It’s All Swedish To Me!

In honour of our fine young Swedish exchange student,  Jesper, I could not help myself but give you one of the best (ish) movies from Sweden..

Now, I have to say, as a lover of foreign movies, I came to the conclusion that I need to watch them when I am NOT ironing. I do like to wile away the boring ironing times by watching something.. but  as good as I am at  ironing, I cannot for the life of me do that and follow subtitles at the same time. But Gimme, gimme a movie with music and I can be a dancing ironing queen!

Now,  you may be forgiven if you think the best(ish) movie  is “The Girl With The Something Tatoo”  Sorry and all.. but… no.   It’s not. I don’t like graphic movies that come with a warning..  Here is the one I am thinking of, but, my friends, it also comes with a warning.. although not quite in the same frame as “The Girl..” I must tell you, it may still  not be a pretty sight. This one is  from the renowned Swedish Director Lars Hallstrom. Yes, the Director who gave us The Cider House Rules, Chocolat, and Whats Eating Gilbert Grape    gave us this. His first foray into major motion picture making… and one which he  rue’s the day he made. (He admits it!)  For all of us ABBA fans though, we say a huge Thank You For the Movie… even if we thought it was a bit naff as well, but hey, everyone has to start somewhere, right?

 One of the greatest groups of all time,  forever immortalized on the silver screen…

                                                                      ABBA: The Movie.

Now, for all you people who have seen “Mamma Mia” on the screen and/or the theater, PLEASE, if there is any justice in the world.. lay off the campy soundtracks and get to the real thing will ya? I love Meryl too… but the Name of the Game my friends, is authentic is best. There are a couple of ways you can do this: You can actually  buy “ABBA The Movie”  It has taken years to become available on DVD , but with protestations over some twenty years (pathetic, I know) it IS now available. Failing that,  there is always ABBA: Song Star, which is like karaoke but  is also a  game and you get to sing with them on the screen, because, you know, they were the group that paved the way with the original movie video. Yes, I know, Queen did the scaramoosh, vandango thing… but it was ABBA that started the video for each single they released.

So Lars, this girl with the grayish golden hair thanks you, and, whenever  I (have a) dream, I can be transported once again to my youth, even when I’m ironing. 

Go On,  Take a Chance on it…


Oh, those summer nights…

The kids may be getting back to school, but don’t let me hear you say summer is over! Summer will be hanging around officially until September the 23rd, and it still wants to play.

 The great thing about the kids getting back to school, is getting back into a routine and fitting in time for stuff I would like to do. One of my most favourite things to do, besides a spell at the pool of course, is  think back to a time during my youth and what summer movie I used to go and see.. The BIG summer block buster, yeah, even the ones that stunk.

The phenomenon of the summer blockbuster started quite by accident. The one that started it all, the granddaddy and for some, even after all these years.. still the one to beat was JAWS.  Have a read about the impact that one had during the summer of 75! Close on the heels of that beachy delight, was the swashbuckling, game changing Star Wars which forcefully came to town the summer of ’76 and had me queuing for a couple of hours on opening day. (…and I still have the original poster). Summer was never the same again. In eager anticipation, we wanted more and the studios were only to happy to oblige as they concentrated on throwing their lot into big budget  productions.

Here are some that invoke memories for me, and as far as I am concerned, there is not a stinker among them!

 The Empire Strikes Back , Luke’s face changed. Grease, Sitting at the back of the cinema in the dark waiting to see if Livvy could really act.  Die Hard, Bruce who? I  could not take my eyes off the riveting Alan Rickman. Then there was  The Fugitive. Raiders of the Lost Ark . Back to the Future.  To name a few.

Apart from a few sputtering ones over the years, once the summer blockbuster got on a roll, there has been no stopping it.  Including, the stinky ones.

Thankfully, in the advent of the video and DVD, ..and even streaming movies, we can all relive the one’s that will always remain entwined with memories from our summer’s past.

