Category Archives: movies

Who’s who?


With the excitement building for the new episodes of Dr. Who to start¹, there has been a lot of who-buzz. But Dr. Who is not the only Who who is out there. I offer you this list of whos: a sort of Who’s Who of Whos.

  • who: an English interrogative word a relative pronoun used to stand in for a person².
  • WHO: The World Health Organization
  • who: the sound made by a hooting owl
  • Dr. Who: A British sci-fi/fantasy TV show that has been on for decades, about The Doctor, a time-travelling alien who gets to have a new body every so often.
  • Whovians: Fans of Dr. Who (you know who you are)
  • The Who: A British rock band, originally formed in the 1960s
  • Who Are You? A hit song by The Who. (And the title track of the album “Who Are you?”)
  • Who am I? A 1998 Jackie Chan movie where he plays an amnesiac spy. (It features this very memorable fight scene with a man with very long legs and very good balance. [youtube])

  • Who dat? A phrase used to show support for the New Orleans Saints (a football team)
  • Who’s Who: a type of publication listing biographical information
  • Whoville: a fictional town (or possibly two towns of the same name) in two Dr. Seuss stories: Horton Hears a Who and How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
  • Whos: Inhabitants of Whoville. Cindy Lou Who is one such Who.
  • Who’s on first? Abbott and Costello’s famous comedy routine of name/pronoun ambiguity. (If you don’t know it, you can read the full transcript. Better yet, watch this clip from the 1945 movie The Naughty Nineties on [youtube])
  • whodunnit: a nickname for a type of story where the reader (or viewer) tries to solve a mystery along with the protagonists
  • Guess Who's Coming To Dinner

  • “Guess who?” Something sometimes said by a person sneaking up behind another person, often while preventing that person from seeing by covering the eyes.³
  • The Guess Who: a Canadian rock band best known in the 60s and 70s
  • Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner?: A 1967 drama/comedy movie starring Spencer Tracy, Sidney Poitier and Katharine Hepburn. (It’s not actually about dinner with a Canadian rock band, but about a family coming to terms with an interracial relationship.)
  • Who can it be now?: A song by Men at Work
  • Who’s that girl?: A song by the Eurythmics
  • “Who’s a good boy?” Something often said to dogs.Cf this Onion article:
    Nation’s Dog Owners Demand to Know Who’s a Good Boy

    With canine-cuddliness levels at an all-time high and adorability-boosting ribbons and chew toys plentiful at pet stores across the nation, no resolution to the good-boy-identity issue appears to be on the horizon.

  • “Who cares?” A question sometimes asked by someone who doesn’t⁴

Who’s got more whos?

¹Season 7, part 2 starts this Sunday, March 30th
² Prescriptive grammarians will say that who is only to be used in cases where the pronoun/interrogative is in the subject, or nominal, position, and that whom is what you must use in object positions. However, contemporary usage allows for use of who in object positions.
³ I’ve never enjoyed this game.
⁴ I care.

Whose whos are whose? (image credits):Horton Hears a Who!, Whoville from the 1966 animated movie How the Grinch Stole Christmas (based on the book), Who Dat, The Guess Who Greatest Hits album cover, The Who logo, Jackie Chan’s Who Am I?, Who’s On First? screenshot from youtube clip from The Naughty Nineties,Tardis, World Health Organization logo, and Introspective Pug.

The Spud Who Loved Me

James Bond: Do you expect me to chop?
Auric Goldfingerlings: No, Mr. Bond. I expect you to dice. And then panfry with some onions.

The Bond Franchise meets the fast food franchise in these lesser-known action movies. Hold on to your seats and grab your ketchup.

