"So Let it Be Written... So Let it Be Done"

The life and times of a real, down to earth, nice guy. A relocated New Englander formerly living somewhere north of Boston, but now soaking up the bright sun of southwestern central Florida (aka The Gulf Coast). Welcome to my blog world. Please leave it as clean as it was before you came. Thanks for visiting, BTW please leave a relevant comment so I know you were here. No blog spam, please. (c) MMV-MMXV Court Jester Productions & Bamford Communications

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

SNMR 7.1-7.30 Index Page

Here's the official summary of the movies I reviewed for series seven of "Saturday Night Movie Review" (SNMR) and the ratings (out of five stars) that I gave them:

  • 7.30 The Hangover 3½ stars

  • 7.29 Surrogates 1½ stars

  • 7.28 Crossing Over 3½ stars

  • 7.27 Yes Man 2 stars

  • 7.26 The International 4 stars

  • 7.25 I Love You, Man 3 stars

  • 7.24 Just Friends 3½ stars

  • 7.23 How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days 4 stars

  • 7.22 He's Just Not That Into You 4 stars

  • 7.21 Adventures in Babysitting 3½ stars

  • 7.20 In the Name of the King 2 stars

  • 7.19 Inkheart 2½ stars

  • 7.18 Don't Say A Word 3 stars

  • 7.17 The Island 5 stars

  • 7.16 Management 3½ stars

  • 7.15 The Reader 4 stars

  • 7.14 About Schmidt 3 stars

  • 7.13 The Lake House 3 stars

  • 7.12 Halloween 3 stars

  • 7.11 Transformers 4 stars

  • 7.10 Confessions of a Shopaholic 3½ stars

  • 7.9 True Lies 5 stars

  • 7.8 Sunshine Cleaning 2½ stars

  • 7.7 Seven 4½ stars

  • 7.6 We Are Marshall 4 stars

  • 7.5 Grace is Gone 2 stars

  • 7.4 The Prestige 1½ stars

  • 7.3 Definitely, Maybe 4½ stars

  • 7.2 Leaving Las Vegas 3 stars

  • 7.1 The Life of David Gale 5 stars



  • See you sometime after Halloween with the index list for SNMR series 8!

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    Saturday, April 24, 2010

    SNMR 8.3: "I Love You, Beth Cooper"

    GREEN'S BLOODY TAMPON REVIEW:

    Geeky Buffalo Glen High School senior class valedictorian Denis Cooverman (Paul Rust) doesn't want to regret anything from high school before he graduates. So what does he do? He centers his graduation speech around those words, pronouncing that "I love you, Beth Cooper" much to the embarrassment of Beth Cooper (Hayden Panettiere) the most popular girl in school, who also happens to be the head cheerleader. His speech also namelessly calls out several other classmates, and they are not happy about it, especially Beth's boyfriend Kevin (Shawn Roberts).

    When Beth and her two best friends, Cammy (Lauren London) and Treece (Lauren Storm), decide it would be funny to attend Denis' and his best friend Rich (Jack T. Carpenter) graduation party, the fun begins.

    I borrowed this movie from the library so I could watch it and I ended up letting my kids watch it on a recent weekend and I watched it with them. I liked it better than I thought I would, now having seen it a total of three times.

    The cast is a good and diverse group of characters, a la The Breakfast Club and share a good camaraderie. You can tell that they had a fun time making the movie not only from the actors performances but also from the clips of interviews provided in the extras.

    As one who liked to quote movies in my younger years (I still do), I got a kick out of Rich, Carpenter's movie quoting character, but I never added year and director to them as he did. I wasn't that neurotic about it.

    The DVD includes an alternate ending which isn't really alternate, but a ten minute scene that was edited out of the theatrical release. Without this "alternate ending" some of the story of the movie would have been incomplete. If I had watched this movie in the theater I would have told you that something was missing at the end.

    This movie will probably never reach the level of the iconic teen films of the late John Hughes, but it gives a valiant effort. Chris Columbus seems to have taken over - willingly or not - the mantle left by Hughes and does it quite well. The movie is based on the novel of the same name by Larry Doyle, who also wrote the screenplay, which I always maintain helps to yield a better end product. At the time I watched this movie I hadn't read the novel but since then I happened to see it on the discount rack for under $5 at Barnes & Noble, and bought it. As I was reading I was picturing the scenes from the movie and imagining how scenes from the book that aren't in the movie might have been filmed.

