Kelly’s Heroes (1970)

I often think of this movie. It was the first  film I saw in a theatre that was not for kids. My Mom got me in.

It made me a Donald Sutherland fan, that’s for sure.

I was already anti-war at that age.

Kelly’s Heroes is a 1970 war comedy about a group of World War II American soldiers who go AWOL to rob a bank behind enemy lines. The film stars Clint EastwoodTelly SavalasDon RicklesCarroll O’Connor, and Donald Sutherland … 

The film received mostly positive reviews. It was voted at number 34 in Channel 4‘s 100 Greatest War Films of All Time.

Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gave the film an approval rating of 80% based on 20 reviews, with an average rating of 6.9/10.

 Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Old Man’s War (2005) by John Scalzi

Old Man’s War is a military science fiction and debut novel by John Scalzi …

It was nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 2006. …

… the first novel in Scalzi’s Old Man’s War series. …

I was reminded of of Ender’s Game.

Scalzi freely admits he was influenced by Robert A. Heinlein’s Starship Troopers.

The writing is juvenile to appeal to teenage boys.

Still, I enjoyed this book. Particularly the plot twist that soldiers must be age-75 to enlist.

Soldier John Perry tells the tale. His consciousness is transferred to a super-powered 20-year-old body.

There are plenty of interesting technologies in this imagined future.

BrainPal is a neural implant that allows members of the Colonial Defense Forces (CDF) to send and receive data, including speech, battle plans and much more. CDF soldiers use their BrainPals to translate alien languages, watch classic cartoons, and read old books.

It was initially optioned for film in 2011, and for the last few years Syfy has been trying to develop it as a TV series. Don’t hold your breath.

I don’t think I’ll continue to the sequel — The Ghost Brigades. 

“Tiny Dancer” by Elton John & Bernie Taupin

After seeing the NEW VIDEO for the classic song, I got these lyrics stuck in my head. For days.

I love this song first released 1971.

Blue jean baby, L.A. lady, seamstress for the band
Pretty eyed, pirate smile, you’ll marry a music man
Ballerina, you must have seen her dancing in the sand
And now she’s in me, always with me, tiny dancer in my hand

lyrics

Bernie Taupin:

We came to California in the fall of 1970 and it seemed like sunshine just radiated from the populace,” Taupin says. “I guess I was trying to capture the spirit of that time, encapsulated by the women we met, especially at the clothes stores and restaurants and bars all up and down the Sunset Strip. They were these free spirits, sexy, all hip-huggers and lacy blouses, very ethereal the way they moved.”

“They were just so different from what I’d been used to in England,” Taupin continues. “They had this thing about embroidering your clothes. They wanted to sew patches on your jeans. They mothered you and slept with you. …

Behind the Song: “Tiny Dancer” by Elton John

The Blue Jean Baby is Maxine Feibelman — Taupin’s first wife.

Click PLAY or watch my favourite version on YouTube.

And here’s the OFFICIAL music video released in May, over 45 years after the song was published.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Winter Sleep (2014)

In Cappadocia I met a U.K. couple who were cycling from England to China. They took a break to visit the region inspired by this film.

Click PLAY or watch a trailer on YouTube.

Winter Sleep is a 2014 Turkish film directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan, adapted from the short story, “The Wife” by Anton Chekhov and one subplot of The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky.

The story is set in Anatolia and examines the significant divide between the rich and poor as well as the powerful and powerless in Turkey.

At the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, the film won the Palme d’Or and the FIPRESCI Prize.

Haluk Bilginer as Aydın, a former actor who is now a writer, hotel owner, and landlord is in nearly every scene. He is excellent.

The cinematography is superb.

It’s a very long film. Over 3 hours. Long intimate dialogues reveal the characters. Slowly.

Too slowly for me. I don’t have that kind of patience.

 

 

I enjoyed “Passengers”

Passengers is a 2016 American romantic science fiction adventure film …

It stars Jennifer Lawrence, Chris Pratt, Michael Sheen, and Laurence Fishburne.

The story depicts three people who are awakened some 90 years too soon from an induced hibernation on a spaceship bound for a new planet. …

On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 31% based on 223 reviews, with an average rating of 5/10. ..

I quite enjoyed the movie. Pratt and Lawrence are likeable. The technology very interesting.

Click PLAY or watch a trailer on YouTube.

Bears – the Disney film

Everyone marvels at how these cameramen could have possibly filmed this footage. I loved it.

Bears is a 2014 nature documentary film about a family of brown bears living in the coastal mountain ranges of Alaska. …

Sky gives birth to two cubs named Amber and Scout in her den on a mountain slope. When April comes the bears will be ready to leave the den. …

When summer comes, so does the yearly salmon run. Dozens of bears gather along salmon streams on the coast to get the best of the run …

Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a score of 89% …

Click PLAY or watch a trailer on YouTube.