Monday, November 24, 2014

MOVIE WEEKEND: MILLION DOLLAR ARM

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Here's a once in a lifetime opportunity to read MOVIE WEEKEND on a Monday. With Thanksgiving and its long weekend about to arrive, I'm sure you need a movie the entire family can watch.

That movie is Million Dollar Arm (2014, PG, Available On DVD).


Million Dollar Arm is a pretty conventional Disney movie: nice story, a little suggestiveness but nothing graphic, opens the door to another country and way of life, a little romance, a family feeling among the characters, a learning experience.

J. B. Bernstein (Jon Hamm) is a sports agent who wants to make his own agency successful, but his deals fall apart at the last minute. His partner in failure is Aash (Aasif Mandvi). Aash is Indian, and he likes to watch cricket. It relaxes him. One evening J. B. is watching TV. He comes across Britain's Got Talent, and specifically, Susan Boyle's performance. He decides to hold a contest in India called "Million Dollar Arm" to find cricket players who can learn to be major league pitchers.

After a long, difficult search, he returns to Los Angeles with two young Indian men who are not cricket players, but he believes they have the potential to learn how to pitch. At first he's disappointed in their progress, but then he learns that he must be their family away from family and provide them with a home away from home.

Million Dollar Arm is based on a true story. The closing credits include photos of the real people. As usual, I'm sure the movie is loosely based on a true story. Reality is never good enough for Hollywood.

I like the story. The screenplay and acting are fine. One aspect that bothered me is that Jon Hamm sounds as if he has a cold/sore throat throughout most of the movie. He's hoarse, but it's no big deal. The young men from India are pleasant enough actors.

The movie is fairly predictable, but sometimes predictable is good. Great Grandma can watch Million Dollar Arm with a kindergartner and not be upset or shocked. Some drinking goes on, and it becomes fairly clear (maybe not to children) that J. B. has a sexual relationship with multiple women before falling in love with a doctor played by Lake Bell.

Some of the comments on the Internet Movie Database complain that the movie is racist because the Indians are treated as stereotypes and made to be the butt of jokes. I felt that way a little bit, but some Indians on IMDb observed that much of India is not as developed as the U.S. and it's natural for the Indians to be surprised by many facets of American life.

I don't think the movie is racist, and I stand by my belief that it's an enjoyable story.

Million Dollar Arm earns The Janie Junebug Seal of Highest Approval. During a different week, it would be the seal of approval, but this is a time to present a movie that you can watch as a family. If you don't hang out with family on Thanksgiving, then I'm sure you can look at previous MOVIE WEEKEND posts and find something to watch.

Happy Viewing!


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Friday, November 21, 2014

FRANKLIN FRIDAY: MOM IS PROUD OF ME

Hi! Hi Hi Hi Hi Hi, Every Buddy! I'm Franklin the Bordernese, and I'm excited because I did something new yesterday. Mom was so proud of me that she told my friend Willy Dunne Wooters about it with the little telephone box.



Me and Mom went for our afternoon walk in the neighborhood park. Two little kids were there, a boy kid and a girl kid. They were playing with a ball.

The girl kid asked Mom, Can I pet your dog?

Mom said, You can try. He's afraid of children so you need to walk up to him very slowly. He's also afraid of balls.

The girl kid took the ball from the boy kid and tossed it aside. That helped me feel better. They weren't bad. They wanted to be nice.

I decided to let them pet me. The boy kid scratched my back. The girl kid stroked my head.

The boy kid said, He's soft. The girl kid said, He's pretty.

I felt good. I didn't get scared and try to run away.

When Mom used the telephone box to talk to my friend Willy Dunne Wooters, she said I'd had a first. She said it was a milestone.

Mom was happy because I'm a brave dog.

When I see my friend Willy Dunne Wooters this weekend, I just know he'll say that he's proud of me, too.

Mom said to tell you that on Monday she'll try to write a MOVIE WEEKEND post so you know what to watch after Thanksgiving.

I love Thanksgiving. I get a little turkey with my kibble.

I'm tired now. I need some rest.


Okay I love you bye-bye

Franklin the Bordernese

Monday, November 17, 2014

THE REAL FISHDUCKY & UPDATE ON LILYHAMMER

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Last week I posted this photo of Fishducky:


She said that one is an old photo, and she now looks like this:


Thanks, fishducky! You can also find fishducky at fishducky, finally!

Last week I reviewed the Netflix Original Series/Norwegian show, Lilyhammer.  Click HERE to read the review.

However, I must update the review and tell you that Willy Dunne Wooters and I have entered a not-so-crazy about Lilyhammer phase. We are up to season two, episode six.

We have not enjoyed the last two episodes. The show has become difficult to follow, and we're not sure who some of the characters are. All Norwegians look alike. Everyone knows that.

Now I say farewell for a few days. I must disappear to edit.

I'll be back.


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Friday, November 14, 2014

FRANKLIN FRIDAY: MAYBE TALKING TO YOU WILL HELP ME

Hi, hi Every Buddy. It's Franklin the Bordernese. I hope I don't make you sneeze.



