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Found 10 results

  1. If anyone likes Rom-Coms, but gets annoyed by how *bad* they are, try "The Fuller Brush Man," starring the inimitable Red Skelton. This is a genuinely funny movie, and will surprise people by how not-stupid it is - you just have to prepare yourselves for ninety minutes of clean comedy. It's free on Amazon Prime (*), and would be a *perfect* first-date movie for a nervous young couple. I need to rewatch "Duck Soup" (it's been over twenty years) but I don't remember that film as being all that much better than this. That said, I should warn potential viewers about what is the longest, non-stop slapstick ending I can ever remember seeing - parts of it are laugh-out-loud funny, but for me, it's too much, so, the final fifteen minutes of "The Fuller Brush Man" are caveat emptor - some people will love it; others won't. I had the privilege of seeing Red Skelton - much to the amazement of my parents - at Clemson. Somewhere, there may even be an autographed program by him (which further amazed my parents). Anyone unfamiliar with the genius of Skelton (*not* to be confused by the corny, sometimes cringe-worthy, Red Buttons) need only watch this little film, which shows Skelton doing a stand-up show in Canada when he was probably in his 70s. (*) Trivia - A bit of blown dialogue at the 59-minute mark: The Lieutenant says, "Low on closets, eh?" Skelton replies, "No, just long on coats." (It's pretty safe to assume the question should have been spoken, "Short on closets, eh?") Trivia - At 1:04.10 in the movie, Skelton recites the same gag, almost word-for-word, as he does at 2:10 in the YouTube stand-up routine - the "I got a joke for you" line.
  2. North Korea was annexed by Japan in 1910, and liberated in 1945. Its current Constitution was written in 2009. Since the nation's inception in 1948, it has had only three "Supreme Leaders," all of whom are in the same family, with a paternal lineage: Kim Il-Sung (1948-1994) Kim Jong-Il (1994-2011) Kim Jong-Un (2011-) The nation is 46,540 square miles in area, or about the size of Pennsylvania, our 33rd-largest state.
  3. This is my absolute favorite U.S. President trivia question, because it's one where you hear the answer, say, "I don't believe it," and go running off to Google to disprove it. Here's the question: Between the 1948 "Dewey defeats Truman" election, and the 2008 "First Barack Obama" election, how many Presidential elections didn't include Nixon, Dole, or Bush on the ticket? Run your mouse over this for the answer, which will simply floor you: ONE
  4. "Bicycle Thieves" is the simple story of a poor Italian man, his son and a stolen bicycle. It is one of the finest films I have ever seen. Considered by many to be a masterpiece of Italian neorealism, the movie is bleak, beautiful, sad, joyous, hopeful, moving and sublime. I was confused when I started searching for this film online, because it is also called "The Bicycle Thief." Both titles refer to the same film. They are merely different translations of the Italian title. "Bicycle Thieves" was adapted for the screen by Cesare Zavattini from a novel by Luigi Bartolini. At 69 years old, the film does not seem dated. It is a timeless tale that still feels fresh and relevant today. One of the earmarks of neorealism is the use of non-actors. Neither Lamberto Maggiorani , who plays the father, nor eight-year-old Enzo Staiola, who portrays his son, were trained actors. Both give magnificent, moving performances. Staiola is irresistible as the little man, trying as hard as he can to keep up with his father as they search the streets of Rome for the bicycle. He has the most expressive eyes, and is able to communicate a full range of emotions with a simple glance up at his father. I felt the deep bond between these two, and the scene where they share a well-earned meal of mozzarella sandwiches is one of the best moments I have seen captured on film. Shot in black-and-white, the film is lovely looking, with artistic images of the grittier side of Rome. The story is simple, yet compelling. I was completely caught up in the tale, and felt as if I was running alongside the pair, racing against time, trying to help them find the bicycle and a way out of their life of poverty. "Bicycle Thieves" reminded me a lot of the French film "The 400 Blows," a movie that I adore. I highly recommend these two films. Watch them both. You won't regret it.
  5. "Once a Jayhawk, Always a Jayhawk" on kuathletics.com "'I Hadn't Run in Years': Ex-Kansas Player, 89, Scores in Scrimmage" on cbsnews.com
  6. I'd call this "trivia," except that it's too historically significant to be trivia; it's simply an amazing statistic that you'll need to self-verify in order to believe: How many Presidential elections between 1948 and 2008 (not including 1948 and 2008) had a Republican Ticket *without* Nixon, Dole, or Bush on it? Answer: One. Look it up. If we add Roosevelt and include both Tickets, we can go back to 1928 and the answer will be Two (1948 and 1964) - that's eighty years! This is presented as interesting, historical fact, and isn't subject to partisan commentary. Sorry.
  7. "Rope," Hitchcock's first Technicolor film, was an experiment of sorts for the director. The action takes place in real time, edited to appear as a single, continuous shot through the use of long takes. This movie is based on a play of the same name, and this filming technique makes the viewer feel as if they are watching a play rather than a film. *** SPOILER ALERT! *** "Rope" is the tale of two young roomnates who strangle a former classmate minutes before they host a dinner party. The corpse is stuffed into a large chest, on which they decide to serve their meal to their guests. The men had no issues with the deceased; they merely wanted to murder for murder's sake. Among the guests at the dinner party are the dead boy's father and fiancee. James Stewart plays the young men's prep school housemaster, who eventually unravels the mystery. John Dall is outstanding as the arrogant Brandon Shaw, who thinks commiting the perfect murder makes him superior to other men. Constance Collier gives a delightful performance as the dead man's aunt. James Stewart seems miscast in his role, and Farley Granger overacts on occasion as the nervous pianist. There is, however, a wonderful scene with Granger playing the piano while Stewart's character questions him. The metronome ticks faster and faster while the music becomes increasingly dissonant, creating a palpable sense of terror and suspense.
  8. With apologies for the lousy formatting, Don had this quote in the thread about who is the greatest men's tennis player of all time: "I read this article the other day which says that there are two athletes in American history that 'transcended and transformed' their sport: Babe Ruth and Wilt Chamberlain. I can't disagree with this - not even Gretsky had the impact those two had." The author picked the wrong hockey player. If you're looking at someone who "transcended and transformed" hockey based on offensive stats, it's Bobby Orr. He was the first offensive defenceman, and I mean "offensive" in the most positive light. As an example, without his example would Hall-of-Fame players like Paul Coffey or Ray Bourque played the way they did? (Disclaimer: I know a lot about Orr because he is my mom's favorite hockey player. Over a decade ago I bought her an autographed black-and-white 14"x20" of him flying through the air after his Stanley Cup-winning goal. Happiness is making your mom cry in a good way. BTW, his birthday is March 20.)
  9. Strandbeests are the kinetic sculptures of Dutch artist Theo Jansen. Created out of PVC piping, chords, and plastic sheeting, the beests march across the wind swept beaches of Scheveningen, Netherlands. From Dec. 3-7, 2014, Jansen will be bringing his creations to Art Basel Miami Beach. The presentation at Art Basel Miami Beach will be a preview for his first major US tour, with stops in NYC, Los Angeles, and Chicago during September 2015. But really you need to watch them to believe them: Video
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