Posts Tagged ‘E.T.’

I am sad, but I chose to be this way (movie reviews, rambles)

January 27, 2009

Emotions are an interesting thing.  They make us feel like we are on top of the world or on the bottom of it.  Sometimes like how I described in my sad movies blog, we choose to be sad, sappy and emotional.  Especially women but not exclusively.  I have guy friends I SWEAR I do that are a sucker sometimes for a sad sappy movie.  The based on true story ones are the worst because you try to imagine someone really going through that.  I know it’s blown out of proportion for reasons Hollywood think are right but it still makes us cry while we are smiling.  We smile because we realized that we got sucked in by something artificial and fake.

I know I have literally had my eyes swelled up with tears while I am chuckling at myself during a sad movie.  The last time I did that was the last time I watched E.T. last November.  I was crying because of Elliot and E.T. being sick and I was laughing at myself because that is just what Hollywood manipulates you how to feel like.  Also I have seen that movie so many times I couldn’t even tell you how many.  I will smell your pine trees and fog machine someday you freakin’ alien.

But I don’t want to go on a ramble about that right now.  I have something so much more sad to talk about.  I warned you!  The reason why I like being sad sometimes is you realize how wrapped up in the superficial world around you sometimes you don’t realize the broad range of emotions you can get into and why that great emotional range is what makes your life well rounded.  I just feel lucky when it’s all said and done when it’s just a movie and not something really worth crying about.  This last month or so on the on screen guide on our DVR I have seen the Diary of Anne Frank pop up so I set the DVR to record it last week.  It’s the 1980 version with Melissa Gilbert playing Anne Frank.  Melissa Gilbert was in the show Little House on the Prairie and this was during the time that show was on the air.  I love that show too.  I love fantasizing in my head while watching it if I could survive in settlers times and what would I be good at.  That show was in syndication when I was in the 3rd grade.  We were learning about the Oregon Trail (talking about the Apple II game is a WHOLE ‘nother blog article!) and how people had it so much different then we do now.  I mean, those people worked so hard just for some butter!  I actually think about that stuff quite a bit especially when I am feeling really lazy.

Also when I was a kid we learned about the Holocaust.  I have always been fascinated by learning about World War II, Hitler, Nazis, Concentration Camps, the whole thing.  I am not a history buff like some people but every once in a while I do devote a few hours to talking about it and learning more details.  I am a sick fuck so I am fascinated with learning about Concentration Camps.  Don’t judge me my brain made me that way.  I think it was terrible just like the next decent person it’s just human nature is so interesting to me.  Decent people are boring I want to learn about twisted freaks, ya know?

If you can imagine one time in my life when I was in the 6th grade I used to go to the library on a regular basis.  I got a bike the summer going into the 6th grade and I followed my oldest sister during the summer time while she visited to get teenage novels and magazines and then I would follow her back home.  I noticed one day they rented out VHS tapes too.  We just learned about World War II so I was naturally curious about the Diary of Anne Frank.  At that time I watched the 1959 version.

I told my Grandma before I got it I was thinking about checking it out and she said she wanted me to get it because she wanted to watch it too.  That felt like a compliment to me and a big deal because she always has been rarely interested in movies or tv other then Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy and when the Blazers are playing basketball.   She multitasked through it but still listened.  We played the movie in a different room she usually sits in so that felt like a big deal in itself that she was willing to spend an hour and a half in a different room she usually watches tv in.  Just trust me on those last 4 lines, that was all different and cool as a kid growing up.  From the library I also checked out Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3.  I am not much of a reader.

This is the trailer for the 1959 version.  Black and white to me needs a lot of patience.  Not to offend but I am not that much into black and white movies.  That is a step up from reading a book to me.  I would have to think for a minute or two if you gave me a choice between a black and white movie or a book.

