Tag Archives: Dead Poets Society

A movie post: “Rocketman” provides great music, and a so-so story. 30 years on, remembering the great “Dead Poets Society.” And a father’s day PSA honors Dads of all kinds

Here are some things I can tell you after a rare trip to the cinemas Friday night, to see the new Elton John biopic, “Rocketman.”

— There are a whole lot of Elton John songs in this movie (although disappointingly, we didn’t get “Candle in the Wind”), and they’re all sung excellently and with fantastic stage presence by Taron Egerton. Egerton is so freaking good he almost redeems the movie’s flaws by himself.

— This is a sanitized version of John’s story; I mean, yeah, we see him treating people badly, and we see the drugs and the drinking that takes place after he shoots to fame, but it’s really pretty tame stuff compared to most rock biopics. Alas, Sir Elton was an executive producer on the film, so that explains why it was rather tame.

— Did I like the movie? The music scenes were excellent, Egerton was, as I said, superb in channeling the look and sound of Elton John, and visually there were some incredible set pieces.
But the story was really, really slow-moving; we didn’t need a half-hour of Elton John’s childhood. There were lots of unexplored avenues in the film, a lot of the plot was simplistic in regards to John’s parents, and the movie abruptly ends telling John’s story in around 1989. Lots of interesting stuff has happened to him since then, including his incredible AIDS charity work, his musical evolution without working with Taupin, etc. I would’ve liked to see a lot more of the last 30 years, and less of his first 30.

I’d give the movie 2.5 stars, because when all is said and done, I did have a fun time watching it.

— If you believe this movie’s chronology, about 95 percent of the classic Bernie Taupin-Elton John songs they wrote together were penned in the first year they knew each other. Seriously, SO many hits were played/sung in the first months of their collaboration that you’re left thinking “Man, these guys started out hot, then didn’t write another great song for like 10 years.

— Finally, this has nothing to do with “Rocketman” but I just need to share:

The guy working the snacks counter told me, authoritatively, that not only are there people who purchase the giant horsebucket-sized container of popcorn for $9.50, but often bring it back for the promised free refill, while the film they’re seeing is still going on.

Who are these people that need THIS much popcorn? How can they eat this much popcorn? Even if they’re sharing it with, like 6 or 7 people, that’s still a ridiculous amount of popcorn?
Sorry, this stayed with me for a few hours after the movie.

**Next up today, in the same “movies” vein, The Ringer.com and Bill Simmons had an excellent podcast the other day about the classic “Dead Poets Society” which turns 30 years old this year.

I have always loved, loved, LOVED “DPS,” because I’m a writer and an English major nerd and because it’s just such a beautiful film, acted so well by Robin Williams, Robert Sean Leonard, Ethan Hawke, and a young Josh Charles.

Anyway, they of course talked about the final scene, which for my money is the best last scene of a movie, ever.

Enjoy. And seize the day!

**And finally today, Sunday was Father’s Day, and I hope if you’re a Dad you had a great one, and if you’re lucky enough to have your own father still around, you called him or hugged him or maybe did both (I saw mine and we had a lovely day).
Before I go on, had to share these two fantastic Dad jokes I took from NPR’s Twitter thread Sunday, when they happily unveiled a flurry of Dad jokes for our groans and amusement. These two legit had me laughing out loud:

1.My wife is really mad at the fact that I have no sense of direction. So I packed up my stuff and right.

2. Guy walks up to a librarian and says…”Can you tell me where I can find the books on paranoia?” The librarian (whispers) “They’re right behind you.”

OK, moving on, thanks to my Facebook memory feature Sunday I saw this incredible PSA from 2013 that I ran on the blog here in honor of Father’s Day, and it was so good and moved me, again, on Sunday that I wanted to run it again here.

Just beautifully put together by the folks at Family Today; the Dad’s face at the :55 mark is all of us…

Mark Kelly is doing the right thing. “Dead Poets Society” and my favorite last scene. And my favorite Super Bowl ad ever

Mark Kelly is the husband of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, the woman who miraculously survived a gunshot to the head last month in Arizona.
Kelly has been by his wife’s side ever since as she’s recovered, as any good husband would (Pearlman and I were discussing this Friday night, how the media is making such a huge deal that he’s been by her side the whole time. Where the hell should he be? He’s her husband!).
Kelly is an astronaut, and quite an accomplished one. His announcement Friday that he would be keeping his commitment to NASA, and commanding the space shuttle Endeavor on its two week-mission into space in April, at first struck me as wrong.
Shouldn’t he stay inches away from his wife at all times, as she recovers? Isn’t that what he’s supposed to do, especially given the tragedy that she just endured?
But then I thought more about it, and now I couldn’t be more supportive of Kelly. If Giffords’ near-death experience taught Kelly anything, it showed him how precious life is, and how instantly it could all be over.
In one second, we could all have our existence snuffed out.
So with that being the case, and Giffords making remarkable progress, why shouldn’t Kelly go into outer space, likely for the last time? He doesn’t know if he’ll ever get this chance again; he could be hit by a bus tomorrow.
Mark Kelly is seizing the day, and living every moment and taking every opportunity like it could be his last.
Good for you, Mark Kelly. And have a safe flight.

**Thinking of Mark Kelly and the “seize the day” moments in all of our lives made me think of one of my favorite movies of all time, “Dead Poets Society.” And my favorite last scene of a movie ever, this classic from Dead Poets. I get chills every time I watch it. So good.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s8UL_9R_W-Y#t=3m25s.

And another classic scene from the movie here.

**So of course Sunday is the Super Bowl, and like most people I get just as interested in the new commercials as the actual game (I think the game will be terrific this year, though; Packers 23, Steelers 17 is the official Wide World of Stuff prediction).
Someone, I think MSN.com, this week ran some clips of the best Super Bowl ads ever. And happily, my favorite made the list. I once again present to you Terry Tate, Office Linebacker: