Jerryaughtry’s Weblog

September 29, 2008

Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont

Filed under: movie review — jerryaughtry @ 12:58 am

Mrs Paltrey at the Claremont is a more sane and slightly acceptable film than one it is compared too: Harold and Maude. Joan Plowright is a terrific English actor: superb is more like it. She shows up at the Claremont, a hotel for those getting old, put put to pasture and out of the way mostly by family. In a happenstance (this is the great thing about the movies, they can put together a good story: nor so easy in real life), she has a fall just as a young Renaissance guy happens by. They have instant rapport. He becomes her “make believe” grandson, replacing the nonrespomsive one; and, the adventure begins. Great characters and good story and a chance to think about getting older and our responses to our own older loved ones.

September 28, 2008

BARNEY FRANK

Filed under: Essay — jerryaughtry @ 5:04 pm

One of my heroes is Barney Franks who is the Democrats “point man” on the bailout fiasco, the House Financial Services Chairman. What endears Barney to me is that he is not terribly unlike Barney and Friends on TV’s Discovery Chanel, watched by my three year old grandaughtet, Lilly. On TV’s Barney, they end with “Barney Says.” These are little lessons on living life that 3 year olds get.

Well, in the financial bailout, the bankers and those related who have gotten us into this mess could use a little “Barney says.” Most of the bankers remember “Barney Says” from a former encounter. He was a last minute sub for some big bankers Association. Here they are at this big gathering, waiting to be told how great they are. Barney gets up and flays the sheep so to speak. He tells them how sorry they are, how they are responsible for the many ills which Americans face. He tells them they don’t care for the poor, adinfinitum. And, after just getting warmed up, someone is heard to say, “who invited those guy?”

What makes this amazingly remarkable is that this was several years ago but in light of this crisis, it is like yesterday.
So, what does all the above say? Well, along with Warren Buffet, I trust Barney to keep our interest at heart during this debacle.

For most of us, we don’t understand how this has happened. We surely can’t see into the future to see what might happen if we don’t do something. How can we know? The ones who got us into this mess and lined their pockets don’t even know. So for now, it is BARNEY SAYS.

September 26, 2008

SONS OF IRAQ

Filed under: Essay — jerryaughtry @ 4:39 pm

The very concept that the Iraqis will have peace in terms of democracy is as elusive as ever even if violence is down. In the latest scenario, the Shiite led government will begin to man checkpoints and in general assume control over the Sunnie fighters known as the Sons of Iraq. These are the guys that were killing Americans that we paid to come over to our side. They are also called Awakening Councils. It is an impossible possibility. If we stay in Iraq forever and back the Sons of Iraq, maybe but left to their own devices, just ain’t going to happen.

Snow Cakey

Filed under: movie review — jerryaughtry @ 1:57 pm

Snow Cake is one of those movies that went straight to video and you can’t figure out why. It does everyhing a movie is suppose to do: great acting, good and quirky characters, a compelling story, serious subject and informs.

On some levels, the movie is very funny. Sigorney Weaver gives, in my opinion, an academy award performance as well as Alan ? And, the movie teaches, how could you possibly want more?

The basic story revolves around the death of a young girl in an auto accident and the utter shock of the one driving the car. His feeble attempt to say he’s sorry plunges him into a world of autism, which in a quirky sort of way redeems him and frees him. Good movie, deserving of 2 parachutes.

September 19, 2008

TWO WEEKS

Filed under: movie review — jerryaughtry @ 12:51 am

Two Weeks is the second movie I’ve seen recently that deals with death and dying. Let’s face it, we all die.

Two Weeks attempted to convey how four siblings dealt with the death of their Mother. Having seem the
movie, I am still trying to figure out how well they did. With such a weighty subject, a director would have to be unusally talented to do justice to it.

This movie would be ideal to have student discussions around, all the way from undergraduates to med school. Not only the subject but the characters and their depth or lack thereof, would lend itself to much discussion.

As this family struggled to come to grips with the Mom’s death, the family dynamics left something to be desired. And, of course, as observers, we get a chance to observe the dysfunctional nature of who they are. Sometimes, you just wanted to say, “grow up.”

It is hard to say exactly what made this picture so unsatisfying. Unappealing characters? To be fair, I think the movie tried to do too much in two hours. Americans are so impatient and have the attention span of a tree.

Sally Field was great. She pretty much carried the movie. I liked the way they did these little vignettes with her on camera, not penetrating enough, however. I’m glad she’s back at work in TV. I’ve felt that she got way too much negativity from the”they really love me” parody when she won an academy award. Oh well.

Even with reservations, I still recommend this movie. See it, two parachutes.

September 18, 2008

Righteous Kill

Filed under: movie review — jerryaughtry @ 2:35 pm

Rightous Kill is one of those movies where everybody gets killed but the director. Al Pachino and Robert DeNiro play themselves. And, to me they are always delightful. And, in this movie, they are. A good story with a twist or two. I think that the basic premise of the movie is something all of us mull from tell to time. We would like to see the bad guys really get it. Those heinous crimes where the evilness of man emergers: the college student kipnapped and killed, the drug dealers who destroy lives, on and on–they get to court and get off or slapped on the wrist. Well, in Righteous Kill, there’s a final justice for these low lives. Kind of reminds me of then TV show Dexter, a righteous serial killer who has his own way of taking care of the bad guys. In stead of saying, the person should be killed, we say, they should be Dextered. See Righteous Kill, it, at least, will take care of your vicarious need to see the bad people get it. 2 parachutes.

