Krystal
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Joined: June 26th, 2009, 4:32 am

January 4th, 2014, 8:25 pm #441

Yes, that is a very wise kid, KMI. Another great saying is "you don't know what you don't know".
I don't know either. My Aunt is in Butler Pa and they are fracking away all around her. She is livid and has passed on some horror stories to me but I don't know what is true. She has about a 1/2 acre lot, I wonder if she had a farm though if she'd sing a different song...

Have you been in Pgh your whole life? I recall when I was a kid, everyone used coal and the air was filthy. From Pitt Dental, which is very high (near Hill District), you could see the mills belching out black toxic fumes. Then they were gone, and so were the jobs of the majority of Pittsburgh workers...Many worked in the mines, and this still goes on in W Va, and the strip mining sucks. i hate being dependent on foreign oil, but I wish we could go to solar and get off fossil fuels of all types. Of course, big oil, big pharma and big food own the country so fat chance.

The movie really doesn't offer a solution though, it shows both sides, and when it ends, the town will take a vote, and we don't know how they vote..
Last edited by Krystal on January 4th, 2014, 8:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Krystal
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Joined: June 26th, 2009, 4:32 am

January 4th, 2014, 8:31 pm #442

Oh, and Dax, we have enough dialog here, feel free to chime in, but if you feel you might get caught in flying broomsticks, feel free to limit yourself to TV and movies (or kitties). We all value your input :)
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KMInfinity
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Joined: March 17th, 2008, 1:09 am

January 4th, 2014, 11:28 pm #443

Been here my whole life. Just when I was ready to leave, I met Mark returning to the city after 10 years, determined not to leave.
I vividly recall driving along 65 along the headwaters of the Ohio to the Penn state campus apt I had in 79-80 and the steel mills along that stretch lighting the sky as we drove, belching smoke.

This is a really good picture book for kids and beautiful for all. Dax it could be an 'emergency sub book."

http://www.amazon.com/No-Star-Nights-Sm ... 0679867244
“You want weapons? We’re in a library! Books! The best weapons in the world!” — The Doctor, S2E2
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Krystal
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Joined: June 26th, 2009, 4:32 am

January 5th, 2014, 12:23 am #444

That looks really good...
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Krystal
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January 17th, 2014, 4:20 pm #445

OK, so we rented The Butler. I was good, and would be a good movie to show the kids KMI. Really went through the civil rights times. Too long though, needed editing. Have to say, I haven't seen any of the other Oscar movies, but I didn't think this one was all that special. The African Amerian cast was good, but I have seen Forest Whitaker in many more powerful roles. Oprah was decent but you never forgot you were watching Oprah...

The white casting, mostly the presidents was terrible. Each president played a very minor role, and they should have used lesser known actors that actually looked like them for the part. Instead, they used well known actors like John Cusak for Richard Nixon (!) with a fake nose, and it was terrible. The only person who really looked and acted similar to the real person was the Nancy Reagan portrayal. All the others, from Eisenhower all the way through were so bad to the point of my saying "now who is THIS supposed to be...."

Without seeing it, I am positive that 12 Years or Mandela will be far better. But this is worth seeing.

Gate, I have not been to a movie theater except the one Dragon (the original Swedish, in a small art theater), in probably 20 years or more. I only went to see that one as I was afraid they would not release it on disc. I cannot stand other people yakking, texting, moving around. If the movie is worth seeing, I will sit and watch it at home, and if not, then I will flip through a magazine or whatever...
Last edited by Krystal on January 17th, 2014, 4:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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KMInfinity
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January 18th, 2014, 1:45 am #446

Some of my students saw it and said Lincoln, with Daniel Day Lewis was much better. I'll check it out when it hits OnDemand.
“You want weapons? We’re in a library! Books! The best weapons in the world!” — The Doctor, S2E2
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tgir
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Joined: March 16th, 2008, 3:36 am

January 18th, 2014, 4:11 am #447

Lincoln and The Butler are two entirely different kinds of films so it's like comparing apples and grapes. Lincoln is about a very precise, short period of time, depicting the last 4 months of Lincoln's life, and his efforts to pass the 13th Amendment. It aims for more historical grandeur, I think. It is every inch a Spielberg film. For the record, I also thought Daniel Day Lewis was the weakest in the cast. But I'm not much of a fan. Don't get me wrong: he was good, but not great, imo. Sally Field was wonderful.

The Butler is concerned with a much longer expanse of time, through the experiences of one particular individual and is much more focused on the Civil Rights movement. I absolutely understand Krystal's points about the film, although I am much more forgiving of the prominent actors who portrayed presidents, etc. I didn't like Liev Schrieber much, and thought the others did well enough, better than most critics gave them credit for doing. It was very much one of those projects that everyone in Hollywood wanted to attach his/her name to so there was an enormous list of producers as well as the big name actors. So it was that kind of film. I think it is apostasy for me to say that I didn't think that Forest Whitaker was that wonderful but perhaps it's just that the role was written as very reigned in, emotionally. But two entirely different kinds of movies, with different purpose and intent.
Last edited by tgir on January 18th, 2014, 5:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Krystal
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January 18th, 2014, 5:29 am #448

ITA. Cannot compare the 2 films. I wasn't crazy about Lewis either. But different times for sure.
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KMInfinity
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January 18th, 2014, 9:33 pm #449

I was thinking more of Krystal's suggestion about my students seeing it in class, what appeals to them. They are much more engaged by a personal film, one that is very centered on a person they can connect with, and I was surprised that most didn't connect with The Butler. Maybe the scope of it and the 'reigned in' nature of the character as tgir said, could be the reason. Interesting.
“You want weapons? We’re in a library! Books! The best weapons in the world!” — The Doctor, S2E2
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KMInfinity
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Joined: March 17th, 2008, 1:09 am

January 20th, 2014, 3:34 pm #450

August: Osage

A very mixed bag. Definitely 'star turns' for Streep and Roberts. But the movie felt like it was too stagey, with deliberate 'set pieces' to showcase the actors rather than to tell the story of the characters organically.

It's got some hilarious dark humor, and some very dark dysfunctional drama. the plot revolves around Streep's character, pill popping bitch-from-hell Vi (Violet) calls the family home to Oklahoma because dad is missing. The next few days revolves around family issues and fights.

The movie is based on the play by Tracy Letts, who is also the movie writer, and that's 70% of the problem, imo. It's too stagey, feels very much like a series of scenes. The other problems are due to a tone that swings too wildly, and way too much melodrama instead of drama. There is the heart of a really great story here, and some really great characters, but I felt (unusually for me) the story needed a stronger focus on plot and flow. I also found a lot of it predictable.

But. Seven of us went to dinner to discuss the movie afterwards and I was by far the harshest critic. People loved the performances, and I agree they were the strong point. Others were also engrossed by the family dynamics and didn't find them to be cliche or "Tennessee Williams" redux, so ymmv.

“You want weapons? We’re in a library! Books! The best weapons in the world!” — The Doctor, S2E2
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