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Lance Mannion
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First posited Friday, December 19, 2014. Proved Saturday night, January 18, 2020. A marriage and a revolutionary theory of time begin together in a discussion between Jane Wilde (Felicity Jones) and Stephen Hawking (Eddie Redmayne) about the phosphorescents in a brand of laundry detergent in the real-life love story The Theory of Everything. [Picking up my series of reposts of my reviews of my favorite movies of the 2010s with my review of one of my very favorite favorites, 2014's "The Theory of Everything".] Serious spoiler warning: If you’re even broadly familiar with the life and work of Stephen Hawking... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Lance Mannion
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Posted Saturday morning, January 18, 2020. “The End of Dinner” by Jules-Alexandre Grün. 1913. Via Wikipedia. He was a queer creature and he had had a singular career. At the age of twenty-one he had inherited a considerable fortune, a hundred thousand pounds, and when he left Oxford he threw himself into the gay life, which in those days (now Mr Warburton was a man of four-and-fifty) offered itself to the young man of good family. He had his flat in Mount Street, his private hansom, and his hunting-box in Warwickshire. He went to all the places where the fashionable... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Lance Mannion
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Posted Friday morning, January 17, 2019. Deer at work: Mannionville Ranch, Wednesday morning around eight, January 15, 2020. These two pumpkins had been steadfastly standing guard on either side of our front door since before Halloween. They stayed at their posts through Thanksgiving and I’m sure they’d have gladly maintained vigilance through Christmas, if traditions didn’t dictate against them. But once the wreath was on the door and the tree was in the window, they looked forlorn and out of place, so I moved them into the bushes on the side of the house where I expected the deer who... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Lance Mannion
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Posted Wednesday night, January 15, 2020. “The Lobby of the House of Commons” Satirical cartoon by Liborio Prosperi, Vanity Fair Christmas issue 1886. National Portrait Gallery, London. When we last left our hero Phineas Finn, he had made up his mind to return to politics. He’s decided to run for the seat in the House of Commons representing the village of Tankerville. As a good Liberal he’s obligated to make the disestablishment of the Church of England his issue, something he doesn’t really care about it, as a politician on the make or as a native Irish Roman Catholic. His... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Lance Mannion
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Looped into the original timeline, Thursday, October 18, 2012. Looped back again Monday night, January 13, 2020. Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a young Bruce Willis and Bruce Willis as an older Joseph Gordon-Levitt share the leading role of Joe, a hitman in the future who kills hitmen from the future’s future, in Rian Johnson’s 2012 sci-fi film noir, “Looper”. [I warned you this morning my next post would be about politics, but something important came up. The nominations for the Oscars were announced, and Rian Johnson, the director and writer of “Looper” has been nominated for Best Original Screenplay for “Knives... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Lance Mannion
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Posted Monday morning, January 13, 2013. Good morning, campers! Hope you’re all well and in as good cheer as I am, at least for the moment. I just checked my email and did myself the favor of immediately deleting about twelve fundraising emails from sundry politicians running for various offices up and down the ticket without opening them, along with “newsletters” from several major media platforms who think their readers want to start the day outraged and in panic that you know who is still president and still acting like himself. Didn’t open any of those either. You’ve likely noticed... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Lance Mannion
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Originally produced Sunday, December 16, 2012. Re-staged Saturday night, January 11, 2020. Anna (Kiera Knightley) makes her entrance as the tragic heroine of Joe Wright’s 2012 adaptation of Tolstoy’s novel, “Anna Karenina”. [My series of re-posts of my reviews of my favorite movies of the 2010’s continues with my review of one of my very favorites. This one haunts my imagination and breaks my heart whenever I think of it] The characters in Joe Wright’s Anna Karenina, starring Keira Knightley as the doomed-by-love heroine of Tolstoy’s novel, live on the sets of the operettas and melodramas they see in the... Continue reading
Posted Jan 11, 2020 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Saturday morning, January 11, 2020. “A tour boat offers passengers a close-up look at California sea lions on the docks at Pier 39. After teetering on extinction, the species has made one of the most impressive recoveries of all marine mammals. (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)” This story from the L.A. Times starts off with what sounds to me like an anti-sea lion bias. “Blubber boys?” “Cordwood on docks”? “‘Shoot ‘em?’”.. SAN FRANCISCO — Sea lions are increasingly living in parallel universes along the California coast, a disparity best observed amid the noisy, stinking spectacle that rolls out... Continue reading
