Old Yeller

I was just a kid when I sat in a dark theatre to watch the 1957 film Old Yeller. I didn’t have a dog but I could feel the love between Travis and the yellow retriever. Old Yeller was a stray who ended up saving the family from an angry mother bear, a cow, a hog and a wolf (not at the same time!) The wolf bites Old Yeller on the neck, and the beloved dog contracts rabies.

To protect the family and other folks, mom brings a rifle out to Travis and Old Yeller. Travis kills his own dog.

I would have been around ten when I saw the film. I don’t remember being devastated about the ending … but clearly many people were.

Disney Plus shows Old Yeller, and a post on the Facebook fan page has brought lots of response. My take about many of the posters is they think crying is bad, dangerous, to be avoided at all costs:

Never want to see it again because of the ending

Umm … no thank you. Once as a child was enough for a few lifetimes.

I refuse to watch it again because the ending made me cry so much.

I can’t watch this while I’m pregnant. I cry too much.

My heart is still scarred from the book. Jesus, not a chance. That movie messed me up when I first saw it when I was like 6. Never again.

We were shown it at school when I was a kid. Imagine a whole gym full of 6th and 5th grade kids and teachers crying.

I don’t wanna cry …

***

So here we are as human beings
Some of us feel so much
Some of us shut it down

Tears show weakness
Tears are a blessing
There’s no right or wrong about this
Just people in their infinite variety

Large Family

I like being on FaceBook. I like watching movies on Disney Plus. Last week, I saw a way to unite the two … naturally the Disney Plus Facebook page.

I’m already on the Evolutionary Collective page. There are about one hundred folks doing this work (EC Core and EC Global – and I realize that most of you don’t know what that means. Another time.)

My second group appears to have 109,000 members. That’s a step up, at least in quantity. As I lay in bed last night, I asked myself what it means that I’m a part of something so immense. I noticed that lots of folks have posted, talking about some movie or asking questions of the multitudes. So … why not me? I’m good at asking questions.

I’m looking for movies on Disney Plus that portray kids as smart, kind and brave human beings. What do you suggest?

In the eighteen hours that followed, I’ve received about seventy responses. I wonder where in the world all those people live. I thank them all for making me real in the Disney universe and for extending a helping hand.

The first response I read was this:

That’s rather specific. I’m curious why. Anyways, luckily I can help. Big Hero 6, Meet the Robinsons and The Incredibles come to mind.

I volunteer in a Grade 6 class. I want to tell them “Go watch this”.

I answered a few more:

Iron Will. 17-year-old saves his family’s farm and gets the money for the college he was accepted into by racing and winning a sled dog race. Based on a true story. Highly recommend and don’t forget the tissues.

Thanks. The kids I volunteer with would have their eyes glued on a young person brimming with determination and love.

I adored the new Timothy Failure movie. Don’t judge the movie by its title lol, but it’s such a heart toucher. Had me in tears before the movie was even half over.

These kids need a heart toucher or two. Thank you.

Big Hero 6, Meet the Robinsons. And I don’t think it’s on Disney Plus but Shazam was pretty cool … kids (in their adult bodies but still kids) saving people … I loved it.

Thanks. I’ll find Shazam.

There is a short film Float … my daughter found it and habitually watches it every morning. Me being a teacher, I naturally cried, but she adores it and I think it’s very powerful in its message.

Perfect. Maybe the teacher will let me show it in class, especially since it’s short.

:::

I just watched Float. Breakthrough! I’ll ask the teacher if the Grade 6’s can watch it.

Holes. That’s if you want something more realistic. It’s about a group of kids at a prison camp and focuses on the character Stanley Yelnats the Third.

Realistic is good. Thank you.

:::

I just watched the trailer. There’s some huge power in that young boy.

I’m glad it grabbed your attention. I read the book in Grade 3 and in Grade 5 or 6 it came out. I was really impressed.

***

Mulan, Meet the Robinsons, Holes, Moana, Big Hero 6, Coco, Tangled, Queen of Katwe, Pocohontas, Pete’s Dragon (new version), Remember the Titans, Cool Runnings, The Incredibles, The Color of Friendship, Chronicles of Narnia.

Wow … that’s a lot! Thank you.

Ruby Bridges is about the first African-American child to desegregate a school in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1960. It’s a great fit for African-American history month in the U.S.

Wow! I just watched the clip from Ruby Bridges. Immensely powerful. Thank you so much. I’ll find a way for the kids to see this.

***

So …

There’s a community of support here
Generous souls from who knows where
Just wanting to help

The kids thank you

I Say Tomato … You Say Tomawto

If you’ve been reading my latest blog posts, you know that I’m obsessed with Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again.  Yesterday I read some viewer reviews of the film.  It’s not that Person A is right and Person B is wrong.  It’s just that human beings can be so different from each other.  And I figure that’s part of what makes the world go round.

***

What an incredible experience this movie was.  I had goosebumps during every song, which I sang along whispering, tapping my feet.

A degradation of all humanity.  I had a dozen humorous quips as to why this rates as the worst musical – in order to make light of the painful reality.

