Sunday, August 31, 2014

Last Ten Movies I've Seen: In the Age of Netflix Streaming

Greetings to our blog readers in the Czech Republic, Azerbaijan and Canada.

Yes, there is a legit reason why we have images of Mao Tse Tung, a fried egg and Charlie Brown; they are all somehow related to the last ten films I've seen, which includes four films watched via Netflix streaming and another three watched through Netflix dvds! But, we did actually see "Boyhood" and "Snowpiercer" at the cinema.

Here is the last 10:

1) Not Fade Away. dir: David Chase. 2012

2) Yumurta/ "The Egg." Turkey. dir: Semih Kaplanoglu. 2007.

3) That Cold Day in the Park. dir: Robert Altman. 1969.

4) "La Chinoise"/"The Chinese" France. dir: Jean-Luc Godard. 1967.

5) Buried. Dir: Rodrigo Cortes. 2010 w/ Ryan Reynolds

6) Ginger and Rosa. Dir: Sally Potter. 2012.

7) Snowpiercer. South Korea (in English). Joon-ho Bong. 2013

8) A Touch of Sin. China. dir: Jia Zhangke. 2013

9) Stuck in Love.dir: Josh Boone. 2012.

10) Boyhood. dir: Richard Linklater. 2014

Saturday, August 30, 2014

This Weekend at the Cinema: "The Congress" is NOT About Washington, DC

Greetings to our blog readers in Iceland, Japan and planet Mars!

Girl Power! Today, we feature three films starring women, which are either opening or are still showing at various theatres, cinemas and drive-ins in our mid-Atlantic portion of the United States.

We start off with the lovely Star Lite Drive-In in Christiansburg, Va (near Blacksburg) where they are screening "Lucy" at 8:45 pm and 10:30 pm this weekend; Scarlett Johansson once again delivers.

In Washington, DC, an indy film called "The Congress" is opening at the West End Cinema, but the film about an aging actress who decides to maintain her beauty by capturing herself digitally has nothing to with the U.S. Congress. Robin Wright who is in the Netflix series "House of Cards," which is actually about the U.S. Congress, stars in the film.

At the same venue, "Life of Crime" based on the Elmore Leonard novel "Switch" begins its run; the film features Jennifer Anniston and Tim Robbins. Curiously enough, it is also showing at the Tower Theatre out west in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The historic Byrd Theatre in downtown Richmond, Va., which usually shows second-run features is showing "Maleficent" with Angelina Jolie (is she the one married to Brad Pitt? Just kidding!). The cinema is also showing "Tammy" and "How to Train Your Dragon 2."

The Grandin Theatre in Roanoke, Va., is showing "Life After Beth" which just one screening at 9:15 p.m. throughout the week; the same venue is opening "Calvary," an Irish film about a Catholic priest, this weekend, a film that is also showing at many arthouses, including the Carolina Theatre in Durham, NC, and a/perture in Winston-Salem, Va., which is also screening "Alive Inside," a documentary explaining how music can dwelve into our souls and transmit healing powers. We suspect that the new age group of yesteryear Tangerine Dream is better able to perform this task than the speed metal band of yesteryear Anthrax???!!!!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Virtual Postcard from North Carolina: Wool E. Bull Sez Hello....

These scores from last night (Wednesday night) will be outdated very shortly, but since there was apparently no rain all along the east coast and areas in the Midwest east of the Mississippi River, all of the scheduled games in the Triple-A level International League were played last night.

For those of you in Sweden or Malaysia who may not understand how the minor league baseball system in America works, some players who need to work on some skills play three levels of baseball in the hopes of playing for a major league team like the New York Yankees or the St. Louis Cardinals.

Wool E. Bull (pictured top) is the mascot for the Durham Bulls in Durham, NC. The team has been successful on the field as they are perennial contenders, and the team was the subject of 1988 film "Bull Durham" with Kevin Costner, Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins. Over the weekend, Sarandon became the latest celebrity to have ice water dumped over head in a bucket to raise awareness for ALS.

Here are last night's scores; home teams are in (*):

1) *Norfolk 5 Charlotte 1

2)  *Gwinett 8 Durham 1

3)  Buffalo 6 *Scranton 5 (first game)

4) *Scranton 8 Buffalo 3 (second game)

5) Columbus 9 *Toledo 4

6) *Lehigh Valley 5 Pawtucket 1

7) *Syracuse 4 Rochester 3

8) Louisville 8 *Indianapolis 3

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Virtual Postcard from Maryland: The Mascot of the Frederick Keys

Maryland is home to the National Museum of Dentistry in Baltimore, the grave of Peley, the Little Rascals' dog in the D.C. 'bur b of Silver Spring, and a statue of Testudo the Terrapin who has left the ACC for the Big Ten (editorial comment: BOO!) in College Park.

