All posts filed under: VIDEO

The Apothecary in Fondren

One of my favorite spots to eat in Jackson is at Brent’s Drugs in Fondren. Walk inside, and time has stood still. The restaurant still looks like it would have in the 1950s  or 1960s complete with vintage bar stools and a soda fountain-style ice cream bar. I used to visit there frequently on Sunday mornings, where breakfast is a modest price compared to most eateries, and I was thrilled when they opened a little, speak easy-style bar in back called The Apothecary. Above is a video of my last visit to The Apothecary. Got a comment? E-mail me at endyanna@earthlink.com or Tweet me at @lareecarucker.

Check out these patriotic party ideas

I’m sure many Mississippians are preparing for a July 4 holiday gathering this week with family and friends. With a busy schedule, it may seem impossible to find the time and energy to decorate for your patriotic party, but I’ve collected a number of easy ideas for you that could help make your Independence Day party a fantastic Fourth affair. Check out the video above to see some of the following decorating tips in action. And if you have tips of your own, feel free to share them in the comments section below. Ten simple and inexpensive patriotic party decorating ideas: 1. Hit up the Dollar Tree. Your first stop should be the Dollar Tree or anywhere with an assortment of holiday decorations at a low price. You don’t have to spend a lot if you’re being creative. Part of the fun is seeing what you can come up with on your own without dropping a lot of cash. 2. Blow it up. Red, white and blue balloons are cheap. Fill a few with helium …

Mississippi Style On the Road: A visit to Taylor Grocery

I visited a unique Mississippi eatery last week, and after the experience, I decided that I would create a blog video series called “Mississippi Style On the Road.” Anytime I’m out and about in the state and encounter something interesting, I’ll try to shoot it and share it with you. Above is the first of those videos. At least once a week, I eat a Cracker Barrel. I’m sure most reading this know it’s a chain restaurant decorated with antiques and artifacts that looks like an old country store. But recently I’ve had the pleasure of visiting two “real” old country store restaurants in Mississippi. The first was Gibbs Old Country Store in Learned. Enter this restaurant, and you may have to wait a while to be seated, but once you have been, the food is worth the wait. This weathered shack is filled with antiques, walls of canned goods, a cash register older than most people living today, and black puppy dog who is a regular. He stays in the back away from the …

Want to hear William Faulkner’s Mississippi drawl? Check out this rare 1952 film.

‘Early in his life, William Faulkner had an epiphany: ‘I discovered that my own little postage stamp of native soil was worth writing about, and that I would never live long enough to exhaust it.’” – From openculture.com A website called “Open Culture” published a 1952 film this week shot shortly after Faulkner won the Nobel Prize for literature. Take a look at it to see footage of Oxford and its residents more than 60 years ago with glimpses of the square, the Ole Miss campus, Faulkner’s friends, The Oxford Eagle, and you’ll hear Faulkner’s Southern drawl, something I had never heard before watching it. Click the “Open Culture” link to watch the whole film that is broken into five, three-minute segments. Got a comment? E-mail me at endyanna@earthlink.com or Tweet me at @lareecarucker. Save

Attention all Mississippi gardeners: Check out the Crazy Yard Art video

Deep in the concrete jungles of Ridgeland, right off Old Canton Road in an urban shopping center, is a foliage-filled sanctuary of wild animals so brightly colored that passersby can’t help but turn their heads, startled by giant giraffes, zebras and butterflies. You may hear a monkey squeal, a frog ribbit, birds caw and sheep bleat if your imagination runs as wild as the yard art on display at Freshway Produce. Like other stores in the Jackson metro area, Freshway has become a colorful place where shoppers looking for unique and eye-catching art can purchase something “cra-zazy” that’s guaranteed to make your garden ferocious and fierce while your neighbors’ is tame. Want a flying pig? They got ’em. Need a weird looking metal goat? It’s there. What about a 10-foot giraffe? Check. “We have goats, rabbits, butterflies, giraffes,” said owner Richard Cockrell, adding that giant butterflies and giraffes have been his most popular sellers. The giraffes come in 4-foot, 6-foot and 10-foot sizes. Quirky yard art is so popular these days, it was recently used …

Vintage video – Nicholson, Lange, Turner, Fonda, Irons

A while back, bored with modern movies, I decided to watch some of the more popular films of a few great actors. I started with young Jack Nicholson, who stars in one of my favorites, “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” Heeding the suggestion of a co-worker, I watched “Chinatown” and wasn’t hooked because the plot lacked realism. But what I did find on my young Jack journey was “Five Easy Pieces.” Described as a character study about a promising concert pianist who leaves to work on a California oil rig, Nicholson returns home to “confront the cultured and dysfunctional family he left behind” after learning his father is ill. What struck me most about this film, aside from Nicholson’s charisma, is it’s one of those rare films written for the thinker that relies on the viewer’s intelligence to psychoanalyze the characters. It’s an emotional piece about clashing cultures and the way people perceive themselves that I found stunning. That led me to “The Postman Always Rings Twice,” a Nicholson/Jessica Lange movie with an interesting …

