Tag: movies

Why I Can’t Watch Movies Anymore

Over the years I have had a harder and harder time watching movies. I finally understand why. Television shows are designed to be broken up into segments. The acts in a typical TV show, whether a sitcom or drama, are neatly separated by commercial breaks. Of course, with streaming services, those commercials are typically absent, but the pattern of storytelling remains. You can pause a show at a particular point, perform some task, and then resume without really breaking continuity.

With movies it is different. Movies are designed to be watched end-to-end, as if you were sitting in a theater, eyes glued to the screen. Movies are immersive, and when it comes to story-telling, immersive is what I like best. So why can’t I watch movies anymore? Life, it seems, has become so fragmented that I can’t make it through a movie without having to pause it for some interruption. It is inevitable. I can’t remember the last time I was able to watch a movie end-to-end uninterrupted. As someone who tunes out everything else and falls into the movie, this is a problem.

Interruptions break that magic of the storytelling. I find myself pulled deeply into what I am watching, tuning out everything else around me so that a movie is much more of an experience than just sitting and watching it. The room falls away, the surrounding and sounds disappear, and when I watch a movie, I feel like I become part of the story. Interruptions break that spell, and once broken, it is impossible for me to reclaim that sensation.

This became clear a few weeks ago when I re-watched the Indiana Jones films. Those movies were among the most immersive for me. They are great fun (honestly, I don’t think they make movies like those anymore, everything I see tends to be dark, gritty, and humorless) and the perfect vehicles to lose yourself in for a few hours. Except that I couldn’t lose myself. The movies were fun, sure, but having to pause them every ten for fifteen minute was a drag and spoiled much of that fun. Like time-sharing on a computer, life has become fragmented into tiny slices of time that alternate activity and interruption, and make it virtually impossible to become part of the story on the screen.

Part of this is me, of course. As a storyteller myself, I need to be fully immersed in the story. Other people don’t have to do this. Kelly can watch a movie and do other things and enjoy both. She can and does often skip the slow parts of the movie. I can’t do this–for me, every part of the story has meaning.

There isn’t much I miss about movie theaters with the parking and prices, but if there is anything I miss, it is the ability to fully disappear into the story unfolding on the screen–unless I drink a soda or beer, in which case I’ll inevitably find myself sneaking off to the restroom during some pivotal scene.

30 Years of L.A. Story

Steve Martin’s L.A. Story is one of my favorite movies. I thought it first debuted 30 years ago this summer, but it turns out, it was first released on February 8, 1991, so it now just over 30 years old.

I saw the movie for the first time with my brother and distinctly recall the advertising for the movie as “the first great comedy of the 1990s.” I loved it. Aside from its Shakespearean overtones, it caricatured Los Angeles in a way seemed to perfectly capture all that the city was about in the early 90s. At the time I first saw the movie, I’d been living in L.A. for about 8 years, with another 11 years to go and the film was something I could recognize about the place where I lived.

L.A. Story became the first video I repeatedly rented in college. My roommates and I would watch the movie over and over again until we had every line of the film memorized (I can still remember most of the lines today). Enya’s music from the film is part of the Littlest Miss and my nap playlist. I am after reminded of the street art that appears in the film when I see photos of Santa Monica street art posted on Twitter by my by my great-great-great grandboss.

Even though L.A. didn’t seem so to me at the time, L.A. Story captured an idealized version of L.A. for me, one that I look back on fondly–something I never imagined I’d do while living there. I watched the movie for the first time in a while last summer and it was just as good as I remembered it being. It is one of those movies that does’t lose its luster as it ages.

When I first saw the film, I was nearly 19 years old. Thirty years later, as I sat down to write this post, a strange thing occurred to me. I had to look it up to confirm it, but confirm it I did. I am today, nearly 4 years older than Steve Martin was when the film came out. Even so, my hair isn’t quite as white as his was (except maybe on the sides).

Today when I think about L.A. Story, I sometimes wonder whatever happened to Harris K. Telemacher and Sara McDowel. Did they really live happily ever after? And what about SanDeE* (“Big-S, small-A, small-n, big-D, small-E, big-E… and there’s a star at the end”) and Roland? Whenever a story makes me wonder about where the characters might be thirty years later, it is a good story.


In an effort to watch movies I’ve never seen, and to avoid making decisions, I wrote myself a little script the other day called movienite I grabbed a list of 600+ movies under the TCM Channel on HBO Max. I randomized1 the list and created 2 text files: movienite.txt and watched.txt.