But, our choice for this virtual postcard is of Keyote, a coyote, which is curious because we imagine there aren't many coyotes in Maryland, who is the mascot of the Frederick Keys in Frederick, a medium-sized city about 45 miles west of Washington, D.C.

The Frederick Keys split a double-header at home with our hometown team the Salem Red Sox, from Salem, Va., in Carolina League play; here is the complete scoreboard from Wednesday night's games. The home team is marked with an (*).

*Frederick 3 Salem 1 (game one)

Salem 5 *Frederick 4 (game two)

Potomac 3 *Wilmington (Del.) 0 (game one)

Potomac 3 Wilmington 0 (game two)

Lynchburg 6 *Carolina 2

*Myrtle Beach 16 Winston-Salem 5

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

English Premiere League Scoreboard: Arsenal Beats Everton 2-2

Greetings to those of you in Scotland and Slovenia, especially since many people in those countries are watching the UEFA match between Celtic United and Maribor!

In the English Premiere League (EPL), Montenegro international player Stevan Jovetic (pictured top scored two goals to secure defending champ Manchester City's 3-1 win over Liverpool yesterday.

Over the week, French star Olivier Giroud who plays for Arsenal slipped the ball between past American star goal-keeper Tim Howard who plays for Everton for a come from behind 2-2 tie, which felt like a win for Arsenal as the road side was down 2-0 at half-time.

Arsenal will now host Istanbul powerhouse Besiktash, which is the favorite team of our friend Ahmet Bob Turgut. The two teams played to a highly exciting 0-0 tie in Turkey (it was perhaps the best 0-0 game we've watched in years).

It was also a good weekend for Belgian national Nacer Chadli (pictured center) who scored two goals for the London squad Tottenham Hot Spurs in their 4-0 thumping of cross-town Queens Park Rangers (QPR).

Finally, Nathan Dyer (pictured with soccer ball, bottom) scored the lone goal in the 21st minute to propel Swansea, the only EPL team that is currently based in Wales, to a 1-0 win over the recently promoted Brunley.

Here are the rest of the EPL scores:

1) Manchester City 3 Liverpool 1

2) Everton 2 Arsenal 2, tie

3) Tottenham Hot Spurs 4 QPR 0

4) Swansea 1 Burnley 0

5) Sunderland 1 Manchester United 1, tie

6) Chelsea 2 Leicester 0

7) Crystal Palace 1 West Ham 3

8) Hull City 1 Stoke City 1, tie

9) Southhampton 0 West Brom 0, tie

10) Aston Villa 0 Newcastle United 0, tie

Monday, August 25, 2014

Sunday Comic Strips Survey from "The Washington Post:" A Good Week for Fish

Since the top three comic strips of week revolved around Sherman the shark ordering a fish on a cellphone for dinner at a fine seafood restaurant, an eagle with an Afro, and the misadventures and hijinks of a space hero who takes himself a bit too seriously: we chose to go with images of a goldfish, an eagle, and Neil deGrasse Tyson, who hosts the new version of "Cosmos" on tv. The comic strip "Speed Bump," which also featured fish finished fifth in our survey.

With that in mind, here are our top ten comic strips from the Sunday edition of "The Washington Post:"

1) Sherman's Lagoon


3) Brewster Rockit

4) Dustin

5) Speed Bump

6) Pearls Before Swine

7) LIO

8) Foxtrot

9) Doonesbury

10) Prickly City

For a look at our top ten from "The Roanoke Times," to our sister blog:

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Quotes from Off the Beat Path (6 of 6): Alice Cooper

Greetings to our blog-readers in Iceland, The Netherlands, Austria, Ukraine, Israel and Turkey.

We hate snakes (well the poisonous ones and pythons), but that's the case with the American '70s glam rock/heavy metal star Alice Cooper, who will be playing at the Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, NC, on Oct. 22.

Here is his quote from the singer best known for "School's Out" and "No More Mr. Nice Guy":

"The most joyous times of the year are Christmas mornings and the end of school."

