Wait a second

This made me laugh just thinking about it. It is from a blogger who writes some excellent, fun jokes! You might want to follow his blog ūüėāūüĎćūüŹľ

SKYLINE REPORTS

John talks to God:

‚ÄúWhat does it mean to You, my Lord, a billion years ?‚ÄĚ

‚ÄúIt means only a second, John.‚ÄĚ

‚ÄúBut a billion dollars ?‚ÄĚ

‚ÄúOne cent.‚ÄĚ

‚ÄúThen give me, my Lord, one cent !‚ÄĚ

‚ÄúWait a second‚Ķ‚ÄĚ

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Oldest Footage of London Ever

This is a fantastic film….talk about time travel! It compares London landmarks on film and pictures in London over a hundred years ago. It‚Äôs just an incredible piece of documentary. Thank you Old Boy for allowing me to reblog your blog post. Enjoy ūüėä

Movies From The Silent Era

From Yestervid

Ever wonder what London looked like over 100 years ago?

This is the oldest footage of London ever. Includes amazing old footage, plus modern shots of the same location today. Also features maps carefully researched to show where the camera was.
http://www.yestervid.com

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The video features:

  • 46 vintage shots of recognizable places in London from 1890-1920
  • Added dates and maps to show where the camera was
  • Amazing side-by-side comparison with modern footage of exactly the same spot
  • The clip that is the oldest surviving footage of London from 1890.

Here’s the film:

As far as we know, a project of this nature and factual depth has never been undertaken.

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We also love the feeling of seeing the horse drawn carts, people and old buildings. Nostalgia makes you reflect on your own life and leaves you with a sense of wonder because essentially, this is your story.

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In March 2015, old…

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Robin Williams Blogathon: Impressions

This actor and comedian will be missed for a very long time. Anyone who had caught his act or watched his movies knew there was some kind of genius lurking there. He was manically funny and his dramatic performances were near perfect. He won an Oscar for his supporting role in Good Will Hunting (1997); and, he had 83 nominations from various film industries and 63 wins. Whether drama or comedy, he sublimely did it all. The ancient Greeks would have considered him the consummate performer, like Buster Keaton. They are a combination of hilarious laughter and heartbreaking tears; or, as the Greeks considered it, an illusion of perfection within the arts of entertainment.  You only had to see Williams once, regardless where; and, he made an impression that you would not easily forget.

His improvisations were pure magic. As with most performing artists, many aspects of his personal life would make it into his act. For instance, he was very proud of his Scot heritage. You can see some of this in the following video clip. In this clip, he is impersonating a ‚Äúpissed‚ÄĚ (into his cups, smashed, drunk…) Scot. This particular Williams character ended up inventing the game of golf. Take a look, if you have not seen it or if you want to laugh again. This displays Williams‚Äô trademark of energetic impersonations along with the hilarity of his wit.

Before I continue, I would like to thank Gill from Realweegiemidget and Crystal from In The Days of Classic Hollywood for hosting this much deserved tribute: Robin Williams Blogathon. To read or see more of this tribute, please use the following links:

https://crystalkalyana.wordpress.com/2017/12/30/announcing-the-robin-williams-Blogathon

https://weegiemidget.wordpress.com/2018/01/29/awakenings-1990/

The first fleeting impression I had of Williams was from TVs reboot of Rowan and Martin’s Laugh In (1977).  Williams was mixed in a fast paced kaleidoscope of comedians doing their gags and short skits. However, he stood out even then. He was young, handsome, and wearing a funny-looking cowboy hat. He wowed me in only a few seconds. Anyone who saw him knew he was different and unique. I tried to catch the show the following week. Either, I missed it; or, it just didn’t never aired.

 

I don‚Äôt think I saw him again until the highly popular¬†Mork and Mindy (19781982). He was not a cowboy this time. No, he was a cute, funny-looking space alien who is befriended by the pretty Mindy (Pam Dawber). For those who don‚Äôt remember it, this show is a cross between My Favorite Martian¬†(1999) and the Earth Girls Are Easy (1989). For most of us, it was the first time we heard the words: Nano, Nano! Who knew then that ‚ÄúNano‚ÄĚ technology would be in our future?

