4 posts categorized "Games"

01 July 2016

Flags of our great grandfathers and grandmothers

Yankee330rI make no apologies for star-spangled banter when it comes to Independence Day.

So, proudly fly the U.S. flag, thump an ice-cold watermelon, crank some homemade ice cream and get the family together, it's the Fourth of July weekend, time to celebrate this great country of ours.

Continue reading "Flags of our great grandfathers and grandmothers" »

29 July 2014

Getting a handle on scandal

Marilyn Monroe photo courtesy: www.murdermystery.com.au
"It is the public scandal that offends; to sin in secret is no sin at all."
That may have been true when French playwright Molière offered his opinion in the 17th century.
That, however, was before today's "reality" shows on TV, which more and more seem to involve "contestants" in some state of undress or out-and-out nude (either looking for a wild berry lunch or poking a dead animal with a stick).  A popular ABC network TV drama even slices right through the dramatic nuance and titles itself Scandal.
That's scandalous, right?  Well, probably, but what's going on on television these days has nothing on what has gone on in Hollywood -- at least partially behind the scenes -- for decades.
I don't often jump up on a soapbox in this space, but I have two things to say about driving scandalous material like a revved-up speedboat to get ratings or for quick profit:
No. 1:  How dare them, and harumph!
No. 2:  Don't miss "Hollywood's Hot Movie Scandals," just one of my new Movie Memories presentations available for booking starting now.
You may think the juicy exploits of fictional scandalous folks on TV and the latest almost-non outfit flaunted about by hiney-slinging young semi-singers are bad.  Well, you'd be right about that.  And by the way, don't sue me, Miley Cyrus.  Of course I wasn't referring to you.
"Hollywood's Hot Movie Scandals" dives right into real dirt; turning over some rocks and turning the spotlight on questions like:
Was Marilyn Monroe married to the mob?  Did screen goddess Lana Turner kill a guy?  What about silent film star Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle?  What really happened at a party in San Francisco where a young woman died?
And, perhaps you didn't know that the great Ingrid Bergman was once denounced on the floor of the U.S. Senate.
We'll cover all of that and more in "Hollywood's Hot Movie Scandals."
And since it's hot, the newest Movie Memories presentation deserves a special hot offer.  So here it is:  The first 10 groups that book "Hollywood's Hot Movie Scandals" between now and Aug. 15 will get a $25 discount. 
Hurry, though, you must book by Aug. 15 to take advantage of this special offer.  And please remember that this offer is limited to the first 10 bookingsSo call 214-364-7364 today!
By the way, check out our other new presentations, "Big Screen Dysfunctional Families," "Marlon Brando:  The Man Behind the Icon" and others, by clicking on the Presentations link here or above.

Sandra Bullock turns the big 5-0


(Courtesy: www.yami-online.com)
The first time I met and interviewed Sandra Bullock she offered me a cookie.  And not just any cookie.
"Would you like a biscotti?" And she didn't say it like a prissy movie star who was too good for an Oreo or a Fig Newton, either.  Somehow when Bullock offered the twice-baked elongated Italian bread-like cookie, it was like she had just baked them in her own oven, which just happened to be in the house next door to mine.  And yours and everyone else in the U.S. of A.
Ms. Bullock, now an Oscar-winner for her tumbling, lost-in-space turn in Gravity last year, has had one of those birthdays with a zero in it.  In the old days -- say, oh, 10 years ago -- that might be it for a leading lady.
Meryl Streep, Bullock and others have shattered that glass ceiling to smithereens, though.  CNN.com recently posted a photo essay tribute to Bullock's hits and misses over her substantial career.  Click this link to take a visual trip through Bullock's hits and misses.
Oddly enough, though, the CNN folks left out Speed, the runaway 1994 hit that propelled America's cinematic sweetheart to fame.
If I remember correctly, my interview with Ms. Bullock for Speed is also where I enjoyed my first biscotti.