TellMe A riddle

Filed under: movie review — jerryaughtry @ 3:22 am

Tell Me A Riddle is a movie mostly about growing old and how to do it. However, there are so many nuances that cannot be conveyed in a two hour movie. Hands down, however, if you are someone like myself who loves movies to have some redeeming purpose. This one did it.

The story is about an old Russian emigrant couple at a stage of their lives where decisions have to be made about their future. Selling their house is kind of symbolic of change. The wife doesn’t want to it and move to an assisted lining facility. The husband is gruff and comes across as a patriarcal insensitve type but not really. The family: children, inlaw seem a little flummoxed about the whole thing. In a kind of peculiar happenstance, they end up with a grandaughter in San Francisco, every visitor’s favorite city for it’s beauty at least. The granddaughter is a nurse and I guess this drives the story. The dying mother has flashbacks to her time in Russia, PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) type flashbacks. Interesting movie. Two parachutes.

September 11, 2008

PEOPLE AS PEOPLE

Filed under: Essay — jerryaughtry @ 8:41 pm

So much has been made out of Sarah Palin that based on where one stands on the political sprectrum, she is the greatesy thing since sliced bread or, if you are watching Fox News, she is a saint and not only broken the glass ceiling but has blazed a path toward the super woman.

On the other hand, if one watches almost anything else, there is some sort ofbalanced view. What nobody can refute is the idea that the Republicans upstaged the Democratsbigtime with the Palin move–

Having just returned from a solid “red” state, there’s a couple of three or four opinions that are so on the front burner which make me simply astounded. The Republican base doesn’t read, other than that which reinforces there positions. Their credo is simple, “Don’t confuse me with facts, my mind is made up.” This is an opinion piece and one might say my mind is made up but I read and could be persuaded.

A second view, prejudice is alive and well thank you very much. Based on several I talked too, a couple of dozen at least, only one person said, “I admit it, I am prejudice, I am not ready to vote for a black man.”

When I discussed the state of the country, to a person, no one could name anything in the country not screwed up. Facts are useless. Several still think Obama is a Muslim, no persuading them. The idea that race should be put aside and people should be seen as people fell on deft ears.

So, what to do? Since Obama is not asking me, not much to say but will give him mly ideas anyway. Ditch Joe Biden. It is not going to happen but do we want towin the presidency or not. Joe is a good guy and often in the Democratic debates,he could not get support. I never understood it. I mean we are talking none. He was the smartest, appeared to have great debate slills I was at a loss. And, he often gets a bad rap from the press. And, once the moniker of, “talks to much” (and what politico doesn’t–give me a break) got tied to him, it was all the media zeroed in on.

So–why should Joe go? Obama needs Hillary. We need her, the draw, the passion of her supporters. Nobody dreamed that the Palin factor would be in play. Wake up and smell the roses. The stakes are too high. Got to have Hillary. Remember, you heard it here first.

September 6, 2008

The Volunteer Army

Filed under: Essay — jerryaughtry @ 5:03 pm

Recently, three Vietnam vet buddies of mine got together to tell war stories, talk politics and kind of “Be” to use a movie line from my favorite baseball movie, Bull Durham. Kevin Costner says to his love interest, “I don’t want to talk baseball, I just want to be.” I understand. With fellow vets, we often simply want to be.

I like to think of vets as a fraternity. And, even more so, Vietnam vets. Our usual line is that we fought a war in Vietnam and then we fought one at home. It doesn’t mean that we all think alike but there is the idea pf tje shared experience and there is nothing like combat to produce comraderie. Although the other night, we didn’t see eye to eye in politics, we did all agree on one subject; the militry is in a mess and we fear for the future. And, although most today talk about supporting the troops, it really is somewhat hollow since so few are serving. Most don’t even know anyone who is in the military. During Vietnam, we had the draft and the country was more connected. Even with the protest movement, more saw Vietnam as something we were all a part of. I, for one, think the protest movement got too much credit for ending the war, still, they were connected. Not so today. We have a Volunteer Army and most people feel that we pay them to fight for usk, i. e., a mercenary force. And, basically this is true. But, what a downer in terms of our democracy. At best, we ought to have some sort of National Service. It doens’t have to be the military, it could be Teach America, Habitat for Humanity, any nonprofit or the person could choose their own service. This is no novel idea, it is on the drawing board by a few folks but where it has no attention is on the National Stage. And, I think that either of the presidential candidates could make alot of money figuratively speaking if they were to choose this path. We have not been asked to sacrifice, in any way; and, in a sense, this is going to catch up to us, us three felt. Our biggest sin is that we are not giving America’s youth an option that could make a difference to them and to America. Shame on us.

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