Monday, September 1, 2014

August Movie Status

I saw 33 new movies in the month of August.  After saying last month that I was going to concentrate on the They Shoot Pictures Don’t They list, I ended up dipping a toe back into a couple of other lists in August. 

It turns out the new additions to the 2014 1,001 Movies You Must See Before You Die edition possibly became available.  I posted on that here.  Based on those unofficial changes I watched the five films of the thirteen new ones that I had not yet seen.  I also watched a film from the 101 Genres lists because it was expiring from Netflix Instant.

I mentioned last month that I was just short of a couple of milestones on the TSPDT lists (both 2013 and 2014).  This month I did indeed see the remaining entries in the Top 500 of both lists, and I passed 850 films seen of the 1,000.  I saw a couple more of the longest entries, too.  And I happened to notice that I finished off a few more of the directors that have many entries in the list, primarily Bergman.  That has given me a new focus for September – trying to complete all the entries for the big directors.  I’m going to probably write a separate post on the They Shoot Picture Don’t They list and the heavy prevalence of a few directors (i.e. 13 different directors have at least 10 films apiece on the list; 77 have at least four films there and those make up more than half the list – 525 entries.)

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Movie – Avatar (2009)

Believe it or not I’ve finally come to the end of my Movies with Interracial Relationships category.  And what better way to end than with a relationship that’s not only interracial, but also interspecies and interstellar?  I think just about every person on the planet has heard of the movie Avatar and odds are not bad that they have seen it, too.  It became the highest grossing film in both U.S. and world history (in today’s money; adjusted for inflation it still gets beaten by earlier films such as Gone With the Wind.)  Just about everyone agrees that it raised the bar on movie visuals.  Most everyone also agrees that this is pretty much the reason to see it.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Movie – Live and Become (2005)

Live and Become has a curious mixture of nationalities behind it.  It’s co-written and directed by Radu Mihaileanu – a Romanian man.  It’s the story of a black Christian boy pretending to be an Ethiopian Jew growing up in Israel, being raised by adoptive Moroccan Jews who speak French.  Anyone who thinks Jews are a specific race as opposed to simply being followers of a religion will probably have problems with this film.  As the opening narration explains there have been black Jews in Ethiopia for thousands of years.  In 1985 (when the movie starts) Israel is conducting rescue missions to save as many of them as they can and to bring them to Israel.  Will the people there welcome them, though?

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Hike – Champlain Mountain, Huguenot Head, Beachcroft Trail, Champlain North Ridge Trail

The Thrumcap as seen from Champlain Mountain
This post describes a loop hike that traverses Champlain Mountain from west to north, with a walk back along part of the Park Loop Road.  In my opinion, on a clear, sunny day there is no better place to be in Acadia National Park than atop Champlain Mountain with its views of the ocean and surrounding area.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Hike – Four Summits, Bald Peak, Parkman Mountain, Gilmore Peak, and Sargent Mountain via Hadlock Brook Trail, Bald Peak Trail, Bald-Parkman Connector, Parkman Mountain Trail, Grandgent Trail, Sargent South Ridge Trail, Maple Spring Trail

The first three peaks summited (all in foreground)
This post describes a loop hike that summits four of the mountains west of Jordan Pond, including Sargent Mountain (the second highest peak in Acadia National Park), and then ends with a beautiful walk alongside a stream.

Directions: Take Routes 3 and 198 north out of Northeast Harbor.  Just after passing the end of Upper Hadlock Pond, which will be on the right, there will be a small parking area on the left off the side of the road.  Since this is the trailhead for several trails to Parkman Mountain, Bald Peak, Norumbega Mountain, and others, there may be cars also lined up along the side of the road.  The trailhead for this hike is across the highway from the north end of the lot.  Take care crossing since traffic will be going fast.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Hike – Norumbega Mountain, Goat Trail, Norumbega Mountain Trail, Hadlock Ponds Trail, Norumbega Connector

View from the summit of Norumbega Mountain
This post describes a loop hike that traverses Norumbega Mountain, which hugs the east side of Somes Sound in Acadia National Park.  This hike provides a physical challenge at the start, and varied conditions along the way, but the views are in short supply compared to other mountains in the park.

Directions: Take Routes 3 and 198 north out of Northeast Harbor.  Just after passing the end of Upper Hadlock Pond, which will be on the right, there will be a small parking area on the left off the side of the road.  Since this is also the trailhead for several trails to Parkman Mountain, Bald Peak, and others, there may be cars also lined up along the side of the road.  The trailhead for Norumbega is on the same side as the parking, at the north end of the lot.

The hike starts on The Goat Trail.  You will soon see that it is aptly named.  It rises 600 feet in a quarter of a mile.  In fact, almost all the elevation gain for this part of the hike is achieved in just this short starting section.  If you are part mountain goat it will help you to get up over the many steps and switchbacks.  In fact, at one point I passed a mountain goat that had stopped and was sucking wind.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Hike – Cadillac Mountain Summit to Summit Loop Hike Using the South Ridge Trail, Canon Brook Trail, A. Murray Young Trail, and Gorge Path

Looking southwest from Cadillac Mountain
There are four major ways to summit Cadillac Mountain on foot.  I have done all of them and you can find my posts for them here: North Ridge Trail, South Ridge Trail, West Face Trail, Gorge Path (east approach).  They all have one thing in common: they start at a lower elevation, summit Cadillac, then eventually return to their start.  Cadillac Mountain has an auto road to the top of it, so I decided to take advantage of that to do a different kind of hike.  For this one I would start at the summit of Cadillac, descend on the South Ridge Trail, loop back up between Cadillac and Dorr Mountain on the Canon Brook and A. Murray Young Trails, then return to the summit of Cadillac on the Gorge Path.