 

Williams claims he was heavily influenced by many great performers and actors. However, I think his greatest influence came from comedic icon and the first inductee to the Comedic Hall of Fame: Jonathan Winters. If you seen Winters act when dressed as a women, you might think: this is Mrs. Doubtfire‚Äôs¬†American cousin: Maude Frickert. If you never seen Winters impersonation of the 87 year old Maude, then I encourage you to watch¬†the following¬†short clip of ‚Äúher‚ÄĚ with Dean Martin. They¬†are¬†setting up a commercial for a sponsor of¬†The Dean Martin Show in what they call a ‚Äústation break.‚ÄĚ

The jokes are a bit dated and sexist; but, it was ‚Äúnaughty‚ÄĚ fun for audiences of the early 60s. ¬†The similarities between the two crossdressing elderly, spitfire-characters cannot not be missed. Both are immensely enjoyed by their adorning fans.

After Mork and Mindy were married, they soon announced a baby on the way. Their half Alien/human newborn would be ‚Äúhatched‚ÄĚ into a baby named Mearth (Jonathan Winters). Due to Williams admiration of Winters, this should not have surprised people; but, it did. You had to watch it to understand how ridiculously funny those last few years were on that show with this comic marriage. ¬†Those two together, Williams and Winters, was akin to a comedic molotov cocktail.

 

 

Here is a clip of them ten years later after the show ended. They are on the Johnny Carson Show. Carson had alreadied interviewed Williams before they brought out Winters.  Winters had just won an Emmy for another TV show; however, he did not attend the awards to receive it. Williams was obviously elated to be there with the iconic funnyman.  This clip is just a glimpse of what it must have been like with these two geniuses working together. Their respect and admiration for each other can be seen through the details.

In addition to Winters, Robin Williams credits others whose influence had an major impact on him, especially, when it came to acting. He loved watching British actor, Peter Sellers (Pink Panther, Doctor Strangelove or how I Stopped worrying and love the Bomb)¬†and Dustin Hoffman (Tootie, Hook). ¬†They each impressed upon him the need of learned, practiced characterization. ¬†Each character, no matter how large or small the part, deserved serious study. ¬†Hoffman taught Williams this during the making of Hook:¬†Preparation is key to a great performance. This advice must of become extremely important to the ‚ÄúThe King of Improvisation.‚ÄĚ

Williams will be involved in 105 film productions. Most, if not all, delivered a character, good or evil, with a degrees of heart and humanity.

The first time one of Williams’ performances surprised me was in Kenneth Branagh’s Dead Again (1991). This is a wonderful movie that salutes the styles of Alfred Hitchcock and Orson Wells. With that said, this movie has passion, murder, mystery and the possibility of reincarnation. It travels from post WWII in the United States (filmed in black and white) to the present (filmed in color). In the past, Branagh is German composer Roman Strauss. He marries a much younger musician, Margaret (Emma Thompson). She is murdered and Strauss is executed for the crime. In the present, Branagh is cynical private eye, Mike Church. Most of his work comes from tracking down missing heirs.

A lawyer contacts Church to locate a professionally ruined psychiatrist, Cozy Carlisle (Robin Williams). What a great name for a psychiatrist, Cozy. Apparently, that was his problem. He got too ‚Äú cozy‚ÄĚ with his patients. Church locates him working in a grocery store‚Äôs freezer locker.

Church is called by his priest to come back to the orphanage (converted Strauss mansion) where he was raised. They have an female amnesiac who just appeared at their gates. Unfortunately, she is so traumatized, she is mute too. As if that is not enough, she has nothing on her to identify her. Church really doesn’t want to deal with this kind of case; but, his priest knows how to guilt him out. Once Mike meets this woman, he is immediately intrigued. He gives her a temporary name, Grace (Thompson).