Posted Jan 11, 2020 at Lance Mannion
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Lifted from the case files, May, 2016. Re-investigated Thursday night, January 9, 2020. Dead environmentalists don’t talk: Reluctant detective partners Jackson Healy (Russell Crowe, left) and Holland March (Ryan Gosling, center) find their investigation of a murder stymied by a group of protesters’ commitment to their roles in a die-in in 2016’s “The Nice Guys”, a comic murder mystery set in Los Angeles in 1977 that looks more like Los Angeles in 1977 than Los Angeles did in 1977. [The hits keep coming: The fourth installment in my series of reviews of my favorite movies of the 2010s: 2016's "The... Continue reading
Posted Jan 9, 2020 at Lance Mannion
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Originally entered the ring, February 27, 2011. Comeback Wednesday night, January 8, 2020. In and out of each other’s corners: Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale as the real life brothers, the boxer Micky Ward and his once and future trainer Dicky Eklund in David O. Russell’s 2011 Best Picture nominee "The Fighter". [Here's the fourth entry in my series of reblogged reviews of my favorite movies of the 2010s.] Christian Bale is so frightening to look at it ”The Fighter” that I began to look forward to scenes of Mark Wahlberg getting his face beaten bloody in the boxing ring... Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2020 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Tuesday night, January 7, 2020. Detail from “Joe Chamberlain; Arthur James Balfour, 1st Earl of Balfour” by Sydney Prior Hall, circa 1895. Courtesy National Portrait Gallery, London, via Wikimedia Commons. More political fiction from Anthony Trollope that isn't fiction. Alfred Balfour was a conservative MP who served as Britain’s Prime Minister from 1902-1905. Joe Chamberlain, Neville Chamberlain’s father, was a liberal reformer who often made common cause with conservatives against the Liberals in parliament, eventually even joining the Conservative Party. He was the kind of “neither flesh nor fowl” politician that disgusted the young and idealistic Phineas Finn’s fiercely... Continue reading
Posted Jan 7, 2020 at Lance Mannion
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Originally listed in the church calendar, Sunday, November 30, 2014. Reposted in the church bulletin Monday night, January 6, 2020. There but for the grace of God: Bill Murray as Bill Murray might have been in Theodore Malfi’s very Catholic comedy of forgiveness, St. Vincent. Bill Murray’s a wreck. He’s playing a wreck, he should look like one. But in "St. Vincent" he doesn’t just look like one. He’s become one. This one. Vin McKenna. Heavy drinker. Heavy smoker. Sixty-something victim of a lifetime of bad habits. Murray looks like the wreck you’d expect a guy like that to look... Continue reading
Posted Jan 6, 2020 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Monday morning, January 6, 2020. “I am angry nearly every day of my life.”: Laura Dern as Marmee in “Little Women”. Shivering, dripping, and crying, they got Amy home; and, after 99an exciting time of it, she fell asleep, rolled in blankets, before a hot fire. During the bustle Jo had scarcely spoken; but flown about, looking pale and wild, with her things half off, her dress torn, and her hands cut and bruised by ice and rails, and refractory buckles. When Amy was comfortably asleep, the house quiet, and Mrs. March sitting by the bed, she called Jo... Continue reading
Posted Jan 6, 2020 at Lance Mannion
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Launched from the archives, February 2017. Returned from orbit Sunday morning, January 5, 2020. “The Girl” at work: Members of NASA's Space Task Force, led by Al Harrison (Kevin Costner, in glasses, standing center) and head mathematician Paul Stafford (Jim Parsons, in shirtsleeves, seated just to the left of Costner) look on as mathematician Katherine G. Johnson (Taraji P. Henson, right) prepares to tackle a problem no one else in the room knows how to even begin to solve in a scene from the 2017 Academy Award for Best Picture nominee "Hidden Figures". [Here's the second installment of my series... Continue reading
Posted Jan 5, 2020 at Lance Mannion
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Looted from the archives, August 20, 2014. Posted Saturday morning, January 4, 2020. “The biggest idiots in the galaxy” setting out to save the day, led by legendary outlaw---a legend in his own mind, at least---Peter Quill (Chris Pratt, center), with (from left) warrior and assassin Gamora (Zoe Saldana); bounty hunter, weapons expert, and genetic experiment gone awry Rocket Raccoon (voiced by Bradley Cooper); sidekick, muscle, and walking houseplant Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel); and the vengeance-obsessed and verbal literalist rage-aholic Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista) in the most sentimental and at the same time funniest Marvel movie yet and... Continue reading
Posted Jan 4, 2020 at Lance Mannion
