It’s Wednesday and that means TV travel. . .

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The middle of the week has arrived and that means another preview of TV travel programs on tonight (Nov. 9) on WYCC-TV in Chicago.

7:30 p.m. — “Travels With Darley” — The focus is on Little Rock, Arkansas. There’s a Segway tour of the River Trail and a bike ride through the SoMa neighborhood and Quapaw District, home to historic houses. The show also checks out the Vogel Schwartz Sculpture, Clinton Presidential Center, Historic Arkansas Museum and Museum of Discovery.

8 p.m. — “Rick Stevee’ Europe” — Rick is in Romania and tours Bucharest, Transylvania and Maramures.

8:30 p.m. — “Travelscope” — Host Joseph Rosendo takes a trip to Switzerland’s Grindelwald Valley which is shadowed by the Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau peaks. He checks out street fairs and festivals, a cheese-making demonstration and the car-free mountain town of Wengen. Rosendo also takes a train journey to the highest train station in Europe, the Jungfraujoch.

9 p.m. — “Globe Trekker” — This week’s episode is a tour of northern England. It starts in rural Suffolk and stops in Cambridge, Sheffield, Bradford and York. I was very much impressed with York’s old world charm when I visited England. The program also includes a boat trip to the Farne Islands, the ancient sanctuary of Saint Cuthbert.

UNTIL NEXT TIME. . .

Warm up your DVR, it’s Wednesday. . .

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Yes, the big game is tonight (Nov. 2) — Game 7 of the World Series between Cleveland and Chicago.
I will be at a watering hole watching it, but I will enjoy WYCC-TV in Chicago’s Wednesday night lineup of travel TV programs later on and it’s a good trip to take!

7:30 p.m. — “Travels With Darley” — This week’s episode explores Northern England and Wales. A famous Harry Potter film location is visited along with landscape that inspired the writings of the Bronte sisters and the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Saltaire and Pontcysyllte Aqueduct.

8 p.m. — “Rick Steves’ Europe” — Rick is Bulgaria this week and takes a look at ancient Thracian tombs, medieval Orthodox Christian monasteries and Soviet-era momuments. He also explores Bulgarian contemporary culture.

8:30 p.m. — “Travelscopre” — Put on your skis as Joseph Rosendo visits the resort town of St. Moritz, Switzerland with all its five-star hotels and high-end shops. He’ll also trek up the Rhaetian Alps.

9 p.m. — “Globe Trekker” — The season 14 premiere is called the “Mumbai City Guide.” Stops on this tour of the Indian city include Dharavi slum, which was made famous by the movie “Slumdog Millionaire”, the fish mark at Sassoon Docks and the luxurious Taj Palace Hotel. See also the sea fort at Murud Janjira and an open-air laundromat.

UNTIL NEXT TIME. . .

It’s that time of the week!

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I know the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians play Game 2 of the World Series tonight (Oct. 26), but warm up your DVR and enjoy another lineup of TV travel programs on WYCC-TV in Chicago.
Also, I hope to return to blogging regularly but I have been hurting for topics. But I will always post my weekly TV travel program preview.

7:30 p.m. — “Travels With Darley” — My great grandfather came from Wales so shows devoted to it are always special to me. This episode focuses on the Isle of Anglesey. The show checks out the Wales Coast Path, a town with the world’s longest place names and life on a Welsh farm.

8 p.m. — “Rick Steves’ Europe” — Rick continues his trip to Germany with visits to Frankfurt and Nuremberg.

8:30 p.m. — “Travelscope” — Joseph Rosendo is in Istanbul and enjoys its many bazaars, restaurants, churches, mosques and neighborhoods.

9 p.m. — “Globe Trekker” — This episode looks at the isolated island of St. Helena located in the South Atlantic. St. Helena is where Napolean spent his final years. The viewer also gets to the historic settlement of Jamestown and Longwood House, where Napolean was imprisoned. And the show presents an 180-year-old giant tortoise, who might have met Napolean. 🙂

UNTIL NEXT TIME. . .

