Archive for the ‘Movies’ Category

For all you youngbloods out there, appearing on The Ed Sullivan Show was the pinnacle for new rock artists. To appear on that stage meant you’d made it, that you’d hit the big time. Many a Rock God had bowed at the feet of Mr. Sullivan, including Elvis, The Beatles and many more. Sometimes, this being the 1960s and all, Ed would ask a band to tame down their lyrics for Sunday evening prime time television. An example was when The Rolling Stones were asked to change the words “Let’s Spend the Night Together” to “Let’s Spend Some Time Together” which they did. Which brings us to The Doors and The Lizard King himself, Mr. Jim Morrison. Once again Ed asked a band to change the lyrics, this time for the song “Light My Fire.” Morrison was supposed to sing, “Girl we couldn’t get much better” rather than “Girl we couldn’t get much higher” because the latter was considered to be a drug reference. During rehearsal Morrision did just that, but on the live TV broadcast he reverted to the original lyrics. That was Jim Morrison in a nutshell. The end result was that Ed was pissed and The Doors forever banned from The Ed Sullivan Show. Here ’tis:

And here’s the scene in the movie The Doors that depicts the incident:

Tough Choices, Part 3

Posted: June 27, 2020 in Movies, Opinion, Things I Love
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Oh, man. This one will be debated for sure.

Tough Choices, Part 2

Posted: June 27, 2020 in Movies, Opinion, Things I Love
Tags:

Another tough one.

Whaddaya say?

Really Ohio? Must be a Cleveland thing. Wait. Maybe a Joe Burrow thing? I’m so confused.

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JOHN RAMBO.

Rambo defeated Jack Reacher, King Leonidas, John Wick, Rooster Cogburn, William Munny and The Man With No Name on the way to the championship. Thanks for voting!

We are now down to the Final 2. The Championship Matchup. The battle to end all battles – The Man With No Name vs. John Rambo. On his way to the final Rambo took out Jack Reacher, King Leonidas, John Wick, Rooster Cogburn, and William Munny (Unforgiven). The Man With No Name’s march to the finale was no easier as he defeated Jules Winnfield (Pulp Fiction), Tyler Durden (Fight Club), James Bond, and Lee (Enter the Dragon).

Let’s do this.

And here we are – The Final 4. Many great movie badasses have fallen and these remain. Who will survive?

Badass with the most votes gets a bye! Who ya got?

Man oh man. What matchups we have in Round 3. Take a look:

James Bond vs. Snake Plissken

Frank Dux vs. William Munny

Indiana Jones vs. Rooster Cogburn

Doc Holiday vs. Harry Callahan

Jason Bourne vs. Lee

John Rambo vs. John Wick

The Man With No Name (BYE)

Remember, you can vote once from any device – laptop, phone, kid’s phone, etc.

We had some major ass whoopings in Round 1, some tight battles, but in the end half of our entries were eliminated and half advanced. That’s how tournaments work, you know. Anywho, get ready for Round 2. By the way, Snake Plissken drew a bye this round.

HERE. WE. GO!

 

Who’s the baddest movie character of all-time? Only humans are allowed so there are no supeheroes in the bunch. Let’s GOOOO!

Thsi time of year is when I would be teaching about Gettysburg, and I’d always show the documentary “Gettysburg” to my students. As always, like when George Washington decided to turn and attack the Hessians in 1776, we’d discuss how one human’s courageous decision could change the course of history. Here we have Joshua Chamberlain at Gettysburg, men out of ammunition, yet they had to protect the flank at Little Round Top. Faced with a life-altering decison, Chamberlain decided to fix bayonets and charge. This scene, to this day, gives me chills.

What say you? Vote for one!

Most of are missing our sports right now, amirite? But hey, at least we can return to our favorite sports movies. You may vote for a minimum of five, so get to it!

So good. So, so good.

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Freddie Krueger beat out Alex P. Keaton in Ohio? Shocking.

