About Fran Parker

Fran Parker is the reviewer of 5 buck movie or at least inexpensive movies on DVDs, etc. There may be other reviewers along the way.

Robin Williams – You will be greatly missed!

Robin Williams, Rest in Peace. You will be greatly missed.

Robin Williams - July 21, 1951 - August 11, 2014

Robin Williams – July 21, 1951 – August 11, 2014

My deepest condolences to your family and friends during this very difficult time.

Robin Williams has been a wonderful comedian, actor, director, producer, writer, etc.  A very versatile man with so much to give and it felt like he gave it all every time.

From Wikipedia on Robin Williams:

Robin McLaurin Williams (July 21, 1951 – August 11, 2014) was an American actor and stand-up comedian. Rising to fame with his role as the alien Mork in the TV series Mork & Mindy (1978–1982), Williams went on to establish a successful career in both stand-up comedy and feature film acting. His film career included such acclaimed films as “The World According to Garp” (1982), Good Morning, Vietnam (1987), Dead Poets Society (1989), Awakenings (1990), The Fisher King (1991), and Good Will Hunting (1997), as well as financial successes such as Popeye(1980), Hook (1991), Aladdin (1992), Mrs. Doubtfire (1993), Jumanji(1995), The Birdcage (1996), Night at the Museum (2006), and Happy Feet(2006). He also appeared in the video “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” by Bobby McFerrin.

Nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor three times, Williams received the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Good Will Hunting (1997). He also received two Emmy Awards, four Golden Globe Awards, two Screen Actors Guild Awards and five Grammy Awards.[3][4]

On August 11, 2014, Williams was found unconscious at his residence and was pronounced dead at the scene. The Marin County, California, coroner’s office said they believe the cause of death was asphyxiation.

And don’t forget Toys. Robin may want to forget it but it was a fun movie. But it’s the one I thought of today.

Because when Toys starts, it is the funeral of a very great man, a maker of fun and toys for children, yes, ‘young’ Leslie Zevo’s own father’s funeral, and a great loss to his son and everyone at Zevo Toys.

During the eulogy about Leslie’s dad’s death, a laugh box start laughing and making everyone laugh. Leslie goes over and shakes it to stop it from laughing and says, “Good one, Dad.”

After all the craziness in the movie and they have won the day and Zevo Toys will continue in Kenneth’s and Leslie’s way, the movie ends with the following;

Before Leslie’s cousin Patrick departs at the end of the movie, Leslie, his cousins and Gwen visit Kenneth’s grave, ensuring that peace is restored to the toy factory.

Kenneth Zevo's gravestone - an elephant blowing bubbles from the movie Toys with Robin Williams.

Kenneth Zevo’s gravestone – an elephant blowing bubbles from the movie Toys with Robin Williams.

Kenneth’s grave marker is a huge toy elephant that continuously blows bubbles. Very comical as you can see between the picture above and this one below:

Kenneth Zevo's gravestone nearly at the end of the movie Toys before it flies off, apparently to alight again in a different part of the lush greenery to give others joy...

Kenneth Zevo’s gravestone nearly at the end of the movie Toys before it flies off, apparently to alight again in a different part of the lush greenery to give others joy…

As the end credits roll, Kenneth’s grave marker, a large toy elephant floats over the lush green pasture.

To Robin who gave us all so much love, humor, comedy of all kinds and so many heartwarming as well as comedic movies and shows, I would just like to say that you will be remembered very fondly and it is hard to think of the world without you.

It just reminded me of Robin Williams.

Rest in Peace, Robin Williams.

Robin Williams, Oscar-Winning Actor, Dies at 63 in Suspected Suicide – NYTimes

James Garner Rest In Peace

James Garner at the 39th Emmy Awards in September 1987 - click image to to to Wikipedia article

James Garner at the 39th Emmy Awards in September 1987 – click image to to to Wikipedia article

James Garner passed away yesterday, July 19, 2014 of natural causes at 86 years of age.

James Garner was a wonderful actor. When he was young, my favorite show was Maverick! Later one of my most favorite shows of all time was The Rockford Files.

He also did some great movies as well as noted in the quote from Wikipedia entry for James Garner:

James Garner (born James Scott Bumgarner; April 7, 1928 – July 19, 2014) was an American film and television actor, one of the first Hollywood actors to excel in both media. He starred in several television series spanning a career of more than five decades which included such popular roles as Bret Maverick in the 1950s western-comedy series, Maverick, and Jim Rockford in the 1970s detective dramaThe Rockford Files.

Garner starred in more than 50 films including The Great Escape (1963), Paddy Chayefsky’s The Americanization of Emily (1964), Grand Prix (1966), Blake Edwards’ Victor Victoria (1982), Murphy’s Romance (1985) for which he received an Academy Award nomination, and The Notebook (2004).

All of which I loved! Plus many more he was in that are mentioned in the Wikipedia article.

As a little bit of trivia that all of us The Rockford Files fans would know and appreciate, I always loved the answering machine gags, on the show and here’s a Youtube video of them:

Rockford Files Answering Machine Messages (complete season 1)

James Garner had a long and rewarding acting career as evidenced by his awards and the statue of him as Bret Maverick as noted in this quote from the Wikipedia article:

For his contribution to the film and television industry, Garner received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (at 6927 Hollywood Boulevard). In 1990, he was inducted into the Western Performers Hall of Fame at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He was also inducted into the Television Hall of Fame that same year. In February 2005, he received the Screen Actors Guild‘s Lifetime Achievement Award. He was also nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role that year, for The Notebook. When Morgan Freeman won that prize for his work in Million Dollar Baby, he led the audience in a sing-along of the original Maverick theme song, written by David Buttolph and Paul Francis Webster. In 2010, the Television Critics Association gave Garner its annual Career Achievement Award.

On April 21, 2006, a 10-foot-tall (3.0 m) bronze statue of Garner as Bret Maverick was unveiled in Garner’s hometown of Norman, Oklahoma, with Garner present at the ceremony.

Morgan Freeman is great, isn’t he? To have given accolades to James Garner by leading the audience in a sing-along of the original Maverick theme song like that was a true tribute. Congrats on winning that award for your work in Million Dollar Baby too, Morgan Freeman. Another of my all time favorite actors of all time.

I will have to get myself a copy of The Garner Files: A Memoir.

You will be greatly missed James Garner.

Rest in Peace.

Stranger Than Fiction

Stranger Than Fiction - cover - Click on image to go to Amazon's Stranger Than Fiction page

Stranger Than Fiction – cover – Click on image to go to Amazon’s Stranger Than Fiction page

Stranger Than Fiction is an amazing, unique, quirky and surprisingly excellent movie. A friend of ours, Adam aka @ross549 gave a DVD to us of a movie we had never seen before. He gave us the DVD not because he didn’t like the movie, but because they got a Blu-Ray version of the movie and didn’t need the DVD version any longer. That movie was Stranger Than Fiction. It became one of my favorites for many reasons.

First, Stranger Than Fiction showed a side of Will Ferrell that I never realized existed. Yes, I know comedy is as hard to do as any other genre of movies and it takes great talent to do comedy, but I found that there was just much more to Will Ferrell’s abilities as an actor; Will Ferrell was much more versatile than I ever imagined. I knew of Will Ferrell from the mid-70s on Saturday Night Live, and had seen a few of his zany comedy movies, but this Harold Crick was a much deeper character than any role I had seen him become before.

Second, the combination of a fantastic cast including; Will Ferrell, Emma Thompson, Dustin Hoffman, Queen Latifah and Maggie Gyllenhaal was magical.

Third, it was so unique of a concept for a movie!

Fourth, I am a sucker for a comedy that is also a bit of a drama, with romance and fantasy thrown in for good measure!

OK, some stats on this movie from Amazon:

Product Details:

Actors: Will Ferrell, Emma Thompson, Dustin Hoffman, Queen Latifah, Maggie GyllenhaalDirectors: Marc Forster
Writers: Zach Helm
Producers: Aubrey Henderson, Eric Kopeloff, Hans Ritter, Jim Miller, Joseph Drake
Format: AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
Subtitles: English, French
Dubbed: French
Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
PLEASE NOTE: Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called “region-free” DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Number of discs: 1
Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
DVD Release Date: February 27, 2007
Run Time: 113 minutes
Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (430 customer reviews)
ASIN: B000LXH0AE

The movie came out in theaters in the United States on 10 November 2006. IMDb gives it a rating of 7.7/10 Stars and even though it came out in 2006 in theaters and 2007 on DVD, it is on the rise.