Trivial trivia, or games people play


Rico (Edward G. Robinson) is gunning for trouble in "Little Caesar." (www.dailyfilmdose.com)
What better way to while away a little time, perhaps when the boss is away on one of those extended lunches, than with trivial pursuits, especially when they bring back classic movie memories.
That's why we've come up with the Movie Memories Movie Quote Quiz.  Check out our Movie Memories Facebook page (www.facebook.com/moviememories) or Twitter page (@moviememories1) every weekday for a snapply little cinematic brain teaser.  They range from the rediculously easy like "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn" from Gone With the Wind to classic quotes that present a little more of a challenge.
On Tuesday (July 29), for instance, former Dallas Morning News film critic Philip Wuntch remembered that it was Edward G. Robinson as "Rico" Bandello who said, "Mother of mercy, is this the end of Rico?" in the gangster classic Little Caesar (1930).
So, when you can spare a minute, give our little Movie Quote Quiz a try.  It's fun.  You might know more than you think you know.  To be fair, though, we ask that you work from memory only, and don't peek at the answer.  And, perhaps most importantly, no wagering.  Good luck!

20 August 2012

Once a King was enough for me

King300This is about the time I squared off for about a 20th of a round with boxing promoter Don King in the Las Vegas airport.

At a frozen yogurt stand at the Las Vegas airport to be more exact.

Eight or 10 years ago I was returning from Los Angeles movie star interviews and had a 40 or 50-minute stopover between flights at the Sin City airport.

It only took me five minutes or so to lose $37 in the conveniently located airport slot machines.  That was all I had on me, except for a fiver I kept for emergencies.  So I looked around for another vice to keep me occupied until my flight was called.

"There it is," I said to myself as I wandered away from the ding-ding-ding of the alluring slots.  "Frozen yogurt!"

You know frozen yogurt.  It's that mystery chilled concoction -- neither ice cream nor yogurt, really -- that ice cream-a-holics like me shovel down with slightly less guilt than the full-fledged stuff that comes from the overly contented cows seen in TV commercials slurping down grass outside the Blue Bell ice cream factory in Brenham, TX.

I was looking over the wall menu when I heard some commotion behind me.  I looked around just in time to see Don King and his entourage nudging people in line aside as they plowed their way in unison -- like a well-trained NFL offensive line; No, more like a snowplow disrupting a tranquil neighborhood street full of playful kids -- to get to the counter.

"I don't care if it is Don King.  They'll have to get through me if they want the No. 1 spot in line," I thought as my lips tightened and I prepared for battle.

Well, they got through me without much of a fuss (for them, at least).  I floated out of their path with the slightest wimpy resistance.  Unlike Muhammad Ali, I never quite got around to stinging like a bee.

I was seething and hot under the collar, though.  In fact, I had to order a large to cool down after King and his court were gone.

I say all that to say this.  Somewhere, Don King is celebrating his 81st birthday today.  So, happy birthday, Mr. King.  I hope you're enjoying a celebratory frozen yogurt without having to bluster your way to the front of some line today.

And I apologize for thinking what I wanted you to do with that frozen yogurt (cone and all) back in Vegas.  I've calmed down since then.

Besides, I'm pretty sure that's not even even humanly possible.   

Great to CD you, Ron Young

Ron Young's been pickin' and singin' "Under the Texas Radar" too long.
I have no idea when Ron Young's birthday is.

But know this, the title of Ron's new CD, "Under the Texas Radar," sums up the talented Texas troubadour's plight and fight to claim a place as a Lone Star singer-songwriter to be reckoned with right alongside Willie Nelson (the king, of course), Ray Wylie Hubbard, Joe Ely, Robert Earl Keen, Pat Green, Billy Joe Shaver and The Derailers (a personal favorite).

Ron has pulled off the near-impossible; making the difficult transition from a music critic to a bona fide musician himself.

The first time I met him Ron walked into the San Antonio Light newspaper newsroom in the early 1980s to drop off his weekly music column.  I had just arrived in San Antonio, and was settling in as an entertainment reporter and film critic.

Although his music reviews were concise, informative and fun to read, Ron just had that look.  He was not yet where he was someday going to be.  From this aisle seat, Ron has arrived there with "Under the Texas Radar," a 15-tune declaration of independence and Young's bill of rights.

I'm still humming the catchy, somewhat playful beat of "Done (Stick a Fork in Us)," a tune of remorse over a busted relationship that somehow comes with its own musical fog machine in an attempt to shield the pain.

