Tag Archives: Bruce Willis

It Takes a Village

20 Jul

There is a neighborhood in Nashville that sits between Vanderbilt University and Belmont University. It is called Hillsboro Village and is home to a collection of eclectic stores, restaurants and hangout spots. It is also one of my favorite parts of the city and the place that I spent last evening.

The choices of Hillsboro Village are plentiful, and I have tried most of them. Painting ceramics at All Fired Up is something cool. Bosco’s is a great place to grab an appetizer and a drink. There is also Fido’s, an old pet shop that has been turned into a coffee shop. Perhaps, the most famous spot in the Village is The Pancake Pantry, a breakfast mecca where Nashvillians stand in the waiting line as a rite of passage.

My girlfriend and I didn’t hit any of those places last night because we were headed to the best thing about the neighborhood, the Belcourt Theater.

It is not large and decadent like Atlanta’s Fox Theater, but it has an interesting history. Opened in 1925, the theater showed silent films and became the temporary home of the Grand Ole Opry. Later, it became a playhouse and concert hall. Today, it is a great place to see independent films and concerts. Big Bonus! Alcohol is sold at the same concession stand where you can buy Goober’s.

We saw Moonrise Kingdom, a Wes Anderson film with Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton and Frances McDormand. However, the stars were the two kids who the story revolved around. In case someone wants to see the movie, I will not write about the story, but it was a great film. I always like seeing big stars in small movies because they seem to be doing it for love rather than money.

After the movie, we walked across the street to Taps, a restaurant in an old house.

I wanted to sit on the front porch and enjoy the evening but found the tables filled. At first, I was disappointed to sit inside, but it turned into a treat that only Nashville can provide. On the small stage, if it was even a stage, songwriters took turns playing their songs. Now, songwriters are not great singers, but, when they start playing stuff that you recognize, you listen anyway. The last songwriter had songs that had been recorded by Kenny Rogers, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and George Strait. Here was a successful songwriter singing his songs in a small restaurant on a side street. As I said, only in Nashville.

What’s more is that he was doing it in a glorified hamburger joint. But, it was a heck of a hamburger. Taps specializes in stuffed hamburgers, and mine was stuffed with habanero and jalapeno peppers. I believe that it was the best hamburger I’ve ever eaten.

Oh, another thing that may only happen in Nashville. My table had Kris Kristofferson’s face painted on it. I tweeted that fact, and a former student and fellow blogger wanted me to link a picture. Alas, I forgot to take one.

The Horror of It All

15 Feb

Recently, my nephew and I saw The Woman in Black, the horror movie starring Daniel Radcliffe. When I told my girlfriend that we were going, she immediately started in on the “I Hate Horror Movies” conversation. She went on about how she doesn’t understand why they are enjoyable and how she can’t sleep if she watches one. Of course, she has become a pro at watching movies through her fingers. After we saw the movie, she asked if I had to lock my bedroom door and sleep with the covers over my head.

Well, nothing like that happened. In fact, the only thing that scared me about The Woman in Black was the future prospect of Radcliffe’s acting career. The audience consisted mostly of mothers with their Tween daughters, and I reckon they thought it was going to be Harry Potter versus Valdemort’s younger sister. With that being said, I must admit that there were a few times when I thought he should just pull out his wand and get rid of the bitch. That’s unfortunate for Radcliffe because I am afraid that he is heading down the path that Sean Connery took after James Bond. Although Connery made some good films, people did not accept his new roles, and his career stagnated until it recovered with The Untouchables. The one thing I fear more than Radcliffe’s future is being forced to watch a screening of Zardoz.

This is probably a good time to get back to my original point. The Woman in Black did its best to scare me, but no “scary” movie has ever accomplished that. It’s just a movie. I have never understood why people fear something on a screen and jump at every noise when they get home. I say again that it’s just a movie. However, my girlfriend’s comments did make me think. Have I ever locked my bedroom door after a movie? No. Have I ever slept with my head under the covers? No. But, I have had a few movies that stayed with me for a while. They did not make me afraid, but they did give me the creeps and made me think. These are the ones that will never get a second viewing by me.

Misery – The idea of being trapped or held prisoner has always bothered me, but a lot of movies play off that theme. This one really hit the cringe quotient when Kathy Bates took a sledge-hammer to James Caan’s legs. He got massacred as Sonny Corleone and played the toughest sport ever in Rollerball, but nothing compared to this. It took days to get the sound of bone crunching out of my head.

Pet Sematary – My friends and I saw this one at the old multiplex in town. The details have faded, but I know shit starts getting up and walking out of a cemetery good things will not happen. This is not a very scary movie on any scale, so I don’t know what hit me wrong. It was just creepy. (Oh, one more thing. I suppose the kid could be considered a zombie since he is the living dead, and that brings up a pet peeve of mine. When did voodoo lose the monopoly on zombies? Now, it’s always a disease that causes it.)

The Ring – This was a cool movie in every way. Cool concept. Cool filming. I was thoroughly entertained until the epilogue. When the girl crawled out of the television, I got creeped to the max. Of all the films, I carried this one the longest and didn’t watch television in my bedroom for a long time.

Paranormal Activity – This is one of the best horror concepts in a long time, and it scares me to think they will mess it up with continuous sequels. The latter ones a weaker than the first, but that could be because it was so great. It increased my creep factor by placing the story in an everyday setting about everyday people. There are no weird priests or spooky fog in this one. It’s in a suburban house that could be down the street. Or could be the one you live in.

The Grudge – I don’t remember much about his one, but I can never forget the creepy ghost kid that looked like Mikey from those old cereal commercials. The only difference is that after he ate anything – the anything turned out to be rat poison. And, that black blob thing was kind of strange as well. It was the scariest blob since James Arness in The Blob.

Twelve Monkeys – This movie is not really part of the genre. It is more of a desolate future kind of story. However, it stayed with me for a while. As I wrote earlier, I am not big on movies that show people being trapped, and I am sure my therapist would say there is some deep psychological reason for this. And, this movie is about being trapped in a time loop. We don’t know it until the end when Bruce Willis realizes it. It was a great movie until I figured out that the story was going to keep going and going like some evil Energizer bunny in Groundhog Day.

There you have it. The movies that stayed with me even though they didn’t scare me. I promise they didn’t, and I didn’t cover my eyes once.