IMDb Storyline:

Everybody knows that your life is a story. But what if a story was your life? Harold Crick is your average IRS agent: monotonous, boring, and repetitive. But one day this all changes when Harold begins to hear an author inside his head narrating his life. The narrator it is extraordinarily accurate, and Harold recognizes the voice as an esteemed author he saw on TV. But when the narration reveals that he is going to die, Harold must find the author of the story, and ultimately his life, to convince her to change the ending of the story before it is too late. Written by the lexster

Everything from the opening credits to the end held my interest and kept me right on the edge of my seat. This movie is unique, quirky, amazing, and so well done. This was Will Ferrell’s first so called ‘dramatic’ role and he did it so well, I really expect more from him in more dramatic and heartwarming roles.

There were many wonderful reviews of this movie at Amazon and I can’t list all my favorites here, but here is Amazon’s review by Doug Thomas:

Much was written about Will Ferrell’s first “dramatic role” as Harold Crick, an IRS auditor who begins hearing a voice narrating his life. But Stranger Than Fiction is hardly a drama. However, what Ferrell does–like Jim Carrey before him in The Truman Show–is handle a toned-down character with genuineness and affection: you believe he is this guy. Crick leads a lonely life filled with numbers and routines. While at first he considers the voice a nuisance, Crick decides more action is needed when it speaks of “his demise.” Enter Professor Jules Hilbert (Dustin Hoffman), who takes on the absurd notion with revelry, trying to find out what kind of book Crick’s life is leading. It turns out that the voice Crick is hearing belongs to Kay Eiffel (Emma Thompson), a very real–and troubled–author who is writing a book in which Crick is a fictional character. As usual with these things, the stuffed shirt learns to live a better life–Crick even falls for one of his audits, a brash baker named Ana (Maggie Gyllenhaal). Marc Foster (Monster’s Ball, Finding Neverland) has the right tone for the film, using great urban scenes (the unnamed city is Chicago) with interesting visualizations of Crick’s world of numbers. He also directs Ferrell, Hoffman, and Gyllenhaal to their most charming performances (plus Linda Hunt and Tom Hulce pop up in two funny scenes). Ferrell succeeds in being a romantic lead you can root for; a scene where he eats Ana’s freshly baked cookies is totally delightful without a hint of sarcasm. Screenwriter Zach Helm has two personal traits with his story: like Crick he followed his heart (he stopped rewriting scripts and only worked on his own) and like Eiffel, the final results are not a masterpiece, but good, and entertaining enough. Britt Daniel of the band Spoon worked on the dynamite soundtrack.–Doug Thomas

 

And just two from the multitude of reviews by regular movie viewers like you and me:

Literature, Taxes, Death And Cookies–A Difficult Concept Is Executed With Originality And Precision

By K. Harris

The idea of “Stranger Than Fiction” appealed to me the moment I first heard of it. Harold Crick, played by Will Ferrell, wakes up one day and hears a voice. An omniscient narrator is relating his life with precision and no one can hear that voice but himself. It turns out that the voice is Emma Thompson, playing a famed author who is actually writing a novel about a character named Harold Crick. And it’s the same Harold Crick. What is being put down in fiction is also concurrently happening in real life. It’s a tricky concept, one that I felt might be impossible to pull off effectively. Well, not only does “Stranger Than Fiction” pull it off–it succeeds grandly as a surprisingly thoughtful, amusing, and moving contemplation of life. For Harold must immediately confront his mortality when the narrator informs him/us that he will soon die!

~

Very Very Funny . . . And Odd

By N. Burt

I loved this movie. It is funny and odd, but it has a lot of heart to it. The writing is so good that my friends and I thought at first that it must be adapted from a larger work, such as a book. The characters are that well crafted and the story that unique. These are not things most comedies bother with at present. Now, I’m calling this a comedy, but it will pull on your emotions a bit. Its all worth it though. The acting is great, which is not unexpected given the cast. If you love movies and are looking for something kind of different and original this is a good way to go. A really fun film to watch.

