29 August 2008

Stairway to Heaven (AKA The Haiku Stairs)

Today I went on one of the most difficult and amazing hikes of my life. The Stairway to Heaven hike is on the Windward side of Oahu. It is called the Stairway to Heaven for 2 reasons: 1 - It is over 3000 steps bolted into the side of a cliff - at times the incline is so steep it's like climbing a ladder, 2 - The mountain peak is often shrouded in clouds. This hike was murder on my legs. I don't expect to be able to walk much tomorrow. It was essentially 90 minutes of walking up stairs at about a 70 deg angle. Also, the view from the top is heavenly indeed. When any of you visit and would like to do this amazing hike, please tell me and we'll make it happen. I hope you enjoy my slideshow above and the dulcet tones of Big Iz singing what I consider Hawaii's state song. Notice the picture with the circular rainbow. That was awesome.

23 August 2008

Sabrina Fair

Sabrina was Audrey Hepburn's second major American film and one of my favorites. Great story, great cast (Bogie and Holden) and great Audrey. So let's get to it.

Sabrina is the daughter of a chauffeur for the wealthy Larrabee family who lives on Long Island. All her life Sabrina has watched the elegant parties hosted by the Larrabee's and always dreamed of being a part of that life. Furthermore she has always been in love with David Larrabee (William Holden), the youngest of the Larrabee sons. Sabrina goes off to Paris to a famous cooking school. There she gains confidence and a new sense of style and fashion.  In the meantime, David Larrabee has become engaged to the daughter of a businessman whom Linus Larrabee (Humphrey Bogart) hopes to make a major business deal with. When Sabrina returns to Long Island she is so transformed that David initially doesn't recognize her. He is immediately taken with her and it is clear that she has not forgotten him either. David invites her to one of the famous Larrabee parties. His in-laws-to-be freak out when they see David dancing with the beautiful and elegant Sabrina. Linus, in order to save the business deal, sets off to woo Sabrina himself, with the idea that he will trick her to return to Paris. It backfires when he falls in love with Sabrina too. David realizes that this is another one of his infatuations and sees that David really loves her. In the end the right guy ends up with the right girl.

Wow long plot summary. I'll have to work on that. Anyway, this is a great Audrey movie. She is very young in this film and so it's not her most polished acting but she can't help but shine. What I love about this version vs the Harrison Ford remake (which I also enjoy) is that Sabrina comes back from Paris truly changed and supremely confident of herself. In the remake Sabrina is wiser and prettier but still so insecure. It just feels like all Julia Ormond did in Paris is cut her hair (which she says at the end of the film). 

Also, gotta love the supporting cast. Bogie's acting feels a bit stiff at times and he is painfully older than Audrey, but a strained acting job by Bogie is better than most other actors' best. Also, never really like Holden (although he's great in Born Yesterday), so it works in this film that he's the guy you don't root for. Oddly enough, Holden and Hepburn struck up a real life romance during this film. Go figure.

So I enjoy this film. Not enjoyed because Val and I continue to watch it every now and then. Speaking of which Val's choice (she picked Sabrina) for the September category is: Movies adapted from Television series. Valerie has chosen Mission: Impossible and I am putting forth The Fugitive. So let me know what you thought of Sabrina and give me a movie for September.

*Note: Whoever picks the winning movie for September will choose the movie category for November. I'm sorry but I reserve the right to pick the category for my favorite month (October) of the year.