Wheels up! It’s another Wednesday!

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Want to travel, but too busy right now? WYCC-TV in Chicago allows you to take a mini-vacation each Wednesday with its lineup of TV travel programs. The following is what’s on the itinerary tonight (Oct. 19).

7:30 p.m. — “Travels With Darley” — The Season 2 premiere deals with Northern England with stops in Manchester and Liverpool, The Beatles’ hometown. The story of The Beatles is told with stops at Albert Dock, Strawberry Field and Penny Lane. There’s also a visit to the National Football Museum and Cartmel, described as a foodies village.

8 p.m. — “Rick Steves’ Europe” — Rick gives a tour of Saxony in Germany with focus on two of the region’s great cities, Dresden and Leipzig. While in Dresden, we get to see opulent palaces and art treasures of the Westin dynasty. Leipzig was home to Johann Sebastian Bach for his final 27 years.

8:30 p.m. — “Travelscope” — This week Joseph Rosendo shows us St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the Caribbean. There’s swimming with endangered sea turtles and dancing to the drums of the Union Island Maroon Festival.

9 p.m. — “Globe Trekker” — This week is one of the show’s described “food hours” and it’s devoted to cheese. Highlights include cheese-making techniques in England, the Cheese Makers Market in Beaconsfield, a farm in the Cotswolds and the oldest cheese monger in London. The viewer also gets to see cheese being made in France, Italy, Switzerland and Spain.

UNTIL NEXT TIME. . .

It’s Wednesday and time to explore. . .

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As usual, there are a variety of places to see tonight (Wednesday, Oct. 12) with the lineup of TV travel programs on WYCC-TV in Chicago.

7:30 p.m. — “Travels With Darley” — The Season 1 finale takes us to the Guadeloupe Islands in the French Caribbean. There is also a behind the scenes look at how the show is made and show bloopers.

8 p.m. — “Rick Steves’ Europe” — Rick visits the port city of Hamburg, Germany and checks out the historic sights of Martin Luther and the Reformation. There’s also some time spent at the wine-loving capital of Franconia, Wurzburg.

8:30 p.m. — “Joseph Rosendo’s Travelscope” — Joseph explores the African nation of Mozambique. Stops include the Indigo Bay Island Resort and Spa on Bazaruto Island and the Acura Resort on Berguerra Island. There’s also snorkeling, sailing, horseback riding and sand boarding.

9 p.m. — “Globe Trekker” — This episode focuses on the Caribbean islands of St. Lucia, Martinique and Montserrat.

ADDING TO THE LIST
Here are some movies I forgot to add to my list of what I consider perfect movies that I posted on Monday, Oct. 12. Thanks to everyone who replied with their perfect films.

1945 — They Were Expendable
1948 — The Naked City
1953 — Stalag 17
1961 — Judgment at Nuremberg
1967 — Barefoot in the Park
1990 — The Russia House
1992 — A River Runs Through It

UNTIL NEXT TIME. . .

What do you think is a perfect movie?

I have written on this blog many times about movies that I think are perfect. I thought making a list of what I think are perfect or four-star movies would be fun and maybe start some good film talk. Let me know what you think.
If a movie is on this list, it’s because I think all elements of the film come together to make you laugh, feel emotion or feel thrills or whatever those involved in making of the film wanted to accomplish. Some of these movies tried to push the outside of the creative envelope and succeeded big time.
If it’s not on the list, obviously I might not like the film, I haven’t seen it or only seen part of it or I think it’s a good film but doesn’t reach the level of perfection. Here goes. . .

