January 22, 2007

Happy Birthday Diane Lane!

Oh, c'mon. How could I not post a pic on her own birthday?

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Born January 22nd, 1965, Diane is forty-two years young today.

UPDATE:
Damn me, ain't she sweet?

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December 30, 2006

(The Final) Diane Lane Photo Of The Week: Lane-apalooza!

Yes, sadly this is the last in a re-booted Saturday series.

...with a little something extra!

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One of my personal favorites.

And this week's Diane Lane Netflix Pick of the Week:

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A Little Romance (1979)

Synopsis: Diane Lane stars as Lauren, a young American girl whose love of books finds a soul mate in Daniel (Thelonious Bernard) -- and romance blossoms. When Daniel slugs the egomaniacal director boyfriend of Lauren's self-absorbed actress mother (Sally Kellerman), the two are forbidden to date. But with the help of an aging pickpocket (engagingly played by Laurence Olivier), the two young lovers run off to Venice and spark an international chase.

Gary's take: The one that started it all. At the time, her co-star, Sir Laurence Olivier, dubbed her "the next Grace Kelly". A simple story of young love and chasing a crazy dream to create a memory to last a lifetime.

A female commenter recently asked "what is it about Diane Lane?". Well here's the answer. Back in late 1979 or early 1980 when I was about twelve or thirteen years old, I saw this movie for the first time on cable (I was fortunate enough to have it back then) and I completely fell for this adorable precocious girl. Yes, my own memory to last a lifetime. Since then I've watched her grow up on film from a teenage heartbreaker to middle-aged sweetheart. It's that regular girl-next-door killer smile that gets me everytime.

I think my experience is similar to a lot of guys my age. I don't think there's another actress out there who's captured the affection of the males of my generation the way she has. She's never "sold out" in the Hollywood sense (though her current mother-in-law is noneother than Babs Streisand - ick). She's a terrific (and highly underrated) actress and just a lovely woman. And much to my wonderful wife's chagrin, Diane Lane will always have a special little place in my heart - even when she's in her seventies.

There. Now the surprise - a nine-minute video montage of the lovely Diane Lane. Simply Beautiful.

Happy New Year!

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December 22, 2006

Diane Lane Photo Of The Week

...a day early!

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And this week's Diane Lane Netflix Pick of the Week:

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Under The Tuscan Sun (2003)

Synopsis: In this movie loosely based on Frances Mayes's best-selling memoir of the same title, Diane Lane stars as Frances, a newly divorced American writer who heads for the Italian region of Tuscany to make limonita out of life's lemons. Having just quit her high-pressure job and ended her heartbreaking marriage, she buys a decrepit-but-charming house in Cortona on impulse, rebuilding it piece by piece -- and herself along with it.

Gary's take: Diane is darling in this one. Supported by a terrific ensemble of character actors, this is a really charming and funny story set in the beautiful Italian countryside. At this stage in her career, Diane Lane seems to be playing a lot of woman who's husbands have left them - which is a very tough concept to get my head around.

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December 16, 2006

Diane Lane Photo Of The Week

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And this week's Diane Lane Netflix Pick of the Week:

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Indian Summer (1993)

Synopsis:
Settle in for a heartwarming, slice-of-life comedy, as eight friends reunite at their beloved summer camp after 20 years. Overshadowing the reunion, however, is the knowledge that the camp's owner is ready to close it down forever. A talented cast -- including Alan Arkin, Sam Raimi, Bill Paxton, Elizabeth Perkins and more -- help to make this summer unforgettable.

Gary's take: Think "The Big Chill" for Generation X only with a lot less self-absorbed navel-gazing. A gang of thirty-somethings share their fond memories of summer camp and come to grips with the fact that, yes, you have to grow up sometime. Getting old is a bitch, isn't it? Look for "Spider-man" director, Sam Raimi, in a bit role as the clumsy camp caretaker.

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December 09, 2006

Diane Lane Photo Of The Week

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And this week's Diane Lane Netflix Pick of the Week:

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Must Love Dogs (2005)

Synopsis:
Divorcée Sarah Nolan (Diane Lane) isn't ready for romance. But when her sister (Elizabeth Perkins) signs her up for an online dating service, love-seeking mates come calling. While one Mr. Maybe (Dermot Mulroney) is rife with possibilities, another (John Cusack) is even more intriguing. Still, there's just one problem: While this second eligible bachelor's ad states that his dream woman "Must Love Dogs," neither he nor Sarah actually owns one.

