Sunday, August 31, 2008

Something to beware of!

One of the greatest movies EVER made was "The Women" in 1939. It starred many of the big name stars of the times like Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford, Rosilind Russell, Joan Fontaine and Paulette Goddard and many others. It is a classic movie all about men in the lives of a group of New York Women but...THERE IS NOT ONE MAN IN IT!!!!!! The dialouge is witty and fast and quite "catty" (you know how women can be towards each other, unfortunately). The costumes are the best!

But now, Hollywood has re-made this classic movie. So hence the "BEWARE"!!! I am sure they will ruin it by "rauncing" it up and changing the story, which would ruin the whold thing! It is being released on Sept 12th so I urge you, before you see the remake, you must see the original! Then you will appreciate the difference between Hollywood then and now. "Then" they were much more creative and didn't need to make things dirty to have them funny or get the point across. Now I know this is unfair because I have only seen a trailer, but I could tell alot from that trailer.

If you have seen the 1939 version, leave a comment so others will get more opinions about this great classic movie. If you can't find it at the store, I have it.
Side note: Have you ever considered all the great movies that came out in 1939???? It was a golden year. I will compile a list for you...someday.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Will it ever end?????

I’m on my Political soap box today. I am so tired of this Presidential Election!!!

However, I am even more tired of hearing that if Barack Obama doesn’t win it is because he is African American. Well, personally, it is going to be so hard for me to go in and vote for my party's Presidential choice, but I will, and it is not because Obama is African American. I would give ANYTHING to be able to vote for any of these 3 men instead of McCain!!! If you don’t know who they are, look them up and see if you don’t agree with me! They all should have at least been considered as a VP choice.

First Choice: Michael Steele-Former Lt Governor of Maryland, graduate of Georgetown University Law School and spent 3 years as a seminarian in the Order of St. Augustine in preparation for the priesthood. Successfully worked in the private sector as a corporate lawyer. He is one of the highest ranking African-American Republicans elected to public office.

Second Choice: JC Watts-Played football and graduated from University of Oklahoma. Played in the Canadian Football league after which he became a Baptist Youth Minister before going into politics. Was a Congressman for Oklahoma from 1995-2003. By the way, JC stands for Julius Caesar but that is not the reason he is so impressive!

Third Choice: Walter Williams-Now I will first say he is not in Politics but he would make a GREAT cabinet member. He is an Economist Extraordinaire!!! He is also very eloquent. I love hearing him on the radio when he substitutes sometimes.
Let me know what you think!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

"If there is anything disagreeable going on men are always sure to get out of it."

If you are like me, there are some books that you just have to read over and over again and never get tired of them. Today, I would like to expound on my all time favorite book (as you see on my favorites list off to the side) and that is “Persuasion” by Jane Austen. I have been reading over the summer a 950+ page book called “Cleopatra. After Caesar was killed, I had to take a break and read something happy! That leaves many choices, but I had to go with “Persuasion” because I try to read it as least once a year.
The main character is the perfect heroin named Anne Elliot. At the time of the beginning of the book, she is 29 years old and unmarried due to the fact that she had been persuaded 8 years earlier not to marry a man she loved because he was beneath her and without a future of good prospects to better his situation. Now, 8 years later and still regretting this earlier decision, she has a second chance, when through circumstances, he comes back into her life. Of all of Jane Austen’s characters, Anne Elliot has the most “growth” from her shy beginning in the story to the end of the book when she is strong, independent and goes after what she wants!
I somehow think this book, of all Jane Austen’s books, is somewhat autobiographical and she ends it how she wishes her life might have turned out if she had had a second chance, but that is only my personal opinion.
I ache for Anne when her father exposes his pride on a regular basis. I’m thankful I have the sisters I have, and not ones like she has to deal with in Elizabeth and Mary. And I especially love Colonel Wentworth, although I think he is a little slow in getting things moving, but isn’t that normal for the Male gender??? They need us to prod them along in the matters of romance or nothing would get done and it seems that way until Anne finally starts doing the prodding!
Of the movie versions that have been made, the 1995 version with Amanda Root and Ciaran Hinds is my favorite. However, in the most recent BBC production I loved Rupert-Penry Jones as Colonel Wentworth(pictured below) also. If you haven’t read “Persuasion” try it, and if you have already read it, leave your comments to inspire others to read it!!!
Next book worth re-reading is “The Count of Monte Cristo”. YUM!! Stay tuned!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

"...I saw something nasty in the woodshed..."

That is how the movie, “Cold Comfort Farm”, begins and it gets more hilarious by the minute!
In case you think that isn’t funny, Let me explain. This movie is about Flora Poste, (Robert Poste's child) who is a Jane Austen "wanna-be" but feels she hasn’t had enough experience in the world to write a great novel like Austen has. When she unexpectedly becomes orphaned , and her income is reduced, she decides to write to each of her unfortunate relatives, whom she has never met, to see if she can live with them and get the experiences she is looking for. She settles on the very troubled, Starkadders, who include the likes of Seth, Reuben, Urk, Elfine, and many others.
As Flora Poste lives with the family, trying to improve their circumstances, hilarity in sues, because “…there have always been Starkadders’ at Cold Comfort Farm".

The cast is phenomenal, and includes a young Kate Beckinsale, Ian McKellen, Dame Eileen Atkins, Joanna Lumley, Rufus Sewell and many other English actors you will recognize.This hidden treasure may be hard to find but is so worth the search.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Some great movies!