Young, like so many others with a heart bursting with dreams, a guitar case in hand and a notebook full of songs, made the musician's pilgrimage to Nashville, and has written more than 400 songs by his count.  "A Long Ride" chronicles those years.

What impresses me most is that Young bares his soul between the guitar strums.  That has to be the real test of a singer-songwriter worth his salt and shot of tequila at the end of a long barroom night.  The song that got to me most was "Daddy's Chair," a lament about what really matters in life.

You'll hear a little Bob Dylan, a little Hank Williams and even a little Bob Wills in Young's music.  And perhaps Young's knowledge of his musical peers, perhaps a byproduct of his old music critic days, inspired his request for a little musical mentorship in "Waitin' On Willie."

What makes "Under the Texas Radar" a four-jalapeño listening experience for me, though, are those moments when Ron breaks the bonds of his influences and just sings as himself.

Ron Young doesn't need to wait on Willie any longer.  He has arrived.

An open invitation

I'm very happy to, once again, offer a series of film classes this fall at Richland College as part of the Emeritus plus 50 program.

Things will be a little different this time.  The Movie Clips and Current Conversation series, which runs for four Thursday mornings Sept. 13 through Oct. 4 from 10-11:30 a.m., will feature lively discussion.

It's an opportunity for you, the student, to share your opinions and thoughts on subjects like "Do movies reflect our actions or dictate them?" and "The movies today:  High prices, outrageous snack costs and cell phones," just to cite a couple.

This is a non-credit course with a fee of only $18.  And remember, there is no homework, no outside study and no final exam, just a chance to get out of the house and meet some folks who, like you, have an interest in staying active and maybe even learning a thing or two.

If you'd like to join in the fun, call the Richland College Continuing Education Department at 972-238-6146 or 972-238-6147 and tell them you'd like to sign up for course SRCZ 1000 81911, registration No. 789367.

(Don King photo courtesy:  telegraph.co.uk/Ron Young photo courtesy:  Tana Thomasson/Ronlyoung.com)

09 July 2010

Play movie trivia, win some stuff

Cup200 Summertime, and the feeling is movie trivia.  It's fun.  It's easy and, this summer, it's rewarding. 

In fact, the first person who e-mails me with all five correct answers to this month's trivia will win not one, but two Movie Memories collector coffee mugs stuffed with decadent popcorn and candy.

Second place picks up one Movie Memories mug filled with sticky candy and microwave popcorn.

So get busy, and e-mail your answers to [email protected].  If you're stumped and just want to learn the answers, also e-mail [email protected] and I'll gladly send them to you.

'You must remember this.' -- Movie trivia --

1.  Complete this classic movie title.  "The Long, Hot ..."

a.  Dog

b.  Summer  

c.  Lindsay Lohan

2.  One more time.  "Suddenly, Last ..."

a.  One in is a rotten egg

b. Will and testament 

c.  Summer

3.  Thing you absolutely can't do in a movie theater:

a.  Text

b.  Tweet

c.  Go to an R-rated movie without someone bringing a child.

4.  Movie concession stand treat that's not what it sounds like: 

a.  Hot Tamales

b.  Cheese nachos

c.  Popcorn 

5.  Which is not a real movie title?

a.  "Drag Me to Hell"

b.  "Exit Through the Gift Shop"

c.  "Put a lid on it" 

For Trivia Answers, or to enter this month's trivia contest (See above), e-mail [email protected].

Upcoming Movie Memories presentations

(Have you booked one for your group yet?)

July 21:  An Enrichment Presentation at Richland College, Dallas. "'Casablanca' -- My Favorite Movie of All Time." 1:45 p.m.

Aug. 2:  Richland College Emeritus Program class No. 1. "If You Can't Say Something Nice -- My Career as a Film Critic" presentation.  10 a.m.

Aug. 9:  Richland College Emeritus Program class No. 2.  "Deadline Pressure ... What Deadline Pressure" presentation. 10 a.m. 

Sept. 13:  "'Casablanca' -- My Favorite Movie of All Time" presentation at Presbyterian Village North, Dallas.  6:30 p.m.

Nov. 16:  "'Casablanca' -- My Favorite Movie of All Time" presentation at Chambrel at Club Hill, Garland.  6:30 p.m.

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