I wrote a little command-line script (hat tip that to that decades-old, but reliable sed command) that shows me the first line of the movienite.txt file: the next movie to watch. Since it is very unlikely that I will watch a movie every night, I wrote a second script that that moves the first line of the movienite.txt file to the end of the watched.txt file.

The first movie that popped up (and, yes, I did watch it) was a Charles Bronson film called 10 to Midnight, a police thriller which was pretty terrible writing, and pretty bad acting, but that made it that much more fun to watch. Wilfred Brimley was in the film as well.

I like the randomness of it. It’s once less decision to make. I joked with Kelly that it’s like the old Saturday Night Movie in the 1970s: you get what you get, that’s it.

If you are curious, here are the next 9 movies that I’ll be watching at some point. I did peek at the first ten, but I haven’t looked at the list after that, and I don’t plan to. I like the element of surprise too much.

  • Hobson’s Choice
  • Gone with the Wind
  • The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman
  • The Kid
  • Modern Times
  • The Man with the Golden Arm
  • How to Be a Player
  • Cheyenne Autumn
  • Swordfish
  1. It’s pseudorandom in that sequels aren’t picked before the previous film has been watched. So movienite won’t put Superman II before Superman: The Movie.

(Not) Getting Things Done

There is so much to do, I hardly know where to begin. Life these days has become so interrupt-driven that I desperately try to recall what life was like when I was a kid in the late 70s, when the only thing there was to interrupt you was the telephone or the doorbell. Not only is it virtually impossible to finish something I start without interruption (I can’t remember the last time I made it through a 20 minute sit-com without stopping), there is no longer a straight line between two tasks. There are roadblocks and detours all the way.

Take this weekend for example. I’ve been reading Rick Atkinson’s An Army At Dawn, his Pulitzer prize-winning book about the war in North Africa from 1942-1943. There was a passage in there in which Roosevelt, hinting at where he would be making a clandestine trip to, showed a group of friends a new film called Casablanca. I scratched a note to myself to watch that movie again. It has been a long time since I’ve seen it and I’ve mostly forgotten it.

There was lots happening on Saturday. Two basketball games (one for the Little Miss and one for the Little Man) as well as a surprise party to attend in the evening. At some point, when I had five minutes, I started to look to see if Casablanca was playing on any of the streaming services we subscribe to. That led me, somehow, to The Dick Van Dyke show, and I was reminded that we never finished watching the last season and a half or so. I decided I wanted to finish that, and made a note of it.

My search took me back to the Apple store, and there I saw that Rambo: Last Blood was out. I’d seen the first movie years ago, but never any of the others. I was curious, but it seemed silly to jump and watch the fifth movie when I’d barely seen the previous four. It turned out, however, that there was a special on the 5-pack and it was ridiculously cheap, so I bought it. I set about watching the first several movies, always fragmented. I never watched one straight through. On Sunday, I watched the last two. I was, of course, no closer to Casablanca.

Atkinson’s book reminded me that I wanted to re-read Andy Rooney’s My War. I read it when it first came out, and I thought it was a great memoir of the war years as a reporter for Stars and Stripes. A few years ago, I read Timothy M. Gay’s Assignment to Hell which was about many of the WW-II reporters, Rooney included. So I decided to start reading it, and put Casablanca on the back-burner. At this rate I’ll be lucky if I ever manage to see the movie again.

My desk is cluttered with pages of lists torn from a yellow legal pad. One list one do it these days. I have a list for things to do today, a list of things I need to get done for a work project, a list of things to do around the house. I wanted to go to the store today to get some WD-40 because the bathroom door has been squeaking. But it rained much of the day and I decided I would squeeze in some extra walking before it became too rainy to go outside. I never did get the WD-40 and the door is still squeaking.

There are all kinds of systems that purport to tell you how to better manage your time. I’ve tried many of them, and am suspect of all of them. Instead of getting things done, I am learning systems. I’ve come to the conclusion that feeling busy is not the same as being busy. I am busy at this moment, as I write this. I am busy writing. Feeling busy is the sense of utter chaos at everything you have to do, coupled with the knowledge that it is hopeless. There’s no way you’ll get it all done.

I managed to write this entire post without interruption. That’s not saying much, since I was supposed to be cleaning off my desk so that it wouldn’t be so cluttered when I start work in the morning. That’s okay. I’ll clear off my desk in the morning, in order to avoid some other task that I should be doing instead.

