Midnight in Paris

This is Woody Allen’s 41st film. He writes his films himself, and directs them with wit and grace. I consider him a treasure of the cinema. Some people take him for granted, although “Midnight in Paris” reportedly charmed even the jaded veterans of the Cannes press screenings. There is nothing to dislike about it. Either you connect with it or not. I’m wearying of movies that are for “everybody” — which means, nobody in particular. “Midnight in Paris” is for me, in particular, and that’s just fine with moi.”

– Roger Ebert

Aging Well: 9 1/2 Weeks

A friend suggested I re-watch 9 1/2 Weeks a few weeks back.  Truth is… I had never seen it.  My new Apple TV changed that.  My friend was impressed with how well it had withstood the test of time, and I have to agree, considering much of the 80s.   Not over-the-top yuppie.  Downtown, but not Wall Street.  And way cooler than Working Girl.

Hollywood: Do the Right Thing for Pit Bulls

Remember Michael Vick’s fighting dogs?  When police raided his property, they took 51 dogs from the kennels.  In many ways, it may have been a blessing for pit bulls.  Vick and the his southern gangsta downlow hillbilly homeboys screwed them over and there was no reason to think the authorities would do the dogs any favors either.  Of the 51 mangled and ‘menacing’ dogs taken from the property, 47 were deemed worthy of yet another chance at having a decent life.  And they were more than just rehabilitated.  Most are in happy homes.  And a few have even become therapy dogs, which is harder than getting a high school diploma and proves they have a higher IQ than hillbilly Michael Vick.

But on to the subject of this post.   People seem to think that Vick’s dogs, Cesar Milan, and that LP with the show on Animal Planet are going to overhaul the reputation of these dogs.  But NOTHING could change the perception of these dogs on a significant scale like a glossy animated movie – Pixar or Dreamworks-style – out of Hollywood.  Imagine the cute animated pit bull puppy named Chromeo, voiced by Will Smith, confused about why everyone is scared of him.  Sitting at the pound, he wonders why all the families are adopting these seemingly dumb dogs he is surrounded by.  One progressive young family (likely from Park Slope) takes a chance on him.   They encounter danger of some sort. He uses his superior intelligence and Will Smith personality to save the family and win the love of the community. Kids and families across America are rescuing pit bulls by the minute and chihuahuahs become extinct.

If Hollywood can turn out the stars that they do on a regular basis, they can do something for more intelligent creatures.   Steven Speilberg has single-handedly ruined sharks, made people beg for squishy aliens to come back to earth, and somehow made the most boring profession on earth (archaeology) seem like the most adventurous.   He could work wonders for these deserving dudes.

This is an amazing update on the dogs from CBS.

Juxtaposition: On the Set of Planet of the Apes

For as long as I can remember, Planet of the Apes was a part of the Wells household.  Seeing apes talk and act so human-like was super intriguing as a young kid, as I am sure it was to anyone that saw it.  It was one part cool and one part scary as hell.   But even as a kid, I can remember understanding some of the underlying messages of the film.  They were universal and easy to grasp, even at a young age.

A few years back, I remember seeing an extensive documentary about the films that included some behind the scenes photos from the set – in particular, the crazy juxtaposition of these upright gorillas, chimps and orangutans chilling out in director’s chairs, smoking cigarettes and playing cards.  It was amazing.  I was recently reminded of that, and decided to go dig up some stills.  I love these.

%d bloggers like this: