Monday, March 5, 2012

Real Life Versus Reel Life

Deb: The boy was in town this weekend visiting us and we went over to pay his grandparents a visit. My Mom, the boy’s “Growee” (he couldn’t say Granny when he was a toddler and Growee stuck), was watching Godfather Part 2, arguably the best sequel of any film every made and certainly, one of only two sequels to ever win an Oscar—Lord of the Rings, Return of the King being the other.

As we were watching it in the background, I thought of that time in my film life and all the films I saw and loved. What I realized was that a good deal of those films I could not and would not see today. Certainly The Godfather would still be among my viewing choices now, but I would struggle much more with its violent moments than I did back then.

In my teens, my Dad used to constantly question my film taste and wax on about the gentler films. He loved the musicals and the John Wayne’s where, he pointed out, you did not need to see guts spilling and heads blowing off to know that a man was dead. If the Duke fired a gun in someone’s general direction and they fell careening backward or clutched their heart and doubled over, that’s all you needed to know. My rebellious teenaged argument was that those films did not reflect reality! The death and destruction depicted in them was fake. I needed real, man!

“New films are showing it like it is, Dad! It’s reality!”
“So is throwing up, but I don’t want to pay two bucks to look at it,” would be his response. 

First of all ... 2 bucks????!!!! But I digress.

Of course this conversation happened in the 70’s and some of the scary and violent films I am referring to are Straw Dogs, Joe, Walking Tall, Easy Rider, Chinatown, The Godfather of course, The Wild Bunch, Bonnie and Clyde, Exorcist, Clockwork Orange, and Wait until Dark to sample a few.  

Was I disturbed by them? Hell, yeah. Never ate pea soup again.  But it was a right of passage, a way of rebelling. It was one of the ways I could separate myself from the parental units and all they stood for. I adored them, but I deemed them old-fashioned and out of step regarding “film”. The movies I was flocking to see shocked and thrilled and opened up new worlds to me, both in their subject matter and the style of the filmmaking. I could escape into them. It was a different escapism than my parents, but it was mine and my generation’s, and I owned it.

When I look back on it now, I realize that I was able to embrace these films that literally spewed a kind of reality for the simple reason that I had not tasted reality as a person yet.  Any “reality” in my Real life existed only in my Reel life.

I remember the first time it changed. It was two weeks after I lost a beloved Aunt to breast cancer and my darling 25-year-old friend in childbirth. I went to see Terms of Endearment, a movie lauded by critics and audiences alike. And I despised it. And with good reason. In the weeks before I saw it, my reality had morphed into my former escapism. I also remember in later years when my husband and I were watching season two of E.R. and he got up in the middle and said, “I’m done. I cannot watch one more baby die or one more couple say goodbye over a death bed.” The real life picture of our precious baby sleeping in the other room trumped his reel life.

So now, as is the way of life, I have become my father in this specific regard. This year I cut a swath through every Oscar film I could see, leaving out Warhorse and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. Cannot do 9/11 again and cannot see horses being hurt and killed. After all, I’m the girl who ran out of Benji the Hunted. Not even joking.

And in fact, if I had known about the dementia aspect to Iron Lady, I probably would have passed on that too. The reality is that since those early film days of shock and awe, I have been shocked and awed by life more times than I care to count.

And yes, I know it’s reality. But I don’t want to pay 13 bucks to look at it.

Barbara: This is so interesting, Deb! I had never thought to compare my early film-watching days versus my older ones. I might actually be the opposite—that the films I could and would watch when I was young were actually less dark and graphic than the ones I often choose to watch now. I don’t know if I was trying to preserve my innocence back then or whether I thought I could never grasp the true significance of the story because I was so, well, innocent.

Nowadays, I rather revel in the harder films. I’ve certainly watched more horror films in my middle age than in my adolescence. Why? I’m not sure. I don’t know if it’s my burgeoning curiosity, innocence be damned, or if it’s because I have seen so much more in real life and want to see how others do it in reel life (those others being characters in a movie, sure, but still, somehow they become my psychic other halves). That said, I did step away from E.R. years before it ended—although I think it was Phil who uttered Colin’s exact words. Until I started watching the forensic procedurals. Until I stopped watching those. You know, I think those shows lost it for me more because the formula got sooooo boring than that I was too sickened to watch them.

I don’t know. Such an interesting question, Deb, you've got me thinking!

88 comments:

  1. Wow....This is sucha great topic Deb...I havent lived long enough to compare this lol...but I think I am your Dad in this too...coz I can tell ya that I never ever ever choose such movies.... IDK why Ive always been very sensitive in case of these things....I mean I have watched a few horror movies (not exorcist...THANK GOD).....I take 'em too seriously...I know theres a difference between REAL life and REEL life...and the fact I might be the one creating those scary realistic CG visual effects for a LIVING tomorrow...But I have a choice and I'd rather paint backgrounds for disney's remakes...
    In the past, Ive actually tried to show that I'm tough and that I can bear these and blah blah....and two years ago I watched 1408...not the scariest but definitely scary for someone who spends most of their time in their apartment ALONE !!!!The movie hit me so hard....the next day I was completely NUMB....And I decided I am not gonna watch any film that makes me uncomfortable !! and Now because Ive been getting clarity and understanding of things I dont believe in any such thing as the "DARK" or "EVIL" force...so these films just dont make any sense to me.....and Like you said that Colin stopped watching ER coz his real life trumped his reel life....In my case , I guess I was too sensitive to this coz my childhood wasnt the best so to speak...But I dont regret this decision......I always prefer watching something that brings a smile on my face rather than fear or digust !!! (Although I do have a friend who is insisting on watching SAW with him....but I warned him if he mentions that again..I'll make him watch all the twilight movies xD)

