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Country Music (2019)
10/10
Addictive and Mesmerizing!
17 September 2019
Ken Burns has delivered a 16 hours worth documentary of country music from the beginning to the current. It's addictive to watch on television but you can't look away or want too. The story of country music is so rich, diverse and never so simple. The country music series is a must see television with Peter Coyote as the narrator. You get rare archive footage from the thirties. You hear about the Carter Family Trio and Bob Wills. Whether you know country music or not, you will become easily enthralled into the country music world. Country music has inspired and influenced the world in so many ways. It has reached out to everybody in someway. I remember being lucky to visit the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee where the weekly Barn Dance became the Grand Ole Opry. To me, the Ryman Auditorium is hollowed ground and beautiful. The Grand Ole Opry found a new home in the outskirts and I was lucky to have seen a show with Loretta Lynn, Roy Clark, Jessica Simpson making her Opry debut and more. That evening was one of the best shows I have ever seen on stage. The Grand Ole Opry is a run like a well-oiled machine. The sixteen hours of this documentary flows by. Ken Burns has really outdone himself this time.
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8/10
The one that used to lean against the wall when she barked.
20 July 2019
Ma and Pa Kettle are back on the farm. In this film in the series, they are expecting their first grandchild. After fifteen children, Pa Kettle actually believed that he was going to be a father again when he looks for Mrs. Kettle at the hospital. They're are funny moments especially when we got Kim's parents coming to town. They're prim and proper and snobby. The film is my favorite so far in the series. Just love it when Kim's mother yells "Come and Get It."
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8/10
I thought you might be a traveling salesman. A lot of them visit farms, you know.
20 July 2019
Ma and Pa Kettle take New York City by storm when they visit their son and daughter-in-law and get mixed up. Ma and Pa Kettle were a popular film series. Marjorie Main and Percy Kilbride are ideal as Ma and Pa Kettle. They have fun in the big city from the their small Washington State farm. It's a family, fun and light-hearted film.
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The Pianist (2002)
10/10
Poland is no longer alone.
20 July 2019
Roman Polanski was a holocaust survivor. He directed perhaps the most important film about the period based on the true story of Wladislaw Szpilman, a Polish Jewish pianist, who survived on his own strength with the help of his friends and even a German soldier who helped him in the end. The film is based on the true story. They're were horrible events that actually happened in the Warsaw Ghetto. Warsaw today was built upon the ruins of World War II. Adrien Brody was well honored with an Academy Award. The supporting cast was excellent with Frank Finlay and Maureen Lipman as his parents. Roman Polanski is the best person to direct a film about the Holocaust and even from his own experiences. This film is perhaps Polanski's best film and most personal of all.
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8/10
Theories are nice, Ma, but not when they break up families and threaten lives.
16 July 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Percy Kilbride and Marjorie Main return to reprise their roles as Pa and Ma Kettle starring in their own film. Pa Kettle wins a contest which means a more modern home for him and his family of fifteen children. Meg Randall who passed away last year makes her debut in the Kettle series aboard the train. That's where you see her look for an imaginary husband. That clip of Meg is featured in the TCM remembers video of 2018 where did you go? line. Meg Randall played Kim Parker, a journalist who falls in love with a Kettle. It's a fine comedy and film. Marjorie Main and Percy Kilbride deserved a lot more fame for their acting abilities. Marjorie Main was quite a scene stealer.
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The Egg and I (1947)
8/10
Never seen the sense of running water in my house myself.
16 July 2019
Claudette Colbert and Fred McMurray played newlyweds who end up on a farm, Betty and Mr. McDonald. Anyway, they become acquainted with their neighbors, the Kettle family which included Ma and Pa and fifteen children. The McDonalds tried hard to adjust to country living. Betty MacDonald does everything she can to please her husband. Still it's a feel good film all around. With Percy Kilbride and Marjorie Main are supporting players here, you can't go wrong. Kilbride and Main are terrific together. The film is a good comedy from a time gone by with a great cast.
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8/10
There's a purity to beautiful things that I've never been able to find in another human being.
16 July 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Sir Ridley Scott reshot 20 scenes in 8 days with Christopher Plummer replacing the original actor as John Paul Getty. Ironically, Plummer was Scott's first choice to the play the role. It was a great task in replacing an actor in an important role but you wouldn't know the difference. It was based on a true story about billionaire tycoon John Paul Getty of Getty Oil and Gas who refused to pay for his grandson's ransom. Michelle Williams and Mark Wahlberg played the parents. Michelle Williams was perfect in her role as the worried mother and so was Wahblerg in his role. The cast was great and the film was well-done to reenact the actual historic events. The film is dramatic at times and yes based on true. I found it interesting to see how low Getty would go to not pay the ransom. When his grandson's ear turns up in the press after his second set of kidnappers, you can see that they mean business. The story was still sad overall. I wished they revealed more about what happened to the family.
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6/10
Dad, those *are* ants. We haven't taken off yet.
