A character story — December 15, 2021

A character story

Of all the great holiday movies, A Christmas Story is my favorite. The saga of Ralphie Parker’s quest for a Red Ryder B.B. gun never fails to entertain me, to make me laugh, and to touch my he

And of all the great characters in the movie – Ralphie, his old man, his mom, the Bumpus dogs – it’s a relatively overlooked character – Ralphie’s brother, Randy – who serves as my favorite.

Most of the time, when I hear people refer to Randy, they call him Ralphie’s brother. It’s as if he doesn’t have a name. And most of the time, when they’re referring to him, they’re comparing something in their lives to the scene in which Randy and Ralphie’s mom dresses Randy in so many layers that he can’t put his arms down.

That is a fantastic scene, but there’s so much more to Randy. Take my favorite scene in the movie. In the voiceover, the narrator (Jean Shepherd, who wrote the stories on which the movie was based) explains that Randy has not eaten a meal voluntarily in three years. Displaying her ingenuity, the mom asks Randy to show her how the piggies eat. Randy, pretending to be a pig, puts his face into a plate of mashed potatoes and does just that. Whilst eating like a pig, he oinks and oinks and laughs and laughs.

The laughter is contagious. Just like Randy, I always laugh and laugh during that scene. (I do not oink and oink, though.)

In my everyday life, I also frequently quote Randy’s rant in this scene: “Meatloaf, smeatloaf, double beatloaf. I hate meatloaf.” People respond by looking at me as if I have lobsters crawling out of my ears.

Anyway, when Ralphie finally breaks bad and beats up bully Scut Farkus, it’s Randy who runs home and fetches his and Ralphie’s mom. What a hero! Later, Randy hides under the kitchen sink and cries because he’s afraid their dad will kill Ralphie for fighting. What a sweetie!

By the way, once again, their mom handles Randy like a pro. She doesn’t drag him out from under the sink. She gives him a glass a milk and lets him process his feelings in his own time. She should have written a book on parenting.

Later in the movie, the family goes to a Christmas parade and to Higbee’s Department Store. While there, the boys get an audience with the Big Man aka the Head Honcho aka Santa. Some might say Randy should have comported himself better when he finally got to see Santa, but I retort that Randy was but a child and he had been standing in line for dozens of minutes. Besides, Santa and those elves were scary. I would have screamed, too.

Near the end of the movie, after Randy has exhausted himself opening presents on Christmas morning, he falls asleep with his arm clutching a toy zeppelin. He’s so adorable and so unaware of the B.B. gun- and Bumpus dog-induced drama about to unfold.

This post originally appeared in the Appalachian News-Express.

Talking horror and humor with the Halloween fan base — October 27, 2021

Talking horror and humor with the Halloween fan base

Talking horror and humor with the Halloween fan base

Halloween Kills, the latest installment in the film franchise that started in 1978, was released last weekend. Even in years when there’s no new Halloween movie, it seems like people start watching the flicks around Labor Day.

In recent years, they’ve been posting photos and videos of themselves and/or others engaging in frivolity with people dressed like Michael Myers, the masked murderer made famous by the movies.

These postings made me ask myself, “Self, when did Michael Myers become a wacky sidekick? Isn’t he supposed to be scary?”

Although I’ve seen the original Halloween, I’ll admit that I don’t know much about Michael. I’m not a fan of horror movies. Real life is horrific enough for me. Besides, I can’t suspend belief when it comes to horror films. For example, I wonder what Michael does the rest of the year. Where does he live? How does he support himself? Does he terrorize a different town on every major holiday? Or is he a good, law-abiding citizen who’s triggered by Oct. 31? Trust me, dude, I can relate.

Anyway, my ignorance led me to seek out a couple fans of the Halloween movies and/or of horror films in general. That number doubled. Simmer down. It could have been more. Fans of the Halloween movies are everywhere.

But that doesn’t mean they – or horror fans in general – agree on all things Halloween.