There was a really good TIFF Screening review on the movie by grissomsbutterfly1013 (Canada) on September 10 2006 about 2 months before it came to theaters in the USA:

Saw it at The Toronto International Film Festival and it was well done. Original storyline, fantastic performance from Ferrel, Thompson and Hoffman. The most moving performance from Will Ferrel I have ever seen is within this film. The storyline some may believe to be too far fetched at first to take seriously, but in the end it does work. What makes the film work the most are the brilliant performances from Ferrel and Thompson. Without these two- the film couldn’t have been pulled off! I recommend this flick to anyone looking to laugh and cry and then laugh again. It was a truly brilliant film. 10/10 (Hoffman and Ferrel were too kind to shake hands and greet the fans inside the screening as well.)

 

Couldn’t have said it better myself! Awesome movie. If you enjoy unique concepts in heartwarming and funny movies with a great cast, you may also find that Stranger Than Fiction becomes a favorite movie of yours as well.

                    

RIP: Joan Fontaine

Joan Fontaine, Who Won an Oscar for Hitchcock’s ‘Suspicion,’ Dies at 96 – NYTimes – Dec 16, 2013

Passed away December 15, 2013

Joan Fontaine added by Bob Hufford at FindAGrave.com - Click the picture to go to FindAGrave.com's page for Joan Fontaine and see the other beautiful picture posted by Bob Hufford there as well.

Joan Fontaine added by Bob Hufford at FindAGrave.com – Click the picture to go to FindAGrave.com’s page for Joan Fontaine and see the other beautiful picture posted by Bob Hufford there as well.

(NOTE: Removed the one from Wikimedia as it was removed from there and no longer available)

Rebecca (1940) and Suspicion (1941)

Rest in peace, Joan Fontaine

(also known as Joan de Beauvoir de Havilland, younger sister to Olivia de Havilland. My heart goes out to Olivia de Havilland who at 97 survives her younger sister)

EDIT: Corrected the NYTimes article link

RIP: Peter O’Toole

Peter O’Toole, Star of ‘Lawrence of Arabia,’ Is Dead at 81 – NYTimes – Dec 15, 2013

Passed away December 14, 2013

One of his best all time movies, which I love, Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

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Rest in Peace Peter O’Toole!

My heart goes out to his family in this time of great loss.

RIP: Tom Laughlin aka Billy Jack

RIP: Tom Laughlin aka Billy Jack

Tom Laughlin, star of ‘Billy Jack’ films, dies at age 82 – The Blaze – December 15, 2013

Passed away, Thursday, December 12, 2013

Billy Jack (1971)

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Just one in the Billy Jack Collection of movies

Rest in peace “Billy Jack”

One Tin Soldier Rides Away

My heart goes out to Tom Laughlin’s family in their time of great loss.

Winter Holiday Movies

I posted the following to start off a discussion at ScotsNewsletter Forums:

White Christmas (1954)

Bing CrosbyDanny KayeRosemary Clooney. etc.

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National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)

Chevy ChaseBeverly D’AngeloJuliette Lewis, etc.

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A Christmas Story (1983)

Peter BillingsleyMelinda DillonDarren McGavinScott SchwartzJean Shepherd (narrator), etc.

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Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

Edmund GwennMaureen O’HaraJohn Payne, etc.

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Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer (1964)

Voices of: Billie Mae RichardsBurl IvesPaul Soles, etc.

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That’s just a start … what other Winter Holiday Movies are out there that you enjoy?

Some of the members brought up a bunch more, check it out. I also added a few more in there. ;)

And boy did the SNF Highlanders come through!

A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)

A Christmas Carol (1951) aka Scrooge (1951)

A Christmas Carol (1984)

It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

Scrooged (1988)

Frosty the Snowman (1954) and Frosty the Snowman (1969)

Christmas in Connecticut (1945)

Home Alone (1990) and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992)

Diehard (1988) and Diehard 2 (1990)

Love Actually (2003)

From Countdown Until Christmas:
Posted ImageNew Christmas Movies for 2013
Posted Image2013 ABC Family Countdown to 25 Days of Christmas
Posted Image2013 Hallmark Channel Countdown to Christmas
Posted Image2013 ABC Family 25 Days of Christmas

Gotta see WALL-E to see EVE and WALL-E with solar decorations holding hands

Wall-E and Eve Celebrate Christmas - Binary Moon UK

Wall-E and EVE Celebrate Christmas – Binary Moon UK – Click image to go to blog post

Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe (2005)

Lists of Christmas Films (Wikipedia):
Lists of Christmas films include:
List of films relating to Christmas
List of made-for-television and direct-to-video Christmas films
List of theatrical Christmas films