    Yes, the story is full of cliches and typical teen movie antics and stuff but that's what it's all about. Far from being the most popular kid in high school, but also being far from the Valedictorian, I can appreciate the idea of the unpopular kid attracting the interest of the most popular girl in school.


    ***½ out of *****

    I Love You, Beth Cooper (2009, PG-13, 102 minutes), starring Hayden Panettiere, Paul Rust, Jack T. Carpenter, Lauren London, Lauren Storm, Shawn Roberts, Alan Ruck and Cynthia Stevenson. Based on the novel by Larry Doyle. Screenplay by Larry Doyle. Directed by Chris Columbus.

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    Thursday, April 22, 2010

    2010 NFL Draft - First Round

    As I normally do, I entered the Patriots Football Weekly mock draft contest, which I actually won ten years ago but haven't come close to winning since.

    The rules are simple:

    All guesses had to be submitted by 5 PM EDT yesterday.

    For each correct selection, the number of points awarded is equal to the number of the pick in the first round. For example, if I guess the fourth pick correctly, I get four points. If I guess the twenty-fifth pick correctly, I get 25 points. The highest number of points is the winner.

    It doesn't matter what team selects the player with a certain pick, so draft day trades are not a factor in the selections.

    Here then are my guesses:

    1) Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma
    2) Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska
    3) Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma

    4) Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma State
    5) Brian Bulaga, OT, Iowa
    6) Eric Berry, S, Tennessee
    7) Joe Haden, CB, Florida
    8) Trent Williams, OT, Oklahoma
    9) Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame
    10) Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, South Florida
    11) Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State
    12) Rolando McClain, ILB, Alabama
    13) Anthony Davis, OT, Rutgers
    14) Bruce Campbell, OT, Maryland
    15) Brandon Spikes, ILB, Florida
    16) Sergio Kindle, OLB, Texas
    17) Earl Thomas, S, Texas
    18) Demaryius Thomas, WR, Georgia Tech
    19) Patrick Robinson, CB, Florida State
    20) Perrish Cox, CB, Oklahoma State
    21) Golden Tate, WR, Notre Dame
    22) Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech
    23) CJ Spiller, RB, Clemson
    24) Jonathan Crompton, QB, Tennessee
    25) Jermaine Gresham, TE, Oklahoma
    26) Brandon Graham, DE, Michigan
    27) Mike Iupati, G, Idaho
    28) Jonathan Dwyer, RB, Georgia Tech
    29) Corey Wootton, DE, Northwestern
    30) Taylor Mays, S, USC
    31) Brian Price, DT, UCLA
    32) D'Anthony Smith, DT, Louisiana Tech

    Later, I'll highlight the selections I picked correctly, based on how things really go tonight. Also, I'll eventually record the actual first round picks and what team selected them as the night moves along.

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    Tuesday, April 20, 2010

    2010 New England Patriots regular season schedule

    Its times like these when I wish blogger would accept spreadsheet formatting...

    regular season opponents
    date time opponent network all-time series
    9/12/2010 13:00 CINCINNATI BENGALS CBS NE 13-8-0
    9/19/2010 16:15 at New York Jets CBS tied 50-50-1
    9/26/2010 13:00 BUFFALO BILLS CBS NE 59-40-1
    10/4/2010 20:30 at Miami Dolphins ESPN Mia 50-39-0
    10/10/2010 bye
    10/17/2010 13:00 BALTIMORE RAVENS CBS NE 5-1-0
    10/24/2010 16:15 at San Diego Chargers CBS NE 20-15-2
    10/31/2010 16:15 MINNESOTA VIKINGS CBS NE 6-4-0
    11/7/2010 13:00 at Cleveland Browns CBS Cle 12-9-0
    11/14/2010 20:20 at Pittsburgh Steelers NBC Pit 14-10-0
    11/21/2010 16:15 INDIANAPOLIS COLTS CBS NE 44-29-0
    11/25/2010 12:30 at Detroit Lions CBS NE 5-4-0
    12/6/2010 20:30 NEW YORK JETS ESPN tied 50-50-1
    12/12/2010 13:00 at Chicago Bears CBS NE 7-4-0
    12/19/2010 20:20 GREEN BAY PACKERS NBC GB 5-4-0
    12/26/2010 13:00 at Buffalo Bills CBS NE 59-40-1
    1/2/2011 13:00 MIAMI DOLPHINS CBS Mia 50-39-0

    HOME GAMES in CAPS

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    Saturday, April 17, 2010

    SNMR 8.2: "Get Smart"

    GREEN'S TRUE GUARDIANS OF FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY REVIEW:

    Passed over for a field agent again, Maxwell Smart (Steve Carell) is an analyst at CONTROL. Agent 99 (Anne Hathaway) and Agent 23 (Dwayne Johnson) are veteran field agents who always get the tough assignments. KAOS is moving large quantities of nuclear material. After an attack on CONTROL headquarters, identities of CONTROL agents are compromised and Max is promoted to field agent by the chief (Alan Arkin) and paired with agent 99, who must save the day.