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  2. This is interesting Shalaka because as you say, you didn't even need to compare it from the point of view of two different ages. You just knew that given who you are, you could not do it. This is a very personal one I think reflecting the person's ability to separate or not, with the reel experience. I for one, can't. SAW? Don't doooooooo it girl. :-)

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  3. I am not doin it.....SO NOT......and YOUVE WATCHED SAW ???!???
    Yeah...and before a bad childhood was my reason...and now you know how I am....Happiness and wellbeing is like something I believe and live for....so obviously I cannot watch such movies...and I actually have the habit of LIVING when I am watching movies I literally get in...I told ya I cried when i was watching TOY STORY 3 !!! and I cry everytime when I watch it....honestly can you imagine what would happen to my bright shiny self if I watch something like SAW.....lol...NO....I am SOOO not sacrificing my LIGHT for something DARK !!!! ohhh the last sentence was good

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  4. NO oh dear NO. I don't have to watch it to know that it would be impossible to sit through. We wept like babies at the end of toy story 3. The boy came home and went into the storage space to dig out his old toys. My LIGHT for the DARK. Yes it was good!

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    1. I know....The name speaks for itself...and I said the same hing to my friend when he goes "whats the big deal in watching someones arm cut off" I just sighed and said "BOYS" and ran as fast as I could thinking he might have a DVD at his place...
      Awwh...great I HAVE COMPANY...I cry so much when bonnie makes woody wave goodbye when Andy is off to college...awwww !!!!I couldnt find my old toys....I donated them a long time ago....I just hoped there wasnt any LOTSO there !!!!

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    2. Yeah the boy was shocked by how many he had given away or sold. I am sure when he has a child he will NOT let them give one single thing away.

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  5. Deb, I have to tell you that I am so in step with you on this post. I came to a very similar revelation from a slightly different direction...That is to say, I came to absolutely abhor the violence and, for lack of a better description, psychological darkness depicted in a great many films. I remember going to see Silence of the Lambs. While the performances were nothing short of extraordinary, I was disturbed on a cellular level that someone had thought to sit and write a story about a serial killer making a suit from women's skin. I'm a behind-the-scenes type of person which is to say I often view a finished product while considering thoughts of how the whole thing came to pass. I could not wrap my head around someone sitting in a room thinking this would make a great story that needed to be told. With all the sadness, injustice and true want in the world, I couldn't fathom why I would want to "escape" to this twisted view. I decided then and there, to your dad's point, they wouldn't get my five bucks to celebrate this kind of vision ever again. Years later, I found myself viewing Seven, having failed to check out what the movie was about, and it only strengthened my resolve such was my renewed horror. The other thing about these movies is so often the violence and malevolent content is overwhelmingly directed against females which is truly unconscionable in my humble view. I still love a deep movie, and the films I love are often anything but frothy, but to your observation Deb, I've lived long enough to know real life can be hard enough without adding a dose of cinematic darkness.

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    1. Well said Annette and from a completely different point of view too. Wow I did not even begin to think of the film's inception. The idea that someone was sitting pulling this out of themselves. That is certainly a scary enough concept. And the thing is for me, I cannot shake it off. It haunts me in my already challenged sleep, pops into my head during a sunny day. Cannot. Do. It. I love a deep movie. I love a heart pounding movie. Same with TV. And I did watch the Soprano's, I won't lie. But watching it at home means I can literally leave the room when the violence ensues and the thing is, you can always see it coming. That way, I can enjoy the conflicted nature of the characters without witnessing the results of their dark side. does that make any sense????

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    2. I am sometimes such a twisted mind...making up these kinds of stories.

      I usually don't think about it, but it must sound extremely weird to another person.
      Yet, I can't help myself...though I would never ever hurt a person in real life.

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  6. I love watching movies, they are always fun to watch. I love comedy movies. Those are my number ones to watch,my sec ones would have to be romance, i could watch those all day. i think one of my faviort movies that came out was Letters To Juilet. Its an,amazing moving an it has everything that in my opinion makes,a,movie great. Romance, adventure,comedy its just a must see movie. If u havnt seen it you should.

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    1. Thanks Lyndsie for the tip. Upbeat and lovely. That's what we like!

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  7. I really love watching something like this...Ive been watching this all weekend and LMAO !
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AuzyODgWRp4&feature=youtu.be

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  8. Oh and smething else i also,love Toy story 3 and another movie i forgot to say is Dolphine Tales. I could watch that movie over and over.

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    1. Oh.... DOLPHIN TALES..sounds awesome I'm gonna watch it...thanks for the movie tip Lyndsie !!!!

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  9. This is interesting. I don't do drama or horor. Never have. Give me a musical or a comedy. If I'm going to watch something I want to feel good and happy. I want to laugh and see happy endings. I'm the same with TV. I don't watch dramas or crime shows. The only reality show I watch is House Hunters on the home and garden network and the only movie dramas I watch are the epic movies like Star Wars, Lord of the Rings and Narnia. Perhaps I was born in the wrong era, but I love the 40's, 50's and 60's movies and TV. I love Errol Flynn's Robin Hood. Wow, what voice that guy has and handsome!! I want to see Gene Kelly dance and hear Howard Keel and Doris Day sing. I just want to laugh, sing and dance.

    On a way off hand question: you know I'm working on my degree in Library science, what is the classification used in Canadian libraries? In the US, it is the Dewey Decimal system and the Library of Congress system. What is it in Canada or any of the other countries you ladies are from? Being an international student has helped me to look outside my own borders. Simply curious...

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    1. Molly -

      House Hunters!!! :D Real estate porn!!! :D

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  10. Molly Robin Hood! One of my faves of all time. Gene Kelly! Yes Colin and I love Singing in the Rain. OUr fave. And Doris Day is my fave of all time. LOVE DORIS. Have every single one of her films and watch them over and over and over! And in answer to your question we have the Dewey Decimal system too. Now having said that, I grew up with that but I am not sure if they have changed it. But it was as I said in the past.

