Monday, November 24, 2008

Bolt

This is a memorable movie. For super-dog Bolt (John Travolta), every day is filled with adventure, danger and intrigue - at least until the cameras stop rolling. When the canine star of a hit TV show is accidentally shipped from his Hollywood soundstage to New York City, he begins his biggest adventure yet - a cross-country journey through the real world. He soon discovers that something is wrong when he is unable to use his amazing powers.

This is Disney's 48th animated feature. Bolt resembles a white German Shepherd. The design of Rhino in his plastic ball was based on co-producer John Lassetter's pet chinchilla.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Marriage Amendment

During the election there was an item on the California ballot that would define marriage as between a man and a woman and overturn a Supreme Court ruling. The law was known as Proposition 8. The Mormon church campaigned on this issue and urged voters to pass it. Because of the church's involvement, several Mormons held protests and thought the church should stay away from the issue. Mormons believe that marriages performed in their temples will last for eternity, so it seems out of character for some Mormons to be upset by this initiative.

I wrote up what I wanted to be a letter to the editor, with a sardonic tone. The Salt Lake Tribune denied it and said for every letter they print, they reject 8 others. One day I checked their newspaper and all four of the letters were opposed to the church. I also sent it to the University of Utah’s Daily Utah Chronicle newspaper, but they never responded.

Packages with a white substance were sent to two Mormon temples and a Catholic printing press, but they were not toxic. A mysterious letter, without any powder, was sent to a Mormon seminary at a junior high. A Mormon church was spray painted with the ironic message that “Nobody’s born a bigot.” Comrades, welcome to Russia! I am glad the Mormon church is willing to fight for marriage, even though they are criticized and harassed for it. The California Supreme Court has agreed to listen to three challenges against the proposition. Here is the editorial I wrote:

“I was pleased to see marriage reaffirmed in California for the second time by a vote of 52%, despite the best efforts of the Mormon left to overturn it. I guess eternal marriage can still be practiced in California. Black voters supported it by 70% and still nearly unanimously voted Obama for President, a man who according to the California Democratic Party opposed the bill. Previously in 2000 the residents voted to support marriage with a tally of 61%. When will the California judges and legislators, who want to hand down moral rules from on high to the ignorant masses, catch a hint? Would that be considered fascism or theocracy? The left is obsessed with discrimination and equality, but only when it comes to physical features or wealth, not for ideas. Isn’t it a form of physical discrimination to have a relationship endorsed by the government that is limited to one sex? In Arizona a similar proposition passed with a vote of 56%, while in a previous election there was not enough support. Florida passed their amendment with 62% of the vote.”

Spiral (2007)

This is an imperfect-but-creditable movie. Living in Portland, Oregon, Mason (Joel Moore) is a gifted artist, but also a neurotic and reclusive asthmatic, living a life of anonymity, working from a drab cubicle in a call center, repeating the same meaningless conversation with faceless strangers ad nauseam. His boss, Berkeley (Zachary Levi), is not quite a friend, but his sole source of companionship in an otherwise isolated existence. That is, until he meets a gregarious co-worker named Amber (Amber Tamblyn).

Life as a House (2001)

This is a noteworthy movie. George Monroe (Kevin Kline) has had a lifelong ambition to achieve one of the great American Dreams: to build his own home, a refuge set on a cliff at the end of the sea. But it's a dream that George has put off again and again while he's sunk lower and lower, ending up divorced, overworked and estranged not only from friends and family, but from himself. Now George has hit rock bottom and there's nowhere to go, except out onto the edge.

Hayden Christensen appeared in this movie before playing Anakin Skywalker in Attack of the Clones. For his part in this movie, Christensen lost 25 pounds through a special diet. The film is set in picturesque Rancho Palos Verdes, California.

Friday, November 21, 2008

In the Land of Women (2007)

This is an imperfect-but-creditable movie. When 26-year-old writer Carter Webb (Adam Brody) is dumped by his model girlfriend Sophia (Elena Anaya), he sees his entire life flash before his eyes. Heartbroken and depressed, Carter escapes Los Angeles, heading across the country to suburban Michigan to care for his ailing grandmother. Soon after his arrival, Carter stumbles into the lives of the family living across the street and befriends the depressed housewife (Meg Ryan) and her angst ridden teenaged daughter (Kristen Stewart).