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My friend and colleague Kevin “BDK” McCarthy is going old school, working his way through the American Film Institute’s list of the top 100 American films and blogging his reaction to each one. It is a lot of fun to see his reaction to the classics.
And thanks to Kevin for having me on his new radio show!

Please take time to gather your family to watch The Way We Get By in observance of Veteran’s Day, showing tonight on PBS. This is a documentary about the troop greeters who devote their last years to being there to give a warm hello, a smile, and a thank you to the military as they leave the US to serve abroad or return from their stations.

Beginning as a seemingly idiosyncratic story about troop greeters – a group of senior citizens who gather daily at a small airport to thank American soldiers departing and returning from Iraq, the film quickly turns into a moving, unsettling and compassionate story about aging, loneliness, war and mortality.

This is not about war. It is about honor, meaning, devotion, and thanks.

“Monsters Inc” is one of my favorite Pixar movies. Like “Sesame Street,” it makes monsters silly and fun, teaching children that some things we think are scary are not and that we are stronger and braver than we know.

It’s out on Blu-Ray for the first time this week with some delightful extras:

Roundtable Favorite Scene (Bonus)

On the Job (Film clip described in “Roundtable Favorite Scene”)

Featurette: Tokyo Monstropolois (Bonus)

Look for these hidden goodies in this week’s release of the Pixar movie “Up,” the story of an amazing adventure that begins with a house lifted aloft by balloons. How many can you find?up-pixar.jpg

  • In the sequence where Carl’s house first lifts up, the Luxo Jr. ball can be seen in the girl’s bedroom as the house goes by her window.
  • The Pizza Planet Truck, which first made an appearance in Toy Story, has made a cameo in nearly every Pixar film. In Up, the Pizza Planet truck can be seen at an intersection when Carl’s house flies over the town. The truck makes as second appearance in the Fentons Creamery parking lot at the end of the film.
  • The number A113, which refers to Brad Bird and John Lasseter’s former classroom at CalArts, makes an appearance in every Pixar film. A113 is the courtroom number when Carl makes an appearance to plead his case.
  • Fentons ice cream parlor in the movie is based on the real Fentons Creamery in Oakland, California.
  • The flight number on Carl and Ellie’s tickets to Venezuela is 2319 – the same number as the alert in Monsters, Inc. when George Sanderson has a kid’s sock on his back.
  • When Russell and Carl join Muntz for dinner in his dirigible, Carl is actually served the scallop dish from Ratatouille.
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