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Monthly Archives: July 2013

Big (1988)

Penny Marshall directed this sweet story about a young boy named Josh (David Moscow) who makes a wish on a magic Zoltar machine at a carnival. His wish is to be big. The next morning, he wakes up as Tom Hanks! He discovers being big is a problem and he and his buddy (Jared Rushton) head to NYC to find the Zoltar machine so that he can wish himself back to normal. In this age of early computers, the records office tells the boys it’ll be six weeks before they can have the information. Josh has to find an apartment and a job. His interest in these magical machines called computers lands him a job at a toy company doing data entry. A Saturday morning trip to FAO Schwarz, where he lets loose and plays with every toy in sight, including the classic floor piano scene, leads him to being promoted to the ranks of upper management, analyzing new toys and pissing off the establishment. One of these people, Susan (Elizabeth Perkins), is a bored, cynical New Yorker who is attracted to Josh…in spite or maybe because of his zaniness. She convinces him to leave their stuffy Christmas party and take her back to his awesome New York penthouse. He gets her to let her hair down and play like a kid again. She enjoys that and it’s intimated that they have sex. The problem is, Josh misses his family. A funny thing happens though, Josh becomes invested in his work and is so wrapped up with how important working is that when the information on the location of the Zoltar machine comes in, he pretty much ignores his buddy. The little boy comes to Josh’s office and gives him the information anyway, even though he’s pissed that Josh has been putting it off. A visit to his hometown, where he sees all his familiar surroundings, finally gets to Josh’s heart and he abruptly leaves a meeting at work to track down the Zoltar machine. Susan follows him to the empty boardwalk where the machine is, and he explains the situation to her. She agrees to drive him home, and watches as he shrinks back down to 12 year old size right before her eyes.

I’m sure this movie is supposed to be commentary on not allowing growing up to kill your inner child…and Hanks does an incredible job of making us believe that this grown man is really a 12 year old. The scenes of him playing with the toys at FAO Schwarz are priceless, and his way of playing naivete is brilliant. There are two big “buts” with this film. The first comes when one tries to reconcile the laughable plot, it’s just too much of a stretch for me. The second, and the major problem I had, seriously, was that, we’re supposed to believe that Josh is a 12 year old in an adult body…who has sex with an adult woman. I guess, from the point of view of a 12 year old boy, that might be awesome, but it just comes across as wrong to me. Maybe it’s because of Mary Kay Letourneau and Debra Lafave, but the story doesn’t come across as a sweet, albeit unbelievable fable…it just comes across as a little pervy.

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Posted by on July 24, 2013 in Movie Reviews

 

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I’m Going Down to the Library/ Pickin’ Out a Book/ Check It In, Check It Out

The title of this post is from the lyrics of a song I learned in elementary school. I found the original artists here: http://www.twoofakind.com/ShowLyrics.asp?id=59

All my things are packed for the big move, except it’s going to take two more weeks before I can get in. I had left out enough books to get me through the time I thought it would take to get into the new place, but these two weeks caught me off guard. So, off to the library I went. It still makes me giddy that I can check out as many books as I want…so I got 5 to start with. Whatdaya know? They’re all Biographies.

Library BooksBeautiful: The Life of Hedy Lamarr, American Rose: A Nation Laid Bare; The Life and Times of Gypsy Rose Lee, Waking: A Memoir of Trauma and Transcendence, At Home with the Marquis de Sade: A Life, and The Lady in Red: An Eighteenth- Century Tale of Sex, Scandal, and Divorce.

I got the books yesterday around 5 p.m. I’ve already finished Wakingstill deciding if I’ll review it. I’m about halfway through The Lady in Red. At this pace, I’ll be back in the library before the weekend is out! I do wish WordPress had the option to underline text. I can make them bold or italicized, but not underlined…drives me nuts. When I do my reviews, I have to go into my word processing program, write the title, then copy and paste it into the blog. Maybe I’ll take a break from reading and try to find out how to ad that as an option!

Update:

Only took a few minutes…I had to turn on the “kitchen sink” option in the Visual Editor. I feel smart and stupid at the same time 😉

 
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Posted by on July 12, 2013 in Favorite Things

 

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Children of the Flames: Dr. Josef Mengele and the Untold Story of the Twins of Auschwitz by Lucette Matalon Lagnado & Sheila Cohn Dekel

Children of the Flames: Dr. Josef Mengele and the Untold Story of the Twins of AuschwitzThe authors of this book tracked down survivors of Josef Mengele’s experiments in Auschwitz in order to tell their tale. Published in 1991, it seems they came to the task just in time. The stories are sad, it’s true, but they also speak to the survival of the spirit and the journey to new lives by these twins.

I was drawn to this book for several reasons. First of all, I am a twin. It is something inescapable how people saw us, especially when we were children, as a single unit. Secondly, I grew up in Upstate New York where a lot of Polish immigrants had settled. There seemed to be something in the DNA of the place that made the stories of the Holocaust vital to be transmitted to the next generation. In the 1990’s, as schoolkids, we were honored to hear first-hand from a Holocaust survivor. It’s an experience which will forever stay with me. Finally, in the eighth grade, I wrote a research paper on Himmler for a class. It was in this research, pre-internet, mind you, that I first read about Dr. Mengele and his experiments. I could only imagine at that time what those experiments entailed.

This is not the book to read if you want gritty details of Dr. Mengele’s experiment. What this book offers is a vibrant tale of the varied lives of the twins before the camps; poor, rich, educated, or too young to read, the heartbreak of being separated from their families, the discomfort and pain of procedures they and/or their twin experienced, the survivor’s guilt of out-living so many others, just because a chance of nature (identical) or genetics (fraternal) meant they were born twins. It is also the story of making something of their lives after their release. A powerful testimony deserving of its place in history, a story more people should know, Matalon Lagnado and Cohn Dekel have done an excellent job of preserving the stories of the survivors with the context to let them reverberate throughout history.

 
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Posted by on July 10, 2013 in Book Reviews

 

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You might be a Bibliophile if…

I’ve been living in my current home for six years. That’s a lot of time to accumulate things. I’m now packing to move and it has been eye opening to say the least. Here is the box count:

Kitchen items- 3 boxes

Clothing/Shoes- 7 boxes

Bathroom supplies- 1 box

Office/Computer supplies- 3 boxes

Books- 25 boxes!

I think I might have a bit of an addiction…

 
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Posted by on July 7, 2013 in Favorite Things

 

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