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  11. For scary movies, I definitely also prefer movies with some deniability. I don't like shoot-em-ups nearly as much as psychic phenomenon or paranormal. (and I am not a blood and guts gal, at all--totally prefer something more Hitchcockian). Other realities, I guess it sort of depends. If it is handled well, I can be really moved and enjoy it, even if it is painful. I like, for instance, Grey's Anatomy, even if sometimes I cry my eyes out. It is the human connections though, that really suck me in. I think I can take a lot more from a TV series than a movie, as movies don't have enough time for that investment.

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    1. Yes Hart I can totally do Hitchcock too. Love it. You are right that a tv series is easier. Plus when the going gets tough there, I feel I can escape...to the kitchen...for say, chocolate...till scary or sad bits are over.

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    2. I love tv shows! :D

      Oh...I cried on every single Glee episode...that's embarrassing! :D

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  12. Okay, I officially love your dad. He is "my kinda guy -- if I were, like, 40 years older." (I don't watch Redemption Inc or whatever it's called, but I laugh every time I see this in the ad).
    I don't like to watch violence or horror of any kind, for any reason. My imagination is active enough as it is, and there are some things I don't want to feed it with, plain and simple. I don't enjoy an adrenalin rush, either. Some folks like to be scared; I don't. I watch films and TV for pleasure, and fear gives me no pleasure at any point. I try to feed my spirit with entertainments that are healthy, I guess.
    I also find there is a bit too much graphic stuff going on in TV and movies for me: I don't want to see vomit or shit, thank you very much, but it's everywhere, repeatedly, in long and drawn-out shots. No thank you!
    Another thing that bugs me lately on TV is how women are always depicted as servicing men sexually, "dying for it," as if it's what desirable women do. Why, the men don't even have to do anything -- "Never mind, honey, you just lay back, I'll take care of it." Is it men writing all these stories? It kinda worries me that young women might be seeing this and falling for it, thinking it's how they should be, themselves, rather than expecting some kind of mutuality in their sex lives.

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    1. Yeah Kate, that kind of stuff is unusually written by men, sadly. Fantasy on paper for them. Also I agree I don't like to be scared, hate it in fact. And...I'll tell my Dad! :-)

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  13. O boy, can you believe this? Just maybe a day ago I waslistening to Greg Proops newest Podcast online and he also had the theme of best movies of the 70s and years about there. Odd that you all would come to the same topic. Anyway I love movies of almost any kind. I don't really like romance and things too girly but anything else I am game for. But both you and Greg mentioned the Exerocist and Clockwork Orange and a few others. I am now even more convinced I should see these. Well now I will just have to get around to finding these online or in the long lost DVD section (Does everyone have Blue Ray? It seems that is all they sell but we still have DVD).
    I haven't been around long enough to have a very ecletic and varied movie experience but Toy Story (all of them!) Is one of my favorite too!! I love anything Disney really :)

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    1. I love Greg's podcasts, even though I don't understand everything. :)

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    2. Kelly NJ, if you do not have issues with violence and gross out, then I recommend them both. But and I warn you that the Exorcist stayed with me for years. Haunted me. And their are scenes of such random violence in Clockwork Orange that it is very very tough to watch. Especially for a woman. But they are important films in the lexicon of films and certainly in pop culture. Watch at your own risk.
      Becki that was funny. I guess I would say that Greg is at his best when we don't understand him!!! LOL

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    3. The Exorcist! Argh! A friend of mine at university, Brian, was waaaay into film studies. He was all about *cue dramatic tone of voice* The Cinema. He was very stuck up about movies. lol

      He sort of made it his mission to make sure that I saw certain classic *cue dramatic tone of voice* Important Movies. (And, yes, I have him to blame for A Clockwork Orange. Ugh! I HATE that movie! *shudders* Despise it!) One of the movies on his list was The Exorcist.

      One weekend night, Brian, Bill, and Penelope piled into my dorm room to watch The Exorcist. (In the women's honors dorm, we had the latest man-on-the-hall hours for girls' dorms on the weekends -- 2am. Plus, if you were an upperclassman and had a high enough GPA, you could apply for a single room and not have to put up with a roommate. YAY!!!) There the 4 of us sat with piles of junk food, in ratty chairs or sprawled out on floor pillows, watching The Exorcist. Intense little film, that is. Yeesh.

      It's important to set the scene by saying that I slept up on a wooden loft about 6 feet in the air. My dresser and my desk were under the loft.

      Usually, when movies get too intense for me, I can kind of give myself a mental reality check and tone things down by thinking, "Remember. It's just a movie. It's not real. It's all make believe." And, I spend a couple of minutes of the movie stepping out of the suspension of disbelief and trying to pick apart the movie making elements. Then, I'm OK, and I can go back into the movie. No such luck with The Exorcist because I'd always been told that it was based on a true story. (Of course, the more I've learned about that over the years, the more I've realized what bunk the so-called true story probably was, etc.) Plus, I do believe in spiritual warfare, angels, demons, etc. So, it wasn't just a creepy bit of fictional fluff to me. I couldn't step out of The Exorcist and declare it not real and ease it off.

      But, this all took a funny turn. After the movie, we were hanging out talking and eating cupcakes and such for the last few minutes before I had to escort Bill and Brian out of the dorm. We got into one of those typical late night, weird, metaphysical conversations that geeky, alternative type late teens/early 20's college types are wont to indulge in (we were all 4 in the Rocky Horror cast lol). We all agreed that little kids are more aware and sensitive to paranormal stuff. We were talking about, "Sometimes, when a 3 year old says they see something under the bed, maybe they really do. Maybe they can still see the things that grown ups can't see anymore because society and 'what's normal' has beaten the ability to see stuff like that out of them. Maybe there really is something under the bed." And, then Bill said, "Hey, Rigel, you sleep in a loft 6 feet off the ground. Something REALLY BIG could fit under your bed!"

