Well, it's been a busy weekend, and it's not even over yet. Friday evening, one of my sisters called to say that she was having a movie night if I wanted to come over. Naturally I did, and so a bunch of us watched Signs, one of M. Night Shyamalan's movies from the time before his career completely derailed. I hadn't seen it in at least ten years, but it really is quite good and, unlike his Sixth Sense, which is essentially a one-trick pony, will stand up to multiple viewings. For me, the stand out performance in this film is given by Joaquin Phoenix as the failed minor league ball player and younger brother, Merrill. He steals virtually every scene that he's in, despite acting with both children and animals.
Yesterday afternoon, my Great Uncle Al had his 100th birthday party. Some of you may remember me mentioning him before, in my post about the Halifax Explosion of 1917, when little Albert, a year-and-a-half old at the time, had a narrow escape from flying glass. Well, here it is, a century later and he's still going strong. He's clear minded and relatively healthy, and until a couple of years ago, lived independently in his own house. Uncle Al sang in a barbershop choir for many years, only giving it up in his nineties when his hearing went. In a nice touch, a group from his former choir came by and sang at the party. Singing, chatting with family and friends, eating cake... Uncle Al enjoyed it all immensely- especially the cake; I suspect his daughter keeps him on a fairly restricted diet these days. He was obviously relishing having an excuse to fill up on all sorts of unhealthy goodies, as were his great grandchildren. It's such a blessing to still have him with us. Just as an interesting bit of trivia, one of the movies which was released in July 1916 was a silent film version of Davy Crockett, starring Dustin Farnum and Winifred Kingston:
Last night we took my Dad out to dinner, as his birthday had been on Wednesday, and then came back to my place for cake and ice cream and a movie. Since the birthday boy gets to pick the movie, Dad looked over my shelves and chose I Am David. I hadn't actually watched it before myself, having bought it at a used DVD sale just because I knew some of my sisters had read the book it was based on in junior high and loved it. It was actually not bad; it obviously didn't have a large budget, and I thought the middle part lagged a bit, but it was a decent film. I thought that revealing David's history in flashbacks was done effectively, and several scenes, especially in the beginning and near the end, were emotionally affecting. In short, the film held my interest enough to make me want to read the book, as I think some things about it might work better in literary form than on screen. Guess I'll be adding that to my reading list.