Take the original movie, which features Michael escaping from a mental institution, where he had been held since age 6 for stabbing his sister to death, and returning to Haddonfield to terrorize Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis).

“For its time, it was considered to be absolutely terrifying,” explained Halloween superfan Bradley Damron. “There is an actual argument to be made that it was more of a suspense film than straight up horror. It is not a film that hits you over the head with buckets of blood. In fact, it is a fairly bloodless film. When you think of slasher movies, this one popularized so many of the tropes that seem so stale to audiences today. In fact, they were pretty stale by the mid-‘80s, but they were fresh and new in 1978. Add in John Carpenter’s incredible score, and you could feel the suspense and tension all throughout the film. The impact of that score can’t be overstated. People know the Halloween theme. It’s a part of pop culture at this point.

“There are audio recordings of audience reactions in 1978, and I don’t hear many screams like that when I go see modern horror movies. Halloween was not the first slasher movie like many claim, but it was the most influential one by a mile. It spawned so many clones, including Friday the 13th, which was blatantly made to rip off the first Halloween. Without Michael Myers, there is no Jason Voorhees, Freddy Krueger or Ghostface. And it all goes back to how that audience reacted in 1978.”

Horror movie fan Jennifer VanHoose has a different take. “Having lived through that era, (I) saw the movie when it first came out. It was mildly scary.”

VanHoose, however, doesn’t describe herself as a slasher movie fan.

Halloween superfan Trina Wakeland and her brother grew up watching slasher movies. Whereas her brother gravitated toward Friday the 13th, she stuck with Halloween. Wakeland is such a fan of the franchise that she has a tattoo of Michael on her leg. Hence her status as a superfan.

“I’ve been a Halloween fan my whole life so I guess you could say it’s kind of sentimental to me. (The tattoo is) like a reminder of where horror actually started from.”

Halloween fan Trina Yeary has two Michael Myers dolls.

“I love the setting of the movies – the small town, the era. It’s classic,” Yeary said.

Her comment about the setting pleased me. I don’t remember much about the original movie, but I remember appreciating the atmosphere set by director John Carpenter and the way the movie felt and looked.

Yeary continued, “(Michael) is so creepy without trying. With Michael, slow and steady wins the race. Michael both creeps me out and evokes empathy, though I cannot for the life of me rationalize why.”

VanHoose explained that the Halloween movies written, directed, and produced by Rob Zombie introduced a backstory of Michael as a bullied, abused child. (She also said she felt there was no need for these remakes to have been made.) Perhaps that helps explain some viewers’ empathy for Michael? Or maybe the empathy was created by the creepy mask that nonetheless makes him appear sad?

Regardless, Wakeland and Damron are not here for any of these explanations.

“I feel as you shouldn’t be able to relate and have sympathy for his character,” Wakeland said. “The 2009 Rob Zombie (movie) gave you too much backstory and gave Michael Myers every scenario as a kid to grow up and become a psychopath – killing animals, broken families, and bullied at school. I just feel like the John Carpenter film gave you more chills because he has a blank face, doesn’t talk, and you have no clue why he is doing what he does.

“What’s so scary is this is a real guy. (He’s) not immortal and is impossible to kill.”

“Michael Myers was always meant to be a force of nature,” Damron said. “He’s evil because he’s evil. He kills because that’s what he does. In fact, the original film was going to be called The Babysitter Murders until producer Irwin Yablans suggested that it take place on Halloween night. This was about evil lurking on a night that many consider evil. Rob Zombie tried to stray away from that with his reboot. He tried to explain too much, and I feel that chipped away at what made Michael Myers special originally.”

I asked Damron about people who consider Michael to be funny. While he acknowledged that some people find slasher villains funny, he added, “Michael Myers is savage and cruel. He does not feel mercy or remorse. There is no hesitation when he has the chance to kill. There is no overall message with him. He is evil in its purest form.”