Thoughts on Interstellar: Worthy Grandchild to Tau Zero and The Forever War

If memory serves, I first encountered time dilation in a visceral way in November 1997. That is when I read Joe Haldeman’s The Forever War. The effects of relativity play a significant role in that novel. I next encountered it in Poul Anderson’s Tau Zero, which I read in January 1999. I read the books in the wrong order. Anderson’s novel, which was based on his short story “To Outlive Eternity”, was first published in 1970. Haldeman’s novel was published a few years later.

The two novels took different approaches to time dilation: that effect that relatively has on time when one approaches the speed of light. Anderson’s book examined the extremes, reaching out for the end of time, the end of the universe, the end of all things–all within a single human lifespan. Haldeman’s novel took the personal approach, looking at the effect of time dilation on a few individuals, over a much small time scale.

I was more effected by The Forever War than by Tau Zero. The notion that time slows down as a person approaches the speed of light fascinated me. I remembered a commercial for Omni magazine which described the twins paradox. All of that stuck with me, and I remembering wondering if a parent traveled close enough to the speed of light, might not their children grow older than them while they were away?

The thought eventually led me to write a story called “Flipping the Switch” that deals with that very paradox. Although I first started writing the story in late 2008 or early 2009, it wasn’t published until 2013, when it appeared in the original anthology Beyond the Sun, edited by Bryan Thomas Schmidt.

And then, a week ago, I finally got around to seeing Interstellar. While I am not generally a fan of science fiction movies (something that people have a hard time believing, since I write science fiction), I really enjoyed Interstellar. I was the best science fiction movie I’ve seen since Contact. I watched the movie, and then, later that same evening, I watched it again. I know that some people complained that, despite the best efforts, some of the science was not accurate. Others complained that the dialog was poorly written. I enjoyed it all. Most of all, I enjoyed seeing the paradox that I envisioned in my story come to life in a well-executed conclusion. Indeed, the ending of Interstellar reminded me, in some ways, of the ending of Isaac Asimov’s “The Bicentennial Man.”

I also loved the vision of robots in Interstellar. The AIs of that world reminded me of the AIs that populate Jack McDevitt’s Alex Benedict novels. Their versatility was impressive, but I also enjoyed the personalization: you could define humor, honesty, and other elements to your taste.

Contact was a more cerebral movie than Interstellar, but Interstellar made me feel like I was traveling to alien worlds. It is a movie that I know I will enjoy watching again from time to time.

Windows Into the Past

Pictures”, is what my grandpa used to call them. He’d never say “movies” or “films.” They were always pictures. Usually there was some kind of adjective to go along with them: a “rotten picture1” or a “funny picture2.” Regardless, they were always pictures to him. I like the term and I try to use it from time-to-time, antiquated though it may be.

I began thinking about pictures before heading into the office this morning. I saw that 80 years ago, if you went to the local movie house, you’d probably be able to catch a matinee of College Humor (a funny picture, grandpa would say) starring George Burns, Gracie Allen, and Bing Crosby. I don’t know what it was about seeing that combination (I am a fan of all three actors, but a big fan of Bing) that set my mind running, but I think it was the sudden, striking duality time took at that moment. For, you see, 80 years, by modern historical standards, does not seem very long at all. And yet, at a very personal level, 80 years seems like a lifetime.

It seems strange to me to think that 80 years ago, you could find Bing, Geoerge and Gracie on screen together; stranger still if you consider the movie had to have been made a least a little while before its release. 80 years seems so close, and yet two of the three actors have been dead for decades; George for 17 years. And yet consider how much the world has changed since you could walk into the local movie house and see College Humor for a nickel.

I took a history and film class in college as an elective. It was one of the best classes I’ve ever taken and one thing I took from it was that any picture is made in the context of its time, and therefore mirrors that context back in everything about it. It can’t be helped and it can’t be avoided. A science fiction film made in the 1930s tells you a lot about the 1930s. So does a drama, or a comedy, or an arty film.

If film had existed 80 years before 1933–back in 1853–Bing and George and Gracie would have been able to watch a picture filmed in the decade before the Civil War. Such films would have carried the context of those times as well. Of course, motion pictures did not exist in 1853, but they did exist in 1933, and we have managed to preserve them, and ultimately that will have the strange effect of bringing the past closer and closer to future generations.