10 July 2019
Randy Quaid reprised his role as Cousin Eddie from the Vacation films. In this television film, he is joined by Miriam Flynn as his loving wife, Catherine. They live with their son, Clark, at adult Audrey's house in Indianapolis, Indiana. It's very nice of Audrey to let them stay with her. Eddie works as a lab experiment. They get sent to a South Pacific Island probably Hawaii. Their other children are elsewhere. I was happy to see Dana Barron reprise her role as Audrey, the original actress. While the script could use some work, the film does try hard at times while trying to be clean. Ed Asner joined the family as Uncle Nick whose wife has left him. They end up on a deserted island but enjoy Christmas anyway.
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7/10
My mom's boyfriend says that Christmas is when Frosty the Snowman fights the devil.
10 July 2019
This film might appeal to families and younger viewers. I didn't even know about it until I stumbled at the dollar store. It's a cute premise about kids who travel without their guardians or parents. They're stuck at Hoover Airport during a blizzard on Christmas Eve. Lewis Black has a starring role as a miserable pilot whose flight to Hawaii gets canceled. Wilmer Valderrama is good as the appointed temporary carer of two siblings, Spencer and Katherine. Their mother is back home with grandmother (played by Terri Garr). Their father must find a away to get to the airport. The airport was ill-equipped to handle so many children. It's like Lord of The Flies down there. The film has it's moments too. Brett Kelly who was awesome in "Bad Santa" played one of the kids here too.
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Kingpin (1996)
8/10
We don't have a cow. We have a bull.
9 July 2019
Woody Harrelson played a well-known bowler in retirement who stumbles upon an Amish man named Ismael (Randy Quaid). Together they stumble upon a cross country travel trip to Reno, Nevada. Bill Murray played a competitor. There are familiar faces but it's an okay film overall. I'm not particularly fond this Farrelly brothers film. I didn't find it too funny or entertaining. I liked the ending.
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9/10
I'll give this little cookie an hour before we're doing the no-pants dance. Time to musk up.
8 July 2019
A great cast works this script about life in the seventies where sexism and misogyny were still in the network news. The location is San Diego, California where Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) has to share his anchor role with a woman (Christina Applegate). Ron is not the brightest bulb in the bunch. He makes serious errors which lead to his firing. The cast is first rate with Paul Rudd, Steve Carrell and others who even make cameos. It's a fun film overall despite some of the vulgarity and profanity but still worthwhile.
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Parenthood: Lost and Found (2010)
Season 1, Episode 13
9/10
An Almost Perfect Ending to the First Season!
8 July 2019
While the series lasted over a 100 episodes, the first season helped develop the Braverman family. In the season finale, we get to see a reunion. Amber goes missing. Crosby makes a major decision about his life. The series is ending for the summer. I still think Craig T. Nelson and Bonnie Bedelia deserved Emmys for their performances. They were solid and likable and so was the entire cast here. It was one of the few series on television that wasn't set in a hospital, Chicago, police; fire; CSI; etc. It was a series that was actually relatable to audiences.
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Parenthood: Team Braverman (2010)
Season 1, Episode 12
10/10
Let's Help Those Kids with Autism!
8 July 2019
Max is excited about the autism walk and wants his team to win. Kristina wonders if they should talk to him about his diagnosis. The Braverman team have been having trouble. Sarah and Haddie argue over the same boyfriend. But perhaps the heartbreaking scene is when everybody else realized that Max has Aspergers (a form of autism) and doesn't realize his diagnosis. While I applauded the series for dealing with Autism/Aspergers, I wished they had dealt more with the wide range of children on the spectrum.
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Parenthood: Solace (2010)
Season 1, Episode 11
7/10
Even the Parents Got Secrets Here!
8 July 2019
Surprisingly, Zeek and Camille have a falling out where Zeek has cheated and betrayed his wife's trust and their bank account. He goes to live with his children and doesn't fare well with Adam and Kristina and their adaptations to Max's condition. Julia tries to get her father out of debt. He does offer some helpful advice. Craig T. Nelson and Bonnie Bedelia were perfect casting because they played parents before in a heartbreaking television movie of the week in the eighties.
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Parenthood: Namaste No More (2010)
Season 1, Episode 10
8/10
Friends are A Lot Harder To Find!
8 July 2019
With Max's Asperger's Syndrome, Adam and Kristina have found themselves in a precarious situation about finding friends. With one family, they have a son in the same situation but it doesn't work for them so they make an excuse to leave. They find new friends who do the exact same thing to them. While Max is highly intelligent, his social skills are lacking with his peers and even adults. I know from firsthand experience working with students on the spectrum and going out in public where we get stares constantly.
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Parenthood: Perchance to Dream (2010)
Season 1, Episode 9
8/10
Uh... it was in the hospital, I think. Amber was born and she said 'It wasn't my vodka!'
