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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A little movie quiz

I enjoy quotes from movies and many of them have become standards. Those of you who read my pieces know I use them all the time as I feel many can be important in proving a point. (Who can forget Marlon Brando with his "Stella!!!" from the Tennessee Williams classic of 1951, A Streetcar Named Desire). Although my main area of expertise is the movies made from 1930-1950, there were some great ones made after that which can’t be ignored.

There is no way I can write off films like Touch of Evil (1958), the Orson Welles film noir masterpiece, Billy Wilder’s Some Like it Hot, or Hitchcock’s North By Northwest, Psycho, and Vertigo, all made between 1958 and 1960 and masterpieces themselves. Those films were a wake up call to Hollywood after the bad biblical color extravaganzas of the early 1950s which were made strictly to fight off the intrusion of that new threat: TELEVISION!

As it turned out, television and the movies learned to co-exist although one way the movie studios survived was by getting into TV production. Some of you may remember the Warner Brothers’ TV hits of the ‘50s like 77 Sunset Strip and Maverick.

Here is a 5 question movie quote quiz for you: I have taken these from famous films made between 1967 and 1992 except one which is a classic line by a classic actress from a 1950s film. I did not get these from research, I pridefully know them from memory. All five quotes are on YouTube so I will give you links to check your answers after you have written them. See if you can tell me the movie name, and the actor saying the line. Good luck and don’t check YouTube until AFTER you have written your answers! If you are still stumped after the clips, check out IMDB.

1. "Put that coffee down! Coffee is for closers only!" (Answer)

2. "What we've got here is failure to communicate." (Answer)

3. "Fasten your seat belts, it’s going to be a bumpy night." (Answer)

4. "Here’s JOHNNY!" (Answer)

5. "That’s not a knife. THAT’S a knife!" (Answer)

How did you do?

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Monday, January 18, 2010

Welcome to Wal-Mart

The site plan for the Wal-Mart to be built in Cave Creek was approved by the town commissioners this week. The store will be built at Cave Creek Road and Carefree Highway which is about five miles from where I live. As close as it is, I doubt I will ever buy anything there but I may stop by to see if those photos of "people of Wal-Mart" that circulate the internet are for real. My favorite is the guy pushing his shopping cart wearing a garbage bag skirt.

Wal-Mart has been known to let people camp in their parking lots, so who knows? Here is a story I picked up this week from the newspaper about an incident that happened recently at a Wal-Mart in Pennsylvania.

Police say a 32 year old man in a hospital gown stole $50 from his ex-girlfriend at a Wal-Mart, then tried to escape on a Wal-Mart owned motorized shopping scooter. He apparently had just been released from the hospital because of injuries suffered in a domestic dispute with the girl where he was hit with a frying pan and a table leg.

Although he was released from the hospital, the guy showed up at Wal-Mart still wearing a hospital gown to meet his ex-girlfriend who had agreed to pay for some of his medication. Suddenly, he grabbed $50 from her and took off on the scooter. He was captured instantly and is now in jail. As the greeter says: "Good morning, welcome to Wal-Mart." Maybe he should add, "proceed at your own risk," at least at the Pennsylvania store.

From the Scottsdale Republic: The Phoenix Open golf tournament is coming up next month. The event is known as a big time partying event and when last year’s winner Kenny Perry recently told a young female hairdresser that he would be playing this year she replied, "I love the golf tournament. I go every night."

Don’t look for her in the gallery, Kenny. She is a "Bird’s Nester."

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Monday, January 11, 2010

Harry Reid should know better

What is possibly the dumbest thing a United States Senator could say about a black candidate from his party running for the office of President of the United States? How about describing the candidate as “a light skinned” African American “with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one.”

Those were Harry Reid’s words during Obama’s 2008 campaign according to a new book called “Game Change” by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann. The part about “no Negro dialect unless he wanted to have one” is the most interesting to me. Does that mean that on the campaign trail Reid thought Obama had the ability to talk “jive” to black groups in the inner city and switch to “mid-America white” when the occasion required it? In today’s political climate could a U.S. Senator actually believe that such a statement would not be demeaning to a black man?

Obama is calling the remarks “unfortunate” and Harold Ford, who is black and is the head of the Democratic Leadership Council says Reid’s remarks were “an unusual set of words.” In other words Harry has screwed up big time but let’s try to gloss it over.

So now we have more heat on poor Harry. What he said wasn’t the end of the world but it is enough to keep the public and the Republicans piling on him even harder after his methods of ramming through the Senate’s version of the health care bill. I’m sure he did it at the urging of Obama who is now getting plenty of heat of his own for not showing the health bill negotiations on C-Span after he said EIGHT times that it would be on.

Harry will survive his current term but polls in Nevada show him about 10 points behind his possible challenger. He just turned 70 so with his nice pension, they won’t have to throw any benefits for him. Plus, there are worse things to say like former President Clinton telling Ted Kennedy during the 2008 campaign that “a few years ago this guy (Obama) would be getting us coffee.”

On the other hand, if Barbara Billingsley could play the Beaver’s mom as an All American housekeeper on TV, and then talk jive in the movie Airplane!, I guess it is all right for the president to do likewise.

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Wednesday, January 06, 2010

"Americans love Glenn Beck"

Dana Milbank of the Washington Post has a column today about Glenn Beck titled "Americans love Glenn Beck." He then continues with a diatribe about why he dislikes Beck.

I guess Mr. Milbank never heard of the saying "Every knock is a boost" or "Say what you want about me, just spell my name right." Beck is very popular right now. He has a radio show, a Fox News show, his books are best sellers, and his tours with fellow Fox anchor Bill O’Reilly are always sold out. SOMEBODY likes these guys and believes that they have something productive to say.

Mr. Milbank states that a recent Gallup poll shows that Beck is more popular than the pope. To paraphrase Babe Ruth, "Beck had a better year." Milbank also says that Beck’s popularity "doesn’t say much for the taste of many Americans." Keep pouring it on, Dana. The poll numbers don’t lie and a lot of people are unhappy with what is going on in Washington now and are itching to get to the polls in November. 2010 will be interesting.

Mitch Albom has spent most of his writing career doing sports for the Detroit Free Press. In recent years he has written some best selling books including Tuesdays With Morrie.

Mitch’s column today deals with rules that would be implemented in 2010 if he were in charge. It’s a funny look at some things we all probably wish would happen:

In 2010, no more vampires and no more Jon and Kate. I agree, I don’t ever go to "vampire" movies and I am sick of them. The same with Jon and Kate. All I know of them is they had a phony "reality show" with a bunch of kids and they broke up. So what? Why all the coverage?

I did a blog a couple months ago about sayings I wish would go away like "At the end of the day" and "Back in the day." Mitch adds some more: "totally," "I heard that," and "you go girl." He’s right, it’s time for those to go away.

This is one of my favorites: Coffee places like Starbucks need to have two lines. One for people who want a plain cup of "Joe" and one for the guys who have to have the foo-foo caramel mocha-half and half double shot- foamy latte. Why should we straight coffee drinkers have to wait behind those wimps?

One final wish from Mitch: "Wrap it up Harry Potter!" I’m for that. J. T. Rowling’s agent told her once that her first Harry Potter book was nice but that she shouldn’t expect to make any money from it. She has made billions since then but enough is enough. Let’s see more of that creativity applied to a different subject.


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