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Friday, April 18, 2008

Charlton Heston, Part Two

By way of my own special tribute the legendary actor Charlton Heston, I have become one of the characters he portrayed. I guess that needs to be explained a little better.
My sister recently bought a game system called the Wii. If you haven't heard about it, it's the one that has special controllers where, when you swing them, it mimics your actual movements for such games as tennis, golf or bowling. Needless to say, the favorite game at her house seems to be bowling. Whenever I visit her lately, we always seem to end up having heated bowling tournaments. If your front room has started to look like this recently, then you know what I'm talking about:

Yes, the above picture was the "Holiday Bowling Classic," held on this past Easter Sunday. Below you can see what the game looks like as you're playing it:

Well, to finish the story, everyone up at my sister's house has created their own avatar to use when they play. She kept asking me if I wanted to create my own, but I always just used one of the generic characters provided. When Charlton Heston passed away a few weeks ago, it inspired me to finally create my own character. But, where most everybody else tried to recreate, in digital form, an image of themselves more or less; I had to be me and create a true character. One that wasn't myself. My immediate thoughts went to that classic character, one which I had played before on Hallowe'en, Moses - as portrayed by Charlton Heston. While at her house, I pulled up a quick picture of Heston, as Moses, (courtesy of an earlier blog of mine), and used it to recreate as best I could, the face of Heston's Moses for my avatar in Wii bowling. The results I managed to achieve are pictured below:

And, wouldn't you know it? When my Moses character begin playing his first matches, he beat every contender! It also didn't hurt that I had a slew of ready-made phrases for him to use to describe each shot - such as "the parting of the red pins," "Moses found favor in the eyes of the Lord (to play a good game)," "Who is on the Lord's side?", "I shall smite thee in the name of the Lord," "Let my pins go," etc. You get the idea. I think I made a good choice in making this character my avatar. And, not only that, I get to honor the man I always liked as an actor - Charlton Heston. Let me know if you have any similar experiences with the Wii Entertainment Center.
Oh, and if you're inspired to purchase your own Wii game system, please try to find a place to buy it other than at Wal-Mart. You know why.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Charlton Heston, 1923-2008

Charlton Heston was the quintessential American actor who played in films, the theater and on television. I'm not ashamed to admit that he was my favorite actor of all time. Regular readers of this blog know how I feel about his portrayal of Moses in The Ten Commandments. He was born John Charles Carter, here in my homestate of Illinois, on October 4th, 1923. He passed away last week, April 5th, 2008, of an Alzheimer's related illness. His family released this statement: "Charlton Heston was seen by the world as larger than life. He was known for his chiselled jaw, broad shoulders and resonating voice, and, of course, for the roles he played. No one could ask for a fuller life than his. No man could have given more to his family, to his profession and to his country." I think this pretty much sums up my personal feeling about the man.

Heston in Ben Hur, for which he won an Oscar

Several of his movie roles which I like are:
Dark City (1950)
The Naked Jungle (1954)
Secret Of The Incas (1954)
The Private War Of Major Benson (1955)
The Ten Commandments (1956)
Touch Of Evil (1958)
Ben Hur (1959)
El Cid (1961 )
The Pigeon That Took Rome (1962)
The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965)
The Agony And The Ecstasy (1965)
Will Penny (1968)
Planet Of The Apes (1968)
Number One (1969)
Beneath The Planet Of The Apes (1970)
The Omega Man (1971)
Skyjacked (1972)
Soylent Green (1973)
Airport 1975 (1974)
Earthquake (1974)
Midway (1976)
Gray Lady Down (1978)
Alaska (1996)

This is far from being his total filmography, but it gives you a good idea just how popular of an actor he was.
One of his earliest television roles was that of the great American patriot James Otis, which he portrayed on the series Studio One, on November 12th, 1951. You can download and watch this performance for free at the Internet Archive. I highly recommend it!

I know it's just not going to seem right next Easter when I watch The Ten Commandments now that Charlton Heston is gone. I'm sure going to miss him. And remember, if you go to buy some of his classic performances on video or DVD, be sure to shop at a place other than Wal-Mart.