Donna S.'s blog

Jack's Back!

We never expected to see him again.  Like the cowboys in the old movies, Jack Bauer was supposed to just ride away before anyone had a chance to say, “Thanks for saving the world – again.”  Because, of course, he doesn’t expect any thanks.  He’s just doing his job.

But now he’s back.

24 has returned with another day for Jack to save the world.  And for all his flaws, I still like having him around to fight the bad guys.

For the Birds

It’s Spring!  The air is warmer.  The sun is a bit brighter.  And we seems to notice the birds a lot more.  Well, maybe I should say that I notice birds more.

Now I don’t know much about birds and there are few species I can recognize without referring to a guidebook.  But birding is a growing activity in the United States.  Maybe because it doesn’t take special equipment -- just binoculars, maybe a camera, a notebook to write down the species seen, maybe a guidebook.  Or maybe birding is growing because baby boomers like myself are retiring and have more time to go for walks in parks and woods.  Or maybe because birds are just beautiful and are lovely to hear.
 

Mickey Rooney (1920-2014)

He was born Joe Yule, Jr.  His parents were vaudeville performers who brought their toddler on stage when he was only 15 months old.  He made his screen debut during the silent era in 1926.  The following year he began a series of films playing a boy named Mickey McGuire.  By 1932 he changed his name permanently.  He kept “Mickey” and made his last name “Rooney.”  He could act, sing, dance, and play several musical instruments. He was at home in comedies, dramas, and musicals.  By 1939 Mickey Rooney was the number one box office star in America.

Doris Day

On April 3, Doris Day will celebrate her 90th birthday.  And I plan to watch a few of her movies to commemorate. 

However, it will be difficult to choose just a few.  I mean, Doris Day starred in so many fun films that I love.  Because Day could do it all.  From her beginnings in musical comedies, she branched out into dramas and straight comedies.  Her co-stars were among the top talents in Hollywood.  From the late 40s through the early 70s, she worked steadily before finally retiring to devote her time to animal welfare and rescue.

It's a Wonderful Town!

New York, New York, a wonderful town!  The Bronx is up, but the Battery’s down.  The people ride in a hole in the ground.  New York, New York!  It’s a wonderful town!
 

2014 Oscar Nominations: Best Picture

Without further ado, we now look at this year’s Best Picture nominations.  And I've noticed that the honored movies can be divided into two categories: Original Stories and Inspired by or Based on Real Events.
 

2014 Oscar Nominations: Best Actress & Best Supporting Actress

We’re counting down this year’s Oscar race!  And here are the top ten actresses!

As a life-long movie fan, I find these past few years to be especially exciting.  It’s largely accepted that 1939 was a banner year for movies.  The Best Picture nominations were films still considered among the best ever made.  (Among them were Gone With the Wind, The Wizard of Oz, and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.)  It was the Golden Age of Hollywood.  And the actresses and actors of that time are still considered some of the best.

Shirley Temple (1928-2014)

When I was growing up, there was a local TV station that aired Shirley Temple movies on Sunday mornings.  It was there that I first saw her in Heidi and

Philip Seymour Hoffman (1967-2014)

Philip Seymour Hoffman was an extraordinary actor.  He was able to disappear into a role, making the audience forget about the actor and see only the character.  Maybe it was because Hoffman was first and foremost a character actor with the charisma of a lead actor.  When taking on a role, he developed it from the inside out.  And that made for performances we remember.

Winter Chillers

As we settle in for another round of chilly temperatures here in Houston, I’m trying to imagine what it must be like for our family and friends in the North.  But my imagination falls short.  I really can’t fathom living and working in an environment where I’d have to face snowdrifts and icicles on a daily basis – much less driving in minus 0 weather. 

And those musings led me to think about movies set in those climes.  And if we’re talking about cold weather, why not concentrate on those films that might send a chill down the spine – whether in summer or winter.  Or maybe just make you glad you live in southeast Texas.  Some of my favorites are listed below.  I’ll bet you find some of yours, too.

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