Gary's take: Total chick flick about middle-aged dating from hell. But lots of fun and an ideal date movie. Cusack reprises the awkward, insecure (and quick-witted) type of leading man that he played in the film that made him a household name, "The Sure Thing". The photo above is a shot from the movie.

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December 02, 2006

Diane Lane Photo Of The Week

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And this week's Diane Lane Netflix Pick of the Week:

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The Oldest Confederate Widow Tells All (1994)

Synopsis:
Experience the extraordinary tale of Lucy Marsden, who in 1984 at the age of 99 became the nation's oldest living widow of a confederate soldier. This is her dramatic story told in her own words through flashbacks and reminiscences. Spanning almost a century, Lucy's portrayal of American society is a truly breathtaking masterpiece. From the heartache of the Civil War and despair of the Great Depression, this tale will leave you marveling.

Gary's take: Diane Lane from young girl to old woman. Especially entertaining for American History fans. Be aware that this was originally a miniseries, so you're looking at movie of Peter Jackson length. You might have to break it up into two sittings.

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November 24, 2006

Diane Lane Photo Of The Week

...a day early and all weekend long.

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How do ya like them apples?

And this week's Diane Lane Netflix Pick of the Week:

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The Outsiders: The Complete Novel (Extended Edition) (1983)

Synopsis:
Acclaimed filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola breathes new life into his beloved 1983 coming-of-age tale based on the novel by S.E. Hinton. This restored version features 22 minutes of previously unreleased footage, including a new beginning and ending; a new soundtrack (with tunes from Elvis and Van Morrison); director commentary; and remarks from cast members Matt Dillon, Ralph Macchio, C. Thomas Howell, Patrick Swayze, Rob Lowe and Diane Lane.

Gary's take: A red-haired Diane Lane is the sweet spot that shines in what is otherwise basically a sausage convention of teen heartthrobs. An old 80's favorite that's worth another look for the extra footage put back into the film. And of course, Diane Lane in that fuzzy sweater. Whoo-Hoo!

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November 18, 2006

Diane Lane Photo Of The Week

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And this week's Diane Lane Netflix Pick of the Week:

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The Perfect Storm (2000)

Synopsis:
Veteran fisherman Billy Tyne (George Clooney) has had a run of disappointing catches and is determined to change his luck by going beyond the normal reach of New England fishing boats to the remote Flemish Cap. Once out at sea, he hears about a huge storm building up, but is convinced he can beat it back to Gloucester, taking an enormous catch with him. If he doesn't try, his crew will come away empty-handed on this last trip of the season.

Gary's take: Honestly, if you had this honey waiting for you back on dry land would you really get on this boat of doom? Screw that! Time for a new job. Any woman who looks like Diane Lane and is willing to put up with a guy who smells like fish all the time is a keeper. An exciting film, but I can't get over the depressing ending (which was already so popularized by the novel that everyone knows going into it). Mark Wahlberg and John C. Reilly are the stand-outs in the cast though even Clooney does well enough in this one that you forget what an asshole he is.

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November 11, 2006

Diane Lane Photo Of The Week

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And this week's Diane Lane Netflix Pick of the Week:

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Vital Signs (1990)

Synopsis:
A group of medical students experience life's ups and downs while struggling to complete their residencies in this drama. Guided by head surgeon Dr. David Redding (Jimmy Smits), the group includes married student Kenny (Jack Gwaltney) and doctor's son Michael (Adrian Pasdar), both of whom compete for the attention of their beautiful colleague Gena (Diane Lane). Meanwhile, students Bobby and Suzanne become more than merely study buddies.

Gary's take: A bunch of surgical interns having sex when they should be focusing on learning medicine. Sheesh. Before there was "Grey's Anatomy", there was this flick. It took me half the movie to figure out why this one was rated "R" - a stand-up against-the-wall sex scene featuring...guess who? And the only movie I can recall where Diane Lane had such light blonde hair.

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November 04, 2006

Diane Lane Photo Of The Week

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And this week's Diane Lane Netflix Pick of the Week:

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Unfaithful (2002)

Synopsis:
In Adrian Lyne's erotic thriller, Diane Lane is Connie, a wife and mother who lives in a beautiful house with her handsome husband, Edward (Richard Gere). But their marriage has lost its sexual spark, and when Connie literally runs into handsome book collector Paul (Olivier Martinez), he sweeps her into an all-consuming affair. But Edward soon becomes suspicious...