    This is a movie that I really didn't want to see if only because I'm a fan of the 1960's television show and was afraid that this movie wouldn't do justice to the original. Many television show to big screen transformations are not worth the celluloid they're shot on. Part of me did want to see this movie because I'm a fan of both Steve Carell and Anne Hathaway. I was able to resist until now.

    I must say that this movie was much better than I expected. Not many actors can channel the comic brilliance of Don Adams as well as Carell and Hathaway as the stoic Barbara Felton character was a better than expected choice. Supporting cast members Alan Arkin as the Chief and Dwayne Johnson as Agent 23 were good choices. Johnson has an unexpected comedic presence. I'm not so sure Terrence Stamp was the best choice for the villian, even though I respect him as an actor. He'll always be General Zod to me.

    Peter Segal does a fine job directing this movie and keeps the action light and funny. Screen writers Tom Astle and Matt Ember stay true to the original Mel Brooks and Buck Henry characters and the film's plot could have easily worked into an episode or two of the old show.

    Unfortunately for me, the library only had the single disc version which only had comedy optimization mode as an extra and I would have liked to see more. It would have been interesting to hear what some of the original cast had to say about this film, though only Barbara Felton is still living. I do recall hearing Anne Hathaway say in an interview after the film's release that filming her scenes with Carell were difficult because he kept cracking jokes and making faces which made her laugh when her character is supposed to be the serious, straight-faced one.

    Now I'm actually looking forward to the sequel, tentatively to be released sometime in 2011.


    ***½ out of *****

    Get Smart (2008, PG-13, 110 minutes), starring Steve Carell, Anne Hathaway, Dwayne Johnson, Alan Arkin, Terrence Stamp, Tery Crews and David Koechner. Characters by Mel Brooks and Buck Henry. Screenplay by Tom J. Astle and Matt Ember. Directed by Peter Segal.

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    Monday, April 12, 2010

    Lt. Col. William Arthur Bamford II (1934-2010)

    For the last year or so, my Uncle Bill has been battling Cancer. At the end of February he learned that the disease had traveled to his brain. At that time we weren't sure if he would want treatment. He did and made it through the month of March and into April.

    However, he knew that he wasn't going to get any better and only worse, so late last week he and his wife made the decision that he would no longer receive medication and would no longer eat, so that he could go home and be with Jesus.

    We learned that he died just before 7:00 AM EDT this morning. From what we understand, he went peacefully into the next life.

    My Uncle was a Godly man, serving as an officer in The Salvation Army. For those of you who don't know: The Salvation Army is a branch of the Wesleyan line of Protestant churches, using a para-military organizational scale and terminology. In effect, a Salvation Army Officer would be known as a Pastor in other Protestant churches.

    He was well loved and respected by all those who knew him and always had a kind word for everyone he came in to contact with. This has been evident to me as I read short tributes left to him from friends and those whose lives he touched on my cousin Bill's Facebook page.

    For a few years, in my younger days (when I spent my summers at Camp Wonderland), my Uncle and his wife were stationed in Massachusetts. Their cabin was right down the road from ours. I can remember watching many Red Sox games on television at his cabin, and especially the All-Star Game every year, where he would root for the National League team but be happy for me when the American League won. My Uncle learned to love the Red Sox, but at heart was always a Phillies fan, having grown up in the Philadelphia area.

    In retirement, down in Florida, he would occasionally go see the Red Sox in Spring Training and would go to Tropicana Field when the Red Sox were playing the Rays.

    My dad, who is ten years younger, wanted to retire in Florida in part to spend time with his oldest brother. My dad is still going to retire in Florida but couldn't get there in time.

    The last time I saw my Uncle was in 2006, at my Grandfather's funeral in New Jersey. Who would have thought back then, that he would only outlive his father by less than four years.

    Yes, it's sad that he's gone but we don't mourn. Instead, we rejoice at a life well lived in service to God and man. We rejoice because death is a part of life in this day and age and that even though his physical body has died, his soul now resides in heaven. Further, we rejoice because one day we shall see him again in glory.

