Friday, May 6, 2011

Worth Mentioning - A Major League Disaster

We watch several movies a week. Every Friday, we'll talk a little about some of the movies we watched that we felt were Worth Mentioning.

This week, Jay talks Alabama relief efforts and commends Charlie Sheen, while a fellow blogger leads Cody to the forgotten treasure Citizens Band.

Charlie Sheen is the topic of a ton of controversy these days. A lot of people, myself included, have grown tired of hearing about him. That all changed the other day when Charlie decided to visit Tuscaloosa, AL. For those of you who dont know, Tuscaloosa and the entire state of Alabama was hit by one of the most deadly tornado outbreaks in the last 40 years on April 27th, 2011. Even my own town was affected, as some residents here were without power for five days or longer. In Alabama alone we have lost 236 lives. Tuscaloosa was one of the hardest hit areas in the entire state. So when Charlie Sheen tweeted that he was going to Tuscaloosa I was a bit confused. I wasn't sure if his intentions were genuine or if he'd even make the trip. As it turns out, not only did he make the trip, but he plans to return with others and have a celebrity baseball game in the Tuscaloosa area. He also bought over $300 dollars worth of flashlights for residents in need and it's been reported that he purchased thousands of dollars worth of other items as well.

The most interesting thing about his trip is that it was all set up by Twitter. A University of Alabama student (UA is in Tuscaloosa) tweeted to Sheen and asked him to come help out in Alabama. Without hesitation, Sheen said yes and made the trip. While I can't say I am a fan of some of his actions (or Two and a Half Men) I can say that I enjoyed Major League and Money Talks as a child. It's refreshing that a star of his magnitude would make such a nice gesture when many others have stayed silent. Hopefully, this will lead to many others getting involved and helping out in the efforts to restore our state. After returning from his trip, Sheen launched his own site to take donations for the tornado relief. You too can donate to Alabama: Help Bama and also at the Sheen created site: Charlie Sheen's AL site

MINE (2009)
80 min documentary
Director: Erin Essenmarcher, Geralyn Pezanoski (creator)

In light of my mention of the devastation in Alabama I am mentioning a documentary that centers around the destruction from Hurricane Katrina and the dislocation of many animals in New Orleans. It's a truly sad and moving story as you witness many people who lost their animals in the devastation and are hopeful of being reunited with their beloved pets. One elderly woman had no choice but to leave her dog behind as a helicopter rescued her from the roof of her residence.

It brings up many arguments from the other side of the fence too, as the people in possession of the animals now feel entitled to keeping them. If you are an animal lover then this may be too much to handle in some parts though I really enjoyed it and it definitely has its bright spots as a few of the people get their pets back. The raw emotion in these scenes is very special and 100% moving.

I'm linking the trailer here so you can have a glimpse, first hand, at how powerful of a documentary it is. Mine (2009) - Trailer

Cody's mention:


Also known as Handle with Care, this Jonathan Demme directed film is an interesting look at the CB radio culture at the height of the boom (the same year that CBs were also being put to use in Smokey and the Bandit.)

The movie follows several characters in a small town, the one thing that they all have in common is the fact that their CB radios play an important role in their lives. As Steve Zahn put it in Joy Ride, the CB truly was a "prehistoric internet", a communications device that people use for their own purposes in their own way, for business or pleasure, coming up with handles and sometimes false personalities as they connect with anonymous strangers.

The characters include Paul Le Mat as Spider, a young guy trying to take care of his aging father, played by Roberts Blossom. Spider takes CB communication very seriously, mainly using it to try to coordinate help for people who've been in accidents, and is disheartened by the amount of stupidity and nonsense that clogs up the channels. The one bright spot in his mean old man of a father's life is his pleasant CB interactions with truck drivers. Le Mat's fellow American Graffiti alum Candy Clark appears as his ex-girlfriend, who has a secret life on the radio. Charles Napier plays a truck driver, stranded in town after running his truck off the road, who has multiple women waiting for him at multiple homes and helps a hooker whose business has taken a hit from the highway moving and the speed limit being raised.

It's a very good, enjoyable movie, with some fun characters and great actors. I'm especially a big fan of Roberts Blossom from Deranged and Christine, he's an interesting character actor with an awesome voice.
Citizens Band has never been released on DVD, but it is currently available for Instant View on Netflix. Thanks to Rupert Pupkin for pointing it out.

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