Tag Archives: Harry Potter

Stoned

13 Jul

Blarney Stone

Sharon Stone

Stony Brook University

Stony Brook

Fred Flintstone

Stone Cold Steve Austin

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Harry Potter

Emma Stone

Stone Mountain

“Stoned Cold Picnic” by The 5th Dimension

5th Dimension

The Rolling Stones

The Sword in the Stone

The Stone Pony

Stone Pony

Stonehenge

Linda Ronstadt and the Stone Poneys

“Like a Rolling Stone” by Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan Stone

“Would You Lay With Me (In a Field of Stone)” by David Allan Coe

Cold Stone Creamery

Alicia Silverstone

Alicia Silverstone

Stone Temple Pilots

Birth Stone

Gemstone

Gemstone

Stone Phillips

Sly and the Family Stone

The Rosetta Stone

Rosetta Stone

Oliver Stone

Philosopher’s Stone

Kidney Stone (unfortunately)

Who Needs Kevin Bacon?

5 Oct

I have been sitting here trying to figure out what to write about, and I finally decided to write about what is on television. Encore is showing The Longest Day, a 1962 movie about the invasion of Normandy on D-Day. Obviously, this is an important historic event, and numerous movies have been made about it. What amazes me about this movie is the ensemble cast of huge actors from that time in Hollywood history. All this time, people have been playing “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” when they could have been playing “One Degree of The Longest Day“.

It stars John Wayne and Jeffrey Hunter six years after they were in The Searchers.

It stars John Wayne and Robert Mitchum four years before they made El Dorado.

Sean Connery and Gert Frobe appeared in this film two years before Connery, as James Bond, heard Frobe, as Auric Goldfinger, say, “No, Mr. Bond. I expect you to die.”

It has Richard Todd, who was Ian Fleming’s first choice to play James Bond in Dr. No. Interestingly. Dr. No came out in 1962, as well.

I mean, this thing has everybody in it, and there are connections all over the place. To prevent having a post that drags out, I’ll just list a bunch of the actors and my favorite film of theirs.

Eddie Albert – The Longest Yard (although he was also good in Green Acres)

Richard Burton – Cleopatra (which I think was being filmed at the same time)

Red Buttons – Hatari! (which also starred John Wayne)

Sean Connery – Goldfinger (the best James Bond movie ever)

Henry Fonda – Once Upon a Time in the West (a great Spaghetti Western)

Gert Frobe – Goldfinger (the title character in the only James Bond movie to show a Kentucky Fried Chicken)

Jeffrey Hunter – The Searchers (which also starred John Wayne)

Peter Lawford – Ocean’s Eleven (a member of the Rat Pack who married into the Kennedy clan)

Roddy McDowall – Planet of the Apes (also in Cleopatra with Richard Burton)

Sal Mineo – Giant (appeared with Elizabeth Taylor, who was also in Cleopatra)

Robert Mitchum – Five Card Stud (starred with Dean Martin, who was also in Ocean’s Eleven and was a member of the Rat Pack)

Edmond O’Brien – The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (which also starred John Wayne)

Leslie Phillips – Harry Potter Series (as the voice of the Sorting Hat)

Robert Ryan – The Wild Bunch (a movie that’s bloodier than The Longest Day)

Rod Steiger – The Amityville Horror (there was a horror in that house but not the one they show in the movie)

Robert Wagner – Broken Lance (married to Natalie Wood, who starred in The Searchers with John Wayne and Jeffrey Hunter)

Stuart Whitman – The Day the Earth Stood Still (also starred in The Commancheros with John Wayne in 1961)

John Wayne – The Searchers (my favorite actor of all time)

Richard Dawson – The Running Man (but he was better on The Match Game and Family Feud)

Bernard Fox – Big Jake (which also starred John Wayne, but he was also in my favorite television show, The Andy Griffith Show)

So, I present the game, “One Degree of The Longest Day“.

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.

For the Birds

14 Jan

Over the holidays, my brother took his family to Orlando to visit the various theme parks. They hit all of the Disney ones – Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios. Then, they headed over to Universal to experience the Islands of Adventure in general and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter specifically. They experienced thrills and chills; waited in long lines because it was the busiest week of the year; and, saw plenty of muggles dressed like wizards. However, they all agreed (except for one) that the funniest thing happened at a concession stand.

To set up the story, I need to explain my brother’s family. It is the statistical norm with the parents and two kids. The oldest son is 17 and reminds every one of Sheldon on “The Big Bang Theory”. I realize that it sounds like bragging, but he honestly is the smartest person I know. He aces all of his classes and is line for the Ivy League. His brother is 14 and is as much a smart ass as his older brother is smart. The young one is always making wisecracks and thinks that he has a way with the women. In short, he is full of himself. With this dynamic, these two are on each other all the time.

So, there they are roaming around Universal and heading toward Harry Potter World when they spy a concession serving cinnamon and sugar on a stick. I have no idea what it looks like, but it has to taste awesome. Of course, both of them want one. They mosey up to the bar; order their sticks; and, turn to walk away. That’s when a huge bird swoops down from behind; grabs the youngest one’s stick; and, before he realizes it, is munching on the stick in the top of a tree. My nephew stands there stunned as dozens of people, including muggles dressed as wizards, burst out laughing. One kid with a wand starts saying, “No refunds! No refunds!” My brother, his wife and my other nephew all agreed that it was the highlight of the trip.

Amazingly, the concession stand workers say that was the fourth time it had happened that day. Birds hang around all of the time and steal people’s food. Despite the claims of the wand-kid, they gave him another stick which he crouched over and protected like gold. Perhaps, they should get Harry and the gang to put a spell on the birds and make them like broccoli or some other unfun food.