A factor that led me to write this post and to talk to fans of the movies was my interaction with folks who do find the movies and Michael Myers humorous. I also checked in with them for this piece and they again identified as Halloween fans who watch the movies for comedic effect.

They, as a whole, described the movies as over-the-top and wondered how viewers could take them seriously, what with Michael showing up out of thin air and being shot and stabbed and falling off buildings only to pop back up, they said.

VanHoose alluded to this as well, describing Michael as having become campy, and each installment as being “more and more ridiculous.” However, she also said she did not find the movies funny at all. And Damron said Michael is “never funny.”

Assuming the folks I know had never seen the first movie, which is considered a classic and has a more serious tone, I interrogated them about which movies they had seen. All of them but the newest one, they said. Surely, they don’t consider the first movie – the classic – to be a laugh fest? Yes, they do.

Of course, they have their favorites. They don’t care for anything related to Halloween that doesn’t feature the Michael Myers character. They are also not fans of the Rob Zombie flicks. (Does anyone like those movies?) They also made it clear – repeatedly — that even though they view the movies as comedies, they are fans who really like and really enjoy the flicks.

Oh, and even though they don’t find the Halloween movies scary, they do find other media scary.

Okay. Give me an example.

Unsolved Mysteries with Robert Stack, one offered.

Happy Halloween!

This post originally appeared in the Appalachian News-Express.

The ones that got away — September 15, 2021

The ones that got away

So, apparently there’s going to a fourth movie in the Matrix franchise. This one is scheduled to be released in December. The first movie was released in 1999 to worldwide acclaim and a bountiful box office.

I’ve never gotten around to seeing it.

Oodles of Matrix fans throughout the years have insisted that I just had to watch it and the subsequent sequels. They obviously haven’t been convincing.  

Part of the reason why I’ve avoided all things Matrix is its star – Keanu Reeves. I’m sure everyone is right and he’s the nicest guy in Hollywood, but I don’t watch his movies. I haven’t seen once since circa 1993, and I stand by that decision.

Also, the gist of the film doesn’t draw me in. Here’s how the Wikipedia frames it: “The series features a cyberpunk story of the technological fall of mankind, in which the creation of artificial intelligence led the way to a race of self-aware machines that imprisoned mankind in a virtual reality system — the Matrix — to be farmed as a power source. Occasionally, some of the prisoners manage to break free from the system and, considered a threat, become pursued by the artificial intelligence both inside and outside of it.”

If you knew how much trouble I had following the first two Terminator movies, what with their self-aware machines, you’d understand why I believe I’ll have even more trouble following The Matrix.

Although I’m known for being something of a movie fan, The Matrix isn’t the only movie from way back that I’ve never seen. I haven’t watched a second of Gremlins or The Goonies.

People from my generation freak the expletive out when they hear this.

But you can’t watch every movie. What’s more, you can’t care about every movie, either.

As they wipe away tears, folks my age encourage me to watch The Goonies, a flick about a group of kids who follow a treasure map to save their homes from foreclosure. These teary-eyed folks are coming from a place of nostalgia. Maybe if I had seen the movie during its original mid-‘80s run, I would feel the same. But I’m a woman of advanced age who has no connection to that movie or those characters. I’m not going to feel the way an ‘80s era tween or teen would feel.

When I was a wee lass on the Goff Estate, we subscribed to a premium network channel that seemingly played Gremlins around the clock. I never once had the inclination to spend time with those ugly bug-eyed creatures. What’s more, I heard so much about those dern critters – don’t feed them after midnight, don’t expose them to sunlight, don’t let them come into contact with water – that I felt like I had actually seen the movie.

Basically, I missed my chance.

Just like I missed my chance with The Karate Kid and Lethal Weapon and Beverly Hills Cop and 48 Hours and…

This post originally appeared in the Appalachian News-Express.