    Sadly, I don't have any pictures to post along with this, which is unfortunate.

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    Saturday, April 10, 2010

    SNMR 8.1: "Next Stop Wonderland"

    What a great way to begin the eighth series (and 211th review) of my Saturday Night Movie Reviews column than this little unknown gem of a romantic comedy…

    GREEN’S “ALL ALONE ON A CROWDED TRAIN” REVIEW:

    Erin (Hope Davis), a young nurse adrift in her life is stunned when her activist boyfriend Sean (Philip Seymour Hoffman) decides to leave her. Which leaves Erin struggling to find serenity on her own, while her meddling (but with good intentions) mother Piper (Holland Taylor) decides to place a personals ad in the newspaper on behalf of her daughter. Which leads to sixty four voice messages and a string of bad dates with the most pathetic bunch of guys. Then there’s Alan (Alan Gelfant), an introspective, quiet plumber who is studying to become a marine biologist. He is being pursued by Frank (Victor Argo) a rough, smarmy, debt collector and fellow biology student Julie (Cara Buono), who wants more than just Alan’s class notes. Is Alan one of the sixty four messages?

    Have you ever heard of this movie before? I certainly hadn’t and it was nothing like I expected. What did I expect? Well I certainly didn’t expect to like it as much as I did. What I didn’t expect was that this movie was released in 1998 and escaped my notice for all that time. Probably still would have had I not, on the spur of the moment, decided to borrow it from the library. Even then it took me the full two weeks to get around to watch it. After some internal debate I finally decided to add the DVD to my movie collection.

    If there is more of an underrated actress working in Hollywood today than Hope Davis, I don’t know who it would be. Her performance in this movie was fantastic as the introspective loner looking and secretly longing for that one special man (but not looking or secretly longing for him). Philip Seymour Hoffman, arguably one of the most versatile actors of this generation - even though his role is little more than a cameo, is excellent as Sean, Erin’s activist boyfriend who leaves her once and for all and vows to never return again. Aside from those two actors and perhaps Robert Klein, I’d be surprised if you’ve heard of any of the other cast members.

    This is one of those movies (and I love this) that was filmed entirely in my home state of Massachusetts: (Boston, Revere, Chelsea and Somerville) before filming in Massachusetts became the fad it currently is. Writer (along with co-writer Lyn Vaus), Director and Editor Brad Anderson lived and worked in Boston while teaching film making classes at the Boston Film and Video Foundation. He knows the city and surrounds and it shows in the movie, officially making the locations an unofficial character in the movie. The screenplay is well written and doesn’t drag in an efficient run time of 96 minutes.

    The film derives it’s title from part of Boston’s subway system, as 'Wonderland' is the last stop on one end of the Blue Line, where the Wonderland greyhound dog racing track is located.

    The DVD contains no extras, which for a film without a big budget, doesn’t surprise me at all.


    ****½ out of *****

    Next Stop Wonderland (1998, R, 96 minutes), staring Hope Davis, Alan Gelfant, Victor Argo, Jon Benjamin, Cara Buono, Larry Gilliard Jr., Philip Seymour Hoffman and Holland Taylor. Screenplay by Brad Anderson and Lyn Vaus. Edited and Directed by Brad Anderson.

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    Friday, April 09, 2010

    The Great Escape

    This morning I saw something very unusual.

    I was sitting in my car at a gas station on one of the busiest streets in town after dropping off a tire and rim that I needed to get fixed. Seemingly out of nowhere I saw a wild male turkey walking down the intersecting street towards the busy street. Head bobbing back and forth, the bird was looking to get across the street to the woody area on the other side. Without stopping the turkey began to walk across the street, heedless of the traffic on the road. He made it halfway before five cars had to stop and let the bird pass.

    But that's not all. A few moments later the female comes out of the same nowhere running after her mate into the street... right into an oncoming car!

    Well almost. The bird took a hard left - fiercely flapping its wings to (barely) avoid being made into turkey salad.

    Fortunately after that the female was able to make it safely to the woods.

    Then I drove home.

    -----

    I can never understand why anyone would want to stand on a curb holding a sign with some political candidate's name on it for hours on end. Even if you're getting paid to do it, which is probably rare.

    Even in the best of conditions, this is something I'll never, ever do. What made these yokels even more ridiculous looking was that today it was raining for the better part of the day.

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    Sunday, April 04, 2010

    What a way to open the season!

