My View of the documentary, “Obama’s America”


Cover of "Dreams from My Father: A Story ...

Cover via Amazon

Sept 9, 2012

Obama’s America is a documentary by Writer/Director Dinesh D’Souza, an Indian born intellectual. It’s based on some writing he’s already done on Obama. D’Souza’s formerly worked for Ronald Reagan. He’s now president of a Christian conservative college in New York.

He traces Obama’s parentage. He claims the biggest influence on Obama was his absent father, a Kenyan native political figure who hated colonialism.   He even goes so far as to bring in a psychologist to discuss Obama’s possible feelings toward his absent father. It reminded me of Clint Eastwood talking to the empty chair at the Republican Convention.

If you know anything about Obama’s life, you will know that he only spent one month with his father. Obama’s mother was an anthropologist who pushed Obama to get a good education. When Obama was in high school he lived with his white grandparents in Hawaii to attend a good private school.  If you heard his speech at the Democratic Convention he referred to both of them. His grandfather served in WWII, and was a mediocre salesman. His grandmother worked her way up the career ladder in a bank. You would guess that maybe they influenced him more heavily than a man he spent a month with, and corresponded with on and off.

D’Sousa also takes sections of “Dreams From my Father” to make his case. It’s all out of context, and he plays fast and loose with it.  He makes a big deal of the fact that the book is not entitled “Dreams of my Father.”  I though it was  a pretty big leap. He even tracks down one of Obama’s half-brothers who is living in a shack in Kenya. I guess this is to prove that Obama isn’t a nice upstanding individual. He can’t get the  half-brother to bad-mouth Obama. He does try.

He also brings up all the old conspiracy theories again. At least he doesn’t question where Obama was born. According to D’sousa Obama was born in Hawaii. Last time I heard it was part of the USA.

He spends half the movie following Obama’s path during his childhood.  He even goes to Indonesia to guess what Obama might have gotten out of living in that country with his mother and step-father. It reminds D’Sousa of India. (I guess that’s why he doesn’t want to live in either place.)

If you’re an Obama supporter you’re not going to like this documentary. Your going to think he doesn’t prove any of his points. If you are suspicious of Obama, you will probably agree with everything suggested by D’Sousa, irrational as it may sound.

The most important thing is that D’Sousa, like Michael Moore, can express their opinion and make documentaries to support their points of view. Let’s face it. That’s what makes America great.

This is my view not a review.  From my point of view, don’t waste your time.

If you’ve seen it, I’d appreciate your comments!

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Guys and Dolls: The 1955 Movie: They don’t make em like that anymore!


Guys and Dolls (film)

Guys and Dolls (film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In Columbus, Ohio, the Ohio Theater ―a palatial old refurbished theater—plays old movies in the summer. Sometimes, it is fun to watch the old movies in a big beautiful theater with a big screen. It’s usually fun to watch them with other people too.  Chances are, they’ll be your age. In this particular theater there is a fine musician playing the organ before the show and during intermission

I had seen the musical, Guys and Dolls,  in various school productions, and even in a semi-professional theater when I was a teenager.  I knew all the words to all the songs, and I don’t even recall consciously learning them.

I enjoyed this movie. First of all, there was a young Frank Sinatra, Marlon Brando, and Jeanne Simmons. They all had chemistry and stage presence that popped out from the screen. It also starred Vivian Blaine, Stubby Kaye, and Sheldon Leonard.

The choreography, scenery, costumes and acting were good enough to make me forget it was 2012.

It really brought back the old days. Another time with old over-sized cars, men wearing actual hats, and women wearing dresses.

The main characters even took a trip to Havana, Cuba, to have a romantic interlude. There were no bedroom scenes, only a kiss.

It  portrayed Jean Simmon’s character as being very naive. Luckily, women’s roles have changed in 45 years.  Her character didn’t know that milk laced with alcohol would get her drunk. Maybe there are still naive women like that out there, but I doubt it.

There was also nothing but white actors in the movie. Back in those days, the races didn’t mix. In that respect, times are better.

it proved to be a very sentimental escape from me. It brought back memories of my childhood and family. It brought back the days when my life was ahead of me, and I could fantasize about what would happen to me when I grew up.  It was fun to connect with my true inner child.

If you get a chance to rent this movie, turn off the lights, and maybe you’ll go back in time too.  Sometimes, it’s fun to revisit the past. You never know what memories might surface.

“Rock of Ages” the Movie was just okay


Rock of Ages (musical)

Rock of Ages (musical) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Before I left to see Rock of Ages, I checked out some quick reviews. It wasn’t really going over with the critics, but I went to see it anyway.

I enjoy the rock music of the 80’s and I enjoyed the songs, and the choreography.  The story was secondary, and it was pretty weak. The story took place in 1987. I also liked the costumes and the scenery.

The movie  features Juliana Hough, Alec Baldwin, Tom Cruise, Katherine Zeta Jones, Mary J Blige, Julianne Moore, and Diego Boneta

I knew what I was in for a few minutes after it started. Julianna Hough (Sherrie Christian) starts singing on the bus to Hollywood and the other people riding along joined in. It was hokey, but cute. The poor girl gets off the bus, someone says “welcome to Hollywood,” and steals her suitcase. A little reality there.

Boneta ( Drew Boley) and Hough are the boy and girl who fall in love. They both seem pretty nerdy. You really didn’t care whether they fell in love or broke up.

Tom Cruise (Stacee Jaxx) depicted a self-centered star who drinks, drugs, and sleeps around. I’m guessing this role wasn’t a big stretch for him. He just misses with his portrayal, but it was almost on target. His singing was surprisingly good.

Juliana Hough is adorable, and has a good sweet voice. Unfortunately, she didn’t dance much except on a pole, and she didn’t really do much on it. (She used to be on Dancing With the Stars) .