      Curse you, Bill!

      A few minutes later, the other 3 left. I cleaned up a little, took off my clothes, turned out the lights, climbed up into my loft, and tried to go to sleep. Nuh uh. Not gonna happened. Creeped all out to hell and back. Brian lived just a few blocks away. It was a trip I'd made many, many times, and I could count off the moments almost exactly for how long it would take for him to get home. I picked up the phone and dialed. He told me that he'd heard the phone start ringing when he was putting his key into his apartment door, and he KNEW it was me. He told me, "I groaned when Bill said that. I knew when he said that that I'd be on the phone with you till dawn." And, sure enough, we both laid there in the dark talking on the phone about all sorts of things for about 4 hours until the glow of dawn began on the eastern horizon.

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    4. Oh Rigel what a funny story! And I hear you. That was me years later still scared of the Exorcist. Can't even listen to Tubular Bells. It all comes rushing back at me!

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  14. Hmmm, interesting topic! :)

    When I was a kid, I used to watch the Disney movies, but I don't went to the cinema that often, or watched many films. Or I have forgotten about them.

    I remember watching Jaws with ma Grandma, when I was like 8? The scne where they turned over that surfboard, and the body is underneath it? I screamed, and hid behind the sofa!

    I never liked typical girl-movies. I don't watch romance, comedy (It's strange, because I am really into comedy, but not in films. Well, there are a few, but most of them are dumb and boring.), or fantasy...


    I don't like action movies or thrillers that much, and I hardly ever watch tragedies.

    I love horror movies. With loads of blood and guts hanging out...and what not.
    I don't know why...since my Jaws-incident, I've never been afraid of or disgusted by them.
    Maybe there are some psychological reasons for that?
    Some dark part of me that wants to get out? I don't know...

    So...I don't select by genre, I do select by actors and stories.

    I watch every Ewan McGregor movie, because he's hot. Moulin Rouge is one of my favourite movies.

    The Truman Show, because it's sad.

    Silent Hill, because I played the video games.

    My Bloody Valentine because of Jensen Ackles.

    The Lord of the Rings, because it's just awesome.

    Memento and Brokeback Mountain because of the story.

    As it is in Heaven because it's a beautiful film about music. Go watch it! Please!

    I do prefer films about WW2 and the German Democratic Republic, because that is a huge part of our history, and I was always interested in that. I never get tired of watching them, even when it tears my heart apart. I also visited a concentration camp, and I broke down and cried so much.
    (The Lives of the others, Schindler's List, Pianist....many, many more)

    I'm with you Deb and Barbara. When something happened in my real life, I can't stand watching the same things in a movie...

    Oh, and the worst things are watching animals die. It's so horrible...

    And about development: I turned into a tv shows junkie. The last time I went to the cinema was for Harry Potter 7. Wow! I'm not that interested in movies anymore. Don't know why...

    Sorry, this post is way too long...

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  15. And I forgot one of my all time favourites: The Name of the Rose

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  16. Becki it is not too long at all! loved your list of films. And you know what? If you can take the gore and it doesn't haunt you, I say go for it. My point is that I cannot do it. Heaven knows the boy loves his gore. And he is a sweetheart. But he can totally remove himself from it. I can't. Yeah animals dying. Ahhhh NO!

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    1. What I hate is everything that has to do with eyes and needles. That makes me nauseous.

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  17. I agree with you both....Oh god...cannot watch anyone hurting animals....Although I love movies BASED on animals...like DUMA, BINGO,STUART LITTLE...LOVED IT!!!

    LOVED HP 7 that was the last movie i watched in a theater!! I was crying the whole time....had goosebumps ALL OVER.....!

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    1. Loved HP 7 too. Blogged about it actually. It was special on so many levels for me. Stuart Little. LOVED.

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    2. Aww stuart, the cats and the car !!! awww so damn adorable !!
      I KNOW I READ THAT...!!! awwwh...i could imagine you weeping and Luke saying "Its ok mom...its gonna be fine.." I swear when I read that post I wished that I watched HP7 with YOU....we would spend the whole time crying and comforting each other...I couldnt find company I had to find an old friend and beg her to come with me...coz I COULD NOT WATCH HP 7 ALONE!!!and I was in the "POST HP DEPRESSION" for a long time....and YA know..I even painted Hogwarts from HP7 that was an amazing experience!

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    3. We just watched deathly hallows 1 & 2 again this past weekend me and my girls all cuddled up on the couch with bowls of popcorn and m&ms, wands and Kleenex within reach. Will make me cry, always! Re-reading all the books now to my youngest as she was too young the first time around.

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    4. Yeah, I cried, too...I still don't want Snape to be dead. :( That's not right...

      But I had to laugh at the end. That was ridiculous!

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    5. How lovely Erin that you can start them over with the one who was too young! Sweet. Becki what was it about the ending that you hated? Curious.

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    6. Awwh I hear ya Becki..I am still in the "POST-SNAPE Depression"...I cried my eyes out.....especially when they play his memories :'( !!!!

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    7. Deb: I didn't like how JK Rowling ended the books.
      She didn't have to tell us, what happened after they've grown up, and have kids...
      That feels all wrong to me.

      And the actors looked so hilarious as "adults".