First things first though. I am taking advantage of  the clear blue neighborhood pool with barely a ripple and lots of peace and quiet. A few laps while I pick my flick. Have I other things to do? You betcha. But for me there is no better way to start the school year.

So, give summer it’s due, ignore the fall stuff in the shops, pick your old summer fav and go PLAY!!

Are yer there yet 🙂


Sidney Lumet (1924-2011)

Sidney Lumet died today at the age of 87. A  well-respected, talented and prolific director, he happened to direct two of my favourite movies. One of which is highly regarded by critics as a classic. I would encourage you to see them both.

12 Angry Men (1957) 

A strong cast headed by Henry Fonda. One juror is the only hold out  in a Jury room of men that have already made up their minds of a guilty verdict. As the deliberation goes on, it’s not only the evidence that is unraveled as tempers flare and characters clash.  A gripping, tense drama,  it’s set mostly in one room, and Sydney works the claustrophobia to the advantage as he gets the best from his cast. Dynamite movie.


Running On Empty (1988) 

A married couple  are on the lam from the FBI after bombing a napalm plant in their youth. Any sense their false identity is compromised, they up sticks, change names… and start all over again. But after so many years, and now parents, how many more times will their son want on stay on the run with them?

I was shattered after seeing this movie for the first time.  Totally heart wrenching. Beautiful direction from Sydney who gets the absolute best work from Christine Lahti, Judd Hirsh and River Phoenix. A must see.

R.I.P. Sydney.

Spring Fling

I’m getting the wonderful feeling that Spring is springing. I saw daffodils in a neighbour’s yard, my trees are beginning to bloom, I have roses budding. My boys are beginning to fling off  their duvet in the middle of the night. Even the dog has chucked out one of his blankets from his bed. AND Cadbury’s Creme Eggs are in stores 🙂

I get a whiff of Spring and I always feel like bursting into song. I do, it’s true!  So, for the past few days,  I’ve been thinking music and not movies.. ooh, but what fab movies the music comes from….

If you take a peek around the blog area, you will see one of my all time favourite women. Nay, she is my all time heroine. So much so, I remember specifically saying I wanted my hair like her’s. So, Sound of Music soundtrack LP under her arm, my mum took me to the hairdressers, showed the hair dresser the picture on the back and minutes later, I had a  Julie Andrews.

Now, I WAS Julie Andrews. I got all my friends together, gave them all a character, and we played and sang our way through the movie before we were called in for dinner. My mother got so sick of the soundtrack and had just about had it with the movie, so I enlisted my aunt, to whom I am eternally grateful, for taking me to see it another dozen times.

So my friends, the hills are alive with the sound of music as well spring flowers …so clear your pipes and sing along. Here are the ones to welcome bright mornings, chirpy birds and warm and breezy afternoons.  

The Sound of Music:  I have a feeling you may have seen this one. But hey, with this one, you get to sing AND yodel!

The King and I:  A manly Yul Brynner taking the waist of Deborah Kerr, shall we dance?

Jungle Book : Let’s not only sing along, let’s boogy with this one.

Singing in the Rain:  April showers? Go out and dance with the kids and sing!

My Fair Lady: Wooden it be luvlee… absolutely!

Mary Poppins: My Jules again getting fragilistic.

High Society: Frank Sinatra, Grace Kelly and Bing Crosby. Sizzling score by Cole Porter. Does NOT get better than this.

There you have it. My springy servings of pure musical delight.  Welcome this great season of new life and fresh beginnings…so open your windows and sing with the birds… and Julie as well of course!  Happy Spring.

International Women’s Day

I didn’t know there was a international women’s day. Did you? How many years have we had one? I had no idea!  As the only female in our household (even the dog is male, and I wouldn’t be surprised if my husband’s fish were too) you would be forgiven if you felt a little sorry for me.  Hold the sympathy’s though. Even though my life is enveloped in testosterone,  I have a super husband and 2 teenage boys who still give their mom a hug and kiss, not in public mind.   I would say its  women’s day every day.