1928 — The Passion of Joan of Arc
1932 — I am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang
1935 — A Night at the Opera
1939 — Gone With the Wind
1939 — Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
1939 — Stagecoach
1940 — The Philadelphia Story
1942 — Mrs. Miniver
1943 — Casablanca
1946 — The Best Years of Our Lives
1946 — It’s a Wonderful Life
1949 — All the King’s Men
1949 — Battleground
1949 — 12 O’Clock High
1950 — Sunset Boulevard
1951 — An American in Paris
1952 — The Quiet Man
1953 — From Here to Eternity
1954 — On the Waterfront
1955 — Picnic
1957 — The Bridge on the River Kwai
1957 — Peyton Place
1957 — A Face in the Crowd
1958 — Auntie Mame
1960 — The Magnificent Seven
1961 — West Side Story
1962 — The Great Escape
1964 — Goldfinger
1966 — The Sand Pebbles
1968 — Bullitt
1971 — The French Connection
1973 — The Sting
1976 — All the President’s Men
1977 — Star Wars
1978 — Animal House
1979 — Caddyshack
1980 — Airplane
1981 — For Your Eyes Only
1983 — The Big Chill
1983 — The Right Stuff
1983 — National Lampoon’s Vacation
1984 — The Killing Fields
1985 — Silverado
1986 — Hoosiers
1989 — National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
1989 — When Harry Met Sally
1990 — Dances with Wolves
1990 — Goodfellas
1992 — The Last of the Mohicans
1993 — Schindler’s List
1994 — Quiz Show
1996 — The English Patient
1996 — Evita
2010 — The King’s Speech
2012 — Skyfall
2015 — Spotlight

I might have forgotten some to include on the list. But if and when they come to me, I’ll let you know. Again, let me know what you think.

UNTIL NEXT TIME. . .

When a movie has it, it’s a joy to watch. . .

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I think by reading this blog, you can easily figure out that I love movies and especially love excellent ones.
I ran into another last night on Turner Classic Movies. I hadn’t seen it in a while and I had forgotten how damn good it really is and it’s now on my list of four-star movies.
It’s “A Face in the Crowd” from 1957 starring Andy Griffith, Patricia Neal, Walter Matthau and Lee Remick. It’s directed by Elia Kazan, who brought us such film classics as “A Street Car Named Desire” and “On The Waterfront.” The screenplay is by Budd Schubert, based on his short story.
Neal plays Marcia Jeffries, a producer that discovers Larry Rhodes (Griffith) in an Arkansas jail. She gets to know Rhodes and likes his folksy personal charm along with his sense of humor and singing ability.
She gets him a radio program at an Arkansas radio station and he’s a quick hit. He then gets his own television show in Memphis and then goes big time in New York City.
Audiences can’t get enough of Rhodes, who takes the stage name Lonsome Rhodes, and his country ways and tell it like it is attitude. But then Rhodes starts believing his own publicity and thinks he is larger than life. Jeffries is horrified at the media monster she created. Rhodes heads for a downfall.
If I label a movie a four-star one, it’s because the acting performances are all top-notch and the actors are not leaving anything on the table and other elements of a film are working in sync. This is completely true of “A Face in the Crowd.”
It’s hard to believe the film received no Oscar nominations. It was not well-received when it came out, but critics have been kinder to it as time has gone on. Perhaps, because it did not give a good reflection of how television is made or the audience that is influenced by it. It’s similar to how a mirror was held up to the film industry in “Sunset Boulevard” in 1950.
Griffith was wonderful in the TV classic “The Andy Griffith Show” and later “Matlock.” But if you didn’t think he had acting chops, watch this movie.
“A Face in the Crowd” I feel remains timeless with the influence of cable television news and talk shows today.
TCM will show it again Nov. 4 at 11:15 p.m. CST.

UNTIL NEXT TIME. . .

Your remote is your boarding pass. . .

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It’s Wednesday (Oct. 5) and that means another lineup tonight of travel programs on WYCC-TV in Chicago.

7:30 p.m. — “Travels With Darley” — The episode is entitled “Road Trip: Maryland, Virginia and Beyond.” Highlights include wine tasting in Virginia and fishing and biking on Maryland’s coastal islands.

8 p.m. — “Rick Steves’ Europe” — It’s the final part of his series on practical advice to have a fun, affordable and enlightening European vacation.