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  18. I have not seen one of Deb's movies she mentioned. I went to mostly sappy reality movies. The possibility of endless happiness charmed me until I got older and realized there are much less happy endings in real life. I love the movies and tend toward the dark as well, way more independents than main stream. I love to sit back in the theater and live through someone's journey regardless of where it goes. No gore, not guts, and no scary (jump out of your seat scary). Just imaginable tragedy and hope and redemption. :)

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    1. It's so great when you know what you like, when you know what works for you. I love those kind of movies too Madge, the indies and the true life stories. It just depends on the when and the what of it for me.

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  19. One thing I gotta say is what is with the men? My husband was also the first to put the kabosh on any more ER because it was to hard for him to watch.

    I don't think I have a particular genre or movie type that I prefer although I would say I have much less interest in the horror type of movies now than when I was a kid. I prefer to get scared half to death reading a book, my imagination often conjurs it much better than on film. Or perhaps that's my love of Stephen King speaking, love the books, hate the movies. Every Stephen King book that's been made into a film leaves me screaming "that's not how it's suppossed to go!" I don't handle poor film adaptations well.

    That said I often watch a movie prompted by having read the book version or vice versa. I think that's the biggest thing for me a movie must have a good story for me to enjoy it, and the more I can explore that story the better it is.

    Molly I'm so with you on Gene Kelly, Doris Day and Howard Keel love that era of film. I also love even older films, who needs colour heck who needs sound for that matter. One of my all time favorites is Charlie Chaplins The Kid. After watching Hugo my husband and I started watching collections of Georges Melies films and we loved every minute of it. History and the days of vaudeville and illusionists and spectacular stage acts really seem to capture my attention.

    Becki the last movie I saw in theatre was HP7 as well. I really need to get out more.

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    1. Stephen King is my favourite author. :D And yeah...I think the films aren't as good as the books.

      New challenge: Watch a movie.

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  20. Erin I agree that I love to see movies from books I have read. It is such a treat to see them fully realized and so disappointing when the movie does not come close to the book. In my opinion the Help was a recent example but I know many people who loved it so...

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  21. Deb, the part where you said, "I also remember in later years when my husband and I were watching season two of E.R. and he got up in the middle and said, 'I’m done. I cannot watch one more baby die or one more couple say goodbye over a death bed.' The real life picture of our precious baby sleeping in the other room trumped his reel life."

    Oh, Colin. Yup, yup, yup. Oh sweetie, I'm so with you on that baby one! My son was born when we were stationed in San Diego. Both my ex-husband's and my families were in southern Alabama at the time (mine the SE corner, his in the SW corner). When Eddie was 3 months old, my ex took some leave days, and we flew to Alabama to have kiddo baptized at my home church (at the same altar where ex and I had gotten married) and to do the drive across Alabama and dipping down into Florida to introduce baby boy to a bunch of his relatives.

    While we were in my parents' town, ex and I went out on our first date night since Eddie's birth. Now, leaving baby boy for a few hours was difficult enough in itself. Definitely a new mommy challenge! I'd only ever left him with his father before and never for more than, say, a trip to the grocery store. I mean, this was still early enough in the whole baby thing that I still had to wear nipple shields so I didn't look like a walking wet t-shirt contest! But, then-husband and I went out to dinner and a movie. We went to see Prince of Egypt. I know! A cartoon? A Bible story? What could go wrong? Well, the movie didn't mince around at all about the part where Pharoah had all those baby boys killed. I sat there in the dark next to then-husband gasping like a big catfish who'd just been scooped out of the water and flopped down on the deck of a boat. My whole body was completely commandeered by silent sobs. I didn't make it through the scene. I slid out of my seat, hurried up the aisle out the door, and ended up crying my eyes out and doubled over with my arms wrapped around my tummy. All I could think about was someone with a dagger killing MY newborn son. The anguish, the torture those mothers went through felt far, far too real for me.

    Sorta put a damper on the romance of the date night.

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    1. Of course it did Rigel. It's all about our experience isn't it? I watched the tree of life last week with my son living in another city. I loved the movie but as a mother of a boy watching a mother of a boy losing her nineteen year old son, I was spent and wrung out afterwards. Wow, too bad you guys didn't go to dinner instead huh? :-) And as a new Mom the hormones are still kicking butt at the time. You poor thing.

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    2. I get it, Rigel. I did the same thing through Beetlejuice. That darling couple drives off the bridge and DIES? This is supposed to be comedy? Then at the "happily ever after" ending they are pretending to all be happy, like the audience is supposed to be, but all I can do is cry because those people are freaking DEAD. No babies, no swimming in the ocean or walking along the beach, and they can never leave the house .... EVER... oh, except to go sit in an office with other dead people. Just not funny to me. I cried thru National Lampoon's Vacation when Imogene Coco died and they stuck her on the roof of the car. All I could think was "poor lady nobody liked". :(

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    3. Karen that is an example of what I mean. A great example. We all react based on our own fears and our own sadness and our own issues. Seeing how you felt about Beetlejuice, which I loved by the way was a perfect illustration of the fact that we all come at it from our own unique view. I looked upon Beetlejuice as a cartoon so it did not affect me at all. But it did you and that is all that matters.

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  22. "So is throwing up, but I don’t want to pay two bucks to look at it,” XDDD

    I love movies!!! I have so many favorite movies that I can't pick just one. One movie though that I cannot stand is The Shining. Watched it at the young age of 9; gave me nightmares. To this day I can't bring myself to sit through it again.

    Second, LOVE E.R. loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooove it!!!!!!! Still haven't brought myself to watch the series finale yet, even though I think I should. Seasons 6 and 7 are good if you haven't had the chance to watch them yet; they're my favorites! My favorite genre of movie is rom-coms; the hopeless romantic who finds love in the least likely time. I like to believe that it'll be me someday. P.S. I Love You is one of my favorite Rom-coms. :D

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    1. Love ER, too!
      Dr Carter :D :D

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    2. Yeah I loved ER too. Except for the sick, injured and dying...:-) But truly loved the relationships and all that. just couldn't do the other, you know?

