Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Hospital

It's Wednesday - somewhere in the middle of January. Here in New Jersey, a possible icing this afternoon is predicted. I don't mean this kind -

© PinkCupcake

Now, I wonder, is "icing" meaning "frosting" a Southern term? I heard it often in cake reference as a child in Kentucky. Not that I spent much time in cake reference, or even in cakes, mind you...

Tuesday, I happened to catch a bit of Steve Jobs presentation from MacWorld 2008. One of the things that was being promoted was the new ability to rent movies from ITunes and watch them on your Mac ( I own a MacBookPro which I purchased in '06. I will piss many off by this - not that I care- but, frankly, after the honeymoon was over - which lasted about as long as the faulty power cord - I soon found it to be one of the worst investments I have ever made (that's right Tony) though that's another story for another time), or PC should you download ITunes.

He said quite clearly and on more than one occasion during his presentation that the technology available that very day (being Tuesday I guess). That one could download the latest version of ITunes (or upgrade in my case) and begin renting films. I must admit that I was somewhat excited by the idea and, since he said it was available then and there, downloaded the upgrade and prepared to pick a film that George and I would watch that evening.

Of course, that wasn't the case. I did download the upgrade, but there were no films to rent Tuesday afternoon. Nor Tuesday evening. This caused quite a bit of confusion and disappointment for Mac users based upon the chat rooms that I checked out who were as eager as I to rent streaming films online. Though I was glad to see that I wasn't the only one experiencing the issue dreading yet another problem with my over priced MacBookPro ( tee's fun to replace with word RECALL with the words EXCHANGE PROGRAM especially when you find out about the "replacement" only on a whim since you were never contacted about the replacement from the get-go. No, only after your own inquiry, and deep site searching, only after your battery drops dead on you.) You know, it's slightly cute, in a nice way, the way Indian's pronounce "EXCHANGE PROGRAM" with their very practiced "American" accents.)

Again, I divert. Finally, Wednesday morning, I was able to see the "RENT" option on my ITunes Movies section. I knew that I was about to drive back to my home in New Jersey from the beach, and made the decision right then and there to test the new rentability later that evening.

And I did. At about 10 PM that evening, I decided to rent a move via ITunes and watch it on my laptop. I must admit, I found the whole experience very enjoyable. There was a decent selection of films, and the process was as easy as clicking a button. The film showed beautifully on my MacBookPro without any hitches. Based upon my experience last night, I would give the whole process an a A- ( the minutes for not having it ready when the were publicly stating it was ready via a live, international broadcast).

I choose an older film from the early 70's entitled "The Hospital".

It starred George C. Scott in a riveting performance. The film was billed as a comedy, but I would call it a black comedy. Really, the only comic moments were only worthy of a very slight chuckle. But, it is enjoyable. Dated ( especially in relation to the matter of sex and gender. There are situations in the film that would simply not be tolerated today) yet weirdly contemporary at the same time. Scott was nominated for a Best Actor Oscar and the film did win an Oscar for it's famed writer Paddy Chayefsky.

Here's a brief synopsis of the film -

Herbert Block is chief of medicine in a major teaching hospital. His wife has left him, he is impotent and his children have both disowned him. He is toying with the idea of suicide when patients begin dying, not from complications, but from the erroneous treatments the Hospital is giving them. People in the wrong beds are given wrong medicines, sent to operating theaters for incorrect surgery, and found in waiting rooms dead of natural causes. Barbara Drummond has come to take her comatose father back to the Sioux reservation where he operates a clinic and they each reach out to each other for emotional support, as a shadowy figure stalks the patients and staff of the hospital. Written by John Vogel {}

One facet of the film that I found of interest were the numbers of cameos by actors that went on to much larger roles and acclaim later in their careers - such as

Stockard Channing
, Nancy Marchand, Katherine Helmond, Robert Walden, Frances Sternhagen, and more. Very interesting indeed.

Did I mention that the lovely and talented Diana Rigg plays the female lead?

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