Gary's take: I'm not sure what 20th Century Fox Studios was thinking when they scheduled this film's release date - one week before "Spider-man" and two weeks before Star Wars, Episode II (another movie distributed by Fox) - but this one didn't do nearly as well at the box office as I feel it could have had it not had that kind of competition. Face it, guys. This one is a guilty pleasure. And yes I own a copy on DVD. I always thought Diane was sexy. But in this one she was a different kind of sexy, the down and dirty kind.

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October 28, 2006

Diane Lane Photo Of The Week

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And this week's Diane Lane Netflix Pick of the Week:

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A Walk On The Moon (1999)

Synopsis:
The same summer that brings a man to the moon and free love to a small farm in Woodstock, N.Y., shakes up the safe, happy life of vacationing housewife Pearl Kantrowitz (Diane Lane). When a mysterious traveling salesman (Viggo Mortensen) offers her his heart, she's swept up in the passion of newfound love. But as her husband discovers her infidelity, she must choose between the life she's always known and a future with no limits.

Gary's take: Diane Lane as a Jewish mother in the '60's? What a terrific performance, one of my personal favorites. Diane plays Pearl, a woman married too young because she got pregnant and longs for a taste of the freedom that might have been. Excellent supporting cast, particularly Liev Schreiber as her husband Marty and Anna Paquin as her teen-age daughter Alison, who's coming of age is set in contrast to Pearl's own past and the cultural upheaval of 1968.

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October 21, 2006

Diane Lane Photo Of TheWeek

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And this week's Diane Lane Netflix Pick of the Week:

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My Dog Skip (2000)

Synopsis:
Lonely, 9-year-old Willie Morris (Frankie Muniz) lives in the flea-bitten town of Yazoo, Miss. He stinks at sports and has no playmates. So, over the strenuous objections of his hardnosed father (Kevin Bacon), Willie's mother (Diane Lane) buys him a dog that he promptly dubs "Skip." Before you know it, Skip transforms Willie's life: He makes friends, plays sports and develops an unbreakable bond with the spunky terrier. Based on a true story.

Gary's take: A story in the mold of "Old Yeller" without the whole shooting of the dog routine. But, yes, it's a tiny bit of a tear jerker - but with a happy ending. Diane is a stand-out as the loving mom. Imagine having a mom who looked like the picture above? Can you say therapy? Anyone who's ever had an attachment to a family pet will easily connect to this story. A fun and touching movie about friendship.

Posted by: Gary at 09:53 AM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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October 14, 2006

Diane Lane Photo Of The Week

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And this week's Diane Lane Netflix Pick of the Week:

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The Glass House (2001)

Synopsis:
After the untimely death of her parents, Ruby (Leelee Sobieski) and her brother (Trevor Morgan) move in with family friends (Diane Lane and Stellan Skarsgård). But how could Ruby know that her new guardians' motives for welcoming her and her brother into their "glass house" are diabolically sinister? As the suspense builds, it's up to Ruby to protect her brother and herself from an encroaching menace.

Gary's take: Not your typical Diane Lane role. It speaks to her range as an actress. If you've always thought there was no way that she could give you the creeps. Check this one out.

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October 07, 2006

Diane Lane Photo Of The Week

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And this week's Diane Lane Netflix Pick of the Week:

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Rumble Fish (1983)

Synopsis:
In Francis Ford Coppola's black-and-white adaptation of the S.E. Hinton novel, Rusty James (Matt Dillon) is the leader of a small, dying gang once led by his now-absent brother, Motorcycle Boy (Mickey Rourke). When Rusty is injured in a gang fight, his brother returns to their sad, industrial town to help. Despite this, Rusty continues on his path of self-destruction, damaging his relationships with his girlfriend (Diane Lane) and friends.

Gary's take: I picked this one to compliment the black-and-white photo above. Face it. It's the kind of a movie that's short on story and long on cinematic "technique". Show the wife or girlfriend that you can appreciate fine film making. Yeah, right. It's definitely worth a look, though, if you've never seen it. And you get see how hot Diane Lane is in black-and-white. Look for top notch performances from Mickey Rourke and Dennis Hopper. Matt Dillon does a fine job as well. And look also for early performances by a young Nicolas Cage and the late Chris Penn.

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September 30, 2006

Diane Lane Photo Of The Week

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Show 'em if ya got 'em.