What do these 4 pictures have in common?
Phantom of the Opera
Dear Frankie
Nim's Island

Beowolf and Grendel
They are my favorite Gerard Butler movies. . My favorite of these is:
"Dear Frankie" is one of the best hidden gem movies ever. It was made before "Phantom" but they held up the release until after "Phantom" was released because then everyone would know who Garard Butler is! This movies has such a great story about a deaf boy who tries to stay in contact with his father through the letters he writes. I can't say to much without giving it all away but it is touching, funny, and romantic all together. Besides Butler, everyone in the cast is great including, Emily Mortimer, Sharon Small, and the boy who plays Frankie, Jack McElhone. One of Butler's first movies was "Mrs. Brown" satrring Judi Dench and he is good in it also. Beowolf and Grendel was never released here in the US but it is much better than the Beowolf that was, because it actually followes the epic tale it was based on. I have an edited copy becasue it was rated R but it is still quite violent. If you want to borrow it call me. The newest one is "Nim's Island". It is great! He plays 2 different roles, Nim's dad and the imaginary adventurer, Alex Rover. It is a wonderful family movie. I watched it with my 3 grandsons, ages 3-7 and they loved it. Try it on a family movie night soon. Anyway, if you are ever in the mood to have a "Gerard Butler" film festival(and who wouldn't!!), make sure you include these movies.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Utah Shakespearean Festival

This is one of 3 theaters, at the Festival, modeled after "The Globe Theater"
One of my favorite things to do every summer is to attend the Utah Shakespearean Festival in Cedar City Utah. The productions are some of the best I have ever seen. This year out of the 6 shows, (they do 3 Shakespeare, 1 musical, and 2 others, usually comedies), we, my sister Eileen and I, saw four of them. They were(in the order that we liked them best), “School for Wives”, “Two Gentlemen from Verona”, “Taming of the Shrew”, and “Cyrano de Bergerac”. The first 3 plays were very funny and had great costumes. Cyrano was great until the last 20 minutes. Apparently, when Steve Martin re-made this play into the movie, “Roxanne”, he changed the ending so I wasn’t prepared for the ending of the play, and for those who know me, I only like “happily ever-afters”.
Me, spending a moment with William!

Besides seeing the plays, we did some shopping, but the best was going up to Cedar Breaks National Monument and then to Kolob Canyon. Both sites were with-in 30 minutes of Cedar City. They were breathtakingly beautiful. I think there is nothing more beautiful than the Southern Utah/Northern Arizona red rock mountains, especially the Vermillion Cliffs.

Cedar Breaks National Monument Kolob Canyon
Craftsman at the Festival

If you love seeing great plays, plan on attending the Festival next year. If you don’t like Shakespeare, (I can’t imagine who that could be???!!), see one of the 3 other plays that they do. Next year’s schedule is: “As You Like It”, “Henry V”, “The Comedy of Errors”, “Private Lives”, “The Secret Garden”, and “Foxfire”.
Now I have a few months to try to find someone to go with me next year!!!
Side note>>>If you can’t wait until next summer to go to a great play, check out the Southwest Shakespeare Company’s season that starts in September. Their plays are just as good and they are right here in Mesa. They are performing 5 great plays. Here is the link to their web-site:

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Just call me "Lady Leslie"....

This is not something that I mention too often, because I would never want anyone to think I was "putting on airs," but, I do have a “title”. I am officially a “Lady” due to the fact that I own land on Kincavel estate in North West Scotland. Below is a picture of my one square foot plot of land(the yellow pin prick. I can give you the GPS settings if you want to zoom in closer, just call me). Doesn’t it look beautiful?!?!? I hope to visit it one day. This title will be passed on to one of my daughters, so if I turn up mysteriously dead one day you will all know the motive. I received the land last Christmas when my son to give it to me for a Christmas present (actually I bought it for him to give it to me). Yes, I even shop for my own presents. Is that too obsessive-compulsive, or what?

You should see the beautiful bracelet I bought for Bruce to give to me. It has my favorite Shakespeare sonnet #116 (see July blog archive below) engraved in it. How romantic am I??? Of course, if you want a title also, I can tell you where to get one for a few pounds! That’s what we need around here, a few more members of the Aristocracy!!! Long live the Queen!!!!( I have to say that kind of thing now that I have a title)

Friday, August 1, 2008

"I was country, when country wasn't cool...."

Remember that old song, "I was country, when country wasn't cool"? I have loved ABBA for 30+ years and have never been ashamed to admit it, although, I have been mocked by some (you know who you are!) for it. Well I had an interesting experience the other night. I was teaching a water arobics class to some young women, 14-15 year olds. I was still in my "Momma Mia" mood (see review below), so I was playing ABBA's GOLD album with most of the songs on it. To my surprise, most of the girls knew all of the songs! It was all due to the popularity of the new movie. Most had seen it, and planned on seeing it again, or are planning on seeing it. It made me feel like I was in the "with it" crowd. It was very funny to hear them sing the songs I have loved for years!!! In case the kids didn't know, tell them that the name ABBA comes from the first letters of each of their names. They are so great!!!

Agnetha, Bjourn, Anni-Frida(Freida), and Benny

I wish I could always been seen through a soft lense! Start squinting when you see me. I may look better also!