Earlier watching the 1980 version I enjoyed slowly getting sucked into the sappy Hollywoodness of Anne Frank.  Most everybody wants to live on past their lifetime.  That is why people have children, or write blogs, or take pictures of themselves.  They hate the thought of being forgotten after they die.  I feel that way too but I don’t think about it too much.  I always kind of assume that people will talk about me long after I am gone.  This blog barely scrapes the surface of why I am unique and why people are fascinated by me.  Yes I made a story about the Holocaust about me shut up.

Anne is going to live on for decades I think.  She was a talkative, outgoing, cheery 13 year old when the movie started.  She danced, talked, tried to make everybody happy and I think really was the lit candle for everybody.  The spark that kept everybody’s hopes up at least a little.  When a man Mr. Dussell moves in he complains about everything and it’s obvious that in his life he is used to having his space and his things in order.  That really makes Anne upset because she has to share  a room with him.  A mature strict older man and an immature outgoing slightly clumsy 13 year old girl do not mesh well.  I think that Anne brushes off on Mr. Dussell and it’s endearing.  I think they should of been fortunate that the youngest was 13, I cannot imagine how it would of been like trying to contain a toddler in that situation.

The last part of the movie they are all going crazy with cabin fever, and cranky with starvation.  They are starting to think of ways to back stab each other, and their personalities change so much.  It made me think about how you could easily trick someone into doing something they usually wouldn’t like killing a family member just by giving them very little food.  I think we should all feel extremely lucky just if we all have enough to eat the rest of our lives.  I watched the movie Alive about a month ago and that is another situation like that.  I won’t go into it but if you are still reading this the movie Alive is worth watching at least once.

My favorite moment of the Diary of Anne Frank is when they celebrate Hanukkah expecting no presents and Anne scrounges up materials to make them each very thoughtful gifts.  I remember that from a kid.  I remember her uncle I believe it was got two cigarettes that she made out of the tobacco from the bottom of the guy that owned the house’s pockets.

I think everybody knows what happens to the family.  The movie I watched earlier felt more like a play then a movie because it was obvious they were on a set and they shot the main part of the attic most of the time.  It was worth watching to me.  And the mom from Everybody Loves Raymond was in it too!

This movie is called the Boy In the Striped Pajamas.  I was keeping the Diary of Anne Frank for a little over a week on the DVR which is past due in our house because the space is so critical.  You either watch it within 4 days or delete without watching.  Today while looking through the regular movie download sites I look through (external links on the blogroll ‘ahem’) everyday I saw one on there I have been wanting to watch since around September.  I thought this must be a sign I will watch Diary of Anne Frank and this other movie on the same night.  Watching two movies right after another is a rarity for me I usually can’t sit still without multitasking for that long.  Getting the time to arrange for one is enough.  I love movies but I would rather get more done then watch a movie for an hour and a half or more.

This movie right when I read the summary reminded me of the book to Kill a Mockingbird.  I haven’t watched the movie yet that is on my to do list.  I read the book when I was a junior in high school and there is a reason why people say it’s a classic.

The boy that is the main character in the movie is named Bruno.  This boy is extremely skinny apparently he is the type to play outside more then eat.   He has dark brown very short hair and bright light blue eyes.  I swear if I adopted him people would assume he was my biological son and I was a slut in high school.  His mom had blue eyes like that too.  But it was so interesting because his clothes were so old fashioned and drab.  He had a light blue sweater vest on some of the time but he wore brown and beige colors at other times.  It was quite a contrast to his bright blue eyes.

Sorry to get girly on you.  His father gets a job through the military and they move next door to a concentration camp.  Bruno’s family eats well but it’s really boring.  He starts to wander and realizes some people are treated differently.  People are treated worse then others.  They wear what he calls striped pajamas.  His older sister that looks about 15 which I don’t remember her age being mentioned is already brainwashed by the Nazis into thinking that Jewish people are not human they are just a waste of skin so treating them as such is to be rewarded and not to be shamed.  Bruno doesn’t get it because every person wearing those strange looking striped pajamas have always been nice to him.  His 8 year old innocent mind can’t wrap his head around it.  See that is why it reminds me of How to Kill a Mockingbird.