Eventually, Mike ends up taking her to hypnotist, Franklyn Madson (Derek Jacobi) who also has a antique shop. Church and Grace learn of the Strauss murder under hypnosis. While in the hypnotic state, Grace appears to relive her past life as Margaret Strauss, (the murder victim). As a result, Grace finds her voice but not her memory of her life in the present. Church’s instincts tells him not to trust Madson.  Instead, he and Grace pay a visit to the bitter and angry, ex-doctor, Cozy Carlisle. Church wants his advice about the possibility of reincarnation.  The following two clips completely contain this conversation. Until this movie, I never seen Williams in such a dark role. It was brilliant, of course.

 

Even as this darker character, Cozy Carlisle, Williams delivers a punch line to Branagh’s Mike Church. I liked how this movie explores other beliefs. Although the answers differ by various religions, the questions remain the same (why we are here; or, what is our place in the greater scheme of things). The answers will always be debated; but, even with confusing answers, the questions are always pursued and are infinitely more interesting.

The following year Williams passed away, a very dark movie (his last) was released, Boulevard (2015). I was saddened that such lovely person as Robin Williams is not here anymore to make us laugh. No, I didn’t see it, nor at that time, did I want too.  However, time soften the heart; and, I decided I want to see it. I want to be fair in honoring all of Williams’ work.

For a while, I wanted to remembered the smiling and gifted performer in happier movies. A few years, after he passed away, Americans in the United States were given the ‚Äúanother‚ÄĚ last movie with Robin Williams. It was released in the U.K. in 2015 but not in the States. ¬†It is a scientific comedy…Yessss: Absolutely Anything. Williams does the voiceover for the dog, Dennis. The trailer looks funny; and, I am looking forward to watching it.

It is directed by Terry Jones (Monty Python) and it is written by Jones and Gavin Scott. I took the liberty of copying the cast lists from Wikapedia. Here is the link:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Absolutely_Anything#Cast

Feast your eyes on all of this talent. ¬†As far as the voiceover cast, you might as well call it ‚ÄúMonty Python‚ÄĚ with Robin Williams.

CAST:

Simon Pegg as Neil Clarke
Kate Beckinsale as Catherine West
Sanjeev Bhaskar as Ray
Rob Riggle as Colonel Grant Kotchev
Robert Bathurst as James Cleverill
Eddie Izzard as Headmaster, Mr. Robinson
Joanna Lumley as Fenella
Marianne Oldham as Rosie
Emma Pierson as Miss Pringle
Meera Syal as Fiona Blackwell
Mojo the Dog as Dennis the Dog

VOICE CAST

John Cleese as Chief Alien
Terry Gilliam as Nasty Alien
Eric Idle as Salubrious Gat
Terry Jones as Scientist Alien
Michael Palin as Kindly Alien
Robin Williams as Voice of Dennis the Dog
Again, I have not seen this movie; but, I guarantee you that I will by this weekend; even though, the movie received lukewarm reviews. ¬†That‚Äôs nothing new. Most comedies receive lukewarm reviews; or, they are totally trashed. It just makes me happy that Williams, in the voice of ‚Äúman‚Äôs friend,‚ÄĚ comes from this space age comedy to make us smile, again. ¬†Let me know in the comments if you seen it and if you enjoyed it.

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Again, that you Gill and Crystal for hosting the Robin Williams Blogathon.  Don’t forget to see more tributes to Robin Williams using the following links:

https://crystalkalyana.wordpress.com/2017/12/30/announcing-the-robin-williams-Blogathonhttps://weegiemidget.wordpress.com/2018/01/29/awakenings-1990/

Reference Links:

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.rogerebert.com/reviews/amp/dead-again-1991

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robin_Williams

http://m.imdb.com/title/tt0101669/

http://ew.com/article/1991/08/30/dead-again/

http://www.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=9D0CE7DB1F39F930A1575BC0A967958260

From North and South to Dallas: Lesley Anne Down

https://weegiemidget.wordpress.com/

As part of the Dallas  Blogathon, bloggers were asked to pick an actor from the long-running TV show Dallas (1978-1991).  It was requested that we  write a blog about a regular or a guest star on the show but in a different role, other than Dallas. It was suggested to me to pick Lesley Anne Down; since, I am a fan of Patrick Swayze; and,they both stared in the mini -series North And South. It is a great suggestion; but,  I never seen North and South. So  I decided  to write about Lesley Ann Warren in Victor/Victoria. I love that movie.