You’ve Got Mail (1998)
AND
Shop Around The Corner (1940)

And a great list of Favorite Winter Holiday Themed Movies
in this Ropes of Silicon article by Brad Brevet
including one of our all time favorites:

Gremlins (1984)

Trading Places (1983)

Holiday Inn (1942)

The Bells of St. Mary’s (1945)

The Bishop’s Wife (1947)

And a few more here:
Best Christmas Movies of the 1940s – 10 Ten Reviews

The Little Crooked Christmas Tree (1990)

A Christmas Carol (1999)

An American Christmas Carol (1979)

I know we didn’t get them all! There are tons of them! And more are likely forthcoming in the topic at SNF (Scot’s Newsletter Forums) here (oh, yeah, definitely been more from SNF), but if you can remember any we missed, please post them (if possible with IMDb links) in the comments, and I will add them to the list! Also got a few from Eric’s Cabin in the Woods forum. Thanks all!

Enjoy the Winter Holiday Movies!

Fast & Furious’ Paul Walker tragically died in a car crash

Paul Walker dead at 40: ‘Fast and Furious’ star killed in fiery car crash – Daily News

Paul Walker

Paul Walker

“Him and his buddy, his brother in arms at heart just decided to joyride, take a spin. Something we all do. We’re all car enthusiasts,”said Antonio Holmes, who said he was a friend of Walker’s.

“We’re all here driving, enjoying each other, and God must’ve needed help.”

Fast & Furious actor Paul Walker dies in California car crash – BBC

“It is with a truly heavy heart that we must confirm that Paul Walker passed away today in a tragic car accident while attending a charity event for his organisation Reach Out Worldwide,” the statement on the actor’s Facebook page said.

“He was a passenger in a friend’s car, in which both lost their lives. We… are stunned and saddened beyond belief by this news.”

Fast and Furious Actor Paul Walker Dead in Porsche Accident – KRON4

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Tweet from Paul Walker’s Official Account

It’s with a heavy heart that we must confirm Paul Walker passed away today in a tragic car accident…MORE:http://t.co/9hDuJMH99M – #TeamPW
— Paul Walker (@RealPaulWalker) December 1, 2013

‘Fast and Furious’ actor Paul Walker dead after car crash – EW

“Paul was truly one of the most beloved and respected members of our studio family for 14 years, and this loss is devastating to us, to everyone involved with the Fast and Furious films, and to countless fans.  We send our deepest and most sincere condolences to Paul’s family,” a rep for Universal said in a statement.

Actor Paul Walker dies – CNN

Along with Vin Diesel, the 40-year-old Walker has been one of the stalwarts of the “Fast & Furious” movie series, characterized by its racing scenes and attractive cast.

 

The box-office success of the first film in 2001 fueled sequels. The series’ sixth installment came out earlier this year, topping the Memorial Day weekend box office.

 

At the time of his death, Walker was working on the seventh film of the franchise, with a scheduled release date of 2014.

Such a tragic loss … my heart goes out to Paul Walker’s family and friends – including his friend that was driving at the time of the crash. His friend also died in the crash and has family and friends who will miss him as well.

It is a great loss to those of us who love the franchise (Fast & Furious). We can just imagine how hard this was for Vin Diesel and everyone else that have been working with Paul Walker all these years. My heart goes out to all the folks that are are part of the Fast & Furious franchise and lost a piece of their family when Paul Walked died today.

:redrose:

As a close, I would like to quote the Roman’s Grace over the meal at the end of Fast & Furious 6 – I somehow think it fits:

Father thank you for the gathering of friends, Father we give thanks for all the choices we’ve made because that’s what makes us who we are, let us forever cherish the loved ones we’ve lost along the way; thank you for the little angel, the newest addition to our family, thank you for bringing Letty home, and most of all thank you for fast cars!

Rest in peace, Paul Walker…you are missed.

 

EDIT: Added Roman’s grace over the meal at the end of F&F6.

Hollywood’s 25 Most Powerful Authors

Hollywood’s 25 Most Powerful Authors – MyPassionIsBooks Blog

 

Check out the article at MyPassionIsBooks about this wonderful list of authors that have had movies made of their books!

The top 25! And Stephen King hit Number 1! Congrats Stephen King!! And to all the great authors on this list!