Letters 11-23-2015

Cheering From Petoskey While red-eyed rats boil fanatically up from the ancient sewers of Paris to feast on pools of French blood, at the G20 meeting the farcical pied piper of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue thrusts a bony finger at the president of the Russian Federation and yells: “liberté, égalité, fraternité, Clinton, Kerry--Obamaism!”

The Other Mothers And Fathers Regarding the very nice recent article on “The First Lady of Yoga,” I have taken many classes with Sandy Carden, and I consider her to be a great teacher. However, I feel the article is remiss to not even give acknowledgement to other very important yoga influences in northern Michigan...

Drop The Blue Angels The last time I went to the National Cherry Festival, I picked the wrong day. The Blue Angels were forcing everyone to duck and cover from the earsplitting cacophony overhead...

Real Advice For The Sick In the Nov. 16 article “Flu Fighters,” author Kristi Kates fails to mention the most basic tool in our arsenal during Influenza season... the flu vaccine! I understand you might be afraid of being the victim of Jenny McCarthyism, but the science is there...

Keeping Traverse City in the Dark Our environment is our greatest asset. It sustains our lives; it drives our economy. We ignore it at our peril. Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) has submitted letters of concern to both the city commission and planning commission regarding the proposed 9-story buildings on Pine Street. We have requested an independent environmental assessment with clear answers before a land use permit is granted...

All About Them Another cartoon by Jen Sorensen that brings out the truth! Most of her cartoons are too slanted in a Socialist manner, but when she gets it correct, she hits the nail on the target! “Arizona is the first state to put a 12-month lifetime limit on welfare benefits.” That quote is in the opening panel... 

Unfair To County Employees It appears that the commissioners of Grand Traverse County will seek to remedy a shortfall in the 2016 budget by instituting cuts in expenditures, the most notable the reduction of contributions to various insurance benefits in place for county employees. As one example, the county’s contributions to health insurance premiums will decrease from ten to six percent in 2016. What this means, of course, is that if a county employee wishes to maintain coverage at the current level next year, the employee will have to come up with the difference...

Up, Not Out I would like to congratulate the Traverse City Planning Commission on their decision to approve the River West development. Traverse City will either grow up or grow out. For countless reasons, up is better than out. Or do we enjoy such things as traffic congestion and replacing wooded hillsides with hideous spectacles like the one behind Tom’s West Bay. At least that one is on the edge of town as opposed to in the formerly beautiful rolling meadows of Acme Township...

Lessons In Winning War I am saddened to hear the response of so many of legislators tasked with keeping our country safe. I listen and wonder if they know what “winning” this kind of conflict requires or even means? Did we win in Korea? Did we win in Vietnam? Are we winning in Afghanistan? How is Israel winning against the Palestinians? Will they “take out” Hezbollah...

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The Free Flicks at the Open Space

Jane Louise Boursaw - July 27th, 2006
JURASSIC PARK (PG-13, 1993) – Tues, 8/1

The Gist: An eccentric billionaire (Richard Attenborough) with way too much money on his hands decides to play God and clone dinosaurs using prehistoric DNA. Not only that, he creates a high-tech theme park on an exotic island, inviting his grandkids, lawyer, and a few scientists in for a look. As is usually the case, there’s a greedy person in the mix. This time, it’s nerdy computer expert (Wayne Knight, aka “Newman”), who decides to disable the security system so he can escape with some stolen embryos. Well, it’s just one big party when the raptors figure out the juice is off on the electric fences.

Why We Love It: The folks over at Industrial Light and Magic really earned their paychecks on this one. We have no problem believing these dinos and this place really exists. When scientists Sam Neill and Laura Dern come over that hill and catch a first glimpse of the herd, they’re awestruck and so are we.

MONTY PYTHON & THE HOLY GRAIL (PG, 1975) – Wed., 8/2

The Gist: Grab your coconuts, mates, and settle in as King Arthur (the late great Graham Chapman) gathers a band of knights and sets out to find the Holy Grail. But you won’t find Richard Harris singing “Camelot” in this movie. It’s a madcap series of sketches with each knight facing his own dangers: Sir Lancelot (John Cleese) slaughters a group of wedding guests; Sir Galahad (Michael Palin) falls into the clutches of sex-starved maidens; and Sir Robin (Eric Idle) flees danger while his minstrel buddies sing of his cowardice. Throw in Arthur’s manservant, Patsy (Terry Gilliam), some quirky townsfolk, homicidal rabbits, and catapulting cows, and you’ve got the makings of a cult classic that takes hits at everything from Marxist rhetoric to religious doctrine.

Why We Love It: Because, Alice, it’s smart, silly, irreverent, and one
longstream-of-consciousness insanity
from the best minds in the biz. Don’t try and understand it. Just go with the flow.

NAPOLEON DYNAMITE (PG, 2004) – Thurs., 8/3

The Gist: Jon Heder plays a high-school nerd who’s tall, gangly, and spends his life drawing pictures of made-up creatures. He lives on the outskirts of a small, dusty town in Idaho with his equally nerdy brother, Kip (Aaron Ruell), whose waking life is spent in online chat rooms. After a dune buggy accident lays up their grandma, the boys’ Uncle Rico (Jon Gries) comes to live with them. He’s stuck in 1982, where he supposedly was a big high school sports star. He keeps videotaping himself throwing a football over and over. Napoleon finally makes a friend at school, Pedro (Efren Ramirez), and what follows is a series of misadventures involving the prom, a campaign for class president, disco dancing, and oh yes, a delicious bass.

Why We Love It: Because we’d vote for Pedro, and it’s always fun to see the geeks come out on top. Sweet!

THE WIZARD OF OZ (1939) – Fri., 8/4

The Gist: You know the story: Dorothy (Judy Garland) lives on a farm in Kansas with her Auntie Em and Uncle Henry. But when a twister picks up her, her house, and her dog, and deposits them in the colorful land of Oz, it’s clear they’re “not in Kansas anymore.” To get back home, she’s gotta go down that yellow-brick road and seek the wise counsel of the Wizard of Oz, all without being killed by the Wicked Witch of the West, who vows to “get you, my pretty, and your little dog, too!” Rest assured that Dorothy gets some help along the way.

Why We Love It: A rag-tag bunch
of misfits, a girl who just wants to go

home, a good witch and a bad witch, and all those munchkins. What’s not to love? It’s the movie that launched a thousand ruby slippers into our collective consciousness.

PEE-WEE’S BIG ADVENTURE (PG, 1985) – Sat., 8/5

The Gist: It’s the story of a rebel and his bike. When Pee-wee’s beloved red bike is stolen, he interrogates his friends and assaults his spoiled neighbor Francis (Mark “I-know-you-are-but-what-am-I” Holton). Pee-wee consults a fortune-teller, who tells him the bike is, in fact, in the basement of the Alamo. And so begins a road movie like no other, as the P-Man encounters escaped convicts, biker gangs, wistful waitresses (and their jealous boyfriends), mysterious female truckers, even a few Warner Bros. studio execs.

Why We Love It: Because we all remember our first bike. And because we’ll never listen to “Tequila” the same way again. If you don’t believe me, check it out for yourself. Tell ‘em Large Marge sent ya.

DR. STRANGELOVE (1964) – Sun., 8/6
The Gist: U.S. Air Force General Jack Ripper (Sterling Hayden) goes completely and utterly mad, MAD, I SAY! and sends his bombers to destroy the U.S.S.R. He suspects the communists are conspiring to pollute the “precious bodily fluids” of the American people. Peter Sellers plays the three men who might avert this tragedy: British Captain Lionel Mandrake (the only person with access to the demented Ripper); U.S. President Merkin Muffley (whose best attempts to divert disaster rest on placating a drunken Soviet Premier); and Dr. Strangelove (former Nazi genius who believes that “such a device would not be a practical deterrent for reasons which at this moment must be all too obvious”). Will the bombers be stopped in time?

Why We Love It: Because 42 years later, this movie is more frighteningly relevant than ever before. It doesn’t flinch from staring nuclear war in the face. The question is, should we?

Jane Louise Boursaw is a freelance writer specializing in the movie and television industries. Visit her online at www.ReelLifeWithJane.com or email jboursaw@charter.net.
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