This movie could of been gorier and gritty but they took a more mainstream approach IMO.  I don’t think I would ever make a movie that is based during that time because I just don’t feel it’s my calling in life.  The ending is sad as expected.  I enjoyed the movie, it’s not my favorite movie in the whole world now but I love it when a movie proves an overlooked point.  The point in this movie IMO is you learn hate you aren’t born with it and also decent people always go out of their way for a friend.  I know I have a list of friends in my head that I would put their safety over mine if needed.  I don’t want to spoil the end but I love that Bruno went so far for his friend.  I love movies where people go to the edge of the earth to save their friend just because their friend asked.  It reminds me of Harry and I and other friends I have as well.

Two Holucaust movies in one night is definitely heavy on the heart but I think it was needed.  It reminds me that my life is pretty freakin’ great and I shouldn’t judge no matter what happens because it absorbs you.  Comment questions.  Have you ever seen any version of the Diary of Anne Frank?  Have you seen the other movie?  Are you strangely fascinated with any horrible part of history?  Are you fasinated in watching movies or reading books about people that have survived extremely difficult odds?  I would love to read all about it and of course you can write anything you want as long as it’s respectful.  As always anything that is disrespectful to me or others will be deleted.  I feel hate creates more hate so if you post a nasty comment people are tempted to argue etc. so it’s just better to delete all nasty comments ASAP.

Movies that deliciously drip of sap

June 21, 2008

I have been trying to write this blog article? post? For at least a month now, lets face it. This aint my primary outlet for creation. But this medium has advantages that override youtube sometimes. Sure I could make a 10 minute video or 2 10 minute videos about this subject, but I thought I would attack this subject Big Willy style.

There is sometimes when you are just in the mood to stretch out on your couch, or sit in front of your pc, and sink into a wonderfully sad movie. Face value that looks like aww that would just make you sad oh no even though a tear might trickle down your cheek. No, these are the movies that have well developed characters struggling through a tough life changing battle that makes you laugh and cry and root them on to the wonderful or not so wonderful ending. You root them on through tough times, and when they make it well you can’t help but have a huge grin on your face. Sometimes you think oh yeah of course it’s a happy ending but sometimes you just don’t care that you fell for it because the movie was just that great.

The first sappy movies I always think of are the ones I have seen time and time again from my childhood. Yes the children’s movies that I remember watching and re watching when I was a young squirt that brought me such joy are the first ones I think about when I am trying to decide to pick a sappy movie. Whether it was a holiday tradition of mine, or I just loved the movie the developing characters and the sad moments in the movies always get me everytime. They are just too darn good. Those Directors really know how to pull on our heartstrings sometimes. And sometimes we let them.

The Little Mermaid

Ok ok ok I promise you I won’t go on a huge review about how wonderful the Little Mermaid is. It’s just this is the first Disney movie my Grandma bought us. The first official one in the white shell case with the penis blending into the castle structure on the cover of it. And about a year after that our family went to Denmark to see the statue (among other things of course, it was a 6 week trip) of the Little Mermaid where my Grandma said “See Jodi, that is the REAL Little Mermaid!” and that moment I felt very proud because my family is from Denmark. I came from the happiest country in the world! Cool huh 🙂

Anywho, Disney movies. I stopped really watching the new ones that came out when I was a teenager, but there are several that I love and love to rewatch now. King Triton giving the gift of legs to Ariel, Simba and Nala having a female Lion cub of their own mirroring when he was born, Tod and Copper going their separate ways with Tod finding his place in the forest with Vixie a female fox, Pinocchio becoming a real boy, the Beast (which I don’t think we ever found out his real name) becoming human because of Belle whispering I love you, Quasimodo being accepted by the towns people, and the list goes on and on. Those Disney people sure know how to write a great coming of age story. I don’t know anymore because I think the last Disney movie I have watched is Monsters Inc. but I have watched several of them. I am proud to say I teared up the first 3 times or so when I watched Toy Story 2 during “Jessie’s Song” which I very rarely do. I am proud because I watched the Pixar story on Starz and Tom Hanks admitted to crying during that song too. It just gets me thinking about the times people have moved on from relationships with me and how that hurt because I still wanted to be friends with them. That is one of the most emotionally painful things to experience.

