Friday, February 25, 2005

Cheaper By The Decade

Films Recently Watched:

Cheaper by the Dozen (1950) dir. by Walter Lang

Efficiency expert, Frank Gilbreth (masterfully played by Indianapolis native, Clifton Webb) manages his large family the only way he knows how...efficiently. A sweet portrayal of this true story which shows the end of an era of innocence and paternalism.

Cheaper by the Dozen (2003) dir. by Shawn Levy

This "remake" features a college football coach, Tom Baker (played by Steve Martin) who also manages his large family the only way he knows how...badly.

Actually watched these back-to-back the other night. Though both list Frank B. Gilbreth Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey (real life son and daughter) as writers, these two films are "similar" by name only.

What Christy and I didn't understand was why the remake couldn't have been much more similar to the original. I assume that the idea of an "efficiency expert" was a relatively new concept in the 1920's, but we thought it still would have worked for a modern day remake. Now, I don't know that Steve Martin could have pulled off the "efficiency expert" role and perhaps that is the answer. I think the 2003 version was adapted as a vehicle Steve Martin and I guess I can see a writer/director saying, "I don't see Steve being able to pull off the efficiency expert vibe so let's move in a completely different direction...let's make him coach, yeah, a football coach."

Anyway, unless you've got a daughter (or son) who just HAS to see the remake because they want to see Hilary Duff, do your whole family a favor and watch the superior, original, Cheaper by the Dozen.

Other alternatives (to the 2003 "remake"):
Spy Kids - Family friendly in both content and message, this 2001 Action/Adventure is more fun, more engaging, better made, and has a decent 5.1 surround soundtrack.
Daddy Day Care - If seeing a dozen or more unruly kids screaming and running around a house is your bag, try this one, instead.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

The Third Anniversary Of The Day On Which Hannah Was Born...

We had a pretty simple get together.

We appreciated our family members travelling our way for this gathering. Everybody that came travelled at least 2 hours (one way).

Here are a few pictures:
(click any picture to enlarge)

Christy's Parents w/ Hannah

Hannah opening presents from California

Cake from Concannon's.

I do my little turn on the catwalk...

The devices you see my nephews using below are nose flutes. That's right, nose flutes. It takes some practice to figure out how they work, but after just a couple of hours, they were both flute tooting away (not exactly Handel's Messiah, yet, but perhaps someday, boys, someday...).

Films Recently Watched:

Napoleon Dynamite (2004) dir. by Jared Hess

This one was recommended to me by more than one friend who thought I would enjoy it. If there was need to define "offbeat" using a film, Napoleon Dynamite would do the trick. A journey through the title character's school and home life, you never know what's coming next.

The Notebook (2004) dir. by Nick Cassavetes

Picked this up as a Valentine's Day gift for Christy. It was nicely done. All four of the lead actors carry their characters well. I was happy to see the scope (2.35:1) aspect ratio used for this Romance/Drama as they often get a 1.85 treatment. The 2.35 image works for this film and the director did a good job filling the frame with the beautiful South where the story is set.

The Nick Sparks (author of the novel) commentary on the DVD is also well done. He tells some background on where the story came from, differences between the mediums of film and literature, his experiences with being on set for this film, etc. There is also a director's commentary on the DVD to which I haven't yet listened.

Excalibur (1981) dir. by John Boorman

Got this one from the library due to Prink's recent post. I thought that it had been a long time since I'd seen this. Turns out I never had. There were moments from the film that I remembered, but most of it was new to me. To be honest, I'm not up on my Arthonian legends to know what's what here, but the film is entertaining nonetheless.

Sesame Street Presents: Follow That Bird (1985) dir. by Ken Kwapis

Sick of "Tickle Me Elmo?" "Hokey Pokey Elmo?" "Limbo Elmo?" "Potty Training Elmo?" or Elmo, Elmo, Elmo, in general, but think Sesame Street is OK? Then this is the film for you! Though Elmo is seen briefly near the end of this film, he has no speaking lines whatsoever! Basically, Big Bird gets placed with a family of DoDo Birds and decides he wants to return to Sesame Street, but more than one group sets out to find him, some with more sinister motives than others. With cameos by SCTV stars, John Candy, Joe Flaherty, and Dave Thomas, there is something here for everybody.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Chuck E. Cheese

Well, a few weeks ago, we made our obligatory first visit to Chuck E. Cheese's.