Of course, that was a huge mistake. I felt a little better later when I read that Lesley Anne Down joked with a reporter that she is constantly getting mail for Lesley Ann Warren. After reading her candid comment about people mixing up the two actresses, I felt a connection; and, I instantly knew that I really liked her as a person. Even though I knew next to nothing about her.  So, I bought the DVD North and South and prepared for a bingefest.  It is 1392 minutes long without commercials.  That is 23.2 hours of movie watching. Basically, it took me 3 days to binge watch this mini-series.  Was it worth it? Absolutely!

The beautiful, British Down ¬†co-starred in Dallas in 1990.¬†¬†In my humble opinion, she is as beautiful as Ava Gardner (who died that same year of pneumonia) ¬†or Elizabeth Taylor. In Dallas, season 11, she played¬†Stephanie Rogers. ¬†In her role as¬†an expert public relations agent, she¬†is intent on capturing the heart and mind of Cliff Barnes, J.R. Ewing’s nemesis on the show.¬†¬†During this time, she signed a contract¬†for¬†a¬†10-week shoot. She¬†created quite a stir with the¬†salary she¬†negotiated for her role in the show.¬†¬†An¬†unheard of¬†¬†amount of $250,000. Who is this actress who was able to secure such a lucrative amount of money? ¬†Remember this was before¬†the big money of Oprah Winfrey¬†or Ray Romano or even the equality pay demanded by Hollywood actresses today. ¬†I think¬†part of the answer lies in her stunning performance as Madelyn Fabray-¬†LaMott in the Emmy award-winning North and South (1985-1986).

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Ms Down was born in London, England on March 17,1954.  She started modeling at the tender age of ten.  Although Down retired two years ago at the age of 60, most American audiences can still remember her charismatic portrayal as Madelyn Fabray LaMott in North and South. This mini-series is based on three books of  historical fiction by author John Jakes.  His trilogy follows the friendship of two West Point cadets and their families before, during, and after the American Civil War. This is a war that is described as a war that forced brother against brother and nearly destroys both in the process.

The Maines are from  South Carolina and the Hazards are from Northern Pennsylvania. Patrick Swayze plays Orry Maines and James Read plays George Hazard. Before Orry Maines meets George (his Bestie), he meets Madelyn soon after he said his goodbyes to his family. While  traveling on the road to the pretigous West Point, to train as an officer in the United States Army, he comes across a coach lying on its side in water.

Madelyn’s¬†coach wheel had broken and turned itself over in a¬†¬†section of a¬†flooded road.¬† Orry rides up and sees¬†the beautiful southern belle in distress and promptly jumps from his horse to assist.¬†When she¬†explains¬†to ¬†him she¬†is on her way to meet her father who is visiting¬†the¬†owner¬†of ¬†the LaMott plantation,¬† Orry offers to take¬†her on his horse (side-saddle, of course).¬† Apparently, the LaMott plantation is neighbors to the Maines’¬†plantation.¬†¬†Little does Madelyn know that her French Daddy is shopping for a rich husband for her. While at the same time¬†evil and mean plantation owner Daniel LaMott (played perfectly by actor David Caradine) is shopping for a southern bell- trophy wife.¬†By the time Orry and Madelyn¬†arrive at the LaMott¬†planation,¬†Orry knows she is the woman he¬†wants to¬†be with for the rest of his life.¬†However after they¬†arrive, Orry must tell her that he will not see her again for two years due to¬† his training at West Point. ¬†The newly discovered star-crossed lovers promise¬†¬†to wait for one another.