May the fourth be with you — May 4, 2021

May the fourth be with you

Unlike other Star Wars galaxy fans of my generation, I didn’t grow up watching the movies. Indeed, I didn’t view my first Star Wars flick until a few years after the original trilogy had made history in movie theaters. What’s more, until that fateful Labor Day weekend when I happened across the first Star Wars movie on the TV, I had never had a scintilla of interest in the franchise.

But after that first viewing, I was hooked.

All these years later, on this Star Wars Day – May the Fourth – I’m still hooked. I have watched the prequel trilogy and the sequel trilogy and both standalone films, Solo and Rogue One. I enjoyed the former and loved the latter. Depending on my mood, I might make the bold statement that Rogue One is the best Star Wars movie ever. If you disagree, we can duel with lightsabers.

Although my feelings for Star Wars lore have not led me to sample any of the cartoons, oops, I mean animated series, I have read three books detailing the rise of Darth Vader as well as one focusing on Obi-Wan Kenobi, aka my favorite Star Wars character. Thus, I’m beyond pumped about the upcoming Obi-Wan series and, of course, I am a faithful viewer of The Mandalorian.

Other than the fact that today is May the Fourth – a play on the Star Wars phrase “May the force be with you” – why am I reminiscing about Star Wars?

Because I’ve reflected on the fact that, for the most part, I’m not a blockbuster kind of gal. I’ve consulted the abacus and, unless the math is wrong, I have seen exactly one Marvel movie and maybe one Justice League movie. That’s a maybe because I’m not sure if the Superman flick I saw falls under the Justice League umbrella. I’m not even sure I know what the Justice League is.

Furthermore, I tried to watch the X-Men movies back in the day, and I made it through two or three before giving up after I realized it’s the exact same movie with different dialogue.

Before any of my friends and family members remind me, yes, I remain a fan of the Christopher Nolan Batman trilogy, and yes, I recognize those movies were blockbusters.

Otherwise, I’m sort of a film snob, so why am I a Star Wars fangirl? It’s not due to nostalgia because, as aforementioned, I didn’t watch the movies until I had exited childhood.

I used to think my interest stemmed from the Darth Vader character and his frenemyship with Obi-Wan, but neither of those characters are in The Mandalorian. And while Darth Vader’s – and Leia’s – appearance at the end of Rogue One elevates that movie from good to great, the film was already giving me chills before Vader and his red lightsaber showed up.

The best answer I can give myself is that the original trilogy featured a group of scrappy guys and one awesome gal who not only took on the evil empire, but defeated it in the face of overwhelming odds. Those other blockbusters feature superheroes or mutants with special powers. Sure, you can make an argument about Luke Skywalker’s DNA and The Force being super powers, but I can also make an argument that he was just a whiny kid.

So, maybe I’m just a sucker for underdogs who defeat fascists.

Happy Star Wars Day!

This post originally appeared in the Appalachian News-Express.

Better late than never? — December 11, 2019

Better late than never?

I have a confession to make. And after you read this-here confession, I will understand if you delete me from your reading list. Here goes – I have never seen any of the “Home Alone” or “The Santa Clause” movies.

Of course, even without having seen the flicks, I understand their respective premises. In the original “Home Alone,” a family forgets the existence of their little boy and flies to Paris for the holidays, leaving the tyke to fend for himself. Somehow, similar scenarios play out in sequels. Having never had children, I probably shouldn’t judge, but it seems to me that, after the first incident, parents would count their kids before boarding a plane.

In “The Santa Clause,” Tim Taylor from “Home Improvement” becomes Santa or takes over for the jolly old man or something like that. Having never seen the movies, I cannot be expected to know everything about them.

Anyway, I’m apparently the only person in the galaxy who hasn’t seen these flicks, and I have no plans to rectify the situation. Of course, it’s not that I harbor ill will toward them. Indeed, I’ve wondered why I didn’t watch them in their infancy.