Very well done.

Classic.

Brilliant!

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After eight long years, Michael Scott’s legendary screenplay has been released to the masses. If you a fan of The Office it is certainly a must-see. Enjoy . . .

This was a tough one. There have been so many great sports movies. That said, I whittled my list to 18, with several Honorable Mentions. Let us proceed . . .

Brian’s Song – I absolutely loved this TV movie, and I vividly recall watching it with my father in our living room back in 1971. When Billy Dee Williams (as Gale Sayers) made that speech I was in tears. Great, great movie. Factoid: Gale Sayers and Brian Piccolo were the first interracial teammates in the history of the National Football League.

Caddyshack

Well der. Of course Caddyshack makes the list. Here’s my favorite scene. Anyone who’s ever played golf has heard this epic line when trying to make a big putt. “Noonan!”

Breaking Away

A largely forgotten classic. It’s an amazing little movie about a bike race in Indiana. Here’s the climactic finale. Victory for the Cutters!

When We Were Kings

When We Were Kings is a 1996 Oscar-winning documentary film about the famous “Rumble in the Jungle” heavyweight championship match between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman. The fight was held in Zaire in 1974. It won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature, and for good reason. Ali was incredible. Here’s the trailer:

 

Field of Dreams

Just a mystical, dream-like movie. One of a kind really. My favorite favorite quote was from Archie Graham: “We just don’t recognize life’s most significant moments while they’re happening. Back then I thought, ‘Well, there’ll be other days’. I didn’t realize that that was the only day.”

Miracle

Ah, the film about the greatest upset in the history of sports, the USA hockey team’s victory over the mighty U.S.S.R. A highlight was Coach Herb Brooks and his pregame speech, delivered by Kurt Russell. Knowing what was about to happen, it still gives me chills.

 

The Longest Yard (1974)

In my opinion the original was much better than the recent Adam Sandler remake. Hey, it had Burt Reynolds, what more could you ask for?

 

Rudy

Yeah, yeah, he may have been offsides on that play. I don’t care. When Rudy gets in that game after years of paying his dues it brings a tear to my eye every damn time. Every. Damn. Time.

The Karate Kid

“Sweep the leg.” Yeah, we all thought Danny LaRusso was finished when Johnny Lawrence just about broke his leg. Not so fast, Cobra Kai . . .

 

Happy Gilmore

Any movie that has Adam Sandler getting pummeled by Bob Barker is alright by me. “The price is wrong, bitch.”

The Sandlot

Just an All-American classic that gave us the line, “You’re killin’ me Smalls.” Love it.

Secretariat

If this final scene doesn’t get to you you have no heart.

“It’s impossible. No horse can take this pace.” 

“Let him run, Ronnie. LET HIM RUN!”

We Are Marshall

The incredible movie about the plane crash that took the lives of every Marshall football player and coach on the team in 1970. The administration didn’t want to continue the program, but the students did. This is one helluva scene:

Rocky

I couldn’t have a list of favorite sports movies without Rocky, now could I? “Adrian! ADRIAN!”

Bonus video from Rocky II when Adrian wakes up. “Win.”

 

Hoosiers

My favorite sports movie, hands down. Based on a true story, it’s about the time Indiana’s tiny Hickory High knocked off giant Muncie Central in the State Championship game thanks to a last second shot by Jimmy Chitwood. Best line? “I’ll make it.”

Teen Wolf

Well, der. A wolfman playing basketball? Sure. Warning: Contains some of the worst basketball playing these eyes have seen.

Major League

With Charlie Sheen as Ricky “Wild Thing” Vaughn, this movie was destined for greatness. Behold . . .

