Deep Thought

Peg and I spent a beautiful day at the movie house and saw a wonderful film, “Saving Mr. Banks.” The only Oscar nomination it has received is for Music. That is too bad because the story is true and heart warming. Unfortunately, not all heart warming films become Oscar nominated films.  The story covers the twenty year quest by Walt Disney to get the author of Mary Poppins to agree to let him make it into a movie. What I found most fascinating were the flashbacks into the author’s early childhood, and the influence her early life had on the characters in the story. In one scene Mrs. Travers arrives in Hollywood and stays at the Hollywood Inn Hotel. Disney sets her up with a suite and fills it with stuffed dolls of his cartoon characters and food baskets galore. She spots some pears in a basket and viciously throws them out of the window into the swimming pool below. In a much later flashback we learn that as a child she was happily bringing pears to her father when she learns of his death.

Emma Thompson plays the role of Pamela “P.L.” Travers a pseudonym for Helen Goth. Thompson portrays Mrs. Travers expertly and convincingly. She is a complicated woman who is very possessive and protective of the characters in Mary Poppins. We learn that she is so because she based many of them on people from her life. She feels the slightest Disney depiction away from her invention is character assassination.

Disney makes a heroic effort to convince Mrs. Travers to allow him to make the film, he promises her that he will not destroy her characters nor the context of the story. His motive for making the movie is a promise he made to his daughters. The promise is already twenty years old when this story takes place. I wonder if I would be so diligent as to spend twenty years trying to make good on a promise to my daughter. It takes a lot of persistence and doggedness to last that long.

The characters in this movie got into my head and now I want to read the book to get a deeper insight into all of them. So many times we are left to our own imagination to fill in scenes between the lines. For example, I learned by reading that Mrs. Travers’ father played by Colin Farrell died from alcoholism. The film did portray him as a drinker, but I wondered if it was an addiction or because he was using alcohol to kill pain from some other malady. Maybe that is just me, but I thought the film did not make that detail clear enough. Perhaps it isn’t even relevant to the story, but it left me wanting.

Throughout the story, Mrs. Travers maintains a cool unattached persona, but by the end she lets her hair down and befriends her driver Ralph played by Paul Giamatti. She actually let him call her Pam instead of the cold Mrs. Travers she demanded to that point.

Tom Hanks portrays Walt Disney and even though he isn’t a 100 percent carbon copy of the man in likeness he makes it work. By the end of the first few scenes I believed he was Walt Disney.

We enjoyed the story and discussed it over dinner and again over breakfast this morning. One major revelation came out of our discussion, Peg never saw Mary Poppins. When it came out her life and kids were beyond watching a film like Mary Poppins. Today, I will find a copy of the movie and we will watch it together. I give the film four stars.

It Is Called Murder

I suppose I should rant about the health care system, but I have done enough of that and no one listened to me. Now, all those in favor of the ACA have gotten exactly what they deserve, nothing.

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My real topic today, is the movie “Captain Phillips.” I read about this incident in 2009. For the first time in over two hundred years pirates hi-jack an US ship. The movie sticks to the facts as I remember, and the acting is incredible. Tom Hanks plays Captain Phillips, and a bunch of Somalian’s living in the US played the pirates. None of the Somalis had any prior acting experience. All I can say is that either they picked up acting from Tom Hanks very quickly, or Hollywood filmed genuine pirates during a hi-jack. The Somalis did a fabulous job of convincing me that they were pirates.

I won’t talk a lot about the film except to explain that the US Navy came to the rescue.  A battleship, an aircraft carrier and a another smaller vessel between them. Navy Seals flew in from another part of the world parachuted into the Indian Ocean near the ships and did their job.

Coming out of the movie, I met my buddy Al standing near the exit. He beat me to the john at the end and waited for me. As I walked toward him I said, “I can’t believe it, three Navy ships, helicopters, and Seals from somewhere to rescue a single American yet we couldn’t offer a single resource to the Ambassador in Benghazi. He smiled and said. “the same thing kept going through my mind for the entire movie.

At dinner Al and I continued to analyze the differences between Somalian piracy and the Benghazi Embassy attack. We concluded that the prime difference was the 2012 election. Obama ran around the country bragging about Al Qaeda on the run and how he killed bin Laden and that terrorism is declining. Had he acknowledged Benghazi as a real threat, he would have blown all his campaign rhetoric and looked like a complete dummy. We all know that wasn’t going to happen. Incumbent presidents do very strange things to get re-elected. In this case Obama killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens, Sean Smith, Information Officer, and Seals Glen Doherty, and Tyrone Woods in the embassy in Benghazi, Libya. His right hand Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is also complicit.

My lifetime spans thirteen presidents, and never have I heard any rumor, innuendo, or a smattering of gossip about any of them committing murder to win an election until number thirteen.

Benghazi was within an hour of the nearest military team ready to deal with a terrorist attack. Three men died while defending the Ambassador. There are reports that the three took out sixty or more of the two-hundred or more attackers with the limited resources they had. All it would have taken was another seven Seals to squash the attack. Had there been some air support, each attacker would be happily engaged with his seventy virgins.

What ever Obama and his spin-masters tell you about the Benghazi attack is a huge stretch of the truth (another way to express that is that they are telling you a lie). Obama allowed his embassy team to die because he chose to go to bed, and to leave them hanging. I call it murder, and every one who voted for this guy is an accomplice to murder as well.

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