Archive for the ‘movies’ Category

When my kids were in their teens, they became followers of The Princess Bride cult! They discovered the movie and watched it over and over and over again. We bought the VHS tape then the DVD. My daughter now owns it on Blu Ray. It got to the point where they could recite the dialog as the movie played. When they had friends over, they watched the movie. In the hundreds of times they watched it, I never sat down to watch it with them. I would me in ear shot and most of the time I could see them, especially when it was a mixed gender group of friends watching it, but I always gave them room and never sat down to watch it. Every time they watched it, I would remind myself to sit down and watch it some day when they were out of the house but it never happened.

Then this weekend linkup was announced and I figured it was my chance to watch, at least I would have an excuse, and it is on Netflix so no money involved. Yay. So I watched it last week. Did I like it? Well, I kept meaning to watch it again so I could write a good post about it but I guess I didn’t like it enough to watch it a second time. Why? Well, something you don’t know about me is that I don’t find a lot of “humor” funny. I don’t like slapstick. I don’t like the ridiculous being passed as humor. I don’t like “jokes” about bodily functions. Yeah, I’m kind of a dud that way. So I didn’t find a lot of humor in it. Yes, there was some humor that I thought was truly funny. And even though I grew up in the times of the women’s liberation movement and hated it, having been brought up in a very traditional hispanic family and believing that the woman’s place is indeed in the home and all that. Somehow along the way, from the 1970’s to now, I grew up and realized that I was wrong. So it kind of bothered me that it was all men made out to be the heroes and it also bothered me that Buttercup expected everything to be done for her as if she were a fragile flower. I didn’t like the “As you wish” attitude.

What did I like? I loved that it was a grandparent reading to a grandson. The family aspect of it was wonderful. The reading being passed on from one generation to another was very authentic to me. It showed the value of generations of a family interacting with one another and it showed how storytelling and reading are valuable. And even though the grandson was at the age where he did not at first value the reading or the grandfather, by then end, he valued both and looked forward to more visits from the grandfather and, presumably, more storytelling. I love storytelling and I have a lot of stories that I’ve told my kids and students. I love how at first they aren’t too interested but as soon as the story gets going, they are hooked! That part was very real to me. I’ve had it happen.

If I were rewriting it (and I will admit that I have not read the book) I would write it as the grandfather telling/reading the story to both a grandson and a granddaughter. I would write in some kind of dialog about the gender roles and maybe, by the end of the story, each of the grandchildren might see some valid points in the other one’s views. Oh, and I would clean up the language so it would be more understandable, a little more modern. I think that would add to the story.

Will I watch it again? Yeah. I will. Not sure when but maybe the next time we have a cold, rainy weekend and I don’t have grandchild duty, I’ll put it on and give it another look. Then maybe I will write about it once again.

Do I recommend it? Yup! I hear the book is absolutely wonderful, too. Maybe I’ll pick up the book one day.

If you’d like to read more blog posts about The Princess Bride (book and movie), check out the linkup!

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I’m not in to sports. My favorite answer to the question “What is your favorite sport?” is usually something like “any one I don’t have to watch or play in.” Yup. I don’t like sports. I don’t follow sports. However, if there is a local team, I will take note of it. And in the final and championship games of baseball and football, I usually pick a team to root for (and because I lived most of my adult life in the Los Angeles area, my team is usually the Dodgers and up here where I now live, for football it has to be the Seahawks and right now I’m thinking Super Bowl Repeat!). I do get excited when my alma mater’s football team (Stanford Cardinal) makes it in the Pac 12 playoffs (I was there when they were the Pac 8) and if they get to the Rose Bowl, wow!.

I grew up with three brothers and a dad that followed sports so I know something about the games, mostly football and baseball but also basketball. I also married a man that followed every single sport there is and then some. Then there is my son who has always followed baseball and football. Through my son, I began following his favorite teams. For baseball it was the Dodgers, then when he went to college in the SF bay area it was the Oakland Athletics. Now he lives in Seattle and it is all about the Mariners.

But I don’t watch sports movies. Why torture myself? If I’m going to watch sports I might as well have it be a live game where I don’t know the outcome.

However, there are some sports movies that I will watch whenever given the opportunity because they say so much, not about sports in particular, but about human nature and perseverance and fairness. In fact, I’m watching one of those favorites right now. I’ll tell you about it in a bit.

Which do I like to watch? For the pure love of the game of baseball, there is no better movie than The Sandlot. It’s about kids who get together to play pickup games of softball. It’s about other things too but the game is the core and I love watching that one. For a wonderful football movie? Remember the Titans is not only about football but about race relations and determination and team spirit. I’m not a Denzel fan but he’s excellent in this one. That brings us to my all time favorite sports movie, this one about basketball. Hoosiers. Like Remember the Titans, Hoosiers is a true story. It’s set in 1954 and brings together a new coach (Gene Hackman) with a questionable past, a team that is missing its star player who refuses to play since the death of his father, Indiana basketball fans who will do anything for the game but not accept the new coach, and a nice little love story on the back burner. This movie has so much going for it. It gets me every time and although I know how each game is going to end, I am on the edge of my seat for every game in the movie. Isn’t that the mark of a classic? It sucks you in and you relive it every time.

There are other good sport movies and sport related movies that I also enjoy (The Mighty Ducks, The Wrestler, The Blind Side, Rudy, Radio, We Are marshall, Rocky, and The Karate Kid come to mind) but these are the favorites, the ones that are all about the sport and how it builds character. If you haven’t seen my three favorites, they’re easy to find to stream online. Next time there is nothing to watch and it’s cold and wet outside, look one of them up and take a look. See if I’m right!

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