Ok, I know what your thinking. Your thinking no not E.T. anything but that! But let me just say my piece and we can move on. For some reason the tv Networks thought E.T. is a great movie for the Holiday season and they either play it on Thanksgiving weekend or Christmas eve or Christmas. Well those fuckers have implanted into our brains that this is a great movie to watch during the Holidays and so when that time of the year comes around we get a craving for this video. Fuckers! But other then that fact I love this movie. Even if Drew Barrymore is in it. I am sorry but that woman is annoying to me. It’s because when she talks it looks like she’s gnawing on a bone. And that aint right. I do feel sorry for her because of her childhood. I can feel sorry for someone and respect them but not like them.

How did I go down that road? Elliot is adorable and reminds me of myself. I always thought someday I would find a hidden gift that instantly would make me special and loved by all. And I love the fact that he is so close to E.T. even though if E.T. stayed wouldn’t that be so weird when Elliot would find a woman that is suitable to marry? If you marry me, you have to marry E.T. as well! I think that is weirder then him saying he has a sneezing fetish. It’s a real thing, google it if you don’t believe me!

Of course there are other children’s movies that tug on my heartstrings but that is all I want to dwell on that for now. I also love the movies Thumbelina, Free Willy, Labyrinth, Hook, the first Ninja Turtles movie, and again the list goes on.

I don’t know about you, but I feel like a sucker when I fall for a motion picture movie and put it in my favorite sad movies list. Not to sound like an old fuddy duddy but they don’t make movies like they used to. And yes I might be talking about the mid 90’s.

My Grandma wanted to see this movie so bad because of all of the advertising and awards. She isn’t the type to go out to the theater or even watch on tv a movie but every once in a while she watches a movie that they talk a lot about on tv. If you ask her though she hasn’t watched a movie in 30 years.  She got a copy at Costco I believe and I watched it first. She doesn’t know how to work a VCR so it was up to me to cue it up after Granddad went to bed. I knew everything would be ok except the part where Forest and Jenny (Jennay) had sex. I was in the 7th Grade so of course that would of been awkward. I preplanned and walked into the kitchen, ate a slice of processed cheese, and went back into the same room after hearing a “what the hell?!?” she liked the movie overall she said she thought it was ok.

The kids in my school everytime one of their friends would take off in a steady jog or a run they would yell “run Forrest run!” and so sometimes I still say the same. I told my best friend Harry that little joke and so he says it too sometimes. I just love the movie. I don’t think anyone else could of been Forrest rather then Tom Hanks. I love how he stumbles into success in his life. In real life you would be irritated or upset with someone like that but in this movie you are rooting him on. I love the end when he learns he has a son and we see a little baby faced Haley Joel Osment. Forrest Gump is by far the best Dad to that little kid. He very patiently deals with day to day issues with raising a son and cherishes them. At least that is how I picture it. They have been playing this movie on various cable channels as they should be. This is a timeless movie.

My other favorite types of sad, gripping movies are the made for tv movies. I don’t really watch the newer ones, but why should I have to when the ones that were made in the 80’s and 90’s were so great. Whether they showed a dramatization of a famous event like the Tanya Harding movies or the Amy Fisher movies. Or based on a true story movies that based on stories that aren’t so famous that makes you inspired because the characters have gone through so very much. They always have one of those actors or actresses that you say, “Oh so THAT is what they are up to nowadays!” and you turn into a movie critique seeing if they can play more then a role in a sitcom or a typecasted role. But there is one specific movie that pops into my mind when I think of made for tv movies. It is I know my name is Steven that was first aired in 1989. That movie is so good. Not just the movie but a quick read through Wikipedia makes it that much better.