But I didn’t and now it seems that, much like backpacking through Europe or training as a trapeze artist, I’ve missed my chance. Honestly, though, it doesn’t bother me. Well, maybe I’m still haunted about not studying the trapeze. But my ignorance of the movies is not what keeps me awake at night. After all, I have seen two other holiday standards – “Elf” and “Christmas Vacation” – each once. Neither of those viewings occurred until years and, in the case of “Christmas Vacation,” decades after their releases.

After oodles of years of buildup, there’s no way those movies could have met my lofty expectations. So, when doofus Cousin Eddie showed up in “Christmas Vacation,” I said to myself, “Self, people laugh until they wet themselves over this?”

Having had little exposure to these movies, I’ve forgotten much about them. So, when family, friends, and coworkers quote Cousin Eddie or Buddy the Elf, I have next to no idea what they’re talking about.

Sure, the movies had their moments. It’s just that I don’t want to relive those moments. Then again, I did enjoy the local theatre’s production of “Elf,” especially since it featured younglings in the roles.

Maybe that’s what I need to do. Maybe I need to watch younglings perform in theatrical productions of “Christmas Vacation,” “Home Alone,” and “The Santa Clause.”

Or maybe not.

This post originally appeared in the Appalachian News-Express.

Bandit on the run — June 4, 2019

Bandit on the run

Last week I watched “Smokey and the Bandit” for the first time in eons. For the three or four of you who have never seen the classic, it follows the exploits of Bandit (the late great Burt Reynolds) and Snowman (the late great Jerry Reed) as they attempt to smuggle 400 cases of Coors beer from Texarkana, Texas, to Atlanta in 28 hours. At the time the movie was made, Coors wasn’t sold in the eastern part of the United States. Thus, it would have been bootlegging for Bandit and Snowman to transport it across state lines so that the outrageously-dressed gentleman who hired them could then re-sell it.

Anyway, during the bootlegging journey, Bandit picks up a runaway bride, Carrie (Sally Field), whom he quickly dubs Frog. Texas Sheriff Buford T. Justice aka Smokey (Jackie Gleason) is soon in hot pursuit because Carrie – I refuse to liken Field to an amphibian – left Smokey’s son Junior at the altar.

Although “Smokey and the Bandit” was made for something like five bucks and featured what Reynolds characterized as the worst script he ever read, it became the second highest grossing movie of 1977, behind only “Star Wars.” The movie makes absolutely zero sense and contains absolutely zero dramatic tension. I never worried – not even for one nanosecond – that Bandit and Snowman would fail to deliver the beer to the thirsty boys in Atlanta.

But you know what? I love it.

Indeed, I giggle like a school girl every time Bandit emits his trademark chuckle as well as every time Snowman graces the screen with his presence. And Sally Field, who the studio initially didn’t want to cast because they didn’t consider her attractive enough, is simply adorable. By the way, what exactly did they not consider her attractive enough for? Burt Reynolds? Ha. Burt and Sally showed them.

With all that said, here a few questions I have about the movie:

  • Why did Snowman take Fred, his basset hound, on the trip? It appears that Fred left the confines of Snowman’s semi only twice, so the dog either had to hold his water or he had a bladder the size of a Trans Am. Then again, it also appears he ate nothing but a hamburger during the road trip, so maybe he didn’t need to go potty more than twice.
  • How did the Trans Am end the movie in such good shape when Smokey’s cruiser looks like it’s lost several demolition derbies?
  • Why doesn’t Carrie tell Bandit that the fiancé she jilted is the son of a Texas smokey who sounds and looks just like the Texas smokey who’s chasing them? You know, since Bandit wonders aloud several times why a Texas smokey is chasing them.
  • Why does Bandit uncharacteristically want to give up when they’re only four miles from their destination? They’ve bested seemingly every smokey in the southeast, but a helicopter gives him the jitters?

Regardless of these questions, it’s easy to understand how “Smokey and the Bandit” earned classic status. Near the movie’s end, Bandit elicits help from a convoy of semi drivers. After they avert the crisis and he and Carrie and, later, Snowman, speed by, they exchange pleasantries with the cheerful, supportive convoy drivers. It reminds me of the second best piece of advice I’ve ever received – help people when you can.