Driving into the office, I considered that in the year 2172–when I would be roughly 200 years old–people will still be able to watch College Humor with Bing and George and Gracie. It will likely still be understandable, as it is today, although our culture has evolved somewhat. And whereas I wonder at the fact that 80 years seems like such a great gulf, the folks who see the picture in 2172 will perhaps marvel that what they are seeing is really 240 years old. If we could watch a 240 year-old movie today, it would have been produced at roughly the time of the American Revolution.

Movie are windows into the past. When I consider that 80 years ago, George and Gracie and Bing were alive and well and making movies, good or bad, like College Humor, well, there is something nice about that. And something sad, too, because they are all gone, and their movies remain behind, like ghosts, doomed to repeat their lines over and over again so long as there are people to watch them.

  1. Anything with too much sex or violence fell into this category for him.
  2. The Goonies fell into this category for him.

On Ribs, Texting, and L.A. Story

Last night, around 2am, I couldn’t sleep. It was my ribs again. The cough that I’ve had since before Christmas finally seems to be waning, but the damage is done. My right ribs and the soft matter just beneath them feel shredded. The slightest pressure irritates them. I’ve taking to sleeping on my left side, but even that doesn’t completely solve the problem. So when the Little Miss woke us up around 2am last night, I had trouble getting back to sleep. As often happens, I let my mind wander. Kelly was also having trouble sleeping and had gone downstairs for a snack. After a while, I considered texting her to ask if she was okay. I thought I’d text her: “R U O K” but I wasn’t sure that would make sense to her. (Are You O.K.?)

Considering that, I was reminded of one of my favorite movies, L. A. Story. I’ve written about L. A. Story before. But tonight, as I was laying there in mild pain, trying to get back to sleep, I had a sudden realization. In that scene where Steve Martin first encounters the signpost, and the signpost asks him, “R. U. O. K.?” Martin is essentially predicting the “texting” phenomenon that would arise a decade later. Indeed, when Martin’s character doesn’t understand what the sign is saying at first, the sign responds, “Don’t make me waste letter.”

Moreover, there is another scene which anticipates social networking. While driving to brunch with his disgruntled girlfriends (played by Marilu Henner), Martin asks, “Who are we having brunch with again?”

Henner replies, “Friends, and friends of friends…” When I heard this line last night, I immediately thought of Facebook, and how you can share things with friends, or even with “friends of friends.”

As you may have guessed, I ended up watching the entire movie last night between the hours of 2 and 4am. I’d guess that I’ve seen the movie one hundred times, but there are new little things I notice each time I watch it. The funniest new thing I noticed last night:

Early in the movie, when Harris is at the stationary bicycle park, quoting Shakespeare about L.A., we see in the background a man fall off a recumbent bike; apparently he is having a heart attack. I’d noticed this many, many times in the past. But what I never noticed before is, as the paramedics are carting away the fallen man, another man quickly jumps onto the recently occupied bike. I’d never noticed that before and it was a very funny touch.

Each time I watch L. A. Story, I expect to find it has lost something. This has happened with other movies that I’ve admired. But it has not happened with L. A. Story, at least, not yet. I get into the movie and laugh, and recall my own years (nearly 19 of them) living in Los Angeles.

Perhaps the most startling revelation, watching the movie last night: the movie came out in the summer of 1990, nearly 23 years ago. Steve Martin is currently 67 years old, which would have made him about 44 in 1990, and more than likely 42 or 43 when the movie was made. He was only two or three years older than I am right now when the movie was made. That’s a little scary for a guy who saw the movie opening weekend, in a movie theater in L.A.–and was only 18 years old at the time.

Thoughts on The Hobbit

On Sunday, Kelly and I left the kids with their grandparents for a few hours and escaped to see The Hobbit at the local theater1. It was playing in 3D/48fps and that is how we saw it. The theater was at a large, outdoor shopping mall here in southwestern Florida and while the mall was packed with holiday shoppers, the movie theater was empty. I mean empty. Indeed, until the previews were over the movie was beginning, Kelly and I were the only two people in the theater. I think there ended up being a grand total of 6 people.

Not to bury the lead: I loved the movie.

Then again, I expected to. I really enjoyed Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy and had no reason to doubt that I wouldn’t enjoy this one. I went into it not having read The Hobbit in more than 30 years, and with the understanding that, like the Lord of the Rings trilogy, it was an adaptation of the book, not a strict canonical rendition. What this amounted to in reality was that I couldn’t begin to tell you how the movie differed from the book. Except for the very beginning, of course, which I liked and thought was well-done and a good way to introduce the new movie.

