Archive for Movies

Coen Brothers Collection on sale

If you aren’t a fan of the Coen Brothers already, obviously you’re not a golfer.  That’s OK, because this week Amazon is running a great deal on the Coen Brothers Collection.  Check it out.  This set includes:

  • Blood Simple
  • Raising Arizona
  • Miller’s Crossing
  • Fargo

It’s hard to pass a deal like this up when it’s only 20 dollars, bones, clams or what have you.  Be sure to take advantage before the end of the week!

James Gandolfini dead at 51

Wow, I’m kind of reeling from thisJames Gandolfini recently passed due to a heart attack while in Italy.  In just the past couple of months I marathoned my way through The Sopranos (1999-2007) so I feel like I’ve been seeing a lot of Gandolfini on my screen lately.

I think I first became aware of him when The Mexican (2001) came out, mostly because everyone was talking about his break-out role in The Sopranos.  I also enjoyed his subsequent roles in:

I’ve been looking forward to seeing Violet & Daisy (2011) and Killing Them Softly (2012).  After becoming aware of Gandolfini’s acting chops, I soon remembered him in other roles such as Crimson Tide (1995)True Romance (1993) and Get Shorty (1995).  He’s definitely going to be missed.  While he obviously had the “mob character” down, James Gandolfini showed a knack from branching out and not being type-cast.  I’m going to have to start re-watching his films.

Mr Gandolfini left behind a wife and young daughter as well as a son from a previous marriage.  The flag is flying half-mast here at One Bad Lung.

james-gandolfini_sopranos

Here’s a great article from Yahoo talking about the role of Tony Soprano and why it was so significant.

Holsten’s Ice Cream Shop in New Jersey, location for the last episode of The Sopranos, pays tribute to James Gandolfini.

Netflix losing 2,000 titles

I’ve been a Netflix customer since 2004.  There have been some definite ups and downs over the years as they’ve screwed up contracts with copyright holders and tried to start ridiculous, new services.  It’s getting harder and harder to defend my like of them as the years go on.  I’m amazingly still able to find content to watch and there is actually a decent amount of children’s programming for Ada to watch.  Some friends of mine have switched to Amazon Prime, but I think the real issue at heart for most of them is the free 2-day shipping.  I don’t see myself dropping Netflix soon, but it’s hard to say.  It all depends on what I can watch.  In this upcoming loss of content, you’ll see titles missing from MGM, Warner Bros and Universal.  That could possibly mean no more The Big Lebowski and no more Parks and Rec.  Neither Ron Swanson nor The Dude would approve.

http://www.scpr.org/blogs/newmedia/2013/04/30/13501/netflix-loses-1-794-instant-streaming-titles-tonig/

I did find a list of titles soon to disappear.  While this isn’t exactly the major break up from Starz, I’ve always said I like Netflix because it has hard to find titles that no one cares about.

Gearing up for allergy season

If you have allergies, you’re most likely aware it’s started in force.  Trees have been blooming like it’s no tomorrow and experts are saying this could be THE WORST ALLERGY SEASON EVER.  If you didn’t guess already, these kinds of statements remind me of…

The Sandlot (1993)

The Sandlot (1993)

Exaggerated statements like this are what created the terms Snowpocalypse and Snowmageddon.  They rarely turn out to be as bad as predicted, except for hurricanes and tornadoes, and grocery stores make out like bandits when folks rush to buy all the milk and bread in a 20 mile radius.  Wait a minute, I was talking about allergies.

So last year, 2012, was an awful year for allergies.  I happen to be allergic to molds, grass, ragweed, and trees, as well as dust and dust mites.  There is no off-season for me and mold came around twice.  If you suffer from allergies like me, or are lucky enough to suffer from only one, I want to share a few tips with you.

  1. Wear big sunglasses – they not only keep the sun out of your eyes, they can also block pollen and dust.
  2. Take a shower before bed – this not only leaves you refreshed, you’ll also wash any pollen off your face and out of your hair.  There’s nothing worse than transferring pollen from your hair to your pillow and waking up with swollen eyes.
  3. Be active early or late – if you’re wanting to work outside or exercise, try to do it early in the morning or late at night.  Pollen levels tend to peak during the middle of the day, which is also the hottest.  If you do have to be outside try to take some precautions.
  4. Take your medicine – do I really have to say this?
  5. Keep the inside of your home and car clean – if you’re going to be stuck inside, it might as well be a safe zone.  If dusting isn’t a great option for you, try finding someone else to do it for you.  I pay someone to mow my lawn and it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
  6. Get a HEPA air purifier for your home or office – I’ve been running a Honeywell 50250 at home since 2006 and it’s really saved my bacon.
  7. Encase your pillows and mattress – this can really help with dust and dust mites, as well as pollen.
  8. Drink lots of water – staying hydrated will help keep the mucous flowing which sounds gross, but keeps all the tiny attackers at bay.
  9. Swap your contacts out for your glasses – if my eyes are bothering me, one of the easiest things to do is take my contacts out.
  10. Know your limits – I can’t begin to count how many times I’ve found myself in a bad place and just tried to act like I was fine.  While every boy from the 80s wants to be Rambo, Bruce Lee or Chuck Norris – none of them really are.  McGruff taught us to just say no, so do it.

