Archive for the ‘Movies’ Category

Saying Goodbye To An Old Friend

We put our dog to sleep today.

This is my eulogy to a shepherd/retriever mix named Mahogany (so named for practically no reason at all, since she wasn’t mahogany colored—we literally couldn’t think of a name for her and this was the first one that was suggested by my sister after a marathon naming session that didn’t make any of us retch). She was getting on in years, had lost much of her hearing and was the second dog in a row that we owned that had Cushing’s Syndrome. But she was in our lives since I was fifteen, which is about half of my life, and she meant a lot to me.

When she was younger, she was a terror. We got her at about eight weeks, the day after Christmas of 1994, and she was adorable and fuzzy and couldn’t go the whole night without having to go out and pee. Somebody had to sleep with her in the back room of our house so that we could take her outside when she needed to. She was terribly submissive, and had a knack for peeing all over the floor when somebody new came into the house. And if somebody showed up in our driveway, she would go crazy, but not because she wanted to hurt them. It was more of a “OMIGOD THERE ARE PEOPLE THIS IS GREAT I LOVE NEW PEOPLE I WONDER IF THEY WILL PLAY WITH ME” kind of thing. Funny that nobody else but us saw it that way, though.

Since then, she was kind of a fixture in my life. I’d come back to my parents’ house for a weekend and she’d be there at the door, as excited to see me as if I had simply gone away for the day and was getting home.

Even as she got older—and her age really started to show—she would still have puppy moments. Though the fur under her chin started turning gray at the young age of two or three, she still loved to go outside and run like there was no tomorrow. And she loved playing in the snow, right up until the end. Somehow, she never really grasped the concept of how large she was. It was always funny to see a sixty-five pound dog try to climb into somebody’s lap while they sat in a recliner. And God save you if she ever climbed on a bed while you were laying on it: your face was inevitably doomed to a quite literal tongue-lashing from the dog, which would only let up once you had capitulated that she was, indeed, the winner.

My mother told me earlier this week that she was going to be put down. I’m thankful that my job affords me the ability to work from any location, because I decided quite fast that I would drive up so I could see her again and say goodbye. And this morning, at nine o’clock, we made the trip to the vet’s to put her to rest.

The entire process took only about two minutes. It’s not the first time I’d seen a family member die—no, this was in fact the third time I’d had the privilege. The vet pushed what seemed to be an absurd amount of anesthetic through a syringe, and quite soon, the pup’s breathing slowed and stopped.

She died with her eyes open. I had thought she would drift off to sleep, but I guess it happened too quickly for even that.

In a way, getting to say goodbye to my dog makes me feel a little better about not being able to say goodbye to my grandmother. The frustration of having one family member pass on so fast is tempered a little bit by the ability to show the other one how much I loved them both. It’s a small consolation, but it is one, at least.

My parents say they probably won’t get another dog for a while. The last time we had to put a dog down, it was about six months before we all decided it was time. Now that there isn’t a whole house full of kids to help take care of it, I wonder if it might not be a little while longer, if at all, before they get another. But this family has always had a dog in it, and I can’t imagine it without one in the house to help keep the cats company.

I just hope that if they do get a new one, it’s not something small. I wouldn’t want to accidentally step on it.


October 23, 1994 — February 20, 2009

You were loved and you will be missed by all—even by those who thought you were trying to eat them.

A Sad Day

Don LaFontaine has passed away.

If you don’t know who he was, look no further:

As a movie buff who grew up on things like “in a world…” I am saddened by this.

Spielberg For The Win.

I don’t consider myself to be especially brave, courageous or dedicated. And in general, I’m pretty disappointed with my government. But there are certain times when I feel really, deeply proud to live in the U.S.

Saving Private Ryan was just on one of the movie channels, and I have to say, when I watch the end of that movie, that’s one of those times. That movie never ceases to provide an opportunity to turn on the waterworks.

I know that this is just a bullshit post, and I do have the intention on writing some meaningful stuff in the near future, but lately I just haven’t felt very motivated.

Now THIS is cool.

So I’ve had a pretty horrible week. What with the events of my previous entry, and the general depression I’ve been feeling, there have been only a few things that I’ve been able to do to keep my moods up. Golf is one of them. The other has been playing the Da Vinci Code Quest on Google. It was a set of 24 puzzles over the course of 24 days, and the idea of it was that it was part of a contest for a pretty amazing grand prize worth over a hundred thousand bucks. The first ten thousand people to finish the puzzles would be entered into the final stage of the contest.