Honorable Mention:

Eight Men Out, He Got Game, The Replacements, Remember the Titans, Bang the Drum Slowly, The Natural, Raging Bull, Any Given Sunday, Tin Cup, The Wrestler, Pride of the Yankees, Ali, Invincible, Coach Carter, Blue Chips, Slap Shot, White Men Can’t Jump, Friday Night Lights, Foxcatcher, Chariots of Fire, Seabiscuit, Bull Durham, Hoop Dreams

Sorry rest of the US of A, but the Buckeye State might just have you all beat in this one. I mean, The Shawshank Redemption? Seriously? Tough to top.

Note: If you haven’t seen The Shawshank Redemption you can no longer be my friend, are an ignoramus of the highest order, and you should be beaten about the head and shoulders with a bag of lugnuts.

Note 2: Seriously Iowa? That’s all you got?

I’m sort of disappointed in Seagal.

The album “Let It Be” by The Beatles was supposed to be a trip back to their roots – pared down, simple, no orchestration or strings, no overdubs, and no overwhelming production. They wanted the album to have an almost “live” feel. This from a band that had recorded albums like “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” in which the studio work and production were groundbreaking in their complexity. Bottom line, The Beatles wanted to get back to their roots.

Here’s the album track list:

Side 1

  1. Two of Us
  2. Dig a Pony
  3. Across the Universe
  4. I Me Mine
  5. Dig It
  6. Let It Be
  7. Maggie May

Side 2

  1. I’ve Got a Feeling
  2. One After 909
  3. The Long and Winding Road
  4. For You Blue
  5. Get Back

The songs range from the silly (“Dig It”, “Dig a Pony” and Maggie May”) to the rockin’ (“Get Back”) to the almost country sounding (“One After 909”) to the beautifully legendary (“Let It Be”, “Across the Universe” and “The Long and Winding Road”). It was a truly a wonderful album in spite of the cracks that were beginning to show, fissures that would eventually tear the group apart.

Quick note – although “Let It Be” was the last album released by The Beatles, it was actually recorded before Abbey Road.

As I mentioned before, during the recording of “Let It Be” the relationships between all four Beatles was strained severely, almost to its breaking point. It was so strained, in fact, that the guys became so tired of the in-fighting they allowed manager Allen Klein (who Paul hated but John liked) to take over the finishing touches on the album. Klein ended up handing the project over to legendary “Wall of Sound” producer Phil Spector, who proceeded to completely defeat the original purpose of the album by adding orchestras and female background singers (which The Beatles had never used before) to songs like “The Long and Winding Road” and “Let It Be.” Paul McCartney has stated publicly many times that when he first heard the final product he was aghast at the results.

Years later, in 2003, the album was re-released by McCartney as “Let It Be . . . Naked” in an attempt to rectify the mistake and let the public listen to the album as it was originally intended. The result was a beautiful album of simple songs in which the voices and musicianship stand magnificently on their own.

Here’s a comparison of the original release of “The Long and Winding Road” with strings and background vocals, followed by the originally intended pared down, simple version:

Long and Winding Road (with added vocals and orchestration)

Long and Winding Road (original “naked” version)

Big difference. Sure, the first version is beautiful, but I much prefer the second one, especially since Paul wanted it to be heard that way originally. Again, all the added fluff went against the spirit of the album, which was to “get back” to the roots of The Beatles.

Here are some videos from the movie “Let It Be” which was basically a documentary regarding the making of the album. It includes the legendary surprise “rooftop concert”. Great stuff:

Let It Be

The Long and Winding Road

Get Back

Let It Be Factoids:

  • Piano legend Billy Preston played keyboard on the album.
  • During the recording sessions, tensions between George Harrison and Paul McCartney, grew so heated that Harrison left the studio.
  • Although recorded in 1969 and released on “Let it Be” a year later, the song “One After 909” was one of John Lennon and Paul McCartney’s first collaborations, dating back to 1959.
  • In the United States, advance orders for the album were the largest in the industry up to that point – over 3.7 million units.
  • Legend has it that when McCartney sang “Get back, get back, get back to where you once belonged” he was looking directly at Yoko Ono, who was in studio during the recording.