8 July 2019
Kristina gets a well-deserved break from her family life and gets to work for a political candidate. She leaves Adam for the weekend with the kids. Adam has to deal with Haddie and her boyfriend and Max as well. Crosby dates his son's mother; Sarah tries to get Amber excited about college by taking her to the University of California at Berkeley for a catering event. It's just an ordinary weekend in the Braverman world.
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Parenthood: Rubber Band Ball (2010)
Season 1, Episode 8
8/10
Amber is from a broken home. She doesn't know a real relationship from a sandwich yet...
8 July 2019
Amber's Fresno boyfriend, Damien, has returned to Berkeley. Amber's upset with her mother about Mr. Cyr. Then Sydney, Julia's only child, has constructed a rubber band ball and knows the colors and numbers of each of them. Julia and Joel are concerned that Sydney could be on the spectrum like cousin Max. Don't worry, Sydney's just bored with school according to the expert. Of course, Max is another story and has Asperger's syndrome. Still it isn't uncommon to have two in the family.
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Parenthood: What's Goin' on Down There? (2010)
Season 1, Episode 7
8/10
You love crushing little companies.
8 July 2019
Haddie gets to spend the day with her Aunt Julia at her law firm in Berkeley. Julia realizes her actual career. Adam wants to spend time with his family but schedules get in the way. Kristina pondered being a full-time mother and wife at home. She has a lot going on in her life. Max is getting better with the behaviorist. Sarah is falling for her daughter's teacher. A lot is going on in the Braverman world.
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Parenthood: The Big 'O' (2010)
Season 1, Episode 6
8/10
The Behaviorist Has Come To Help!
8 July 2019
Jason Ritter is cast as Mr. Cyr, Amber's hunky English teacher. Sarah and Cyr are growing close despite Amber's schoolgirl crush. I don't know why they didn't write that Amber could pass with summer school than Sarah's unbelievable begging with the school principal. The behaviorist is a young nice woman who comes to help Adam and Kristina with Max. She helps the family more than anybody else with their situation.
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Parenthood: The Situation (2010)
Season 1, Episode 5
8/10
Baseball is the All American Pastime!
8 July 2019
Baseball began and ended the series not the major league stuff but the little league. It began and ended on a baseball field. Max wants to go back and rejoin his team even though he doesn't have too. The series gets involved in Crosby's situation as he deals with the arrival of his five year old son. He finally tells his parents the truth about Jabar. What kind of name is that? Crosby replied "What kind of name is Zeek?" Camille and Zeek have no qualms about accepting him into their growing family.
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Parenthood: Wassup (2010)
Season 1, Episode 4
8/10
What Kind of Name is Haddie Anyway?
8 July 2019
I was always puzzled by Haddie, the name for Adam and Kristina's teenage daughter. Was it a nickname or short for something? In this episode, Sarah Ramos comes into her own with a secret boyfriend. The series was very good that I find it hard to believe that it never got the recognition like other shows. The cast and story lines are easy to follow. While they have a large cast, I still enjoy the interaction among all of them.
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Parenthood: The Deep End of the Pool (2010)
Season 1, Episode 3
9/10
Max Gets Kicked Out of School!
7 July 2019
Max breaks a fish tank and is kicked out of his school. Adam and Kristina must find a new school. Believably, this can happen with students on the spectrum with behavioral issues. The new special school seems far-fetched and costs tuition. In my state, the district pays for a student to go to a specialized school. I don't know how it is in California. While the series tried to be believable, it's still a fictional series. The actor who played Max should have been nominated for an Emmy.
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Parenthood: Man Versus Possum (2010)
Season 1, Episode 2
9/10
Coming To Terms with the Diagnosis!
7 July 2019
Adam and Kristina speak to a specialist about Max's diagnosis. Perhaps one of the best aspects of this series was dealing with Asperger's Syndrome. At first, Adam is in complete denial about his son's diagnosis and even misses his daughter's championship game. Unaware of what his wife and daughter might have suspected, Max's diagnosis is conformed by the specialist. The specialist has wise words about not expecting a cure or a miracle to cure Max. Some parents of students on the spectrum might benefit by viewing this series. I felt this series didn't get enough attention or accolades for a stellar cast.
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Wanderlust (2012)
7/10
I drink the nourishment that Gaia is feeding me through her cloud teats.
7 July 2019
Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston are New Yorkers who lose their jobs and go south to Atlanta, Georgia where they stumble upon a commune. At first, they are taken aback by their lifestyle and commune living. When they venture to suburban Atlanta, they run back to the commune world. The film is laughable at some moments. It's profane and vulgar at times. There is nudity although needless though at times. Alan Alda and a great supporting cast make the film worthwhile.
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Role Models (2008)
8/10
What Does This Look Like To You?
7 July 2019
I love Jane Lynch and Paul Rudd. The cast is great even if the film has some issues. Seann William Scott and Paul Rudd played business partners who end up serving community service as the Sturdy Wings big brothers in Jane Lynch's center. The film has some moments but it's really entertaining if you don't wanted to think too much. Despite having kids in the movie, this film is not for children.
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