Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thee Abraham Lincoln

     So today I went to see Steven Spielberg's LINCOLN.  I knew the overall synopsis of the movie as far as what it was about, but I really didn't know what to expect beyond that.  There are three points that I would like to make about this movie.

     The first is that I definitely do not know that much about Abraham Lincoln as I thought I did.  The book that the film was based on, Team of Rivals, is now on my list to read once I get done with re-reading The Hobbit.

     The second point is that this film completely shattered my educational upbringing and understanding of perceptions of slavery in the northern states.  I was taught to believe that the North was against slavery and the South was for it.  There were men in the U.S. House of Representatives from Northern, pro-Union states, that were against the passing of the 13th Amendment.  This film made me reflect upon the war that rages on in my own head and heart as to the current political issues in this country right now regarding what is legal and illegal isn't the same as what is right and wrong.

     Finally the third point is simply this.  The humanity of Abraham Lincoln.  History has idolized the man that was elected the 16th President of the United States in 1860.  The film does show some of that idolization even during the actual time period.  I was very impressed at how caring and concerned Lincoln was for people and relieved to see that he had his own struggles and concerns that he had to deal with in his personal life.

     I love how so many serious situations that occur in the film bring up the need for story time.  I love the stories that are told by the character of Lincoln.  He even gives a shout out to the world of mathematics by sharing a story about the time he read a book by Euclid.

     I will leave you with this final thoughts....Go see the movie.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises: A Review...and Some History

(picture was grabbed from The Dark Knight Rises Soundtrack Digital Booklet that I purchased)

     First of all, I will try not to reveal any "spoilers" as best I can.  I have seen the movie four times so far and I doubt I will stop there.  I enjoyed Batman Begins.  I didn't know what to expect before I saw The Dark Knight.  Heath Ledger's performance as the Joker was very creepy to me.  I found myself comparing his version of the villain to Jack Nicholson's in the 1989 version of Batman.  I think the reason why Heath's Joker was creepy to me was because it portrayed the dark, evil, and amoral side of human nature.  Michael Caine's character of Alfred said it best in the movie that "some men just want to watch the world burn."

     This is true of the character Bane.  The villain in The Dark Knight Rises is just as real as the Joker was in The Dark Knight as far as being a manifestation of evil.  What many people want to believe is that evil is not real.  If evil is not real, then certain people that have lived (i.e. - Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot) and those living (i.e. - Charles Manson, Ted Kaczynski, Terry Nichols) are not evil.  What people need to realize is that because of the total depravity of mankind, the fictional actions of a Joker or a Bane could actually occur in reality.

     Bane's ultimate quest is to fulfill Ra's Al Ghul's plan of destroying Gotham.  With movies that have an element of reality, my brain automatically reflects upon history and if there are any lessons that can be drawn from these types of movies.  Other than being a manifestation of evil, Bane also strives to provide the citizens of Gotham with a false "hope to poison their souls."  Part of this false hope is leveling the economic playing field as it were.  Gothamites in positions of authority, which usually means that they are also financially well off, are seen as corrupt and must be held accountable for their corruption.  The result of which is exile or death, both of which end up meaning death.  Gotham turns into a "mobocracy" with Bane at the helm.

     There are several historical figures from the 20th century that come to mind when I think about the character of Bane.  Based on how these figures rose to power and influenced the people that they ruled over, I would say that Bane is a combination of Hitler and Pol Pot.  What I mean by this is if you take Hitler's charisma with the people and mix it with Pol Pot's purging of "the educated, the wealthy, police, doctors, lawyers, and government officials", you have Bane.

     I will not delve into how the film ends, but what I can say is that good triumphs over evil, just as it always does.  Also, the musical score that Hans Zimmer put together really engages the emotions of the viewer.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

What is Your Default Genre of Music?