Mary J. Blige has a fantastic voice, but she had a very minor role. She also had a lot of charisma for the brief time she was on the screen.

Hough was adequate as the main character who is sweet. It was familiar. She played the exact same character in the latest version of “Footloose.”

The other Julianne Moore was good as an uptight reporter who loosens up toward the middle of the movie. Her acting was the best, but that’s not saying much.

Alec Baldwin (Dennis Dupree) and Russel Brand ( Lonny) served as the comic relief. Somehow, Alec Baldwin, wasn’t that great. I couldn’t forget he was Alec Baldwin playing a role.  There is a homosexual moment in the movie. Even that wasn’t that interesting.

Catherine Zeta Jones (Patricia Whitmore) over-acted, and her American accent sounded forced. To her credit she is beautiful, and she can sing and dance.

Some of the familiar songs were, “Hit Me With your best shot,” Harden My Heart, Can’t Fight This feeling, and “Anyway you Want it.” There were more songs, and I liked them all. They picked the biggest hits.

I do judge movies on whether or not I’d be willing to watch them again. Not this one.

I give it a C+. The plus is for the music.

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel: A Movie About Aging and India


Judi Dench at the BAFTAs at the Royal Opera Ho...

Judi Dench at the BAFTAs at the Royal Opera House in London. Français : Judi Dench photographiée lors de la soirée des British Academy Film Awards dans le Royal Opera House à Londres. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you think old age is an excuse to sit around and vegetate, maybe you ought to see the movie The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.

If you are older, you will recognize some of the outstanding English actors in this production. It’s all about a group of seven retirees who don’t want to stop living because they are older.

They trek over to India to stay in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Like them, the hotel has seen better days. It is run by a dreamy young optimistic Indian man who is trying to forge his own identity. He has trouble standing up to his mother; she doesn’t want him to marry his beautiful young girlfriend, or run a hotel.

The retirees soon learn that the young Indian man,  computer enhanced the hotel in his advertising, and  it’s not what he promised. However, the guests learn to like it and they improve along with the hotel.

The theme of this movie is that life doesn’t stop for you just because your get old; unless you just give up, and wait to die. We all know people who are perfectly willing to use old age as an excuse for not accomplishing anything.

The acting in this movie is terrific. Evelyn Greensleeves (Judy Dench) finds out her husband was not good at finances and she is flat broke. Luckily, she gets herself to The Exotic Marigold Hotel, and starts her new life. She also finds a job in a phone center. (I won’t tell you how or why). One man reclaims a lost love,  a few conclude their looks can’t get them what they are used to getting.  A couple has to come to terms with their marriage.

The characters are still interested in their lives, and they still are adventuresome. Some have lived with poor choices they made when they were young.There are stories about loss and love. Other noteworthy actors include: Maggie Smith and Hugh Dickson. It is refreshing to see these people practice their craft so skillfully.

If you’ve ever been curious about life in India, this offers you glimpses of how different and colorful life is there. People who have visited there, or are curious, might enjoy that aspect of the movie.

The only criticism I have of this movie is it was too long. I started wondering if it was ever going to end.  When the ending came, it was satisfying.  Maybe a wee bit of fantasy there, but it is a movie!

I would recommend this movie if you’re older. I don’t think younger people would appreciate it as much—nothing explodes and there isn’t much blood and guts.  The story about the young Indian and his beautiful girlfriend isn’t enough to hold a young person’s interest.

I was happy that the actors were about 10 or more years older than me! It made me feel momentarily young. I’m no spring chicken myself!

I give this movie a B+

Agree or disagree with my review?

How do you feel about getting older. Are you aging gracefully, or is it difficult for you?

Why Michael J. Fox Inspires Me


Michael J. Fox

Michael J. Fox in "Back To The Future"

Michael J. Fox was on TV tonight. You have to admire his spirit.  He’s not afraid to get on TV and speak his mind, and he makes sense too. He was interviewed by Donny Deutsch who was a substitute host on CNN’s” Pierce Morgan.”

I have a lot of nice family memories surrounding Michael J. Fox. My kids, husband and I would watch “Family Ties” together. We adored Alex P. Keaton whom he played from 1982-1989. We took all three kids to see  “The Back To The Future Trilogy.” I also enjoyed the last series he did,”Spin City. He made over 20 pictures. His movie career screeched to a halt when he got Parkinson’s Disease.

I think Fox’s energy is what appeals to so many people. Fox has directed his energy to finding a cure for Parkinson’s Disease, a neurological disorder.

He’s raised millions of dollars with his foundation,” The Michael J. Fox Foundation”.

I’ve read all his books he’s written, and they’re all inspirational. His first book was called, “Lucky Man.”  Through his disease he found out what was really important in his life, and it wasn’t fame. He’s married to the beautiful actress, Tracey Pollen, and they have 4 children. Fox is happy she’s in his life. He made it clear that even with his disability, life is worth living.

He even touched on the fact that Rush Limbaugh had to apologize to him several years ago when he thought  Fox was exaggerating his illness when he made a political endorsement for a candidate. Deutsch asked if he had words for Limbaugh. Fox looked earnestly in the camera and said, “Keep talking Rush, keep talking!”

Fox brought out that it’s nice to listen to people who don’t agree with you. Then, you can point out their inconsistencies. Great suggestion.

I really took what he said it to heart. Even though he was directing his final words to people with Parkinson’s, anybody can apply it to their own lives. “I’m talking like you’re talking. I know I’m moving. I don’t need to hide anything anymore. I’m secure,  I have a great family, work to do, and things to keep me busy. Others don’t and they need to know research is being pursued. Learn as much as you can, experience one day at a time. Leave yourself open to possibilities”….

People like Fox inspire me.

Who inspires you?

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