Bette Midler songs

Bette Midler has sung three songs I would put on a playlist, The Rose (1980), Wind Beneath My Wings (1988) and From a Distance (1990).

The Rose is a haunting song about the abstract meaning of love, the need for love, when love is absent and when one will find love, ending on a hopeful note that spring and therefore love is around the corner.

The lovely Wind Beneath My Wings touches the heart strings with a song about being there for someone as a strength and helper. It’s got emotional truth and sincerity and warmth.

From a Distance is a sentimental, peaceful, uplifting Bette Midler song that could be regarded as beautiful. The ebb and flow gently nudges one to a higher and nobler place. “From a distance you look like my friend, though we are at war…From a distance I cannot comprehend what all this fighting’s for.” Then the lyric, “God is watching us, from a distance”, perhaps as a reminder.


Riveting entertainment

Autopsy is a television series from Britain’s ITV studios that analyses the life and last days of famous people. Dr. Jason Payne-James looks at the cause of death that is on the celebrity’s death certificate, but looking closely at the evidence he concurs with the certificate or comes to another conclusion.

The subjects of the series are people well-known in film, music, and sports. The days leading up to the untimely deaths of actors Robin Williams and Heath Ledger are analyzed. In the episode I am looking at today, the life and death of the Irish-born, Manchester United footballer George Best are scrutinized.

The tricky winger is regarded as the one of the greatest UK footballers [soccer] if not the best ever. But his downfall was that he had a disease—he was an alcoholic. Death by alcoholism is not mentioned on the death certificate, but Dr. Payne-James postulates that Best may have died from alcohol withdrawal syndrome. Payne-James investigates.

Payne-James faces the camera with his findings interspersed with a psychologist’s assessment and dramatic recreation of Best, his family, wives, partying, and old stock footage of Best on the field playing soccer and when he is in the public eye.

The path of Best’s alcoholism is scary. This progressive disease over thirty years certainly had an impact on Best’s health.

It’s a wake-up call for anyone jolted into looking after themselves after watching this program.

The reason for Best’s drinking habit is given at the start. He was a shy young man and became a social drinker.

This led him to going to the bottle when challenges in life came his way.

One such challenge was the death of his mother. She couldn’t take the public criticism of his son when he gave up football. She took to the bottle and eventually died of alcoholism.

A lesson of this episode is to look after yourself. Keep off self-destructive tendencies no matter what it takes. Do something about it. This program can scare one into submission to doing the right thing.

Easy on the ear song

Al Green’s and Annie Lennox’s Put a Little Love in Your Heart (1988) from the movie Scrooged makes better sense if you have seen the movie, but it is still pleasantly lightly textured and ambient. In the movie, the key character comes around to being generous after being greedy. As a standalone song, you may think that the song’s preaching at you. Happy song, though, which is well worth it: a song about loving your neighbor as yourself and the smooth, easy on the ear delivery is cheerfully good.

A little reading and reflection

What I’m reading. After reading and reflecting on the book of Job I went back to the start of the Bible with Genesis, with the intention of noting facts of the scripture rather than reading primarily for themes. Thematic analysis is what I had been doing, but I wasn’t sure if I was being true to the text by seeing themes that may or may not be there, for what was the purpose of writing devotionals.

I’ve also finished Star Wars, the original novelization of the film. This year it’s been re-published in a trilogy of books. This trilogy is the original Star Wars trilogy, from A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, to Return of the Jedi. I was surprised how they condensed two hours that seems longish into a shortish book. I expected longer, but that’s how this film-tie in went.

Then and now

Most times watching movies it’s about what happens to your soul and mind and even body and spirit in the process of watching something. Personally, I have my virtues, but also my experience in watching movies. The virtues last. The experience fades, but experience was what defined the film for two hours–then. The effect of the movie can be the final judgment on the film despite the experience occurring years ago. One can view the movie through the lens of the past experience of it. For me, virtues may inform experiences. A few movies tend to linger or last in the memory that gives them the mantle of favourites.


Remixed review

Following on from my summary of Jack the Giant Slayer, here’s my official review:


A rather underrated film is the medieval Jack the Giant Slayer (2013), but it delivers a wonderful fantasy experience.

It wasn’t that well received by the reviewers when it was released to theatres, but those in the public who saw it liked it more.

It is about commoner Jack (Nicholas Hoult) saving princess Isabelle (Eleanor Wilkinson) from giants, but he must climb a beanstalk to the land of giants and face all kinds of perils on the way.

This traditional fantasy action story, based on the famous fairy tales Jack and the Beanstalk and Jack the Giant Killer, is well crafted. You’re made to follow this fantasy story closely but from a safe distance, which is a comfortable distance.

You don’t know what is going to happen to whom in scenes of peril.

It’s got recognisable actors in good and villainous roles. Ewan McGregor as the King’s commander and Stanley Tucci as the treacherous Lord Roderick fight it out, whoever is going to win I didn’t know.

A viewer does want their visual effects realistic or believable and this movie delivers that expectation in spades. The world of giants and humans merge seamlessly as if real and the motley giant’s, warts and all, convince me.

Jack must prove his worth when saving the princess and kingdom from the brutal giants. It’s also about chivalry and decency. This film brings back memories of Krull and The Never Ending Story, good old fashioned fantasy that is well done.

My response: Better one. Experience positive, virtue positive.

Rated PG-13 for intense scenes of fantasy action violence, some frightening images and brief language

No worries

The infectious song Don’t Worry, Be Happy by Bobby McFerrin divided people I knew. It caused a problem because worry is what these people do. So it may be this song is liked if you have no worries. But the song is so good people were in denial. On one hand it’s a catchy song, on the other, you may agree with it or not. People would have liked to like it because in the end no one wants to have worries.

The James Bond myth

The James Bond movies are based on the Ian Fleming spy novels, novels reportedly based on his experiences. The first Bond film arrived in theaters in 1962, with Dr. No.

The stories, if based on experiences, might be hyped up in the movie versions.

There’s one Bond film playing tonight that has a story that made me think twice. Of course there’s a point to a media mogul wanting to take over the media—this point is media monopolization—but getting your head around a megalomaniac media tycoon doesn’t ring true.

However, if you want to discuss the problems of a media company taking up too much market space, just leave any misappropriation to the authorities who know what to do.

Then there are the nuclear plots and snazzy sounding premises that are basically fantasies.

So we can’t trust a Bond story to ring true. If this is the case in a Bond film, it may really depend on the actors rather than the story and the action.

In terms of actors, the perennial and rather silly question is what Bond actor do you like? Sean Connery, Roger Moore, George Lazenby, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan, or Daniel Craig? What about the Bond girls? What about the villains?

Some critics may praise the villains out of a sheer base instinct especially if the story is lacking, but then give the film three stars instead of two. Yet a Bond film should be about how well it’s done and if it engages on its own terms. Bond films are really unbelievable anyhow, so they’re redundant from the outset, Skyfall the only exception.

Like Bond is having too much fun with Bond girls with very little effort put into him redeeming his ways. There are the why’s of what makes Bond James Bond, but it ends in the arms of a woman rather than a serious treatment.

But we never did believe in the mythology of James Bond.