moviegeekjn's Blog


Although it's now common to see TV journalists carrying hand held cameras to follow Presidential candidates along the campaign trail, it wasn't always that way. The nature of the technology has greatly shaped campaign itineraries and strategy over the years. Using television became e… Read full post »


Documentaries have gained favor in recent years, especially at the Sundance Film Festival. Part of this is due to digital technology since filmmakers can construct professional looking projects with far less equipment, making documentaries far easier to construct and finance.

Still m… Read full post »

AUGUST 19, 2012 2:22PM

Marley (movie review)


I'm not sure exactly when I heard my first Bob Marley song, but it was in the 1970s before the Legend album was released. It struck me profoundly. An introduction to reggae--derived from ska, it was positive, uplifting music with an afterbeat--I happily acquired every Bob Marley/… Read full post »

JULY 23, 2012 1:00PM

Favorite Movie Theater Memories


Responding to current events, IndieWire magazine posed the following query to a few movie critics:

The horrific events in Colorado have shaken and disturbed all of us. People are already asking whether we need to cancel screenings or ban midnight movies, so it feels like anRead full post »

  quartz path

Dad was a quartz man.

A chemist by profession, he applied scientific research methods to nearly every situation: find the facts, make comparisons, and evaluate the data before taking action. 

Conservative by nature, he never wanted to spend more money than necessary. And Mom bac… Read full post »

Jiro Dreams of Sushi 

David Gelb's Jiro Dreams of Sushi illustrates the best attributes of documentary filmmaking--it paints a vivid portrait of a remarkable character and reveals a world otherwise unavailable to us. The subject is one of Japan's national treasures, considered the world's greatest sushi c/… Read full post »

APRIL 26, 2012 1:54PM

Bully (movie review)


Invariably I opt to check out documentary features at film festivals . The reason is simple. Although some of the most creative work comes from independent filmmakers, festival fare is always a mixed bag--a few gems scattered among a lot of really mediocre work. Life is far… Read full post »

APRIL 15, 2012 4:30PM



Having seen Hotel Rwanda a few times, I was a bit more aware of Rwanda and the horrific genocide that took place in 1994 than most Americans. After all, this story rated little more than a brief blip of media coverage in the states at the time./… Read full post »

MARCH 18, 2012 3:35PM

Seeing Colombia

Corcora valley
Colombia does not rank high on tourist destinations for Americans. Many fear the violence that once marked Colombia among the most dangerous in the world, and it still has a reputation for nefarious drug cartel activity and terrorism. In fact, the U.S. State Department still lists tr… Read full post »
MARCH 15, 2012 4:55PM

In the footsteps of Pablo Escobar

Wanted Poster
 A typical sunny September Phoenix afternoon. As usual my radio was tuned to 91.5 FM as navigated the freeway home from my Tempe workplace. But the story set off instant alarms!
They were interviewing someone from Colombia about one of the weirdest tours I'd ever… Read full post »
FEBRUARY 8, 2012 11:00AM

Off to Colombia



Travel ranks very high among my passions. I get cabin fever if I have  to remain in the U.S. too long... and I prefer venturing to locations less traveled (and in the off-season when possible).

Very high on my list is a joint tour of Jordan and Syria,… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 6, 2012 1:27PM

Dreams of my Mother

Princess Eliz 

With my Daewoo radio tuned habitually to NPR, the brief blurb about today marking the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth's reign sent my mind wandering as I emerged for my morning mountain hike.

So Elizabeth wasn't quite Queen when I was born... the stuttering monarch portrayed in… Read full post »

JANUARY 8, 2012 3:39PM

Connections with the Other Side

  kidney stone

Prompted by my sister's eloquent blog about "This Thing Called Dying," I have a few thoughts on connections with the "other side." Of course, thoughts about death seem to creep into consciousness I officially qualified for senior citizen discounts at the local Harkins Movie Theaters--a/… Read full post »

JANUARY 6, 2012 7:09PM

Galapagos Images

The Galapagos Islands have long ranked high on my bucket list. A once in a lifetime visit considering my budget (it's pretty costly) and the fact that there are so many other places I long to experience. If you're planning a Galapagos journey, the two main options… Read full post »
JANUARY 4, 2012 10:38PM

Feliz Año Nuevo

Watching the ball drop in Times Square seemed to be the ultimate way to celebrate New Year's Eve--at least that's the way it's been promoted for generations in the U.S. I checked that off my bucket list at the end of 2005.

To my horror, I discovered that this iconic… Read full post »

DECEMBER 23, 2011 5:15PM

When I'm 64 -- A Pre-existing Condition


 117 over 70. Heart rate of 48. All vitals in normal range at my last annual wellness exam. In fact, these readings are desirable for athletes in their twenties. I'm just three months shy of reaching the age noted in the Lennon-McCartney song, and in far better… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
DECEMBER 7, 2011 2:05PM

Back from Burma (or is that Myanmar)

Sule Pagoda 

I hadn't planned on being Hillary's "advance man" when I booked my trip to Burma over six months ago ... but that's the way it turned out (in a sense). For those puzzled over whether to call this most traditional (less developed) South-East Asia country, Burma is… Read full post »

DECEMBER 6, 2011 9:02AM

Moving on Online

I just left

Not an easy thing to do technically since there IS no direct link for doing so. Plenty of sign in places and renewal links, but no where do they advertise an "abandon site" location.

I had to click through a number of links and read further instructions… Read full post »

AUGUST 18, 2011 6:18AM

Sitting on Retirement

 Just composed a rough draft--ranks among the toughest I've ever had to compose. That's not due to my own lack of knowledge--a situation I've often had to face in my current job where occasionally I'm called on to fake being a subject matter expert in technical areas when the company doesn't… Read full post »

JULY 17, 2011 12:51PM

Random Future Travel Musings

  running of the bulls

Morning mountain hikes provide private time for meditation, prayers, and random reflections. This morning a few minutes were devoted to preliminary plans for future travel...

 I suspect one thing that sparked this was a brief NPR story reporting that no one got gored at this year'… Read full post »

MAY 11, 2011 4:29PM



It's often mused that some writers have just one novel lodged within; the same goes for many filmmakers. Margot Benacerra, for example, finished making films after crafting her second...her documentary Araya is so astonishingly beautiful and tightly constructed, it would be virtually impossi/… Read full post »

MAY 10, 2011 1:27PM

Following Up My Father's Dreams

pikes peak

Men rarely speak of their dreams--I'm not talking about the surreal ones experienced at night that are routinely forgotten upon waking... but "goal" like long range ones. To do so can be too revealing or set you up for failure.

My dad was among those men. Like the men… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MAY 9, 2011 9:02PM

Cave of Forgotten Dreams

I frequently feel like an alien in the U.S.--that I should have grown up in Paris with its political, cinematic, and artistic temperament. The art house cinemas serve as a refuge and I absolutely love the art museums. Everyone raves about the Louvre, but Paris serves as a base for many… Read full post »

MAY 2, 2011 3:53PM

Guatemala Reflections


Guatemala was not even remotely on my immediate bucket list of places to visit until a traveling friend mentioned that she had seen a special Gap Adventures tour for spending Semana Santa there in 2011. After Googling "Semanta Santa" and "Guatemala," I began to realize just how special indig… Read full post »

APRIL 28, 2011 3:36PM

My Travel Map


Experimenting with the HTML code that Trip Advisor generated to share my travel map/favorite cities. Don't know how this will work until I try. I generally trust Trip Advisor for a great deal of travel advice since most of it is generated by actual travelers and not the hotels/restaurants them… Read full post »