If you enjoyed the first, get ready to be thrilled by this!  From the tear-jerking moments to “I want to be the dancing Queen” moments, from start to finish, I can happily say I’ve never enjoyed a film more in my life.  I’ve been to see it twice and would happily watch it every day.

What a terrible let down.  Really wanted to enjoy this movie but just didn’t.  Both myself and my wife watched it until the end and both felt the same RUBBISH.

What this movie will bring you are true emotions.  Through acting, singing and dancing, this young and talented cast will take you through an emotional rollercoaster.

The biggest problem for me with this movie is that it doesn’t convey any emotions.  When a character in the movie supposedly goes through a hard time, I just don’t feel anything.  They are not even trying to make you feel something.

The story line really grabs you and keeps you in until the very end!!  There are twists and turns that make you feel for the characters.  One moment you’re laughing and the next you’re almost in tears!!

The script is blunt, naïve, cheesy and immature at times.  It follows an indefinite structure that collapses before it even builds itself up.

The singing was bliss.

Singing – can’t say who is worst.  Like someone made a bet how many eardrums they can rupture.  If that is the actual singing voice of Lily James, then she should never ever try again.

I went to watch this with my daughter, niece and their friends and they had tears rolling down their faces at one of the later scenes.

These films are just so cheesy and clichéd.  They’re totally uninvolving as well; I couldn’t care less about any of the characters in either film, or any of their drama.

Mamma Mia 2 made the whole cinema laugh and clap.

No one in our movie theater laughed except one time and it was the line by Colin Firth that was already in the trailer.

When Streep appears in the film’s final moments, it transcends us into a state of touching reality and completes its beautiful message about the legacies of love and the importance of time and family.

Our only disappointment was the appearance of Meryl Streep.  As a seasoned actress, who has been given some high profile parts over the years, she is no longer an enjoyable character on screen … or off!  Her abilities in acting have diminished greatly and she does not command the respect she once had.

Was not expecting to leave the place with a wet face from all those tears … not from sadness but from the very, very touching ending!  WOW!!!

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again is all about beautiful people, their artificially created problems, fake tears, sadness and meaningless joy.

I’ve seen this movie 3 times and I am planning a 4th, no regrets.  This movie and its predecessor changed my life and I’m proud to call them my favourite films.

Actually, a defibrillator would have helped this comatose snoozer.  I was as enthused as the rest of the audience when we took our seats, hoping for some fun dance videos paper-clipped together by a ridiculous plot.  But alas, the magic is gone.

One of the best movies I’ve ever seen, definitely.

I had to apologize to my friends for making them go to this movie.  Cher was not essential.  There was no plot to speak of.  It was just a train wreck.

At the end of the film, the audience in the cinema gave a round of applause, including me.

The whole thing is so bad that it was almost embarrassing to stay in the theater till the end …

***

Go see it

 

Pride and Prejudice

Renato is an Italian chef who’s living in my home while I travel here, there and down the street.  Last night, we sat down to watch a movie – Pride and Prejudice, starring Keira Knightley.  It was an immense love story.  Snapshots from the film stay with me:

1.  The country dance at the beginning.  Rows of happy people – smiling, laughing and clapping hands to the beat of the music.  Intoxicating.

2.  The severe Mr. Darcy referring to the beautiful young Lizzie as “tolerable” as she overhears the conversation.  A human being as a thing, a piece of meat.  How sad.

3.  Later in the evening, Lizzie throwing Mr. Darcy’s words back at him, swirling around and walking away.  The girl is afraid of nothing and no one.  Who cares about relative status, about being socially appropriate, when your heart and soul need to express?

4.  Mrs. Bennet running down the path after Lizzie when her daughter refused Mr. Darcy’s marriage proposal, in the spirit of “Come back here and marry him!” with dollar signs in her eyes.  Thank God my mom wasn’t anything like that.

5.  Mr. and Mrs. Bennet talking to Lizzie afterwards.  “I’ll never speak to you again if you don’t marry him!” shouts her mother.  Dad returns with “I’ll never speak to you again if you do.”  He knows that there’ll be war in the bedroom but it’s far more important that he speak the truth.

6.  Mr. Darcy’s barely visible Mona Lisa smile as he falls for Lizzie, such a contrast to the scowl he wore for the first part of the film.  Despite his power in society, he can’t yet share his true feelings.  As so we have the ache of love that most of us know well.

7.  The first touch of hands.  Mr. Darcy is helping Lizzie into the carriage and her wide-eyed wonder shines.  Is he the one?

8.  The final scene between Lady Catherine De Bourgh and Lizzie.  She’s Mr. Darcy’s aunt.

“Miss Bennet, I warn you.  I’m not to be trifled with.”

***

“Now tell me once and for all.  Are you engaged to him?”

“I am not.”  [with great sadness]

“And will you promise never to enter into such an engagement?”

“I will not and I certainly never shall.  You have insulted me in every possible way and can now have nothing further to say.  I must ask you to leave immediately … Goodnight.”

“I have never been thus treated in my entire life!”

***

Go, Lizzie!