     This evening, me, my wife and her friend, Jennifer, traveled up north to spend Independence Day with The Pioneer Woman on the ranch.  It was a really wonderful time and the display of fireworks was grand-tastic!  On the way back to Norman (after dropping Jennifer off), I realized something about my wife and I that we differ in regarding music.  Her default genre of music that she listens to on the radio is Country.  My default genre of music that I listen to on the radio is Oldies.  This is something that is pretty self-explanatory.  She grew up on Country music, whereas I grew up on Oldies.  These aren't the only genres of music that we each listen to, but if there's nothing else on that we like, we will revert to our comfort music.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Trains in Cinema

     So I was on my way back to the house from picking up our evening meal and got stuck sitting at a railroad crossing waiting for a train.  The thought came to mind about creating a list of movies that feature a train, choo-choo or metro, whether in title or actually in the movie.  You may add to my list in the comment section if you think of any that I haven't mentioned.  Here goes...from the top of my head...

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
Throw Momma from the Train
Home Alone
The Fugitive
Dennis the Menace
Pee Wee's Big Adventure
The Journey of Natty Gann
Broken Arrow
Under Siege 2
Shanghai Noon
Stand By Me
Ocean's 11
Ocean's 12
Back to the Future, Part 3
Hart's War
Schindler's List
The Pianist
Batman Begins
Predator 2
The Mummy Returns
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe
Narnia: Prince Caspian
Some Like it Hot
Trading Places
The Bourne Identity
The Bourne Supremacy
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Secret of the Ooze
Mission Impossible
The Polar Express
The Jerk
The Santa Clause
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Groundhog Day
Courage Under Fire
The Fast and the Furious
Enemy of the State
Spiderman 2
Crocodile Dundee
Toy Story 3
The Blues Brothers (courtesy of @themahler)
O Brother, Where Art Thou (courtesy of @themahler)

okay, that's all I can think of.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

11,322 Days Old Today

     First off, for those that aren't mathematically savvy, I accounted for the seven times in my life that a leap year has occurred.  Okay, if I must, I must.  1984. 1988. 1992. 1996. 2000. 2004. 2008.  That's seven extra days to my life.  Why didn't I include 2012 you might ask? (Hopefully you didn't have to.)  It doesn't happen until next Wednesday.  Any who...the following are 31 pictures to go along with the 31 years of my life so far.  Enjoy!!!

To be continued...

Monday, February 20, 2012

Two Great Songs. One Great Band.

     So I am a fan of Daughtry.  I am not a die hard fan that has everything Daughtry hanging up in my room, but a fan none the less.  There are two songs of theirs that are deep.  They are kind of sad, but DEEP.  For your reading pleasure, here are the lyrics to these two songs...

"Open Up Your Eyes"
Leave This Town

A single rose left to remember
As a single tear falls from her eye
Another cold day in December
A year from the day she said goodbye

Seems it's only been a moment
Since the angels took him from her arms
And she was left there holding on to their tomorrow
But as they laid him in the ground
Her heart would sing without a sound

For the first time you can open your eyes
And see the world without your sorrow
Where no one knows the pain you left behind
And all the peace you could never find
Is waiting there to hold and keep you
Welcome to the first day of your life
Just open up your eyes

A single lifetime lays behind her
As she draws her final breath
Just beyond the door he'll find her
Taking her hand she softly says

For the first time you can open your eyes
And see the world without your sorrow
Where no one knows the pain you left behind
And all the peace you could never find
Is waiting there to hold and keep you
Welcome to the first day of your life

Just open up your eyes as I lay you down tonight
Safe on the other side, no more tears to cry

For the first time you can open your eyes
And see the world without your sorrow
Where no one knows the pain you left behind
And all the peace you could never find
Is waiting there to hold and keep you
Welcome to the first day of your life

"Gone Too Soon"
Break The Spell

today could've been the day
that you blow out your candles
make a wish as you close your eyes
today could've been the day
everybody was laughin'
instead i just sit here and cry
who would you be?
what would you look like
when you looked at me for the very first time?
today could've been the next day of the rest of your life

not a day goes by that i don't think of you
i'm always asking why this crazy world had to lose
such a ray of light we never knew
gone too soon, yeah

would you have been president?
or a painter, an author or sing like your mother
one thing is evident
would've given all i had
would've loved ya like no other
who would you be?
what would you look like?
would you have my smile and her eyes?
today could've been the next day of the rest of your life

not a day goes by that i don't think of you
i'm always asking why this crazy world had to lose
such a ray of light we never knew
gone too soon, yeah

not a day goes by, oh
i'm always asking why, oh

not a day goes by that i don't think of you
i'm always asking why this crazy world had to lose
such a beautiful life we never knew
gone too soon
you were gone too soon, yeah

and not a day goes by
that i don't think of you

*lyrics from

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Was Alec Really That Smart?