Friday, August 22, 2014

Quotes from Off the Beat and Path (5 of 6): Sarah Silverman

Since we fully realize we will never the blog hits that Andrew Sullivan or our good friend Chris Knight will get from their blogs, we hope that by quoting the always brilliant lightning rod  stand-up comedian/actress Sarah Silverman that a few people in Ecuador pay attention to us.

Silverman, 43,  is an agnostic Jew who admits that she likes Jesus; religion is one of her favorite topics to make fun of.

Here is one of her quotes:

"I have a ton of Holocaust stuff, and some of it is hard core."

Quotes from Off the Beat and Path (4 of 6): Marcel Marceau

Though the late, great Marcel Marceau was a French mime and not known for speaking, today, we feature a quote from this comic genius who ironically said the only line in the mid-70s Mel Brooks movie "Silent Movie."

Here is his quip:

"To communicate through silence is a link between the thoughts of man."

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Quotes from Off the Beat and Path (3 of 6): Parker Posey

Today for our second quote off the beat and path, we go to independent movie queen Parker Posey, who has also been in Hollywood films like "Josie and the Pussycats" and "You've Got Mail," a romcom with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, but we lover her more for "Best in Show," "Personal Velocity" and "The House of Yes."

Here is the quote from Posey who will turn 46 in November:

"I'm the character actor in Hollywood movies, the girl who has to be so annoying so the guy can go to the other girl."

Quotes from Off the Beat and Path (2 of 6): John Waters

When we last posted 12 days ago, Robin Williams was still alive, everyone from Bill Gates to Didier Drogba to the Florida State women's volleyball team had not taken the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, and Ferguson, Mo., was a suburb of St.Louis no one outside the Show Me State knew of.

So, here is our quote from the Baltimore hipster, film director and author John Waters:

"I pride myself on the fact that work has no socially redeeming value."

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Off the Beat and Path Quotes (1 of 6):: Slavoj Zizek

Today, we start a new series of quotes from people who are not in the mainstream. And, we can't think of a better place to begin than with modern Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek, 65, who states that he is actually a communist. Zizek is also known as an ardent film connoisseur and his sharp wit. Here is his quip:

"I agree with Sophocles: the great luck is not to have been born, but as the joke goes on, very few people succeed in it."

Friday, August 8, 2014

Top 10 Roanoke Times Comics...........yeah, we are just not getting around to posting this.....

Greetings to those of you in the Netherlands, Australia, and Israel.......even though we aren't fans of Benjamin Netanyahu here........domestically, we want to send greetings to those of you in Hartford, Baltimore and Dallas.

What do The Three Bears, King Midas and the late Rodney Dangerfield (all pictured above) have in common you might ask? Well, our favorite Sunday "Roanoke Times" comic strips (the newspaper serves Roanoke, Va., and surrounding areas) touched upon the three bears (Non-Sequitur), royalty (Speed Bump) and stand-up comedians (Doonesbury) is the list:

1) Non-Sequitur (a first time number one)

2) Speed Bump

3) Doonesbury

4) Funky Winkerbean

5) Pearls Before Swine

6) Zits

7) Garfield

8) Agnes

9) Dilbert

10) Get Fuzzy

Monday, August 4, 2014

The Last Ten Films I've Seen: Avoid the Bad Mafya Babasi Film

It has been a full two weeks since we last posted a blog entry. Of course, in the modern age, two weeks is like six and a half years, or is it like 14 minutes? We will let the Slovenian modern philosopher Slavoj Zizek, a fellow film connoisseur, answer that question. In the mean time, here are the last ten films I've seen (mafya babasi is the Turkish term for mafia father/boss):

1) The Serpent and the Rainbow 1988. Director: Wes Craven (Image #1: It's actually a snake-handling church in West Virginia).

2) Saturday Night, Sunday Morning. 1960. dir: Karel Reisz

3) Massacre Mafia Style. 1978. dir-Duke Mitchell (Image #2, which is of Al Capone; this is a terrible movie which aired during TCM Underground)

4) Begin Again. 2013. dir: John Carney. w/Keira Knightley

5) It's a Disaster. 2012. dir: Todd Berger. w/Julie Stiles (Image #3: A Mushroom Cloud)

6) Goodbye, First Love. France 2011. dir: Mia Hansen-Love

7) Airplane! 1980. dir: Jim Abrahams, et al.

8) Life Itself. doc. 2014. dir: Steve James (film about Roger Ebert's last days)
9) Bastards. France. 2013. dir: Claire Denis

10) Bill Cunnigham New York. doc. 2010. dir: Richard Press