    What a way to start off the 2010 baseball season. ESPN wanted to move the first game from Monday afternoon to Sunday night so they could televise it nationally. Since money rules the switch was granted. No consideration was given to the fact that Sunday is Easter and during Passover.

    Last season the two teams split the 18 game season series 9-9. The Red Sox went 8-0 against the Yankees to start the season, then went 1-9 the rest of the way. Naturally the Yankees went on to win their 27th World Series while the Sox were swept out of the Wild Card round by the Los Angeles Angels, 3 games to none.

    But it's a new season and any time the Yankees and Red Sox play you're going to have long, grinding games. As always, this post will be updated after each game.

    Pitching match ups and summaries for the series:


    Sunday, Apr 4th: @ Boston 9, New York 7
    Sabathia (0-0) v. Beckett (0-0)
    WP=Okajima (1-0), LP=Park (0-1), SV=Papelbon (1)
    Youkilis: 1st Sox hitter with 3 Opening Day extra base hits since Fisk in '73.


    Tuesday, Apr 6th: New York 6, @ Boston 4
    Burnett (0-0) v. Lester (0-0)
    WP=Aceves (1-0), LP=Okajima (1-1), SV=Rivera (1)
    Scutaro error, Okajima ineffectiveness open the door for New York.


    Wednesday, Apr 7th: New York 3, @ Boston 1 (10)
    Pettite (0-0) v. Lackey (0-0)
    WP=Park (1-1), LP=Papelbon (0-1), SV=Rivera (2)
    Granderson HR in 10th hands pitching duel to Yanks.


    The Yankees will return to Fenway for three, May 7-9.

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    Saturday, April 03, 2010

    SNMR 7.30: "The Hangover"

    GREEN'S "...AT THE CORNER OF GET A MAP AND..." REVIEW:

    What would happen if your best friend was getting married and for his bachelor party you decide to spend a few days in Las Vegas, living the nightlife? What would happen if you woke up the next morning on the floor in your $4200.00 per night hotel suite and couldn't remember a damn thing? What if the groom to be was missing when you woke up?

    Meet Doug, the soon to be groom (Justin Bartha), Al (Zach Galifianakis), the not all with it but soon to be brother in law, Phil (Bradley Cooper), the normal looking school teacher, and Stu (Ed Helms), the man with the bitch for a girlfriend. These four friends plan such a trip and have to piece together the events from the night before to get home before the wedding. But not before...

    I remember seeing the trailers for this film last summer in the theater and it looked like a really funny movie. But as usual I never got around to seeing it until a few days ago.

    What a long way the career of Bradley Cooper (who really got his start in the television show ALIAS, Ed Helms (from The Office) and Zach Galifianakis, who I'd never heard of before are also very funny. Quirky Heather Graham was a perfect casting choice for Jade but the writers could have given her character more to do.

    The screenplay did have it's funny moments but it seemed like we saw them all, or most of them, in the theater trailers. Now, after seeing the movie they all make sense.

    The problem with this film its that it ends just a little too conveniently as if the writers suddenly ran out of material. What baffled the cast for the majority of the movie was solved too easily. Now we know that acting stupid and causing so much damage has no negative consequences! Sign me up for a trip to Las Vegas, right. now.

    I'm not really familiar with director Todd Phillps previous credits but he seems to have done a good job with this movie, as the story doesn't really have time to sag anywhere. Could have easily extended the run time of the film another 10-15 minutes and you wouldn't think it were too much.

    I watched the single disc edition which had no extras but it was what the library had. I'd like to have seen what weirdness was included and maybe I will some day.


    ***½ out of *****

    The Hangover (2009, R, 100 minutes), starring Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis, Heather Graham, Justin Bartha and Jeffrey Tambor. Written by Jon Lucas & Scott Moore. Directed by Todd Phillips.

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    Thursday, April 01, 2010

    2010 New England Patriots preseason schedule

    2010 New England Patriots preseason schedule released yesterday.

    DATE TIME OPPONENT NETWORK PRESEASON SERIES RESULTS (last time played in preseason)

    8/12-16/10 NEW ORLEANS SAINTS WBZ tied 4-4-0 (2005)
    8/19/10 20:00 at Atlanta Falcons FOX Atl 6-5-0 (2006)
    8/26-29/10 ST. LOUIS RAMS WBZ tied 4-4-0 (1994)
    9/2-3/2010 at New York Giants WBZ NYG 11-8-0 (2009)

    specific dates and times released soon for other three games. HOME GAMES in BOLD CAPS

    Which means that the regular season NFL schedule willl be released in the next few weeks. Hello April!

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