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The Monkey’s Paw Biblio-Mat!

Once upon a time I was an avid reader.  I no longer read as much as I used to, sadly, but I saw this article at NPR and I just LOVED the idea!  I also loved that they built it themselves, and I bet they will be getting orders for the machines.  Check out the article, or if you’re in a hurry, at least check out the video!

Movie Review: Auntie Mame

“Life is a banquet!  And most poor suckers are starving to death!”

After reviewing The Goonies the other day, I thought about another of my all time favorite movies, Auntie Mame.  Growing up, my mother loved watching “classics” – I had no time for those old-timey movies!  I had Back to the Future to watch!

But Auntie Mame stood out in the mix.  While I could appreciate The Wizard of Oz or Gone with the Wind, they didn’t give me the same thing Auntie Mame did.

First, it stars Rosalind Russell (also known for His Girl Friday and Gypsy) , who absorbed the character of Mame Dennis so well on Broadway that she had no trouble transitioning her to the big screen.  She WAS Mame Dennis.  Every moment you see her on screen, you are totally entranced with her.  The costumes, the flamboyance, the fun that she is – you just can’t look away!

“That’s a B. It’s the first letter of a seven-letter word that means your late father.”


Then there’s the story.  In September of 1929, Mame Dennis is an eccentric socialite known for her vast array of friends and wild parties, but is thrown a curveball when she has to raise her nephew after the death of her brother.  Refusing to compromise on her lust for life and the variety it holds, her lifestyle clashes with the conservative executor of her nephew’s inheritance.  The movie is filled with awkward yet hilarious moments, true-to-life struggles, and life lessons that are meaningful even today.

Patrick Dennis: Is the English lady sick, Auntie Mame?
Auntie Mame: She’s not English, darling… she’s from Pittsburgh.
Patrick Dennis: She sounded English.
Auntie Mame: Well, when you’re from Pittsburgh, you have to do something.

Of course, we cannot forget the supporting cast – Forrest Tucker as the southern gentleman Beauregard Jackson Pickett Burnside, Coral Browne as Mame’s best friend Vera Charles, Fred Clark as the trustee Dwight Babcock, Roger Smith as the elder version of Patrick Dennis (and also still living and with famed actress/wife Ann-Margaret), Patric Knowles as Mame’s long-time friend Lindsey Woolsey, Peggy Cass as Mame’s transcriptionist Agnes Gooch and Yuki Shimodo as Mame’s butler Ito along with other wonderful character actors.

Auntie Mame: Run along to Ito and tell him to bring me a light breakfast – black coffee and a side car. Oh, oh. And a cold towel for your Auntie Vera.
Patrick Dennis: Is she in the guest room again?
Auntie Mame: Since Sunday, dear. Now run along to Ito and hurry my tray, darling. Your Auntie needs fuel.

I tried to find some good clips from the movie that would really highlight some of the best parts, but honestly, I found this video put together with a Hannah Montana song and (oddly enough) I think it does the job!  Enjoy!

Nostalgiathon 2012: The Goonies edition!

In keeping with Misty’s post and Andy’s post, I thought I would take a few moments to revisit one of my all-time favorite movies from my childhood: The Goonies!

This does not mean it was the top of my list, but I don’t recall how many other movies I watched so much that I also owned the book. Sadly (or awesomely) the photos of the book I am using here are from the SECOND copy I received from my mother back in 2003, because my first copy had been read so many times, the cover was long gone and the spine cracked so badly that the book actually was in two pieces and missing most of the photo pages from the middle.

From the start this story appealed to me in SO many ways.  The underdogs going on a great adventure with pirates and treasure maps and skeletons and killers and monsters that like Baby Ruths and weren’t really monsters and Sean Astin being so freaking adorable.  Really, there was no way this could be anything but awesome.

So you have a ragtag bunch of kids who are looking at being shoved out of their neighborhood to make way for the country club golf course.  Mikey is the protagonist here, along with his close friends Mouth (Corey “no the OTHER Corey” Feldman), Chunk (Jeff “Truffle Shuffle” Cohen), and Data (Jonathan “Short Round” Ke Quan).  Mikey’s older brother Brand (Josh “even hotter when I got older” Brolin), Andy (Kerri “I’m a redhead but they made me kind of blonde in this one” Green) the popular cheerleader, and Stef (Martha “always the go-to actress for the gangly, slightly surly sidekick” Plimpton), Andy’s friend round out the rest of the kids on this adventure.

But wait, the cast doesn’t stop with these awesome child actors!  The first scene introduces you to the Fratellis, a family of criminals:

Look closely enough and you’ll see Robert “oh THAT guy” Davi, Joe “oh that OTHER guy” Pantoliano, and Anne “evil grandmother figure” Ramsey.  This cast could not be beat.

As a side note, one of the reasons I liked about the book over the movie was the extra scenes they didn’t have time to fit in the movie.  For instance, did you know there was an octopus in the water around the pirate ship?

How an octopus of that size would survive in a fairly cut off cavern is obviously puzzling, but WHO CARES!?!  IT’S A GIANT OCTOPUS!

So yeah, this movie had everything when I was 11 years old – great cast, fantastic story, excitement, adventure, love, comedy, drama, bad guys, good guys and everything in between.  And Cyndi Lauper providing the theme song.  What more could you possibly want?

I give this a 5 out of 5 Octopii (since the poor thing had his scene cut and all, seems fair to me).

TETRIS: The Trailer

The next BLOCKBUSTER?  (*snort*)

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