THANK YOU, THANK YOU, I WILL SAY
AT MY WORK AND AT MY PLAY
I have been thoroughly entertained as of late. Some sizzling fast-paced television, a bunch of good movies, and lots of exciting sports have kept me happy. Maybe it's a wave of good vibes. Maybe I am easily amused. Maybe I have been enjoying all of this stuff because I have been avoiding the things I really should be doing. Whatever the case may be, this holiday season not only am I thankful for a great girlfriend, fun faithful friends, and a fantastic family, but I am also thankful for quality in cinema, art, music, books, television, sports, cyberspace, travel, architecture, hiking trails, pets, weddings, beach houses, central heat and air conditioning, and a very comfortable bed.
"The Sopranos" episode on Sunday was simply awesome. Quite a rebound from the weak segment a week ago. I have wickedly mixed emotions about the finale. On one hand, I am anxious as hell to see what goes down. There have been so many fuses lit, I can't wait to see which ones explode. On the other hand, I am dreading the emptiness I'm positive I will feel following the 75-minute season ender.
"24" is a show on fire. Kiefer Sutherland continues to blow me away with some of the most astounding acting I've ever seen on television. And, like last season, the show becomes more fun to watch as the plot unravels one hour at a time. I don't know if anyone else has noticed or not, but Elisha Cuthbert, the girl playing Jack Bauer's daughter Kim, has blossomed into a fine young woman. Dennis Haysbert has improved his acting in playing President David Palmer. But it's still hard to buy this presidential regime in light of the great lengths "The West Wing" has gone to in cementing Martin Sheen in my mind as the ultimate Leader of the Free World.
Speaking of Dennis Haysbert... My Girl and I went to see "Far From Heaven" this weekend and we both thought it was outstanding. Actually, "outstanding" was my description. It was sort of my word for the weekend. But My Girl definitely liked it a lot, as evidenced by the fact that she cried at several key points during the movie. The first time, I turned and asked incredulously if she was crying. She get a little mad because she thought I was making fun of her, but I wasn't. I was just surprised that she was crying so early into the movie. I wasn't sure that the movie had earned that much emotion yet. Apparently, it did for My Girl. I thought it was beautiful to look at, full of rich performances, most notably by Julianne Moore, and in all facets, a director's movie. The attention to detail was impressive. From the way the title splashes across the screen to the period costumes and cars to the melodramatic story to the end credits, this movie was a heartfelt homage to the fifties. Kudos to Todd Haynes. And Dennis Haysbert wasn't half bad.
My Girl and I also watched "Harold and Maude" on DVD this weekend. While the movie ranks near the top of my all-time list, My Girl had never seen it before. Well, after she watched it and liked it very much, she remembered that she had seen some of the movie before. She speculated that she tried to watch it in college while under the influence and fell asleep. I love that movie more and more every time I watch it.
I also watched Escape From Alcatraz" on DVD on J-Yoz's strong recommendation. First time I had seen it. I liked the intensity a lot. It's such a straightforward story without much in the way of subplot. Eastwood gets sent to Alcatraz, the Warden's a prick, no one's ever escaped, Eastwood comes up with a plan to escape, gets some help from his buddies, and busts out. However, it is gripping, and I noticed a bunch of little things in the movie that were used later in "The Shawshank Redemption". I think a lot of younger people hold "Shawshank" in such high regard without knowing its lineage. To those people, I would recommend "Alcatraz" and another of my favorites "Stalag 17". I'm wondering, did they close Alcatraz because the real Frank Morris broke out? Did Morris and his buddies escape successfully or did they drown?