Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Movie Clip Wednesday - Favorite Elizabeth Taylor Movie

That Movie Clip Wednesday Mistress of the Wishy Washy, Boxer is changing her already posted theme to honor the passing of a Hollywood starlet in this week's Movie Clip Wednesday. This MCW Meme has everyone picking a clip from their favorite movies based on a weekly theme while trying to keep the clip or clips to around 3 minutes long. This week's theme is Favorite Elizabeth Taylor Movie. I had the party theme about half way done - DAMN YOU FICKLE WOMEN! I feel better now.

That said, I'm not much of a Liz Taylor aficionado. I mean, there's Cleopatra which is an epic, grandiose spectacle - but a little boring to me. And there's the one I'm choosing because for some reason, I've seen it several times on TV and liked the hometown feel to it. Even though it's a chick movie for the most part. And that movie would be Raintree County (1957).

It's like a scaled down Gone with the Wind. Liz, Montgomery Clift and Eva Marie Saint (who is really hot in this) give outstanding performances. Here's the trailer clip: Interesting fact from IMDB: On May 12, 1956, during the shooting of this film, Montgomery Clift was involved in a serious car accident on his way back home from a party at the house of Elizabeth Taylor. His friend Kevin McCarthy witnessed the accident from his car, drove back and informed Taylor and her then husband Michael Wilding, who immediately drove to the location together with Rock Hudson. Taylor entered the car through the back door, crawled to the front seat and removed the two front teeth from Clift's throat that threatened to choke him. Hudson finally managed to pull him out of the wreck and together they protected him from being photographed until the ambulance arrived. This was necessary because soon after the emergency call had come in to the local police station, reporters were already on their way and arrived at the scene when Clift was still in the car. The accident was well publicized. After nine weeks of recovery and with plastic surgery, Clift returned to the movie set and finished the film, but with considerable difficulties. His dashing looks, though, were gone forever. If you notice in some scenes, his nose and chin look different, and the left side of his face is more or less immobile.

Liz made 3 movies with Clift, this, A Place in the Sun and Suddenly Last Summer. They were scheduled to make a fourth movie (Liz put her salary for the film on the line as insurance), Reflections in a Golden Eye but he died before shooting. So Liz had a very compassionate side to her that didn't come across in her films or show up in the media (as far as I'm concerned).

So if you're not doing anything, head on over to Boxer's for some more Liz inspired devotion.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Movie Clip Wednesday - Best Hitchcock Film

That Movie Clip Wednesday Maven of Murder, Boxer is going old school horror/mystery for this week's Movie Clip Wednesday. This MCW Meme has everyone picking a clip from their favorite movies based on a weekly theme while trying to keep the clip or clips to around 3 minutes long. This week's theme is Best Hitchcock Film. This is a tough one for me because I just used Hitchcock's Life Boat for a theme a few weeks ago. And there are a finite number of good films that he made, so I predict a lot of blogger jinx on this one.

Anyway, I was flipping through the channels a couple of weeks ago and landed on my selection for this week. The Pudge came in and started watching with me and I explained that this was classic horror for 1963. At 12 years old, he couldn't believe people were afraid of The Birds. For someone who's seen movies like Resident Evil and District 9 and played video games like Bulletstorm, I would have to agree with him. I told him it was more like Jaws in that the unknown and unseen can be scary. He wasn't buying it. Then I told him to look at Tippi Hedren's mint green dress. That still wasn't enough. Then we got to this scene and he all of the sudden found some interest. Explosions and guys on fire will do it every time.

And I forgot that Suzanne Pleshette was in this too. An interesting side note (to me). About 12 years ago we were down at Universal Studios Orlando and they had an attraction called "Alfred Hitchcock: The Art of Making Movies". It's not there anymore but part of the show was a made-up scene from The Birds in 3-D. We had the glasses on and I remember it being some of the best 3-D I had ever seen. The Boy was like 6 - 7 at the time and he still remembers it too.