8:30 p.m. — “Joseph Rosendo’s Travelscopre” — Joseph goes on a safari in South Africa’s Lion Sands Private Game Reserve and sees lions, elephants, cape buffaloes and black rhinoceroses.

9 p.m. — “Globe Trekker” — Tonight’s stop is the French Riviera and locales frequented by artists Cezanne, Renoir, Picasso and Chagall.

UNTIL ENXT TIME. . .

It’s Wednesday and time to hit the road. . .

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You need to make sure your tray table is in the locked and upright position. Otherwise, you’ll have a mess in front of the TV as you enjoy tonight’s (Wednesday, Sept. 28) travel programs on WYCC-TV in Chicago.

7:30 p.m. — “Travels With Darley” — This episode focuses on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula with stops at lighthouses, brew pubs and parks in Sault Ste. Marie, Mackinac Island and St. Ignace.

8 p.m. — “Rick Steves’ Europe” — It’s Part 2 of 3 of Rick’s practical advice on how to have a fun, affordable European vacation.

8:30 p.m. — “Joseph Rosendo’s Travelscope” — Joseph pays a visit to Cappadocia, Turkey. He takes a hot air balloon ride and visits some ancient mosques and churches and checks out some of the region’s traditional arts and crafts.

9 p.m. — “Globe Trekker” — The episode is called “Paris City Guide 2” and tour highlights include the Cordon Bleu, the Moulin Rouge, the Eiffel Tower, the Palace of Versailles and the Luxembourg Garden. One of the many memories of my trip to Paris was taking a book and reading in the Luxembourg Garden on a beautiful summer day.

UNTIL NEXT TIME. . .

‘Sully’ reaches an altitude of quality. . .

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I have never been a big fan of airplane disaster movies.
Oh, I loved 1970’s “Airport.” I mean, what could go wrong with Dean Martin as pilot? And the book “Airport” by Arthur Hailey is an excellent read and I still think timeless regarding the life of a big city airport.
After seeing the reviews and hearing from my friends about what a great movie “Sully” was, I checked it out. And I was not disappointed with director Clint Eastwood’s latest film.
The screenplay is by Todd Komarnicki and is based on the book “Highest Duty” by Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger and Jeffrey Zaslow.
I don’t worry about giving spoilers here because this was the first big news story of 2009. On Jan. 15, U.S. Airways Flight 1549 to Charlotte, North Carolina and later Seattle, struck a flock of geese shortly after takeoff from New York City’s LaGuardia Airport. Both engines quit working because of that.
The plane’s Captain, Sullenberger, decides the only option is to make a landing in the Hudson River.
He and first officer Jeff Skiles successfully put the plane down and it’s evacuated. Passengers gather on the wings and on the emergency stairs that then convert into rafts. It’s a cold winter day, the Hudson is bone chilling and hypothermia is a concern. But rescue boats respond quickly.
Every passenger and crew member survived and the majority of the injuries suffered were minor.
I have to give credit to Eastwood. Although I know the outcome of what happened, he still makes things tense during those scenes.
However, “Sully” deals mostly with the aftermath and that’s why Tom Hanks, who plays Chesley Sullenberger, should receive yet another Oscar nomination.
He skillfully portrays how Sullenberger, a skilled veteran pilot and family man, deals with suddenly being thrust into the spotlight as America’s newest hero while dealing with the trauma that he and everyone on the plane endured.
Laura Linney plays Lorraine Sullenberger, Sullenberger’s wife and although her role is limited, she’s very good at portraying the trauma that the family endured.
There was the customary investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board and I understand why directors and writers bump up the tension in a story when there was none. You need to keep the audience’s interest.
But published and broadcast reports have quoted NTSB investigators, who did the investigation into Flight 1549, who said there was never an adversarial relationship between them, Sullenberger and Skiles. So take those scenes with a grain of salt.
That shouldn’t keep you from “Sully.” It’s the story of people who had their strength tested in a crisis and lived to see another day.
And I will never get tired of an air disaster movie that has a happy ending.

RATING — *** and 1/2 stars

UNTIL NEXT TIME. . .