A Short Story Made Long

This is a short story which I will make long. Peggy and I have been theater goers ever since we married. For three years we subscribed to Chicago Shakespeare Theater. We looked forward to going, but always came home wondering what-the-heck is was all about. I was lucky if I understood fifty percent of what the actors said. Peg felt the same. In a cock-eyed way we enjoyed Shakespeare, maybe because it was a night out in the big town. Then, I learned that my friend Sherman and his wife Harriet were avid Steppenwolf Theater fans. My only association with Steppenwolf  came when I recognized the theater while driving by. I had heard the name many times, and my ears stood up when I drove past the building.

We subscribed to Steppenwolf in 2007 for the same nights as Harriet and Sherman. We have been members ever since. One of the first plays we attended is “Superior Donuts.” Sherman could not laud playwright Tracy Letts enough for his writing ability, and raved about a play they saw during the last season called “August: Osage County” also by Tracy Letts.

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All along, I kept telling myself that I have to see this play. From Steppenwolf the play went to Broadway lasting two years and receiving rave reviews. Then, Tracy Letts won a Pulitzer Prize for Drama for “Osage.”  All the while, Peg and I have watched five plays a year since then, and many of them featured Tracy Letts as actor. He is a fine performer. Our record of coming home not understanding what went on has improved and we now understand all the dialog.

This week, I accomplished the goal to see “August: Osage County.” Peg and I opened our winter movie season by seeing this film. The story has strong characters played by fine actors, two of which you will recognize immediately, Meryl Streep, and Julia Roberts.

I don’t know what it is about playwrights they always seem to write their best stories about dysfunctional families. I admit, Osage is about one really screwed up family. The story is riveting, as screwed up as the people are. This was one film that went by fast, and My old man bladder held out for the distance. There was no way I would  interrupt seeing one minute of this performance.

There is one thing left for this story, an Oscar. The film did not receive a nomination, but Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts have both been nominated, I agree that both should win.

Save Your Money

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This is a true confession. Today, I went to see a movie. Peggy and I have a goal to see twelve movies in twelve weeks, and today we saw number ten. The first nine films we saw  were very good;  the stories seemed plausible, the action looked real although contrived, and the characters were believable. I wrote about “Olympus Has Fallen” on this blog not long ago.

The film we saw today is a giant pile of dog turd. I was praying for my bladder overload to kick in so I would have an excuse to leave. As luck had it, my bladder behaved.

The movie is ” Tyler Perry‘s Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor.”

When I first read the title I was stupid enough to believe that Tyler Perry was part of the film. It turns out that he is the author, and it surprised me to know who the hell Tyler Perry is. Looking back at it, I now realize that “Tyler Perry” is code for “all black story, and actors.” Call me a racist if you like, but this film left me wishing I had chosen to see “the Croods” instead.

Where do I begin? Portions of the story are completely unbelievable, the characters are not real, the plot is worse than some of the fairytale action films, and the actors performed like rejects from a third-rate school of drama.

Ask me if I liked it? NO!

I give this film five dog turds.

2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 23,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 5 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.

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