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Originally manifested Friday, January 9, 2009. Resurrected Thursday night, January 2, 2020. Gabriel Macht as the title character in “The Spirit”, Frank Miller’s colorless and grim take on Will Eisner’s colorful and light-hearted comic book. Ken and Oliver Mannion like to hold what they call Joke-athons in which they eat pizza, watch a bad movie, and crack themselves up commenting sarcastically, satirically, snarkily, and critically on its badness. They held one tonight. Their target was Frank Miller’s misguided attempt in 2008 at an homage to his artistic hero Will Eisner’s dead-and-loving-it detective, the Spirit. I was in the next room,... Continue reading
Posted Jan 2, 2020 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Thursday morning, January 2, 2020. Then 12 year old Kirstin Dunst stealing the show as Amy in Gillian Armstrong's 1994 film version of “Little Women”, which I now want to see almost as much as I want to see Greta Gerwig's new one. The March girls getting ready to surprise Marmee with presents on Christmas morning, with Amy as the plucky comic relief to the scene’s sentimentality: "There's mother. Hide the basket, quick!" cried Jo, as a door slammed, and steps sounded in the hall. Amy came in hastily, and looked rather abashed when she saw her sisters all... Continue reading
Posted Jan 2, 2020 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Wednesday night, January 1, 2020. Marmee (Susan Sarandon) reads Father’s letter home from the battlefront to her girls, Jo (Winona Ryder), Amy (Kirstin Dunst), Meg (Trini Alvarado), and Beth (Claire Danes) in Gillian Armstong’s 1994 film adaptation of “Little Women”: “They all drew to the fire, mother in the big chair with Beth at her feet, Meg and Amy perched on either arm of the chair, and Jo leaning on the back, where no one would see any sign of emotion if the letter should happen to be touching.” Doing my homework preparing to see “Little Women” this weekend,... Continue reading
Posted Jan 1, 2020 at Lance Mannion
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Posted New Year’s Eve, Tuesday, December 31, 2019. New Year’s Greetings from one of our mates in Australia, where it’s been 2020 for almost 24 hours already. Sydney, midnight, January 1, 2020. Copyright Arvind Says. Continue reading
Posted Dec 31, 2019 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Tuesday morning, December 31, 2019. Detail from “The Quiet Valley” by Guy Wiggins. 1922. Courtesy of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. It’s not snowing here this morning, Kind of a nice day, in fact. Not sunny but still pleasant. I just happened to re-read this old favorite by Longfellow and it fit my mood, so I thought it would make a good morning song to begin a December day... Out of the bosom of the Air, Out of the cloud-folds of her garments shaken, Over the woodlands brown and bare, Over the harvest-fields forsaken, Silent, and soft, and slow... Continue reading
Posted Dec 31, 2019 at Lance Mannion
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Mined from the notebooks, Sunday morning, December 8, 2019. Posted Sunday morning, December 29, 2019. Flannery O'Connor, short story writer and novelist, and Catholic intellectual, on the front steps of her home in Midgeville, Georgia, in 1959. Photo by Floyd Jillson of the Atlanta Journal Consitution, via AP, via the New York Times. Sunday: 8 a.m. 7 degrees! Correction: 9 degrees. Much better. Productive day so far. 1 mug of hot chocolate, 2 cups of coffee downed. 1 bowl of oatmeal, raisins and spice. 2 stories about last night’s Knicks game read. Knicks lost a heartbreaker to the Pacers, 104-103.... Continue reading
Posted Dec 29, 2019 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Friday morning, December 27, 2019. Detail from “A Woman of Ambition” by James Tissot, circa 1883-1885. Via Wikimedia Commons. "A woman situated as was Mrs. Dobbs Broughton cannot altogether ignore these terrible rules..." "I am very glad to have the opportunity of shaking hands with you," said Crosbie; and then he retired, as it had become his duty to wait with his arm ready for Mrs. Dobbs Broughton. Having married an earl's daughter he was selected for that honour. There was a barrister in the room, and Mrs. Dobbs Broughton ought to have known better. As she professed to... Continue reading
Posted Dec 27, 2019 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Friday morning, December 27, 2019. Peace With Honor: Queen Victoria and Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli discussing the signing of the Berlin Treaty, at Osborne House 1878. Uncredited. © The Forbes Magazine Collection, New York/Bridgeman Art Library, via Victorians: Power and Politics at English Heritage. “Although Victoria was supposed to be politically impartial, she often favoured certain ministers above others, and much preferred the Conservative Disraeli to his Liberal rival and successor, William Gladstone.” Trollope was a Liberal. Daubney is the conservative Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli. Doesn't matter. Human vanity recognizes no party affiliation: Let a man be of what... Continue reading
Posted Dec 27, 2019 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Christmas morning, December 25, 2019. It's Christmas Day! I haven't missed it! The spirits have done it all in one night. They can do anything they like. Of course they can. Continue reading
Posted Dec 25, 2019 at Lance Mannion
Thank you, Matthew! And to you and yours as well, and a Happy New Year!
Toggle Commented Dec 24, 2019 on Hot chocolate, well-deserved at Lance Mannion