...thoughts expressed here are not necessarily
July 5, 2004 Hope you had a happy Fourth
We spent the weekend helping rehab an old house with
my brother in law. I was surprised to see how the old house was made completely
from what looked to be sawmilled walnut. Extremely hard to put a nail
in or drill through, but we got the drywall off the ceilings in two rooms
and the wall in one and the wiring done. It was hazy , hot and humid all
the way, but a few gracious spurts of breeze were welcome!
|We saw fireworks galore as we passed by many small
towns on our journey home Sunday night. We saw the mass exodus from
Fair St. Louis as we neared home and hit Caseyville as their fireworks
display was ending. That little town knows how to celebrate!
July 5, 2004 More Summer
We saw The Terminal, Tom Hanks' latest movie.
Heres my take on it:
This may be Hanks' best role since Forrest Gump.
is a movie about integrity. Hanks character, Viktor Navorski, is
a man on a mission. Then unexpectedly, he's stranded as a man without
a country when a coup detat in his home country occurs while he
is en route to America by plane. His visa is no longer valid so he cannot
enter the country. He cannot be sent back to a country that the U. S.
government does not recognize. The ensuing story is one of survival in
between the cracks of the legal system and how ethics transcends law.
It is humorous, inspiring, poignant and touching in places, and director
Stephen Speilberg plays our emotions flawlessly. Viktor Navorsky will
be a character many Americans will not be able to empathize with, having
lived so long in a culture that prizes compromised values, situational
ethics, and the easy way out.
Victor is given the opportunity to circumvent the legal system, to become
someone elses problem, but he refuses to leave under those circumstances.
He has a real enemy who is on the attack, a new manager who is short on
humanity in search of expediency. Through all this Victor teaches himself
English, surviving on crackers, condiments, and commitment. He is given
the opportunity to receive asylum if he will just say he fears going back
to his country, but he will not. That would be a betrayal of all he holds
dear. The bureaucrat in charge of the airport is an unsympathetic character
and becomes driven at every point to turn up the pressure on Victor to
flee the circumstances.
Victor is an enterprising man and eventually
finds work on a crew that is rehabbing the airport.A love interest
is introduced when he continually runs into a beautiful flight attendant
who is in an on again off again relationship with a married guy
but who is drawn to Victors sensitivity and wisdom.
In the meantime he makes friends with suspicious
airport employees, even playing intermediary for a lovesick food-services
employee. One final scene leaves him with a choice to sacrifice
the friends he has mane to complete his mission and keep his promise.
His choices and integrity never fail to cause him to
suffer and yet he perseveres to the end. Thats something worth cheering.
Shrek 2 was a delight
as well. The newly married Princess Fiona takes her hubby Shrek to meet
Mommie and Daddy, the King and Queen of Far, Far, Away, (voiced by Julie
Andrews and John Cleese). Daddy is not pleased. Shrek is NOT Prince Charming.
This is a story of its own, not really to be compared with Shrek 1. The
story is quite different, the issues are different for the most part.
We still get Donkeys incessant talking, and fairy tale characters
add more comic relief. Eddie Murphy has eclipsed his Axel Foley character
with his voiceovers of Donkey.
The movie's main theme is about loving people for who they are, not what
they look like and not even necessarily for how they behave. It is about
sacrifice in relationships, and the failure of easy solutions to make
a long term difference, even in a fairy tale land.
|The action scenes are hilarious, the new characters
solid, and Antonio Banderas steals the show as the voice and personality
of Puss-In-Boots. This is a great cartoon character and well
likely see much more of him in future Shrek movies. Banderas brings
much of the panache and humor to Puss from the Zorro character he
played a few years back.
keeps raising the bar with its animation, but the real delight is the
story and non-stop humor, much of which is geared toward adult sensibilities-
for instance, most generations wont get it when Donkey improvises
on the Rawhide theme song.
Well look forward to the ongoing saga of Shrek and Company- I expect
Shrek 3 will see a little Shrekkette arrive on the scene with Shrek being
initiated into fatherhood. And you thought YOUR Dad could be an ogre!