up in my lap the whole time.  Don’t be fooled into thinking the only reason I loved every minute of Toy Story 3 was directly related to the film itself.  Two hours with that boy in my lap is, to me, far more magical than any film could ever be.  Miss you, Dukes.  By which I mean: love you.).

Another perfect, perfect movie from Pixar.   Go see this one before it leaves theaters!

(Note for parents:  There’s one scene in this film I would describe as potentially too scary for little ones.  It involves a big fire pit and the imminent death of all our intrepid heroes.  But it doesn’t last long and both my 4 year-old nephew and 2 year-old niece weathered it just fine (and aren’t huge movie watchers, either, so it’s not really a question of their exposure to scary things in general).  Just thought this information might be helpful.  Enjoy!)

[Prequeue at Netflix | View trailer]

Genre:  Kids, Animation, Comedy
Cast:  Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack, Ned Beatty, Don Rickles, Michael Keaton, Wallace Shawn, John Ratzenberger, Estelle Harris

MOVIE: Pandorum (2009)

March 3, 2010

Ordinarily, I am a sucker for any science fiction movie that takes place on a space ship.  It’s for the same reason I like stories set in places like Antarctica (see recent review of Whiteout) or other types of closed communities — the sociological and psychological ramifications of tight-knit groups of people under stress are absolutely fascinating to me.  How will they react?  Will they work together?  Will they fall apart?  Let’s throw them all into a mansion, toss in a dead body, turn on a blizzard for six days, and see if we can’t find out.

So it’s for that reason that I rented this one without bothering to find out anything about it aside from the fact it was set on a space ship and starred ex-Boyfriend Dennis Quaid — that’s really all it took to pique my interest.    But though this movie had some decent snowstorm-in-a-mansion moments here and there, overall I was pretty disappointed by it.  And, even worse, I was frequently bored by it as well.

The story is about a ship named the Elysium, packed full of the last 50,000 or so survivors of Earth and then launched off to form a new colony on the planet Tanis — an attempt to save the human race from extinction after we’ve destroyed our home planet (note: I take the bus and I recycle, so don’t blame me).  The plan for the trip, apparently, was to put all the civilians into hypersleep for the duration, and then wake up crew members a few at a time for staff rotations.  Only, something goes wrong and two crew members are wakened early by a malfunction in their cryofreeze chambers.  At first, they have no idea what is going on — one side effect of the hypersleep is temporary loss of memory — but as they gradually remember both the mission and the ramifications of failure, they also begin to realize that complete chaos has ensued on board while they were a’slumberin’.

The two men, Payton (Quaid) and Bower (Ben Foster), separate, Bower going off in search of something-or-another (I forget what — something with the ship’s engine that needs to be fixed) while Payton stays behind to man the computer and give Bower directions to where he needs to go.  But what Bower finds on board is, well, put simply, it’s Mad Max meets Event Horizon.  With what appeared to be leftover costumes from Waterworld thrown in for good measure.

As Bower tries to make it to wherever it is he’s going, Payton keeps telling him all about this illness, “pandorum,” which strikes space travelers and makes them mad. Mad, he says.  Mad!  Maaaaaaaad!!

Supporting this theory is the presence of a bunch of monsters on board that look sort of like mutated, deranged people.  Are they previously-thawed pandorum-afflicted humans?  It’s possible.  Then again, if what we’re talking about is a space disease that makes you crazy, can we trust what Bower is seeing?  Is Bower the mad one?  Is Payton?   Is there really a band of monsters on board breaking open the other cryofreeze chambers and then eating all the frozen human-pops?  Is there really a smaller band of thawed survivors in Waterworld outfits scurrying around NOT working together in an attempt to stay alive long enough to get to Tanis and get free?  What is the truth?  What is the madness?

Would that this were as interesting as it sounds.

Overall, I think the mood of this film was really good — it’s dark, it’s brown, it’s sufficiently creepy.  But Dennis Quaid was a dud in his relatively bit part, clearly hired only so they could put a real name on the DVD box and given nothing significant to do.  And Ben Foster, while carrying his role fine enough, really didn’t do much for me either.  The story was confusing and not terribly intriguing, and even though it’s only been a couple of weeks since I saw this one, I can’t remember at all how it ends — never a good sign.

Not terrible, but obviously not good either.  Probably worth a rental if you like these sorts of things, but not one I’ll bother watching again, most likely.  Two thumbs ho-hum, and if you like this genre — the stuck-on-a-spaceship genre, and you still haven’t seen Sunshine, I’m going to take this opportunity to nudge you in that direction instead.  It’s like this one, right down to the semi-crossover with Event Horizon, except it’s about a thousand times more interesting.  Plus:  Cillian Murphy’s big blue eyes, front and center.

YOU’RE WELCOME.