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    3. DR CARTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      <3

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  23. Great topic, guys!! I have mixed feelings on this one. I can watch violent horrors and thrillers, but I will always flinch terribly at violence that is realistic (I can't even watch a boxing match!). But I still watch those movies. Some of them will bother me on a deeper level, though, because most of the time their are horrible inaccuracies or a neglect to describe the victim's true suffering - long term as well as short term. Now I know that it's not the job of the film to depict the realistic effects, and that doing so would probably ruin the movie, but sometimes I wish they would. See the reason I feel this way is because so often people walk out from a movie thinking, "Oh, I know what _____ is about now. It's really not that bad." Or said viewer could just become desensitised to the horror of what is happening. I think this particularly bothers me because with regards to rape and domestic abuse I have heard way too many times "Oh, she was asking for it." "It's not that big of a deal, she should just get over it." "She shouldn't have worn that outfit, it was an invitation."
    I think it's safe to say I prefer a good comedy or mindbender over violent films :)
    Oh, and I agree with you Deb, about life experiences changing what you can watch. I too stopped watching hospital dramas of any kind for similar reasons :)

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    1. Yeah it's a thin line isn't it Aimee. Karen's example illustrates this. What was cartoon and over the top to me was heartbreaking for her. I don't think we can judge each other for what we are "able" to watch can we? It is so specific to us isn't it? Yeah can't watch rape stuff either. too too real. Too scary.

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    2. Oh no, I hope it didn't sound like I was saying people shouldn't watch a certiam kind of movie! Not my intent at all.
      I also just reread my comment, you can tell I had just woken up! Haha sorry about the almost incoherent stream of consciousness effect :P And while I'm at it, "their" shoulda been "there."

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    3. Oh, and I think the rant-y nature of the comment was also because of the early hour, sorry! :) Now I'm as happy as a pygmy squirrel on caffeine!

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    4. Aimee-

      Or, a squirrel on an energy drink?

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0sGlETQIMUo&feature=related

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  24. I enjoy about every kind of film except for tearjerkers. I am clinically depressed and the LAST thing I want to do is see a movie that makes me cry more than I already do. Generally I also stay away from the Disney formulaic "family" movies. Finding Nemo was the last one that I saw and when the sadists at Disney gave Nemo his hardship I thought, "really? REALLY DISNEY?! Stop it!" Disney has been making horror movies for ages. Think about it for a sec. Bambi and Dumbo's mothers were killed, leaving them orphans. Nemo...UGH. NEMO.. Disney massacred his baby siblings and mommy, and if that wasn't bad enough, Disney upped the anti and gave Nemo a busted up fin. I'm seriously curious why they didn't let his father get caught and eaten by a fisherman, cormorant, angler fish, or give him some dreaded fish disease like Ich where their fins rot off, or worse, Pop-eye (can't remember the real name because that's what all us kids called it), where the fishes eye gets all swollen and pops out of its head! Maybe they'll save that for Nemo II:GMO Nemo.
    I call the "Lifetime" channel the "Suicide Channel". About 10 min. into watching something on there I'm looking for something to slit my throat, wrists, or poke out my eyes and ears. Oh, and "Terms Of Endearment"? Even though the film was shot round where I grew up I thought the whole movie was wretched. I would prefer a movie like Red Dragon or Saw.
    Yes, visualizing who could have possibly come up with a story like "Silence of the Lambs" isn't too hard when you live in a huge city where one summer, neighbors in this apartment complex smelled something odd and found a guy making BBQ on his patio. He invited folks over to eat with him. Let's just say that his girlfriend was already there. :/ He hadn't seen that in a movie or on television. It came from his head. This crap lurks in the hearts of man already. Now having written all that, I'm off to re-watch the first season of The Walking Dead. Really great show, lots of psychological stuff goin on. Interesting.
    Hugs and BOO!
    Karen

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    1. OH KAREN I laughed out loud when it lead to the Walking Dead. Yeah I know what you mean. Dumbo? Are you kidding me? And Shirley Temple movies. She never had two parents. Usually didn't have even one. Yep, the sadness and scariness comes in all shapes sizes and networks!

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  25. The girlfriend BBQ? OK, that's something I reaaaallllyyyy didn't need in my head. That one's gonna mess with me for a while. :(

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  26. Yeah the BBQ. Twisted soul that he is! Poof! I am officially pushing that out of my head-NOW!

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  27. Yeah, Karen may have just turned this into another night of "finally fall asleep by streaming Whose Line clips" for me.

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    1. Oopsy. Nope, you don't wanna watch scary stuff with me around. I'm the wretched person in the group who waits for the parts where the audience is holding its collective breath and I go BOO. :) Mwah ha ha.
      Oh jumpy people, you complete me. :D
      Hugs and spooky sounds,
      Karen

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  28. Sitting here eating dinner: a big plate of scrambled eggs containing crumbled up bacon, sauteed bell pepper and onion and garlic, mushrooms, and a hint of cheddar/jack cheese. And, biscuits liberally coated with blueberry jelly. Yum. Decided to try for some HAPPY entertainment thoughts! :)

    My alltime favorite movies: Real Genius, Seven Samurai, Ghostbusters, Legally Blonde, The Trouble with Angels, Mr. Skeffington, Breakfast at Tiffany's, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, My Man Godfrey, Star Trek IV, Animal House

    I have a soft spot for any other Akira Kurosawa movies, Christopher Guest movies, Pretty Woman, Blues Brothers, and screwball black & white movies from around the 1930's along the lines of My Man Godfrey and Wife Vs. Secretary. I love the witty dialogue of old movies like those (think along the lines of Thin Man movies. Sometimes the writing and dialogue delivery remind me of Aaron Sorkin's dialogue style!