Mom and I are getting used to living without Harper, but I still miss him. Mom said maybe it would make me feel better if I talk about him some.

Harper was a smooth collie and a Malinois. Malinois is a fancy way of saying Belgian Shepherd.





Harper never acted much like a collie. He didn't want to herd anyone. The truth is that he liked to kill smaller animals if he could get his paws and teeth on them. He especially liked to kill birds.

I think he liked attacking critters because he was part Malinois. The Malinois is important to the security of our country.

When SEAL Team Six went to kill Osama bin Laden, they had a Malinois to lead them.

A Malinois guards The White House, too. When that guy jumped over the fence at The White House, the Malinois would have gotten rid of him, but nobody told the Malinois what happened. I think the people who work there were so surprised that they forgot to tell the Malinois. Every Buddy should always remember to tell the Malinois when there's a problem. 

Here's a Malinois in action:




I feel proud because my best friend was the kind of dog who helps protect our soldiers and our President. Harper never bit anyone, but he was super good at jumping. That's why he could catch birds.

The problem is that I miss him so much. I don't have anyone to play Chase Around The Big Bush In The Backyard with me. I don't have anyone to bark with me when I see a cat or a stranger. I tried to teach Mom to bark, but she's not a good barker.

I haven't even felt like playing Doggy Toy Sneakery.

Mom tries to help me feel better. She says that in a way, Harper will live forever because he taught me how to be a good dog, and I help teach dogs we meet at the park. I show them how I walk next to Mom and do what she says. Maybe another dog will come to live with us, and I'll teach him, and he'll teach younger dogs.

Faulkner, The Original Dog, taught Harper. It's nice that we doggies can help each other.

Mom has been taking me for lots of long walks to help me feel less lonely, but I think my heart will always miss my best buddy Harper.




Okay I love you bye-bye.


Franklin the Bordernese

Thursday, November 13, 2014

SERIES WEEKEND: LILYHAMMER

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

I have a series on which you can binge, if you so desire. It's Lilyhammer (2012 - present, Two Seasons Available on Netflix Streaming and A Third Arriving Nov. 21, Also Available On DVD).


Lilyhammer is a Norwegian TV series that has moved on to Netflix Streaming and is also available on DVD. Steven Van Zandt is one of its creators, writers, and producers, in addition to starring on the show as Frank Tagliano.

Frank testifies against a Mafia boss who killed Frank's dog, Lily. When he enters the witness protection program, he opts to start a new life in a place he remembers from the Olympics, Lillehammer, Norway. The title is based on his dog's name and his mispronunciation of the city's name.

Willy Dunne Wooters and I think Lilyhammer is highly amusing. It parodies The Sopranos, The Godfather, Breaking Bad, and probably some other mob-inspired movies of which I'm unaware.

When Frank arrives in Lillehammer, he learns quickly that to deal with Norwegian bureaucracy and enjoy a lavish standard of living, he has to employ his old mafia techniques. He finds Norwegians who are willing to learn from him, in spite of his orders to commit acts of violence.

I liked Steven Van Zandt on The Sopranos, and he's good in Lilyhammer. Transplanting the mafia to Norway works well as a basis for a series. The Norwegians are mostly portrayed as not the sharpest knives in the drawer. I don't know if Norwegians are offended by the show. According to Wikipedia, the premiere of the show drew a record number of viewers. My mom was a first-generation American. Her family is Norwegian. I'm not offended by the show. Having lots of Norwegian relatives adds to my enjoyment of Lilyhammer.

However, I have no idea if Norwegians really drop the F-bomb as frequently as the characters on the show do. If you don't like profanity, even if it's in Norwegian, then you won't want to watch Lilyhammer. It's definitely not a show for children. I don't know if it would appeal to teens--if you are willing to let them watch.

Lilyhammer earns The Janie Junebug Seal of Approval and The Willy Dunne Wooters Seal of Highest Approval. Yes. He likes it more than I do, but we have fun watching it together. It's something to occupy us while we wait for the conclusion of Mad Men and the next season of Orange Is The New Black. I look forward to Downton Abbey and Call The Midwife, too, but these shows do not interest the Wooters man.

Whatever you decide to watch, I wish you happy viewing!


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

FISHDUCKY TRIES YET AGAIN TO SEDUCE WILLY DUNNE WOOTERS

Fishducky of fishducky, finally! thinks she can seduce Willy Dunne Wooters by rubbing it in that I'm The Queen of Grammar, and every now and then, I might correct someone. Thus, she sends me funny grammar-based cartoons. She knows WDW will see them and think about all the times I've mentioned his grammatical errors.








Don't worry, Willy Dunne Wooters.
I won't let the rich lady touch you.



the real fishducky

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

GRAMMATICALLY HILARIOUS

Fishducky sent me this cartoon. I love it! 




Exactly how I feel, Willy Dunne Wooters.

You can find fishducky at fishducky, finally! Not you, WDW. Keep your hands off the ducky.