The final stage of the contest is apparently a set of five more puzzles. The person who finishes the puzzles consecutively (they won’t let you take a break after starting) in the quickest amount of time wins the grand prize (which, by the way, I think is a pretty damn interesting way to do a contest winner).

Today, when I got home from work, I had this waiting in front of my door:

(click thumbnails for larger version)
Da Vinci Code cryptex

Opened cryptex with note

It opens and everything! SOOO cool.

Circular, or band?

If you haven’t seen the Saw movies… see them. Seriously.

That’s all.

Elizabethtown surprises

I watched Elizabethtown tonight. At first, I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it. Especially at the beginning, it seemed like it was merely trying to play off of the mood and feeling of the opening of Garden State; it had that same quality of emptiness to it. I think, in fact, that it was supposed to have that quality to it.

But as the connection between Orlando Bloom’s and Kirsten Dunst’s characters began to gain depth, so too did the depth of the film. The idea of an unlikely relationship developing between two unlikely peopl, all with the backdrop of dealing with the death of a family member is just unbelievable enough to make it work. There was definitely a chemistry between the two characters and while it definitely had a romantic quality to it, it went beyond that, too. I think that’s what I liked about it.

Like all of Cameron Crowe’s films, the music played a huge part of the movie, and I really loved how the music (which was practically its own character at the end of the film) framed the action.

Ultimately, though, it was the characters and their relationships that drove the heart of this movie. It’s definitely worth a viewing.

Don’t got much baggage to lay at your feet

I just watched Rent on DVD. Having not had the chance to see it in the theater, I really didn’t know what to expect, and I have to say that as it opened, I was quite skeptical. For starters, they completely ripped apart the opening of the movie. But as it unfolded, I began to understand what they were doing with it and it made more sense.

Thoughts in passing (somewhat chronological, though I didn’t take notes or anything):

  • At first I really didn’t like the opening, but then I realized that there’s just no other place that they could have put “Seasons Of Love.” After all, it’s almost as appropriate at the beginning of the show as it is at the opening of the second act.
  • My God, they REALLY chopped up “Rent,” didn’t they? And what’s up with Mimi already knowing everybody?
  • At first, I was really worried that they chopped up one of my favorite songs, but it looks like “You’ll See” ended up in there, at least in its majority. And just in the right amount.
  • While we’re on the subject of things that made it into the movie, I’ll say now that I was very upset that “Christmas Bells” wasn’t included. I can understand why they cut it: it would have cost millions to film a scene that convoluted. But seeing as I think that “kiss me, it’s beginning to snow” is one of the most romantic phrases ever, I still felt awful at it not being there.
  • Other than that, I was quite pleased with everything, even Rosario Dawson’s performance. From the previews I’d seen, she was much below the ho-hum level, but I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised.
  • So I’m watching the bonus features on Disc Two, and I want to notify any of you who were as upset as I was at not having “Halloween” or “Goodbye Love” in the movie have it in its entirety in the Deleted Scenes section, as is a very interesting and much more stage-like alternate ending.
  • Having worked with Wilson, and seen him in the show back in ’99, I knew how his performance could affect me. What I wasn’t expecting was how much Jesse Martin’s performance would affect me. I was ecstatic that they included “I’ll Cover You (Reprise)”, and I just… cried like a little girl.

Overall reaction: Much more pleased with it than I thought I would be. I’m definitely purchasing this one.

Jon Stewart to host the Oscars?

Stewart to host this year’s Academy Awards ceremony

I’m so watching this year’s Oscars.

My favorite part of the whole article is the comments at the bottom. It’s amazing how ridiculous people can get over this stuff.

Exemplify irony.

Just saw a trailer for The Producers. I just thought that a movie based on a hit Broadway show based on a movie… it brings “remake” to a whole new level.

What’s next, Disney’s The Lion King in live action?

Dark and dangerous times lie ahead…

Just got back from seeing Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.


And I mean damn.

That’s about all I can say for the moment. Okay, I lied. There was very little about this movie that I didn’t like, despite its inevitable departures from the book. Out of the four movies, this one was absolutely the best at standing on its own. I think that people who see it but haven’t read the book will be able to carry more away from it than the previous ones.

I have to absorb this some. I will definitely go into more (and more spoilery) detail later on.

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