[Netflix it | Buy it]

Genre:  Science Fiction, Horror
Cast:  Dennis Quaid, Ben Foster, Cam Gigandet, Norman Reedus

MOVIE: Vantage Point (2008)

July 28, 2008

First things first, I’d like to formally thank the person who recommended this movie to me, even though I rather lamely cannot remember which one of you geniuses it was. Not only is this movie an absolute blast to watch, but it’s a veritable EX-BOYFRIENDPALOOZA! Dennis Quaid! Eduardo Noriega! Matthew Fox! William Hurt! Heck, even Richard T. Jones is in this! If they’d thrown in a cameo from Sock Puppet, it would’ve been my Movie of the Year for sure.

This intriguing, gripping film is about what happens between 12 and 12:23 pm one afternoon in Spain. The short version of what happens is that the U.S. President, in Salamanca to announce his new anti-terrorism partnership with the Spanish government, is shot and killed while speaking to a large crowd in the town square. But instead of just telling us the story of how and why this happens, the movie instead tells us the story of the same 23 minutes told, told, and retold from the perspective of a variety of different characters: a television news producer (Sigourney Weaver), two Secret Service agents (Quaid and Fox), a Spanish police officer (Noriega), an American tourist (future BotW Forest Whitaker), the President himself (Hurt), and then finally, the terrorists responsible for his shooting and the subsequent bombings, kidnapping, and car chases.

To say anything more than that is to spoil all the twists for you, which, I’m sorry to say, the movie will do a fine job of all its own — the one thing I was greatly disappointed by in this film was the fact that my Mom and I had just about every twist figured out LONG before they were revealed, including a very significant one I had pegged five minutes in. I hate it when that happens. It’s the work of shoddy writing, too much “telling” instead of “showing,” and some too-transparent, sub-par acting on the part of one of the aforementioned ex-Boyfriends, though I won’t say who.

Interestingly enough, however, despite the fact I think we both found this movie a bit too much on the predictable side, we were also COMPLETELY gripped by it, and very, very entertained. The constant rewinding and replaying from another point of view was clever in a Lost sort of way, and it also reminded me a little bit of Denzel Washington’s fine thriller Deja Vu, both because of the timeline stuff and because it also had a very fun car chase scene in it (though not one as creative as the comparable scene in Deja Vu, of course — that one is still tied for first place in Awesomeness with the car chase scene through the mall from the Blues Brothers (“Man, this place has got EVERYTHING!”)).

All in all, it was two hours we thoroughly enjoyed. And I’m really looking forward to A) seeing it again someday soon and B) seeing more of Eduardo Noriega in anything, although Spanish movies are so much better than American ones, it’s hard to wish he’d move to Hollywood. Even though I secretly want him to.

[Netflix me | Buy me]

Genre: Thriller, Action
Cast: Dennis Quaid, Eduardo Noriega, William Hurt, Matthew Fox, Richard T. Jones, Forest Whitaker, Sigourney Weaver.

Final Four Movies from Thanksgiving

December 12, 2007

The four movies in this post are the last of the bunch I watched while on vacation over Thanksgiving (jeez, finally wrapping up this series at long last!).  I decided to group them all together into a single post because they were all ones I’d seen (and thus reviewed) in the last year or two.  Of the group, I think only Pan’shas a review on this blog — the rest would be in the Yahoo Group archives from back when I was sending out movie reviews to email subscribers. 

I’ve been ranking the movies from my vacation on a scale of 1-9, with 9 being the worst movie we watched (Nextwith Nic Cage!), and 1 being the best.  The numbers next to each movie’s title below represent their ranking numbers. 

#5:  Maximum Velocity (2003).  This is another one of Phillip J. Roth’s movies, a writer/director/producer whose name we always keep an eye out for when renting sci-fi movies, because in our experience, if Roth was involved, the movie is much more likely to be good-bad instead of bad-bad (as a matter of fact, sometimes his low-budget movies are even better than big-budget films about the same subject — for example, Roth’s flick Deep Core, starring the ever-awesome Wil Wheaton and Craig Sheffer, kicked the wussy butt of Hollywood crapfest The Core).  Of all the Roth movies we’ve seen, I think Maximum Velocity probably has the weakest science behind it, but it was still entertaining (both the first time we saw it, and this second time too).   In this one, Dale Midkiffplays a climatologist, Dr. Briggs, who is part of an experimental weather-related project that goes terribly awry and ends up causing the death of his wife.  A couple of years later, a terrible storm hits Earth, and scientists decide the only way to save the planet is to get that old project back out of the scrap heap and use it to alter the storm’s intensity and trajectory.  But, can they convince the project’s original scientist, Dr. Briggs, to come back and help?  It’s not brilliant, but it’s pretty fun, and fun is really the only criteria worth judging when watching low-budget sci-fi movies.  Besides, I’ll watch Dale Midkiff do just about anything, as evidenced by the fact I’ve seen Flight of the Living Dead.  Cast: Dale Midkiff, Michael Ironside, Wendy Carter.  [Netflix me]