And this week's Diane Lane Netflix Pick of the Week:

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Miss All-American Beauty (1982)

Synopsis:
Teenager Sally Butterfield (Diane Lane) competes in a Texas beauty pageant in hopes of winning a valuable scholarship. With the assistance of her coach, Agatha (Cloris Leachman), Sally wins and heads to the national competition to defend her title. No one expects the small-town girl from Texas to win the Miss All-American Beauty pageant, but she does, and is quickly hurled into an unfamiliar world of flashbulbs and travel. Is it worth it?

Gary's take: If there's any movie that highlighted what an "all-American" girl-next-door Diane Lane is it's this one. Yes, it was a made for TV movie, but all in all it's pretty well done. An interesting look into world of beauty pageants. Sally's grueling schedule strains her relationship with her family and boyfriend. Will she find the meaning of real beauty?

Posted by: Gary at 08:45 AM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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September 23, 2006

Diane Lane Photo Of The Week

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Baby's in black

And this week's Diane Lane Netflix Pick of the Week:

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Streets Of Fire (1984)

Synopsis:
Tough ex-soldier Tom Cody (Michael Paré) springs into action when a depraved motorcycle gang kidnaps his former girlfriend, Ellen (Diane Lane), who's now a famous singer. Besides being pitted against the gang's leader (a memorable Willem Dafoe), Cody must contend with Ellen's manager (Rick Moranis). The film's pulsating soundtrack features rockin' tunes by Stevie Nicks, Ry Cooder and the Blasters.

Gary's take: Interesting production design (a mix of '50's, '80's and whatever era visuals), awful dialogue and not enough Diane. But it's got a kick-ass soundtrack and when she's on-screen, Ms. Lane is smokin'. You will believe this babe can sing.

See Diane "not" sing "Tonight Is What It Means To Be Young" from the movie The lip-synching isn't really that bad, it's the clip. And as an added bonus, hear Michael Pare and Amy Madigan dubbed in Italian at the end.):

Sweet!

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September 16, 2006

Diane Lane Photo Of The Week

Better late than never:

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And this week's Diane Lane Netflix Pick of the Week:

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Six Pack (1982)

Synopsis:
In his first film role, country singer Kenny Rogers stars as Brewster Baker, a retired stock-car driver who's on the comeback trail. But he finds his racing plans temporarily thwarted when six delinquent siblings (including Anthony Michael Hall and Diane Lane) strip Brewster's car to sell the parts. Reluctantly, he takes the miscreant brood under his wing -- and turns them into his new pit crew in this breezy comedy directed by Daniel Petrie.

Bonus Babe Alert: Erin Gray stars as Kenny Rogers' lady love. Whoo-Hoo!

Interesting factoid: In my opinion, the fact that she co-starred with Anthony Michael Hall in this film coupled with her appearance in "The Outsiders" makes her a charter member of the infamous "Brat Pack".

Posted by: Gary at 08:35 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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September 09, 2006

Diane Lane Photo Of The Week

Here she is, gentlemen:

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Welcome back, Diane. We missed ya. :wink:

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September 08, 2006

BREAKING: Diane Lane Feature Returning To Ex-Donkey

All through 2005 (my first year of blogging) I had a regular item every Saturday morning called the "Diane Lane Photo of the Week" featuring a different picture of my favorite girl-next-door actress. It proved to be pretty popular.

A year ago, I switched over from Blogger to MuNu and had my archives migrated as well. Unfortunately, the graphics that I had posted up to the Blogger server often don't allow access from this site. Maybe they consider it "hotlinking" or something, I don't know for sure. All I know is that when you click on the "Diane Lane" category and scroll down, you usually get those annoying little boxes with the red "x" through it on pre-September 2005 entries and the link will give you a message to the effect that access is denied, and "The requested URL could not be retrieved".

Sigh.

So, because those older pics are not viewable (and also due to popular demand) I will be re-posting one of those old photos every Saturday through the end of the year. Actually, it's more like a "best of" presentation based on the ones I've chosen from my archives on the old Ex-Donkey Blog. And, honestly, I always considered those earlier photos to be the best ones anyway.

So those of you who missed that weekly treat can take heart. The first one goes up tomorrow morning! Stay tuned.

Posted by: Gary at 12:15 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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December 31, 2005

(Last) Diane Lane Photo of the Week

Yes, gentlemen. The time has come to move on. It's a new year and a new feature starting next Saturday.

Many thanks to Diane Lane for being so drop-dead gorgeous in a girl-next-store kind of way. It's been great. The full Diane Lane archive is here.

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Happy New Year!

Posted by: Gary at 07:44 AM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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