They keep their promises and write daily; but, neither one will receive that first letter.  Daddy Fabray intercepts each letter coming in and each letter going out.  He wants his daughter  to marry the filthy rich and powerful LaMott. Madelyn eventually is persuaded that Orry must have found someone else or decided she was not the girl for him after all.  Meanwhile, LaMott is working hard at wooing her by spoiling her with his loving attentions and gifts.

I mean really, what’s a girl going to do? It has been over two years and no word from Orry. Madelyn finally gives in to her father’s and LaMott’s encouragements.¬†She agrees to marry LaMott. Can you believe it? On their wedding day, Orry comes home. He still loves her; and as soon as he speaks to her and looks into her beautiful eyes, she admits, she still loves him too; but, she cannot love him back.¬† She is a married lady, now.¬† As if it would be easy to forget you love handsome and kind-hearted Orry over mean-spirited not so cute LaMott? I mean, really!¬† What’s a girl suppose to do?

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NORTH AND SOUTH, Patrick Swayze, Lesley-Anne Down, 1985,

Ms Down plays the long-suffering and abused wife so well that¬†even the most virtuous audience¬†wants her and Orry to “hook up” and have their secret adulterous affair.¬†Down completely submerges herself in the role of Madelyn to¬†such a degree that¬†you believe every unbelievable facet of her pure and good personality.¬†One of the elements of her portrayal of Madelyn that makes her character believable, is her sharply crafted southern accent.¬† It is this accent that definitely aids her in achieving such a stunning performance.¬†¬†Unless you are an excellent southern actor like Billy Bob Thornton or a superb actor like Tom¬†Hardy in “Lawless,” most actors articulate poor southern accents. For Patrick Swayze,¬†this was not¬†so much of a challenge because he is a southerner from Texas.¬†Most people can sound somewhat southerner; but, very few can speak with an accent that sounds aristocratic and culturally enriched.¬† Ms Down accomplished both the mannerisms and¬†the authentic accent while avoiding the¬† stereotype that most southern audiences have had to endure while watching¬†movies or Television.¬†With an array of talented qualities in¬†Down’s performance, it¬†is¬†no wonder¬†why she was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a television drama in 1986.

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In an interview, Down gave excellent advice about going into acting.¬†She said: ¬†you have to want it really bad so¬†that nothing else matters. Most people don’t make it because there is a lot of things that happen to you on your way.¬†She explained she hated school and stop going at the age of 12 years old.¬† She started as a model¬†which eventually led to acting.¬† She said the casting couch was not a¬†Hollywood myth.¬† She claims that she ¬†hated her years as a teenager. They were stressed and intense.¬†Fortunately for us and her, she did make it.

On a personal note, she has two sons from two marriages.  She met her final and present husband on the set of North and South.  Don E. Flauntleroy was the cinematographer for the mini-series. Patrick Swayze, in his autobiography which he finished shortly before he died in 2009, describe Down as a generous and funny lady who he greatly admired. He said she would invite cast and crew to the expensive hotel she was staying at during the shoot. They were invited to fine dinning and would hang out there later on most nights. That is very generous indeed. It was rumoured she was going through a divorce from her second husband at the time.  Some suggested he actually paid for all that generosity.  My response is, so? If she spent the money on making people happy who is to question her ability and desire to do so?

As always in my blogs, I like to pass on lessons or wisdom that I discover from my subjects or topics.¬†I¬†find that¬†Ms Down¬†is not so¬†different from most of us who have struggled to reach our goals.¬† She has had to overcome great obstacles¬† in order to¬†obtain her successful acting career.¬† She is as complex and as¬†complicated as any character she has chosen to play.¬†¬†It has been¬†suggested that¬†great acting comes from the actor’s soul. They in turn share that honesty and truth with their audience.¬† Ms¬†Down has shared many passionate performances with her¬†audiences over the¬†years.¬†From the sweet, noble¬†Madelyn to the cunning, ambitious Stephanie Rogers,¬† Ms Down has shared a part of her¬†soul with all of us. ¬†From North and South to Dallas,¬†this accomplished actress has given¬†to her Art and her audience with her honest role¬†portrayals.