Take a Brake and watch a thriller

Once again, I thought I’d update you on some of the thrillers I’ve seen lately that are worth recommending. Here’s the list: Take Shelter – What would you do if you started hearing frightening noises and dreaming of impending doom? After a series of nightmares about a terrible storm, Oscar nominee Michael Shannon (Revolutionary Road) prepares by expanding the tornado shelter in his back yard. If you’re hit by tornadoes as often as we are in Mississippi, having a good tornado shelter doesn’t seem like a bad idea. But when family and friends notice a change in the lead character’s behavior, they begin to suspect he may be losing his mind. The film also stars Jessica Chastain, the ditzy scene stealer in The Help who was nominated for best supporting actress. Take Shelter reminded me a little of Melancholia, another movie about impending doom with a lead character whose extra sensory perceptions about the world cause them to fall into a chasm of depression and anxiety. They are both beautiful, sad poems of destruction. And …

Turkey Day thriller menu

It’s been a while since I’ve written a column about some of the better horror/thrillers I’ve seen in the past year. I meant to get that out by Halloween, but maybe you can watch one on Turkey Day instead. Since I recently got an iPad and have been watching more movies via Netflix, I thought now would be a good time to add to that list. The Perfect Host (2010) – I gave this movie a shot because David Hyde Pierce, of Frazier fame, is a solid actor. I found a quirky, comedic thriller about a career criminal on a mission to help his ailing girlfriend who finds himself in a tricky situation when he discovers that his victim is psychologically deranged The Ward (2011) – Wes Craven, the man behind Freddy Kruger, tells a story that unfolds with a surprising conclusion. In it, we meet a girl who has just burned down an old farm house and is carted off to a mental ward where strange things are happening to the other girls who …

Black Swan and The Red Shoes

It’s Oscar night, and we’ll soon see if Black Swan wins the award for Best Picture. After reading several Black Swan reviews that referenced The Red Shoes (1948), I decided to watch the vintage film and compare the two that bear striking similarities, including creative visuals. The Red Shoes stars Moira Shearer as Vicky Page, a beautiful redhead that is selected as the featured dancer in a new ballet called The Red Shoes that is based on a Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale about a pair of mystical ballet slippers. Vicky falls in love with and later marries the young composer, Julian Craster (Marius Goring), who has been charged with writing the score for the ballet. The central character is master manipulating ballet director, Boris Lermontov (Anton Walbrook). In an attempt to regain control of his ballerina, he forces her to choose between two great loves – her husband or dance. Vicky must decide between having a career or being an obedient wife. Her decision to dance, something she earlier equates with life, appears to …

Thriller Night?

As a lifelong fan of the thriller/horror genre, I am always on the lookout for new films that offer surprises. If you are too, here are a few I’ve seen over the past year or so that you might find interesting. Otis (2008) – Let me preface this description by saying this is a dark comedy. After a teenage cheerleader is captured and tortured by a psychopath named Otis, she escapes and tells her parents about the ordeal, and they vengefully decide to take matters into their own hands. Illeana Douglas was a perfect choice for the mom, and many will remember star Ashley Johnson, now grown, as the kid (Chrissy) inserted into Growing Pains to boost ratings during the show’s final years. I wonder if she’s still friends with Leonardo DiCaprio, also formerly of Growing Pains. Right at Your Door (2007) – This apocalyptic, indie tale is about chaos that ensues after a dirty bomb goes off in Los Angeles spreading toxins. Closure (2007) – X-Files fans may see Gillian Anderson in a new …

Get Frozen

If you’re at home anticipating snow, sleet or icy roads and looking for a good movie to pass the time that is appropriately titled and themed, check out Frozen. Thriller fans will probably enjoy this tension-filled 2010 film written and directed by David Green that Netflix users have given three stars, a pretty high rating for films of the thriller/horror genre. Influenced by that rating, I decided to instantly watch it last night. Three young adults go to a New England ski lodge, and things are pretty uneventful until they are the last to leave. After begging the ski lift operator for a ride back down, he sends them on their way, but soon leaves abruptly to handle a paycheck issue, turning the lift over to a replacement who doesn’t understand that the three are still on it. When he shuts the lift down and closes shop, the trio becomes stuck mid-air in freezing temperatures. Thinking it could be a week before the ski resort reopens, they must decide to succumb to their fate or …

Be afraid, be very afraid

National Geographic is promoting its new film “Sea Monsters,” funded in part by a grant from the National Science Foundation. The film explores prehistoric sea creatures that are the basis of legends like the Loch Ness Monster (a claim I was fascinated by as a child). Eighty million years ago, places like Kansas were at the bottom of the great inland sea that divided North America, and these “sea monsters” swam above. (My childhood dream was always to stumble upon one’s fossilized remains while poking around in the dirt.) Sadly, the site’s theater listings indicate that “Sea Monsters” isn’t playing in Mississippi, but it is showing in Alabama, Tennessee and Louisiana if you want to check it out. I spent a lot of my childhood sitting on the carpet in the children’s section of the West Union Attendance Center school library right beside the librarian’s desk where the “strange” books were stored. They included “Thirteen Ghosts and Jeffrey” and the mysteries of the Loch Ness monster, Big Foot and the Bermuda Triangle. Were you fascinated …