Here are a few pictures:
(Click on any picture to enlarge)

Hannah had a good time riding the rides and playing some of the games.
Rock Around The Clock
Chuck E. Cheese's School of Defensive Driving
We really weren't all about getting tickets, but it seemed like the games spit out tickets regardless of how poorly you played the game, so Hannah would grab the tickets and stuff them in her pockets. We ended up with 66 tickets...
A hard day's work
with which Hannah was able to select a "Cat In The Hat" sticker (50 tickets) and a little plastic thing with hands that slap together and make a noise (hereinafter referred to as the "Hands Thingie") (15 tickets). Hannah wrapped the sticker around the plastic Hands Thingie on the way home. The sticker was thrown away. I don't think Hannah has touched the Hands Thingie since, though, I quite enjoy it.
YES, I was pushing for the whoopie cushion, but Hannah just HAD to have the sticker! Foiled again...
Mr. Cheese, if you please

Films Recently Watched:

Just Married (2003) dir. by Shawn Levy

X2 (2003) dir. by Bryan Singer

Invasions barbares, Les (2003) dir. by Denys Arcand

Monday, February 07, 2005

New Pictures

As we are approaching the third anniversary of the day on which Hannah was born, we decided to have some professional pictures taken of her.

Here are the highlights:

Films Recently Watched - Update

Films Recently Watched:
Buy it from AmazonGone With The Wind (1939) dir. by Victor Fleming; Produced by David O. Selznick

Wow! Epic in every sense of the word, GWTW is an amazing film! I'd never seen it before. I am still loving going back and "discovering" some of these classic films. GWTW was one of those that has become such an icon, that for a while I felt like there was no need to actually see the film (I thought the same thing about Psycho (1960). Boy was I wrong (about both films)!

Vivien Leigh was made to play this role. Funny that the casting of the role of Scarlett was such an arduous process and faced so much scrutiny. I can't imagine anyone else in the role.

From IMDB trivia:
Vivien Leigh worked for 125 days and received about $25,000. Clark Gable worked for 71 days and received over $120,000.

Though it will be very unscientific, I'd like to host a little poll here. In the comments for this post, please indicate whether or not you've ever seen this film from beginning to end. Just curious...

Also recently watched...

Rocky (1976) Directed by John G. Avildsen. Written by Sylvester Stallone.

Rocky II (1979) Written and Directed by Sylvester Stallone

Rocky III (1982) Written and Directed by Sylvester Stallone

Rocky IV (1985) Written and Directed by Sylvester Stallone

Rocky V (1990) Directed by John G. Avildsen. Written by Sylvester Stallone.

The Court Jester (1956) Written and Directed by Melvin Frank & Norman Panama

Interpret my dream

I remember my dreams so rarely that I often doubt what experts say, that everybody dreams - some remember; some don't.

But this one stuck with me, don't know why:

I ordered at least one (maybe more) of everything at Fazoli's . . . through the Drive-Thru. I received my huge order only to be shorted by more than a few breadsticks, so I refused to accept the order and refused to pay for the order. Simon Cowell, of American Idol infamy, incredulous that I would be so picky about a few breadsticks, chased me on foot while I drove off in my S.U.V. My evasion of Simon was only temporary though. Simon tracks me down and the chase ensues again, this time on a mine-car rail system a la Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

That's all I remember.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

What's Wrong With This Picture #3

Click to enlarge
If you think you know, comment below. . .that is, feel free to comment but "what's wrong with this picture" is mainly rhetorical in nature.

Now, I don't wear my patriotism on my sleeve. I don't even own a U.S. flag, but golly, if you're gonna fly it, show some respect!

[angry growl...]

(btw, the "answer" to wwwtp#2 is now posted in the comments section of that post)

Friday, February 04, 2005

In Local Sports News...

The longest losing streak of legendary Indiana High School basketball history has come to an end. The Daleville High School girls' basketball team beat Fort Wayne Keystone 61-27 last night, bringing their six-year, 113-game skid to a screeching halt.

The 0-5 Eagles of Ft. Wayne Keystone also celebrated a small victory in scoring more than 20 points for only the 2nd time this season.

The Lady Broncos of Daleville hope to begin a winning streak tonight when they take on Indianapolis Howe (2-16).

WBST, Indiana Public Radio, Muncie
Indianapolis Star
Fort Wayne News-Sentinel