Now then, I am sure, like me, you can think of many women  who have forged new trails, changed history etc. I am sure you can think of actresses, or movies about women that would be appropriate too. Well, I fancy celebrating women by watching a movie. I have an actress that I admire greatly, in a super  movie based on a true story. Three cheers for women power!

Calendar Girls

A group of friends support one of their own when her husband dies. As member’s of the local chapter of the Women’s Institute, they want to raise money for  a sofa for the local hospital in memory of him. Their idea on how to do that however, draws controversy.

Starring the great Helen Mirren, with support from a whole slew of fantastic English actress’s. Some of whom you should recognise.

Also check out Educating Rita and Shirley Valentine  Two movies about women, who are in a rut and don’t know how strong they are, until they change the course of their lives. 

Happy Women’s Day!

Sunburnt Heroes

Aloha!  Taking a break on the Big Island. Although nice to take a  break from routine and cold weather, I unfortunately got a little giddy with the sight of the sun and over did the tan. I wouldn’t mind so much if it wasn’t so blotchy. I can’t even look forward to a cool bronzy glow.  Just my luck. While not too lobster looking, I have a date with a spa treatment in a few hours where I am expecting rolling of eyes. While sucking up my embarrassment, I will take comfort in the fact that I am probably not the first.. and most certainly not the last. Right? Please tell me I’m right.

Trying to keep my mind off the impending massage, I naturally turned my thoughts to the movies and those who have been unfortunate in this area too, albeit in more dangerous circumstances.

Ice Cold In Alex

Welcome to one of my favourite British Classics! Starring the legend John Mills, Anthony Quayle and a magnificent craggy Harry Andrews.  A group of medical and army staff endeavour to cross the deserts of North Africa, after being separated from their unit during WWII.  John Mills has his cold beer in the forefront of his mind, as they trek on to Alexandria.

May I suggest you get together with a few friends on a hot day. Turn off your air conditioning, pass out an ice-cold one and DON’T drink it until the end of the movie 🙂  Hey, at least you miss out on  the sunburn!

Flight of the Phoenix

Back to the desert folks. More sunburn. This time, we are with James Stewart, Richard Attenborough and my favourite in the film, Hardy Kruger among a great cast. This time, a cargo plane goes down in the Sahara. In order to survive, one of the passengers has an idea to re-make an aircraft out of the pieces of the plane wreckage. Please note this is the ORIGINAL. Don’t get the 2004 re-make by mistake.  

I hope you enjoy these much loved classics as I do and have fun with the drinking game.

..and if you can, please remember..stay out of the sun.

Lovey Dovey Valentine Movie

Well, two movies actually. Having a hard time picking just one!

Now I know I am a day late and dollar short in writing this… I am hoping you will be enjoying your Valentine’s Day with a great meal and a relaxing evening with your honey  and not be the least interested in watching a movie. Maybe even, there is homework to make sure get’s completed by your little one.  Always a bit of a dampener that hey? 

Ah yes, Valentine’s Day.. it brings back memories of the time I got a big mixing bowl and a Mr Bean Movie as a gift… hey, it was early days, plenty of time to improve. (and that he did).  Maybe after a busy week, you will be ready for one or two soppy movies. Coming to mind at this time of year are two of my most  favourite soppy movies, both subtle comedy’s, and not a Mr Bean in sight…

Crossing Delancey

Izzy thrives in her job at a book store and loves being around the New York  literary social scene. The only thing is, her matchmaker has paired her with a pickle maker. Sam is smitten with Izzy, but she is not too sure. I just love Peter Riegert (Sam) in this movie.

Dan in Real Life

Dan is a widower with 3 children. While away at a family gathering, he meets Marie in a book store (getting the theme yet) 🙂  The only thing is, she turns out to be his brother’s girlfriend. Steve Carell in the best movie I have seen him in to date.

Not the usual Casablanca type of shmaltzy movie… but hope you like them none the less. 

Happy Valentine’s Day.