Category Archives: Written or posted by Susan

“Gun Hill Road” Request a screening!

Director Rashaad Ernesto Green wrote this screenplay then combed the streets looking for the right person to play the part of Michael when he found Harmony Santana.  She was “discovered!” It’s a movie about a transexual, played by an actual transexual.  The film depicts the viewpoint of the struggles from within the family unit, Latino no less, as Michael reveals his true identity, heightening the tension of the differences in beliefs and straining the concept of acceptance.

Please watch the trailer and the interviews with Mr. Green and the cast.

I have requested a screening of this movie for the Cinemark Palace at the Plaza and may be able to catch a screening in NYC this weekend!


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Musical on film: “Company”

The Cinemark Theater on the Plaza in Kansas City had “an event,” which apparently is done throughout the country. There are special showings of events like sporting events, concerts, and… stage shows! For $19.95, I purchased my event ticket online via a route advertised on a theater promotion website.  My desire was to see”Company”, whose cast consisted of several incredible performers with Neil Patrick Harris as the lead, Bobby.

This format of delivery for a live musical wasn’t too bad. From several angles, we see the stage, the orchestra and a little of the audience. I loved that I was able to see the actors faces close up and didn’t miss any nuances in their performances. I didn’t catch all the angles at the same time obviously, but in the nosebleed section I would have missed alot, too. The audio was good, but somehow I think an even better sound could have been replicated in this theater.  I know I truly missed out on the excitement of the live perfomance and this show aroused that desire (which I already had) to just go see a live production.

In a nutshell, the musical consists of vignettes of Bobby’s thoughts while he ponders about being single vs. the possibility of a real relationship/marriage, while he is turning 35. Five couples who are his closest friends all give advice in some form or another. He gleens tidbits of what marriage is all about from them and digests it. The Stephen Sondheim scores and thought provoking lyrics had the audience laughing and crying. Title “Company” refers to having someone keep him company in his life as he decides to LIVE life and choose to have that close relationship.

Now that this new way of seeing a “live” show is available, I’m likely to see more.

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The Bravest Choice Is To Be Yourself

I saw this film, “Two Spirits,” last night on the Independent Lens program on my PBS station.  The story is about the cruel murder of a young Navajo person,  of mixed gender, a “natle” named Fred Martinez. I knew it would rip out my heart, but I seem to need to hear the stories of brave people who dare to be exactly who they are. I must feel somewhere in me, that being myself is such a scary thought. What if people don’t like the real me? I also have a deep appreciation of other people like myself that are sensitive. We FEEL. We feel everything. We feel more with our skin, we hear more high frequencies with our ears, we smell things, we taste more, colors and shapes are vivid… I think mixed gender people end up like THAT; sensitive people born into a world that wants to make us conform. If they would just let us be us what a more beautiful world this would be.

This film has won several awards.

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Cat Dancers

This documentary is now out on DVD. Listen to the podcast interview of Ron Holiday and Harris Fishman, producer/director.

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Gregory Peck…on a stamp

I guess for the stamp collectors out there this is kind of cool…I mean, if I were to ever get myself on a stamp, it would mean I was dead already, right? And that I had achieved something in my lifetime, right? And that I was really special, right? I’m….just not feelin’ it. I’d want to be honored some other way. Not sure what, but the stamp just isn’t doin’ it for me.

Congrats to Mr. Peck, anyway. He was sexy as hell.  I was too little to understand what I was watching in, “To Kill a Mocking Bird” the first time around, yes, I’m THAT old. But oh, daddy, he was tall, and had a deep voice.  Even as a  little girl I was attracted to him. I will have to revisit that movie.


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127 Hours, Seemed Like Just a Few Minutes…I Guess it Was!

“127 Hours” is based on the harrowing true events of what happened to Aron Ralston during a hike in canyons in Utah. James Cute-tay Franco plays the real life person of Aron Ralston, who is a young man that loves biking, hiking, and partying.  He heads out one day, journeying across and though some canyons.  He encounters only two young women on the trip. He shows them a very cool place that has an underground pond where they go swimming/skinny-dipping, and then the girls continue their hike back home.  Aron has his camcorder with him and video-blogs his adventure.

 Although a very experienced hiker, Aron slips and falls into a deep crevice as a large boulder dislodges. The boulder lands on his hand and arm, pinning it so tightly against the walls of the crevice, he cannot remove it.  He is stuck at the bottom, far away from civilization.

Over the next few days/minutes, we witness his trying to survive with little water and food with his sanity slipping away at times. Similar to the movie “Castaway,” there are painfully lonely moments where he can only reminisce, or dream or hallucinate. We hear of his regrets of not returning his mother’s phone calls, and voices that haunt him as he recalls his indifferent attitude toward his last girlfriend.  This made me want to cry with my own regrets of things not done or said.  He profoundly concludes, “It’s ME. I CHOSE this. This rock has been waiting for me for me, my whole life, for this moment.” He then has a premonition of having a son. This re-energizes him to want to live and free himself from the boulder-trap.

After contemplating cutting off his arm, he finally does it.  It was sickening but admirable.  I was cooking dinner in my kitchen while watching the movie on Pay-Per-View and it felt so wrong to think about eating anything during this movie.  I wanted to look away, but couldn’t.

Franco was perfectly cast for the part. His acting didn’t seem like acting. It just seemed like real life. I guess that is why he was nominated for an Academy Award as best actor. At the end of the movie, we get to see a final shot of the real Aron with his wife and son. It had a truly happy ending.

I liked it a lot.  Can you tell?

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“The Adjustment Bureau” Needs No Adjusting


The Adjustment Bureau

If a movie stays with you hours later or days later, it had to be, not just good, but great. “The Adjustment Bureau” was THAT kind of movie.  It had romance, action, suspense, and a deeply thought-provoking premise.  It was for EVERYBODY.  I dare to say, it will get a Peoples’ Choice award for sure.  I chose to see it based on the “Yahoo Users” rating of an “A”, and I’m sorry, but those users are right a LOT of the time!  Critics…not so much.  I could never be a critic.  *cheesy smile*

Matt Damon plays the young politician, David Norris, who is on the road to a successful career in politics when he has a, seemingly, chance encounter with a ballet dancer, Elise, played by Emily Blunt.  She is beautiful, witty, and charming AND has a soft British accent. David starts to fall in love with her.  Heck, we ALL do. She is great.  I’m hearing the roar of take-off in Emily’s acting career right NOW.  David is, sexy, smart and driven to succeed. We (us and Elise) love him because he has a NYC bad-boy side to him that is volatile, too.  The scenes take place in New York City.  This had a personal appeal to me, as I recognized parts of the city, and I believe I even rode the same ferry across the Hudson River as they did in one scene. I was captivated and on the edge of my seat. Not literally. I was comfy in my theater seat, with just a Diet Coke, truth be told.

Angels dressed like businessmen, show up to intervene in their lives. The couple is unknowingly changing history that is not supposed to happen that way and “adjustments” have to be made… to put back on track, the future that was written by the “Boss”. They reveal this to David to convince him to choose what is “best” for the world over true love.  Only one angel is on David’s side, Harry, played by Anthony Mackie.  Harry helps David unite with Elise, against the opposition’s orders.  We cheer them on as David has to rush to find Elise and go to THE ONE, who wrote the history book, with the hope of getting it re-written. We see Matt Damon once again running in an action scene like we love to see him do, yet this time it seems it’s for a better cause…for love.

This movie will make you second guess every action in your life, when you start to think how history can change with one small incident. It drives home the butterfly effect, and you will not forget its message.

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