Monday, June 16, 2008

Mothers and Daughters (the movie - Evening)

I just watched a touching little movie called, "Evening". It stars Vanessa Redgrave who plays the part of Ann, a 65 year old cancer patient on her deathbed as she thinks back upon her life, loves, dreams - and her youthful passions and later disappointments - as she goes in and out of morphine induced dreams of the past, to the present. "Ann is a woman whose ardent past allows her to face death while savoring the exhilaration that marked her full and passionate life." She has two adult daughters watching over her as her life draws to an end. The theme is "there are no mistakes in life."

The movie was adapted from the novel of the same name "Evening" by Susan Minot. I'm sure the movie only scratched the surface of the story and I can't wait to read the book.
As I listened to Natasha Richardson who plays the first born daughter, talking to her mother played by Vanessa Redgrave, I couldn't get over how much their voices sounded alike. I thought at first it was really good acting and voice coaching on her part. Then I read that she was playing daughter to her real life mother.
Another real life mother/daughter due that appear in the film
Mamie Gummer plays the younger version of her real-life mother Meryl Streep.
Other notable actors in the movie

Friday, June 13, 2008

Sex and the City movie

This was one of my favorite scenes. No spoilers here.

U. kept telling me not to see it because it was getting horrible reviews . Yet, I kept hearing from women how much they loved it. Just about every woman I've come into contact with in the last week has asked me if I've seen the movie yet and told me that they really enjoyed it - couldn't believe it had so much nudity and sex scenes - and one lady even told me she cried at the end. So with U. being in Germany and tonight being our usual date night - I made a game time decision to go see Sex and the City.

And I liked it. (It feels a little bit like the old classic LIFE cereal commercial - "Mikey he likes it. He really likes it.")
It was great seeing the girls again.

I went in with low expectations. They could have done so many things wrong and made the characters into caricatures of themselves. But the writers did a good job. It had its contrived moments of course, as well as bad fashion choices, but what made up for it were many touching and bonding moments that made it watchable and enjoyable. I even teared up and laughed at moments. It was like seeing old friends again and not realizing how much you missed them.

Will I rent it and force U. to watch it? Probably not. It's a major chick flick. But I have to admit it was fun too!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

3 times a charm - the Roman Polanski documentary

U. alerted me about a new documentary about Roman Polanski that was going to be on HBO (which is now featured on On Demand). I just couldn't keep my eyes open and fell asleep 20 minutes into it. The next night I tried again thinking maybe I was just really tired - but no cigar - fell asleep again just a bit further into the film (with the help of fast forwarding).

So tonight on my 3rd attempt I got through the entire documentary. And I determined that although yes I was tired, the reason I kept falling asleep was because this documentary is just plain boring. I would have loved to have seen something about his relationship with his wife of 18 years and his 2 children. Instead you get 2 lines of text on the screen about it at the end. BORING.

It's got some cool vintage black and white photos in it, video of Sharon Tate, and Mia Farrow gives an interview, but other than that, it's not worthy of recommending. *Yawn*

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

No weddings and a funeral

U.'s father passed away rather unexpectedly. He had been in the hospital for a brain tumor and had surgery - but was recuperating and walking around. The day before he was to be released from the hospital he had a lung embolism. Just like that - the hospital staff found him not breathing and after an hour and a half of trying to resuscitate him, they let him go. The irony is that the day before he had a really great day.

When it rains it pours...
After finding out about his father's death, U. was unable to reach his mother to tell her the news - only to find she too was in the hospital. This time in the ICU - her liver shut down due to cancer that up until this point had been responding well to the surgery/chemo but came back in full force. So she had to have another surgery. The irony here is that her boyfriend who is recovering from a heart attack is taking care of her - when he should be taking care of himself. Getting old just plain sucks doesn't it?

We were planning on going to Germany this October (our flight has already been booked), but due to the family emergency, U. is in Germany now to attend his father's funeral, see all his long lost relatives, and to give comfort to his mother and see how long she has to live. Unlike four weddings and a funeral - this ain't no comedy and there's no frolicking to be had. I hope that U. gets reacquainted with some cousins his age and they go out drinking one night to at least have some lightheartedness - rather than just grief and family crap.

He'll be gone a week, and it's just bad timing all around. As if there could ever be a good time for death and terminal cancer. Oh me oh my. Astrid's 1st school performance is on Thursday and it kills U. that he won't be able to attend. So I'll be there with our video camera filming it all - so we can watch it together when he gets back this weekend.

Last I heard from U. he was in Amsterdam - on a sad note there was no Eurotrash MTV to watch in his hotel room - even sadder the conversion rate - 300 Dollars equals 165 Euros - but he did get to walk around the city for 4 hours and ate some yummy fries with mayo (that he loves but doesn't get to eat in the US) and was getting ready to drive to his home town in Germany.

A great big hug and kiss to U. Have a safe journey and do not let the family drive you batty! You're always in our thoughts...

Whitney and the Robot

"Whitney and the Robot" was a Saturday morning children's program that aired from 1978 to 1979, about a robot named "4U2" who came from another planet, and lived with Whitney so that 4U2 could learn about Earth and Earthlings. The robot was discovered by Whitney, a cab driver. Along with Whitney's neighbor, Corky, a somewhat child-like adult, they undertook many adventures while learning about our earth and its people.

I was hoping that YouTube would have a video posted, but I only came across this photo. Dunno what reminded me of this show, but for whatever reason while driving one day a random memory of this show came to mind. One I hadn't thought of in years. I used to love watching this TV show as a kid.

Reading about Whitney Rydbeck, the actor who played Whitney - I was reminded that he's a gifted mime. I vaguely remember lots of brilliant miming going on, and my brother and I pretending to be mimes after watching each episode.

I also remember something about peanut butter sandwiches.

Does anyone else remember watching this show as a kid?