I’ve read complaints online that the movie was slow to start, that they didn’t get out of the Shire for the first hour or so. It was a while before the band of adventurers left the Shire, but that didn’t bother me at all. I enjoyed the story throughout, and found the humor both whimsical and amusing. It was a little tricky keeping track of all of the dwarves, but even that faded into the background of the larger story.

Indeed, I found the movie to be thoroughly entertaining and enjoyable, a good start to this new trilogy. It was the first movie I’ve seen in 3D and even the addition of 3D turned out to be an aid to storytelling as opposed to a distraction from it.

The most disappointing aspect of the movie is that I have to wait an entire year to see the next part. But I can forgive Peter Jackson for that. Besides, at my age, with two little kids running me ragged, the year seems to zip right by. It will all pass in a flash and before you know it you’ll be reading about the 24-hour-long Tolkien marathons people will be making.

  1. This was my first time to a movie theater since April of this year. I really don’t get out to movies very often.

An Alternate Star Wars

I was watching Star Wars1 with the Little Man. It was his first time seeing that particular movie and he had endless questions about the good guys and the bad guys and the good guys ships and the bad guys ships. It was fun watching him watch it.

But what struck me most about this re-watch—the first time I’ve re-watched Star Wars in at least 10 years–is how the ultimate fate of the galaxy rest on the utter incompetence of the Imperial leadership.

Very early in the picture, R2-D2 and C3P0 escape from their ship in an escape pod and plunge down to the desert planet of Tatooine. There is a moment when a gunner on board the Imperial ship is ready to shoot down the escape pod, but since no life is detected, they let it go. Why do they let it go? Were they wasting lasers somehow by shooting it down? It seems to me that an Empire with the capability of destroying a planet doesn’t have much concerns over available energy. There should have been an order from on high to shoot down anything that jettisoned from the rebel ship. That no such order existed shows an appalling lapse of strategic thinking within the leadership of the Empire–and no wonder they ended up losing.

But consider: suppose such an order had existed. Would it have been followed? If it was not followed, that would demonstrate further incompetence within the machinery of the Empire and serves them right.

But now consider: what if such an order existed and what if it had been followed and the escape pod carrying the two droids was destroyed as part of a routine chain of command? The pod was carrying more than just the droids. R2 carried the plans to the Death Star. If those plans were destroyed, the Rebels would not have found a weakness. Furthermore, without R2 seeking out Obi-Wan, it is unlikely that Luke would have been pulled into the fray. He may have lived his whole life on Tatooine, quietly, while the Empire continued their dominance.

All of this, I considered as I watched the movie with my little boy. It seems now to be a gaping hole in the overarching plot of the movie. It doesn’t make the movie any less fun, but it does bring to mind the notion that even the low man on the totem can have a truly significant impact in the fate of the galaxy.

  1. When I refer to “Star Wars” I mean the original, that I first saw in the drive-in theater with my parents in 1977.

A Lord of the Rings/Hobbit Marathon, Three Years Hence?

With the first part of The Hobbit coming to theaters mid-December, I started thinking about the inevitable 24-hour marathon watchings that will start taking place roughly three years from now. My logic goes something like this:

  • December 2012: The Hobbit, Part 1 released in theaters
  • Fall 2013: The Hobbit, Part 1 released on BluRay (or equivalent)
  • December 2013: The Hobbit, Part 2 released in theaters
  • Fall 2014: The Hobbit, Part 2 released on BluRay (or equivalent)
  • December 2014: The Hobbit, Part 3 released in theaters
  • Fall 2015: The Hobbit, Part 3 released on BluRay (or equivalent)
  • December 2015: The Complete Extended Edition Hobbit released on BluRay (or equivalent)

It makes sense that the individual BluRay versions would be released shortly before the next installment as a primer for fans. This means a release of the final film on BluRay in the fall of 2015 with no new movie coming out. However, there will be, of course, the extended editions, which might arrive in time for the holidays of 2015. If that is, in fact, a rough schedule of events, then we can expect to start reading about the first marathon 24-hour watching of all 6 films back-to-back in late 2015 or early 2016, little more than three years hence.