I don't think there's any question that Hitchcock was a master film maker. He was pretty funny too as revealed in some of his cameos. So head on over to Boxer's and see what Hitchcock classics she has in store.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Movie Clip Wednesday - Best Drug/Drunk Scene from a Movie

That Movie Clip Wednesday Gypsy - Acid Queen, Boxer is riding the magic bus for this week's Movie Clip Wednesday. This MCW Meme has everyone picking a clip from their favorite movies based on a weekly theme while trying to keep the clip or clips to around 3 minutes long. This week's theme is Best Drug/Drunk Scene from a Movie. Oh, there are so many movies with great drug and alcohol scenes. Cheech & Chong's car ride scene in Up in Smoke, any scene from Arthur, the Vincent Vega heroin scene from Pulp Fiction and the diet pill scene from Requiem for a Dream are just a few. I really wanted to show the Jerrytown scene from PCU. This is a lesser known college movie with Jeremy Piven but I couldn't find the clip. But I laugh hysterically every time I see this snappy repartee between Gutter (Jon Favreau) and Mersh (Jake Busey - son of Gary Busey):

Gutter: Listen, Mersh, uh, I gotta get beer for this party I'm gonna be a little late for my ride to Hartford.

Mersh: Oh, sorry, Gut man. No can do. [Chuckles] The grand master of funk...descends on the civvy at 8:00 man, and we will be there.

Gutter: Mersh, you hate punk.

Mersh: Funk, Gutter. Funk. George Clinton. [Laughing] Parliament Funkadelic. Dude! Aren't you a music major?

Gutter: Yeah.
[All Laughing]

Gutter: Well, what am I supposed to do?

Mersh: Have a bong hit.

Gutter: What good is that gonna do me?

Mersh: Just one little binger to brighten up your day. Come on, man. [Laughs]


It's a lot funnier in clip form. PCU is definitely worth watching if you've never seen it.

Anyway, I went with my 2nd best scene that I could find a clip for. That would be 1980's Where the Buffalo Roam with Bill Murray and Peter Boyle. Murray plays Hunter S Thompson and is really funny in the part. I saw this in 1982 and it was the first time I had ever heard of Thompson. And this is way better than Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Although I will say that Johny Depp seems to turn up in a lot of drug and alcohol scenes. For some reason, I find Murray doing coke funny. I don't know - you decide.

You want to see some more mind-altered freak outs? Than toke, pass and head on over to see Boxer - you'll forget you did.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Haiku Monday - Pulchritude

White wheat thunderhead.
Cloudy cascade of brilliance.
Farmhouse Summer Ale.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Dim Sum Sunday - Potpie

Big Shamu over at the Karmic Kitchen has brought out the 2 year anniversary edition of her popular food challenge for those of us that are cooking challenged - Dim Sum Sunday. The theme for this week is Potpies. A week or so ago I had to take The Pudge to the orthodontist to have his braces fixed (again). While I was waiting, I started leafing through the current Good House Keeping (I read it for the recipes. What?). I came across a different kind of potpie recipe that I had not seen before and decided that's what I would make for this challenge.

The recipe is Vegetable Beef Potpie. This is as relatively simple recipe that I modified slightly. The only ingredient I had to buy was pizza dough. Everything else I had on hand. I added a cup of celery because I had that in the fridge and thought that if you're going to call it "vegetable", it should have more than tomatoes, carrots and onion.

I chopped and cooked the carrots, onions and celery first.

Then I added the hamburger, cooked it fully and drained the grease. Then I added the chili powder, tomatoes, salt and pepper.

Here's where I got tricky. The recipe calls for the mixture to be poured into four small casserole dishes. I don't have those, so I decided to make one big pie and leave it in the saute pan (less dishes to clean too). I cut the dough into strips and did the lattice work. I don't do that to often so this took some time. And the heat from the meat mixture was softening and stretching the dough. I got it done and brushed the dough with an egg wash.

Now because it was a bigger pie, I decided to add 10 minutes to the baking time. But I was concerned about the dough burning, so I threw some foil over it for the first 10 minutes. When I went to pull it off, it stuck at several points because of the egg wash. I probable should have covered in more loosely and sprayed the foil with Pam. I freed the foil with a spatula, made some quick repairs and then back in the oven.

Anyway, it came out after 25 minutes looking really good. All were impressed.

The verdict. Everyone (including the Mrs) loved it and the boys went back for seconds. The sauce was a little thin and I may add a can of tomato paste the next time I make it. The Mrs thought it was a little spicy (because of the chili and black pepper) but the rest of us decided that shes just crazy.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Movie Clip Wednesday - Best Movie Set in England/Ireland/Scotland and Wales

That Movie Clip Wednesday Irish lass, Boxer is going all UK on our asses with this week's Movie Clip Wednesday. This MCW Meme has everyone picking a clip from their favorite movies based on a weekly theme while trying to keep the clip or clips to around 3 minutes long. This week's theme is Best Movie Set in England/Ireland/Scotland and Wales (I'd like to see who comes up with a movie from Wales)! I did some Google searches and found that most movies that are considered good and fit this category - I've never seen and in a lot of cases - never heard of them. The few I do know have been discussed ad-nauseum for other themes (like Braveheart, anything Monty Python, Austin Powers or Peter Sellers). What to do...what to do.