     I saw this picture on Facebook and I immediately thought that the answers to these questions were right up my alley.  There are times where I will be asked a question and my instinct is to be just as smart as Alec, whoever he was.  Here are some examples...

-Student:  "What time do we get out of class?"
 Me, the teacher:  "When the bell rings."

-Student:  "Can I ask you a question?"
 Me, the teacher:  "You just did."
 Student:  "Can I ask you two questions?"
 Me, the teacher:  "What's your question?"

-Student:  "Why?"
 Me, the teacher:  "Because."

-Anytime you ask me an "or" question such as, "Do you like fries or mashed potatoes?" my answer is always "yes."

      There is only one time in my student career that I ever came close to what you see in the picture.  In my 9th grade science class, we had a quiz and on the quiz, one of the questions read, "What is the cause of thunder?"  Siding with Alec, my response was, "Lightning."  It was marked wrong.  I went to the teacher and inquired as to why my answer was incorrect.  She said that it was because I didn't explain how lightning creates thunder.  You have now gained a bit of insight into the crazy mind of Mr. C, aka Crumpy.

Friday, January 6, 2012

50 of My Favorite Films to Watch...The Top 5.

Okay, so apparently "Coming Soon" was not soon enough.  On the other hand, I guess you could say this is nice timing being that today is The Pioneer Woman's birthday.  She really loves movies, as do I, and so in honor of her and her birthday, here is my top 5, in order, of 50 of My Favorite Films to Watch. Enjoy!

#5   The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King

"It's the dwarves that go swimming...with little, hairy women."

I really like seeing Sauron get his rear handed to him in this one, especially with the King of the Dead and his army.  I do have to admit that the one reason why I hate watching this movie is because I tear up quite drastically at the end every time and it starts with the line, "My friends, you bow to no one."

#4   Back to the Future

"Last night, Darth Vader came down from planet Vulcan and told me that if I didn't take Lorraine out that he'd melt my brain."

The idea of just going back in time, especially in a Delorean, is fantastic!  Okay, true story...when I was in 5th grade learning about the Revolutionary War and how the British fought (lining up and standing there, in plain sight), I would sometimes daydream about going back in time with a bunch of machine guns and the occasional sniper rifle to help the Continental Army win faster.  I love you Flux Capacitor!

#3   Star Wars: Return of the Jedi

"Boba Fett? Boba Fett? Where?"

I want an Ewok.  Technically my dog is part Ewok, at least she looks it.  The rebels win!  Luke saves his father!  The Death Star gets blown up again, even with "it's a trap!"  The rebels win!

#2   The Last Starfighter


Guy plays video game.  Guy beats video game.  Guy plays video real life.  What is there not to like about this?!!!

#1   The Goonies

"First you gotta do the truffle shuffle."

Okay, those that know me, especially my wife, know that I really do love this movie the most.  I love it so much that during the summer after my freshman year of college, I would watch it almost every night before going to bed.  Also during college, a local church college group was having an 80's night and the movie they watched was, of course, this one.  The college pastor knew that I loved the movie AND knew that I knew the script.  I was tasked with sitting in the sound booth and pressing the mute button every time there was a cuss word.

As I was typing up my top 5 list, I thought of a couple of things.  First, my top 5 are movies that I know almost, if not every, line to.  Here is the second thing that occurred to me.  The years that these movies came out, in order of their ranking from #5 to #1, is 2003, 1985, 1983, 1984, and 1985.  What do YOU notice?  I was born in the early 1980s.  I am very much in love with the movies that I grew up watching as a young boy.  I am very nostalgic when it comes to cinema.  "That's all I have to say, about that."