Going to the Movies with my Mom, Redux

Going to the Movies with my Mom, Redux

central-intelligence-dwayne-johnson-kevin-hartAs I’ve written before, I owe my love of movies to my mother. It’s been a rough year on the movie front for us. Several months ago, my mother had surgery to have a tumor removed from her pancreas. Though the operation was a “success” and the tumor was removed, she needed to undergo some light chemo treatments to “remove the microscopic particles we may have missed.” She did so but, unfortunately, the treatments did not remove the microscopic particles. In fact, she is officially stage four. Cancer has returned not only to her pancreas, it has also spread to her lungs and liver. She has had to increase the chemo treatments, a situation that leaves her weak, tired, and generally depressed. The entire process has taken a toll not just on my mom, but also on my dad who sits by feeling helpless to alleviate her pain. He has gone so far as to say that he can accept her dying, because it’s something we will all do one day, but he cannot accept her suffering. Read more

Sexism in Survival Situations: What We Have and Haven’t Learned from Steven Spielberg

Sexism in Survival Situations: What We Have and Haven’t Learned from Steven Spielberg

Like many movie fans, especially those who grew up in the 70s and 80s, I awaited the release of Jurassic World with both excitement and apprehension. I really wanted to love this movie, but I was worried that it wouldn’t live up to expectations. After watching it, I was still left split. I liked it, but I was disappointed. It looked like a Steven Spielberg film and, at times, felt like a Steven Spielberg film, but this was no Steven Spielberg film, even if his name is listed as “Executive Producer.” Below are six takeaways from the movie that show what current filmmakers and their audiences learned and failed to learn from watching Spielberg, especially his fantasy/monster/family films, over the past three decades. Read more

Going to the Movies with my Mom

Going to the Movies with my Mom

dwayne-johnson-snitchSo, I have to admit it. One of the main reasons I’m such a movie buff is my mom. Like me, she loves watching movies, preferably on a huge screen, with a tub of popcorn in her lap. In fact, it’s a holiday tradition at Thanksgiving for everyone to go to the movies together. I know that seems odd, but Thanksgiving—like Christmas—is actually a pretty big opening day at the movies. But the holidays aren’t the only time we hit the cinema. We accompany each other throughout the year, with or without the rest of the family in tow. Read more

And the Oscar goes to… (Director’s Cut)

And the Oscar goes to… (Director’s Cut)

Oscar StatuesI’m still trying to figure out how it happened. He did everything he was supposed to do. He made a movie that is everything movies are supposed to be. It had thrills. It had adventure. It had laughs. But more than anything, it accomplished the impossible: both critics AND audiences loved it. As the box office numbers grew, so did the accolades. And not just the early critical accolades, but the big prizes: The Golden Globes, the BAFTAs, the Director’s Guild. But, when the big moment came, when the nominees for the Academy Awards were announced, his name was not heard when the nominees for Best Director were read. The film was there for Best Picture, but not the man behind the camera who had brought the vision to life. Read more

Blasts from the Past

Blasts from the Past

Blasts from the Past

This past week I did a double-dip at my local movie theater and took in the “comeback” films for two of the three great 80s action film stars, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone (the third being Bruce Willis, whose own A Good Day to Die Hard—the fifth installment in the series—opens this week). I grew up watching Sly and Ah-nold taking out bad guys and blowing up anything (and anyone) who got in their way. So when I found out that The Last Stand and Bullet to the Head were coming out just a week apart, I was pumped. Read more