And that makes me feel good.

This post originally appeared in the Appalachian News-Express.

The Christmas Chronicles — December 19, 2018

The Christmas Chronicles

Last weekend I watched the new holiday movie, “The Christmas Chronicles,” on the Netflix. The flick follows the exploits of a brother and sister who accidentally cause Santa’s sleigh to crash on Christmas Eve.

While Kurt Russell, who plays Santa, makes the movie worthwhile, it is not without flaw. For starters, the title doesn’t evoke feelings of heartwarming, holiday fare. In fact, when I heard that Russell was attached to something called “The Christmas Chronicles,” I figured he was narrating a documentary that chronicled the holiday through the centuries.

What’s more, the elves are downright scary and annoying. They’re a combination of the demonic Chucky doll and the irritating Ewoks with a dash of Smeagol added to the mix.

Anyway, after the sleigh crashes, Santa and the younglings head to a crowded restaurant looking for help. You read that right. The restaurant is crowded – on Christmas Eve.

As Santa goes from table to table, calling skeptical diners by name and mentioning gifts from their childhoods, I’m sure the filmmakers were trying to make a point about how we lose our belief in the magic of Christmas as we age.

But I couldn’t stop wondering why these families weren’t home, opening presents and shoving homemade goodies into their mouths. Of course, I’m sure some of the characters don’t celebrate the holiday due to religious and/or cultural reasons. Could that be true of all of them, though? I don’t think so.

Then again, I’m always surprised to learn that, unlike my immediate and extended family, not everyone starts their Christmas baking early in December for their various pre-holiday spreads. One year, I asked a former coworker of her plans for Christmas Eve. She told me that, as they do every year, she and her husband planned to spend a quiet evening at home. I also learned they don’t do much for Christmas Day, either. Another former coworker complained to me that her husband’s family did nothing for Christmas.

To be clear, the aforementioned folks do not shy away from Christmas due to religious and/or cultural reasons. They’re not orphans. They have loved ones. So, it took all my resolve not to tell the first coworker she could spend a quiet evening at home on the eve of Christmas Eve and ask the second coworker if I could share some recipes with her husband’s family.

Back to the movie. A couple times in “The Christmas Chronicles,” Santa produces vintage presents from the characters’ childhoods in an effort to prove he’s who he says he is. At least one of the characters doesn’t seem to care. Once again, I was shocked. If Santa were to ask me for help, I’d tell him to produce a fully-stocked 1980’s-era Barbie Dreamhouse and I’d drive him anywhere he wanted to go. But those creepy elves would have to find their own ride.

This post originally appeared in the Appalachian News-Express.

All that melodrama allows — June 13, 2014

All that melodrama allows

allthatheavenallows_poster1Rock Hudson is the Star of the Month on Turner Classic Movies, which means TCM has been or will be showing several of his films including Magnificent Obsession and All That Heaven Allows.

Both melodramas were directed by Douglas Sirk and feature Jane Wyman as Hudson’s star-crossed lover, so it’s easy to confuse the two films. Hudson’s professions in the movies also add to the confusion – in Magnificent Obsession he plays a surgeon while in All That Heaven Allows he plays a tree surgeon.

Oh, and Agnes Moorehead, known to TV fans as Bewtiched’s Endora, also co-stars as Wyman’s sidekick in each movie.

Although I can appreciate all the soapy goodness inherent in an engaging melodrama as well as Sirk’s stylized genius, Magnificent Obsession goes a little too far over the top for me. When Hudson’s playboy character wrecks his speedboat, first responders send for the only available resuscitator, which happens to belong to Wyman’s doctor husband who happens to have a fatal heart attack while his resuscitator is saving Hudson.

