Why Dances with Wolves

There are a lot of reasons why you and I should include Dances with Wolves in our must-see movie list. My primary reason is Kevin Costner. And my personal reason is he is handsome, even today and even tomorrow. I have to remind myself that he is older than the eldest in my family. And his daughter is older than me. But his eyes make you melt. That’s what I call “actor’s eyes”.

Second and the primary reason for everybody else is that the movie won Oscars Best Picture in 1991. Not only that, they won Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing. Best Sound, Best Original Score. I guess this fact alone is enough to build your curiosity.

Third, the lead actor is the director himself. Kevin Costner was nominated as Best Actor. It was the first movie he directed which gave him the award Best Director 

Fourth reason, it’s a product of first time. Aside from having a first-time director, it was based on the first novel of Michael Blake. Most of the cast members had never had acting experience in film before they starred in Dances with Wolves.(That’s inspiring for people who don’t want to try because of lack of experience)

Fifth reason, the length of the movie does not follow the convention of a typical movie. The movie takes three hours. Kevin Costner presented the story to a couple of producers but none of them agreed to make the film. He then ended up making his own film. Thus having said the length of the film, it has the tendency to be boring. It depends on your level of film viewing maturity. Length also means details.

Sixth reason, the film is very American but it gained more profit in Europe than in US. (You realize that sometimes the people near you are not necessarily your direct target market). This story is based on the early of times of America when white men were conquering the lands of Indians. 

Lastly, it’s about friendship. It is unthinkable to have a shared understanding of two cultures. For the language barrier, they rely on one woman to be their translator. It’s about cultural assimilation, to leave prejudice behind and build new relationship.

You’ll find other deeper reasons to watch the movie. And I’m leaving it all to Wikipedia or Rotten Tomatoes for your plot summary. For the artistry and the production aspects of the film, I’m leaving it all to more trusted film critics as I cannot give justice.

Underrated Music

We have all sorts of impression, when we hear about the kind of music a person listens. If it’s rock, it’s either you hate it or you love it. If it’s pop, your inclination largely depends on which generation you belong. When you think of classical music, it’s too elite. People say if you like Elton John, Beatles’ music, you have some music sense. But how about country music? A cappella music? Gospel music? How much do you know about these music genres?

I know it’s stereotyping when I call such music genre as underrated? But the reason I describe these music genres as underrated is that they are not highly appreciated by everybody. They are somehow niche music. My assumption is based on the comments and the number of views in Youtube.

Country Music

I was watching a singing contest when one of its episodes featured country music. The contestants talked about what they thought of country music. One of the girls said that all she knew was about songs talking how a horse died, a cow died. Almost all the contestants in the show did not know anything about country music.

I first heard country music in the movie Beverly Hillbillies where Dolly Parton sang the lines, “What good is wealth and fame. Fine clothes and diamond ring.” I could not really relate to country music because I thought it was too American. Whenever I heard “country music,” I saw images of cowboys in a ranch.

I just find out that I have been listening to country music. I know the songs of Shaina Twain and LeAnn Rimes. They are country music singers. Country music is not all about cowboys. It can be sassy with the likes of Taylor Swift. It can be catchy (and it has always been). And do you know Kevin Costner, the award-winning director and actor has a country music band called Modern West? Take note, Whitney Houston’s famous song, I will always love you is a country song.

Here’s my favorite country song

A cappella Music

I think I’ve been writing a lot about a cappella music in my blog (See Define Eargasm, Why you should watch The Sing Off). I am a fan of an a cappella competition called The Sing Off. I’ve been wondering why the show is not getting a lot of buzz, considering it’s an NBC show, and it’s a singing contest as well. And whenever I talk to my friends about The Sing Off, I feel like I’m talking to myself. I also wonder why no mainstream artist ventures on a cappella music.

To show how much people know about a cappella music, ask them how the word “a cappella” is spelled. I used to think that it should be spelled as one word but l discovered that the correct spelling is “a cappella” not “acappella”, not “accapella”. It has double “l” and double “p”.

Lately, there are a lot of video clips in Youtube on a capella music, including videos of internet celebrity Sam Tsui. He makes renditions of popular songs such as those of Adele and Bruno Mars. And sometimes he sings with two or four voices then blends it. Cool! It’s like having a duet and quartet all alone.

Gospel Music

I probably know much about gospel music because I grew up with it. But I don’t really know the “commercial gospel music.” I don’t know which gospel songs sell. I was just surprised when I heard Casting Crowns, The Voice of Truth on the radio. What I generally know is the songs that are traditionally sung in church.

But even if you are not religious, you can like gospel music. Gospel music can make great singers given that gospel songs should be heart-felt. Now, we all know that Whitney Houston was once a gospel singer. The last song she sang before she died was Jesus loves me, a song sung in worship services or in Sunday school. And do you know Katy Perry was a Gospel singer? She used to sing hymns, His Eye on the Sparrow and Oh Happy Day. (Gee, those are the songs we sing in church. I wonder what happened to her.)


People often say “Open your heart” and “Open your eyes.” I bet it’s about time to “Open your ears.”

Rediscovering The Bodyguard

I have been suffering from Whitney fever for the entire week. Her death made all people rediscovered her music, movies, and interviews. I tried to look for a copy of The Bodyguard. It was my earliest memories of Whitney Houston. I was probably six years old when  I first watched the movie. All I could remember was she sang “I have nothing” but everything else in the movie was incomprehensible and forgettable for a six-year old.

Now, as an adult, I understand why the movie was a big hit. It reminded me of suspense novels I used to read. The suspense, the action, the romance were there. Like suspense novels, it tries to give you clues on who’s the person who want to kill the superstar Rachel Marron (Whitney Houston) but you end up surprise at the end of the movie. It was not really a love story movie with three kissing scenes, and one bed scene (which was not really a bed scene). But it was romantic in the sense that you want more of them together. You want them to end up together. I think a pinch of romance makes you want to have more. You just have to reconcile in your head that the movie should end and be like that.

I like the characters Frank Farmer and Rachel Marron. Frank seems to be a hard-to-get guy. He was snobbish, quiet, witty, and attractive. Kevin Costner was so handsome to be a bodyguard. I wonder why all these years, this is the only time I learn to appreciate the looks of Kevin Costner. I could not help but stare and study his looks. His eyes were soul-captivating. And it’s hard for me to accept that a few years from now, he’s going to be a senior citizen.

Whitney was natural in portraying the role of Rachel. Kevin Costner was right in choosing Whitney for the role. She nailed it. It could have been Barbara Streisand or any other singer but no one could have been better than her as said by Kevin Costner in an interview.

They have an interesting chemistry. And chemistry cannot be explained through colors. It’s such a pleasant sight to see mixed races. As a line from her song, “Share my life, take me for what I am, coz I’ll never change all my colors for you.”

The Bodyguard soundtrack is one of the best-selling soundtracks of all time. There’s a reason why the songs of The Bodyguard are part of our consciousness. The reason is Whitney sang them. The songs would just be ordinary songs if Whitney was not the one who sang them. She made those songs complicated to sing. I just found out that “I will always love you” is a country song, originally sung by Dolly Parton. The soundtrack brought so much influence to singers today. Songs from The Bodyguard are the popular choices in singing contests.  Matthew Morrison, Glee star, was one of the fans of The Bodyguard soundtrack.

After I finished watching the movie, I was saddened by the fact that the success of the movie did not translate the success of Whitney’s personal life.


How I wish I have a bodyguard….