    We don't have TV channels anymore (haven't for 4 years - no regrets on giving up that monthly bill!), but we stream a lot online and do a lot of DVD's.

    My alltime favorite TV shows: Airwolf, Star Trek (TOS), MacGyver, Quantum Leap, Mythbusters, Whose Line Is It Anyway?, M*A*S*H, Night Court, The Equalizer, Forever Knight, Firefly, Vicar of Dibley, Superfriends Justice League (the late 70's one), Barney Miller

    I also have a soft spot for Antiques Roadshow, History Detectives, House Hunters, WKRP in Cincinatti, Doctor Who (especially the 9th and 10th Doctors), the old Scooby Doo cartoons from late 60's/early 70's, NCIS (as we can borrow seasons on DVD from my best friend's family), The Big Bang Theory, and The Love Boat.

    I am also completely addicted to documentaries. I stream documentaries like crazy!

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    1. Great and diverse list Rigel. Loved many many of them! Thanks!

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  29. Oh, wait! And, I've got to mention my fondness for The West Wing, too!

    Also, the old Saturday Night Live, like the first 3 seasons or so.

    And, The Carol Burnett Show.

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  30. And, I can't forget to mention the movie Baby Boom! That movie delights me ever time.

    And, the TV show The Addams Family! Love, love, love The Addams Family! To this day. Have never outgrown it.

    When I was a little girl, I thought Morticia Addams was the most beautiful, fabulous, exotic, intriguing, gorgeous woman in the world. Still kinda do! :)

    OK, I'll shut up, now. Maybe. I hope so. Sorry.

    Such a happy, smiley thing to think of all these favorites!

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    1. all of our old faves bring smiles don't they? xo

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  31. some of my fellow commenters have commented on character of buffalo bill from the silence of the lambs and how sick you have to be to make up a character like that . well apparently he was not exactly made up . Thomas Harris who wrote the original book and it's follow ups was suppose to have based the character on real life serial killer Ed Gein. just goes to show you there is nothing more shocking then real life .

    anyway on to what i actually came here to say ! the thing about personal taste is it is just that , personal . what you like i may not like and vice versa . i love comedies . Monty Pythons life of Brian is one of the best films of all time in my not so humble opinion . i am a huge python nut ! a lot of the time though i tend to love films no one else has heard of usually because the have actors i like in them .

    i tend to stay away from films that reflect reality . if i want that i can just go out and live my live . having said that i would love to see the Margaret Thatcher biopic though . i was a young teenager when she was in power and i remember her being a right bitch . it would be interesting to see how she is portrayed .

    Aimee's post reminded me of the difference between me and my mom over the TV reporting of animal cruelty . mom can;t watch it . i have a different opinion . to me if you don;t inform yourself about an issue like that you can;t fight it . the reporting of it doesn't desenistise me more likely it makes me angry about it. it is the same to me with any issue . sadly the real world is not all sweetness and light .

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    1. Linda you are so right. He was based on a real character. which goes back to my original point of real life verses reel life. My point about anything that is ugly and cruel is that unless I am out there doing something about it, I do not want to see it. We all do what we can in the way that we can don't we? You and your Mom are both right.

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  32. Like my sis, I too love movies, give me a good Rom Com any day of the week! But I don't have time to watch them as much.......*pout*

    I would have to say my favorite movie is The King's Speech. I was skeptical to see it at first, but I'm so glad I did!!! The storyline is BRILLIANT, and Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush absolutely MAKE the movie!!!! :D

    Speaking of MAKING the movie: The Lion King and Tarzan. Both of those movies have out-of-this-world phenomenal music!!! :D

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    1. Holly I love the King's speech especially because I love the history of the royal family specifically when it shows it's human side, which that certainly did.

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  33. Some days, the best movie is just a silly romp of a rom com like that old Goldie Hawn movie Overboard. Sometimes, brain fluff (within descending in to stupidity and crudity like so many movies today) is the order of the day!

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  34. p.s. Now, I'm sitting here winding down for the night by watching Baby Boom (yet again, for the bazillionth time! lol) while waiting for the laundry to finish in the dryer.

    BTW, BARBARA -- I did finally see your epi of Forever Knight again recently and picked you out. How hilarious life is! I watched season 3 back when it ran in the mid90's and I was a Navy bride stationed in Virginia. Who knew all these years later, I'd find out that you were in it?!? LOLOLOL

    No offense to you Twilighters out there, but who needs glittery pretty boys when you can have Nick and LaCroix?

    Oh, and, looong before there was Team Edward vs. Team Jacob, there were Blane and Duckie.

    Team Duckie!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RmyoEFuMGkQ

    Anyway, back to Baby Boom. I'm at the part where the heat has gone out at the farmhouse.

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    1. Baby Boom. Kinda turned Diane Keaton's career around! Just read her book.

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  35. Baby Boom! The scene where he suddenly kisses her passionately by the blown out tire! SQUEEEEE!!!

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  36. I almost never go to the movies, anymore. I always say, 'Oh, I want to see that,' and it's usually a horror movie. I've seen a lot of bad horror movies. Now they're so bad you can see them on cable tv. I went to the "Rocky Horror" midnight showings a lot. I went to the movies by myself a lot of weekends. "Tootsie." "Jewel of The Nile." Other stuff I can't remember.

    My dad's into British royalty, so he watches a lot of those movies. Doesn't work for me. He did take me to see "Halloween II," which opened on Halloween night. I watched "Halloween" the previous night on a static-y "off" channel, (aka "rabbit ears didn't QUITE get that channel), and it was SCARY. He also took my brother and I to see "Star Wars" when it was first out. Can't knock it.