  • Licence to Peel
  • From Russia with Latkes
  • Octopierogi
  • Quantum of Solanaceae
  • On Her Masher’s Secret Service
  • Dumplings Are Forever
  • The Living Homefries
  • Dr. Gnocchi
  • Live and Let Fry
  • Thunderbulbes
  • The Hashbrowns Are Not Enough
  • A View Tuber Kill
  • The Man with the Golden Spud Gun
  • Moontater
  • Goldfingerlings
  • You Only Bake Twice
  • Tuber Never Dies
  • Kartoffel Royale
  • Yukon Goldeneye
  • The Spud Who Loved Me
  • Fry Another Tater
  • For Your Eyes Only

No time to include synopses this time, as I’m beat and need to get my synapses some rest. Please feel free to contribute any plot summaries in the comments.

falling down


It’s autumn here in the Northern Hemisphere. Fall. Here in New England, the leaves are changing colors. And falling.

But leaves aren’t the only things falling.¹ Gravity appears to have been at work in many areas, as evidenced by the fallen items below.

  • Humpty Dumpty: He had a great fall. (Actually, it didn’t turn out so great for him, what with the breaking up. Maybe his summer was better.)
  • Jack (of Jack and Jill): Fell down. Broke his crown.
  • The sky: It’s falling. (At least according to Chicken Little.)
  • The cradle: It will fall. Out of a tree. With a baby in it. (I’m not sure why a song about a baby falling out of a tree is supposed to help bring on sleep…)
  • London Bridge: It’s falling down. (Falling down, falling down.)
  • Falling Down (1993): A Michael Douglas movie
  • “Falling:” a song by Julee Cruise that was well known as the theme song for the TV series Twin Peaks.
  • The Fall: a “post-punk” band
  • take the fall: to take the blame for something
  • fall guy: someone who takes the fall, a scapegoat
  • The Fall Guy: An 80s TV series about a stunt man starring Lee Majors (better known for his 70s role as the “bionic man.”)
  • to fall short: to not meet expectations
  • fall asleep: to enter a sleeping state
  • fallout: consequences, especially those that aren’t immediate
  • fall in: to get into line
  • fall in love:an expression meaning, um, to fall in love. Crap. How do I even paraphrase that? I guess “become enamored of, usually in a romantic way.”
  • fall for someone: an expression meaning “be won over by someone,” or sometimes “start to like someone”
  • fall for something: to be tricked
  • fall into the pudding: this isn’t actually an expression²
  • Fall on Me” A song by R.E.M.
  • When I Pretend to Fall: an album by the Long Winters, and a line from the song “Stupid.” She laughs when I pretend to fall…
  • Ring around the rosie³:

    Ring around the rosie
    Pocket full of posie
    Ashes, Ashes
    We all fall down

And there it is. We all fall down.⁴

—–

¹ Clearly I’ve been falling down on the job with my ThThTh posts, seeing as the last one I posted was in December.

² There are loads more real idioms involving falling

³Apparently there are many different versions of this, some of which don’t even involve falling down. Theo has been reciting a version of this lately. Mostly what I hear is “Asses, asses, we fall down.” I don’t recall seeing that one on the Wiki page.

⁴ Often on our asses.

Cradle falling image from The Only True Mother Goose Melodies, by Munroe & Francis, 1833, found on the Gutenberg Project.

The Unbearable Tightness of Pants

Conflict.
Betrayal.
Angst.

Pants.

The Pants Institute proudly presents the Pants Cinema Film Festival: Masterpieces of Pants Drama.

Here are some of the films on the schedule:

    The Unbearable Tightness of Pants: A young woman feels increasingly uncomfortable in her pants, while her husband seems unable to keep his own pants on.

    What’s Eating Gilbert’s Pants: A young man is disturbed to realize that clothes moths have gradually overtaken his family’s closets.

    My Own Private Pants: Two misfit young men in misfitting pants embark on a journey to find pants that fit them more comfortably.

    The Last Pants of Disco: A pair of young women struggle to adapt to the changing pants fashions at the start of the 80s, and must bid their bellbottoms goodbye.

    Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Pants: When a man picks up his clothing from the drycleaners, he finds the pants that are returned to him to be hauntingly familiar, yet he can’t remember ever wearing them.

