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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Best Movie of 2008

Without question, the best movie of the year has to be the Disney animated picture, Bolt (3D). Imaginative, action-packed, full of wondrous color, and yes, in "three dimensions", which was my first experience with that particular special effect and, except for the mildly annoying glasses one is given (did I write given? We actually had to pay $2.50 for each pair), an experience to behold.

Paula and I took little Kaid and Jayla to see the movie last Sunday over in Wytheville (Marquee Cinemas behind Lowe's - a treasure few seem to know exists), and, unlike so many "cartoons" that are made these days targeted toward adults (Wall-E being the best recent example), Bolt was delightful entertainment for the 6-year-olds. A good thing.

Paula enjoyed the part of the movie in which the cat (seen at left) "Mittens," a stray, made it known (what, you thought the animals didn't talk to each other in the movie?) that she had been declawed by her former owners and then abandoned on the streets when they moved. Paula was so revolted by the thought, and being the animal-rights person that she is, knowing that it happens in real life all too often, shouted an obscenity about the former owners that required that I put my hands over childrens' ears for a brief moment.

Then there's that rotund little hamster, "Rhino," who is probably the most entertaining character in the flick. You gotta see him in action. He'll capture your heart. And you'll laugh uproariously at his antics.

As for the 3D imagery, a review from Kevin Coll:
Lastly, perhaps the 3D experience made this movie that much better. As Disney’s first ever, production, to be filmed in 3D from its inception, I felt immersed from the beginning. Also unlike other 3D films, such as Journey to the Center of the Earth, this movie didn’t rely on “gadgety” actions to heighten the 3D experience it used it as a vehicle to bring the audience into the world of BOLT in such a fantastic way. I truly enjoyed the movie in this capacity and would recommend it to almost anyone as it made going to the movie fun again!
Fun. That's certainly what Bolt (3D) was, from start to finish. In these troubled times, it's just what the doctor ordered.

- - -

* I understand that The Dark Knight has a lock on Best Picture this year, but that's not my view. The latest Batman installment was, in my opinion, the typically convoluted Batman movie (what exactly was Maggie Gyllenhall's character supposed to be about anyway?), with a few more special effects.

I will say that Heath Ledger gave the performance of the year in his role as The Joker. I went in thinking that all the adulation that was being heaped upon him was only out of sympathy for his untimely death, but no. He did a superb job with the role. One of the best I've ever seen.

That doesn't make the movie that much better though. If only it had had a coherent plotline ...


Here's something you need to see. A tribute to a long history of National Guard service by Three Doors Down.

"Citizen Soldier":

"We are FREE, BECAUSE of the BRAVE."


Has the commonwealth of Virginia run out of history? Or are those given the task of choosing the history to be commemorated on historical markers so consumed by political correctness that they decide to memorialize the mind-numbingly mundane rather than be accused of ... what? Paying homage to a racist past or something?

How else to explain this?
Virginia approves 11 new historic markers
The Associated Press

Richmond, Va. (AP) -- The state Department of Historic Resources has approved 11 historical highway markers in Virginia.

They include four honoring the work of Richmond lawyer Oliver W. Hill Sr., a civil rights pioneer. Hill died last year at the age of 100.

The Hill markers reflect his birthplace in Roanoke, his long legal and civic activism in Richmond, his battle against discriminatory wages in Norfolk public schools and, in Prince Edward County, his legal challenge of school segregation.

Other markers approved by the state honor "Mr. Peanut," the dapper symbol of Virginia's peanut country, to be located in Suffolk; and the 1939 Alexandria Public Library sit-in against the library's segregation policies. [link]

Mr. Peanut? And four (!) markers devoted to some guy none of us has ever heard of? Why bother?

We'll know these guys are serious about their mission when they decide to put a marker where Stonewall Jackson's arm is buried near Chancellorsville (or where it's thought to be buried).

Until then, I ask you, why bother?

When Will They Learn?

The Palestinian people, egged on by their Arab - and Iranian - brethren, who are themselves too cowardly to fight the Israelis, are seeing their world explode into a pile of ruin. Again. In which future century, do you suppose, the nitwits will give up the "cause" and learn to live in peace?

Certainly not this one:
Tehran's cannon fodder
Washington Times editorial

Israel is defending itself.

Damascus-based Hamas has taken Gaza's population hostage, while staging repeated cross-border attacks targeting Israeli soldiers. It now wants to blame Israel for Palestinian casualities that result from this week's airstrikes? Don't be duped. Israeli Foreign minister Tzipi Livni had it right when she told Fox News yesterday, "Hamas is targeting deliberately kindergartens and schools and citizens and civilians because this is according to their values. Our values are completely different. We are trying to target Hamas, which hides among civilians."

Israel completely withdrew from Gaza in the summer of 2005, relinquishing homes, farms, businesses and military bases. Hamas responded to Israel's unilateral pullout by firing more than 6,300 mortars and rockets into Israel, killing 10 civilians, wounding 780 people and traumatizing thousands more, many of them children in Israeli towns like Sderot, located less than one mile from the border with Gaza.

For more than three years, Israel has tried unsuccessfully to use a combination of economic and diplomatic pressure, together with "targeted" strikes against terrorists operating from Gaza, to stop the rocket fire into Israel. None of those tactics has worked ... [link]
So Palestinians are dying by the hundreds. Again. And their homeland is being dismantled. Again. As they and their sponsors expected.

What fools.

Despite Everything They Threw At Her ...

... or maybe because of the despicable and underhanded efforts of the Democrats and the media to trash the woman, Sarah Palin comes out on top in the eyes of the American people:
Palin second among most-admired women
Juneau Empire

Anchorage - Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin was a strong second among the most-admired women, behind Hillary Clinton but ahead of television host Oprah Winfrey, when the USA Today/Gallup poll was conducted Dec. 12-14. [link]
The Gallup poll results:
Seems like Laura Bush should be higher on that list, but oh, well.

Madeleine Albright?

Anyway, Sarah Palin, in her short time on the national scene has captured the hearts of a whole lot of Americans. That couldn't hurt, should she decide on a Round 2.

Photo courtesy of Gallup.com.