These are just a few tips, but hopefully they’re enough to get you started.  Hang in there and hopefully 2013 doesn’t turn out to be allergy hell.

Elysium trailer

I just saw the trailer for Elysium (2013) that is slated to be released on August 9, 2013.  Matt Damon [Good Will Hunting (1997) and The Bourne Identity (2002)] and Jodie Foster [Contact (1997) and The Silence of the Lambs (1991)] are the two actors being advertised with it.  Sci-fi fans will also be glad to know  [The Amateurs (2005) and  Equilibrium (2002)] and Michael Shanks [Stargate SG-1 (1997-2007)] are on-board as well.  I believe this is Neill Blomkamp’s second full-length feature film and first film since District 9 (2009).  If you haven’t seen the later, I highly suggest it.  While the movie is about an alien race who comes to Earth and is then trapped in refugee camps, it has a lot to say about racism and apartheid.


http://www.tor.com/blogs/2013/04/the-official-elysium-trailer

District 9 really blew me away with the quality of writing, acting, directing and effects.  If Elysium is anything like it, I’m fairly certain it’ll be a hit.

RIP Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert (1942-2013) died a few days ago on April 4, 2013.  Mr Ebert had an incredible story of hope and perseverance in the later part of his life while fighting an incredible battle with cancer that took part of his jaw, his ability to speak and eat/drink without a feeding tube.  What some people may not be aware of are Mr Ebert’s contributions to film and cinema in the Midwest region as well as the country and the world.

I first discovered Mr Ebert in the basement of my parents’ house in the late 80s while watching TV on the old set we had where you actually had to walk up and crank a dial to change the channel.  Pretty rough, eh?  I have no idea what station I was watching or what the program was called, but I assume it was Siskel & Ebert & the Movies.  This show aired from 1986 to 2010 with different hosts and co-hosts along the way.  Gene Siskel died of a heart attack in 1999 and Roger Ebert continued the show until he stepped down in 2006.  During this time Siskel and Ebert reviewed many, many films.  I didn’t always agree with what they had to say, but there aren’t many who really have the same film tastes I do.

Ebert wasn’t just a guy who watched movies.  He also cared about them and the industry.  Have you ever wondered why the MPAA rating for a film makes no sense?  Well Ebert thought so too.  He was a fan of films being shows at 48 frames per second and also disliked the recent 3D craze.  I came across this video clip today of Ebert defending Better Luck Tomorrow at a Sundance Film Festival screening.

Here’s a paragraph from Ebert’s Wikipedia page describing the situation.

Ebert was also an advocate and supporter of Asian American cinema, famously coming to the defense of the cast and crew of Justin Lin‘s Better Luck Tomorrow (2001) during a Sundance Film Festival screening when a white member of the audience asked how Asians could be portrayed in such a negative light and how a film so empty and amoral could be made for Asian Americans and Americans. Ebert responded, “I was on a panel today with Chris Eyre, the Native American director. And he said, that for a long time, his people, American Indians, had always had to play some kind of a function, like they were the source of spirituality, or the source of great wisdom and they spoke to the trees and the wind and so forth. And he wanted to make a movie that allowed Native Americans to be people. People in some cases who are alcoholics or who are vigilantes, or in prison. What I find very offensive and condescending about your statement is that nobody would say such a thing to a bunch of white filmmakers: how could you do this to ‘your people’? This film has the right to be about these people, and Asian American characters have the right to be whoever the hell they want to be. They do not have to represent ‘their people’!”[73][74][75] He was a supporter of the film after the incident at Sundance, and also supported a number of Asian American films, having them also screen at his film festival (such as Eric Byler‘s Charlotte Sometimes).[76] Ebert was a fan of Asian-American filmmaker Wayne Wang.[77]

One other clip I always chuckle about is Siskel and Ebert’s review of The Big Lebowski (1998).  Siskel really hates the film and Ebert defends it, even using some of the vernacular from Joel and Ethan Coen’s script.  Start watching at 7min 15sec.  I wanted to embed the video, but it starts autoplaying and I find that annoying.  Check out the link below.

http://siskelandebert.org/video/33742M78X79D/The-Big-Lebowski–US-Marshals–Twilight-1998

Roger Ebert’s death is definitely a loss for the film community and while I’m sad to no longer read a new article or see his tweets, I’m definitely celebrating his legacy.

Lebowski infographic

I came across this the other day. There’s a lot of great information on here. If you didn’t know, The Big Lebowski (1998) turned 15 last month on March 6th.  I think it’s one of the greatest films to come out of the 20th century…but that’s just like, my opinion, man.

http://www.wpromote.com/blog/internet-news/big-lebowski-infographic/

15 years with e dude, big lebowski infographic from Wpromote Inc.
Happy Birthday Dude – from, Wpromote