    The Remains of the Pants: An aging butler reflects on his life of service, and notices how threadbare his trousers have become.

    Pants in Translation: A young American woman visits Tokyo, and is unhappy to find that she can’t find the Japanese word for “pants” in her phrase book.

    The Pants Hereafter: A town struggles to cope with the gap left by the closing of a prominent pants retailer.

    Pants Labyrinth: A young girl tries on magic pants to escape the dark realities of her family life.

    Pants of a Lesser God: Not all pants are made the same. See label for care instructions.

    Pretty in Pants: A teenage girl runs into conflict when she announces that she wants to wear tuxedo pants to her high school prom.

    Edward Scissorpants: I can’t even go there. Ouch.

——-
I’ve been keeping these pants packed up for ages, and it seems a fine time to air them out.

remember, remember

four lobes of the cerebral cortexIt’s the 5th of November. Which makes me remember some things about remembering.

I’m fascinated by memory, and clearly I’m not alone, judging from the large number of movies, stories, songs and such that feature themes of memory. Or loss of memory. Here’s a ThThTh list of some things I can remember:

    Some memory-related things that come to mind

  • The poem about Guy Fawkes day:

    Remember, remember the fifth of November,
    The gunpowder treason and plot,
    I know of no reason
    Why the gunpowder treason
    Should ever be forgot.

  • remember the Alamo!
  • mnemonic devices: phrases, poems or other sayings used to aid the memory for specific facts, such as:
    • Roy G. Biv (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet: the order of colors in the rainbow)
    • homes (Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, and Superior: i.e. the Great Lakes)

    (more mnemonic devices here)

  • string on finger

  • string tied around a finger: if you need to remember something, you can tie a string around your finger as a reminder that there was something you were supposed to remember. This relies on you being able to remember what it was that you hoped to remember.
  • souvenir: a keepsake or memento, typically from a visit to a place to which one has travelled. From the French verb souvenir, “to remember”
  • memento: an object kept to remember a time, place or event. From the latin remember:

    L. memento “remember,” imperative of meminisse “to remember,” a reduplicated form, related to mens “mind.” Meaning “reminder, warning” is from 1582; sense of “keepsake” is first recorded 1768. (from etymology online)

  • Memento (2000): a movie about a man who loses his ability to form new memories.
  • The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004): a movie in which people can undergo a process of selective memory erasure.
  • Chester Tate: A character on the 70s TV show Soap who spends several episodes with amnesia.
  • “Tabula Rasa,” a Buffy episode: A spell gone awry causes the main characters to forget who they are. Hilarity ensues. (Seriously, it’s a really fun, funny episode.)
  • “The Forget me Knot,” an episode of The Avengers in which Emma Peel forgets who she is. (This was Diana Rigg’s last episode on the series.)
  • Forget Me Not,” an amnesia episode of Gilligan’s Island (Okay, I didn’t actually remember this one, guessed that there was an amnesia episode.)
  • For that matter, there are probably plenty of episodes from sci-fi shows like those in the Star Trek and Star Gate universes.
  • The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996): Geena Davis plays an amnesiac ex-spy
  • The Bourne Identity (2002): Matt Damon plays an amnesiac ex-spy
  • Who am I?/Wo shi shei (1998): Jackie Chan plays an amnesiac spy.
  • Total Recall (1990) Arnold Schwarzenegger plays a spy whose memories were re-written
  • lots more movies and shows with a memory (or loss of memory) theme can be found here:
  • “I Don’t Remember,” a song by Peter Gabriel

    I don’t remember, I don’t recall
    I got no memory of anything at all

  • “I can’t forget,” a song by Leonard Cohen. I can’t forget, but I don’t remember what.
  • “Only a Memory,” a song by the Smithereens
  • The Persistence of Memory: famous Salvador Dalí painting with melting watches
  • memory: a card game also known by the name “concentration”
  • memory: a computer component for storing data
  • ddr ram

  • Remember when Chris Farley interviewed people? Remember how he interviewed Paul McCartney? That was awesome.