I recently rewatched the extended Lord of the Rings trilogy (makes long plane rides speed by) and I think it clocks in just shy of 12 hours. Figure that the extended editions of The Hobbit will come in around the same (ironic for a single, much shorter book) and that’s where I get my 24-hours from.

I can imagine the parties being planned in advance and announcements flooding the social media three years in our future. And it would actually be a fun thing to do were it not for the fact that it is utterly predictable. Still, I’ll be interested to read those first posts from folks who give it a try–writing, of course, a day or more after the event when they’ve finally managed to catch up on sleep.

FAQ: How can you be a science fiction writer/fan if you don’t like sci-fi movies/TV?

I get asked quite frequently what I thought of the latest blockbuster sci-fi movie. “Do you have your ticket for Prometheus?” or “What did you think about the season finale of [fill in the blank with your favorite sci-fi show]?” This reached its peak after I posted the picture of the TARDIS that parks in our visitor parking area and the countless Doctor Who fans out there learned that I was a science fiction writer who had never seen a single episode of Doctor Who. “How can you be a science fiction writer and never have seen Doctor Who?” they asked. (Eventually, based on a straw poll, I did watch “Blink.” I liked it, too.)

Still, I get the question often enough to where it is worth having a post to which I can point the incredulous masses to explain why I’m not a fan of sci-fi movies and TV shows. There are several reasons:

  1. Written science fiction (which I loathe to call sci-fi) is a different art form than sci-fi on the screen. I grew up mostly with the former, not the latter. It was pure luck, I suppose, but those early influences stuck. Thus, given the choice between spending my time reading a science fiction story or novel and going to see a sci-fi movie, I’ll almost always choose the former.
  2. I don’t see much originality in sci-fi movies. It seems to me that the vast majority of sci-fi movies that are produced are based on works of written science fiction. Many of these works I have read and enjoyed and have images in my head that I don’t want altered by a director’s vision. Then, too, if I’ve read the book, why see the movie? It seems repetitive to me.
  3. My experience tells me that sci-fi movies based on the book generally suck. Obviously, this experience was gained through actually going to see sci-fi movies when I was younger. I had no reason not to go. Generally, however, I was disappointed. I can recall reading Robert Heinlein’s The Puppet Masters in a single sitting, breathless by the end. When I lived in Los Angeles, I was invited to a focus group screening of the movie The Puppet Masters starring Dennis Southerland. It was horrible. That may very well have a been the turning point for me. When Starship Troopers was made into a movie, I never even bothered.
  4. I am a science fiction writer. I am not a director. I don’t have a director’s eye. I’m not sure why being a science fiction writer should mean one is also, ipso facto a fan of sci-fi movies.
  5. As a science fiction writer, I prefer spending my time writing. It is extremely rare when I have 2-3 free hours available period. When I do, I’d much rather spend those hours working on a new story than going to the latest sci-fi movie or watching a science fiction TV show.
  6. Economics. To go to a movie these days (assuming Kelly and I go together) costs about $20 for the movie. Throw in another $20 for popcorn, soda, a hot dog. Then there is another $30-45 for a babysitter. All told, that’s between $70-85 just to go a see a movie! It has to be something that really stirs my interest for me to spend that kind of money. (That’s between 7-8 Kindle books!)

The above items are generalities and there are exceptions to all of them, of course. Indeed, there have been sci-fi movies that I’ve really liked. Even a couple of TV shows. I’ll list some of the movies and shows that have made good impressions on me.

Read more

Movies that make me cry

Last weekend during the reception dinner that followed the wedding of some friends, our table got around to talking about weddings and the people who cry at them. There were quite a few (happy) tears at this particular wedding and so it was a natural course for the conversation. Kelly pointed out that she didn’t cry at weddings, and of course, neither do I. But then the conversation shifted from crying at weddings to crying at movies. A few of the people at the table admitted to crying at movies. Kelly pointed out that she rarely cried at movies (although I can remember her crying when she watched Jack the Bear a few years about–such a rare event that even the movie title sticks out in my memory.) She then gleefully said to the table:

“Jamie cries at Lord of the Rings.”

return of the king.jpeg

This seemed to amuse the people at the table, although I pointed out that I only cried at one specific point, toward the very end of The Return of the King when Aragorn says to the hobbits, “My friends, you bow to no one.” (Even now, just typing that my eyes have watered up.)

But there is one type of movie that is almost guaranteed to bring tears to my eyes every time, no matter how many times I’ve seen them: baseball movies.

Read more