I know my first name is Steven

Oh yes, this movie is great if you enjoy made for tv movies.  A poor, typical American family with a stubborn Grandpa yelling at the parents because they can’t afford all of their kids they have.  Steven is a dysfunctional child but in an usual way.  He is quiet and keeps to himself, and he looks like he is just doing a lot of heavy thinking.  Like a mid-life crisis.  The father gets mad at him for not coming home right away after school and thinks about hitting him with a belt.  Which from what I read the parents were abusive towards their children and heavily believed in corporal punishment.  Steven promises to come home straight after school from then on after a “you are worrying your mother sick lately” speech.  The next morning while trying to round up their children to take them to school they found Steven, writing his name on the Garage door.

The father promises to deal with Steven later after school, and they all go their separate ways.  Meanwhile Ken Parnell is scheming to kidnap a child, trying to convince his dumber cohort that he just wants to be a father and he is going to get him a boy.  He goes to the school and sees Steven going straight home from school.  Steven Stayner’s case is rare because after 7 years Ken kidnaps another child after Steven is growing into a man, and then Steven realizes what has happened to him and he must save this other boy from the trauma he has endured.  That is the sweet part, in all reality Steven was probably just jealous of Timmy’s attention and that is why he didn’t want him around.  From what I have read online that is what the book says which I will eventually read.

When Steven goes back to his family it’s happy at first but then they admit that isn’t the Steven that was kidnapped from them 7 years before.  You would think the first part of the movie would be the most painful, it isn’t.  The mother wants to be motherly but the father feels angry, defensive and distraught about the situation.  Every time the mother wants to give him structure the father says he deserves to do whatever he wants because of what he has been through.  So Steven goes around drinking, having sex, skipping school, and raising havoc.  He craves structure, but on the other hand feels like no one can tell him what to do and gets defensive everytime one of his parents tells him to stop it.  He eventually moves into a trailer and gets his girlfriend pregnant.  About a year after this movie aired for the first time on tv, he died in a motorcycle accident.

I just told you the run down of this entire movie, but trust me it’s worth watching.  I don’t think it’s on DVD yet it’s only on VHS.  I would love to have a copy of it, but about 2 months ago I found a copy of it on youtube which unfortunately is gone now.   I have caught the movie on tv about 5 times or so throughout the years even though they don’t play it anymore I don’t think.  Even though there are movies on the lifetime movie network that are from 1992.

There is a where are they now type of update on wikipedia which I told you earlier is half of the fun nowadays.  Ken Parnell died on January 21st, 2008.  Yep, just the beginning of this year he was in jail and he died of natural causes.  What happened is this broken legal system especially states like California that have the three strikes law he only went to jail for FIVE YEARS because of what he did to Steven and kidnapping Timmy.  In January of 2004, he asked his caregiver (he was old and needed supervision at the time) to help him buy a 4 year old boy.  The caregiver told the police and helped in a police sting sending Ken to prison and thanks to the three strikes law (which I saw part of a documentary once proving the system to be complete bullshit) he was serving 25 to life.  In 1951 he was charged with sodomy of a young boy.

Now, that isn’t the whole story.  Steven had a brother by the name of Cary Stayner.  Have you ever heard of the Yosemite killer?  Yep, that’s Cary.  Cary admitted to having fantasies since a little kid about killing women.  He got arrested and put in jail for murdering 4 women in 1999 at Yosemite California.

I apologize if I made you bored by going off on a Steven Stayner rant at the end but I hope you learned some things about me and about things I know about with this blog.  You should at 2300+ words.  But if Americans are good at anything we are good at talking alot but not saying a damn word.