Following her husband’s death, Wyman encounters grateful people who offer to pay back loans he gave them. Many say they offered to repay the doctor during his lifetime, but he refused, noting they were “already used up.” In today’s terminology, this means the doctor asked the people he helped to “pay it forward.”

After Hudson crashes his car (I told you he was reckless), he meets an artist who received a loan from Wyman’s husband. While explaining the doctor’s “powerful” philosophy to Hudson, the artist alludes to electricity and the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Hudson, who’s obsessed (hence the title) with making things right with Wyman, decides to spread some of his wealth around in the hopes he’ll receive the benefits of this “power.” But he makes the mistake of owning up to his philanthropy, which leads to Wyman becoming blind.

I don’t want to spoil anything for those who haven’t seen the movie, but Hudson does become a surgeon, so I think you can predict the next plot twist. And, despite my reservations, the film is worth watching. Sirk needed to turn down the distracting soundtrack, which reaches a crescendo during discussions of the “power,” but the movie has several wonderful moments. My favorite occurs when blinded Wyman makes her way to the beach on her own and enjoys the company of a young tomboy who reads to her. The camera follows the little girl as she walks across the beach to show Hudson lounging and smoking. It’s clichéd and predictable, but also beautiful and memorable. It’s the type of scene that reminds me why I love movies.

All That Heaven Allows features a much more believable soapy plot in which a well-to-do widow falls for her hunky gardener. Unfortunately for Wyman’s character, her society friends and her spoiled children pitch fits of hissy when she decides to marry Hudson. Wyman bends to their will and they reward her with a TV.

I won’t reveal the ending except to say it involves a peeping-tom deer.

In All That Heaven Allows, Wyman, whom I have loved since she played scheming Angela Channing on Falcon Crest, equals her performances in The Yearling and Johnny Belinda.And that woman could rock a head scarf like no one this side of Valerie Harper.

As for Hudson, well, he is the star of the month.

Every which way but iTunes — June 9, 2014

Every which way but iTunes

I started this blog three years ago to commemorate the 20th anniversary of “Thelma & Louise.” And, for nearly a year, I posted regularly if not religiously.

Then, right after I vowed to pen 40 movie reviews in 40 days, life intervened and I quit blogging. If you’ll allow me to quote “We Need a Little Christmas,” in the ensuing time I’ve “Grown a little sadder, grown a little older.”

Regardless of my past situation, I’m back to blogging. At this point, you might be asking yourself, “What event of epic proportions has awakened her from this slumber?”

That’s simple – the theme from “Every Which Way but Loose” is not on iTunes. As everyone no doubt knows, the late great Eddie Rabbit recorded the song, which served as the theme to the Clint Eastwood/Clyde the orangutan flick of the same name. It’s a beautiful song that explores the fears of commitment and heartache – and in under three minutes.

But you can’t find it on iTunes. Oh, you can find Eddie Rabbit wannabes warbling the song, but it’s either Eddie or nothing as far as I’m concerned. iTunes also offers other Eddie Rabbit releases, but until I can download “Every Which Way but Loose,” I’ll find a way to survive without “I Love a Rainy Night” and “Driving My Life Away.”

Somehow, the song is available for download on Amazon, but I refuse to buy it on principle and because I don’t know if the mp3 version will be compatible with my iPod.

I guess I could always give in and buy Eddie Rabbit’s greatest hits, which includes the song, but this is 2014. Should I really be forced to buy a CD?

40 movies for 40 days: There Will Be Blood — February 25, 2012

40 movies for 40 days: There Will Be Blood

For the fourth movie on my Lent list, I’m exploring Paul Thomas Anderson’s “There Will Be Blood.”

Here’s a quick synopsis: As oilman Daniel Plainview’s (Daniel Day-Lewis) wealth increases, so does his social and moral alienation.

I love “There Will Be Blood” because…

…Day-Lewis consumes the role of Plainview. When it comes to acting, there’s DDL and then everybody else.

…it taught me another use for bowling pins. Continue reading