    My mother's BIG into "Hallmark Channel" movies, tear-jerkers. Not my thing. She and my dad watch "Holiday Inn," "White Christmas," and... "Where Eagles Dare." There's also some James Bond in there. I LOVE "Daddy Longlegs," so yeah, I've dabbled based on what they've watched.

    We have enough of the real world going on already. Guess we're all ready for the main stage. Let's fantasize a little, shall we?

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    1. Of the many you mentioned I have probably seen White Christmas 2000 times in my life. Tootsie is also a repeat watcher. It's funny how we get attached to certain films isn't it?

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  37. Hey all, hope you are well. Sorry I haven't posted anything in awhile battling the ups and downs of depression lately and had to wait until I felt an upswing.
    I like this topic although who am I kidding I like all the topics.

    When I was a little girl as is typical of little girls, my father was my life. I had no relationship with my mother at all but he was my world. My dad loved westerns especially John Wayne movies but mostly the series westerns that saturated tv when I was a little girl. He also loved Martin and Lewis all of which I watched with him sitting on his lap. My dad left suddenly when I was about seven for reasons I didn't understand at the time but when he did I clung to anything and everything that reminded me of him. Bonanza in particular began to mean the world to me because it conjured up memories of my dad each and every time. It still means a great deal to me and through it I have met people associated with the show that I never thought I would in a million years.

    Then later in life I lost another important man in my life, my husband Sam and since the day he died I have gravitated to comedies and still find myself wanting to laugh and always trying to make people laugh because I can't stand to see anyone (especially my kids)sad. I never could watch any kind of horror movies or anything scary not sure why. I have to admit there are a handful of movies I'll watch over and over again but nowadays it's rare for me to watch anything. I have started to tolerate sad movies or as I call them real movies like Stepmom which was tough because I happened to have a daughter and son about the same ages at the time. And Steel Magnolias, On Golden Pond, and I can probably recite line for line the whole script for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, oh that Robert Redford. I made my kids watch To Kill A Mockingbird when they were younger which was great because my kids ended up having to read it for school and they already knew the story. My kids have very different tastes then their mom now but about a year ago I went to my daughter's apartment to visit and as I walked up the stair I heard familiar voices. Once inside I found Amanda watching Bonanza which made me smile. "Watching Bonanza I see." I said smirking. And she nonchalantly said "Of course I watch it everyday." I wonder if someday she'll introduce it to baby Mariella? I can only hope.

    God Bless you Ladies
    Mary Stone

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    1. Love to you, Mary!! While of course it sucks that things were down for you at all, I'm glad you're feeling better. And I'm always so happy to see you pop in here and share your heartwarming stories. Bonanza over generations -- impressive!! xoxo

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    2. Awwww bonanza is one of my most favourite shows ever. My dad used to watch it,too. My friends re-enacted the Cartwrights. I was Hoss. And yes, we were all girls :P

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    3. Awwww bonanza is one of my most favourite shows ever. My dad used to watch it,too. My friends re-enacted the Cartwrights. I was Hoss. And yes, we were all girls :P

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  38. Above anonymous is me not sure why it did that?

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  39. Becki-would love to talk Bonanza anytime! My mother and step father made fun of my always for loving it so much but it got me through some rough times. Then I met wonderful fellow Bonanza fans on the internet as an adult and through them later met David Dortort (Executive Producer of Bonanza) and the families of Dan Blocker, Lorne Greene and Michael Landon. Also have met Mitch Vogel (Jamie Cartwright) and many others who worked on the show so perhaps I got the last laugh.

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  40. Sharon (AKA PAuline Kael) ReineMarch 8, 2012 at 9:35 PM

    Hmm. Well, I'm thinking it's me . I liked E.R. but found too many of their medical sitchs to over the top. ( thoracotomys- they did about 20 in one season and reality you might see TWO in a whole lifetime in the ER!) and the life & death stuff- yeah well welcome to my world.
    What I think tho is, I, VERY young, developed the ability to intellectulize almost anything, even as it was occuring, which allowed a certain emotional distance to develop. I LOVED all the gritty reality of the 70's movies- The French Connection had a cold turkey detox that was awe inspiring, I need more than mere escapisim from movies. Hey nothing wrong with escapisim- I love a lot of those ole Hollywood musicals too and I'm shure they did help beat the Depression in their own way. But I cna't learn anything from them I need a Midnight Cowboy to show me the way two lonely losers can be each other's support system.
    I kinda miss that w so much of the "and we all go to the sea shore" films that are around now.
    My mum has Alzheimers, The Iron Lady didn't affect me at all bcoz of that, more just how they illustrated her relationship w her husband and her choices in life. (loved the contrast btween the absent son & care taker daughter 2 show her fav)
    There is a moment in the Book of Mormon (musical) where having been sent to Uganda on a mission they contrast it with The Lion King and on character say "You know, I thing they took some pretty big libertys with the story"
    I have little use for horror porn mostly cos the sound track is always screaming and I HATE damzels in distress and yeah I KNOW Barb & Deb u are the professional actor people but I worked 10 years as a set nurse & spent a LOT o time w special effects people and I don't care HOW much It LOOKS like blood somewhere I KNOW it's strawberry jam & baby oil ( OK that was for a birth scene but the point is the same) My intellect looks at it- ID's :effect and come up w a likely creation process for it. So minimal gross out & no horror.
    But like I said- that's me.
    FULL DISCLOSURE:There was one thing that scared me- when I was 11 I was in the advanced class @ my history class in Hebrew school. And they showed us actual archial footage from then German concentration camps shot by the Nazi's them selves. It was be yond anything I can describe and worse- bcoze it was real. Latter that week I saw the original silent Nosferatu and the skeletal figure of the character and the skeltal figures in the Nazi film merged- alive when they shouldn't be/ more dead than alive. And BOOYAH! THAT gave me nightmares for years

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