#3 The Day After Tomorrow (2004).  Mom and I really enjoyed this movie the first time we saw it (right after it came out on DVD).  So, when both of us caught a scene or two of it on television in early November, it really put us in the mood to see the whole thing again.  Hence, rental.  As I’m sure you guys know, this flick is about a massive storm brought on by global warming that suddenly rages out of control, launching a new ice age and essentially freezing to the core the entire Northern hemisphere.  Struggling to survive the initial wave of the storm are a group of teenagers holed up in the New York City public library, while down in Washington DC, one of their fathers, a climatologist who had predicted the whole disaster, is attempting to walk his way through the blizzard to save his son.  It’s your standard big-budget Hollywood flick, with lots of special effects and a fair helping of cheese (and also, I will confess, an extremely silly scene involving some wolves).  But the science, though exaggerated, is actually not that far off track.  So, yes, it’s a little on the hokey side (okay, okay, a LOT on the hokey side), but it’s still really fun to watch.  See above, re: criteria.  And, of course, it’s always nice seeing Jake Gyllenhaal play a kid who ISN’T a mopey grump.  Way to break out of the mold, Jake!  Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Dennis Quaid, Emmy Rossum, Sela Ward, Ian Holm.  [Netflix me]

#2 Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995).  I had been planning to rent the NEW Die Hardmovie while I was on vacation, but as it turned out, my mom still hadn’t seen the third one.  So, we rented it instead.  I actually saw this movie in the theater — rare for me — and the reason I remember that is because on the drive home, my husband and I spent about ten minutes trying to figure out just how they solved that fountain problem in the movie.  You know that scene where McClane (Bruce Willis) and his reluctant civilian partner Zeus (Samuel L. Jackson) get to a big fountain in a park and learn from the bad guy (Jeremy Irons) that they have to put exactly four gallons of water on a scale he’s left there in order to defuse the bomb stashed underneath it?  He’s left them a 3 gallon jug and a 5 gallon jug and they have to somehow get exactly four gallons?  In the movie, they sort of whip through the solution to this problem really quickly, and we hadn’t quite caught how they managed to do it, so we had worked out the solution ourselves in the car ride home, feeling extremely smart once we had it figgered out.  Watching it this second time, I had forgotten our solution (that WAS 12 years ago, after all!) so we paused the movie right at that point and Mom and I worked it out together.  Took us a solid few minutes, too, despite the fact that once you have the solution, it seems really obvious and you feel like an idiot for not having come up with it sooner!  In any case, I love puzzles like that (in fact, I love logic puzzles so much I took the LSAT in college just so I could spend half a day working on them — nerd alert!).  So, for that scene alone, this is a movie worth watching.  But beyond that, it’s just a lot of fun.  I love Jackson’s character — or, more accurately, I just plain love Jackson (I’ve often wanted to make him a Boyfriend of the Week and have the entire write-up simply consist of the word COOL in twelve-inch letters).  And there’s a nice twist to the plot of this one as well.  Recommended! Cast: Bruce Willis, Jeremy Irons, Samuel L. Jackson, and who cares who else after that?  [Netflix me]

#1 Pan’s Labyrinth (2006).  When I first reviewed this movie last June, I predicted it would be ranked at #1 on my annual top-ten list of favorite movies from the past year.  After seeing it a second time, I not only predict that’ll happen, I knowit will  (I’ve written the top-ten list for the movies — still working on books — and it should be going up on the Boyfriend site next week, so stay tuned!).  I’m not going to bother describing it here, since I already wrote about it on this blog (see original review here!) and will be writing about it again for the Top Ten Movies list.  Suffice it to say if you haven’t seen this movie yet, you are REALLY missing out on an incredible experience.  Go rent this movie RIGHT NOW.  Seriously.  Right now.  Go.  I’ll wait. [Netflix me]

Okay, this wraps up the Thanksgiving Vacation Movie Fest!  Coming up next, reviews of a couple of newly-on-DVD flicks I watched this week, plus the annual Top Ten Favorite Movies, Top Five Favorite Bad Movies, and Top Ten Favorite Books lists on the Boyfriend of the Weeksite.  I also, incidentally, have the first Boyfriend for 2008 picked out — my hiatus from the Boyfriend site ends this January, so expect to start seeing a fresh crop of cute guys showing up in the new year!  Woot!

p.s. You know what’s ironic?  When you run the spellcheck here at WordPress, it highlights the word “blog” as a word it doesn’t recognize.  For some reason, I’m amused by this.


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