    Chris Farley: You remember when you were with the Beatles?
    Paul McCartney: Yes.
    Chris Farley: That was awesome.

pulling some strings

Emily of Wheels on the Bus sent out an unusual plea, having recently gone to see Puppetolio, an LA-area puppet theater that is closing its doors this weekend unless they manage to…um…pull a few strings:

If you know anyone who lives in L.A., anyone in the media, anyone who loves puppets, anyone who reads blogs, anyone who cares about the arts, then you know someone who will find this of interest and might be able to help.

I’m not around L.A., but I do care about the arts, and children’s entertainment, and I hate to see such a time-honored tradition dying out. So, if you can, go see what Emily has to say. And if you can, pull a few strings to help out the puppeteer in his plight.

But first, I’m putting on ashow of my own with this ThThTh¹ list o’ puppets.

  • Punch and Judy: traditional English puppet theatre, typically performed in a booth-type stage.
  • Pinocchio: a famous wooden puppet of fiction and film who comes to life.
  • punch-bw-puppet

  • Muppets: a range of mostly cloth and plush puppets, originally created by Jim Henson.
  • puppet: an expression for a person or entity whose actions are covertly dictated by some other person or entity. Political figures are sometimes disparagingly called puppets.
  • the_godfather

  • The Godfather: The poster for the 1972 movie shows a hand holding the string controls for a marionette, alluding to the “puppet master” status of a mafia boss
  • “The Lonely Goatherd”: A scene from The Sound of Music (1965) in which an elaborate puppet show is performed
  • “Puppet Man”: A song performed (separately http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=12771 ) in the early 1970s by The 5th Dimension Tom Jones. Here’s the Tom Jones version:

    Baby, Baby, I’m your sweet pet
    I’m just your personal marionette
    Wind me up and let me go
    Don’t you know I’m a one man show?
    Raise your finger and I’ll perform
    I’ll crack a jack till’ the crack a dawn
    If you wanna see me do my thing, baby pull my string

  • “Puppets”: a song by Depeche Mode from their first album, Speak and Spell. (YouTube vid)

    And I don’t think you understand
    What I’m trying to say
    I’ll be your operator baby
    I’m in control

  • The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre: What can I say? They are sock puppets. Who sing in falsetto voices. With Scottish accents. Watch their latest video, “Back in E.D.I.N. BRAW“:
  • Lamb Chop: a sheep sock puppet operated by comedian Shari Lewis.
  • Bob from the TV show Soap.
    A ventriloquist’s dummy operated by Chuck, but a character in his own right. (Watch a scene with Bob here)
  • Mr. Hat: Mr. Garrison’s puppet from the show South Park
  • The Puppet Show: an episode from Buffy the Vampire Slayer involving a ventriloquist’s dummy.
  • Puppetmaster (1989) A horror movie with puppets that come to life.
  • Being John Malkovich (1999) John Cusack plays a puppeteer, and puppeteering features prominently in the plot. The movie also boasts a gigantic Emily Dickinson marionette.

——-

¹ It’s been a while since I put up my last Themed Things Thursday² post. (Has it really not been since April? Craziness. I’ve drafted probably a good dozen or so lists, but haven’t quite gotten any together and ready to post.)

² Yes, I know it’s Friday. Don’t quibble with me. I’m tired.

Image sources: Godfather poster, Punch puppet, Pinnochio from Ginn and Company The Common School Catalogue (Boston: Ginn & Company Publishers, 1906) 40 via etc and puppet show from Harper’s New Monthly Magazine (New York: Harper and Brothers Publshers, 1871) XLII:831 via etc.

not quite Sesame Street

We don’t watch a lot of TV in our family, but sometimes we do let Phoebe and Theo watch some short videos. They like shows best that have colorful costumed characters and musical numbers with lots of rhymes:

This episode was brought to you by the letter T.