So I took a different tact on this and asked, what common theme do most of these locations evoke? Knights! Another Google search and I didn't fair much better. But in my research a movie clicked in my head (and it wasn't in Satan's voice - this time). I came up with a movie that I've been wanting to use in a horror/comedy theme, but I'm pulling it out here because - well, I'm desperate. It meets the theme requirement in that it was mostly set in England (although not filmed there). I'm talking about that Sam Raimi classic, and third installment in the Evil Dead series - Army of Darkness, 1992.

For the un-initiated, the Evil Dead series follows the exploits of our hero, Ash (Bruce Campbell) who keeps battling the power of the Necronomicon - The Book of the Dead. He is transported by the book back to 1300 A. D. England (I think) where he wins over the locals, battles the Deadites and finally goes home. This is one of those horror/comedies (in the vein of Shaun of the Dead) that is friggin' hysterical. And this is all Bruce Campbell, playing the arrogant, quiet-cool (sometimes) anti-hero (also sometimes) to perfection. This is Sam Raimi directing and writing at his best. A funny, director's trademark in this (and many) of his movies is Raimi's beat-up Oldsmobile that goes through time with Ash. He included it in most of his early movies, each time more banged up than the last. The items in the trunk of the Olds are not product placements; they're what Raimi actually had in his trunk. Enjoy.

And I had to include the end scene because it's the best line in the whole movie:

Well, that's my version of jolly old England. Head on over to Boxer's to see what else the British Isle's have to offer.

And remember: Alright, you Primitive Screwheads, listen up! You see this? This...! The twelve-gauge double-barreled Remington. S-Mart's top of the line. You can find this in the sporting goods department. That's right, this sweet baby was made in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Retails for about a hundred and nine, ninety five. It's got a walnut stock, cobalt blue steel, and a hair trigger. That's right. Shop smart. Shop S-Mart. YOU GOT THAT?

Hail to the king, baby.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Haiku Monday - Sign

Foragin' fer food.
They wuz Deer Woods long ago.
Stompin' ground garden.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Movie Clip Wednesday - Favorite Political Thriller

That Movie Clip Wednesday movie maven, Boxer is hitting her stride as the political puppet master to us, the deep-cover operatives of Movie Clip Wednesday. This MCW Meme has everyone picking a clip from their favorite movies based on a weekly theme while trying to keep the clip or clips to around 3 minutes long. This week's theme is FAVORITE POLITICAL THRILLER. Political thrillers are okay but not my cup o tea unless it's tied in with a war theme. There are some classic (obvious) thrillers out there such as Dr. Strangelove, All the Presidents Men (which I actually found a little boring) and The Manchurian Candidate. I was going to go with Fail-Safe because of it's interesting (if not unbelievable) storyline but couldn't find a descent clip.

So I'm going out in left field (again? - you don't even play baseball) to pick a movie I watched a bunch of times last year and have been looking for an excuse to use. The IMDB story line is that he is a gun-for-hire known only as Agent 47 and is hired by a group known only as 'The Organization' and is ensnared in a political conspiracy, which finds him pursued by both Interpol and the Russian military as he treks across Russia and Eastern Europe. Do I meet the theme criteria? Good. I know I'm going to take some heat for this movie because it's based on a video game, but I selected 2007's Hitman.

It features Timothy Olyphant as the passionless, 2-dimensional killing machine, Agent 47. That's just the way I like my assassins. And, of course, the sensuous, uninhibited and very hot Olga Kurylenko as Nika Boronina. Which is just the way I like my prostitutes. Enjoy.

Nika Boronina: What colour underwear am I wearing?
Agent 47: You're not wearing any underwear.
(Shades of Tallulah Bankhead)

Looking for more insufferable politicians, espionage and intrigue? Grab your passport and head on over to see what international incident that Boxer has caused for you.

A special "thanks for the memories" to Jane Russell who passed away this week. She helped many of us boys become men through her racy (for the time) films and could fill out a sweater better than Marilyn Monroe.