Tag Archives: the blind side

Two entertaining flicks from the my hometown

In the midst of our busy social life (note: sarcasm), Mrs. Poolman and I recently watched two decent movies at home. A bit of a surprise in both cases was that they were both shot in my hometown of Pittsburgh.

Jack_Reacher_poster“Reacher,” starring Tom Cruise, was much better than I expected it to be. The biggest surprise was that Cruise absolutely nailed the character of Jack Reacher. This was a surprise, because he doesn’t come anywhere close to fitting the physical description of Jack Reacher in the series of novels by Lee Child. In the books, Reacher is 6’4”, and we all know Tom C is about a foot shorter.

Reacher is a former Army CID officer who turned his back on conventional society when he left the Army. He drifts around the country without a home or job, but always seems to find himself in some situation that needs fixing. Reacher is extremely smart, tough and resourceful. He is very cool, in the same way that Mark Harmon plays a cool Jethro Gibbs in NCIS.

In the movie, based on the Child novel, “One Shot,” Reacher arrives in Pittsburgh to help solve the mystery surrounding a former Army sniper who shot and killed several people, apparently without rhyme or reason. Of course it turns out there was a rhyme and reason; otherwise there wouldn’t be a story.

In any case, this isn’t a flick you are going to see around Academy Awards time, but for a Saturday night rental with a bowl of popcorn, this one was pretty good.

Abduction_PosterA real surprise was “Abduction” with Taylor Lautner (Twilight series) and Lily Collins (The Blind Side.) We picked it up on Netflix last night. The main character, Nathan, discovers his childhood picture on a missing children Web site. So, of course, he and his cute neighbor, Karen (Lily Collins,) pursue it. Rather than turning into a maudlin Lifetime-network chick-flick, which we expected, a hit team shows up at his house, and the chase is on. “Hey Mrs. Poolman, look at what just happened here!”

The plot and overall story is pretty good, but it misses on some of the small points. The acting is nothing to rave about (I understand Taylor was runner-up for a worst-actor award for this movie. I’m not surprised.) , despite a decent supporting cast including Maria Bello, Jason Issac (the evil British colonel in The Patriot), Signorney Weaver and Michael Nyqvist (the Swedish version of the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy.) We were just amazed that after swimming across a river and sleeping in the woods overnight, Taylor and Lily looked like they just walked out of make-up. Abduction 3 w But if you overlook some of the little things, you’ll find that “Abduction” is a pretty entertaining movie.

It’s Friday!

Things have been slow around here this week, but I did finish another book worth mentioning. Here are some bullets.

I got an email this morning from an old friend. We probably haven’t seen each other face-to-face in probably 40 years, but we have exchanged some Christmas cards over that time.

Dr. Betsy Kennon and Scooter, courtesy Readers Digest

She said “Andy Warhol is right.” Betsy is enjoying her 15 minutes of fame in the form of an article in the August edition of Readers Digest. Betsy is a veterinarian in Pittsburgh. She saved a stray kitten with a broken spine. The cat, Scooter, now moves around with his hind-parts on a cart and visits nursing homes. Nice touching story you can see, complete with video, here.

I attended the Savannah Gator Club annual gathering last night. The speaker was GatorCountry.com editor Franz Beard. Franz did a great talk. Things are looking better for the Gators this fall than many opponents would like to admit. That’s just fine. It’s better to sneak up on ‘em.

I just finished reading “The Blind Side” by Michael Lewis. Everyone is at least familiar with the movie by the same name starring Sandra Bullock. The book upon which the movie is based expands the subject matter of the movie. The film pretty much concentrated on football player Michael Oher and the manner in which he came into the family of Sean and Leigh Ann Touhey and eventually became a star athlete. The book adds significant color and texture to that story. It also develops two additional themes – the change in the NFL that made the left tackle position the second most important position on the field; and the issue of poor, black, inner city kids trying to use sports to get out of the ghetto.

I enjoyed the book a lot. The Oher-Touhey story is interesting and touching all on its own. The two additional themes just add on to the value. If you liked the movie, you’ll like the book. Even if you thought the movie was a little schmaltzy and over done, you’ll still like the book.

We are looking forward to company this weekend. This time it is the gang from Mrs. Poolman’s side of the family. It will include a sister-in-law, a niece and nephew, both with significant others, a grand niece and a large rambunctious boxer (dog.) There will be lots of eating, drinking, visiting and hanging out by the pool. When I got home tonight, I went ahead and mowed the lawn, and cleaned the pool and back yard  to be ready for them.

Should be fun!

A surpise encounter

Mrs. Poolman and I watched The Blind Side last night on DVD, when we had a bit of a surprise.

Mrs. P says I drive her crazy with my obsessive behavior over identifying actors. I guess I’m guilty. I’ll see an actor or actress I recognize but cannot place, and I need to figure out what they played in the past. Fortunately www.imdb.com comes in very handy.

So we were watching last night, and during the scene when Sandra Bullock is in the DMV, I paused the DVD and said, “Hey, that actress! Who is it?”

Mrs. P said she thought she looked familiar but she couldn’t place it.  I told her I think she used to work for me.

Google to the rescue and there she was. Stacey Turner was the actress. I knew her as Stacey Williams, which was her married name at the time. I had hired her as a reporter when I ran the news department of the CBS affiliate TV station here in Savannah in the 1990s. We haven’t had any contact since I left that station nearly ten years ago.

That was a nice little surprise. I hope she does well and we’ll see more of her.